Weekend inspiration 

Happy Sunday!

I hope you are having a good weekend. Our Saturday was busy. It started with a speedy long run (I managed 8:15’s for the 5mi uphill stretch).

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Then, we went out for an amazing brunch.

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We checked out the local honeybee festival.

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Then we rested with the puppy and cooked an awesome dinner,complete with dessert.

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I’ll post the recipe for these ice cream sandwiches later in the week.

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A post dinner walk was very necessary, and we just barely beat a crazy thunderstorm.

Sunday=rest+bbq around here. Enjoy!

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Happy National Running Day!

Why do you run?

For me, its the beautiful moments that keep me running…watching the sun rise over Utah mountains, exploring a new city, or hitting the trails somewhere truly exotic.

Even on my every day runs, I manage to find something beautiful that keeps me going…


…that, and the wonderful, healthy, fit feeling that I get when I finish my daily run, or the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a tough race.

Why do you run?

Check out the National Running Day linkup at Runningoutofwine.com

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Breakfast tip: blueberry peach pancakes

This is the summer brunch recipe you have been looking for. These light and fluffy whole grain pancakes are studded with sweet summer peaches and tart blueberries. Try topping them with salted butter and Vermont maple syrup!

You can use your favorite pancake recipe here, and stir in one chopped peach and one cup of blueberries. I also recommend substituting whole wheat flour for most or all of the all-purpose flour, and lowfat buttermilk for regular milk. One trick for whole grain pancakes is to add a a few teaspoons of white vinegar. This helps to keep them fluffy. I also like to let the batter sit for a few minutes prior to frying.

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My little garden

A few years ago when I still lived in Utah, I grew vegetables in containers on my porch. It was so much fun to watch them grow, and to eat them, and I really missed having an outdoor space to grow things in Germany. 

This year I was very excited to plant a variety of funky heirloom tomatoes and peppers. These tomato plants are supposed to yield indigo tomatoes! 

I picked up these tomatillos at a plant sale a few weeks ago…looking good so far!

  Do you have a garden, or are you growing anything interesting this year?

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites

Do you ever need a snack before dinner? I don’t know about you, but by three or four in the afternoon, I am usually ravenous and have trouble concentrating on work without a snack.

I usually like to have a piece of fruit and some nuts or cheese, but lately I have been trying other ideas.

These chocolate peanut butter protein bites are great. They are filling (one of these with a peach or some berries is just enough to hold me over until dinner), and they taste like dessert. In fact, they are almost better than cookies or brownies, because the satisfy the same desire, but it’s quite a bit easier to stop after one.

I followed this recipe with the following modifications:

1. I substituted nonfat Greek yogurt for half of the olive oil.

2. I reduced the sugar by half.

3. I used vanilla whey protein.

4. I excluded the chocolate chips.

5. For the topping, I excluded the coconut oil, and simply mixed peanut butter with one tablespoon of shredded unsweetened coconut and vanilla extract.

Be mindful of these while they are baking. My first batch burned pretty badly in about 12 minutes. For the second batch, I reduced the oven temperature to 325 degrees and baked for the full 15 minutes.

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Running, baking, and life lately…

Happy Tuesday!

I hope that you all had a great long weekend. I certainly enjoyed an extra day off, although I worked most of Saturday and Sunday, and for a few hours on Monday. Despite working, I managed to fit in two long runs and a nice, easy run in between.

Check out the (variable) views from my favorite canyon run on Monday:

And those hills…if you live in Utah, you learn to them pretty quickly! Most of my runs are out and back, which usually involves running up and then back down, or vice versa. Between the hills and some great exercises I’ve gotten from my physical therapist, these legs and glutes are feeling strong!

Of course, I have also been baking some tasty treats to fuel my running, as well as the final push towards my PhD…writing a dissertation is exhausting!

Lately, these peanut butter protein brownie bites are one of my favorite snacks (recipe later this week):

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I made some raw cherry cheesecake bites for a party last weekend, too- those were AMAZING, but I forgot to take a picture.

We’ve been eating lots of veggie stir fries and salads lately. For stir fries, I just pick up whichever veggies look best, and serve with sriracha or sambal oelek, and lots of cilantro and scallions…simple and delicious. My current favorite salad add-ins are mini bell peppers, hot peppers, grape tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and raisins.

And, of course, Memorial Day treats:

Ribs don’t show up on our menu very often, but these were great. And dessert…the strawberry shortcake was amazing! I made the biscuits and the ice cream, and in my opinion, nothing beats homemade ice cream.

It’s pretty nice to be in the US for all of the summer holidays this year. I’ve missed the last three, so this summer is extra exciting.

Finally, when I’m not writing or running, this little guy keeps me busy!

Have a good week!

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Black-bean Beet Burgers

Vibrantly pink, slightly sweet, and hearty, these are a great vegetarian option for your next BBQ.

I have been on a veggie burger kick lately. I like to fill a whole grain wrap with lettuce and chopped veggies and then top it off with a veggie patty before rolling the whole thing up into a messy but delicious lunch.

Frozen veggie burgers are so convenient that I try to keep a box in the freezer at all times. However, when buying frozen veggie burgers you have to be really mindful of the ingredients and nutritional profile, because they are often very high in sodium and quite low in protein. I have found a few brands that I really like, but the sodium content prevents me from eating them every day.

Enter the home-made veggie burger. By making your own, you can customize the ingredients and flavors and control the amount of added salt. This was my first veggie burger experiment, and it went well.

Making these involves a bit of planning, lots of chopping and grating, but not much else. I followed this recipe, but instead of dried mustard I added dijon,  I also added some red pepper flakes for heat, and I omitted the egg. If you want to stock your freezer, I would recommend doubling this recipe. I didn’t pan fry or grill these prior to freezing. After refrigerating the mixture overnight, I formed patties, wrapped them in aluminum foil, and put them in the freezer.

These were a lot of work, but now my freezer is full of ready-to-eat lunches. I’ll just pop one of these in the toaster oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, and voila! Try one topped with melted feta or chevre, and you won’t be disappointed!

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