Sunday, 16 February 2014

Finally.... a run outside!!!

I ran outside today for the first time in almost 4 weeks and it was awesome!  My neighbour convinced me to meet her for a 7k run at 7:30 in the morning.  My inner wimp was not happy with the proposed meeting.  First it was 7:30 am on a weekend.  Second it was 7k.  I hadn't ran more than 5k outside in months.  But my running buddy was over the top with enthusiasm.  I agreed with the clause that I would tell her to go ahead if I couldn't keep up.

I woke the next morning at 6 am, not wanting to be late for whatever reason.  It gave me lot's of time for coffee and to read the paper.  I bundled up.  I hate being cold and over dressed for my run.  Two minutes into the run I was tossing my vest onto someone's lawn to have to come back for later.  Rookie mistake.

As we headed no one was in sight and the sun had just risen.  There was a pink glow in the sky and the streets were silent.  The pavement was dry.  Just over a kilometre into our run, I felt like I was sprinting - "What is our pace?" I asked Imagining the answer to be 5:10.  Nope - the real answer was 5:45.  Are you kidding me??? 

I decided to settle in and just enjoy the run for what it was.  A social event, a time to be outside, my gift to myself.... and eventually the rhythm of the run began to flow.  In no time, we were getting closer and closer to my house.  Then I remembered that I had to get my vest - add an extra little bit. 

By the time we rounded to corner of our street the sun had fully risen, a majority of the neighbourhood was awake.  I bid farewell to my neighbour and bounded up the steps of my porch.  Feeling triumphant I had ran outside, done almost 7k and it wasn't 8:30am yet.  Greeting my husband about to say - "I had a great run!"  He looked at me and said "Ohhh your mascara has really ran."  I looked at myself in the mirror and staring back at me was someone who looked like a sad drunk girl who had just gotten home from the party the night before not the victorious champion that I felt like.  Thankfully my neighbour has probably seen me look worse and wasn't scared off.  We're going to head out tomorrow!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

W.I.A.W. & Super Awesome Cheesecake!

It's Wednesday again.  This week flew by.  It was my daughter's birthday this weekend which meant 3 parties.  A family birthday Friday evening to kick off the weekend.  A second friend birthday party complete with 8 screaming kids and a Minion cake made of pure sugar and food artificial flavour and colourings but super fun.  And a small family party at the request of my daughter. 

By the third straight day of birthday bliss I tried to offset my sugar high with a green smoothie and a lot of fruit in the morning.... in addition to an orange and coffee.

Lunch was the best work sandwich ever....
avocado, tomato and mozzarella toasted and melted on pumpernickel with cut up veggies.

As it was my daughter's birthday her favourite dinner was on the menu... stuffed shells.

She also requested her third cake in a row... I was torn.  I can't turn down an 8 years old's request for cake when she specifically asked for cheesecake (one of my favourites) or a Motherly concern for setting a record for the amount of sugar consumed by a child in a 3 day period.  So I set out to attempt to make an editable yet healthier cheesecake using Greek yogurt to increase the protein content, a nut crust in place of the graham cracker base and no refined sugar.  Challenge accepted. 

This cheesecake turned out really well.  A great texture, not as sweet as some but the flavours of cinnamon and blueberries really stood out.  And the best part.... my 8 year old loved it!
Low G.I. Cheesecake

by Denise Boyd Dunlop
Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 6 hours settin
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: dessert gluten-free low-carb cake

Ingredients (10-12 servings)
For the Crust
  • 3/4 hazelnuts
  • 1/4 flour (I used brown rice)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
For the Filling
  • 1 package of cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the Sauce
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  • Toasted almonds chopped

For the Crust
Toast the hazelnuts in a skillet over medium heat until they become fragrant. Wrap in a towel and rub until most of the skins are removed. Place in food processor and process until crumbly. Add flour and cinnamon. While the processor is running, slowly add the maple syrup and oil. Mixing until crumbly. Press into a pie plate spreading evenly along the sides and bottom. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 for 5-7 minutes or just starting to brown.

For Filling
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add yogurt, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla. Cream until smooth. Pour into crust.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle of the cheesecake comes out almost clean.
Let sit until completely cooled and then chill for at least 5 hours.

For the Sauce
Place blueberries and 1/4 cup of water into a sauce pan. Heat until blueberries are beginning to soften. Meanwhile mix together 2 tbsp. of water with corn starch in a small bowl mixing until smooth. Whisk corn starch mixture into blueberries and water stirring constantly until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup.

Putting it all together
Cut cheesecake into pieces, pour sauce over top and sprinkle with almonds.
Powered by Recipage

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Marden Half Marathon - switch up

I had posted a couple weeks ago that I was committed to competing in the Marden Half marathon this April and I was - I had even signed up for it.  But...... things aren't going well with my training.  I have regularly run 10k and am in a good spot for the distance.  But all of my runs over the past two weeks have been on a treadmill.  The half course is rolling hills.  I need to do hill training.  The weather has made it not conducive for me to run outside or rather my brain is making the weather not conducive. 

The other big but that has contributed to things needing to be reconsidered for this race is a same day commitment for my daughter.  She is in a play that she has been working on since September.  When I signed up for the race, I thought her play was the week before.  It turns out I miss read the schedule and it is the same day of the race - duh.

Even though this race is really close to home, it would be way to rushed to run a half and then be back at the theatre for her.  So I'm dropping to the 10k race.  It will still be tough both with the timing involved in the day of the race and my training but I'm committed to completing this race.

In the meantime on Friday I could not bear the thought of doing another long run on the treadmill so I decided to do a plyo tabata set with weights that I teach to other people all the time but don`t actually do. 

Warm up:
30 seconds each
  • Jumping jacks
  • squats
  • reverse lunge
  • plank
  • push ups
  • knee to elbow in a plank
  • mountain climber
Repeat same set for 15 seconds each

Tabata set of box jumps for 4 minutes

One minute of:
  • squat with shoulder press
  • bent over row
  • lunge with a bicep curl
  • push ups
Tabata set of jump squat into a jump lunge for 4 minutes

Repeat weight portion

Tabata set of burpees

Repeat weight portion

Followed by a bit of ab work and stretching.

This was a killer workout and a welcome break from the treadmill.  I can`t wait to get outside and run.  I will bundle up this week and head out.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Winter Workouts and Recovery Food

Last week I was whining about the winter weather and how it was interfering with my ability to run outside.  This week nothing changed, in fact, we have gotten more snow with more predicted over the next week.  And with heavy snowfall comes the need to shovel and shovel and shovel.  Shovelling is not an easy task so I've decided to incorporate it into a workout.  Squatting and engaging my core and everything I preach about when I'm teaching a class. 
I have shovelled my driveway and a few others over the course of the weekend and have decided to treat the task as a workout.  It takes me at least 30 minutes to finish and like I said I need to engage my core and squat in order to get the snow lifted high enough.  So in addition to the core and leg workout, I am also lifting snow over my waist (or in my case over my head) to reach the top of the snow banks and voila - upper body.  Shovelling is a whole body workout.
After all of this effort out in the cold, a warm comforting snack is in order.... cookies still warm from the oven.  I didn't even try to make these healthy, just sit back with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy until the next 'snow event'.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

by Denise Boyd Dunlop
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert snack

Ingredients (24 cookies)
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 3/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and add sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla until fluffy. Stir remaining ingredients until well mixed. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 11 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit on tray for 2 minutes until removing to a cooling rack.
Powered by Recipage