Posted by Caroline on Nov 3, 2013 in Blog, Recipes | 2 comments
I know Halloween has past but I never get tired of pumpkin. I stock up on canned pumpkin when it goes on sale and use it as much as I can.
I typically open a can and keep some in a glass container in the fridge so I can add it to my morning cereal or smoothie. I even use it as a spread on flax crackers or chickpea bread… mix it with almond butter or sunflower butter and you won’t miss the sugary jam one bit!
Pumpkin’s orange color lets you know that it’s high in beta-carotene which is a powerful antioxidant that helps repair cells. Plus it’s high in fiber, iron and Vitamin A.
I knew I wanted to create a fall-inspired smoothie or two for the Fall Delicious Detox so I fired up my Vitamix and started experimenting. After a few tries, the Pumpkin Coconut Chai Smoothie was born. YUM!
It was a hit during the Detox, a few people even told me it was one of their favorite recipes, so I decided to share it with everyone.
I’ve been using coconut milk (from a can) in place of other dairy-free milks lately so you’ll see it in the smoothie recipe. Coconut milk is antimircrobrial and great for gut healing plus it’s packed with vitamins and minerals. If you don’t want to use coconut milk, you can certainly sub almond milk or your dairy-free milk of choice (check out the note at the end of the recipe).
I really love all the delicious chai tea spices, especially with pumpkin, so you’ll find them here. If you don’t like cardamom or nutmeg (or don’t have them), skip them or replace them with more cinnamon or a spice you do love.
If you’ve been to my cooking classes, you know that I consider recipes a guide but not a bible so use this as inspiration and get creative in the kitchen! And don’t let the long ingredient list scare you, it’s the spices and they take no time to add.
And one last note about this recipe. There’s nothing frozen in it so it will be room temperature which is how I like my smoothies. It’s actually best for your body and digestion to avoid cold drinks but if you prefer your smoothies cold, feel free to use a frozen banana or add ice.
Pumpkin Coconut Chai Smoothie
Serves: 1 good portion for breakfast or 2 for a snack
½ cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened) or cooked butternut squash or sweet potato
1/2 cup coconut milk (from a can)
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 – 1/2 banana (small piece, for sweetness)
½ tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder (or other protein powder)
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
liquid stevia to taste (if you like it sweeter)
Directions: Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If you don’t have Sunwarrior , you can leave it out and increase the vanilla and add a few drops stevia.
Is you are missing any of the spices, just leave them out or substitute with more cinnamon. I like this smoothie room temperature, especially when it’s cold outside but feel free to add 5-6 cubes of ice or use a frozen banana if you prefer it cold! Best enjoyed fresh but it will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
*Note: To sub almond milk or other non-dairy milk, use 1 1/2 to 2 cups almond milk in place of the coconut milk and 1 1/1 cups water.
I really love thick smoothies. In fact, I love to eat my smoothie from a bowl with a spoon. You can do this with any smoothie, just use less liquid or add more chia seeds to thicken it up. Here’s the version I had this morning (topped with goji berries, chopped figs and more coconut).
Posted by Caroline on Oct 13, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment
Want to help your body detox every single day? (The answer is yes!) Here are 3 things you can start doing pronto to help make it happen…
TIP #1: SLEEP
I know, I know, I an hear some of you shutting down and tuning me out at the mention of sleep but stick with me because it’s so critical to helping your body detox and your health. Ideally, you need about 8 hrs of sleep each night and even more ideal is being in bed by 10pm.
If this sounds like crazy talk to you, let me tell you why and maybe it will help get you in bed earlier. Your body naturally releases cortisol all day. Your cortisol release should peak around daybreak, this is what wakes you up. Then it gradually decreases for the rest of the day, like a long ski slope. It starts to slowly rise back up again while you sleep but here’s the issue– if you are a night owl and going to bed late, you are probably missing the cortisol wave so to speak.
You want to hit the sack before your cortisol starts to get to high again so you can fall asleep easily and stay asleep.
