Vegan Chocolate Nog Truffles 


Because of the dramatic Election, the holidays seem to have been overshadowed. Is this how everyone feels? Or is it just me because I live in Washington, DC. Well, we can not forget them! Thanksgiving is approaching – it’s next week. To get in the holiday spirit, I have been making Truffles. These Chocolate Nog Truffles cane from a recipe I found in Veg News. They are spiked with spicy rum and nutmeg. They scream, “It’s the Holidays!” They are also really easy to make, I promise.

Here is what you need…

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 3 3/4 cups powder sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons dark or spicy rum
  • 1/2 cup sliver or chopped almonds
  • 2 cups vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegan shortening
  • Roasted almonds or toasted coconut flakes for garnish.

Here is what you do…

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Using a handheld mixer, cream butter. Add powder sugar and nutmeg. Beat until coarse crumbs form. Slowly pour in rum and bear until fluffy. Fold in sliver or chopped almonds. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Line baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Remove mixture from refrigerator and use hands to roll into truffle balls. Place balls on to baking sheet and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. In a double broiler over medium heat melt chocolate and shortening. Stir and combine. 
  4. Remove truffle balls from refrigerator. Using a fork slowly lift truffle ball from baking sheet and dip it in the melted chocolate mixture.
  5. Once all the truffles are covered with chocolate top each truffle with a roasted almond or toasted coconut. 
  6. Place back in the refrigerator and let cool until chocolate mixture has harden into a shell. 
  7. Share with friends and family. Enjoy! 

I brought these Truffles into work and everyone loved them. These would also be great to bring to any holiday party. 

What is your favorite holiday snack, dessert, or dish? Has anyone made Truffles before? 

copyright 2016 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

 

Butternut Bisque with Coconut Swirl

Besides running and cheering on the marathoners. I have been cooking and eating. It is my all time favorite season. The leaves are changing. The air is comfortably breezy and crisp. Lucky us! ¬†We have been having some absolutely beautiful FALL days here in Washington, DC. And although it hasn’t been too cold yet, I am still craving everything fall.

One thing that defines fall is butternut squash. When I was growing up it was a special treat that my mom made only at Thanksgiving, but now it is a staple in my house. I love everything about it. I eat it all different ways, but my favorite way is in soup form. That is why when I came across the Butternut Bisque recipe in the cookbook Isa Does It, I knew I had to make it asap, plus its Vegan!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • oil (olive oil or coconut oil)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 sea salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you desire)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk (extra for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS

ROAST SQUASH

TIP: (you can do cook the squash in advanced, and the soup will come together in 20 minutes.)

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut the squash in half.
  • Remove seeds.
  • Brush the parchment paper with olive oil or coconut oil and place the squash pieces cut side down.
  • Roast for 45 mins. until squash is tender.
  • After squash is cooked let cool and continue with the soup recipe. If you are making squash in advanced, refrigerate the squash until ready to use.

LETS MAKE THE SOUP

  • Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium heat, add coconut oil.
  • Cut up onion, and add to the pot, saute until caramelized.
  • Add ginger.
  • Add garlic.
  • Mix in red pepper flakes
  • Add white wine and deglaze bottom of the pan, by scraping with a wooden spoon.
  • Peel and scoop squash.
  • Add squash to the pot.
  • Add vegetable broth (if you don’t have vegetable broth on hand you can use water.)
  • Add coconut milk.
  • Add maple syrup.
  • Add lime juice.
  • After everything is heated all the way through, add soup to you Vitamix. I actually use the soup setting, which continues to heat everything. Blend until smooth. If you are using a Vitamix it shouldn’t take long.
  • Pour bisque into a bowl, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and swirl coconut milk on top.
  • Enjoy!

What is you favorite way to eat butternut squash. I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you think about this recipe. 

© 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

 

I don’t like labels.

Last weekend, I went to DC VegFest. It was totally cool hanging out with all of those vegans and vegetarians. ¬†The Veg community¬†is a very friendly group, and most wanted to know my story. I was asked by a couple different people, ¬†“What brought you to VegFest today? Are you vegan?”

