Let's make 2014 your happiest and healthiest year yet!

I’m Cassandra Bodzak, the happy, healthy living guru and IIN health coach behind GoSweetandSkinny and proud author of Juicespiration. I firmly believe that being happy and healthy is ATTAINABLE for everyone. You don’t have to be a strict vegan or raw foodist, unless that's your thing, you can find a way of eating that works best for YOU and makes you feel amazing! I believe in a whole foods diet based in local, organic and gmo-free foods for optimal health and wellness. I work with clients all over the U.S. to help them create a body and life they love and hope this website inspires you in your wellness journey!

A Little Note on INTENTIONS

                      When I saw my new friend, Desiree, discuss a conversation we had on her instagram feed, I was so moved at how she had taken my advice to heart and I just knew I had to share it with you all. Before I get into it, read what she said and I’ll chat a little more at the bottom.quote about possibility and intentions

quotes and story about intention informing our actions

quote and story about intention and our actions

             So inspiring!!! I love how she was able to change her perspective and is now back on tract with a diet that’s going to keep her auto-immune disease in check and allow her to be the glowing, radiant being she is. I see this “intention situation” often in my clients with prior histories of eating disorders or disordered eating. They were so wrapped up in associating healthy food or limiting food with punishment and self-hatred that they have a hard time flipping the switch and realizing when it is okay to make certain food choices. My go to for those clients is always to discuss the intentions behind eating, sometimes even go so far as to tell them to silently recite the intention for their food before they eat it! If this is something you struggle with, try that for a week. Before you put anything into your mouth, whether it’s a green smoothie or a bacon cheeseburger, say to yourself, ” I am eating this food to nourish and fuel my body” or whatever intention that you connect with to get to that place of true self-love and wellbeing.

                It’s no wonder people feel negative emotions around dieting, even if you haven’t struggled with any severe disorder eating almost all of us of have put ourselves through the misery of diet at one point in our lives. I’m officially 26 days off sugar, if you asked my boyfriend, he’d say I’m just torturing myself, however because of the intention behind my actions ( exploring the benefits of eliminating sugar from your diet and test driving it for a couple clients who are interested in trying it) I have found it to be a totally exciting adventure! Don’t worry you’ll hear more about how it went in a later blog or vlog after my 30 days are up. My point is that because I’m doing it for fun, seeing it as an experiment and research for my clients who I absolutely adore, it’s no a brainer. The second you try to do a diet to “lose weight” or “fix yourself” it’s going to feel like depravation. Switch your focus to the FUN, to the LIGHT at the end of the tunnel, think about it as self-care. 

                Taking care of your body and fueling it would foods that support it’s best possible vitality is an absolutely wonderful thing. Stand in the power of doing something fabulous for yourself and if a certain style of eating or book your reading about food doesn’t seem to be in sync energetically and intentionally with that, then toss it! If you’re serious about changing your energy and feelings around food and dieting then reach out, email me for a breakthrough session at Cassandra@GoSweetandSkinny.com and let me walk you through it so you can start transforming those intentions ASAP.

I challenge you to write in the comments below this post what intention you are committed to shifting in your life! Tell me how that’s going to change the action itself. xo!

My First Half Marathon

completing my first half marathon at the More Fitness Magazine Women's Half Marathon in Central Park, NYC

I am incredibly proud to say that I successfully completed my first half marathon this past weekend in Central Park at the More/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon. 13.1 miles of pure blissful power and a major check off my bucket list (yes I know I’m getting started early, but why not!?) .

First, let me say I’m not a runner.

My friends find this hilarious because I do run from time to time but only for a race or a cause, usually both. What I mean is, I’m not that girl that loves waking up at the crack of dawn and pounding the pavement. I despise the treadmill even more than the streets and in total honesty, I find running extraordinarily boring at times.  I’m a yoga girl, I’ll get up early to get to class, love twisting my body in all sorts of fun postures and will happily do it several times a week. So running was all about going out of my comfort zone and challenging my endurance.

