High Protein Anytime Granola

Are you looking for a healthy and homemade snack option? Try this protein-packed granola from Christine Okezie at Your Delicious Balance!

Yield: Approximately 12 servings 

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 cup almond meal (“Bob’s Red Mill” or Trader Joe’s)

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup raw almonds, chopped

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup raw walnuts, chopped

4-5 teaspoons allspice


Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  1. In a mixing bowl, combined all dry ingredients.
  1. Stir in the wet ingredients. Mix well.
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread mixture in a single layer.
  1. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Mix about halfway through.
  1. Let cool for 10 minutes. Crumble and store in airtight container.

“The No Diet Cookbook: Learn to Eat for Health & Pleasure,” by Christine M. Okezie

Are you tired of dieting and not losing weight? Are you looking to eat healthier without having to become a gourmet chef? Then “The No Diet Cookbook: Learn to Eat for Health and Pleasure,” by Christine Okezie is for you!

In her private practice, Okezie, who is also the Food As Medicine columnist for Elevated Existence Magazine, a certified holistic health counselor, and a natural foods chef, works with clients to make positive changes in their food and lifestyle to achieve their natural weight, adopt better eating habits and heal chronic health issues.

“This book takes my successful weight-loss and health program right to your kitchen by giving you the tools and inspiration to take charge of your health once and for all,” she says in the book’s introduction.

In addition to more than 85 recipes that are easy to follow, she breaks down the seven keys to what she calls a “delicious balance lifestyle,” the top food myths that keep us stuck, and how and why food can heal. She also includes a shopping list, and a list of recommended brands, although her approach is based on whole, real foods.

“When your diet is comprised of mostly whole, natural foods, your body knows exactly when it has had enough to eat, and your appetite is self-regulating,” she says in the book.

Below is the recipe for “Easy Grain-Free Pancakes,” from the book.

pancakesEasy Grain-Free Pancakes

(Makes approximately 10 pancakes)

1 medium ripe banana
2 organic cage-free eggs
1 ½ cups almond flour
1 cup almond milk (less if desire thicker pancakes
1 teaspoon hemp seeds (optional)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of sea salt
Coconut Oil for cooking pancakes


  1. In a mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, blend all the ingredients except the coconut oil until batter is smooth.
  2. Pour pancakes on a hot griddle lightly coated with coconut oil. Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes until bubbles form and both sides are golden brown.
  3. Top with fresh fruit or Blueberry Compote (recipe below).

blueberriesBlueberry Compote

10 ounces frozen or fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon coconut nectar
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch whisked into 1 tablespoon cool water

Cook all ingredients over medium-low heat until fruit is soft and has a jam-like consistency.

FREE Webinar: Are Certain Foods Causing Weight Loss Resistance?

Join Elevated Existence Magazine contributing editor, Christine M. Okezie, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, for a FREE Webinar, “How Specific Foods May Be Causing Your Weight Loss Resistance,” Thursday, March 26 at 1 p.m. eastern/10 a.m. Pacific.

And don’t worry about making the live call — there will be a recording made available after it!

Okezie writes the “Food As Medicine” column for Elevated Existence Magazine, and in addition to being a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, she is also Natural Foods Chef, graduating from NYC’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts; a Certified Eating Psychology Coach; and Certified Transformation Coach.

In this FREE webinar, listeners will learn:

— Why certain foods cause you to hold onto unwanted weight, regardless of how many calories you are consuming

— The most common (but NOT so obvious) culprits and why these particular foods can be problematic

— How to determine if, in face, these foods are affecting your weight loss

— How to get the tools you need to stop the chronic dieting and finally be healthy and happy in your body

Register for free HERE and visit Okezie’s website, www.yourdeliciousbalance.com for more information on her and her services.

