Date Almond Bars
An oldie but a goodie, from Nutrition for Runners (not an affiliate link). These don’t even require cooking. You pulse together some oats, almonds, dates, cinnamon and salt until they hold together. Press into a pan and refrigerate.
I like to cut them into small pieces and roll them into little balls. They stand up surprisingly well to a long run.
I’m pretty sure I won’t be fueling with the rice balls from Feedzone Portables (Amazon Affiliate link) in my half, but I’m also pretty sure that I’ll be taking some along for snacks.
Essentially oats and sushi rice cooked together; you add some sea salt, some cinnamon, some coconut sugar and some chocolate chips. Roll them into little balls. Very easy to digest, very light.
My only problem when I tried them out on the run? Too messy. I do like them as a nice dessert for a meal where I want to stay generally low carb but still include a little carbs.
These were kind of a bust. Not because I didn’t like them; oh no, quite the contrary, maybe I liked them a little too much. Essentially equal parts brown rice syrup, nut butter, and protein powder microwaved together until they bubble. Add a little salt.
They’re kind of like malted balls. But they’re sticky, and they have a tendency to stick together on the run.
I really like these post run — so much that I found myself indulging in them too much. These came from ROAR (Amazon Affiliate link).
Fig Crumble Bars
I am so in love with these bars from Rocket Fuel (Amazon Affiliate link) I can’t even tell you. Like the Salty Balls above, though, rather high in calories. Which is fine while you’re running many miles, but maybe a bit too tempting when you’re not.
Plus, crumble. Although using my Amphipod SnapPod (Amazon Affliaite link), they actually stood up fairly well. I did the same thing with these as I did with the Date bars: cut them into little pieces and rolled them into balls. And while that worked, it was hard to cut them into really small balls.
You can try Fig Newtons, too.
Chocoloate Chip Cookies
The first time I made these cookies, I didn’t have the potato flour called for in the recipe. After some research I subbed in quinoa flour. I think I actually prefer them that way — I finally found potato flour (not the same as potato starch, btw), and made another batch with it after I ate up the first batch.
These really are quite plain, but they work for me.
So let me know in the comments:
Have you ever tried anything other than sport drinks, chews, or gels?
Have a favorite recipe/book to share with us?
How do you carry your fuel with you during a race?
I’m Thinking Out Loudabout10 of my favorite kitchen gadgets. And the super moon. PRing at a race I meant to use as a training run. Little body niggles.
Doesn’t get much more random than that!
Soooo Sleepy Was I the only one that had trouble sleeping the night of the super moon? I tossed and turned most of the night, and it didn’t much help that Giz decided to throw up a little grass right outside the bedroom around 2:30 am (but I’d rather he do it on the laminate than the carpeting on our first floor).
I don’t usually have trouble falling asleep — it’s staying asleep that’s the problem.
A holiday cleaner Most people do spring cleaning. I do Thanksgiving cleaning. Because I have to to whip the house into shape. Because most of the time no one sees it.
Getting ready for Thanksgiving would be a lot easier without the decluttering. Will my house get just as cluttered by Thanksgiving of next year? Probably. I get on organizing kicks and then life gets in the way (or running).
Another epic failure Did you read my race recap for Stockadeathon? If not, the short story is the plan was to use it as a long, supported run at race pace. Except I ended up PR’ing it (without trying to) at a pace that most definitely won’t be my race pace in my next half, unless FL gets a cold snap.
Clearly I really need to find me a half in the 40s!
I caved My next half is a bit over 2 weeks away. Yesterday I added that city to my weather app. I was actually pleasantly surprised by what I saw, but . . . 2 weeks away!
But I have to mentally pack even if I want get to the actually packing for more than a week.
I hate that my body rebels Seriously, I really try my best to give it what it needs — healthy food, a few treats, sleep (I did say try), movement . . . and yet I’ve had this on again, off again pulled muscle or something in my left leg the last few weeks.
