Monday, February 28, 2011

Raw Chocolate Blueberry Cakes with Icing

Raw dessert time, baby!  I love how cute little individual servings are. This one's a cinch to make, as most raw deserts are. No dehydrator required.
Unfortunately I only got to eat 2 of these. Stefan inhaled the rest while I was sleeping!

Raw Chocolate Blueberry Cakes with Icing

Makes 7-8 cakes


For the cakes:
1 1/2 c pitted dates
1/4 c raw cashews
1/4 c raw hemp seeds
1/4 c raw shredded coconut
1/4 c sesame seeds
1/4 c wild blueberries
2 tbs raw agave

for the icing:
1 ripe avocado
1/4 c cacao powder
3-4 tbs agave (to taste)

To make the cakes, pulse the ingredients in a food processor until it easily binds together.
Form the dough into equally sized balls, and form into mini cake (kind of like a thick cookie).

For the icing, blend the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Spread on top, or if you want to make them look fancier, use a piping bag to decorate the tops.

Grab a fork, an episode of Friends, and enjoy!


Soba Bowls with Orange Miso Sauce

Hi guys!
Do you love soba noodles? Because I DO! Love love love them. They are light tasting and made from buckwheat. Make sure you read the label because a lot of brands use white flour as well.  We don't want that nasty acidic stuff!  They also cook up really really fast.  They only take a few minutes in boiling water, so make you keep testing them.

Soba Noodle Bowls with Orange Miso Sauce

Serves 2

2 sections of soba noodles (the packages are usually divided into sections. If not, use half.)
1 tbs olive oil
2 c sliced mushrooms of your choice
1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
5-6 leaves of kale

For the Sauce:
zest and juice from half an orange
2 tsp white miso
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs sesame oil
1 inch knob of ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, grated

Cook Soba noodles according to package directions
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat
Add mushrooms and orange bell pepper
Once these are softened, add kale and cover with foil for a few minutes until the kale is wilted
Mix ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl, and add to the noodles and veggies when finished.
Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy with chopsticks!

Hope you enjoy!

Week In Review Feb21-27/11 plus my new strength training routine

Hi Everyone!
I've decided to do a "Week in Review" Post every week so I can keep track of what exercise I've done, and to give you guys ideas and motivation for your fitness routines!
I've also put myself on a training plan for a 10 km race. I"m on week two now. So far so good! Although yesterday I had my worst run since I was a beginner. My legs felt like they had lead in them, and I felt exhausted from the moment I left my apartment. I was supposed to run 6.5 km but I ended up running 4. Oh well. Everyone has an off day.

I've also put together a new strength routine that I plan on doing 3-4 days per week.
  1. 20 min resistance training circuit  at gym (For you GoodLifer's out there it's the 20 min fit fix.  covers all major muscle groups)
  2. Runner's core stability workout (check out videos here)
  3. Flat Ab workout (click here to see workout)
  4. 10 crunches on stability ball, 3 reps
  5. 10 back crunches on stability ball, 3 reps
  6. walking lunges with 10 lbs kettle bells, 20 reps

Week in review:

Run:  22.51 km total
1 hour yoga class
2 strength training days
missed my spin class :(

 How often do you do strength training?

What do you do when your exercise schedule doesn't go according to plan? 


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Post-Exercise Snack Ideas

Hey guys!

I've kind of become obsessed with what I eat after my workouts.  As you know, I've been running more and more and I want my muscles to recover properly so that my next run will be even better. And so far, it's working! It's very important to have a combination of carbohydrates and protein immediately after your workout. The longer you wait, the less effective the food will be in helping your muscles recover. Plus, I'm always hungry when I get back and I look forward to my post workout snacks! Here's a bit of what I've been eating lately.

1. Homemade Electrolyte Drink

Forget Gatorade! It's filled with empty calories and tons of sugar. Plus, it's always a weird neon colour.

Fill your water bottle with filtered water. Add a pinch of sea salt, a squirt of agave and some citrus slices.

2. Fruit and Protein Smoothie

Blend fruit, soy or almond milk, and a vegan protein powder. I like to use hemp protein or vega post-workout powders. I also like to add some green for an extra nutritional kick.

3.  Brown Rice Cakes with Nut Butter

Spread a nut butter of your choice on two brown rice cakes. top with a drizzle of agave and pumpkin seeds.

4. Fit Fun Vegan's Perfect Post-run Scramble

Check out my earlier post here for the recipe.

5.  Raw Veggies with Black Bean Dip

6. My On the Go Workout Snacks
Oranges, dried apricots, larabars, apples and raw almonds.  Plus music and lip balm :)

I hope you find these ideas helpful.

What do you eat before and after a workout?

Do you notice a difference in performance if you don't eat properly?

Love to hear from you!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Calcium Boost for Vegans

If you're like me, you are constantly trying to monitor your calcium. I know that dairy isn't actually a good source of calcium because it leaches calcium from your bones. It is a widely known fact that countries who consume the most dairy have the highest incidences of osteoporosis! Damn those milk advertisers are good, making us believe otherwise!

