As a yogi and athlete, Beija Faria relies on clean ingredients to fuel her active lifestyle. After searching far and wide for a convenient snack made with only wholesome, delicious ingredients, she found Thunderbird and fell in love. Quickly after, she joined our flock and became a Thunderbird Brand Ambassador. She is famous for her creative recipes like her Carrot Cheesecake Crumble using Thunderbird Cashew Fig Carrot bars. Read on to get to know her a little better!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a recent graduate from UCLA where I got my B.S. in Biology. I am a self-proclaimed gym rat and yogi and spend my free time cooking, baking, or thinking about doing those two things. I plan on pursuing a doctorate degree in physical therapy in the near future and aim to open an integrative physical therapy office with a whole-body approach. As I prepare for grad school, I plan on traveling, yogaing, and eating as much as possible😉
How were you introduced to yoga and your love for baking with healthy, clean ingredients?
I was fortunate to grow up on a stone fruit and blueberry farm and was always surrounded by fresh ingredients. From a young age, I always gravitated towards the kitchen, soaking up as much kitchen-wisdom from my grandma and mother. As I grew to be more conscientious of my health and sought to optimize my performance as an athlete, I began to merge my passion for cooking and baking with clean eating. This eventually grew to become my primary creative outlet and I’m excited to see my hobby evolve and expand as time goes on!
In high school, I played four sports (volleyball, basketball, track and swimming!) and initially started yoga as a complement to these activities but found myself falling in love with my practice and yearning to learn as much as I could. I was eager to share the peace, connection, and vitality that yoga brought to me with others and resolved to get my certification as soon as possible.
What is your favorite recipe?
Chocolate Chip Cookies! I’m a total cookie-fiend! Believe me when I say I have a ton of experience with cookies (baking and eating em) and this recipe is my FAVORITE. It’s vegan, paleo, and gluten-free just like these bars! Scroll to the bottom of the page for the recipe.
If you could spend a day doing absolutely anything in the world, what would it be?
Ahh, this is such a difficult question for me. I would love to travel to a new place with a friend or family member and spend a full day exploring, enjoying really good food and experiencing the beauty this earth has to offer.
What is your favorite Thunderbird flavor?
My favorite flavor always changes but at the moment, it has to be Thunderkids Apple Pie and Cherry Walnut Cinnamon.
To see what else Beija is up to, follow her on Instagram @beij.the.sage and stay tuned because she will be sharing more wisdom on YouTube in the months to come!
Beija’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
◦1 cup blanched almond flour
◦ 1/4 cup tapioca flour
◦ 1 tsp cinnamon
◦ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
◦ 1 tsp baking powder
◦ 1/4 teaspoon salt
◦ 3/4 cup coconut sugar
◦ 1/3 cup natural almond butter
◦ 1 tbsp vanilla extract
◦ 1 large egg, room temperature (or 1 flax egg for vegan- (1 tbsp flax, 2.5 tbsp water- let it sit for 5 minutes)
◦ 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided (make sure to use paleo-friendly chocolate chips, if desired)
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients (almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda/ powder, cinnamon and salt) Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer or lots of elbow grease beat together the coconut oil & sugar for about 1 minute until fully incorporated.
- Add in the almond butter and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Beat in the egg (or flax-egg) until well incorporated.
- Stir in the dry to wet ingredients, just until fully incorporated. Then fold in chocolate chips. You can bake now but, in my opinion, let the dough sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours or, preferably, overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
- Roll the dough into balls and press down gently with your hand, they won’t spread too much in the oven.
- Bake for 11-14 minutes. They'll be very soft but will continue to cook as they sit on the cookie sheet. Allow them to cool completely here
- Enjoy with a glass of non-dairy milk or tea<3