Kara Lawson

Chocolate Recovery Bomb

Best Smoothie

September is smoothie month! Well… according to us it is. Vega is doing a Best Smoothie contest this month. Since Kara is a proud Vega Ambassador we figured we’d post our own Vega made smoothie.

The key to making this smoothie is the homemade almond milk. The flavor in the milk is amazing and the texture is nice and thick. Try this post workout, or swap out the Vega Sport protein for the Vega One protein and have yourself an anytime treat.


Homemade Almond Milk

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup soaked almonds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put almonds and water in a high speed blender and blend at various speeds for a minute or so. Strain out pulp using a cheesecloth or strainer. Add strained milk back to blender and add remaining ingredients. Blend. Store in glass container in refrigerator.

Smoothie Ingredients

  • 8-10oz homemade almond milk (see above)
  • 1 scoop chocolate Vega Sport Performance protein
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 giant tablespoon almond butter
  • desired amount of ice (optional)

Put all ingredients in high speed blender. If you have a VitaMix, use the smoothie setting. If you don’t, enter Vega’s Best Smoothie contest and win one.

Categories: Damien Barling, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Smoothies, Snacks, Training, Vega | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perhaps the Perfect Pancake

Perfect Pancake

By Heather Millbach and Damien Barling

Heather (a very skilled massage therapist) was spending the weekend in DC working on Kara during a tough stretch of  4 games in 8 days. 2 games and 2 wins in we were watching a movie on Saturday afternoon…

Damien – “So what do you guys want to do for dinner?”

Kara – “I want pancakes!”

Heather – “YES! Let’s make pancakes. I think I have the perfect recipe. Breakfast for dinner.”

Yep. She sure did. And here it is. Perfect for breakfast or a Saturday night dinner!!

  • 1 cup organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cups homemade almond milk (store bought almond milk is fine as is any other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink salt
  • 1 egg replacer egg (flax egg works perfect – 1tblsp ground flax + 3 tblsp water)
  • 2 tablespoons of soft or melted organic coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar or raw sugar
  • 3 cups of mixed fresh mixed berries (optional)
  • non dairy whipped cream (optional)

Combine non-dairy milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside. Prepare the egg replacer (flax egg) and set aside. Combine all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the egg replacer and melted coconut oil into the milk and vinegar.

Add the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.

Scoop about 1/4 cup measurements on a lightly greased griddle.

Cook for 2 – 4 minutes on each side – until golden brown.

Top with fruit and whipped cream and enjoy! These are AWWWEEE-SOME!

Categories: Breakfasts, Damien Barling, Entrees, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Kids, WNBA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post-Workout Recovery: Chocolate Chip Shake


Your body has specific nutritional needs before, during and after training. Not only does this smoothie taste like a chocolate chip shake (yum!), it will leave you feeling refueled after your workout thanks to the serving of Vega Performance Protein and leafy greens. You’ll also get a boost of nutrients from the cacao nibs — magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants!


  • 1 Tablespoon cashew butter
  • 3 generous handfuls baby spinach
  • Unsweetened Almond milk to desired consistency (usually 8-12oz)
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao nibs


Add all ingredients to blender with ice. Blend until smooth!

Did you know?

When you eat is just as important as what you eat. Check out Vega Team’s fuelyourbetter.com for training and nutrition tips on how to fuel your better this summer!

How do you fuel your better?

Recipe Credit: Vega

Categories: Kara Lawson, Smoothies, Snacks, Training, Traveling, Vega, WNBA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cucumber Noodles and Tahini Dressing


Another great raw dish.

  • -Spiral Slice cucumbers like the zucchini from Day 1.
  • -I used 1 large cucumber for each serving
  • -Organic Grape Tomatoes
  • -Organic Yellow Bell Pepper
  • -Organic Orange

Tahini Dressing

  • -3 TBSP tahini
  • -1/2 lemon juiced or 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • -1/2 orange juiced
  • -1 TBSP parsley
  • -2 TBSP water
  • -1 clove garlic
  • -1/2 TBSP Agave

Blend all dressing ingredients in blender or food processor. Mix with noodles and veggies.

Categories: Entrees, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Raw Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flax Crackers and Spinach Dip


A terrific raw snack for any occasion.

Flax Crackers

  • -2 cups whole flax seeds, soaked
  • -2 cloves garlic
  • -1/2 lemon, juiced
  • -2 TBSP Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • -1 TBSP fresh ginger

-Blend together in food processor
-Remove and spread on dehydrator screen
-I dehydrated them overnight (around 9 hours) then flipped the crackers and dehydrated for 2 more hours.

Spinach Dip 

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • sea salt or pink himalayan salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • mustard powder, to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups spinach

Place cashews into food processor, crank up to high and grind into a fine, almost flour like consistency. The faster the speed the better when adding the liquids.

Add in lemon juice and slowly add in water until it is a little runnier than you would like as it will thicken once you let it stand. Add garlic, sea salt, pepper, and mustard powder.
Once this is processed into a ultra smooth paste (or thinner) consistency, add spinach and pulse on medium if you like the traditional chunky spinach dip texture, or on high for an ultra smooth dip!

Categories: Appetizers, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Raw Breads and Crackers, Raw Vegan, Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raw Week Day 2

I always feel so good when I eat only raw foods. I’m certainly not as hungry, delusional, or angry as I was on the juice fast. I was able to train two times on Day 1 with great energy levels and results. One of the bigger challenges eating raw is to try and gauge how much food you should prepare each day. I tend to get hungrier sooner and try to pace my meals every 2-2.5 hours instead of the normal 3-3.5 hour pacing. It takes more detailed planning but the preparing of food is much less stressful. Can’t wait for Day 2!

