My favorite Maternity clothing brand: Part 2- STORQ

To most woman, Fashion is important, and even more so for a mama to be.

For us, pregnant ladies, we want to have a stylish bump. However, it becomes difficult to find clothing, when every day our bodies change, growing bigger and bigger.

Earlier this week, I introduced you to one of my favorite maternity clothing brands, Ingrid & Isabel. Today, it is all about my other favorite – STORQ!

STORQ is all about the basics.

They only have a couple main pieces, which include Рa skirt, leggings, dress, and tank top. But that is pretty much all you need. On their website, they provide videos showing different ways you can use these four pieces by pairing them with accessories you may already have. All of the products come in only two options, black and white, however this summer the dress came in a couple different colors. Storq

They have bundles, which is a more affordable way to get a couple items, all at once. These bundles also make a great gift, if you have a friend or family member who is newly pregnant.

It has always been a challenge for me, to find clothes that are both stylish and comfortable. Well STORQ does both. This is really important when you are pregnant, because unfortunately pregnancy is not always comfortable.

When it comes to clothing, I first received the white tank top as a gift. I loved it so much that I then purchased both the black tank top and the black leggings. I have been living in these three pieces, pairing them with a denim vest or boots. The leggings are the softest pants I own.

They also have some beauty products.

I fell in love with the lipstick and Belly products.

The lipstick is an organic, bright red/orange color, called Wild Child. It feels good on your lips and brightens up your whole face. Storq lip

When it comes to the belly products, I have both the belly bombe and belly oil. During the winter I made my own body butter, but I like to switch things up, and once I got my hands on this belly combo, I fell in love. It is important to take care of your belly, to avoid stretch marks. So far I haven’t had one stretch mark. The belly balm and belly oil are both soothing and hydrating.¬†Storq belly

Now that my baby is coming in 2 weeks, I am on the hunt for the best nursing bras. Well guess what? STORQ just came out with intimates. Because none of STORQ’s products have ever disappointed me, I went for the bundle. These pieces arrived in a quick 2 days. Again, the fabric they use is so extremely soft.

Storq intimatesThere is one more item, that I have purchased, but because of popularity, I am still waiting for it to arrive. I am waiting for is the Carryall bag, aka baby bag.

Storq carryallI wasn’t going to get a baby bag, I was just going to use my lululemon bag, but when STORQ came out with this bag a month ago, I had to have it. I can’t wait for it to arrive in early August.

STORQ has the softest, most comfortable, basic maternity clothing. If you want a stylish bump, STORQ is the way to go.

Have you tried STORQ? What is your favorite STORQ item?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

 

Body Butter recipe: prevent stretch marks, relieve dehydrated skin

February is over – Thank God! This winter has been brutal for the East Coast. New Englander’s got slammed with white out conditions, one blizzard after the next. As for my home,¬†Washington, DC,¬†¬†we haven’t had it nearly as bad as up north. But there also hasn’t been a February this cold since the 1970s, and some temperatures were record breaking.

Last week, we had an ice storm followed by a snow storm. Thumbs up to all of the runners out there training for Boston and other spring marathons. I don’t know how you do it, training in the slippery dark winter conditions. However, on a brighter note, I am very excited to say, March is here. Day light savings time has come, the sun is shining and almost all of the snow is melted. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, the arrival of Spring.

In the mean time, I am still trying to tolerate the cold, and what it has done to my skin. With such cold winter conditions,¬†it is no surprise that my skin has becomes dry, dehydrated, and chapped. This year has been more extreme than ever, and nothing seems to relieve it. Trust me, I’ve tried lotion after lotion.

I have recently become obsessed with Coconut Oil. But while on the search for an amazing lotion to use, this winter, I have had a difficult time finding one containing the main ingredient, Coconut Oil. I also have been very sensitive to smell, so the ones I did find, ended up smelling to strong, and not having enough Coconut Oil.

So after some research, I have decided to stop the never ending hunt for the perfect lotion, and instead make my own body butter. By making my own, I am able to really customize it to my needs.

Some needs¬†that are important to me…

  1. High quality ingredients. Organic and raw ingredients. When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you never know how high the quality the ingredients used are. Just like in food, ingredients used in beauty products that are processed or low quality, do not have the same health benefits as those that are organic and raw. When making your own product, you have complete control in which ingredients you choose to put in your recipe. I chose raw for my butters, and organic cold pressed for my oils.
  2. The amount of ingredients found in the product.¬†¬†When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you never know the exact amounts of each ingredient. It may say it has coconut oil in it, but it may only contain a tiny amount. Many lotions are mostly made with water. Also some may have other fillers and¬†preservatives. When making your own product, you have complete control in the amounts of each ingredient.¬†I didn’t put any water, preservative or fillers in my body butter.¬†I wanted coconut oil to be one of the main ingredients so it is.
  3. Texture. When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you have no control over the texture. This drives me crazy! The two coconut lotions I tried were really liquid like in texture. I felt they were too light. Some body butters I used were to greasy, while others were to waxy. I just wanted a really creamy, rich, whipped texture. When I made my own I was finally able to achieve that.
  4. Smell. ¬†I am very sensitive to smell. I tried a lavender coconut lotion that at first I loved the smell, but then I got really sick of it. I also tried a lotion that smelled like coconut. ¬†At first I loved it, because it reminded me of the beach, but it didn’t take long, soon I was over it. When making your own body butter, you can control the smell. Either, keep it natural with the fragrance that comes from the ingredients used, or you can add any fragrance you want, by adding an essential oil.¬†I kept mine natural, so it smells like coconut and chocolate.
  5. Quantity.  You can make as much or as little as you wish, but keep in mind that an organic product only lasts one year or 18 months if refrigerated.

Body Butter

A client of mine gave me some homemade beauty products this Christmas, made with a focus of essential oils. And although I loved them, it wasn’t until I started reading Alicia Silverstone’s¬†book,¬†Kind Mama¬†that I got the urge to make my own. In this book, Silverstone, has a recipe for a homemade oil, and a homemade body butter. These recipes help keep a mother-to-be’s skin hydrated, and prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.

How to make the Body Butter…¬†

body butter

Ingredients and Health Benefits

Ingredients

  • Raw Shea Butter:¬†Shea butter comes from a nut from the shea tree found in Africa.¬†It is extremely hydrating and has inflammatory properties. It is usually a whitish color and has a very mild smell.¬†Always¬†use raw like I did in this recipe because while in the raw state it contains vitamins A and E along with other minerals.¬†In this recipe use¬†1/2 cup of raw shea butter.shea butter
  • Raw Cocoa Butter:¬†Cocoa butter is from the cacao bean. When found in the raw state, cocoa butter is a tan color, that smells like chocolate. ¬†Also when used in the raw state, cocoa butter is high in antioxidants that fight off free radicals, making it an anti-ager. It is extremely hydrating, moisturizing even the most severe dry skin. But ultimately, it is best known as the ultimate¬†Stretch Mark Reducer¬†and that is¬†why I used it in this formula of body butter. There are no guarantees, but the secret has spread by moms and moms to be, to liberally rub cocoa butter products all over your growing belly, to prevent or reduce stretch marks. So if you are expecting cocoa butter is a must ingredient to include in your homemade body butter, or one to look for in your belly balm of choice.¬†In this recipe use a 1/2 cup of raw cocoa butter.Cocoa butter
  • Organic Coconut Oil:¬†Coconut oil has been used for many years in Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. It has recently become trendy here in the USA. It is a clear white wax consistency, that has a mild coconut smell. It has amazing healing properties. However,¬†when it comes to including it in skin care products it is best know for being a great moisturizer with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.¬†In this recipe use a 1/2 cup of organic coconut oil.coconut oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil:¬†Jojoba (pronounced ho-hoba) comes from the seed of the jojoba plant found in south west USA. It has many vitamins and minerals essential for healthy skin and hair. Jojoba similar to the others above is a moisturizing, anti fungal, stretch mark reducer, anti inflammatory, and has many other healing properties including unclogging hair follicles to promote more hair growth. Although, it does it all, the most unique property about jojoba oil is how gentle it is for sensitive skin. It is a yellow oil, that has a mild smell. ¬†Please read labels on the back of the bottle to ensure it is pure jojoba oil and not mixed with any other oils. ¬†In this recipe use 1/4 cup of Jojoba oil.
  • Vitamin E Oil:¬†Vitamin E oil is best known for its healing properties. It can heal scars, stretch marks and sunburn etc.¬†Warming:¬†I don’t have a bad reaction to Vitamin E oil, however some do. It is strong and can cause irritation, If you experience irritation do not add vitamin e oil to your body butter. If you do not experience irritation, in this recipe use 1/8 a cup of Vitamin E Oil.¬†

Directions

This body butter recipe is vegetarian/vegan and raw/organic.

  1. Heat all solids, (1/2 cup raw shea butter, 1/2 cup raw cocoa butter, 1/2 cup coconut oils,) in a water bath. A water bath is used to slowly melt the ingredients with out altering their integrity. To achieve this, you will place all ingredients in a bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Let the steam from the boiling water heat the bowl, which melts the ingredients.
  2. Once ingredients are heated, set out to cool. Once cooled to room temperature place in refrigerator and let cool for 1 hour, until ingredients turn into a soft solid.
  3. After cooling process, remove from refrigerator, and add oils (1/4 cup jojoba, 1/8 cup of vitamin E oil,) to the bowl.
  4. Once oils are added, use electric mixer to combine all ingredients. Use electric mixer until desired whipped texture is achieved. This doesn’t take long, with in minutes the recipe will almost look like a whipped frosting or whipped cream consistency. This is what you want. It smells amazing and becomes a rich, whipped, creamy, soft, body butter.¬†whipped

 

There are lots of great body butters and belly balms out there, but by making your own, you have complete control over what ingredients you use and how much of each ingredient you use.