My answer to that questions is…

No. I don’t feel it comfortable or necessary to label myself as anything. I don’t want to follow rigid rules of any kind, when it comes to food – I am too much of a foodie to be so restrictive and disciplined. I simply want to eat a healthy well balanced diet – full of color, flavor, and texture. And although, I eat and cook mostly organic plant based, I¬†am opened minded, adventurous, and willing to explore all different types of food lifestyles.

I recently found my new favorite blog called, My New Roots. When reading Sarah’s (the owner of the blog) About page, I thought to myself, ” Wow! She nailed it. This is exactly how I feel.”

Sarah says, “The only label I‚Äôll slap on myself is ‚Äúwhole-food-lover.” Nothing makes me feel better, think better, and look better than whole foods! And the big bonus? I¬†never¬†count calories or worry about my weight because I know that if I eat this way, my body will be in a perfect state of balance and health, naturally.”

I agree with her 100%. Although, my diet is mainly plant based, consisting of veggies, fruit, grains, beans, quinoa, nuts and seeds, I still can not label myself as vegetarian or vegan.¬†There has been weeks in which I have gone meatless, but there are days you can find me eating a greek yogurt. ¬†I absolutely love eggs and eat them a couple times a week. I also can’t live without fish. My favorite thing about summer time is eating a Maryland crab feast or a Lobster bake on Martha’s Vineyard.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, your main priority is eliminating all animal products. But the most important thing to me is that everything I eat is organic and whole. It is a very rare day, if you find me eating something that is not organic. I avoid GMOs and processed foods. I try to buy everything from local farms, and eat seasonally. If I am eating eggs, they are from cage free hens eating an organic feed. When I eat fish, I only eat wild caught. And on the rare occasion that I eat dairy or any other animal product, it must be treated as humanely as possible, free of antibiotics and hormones.

There are times in which I love labels, and there are times in which I hate them. There are some labels that are simple, while others are more complicated. The times in which I love them is when they are simple and define ones identity. The times in which I hate them are when they are complicated and become stereotypes.  I can label myself as a marathon runner, simply because I run marathons. But, I can not label myself as vegan or vegetarian, although I often cook and eat that way.

I bought this pendant from a vendor at VegFest…

 

Plant Strong 2Plant Strong

 

It says, Plant Strong.

So if I must come up with a label, Plant Strong is a pretty awesome one. I also love the label that Sarah from My New Roots came up with РWhole Food Lover.  Add organic to it and slap it on me.

What’s your label?¬†

© 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

DC VegFest

Today was a fun and fulfilling Saturday.

The sun was shining and there wasn’t a drop of humidity in the air. It was the perfect day for a quick five mile loop around the monuments. 10653611_10102009897351646_5078060190360476724_nI wore my new running shoes, Newton Gravity. I also wore my new running watch, Garmin 620. It was my absolute first time wearing the watch and I loved it. ¬†However,¬†I will be writing a detailed review on the Garmin 620 later this week so stay tuned.

10702231_10102009114106276_1414548754899070551_nThen it was off to DC VegFest

The DC VegFest was located in South East DC at the Yards Park right along the river. Growing up in the DC area, South East was a part of the city you always tried to avoid, it was poor and dangerous. But now, it tells a different story. The famous Eastern Market is located in South East, and eastern market is one of my favorite markets in the area. There are also some really cool bars and restaurants on the neighboring streets.

But today, the VegFest took me to another area in South East. I would have never thought to go down to the waterfront. Wow! Things are changing everyday. Check out how cool the South East waterfront is…

dc water

DC waterfront

DC water rest

After walking around the waterfront my friend and I headed over to DC VegFest. 10625143_10102009396749856_5438624594030666857_n

DC VegFest

DC Veg Fest

At the DC VegFest, there were some fabulous vendors, delicious plant based food, free samples, and amazing guest speakers.

SPEAKERS

I didn’t get to see all of the¬†speakers, but I saw a couple. They discussed the health benefits of living a vegan lifestyle. They also touched on politics, and environmental reasons for becoming vegan. They touched on animal cruelty, and some told their personal stories of why they went veg. The last speaker of the event was actually on the October cover of Runner’s World, wearing vegan compression socks.