Below is the menu from Day 2

Lunch (Chili)


  • 3 cups tomatoes
  • 1 small red bell pepper (orange would be great too), diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 corn off the cob
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • cilantro (as much as you like), chopped
  • 1 – 2 teaspoon chili powder, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano, fresh or dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste

Prepare vegetables and combine all ingredients in large size bowl. Place 1/2 or so of the mix into a food processor and blend until pureed. Return puree to diced vegetables and toss well.

Nut Meat

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon tamari, bragg’s or nama shoyu, or 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste

Place all ingredients into food processor and pulse until crumbly. You don’t want to over blend or it will be a paste.

To serve, place vegetable chili in bowls and top with nut meat adding any additional garnishes you like. Serves four, or two generously. Store left overs, if there is any, in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Chili will last for five to six days. Nut meat will last up to two to three days, depending on the freshness of the mushrooms. Before eating let sit at room temp as it tastes best this way.

Snack (Flax Crackers w/ Spinach Dip)
-Recipe from Alissa Cohen’s “Living on Live Food”


Flax Crackers

  • -2 cups whole flax seeds, soaked
  • -2 cloves garlic
  • -1/2 lemon, juiced
  • -2 TBSP Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • -1 TBSP fresh ginger

-Blend together in food processor
-Remove and spread on dehydrator screen
-I dehydrated them overnight (around 9 hours) then flipped the crackers and dehydrated for 2 more hours.

Spinach Dip 

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • sea salt or pink himalayan salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • mustard powder, to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups spinach

Dinner (Cucumber Noodles with Tahini Dressing)

Place cashews into food processor, crank up to high and grind into a fine, almost flour like consistency. The faster the speed the better when adding the liquids.
Add in lemon juice and slowly add in water until it is a little runnier than you would like as it will thicken once you let it stand. Add garlic, sea salt, pepper, and mustard powder.
Once this is processed into a ultra smooth paste (or thinner) consistency, add spinach and pulse on medium if you like the traditional chunky spinach dip texture, or on high for an ultra smooth dip!


Dinner (Cucumber Noodles with Tahini Dressing)
  • -Spiral Slice cucumbers like the zucchini from Day 1.
  • -I used 1 large cucumber for each serving
  • -Organic Grape Tomatoes
  • -Organic Yellow Bell Pepper
  • -Organic Orange

Tahini Dressing

  • -3 TBSP tahini
  • -1/2 lemon juiced or 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • -1/2 orange juiced
  • -1 TBSP parsley
  • -2 TBSP water
  • -1 clove garlic
  • -1/2 TBSP Agave

Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor. Mix with noodles and veggies.

Cashew Milk Smoothie

  • 10oz water
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 dates

Put all ingredients in your blender and blend.

Categories: Articles, Entrees, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Raw Breads and Crackers, Raw Vegan, Training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raw Week

After having great success this summer eating raw vegan on game days,  I decided to follow this way of eating for a work week to see how it impacts my body.  Heather is joining in on the fun and we invite you to follow our journey.

Welcome to LawsOnWellness “Raw Week”

We will post everything we consume the next 5 days complete with recipes, pics, and reactions and results.  Some of the recipes will be old LawsOnWellness faves, some will be brand new to us.  Let us know if you have any questions/comments.  Happy to answer whatever you need.

Eating raw is intimidating for a lot of people.  It can be very refreshing, tasty and less time consuming in terms of preparation because it requires no cooking.

Chia Seed Pudding

  • -1/2 cup hemp milk
  • (Damien and I make hemp milk weekly, 1/2 cup of hemp seeds, mixed with 3 cups of filtered water, put in your blender and voila, hemp milk)
  • -1 TSP maca powder
  • -2 TBSP raw cacao powder
  • -3 TBSP chia seeds

-We’ve found the easiest way to make this is to put the milk in the bowl first, then add the Maca and Cacao, blend together with wire whisk until smooth, then add chia seeds a TBSP at a time while mixing to evenly blend the mixture. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

-In the morning, top with fresh fruit, raw nuts, raw agave nectar in any combination you desire.  I usually top with only fresh berries.

Fettuccini Alfredo

  • 4 Zucchini

-Use spiral slicer to make noodles

- We used the Alfredo Sauce recipe from Alissa Cohen’s book “Living on Live Food”

  • -1 cup raw cashews
  • -1 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • -1 cup raw pine nuts
  • -3 TBSP lemon juice
  • -2 cloves garlic
  • -2 TSP Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • -2 TBSP filtered water

-Blend sauce ingredients in food processor until smooth.
-Combine with noodles with your hands.

Heather’s Massaged Kale & Mango Salad


Recipe inspired by foodnetwork.com

  • 1 bunch kale (I used Curly Kale), stalks removed and discardedleaves thinly sliced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and  finely shredded
  • 1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Raw Agave
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
  • Small handful of each, toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and hulled sunflower seeds, about 2 rounded tablespoons

In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the agave and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.

Combine prepared vegetables with massaged kale and toss.

Pour the dressing over salad, and add the mango and seeds. Toss again and serve.

This salad will keep for a 2-3 days in the fridge and will only get better as the flavors mingle.

Chocolate Almond Butter
-I drink this smoothie a couple of hours after dinner as my last meal before bed.

  • -10 ozs filtered water
  • -2 TBSP raw cacao powder
  • -2 TBSP raw almond butter
  • -1 TBSP chia seeds
  • -1 TSP maca powder
  • -1 frozen banana
  • -Ice as needed, I usually use around 6 cubes
Categories: Articles, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Raw Breads and Crackers, Raw Vegan, Smoothies, Training, WNBA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3rd and Final Day – Juice Cleanse

And it is finally over!! I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve that can’t wait to go to sleep because of the anticipation of what awaits them in the morning. Food, glorious food.

That was seriously one of the hardest things I have done. I’m proud that we were able to stick with it. It was more of a challenge mentally than physically.  I didn’t feel hungry the entire time, in fact, looking back on it, I was probably hungry just as many times as I am when eating actual food.  It was the thought that, even though I was hungry knowing, my next meal would be juice and not food.

