Five Lessons From Today’s Run (and a Wicked Smoothie Recipe)

The weather this weekend was finally conducive to getting out for a real run for the first time this year.

About 5 minutes into the first kilometer, I realised how out of shape I’d let myself get over the winter. Through the next 6km, I let my mind wander (as I love to do while working out) and learned the following 5 things:

  1. Not running during the winter kills me. My time is a full minute and thirty seconds slower than it was last fall. Running in rain and snow isn’t fun, so I’m going to have to come up with a (gasp!) gym plan for next winter. Yuck.
  2. I need to do more yoga. Maybe it’s just my body getting back into a rhythm, but I am sore in places I didn’t know running could affect. My once a week yoga workout is going to have to become a daily, or at least every-other-day thing.
  3. Somehow, Fall Out Boy found their way onto my running playlist. And they need to find their way off of it, right quick. Nothing ruins the mood of a good run like thinking “I hate this song” for 3 1/2 minutes straight. Twice.
  4. My lungs still hurt after a run. Maybe it’ll get better the longer I’m a non-smoker… but as of now, they were equally, if not more, painful compared to when I smoked a pack a day.
  5. There is nothing in the world that feels as amazing as a good workout. Seriously. Nothing.

Following my run, I made my favourite post-run snack:

Banana/Apple/Blackberry Smoothie (with Wheatgrass)
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/3 apple (I prefer Gala)
  • 1/4 cup blackberries (I used frozen, fresh are fine as well)
  • 1 oz wheatgrass (Fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (I prefer Almande Vanilla)
  • 1/3 tbsp black chia seeds
  • 1/3 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/3 tbsp hulled hemp seeds

Directions:

1. Chop up banana and apple into blender-friendly pieces. (My blender is old, so I make sure everything is in small chunks. If you have a Vitamix or equivalent, feel free to skip this step!)


2. Add blackberries and wheatgrass to blender containing apple and banana.



3. Add yogurt to blender.



4. Add seeds. (I keep a 1:1:1 mix of chia, flax and hemp seeds pre-mixed in the cupboard so it’s just a one tbsp scoop.)


5. Blend well.

6. Enjoy!

I generally keep a bunch of pre-made smoothie packs in the freezer so when I’m in a rush, I can just dump one in the blender, throw in the yogurt and seeds, blend and go. 🙂

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Proud Mama Moment

My daughter recently turned seven.

When we were planning her birthday party, she asked if I would allow her to have a “toonie party” – where guests are asked to bring a toonie to donate to charity in lieu of a gift. I was incredibly impressed with her maturity, especially when she told me she would like to support our local SPCA. Her birthday party brought in $44, as most guests were happy to donate more than the requested toonie.

On her birthday, she received money from a few relatives. My wonderful little girl kept $20 to spend, put $20 in her savings account, and then donated $10 to the SPCA and $10 to the World Wildlife Federation. It warms my heart to know that my beautiful little girl has such a big heart and is so aware of the issues affecting the safety and well-being of animals of all kinds.

Last Saturday, we brought our donation into our local SPCA. She was so proud to hand over her donation, and we ended up with a couple very sweet ladies who gave her a t-shirt and let her visit with the cats there.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience, and she is already planning a toonie party for her eighth birthday!

Adventures in Baking – Vegan Applesauce Raisin Cookies

This being my last few days of freedom (I’m back to work on the 7th), Kiddo and I decided to bake some super easy, super tasty, super vegan cookies!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c vegan margarine (I prefer Becel to Earth Balance)
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c applesauce (or the equivalent of one egg via your favourite egg replacer)
  • 1/2 c applesauce
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 c raisins
  • 1/2 c nuts of your choice (I prefer walnuts for this recipe)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375̊ F.

2. Combine margarine, sugar and egg equivalent thoroughly.



3. Mix in applesauce.

4. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, raisins and nuts.



5. Drop dough onto greased (I prefer silicone lined) baking sheet. Remember that licking the beaters is the best part!


6. Bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned.

Makes about 30 cookies. (We *may* have dipped into these before they were all baked!)