Tag Archives: healthy

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!

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.

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.

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

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                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.

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What JUICER do I use?

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                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.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

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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! :)

Green Guru Smoothie

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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!

My Skinny Secret: Mindful Eating

Want to know the EASIEST way to start losing weight and keeping it off? Well it’s mindful eating! In this video I share with you my skinny secret for mindful eating and give you a couple different ways to start incorporating it in your life now!

If you want to really get into it and cause some serious changes in your health and happiness, join me in NYC (or order a recording if you can’t) this Sunday 2/16 for my HAPPIER, HEALTHIER LIFE NOW class where I will be teaching you 5 effective tools for eating more mindfully and 3 different meditations to keep your stress levels down and your energy up! tickets and details here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/happier-healthier-life-now-with-cassandra-bodzak-from-abcs-the-taste-tickets-9999515821

Join me live or online for my ‘Happier, Healthier Life NOW’ event

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                Treat yourself to some self-care at the end of Valentine’s Day weekend and join us for an hour and half of meditation and mindful eating that will have refreshed, re-energized and ready to give your health and wellness resolutions a one-two punch! I’ll take you through three meditations, a basic ‘everyday’ meditation to keep you on track with your health and fitness goals, one you can use in case of everyday stress-mergencies and finish with a more advanced meditation that will break through any mental clutter and leave you feeling refreshed to start your week! We will also go over 5 important strategies for more mindful eating that will transform the way you look at what you put in your mouth, help you slim down, have more energy and start loving your body. Best yet, you’ll start transforming your body without feeling deprived or restricted in any way. I’m excited! Are you!?

                      The event will take place in Midtown Manhattan – Sunday 2/16 at 7pm- 8:30pm However, if you are not a NYC local OR just can’t make it that day, I’m very excited to announce that for the first time EVER, we will be selling recordings of the event which will be emailed to you with in 24 hours of the event so you can watch it from the comfort of your own home! 

Click here to sign up now! :)

Louise’s Green Machine Smoothie

For those of you who watched The Taste last night, my #teamludo not only won the group VEGGIE CHALLENGE, but my girl Louise (aka. Weezy) won 2 gold stars for her veggie dish! Woot! Woot! Combine that with my man Lee saying that his gold star was for me and it’s safe to say I felt very happy with my friends stepping up there game and making some killer vegetarian dishes!
Naturally, I wanted to represent my veggie rockstar team mate Louise and asked her for a yummy recipe to share with you and I think you guys are going to LOVE this one!! Louise was kind enough to share this fabulous video with us of her making her “Green Machine Breakfast Shake” Check it out for a delicious and nutritious  way to get your greens in the AM and start your day off right. For those of you who are vegan watching, Louise does add some greek yogurt for protein, feel free to substitute that with a little more almond milk and scoop of almond butter OR if you like the yogurt-like consistency, they make some delicious almond and coconut ‘yogurts’ out there. Enjoy! Go #teamludo!

Healthy Football Snacks: Zucchini Fries with Buffalo-Ranch Dressing


With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, I thought it would be fun to bring in my boyfriend, chef Lee Knoeppel to help me whip up a yummy snack for the game that would be both healthy and ‘man-friendly’. These Zucchini Fries are so addictive you’d never guess they were healthy and his ‘buffalo-ranch’ dressing is going to blow the mind of you ranch dressing fanatics.

Please SUBSCRIBE, like and share if you enjoy!

I’m NOT perfect and that’s PERFECTLY okay with me!

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Yes, that’s a screenshot from my phone that I took this morning when I was awoken with lovely texts and emails from my girlfriends who had already seen my article on MindBodyGreen.com! Can I tell you, BEST WAY TO WAKE UP EVER! This article is super special to me because it was inspired by recent events in my life. After ABC’s The Taste started airing, I started getting some hateful tweets, facebook comments and emails. Most of the were from vegans or vegetarians who felt I was making a mockery of their beliefs by trying new things on TV. Although I personally never label myself, I do cook and bake almost 100% vegan and that was portrayed on the show. It absolutely broke my heart to have people from a community I have so loved and stood for over the years turn on me, it made me really sad but ultimately it didn’t make me feel like I had done anything wrong. Through their hate I realized just how okay I was not being perfect and how, in fact, I believe it is my imperfectness that helps me spread my message so widely. I am not an elitist, I do not believe you have to be at a certain level of eating to be truly healthy. I believe in real people making real changes and working towards their personal best health and happiness everyday and I will stand by that.

So I am proud to share this article with you because not only is it OKAY to not be PERFECT – it also goes to show you how the universe works in mysterious ways and can turn a hurricane of hate into a wave of love and acceptance. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12350/3-reasons-im-proud-to-be-imperfect.html

please SHARE the link on twitter and facebook and spread the love! <3

 

My Green Standard

It’s hard to imagine my life before green juice, in all seriousness, my body runs on this stuff! So naturally, my first book was called JUICESPIRATION : Recipes, inspiration and everything you need to have an amazing juice cleansing journey!an ode to my absolute devotion to the miraculous drink because I’m a total addict. Green juice is an amazing way to give yourself a healthy, nutrient boost anytime, especially once that 4pm slump comes around and it’s a little too late in the day for coffee! Personally, I also think it’s a great way to start your day. I always feel better and want to make healthier choices through out my day when it begins with a big glass of a green juice. For those of you that aren’t full card carrying green juices fans quite yet, I wanted to give you a little preview of one of the recipes in “Juicespiration” and my personal go-to green juice to get you going! Try making my green standard at home or order it at your local juice bar to get you going on your healthy journey and be sure to tag me on facebook/instagram/twitter with @cassandrabodzak #juicespiration with your green juice pics!!

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Asian inspired Romanesco

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This adorable vegetable is called Romanesco and looks like a baby green cauliflower and tastes like a mix between broccoli and cauliflower. I HIGHLY suggest you try it if you haven’t already! Pick it up at your local farmer’s market and make it for dinner this weekend! I whipped up this super easy and delicious Asian inspired version the other night and wanted to share it with you. If you’re unsure how to cook this, follow this recipe and feel free to substitute the sauce for anything you like or just leave it plain with a little salt and pepper.

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Asian inspired Romanesco

1 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp of plum sauce
2 tbsp of ginger infused olive oil (or regular olive oil + chopped ginger)

Rinse and chop up your Romanesco (like you would a head of cauliflower or broccoli). Place a small frying pan on the stove with a tbsp of coconut oil in it and your Romanesco and sautee for a few minutes. While that’s cooking, mix your plum sauce and ginger olive oil together and then drizzle over the cooking Romanesco. It shouldn’t take more than five – ten minutes to cook since the Romanesco is so tiny but use your judgement on how crunchy you want the finished product. I love my veggies when they still have a bit of a crunch to them! ;)

Meet Audrey from The Taste!

Hey loves! Sorry about the quality of this video – we are on opposite coasts and had to livestream this interview! Audrey and I shared an amazing and yet challenging experience of being on #TheTaste as healthy cooks. In this video you’ll learn about how Audrey “lost weight by eating” and lots of fun gossip about #TheTaste! A lot of people were very quick to judge Audrey for plugging her blog but I hope you take a minute and meet the real lady because she is a sweetheart with a great attitude. If you give this interview I think you’ll find out some things you didn’t know about her, why she is so passionate about helping people get healthy and how hard it was being on The Taste and out of our element as healthy home cooks!

You can check out her blog at Loseweightbyeating.com and find her on twitter as @tonetiki! Show her some love – us healthy girls need to support each other!

Carrot Ginger Squash Soup

 

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It’s absolutely frigid in NYC right now and as much as I do absolutely love my juices and smoothies, sometimes in the winter it just gets too darn cold for them! When this kind of chill strikes, I always turn to soups to heat me up and nourish me. This carrot ginger squash soup is not only delicious, it’s super easy to make and packed full of nutrients to give you energy and keep you warm! (It’s also vegan! psssh don’t tell!)

Carrot Ginger Squash Soup

Sauté 1/2 cup chopped onions, 1 tbsp fresh ginger and 1 clove minced garlic in 1 tsp olive oil for 3 minutes in medium pot. Add 1 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth, 1 cup frozen butternut squash cubes and 1 cup of carrot slices. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. With a hand blender, puree until smooth; if desired add broth for thinner texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

2014 Jumpstart to a New You intensive

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              Are you READY to get out of your own way and                                                                           FINALLY start having the body and life you want?!

                         Do you want to start 2014 off right and make sure it’s                                                             your  HAPPIEST and HEALTHIEST year yet?!

Maybe you’ve tried countless diets, detoxes and cleanses and this year you’re ready to get REAL. You want to STOP stressing so much about food and weight and start loving your body! Okay, maybe that involves losing a few pounds as well, THAT’S OKAY! You can lose weight naturally by learning how to eat right for your body and finding out what foods work for YOU.

My mission with my ”2014 Jumpstart to a NEW YOU intensives” is to help support you in finding the actionable steps to make your healthy New Year’s resolutions STICK this year.

Whether that includes losing 10lbs, eating less processed foods, going vegan, learning to meditate or just trying a juice cleanse for the first time, it doesn’t matter! Decide what YOU want to shift this year! What are YOU committed to making happen? And then let me help you! Email me ASAP at Cassandra@GoSweetandSkinny.com to schedule a 2hr skype or in person meeting, if your in the NY/NJ area.

Here’s what you’ll get from our TWO – HOUR INTENSIVE SESSION: – specific ACTIONABLE goals for the next month – personalized recipes + guidance for YOUR goal – a sample week long meal plan (if appropriate to your goal) – personalized advice and tools on HOW to stick to your plan – 3 weeks of email support following our sessions – a summary of our session with key points – access to our PRIVATE 2014 Jumpstart facebook group – where you can support each other with your goals as well as get more personal insights from me!

Are you ready to invest in YOURSELF this year? Why not let 2014 be the year you FINALLY start looking and feeling AH-MAAZING!?!

It’s ONLY $200 and a great way to kick off your New Year right!
PLEASE, I urge you to book your session NOW, do not hesitate, these WILL book up and I do not want any of you to miss out!

Email me today! I can’t wait to help support you in making 2014 your sweet and skinniest year yet!

cassandra@gosweetandskinny.com

or go ahead and schedule one today at meetme.so/CassandraBodzak