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how to open a coconut

We should all know by now that I love coconut.  It is great in stirfry’s, smoothies, oatmeal, trail mix, mixed with chocolate or anything else you can imagine.  I love it!

I buy unsweetened shredded and dried coconut in bulk, along with coconut water, coconut milk and coconut ‘ice cream’.

So, I thought it was about time that I try to open my own coconut.  I decided to go with a regular coconut over a young (baby) coconut that are so widely available nowadays.  Below is a step by step tutorial on how to open a coconut.

How to Open a Coconut

* you will need a coconut, hammer, nail and dish towel!

1.  Find the 3 ‘eyes’ on one end of your coconut.

2.  Take your hammer and nail, and make a hole in each of those ‘eyes’.

3.  Before smashing open the coconut, you’ll want to drain our all of the juice inside.  Tip your coconut over and place onto a cup, bowl, etc in order to drain.  (I ended up needing to shake the coconut a little bit in order to get the juice flowing.)

4.  You will end up with a cup of juice/water and your empty coconut.

**Unfortunately, at this point I realized that my coconut was bad!  I was so bummed considering that I just bought it a few days ago.  This goes to show what happens when produce needs to travel from Mexico!  But, I kept going with the process to show you guys what to do.

5.  Now, take your coconut and wrap it in a dish towel, or another towel you won’t mind washing!  At this point, I moved to my floor because I did not want to end up smashing my counter. 🙂

6.  Take your hammer and SMASH the coconut!  It took me a few good wacks until I ended up with this.

There you have it!  Delicious coconut meat!

See how it is a little brown in there?  Definitely a sign of a rotten coconut. 😦  I’ll try again sometime soon, though!

Do what you wish with the coconut meat – pop it in a smoothie, cut it up and eat it as is, dry it for trail mix – the possibilities are endless!

Enjoy.

feeling dehydrated

It sure is a hot one out there today!

I started out my day feeling so dehydrated.  This weather will really do that to you before your body adapts to it.  But, I was determined to get out there and run so I chugged some water and ate a few dates as pre-run fuel and set out for a run.

I ran along the water and enjoyed the cool breeze!  I ended up running 6.5 miles in 60 minutes.  It felt great to run.  Next week is the start of a new month, and therefore, a perfect time for me to kick my butt back into gear.  May has been a pretty slow month…

After my run, all I wanted was a smoothie.  I was so hot, that I couldn’t possibly think of eating anything else, except maybe ice cream. 🙂

I know I eat (drink) a lot of smoothies, but be prepared to see even more now that the summer is upon us!  They are definitely a favorite of mine.  Now, if I could just get a Vita Mix. 🙂

In the pink smoothie (a twist on the Vivacious Princess):

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 2 tbsp vanilla spice hemp protein powder
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 scoop chocolate Amazing Grass
  • 1 tbsp raw cashew butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • topped with chocolate banana granola

Just what I wanted!

Mid-morning, I chugged some more water and had a homemade Maple Granola Bar.

Lunch was leftover Bean Chili with Dr. Krackers.  Like I said before, this week is ‘eat up your freezer foods’, so I grabbed a chili on my way out the door this morning.

Not the best lunch for a hot hot day, but I work in air conditioning, so I’m usually freezing.  Served with a super juicy pear.  Hot weather = I crave juicy fruit all day long!

Mid-afternoon, I broke out a juicy grapefruit, yogurt and a new flavor of coconut water (which I have been sipping on since lunch).

Zico came out with 2 new flavors of their coconut water – Lima Citron and Pomberry.  I tried both of them at the NYC Half Marathon expo back in March, but it was just recently that they hit store shelfs.  I saw them on Sunday and was psyched (obviously!).

I tried the Pomberry today and liked it.  It contains coconut water and natural pomegranate and berry flavors…nothing else.  Nothing artificial.  It has just the slightest a hint of flavor.  I still prefer plain coconut water over anything else, but these hints of flavor are a nice change once in awhile.  It would be great after a long workout on a hot day!  Each bottle contains 14 ounces, which is one serving and contains 60 calories.

Who knows what dinner holds…maybe a veggie burger on a sprouted bun with a salad?  We shall see what leftovers we break out. 🙂

Edited to add: Veggie Burgers for dinner!  With a slice of american cheese and ketchup.

On a sprouted bun with farmer’s market greens mixed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

green monster

I love this weather!  I would prefer a few degrees cooler, but I will take it.

I started yesterday with a Green Monster.  I have felt so dehydrated and tired the past few days, so I needed a pick me up.

