Every year I head into the first races of the seasons with high expectations.  Each time I toe the start line, I know I’ve worked harder than ever before.  I know I’ve made gains in technique, fitness, and strength.  Despite this knowledge, every year I cross the first finish line I am left…wanting.  A little disappointed, a little discouraged, and a little bit perplexed.  So, every year I write a blog working my way through the weekend.  Year one: On Starts.  Year two: Finding Finesse.  Given this history, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the opening weekend of races.  They were WAY better than years past (each year at West Yellowstone I’ve cut my eventual result in half- 7th this year instead of 28th in 2014), but still not what I wanted (RE: winning).  This year is a little different because that first race weekend didn’t count for overall domestic points scoring (that happens this weekend), but still a race is a race.  And as a racer I’m generally unhappy when things don’t go to plan.

hart

Year One (28th)

 

unnamed-9-1024x683

Year Two (14th)

unspecified-1

Year Three (7th).  Above photos from Toko Representative Ian Harvey.

So cooling down from the races, I was searching for an analogy.  Being a perennial pancake person (in the ongoing debate of pancakes vs. waffles vs. french toast), I decided that my racing is rather like pancake making.

img_2809

The First (Doggy) Pancake

To anyone who has made pancakes- you know about the first pancake theory.  For no real scientific reason- the pan, the ingredients, and the chef remain the same- that first pancake just doesn’t turn out like the rest.  I tried searching for a scientific explanation, and there just isn’t one.  There are some nonscientific ones HERE, the most succinct coming from KrazyKakeKylie using the source “myself.” You don’t do anything differently, but that first pancake is a little flat, a little burnt (or undercooked), and just not as tasty.  So you make one (and in our household give it to the dog), and then by the next batch things turn around.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

The next batch…with all the goods. RECIPE linked HERE

 

And, no one remembers that first pancake.  The first pancake is heavily (and thankfully) overshadowed by the glorious batches that follow.  I was devastated after the first races last year, but went on to podium for the first time at US Nationals, win my first SuperTour, and race in my first World Cups.  But if I’d given up and assumed that the first pancake would be representative of the following pancakes…well I’d be hungry.

So instead of throwing away the entire batch before I even give it a chance to cook, I’m going to figure out how to make them better.  For one, I should turn up the heat.  I skied technically well last weekend, but (I think) was so focused on skiing well that I ignored the ski really fast part.  Pacing has always been a struggle of mine, and the transition from pavement to snow makes that extra hard (you don’t get a perfect push every time on snow).  Further, you don’t pick different roller skis for different conditions.  I’m immensely thankful for all the new Madshus skis I got this year, but am still figuring out the prime conditions for each and working with Pat to figure out how to best wax them for kick.

Finally, I will head into the next weekend of races with twice as much skiing under my belt.  I decided to stick around Vermont this summer instead of travel for snow, so the learning curve is steep.  Kikkan Randall (who, granted, had a baby last year, making her transition all the more impressive) likened getting back to snow skiing like riding a bike: “It is a bit like riding a bike.  The sensations are all there and I’m used to it, but it’s also new again. But I kind of like that. I really enjoyed working my way to the top and where I was through the 2014 season, and now I have to work my way back. I like that challenge.”

img_2816

Other ways to work through that First Pancake include awesome teammates who will flip batch after batch with you until they come out perfectly. Thanks to Annie Pokorny (who is now on the Sun Valley Team) for capturing Erika and I in the act

I’ll report back on the second batch next week.  Until then it is time to recover from a big week of training and intensity on snow, and get ready for our first Super Tour races of the season- back at West Yellowstone because of (lack of) snow problems in Bozeman.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

And a HUGE thank you to my boyfriend Thomas who drove from Rapid City, South Dakota to be our assistant wax tech this week (and my number one fan).

 

September has been an exceptionally busy month.  It is the time of year I love most- the leaves are changing, the air is crisping (as well as the apples and oats in my oven), and training takes on a new level of intensity (both figuratively and literally).  Looking at my training plan, I only have to click twice (TWICE!) to get to the sheet with “Travel to Snow” in the comments section.  So while I’m still clicking into roller skis and having pole tips slipping on pavement, I’m feeling almost giddy with anticipation.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this year Pat and I decided to structure my training a little differently, with the summer months touching volume and threshold, and only in September would I introduce some speed and race pace efforts.

