Raw Chocolate Cake

Raw Chocolate CakeThis cake is so rich and delicious. Make sure you have a few people to share it with, you won’t be able to finish it on your own (although I could, but I won’t). It is so insanely delicious, it is like a combination of cheesecake and fudge, it’s blissful. I think I need to remove it from my house right now, otherwise my hips may be yelling at me in a few days.

Crust Ingredients

Mix all ingredients until it is doughy. Press into a round cake pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment. A springfoam pan works best, making it easy to pop out the cake once it is ready. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.

Filling ingredients

  • 2 cups cocoa powder Raw Chocolate Cake
  • 3/4 cup agave
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup of coconut butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Lucuma powder

Fruit of your choosing (I used strawberries)

Combine ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour onto crust, add fruit on top, and return to refrigerator.

(my 4 year old son took on the job of mixing)

The cake is ready once firm.

Raw Chocolate Cake

Blossom

Located in Chelsea, New York this seemingly hidden vegan restaurant provides an elegant setting without the extravagant prices.

If you aren’t looking for the exact address, you might just miss this hidden jewel.

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Blossom was recommended by my cousin that lives close to Manhattan, but is a carnivore by all means, so I wasn’t sure at all what to expect.

I must say, I was in for a surprise, and so was my cousin (not only a carnivore, but a bit anti-veggie).

Check out the delectable menu we were fortunate enough to enjoy:

We each ordered a starter to split. I, the Seitan Empanadas and my cousin, the Black-eyed Pea Cake- crispy cake of Yukon gold potatoes, black eyed peas, chipotle aioli.

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For the main course, I decided (after much decision making, everything sounded so amazing!) on the Pistachio & Pepper Dusted Tofu (I’m a huge fan of pistachios!)
(root vegetable crepe, lemon truffle emulsion, frisée in red beet vinaigrette)

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Rob opted for the Seitan Scaloppini (pan-seared seitan cutlets, white wine, lemon & caper sauce garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed kale)

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Dessert was just divine. We shared the Lavender Coconut Crème Brulée and the Chocolate Cake (?), couldn’t find this on the menu when I checked their website.

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Definitely check out Blossom if you are ever in New York. They have three locations to choose from.

Cheese Mites and Maggots | NutritionFacts.org

Cheese Mites and Maggots | NutritionFacts.org.

Mites, Anal Suckers, and Maggots in your cheese? Might not be so hard to give up after all!

Banana Apple Peanut Butter Smoothie

I found this recipe on the Family Kitchen and altered it just a bit. If you like bananas and peanut butter, you are going to love this one!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium organic pink lady apple, chopped
  • 1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk (soy, almond, hemp, etc). If you don’t have vanilla flavored milk, add about 1 t of vanilla extract or just use plain.
  • 1 tsp ground flax seeds
  • 2 tsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 banana (use frozen for a thicker “milkshake” like texture)
  •  1 tsp maple syrup
  •  pinch of salt
  •  1/3 cup frozen banana (optional for milkshake type texture)
  • 1/4 cup of ice

Blend on high and enjoy!

Banana Apple Peanut Butter Smoothie

Disney Princess Half Marathon Week(end)

                                         I did it, I officially finished my first half marathon!!!!!!!!

I bought the blue shirt at the expo and the white one came with the race goodie bag. The medal? Well I earned it!!!

The Disney Princess ½ marathon takes place over the course of a weekend, but like many other participants, I extended my trip to six days.

If you are thinking of running your first half marathon, here are some reasons to participate in a Disney marathon:

·         It’s fun!

·         Disney goes all out to make this a great event

·         In addition to participating in a race, you get a trip to Disney World

·         Discounts on Disney Hotels!

·         A fabulous medal for completing the race

·         You get to dress up as a princess! (men this applies to you too)

·         Seeing men dress up as a princess

·         Wearing your medal around Disney Parks after the race and receiving “congratulations” by ALL of the employees

·         In addition to being congratulated, you are referred to as a “Princess”. Where else will people call you princess?

·         Character photo ops all along the race course

·         Awesome music and performers on the race route

 Tips I learned during my race:

· I read this over and over during my preparation for the race: DO A TRIAL RUN IN YOUR COSTUME! Did I? Of course not, I felt like it would have been so silly for me to run along my local trail in a tutu for 13 miles. However, I knew there was an important reason to do this. I had decided to make my own tutu (a little too long, I might add). The pieces in the front keep flying back in between my legs, it was like I had a tail! I spent a large portion of my run time pulling, lifting, wrapping, and tucking my fly-away tutu!