Honestly, this is a tough one for me, I wasn’t exactly a night owl but an 11pm bed time was my normal. Since I learned this, I’ve had to work hard to make it a new habit of being in bed by 10pm (or even earlier!) but I can tell such a huge difference in my health and mental focus when I stay committed to my 10pm bedtime.
Your body does most of it’s detox work when you sleep so this is why getting a good 8 hours of sleep each night goes a long way to keeping you healthy.
TIP #2: CHEW YOUR FOOD
This is a big one for me also because digestion is a weak spot for me and guess what, I used to have the really bad habit of inhaling my food. Really bad.
I knew I should slow down but I just couldn’t do it. Until I started to understand how critical chewing is to digestion that is. Not chewing enough can wreak all sorts of havoc further down the digestion line and cause a myriad of digestive issues.
If you already chew your food– hooray, keep it up! If you’re like me and tend to eat fast, focus on this for the next few days and see if you can shift.
For me, I needed to get clear on the underlying issue which was my fear that I don’t have enough time. When that fear comes up, I rush and my chewing gets sacrificed. When we work to change habits, we often have to peel back the layers and really look at what might be the underlying issues to make the change and have it stick!
TIP #3: GENTLE TWISTS
This doesn’t have to be a long yoga class — just taking 5 or so minutes each day to do some gentle twists, either seated, standing or reclined will help wring out and cleanse your digestive organs and liver.
Take a moment and press your thumb into your arm for a few seconds. When you pull your thumb away, you can feel the energy and maybe even the blood rushing into the area you were just pressing. That’s what twists do for your insides– they bring fresh energy and clear out the toxins.
Take a few moments to do a simple twist right now if you can. Hold it for a few seconds and then go to the other side. Let your body relax into the twist and take a few deep breathes….ahhhh!
I’ll be sharing a lot more daily detox tips during Delicious Detox. Yup, it’s about food but it’s also about making time for simple self-care every single day to support your body and nourish your soul.
Delicious Detox starts on October 20 and I’d love to have you join me!
Posted by Caroline on Sep 27, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments
If you’re training for a fall marathon or half-marathon, you’re probably putting in a lot of miles right now. Doing long runs is key to being well-trained and prepared on race day, but you also want to recover as quickly as possible.
A quick recovery means more energy, reduced muscle fatigue, and the ability to train more efficiently. If your long run is wiping you out or you feel totally zapped of energy most of the time, it’s time to make some changes.
Reducing inflammation is key to a speedy recovery and what you eat (or don’t eat) will help!
Check out 3 tips for a quick recovery in my article at MindBodyGreen.
Good Stuff Announcement!
Krista Watts is the winner of Sage Rountree’s new book called Racing Wisely. Check out my interview with Sage to learn more!
Posted by Caroline on Aug 29, 2013 in Blog | 2 comments
I’ve got something sweet that I’m really excited to share with you today. An interview with the dynamic and inspiring, Sage Rountree!
Sage has been a huge inspiration for me on many fronts. If you don’t know Sage, she is an internationally recognized authority in yoga for athletes and an endurance sports coach. Now you see why I like her, right?
Personally, I discovered Sage when I stumbled onto her yoga podcasts and bought her first book, The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga, shortly after I completed my yoga teacher training. I love this book!
Sage’s books, videos, and teachings have inspired me so much over the years as a yoga teacher and student. This past summer, I was lucky enough to study with Sage at her “Yoga for Athletes” training course at the studio she co-owns, Carrboro Yoga Company.
Sage recently published her new book called, Racing Wisely. It’s a great read for any athlete who wants to be more prepared for race day (who doesn’t want that).
I’m devouring it right now as I prepare for the XTERRA National Championships in a few weeks.
I asked Sage if she would be willing to chat with me about her journey and her new book and she kindly said yes!