I trained for about a month and a half before the actual race and let me tell you IT WAS HARD, for me at least. I seriously give props to runners who do it day after day. It definitely taught me about commitment and pushing myself. Gosh, it was too easy to give up after 3 miles when it’s just me out there in the park and my foot starts hurting or I just get bored on the treadmill. Yet I’m so happy I didn’t, I pushed and pushed and broke past my comfort zone.

A couple weeks into training I gave up sugar, they’ll be a vlog on that coming soon, but suffice to say the first few days running on no sugar (aka no easy carbs) were extraordinarily challenging but it didn’t take too long to adjust. By the time race day came, I didn’t even eat anything in the morning and I was fine!

training for my first half marathon, the more fitness magazine women's half marathon in central park. Runners in NYC on race day.

The night before the race I did make some pretty kick ass healthy, sugar free “cookies” to carb load. That recipe will be in this week’s email blast so sign up below if you want it! They were delicious and did just the trick. I carried a few of them in my pocket for the actual race, just in case, but never ended up needing them.

Race day was actually leagues better than any of my practice runs. There’s so much energy in the air, so many people all around and I made a kick ass playlist with the help of some friends, so I was pumped. I ran the first 8 miles relatively seamlessly, although for anyone who knows Central Park, some of those hills are a killer! It wasn’t till mile 8 which was an typical practice run for me that I started feeling it, had to push through, pump up the tunes (we’re talking Britney Spear’s “Work B*tch”, American Authors “Best Day of My Life” and Sara Barielles “Brave”) to keep me going.

By mile 11, it was actually more painful to walk for the 30 seconds I was guzzling water at the hydration stations than it was to keep pace and run. I ended up running the entire thing other than those water breaks where I simply stopped so I didn’t choke on the H2O I was inhaling.

Once I saw that finish line in sight it was like an extra burst of energy and the high of knowing that I completed it (and it better time than I had imagined) was indescribable. I was walking on sunshine.

Training and completing my first half marathon at the More Fitness Magazine Women's Half Marathon in Central Park, NYC.

Will I do it again? Maybe. The Brooklyn half is in month. ;)

If anyone has any questions about the half marathon, training or is contemplating doing one yourself, feel free to comment below and I’ll answer any questions you may have!

Healthy Sugar Free Raspberry Chia Seed Protein Pancakes

delicious, healthy and sugar free raspberry chia seed protein pancakes

delicious, healthy and sugar free raspberry chia seed protein pancakes

 

After running 13.1 miles yesterday, I was craving a hearty, filling and treat-worthy breakfast. After messing around with some ingredients I had in the kitchen, I whipped up this super easy to make recipe for healthy, raspberry chia seed pancakes that are not only sugar free, they are also PACKED with protein! Woo Hoo! Who says a girl can’t have everything? Enjoy this recipe and feel free to add a little maple syrup or date syrup to sweeten up if you are not “I quit sugar”-ing with me.

healthy sugar free raspberry chia seed protein pancakes

2 tbsp of non fat plain greek yogurt

1/4 cup oat bran

1 organic hormone free egg

2 tsp of flax seed

2 tsp chia seed

a dash of vanilla extract

a dash of cinnamon

6 or 7 raspberries gently broken up (by hand ) into small pieces (and then extra for on top!)

Add everything except the raspberries and mix it up in a small bowl. Heat your pan on low setting and spray with your favorite cooking spray or use a little coconut oil. Add in raspberries last and gently fold them in. Batter should make three 5-6in pancakes (perfect single serving!), feel free to double or triple it when eating with others. I topped mine with some mashed raspberries and a couple whole ones on top!

Great thing about this recipe is that it’s not only easy, quick and contains minimal ingredients but it’s sugar free and has tons of protein thanks to the egg and non fat greek yogurt. Toss in the flaxseed meal and chia seed and we’re also loading up on heart healthy omega-3s while getting a nice dose of fiber with the oat bran! It’s GOOD and good FOR YOU!

My SUPER SIMPLE Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

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My SUPER simple Chia Seed Pudding recipe:
Just take 2 tbsp of chia seeds and one cup of almond milk (or coconut milk) and mix them together in cup (I love using little mason jars). I added 1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice (cinnamon,nutmeg,cloves) to this batch and it was delicious with out using any sugar! Store it in the fridge for at least 3-5 hours or overnight- I tend to stir it on and off in the first hour or so to prevent clumping of the chia seeds.

losethelast5lbs

 

Isn’t is always those pesky LAST FIVE POUNDS that we’re trying to get rid of!? I work with so many clients to help them make those small healthy  changes to get rid of those last 5lbs for good and with summer just around the corner, I wanted to share my “secret” with you! Watch this video, put this tool into action and you WILL see results! You just have to DO IT.Ready to go deeper and learn even more simple steps to start looking better and feeling great? Check out my Mindful Eating & Meditation video here.

If you enjoyed this video please LIKE , SHARE and SUBSCRIBE to GoSweetandSkinnyTV

BAKED Zucchini Chips

delicious baked zucchini chips

               I was craving a healthy snack this afternoon and decided to try my hand at whipping up some baked zucchini chips! I have been thinking about different healthy snack ideas for my upcoming Sweet + Skinny Detox Meal Plan and these fit right in perfectly! They are super healthy, easy to make and really satisfy that crunchy potato chip craving.

Baked Zucchini Chips

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Slice a zucchini very thin, you can use a mandolin if you have one but cutting them as thin as you can with a good knife works just fine! Spray 2 baking sheets with olive oil cooking spray and spread out your zucchini slices evenly so they do not overlap. Sprinkle some garlic, oregano and a little salt and pepper to  your liking and bake them for 1 hour and a half to 2 hours, depending how thin you slice. You’ll know they’re done when they get a little brown and turn crunchy! 

Mocha Protein Smoothie

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I’m not a big protein shake girl, it’s never really been my thing. So when I got a sample of body logix’s chocolate vegan protein powder, I just stuck it in my drawer. Fast forward to these past few weeks where I’ve been training for a half marathon and it has been really interesting finding just the right kind of breakfast to get me going before my run. It can’t be too heavy or I won’t feel well and it can’t be too light or I won’t run as long as I need to, so a protein smoothie seemed like it just might be right! I jazzed this one up by adding flaxseed meal and even snuck in some kale, of course.

Mocha Protein Smoothie
1 serving size of chocolate vegan protein powder ( I used bodylogix and it tasted good. It’s also soy free, dairy free, non gmo and has no artificial flavors. They DID NOT pay me to say this! haha)
1 frozen banana (but a regular one will do)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coffee
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 cup of kale ( or just two handfuls of kale)
4 ice cubes

Blend it all together and enjoy! You can also add dates to make it a little sweeter but I’m off the sugar right now so that’s why I didn’t.

My “Go-To” Green Juice Recipe

Sponsored by my very own juicer, Samson, check out this video where I make my personal go-to green juice recipe!

Feel free to find more information about the Samson Juicer I use in the video here or my book Juicespiration ( all about creating your own juice cleanse) here.

Letting Go

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“By letting go, it all gets done.” – Lao Tzu

This quote has really been resonating with me the past few days. I’ve got “to-do” lists longer than my legs and all sorts of obligations. Sometimes I meditate multiple times through out the day just to keep my stress level in order. And then it hit me the other day, to just let it go and trust that it will get done. Now this may not work when you are trying to eat healthy and make new habits for yourself but as far as work goes, I really think it helps. I’ve opened up the window for more inspiration, been guided towards certain opportunities and felt more in flow with my professional desires. When we are taking right minded action, not sitting on the couch eating potato chips, but also not forcing and pushing ourselves to finish our to do list at the expense of our well being, we get into a groove.
I have joked around for a while now with some of my girlfriends that I will spend all day sending out emails and pitching different ideas and it’ll be that random Thursday morning email from someone I didn’t even reach out to that will be a game changer. This quote was a reminder to me to let go and allow the universe to take over. To trust that we don’t have to PUSH so hard, we can flow.

