Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pesto Alfredo Spagetti

Ok - take a guess (and no cheating!). What's this made with? Hint, hint - it's raw. :)

Yesterday Day 1 of 14 went pretty well! Thanks to each of you who left a sweet comment to spur me on! I already eat a lot of raw food, but I do love like baked goods so I'm curious to see how I'm going to handle a whole 2 wks. :p

This recipe far surpassed my wildest imaginations! Here's the recipe for you brave souls. :)

Raw Zucchini Spagetti
4 medium sized organic zucchini
2 cups fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast (I used Kal's vegan/raw/non GMO version)
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil (organic, if possible)
salt/pepper, to taste

There are a couple of ways you can shred the zucchini to make it look like pasta. :) You can use a hand crank (like I did) or a julienne peeler (visit Angie's blog for tutorial).

Directions for Zucchini

Wash and peel zucchini. Shred, whatever method you prefer. :) Set aside.

Pesto Directions 

Wash basil, pat dry. In a food processor (or blender), pulse 2 cloves fresh minced garlic, nutritional  yeast, and lemon juice. Add olive oil. Pulse until thoroughly blended. Toss w/ your zucchini pasta and serve with a garnish of fresh basil and tomato slices. Enjoy!


I am really surprised at how delicious raw zucchini tastes (add the pesto in there and you've go - bam!). I think it really has a lot to with the individual zucchinis themselves. Go for the hard and firm ones versus the soft and mealy. And, don't worry - if you happen to make this mistake you will quickly realize what you did and never do that again. :p

If you'd prefer marinara sauce over pesto you can check out this link from Culinary Adventures in the Kitchen! I've never tried it, but it looks good!

So, I'm raw and running at the moments, folks. hehe! Just over a 3 and a 1/2 mile run this morning. :) Have a great day!!!!

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What was your first guess at ingredients when you saw the top picture? 

Would you give zucchini spaghetti a taste? 

How far did you go on your last run? 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Going Raw: 2 Wk Trial

Alright, guys - I'm going raw . . . for 2 wks! You can expect some interesting recipes to explode from this blog as well as reports on the failures um, I mean challenges that I'm looking forward to facing with a raw food diet!

Ok - so, why the cold turkey? {No pun intended - hehe!} Truth be told - I'm doing this as moral support for someone I love. A whole lot. Plus, I know this person would do this for me (or anything) in a less than a split second so I feel the least I can do is ride the wave with her for a short 14 days. :p

I assure you - food is not a religion for me. Although I like to eat healthy when it's in my control, I can enjoy pretty much any food just as much the next person. :) Going completely raw would not be my first choice, but like I said-- love will make you do craaazzy things!

I'm sure my skepticism (and initial questions) are typical of most people looking into a raw based diet:
  • will i be hungry?
  • can you maintain weight on an all raw diet?
  • what is this going to cost?! 
  • can i do this?!!!!! 
I'm convinced, though, a raw diet this is one of the best diets for alkalinity. Disease thrives in an acidic environment but it CANNOT survive when the body is alkaline. :-) Yes! There are action steps you can take. I suggest testing your pH level as a start!

I already have a string of incredible ideas and recipes that I can't wait to try my hand at! Watch out - you just might be persuaded to give some new foods a try by the end of this. :p

Pictures and recipe reports to come!


Do you like challenges? Join me! :p 

Have you ever experimented with raw foods before?

What percentage of your diet is raw vs. cooked at the moment? 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Grilled Cheese Turned Gourmet (+ a little bit healthier)

Grilled cheese sandwiches are fun! Especially if you grew up as an all-American kid. :) But, for me - mom raised my siblings and I pretty health conscious so something like this was a treat! (Although I admit I didn't put spinach on mine back in the day . . . ) 

Adults tend to revert back to early developed habits and foods they ate in childhood. That's why I like this recipe so much! It's a taste from the past with a step towards the future. :) 

To make:
  • multi-grain or whole wheat bread slices
  • butter 
  • fresh spinach
  • tomato slices
Prepare just like you would a regular grilled cheese only layer on the extra ingredients that add some nutrient (i.e: spinach / tomato).


Friday, February 22, 2013

Fresh Friday Link-Up Party

I'm so happy it's almost the wk/end, arent' you?! 

Here are my top 3 for today's Fresh Friday. :) 

#1 - cute brown leather boots (did I mention? i got them for a steal!)
#2 - spinach salads. yes, they're my favorite!
#3 - gorgeous weather this wk! 

Tell me your's!

