Fun Friday

Hey everyone. Sorry I’ve been weird lately, been going through a lot here. My little problem has turned into an all out war and will result in some drastic measures being taken. I’ve been lied to over and over and I’m pretty much over it and I’m going to try and get my money back a different way and then it’s time to cut ties.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks and I’ve been getting through them by focusing on all of the small things that I’m looking forward to and that I’ve been able to enjoy in this time. I figured I’d share some of them with you for this Fun Friday post.

I have wanted to read this book since Bianca started talking about it and posting about the recipes. It’s about Scott Jurek who is an ultramarathoner. He talks about his training and his running and also provides super yummy sounding recipes. While I can’t run because of the impact I think this will be super inspiring and I’m looking forward to trying the recipes.

My friend told me about this book about a year again and then I heard about it again when Sage mentioned it. My friend is letting me borrow a copy (hopefully I’ll get it tomorrow!) and I can’t wait to read it. I feel like I’m stuck in a rut right now and I’m hoping that this book will help me to flip the switch and start living a more fulfilled life.

Check out these cool DIY Necklaces! I love them and I can’t wait to try and make one :) I am hoping to try it out soon since I feel like crafting may help me get into a zen place.

The ladies are going at it again tomorrow when Sarah Kaufman and Ronda Rousey will fight the main event title fight in tomorrow’s Strikeforce fights! Of course I’ll be working when it’s on but I’m going to DVR the fights so I can watch them later. I’ve been looking forward to this fight for a while!

Finally, for this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday I’m submitting my Carrot Cake Smoothie recipe. This smoothie is so delicious, it is by far one of my favs! I hope people will try it because it is amazing and the healthiest way I can think of to eat carrot cake!

Sorry I’ve been kind of down lately but I’m just drained from this whole experience. It makes me sick that all of my hard work can just disappear in a second by the hand of a greedy company. Hopefully I’ll get some resolution soon… I guess if I don’t I have to suck up a major loss. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

I don’t think I’ll be able to post tomorrow since I’ll be working a wedding and moving my groceries and clothes for the week to my brother’s house. I will see you here on Sunday though! Hope you all have a great night and a great day tomorrow!

UFC on Fox and a Preview!

Hey everyone! I hope that you have all had an amazing weekend! I know I haven’t been around much over the past week but it’s been pretty busy here. Things are finally back to normal so next week I’ll be posting lots of yummy food for you.

As I mentioned, last night I attended the live fights for UFC on Fox in New Jersey! The main event featured 1/2 of my favorite fighter bros, Nate Diaz (the other half, his bro Nick, cornered him). It was an exciting fight because the winner received a title shot. We got there in time to see all of the prelims in addition to the main card. In total I saw 5 hours worth of fights :) So amazing!

Check out how amazing our seats were! I could see everything in the cage crystal clear. It made the experience that much better to be that close. In addition, our seats were on the aisle in a section where people would have to pass us to get to the floor (we were 10 rows up from the floor). I would look up and there would be a fighter standing next to us waiting to get to their seats. For any other fight fans, I had Clay Guida, Michael Bisping and Jon Fitch standing next to me at some point. I didn’t want to bother them for a pic though, I feel weird about doing that.

We were about 15 feet from one of the entrances where the fighters would walk out. Wouldn’t you know it, they had Nate Diaz walk out on our side :) So awesome.
The fights themselves were amazing. There were a few sick knockouts, some amazing submissions (including a full on choke out – with the guy unconscious). I’m happy to say Nate Diaz won his fight via guillotine choke for his eventual title shot :) Great end to a great night!
OK, so I couldn’t do another post with no food so I just have a few things to share with you. Nothing really exciting, just something I’ve been eating for breakfast a lot lately and some things I have coming up over the next week!
I’ve been eating this for breakfast a lot lately. It’s just a banana with pecan butter, raisins and cinnamon. So delicious and filling!

