Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Recovery Pudding

I’m a little late to the chia party. I know everyone has been talking about chia for a few years but I hadn’t jumped on the bandwagon, mostly just because I was reluctant to add another random cooking ingredient to my already full pantry.

I decided to give some “recovery pudding” a try though because I was feeling really sore from all the training I’ve been doing.

This is what Thrive Foods has to say about chia:

Particularly high in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron, chia can effectively replenish minerals used in muscle contractions and lost in sweat. Chia is truly one of the top foods for active people. And because it is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps to sustain energy and maintain fullness, chia is a true high-net-gain food. Packed with antioxidants and containing about 20 percent high-quality protein, chia is an ideal food to help speed recovery after exercise.

There are about a zilllion chia pudding recipes on the interweb. The only thing different about this one is that it doesn’t have a boat load of sugar in it. It has only 10 drops of liquid stevia but it would be good without that even.

On a side note: I keep seeing all these “healthy” recipes on Pinterest described as “zero sugar” but then when I look at the recipe it will call for a cup of agave nectar or a cup of maple syrup or a cup of brown sugar. Word to the wise: agave nectar, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc ARE SUGAR. And once sugar enters a recipe it is no longer health food. Seriously, I hope people aren’t making these brownies I saw that are made out of protein powder, eggs, a can of black beans and a cup of sugar. Please. Don’t do that. I love dessert more than anyone but when I eat Whoopie Pie’s I recognize it’s a treat just for special occasions. I’m afraid there might people out there eating those protein brownies wondering why they can’t lose weight and feel tired all the time.

Phew, I feel better now!

As good as a pug sleeping in a pile of dirty laundry!

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I apologize for posting a picture of my dirty clothes. I had my laundry sorted out on the floor and I walked upstairs and found Lilly snoozing away.

Back to the pudding. Chia pudding has kind of a tapioca like texture. I made this as a recovery shot. Not a dessert pudding. In fact, you would not want to eat more than about 1/2 cup of this pudding or you could get a tummy ache. That’s a lot of fiber, so don’t go too crazy!

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You can change this recipe as much as you like. Use different liquids and different flavors. You just need to keep a ratio of 2 tablespoons chia to 3/4 cup liquid.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Recovery Pudding
1 can light coconut milk (or 1.5 cups other milk)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
10 drops liquid stevia or to taste

Method 1: Place all ingredients except chia seeds in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a large enough bowl and stir in the seeds. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour but the longer, the better.

Method 2: Combine all ingredients except peanut butter in a bowl. Stir until everything is combined. Heat the peanut butter up, then add it to the mixture and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour but the longer, the better.

Have a great week!

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Foam Rolling Tutorial plus Pugs Gone Wild

Hi!
I finally made that foam rolling tutorial for the hips and thighs! Ouch! I am making my “I’m in pain” face throughout this video. It’s always pleasant to watch videos of myself, ha!

But first, here’s a video of Lilly eating broccoli. Lilly’s videos are way more popular than mine (as they should be!) so I’m putting hers first. Lilly loves vegetables. All vegetables (except cilantro). I had this broccoli stem poking out of the garbage and she was crying for a taste so I decided to film her eating it. She startled me because she jumped up but don’t worry, she did not bite me. I only scream out of surprise. And all that other noise is her heavy breathing/normal eating sounds.

Here are written instructions on foam rolling so you don’t have to watch a video every time.
Calves
Roll on back of ankles, flop feet side to side
Work your way up the legs, flopping feet side to side
Press up and roll entire length of calf
Cross one leg over the other and roll entire length of calf
Bend and straighten knees

Shins
Put most of weight in the hands, kneel on the roller, turn toes inward to get the belly of the muscle

Quads
Come on the the forearms and roll both legs at once
Do just one leg at a time focusing on any areas of tension
Bend and flex at the knee on those painful points

IT BandRoll the side of the thigh with the roller either perpendicular to slightly parallel to the thigh
Bend and straighten the knee when you find those painful points!

Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL)
Rock front to back on upper hip
Roll to back to get the hip more

Glutes
Sit on the roll & roll back and forth looking for painful points
Cross ankle over knee for additional stretch

How to make the perfect tofu

Hi! I wanted to post some step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a basic tofu for soups, curry, stir-fry’s etc. I realized I use this basic tofu in many of my recipes but I’ve never done a post on exactly HOW I prepare tofu.

Tofu is a controversial food. And I like to stay out of controversy whenever possible! Basically, some people like to hate on tofu because some tofu is made out of GMO soybeans and supposedly it can raise estrogen levels.
On the flip side, organic tofu is not made with GMO soybeans and many doctors recommend tofu because it’s good for heart health and it’s a great source of protein.
I also know that you have to eat A LOT of soy products before it does anything to your estrogen levels.
Like all foods, moderation is key. I will go months without eating any tofu at all, and then sometimes I have it on a regular basis for a month straight. Like now. This is the fourth week in a row I’ve made coconut curry soup. I can not get enough of it. This week I put broccoli in it instead of green beans. I know, I’m really living on the edge here!

Step 1: start with a pound of extra firm or firm tofu, the refrigerated kind, NOT the shelf stable stuff. We just got a Trader Joe’s here in Salt Lake and they have this incredible, Organic High Protein Tofu (probably the reason I’ve been eating it for a month straight).

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Step 2: Preheat a large frying pan over medium high heat (a 6 on my stove) and place a little olive oil in the pan. Just enough so the tofu won’t stick.

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Step 3: Get out your large cutting board and place the unwrapped tofu on the cutting board. Slice it into approx 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch slices, depending on your preference.

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Step 4: Now slice the other way so you end up with tofu strips.

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Step 5: Turn those strips into cubes and do the same for the entire chunk of tofu. Place all cubes in the preheated pan.

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Step 6: Coat the tofu in the heated olive oil and cook for several minutes. I highly recommend one of these splatter covers for your pan so you don’t end up with oil splattered everywhere.

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Step 7: Cook the tofu until it starts to turn a golden color on some sides, like this. It will only take 5-10 minutes to get to this point.

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Step 8: Sprinkle the tofu with some tamari or soy sauce. Just enough to get each piece evenly coated. Not so much there is standing sauce in the pan.

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Step 9: Continue cooking with the splatter guard on for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to get the tofu evenly browned.

It will look like this when it’s done.

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I will leave you with this photo of Lilly. She was riding shotgun in her carseat over the weekend. Best co-pilot ever. We were getting gas. 🙂

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Foam Rolling the Calves and Lower Legs

Hey I finally made another video! This is a little foam rolling tutorial just for the calves. I am working on one for the rest of the lower body.
I am committed to foam rolling. I’ve done it off and on for years, mainly only when I’m injured. Ok, only when I’m injured. And now I’ve been battling this silly ankle injury for over a year and it’s most likely caused by tight…everything. So I’ve been foam rolling every day and guess what? Even though I’m running MORE, my ankle is hurting LESS.

Amazing how everything is connected isn’t it?

Disclaimer: Foam Rolling can be extremely painful, especially if you are an athlete! Take it easy and just do a little each day until it becomes more bearable.

The roll I use is made by Trigger Point.

Enjoy!

Vegan Whoopie Pies

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Happy almost Valentine’s Day!

I have never made whoopie pie’s before, nor have I ever even eaten one! But for some reason I have been wanting to make whoopie pie’s for months now. And since it’s Valentine’s Day…well, that was the perfect excuse!

My prediction is that whoopie pie’s are going to be the next cupcake. You heard it here first, folks. Think about it, it’s 2 cupcake tops (nobody really likes the cupcake bottom anyway, right?) filled with as much frosting as you like. And since the frosting is sandwiched between two cake tops you can wrap them up and pack them with you. They are portable!

I just finished my second week of half marathon training. Only 10 more weeks to go! It seems like it’s going by fast. This week went much better than last week. I’m still really slow but it feels less like torture and I’m not counting down the minutes like I was last week.

Ok, back to the pie’s.

The cake batter I used to make the pie’s was incredible. Even raw it tasted good which is always a good sign. This was my first time to ever use EnerG Egg Replacer but not my last! That stuff is really cool. It made the batter really light and fluffy.

I wasn’t sure how much batter to use per pie half. The recipe I used said it would make 10 pies. My pies must have been small because one batch would have made about 14 pies if two-thirds of them hadn’t burned. That’s how I know mine were too small-8 minutes in the oven burned them. I made a second batch and really kept an eye on them while they baked. There’s only about a 30 second difference between not quite done and baked perfectly.

To form my batter I used a two spoon “scoop and scrape” method. I scooped a heaping tablespoon up with one spoon, then used the other spoon to remove the excess batter and then scrape the batter on to the baking sheet. Leave plenty of room between cakes because they grow a lot!

This is the batter.

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And here are my cakes!

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I made 3 different frostings. A vegan cream cheese (my favorite), a cream cheese mint (my fiancĂ©’s favorite), and a peanut butter.

Here are the instructions, now that I’ve written a novel.

Whoopie Pie’s

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened baking cocoa)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegan margarine
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons egg replacer powder mixed with 3 tablespoons hot water

Preheat the oven to 400Ëš F and line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

First, combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup and allow to sit and curdle while you prepare the other ingredients.