·  I extended my trip or days after the race rather than before. I was worried about interfering with my training by going ahead of time and walking the parks for hours in addition to enjoying the many wonderful foods Disney has to offer. However, I had an injury priory to the race and hadn’t really trained much the two weeks prior anyway. I quickly learned that it was beneficial to get to Disney several days in advance. The few race participants that did so received privileges such as dinner with known runner and trainer Jeff Galloway!

·  Pace yourself and enjoy the run! (unless of course you are going for a new PR [personal record]. There are characters all along the way for photo opportunities. The lines aren’t too long either. If you are in need of a little break, this is the time! Plus the photos are taken by hired professionals which are then posted on the site and available for ordering!

· The ½ marathon starts at 5:45 a.m., you will need to be in line for the bus between 3-4a.m. (last bus runs at 4 and this is for those staying at a Disney resort). It is a little chilly this early in the morning, so you will want to have on some layers. Wear a sweatshirt or sweatpants that you don’t mind giving up. Once the race starts and your body heats up, you will want to lose them. As participants run, they are stripping off the layers and throwing them on the side of the road. No worries though, there are employees walking around collecting the articles of clothing to donate to charity. I forgot to take a sweatshirt that I didn’t mind loosing and tossed out a fairly new one that I had purchased a few months ago. Luckily, I had gotten it on Black Friday and hadn’t spent much on it. Plus it was going to someone who needed it more than me.

o   A tip here: I saw several people walking around with the super-large trash bags that they had put a hole in for their head. Great idea! It’s a good way to keep the wind out and was almost the length of their whole body. This way, they weren’t tossing their clothes. (but like I said, they went to a good cause)

· Important- DON’T try to adjust your bib while running. Because of my costume, my shirt kept shifting around, causing my bib to do the same. Multiple times, I had to adjust it and didn’t want to stop to walk any more. I attempted to move the safety-pin while running. I was someone successful in the fact that I did get it moved, but it wasn’t latched as I thought it was and I lost one. I had to run the last 7 miles of my race with one safety-pin missing and a crumply piece of paper on my shirt. I was a bit worried that I might lose some of my number or time chip (which is located on the back of the bib), but it held up through the race.                                                   Take note of the pinning job, haha

                                        

                                        HAVE FUN AND EMBRACE THE MOMENT!Thousands of medals waiting to be earned. Congratulations to all of the Disney 1/2 marathon finishers!                                                   

                                                    Celebrating my victory with my little guy!

In addition to the half marathon, Disney held a 5K and Children’s race.

My son competed in a race of his own. They had races for children of all ages and his group completed the 100 meter dash. I was able to run with him (optional) and we had a blast. I’m so proud of my little guy!                             The Tangled 5K medal. This is a family event and was not timed. I think next year I will participate in this with my son and mom. Fun for the whole family!

                           The Disney Princess Marathon Weekend Expo. Lots of goodies here!

A view of all Disney Medals from races throughout the year. The Coast to Coast medal is all the way to the left and earned by those that complete a race in Disneyland AND Disney World within one years time. I’m going for one next year!

Raw Snacks On-The-Go

For those of you that are considering going raw or just want to incorporate more raw foods into your diet, here are a few snacks and treats I have found available at your local markets.

We all know that fast=easy, thus the rise in cancer, diabetes, and obesity in our society, but there are ways to find healthy foods that are just as quick and easy to eat, rather thank stopping by your local fast food joint.

The key to health is planning. Make sure you have your meals and snacks planned out ahead of time. If you know you have a long day away from home ahead of you, be sure to pack up your eats for the day!

Take a look at what I’ve found so far:

By far my favorite treat: Cloud 9 Raw Chocolate is raw, vegan, gluten-free fudge. I have a sweet tooth that is the queen of sweet tooths! Cloud 9 Raw Chocolate satisfy’s my sweet cravings and even provides a bit of energy. Chocolate you can eat for breakfast? This raw thing’s not too shabby.

While we are on the sweet topic, check out Hail Merry. Known for their “raw” macaroons, Hail Merry also produces raw tarts, ‘grawnola’, and nuts.

