Run With Sneakers Mon, 17 Jan 2011 12:53:52 +0000 en hourly 1 Cold Weather Running /2011/01/17/cold-weather-running/ /2011/01/17/cold-weather-running/#comments Mon, 17 Jan 2011 12:53:52 +0000 Elizabeth /?p=436 Continue reading »]]> [Congrats on a great run in the Arizona Rock n Roll, Pedro!  So glad is it fun for you. Way to go Bro!]

Here in Austin, Texas we enjoy mild winters and running in winter is a joy for me.  It’s so nice to finish a run without being slimy with sweat.  Yes, slimy is correct word for what I look and feel like after a summertime run here in Austin.

However, although we can have January days with temps close to 70*, we can also have below freezing days with an occasional “ice day” mixed in.  In central Texas, you never know.  This past week was one of those “freezing, and below” weeks.  I did not prepare well for the weather  –  I’ve already mentioned (most of) this past weeks blunders.

  • Blunder #1:  Improper fuel for a long, hilly run.
  • Blunder #2:  Improper dress for the cold.
  • Blunder #3:  Improper hydration in the cold.
  • Blunder #4:  (Haven’t told you this one yet.) After Blunder #2 I had to stop by the drug store on the way home from my run.  I told Sneakers I’d bring her a treat if she waited patiently in the car.  While in the store I decided I also needed a treat and grabbed a chocolate milk.  I remembered reading that chocolate milk makes a good “recovery” drink after a run and I was very, very hungry.  What was I thinking!?  Apparently I still had no blood going into my brain when I chose the chocolate milk.  I don’t drink/eat sugary things + I don’t drink dairy — at all.  Two slugs of the chocolate milk and I remembered.  Or rather, my stomach remembered for me.  Ugh, that felt bad in my tummy.

Anyhoo.  In perfect timing this week (or actually, a bit late) I read an article on “Fueling for Cold Weather Exercise” written by Nancy Clark.  (Clark is a respected sports nutritionist and I own one of her books. I think it’s where I read about the chocolate milk thing.)

In this article I read how a drop in body temperature stimulates appetite, making you feel hungry.  Yup, I experienced that one this week (and the subsequent chocolate milk fiasco.)  If you dress appropriately you shouldn’t feel this effect. Check.

I learned that shivering is an involuntary movement of your muscles tensing to generate heat.  Intense shivering quickly “depletes muscle glycogen stores and drains your energy.”  Check again.

Your body uses energy and fluids to warm and humidify the air you breathe when you exercise in the cold.  Cold weather also “blunts our thirst mechanism” so we forget to drink water during exercise.  While you may not sweat as much in cold weather, you are still using fluids and it’s easy to become dehydrated exercising in the cold.  We need to drink plenty of water throughout our winter runs. Check and check.

Cold fluids chill our bodies.  This is great in summer, but not so much in winter.  In winter it’s best if we can drink something warm.  Having handy a thermos with a warm recovery drink is a good idea.  I can do that, if I remember.  Check.

Hope this info helps you on your winter outdoor adventures! 

What are some of your tips for exercising in chilly weather?

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Bulgur – It Does A Body Good /2011/01/15/bulgur-it-does-a-body-good/ /2011/01/15/bulgur-it-does-a-body-good/#comments Sat, 15 Jan 2011 12:48:25 +0000 Elizabeth /?p=414 Continue reading »]]> I’ve had a bag of bulgur wheat sitting in my pantry for far too long.  This week I broke into it for TWO different recipes.  The first recipe was for a curried, vegetable and grain soup.  It was good, but nothing to “blog home about.”  The second recipe turned out great and definitely worth an honorable mention here today.

But first, I want to talk about the nutritional value of bulgur (which I researched yesterday, out of curiosity.)  Here’s what I found.

  • Bulgur is natural, whole grain.  It’s an ancient grain dating back 4,000 years.
  • Bulgur wheat is processed today in the same manner as it was in ancient times.  That means:  no chemicals or additives are used in the processing of bulgur.  Yea!
  • Bulgur cooks quickly because it is parboiled during its processing.  Basically, it comes pre-cooked.
  • Bulgur is a good source of “B” vitamins, iron, phosphorous, and manganese.
  • Bulgur comes in various “grinds” which effects cooking time.  My bag wasn’t labeled with the “grind” but I’m guessing it is medium grind because of it’s suggested 10-15 min. cook time.
  • Bulgur was used during WWII  a) to feed the troops, and 2) as a sand-blasting agent to clean airplane parts.  Hehe
  • Bulgur is referred to as “arisah” in the Old Testament.


