Race Recap: Okanagan Half Marathon

This recap is slightly overdue considering I ran the Okanagan half Marathon Thanksgiving weekend (for my American friends that was October 12).

My goals for this run shifted significantly from the initial plan. I was focused on the 50k and jumping into the triathlon world and hadn’t even considered running a Fall marathon until I received a group text from my two favourite running friends. Well twist my rubber arm, within a couple hours we had settled on running the Okanagan Marathon. I was still training for the 70.3 when I agreed and didn’t foresee my unwillingness to increase milage after the half-iron.

Okanagan Marathon Logo

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, I’ve been really enjoying running without purpose and focusing on running for fun until tri training starts again in January. That being said, four weeks before the Okanagan Marathon I had a serious confession to make to my friends, I was in no shape to run a decent marathon and didn’t necessarily want to suffer through a mediocre performance. Luckily both girls were on the same page and we adjusted to the half… and booked a full day wine tour :)

We left on Friday for the 7.5 hour drive from Calgary to Kelowna. The girls were chatty and we were super excited to get the heck out of the city! When we arrived in Kelowna we went straight to package pick-up. The expo (if you can call it that) was set up in a giant tent in the park. We needed our bib number in order to get our package and either a lot of people share the same name as me or I was running three races on Sunday! We joked with the registration volunteers about our wine marathon scheduled the day before the race and I ended up picking which bib number I would use for the race.

Race Sign Up

 

The expo wasn’t exciting at all, however they did have organic, local apples which were absolutely delicious!

Organic Apples

We settled into our hotel room and uncorked a bottle of wine… or two before heading across the street for sushi. The quality of the sushi was excellent but the price was even better. I think we all ate for under $35! We hit the hay shortly after as we had an early morning pick-up for our wine tour!

Wine

Our Okanagan wine tour was with a local company called Uncorked. Our tour guide was extremely personable and knowledgeable about the local wine scene. We started our tasting at Sperling Vineyards where we tasted my favourite wines of the day, including an Old Vines Foch VQA which I immediately bought. Our second stop was at Cedar Creek Estate which was recently purchased by Mission Hill.

Cedar Creek Wine

We took a break for lunch and polished off a couple jugs of Sangria before leaving for our next stop, The View. Next up was Sandhill for a quick tasting before running next door to Tree Brewing for some beer. I like Tree’s Grapefruit Radler but didn’t appreciate the others as much, possibly because I’d been drinking wine all day. Lastly we stopped at Urban Distilleries where we switched to spirits (aka the hard stuff). The vanilla bean vodka was insanely smooth and I considered purchasing a bottle until I reminded myself how little I drink.

Tree Brewing

After the wine tour we found some pasta, downed a bunch of water and made our way to bed. Luckily Kelowna is an hour behind Calgary so waking up for the race felt like a sleep in! Cat had been battling a sore hip and decided  not to inflict any more damage by running (so smart) but still accompanied Ashley and I to the race start. As ashley and I made our way to the corrals we overheard many people talking about how nervous they were and how hard they had trained. Ashley and I started laughing at ourselves as we were probably in the complete opposite position they were – hungover with no “real training”. Luckily we have experience on our side and knew what to expect (quite possibly a lot of pain). We decided that we’d be happy with a conservative (for us) 2:00 half.

The gun went off and Ashely and I started weaving our way through. We started close to the back and spotted the 2:45 pace bunny right away, a fellow Calgarian who I paced the Calgary Marathon with in 2012, we said a quick hello and went on our way. We were fairly chatty throughout the first half of the race and both agreed that we were feeling way better than expected. The first half of the course is through the industrial side of town which was quiet with lots of room for runners. Just as we were making our way through the park/beach section the lead marathon runner ran past, starting his second loop. We caught up to the 2:00 pace bunny, cheered with them as we passed the 10k mark and eventually made it past the large group.

Okanagan Marathon Start

Terry, a fellow Calgary runner (and a very inspiration one I might add), was running the full with a BQ goal. I was so excited when I spotted her and her running buddy Lori! They looked super strong and I yelled out some cheers as we passed. I also knew Ange was running the half and figured I see her somewhere along the course. She spotted me and ran up to give me a bum tap. We chatted briefly, she wasn’t planning on racing but mentioned how good she felt and decided to try for a PB. I was just getting into a zone and somehow lost her without saying goodbye. Bad runner! At around 13k Ashley hollered that she was taking a bathroom pit stop but told me to keep going. I threw in my other earphone and continued on. I felt great! I was fuelling appropriately, the temperature was excellent and I was enjoying myself immensely.

