Food… doesn’t have to be fatty.

I hate to admit it, but I was getting into a rut, ordering the same take out food, from the same Thai restaurant everyday. The only reason I didn’t get fat was because I was only having time to eat one meal a day. But just because I wasn’t fat doesn’t mean I was healthy. A person can still be skinny, by eating processed meats, fatty dairy, and simple carbs, if the calories consumed don’t exceed far from their BMR. ¬†However, being skinny does not equal to healthy, with a diet that consists of daily Thai take out. With a diet like that, one will have a high body fat percentage, high LDL cholesterol- clogged arteries, an unhealthy heart.

But thankfully I am an athlete. Being a runner saved me from the health risks. But I still needed to find a way to get out of these bad eating habits, because they were making me feel bad about myself.  Yes, I was so busy at work, that finding time to plan meals began to seem nonexistent, so I decided to make meal planning a priority.

In the beginning of January 2012, I, along with everyone else in America made a New Years Resolution. But this time, I was not going to be typical. I wanted to choose a challenge that I could be creative with. So I decided my New Years Resolution would be to try a new exotic food once a week. This was actually a really fun and easy resolution to stick to. It forced me to explore Whole Foods, MOM’s Organic Market, the local Farmer’s Markets, and Trader Joe’s, in search for a new and different flavor.

Most of the time, I bought a unique piece of produce, beets being on the top of the list. However, I also tried Almond Milk, different types of tea, grains such as quinoa, beans such as lentils, and many more. I cooked with organic pumpkin for the first time. Sometimes I picked up a piece of produce and pondered what it was, but most of the time I was familiar with the food, but never stepped out of my comfort zone, to purchase it and try to cook with it. Trust, me I have read all of the books, watched all of the documentaries, and although I learned a lot from them, what I really needed were recipes. So I started following tons of vegan and food blogs to get ideas.

Boy, what a difference a year can make. Now I can’t remember the last time I had Thai take out. And when I do have any sort of heavy unhealthy food like that, I regret it and feel sick. My stomach just can’t tolerate it. By having that New Years Resolution, I am now planning more meals, cooking more, eating clean healthy whole foods.

So now to the point of this blog post…

Although, everyone now is probably just finishing up with their Thanksgiving leftovers and starting to shift into the Christmas/Hanukkah spirit. I wanted to share with you the dishes I cooked this Thanksgiving.

I cooked a side dish of Roasted Root Vegetables.

I didn’t use a recipe. I just kind of made it up along the way.

Ingredients

  1. purple beets
  2. golden beets
  3. shallots
  4. garlic
  5. carrots
  6. turnip
  7. olive oil
  8. sea salt
  9. pepper
  10. rosemary
  11. sage

Directions

  1. Preheat oven for 350-400
  2. Wash the beats and cut the ends off.
  3. Peal the skin off. Some people cook the beets with the skin on. It is okay to eat the skins.
  4. Wrap each beet in foil with olive oil and salt.
  5. Place each foiled beet on a baking sheet or cupcake pan.
  6. Place beets in oven – cook until beets are soft and sweet, about 1 hour 45 minutes.

turnip and foil.

  1. Cook Turnips the same way as beets.

  1. Wash and peel carrots.
  2. Cut off ends
  3. Place carrots in a glass baking pan with olive oil, garlic, shallots, rosemary, sage, salt, pepper.
  4. Cover with foil.
  5. Place in oven.
  6. Cook for 1 hour.
  7. Unfold beets and turnip from foil.

  1. Cut beets and turnip into small chunks
  2. Combine with carrots and other vegetables.

Greens

  1. Wash the greens from the beet tops
  2. Place greens in a stove top skillet with olive oil.
  3. Let greens wilt.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar.
  5. Combine with other root vegetables.

Final Result

This was a pretty healthy and delicious, side dish! Not to hard to prepare. I highly recommend you try it!

© 2012  sweatdaily

 

Lets talk about food!

It is funny how… once I changed my eating habits and started eating clean, eating fresh organic whole foods, I no longer crave junk. And on the rare occasions I do, weakly give in, I soooo regret it. My stomach can no longer tolerate the high fat, processed shit, like it use to.

DINNERS

I wanted to show you a couple photos of past dinners I have made…

This is the dinner I ate tonight. It is vegan and organic. It consists of broccoli, onions, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, squash, brussel sprouts, spinach/kale, salt, olive oil. All of these ingredients are poured over quinoa.