Which meant I needed to take a few extra rest days this week. And missed out on running on the most gorgeous day on Monday.
Tis the season for giving I will probably have a lot of running related gift giving posts coming up, but today, since our host blog is a cooking blog, and I do love to cook/bake, too, I’m sharing some of my favorite tools for the kitchen:
Joseph Joseph Elevate Carousel Kitchen Tool Set
Seriously the best, because you don’t have to lay them flat on your counters and get food all over your counters. I gave a set to my mom, too, and she even moved them with her — she doesn’t cook a whole lot anymore and there are lots of things she didn’t move.
Cuisinart Mini Mate Chopper
After decades of use — no exaggeration — mine finally bit the dust. It still worked, but the plastic finally broke. I don’t use a garlic press — just a whirl in my mini mate, and presto! chopped garlic. Obviously it has many great uses (grinding herbs and nuts, for instance). In fact, you might want to get yourself two, so that garlic doesn’t overwhelm your nuts.
I can’t speak to the Nutribullet or the Ninja, having not tried them yet. I used my Magic Bullet to death — twice! Seriously, there are things it doesn’t handle all that well, but it’s great to make banana soft serve, to mix salad dressing, and a myriad of other uses.
It can struggle with harder ingredients like dates, for instance (unless well softened in warm water first), and that’s how I killed it the first time. Or so I thought. It was tucked away for years, and for some reason, I took it out one time and tried it and voila! It was alive.
Now it is going the way of my Cuisinart Mini Mate Chopper: plastic pieces are beginning to break off, and let’s just say it’s out of warranty and their customer service sucks. But it has been well used and served me well and I highly recommend it.
This is definitely a big list item, but I can’t live without my Vitamix. I’m not sure how long I’ve had it — at the very least 10 years. It’s beginning to get a bit long in the tooth, but it still works well.
I use it for smoothies, to puree soups, to make sauces, very occasionally as an ice cream maker, to puree cooked veggies. Anything that is too tough for the Magic Bullet goes into my Vitamix.
It cleans up well without having to ever go into the dishwasher. The only thing it doesn’t do well is small amounts of food.
Yes, it’s a big ticket item, but I highly recommend it for the serious cook. I’ve linked to a refurbished model to take the stink out of the price.
Real Simple Baking Mat
Gone are the days that you have to scrub your baking pans or waste parchment paper. I’ve been baking on this mat for years, and cleanup is easy breasy — I love it!
Quite a few years ago we took a cruise to Alaska, and I bought one of the Ulus offered on the ship. There were such beautiful ones available in the towns we visited, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something I wouldn’t use.
And I’ve been kicking myself for years for not buying one of the nicer Ulus. I’ll be honest — I don’t use it often, mainly because it has to be hand washed, and house cleaning just isn’t my thing.
Yet it is one of my favorite tools for chopping nuts and herbs. Obviously this is not the one I bought, but it actually looks a lot like it.
OXO Cookie Scoops
While I kind of wish these cookie scoops came in different sizes, I use them all the time. Over the years I have tried a variety of gadgets for creating drop cookies, and once I purchased this set I never looked back.
Spice Jar Spoons
You know how hard it can be to get a measuring spoon into a spice jar? This set makes it easy.
Long handle measuring cups
I have spent literally years trying to figure out the best way to store flours — and then the best way to get said flours out of containers without making a godawful mess. Mason Jars are my go-to storage vessels, and these scoops make it relatively easy to get at the contents. I just really wish this set came with a 1/3 cup spoon!
As I wrote above, a few years back I fell in love with all things Mason Jar. And it’s an ongoing love affair. My family has gotten used to seeing a mason jar tucked into their refrigerator when I travel (usually with a salad inside, or maybe some soup).
I use them to store food, baking ingredients, lettuce for salads (it keeps longer that way), smoothies, I travel with them — they are just so darn useful. And I love the cool colors they come in, too.