Forgive me, I ran phone free and don't have pics. Borrowed from Marathon-photos.com

Forgive me, I ran phone free and don’t have pics. Borrowed from Marathon-photos.com

What I like about out and back races is that I can use reference points to gage distance and effort. I knew the little bridge was about 800m to the finish. I got to the 800m and picked up a bit of speed into the home stretch. I crossed at 1:52 and was incredibly happy with that. I seriously think that if I didn’t do the wine tour I could have PB’d (sub 1:47) and if I actually trained I would have really surprised myself. No regrets though I had so much fun! Ashley finished shortly after and we found Cat for a celebratory hug.

Borrowed from Okanagan Marathon's FB

Borrowed from Okanagan Marathon’s FB

Overall we had another phenomenal girls running trip!

A few notes about the Okanagan Marathon:

  • I like the idea of a 2x loop course for the marathon. If I decide to try and BQ one day this might be the race for me. It’s flat as can be and I like the idea of knowing what lies ahead on the second half
  • The course did get a little congested in a few areas where the full marathoners were going the opposite direction for their second loop. I feel like this would have been frustrating for some people
  • Expo and swag isn’t anything special. I’m not complaining about this but it’s something to note if you really like the “whole” race experience
  • There are very limited hotels close to the race start/finish, however parking was super simple and free
  • Volunteers were amazing!
  • Very good selection of food, at least when the half finished. I can’t speak to the full

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Race Recap: Banff Ekiden Relay

Although I haven’t written about running in a while, I promise you I have been running.

I was recently bestowed the great honour of joining some of my favourite Calgary bloggers on a relay team. The Little Bloggy Blue Birds team was established last year for the Banff Ekiden Relay and you can tell by the photos these ladies know how to have a good time and in style! One of last years members was unable to make the event this year and I was offered her spot. I immediately accepted and jumped into the outfit planning process.

What is Ekiden?

An ancient Japanese system of mail delivery. Couriers would run from station to station in a task called Ekiden. We didn’t deliver any mail, however we did carry a unicorn! The Banff Ekiden relay is 5 legs of varying distances that combined equal 42km or a marathon!

The Team

Photo Credit to Sue @dothingsalways

Photo Credit to Sue @dothingsalways

Cori – Read. Write. Run. Mom
Michelle – Fine Fettle Frets 
Tina – Fabulosi-T
Susan – Do Things Always
Me!

These ladies are a boat load of fun! We met for coffee a couple weeks ago so I could meet Cori (some how our paths haven’t crossed until now) and avoid the awkward “Hi, I’m Lindsay. Now lets hang out all day” situation. The team decided on a rainbow/unicorn theme which quickly exploded with the most ridiculously funny hashtags ever! If you followed our Twitter and Instagram posts you know what I’m talking about.

Banff Ekiden Little Bloggy Blue Birds

We ordered unicorn rainbow sharting socks from sockittome.com and when the package arrived we found a stow away – Donnie Wahlberg! As you’ll see the Donnie trading card became the official mascot for the day. We even named our unicorn after him.

sockittome

Photo credit to @khourianya

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Leg 1 – 7.8km

Sue strapped Donnie the unicorn into her pack, secured “The Shart” (rainbow unicorn tail) and started us off with a 7.8km run past the Cave and Basin.

Sue Banff Ekiden Leg 1

Leg 2 – 13km

Deemed the baby of the group I offered to take the longest leg of the course. Sue came up the hill and the crew quickly disassembled “The Shart” with nascar pit stop like speed and reattached to my backside. I took Donnie and strapped him into a water bottle holder and away we went. My section of the course started down a huge hill and all I could think about was having to go back up it. The day before the race I thought it was a good idea to do stairs and bootcamp with a friend; needless to say my legs were feeling pretty heavy. This leg was primarily through the Fairmont Banff Springs golf course which is unbelievably stunning.

Donnie Herb of Elk Banff Ekiden Relay

I came across a herd of Elk hanging out on the green. On the way back I caught a beautiful view of the waterfall.

The home stretch is up a very, very long hill! My team was at the top cheering me on and waiting for the handoff.

