Monthly Archives: October 2013

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

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It’s not October without pumpkin spice coffee. Here’s a quick and easy way to make it at home without the added chemicals that flavored coffees normally have. I make my coffee in a melitta cone or a french press but this will work with your machine as well. My instructions are for a single serving made in a melitta cone.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

You’ll need:

  • 2 tbs ground coffee
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • hot water
  • milk (optional)
  • honey (optional)

1. Measure out 2 tablespoons of coffee into the cone.

2. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (you can either make it at home by blending spices or buy it in the store. To make it at home just google “how to make your own pumpkin pie spice”. This will save you boatloads of money. Stir so that coffee and spice is blended.

3. Pour almost boiling water from your tea kettle into the cone in a circular motion. Repeat until coffee cup is filled with coffee.

4. Add a splash of whole milk and honey for extra deliciousness!

Green Smoothie Recipe

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This is what drinking a smoothie looks like in October. A few days ago I had a bunch of leftover kale from making sausage kale soup and even though it’s freezing outside now, I decided it would be a good day to have a green smoothie. In the summer I have this smoothie ALL THE TIME after I run or bike. It’s really more of a green smoothie in disguise. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t think kale tastes all that great. I love how I can throw a bunch of kale in this smoothie and hide the taste with bananas and mangoes and still get all the nutritional benefits. Give it a try!

Green Smoothie

You’ll need:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or apple cider (I like to use orange juice)
  • 1 handful of kale
  • 1 handful of baby spinach

Put banana, mango, kale, and spinach in a blender and add about 1/2 cup of juice. Blend. You may have to adjust the amount of juice and add more. Serve and enjoy!!!

Variation: Add a nectarine. If you add a nectarine you won’t need as much juice. I LOVE the nectarine in the smoothie but I hardly ever have them around so it doesn’t happen very often. Let me know what you think!

 

Spinning Playlist

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Yesterday marked the one week anniversary of me teaching spin classes at the Body Architect. (Any excuse to celebrate, right??) So far it’s been a blast! I got certified about a month ago through maddog athletics at a sports club down in Manchester. I spent 9 hours sitting in a classroom and on a bike learning all about spinning then I took a test online a few days later and was officially certified! I was hoping the certification class would cover more on class design but sadly there was only about an hour. Most of the day was spent learning how to ride the spin bike and things like that. Not terribly helpful if you’ve been doing it already for 10 years… Oh well. That part’s over and now it’s all fun! I am always blown away by how hard the members work in my classes and the positive energy they bring to the workout. I’m also amazed by how many people have been crawling out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to make it to my 6:15 a.m. spins. Thanks for being so awesome! You make my job easy!

Here’s the playlist for my interval extravaganza tonight! Enjoy!

Lissie – Go Your Own Way
Imagine Dragons – It’s Time
Grouplove – Ways To Go
Pitbull – Give Me Everything
Scissor Sisters – Only The Horses
Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
Zedd – Clarity
Flo Rida – I Cry
One Direction – Kiss You
The Goo Goo Dolls – More Of You
Ellie Goulding – Goodness Gracious
Imagine Dragons – Demons – Live London Sessions
*Photo courtesy of  Courtney Elizabeth Photography

 

Sports Watch Review

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Thinking about buying a new watch to enhance your training? With all the different types of watches and brands out there it can be hard to figure out what you really need. These are the three watches that I own and I love all of them for different reasons.

1. The Garmin Forerunner 10

This is probably my all around favorite watch and the one that I use the most. Since I spend a lot of time running, skiing, and biking the data from this watch is great and it’s fun to see my progress. The features I use the most are the time and distance features. It does a lot of other things but I care most about how far and how fast I go so I tend not to use them. You can hook your watch up to the computer (you need to do this to charge it) and log on to Garmin’s website and all of your activities from your watch will upload onto a calendar. What an easy way to keep a training log! You will also be able to see a map of your route. The downside to this watch is that the charge only lasts around 5 hours (not awesome if you’re doing a long hike or bike or anything over 5 hours). I’d recommend this watch for anyone whose training is primarily outside (runners, bikers, nordic skiers, walkers…). While some Garmin watches are crazy expensive, the price is right on this one at $129.99!

