A Stronger, Healthier You!

Raw food recipe

Raw food recipe

Note: While you read this article, enjoy pictures of some of the goodies that came as a result of my Climbers Recipe Exchange Party!

yummy homemade veggie casserole

yummy homemade veggie casserole

Growing up I was an elite gymnast, where nutrition was vital for performance.  In the late 80s the focus as a high performing gymnast was not just on perfection, but extreme dieting.  As a climber, I think most agree nutrition is vital.  I know some of the world-class climbers are tiny & extremely fit, which you need to be to crank a 5.15. However, I believe with the right training, strength, balance, technique and mindset, an individual can climb pretty hard (5.10 to 5.13) and not have to be super skinny.

I do think nutrition plays a factor in optimizing performance.  Not focused on just restricting calories or major extreme dieting, but getting in the right nutrients that will promote bone strength, energy, and so on, is the ticket to not just optimizing performance, but promotes a happy, healthier you. I am mostly a vegetarian and I refuse to eat Tofu, Tofurkey, etc., etc.  I have recently made it a goal to really expand my intake of fruits, veggies and anything else that provides nutrients naturally.  Taking the vegetarian approach pushes me to explore all kinds of cool foods I never thought of before.  At the end of the day, I truly feel balanced eating produces a healthier you and a happy climber.  Notice I said balanced eating rather than extreme dieting.

Cooking is fun!

Cooking is fun!

If you are not already on track, what are some ways to make sure everything you eat is helping your body be stronger, more energetic and healthier you?

Here are just a few ideas from, YOU, our readers!

  • Throw a healthy recipe exchange party – Any excuse to gather friends is awesome and what better way to make or bake something healthy and yummy and bring small recipe cards? I just held a party and man, it was the most delicious potluck I have had in a long time!
  • Blogs, blogs and blogs Oh My! – We just entered the generation of blogging.  And there are lots of really amazing chefs and creative cooks that maintain blogs that offer cool recipe ideas.
  • The Good Ole Cookbook (and magazines) – Sometimes it is good to hit the library or buy a book you can hold in your hands, flip the pages and look at the pretty pictures.  I am visual and always like a good cookbook.
  • Ani Phyo, a must do cook book!

    Ani Phyo, a must do cook book!

    Cooking Scrapbooking – I have a reader that prints out, cuts out and gets any good recipe on paper, 3-hole punches and files in a binder. Another reader does the same but scrap books her cookbooks.

  • Pintrest – I cannot post this piece without recognizing there is a world out there I know of but too afraid to enter, because I hear it will suck you up!  It’s Pintrest.  I have a handful of readers that use this to organize everything, including yummy eats!
  • Virtual Library – I have a few readers that are engineers and they store recipes in excel or word or some kind of virtual library.
  • Aps, Aps, What? – The world of iphones and smart phones.  One of my readers said “look for any recipe aps!”
  • Girls Night Out – Well maybe not just girls, but explore healthy restaurants and cafes in your area every couple months with your friends and try to gather in between testing out restaurants and make your favorite things.  I have even asked some restaurants for recipes and/or ideas of how to make it and gotten them.
Waldorf Wheat Berry Salad

Waldorf Wheat Berry Salad

Here are some awesome recommendations sent in by YOU, the readers!

the best recipe of them all

the best recipe of them all

chicken salad, recipe from Whole Foods iphone app

chicken salad, recipe from Whole Foods iphone app

Also, because sharing is for caring, below find a list of recipes from a recent recipe exchange party I held and plus some from our very own readers. 

SNACKS

Perfect Snack for Those with Nut Allergies  

GARLIC PARMESAN ROASTED CHICKPEAS (provided by reader who obtained from Clean Eating Magazine)

  • Serving Size – 2.5 cups
  • Prep Time – 10 minutes
  • Total Time – ~55 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cans of drained/rinsed chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – Spread chickpeas on several layers of paper towel and let dry for 30 minutes and preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Step 2 – In a medium bowl combine oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and cheese.  Stir until crumbly and oil is absorbed.
  • Step 3 – Add chickpeas to bowl and toss to coat.
  • Step 4 – Spread mix on baking sheet and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Vitamix Granola Bars

Vitamix Granola Bars

Granola Bars!