I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed and by no means, from the flavor. In fact, I love their products. While I was chowing down on a bag of vanilla macaroons, I took the liberty to do a little extra reading. Once I took a closer look, I noticed that the package specified “raw oils”. Why would it say that? Aren’t all of the ingredients raw? It does say “RAW” in big letters just above.

So I flipped the bag over to do a little investigating. Here is what I found……Looks like quit a few of those ingredients are NOT raw! I decided to contact the company for a clear explanation, and they sent me a long drawn out statement saying that they are in fact not 100% raw with reasoning as to why. To make a long story short, the owner is not 100% raw, nor does she believe it to be completely healthy.

Next up, Gopal’s Nori Wrapped Power Wraps.

If you aren’t a fan of sushi or seaweed in general, I would stay away from this one. The flavor was definitely a unique one and if you aren’t used to a raw diet, you might take one bite and not finish the rest. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they taste bad, just different. The power wraps come in several flavors, including Mexican and Italian. And for $1.95, it’s a raw treat on-the-go you just can’t beat!

Some of my favorite products so far come from Living Intentions. They offer a variety of flavored nuts which are amazing! I love the White Chocolate Cashews, Almonds, and Cocao nibs.

Chipotle flavored pistachios

In addition to flavored nuts, Living Intentions offers cereals, salad boosters, trail mix, and a raw flour mix. While their website seems a bit amateur, I love all of their products and recommend that anyone try them out!

On a final note, here is a quick homemade treat that is easy for all. Never buy nut butter again! You can make your own peanut butter, almond butter, or any butter of your choice in a matter of minutes!

Throw your favorite nuts into the blender and blend on high for several minutes until a creamy mix has been created. If you haven’t achieved the exact creaminess you desire, add a small amount of oil.

Here is some almond butter I made and paired up with apples for a healthy snack. Just pure organic almond butter with no additives, including salt! Next time take a look at your peanut butter labels, it should include nuts in the ingredients, that all!

Happy  Snacking!

Raw Pizza and Pie, Oh My!

It was my son’s fourth birthday party and the plan was to order pizza for all of the guests. After all, not everyone is vegan and on a raw diet! I needed to make food for  myself  and wanted a little extra for people to try. I have a few family members that are very health conscious as well, and knew they would be open minded to trying some of my raw foods.

I decided to make a raw pizza, a raw cake, and kale chips in addition to all of the other foods I would have for the party. Phew, I certainly had a lot to do.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much of my personal , raw foods to be eaten. After all, it was really for me. Once all of the guests were given their food and seated comfortably, I started pulling out all of the ingredients for my pizza. I offered some to my “Yogi” cousin and the ball just started rolling. People started lining up to find out what it was that I was serving. Just about everyone tried out the raw pizza and really liked it!

I have to admit that I was surprised. After all, the minute I offer food that is vegan to someone that isn’t, they look at me like I have three heads. What would the say when I offer something raw? Needless to say, I had expected a prompt, “No thanks”. Boy, was I wrong.

I received a lot of questions about the ingredients and promised everyone there that the recipe would be posted on my site, so here it is. Enjoy!

Raw Pizza

I actually combined two different recipes that I found to create my pizza. First, you will want to create the “crust”. I used an onion bread recipe as opposed to a “buckwheat bread” used in the original recipe.

Onion bread (gone raw)

  • 3 large yellow onions
  • 1 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, ground in food processor
  • 1/2 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos (I used coconut aminos) can also use shoyu
  •  1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
  1. Pell and half the onions. Place in food processor with slicing blade.
  2. Place onions in large bowl and combine with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Spread mix on Teflex sheet and smooth out. (I used 2)
  4. Dehydrate at 100 degrees for 24 hours. Flip over and dehydrate for 12 more hours.

Toppings (original recipe from Rawmazing)

Marinated Onions and Yellow peppers

(the original recipe call is Marinated onions and mushrooms, but I didn’t have mushrooms, so I substituted the peppers)

  • 1 cup peppers sliced
  • 1 cup onions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of shoyu (I used coconut aminos)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons mayple syrup

Put veggies into a container and set aside

Whisk shoyu, olive oil, and mayple syrup

Pour over the onions and peppers. Stir. Put in the refrigerator to marinate for four hours (I put them in overnight).

Remove, drain, and place on dehydrator for 4 hours at 115 degrees.

