#FridayFuel – Sweet Potato Toast

The new trend is sweet potato toast and wow – what a discovery! I love sweet potatoes, and I also love piling things on toast! Since I avoid breads when I’m in training cycles this is an awesome alternative and a great snack idea. 

No recipe needed – you simply slice a sweet potato into your desired thickness (the thinner the slice the easier to toast), place it in your toaster and toast on high. When it finishes you will likely need to toast it one more time. You want to see some browning on the slice and then you know it’s ready. When it comes to toppings you can go crazy! I started with some good ol’ standbys:

almond butter, dates, coconut & cinnamon

avacado mash, nutritional yeast & sea salt

chocolate peanut butter, raspberries & coconut


Up next will be cashew cream cheese, red onion, cucumber, capers and dill. Then maybe smashed black beans, guacamole and salsa. SautĂŠed kale, white beans and garlic. I could go on and on. Have fun creating your own sweet potato toast snacks and feel free to share them with me 🙂 

ďťż#FridayFuel – Raw Cinnamon Rolls

While visiting Santa Fe and dining at one of my favorite eateries, Rasa Juice Bar, I discovered these amazing raw cinnamon rolls that were not only delicious but also the perfect fuel before my long runs in the foothills and mountains.

I fell in love with these cinnamon rolls and made it a priority to re-create them on my own so that I could enjoy them anytime! Through a few trials I finally found the perfect mix. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Raw Cinnamon Rolls

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

    Base
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup flax meal
  • 3 Tbs agave
  • Filling
  • 7-8 pitted dates
  • 1 ½ Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Topping
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 ½ tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vailla

Directions

  1. Remove pits from dates and soak in water while you prepare the base.
  2. Add almonds, pecans & flax meal to a processor and process until it becomes a fine crumble.
  3. Add agave and continue to process (you may need to scrape down the sides once or twice) until you have a moist dough-like consistency (it will still be crumbly).
  4. Place the mixture onto a sheet of wax paper, cover with another sheet of wax paper, and use a rolling pin to flatten into a 9×9 square or similar. Place the base into the fridge while you prepare the filling.
  5. Drain the dates and add them to the food processor with the remaining filling ingredients. Process for 3-5 minutes until a smooth paste is formed, stopping to scrape down sides if necessary.
  6. Remove the base layer from the fridge and remove the top layer of wax paper. Spread the date paste evenly onto the base, and then use the bottom layer of wax paper to gently roll the layers from end to end. Place the roll in the fridge to set for about an hour.
  7. Once set, remove the roll and cut into slices of desired width.
  8. To make the topping, mix almond butter, coconut oil and vanilla and microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir well until syrupy, and then drizzle onto cinnamon roll slices.
  9. Store rolls in the fridge.

#FridayFuel – Teff Muffins

You know what I love about muffins? They are perfect little (or sometimes not so little) single-serving, portable snacks that you can pack a lot of goodies into. This muffin recipe is just that – which is why I have been making them for years!

The supergrain teff! Photo: Huffington Post

The supergrain teff! Photo: Huffington Post

If you haven’t been introduced to teff it is time to check it out! Teff is an iron-packed grain from Africa that is gaining popularity and accessibility as it is said to be the grain of choice for elite Ethiopian athletes. In addition to the benefits of easily absorbed iron, it also boasts high amounts of protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium. Since many females in endurance sports can struggle to maintain adequate iron levels (vegan or not), adding teff to your diet is a great way to boost tissue iron levels ladies!

Teff Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Nutrient dense muffins to be enjoyed at any time of day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups teff flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ž cup orange juice
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup melted virgin coconut oil
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional – I add a few on top of the muffins)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 small tart apple, diced

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 12-cup muffin pan. 2) In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the teff flour, tapioca flour, ground flax, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk together well. 3) In another mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, applesauce, agave nectar, and oil. 4) Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together. Then add the nuts, dried fruit, and grated carrots, and diced apples. Continue to mix with a large wooden spoon until all of the ingredients are combined. Be sure to not over mix the batter! 5) Spoon batter into oiled muffin cups and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. 6) Cool muffins on a wire rack.

Long Course Duathlon National Championship at Cary Du Classic

carydu2016logoThis was my 2nd time racing the Cary Du Classic as the Long Course Duathlon National Championship and to sum it up – I had a bad day. I can say that I went into this race not having the best mental attitude (which I may expand upon during another post after I do some soul searching in Santa Fe), but it really comes down to not having the speed, power, and grit that I normally possess. As much as I try to squash my lack of confidence and convince myself that I’m ready to race at my best, it doesn’t always work and my weaknesses show up on race day. Here’s a brief re-cap of my day.

