I was in a Sweet and Spicy kinda mood!

Today…

I ran.

I bought groceries.

I gardened.

Today…

Although, I did all of the above, I will admit, I spent most of my day playing in my kitchen…

I was in a Sweet and Spicy kind of mood…

so I baked these…

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These are homemade Ginger Cookies, from my favorite cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson. If you have been following my blog, then this book will be familiar to you, for I have shared with you several of her recipes. She’s the best!

Sweet Tooth

Because I am an endurance athlete, I normally crave healthy fats and salty food. However, sometimes, I desperately desire something sweet – I am human.

Ginger and Cacao

Along with sweet, my all time favorite ingredient is ginger! I love, love, love ginger – can’t even express how much. Ginger also has many health benefits, including being an anti-inflammatory, and improving digestive health. Lately, I have been cooking with it quite a bit. So when I came across this recipe, I just had to try it. This recipe also includes Cacao, which is known for being rich with disease fighting antioxidants. I am a chocolate lover, so this was definitely a plus. I mean, if I am going to indulge in something sweet, I want ¬†to go all out, and have a pastry made from high quality ingredients. I also think everything taste better when you cook or bake it yourself. It is true, give it a try.

So here we go…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao)
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2/3 sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 cup dried apricots chopped

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Shave chocolate into large bowl.shaved choco

shave chocolate

 

  • In another large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt.¬†ginger cookies flour
  • Heat butter, molasses, sugar and fresh ginger in a pan on medium heat.¬†molassesginger
  • beat egg, mix into warm mixture in pan. Note: The yolk is very deep in color, because they are organic and from a local east coast farm. It makes a big difference in flavor.¬†eggs
  • Chop dried apricots.apricots
  • Pour mixture from stove over flour mixture. Add apricots. Stir.
  • Stir in chocolate.chocolate
  • Scoop dough with a spoon and roll into little balls. I dipped every other dough ball into sugar. Place each dough ball onto parchment paper cookie sheet.¬†cookies 2
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool. Enjoy!Cookies

These Ginger Cookies definitely met all of my standards. They are made from all of the highest quality organic ingredients. They not only taste amazing because I made them from scratch myself, but they also made my whole house smell sweet and spicy.

So if you are in a sweet and spicy kinda mood… these are a must try!

What Sweet and Spicy combos are your favorite?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Falling in love, with NOLA.

Happy Mardi Gras!

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Last year I was so¬†privileged to have the opportunity to head down to New Orleans for a week long celebration of Mardi Gras… and I fell in love.

This is how it all began….

One of my close family friends, EW, ¬†had gone to college at Tulane. She loved New Orleans so much that she continued to live there for a couple years after she graduated. Because now she relocated back in the DC area… I had always deeply regretted the fact that I had never gone down to visit her and the lovely city while she lived there. I thought I had missed my chances. But turns out, for my birthday present she hooked me up with a plane ticket, and told me we were heading down to New Orleans, aka, NOLA for Mardi Gras. I was beyond excited.

As the weeks came closer and closer to our departure date, EW tried to prepare me.

“You know how people say New York, is the city that doesn’t sleep?” She asked.

“Yep. Everyone knows that. “

“Well they are wrong, it’s really New Orleans.” She told me.

She was so right about that one. There were nights in NOLA during our week long Mardi Gras celebration, where we got home by 6am and was leaving the house again by 10 am.

She explained, “A drink will never leave our hands.”

“Ok,” I answered

“Always remember though this is a drinking marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race.”

This was a great thing to remember, and because I am a runner I could totally understand this metaphor. You won’t get sick or throw up if you slowly drink. You won’t ever be hung over, if you are still drinking.

So this is why I fell in love with NOLA…

NOLA is beautiful. ¬†I love to create beauty and be surrounded by it. The architecture in NOLA is outstanding. There wasn’t one house or building that didn’t have character. Some places had a lot of Southern influence, while others had Spanish and French influences.

NOLA taste good. The food was amazing. I ate grits and shrimp, po’boy sandwiches, cajun spices, fries deep fried in goose fat, gumbo, jambalaya, a craw fish bake, oysters, and beignets. Nothing taste bad,¬†I even tried frog legs.

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NOLA quenches your thirst. You don’t have to chug your beer here, because you can ask your bar tender for a to go cup. Drinking in the street is totally legal. There is a bar called BullDog, who lets you take your pint glass home with you. It is a popular place among the locals – I highly recommend it. Hurricanes are NOLA’s signature drink.

