Monday, October 15, 2012

Raw Vibe

I've been working on constructing a new site using WordPress.  I have only a couple of sample posts up (one, a super decadent chocolate pudding recipe) while I'm still learning to navigate through an unfamiliar program.  Check it out at Raw Vibe.  When I get all the kinks out, I hope to be posting there more frequently about all the great raw recipes I've been discovering and creating.  Come on over for a visit.

Rain, Rain...

Lot's of rain here over the weekend here in Chicago, which seemed to be the perfect time to set aside my walking/running routine and call it a needed rest.  I didn't call it in, though.  The hardest part of running in the rain (or under the threat of rain) is getting started.  Once out there, it's so refreshing.  Except for the seemingly excessive amounts of goose poop - that was like running an obstacle course.

Monday, October 08, 2012


I'm no where near the level of endurance to get up and run 26 miles, but jumping out of bed Sunday morning to run out and watch more than 30,000 people start was awesome.  Seeing all those beautiful people starting out on their race is so motivating.  I've had running on my mind for the rest of the day.

Although I had "completed" the Couch to 5K program a couple of weeks ago, I haven't actually ran an entire 5k route.  That is until Saturday when my husband joined me for an early evening jog along the lakefront.  He hasn't run with me since the first months of meeting me.  I suppose after getting married, he didn't have to work so hard to catch me {wink}.  Running with him, the miles flew by and before we knew it, we had finished my 5K loop without a stop.  Yippee.  We had to hurry home because it was freezing in Chicago, and you know, once you stop running, the wind blows right through you.  Some warm tea and a few moments in the steam shower was the perfect cure.

Now that I've seen it possible, I'm so psyched for my first race in November.  Time to gear up for winter, because running on a machine in a gym just doesn't appeal to me.  I'm convinced that the best way to conquer a Chicago winter is all about dressing warm and getting outside daily - exercise, fresh air, natural light and gazing at the horizon is the best prescription to beat the winter blues.

What do you do for exercise throughout the winter?

Friday, October 05, 2012

Chipotle Creme Sauce

I made this chipotle creme sauce last night to drizzle over tacos.  It turned out a little too spicy for my kids, but for the rest of us, it's a great substitute for boring, old, sour cream.  And for me, it's the oomph to make dairy-free tacos completely unapologetic. 

Today I poured it over a bowl of kale.  Such an easy and delicious lunch.

With the remaining leftovers, I massaged the creme onto kale leaves to dehydrate.  In about an hour or so, I'll have a bunch of crunchy, chipotle kale chips to snack on when tempted with a bag of potato chips.

For this usually unorganized, hurried mama, this was all so accidentally efficient.

Here's the recipe:

Chipotle Cashew Creme Sauce

  • 1 cup soaked (1-2 hours) raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tbsp raw agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup water
Blend on low in VitaMix blender for a minute.  Switch to high and blend until creamy consistency.  (I've learned that to start on high send all the chunks up the sides of the blender, never making their way down to the blades.  It took a few messy cleanups to figure this one out.)


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Trail Runs

Where do you like to run?  Not where, really, but what surface do you prefer?  I've been thinking about this since trying a trail run about a month ago.  It was challenging, a bit painful, yet exhilarating.

I have had a lot of fear about running and walking on uneven surfaces since dislocating my ankle about four years ago.  The accident left me with a plate and 11 various pins and screws in my left ankle, foot, and shin and a few lovely scars.  Much worse than having a bunch of hardware in my body, I have a lingering fear to overcome and in general, I prefer to keep my feet on a nice, smooth, hard and predictable surface.  Concrete.  Thank goodness I live in the city.

Stepping off the beaten path challenges that fear.  Grass, a deer trail, sandy dune, soft meadow, or a spongy marsh asks so much more of the body.  All those little muscles, tendons and ligaments that become so used to the straightforward pounding of the sidewalk, are stretched and strengthened in  ways I didn't think possible.  My running partner on that first trail run assured me that in time, those muscles will strengthen and lend me greater confidence in my stride. 

It has been so worth it to get off the beaten path, even when in the city and I'm only a couple of feet to the side of my beloved pavement.  In the country, however, that is where the true pleasure lies.  To see a flock of wild turkeys, or a mob of deer when rounding a bend in the grass makes the discomfort insignificant.  For that, I now save my off days for the trail.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Daily Walk: Under the 'L'

Look what I found beneath the 'L' tracks.

This was a dilapidated garage only months earlier.

Now it is canvas.

Vibrant.  Friendly.  Poppy.

Muscles bunching, back is aching, knees are creaking, getting up is painstaking.  From all the miles spent walking and jogging, I know I haven't kept up with stretching enough.  I specifically set the date and carved out the time to make it to yoga today for the first time in months, and I'm paying for it, in a good way.  As I held each pose, those that I didn't topple over, I could feel the tension release.

The cost to drive to class and park (Chicago Parking Meters, LLC - Grrrr) is equivalent to cab fare one way.  The cab is more fun and I frequently get into deep conversation with the driver.  I don't have the hassle of finding a parking spot.  And I get to walk home.  It's a little far to go both ways and time is always an issue.  Usually, if I'm power walking, I prefer the uninterrupted distances at the lakefront.  Today, however, I did the big work in class, so I was able to enjoy a leisurely walk through town.

I love how the city changes each time I pass through it.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Almond Coconut Macaroons

While my SIL, Mara, was in town for a short visit, she motivated my tween to get off the computer and into the kitchen to do a little baking.  Chloe picked a gingerbread cookie recipe from the family recipe collection that my MIL put together for each of her kids.  Mara doesn't eat either gluten or dairy, so I thought it a little unfair for her to cook up a delicious treat that she couldn't enjoy.  As soon as those cookies were out of the oven, I whipped up a small batch of these raw vegan Almond Coconut Macaroons. 

It's a simple recipe that I've found many variations of throughout the raw blog world like here and here.  I pretty much copied mine verbatim from Matthew Kenney's Everyday Raw, except that I didn't take the time to dehydrate them because I wanted to reward my sister immediately for her good efforts.  I rolled these in the extra ground almonds to help them keep their shape.

If you make your own almond milk, this is an excellent recipe to use up some of that extra almond pulp.  Dehydrate the pulp and then blend the crumbles into almond flour.  It takes a lot less effort than it sounds, really.  I can't use up enough of this stuff, and I chuckle whenever I see a bag of pricey almond flour at Whole Foods.  However, if I keep making macaroons, I'd have to start running daily marathons to burn off all that sweet goodness.

After the first one, I had to force (with a wink) Mara to eat more so I could get a cute picture.  That's easy with her, though, look at that cute smirk.