Hammer Protein Choc-Almond Cake-Cookies

Jannine Myers

Since I’m often out doing longer endurance-type activities, I like fueling with inexpensive home-made snacks that contain a good ratio of carbohydrates-protein-fat (approximately 40 to 60% carbohydrate, and 15 to 30% each protein and fat). These cake-like cookies are the result of a few pantry staples that I threw together; they fit the bill for the following reasons:

  • they meet the macro requirements that I personally prefer
  • they fit two-to-a-snack-size ziploc, and are therefore easily portable if I choose to eat them during extended outdoor activities
  • they’re not too sweet, which is great for athletes like myself who have particularly sensitive tummies
  • apart from the slightly chewy texture that comes from the protein powder, they’re fairly easy to eat on-the-run
  • they contain a good quality protein powder that doesn’t have any added fillers, sugars, artificial sweeteners, or any other undesirable ingredients

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Ingredients
1/8 cup Brown rice Syrup
1/8 cup Agave Nectar
1/8 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Organic Oats, pulsed into a finer flour-like texture
1/2 cup Almond Meal/Flour
1 cup Plain Gluten Free Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda, dissolved in a little Almond Milk
1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
16 Whole Almonds
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly Grease a cookie tray. Whisk the sweeteners and peanut butter until well combined, and add the previously dissolved baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add the wet ingredients. Slowly add the almond milk, a little at a time, until a cookie dough texture is achieved (not too wet and not too dry). Form golf ball size size cookies and lay out on the tray. Flatten each cookie with the back of a fork, and press an almond into the centre. Bake for approximately 12 minutes and allow to cool.
Makes 16 servings (16 each)
Nutrition Data (per cookie):
Calories 99.81
Fat 3.52g (saturated fat 0.36g)
Carbohydrate 13.15g (Sugars 4.27g)
Protein 4.93g
 
 
Macro Distribution:
Carbohydrate 51% / Protein 19% / Fat 30%
Why Hammer Nutrition Protein? Get the facts here: www.hammernutrition.com/blog/hammer-whey-superior-protein-health-recovery

 

Chocolatey-Vegan “Hammer Protein” Brownies

Jannine Myers

Who doesn’t love brownies? I’d say most of us love brownies, and there’s nothing wrong with that unless you’re someone who has a hard time stopping at just one. If that’s you, try making a batch of these not-so-guilty brownies and see if they measure up to your taste standards. I made them for myself and my daughter, and admittedly, they were not sweet enough for my daughter – but, she’s a teenager who loves real cookies and brownies! As for me, they hit the sweet tooth right on the spot, and the texture was perfectly moist.

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Ingredients

  • 5 Chiquita Mini Bananas (the really small ones that fit in the palm of your hand)

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a square baking pan with a little oil from the peanut butter jar. Add all the ingredients to a blender, and pulse to a nice smooth doughy consistency. Transfer the dough mixture to the baking pan, and evenly press it out. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Let it cool, then cut into 16 squares.

Enjoy!

Note: compare the nutritional information between

these brownies, and a Betty Crocker brownie:

89 calories                                  164 calories

4.19g fat                                      6.62g fat

43.27mg sodium                         105.38mg sodium

4.36g carbohydrates                   25.11g carbohydrates

2.45g additional sugar                 16.37g additional sugar

4g protein                                    1.72g protein

 

 

 

 

Coconut Cacao “Hammerite” Bars

Jannine Myers

Here’s another recipe for those of you who like raw and wholesome “energy” snacks, and if you are as keen on Hammer Nutrition products as I am, you’ll love that I included Recoverite powder in these bars. These are super easy to make, but quite decadent, so don’t eat them all at once; I like to grab one before I exercise, and/or immediately after (to hold me over until I have time to eat a proper meal).

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw whole almonds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 scoops Recoverite (any flavor will work – I used Strawberry in these bars and they were delicious)
  • 1/3 cup coconut cacao spread (I used this product, but if you can’t find anything similar, just substitute with something like this organic hazelnut/cocoa spread)
  • 2 tbsps melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsps agave syrup
  • A dash of sea salt (optional)

Directions

Simple: just pulse all the ingredients together in a food processor until a dough-like consistency is achieved, and then spread out in a rectangle shape on a parchment-lined tray. Cover the top with more parchment paper and place in the refrigerator to set for a couple of hours. Cut into approximately 16 bars and store in a sealed container, either in the freezer or refrigerator.