Natural Foods Chef Shares Vegan Recipes at Chef Central

Elevated Existence attended a live demonstration at Chef Central in Parmaus, NJ, where natural foods chef and holistic health coach Christine M Okezie prepared an all-vegan, gluten free meal – right down to the mousse desert – that was truly delicious! Sponsored by Whole Foods and Bodum, Okezie shared the nutritional value of each dish, and handed out copies of all the recipes she made. The menu was as follows:  (See Recipes Below Article)

  • Mixed Greens Salad with a Creamy Lime-Fig Dressing
  • Creamy Mashed Cauliflower with Sage and Miso
  • Carrot Ginger Soup
  • Guilt-Free Chocolate Mousse

Okezie made all the dishes using a Bodum Bistro Electric Handheld Immersion Stick Blender, and shared her tips and tricks with the audience gathered there.

“Carrots are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, which protects against free radical damage,” she said. “Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to ensure you get enough antioxidants.”

She also explained cauliflower is low on the glycemic index and can help balance blood sugar. It’s also anti-inflammatory, packed with fiber and antioxidants, and can help with detoxification, according to Okezie.

One tip she shared for adding a creamy texture to soup without the dairy is to use a potato, which she added to the carrot and ginger soup, along with Kitchen Basics brand vegetable stock.

While making the fig dressing, she told the audience to be aware of bottled dressings, which can be loaded with toxic fats and poor quality oils. Making a dressing at home ensures its fresh and full of healthy ingredients – and it doesn’t take long with a blender.

“Figs are high in fiber, and a good source of potassium and calcium,” Okezie shared, explaining fiber is important in weight management because if fills us up. Also, apple cider vinegar (she used Bragg’s brand) is good for digestion, and was added to the fig dressing mixture.

While mixing the guilt-free chocolate mousse, which surprisingly is made with avocados and is completely raw, Okezie explained raw cacao powder promotes weight loss, has chromium to regulate blood sugar, and is rich in magnesium.

“When shopping for avocados, push in with your finger and if it dents a little, it’s ripe and you need to eat it within two or three days,” she shared.

The mousse is sweetened with agave, which is not only very sweet, but also low on the glycemic index and a much better option than sugar, but raw honey can also be used as a sweetener in the recipe, according to Okezie.

“Make sure the honey is raw and not heated or pasturized so it still contains enzymes and nutrients,” she said.

Another sugar substitute she recommends for any baking recipe is coconut palm sugar, as it can be substituted one for one, said explained.

For more information on Okezie, or her company Your Delicious Balance, visit her Website at www.yourdeliciousbalance.com. She offers a variety of health and nutrition coaching programs, cooking classes, personal chef services, and even cooking parties!


Mixed Greens with a Creamy Lime-Fig Dressing
Yield: Approx. 1 cup

1 5 oz package of mixed greens

3 dried figs
Juice of 2 limes (3 tablespoons)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup water
salt to taste

In a blender, blend dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. When ready to serve, toss greens to coat with dressing.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower with Sage and Miso
Yield: Serves 4

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 cauliflower, chopped into florets
6 medium garlic cloves, roasted
3/4 cup vegetable stock
3 tbsp sweet white miso
1 1/2 tsp ground sage

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Be careful not to brown the onions. Add cauliflower and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.

Remove from heat and pour out remaining liquid. Add miso, garlic and sage. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Carrot Ginger Soup
Serves 6

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, small dice (1 1/2 cups)
2 pounds carrots, small dice
5 cups vegetable stock
1/2 medium potato, small dice (1 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp ginger juice
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions until softened about (3 to 4 minutes). Add carrots and cover. Cook on low heat to 5-7 minutes. Stir to prevent browning.

Add stock and potato. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Blend soup until creamy. Remove from heat.

Add lemon and ginger juice. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with oil.

Guilt-Free Chocolate Mousse
Yield: Approx. 3 cups

4 ripe avocados
2/3 cup raw cacao powder
2/3 cup agave or raw honey
1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk (as needed to reach desired consistency)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. (This can be topped with almonds, toasted nuts, fresh strawberries, raspberries, unsweetened shredded coconut or sliced bananas).