Almond Coconut Cookies

Although it’s been a rocky road with injury, it looks like I will be running a half marathon in exactly 10 days. This morning I did my last long(ish) run.

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11 miles in 1:47 – an average of 9:45 pace. I’d like to be faster, but I know that I’ve taken a lot of time off and have hardly trained, so I’m not too disappointed. We’ll see how the race goes! For my runs of over an hour, I’ve been using this bad boy:

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All of my clothing seems to turn into horrible chafing weapons, but this body glide has really helped a lot. I just need to remember to put it EVERYWHERE. For example, my ankle got chafed on my last run:

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My ankle?!?! I need to wear longer socks I guess. After my run I was super hungry for breakfast, so I put together some egg beaters with mushrooms and spinach, two slices of wheat bread with hummus, and a few strawberries:

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A very satisfying and filling post-run meal!

And now…what you’ve all been waiting for…COOKIES! As I mentioned yesterday, I bought some almond flour at the store last week and am trying to find good ways to use it up. Obviously, one pathway was to make cookies. I found a recipe for grain-free kitchen sink cookies at Fast Paleo and decided to give it a try. I modified their version slightly, here’s my take on it:

Combine 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut with 2/3 cup almond flour with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon:

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Mix it all together:

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Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup maple syrup, 3 tablespoons walnut butter, 1.5 teaspoons vanilla, and 2 tablespoons coconut oil:

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Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. Then, add the chocolate chips:

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Form into small balls on a cookie sheet:

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And cook at 350° for 13 minutes:

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Enjoy with a nice glass of milk:

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🙂

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Muscle Massage and Everest on Grand

This is my new best friend, Mr. Shark:

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Mr. Shark was given to me by my physical therapist. It works like this:
1) Butter up your IT band, hamstring, knee, (problem area of your choice) with baby oil
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You could also use cocoa butter or any other sort of lubricant that won’t absorb.

2) Rub Mr. Shark down the length of the muscle you are focusing on, applying enough pressure that you can feel where the sore areas are.

3) When you feel one of the said sore areas, focus on it by applying moving pressure multiple times.

4) Marvel at how much better that sore spot feels the next day.

Seriously, Mr. Shark is a wonder tool. I ran 9 miles on Tuesday as part of my last-ditch effort to still try to run a half-marathon I’m registered for at the end of April. My hamstring was really bothering me after the run and throughout the day. I used Mr. Shark that night, and immediately afterwards my hammie felt better. It was incredible!

In other news….
I finally tried a restaurant in St. Paul that I’ve been meaning to get to for literally months. I went to Everest on Grand, a Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian restaurant. Several months ago, I had a friend tell me that they had a good lunch buffet, and I’d been interested to try it for myself since then.

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The restaurant was a lot smaller than I was imagining. There was one room with about 12 tables or so, and the buffet was served on two carts:

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One of the carts had hot food and the other was a salad bar. Here’s a close up of the hot food:

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There were a few vegetarian dishes, one type of bread, basmati rise, one goat dish, and one chicken dish. On my plate, I had a sampling of the vegetable dishes, some rice, and some chicken. Afterwards I had a few bites of kheer:

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The food was fairly spicy and my stomach was not the most appreciative after. I’m glad I finally can cross this restaurant off of my ‘go to’ list, but it sort of reminded me about my love-hate relationship with Indian food. I don’t think I actually like it that much. Weirdly, every several months I get an Indian food craving and really want it, but then when I eat it, I remember why I don’t like it very much.

Next time I want to go to Indian, someone remind me that I don’t really like it, okay? Thanks. 🙂

Speaking of love-hate foods…I have that same relationship with cinnamon rolls. Do you have any love-hate foods?

Breakfast in Jars and a Public Declaration

For the last two days, I’ve been experimenting with oats in a jar variations to make – more simply – breakfast in a jar.

Yesterday: Last bits of Hell’s Kitchen peanut butter plus granola, ricotta, and almond milk, soaked overnight. Sprinkled with cinnamon in the morning.

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Today’s breakfast: last bits of raspberry jam plus granola, ricotta, cashew butter, and almond milk, soaked overnight and sprinkled with cinnamon in the morning. Apple on the side.

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Obviously, I am the type of person who – after liking something – wants it again! ‘Breakfast in jars’ is a winner for me right now, and you should do it too! Benefits of breakfast in jars include:

1. You don’t waste any of the last bits of jam/nut butter/(fill in the contents of your favorite jar).
2. Granola, oats, nuts, and dried fruit all taste amazing after being soaked in milky deliciousness overnight.
3. It is beautiful! I love seeing the yummy swirls through the jar’s glass in the morning.
4. It’s something to look forward to when you finish a jar off – besides scraping the insides in an attempt to get it in recyclable condition, that is.

Moral of the story – if you make breakfast in a jar, you will be happy.

In other news…I have a public declaration to make.

I will be taking a one week hiatus from running.

I needed to put that out on the blogosphere to keep myself accountable. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have been having some knee/IT band/hamstring/weak butt issues for the last several months. I’ve gone to the doc, been doing physical therapy, tried new shoes, and more new shoes.

Unfortunately, the issues still persist, and every time I try to add mileage back in things start to flare up again. I’ve decided that what I might need is some actual rest from running, rather than just ‘taking it easy.‘ I know it will be hard to stick to my guns on this one, but I’m committing to doing only low-impact activities for the next week. Give me your support!

Do you have any suggestions on good stress-relieving but still low-impact cardio? If you do, please share in the comments section!