Other body butter and belly balms that I love.

x354 I have yet to try this one, but I have heard it is very good. And it looks like it is made from the same ingredients I used minus the vitamin E oil.

StorQ belly Balm

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I have this, and love it! It is a very small amount, but perfect to put in your purse and so you can reapply through out the day.

Have you ever made your own body butter? What is your favorite ingredient found in skin care products?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Cheesecake Recipe

My November Goal post revealed my food goal for November, which is to explore and test my Thanksgiving recipes instead of winging them the night before or day of. So I have been in search for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert recipe -something new and different that my family has yet to try.  To find this recipe, I have been reading tons of magazines and blogs. While browsing Bon Appetit I finally came across a Sweet  Potato Cheesecake Recipe.

thanksgiving mags

 

I don’t bake much, but I have been lately. Having a Kitchen Aid Mixer and a Vitamix has made me more adventurous in the Kitchen. These tools are must haves and I can’t believe I use to cook and attempt to bake with out them. They save me in the kitchen.

Okay, lets talk about Sweet Potatoes…

When baking this recipe there were so many firsts for me.

It was my first time making a Cheesecake and using a springform pan. First time ever using sweet potato as a dessert. And it was my first time doing a water bath.

So lets define some important tools you must know before you continue on…

Springform pan: is a type of bakeware which features sides that can be removed from the base. This is a must have when making cheesecake. Like any product, you can find one to fit your budget. I got mine at Sur La Table for under $15.

Water bath: At this point your cheesecake is already assembled in the springform pan. Now you are going to place it (cheesecake springform pan and all) in a bigger baking pan. You will boil water over the stove. Once water comes to a boil you will pour the boiling water into the bigger baking pan until it is about 1 inch deep up the side of the springform pan. Then you will transfer the cheesecake and water bath to the oven and bake. The water bath keeps the cheesecake moist and prevents drying and cracking.

cheesecake

 

So there are two parts to this cake, the Oat-Pecan Crust and the Cheesecake Filling.

Oat-Pecan Crust

INGREDIENTS:

all ingredients are organic

  • 2/3 cup whole pecans
  • 1/3 cup large rolled oats (aka old fashioned oats.)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Combine all dry ingredients in Vitamix.
  • Select Variable 1, push start, slowly increase to Variable 6 for 5 seconds.
  • Bring back down to Variable 1 and pour melted butter in though the lid opening.
  • Pulse until everything is blended.
  • Transfer crust mixture to a 9″ springform pan, pressing it into the bottom and 1″ up the sides.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.
  • Place on wire rack to cool.

Cheesecake Filling

INGREDIENTS:

All ingredients are organic

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sweet potato, cooked and cooled
  • 1.5 lbs or 24 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Peel and Cup the sweet potatoes, boil them until soft.
  • Combine all ingredients in Vitamix.
  • Select Variable 1, push start, increase to variable 10 until all is blended
  • Start water bath, (for additional notes check above) bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
  • Position the springform pan inside large baking pan/dish.
  • Pour filling into crust.
  • Pour water in the outer baking pan/dish until it reaches 1″ up the springform pan.
  • Transfer cheesecake in the water bath to the oven and bake for 60 minutes, until edges are firm.
  • Remove cheesecake from water bath and cool cheesecake on cooling rack for 1 hour.
  • Then transfer cake to refrigerator and cool completely for 4 hours.
  • When ready, run a thin knife around sides, remove springform pan sides.
  • Serve with whipped cream.

Important note: Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature. If it is cold the eggs will not mix well. It will be lumpy.

 

cheesecake

 Wondering how this taste!? Well it turned out delicious. I brought it to work and it was gone in 5 minutes. 

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? What are you making for Thanksgiving? Have your tried sweet potatoes as a dessert?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

The story of why I stopped drinking Milk & a Cashew Cream Recipe!

When I was little, I refused to drink milk. I still remember the day my older sister scarred me for life. We were sitting at the kitchen table, and we were both about to down a glass of white rich creamy milk, when she said, “You know, thats from a cow’s boob.” She ran off smirking, when I on the other hand, immediately put the cup down with a look of disgust. I vowed, from that day forward, I would never drink a glass of milk again.

Now a days, if you don’t want to drink milk, or heavy cream you don’t have to. There are tons of dairy alternatives right on your local grocery store shelves. They are available and the variety is endless. However, there are sneaky additives to some of the most popular brands, and it is just as easy and quick to make your own, fresh at home.

When I started to cook more vegan and plant based meals, I noticed that most of the dishes that required heavy cream such as Clam Chowders, used Cashew Cream.

I first came across Cashew Cream in the, Isa Does It, cookbook. But today, I found another variation on the blog I have been reading, My New Roots.

Can you believe I made that creamy goodness from the raw organic cashew nuts sitting in the bowl behind.

Cashew Cream

 

So here it is, the Cashew Cream recipe…

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 cup raw organic cashews
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

DIRECTIONS

  • Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and let soak for a minimum of 4 hours at room temperature or overnight refrigerated.
  • Once cashews have soaked, drain water.
  • Place soaked cashews in Vitamix, and add water, garlic, lemon juice, and sea salt.
  • Blend until completely smooth.

That’s all you do.

That’s it!

Enjoy as a replacement to (dairy) heavy cream in all of your recipes!

Have you made Cashew Milk before? What is your favorite dairy replacement?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Chai Tea Recipe

I love coffee shops.

I could easily spend the day reading a good book, or writing an interesting blog post in a coffee shop -they are just sooo cozy and welcoming.  I was actually talking to a friend the other day about how I would much rather meet up, to chat over coffee, then go to a bar for a drink.

However, I have a confession to make … I don’t drink coffee.

I am a tea drinker.

I drink it everyday.

I love all different kinds of tea, but my favorite by far is the oh so delicious Chai tea.

When it comes to a Chai Tea latte, I am guilty of  being like every other American, and just grabbing one on the go from Starbucks.  The Chai Tea latte from Starbucks is very addicting, but it is not healthy for you at all (shocker.) Starbucks is the fast food chain for coffee, so what do you expect?! The Starbucks Chai tea is a concentrated syrup that is extremely caffeinated and loaded with sugar.

Because I am trying to limit my sugar intake, (read about I Quit Sugar Detox here.) I have decided to cut back on Starbucks Chai tea. There is no need to drink one of those suckers everyday, when I can make my own delicious chai tea at home, and control the ingredients I put in it.

The idea that I can make my own Chai tea came to mind, when I came across a simple Chai tea recipe in the I Quit Sugar cookbook. Although, the recipe is awesome, (and I plan on trying it soon,) I decided to continue my  Chai tea research.

Here’s what I found…

I came across the blog, indiaphile. The author explains Chai perfectly by saying,¬†‚ÄúChai‚ÄĚ is the Hindi word for ‚Äútea‚ÄĚ but it usually means the well-known sweetened spiced milk-tea of India.” I also learned from this blog, that¬†Chai Tea is the National drink of India. Indians normally drink Chai at least two times a day, once in the morning, and then again in the afternoon. In India you can get Chai anywhere, including right from your favorite street vendor. You will also find a¬†recipe for Masala Chai, on indiphile –¬†¬†I have a feeling I am going to end up like her mom, obsessing over perfecting my Chai tea recipe.

Because the Chai recipe in I Quit Sugar looked  so good, I decided to search for Sarah, the blogger who came up with it. Her blog is called My New Roots.  She invented Chaice-cubes! 

Let me explain…

You will be making your own chai concentrate. Here’s how…

INGREDIENTS

Because of all of the organic ingredients, this Chai is full of health benefits.

  • 5-6 inches fresh, grated ginger root
  • ¬ľ cup whole cardamom pods¬†
  • 1/8 whole fennel seeds
  • scant ¬ľcup whole cloves
  • 6- 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 ¬Ĺ liters fresh water

DIRECTIONS

  • Start out by boiling a big pot of water infused with all of the spices found in traditional Masala Chai. Then let this pot simmer for 2-4 hours.chai tea
  • Remove from heat.
  • Strain.
  • Let cool. (I refrigerated my liquid for a couple days. You can refrigerate for up to 2 week.)
  • Once liquid has cooled, pour liquid into ice cube trays.chai tea ice cubes
  • Store in freezer, so you always have chai on hand.

To make Chai Tea Latte by using the Masala …

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat milk or use a milk alternative over the stove.
  • Add a couple chai ice cubes to the milk and simmer.
  • Once mixture is very hot brew tea. Either place tea bag into mixture, or use loose leaf tea. Traditionally, the tea used is Black tea, but you can use which ever tea you desire.
  • Add honey or stevia to sweeten.

It is fall, my favorite season. And nothing gets me in a better mood, or warms me up more, than a spicy Chai Tea Latte. Now that I have these Chaice-Cubes on hand, there is no excuse to go to Starbucks. These cubes are just as fast. Plus, I can tweak the Chaice Cube recipe to my own taste buds, maybe next time I will add vanilla bean. I also like the idea of changing up my milk option, maybe using coconut milk one time, and almond milk the next. 

Are you a coffee drinker or tea drinker? What is your favorite coffee shop?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

 

 

 

I Quit Sugar (8 week detox) review

I am a really competitive person, and I absolutely love challenging myself.

So that is why I am very excited to tell you guys about my new challenge.

I am trying my hardest to quit sugar.

I have talked about my sugar addiction in the past. I have written about it in the blog post, I’ve been drinking my sugar. I also have seen, Fed Up, the latest documentary on sugar addiction. It is a must see and is available on iTunes to rent. ¬†Now, that I have all the facts on sugar, it is time to really get serious. I don’t want sugar to control me anymore.

Do you have a sugar addiction?

I realized I had a sugar problem, when I woke up every morning craving it. I would get my sugar caffeine fix and neglect eating breakfast, but still feel full and energized. Then I would head into work and around 2:00 pm, I would began feeling sluggish again. The craving would start and I would go get my sugar fix. When I was feeling stressed, or my day was not going well, I would immediately want some sort of sweet treat, whatever it may be, it made me feel better. I never thought I had a huge sweet tooth, but I knew I was drinking to many sweet drinks.

I usually don’t pay to much attention to my diet, I just try to eat as many organic plant based whole foods that I can. However, after reading the book, I Quit Sugar, I began to analyze my daily diet even closer. It was then that I realized that all of my healthy snacks was secretly laced with hidden sugars. Did you know you body can not tell the difference between a natural sugar or¬†an added sugar. Your body processes these sugars the same way.

The American Heart Association sets the sugar limit at 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, which translates to 25 grams of sugar. I was getting way more than that. Are you?

Finding the Detox

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A couple weeks ago, I was at the book store picking up a new cookbook, when I came across the book, I Quit Sugar. I thought to myself, “I need this book.”

This book is awesome. It not only has a sugar quitting program, but it also has a lot of amazing recipes.

What I have discovered about quitting sugar….

I have been doing this no sugar diet for a couple weeks now. Unfortunately, I am not very good at it. It is very hard, because sugar is in everything.¬†Compared to this, eating a plant based diet is easy for me. Being vegan or vegetarian you always face the question, “Well what do you eat?” A common answer to that question is… everything, but animal products. Well when it comes to no sugar, I found myself asking the same question. Does this mean no carbs? In the beginning I was very confused.

During, the first week of this no sugar detox, I found myself asking the question, “Well what do I eat?” ¬†I always knew that I drank my sugar, with my daily indulgence of a sugary chai tea latte from Starbucks. But now I am really becoming more aware of all the sugar I have been eating. My daily diet seemed to be a heathy one, but it was laced with hidden sugars. The author of the book, Sarah Wilson, had a similar issue. She too ate tons of health foods, but they were all sugary.

Now here’s the deal…

This detox is sugar free, low carb, gluten free. The foods that make up this detox is organic meat, dairy, and whole foods. The detox is only no sugar for 8 weeks. After the 8 weeks you can add natural sugars back into your daily diet, but remember keep in 6 teaspoons or less, in other words, no more than 25 grams of sugar a day.

My experience and what I have learned so far…

This detox (sugar free) and then diet lifestyle (low sugar) is very similar to paleo. For me this detox has been especially hard because I eat mostly plant based. I am finding that a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes have a good amount of sugar in them. If you eliminate both animal products and sugar form your diet, it is more difficult to find things to eat. For example, a friend of mine is also participating in the I Quit Sugar detox,  but because she eats meat, I found her nibbling on an organic chicken breast though out the day. Chicken breast is sugar free, so it works for her, but you will NOT find me nibbling on chicken, thats just not my style.

So the first couple weeks of the detox, I have been reading labels and have now gotten a really good idea of how much sugar I eat and drink daily. Because I was confused on what to eat, and didn’t have time to meal prep, I have not been cold turkey off all sugars yet. I also didn’t necessary feel like I was eating healthier. For the next 4 weeks I am¬†planning on keeping all of my sugars under 25 grams a day.

In conclusion…

So that is the plan. I will be updating you through out the next couple weeks about my experience. I also will be sharing with you some of the recipes I have tried from the cook book. And when it comes to a very meaty dish, I will be substituting the meat with a veggie option, while keeping everything organic and whole.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Are you a sugar addict?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Roasted Chickpeas

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This photo got a ton of attention when I posted it to Facebook and Instagram last night. People requested the recipe and wanted to know all the details from what kind of seasoning I use to if they get crunchy.

Why I decided to make these…

On Saturday, when I was at DC VegFest, they handed out free samples of this snack. They tasted delicious, and the minute I saw them, I knew I have seen them before. In my favorite cookbook, Super Natural Everyday, Heidi Swanson has a recipe for these. So instead of buying a bag at VegFest, I decided to make them myself.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas. (Drain and dry them the best you can.)
  • 2 tablespoons evoo
  • 1.5 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoons hot paprika (I didn’t have hot paprika on hand, so I used red pepper flakes as a substitute. When using red pepper flakes I only used 0.5 teaspoon.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary. (I used dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme. (I used dried)
  • Lemon zest of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Pour the chickpeas on a baking sheets, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Check the chickpeas at 10 minutes shaking the baking sheet, making sure they aren’t stuck to the sheet. Continue baking for the rest of the time.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine evoo, salt, lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, paprikas, and red pepper flakes if using.
  • Once chickpeas have baked for 20 minutes, take them out of the oven and put them in the bowl with the other ingredients. Mix together.
  • Place paprika covered chickpeas on baking sheet and put in the oven, baking for an additional 5-10 minutes. (The longer you leave them in the oven, the crunchier they get. Just make sure they don’t burn.)
  • Let cool for a couple minutes and serve warm.
  • Enjoy!

*** All of the ingredients I used are organic, and non GMO. ***

Why I love these…

I absolutely love these chickpeas. They are a wonderful alternative to potato chips, kale chips, or popcorn. They are a low in sugar, high in protein snack. You can eat them by themselves, or add them to salad, soups, or even on top of grains. And although, I flavored them with paprika,  you can really chose any type of seasoning or flavors you are craving. A friend of mine, commented on facebook that she made hers with garlic and grated parm. So try away, get creative!

Have you tried roasted chickpeas before? What is your favorite seasoning? How do you flavor you roasted chickpeas?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Recipe Box

This summer, I have been spending tons of time in my kitchen. With my new vitamix and my kitchen aid mixer, I have been cooking and baking up a storm.

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“Food is very important to me, and health is my top priority. I believe food is healing, physically, emotionally, and mentally.”

You-are-what-you-eat1

One of my favorite type of magazines to read are food magazines. But unfortunately, I have become a food magazine hoarder – Scary and embarrassing. So, I will admit there are piles of Vegetarian Times and Veg News in every corner of my house. ¬†These stacks have got to go…

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So I have come up with a couple solutions to organize my recipes…

Pin it...

One major thing I have done is clean up my pinterest profile. I will now have pinboards for each major meal. This will help you guys, my readers find my favorite recipes quickly. So make sure you follow me on pinterest!

Recipe Page 

I also now have a recipe page on this blog. This page will be organized in a similar way. It will be simple and easy for you, my readers. I will have it organized in sections by meal. Then I will have the name of the recipe listed with a link connect to the blog post. Each recipe will also be labled V for vegan/vegetarian, GF for gluten free, P for paleo.

Recipe Box

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At home, to get rid of the magazine stack I now have a recipe box. I have wanted one of these for a long time now, but they are actually really hard to find. With the internet being my generations main source for recipes, the recipe box, has become an old fashion technique to store and organize recipe ideas.  However, it is something my mom and grandma always had.

I like this idea because I will now be able to hand write my favorite recipes on index cards to store in the box, which I later will always have on hand. I also will be able to share recipes easier with friends, when I entertain.  And the ultimate best thing about this box is that I can clip my favorite recipe from the magazines and store these magazine recipes in the box eliminating my magazine stack.

e83ee7b181f01d67789b0d3c35a6da7eSo thats my plan for my recipes… That way I can cook the best I can and eat the best I can.

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How do you keep your recipes organized? Where do you find your favorite recipes?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Fed Up! The most IMPORTANT blog post.

hey there!

I want to apologize for being MIA for the month of May. I have so much to catch you up on… ¬†And although I haven’t posted much, I have been one busy girl.¬†Travel, work, running, weight lifting, cooking, and wedding planning has consumed me, and continues to consume me. However… last week I was able to squeeze in some movie time with my good friend R (check out her fashion/lifestyle ¬†blog. It’s awesome!)

The movie we saw is called Fed Up (watch the trailer here.) Because it is a documentary it is only playing at the E Street Theater in DC. This is bitter sweet. The sweet part: I love the E Street Theater and was thankful the movie was playing in a theater in my area. The bitter part: After seeing the movie I felt so inspired. I wanted to shout from the roof tops, “Everyone should see this film.” ¬†Then I became really disappointed that only one theater is showing this film in my area. And what about other smaller towns? The odds are no theater is playing it.

That is the reason why I am claiming this to be one of the most important blog posts I have written. I am trying to spread the word about this film the fastest way I can, and there is no way faster than through social media. Please reblog this post and continue to spread the word.

Now about the movie…

I first heard about the movie Fed Up on Kris Carr’s facebook page. I can always count on Kris for keeping me inspired, informed, and updated. For those who don’t know Kris Carr – she is an amazing cancer surviver who wrote the book, Crazy Sexy Diet, and created the documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer. I love her book, and watch her documentary often.

Anyway, she posted that Fed Up would premiere May, 9th. Immediately, I knew I had to see it. So I marked it in my calender and contacted R, the one friend I knew who would enjoy the film as much as I would.

This movie is a must see. It is about the American Diet, claiming that sugar is the reason why so many American’s are fat.