What areas of your life are you pushing in right now? How might you be able to let go and let it flow? Comment below and let’s get a conversation going!>

Crispy Cauliflower with Jeff Kawakami

It’s always a blast spending time in the kitchen with my bestie and team ludo teammate, Chef Jeff Kawakami. What a lot of people don’t know about Jeff from watching The Taste is that he’s a pretty killer healthy cook as well. Jeff makes some vegan dishes that are out of this world and has celebrity clients that require him to make really healthy food, really delicious on the daily. Naturally, I asked him to share with us, an easy, go-to snack that’s both delicious, healthy and ‘man-friendly’.

Crispy Cauliflower

1 cauliflower cut into florets
1 egg
1 egg white
1.5 tbsp of dijon mustard
hot sauce to taste
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Cut your cauliflower head into florets and place in a large bowl. Add eggs and lightly toss the cauliflower in them. Add you mustard, hot sauce , garlic powder, parmesan and bread crumbs and toss till cauliflower is covered in mixture. Salt and pepper to taste and then spread out the cauliflower on your baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, they are finished when the edges are light, golden brown and crispy.

Homemade Almond Butter

almondbutter2

                Currently, I’m training for the More/Fitness Magazine half-marathon in NYC as well as recipe testing for my upcoming Sweet + Skinny Summer Detox. I have been on a mission to find some delicious, protein packed foods that are light Senough to keep you slim but substantial enough to power you through a long sweat session. It’s safe to say almond butter has become my new best friend!
I scoop it into my smoothies, add it to my oatmeal and love having it on some sliced green apples before my morning run. It’s packed with protein and good for you fats that my body needs to keep up with all my training. Almond butter satiates me and gives me a great, clean energy for the day. You can count on it being all over the recipes for my new detox and upcoming blog posts.
To make things even more exciting, I decided to go out on a limb and make it at home with my new Samson Juice Extractor. I had seen in the manual that it was possible but hadn’t really thought to give it a go till recently when my almond butter habit had been getting a little expensive. To my surprise, making almond butter was incredibly easy with my Samson and it came out so delicious that I had to share the recipe with you!

Sweet + Skinny Raw Almond Butter
If you’re using a Samson Juice Extractor like mine, simply switch to the mincing head from the juicing one. Turn it on and toss your almonds in the head at the top. (I’m sure this would be possible in a food processor if you don’t have a juicer as fancy as mine – definitely don’t try it on a regular juicer, you will break it!)

¾ cup of raw almonds
2 tsps of coconut oil
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 tsp of pumpkin spice

Put your almonds through and you should have a slightly dry ground almond paste. Mix in the rest of your ingredients and feel free to knead it with your hands like sugar cookie dough. It will be slightly drier than the stuff you buy in a jar, if you prefer it a little creamier feel free to add additional coconut oil to your liking. Macadamia nut oil also works well if you are not a fan of the coconut.

almondbutter1

A Healthy ‘Shamrock Shake’

shamrockshake

For those of you who love being festive with your food as much as I do, here is a fun little smoothie you can whip up in the morning to show off some Irish pride! It’s also equally delicious, if you just need to satisfy a mint chocolate chip milkshake craving.. ;)

 

A Healthy Shamrock Shake (aka. my mint chocolate chip smoothie)

Simply blend 1 banana, 1/2 an avocado, 4 leaves of Romaine (or a handful of spinach), 1 cucumber (seeds out/skin off), 3/4 cup almond milk, a couple fresh mint leaves (if mint’s your thang – if not skip it!), a tbsp of cashew butter (any nut butter will do though!) and blend it all together! If you’re a mint chocolate chip fan – mix in some small vegan chocolate chips after it’s all blended. Enjoy your dessert for breakfast treat and skip all the green dye colored food during the day! 

