Quick and Healthy Keto-Friendly Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

This morning, around 12:30am, I submitted my manuscript to my publishers, and the process of turning my thoughts into a New York Times Bestseller has officially begun (that’s not quippy, that’s my goal – and it’s scary to actually write it out!). I reached out to some blogging friends of mine from the Billionaire Blog Club, asking for some guest posts to continue sharing awesome information with you all while I work on my book. Dan and Erika from Have Butter Will Travel reached out with this amazing recipe for keto-friendly vegan pumpkin pie smoothie and I am so excited to share it today!

Side note: Joining the Billionaire Blog Club is the best thing I ever did to grow my blog, and if you’re on my blogging email list, you saw in my email that by following the steps for proper keywords, my Laundry Without Hookups post is now on page 1 of Google! BBC opens again this Friday for a limited time, so be sure to sign up for the free 12-day bootcamp and start learning all the best blogging tips! 

Without further ado, meet Dan and Erika:

We love smoothies at Have Butter will Travel and wanted to create a keto vegan smoothie that will keep you full all day. We love the flavours of pumpkin pie and wanted to include this with some healthy fats into a delicious smoothie.

It can also be a little tricky to find good keto recipes that are also vegan, so we wanted to share this one for our keto vegan friends. This smoothie is a quick and easy breakfast or an excellent mid afternoon snack.

Who are we at Have Butter will Travel?

Hi, we are Dan and Erika the creators of Have Butter will Travel!

We met and fell in love in 2006 and have been exploring the world together ever since. We have both struggled with our weight for most of our lives and have tried every weight loss diet plan around without finding long lasting success.

In July 2016, we started on yet another weight loss attempt, but this time it was a success and we have since lost over 95kgs (210lbs) between us! Click on the links to find out more about Dan’s story and Erika’s story. Following a ketogenic/LCHF way of eating has changed our lives in so many positive ways, aside from the weight loss, and is the new ‘normal’ for us now.

We started Have Butter will Travel so we can share our two passions – low carb eating and travelling. When we started out with low carb eating we struggled to find information out there specifically for Australians, so we hope we can provide some helpful resources to get people started and set them up for success.

What is Keto/LCHF?

The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate way of eating that changes your body from using carbohydrates as its main fuel source to using fat. In addition to being low carbohydrate, the ketogenic diet is also moderate in protein and high in fat.

Low carb high fat (LCHF) is the overarching term, which includes the ketogenic diet, where carbohydrates are more limited. As a general rule, the macronutrient ratio for a ketogenic diet would be 5% of your diet from carbohydrates, 15%-25% from protein and 70%-80% from fat. This varies depending on your individual health conditions and activity level.

What is Ketosis?

When you restrict your carbohydrates and increase the fat in your diet, over time your body will move into the state of ketosis. Being in ketosis will switch your main fuel source from glucose to ketones, which is fat-burning mode!

These are some of the awesome benefits we personally have experienced from being in ketosis –

  • Fat loss
  • Dramatic decrease in hunger
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Improvement in mental clarity
  • Elimination of joint pain
  • No more snoring
  • Less headaches
  • Improvement in blood sugar readings
  • Improved blood pressure
  • More balanced emotional state
  • Regulation of menstrual cycles

Is it possible to be Vegan and Keto?

Yes, of course! We are not vegan, but know of people that have successfully incorporated keto into their vegan lifestyle. It may be more difficult to increase the healthy fats in your diet, as the options are more limited, and your carbs may need to be slightly higher as you will need to eat more vegetables.

Great vegan keto food choices are nuts and seeds, healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil, leafy green vegetables, berries, nut butters and products like dairy free cheese and yoghurt.

Some of our favourite keto vegan recipes are:

Chia Pudding

Making keto chia pudding is one of the easiest and yet most rewarding things to do in the kitchen! Such minimal effort and ingredients for a delicious and portable breakfast, snack or lunch. We like to use coconut milk as it gives a really creamy pudding.

Nut and Seed Granola

Finding store bought granola without dried fruits and grains can be tough, and if you do find one it is usually pretty expensive. We prefer to make our own so we know exactly what is in it and also we can adjust the sweetness to our preference. Our recipe includes butter, but you can easily swap this for coconut oil for a vegan option.


Avocados are a great source of healthy fats on a vegan ketogenic diet. Having some guacamole on hand is so handy as you can pop it on top of a salad to add extra flavour and creaminess or on the side of some grilled vegetables. We also love to serve it with some seed crackers when we are craving a crunchy snack.

Keto doesn’t have to be all bacon and eggs. Our mantra at Have Butter will Travel is finding the keto that works for you, if keto vegan works for you, that’s awesome.