This is a dinner I had earlier this week. It is organic.  I love Whole Foods Market. They have vegetables already washed, cut up, and prepared. All you have to do is saute them over the stove. I used one of these prepackaged vegetable platters and cooked it over the stove adding spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes. I pored the veggies over rice. Poached an egg, and sliced up a side of avocado. This is a well balanced meal, including healthy fats, protein, and colorful veggies infused with antioxidants.

This dinner was one I ate last week. It consists of onions, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, capers, spinach, poured over rice with a side of wild caught salmon. This meal is very well balanced with healthy fats, protein, omega 3s, carbs, and colorful veggies infused with vitamins and antioxidants.

This meal is a dinner I ate last week. It consists of similar ingredients but includes pine nuts. Again, it is an organic, well balanced meal. These dinners are also very easy and fast meals to cook. They are simple, but full of color, flavor, and texture.

LUNCH

Most days I eat a variety of salads for lunch.

Breakfast

Everyday, I drink a Chai Latte. Somedays, I eat a greek yogurt or oatmeal.

Snack

Fruit, such as strawberries and nutella.  Hummus and raw veggies or pita. Toast with Almond Butter. Smoothie with Vega protein powder.  All of these are great snack ideas.

My problem is never eating to much. I always have the problem of not eating enough. But just as your car need gas, your body needs food. Food is fuel for your body. So eat clean on regular intervals, so your body can continue strong through out the day, full of energy.

What is your favorite healthy snack?

© 2012 sweatdaily

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Soup

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Final photo of Soup made last night. Read the full post at http://sweatdaily.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/829

My whole house smells like pumpkin…

I have always had a love/ hate relationship with food. 

Let me explain…

Here is the love part: I love food. I have always considered myself some what of a foodie. When I was a child, I hated Mac & Cheese. I hated grilled cheese. I just wasn’t down with the kid’s menu. Instead, I always indulged with maybe a plate of hot wings, mussels, or a half dozen Maryland Bay Crabs. The point is I have always enjoyed unique food with big flavor. I am not scared to explore, and I am always open to try new foods from all nationalities.

Now here is the hate part:¬†The problem with enjoying a variety of different foods, is that sometimes I feel that I have a hard time disciplining myself to eat a certain way. I would love to be vegan, and although I know eating a plant based diet is by far one of the healthiest ways to eat, I just can’t label myself. I’m not going to lie, some mornings I just want an iced Chai Lattes with skim milk. So for now, I am eating mainly plant based, and meat/dairy is consumed in moderation – some days are meatless, some days are dairy free. Plus I try to purchase all of my meat/dairy as organic, and on the rare occasions when organic isn’t available I go for kosher.

Some nevers and always: I rarely eat red meat. I rarely eat pork products. I never eat ground meats of any kind. I never eat processed meats or eggs. I never buy milk. I always buy wild caught fish.

More of the hate part:¬†I don’t think I am a bad cook, but I am still learning, and sometimes my 30 minute meals takes two hours. So as you can see, cooking is time consuming. It also takes a lot of planning. You need to plan the meal, buy the ingredients. All of this is a struggle for me. Sometimes it is just easier to eat out.

My favorite types of Blogs

So my new obsession is actually health food blogs, especially vegan ones. I love reading them, and learning new ways to prepare veggies. One blog that I just recently came across is called Super Foodie Adventure. Last night, I actually made one of the recipes found on her blog and it came out awesome. The recipe is called  Beetroot and Pumpkin Dahl with smashed Avocado and Coriander.

Here are some pictures of my attempt of cooking this recipe.

chopped up onions, good in most meals.

3 garlic cloves, smashed up, way better than finely chopped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By cooking this soup, I got to use pumpkin for the first time. I never took a whole pumpkin and pealed it and cut it into cubes, until now. My whole house smelled lovely.

 

 

 

 

 

Also in my recipe I used golden beets instead of the purple ones used in the original recipe. This was my first time cooking and eating golden beets. They have less messy juice, and they taste a little less strong.

Everything in the pot cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really also love the Indian flavors used in the dish.  I also found it really shocking of how satisfied and full I felt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used this rice and lentil medley in the soup as well. Everything is very healthy, filling, full of flavor. When all ingredients are cooked you put the soup in a blender or food processor to blend and pulse the soup, then you top it off with smashed up avocado and cilantro.

