Friday, December 30, 2011

The Last List of 2011

2011 you've been really really good to me. I graduated college, had a wonderful "summer" internship, got into a dietetic internship and am now a little over a month away from having my RD. I've met some amazing new people, tried new things, hopped from Boston to Portland, to Wyoming, to San Francisco, to New York, to Las Vegas, to Austin, to Houston (not all in one weekend-don't worry!)

There are a few more things I wanted to share with you before this year comes to a close:
  • Yes prices got a little steep at the gas tank this year, but it wasn't all bad. Be sure to read the good food news of 2011!
  • Before we start 2012 read this list of things to Stop Doing To Yourself. I think we all need to stop being afraid to make mistakes, stop comparing ourselves and our bodies to others, and stop dwelling on the past without moving forward. But Marc and Angel put this very eloquently.
  • And last but not least, let's master the art of living
I have a good feeling about 2012. I get to ring it in with one of my favorite people, then I get a visit from Jessica and the last 4 weeks of my dietetic internship which will be spent with two women I respect in the nutrition world- Penny Wilson sports-dietitian-extrodinaire and Ali Miller- RD at LifeLongWeigh. Then I'm moving back to Boston to find a job and (hopefully) become a "real person" . I've got my big girl boots on.


Hope you're wishing 2011 farewell and 2012 brings much joy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Vega Sport Winner

You guys all really wanted to try Vega Sport! I wish I could share the love with all 58 of you!Link
I used random.org to pick a winner:

Entrant #8: @bonniesilva

Congrats Bonnie! I will contact you for shipping details and hopefully get that to you before the new year!

Thank you to all that entered and even if you didn't win this lil' giveaway I highly recommend you check out the line at a store near you!
Happy Holidays!

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Recipe Redux: Lentil Almond Dip

I love the creative themes that Recipe Redux has been coming up with. This month Nicole @Whole Health RD decided to Put the P(ea) in Potluck. Being a huge fan of all legumes I decided to try a twist on hummus, with the lentils and almonds I had on hand, winding up with....

Lentil Almond Dip
16 oz green lentils
1 cup raw almonds
5 garlic cloves
fresh thyme
2 T Mirin (sweet sake vinegar. can be omitted if you don't have on hand)
2 T Miso
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Tamari soy sauce
Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
  • Add lentils in 4 cups water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-30 minutes-until all liquid is absorbed.
  • While the lentils are simmering roast the raw almonds on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes
  • Saute sliced garlic and fresh thyme until garlic begins to brown and your kitchen smells like heaven.
  • Once lentils and almonds cool down, add both to the food processer with Mirin, Miso, Vinegar, Soy Sauce and blend until the dip is the smooth texture of hummus.
  • Add sea salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
  • Serve with raw carrots and celery, crackers, chips or spread until bread.

Best brought to a holiday party or if you're like me a study party. Which is what my holidays are resembling

Want to see some more legume love? Check out what these other RDs whipped up!




Friday, December 16, 2011

Vega Sport:: My New Workout Obsession and a Giveaway!

While I try to rely much more heavily on whole foods to meet my nutrition needs, rather than the likes of shakes, protein powder, and bars, there is one product on the market that continually exceeds my expectations when it comes to sports recovery. Sometimes you just want or need a quick source of protein and calories, and no one does it better than Vega. Most plant-based protein powders either a. taste horrible (I can not stand hemp) or b. fall very short
nutritionally-either with too much added sugars, too little protein and not enough vitamins. Vega beats out their competition in both categories.
I've been a long-time fan, and sometimes tell people my goal in life is to move to Vancouver and work for both them and Lululemon. But in the meantime I'll keep enjoying their delicious, nutritous products. I was delighted before my birthday with this amazing package of Vega goodies- their newly launched Vega Sport Line. This line launches off their regular vegan supplement line with increased emphasis on timing of nutrients and increasing recovery time-two things essential to all athletes. Brendan Brazier is a vegan world-renowned triathlete who worked with Vega to develop this line. I'm a huge fan of his books- Thrive Fitness and Thrive and recommend them for their quality nutritional information and recipes. But this line is superb and I just couldn't wait to share it!

Note: You probably won't need Vega Sport if you're walking or going to yoga (which are both excellent forms of activity), but rather for sweat-dripping-down-your-forehead-rawrrrrr exercise.

Pre- Exercise- 20-30 minutes prior to exercise your body needs simple carbohydrates-sugars-to gear up and give you that instant energy you need.
Vega Product: Pre-workout energizer: brown rice syrup gives your body the sugar it needs, with additional green tea and yerba mate for an extra boost. The lemon-lime flavor taste great. I grab this if I'm doing a long workout immediately after getting up-when it's super easy to grab while still half-asleep and if I'm in a rush.

During exercise:
If your physical activity is less than an hour, you don't need to worry about eating or drinking anything besides water during exercise. However if you are working out for over 60 minutes your body is going to need additional simple carbohydrates (sugars) to help maintain energy levels, and prevent you from relying just on muscle or liver glycogen. Usually liquids or gels are easiest (unless you're an ultra marathoner no one really wants a pb&j while working out).

