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For the LOVE of it….

I woke up this morning to the realization that I have very few friends who are NOT an Ironman. In my circle, more have crossed that finish line than have not. If I ever find the time to have a BBQ, there will be 3 of us without IM finishers caps. Or jackets. Or t-shirts. Or shot glasses. Or towels. Or the 140.6 bumper sticker flashing in the driveway.  (IM finishers are not the silent type, nor are they budget-conscience at the expo. )

My early morning meditation is met with much inspiration, much HAPPY for my friends, 6 of them crossing the finish line last SUNDAY at IMMT.  Chris, LV, Michelle, Allison, Liz, Sylvie – I am overjoyed for u!! We had Dylan’s birthday party here at home, with live race stream playing on the big TV, so all our triclueless family members had to watch, hopefully inspired.  Hi 5 to u!!! Our friend Vincent just crossed the line at Eastern State 100mi – WOW!!! And on Monday Dylan’s baseball team won the finals to take the popsicles as CHAMPIONS!!!

They all leave me completely motivated to chase my dreams.

No matter how big or how small a dream may appear to the outside world, if it is BIG to u, if it matters to U, go chase it. Get out there, face the adversities that will come your way (there will be some), be open to every opportunity for learning & growth (if you are not, it will come back around. That’s how the universe works), and just keep at it.  I’m sure 100 miles is run 1 mile at a time.

My own dreams are BIG. BIG & awesome for moi. 🙂 Go big or go home!  LOL  And each of u is a part of those dreams, as we embark on our many journeys together. U are my village, the one that surrounds me, inspires me, raises me to be a better athlete and hopefully, a better person. It takes work to look this good 😉 it also takes a lot of ‘stuff’. As minimalist as I try to be, reduce reuse regift recycle, it does take some stuff to live HAPPY, especially in my silly sport. So I’m doing a 2nd post on my favourite things of the past months. The 1st post generated interest & questions & a few online shopping blitzes, it can be found here.

1) Baby shampoo There are people who will say that the internet is full of false information. Yet it is also full of golden nuggets that can be life changing in the most awesome way! Baby shampoo is a trick I picked up years ago, yet I think it’s the best kept secret in tri… Cause no one I swim with knows. Well, now u know. Stop buying new goggles, stop burning your eyeballs with expensive anti-fog. Buy a big bottle of yellow baby shampoo. Fill 2 small bottles, throw one in your swim bag, one in your race transition bag. Before swim, put a drop of shampoo in each lens, rub, & rinse. U will thank me.  Sing it

2) Kombucha  I am a kombucha lover. A kombucha a day keeps the gastroenterologist away. More than a fan of the fermented tea, I am a big fan of making it myself. Kombucha is the vegan-hippie version of Starbucks: u can buy it for 4$, or u can make it better at home for less than a buck. Although lacking the world popularity of coffee, kombucha is a fermented drink of sweetened black tea that is used as a functional food. It hosts a ton of good bacteria, probiotics, organic enzymes, amino acids & other stuff ur gut will love u for.  Once a batch has fermented, u can flavour it with what ever u love; I use lemon & ginger oil, hibiscus flowers, fresh basil & cucumber, chamomile oil even lavender oil for peace in a bottle!  If u do buy a bottle, keep the empty to wash & reuse to bottle ur own brew!

3) The red sun rising.  I love the sunrise. I am awake for it, everyday. I wait for it. I run / ride/ swim into it. Recently I have started taking pictures of the sunrise.  I look at the pics when I go into panic mode about my training. Seeing the bright sun rising, even in a picture, reminds me that I DID put the work in. I DID have a great workout. I AM strong. I AM ready. I AM able. It doesn’t have to be the sunrise. It can be the sunset. Or a selfie of ur badass self. Or ur favourite water bottle. Whatever it is that centres u, that brings u back to remembering how awesome u are, use that in your daily method of operation. Use it as a tool to be more relaxed, less stressed, more in focus less in panic.  My SuperCoach would say that life is 10% what happens to us, 90% how we react.  He’s smart. I’m a #cluelessathlete so I use every way I can to effectively meditate on the good, & release the negative.  What centres u? What refocuses u?

4) Clean cleaning products.  In my journey to clear our home, life, sports, minds, bodies of toxins and in trying to reduce our negative impact on the planet, this year I have one by one replaced EVERY cleaning product in our home with a homemade, natural one. The change has been mentally & physically positive. Get this: There is no requirement in Canada for manufacturers to warn consumers about the health and environmental hazards associated with chronic, or long-term, exposure to chemical ingredients in household cleaning products.   That rash, those allergies, those ichy eyes, the need of a gas mask when cleaning the bathroom, the toxins that linger on the surfaces in your home – get them out of your space.  A few bottles of essential oils, some vinegar, some water, some baking soda can give u a completely germ free, clean, yummy smelling, healthy home for pennies.  I consider a toxin free home to be as important as diet. Clean it up & live better.

Clean up your cleaning products. Email me for recipes, tips, tools, etc 63reasons@gmail.com. The journey has made me a huge fan of doTERRA oils, so much I became a Wellness Advocate, because they are pure grade, so they are truly safe & synthetics free. Click the pic up top on the right to learn more, or PM me anytime. 

clean, awesome, controllable,    www.mydoterra.com/julesgorham

clean, awesome, non-toxic, http://www.mydoterra.com/julesgorham

5) Cold Brew Coffee I am an espresso lover. I wake up, stretch, sun salutations, downward dog, plank, hold it hold it hold it, lemon water, espresso.  That’s my morning routine. Every morning. Like most races, the finish is the best part! 2 long, strong Kick Ass coffees. Yet sometimes, 3 is yummier than 2,  so I put some cold brew in a water bottle that I take training. Like kombucha, there is no reason to not be frugal and make ur own cold brew at home. Save money, use your favourite coffee, and you will always have some on hand.  I use this perfectly simple recipe… Now u can too! Cheers!

