All posts in Health and Fitness

Journey for a Better World!

Nike touches down in SF on their Journey for a Better World… and guess who was asked to provide the vegan snacks?! That’s right, Sugar & Spice!

Athlete Jason Lester has embarked on a running and biking journey from COAST to COAST for a whopping 4,800 miles in 102 days! That’s 32 marathons and 3,800 miles biked!

On Tuesday I received an email from Nike.  As you can imagine, I was not that excited, as I assumed the email had probably been sent to hundreds of other vegan/vegetarian SF caterers…
I responded with “Thanks for contacting me.  I’m interested” not expecting a reply… 
I got a response within minutes saying “Great, Claudine.  When can I call you to discuss details”
Now I’m excited, “Tomorrow between 9-12 I can chat. Thanks.”

Believe it or not, Jason is a vegan!  To the matcho meat eating men out there :) Jason proves that you DO NOT have to eat animals to reach your full athletic potential! (for a list of vegetarian proteins click here)

So, I’m a little hesitant to share the recipes because they turned out so darn good I’m thinking I should package/sell them…
But, as my contribution to making this world a better place, through sport and food, I believe everyone should have a healthy energy bar recipe on hand :)

I made two bars for the Nike event and each only have 4-5 ingredients!
This is a take on a Peanut Butter and Jelly sando
 Take on an Oatmeal Raisin cookie
Peanut Butter n Jelly Energy Bar Recipe
The picture does not do these justice… These are pure heaven, I’m telling you!  Imagine all the greatness that comes with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, then add crispy, crunchy, deliciousness to it, and what you’re left with are these amazing energy bars!
You could make these healthier by substituting almond butter for peanut butter or adding chia seeds (dang, I should have done that!)
These are also a full protein because when you combine a grain (quinoa and rice) with a legume (peanuts) you get a complete protein (all 9 essential amino asids)
2 Cups Peanut Butter
1 1/2 Cups Brown Rice Syrup
1 t vanilla extract
6 cups Quinoa Crisps
2 Cups Brown Rice Cereal Crisps

2 Cups Jelly (flava of choice!)
about 2 cups chopped Peanuts
Warm the first 2 ingredients in a sauce pan.
Add the vanilla
In a large bowl add the quiona and rice crisps
Pour the warm PB and Rice Syrup mixture over the dry contents and mix well.
Get ready to get diiiirty :)
Now that you have mixed the gooeyness with the crispyness, line a sheet pan with parchment paper 
Firmly pree the mixture down into the pan.
I used the back of a spatula
Spread the Jelly over evenly 
Sprinkle with Chopped nuts
Press down well again to be sure the nuts adhire to the jelly
Let rest in the fridge over night
(I was praying that they settled and firmed up- and they did!)
Cut into square… I had to make a couple hundred so I cut them into bit size pieces… 
Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bar Recipe:
These taste JUST like an oatmeal raisin cookie… my favorite by the way if you ever want to make me cookies :) … only they’re healthier because I don’t use eggs, suga’ or flour – making these vegan, gluten free and diabetes friendly because there wont be a spike in your blood sugar… whoop whoop loooooove using fruit as a sweetener!
2 Cups Golden Raisins
2 Cups Walnuts
2 Cups Raisins
4 Cups Oats
4 Cups of Oats (yes 8 total)
1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup
2 t vanilla extract
Spices to taste like cinnamon, cloves, allspice 

In the Cuisinart combine the first 2 ingredients until well combined
Add the red raisins and 4 cups of oats and set aside
Meanwhile, warm the Syrup in a sauce pan and add the vanilla extract
In a large bowl combine it all and get ready to get dirty, get in there and MIX everything really well with your hands!
Line a sheet try with parchment paper
Press your mixture down into the pan very well and firmly 
Let harden in the fridge over night

2 Women with A Mission…

…to teach YOU how to Live a Fun, Healthy, Whole, Sexy LIFE!
And here’s the kicker… you’re going to loose weight (with out even trying)!
A little about Sarah and Jamie: They are smart, confident chicas who have followed their passions for living a whole healthy life and are here to share their knowledge (and fun approach) with you!
Not to mention, they radiate positive energy and fun vibes!  You can see why I want to hang out with them any chance I get :) who wouldn’t right!? 
See what they are up to…
Sarah launched an interactive program, Live More, Weigh Less

Jamie is hosting a free call on May 9th:

Eat Your Way Clean!