Vega Products: Electrolyte Hydrator. A non-calorie electrolyte supplement that uses stevia instead of aspartame or splenda. I prefer lemon-lime to pom-berry.
For longer workout there is the Endurance gel. With sugar from dates, and fat from coconut oil this is great for endurance events like half and full marathons. This is was the one product that I did not like-the taste is not something I would want mid-exercise. But I tend to shy away from anything berry flavor so it could just be me.... for now i'll stick to the Clif gels....
Post Workout: The correct post-work out meal-eaten within 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise will help to reduce recovery time. A 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, as well as additional compounds like antioxidants, electrolytes and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation is the ideal meal to help muscles heal and increase in strength faster.

Immediately after exercise-Your window of opportunity for optimal muscle recovery is within 30 minutes of ceasing activity. If you work out away from your kitchen, it's important to remember to pack something. Again you want a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carb to protein (PB & J meets this one. Or look at the nutrition label. 30g carb to 10g protein, etc). You need more protein than carbs to give your muscles glycogen to store, but some protein facilitates better glucose
absorption
Vega product: Recovery accelerator: 4:1 ratio of carb to protein, and I loved the tropical flavor. This powder also has turmeric and cayenne which are super anti-inflammatory spices!

After exercise: within 1-3 hours is when you want to replenish your protein stores to help build back muscles. Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are the best type of protein to aid in muscle re-synthesis.
Vega Product: Chocolate Sports Protein Powder is a blended plant based protein of brown
rice, pea and hemp. I like this much better than a whey or soy protein because it's more whole food-not just isolated compounds. It's also extremely allergen friendly and easier to digest. BCAA. This protein powder has a delicious creamy taste that i have been unable to find in any other vegan powders. It even passes the "boy-test". I made my "lil" brother try the smoothie:
(14 years old, but has surpassed me in height and activity level. He's currently in both basketball and hockey and spends 16 hours a day running around)
I blend 1 scoop with 1 banana, almond milk as a base and mix in any combination of: espresso shot (for the morning), peanut butter, almond butter, frozen dark cherries, mint oil, cayenne powder.
Chocolate coconut protein bar. This is the most delicious vegan protein bar I have ever tasted. I'm obsessed with it. 240 calories, 15 g of protein (pea, and whole grain brown rice), 4 g of fiber, gluten free.

The only downfall to Vega? Their price tag may make this product not an option for a lot of people. But I truly believe that you get what you pay for, and this is definitely one instance where they have pulled above and beyond their competitors and are well worth the splurge.

But because I love Vega and all of you oh so much there's a Giveaway!
I want to share the Vega love, so will mail one winner an assortment of products from the Vega Sport Line (shown above). Entering is very simple:
  • 1 entry for commenting below on your favorite way to refuel after exercise
  • 1 entry for tweeting "Enter @ElizabethEats #giveaway of @VegaTeam Sport http://tinyurl.com/7gzm4gt #vegan #athlete"

I'll pick a winner next Friday, December 23rd-right before Christmas Weekend and will have it out to you before the New Year-that's my little way of saying thank you this holiday season! Here's to you and yours!

Full Disclosure: Vega in no way shape or form asked me to write positive review or giveaway. They sent me product samples no questions asked. I will only post things that I stand behind 100%. You have my promise.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hungry

I received a bittersweet email in my inbox the other week and I just had to share Amy's story. This inspirational young woman is currently working in Antigua Guatemala at a volunteer program at Casa Jackson, a hospital for malnourished infants and children.
Before hearing from Amy I had no idea how high the levels of malnutrition were in Guatemala-almost 50% of all children under the age of 5 are chronically malnourished. The statistics on malnutrition in Guatamala are staggering; despite not being the poorest Latin American country (Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Haiti have lower incomes), They are 2nd only to Haiti in the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in this hemisphere. The problem is rampant in rural, mostly-indigenous areas, where people have limited access to health services, clean water and sanitation, and little or no formal education. The rising price of basic food staples—particularly beans—places an adequate diet financially out-of-reach for over half of Guatemalan families. Poor or nonexistent infrastructure means no electricity or running water—certainly no clean water—for rural communities, making childhood illnesses like bronchial pneumonia, gastrointestinal diseases and chronic diarrhea compounding factors in the malnutrition problem. People like Amy are doing helping these children receive the medical attention they need.

And this isn't just a problem in Guatamala. 1 in 5 children in America will go hungry today. That's more than 16 MILLION.

As I sit here, pleasantly secure with money, a safe home, and food, it's hard not to feel a twinge of pain. But I'm a person of action rather than a worrier so here are some things we can all do this holiday season to help those in need:

How you can help:
Read Amy's blog for much more information and check out God Child program
Volunteer with an international service team
Donate to a National or International Hunger Relief Organization such as Share Our Strength or Project Bread
Donate your time to Share our Strength or a local food bank
Donate food items to a local food bank

Here's to wonderful, hopefully hunger-less week for you ahead!