Friday, December 20, 2013

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars {vegan & gluten free}

Fuel for my ride tomorrow!!
  • 3 cups gluten free oats
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8×11 or 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make oat flour: Place oatmeal into blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until oatmeal resembles flour. You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended.
  3. Measure out just 2 1/2 cups of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and applesauce for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Slowly add in oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Timing will depend on what size pan you use, but definitely check around 15 minutes. Once finished baking, cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Cut into 16 slices.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


So I wrote this for my Oceanside training group and decided to blog it too.,,,,

The off season is over (for many)  and you are ramping up training.   Holiday foods are abound....but with increased training hopefully you can keep off unwanted lbs. 

Don’t deprive yourself of all holiday eating but don’t over stress. Avoid fasting all day so you can binge at the party or the big meal.  Small snacks/meals throughout the day are best for your metabolism and avoid blood sugar swings.  Lay off the sugars and carbs as much as you can.  Eat whole foods vs packaged or processed.  Fuel to train so avoid skipping breakfast before working out.  Ditch the bagel and start your day with a banana and almond butter, cup of Greek yogurt or my favorite a few tablespoons of Nuttzo butter. For an am workout of 60 min or less no post workout fuel needed, enjoy some coffee and a mid AM snack.

If your 2nd workout of the day is at lunch – train first then eat.   If you are starving have banana or a less processed nutrition bar: Lara (peanut butter/choc chip is my favorite) , Pure (Cherry Cashew is my fav- not a fan of the Dark Chocololate - too dry) , GoodOnYa (PB Choc is the bomb). Workout, drink lots of water and then eat when you are hungry.   I read the label and once there are words I don’t understand, I move on 

If your 2nd workout is post work- eat a healthy lunch and be mindful of your workout, you may need a snack (banana/bar) preworkout. 

Keep in mind most mid-week workouts are 60 min max to extra fueling/calories are not necessary. When the workouts are 2+ hours or you are linking workouts then you should be mindful of 150-200 calories an hour for maximum performance. 

For workouts over 3 hours, fuel well before workout, 200-250/hour during and plan recovery meal 300 calories within 30 min post workout- this can be a healthy smoothies, eggs + veggies and rice/quinoa.   

If you are worried about gaining weight skip the carbs when possible- no bread or rolls, no rice or pasta, appetizers in party …go for the veggies and protein.  When carbs necessary- are 3+ hours of training, your body needs carbs for fuel, but not throughout the day. 
Holiday Baking…check out my blog for some healthy holiday treats.  Using dates vs sugar, less flour... the dark chocolate gingerbread cookies “taste real” per my 17 year old Real as in “real cookie” but in essence it is good fuel and satisfies your sweet craving.   I have been using the choc gingerbread cookies as pre workout calories as well as the pumpkin bars.             

Hydration-  training in the cold you still need to drink 20 oz/hour- even though your sweat rate feel lower- you are losing moisture through breath, with layers you maybe sweating more than you realize.   If you inclined ( as I am) for enjoy some wine or holiday cheer, go ahead, add 12 oz of water between alcoholic beverages. 

Whole foods…I try to eat whole foods over packages as much as possible.  Lots of veggies.  A goto dinner for me is whatever veggies we have diced and cooked in a bit of olive oil and cooked with eggs.  Fast, easy and healthy.   Kale- cooked, raw in salads – the key to eating kale raw is to rub your hands with olive oil and salt and manually conch the leaves- breaking the membranes and letting the oil and salt soften the leaf.  Let sit 1 hour and use in any salad. Last night kale, blueberries, sunflower seeds, green onions, shredded carrots tossed with EVO, lemon juice and white wine vinegar.  I am not a big animal eater at home…so not many recipes.  Another good one- can black beans, 1 cup organic frozen corn, 1 can diced chilies, can kidney beans, 1 cup edemame, 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies drained. ½ diced red onion – mix in a bowl, add shredded cheese and pour in dish and bake.  You can line dish with corn tortillas as well.  Add hot sauce and yum!   All of these are great for lunch the next day….

Looking to lose some weight or start working toward race weight?  Start with a food log – record everything you eat and drink for a week and then let’s talk.  Questions….comments??

Monday, December 16, 2013

More healthy holiday baking.... Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars

Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars  

1 cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses  used 1/2 cup
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar of choice)  used 1/8 
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Dry ingredients:

1 + 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Pamela's brand, see note)  I used almond flour 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

heaping 1/3 cup dried cranberries.  used dried cherries

Result....very soft and chewy.  I used more molasses and less coconut sugar and they taste a lot like molasses.  Not sweet.  Had for breakfast and loved them.  May consider using dark chocolate next time instead of or alongside the cherries.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter Kale Salad

SUMMER  WINTER KALE SALAD - I know its not summer but it was still delicious! 

recipe image

3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves
1/2 (16 ounce) package frozen shelled
edamame (soybeans), thawed
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded carrot
2/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
(such as Ocean Spray® Craisins®)
1/2 cup cashew pieces
1/2 cup shelled, roasted sunflower
1.           Whisk sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil together in a bowl until sugar is dissolved; set aside.

2.           Toss kale, edamame, red onion, carrot, blueberries, dried cranberries, cashew pieces, and sunflower seeds together in a bowl. Pour about half the dressing over the mixture and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours. Serve remaining dressing on side.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Holidays are here......

Tis the season..... and it is a lot of fun.   Family, food, wine, pie, biking and swimming note the absence of running.    JD came home for 27 hours for Thanksgiving and it was great to see him. Short and sweet but all family.  We hosted Thanksgiving and it was nice.  

We had the usual holiday stress when the Turkey was done, not done, but out of the oven.  Dad, John and bystanders offering advice.  My father handled it all with grace and the meal was sensational.   Combining friends and family is the best.   

Turkey week was a lot of riding... well a lot of riding compared to what I have been doing. Coming back from injury, surgery and time off it it a long road back. I am trying NOT to look at power and just put in the miles.   I am frankly happy to be riding with my friends and husband.   I rode nearly every day, some easy, some hard and then all hard because I was tired.   I am sleeping well and feeling good. 

Clothes are still snug....but with time probably post holidays the extra padding will come off.   I am officially waiting until Jan 1 and then I will have to dial it back and focus on what goes in the body.   Although I am going to experiment with some healthy holiday cookies.  The one I cannot falter on are classic Sugar Cookies- My Grandmother' recipe with buttercream frosting.  YUMMMM!!  That is motivation to train more.... eat more cookies. 

Sunday was mega fun... 100 x 100's in the pool.  Fun stuff.... I did this last year and it was brutal- Sunday we did it on a reasonable send off and while it was long and tiring it was manageable.  Dead arms and major chafing were the issues.... but it was what I love.  A big goal, camaraderie and team work.  11 of us finished the 10K but many more did between 0-75.  A big success for all.  So much fun in fact....we already planned the next adventure 12/22.  Tis the season to log swim miles :) Swimming 100 x 100 is "fun" ....but is really fun when it is over, bragging rights and all.

I logged another 3 swims this week. 1 ez 2000, a solid 4500 yard masters and then a 5300 self workout- which was NOT fast, as my arms are tired so i did all long slow and easy with intermittent toys - paddles, fins.. Today I went for a 4th swim and had nothing- after 1500 I called it a day.  23,800 yards for the week -  I am okay not making it to 25,000.   If you can't run....may as well swim a lot.  Dry skin, bleachy smell, itchy- just like the old days.  

As for the taboo subject.... running or not running as it remains.   My knee is coming along just dine.... my foot and the Plantar Fascitis are angry.  I am beyond angry, for the 10th time, I don't deserve this. Standing in bad shoes = no running for 8+ weeks.  I am sooo old.  Yeah....more swimming and biking.  I will run  soon, I will run soon....aggressively treating the PF!  

And am crazy busy ramping up coaching.  My Oceanside 16 week group kicks off Monday!  15 people for fun and adventure and my individual coaching is near max.  I have to limit how many I can take on in order to maintain the personalization that I am committed to.  I love love it and am eager to be working with so many new athletes and many who are embarking on their journey of their first Ironman.  Gets me excited thinking about it. 


Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Healthy Holiday Baking Begins...  absolutely delicious!!!!   Should have doubled the recips

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
10 medjool dates, pitted
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks (I used Enjoy Life New Chocolate Chunks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add dates to a small bowl with 1 tablespoon water and microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Mash dates with a fork and add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and mash more.
Add date mixture, coconut oil, eggs, molasses, and vanilla extract to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (almond flour/meal through cloves).  Add dry ingredients to the date mixture and process mixture until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed.  Stir in dark chocolate.
Spoon tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet.  Leave at least an inch and half of room for the cookies to spread.
Bake 8-10 minutes until puffy.  The cookies will be soft but will harden slightly when cooled.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before removing.  Release the cookies from the pan with a spatula.
These cookies are best kept in the refrigerator (if not eaten right away) or they freeze well.
Makes 15 to 18 cookies