Keto-Friendly Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

This smoothie is like a pumpkin pie in a glass, just minus all the sugars and carbs. It’s really easy to make for breakfast on the go or a quick snack. It is packed full of healthy fats and will keep you going all day long.

Keto-Friendly Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

 Prep Time 5 minutes

 Servings 1

 Calories 342 kcal


  • 0.25 cup Pumpkin puree
  • 0.5 cup Coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp Almond butter
  • 5 drops Liquid Stevia
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice
  • 4-6 Ice cubes



  1. Place all ingredients into a high-power blender and blend on high until smooth and combined. 
  2. Pour into your favourite glass to serve and sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top. 
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 342 Calories from Fat 297
Total Fat 33g
Saturated Fat 22g
Sodium 18mg
Potassium 491mg
Total Carbohydrates 11g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 1g
Protein 6g

If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to save it for future reference, and share with your friends!

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Settling Into Life, and June/July goals

Happy July!

We have lived in our little house for almost a full month now, and while we are still refining our routine, we seem to have found a natural rhythm. We are all making friends, participating in community activities. Tristan goes to toddler reading time each week and absolutely loves it! Peter goes to the gym in the mornings before I go to work, which allows us to have evenings free as a family. Peter also plays for my facility’s softball league this season, so Monday-Thursday evenings we can typically be found at the field for practices and games.

We have committed to a healthier, more plant-based diet for our family and have found it surprisingly inexpensive and easy to do. Check out our produce-heavy shopping trip this week!

Sunday mornings have become my “prep” days, where I batch-prepare most of what we will eat for the week. I cut up fruit, hard-boil eggs for lunches and snacks, and prepare healthy breakfasts for grab-and-go in the mornings. I also take this time to mentally plan out a rough meal plan for my lunches that I bring to work and our weekly supper menu.

We are officially 29 weeks, and for the most part I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve started dealing with some SPD pain in the past couple weeks, but that has almost completely resolved by being consistent with my prenatal routine (more on that soon!) and using a maternity support belt.

Now, let’s look at my poor, ignored 2017 goals:

2017 Goals Progress:

Personal Goals

Complete the 15 Days to a Healthier You challenge in January This was so beneficial for me. It was much more holistic than I had anticipated and I’ve really been mindful of more aspects of health since this course. I’m drinking more water, processing emotions (something that is very difficult for an ESFP personality type like me since we prefer to be happy all the time, even if that means that we have to ignore issues or just hope they go away). Crystal will be hosting another challenge later in the year; be sure to sign up to be notified for the next round!
Complete 2 yoga challenges and 1 CouchTo5k challenge. I found a prenatal yoga routine on Youtube that I really enjoy doing, I just haven’t done it consistently. The CouchTo5k might have to move to next year, since with my SPD I’m proud of myself for walking consistently. And I made that goal before I knew I was pregnant.
Quit coffee for the month of January. I felt really good about giving up my coffee, and it was a good experience. I drink it daily again, but it’s because I truly enjoy it, not to avoid headaches.

Family Goals

Save a certain amount (I will update you all on our progress by %). We are 69% of the way to our savings goal for 2017!
Take an actual family vacation. We had a wonderful family vacation to Branson, MO before we moved to Nevada!
Find a meal plan system that works for us and stick with it. We are loving the plant-based lifestyle!

Business Goals

Get my blogging/writing done early before my family wakes up. I’m hoping to get started with this again now that we are settling into routine!
Complete 2 Pinterest improvement challenges. Keep track of numbers before and after to see if it’s making any difference. Not started yet.
Stick to an organizing system for income and expenses. Not started yet.
Transition to a different hosting platform for the blog. Done! Now hosting through Siteground, and their customer service is amazing!
Post in CHL at least 2 days/week. This will be happening again soon!
Send at least one newsletter a week This did not happen at all. But I will get on a schedule!
Submit at least one freelance/guest blog post every week. This also did not happen at all in June with everything transitioning.


Hopefully there won’t be too many surprises in July and I can actually get these goals accomplished! It sure would be nice to get to check some things off.


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Quick and Healthy Energy Bites

how to make easy energy bites, healthy snacks

This week really got away from me!  One of the things I did was to create a quick and easy energy bite recipe.

These energy bites are my favorite afternoon pick-me-up snack, post-workout treat, or dessert.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can play around with the ingredients to your liking.  You can make the oats gluten-free, change the seeds, the nut butter, switch out the chocolate chips for white chocolate and add in some craisins…the possibilities are endless!

Since I’m pregnant, I like to have a batch of these ready to go at all times in my fridge for an easy and filling snack with tons of nutrients. I am hungry all. the. time. and spending an hour or so once a week to prepare my snacks has really helped me feed Baby K well.

It also keeps me from getting hangry, so Peter fully supports this.

