A 5'3 Perspective


Overnight Pr-Oatmeal

We’ve all heard it a million times, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But preparing a nutritious and delicious meal before the sun comes up can be an absolute pain. This overnight “pr-oatmeal” recipe is something you can throw together minutes before hitting the pillow and it will be ready to eat when you wake up.

Overnight Pr-oatmealIngredients

1/3 cup dry oats
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/8 cup pecan pieces (or other nut of choice)
1 scoop of protein powder – I use Optimum Nutrition Cookies and Cream
1/2 and apple chopped into very small pieces
1 cup almond coconut milk (or milk of choice)


In a container, combine all ingredients and stir well. Place in the fridge overnight. Enjoy cold or heat in the microwave if desired in the morning.

This is a breakfast that will keep you going right through to lunch. And the best part, it tastes like dessert. Now that is a breakfast I can stand behind!

For more recipes and WIAW posts, visit Peas and Crayons.

xo Lauren


Coconut, Chia Seed Banana Bread

Instead of posting a typical picture food diary for this What I Ate Wednesday – I’m going to share a new recipe.

Banana bread is one of my guilty pleasures – before gluten became an issue for my body i would make this loaf religious for Neil and myself. While he still loves it, I have been testing out healthier and gluten free options to replace my old sugar heavy bread. If you’re a lover of bakery style banana bread – this recipe may need some added sweetness, but otherwise, it is delicious.

Coconut, Chia Seed Banana BreadCoconut Chia Banana BreadIngredients

3 ripe mashed bananas, the more ripe – the better
4 eggs
1/4 cup greek (or goat) yogurt
1 dropper of liquid stevia (or 2 if you like sweet banana bread)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup softened coconut oil
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon

Optional: Add pecan pieces or walnuts for texture. Use about 1/4 cup of add ins.


Preheat the oven to 340 F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until uniform. Using extra coconut oil, grease a loaf pan. Pour/scoop the mixture into the pan and bake for 55 minutes. Remove the banana bread from the oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Happy Wednesday friends!

xo Lauren


Grain, Dairy, Sugar Free Chocolate Mini Muffins

I am sure you are all well aware by now that my favourite treats to bake are ones that I can eat [which means no gluten or dairy]. It is definitely takes some practice to make recipe substitutions but once you realize that it is okay to go wild in the kitchen – you end up with some amazing baked goods that are healthy and delicious!

Grain, Dairy and Sugar Free Chocolate Mini Muffins

Inspired by: The Detoxinista

 sugar, dairy free mini muffins


1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup sugar free maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350F and line a mini muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda.

Add the eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla and whisk again until a smooth batter is achieved.

Using a spoon, evenly fill the muffin tin. This batch makes about 18 mini treats. Do not overfill as the batter rises.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, testing with a toothpick after 12 minutes.

Allow to cool and enjoy.

These muffins are quite delicious as is, however, if you want a real treat – add a chocolate glaze.

Easy Chocolate Glaze


3 large squares of dark chocolate (70 – 80% darkness)

1 – 2 tsp of coconut oil


Heat the chocolate and coconut oil and stir until well combined and completely melted. I use the microwave for this.

Dip the tops of the muffins in the glaze and place in the fridge to harden.

Hope you enjoy these delicious chocolate treats as much as I did!

xo Lauren

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Peanut Butter Cookies That You Can Eat For Breakfast!

Who doesn’t love cookies for breakfast?! I know I do – but the thought of dessert to start the day makes me feel ever-so guilty. What if you could indulge without that feeling? This raw, vegan, gluten free recipe is the answer to your cookie prayers.

A healthy treat that you can feel good about devouring!

A healthy treat that you can feel good about devouring!

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from: A House In The Hills

raw vegan PB cookies


  • 1 cup of pitted dates (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (just peanuts)
  • Slightly less than 1 cup of almond flour (or 1 cup of almonds ground into flour)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • coarse sea salt


  1. Combine all ingredients (except for the salt) in a food processor and blend until a dough like consistency is formed. This is take about 5 minutes. It is okay if you still have a few larger pieces of dates. I would not recommend attempting this recipe if you do not have  a food processor or an extremely high power blender.
  2. Remove dough and roll into 12 balls. Flatten each one (with a fork if you want the traditional PB cookie look)
  3. Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. Enjoy.

These cookies are best stored in the fridge.

Happy (heat-less) baking!

xo Lauren

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How To: Sugar, Lactose and Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

I probably have the world’s biggest sweet tooth. If it were possible to be healthy and fit and live off treats – I’d be doing it. Since I’ve developed numerous food allergies and sensitivities, and embarked upon a healthy lifestyle quest, eating sweets is pretty much out of the question. Unfortunately, my sweet tooth missed that memo.

