MacroVegan Sushi? So YUM! & Part of the RawFitnessChallenge!!!

So you’re thinking…’RawFitnessChallenge’??? Am I going to be eating broccoli for 30 days? Well although I use the word ‘Raw’, this challenge is in no way only ‘raw’ foods! RawFitnessTV.com and Raw Fitness personal training use the word RAW to describe the approach to nutrition, exercise and lifestyle habits. RAW can stand for Real, Authentic, Wholesome in relation to food, nutrition and lifestyle. RAW can stand for Ripped Ass Women or Ripped Awesome Workouts when it comes to exercise and fitness. Basically, I want you to be friendly to the environment and use what ‘the good lord gave ya’! Food should be from the earth to your table, unprocessed, unrefined, organic farming practices, wholefoods baby! Exercise should be functional, bodyweight and minimal equipment and machinery. Your body weight is a sufficient amount of weight for your workouts to get you trim, slimmed, lean and toned…and feeling great! Get back to the basics! Oh, and there is more info about how to join the #Rawfitnesschallenge at the end of this post, so don’t miss that!
A fantasticly tasty meal that is aligned with the RawFitnessChallenge is my MacroVegan Sushi rolls made with Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Avocado & Zucchini. SO GOOD! AND SATISFYING!

If there is anything that could help satisfy a sweet tooth craving, it would be the combination of a slice of sweet potato, a slice of avocado on top, and a sprinkle of sea salt or dulse flakes…and if necessary a drizzle of agave…so good. But you put that combo into a sushi roll and you’ve got yourself a pretty delish meal for a warm summer night. Refreshing, satisfying, filling yet light. Remember, your dinner should not be super heavy and filling, you will be sedentary after din din and going to bed soon…so there is no reason to load up on the calories.

Super Satisfying Sweet Potato-Avocado Sushi (Macro-Vegan, RawFitnessChallenge worthy)

Sushi Ingredients: (All Organic)

  • Quinoa (1/4 – 1/2 cup per person)
  • Avocado (1/2 Avocado per person)
  • Sweet Potato (1/4 – 1/2 Medium Sweet Potato per person)
  • Zucchini, julienned (1/3 Large Zucchini)
  • Ume Plum Vinegar 1 -2 tsp (or Apple Cider Vinegar)
  • 1 Nori Sheet per person

Marinade Ingredients: (All Organic)

  • A few dashes of dried basil, oregano, dill, pepper and dulse flakes
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ume plum vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

First combine marinade ingredients and put your julienned zucchini into a bowl with the marinade and let sit, to soften and infuse the zucchini. Cook sweet potatoes in a pressure cooker for about 10-15 minutes depending upon how many potatoes you’re cooking. Remove from pressure cooker and place in tupperware on the side/countertop while you make other ingredients. Cook up your Quinoa before or during prep. You should soak your quinoa, then cook in pressure cooker for around 10 minutes. You can use it hot or chilled, it’s up to you. Lay one nori sheet on a sushi mat, shiny side down. Place about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of Quinoa onto nori sheet and spread out over one half of the nori sheet. Drop a line of ume plum vinegar down the middle of the quinoa on the nori sheet. Lay your sweet potato slices (1/4 inch thick slices), avocado slices (1/8 inch thick), zucchini slices down the middle of the quinoa and drizzle the extra marinade over the quinoa evenly. Roll it up, slice it up and plate! I used any extra avocado, sweet potato and zucchini slices to put atop my romaine side salad. Very delicious and satisfying dinner for a warm summer night! Enjoy!

For the RawFitnessChallenge starting on July 1st read the blog post ’30 Days to Re-Vamp’. Additionally, we will be chatting with eachother over the world wide web to keep each other motivated not only on Twitter.com but you can join the conversation and interactive community directly on Tweetchat.com too using the directions below. Remember, if you want to join the challenge you must post your ‘commitment statement’ on Twitter.com using hashtag #rawfitnesschallenge now…do it now…the instructions are in the ’30 Days to Re-Vamp’ post. And any tweets you make in reference to this challenge on twitter.com use the hashtag #rawfitnesschallenge.

Get Involved in the Interactive Online RawFitnessChallenge Community:

  1. Go to tweetchat.com
  2. Sign in using your twitter account on tweetchat.com
  3. Enter rawfitnesschallenge as the hashtag to follow.
  4. It will take you to a ‘wall’ with all the posts related to rawfitnesschallenge so we can share our experiences and keep each other motivated, share exercise routines and recipes, and do a little Q & A.

See you there! Make your commitment statement now!

Take 30 Days & Re-Vamp Your Wellness…weight loss, fitness & well-being!