And as a special bonus, I’m giving away 1 copy of her Sage’s new book, Racing Wisely and a coupon for my new program, Nourished Athlete. Learn how you can win at the end of the post…
Without further ado, let’s get to the interview…
Q: My own journey to yoga was a little rocky, it certainly wasn’t love at first down dog! I love to hear how other people, especially athletes, found yoga. What first brought you to yoga?
A: It was a rough journey for me, too: I really disliked the first class I attended, because it was much harder than I expected, there was lots of Sanskrit, and by the end I really, really needed to pee, and I didn’t know the protocol for leaving or returning to the room during final relaxation (answer: don’t, if you can at all help it). It wasn’t until I took—and loved—prenatal yoga during my first pregnancy that I really came around to the practice.
Q: Most yoga teachers don’t focus on a specific niche like you do with athletes. When did you first start teaching yoga specifically for athletes and what made you pursue that speciality?
A: My study of yoga deepened at the same time as my running mileage and race distance went up, so for me the two practices are inextricably linked. I saw a need for classes tailored to the body and mind of the athlete in training—specifically, a practice that is not a major physical workout but rather quieter, helping athletes balance the demands of training.
Q: How has yoga helped you as an athlete?
A: It’s helped in immeasurable ways, but very specifically in developing core strength, hip flexibility, better proprioception and balance, stronger breath control, sharper focus, and access to a deep well of endurance.
Q: Your first book, The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga, continues to be a huge success. It has been published internationally and has ringing endorsements. What inspired you to write it and did you have any vision that it would be such a huge success?
A: As my teaching and racing career progressed, I wished aloud that I had a book to consult about how yoga fit with endurance sports. My husband pointed out that I had the skills to write it myself: I have a PhD in English, was working in publishing at the time, and had already invested years of study into both yoga and sports. His comment prompted me to write the book I’d wanted to read. It was such a joy to get a book contract—my first very serious writing outside of academia—and a treat to work on the book and share what I’d learned. I never had any expectations about how the book would do, but I am delighted to hear from readers that it has made a major difference in their sports and lives.
Q: You recently published your latest book, Racing Wisely. Personally, I’m so glad you wrote this book. I see so many athletes put their heart and soul into training only to have a bad experience on race day. What was your motivation for writing this book?
A: As with The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga and my other books since, I wanted to share what I had learned the hard way, in the hopes that my experience would help others get more meaning and enjoyment out of their own experiences. While there are hundreds of books on how to train, there was not a single book on how to capitalize on that training come race day. Racing Wisely fills that gap, in ways I hope will be both actionably practical and deeply philosophical. I aim to get readers thinking about the role of training and racing in their lives and to make choices in accordance with their intention and goals.
Q: Sometimes we just have to laugh when things go haywire on race day and you have some great race day mishaps woven through the book. What’s your favorite race day story that was hard at the time but makes you laugh now?
A: Dozens of athletes generously shared hilarious stories of race-day disasters for Racing Wisely; I’m so grateful that they did, and I’m also very grateful that my personal mishaps would never live up to some of those doozies! My own stories are really boring in comparison, in part because I follow my own advice: control everything you can control, to free up energy to have the best attitude possible when things are out of your control. When you have the right perspective, incidents that might be calamities—flat tires, dropped nutrition, unexpected cramping—don’t feel like big deals.
Q: As you know, I’m a nutrition nerd so I do have to ask about food! What’s your favorite pre-race meal?
A: That’s an easy one. Half a peanut butter PowerBar and coffee. It’s a ritual, and it hasn’t failed me yet.
Q: Of all the advice you give you in Racing Wisely, can you give us one or two of the tips that you think people will be most surprised by?
A: There is an in-depth full-page table on chafing—I surprised myself by having that much to say on the subject!
One practical tip that shouldn’t surprise athletes but that too many fail to consider is to warm up so you are ready for the pacing you’ll use at the start of the race. If you are doing a trail race and need to position yourself in a certain way relative to the field before the course veers to singletrack, you’d best be primed for that. If you’re doing an open-water swim and need a quick start to catch the right pack, be ready to go hard from the gun. Then, once you’re where you want to be, settle in to a sustainable rhythm. Too often, athletes go all out until they peter out. There’s a time to go hard—especially when you are racing for place—but you can’t maintain a sprint start to finish in an endurance event.