Ok, backing up to the basics…
I have been getting some feedback in regards to the menu I posted on, Day 1 To a New You.
My apologies for not helping you properly stock your fridge/pantry for the week…

It is so simple to eat clean  All you have to do is stock your kitchen with these 20 ingredients…most I’m sure you already have on hand.  Everything I listed below I chose for a specific reason.  Every ingredient serves an important roll in cleansing your body and supporting your digestive system.


Think EARTH!
If it came from the earth, you are free to indulge!

The Fruits and Veggies that we will be seeing a lot this week:
Cabbage and Carrots (buy already shredded to save you time)
Sweet Potatoes and yams
Apples, Bananas, Pears, Mangos, berries, Citrus fruits (really any fruit)
Squash (already peeled and chopped saves you a workout- it’s a toughie to peel)
Dark Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, bok choy)
Asparagus and Broccoli

Whole Plain Yogurt
Shrimp and Fish (specifically salmon)
Miso Paste

Black Rice
Coconut (in extra virgin oil form too for cooking)
Black Sesame Seeds
Sesame Oil
Dry Roasted Nuts
Fresh Herbs


Make a Quinoa and Black Rice Combo
(cook separately, combine, can keep in the fridge all week! You’ll be having this all week)
Cut lemons, fruit and veggies to help save you time and keep you inclined to eat them.
Buy Pre Shredded carrots and cabbage.  We will be eating a lot of these this week because the are so powerful in aiding with digestions.
Make Green Power Sauce:  This will be used on salmon, in salads, as a marinade and on soup… it delivers healthy fats from nuts, tons of vitamins and minerals, not to mention great flavor.
Green Power Sauce: Blend a kale, walnuts, miso and a little oil until smooth!

Steamed green beans, yes please.  Green bean casserole, sure, once a year on Thanksgiving.


Happy Day 1… To A New YOU!

Hello There!
So… today did not start off exactly the way I expected.  But that’s ok, bumps in the road are part of life.
Today’s bump was the inspiration behind my first healthy living tip…

Tip #1
Shit happens, don’t beat yourself up, move on.

My alarm was set to go off at 6am to teach classes at the gym.
Well, somehow my alarm never went off.  I still don’t know why.
Anyway, I woke by the sun shinning into my room at 8am feeling complete anxious and terrible for all people who got out of bed this morning and made there way to the gym.
So, shit happens.  It doesn’t mean I do not feel TERRIBLE for all my friends I stood up at the gym, it just means that I can’t let this mistake ruin my day.
I wrote everyone at the gym an apology letter. I have grown so close with a lot of my clients and felt terrible knowing that I ruined some of their mornings.
At 9 I went for a 5 mile run in Crissy Fields to clear my mind.
On the way home I stopped at Cole Hardware (my favorite place) to buy a backup alarm clock!
And Then I reminded myself:

Tip #2:
Make a realistic goal for the week.
Mine is to not have any refined sugar.  I don’t keep treats and packaged foods in my home, so that should be easy around here.  The goal will be to say “no thank you” when I’m out and the dessert menu comes :)
Some goal ideas for you:
Get your heart rate up for 30 minutes a day
Only drink filtered water and tea (ok, fine, ONE cup of coffee)
Eat at the table with all media and distractions turned off.
Everyday do something caring for your body: bubble bath, deep breathing exercises, an after dinner stroll, give and receive hand massages.
Try something new everyday like yoga or Thai food
Write it down and…

Menu Day One:

Avocado, 1/2 cup black rice and quinoa, lemon juice.
2 glasses of water
1 can of wild Alaskan salmon (yes, canned :) I’m in my 20’s, on a budget, living in an expensive city)
Mixed with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, cabbage, carrots, 1/2 cup black rice and quinoa, seaweed and rice wine vinegar.  YUM
I steamed and pureed butternut squash into a soup (easy peasy)
Kale Pesto: In a blender combine kale, walnuts, miso paste, and olive oil, lemon.
Homemade croutons with gluten free bread
Tips on how to make healthy eating choices:
Think whole!  Look at the ingredients, if there are ingredients that you can not pronounce you probably shouldn’t be putting it into your body, right?
Bring your own lunch to work.
This week have a batch of whole grains in the fridge that you cn throw into dishes.
Try cooking 1/2 cup black rice in one pot and 1 cup quinoa in another pot.  Combine the 2 like I did above.  It keeps up to a week in the fridge.
Check out my list of pantry essentials.


