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rainy day treats

I had a date with Emily tonight at our favorite Boston tea shop, Tealuxe!  We love to meet there to just chat and drink tea.  Since I knew that I would be eating a late dinner tonight, I snacked on some medjool dates with peanut butter before leaving the office.

The nice people over at Crazy Richard’s sent me some peanut butter to sample, so I decided to try out the creamy pb today!  Overall, it tasted delicious, I mean I do love peanut butter.  It is made with one ingredient: peanuts, which I love!  I hate when extra oils and sugars are added to the nut butters.  It doesn’t enhance the flavor (unless, of course it is a flavored nut butter to which they add other natural products)!  This tasted like freshly crushed peanuts.  However, I was disappointed in a few things: the peanut butter was extremely runny, which made it hard to work with and they roast their peanuts before turning it into peanut butter which means it’s not raw.  Oh well, still just peanuts and delicious!

Medjool dates are the king of dates!  They used to be considered a delicacy and only served to royalty, but in recent years they have become more widely available.  They are plump, sweet dates that can be eaten alone or added to baked goods in place of sugar.  I use them in smoothies, cookies and love to eat them plain or with peanut butter.  A great, healthy snack!

After Tealuxe, I came home to make a quick salad for dinner which I topped with grape tomatoes, 1/2 an orange pepper and the rest of our sweet potatoes.

My salad was dressed with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dulse flakes.

Once again, I was craving something sweet after my meal, so I whipped up some banana soft serve topped with homemade chocolate sauce (a mixture of cacao powder and raw agave) and cacao nibs.  YUM!

If you are sensitive to dairy, definitely give this ‘ice cream’ a try!  It is delicious!  It actually has the texture and sweetness of softserve, without the artificial taste.

Banana Soft Serve

from ChoosingRaw.com

Take 2 frozen bananas and mix them in a food processor…

…until it creates a smooth, soft serve texture about 5 minutes.  You may have to stop every once in awhile to scrape down the sides, but the bananas will get light, fluffy and smooth.

Serve in a bowl alone, or with chocolate sauce!

It really looks like soft serve!  And, had the same texture as well.

Raw Chocolate Sauce

Mix 2 tablespoons of raw agave nectar with 1 tablespoon of cacao powder.

This made more than enough chocolate sauce.  I could have cut the recipe in half.

Drizzle over your softserve and top with cacao nibs!

A simple, satisfying and delicious dessert (or fun snack!) that is completely dairy free and raw!


a raw day

I cracked myself up with the title of my post today. 🙂  I woke up to pouring rain in Boston!  I am happy for rain, instead of snow here in the city, but it is not looking good for skiing since they are having lots of rain up north as well. 😦  The temperature, however was over 40°F so it was not raw outside, but lots of my eats today will be raw!

I took a rest day today.  My legs and body are tired and sore from my first full week of weight training, and from my fun winter activities over the weekend.

So, I started my day with toast and a smoothie!  My toast was Millet bread from Food for Life.  I love this bread.

It is perfect for anyone with a gluten allergy, and for folks in need of a change!  It is light and slighty sweet due to being sweetened by fruit.  The list of ingredients is very short, compared to other store-bought bread which has a list a mile long!

I normally eat Food for Life’s Ezekiel bread, which is sprouted whole grain bread.  The Millet bread definitely feels lighter, and more delicious!

On top of my millet toast, I spread some Crofter’s Superfruit jam that the company sent me to try.  Each jar of their organic superfruit jams are apparently stuffed with 1 pound of premium organic fruit, sweetened with fair trade sugar and contain one-third less sugar than normal jams.  I tried out the North America jam today which is wild cranberries and blueberries blended with red grapes and morello cherries.

This jam was definitely delicious!  I really like blueberry jam, so this was perfect.  It was packed with real chunks of fruit, which I also loved.  My one concern is the sugar.  Even though the jam is made from fair trade sugar, it is still sugar!  I prefer my jam without any added sugar, because I like the natural tartness of the berries.  But, I do think that with all of the tart superfruits added, the jam would be too tart for most without the added sugar.  Luckily, it does contain much less sugar than the normal jam on the store shelves today, so it is definitely an upgrade!  Plus, it tastes a heck of a lot better!

It was perfect spread on my millet bread!

Now, my toast was not raw, but the second part of my breakfast was!  I have to say, 2 days of eating mainly raw foods has already helped me to feel better!  I do not expect to always be able to eat completely raw because I love some foods, like toast and oatmeal and yams and stuffed peppers, and when going out to dinner it may be harder to do so, but I am experimenting with the way my body feels.  This is important to me, just as it is important for others to eat the foods that make them feel best!  I find that when I eat certain foods, my body feels better than when I eat others due to the way it processes and digests the types of foods.  Other people might not suffer from the same problems, which is great!  You should eat what is best for you, and not be persuaded to eat as someone else does.  So, for the next few weeks I plan to experiment with raw foods, with removing cow’s milk dairy from my diet and with combining different types of foods, which I’ll explain in more detail in later posts.

Part two of breakfast was a (raw) Chocolate Strawberry-Banana power smoothie!

To the mix, I added the following:

  • 1 banana
  • 2/3 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein powder
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs (for the texture)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • squirt of agave (to add sweetness to the raw cacao powder)

I also added some ice and blended all the above ingredients together!

Yum!  This smoothie was just right, not to chocolaty at all.  I love using the raw cacao powder with just a squirt of agave because it gives it the perfect amount of sweetness.

I also like to use a protein powder in my smoothies to give me some extra protein in the mornings, especially after a hard workout to fuel my muscles.  There are a lot of protein powders on the market today with many fillers in them.  I prefer a more natural plant-based form of protein, such as hemp protein powder.  Others prefer brown rice protein powder instead.

Hemp protein powder is literally hemp seeds ground into a powder, nothing else is added to it.  The two turnoffs to some people are that both the seeds and powder have a nutty taste to them and the powder is green, but when added to smoothies like mine this morning you can hardly even tell!  Hemp is packed with protein, along with all the 20 essential amino acids that are used in the human body.  It also has the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 in a healthy 3:1 ratio, and a lot fiber.  Two tablespoons provides 8 grams of fiber!  It’s a perfect, and healthy way to add more protein to your diet.

As I was making my lettuce wraps for dinner last night, I made sure to pack up lunch for today!  This way, I can make my morning as stress free as possible.  So, lunch was lettuce wraps with guacamole and a small side of sweet potatoes.

I was much better at wrapping them up for lunch, than I was for dinner last night!  Delicious meal that left me feeling more energized, instead of exhausted after eating a heavy lunch!

My sweet treat after lunch was a mug of Cacao Berry tea and a chocolate macaroon.  Normally I do not eat anything sweet after lunch, but with the rain today I was really craving some tea and chocolate! 🙂

The Cacao Berry tea is a superberry tea from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea to support breast cancer research.  It is top-tier Sencha green tea with rooibos, cacao, raspberries and dark chocolate.  It is definitely delicious.  You can taste the chocolate and the berries – yum!

Each tea bag is a pyramid to allow the leaves to expand more for a better steep, and they are 100% biodegradable!!

Back to work to enjoy my tea!

healthy & fitness laps of the week – stress & stretch!

Healthy Lap of the Week – Reduce Stress!

This is definitely something that I need to work on, so I thought it would be a good tip this week!  There are many different factors that cause us to get stressed, but there are also many things that we can do to help combat our stressors.  Try to think positive.  Instead of getting frustrated on your drive to work because that person cut you off, take a deep breath and keep on driving.  Is it really worth it to be stressed about that?  I try to spend at least 30 minutes a day doing something that relaxes me, such as reading a book before going to bed, taking a bath, going for a run, attending a yoga class, etc.  When I do this, it definitely works as a stress relief, but the point is that I need to do them more often!  Being less stressed will help you to become a much happier person!

Fitness Lap of the Week – Make sure to S-T-R-E-T-C-H

Stretching is good for all of us, whether we are athletes or not!  It is the key to injury prevention and overall flexibility.  It has been shown that athletes who are more flexible tend to have fewer problems with muscle strains and cramping.  It has also been shown that flexibility can prevent overall muscle soreness.  By trying to remain flexible throughout our lives, it will ultimately put less stress on our bodies because we will have more movement throughout.  Stretching can be done before or after you exercise, but be sure to have warm muscles before doing so.  Yoga classes are great for stretching, and will help you become more flexible over time!  I find that I get very stiff from sitting at a computer all day, so I try to get up every so often and walk around to help stretch out.  Instead of just sitting at home and watching TV at night, plop down on the floor for 10-20 minutes and do a little stretching!