Alright…it is SUMMER! Today is the first day of summer. So much to look forward to, getting out and about with friends and family, the beach, enjoying the city you live in, taking in what nature has to offer and much more.
We also will be faced with more temptation. You will face temptations at cookouts, there are more gatherings centered around drinking alcohol, people will be indulging in frozen treats and drinks everywhere, like ice cream & pina coladas…you’ll be tempted to skip a workout either because you went out and had a little too much to drink the night before…or the view of the pool is calling you away from your workout shoes…

Enter…the 30 Day #RawFitnessChallenge. Coming July 1st, 2012. Take the month of July to re-vamp your wellness. Work towards 3 health, fitness & lifestyle goals. This challenge is for you, you will customize it to what you want to get out of 30 days in relation to your health. Be it mental, emotional, physical health and so on. I will provide each RawFitnessChallenger with a template and you will customize it to your individual needs and goals. You can do this challenge from anywhere in the world. If you happen to live in the Baltimore, MD area…you will get the opportunity to take part in my local wellness meetups I hold for this challenge. If you live elsewhere, you can do this challenge on your own…or invite friends/co-workers/family and hold your own meetups…the RawFitnessChallenge interactive community will provide everyone with the workouts, nutrition guidelines, motivation and accountability to keep you going for 30 days! I will explain how you join (free) the interactive community for the RawFitnessChallenge below.

What will the challenge be?

  • You will do 3-7 workouts per week (depending on your current fitness level and goals). The 30 Day Fitness guidelines will be posted on RawFitnessTV.com blog for you to read, print and post on your refrigerator or somewhere you visit daily.
  • You will follow ‘clean eating’ practices that include wholefoods that are unrefined and unprocessed for 30 days. The 30 Day Nutritional guidelines will be posted on RawFitnessTV.com blog for you to read, print and post on your refrigerator or somewhere you visit daily.
  • Each Sunday, I will post the W.O.W. (workout of the week). You can choose to do the W.O.W. or your own workout you design but must log your 3-7 workouts on the RawFitnessChallenge interactive community board as an accountability factor and to help support others & keep each other motivated as well as provide ideas.
  • Each Sunday I will share a new M.O.W. (meal of the week) breakfast, lunch & dinner recipe to test out and include in your week’s meal plan. You can choose any ‘clean’ wholefoods, unrefined/unprocessed ingredients and recipes that follow the 30 Day Nutritional guidelines. You are encouraged to post your recipes, success w/avoiding temptations, experience, and questions on the RawFitnessChallenge interactive community board!
  • You will join the challenge by posting your commitment on the RawFitnessChallenge interactive community board on Facebook. Also you can post on your twitter page (if you have one) and your own facebook wall, as well as email close friends/family so that they are aware and able to empower you and keep you accountable. You must state this on the Facebook Page: “I am committing 100% to the 30 Day #RawFitnessChallenge to fuel & condition my mind, body and soul towards optimal wellness. (State your 3 fitness goals you want to work towards/achieve in 30 days if you feel comfortable doing so)”. Make sure you use the hashtag #RawFitnessChallenge when posting on Twitter so that your post is logged in the twitter RawFitnessChallenge interactive community board!!!!
    • Example: “I am committing 100% to the 30 Day #RawFitnessChallenge to fuel & condition my mind, body and soul towards optimal wellness. Lose 5 lbs, go vegan, apply myself at work.”
  • Email Friends/Co-workers/Family: “I am committing 100% to the 30 Day #RawFitnessChallenge to fuel & condition my mind, body and soul towards optimal wellness. Lose 5 lbs, go vegan, apply myself at work. If you’d like to join me, let me know! Go to RawFitnessTV.com for info on the challenge.”

Where do I find the RawFitnessChallenge interactive community board?

  • Log on to your facebook account.
  • ‘Like’ Get Fit with RawFitnessChick.
  • Every time you workout, need motivation, hit a roadblock, have questions about the challenge or need support, eat wholefoods, want to share a recipe, achieve one of your goals or to log the results you’re experiencing…basically, ANYTHING related to the RawFitnessChallenge….YOU WILL compose a new facebook post ON GET FIT WITH RAWFITNESSCHICK’s page – this page will be the interactive community board.
  • You can also log on to your twitter account. If you don’t have a twitter account you can choose to open an account with twitter, or just log your posts on the ‘Get Fit with RawFitnessChick’ Facebook page.
  • Once logged onto twitter follow @RawFitnessBmore
  • Your first tweet will be your ‘commitment’ tweet as explained above.
  • You can also tweet your questions, motivational quotes/pics, recipes, achievements, experience, workouts on twitter using hashtag #rawfitnesschallenge. You can then do a search on those posting about the #rawfitnesschallenge on twitter and get support and motivation on twitter as well. But the interactive community board is FACEBOOK.
  • Log on to your pinterest account. If you don’t yet have one, sign up on www.pinterest.com.
  • ‘Follow’ the following boards on ‘RawFitnessChick‘s’ pinterest page: Wellness, Amazing Vegan Desserts, Vegan Meals & Snacks, Raw Delicious Meals & Snacks, Raw Desserts, Exercise, Nutrition (or just follow all my boards if you wish).
  • These ‘boards’ on pinterest.com will be a good resource for recipes, motivation, and workout ideas!

