11 Ways to Improve Endurance

 

So you wanna be a superhero? Me too. Let’s start with endurance.  I’ve got the research, now all you have to do is put in the effort. Here’s my 11 tips:

1. Train

Think you have to keel over to improve your endurance? Think again. According to the ACE Personal Trainer Manual 5th edition, studies have shown that endurance improvement favored those who had performed more zone 1 training.

80% of training should be done at intensities where speech is comfortable (zone 1) and only about 10% of training should be performed at intensities above VT2 (zone 3, where blood lactate increases significantly).

It would make sense that this 80% zone 1 training should, for the most part, be performed relatively high in zone 1.  So, if you are just getting into endurance activities like running, just getting started will improve your endurance.  However, to really get your speed up and improve, get a little uncomfortable with the “talk test.” Can you sing comfortably while you are running? If you can, then you can definitely try to go a little faster. Get on those hills, and laugh fearlessly at your struggles!

2. Hydrate

Did you know that muscles are 70-75% water? That’s right! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, muscle is only 15-20% protein, 5-7% fat, glycogen, and minerals.

Why is hydration important?

  • Temperature regulation
  • Blood volume + blood pressure
  • Keep organs, kidneys, cells, working optimally
  • Prevent dehydration

Things to consider:

  • Weather
  • Clothing
  • Your personal sweaty-ness

According to the American Counsel on Exercise (ACE):

  • ~4 hours before the event, drink 3-4 cups of water + weigh yourself
  • > during the event: definitely varies, but drink about ½ cup water every 20 minute
  • after event drink about 2 cups of water for every pound that you lost during the event

IMPORTANT: Prevent depletion in electrolytes like sodium and potassium as those are necessary for muscle contraction and blood pressure regulation which, if low can cause cramping, twitching and even heart issues. These electrolytes may be excreted with sweat

In general, water alone should be fine to rehydrate, but if it is extra humid or you lose 3% or more body weight during the event I recommend a natural electrolyte beverage like coconut water and / or datorade.

Dateorade:

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ lime or lemon, juiced
  • 2-3 dates
  • maybe a pinch of Himalayan salt or dulse flakes

Blend for about 1 minute. This provides natural sources of electrolytes, antioxidants and nutrients without the added colors, flavors, or refined sugars and is a great go-to beverage before, during, and after an event.

3. Carb Load Correctly

FACT: Activity that lasts longer than several hours depletes glycogen stores. Carbohydrates consumed during exercise helps endurance athletes maintain a fast pace; fat is used more efficiently for fuel as exercise continues. Protein is a very minor fuel source during endurance exercise.

PROTEIN: it is important for repairing tissues, making enzymes + hormones, transporting nutrients, making muscles contract, regulating water balance. However, if you don’t consume enough carbs for your high energy demands, the body will use protein for energy instead which is EXTREMELY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO YOUR PHYSICAL GOALS! Although protein may supply energy, extra amounts are not your best fuel. While carbs are stored in the muscle and liver as glycogen to be used for quick energy, excess protein is stored as fat, and not used for energy if you already consume enough calories. In general, protein should supply 10-35% of overall calorie intake which is met easily without powders or supplements in a balanced whole foods plant based diet. Since athletes usually eat more with a good appetite, they easily get the protein and nutrients they need. Protein requires more fluid in order to be metabolized because we need to excrete the toxic nitrogenous waste as urea so can lead to kidney issues, dehydration, cramping, and fatigue.

Energy need for endurance sports depends on body size, duration of activity, and overall effort. An elite athlete may need 4000-6000 calories daily, chosen from a high carbohydrate diet. Don’t worry about calculating your protein because if you are eating a balanced diet of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits, and are eating enough calories, the protein in these foods will add up to be enough protein.

7 days before the event:

  • Days 1-3 Moderate-CHO diet of around 55% of calories, in general, recommendations are 45-65% of calories should come from carbohydrates
  • Days 4-6 Increase to high carbohydrate diet of about 80% of calories
  • Dinner before the event: >80% calories from carbohydrates

4. Four Hours Out:

Simple balanced meal should be fine. Try to keep it around 500 calories and under to prevent fatigue and slow gastric emptying. If you are nervous it is ok to eat less and eat more simple carbs like fruit or fruit juice 1-2 hours before the event

5. Pre Workout

While what you eat pre-workout is very important, it is essential that the previous workout was properly recovered from and that we eat a healthy balanced diet with adequate calories and nutrients on a daily basis.