We didn’t do this for any expected or desired outcome.  We had just heard so much about cleanses that we decided to experience one for ourselves.

Here were the effects I felt in my body from the cleanse, some good, some bad.

-The quality of my sleep was unaffected.
-I did tire earlier in the evenings than normal. Also, Damien said in the middle of the night, I started speaking gibberish and then became angry when he didn’t understand what I was saying.
-I didn’t sweat as much during training.
-My armpits smelled like celery.
-My energy levels and alertness felt unchanged.
-My ability to focus on something other than being hungry was worse.

I can’t say that I will never do a cleanse again.  But, I will say that it will probably be a long time before I entertain the thought of it.

Stay tuned for our attempt to eat completely raw next month.  Heather and I will be making our meals and posting them on LawsOnWellness.  It will be a 5 day raw food (I refuse to use the word cleanse here) plan.  Thank you for following along with us!

Categories: Juicing, Kara Lawson, Training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Juice Cleanse – Day 2

By Kara Lawson

  • Thinking about searching for food online just to look at it.
  • Let’s think of all the reasons why I’m doing this, I can’t remember them because my brain needs food.
  • Does the juice cleanse actually end when I’ve had my last juice, or do I have to wait until the morning after, I mean once you drink you’re last juice it’s over, right?
  • Don’t think about food, don’t think about food, don’t think about food. Ahhhhh, all I can think about is food.
  • Why is there nothing in our fridge?!?!?
  • Who can I text to stop thinking about this?
  • I hate you (any person who tweeted a picture of food during my cleanse)
  • I hate this
  • The next time Damien takes Smoothie out to pee I’m going to eat a cashew
  • Speaking of Smoothie, why does she get to have food? Isn’t she in this family too??
  • Have you ever noticed how many commercials are about food?
  • Why does water taste like nothing?
  • Maybe if I pass out and go to the hospital, they’ll have to give me food.


Categories: Articles, Juicing, Kara Lawson | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Juice Cleanse – Day 1

By Kara Lawson

After hearing/reading/thinking about juice cleanses over the past year.  Damien and I decided we would take the plunge and try one.  A 3 Day Cleanse is usually the shortest type available, but you can really choose any length that works for you.  Some people do 1 day cleanses, some go up to 6 weeks.  We’re just dipping our toes in the water.  So what type of juice should you drink and how frequent should you consume them?  If you google “juice cleanse” you will get a ton of information back. Sifting through it all we decided to follow the Blueprint Excavation Cleanse.

The cost of these cleanses range anywhere from $50 to $100 per day when you include cost of the juice and delivery.  All you have to do, is put the juice in the fridge and follow the numbers on the bottles each day. That was a little pricey for us.  Since we juice twice a week already, we decided to make all of the juice for the 3 Day Cleanse ourselves.  It was quite the undertaking :)  Heather and Mica decided to join in on the fun as well, so we had to purchase a ton of produce.  Damien went to Whole Foods and purchased everything we needed.  Yes, that is a 15lb box of Kale; along with 24 cucumbers, 20 lemons, and 16 apples.

Heather juices regularly also and brought her juicer over. Twice the fun.  In all, it took us about 4.5 hours to run through everything and magically change all of the produce into THIS!

We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Categories: Articles, Juicing, Kara Lawson | 1 Comment

The Vegan In Season – Olympic Break

We are back in business.  A lot has happened since my last entry so I will do my best to fill you in.

-Our team currently sits at 16-5, 1st place in the Eastern Conference, awesome!

-I recently signed a 3 year extension to remain with the Connecticut Sun thru 2015, stoked!

- We launched a fundraiser for my coach at the University of Tennessee, Pat Summitt. You can donate and find out more information about that here 

-I have eaten my way through a ton of vegan places in a number of states so let’s get this thing started.

Damien and I spent a good portion of time in NYC over the Olympic break.  There are SO many awesome vegan options throughout Manhattan.  At some point, I knew there would have to be a NYC centered blog. It is like a vegan paradise and we had an incredible time trying to sample as much as we could.

It’s pretty much a standard stop for us the first or second night we arrive in NYC to pay a visit to Candle Café’, (http://candlecafe.com/) an organic vegan restaurant.  It is one of our favorite places.  The Cajun Seitan Sandwich is heavenly.  We were turned onto this café’ by a fellow vegan friend of ours and we are totally hooked.  They have two locations, one on the Upper East Side and one on the Upper West Side, I prefer the Upper West side location, no real difference in food, just a more spacious restaurant.

We also decided to try a raw vegan restaurant.  These are hard to find, especially if you don’t live in a big city.  On our way to a Broadway show, (we saw Memphis, it was fantastic!) we stopped in for an early dinner at Pure Food and Wine (http://www.oneluckyduck.com/purefoodandwine/), it’s a short walk from Union Square, so super easy subway access.  The food was delicious, a tad pricey but still really good.

I am a fan of all sports, not just hoops, and had never been to Yankee Stadium so Damien and I went to see an early game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.  Baseball games have to be the worst places to go if you are tempted by unhealthy foods. Hot dogs, beer, fries, sausages, candy, a lot of opportunities to go the wrong way.  Fortunately, there has been some progress at different parks to offer healthier options to fans.  Damien and I arrived early to scope out the Yankee Stadium fare.  We settled on vegan sushi and a big salad for lunch.

It was an extremely hot day, 1:05pm first pitch in the middle of July, so the only beverages we consumed that day were ice cold waters.  We did order some French fries during the game as well but only after we asked about the oil they were cooked in.  The Yankees won the game. Hiroki Kuroda had another great start.  It was a day to remember for both of us.

 Here were some other Olympic Break highlights

-My good friend and college teammate Kyra Elzy was married in early August.  It was a beautiful ceremony and I enjoyed catching up with some special people.