[About Hammer Nutrition Recoverite: if you’ve never tried Recoverite before, it’s a powder-form recovery drink that has been especially formulated to provide the ideal 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates:protein. The 3:1 ratio is necessary for optimal replenishment of muscle glycogen and muscle tissue rebuilding. Recoverite also contains all natural ingredients, as well as electrolytes and other nutrients beneficial for recovery. Available in strawberry, orange-vanilla, vanilla, and chocolate, it’s a great tasting recovery drink that will tremendously enhance your recovery efforts and reduce post-exercise soreness. For more information on pricing and where to purchase, click here].

Ultra-Running Tips From An Ultra-Running Winner

Jannine Myers

With so many new members of WOOT, and several of you also new to both trail and ultra-running, I wanted to give you some great insight and advice from a Hammer and Nathan-sponsored athlete, as well as Altra Running Ambassador and winner of the 2014 Tahoe 200. Let me introduce you to 34 year old Gia Dawn Madole:

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Me: Where do you live Gia, and what do you do besides run?

  • Gia: I was born and raised in OKC and currently live just east of OKC in Harrah, OK. I trained horses professionally and taught lessons (Hunter/Jumper and Dressage) after graduating UCO with a business degree in 2003. In 2012 I went back to UCO and got my accounting degree. I worked at a CPA firm until the Spring of 2014 and I just couldn’t stand having a “desk job” any longer. I started doing personal training at that point which allowed me more time to run and train myself. I still take a few client horses for training and continue to teach lessons. I have also recently begun coaching other runners and love being able to help them achieve goals that they only once dreamed of :-)

Me: When did you start running, and when/how did you get into ultra-running?

  • Gia: I used to HATE running in high school. I played varsity basketball and running was always our punishment when the team screwed up. A friend talked me into doing a Warrior Dash the summer of 2012 and I thought 3 miles was insanely long; it was so hard and I was so sore after, but it was fun. I didn’t run again until I decided to do a 5k turkey trot. I placed 4th in my age group with a 21:20, so the competitive side of me wanted to see how well I could do if I actually trained and ran more frequently.  I ran several 5k’s following the Turkey Trot and was planning on doing the OKC Memorial Half Marathon, but decided the Friday before to switch to the Full Marathon. This “doing a race on a whim” thing has turned into my theme.
  • I ran my first 50K in September 2013 and my first 50M the following October. In December 2013 I heard about the Tahoe 200, and thought “Why not, it looks pretty.” The first of March I decided I should probably run a 100 miler before then, so I signed up for Prairie Spirit the end of March and Bryce the middle of June. I learned a lot at Prairie Spirit, mostly that during a race is not the time to try to lose weight by burning calories and not eating; you really need to eat more than once every 30 miles!  If I had only known then what I know now about nutrition (thanks to Hammer) it would have been a much more enjoyable experience.
  • As I journeyed into the Ultra Running scene the one thing that always stood out to me and one of the main reasons I love it so much is the people. At every race I have met people who are now lifelong friends, and at every race people have been kind enough to help me. I don’t think I would have finished my first 100 if Mason, who was a total stranger at the time, hadn’t offered to pace me and let me borrow warm clothes.

Me: What was the first 50k race you did (mentioned above), and how did you do?

  • Gia: My first ultra was the Do Whacka Do in Eric, OK – one year to the weekend before I ran the 2014 Tahoe 200 – I “chicked” the guys and got 1st overall :) I learned a lot about hydration at this race, mostly that carrying only a small water bottle on a day where the temps reached 100 and you are running on a completely exposed trail, is not a good idea. Even to this day when I know it’s going to be hot, I make sure I have plenty of water.

Me: How many ultras have you run since your first 50K?

  • Gia: 50K – 3, 50M – 3, 100K -1, 100M -3, 200M -1

Me: Tell me about your most recent ultra, the Cruel Jewel 100; did you anticipate a top-3 win? When did you start training for it, and how did nutrition play a role in both preparation and racing?

