I woke up on Sunday morning feeling as thought the fog had lifted a bit. After days upon days of being sick, I finally remembered what it was like to breathe through both nostrils. More importantly – my appetite came roaring back. Just in time, in fact, to carry me through a pre-yoga brunch date with my good friend Allison. We were both recovering from the same flu bug, and both in desperate need of hot coffee, conversation, and nourishment. So we walked over to Open City early Sunday morning to do just that.
Allison is a vegan and always inspires me to look at brunch menus differently. While I typically go for egg dishes, today I followed her lead and opted for the vegan scramble – a mixture of tofu, chick peas, broccoli, and tahini with a heaping side of sweet potatoes. It was the perfect savory kickstart to my day and gave the the fuel I needed to try my first workout in six days. Because it’s low impact and low intensity, I opted to try the 75-minute vinyasa flow class at Stroga. So, with stoic determination to banish the flu bug, I strapped my trusty yoga mat to a big, clunky bike share bike and pedaled my way to Adams Morgan.
I haven’t been back to Stroga since falling in love with their budokon class last month, so this visit was long overdue. A point of honesty here: doing yoga on cold medicine is not the best decision I’ve ever made. Going back to yesterday’s post, sometimes it’s best to stay away from the gym until your body is fully recovered. My nasal passages were still swollen enough to make every down dog and headstand torturous, and my balance was completely off kilter. Twists ached. Basic poses were making me break a sweat. In other words, I was a hot mess. But despite the odds stacked against me, the gentle, non-competitive flow really did wonders to lift my spirits. Eva Burns taught a beautiful, calming class. And there’s something about practicing in that cavernous ballroom, high above the hustle and bustle of 18th and Columbia, that just gets me every time.
Feeling re-energized from successfully making it through yoga, I moseyed over to Tryst to grab a coffee and snack with my friend Mike. Somehow, one coffee turned into a smorgasbord of ridiculous proportions. We wanted one thing, and the next, and then maybe a little of that other thing on page three. When the waiter came to take our order, we decided to embrace our indecision by ordering one of everything. So here is round one: kale and apple smoothie, nachos, and chai tea.
Round two for me included their take on a classic PB&J: warm grilled french bread, peanut butter, chunks of strawberry jam, and banana. It was absolutely divine. Probably overkill after the big breakfast and the nachos…but sometimes you just have to “feed a cold,” right?
After all that stretching and all of that eating, it was time to find the nearest bike station and roll myself home. Literally. What a Sunday!
After a few days off, what is your favorite workout to get back into the swing of things?
I’ve never been a great meal planner. This typically means I come home and forage through the contents of my fridge for something healthy to much on for dinner. And, more often than not, that means I end up eating scrambled eggs with lots of veggies. But when I came across this recipe – and the promise that I could make it on Sunday and have it last all week – I was intrigued. Made with lentils, golden raisins, apples, and toasted walnuts, it also sounded like the perfect, healthy, stick to your ribs cold weather dinner.
I found the recipe on one of my favorite food blogs called Oh She Glows. Everything on this site is vegan and every single recipe looks delicious, but I have never taken the time to actually make something on my own. After years of browsing through Angela’s recipes, however, it was time to buck up and try something. And boy am I glad I did!
Disclaimer: the loaf takes some time to make. I’d recommend setting aside two full hours for it. But considering that you’ll have pre-made dinner and/or lunch for the rest of the week, I consider that time well spent. Like any “meatloaf” you can play with the recipe a bit if you want to make it more flavorful.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
- 3 tbsp ground flax and 1/2 cup water
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1.5 cups diced sweet onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/3 cup peeled and grated sweet apple (firm variety)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup oat flour (I used almond meal)
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp dried thyme)
- salt & pepper, to taste
- red pepper flakes, to taste (I left these out)
Tip: I went to Trader Joes and purchased the pre-cooked lentils and the pre-diced onion, carrot, celery mix. When measuring out the lentils, I estimated and used a cup and a half. If you have a store near by, I’d highly recommend it because this saved a ton of time!
And for the glaze that goes on top:
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (I used raw honey)
- 2 tbsp apple butter
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
I’ll send you over to Angela’s site for the step by step instructions. I followed them in order and found that she carefully laid them out to be the most time efficient.
I took a few photos during the cooking process to help show what things are supposed to look like. Here’s what the fruits and veggies look like in the pan:
And when you toss everything into the bowl, it looks like this. Don’t forget to add the dry ingredients!
Finally, press the mixture firmly into whatever pan you’ve decided to use. I went with one big pan but you could use smaller ones (like a cupcake pan) and freeze the extras. Pressing everything down is the key to helping the mixture stick together and become more of a “loaf.”
Brush the glaze on top and put in the oven for 40-50 minutes. After letting cool for a few moments, dig in and enjoy!
Do you make big meals on Sunday to eat during the week?
The kind folks at Goûter gave me a sample box of goodies to take home as fuel for my crashes. New to the DC foodie scene, this company is creating some serious buzz within fitness circles. Why? I can think of a few reasons:
- Their products are raw, organic, vegan, and the ultimate health foods.
- Each is hand crafted in DC with a unique blend of delicious ingredients and flavors.
- The duo behind Goûter are adorable, friendly, and put a lot of love into their products.
I am a total sucker for anything that tastes good, looks good, and is good for me. And when it’s pre-made and dropped off on my doorstep? Consider my affection signed, sealed, and delivered, Goûter, because I’m yours.