I arrived at transition feeling rested and ready. I was definitely a bundle of nerves for this race but reuniting with so many great friends eased a lot of that anxiety. There was Yvonne Carter and Cora Sturzl from the west coast, Erica Ruge and Jason Heimink from the midwest, Tracy Lempke, Kristin Allyne, Jeff Guara, Jackie Miller, and my wonderful host Dave Tierney representing the local crew. Although we were missing some key people, it was like a duathlon reunion! I knew that no matter how my race went today it was worth it to be here with some amazing friends doing what we love.

Yvonne and I

Yvonne and I – representing Topo

The female start time was 7:04 am – it was still cool and crisp before the heat and humidity rolled in. When the command to “go” was given I of course shot off the front. No one was challenging me and the pace was manageable so I settled in, hitting the first mile at 6:05. I heard some people behind me and soon could tell from shadows that there were 3 females latched onto me. Looks like I was the pacesetter and with the strength of the runners at this race and my lack of confidence in my run speed I didn’t think this was a good position for me to be in today. I backed off just a touch as one-by-one the 3 of them passed me. I hit mile 2 at 6:14 and soon after that was the turnaround where I could see the 3 females coming back towards me. They all looked amazingly strong – not at all how I felt. I really love watching strong runners even if they’re ahead of me so it was a treat to see this talent. I finished the first 5 mile run with a 6:13 pace and was excited to get out on the bike.

The bike course changed this year and we were now doing 2 loops which cut out some of the climbing. Normally I would be happy to have more hills since I don’t possess a great amount of power on flat courses, but since I had only ridden my bike outside 3 times prior to the race, I figured a flatter course would benefit me. It wasn’t my strongest bike but I think I fared better than I was expecting. Over the 30 mile course I was passed by 3 females putting me in 6th place off the bike.

Time to get on to that 2nd run and see if I could chase anyone down! As soon as I started run #2 I could tell I was fading fast. I was eventually able to pass the 6th place female, Allie Norman, but I wasn’t confident that the pass would stick. I started getting pretty bad stomach cramps (which I believe were a result of a minor nutrition error) and I could only imagine how bad I must have looked trying to hold it together. I remember telling myself “you’re running slower than your training pace“, which wasn’t actually true, but it sure felt that way. The first female I saw on the return was Cecilia Davis-Hayes and she looked so damn strong – it was awesome! I gave her a big cheer as I plodded along. After the turn-around I saw Meghan Fillnow storming down the hill and knew it was only a matter of time before she blew by me. I did what I could to keep my momentum going and told myself it was okay to be passed on the run, but this was the only pass I would allow 😉 Sure enough she made her pass with a mile to go and I stayed focused on getting to the finish line.

Photo: Dave Tierney

Photo: Dave Tierney

My performance earned me the bronze medal in my age group and 6th overall female for the day. Not the result I was shooting for but I raced with all I had in me that day. I absolutely love racing – good, bad, or ugly – it’s always an experience I cherish. Today was no exception. Many of my friends also earned medals for their strong races so there was much to celebrate!

Me, Kristin, and Cora

Me, Kristin, and Cora

Run #1 – 31:05
T1 – :33
Bike – 1:21:28
T2 – :29
Run #2 – 34:07

#FridayFuel – Coconut Quinoa and Sweet Potato Curry

curryspice

Jars of curry spice mix to save prep time

If you haven’t noticed I am a big fan of curries. I could eat curry every day. Easy to make, so much flavor, and so many benefits for athletes! I always preach that the best way to recover from a hard workout or race is with a nourishing curry. I cannot tell you the last time I’ve popped a NSAID – it’s been so many years. Why take a pill created in a lab when you can use natural spices to keep inflammation at bay?

As I enjoy curries so often, I find it convenient to mix up a few single-serving jars of my curry mix at a time. Although it doesn’t take that long to throw a mix of spices into a dish on the stove I find it quick and easy to simply open 1 jar and dump the entire contents in the pan when I am in a hurry to get dinner made!

Coconut Quinoa and Sweet Potato Curry is one of my favorite go-to curry dishes. After my evening workout I can throw the quinoa and chickpeas in a saucepan while I hop in the shower and prepare the rest afterwards.

Coconut Quinoa & Sweet Potato Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: VegWeb.com

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas with liquid
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2-3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 15-ounce can lite coconut milk
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp ginger

Directions

  1. Add chickpeas with liquid and quinoa to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat – simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  2. Use another saucepan with a steamer basket and bring water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and steam for 5-10 minutes until tender.
  3. In a skillet, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sautĂŠ until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add your spice mix, the chickpea quinoa mix, and sweet potatoes to the skillet and add coconut milk.
  5. Mix well and bring to a boil before covering and reducing the heat to low.
  6. Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the coconut milk reduces to a thick curry.

#FridayFuel – Avocado Chickpea Salad

A slight twist on your typical chickpea salad – I use ripe avocado in place of vegan mayonnaise as a healthy, creamy fat alternative. There are many ways to enjoy this dish – I like to load it into romaine lettuce wraps (and then add pickle slices on top for even more dill flavor!). I also enjoy it as a topper to a spinach salad. You can add it in a wrap or pita with other veggies and sprouts. Or simply eat it out of the bowl with a spoon 🙂

Avocado Chickpea Salad

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 stalk of celery, cut into large pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into large pieces
  • 1 Tbsp onion
  • 1/2 of a ripe avocado
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp dried dill (I prefer lots of dill!)

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas.
  2. Add celery, carrot and onion to a food processor and pulse a few times to roughly chop.
  3. Add the remainder of the ingredients and pulse a few more times, scraping down the sides as needed, until well-mixed but with some chunks remaining.

#FridayFuel – Killer Kale Salad

Kale salad is one of my favorites! It is my preferred meal base the night before a race. This recipe is taken from my favorite eatery here in New Paltz – Karma Road’s Kalecado. It’s super-easy to make a big batch of salad that can last for a few days.

Killer Kale Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 large carrots – grated or shredded
  • ~ 1 cup salted cashews
  • ~ 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Wash your kale, remove stems, and rip into bite-size pieces.
  2. Scoop out the insides of your avocado, roll up your sleeves, and massage the kale by mashing the avocado with your hands until it’s full incorporated.
  3. Add carrots, cashews, and cranberries – give it another good mix to incorporate all ingredients.
  4. Store in the fridge.

 

#FridayFuel – Avocado Chia Chocolate Mousse

Is it just me or has it been one heck of a week? Sooo…let’s talk dessert! Although dessert doesn’t always fit in to our training and racing goals, I’ll be the first to admit that there are many times when I’m craving something sweet & chocolatey. That’s why this super-easy Avocado Chia Chocolate Mousse is one of my favorites! And why it is featured on my Lighter profile.

How easy you ask?

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor
  2. Process
  3. Pour into serving dishes & pop in the fridge
  4. Eat 🙂

You do want to let this mousse chill for a few hours before enjoying, so I normally prepare it in the morning so that it’s ready for my after-dinner treat. I separate it into 4 serving dishes and seal tight. That’s almost a whole week of desserts!

**the recipe on the Lighter profile is for a single serving, the recipe on my page creates 4 servings

Avocado Chia Chocolate Mousse

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

When training volume is high and I need an extra dose of healthy fats this dessert/snack doubles to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder (or use raw cacao powder for an extra boost of nutrients)
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 4 Tbsp agave (or less if your taste allows – you can also use maple syrup)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high power blender and process for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. Pour into a serving dish, cover and chill for a few hours.

 

 

 

#FridayFuel – Ultimate Blueberry Beet Recovery Shake

Beet Recovery Shake

Photo: Lighter

I’m going to start sharing some of my favorite meals on Fridays. So let’s kick it off with my favorite smoothie! The Ultimate Blueberry Beet Recovery Shake is my go-to after a long or exceptionally taxing workout, or even when I just feel like I need a fresh, clean, nutrient-dense meal that I can enjoy at home or on the go! Sometimes I like to switch up the protein flavor and the fruit – right now I’ve been mixing it up with chocolate Vega One Nutritional Shake and strawberries.

This is the perfect recipe to share on my first #FridayFuel post as this week was also the launch of my profile on Lighter’s new site! If you find yourself wondering how to plan  meals to fuel your everyday training, need quick & easy nutrient-dense options with simple instructions on how to shop and prepare them, or are simply looking for some fresh ideas – Lighter is a service you should check out.

The site is full of leading healthcare providers, professional athletes, chefs, super parents and badass world changers who share their recommendations with you. Lighter simplifies the process by providing easy-to-use shopping lists to get the ingredients you need for your weekly menu and step-by-step instructions on how to create the meals. What an awesome service!

You can find the recipe for my Ultimate Blueberry Beet Recovery Shake on the recipe page of my site, or on my Lighter profile page. Give it a try and tell me what you think! 🙂

 

Ultimate Blueberry Beet Recovery Shake

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This beautiful smoothie packs a ton of nutrition, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories into one glass.

Ingredients


1/4 cup Biotta beet juice
1/2 cup tart cherry juice
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (or strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
1 scoop Vega Protein & Greens vanilla or chocolate
1 large handful of Kale
1 Tbsp Chia seeds

Directions

  1. Wash the kale and use just the leaves.
  2. Blend all ingredients in a blender until creamy.