Fun with Video and Plantains

Arg! More Running Frustrations

I gave myself the day off after that miserable 18-mile run on Monday, and by the time Wednesday evening rolled around, I figured everything would be good to go for my track workout.  I was right—almost.  No GI distress or fatigue spells, no pain left over from the chafing (or bleeding).  The one artifact that remained, however, was the blister on the ball of my left foot.  Doesn’t seem like much compared to crippling fatigue, but as I discovered, it’s enough to ruin a workout.

I ran a warmup mile, followed by two 1200’s in 4:26 each.  By the end of the second, the blister was really starting to give me trouble, but that “just-tough-it-out” part of me wanted to keep going, to do the planned four 800’s through the pain.  I started the first one, and after half a lap or so, I realized that I was strongly favoring my left side and running on the outside of my foot, so much so that muscles in my lower leg, which evidently never get used, were burning.

I could have gritted my teeth and kept going.  But thankfully, perhaps because of the lessons learned from the nightmarish 18-miler, I decided to stop.  If I hadn’t, who knows what crazy stuff I would have done to my lower leg and ankle, not to mention the blister, which is already in the process of applying for its own zip code.  Missing a workout or two won’t prevent me from qualifying for Boston; getting injured will.

So where do things stand?  I’ll see how it feels tonight; if it still hurts I’ll try something else.  If I need to miss my tempo run tomorrow, so be it—to be honest, an easy week might be a great thing for me right now.  I have a 20-miler coming up next week, so I’ve got to get this thing healed by then.

Plantains and Tropical Salad

After my aborted workout, I limped around the grocery store—to my fellow shoppers with working olfactory receptors, I apologize—to pick up a few ingredients for dinner.  On the menu: plantain tostones and avocado salad with mango-lime dressing, from Thrive.

Just for fun, I put together this little video of me frying (and smashing) the plantains!  Trust me, it’s not a professional cooking demonstration.  But then again, this isn’t some stuffy professional cooking blog.  If I start editing videos and doing multiple takes to pretend there are no mess-ups in my kitchen, do me a favor and start f-bombing the comments section and never reading my blog again!

Good times.

I should clarify one thing.  When I say “this is supposed to be a deep-fried recipe,” I’m talking about the traditional way of making the smashed plantains, not the Thrive recipe.   Nothing is deep-fried in Thrive!

Because they weren’t deep-fried and I only used medium heat so as not to destroy all the digestive enzymes, I couldn’t get the plaintains as crispy as I would have liked.  Even so, the coconut oil made them some of the most flavorful plantains I’ve ever had!  A lot of times plantains come out pretty bland, but the coconut and lemon worked wonders together.

[plantains and salad photo]We ate these plantains alongside a salad and a mango-lime dressing from Thrive.  For the salad, I just threw together some black beans, mixed greens, nutritional yeast, and avocado, and sprinkled some nori (that seaweed stuff that they wrap sushi in) on top.  I got this idea from (where else?) Thrive.

The salad dressing was tasty, though it was a little too spicy for Erin.  And the taste of the seaweed is going to take some getting used to.  I wasn’t a big fan of the black beans in the salad either (my idea); maybe they could have been better if they were warm.

The verdict—the plantains were great, but I think they’d be better as an appetizer all to themselves than as an accompaniment to my half-ass salad.  Even with the good dressing.

So here are the actual Thrive recipes; keep in mind that I used these same ingredients for the plantains but prepared them differently, as in the video.

Lemon Plantains Recipe (from Thrive)

Ingredients (serves one):

  • 1 plantain
  • 4 strips dulse (I don’t have this yet; I just sprinkled some sea salt)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Peel and thinly slice the plantain on an angle.  Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Lightly stir-fry plantains slices until slightly brown.  Stir in lemon juice and dulse strips.  Stir-fry until juice has evaporated and dulse is crispy.

Tostones on FoodistaTostones

Mango Lime Dressing Recipe (from Thrive)

Ingredients (makes enough dressing for lots of salads):

  • 1 mango, peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp hemp oil or EFA blend
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp agave nectar

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy your Sweet Tooth Friday-eve everyone.  If you don’t have a killer blister, get out there for a run tonight!