I found some nutritional data comparing bulgur and brown rice.  Then I looked up some facts about quinoa so I could compare the three side-by-side.

Bulgur vs. Brown Rice vs. Quinoa

(data for 1 cup cooked)

Bulgur Brown Rice Quinoa
151 calories 216 calories 222 calories
0.44 g fat 1.8 g fat 3.6 g fat
8.2 g fiber 3.5 g fiber 3.6 g fiber
32.8 mcg folate 7.8 mcg folate 77.7 mcg folate
8 g complete protein

Quinoa is a complete protein (meaning is contains all nine essential amino acids) so it has a big edge over bulgur.  Still, bulgur looks pretty good, no?

Now back to that delicious dinner plate.  Last night I cooked up Mushroom and Bulgur Veggie Burgers using this recipe from my friend Erin at The Healthy Apron.

I have several veggie burger recipes that I like to cook and this recipe is one of my new favorites.  They have great taste and great texture (texture is something that can be “off” with many veggie burger recipes.)  They were very easy, albeit messy, to make.  Go to The Healthy Apron to find this recipe and nutrition facts for these burgers.  I just want to note that I made a few changes:

  1. I used a “flax egg” instead of a real egg.  “Flax egg” is made by combining 1 T freshly ground flax seeds + 3 T water and letting it sit for 5-10 mins.  It will get an egg-like consistency.
  2. I didn’t add cheese to the burgers.  Carl melted cheese on the top of his.
  3. I didn’t refrigerate them before cooking and they turned out just fine.

Oh, and that fabulous-looking side dish?  Those are Southern Greens from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen.  Get the recipe here.   I used some beautiful red chard for my version.

Have another look at my dinner plate.  Doesn’t it look great?  It was. (I ended up only eating one of the burgers because although they are small, they were very filling.)  I’ll be having one of those burgers for my lunch today for sure.

Question:  Do you have a favorite bulgur recipe?  If so, please pass it along.  I’d love to try it and I have some left in the bag.

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Warming Trend: Ginger Lemon Tea /2011/01/14/warming-trend-ginger-lemon-tea/ /2011/01/14/warming-trend-ginger-lemon-tea/#comments Fri, 14 Jan 2011 13:06:20 +0000 Elizabeth /?p=399 Continue reading »]]> [Good luck to my brother and everyone else running in the PF Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon in Phoenix this weekend!  Hope you have a great run and I'll be thinking about you.]

I’ve been so cold in the mornings.  It’s been tempting to brew up some coffee first thing when I get up, but I’m resisting the urge.  I am trying to drink only one cup of coffee per day.  I want to savor that one cup so I wait until after my morning workout to partake.  (Plus, if I drink coffee before a long run I almost always have to make a pit stop during the run, if you know what I mean.)  I keep thinking something warm to drink first thing in the morning would be awfully nice.

This morning, while reading through my long list of favorite blogs, I came upon the idea for Ginger Lemon Tea from Teri at A Foodie Stays Fit.  I immediately got up and made myself a cup.  It was just what I have been craving in the mornings.  The ginger and lemon have great digestive benefits AND great taste.  I love the zing of the ginger.

I simply grated some fresh ginger (about 1/2 tsp) into a cup.  I added water and put it into the microwave until just boiling.  Then I squeezed 1/2 of a lemon into the water.  Easy peasy.  Only problem for me is the lemon.  I’m really not supposed to be having any citrus because of my extremely sensitive teeth.  I guess this “tea” won’t be on my daily menu.  But when it’s cold in my house this will certainly do the trick.

Now, for my Weekly Workout Recap.

  • 1/7:  12 mile hill run.  I said, HILL! run.  [Ditto for Sneakers.]
  • 1/8: 1 hr 45 min hiking. [Sneakers added lots of squirrel chasing to the hike.]
  • 1/9: 4.5 miles of interval running on the treadmill.  [Sneakers went running in the cold rain with her "dad".]
  • 1/10: 7 mile freezing run. [Ditto for Sneakers, only she wasn't at all cold.]
  • 1/11:  30 min walk + 1 hour kick-butt workout with personal trainer. [Sneakers: Walk with "mom" + romp at park with "dad". ]
  • 1/12: 7 mile extremely cold run. [Ditto Sneakers, minus the "feeling cold" part.]
  • 1/13: 2 hour walk/hike + 1 hour gym workout with personal trainer. [Sneakers: run, jump, sprint, romp along the trail for 2 hours with best doggy friend Rally. I wish I had my camera along.]