Today I roasted a head of cauliflower for the week. I have some plans for this :) I was inspired by Shen‘s recent roasted cauliflower sides!

These are currently sitting on my countertop and will hopefully ripen soon… although I think it’ll be a few days at least. Can’t wait to eat these, especially the mangoes :)
Hope you all had a great weekend and a fun and festive Cinco de Mayo! Can’t wait to show you some new meals next week. Today I’m just going to relax and probably lay on a heating pad for a bit. The crappy arena seats messed up my back/neck yesterday but it was so worth it! See you tomorrow!

Spinning Back Kicks and Fruit

Hey everyone! This is going to be a quick post because I don’t have much interesting food for you :) I’m spending the morning relaxing because I deserve to :)

Ingrid expressed some curiosity of what a spinning back kick is yesterday so I figured I’d find a good video that shows what it is. I’m not super graceful with mine but it is more fluid and definitely more accurate and powerful now :)

This is a tutorial on how to do a spinning back kick. If you are patient through the first minute or so until he gets to the wide screen you can really see it. Like I said, it isn’t difficult but it looks fun :) You get really dizzy practicing it too! Ha!
The only productive thing I’ve done today is make this big ol’ yummy fruit salad to bring to work to share with my boss and co-worked. It’s as good as it can get for a winter fruit salad lol. There are 2 honeycrisp apples, an orange, some grapes and strawberries. Looks pretty good for a thrown together fruit salad, no?
Food is the usual so I didn’t photograph it. I’ll post pics tomorrow, I promise. Gray lazy morning I suppose. Love lounging on a Tuesday morning.
Have a great day!

Feeling Human Again & Marmalade Umlaut!

Hey everyone! It took a while but I finally feel human again. I have an appetite, I’m eating real food (just smaller portions of it) and I’m feeling good. I went to the gym and did 50 minutes of cardio this morning before work and it felt great. It’s so good to be back in business, it sucks being out of commission for almost a week, but it’s nothing that I could help.

Breakfast was my second attempt at a green smoothie since I got sick. The first one was an epic fail because it was so sweet it just made me sick again. This one was way less sweet. All I used was a banana, some almond milk, some Vega shake and go smoothie powder and a lot of spinach. I was in desperate need of greens and they cut the sweetness a lot. I drank about 3/4 of it. Success!
Since I didn’t have much time between the gym and work I only had time to make the smoothie so I grabbed lunch next door. I couldn’t get a photo since I wasn’t alone but I had this one and it is the same exact thing I ate for lunch. Rice and beans with stewed green beans and tomato. Smaller portion than this though. Another great meal.
I got home from work at about 3:45 and decided to have some avocado on toast as a snack to hold off until dinner. As you can see this poor avocado needed to be eaten since it had been sitting all week. I’ll finish it off tomorrow I’m sure.
For dinner I’m planning on a salad. A small salad. Yum!
So, as I promised here is a review of:
Marmalade Umlaut!!! This is Maud over at Food Feud’s awesome zine that she has been producing since 2007. As I have mentioned before, I had intended on purchasing a few issues for a while but for some reason just never did. I FINALLY came to my senses and decided that I would get 4. I chose issues 13 and 18 where raw foods are a focus and then decided to let Maud choose the other two for me. She chose issues 6 and 15 and they were both great choices!
Truth be told I had never really seen a zine before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Needless to say I was really excited about what was presented in these zines. Maud provides funny anecdotes, amazing recipes (duh!), kick ass cartoons (like seriously super fun and cute), holiday menus and conversations (the conversations were a great touch, I really felt like I was a fly on the wall), poetry, tips and her insights on a variety of topics. She has a very conversational tone and the presentation is fun, unique and incredibly creative. I can’t say that I have a favorite issue because I enjoyed all of them so much. I can’t wait to make some of the raw recipes. Raw pad thai?! Yes, please! Thanks again Maud, and if you haven’t already had the pleasure of reading Marmalade Umlaut, definitely order some issues. You won’t be disappointed!
I hope you are all enjoying your weekend so far! Mine finally began at 3:30 this afternoon. I was bumming about not having Showtime because the Strikeforce fights are on tonight.
Notice anything interesting about tonight’s main event? Yup, the main event features a WOMEN’S TITLE FIGHT! The UFC could learn something from this. Dana White (UFC President) has stated that because of the lack of talent in the women’s division and the lack of interest (read: not enough potential for big $$ for him) we will pretty much never see women’s bouts in the UFC. I think that is a load of bullshit.
Anyway, I think that this fight has the potential of really paving the way for women’s MMA (and to make Dana White regret making that statement). I really wanted to watch it and then I found out my bro has Showtime! So tonight I’ll be heading over to his house to watch the fights there. I’ve seen women’s MMA before but this fight is going to be awesome because these two broads pretty much hate each other. That makes it so much more fun :)
I hope that you all have a great Saturday night! I’ll be back tomorrow with more yummy eats :)

