Thursday, December 27, 2012

How to Stay Fit When Stuck Inside

Stuck inside in the winter but still want to get back on track with fitness in the new year? Besides every single gym in the world having HUGE sales this time of year, you can definitely start or restart a fitness habit at home or if you're a road warrior.  Youtube and iPhone apps are about to become your new best friend. My favorites?

Pump up Pandora, Soundcloud or iTunes and get your workout on! Snow you can't stop us!
I've never been a fan of New Years Resolutions, but I do like setting goals and deadlines. And i can definitely get behind these 10 resolutions to make 2013 the best year ever. So here's a few things 2013 is going to hold for me: I'm going to be an adult and stick to a budget (how boring/exciting!) I'm going to get back to racing, for sure doing half marathons again (see you in August Seawheeze). I'm going to get to Chicago and San Francisco, and i'm going to spend most weekends skiing. it's going to be great. Perhaps i'll even start reading for pleasure again.

 But first, there is home to enjoy, champagne to pop and 2012 to reflect on. Happy holidays to you and yours!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Recipe Redux: Last Minute Kitchen Gifts

Finishing your holiday shopping list? Still need one or two gifts for someone's kitchen? Here are some of my favorites:

1. Coffee/Spice Grinder     2. Vitamix   3. Food Processor  4. A good knife set  5. Adorable measuring cups. Like these little hedgehogs from Anthro.   6. DIY flavored salts  7. Let them eat kale farmers market tote  8. Cutting boards devoted to specific foods. Food safety 101. 9. Gold Salad Bowls. Who doesn't want to eat salad when you serve it like that?

Need more gift ideas? Check these out:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Thrive. Forward

Here's hoping you're starting your holiday season healthy and happy. But in our every "whats next??" brains, I'm sure the thought of the new year, and the resolutions that go along with it, are every present in your mind. I've never been a huge fan of New Years Resolutions. I've seen mine, my loved ones and my clients start with the best intentions, only to lose track come January 15th. Often the goals are too lofty, don't have measurable steps to success, aren't SMART, and frankly, often don't lead to positive change.

But there is something coming January 1st that I'm very excited about.

Brendan Brazier, vegan professional Ironman triathlete and formulator of Vega products, and overall great guy, is launching Thrive Forward-a free personalized online program to help you start the New Year on the right foot, and transform your health for life.

Know Better. Eating Better. Feel Better. Amen! There will be delicious recipes, simple tips, grocery store lists, gorgeous infographics and attainable action steps to improve sleep, mood, energy levels, maybe even libido!

You can pre-register now at , get a great complimentary e-book and then the program will start January 2013. I'll be doing the program and blogging every step of the way-who's with me?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Elizabeth Cooks: Pasta Sauce

Pasta sauce. Such a benign, simple, delicious food. Makes noodles and brocooli taste infinitely better, and what would a pizza be without marinara? Before I started really thinking about what I was eating, it also seemed like such a simple ingredient that didn't require any nutrition label reading. Little did I know that trans fats, lots of sugar, and lots of oil was hidding in most conventional tomato sauces. Tear. While there are some great products out there that don't use any, when Tuttorosso offered to send me some tomatoes, i thought I might as well finally tackle making my own pasta sauce.
Tuttorosso is a midwestern tomato company that produces canned tomatos that are preservative free. Do i wish they were in tetra pack containers instead of aluminum. yes. Next time!

On to the pasta sauce! 100% plant-based, with some great healthy oil and nutritional yeast + smoked sea salt to get that "meaty" taste.
Pasta Sauce

Add all ingredients to a sauce pan. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer with the lid off for 30 minutes.
Serve over some whole wheat or gluten-free pasta with plenty of veggies. Of course, you can freeze the leftovers!

In the Holiday spirit T uttorosso isgiving away some great daily prizes on Facebook. Check these ones out:
Dec 5: Herb Mill by Microplane
Dec 6: Tuttorosso Variety Gift Box
Dec 7: 3 pc Cutting Board Set
Dec 8: Olive Oil Cruet 8 oz by Chef's Plane

Good luck!

Full disclosure: Yes I did receive a 3 jars of tomato sauce to try. I was in no way shape or form coerced to write a positive review. heck i didn't even have to say pip! I fully stand behind the foods I like. Questions? Ask away.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Got Mylk?

