fitness


Gettin'er Done

08 Apr 2013
Posted by karen
karen's picture

Gettin'er done...

The shirt was included in my race packet (for the record, I ran the half and not the full marathon).

I did gett'er done. I expected to finish and I did.

Ten years of running a whack of races from 1K - 56K prior to that event inspired confidence; I did my usual routine by:

-- Registering.

-- Training.

-- And - to repeat myself - the expectation of crossing the finish line (upright and smiling!).

 

As a holistic nutritional consultant I love working with people who are accepting challenges to start making changes. In dietary and lifestyle habits. They may be seeking improved wellness, weight loss, increased energy, better sleep patterns, overcoming symptoms of disease - looking for long term benefits and results. 

In my work, clients express their sense of need by contacting me or making an office appointment. Like my race analogy, they "register." It's an act of commitment: "I need to change some things." 

We get started on a plan. This is where the training starts.

 

The plan will vary, but working with my In Balance health and wellness participants, it will look something like this:

-- logging food, activity, etc.

-- meeting with me once/week (in person or online) for 4-8 weeks for education and coaching on the factors to build a balanced life

-- being physically active

-- adopting a positive attitude

-- accepting the reality of consistent lifestyle and dietary changes for longterm healthy benefits (i.e change takes time!)

Change - or training - is never easy, even if/and/or when the plan is simple and straight forward. 

 

However: following through to gettin'er done will be more successful - and enjoyable - if you follow these five keys:

-- put aside perfection and "train" with your best efforts - go for excellence

-- accept your body type, your personality - not everyone "runs" at the same pace 

-- make both short and long term goals

-- grant yourself some grace and start a daily thanksgiving journal

-- expect to "finish" and align yourself with an accountability partner who believes in you too

 

It's within your power to knock down the roadblocks hindering you from getting to your finish line. You can make it - you're just not there YET.

I'd love to hear how you get to your finish line. And in the meantime, I'm going to follow through on today's "race plan" - to make a batch of my current favourite cookies: click on Sweet Potato Coco-Nut Cookies for the recipe.

Drink Up!!

23 Jul 2012
Posted by karen
karen's picture

No, I'm not on an extended vacation cycling through vineyards and staying at villas in Italy (though that's on my bucket list), nor am I picking and preserving heaps of berries (this winter I am so going to regret missing this year's short season, counting on getting the blueberries) - my house and routine has been "summerly" askew with: my son and family's extended visit, my valiant attempts to keep head and hand in Real Food Matters studying an In Balance weight loss and wellness program, dabbling in my garden, etc. etc. It's mostly all good -the reality is there ARE things about this stuff of living you can't say is ALL GOOD - and one of those presently for me is finding time and head-space to write. 

However - I'm here now so get to it!
 
 
From my office window I can see the new hummingbird feeder I recently attached to an adjacent window. (This post is not about whether or not you should provide food for these hummers, or any other wild life, for that matter...it's my choice to do so. And considering they need 8X their body weight of nectar/day I am happy to give them some help.) The sound of whirring wings moves my attention beyond the keyboard to view the very active feeding station. (One of the etc. on my above busy-life-list is keeping up a supply of my water/dissolved sugar solution - no red food colouring!). I know they also eat elsewhere, because there are times the container runs dry, but somehow they know when it's full again (no, they can't smell - they are directed only by their eyesight. Amazing.)
 
 
A hummingbirds' wings beat 3000X/minute - it's no surprise they need to drink so much - and though I have no idea how to extrapolate their exertion to our exercise/physical activity (especially on a hot summer's day), I do know we need to stay hydrated and replace the electrolytes lost through sweating. 
 
Commercially prepared sports drinks are mainly comprised of two ingredients: sugar and electrolytes (usually sodium and potassium). These help muscle contraction remain fluid, and reduce cramping. The downside, though, is that they are packed with artificial colours and flavours, and corn-based high fructose syrup or solids are the most common source of carbohydrate. There are natural ingredient sports drinks available, which are usually pricey - including one powder I tried that tasted so bad all I could think was "horse pee" - so my recommendation is to try some of these simple alternatives, given to me by an RHN colleague, Paulette Millis and others picked up from "here and there."
 
- pure coconut water
- mix half coconut milk (or coconut water) and Bolthouse Carrot Juice
- blend half water and half unsweetened fruit juice - add a pinch of organic sea salt (minerals of the sea are very similar to our own electrolyte composition in our blood - so a better option than table salt)
- chicken and vegetable broth (think winter post-workouts) 
- green tea, with optional additions - honey, sea salt
- blend hydrating foods, e.g. watermelon, cucumbers, honeydew, cantaloupe and other water-packed fruits and vegetables - with water and sea salt
 
-  For post-workout, blend this chocolate almond smoothie - (BrendanBrazier.com). Make ahead, chilled in fridge. Fresh is best - keeps up to 3 days.
    - 1 banana
    - 2 fresh or soaked dried dates
    - 1/4 cup raw almonds
    - 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
    - 1 Tbsp. hemp protein
    - 1 Tbsp. raw cacao nibs
    - 1/8. tsp sea salt (my addition)
 
 

Electrolyte Replacement Drink

 
1 quart water
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup honey
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 crushed calcium tablets (available from health food store)
 
Mix together and store in refrigerator. I recommend diluting it at least half and half with water. 
Drink is good foor during/after exercise, also for replacing electrolytes during fever with vomiting and/or diarrhea.
 
 
Do you have any sports drink favourites? I would like to hear how any of these options work for you.
Posted by karen
karen's picture

 

Saturday night: we were sitting in a travel trailer belonging to friends of friends - having some "sustenance" a few hours prior to running our post-midnight stages of the Cabot Trail Relay Race.
 
"This is a different lunch," my husband remarked.
 
I was wondering how long it would be before he'd say something. I too thought it was atypical pre-race food but wasn't going to be the first to say so, as I had put the "meal" together.
 
- salad of greens and grated carrots and celery with a dressing I concocted from chia seeds mixed with water
- some apple slices dipped in peanut butter
- bread and a muffin with more peanut butter and strawberry jam
- water and a homemade granola bar for dessert.
 
Different - no?
 
I had to agree with him - but feeling comfortably satisfied - we crawled into bed to get some sleep before having to register at 1:00 A.M before my "ready-set-go" race time. Amazing - we zonked out for a couple hours - until our hydrated bodies woke us up. After getting up to relieve ourselves, I laid in bed an hour and a half, trying to relax. It was a fitful rest, between anxiety about not setting my watch alarm (my husband had assured me he'd wake up - he always does!) and reviewing what I'd eaten - or not eaten that day.
 
Pretty sure I had got it right, but the day's eating regime had been discombobulated, to say the least.
 
The day earlier, on Friday, we'd travelled to Baddeck, Nova Scotia, close to where the race started. We had brought our (sparsely stocked) cooler with us; I knew the options in restaurants and stores along the trail were going to be limited. That night we opted to join a community pre-race pasta supper - I chose the veggie sauce which was satisfactory - complete with salad and rolls with a dessert of ice cream and homemade brownies for those who so wished. All for $10.00.
 
Saturday breakfast we ate in our room:
- my homemade granola
- sliced bananas
- chia seeds
- organic soy milk.
 
Excellent. Before leaving Baddeck to join up  with the race that had already started, at a bakery we picked up a full-bodied cup of coffee (much better than what we brewed in our hotel room) and caved to the temptation of some other offerings - two morning glory muffins and a fruit-crisp sort of square for each of us. 
 
During the morning we shared a muffin, ate some homemade granola/power bars, peanuts and pistachios, and drank water as we cheered our teammates as they ground their way up and down the Cabot Trail mountains. At a little market I was able to buy ingredients to round out our lunch of:
 
- canned salmon
- wholewheat flatbreads and seed bread
- hard-boiled eggs
- a few carrot sticks and an apple
- a few bites of our fruit-desserts - I had been looking forward to my first rhubarb taste of the season, and though it was better than the bumble berry neither was as good as they looked. (Surprise, surprise.)
 
After our picnic, more cheering for our team on-the-move, then it was time to drive ahead and prepare for our turn to run. First another stop for supper food - eureka - we found salads in a bag! And more fruit and water. 
 
I have to interject here that there were restaurants along the route - I'm certain some options on the menu would have been acceptable. But we didn't feel ready to eat when we drove past one, and we've never run at 2:02 and 3:55 A.M. before - so knowing what to eat and when, and anticipating how our body rhythm-metabolism would be functioning, were all a mystery.
 
The "guest-room" holiday trailer was close to Cheticamp. N.S. where my leg started. It was about 6:30 P.M. when we rested for about an hour and then got up for the "different" lunch as described above. There was no period during the day that we ever felt really hungry - we just sort of grazed on food as the day progressed - and it was the same when we got up about 11:30 P.M. After getting into our gear before driving to the race start, we enjoyed a repeat of the morning's breakfast: granola, banana and soy milk. 
 
Stepping outside the trailer, I thought, "it's dark out here and I'm going to be running?!" Thankfully I could see a few stars, there was no wind, and the temperature a balmy plus 8C. Marvellous running weather. We had time to join the multitudes at the local Tim Horton's to pick up some caffeine before race registration and the start.
 
Now I just wanted to get on with it. 
 
I felt strong from the get-go. 
 
Judging my time and distance covered was challenging (the light on my aging basic sports watch doesn't work), but it helped that the water-aid stations were postitioned at the 5 and 10 km distances. After the second water stop I was familiar with the experience of running by the light of my headlamp - a.k.a. not so paranoid about wiping out - and felt I had lots of "jam" left. Time to push it up a couple notches for the last 8km. Shortly after the second water station I ate about a tablespoon's worth of one of my home made gels - and felt powered the whole way. 
 
There are so many contributing factors in a physical test like this. Sleep, the fuel I'd had on the days prior to the race, hydration, mental attitude - which was my real issue because the previous 24 hours had been anything but my normal race food routine - but everything had been right for that day.
 
The picture says it all. I had a great run. I am still so grateful.
 

The "different" lunch, and the eating "plan", was okay for my husband's run too - although his limited training showed up at the final 5km to say "hello - you're gonna have to pay now."

 
A celebration treat was in order. Once we were back home, the following rhubarb-strawberry crisp passed the taste treat we'd been looking for.
 

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp - with Almond Topping

 
4 cups diced rhubarb
1 1/2 cups thickly sliced strawberries
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
 
topping:
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sorghum flour (or brown rice flour)
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/4 cup whole cane sugar (or organic sugar)
1/4 cup softened virgin coconut oil (or organic butter)
1/2 - 3/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cardamon
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place all fruit mixture ingredients into medium-sized bowl and gently mix to combine. Place mixture into lightly greased 9x13-inch pan or round deep-dish pan (about 11-inches across).
 
Make the topping by placing all the ingredients into the bowl you just used for the fruit mixture and mix well until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over top of the fruit.
 
Bake in preheated oven 45-55 minutes (will depend on the size of the fruit chunks), until the juices are gurgling up nicely from the middle.
 
Serve with almond milk, a dollop of thick yogurt, or is good all on its own.
 
(Recipe can also be made using apples and cranberries, the original option from the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.)
 
 

A New Nickname

05 Jun 2012
Posted by karen
karen's picture

A couple weeks ago my husband and I joined about 20 other people for a weekend cycling trip around Masstown, N.S. Our accommodations were at the "hub of the wheel" from where we started each day's ride. Spectacular weather - a bonus at any time of year but especially in May - awesome scenery, and meeting new friends of "like activity" were components to the perfect launch for our cycling season.

Coming home with a new nickname was a surprise freebie. 
 
Eating (and drinking) is energetically linked to long distance cycling (our days were from 70 - 130 kilometres/day) so naturally the focus on fuel (food) is big. Our paniers were stuffed with trail mix, fruit, homemade fig bars and raw peanut butter cookies, water - and on the first day, tuna sandwiches and carrot sticks for our picnic lunch. Foodie that I am, I'm always keen on what people eat - and listening for what will be their treat for the end of the ride. Could be chips and a cold beer, for others a fresh cinnamon bun, or a double-scoop ice cream cone. Or a combination thereof!  My treat choice is usually salty - nachos, pistachios - with an apple or banana, then lots of water to rehydrate before opening a cool "anything" - unless I want to end up with a dull headache. 
 
On day two we linked up with a couple cyclists compatible with our pace and personality. A fantastic ride - rolling hills along quiet roads, wild enough country for a black bear sow and two cubs to feel at home. Terry had brought her standard lunch along - the rest of us decided to "eat out". A certain Big Al's was getting a lot of pull because of their "best pies in the land" but my husband and Dean obliged my request that we check out a "revived" railroad dining car. 
Perfect. The guys enjoyed their smoked meat on rye sandwiches and my chicken and veggie quesadilla was "yummyliscious" - the salty goat cheese just hit the spot.
 
Here's where my two road-and-lunch mates fell off the rails. They had polished off their lunches - plus what was left of mine - all the while contributing to our conversation about the benefits of healthy food choices, including eliminating sugar. With this disclaimer: if you do indulge in a treat, it should be worth it in taste and quality.
 
"Do you think Big Al's pies are really as good as they claim to be?"
 
 
The pie was scarfed down in record time - I helped with a taste of each. My husband loves lemon (anything) and the other kind was coconut cream. My idea of pie is fruit-something but according to these two taste-testers, the indulgence lived up to the restaurant's claim. 
 
By this time it's 3:00 and we're still on our lunch break!! And we've got 50-plus kilometres to pedal.
 
We weren't ten minutes on the road and the guys were feeling awful - groaning and questioning whatever possessed them to eat pie on a full stomach with miles left to ride on a bike! No sympathy from me - but a lot of  "what did you expect?!" - and I was branded with my new name.
 
Miss Healthy Pants.
 
My husband and our new-found friend were vowing never to eat pie again - well, at least not for lunch during a long bike ride. I was feeling fresh, showing and telling them I felt absolutely wonderful and ready to rock. Which I did.
 
Of course my lead was short-lived - they eventually worked through the discomfort of the combined fats and sugar's delayed digestion - and then Miss Healthy Pants was cycling hard again to keep up. 
 
I love being a nutrition nut - but I don't aspire to be a nutrition snob
This whole pie affair was in great fun. But at the end of the day, my goal is to encourage people to make healthy changes by sharing nutritious food facts, the consequences of poor nutrition, and that the choice is up to us. It's your body!!
 
In all fairness, my cycling buddies are generally healthy eaters (I think they're aiming for the 80% good -- 20% not-as-good rule). They liked these fig bars. Check.
 

Fig and Pumpkin Seed Snack Bars 

(the extra step of chilling the dough in the freezer before baking helps these bars hold together - excellent travellers for camping, cycling, work lunches, etc.)
 
4 Tbsp. ground flaxseed, divided
3 Tbsp. warm water
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup organic millet puffs  (or puffed rice)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup figs, very finely chopped ( I used Calimyrna figs)
1/3 cup currants
1/ 4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond butter
2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
 
Line an 8x8 baking dish with plastic wrap. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp of the flaxseed with the warm water. Set aside.
 
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the remaining 3 Tbsp flaxseed with the pumpkin seeds, millet cereal, buckwheat, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Process until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the figs and currants.
 
With an electric mixer, or by hand, beat together the almond butter, almond milk, maple syrup, vinegar, and reserved flaxseed slurry until smooth. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
 
Using slightly wet hands, press the dough evenly into the plastic-lined baking dish. Freeze for 30 minutes.
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lift the dough out of the pan using the plastic wrap. Cut the dough into bars. Place the bars 1-2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-18 minutes until firm to the touch. Cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.
 
 

I kind of like my new nick name.  You never know - Miss Healthy Pants may show up in future Q&A phone-in shows, as a newsletter title or a cookbook - or any other ideas out there?

 

runner on the rebound

08 May 2012
Posted by karen
karen's picture

"What's changed, Mom?"

This was my daughter's question last year as I did my cool-down stretches and slurped water after my morning run. Renee could see I was flushed from pumping up the driveway, exhilarated with oxygen recovery - happiness smeared all over my sweaty face.
 
It had been many months since I was (practically) painfree while running, my fitness "love affair" of fifteen years.
Niggling pain in my sacroiliac (SI) joint and a tight lower back and hamstrings were the main symptoms that not only hampered my physical activity but messed with my sleep. Two years prior to this enforced "detour" I'd had a "buff and polish" (arthroscopy) on my left knee resulting from an injury, wear-and-tear, overuse, and?! - but I resolved not to give up. The expanded story will be part 2 and maybe 3 or more to this series.
 

First I'm sharing how I arrived at the present outcome: how "a little bit of a whole lot" factored in for my rebound.

 
Honestly?  It was like months of  a hilly rabbit trail "run."  Flip-flopping from submitting to my "cratering" body or questioning God why my body was betraying me - to fighting back to dig as deep as I ever had in my racing days when I was "so done" before reaching the finish line. 
 
It really was a matter of seeking for the proverbial "needle in the haystack" (what didn't I try!?) -  a lengthy list I logged in my journal. To be clear, over the period of about 18 months, I was receiving one, maybe two, of these treatments at one time, spacing them out as finances and mental will could afford.  
 
Yoga - how much flexibiltiy is in a tight rope? That was me, my routine still includes stretching after exercising.
 
Chiropractor - both "traditional" and NUCCA
 
MELT - a self-"massage" treatment using a foam roller (I took a few classes, bought the roller and use it a few days/week)
 
Massage - mostly deep tissue release, which is not a pleasant "touchy-feely" experience, but can/did help alleviate some muscle knots
 
 
Physio - a new-to-me technique using ropes 
 
Pilates - a single one-on-one session
 
Acupuncture - I was unfamiliar (read skeptical!) about this but my first treatment with Dr. Connolly completely changed my thinking. Since then I've had many sessions with Jason Lomond, occupational therapist (OT) who specializes in neurofunctional acupuncture especially for athletes - and lives in my community. Perhaps it's due to being the most recent, but of any one treatment, this (including manipulative muscle work) has appeared to be the most effective. 
 
Minimalist shoes - the founder and editor of Toe Salad (who happens to be my son-in-law), switched to minimalist footwear several years ago and his example and conversion helped me to finally  "see the light". Merrell Pace Gloves are what I'm using now - love 'em.
I am convinced this is the on-going most significant contributing factor to my rebound.
(Unfortunately no free shoes or other Merrell products for this endorsement!)
 
 
In reality, all of the above contributed to the "what changed."
 

There were constants from my life/running history that I carried into this "marathon."

 
nutrition - for the last five years I've significantly adjusted my diet to more veggies and fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds and minimal animal protein. Having our vegan family live with us for six months last year was a huge support to this menu plan - my body loved it.  
 
setting a goal - as the months went by and I could gradually add on mileage without suffering for it after, I took a leap of faith and registered for a half marathon. To "train with my brain" and finish the race was the plan - and I was going to enjoy the trip, without painkillers. October 16 was my version of  "the amazing race" - a gift -  thanks to training, God's help, guts to go for it.....(The same medals were given to finishers in both the full marathon and the half.)
 
 
thankfulness  - to God for life and the strength and desire to be a (wacky) runner
 
perseverance - before I got my Merrells I wiped out on the paved road by our house. Frontal splat. By the grace of God, with herbal poultices (my daughter's initiative), a quick acupuncture treatment (thanks, Jason), an afternoon of rest and recovery, the only reminder is a scar on my right knee. Stubborn, persevering, whatever you want to call it, you gotta have it if you're going to get to any finish line. 
 
I'm still a happy runner but I'm on a quest - to truly live the truth that my joy of living won't be based only on the ups and downs of my physical body (and I have to admit this is more difficult than running intervals or going for an endurance run).
 
My rebound is a gift returned, to be treated with respect and perspective.
 
I am happy and I'm still running.
 
 
Are there any changes - invited or otherwise - that are helping you reach your heart's desires?
 
 
 
Posted by karen
karen's picture

Next to my passion about food (cooking, eating, working), I love fitness, a.k.a. cardio stuff: running, cycling, hiking, rowing. This love affair supports one another: they're joined at the hip. For my goals and abilities it's a compatible marriage - takes work but worth the effort.

 
Boosting that regime to endurance training for an ironman distance triathlon - is - another - story. 
 
It's NOT MY STORY. I hate competitive swimming, the training's too all-consuming, and I'm not that crazy.   
 
This is Tammy Slauenwhite's story.
 
http://www.realfoodmatters.ca/sites/realfoodmatters.ca/files/L1010149.JPG
 
 
I met Tammy almost five years ago - the two of us were thrashing our way around the buoys in Fancy Lake - surrounded by other triathletes, some absolutely flying doing the front crawl.  
 
We were both new comers to the Bridgewater Triathlon Club. Tammy was making the move to add to her personal trainer portfolio and I had just made a move across the country and wanted to meet active people.
 
Both of us met our objectives.
 
Fast track to the present. With a log book bulging with short races, several half-marathons, and two half-ironman distance races, Tammy is gunning for the big one.
 

What motivated her to commit to this??!!

- an ironman distance triathlon is on her bucket list
 
- the first ever EPIC Dartmouth is scheduled for the 2012 Maritime race roster - in Halifax, an hour-plus from Tammy's home
 
- a charity route was a registration option (fund-raising for $1200  in lieu of  paying $395). Her charity of choice was PRO Kids, an organization that matches youth and children in need with community-based recreational activities. Great fit.
 

Why aren't we all signing up??!!

 
Because last week alone was an 18-hour training week. (With still four months until race day, I'd be afraid to check what's coming down the pike in the training program.)
 
To see how that looks in the trenches, check out  her facebook page: TamFit (Tammy Slauenwhite) is taking on EPIC Dartmouth for PRO kids, which will also provide information re: donating to PRO kids.
 

I wanted to know what a typical food-day looks like. From hitting the floor to hitting the sack.

- protein and fruit shake
- eggs with greens and salsa or oatmeal
- fruit and nuts
- salad greens - with some of these: veggies, unsalted nuts, seeds, chicken or beef or beans
- yogurt and berries
- veggies and protein (chicken, beef, fish, eggs)
- nuts, yogurt or hot milk
 
- other "whenever" - raw veggies, fruit, nuts, dates, sometimes home made peanut butter cookies.
- post-workout favourites - dates, nuts, thick protein shakes with banana, berries, yogurt, milk 
- on the bike and the run - water, oranges (and oj), dates, bananas, homemade gel
 
Here's the gel recipe, previously posted. Recipe tweak: finely chop the dates and soak for an hour before making for smoother blending.
 
 
 
The program:  eating every 2-3 hours. "I allow my body to tell me. I don't like to go hungry and I don't like to get bloated so I tend to eat really small amounts at a time." 
 