Workout Glossary Part 1

Hey everyone! My meals are boring today (nothing new and exciting, sorry!) so I figured I’d try some new out. Miss Rachel’s comment on yesterday’s post actually inspired this because I realize I talk about my training a lot but a lot of the things I do may not be known since I do a lot of specific training. I thought maybe I’d take a little time to illustrate some of the workouts I do. If you like this I was thinking maybe I’d make it a series and post some workouts you can do at home or on the road and other things like that :)

So, this is how I work out. This is only a very broad view of my training.

When I say I do a round of “ground and pound,” this is what I mean. I basically go to town on a 90 lb heavy bag on the floor with punches, hammer fists, elbows and knees. You can go from either side or sit on it with one leg on each side.

This is what I mean when I say I’m “hitting pads.” My trainer will physically hold pads for me and call out offensive and defensive combos. Combos include punches, kicks, knees and occasionally elbows. The pads you see in the picture above are Thai pads, which we use but we also use punch mitts. Those are smaller and require more accuracy.
In my last post when I said “the rope,” which I’m sure isn’t even close to the proper name, this is what I meant. Your goal is to keep the rope moving using your arms. She is lucky that a lot of the rope is coiled around the pole. I usually have to go the full length. I am not going to lie, if I had to choose my least favorite workout this would be it. It hurts!!
Since I showed my least fav, I figured it is only fair to show one of my favorite workouts (if we aren’t including actual striking in that). This is a sledgehammer strike. We used to have one of those ginormous 600ish pound tires in our back parking lot which was left behind by the MMA gym that used to be next door to my gym. They switched locations and left the tire. Unfortunately they came back for it a few weeks ago so my sledgehammer days are over for now. Basically you raise the sledgehammer above your head and strike with full power alternating sides. I felt extremely powerful when I did this exercise and I think I was the only girl that did it :)
This is a diagram of a burpee. This is a very common drill. I included it because a sprawl is very similar to this and I know I mentioned sprawls yesterday. The only difference between a sprawl and a burpee is that the hips go down a little closer to the ground (it is used as a takedown defense in fighting) and instead of a jump at the end you just stand up and start over. Imagine doing that for your minute “rest” between 3 minute rounds!
That’s a very quick overview of the very basics of my training. I do a lot of striking, switching between the pads (thai pads and punch mitts), the hanging heavy bag and ground and pound. The others I included mainly because there have been questions about them. There’s a lot of other stuff (I can do another full post on abs alone if you want) I do but I figured I’d clarify the basics first :)
Hope this didn’t totally bore you! I hope you all have a lovely Friday and a great weekend! I’ll hopefully be back with some yummy food tomorrow!
PS. Ingrid, I thought of you when I saw this pic! I can’t even deal, it is so cute and funny!

