Hi everyone! So I said that I’d be sharing my recap of my trip to New York City, but that is going to have to wait because something very very exciting happened earlier this week that I just can’t wait to share! But before I jump right into it I’m excited to announce the four lucky winners of a $25-gift certificate from Restaurant.com for the restaurant of their choice. Congratulations to Ivanna, Claire, Janelle, Jim!!! I will be e-mailing you with an official congratulations and further information. I’d love to hear about your dining experiences in the D.C. area! Bon appétit my lucky friends.
Earlier this week I flew in from New York, and I was anticipating the next day back in Florida already! Want to know why? I’ve mentioned Brendan Brazier and his book “Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life” on my blog a few times. He’s someone that I look up to, and am amazed by how he’s informed himself of not only the science of nutrition, but how it impacts things from our bodies to the environment. Somehow he manages to bring all of this information to the table in a way that just makes sense. No nonsense. Anyway, I saw that he’s been on tour giving lectures and lucky for me he was stopping by my town! Not just that, but at the local health food store… of all places! As soon as I found out I signed me and my mom up right away.
He actually brought up a topic that I’ve recently discussed on here: hormones. As I’ve noted I’ve recently gone off birth-control, and I really just want to rebalance myself naturally. So far I’ve found that my skin has cleared up tremendously. Funny because that’s one of the reasons why I went on the pill anyways. Birth control for breakouts? What was I thinking? When I initially came off the pill I felt moody, but I reminded myself that it may have just been a symptom of stopping the pill. Anyway, Brendan mentioned something else that may be contributing to my off-kilter hormones. I’m an avid long-distance runner, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I really gave my body a break. Running helps me relieve mental stress, but that doesn’t mean that my body doesn’t feel the physical stress it endures from pounding out the miles. Running is something that I’d like to be able to do for the rest of my life, but my overall well-being is what will allow me to do that in the end. So after hearing Brendan’s own story about how over physical exertion affected his health, I came to the decision to lay low from running for a little bit. I’m hoping that my body will have time to really recover and get a break from the physical stress. This morning I went on a brisk walk with a book in hand. T’was a nice change. It’s hard not to break out into a leap and stride though because sometimes that’s exactly what I want to do. I just love running! But it’ll be back in my life soon, and I’ll be feeling better than ever.
- After the lecture we got to try samples of the Vega products.
- They had some drinks made with water, coconut water, or almond milk.
The surprising mixture was the chocolate flavored Vega formula with coconut water, but it tasted good! Have any of you tried these products before? I saw them all over Canada. Not just in regular grocery stores, but even at restaurants as a smoothie add-in.
- Like any good fan I made sure to bring my book to get it signed!
It’s not everyday that you get to meet someone you look up to. I think he’s making great advancements in the fields of health, sports, and the environment. He’s even dubbed as an inventor, and has been nominated for the Manning Innovation Awards.
- If only I had more time to pick his brain!
On the topic of “thriving”, I made some things that could have a life of their own!
- Yummy treats inspired by Nutella.
- The undeniably delicious combination of chocolate and hazelnuts…
- With coconut butter kisses
Chocolate and Coconut Hazelnut Medallions
These no-bake treats are simple to make, and add a flavorful note to your day or night!
Makes around 24
20 Medjool Dates
1/4 cup Old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup Hazelnuts
1/4 cup Shredded coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbl Chocolate chips
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
Pinch of Sea salt
Coconut butter (optional)
1. Pulse the oats and hazelnuts in a food processor, but not too much because you still want them to add texture to this treat.
2. Mix in the dates, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sea salt and pulse again. Then throw in the shredded coconut and chocolate chips into the paste and chop for a few seconds.
3. To make a medallion take about a tablespoon size of the batter and roll into a ball, then flatten down to desired thickness. This part is optional but you can imprint your thumb in the middle of the medallions and drizzle a pool of coconut butter in the imprint.
4. You can enjoy them right away or leave them in the fridge to set.
- Once again inspired by Brendan Brazier I decided to make one of his recipes.
The Mango-Coconut Energy Bars called my attention as I was browsing through the recipe section of his book.
- Taking a satisfying bite into a macadamia nut.
These are dense and full of electrolytes, which are great for recovering from a workout. Or even if you’re just feeling low on energy. Last summer I almost fainted from being overheated, but I believe that my mind-power and bottle of coconut water kept me from being a damsel in distress. So this would probably be a good thing to have during these months where the heat can get intense!
- This was a recipe I threw together keeping these two things in mind: vitality and the lovely Lauren.
Awhile ago Lauren reminded me of one of the yummiest salad pairings I’ve had to date: avocado, mango, and beans. I’ll share my “recipe” with you guys, but it’s very loose. I’m just estimating how much I used since I prepare mostly by eye and on how hungry I am at the time.
Mango, Avocado, and Bean Kale Salad
4-5 Kale leaves, chopped
4 grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 pearl onion, sliced
1/4 mango, cubed
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 cup pinto beans, cooked
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1 tbl Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Splash of lemon juice
Sea salt to taste (*tip: mix the salt and balsamic together before you mix in the oil)
1. Massage the kale leaves with the dressing.
2. Throw in the rest of the ingredients, toss, and enjoy!
- Oh these are the salad days.
Who is someone you admire for the contributions they’ve made?