Healthy Chocolate Easter Eggs

Easter is a time where there can be a lot of guilt around what you eat, well my sparkling reader, don’t I have a treat for you, a healthy one! Say hello to my homemade healthy chocolate recipe, which I’ve created this year especially for Easter (I do though plan to continue making it throughout the year).

These chocolates are dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free, and if you switch out the honey, they are vegan too (honey is just my personal favourite sweetener). I am super proud of this recipe. I’ve made a healthy alternative to store bought chocolate for a long time, but this recipe is by far my best yet.

You will need.. saucepan + spoon + measuring spoons + chocolate mould + baking tray

Ingredients

4 tbsp coconut butter

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp smooth 100% peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)

1/2 tsp honey (or sweetener of choice)

1/4 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp cacao powder, sifted

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, sifted

Method

Melt in a saucepan over low heat coconut butter, coconut oil, peanut butter, honey and vanilla essence.

Stir while heating and until smooth then remove from heat.

Stir through sifted cacao powder and ground cinnamon until smooth.

Spoon tsp of mixture into desired mould.

Place mould on baking tray and set in freezer for 30 minutes before eating.

These will keep best in the fridge or freezer, removed just before eating.

Makes approx. mould tray and a half (depending on your chocolate mould)

Time approx. 35 minutes (including set time)

If you make these I would absolutely love to know what you think in the comments below, and if you take a photo please share it on Instagram and tag @sparkleondarling so I can see. I cannot wait for you to try these.

Happy Easter my sparkling readers.

All my love,

Restarting My Fitness Journey (Again)

Over the years my fitness has had many highs and many lows. I’ve gone from not exercising at all, to exercising 2 hours a night – 6 days a week, never running, to running 7km’s every morning, giving it up completely, to joining a gym, cancelling my membership, joining another gym, cancelling again, I’m sure you get what I’m getting at, my fitness journey for years has been all over the shop, I’ve never stuck at my fitness for more than a year at a time without giving up on it in between. I love it when I’m really into it, but I’ve never felt like I’ve been doing it for the right reasons, until now.

So this year I’ve reevaluated my ‘why’ and come at my life, my health, my fitness, from a completely different angle, the angle of.. for pure enjoyment and for the love of it, not for change or to escape.

At the beginning of this year I didn’t set myself any crazy exercise goals like I usually would, I simply said to myself that I’d like to do more yoga, and that I’ve done. I didn’t put pressure on myself to do all the things, just one thing, and I’ve been doing it and purely for the love of it. I’ve done numerous yoga classes now and the benefits have been beyond what I could have ever imagined, inside and out, and I feel like the enjoyment I’ve gotten out of each and every class has been so incredible that I might actually continue it throughout the year, for the rest of the year, for the first time during my on and off yoga journey.

Recently I had this urge to join a gym (again), this is my fourth gym. So I did it, but this time with zero expectation on myself, no pressure to go every single day and push myself to my limits. Instead, I’ve been seeing a personal trainer once a week to find my rhythm again, learn new things and simply enjoy the practice of working out, and I’ve been having the time of my life going just once a week. You may think what is the point of working out once a week at a gym, well if you are physique focussed, probably not a lot, but from my very first personal training session I said to my trainer and myself that I’m just here to maintain my health and have fun, that whatever else happens because of it is a bonus. I’ve been going now for 4 weeks and can already feel and see small differences, though again that’s not why I’m doing it, it’s an incredible thing to see differences even without the pressure of exercising day after day. I’ve learnt that your body responds better when it’s loved.

I’ve come a long way from exercising 2 hours a night – 6 days a week (ridiculous right?) and it becoming a chore, to be at a point now where I’m bouncing out of bed at 5am because I cannot wait to train blows my mind. I do plan on adding at least 2 more sessions in of my own per week gradually when I regain my strength and am feeling up to it, but right now, my body is absolutely loving my little routine of yoga and strength training, and so am I.