Best (Homemade) Pizza Ever

Thanks for all your help (and sympathy) about my terrible run and what might be to blame for it.  It’s hard to tell whether it was dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, low blood sugar, or this idea about the brain getting overstressed and shutting down its signals to the muscles.  Luckily, I don’t really need to pinpoint the exact cause—all of these things are easy to fix.  Hopefully you won’t be reading another post like that anytime soon!

Homemade Grilled Pizza

I’ve been loving the raw vegan meals recently, but you gotta treat yourself once in a while, right?  We got the new Fine Cooking in the mail last week, always good for a tug-of-war as Erin and I both clamor to read it.  The big feature this month is about homemade tomato sauce, and as a suggested use, they provide this grilled pizza recipe.

[pizza photo]

As much as I love a classic margherita pie, this one’s not traditional at all.  It’s covered with portobellos, onions, and most noticably, tomatoes and arugula.  It’s the kind of pizza you’d eat outside with a fork and knife at a trendy bistro in the city.  Of course, we slummed it and skipped the fork and knife.  But man was this good pizza!

Erin and I teamed up to make this one; it’s kind of a lot to do by yourself.  And we deviated from the recipe a bit.  First, we didn’t make homemade tomato sauce.  I’m sure this would have been best, but our garden has still not produced any [green tomatoes photo]red tomatoes, and using your own tomatoes is half the fun!  So I bought Nature’s Promise organic sauce and just used that instead.  Also, we used a few green heirloom tomatoes (our garden has plenty of these) for the topping; the recipe calls for yellow, purple, or orange ones.  They must be smoking something over at Fine Cooking, because the only tomatoes I ever see are red or green.  And we pre-grilled the green tomatoes, since they were a little firm.

We did make fresh dough, but you know me; I wasn’t about to use all white flour.  So of the four cups of flour called for, I used one cup of whole wheat flour, one cup rye flour, and two cups white bread flour.  And this crust turned out really nicely.  Surprising for two reasons—the recipe calls for rapid-rise yeast, which most say doesn’t allow the yeast enough time to develop nice flavor, and it’s the type of pizza where both sides get grilled, not something I’ve had good results with in the past.  But I had faith—Fine Cooking recipes, almost without exception, work out—and the crust got nice and crispy on the bottom, with the perfect amount of chewiness in the middle.

[rolling pizza photo]

[pizza sauce photo]

Two things really made this pizza for me.  The first was the cheese, which was Fontina.  As an aside, when I glanced at the recipe before shopping for ingredients, I saw that it said to roll the dough into a 10-inch round.  This sounds sort of small, so I figured we should make a double recipe so that we’d have leftovers.  What I didn’t realize was that the recipe makes four of these pizzas!  We had leftovers, alright.  The point of this story, though, is that the second time, I used mozzarella cheese, and it just wasn’t the same.  So don’t do it; get Fontina.  The other thing I loved was the drizzling of olive oil and balsamic vinegar at the end.  It just provided that extra touch that put this pizza in the “gourmet” category rather than the “homemade Papa John’s” category.

[erin eating pizza photo]I could go on for a while about this pie, but this post is getting much longer than I like, so I’ll just leave at that.  And this.  Five cows out of five! It was perfect!  Do yourself a favor and try this recipe (and do it soon, because Fine Cooking tends to take away online access to the new recipes pretty quickly for non-members).  And if you’ve never made dough at home because it seems like a hassle, this is the time to try it.  Rapid-rise yeast means only about two hours of rising time.  Come on, do it, all the cool kids are!



The Worst Run of My Life

I’ll start with the good news– I didn’t get hurt, and I finished the 18 miles yesterday.

Everything else was bad.  Really bad.

For the first nine miles, the run seemed pretty normal, if not better than normal.  I was cruising along, listening to my podcasts, easily finishing each mile in 15-20 seconds faster my goal pace of eight minutes.  I returned to my car after six miles for some sports drink and water, and headed back out for another six, feeling great except for a blister developing on the ball of my left foot and a little bit of chafing downstairs.  (We ran out of Blister Shield Powder, which I swear by for long runs, and I had a difficult time lubing up with Body Glide in the car, so neither of these ailments came as much of a surprise.)