When I see these advertisements in health magazines (i don't see comercials because I don't have cable. It's great!) I have to remind myself that I don't need milk, and that I can get plenty of calcium from plants.  Look at Asian cultures before they became "Westernized". No dairy, lots of plants, especially greens, and osteoporosis was a very rare occurrence.)

Sometimes it totally wigs me out that I live in a country that is constantly feeding me incorrect information that damages my health, just because they are under the pressure of farm companies who want to make money and don't actually care if their "products" are good for their customers. I won't go on and on, but let's just say that the dairy industry really bothers me and that most of the western world is completely brainwashed into believing that they need dairy and that it is part of a healthy diet. And it's not their fault! We are supposed to trust the FDA and our governments. They want to keep us healthy, right? Apparently not.

Most of us know that dark leafy greens are a great source of calcium. But some of us can't sit down and devour a raw kale salad.  Collards and chard with dressing i can handle, and enjoy! But kale...I'm not there yet.

Or so I thought.

After the gym yesterday, I sauteed some kale and white beans in cast iron skillet. Oh. My. God. this was good! I didn't even taste like kale. I'm going to eat it again today!

You'll need:
3 large kale leaves (I gave my stems to the dogs. They're like Vegan dog bones)
1/2 can rinsed white beans
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp braggs liquid aminos (totally makes the dish!)
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Saute garlic, kale and beans until the kale has wilted a bit and the beans are heated through. Add some sea salt to the dish while it is cooking. It will help the kale to wilt a bit faster.
Add braggs and pepper.
Serve and enjoy your super strong bones!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Perfect Post-Run Scramble

 I have found the perfect post run meal! It is balanced with protein and carbohydrates and is oh so yummy and filling.  After I ate this yesterday, I was so energized that I wanted to go out for another run!


1/4 block extra firm tofu
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 c sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp fresh or dried thyme leaves
sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste

  1. heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  2. add onions, red pepper and mushrooms. Saute until soft
  3. add tofu, tumeric, thyme, sea salt and pepper. Saute for a few more minute until tofu is heated through.
  4. serve on top of toast with ketchup on top and fruit on the side.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The not so great exercise week

Tuesday- 5 km run

Sunday- 20 min resistance training circuit
          -  60 min spin class

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How to Dress for Winter Running

As you may or may not know, I have developed a love for running. Even winter running! At first i was a little intimidated by the thought of running through snow in freezing temperatures and crazy wind speeds.  But now that I know how to dress, it's really fun! I still don't love the wind, but hey, it's just an added challenge if you are running against it, and helps you along if you are running with it!

Base Layer:
It's important to wear a snug fitting base layer that wicks moisture away from your body. If your skin is drenched in sweat, you will feel colder. I wear a moisture wicking yoga top.

Middle Layers:
I don't like to wear bulky sweaters, so I add two more thin layers: a thermal waffle shirt, and a t-shirt over top.

Outer Layers:
Running jacket (I like the ventilation, even when it's cold), hat and scarf.  This particular night, I didn't wear the scarf for too long. I ended up tying it around my waist after 10 minutes. Very stylish, I know. I also wear north face gloves. I don't think these are specifically for running, but they are great. I've seen a lot of other people wearing them too.

 On the bottom I wear running tights and regular cotton tights.
My legs stay nice and warm.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Italian night with the Fit Fun Vegan!

Who doesn't love Italian food? I love pasta, but I don't let myself eat it every single day.  But now that I am exercising more and more,  I want pasta more and more. Right now I'm really on a brown rice pasta kick. I love the way I feel afterward-- Satisfied and full, but not too full.

For this particular Italian night, I decided to make spaghetti with a chunky, rustic sauce with vegan sausage and bell peppers. Classic sides for this meal: bread and ceasar salad. can't go wrong with those.  When I was eating dairy, I was totally sick of ceasar salad. I had it all the time.  But hadn't ad it for about a year after I went vegan. I guess I sort of forgot about it, and thought it wasn't an option. WRONG! I actually prefer vegan ceasar dressing, and I feel much better eating it that I did with the fatty dairy kind.  I usually just make my own, but this time I decided to use Tal Ronnen's recipe from his book, "The Conscious Cook".

This is such a great cookbook.  Not an everyday thing in my kitchen because a lot of the recipes are a bit fancier and more gourmet. But everything I've tried has been very very good!
Here's his recipe for ceasar salad:

makes 4 servings

3cloves garlic
1 tbs capers, drained
1c veganaise
1 tbs white miso paste
2 tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tbs light agave
1 c olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 small heads of romaine, shredded

In a food processor, mince the garlic and capers.  Add the veganaise, miso, nutritional yeast, agave and 1/4 c water and pulse to combine. 
With the motor running slowly add the oil in a thin stream.  Continue to blend until emulsified, about 1 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Onto the main!