2. Timex Ironman Triathlon

This is pretty much your traditional sports watch. It doesn’t do a whole lot but I like it for the stop watch feature. It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s basic. This is my go-to watch when I forgot to charge my Garmin. I’d recommend this watch for someone that is looking for a watch just to keep track of how long they’re doing their activity. It’s also good for the gym if you’re doing circuits or something that requires you to do an exercise for a certain period of time. You can find them pretty much anywhere (Target, etc.) and they’re pretty inexpensive. The website says it sells for $53 but I’m pretty sure I got mine for less. Also, your Iphone is a good stop watch too, so maybe you don’t need this watch after all 😉

3. Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor

This watch is pretty much only good for it’s heart rate monitor feature. It says it has a stop watch, etc. etc., but I’ve found that it’s best feature is really just the heart rate. It comes with the watch and a sensor strap that you wear around your chest while you exercise. It’s helpful for keeping track of which energy zone you’re working in based on your heart rate. I use this watch for spinning because on a spin bike it can be challenging to figure out how hard you’re actually working since most spin bikes have no speedometer/odometer. Heart rate monitors aren’t as expensive as they used to be. I got mine for $75.00 and on the website it sells for $99.00

 

I know what you’re probably wondering why I have three different watches when there is ONE watch that has a GPS feature, a good stop watch, and a heart rate monitor. I happened to get the watches at different times and didn’t realize that right after I got a GPS watch I would need a heart rate monitor. So, if you need GPS, Heart rate and a million other features, by all means go spend $400 on a watch. However, I recommend figuring out  what you really need your watch for and save some money!

 

Trails in Portland- Stroudwater River

One of the many reasons I love living in Portland is because there are so many great trails that I can access so easily from my house. I discovered (or was shown) the Stroudwater River Trail back in high school when it was a particularly bad snow year but the river was frozen and there was a thin layer of snow on top of the river. You know what that means? Yup. Time to skate ski on the river. The trail is relatively flat and winds along the river through the woods. It’s my favorite trail for a nice easy run. With the beautiful fall colors now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy it! Here is the information from Portland Trails on how to access the trail.

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Maple Walnut Applesauce

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It’s no secret that I love to bake. With all the excess apples in my house I had about a million ideas of things I could make. Pie, apple crisp, apple cinnamon muffins… the list could go on forever. Instead I decided to make a treat on the healthier side: maple walnut applesauce. The idea came to me when I was deciding what I could sweeten my applesauce with that wasn’t processed sugar. Maple syrup took the win and this delicious concoction was born. Enjoy!

Maple Walnut Applesauce

You’ll need:

  • about 10 medium-sized apples
  • ginger
  • cloves
  • nutmeg
  • allspice
  • cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • ~1/4 cup maple syrup (I used slightly less)

1. Peel and chop your apples into slices and toss them into a sauce pan.

2. Sprinkle some spices over the apples and stir so the apples are all spiced. The spices I used are listed and I used the most of cloves and cinnamon because those are my favorites. 🙂

3. Turn the stove on to medium and add 3/4 cup apple cider. Cover the pan with a lid and let sit for 10 minutes or so.

4. Let the apples cook and check back to stir occasionally. Meanwhile, toast your walnuts in a frying pan over medium heat. Don’t skip this step!

5. Once the apples have cooked long enough to turn into applesauce, mash up the bigger pieces with your spoon and add the walnuts and maple syrup. Start with a little bit of syrup, taste, and add more until you feel that it is sweet enough. You won’t need much, I promise!