So how did the tonics and treats hold up through a week of fit crashing?
The Awake tonic was the perfect way to kick off my taste testing. I had just come back from an early morning run and was dragging from being up late the night before. When I spoke with Gouter about the different ingredients in this tonic, I was told that this little bottle of sunshine would be enough to replace my morning cup of coffee. Really? I was skeptical – morning coffee is just one of life’s little pleasures that you’ll have to pry out of my sleepy, cold hands. But something about the tart lemon mixing with the warm cayenne was enough to wake up my senses and made me feel more alert. It was light and refreshing. And for those who are wondering about the E3 live algae floating around in there, it had zero taste.
I had another early morning crashing the spin class at Biker Barre before coming home to a full day of writing. I settled into my desk popped open a Digest tonic. With alkaline water, organic lemon, cayenne, coconut nectar, aloe, and fresh, organic mint and ginger, it sounded like something that would soothe my tired muscles and my writer’s block. The mint and aloe were cool and complimented the spicy heat from the ginger and cayenne. No one ingredient was too overpowering, however, and the combination really worked well.
And because a day-long writing marathon is never complete without copious snacking, I dove into this homemade super-food power bar. This is a new item for Goûter and I was so excited to try it out before it hit the stores. It contains almonds, walnuts, coconut, dates, cacao nibs, goldenberries, goji berries, and sesame seeds. I’m not a huge fan of “bars” because they tend to be way too sweet and leave me feeling like I have a brick in my stomach. But this bar had zero sweetness–aside from the tart punch of the goji berries–and was substantive without being too heavy. It could use a little more oomph in the flavor department, but if I’m reaching for something before a workout, this would be perfect.
On Sunday morning I crashed a barre class at B Fit in Logan Circle and brought the Anti Age tonic along for the ride. To be honest, this flavor was not my favorite. It wasn’t un-tasty, though, and really had some neat ingredients: alkaline water, organic lemon, cayenne, coconut nectar, goji, cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise. I’m notoriously intolerant of anything spicy or overpowering, and something about this particular combination of flavors just didn’t ring my bell. Have you tried it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I had been saving the Detox tonic for a morning when I knew I’d need breakfast on the run. Monday morning was hectic and I was aching from a weekend of back to back crashes. Packed full of kale, it seemed like the perfect superfood infusion to jump start my day. To be honest, I didn’t even notice all of the leafy greens, which can sometimes have a tart or even sour taste in some juices. The lemon and cayenne really did wonders to even out the flavors, making it easy to sip and enjoy during my morning commute. Props to Goûter for making such a delightful way to down my veggies.
And this chunk of vegan goodness is their spicy chocolate bark. A word of warning: this is not for the faint of heart. It is very bitter and has a kick. The crunchy walnuts and pumpkin seeds break up the intensity, but the entire experience is full throttle. I wouldn’t choose it to satisfy a sweet tooth, but that’s probably because my sweet tooth is addicted to peppermint jojos and coffee ice cream. Oops.
I will definitely be placing an order with Goûter again in the future. The tonics were unique and tasty enough to make me a repeat customer, and I’ll have to get my hands on some more of their power bars. The team is constantly tinkering with new flavors and foods, so check their Facebook page for the latest menu updates and details about how to order. I think I recently spied photos of a holiday nut-nog tonic and a new apple, cabbage, quinoa salad.
A sincere thank you to Goûter for gifting these samples to DC Fit Crasher for this post.
What are your favorite fit crash fuels?
I’m going to shake things up around here and start offering a few other tid bits about the “fit crashing” lifestyle. I just made that term up, but it sounds good. Hopefully you get the point.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of breakfast (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see what I mean). But between working a full time job, fit crashing, blogging, and the other miscellany that falls in-between…I don’t have a lot of time to cook a hearty meal when I wake up.
Cue the saving grace of overnight oats.
I first read about this breakfast idea while trolling a vegan website. It sounded weird. Cold wet oats soaked in soy milk? And what the heck are chia seeds? In fact, it sounded so weird I decided I had to try it.
Here’s the skinny: this dish tastes like oatmeal and has the same versatility. The only difference is that it’s served cold.
It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare at night and is ready to go in the morning. Get creative with it. Add your favorite toppings or mix in something delicious. You really can’t go wrong.
Continuing my obsession with all things pumpkin, here’s a recipe I’ve been using lately. You will need:
- old fashioned oats
- soy/almond/hemp milk
- chia seeds
- ground flax
- canned pumpkin
- pumpkin pie spice
1. Mix one cup old fashioned oats with one cup soy/almond/hemp milk.
2. Add two (or three, or four; this is fudgeable) tablespoons of chia seeds, one tablespoon of ground flax, and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.
3. Chop half of an apple into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl. This is a great way to sweeten up this savory recipe. If the end result is still not flavorful enough for you, feel free to add some honey, maple syrup, or a dash of brown sugar in the morning.
4. Add a few scoops of canned pumpkin. I got mine at Trader Joe’s. Did you know pumpkin is a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and contains iron? Win!
5. Stir well until it looks like this. I promise, it tastes better than it looks.
6. Refrigerate. Dream about the deliciousness that awaits you in the morning. Before eating, add the walnuts and another dash of pumpkin pie spice.
Here are a few other recipes that have the Fit Crasher seal of approval. All are courtesy of vegan chef-extraordinaire Angela over at Oh She Glows:
Try it out and let me know what you think!