Vegan MoFo Day 13: Vegans and MMA

Hello kiddles! I am going to say this outright and up front that I’m the only one that probably will care about this post at all but I guess I hit a little lull in interesting meals so I decided that I wanted to do a post on MMA (mixed martial arts) and veganism because over the past 3-4 years it has become a big part of my life.
So, where to begin! I guess I’ll start off my talking a little bit about how MMA fits into my life. I’ve struggled with weight my entire life and about four years ago I decided to do something about it (finally…). I started to get my diet in order and I went hard at the gym. At first it was the typical boring crap with weights and machines and cardio. I was doing well and I felt good, but was concerned that since I didn’t actually enjoy the workouts it wouldn’t last. Then, I hit the pads for the first time and at that very moment, my life totally changed.
I was totally hooked. I was getting a sick workout and I loved every minute of it. I started off 1-2 days a week with 30 minute sessions (and my own workouts). Now I train 3 days a week for 45 minutes and then I work out on my own as well. And I look forward to every session.  If I could afford it I’d train for hours every day. I started off with straight up punches and now I’ve expanded into punches, kicks, knees, elbows, defense, and sprawls…boxing, kickboxing and muay thai. Mixed in with cardio, body weight exercise and other gnarly stuff I get amazing workouts every time. It is the best feeling in the world to feel your power, strength, skill and to have determination. I may not be happy with my weight still but I feel amazing and pretty fit and that is so much more important than the number on the scale.
I get a lot of comments about MMA and how it “isn’t vegan.” The only thing that isn’t vegan about it are the regulation leather gloves the professional fighters wear. My synthetic gloves are cruelty free. I get that people think it is all about violence and blood and knockouts and submissions. It is so much more than that. It is about respect. It is about discipline. It is about strength and power and defense and skill. I can tell you that I am not afraid to walk down the street at night by myself and that I will not be a victim. I remember reading an interview and the fighter (It was either Jake Shields or Mac Danzig, I forget) said it perfectly…animals do not have a choice in whether or not they suffer by our hand. The two fighters consciously make the decision to fight. And as I said before, they have mutual respect walking into that cage.
Over the last few weeks I’ve heard a lot about how there are fighters that have been embracing a vegan or vegetarian diet. A few say it is easier for them to make weight but most say that it is because they feel healthier, lighter and faster without giving up power and muscle.  Diet plays a huge part of this. There are some that cite animal cruelty as the driving force of this choice.
So, I figured I’d share a few things I found where vegan fighters talk about their diets. Any athlete will probably benefit from this because they talk about how to eat for intense training.

The first vegan fighter I’ve ever heard about was Mac Danzig. I’ve read some good interviews with him like this one with PETA. I also really like this article he wrote about what he eats while he is training. Keep in mind he is a man training for hours every day so his calorie intake is pretty high, but the kind of food he eats is interesting. I would disagree with some of his choices like relying heavily on Clif bars but overall you get the idea.

This is Mac Danzig.
My favorite fighter is Nick Diaz. He is ridiculously talented and eats a high raw vegan diet. The man does triathlons on his days off. He is super inspiring.
That’s Nick Diaz. His brother Nathan is also an incredibly talented fighter and also is vegan from what I understand. Check him out.
And this is Jake Shields. He has never eaten meat in his life and recently went full vegan. That was awesome to hear.
It makes me happy that professional athletes are speaking out about being vegan and showing how you don’t need animal protein to be successful in your training. I always find it interesting to see how vegan athletes eat. There is no one right way to eat…it is always just a matter of doing what feels best for you. I know I feel best when I eat clean with no wheat and added sugar. This is incredibly difficult though. And I also don’t expect to get in a cage anytime soon though :)
So, that’s my piece on MMA. It’s just how I feel and my answer when people ask me why I’m vegan but am into MMA and watching fights. Sorry if this was a total snoozefest but I figured I’d talk a little bit about it because I mention my workouts a lot and this’ll give you a better idea of some of the background.
I’ll be back tomorrow with food, I promise!! Have a great night!