Then it hit me.  To avoid details, let’s just call it “the wave.”  Or better yet, “the tsunami.”

Something was very wrong with my stomach.  I didn’t eat anything weird beforehand (just a portobello wrap at the restaurant where my sister works), so I’m not sure what the cause was.  I ran a few panicked miles but managed to avert the disaster of having to use Mother Nature’s facilities, and after taking care of the problem, I figured everything would be back to normal.  Unfortunately, in taking care of said problem, I awoke the chafing monster.  Not only did all the commotion cause me a tremendous amount of not just stinging, but worse– bleeding, in one of the worst places you can imagine (don’t try, if you haven’t yet).

I carefully limped the remaining mile back to the car, so as to avoid any further damage to my future children.  When I got there, I reapplied Body Glide, drank a good gulp of sports drink and water, and headed out for the final six miles.  Surely now, nothing else bad could transpire.

Wrong again.

After just the first of the six remaining miles, it was clear that something was amiss.  I hadn’t exerted myself much in the first 12 miles of my run, my muscles and lungs felt fine, and yet it was taking me all the effort in the world just to lift my legs and propel myself forward.  In hindsight, I should have turned around immediately, and I probably would have been fine.  But of course I didn’t do this; I thought, “Just wait two more miles to turn around, you can finish this.”

[evolution progression image]From here, it went as you might expect, especially if this feeling has ever hit you and you still have about six miles left in a marathon.  Things get worse and worse, muscles start to cramp (for me it was my back), and by the end you’re doing that sort of half-upright limp/run thing that resembles caveman/ape #2 in the image.  No, not the one with the cool spear; the other #2.  By now my blister was killing me, the chafing was worse, and I didn’t even have the energy to adjust my stride to make these things less painful.  I noticed that, though I was still sweating, I had goosebumps on my arms and legs.

I finished the run in this manner (I could have walked, but that would have just taken longer to get back to the car).  When I did get back, I found myself chugging water, even though I hadn’t realized I was thirsty.  I went to the nearest 7-11, got myself a chocolate milk and a Gatorade, and called Erin.  By now I was feeling lightheaded, with hands shaking.  I had trouble stringing together a coherent sentence; I could hardly even explain to Erin how I felt without losing my train of thought.

I told Erin that I thought I could drive home, and I did so without any problems except having to fight to stay awake.  I was freezing, but everytime I turned on the heat I started to sweat and had to turn it off.  It felt like I had the flu.  When I got home, I staggered inside, teeth chattering, and got in the shower then immediately into bed.  After about an hour, I had stopped shivering and felt like I could finally think straight.  I ate a little bit of cereal, went to sleep, and that was the end of an awful evening.

I feel completely fine today; even my legs feel great.  It was truly just an all-out lack of energy, and I am still unsure about the cause.  I’m thinking it was dehydration, or maybe extremely low blood sugar.  During the run, I drank about 12 ounces of water and 16 ounces of sports drink, and it wasn’t hot out and I didn’t feel like I was working very hard in the beginning of the run.  But maybe the stomach problems dehydrated me.  I haven’t needed to drink much during long runs recently– last week’s 17-miler was no problem, and I didn’t drink anything until 11 miles into it.  So I figured two stops at the car would be plenty, but maybe I’m disrespecting the long run and need to prepare better.  I’m also realizing that the sports drink I made had only a few tablespoons of agave nectar and the juice of half a lemon for sugar; since this is so much less than in commerical drinks, maybe I need to drink more of it.

I’m hoping that some of you experienced runners can provide a more-informed diagnosis.  Does this sound like dehyration?  Or bonking from lack of sugar?  Whatever the cause, this run was terrible, the worst of my short running career.  I’m not going to let this happen again, even if it means putting up with a bouncing fuel belt or eating those nasty gels.  Thanks for whatever advice you can give me.



Raw Zucchini “Pasta”

Don’t you just love when one of the words in a recipe title is in quotation marks, almost as a disclaimer?