VITAMIX GRANOLA BARS (provided by reader who obtained from vitamix.com)

  • Serving Size – 15 bars
  • Prep Time – 10 minutes or less
  • Yield: 15 Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (50 g) wheat berries or 1/2 cup – (60 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup (28 g) wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) almonds
  • 1 cup (155 g) oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1 medium apple – cubed or 1 cup (244 g) unsweetened applesauce

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – Place wheat berries, wheat germ, almonds, and oats into the Vitamix dry blade container and secure lid.
  • Step 2 – Select Variable 1.
  • Step 3 – Turn machine on and quickly increase to speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  • Step 4 – Blend for 40 seconds. Turn machine off. Pour out into bowl.
  • Step 5 – Place apple into the Vitamix dry blade container and secure lid.
  • Step 6 – Select Variable 1.
  • Step 7 – Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  • Step 8 – Use the tamper to press the apple into the blades.
  • Step 9 – Blend for 40 seconds or until consistency of applesauce.
  • Step 10 – Pour into bowl with dry ingredients. Add salt, cinnamon, vanilla, honey, and cranberries to mixture.
  • Step 11 – Stir by hand until moistened. Spread into greased 9×9 or 8×8 pan.
  • Step 12 – Bake for 25 minutes in a 350F oven.

YUMMY MEALS & SIDES

Vegetarian Friendly Hummus

Vegetarian Friendly Hummus

For those that like meal replacements

PROTEIN MORNING SHAKE (made up recipe by a dear climbing friend)

  • Serving Size – 1
  • Prep Time – 2-5 minutes
  • Total Time – 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 scoops of Vanilla protein powder (70 grams of protein for me – vary depending on your protein need)
  • 1 cup of kale
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • ½ cup of blueberries
  • ½ cup of raspberries
  • 3 tbsp. of hemp hearts
  • 16 ounces of water

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – Blend until well mixed.

Unique Salad Choice

my homemade pico de gallo

my homemade pico de gallo

WALDORF WHEAT BERRY SALAD (provided by reader who obtained from Skinny Bitch)

  • Serving Size – 7 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hard wheat berries
  • 3 cups water – plus more for soaking
  • 1/3 cup safflower oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup apple juice (or orange juice)
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp. agave nectar (or honey)
  • 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
2 celery stalks – thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
1 sweet-tart apple – (Fuji, McIntoch), cut into
  • 1/2-inch cube
1/2 small red onion – cut into 1/4-inch dice.
  • (Optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – In a 2-3 quart saucepan, combine wheat berries and enough water to cover by 2 inches and soak, refrigerated, for 6 hours or overnight (If you don’t have time for overnight drama, use 1/2 cup more water and cook for 30 minutes more, or until tender).
  • Step 2 – Drain wheat berries, return them to the pot, and add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 50-60 minutes, until berries are tender.
  • Step 3 – Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together safflower oil, apple juice, rice vinegar, agave, salt, and pepper. Once the berries are cooked, drain any water left in the pot and transfer the berries to a large bowl.
  • Step 4 – Toss with about half dressing and set aside to cool to room temp.
  • Step 5 – Once berries are cool, stir in the ingredients, and remaining dressing, tossing gently. Serve cold.

Cheap and fast rice

Cheap and Fast Veggie Rice

Cheap and Fast Veggie Rice

GARDEN VEGETABLE RICE (made up recipe by yours truly DorisTheExploris)

  • Serving Size – 2
  • Prep Time – 5-8 minutes
  • Total Time – 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Uncle Ben’s ready rice, garden vegetable flavor
  • ½ packet or less of Sazon Goya or stock (Vegetable or chicken flavored)
  • Diced tomato, onion, & green pepper
  • Fresh cut up or frozen broccoli florets (can add other veggies)
  • A little bit of I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – Microwave rice per package instructions or butter saucepan and heat rice
  • Step 2 – Add Sazon or stock, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, broccoli and any other veggies.
  • Step 3 – Stir until hot and serve.

Yummy Black Beans

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

BLACK BEANS DORIS STYLE (made up recipe by yours truly DorisTheExploris)

  • Serving Size – 8-10
  • Prep Time – 20 minutes
  • Total Time – 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • Bag of whole black beans (or for quick version 4 cans of beans)
  • Diced ½ onion, ½ green pepper and ½ tomato
  • 1 full envelope of Sazon Goya
  • 2 tbsp. adobo (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. sea salt (or to taste)
  • Olive oil (not sure how much, a few tbsp.)
  • Small can of tomato sauce
  • Handful of chopped cilantro