Thanks so much, Sage! I loved hearing about your journey when I studied with you in person and I’m thrilled to share a little taste of it here.
IT’S GIVE-AWAY TIME!
As promised, I want to give away 1 copy of Sage’s new book, Racing Wisely to a lucky winner. I know athletes always love to win!
Entering is easy. Just share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter or leave a comment on this page. You can enter as many times as you like. I’ll choose a winner on September 9th.
AND as a special bonus (just for reading this post!) you get a $30 coupon to my program:
Nourished Athlete: 21 Day Jumpstart to Boost Your Energy & Improve Your Performance
Register by 9/4 for the Early Bird Rate and enter this coupon “NA30” to save an extra $30.
Posted by Caroline on Aug 23, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments
(This article was originally published at MindBodyGreen)
It’s summer and that means race season for many endurance athletes. How you train is definitely important but what you eat before, during, and after your race can also make a big difference in your performance and how you feel the next day.
Most of us know the old favorites of pasta for the pre-race dinner and drinking chocolate milk after the race but is this really the best food for racing and recovery? For most people, probably not.
Yes, pasta is high in carbs, which you need when you are racing, but pasta doesn’t have much nutrition and it has gluten. Even if you don’t have sensitivity to gluten most athletes feel better without it on race day.
The same goes for the post-race chocolate milk. It gets touted as a good choice because it has a nice balance of carbs and protein (which is true) but dairy causes inflammation and excess mucous which hinders your recovery. Plus most chocolate milk has high fructose corn syrup and that’s the last thing your body needs after a hard race.
So if pasta and chocolate milk are out, what should you eat pre and post race?
You’ll do great if you stick with whole foods like vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. Here are five foods that will give you an extra edge for racing and recovery.
Read the rest of the article over at MindBodyGreen where it was originally published….
Want to boost your energy & improve your performance?
Check out my Nourished Athlete Jumpstart that starts on September 11…
Posted by Caroline on Jul 1, 2013 in Blog, Recipes | 0 comments
Summer is my favorite season. I can’t get enough of the long days, sunshine, eating outside, and boatloads of fresh, local produce. Our garden got a late start because of rain but we finally have greens galore arriving like lettuce, kale and Swiss Chard. Yum!
Picking greens from your own garden or getting them at the Farmers Market is by far, the best option (for you and the planet) but it can be a bit overwhelming. It takes more prep to clean it all and get it ready to eat.
Plus you might be new to kale or some of the other dark leafy greens and have no idea what to do with it.
I was totally clueless about kale when I bought my first bunch. I’m pretty sure it sat in my fridge until I tossed it out. No kale shame here. There is always time to learn and you’re in the right place!
Here’s how I quickly prep and clean kale so it’s always ready to go when you are.
Plus, a recipe for my favorite way to eat kale.
This salad is always a surprise to people. Kale is good raw. Like “go back for seconds” good.
This is a recipe that nearly all of my clients love. The bonus is it keeps great in the fridge so make a big batch and have quick and easy meals ready in no time. It’s time to massage your kale…
Lemon Kale Salad (raw)
1- 2 Tbsp minced onion (red, white, yellow or green)
1 Tbsp olive or flax oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 bunch of kale, shredded or sliced thinly
1 cup red or green cabbage, shredded
1-2 carrots, shredded or matchsticks
½ to 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
Make the dressing by mixing together the onion, olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl combine the shredded kale, cabbage and carrots.
Pour the dressing over the kale and massage the dressing into the kale (with your hands) until the kale starts to soften. This is the key to breaking down the kale and making it easier to chew and digest. Pretend your are making meat loaf! Massage until the kale starts to get brighter green and softens. Add in the avocado and sunflower seeds and mix gently to combine.