  • Gia: I think with running ultras, anyone can out-run anyone else on any given day. Training definitely plays a part but there are so many variables that can happen out there. Going into CJ I was confident that I was fit and could run a good race and whatever place that landed me I would be happy with. CJ was more of a prep race for Bigfoot than an actual goal race. Of course I wanted to do well, but I am saving my super big peak weeks for next month as I get ready for BF.
  • I can’t really say there is a definite “time” that my training started for it. I stay active and run year round. I ran a couple of races earlier in the year as prep races for CJ. I let all my races feed into each other and use them to help prepare me for the next one.
  • Nutrition is huge when it comes to ultras. I have found that you have to find what works best for you and everyone is different. On shorter races (50k, 50M) I use mostly a mix of Hammer Heed and Perpetuem, and supplement with Hammer Gels. On longer races I supplement my Heed/Perpetuem with real food. I have found that I get really hungry if I try to rely on just the Heed/Perpetuem and gels during those races. Through trial and error I have found that my tummy really likes grilled cheeses but other food will do if those are not available. My stomach issues at CJ came from not getting enough calories at the beginning of the race. Most aid stations will have some real food available and I usually rely on them to get that real food. Next time I will make sure my crew has real food with them; once I started getting behind on calories my stomach began getting nauseous and it got even harder to get the calories in. I was finally able to get caught up but it wasn’t until around mile 75 that I started feeling good again. Getting behind on calories is one of the worst things I feel an ultra runner can do during a race. I shoot for roughly 150 calories/hour and if my stomach starts growling and I feel myself getting hungry, I’ll consume more – up to about 200/hour -but I try to do it in calorie-dense foods so that there isn’t a lot volume-wise sitting in my stomach.
  • In training I don’t run as hard as I do when I race so I tend to consume calories based on when I start to feel hungry instead of sticking to a strict calorie per hour plan. One of the MOST important things, I feel, runners can do in training in regards to nutrition, is to pay attention to their recovery nutrition. I will frequently have 2 to 3, sometimes 4 workouts a day, and can feel a huge difference when I am not able to consume a Recoverite drink after a workout. I feel this is what allows me to be able to successfully complete several workouts per day. Consuming a balanced diet (minimal processed food and sugar) will help an athlete train to their optimal ability.

Me: What tips do you have for someone getting ready to train for their first ultra? Or for those progressing to a greater ultra distance?

  • Gia: You just have to get out there and do it. I think sometimes people get worried about what other runners are doing or how fast they are going, how far they are going …etc… instead of just enjoying the run they are on at the pace and distance they are running. I like to think of running ultras as an adventure and a chance to learn more about myself (whether its about what I need to eat to make my tummy happy, how to best prep for a race, or mentally how far I can push myself). If you’re unsure about what to do (training, nutrition, gear etc) don’t be afraid to ask – the ultra community is a very friendly group and I have yet to run into someone who is unwilling to help. A coach to help guide you can also be very beneficial in getting runners on the right track to enjoy the experience to the fullest. Most importantly …. Go have fun :-)
Me: One last question, do you still participate in road races, or do you stick to trail races only?
  • Gia: I still go back every year and run the Edmond Turkey Trot but that’s all the road racing I now do.

There you have it ladies (and men); some great advice and tips from a great athlete, who like many of you, just kind of “fell into” the world of ultra-running. Granted, most of you probably won’t experience the rapid progressions or victories that Gia has, but you’ll definitely get to experience the same joys of ultra-running, provided you make your journey your own.

If you enjoyed this interview with Gia, check out next week’s post as I’ll be sharing with you what a typical training week looks like for her. Finally, here’s my favorite quote from Gia, taken from an interview on runprettyfar.com:

  • “When I decide to do something, then it’s done and decided. Then I just ask, ‘Ok, how do I make this happen?‘”

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Gia’s Race Stats:

Tahoe 200 75:56 – 1st Female 10th Overall
Bryce 100 24:48 – 3rd Female 10th Overall
3 days to 100K 8:54 – 1st Female 1st Overall
Ouachita 50M 9:38 – 1st Female 8th Overall
Post Oak 50K 5:15 – 1st Female 7th Overall
Turkey and Taturs 50K 4:55 – 1st Female 2nd Overall * New Course Record
Palo Duro 50M – 8:18 – 2nd Female 3rd Overall
Do-Wacka-Do 50K 5:26 – 1st Female 1st Overall

 

Nicciola For Nutella Junkies

Jannine Myers

Are you a Nutella junkie? And a runner? If you answered yes to both these questions, keep reading. You’ll be pleased to know that your favorite combination of Hazelnut and Chocolate has been mindfully put together in a Hammer gel formula that will not only give you all the endurance you need, but also the same amazing taste experience as a huge spoonful of Nutella.