Whew! When I decided to put in some of my favorite kitchen gadgets, I didn’t think I had that much to offer. But once I got started — boy, I could go on and on! Maybe next week I need to do some of my favorite baking ingredients — what do you think?
I hope you find something on this list that makes your time in the kitchen a little easier.
Disclaimer: All the links above are Amazon affiliate links. If you click through and buy using my links, I will make a small amount of money. And I thank you for that.
The Jack Chi Bandit is supposedly a Jack Russell Terrier-Chihuahua mix. I don’t see the chi, but I definitely see the JRT. Mr. Judy found this link about that mix. A lot of it rang true for Bandit:
Extremely active with high stamina
They can be protective
If not taken care properly they can display bad behavior like space aggressiveness and can suffer from separation anxiety (yes and yes)
They are extremely intelligent and eager to please
They do not cope well with the cold (remains to be seen, but we’ll surely find out)
Responds well to positive reward training
They are usually quiet but do like to bark sometimes
They need attention and companionship
Bandit update Things have calmed down a lot with Bandit. We are slowly giving him more and more freedom in the house, although I made the decision not to try him on the furniture (where a lot of problems with him began) until after Thanksgiving. We’ll have 6 extra people in the house, so seating is at a premium, not to mention I’ve no idea how he will react to everyone.
He is extremely attached to his bed by the couch. So I’ve tried not gating him in the kitchen a few times, and having him in his bed while I’m working in the kitchen. Only invariably I turn around at some point and find him curled up in Lola’s bed. On the couch.
I must say he’s pretty good about getting back off when I tell him to.
If there’s someone on the couch, on the other hand, he generally stays put in his bed. We’re working on his stay . . .
When we first got him, he would growl at random people and dogs on our walks. I haven’t heard him growl at a person in a long time. Or a dog, for that matter.
On the other hand, he has also gone ballistic when walking by yards with dogs running around in them (like Monday). I was trying to work on getting him into a sit — it’s a great training opportunity — when he yanked the leash so hard with his shenanigans that I spilled the tin of treats all over the road.
On Tuesday, however, when the beagle who is always starting something walked by, I had them both in a sit and they both did quite well. So obviously it’s the dogs running around free that is bringing that out.
I’d love to start him on some agility — it helped Lola a lot with that. Plus it’s great mental and physical activity for them. I just need to find something closer to home, as the trainer’s classes are not close and with winter closing in, I’d rather not have to drive that far at night.
He sure calmed down when I get very annoyed at him.
Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:
What kitchen gadget is a must have in your kitchen?
I am not vegan; no, I’m not even vegetarian. Yet I often do eat vegan and vegetarian — I also eat meat, cheese, and fish; but I try to limit the meat and cheese, as I don’t consider them the healthiest options.
I do eat a lot of eggs, but as I said, I like to mix it up, so I do love vegan baking. Maybe someone in your family is vegan. Maybe someone in your family is allergic to eggs.
Never fear, you can still bake!
It is the end of an era: I feel as though my blog has grown up the Friday Five from Cynthia fromYou Signed Up for What?, Courtney fromEat Pray Run DC, and Mar fromMar on the Run, and today, while helping you bake without eggs, I’m also saying thanks to these three bloggers for helping me grow my blog. The Friday Five will be missed.
Each of these hacks is the equivalent of one whole egg.
Mix 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds with 3 tbsp water and let it sit approximately 10 minutes until it gels.
Flaxseed does have a nutty flavor, so take that into consideration when choosing where to use flax eggs.
Mix 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsp water and let sit approximately 10 minutes until it gels.
I know, I know — this is the same thing as flax eggs, only using chia seeds. While flaxseeds will give a slightly nutty flavor to baked goods, chia seeds don’t — but they do have a tendency to stick in your teeth. On the positive side, chia seeds have a lot of healthy benefits, like lots of fiber and calcium, for instance.
Chickpea Four Mix 3 tbsp flour with 3 tbsp water.
I have not actually tried this method, although I do have quite a few chickpea flour recipes I want to try!