Green Monster Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 frozen peach
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1.5 cups frozen spinach
  • 2 tbsp vanilla spice hemp protein powder
  • 1.5 cups water

Don’t you love the color?!

The fruit helps to mask the spinach taste.  I swear you can’t taste it!  But, the addition of spinach helps my body on so many levels.  I start my day off with some greens, and it helps my skin, hair, nails, etc become stronger and clearer.

For lunch, I had some more greens.

Whole wheat pita filled with kalamata hummus, tabouli, romaine, peppers, cucumers, tomatoes.

This was heard t o eat, but so good.  I prefer a light lunch on such a warm day.  Not everything fit into my pita, so I had the rest of the veggies on the side.

Yum!

I was snacky today, even though I didn’t feel hungry…lots of dried fruit later and I felt sick!

I tried to set out on a run after work, but it was just so hot that my body didn’t want to cooperate, so I went on a brisk 45 minute (3 mile) walk instead to get my legs moving.

We kept dinner simple by pulling out some frozen homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi.  It is days like today, when I am so happy I have something healthy and homemade to pull out of the freezer!

We cooked the gnocchi in boiling water for about 5 minutes, then sauteed it in a skillet with a little butter, maple syrup and dried thyme until a little brown.  Served over our farmer’s market Pea Shoots!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Butter sauce, Parmesan Cheese and Pea Shoots!

Mmmm…a delicious dinner!

buddha bowl

After a late night watching the LOST finale, I needed an energizing smoothie to get me through the Monday blues.  I ate this along with a homemade Tropical granola bar.  Sometimes the smoothie holds me over, sometimes it doesn’t!

I kept it really simple today:

  • 1 cup plain Stonyfield yogurt
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 3 tbsp vanilla spice hemp protein powder

For lunch, I assembled a leftovers salad, which came out pretty good.

Romaine lettuce, leftover greek salad fixings (tomato, cucumber, pepper, tabbouleh and hummus), leftover greens from Friday night (fiddleheads, green beans and broccoli) and marcona almonds.

It all mixed well together.  Along with a Vanilla greek yogurt, chocolate granola and a super ripe and juicy mango.

Before lunch I snacked on more almonds, cheese and crackers.  I didn’t have time to eat lunch until almost 4 o’clock, so I got snacky around lunchtime.  A late lunch really screws up dinner, so I didn’t end up eating until after 9pm!

Luckily, I was defrosting some Bean Chili!

It’s a leftovers week in our house, so be prepared to see leftovers all sorts of ways!  I have lots of lettuce and frozen soups to use up to free up some freezer space.

Served in a Buddha Bowl!

The Buddha Bowl was designed by Flavour Design Studio’s and was made to rest in the palm of your hand for a more cozy eating experience.  It fits right into your hand.  I don’t always eat keeping the bowl in my hand, but it allows you to do so if you want. Personally, I just like the shape and design of the bowl!

It’s cute, modern and fun!  And, it adds a little flair to my boring dish collection.

Mmmm…this chili tastes more like a stew once defrosted.  Served with some mexican cheese and Dr. Krackers Flatbread.

Come back tomorrow and find our how to open and enjoy a coconut!

super sunday

I started my day with a 5 mile treadmill run at the hotel gym (which consisted of 1 treadmill, 1 stationary bike and 1 elliptical).  Luckily, no one else was there!  It always feels great to sweat after a night of drinking.

We were headed to a post-wedding brunch, but I was starving, so I re-fueled with a post-run recovery drink (8 oz Chocolate Almond Milk, 1 packet Chocolate Amazing Meal, ice cubes).  It was delicious!  This is my go-to recovery drink while on the go.  The Amazing Meal tastes great, especially mixed with almond milk, but it tastes best when ice cold.  I also had a packet of plain instant oatmeal with flaxseeds and a banana.

A few hours later, we hit up the brunch where they had a wonderful spread of food.  I ate some scrambled eggs, a slice of zucchini bread, spinach and fruit salad.

Brunch totally screws up my eating!  I snacked all afternoon…yogurt, pita bread, hummus, dried fruit and a supercharge me cookie.  I didn’t eat a lot of all of this stuff, but it still feels like a lot because I’m snacking all day instead of eating 3 meals.  Oh well.  Life is too short to worry about it! 🙂

This afternoon, we hit up the South End Open Market (SOWA), where we picked up some local greens, hummus and pita bread.  They all made an appearance for dinner this evening.

Mixed greens and Pea shoots!

Tabbouleh and Whole wheat pitas.

Then, I whipped up some cookies, granola and nut butter for gifts.  Homemade gifts are the best (well, I think so at least).  They come from the heart and are made with love!