Reporting from Vancouver and having a total blast! Want constant updates? You best be following me on twitter and instagram! It's been a wonderful week full of inspiration.

The team of Vega Educators had Andrea Potter of Rooted Nutrition into HQ kitchen for a great class on sprouting, and creating your own homemade milk-made from nuts! got MYLK?

Sprouting takes nuts, seeds and grains, and turns them from dorment ingredients into LIVING nutrient dense foods. It neutralizes enzume inhinitors, increases vitamin content (especially vitamin B). and makes the protein, carbohydrates and fats much easier to digest. Forget RAW think-ALIVE!

 I was so excited to finally make my own non-dairy mylk! Andrea showed us how to soak and sprout nuts, seed and grains and then we made a delicious raw hazelnut mylk to put on sprouted buckwheat granola.
Emma and Megan mylking hazelnuts
  • 2 cups raw hazelnuts soaked overnight
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 dates-soaked in water
Drain the nuts and rinse them. Puree them in a blender until smooth. Using cheesecake or a fine mesh bag, strain and press the mylk away from the hazelnut meal. Enjoy on cereal, in coffee or in a smoothie!

 nom! Thanks Andrea for sharing your fantastic knowledge with us!

a few more tidbits:
  • Ready to start today, and everyday with a new zest for life? Can't wait for the launch of Thrive Forward. Know Better. Eat Better. Feel Better. Pre-register today for an exclusive e-book! 
  • Want to have better sex? Eat chilies, maca, chocolate, and garlic. You're welcome.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Healthy Holiday Eating

Tis the season! For marathon shopping sprees, holiday parties galore (really all on the December 15th??), family time, SNOW, roasted veggies, and plenty of hot cocoa. Or at least that's how my holiday season seems to be shaping up.

Let's take the STRESS out of holidays, by starting it on a healthy foot with food. Here are some of my top tips:
  • Ditch Meal Skipping- Don't skip your breakfast or lunch just because a feast is coming up. When you restrict in a such a way, you're more likely to overdo it at that big meal. Eat normal meals, full of veggies, protein and complex carbohydrates to keep your hunger at bay.
  • Celebrate the Harvest- Place seasonal veggies first and foremost on your plate-your body and your local farmers will thank you! Try roasting Brussels sprouts, carrots, yams, and parsnips with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt to let their flavors shine through. Add a massaged kale salad to the table. (Yes, put olive oil and sea salt on your kale. and massage it. like a human). Try a dessert with apples pear and ginger, and don't forget about pumpkin!
like this gorgeous kale grapefruit avocado salad. nom
  • Don't Forget Your Veggies- Look at the feast in front of you, and make it your priority to cover your plate with at least half veggies. Snack on veggies (hello baby carrots and hummus). Sneak veggies into every meal! You'll get an antioxidant boost and they'll "fill you up before they fill you out."
  • Embrace Mindful Eating. Stay present during your meal. Notice the nuances in taste. Enjoy your food. Release Guilt, and tune into your intuitive signals of hunger and fullness.
  • Move it- Go for a walk or run with family. Sign up for a Turkey Trot 5K or Jingle Bell Jolly run. Stuck inside? Put on a yoga flow or try Nike Trainer app. get your body moving and those endorphins pumping happiness!

  • Healthy Holiday Travel-Be sure to pack healthy snacks because we all know the horrors of $5 bananas and oatmeal in the airport. If you're going to pack a bar I'm obsessed with the Vega Vibrancy Bars or good ol' Lara Bars. And never ever forget your reusable water bottle! Why pay $4 for water ever?
What will i be doing? I'll be eating delicious things and getting plenty of fresh air with this dude
Have a happy, healthy holiday season!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New York Bites: Hu

October went by with a flash- 7 states, 2 countries and 1 hurricane will do that to you! But it was a heck of a lot of fun, with some adventures and great food at every turn. If you want to see some of my new favorite places to nom check out the tab Jet Set Eats

When in NYC- dinner at the newly opened Hu Kitchen is not to be missed.
"Pre Industrial and Pre Agrarian Fare."As owner Jordan Brown said "We're not raw, vegan, vegetarian or paleo, but anyone who fits those descriptions will have stuff to eat here."