Day of the event: If in the morning, I recommend staying light with datorade or fruit juice beverage. Within 1-2 hours of event, The food eaten should be around 200-300 calories, high in carbohydrate to maximize blood glucose availability, and low in fat and fiber to minimize GI distress and facilitate gastric emptying, it should be moderate to low in protein, and known to be well tolerated by you. A go to for before, during, and after workouts.

6. During Event

During extended training sessions, lasting longer than 1 hour, and especially in extreme heat, cold or high altitude, exercisers should consume 30-60g CHO / hr of training to maintain blood glucose levels.

30-60 grams of carbs looks like:

  • 1 large ripe banana
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 5-6 dates.

7. Post Workout

Eat in abundance! It is counterproductive for endurance athletes to restrict. The best meals post workout include an abundance of carbohydrates accompanied by some protein. ACE recommends about 2.2 grams of carbs for each pound of body weight to be eaten within the first 30 minutes after exercise and then every 2 hours for 4-6 hours. A diet of whole plant foods consisting of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruit that is sufficient in calories should provide adequate post-workout carbohydrates and protein.

8. Prevent Pain

Prevent oxidative stress and reduce cell damage and muscle pain with: Antioxidants

  • Antioxidant power aka the power to protect our cells from damage was significantly increased with banana beverage versus plain carbohydrate beverage
  • Cherry juice was shown to decrease perceived pain significantly in runners versus placebo cherry flavored drink
  • There are lots of studies out there on various plant foods, when choosing fuel to prevent pain, recover quickly I recommend whole plant foods

9. Improve Oxygen Utilization

Yes, Nitrates are components in plant foods like beets, spinach, celery, and arugula that can cause athletes to perform intensely with less oxygen needed. Crazy!

In a study with cyclists, beet juice compared to current juice improved oxygen utilization by a whopping 20% which is quite significant. Drinking beet juice is so powerful that it can bring someones high blood pressure down within 3 hours. Also, pharmaceutical companies use this concept for patients with chest pain to help with blood flow. These drugs are called nitroglycerines. You know another nitrate drug? It’s called Viagra and it certainly improves blood flow but you might as well just eat your vegetables.

How do nitrates work? Bacteria in our saliva convert it to nitric oxide. HOWEVER be sure to not use antibacterial mouth wash because this has been shown to deplete healthy mouth bacteria and therefore inhibit the conversion of nitrate to nitric oxide to allow us to oxygenate our blood.

10. Build Blood

Think you don’t need to eat your greens? Ever been to a smoothie joint that sold wheatgrass shots? One thing that wheatgrass juice is dense in is that dark green pigment called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has been shown to increase hemoglobin in anemic rabbits. Hemoglobin is the component of blood that carries oxygen and as you can see is very similar to chlorophyll in dark leafy green vegetables. I recommend eating about 5 cups of leafy greens daily.

11. Adequate REST

Symptoms can be both physiological and emotional and are highly individualized.

Signs/ symptoms of overtraining:

  • decline in performance with continued training
  • sleep disturbances
  • weight loss
  • multiple colds / frequent sickness
  • irritability, restlessness, anxiousness
  • loss of motivation / vigor
  • lack of mental concentration / focus
  • lack of appreciation for things that are normally enjoyable

Best way to prevent overtraining is with periodization: alternate easy, moderate, and hard periods of training. Generally, one or two days of intense training should be followed by an equal number of easy training days. A week or two of hard training should be followed by a week or two of easier effort.

Today you learned

about hydration, the talk test, carbohydrate loading, what to eat pre, during, and post workout, how to prevent muscle soreness, how to increase oxygen utilization and how to build blood and prevent overtraining. Get out there and awaken your inner athlete! Give this video a thumbs up, leave your comments below, and remember. Deep down, you truly are a morning person. Wake up and live, Reines and shine!

Dr. Michael Greger’s “Doping with Beet Juice” : http://nutritionfacts.org/video/doping-with-beet-juice/

Dr. Michael Greger’s “Enhanced Athletic Recovery Without Undermining Adaptation” : http://nutritionfacts.org/video/enhanced-athletic-recovery-without-undermining-adaptation/

Cherry Juice Study: G. Howatson, M. P. McHugh, J. A. Hill, J. Brouner, A. P. Jewell, K. A. van Someren, R. E. Shave, S. A. Howatson. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 20(6):843 – 852.