Your resource for workouts, recipes, nutritional advice and guidelines, motivation and support will be mainly Facebook, RawFitnessTV.com, and pinterest.com AND if you wish to use it, Twitter. If you live in the Baltimore, MD area and want to join in on the wellness meetups…join us on meetup.com or listen for updates on meetups on facebook and twitter!

The 30 Day RawFitnessChallenge will provide you with exercise and nutritional guidelines as well as the support, motivation and accountability needed to stick to the 30 day challenge to empower you to achieve your 3 health & fitness goals. After the 30 days, you will incorporate what you’ve learned and the habits that you’ve maintained into your new life for a healthier and happier new you! Let’s do this together, start preparing now, join the challenge now on twitter and facebook. Get committed early so that you can learn what you’ll need to do for the challenge and when July 1st comes you will be 100% ready to go!

Join us now…#RawFitnessChallenge…make your commitment statement now on twitter and facebook, let it be heard!

What are YOU Allergic too? Could it be making it difficult for you to lose weight?! Want flat abs?

Post 30 Day Challenge. I’m still vegan/macro and let me tell you a little story why! This past weekend was my first weekend since my 30 Day Macrobiotic/Vegan challenge. So, I tested the waters a bit and went out to dinner with my fabulous boy-partner.
Friday night we hit up a local authentic mexican joint that I had been dying to try. Beforehand, I checked out their menu to make sure they had food that fit my preference. This is always good to do so that you aren’t caught in a bind when you are already seated and everyone’s ready to order…and there is nothing on the menu for you, been there and done that!

I heard some great things about this restaurant (Los Amigos) AND it had vegetarian dishes that I could easily ‘make’ into vegan (if I wanted to). I ordered the vegetarian fajitas which came with rice and beans and a little bit of guacamole and lettuce. This was a ‘celebration’ dinner for making it the WHOLE 30 days without cheating, so yes…I allowed myself two corn tortillas lol…this is the thing about life, enjoy yourself! If you’ve been consistent with exercise and nutrition for 4 weeks, IT IS OK to include SOME things in your meal that aren’t usually part of your diet (such as the 2 corn tortillas). Just don’t go out to McDonald’s and get a 1/4 pounder with cheese…

I ate correct portion sizes and it was for the most part a pretty well rounded meal, as well as very tasty! I even had a corona light! HOLY S**T! It is 2012, so I’m trying to enjoy myself a bit before the zombie apocolypse… ANYWAYS, I felt good after the meal, meaning I digested it fine. I was worried that after 30 days of VERY clean eating, mexican food might be a bit too much to handle… BUT I WAS GOOD TO GO! Basically, this macro/vegan thing is fantastic because it has really helped heal my digestive system. Before the challenge there was no way that I could eat a mexican meal and feel fine after. So 1st test night…check!

My second test night, Saturday, we went to a spiffy little joint called Pazo’s that serves tapas and entrees. I stuck to somewhat vegan/macro tapas plates with the exception of some CHEESE in one dish (zucchini ‘no pasta-lasagna’) and I ate a few scallops…and maybe a little crabmeat lol. Again, I felt reasonably good after the meal and was pleased to see that eating seafood wouldn’t disrupt my balance.

Things that I’m ‘Allergic’ too: Tofu & Cashews (Nuts). Not seeds. Every time I include tofu in a dish I notice that afterward I just can’t digest it properly. It may either make my stomach hurt, cause a little heartburn or indigestion, or a ‘sour stomach’. Same for nuts, cashews especially. After eating just a handful of cashews I will immediately feel bloated, have ‘sour stomach’, indigestion and so on. Seeds however, I can handle in small amounts…thank god! Because I love me some hemp seed. Also, almonds are okay with me to.

I’m rambling on about this so that maybe you can identify and start becoming aware of different foods that you may be ‘allergic’ to. I use the word ‘allergic’ and define it as an unwanted, negative body/mind reaction to the consumption of a food or beverage. When you have a negative reaction, when a food makes you feel crappy, this is your body telling you, STOP EATING THAT FOOD!

It may cause an acidic response in your body that you just can’t tolerate, and we don’t want high acidity in our body. Read post about pH level, acidity/alkalinity here. It may cause some of your organs or bodily systems to work in overdrive which makes them not able to perform their important daily functions (ex. alcohol = liver overdrive = liver can’t metabolize fat at normal capacity). It may cause inflammation, and more specifically inflammation in your digestive tract, which we really don’t want! (inflammation of intestines = inability to absorb nutrients from food). It may cause a ‘back up’ or better known as ‘constipation’ in which we will hold in a lot of excess waste, you will feel crappy because your full of it (barf!) Read this:

(Constipation) “This leads to weight gain problems, because of poor nutrient absorption. When sludge begins to line the colon walls it becomes harder for nutrients to be absorbed into the body, as the body must now try and extract nutrients through this wall of fecal matter.
When this occurs, guess what happens?  Your body tells you that you must eat more!  You are not getting the right nutrients so you continue to eat in a vain attempt to get what the body needs!  Cravings kick in because of a lack of certain key nutrients.
Further. colon or bowel blockage results in several bodily problems. As the colon becomes impacted, just like an old rusty drainpipe, the hole in the middle becomes smaller and smaller.  The more impacted the colon becomes, the more weight you carry. Not only does weight become an issue, but diverticulosis (herniated bowel pockets filled with trapped fecal matter and caused by constipation), colon polyps (a tumor that rises from the colon’s surface and then protrudes into the inside of the colon), and cancer can be down the road.  This is a progressively degenerative disease where eventually you end up with total colon blockage, cancer and even death…. regularity will help to give you that flat stomach that doesn’t bulge out, and it will aid you in losing weight and keeping it off.”

Well, I’m so glad we had this talk…probably the last thing you wanted to hear! BUT it is important. You’ve got to start eating clean, do a 30 Day Challenge like I did (heck, even two weeks will help!). Then after your 30 days of clean eating, you will be able to slowly add in foods you used to eat to see what you may be ‘allergic’ to. And eliminate these foods you’re ‘allergic’ to because they only cause your mind and body harm! As well as your waistline!

Yours Truly,

RawFitnessTV.com: Teaching others how to fuel & condition their mind, body & soul towards optimal wellness.

Hop on the Macrobiotic Train, Next Stop…The Sky’s the Limit

So, whether this is the first post you’re reading on my blog or if you’ve been following me through my 30 Day Challenge…let me just say and announce that I have been converted to the Macrobiotic Way. Go back and read my posts from May 1st to May 30th and you will understand more about what the hell I’m talking about!
To sum it up, I’m sad it is the end of the 30 Day Challenge because I want to keep going with it and the group of ladies that I’ve been doing the challenge with are AWESOME! SO I’m sticking with it baby! Why in the world would I go back to my old ways? I’ve learned so much and experienced how amazing and energized and clear-minded and strong I can feel and be when sticking to the macrobiotic way 100% (I did not cheat!). In fact, I think I can take it another step and incorporate more of the macrobiotic way into my life, there is so much more to learn! This was just the introduction, now it’s time to educate myself more and improve upon that knowledge. Some may say, “She is crazy”…but I say that anyone would have to be crazy to regress to what they were doing before. Once you learn something that will improve your quality of life, why in the world would you let it “go in one ear, and out the other”? Why would I go back to my old ways in which I had a lower quality of life? WHY? I ask myself this all the time when I share a VERY USEFUL piece of knowledge with someone, a piece of knowledge that could improve their quality of life greatly, and see that they don’t incorporate that new piece of knowledge into their life because it seems ‘too hard’. Well, isn’t it even harder to go day-to-day feeling like crap and isn’t it frustrating when you can’t seem to reach your health and fitness goals?

GO out and get a book on Macrobiotics (‘The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health and/or Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition are two that were recommended to me and are great) OR Master Macrobiotics in 10 easy steps!just start doing research on the internet. Learn what the principles and rules are and stock your pantry with Macrobiotic friendly foods and learn new recipes and start your own 30 Day Challenge. GIVE IT YOUR ALL AND YOU WILL ‘SEE THE LIGHT’.

Before Kara’s 30 day challenge I ate mostly ‘clean and whole foods’ (or thought I did). My ‘vices’ that I got rid of for the 30 day challenge were my vegan protein powder, coffee (8 cups/day…organic though! Lol..), oatmeal (microwaved rolled oats), LOTS of vitamins/minerals, fiber supplement, fish/meat/chicken/eggs (didn’t drink dairy), my beloved ‘processed, store bought’ almond milk, alcohol, seltzer water and those were my ‘vices’. My first day of the 30 day challenge I stated in my blog post, This is a 30 Day cleanse/makeover/challenge and in no way do I plan on restricting my diet to this extreme after the 30 days is finished…BUT, I plan on taking a lot of what I learned and implementing it in my nutrition & lifestyle habits post-30 day challenge. Will I stay ‘vegan’? To be completely truthful…I doubt it…nothing personal to any ‘vegans’ but it seems very restricted and I don’t do well with extremes. I do want to lower the impact I have on the planet and the types of products I use to be of no harm to animals…we will see how much ‘veganism/macrobiotic’ I keep with me after the 30 days, how about that?”

Well…I’m not turning back!!! The funny thing I notice when I look at that statement is the word ‘restricted’ because this 30 Day Challenge has been the opposite of restricted. It has opened my eyes to the great variety of foods, recipes, ways of living and joy for life that you experience by living the macrobiotic way. Before the 30 Day Challenge, eating wasn’t fun because I ate the usual ‘healthy’ chicken and broccoli for dinner, salad for lunch, and my beloved oatmeal for breakfast. Now, the options are endless, and they make me feel good after eating too which I always had problems with. Follow me on pinterest.com where I ‘pin’ all the recipes I find, there are SO MANY great and tasty recipes out there!