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Some of you may be wondering, “Why not go straight for the Nutella?” Surely it has similar nutrition components, or at least enough sugar to provide a decent burst of energy. You’re right – it has plenty of sugar. In fact, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, a leading obesity expert and physician at the University of Ottawa and Bariatric Medical Institute, explains that two tablespoons of Nutella (one serving size), has approximately 5.5 teaspoons of sugar. That converts to around 22g of sugar, and that’s in addition to the 21g of sugar that is already naturally present in Nutella. Compare that with just 25g total sugar in Hammer’s new Hazelnut gel (called Nocciola – pronounced “No-CHO-la”).

Here’s two more comparisons:

  • Nutella fat content 12g (per serving) versus 2.5g fat in Nicciola
  • Nutella sodium content 15mg (per serving) versus 40mg sodium in Nicciola

Interested in trying Nicciola? Buy now from Hammer and get your supply before Christmas! And, as an added bonus, try using Nicciola in other creative ways, such as these – suggested by other athletes:

  • a pancake or waffle syrup
  • an ice cream topping
  • over bacon
  • with a banana
  • an oatmeal sweetener

Or, do what I did and make a hazelnut granola:

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup “extra dark” cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp each of nutmeg, ginger, and cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 packets Hammer Hazelnut-Chocolate gel (Nicciola)
  • 2 tbsps agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until well blended. Spoon mixture onto a baking tray and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Let cool, then store in an airtight container. Serve with organic yogurt and fresh or frozen berries.

Ultimate Direction “Ultra Vesta” Hydration Pack – Review

Jannine Myers

Introducing the Ultra Vesta:

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I was catching up on some posts recently – by some endurance athletes in one of the Facebook groups I belong to – and one particular post caught my eye. One of the female athletes had posted about a 50k race she had just completed, and underneath her comments was a picture of herself at the finish line. I couldn’t help noticing the hydration pack she was wearing, and I was keen to find out what it was and where she got it from.

A few weeks later I received the same hydration pack (the timing was perfect actually – right before my birthday so I dropped a subtle hint to my husband) – it’s the Ultra Vesta from Ultimate Direction, designed by Jenny Jurek and a team of helpers. There are so many things I love about this pack that I’m not sure where to begin!

For starters, it fits me so perfectly that it almost feels as if it was designed with exactly my body dimensions in mind (it comes in two sizes – XS/SM and MD/LG). And because it fits so snugly, in a non-constricting way, there’s no bothersome “bouncing.” The water in the reservoir does make a sloshing noise however, but after a while it’s no longer noticeable.

Besides the convenient ergonomical fit, I love that it has the capacity to hold up to 70 oz. of fluid in the back reservoir, and an additional 20 oz. of fluid in two 10 oz. bottles on the front side of the pack. I like to fill the reservoir with water, and the bottles with my choice of sports drink, Hammer Perpetuum.

Below the holsters, which hold the 10 oz. bottles, are pockets large enough to hold gels and other energy fuels, as well as a cellphone, ID, and car keys. In the back of the pack are bungee cords intended to stabilize the load, but they’re also useful for securing a windbreaker or raincoat. The back of the pack even has loops for an ice axe and two trekking poles!

This hydration pack is seriously the best I have ever tried, but to give a completely honest review I need to point out a few minor flaws:

  • The pack is sold without the 70 oz. reservoir; you need to purchase the reservoir separately, which makes for a fairly expensive piece of running gear by the time it’s all said and done with. Also, the reservoir wasn’t in stock when I tried to order it, so I ended up having to buy a Camelbak reservoir from the base exchange. I initially bought a Camelbak 70 oz. reservoir but it was too large and I had to exchange it for a 50 oz one – I can only assume that the 70 oz. reservoir sold by Ultimate Direction is a perfect fit for the Ultra Vesta.
  • The bungee cords can be a bit of a nightmare if you have long hair like I do. At least twice now, I’ve had to carefully untangle my hair from the bungee cords.
  • On my last run with the pack I ended up with chaffed shoulders. But since it didn’t happen on previous runs I’m pretty sure it can be fixed with a slight adjustment of the straps (or, I guess I could just wear a t-shirt).

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These tiny flaws aside, this pack is worth buying if you are a serious endurance runner. Check it out here, at Ultimate Direction!

Almond Citrus “Recoverite” Cookies

I love to bake, and I especially love creating my own baked goods using ingredients that I have on hand. My latest creation is what I am calling my new Almond Citrus Recoverite Cookies. Not sure yet what rating they’ll get from my family, but I think they’re delicious – slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside – just how I like them!

