Coconut Cacao Cookies

Jannine Myers

Shredded Coconut – although fairly high in fat, shredded coconut has some admirable nutrition benefits. It contains some fiber and protein, as well as iron and zinc; adequate amounts of iron and zinc support the immune system.

Raw cacao powder – contains natural chemicals called flavanoids, a type of antioxidant that promotes good health by 1. destroying free radicals in cells and tissues, 2. improving circulation and lowering the risk of heart disease, and 3. potentially impeding the development of cancer.

Honey – besides it’s natural energy boosting benefits, honey is also believed to contain antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties; it is used as a natural remedy for various ailments.

Coconut, cacao, and honey – put them all together, add just two eggs and a swish of vanilla extract, and here’s what you get:

Delicious Coconut Cacao Cookies

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Ingredients

2 cups unsweetened finely shredded organic coconut (do not use the baker’s sweetened coconut flakes)

1/2 cup organic cacao powder

1/2 cup honey (Manuka, if possible)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Grab small handfuls of the mixture and flatten into cookie patties. Place each “pattie” on a baking tray, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

Enjoy!

[Original recipe here]

Dip a toe or Jump right in!

One of the topics I love to talk about is having fun on trail. What does it take to go out and go for a full body Bath in Nature?

Letting gooooo….

You’ve sung it once; you’ve sung it a hundred times, Let It Go. The “It” is up to you. Is it letting go of the fight you just had with your spouse? Maybe your coworker is driving you crazy? Your teen is being unreasonable and surly? You have so many things to do; there isn’t a notepad that can store it all.

Or maybe you’ve been bitten by the negative bug. The “It” here can be negative thoughts about your ability: I’m too slow to run with these women, this is going to be too hard, I’m not good enough.

What is a trail running woman to do? You got it, let it go and enjoy the moment.

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Running free….

One of the questions we often get is how to remain injury free while running and racing year after year, sometimes with mileage between 40-65 miles. The answer dear friends, is running without GPS.

GPS shows how far I have ran and what pace I am going, current and average. If I am very tired, this is a mental mind screw: really? Not even mile three yet?! And that pace, I may as well walk.

If I am feeling well rested and ready to go fast, I may hold myself back and question if I can maintain this pace.

Running free lets you use your greatest tool, MINDtm, featured in a nice write up on Runners World: http://www.runnersworld.com/fun/the-only-running-app-you-need

Your brain is the most sophisticated device, ever. If you’re thirsty, hungry, tired, overheating, chilled, exhausted or energized, your brain lets you know.

And putting your brain on Nature opens up the pathways that are normally closed in our tech heavy world. On trail, your brain gets to experience all 5 senses that it was born to practice: smell the clean oxygenated air, hear birds singing away, see the sunrise breaking through the trees, feel the crisp air on your sweaty skin, and taste the fresh water from your bottle.

Dip a toe, or jump right in. Let Nature get all over you with WOOT!

References:

http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/bodywork/the-fit-list/10-Timeless-Fitness-Laws.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_bathing

A Different Spin On The “Runner’s High

Jannine Myers

I hear it all the time; I hear runners say that they get a certain high when they run, that it’s addictive, that it’s their daily fix. I got to thinking about this because a client recently asked how she could motivate herself to run again, knowing that her years-long running sabbatical had significantly affected her former, and much faster pace. I’ve addressed the issue of motivation before, but for some reason, my thoughts drifted this time towards the “runner’s high.”

What is the runner’s high? And why do runners refer to it as if they can’t get enough of it? Because if that’s true, then maybe that’s what motivationally challenged runners are missing. A lot of runners describe it as a feeling they experience partway through a run, where the sensation of physical and mental exertion somehow diminishes and running takes on a kind of euphoric feeling. It sounds like a nice experience right? But is that what draws people back to their running shoes, day after day after day? Or is it the emotions felt at the end of a run, a different kind of runner’s high? I believe so.

When I set out to do my runs, I sometimes start them with enthusiasm, sometimes not. I always, however, have a fixed goal in mind, and even if I start out a little slow or with a negative mindset, I somehow get it together as my legs and body start to warm up. No matter how short or long, easy or intense, every run eventually turns into a mind over matter experience, where my mind takes control and influences my body to do whatever my training goals call for it to do.

As I wearily finish each run, and hit “stop” on my garmin, that is the moment that I encounter my true runner’s high. I don’t mean the feeling of triumph, though that’s part of it, but rather the residual benefits that follow. It’s as if runners have an invisible power source available only to them, a source that they earn the right to tap into it every time they finish a run.

This “power source” zaps a runner with so much positive energy that it actually has a spillover effect; you’ll recognize a person who’s high from a run because they can’t help passing their positive vibes on to those around them (word of advice however, kick them out for a run as soon as you notice the positive energy starting to wane).

Seriously though, if you’re a runner who has lost that instinct and desire to get out and run, I suggest that you start spending time in the company of other runners. Their infectious “can do” attitudes will have you lacing up your shoes in no time.

Runner woman tying running shoes

You’re almost there!

Anna Boom

Just kidding, You are not even close!