When I stopped putting pressure on myself, comparing myself, and focusing on particular goals, I finally found enjoyment, I finally found love for my fitness journey. It’s taken me years of highs and lows throughout it, but I finally feel like I’ve found my happy place within my body, within my health and within my fitness. I no longer train from a place of change, I’m doing it because I love my body, because I want to still be healthy in 20 years time, not just because I want to be ripped in 12 weeks time.

Everyone is on a different journey, and this is simply mine and the path I’ve chosen that works for me. Just know that there is no right or wrong, what matters is doing what is right for you and what works for you at this very given time in your life (and this could be completely different to what you even did yesterday). Be proud of yourself no matter where you are at, and if you aren’t finding enjoyment and love in what you are doing, take a step back, maybe it’s time to do something differently, just make sure it’s for you because that’s when the magic happens.

All my love,

What’s in My Gym Bag + My Current Essentials

I’ve recently gotten back into my fitness journey (full story to come about this in another blog post), and thought a fun blog post to do to kick off this journey that I’ll be sharing with you overtime here on SPARKLE on darling, would be to firstly share with you what’s in my gym bag right now.

When I go to the gym before work during the week I need to take a lot more with me than if I were to go on the weekend, when I would really only need a towel and a water bottle. So, I invested in a large gym bag which now allows me to take with me all of my essentials that enable me to workout, have a shower and get ready all at the gym without the need to go home before I head to the train station.

I’m a lover of creature comforts, so in order for me to want to get ready at the gym I pack everything I would use if I were to get ready at home of a morning. I don’t often wear makeup during the week though so lucky for me I don’t have to pack any of that, but I have packed everything else!

These are my current gym bag essentials..

  • gym bag by Lorna Jane (honestly it is by far my favourite gym/overnight/travel bag I’ve ever owned. I love all of the different compartments, and it also has two large zippable seperate compartments either side to put your worn gym gear in, which is seriously amazing if you got your sweat on!)

Workout essentials..

  • full size towel by Lorna Jane
  • wireless headphones by BOSE
  • water bottle by Lorna Jane
  • training gloves by Harbinger

Gym bathroom essentials..

  • cleanser + moisteriser with pouch by Onne Beauty (travel size)
  • bodywash, shampoo + conditioner by Nature’s Organics (I found these super cute silicone travel tubes from Priceline for my shower products so I don’t have to take my full size products with me, and they are unreal – spill free too)
  • loofah
  • bath towel
  • deodorant

Post workout essentials..

  • small protein shaker (with a scoop of protein in it on the day, then I fill it up with chilled water from the gym and shake it up before I leave)

Of course I also have with me in my gym bag my entire work outfit for the day, which isn’t pictured here, but would include my lingerie, outfit and shoes.

I hope you enjoyed this little peak into what’s currently in my gym bag. Do you use a gym bag? If so, comment below what your essentials are and how you keep them. I love new ideas and learning how other people go about their daily life.

All my love,

Happy Meal Prep Day from Clo

Photo by Kelly Adams Photography

If you have followed along with the Meal Prep by Clo series from the introduction, making over your kitchen to making it happen (your meal prep that is), there is no doubt in my mind that you’ve got this. Meal prep does take time out of your personal down time, yes, but it shouldn’t feel like a chore because you are adding so much goodness to your future self by doing it, focus on the good.

I want you to love the entire process. I want you to get excited about getting together your equipment, shopping for your groceries and organising your kitchen. I want you to thoroughly enjoy preparing your meals on a weekly basis and get motivated for each new round. Having the opportunity to look after your body by making your own nourishing food is an absolute gift, it’s a form of self love.

This weeks task..

It’s time to meal prep! Start with a clean kitchen, put a candle on, some good music, a cute apron and do a little dance around the kitchen while you’re there. Oh and don’t forget to SMILE.

I hope you enjoyed the ‘Meal Prep by Clo’ series, I had so much fun putting all of these blog posts together for you and sharing something I’m so passionate about.

Happy Meal Prep Day, my sparkling readers.

All my love,