Feeding my TRIathlon training

It’s hard to believe that I just finished week 3 of my Triathlon training, which means 5 weeks from tomorrow I’ll be competing in my first TRI. The encouragement of my good friend (great, actually) April is probably the whole reason I signed up. Swimming is not my strong point and I hear her yelling in my ear to just do, jump in, swim your laps and “I promise, it’ll be easier and you’ll feel more confident.” This week, I hit that point in my swimming. She also gave me this awesome book:

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Adding in training for the first time this year also means finding a balance in fitting everything in. Today, I sat debating on doing a 15k or so XC ski with some friends or using a rest day wisely so I could go on a leisurely ski tomorrow with my friend April. I have always been an advocate of rest days, but now, they are becoming much more restful and around the house. My body sure knows how to tell me how to spend my days. So I started off the day right with some oat pancakes (see recipe: https://akgirlruns.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/gluten-free-oat-waffles-one-awesome-accident/).

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Why not enjoy a homemade paleo latte?

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Paleo blender latte

2-3 cups organic coffee, brewed (I like dark roast)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
dash of vanilla extract & cinnamon (optional)

Blend all ingredients in high speed blender for about 30 seconds. Pour in your favorite mug and add dash of cinnamon. Mmm! Coffee Tip: If you use a Keurig (like I do), I use a reusable filter and brew my own coffee as a small cup, and run it through twice (so, run two small cups). It makes the coffee stronger.

 

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Gluten-Free Oat Waffles!

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Gluten-Free Oat Waffles … or try them as pancakes!

Gluten-free waffles? This was one awesome and sweet (literally) accident! My other half loves waffles. I mean, loves them. For his birthday last year, I bought him a waffle maker and he was ridiculously happy. So, given all the dietary and eating lifestyle changes I’ve had to make, I decided to make him waffles over the weekend as a surprise. I wanted some too, so I was trying to make some changes that meant I could eat them too (no dairy, no gluten, borderline vegan is where these ended up). I looked at the waffle recipe I had been using forever and couldn’t believe that I could substitute everything to make my own awesome, gluten-free, sweet, crunchy, delicious recipe that believe it or not – was boyfriend approved! Yippee!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Oat Flour (if you want crunchier waffles and want to cook with it – do 1 1/2 cups oat flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch)
  • 1 3/4 cup Almond Milk (if you’re not dairy free, feel free to use regular milk)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated (you need the whites and the yolks to make perfect waffles)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter (I use coconut spread)

Directions:

  • Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Whisk egg yolks and milk together. Set aside.
  • Use hand mixer to mix egg whites until they form soft tips. Add sugar and continue mixing until they form hard tips.
  • Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Mix until just blended and slightly lumpy.
  • Add in melted vegan butter and mix until blended.
  • Fold egg whites into mixture. Egg whites are what give waffles the that nice fluffy texture on the inside – its my favorite part!
  • Add 1/4 cup of mix (or to your liking) to the heated waffle maker until golden. I use vegan butter to “grease” the waffle maker first and between waffles as needed.

The almond milk, coconut spread and coconut sugar make these waffles extra delicious and sweet. Top with organic maple syrup, agave, honey, fresh fruit, nuts or whatever else you like! Eat away – guilt and gluten free!

Hey! Try this recipe as pancakes!

What are the keys to a successful life?

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Find the TIME to be ACTIVE. It doesn’t matter how you do, but do it. This doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. It doesn’t have to mean training for a marathon, hitting the weights, or even joining a gym. But find out what it means to you and do it: EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Change your eating lifestyle. There’s a lot I could say here, but simply:

Eat less CRAP:

  • C – carbonated drinks
  • R – refined sugar
  • A – artificial sweeteners &colors
  • P – processed foods

Eat more FOOD:

  • F – fruits & veggies
  • O – organic lean proteins
  • O – omega 3 fatty acids
  • D – drink water

Grow your own garden. I promise, it’s not that hard!

Find a partner who is just as concerned about your happiness as you are.

Love what you do. If you don’t, change what you do. We are never too old to go back to school for something new and to change careers. Tomorrow is not the day to change it, today is.

Take vacations – with your friends. I live far away from many of my closest friends (eh em – Alaska).  When I started planning vacations and road trips with them, I started making the most amazing memories.

Take vacations – with the one you love. This one is just as important. Whether it’s for a weekend or for a week. Heck, even if it’s just a day trip somewhere. Take time to get away and remember why you fell in love.

Turn the TV off and get outside … or stay inside Sometimes it’s entirely too cold to go outside in Alaska (-60 is really just, too cold). TVs can turn you into a zombie. Go buy a board game, a book, start crafting, or work on that list of projects you have around the house. It’s much more rewarding than the TV.

Be part of a TEAM. A team pushes you to when there’s nothing left in you to keep going.  To do things you never thought you could do. Then you take all that energy and you give it back. There’s nothing more rewarding and it pours over into all other parts of your life.

Pay it Forward.

Help others when no one is looking and there’s nothing in it for you.

Volunteer. At a race, on a committee, at the local shelter, at a food drive… take your pick.