No gluten, no weird binders, no fillers, no extra ingredients. I got a socca (chickpea wrap) hummus wrap (chickpea on chickpea what??) and organic pumpkin beer and was extremely satified.
Want coffee? Your cream is either freshly made almond milk or grassfed milk. Heck yes! Hu is an all around win

Lots of thoughts going out to NY/NJ/PA which took much more of hit from Sandy than Boston do. Why not Dine Out for Sandy Relief?

Now I'm back in Boston for a couple weeks and we're enjoying the fresh snow!!! Have a gorgeous Thursday from Zooby and I

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Food Day 2012

Happy Food Day! While everyday should be food day in my book I'm happy to join in a "nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food" Now is a crucial time for food in America!

How are you celebrating real food today?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Elizabeth Cooks: Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Really I don't think I have to tell you how much I love Pumpkin. I think I say that enough. I really really really really really love pumpkin.  And while I adore cooking, baking always stresses me out (the precision, the things that can go wrong. the disasters! oh my!). So I decided to challenge myself thanks to the prompting of Recipe Redux and brighten up a rainy fall day with a loaf of pumpkin bread. That's vegan. That uses 100% whole wheat, and reduced sugar. That still tastes good. It could have been a recipe for disaster, but amazingly this is my new favorite thing. I'm making another loaf this weekend. Enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Bread
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or 100% whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 cans 100% pumpkin (no pumpkin pie filling!!)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line loaf pan with coconut oil so you don't have any unfortunate sticking incidences. Combine all ingredients but flour and chocolate chips. Slowly mix in whole wheat flour, and then once it's completely mixed stir in the chocolate chips. Baked for 1 hr at 350 degrees. Enjoy!

Want some more pumpkin love? Check out these Recipe Reduxs!

Friday, October 19, 2012

City Chicks: Bringing Modern Home Ec to Boston

I feel so lucky to have amazing friends in Boston who are doing some pretty rad things. Like the ladies of City Chicks Boston, as they bring modern home ec to Boston, teaching us all how we can be domestic divas (who also work fulltime). Bringing things that my mother did, back into my home. Like canning. Many fall days were spent getting chokecherry jam canned, making homemade salsa and canning beets. My mother's gorgeous garden had to be preserved somehow throughout the winter. And while it always seemed like a chore as we were doing it, the end product was always worth it. I demanded that my mother ship me supplies of salsa and beets winter in college, and the pantry is one of the first places i head to when I get home. So when I saw there was a canning class I thought why not revisit it, and see if I could maybe bring it back into my Boston Household.
Master canner  Ken showed us how to preserve tomatos and make bread and butter pickes. I mean who doesn't love pickles?
Your grandmother may have not had an iPad, but you can follow in her pickling footsteps:
I think Heather summed it up best:

City Chicks’ army of Doyennes (and Dudes) are here to bring back the forgotten skills of the homemaker with an approach that’s designed for the way we live today. With a team of experts sharing skills that range from the perfect pie shell to shucking oysters to basic mending and sewing to at-home bang trims & updos – we show you how to reclaim grace and fill your home life with fun, food, and the satisfaction that comes from mastering a new skill.

Follow City Chicks on Twitter to get daily edequite and cooking tips in les than 140 characters
Check out their Class Schedule and register for Knife Skills, Holiday baking 101 and so much more! Gift cards make great presents too!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hello Philly!

This past weekend my travels brought me to Philadelphia for the first time, for the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo(FNCE)-basically a gathering of 10,000 dietitians from around the country for 4 days of educational sessions and a food expo that really does not compare to Expo East.
Here are some of bytes I picked up along the way.

iPads kinda rock. I used to talk a lotta smack about them, but it sure does make for a greener conference when you can take notes on them! Add Priority Matrix + Adobe Reader and I really don't know what I would do without it!

