Easy Chocolate Hemp Protein Balls

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on August 21, 2018

It’s okay to give yourself a break.

This is something I’ve been reminded of over and over again since the beginning of the year. In a recent newsletter, I shared my struggles with injury and overtraining and opened up about why I decided to take a big old exercise break starting in January 2018. It felt so wrong to do that at the start of a brand new year, let me tell you! I was so nervous to send that newsletter issue out, but the response was fantastic, and many of you said you’d been going through something similar. It never ceases to amaze me how supportive this community is!

The themes of my year have been self-care, healing, and gentle movement while I work through some ongoing health issues, and so far I’ve been sticking with them. Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not doing “enough”, as it’s easy to get caught up in fitspo or the latest workout fads on Instagram. It seems like others are always working harder or in better shape. Same goes for career stuff. It’s just too easy to get sucked into that mindset of feeling like there are always 10 things I could fix, or that I’m always 10 steps behind where I “should” be. Hello, rat race! And I’ve realized that buying into that means that I’ll never be happy with where I am. It’s awesome to have goals, but feeling like I’m always behind (especially when I’m trying to make positive changes in other areas in my life) isn’t a relaxing way to live.

A lovely reader named Amanda commented recently, saying, “…part of the reason I’ve always loved your blog is because you’re not a robot who just pumps out recipes…you tell us a bit about what’s going on in your life.” I could’ve cried reading Amanda’s note, as it was just what I needed to hear that day after feeling so much guilt about how the year had gone so far. Sometimes we just need the reminder that we’re allowed to have weeks, months, or years that just feel off, but the bright side is that they make us hungrier for those weeks, months, and years that feel GOOD. It’s the best kind of motivation once you get that wake-up call.

I’ve always been an all-or-nothing type of gal, and it’s something I have to be mindful of all the time…it’s in my nature to go big or go home. It’s not in my nature to approach things in a gentle (sane) manner! I am a Taurean bull, afterall—charging, stubborn, determined to accomplish my goals at almost any cost. But often that cost tends to be my emotional or physical health. I charge ahead with my eyes set on the goal and I’m usually okay with the collateral damage if it’s “just me” that takes a hit. I’m strong and can handle a lot, so for most of my life that’s how things have worked.

Eventually something has to give though…it always does! My health issues this past year (see this post and comments) have been a huge red flag. And for once, I’m listening closely even though I don’t quite understand the root of it yet. I’m taking time for me. I’m trying to heal myself. I’m going to doctors appointments. I’m on a temporary allergy elimination diet (hence the lack of recipes lately!) and I’m getting long overdue tests done. I’m not burning myself out.

The silver lining is that setbacks, whether health or otherwise, do eventually force us to stop and examine everything. I know the other side will hold a deeper appreciation for feeling like myself again. And when I get back into my beloved sweaty workouts (which I actually do love), I’ll strive for more balance and patience rather than seeing how many classes I can cram into one week. I will continue to follow social media accounts that build me up with positive inspiration and avoid the others like the plague. I’ll be okay with where I am and respect the journey rather than feeling like I’m failing.

So yes, it’s okay to give yourself a break.

You don’t always have to be in go-go-go mode.

You don’t have to feel behind everyone else.

Where you are right now is exactly where you are supposed to be—even if it’s uncomfortable.  

Well, that’s this week’s reminder for anyone who needs it. :) Sort of a thought dump going on today! I’d love to hear if you’ve ever been through something similar, or maybe you’ve been working through things this year too?

Unrelated but definitely worth mentioning: these rich and fudgy balls are FANTASTIC and we can’t stop making them!!! Haha. I hope you love them too.  

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Easy Chocolate Hemp Protein Balls

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, nut-free, refined sugar-free

By

This is the ideal snack when your sweet tooth needs something fast, but you also want the staying power of healthy fats and protein! Bursting with hemp hearts, these nut-free chocolate protein balls are nutritional powerhouses filled with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, and more. Just like your favourite little black dress, they can be dressed up or down depending on your mood. I love rolling them in hemp hearts, shredded coconut or cocoa powder. For an extra luxurious energy ball, I simply dip the balls in melted chocolate and then chill them until the coating is firm. Recipe adapted from my Raw Chocolate Truffles in The Oh She Glows Cookbook Bonus Bundle.

