Sunday, June 26, 2011

Revelations and Rainy Days

You may ask yourself...where has this girl been this week?
Well here's what happened. 
Somewhere in between working 10 to 12 hours a day, juggling around 5 work schedules (yes...5), school work, trying to manage my finances and trying to figure out how I'm going to approach next chapter of my life. I got sick and hit me like a pile of bricks to my head. Thats when I came to some realizations. Here I am, striving towards my optimal wellness and health and trying to find a balance, and I'm diving into the deep end where I am way over my head, gasping for air. While I like love a challenge, sometimes its completely necessary to step back.
and breathe.
It's all part of the process.
I can't control everything, especially the future.
And life's about quality, not how much you get done. Enjoy the process and journey. And as hard as it may be, don't focus on woulda/coulda/shouldas.
And while I think I can do everything at once, work-work-work, go-go-go etc....slowing down may be more beneficial to both my physical and mental health.
So this week, as my life came to a slow down and I had some truly "doing nothing but sitting down my own thoughts" experiences, I have stumbled on my next project (one that I will share as I develop it!), and I am amazingly excited towards it. Something just feels right about it.

Today was another day of productive unproductivity with a lifeguarding double shift at the outdoor pool cancelled because of massive thunderstorms, gyms closed on summer Sundays and it being to dangerous to go outside with storms and sideways rain. So I watched bad Cher movies, sorted out my brain happenings and did some rainy day baking.

First up,

Rabbit Foods First Granola....this is an EPIC moment, one for the history books.
I was inspired by CEC's Pumpkin Maple Quinoa Granola, so this recipe is based upon that. She is a genius, is all I have to say.

Pumpkin Quinoa Granola
1 and 1/2 cup quinoa
2 cups of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1/4 cup of pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup of chopped almonds
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of molasses
1 TSP vanilla extract
1 TSP pumpkin Spice
1 TSP cinnamon
1 TSP cloves

1. Mix quinoa, almond milk and spices in pot, bring to boil and than simmer until quinoa is cooked
2. Mix pumpkin puree, along with all other remaining ingredients together and add to quinoa
3. Spread pot's contents onto a parchment lined cookie sheet
4. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, mixing every 20 minutes to evenly brown
5. Let cool and than dominate a bowl...
Granola with brown rice puffs, banana, unsweetened coconut flakes and cultured coconut milk

And than after a salad beast,  I got my creative juices flowing on what to make and this happened:

Single Serving Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie
5 TSP coconut Flour
1 TSP coconut butter
1 TSP apple sauce
1 packet of stevia
1/2 TSP baking powder
Chopped Dark Chocolate (I used 2 squares of chopped Green and Black's 70% Dark Chocolate)

1. Mix ingredients together in a bowl
2. Place onto a lightly greased cookie sheet (makes one big cookie, or 2 little guys)
3. Bake for 8 minutes

(Thanks to CCK's Single Lady Chocolate Chip Cookies for inspiration!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

True Grit

First and foremost, I need to address a very important subject...

Now I know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side
Even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
Staying back and watching me shine
-Taylor Swift, "The Best Day"
Happy Father's Day Daddy, I love you <3

Now onto an article that I read that inspired me beyond words:

And it's based around one word...

Grit: passion and perserverance for long term goals

Grit is the the fire within you that drives you towards what you want. It reigns far beyond your athletic ability, beyond your body type, your genetics and so forth. Individuals that hold true grit don't let anything get in their way; that means toughing out the conditions, mentally dominating phyiscal threats, overcoming obstacles and never letting anything get in your way.

asics-man 25

Do you have Grit??