Beet Juice Study: Bailey SJ, Winyard P, Vanhatalo A, et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology. August 6, 2009. 107: 1144-1155.

Antibacterial Mouthwash and Nitric Oxide: Goconi M, Janasson E, Weitzberg E, et al. The increase in plasma nitrite after a dietary nitrate load is markedly attenuated by an antibacterial mouthwash. Elsevier. 2008. 2: 171-177.

Anemic Rabbits Study: Hughes JH, Latner AL. Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin Regeneration after Hemorrhage. Journal of Physiology. 1936. 612 (119) :338-395

Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin: Hughes JH, Latner AL. Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin Regeneration after Hemorrhage. Journal of Physiology. 1936. 612 (119) :338-395

RL Duyff. American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Print.

American Council on Exercise: https://www.acefitness.org/

Orange Glazed Tempeh | Fat Free, Gluten Free, Vegan

Orange Glazed Tempeh

orange glazed tempeh

What even is “tempeh”???  It is made by cooking and fermenting soybeans and forming them into a condensed patty type thing.  I prefer its texture to its similar tofu brother, however, this is my first time actually experimenting with a soy product, so we’ll see!westsoytempeh  I love how it has a meaty texture and picks of flavors really well.  It has a slight bite of chewiness and is full of protein, calcium, and iron.  I used the WESTSOY Five Grain tempeh (which has gluten), but I’m sure any kind would be superb. Just be sure the version you get is GF if you have a sensitivity.

tempehr

Serves one. About 230 calories and 14g protein per serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 block of organic “west soy” tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • juice of 1 key lime or about 1/2 regular lime
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • juice of 1 orange or about 1/3 cup orange juice

Steps:

  1. Using a knife and a cutting board, cut off 1/3 of the block of tempeh.  Turn this on its side and slice it in half so that you have 2 skinnier third pieces. Cut these two third pieces into triangles.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the orange juice, lime juice, maple syrup, and ginger, and mix with a spatula to combine
  3. Put the tempeh triangles in the pan and allow them to sizzle on one side, moving around while sizzling.
  4. Flip the tempeh when ready, and allow it to sizzle on the other side. Be sure to keep it moving so it doesn’t burn and add a little more oj (or whatever you’d like to add to make it even better!) if needed.
  5. When the tempeh has soaked it up, time to eat! I had a little orange glaze left over in the pan so I stir fried some rice in there, delish! Serve with kale, rice, scallion, avocado, sunflower seeds – whatever you got! 🙂 xx

Peanut Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites | 5 Ingredients – Gluten-Free – Vegan

Peanut Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites

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Need a pick-me-up?  These are the perfect little ball of energy.  And, honestly, something about unsalted dry roasted peanuts and raisins makes my heart sing.  If I had cocoa powder or maybe vegan chocolate chips, those would throw these balls out of this world! So, take what I made, and make it even better! xx

Makes 8 balls, about 90 calories each

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Optional additions to try:

  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut

Steps:

  1. Blend ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor S blade until well combined
  2. Using 1 Tablespoon to measure, roll into balls, and store in the fridge.  Or, freeze for later!
  3. Spread the love! ❤

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Figgy-Mahn Rollz | Vegan – Gluten Free – Not Cooked

I LOVE fig newtons.  Figgy-Mahn Rollz are a much healthier alternative with a new pimped out rasta / reggae swag.  They are the perfect sweet-tooth fix, or a great energy bite for a snack or workout. Figs are high in calcium and dates with all that potassium, whole grain oats, fabulous fiber in here, phytochemicals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory flaxy polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. What more could you ask for? ❤

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Figgy-Mahn Rollz

Serves 12

Crust

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup moist pitted dates
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil (to grease baking sheet)

If using a food processor S blade:

  1. Blend the oats alone until a rough flour
  2. Add in the dates and the lime and process until it forms a smooth uniform dough

If using a high speed blender like ninja or vitamix:

  1. Blend the oats alone until a rough flour and pour into a separate bowl
  2. Blend the dates and the lime until smooth
  3. Using a fork or mashed potato masher, combine the date paste with the oat flour until smooth and uniform

To assemble:

  1. Spread the coconut oil over the baking sheet to grease it
  2. Spread the dough onto the baking sheet.  It doesn’t have to cover the whole sheet.  Trim edges so they are straight and try to make it an even thickness

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Filling

  • 1 cup moist dried figs, with the hard things on top taken off
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Blend until smooth using high speed blender or food processor

To Assemble

Spread the fig paste over the date-oat crust

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Roll baby roll!