Since I was a little kid, I dealt with horrible digestion problems, I remember I used to hate eating dinner because immediately afterward I’d be in severe pain from stomach issues, no matter what I ate this problem persisted. Even later in life, when I was eating ‘clean’ and correct portion sizes (ex. chicken and broccoli for dinner) I still experienced stomach issues. One of the most relieving moments on this 30 day challenge was around day 3 or 4. I ate my first meal in years in which my stomach felt COMPLETELY normal after finishing the meal and I was SO happy! As I’ve already stated, this new feeling of weightlessness and surge of energy and clear-mindedness and awareness have emerged & materialized. Everything I sense seems so ‘crisp’, from the blue sky to the green trees to the birds chirping and light warm breeze and smell of the fresh spring air. When I run I feel that energy surge just as I used to feel when I was 5 years old. When I take my pup for a walk, I literally start running as fast she is and we’re flying across the field, be it I probably look like a lunatic but I don’t care one bit because I feel amazing. Running never felt so good, I feel weightless and strong. I finally feel what ‘living’ should feel like and I’m ecstatic. THIS is why I’m not turning back to my old ways and I’m going to continue on after this 30 Days truly living life by fueling my body, mind and soul with what God wanted us to consume and how God wanted us to live!

Kara, thank you from the bottom of my heart. No words could ever express the amazing and life-changing impact your 30 Days Challenge has made on me. You saved my life, because now I can actually live it! Kara’s site: Natural Body Makeover

From here on out I’ll be sharing with you exercise routines, exercise videos, recipes and my journey to optimal wellness in hopes that you can enjoy life and really start living! Hop on the macrobiotic train, because when you truly feel alive and well, the sky is the limit baby!

Yours Truly,

Nat

Tushy Toner & Strawberry Orange Mint Cream Smoothie

I tested out a recipe last night, there are some tweaks that I’ll have to make but it is actually a perfect light energy snack to have on hand during this heat wave we are experiencing here in Baltimore. It’s called socca bread and is made from chickpea flour/water/salt and what ever flavoring (sweet or savory) that you add to it is up to you. Chickpea flour is just finely ground up chickpeas (that have been soaked/sprouted/or not soaked/sprouted, this is your preference and I’ll be experimenting with the two options). So I had a ton of leftover cooked chickpea that I didn’t want to go to waste, so I used them. The original recipe for socca bread does not involve cooked chickpea, it is chickpea flour. But I figured, what the hey!
Socca Bread: My ‘Test’ which will need adjustment

  1. 1.5-2C Cooked Chickpeas
  2. 1-2 tsp salt
  3. 1-2 TBSP Agave
  4. 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp cinammon
  6. 2 tbsp almond nut cheese
  7. 2-3 tbsp water
  8. 375F for 15-30 minutes in square coconut oiled pan

Place all ingredients in blender of food processor and blend until combined. Then put in a 8X8 baking pan and throw in the oven on 375F for 20-30 minutes. Turned out light, a tad sweet and delish! I will need to tweak though because it crumbles easily and I want it to stay together. Maybe arrowroot powder or something else, I will update you when I figure it out!

On to the workout…

I woke up ready to tear up some legs and core exercises down at a park near my house with my TRX and straight up body weight moves. I tuned my bike up yesterday so I hopped on my bike, brought my backpack with my workout gear (TRX, phone for music, exercise journal, water) and hit the road for a pre-workout quick bike ride which was perfect warm-up, took me about 7 minutes to get to the park.

Then I did the fabulous workout below baking under the warm morning sun.

Tushy Toner Workout:

Do each exercise for given # of reps and sets. Then move onto next exercise. Complete workout one time through or if you’re really feelin’ it that day, go for 2 rounds!

