Friday, April 20, 2012

New blog/website!

My blog and my website fell in love and had a baby!  Together, they make this.

My new website!  It's a lovely integration of the Live and Eat Better Holistic Health site and this blog (that you have come to love). It's still a work in progress and I'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Curried Lentil Soup

I always make soups when I'm short on time because I'm WAY into the one pot thing.  It's faster, it's easier... you just throw all that stuff in there and mix it sometimes (while you do your core workout).

This is my latest obsession.  I found the recipe in Triathlete Magazine, so maybe this is old news to you.

Curried Lentil Soup

8 cups water
2T coconut oil, divided
3 cups red lentils (rinse repeatedly and drain)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (I used sea salt)
3 cans coconut milk (I used 2 + 1/2 can water to make it less decadent)
2 tsp roasted cumin seeds
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minsed (I used a million)
4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 tsp ground turmeric
3 tsp curry powder
1 large bunch of kale, washed and chopped

1.  Combine the water, a Tbsp of coconut oil, lentils and salt into a large pot.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and continue to simmer gently.

2.  Heat a dry frying pan over high heat.  Add cumin seeds and roast for 2-3 minutes until they start to smell fragrant.  Then add a Tbsp coconut oil to the pan and add onion.  Sweat the onions for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat and add the garlic and the rest of the spices to the pan.

3.  Cook until the onions are brown and then add the entire contents of the pan to the soup.  Add the chopped kale and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Enjoy!

* This recipe makes a huge amount of soup that tastes even better the next day!

Peanut Ginger Baked Tofu

Served with Sesame Kale and baked yam

I make this dish a million times a week and always post photos.  I've also used this recipe in several cooking classes BUT I've never released the secret recipe publicly, UNTIL NOW.

You're welcome.

Peanut Ginger Baked Tofu

1 package of extra firm tofu, cut into 4 or 5 ‘steaks’
¼ cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
2 teaspoon maple syrup
2 Tbsp umeboshi plum vinegar
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1-2 teaspoons hot pepper oil or paste
1/3 cup water (or more for consistency)

The secret ingredients

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place tofu ‘steaks’ flat down in pan, leaving ¼ to ½ inch between them.  Put aside.
  3. Put all of the other ingredients in a small pan on a low heat.
  4. Using a whisk, mix the ingredients until they are smooth.
  5. Pour evenly over the tofu and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
Make sure you flex your biceps when you serve this dish

Yes, it is that simple.

THE Holisticguru's Spring/Summer Tour

I finally have the race calendar complete.  I may jump in some other events but there's a lot here so I think I need to CALM IT DOWN!

Check me out: Upcoming Events

April 15th - Brooklyn Bun Duathlon
May 6th - Bassman 70.3
May 12th - Shad Bloom 10k
May 20th - Am Zof Duathlon (long course) *Note: On the wait list so TBD
June 2nd - Rev3 Quassy Olympic
June 3rd - Rev3 Quassy 70.3
June 10th - HITS Hunter Mountain Oly or 70.3
*July 29th through Aug 18th - final push for 140.6
August 4th - Block Island Tri
August 26th - Rev3 Maine 70.3
September 9th - Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6 (Full Rev)
October 5th - CREWing for Bobby's 100 miler
October 20th - Beach 2 Battleship 140.6

It's a lot of racing!  This season I'll either catapult myself to the next level or completely burn myself out.  I think if I keep myself focused on a supremely healthy diet and resting as hard as I train and race, it's going to be the former.

If anyone wants info on any of these races, feel free to email me:  I've done 90% of them and can answer questions regarding reviews, courses, logistics, training, nutrition, etc.

I hope to see you all out there!  Let me know to look for you if you'll be at any of these events!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Simple and Vegan: Asparagus Soup and Pumpkin Soup

From one soup lover to another, welcome, to all that is soup creativity. Don't be alarmed, the style and flavor of this entry may be different than the previous blog entries, but the recipe entry's elegance, nutrition and simplicity to make remains the same. Why then, the feel of change do you ask?  It is because you are reading the words of a guest blogger - and an unbiased review on the real "low down" of this or "these" soups. 

First off, check the simplicity of the ingredients then the directions. That's what we all look for in what we want to cook right off the bat. But simplicity in cooking, sometimes makes us think "meh" "blah" "it's ookay." But trust this quick review - the simplcity this time, is your friend. You, your family, your friends, will really dive into this bowl. 

Enjoy. Peace and love. Spread the fun of this blog.

Creamy Asparagus (or Pumpkin) Soup

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 red potato, diced
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
5-6 c. water or broth
1 tsp. Sea salt
2 tbsp scallions, diced

  1. Prepare asparagus. 
  2. Combine asparagus, garlic, potato, leek, water and sea salt in a large saucepan. 
  3. Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce flame to medium and cook for 15-20 minutes or until potato is soft. 
  4. Remove vegetables and puree in food processor or mash by hand. 
  5. Add puree back to broth and mix well.  Garnish each serving with scallions.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why not try the NYC Tri AND the Brooklyn B'un???

Coraline and John cheering on TC athletes at the finish of NYC Tri 2011
I got to spend some time with the female champion, Laurel Wassner, of the 2011 NYC Tri this past weekend at TriStar Nevis and it got me thinking about the NYC Tri.  It is an event that attracts some of the best in triathlon.  That said, it's also an event that is perfect for anyone interested in trying their first olympic triathlon.

The swim is known for the current that assists swimmers through the Hudson quickly to T2.  After racing Beach 2 Battleship with a 52 minute ironman swim in 2011, I really learned to appreciate the power of an "assisted" swim.  The current is also perfect for triathletes who aren't strong swimmers or are nervous about swimming.  You can literally just lay there and float to a swim PR!  The bike is hilly enough to be challenging, though not overwhelming in the least.  And the run is in Central Park and full of spectators cheering wildly as you finish!  I spectated at this race last year and I hope to participate one day.

