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Entries in healthy recipe (2)

Friday
Mar292013

Training Diary - Kitchen Sink Granola

Reality can be alarming. Especially when what you think is true is not exactly how things are. Take for example my morning bike ride (I promise I will bring this back to food and it will all loop together wonderfully):

The workout was the following: 4 loops of Central Park with 5 Harlem Hill repeats. 

I started out with Group 1, the fastest group. I was quickly dropped on the second loop. During the summer and fall of last year I could stay with Group 1. But it's March, and it's been frickin' freezing outside, so I haven't been on my bike. Consequently, I got picked up by Group 2 and rode with them.

This is fine, I tell myself. Group 1 are all boys, anyway. Group 1 smells. And they talk funny (one of them is Australian - love ya, Mark!). 

And I must take a moment to remind myself it is only March. But with my first race fast approaching on April 7 in South Beach, it is sometimes hard to reconcile what you want with what you actually have.

Which brings me to granola. Yes, granola.

The other day I wanted some, but as I perused the contents of my cabinets, I realized I did not have the ingredients to make a truly stellar granola. But I had something in storage....so I made granola with what I had. And it was good. Quite good, in fact.

So, sometimes you just have to do the best you can with what you have. And as I realized with the granola, what you have can add up to be a lot more than you thought and even produce some pretty impressive results.

Here's how to make Kitchen Sink Granola:

What You Need:

2 cups rolled oats (I used the Quaker 5 minute kind because that's what I had available)

1/2 cup silvered almonds

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

3/4 cup chopped dried figs (you can use any kind of dried fruit, but again, this is what was rolling around in my cabinets).

2 tbsp Coconut Oil

2 tbsp Maple Syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

What To Do:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, throw ALL The ingredients together. That's right, all of 'em. Now, mix. Make sure that coconut oil is evenly distributed.

Spread the mixture evenly onto a large baking sheet and throw it in the oven.

Let it toast for about 5 minutes, and give it a check. The coconut shreds can burn easily, so you want to make sure you give this stuff a good mix every now and again. You do NOT want burned coconut.

Toast for about 10 more minutes, making sure to mix things up every now and again. 

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.

Finishing Touches:

I baked a sweet potato, mashed it up with some almond milk, topped it with the granola and then heated the whole enterprise in the microwave for about a minute and a half.

Strong coffee recommended.

South Beach, here I come....

Oh, and Group 1 really doesn't smell. Not worse than the rest of us, anyway...

 

Monday
Jan282013

Training Diary – Breakfast in the Shower

I'd like to talk about a topic near and dear to my heart: BREAKFAST.

I would eat breakfast any time of the day, twice on Wednesdays....or twice on any other day, as I often do have two breakfasts...

My first breakfast is usually enjoyed directly after a training session. For this meal, I make a smoothie. I won't bore you with carb-to-protein ratios, but I will say that it's good to get in some of each after a workout. A smoothie is a great way to accomplish this goal - it's a breakfast multitasker.

And speaking of multitasking, these longer training sessions are cutting into my get-ready-for-work time. So I've started to combine activities and have breakfast in the shower.

Now, before you judge, let me explain:

1. I'm not PREPARING the smoothies in the shower, a la Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld

2. I only do this when I'm at Chelsea Piers because they have huge showers with hooks and little stools, so I can set up my smoothie along side my various accoutrements and have a few sips in between my shampoo and conditioning.

Still think this is weird? I just don't care.

The reason I don't care is because after a workout I'm really hungry. And for some reason a swim/run workout seems completely doable before breakfast, but drying my hair and getting dressed before eating seems insurmountable.

So, I tote my smoothie into the shower with me and all you naysayers be damned!

I have a number of smoothie recipes, but my current favorite is called Blueberry Coconut Fabulousness.

The trick to this one is fresh blueberries. You could use frozen, of course, but I find the flavor from the fresh berries is better. Here's how is goes:

What You Need:

1 cup Almond Milk

1 scoop (or serving) natural flavor protein powder. I'm using this one right now.

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

1 tablespoon Chia seeds

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup shredded coconut (you can use sweetened or unsweetened)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Dash of ground nutmeg

What To Do:

Throw all this stuff in a blender and BLEND like the Dickens. 

Drink immediately OR pour it into a spare water bottle and stick it in the fridge. Tote it with you to the gym the next morning and enjoy while showering.

Here are a few more highlights from week 2 of training, including a forced cab ride, Hotwheels and more portable breakfast options.