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…

 

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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

 

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

Mermaid Farm – Raw Milk, Yogurt, Mango Lassi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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