Monday, September 30, 2013

Camping in Big Bear part 2

Ok, here we go! More Big Bear adventures! I slept pretty great is my cozy sleeping bag, so when a crying baby/weird neighbors woke me up around 6 I wasn't even mad!

I'm still training for this 1/2 marathon right now so I figured I should go for a run.

It was so quiet and peaceful in the morning, I think I was the only one awake out there!

As peaceful as it was, I still had to turn back early, I just couldn't handle the elevation and the hills.  I'm really good at running on flat surfaces with no elevation whatsoever, this was not that!

When I got back I was pretty hungry! Thankfully everyone else was waking up by the time I got back, so I could start to cook breakfast!

I had pre-made some Bob's Red Mill pancakes and brought them with me. I may have filled the bottle a bit much and on the right up the mountain a lot of it popped out when the pressure changed so I had a limited supply.

But, they were still a perfect breakfast and so delicious paired with my camp coffee! When can I order camp coffee from Starbucks? I would like to get one of these on the days that I'm really stressed out at work! 

Breakfast of champions right there! 

After breakfast a few more people headed out on their run, but I stayed back and went to the camp salon! Jess was too kind and braided my hair for me. 

What a good camp mamma!

Aaron however, was not too interested in the salon activities so he grabbed some wood and starting doing boy stuff.

He whittled that piece of wood for a long time.

He was very proud of his knife!

When it was time for lunch I whipped out my favorite eggplant zucchini quinoa salad! 

I had lunch while reading! I took full advantage of being outside, and completely off the grid.

With nothing I am required to do, I can read, sit, hike, nap, eat, or just do nothing and it is pretty amazing!

After relaxing and filling our bellies, we took a drive to find the Pacific Crest Trail. It was quite a bumpy ride and we were the only people who didn't have some sort of off-road vehicle or something with 4-wheel drive. Whoops! We still made it but our cars were pretty dusty by the time we got back!

The PCT is a tail that goes from Mexico all the way up to Canada! We got to experience a small piece of it in Big Bear. 

It was so beautiful! 

Everywhere you looked it was like looking at a post card!

Us girls were bit worried about being pounced on by a mountain lion or running into a bear. The boys insisted we were being dramatic, but we played Katy Perry's Roar just to make sure the animals knew were were there. 

Every where I looked I felt the need to take pictures, these photos do not do it any justice, but I tried.

We got back to the camp site with just enough sun light left to get dinner started!

I had corn on the cop and gluten free veggie burgers!

Udi's bread is a life savor when camping! There is something about being around a campfire that makes we want a "burger" so this was perfect!

I wasn't the only book nerd on the camping trip! Jess even rocked her head lamp as a reading lamp!

We had much more energy on night two so we sat around the fire and shared ghost stories while eating marshmallows.

 The ghost stories ended pretty quickly because we got scared and decided to play night time corn hole!

It was definitely a challenge but still fun and pretty cool!

For breakfast the next morning, I had my Udi's bagels (I swear this post isn't about Udi's I just love their  stuff a lot, so I use it ALL the time) and eggs!

And camp coffee of course! Gotta have the coffee!

Gotta wash your dishes! I hate washing dishes, but for some reason its kinda fun when camping!

Before heading home, we decided to go on one last hike! 

We went to the other side of the lake and were on a mission to find the best view! The views on the way up were pretty great too!

The view at the top was breathtaking! I could not believe it!

It never gets old!

We took some time to just enjoy the views before we had to head back to the big city.

I attempted to get a group photo... this is as good as it gets!

Have you been camping in Big Bear? It is a totally different experience compared to staying in the cabins. Both are lots of fun, but different, and with different levels of cleanliness. Get out there and check it out next summer, but you should snag a cabin this winter! 

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Win an Ellie outfit and Yoga DVD

We are so excited to share this great giveaway from Ellie with you! 

You can win a Free Ellie outfit and Yoga DVD set from Travis Eliot!

If you have not heard about Travis Eliot yet, you can find out more on his website. If you are part of the yoga world, you may have already heard about him. Also, if you live in the LA area, you can go check out his classes at Power Yoga West or Equinox Fitness in Santa Monica.

If you win, you get his 108 day yoga program with a nutrition plan and program calendar!

You can enter to win here!

While you are at it, don't forget to take a look at Ellie's newest styles!

We are excited to get ours! Loving the new pants and capris for the cool morning runs.