Today I am so excited to share a brand new recipe with you. It is one that came entirely from my head – no guidance at all – and shockingly, it turned out. This lemon poppy seed loaf is sugar free, lactose free and gluten free, but the best part is that you’d never even suspect it. Oh and it is pretty much fool proof!

Sugar, Lactose and Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

A light treat that won't make you feel even the slightest bit guilty.

A light treat that won’t make you feel even the slightest bit guilty.


1 and 1/3 cup ground almonds (purchase as is – or home made by blending almonds in a food processor until a flour forms)

1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt (naturally lactose free)

3 droppers full of liquid stevia

1/3 cup of real lemon juice (or the juice of two full lemons)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

4 egg whites

1/4 cup of poppy seeds (more or less depending on your taste)

pinch of salt


1, Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

3. Using coconut oil, grease a loaf pan.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Ever since it got cold out I’ve been feeling like baking – is anyone else experiencing this urge?

xo Lauren

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Chocolate Chunk and Almond Butter Cookies [with a healthy twist – dairy and gluten free]

I know it is only mid November, but is anyone else starting to get into the holiday baking spirit? Last night [a non convicted] Martha Stewart took over my body and I spent the evening baking my  famous ginger cookies

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

for my favourite people – and who am I kidding, I made some treats for myself too! The recipe I’m going to share with you has a secret ingredient that makes them healthy and filling. I know it is going to sound a bit strange but just trust me on this one – I’m seriously becoming the queen of “weird” recipes among my friends. Everyone I have shared these cookies with went back for seconds – that is how delish they are – especially right out of the oven when the chocolate is gooey, like this:

Ooey Gooey Chocolate!!!

Okay, so here is the secret – chickpeas [SAY WHAT?!]. Seriously. The base of the cookie is made from chickpeas. Enough anticipation, here is the recipe!

Almond Butter, Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Recipe adapted from: Texanerin Baking

What you need:

Only 7 ingredients!


  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry with paper towel
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of natural almond butter (I used raw)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (look for a gluten free brand if necessary)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 80g of dark chocolate (I used a full chocolate bar minus 2 big squares – you can use more or less depending on how chocolatey you like your cookies)


What to do:

What a mess!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper [this will save you a lot of clean up]. Add all of your ingredients (except for the chocolate) into a high powered food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Even though this mixture doesn’t have any egg and is safe to eat raw I don’t recommend doing so. The batter uncooked tastes pretty brutal – they will get better though, save yourself the disappointment and wait a few more minutes to taste your creation!

Next you’ll have to smash the chocolate into smaller pieces. I use the term “smash” because I literally take a hard spatula and hit the chocolate until it breaks into smaller chunks – I should have taken a video, it is beyond ridiculous, but it is a great way to let out some aggression and it is lots of fun! Once the chocolate is broken into pieces add it to the food processor and pulse quickly once or twice just to mix it in.

Adding the “smashed” chocolate pieces!

You should end up with a mixture that is sticky and a bit slimy [awful way to describe cookies] so you’ll want to use a spoon to transfer the batter into 12 cookies on your lined cookie sheet. These cookies don’t change much in size at all when baked so keep that in mind. I press down on the ball just a bit so they aren’t as puffy. It should look something like this:

chocolate almond butter chickpea cookies

Uncooked Almond Butter, Chocolate Chunk, Chickpea Cookies.

Bake for 10 minutes – or a bit longer if you want a bit of crunch, these cookies are very chewy.

Baked Cookies.

They look pretty much the same except you can see the melted chocolate chunks inside and the browned edges! Wait about 5 minutes [if you have any self-control] and dig in while they are still warm!

You can’t even tell that these are healthy cookies, they are so good – this is the 4th batch I’ve made in the past three weeks.

And for your friends and family that are sick of your healthy treats – make them some ginger cookies, they’ll be happy – and that will keep them away from your healthy but delicious desserts [insert evil laugh here]!

Big Soft Ginger Cookies! You can find the recipe on the blog.

Happy Baking!!!


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Meatless Monday: Gluten and Dairy Free Mac & Cheese!

Don’t worry, I know the title is a bit contradictory – but it really is gluten and dairy free mac & cheese… if you have an open mind. It doesn’t take exactly like cheese, but it is delicious, and pretty healthy!

I like to use zucchini noodles for this recipe, but I have also had success with brown rice pasta. If you are looking for comfort food, I would recommend using the gluten free pasta – or regular pasta if you can handle it!

