a Merry Christmas recap

Christmas is over. (sigh)

I have mixed feelings about this.

In a way, this Christmas season was stressful.¬†Thanksgiving was so late. Christmas came so fast. I was super busy at work. I felt like there was no time to shop, plan, cook, chop down a tree, send out cards etc… The on going Christmas music started to annoy me.

But in another light, I am sad to see it go.

I love shopping at the Christmas market in DC. And seeing a random person dressed up as Santa really puts you in the Christmas spirit.

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Also during Christmas time. My house looks amazing with classy Christmas decorations. I loved all of the Christmas cards I received. They are my favorite!

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My dogs love Christmas more than anyone I know.

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Especially my maltese.

8979_10102182913590716_3493053952912861067_nNow that my husband and I are married. My sister thought it would be a fun idea to start a new Christmas tradition. So this year, I hosted Christmas Eve. We drank Cranberry Champagne.10247303_10102192559724786_2230103488879420499_n

We ate my homemade¬†lasagna – the sauce was my nana’s recipe.

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On Christmas day, we woke up early, and went to my mom’s to open presents. We all gave and received some great gifts.

Later we ate lobsters for Christmas dinner.

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I baked Christmas cookies.

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Then for dessert we ate my homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting. The cake is gluten free.

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Everything was delicious.

The day after Christmas, my sister and I did a little shopping. I definitely have a new outfit to wear every day of this week. She got some great stuff too. I know this isn’t a fashion blog, but I’ll post my outfits on instagram just in case you are interested in what I wear when I am not in workout clothes. ¬†Oh p.s. Did you know free people now has workout clothes? They are pretty stylish.

On Saturday, we did Christmas with my husbands parents. It was fun to open more presents, and hear all about their lovely time spent in Idaho. Lucky for them, they had a White Christmas.

At the end, of it all, my favorite part about the holiday is eating good food, drinking good drinks, and hanging out with loved ones. Oh and watching some great Christmas movie.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday! 

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays? Did you receive any awesome fitness related presents?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting

The holiday season is coming to an end, but winter has just begun. And one of the things that I treat myself to during the “oh so dreaded” colder months is the occasional cup of hot chocolate. I have discovered this amazing hot cocoa and when I say hot I mean spicy.¬†cocoa

This cocoa is spiked with cinnamon and dried ground chili peppers. It is especially delicious with heated coconut milk.¬†Trust me…¬†skip the cows milk, the flavors of cocoa, cinnamon, chili, and coconut are divine.¬†

Anyway, everyone knows I am obsessed with cookbooks, and although, I cook more than I bake, I recently came across, Flourless, by Nicole Spiridakis. It is a cookbook full of gluten-free desserts. I am not gluten free, but the idea of challenging myself to make tasty gluten free desserts really intrigued me. Why make something with gluten, if you can make something delicious without it.

When flipping through the pages of this cookbook, I immediately saw Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting РI thought of my spicy hot cocoa and knew I had to make this cake. I had no doubt in my mind, that this cake would be any less than amazing, so I saved it for Christmas.

10891794_10102194882469986_6886365094385756478_n-1INGREDIENTS : THE CAKE

Note: all ingredients are organic and the highest quality.

  • 1 tsp ground flax seeds
  • 2 tsp boiling water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups ground oats
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you want to control the spice. I only put 1/8 tsp.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS : THE CAKE

  • Heat oven¬†to 350 F.
  • Line the bottom of two 8 in or ¬†9 in round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly grease them with oil. (Note: I used two 9 in round cake pans.)
  • In a small bowl make flax seed paste, combining ground flax seed with boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes.¬†(Note: I didn’t have ground flax seed, so I made my own by grinding flax seeds with the food processor.)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together, flax seed paste, oil, buttermilk, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together, ground oats, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. (Note: I didn’t have ground oats, so I used regular rolled oats and ground them up with the food processor.)
  • To make batter: Add dry mixture to wet mixture, combine and stir well.
  • Divide batter by pouring it into the two cake pans equally.
  • Bake for 30 min.
  • Check to make sure it is done, when done, cool on cooling rack.

INGREDIENTS : THE FROSTING

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)¬†Note: 1 stick equals 1/2 cup
  • 2 oz. milk chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3 tbsp buttermilk

INSTRUCTIONS : THE FROSTING

  • Beat butter in a large bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed, until fluffy.
  • Add melted chocolate and vanilla.
  • Add confectioners’ sugar and butter milk
  • Continue beating until smooth, fluffy icing forms, about 5 minutes.

When ready to assemble, spread frosting on the top of the first cake. Layer the second cake on top of first cake and frosting. Frost the top.

Enjoy!

© 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

 

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

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

 

 

Black Bean Pasta

About two weeks ago, I was browsing the isles of MOM’s Organic Market, and I came across this…

pasta

Black Bean Spaghetti! 

This pasta is amazing. It is gluten free, organic, and contain 20.5 grams of protein per serving.  The ingredients listed are two things, organic black beans, and water Рit is that simple.

For those that are clean eating or consuming a plant based diet, this pasta is an amazing protein option.

Pasta Toppings

Sometimes when trying a new pasta, one may question what to top it off with. Well tonight, I literally used whatever I had on hand.

Ingredients

  • onion
  • sweet potato
  • olive oil
  • carrots
  • mushrooms
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • egg
  • 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1.5 tbsp of shoyu
  • sea salt

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This dish is salty, sweet, delicious. It is colorful too! A must try!

© 2013 sweatdaily