A wedding can be a challenging affair to try and stay on your eating plan.  Anytime I have a banquet or dinner of some sort I always eat something before I attend.  Not a snack something a little bit bigger.  I never know what options will be available to me, so if I eat something before I won’t find myself starving and more inclined to compromise.  If there is something there I like, I can indulge a little and still not feel stuffed.  Fortunately, Kyra and Dexter had fresh fruit and vegetable platters available all evening long so I was able to snack as much as I wanted.

-Damien turned 32! We celebrated by going to G-Zen in Branford, CT, with Heather and her husband Mica.  One of his favorite treats is sweet potato fries and they have the best ones at G-Zen.  The night was topped off by a huge carrot cake (no raisins) complete with candles.

Categories: Damien Barling, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, The Pat Summitt Foundation, Training, Traveling, WNBA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NYC Marathon & The Pat Summitt Foundation

Click here to contribute to our marathon team and assist in Coach Summitt’s fight.

I’m donating $50 for every 3-pointer I make during the WNBA season. So many wonderful fans have offered to contribute to that campaign. On November 3rd I’ll be taking part in the 2nd Annual NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K. The following day, Damien, Heather, her husband Mica, and our close friends Cameron and Andy will run 26.2 miles in the ING New York City Marathon. All in the name of Pat Summitt and The Pat Summitt Foundation.

Alzheimer’s is a vicious disease. There is no treatment, there is no cure. Once you have it, you have it. You have to find ways to deal with it and while you can’t stop it, doctors believe you can slow it down. That’s why research is so important. That’s why organizations like The Pat Summitt Foundation are so important. Alzheimer’s Disease is horribly underfunded and Pat’s foundation has been set up to help raise money for research. To help find a cure. And to help find treatment.

The overwhelming response we’ve gotten to my three point campaign this year has lead us to believe we can top last years donation total. 26.2 miles is a small price to pay for research that could one day save lives. We’ll have a team run this year. We’ll run next year. We’ll run the year after that. We’ll run to we find what we’re looking for. A cure.

Thank you all for your continued support,


Click here to read Kara’s article about Pat Summitt from ESPNW

  “Last years campaign to run NYC and raise money in honor of Coach Summitt was so successful we knew we had to do it again. Right before training camp started I had the idea to donate money to The Pat Summitt Foundation for each three pointer I made. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the marathon, so I figured this would be a great way to contribute. What has been amazing has been the overwhelming support we’ve gotten since the season started. So many people have offered to contribute. Fans are coming up to me wanting to hand  me money. I think it speaks to the impact Coach Summitt has had on basketball. Not just at Tennessee and not just college, but basketball as a whole. It also speaks to the level in which Alzheimer’s disease has affected people. It’s deadly and it’s underfunded. The Pat Summitt Foundation has done a magnificent job of setting up an organization that directly funds research to help find a cure. I’m thankful I’m in a position to help, even in a small way. We have a great team that’s going to run in New York City and we’re really hoping to top last year’s donation amount.”
–Kara Lawson

 “One of Kara’s greatest strengths is her love to compete and to better herself.  I am very excited that Kara, Damien and their team are representing The Pat Summitt Foundation in the New York City Marathon. I sincerely thank Kara for her continuing commitment to help raise awareness and funding to fight Alzheimer’s disease. I will be cheering for Kara and her team to have a great race!”

–Coach Pat Summitt

Categories: Damien Barling, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, The Pat Summitt Foundation, Training, WNBA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pat Summitt’s Legacy

Next week, Laws On Wellness will make a very special announcement regarding our involvement with The Pat Summitt Foundation. Please check back for all the details.

Categories: Damien Barling, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Training, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oatmeal and Apple Sauce Pancakes

During the 2010-2011 WNBA seasons, before Kara decided to go raw on game day, I used to make these as her game day breakfast. The pancakes are dense, full of energy and complex carbs to fuel her through the day and be at peak energy levels by tip-off. Top with your favorite berries and maple syrup, agave nectar, or coconut nectar.

  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup of organic, unsweetened apple sauce (if you own a VitaMix, through a couple of your favorite apples in there and puree)
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional add ins – 1-2 tablespoons of maca powder, 1 scoop Vega vanilla sport protein

(Makes 4 pancakes, 2 servings)

Mix all ingredients in blender or food processor. Cook on medium heat until the edges are golden brown and the pancake feels firm enough to flip. Usually takes around 6-8 minutes.

Top with your favorite fruit and sweetener.

Categories: Breakfasts, Damien Barling, Kara Lawson, Training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Vegan In Season IV – Back to Indiana

By Kara Lawson

Indianapolis Road Trip (June 20th- June 22nd)

Two trips to Indy in less than two weeks, the WNBA schedule is strange at times.  We are almost halfway through the season and have played some teams three times and some teams we haven’t even faced yet.  From the food standpoint, I don’t mind quick trips in succession to the same city because I have my “routine” down already.

We practiced upon arrival in Indy, so I decided to set out on foot from the arena and pick up dinner to take back to my room. Since Indy has a very walkable downtown area, with a ton of restaurants, I searched some of their menus to see what options were available. A lot of the common chains you find in most cities are in downtown Indy.  From PF Chang’s to McCormick & Schmick’s to Buca di Beppo, there are a ton of options. I settled on California Pizza Kitchen. Online they have a menu that shows you which items are acceptable for your dietary restrictions.

CPK Nutrition Info for Vegans and Vegetarians

I was in the mood for some pizza so I went with the Vegetarian with Japanese Eggplant. It was a thin crust pizza with marinara sauce, eggplant, baby broccoli, mushrooms. I asked them to take off the red onions and sundried tomatoes because I’m not a huge fan of either of those veggies.  I also asked for no corn, since most corn is GMO (genetically modified organisms). Damien and I try to avoid eating corn if at all possible.


I felt like I needed some more on my pizza so I asked for spinach (you can never go wrong with green veggies) and of course avocado (my favorite).  I thought the pizza was great.  My goal is to have a few “chain” restaurants that I can frequent to get a decent meal.  The family/friends/colleagues I share meals with on the road don’t always want to go to vegan only places so it’s good if I add some flexibility to still be able to hang out with them over dinner.