Lindsay Leg 2

 

Leg 3 – 4.3km

Cori was up next. She had a fractured leg earlier in the year and has been nursing it back to health. Ekiden was her comeback to running and she rocked it. Leg 3 starts up hill (Tunnel Mountain), drops down and then climbs back up that horrible hill to the start/finish. Cori mentioned that Donnie the unicorn talked her up that silly hill!

Photo credit @khourianya

Photo credit @khourianya

Leg 4 – 5.4km

We had a bit of a rocky start to the 4th leg as someone was taking a potty break. Michelle was scheduled to run the MEC marathon the day after so requested a shorter leg. Michelle and Donnie breezed through the canoe docks and back up to meet tina for the finale.

Michelle Leg 4

Leg 5 – 11.7km

Tina is a powerhouse. She just recently finished an ultra Regnar Relay in New York and is set to do another in Vegas next month. She was also scheduled to run the MEC half marathon the next day but assured us that this distance would work perfectly for her back-to-back training. Tina had a minor annoyance with “The Shart” but Sue was kind enough to run alongside Tina to make adjustments. Tina’s leg was hilly but that didn’t stop her from putting out a strong effort. We herd our number being called and eagerly went out to the finish to cheer her home!

Tina Leg 5

 

From the race organizers to volunteers and post race lunch this race was exceptional! The volunteers were so cheerful (which could have been because we were the only ones dressed up) and the lunch was impressive. We planned to go to Nourish Bistro for lunch after the run so I settled on a couple cookies but the chili looked and smelled heavenly.

Banff Ekiden Medals

Cori puts Martha Stewart to shame. She hand made unique medals for our team and got us these super cute bird necklaces. She’s a rockstar and the best team captain ever.

Almost everyone on the team has a food allergy so Nourish Bistro was the perfect choice. I ordered a veggie burger but everyones dishes looked scrumptious. I’ll have to go back for dinner one of these days.

Shwings

We got home around 6pm and I was bagged. A day of running, cheering and full belly laughing is draining. I took a nice warm bath while watching the Walking Dead and passed out before 9pm. I’m so happy the “Little Bloggy Blue Birds” invited me to join there team and hope to do another relay with these ladies again.

SPUD Calgary

Oh and a big thank you to SPUD Calgary for keeping us fuelled for the run with organic bananas, apples and Larabars!

Cori put together a pretty sweet Storified if you’d like to reply the day (click here)

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Foodie Friday: Calgary Cooks

Happy Friday! I’ve been horrible at cooking at home this week. I was in Kelowna over Thanksgiving, had dinner at the Longview Steak House for my mom’s birthday on Wednesday and a couple friends came over for dinner last night (one of them made dinner for me!). So long story is, I don’t have any recipes to share this week,

I am excited that a beautiful new cookbook found it’s way to my office while I was away! One of the restaurants I work for is featured in the book and I’ve been dying to get my hands on a copy.

Calgary Cooks Cookbook

 

Calgary Cooks is a collection of recipes from Calgary’s top chefs. I opened the book and was shrieking with joy at the very first recipe – Anejo’s guacamole! Yes, guacamole seems like such a simple dip but you haven’t had guac until you’ve had Anejo’s made fresh at your table. Now it will be made fresh in my kitchen.

Another goldmine, the recipes from UNA Pizza + Wine which is my all time favourite pizza place in Calgary. The tiny little restaurant is a popular spot and you have to get there early to get a seat. I took my sister to UNA a couple years ago and she was blown away! One of our favourite dishes (so many favourites) is the meatballs. Well, guess what recipe is in Calgary Cooks? The meatball recipe! I immediately send to my sister.

Calgary Cooks Cookbook

 

I’m in love with this book. It has extremely high-quality photos, lovely bios of the chefs and most importantly some beyond amazing recipes. I’m delighted that Calgary’s chefs shared so many of their signature recipes and can’t wait to try them.

Some other dishes that excite me:

  • Roasted Garlic and White Bean Soup with Truffle Honey – The Coup
  • Elk Lasagna (if I can find Elk) – Cucina
  • Sticky Toffee Doughnuts – Jelly Modern Doughnuts
  • Black Truffle and White Cheddar Fondue – The Living Room
  • Tiramisu – Teatro
  • Kale Caesar Salad – UNA Pizza + Wine
  • Chicken Fattee with Rice, Flatbread and Spiced Yogurt – The Cookbook Co. Cooks
  • Pan-seared B.C. Halibut and Spot Prawns with Morel, English Pea and Chorizo Ragout – Catch & the Oyster Bar
Calgary Cooks Cookbook

What better way to spend a Friday afternoon “researching” on your desk with a new cookbook?