Yield
6 large or 12 small balls
Prep time
Cook time
0 Minutes
Chill time
20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the balls:
  • 1 cup (160 g) lightly packed pitted Medjool dates*
  • 6 tablespoons (55 g) hemp hearts
  • 3 tablespoons (15 g) unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons (11 g) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons (30 g) chopped dark chocolate (optional)
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons (5 to 15 mL) water, if needed
Topping options:
  • Shredded coconut
  • Hemp hearts
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
  • Melted dark chocolate

Directions:

  1. Place the pitted dates in a food processor and process until a ball forms.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the processor (hemp hearts, cocoa/cacao powder, coconut, coconut oil, salt, and chocolate, if using) and process until thoroughly combined and almost smooth. The dough should be sticky and shouldn’t be crumbly when you form a ball. If it’s not sticky enough, add 1 to 3 teaspoons of water a bit at a time, processing after each addition.
  3. Line a plate with parchment paper. Lightly wetting your hands if needed, shape the dough into balls and place them on the lined plate. Roll each ball into your desired topping(s) until completely coated (if needed, lightly wet the ball before rolling so the toppings stick).
  4. Freeze the balls for 20 minutes until firm or simply enjoy right away!
  5. Store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer for a quick burst of energy whenever you need one (seriously, that would be all the time in this house!). The balls will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for 4 to 8 weeks.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 6 large balls | Calories 170 calories | Total Fat 8 grams
Saturated Fat 4 grams | Sodium Fat 85 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 23 grams
Fiber 4 grams | Sugar 18 grams | Protein 4 grams

Nutritional info does not include the optional dark chocolate or toppings. If making 12 small balls instead of 6 large balls, the nutritional info is as follows for 1 of 12 balls: 85 cals, 4 g fat, 2 g sat. fat, 43 mg sodium, 11.5 g carbs, 2 g fibre, 9 g sugar, 2 g protein.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

* If your dates are bone dry, soak them in boiled water for 15 minutes and then drain very well. Use an old towel to press out the excess water. If the “dough” is too sticky to shape, add some shredded coconut and process again.

 

For a fun twist, try changing up the flavours by adding peppermint or orange extract!

What’s inside my makeup bag (cruelty-free)

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on July 27, 2018

cruelty-free makeup, vegan makeup, plant-based makeup, cruelty-free, vegan skin care

I recently did a poll on my Insta Stories to see if you would be interested in a “what’s inside my makeup bag” post, and 95% of you said “heck yes!!!”, so here it is! Putting this post together has also been a good way of filling the lack of recipe creation lately. I’m currently on an elimination diet to test for allergies (the worst!!) and basically can’t eat anything fun, so there hasn’t been much testing going on over here. It isn’t forever though! I keep telling myself that I will be a normal human being again someday, hah. But I’m soooo grateful that I’m already seeing improvements in my allergic reactions since cutting out the ingredients that my test found I’m sensitive to. I’ll keep you guys posted if you’re interested.

Read on for the deets on my current go-to makeup products. If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to read my Favourite Skin Care Products post too.

Lips:

I’m going to kick this off with my favourite category—lips!

HURRAW! Tinted Lip Balm

Shade: Black Cherry

Cruelty-free, vegan

This tinted balm is perfect for kicking around the house! I love the subtle hint of colour this black cherry hue adds.

 

Tarteist Glossy Lip Paint

Shade: WCW

Cruelty-free, vegan (Note: Tarte is now owned by a parent company, KOSÉ, which is not cruelty-free.) :(

One of my fave lip gloss colours of all time. *heart eyes for berry tones* Biggest gripe? The tube is messy and lip gloss always explodes out the sides when I close it.

 

Couleur Caramel Lip Gloss

Shade: 805 Raspberry Red

Cruelty-free, vegan

This is a close runner-up for my favourite gloss shade. I actually like this one’s ingredients and packaging better than Tarte’s (no explosions!).

 

Kopari Coconut Lip Glossy

Cruelty-free, vegan

Ohhhhh yeah. You know I’m obsessed with this gloss. I talked about it in my Favourite Skin Care Products post too. I think of it as a 2-in-1 product because it’s a good lip moisturizer when you’re just lounging around the house (a little bit goes a long way), and it works as a fantastic “top coat” on top of lip colour to add a glossy sheen.