My game-day routine was almost identical to my last visit here.  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

The Vegan In Season – Indiana

Unfortunately, the outcome of our game this trip was not identical to the last.  It was our worst loss of the season.  We fell to 9-3 on the year with some big road trips looming in July.  We need a strong finish before the break.  Time to get some rest and practice in. Oh… and some really healthy food.

Categories: Articles, Kara Lawson, Raw Vegan, Training, Traveling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Vegan in Season III – Atlanta

Eating out in each city I visit is a different animal (I can’t eat them so I use them as my analogies :)).

I don’t want this blog to be all about the successes. The point is to show that being a vegan on the road is doable but it doesn’t come without its rough patches. I have cravings like everyone else. I have weak moments where I want to “settle”. Not necessarily for something not vegan but for something that isn’t the healthier option. Fatigue, hunger, and dehydration can get the best of anyone.

Our first trip to Atlanta this season was a struggle. It felt like all of my plans kept being redirected. I ate lunch at home before we left and had a couple of HeatherBars in my bag for a snack on the plane.  Our team was headed straight to practice from the airport so I knew I would have to grab something quickly. Atlanta has the largest airport in the world so I figured if there was one airport that a vegan could find something to eat, it would be this one.

One cool app I like to use when I’m traveling is Gate Guru.  It allows you to search airports and see what restaurants/shops are available in each concourse and what gate they are closest to.  This is especially convenient when you have a tight connection or don’t feel like walking up and down the concourses to search.  When the flight attendants make the announcements with our gate information I fire up the app to see what my options are. It saves a lot of time.

Unfortunately, I could not find anything good to eat in the limited time we had in Atlanta so I got on the bus to practice hungry.  That is the worst feeling.  Summer Georgia heat/humidity combined with a practice at a local high school AND lukewarm drinking water.  I was looking forward to icing my knees after practice just to cool off.

I was so hungry by the time I got back to the hotel I just wanted something quick and easy for dinner.  That usually means Chipotle!! My standard Chipotle order is pretty simple; Burrito Bowl with brown rice, black beans, salsa, guacamole, and lettuce. I try to stay away from the chips (even though I could have 3 squares consisting of only chips and guacamole and be very very happy). Even before I became a vegan my rule with Chipotle was that I could only have 1 of these 3, cheese, sour cream, or guacamole, per visit.  Guacamole being the best option because it provides the most nutritional value.

There was a Whole Foods a mile away from our hotel and thankfully one of my teammates gave me a ride there after dinner.  My plan was to load up on raw food for the next day.  This Whole Foods had a juice/smoothie bar!  Not all of them do, so when I run across one that does I make sure to get a green veggie juice.  Juicing is a super easy way to get a full daily intake of veggies in a 12-16 oz drink.  It’s more difficult for me to eat veggies on the road so juice bars are a must.  I also purchased some raw kale chips, raw goji bites, vegetables, and some bottled water.  I kept in mind that we had an early game on Sunday (3pm) so I would not need to worry about a full day of meals.

We had a team breakfast at 11am so my plan was to wake up early and take the hotel shuttle to Whole Foods (which opens at 9am) for a breakfast smoothie.  Unfortunately, when I went downstairs, I was informed that the hotel shuttle does not begin running until 11am.  Nothing much worse than waking up early for no reason.

There is always a huge spread at our team breakfasts. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, oatmeal, bagels, muffins, fruit, grits… we were in Atlanta :).  Our strength coach Jodi, always orders me a huge bowl of fruit.  On a normal morning, I could have the oatmeal too, but since I choose to go raw on game days, fruit is pretty much my only option. We watch tape after eating and go over the game plan one more time, then it’s off to get ready for the game.

Playing on the road is never easy and our game vs. Atlanta was a struggle. They played with a ton of energy and intensity and every time we tried to cut into their lead, they would string a few good plays together and stretch it out again.  We managed to win with our first lead of the game coming with 3.1 seconds left.  Sometimes they’re not pretty but you take them anyway.  The added bonus of the 3pm tip was that we were able to fly out after the game and sleep in our own beds that night.

Our next trip to Indiana? Well… that’s a whole different story.

Categories: Kara Lawson, Raw Vegan, Training | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Sweet Mashed Potatoes with Portobello Hot Wings

This post was designed to showcase a delicious sweet potato and avocado combination Kara and Heather came up with during our Memorial Day celebration. As the simplicity of the recipe became apparent, I called Heather saying, “This is too easy. What should I serve with it?” The truth is, the whole meal is simple, easy, and takes no time at all. Just the way I like it! So follow along… its extremely simple.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 Sweet potatoes
  • 1 avocado

Boil the sweet potatoes for 15-20 minutes depending on the size. Add cooked sweet potatoes and avocado to food processor and process until smooth (not runny). Yeah, that’s it. No oil or butter required. The avocado adds a delicious accent and thickness to the potato. It tastes just like the sweet potato casserole my Grandma used to make (without the butter, brown sugar, milk, and marshmallows).

Portabello Hot Wings

  • 2 portabello caps, cleaned and cut
  • ¼ cup of Franks Buffalo Wing sauce
  • 1 tbls agave nectar
  • Nutritional yeast

Whisk wing sauce and agave together. Coat chopped portabello caps then top with nutritional yeast. Cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Just enough to warm. Don’t cook too log or mushrooms will shrivel and shrink. Serve with a leafy green and enjoy.

Categories: Damien Barling, Entrees, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seed Stuffed Portabellos

The Connecticut Sun are in the middle of a tough stretch of games. They play 5 times in 9 days in 3 different states. For this home game we needed to come up with something rich in nutrients and would pack an energy punch when the game started. Hemp seeds are full of protein and omega-3’s, while the pumpkin seeds are a great source of iron and energy.