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Press the edge down to seal it shut smoothly

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Slice into 12 rollz to share ❤

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Weekly Vegan Meal Prep: Chia Pudding and Overnight Oats Recipes

Here’s two easy recipes to help save time during the busy workweek.  weeklypreponthegothumb

Click Here to watch

Chia Pudding

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  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup plant milk

Overnight Oats

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  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup plant milk

Optional Fixin’s

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp dried or frozen fruit
  • 1 chopped fruit, like banana or apple
  • 1 Tbsp seeds or chopped nuts
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • dash of cinnamon

Steps

  1. On a Sunday night, combine each recipe’s ingredients in 5 separate to-go containers like jars or tupperware and mix well
  2. Keep in the refrigerator and take one per day for a great breakfast, craving curbing snack, or nutritious dessert
  3. Enjoy often in good health! ❤

15 Habits For The New Year: Resolutions To Live By

Habits are everything. Let’s make a list of the habits we are proud of and a list of the habits we are not so proud of. This year, continue to build those constructive actions that make you happy. Here, you will find inspiration for good habits to make, and how to work on them.


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1.    Wake up with an intention -Will it be gratitude and happiness or complaining and dismay today? The choice is yours. Make the decision, and set an intention to stick to. Make it a habit to wake up like this.

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2.    Spend time with loved ones – Let’s put an end to the habit of blowing people off for work.  Love and love and nothing else, is all we need. Workaholics (like myself) are prone to opting out of quality time. This year, put love on top.

3.    Have Fun – What do you absolutely LOVE to do? Are you doing it? Like, ever? Well, you should be! This life is too short to not do what makes us happy. Get in the habit of committing some time to fuel your fun. Trust me, it’ll make it easier to focus in the long run.

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4.    Turn around the negativity – Beautiful people are having complainy conversations these days, so let’s put an end to it. Next time someone complains to you, it is important to be empathetic, yes, but it is also important to recognize the good in life. Try not to let the complainers bring you down. Even worse is negative self-talk. We are all guilty of telling ourselves we suck now and then. Let’s consciously make it a habit to notice the negativity and turn it around.

Check out the full article here!

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers – Vegan and Gluten Free!

Vegan Americana Demo:

Sweet Potato Burgers, BBQ Cauliflower Wings, Mom’s Blueberry Cornbread. Monday Sept. 8th 7-8pm CoRec Demo Kitchen, Purdue University. Call 765-494-3110 asap to reserve your spot!

 

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers ~

sweetpotquinoaburg

Crowd pleasing, hearty, healthy vegan burgers. There is no way to mess these up- the ingredients will still taste fantastic. Inspired by Whole Foods and Istanbul’s Mediterranean cuisine. Great for parties, families, and Thanksgiving!

Makes about 24 beautiful burgers

Prep Time: 25 minutes   Cooking Time: 45 minutes   Total Time : 1 hour and 10 minutes

You will need…

  • Large pot
  • Steamer
  • Mashed potato masher
  • Cutting board
  • Chef knife
  • Large stirring spoon
  • Large bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Potato peeler
  • 2 Cooling racks
  • 2 Baking sheets
  • Oven
  • Garnish: buns, tomato, avocado, mustard, ketchup, onions, pickles, etc.

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (2 cups dry quinoa cooked in 4 cups of water)
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 bunches dill
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 shallot or small red onion
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Prep for mise en place

  • Peel and steam sweet potato
  • Rinse and boil quinoa in 4 cups of water
  • Wash and chop parsley and dill How to wash parsley
  • Juice lemon
  • Chop shallot
  • Measure out craisins and flax

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Place cooling rack on top of baking sheet
  3. Mash steamed sweet potatoes until smooth in large pot
  4. Combine cooked quinoa with mashed sweet potatoes in large pot
  5. In a large bowl, combine parsley, dill, dried cranberries, lemon juice, shallot, flax, and spices and mix well
  6. Pour herb mix into sweet potato quinoa pot and mix well.
  7. Using a 1/3 cup measure, form the mixture into patties and place on the cooling rack on the backing sheet
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 450 degrees F or until crispy.
  9. Serve over buns with tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, and choice of toppings and condiments.

