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white house tree lighting, 2010

Happy Holidays!  Can you believe that Christmas is next weekend?  I love the holiday season!

Check out my guest post on the Living Harvest website where I talk about Staying Healthy, Active and Motivated All Winter Long!

New Years is the time for resolutions, but my tips will help you keep it up throughout the year. 🙂

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Late last week, I was lucky enough to fly down to Washington DC to attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting!

The tree was lit on Thursday night, so we flew down that morning and were seated by 4:00pm for the lighting.  Before heading to the airport, I made up a smoothie for breakfast (and packed up some snacks).

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 6-8 frozen strawberries
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed
  • 4 tbsp hemp protein powder
  • 1-1.5 cups milk

Topped with a little granola for garnish.

We were very close to the stage and the tree for the lighting!

Our family friends really hooked us up!

It was freezing cold!  So, we bundled up and sat close together for some warmth.  It was definitely worth it, though!

Once President Obama and the first family arrived at the lighting, the party was ready to start.

Ready, set…

LIGHT!!

Apparently, this is the most energy efficient Christmas tree ever!  I’m not really sure how it can be with all of those lights…

After the lighting, Maroon 5 and other singers performed before Santa made his way on stage.

It was a gorgeous night!

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!