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Protein in Muffin Form

After teaching spin this morn, I was in serious need of a protein boost. Now I've been hearing about this protein muffin  around the blogosphere for awhile now and I actually tried it yesterday. While it was delicious as is, I decided to do my own take on protein laden muffin.
Here's what I conjured:

Microwave Blueberry Flaxseed Protein Muffin
1 egg white
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Sunwarrior)
1 TBSP coconut flour
1 TBSP ground flax
1/2 TSP baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
handful of bloobs (blueberries...)
1. Grease a bowl lightly (I used Earth Balance, other sprays/butter etc will work too)
2. Whisk ingredients together except blueberries
3. Add blueberries and distribute evenly in mixture
4. Microwave for 2 minutes (may take longer/shorter depending on microwave
5. Add any toppings if desired

1. I didn't use any sweetener because Sunwarrior is already sweetened with Stevia, but any granulated sugar/sweetener to desired amount will work.
2. This recipe is adaptable to other flours
3. Pureed pumpkin can also be used in lieu of apple sauce
4. Other fillings can also be used 

Almond butter and coconut flake deliciousness!!
According to rough calculation, this breakie is approximately 260 calories (including the AB) with 14 grams of protein....breakfast WIN!

On another note, I'm hoping the sun will come out for my first day as a golf course intern :) I love new experiences <3

Spin Song of the Day: Grace Kelly by Mika --> perfect for a standing climbs

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cookies with Staying Power

Oreos, Chips Ahoy and Nutter Butters better watch their gluten-ous bums....they're about to meet their match

And these bad boys have some major satisfactory standards...meaning you won't eat 5 and still feeling empty inside with refined sugar and lines and lines of unrecognizeable ingredients

Oh did I mention that there's two kinds...double the amazingness

Ballin' Cookie Dough
2/3 cup Cashews
1/2 mashed banana
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 TBSP maple syrup
1 TBSP Artisana Coconut Butter
1 TBSP dark chocolate cocoa powder
vegan chocolate chips

1. Blend together everything EXCEPT the choclate chips in a blender/Magic Bullet device
2. Manually stir in the chocolate chips
3. Roll into ball and freeze or refrigerate, when solid...enjoy!!

Now these babies are ones that are like automatic energy. They'll power you through your workout and than sugar crash included!

Pack-a-Punch Protein Cookies
1/2 cup of GF oats
1 scoop Sunwarrior Protein Vanilla Powder
1 TBSP dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/2 TBSP baking powder
1/2 TSP baking soda
1 TBSP cinnamon
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
2 TBSP coconut butter
1 TBSP molasses
2 TBSP almond butter
1 TBSP vanilla extract

1. Mix the dry ingredients first and than add the wet ingredients
2. Form into cookies on a aluminum foil covered cookie pan (I greased mine with Earth Balance)
3. Cook at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes, size depending.

Have a great Friday! Oh ya.... GO CANUCKS!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Prayers, Experimenting and Hockey Love

Lately before I run, I find myself praying...

"Lord, please give my legs strength and resilience for what I'm about to put them through. Please let this run accomplish what I need it to...physically, mentally and lately emotionally. Suck my eyes dry of tears, let thoughts that need to surface come clear, cool any anger off into rationality and let the elation of endorphins take over my body."

Running has helped me at other times of my life, and I am so thankful I discovered how positively the experience of it effects me. With some changes in my life, I have to admit that my brain is overwhelmed with how many different directions my neurons are shooting in my brain and how many emotions are filling my head and heart. I know with patience (never been my strength), things will become clear. Hopefully.

Anyways, on a lighter note....

I had my friend Kendra over for dinner after our Jillian Micheals workout sesh, and to watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I am converting her to a Canucks fan by bribery of my cooking :)

The main course:

Spaghetti Squash Veggie Bake
Spaghetti Squash
Assorted steamed veggies
Herb flavoured goat cheese
Daiya Cheese
Italian Herb Spices
1. Cut the squash into halves and cook in the oven at 400 degrees face down in a deep pan with approximately 1" of water for 45 minutes or until the squash is soft enough for scooping out the "squash noodles"
2. In a pan, put squash, veggies, goat cheese and spices and top with a layer of Daiya Cheese. Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and gooey looking

Easy and Delicious!!