I made some rookie mistakes this week with my runs.  I’ve already complained about my “bonk” at the end of last Friday’s long hill run.  Then on Monday I did not check the weather first and way under-dressed for my run.  I was cold, cold, cold the entire run.  On Wednesday I dressed well, but I forgot that the city shuts off the water fountains along the trail when the temps go below 30*.  I count on having this water, and I know they get shut off, but I failed to bring water along for my run.  Stupid.  I will try to turn on my brain before I head out for a run this coming week.

Snack of the Week is brought to you by nature’s candy:  Figs + Dates.

These are the very same Fig Bars I posted about yesterday.  They are definitely the Snack of the Week.

Enjoy your weekend everybody! And Hook ‘Em Horns!

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Fig – alicious /2011/01/13/fig-alicious/ /2011/01/13/fig-alicious/#comments Thu, 13 Jan 2011 13:09:22 +0000 Elizabeth /?p=373 Continue reading »]]> I first made these “Skinny Fig Bars” last year when I was abstaining from all refined sugars/sweeteners.  These bars are low in fat, not too sweet (they contain no refined sugar and very little agave), vegan, and delicious.  At least, I think they are delicious.  I shared them with a few of my friends.  Some agreed with me, some thought they “needed sugar”. Ha.

I made the same recipe today and again, I’m going to share some with friends.  When I make a dessert-type recipe without sugar I usually don’t tell my victims friends about the lack of sugar until after they try it.  I like to see their faces when they find out something so delicious can be made without the white stuff.  Of course, sometimes my approach backfires, but that’s life.

[If you want something a bit sweeter, more of a dessert bar than a "snack" bar, then try the recipe for Walnut Date Bars from this post.  My daughter-in-law added the recipe to the comments section.  They are very delicious but definitely sweeter.  More like a cookie.]

The recipe for these Skinny Fig Bars comes from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen and you can find it here.   (My batch made 16 bars.  I did not use the icing because it contains sugar.  They are good without the icing.)

I always like to gather all my ingredients before I start to cook/bake.

Place the figs, dates and almonds in the food processor and pulse into a thick paste.  Add the lemon juice, water, agave, cinnamon and ginger and whirl away until it is well mixed.  It should look something like this.

Set this mixture aside and make the crust.  Take half of the crust mixture and pat into a greased 8-inch square pan.

Top this with the date-fig mixture.  The remaining crust goes on top.  Here’s what it looks like before going into the oven.

While it’s in the oven, clean up your mess.  I’m a clean-as-I-go kinda gal so this mess wasn’t too bad.

After baking for 30 mins it comes out looking like this.

Yikes. Looks like that pan is gonna need some scrubbing.

After cooling in the pan, the bars look like this just before eating!

Is your mouth watering yet?

Random Note: (This caught my eye today and I thought I’d share.)

Wednesday’s New York Times Dining section had an article about the inventor of the Microplane.  Do you have one of these handy kitchen tools?  I love mine and have two different sizes.  I use them for grating lemons, cheeses (for my family members who still eat that stuff), nutmeg, chocolate, etc.  All sorts of things, actually.  Turns out, the inventor is a maker of woodworking tools and was “disappointed” to find they were being used in the kitchen.  Don’t feel bad for him.  He owns Grace Manufacturing which now employs 300 people.  They still make woodworking tools but their kitchen line includes “more than 40 products including pizza cutters, herb mills, salt shavers and graters specifically designed to render chocolate ribbons.”   [New York Times, Wednesday, January 12, 2011.] Chocolate ribbons!  I want that.

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The “Other Men” /2011/01/12/the-other-men/ /2011/01/12/the-other-men/#comments Wed, 12 Jan 2011 13:08:54 +0000 Elizabeth /?p=346 Continue reading »]]> I have a confession.  I have a couple of “boyfriends”.  Yes, I’m married.  He’s my Uno.  Isn’t he handsome?

My Ironman

I also have two handsome sons.  Not going to post their photos here cause I haven’t asked permission.  Trust me, they are very handsome.

