CHS Students For South Sudan 5k / Color Run

30 Oct

Are you local and looking for a run that raises money for an amazing cause? Look no further and mark your calendars for November 15th! The students at Cary High School have put together a Color Run 5k to raise money for an educational system in the worlds newest county, South Sudan. image_1 In 2014 the students of Cary High school started to raise money for the education system in South Sudan. They are beginning their fundraises to purchase desk (locally made in South Sudan) for new schools. They have already raised half of their goal but still have a ways to go! Why would running this race make a difference? The money will go directly to Cary High Schools fundraises for South Sudan in assisting them to buy not only desks but also school supplies and library books. Why South Sudan?

  • Only 27% of people over the age of 15 can read and write, giving South Sudan thelowest literacy rate in the world.
  • According to UNICEF, “Close to 1,250,000 children eligible for primary school do not have access, with many existing schools not conducive to learning. Only 45 per cent of the 3,349 primary schools in South Sudan have access to safe water, and only 17 per cent have adequate latrines for both girls and boys.”

(Bullets pulled from their website HERE) This is a great way not only to donate to a great cause but also to get into shape! Who doesn’t love a color run?!?! image Go sign up today for this amazing 5k HERE ! Want to learn more about this organization or already got plans that day? It’s ok… you can learn more and donate HERE ! And make sure to follow them across the web!

  • Twitter: @CHS4SS
  • Instagram: @CHS4SS
  • Facebook: Students for South Sudan

Hemp Hearts Review

29 Oct

I was thrilled when I was asked to review Hemp Hearts on my blog! I had never tried them before and I’m always open to new foods so I was pretty excited to get these in the mail!

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I certainly did my research on these even before receiving them in the mail since I had never read too much about them. The things I learned were amazing! I never knew that Hemp Hearts could hold so much nutrition and healthy habits for our body!

  • Hemp Hearts are beneficial to cardiovascular health and have also been indicated in helping to prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Hemp Hearts are big aiders in digestion.
  • Hemp Hearts can help prevent weight gain.
  • They also boost energy levels.
  • Hemp Hearts help produce good skin and hair production as well as good bone and tooth density because of the calcium and the omega they contain.

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When I first opened these I poured a bit into my hand wanting to try them on their own. They had a very familiar taste to them right away that I couldn’t place right there. A peanut or cashew kind of taste. Perhaps a mix between cashews and sunflower seeds. They actually tasted quite good on their own! I was surprised!

A few weeks ago I made falafel for dinner which was a great opportunity to use my hemp hearts as well! After the falafel was done I put them into pita bread with some hummus and sprinkled a small handful of hemp hearts right on time!

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It gave just a hint of peanut / sunflower taste to it that made the meal so complete! I’ve also read that a lot of people add them into yogurt and cereal as well! I’ve been on a bit of a yogurt kick lately so I plan to try hemp hearts in my morning yogurt soon!

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Have you ever tried Hemp Hearts? What dish should I try them with next?

WANT TO TRY HEMP HEARTS??

Use promo code HHSweatPink14 to save 20% on their website HERE!

Falafel Recipe

23 Oct

A few nights ago I made falafel for the first time! If you can’t tell I’m on a bit of a cooking spree at the moment. I’ve never wanted to cook this much but lately I feel like I will not only eat healthier by cooking at home but also I’ve realized that some of these recipes aren’t that hard! Want to make falafel at home? Here’s what I did!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked white chickpeas (we used chickpeas and pinto beans)
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped or minced
  • 2-3 garlic, crushed or finely chopped or minced
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp crushed black pepper
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley or coriander leaves, finely chopped or minced
  • ½ to 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
  • salt as required
  • oil for deep frying

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Instructions:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mash the chickpeas and mix everything well.
  3. image_2Form into small or medium sized balls or patties
  4. image_3Deep fry in hot oil like the way you would do for pakoras/fritters.
  5. image_4Turn over to the other side whilst frying to ensure that the falafels are evenly fried.
  6. image_5Drain falafel on kitchen tissues to remove excess oil.
  7. image_6Serve falafel hot with pita bread.

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My Dad wanted to try and make the greek yogurt sauce that you can get with your falafel in a restaurant but we didn’t have the ingredients to make it so he just put greek yogurt on his pita bread with the falafel while I used hummus. This was also the perfect opportunity to try hemp hearts in my pita sandwich!

I’ll have a review up shortly on these hemp hearts but here’s a quick introduction. Hemp hearts are full of plant based protein and omegas. They have a slight nutty taste, I thought of a sunflower seed or cashews when I ate them. There are many ways you can eat them as well. You can sprinkle them on yogurt, in your cereal, smoothies, or on pita while your making falafel!

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For those of you who know me, you know quite well that I can burn anything (grilled cheese, mac & cheese, pasta, etc.) but I think I’m getting the hang of this cooking thing now. This turned out so good & it was really easy to make as well! I was so nervous about making it that I asked my Dad to help me (a list of a lot of ingredients get me stressed out, especially when it’s a lot of spices) but together we mastered this recipe!