VENDORS

Veg Fest soapsThere were some awesome vendors at the festival, but this soap vendor was by far my favorite. I have been using this sugar based shower gel from Blue Mercury which has been irritating my skin. Sugar is bad for you in every way.¬†¬†So when I saw this vendor, I thought perfect just what I needed. Buying soap here, saved me a trip to Sephora or Blue Mercury. All of the soap is free of animal products and both of the bars of soap I purchased have coconut oil in them. Coconut oil is my new obsession… (I will be writing a detailed post on the health benefits later this week so stay tuned.) The only negative thing I saw is that some of the soaps contain palm oil. Palm oil is in everything, and although it is not an animal product, it is not very vegan. Palm Tree farms in South East Asia, are taking away food and habitats from Elephant, Tigers, and many other animals. Anyway, I went home with two soaps a coconut one and and oatmeal one. The coconut soap is free of palm oil, but the oatmeal one may have some small amounts. Unfortunately, palm oil is hard to avoid.

FOODVeg Fest lunch

Going Veg is all about eating your veggies. If you go to DC VegFest next year, make sure you come with an appetite. There were tons of amazing food vendors and food trucks. A lot of the vendors only took cash, so make sure you bring cash. However, there are ATMs for those who forget. The food ranged from pizza to Indian, Ethiopian to mexican. There were sweets, and southern cooking, even greek.

Overall, I enjoyed DC VegFest!

I highly recommend VegFest for anyone who is already living a plant based lifestyle, and for those who are just interested to see what it is all about. At DC VegFest I learned a little more about animal cruelty, politics, and the environment. I also got the chance to eat some awesome plant based food, while learning how I can help create a better food system for the USA. And in my eyes, at the end of the day that is the most important thing. You are what you eat.

‚ÄúThat‚Äôs when I heard part of the secret. What we eat is a matter of life and death. Food is who we are.‚ÄĚ ¬†~ Scott Jurek

Stay tuned for some upcoming posts…

  1. Review on Garmin 620
  2. Coconut oil health benefits.

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Curry Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potatoes!

I love mixing the sweet flavor of sweet potatoes with salty and spicy. So when I came across the recipe, curry sweet potato fries, in the cookbook Isa Does It… I was thrilled.

This recipe is simple, delicious, and addicting. It is also vegan for all those who eat plant based.

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Ingredients
1) sweet potatoes (as many as you want)
2) olive oil
3) sweet curry powder (Penzeys Brand)
4) sea salt

Directions
1) Wash, peel, cut sweet potatoes in to thin pieces.
2) Place sweet potato wedges on cook sheet.
3) Smother sweet potatoes with olive oil.
4) Liberally sprinkle with curry powder and sea salt.
5) Bake in 400 F preheated oven.
6) Bake for 30 mins or until tender. Cook longer if you want crispy.

Enjoy!

Do you like sweet potatoes? How do you like to prepare your sweet potatoes?

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

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

Race Report: Marine Corps Marathon

“Whatever song you have in your head had better be a good one. Whatever story you are telling yourself had better be a story about going on. There is no room for negativity. The reason most people quit has nothing to do with their body.” ~ Scott Jurek¬†

Below is the song I had in my head, the story I told myself. Below is my experience running my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon, revealing everything to you, including my mental strategies.

NIGHT BEFORE

Around 10:00 pm, I read the Marine Corps Marathon Facebook page status. It said something along the lines of, “It’s bed time! Sleep Tight runners.” I laughed at the idea – no one sleeps well the night before a big race.

I curled up in bed, everything prepared exactly the way I wanted it, totally ready for race day. My alarm was set for 6:00 am, but I knew I would wake up before it went off. I wasn’t nervous, I was more excited and anxious. It was definitely bitter sweet, this marked the end of my marathon training, and when I woke in the morning, it would be the beginning of my race day.

MORNING OF 

As I predicted, I tossed and turned through out the night, checking the clock. At 5:50 am, the text messages started. Friends and family wishing me good luck for my big race. I turned off my phone alarm and headed to the bathroom where all my race stuff was laid out. After getting dressed in my race clothes, body gliding everything including the bottom of my feet (my problem area), I grabbed my bag, my Garmin, my iPod, my peanut butter sandwich, and a bottle of water, then I was off to my mom’s.