Banana One ripe banana (mashed).
This works well in anything sweet: pancakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, etc. The riper the banana, the more sweetness it will add. You may need to cut back on the sweetener — it all depends on your sweet tooth.
Pumpkin Use 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix).
Cinnamon Roll French Toast
Trader Joes makes a cinnamon roll bread that is really good — no doubt because each small slice has 9 grams of sugar. It’s actually been sitting in my freezer for at least 6 months, but this week I hit it up for French Toast. Twice.
I actually still managed to lose weight this week, which is sort of a mystery considering the sodium from the soup I was drinking all week and the sugar in this French Toast (I top it with nut butter, not syrup, so there’s that) and the fact that I ran right before my meeting, too.
New Frolic print from Skirtsports
I shared this on instagram (I’ll follow you if you follow me!) but this new print is just so cheery and cute and I want it in everything that Skirtsports offers (don’t forget Code CRJ20 for 20% off regularly priced items).
Scenes from my run
Yup, I got out for a couple of quick runs and enjoyed the wildlife at the park. Even if the ducks swam away from me.
I was actually concerned for the cow nearest the fence in the photo abvoe — she stuck her head through the fence, but as soon as I stopped to take a photo she pulled it back in.
Sushi . . . twice On Sunday my appetite was beginning to come back, but I still didn’t have the energy to actually get changed and go out, so we ordered sushi in (yes, one of my favorite places delivers, but sadly we couldn’t use the coupon Mr. Judy had).
He also had another coupon that was expiring on Tuesday, and we did go out so that we could use it then. We rarely go out to eat twice in one week, and definitely not sushi twice in one week!
Works for me. In the photo above I’m dressed to go to my Weight Watchers meeting, although I did wear a different dress and some heels to go out on Tuesday!
I have one more episode to watch, actually, but I should definitely finish it by the end of the weekend. A lot of nudity in it, and I do think a lot of it was actually kind of gratuitous, although some of it is important to the plot. I just think they went overboard.
I think they did a fairly good job with most of the casting, except for Frank. He definitely wasn’t as cute as I’d pictured him in my mind.
Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:
Do you pay attention to the sugar in foods?
What would be your pick for your last meal?
What was a favorite from your week?
* Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link. I make a very small commission if you buy this product from Amazon after clicking through my link.
Before joining the Summer Sweat Series (it’s over now, but I highly recommend it and am so glad I tried it), Ambitious Kitchen was not even on my radar. And that’s just a cryin’ shame, because Monique’s recipes are just so darn good.
SSS may be over, but I’m still exploring the recipes I didn’t get to while it was on. Unfortunately apparently I’ve been falling down in the photo department– I thought I had photos of at least some of the treats, but no, nothing got photographed. Too eager t eat, I guess. Take my word for it — they’re worth it.
I had my last blueberry muffin for a snack yesterday, so I did get in a photo of that.
You’ll notice that most of the recipes I tried are baked goods. You know how I love to bake, and I have to keep Mr. Judy in breakfasts, too. You’ll also know that a lot of the recipes use ingredients you may not have on hand — almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar. Because I like to bake and I like to experiment, I didn’t have to go out and buy any special ingredients. You can make your own almond flour (I don’t, but you can), but if you decide to try a coconut flour recipe, you’ll need to buy it.
I’ve gone on to explore more of Monique’s recipes, as well (would love to see a cookbook from her!). My latest one was the Double Chocolate Paleo Banana Bread, which, believe it or not, has no added sugar.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
One of the nice thing about the SSS was that there was a nice mix of recipes, with a fair amount of vegetarian options. I’m not vegetarian — I actually eat everything — but I fall more pescetarian (mostly vegetarian + fish).
There were a lot of vegetarian recipes I meant to try, and still mean to try, but this is one of the ones I did try.
I was a little disappointed in at first, but it grew on me. I’m not sure that I’ll make it again (maybe) – still quite a few other recipes I need to try.