  • 4 large portabello mushroom caps
  • 4 tbsp nama shoyu
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke


  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme

Whisk together nama shoyu and liquid smoke. Pour over mushroom caps and let sit for any desired leng

th of time (5 mins-5 hours, your preference).

Add spinach to food processor and pulse til chopped. Add remaining stuffing ingredients and pulse and until seeds are split and ingredients are mix. Don’t blend too much. Maintaining the crunchiness of the seeds is important to counter the texture of the mushroom caps.

Spoon stuffing into mushroom. Dehydrate at 105 for 1-2 hours.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, place caps on a baking sheet and cook at 200 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Categories: Damien Barling, Entrees, Kara Lawson, Raw Vegan, Training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Vegan in Season II – Indiana

Indianapolis Road Trip (June 7th-June 9th)

We embarked on a quick early season road trip last week to Indianapolis for what would be a huge test for our team.  This is my first season as a Vegan and what complicates things even more for me on the road is that I am a Raw Vegan on game days.  I researched Indy and the surrounding areas for Vegan friendly establishments.

In the airports I don’t have too many options for food so my best bets tend to be salad places or Mexican places.  I had some black beans and rice with guacamole for lunch on our layover in Detroit.  I also carry snacks with me and I was fortunate enough to have a few of Heather’s amazing bars  on the trip so I snacked on one as we were landing in Indy.

We stay really busy on the road.  After the bus dropped us at the hotel, we had about 45 min before we had to be back downstairs to board the bus again for practice.  Film, shooting, Fever game plan, then ice.  By the time we got back to the hotel I was STARVING!  I went upstairs to the Concierge Lounge (perks of being on the road a ton) to see what was available.  They had a bunch of snacks and I decided to nosh on some raw veggies (carrots, celery, cucumbers and broccoli) to hold me over.

I found a Vegan Café’ online that was within walking distance of our hotel, called the Earth House Collective.

The Café’ has a cool ambience. It’s in part of an old church.  The seating around the perimeter of the establishment are old church pews.  I happened to visit on Open Mic night as well so local bands were playing Live Music while everyone ate dinner.  I settled on the Seitan Gyro and as you can see from the picture, it was delicious.  Home made flatbread, seitan, and cucumber dressing, spectacular.

The Raw Vegan commitment on game days takes a little more planning.  I make sure that I stop at a grocery store to pick up some organic fruit or veggies to have in the room in case I need a little extra.  Breakfast is usually fruit and they had plenty of it in the Lounge the next morning.

I lifted weights after eating breakfast and found I was still a little hungry.  On a normal day I will try to eat something every 3 hours, but I find on days I eat Raw that I have to eat every 2 hours.  I walked to a juice bar  to curb my appetite before shootaround.  In the morning is a great time to have a fresh, vegetable juice.  You can lock in your vegetable allotment for the day in one drink.  Natural Born Juicers tries to be as local and as organic as possible.  I had an Ultimate Greens juice.  I’ve never been a coffee drinker but fresh green juice gives me a huge jolt of energy every time.

I actually returned to the juice bar right after shootaround to get two smoothies.  The Black Mamba smoothie had blueberries, banana, cacao, spirulina and almond milk.  I drank one with my lunch and put the other on ice in my room for later.  Lunch was a salad.  I love those salad places where you can “create your own”. I’m picky with my veggies so I like to decide the combinations.  The more colorful the better, I think I did a pretty good job with this one.

I took the requisite afternoon nap and woke up to the smoothie I put on ice from earlier in the day and my new game day must have, the PB HeatherBar!

All of this beautiful nutrition planning and execution, was clearly the main reason we beat the Fever for our 2nd road win of the season! I played well, scoring 12 points in the 3rd quarter and 18 points in the game.

Post game I like to go out to eat with my friends in different cities.  Since I’m no longer under the raw restriction after the game, I’m a little more flexible and can almost eat anywhere.  I had some steamed veggies and brown rice for my postgame meal and some much needed sleep.

We had an early wake up the next morning and recovery is such a huge part of performance so I always try to get back to hotel at a decent hour in order to start that process as soon as possible.

Categories: Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Snacks, Training, Traveling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


There is a great saying that goes something like–

“The difference between who you are and who you want to become is what you do.”  

It’s even better when you add, “…and what you eat.”

Here is a recipe for a bar that will make your life a little better. Great for keeping yourself fueled before a workout or to keep you going after. It’s packed with protein and natural, refined sugar-free ingredients. These have a fresh, non-processed taste to them unlike most sports bars you would purchase in the store. They are soft and chewy.

Make them, Eat them, Love them….


Peanut Butter Crunch Flavor:


  • 1 Cup Pitted & Soaked Dates (soak in water overnight or at least 4 hours)
  • 1/2 Cup Cashews
  • 1/2 cup Peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp Natural Chunky Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Cashew Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Agave
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla

Place soaked Dates, peanut butter, cashew butter, vanilla, and agave in food processor. Blend until mixed. Add in nuts and pulse until nuts are incorporated into dough. You may add a few drops of water to get “dough” to stick and blend easier. Press mixture into a small glass or non-stick pan. I  use an 8×6 glass pryex dish and get 4 big bars or 8 half-size bars which, I find are the perfect size. Once the mixture is pressed into the pan cover with wax paper. Using the back of a spatula flatten and shape into pan. Place in freezer for 20 minutes. Remove from freezer and using a knife or metal spatula cut your bars. Wrap in wax paper or sandwich bags for a snack on the go. These are best stored in the fridge but can travel well!

Categories: Appetizers, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Snacks, Training, Traveling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Vegan In Season

Traveling tests you in a variety of ways.  

It tests your patience… As you wait in the TSA line, as you wait to board your flight, as you wait for your baggage. And don’t even bring up delays, for weather, mechanical issues, etc.  

It tests your energy levels…  6am flights, red-eyes, non-stop work, stresses associated with work, bad sleep due to abnormal environments.