I arrived at her place, at 6:30 am, gave her a map of the course and a game plan of where to meet me through out the race. My little sister, even rolled out of bed to give me a quick pep talk, it was super helpful. I was already starting to feel pumped.

THE METRO 

Mom gave me a ride to the metro. And when entering the metro, I started to see all the other runners, what a relief, how exciting. MCM METRO¬†I got off at the pentagon, and just followed the crowd to the start. The sun started to rise, and the Marines were there, (and they were cuter than ever) welcoming us, and hollering, “Good morning, runners!!”

Because of Boston, security was tight, everyone had to have a clear see through bag, but the Marines kept it organized and checked bags quickly.

At this point it was 7:20 am, so I stripped down- peeling off my sweats. I checked my bag with the UPS trucks, stuffing everything except for my phone and sports beans into my bag and then handed it over. I was wearing shorts and a tank top and people began to comment, “Wow, looking at you makes me cold.” I answered back,” I am more concerned about overheating and being hot.” I had thought about wearing an old shirt, and old socks on my hands as gloves, but honestly, I didn’t think it was that cold out there, and I knew it would warm up quick. I saw people wearing long pants, hats, ear muffs – I thought they were crazy. It’s not January guys.

MY CORRAL

So I headed down to my corral. The last two times I ran this race I stood with the 4:30 group. This time I wanted to try to hang with the 4:15 group as long as I could. This race has 30,000 runners, so it is going to be packed, crowded. My sister thought it would be best to start with the 4:30 group so that way I wouldn’t go out too fast in the beginning. I however, was planning on running most of the race at a consistent pace that would get me to the finish line, with a new PR, which meant anything faster than a 4:30, but I was hoping for around a 4:15, and because of how crowded it can get I didn’t want to get stuck running to slow in the beginning. So my advice to you, when running in a crowded race, and you are debating between corrals, start with the faster one.

Once in my corral, I spotted the 4:15 pacer, she had a sign with red and white balloons. MCM 415¬†My plan was to run my own race, but keep my eye on her through out the race. I had my Garmin, and I had a pace bracelet (which I highly recommend), both of these would help me finish strong, with a new PR, so if I lost sight of the pacer, it wouldn’t ruin my race, plus she was passing the start line before I would be.

THE START

In the past, right before the gun went off, they would announce that, “The Marines are watching over you, on the ground and in the sky,” then they would fly military jets over our heads. This year they had people sky dive in to the corse. Everyone had their phones out trying to video tape and get photos, trying to capture the moment. It was really cool,creating an excited energy. Everyone was jumping up and down, and ready to cross over that start line. The gun went off at 7:55. At 8:10, I was across the start line, my Garmin was ticking.

FIRST 2 MILES

Down 110, up through Rosslyn, up the Lee Highway hill… Then on the right hand side, around mile 2, outside my sister’s apartment, I spotted my mom, Erik, Erik’s mom, my sister, and her friend Erin. They cheered loud, I cheered back, waving and continued on my way. They had really funny signs, that got them tons of attention.

MCM EM AND SIGNS

MILES 3-9

Down Spout run, up to the Key bridge, over the bridge, down M street, down Wisconsin. George Town was fun and full of spectators. Then to the waterfront, up Rock Creek park, I ran.

Running up Rock Creek was a new part of the course. It was fun to run up, and then see the faster runners running down. The loop around was a little congested, though, and then it took a little while for people ahead of me to pick up their pace. I guess people don’t run fast down, the down hills, but I like to, that is part of my strategy – as long as you don’t pound the pavement and you stay light on your feet, use momentum and physics to fly down the down hills.

MILE 10-12

Before I knew it I was at mile 10. This marathon was flying by. I checked my watch, I started to get concerned maybe I was running too fast. But I was right on time.

My family was suppose to meet me at mile 11, but around 10.5 I saw my sister sprinting next to me. What the heck… She screamed at me, that I had missed them and that instead of being at mile 11 they were at 10. She asked me if I had been receiving her text messages. I ended up moving my cell phone from my back pocket to my sports bra, so I would be able to read and respond to her text messages. Haha, I can’t believe I was texting and running – too funny.