Simple Guide To Plant Strong Burgers

Yum ❤

sweetpotburg

 

Strawberry Cookie Dough Pudding, Inspiration, and High On Life Salad

I’ve learned a LOT about nutrition and fitness, everyday becoming more and more confident in this amazing raw vegan lifestyle.  These past few days I have eaten 100% raw, very low fat, and I have MORE ENERGY THAN I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH!!

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As if springing out of bed before your alarm goes off, or running a mile just because theres a jumping bean inside you that needs to be released weren’t enough.. the clear glowing eyes, silky smooth skin, and superhero S shaped shits are definitely worth learning more about this lifestyle.  I recommend high carb FO SHO!! BUT: I would like to point out that I work out a pretty decent amount, and we can’t all survive 40 days on eating nothing but bananas and dates like Freelee.  Going from scrawny to strong takes a little increase in protein intake- maintenance of muscle mass does not require any increase in protein.  I have been craving the dark leafy greens and goji berries, especially after my workout-pro, stud friend Davis got me to up the weight on the squat rack!  This bowl of beauty hit the spoooooot!  The holistic health counselor that I seasonally assist, Christine Lucas, explained at one of her classes that sprouts are the most nutrient dense foods on land- SO many available amino acids!  In high school, I used to sprout oat groats, and various other grains instead of cooked oatmeal.  These sprouted little wheat berries are so divine blended with fruit like this!

Here’s what you’re going to need:

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  • over a cup of sprouted soft wheat berries
  • about 7 whole strawberries (with greens on! yaay extra greens! 😀 )
  • less than a teaspoon of chia seeds ( with the mass amount of fruit in my smoothies I ran into a little candida issues putting tablespoons of hemp and chia in there as well- be wary mixing fats with fruit and high sugar foods- it keeps the insulin from clearing from the blood causing issues! )
  • about 2 tablespoons of goji berries

Blend everything except goji berries until smooth! Swirl in the goji! Super easy! Enjoy!

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I have been experimenting with raw veganism for about over 3 years now, and have had quite a rough time, mostly because of social settings, general stigmas, and contrasting beliefs.  I have been lucky enough to have had a senior in dietetics, Tressa Massaro reawaken the confidence in me.  Tressa knows the facts.  The credible information behind it all to be 100% sure!  When I first met her she told me how amazing it was to discover in lab how much protein there was in kale!  I am so glad she re-inspired me!  FULLY RAW FO LIFE!!  This lifestyle can not only prevent but REVERSE sooo mannyy diseases.  It’s unreal.  BUT IT IS REAL.  BELIEVE IT.

She gave a RAWESOME food demo at the pole fitness place she goes to in Merrillville, IN.  My fantastically spontaneous and adventurous friend Davis went with me to it and we ended up having such a wonderful evening!  Tressa’s family owns a beautiful store, “Produce Depot”.  We got a ton of fresh organic ❤ produce and made dinner at her house!  We also had fresh juices and immune shooters (ginger shots) from the depot!  This is what we made:

High On Life Salad:

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  • 4 bunches of dinosaur kale (chiffinade)
  • about 5 carrots (potato peeled)
  • 1 zucchini (potato peeled)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (sliced thin/ chopped)
  • chunks of pineapple
  • raisins
  • goji berries

Drizzled with all this blended until smooth in a high speed blender:

  • 3 oranges
  • about 10 pitted dates
  • juice of one lemon
  • a couple of handfulls of fresh mint leaves (to taste)
  • about 2 tablespoons of chopped ginger (to taste)
  • 1 champagne mango
  • 2 tomatoes

Even Tressa’s family and Davis enjoyed this!  SO MUCH LIFE FORCE ENERGY! We were high on life after all this amazing food.  I even got a text from Davis that night after he dropped me off at home, “I feel awesome right now”.  There is no question about it- eating healthy makes a huge difference!  Let’s see you give it a go! xoxo !!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Raw Vegan Desserts Demo and Recipes! (Oil Free and Sweetened with FRUIT!)

Last week’s Raw Vegan Desserts Demo was so much fun!  These demos are getting less and less nerve-racking :).  I am so lucky to have the opportunity to share how delicious and easy healthy food really can be!