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Gluten free me ~Mahaley's Story

From the time I was a kid, I was in and out of doctors' offices for stomach aches. I constantly felt nauseous or sick after I ate a meal - no matter what it was. I couldn't keep weight on to save my life, and yet no one knew what the source of my stomach problems were. Lactose intolerant and ulcers were once thought to be the sources of the problem, but that never turned out to be the true reason.

When I was a teenager, I became very interested in a holistic lifestyle. I stopped eating meat, ate little dairy, and focused on eating whole, raw, organic foods. It was definitely a learning process, but I eventually found myself in this new world of taking care of my health through the foods I ate - not the doctors I went to. 

Though I was consuming what I thought to be healthy foods (and most were), I was eating a lot of whole grains, since I often opted for a pasta option as a meat replacement. Though I generally felt better than when I was a kid, I still suffered from constant stomach aches, and one piece of processed or fried food and I was in bed for a day. I didn't understand how I could be eating all of the things I was supposed to be eating, and still feel like crap.

At the beginning of this year, I started to suspect that I could be gluten sensitive. A little side note about me, I am three weeks away from being a certified holistic nutritionist, and there are many theories on how wheat is not beneficial to your health. It occurred to me that I did, in fact, eat a lot of wheat products, and that could be the source of my stomach aches. 

Come January, I decided to go gluten free. It was a little overwhelming at first, but after a lot of research and some help from my friends who were gluten free, I got the hang of it. I found a lot of recipes I loved, and bought substitutes for my favorite things like waffles and cereal. I often found gluten free products to taste better than the "normal" ones. 

I am not three days away from being 26, and I find myself in the best health I've ever been in. Going gluten free has changed my life in that I no longer suffer on a daily basis from stomach aches. They still come, but I know having a sensitive stomach is just apart of my life. I will take a few times a month as opposed to almost every day. 

For those of you reading this that think you may have an allergy, what do you have to lose by trying it for a month? That's what I asked myself, and the answer was that I had nothing to lose. It can take three months to completely get gluten out of your system, but those three months can also lead to the healthiest you've ever been. I don't regret my decision for one second. I get asked all the time "how did you give up bread?" Well, I now feel so great that there is no temptation. And when I want a piece of bread, I just toast one of my gluten free bread slices. I haven't realty given up much, but I gained a lot. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Raw Vanilla Pudding

Today on Gluten Free Best Friend we make Gluten Free, Vegan, Raw Vanilla Pudding

All you need to make this is an avocado, almond milk, two dates and a fresh vanilla bean 

Watch the Video here!

Start by putting the avocado and dates in a food processor
Add 1/2 a cup of almond milk and blend
Cut open your vanilla bean and scoop everything out with a spoon. Add this to the food processor.
Mix everything together, and add more almond milk if your mixture needs to be thinned out. 
Once you have the desired pudding consistency, you're good to go

This is best served chilled, so toss it into the fridge for  a bit before you dig it! The whole thing is only 380 calories and makes 4 servings! 

I found great directions for using the Vanilla Bean from Choosing Raw

To prepare the Vanilla Bean, you first need to trim the ends off. Next, slice open the Vanilla Bean. It's best if you just slice through the top layer, but it's okay if you slice through the whole bean. 

Open the vanilla bean expose the seeds inside, then use a spoon to scoop out the beans

Put the seeds in the blender, and you are good to go 

Let us know what you think! P.S. Don't let the avocado scare you. Our camera man couldn't get over the color and insisted we were crazy! Give it a try! 

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Banana Cocoa "No Cook" Oatmeal

This is an AMAZING recipe for a no-cook oatmeal. Oatmeal is traditionally eaten for breakfast, but this recipe is so delicious, I find myself eating it for any meal of the day, including dessert. It takes about 5 minutes to make, and is great for an on-the-go oatmeal. This recipe has become a staple in my house, and I think it will in yours, too. 

I adapted this recipe from The Yummy Life to make it GF and Vegan

*I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk and So Delicious' greek coconut yogurt, vanilla flavored. Both work great with this recipe 

This is one of those recipes that gets better over time, so feel free to eat on this for days, or make a few jars in advance! 

One Serving (One Jar) is about 300 calories 
There are several other versions you can make with this on The Yummy Life's website, and just make the necessary substitutions for a GF/V version! 

I could eat this everyday....

oh wait, I do. 

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