HALF WAY DONE – Mile 13.1

The next mile marker my sister would be at was mile 16. She would text me when she got to her exact location. Next, significant mile marker I was passing was 13.1. I couldn’t believe I was already at the half way point. And while I was there, down in Hains Point, I realized I was running right behind the 4:15 pacer, balloons and sign. I turned off my music to listen to her pep talk.

THE PEP TALK

“We are not going to think that we still have a half marathon to run, but instead we are going to break the rest of this race up in pieces.” Perfect I thought, that was one of my original game plans. She continued,”First we are going to think about getting through these next two miles and making it to mile 15. Once we are at mile 15, we will be out of Hains Point, which means we will be out of this stupid park.” I couldn’t help but laugh, because it was so true, no one running the Marine Corps Marathon, likes running Haines Point. “Once we are at mile 15, we will be running on the National Mall. At mile 15, we will think about getting through the next 2 miles and making it to mile 17. This mile is a significant meaningful mile in a marathon because it takes us into signal digits.” Perfect that was another mental strategy I had been practicing. Then she told us, “From 17 we will run the next three miles and make it to mile 20, then we will beat the bridge and head out of DC and into Crystal City.” She told us she would stop talking now, and give us another pep talk on the bridge. Some guy who was totally out of breath desperately said, “Just get us there!” Haha this pacer has a lot of people depending on her. I loved her pep talk, it definitely motivated me, but I didn’t desperately need her to get me to the finish line. Her pep talk was helpful and got me even more mentally focused, but I still wanted to stick to my game plan, and watching my Garmin, running my own race.

MILE 15 

I then felt a vibration, and read a text from my sports bra. Em was waiting for me at mile 16 right passed the water station. I was at mile 15, I had easily made it out of the oh so boring Hains Point. I was running towards mile 16.

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MILE 16

Just like she said, I spotted Em right passed the water station at mile 16. Erin snapped a photo of the two of us.

MCM MILE 16

They were impressed with my timing, and told me that they would meet me in Crystal City next to the Cosi. So off I went.

MILE 17

I had made it to mile 17, and thought, single digits, single digits, 9 more to go. I was feeling great!

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MILE 18-20

I kept running, checking my pace bracelet, checking my Garmin, jamming out to my iPod. Then I realized I was leaving the National Mall, and approaching the 14th street bridge. I had made it to mile 20.

MCM BRIDGE

BEAT THE BRIDGE

In my previous Marine Corps Marathon, a Marine stands at mile 20, the start of the bridge, and he yells, “Mile 20, beat the bridge.” This year the Marines were there but they didn’t say anything. I was a little disappointed, but I kept my head focused. The bridge is almost 2 miles long. It can be super sunny and hot, or really windy and cold. This time around it was sunny and hot. This is also the spot where there are normally no spectators. It is just too tricky for spectators to get on the bridge. Ironically though, there were more this year, than the previous times I have run it. But because there aren’t that many spectators, this is the spot that a lot of runners, begin to walk, or stretch.

HITTING THE WALL

They stretch and walk, because they just ran 20 miles and no one is up there to see them walk. This is the spot that runners “Hit the wall.” I on the other hand was not hitting the wall, I was determined to beat the bridge. I stayed focused and promised myself I would not walk. I just wanted to run the bridge and get to the next water station. Plus I had just passed mile 21, only 5 more to go…

MILE 21

Mile 21 is a significant mile for me, because my longest run in training is a 21 mile run. (This year it might have been 22) During my weekly marathon training, I do a 5 mile easy run. When I hit mile 21 in my marathon, I told myself, “Only 5 mile to go, my five mile easy run.”

MILE 22

Finally, I got off the bridge. I was out of DC and in VA. At mile 22, I decided to take some sports beans and walk the water station. But I didn’t hang there too long, I started running again, and told myself that I need to get to Cosi, to find Em. I kept my eyes open for other people I recognized, but I didn’t see anyone.

MILE 23

Em was right where she said she would be, she is really good at spotting me. She jumped in just as we had planned. She was going to run the last 3.2 miles with me. She was going to be my Dusty. I was excited to have a buddy pace me to the finish line, especially since mile 23 was when I started to feel tired, and blistery on my left foot.