And than this happened....

Vegan Cashew "Ice Cream" Bars (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
Cashew Top:
1 cup of cashews soaked overnight
1 frozen banana
1 TSP lemon juice
1 TSP vanilla extract
Dairy Free/GF chocolate Chip
3/4 cup Raw Pecan Butter (compliments of the wonderful Artisana company)
Dark Chocolate Cocoa powder
2 TBSP maple Syrup

1. Blend the crust ingredients in a blender/magic bullet device
2. Line a 6" pan/Tupperware etc with plastic wrap and line the bottom evenly with the mixture
3. Refrigerate for at least an hour or toss in the freezer for approximately 20 minutes
4. Toss the cashews in the blender and blend until smooth
5. Add in all other ingredients except chocolate chips and blend until smooth consistency
6. Mix in the chocolate chips
7. Layer evenly over the crust and place into freezer until it reaches desired texture (I prefer it more frozen)

The verdict:


Only disappointment was the score of the hockey game. I still have hope in my hometown's team for game 5. GO CANUCKS!

What helps you sort out thoughts in your head? Who are you cheering for the Stanley Cup?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Race Recap: Only the Beginning

Yesterday morning started with some quality SIAB fuel:

The Players: Frozen nanner, 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin, 1 scoop Vanilla Sunwarrior Protein Powder, 1 scoop Chia Seeds, dash of molasses and 1/3 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla to the Magic Bullet and threw unsweetened coconut flakes on top....perfection!

And than came the race:

Running of the Pink 10K Run 2011

I've got to be honest...I was not prepared or trained up for this race. My goal for this 10K was to keep going and not stop to walk, finish in roughly an hour and make this race my starting point to my 10K journey (one race a month starting in August). The beginning of the run felt great, I had forgotten what it felt like to start a race with a crowd of runners surrounding you. The only way to explain it is you can feel everyone else's energy combine with your own, and its a pretty amazing feeling. Plus the fact, U2's "It's a Beautiful Day" was playing in my ears from my IPod and I was perfectly energized and hydrated from breakfast.

Both my drawback and advantage of the race was the fact that I had no idea what the route was, so I had no idea how far along I was or how much the roads would challenge me. I say this was both because although knowing the route can be a positive thing so you can plan out energy expenditure, not knowing allowed me to get in touch with the pace my body wanted to go at any given moment without worrying about what was ahead of me. This was a certain freedom as well because it allowed me to tune into the music playing in my ears, the emotions going through me and let my legs faster and slower accordingly.

Approximately half way through the race, I experience a category of runners high that I hadn't experienced for awhile. For once, I wasn't thinking of the end or the beginning, I was just focusing  on one stride at a time. And all the sudden, I had the fattest smile on my face. I realized that my legs didn't want to stop and I wasn't going to stop, I felt like I could accomplish this among other obstacles and all the sudden the fattest smile took up residence on my face and I just felt happy.

12 Stone's "Anthem for the Underdog" sang in my ears as I passed the finish line. I planned out my playlist perfect with this one as my last song, that perfectly came at the end of my race. This song is near and dear to my heart as it was my softball walkout song while I was in Texas and it motivates me now as much as it did than.
Overall, I'm very glad that I decided on getting an early start on my 10K journey, I finished in 1:02  and am excited to embark on the rest of my mission.

Running of the Pink Playlist
1. U2: Beautiful Day
2. Mika: Grace Kelly
3. Train: Drops of Jupiter
4. Rascal Flatts: Stand
5. Promise of Redemption: Away We Go
6. Leona Lewis: Bleeding Love (Dance Remix)
7. Florence and the Machine: Dog Days Are Over
8. Duffy: Mercy
9. Girl Talk: Play your Part Pt II
10 Kings of Leon: California Waiting
11. The Script: Fall for Anything
12. Sara Bareilles: King of Anything
13. Youngbloodz: I'mma Shine
14. 12 Stone: Anthem for the Underdog
What are your favourite running songs?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Total Dinner Domination

Hello friends!