30-Day Challenge Week 1

Well, the first week of our 30-Day Challenge is over, and I want to know who’s still with us!  Some people started early, and some are still signing up (really), so not everyone is at the one-week point.  But how’s it going anyway?

[zucchini pasta photo]Mine and Erin’s are going swimmingly.  Our vegan, high-raw meals from Thrive
this week were chickpea curry pizza, which made enough to have leftovers literally three times, and raw zucchini, shredded with a vegetable peeler to resemble pasta, topped with a raw sun dried tomato sauce.  I saw a zucchini “pasta” meal like this on a blog a few months ago and thought “No way could I ever do raw if I have to eat like that,” but we found it to be a really nice, fresh change of pace!

I’ve been doing my foam rolling and stretching too, as promised.  It’s really nice to have this challenge of doing it on every non-workout day, because even when I just do a little bit, I feel great afterward.  So much less overwhelming than feeling like I need to go through the whole routine, which always resulted in not doing it at all.

Here’s the zucchini “pasta” recipe, from Thrive.

Raw Zucchini Pasta Recipe

Raw Vegan Zucchini "Pasta"
Serves: 2, with extra sauce
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup grated cucumber
  • 3 Tbsp hemp oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Soak the sun dried tomatoes for 20 minutes in the water. While they're soaking, shave the zucchini with a vegetable peeler to make "noodles." Once the sun dried tomatoes have soaked, place them, along with the remaining ingredients (NOT the zucchini) in a food processor. Process until desired consistency is reached.

That’s it! Simple, huh? You might want to use a little less water if you like a thicker sauce. Also, if you aren’t into raw, you can saute the zucchini with a little coconut oil over medium heat for a few minutes. We tried this once, but found that we liked it better totally raw. Also, you can heat the sauce over low heat for a few minutes. We did just enough so that it would be warm on the plate.

18-Mile Run

I have an 18-miler scheduled for today. I’m in the midst of a really high-mileage part of my Boston-qualifying training program, where I have long runs of 17, 18, and 20 miles in consecutive weeks. And this is even less than prescribed; I modified it just a bit because of the toll taken on my legs by the 5K I ran a few weeks ago.

I’m a little concerned about boredom during this run– in comparison to the beautiful 17-miler I did at Hilton Head last weekend with Erin following me on the bike, the flat, straight trail I’m going to today is mind-numbingly boring. Luckily, I read the blog Westford Mommy (by a fellow hopeful BQ-er) this morning and got the idea to download some podcasts to listen to during the long run. I downloaded the one she recommended; we’ll see if that helps. I can’t imagine it hurting; the only way the run might be more boring is if I were to, say, bring along a small patch of grass to water and feed and watch it grow, or maybe a little section of drywall that I could paint and watch dry while I run.

Ok, have a great Monday! And don’t worry, foodies, we’re only eating vegan/high-raw three days a week. Yesterday was an off day, and we made the best grilled pizza (no quotes there, just pizza) that I’ve ever had, loaded with fresh garden veggies. So I’ve got that one to post later today or tomorrow, plus my surprise is still coming!



Two New Smoothies!

What’s up, no-meaters?

Brendan Brazier (author of Thrive) has been nice enough to give me the green-light to share some recipes from his book while I’m trying them out during my 30-Day Challenge, so I’ve been slaving in my “test kitchen” (read: lots of cleanup) to find the best of the best to post.  In addition to a sweet lemon-lime recovery drink that tastes like a natural version of Gatorade (who needs all that HFCS?), I’ve made a few really fresh and light-tasting smoothies, suitable not just for breakfast, but between meals as well, for a quick pick-me-up during the day.

These vegan, raw smoothies are definitely not the same beast that I’ve always associated with the word “smoothie”– my breakfast smoothie for the past few years has been thick (made with yogurt) and very filling.  This type of smoothie certainly has its place, but I’ve found the Thrive smoothies to be really light and refreshing because they are much thinner, like juices.