Nutrition Rich Blueberry Breakfast Cookies
Mr. Judy likes easily portable breakfasts, and who doesn’t want cookies for breakfast anyway? I didn’t hear any complaints when I sent him into work with these, and two cookies have almost 10 gm of protein.
Coconut Flour Banana Bread
No added sugar, folks — and it tastes great! I’ve made it a couple of times already. For SSS they had you leave out the chocolate chips and add in a cup of blueberries. And yes, I did that. And yes, like I said, it was great.
I eat plenty of chocolate, but I know it’s not in my best interest to always eat chocolate.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars Almost no bake: you do toast the oats and quinoa, but otherwise you just throw in a bunch of ingredients, mix it up, and boy do you come away with a treat. These served as my post workout treat quite a few times.
Healthy Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
I thought these were so good, I wanted to hoard them all for myself. Oddly Mr. Judy didn’t share my enthusiasm, but maybe that’s because he didn’t have them hot out of the oven with just a wee bit of butter on them.
I enjoyed them as a snack on their own, or sometimes I paired them with some eggs for breakfast.
Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:
Do you have a favorite type of quick bread or muffin?
If I peeked in your pantry, would there be coconut flour in it?
If you’re into eating healthy, but you don’t like all those recipes with weird ingredients (me, I’ll try anything and have all sorts of weird ingredients in my kitchen), this might just be the cookbook for you.
You’ll find healthified recipes for the foods you love — something for most everyone — and a few decadent treats, too. You’ll also learn a little about Andie Mitchell’s food and eating philosophy.
Who is “Eating in the Middle” For?
The short answer is anyone who loves good food.
This cookbook was written by Andie Mitchell, who you may remember from my review of It Was Me All Along(affiliate link) or maybe you know Andie from her blog.
Andie grew up in a dysfunctional family and overcame a disoredered relationship with food to lose over 100 pounds — and keep that weight off. You can read my book review to learn a bit more about her story.
This book has many healthy recipes, and some not-so-healthy recipes, hence the title “Eating in the Middle” (affiliate link). It’s for anyone who truly loves good food that tastes good and is good to you.
But What’s in the Book?
The recipes in the book are organized by meal:
Starting Fresh (breakfast)
Vegetables & Sides
All Things Sweet
Each chapter also includes some thoughts from Andie on healthy eating or how she deals with that particular meal, or how she used to eat that particular meal and the steps she took to change to more healthy eating.
What I Tried
Peanut Butter Granola
I love that this recipe makes a small amount of granola — most granola recipes use at least 2 cups of oatmeal, and since I typically only use a couple of tablespoons of the stuff at a time, it last forever.
This recipe only calls for 3/4 cups oats. The ingredient list is short and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already (I substituted walnuts for peanuts and almond butter for peanut butter).
It is also everything granola should be: lightly sweetened and nice clusters of granola. I found it to be a bit on the salty side, but I like it that way.
Twice Baked Breakfast Potatoes
Which I enjoyed for lunch today. Because I can eat breakfast all day long.
It always amazes me that you bake a potato, take out most of the middle, add a few ingredients, and suddenly you have a mound of food so big you can’t even stuff it back into its original potato.
I swapped greek yogurt for the sour cream and devoured it all for a super satisfying lunch.
Loaded Black Bean Burgers
Don’t be scared by the long ingredient list. Again you probably already have most of this in your home. Yes, it requires a bit of slicing and dicing. But the end result is worth it.
I could have sworn I took photos — this was the first recipe I tried — but they seemed to have vanished. You know what a black bean burger looks like!
Spicy Tofu Stir Fry with Bok Choy
Another long ingredient list, and this one turned out just okay for me — most likely because I changed things up a bit and took some shortcuts.
No doubt if you actually stick to the recipe it’s much better!
Bagel & Lox Salad Another recipe I took shortcuts with, but this one was a success despite my alterations.