Anyway, those are the pictures I have so far of the healthy ingredients I used for this recipe. I am really enjoying reading food blogs. It is making me try new food combos I would have never thought of trying. It is also educating me on healthy foods especially produce I would have never bought or cooked.

Always open minded, and pushing my limits physically and mentally. 

Questions for you…

  1. Who is your favorite food blogger?
  2. What is the most interesting veggie dish you have prepared?

© 2012

Monday’s Motivation

Last week was a really busy overwhelming week for me, and my new couch/sectional finally arrived after three months of waiting for it to be custom made. So instead of blogging I spent most of my extra time laying around on my new couch/sectional relaxing and knitting.

Me. My dog. My new sectional. Living room is coming together.

In the mornings, I did fit in some running including a long 10 mile run in my newton shoes which I will later write a post about. I also spent some time in my kitchen cooking some really amazing food including beets that I roasted in olive oil for two hours. Anyway it is monday night and I wanted to leave you all with this quote that I found extremely inspiring. I’m hoping that it will help motivate you to eat healthy for the rest of the week.

Truth

Happy Monday Night!

© 2012

Sunsets and Food in Martha’s Vineyard

This is my last post about my wonderful time in Martha’s Vineyard. I know it seems like I have been obsessing over my 5 days on the Island, but I just can’t help it, my runs were awesome and so were my photos.

I also loved everything I ate.

Before I get into that, let me take you back. For the last five years, I have read a lot of literature on nutrition. Some of my favorites including the books, Skinny Bitches,¬†The Eat Clean Diet, The Crazy Sexy Diet, Healing Teas.¬†I have also watched the documentaries,¬†Super Bad,¬†Crazy Sexy Cancer, and¬†Forks over Knives.¬†More than half of my research talks about the harmful effects meat and dairy has on the body, and how much more beneficial it is to just eat a plant based diet. All of my research has proved that processed and refined sugar is extremely ¬†harmful for the body. I don’t want to label myself as vegetarian or vegan, but I have been limiting processed foods, refined sugar and artificial sugars, yeast, dairy, and most meat with the exception of fish.

I¬†may get more into detail about nutrition in a later post, but for now I want to talk about how awesome the food is in Martha’s Vineyard. I had been struggling with eating less meat especially red meat in the past. When I run long, for marathon training, my body just craves steak. However when it comes to eating healthy I try to just take it one day at a time.

What I love about Martha’s Vineyard is the variety of seafood options. I did not eat any red meat not once, because all I ate was fish. The best part is how fresh the seafood is. Nothing shipped or frozen. Literally you purchase your lobster from the fisherman that caught it that day.

I ate this Lobster. My favorite!

Two years ago in Martha’s Vineyard I actually went clamming and crabbing. I got in the water and fetched my own dinner and then cooked it later, Clam Chowder, Clam Casino, a Crabs feast. This year I didn’t have the opportunity to do that because I went deep sea fishing instead, and caught and ate a sea bass. But when it came to clams, my bf’s step mom, went clamming. We ate her homemade clam chowder, and the clams were so fresh we ate them right on the half shell. We also had amazing steamers.

Food does not have to be complicated. It can stay simple, because it will be full of it’s own natural flavors if it is fresh and in season. ¬†And that is how it is in Martha’s Vineyard, everything fresh, everything in season, everything simple.

© 2012

 

Beach BBQ in South Beach, Martha’s Vineyard

This summer was a pretty good summer, a very busy summer, but the one thing I wished that I could have had the opportunity to do is run barefoot on the beach. However, in Martha’s Vineyard, the only really long stretch of beach is South Beach and it was located 20 miles away from where I was staying. So instead, we went to South Beach to have a Beach BBQ.

A simple photo, but a beauty. Sky, water, sand.

Tons of amazing food!

In the photo above I ate Arugula salad with Beets and Watermelon topped with Grilled Scallops. We also had, corn on the cob, eggplant layered with tomato and basil.

Finishing up and reviewing Natural Running. I had a breakthrough guys.

Walking the beach.

My Boyfriend and I walking the beach.

You can drive your truck right on the beach.

The beach BBQ was really amazing. I have never had one before. I am a beach girl, but I am also a minimalist. So normally when I go to the beach, I just bring a towel or blanket and lay there on the beach all day, nothing else. My boyfriend’s family came prepared. They had everything and went all out. They pulled their truck on to the beach, opened the back, and started pulling out, tables, coolers of foods and drinks, a grill. It was quite fancy and the food was really good, gourmet.