To make these smoothies, I’ve had to add to my collection of new ingredients; here’s the stash so far:

[thrive ingredients photo]

Hemp oil, hemp protein, hempseed, coconut oil (a solid, who knew?), acai juice, nutritional yeast, and raw agave nectar.  Or what I like to call, “the nectar of the ‘gav.”  See what I did there?  “‘Gav” sort of sounds like “Gods,” so I simply switched the two, creating a clever wordplay!

Hmm, I’m in a strange mood tonight, could it be all the hemp?

Before this post gets weirder, let’s get to the recipes…

Thrive Ginger Pear Smoothie Recipe

[ginger pear smoothie photo]The ginger in this smoothie adds a very interesting dimension to the flavor, and it goes really nicely with the pear.  They call this one an “inflammation reducer,” which sounds good to me.  It’s not overly sweet, so you could optionally add a few dates to sweeten it, but I haven’t tried that yet.

Ingredients (for two medium smoothies):

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 pear, cored
  • 1.5 cups water plus 1 cup ice
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp hemp protein
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger

Blend it all in a blender!  (I swear I don’t wear my No Meat Athlete shirt around the house.  I drank this smoothie right before I went out for a run, and my other running shirts were dirty.)

Thrive Blueberry Rooibos Antioxidant Smoothie

My favorite thing about this one is, what else, the rooibos.  Rooibos, also called “red bush” or “red tea,” is not really a tea at all but an herbal drink that contains more antioxidants than green, white, or black tea.  I think it tastes better too.  Sort of soft, fruity, and floral.  I never thought to put it right in a smoothie though!

Ingredients (for two medium smoothies):

  • 1 banana
  • 1.5 cups water plus 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen, with no preservatives)
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp hemp protein
  • 1 Tbsp nectar of the ‘gav (see above)
  • 1 Tbsp hemp oil or EFA oil blend
  • 2 tsp ground rooibos

You know what to do.  Blend it up!

If you don’t feel like buying all these ingredients, you could certainly make some substitutions.  Whey or soy for hemp protein, honey for the agave, flaxseed oil for the hemp oil, etc.  But Brendan gives compelling reasons for his choice of ingredients, so for this 30-Day Challenge, I’m going to use as many of the prescribed ingredients as I can get my hands on.

For more natural sports nutrition posts and recipes, check out the Running Fuel page.



Radio Killed the Internet Star!

My Radio Interview

On the off chance that on the morning of your July 4th holiday, you didn’t spring out of bed at 7:30 a.m. to dutifully listen to the live webcast of my radio interview on the 98.1 WOCM Ocean City’s Rude Awakening morning show, you can now relive the moment!  Just click the play button below to hear it; the entire interview is about seven minutes long.  I must admit I’m a bit of an east-coast fast-talker, but I even though I was a little nervous, I managed to avoid the dreaded shaky voice!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Thanks to Blaine Moore from Run To Win for helping me figure out how to magically get audio from my computer onto my blog.

Race Announcements

There are two races, both benefitting good causes, that I’d like to mention here.  The first is the NYC Half Marathon on August 16th, for which general registration is closed.  But you can still get guaranteed entry by participating in the Fresh Air Fund-Racers program, which benefits inner city children by giving them a chance to get out of the city and into the fresh air to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities like swimming and hiking trips.  In addition to runners and sponsors, they’re still looking for host families to provide the kids with a place to stay during their summer vacations.  If you live in the area and would like to host, or are just interested in running and fund raising, please consider this opportunity to do something special for an inner city child!

The second race is the 3rd Annual Recovery Race 5K Run and 2-Mile Walk in McHenry, Maryland on September 12th.  The race is to celebrate the efforts of those courageous people who are recovering from an addiction, and all proceeds benefit the Garrett County STEPS to Better Health Committee.  Western Maryland is a beautiful area and I’m sure this course in the mountains is no exception.



Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

[christine eating cookie photo]Hi guys!  It’s Christine with this week’s edition of Sweet-Tooth Friday, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!  I have been craving this cookie all week, especially after my 30-Day Challenge workouts.  In the comments I noticed that a lot of you guys are taking a break from sugar and flour for your challenges, so I decided to work on a recipe that we all can enjoy.