It tests your nutritional discipline… Late nights, early mornings, not as many restaurants open, airport food, snacks at the arenas, team meals, late nights with friends.

My performance “on the road” is measured by statistics. The most important being wins and losses.  I have to be at my best and can’t allow distractions to get the best of me.

During the WNBA season, we travel to 11 other cities.  In the Eastern Conference, they are Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, New York, and Washington, DC.  In the Western Conference, they are Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Antonio, Seattle, and Tulsa.  

There’s a few things I do every single road trip:

  • Research the location of our hotel prior to our trip.  I like to know what are my food options within walking distance or a short cab ride.  
  • Research the location of the arena and the late night restaurant options because we often eat post game meals around 10:30 or 11pm due to our night games.
  • I always bring healthy snacks from home and buy fresh fruits and vegetables upon arrival to the city.  
  • I bring my water jug with me on every trip as well.  I take it through TSA at the airport empty and then fill it on the other side.  Water, coconut water, fresh vegetable juice, or fruit/vegetable smoothies, are the only beverages I consume.  

This is the beginning of a series of travel blogs to chronicle my successes and failures at finding healthy Vegan food (and on game days healthy Raw Vegan fare). Check back daily for updates on what I find and how I perform. Check the Sun schedule, if I’m coming to your city, tell me where to eat. 

Categories: Kara Lawson, Training, Traveling | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kara’s Green Veggie Wraps

Kara came back from the SEC Tournament in March raving about this Raw Super Foods Bar she visited in New Orleans. After Heather and I visited their Facebook page we found a number of pictures of recipes we’d like to try. Of course, we didn’t know exactly what the recipes were so we looked at the pictures and tried to figure it out. Here is an example of me trying to figure it out… And might I say, I figured this out in a delish and healthy fashion.  

Kara’s Green Veggie Wraps

  • Collard green leaves, for the wrap
  • Cashew cheese  
  • Chopped red peppers
  • Chopped red onion
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini, grated
  • Carrot, grated
  • Avocado
  • Alfalfa sprouts

Cashew Sauce: 

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked a couple of hours)
  • 1/3 cup fresh almond milk
  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 1.5 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

This meal is a lot like a taco buffet, you can stuff your green wraps with as much or as little as you’d like. Using 1 of each of the above vegetables will yield enough for about 5 wraps. And I filled my wraps pretty well. The collard greens can be substituted with a leafy green or dinosaur kale (if you can find it). I used collard greens because they were big, thick, and very sturdy… and I couldn’t find dinosaur kale.

 Lay the collard greens out and spread the cashew cheese right down the middle. Then… top with desired vegetables and fold like a wrap.

 Yeah. That’s it.

 Oh… if you don’t want to make the cashew cheese, use hummus. It’s a perfect substitute.

Categories: Damien Barling, Kara Lawson, Raw Vegan, Sandwiches, Wraps, and Burgers | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On The Road

By Kara Lawson

(Seitan Hot Wings with Vegan Ranch Dip) 

Understanding how to eat healthy at home can be extremely difficult. Understanding how to be a healthy vegan while traveling can seem impossible.

It’s not. I promise. It just requires a little planning. And this is true for anyone looking to live a healthier lifestyle.

I just finished up my coverage of the Women’s NCAA Final Four Tournament. The National Championship game between Baylor and Notre Dame brought an end to a long season of great basketball and lots of travel.

It’s pretty common to step off a plane anywhere in the country and find a number of fast food chains flooding the airports concourse. Starbucks are everywhere. As is McDonalds, pizza chains, and convenience stores loaded with candy, soda, and “energy drinks”. As I mentioned in a previous blog (All-Star Dining) Whole Foods has become my best friend. I can get a number of healthy vegan options there, most of which I can pack and take on the plane with me.

The Women’s Final Four this year was held in Denver, Colorado. I knew I’d be spending six days there so I was determined to find some great places to eat. It was actually quite easy. 

Prior to making the trip we found two vegan friendly restaurants located within two miles of our hotel. Whole Foods was just a brisk walk away and Chipotle and Jamba Juice were one block down.

(Sweet Potato Wrap with Mixed Greens and Fries) 

Without turning this into a giant restaurant review I’ll tell you both places we ate at, Watercourse Foods and City O City, were absolutely delicious. The seitan “hot wings” were so amazing we split and order at each visit.

It was at Watercourse Foods where we introduced to ‘The Scout” cookie. This thing was amazing; walnuts, sweet potatoes, chocolate, and coconut. Incredible. During a moment of revelation, Damien said out loud, “This tastes like a giant samoa”.

Ahh yes. The Scout. The Girl Scout. It’s all coming together.

(The Scout) 

After the National Championship concluded and my ESPN commitments were wrapped up for another season, we decided to go home to Sacramento. We weren’t going to be there long enough to go grocery shopping so we searched out some new places to dine. We found a small little spot in Downtown Sacramento called the Sugar Plum Vegan Cafe. Again, amazing!

It’s easy for us to indulge when we go out of town or go on vacation. Vegan’s are no different. The food we ordered isn’t stuff we’d eat on a day to day basis. It’s a treat. It’s also research. Before his Scout was even finished, Damien had purchased a book with a recipe we believe to be similar and had sent a text message to Heather about this extraordinary treat. Both were determined to replicate this cookie.

The same is true of the food we ordered throughout the week. You can be certain Seitan Hot Wings, a Sweet Potato and Avocado Panini, and a BBQ Tofu Sandwich will make their way on to this blog sooner then later.

Eating while traveling is tough, but its not impossible. Plan ahead. Know what restaurants are near you and know whats on the menu. And if that restaurant has a scout cookie… Get it!! 

(Apples N Greens Smoothie with Spirulina and Steel Cut Oats with Banana) 

Categories: Kara Lawson, Training, Traveling | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

It Is Cheaper…

At LGA Airport, made a HUGE salad from the salad bar, $2.63! Pizza $5 a slice! Stop using the excuse that eating healthier costs more!