Related: Meal Planning For Busy People

I love that the ingredients are so inexpensive, especially the oats. One box of oats purchased for $2 can make several batches of energy bites, and I can mix and match dried fruits and nuts I find on clearance. I never feel like “omg, there’s nothing to eat in the house except these things I’ve eaten so many times already” since the combinations are different literally every time.

I didn’t include this in the recipe since I’ve only done this a few times and am still messing with it, but sometimes I like to add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil to the syrup/butter mixture and melt it in. Since coconut oil hardens when it cools, it can help bind the energy balls together in the fridge. Plus, it adds another layer of good fats into your food!


1/3 cup raw nut butter (for this batch I used homemade cashew butter, but you can use any, even peanut butter)

1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (you can use honey for a non-vegan option)

1 1/2 cups oatmeal (Old-fashioned, not instant)

1/4 cup raw seeds (I used pumpkin)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Melt syrup and nut butter.  While that is melting, mix together dry ingredients.  Pour in syrup/butter mixture, mix together until all oatmeal is moistened.  This mixture will resemble wet granola.


Roll into 1″ balls (these are sticky!) and place on a pan.


Refrigerate until firm (or enjoy right away).   Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

If you have a fun healthy workout snack, please leave a comment!  I’m always looking for good snack options! 🙂

Happy Friday!

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Why FAT is my Favorite Food Group


Why fat is my favorite food group, healthy eating fats

I love to eat fat.

Please hear this: I don’t like eating “fatty” foods necessarily.  While you will occasionally witness me downing some McDonald’s french fries (I blame Peter), the majority of my fat intake comes from my favorite food group: the good fats.

I’m currently enjoying a peach-spinach-coconut oil smoothie, for example.

Good fats come not only in animal products like grass-fed meats, tallow, and full-fat yogurt, but also through plants and nuts.  Avocado, cashews, coconut oil and milk, and olive oils can all provide you with luscious, luxurious fats that are not only good for your skin, but also brain health.

In basic biology class, you learn that each individual cell is covered in two layers of fat. This gives it a “water-proof” coating that protects it.  So why, then, would doctors prescribe a “no-fat” diet?

I spent over 5 years working in the cardiac world.  I’ve been a tech and a nurse. I’ve worked on post-open-heart-surgery floors, an ICU, and a cardiac doctor’s office.  I get why doctors frequently prescribe medications (those drug rep lunches are really nice).  I’ve also done my own research and know that a lot of these things they prescribe aren’t always necessary.  (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet.  I’m sharing my information and please, if you decide you agree with me, share the info you have with your doctor before taking yourself off any medications or informing them that some hippie nurse told you to eat cheese).

How Do You Build A Brick Building If All You Have Is Mortar?

First on this list of why I hate the no-fat diet: If our bodies (especially our brains) are made of OF fat cells, and those cells have to replenish frequently if we stay alive, how is a no-fat diet beneficial?  It only depletes the body of necessary resources to rejuvenate itself.  Which leads to less-than-ideal new cells.  To put it very simply, low/no-fat diets lead to premature aging.

Your Body Is Still Smarter Than You Are. 

Second, FAT DOES NOT EQUAL HEART DISEASE.  Do you know what causes heart disease?  INFLAMMATION.  Do you know what causes inflammation?  Non- “organic” (in the chemistry sense of the word) compounds being introduced to your system.  Your body is an organic being, which is why we can digest and absorb other organic things from our environment.  Oxygen, plants, and naturally-occuring fats. But it can’t absorb things like velveeta, because everyone knows it’s not cheese.  This causes an inflammatory response because even if you have somehow been convinced that velveeta (which my computer doesn’t even recognize as a word, btw) is cheese, your body still recognizes it as a glob of synthetically-produced chemicals flavored with chemicals and colored with, well, more chemicals. And it is foreign. Therefore, the chemical blob is labeled as an intruder and in comes cholesterol to help.  Oh yeah, cholesterol is the good guy.  Poor cholesterol, it’s just misunderstood.

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Low-fat/No-fat Leads To More Medications.

Guess what, friends? Not only is every cell in your body wrapped in a protective fat cell called a plasma membrane, but other things are built by fat, too.  Important things like hormones.  Specifically, sex hormones. Unfortunately, many doctors that I talk to are much more likely to reach for the prescription pad to patch over problems than to hand you a nutrition analysis survey and try to get to the cause of the problem.

In Search of True Healing

As a health coach, I like to help people find genuine healing and health.  For example, if you are in pain, I want to relieve your pain, but I also want to find out what’s causing your pain and heal it.  Pain medication doesn’t heal your pain, it just numbs those pain receptors in your brain for awhile.

Please research these things for yourself, and bring your research with you when you talk to your doctor.  Remember, your health is in YOUR hands.

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