5 Lessons Learned After 5 Days Off From Running

As I mentioned on the last post, I found out I had a pretty severe Vitamin D deficiency.  The weeks before the blood work I obviously wasn’t aware of it.  I was keenly aware, however, of how tired I was.  I’m not talking about just a “I didn’t get enough sleep” tired.  I was exhausted…drained to my core.  A simple 3-miler felt like a humongous task, even at a 9:30 pace.  I was so fatigued I was having trouble getting out of bed even on the days I wasn’t trying to get up early for my runs.  The Monday my daughter started Spring Break I said enough was enough.  I had already taken my rest day Sunday but I just couldn’t bring myself to run.  I decided to take a break.  I figured maybe I had overworked myself at some point and therefore I wasn’t recovering well.  Now I know what may have been the culprit.  However, during that break I learned a few things about myself:

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Oatmeal Raisin “Cookies”

My daughter loves bananas. As a result, I buy a ton of them…usually more than we can eat before they go bad. I hate seeing things go to waste so I’m always looking for good ways to use bananas. Here is one of my favorite recipes.

Ingredients
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-2 ripe bananas
-½ cup quick oats
-½ cup instant oatmeal (cinnamon & spice or raisin & spice)
-¾ tsp sugar
-Pinch of salt
-¼ tsp butter
-¼ cup raisins

Prep
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1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Mash bananas and mix with oats, sugar, salt, butter, and raisins
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I mashed and combined everything with my hands. It made mixing a lot easier

2. Grease a cookie sheet. On the sheet, drop a dollop of the mixture and shape into a cookie.
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I had a lot of bananas so I had a ton of baking pans I had to use.

3. Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes. Flip cookies and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

4. Allow cookies to cool and enjoy!
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These were ridiculously easy to make and a real crowd pleaser. Even my non-health nut husband loved them. They’re definitely a win for semi healthy snacks =)

Vegan Pumpkin Quinoa Stuffed Apples

I love fall.  It’s the time of year when some of the best fruits and vegetables are available.  I read this recipe from Undressed Skeleton and decided to give it a whirl.

Ingredients

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  • 2 apples (I used Granny Smith ones)
  • ½ vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup quinoa (cooked)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Agave necter
  • Olive oil
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Sugar/Cinnamon sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350

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Core the apples.  This was the tough part for me as I don’t have a corer.  I used a paring knife and a spoon to get the core out

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Place the apples on a pan (I used a small loaf pan)  Place cinnamon sticks in the center and drizzle the apples with olive oil and agave nectar.Scatter some walnuts on the pan.  They will toast as the apples bake.  Place the pan in the oven and bake for 26 minutes

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Prepare the quinoa as instructed on the box.  Once cooked, stir in pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, a few dashes of cinnamon, a bit of agave nectar, and sugar or cinnamon sugar to taste.
Once the apples are done baking, place them on a separate plate and mix the walnuts around on the pan.  Place the pan back in the oven for 5 minutes

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Fill the apples with the quinoa.  Remove the walnuts from the oven and top the apples with them.  Sprinkle agave nectar and cinnamon/cinnamon sugar on top.

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Enjoy!

They tasted great and they made the house smell like fall.  Again, credit goes to Undressed Skeleton for this great, fairly quick recipe.

TGIDF – Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Sorry I’ve been so MIA lately.  Like I said before, I was hospitalized about 2 weeks ago and I’ve been running around getting paperwork completed.  Anywho, here’s this week’s vegan dessert recipe.

Ingredients:

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  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups oats (I used old fashioned oats since that’s all I had on hand)
  • 1/3 cup applesauce (I used regular cinnamon applesauce since these were for my husband)
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350.
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  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well (I used a hand-held electric mixer).
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  • Prepare cookie sheets with coconut oil or other non-stick vegan substitute (vegan butter works great)
  • Spoon out mix onto cookie sheets.  Pat each cookie down slightly into “patty” shape.
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  • Bake for 15-20 minutes (18 was enough for me).  Pull out of the oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet or cooling rack.
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  • Enjoy!

I think they turned out pretty well.  I found it a bit odd that my husband requested this (He’s the epitome of anti-vegan, lol).  However, they were easy to make and didn’t take more than 30 minutes to make from start to finish.  They’re definitely great for that sudden urge to bake something (I get those urges a lot….thus I made brownies the other night at 8 PM, lol).

TGIDF – Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

Who doesn’t love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?  There’s something about the salty peanut butter mixing with the sweet chocolate that makes them so tasty.  I wanted to be able to have some while still keeping it vegan so I set out to make some

Ingredients (yields 4-6 cups):

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  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (either dark or regular cocoa)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tbsp light agave nectar
  • 4 tbsp PB2 powdered peanut butter

Directions:

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  • Mix coconut oil, cocoa powder, and agave nectar until you get a nice, smooth mixture
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  • Prepare PB2 in a separate bowl as directed on the bottle, adjusting to get the desired thickness you want (I used about 2 tbsp per water for 4 tbsp PB2)
  • Line a muffin tray with cupcake cups.  Put a thin layer of the chocolate in each cup.
  • Dab the desired amount of peanut butter in each cup.  Cover the peanut butter with more chocolate.
  • Place the tray in the fridge and allow for it to cool for an hour or overnight.
  • Pop each cup out of the tray and enjoy!.  Place cups you don’t finish in a tupperware and store in the fridge.

These came out might fine =).  I did go slightly overboard with the chocolate so they came out very fudge-like.  I needed to chase one with a cup of milk it was so creamy and rich.  I couldn’t eat more than one, lol. 

I think making my own chocolate may be my new hobby =).