This year I'll be supporting Team Continuum athletes as they race, just like last year.  I've said it before but its worth saying again - Team Continuum holds a special place in my heart because of the work they do to raise money for people battling cancer, to help them pay their non-medical bills.  I don't know what my family would have done without this type of assistance when my dad had stage 4 throat cancer.

If YOU are interested in racing the NYC Tri, Team Continuum has spots available.  Even better, Team Continuum is offering FREE entry into the Brooklyn Bun Duathlon on 4/15 so that you can get started racing now!  That's two races with only one fundraising commitment.  Contact Letty: to discuss the *negotiable* terms for fundraising.

I'll see you out at the races!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nevis Day #6 - the last day!

This morning I woke up feeling surprisingly great and not sore. What the heck?!?! John says its because the run was shorter than most long course races and TriStar is known to be a race with a faster recovery because the bike leg is the star of the show. I wondered if it was because I should have pushed harder!

We started the day with a 90-min hike with Greg (our homestay) up a giant hill to see the beautiful view from high above the island. Then we went to a brunch held in honor of Kristina and Nic of It was a send off party for them to start their year-long journey on bikes (heavy ones packed with gear) around the world. They are raising money to fund youth programs and they're getting married halfway through the trip! Kristina is hoping to take the Guiness record as first woman to ride around the world. Like I said, we've met some pretty amazing people here. It was sad to say goodbye to most of the TriStar people as well, but we'll stay in touch.

We've also been eating mainly locally grown foods! We had fruit for a pre-breakfast snack, fruits, veggies and eggs for brunch, then fresh coconut that we got on the beach as an afternoon snack! I LOVE this and my body feels wonderful. I never thought that this trip would end up as an unplanned "cleanse", even though my general diet is very healthy. This is the next level.

After brunch we went back to the house for some work and office hours. I have managed an excellent balance of working remotely and enjoying the island on this trip. It makes me feel good!

After office hours we were off to the beach for a swim. I managed a very legitimate swim workout and then sat on the beach while John helped the guys with some post-race "men's work". How many pros hang around and offer to help with that? He also gave one of the race directors a private swim clinic today. I got myself a good man.

So as I sit here and watch the sunset on the beach and write this blog post, FOUR COWS JUST WALKED PASSED ME on the edge of the water. Just going for a stroll. No, they were not accompanied by humans. They were just going for a walk. What. It was surreal. This is my life???

TriStar Nevis 111 - Race Report!

After a surprising 7-hour Race Eve sleep, I fueled up with a breakfast of fresh coconut meat, a yam and a banana (for later). Nothing new on race day, unless you're on a tropical island and have a pretty tough stomach and plenty of time to digest. I couldn't miss the opportunity to fuel straight from the island and felt as though the fresh coconut water in my bike bottles was liquid gold.

We rode our bikes to the start - a nice 25 minute warm up. Transition set up was BIG RACE style with bike and run bag drop offs. After we were all set up, we headed over to the beach to warm up with all of our new friends. I danced a bit more than I should before a race but this feels like a vacation and a party and a race. When it was time, we all lined up at the swim start. There were a couple of false starts that got us all giggling and then we were off! I tried to stay on some feet but it was difficult in the ocean and soon I was on my own. I'm not a great swimmer so I spent the whole swim thinking "this is how it feels for people who hate running and do tri". The swim was 1k of beautiful salt water. I climbed out of the water in 21 minutes and was happy with that.

*Sidenote: With the heat and difficulty of this course, this race was just as much a game of nutrition as it is swimming, biking and running. I nailed my fueling plan, drinking at least every 15 minutes and taking in plenty of calories and electrolytes.

Even with an okay swim I was one of the last people out on the bike. This race is mega tough and because it's on a remote island and offers a nice prize purse it attracted some serious talent. The heat wasn't bad at first but the 5k climb at the start of the bike loop is a monster. I only managed to catch one guy and he passed me again on the descent - for every hill and on every loop. We played leap frog for the entire bike. By loop 3 the climbs were all much bigger than they were at first, as climbs are wont to do. The bike ends with a mini loop and they don't even talk about the mini loop being a mini monster climb. It was HARD! My favorite parts of the bike portion were 1) obviously the landscape, ocean and mountains 2) the wild animals that I said "hi babies" to every time I saw one 3) riding through town and having everyone out cheering. The bike was 100k of beauty and pain. What more could an endurance athlete ask for?

Though, I have to admit, not catching up to anyone on the bike got to me a bit but I shook it off to tackle the run in my normal fashion. Here I was able to pass several people and even caught one of the male pros, finishing only a few seconds behind him. The run was insane. I averaged a 9-min pace with *almost* all I had. That said, it was one of the most fun run courses I've run! It started in the fun town, then up a tough climb, then through a dirt road with cows, cranes and goats, then running in shin deep water for about 10 feet to get onto the beach and run on the sand to start the next lap. It's 3 laps total to equal 10k. I threw in a kick to the finish and almost crashed into a cheerleader that jumped out to cheer for the pro who finished seconds before me. We have great video of that and of me dodging her and running straight to John who had his arms full of flowers (that he won - for me). Amy Kloner, female pro and BFF was there too, screaming and yelling for me. She had won the women's race about an hour earlier!

Me: honored to be receiving my award with these ladies
This whole trip has felt like a dream. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to meet so many incredible people. Winston and Greg, the race directors and our homestay, have opened the island up to us as if we were already family. The TriStar staff were also a fun and warm crowd that I feel honored to have spent time with. We definitely hope to come back again. Next time with some of the people we love from home!