A New Year… A New You!

Happy New Year Everyone!
I am feeling so good about 20-12… great things are going to happen…
I have a feeling!
For the next 7 days join me on the path to a new healthy you!
Every day I will be sharing recipes and tips on how to make healthy living enjoyable, fun and easy.

We ALL get busy during the Holidays and as a result maybe not eat as well or skip our 6am workout because we’re just too dang tired and exhausted!

Well, today is a new day, a new year actually, and it’s never too late to start fresh.
December is over, that pie was eaten and those runs were skipped, but January is here and looking fresher than ever!
We all have our own special ways in which we find balance and reenergize ourselves.  For the next week focus on filling your life with what works best for you, whether it’s through hiking, yoga, massages, manicures, reading, bubble baths or spending time with the people you love (media off), do something that makes you FEEL WONDERFUL EVERYDAY!
I recently discovered acupuncture and have fallen completely in love with the practice and how wonderful it makes me feel.  Some days I go into my appointment so anxious and stressed, not able to breath at all, and leave feeling refreshed like a new born baby!
I have been seeing Daniel, an amazing acupuncturist, twice a week during the holidays in an attempt to get my body’s YIN back in full flow.
Daniel gave me a large list of warming foods, from the book Healing with Whole Foods, to help my poor little off balanced body get back on track… I’m so excited to get cooking and share the recipes!  (Crazy Sexy Diet is also on my list of must reads this January)

As a result from my stressful catering months, my body is officially not YIN-ing properly :)

My skin is blotchy, my cheekbones have gone missing behind cheesecake cheeks, I’m breaking out like I’m 16 again, my energy is lower than nasdaq and I’m three month pregnant, I mean bloated!
It’s amazing how what’s going on inside directly reflects the outside. 
When you’re stressed, not rested and not eating well it shows! 

Ok, enough talking… Let’s get healthy!
Stay Tuned…
Pics from elembee


Need a little Motivation to put on your running shoes and get moving!?

Lately I have not been feeling so, well, inspired to stay fit and healthy.  I completely lost my healthy eating and workout routine after my month in Greece and Turkey was followed by a friend in town visiting for 2 weeks.  When traveling it is harder to say no the the baklava and wake up at 6am for a run.
Now that I am settling back into a routine and schedule, I have no excuse, it is time to get back on track!

Looking for a little health and fitness motivation?
Check out my “inspiration” list:

Kelly Rowland is hot hot hot! This Song is sure to make you run fast on the treadmill.
I have to be honest, Rihanna’s S&M really gets me moving too!

NIKE WOMEN Training Video, it gets better, watch to the end

Sarah Jenks, friend and owner of Breathtaking Brides teaches the importance of feeling feminine and beautiful in our skin
Sarah says spend 15 minutes a day in your underwear and heels!  It is such a buzz!  You can even be on a conference call, and no one will know ;o)

While you are hanging out in panties and heels, turn on Chris Brown if this doesn’t make you dance in panties, nothing will

Are you a New Mom!?  Check out Baby Bootcamps.  YOu can enjoy getting back in shape in the outdoors with other new moms, plus your baby gets to come along for some fresh air. Kathleen runs an amazing workout in SF Dolores Park.

My Pinterest inspiring pictures and words. Also check out Uyen Dee’s inspiration board

It’s all about Portion Control 

Whole Living is a great website full of wonderful resources and articles.  You can read up on everything from fitness, green living, recipes, and career and finance tips

Really, you can DO IT!

Start with a healthy Breakfast

If you are not sure how to make changes on Your Plate, start here

This TRX video

I started a 2 week guest pass at Crunch Fitness today.
Sometimes you need someone else there to kick your ass!

