Cashew Chive Cream Cheeze

One thing I can’t seem to find as a vegan is a good Cream Cheese substitute. After trying store brands and continually being let down for one reason or another, I set out to make my own. This is super simple, delicious, vegan and gluten-free. You can spread on toast, bagels, baked potato or even a dollop on Pasta…it’s all good! 

 
1 Cup soaked Raw Cashews

2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

splashes of Water (as needed)

1/2 bunch Chives (chopped)

Himalayan Pink Salt (to taste)

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder (optional)

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Soak Cashews overnight in a bowl of filtered water. Strain water and add Cashews to a high speed Blender or Food Processor. Add the Nutritional Yeast and Vinegar. Blend while adding tiny splashes of water to the mixture so the mixture smoothly blends. Don’t over-water or you will ruin the creamy texture. You may need to frequently stop/unplug the blender to stir the mixture and push into the blades before continuing. Once you get the perfect texture, transfer the contents to a small container with an airtight lid. Add in your seasonings and the Chives. Combine well and taste. Re-season if desired. Place lid on tight and refrigerate. Should be good for 3-4 days. 

Chocolate Strawberry Quinoa Smoothie 

Whether you’re recovering from a workout or just need a super-boost of nutrition to start your day, this delicious shake is packed with the power you’ll need to sustain your busy life; protein, fiber and antioxidants to name a few. And when people ask where you get your protein from, you can tell em’ where to go! 😜😂

1 Cup Plant-Based Milk 

1 serving Vega Chocolate Vega Sport, Vega One or Protein and Greens

1 Banana

1 Cup fresh Strawberries

1/2 cooked Quinoa (cooled)

1 Tbsp Chia Seed

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Blend all in a high speed blender with some ice. Pour and enjoy post-workout or to kick off your day.

Support my Rock to Rock Metric Century Ride

Over 2 years ago, I changed my life for the better by going green with my health, body and mind. Now I’m going to ride 60 miles (Metric Century) to celebrate these achievements while helping create a greener, healthier New Haven!

I am raising funds to support high-impact local environmental work through the Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride. I would appreciate any support that you give me for this important cause as it is very near and dear to my heart.

Here is the link to donate and support my ride:
http://rocktorock.donordrive.com/participant/swirski

You can also view the local organizations which you’re donations are helping here: http://bit.ly/1rwNomg. Please do not forget that all donations are 100% tax deductible.

Mounds of Zenergy

Recently, I was graciously offered a free box of an amazing organic superfood tea made by Buddha Teas, an independent, environmentally responsible company set in Carlsbad, California. When Buddha Teas had asked me which tea I wanted to try, I was immediately drawn into the vast product offerings on their website; from bags, loose leaf, green teas, black teas, herbal teas and specialty teas, I knew right away that I’d be ordering from them often (and I hadn’t even tried it yet!). After browsing for a good 20 minutes, I finally landed on the Zenergy Blend, mostly because I’m an athlete and could always use an extra boost of energy! And this particular blend contained a unique blend of Ginkgo Biloba, Green Tea, Ginger Root, Maca Root and Ashwagandha; a true powerhouse of adaptogenic goodness!

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I was so excited to try this out from the very second I got my hands around the beautiful packaging; a sturdy, 100% Recyclable, flip-top box with a gold-seal stamped logo on the front. Clear indications that it is certified Organic, Non GMO, 100% Kosher, contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives…and they even use unbleached tea bags. All of this was a plus for me since I’m a stickler for clean ingredients. You can tell that these guys really care about their tea (and take it very seriously).

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I threw a pot of boiling water on, prepped a tea bag and steeped for about 5 minutes (as instructed). As many teas do, they have their own “motivational quotes” on the tea tags; I mean, who doesn’t love a little slice of wisdom with their tea? I sat down to relax with a hot cup of this tea (nothing added) and was pleasantly pleased at it’s mild, yet, full bodied flavor. John, from Buddha Teas, had mentioned that this was a very unique tasting tea which is “Maca forward” with a slightly creamy texture. He hit the nail directly on the head! Thankfully, I love the subtle nutty flavor of Maca Root; and along with the Ginger and light Green Tea notes, it was perfectly balanced. For those who enjoy the gentle flavors of Ginger Root Tea and Green Tea, this blend is an exceptional choice. Not only is it calming to drink but it provides a subtle “pep in your step” as well as providing other nutrients not found in other teas.

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Now for the part I like best…hot tonics! I often brew and blend many of my favorite teas into a tonic which includes a variety of superfoods, adaptogens, berries, nuts and seeds. With Zenergy’s already super creamy texture, I began to daydream about Dark Chocolate…and Coconut; kind of like a Mounds bar…except healthy…and fashioned into a Chinese Herbology inspired medicinal tonic. Fast forward to 5 minutes later, I had gathered all the ingredients together and threw em’ in the blender. The rest is history.

So sweet, chocolatey and creamy! And with just the right boost of ZENERGY! Enjoy the recipe below.