My 30-Day Challenge Update

A quick update on my 30-Day Challenge:  The week has started off on a great foot!  I have been hitting the gym each day and going through my cardio and stretch routines.  I feel really great and energized.  This week coincided with the day I quit smoking last year and it was pretty awesome to see how far I’ve come.  I’ve never belonged to a gym before and I made a couple of bonehead “newbie” mistakes:

a)  They change the direction of the track each day, which took only a couple dozen glares and giggles for me to realize I was circling in the wrong direction.
b)  I thought all the machines were broken and went from station to station trying to find one that would turn on.  Eventually I figured out you just have to start pedaling first to get them to turn on!
c)  If you’ve never done a lot of spinning or cycling, a good idea is NOT to go see the new Harry Potter movie the same day as that workout.  My butt was so sore I was fidgeting the entire time!

On the food side of my challenge, drinking the 64 oz of water has been a snap.  I got a 4 cup water bottle that I take everywhere I go.  It’s easy to fill it up twice during the day, especially without being distracted by coffee in the morning.  Speaking of coffee, I have had a wicked headache for the past 3 days.  I’m assuming that’s caffeine withdrawal. (Is peanut butter withdrawal a thing?)  Oh yeah, I didn’t realize it, but by eliminating peanut butter and dairy from my diet I lost two of my go-to quickie meals: the pbj and the grilled cheese.  To compensate, I made a BIG salad in the beginning of the week and it has been super convenient to just grab a bowl and snack away.  The dairy has been easy to steer clear of since I don’t buy much prepared food but I was surprised to see they snuck some into my taco seasoning!  No matter though, I found the rest of the spices listed in my cabinet and my red bean tacos turned out better than ever!

The Perfect Oatmeal Cookie

The cookie I’ve been craving is chewy and a little bit crisp, salty and sweet, and full of yummy nut and raisin chunks.  All that criteria and also something without animal products, flour, AND sugar?  It seemed impossible, and a couple of internet searches for vegan oatmeal cookies were frustrating (almost all called for a boatload of soy margarine and brown sugar.)  Finally I stumbled upon two promising recipes, one for raw oatmeal cookies and one from VegWeb for banana based “best oat cookies that ever existed.”  I combined several elements from these recipes, like using dates as a binder as well as the banana.

For the flour in this recipe, I decided to make my own!  You don’t have to be a slave to wheat; you just need a coffee grinder or good processor.  I chose to grind down whole grain steel cut oats and dry chickpeas.  You can buy these flours at natural stores, but it’s a lot cheaper to just grind yourself.  Chickpeas may seem weird as a flour, but just check out the back of your Barilla Plus pasta box!  Also it is common in other parts of the world, like India’s Besan Ladoo cookies.  Because the chickpeas are raw, the cookie dough does not taste yummy until after it’s baked- don’t freak out, that taste will go away!

[oatmeal cookie ingredients photo]

Here’s what I came up with.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe

Wet Ingredients:
2 tbs ground flax seed mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
1 banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup packed (8 oz) chopped dates
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup whole grain oats, ground
1 cup dry chickpeas, ground
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbs cinnamon (2 sticks ground)
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the flaxseed and water together and set aside to thicken.
Combine the dry ingredients, set aside.  (For the flours, make sure to pass through sieve to remove any unground bits.)
Combine the wet ingredients including the flax paste and mix until the banana is mashed and uniform.
Stir in the dry ingredients.  Stir in add-ins to your taste (I used all three).
Line cookie sheet with parchment, spray lightly with pam.  (Mine burnt on the bottom without the parchment.)
Use a quarter cup ice cream scoop to put dough onto the cookie sheet.  These cookies don’t spread in the oven, so flatten to about 3 inches across or desired size.  Bake for about 10 minutes for flat cookies, 12 minutes for thicker ones.  Makes about 15 cookies.

[vegan oatmeal cookies photo]These were delicious!  You may notice that the ingredients overlap a lot with the energy bars, but these definitely have more of a cookie flair!  And they are also the perfect after workout snack that I had been craving.  No one will believe that they have no wheat flour, sugar, or added fat!  Plus using alternative flours adds almost 3.5 grams of protein to each serving: that’s unheard of for a cookie!