Do you have a favourite cookbook or a new one for the Fall?

Foodie Friday: Cinnzeo Clone Cinnamon Buns

The 21 Day Fall Reset ended on Sunday and for the most part I’ve been able to keep up with many of the healthy habits. During the last week of the reset a friend emailed me a recipe for cinnamon buns and couldn’t get the image out of my mind. So in celebration of completing the reset I made a batch.

I’ve been working on mastering the cinnamon bun for about a year. These are seriously deadly and taste just like the ones you buy at the mall! Oh and there is nothing healthy about them!

Cinnamon_Bun_cover

Cinnamon Buns

Makes about 12 cinnamon buns (with extra icing) 

Ingredients for the dough:

1 package quick rising yeast
1 cup almond milk (or dairy milk)
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup butter (room temp.)
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour

Ingredients for the filling:

1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ cup butter

Ingredients for the frosting:

½ cream cheese
½ butter
1¾ cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 drops lemon flavour

Directions for the dough:

1. In a small glass bowl dissolve yeast in luke warm milk. Add a tbsp of sugar to active the yeast and allow to sit for 5min to activate.
2. While yeast is activating, cream the butter. Add the yeast mixture, remainder of the sugar, eggs and salt. Mix on low until incorporated. Add flour one cup at a time until dough forms.
3. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands. Place back in the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm area (I turn the light on in my oven and let the dough rise there). Let the dough rise for about 1 hour or until it’s approximately doubled in size.
4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface in the shape of a rectangle. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick.

This is what yeast mixture should look like when activated.

This is what yeast mixture should look like when activated.

Directions for the filling:

1. In a small bowl melt the butter in the microwave. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and stir.

Directions to assemble:

1. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving about 1 inch border. Gently roll dough into a fairly tight roll.
2. With a serrated knife, cut into 12 pieces and place into a lightly greased rectangular cake pan.
3. Back at 350° for approximately 12 minutes or until the buns turn golden and filling bubbles.

Best Cinnamon Bun Recipe

Directions for frosting:

1. In a Kitchen Aid mixer blend the cream cheese and butter for 3-4min on a low speed.
2. Switch attachments to a whisk and whip for 6min on med-high speed (about 6-7 speed).
3. Add half of the icing sugar and mix on low until incorporated. Add the remaining icing sugar and mix for another min on medium speed.
4. Whip frosting for 1 more minute.
5. Frost the cinnamon buns when cool and store in an air tight container.

CinnamonBun

*I microwave my cinnamon bun for 20 seconds and add a touch more icing before diving in!

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5 Active Friend Dates for Active Nation Day

I’ve been really enjoying active dates with friends lately. I find it difficult to get together with friends in the summer but now that the corporate world is settling back into routine (and school is back for some friends) it’s becoming easier to see everyone. I’m lucky that most of my friends are fairly active individuals and agree to do things that allow us to catch-up and move at the same time.

My 5 Favourite Active Friend Dates!

1. Smoothie + Walk
Grab or make a smoothie-to-go and stroll through a unique neighbourhood, park or path

Smoothie

2. Morning Run + Breakfast
Find a new route or old favourite and enjoy a morning run followed by breakfast at a diner or someones house! You’ll usually beat the “hangover” crowd for breakfast too

Breakfast

3. Girls Race Weekend
Pick a fun run in a different city and go for a weekend girls trip! The Nike Women’s Race and SeaWheeze are great options for an estrogen packed weekend

SeaWheeze

4. Hiking + Picnic
If you have good hiking trails in your area pick one and pack a lunch to enjoy at the peak or along the way. I’ve had so many fun hiking trips with girlfriends and you never have to worry about running into a bear… the constant talking and giggling will scare them off :)

Hiking

5. Yoga Night
Not always the best place to talk, however you’ll get a good stretch and you can always go for a herbal tea when you’re done

Tea

Active Nation Day

ActiveNationDay

September 28th was Active Nation Day in celebration of all things active, healthy, and authentic. Want to see what all the buzz was about? Check out social media using #ActiveNationDay to get ideas on how other people are getting out there and what they did yo celebrate yesterday! Download the free LJ App to track your movement and contribute alongside others.

It’s not too late to learn the#LJMove and post your own video for your chance to win $1000!  Visit nowmoveit.com for more information, register in your nearest city, and get involved!

What did I do for Active Nation Day? I met two girlfriends for an early morning run around the reservoir and enjoyed a wonderful home cooked breakfast with them after. I also wrapped up my last day of the Fall Reset: 21 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

What did you do?

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Foodie Friday: Homemade Almond Butter

Foodie Friday

This week has flown by and I’m only 2 days away from being done my 21 Day Clean Eating Challenge! I’ll post about my last week and the final results of the Fall reset this weekend.

This is probably the shortest and easiest recipe I’ve ever posted. It’s also one of the most important/enjoyable snacks through this challenge. Making nut butter is so incredibly simple and cost effective I can’t believe I’ve been buying it pre-made for so long.

Note: You can make this without roasting the almonds first but it will take 3 times longer in the food processor…. and nobody likes to listen to that sound!

Homemade Almond Butter Recipe

Homemade Clean Eating Almond Butter

Makes approximately 500ml

Ingredients:

3 cups almonds
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 325° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Pour almonds onto baking sheet and place in oven. Roast for 15 min, stirring occasionally to prevent burning

Roasting Almonds

3. Remove pan from the oven and let almonds cool for about 10min. You want the almonds to still be warm, just not hot!

4. Pour almonds into your food processor and set on low. Leave for a few minutes and then stop to scrap down the side. Continue to let the processor run on low for about 10 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down.

Making Almond Butter

Consistency after a few minutes

5. When the mixture starts to look creamy add in the vanilla and continue processing until you reach the desired consistency

Smooth! Consistency after 10 minutes

Smooth! Consistency after 10 minutes

6. Transfer the butter to an air tight container and store in the cupboard or fridge for up to 3 months (if you can stop yourself from eating it that long!)

IMG_9932

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Foodie Friday & Fall Reset Update

September-21-Day-Reset small

It’s day 12 of the 21 Day Fall Reset Clean Eating Challenge and time to check in!

I’m very proud of myself for saying no to so many tasty and tempting treats around the office this week. I work for a company that has it’s own bakery soI’m sure you can imagine the distractions looming around me.

This week I wasn’t as organized as last due to the fact that the weekend was very busy. Still I managed to make salads and chicken for lunches, peach cobbler and a new dinner dish every night. If anything I’m eating more during the day than normal, the difference is in the quality of food I’m eating. The only times I’ve truly been craving wheat or sugar is when I’ve left too much time between meals. On Monday night I met a friend after work for a run then had to pick up groceries. The grocery store was horrible, everything looked so delicious and I just wanted to eat everything! I held it together and didn’t leave the store with anything not on my grocery list.

Overall I’m feeling great! My stomach is as happy as can be, however I have noticed a difference in my workouts. I’m running slower than normal and the effort feels much harder. I’m trying to eat more fruit and foods with iron this week. I’m also eating more grains this week which should help!

Progress not perfection

Weekends are the worst as food and social activities tend to come hand-in-hand.  I have to confess that I had a couple small cheats from last weekend; I had a small piece of chocolate cake at a friends wedding and had a champaign toast on Sunday (celebrating a very important moment). Every morning I get an email from Laura (the Fall Reset expert) and yesterday’s said “progress is not perfection”. I think this is an excellent point and probably the number one reason why “diets” don’t work. I have made so many wonderful choices over the past 12 days that these 2 little cheats seem minor in the grand scheme. I was actually thinking yesterday that I’d like to remain eating this way after the 21 day challenge is over, with the exception of being less strict 24/7.

Now for this weeks recipe. I’ve experimented with lots of dishes this week but this one has to be my favourite! I’ve been wanting something bread-like and found a recipe for Macadamia + Coconut Muffins on I Quit Sugar’s website. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free and sugar-free – perfect. I made a few minor adjustments based on user comments and they turned out amazingly.

coconut_muffins

Macadamia + Coconut Muffins
with homemade coconut butter 

Makes 12 muffins 

Muffin Ingredients:

 

2 cups almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt (very small pinch)
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
½ cup macadamia nuts
½ cup melted coconut oil
3 tbsp cup coconut cream
1 whole egg
3 egg whites (I use egg whites in the box but you could use whole eggs)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup

Coconut Butter Ingredients:

3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract

Muffin Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350° and line muffin tins.
2. Combine almond meal, baking powder, salt and shredded coconut into a medium size bowl and stir.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the coconut oil, coconut cream, eggs, vanilla and maple syrup.