But the truth is, I also have a couple of boyfriends.

Boyfriend #1:  Roger Federer.  Duh.  I have several girlfriends who claim Roger is their boyfriend.  But they are delusional.  Roger is my boyfriend.  I’ll admit that our relationship was on rocky ground when Roger cried after losing the Australian Open to that other tennis player (I believe his name is Rafael something.)  But when he married his teenage sweetheart (the beautiful Mirka) and had twin daughters with her… let’s just say he redeemed his ranking in my heart.  [Roger, I'll be right there at your side during the upcoming Australian Open.  And by "right there at your side", I mean I'll be watching you on TV from my couch in Austin, Texas.]

'Nuf said, right ladies?

Not a bad tennis player, either.

Boyfriend #2:  Brendan Brazier.  Brendan is my Vegan Ironman boyfriend.  (Note:  My non-Vegan Ironman boyfriend is my hubby.  Photo at top of page.)  First, I downloaded and followed Brendan’s Thrive in 30 program — it’s free.  This is a program about plant-based nutrition for “optimum health and vitality”.  Next, I purchased Brendan’s book, The Thrive Diet.  Then Brendan became my boyfriend. He’s my boyfriend for being a super athlete… and a Vegan.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s a total doll.  Check it out, my friends.

I hope to actually meet him someday.  He came to Austin, but it was when I was out of town.  He’s such a tease.  Turns out he lives in Vancouver!  That’s my new, favorite city.  Next time I am there I might have to stalk him, bump into him keep my eyes peeled for him.  Here’s one more photo, for the “road”.

Boyfriend #3:  Jay Blahnik.  This is the last one, I promise.  Jay is my “iPod boyfriend”.  Last year, when I started training for my first half marathon, I kept seeing the words “Interval Training” and “Paced Runs” and “Tempo Runs”.  What the heck are those things?  Do I need to do those?  Really, it didn’t sound like anything I wanted to get into — at all.  But then, one very rainy day, I was forced into the gym and onto the treadmill for my run.  I needed music, and maybe a trainer, to get me through it.  That is when I “met” Jay.  I purchased and downloaded his “My Best 10K: Intermediate” workout for my iPod.  Jay lead me through sets of fast-paced intervals mixed with slower, recovery segments.  Jay has a wonderful, mellow, calm voice.  He’s encouraging yet not at all hyper or peppy.  I use this iPod workout whenever it’s too rainy to run outside.  It’s the only time I bother running intervals.  Guess what?  Those intervals that Jay has me working on have made me faster!  Love.  By the way, Jay Blahnik was my boyfriend before I saw a photo of him.

Sure, all my “boyfriends” are cute, but the cutest is my Uno.

He's mine.

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Finding My Happy Weight /2011/01/11/finding-my-happy-weight/ /2011/01/11/finding-my-happy-weight/#comments Tue, 11 Jan 2011 13:17:38 +0000 Elizabeth /?p=328 Continue reading »]]> This past summer, while reading “healthy living” blogs, I came across blogger Erin Coates and her blog The Healthy Apron.  Erin, a registered and licensed dietician,  was running a series of posts she titled Your Best Self One Month Makeover! This sounded good to me, so I followed along for the month.  I’ve since become a regular reader of The Healthy Apron (and I’ve mentioned the blog in a previous post.)

Today I want to talk about what I learned (and in fact, still learning) from Erin’s month-long program.  This program is about finding “your happy weight”.  It is NOT about dieting, counting calories, eating only certain types of food, etc.  It’s a no-nonsense approach to eating and exercising.  Some of this stuff should be “obvious” yet had never occurred to me.

This is what I took away from her program.  I could probably go back through the whole program right now and learn new stuff.  But here is what I learned, about me, over the summer.
1)  Natural Eating.  Should be intuitive, right?  It means you should eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.  For me, “natural eating” is NOT intuitive.  It’s hard work.  Am still working on it.  Snacking is my biggest nemesis.  Prior to reading Erin’s program, I would feel hungry and go in search of a snack.  Often I was not sure what I wanted so I would eat this and that, and this and that, and… (get the picture?)  Now, I try to follow these steps:

  1. Ask myself if I am indeed hungry.  Or am I just a little bored, looking for something to do.  Eating is “something to do”, right?  But there are other things to do that would be better for my body, like: talk a walk, call/write a friend, read my book, etc, etc.
  2. If I am truly hungry I ask myself: “What do I really want to eat right now?”  Do I want sweet? salty? savory? crunchy? creamy? cold? hot?  No foods are “bad foods” so if I can figure out what I’m hungry for, I eat it.  Sometimes I ask myself, “if I could get anything I wanted to eat right now, even if it’s not in my kitchen, what would it be?”  Then I take it from there.  For example, if that “something” is a piece of chocolate cake then I know I’m hungry for something sweet and soft.  I may not have chocolate cake in the house (I rarely do) but perhaps I have a piece of a good chocolate bar.  That might do it.  Or I might have chocolate pudding.  That might also do the trick for me.  Too many times in the past I would want something that I felt I shouldn’t eat so I would eat something else.  But that wouldn’t satisfy me so I would eat another something else, and so on.  The old way was not honoring my hunger.  Now I honor my hunger.  I eat when I’m truly hungry, and I eat whatever it is that I feel like eating.  (And I try to stop when I’m full.  Still working on that one.)
  3. When I eat, I try to really enjoy eating.  I try to minimize distractions and just focus on my food.  Again, this is one I’m still working on.

2) Move It To Lose It.  I workout every day.  And I work out hard.  I run.  I cycle.  I workout with weights (sometimes).  I take long, power walks.  Don’t I already get all the exercise I need?  Erin made me realize that even though I may have a good, hard workout every morning, I was spending the rest of the day pretty sedentary.  She introduced me to the idea of “Fidget-cize”, or spontaneous, physical activity throughout the day.  Erin has lots of suggestions of how you can “fidget-cize” 5 to 8 times each day.  For example, I now do leg-lifts while I brush my teeth in the bathroom.  Looks funny?  Sure.  Does my huuby think it’s weird when he sees me?  Probably.  But hey, it’s effective and not at all hard to fit into the day.  You just have to remember to do it.  Go to Erin’s site to all her tips/suggestions on this.

4)  The All or Nothing Mentality.  Oh, this is sooooo me.  Not just when it comes to food or exercise.  My husband often says to me, “You know, there might be something in between all and nothing.”  Yes, I know.  I just forget most of the time.  This is another area where much work needs to be done.  Just because I’ve eaten something I didn’t really want, when I wasn’t even hungry, I don’t have to eat it all.  I need to get rid of the attitude that tells me: “you’ve already blown it, might was well it eat all.”  Same is true for exercise.  Just because I don’t have a full hour for my workout, doesn’t mean I can’t workout at all.  It’s ok to sometimes only workout for 20 mins.  Really, it’s ok.

Erin also give lots of other great advice and tips in her program.  Many of them are along the lines of how to pick healthy foods.  I’m not going to discuss that here because while I agree with all that she says on the topic, I already knew that stuff and already had put it into practice.  My intention here is NOT to repeat everything Erin suggests.  You can go to her blog to read all about it.  I just wanted to talk about the key things I learned.  I learned a lot.  Don’t cha think?

Ok, this post is getting too long.  I want to leave you with a totally unrelated photo.  Just cause it’s cute.  It’s Sneakers, of course!

]]> /2011/01/11/finding-my-happy-weight/feed/ 8 Dreamy Creamsicle – in a glass /2011/01/10/dreamy-creamsicle-in-a-glass/ /2011/01/10/dreamy-creamsicle-in-a-glass/#comments Mon, 10 Jan 2011 13:19:36 +0000 Elizabeth /?p=317 Continue reading »]]>

Yummmmm.  We’ll get to that in a moment.

But first, I must comment on the tragedy that happened over the weekend in Tucson, Arizona.  Although this is a blog about fitness and healthy eating, it’s still my blog and I feel I must comment on what happened.  I hope you won’t find this too preachy or political, that is not my intent.

I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Giffords, the 18 others who were shot in a parking lot on Saturday, and their loved-ones.  My prayers are also with the gunman because it must be awful to live with that much hatred, spiritual discord and, I’m guessing, mental disturbance.  It stuns my mind when I try to think why this happened.  To quote Pima County Sheriff Dupnik, “this is no longer the country that most of us grew up in.”  Let’s not be saddened today and forget about it tomorrow.  Let’s not stand by and be passive when people spew hate and incend violence.  That’s all I wanted to say.  Thank you for listening.

