Anyone for a brownie?

I love the happy pear. There I admit it!

I often use their recipes when I am looking for a sweet treat, bringing someone a gift or treating the family. I can prepare these in advance if I know I am out and about and take one with me. Then I know what I am eating instead of falling into the trap of purchasing something processed with tons of refined sugar. Why not give one of these recipes a try this halloween.

Raw Vegan Brownie


  • 340g pitted dates
  • 60g walnuts
  • 60g almonds
  • 110g oats
  • 45g cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Line the baking tray with parchment paper
  • Put the dates in the food processor and blend until smooth(approx 1 min)
  • Add in the walnuts and almonds and blitz to a fine crumb like mixture
  • Add the cacao powder and vanilla extract and blend
  • Add the oats and blend until well mixed
  • Add 5 teaspoons of water
  • Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and press down with your fingers. Roll it out using a glass or rolling pin
  • Store in the fridge. They will become compact quickly.
  • Slice and store in a container in the fridge. They will last about 10 days


Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie


  • 100g cashew nuts
  • 100g pitted dates
  • 30g oats
  • pinch of salt
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • cacao nibs


  • First blend the cashew nuts
  • Add the dates, oats, salt and vanilla extract to the food processor and blend
  • Put the mixture into a mixing bowl with a small handful of cacao nibs
  • Create small balls of dough and flatten into cookies
  • Leave them in the fridge until they are compact


Energy Balls


  • 300g nuts ( I use almonds and walnuts)
  • 100g pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder ( optional for that chocolate taste)
  • Handful of goji berries


  • Add all ingredients into a food processor and blitz
  • Roll into balls ( I make them as small as possible)
  • Roll into desicated coconut or chopped hazelnuts or any coating you choose
  • Store in the fridge. They will last approximately 10 days but are gone long before that in our house!










Avoid derailment

So now we are all inspired by the change of season, ready to kickstart new habits and feeling good about ourselves. However, the Halloween ware wolf is hovering….. derailment is on the cards!
For many of us Halloween is when temptation over comes us and we stray from healthy eating again. We rationalise it by saying…. “it’s only one night, I will be good again on the 1st November”. We get swept up in the festival that is Halloween. We all have a great night and fill our bellies with sugar and feel rubbish about it the next day but…. it’s not over! Either we have bought too much to give out to kids who call (the fear of running out!!) or the kids have hit the jackpot (their words not mine!) this year and have excess treats which would feed the whole neighbourhood. Whichever is the case we feel we have to get through it (the can’t throw it out mentality!!). The overindulgence goes on longer than intended and when we are getting to the bottom of the bags of rubbish and there are only the marshmallow eyeballs left …it is December. Christmas parties are starting and another festival begins. It’s very hard to get off that rollercoaster and the easier option is often ‘I will start again in the New Year’. All your good intentions are gone out the window. Before we know it, our clothes are feeling tight again, we are feeling down in the dumps about it, lacking in energy and continuing to comfort eat.
Make preparations to avoid excess sugar consumption over the coming months. Sugar can affect behaviours, cause weight gain and skin disorders, result in tooth decay, increase risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes and much more. I know it’s difficult but try some of these tips and tricks for a healthier Halloween:

  • Distribute small trick or treat bags to children
  • Don’t overbuy for callers, when it’s gone it’s gone
  • What about non-sweet treats!! Why not give it a try? ( See recipes in my blog section)
  • Set the limits beforehand with your kids so there is no misunderstanding
  • Keep the children’s stash out of site and in your control
  • Spend more time playing traditional Halloween games than devouring treats
  • Throw out the jaw breakers, the heavy sugar hitters, the excess!! I know it’s radical but why not? You are protecting your health and your families
  • Join me on my 5-week programme running through November and early December to support your health, avoid derailment and feel good about yourself. Contact Ciara for more details

Set yourself up for success

Well, I travelled to hell and back last week, Ireland’s largest obstacle course run, in the beautiful Kilruddery Estate. The course did not beat me and I made it back relatively unscathed. I was lucky enough to have my 3 wonderful boys and my husband with me. We clambered over 10ft walls, waded through swamps and rivers, crawled through electric shock runs and submerged ourselves in ice baths. For what? I asked myself this several times on the 7km course – was it for the challenge? to spend time with those I love? just for the sheer hell of it? Whatever the reason what really struck me through the course was the importance of teamwork and support. We worked together as a team…no man or woman or child was left behind. What was more, strangers helped strangers and everyone collectively made sure that their fellow participants made it back. We finished the course feeling triumphant and exhilarated. It got me thinking about how important it is to surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you when you are making some positive health changes.

Last month I spoke about Autumn being a time for change. Change takes time. Making a decision to change some of your behaviours and habits to eat well and exercise is a life changing move. It takes practice for those new habits to become routine. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain that enthusiasm you had in the beginning.

Set yourself up for success. Surround yourself with people who will support your health goals. Tell them about the changes you are about to make. If you are finding it tough, it is those people who will lift your spirits, encourage you and reignite your motivation. You never know they might decide to join you!

Take small steps, create new habits, celebrate successes and enjoy every moment. There is no greater more worthwhile goal than health. Supporting friends and family will help make your health goals become a reality.