PROTEIN: Protein was a very hot topic here at FNCE with a lot of differing opinions, and most of the resource being funded by the Egg Nutrition Center, Beef Council and Pork Board (yes they are real). People seem to agree however, that no matter what the type, a slight increase in protein while decreasing simple carbohydrates -improved satiety, and lean muscle mass while decreased body fat. 30g per meal x 3 meals a day seems to be optimal for the average consumer. Anything more than that is pointless and won’t have any increased effect on body composistion or fullness. What’s 30 g of protein you ask?  1 serving vega one + 1cup hemp milk+ 2 T nut butter ~30 grams. Are you an athlete? Nutrition is not an add on but a necessary part of training plan. Have to commit to your nutrition plan every day-you wouldn't just brush your teeth once a week! Get all the players in the game-don't just favor one protein/food.

 Plant Based Eats- Loved Hip City Veg where I had my first Philly Cheesesteak-and it was completely Vegan!  Got to go there with the wonderful dietitian Trish O'Keefe who is rocking health in the Bay Area!

Catching up! It was great to see dietitian friends from around the country. Plus a couple that live 1 mile away but that crazy schedules get in the way of (looking at you Janel)
Joining a crew of RDs against GMOs-including Louise and Janel
I love raisins. and Rachel Perez
Goofing around- with my social media savvy RD soul mate Carlene Thomas. If you or anyone you know is getting married soon HIRE THIS GIRL!!
Fabulous Boston ladies-Allison, Ayla and Katie
Hanging out with Corinne at the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Speed Networking event
Enhancing Communication Skills- A presentation is a conversation not a performance, but it is often also an audition. This isn't at all evidence based but in 7 seconds you make 11 judgements about people- and confidence is something that's often assesd first. You are what you say. Remember the power of three-Direct Concise Precise. Eliminate word clutter, More is less Short sounds confident and gets heard  
Talking about Plant Based Nutrition with the Vega Team-it wasn't all play-we had to get some work done too. We had a whirlwind of trainings with Vega and 2 public lectures on getting back to a healthy routine this fall. I've seen a lot of Philly and the surrounding area in 48 hours and will be excited to return again soon!

Oh and of course a trip to the Rocky Steps. Thanks for a great time Philly! See you again soon!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reading Material

A quick trip to NYC and off later this week to Baltimore, and I promise I'll have more original content for this blog soon. In the meantime, here are some things I want to share:
  • Beauty Foods For Glowing Skin- Yes you can use food to enhance your natural beauty. Here's the inside scoop on how to get radiant
  • Start your day with your smoothie. I'm not kidding. Here's my recipe
Later this week I'll be at Expo East-scopping out what the latest natural products are and supporting the Vega Team. If you're there you better say hi!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Elizabeth Cooks: Pumpkin Protein Pudding

It's beginning to feel a lot like fall-pull out those sweaters, think about where you going to go leaf hunting, and most importantly STOCK UP ON ALL THINGS PUMPKIN.  If you don't already know about my love of this fall squash, please turn your attention to this post.

So on a whim I decided to make some Protein Pumpkin Pudding. It's simple, anyone can make it, it's loaded with 15g protein, 1.5g of omega-3s, antioxidants, minus any added sweetener and it's entirely plant based.

Pumpkin Protein Pudding
 Mix 1 can 100% pure pumpkin (no sugar added) with 1 serving Vega One Vanilla Chai. Sprinkly cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Makes anywhere from 1-4 servings, depending on how hungry you are.
Now excuse me, I have to get back to my new love
Full Disclosure: Yes I am employed by Vega. Yes I have loved and used their products for the past 3 years. Have other questions? Ask away

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Getting Your Sweat on in Boston

Boston is a great place to sweat it out. Not only are old apartments hard to air-condition, making every place i've ever lived a sauna in the summer (just detoxing) but we have some pretty great fitness options. Here are some of my current favorites:

RYDE & Sweat and Soul Yoga. 2 class, 2 studios, 1 location. SASY yoga is fantastic-hot vinyasa flow set to hiphop. I'm no yoga purist so this is one of my favorite ways to stretch it out. RYDE is a 45 min cycle sweat session, in a dim room, jams pumping and with a bike that you steer-hence engaging your core the entire time. + they add weights and pushups. on a bike. to power up your arms.

The mothership of hot yoga.  you'll sweat and sweat and stretch and stretch and feel amazing. Best in the middle of winter, when it's so cold this is the only way to get your bone warm

Exhale Core Fusion
Make your legs shake, in the most zen of locations.

