Dynise Balcavage and I met in person at Vida Vegan Con and I was smitten. With her joie de vivre, I knew I just had to spend more time with Madame Balcavage, who shares her Philadelphia home with three former stray cats. Lately, Dynise has been spending some time showing me around her city – and now my city for a meal or verre de vin at anyone of the outstanding vegan restaurants here. Merci, Dynise! Why the bits of French? Well, Madame Balcavage and I really bonded in Paris during Paris Vegan Days — our demo was one of a kind to say the least. Check out her books and her blog, and if you catch her, say hi to this dynamo. Read more about Dynise in her own words, check out her books, and make the recipe. Don’t forget to scroll to the contest for a chance to win one of Dynise’s books. Thanks Dynise for being doing the August guest blogger in my Fabulous Women in Vegan Food Series and for all you do.
After a 9-year whirlwind of writing three vegan cookbooks, running my original blog, UrbanVegan, and doing cooking demonstrations across the globe, including Paris Vegan Day with Fran, I was completely burned out on cooking, photographing everything I made, and on the culinary world, in general. I decided I needed to take an overdue “sabbatical.” I needed R & R – time to purposefully reflect on what I wanted to do with my life and to channel my energy into things that excited me.
That R & R turned out to be Running and Racing. The media buzzes with pessimistic news of what is not possible as you age. I’m more interested in discovering what is possible. At 52, I can honestly say I am in much better shape than I was in high school – and I was an extremely active teen.
I started seriously running in 2010, at age 45. In addition to loving the endorphin rush it provided, I learned I had a knack for it. I won age group awards in most races I ran and easily qualified for the Boston Marathon each time I raced 26.2 miles. After training more seriously, I surprised myself and won first female in two 5Ks. I’m now a USATF-certified running coach and currently race with the Philadelphia/Puma Runner Track Club. (Fun fact: most of the runners on my team are vegetarian or vegan)
I ended up channeling my love for running into starting a running blog, which features running advice, sprinkled with travel logs and vegan recipes.
Change is the only constant. Like everyone, I’m a work in progress. I’m about to morph my running blog into a more inclusive lifestyle blog, name still TBD, that will cover exercise/running, vegan cooking, DIY, travel, upcycling, and slow fashion.
No-Bake Energy Bars
- 1 cup creamy nut butter peanut, cashew, almond
- 1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup plus more if needed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt or to taste will depend on the salt content of your nut butter
- About 2¼ cup rolled oats
- Up to ¼ cup ground flaxseed chia seeds, or a mixture
- Up to ¼ cup of dry additions chocolate chips, raisins, crushed dried banana chips, dried cranberries, goji berries, unsweetened coconut, etc
- Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a medium saucepan, heat nut butter, liquid sweetener, cinnamon and salt over medium-low heat. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
- With a heavy spoon or spatula, stir in remaining ingredients until completely combined. If seems too dry, add more sweetener by the tablespoon. Mixture should be sticky but clumpy.
- Press into prepared pan with your hands. Bars will hold together better if you put a lot of pressure on them. Place in refrigerator to firm up.
- Slice into desired size. Placed in airtight Ziplock bags, these freeze well for about a month.
Dynise Balcavage is the author of Pies and Tarts with Heart and 2 other vegan cookbooks. She has done cooking demos all over the world, from New York to Paris and was interviewed in the New York Times. Dynise is also an avid runner who has run All-American racing standards in the marathon, half-marathon, 10 mile, 15K, 10K, 5K, 4 mile and mile and has qualified for the Boston Marathon in each marathon she’s run. She is a USATF-certified track and running coach and races with the Philadelphia Runner/Puma Track Club. She is currently training for the St. George Marathon. Dynise blogs at www.masteringrunning.com/blog
Dynise has a copy of her book Pies and Tarts with Heart for one lucky winner. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight on August 15th. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway