Whole Grain Apple Coffee Cake

Hey guys! My cold is actually feeling better this morning so that’s a big plus. I have been thinking more about last nights post and I still feel once I finish Sinister7 and my marathon in August I am going to take a break at running long distances and focus more on yoga. It’s hard to do now because I don’t have a quiet place to do it on my own and there are no classes being run through the summer. Once I’m in Calgary I’ll have a lot more options though. I’m thinking a 30 day challenge in the fall would be a neat experience. I’m interested in what I could gain by committing to doing yoga 30 days in a row. Anyone want to join me? We have lot’s of time yet, just over two months before I start so you have time to think about it.

Onto the cake! We are celebrating my dad’s birthday this weekend and I told him I would make him a cake. Now usually he wants black forest cake, but I was happy to hear a different request this year. He wanted a coffee cake. I decided to add a twist to it as I know he also loves apple pie, so made a two layer coffee cake and added an apple pie filling, with a crumb topping, drizzled with brown rice syrup and sprinkled with toasted walnuts.

WHOLE GRAIN APPLE COFFEE CAKE

1 c spelt flour
2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 organic cane sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp + 2 tsp baking powder
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)

1 c soy milk
1/2 c pumpkin
1 tbsp vanilla

1/4 c walnuts

Crumb Topping

1/3 c organic unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c spelt flour
1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1) Pre-heat oven to 325 F and lightly grease two round cake pans with coconut oil.
2) Combine ground flax and water and set aside to thicken.
3) Prepare the crumb topping by mixing sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add melted butter and mix well, then set aside.
4) In a large bowl whisk together milk, pumpkin, vanilla and flax egg.
5) Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not overmix. Pour into prepared cake pans and sprinkle one pan with about 1/4 c of walnuts and the other pan with the crumble topping.
6) Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes than transfer to cooling rack.
7) Next prepare the apple pie filling.

Apple Pie Filling

4 organic Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 tbsp organic unsalted butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tbsp flour

Add all ingredients except flour to a sauce pan over medium-low heat and cook until apples have softened, about 15 minutes. Add flour stirring constantly until juices have thickened. Set aside to cool.
8) Assemble cake by placing cake that’s topped with walnuts on a plate. Spread apple pie filling on top then top with cake that has the crumb topping. Drizzle with brown rice syrup and sprinkle with about 1/3 c toasted walnuts.
9) Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Bottom layer

Apple pie filling

Crumb topping

The finished product with brown rice syrup and toasted walnuts

I can’t tell you how it tastes because it would be kind of obvious if i cut a slice out of it, but I will let you know later. I hope everyone likes it. It’s always a little nerve racking baking healthier desserts for a group of people.

Let’s hope the rain holds off, we’re going camping and it’s no fun in the rain. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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Posted in Exercise, Food, Racing, Recipe, Running, Yoga | 2 Comments

Yoga For Running?

This week has been…..strange. I’m sick with a cold that’s getting worse and I can’t do my last long run before Sinister7 tomorrow. I found out I’m severely iron deficient and I’m considering quitting running for yoga. I spent my friday evening curled up on the couch watching the dark knight with my dog and a cookie dough blizzard, and no it wasn’t a vegan blizzaard it was from DQ. I can’t remember the last time I had a Dairy Queen blizzard, but I can tell you it didn’t make me feel better. It gave me a sugar headache and definitely won’t be helping my immune system at the moment. Emotional eating at it’s best.

Okay so maybe I wouldn’t quit running completely, but I would tone it down to 5 and 10km races instead. My body is not balanced and I’m trying to find that balance. I was supposed to do my last 32km run tomorrow in preparation for Sinister7 before I start to taper. Yesterday I noticed my throat was hurting at work, then today it was worse with sneezing and a runny nose. In the past I would still have run my 32km run tomorrow, but for the first time I am really listening to my body and realizing that would do more harm than good.

I got a blood test yesterday to check my iron and B12 levels along with a few other things since I’ve gone vegetarian and want to make sure I’m getting the proper nutrients I need. I also haven’t had my period for the past 10 months so I wanted to look into that as well. I want kids some day and don’t want my fertility negatively affected. I got a message from the doctor this morning telling me that I am severely iron deficient and she wanted me to start taking ferrous gluconate immediately 2-3 times a day. I have been iron deficient once before and I could feel it, I was unable to complete my long runs and had to quit marathon training. So I was a bit surprised when I got her message because I haven’t noticed myself feeling tired like last time. When I told a friend at work she did say she noticed I have been mentioning that I’m feel too tired before runs or during them. Thinking back I guess I have noticed my legs feeling tired and my motivation waning but I just thought that was because of the racing and long runs every weekend for the past 6 weeks.

So why would I consider giving up running, or at least longer distances? I read this post today over at Joyous Health. I felt like she was describing me, not that I’m trying to lose weight but the fact that I’m always going hard. It was interesting reading about the body being in sympathetic nervous mode and how yoga can help you slow down and chill out. I want to become more in tune with my body. I want to be able to balance it and right now I am not balanced. This isn’t the first time I’ve thought of taking a break from running to immerse myself into yoga either so it means something to me.

Don’t get me wrong I love running and racing and challenging myself to go farther and faster, but maybe my body doesn’t love it. Maybe yoga could create that same feeling or better. Maybe regular yoga is that balance I need in my life. I am trying to figure out how I can be my healthiest and happiest by balancing my body, mind, and spirit. I am excited to move to Calgary where I will have more opportunity to take different yoga classes and keep up with it. I am also excited to take the Natural nutrition program, I think it’s going to be a life changing adventure for me.

This has been a bit of a rambling post but I just wrote what was on my mind at the moment. So often I think we find ourselves too busy and caught up in our schedules to truly take time out to listen to ourselves and our loved ones. Looking back though I can see I have made improvements in my exercise level by taking baby steps. Earlier in the training season I was running, swimming, taking spin classes, yoga classes and strength training. It was overkill and eventually I got to where I am today running 3 days a week, strength training 2-3 days and doing yoga 1-2 days. It’s better, but obviously something is still unbalanced whether it’s coming from the body, mind, or spirit I have yet to find out. I’m working my way towards discovering how to balance myself better.

How do you balance yourself? Have you realized something you were doing that you love and thought was healthy for you might not be? What did you do?

I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, so tomorrow I’m posting a vegetarian coffee cake recipe with pictures! I need to remember to vacuumm the dog hair off the couch too!

Posted in Holistic Nutrition, Running, Training, Yoga | Leave a comment

Moksha yoga

Last Sunday afternoon I took my mom to her first yoga class. She does yoga videos at home, but had never taken a class before. This was a Moksha yoga class, meaning the room was heated to 37-39 C. This was my first experience with hot yoga as well. Here is the description of Moksha yoga on the studio’s website:

Moksha hot yoga is a series of postures practiced in a heated room. The series works to stretch, strengthen and tone the muscles while detoxifying the body and calming the mind.
While each of our instructors brings their own unique experience and style to their teaching, all classes follow a basic structure that is fundamental to the Moksha practice…

Savasana or corpse pose is how we begin. Lying flat on the back with the palms turned up and the feet slightly separated, we start a challenging practice in relaxation, allowing our expectations to fall away and be replaced by the potential for pure experience.

Intention setting. In any activity setting goals or intentions breeds accomplishment. Often a teacher will set a theme for a class – for example being more aware of your breath, or building the core muscles of the abdomen. Especially for those with a busy life, this brings the experience of a hot yoga class into focus.

The standing series is a cardiovascular set of postures. The focus is on building strength, balance and endurance through hot yoga postures done from a standing position. Postures are held anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute, allowing the skin to sweat and detoxify the body.

The floor series works on strengthening the upper body, spine and abdominal muscles. Having thoroughly warmed the body in the standing series, we now begin to open the hips and spine. The floor series relieves tension, treats lower back and knee pain and improves posture.

Final Savasana ends the class the way it began: lying flat on the back. The standing and floor series have warmed and opened the body, and now it is ready to relax. At the end of class students leave at their own pace, each with greatly reduced stress levels, a rejuvenated internal system and a little yoga twinkle in the eye (you’ll see!).
**source**

When we first walked into the room it was dark and it took a second for our eyes to adjust. After they had adjusted we realized the room was quite full and everyone was lying in savasana. We found a spot at the back where we could both fit our mats and joined everyone in savasana. The room obviously was quite hot and I was worried at first it may be too much for my mom’s first yoga class. She has asthma and can get a little claustrophobic.

The instructor came in shortly and led us through a sequence of poses. We were dripping sweat in no time. I was glad I had brought a towel to put on my mat because I would have been sliding all over the place. I thought this class wouldn’t have been good for a beginner because the instructor just walked around and told us what to do. She did not demonstrate any of the poses like I’m used to. A couple of times I had to look at what everyone else was doing because I didn’t know the name of the pose.

I also was unsure what type of breathing I should have been doing with the poses. I am used to doing the Ujjayi breathing, but it sounded like some people where exhaling through their mouths. I also had a hard time knowing when to exhale and inhale because the instructor didn’t tell us when to. In the hatha yoga classes i’ve taken they’ve always emphasized the breath, which I really like. I find focusing on my breath brings me into deeper relaxation.

I actually really liked sweating a lot. I felt so cleansed after. I did need to drink a lot of water to rehydrate. Even after 3 litres of water I still felt thirsty. I also liked the faster pace and the fact that I could push myself a bit farther in each pose because my muscles where so warm and loose.

In the end I could definitely see myself doing Moksha yoga again, but I think I would also want to keep up with the more relaxing Hatha yoga. My mom did great and also liked it. She’s looking into classes back home now!

I have my last 32km training run before Sinister7 on Saturday and I feel like I’m getting a cold. Yesterday my throat was sore and today I have been sneezing and my nose is starting to run. This is not good, I cannot get sick. I had a green juice this morning followed by a green smoothie. For dinner tonight I added 3 cloves of garlic to my stir-fry and tomorrow morning I’m making another big green juice. I’m trying to fight this cold off! We’ll I better get to bed so I can have a good sleep too.

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Half-Marathon PR

This morning I ran the Eddie’s Big Run Half-Marathon and I set a new PR. I did it in 1:47:55!

This was surprising to me considering how I felt this morning and during the run. I woke up at 5:00am and started my day with hot water and lemon juice followed by a bowl of oatmeal. I was tired this morning and last night I got a charlie horse in my left calf. This morning my calf was still feeling tender. The outside of my left foot has also been a bit sore since my 32km long run last Sunday. My lower leg and especially the calf is feeling quite tight. I am going to get some active release done on it next week. On the bright side the weather was just right, cool but no wind or rain.

I got to the race start about 20 minutes before it started, said hi to some people I knew, wished them luck and then got in line. The race started and we were off. There were only around 50 people running the half and I felt like I started out too quickly. My legs were sore and my breathing was labored. I just kept pushing forward though. At around 7km I started struggling mentally. I just didn’t feel as good as my last half-marathon and I wanted it to be over, but I wasn’t even half-way at this point. i dug down deep and just tried to concentrate on my breathing and taking shorter quicker steps. There were points that leveled off or went downhill which made me feel better. My heart rate and breathing seemed to level off. At this point I was just hoping to get under two hours.

The route was on the trails in town and some road. For the half-marathoner’s we had to do two loops. I made it onto the second loop and finally let myself look at my watch. I don’t like looking at my watch too much. I like to go more by how I’m feeling and pace myself that way. At the halfway point I was at about 54 minutes. At this point I started to think that maybe I could get close to my last half-marathon time of 1:54:30. Going into the second loop I was also told I was the third female! I had kind of thought that because at the beginning I saw one girl take off with the guys and then shortly after the start another girl passed me. Knowing that I was in third place gave me the extra motivation to keep pushing so no one would pass me.

During the second loop I discovered that there was no Gatorade at the aid stations like I’d been told there would be. All they had was water. I hadn’t been organized enough to pick up gels or energy gummies the last time I was in the city so I’d just been planning on drinking the Gatorade for glycogen. I started to feel my energy levels drop during that second loop and could have benefited having something to top up my energy stores. I passed a few guys during the second loop and kept pushing on.

I ended up getting a little stone in the back of my shoe and stop to try to remove it. I couldn’t get it out and I wasn’t taking my shoe off so I just kept running. I could feel that it was rubbing my heel raw. With 3km left to go I tried to quicken my pace a bit. At 1.5km left to go I looked at my watch and saw that I was at 1 hour and 41 minutes. I couldn’t believe it and thought maybe I could get under 1:50:00. I picked up the pace even more, pushing my legs to move quicker and pumping my arms. I crossed the finish line in 1:47:55. A lot quicker than I thought I would be able to run it considering how I felt.

Afterwards I had some food, stretched, cheered on the other runners, and waited for the awards ceremony. The first three runner’s of each gender in each race distance, 5km, 10km and 21km, got trophies! They even had a little podium for us to stand on and they took our picture holding our bobble head trophies.

Check this out! I absolutely love these trophies! They are so cute.

Tomorrow I am heading to the city to celebrate my mom’s birthday with this. We will also be trying Moksha yoga so I’m pretty stoked, but I need to make sure I hydrate well today.

Posted in Half-Marathon, Racing, Running | Leave a comment

Digestive Loving Power Bowl

This morning to celebrate finishing my cleanse I made a bowl of banana whipped oatmeal. Before the oatmeal I made a green juice.This morning I used:

1/2 a cucumber, peeled
5 celery stalks
kale stems
1/2 a lemon
knob of ginger, peeled
1 granny smith apple
It was actually too sweet for me. I could have gone without the apple. I love all the buzzing enzymes and nutrients fresh juice provides me.

Okay, back to the oatmeal.This bowl contained:

1/3 c rolled oats
2/3 c soy milk
1/4 c water
1 small banana, sliced thinly (mine wasn’t ripe enough)
1 tbsp chia seeds
cinnamon
nutmeg

Toppings:
crunchy almond butter
raw buckwheat groats

It was good, but not as good as I remember. I think it was because my banana wasn’t ripe enough.

I have been reading more and more about digestion and how important proper digestion is for our health. So to help my body out with this complicated process I set to work making a dinner containing digestive aids. My dinner contained green cabbage and while I was slicing it I accidentally sliced the tip of my thumb off. Yeah, not cool. It was bleeding pretty good and soaked through the three band aids I put on it. So what did I do? I did what any foodie would do at dinner time.I wrapped a wash cloth around it and taped it with duck tape so it would stay in place.

Digestive Loving Power Bowl

1c red quinoa, cooked in vegetable broth

1 tsp virgin coconut oil
2c cabbage, shredded
2c kale/swiss chard
1/4c sweet onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, diced

1 Roma tomato
1/2 c mung bean sprouts
1/4 avocado
1/4c minced dill

2 tbsp Cayenne Dill Tahini Dressing

1) Cook your red quinoa in vegetable broth.
2) Heat wok over medium heat, add coconut oil. Once coconut oil is melted add cabbage, kale, onion, garlic and ginger. Stir often for a few minutes until onion is translucent and cabbage and kale are slightly softened. Don’t overcook.
3) Remove from heat and stir in tomato and dill.
4) Put cooked quinoa in a bowl and add cabbage mixture. Top with avocado, mung bean sprouts and Cayenne Dill Tahini dressing.

Cayenne Dill Tahini Dressing
*adapted from The Thrive Diet

1/2 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c EVOO
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp fresh dill
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pkg stevia
sea salt to taste

Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Store in refrigerator. Makes about 3/4 cup.

Quinoa in the bottom of the bowl.

Topped with the goods.

The digestive system will love this bowl because;

– Ginger, aids in digestion and helps break down proteins.
– Mung bean sprouts, the enzymes help with digestion. Mung beans also contain very little oligosaccharides (the sugars that cause gas) unlike most beans.
– Lightly cooked veggies are easier to digest than raw veggies.
– Cayenne powder, the capsaicin helps with digestion by increasing blood flow and stimulating the muscles in the digestive tract.
– Dill, is said to stimulate digestion helping prevent diarrhea
– Garlic, destroys harmful bacteria in the intestines while leaving the beneficial bacteria which aids in digestion.

So there you have it, this bowl is full of digestive loving goodness! Well I’m off to stretch. I feel better after my 32km run yesterday than I did after my 27km run two weeks ago. I was quite sore after the 27km run, but not so much today. That must mean I’m getting stronger or my recovery was better yesterday.

Let’s hope this week is better than last week!

Posted in Food, Recipe | Leave a comment

Have you tried a Buckwheat Bake?

Every day in every way
I co-create my reality

As above so is below
This is what I know

Today I choose to see
What is right about me

When I ask it is given
What I believe I receive

I am preparing for success
I am available for guidance
I have the power to choose
What I think, eat and do

Where fear has blocked me
Love now surrounds me
Everything is right about me.
And so it is!

*Source

I love reading the Crazy Sexy Life blog. It’s so inspirational and always makes me feel great.

This morning I tackled the big 32km training run! It was great! Well my legs were tired and sore, but I already have amnesia and think it was awesome.It took us 3 hours and 20 minutes with one stop so one of the girls I ran with could refill her water bottle. My legs were feeling a bit tired and sore on the hills right away. I think they were still not completely recovered from my hard effort last weekend. Now I’m pumped up for next weekend’s half-marathon in my home town.

The added benefit of long runs is getting to eat lot’s! Hehe! I finally tried a buckwheat bake today.I have seen them appear on different blogs for a while now and don’t know why it took me so long to try one.

I made my own buckwheat flour by grinding raw buckwheat groats in my blender, like Ashley recommends.

I love flax eggs! I substitute ground flax and water for eggs in all my baking now.

For the buckwheat bake I used:

1/4 ground raw buckwheat
1 Tbsp raw buckwheat groats
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flax and 2.5 Tbsp warm water, mixed)
2 Tbsp soy milk
2 pkg’s of stevia
1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp Raw Carob powder
cinnamon, lot’s
1.5 Tsp vanilla extract
1/4 Tsp baking powder

1) Mix the ground flax and water and set aside.
2) Mix the buckwheat flour, buckwheat groats, chia seeds, cinnamon, cocoa, carob powder, stevia and baking powder in a small bowl.
3)In another bowl mix the soy milk and vanilla then stir into the flour mixture. Add the flax egg and mix well.
4) Grease a microwaveable bowl or dish, I used coconut oil. Put batter in dish and cover. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Before going into the microwave:

After coming out of the microwave:

With toppings:

Mine wasn’t as gooey looking as Ashley’s in the center, so next time I wouldn’t microwave it quite as long.
It was still tasty, super easy and quick. I loved how this reminded me of a brownie but is way healthier and actually full of nutrients for my body!

Why is it I always feel weepy when someone tells me they’re pregnant? My eyes tear up and it’s rather embarrassing. Oh well, can’t wait to sleep in tomorrow! Hope everyone’s having a great weekend!

Posted in Food, Recipe, Running, Training | 2 Comments

One of those weeks

Hey guys! Thank god it’s Friday! You know when you have one of those days and everything that can go wrong does. Well it was one of those weeks. Starting with my computer crashing Monday morning, then my e-mail being hacked and not being able to access it (still haven’t) and ending with me locking the keys in the fleet vehicle at the end of the day today. Considering everything that’s gone wrong this week, I’m feeling pretty good though. It’s all about focusing on the positive, right. My positive is that I paid off my loan on Thursday! It sure makes me feel good. I’m also excited for my 32km training run tomorrow. And I’m looking forward to having some dark chocolate or red wine or maybe both on Sunday. Tomorrow is the last day of my cleanse and I can’t believe I went 27 days without chocolate.

I found a really neat website awhile back that I want to share with you. It’s the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. You can enter in different products from face wash to nail polish to mascara and it will give you a rating on how safe the product is for you depending on the chemicals that are in it. It gives each product a number from 0 to 10. The scale goes like this:

0-2 Low hazard
3-6 Moderate hazard
7-10 High hazard

There is also a score for the data and the number of studies available to back up the rating.

Data Score Key:

None
Limited
Fair
Good
Robust

I entered in the Aveeno skin care products I was using and was surprised to find the ratings from 5-7. Yikes I was putting chemicals on my face that were moderately to highly unsafe for my body. Since then I’ve bought some organic skin care that is not in the database, but the ingredients look stellar. They are expensive though, but I think my skin is worth it. I did find a less expensive line of skin care that has great ratings. The aloe vera Body Shop line, which I may resort to once I’m in school to save some money.

Anyways I hope everyone has a great weekend planned! I’ll be back to post a new recipe this weekend.

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