Dairy and Gluten Free Mac & Cheese

Inspired by: http://detoxinista.com/2011/01/move-over-kraft/

Recipe serves about 4 people.

It looks kind of strange, but most gluten and dairy free food does.

What you will need:

For the cheese sauce:

1 1/2 cups raw cashews
3 T. fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 clove garlic
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. mustard (dijon or yellow)


zucchini (I use about 2 person if I am not cooking it – if I cook it I will use at least 3 per person) or pasta of your choice
paprika for garnish
green onion

Ingredients for the “cheese” sauce.

What to do:

Combine all of the “cheese” sauce ingredients into a high powered blender. If your blender isn’t very strong I would suggest soaking your cashews overnight to soften them. I skipped this step though because my magic bullet can handle the raw nuts.

Process in the blender until everything is completely mixed and you have a thick sauce.

Next you will need to use a spiral vegetable cutter to create your zucchini noodles- like the one I used here. It should look like this when you are finished [I used both green and yellow zucchini].

Zucchini Noodles

If you aren’t using zucchini, I would recommend starting the pasta before making the sauce.

Finally, roast the broccoli and onions, I usually use a bit of coconut oil and salt an pepper.

Now it’s easy – just combine all the parts [noodles, “cheese” sauce, and roasted veggies]. Top with paprika and enjoy.

Another option is to heat it in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes to warm the dish and create a crispy layer on the top. I enjoy both, however, if you are using pasta instead of zucchini, I would recommend using the oven method.

Try it out and let me know what you think! This is quite an easy recipe to make and it is really good!


Dairy and Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

A few months ago I received a few silicon muffin tins from a friend, I had been dying to try some new recipes using them but life got in the way and I never really got around to it. Last night I decided to whip up some delicious allergy friendly blueberry muffins. I was inspired by a recipe I found on Pinterest for healthier dairy free muffins but  I chose to try quinoa flour so they would be gluten free. If you are vegan you can substitute the one egg for a flax egg or another vegan egg substitute. I used a combination of natural sweeteners because it was all I had left in the house – it makes for an interesting flavour but is definitely not necessary for the recipe. You could use between 2/3 and 3/4 of a cup of either honey, raw agave, or natural maple syrup instead – depending on how sweet you like your muffins.

Dairy and Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Inspired by: http://www.squidoo.com/whole-wheat-blueberry-muffin-recipe 



  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • 3/8 cup natural maple syrup
  • a few drops of stevia if you like your muffins a little sweeter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (could use another milk substitute depending on your preference – or regular milk if lactose isn’t an issue)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg (or vegan egg substitute equivalent)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries  (I prefer fresh because they stay in tact and don’t turn the batter blue)

What to do:

Step 1 – Pre-heat the oven to 400F

Step 2 – Combine the first3 ingredients into a bowl. If you are using quinoa flour, don’t be alarmed by the smell, it isn’t the most pleasant but I promise you won’t taste it!

Step 3 – Melt the coconut oil and set aside, you will add it to the wet ingredients last. Just to clarify, it should be 1/3 of a cup when melted.

Step 4 – Using a large bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients (raw agave, natural maple syrup, stevia, egg, almond milk and apple sauce). Stir together and then add the melted coconut oil. The reason for adding it at the end is that once it touches any ingredient that is wet and cold it will begin to solidify – you want to avoid this.

Step 5 – Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix well with a fork until there are no clumps.

Step 6 – Fold in blueberries.

Step 7 – Grease a metal muffin tin, or use a silicon muffin tin and fill 12 spots to the top. These muffins do not rise much at all.

Step 8 – Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Muffins in the oven!

They should look something like the picture above. Just a tip, if you are using silicon muffin pans, be sure to put them on a baking sheet before filling them. It will be much easier to get them in an out of the oven.

Step 9 – Remove the muffins from the oven after 20 minutes have elapsed. If you used a silicon muffin tin, take them off of the baking sheet to allow them to cool faster and then place the silicon tins of a wire rack. It is important to let them fully cool before removing them. These muffins are very moist and will not come out of the tins easily if they aren’t at room temperature. This is always the hardest part for me. I hate waiting!

Step 10 – Share with friends and enjoy!


So there you have it! Dairy and gluten free blueberry muffins (with a vegan option). I must say, for such a healthy muffin, they taste absolutely amazing. If you use the ingredients I used in the same quantities the muffins come in at just under 150 calories each with 3 grams of protein and 25 grams of carbs – not so bad!

Hope you like them as much as I do!