Questions for You

  • Have you ever had a beach BBQ?
  • What is your favorite beach food?

© 2012

 

 

 

Living on the East Coast is amazing because…

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I haven’t been posting any running blog posts because I am in Martha’s Vineyard and I have been using my camera not my iPad. However, I have been running every morning, and I do have plenty of amazing photos to post. I have run two different amazing coastal routes that I can’t wait to share with you.

But for now I wanted to show you this photo of little neck clams. On the vineyard there are plenty of cove like places where you can go clamming and crabbing. This year the tide was too high when my boyfriend and I wanted to go, but we went lat year and it was really fun. The best part of clamming and crabbing is eating the seafood after you went out there and caught it yourself. It taste so amazingly fresh! These clams were caught by his stepmom the day we arrived. You can eat them raw just like an oyster. You can steam them, or you can make clam chowder.

My boyfriend’s step mom made a huge pot of clam chowder. Yesterday we had a lobster dinner with steamers, while watching the sunset. (I’ll tell you more about that later.) Tonight, in this photo, we are eating the little necks raw. Yum.

I love seafood. This is why living on the east coast is so amazing.

Tea Time

“… and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” -Revelations 22:2

Anyone who knows me well, knows I am always drinking tea. The employees of my local Starbucks knows my regular drink is an Iced Grande Skim Chai Latte (or Soy depending on my mood.) The employees of Caribou Coffee knows I always order a large Mango Black Iced Tea. When I do my grocery shopping at Whole Foods I always grab a couple cans of Steaz iced tea. They are certified organic green tea, certified vegan, have 120 mg natural antioxidants. Steaz is by far my favorite iced tea, that comes in wonderful flavors such as, mint, peach, or pomegranate lime.

My Favorite Iced Tea.

My passion for tea started at a very young age. Even though I was a child, and didn’t actually drink tea, I had a wide range of different Tea sets, that turned into a pretty sweet collection.

So Maybe it was the wide range of beautifully crafted tea pots in the window, that caught my eye and reminded me of my own tea set collection. Maybe it was the employee handing out fresh brewed samples of tea. Whatever it may be, suddenly I was drawn to Teavana, the tea shop in the Mall, and I found myself in the shop browsing the shelves. It was there that I found the book, Healing Teas, written by Marie Nadine Antol. This book fascinates me, because I drink a ton of tea, it made me want to read this book to find out the health value of the tea I drink. In the first few chapters of the book, the author quotes the bible. I grew up attending Catholic school, but never knew the bible had so many references about plants being healing.

Good Reads

Yuck. Poisoned with high fructose corn syrup.

Lets talk about the tea I grew up on. My grandma was a tea drinker. She drank Lipton Iced Tea, the powder that you simply add water to. It was easy and tasted good. In high school and college I drank a lot off Arizona Iced Tea and Crystal Lite. But I later found that Arizona Teas are poisoned with High Fructose Corn Syrup as a sweetener, and Crystal Lite has Aspartame, so I now avoid these, what a shame.

As for the Iced skim Chai from Starbucks. This latte is my favorite, but I have to admit it is starting to annoy me. The four pumps of Chai syrup that they put in the latte consists of black tea, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise, blended with natural flavors, sugar, honey, ginger juice, vanilla and citric acid. But it is still a syrup, where are the tea leaves?

From Concentrate.

This syrup stuff really bothers me because as far as I am concerned tea should be leaves not a sugar filled syrup¬†concoction. I also hate consuming too much dairy, and although the soy is organic at Starbucks, I don’t want too much soy in my body either. So although, I love Starbucks, I am going to try to cut back and make my own tea.

The one thing that I learned today at Best Buns, a local bakery near my Salon, that carries Starbucks products but not the Chai Latte syrup, is that the Tazo Chai tea bag is organic. One of the employees there mentioned that it is popular to hand make a Chai Latte by pouring seamed milk over the tea bag and adding vanilla. This could be a healthier more natural alternative to my favorite Starbucks Latte.

So while I was at Teavana I decided to purchase some loose leaf tea. I ended up getting a black tea called Samurai Chai and a white tea called White Ayurvedic Chai. I was in heaven when I tasted this tea. The flavors were strong and you could just tell the quality of these organic Chai teas.