And, we have a winner for the Equal Exchange Geobars! Congrats to Katheryn M. :-)

Have a FRESH & FANTASTIC wk/end everyone!!!!!!! Any fun plans on the horizon? 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Healthy Eats & Wk/end Anticipation

{photo credit: kathy}

I'm planning to make these vegan cupcakes this weekend! Two of my siblings have birthdays this month so a celebration is in order and we're throwing a shing-ding with friends, fun and fantastic food. :) I'll report back so stay tuned. 

Until then . . . here are a few recent everyday eats from the wk: 

Do you like talapia? I find it's great because it's mild in favor creating a lot of freedom to be unique with your seasonings!

This is just a bed of organic spinach, 1 talapia fillet, topped with coconut fried finely chopped red onion and sliced bell pepper. Simple and healthy!

Greens Plus protein bar and salad for lunch at the office yesterday. :) What are your quicky packed, go-to lunches? 

Soup and sandwich for supper, anyone? :)

I seasoned this baked chicken with black pepper, cumin, onion powder and olive oil! Pleasantly surprised at how it turned out because I just kind of threw it all together. :p

Ooh - and serve with a side of roasted sweet potato fries for best results. :)

3.5 mile this morning- felt great! And, yes . . . in case you're wondering - I like to listen to Joyce Meyers or some other inspirational message while I run. :) I'm slowly chewing on her "Never Give Up" book right now and it's awesome! 

What makes it even nicer is that I found it off the Bargain Priced shelf at Barnes and Nobel. Whoo-hoo.!!!!!! 

Fresh Friday is tomorrow so be sure to check back and join in on the fun! Hope to see you all in the comments with reports of your latest healthy eats and workouts. :) Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2013


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Equal Exchange Geobar giveaway is being re-run! Winner will be selected this Fri (Feb 22) I attempted it last week during the Valentine's Day giveaway but for some reason the widget was in total rebellion. :p So, you get the fun now. :)

3 reasons i like Equal Exchange Geobars:

#1 - relatively low calorie (120) packaged snack without artificial sweeteners

#2 - the cinnamon version is my favorite, so far :)

#3 - Equal Exchange supports small farmers

Protein packed breakfast after a workout this morning! It was supposed to be a omelet, but it flopped so I just scrambled it all up. :p 

Homemade roast beef sandwiches with guacamole are the best. Just saying, . . . :) 

Friday night I went out to a concert with my sister and we topped off the night at Cold Stone. {oh. my word. the cookie dough is out of this world!} I'll let you in on a little secret! Don't want to pay the high price? (in my opinion it's worth it, but I always like a deal!) Just think ahead a bit and print off this sweet little coupon from

Hope your week is off to a great start! What "healthy" indulgences did you experience over the weekend? 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Recovering From a Crash

I was up early this morning (for a Saturday). To say the least - this weekend was slightly depressing for me. When most people would rather stay in bed when hard times come - I find getting up is something I can control and makes me feel better. 

Alright fine - I'll confess what's really bothering me. I dropped my laptop *gasp* and Friday afternoon discovered the devastating news that I lost everything on my hard drive from that incident. 

Yep - I know. Should 'of backed-up. Thankful some of it was, but then - unfortunately, some of it wasn't.

Please don't rub it in. :/ Here's a fair warning to you, my dear blog readers! If it's important - ya need an extra copy. :) Hard drive crashes have a way of too closely resembling life crashes!!!!

I admit. Friday was a bad, bad day. I had tried target disk mode and a couple of other things first to see if I could get my data back before sending it off to the professionals. {FYI - if you ever experience a hard drive crash (God forbid!) DriveSavers is the way to go. They didn't charge me a cent and covered shipping. You only pay for successful recoveries!} 

So, there goes idea after idea . . . down the drain. I'm an avid notetaker - in the modern form so a ton of those "bright ideas" were stored on my laptop. Just thinking of the business info / life goals / journal entries lost makes me want to blank-et, blank, blank! 

But, ok - what is there to learn from this?

#1 - if it's important, back it up.

#2 - everything's for a reason, even when i don't understand.

#3 - it's ok to cry, really. (i've always thought people who cried were just whimps but i'm learning that it's best to express your feelings and then move on and be done with it versus just stuffing it inside under the label of "I'm tough".) 

#4 - even though i'm most upset about loosing journal entries from tough times experienced with my mom's health - i'm trying to look at this as a good thing. God doesn't want me to look back and dwell on the hardships. He has a bright future in store for me (for all of His children!) so I'm taking this event as a sign that says, "Don't look back. Walk the talk." 

#5 - business plans (ouch - a yrs worth of data!) lost only means i'm more determined than ever to go after my dreams. Do you ever have those moments of frustration that give you 10x the results of the "easy times"? 