After a beautiful warm and sunny Saturday, Sunday turned cold and rainy.  Our plans for a Sunday bike ride had to be canceled. Instead of getting outside for a ride, I headed to the gym for a treadmill run (yuck).  I powered through 45 mins. of speed intervals.  I don’t often do speed intervals cause I really don’t like it, but I was pleased to find that my “fast” intervals are now significantly faster than they used to be.  Also, my recovery intervals are faster.  That made me happy.

After a lunch of vegetable soup I was still a bit hungry so I made myself a Creamsicle Smoothie which was loosely based on a recipe Angela at Oh She Glows posted.  I made enough changes that I’m going to post my version of the recipe.  I’m sure Angela’s version is far better and you can find it here.

Dreamy Creamsicle Smoothie — makes 2 large servings

(Adapted from Oh She Glows)

  • 1 large banana (mine was not frozen, but use frozen if you have it)
  • 1/2 avocado (mine was frozen)
  • 2 clementines, peeled (3 would have been better, I think)
  • 1/3 cup lite coconut milk (cause that’s all I had left)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • ice (handful or so)

Throw everything into your blender (Vitamix works best) and blend away.  The avocado was added for extra creaminess and it worked.  I didn’t add any sweetener like Angela did because I’m not used to drinking sweet smoothies.  Use your judgment on sweetener (Angela used a medjool date to sweeten her mix.)

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Yum X 2 /2011/01/09/yum-x-2/ /2011/01/09/yum-x-2/#comments Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:07:04 +0000 Elizabeth /?p=301 Continue reading »]]> I have two great recipes for you today.  Last night I was still in need of some comfort food.  The cake was great and all, but sometimes you need to follow up cake with dinner. :)

Recipe #1 is courtesy of Angela at Oh She Glows.

Quick and Easy Vegan Alfredo.  Boy, is this comforting.  Two” forks-up” cause Carl loved it too.

I used whole wheat pasta shells for the pasta base and  followed Angela’s recipe to the letter.  She gives a great step-by-step for this recipe and some good tips.  I’m not going to reprint it because you can easily find her recipe here.  I’m just going to show you some mouth-watering photos of my dinner last night.

Are you drooling yet?  Wait, there’s more.

The co-star of this dinner was a spinach salad with broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes PLUS a super yummy Spicy Thai dressing, adapted from this recipe found at Char’s Kitchen.

Spice Thai Dressing:

  • 1/4 c. almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 inch fresh, peeled ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. Thai chili paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • Water to thin to desired consistency

I used my mini food processor for this one but you can use a blender or regular-sized food processor.  Process/blend the garlic and ginger a bit first, so it gets “minced”.  Add all other ingredients and whirl away.  This would make a great dipping sauce for raw veggies or drizzled over grains.

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I Hurt. Quick, Apply Cake! /2011/01/08/i-hurt-quick-apply-cake/ /2011/01/08/i-hurt-quick-apply-cake/#comments Sat, 08 Jan 2011 13:21:30 +0000 Elizabeth /?p=271 Continue reading »]]> Yesterday morning was a planned long run.  12 miles + HILLS!  The 1st 7 miles were very hilly, then we polished off the hill run with an additional 5 mile, flat run around Town Lake.  I did NOT fuel right for this run*.  My stomach GROWLED.  The hills were TOUGH.  My legs HURT.  Wah, wah, wah.  I need some cake.

I have been eyeing this recipe for Apple Quinoa Cake. Baking it seemed like the perfect after-run activity.  That, and sitting on the couch.  But I tried to avoid the couch for as long as possible cause my legs got stiff from just sitting in the car on the drive home from Town Lake (about 10 mins).  Seriously people, I was in trouble.  Now where is that cake?  Oh yeah, I had to make it first.

Apple Quinoa Cake out of the oven

Ta Da!  Now this is a cake that can heal pains.  It’s not too sweet and I used palm sugar** instead of regular sugar.  The recipe actually called for palm sugar but if you want to make it and don’t want to go to the store to search for palm sugar then just use brown sugar (palm sugar is closest in taste/texture to brown sugar.)

This bite is ready for my mouth.

A little bit closer now.

I’m going to go ahead and call this cake healthy, err healthier.  If you’re going to eat cake, eat this one.  I found the recipe on and if you want to make it, and you do, you can find the recipe by clicking here.  The cake is made with cooked quinoa, grated apple, raisins and sunflower seeds, along with spices and such.  There is an thin oat topping but I you could omit that part if you want (although I loved that part.)  If you like your cake to be super sweet, this one is probably not for you.  But I know several family/friends who would enjoy this cake (Mom, David, …)

Enjoy with a cup of hot green tea!  That’s how I downed mine.  Bon Appetit! (Said with Julia Child voice.)

