Friday, August 1, 2014

August Already and Almond Milk

"Fitness on the Rocks" - Denver

Is it August 1st?  Where has the summer gone?  I know we (hubby and I) have been at the beach a lot, San Diego, Denver, and a few other places….. Oh wait, that’s where it went.  We have had so much fun though and the nice part about living in Georgia is we can still go the beach after Labor Day and swim in the water.

I mentioned my husband and I went to Denver.  My husband actually drove from Savannah to Denver with our friend who was moving there.  They packed up the Budget truck (which they named “Van Morrison”), put the car on the trailer, and were on their way.  It took about two days to cover 1,600 miles.  I, on the other hand, flew in from Chicago after all the moving was done.  J

When I landed in Denver, I instantly remembered why my husband and I wanted to move there about three years ago.  It is absolutely beautiful and everyone is extremely active, probably because there are so many options.  On Saturday, we went to “Fitness on the Rocks,” which was a huge fitness event on the Red Rocks.  There were activities all day.  It was supposed to be $20 for entry, but the girls at the check-in tent said people had extra tickets and she let us in for free!  To explain the “Fitness on the Rocks,” their website states the goal of the 2014 event:  “The goal this year is to create not only some kickass workouts in one of the best amphitheater’s in the country, but to acknowledge health and wellness as a whole. If you go through the whole park and visit all of our vendors, you can take in over two miles all while getting free samples and goodies!”  And that is just what we did.  Tried a new workout called “Orange Theory,” did a Crossfit workout with the mountains in the background, did a plank challenge, sampled some healthy treats, watched some tug-of-war, and the rice bag haul in which people carried 50lb bags of rice up and down the steps of the amphitheater.  It was a lot of fun.  

We also hiked a little bit of Dinosaur Ridge, before we headed back to Denver to hit up some of the breweries.  On Sunday, we went for a run at the park nearby, and apparently there was a 5K race…. They probably have them every weekend.  Running was a bit tough though, considering the altitude.  After our run, we walked to the neighborhood coffee shop for some delicious coffee with almond milk and one last game of dominos with our friend.  I know we will be going back to Denver soon.  I was already checking out flight prices.

Okay, so did you read above “coffee with almond milk?”  That’s right, the coffee shops in Denver have almond milk as an option.  That almost never happens, unless I am in a Whole Foods somewhere.  I really really love almond milk…. In my coffee, in my smoothies, just to drink.  I decided to make my own, and I actually cannot believe how easy it was.  I am not sure why I never tried it before.  One thing I will mention is the one suggestion I have is not to peel the almonds, it is a waste of time and it really hurt my fingers trying to get the shells off all the almonds, haha.  I made two batches, one with shelled almonds and one without, and I liked the one with the raw whole almonds (not de-shelled).

Almond Milk

1 cup Almonds
3 cups water (I used filtered Brita)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

1.       Soak almonds in bowl for 12-18 hours (the longer, the better).
2.       After almonds are done soaking, de-shell the almonds by gently pushing the shells off the nuts if you want to try it.
3.       Put water and almonds in blender and blend for about 1 minute (until the nuts are pulverized).
4.       Strain the almond water mixture through a nut milk bag (these are awesome, super easy to clean, and cheap – I purchased on Amazon).
5.       Refrigerate and enjoy (lasts about 3 days).

~ Savannah FitNut aka Morgan McNeal