What JUICER do I use?

samsonjuicers

                One of the most frequent questions I get is,”what kind of juicer do you use?” or “What kind of juicer should I buy?” So I figured it was about time I write a blog dedicated to letting you know just that! My first response to most of these questions about finding the right juicer is that the right juicer is the one you will use!! There are so many different types of juicers and you can certainly argue for some over others but at the same time, a fancy juicer with all sorts of amazing features that you can’t afford right now and discourages you from buying a juicer all together helps no one. Get what you can with in your budget when you are just starting out, it’s more important to start getting into the habit of making delicious fruit and vegetable juices at home. Once you have a little more experience with juicing and get as addicted to that pure, clean, boost of energy that it provides as I am, then you will feel better about investing in a higher quality juicer.

               As for me, I use a Samson Multipurpose Juice Extractor and I absolutely love it! My Samson operates at a lower speed (80 rpm) which means that the original nutrients and flavor are preserved when I’m making my juices. Some juicers tend to operate at higher speeds (7000-10000 rpm) where a lot of the vitamins in the fresh juice start getting destroyed. This was extremely important to me when I was selecting a juicer because I want to get as much nutritional value from juices as possible especially for when I’m juice cleansing! My Samson Juice Extractor is also great at juicing those dark leafy greens I love so much. A lot of juicers can clog up if you’re as much of a kale monster as I am. My first juicer would waste so much kale and spinach, it would go straight to the waste bucket and I would get just a drip of juice from a massive handful. Once again, if you have to buy a more basic model when you are starting out, just take the leafy green waste and put it through the juicer a second or third time to get as much juice as possible but it is such a beautiful thing to not have to do that with this juicer. Lastly, I love my juicer because it does so much more than juice! When I first started juicing, I was completely unaware that you could find juicers that can also make nut butters, mince, make noodles, puree for salad dressings and sauces and even make nut milk. I use it for everything! It has become my best kitchen buddy. Can you tell I’m a little excited by my favorite kitchen toy? Don’t worry I’ll be posting even more about some of the other wildly handy things my juicer can do this month! Feel free to check out more information about the juicer I own here as well as all it’s brothers and sisters.

Creamy Tofu noodles with glazed Brussel Sprouts and Carrots

Made this for myself right before I left on my trip to Cali and ended up packing it up to go with me for the airplane! Roasted veggies and rich, creamy noodles make for a hearty dish to nourish you in the crazy NY cold! Super simple and very hearty.

Creamy Tofu Noodles
1 bag of tofu shirataki noodles
3 tbsp of go veggie Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp of chopped or powders garlic
1 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp olive oil

Rinse and drain noodles. Place olive oil in a sautée pan on the stove along with the noodles. Keep on low heat and watching, stirring to move around noodles while adding other ingredients to taste. Noodles will hear quickly, the whole process should take 5-10 mins max.

Glazed brussel sprouts and carrots
1 cup of shredded carrots
1 cup of chopped brussel sprouts
2 tbsp of olive oil (or coconut oil)
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp of Dijon mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

In a large sauce pan on medium heat, add olive oil and vegetables. Stir constantly while adding balsamic, Dijon and spices to your taste. I like to cook them till the vegetables are hot and roasted.

Pumpkin Quinoa Pancakes

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It’s national pancake day!! Why not make yours BOTH delicious and healthy for you by using quinoa as the flour! Quinoa is a superfood loaded with protein, iron and tons of nutrients you won’t find in typical pancake flour. I do warm that this recipe requires a food processor and you won’t get that “pancake-like” texture with out it.

Pumpkin Quinoa Pancakes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
2 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice
1 egg or a flaxseed ‘egg’ substitute
1 tbsp coconut oil

Filling:
Tofutti cream cheese
2 tbsp date syrup
A sprinkle of nutmeg, cinnamon
A touch of vanilla extract

First cook your quinoa: place half a cup of quinoa and a full cup of water into a soup pan, let the water come to a boil and stir till only quinoa is left in then pan and all water has evaporated.

Now place drained and rinsed quinoa into your food processor with all the other ingredients at the top and pulse till you get a pancake like batter consistency.

In a frying pan on the stove place a tiny bit of coconut butter and scoop a tbsp of batter to get the cute little stacks shown in the picture. Flip when the middle bubbles and edges start to crisp.