Creativity dominated my dinner (aka supper in the Midwest) tonight!

Carrot Black Bean Burgers
1/3 a can of black beans
2 mashed steamed carrots
1 TBSP oat flour
1 clove garlic
TSP Herbamare
TSP chilli powder

How it went:
1. Mash black beans with a fork
2. Mash carrots with it
3. Stir in oat flour and garlic and spices
4. Wet hands and lay on skillet
5. Wait til browned and flip, when browned on both side your doneskies!

Oh I didn't stop there...

Crunch'n Cauliflower
Chopped florets of cauliflower
Bragg's Amino's Acid
Nutritional Yeast

How it went down:
1. Coat the cauli with the liquid aminos and nutritional yeast
2. Lay onto a tin foil lined cookie sheet
3. Roast 'em til they're toasted at 400 degrees (took about 20 minutes)

And than I took it further...

Put the nightly creations atop spinach, yellow peppers, tomatoes with green salsa and Daiya atop

It was Glory on a Polka-Dotted Plate

Hope ya'lls night is going fantastically!

What are your favourite salad toppings? 

Live in the moment

June got started on the right foot with the delivery of this from the fitnessista's Opensky promo:


My protein needs will be deliciously met from now on.

Which brings me to my goals for the month of June, which is going to be a great month, I already decided:

1) Fitness goals:

  • Let me introduce you to my swimming quest. I am a summer lifeguard at the outdoor pool here, and we are required to swim a 500 m every week. But since I'm not the strongest swimmer to begin with, I decided that I need to up that to 3 times a week.
  • Running: My 10K competition against myself begins SATURDAY! I will be running a 10K called Running of the Pink for cervical cancer. My plan is to use this as a starting point
  • Weight Training: after months of an injured shoulder, I have been slowly but surely getting myself back into it. I would like to up it a bit, but yet ease back into it so I don't hurt myself more.
  • Walk more: walk to the grocery store/work etc, I assure you nothing in this town is not accessible by foot, I have no excuse.
2) Diet Goals

  • Mix up my protein sources (I have a habit of wanting to eat almond butter all day and everyday)
  • Meal Plan for the week: I am horrible at budgeting., but I need to start doing it now...Ok like yesterday.
  • Figure out the best pre-workout snack/meal for my body. I either feel weighted down or get hunger pains...I'm on the search for that happy medium
  • Practice intuitive eating more...really listen to what my body needs and when it's had enough (and conversely, when it needs more)
  • Drink more water!!! I will be outside alot with my job, and its crucial to battle dehydration
3) Personal Goals

  • Learn when to say NO: This can be one of the toughest things for me. I want to believe that I am superwoman sometimes and can do anything and everything. I tend to pile my plate full of responsibilities and become way to in over my head. The only way to combat this is step back, ask myself "Do I have time? Is it worth my while? Is it going to be a source of stress?" and really weigh my options positive vs negative
  • Learn to live in the moment more: Its so easy to let these thoughts run my mind
"What's going to happen?
"What if this or that happens?
"What if something happens that has happened before?"
"How do I know?"
These contemplations have been ruling my mind lately and quite frankly, kind of taunting me. I think the most important thing I need to do is focus on the task ahead of me.
For example:
When I'm out running, I initially make a goal of where I'm going to go and how long/far etc. However, when I do this, I am concentrated on just getting there, and not focusing on the process. I lose attention to my form and my breathing and feel like the run itself becomes a struggle.
I think its important to get in touch with your body when you run. Closes your eyes, get into a breathing rhythm and let your body fall into that rhythm. So in this specific instance, I'm going to try not planning, no mapping out my route, not timing myself...just Going, feeling, and being during this time. This is time to myself, time to breathe, time to clear my head. 

What are your June Goals? Do you have any advice towards living in the moment?
What is your method for mixing up your protein source?