6. Make sure you eat some while it’s still warm. 🙂

Paleo Pulled Pork

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Every time I make something in the crockpot I wonder why I don’t do it every night. It’s just like having someone else cook dinner for you! A few months ago I got it in my head that I really wanted to make pulled pork. When I started looking for recipes all I could find were ones that involved putting a piece of meat in the crock pot and covering it with beer and coca cola. I’m not trying to say it wouldn’t be good- but it certainly wasn’t the way I wanted to cook my pulled pork. I found this recipe on pinterest for Paleo pulled pork and it has been my go to recipe ever since. It is SO easy and delicious. You have to try it! If you read the comments a woman said something about letting the meat soak in the juice after you shred it. Make sure you do that! Also, don’t put regular paprika in instead of smoked paprika. The smoked paprika is probably what makes this dish so good! The first time I made this I skimped on the smoked paprika when I found out it was 6 bucks at the grocery store. Buy it. It’s worth it. I had my pulled pork over a bed of crunchy romaine lettuce and it was absolutely perfect. Enjoy!

A Fall Weekend in Maine

What a perfect fall weekend! This past weekend we traveled up to Orono, Maine to visit with Angus’ family and to do a mountain bike race. What a fantastic time! On Saturday we spent the day relaxing by going apple picking, to a local winery, and took a walk on the Bangor Bog Boardwalk. On Sunday we did the Orono Woods Ramble mountain bike race and had such a fun time! I had not done a mountain bike race in three years and it was the perfect day for it. Dry trails and sunny skies. There were a few women there but none of them wanted to do the two lap course besides me so I got to race against a bunch of dudes and “win” the women’s race. Yahoo!

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Hydration Drinks Reviewed

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What’s wrong with water? A lot of things when you’re exercising for prolonged periods of time! When I go for a long bike ride or ski having a hydration drink instead of water is key for a couple of reasons. They (usually) contain sodium and other electrolytes and sugar which are helpful for preventing cramps and for optimal hydration. The sugar also contains calories which are necessary to replace mid-ride to prevent “bonking”. Drinking a drink is much easier than eating something on a bike! I know there are TONS of different hydration drinks out there.  I currently have three of them in my kitchen and decided to write about them today.

Gatorade

Let’s start with the one that everyone knows. Good old Gatorade. Yes, it may be full of all sorts of artificial ingredients but if you’re an endurance athlete you’re going to have a hard time avoiding it all together. It’s at EVERY aid station at races. The last triathlon I did I was SO excited to see gatorade on the run when my calf started cramping. Had a few sips and was good to go!

Pros: Cheap and readily available!

Cons: Artificial ingredients (i.e. red #40 and caramel color) and some people think it’s too sugary. Yes, you can dilute the mix but then you’re also diluting the electrolytes.

Nuun

This one has been around for a while now and you’ve probably heard of it. It comes in a cute little tube with 12 tablets to make your drink. I wanted to like this one, I really did. I bought it when we went to Hawaii not because I was going for long rides but because sitting on the beach all day can dehydrate you as well. 😉 I think that it can best be compared to emergen-c. It was slightly fizzy and lacked any real flavor. When we got home I used it on a bike ride and was super disappointed. I decided to take a look at the ingredients and I discovered the second one on the list was sorbitol, which is an artificial sweetener. Okay, now it makes sense that it tastes weird and has no calories!

Pros: Cool packaging, comes in a variety of flavors, no messy powder when you’re trying to mix your drink on the go, pretty affordable (about 7 bucks for 12 drinks)

Cons: No sugar, tastes weird

Skratch

This drink is MONEY. I love love love it and can’t say enough good things about it. I discovered it about a month ago when my friend and former teammate, Bella, showed it to me before we went out for a ride. I was intrigued from the start. Made with real fruit??? AWESOME! Better yet: it tastes great and WORKS great on long rides. You can buy it in single serve packages or 1lb packages that you scoop into your drink.

Pros: Tastes great, the flavor comes from REAL fruit, convenient.

Cons: Okay, there’s a con. It is crazy expensive. 20 individual packages sell for 35.00 on the website. If I can find a way to get it for cheaper or strike it rich with this personal training thing I’ll be drinking this every day!

Ultimately all of this is preference. Once you’ve been exercising for a long time you’ll figure out what drinks work best for you. Everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you. I encourage you to check out the websites of these products to learn a little more. Also, next time you’re at EMS or another sports store pick up a drink you’ve never tried before. I ended up buying the Skratch drinks because I needed to spend 10 more dollars to get a good discount. You may find something good too!