Lululemon was also cheering in Crystal City.  Along with some really funny signs, their energy made me get a second wind.

MCM COOL SIGN

As we ran, through Crystal City Em, told me that mom, Erik, and Erik’s mom were standing out front of Legal Seafood. They had changed the course from the previous years, and instead of looping all around Crystal Drive, we ran Crystal Drive and then turned up 23rd, passed Legal Seafood. I didn’t look at the corse map too closely, so this was a surprise to me, but it made more since and I liked it better.

Once I saw my family, I waved to them as they took my picture, and they screamed, “See ya at the Finish line.”

The finish line would be my last and final stop. I grabbed one last water cup at the final station, popped some sports beans, and told Em, “Let’s get this bad boy done.” She ran a little ahead of me, but I was totally fine with chasing her, it made me try to keep up my pace, blisters and all.

MILE 24

At mile 24, I though only 2 more miles. I will be done with my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon in less then 20 minutes. Although that seemed so short, at the same time the finish line seemed so far.

ONE MOE MILE

But just like in my previous two MCM, I saw the road sign that said, Memorial Bridge Exit. “Just get to that sign,” I thought. Then I was there. The next road sign I read said, Iwo Jima Memorial. “Just get to that road sign,” I thought. Then I was there. I made a left and saw the hill. Em wanted me to sprint up the hill as fast as I could. I had run this hill thousands of times before, because it is a part of one of my regular weekly running routes. I was familiar with this hill and new the finish line was right after it. So I ran as fast as I could up the Iwo Jima hill. And then, to the right of the hill, there it was the Finish line.

MCM race times

I had crossed over the finish line, finishing my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon, 11 minutes faster then my previous. My official time was 4:19:26. I had finished, I had set a new PR, and couldn’t have been happier!

THE FINISH – 26.2

Marines were there to greet us at the finish line. I was lucky to get a very cute one to put my marathon finisher medal around my neck. After, I walked around the finisher’s area, collecting all my goodies, I headed to brunch with my family. I sucked down two Blood Mary’s and ate donuts, at Lyon Hall. It was the perfect post race meal.

MCM HOT MARINE

MCM Finisher medal

MCM me

“One of the things I appreciate about running was how it strengthened and deepened friendships.” ~ Scott Jurek

I signed up for this race with L, but right when marathon training started she found out that she had a baby on the way. So I ended up training for this race totally by myself. This wasn’t the first time I had trained for a marathon totally alone, my last MCM I ran it solo as well. People have asked me, “Who did you run your marathon with?” ¬†I simply answered, “No one I can personally name off the top of my head. But I wasn’t bored or lonely. I ran with ¬†30,000 other runners, several spectators, the Military, everyone who read my blog, all of my family and friends who showed their support and love.”

So… Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

“In some ways, an ultra isn’t even as hard as a marathon.” ~ Scott Jurek¬†

© 2013 sweatdaily

* I have purchased all of my race photos from marathonfoto.com. I have not received my downloads and that is why I have the proof photos up. When the professional photos come, I will post those.

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

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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Almond Butter stuffed Dates

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Ingredients
1) Dates
2) Almond Butter
3) Sea Salt
4) Cayenne

Directions
1) Cut a slice in each date.
2) Remove pits if they have them.
3) Spread almond butter in between slice of each date. Stuff them good.
4) Sprinkle sea salt on each date.
5) Sprinkle cayenne on each date.

Enjoy the sweetness from the dates. Enjoy the salty from the sea salt.
Enjoy the spicy from the cayenne.
Enjoy the nutty creamy flavor and texture from the almond butter!

Yum!

Try it and leave a comment below! Let me know what you think.

Date Pie Recipe

I have talked about it time and time again on this blog – over the last two years I have developed this new passion for food.

Not just any food though…

I have very high standards.

The type of food I’m talking about is…

colorful…

organic…

flavorful…

raw…

fresh..

vegan…

gluten free…

clean…

It pisses me off that this type of food is so hard to find in the USA. It pisses me off how expensive it is to purchase these types of foods. However, it is important to me and I make it one of my highest priorities – and you should too.