For anyone who has raced a longer distance before, you have seen the signs and heard the chants…”you’re almost there, keep going, it’s just around the corner”…

This could be at mile 20 of a marathon or 10 of a half marathon. From the spectators point of view, that is logistically correct; you’ve run more than three quarters or more of the race, just a few more miles to go. You are “almost” there.

From the racer’s perspective, the pain that sets in during those later miles is intense. Our legs are screaming, our mind telling us to give up already, you’re not a runner anyway! 6.2 miles, 3 miles, or the last mile are usually brutal.

So when I saw this sign of Amanda and her daughter, I had to laugh out loud.

photo cred: Shirley Thomas

photo cred: Shirley Thomas

You’ve heard it before, it is not the finish line, it is the journey. At that moment, laughing at this sign I thought of myself feeling pain, and saw it was really just uncomfortableness. It was hot, humid, the summer Okinawa sun was glaring, it was on pavement and I wanted it to be over. Instead I changed my mind and enjoyed the moment. My friends were all over the course that day: running in front of me, behind me and cheering on the sidelines. I got to run that day and that is really worth the effort, isn’t it?

Continuing on our journeys, the struggles we go through, the pain we endure and get over, it is all part of this amazing life. We don’t know if we are close to the finish line and hopefully, we are not even. Lets make it a good one.

More “Baking With Bran” Recipes

Jannine Myers

I’ve been doing more baking lately, mainly because my 10-year old loves her sports and has a pretty full extracurricular schedule that keeps her metabolism humming along nicely – in other words, she’s always hungry! And since we often have limited amounts of time between activities, I want to feed her snacks that I know will provide enough energy without leaving her feeling weighed down, or alternatively, hyped up from too much sugar.

Since I also battle with her when it comes to making her eat more fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates (which in turn impacts her fiber intake), I decided to add a decent serving of wheat bran in this week’s snack recipes. Wheat bran is not only high in fiber, but it’s vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content is pretty impressive, and furthermore, it’s bulk helps to stave off hunger – which is just what my daughter needs in between activities when she doesn’t have time for a full meal.

Recipe One: Banana-Choc-Nut Bran Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 medium, mashed bananas
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or just mix a little lemon juice with regular milk)
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1  3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Soak bran in buttermilk for at least 10 minutes. Then, whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in bananas, buttermilk and wheat bran, oil and vanilla.
  3. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  4. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

Modified version of this recipe

Recipe Two: Oatmeal Raisin Bran Cookies

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Ingredients

1 cup gluten free flour

1 cup gluten free oats

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup organic raisins

1/3 cup walnuts

1/4 cup wheat bran

1/3 cup almond butter

1/4 cup (high quality) maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup milk (any kind)

2 tbsps ground flax

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Soak the bran in the milk for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder, salt, spices, coconut sugar, and ground flax) in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk together the almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup. Add the milk and bran and mix well.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine. Add the raisins and walnuts, and stir together until a dough forms.
  6. Scoop small ball-sized pieces of the dough from the bowl, and shape into cookies before laying them out on a baking tray.
  7. Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool.

Work-Life-Run balance?

Anna Boom

Running, working, raising kids, being a loving wife, being a good daughter and going to school: it is one big balancing act and some days it feels like the scale tips the wrong direction.

How can we manage all that we do without losing our minds?!

Some advice from other parents and runners:

— from Coach Jannine Myers, who has run Boston, ultra-marathons, along with being a writer, women’s running coach and loving wife and mother.

“…when both my girls were young and I was a working mom, exercise became even more of a priority for me because it gave me the relief and fulfillment I needed at such a busy time in my life. However, that meant that I had to sacrifice in other areas, and for me, the sacrifice usually meant giving up sleep. Which is what I mean by not necessarily giving the best advice – as sleep is just as important as exercise in terms of maintaining good health.”

— from Ultramarathon Man, Dean Karnazes much along the lines of Coach J’s advice:

He doesn’t let training infringe on family time (he has a daughter, 10, and a son, 7). So, after tucking his kids into bed on a Friday, he’ll run 75 miles through the night and meet his family the next morning in the Napa Valley for breakfast. Or he’ll rise early Saturday, run a marathon before breakfast, and another on Sunday.” http://insightfuldevelopment.com/inspired-must-read-story-dean-karnazes/

— from me. I have run a few ultras, Boston and some IronMan triathlons and along with the above two coaches, agree that you cannot have it all.

After I had my youngest daughter, I decided to run my first ultra distance. My training partner and I would meet every Saturday and Sunday morning, starting at 4:00 AM to get the miles in before the family woke up. Was it easy to get out of bed at 3:30 or earlier? Not.At.All.

I also knew I could not train for another IronMan while working full time with small children. It was too much time out on a bike or in the pool or out running. So I gave that up and picked the sport I love most, trail running.

As Jannine and Dean have both wrote, something has to give.

For all of us, it meant little to no social life past 8:00 PM. When 7:30 rolled around, I could feel the tiredness start to seep in. Our social hour shifted to our early morning running hour, which became our WOOT group. And that is why we get up and get going so early, along with the heat and sun and other family fun waiting at home for our return.

Work-life-run balance is possible but where your priorities lie, is what will get you going and keep you moving. And someday soon, you will get to that next stage of your life, kids grow up, school is finished, our goals shift. One foot in front of the other; you got this!