Black

White

I also purchased the Tumbler. This container is perfect for bringing your tea with you, wherever you are running off too. It is made from stainless steel, which is easy to clean and keeps your fresh brewed tea either hot or cold, up to six hours long. It also has a loose leaf tea filter. And the cover closes tight, to help steam the tea, to obtain the fullest flavor.

The loose leaf tea filter for the Tumbler.

The Tumbler.

There are a couple other things at the Teavana store that I found was interesting. If you have one favorite tea, and you are only going to drink that one tea, then you should purchase a traveling container, or a tea set, made from clay. Clay absorbs the nutrients and flavor of the tea. The more you use it, the better.

I am also obsessed with the Tristan Infuser Pitcher. It will be my next tea purchase. The Tristan has a filter and is used to make iced tea.

For my Chai Latte.

Tomorrow I am planning on experimenting with my new loose leaf Chai teas. Maybe I will steam some Almond milk and try to create a delicious Chai Latte.

Here are some questions for you… What is your favorite Tea? Does anyone know of a good tea to use over ice?

 

 

©2012

Recipe: Chicken Soup

When I originally started this blog, I really wanted to focus on my daily work outs. I wanted this to be my work out log. I wanted to write product reviews and race reviews. Although, I will still be doing this, I must say, I am just way to interested in too many things to just focus on just that. And I travel to, too many beautiful places, it would be a shame not to post where I’ve been, especially considering that my favorite thing about running is how I can easily do it anywhere in the world.

However, I will try to somehow relate my other posts to running in someway. Lets start with my Chicken Soup recipe. I have always loved cooking, but before it was such an annoying hassle because of my old apartment’s pathetic kitchen. But in late May my boyfriend and I bought and moved into our very first home. One of the best things about our vintage 1950s duplex is the amazing updated kitchen.

My beautiful Kitchen, that I can’t stop cooking in. And I clean it everyday, so it sparkles!

This last weekend was cold. Well it is summer and if you live in the DC area you would know that the summers here are like living in a hot swamp. Last summer was a heat wave. There were days that reached 105 degrees, but because of the humidity, it felt like 115. This summer has not been as bad, but there still has been some record breaking days. So when last friday rolled around and it only reached 86 degrees, it was pleasantly cooler. It also rained a bunch, which made me happy – I love summer storms. So with the cooler, breezy, rainy weekend, I decided to make Chicken Soup.

This Chicken Soup recipe that I am going to tell you about is actually from one of Rachel Ray’s cookbooks. But I have made it so many times that I know it by heart. It is loved by my family and friends, and is my “go to” meal. I love this soup for so many reasons.

The first reason why I love this soup is because it is NOT your traditional Chicken Soup. It’s secret is the combo of sweet potatoes and chipotle in adobo sauce. I would have never thought to put these two ingredients together, but boy is this mixture of sweet and smokey hot, tasty. ¬†I also love this soup because it is simple and quick to make, but also hearty, healthy, full of flavor, and extremely satisfying. ¬†Here’s what you do.

Ingredients List:

celery, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper, chipotle in adobo, chicken stock, chicken, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, cilantro, bread, sour cream.

Directions:

1)Use a big soup pot and fill the bottom with about 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil. Place over medium heat.

Soup pot, with evoo, on medium heat.

2) Cut 1 large onion. Add to pot. If onions start to brown or burn add a cup of water and lower heat.

3) Cut carrots as many as you like. I usually use half a bag of the small baby carrots.

3) Add celery as many as you like. 

4) Add sweet potatoes. I usually add 2 large sweet potatoes.

5) Add chipotle in adobo sauce. This can be tricky. You have to determine how much smoky hot you want. Always remember that the spice is in the seeds of the peppers. I usually use 1 large pepper chopped. But if one is too spicy, then remove the seeds from the inside of the pepper. 

6) Add garlic chopped, dried thyme, dried bay leaf.

7) Add a cup of white wine. Let it boil for one minute, reduce for 5 minutes.

8) Add Chicken Stock

9) Add chicken.

10) Bring chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Make sure chicken is cooked well done, and veggies are soft.

11) Serve hot. Top it off with a spoon full of sour cream and cilantro. Dip crusty bread in it for additional flavor.

cilantro!

Eat, Enjoy, Yummo!

So there you have it! My favorite soup!