Coconut muffins
4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until incorporated. Do not over mix.
5. Spoon mixture into muffin tins, top with macadamia nuts and place in the oven for 12-15min.

baking coconut muffins

Coconut Butter Directions:

1. Place shredded coconut and vanilla into a food processor.
2. Turn on to a low setting and process for 10-15 min, pausing to scrap down the sides every couple minutes. The butter should be smooth. You can store in a mason jar in the cupboard.

Healthy coconut macadamia nut muffins

 

Recipe adapted from I Quit Sugar 

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Foodie Friday: Clean Eating Peach Cobbler

Foodie Friday

I’m on day 5 of my Fall Reset Challenge  and am doing better than I ever expected! As I’ve said before I’ve done traditional cleanses before where you limit calories and restrict pretty much all food which makes temptation so much stringer. I honestly haven’t had many moments where I really need to talk myself out of anything, however I have a wedding  and birthday to attending over the weekend and the desire to have cake is going to be very strong! Wish me luck.

I even kept a dinner date with Ange on Wednesday because she agreed to make adjustments to our menu. Originally I was going to make her my “famous” pizza from scratch but would involve many ingredients I’m not currently eating. Instead we got creative and made a cauliflower crusted pizza with pesto, tomatoes, mushrooms, goat cheese chunks, with a drizzle of balsamic! So yum. It smelled so good that we couldn’t even think about taking a photo before devouring it. The crust turned out much better than I expected but I still prefer the real dough kind. Ange and I also attempted to copycat the unbelievable Polenta Yam Fries we ate at Heirloom Restaurant in Vancouver but it was an epic fail!

Today was the only day I didn’t have a lunch pre-made as I was meeting a friend outside of the office. Luckily there’s this new company, Lettuce Beets, that makes the most amazingly healthy salads around! I found her on the second floor of Holt Renfrew and ordered my favourite salad – Lettuce Thrive!

Lettuce Beets

The boyfriend and I were in the Okanagan for an extended long weekend and I came back with 20lb of fresh peaches…. how could I resist? I really wanted something dessert-ish this week so I found a healthy peach cobbler recipe by Amy’s Healthy Baking and made a few adjustments to “clean” it up even more. I was going to call it “Clean Peach Cobbler” but that just didn’t make a lot of sense.

Okanagan Peaches

Clean Eating Peach Cobbler

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 extra large peaches, pealed and diced
2 tbsp almond flour
1 ½ tsp almond or vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
¾ cups old-fashioned oats
¼ cups gluten free flour blend
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking pan with coconut oil.
2. Toss diced peaches, almond flour, almond extract, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon until thoroughly combined in a medium size bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the oats, flour, and remaining cinnamon together. Add in the maple syrup and coconut oil and incorporate.
4. Spread the peach mixture into the prepared pan then sprinkle the oat crumbs on top. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, or until the peach juice is bubbling.
*For best results, let the crumble rest for 2 hours to allow the juices to thicken.
Clean Eating Peach Cobbler
Oh and thank you to everyone that entered the AMRAP contest. Congratulations to Victoria, Ann and Jen! I’ve emailed the winner further instructions.
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Fall Reset: 21 Day Clean Eating Challenge

September-21-Day-Reset

One of the biggest challenges I experience after every training season is maintaining/cutting back my calories. I would say that I eat fairly well and during training I’m usually burning more than enough calories to justify a couple treats here and there daily. That being said, it becomes habit so when I’m not training I keep eating the way I do when I’m training. I can feel a difference! My body is thankful for the rest but I’m ready to change things up a bit and there’s always room for improvement. I’ve done a few cleanses over the years but always end up cranky by the end of them and never continue with any of the habits. Most cleanses restrict calories, carbs and (in my opinion) foods that are actually healthy. As an active person, restricting carbs just doesn’t work!

I heard about Laura’s 21 Day Clean Eating Challenge and was immediately excited to join. Laura is a holistic health coach and runner which heightens my trust in working with her. She’s so organized, encouraging and quick to answer any questions. She even put together a Facebook group so we can all encourage one another. I’m confident that I can do this challenge without being carb deprived and unable to exercise.

The Challenge

The goal of this 21 day challenge is to switch to a whole foods diet to help release stored toxins, bloat and inflammatory symptoms through a simple diet cleanse emphasizing real food so that YOU can have a clearer mind, unlock fat stores and kick start weight loss (if needed), have more energy and feel refreshed.