Marina Sauce

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup of sun dried tomatoes, softened
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 juice from a lemon
  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked
  • 1/2 cup soaking water from raisins
  • 1 teaspoon italian spices

Chop garlic in food processor

Add remaining ingredients.

Spinach Walnut Pesto

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts, soaked and dried
  • 1/2 lemon juice

Chop garlic in food processor and add remaining ingredients until paste is formed.

Cashew Cheese

  • 3/4 cups of cashews soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of Himalayan salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until a cottage cheese texture occurs. If necessary, add a small amount of water.

Assemble the pizza:

First put the pie crust or bread onto the plate

Add the marinara, pesto, cashew cheese, and veggie topping.

YUM!

Chocolate Cake

I combined two different recipes for this cake. The original recipe is from Matthew Kenney’s, “Everyday Raw” book. The cookie crust needs to dehydrate for three days and since I didn’t see that in time, I pulled a crust recipe from Raw Guru.

Crust

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts or 1 cup soaked and dehydrated almonds, hazlenuts, etc.
  • 1/8-1/4 cup pitted dates (I used 1/4)
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/16 tsp cayenne pepper

Optional: for a richer crust, add 1 tsp cocoa butter or coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Put coconut into food processor and create a powder using an s blade.
  2. Add nuts, salt, and cayenne until a coarse blend is created.
  3. Break up dates and evenly distribute on top of mixture. Mix until a graham cracker crust texture is formed. The mix should be loose but still stick together when pressed.
  4. Place into pie pan lined with plastic wrap to. This will help to easily remove once ready.

Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup cashews, soaked
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 cup + 2 T of agave
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1 cup + 2 T cocoa powder
  • 3/4 t hazelnut extract

Blend ingredients until smooth. Fill crust and put in freezer overnight. Remove and keep refrigerated.

YUM!!!

Enjoy the recipes and please share your experiences or any alterations you may make.

Happy Raw-eating!

Brownies and Fudge Everyday!

I have always had a sweet tooth. My main love is chocolate, but I embrace most delightful treats. Unfortunately, as soon as the scrumptious desserts hit my lips, it’s as if they magically transferred right to my stomach and thighs; the two parts of my body that I can’t stand the most. Im currently in the midst of working to tone my legs and flatten out that little pooch we all hate so much.

I’ve recently discovered some desserts that I am able to make quickly and easily. They are raw, vegan, gluten-free, and yuuuu-mmy!!

First up are brownies. I’ve made this recipe twice already and just love it!

No Bake Brownie (vega recipe)

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup cocao powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa nibs

Preparation

  1. Mix walnuts in food processor and grind until it becomes a coarse flour. While the machine is running, add dates, walnuts, and salt, process until a moist crumb-like dough like consistency is formed.
  2. Spread into a 8×8 in pan (or any dish of your choosing, I use pyrex containers) and add cocoa nibs or walnuts to the top. Cut into squares and serve. You may also make balls as opposed to squares.

Personally, I prefer to stick my brownies into the fridge and eat once chilled.  I find that this helps to keep the mixture together better. Since they are raw brownies, they tend to crumble easily. I also noticed that once they have been chilled, the taste is better and moister.

The first time I made these, I had just under a cup of walnuts and the consistency was a little more doughy. Even so, they taste just as yummy the second time!

Personally, I don’t even cut these, I leave them in my dish and when I get a sweet craving, I pop the lid off and take one or two bites with a spoon. It’s just enough to keep my sweet tooth satisfied. This way I’m not over-doing-it and still have some left over. It lasts a few days!

Good Girl Vegan Fudge (chocolate covered katie)

  • 4 tablespoons Artisana coconut butter (mmmm, coconut butter smells soooo good!)
  • 1/2 a large and very ripe banana
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cinnamon
  • scant 1/16 of salt (I just throw in a pinch)
  • optional-add sweetener of your choice (agave, etc) But really, it’s not needed!

Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender
  2. That’s it!
  3. Put mix into container (plastic makes it easier to pop out)
  4. Refrigerate or freeze (I froze)
  5. If freezing, let thaw for about 20 minutes, cute and serve

This stuff is delicious and very rich! And dare I say it, good for you! Check out some more info on coconut butter here.

Now I know you won’t believe it, but I’ve been able to snack on these yummy treats everyday, YES-EVERY DAY, since going raw and I am still loosing weight!