In addition to the transition in training, I’ve been in-transit.  While my teammates were in New Zealand, Pat, Paddy and I explored some new training terrain in Vermont and New Hampshire.  I then tried out a different flavor of East Coast while visiting my brother (and his new baby bull dog) at Yale, and then flew home to Minnesota for a friend/fundraiser.  I’ll be here for the next week, head north to Wisconsin for the Birkie Trail Run, be back in Minnesota for a few days, and then start heading West.  I’ll stop in Rapid City to visit Thomas at his new job, and then make my way out to Park City for the annual October (OCTOBER!) camp.

With all this transitioning, I figured, what’s one more transition.  I’ve decided to start up a separate food blog-http://enduringeats.com.  Bear with me as I do some website updating, but from now on that is where I’ll be posting recipes.

BUT it is still September (even if there are only four more days left).  Which means two things.  One, the chance to win some Toko gloves, Sauce headwear, and 3FU3L shaker bottles is still alive.  I had a great day at the Powerhouse at Highland on Saturday being on the other side of class (teaching instead of learning), meeting tons of new people and giving everyone a taste of the training I do day in and day out.  If you weren’t able to make it and still want to donate, please head over to my support page.  You can either donate online to my team (make sure to include my name in the memo when prompted), or send a check made out to “Anne Hart” to 9727 Primrose Ave N, Stillwater MN 55082.

Two, I can still post September photos!  I have a fun next week of training planned, and will be capping it off with a marathon relay on Saturday.  Thanks for checking in, and I’ll update again soon.

img_2068

Getting some serious vertical in during an over distance classic workout in New Hampshire

 

img_2043

Running along the Appalachian Trail near Hanover, New Hampshire. This run ended up being 20 miles, and I am constantly reminded how incredibly lucky I am to (1) have a body capable of this and (2) have a job where this is what my day-to-day looks like.

img_2048

The key to staying happy and healthy during big volume blocks? Eating…

img_2031

…and sleeping. We stayed at Paddy’s house in Lyme for the the three day block, and I loved hanging out with his cats.

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

More furry four legged friends! After finishing up the volume block and one more mini three day block, it was time for some serious rest and recovery. I babysat Micco while Thomas made his move out to South Dakota (Micco can join him in November once he hits six months).

img_2098

Finishing out Pat, Paddy, and me camp with some rolling speeds…and YES that is Pat on roller skis.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Henry!

 

fullsizerender-4

September must have been the month of animal friends. Meeting “Pudge” for the first time.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I arrived home just in time to watch Val run a particularly muddy 5K. She lost a shoe, but still did awesome. Thumbs (and shoe) up!

fullsizerender

3FU3L tasting at during my takeover of the Powerhouse. Check out my new food site for a pumpkin spice recipe featuring the vanilla flavor!

img_2202

I’ll do a more complete post on the day of empowerment once the raffle window is over (Friday!), but basically it was five hours of awesome (and five hours of sweat).

img_2178

Back at it in Minnesota!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Head to http://enduringeats.com for the recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas just headed out to Rapid City, South Dakota to begin his job as a trust advisor for the Concord Trust Company. I’m so proud of him, but also South Dakota is far away. This is a bummer for two reasons. One, he’s no longer just a 2 hour drive from Stratton. Two, he is currently in the middle of Ohio driving across the country (it’s a 30 hour drive). I’ve always been one to deal with stress through cooking, so I went on the hunt for a recipe that would alleviate some sadness through slight sweetness, and be portable so Thomas could have some high quality road snacks…and avoid expired Twinkies from 7/11.

The other constraint I was dealing with was time. I decided to make him these cookies at the last possible second, so I need a 20 minute miracle. And I needed to have everything I needed already in the cupboard.  I had tahini and honey and almond flour, and when I typed these into the Google machine, came across a very simple yet highly rated recipe from Food and Wine. I didn’t modify these at all, although next time I might throw a couple dark chocolate chips in there…because dark chocolate is a cure-all-maladies type of food.