Super Charge Me Cookies (original recipe from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan).

To bring with us to the LOST finale party tonight.

Modifications to recipe:

  • 2/3 cup almond flour instead of flour
  • 3 tbsp cashew butter instead of almond butter

I have made additional changes in the past, but the original recipe is so good that it’s hard to change too much. 🙂

Crazy Nut Butter

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1 cup raw brazil nuts
  • 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw peanuts
  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds

Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

Be patient while blending.  The nuts will go through stages, but will eventually become smooth and creamy!  This process took about 12 minutes for me.

This made a ton of crazy nut butter!  I filled three 1/2 pint jars.

Chai Granola

*I got the inspiration for this recipe from Sarah at The Smart Kitchen.  I used most of the dry ingredients, but varied the wet ingredients to what I had on hand!

  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 1 cup chopped raw cashews
  • 1 cup chopped unsweetened banana chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried ginger, chopped

1.  Add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl, including spices (but leave out raisins and ginger, as they may burn while cooking).  Mix well.

2.  Add all wet ingredients to a bowl and heat on a stove top over low heat until all melted and mixed together.

3.  Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix very well.

4.  Pour mixture onto 2 parchment lined baking sheets and cook at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until slightly browned (take out once at about 15 minutes to mix).

5.  Add raisins and chopped ginger, then place back into the oven for 5-7 minutes.

6.  Take out and let completely cool before storing in an airtight container.

7.  Enjoy plain, with milk or sprinkled over yogurt!

Time for dinner!

I made up a big salad with farmers market greens, tomato, cucumber, orange pepper and feta sprinkled with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano.  With tabbouleh, kalamata olive hummus and whole wheat pita bread.

Off to watch the LOST series finale!!

juli & jay’s wedding

We attended an absolutely gorgeous wedding yesterday afternoon.  Juli and Jay looked so happy together!  It was a wonderful celebration.

Congrats to the happy couple!

Before the wedding, I snacked on a pineapple Chobani, a banana and some almonds because I knew it would be awhile before dinner was served.

The venue was gorgeous!  They got married outside in a gazebo.  The weather was perfect…warm, but not to sunny.

Stunning!

Then, we headed into the tent for cocktail hour and the party.

The table settings, flowers, cake, everything was just gorgeous.

Salad.  I loved the presentation!

Vegetarian option – Butternut Squash Ravioli!!

And, dessert.

The happy couple just purchased a house and had the most incredible idea for a guest book.  They bought an oak tree and will be planting in their new yard with a rock garden!  So, we all wrote our well wishes for the couple on rocks.  What an unbelievable idea!

We all got oak tree seedlings to plant as well!

We danced the night away.

It was a great wedding day.

After the wedding, we headed back to the hotel for a snack, and then to the after party!

They sure do know how to thrown a fun party!

itching to run

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good, so I figured it was the right day to give running a try.  I wasn’t expecting much due to my week off, but I just wanted to get out there.  Me and the road…and everyone else out their running too!

It was wonderful!  My legs were itching to move, which made this a pretty great run for me.  I covered 5.6 miles in 51 minutes, which definitely isn’t too shabby.  I would have loved to do some light weights, pushups, planks, etc afterward, but my left arm is still sore when I move it a lot and the last thing I want to do is injure it more!  Baby steps. 🙂

Before my run, I just had some tea and a granola bar.  We are meeting some friends for brunch, so I never really know how to eat before brunch!  I am always hungry, but don’t want to ruin my appetite.  I figured due to the run, I needed to fuel properly.

After my run, I made up a smaller version of a protein shake that included 1 frozen banana, 1 scant cup frozen cherries, 1/4 cup hemp protein powder, 1 cup frozen spinach, 1 cup coconut water.

I love protein smoothies after a good workout.  They give your body the protein that it craves and needs and gets into your system quickly and efficiently, allowing your body to feed off of the protein, instead of the lean muscle that your workout helped to create.  The protein also helps to repair and restore your muscles from your workout.

Finally, it was time for brunch!

We headed over to Flour Bakery in the South End.  They have the best motto:

Yes, please!

Flour offers a variety of specialty sandwiches, pastries and coffee/tea for breakfast and lunch.  It’s a great spot to hang out and catch up with friends for a low-key meal.  We love it there!

I went with some iced tea and a raspberry/rhubarb bran muffin – yum!  It had a brown sugar top.

We are off to a wedding this afternoon/tonight.  In order to be prepared, I packed a small suitcase bag full of snacks because I never know what I am going to find to eat at events like this!  My thoughts are that it’s better to be prepared than starving. 🙂

Enjoy the gorgeous day!