Ideas that were expressed in this film that really stuck with me…

  • Sugar is as addictive as cocaine. It releases the same signals from the brain to the body, the way cocaine does. One will drink a sugary coffee drink in the morning. It gives you a high, but in two hours the person feels tired and sluggish, then craving sugar again. People who are overweight, this includes children, continue to crave and often after loosing weight, they will gain it back. Bad habit and routine also causes weight gain. Poor education, not knowing what is healthy also causes weight gain.
  • Sugar without fiber is quickly processed by the liver and stored as fat. This includes fruit juice.
  • The body can not tell the difference between sugar and sugar replacements.
  • Honey, agave, nectars, although natural, are still forms of sugar and effect the body the same way as sugar does.
  • Scientists come up with different names for sugar, and companies label their product with these confusing names. The most common one being¬†high fructose corn syrup.
  • Buying low fat or fat free is not healthier for you. Most low fat or fat free items are processed. Scientists remove the fat and replace it with sugar or man made chemicals.
  • Companies focus on trendy diets in order to sell products. ¬†When low calorie diets were trendy they create products like Coke Zero. Creating products like Coke Zero¬†is just a math equation. It is easy for Scientists to remove calories, but when they remove something they need to replace it with something else – in most cases a chemical. At the end of the day hot pockets vs. lean hot pockets – both of them are equally junk food.¬†
  • Doctors go to medical school and prescribe medicine. In some extreme Doctors will even choose surgery. The problem is medicine and surgery only treats the symptoms. Being obese is a symptom. When children are overweight, there is a deeper reason why… In most cases their parents don’t know the difference between a healthy food vs. a non healthy food. Schools don’t have healthy options in the cafeteria.
  • Advertisements are also a huge reason why Americans are overweight.
  • Politics are also a huge reason why Americans are overweight. Do we want to be the richest nation or the healthiest? Can we have both?
  • This problem is becoming a Global issue.

Although, some of the content I already had knowledge on there were other ideas that were totally eye opening.

 

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Don’t forget to see this film, and bring your friends too. Spread the word!

Do you have a sweet tooth?

What is your favorite documentary?

© sweatdaily 2014

Spring Cleaning (your diet)!

Today is the first day of spring…

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Hellooo Spring!!

Goodbye effing Winter!! 

During the cold winter months, fresh, local, colorful, produce has been nonexistent. However, I have been avoiding heavy comfort foods and staying true to my clean organic lifestyle by eating tons of spicy soups. They have kept me warm and satisfied during this brutally cold winter. ( If you haven’t read my soup posts do it now. )¬†My soup recipes are easy to make and you can freeze a pot full for later.

Soon though very soon, temperatures will warm up and farmers markets will open. Plus, I love to grow some staples of my very own in my backyard garden. Herbs such as basil, sage, mint, and rosemary are easy to grow and add flavor to many dishes. They are great additions to urban gardens for those who live in city apartments/condos. They also add a refreshing burst to fresh brewed ice tea.

So first comes first, it’s time to Spring Clean your fridge and kitchen.

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Eliminate all processed foods and all foods that are not clean and organic.

Reduce sugar intake.

This is a hard one but it makes a huge huge huge difference in preventing disease and in your waist line. Trust me, I know, I use to drink my sugar. According to the American Heart Association the average woman should get no more than 30 grams of added sugar a day.

Added sugar can be hidden in juice, tea, non fat milk, milk replacement products, yogurt, granola, oat meal, salad dressings, sauces, and many more foods. Easiest way to reduce your added sugar intake is by reading labels, eating whole foods, and making your own sauces, dressings, and granola from scratch. For more information read my post on added sugar and try making making Scott Jurek’s vegan granola by following the recipe I posted.

Also clean your kitchen of any foods that have chemically made sweeteners, aka sugar replacements. If it is made in a science lab it is not a clean food.

Research your oils.

I have many oils in my kitchen. Different oils have different flavors. My stash includes Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, and Coconut Oil. Make sure all oils you have in your kitchen are cold pressed. This means your oils are truly what the label says and not mixed with any other oils. Also make sure your oils are unrefined. Along with cold pressed this means they have the highest standard of processing. If it is not unrefined during processing your oils may have been heated too hot. When heated too hot the nutritional value may be in jeopardy. Also keep in mind that some oils have more saturated fat then others. For example: The American Heart Association recommends no more than 16 grams of saturated fat a day. 1 table spoon of coconut oil has 12 grams of saturated fat. Although, coconut oil has many health benefits, use it is small doses and be careful not to heat it over 300 degrees. I like to use my coconut oil in substitute to butter or cooking sprays when greasing baking sheets.

Increase your raw food intake.

Although, I had fun making pots of homemade soups (Broccoli with Pickled Ginger, Chicken with Sweet Potato and Chipotle in Adobe, Farro, Pumpkin, and Vegan Chile) by now I am ready for some veggies in the raw. I am not going completely raw, but the plan is to eat as much raw fresh produce as I can. When it is the season, raw is way more sweet, flavorful, delicious. Why cook and ruin a good thing.

Eat the Rainbow.

The more colorful your food is the better. Rich, bright, vibrant color means more fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants!  Runners especially need antioxidants because of the wear and tear/ stress that is put on the body daily.

Hydrate!

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Drink water. After the winter months, the air has been cold and drying. This leads to dehydration. It is time to up our water intake. I recently purchased a new water bottle that I plan to bring with me everywhere. Every chance I get I plan to refill. Having adequate amounts of water helps regulate metabolism and cleans the body of toxins. Another tip I do, is add lemon to my water. The lemon is a natural cleanser. So by adding it to your water I will be hydrating and detoxing at the same time.

Meal Prep.

This is something I am constantly working on. I love it when I have done it but it is a hard one to do. But if you can do it – well done! For those that don’t know what meal prepping is… I’ll explain. First you must plan your menu for your week. Second, get to the farmers markets or grocery store and buy your food. I normally do this on Saturday. Next thing, prep all food by washing, cutting and portioning raw foods. Cook foods that need to be cooked. Portion all meals with a protein, complex carb, and healthy fat. Follow your macros for portion sizes. These meals are now portioned and prepared ready to go. If you are eating clean you should be eating a small meal every 2-3 hours about 6 meals a day. The meal sizes depend on your calorie intake and macros. If you can do this, it will save you. It will help you avoid ever getting “hangry” and impulsive. It will help you avoid the need to eat out at restaurants. It will keep you high with energy and your metabolism speedy.

So that is it, thats my advice to spring cleaning your diet.

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So get in your kitchen.

Let’s clean, shop, and cook!

This post was inspired by an article in Runner’s World (march.) I love their idea to use dandelion which is high in vitamin A, C, and K in salads and pesto. They also mention fiddlehead, ramps, and rhubarb. I’m definitely keeping my eyes open for these!

What are your nutritional tips for spring?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Are you ready for some Thailand foodporn…

Okay lovelies! I am finally home from Thailand. My plane landed in the States last Saturday. Although, I have been home for a whole week, I was jet lagged, and just had to take some time to get back in gear. However, I have plenty of posts that I wrote while I was in Thailand, that I wasn’t able to post because of lack of wifi. So I will be updating you now!!¬†

I’m writing this blog post on a choppy motor boat from the Indian Ocean. So far on my trip to Thailand I have spent days in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ko Samui, Ko Tao, and now I am in Phuket visiting the Ko Pi Pi Islands and Monkey Island. I have stepped foot in the Indian Ocean and the China Sea of the Pacific Ocean.

If you have been following my Instagram and Facebook pages you have seen everything I have been currently doing. Unfortunately, wifi here is really slow so it has been hard for me to blog. So I apologize for that and promise I will update you.

So let’s talk about my two favorite things food and fitness. The food here in Thailand has been absolutely amazing. However, I will admit I am feeling a tiny bit fluffy, (maybe I’m not actually fluffy, but I feel that way.) It may be water weight that I have been holding on to, because the food is so salty, heavy, spicy. This is definitely a love hate relationship I am having with Thai food. Don’t get me wrong I love it, but I hate that I have to eat out for every meal. I also hate that I am not able to eat 5-6 small meals a day, like I had been doing at home. I am on vacation in Thailand so I am enjoying my meals, and pretty much eating my way through Thailand. But hey, it’s only three weeks of my life, and I need to take advantage of being in this foreign land, because the opportunity may never arise again. With that being said, l am definitely not feeling as lean as I normally feel when I am back home. Let me explain why?

There are fruit stands with fresh fruit and juice bars everywhere. I love it and have been drinking tons of watermelon juice. (But too much fruit means too much sugar.)

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Yummy watermelon juice!

I have been hydrating with mainly coconut water straight from the coconut, bottled water, and tea, lots of tea. This isn’t making me feel fluffy. But although it is fun to drink coconut water right from the coconut, I will have to admit it taste exactly the same as Vita Coconut water.

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Also I have come to the conclusion that most locals get their meals by eating street food. The street food vendors literally line the streets like sardines in Bangkok.

In Chiang Mai, our taxi driver grabbed lunch from a random street food stand on the way to dropping us off at an Elephant camp – yes I played with elephants I’ll tell you more about that later. Also Chiang Mai is known for their night markets. They are every night, and are full of street food vendors. One vendor made us Pad Thai right in front of us. Other vendors already had their food prepared. It tasted amazing, but was a tad cold.

I love authentic street food, the only problem I have is that I don’t know exactly what is in it, what they use to cook with. Where the food came from. This is a major problem. How am I suppose to count my macros? Plus, I love to cook and prepare my own food. I am really starting to miss cooking a home cooked meal. By cooking my own food I can control what is in it. In Thailand I let go, took the risk, and just trusted the restaurants and street food vendors.

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As an American, we are told while traveling, never drink the water and never eat the street food. However, Thailand is known for it’s street food, and they take great pride in that. So I trusted the street food vendors, plus all of the locals eat it. Many locals have their favorite street vendors, and become regulars, just like we have regulars in local bars in the the States.

In Bangkok, it has been very difficult to communicate. This shocks me because it is such a huge city and I expected more people to speak English. Turns out the island areas are more touristy where most locals speak English and speak it well. In Bangkok, it was even hard to ask for a knife. It took a lot of hand gestures and pointing to pictures or names of meals on menus.

Food in Bangkok

Although, the Islands are very close, I would have to say Chiang Mai is my favorite place in Thailand, and it has the best food by far. Although, there were tourists, these tourists were very bohemian, (I saw tons of dread locks.) Chiang Mai has a very authentic vibe. There were tons of locals driving mopeds. The restaurants were so authentic that at one of them the owner through on apron and cooked our food barefoot in her kitchen. She also teaches Thai cooking classes.