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NOLA plays Jazz music, or you can karaoke.

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NOLA loves to dance, sometimes in the street.

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NOLA wears costumes.

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NOLA loves giving gifts. Sometimes beads…

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sometimes South Park toys…

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NOLA will party hard, and then sleep hard…

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NOLA is highly influenced by the Catholic traditions, which is the whole point of Mardi Gras anyway. Live it up today, for tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.

There are so many amazing things about NOLA and it made me a little sad today, that I wasn’t down there, this year celebrating. But I am so happy, I experienced it last year, and was able to share my memories with you.

Happy Fat Tuesday! I hope it treated you well…

© 2013 sweatdaily

My favorite hat, spells TEAM LIVESTRONG!

So I have this hat… that is my absolute favorite hat. It was given to me by a friend who got it after he accomplished his first century ride. Pretty sweet swag right!? The hat is made from a white wicking material, that keeps your head cool on a hot summer day. It is actually the only hat I don’t feel suffocated in, while I run. It fits my head perfectly, protecting my skin from the sun’s harmful rays, and shielding my hair color, from fading, keeping it everlasting, shiny, and vibrant. (Yes, I am a hair stylist, so my hair color is a priority.)

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The above photo collage shows me wearing this hat at the beach, on hikes, while doing yoga, I also run with it, and just about wear it everywhere. Now, if you look closely it says, “TEAM LIVESTRONG,” written across the front.

I know the interview between Lance Armstrong and Oprah was sooo last week. But I finally stopped being annoyed, and was able to pull it together, to write this post.

So as you all may know, Lance Armstrong was the face of the LIVESTRONG organization. As you may also know, he recently admitted to Oprah that while he competed his 7 tours, he was using performance enhancing drugs, and undergoing blood transfusions. So in my mind, and pretty much the rest of the world’s, Lance Armstrong, is a cheater and a lier. The amazing athlete we thought he was, never existed – so sad. ¬†He was not much of an athlete at all, but rather a man that was a brilliant cheater, with the best doctor, and doping schedule.

However, when it comes down to it, the whole using performance enhancing drugs doesn’t really bother me, (I mean it does,) but I can be understanding. Lance told Oprah, everyone was doing it… it became part of the job.¬†The only way to win was to do it too. Well what kind of “Win” is that, and look who is loosing now…

Well like I said above the whole using performance enhancing drugs doesn’t really bother me, because what does, is the the way he handled everything. Lance was selfish and foolish. He called his best friends, the people that lied for him and protected him, horrible names, and then he sued everybody.

Ok, so that bothers me, but there is one thing that bothers me even more… The interview with Oprah, was Lance’s chance to make things better- but he didn’t. I am a marathon runner, who is so passionate about running, that I get a little crazy if I miss a day. I was desperately waiting to hear Lance say how passionate he was about cycling – but he didn’t. I¬†just wanted him to say, how he couldn’t imagine life without participating in the sport – but he didn’t. ¬†I did not hear him say he has a love for the endurance sports, but rather an obsession with winning. Maybe he is not passionate at all. Maybe he doesn’t care for cycling at all. Maybe he just found that he was quite good at cycling and would do whatever he could to win.

When Oprah asked, “Why now?” I wanted him to talk about his passion for the sport, but he didn’t. So then, I was waiting for him to say, that he is a father, and wants to make things right, to be a good inspiration for his kids. But nope, he didn’t say that either. Instead he admits to all the lies, cheating, and bad behavior not to make thing right, but rather to reduce his sentence. How selfish can you be?

So in the end… I have this fabulous hat, that has TEAM LIVESTRONG written across the front. I will still wear that hat, not only because I love it, but because I support Cancer research. I support what it truly means to LIVESTRONG. But what I don’t support is Lance.

© 2013 sweatdaily

For my Yoga lover

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Sorry I have been so busy I haven’t had much time to write blog posts. However, I am always in search for inspiration. So this one is just a little cute something for all my yoga followers. I can’t remember where I found this, but I hope you can relate to it, and have a laugh.

Enjoy!
P.S. I will be posting some longer more quality posts in the next couple days. So keep your eye open, for some book reviews and my half marathon recap.

Why do you love Fall?

Why do you love fall?

Fall is my favorite season. Why? Because it provides days that are filled with the perfect running weather. Oh and I get the opportunity to lounge around in sweaters I hand knitted myself and drink my favorite drink Chai tea.

Did I ever tell you I am a knitter?

for more info, check out my knitting site:  http://cashmeresilk.tumblr.com/