Pure Barre-Newton and soon to be Newbury st
Home of the elusive "ledge" (those lovely perky bums) you never thought 3 # weights could hurt so bad. In between ballet and pilates it has a cult following for a reason

Good ol' running: along the esplanade, trails at Middlesex Fells, or dodging masshole drivers on the streets (my personal favorite)

If I liked treadmills or had cash to throw around I'd totally get a gym membership at Sports Club LA or Equinox. best of the best.

Next on my to-try list: Crossfit, South Boston Yoga, Bar Method downtown, I'll report back soon!
What form of sweat are you crushin on right now?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Elizabeth Cooks: Peanut Butter Noodle Love

I'm not going to be one of those people that apologizes profusely for lack of posting. Because let's face it life's been crazy-busy lately. I've got a new job, moved to a new apartment, flown 13,000 miles in the past month (thank you Tripit for those stats) But I do love writing, and sharing and blogging so I'm just going to commit to remembering how much I love it and actually post something more than once a month. You gotta make your goals SMART right?

With that crazy-busy life comes the NEED for crazy easy (but delicious and nutrious) meals. I will readily admit that my dining out/take out consumption has skyrocketed (no apologies), but I love being able to come home, unwind and whip up an easy meal. Peanut Butter Stirfry is my go-to. It has all my favorite things: PB, veggies, and sriracha. (the 3 main food groups right?)
Here's the base recipe (Note that I am extremely bad at measuring food, making a job of a real life recipe developer not my goal in life)
Peanut Butter Noodle Stirfy

  • Noodles (I love 100% buckwheat or udon noodles. Also these FRESH rice noodles from Trader Joes are fun to play with!)
  • 1 block tofu-diced into small cubes
  • Coconut oil
  • 3 T PB (natural, organic is best!)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (the one that comes in a carton not a can)
  • 2 tsp ginger grated
  • 1 T low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • juice of one lime
  • Sriracha to taste (in Elizabeth world A LOT)
  • Veggies galore
  • cilantro-chopped 
 i need this print
Cook noodles according to directions. Fry tofu in coconut oil until crispy. While tofu and noodles are cooking microwave PB + coconut milk for 45 seconds, and then stir together with ginger, soy sauce and sriracha. Set aside. Add veggies to fried tofu in pan, add garlic and sautee until veggies are hot. Combine noodles, tofu and veggies in a large bowl. Pour pb sauce over. garnish with cilantro (unless it tastes like soap to you) Enjoy with chopsticks!
Drink suggestions: coconut mango mojito, Singha or an organic wine. And/or water

mildly obsessed with Southbrook Vineyard in stunning Niagara on the Lake. Take me back!

What's your favorite quick and easy meal? I love new ideas and inspiration!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Healthy Airline Travel

Vancouer is lookin fly this week!

I've always loved traveling. Hoping on a plane, no matter how long the security line, never ceases to get me very excited. Finding new places to run, eat, drink and explore in a new (or old city) ever gets old. Which is a good thing since my new posistion as the regional educator for Vega, will require quite a bit of travel, at least right now.  On my way to Vancouver this week (it's beautiful here!), my 7 hours enroute made me think a lot about fueling during travel. And I was staying within North America. How do Olympians do this? (Who else is watching??)

Since I need to stay fueled throughout my day, and airline offerings just really arn't my style (Thans but no thanks stale pretzels and soda products). Plus even Starbucks bumps up their prices once you're through security. $10 for a side salad? No thank you! This is what I pack, that will get you through security without a private screening, and will keep you fueled healthfully!
  • HYDRATE! My reusable water bottle comes with me everywhere. I carry it through security empty then fill it up at the water fountain.
I have to show my Boston pride no matter where I go! You can get one here

  • Shake it Fast! If I need a quick snack I'll shake an Vega Energizing Smoothie into the bottle. (Tropical gets my vote! You can always pretend you're heading to the beach!)
  • Pack it! Avoid ridiculously overpriced airport stores and the unhealthy fast food, and opt for packed trail mix, lara bars, oranges (easy to toss in a bag, without worrying about them getting dirty or smushed)
  • Make Me a Sandwich! Wrap up a hummus and veggie or PB and J!
Happy Healthy Traveling!
What's your favorite travel snack?