This photo is by far my favorite photo I took while in Chiang Mai. It just reveals how authentic and beautiful Chiang Mai is. Look at the street food vendor grilling corn on the cob. I captured her smiling. Look at the local traffic in behind her. Mopeds speeding on by. Look at the beauty of the gold Buddhist temple in the back ground. This defines Thailand.  

Chiang Mai corn ladyThese photo belongs to me. Do not use or repost with out my permission.

Chiang Mai street food

Above is a photo of the night market in Chiang Mai. It is crowded and authentic. People selling art, food, etc.

Food in Chiang Mai

On the Islands, where we are staying, beach front, it is less authentic and more touristy so there are more bars and restaurants and less street food vendors.thailand island meat lady

Also surprisingly, our hotels have had really amazing breakfast. So I have been waking up and eating a pretty big breakfast everyday. This is way different from my eating habits at home. At home I am not a morning eater. Normally, I’ll have a hard boiled egg, latte, protein shake, possibly oatmeal, occasionally a greek yogurt, maybe a piece of fruit. I always have a latte every morning the caffeine helps jump start my metabolism. Here in Thailand I have only had coffee twice, and I have been here for almost 3 weeks.

Breakfast in Ko Samui, Thailand, resort The Blue Lagoonthailand islands breakfastBreakfast in Phuket, Thailand, resort The Malisa

Food on the Islands

The cool thing about Ko Samui is that there was a larger variety of different types of food. We went to The Larger, which was owned by a British guy or Aussie. We also went to an Italian restaurant which was owned by an Italian guy. There were restaurants like these where the owner loved Ko Samui so much that he eventually moved to the island and opened a restaurant.

So there you have it, that sums up what I ate on my three week vacation through Thailand. I am excited to say, that I also  brought home some Thai spices and curry pastes, so I can play in my kitchen and make some of my very own thai food.

I am also proud to say that the DC area has some pretty good Thai restaurants. I don’t think our restaurants are too Americanized.

Questions for You…

  1. Have you been to Thailand?
  2. What is your favorite Thai dish?
  3. Do you cook with Thai spices?

© 2014 sweatdaily

 

Recipe: Asian Broccoli Soup with pickled Ginger and Black Sesame

The winter months are days full of desiring real comfort food. Its cold outside so one wants to eat a filling warm meal. It doesn’t help that farmer’s markets are scarce and the colorful produce that existed during the summer is now limited or in many cases nonexistent.

I still want to eat clean, organic, plant based, because everyone knows, “A summer body is made in the winter.”

So what is a girl to do during these cold gray winter months.

Crave soup.

Eat soup.

The variety of soups are endless. Soups are easy to make. You can make a huge pot for the week. You can freeze left over soup. Not all but many soups are an amazing way to eat clean, and still feel satisfied. They are warm, and to even make them hotter, smokey, spicy, try adding a pepper, such as chipotle in adobo sauce.

The soup that I am going to introduce to you today, is made with Asian influence. Because I am heading to Asia this week, I am all about the asian flavors.

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Broccoli Soup with pickled ginger and black sesame seeds.

Ingredients

1) Broccoli
2) Ginger
3) Ground Ginger
4) Soy sauce
5) Sea Salt
6) Sesame oil or toasted Sesame oil
7) Pickled Ginger
8) Black sesame seeds

Directions

1) Prep two small heads of broccoli by cleaning and cutting them into small pieces.

2) Place them in a pot of water with a chunk of natural ginger in it. Bring ginger water to a boil. Cool over high heat until broccoli is tender.

3) Once broccoli is tender, scoop out and discard ginger. Place broccoli into food processor or blender. Add two cups of the ginger infused cooking water.

4) Combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce with grounded ginger, and sesame oil. Cook in a small pan over heat. Once heated pour over broccoli in blender.

5) Blend all ingredients.

6) Once blended reheat over stove until desired temperature.

7) Serve in a bowl topped with pickled ginger and black sesame seeds.

8) Enjoy!

What are your favorite soups? How do you eat clean during the winter?

Turkey Trot and Pies…

“My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, and my favorite part is the Turkey Trot.”

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for so many reasons. Although, I have heard from others, it can be stressful, for me everything about it is relaxing.

After a really busy month at the salon – coming in early, staying late, and squeezing clients in… I finally get to leave work early on Wednesday- Thanksgiving Eve, and ¬†stay home, Thursday- Thanksgiving day. The best part is I don’t have to return to the chaos of Holiday Season at the salon, until Sunday. A couple of relaxing days off is just what I need, to rest, get refocused, and organized.

Some people get stressed over cooking a huge feast. The cost, the work, the clean up, but I love it. Cooking my own food, relaxes me. I am able to get creative, and stay in complete control. It is fun for me to discover new recipes, that are healthier alternatives then the traditional ones. All of my thanksgiving dishes and sister’s dishes, this year were organic, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, raw. Together we dominated the feast with healthy flavorful dishes.

You don’t have to have an unhealthy holiday. They say the average person consumes over 4,000 calories on thanksgiving. No wonder everyone is sleepy! Blame it on the turkey, but it is really your body trying to digest everything. You don’t have to indulge in that many calories, if you don’t want too. But if you do want to, don’t feel bad, it is a holiday – you can get back on track tomorrow. Just be happy with your choice. If you cook your own food, you can control everything.

A quick tip:  for this holiday season research some new dishes to try. By cooking yourself instead, of ordering out, you have the control of all of your ingredients. You then know exactly what you are eating.

This year I contributed quite a few dishes to my family’s feast.

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I decided I was going to make stuffing from scratch. So I made it from a whole wheat loaf, with rosemary from my garden. I also added, figs, cranberries, Tawny Port, and topped it off with hazel nuts.

In my family, we always have a couple appetizers so we can munch on something while the rest of the food finishes up. The bottom left photo are the two dips I made. One is roasted beet and lentil dip, the other one is Scott Jurek’s Salsa Verde. Both are vegan and gluten free.

I also made three pies. The bottom right photo are the two pumpkin pies I made. However, this year was fun because we ended up with a total of five pies. Two were pumpkin (raw, vegetarian.) Heather brought the fabulous pecan (gluten free, vegetarian.) I made my specialty date pie, (raw, vegan, gluten free.) Jackie made her famous grasshoper, which was not healthy, but a tradition in my family, so we all ate it anyway. Everything was delicious.

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People get so worked up and forget the true meaning of the holidays. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and share great food with family and friends. However, Thanksgiving, for me because I am a runner, also means Turkey Trot time.

The traditional Turkey Trot I usually participate in on Thanksgiving morning is the DC 5k put on by an organization called SOME (So Others May Eat.) Normally 11,000 people run it every year. There is a DJ at the start.  The route circles around the Capital.

However, this year, I decided to run the Alexandria Turkey Trot. This Turkey Trot is a 5 miler instead of a 5k. It also is a little closer to my house. I thought it would be nice to run a little further, and drive a little less. It also started at 9:00 AM, which is late for a race, but more sleep in the morning for me.

On Thanksgiving Eve, I went to the local school to pick up my bib and t-shirt. E was going to run this race with me, so I grabbed E’s bib too.

Thanksgiving morning was a cold one. It was around 30 degrees. So E and I bundled up. Other friends that were planning on running the race, bailed on us last minute because of the cold. E was really nervous about the cold, but we have run really cold races before, and I know that in the right running cold gear we would warm up quick. I have worn this hat, coat, and scarf snowboarding before, so I knew it would do the job, and keep me toasty.¬†1452077_10101469313900216_915473531_nTurkey Trots are fun because just like the Thanksgiving holiday, they too are relaxing. It’s a 5 mile turkey trot, and although, I am competitive person, I think of this as just a fun run.

There were hardly any other runners out and about, because a lot of the running community on Thanksgiving is doing some sort of Turkey Trot. I love it when the running community gets together. I also love seeing non runners and kids getting out there running. I saw Facebook statuses in which people claimed the Turkey Trot they ran yesterday was their first race. It is fun races like Turkey Trots that can help one find a passion for running. Maybe someone runs a Turkey Trot, then they love it so much, they sign up for another type of race. Then a new runner is born.

I love running! And running a Turkey Trot is my favorite part of my Thanksgiving celebration – It gets me in the spirit. Running in the morning, getting my work out in, and then filling my belly with amazing food, with great friends and family equals a perfect Thanksgiving!!

Do you run a Turkey Trot? Do you make any vegan or gluten free dishes on Thanksgiving?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Salsa Verde: a vegan recipe by an Ultra runner.

“That’s when I heard part of the secret. What we eat is a matter of life and death. Food is who we are.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†~ Scott Jurek : Eat and Run.

With all the running I have been doing, I have been busy trying to update you on that, and in the mean time have neglected posting any recipes. So here is one for you because Food is who we are…

Salsa Verde means Green Sauce.

Several countries have its own variation of it. The Italian version is made from capers and anchovies. The German version is made from hard boiled eggs. The version from Argentina is used with roasted meats. But the Mexican version is by  far my favorite and it is most likely the version you are most familiar with. Mexican Salsa Verde is made from the oh so delicious tomatillo, and is normally eaten with tortilla chips or you can find this sauce smothering your tacos at your favorite local Mexican restaurant.

One thing I want to make clear is that Salsa Verde is one of the easiest things to make, so stop buying Salsa from a jar! When you buy salsa from a jar, you don’t know what is truly in it. You can make your own Salsa, and customize it to your own taste buds, buying organic local ingredients. The best part is how FRESH your salsa will be. Tip: you can refrigerate your salsa for up to five days, or make extra, and freeze it, so you always have some on hand. (It can last in the freezer for several months.