Kara Lawson

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All Star Dining… Not So Much

By Kara Lawson

 Partner parties, Commissioner’s reception, Newsmaker breakfast, and a Nike suite loaded with delicious food readily available. Just a few of the annual highlights we experience each year at the NBA All-Star weekend. 

 There was a time when Damien and I would hit the pause button on our normal nutrition plan and enjoy the festivities. Chicken, steak, macaroni and cheese, heavily buttered bread, and every kind of dessert you can imagine. It was pretty common for the Nike Suite to be our first stop of the trip so we could load up on peanut M&M’s and whatever other goodies they had for us to take away.

 But that was then…

 Now, the plane hits the ground and we immediately search for the nearest Whole Foods. In fact, anytime I travel, whether it’s for the WNBA or ESPN, I always try to find a Whole Foods nearby. The hot bar and variety of healthy options are incredibly helpful.  Orlando had a Whole Foods only three miles from our hotel and was the same Whole Foods we visited just a month ago when Damien ran the Goofy Challenge at Disney World.

 No more peanut M&M’s. Plenty of Larabars. No more macaroni and cheese. Just salads loaded with a variety of nuts and seeds. Bread? Nope. But, the chef at our hotel made a pretty delicious vegan pasta primavera.

 Eating on the road requires a good deal of planning. Concessions have to be made. Not every city has a Whole Foods. My work for ESPN provides the greatest challenges to my vegan lifestyle.  When I travel to cover games, I spend a great deal of time in “college towns”.  This year I worked primarily in the SEC.  Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Starkville, Mississippi, or Columbia, South Carolina, are cities that I have to find places I can garner quick, healthy meals.  Since most of my trips are relatively short, I bring from home healthy snacks to help bridge the gap between meals or sometimes even replace meals. 

 Don’t let a vacation or a road trip be a reason to sabotage your eating. It’s okay to stray once in awhile but reel yourself back in and get on track. Hotels usually have fruit platters or oatmeal you can have for breakfast. Larabars make a great, easily packable snack. And Zico’s chocolate coconut water is a great tasting treat that serves a great purpose in keeping us hydrated.  

(Pictures are of our room service breakfast) 

Categories: Kara Lawson, Traveling | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kara’s Penne Vodka Birthday Dinner

This is one of Kara’s favorite meals. For her birthday I decided to give it a shot. I got the recipe from a book called Veganomicon. It was a huge success and because of how clean the recipe is, it’s something that could be eaten on any day, not just special occasions. 

2tsp of Olive Oil

4 Cloves minced garlic

¼ tsp crushed red pepper

28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

¼ cup of vodka

¼ tsp dried thyme

¼ tsp dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt

A few dashes of pepper

½ cup of sliced almonds

¼ cup finely chopped basil, plus a little extra for garnish

½ pound of penne

Cook pasta according to package instructions and set a side.

 Preheat a saucepan over medium/low heat. Add oil, garlic, and red pepper to the sauce pan and sauté for a minute, being careful not to burn.

Add crushed tomatoes, vodka, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Cover, and turn the heat up a little and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the sauce has simmered for 20 minutes, add the almonds. Use an immersion blender to blend almonds into sauce to make creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender you chop your almonds in a food processor, then slowly add to sauce.

Add the basil to sauce then mix in pasta.

Garnish with basil, if desired. 

Categories: Damien Barling, Entrees, Kara Lawson | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Kara was working at UConn on Wednesday so Heather and I had an extended kickboxing session.

Hitting pads like this is an absolute blast and it’s an amazing cardio workout. There is a learning curve but it’s unlike anything you’ve done before. It gets your heart up and requires you to think while tired. If you watched The Biggest Loser last season, you saw this type of training was a huge part of what they did on The Ranch.

Heather and I have been training like this together for about a year and we still find dozens of ways to get better. Especially after watching video. You never stop learning!

Categories: Damien Barling, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Training, Videos | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Benefits of Coconut Water

By Kara Lawson

A terrific addition to my training program this off-season has been coconut water. I’ve always been a giant believer of “in-game” fuel. I used to take in a sports drink during practices and games. About three years ago, as I continued to learn more about nutrition, I decided to eliminate it. I knew to be at my best I needed to ditch the high fructose corn syrup and any other odd, unnatural ingredient. Over the last two seasons, I would sip on a mixture of water and a BCAA mix, made by Optimum Nutrition. And while the BCAA mix was extremely helpful, the water lacked the electrolytes that are so important for in game nutrition. Then, came my introduction to coconut water.

I did some reading and found that coconut water contains five essential electrolytes that help speed hydration and recovery. And the best part, it’s 100% natural.

 The 5 essential electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus.

 When I began my off-season training I started packing coconut water with me. The results have been terrific. Coconut water is an extremely satisfying beverage that immediately replenishes you. When Damien ran the Goofy Challenge in January, he packed 40oz of coconut water mixed with Optimum Nutrition’s BCAA formula for both the half marathon and the full marathon. He managed to take 30 minutes off his NYC Marathon time, where he only drank water and a sports drink.

There’s lots of coconut water brands out there. I’ve tried quite a few, but so far my favorite is Zico. They offer several mildly flavored variations including a delicious dark chocolate version.

 Try replacing your sports drink with coconut water and see how you feel. If you’re a big juice or soda drinker, try using a flavored coconut water as a substitute. 

Categories: Kara Lawson, Training | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Found a nice snack at MSG during the Knicks Lakers game. 

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Training Video

Categories: Damien Barling, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Training, Videos | Tags: , | 1 Comment

A Glimpse Into Training



As frequently as possible we’ll give you a glimpse into our training sessions together. Whether it’s kickboxing, cardio kickboxing, footwork, speed work, or weight training, we push ourselves to the absolute limit. Here’s a peek at some of the work we’ve been doing over the last few weeks.

Categories: Damien Barling, Heather Millbach, Kara Lawson, Training, Videos | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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