Try them out and until next time…..

Happy Sweet Treats!

Going Raw!!

For months now I have been considering changing my diet from vegan to raw vegan. It just makes sense to me that the best foods for our bodies, are the purest. Those that are provided from the earth, and not modified or processed in any way. While my health has improved dramatically over the course of my time I have switched to a vegan lifestyle, I still have a few obstacles to defeat.

I have read a lot about the benefits of raw foods and my body has been pushing me to go in that direction. As much as I have wanted to make the switch, I had been reluctant. My love for cooked and steamed veggies held me back. I have a fondness for all things cabbage and constantly racked my brain over how I could make raw brussels sprouts taste just as amazing raw as they do cooked.

I was fortunate enough to make a new friend recently whom is a health coach, nutritionist, owns her own raw chocolate company, and eats a primarily raw diet. After going to her house a few times and tasting some of the phenomenal foods she had prepared, I knew switching to a raw diet would be something that I could successfully achieve!

I made the decision to jump in and get started, and so far I am loving it! It seems like it would be so much more work, but really it isn’t. The most important thing to remember is to plan ahead and your dehydrator will be your best friend!

Here are a few recipes I have tried to help get you started or just if you are looking to try something new:

Kale Chips

 

I finally did it! I found a great kale chip recipe that I just love! I have tried a few different recipes without complete success in the past and quickly gave in to paying high dollars for store bought kale chips. (recipe found on goneraw.com)

 

Ingredients:

1 Large bunch of kale- wash, remove from stems, and tear into smaller pieces.

Flavor:

1 cup of cashews (soaked in filtered water for 2 hours)

1 red bell pepper (seeded and chopped)

juice of 1 lemon (or lemon juice works, just kind of eyeball the amount you use)

1 T. nutritional yeast (this adds that cheesy taste)

1/2 t. pink Himalayan Crystal salt

optional- 2 t. of agave (I didn’t use this as I am going for the salty taste in my chips)

Preparation

Put  all flavor ingredients into the blender and mix until smooth. Mine was still a little thick so I added a teensy bit more water.

Use your hands to coat the flavor ingredients onto the pieces of kale. It’s messy, but the most efficient way to get the mix inside the crevices of the kale.

Put the pieces of kale onto sheets of dehydrator trays (keep pieces folded, it makes for a nice thick, crunchy piece of kale) and dehydrate on 105 degrees overnight or until the coating dries.

Then remove and place directly on screens and dehydrate for about 12 hours or until completely dry.

YUM!

Chive Rangoons

Wonton Wrappers:

2 medium zucchini

1 cup shredded coconut

2 T. coconut aminos (tamari works just as well)

1/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil

2 T. cold-pressed sesame oil

3 scallions, green parts only and finely chopped

1/3 cup ground flax seeds

2/3 cup filtered water

Chive Cream:

1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 1 hour and drained

1/4 cup filtered water

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 t. Himalayan salt

1/2 t. miso

1/4 cup chives, minced

1/4 cup red pepper, minced

1 large clove of garlic, minced

Ginger Dipping Sauce:

1/4 cup coconut aminos

1 T. cold-pressed sesame oil

2 t. raw honey or raw agave nectar

1 t. umeboshi vinegar

1 t. grated ginger

1 t. raw sesame seeds

1/4 t. crushed chili pepper

chopped scallions for garnish

Preparation:

Wonton Wrappers- Peel the zucchini, shred 1 3/4 cups, and scrap into a large bowl. Mix in the coconut, coconut aminos, coconut oil, sesame oil, and scallions.

In a seperate bowl, whisk together flax seeds and water. Add the flax mixture to large bowl and mix everything together well.

Prepare 3 dehydrator trays with nonstick sheets. Drop about two tablespoons of mixture onto trays and spread out to make a 4-5 inch circle in diameter.

Dehydrate 4-6 hours at 105 degrees. Remove from nonstick sheets, flip over wrappers directly onto the mesh sheets and dehydrate for another 6-8 hours or until crisps. Don’t leave in dehydrator for too long, as you want them to still be flexible enough to fold like a taco.

Chive Cream– Place cashews, water, lemon juice, salt, and miso in blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape into bowl and fold in chives, red pepper, and garlic.