Okay, so now that you know what Salsa Verde is, and about it’s background lets begin making it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • oil, I used olive oil, but you can use coconut or whatever you have on hand.
  • 12 medium tomatillos
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers (optional) depends on how much spice you want. Hot (2), Medium (1), Mild (0)
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Oil baking pan.
  3. Place tomatillos, garlic, onion, peppers flat in oiled baking pan. Cover with foil.
  4. Roast for 40 min. until veggies are soft and golden browns.
  5. Remove veggies from oven, peel roasted garlic.
  6. Place all veggies in food processor or blender, along with sea salt and cilantro.
  7. Blend until smooth.
  8. Serve. Enjoy.

Tip: Try this sauce warm on a sandwich, as a healthy alternative to mayo. Try this sauce chilled with tortilla chips.

Do you like Salsa Verde? What is your favorite healthy alternative to mayo?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Mermaid Farm – Raw Milk, Yogurt, Mango Lassi

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This is Mermaid Farm located on Martha’s Vineyard. If you are looking for fresh raw milk on the Island, this is where you get it. They also have yogurt and mango lassi. Yum! You don’t have to call for an appointment. When it comes to payment they are on the honor system. That way you can get what you need, when you need it.

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The idea that fat free milk is healthy for you is a myth. During processing they remove all fat and replace it with sugar/chemicals. They add 12 grams of sugar per cup to make it taste good. The American Heart Association suggests no more than 30 grams of added sugar a day. One cup of fat free milk is almost half of your added sugar intake. I don’t drink milk, but if I was going to, Raw Milk is the way to go.

Mango is one of my all time favorite summer fruit. Mango Lassi is a popular traditional yogurt drink from India. Here on the Island you can find fresh home made Mango Lassi at Mermaid Farm.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to try this, because now I am inspired to make it at home on a regular basis. I also think it would be a delicious base to my vanilla Vega Sport Protein powder.

Fall is right around the corner so it is time to squeeze in some last minute, end of the season juicing and Mango Lassi making, while the produce is still fresh and in season.

Anyway, if you are on the Island, Mermaid Farm is definitely worth the quick stop. So check it out. It only takes five minutes to grab what you need.

How do you drink your milk? Do you think dairy is healthy?

Post Workout Drink

Everyone who lifts, knows protein is the best thing for your muscles to repair and grow.  This is true, so I always try to have a protein shake with in 30 minutes after my workout. However, July is here, which means hot and steamy, air smothering days.  And although, I have found a new passion for weight lifting, my love is for running, that is where my heart is and always will be.

Week 1 of Marathon training is over. I am officially in marathon training mode. And training in this hot July weather, has made me craving something a little more refreshing then my traditional protein shake. Protein shakes are great ways to refuel, but after a run outside in the heat, my body needs hydration.

Well after flipping through the pages of my favorite cook book, Super Natural Every Day, I found the perfect drink to hydrate me post run.

Cucumber Cooler

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cucumber
  • A couple cucumber peels
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 cups of ice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • mint leaves or you can garnish with a cucumber slice or lime wedge.

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender until slushy like consistency.
  • Pour into class and Enjoy!
  • Garnish with mint, cucumber slice, or lime wedge. (Your choice)
  • Store in a pitcher in the refrigerator for up to a day or freeze as popsicles.

Cucumber is a Super food. It is a good source of silica, which helps promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. It is also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. Cucumbers are also 95% water, but always remember to chose ones that are organic because pesticides can be hard to remove from skins.

*This would also be a wonderful drink after Bikram Yoga!

Questions for You…

  1. What is your favorite post workout drink?
  2. How do you hydrate and prepare for the heat?
  3. Do you like cucumber flavored drinks?

© 2013 sweatdaily

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Alive Juices

I first learned about juicing when I read the book The Crazy Sexy Diet, by Kris Carr. Immediately after reading this book, I knew I had to try juicing. This led me to buying a juicer, purchasing organic produce, and later even growing my own organic vegetables.

Soon after learning how to make my own juices, I started to see juicing everywhere, including on Dr. Oz. It was refreshing to see that my new healthy habit became trendy and went main stream.

WHY JUICE?

The Pros
The health benefits of juicing are never ending. When you juice the organic produce’s enzyme, antioxidants, and vitamins are absorbed into the blood stream immediately. Consuming freshly juiced juice also helps balance the pH level of the body. Because these juices are normally alkaline they help eliminate any acidity and toxins.

The Cons
Even the most healthy, positive thing, has some negative traits. In order to achieve the most high quality juice, you need a cold pressed juicer. These juicers are very expensive. The more affordable juicers make fine juices, but these juices need to be drank immediately after juicing. The longer you let them sit, the more they loose their healthy benefits. Also juicing takes a lot of time, produce, money, and can be very messy.

However, these negative aspects can be eliminated with Alive Juices.

ALIVE JUICES

Alive juices

Alive Juices is a new juice company located in Washington, DC. They are unique and different from any other juice because…

  • They use USDA certified organic produced.
  • They freshly press their juices and do not pasteurize them, preserving all living nutrients and enzymes.
  • The juice recipes are NOT based on a raw food diet, but rather are based on nutritional research, which supports the combination of both raw and cooked ingredients. The goal is to ensure that all nutrients is absorbed directly by the body as efficiently as possible.
  • Alive Juices also used ingredients such as ginger, garlic and sprouts

Because of Alive Juices you can now have all the healthy benefits of juicing, but you don’t have to do any of the work.

No purchasing an expensive juicers.

No wasting your time shopping for organic ingredients.

No making the juice itself.

No cleaning up a messy kitchen.

Because, Alive Juices does all of the above and they deliver.

Alive Juice 2

MY REVIEW

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to try Alive Juices. The green one of course was my favorite. The thing that I liked best about the flavor of these juices is that they are not over powered by sweetness. The juice itself was very smooth and mild. These juices are amazing by themselves, but you could also get creative with them by blending them with your protein powder.

I am so happy Alive Juices stumbled upon my website, because their juices are amazing and they want to give you a gift. All of my readers receive 10% off their first purchase. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. And for more information on Alive Juices please check them out on Facebook.

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Get your beauty sleep!

This week I really took things easy. I needed a good long week of rest. I ran on Monday. I slept in on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

Rest is very important! I can’t stress that enough.

When you lift heavy you create little tears in your muscles. For muscle growth, these tears need to repair. Repairing happens when your body is at rest.

When you run far your body creates lactic acid, which makes muscles sore. Adequate rest and hydration helps flush the body of toxins, reducing soreness and inflammation, preventing injury.

Your body is capable of repairing itself, but it needs rest and hydration in order to do so. It is designed to repair. It wants to repair. So listen to it.

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On Friday, I’m back to grind. I hit the gym hard. It was amazing how much energy I had after a couple days of rest. I worked my back and arms, by combining super sets and active rest periods into the mix.

I have come to the conclusion that I prefer circuit training, supersets, and active rest periods, oppose to heavy lifting with less reps. Simply because it gets me a lot more sweaty. However, I know there is a time and place to do each one. If your goal is to build muscle then lift heavy with less reps. If your goal is to burn fat and build endurance then circuit training, and active rest periods are necessary.

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Always remember that when lifting heavy you should NEED to take at least a 1 minute rest period in between sets. You should feel so tired and out of breath that you need to take a rest before moving on. If you are able to move on to the next set then you are not lifting heavy enough.

MARATHON TRAINING

I have completed the Livefit trainer and because I love it so much and saw amazing results I am repeating phase 2 and 3 again. This time with a closer focus on clean eating, carb cycling, lowering my sugar intake, and upping the protein shake and water intake I am also going to customize the trainer according to what my body needs.

The plan for this coming week is to continue to take it easy with a couple of heavy lifting sessions mixed in. The reason why is because my Marathon training will be starting in a week, and I want to make sure I am physically refreshed and mentally ready.

Marathon training is going to be interesting this time around because I will be training with L. This will be her first full 26.2, so I am going to teach her everything I know about running this distance. I am also going to continue weight lifting and yoga during my training. I also want to cross train on my bike. It will be hard to juggle everything, but it will be important to do so.

I also wanted to mention that I was featured on Fit Blogger.
Please head over there and read my article.
I hope you enjoy it!

To all the Dad’s out there, including mine. I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day!

© 2013 sweatdaily

I’ve been drinking my sugar.

I don’t eat cupcakes everyday.

I don’t buy bags of candy.

I avoid cookies, brownies, other pasteries.

I never thought I had a sweet tooth, but I am discovering I actually do…

Let me explain…

I have learned tons from the Livefit trainer. Among the many things I have learned how to eat clean. Through the process of adjusting to this eat clean lifestyle, I have learned about macros, and discovered the My Fitness Pal App. This app is amazing. I’ll take anything that will help me stay organized, (my biggest weakness.) After exploring some of my favorite foods through this app, I have realized sugar is everywhere.

Sugar is necessary for good health.

So how much it too much?

How many grams of sugar does the average human need daily?

According to the American Heart Association the average women should limit their intake of sugar to 6 teaspoons, which translates to 30 grams of sugar daily. For men, AHA recommends no more than 9 teaspoons, which translates to 45 grams of sugar daily.

Now there are different types of sugar, natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables, and added sugar found in deserts, drinks, condiments, etc. This measurement the AHA is recommending is for added sugar, and this is where my problem lays. I drink a ton of tea, most of the time sweetened. I also drink a ton of sugar filled coffee drinks. So it is time to make a change.

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Over the last year I have been really good about shopping organic, cooking my own meals, meal prepping. All of this has played a major role in me seeing results. Professionals say in order to see results its 80% diet, 20% exercise. And although, I have been eating clean, what I am discovering is I am drinking my sugar.