Call your family, just to say hi.

Send snail mail to your friends and family. It says so much more than email or Facebook.

Count your blessings. Write them down, and when the going gets tough, go back and read them. Be reminded of all that you have been blessed with.

What would be on your list for a successful life?

Adventures in Healthy Eating

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Coconut  Ganache “Tart” RAW dessert! So good – hard to believe it’s guilt-free!

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Green smoothie made with coconut water

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^ Obviously, I love my green smoothies so much, I couldn’t hold off hold enough to take the photo!

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Very berry smoothie with almond milk

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An absolute favorite in my household – Veggie Soup with carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, other delicious secrets and plenty of spice! Served over Quinoa. mmm mmm

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Quinoa Salad – another favorite of mine! Quinoa is IMO best simmer in broth. This one has black beans and, for the household’s love of some meat, chicken. It’s served with steamed veggies on the side.

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Alaskans – we love our Salmon! King Salmon baked easily with a little EVOO, sea salt, pepper and cayenne pepper! Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until it flakes. There is so much flavor in King Salmon – there is no need to add a bunch to it! Served with Lentil & Roasted Brussel Sprout Salad on the side.

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This one is one of my new and favorite specialties – Black Bean and Shrimp Tacos. They started as Tostadas – but the household likes tacos better. I use corn tortillas that are made simply with corn, lime & salt (a place in Anchorage has them and they are sold locally! lucky us! They are call Taco Loco). I boil the fresh shrimp in water and a little apply cider & lemon juice until done (just a couple minutes!).  Sauté garlic and green onions in almond (or avocado) oil. Then add the black beans until heated. Cut up the shrimp and add to the pan with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to desired taste. Add cherry tomatoes cut in half and simmer a couple minutes. Pour into a bowl and toss with lime juice to desire taste. Heat tortillas 15-20 seconds on each side in pan. Add mix to tortillas. Add fresh cilantro on top. You can put salsa on the side or on bottom of tacos. Add avocado as a side. If you want tostadas instead, bake the tortillas at 350 for 3-4 minutes on each side until crispy and add mix to top.

Eating healthy isn’t as hard as it seems, is it?!

Eating Right: A Lifestyle Change

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I consider myself quite fit. I work out 6 times a week, ski, run, compete in races and I am usually training for something. A few months ago, I got to a point that I knew the one thing I hadn’t truly changed was the way I was eating. I followed the general 80/20 rule: 80% of the time – eat right. 20% of time – eat whatever. I was getting what I needed during training, but in reality, I wasn’t getting what I need overall. I also suspected I was allergic to something I was eating. The gym I go to does an “Eat Small, Eat Healthy, Eat Whole” sort of “program” where you get meal plans and nutrition advice. This is exactly what I needed to shift my eating style and it’s been truly life changing for me. Here are some key things I’ve learned:

Food sensitivities! By cutting out dairy and most gluten and gradually reintroducing things, I realized I am allergic to most dairy, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and processed breads.

I feel FANTASTIC! The initial weight loss was a bonus (not intentional), but being able to digest everything I eat, not have my throat swell up, and not coughing after eating certain foods is so refreshing! Not to mention having a higher energy level and getting to eat all the time (have I mentioned that I really actually LOVE food?)

Reading labels. This has taught me several things. Processed foods are just not good for you. In the United States, HFCS is the hidden ingredient in so many foods that the FDA does not require be put on a label. It’s also in many foods, syrups, dressings, and sauces than you would think. If you can’t pronounce what’s on the ingredients label or you don’t know what the ingredient is – don’t buy it.

Eat 5 times a day. Eating small meals throughout the day is important and not only keeps you going; it keeps you from overeating and from feeling hungry between meals. Why? Because this how we should be eating!

Eating healthy isn’t as expensive as I thought. The initial change-over was hard, especially since I live in Alaska. For me, it’s more of an issue of not being able to find the foods I want or need and they do cost more here. But in reality, once you start clearing out your cabinets and getting those good foods in them, I can fill my fridge and my kitchen for the same price as a grocery store trip was before.

I waste less food. That might seem funny, but I tend to waste less food and I’ve realize how long fresh foods can last. I pretty much only use raw and fresh food and I make only what I need for my household, so there isn’t a huge waste of leftovers that may or may not get eaten.

It’s a struggle. This is the part I won’t lie about. Going to dinner can be hard because I have to wonder: What are they cooking with? Will it give me a reaction? I always give myself a cheat day during the week to eat whatever I want, but realizing what food sensitivities I have now – it’s an added concern for me whenever I’m choosing something off the menu. Trying out new recipes in my household has been a challenge – and it’s a balancing act that is gradually working itself out. It’s hard to try lots of new recipes day after day and sometimes – you don’t like them (those obviously get nixed from the list)!

Changing the way I eat has changed my life in such a short amount of time! For so many reasons, I’m glad I’ve done this and I am so glad I’ve had the support of my gym – Elite Urban Fitness, (www.eliteurbanfitness.com) – and everyone around me!

I know there are others out there who are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, or maybe have a different way of eating healthy… what are your experiences in changing the way you eat?