* Why didn’t I fuel right for my long run?  My usual pre-run fuel consists of half a banana with a thin moderate thick schmear of almond butter.  Since I knew this would be a harder-than-typical run, I decided to add some carbs to my pre-run b’fast.  I put the almond butter and banana, along with a sprinkle of cinnamon, on top a piece of toasted Ezekiel bread.  The only thing I can think went wrong was too much fiber.  And it didn’t last so that my stomach was growling and rumbling during the last two miles.  I did bring a few dates to snack on during the run, but by the time I thought to eat one my stomach was already hurting.  It was probably too late.  Sneaker’s liked the dates, though. :)   If anyone has an idea why this “fuel” didn’t work for me, please let me know.

Too much fiber?

** Palm sugar.  I have been using coconut palm sugar in place of regular sugar because it’s less processed than white or brown sugar.  It reportedly also has more macronutrients and a lower glycemic index level than white sugar, or even agave syrup, but I’m not sure about those claims.  I need to do a bit more research on it.

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“The Look”. Plus: Weekly Workout Recap + Snack of the Week /2011/01/07/the-look-plus-weekly-workout-recap-snack-of-the-week/ /2011/01/07/the-look-plus-weekly-workout-recap-snack-of-the-week/#comments Fri, 07 Jan 2011 12:38:54 +0000 Elizabeth /?p=256 Continue reading »]]> Weekly Workout Recap for the week of: 12/31 – 1/6

Sneakers’ workout in [ ]

  • 12/31: 45 min. spin bike + 1 hr gym workout with personal trainer, mostly upper body [ Sneakers: 7 mile run with "dad".]
  • 1/1:  10 mile run [Sneakers: same 10 mile run]
  • 1/2:  4 mile walk, with hills [ Sneakers: 10 mile run with "dad"]
  • 1/3:  5 mile “take it easy” run [Sneakers: 5 mile run, no squirrels today]
  • 1/4:  40 min dog walk + 45 min spin bike + 1 hour gym workout with personal trainer [Sneakers:  just the boring walk :( ]
  • 1/5:  7 mile run + 1 hour tennis lesson [Sneakers: 7 mile run + a few squirrel chases.]
  • 1/6:  1.5 hour hike [Sneakers:  hiking + a little "rock climbing" a.k.a. sprinting up cliffs, scaring "mom".]

Summary:  Not as many run miles this week but it’s good to get back to some upper-body work (much needed.)  Sneakers, on the other hand, got in plenty of running.

“The Look”

When I got to the gym on Thursday for a little workout on the spin bike, my hubby was already there spinning away.  He saw me come in and probably thought I was headed toward the empty spin bike right next to his.  But I was making a beeline to the back row.  That’s the row where all the cushy, comfy stationary bikes are located.  You know, the exercise equipment with the big padded seats, back rests, pre-programmed settings, and the little box where you plug in your headphone and get to watch Food Network, Oprah, or some talk show you’ve never even heard of before.

That’s when I got “The Look” from my husband. This is “The Look” that says, “Eh hem. Real cyclists workout on real spin bikes.” Oh I know “The Look” well.  It’s a challenge, my friends.  I know that look because I give it out all the time.  What’s the saying?  “Turnabout is fair play”?  Darn.  If I ignore the challenge I could be subject to ridicule the rest of the evening.  With a heavy sigh I climbed aboard that contraption called a “spin bike”.  It has a cold hard seat, no fancy settings, and I have to do all the work watching my interval times.  Life is hard sometimes, but I will not be called a “wimp”, at least not today.

And finally, Snack of the Week:

Snack of the week is brought to you by, Emily from Daily Garnish.  (Her recipe, my baking.)

Vegan Cranberry Walnut Muffins!

Don’t they look delish?  Well, they are.   I made mini-muffins, and chopped up the cranberries a little, and instead of regular sugar I used palm sugar, but those are the only changes I made.  So if you want the recipe (and you do) click on Emily’s recipe.   Do it.  Right now!

Question:  How have your workouts gone this week?  Did you snack on anything especially good?  (Any coins in that “workout” jar yet, Teach?)

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