So I am going to declare a goal/challenge. I am going to start paying closer attention to how much sugar I am getting daily, no processed sugars. I am going to give up my sugary teas/lattes for 30 days, hoping that when the 30 days are up I won’t desire them anymore. This is going to be a tough challenge for me, especially during the summer when nothing is better than having a sweet iced tea, or an iced latte. But the truth is, I rarely drink alcoholic beverages, so if I can get rid of this bad habit, I will be golden.

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On another note, I can’t believe how stupid I was. Yes, I know that Starbucks drinks are sugary, but honestly my jaw dropped when I saw how many grams were in some of these drinks. My all time favorite Chai latte has in the grande size over 40 grams of sugar, and then in the venti size 66 grams. Ugh. While people talk about cheat meals, I have been having cheat drinks.

Also, I follow tons of Fitness models and competitors on Instagram. They are a wonderful source of inspiration and information. When they are in training mode or preparing for a photo shoot, most limit their sugar intake to 30 grams or lower daily, this includes natural sugars. However, this may seem extreme to some.

So now that you know my challenge, my goal… let me tell you the game plan.

I am going to continue reading Instagram, Tumblr, blogs, books, magazines, for inspiration and information. I am going to keep my fridge stocked with healthy (natural sugars) fruit and veggies, that are colorful and in season. When I drink tea, it will be organic, fresh brewed unsweetened. If I need it flavored or sweetened, I will add fruit or mint, and only sweeten with stevia. Same for coffee drinks. I am hoping this will help limit my sugar intake, but also get me drinking more water and protein shakes.

Anyway, the other day I was craving sweets, so I decided to go shopping. I ended up picking up these colorful organic beauties.

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My favorite part about the seasons changing, is that the food changes too.

Questions for you?

  1. What is your favorite thing about the seasons changing?
  2. Do you eat too much sugar?

Join me with my challenge! We can keep each other on point. For more inspiration follow me on Instagram. 

© 2013 sweatdaily

KALE: Your New Friend with Benefits!

Hi Lovelies!

I want to share with you my favorite leafy green!

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How my friendship with Kale began…

I started eating Kale a couple years back when I first discovered Kris Carr. I read her book, Crazy Sexy Diet and watched her documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer, and was totally inspired. This book is a must read, and the documentary is a must see.

Her Story…¬†

After being diagnosed with a slow moving rare cancer that has no cure, Kris Carr used food as her medicine. She became vegan, and ate a whole food mainly raw diet, based on an alkaline PH level. She juiced everyday, slurping down healthy gorgeous green juices made from kale.

How I eat Kale…

I love juicing Kale, or mixing it in with my protein shakes. I also love adding it to salads. I actually started eating Kale so often I started growing my own. Anyway, just recently I discovered this amazing Kale recipe in the cookbook I am obsessed with, Super Natural Everyday, by Heidi Swanson.

Miso-Curry Delicata Squash

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INGREDIENTS

  • Summer Squash
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white miso
  • 1 tablespoon Thai curry paste
  • 4 medium new potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 cups chopped kale
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • Cherry tomatoes

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut squash and potatoes.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, miso, and curry paste.
  • Combine squash and potatoes with miso-curry paste. Toss.
  • Roast in a glass baking pan for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are soft.
  • Add kale, lemon juice, tomatoes, pine nuts
  • Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Let cool, add cilantro.
  • Enjoy!

This is a quick easy dish that taste amazing and is full of health benefits. This dish is organic, vegetarian/vegan. It can be eaten as a main dish or a side dish.

Questions for You…

  1. How do you eat kale?
  2. What is your favorite leafy green?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Clean Eating…

Keep-it-simple.-Eat-clean.5
So Lets talk about Eating Clean…

Eating Clean: To eat organic whole foods.  To eat 5-6 small well balanced meals a day,  consisting of a protein (does not have to be animal flesh) and complex carb. in 2-3 hour intervals. The idea is to fire up the metabolism, providing energy, and promoting weight loss.

 

eatclean

I have been really cleaning up my diet since the beginning of 2012. I would have to say I eat clean 80% of the time, so it is still something I am working on. The transition of Eating Clean is not the easiest or cheapest alternative, but it is totally worth it.  It makes you feel good Рfull of energy, and it taste amazing.

As you may know, my clean eating lifestyle began with the 2012 New Year’s resolution – To try one unique exotic food once a week.¬†This got me shopping at organic markets and local farmers markets. This led me to read books such as ¬†Skinny Bitches, The Eat Clean Diet, and¬†The Crazy Sexy Diet¬†which led me to buying a juicer. Which led me to start a veggie garden. Which led me to cook more vegetarian and vegan meals. Which led me to research more, read more, seek more knowledge.

 

eatclean2

All of this led me to crave a stronger body, in order to enhance myself as a runner. Now I am running further, faster, stronger. Eventually, this led me to start the Livefit trainer, which taught me how to meal prep. Which also taught about supplements and protein shakes. Which also taught me about calorie counting and carb-cycling. Which led me to using a kitchen scale, and measuring out my food. (I am not that picky though, and don’t always measure everything, but the point is I have the knowledge now, and tools, to do this if I desire too.)

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Side note: (Although, I would like to point out that, I do not label myself as vegetarian or vegan. I would rather choose the purest form of food, the highest quality of food, the lesser of two evils. And take note on this, that in some cases the vegan option can be just as highly processed. For example, I would rather eat a local organic egg, then a highly processed powder egg substitute that is vegan. )

Which ever nutritional lifestyle you choose, whether Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, High Protein, when it comes down to it, most nutritional lifestyles include organic non-processed foods.

So start eliminating those processed foods from your diet today. Start eating clean. Trust me it is worth it!

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Oatcakes

Many coffee shops in San Francisco sells oatcakes.” – Heidi Swanson from Cookbook, Super Natural Every Day.

As long as I can remember, I have always loved oatmeal. As a child, I ate the sugar filled, fruit flavored, instant kind. However, now that I am eating clean, I have found a new love for organic rolled oats. I have been using these oats to make fresh homemade Muesli, Oatmeal, Granola made from scratch, and now Oatcakes.

Oats have a ton of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels. It is a great source of fiber, and very heart healthy.  You should definitely consider adding oats to your regular diet, and you can start today by making these Oatcakes.

oat cakes final

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup dried apricot, chopped ( I added this)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • butter
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 natural cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • wheat germ (I added this)

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 325 F
  • Combine oats, flour, baking powder, salt, flax seeds, walnuts, wheat germ, apricots in a large mixing bowl.oatcakes mixture
  • In a medium pan over low heat combine coconut oil, butter, maple syrup,and sugar and slowly melt.oatcakes butter
  • Pour the heated mixture over the dry mixture add two eggs, mix well.oat cakes mix
  • Spoon the dough mixture into muffin cup tray, almost filling cups full.¬†oatcakes muffin
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, let cool, and enjoy!oat cakes final

I have been enjoying these in the morning time, before or after a work out. I have also carried these around with me to snack during the day. You will love these, I promise.

What is your favorite way to eat or use rolled oats?

© 2013 sweatdaily

I was in a Sweet and Spicy kinda mood!

Today…

I ran.

I bought groceries.

I gardened.

Today…

Although, I did all of the above, I will admit, I spent most of my day playing in my kitchen…

I was in a Sweet and Spicy kind of mood…

so I baked these…

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These are homemade Ginger Cookies, from my favorite cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson. If you have been following my blog, then this book will be familiar to you, for I have shared with you several of her recipes. She’s the best!

Sweet Tooth

Because I am an endurance athlete, I normally crave healthy fats and salty food. However, sometimes, I desperately desire something sweet – I am human.

Ginger and Cacao

Along with sweet, my all time favorite ingredient is ginger! I love, love, love ginger – can’t even express how much. Ginger also has many health benefits, including being an anti-inflammatory, and improving digestive health. Lately, I have been cooking with it quite a bit. So when I came across this recipe, I just had to try it. This recipe also includes Cacao, which is known for being rich with disease fighting antioxidants. I am a chocolate lover, so this was definitely a plus. I mean, if I am going to indulge in something sweet, I want ¬†to go all out, and have a pastry made from high quality ingredients. I also think everything taste better when you cook or bake it yourself. It is true, give it a try.

So here we go…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao)
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2/3 sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 cup dried apricots chopped

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Shave chocolate into large bowl.shaved choco

shave chocolate

 

  • In another large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt.¬†ginger cookies flour
  • Heat butter, molasses, sugar and fresh ginger in a pan on medium heat.¬†molassesginger
  • beat egg, mix into warm mixture in pan. Note: The yolk is very deep in color, because they are organic and from a local east coast farm. It makes a big difference in flavor.¬†eggs
  • Chop dried apricots.apricots
  • Pour mixture from stove over flour mixture. Add apricots. Stir.
  • Stir in chocolate.chocolate
  • Scoop dough with a spoon and roll into little balls. I dipped every other dough ball into sugar. Place each dough ball onto parchment paper cookie sheet.¬†cookies 2
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool. Enjoy!Cookies

These Ginger Cookies definitely met all of my standards. They are made from all of the highest quality organic ingredients. They not only taste amazing because I made them from scratch myself, but they also made my whole house smell sweet and spicy.

So if you are in a sweet and spicy kinda mood… these are a must try!

What Sweet and Spicy combos are your favorite?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Vegan Strawberry Waffles

“That’s when I heard part of the secret. What we eat is a matter of life and death. Food is who we are.” ¬† ¬†–¬†words of wisdom by Scott Jurek

Along with doing Jamie Eason’s, Livefit trainer, I am currently reading Eat and Run, by Scott Jurek. I have to get my run fix in somehow, and because Phase 1 of livefit bands running, I decide to read about ultrarunning.

Eat and Run, is about Scott Jurek’s life as a ultramarathon runner and his transition of becoming a vegan. This book is perfect for me because I too am a runner, who eats mostly a plant based diet. I am always challenging myself to cook as many vegan dishes as possible, and this book is full of amazing recipes.