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – If whole bag of beans, leave soaking overnight in water.  Next day, start-boiling beans in medium heat until they are soft; this could take 30-45 minutes or so. Watch the water, that it does not dry up, add water when needed, but only a little at a time.
  • Step 2 – When beans are soft, in a pan, sauté onions, green peppers, tomato, Sazon Goya, Adobo, seat salt, a handful of cilantro, olive oil, and a little tomato sauce.  Stir for about 3 or so minutes.
  • Step 3 – Add items sautéed into beans and remainder of tomato sauce, stir, put a lid on pot, and lower heat to low temperature.  After I stir, I like to press with a potato smasher, not to make them refried beans, but it will make the beans juice thicker.  Let boil for about 15 or so minutes.
  • Step 4 – Taste beans, add more Adobo, or salt if needed and add remaining cilantro.  Boil for about 5 to 10 minutes and it should be ready to serve.

Note: If you like refried beans, just put in blender, and eat up!

The Healthy Cole Slaw

Healthy Recipe Exchange Party

Healthy Recipe Exchange Party

DORIS’ VERSION OF SPANISH COLE SLAW (made up recipe by yours truly DorisTheExploris)

  • Serving Size – 8-10
  • Prep Time – 10 minutes
  • Total Time – 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage cut really thin or bag of cabbage
  • If using head of cabbage, 1 carrot grated really thin
  • 2 cucumbers diced super small
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • If you like radishes, dice 2-4 of them really small
  • 3-4 lemons or limes
  • Salt and Pepper

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – Add cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers into bowl and mix well.
  • Step 2 – Squeeze limes or lemons.  Add salt and pepper and about 2-4 tbsp. of olive oil.  And stir really well.
  • Step 3 – Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, for some reason the more it sits, the better it will taste!
  • Step 4 – Stir again, taste, if too lemony, add a tiny bit of water. If not, serve and enjoy.

Totally Vegan Friendly and Yummy

My cookies, OPERATION FAIL!

My cookies, OPERATION FAIL!

CHIPOTLE CHILI WITH SWEET POTATOES AND BRUSSEL SPROUTS (provided by a reader who obtained from Post Punk Kitchen)

  • Serving Size – 6-8
  • Prep Time – 10 minutes
  • Total Time – ~20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 chipotles, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes (2 average sized), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 12 oz. brussel sprouts, quartered lengthwise (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons New Mexico chili powder (or other mild chili powder)
  • 1 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
  • 1 16 oz. can pintos, rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Fresh lime juice to taste (about one lime was good for me)

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – In a soup pot over medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil for about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, coriander seeds, and oregano and sauté a minute more. Add remaining ingredients (except for lime juice). Mix well. The sweet potatoes and brussel sprout will be peaking out of the tomato sauce, but don’t worry, they will cook down.
  • Step 2 – Cover pot and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for about half an hour, stirring often, until sweet potatoes and fork tender but not mushy. Squeeze in limejuice to taste and adjust any other seasonings. Let sit uncovered for at least 10 minutes before eating.

For Fans of Slow Cookers

This was once thought of an ingredient that fixes everything (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), but really climbing fixes everything!

This was once thought of an ingredient that fixes everything (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), but really climbing fixes everything!

GOLDEN BEET BORSCHT STEW (provided by reader who obtained from Clean Eating Magazine)

  • Serving Size – ~6
  • Prep Time – 40 minutes
  • Total Time – 1 hour & 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. grape seed oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped small
  • ½ tsp. smoked sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
  • 4 cups of peeled and chopped of golden beets
  • 4 cups of thinly sliced white cabbage
  • 4 cups of low-sodium of vegetable stock (or chicken)
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • ½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven on medium high, heat oil.  Add garlic & onion and sauté; make sure to stir frequently until soft.
  • Step 2 – Stir in paprika, and then add carrots, beets, cabbage, and stock.  Bring to a boil; cover pot with lid and lower heat to low.  Simmer for about 30 minutes or when beets are soft.
  • Step 3 – When beets are soft, stir in vinegar, 2 tbsp. dill & remaining salt and pepper.     If you want a creamier stew, put ½ of the soup in a blender, then add back to soup & stir. 
  • Step 4 – Whisk together yogurt and remainder of dill.  Serve bowls with soup and top off with yogurt mixture.

SWEETS

danger zone, I am an expert cook, as long as you dont make me follow a specific recipe!

danger zone, I am an expert cook, as long as you dont make me follow a specific recipe!