5 things. 5 awesome things that I am grateful for & happy to share with u.  I do hope u have your own list of favourite things (please share!) & I hope that list continues to evolve & change & have the flexibility to allow u to always try something new. This year I did a 63.3km MTB race. Ride. Cause I rode. I fell. I cried. I bled. I walked. I did everything but race… Cause on my list of things & dreams & goals I saw space between the lines for something different. Something that scared me & forced me out of my comfort zone, into those dreams I didn’t think myself able to live out.  Crossing the finish line was the ultimate feeling of empowerment… It also made me Hi 5 myself in affirmation that just being true to myself is truly one of my favourite things in world… Easy to do with the awesome village I’ve got  🙂 #blessed.

Thx for reading. Eat well, train safe, be awesome! 

 

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Nothing Funny About Depression

We all struggle. We judge based on looks, size, & all the material items one can have – without knowing the persons journey. We all have the power to let our light shine, to be a custodian of empathy & a giver of love.
We can choose to judge, or we can chose to be a sliver of hope for someone else. A helping hand, a hug, a Hi 5 that says “I know u are awesome even if u don’t know that right now.”

I went to bed & I woke up in reflection. Robin Williams, someone who we would judge as having it all & prob not needing another friend, felt he had nothing. Depression is a very cruel, very personal struggle; it takes & takes & it doesn’t give much hope in return. It’s dark. It’s painful. It’s all consuming. It’s extremely selfish. The darkness is blinding.

I was the saddest girl on the planet, yet a few people shared their light with me. U know who u are friends, u made me believe again. For ur friendship I eternally grateful.
As I go out to ride this morning, red sun rising in the sky shining it’s eternal hope into my life, I reflect…. What am I doing to shine that light back into the world? Am I truly living as the person I wish to be?   

Take care of each other, pls. We all need love – show it, share it, shine it, make it, accept it…
If u are suffering, u are not alone. Pls reach out. There is someone who loves u & knows how awesome u are…. I do. I u lots friends.

head_heart_1

Mindful, sincere love.

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#Stickyfingers

I’m blessed with the worlds best village. Truly. Raising me up everyday are a bunch of peeps crazy enough to listen to my chatter (Oh, I can talk…) (Oh… I can write…) (Never ending stories…)  (See how I’m doing it again…). Yet a selected few still tune in. They read through my silliness to find a person who is simply happy when they are happy. And no one deserves some happy like a new Mommy.  #truth

As I set off on my road trip to the deep South (NY state) a few weeks ago, I received a task from a friend. As we all know, there are some edible products available in the South that we don’t get here in the Great White / Green North. Justin’s Nut Butters, Kit’s bars from Cliff, a non-fat or Atkins or Zone or full of added sugar version of absolutely everything on a grocers shelf. No one does package food like the USA. I can spend hours in the food stores, intrigued / jealous/ grossed out all at the same time. Thankfully, I have awesome friends who didn’t ask me to attend a hot dog eating contest or some other morally unacceptable food fest… Luckily my task was to taste test Emmy’s vegan macaroons. Considering I was going States side to race a half ironman, I was more than up to the task. How many flavours did these macaroons come in? I’d happily put my feet up on Sunday night to taste them all!!  (I’m not a slacker, go big or go home!!!)

We arrived in Musselville, unpacked, unloaded bikes, put on my aerohelmet and off I rode to Wigmans, official sponsor of the Musselman triathlon weekend. 🙂   Hid my bike against a wall, aerohelmet still on, in I went…. These macaroons became the hunted. I got sidetracked by the organic produce, and the wall of Red Jacket Orchard juices, but eventually I found what I was looking for. In one flavour. In one amazing, drool worthy flavour… Dark Cacao.  Pre-race or post-race, Wegmans is heaven.  Waiting until the race was over would be the hardest part of this job.  Screen shot 2014-07-27 at 5.53.06 AMMake a long race short, I finally finished and bathed and sat down with a strong espresso and my little package of macaroons. For the sake of the story I will tell you that I did it right and set myself a proper taste testing station, but I didn’t. I sat on my bed (I couldn’t walk to get downstairs to a table) and ripped open the pack in proper starved triathlete fashion. And in went an entire macaroon. And angels sang like this.

Reporting back I gave the macaroons 2 #stickyfingers up. These were yummy. Vegan, gluten free & raw, they also fall inline with my nutrition choices. Then last week, I received the 2nd part of my task from the same friend… This new SuperMom want me to try recreating these little wonders…. So here we are. A new tested & approved batch of perfect raw, vegan, gluten free carob chip coconut macaroons in my fridge. And a new recipe for everyone to play with.

The Emmy’s use agave syrup, which has it’s controversies, but it is vegan. I tested using maple syrup, and although delish, not the same flavour profile. I thought of honey, but I wanted to keep mine vegan, plus I don’t have honey at home because I’m vegan so going to buy some defeated a few purposes. IF all you have is honey, or you prefer honey to agave, go for it. Use a light honey, an Acacia or Clover, just stay away from a Buckwheat honey which would overpower the other ingredients.  The maple syrup was yummy, although didn’t give the same outcome or texture that we wanted. I will use maple syrup again though in the same recipe for a pie crust. A raw berry, banana or key lime pie would be amazing set on a macaroon crust.
Screen shot 2014-07-27 at 6.24.06 AMYou can play with the flavours in these. My mind was racing with ideas of lavender, earl grey, lemon + vanilla…  In the end, agave + sea salt + cacao chips kept the recipe simple and easy.

If you have a food processor, you are in luck. I dumped the ingredients into mine and it decided it had mixed enough sticky coconut already this week so I mixed by hand. In a machine, the coconut shreds will get chopped down a bit, which is perfectly OK, and you’ll get a better mixing job. By hand be sure to mix well. The coconut oil will settle in the bottom of the bowl and you’ll end up with a very sticky mess for the last few macaroons. Do stick with coconut oil though, as it chills it hardens up and keeps the macaroons together. I used almond flour, as the original, you could use cashew or macadamia nut flour, both would be awesome, just don’t swap for coconut flour.  (Sorry, these are not nut-free. )

Get ready to get #stickyfingers & get ready to enjoy. Simple, one bowl, chill them in the fridge for as long as you can keep from eating them and store them in the fridge please. Makes about 10, depending on how big or small you make them. Once they chill a bit, you could roll them in cacao or dip in melted chocolate, but they are perfect & beautiful just the way they are.