Foods I’ll be avoiding 

  • Sugar (except a little maple syrup and honey)
  • Wheat and white flour products
  • Cow’s Milk (I already do this as I have a dairy sensitivity)
  • Processed food

What I will be eating

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Nuts and seeds, nut butters
  • Coconut & almond milk
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Whole Grains (oats, rice, quinoa, etc.)
  • Chicken, seafood, lean beef
  • 8 glasses of water/tea (per day)

What are my foreseeable challenges 

  1. Eating enough! I don’t actually snack at work but I’ll be trying to eat at least 1 snack between meals
  2. Time Meal planning, grocery shopping (thank god for SPUD) and hours of prepping means I need to be on the ball and organized
  3. Real dinners I’m so used to just making something quick and easy like breakfast for dinner, or tuna salad on toast (ummm I love tuna melts)
  4. Social gatherings! We have a couple dinners lined up and I’m nervous about keeping my focus and saying no to cake

What I’m looking forward to

  1. Changes! I’m so excited to see how my body reacts
  2. Cooking I love cooking but I don’t do enough. I’m looking forward to testing out new recipes and being creative with ingredients
  3. Healthy habits I hope to take away some new eating habits and really feel like I’ve reset my cravings

Week 1 Prep 

I devoted my entire Sunday to getting ready for the challenge. Did I mention the boyfriend has also decided to jump on board which means more portions to prep but way more support at home! Prep work takes care of breakfast, lunch and some snacks.

1 hour – to food plan for the week, look up recipes and create a grocery list
2 hours – grocery shop
4 hours – cooking!!!

I made:

  • Salad in a jar, roasted chickpeas, herbed tahini dressing
  • Almond butter
  • Hummus
  • Granola
  • Chicken
  • Overnight oats

Homemade almond butter

Salad in a jar

Overnight oats

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Foodie Friday: Mason Jar Berry Parfait

Foodie Friday

While in Vancouver for Sea Wheeze Krystal and I took an afternoon to explored the market and shops in Granville Island. A few days before I saw really cool post on Instagram from Erin Ireland (Vancouver Food Reporter) of a new shop called Delish General Store. This little gem is a mason jar haven! I had the opportunity to meet Erin, who is a fellow SPUD Ambassador, and she insisted I visit the shop if possible.

My sister and I purchased some products from The Mason Bar Company a few months ago and I’m in love with the way it transforms a mason jar into the perfect smoothie cup, iced tea tumbler, infused water jug, etc! Needless to say, I was very excited to find Delish and I wasn’t disappointed when I walked in. They have a great big, design-it-yourself, mason bar wall!

Delish General Store

I was thrilled to see that they carry Mason Bar Company lids, a variety of jars, spouts and straws. What I was most excited about was the BNTO container that transforms mason jars into glass containers! You simply put your wet ingredients into the container, place in the jar and screw on the lid. It’s brilliant!

BNTO-Pack-3up-adjscaled_1024x1024

I have every intention of using my BNTO for salad next week but have really been loving it for breakfast. The blueberries I received in my last SPUD order were unbelievably delicious. Paired with strawberries, granola and almond milk make for the perfect grab and go breakfast that I can enjoy at my desk. I found this great home-made granola recipe from Elizabeth Rider and have to share it.

 BerryParfait

Mason Jar Berry Parfait 

Granola serves 4-6 |Parfait serves 1 

Granola Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw whole rolled oats
  • ½ cup raw nuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw seeds (I like sunflower, pumpkin and flax)
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (optional but I like apricots)
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey (I combine both, half-half)
  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 large pinch fine Himalayan salt

Mason Jar Parfait Ingredients:

  • 1 cup berries, cubed or sliced (I like blueberries, strawberries and bananas)
  • ¼ cup of granola (I like Highwood Crossing if you don’t have time to bake)
  • 1 tbsp. hemp seeds
  • ½ almond milk

Granola Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300º F.
2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use your clean hands to mix well and toss to coat.  Be sure to mix the coconut oil through the other ingredients so there aren’t any chunks.
3. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until very lightly toasted.
4. Cool before serving or storing. This granola can be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.

Mason JarParfait Directions:

1. Cut up fruit and place in bottom of the jar.
2. Layer granola and hemp hearts next
3. Pour almond over ingredients and enjoy!

Mason Jar Berry Parfait

 

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