I thought I would share another one of my favorite trails in Portland for running. I have a great four mile loop right from my house that incorporates this trail and it is one of my favorite runs. I learned about this trail back in the day when I ran cross country in high school. Back then there were no fancy maps at the trail heads or anything of the sort but now there are which makes this much more doable to go alone even if you’ve never been. Let’s be real: the trail is still in Portland and there’s not THAT much area that it covers so even if you get lost it probably won’t be that bad. Explore a little and have fun! Or ask me to go running or walking with you and I’ll show you the way. That works too. ANYWAY so this trail is super fun and there are rivers and water falls and cool birds to look at. I also included a little map so you can start planning your route. 🙂
I usually enter through the Congress street entrance and then run up and over by Jewell Falls and then out that little dead end street off of Brighton. Like I said… it’s not THAT big of a trail system so it’s sort of hard (impossible) to get really really lost. Happy trails!
Okay, I promise I’ll post something that’s not a smoothie real soon. But this one’s really too good to not share RIGHT NOW! Anyone who knows me well knows that I used to have an iced mocha nearly every day. That’s the drink that got me into coffee. Then I finally realized that they were very expensive and full of sugar and then I just started drinking normal iced coffee. Now I like all coffee in all forms. Surprisingly, I don’t drink much of it anymore but still enjoy a couple cups a week.
After teaching class this morning I was hot, hungry, thirsty, and never had my morning cup of tea before class because I wanted to sleep as long as I possibly could. I decided I wanted a chocolatey smoothie but could also use a little bit of caffeine and this delicious drink was born! Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed!
*This recipe calls for cold brew iced coffee. You can easily make this at home in your french press… Here is a link that will show you how. You can probably also just use normal coffee that’s a little stronger and cold. *
Healthy Homemade Frozen Mocha
- 5-6 Ice cubes
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 TBS cocoa powder (this came out very very chocolatey, while I’m not complaining, you could probably add less…)
- 1/2 TBS honey
- 1/2 cup cold brew iced coffee
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Blend and enjoy! I know this isn’t much coffee, but cold brew is typically stronger… you could also play around with how much coffee you add vs. how much almond milk you add… give it a try!
I know there are a few remnants of local strawberries out there in Maine so I have to post this recipe before they’re all gone. Or maybe you’re like me and have a stockpile in the freezer so you can continue making this smoothie for months to come. It really is that good! I haven’t tried this with your run of the mill grocery store strawberries and I think the sweet local ones are really what makes this smoothie so tasty. Give it a try and let me know what you think! It’s like vacation in a glass.
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut almond milk
Blend and enjoy!
Monday is especially hard after the fabulous weekend we had! The first half of the weekend we spent up at Sunday River to celebrate the marriage of our friends Jeff and Amanda. The rehearsal dinner was a great BBQ and pool party. On the day of the wedding Angus spent most of the day taking pictures with the rest of the wedding party so I took the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful day and went swimming at a nearby pond with my aunt and cousins.
The ceremony was right on the slope of Lollapolooza and it was so cool feeling like you were right in the mountains! The reception was so beautifully decorated and I loved all of the little details. We had a lot of fun dancing. So much so that I woke up the next day sore!
This is the point where I started to regret signing up for the Old Port Half Marathon two days earlier. If you’re wondering how you missed all my training posts, don’t worry- you didn’t. I run once a week (about 4 miles) on Mondays and then I go and get iced coffee. That is how much I run. Every once in a while maybe I’ll do that twice in one week. The rest of my training includes teaching spin classes, cycling outdoors, circuit training, and swimming. So naturally I thought it was a good idea to try and run 13.1 miles.
I loved that the race course weaved along the familiar streets of the Portland penninsula. There were two major hills on the course, one going from Commercial street up to the West End, and the other going from Commercial street up to the East End. The hills were not the hardest part in my opinion. The first 8.5 miles were a breeze and then the course hits the back cove trail. It was SO sunny, and SO hot and you can see all the way around the 3 mile loop and it feels like it goes on forever. I’ve also run that trail about 10 billion times so it can get boring for me. The good part was that once you were off the trail there were only 2 miles left until the finish! As soon as I finished I took advantage of the free food that the race provided because I was STARVING for the last 3 miles. I was really happy with my time 2:06 (averaging 9:38 min/ mile). I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I’ve never run that far before and I was hoping for anything under 10 min/mile.
Over all I really enjoyed the race and will probably do it again next year. I know this race got a lot of bad reviews in the past because of the course and I know they previously ran out of water at the water stops. Everything seemed under control this year. The course was changed a bit, the water stops were not at the bottom of long down hills, and they didn’t run out of water or gatorade. 😀
So what’s the deal with coconut water? It’s no doubt one of the latest health trends. Well, I have jumped in the bandwagon and can’t get enough of this delicious beverage. I use it as a recovery drink after running or biking in the summer. It is cool, refreshing, low in calories, and packed full of electrolytes. Did I always like coconut water? No. The first sip I tried many years ago I thought was disgusting. I imagined it to be creamy and delicious and needless to say it failed to meet my expectations. I kept trying different coconut waters and eventually developed a taste for it and now I’m just hooked! They sell it everywhere: supermarkets, cafes, and even gas stations! I love the ones mixed with fruit juice but if
I buy a big one to bring home I will get pure coconut water and mix with a splash of OJ. Here’s the scoop on a couple of coconut waters:
This is my favorite! It’s also usually the most expensive. This is the brand that I most often see at coffee shops, and small markets. They also sell bigger bottles at the grocery store. From what I can tell, the fruit flavors are made with 100% juice, coconut water, and that’s it.
One Coconut Water
This is the brand I usually get if I buy a big bottle at the grocery store. It’s a little cheaper than vita coco but is still pretty tasty. This brand is also the one I usually find at gas stations. Beware of the flavored versions of One. They contain straight up sugar. If you want sugar go buy a soda. Coconut water shouldn’t have this as an ingredient!
Trader Joe’s Coconut Water
This is my budget version of coconut water. The sell it in Liter bottles at Trader Joe’s for 2.99. This is at least a dollar cheap than the other versions. I don’t think it tastes quite as good but maybe the savings are worth it.
There are a plethora of other coconut waters out there on the shelves. Zico is another brand that I have yet to try but is usually readily available. There are also some ones that come in cans and even have real pieces of coconut floating in them. Take a second to look on the back of the bottle and see what’s really in that bottle. What coconut water is your favorite? Any I didn’t mention?