I left out the capers, because even though I enjoy them, you use so few I’m always stuck with a bottle of capers in my refrigerator forever. I also skipped the pumpernickel croutons, which I’m sure are a wonderful addition, but I don’t eat a lot of bread.
I tried the salad with both smoked salmon from a can (well, actually, I’d bought smoked salmon when we were in Seattle, so it wasn’t actually in can) and also Nova Lox like you’d put on a bagel.
I really enjoyed this salad and it got me out of my salad rut.
The Ones That Got Away
I did not try any of the desserts. They all looked so tempting, and I’ve no doubt that they’re delicious. They are also not the least bit healthy or lightened. Andie’s take on that is that she wants the real thing when it comes to dessert; that she tried to lighten her favorite recipes and failed, although she was also trying by sugar substitutes and fake fats.
It’s pretty rare these days that I make a decadent dessert. I eat them occasionally — when I go out to eat, when I can share them with my husband and I’m not licking bowls or being tempted by a very decadent dessert in my home.
We all have our limits, and we have to know them. I do still eat desserts, but most of my desserts are much healthier — a small bit of dark chocolate or sugar free dark chocolate (I like Lily’s — affiliate link), greek yogurt with some of that peanut butter granola, protein balls, and so on.
Would I Buy This Book? A qualified no. I already have enough cookbooks, but there are a ton of recipes in here I still want to try. If you don’t have a ton of healthy cookbooks or are just starting to build your cookbook library, this is a good cookbook to invest in.
So while I wouldn’t have spent my own money on this cookbook, I thouroughly enjoyed it and I know some of these recipes will become staples in my kitchen (yes, PB Granola!).
Mr. Judy used to think he didn’t like oatmeal. Until I introduced him to the ways I eat oatmeal. I’m not sure he’s really a fan, but he eats what I give him without complaint. Occasionally we have actual oatmeal, but more often oatmeal appears in different forms in our house.
I might actually have to write another post on this, because there are lots more ways I enjoy oatmeal!
I was not a huge fan of overnight oats the first time I tried them. And I didn’t understand the whole overnights oats in a peanut butter jar, either.
It took some recipe trying, some tweaking, and some experimenting, but now overnight oats — especially in a used almond butter jar — is my preferred pre long run/race meal.
I like my oatmeal thick, so I tend to add less liquid. I’ve come to find that although I love greek yogurt, I don’t like it in my overnight oats. And the very best thing about overnight oats? The versatility: they can be eaten warm or cold.
I brought two almost empty almond butter jars to my last half. I brought a small tetra container of coconut milk (usually I use almond milk, but I couldn’t find small tetra containers of it — tetra are those small containers like milk cartons that don’t need to be refrigerated until opened). And finally I brought a couple of ziplocs with the ingredients for my overnight oats.
Our room had a mini fridge. Put the ziploc contents in the almond butter jars, add the coconut milk, stir, and let sit in the fridge over night. Worked like a charm.
It doesn’t take a whole lot to throw together a breakfast cookie the night before. Basically it’s pretty much overnight oats but in cookie form. And then I pan fry them in the morning.
There are so many recipes for oatmeal pancakes, and I may just have tried them all. I don’t eat pancakes as often as I used to, and now rarely have them before a long run/race. Sometimes I find myself craving some after a long run/race. They’re super simple to whip up.
I often make simple cookies out of oatmeal, bananas, and some chocolate chips. Unlike the Freihofers chocolate chip cookies, I can refrain myself to a just a few (and there’s no added sugar). They satisfy my sweet tooth without creating cravings.
But sometimes I get a little more creative with my cookies, too. I might try a recipe and send the rest into work with Mr. Judy. Because sometimes you just need to bake (or you do if you’re CRJ).
Most of the protein balls I’ve been making lately don’t have any oatmeal in them. I find I do better if I don’t go overboard with oatmeal, and since I am most likely to reach for a ball after a run (or swim!), I need the protein more than I really need carbs. Usually I’ll have a banana with a couple of balls after exercise — so I get my carbs from the banana.