Enjoy these yummy and healthy oatmeal cookies!  And keep it up with those 30-Day challenges!

See you next Sweet-Tooth Friday!

xoxo Christine



Home Sweet Home

Where The Hell is Sweet-Tooth Friday!?

No, you didn’t have one of those weird dreams where you think it’s Friday and then halfway through the morning you realize it’s not.  So where’s Sweet-Tooth Friday?  Well, I just got back from vacation, and figured you might be mad if I didn’t at least say “hi.”  So don’t worry, STF isn’t over; it’s just going to be STS this week.  Sweet-Tooth Saturday.  Come back tomorrow for a no-wheat treat.

Vacation = Not Long Enough

Well, vacation is over and it’s back to the real world. Erin and I had a great time in Hilton Head, so thanks to all the guest posters for making it easy on me! I actually only spent about three hours at the beach the entire time, but that’s just fine with me. The rest of the time was filled with running, biking, swimming, and relaxing at the pool and on the deck watching alligators in the lagoon. I managed to finish three of those books that I brought with me, and I even got in a 17-mile run on the island! Erin was nice enough to ride along with me on the bike for that one, so for the final seven miles I had drinks, food, and good company. But why only the last seven miles? Erin intended to ride with me the whole time, but we got separated when she went into the store to get stuff for me, and it took her an hour and a half to find me again!

As far as vacations go, we managed to eat pretty healthily on this one, aside from a few milkshakes and some cake. We had orzo with citrus-cooked veggies, lentil burgers, portobello bistro burgers, smoky black bean burritos, and a really nice dinner in Savannah at a restaurant called Cha-Bella that uses only organic, local, and seasonal ingredients.  The restaurant was dark, so most of the pictures didn’t turn out, but here a few of our cheese plate and my salad with Georgia peaches:

[cheese plate photo]

[salad photo]

30-Day Challenge Update and Thrive Diet Day 1

We got a TON of 30-Day Challengers, you can see the full list here.  How is everyone doing with them?  I’ve been doing my foam rolling (and I’m positive that I wouldn’t have done it if not for the challenge!), and on Wednesday we had the first of many Thrive meals.  Erin, saddled with shopping and cooking duties since she had the day off, chose the approachable Chickpea Curry Pizza for our first foray into the world of vegan and near-raw food.  You know that first shopping trip on a new diet where it takes forever to find all these strange ingredients you’re not used to buying?  Yeah, that one.  That’s what Erin did.  She got sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, sesame seeds, hemp oil, and hemp seeds, and that was just for this meal!

It turns out that this meal isn’t actually raw; it’s cooked low and slow at 300 degrees.  Furthermore, to call it pizza is a big stretch.  True, there’s a “crust,” made from sunflower seeds, chickpeas, hemp oil, and some seasonings.  And there’s a bell-pepper, basil, hemp pesto “sauce,” and a boatload of vegetables as “topping.”  In that sense, and only that sense, it’s a pizza.  Nonetheless, it was pretty tasty!  Lots of fresh, somewhat unfamiliar Indian flavors.  Definitely better than we expected, and knowing how healthy it is just makes it taste that much better.  For me anyway.  (I think for some people the opposite is true!)

[chickpea curry pizza photo]

The book calls for sprouted versions of lots of the ingredients.  Supposedly, sprouting is easy to do at home, and we’ll get there, but come on, two days ago we were drinking pina coladas in our underwear!  So no sprouting for us yet, but soon.  Anyone tried it before?

I found a recipe for a very similar Thrive “pizza,” Curry Lentil Rice Pizza, on the blog I Like Granola.  I’m not going to post the Chickpea Curry recipe today; there are a lot of steps and this post is too long as it is.  But check out I Like Granola and try that one if you’re interested!

Ok healthy foodies, that’s all for today.  As great as vacation was, getting back to the routine is always nice.  I have lots of new stuff to post over the weekend (like my radio interview), plus a big surprise I’ve been waiting a long time for!  Have a great weekend, and be active!