I am always on a never ending quest to find new unique foods and recipes. My new favorite place to explore is Instagram (follow me!) I came across this fitness enthusiast/foodie BRIANNA_SKY, (follow her!) She has several recipes posted, but one that I had to try the Date Pie.

My version is a little bit different. This Date Pie consists of 5 ingredients.

Ingredients:

  1. Dark Chocolate Chips
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Almond Flour
  4. Pitted Dates
  5. Water

ingredients date pie

 

 

Tip: When buying Coconut Oil look for the higher quality and less processed. This will say words like unrefined, virgin, cold pressed, expeller-pressed, raw.

Directions:

  • Combine 1.5 cups of almond flour with 1/4 cup of coconut oil in a food processor or blender. Blend on pulse, until combined.
  • Take 1 cup of this mixture and press it to the bottom of a pie pan, forming pie crust. For a thicker crust, add oats. Keep the left over 1/2 cup of mixture and set a side.date pie crust
  • Combine 2 cups of pitted dates and 1/2 cup of water in food processor or blender. Blend on pulse, until jam like consistency.
  • Spread date mixture on top of newly made pie crust.
  • Take 1/2 cup left over pie crust that was set a side, and crumble it on top of date layer.¬†date pie crumbles
  • Combine dark chocolate and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan. Simmer on low, continuing to stir until chocolate is totally melted to a liquid.
  • Drizzle chocolate combination to top layer of pie. If you want to keep this pie 100% raw, omit this step.¬†date pie with chocolate
  • Put in freezer for 1 hour, or¬†refrigerate for 2 hours.date pie

This pie is amazing and super easy. There is no added sugar. There is only five ingredients. It is gluten free, organic, raw, and vegan.

Because I am cooking more and more, I am also going to add a recipe page, which will have links to every post I write with a recipe or is food related. So keep your eyes open for that.

I hope you all are having a wonder July 4th, and eating fabulous food.

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

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

 

 

Beet and Lentil Dip

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Inspired by Hummus. On the right is Beet and Lentil dip.
Ingredients:
  1. 1 large roasted or boiled beet
  2. 1/2 cup of cooked green or black lentils
  3. lemon zest
  4. garlic clove
  5. 2 tbsp of cold pressed olive oil
  6. 2 tbsp of tahini
  7. sea salt

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pair with cut veggies and/or pita bread.

Note: This dip is sweeter than hummus. Feel free to add any other ingredients to enhance flavors. Get creative and make it your own.

Enjoy!

© 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.

 

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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

 

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

 

 

SweetGreen Obsessed

 

 

I want to share with you my new obsession…

sweetgreen

Finally, there is a restaurant that has food which is convenient and fast, but also raw and organic. sweetgreen is this place. This company sources ingredients, that are fresh and organic, which comes from local farmers.

Their menu consists of a wide variety of organic raw vegetables- arugula, spinach, kale, beets, avocado are to name a few. They also have some plant based proteins, all organic – black beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu. They have an array of organic grains to choose from, spicy quinoa, and soba noodles. They have a variety of nuts, cheeses, dried fruit, and meats. ¬†If you don’t want to make your own combination, choose from some of their signature salads, such as the Misoba. Bored of salad, you can make it, into a wrap.

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sweetgreen also has a variety of cold pressed juices to choose from. Because they are simply made from only veggies and fruits, the sooner you drink it the better. By drinking it with in the day you by it, your body will absorb more of the health benefits. If you wait to long, you risk the growth of bacteria – that is how natural it is.

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I am one lucky girl… sweetgreen is not a big chain. It is only located in DC, MD, VA, and PA. I feel so privileged to live in an area that has not just one sweetgreen but many. It has become a popular place, in the area, which makes me so happy. I am a DC native. And people in our area are becoming more health conscious, then ever before.

Are you curious how health conscious your city is? Check out this article that lists the top 10 healthiest cities. DC made number 4.

If you ever visit the DC area you must stop in to sweetgreen!