Ginger Dipping Sauce– Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Assembly: Lay a wrap flat on the plate, spread two tablespoons of chive cream filling to cover entire wrap. Fold in half to create a half circle. Serve with ginger dipping sauce on the side (or put it directly on top of cream filling).

(this recipe was passed onto me by a friend that attended a raw potluck. I’m not sure where it originally came from, so if anyone comes across the source, I would love to get the information. Always want to give credit where credit is due!)

Enjoy trying out these recipes, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

More recipes to comes soon….

Happy raw eating!!

My New Unrecorded Personal Record

At the last minute I decided to run in a local 5k, the Jingle Bell run. It was something I had checked out before and was eager to take part in although I wasn’t sure that I would be able to participate due to my recent injury. I waited until the day before the race to make my decision. Once I remembered that the race benefited Arthritis, I knew I had to do it!

I was going to run no matter what, and on top of that, I wanted to set a new PR! It was my goal to achieve my best time ever, regardless of how much I was hurting. Isn’t that always easier said than done? It’s so easy to say, “no matter what, I am going to run my ass off!” But sometimes, it’s just not that easy.

We managed to make it downtown (Baltimore), find parking, and get into the building with ten minutes to spare. I jumped into the line for the restroom with hopes of getting through the quickly. I was wearing a borrowed watch that was set just five minutes fast. So when the clock said I had about three minutes until the race start time of nine, I was less concerned than I normally would have been.

Someone walked by and said we still had ten minutes, so I thought, “maybe they are starting the race a little bit later”. Still, I had the inkling to jump out of line and get to the starting line. I never had pushed my time this close before, but decided to take my chances. After all, I never heard an announcement made for the race start. Would I though? I was inside an arena and the race start was outside.

To get to the starting line, we had to exit through the loading ramp out of the back of the venue, and walk around to the front of the building. When I turned the corner to make my way around the side towards the starting line, I noticed there was no line.

I looked at my watch and it said that it was now ten after nine. Anotherwards, it was really five after. I began to run towards the “race starts here sign” and realized I could barely even see the last of the runners about a quarter of a mile ahead of me.

I was late!! I started late and to make mattters worse, this race was not a chip timed race, agh! For those that don’t know, many races provide chips which you thread through your shoelaces. They record your actual start time as you pass the starting line and do the same as you pass the finish line. Therefor calculating your “actual” running time.

This race had no chip, so my time would be a total of my finish time minus the actual race start time.

While my goal was to set a new PR, I was quickly discouraged by my late start. Once I realized how far behind I was, I took off running. I was pulling through the walkers and weaving in and out of the slower runners. It was strange to be passing so many people, and not something I was really used to.

My groin muscle started aching, so I tried to adjust accordingly. I wanted to set a record, but thought it was out of reach. No use in further injuring myself with an important half marathong coming up!

Most of the race I slowed my pace and speed up in intervals. Once I came up to my threee mile marker, I started to go full force, but in the end, slowed my pace back down.

Once I crossed the finish line, I was waiting to turn in my number when I overheard the person in front of me say, it’s 9:33, what?! No way, it’s only 9:33! I went over to my mom who was watching my son and when I told her I got off to a late start she said, “when I saw you come in, my phone said 9:33.” Okay, how was this even possible?

Normally, I would be upset by that time, but being as though I started late, I was shocked in a great way. According to the official times, I came in at 34:26. Officially, this is my worst time yet, but I know better. I started five minutes late and came in at 34:26, so my actual race time was 29:26, my best time yet and a new personal record!!!!

But me being me, I am still disappointed, it’s not official, so it doesn’t really count right? What if it was really nine after, not ten after and I misread the time? On another note, I started out last-very last, and came in 414th place of 878! That means I passed more than half the people in the race during my run. Wow!! I am super surprised and have to say, a little more happy with my final outcome.

I’m not going to fret over the race, I know what happend and have learned a valueable lesson. So to my next 5K I say, “bring it on”!

Until then, onto my half marathon training….

Happy Training!

Bondi Band Review and GIVEAWAY!!

Running, sweating, working out, what do all of these things have in common? They give my hair a frizzy “I just went rolling down the hill” kind of look. I’ve tried all kinds of head bands to keep my hair back and hold down those little frizzies. I’ve had to pin them down, and adjust them over and over. Even the stretchy kind with the rubber on the inside won’t stay in place.