  1. Pistol Squat (10R/Leg; 2 Sets) (Hold out 1 leg straight while you squat all the way down then back up on other leg, I used TRX for a bit of assistance on way back up)
  2. TRX Reverse Lunge (10R/Leg; 3 Sets) (Make TRX into 1 Foot Strap, place foot in foot strap, hop forward on other leg so you about 4 feet away from anchor point, squat down on leg as you reach foot that is in foot strap back OR do same motion resting one foot on stability ball) (OR do a reverse lunge)
  3. TRX Ham Curls (10 Reps; 3 Sets) (Lie on back facing TRX w/both feet in foot straps, raise hips up, curl feet into butt-back out-then lower hips down OR do same motion w/heels on stability ball) (OR Lie on back, place both heels up on edge of chair, raise hips up and down)
  4. TRX Jump Squat (10 Reps; 5 Sets) (Facing TRX holding handles lightly, feet wide and plie/toes point out, squat all the way down then power up and jump up OR do same motion without holding TRX handles)
  5. TRX Knee Tucks (10 Reps; 5 Sets) (Do plank w/feet in TRX foot straps OR on stability ball, from plank you tuck both knees up to chest and back out) (OR do plank and hop both feet up to hands and back out)
  6. Burpee minus push up (10 Reps; 3 Sets) (From standing, squat down, place hands on ground, jump feet out to plank, jump feet back in, stand up/power up/jump up, repeat)
  7. Shoulder Taps Feet Elevated (20 Taps Alternating; 3 Sets) (Get into plank w/feet in TRX foot straps, on a stability ball or elevated on chair, contract core & right arm as you tap right shoulder w/left hand, repeat w/right hand tapping left shoulder, do 20 reps)
  8. V-Up Knee Tuck Reach High (10 Reps; 2 Sets) (Lie on back, hands at sides, raise upper body up and tuck knees up to chest as you come up into V shape w/body and reach hands up to sky, lower back down)
  9. Side Plank Reach Unders (10 Reps/Side; 1 Set) (Get into side plank on left hand w/feet in TRX OR on stability ball OR elevated on chair, take right hand and twist torso as you reach under left side, do 10 Reps/side)
  10. Side Lift Splits (10 Reps/Side; 1 Set) (Lie on Left Side, split legs pressing feet up against a wall, press left hand into ground right under left shoulder and raise hips up off ground and lower back down, do 10 Reps/Side)

Then I biked back home taking a longer route that included a BIG hill, so biking for just a total of 15 minutes but with intensity! DONE! ENJOY!

After my workout I continued to be quite active. Took my pup for a long walk, hit up the organic market for some goodies, played baseball with my boyfriend and then I needed to cool off from the 90 degree heat with a tasty and refreshing Strawberry Orange Mint Cream Smoothie (VEGAN)!

Strawberry Orange Mint Cream:

  1. 8 Frozen Strawberries
  2. 8 Sprigs Fresh Mint
  3. 6 TBSP Fresh Almond Milk
  4. 1/2 Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  5. 1 TBSP Lacuma Powder
  6. 2 Shakes Stevia/Agave/Brown Rice Syrup
  7. 1 TBSP Shredded Coconut
  8. Ice to desired thickness
  9. BLEND!

As you can see, I had already taken a big gulp of the smoothie before taking the picture! It was just too good to wait! Perfect treat to chill off and cool down from one fabulous Sunday!

Health & Happiness,

Nat

Arm Ripper & Core Workout & Fresh Homemade Almond Milk!

This morning, I woke up SO ready to take on Saturday in full force. I felt excited about getting outside this morning for a Upper Body, Core & Cardio Workout. Also, my almonds that I had placed in a jar of water the night before to soak were ready to be blended up to make my first ever batch of home made almond milk! Before my 30 Day Challenge, I was drinking that processed, pasteurized almond milk from the store…during my 30 Day Challenge this has been one of my ‘vices’ that I had to let go of. I’ve known the whole time about being able to make my own home made almond milk (which I can have during the 30 day challenge), but haven’t had the time until today!
First I wanted to post a picture (pic above) from my Arbonne Spa Party I had the other day. I made up some macro/vegan meals for my lady guests, and they were a hit! I served up ‘Mock Chicken Salad’, Hummus, Salad w/ citrus ginger vinaigrette and my beloved raw vegan chocolate pudding!

The ‘Mock Chicken Salad’ was a hit, even my boyfriend likes it! And of course, chocolate pudding was phenomenal! Me and my lady guests had such a great time getting our mini-facials and makeup makeovers, the before and after was amazing. Kristy is SO talented at doing our makeup makeovers! Thanks Kristy!

I served it fresh and cool out of the refrigerator in cups and my guests couldn’t believe that this chocolate pudding was raw, vegan and made from simple and super good for you ingredients! It’s so tasty and there are so many different variations to this recipe!

On to my fabulous home made ALMOND MILK! Oh good lord was it SO much tastier and satisfying then the crap I bought in the store! First, I soaked 1 Cup of Almonds in a jar with filtered water. Fill jar up with filtered water to cover almonds completely + 2 inches more of water. Sit on counter top to soak overnight. Then follow directions below!

Home Made Almond Milk:

  1. 1 Cup Soaked Organic Raw Almonds (drain water)
  2. Blend Almonds in good blender first.
  3. Then add in 2-3 cups water until you get desired consistency.
  4. Strain almond milk mixture through nut milk bag into a big glass jug or jar.
  5. Squeeze all of almond milk from nut milk bag.
  6. Place nut ‘cheese’/leftovers to side (DO NOT THROW OUT!)
  7. Put almond milk liquid back in blender.
  8. Blend in 1-2 tbsp vanilla extract, 1-2 pitted dates/agave/stevia, these are optional and for whatever your preference is.
  9. Also, you could add mint, raw cacao, fresh squeezed orange juice and so on to add different flavors!
  10. Store in fridge, keeps for 3 days or so. You can flavor you leftover nut ‘cheese’ to taste like cheese or use it in different recipes, so don’t throw out the leftovers!

