Tropical Salad Stuffed Avocado! 

It is starting to warm up a bit here in the DC area, and this recipe is light and refreshing on a warm summer day.

I actually came up with it, because I had some super ripe mangos and over ripe avocados on hand, that had to be used. 

TROPICAL SALAD

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe mangos
  • 2 ripe tomatoes 
  • 2-3 cucumbers (depends on size)
  • handful of parsley or cilantro whichever you have on hand.
  • 1 small red onion

Chop everything small and mix in large bowl.

VINAIGRETTE 

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 a cup of rice vinegar 
  • 1/4 a cup of white wine vinegar 
  • 1/4 a cup of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard 
  • shallots 

Pour everything in a bowl and whisk together or place everything in jar and shake. Once mixed pour on salad and mix everything. 

TROPICAL SALAD STUFFED AVOCADO 

Now it’s time to assemble your avocado and stuff it with the tropical salad. 

Cut avocado in half, remove put, place a couple of spoonfuls of tropical salad in the hole where the pit was and on the top of the avocado. Sprinkle sea salt and red pepper flakes. 

Enjoy! 

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

 

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.”

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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

 

Protein Shake Recipe!

Lets talk about clean eating…

As you all may know, I am currently doing the Livefit trainer by Jamie Eason. Besides the daily weight lifting and cardio sessions, Jamie Eason teaches us how to eat clean. Boy have I learned a lot! For those that are totally clueless, (don’t worry if you are, I was too at one point) she has a meal plan written out, along with grocery list, videos, and recipes… all on bodybuilding.com.

Here is what goes down…

  1. The meals consists of mainly a protein, complex carb, and healthy fat.
  2. Ideally, with in an hour of waking eat your first clean meal, then continue to eat 5-6 small clean meals a day in 3 hour intervals.
  3. Never workout on an empty stomach.
  4. Use measuring tools, such as a scale, to get exact portions.
  5. Use apps, such as fitness pal to record calories. It is important to get at least 1600-2000 calories in order to build muscle, (but it also depends on your size/BMR.)

When reading this reviews on this trainer, a lot of people claimed they were vegetarian and following the meal plan was impossible. But nothing is impossible.¬†If you are vegetarian or vegan, you should be getting the same amount of protein as someone who eats meat. I am not going to label myself as a vegetarian or vegan, but I do cook most of my meals meatless. I will eat eggs and fish, but for those who don’t…¬†Stop thinking that protein is animal flesh,¬†because it doesn’t have to be. ¬†You can sub, animal protein for many things example: beans, or lentils, and there are tons of vegetables that are a great protein source.

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I found these charts on google, while researching protein for you guys!

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Supplements

Along with a multivitamin, BCAA, and fish oil/flaxseed oil, Jamie Eason suggests we drink a protein shake. Research claims that if you drink a protein shake with in 30 minutes to an hour after exercise, you will see more muscle growth/recovery, and less soreness.

I have always been a very big fan of juicing. I will make a green juice a couple times of week and have been simply adding my protein powder to that. I actually started to grow my own kale in my vegetable garden because I use it so often. But right now during these cold months of winter, a lot of produce is not in season at the moment, so I have recently began playing around with different ingredients. I finally came up with this amazing protein shake.

Protein Shake Recipe

protein shake

I know it looks like a Starbucks coffee drink, but the reusable travel plastic cups work perfect for protein shakes.

Ingredients

  1. 1 banana, (really good source of potassium, which helps with muscle cramping.)
  2. Cacao powder (good source of antioxidants)
  3. Chocolate protein powder (I use Vega Sport because it is vegan, soy free, and created by an iron man athlete.)vega
  4. Wheat Germ (good source of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, very good amount of protein, 27g per 115-gram serving.

    Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/2707-facts-health-benefits-wheat-germ/#ixzz2MtlCygsN

  5. Flax seeds (omega 3s)
  6. Coconut Water (good source of potassium, and hydrating)
  7. Spoon full of organic all natural peanut butter (make sure nothing is added. This is an additional source of protein and healthy fat.)

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This protein shake recipe is very high in protein, heathy fats, and potassium. It is also enriched with other vitamins, and omega 3s. I drink this to refuel after my workout, and use this as one of my my meals.

No need to waste calories on Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. It definitely satisfies my chocolate and peanut butter craving.

Question for You

  1. What is your favorite ingredient for a protein shake?
  2. What is your favorite protein powder?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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!