1 package gluten free spaghettti of choice (I used brown rice)
2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, sliced
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, roughly diced
2 c cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 yves brand italian sausages, sliced
1 can san marzano tomatoes (If you can't find these, use regular diced tomatoes)
2 tbs dried basil (you can definitely use fresh, I just didn't have any)
2 tbs dried oregano
sea salt to taste

Begin by cooking the pasta according to package directions. you all know how to do this!
Meanwhile, heat a large pot, preferably cast iron, like a dutch oven, over medium heat.  Add olive oil and allow to heat through.
Add onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, sausages, oregano and basil.  Cook until peppers and onions have softened, stirring often.  Add tomatoes and salt to taste. Bring to boil, then lower to a simmer.  If you aren't in a rush, (but you probably will be because it is so fragrant and delicious, you'll want to eat it immediately), cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  This will allow the flavors to deepen a bit.

Serve with some whole grain bread, ceasar salad, and red wine if you are feeling adventurous.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Job and Dog Scares

Hello everyone!
My apologies for not posting lately, but it has been a hectic week. My dog Chero ate a pair of my nylons and we had to take him to the emergency vet. he was sick for 4 days before and we didn't know what was wrong with him. He stopped eating and drinking and wouldn't even go on his walks. We knew something was seriously wrong, so we took him to the emergency vet on the weekend. Luckily he didn't have to have surgery.  He stayed at the vet's over night and had IV fluids because he was very dehydrated. In the morning, the vet called to say that he had passed the nylons in the morning. Thank-God! Now that he is okay and at home safe and sound, I have to figure out how I am going to pay this vet bill. Someone paid it for me and I am paying them back.

I felt so bad leaving him there. He must had been so scared. I adopted him from a shelter, so he is very sensitive to kennels and does not like to be separated from us. He came out from out the whole ordeal with a pretty pink bandage!

The other sad part of this story is that I had to sell some of my books so I could by food this week!
These are the babies I lost this week.
So sad. But I'd rather have my best friend with me and not have these books. I still have plenty left, and I didn't even have to touch my cook book section. Phew!

Ok, so on to the good news! I have just been hired at our local juice bar, Thrive! Lots of smoothies, juice and yummy vegan eats.

I had my first shift on Monday, and I LOVED it! Getting paid to make delicious juices and smoothies for people all day long? Sign me up! Plus, we get to try a spoonful of each smoothie before we sell it to the customer, just to make sure it tastes alright.  And it's a nice treat for us too! It's going to be easy staying healthy at that job.

and in case you were wondering, it is affiliated with Brendan Brazier. Check out his books "Thrive Diet" and "Thrive Fitness" if you haven't already. He's a professional iron man triathlete and he's 100% vegan! He also eats a lot of raw foods as well. The books are great for everyone, not just athletes. Plus there are lots of yummy recipes. Try the raw burgers, they are awesome. I'll do a post on them soon.

Gotta run! Off to work (at the book store this time). Check back soon for Italian night with the Fit Fun Vegan!

Hugs and avocado smoothies!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rainbow Juice and my special juice glass

this is a great juice recipe when you want a vibrant looking, sweeter tasting green juice. Plus, the pulp is so darn pretty.  This is my Led Zeppelin juice glass. I always have my juice in it. I swear it makes it taste better.

For this juice, you'll need beets, carrots, greens (I used kale and collards), lemon, ginger, and celery.  I don't drink this everyday because beets and carrots are pretty sweet, but once in a while, it's a nice treat.

What I've been eating lately

Hi readers!
Here's a bit of what I've been eating lately.

Babycakes choc chip cookies!

Easy cheesy vegan pasta.
Soba noodles with sauteed broccoli, mushrooms and onions, with olive oil and nutritional yeast on top.

Gluten free pancakes. yeah baby!

My awesome homemade guacamole with store bough raw rutabaga chips.
1 avocado mashed
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1/8 c finely diced red onion
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbs cumin

Anti-Inflammatory salad!
Arugula salad with avocado, sprouts, yellow bell pepper, sea salt, udo's DHA oil (love this stuff!) and tumeric.

 Post workout smoothie:
blue berries, almond butter, banana, spinach, kale, flax meal and one sample packet of vega complete whole food health optimizer.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pizza Quesadillas for One

Every time I work out, I craze carbs immediately after. And a lot of times, I want unhealthy carbs like fries and pizza. Instead of heading out for a store bought vegan pizza, I made a healthier version at home.

Pizza Quesadillas for One

2 sprouted whole wheat tortillas
4 tbs pizza sauce (store bought or homemade)
1/2 c daiya cheese
2 handfuls of salad greens (I used spinach and arugula)
1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
sliced red onion, however much you want
1 tbs dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Heat a large skillet over medium heat
Spread sauce on one tortilla. Top with cheese, greens, veggies and spices. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top, so the top tortilla sticks.
Add on the second tortilla
Place the pizza in the skillet and place a cast iron skillet on top
Check the bottom after a few minutes, Flip when browned and slightly crispy. Wait until the other side is browned and then enjoy!

Serve with tofutti non-hydrogenated sour cream or salsa.  It's good on its own too.