Have fun making these recipes!  And have even more fun eating them! And have THE MOST fun thriving afterwards ❤
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Black Forest Cherry Brownie Bites

Food processor- S blade

  •  2 cups walnuts (preferably, soaked and dehydrated- however there is a law that it is illegal to sell raw nuts made in the US- they are all pasteurized.  Imported may be raw though)
  • 6-7 dates pitted and packed (I used an 8 ounce bag of coconut date rolls, I think there were 7 in there)
  • 1 tsp cherry extract
  • 6 Tbs cacao or carob powder
  • 3 Tbs water (if necessary- I didn’t use any water)

Process until smooth- delicious walnut butter can be made using simply walnuts in a food processor.  Just be patient- it turns super creamy!  Feel free to add dates or your favorite sweetener for sweetener, or a little salt.  The oils really come out and the brownie bites get super squishy and buttery!

  • ¼ cup dried cherries mixed in after blending
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts mixed in after blending

After mixing in nuts and dried cherries, scoop about a tablespoon of brownie dough into mini muffin tins and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.  The walnut butter congeals when you let it chill.

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Mango Nice Cream

High speed blender (like Vitamix or Ninja), or a food processor S blade (if using food processor, will take longer and definitely add a little water or let thaw out a little- might make soft serve, but still delicious!)

  • 3 ripe, peeled, and frozen bananas, chunked into fourths
  • 1 cup thawed frozen mango chunks (throw your frozen fruit in the fridge, nom nom nom!)

Blend until smooth and creamy.

I love brownies and ice cream separately, but I like them together even better!

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Ohhh the decadence isn’t over yet…

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Coconut Macaroons

Makes appx. 15, use a food processor S blade:

  • 4 cups sun-dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisin (soaked if available)
  • 1 cup coconut date rolls or medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup apricot soaked
  • 1/4 Tbl sea salt
  • 1/8 cup distilled water (depending on how much soaked dried fruit

1. Blend coconut in food processor until very fine/ oily/ sweet. (this may take longer than you think!  Let it blend until super smooth, about a full 1-2 minutes)

2. Blend (appx. 30 seconds- 1st pulse 5-6 times) all other ingredients

3. Using cooking scoop, make balls and roll in dried coconut

4. chill and enjoy!

Brownie Chunk Chocolate Soft Serve

Brownie Chunks:

Food processor S blade

  • 2 cups walnut
  • 1 cups (about 7) dates
  • about 1/3 cup cacao powder

Blend until super smooth and spread onto a pan or roll into balls and freeze.  After about 20-30 minutes or more, chop into itty bitty brownie chunk pieces.

Chocolate Soft Serve:

Food processor S blade

  • 3 ripe, peeled, frozen bananas, chunked into fourths
  • 2-3 Tbs unsweetened almond milk (or homemade almond milk, or just throw in some soaked nuts, or just water! 🙂 )
  • 2-3 Tbs cacao powder (depending how chocolatey you like it!)
  • vegan chocolate chips or MY BROWNIE CHUNKS! NOM!!

Blend everything except brownie chunks until smooth and fold in brownie chunks!  Top with fresh berries, yuum.

Gotta love coconut macaroons and brownie chunk chocolate soft serve separately… but together- simply heaven.  sweet little love pies. I don’t think I have to tell you to enjoy this one… but do be sure to savor. xoxo

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Raw Vegan Biscuits and Gravy! (fat and gluten free!)

Ohh biscuits and gravy!  I thought you said bananas and datey!!

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Sunday mornin’ soul food baby.  Sweet, smooth, juicy, and hearty.  This will fill you up, and you actually will not be in a coma!! Haha, carb up and seize the day!

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The Biscuits:

  • cinnamon
  • bananas (sliced)
  • apples (mandolin thin)
  1. Thinly slice your fruit
  2. Using a straight cylinder coffee mug, get a layer of cinnamon on the bottom so the apple doesn’t stick.  then alternate layers of apples and layers of banana slices.  Once the mug is about 1/3 – 1/2 way full, press layers down firmly.  Run a knife around the outside of your biscuit in the mug and flip the mug forcefully into your hand or a small plate to get the biscuit out.
  3. Repeat and place biscuits on plate as desired.

The Gravy:

  • raisins (a few handfuls)
  • oranges (2-3)
  • dried apricots (like 6)
  • coconut date rolls (or dates – 5)
  1. Using a high speed blender or food processor, blend until smooth.  Add more orange sections to make it thinner, add more dried fruit to make it thicker.
  2. Pour / spoon over biscuits.
  3. Garnish with fruit and whatever else sounds good!
  4. Happy Sunday!!