While flipping through my running magazine, I saw an ad for Bondi Band headbands. They claimed no slip, no drip-just what I’ve been looking for. I contacted the company and they sent me a band to try out. Lucky for you, they sent an extra for my giveaway! But we’ll get to that later….. When I received my Bondi Band, I was still recovering from an injury and therefore NOT running. I couldn’t wait to get the chance to try out my new band. My first day back on the trail and I geared up! So far, just having the band on felt really good. No slipping, and the band is wide enough to go over my ears for those cold days or I can put it behind my ears.

"Find Your Happy Pace"

While I was running, I notice fellow runners, walkers, and bikers going in the opposing direction checking out my band. It definitely captures ones attention. The one I have reads “Find your happy pace”. I love, love, LOVE this saying!

Bondi Band has  a ton of style options to choose from. Not only do they carry headbands, but also hats, neck gators, children’s headbands, and even pet items!

Not only is the band comfy and great at battling fly aways, but it also really did help with keeping sweat from dripping down into my eyes. Their slogan of “No slip, no drip” is really accurate. That’s pretty rare these days……

Now to the fun part; Bondi Band has graciously donated a RUN band for my giveaway. How great is that? It’s a gray with the word RUN written across the front. I know ladies, you are thinking, “gray, so boring”. Sorry, but I wanted to go neutral here so the guys could participate too.

It’s easy to enter the giveaway. Choose any of the following and leave a comment. Bonus: complete more than one and post as a separate comment for additional entries. Winner will be randomly chosen.

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To view more of Bondi Bands products, check out their website here

Happy Head-Banding!

I’m Baaaack!

So after nine (long, long) weeks without running, I decided to get back into the game; or should I say onto the trail?

A short run down of what’s been going on: I went to a podiatrist four weeks in a row, received four cortisone injections, and just before my fifth appointment, was told that my insurance company has some issue that needs to be resolved, so I haven’t been back to the doctor since.

I had previously asked him when I could run again and he said when I am completely healed. The injections had helped significantly. The swelling went down after the first injection as well as the pain. Apparently he hit a nerve with the second injection because I was in pain for days, yowie!

Instructions were to ice every night for twenty minutes and NEVER go barefooted (I had to wear sneakers every day, everywhere!) I would wear them into the bathroom, take them off, leave them by the bathtub, shower, get out, put them on, take them off to get dressed, and put them back on; even with my pajamas on! You have to understand, I am a walk in the door, throw off my shoes, change into comfy clothes kind of person. The tedious task of wearing sneakers all of the time took a few days to adapt to. At this point I was willing to do anything, it had already been a month since my last run. I was a week a way from my first half-marathon and had to stop running because of the pain, I had pushed myself to far.

My biggest fear during this time was that I had developed arthritis in my foot. After all, that was my last diagnosis according to the symptoms in my hands. I still struggle to accept this diagnosis. The way my second toe had swelled was reminiscent of four years ago when my second finger turned into a sausage overnight and really has never been the same. I suddenly remembered all of the pain that I had endured and was fearful of reliving the experience; this time in my foot.

I had come such a long way in my health, how could this happen? The hope was that I had incurred a running injury rather than developed arthritis. After a few x-rays, the physician confirmed that my injury was from running and that there were no signs of arthritis in my bones. Woohoo!

Fast forward to current time: I took it upon myself to start running, I couldn’t take it any more. I needed to run! I jumped on a treadmill and ran two miles, easy as pie. I felt great and was so happy to get back into my groove. As I ran I started to notice something; I was striking the ground mid-foot! I was awesome, like my running style had transformed on it’s on during my down time. I was so excited, things could only get better from here on right?

Hmmm, it seems the lack of using my groin muscle over the last nine weeks had a negative effect on my progress. After a few recent runs, my previous groin injury has returned. I’ve been icing it and took about five days off from running and working out.

I jumped back onto the trail in hopes of a full recovery only to discover it still hadn’t healed. I didn’t care, I ran, I ran, and I ran for 5 miles. I was happy to know that I had the ability to run a 5 miler pretty easily after 3 months without my feet hitting the pavement.

Since my last run I’ve decided to rest; I’m hoping to run in a 5k in less than a week so we’ll see how the leg holds up.

Until then, for those of you fighting through a current injury, take it easy and take the time to heal. You’ll be happy you did!

Happy Healing!

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