Perfect Pie with Modified Healthier Ingredients

BOSTON CREME PIE (provided by reader who obtained from Clean Eating Magazine)

  • Serving Size – 10
  • Prep Time – 55 minutes
  • Total Time – 1 hour & 15 minutes

Ingredients:

PIE

  • 1 ¼ cup low fat milk (1-2%)
  • 3 large eggs and 3 large egg whites (divided)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. brown rice flour
  • 6 ½ tbsp. organic evaporated cane juice (divided)
  • 1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract (divided)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • ¾ cup light spelt flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. organic unsalted butter (melted)

CHOCOLATE GLAZE

  • 3 oz. dark chocolate (70% cocoa or greater)
  • 1 tsp. organic unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. low fat milk (1-2%)

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – Prepare custard.
    • In a small saucepan, heat 1-cup milk on medium heat until small bubbles form around edge for about 3-4 minutes.
    • In a heatproof bowl, whisk one egg, rice flour, 1 ½ tbsp. cane juice, and 1 tsp. vanilla until thick.
    • Slowly whisk in warm milk until smooth.
    • Return to pot and bring to a boil on medium, stirring constantly.
    • Cook, stirring, until pudding-like (for ~30 seconds).
    • Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve set over top of small bowl.
    • Cover custard surface directly with plastic wrap.
    • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Step 2 – Preheat oven to 350° F.  Mist two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with 8-inch rounds of parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, sift spelt flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat 3 eggs whites until foamy.  Add 1 tbsp. cane juice and beat until stiff peaks form.  In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of milk, melted butter and ½ tsp. of vanilla.
  • Step 3 – In a separate large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat remaining two eggs and 4 tbsp. cane juice until thick.  With as rubber spatula, gradually fold in egg white mixture until no white streaks remain.  Gradually fold in flour mixture until just incorporated.  Fold in milk mixture.
  • Step 4 – Divide batter among cake pans.  Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Invert onto a wire rack.  Remove parchment from bottoms and cool completely.  Cover top of one cake with custard; top with remaining cake.
  • Step 5 – Prepare glaze.  In a heatproof bowl, set over top of a pot of gently simmering water.  Melt chocolate and 1 tsp. of butter, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in milk.  Immediately spread over top of cake.

Yummy Fruity Raw Food Dessert

My OPERATION FAIL cookies

My OPERATION FAIL cookies

BERRIES WITH ALMOND FRANGIPANE KREAM  (from Ani’s Raw Food Desserts Cookbook)

  • Serving Size – 8-10
  • Prep Time – 10 minutes
  • Total Time – 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Pint of washed strawberries (sliced), blueberries, raspberries, and black berries (recipe book also calls for sliced peaches)
  • 3 tbsp. of agave syrup

FOR ALMOND FRANGIPANE KREAM 

  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1 cup of filtered water
  • 2 tbsp. agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp. alcohol-free vanilla or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – Make Almond Frangipane Kream.  Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  • Step 2 – Serve and Enjoy!
    • To Serve Individually: Stir fruits in a big bowl, serve fruit, and a spoonful of the Kream.
    • For a Party: I use a serving dish that has a bowl.  I would decoratively layout the fruit and put the Kream in the bowl in the middle.

Healthy Baking Type Dessert 

MAPLE APPLE CRISP (provided by reader who obtained from Clean Eating Magazine)

  • Serving Size – 12
  • Prep Time – 15 minutes
  • Total Time – 55 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Neutral-flavored cooking spray (aka, sunflower, grape seed, etc.)
  • 5 baking apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of almond flour/meal
  • ½ cup of maple sugar
  • 2 tbsp. organic unsalted butter (or I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter)
  • ¼ cup of unsalted sliced almonds

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – Pre-heat oven to 350° F.  Lightly mist an 8-inch square-baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Step 2 – In a medium bowl, combine apples, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Toss gently to coat.  Transfer apples to prepared baking dish, spreading evenly.
  • Step 3 – To bowl, add egg whites, oats, almond flour, maple sugar, and butter and stir.  Gently fold almonds.  Spread mixture over apples evenly.
  • Step 4 – Bake for about 45 minutes and cover pan with foil the last 15 minutes.  End product: soft apples and browned top.

Optionally serve with homemade vanilla ice cream! Recipe provided by reader who got from Organic Valley’s website. 

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Organic Valley Milk or Half and Half, fully chilled
  • Ice cream maker

How to Make:

  • Step 1 – Prepare/freeze the insert of your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Step 2 – Use a whisk to stir sugar into milk (or half & half) until it completely dissolves. Stir in the whipping cream and vanilla extract.
  • Step 3 – Add mixture to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze the ice cream 4 or more hours.

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