I plan on trying every recipe in this book, and ¬†so far I have tried the Vegan Chili, and the Apple Cinnamon Granola. What I love most about his recipes is how full and satisfied you feel after eating them. When people think of vegan meals, most of the time they think it will be a light meal, lacking protein – but that doesn’t have to be the case. Scott Jurek doesn’t just proof that, but he out does himself with each new recipe I try.

Today, I attended my friend’s baby shower, which in our world, is translated into a vegan brunch. So I woke up early to prepare the food I was bringing. Normally I don’t plan ahead, but because others would be eating my food, I decided to test it first. So earlier this past week I whipped up a batch of Scott Jurek’s Vegan Strawberry Pancakes.

“Then one Sunday morning, after a 20 mile run… I served them my first batch of banana-strawberry vegan pancakes. They were golden brown and sweet dense, and hearty. The fruit flavors met on my tongue, then tangled together in a way fruit flavors had never done before. That is when I decided I could live without butter and eggs. ” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† – Scott Jurek

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour (I didn’t have this one, so I just omitted it and added extra oat flour.)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour. (I used a 1/2 a cup of oat flour to make up for the buckwheat flour I didn’t have.)
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup rye flour
  • 1/4 cup barley flour
  • 1/4 cup corn meal (You can use either yellow corn or blue.)
  • 1/4 ground flax seed or chai seed (I used flax seeds and ground them up in food processor.)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 cups of rice milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • strawberries and bananas (I used fresh strawberries not bananas, but you can do any fruit you would like or add nuts.)
  • wheat germ¬†(I added this, for additional nutrition.)
  • maple syrup for topping

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine flours, baking powder, salt, wheat germ, and ground seeds in a large mixing bowl.¬†pancakes
  • Add rice milk, olive oil, agave nectar, and vanilla. Mix well.pancakes2
  • Grease a skillet with coconut oil and heat for 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour 1/2 -3/4 cup of bater onto the skillet for each pancake.pancakes3
  • Cook until golden brown and then flip.
  • Top with strawberry or maple syrup or both. I made strawberry topping by throwing a bunch of strawberries in a food processor.¬†pancakes4

I was beyond impressed with this batter, however for the baby shower, aka, the vegan brunch, I used the same batter recipe, but made waffles instead. The reason I went for the waffle over the pancake is simply because it looks prettier. I guess it is my artist side coming out, but no matter what I make or create it has to be visually beautiful. And although, Scott Jurek made pancakes, my pancakes always look sloppy, while my waffles always look perfect. waffles

At the brunch everyone loved the waffles.

As for a brunch beverage, I juiced a bunch of minneolas. Minneolas is a fruit that is part of the citrus family. It is a mix between a grapefruit and tangerine. They are very juicy, so they make for a good fruit to juice. I bought them fresh and organic from MOM’s organic market. One of the employes there let me sample one, to make sure it was sweet and not sour. They ended up being very sweet and made a wonderful juice.

juice

Both the batter and the juice are two recipes that you have to try.

Questions for You?

  1. What is your favorite fruit juice?
  2. Do you like pancakes or waffles better?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Farro Soup

Today, I woke up totally disappointed, to cold and fog, but it later cleared up and the sun came out, so of course I went for a run. Then once I got home, I started to cook up a storm. The first thing I baked was granola from scratch. (I will write a granola post tomorrow.) The second thing I made was an amazing vegan/vegetarian soup that even my boyfriend, the meat eater, gobbled up.

As you may know, soups are one of my favorite things to cook and eat. Soups can be so hearty and satisfying. They can warm you up on a cold winter day. They can cure the common cold.

This soup recipe is called Farro Soup, from my favorite cook book, Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson. If you don’t already have this cook book, you should get it asap. It is a must have… a kitchen essential.

Of course I put my own little twist on the recipe, so it is not exactly the same as the one from the cook book.

INGREDIENTS 

  • olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled, diced
  • 3 large carrots peeled, diced (This is not part of the original recipe. I added these. I love carrots in soup.)
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Indian curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon¬†turmeric powder¬†(This is not part of the original recipe.)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder¬†(This is not part of the original recipe.)
  • a handful or semi-pearled farro
  • A little more than 1 cup of black lentils
  • 6-7 cups of water
  • 2 cubes of vegan¬†vegetable bouillon
  • greek yogurt
  • lemon juice
  • lemon zest

DIRECTIONS

  • Add onions, sweet potatoes, carrots to a large soup pot, with heated olive oil.soup
  • When veggies are soft and golden add curry powder, turmeric, cumin, salt.soup2
  • Add 6-7 cups of water and 2 cubes of vegan vegetable bouillon.
  • Add farro and lentils.
  • Bring broth to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.soup3
  • Taste and season with more salt if needed. Taste and make sure farro and lentils are fully cooked.
  • In a side bowl, add yogurt, squeeze lemon, and stir.
  • Serve soup, top with lemon yogurt and sprinkle lemon zest.

    The Final result!

    The Final result!

This soup is super quick and really simple to make. It is also really hearty, super satisfying, extremely healthy, and very delicious. It is vegetarian, but if you are vegan omit the yogurt step.

© 2013 sweatdaily

Beans magically transformed into Vegan Chili

A couple Saturdays ago, I woke up to a gray sky and a light dusting of snow. Immediately, I felt like comfort food, but along with comfort food comes the butter, gravy, FAT. Finding something that would satisfy my craving for comfort, warm me up, but still be healthy, became my saturday mission.

My boyfriend had mentioned that Chili sounded really good, and that there was no need to run to the grocery store for ingredients. Among his stash of canned soup, canned fruit, and jarred spaghetti sauces, he had a gigantic can of chili waiting to be opened and warmed up in the microwave.

YUCK! Absolutely NOT! ¬†There is little to none, nutritional value in any canned goods.¬†¬†I don’t eat anything canned.¬†Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would. Making soups and sauces are not only my favorite things to cook, but it is also one of the easiest things to cook.

So that snowy morning, I went to MOM’s Organic Market to pick up the ingredients I would need to make my homemade Chili.

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I used the recipe Spicy Heirloom Been Chili from Rachael Tibbits as a reference. I did change it up a bit to put my own twist on things.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of dried beans
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions diced
  • 1 green pepper
  • garlic cloves diced or minced
  • carrots
  • sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 28 oz. (In this case, it is okay to use a can, but only here. Canned tomatoes are full of flavor.)
  • chipotle in adobo peppers, diced. (I used 2. But use as many as you would like. The more you use the more smoky hot your chili will be. Illuminate seeds to reduce spice.)
  • 1 tbsp. of raw cocoa powder
  • lime
  • cilantro
  • harissa

DIRECTIONS: Vegan Chili

  • When it comes to dry beans, it is better to soak them over night. However, if you didn’t plan in advance, you can fill 2 cups of dry beans, whichever you like or have on hand, with 4 cups of water. Tip you can also use a dry bean soup mix.bean soup
  • Do not salt the beans. Bring that water to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Try a few beans ¬†to make sure they are tender.
  • When beans are tender drain any extra water.
  • In a separate skillet, heat olive oil, saute onions, green pepper, and garlic over medium heat.

chili 1

  • Add sweet potatoes and carrots to onions.

chili 2

  • When tender and golden brown add these to the pot of beans.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, oregano.
  • Add 1 cup water.
  • Add tomatoes.
  • Add diced up chipotle in adobo.
  • Add cocoa.
  • Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Serve, topping the dish off with lime, cilantro, and harissa.

chili 6

The finished result.

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So my boyfriend refused to eat vegan chili so I had to make him a side of meat. This is how I added meat to his meal with out contaminating my vegan chili.

DIRECTIONS: A side of meat for the meat lover!

The ingredients for this was bought at the local grocery store, not an organic market.

  • Fry bacon over the stove in a large skillet. Once bacon is crispy remove from heat and set aside. Pat dry access oil.¬†
  • In the same skillet, saute diced onions, green peppers, and garlic.
  • Add corn.
  • Add ground beef
  • Once everything is cooked add bacon in cut up pieces.

chili 4

  • For your meat lover. Put meat mixture at the bottom of a bowl. Layer it with the Vegan Chili. Top off with cheese and sour cream.

chili 5

BEANS I use to hate them…

It is funny how our taste buds change, or maybe, it is just our personalities maturing, but as a young adult I never cared much for beans. I never liked Chili. I never put beans in my burritos. When eating out at a Mexican restaurant, I always substituted my side of beans for an extra side of rice. However, now that I am eating mostly a plant based diet, I am exploring the wide variety of beans that are out there. And the more I branch out the more I am finding that I am not only enjoying them, but actually loving them.

Also beans are super nutritious. They are low in Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Cholesterol. They are a good source of Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, and Potassium. They are rich in Protein and Fiber.  They are also a mild inflammatory. Lean the difference nutritional value between canned beans vs. dried beans here.

As you may know, ever since I bought the cookbook Super Natural Every Day, I am now currently obsessed with recipes by Heidi Swanson. ¬†One of my favorite quotes of the book is…

“I like to get to know each individual type of bean, and when I’m trying a new one, I prepare it simply so I can acquaint myself with its unique flavor, texture, and personality. This helps me develop a sense of what I might do the next time to highlight the uniqueness of the bean. Some beans are thin-skinned, some are thick, some lend themselves to a pureed soup, while some are better whole.”

This year as I continue on with my last year’s New Years resolution- trying one unique food a week. I am now going to try more varieties of dry organic beans. I have a feeling that this will lead me to many stored mason jars of different types. Call me a nerd, or maybe I am becoming a true foodie.¬†Who knew my interest in vegan cooking and nutrition would lead me to a collection of beans.

Questions for You…

  1. What is your favorite comfort food?
  2. What is your favorite beans?

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