None of us like losses but if sure does make us grateful for the gains! Right?!

Let's end on a bright note! "There's more to be found than can EVER be found!" Don't you just LOVE this thought?! Go dig for your treasure. Wherever you are. Whatever that looks like. :) 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy 'Fresh Friday' :)

# 1 - incredibly delicious organic chocolate (thank you, Donna!)
#2 - working with amazing people :)
#3 - "Happy Birthday!" to my sister Mary

Comment and tell me the top 3 that made your week FRESH and FANTASTIC! {Leave your link, too!}

Looking for a button? Click here!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Spread the Love {Valentine's Day Health Food giveaway WINNERS}

Today is a day to do special things for those we love. Right? I mean - after all it's Valentine's Day!!! :) What are your plans for this *heart* day?

I took time out of work this morning to help with a Love Lunch at the Salvation Army. Talk about a shot of perspective . . . if you have food to eat and a bed to sleep in -- be grateful!

Afterwards I had lunch with this sweet girl. :) So blessed you're my big sis, girl! 

Would you believe most people think I'm older? Seriously - 9 x out 10 that's what people guess! (and she's 3 yrs older than me :p) Haha! to top it off someone thought i was 16 today. Yikes! So random. So weird. {"duck in water, duck in water . . . inhale, exhale . . ."} 

Beef strips on last night's dinner salad. :) I'm trying to eat more meat - it's not really my favorite but I had a vitamin test run and I was scary low on B12 so it's like - let's up it up! 

Banana and hemp seeds in the spinach smoothie for breakfast. What did you have? 

For dinner I made an old favorite - lemon-rosemary chicken. It's best if you can make the sauce several hours ahead (like the night before) and let the meat marinate so every bite is saturated to perfection. 

Dessert! Yes, yes - ya gotta have something sweet on a day like this! Me and sister Mary posing for a pic. :) So thankful for sweet friends and family! 


And for the Valentine "health food" giveaway winners!

Congrats to Michelle - you won the Organic box of 12 assorted chocolate truffles! {and let me tell you - they're AMAZING!} 

Manda - you won the EnergyBits giveaway (your choice for the final selection :) - just e-mail your mailing addresses, girls, and I'll pass it along to my contacts at the sponsoring companies!


What did you do for Valentine's Day? Any special surprises? :) 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Healthy Valentine's Day Giveaway (s)

Today is special because I've put together a fun little Valentine's day giveaway for all of my sweet readers!

February is American Heart month. :) The statistics are craaazzy, though {1 in 3 US deaths are due to heart disease or stroke}. The good news is there ARE some preventative measures!  

This giveaway is sponsored by EnergyBits. I did a review on this company a few months back so if you want more info, click here!

Do you love chocolate but want to enjoy in the healthy sort of way?! Then, this is for you! 

Smith Organic Chocolate sent me a 1/2 sampler box and let me tell you -- ooh, opening this box heightened my senses! The chocolates smell so good - I'm dying to trying them but am going to try and hold off till Valentine's Day. :p

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner of the Smith Organic Chocolate giveaway will receive 12 assorted organic truffles presented in a beautiful red heart-shaped box with gold script lettering. (Click here to see!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway (for some reason the raffler widget is acting up so just click on the link to enter and it should work)

Equal Exchange is offering 1 box of each of their Geobars to a winner! That's a total of 18 nutrition bars (flavors: apricot, mixed berry, chocolate raisin). 

And, just because they're so sweet they sent me a sample box to try out for hosting this giveaway. :) 

You'd be surprised - it does take a bit to coordinate this kind of stuff so don't think i'm getting stuff "for free"! :p  So with that - I'm excited to try out what they sent me!  Organic olive oil, a few Geobars and mini samples of delicious dark chocolate (vegan, soy and gluten-free). 

Click here if you're interested in learning about from bean to chocolate! 

All winners will be announced on Valentine's Day so be sure to check back! Special thanks to Smith Organic Chocolate, Equal Exchange Chocolates, and EnergyBits for sponsoring these giveaways! Hope you enjoy. :-) 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Photos from Piano Competition

Just for fun I have to do a little recap from last wk's competition. :) 

I actually ended up winning first place in the collegiate division!

Post-concert refreshments. :) Isn't the Beethoven bust adorable?!

Ukranian violinist Dashkeyvick performed the Kreutzer Sonata with international concert pianist Jesse Davis (who just happens to be my teacher. :) 

Two concerts back to back! This was part of the 1st one on Thursday night. :) 

And, this was Friday night at an adorable little venue downtown. This piano (restored from 1924) was harder to play but I think the sound was better than the above. 