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MOUNDS OF ZENERGY SMOOTHIE (Salted Chocolate Coconut Tonic)

  • 8oz freshly brewed, hot Buddha Teas Zenergy Blend Tea
  • 4 Khadrawy Dates (pitted and soaked)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 tsp Reishi Mushroom Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (Unrefined)
  • 1 tsp Coconut Nectar
  • pinch freshly ground Pink Himalayan Salt

Boil some water for brewing your Zenergy Tea. Once boiled, pour over 1 tea bag into a cup or brewing pot; 8 oz of liquid to 1 tea bag is a good serving ratio. While the tea is steeping, place the pitted dates into a small bowl and pour some of the boiled water over them for soaking. By the time you prepare/measure out all other ingredients and add them to your blender jar, the dates will be nice and soft for blending. Discard the soaking water and put the dates in with the rest of the mixture. Once the tea has steeped for at least 5 minutes, pour into the blender. Cover the jar with the lid tightly. Begin to blend on the low setting, gradually working up to high speed. Blend until perfectly smooth. Pour into your favorite mug and sprinkle some Ground Cinnamon on top if desired. Enjoy!

Green Superfood Oatmeal

Tired of drinking freezing smoothies in the unforgiving chill of winter? Not me. 😉 But sometimes I just want something to heat me up. How about this Green Superfood Oatmeal? Delicious, nutritious, filling and chock full of immunity boosting antioxidant power! And it warms you up from the inside out.

The ingredient that ties this altogether is one of my most trusted and powerful superfoods; Vega Sport Performance Protein. After a tough session of swim training last night, I woke up with a true hunger. My muscles ached and they wanted to be fed! This clean, plant-based, whole food powder “sports” 30g of protein, 6g Glutamine, 6g BCAA, Probiotics, Tart Cherry and Turmeric. Now, let me just point out how genius this nutrition profile actually is. Protein, glutamine and ammino acids help repair and build new muscle while the probiotics, tart cherry and turmeric work on efficient digestion and anti-inflammation. Mind blown! For me, this is workout medicine after my body feels wrecked from running, cycling, swimming, lifting, etc. It will aid in recovery and get you back out there in no time.

On top of all that, it tastes great!
Ever since my health journey began, my tastebuds have changed immensely. What I used to cringe at; I now embrace wholeheartedly. Experimenting in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do and this hearty superfood breakfast is the perfect example of that sentiment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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1 serving of your fav cooked oatmeal

Some fresh fruit like bananas, dates, berries (optional)

8oz plant-based Milk (almond, coconut, etc)

1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Vanilla)

1 tsp Mushroom Matrix- Fit Matrix (Cordyceps and Reishi)

1 tsp Spirulina

1 tsp Maca

1 tsp Acai

1/4 tsp Camu Camu

Prepare 1 serving of your favorite whole grain oatmeal. While thats cooking, heat up your nut milk in a small pot on medium. When nut milk is hot, pour into your blender jar along with the Vega Sport and all of the other superfood powders. Place the lid on tight and begin blending working your way from low to high speed. Make sure lid is secure; liquid is hot! Blend until super smooth. In a large bowl, add your cooked oatmeal. Now pour the hot superfood smoothie contents into the bowl. Mix them together with a spoon. If desired, add some fresh fruit and sprinkle with some shredded Coconut.

Win a free copy of Thrive Fitness!

Vega and I are giving away one free copy of Brendan Brazier’s new book, Thrive Fitness! Hop on my Instagram page, follow the 3 quick, simple steps and you’re entered! 

https://instagram.com/p/BBlKsrYl0xA/

10 Tips to a Successful Juice Fast

Juicing holds a special place in my heart; it changed my life 2 years ago when I fasted on it for a total of 45 days (20/10/10/5). I shed 70 pounds, went full on vegan, reversed my high cholesterol and high blood pressure, curbed many bad habits including (food addiction, alcohol and caffeine) and completely overhauled my eating habits from the ground up. This all happened over 6 months. Crazy, right? Nope. Not crazy at all. It’s science really. 

To me, it will always be known as the most powerful weapon in my arsenal; a weapon that fought (and won) against my most destructive habits. It changed both my physical and mental health forever. Some see it as a trendy, hipster fad; conventional doctors don’t recommend it; the mainstream media pokes fun at it any chance they get. But you’ve gotta let all that brain chatter go. It’s the real deal, if you do it right.

That said, I’d like to share with you some tips that were not only vital in making my juice fasts a success; but were the very things that helped keep me on the right path for good!

1) Drink warm Lemon Water when you wake up to jumpstart digestive system; this may even eventually replace your morning coffee habit.

2) Drink 5 or 6 (12-16oz) Juices every day. There is no limit, drink even more if you want.

3) Drink tons of water in between juices; it’s extremely important to stay hydrated throughout your fast.

4) Enjoy detoxifying Herbal Teas throughout the day. Not only does herbal tea continue to nourish and help with digestion; a hot cup of tea in your hands will be a welcome change to all the juice. It is calming and you will begin looking forward to it.

5) Drink 16 oz of Pure Coconut Water each day to replenish lost electrolytes. Very important.

6) Move your body! After the initial days of rest and detox symptoms begin to fade, go for a walk, a light jog or some yoga. This will keep you fit AND keep your mind off hunger as well.

7) TRUST! Stay the course…you will most likely feel crappy for the first 3-5 days; this is normal. It’s called withdrawal 😉 Once you get over that hump, it’s smooth sailing from there. Your body will tell you when it’s time to transition back to eating again.

8) Relax! Try to get into a meditative state throughout your fast. Deeply feel the good it is doing for you. I see people fail all the time because they get inside their head too much. They worry that they aren’t getting enough of “this or that”. Keep in mind that this is only temporary and you will eat again!

9) Make it fun! Mix it up and make different recipes. Use different types of glasses and straws. Chew the juice! Serve it to yourself in a different way each time. This will help avoid the monotony and lighten the mental load

10) KEEP IT UP!!