Foundation + concealer:

Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer

Shade: Glow

Cruelty-free

This is a primer, but I use it on top of foundation as a highlighter on my cheekbones, temple area, and bridge of nose. I love how refreshed it makes my skin look even when I haven’t slept much. I tried it as a primer and wasn’t overly wowed, so I prefer to use it on top.

 

Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation with SPF 20

Shades: LN4 and MN4 (I mix the two shades in the summer)

Cruelty-free, vegan

Oh BOY have I tried out a lot of vegan foundations. So, so many misses. This one was good enough to keep using, so that’s progress! My biggest complaint is the packaging (it’s awful, quite frankly, because it’s hard to get the product out and I’m not a fan of the applicator stick). Their shade selection is also quite limited. I have to mix two shades in the summer to get my perfect match! I also wish the ingredients were more natural, so I guess you could say I’m still on the hunt for my holy grail vegan foundation! This one will definitely do in the meantime.

 

Physicians Formula Concealer Twins Cream Concealers

Shade: Yellow/Light

Cruelty-free

I don’t use the yellow shade as I find it’s too noticeable on my skin tone, but I do use the light shade for around my eyes. I’m not sure if I’ll repurchase this concealer as it’s super light and doesn’t cover that much. I also wish they had more shades!

Blush + brush:

Benecos Natural Powder Blush

Shade: Sassy Salmon

Cruelty-free

I don’t normally go for such a bold blush shade, but I fell in love with this one! It really pops off my cheeks and a little bit goes a long way. It’s my new go-to.

 

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

Shade: Paaarty

Cruelty-free

This blush was sent to me as a free sample from Sephora a year ago, and I used it until every last bit was gone! I’m not sure if I’ll repurchase because I’m loving the Benecos so much.

 

Tarte Bronze & Glow Double-Ended Contour Brush

I love this double-ended brush. I use the small end for blush and the large end for translucent powder.

 

You might be wondering…Ange, where is the bronzer? The contour powder?! Lol. I don’t use them because anytime I have tried to apply them I turn out looking like I have dirt on my face. So I just kind of gave up! But this tempting 50% off sale at Sephora is making me want to try the Tartiest PRO Glow Highlighter & Contour Palette!

Eyebrows:

My brows have always been light and pretty much nonexistent (thank you to my dad for those genes!), so if I want to feel put together, I will ALWAYS do my brows. I first use the Benecos pencil to fill in patchy areas, and then I use the Tarte mousse with the bamboo angle brush (which is included!!) to bring it all together. Really love this combo for my brows! So easy, long-lasting, and doesn’t smudge.

Benecos Natural Beauty Eyebrow-Designer

Shade: Blonde

Cruelty-free, vegan

 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse

Shade: Ash Blonde

Cruelty-free, vegan

Eyeshadow + eyeliner:

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio

Shade: Warm Nude

Cruelty-free

I don’t use eyeliner everyday, but I always use it when I’m going out somewhere special, especially in the evening. I love this trio because it comes with black, brown, and bronze shades, which are the ones I normally gravitate toward.

 

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-In-1 Custom Nude Palette For Face & Eyes

Shade: Natural Nude

Cruelty-free

I love this all-in-1 palette because you can use it as a cheek bronzer, over your eyelids, or anywhere you want a pop of shimmer on your face!

Mascara + eyelash curler:

Pacifica Beauty Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mascara

Shade: Supernova (black)

Cruelty-free, vegan

I’ve tried out a lot of vegan mascaras and this is my favourite “everyday” mascara that I’ve been using for a few years. It’s light and perfect for daytime, but you can layer it for a slightly more dramatic look too.

 

My eyelash curler is by Sephora!

Powder + concealer:

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-free Mineral Face Powder

Shade: Translucent Light

Cruelty-free

I have to say, this isn’t my favourite setting powder by any means. In fact, I find it goes on too powdery and I wish it were more dewy, so I use a very light hand when applying it. In the past I would use powder all over my face thinking that I had to get rid of any and all shine, but lately I only use a bit on my nose and a tiny bit on my forehead. I find using less powder really lets my natural (and makeup-accentuated!) glow shine through.

Update: I’ve been using 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Foundation Powder and I quite like it! It is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of 1,000 toxins.

 

Physicians Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick, Light

Shade: Light

Cruelty-free

I use this occasionally if I need to cover a pimple. I think the shade is a bit too light for my skin tone though so I probably won’t repurchase.

PS: My black and gold makeup bag is from Shoppers Drug Mart!

Do you have any fave makeup products to share? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

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