For my Ripped Ass Woman Upper Body, Core & Cardio workout, I took it outside under the sun and to a park near my house that has chin up and dip bars. I hooked up my TRX around one of the chin up bars. Below I give alternative exercise moves if you don’t have a TRX:). Enjoy!

Ripped Upper Body, Core & Cardio Workout:

Part 1: Strength – Do 1 Round of following exercises.

  1. Chin Ups 12 Reps
  2. TRX Atomic Push Ups (OR Push Up and Squat Thrust) 10 Reps
  3. TRX 1-Leg Shoulder Press 16 Reps (8R/Leg) (Do Pike Press w/feet Elevated on Chair)
  4. TRX Atomic Push Ups 10 Reps
  5. TRX Dips (OR Dips off Chair or Bench) 15 Reps
  6. TRX Low Rows (OR Inverted Rows or Bent-Over Rows) 15 Reps
  7. TRX Y Flyes (OR Incline Bench Back Flyes) 15 Reps
  8. TRX Atomic Push Ups 10 Reps
  9. TRX Tricep Overhead Extension (Or Standing Overhead Tricep Extensions) 15 Reps + 20 Pulses (Upper Half Range of Motion)
  10. 1-Leg Elevated (On Dip Bars, 4 feet high) Push Ups 5R/Leg; 2 Sets
  11. Hanging V Leg Raise (Holding body off ground on dip bars, raise legs up in V) 10 Reps; 2 Sets
  12. Inverted Rows (Overhand Grip 10 Reps/Underhand Grip 10 Reps) 2 Sets
  13. Body Dips on Dip Bar 10 Reps; 1 Set

Part 2: Cardio

  1. Set Timer for 10 minutes. You will perform exercise movement for 45 seconds of effort and have 15 seconds rest. So you will do 10 intervals of 45 seconds of effort and 15 seconds of rest for total of 10 minutes.
  2. You will alternate between two exercise moves. Start with Sprint Runs for first 45 second interval. Rest 15 seconds. Then perform High Knee Jump Rope Skips for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds. Keep repeating and alternating between these two exercises for 10 minutes.
  3. Sprint Runs: I ran ‘suicides’ in outdoor basketball court between one end, to mid court & back, then from one end to the other end and back. Basically, just sprint between two points for 45 seconds and you’re good.
  4. High Knee Jump Rope Skips: I used my rock climbing rope for extra challenge because it is heavy, but any rope will do. Do jump rope while doing high knees. Or just do your best and go your hardest at jumping rope or high knees.

Now, chug some water, lie down and congratulate yourself because you just completed a Ripped Ass Woman workout!

I had a surge of energy later in the afternoon, and decided to take my bike out for a spin around town. So fun, relaxing and got a good 45 minutes of hills and flats in! Now time for an ice cold frosty home made lemon drink!

To Your Health,

Natty Mac

Cauliflower-Carrot Patties & No Equipment Bootylicious Workout!

Oh boy did I do an amazing workout today! It’s SO beautiful out here in Baltimore, so instead of hitting the gym I worked out by my pool on my patio. This workout was just with my body weight for the most part, so you can get off the couch and do this workout while you read on to learn about Cauliflower-Carrot Patties! ‘Learn while you Burn’ baby!
Workout:

Part 1: (Strength/Toning) 1-3 Rounds (I did 3 Rounds)

1. 10 Reps/Leg Forward Lunge

2. 10 Reps Plie Jumps (Wide stance, toes point out, sit down into squat and power/jump up)

4. 10 Reps/Leg Reverse Lunge

5. 10 Reps Squat Jumps (Same as plie jumps, but feet are shoulder width apart and toes point straight forward not out)

6. 10 Reps/Leg Step Ups (Step up onto a chair, bench, or even from kneeling down on one knee-up to standing)

7. 10 Reps Side Bridge Lifts – 10 Reps Side Bridge Leg Raises (Right Side) (Lie on right side, on right elbow, right leg bent, left leg straight, raise hip up and down off mat for 10 Reps; then hold hip up (Side Bridge) while you raise left leg up and down 10 Reps)

8. 10 Reps Side Bridge Lifts – 10 Reps Side Bridge Leg Raises (Left Side)

9. 10 Reps/Leg of Elevated 1-Leg Hip Lifts (Lie on back, place feet/heels up on chair or bench, raise left leg straight up, now raise hips/butt all the way up by pressing right heel into edge of chair or bench, lower hips down and up for 10 reps)

10. 20 Reps/Leg Donkey Kicks (Get on all fours, come down onto elbows, flex both feet, now press heel back and up like you are trying to kick a door closed behind you, do 20 Reps w/Right leg than 20 Reps w/Left leg)

11. Perform a Wall-Sit for 100 seconds

Now do #1-11 for a second and third round.

Part 2: Cardio – Do each exercise for 20 sec effort, 10 sec rest interval twice than move onto next exercise. Perform 1-2 rounds of circuit below for a good cardio & fat burn after toning those bootays!

