Clean Eating Protein Pancake

I love lazy Saturday mornings. The one day where we let the kids wake up and turn on the tv while my husband and I dream away happily.  Eventually waking up (ok, that means about 8am) to the smell of coffee brewing.  A treat I only give myself on the weekends. