As you are probably aware, commercial versions of many sport nutrition products are not always the healthiest option. Commonly packed with artificial flavours, refined carbohydrates, denatured proteins and sometimes even harmful fats, I certainly don’t want to consume anything that doesn’t put overall health first.While some commercial options are not as bad as they once were, I like to know exactly what goes into mine and keep them completely natural.
I make my own.
Whole food energy bars, sport drinks, energy gels, energy pudding, post-workout recovery drink, whole food meal replacement smoothies and even performance pancakes are all part of my specific sport nutrition program.
Immediately before exercise
The body’s first choice for fuel during intense exercise is simple carbohydrates. However, once the body has burned all the simple carbohydrates available, it will then opt for available complex carbohydrates. It’s in the athlete’s best interest to ensure that the body is provided with enough simple carbohydrates to fuel activity so that complex carbohydrates are not relied upon. If the body has to resort to burning complex carbohydrates while exercising at a high intensity, it will have to use extra energy in order to convert the complex carbs into simple carbs. Additionally, if too much protein is eaten before intense exercise, it will likely cause muscle cramping due to the fact that it requires more fluid to be metabolized than carbohydrate or fat does.
Also, protein is not what you want your body burning for fuel. Protein is for rebuilding muscle post-activity, not fuelling it. When too much protein is consumed in place of carbohydrates immediately before exercise — and therefore burned as fuel — it burns “dirty,” meaning that toxins are created as a result of its combustion. The production and elimination of toxins is of course a stress on the body, and as such causes a stress response. Ultimately endurance will decline.
When buying fresh fruits, select fruits that are fresh, plump, firm without any bruises, pits or black spots. It is always best to select seasonal fruits like summer fruits in summer months and winter fruits in winter months, as they are rich in nutrients, full of flavor and inexpensive in season. Store them in the refrigerator until eaten and consume within a week. Generally, the brighter the color of the fruit, the more nutrients present in them. So select apples that are well colored, red, pink, golden yellow, or green, grapes that are well colored and firmly attached to green stems, mangoes that are bright yellow or red, bananas that are firm with rich yellow color without any spots or bruises, watermelons that are bright green, cantaloupes or rock melons with yellow or creamy underside, berries that are brightly colored, fresh and firm without any mold or leaking juices, etc. If they are underripe, place them in a brown paper bag at room temperature until ripened and then place them in the refrigerator.
Bartlett Pears with Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce and Spiced Ginger Cream (raw)
Pistachio Loaf is a dense breakfast loaf speckled with beautiful pale green crushed raw pistachios and has a chewy texture. Served with raw strawberry jam and smooth and creamy raw cashew nut milk, it makes a scrumptious, healthy, raw vegan breakfast.
I have to say that a very special lady inspired me to make this recipe. It is because of her wonderful loving sweet conscious presence during the making of this recipe and styling – photography that such joy emanates from the pictures. I hope you enjoy these sweet moment with Monique, pistachio “bread”, fresh strawberry jam & a delicious glass of cashew milk. Some moments are just meant to share with heartfelt warmth.
Serves about 4 people
For the Pistachio Loaf:
2 cups almond flour
1 cup warm water
1 Tsp live nutritional yeast
1 cup raw pistachios, soaked, dried and slightly crushed
This is a Pure Martini Red Rose Petal Fusion that I demonstrated on Fox 29 “Good Morning Show” in Philly for Valentine’s Day. The reduction process occurs overnight. Which is “Herve This” method. Also, I use ZYR Vodka because after trial and error with other Vodka’s I found the Rose Petal fusion actually promotes the flavor of the vodka . Which is exactly what these fusions are designed for to promote the spirit not to cover-up or overwhelm the the flavor of the spirit. ZYR Vodka also goes through a 9 step distillation process which makes ZYR the most pure vodka I have found on the market.
- Stephan Gary
Red Rose Petal Martini (by Stephen Gary, Artisan Molecular Mixologist)
For the Red Rose Fusion Design
3 cups Distilled Water
3 Red Roses with petal removed. Trim any top edges of rose which tends to add bitterness
15 ea. Red Cherries with pits removed. Cut in Half
Dried Cherry Apple Tarts topped with a Cinnamon Pecan Streusel (raw)
What to Serve for a Sunday breakfast? How about warm healthy apple tarts filled with a gooey sweet and tart cherry sauce and topped with a cinnamon pecan crunch. mmmmm… I love these, they go with any type of meal from breakfast, to snacks, to luscious deserts served with raw caramel vanilla ice cream. With the start of the fall season, apples started to become abundant everywhere, in every variety and color. I knew I had to find various ways to incorporate these simple and classic fruits into some recipes. Between these and my pomegranate apple pie, I can truly say that I like them better raw then in my baked apple pies. I never thought I would say that, but they just taste so fresh and retain so much more of their flavor raw. It’s incredible. The dehydrator softens them just enough, releasing their inner fragrant juice. But I also love them in a pie totally raw with no dehydration at all. What can I say, I just love apples. Cherries, apples, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg. Oh yeah, try serving them with ginger tea for a warming buzz. Or drizzle some caramel or chocolate sauce on top. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I’ve been told by raving G Living co-workers that these are better then Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. I have not had a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup in oh, maybe 15 years. So, I wouldn’t know. I say that it better be better though, considering the quality of the ingredients. Think of it as a super high end version of a Reese’s cup, that also just happens to be darn healthy. What a sweet combination! The expense of getting quality ingredients is certainly a bit more, but so well worth it. I like to use Green & Blacks Organic Baking Chocolate for almost everything. If you can find it, get it. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
This recipe was adapted from ‘The Soul of a New Cuisine’ by Marcus Samuelsson, an Ethiopian born, Swedish raised chef with a restaurant in NYC. Then, quite by accident, I came across an article in the food section of the Tribune with a recipe calling for ginger beer and rum called a Dark&Stormy. Ginger beer can be found bottled in some super markets and international grocery stores.
The spiciness can be adjusted by either adding more or less ginger. But don’t be fooled, this is a great thirst quencher during the hot summer months.
This Salad Features the best of the farmers market fresh tomatoes and herbs. It is very simple, beautiful and easy to make. It takes me only about 5-10 minutes to make, and I’m pretty slow. I always look forward to the season when there is plenty of colorful varieties of heirloom tomatoes at the market.
They are usually available in the late summer through the fall. Try to follow the seasons and buy what is currently available in your local area. This is still a great simple salad with any type of tomatoes, but the heirloom pineapple tomatoes just burst with so much succulent flavor and richness. If you can find them when they’re in season it’s so worth it. All of the heirloom tomato varieties are excellent, but the pineapple always seems to be my favorite. Yellow bell peppers are also very sweet and mild and go well with this mix. They look lovely too. I usually buy a pre-mix of organic baby greens at the market. They include greens like baby chard, kale, romaine, spinach, arugula, etc. Most stores carry organic garden mixes of baby greens as well. Macadamia nut oil is also becoming more and more popular and easy to find. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Blend All Ingredients except cranberries on high until smooth. Pour once or twice through a fine mesh strainer to remove the raspberry seeds. You can also leave them in and they are good that way too. But if you want a very smooth sherbet remove them. Pour into ice cream maker and follow instructions. Or pour into glass storage container and cover, and place in the freezer to freeze for at least 4-5 hours. Serve with frozen cranberries, fresh raspberries, fresh mint or whatever you like.
This is one of the healthiest ice creams you can eat, but it really is a treat. Very rich, creamy, tangy and yet light. The lime is key in the this recipe as it gives it a tangy kick and zest that is so refreshing. I can’t emphasize the importance in finding a high quality coconut butter more. It really does make or break the dishes.
There are very inexpensive coconut butters on the market and they will work and do the job, but a lot of them will pale in comparison to the quality ones and possibly could even ruin one of your dishes. Some of them just have very odd flavors and tastes that will come out strongly in your dish. While the high quality ones are super light and creamy and just melt in your mouth like butter and have a very light almost neutral flavor. They don’t overpower your dishes or make them taste like coconut, they simply add the right fat, constancy and texture that you want. My favorite brand is Coco De Creme (see sources). Whatever coconut butter you choose, make sure it has a pleasant smell.