These were meant to last Thomas the whole trip, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t make it past Vermont.


Sesame Tahini Cookies

Food and Wine says it makes 30…mine made more like 20 :)

The Stuff

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup tahini

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The how

1. Place sesame seeds in a bowl (you’ll use this for rolling the little cookies in). Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment paper

2. In a medium bowl, mix the almond flour, baking soda, and salt together.

3. In a separate smaller bowl, mix the honey, tahini and vanilla together.

4. Create a small well in the dry ingredients, and pour the wet mixture into the center. Using a wooden spoon fold together until completely combined.

5. Using your hands, make golf ball sized balls of dough, roll in the sesame seeds,  and gently flatten. Place on cookie sheet and repeat until all the dough has been used.

6. Bake for 8 minutes, switching pans from top to bottom half way through. They should be  just turning golden brown on the bottom.

7. Let cool completely, and in my case put in a ziplock Baggie for travel food!

I have a new restaurant on my ever growing bucket list. After watching the Netflix Documentary series “Chef’s Table,” in which the luckiest people in the world interview and follow and film the world’s most creative, elegant, and talented chefs, I’ve decided I need to get myself to Blue Hill in New York. Head chef Dan Barber essentially founded the Farm-to-Table restaurant movement. Originating from his desire to combine environmentally sustainable practices, nutritiously beneficial food, moral social practices and of course taste, he has become world renowned for the subtle complexities on display at his restaurant. At the most basic level, he wants every ingredient on his plates to have a sense of self worth and integrity.  As Chef Barber sees it, a single radish prepared well should be just as impressive as the 24 day aged steak. He finds meaning in simplicity. But for this to work, he has to start with the best ingredients.

With that in mind, I wanted to figure out the best way to showcase the local food star of September: the apple. I wanted to give it the attention it deserves, without losing its essential “apple-ness.” And that’s the trick with food- mixing and matching flavors without losing the essence of any individual ingredient. Every ingredient has a purpose.

I like fruit crisps, but in my mind the apple plays second fiddle to the topping (because butter is a hard flavor to compete with). So I decided to do an inside out crisp of sorts- hollow out an apple, and stuff it with just a tiny bit of a crisp like topping. Then throw that in the oven so the apple can release its natural sweetness, add some creamy yogurt and some crunchy toasted hazelnuts…and the rest is history.

Pre-cooking, post-stuffing


Baked Breakfast Apple

The stuff

1 local as good as you can find Apple

1 tablespoon rolled oats

2 teaspoons quinoa (I used tri-colored)

1 teaspoon dried cranberries (fruit sweetened if possible!)

1 teaspoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons salted butter (cold and cut into small pieces)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6-8 hazelnuts, toasted

Yogurt for serving

The how

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, prepare your apple. Using a sharp knife, cut a circle in the top. The size will depend on your apple, but for reference my circle was the about the size of my pinky finger. You want to have a big enough hole for the filling, but not so big you lose the apple! Also be sure not to cut through to the bottom! I found it helped to use the knife initially, and then use a spoon to take out the rest.

2. Prepare your filling. Combine the oats, quinoa, cranberries, syrup, and cinnamon. Then using your fingers, work the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse sand.

3. Stuff all of the filling into your apple. Place your apple in a dish that is just barely bigger than the apple itself. Put a little water in the bottom of the dish (so it covers 1/4-1/3 of your apple). This creates a steaming effect, which gets your apple nice and soft.

4. Bake, uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Total time will depend on the size of your apple, so start checking at 20 minutes. You want it soft to the touch, and the skin starting to separate from the apple itself.

5. Once cooked through, let rest for 5 minutes. Top with yogurt and hazelnuts and a dash more cinnamon, and enjoy! I had mine with two local maple-sage breakfast sausages. A truly harmonious mixture of savory and sweet.

P.S. I’m going to start saving all of my change for a trip to the Blue Hill at Stone Farm restaurant (there is one in the city and one on the farm where the ingredients come from). It might take me awhile, as the full menu costs $238 per person, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity. But once I’ve saved enough money, it will still be 60 days until I can eat there, as that’s how far out one must make reservations. Maybe Chef Barber will read this blog somehow, and invite me there free of charge. Here’s to hoping!

Confession: I usually hate quinoa. In fact, I endearingly call it quino-blah. There really isn’t any flavor in my opinion, so if I’m going to eat it you better believe there are some other things going with it. So when I saw a recipe for a quinoa salad that called for a half bunch of parsley (my favorite herb) I clicked on it. Then I saw it had toasted hazelnuts and apples. So I made it. And it might be the only quinoa salad I make from now on. The quinoa is really just the backup singer to the other ingredients. Toasted hazelnuts are really something special, and as we are now entering apple season, this easy side dish adds a nice fall flair to any meal.


Apple, Hazelnut and Parsley Salad

Serves 3, adapted ever so slightly from Food52.com (a great place to find a variety of tasty recipes)

The stuff

1/2 cup quinoa

1/2 cup hazelnuts (these are expensive little nuts, but in this quantity shouldn’t break the bank. Pecans or walnuts would be tasty too!)

2 teaspoons olive oil 

1 celery stick (finely diced)

1/2 small onion (finely diced)

3 scallions (only the green parts), chopped

1/2 bunch fresh parsley (finely chopped)

1/3 cup dried cranberries (find some that are naturally sweetened with apple juice if you can! These taste so much better than craisins, but craisins will do in a pinch).

Juice from one lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste 

The How

1. Make your quinoa. Bring a pinch of salt and one cup of water to a boil. Add your 1/2 cup quinoa, reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Fluff, and then place in the fridge to cool.

2. Toast your hazelnuts. Preheat your oven to 325, and bake hazelnuts for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool (you’ll hear the skins crackle!). Once cooled remove skins (they should just pop right off), and chop these ever so slightly (you still want big pieces!)

3. While the hazelnuts and quinoa are cooling, heat your olive oil in a skillet. Once hot sauté the celery and the onion (along with some salt) until softened, 6-8 minutes. Place into a medium sized mixing bowl.

4. Mix the parsley and scallions into the onion-celery mix. Then add your cooled quinoa, hazelnuts, and dried cranberries to the mix. Give it all a stir. At this point you can core and chop your apple (don’t do this ahead of time or you will get a brown apple). Put your chopped apple onto the top of the salad, and pour your lemon juice on top of that (this prevents browning). Give everything another mix, add salt and pepper as you please, and let sit for 20-30 minutes before serving! These 30 minutes are a great time to prep the rest of your meal- for me shredding chicken and roasting asparagus!

This will keep for up to 3 days in your fridge, and is easily doubled to serve a larger crowd.

I feel like I am pretty good at covering all of my nutritious food bases throughout a day. I eat a wide variety of dishes, eat until I’m full, and then eat again an hour later. But around this time of year- without fail- I go through salad burn out. With all of the amazing fresh and local salad ingredients, for the months of June and July I pretty much don’t go a day without some kind of leafy green side dish.

Don’t get me wrong- I still love vegetables. But I stop wanting them chopped up and mixed on top of a bed of greens. So I get conflicted- I know I need the vegetables, but need a new way to consume them.

So I add bacon.  I skip the leafy green stuff and get straight to the goods. I make this 10 minute broccoli bacon salad. It covers all the bases both nutritionally, texturally, and taste bud-y. Walnuts for crunch and some healthy fats, raisins for sweetness, bacon for goodness, and broccoli and red onion for nutritious-ness. And of course my go-to Greek yogurt for some creaminess, and local honey to fight the allergies. I’ll be eating this on repeat (or for at least two more lunches, the recipe serves three of me).

The What

2 broccoli heads, cut into bite size florets

1/2 small red onion

Handful (my very precise unit of measurement) chopped walnuts

Handful raisins

6 pieces cooked bacon, chopped

1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Salt and Pepper to taste

The How

Literally so easy. Put the broccoli, onion, walnuts, raisins and bacon into a medium sized mixing bowl. Combine the yogurt, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a small dish. Pour over the dry goods and mix completely. Serve right then, or put in a Tupperware. This kind of dish tastes just as good (if not better) after a day or two in the fridge.

Two more kitchen highlights:

Real sourdough bread. Just flour and sourdough starter. I’m so pleased (and a little surprised) that it turned out so well!

Chicken legs that I cooked under a brick (yes, a brick) with brown rice and ine of the aforementioned salads I’m a little burnt out on.

Check back next week for some homemade Graham crackers I’m perfecting, and an energy ball recipe I’m working on for the Birkie foundation!

Few things excite me more than a new cookbook. Especially as a present. Especially when that cookbook is a goldmine for new recipes. So when Thomas presented me with Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbook, I was out of this world excited. I immediately cozied up on the couch, and read the book from cover to cover. 

A few things became immediately clear. One, Chrissy is my soul celebrity.   She appreciates food in a way few do, viewing the whole cooking and eating process as a healing, at times almost religious, ritual. Two, the woman isn’t afraid to indulge, even though she is a swimsuit model.  She understands the balance between primarily healthy eating, while not restricting yourself from some of life’s greatest pleasures (hot dogs). Three, I have to make every recipe in the book.

The biggest stressor with every new cookbook is where to start.  When every recipe looks like a winner, you just have to drop the book and see where it opens.  I also get quite excited for a good bowl of pasta, and with an upcoming volume week in training I figured I might as well kick off the week with carbs. I used some Vermont Fresh pasta for this recipe, because I can’t go back to boxed fettuccini.  I modified this recipe to last me two meals, and doubled the chicken because protein.

   

  Sesame Chicken Noodles

Serves 2 

Adapted from Chrissy Teigen’s book Cravings: Recipes for all the food you want to eat

The stuff

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (preferably 2 8 ounce breasts)

6 ounces pasta of choice (but long noodles are a must)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoons tahini

1.5 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or red if that’s what you have!)

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

2 scallions

The how

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add a generous amount of salt.  Add the chicken breasts, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from water, but save the water for your pasta! Shred with two forks (or your hands)
  2. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients (except the scallions) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Bring the chicken water back to a boil, and add your pasta. Cook according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and dry to the best of your ability with paper towels.
  4. Add chicken and cooled pasta to your sauce bowl and toss until well coated. Dole out your individual servings (for me that was one for now and one for tomorrow!) and garnish with scallions.
  5. Take a pretty picture, because this baby is worth it.

One other quick pasta recipe (no picture, but still delicious)

Serves one

The stuff

3 ounces pasta (I used the ancient grains pasta!)

4 ounces Italian chicken sausage (or pork or turkey)

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

Handful cherry tomatoes

1 zucchini

1/2 a medium onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

The How

1. Preheat your oven to 375. Halve your cherry tomatoes, and using a mandolin or very sharp knife slice your zucchini and onion into very thin slices. Toss with olive oil, put on baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a cast iron skillet and cook your Italian sausage.

3. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.

4. Toss your vegetables, sausage, and pasta into a bowl with Greek yogurt, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

…And one other dish you definitely need to give a try. This salmon comes together in a real life 15 minutes, ideal for a busy weeknight when you want to be an Instagram worthy gourmet.

 

The easiest and tastiest salmon from the NYT cooking section, with brown rice and fresh green beans! http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/5703-salmon-roasted-in-butter

 

  

When I go to bed at night, I usually fall asleep thinking about what I’m going to be making for breakfast the next day.  In fact sometimes I can’t wait to fall asleep, because I’m so excited about what I’ll be cooking up in just nine short hours.  Further, breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day.  You can go so many directions- even toast can be spruced up to suit savory or sweet hankerings (or both at the same time).  The endless cooking options for eggs is liberating, and anything with greek yogurt in it is an instant favorite.  If I could, I’d eat breakfast every single meal of the day.

USST Roller Ski 6.30.16-2657-XL

Listening to Pat or figuring out tomorrow morning’s breakfast? You decide. Reese Brown/ SIA Nordic Photo.

 

The only unfortunate thing with breakfast is it is typically the meal right before training.  So as much as I love a big, hearty, can’t-eat-till-dinner type dish, I’ve been forced to find breakfast meals that simultaneously fill me up but leave me feeling ready to tackle anything from threshold intervals to three hour runs.  I’ve taken particular care to make my breakfasts photogenic this week to provide you with some nutritious and delicious waking-with-the-sun bowls and plates.  I’ll include a recipe for some high protein pancakes, a sweet and savory toast combo, and the best steel cut oat bowl I’ve ever had.

13535950_10157120419220323_1752047970_n

High protein pancakes, my pre 2 hour specific strength breakfast.

 

The Ingredients

1/2 ripe banana

1/4 cup greek yogurt

1 egg + 1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons almond flour

2 tablespoons coconut flour (makes these nice and thick- for thinner pancakes substitute another flour!)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

dash of salt

The How

1. Put all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth (45-60 seconds)

2. Heat a non-stick medium sized skillet over medium heat

3. Once hot grease skillet (butter is my go-to), and use a 1/4 cup measure to make your cakes.  Cook for 3-4 minutes a side (until golden).  To add fruit, once you’ve put the pancakes on the skillet add a small handful to each cake.  I like this better than stirring the fruit into the batter.

4. Top with all of your favorite toppings- I love more greek yogurt, berries, granola, nut butter…bacon (try it with bacon and blueberries-delicious!).

13565619_10157137424580323_601913927_n

Sweet and Savory toast.  This was my recovery day breakfast.  I’m currently wrapping up a recovery week after a big June of training, so all I had on tap for that day was a 45 minute ski with mobility and yoga after.  Even though it is a recovery day doesn’t mean you can get away without breakfast!

The Ingredients

2 pieces high quality wheat bread (I made my own using a sourdough starter)

2 eggs (preferably local to get that bright orange yolk!)

Your favorite cheese (I’m not normally a big cheese with eggs person, but Jessie recently returned from Norway bringing me back my all time favorite- Norwegian brown cheese- the best!)

1 tablespoon of your favorite nut-butter

1 fig

Cinnamon, shredded unsweetened coconut, honey (optional)

 

The How

First roast your figs.  Pre-heat your oven to its broiler setting.  Slice one fig into thin pieces, and lay out onto a baking sheet (I covered my sheet with a small piece of parchment paper to minimize clean up).  Drizzle with honey, and place in oven for 5 (ish) minutes.  The timing depends a lot on your own specific oven, so check often.  You don’t want them to burn, but you want them to get some color and really bring out the earthy fig flavor.

While the oven is pre-heating, make your hard-boiled eggs. There are a lot of different methods, but I like to place two eggs in a medium sauce pan, and fill with cold water to completely cover the eggs by 1-2 inches.  Bring water and eggs to a boil, and once the boil is really rolling remove from heat and cover.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, rinse with cold water and peel.  Slice each egg into 4-5 pieces.

Once you have your eggs peeled and your figs roasted, toast your bread.  On one slice slather on your favorite nut butter and top with roasted figs, shredded unsweetened coconut and some cinnamon.  On the other put on a thin layer of your cheese, put eggs on top, then salt and pepper to taste.

13579032_10157137424575323_1720139842_n

Best ever steel cut oats bowl. I used this as fuel for a three hour run along the Vermont Appalachian Trail!  I prefer the texture of steel cut oats to rolled oats, but obviously either would work for this purpose!

 

The Ingredients

1/4 cup steel cut oats

1 cup nut milk (I’ve been making my own but without the dates or vanilla!)

1 cup greek yogurt

Local fruit

Your favorite nut-butter

Cinnamon, shredded unsweetened coconut, chia seeds (other fun toppings!)

The How

1. Bring the nut milk to a boil in a small sauce pan.  Once boiling add your steel cut oats, stir, cover, and bring down to a simmer.  Cook until all the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. **I like to double or even triple this single serving recipe of oats so I have some already to go for coming mornings**

2. Put cooked oats in a bowl. Spoon yogurt on top, and on top of that put your favorite fruits and nut butter.

And that’s it!  Super easy, but quick, filling, and most of all delicious :)

 

I’m currently drowning in sweat (and seltzer) on this very hot rest day.  It is the first day of Summer, so it seems fitting to be running around the house in nothing but a sports bra and shorts, getting myself all ready for the upcoming week of training.  When I first began this adventure as a full time ski racer, I thought I would have nothing but time.  In fact I was worried about being bored.  Boy was I wrong.

Between two training sessions a day (each lasting about two hours of actual activity, plus about on hour of transit), fundraising (the intensity depends on the time of year), resting for training, eating, and of course sleeping, I find I almost don’t have enough time in the day.  So when our “rest” day comes around, I often have a “to-do” list that spans two days on my planner.

With all of this bustling I do on Mondays, I often find it easier to make easy fuel to both help me recover from our typical Sunday Over Distance workouts, prepare me for the upcoming week of training, and on this particular day cool me off.  Enter smoothies.

Smoothies are a quintessential non-recipe food.  It’s pretty hard to mess up a smoothie as long as you use high quality, complementary (and complimentary if you’re having a bad day :)), and fresh ingredients.  I designed this particular smoothie for my brother, Henry.  Henry is maybe the only person I know who could mess up a smoothie, so before I left Minnesota for Vermont I wrote him down a very exact recipe.  It has been a hit.  Henry- a self-proclaimed-not-hungry-for-breakfast-person- has made this every morning.  It is easy, portable, and delicious.  Packed with protein from Greek yogurt, healthy carbohydrates (trying to get Henry off of bagel-bites) from strawberries and bananas, and a good dose of fat from nut butter, ensures this smoothie’s spot on the top of Henry’s list.

13515247_10157092275755323_194115671_n

I asked Henry to send me a picture of his creation, and he sent me some with the reminder that he isn’t a “food picture expert.” I think he did pretty well. Looks better than bagel bites, isn’t that right Henry?!

 

Give it a whirl (pun fully intended).

Henry’s Breakfast Smoothie

Banana chopped into 6 pieces

8-10 frozen strawberries (much cheaper than fresh strawberries)

1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (Fage 2% is my personal favorite)

1/4 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

2 Tablespoons Nutbutter

Put all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth (so easy).

13480290_10157092309255323_1489100733_n

Henry’s very precise recipe card.  I think I’m the best big sister ever!

 

 

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Toko drink belts are the perfect vessel to carry one (or a couple) of these bars on longer efforts!

Before big group workouts (regardless of length), Coach Sverre gathers the group together and doles out instructions.  Today we had a brand new running route on tap, so the pre workout meeting involved a lot of directions, homemade maps, reminders to stay as a group, and even more reminders not to twist any ankles.  In addition, today Sverre gave us exact instructions on fueling during the run.  One of the most important aspects of training is eating, especially on longer runs where the potential for bonking, hungriness (hanger-ness), and subsequent unhappiness runs rampant.  So instead of just reminding people to fuel during the two and a half hour effort, Sverre gave specific locations where we were to eat our bars (even specifying how much of a bar to eat).  And it worked!  Everyone stopped as a group to drink some water and eat their bars, no one bonked, no one fell, and no one got lost.  I think Sverre is on to something.

I know that fueling is important, but one of my biggest problems is I don’t love a lot of the bars out there.  And because I love cooking, I figured I could engineer myself something I like and easily bring with me on a training session.  After a couple “recipes” (basically me going through drawers, throwing things into a bowl, and mixing them around), I landed on my favorite so far.  I think I’ll keep experimenting, but now that I have a solid baseline I can’t wait to try different add-ins.  These bars have all the macronutrients and good stuff to keep you rolling (or running, rowing, biking…you get the idea).  And, they make a great snack even if you aren’t in the middle of a workout.  I’ve learned that it is still possible to bonk just walking around the grocery store.  Beat the bonk, have a bar.

Homemade Bars

Makes 12

 2 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats

4 Scoops Protein Powder (I used 4 scoops of Progenex Belgian Chocolate More Muscle,but your favorite will work too)

3/4 Figs, Chopped

1/2 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter (I prefer salted!)

1/2 Cup Honey

1/4 Cup Almond Milk

1. Mix all ingredients together in bowl until a big ball has formed (I used my hands)

2. Line a 9 by 13 inch baking sheet with wax paper, and smash mixture until it fills up the tray

3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour

4. Cut into 12 pieces, and either keep them in the pan or wrap individually for an easy on the go snack.

And that’s really everything!  Super easy.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Even energy bars can look artsy with the right light and filter.