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Ingredients

1 cup almond flour; 1/2 cup gluten free All-Purpose baking flour; 1/2 cup Hammer (Citrus flavored) Recoverite; 1/2 cup Envirokidz Chocolate Koala Crisp cereal; 1 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp baking soda; 1/2 tsp cinnamon; pinch of sea salt; 1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut; 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots; 1/2 cup chopped cashew nuts; 1 beaten egg; 1/4 cup coconut oil; 1/4 cup New Zealand Manuka honey (any honey will do)

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a baking tray.

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Melt the coconut oil and honey over a low heat, then let it cool a little before adding to the dry ingredients. Stir just a little, and then add the beaten egg. Mix all together to form a dough (add more almond flour if the dough is too wet and sticky). Make small balls out of the dough and place on the baking tray; use a fork to slightly flatten the balls. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool, and enjoy!

Hammer Product Review – Half Marathon Report

Jannine Myers

Last weekend I ran the Nago Half Marathon and despite pre-race nervousness and a prior week of disappointing training runs, I managed to maintain a relatively comfortable pace and finish with a 2nd place age-group win.

One of the most difficult challenges for me over the years, with regards to endurance races, has had to do with race nutrition and finding out what works for me and what doesn’t. With an exceptionally sensitive stomach, it’s been through lots of trial and error (and some rather unfortunate experiences), that I have learned what my body can tolerate while running. Several months ago, I started experimenting with HammerNutrition products and I am beginning to see significant improvements in both my overall performance and also in how my body (specifically, my stomach) feels during the more intense and longer runs.

Here is how I fueled for the Nago Half Marathon last weekend:

1.Approximately ten to twenty minutes before the race: one Hammer vanilla gel, diluted in water.

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A couple of points to note here: a) I typically don’t fare well when I consume any type of gel, but I’ve discovered that my stomach can easily digest gels if I mix them first in a small flask of water and take small sips at a time; b) Dr. Bill Misner, an authority on sports nutrition, suggests that pre-race meals be consumed at least 3 hours prior to an endurance event, in order to effectively raise blood glucose levels and improve performance. However, a small and easily-digested snack (100-200 calories), consumed about 5 to 10 minutes before the start time shouldn’t hurt. “By the time these calories are digested and blood sugar levels are elevated, you’ll be well into your workout or race, and glycogen depletion will not be negatively affected.” – for a more complete explanation, click here.

2. During the race I ran with a 20 oz. Amphipod hand-held bottle, filled with water, Hammer Sustained Energy (measured out according to my weight), and a Hammer Endurolytes Fizz tablet (both of these products were “unflavored”).

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Let me first say that Hammer Sustained Energy was created for the purpose of providing energy for events lasting longer than two hours (Hammer gels and Hammer Heed will do the job for events in the 60 to 90 minute category). I had to go with Sustained Energy however, after I realized that I had depleted my supply of Heed. The good news is that it seemed to provide me with just the right amount of energy and it did not cause any intestinal distress at all. The Endurolytes Fizz was added to ensure that my electrolyte needs were met.

3. For recovery, I took a mini shaker and a single serve packet of Hammer Recoverite (Citrus is my favorite flavor).

P1040907For optimal recovery after a race, it’s ideal to nourish depleted glycogen stores and promote muscle rebuilding by eating a quality meal soon after racing, preferably within the first 15 minutes and at least within the first hour. Since I hardly ever have much of an appetite after a hard race, I like that I can get the proper ratio of carbohydrates to protein in a quick and easy shake.

I also ate a Hammer Vegan Recovery bar about an hour and a half later; by this time I was starting to feel slightly hungry, but not enough to want an actual meal. Hammer Recovery bars provide plenty of protein as well as “healthy” fats, and they taste great!

All of these products contributed to a satisfactory race experience, and it seems that at least one other person thought so too. As I was pushing hard to reach the finish line, I was motivated by an American runner who yelled out as I passed him, “Get it Hammer!”

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Footnote: While it’s true that my sponsorship agreement with Hammer Nutrition requires that I endorse and promote their products, I would like to add that I truly would not do so if I did not believe in them. Those who know me well can attest to my struggles with running-related intestinal distress, and my vigilant pursuit of a diet and/or products that might help to eliminate all or some of the symptoms. I can honestly say, that my testings so far of Hammer Nutrition products, have resulted in significant improvements all around – easy on the stomach and great results in terms of performance output!