Bed side reads are Women, Food and God and Poser, My Life in 23 Yoga Poses

21 day Meditation Challenge. I am on day 3 and already feel like a new born baby


Sunday Run and Brunch

What better way to spend your Sunday morning than exercising and enjoying brunch with your girl friends!?

View Larger Map

On Sunday I teamed up with Susan, founder of Urban Agility, to host a fun 5 K run and brunch.
Susan leads outdoor fitness workouts and instructs bootcamp classes at gyms throughout Berkeley, California.

Yes, it is possible to sleep in, go for a run, and host a brunch!
check out the menu
after brunch:
throw on something cute, fill a basket with the unopened bottles of Orangina, Prosecco,  and a blanket and head to a park to enjoy the rest of your day under the sun
 A short walk over the hill and your in Washington Square
Jenna and Kate soaking up the sun
Tall Sassy Tree Erin (check out her great persimmon salad recipe)

TRX Training!

Stands For: Total Body Resistance Training!

My Current Obsessions:
House and Home Magazine

Besides for being a professional eater, I’m a TRX instructor at a gym called cardio-tone in San Francisco. 
TRX is great for all fitness levels, whether you haven’t lifted a finger in a year or you’re a professional athlete! 
The name pretty much sums up what this hardcore workout is all about…
Invented by a Navy Seal, TRX is designed to kick your butt!  
Combining strength training and cardio, TRX is sure to give yo a great toned body.  You use your own body weight to control the resistance and intensity level.
You can also buy the TRX straps to use in your home, on the road while traveling or outside at a park.

Complete Protein…

…the Vegan way!
OK, it’s simple.
A Full Protein is made up of a combination of essential amino acids, nine to be exact.
Protein is found in many things besides for animal products, for example seeds, beans and grains.
However, all animal products are full proteins on there own (containing all esential amino acids)- the proper combination of things like rice and beans creates a full protein too.
Though, it is not necessary to combine specific protein foods at one sitting. Throughout the day, as you are consuming plant based proteins, your body will combine proteins from all sources to get all the “complete proteins” it needs.
Plant Based Protein is divided into 3 categories:
Legumes combined with Seeds, Nuts or Grains form a complete FULL protein.
Hummus is a full Protein!
Chickpeas: Legumes
Tihini (sesame paste): Seeds
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sando!
Peanuts: Legumes
Bread (I like gluten free brown rice bread): Grains
millet, quinoa, rice & lentils, chia seeds, mixed rices, pumpkin seeds, oats

Examples of Protein Sources:
Wheat Bread

Pumpkin Seeds
Brazil Nuts
Flax Seeds/Chia Seeds
Nut and seeds Butters (Almond Butter, Tahini, etc)
Black Beans
Kidney Beans
Pinto Beans
(all beans!)
Lentils (my favorite!)
Soy and Quinoa are the only plant based full proteins
Example of Complete Protein Meals

Oatmeal with soy milk (nuts & flax seeds)
Toasted oats, ground flax seeds, walnuts and cinnamon, with a little plain organic yogurt
Quinoa cooked with almond milk (Add nuts, flax, cinnamon, honey…)
Chia Seed Pudding (2 T seeds + 2 T oats + 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup soy milk, let sit for 10 minutes and it turns into pudding consistency. Top with the same things you would oatmeal)
Toast and Peanut butter
Lunch and Dinner:
Green salad with brown rice and beans (my staple)
Corn tortilla, black beans, pupmkin seeds, shredded lettuce, salsa, etc
Rice Cakes with hummus and sliced avocado
Veggie Burger (I like making Quinoa Lentil burgers, with a tahini sauce)
Nori roll with Rice, tofu and Veggies
Stir-fry veggies and tofu over brown rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds
Chili and Corn Bread
Brown Rice with Curry Chickpeas

5 Foods Women Should Eat Organic

In a perfect world be would buy everything organic, and local, but until then, here are the five most important foods to consume organic:

1. Marinara Sauce:
Random, Right? Marinara is important because organic tomatoes have significantly more lyconpene than non organic tomatoes. What is lyconpene? Lyconpene is the power antioxidant that gives tomatoes their deep red hue. These antioxidants actually become more beneficial to our health when cooked, rather than eaten raw.
Health Benefits: Lyconpene has been found to lower cancer and heart disease risks and help repair cell damage.
2. Meat:

Besides the fact that raising animals organically is better for the environment, it is also better for our bodies. Think about it: you are what you eat. If you are eating chicken that was given growth hormones (which you are if you choose non organic, or simply dine out at most restaurants), the hormones remain in the chicken’s body, you eat the chicken with the growth hormones, and the growth hormones have now entered your body.
This goes for the antibiotics animals are given too. Farms these days are so filthy and disease prone that animals must be given antibiotics to keep them from become sick and diseased.
3. Apples:

Apples rank in the top 5 because they are second to bananas as the most commonly eaten fruit. Conventional apples, even after peeled, often contain a chemical called organophosphates that can damage brain and nerve cells.
These fruits also rank highest with pesticide contamination and should be eaten organic when possible:
Strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe (Mexico), pears, peaches, nectarines, cherries, grapes (Chili),
Least Contaminated Fruits:
Watermelon, bananas, plums, oranges, grapes (U.S. grown)
4. Lettuce, Spinach:

According to the USDA, conventional lettuce, especially imported, has some of the highest levels of pesticides than other foods. Being the health savvy women that we are by eating a big salad every day, it is extra important that we choose organic leafs. Women typically eat more salads than men do, so, pound for pound, we’re exposed to higher amounts of pesticides.
Other vegetables you should try choosing organic because they rank highest with pesticide contamination:
Cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, celery, green beans
Least Contaminated Vegetables:
Avocado, corn, onion, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, green onions, broccoli.
5. Dairy:

Pretty much the same thing goes for dairy as for meat. Animals raised for their milk or meat, non organically, are given tones of antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids, etc. Organic farms also have strict guidelines they must follow that protect the well being of the animals and the environment. Animals must be allowed to graze and see day light every day. In addition, farmers must also insure there is no manure run off into nearby rivers or communities, a big environmental problem with factory farms.

Get That Glow

Beauty directly reflects overall wellness and health within the body.  The nutrients we eat affects cell growth (hair, nails, skin), therefore, it’s important that we do, and eat, what’s best for maintaining healthy cell rejuvenation.
Ingredients for The Glow:
Vitamins A, B, C, E
Coenzyme Q10
Omega-3 fatty acids
Foods highest in antioxidants include, berries, raisins, prunes, kale, spinach, broccoli, beets, and sprouts.  Imagine antioxidants as your cell’s personal body guard and  all the nasty free radicals floating around in our environment as the enemy attacking you.  Well, antioxidants stand up to the enemy and take the hits themselves, protecting your skin and leaving you beautiful.  Whether you apply them topically (cream) or orally (berries), consuming  antioxidants should be made a daily habit!
Benefits: Promotes strong hair and nails
Found In: Egg yolks, peanuts/butter, hazelnuts, sesame seeds
Coenzyme Q10:
Benefits:  Antioxidant
Found In:  Fish oils, nuts, meat
Omega 3- fatty acids:
Benefits: Combats skin inflimation
Found In: Flax seed/oil (my favorite in ground form because it can be added to any recipe), salmon, tuna, walnuts, olive oil, coldwater fish
Benefits:  Protects skin from sun damage
Found In:  Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, tuna, sole, rice, wheat
Benefits:  Supports cell repair and renewal.  Good for acne skin
Found In:  Garbonzo and Kidney beans, oysters, sardines, beef, liver, lamb
Vitamin A:
Benefits:  Skin cell renewal
Found In:  Leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow vegetable (sweet potatoes, carrots and squash)
Vitamin B:
Benefits:  Overall skin health
Found In:  Whole grains, nuts, meat, potatoes, bananas, prunes
Vitamin C:
Benefits:  Powerful Antioxidants.  Protects skin from sun damage.
Found In:  Green vegetables, citrus fruits, strawberries, black currants, blackberries, cherries, grapes
Vitamin E:
Benefits:  Protects skin from sun damage and keeps skin looking smooth
Found In:  Spinach, sweet potatoes, avocados, sunflower seeds/oil, pear