There's an obvious absence of grains, and Tammy's response to that: "since I cut back on wheat and grains I find my body less bloated and to fill up that space I find I eat more fruits and vegetables which I REALLY need - they have vitamins and minerals I need." 
 
Looks like clean eating to me.  And to date, this is what works for her. Tammy admits that consuming enough veggies and fruits is a challenge. Preparation, shopping (she likes to go organic if available) - along with the protein foods, the total food bill adds up.  Not to mention that she has a teen-age son who also has a healthy appetite - sometimes for different food than what's on her plate which adds time in the kitchen.
 
Tackling an event like this is close to a full-time job commitment. To show support - besides get in a good long run, it's been great fun logging the miles with Tammy and friends. Her program says long runs are slow - yes! - but the time flies as we chat about food, fitness, family and more.
 

I admire Tammy's drive (and her fitness level) to go for such an ambitious dream. The inspiration she wants to share?

"Women my age [almost 40] can do the things they aspire to. It's not too late! Go for it."

Her wish for race day:

- not to be injured

- to be fueled properly (and stay that way) so she's not feeling hungry

- to have energy to be upright and smiling at the finish line

I wish you the best of days, Tammy. 

Speaking of hunger, it's time to fuel up myself after today's 17km  - a beautiful "rave run" by the Atlantic. 

I've made a huge salad of greens, carrot strips, green onions, avocado, cauliflower florets, nuts, toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds and popped amaranth. The dressing - Creamy Tofu with Dill - is delicious, nutritious and reminds me of my grand-daughter, Brienne, who made it for many of our salads last summer. Do give this a try.

Creamy Tofu with Dill Dressing

1 1/2 cups soft or silken tofu

1 shallot, finely chopped

6 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

4 tsp. dried dill

1/2 tsp. Herbamare

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 tsp. maple syrup

Mix everything in a blender (I used a Magic Bullet) until smooth and creamy. Makes about 2 cups - delicious on salads or as a dip for veggies.

Mmmmm goodness.

 

Posted by karen
karen's picture

I routinely follow about half a dozen blogs, others I check out occasionally, and the surprises are those discovered through curiosity or Web-wandering rabbit trails.

One of my wanderings landed me at the recipe for chunky monkey muffins - and that trail led to two quick-track baking sessions.

First time around I forgot to add the almond butter. Voila! Fudge brownies that had to be eaten with a fork.

Better texture and improved flavour the second time - using all the ingredients.

My recipe tweaks: used organic coconut oil, the chocolate option, toasted the nuts before adding them to the top. Needed about 20 minutes to bake.

Pretty yummy, and fast if you get it in one try!

Visit the rest of this motley mix for busy people - living healthy, living active.

 
My daughter home-schools her three (beautiful, intelligent) children, writes, lives with her adventuresome husband - and cooks delicious, healthy food. She's fine-tuned how to come up with the goods but spend less time in the kitchen. Her blog overall is targeted to young creative Moms but this post is brimming with practical time-saving tips, menu ideas and applies to busy cooks in any stage of life.
 
The "domestic divas" offer a wealth of wisdom about cultured foods - and a whack of other topics. This instant breakfast porridge recipe is a zinger for athletes, camping, packing in lunches, traveling - and of course, breakfast too. 
 
Have you recently walked by (or to) the coolers stocked with sports drinks? Their brilliant colours have to be be the first red flag they can't be all that good for you. An RHN colleague (and author) has recipes to make your own - they might even give you the leading edge you're looking for! 
 
If you are a walker, runner, weight lifter, cyclist, swimmer, hiker: a window washer, gardener, painter, carpenter, secretary: or anyone who moves muscles --self-massage techniques  could well lengthen the time span between professional tune-ups. (This isn't a family blog promo, but my son-in-law's site is worth checking out.)
 
 
If you follow some favourite nutrition-fitness blogs, do tell!