Anja, you are a beautiful person, an inspiring fit vegan & an awesome Mommy. I hope these add some smiles to your days to pay you back for all the smiles you provide. 

Anja’s Carob Chip Coconut Macaroons

  • 2 Cups + 2TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut
    vegan, gluten free, raw, awesome, #stickyfingers

    vegan, gluten free, raw, awesome, #stickyfingers

  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 3 TBSP almond flour
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla seeds*
  • as many carob or vegan chocolate chips that you like!

– Blend the coconut, almond flour, salt in a food processor or bowl.

– Melt the coconut oil, pour over coconut. Use the same measuring cup to measure out the agave (the oil will help keep the syrup from sticking to the measuring cup). Pour over coconut.

– Add vanilla and salt and blend very well (vanilla seeds are optional, not a must.) (The sea salt is part of the flavour, it may be reduced to 1/8 tsp if other flavourings are used.)

– Mix in the carob chips by spoon.

– Depending on size desired, measure out little balls of macaroon mixture, roll and place on a plastic wrapped plate. Shape all the mixture, cover loosely with a sheet of plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for 3 hours before transferring to a storage container with a fitted lid.  *They will be sticky to roll. I was certain each time that I had too much coconut oil, but have faith & just wash your #stickyfingers! 🙂

– Try not to eat them all at once.

– Store in the fridge.

Enjoy! Eat well, train safe, be awesome!!! You guys are the best!!

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Simple Summer Loving

As complicated and busy as our summer always is, it’s really about the simple life and enjoying what we love. There is not much time to cook but there is an abundance of organic veg in my fridge…Which makes me happy! #rawveganlife
Training & racing are full force, school for me is also non-stop, Dylan has baseball & an insane social life…. I’m a Tri Mom, y’all understand!

So here are a few amazing things I’m loving this summer. They make my life awesome & simple & yummy & good. And sharing is caring, so try them out & tell a friend too!

1) Organic farmers Co-Ops. It’s worth it to google your local farmers or ask at your local farmers markets. Many offer basket pick up that save you both time & money. I pay 30$ a week to have a basket FULL of veggies waiting for me at the local train station. No detour, no fuss, no having to pull myself away from my current course book, Symptomology II, to go to the grocery store. I’m supporting a local organic farm, where even at the grocery store my organic produce has been flown in via jet fuel from another exotic country.   My basket is FULL, with veg & herbs and always a few things that force me to be creative in my meal prep – FUN TIMES.  If u get something u don’t know what to do with, no fears, most every summer vegetable can be grilled to perfection! Screen shot 2014-07-19 at 5.58.19 AM2) Fresh herbs. Summer is the season for fresh herbs, and it is worth it to explore and discover these culinary powerhouses. You can try a new herb every week! Herbs can be ripped into salads, chopped into marinades for anything going on the grill, they can be dried for winter soups & stews, or whizzed with fresh garlic & olive oil into velvety pestos.  Make your own mojitos, or flavour homemade kombucha!

I made a huge batch of very simple basil pesto yesterday. I cannot wait to saute some garlic shoots & zucchini noodles in it tonight. DELISH! With a glass of white wine, we’ll have a restaurant worthy meal in 10 minutes, for about 5$.  For dessert, grilled fruit with whipped coconut cream & chopped fresh mint.

My favourite is dill. I LOVE DILL. Forget pickles, fresh dill has a flavour that does wonders for raw veg. Take some fermented apple cider vinegar, a spoonful of your favourite mustard, whip it up with chopped dill & olive oil and you will lick your salad bowl!

Point is, don’t be intimidated. If you are trying to add more vegetables and fruit to your diet, fresh herbs are a great way to add flavour without the sugary disaster that is BBQ sauce or bottle salad dressing….Play with your food!

3) Homemade bug repellant. I am giving this stuff away I am so ga-ga over it. Summer means mountain biking and trail running for me, which means I am breakfast for bugs. Well, not any more. Next time you are at your natural supply store, grab a little bottle of citronella complexe essential oil (I bought the supreme blend by Divine Essence). 2 tsp into 70ml of olive oil + 30ml castor oil = peace. Not a bite yet this summer!! I put it into little glass spray bottles that I keep in all my sports gear; spray on, rub over my arms / neck/ legs. Best part is I have a bug spray that works and is non toxic for our skin. To get the extra off my hands, I just rub my hands into my hair. Helps keep the bugs at bay and it probably is good for my hair at the same time. Washes off in the shower, along with all the mud. #playdirty #playoutside Screen shot 2014-07-19 at 12.46.03 PM

4) Clif Kit’s Organic fruit & seed bars. I just discovered these, and I am in love. Finding them made my day, my week, perhaps my season. In the winter I make our energy bars, but finding these nut-free, gluten-free, yum packed bars means we can continue to fuel up conveniently with food even I agree with. 🙂 These bars make the athlete & the Mommy in me HAPPY.

5) Organic Yellow Mustard with Tumeric. It’s good. Real good. It’s become my “I put that s*#! on everything!” condiment this summer. That says a LOT, cause I’m not a condiment kinda girl. Let’s start with the basics: it’s made from 100% stone ground organic Canadian mustard seeds, organic apple cider vinegar and sea salt, it’s Canadian, it’s made here in QC, gluten free, GMO free, no preservatives, and no sugar added. What did they add? A lot of tumeric. Tumeric is very good for you; it’s considered a super food, one of the healthiest foods in the world. It’s an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, it’s good for your brain & your heart, it’s being studied for it’s anti-cancer properties beyond other things.   I am putting this mustard on veggie burgers, grilled veg, I’m making vinaigrettes and dips from it; it’s become my newest food obsession (no Mom, I’m not pregnant!).

6) My last fav thing is not food at all, it’s Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Tea Tree Soap.  Yes, soap. If you have yet to switch all the bottles in your shower for Dr. Bronner’s, please do so immediately. Skin is the largest organ of the human body, given to you naturally to protect & shape you. It ages, it burns, it is delicate and also highly porous – meaning what you put on the outside has a good chance of getting into the inside. Soaps made with harsh chemicals and scents might seem ‘clean’ but they are not, and they are not doing you any good. Dr. Bronners soaps are not only magic, they are the best all natural soap on the market in terms of ingredients and selection. The tea tree one really contains organic tea tea extract… If you are a runner or cyclist, listen up. GET SOME! GET A BIG BOTTLE! And a little bottle to travel with. Tea tree extract has been used by the aborigines of Australia for a very long time to treat skin infections and wounds as they, and now many in the natural world, know it to be an herbal antiseptic. So, athletes of my world, trust me when I say that washing all your used & abused parts with this soap is definitely a good thing. Cyclists, your bum will thank you! 😉

To check out the ingredients & other very awesome products, go to https://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/TEATREE/OLTT08.html

 

So, there you have it folks. I hope everyone is having a brilliant time playing with their food and playing outside!  It’s summer, tis’ the season to be awesome!!!

Thanks for reading! Train safe, eat well, be awesome!

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      I’m home. I can sit down (standing is still painful!) and have been able to give each comment posted on my FB page the time & attention it deserves. I am humbled. COMPLETELY humbled by everyone who sent a text, an email, left a comment, or a PM. THANK U. I am truly a lucky girl to have such an awesome village raising me. & in that evolution, to be a better person & a better triathlete, Sunday’s race will still go down as the day I was schooled. I walked, and cried, but mostly I laughed with the volunteers & other athletes, I caught a few trying to walk with me & pushed them to keep running. I was thanked by those who recognized me from body marking on Saturday, seems just providing a laugh & a smile does wonders for those who are tri-ing for the 1st time.

I knew at 3am on Sunday I would be in for trouble. My quads screamed just standing out of bed. I was trained, perfectly tapered, physically & mentally ready for this race. I tried to stretch, push the pain & doubt aside. I tried to believe in karma… I tried not to believe Mere Nature in all her furry… My quads were angry, she was pissed!!

We swam through the roughest waters I ever faced, I rode very well consider each pedal stroke felt like little knives in my quads & THE WIND & RAIN…2 things I previously feared didn’t stop or slow me down. I am giddy I am so proud of myself. THANK U COACH FOR UR PATIENCE WITH ME!!! Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 7.28.28 AM

There was no option to transfer over to Aqua-bike when I rolled into T2, so I tried running. I made it to the porta-potty, ‘yahoo a reason to stop. Made it to the 1st water station by a walk-run, made it to the 2nd station by walking 1min, running 30 sec… This was not going to work. So I sat down in the grass. And told myself that what ever I did, I had to commit to it. DNF or walk or crawl, just commit. And I thought of Dylan, and all the 1st timers I met the day before, I thought of my SuperCoach who has put so much time into helping me… Who the f*!# am I to quit? I’m stronger, more courageous, bolder & I’m tougher than that. So off my ass, thanked the volunteers (who wanted to call med for me) and I committed to walking. I have watched enough Olympics to know how to walk. Well, walking like those power walkers hurt more, so I walked like a triathlete who never trained to walk. LOL I just kept moving forward.
So many athletes wanted to stop running to walk with me, I guess to rest or to try to get me back to running with them but I didn’t let them stop. No way. Run ur race, go be awesome, save me food at the finish line please….. 

I stopped crying, I started to smile. I thought again of Dylan, about how for once (& only once!) we’d get to celebrate his Daddy beating Mommy. I thought about how many calories walking burns, cause it didn’t feel like much & I know the post race spread at Mussel is full of organic fruit!!! I was stopped by so many volunteers who had done the Sprint on Saturday, who thanked me for being there for them that morning. I was humbled & inspired & I kept going, trying to ignore the pain in my quads, my back & now my hips.  Walking ain’t ez!

I couldn’t even run down the finish chute 😦 Nor did I let the kind gentleman at the finish put my medal on. I held back tears and took my medal in my hand. I felt defeated. Disappointed. I felt like a failure. Derek was waiting for me and he hugged me as I let all the tears flow. I was gutted, & truly in a world of pain. Then the text I got from SuperCoach, asked if I was still breathing.  🙂 Proper. Smart. Put me in my place. Yes, Coach, Life is still great! 

 There were people in that race, still behind me not having yet finished, doing their 1st 70.3 to remember those athletes who died on the bike the previous year. There were friends in the park, THRILLED they even finished. They were Musselmen now!!! I heard about the 38 people who got pulled out of the swim, forced to finish their race just as it was getting started. Thank u all for inspiring me!!

Walking wasn’t fun. At all. It was long. I think I yawned a few times wishing for a hot, double espresso. And let it be on the internet forever, I walked my way down to 14th place.  🙂 Those Olympic ladies have got nothing on me!! LOL  That evening, stuffing my face with a gluten free, thin crust, wood oven veggie pizza, I was brought to tears again…. Thank u all for ur support. I went through a lot of emotions, which I think is normal as a lot of time, money, effort & heart goes into preparing for a race. Luckily, I didn’t need to explain that – everybody understood and supported me through the rough moments, for u all I am truly & sincerely in gratitude. I’m home, rolling my quads, doing a ton of yoga, seeing my BAMF osteopath, and I will live to fight another day!!  
Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 7.28.44 AM
Next up, Velerium Raid 63.3 mountain bike race. This time I’m the newbie!! YIHA! 

I’ll be back at Musselman 2015, and I invite you all to join me. It is the best race, hands down. I dare u to tri it….  

 

 

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Rest & Rise

As I write this I’m staring at the clock. 5:00am. I have to leave for the pool in 20 minutes. I also am well aware that my 2nd double espresso of the morning is finished. That last sip was the last yummy, bold, awakening sip. Damn, it was good while it lasted!
I have 4km to swim, a few km to run and 19 minutes left of my morning linger. Time to get my suit on.

I am awake & alive & loving every crazy day life brings, I just want time to slow down.  I want to enjoy the moments, they seem to all be passing by so quickly as Dylan gets taller by the day. He’s checking under his little arms for hair!! Not yet baby, please not yet!

I want to linger on my bike. My new, sexy beast of a bike. I want to ride a long, gradual downhill so I can coast and see the forest for the trees. I want to run up to the mountain top, sit on a big rock and be reminded of how incredibly small yet powerful we all are, should we chose create change for the greater good. Our city water pipes broke last week. For 4 days we could only drink purchased water. Little plastic bottles everywhere. It completely broke my heart, and made me even more aware of the world around me. How precious it is. How by us doing a few things to help save it we’re doing a lot, but not enough. I want to linger in that world, soak in the view before it becomes covered in little plastic bottles.

I actually woke up on Wednesday morning with the desire to make fresh bread. I don’t eat bread, at least not the kind I was wanting to make, but I wanted to linger in my kitchen. In my comfort zone. My hands wanted to spend time kneading dough. I was certain that not only would I get in a great upper body workout, but time would stop as I let the dough rest & rise. I could study without a timer, ride bikes with Dylan without being pressured by the setting sun. The process of making fresh bread is one of the things I love most in this world. One summer when I was 20 I went to my parent’s cottage for a week. Took a time out from life, a week to linger with a good book. Linger with my Mommy, in the hammock under the sun, soaking up it’s energy. I was big into fitness & food even at 20. My biceps & traps were massive, my waist was a teeny tiny. I drove up to the cottage with a box full of cook books and gluten-free cereal (I think I lived off gluten-free cereal back then, apples & cereal & soy milk, and I was ripped. Who needs protein? 😉 ) I also read cookbooks like I read novels, and in my lingering but ever restless mind fell onto a Williams and Sonoma bread book. Maple wheat. I still know the recipe by heart. I lingered in the process, in my peaceful environment, in the rustic cottage kitchen, warm and welcoming, kneading so many loaves of bread we gave them away to neighbours.

Truth is, there is not a cup of wheat flour in my pantry so I won’t be baking bread….Who eats all that gluten anyways?? 😉  I will get out at some point this week, push the pedals up to the top of a muddy mountain just to get a birds eye view of my world. I’ll press RESET, allow the stress to evaporate from me like sweat and smile, knowing the reward will be to linger with a bowl of fresh jam plopped generously over granola.

ImageIt used to take me a week of lingering to find peace, now I just hit the trails.  It also usually takes a lot of time & sugar to make jam. Not today!  Today I give you the adult version, 15 minutes is all you need. That’s about as long as we have to linger these days, and that’s OK. There are laps to swim & a planet to save & books to read & bikes to ride & little people to spend our time with. Enjoy!!

Chia Berry Jam

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I wanted to replace the store bought jam in our fridge with something better. I tested a few thickeners, chia-seeds proved perfect!  The texture is a spreadable, amazing beautiful jam, perfect on toast, even better plopped on In Season Granola (see recipe page) after a good trail run!  ENJOY! 

  • 4 C organic frozen or fresh berries
  • 5 TBSP chia seeds 
  1. Defrost or clean berries.
  2. Bring to light boil over med-low heat. Stir over heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Mash with potato masher directly in pot or pulse quickly through blender then return to pot. Turn heat to low. 
  4. Add chia seeds. Continue to stir over low heat for 5 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat. Go linger with a Kick Ass espresso & a good book for a few hours till jam is cool enough to transfer to a recycled glass jam jar. Store in fridge. 

I did not have time to test how long this jam will last in the fridge. It was eaten too quickly. I would suggest no longer than 7 days, as there are no preservatives in the recipe. Please make sure your jar is very clean! 

I did not have to add any sweetener as I used frozen, organic berries. If you are using fresh, and find them a bit tart, a few TBSP of maple syrup or local honey can be added just before mashing. 

Have a great week lingering just a few extra minutes doing what you love, with those you love.

Thanks for reading! Train safe, eat well, be awesome!

0

It’s what for lunch!

I didn’t make a New Years resolution, per say. I certainly didn’t make on about fitness or weight loss, which seem to be working so well for people 😉 !  Yet I did want to make a goal for myself to keep learning this year about local foods available in my part of our small big planet, and I wanted to make more of an effort to keep that planet clean for my growing child. So far, the local food thing is slow to start; we had a long winter, and summer is not in a rush, so there’s no local produce markets open yet. We do still only purchase meat & eggs from the local butcher, whose selection is sure to come from cage free / grass fed / happy animals. And with triathlon season upon us I am a lucky girl to live 10 minutes away from some amazing maple sugar shacks. In baking, for a homemade sports drink, for our favourite cherry gummies – maple syrup is all the rage in our house! Why do I chose it over honey? Well, it’s vegan. It’s also local. It offers a fair share of minerals & it’s part of being #Canadian! If you can get your hands on a can of the REAL stuff, not the HFC stuff, please add it to everything, like Buddy the Elf!

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Like drinking water from a garden hose! Well, ok, not really, but I always want to try….

As spring warms up we will go out to our local nurseries and purchase some organic herbs, strawberry & tomato plants. I’d love to garden, but with school & the rest of my life, I’m afraid a garden wouldn’t get it’s deserved attention. So a few plants we can grow on the balcony will be Dylan’s ‘pets’ this summer. Water them, sing to them, keep them happy & producing! 🙂  A weekly allowance well earned!

One switch I did make is to stop using plastic. We have the typical exploding Tupperware drawer in our home, it’s as ugly and unorganized as yours. It’s already there so I am not throwing anything out, that would defeat the purpose. Yet part of my deal is not to add anything to it. Ever again. Our recycling bin is full every week, and I noticed it was full of a LOT of glass. Empty kambucha bottles, condiment jars, coconut oil jars – too much! So since the holidays I have been more mindful of what I purchase at the store – if it meets my health standards and it’s available in a glass container, I buy it. If it’s plastic, we can do without or I can make it myself. And once the jar is empty, I wash and keep the container for future use.
My favourite thing to do every week with all these great sized jars is my addictive homemade kambucha tea (so easy to make, saves a ton of glass, and also saves me 4$ a serving = WOOOHOOOO!). I also started bringing my lunch to work in big jars. I LOVE IT! I can chop all my veg, layer them according to crunch with the hardest veg on the bottom (they will sit in the oil / vinegar for a few hours) and sprouts on the top. I can make 5 salads on Sunday night, they line up beautifully in my fridge without taking a ton of room, and I am reusing glass where I previously was using a plastic container.  I bring a long fork with me so I do not use the plastic forks at the office. I feel happy every time I pack one up to go. Is it a bit heavier to carry? Yes, but not using glass because it’s heavy is like taking the parking spot closest to the gym door – I know none of you awesome peeps do that!

Here is what’s for lunch :

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Leave a little room on the top to add spinach or sprouts in the morning. A little sprinkle of hemp seeds & Bon Appetite!

I am constantly looking for other ways in which I can make small differences… I’m a trail girl, mud addict by definition, I need to do my part to ensure I keep this planet beautiful for the long run!  Look around your home, I am sure you will also find little ways in which you can create awesome change in your little big world too!   Margaret Mead said it best: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” 

I’ll post a better pic with some jar salad ideas in the Recipe page shortly. In the meantime, leave a comment about how u are creating small changes; we can all learn through each other; after all, sharing is caring!
Thanks for reading, you are the most awesome!

Train safe, eat well, be awesome!

2

#dreambig

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Regular readers of my silliness here will know I am back at school! Student life, at 34 yrs old. Well, not really. There are about 18 hrs a week that go to triathlon, 45 to work, the rest that go to being CEO of my family, a bit of sleep, and now 11 hrs a week I am headstrong on dedicating to school. Simple math will tell u I’ve got this! At least my calculator says so. Yes, it does require organization, and a fierce dedication to everything I do. If I am not passionate about something, at least for the next 2 years, it will not get a moment of my attention.  Most of our meals will now be a rough chop of veggies; if u want beautiful even cut tulips from your carrots, pick up a knife!

It’s taken me a few years, I admit I detoured, childbirth does has the tendency to throw all other plans out the window. And here I am today, with the worlds kindest 7 yr old by my side, trying to fit into my SuperMom cape. It’s a tight squeeze, but we are of the patient kind (NOT!) and this will all workout in the end. It will. It must. And that’s the difference, it MUST. There is no Plan B, no ‘What If?’, no sideline to stand on. Do or Die. Now or never.  All or nothing.

Yes, I came up with this plan. I’m the only person in this family crazy enough to make it work.

The biggest & most important part of this newest chapter, (I am actually calling it a life style. That’s trendy right now. Everything is a  lifestyle these days, so making your dreams a reality is a lifestyle, like being a hipster, it’s what all the cool kids are doing.) is making sure your support crew supports you. I would never be able to do anything, let alone get to the local pool at 5:30am if it wasn’t something the entire family was on board with. I may be fiercely independent, yet friends & family are all that matter to me, and my Dylan holds a top spot.  We embark on this journey together, all for one & one for all yes… But getting us here took some mis-en-place.

When I started researching what school I was going to give my millions to, I involved Dylan in the process. We shared some funny conversations about why I couldn’t go to his school and he learned about the different types of careers and schools available in today’s world. It got him thinking quite seriously about what he wants to be when he grows up, and also allowed me to inject a bit of importance back into grade 2, which he now sees as a small step to his bigger picture.

My time must be organized. We don’t make it out often, because when we could have a social life, sadly, is when we get to throw in the extras that pop up during the week. Mattress flipping, bike cleaning, winter coat burning, melting snow with a hair dryer- those type of chores. 😉 So in knowing I needed to carve out a minimum of 11 hrs a week to focus 110% on my studies, our family time got an overhaul. I discussed this with Dylan, and we came up with acceptable time slots together. He knows now that when Mommy shows up at hockey practice with a book & a highlighter, it’s OK. Practice is not really important to watch, it’s just important to him that I am there. Same with baseball, and the same with when he is doing his own homework. I’ve been given the green light to sit with him at our kitchen counter and do my own homework. If he needs my help, he’ll just kick me or yell loudly. Having agreed on this together, I am comfortable in wearing 2 hats at once, and Dylan knows what to expect so that he doesn’t get disappointed or confused.
(Note to all who saw my FB post yesterday, yes, there is an error in the above paragraph. My funky neon highlighters have disappeared, I have yet to find them.)  

U know u r a Mommy when...

U know u r a Mommy when…

The books for my first 4 courses arrived this week. I got excited of course, immediately going through everything I received. Then I sat down on the floor with Dylan and reread the program intro out loud so he could also get a grasp on our new reality. All the course info stressed the importance of having a routine, the requirement to get all class work, then the exam, done on time. We agreed that the books are BIG, but also that it’s very nice of the school to let me keep the books after :). We put name labels on them and decided they would spend a few days in the kitchen, where I spend most of my free time, so that I remember to do my homework! Being included in that moment, the emotions that overcame me when reality hit, gave Dylan a birds eye view of what’s to come.  Now when I am reading my BIG books, he turns down the music in his room, or brings me an apple – small gestures that help him feel involved in what he understands as being something very important to me.

I am no expert on anything. My role as Family CEO didn’t come with an instruction manual any more helpful than yours did. Maybe u don’t even have kids…. But it takes a village to raise me, just as u probably have a village of supporters in your own life.  Include them. Inform them. Let them help. Often, our biggest hurdle in dream chasing is accepting help from those around us. Tell your family, your friends, your Coach, your boss, yell it from the rooftops… I HAVE A DREAM!!!!  You might be amazed that the thing u have been putting off suddenly becomes a work in progress when the support u receive is undeniable.  If u do have little ones, involve them… They want to see u accomplish ur dreams as much as u want to be there when they accomplish theirs.

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The biggest question I get, which surprises me every time, is “how do u do it?”.  My reply was once humble, now it’s a polite “how do u not?”. Life is good friends, it’s not easy for any of us, but it’s good. The sky is the limit.  #dreambig

OUR THOUGHTS & HEARTS ARE WITH ALL OF OUR FRIENDS RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON ON MONDAY. TO ALL THE RUNNERS, THE VOLUNTEERS, THE SUPPORT CREWS & PROUD KIDDOS OUT CHEERING: #BOSTONSTRONG      we ❤ u 

 Train safe, eat well, be awesome!!!

P.S. No recipe posting because of a raw brownie flop that I haven’t had time to reattempt. I’ll invite u to go visit the one that still gets requested from mothers & athletes regularly : The Gummies!

Happy Easter friends. Thx for reading… U r the most awesome!

 

 

0

Being Crazy isn’t Enough!

That’s a Dr. Seuss quote.

I think Dr. Seuss was a runner. He had to be. He also had his issues, which makes me love him even more. From his eggs going green (lack of refrigeration back then?) to the first recorded environmental crisis (the Truffula trees) to proving that growing up is a waste of a genius mind, Dr. Seuss had to be a runner. It’s only in the long run such problems could be solved. Or so I thought.

Our winter brought a ton of snow, and more cold temps that we Canadians care for. #wearewinter became not only our tag line but our way of living, and in return I decided that Mere Nature wouldn’t get the joy of my company, instead I’d finally get my money’s worth from my treadmill. No sunrise, no Truffula trees, no wondering happy thoughts, no Dr. Seuss moments to be had,  just me, getting ‘er done, do or die. Then 2 wks ago, getter ‘er done indoors,  this podcast stopped me in my tracks. I stopped running to listen again. & again. And suddenly I was freezing, sitting on the floor in tears. Treadmills were supposed to be uninspiring?!

No trees, no trails, just snow!!

No trees, no trails, just snow!!

The podcast is long so I won’t get into it all, u can listen for urself, but one part of it opened me up. I looked inside. I reflected on every race I have run for the past 3 years…. AH-HA. Click. Light blub….After years of trying to figure out why I can run faster & faster in training but never  so fast on race day, I had my answer.  It was in my head all along, not in my legs.

As the good runner Dr. Seuss said, “Being crazy isn’t enough.”

This will be my 5th summer doing triathlon. I came into the sport as a challenge to myself, a very personal goal of trying to save my own life. Those of u who have stuck by me for a while know that I literally almost died of postpartum depression when Dylan was a baby. It’s a brutal illness, it steals everything u have, everything u feel, everything u thought was yours… including your family, your heart & soul,  your child.  It is a mind numbing black hole. In the midst of it all, the only thing I had to rely on were my two skinny legs. So I signed up for Timberman 70.3, not knowing how to swim, not knowing how to train, not knowing if I’d be alive come race day. Each day became it’s own meditation of a routine-wake up, alone & frozen, just to check another day off the calendar with my “I was here!” stamp. I trained my heart out, literally, and in those many long swims & rides & runs, I trained the illness out & put life back in.  Blood, sweat, & many tears.  I crossed the finish line at Timberman with a few new good friends, a huge hug from Chrissie Wellington, a renewed heart, a passion for life & all things tri.

That’s how my story goes…. FF to the treadmill, when I realize that thankfully I healed my heart that day,  yet realizing I left my mindset in Timberville- where I didn’t deserve to be, when I should have been home with my son, not training, not racing, not avoiding my own downward spiral through exercise, where I should have been a loving mother, not a spandex donning triathlete.

I’ve heard it all; the BS people speak can be so cruel sometimes, somehow it became easy to believe.  So if u are reading this, also thinking “how dare she?” well, fuck u too. That’s my new mindset. That’s where I am coming from now.  Now when I run I remind myself “I deserve this moment. I am a super-mom!”.  Meditation & visualization techniques, a sports psychologist, many fast runs through the Tuffula trees, a SuperCoach who believes in me, a son who cheers me on…..  I’ve got a new attitude, from my head to my running shoes!  #tri2014

Say it LOUD!

Say it LOUD!

Over the next few weeks I’ll share my mind changing process with u… What is sports psyc like? Is my training benefiting from all this (YEP!)? Does visualization help & is it hard?  How important is self belief when u have a BIG goal?

What about meditation? I am at my calmest in my kitchen… And I am spending a ton of time there these days, testing pre training & post training recipes. Let the season begin!!!

Coffee & a post run snack, covered in mud from the trails…. What could be better?

Here are two recipes, as always I keep them simple to make.  Feel free to swap ingredients, it’s always OK to play with your food in my kitchen!!   Nut free, egg free, vegan & kiddo approved! trail bar

Tico Mountain Bars

  • 1 1/4 C GF oats
  • 1 1/4 C quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP melted coconut oil
  • 3 ripe bananas 
  • 4 pitted & soaked dates, chopped
  • 1/4 C chia seeds, soaked
  • splash of vanilla, as much as u like! 
  • cacao chips or nibs, as much as u like! 
  1. Put all the dry ingredients in the food processor. Pulse until almost a ‘flour’. 
  2. Add coconut oil, bananas, chopped dates, & chia seeds (now a gel) until mixture combines thoroughly. If you need to add some of the soaking water to get the mixture through your machine, go for it.
  3. Spread into a lined baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350, for 20 min. Cut into squares or bars. 

*Feel free to use what fruit you have. I made this with fresh pineapple instead of bananas & dates and it was delish! Be sure to add lots of dark chocolate chips if you use tropical fruit!! (With fruit such as pineapple / mango these will be more a at home breakfast bar, less of a trail running bar.)

 In Season Granola

Many of you have used & played with my granola recipe. Hi 5! It’s much healthier than anything in a box. But if u are training hard, with Spring weather comes intensity & distance, so a low carb breakfast should be swapped for something with more rocket-power.  Here is my granola swamp, to be enjoyed with a sliced banana & some almond milk…. Bon Appetite!

  • 2 C GF oats
  • 1 C quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 C hemp seeds
  • 1/2 C chia seeds
  • 1/2 C sunflower seeds (or any nut u like! As much as u like!) 
  • 2 TBSP maca powder
  • 2 TBSP cacao powder
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 1/4 C real maple syrup or raw honey*
  1. Stir together dry ingredients.
  2. Melt together coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup.
  3. Pour liquid ingredients over dry, mix together. Spread out on lined baking sheet, bake at 300F for 20 min. 
  4. Store in an airtight container. 

* The maple syrup or honey can be left out, but note that the granola will have a much drier texture. Try one batch with, for pre-training, & another batch without, for post training!  Have fun, play with your food!  Try adding a bit more vanilla, cause it’s so yummy!

Adding 1/2 cup of In Season Granola to 8-9 pitted dates makes great energy balls. If you like crunch, add shredded coconut or cacao nibs! 🙂

Thanks for reading friends, u are the most awesome!

Train safe, eat well, b awesome!! 

If you or anyone you know if suffering from PPD, please know you are not alone, and you will love again. Jenny’s Light made a difference in my life, they can help you too, click here: Help, hope, love.

 

 

0

Breakfast of Champions!

Life as a wanna-be SuperMom isn’t always glamourous…. in fact, if u had seen me this past weekend u’d have wondered what the what?!  Dylan’s team had 2 hockey games on Friday, winning both to secure a third game on Saturday, winning that to advance to the semi-finals this morning. We played in a town about 2 hours from home. Road trips. Supportive families. Team dinners. Cheap hotels. Cowbells & horns. Not just for triathlon. Just as unsexy too as I forgot to pack anything I could have needed to look like a SuperMom. I had run gear for all weather, but nothing more girlie than a homemade lip gloss. Dylan & I would have had dreadlocks if my good ol’ Dad hadn’t offered up his comb. Yet I did pack organic bananas, apples, juice, dark chocolate, cashews & our now famous gummies – because U can’t take triathlon out of the girl, and u can’t take the food-geek out of the hockey Mom!

Only thing missing was my latest obsession…. Banana Coconut Breakfast Pie. It’s as awesome as it sounds. It’s WAY healthier than it sounds too. And of course a team of 7 yr olds would have wanted healthy bananas instead of McDonalds pancakes, right? 😉

I love bananas for breakfast. They fill me up, and cut the massive hunger I experience when I finally make time for my morning meal. It is the most important meal of the day, and getting it in is sacred. Reality is that I am awake at 4am, more than enjoy my cup of Kick Ass coffee, then train fasted for a few hours. Once that is over I pop a few gummies into my mouth for immediate recovery and go through the process of assuring Dylan & I leave the house on time, looking more put together & professional that I do when I wake him up, still sweaty & smelly in spandex. I eat breakfast at work, sometime around 9:30am.

So just as nutrient void pancakes are the breakfast of little champions some days, they are not the everyday standard. Same goes for the adult athlete. If u train hard, pushing the limits of self, physically, for hours each day, then u must give some thought to what u are eating. My approach: Make it quick to recover (high protein green smoothie/ quick shake/ electrolytes/ gummies) then be sure to EAT for the NEXT training session!  Most athletes get into trouble because they give themselves permission to eat whatever junk they want, because they just trained for such impressive lengths. This way of thinking is a trap for being overweight, tired, unhealthy & unrecovered. Eat for the NEXT. Personally, I carb cycle, pancake free, with a huge emphasis on fruit & veg! 🙂

AND BANANAS!!! They are so full of goodness, and really should be any athletes (big or small) best friend. Rarely a breakfast goes by without one, so I was super excited about this breakfast inspiration.  First, we never have enough healthy options for breakfast. And, it’s got my marco nutrients covered, excites my taste buds & obsession with textures, and  also assures I put into my body what will serve it NEXT. Best part? It is easy to make, fun to play with and stores in the freezer so it takes no precious real estate in the fridge.

I’m obsessed. I am in love. And instead of rushing through e-mails while I eat now, I set up a proper place at my desk, assuring I enjoy & receive each yummy bite! Image

I started the crust with my granola recipe because I had some on hand. It worked great, but I wanted something quicker to make, without needing an oven. What became of it is a 1 bowl, no baking or much clean up required. I am so all about quick clean up that I don’t wash the mixer bowl between making the crust and the filling… U can if u want to, if the Queen is coming for breakfast 😉 

Crust: 

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds (u can use nuts here, but I’m nut free!)
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 6 pitted & soaked dates
  • 2 tsp coconut oil, melted
  1. Put all the seeds into the bowl of a food processor; pulse until a crumb texture.
  2. Add in dates & coconut oil; pulse until combined.
  3. Press the seed mixture into the bottom of a glass pie plate or square glass baking dish.

Filling: 

  • 5 ripe bananas
  • 2 chilled cans real coconut milk, chilled overnight in fridge.*  (if u think about it, if not, no worries)

 

Thick creamy yum!

 *If the coconut milk is chilled, the separation of the milk & water will create a think, beautiful cream. This is what you want to use in the recipe. SImply scoop it out, leaving the water in the bottom of the can for another use.

  1. Pulse the coconut cream & bananas together until combined.
  2. Pour over chilled crust, place dish back in freezer.

To serve, remove dish from freezer to thaw slightly while u shower. Cut out desired portion size into breakfast bowl, then return pie dish back to freezer. (I bring mine to work. As it thaws out, it takes on a more pudding consistency, with little crunchy bites of the crust mixed in! DELISH!!! HEAVEN!!! 

Good eats!!

Good eats!!

In testing I added protein powder to the banana mix. Not bad. U could do so if u needed to increase the protein content. You could also mix the banana with mango, berries, etc. 

If I were to eat this BEFORE my workout, I would consider adding a drizzle of maple syrup. Well, u can do that anyways…. Most things, like pancake, are better with syrup.

Train safe, eat well, be awesome!