To be continued....

Back with some new content Tuesday 5/29.

Thanks to all who have made, and continue to make, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness possible.  We remember and honor you this Memorial Day weekend.

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Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday: Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Last weekend I had a bout of decision fatigue.  I was itching to make a sweet treat, but my poor little brain simply could not choose.  So I made them all.  And the result was delicious.  If you know me you know I like my desserts dense, both texturally and nutritionally.  This hits the spot on all marks.  Plus it’s entirely made from plants.  

Do you want the luscious taste of a flourless chocolate cake with a nourishing nutritional profile?  If so, read on to create this more-than-satisfying mashup:

To make the cake layers:

Follow this brownie recipe with the following substitutions:

-Spread batter into 2 pans and bake for 60 minutes

-Optional: I used 1/2 cup of carob and 2 tablespoons raw cacao so T wouldn’t be bouncing off the walls.  If you are an adult that can handle your chocolate, feel free to go all in….

To make the mousse:

Follow this pudding recipe with the following substitutions:

-Add a bit more sweetener.  I used two teaspoons of date sugar and the sweetness equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar of stevia leaf powder.

-Optional: Add 1 tablespoon of raw cacao to the carob, or substitute chocolate for carob entirely.

To make the raspberry sauce:

Follow this berry sauce recipe with the following substitutions:

-Once slightly cooled, smash berry mixture with a potato masher or fork.

-Optional: Add a teaspoon of superfood powder like gooseberry, goji, or acai for an extra antioxidant boost.

To put together:

-Remove cake layers from pan.

-Spread mousse on one layer and top with the other.

-Spread mousse on top layer and garnish as desired (I used raspberries and strawberries).

-When ready to serve, top each slice with raspberry sauce.

-In the unlikely event you have any left over, store in fridge…..

For more plant based ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!

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Bless my decision fatigued mind, this cake was goooood……..
Mindfulness Monday

Mindfulness Monday: Mind the Second Arrow

The phrase “I feel (insert negative emotion here) about feeling (insert negative emotion here)” is used pretty often.  Despite that misleading first line, this post isn’t about Mad Libs (remember that fun little game from the 80’s?  Apparently they have an app now….).  Both in wellness pursuits and in general life, passing judgement on our own feelings is pretty common.

In Buddhism there is a parable and the teaching goes:

“If you get struck by an arrow, do you then shoot another arrow into yourself?”

Let that one sink in.  How many times do we pile pain on top of pain?

Next time you find yourself feeling bad about feeling bad, try the following:

-Take 5 slow, deep breaths and recognize what you are feeling.

-Bring awareness to your body and recognize physical sensations.

-Repeat until compassion and acceptance replace judgement and denial.

-Practice for a lifetime.

Don’t take it to heart if your way of thinking doesn’t change overnight.  And try not to pass judgement on yourself about passing judgement on your emotions.  Three arrows is too much for anyone to handle!

For more ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!

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I don’t have any pictures of T or Dee playing with arrows (thank goodness!) so here is a pretty one of T playing with a ball….

 

Fitness Friday

Fitness Friday: Get Hyped About Hydration

With warmer weather approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about hydration.  Where I work, the hard core tennis players and golfers play outdoors all through the summer.  We’ve already had a few 95 degree days and my hair tells me that the dew point is climbing (I always thought that poofy hair in the south was a style choice, turns out it is unavoidable!)

Most of us know that water helps with things like digestion, detoxification, and athletic performance.  I was surprised to learn recently that staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your brain.  Even a 2% decrease in hydration can lead to brain fog, and chronic dehydration can actually lead to brain shrinkage!

The following are a few of my favorite ways to incorporate more water into the day:

-Play a Drinking Game in Your Car: Keep a large bottle of water in the cup holder next to you when driving.  Every time you come to a red light, see how much you can drink.

Breakfast Water in Bed: Place a very large bottle of water (or two) on your nightstand before you go to sleep.  Set an alarm for 15-20 minutes earlier than you usually get up.  When you wake, sit and sip until all the water is gone.  Consider reading or listening to something inspirational as you drink to seriously jumpstart your day.

-Eat Your Water: There is a reason why watery fruits and veggies abound during the hotter months….mother nature knows we need to stay hydrated!  Eating lots of watery fruits and veggies is encouraged year round, but can be especially useful (and refreshing!) in the summer.

For more fitness ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!

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Stay thirsty friends….
Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday: In Defense of Curry

Like tomatoes and avocado, curry is a point of contention in our house.  Last month, after claiming he didn’t like curry or lentils for years, I made a lentil curry that J now loves.  Like lentils, there are many different kinds of curry.  Born and raised in exotic Connecticut, I am certainly no curry expert.  Over the years I have grown fond of not only the flavors of different types of curry, but also the benefits they have on digestive health.  Since curry is full of carminitive herbs, cooking with it helps the body digest and assimilate nutrients.  

It turns out that though J can do without Indian spice, he is just fine with the Thai variety.  How did we solve the lentil dilemma?  I switched out my usual soft red lentils for a more firm sprouted lentil blend and, served with a variety of other veggies, J liked them just fine.  Now if we could only come to an agreement on tempeh…..

Thai Red Curry with Sprouted Lentils

Ingredients:

-1/2 sweet onion, chopped

-2 carrots, sliced

-1 sweet potato, cubed

-1/2 small head purple cabbage, chopped

-1 half pound bag frozen broccoli florets

-1 8z bag sprouted lentils (True Roots is a good brand)

-1 15 oz can coconut milk

-1 32 oz carton vegetable broth (Pacific Foods is a good brand)

-1 4 oz jar Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen is a good brand)

-1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

-1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

To Make Instant Pot:

-Heat pot to saute setting

-Dry saute onion until fragrant

-Add broth and lentils and bring to simmer for several minutes

-Switch off, add all other ingredients, give a quick stir

-Cook on high pressure cooker setting for 7 minutes (make sure release valve is closed)

-Let pressure release naturally

To Make Stovetop:

-Dry saute onion until fragrant

-Add broth and lentils and bring to boil

-Reduce to simmer for 5 minutes

-Add all other ingredients and bring to boil again

-Reduce to simmer and cook until veggies are tender

Enjoy!

For more plant based ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!

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This curry agreed to be photographed on the third night of leftovers in an unattractive red bowl…#brave