1. Pendulum Hops (Come into an ‘Upside Down V’ or ‘Downward Dog’, bring feet close together, raise one leg out to side, as you lower that leg to center hop other leg out to side, resembles pendulum on clock)

2. Pike Jumps (Come into ‘Upside Down V’ position again on mat, bring both feet to left side of mat, hop feet up and over to right side, keep hopping side-side of mat in upside down V for 20 sec)

3. Squat Thrusts (Come into plank up on hands, feet together, hop feet apart and up toward hands, then hop feet back and together, repeat)

4. V-Up Bicycles (Lie on back, hands behind head, knees up/feet up so legs make right angle, twist torso to bring right elbow to left knee as you extend right leg out and raise upper body up off mat to make V with body, return to start, now bring left elbow to right knee as extend left leg out and raise up, keep alternating)

5. Prisoner High Knees (Standing, hands behind head, do high knees)

6. Kick Ups (Sit on bum, place hands behind you flat on mat, raise one leg up and bum off mat, as you lower raised leg, hop other foot off mat and kick that leg up, alternate and repeat)

7. Plyo-Jacks (Do jumping jacks but reach down to tap ankles when you hop feet out)

8. 1-Leg Hop (Right Leg) (Balance on right leg, squat down on right leg and tap shin, power up and hop up)

9. 1-Leg Hop (Left Leg)

10. Sandbag Rotation Swing (Use KB/Sandbag/or Backpack filled with weight) (Stand in wide stance, hold weight, swing weight down between legs as you bend at waist, swing weight up to chin level as you squeeze your bum/core and bring upper body vertical)

Now on to the recipe!

Cauliflower & Carrot Patty:

  1. 1/2 C Grated Cauliflower
  2. 1/2 C Cooked Mashed Millet
  3. 1/4 C Grated Carrot
  4. 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  5. A few drops Ume Vinegar or use Tamari/Soy sauce
  6. 1 TBSP grated onion or chopped green onion
  7. Dash oregano, basil & 1 TBSP fresh cilantro
  8. Optional: 1 TBSP Vegenaise or substitute vegenaise for 1 TBSP ground roasted pumpkin, sunflower or flax seed OR 1 -2 TBSP mashed chickpeas
  9. 1 – 2 dashes cumin powder
  10. Combine all ingredients and make into patties.
  11. Put 1 -2 TBSP Sunflower oil in pan over medium-high heat. Don’t let oil get so hot it smokes.
  12. Pat a little bit of coconut flour (or any flour you want or have) on your cauliflower cakes (to help them brown).
  13. Throw cauliflower cakes in pan when pan is hot. Cook until browned on both sides.

I served up my cauliflower-carrot patty next to a side of my zucchini pasta! So good!

Health & Happiness, Nat

Grain Burger – Fantasty!

For the main entree, I cooked up the famous ‘Grain Burger’!
Grain Burger:

  1. Brown Rice: 2C serves 2 people
  2. Beans (1/4 beans:1 rice) *re-cook beans w/dash salt
  3. Spanish oregano
  4. Roasted ground pumpkin seed w/dulse flakes
  5. 1C grated carrot, celery, onion
  6. Juice from bean stock
  7. Garlic (a couple dashes)
  8. Onion powder (I didn’t have any so I added green onions)
  9. Red pepper flakes (dash)
  10. Cumin (a few teaspoons)
  11. Combine ingredients into patties and roll in Oat Flour (I used coconut flour)
  12. Cook in pan in toasted sesame oil (I used sunflower oil)
  13. Plate up with chopped cilantro on top & a squirt of miso mayo!

As you can see I substituted a few ingredients for what I had in my kitchen. I used adzuki bean pate, but you can use chickpeas or lentils that aren’t pureed. Also, I used brown rice but quinoa works as well. If you don’t have spanish oregano just use regular oregano. These are so yum!

Ginger Hummus Yummus

Serve it up! Pinto Ginger Hummus:
Hummus:

  1. 2C cooked Pinto Beans
  2. Pinto bean broth
  3. Cumin (start with 1 tsp, add to taste)
  4. Blend and slowly add in below ingredients until right consistency
  5. Add olive oil, flax or hemp seed oil
  6. Add grated ginger 1tsp & salt to taste
  7. Optional, garlic and/or sweet potatoes

Cream of Celery Soup

Cream of Celery Soup:

  1. Whole head of celery
  2. Nayonaise w/mustard (to taste)
  3. Green Onions (one stalk)
  4. Olive oil (2 tbsp)
  5. Water (slowly add as blending to bring to right consistency)
  6. Sea salt (a few dashes)
  7. Heaping tsp of sweet white miso
  8. For creamy: add avocado, zucchini or cauliflower
  9. For a kick: add cayenne pepper
  10. Blend in blender and garnish with cilantro

This was the first course from my 5 Course Vegan Dinner post. Experiment with this one, as I’m going to try all different variations! Enjoy!