I run 4 Sara!

22 Oct

Last year I found this organization called ‘I run 4′ which partners runners with those who have disabilities that keep them from doing some everyday activities. It took months but I was finally paired and here’s our story.

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I’ve asked my buddy’s parents if I could write about her and post photos of her and they have given me permission. So I’d like to introduce you to my buddy, Sara!

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March 1st, 2013, I received a message on Facebook from someone I didn’t know. Upon opening it I realized this person was introducing me to her daughter and saying, “thank you for wanting to run for people like my little girl” and how she was excited that she had finally been paired. I than realized that she was my ‘I run 4′ buddy and I was ecstatic!!! I continued to read the message as her mom told me, “Sara has Angelman syndrome and is our little Angel!” I had never heard of Angelman Syndrome before being paired with Sara but I’ve learned so much about it since than and it makes me more aware of what Sara and her family go through. Her mom continued to write that the doctors didn’t think she would be walking or talking but at almost two years old she was already pulling up on things and climbing though not quite walking yet.

Upon numerous occasions I’ve taken the time to research Angelman Syndrome to learn more, as I encourage everyone out there to do as well. It’s an disorder that can effect so many parts of your body though Sara is so strong she doesn’t seem like it gets the best of her at all!

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Sara and her family participated in their first 5k a few weeks ago! I am so incredibly proud of them! On her mom’s bib she even wrote, ‘Rachel runs 4 Sara’ which made my heart completely overjoyed that they thought of me during their run!

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It’s so amazing what kind of bond you can make with someone who lives states away from you and you’ve never met and yet they encourage you in all you do everyday! While I was in Australia a few months ago I bought her a t-shirt and mailed it when I returned to the US. Her mom than sent me this photo of her wearing it extremely happy!

IMG_4827I may not know much about Angelman Syndrome and I may not have met this little one face-to-face (yet) but her AND her family are incredible for encouraging me in all I do!

If you are a runner and are looking for even more motivation to get out there and train, I highly encourage you to sign up for a running buddy! It’s absolutely FREE to sign up and I guarantee that it will so be worth it when you get matched with someone! Check out the Facebook page HERE to sign up for a buddy!

Motivational Monday

20 Oct

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I’ve always been a fan of this quote. I think everyone should keep this in mind when meeting other people. Happy Monday!

Selfie Sunday

19 Oct

There are a lot of things I do to get ready for a run… stretch, plan my route, get my garmin set up, etc. One of the things I never forget is my phone. Why? To take selfies of course! I’m a bit ashamed that I am part of this generation where selfies are the norm. You don’t think twice if you see people taking selfies anywhere… that’s how you know you are part of this generation.

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In almost every run I take I end up taking a selfie whether it’s during a race or on a training run. Most of my photos that I post are happy faces expressing my joy in finishing my run or race like these…

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Than there are always those selfies where I am exhausted, lost (yes, lost during a race), or scared to run in the dark (during my first night run).

Fotor01019114958While looking back at photos I have found that I take A LOT of selfies! Does this problem just effect me or are there others out there who are obsessed with selfies while working out?

Homemade Cherry Almond Ice Cream!

17 Oct

Last month I went to a book sale in town where all their used books were $1!!! I am currently trying to GET RID of things in my house but I couldn’t by pass this opportunity! I ended up only finding two books, which was good because I don’t need anymore books in my house but I’m proud to say that I have gotten good use out of my new cookbook!

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I bought a ice cream cook book that looked amazing and everything looked pretty simple to make. Since my brothers birthday was just a few days away I told him to pick a recipe and we could make ice cream for his birthday! He chose to make Cherry Almond Ice Cream which turned out delicious!

Here’s what you need:

-2/3 cup of milk (we used almond milk but whole milk works as well)

-2/3 cup of ground almonds

-1 egg & 1 extra yolk

-1/2 cup of superfine sugar

-2-3 droops of almond extract

-1 lb. of red cherries, pitted OR 1 lb. jar of cherry compote (we just used red cherries)

-1/4 cup of silvered almonds

-2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream

1) Pour the milk into a small saucepan & stir in the ground almonds. Bring to a boil & than set aside. 

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2) Put the egg & the extra yolk into a heatproof bowl with the sugar, and beat until pale & think. Pour in the milk & almond mixture. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and stir until thick. Stir in the almond extract and let cool. 

3) Put the cherries into a food processor or blender & process to a puree, then stir them into the custard. 

We used a blender & it worked to puree the cherries just fine!

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4) Toss the silvered almonds in a heavy pan over low heat to toast them. Let cool. 

5) Place the cherry mixture in an ice cream maker and pour in the cream. Churn and freeze. Mix in the toasted almonds. 

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6) Serve & Enjoy!

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This wasn’t all too hard to make and it actually turned out much better than I expected! I’m not a huge fan of cherry ice cream or almonds in my ice cream but I have to say it was pretty delicious!

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