Do you have a place like sweetgreen in your area?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

8 mile runs on Monday mornings…

Now, if you are from a place, where it is seriously cold, and you are getting dumped on with snow, you are probably thinking this girl should count her blessings. But let me tell ya, I would rather have snow than rain. I would rather it be 30 degrees and sunny. I can tolerate crisp, refreshing, winter air, as long as, the sun is shining bright. ¬†With that being said…

It has been dark and dreary. Fog has formed, and a cold mist of rain has been lingering since early last week. It is totally dull, gloomy, depressing. I know it is January, but the weatherman promised the weekend would be a warm 65 degrees.

He lied.

It stayed around 50 degrees, the sun never came out, it was raining, but I still ran. I actually ran everyday…

Saturday, 1/12/13 – I ran an easy 5 mile run. It was 50 degrees, but gray and gloomy.

Sunday, 1/13/13 – ¬†I woke up early, and met L before work, for a 5.32 mile run. This one was full of “bitch” hills. It was a little warmer than 50 degrees, but again gray and gloomy.

Monday, 1/14/13 – I met up with L and ran 8.29 miles. This was the warmest of all the days, being 61 degrees. It still was gray and gloomy, with rain. This run actually felt amazing, and gave me the energy I needed for the rest of the day.

Today, Tuesday, 1/15/13 – I had my Art class in the morning, before work, so I took a rest day. It was gray, gloomy, and by the end of the day the rain was coming down hard.

You are probably wondering what is giving me my drive, to run on miserable, dull, winter days of gloom?

Well…

I am reading an amazing book called, Eat and Run, by Scott Jurek. It is inspiring me in many ways, including giving me motivation to run an eight mile run on a rain drizzle filled monday morning, like yesterday.

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(photo taken from my iPhone)

“and now, running had turned into something other than training. It had turned into a kind of meditation, a place where I could let my mind… float free.”

Above is one of my favorite passages from the book, so far. Trust me, there are many more quotes to share… and although, the weather around here has been totally depressing, running in it, though it, all around it, feels good and keeps me sane.

Questions for You?

  1. What is the weather like near you?
  2. What motivates you to work out, run, eat healthy?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Granola… made from scratch!

Granola is a great addition to your breakfast greek yogurt. It is also a great snack item you can pick on through out the day. However, store bought granola can be very fattening and overloaded with sugar. So that is why I am suggesting you make your own. You become in complete control when you mix your own batch. You can also get very creative by using any spices and flavors you desire. For example, my cousin Shelly, mentioned using spices you would find in Chai Tea, in your granola.

In the last week, I randomly came across two different granola recipes in two different books I have been reading. It must be a sign, right? I thought to myself, I must try to make this. So I did, and it was super easy, satisfying, tasty.

This Granola recipe is from the book, Eat and Run, by Scott Jurek.

INGREDIENTS

  • rolled oats
  • hemp milk
  • coconut oil (to coat bottom of baking pan)
  • apple, cored and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup or 1 tbsp of agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • wheat germ (I added, not from original recipe)
  • flax seeds (I added, not from original recipe)

DIRECTIONS

  • Soak four cups of rolled oats in hemp milk over night. Make sure hemp milk is covering all of the oats. Hemp milk softens the oats, and adds a creamy sweetness. Hemp milk is also rich with omega 3 fatty acids.¬†GRANOLA 1
  • After oats have soaked in hemp milk overnight. Drain excess milk, that wasn’t absorbed from oats.granola 2
  • Cut apples.granola 3
  • Add coconut flakes, apples, cinnamon, sweetener, vanilla, and salt to the oats.¬†granola 4
  • Put mixture into food processor. Process for 30 seconds. Scrape sides and process for another 30 seconds, if necessary.Granola 5
  • After processed, transfer to a mixing bowl. Add pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, raisins, and wheat germ.granola 6
  • Coat bottom of baking pan with coconut oil. Spread mixture to pan and bake for 2 hours in oven heated to 250 degrees. Check sporadically flipping granola ever so often to make it into crispy golden clusters.

Final Result

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So there you have it! This recipe is really easy. And although, it took  2 hours to bake, it is well worth it because it makes your home smell like amazing apple cinnamon!

What is your favorite flavor of Granola!? Lets trade recipes!

© 2013 sweat daily

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?

© 2013 sweatdaily