For the filling, simply whip up the tofutti and date syrup and the. Season to taste! Spread in between pancakes and drizzles with maple syrup of desired! These are adorable, delicious and so satisfying!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

choccoveredstrawberrysmoothie

We all have those mornings that are hard to wake up to. The morning after something in our life goes terribly wrong. Maybe it’s just a bad review at work, maybe it’s a break up, maybe it’s something as earth shattering as someone you love passing. Regardless of the degree, at the moment we usually don’t want to eat anything or we want to eat everything just to comfort ourselves. Both paths will leave us empty and feeling horrible. So this morning, when I was having one of those dreadful mornings you never want to wake up for, I decided to treat myself to something delicious and nourishing for my body, my brain and my heart. Chocolate covered strawberries are one of my favorite things in the world and so I decided to make myself a chocolate covered strawberry smoothie! Even though I have no appetite and it would have been super easy to skip breakfast all together, I know that right now my body needs me to take care of it. This smoothie was SUPER yummy and helped brighten my other wise gloomy day – I hope it can do the same for you- or just make your already awesome day even better! xo

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
1 cup of chopped organic strawberries
1/4 cup vegan choc chips
1 tsp of almond butter
6oz container of plain coconut yogurt
1/2 cup of chocolate nut milk
2 pitted dates
5 ice cubes

Blend it all together and enjoy! :)

What does SkinnybyTara eat?!

In honor of my recent trip to Miami for South Beach Wine and Food Festival – which was a blast (and you’ll totally be seeing a post about that this week!) – I wanted to post the second half to my interview with my friend, fellow healthy living guru and Miami native, Miss Tara Milhem of SkinnyByTara.com. You guys have a pretty good idea of what I eat on a daily basis but here is some insight from my girl Tara! Feel free to comment below on the video and ask her questions – I’m sure she will be more than happy to answer them!

Vegan Pumpkin Balls

vegan pumpkinballs
These little oat filled treats are great to have around the house if you’re a snacker in need of a healthier option. They are also jam packed with fiber so just one (or two) will keep you feeling satisfied till your next meal. I have to be honest, they are definitely more along the lines of a granola bar kinda deal than they a cookie. You’ve been warned! That said, they are still very delicious. I love having them as a breakfast on the go, I can just throw 2 or 3 in a little zip lock and eat them on my way in the morning.

Vegan Pumpkin Balls
3 cups gluten free oats
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I use this liberally)
1 tbsp flax seed meal
1 cup of crushed cashews
1/2 cup vegan (or regular if you wish) dark chocolate chips

Mix it all together and then make baby balls and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Put them in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes. You just want them to set a little bit, you don’t need them to “bake”. Let them cool and enjoy! Super easy snack and you can sub out the chocolate chips for raisins or craisins or add in dried cherries and really have some fun with it!

Green Guru Smoothie

greenguru

Nothing is better than a GOOD green smoothie to start your week off in the right direction or get you back on track mid week! I love this particular one when I really want to feel nourished and full. It has lots of good for you fats so you won’t start getting the ‘hungries’ around 11am. It’s also fulling enough to drink post work out if you’ve had a really intense sweat session. Totally inspired by Kris Carr’s one in Crazy, Sexy, Diet, a book that I highly recommend to anyone wanting to be more mindful of what they put in their body and take better care of their ‘god-pod’ (body) as she would call it! I hope you give it a whirl for breakfast one day this week, I know it might sound a little funky for a smoothie but you’ll have to take my word, it’s pretty yummy and it will start your day off right and set the stage for making healthy choices all day long!

Green Guru

4 leaves of Romaine
1/2 avocado
1 cucumber
1 banana
whooping tbsp of almond butter
1 cup of coconut milk

Blend it all together and enjoy!

How to stay SKINNY while dating


It’s Valentine’s Day and what better day to address the issue of staying skinny (on track with your health and fitness goals) while in love! Dating or being in a relationship can make stay your slimmest pretty tough but with these FOUR tools you should be able to navigate the waters easily! Like, SHARE and please SUBSCRIBE for more recipes, tips and inspiration to live your healthiest, happiest life!