Congrats to my friend Madison for winning 1st place in the Beethoven division. You go, girl! 

{if you're looking for free score - click here!}

A fun piece of music but glad to have some closure. Always nice, right? Now onto the next goal! 

Check back -- Valentine's GIVEAWAYS coming up this week!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Krispy Kreme Run in Raleigh

Eek! This morning was early! Up at five and ready to leave for the Krispy Kreme Run in Raleigh. :) It was a bit of a drive, plus I still had to pick up my race packet! But, I love the excitement and spirit that comes with a race so I think that helped pull me out of my warm bed. :p

Two of my sisters ran it with me and a couple friends which made it a blast!

I chickened out with the challenger part (2400 calories, 5 miles, 1 hr). ha! Just the thought of running 2.5 miles, eating 12 doughnuts and then running 2.5 more miles makes my stomach turn!

So, I just went for the run and had fun. :p If my memory is right it's 3 minutes faster than last year! My running time today totaled in ~ 42 minutes. :)

The largest amount raised so far (9th annual Krispy Kreme run) - almost $200,000!

The little girl, Ashley, holding the big check (right side) is cancer free from treatment she received at the NC Children's Hospital. Praise God!

A visit to the Apple store afterwards! Totally in <3 w/ this place.

Organic chocolate giveaway and review coming up on Monday for Valentine's Day! See you then. :)

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Are you a road racer? 

What is your biggest tip for race day? (mine is hydrate the day before!) 

Are you an Apple fan or a PC user? 

Do you like doughnuts? :) 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Appalachian Mountains

Phew! I feel like there is so much to catch-up on!!! I apologize for the lack of posting. :( I'm back!! hehe!

It's been one of the best wks. ever. :) Here's a taste of what i've been up to of late. :p . . .

Snow! Yeah- my favoritess!!! After last wk's piano competition my family had planned to spend a little  winter vacation in the Appalachian Mountains for a few days so Saturday morning we all packed up & piled in the car!

So then, since it snowed . . . this had to happen! 

Who else loves a good old-fashioned snowball fight?!

I also love a good sled ride. Cheap fun = no replacement. hehe!

Too fun! This is me and my sister Allie getting ready to shove off. 

Yes! I love winter sports. :) Not that I'm super good at them but i can be a good "sport" with a tumble in the snow. lol! 

I believe the running injury is healed! Went for my 1st run in over 2wks on Wed and had a blast. :) Felt simply. amazing to get back at it! 

This morning I went for a slow 4-miler in prep for the Krispy Kreme race tomorrowMessage me if you're going and want to meet-up! Almost ten thousand participants have signed-up and it's for a GREAT cause!!! 

What did you think of Alicia Keys performance of the National Anthem on Super Bowl Sunday? {eeek!} 

Any fun food choices that day? :) 

Chicken pot pie and coconut ice cream, for me!

This was part of Monday's events. :-) When I asked for recommendations - most of you said go with snowboarding and I took ya up on it!!! 

Thankful there aren't a ton of pictures of me on my tail although that is probably were I spent most of my time. I was incredible sore the next day from getting up and down (or crashing, i should say) and flipping that huge board around trying to get up! 

I made some really good friends on the bunny slope, though. {hehe!}

I actually hit the slopes 2 days in a row! I went for skiing the second day as i wanted something i could control so i could talk w/ friends. :) {i'm definitely going for the snowboard again, though. so don't worry - i haven't given up!} 

The evening was ended with a smash hit at Pizza Hut! 

PerfectFit protein company sent me some individual packet samples to try out. I have to say -- they're great for travel! 

I had part of a Cliff bar for lunch one day and it gave me the WORST headache. Must have been the preservatives? Not sure but whatever it was my body did NOT like it!

Since cafeteria food seriously grosses me out - I made a tomato sandwich for the mid-day meal on the 2nd day at the slopes. Result? Felt so much better! :) What is your default food you pack for picnics?

I hit the sales at the mall, girls! $80 pair of adorable boots for 27 bucks? Made me happy! I know it can be annoying to dig through random sizes but sometimes you just hit the jackpot! 

Ok, folks - can't believe it's Friday! Tomorrow is race day . . . .yeeeaaaah! What are your plans for the wk/end? 

As a side note - yesterday was the 1 year anniversary for this blog!!! Waaahhh!!! Has it really been a yr?! 

You guys are totally awesome. 

When I wrote my first post I had no idea the community I was tapping into. I am so grateful for each and everyone of my blog readers and for the friendships that are blossoming as result. Looking forward to the future!