Next, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium size mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Then add the egg replacer mixture and cream again. Now, in several additions add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk mixture until you have a smooth batter.

Using two spoons (or an ice cream scooper, if you are brave), use the “scoop and scrape” method to get even sized scoops of batter on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Watch closely since you won’t be able to tell if they burn. You know they are done when you press on them and they “spring back”.

Allow them to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting
1/2 package vegan cream cheese (I used tofutti brand)
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Several cups of Powdered Sugar

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making frosting. You just keep adding powdered sugar until you get the fluffy frosting consistency you desire. This is what I did to make about 4 cream cheese filled pies and 6 mint filled pies.

Cream the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract together using an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar until you have achieved desired fluffiness.

Frost as many cakes with this flavor as you want.

Then add in the peppermint extract, blend again and frost more pies.

Last, I made these “Peanut Butter Monsters”. I just wanted to try it. These were our least favorite flavor, but still good. The frosting isn’t as sweet, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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For the frosting:
Approximately 1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons vegan butter
As much powdered sugar as needed to make it into frosting consistency

Alright, that was the longest post ever! Have a wonderful week and a happy Valentine’s Day!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

I have posted this recipe before, but I just made this burrito again and was reminded of HOW GOOD it is! Plus the original picture I took was awful and my photography equipment and skills have improved just slightly since then (thanks to my wonderful fiancé).

A few notes on this awesome burrito mixture.

1. This makes a TON of food. So seriously, if you don’t have a huge pan or you don’t want to be eating this for 9 days straight, 1/2 the recipe. For real.
2. You can consume this stuff so many ways!
a. As a traditional burrito
b. As a taco (as pictured)
c. As a taco salad (my favorite way). Just add to the top of a green salad.
d. As nachos! Throw some of this on tortilla chips, lace with vegan cheese, microwave and enjoy!
e. On its own. Just eat a big ol’ bowl of it!

I am working on making some foam rolling videos that I will have up next week.

AND I’m going to post a new workout.

AND I am going to post a really yummy (not low sugar) valentine treat recipe.

Until then, here is that burrito recipe…

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We say sweet potato but we really mean yam. I think sweet potato has a better ring to it than YAM. So even though I call these sweet potato burritos, you really need to get yams. Jewel yams to be exact. Now you know!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds of yams, peeled sand diced into 1/2 inch chunks
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 sweet onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 red peppers, chopped
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 15-oz cans of black beans

Preheat a very large pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and yams to the pan and stir them around. Let the yams cook for about 5 minutes while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
Add the onion and garlic to the yams, cook for about 5 more minutes stirring occasionally. Add the seasonings and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the chopped red pepper, black beans and rice and sauté for another 10 minutes on low or until the yams are easily pierced with a fork.

Coconut Curry Soup with Tofu

I was a really bad blogger last week! Between yoga school and starting to run again I didn’t have much free time.

Speaking of running. I took 9 weeks off of running due to that ankle injury and then being sick. Last week was my first week back and I started back with a 3 mile run. Hardest. Run. Ever. Seriously, it was very humbling. I probably could have walked faster and then would have been much less sore, but I did it and that’s what counts. 🙂

Week 1 of half marathon training done, 11 more to go!

Soup time. When I was sick all I wanted to eat was curry because it felt good on my throat and cleared my sinuses. Sorry, that was gross. I really wanted a curry soup though. So I made one! I like this soup so much I made it both last week AND this week. It’s really good! And really fast and easy to make.

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Coconut Curry Soup with Tofu

1 pound tofu, cubed and sautéed
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup red or green curry paste
2 cans light coconut milk
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
4 large carrots, sliced as thin as possible
1 1/2 cups french green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

First prepare the tofu. Heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cube the tofu into 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch dice. Add the tofu to the skillet and cover with one of those splatter guards if you have one (I really recommend one). Cook the tofu, stirring occasionally, until it starts to turn a golden color. Then sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce over the tofu, stir and let it cook a few more minutes until it starts to brown and get a little crispy. (this is my basic tofu method I use for everything).

While the tofu is cooking, get started on the soup. Preheat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the curry paste and cook for 1 more minute. Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, lime juice and tamari/soy sauce. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the sliced carrots and green beans. Once it comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the carrot is softened. Add the cooked tofu and enjoy alone or served over brown rice.

Here is a picture of Lilly draped on me when I was sick. Sometimes we find it hard to believe this thing is a dog…

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Here she is “blending in” to the blanket. Hard to tell where the blanket ends and pug begins!

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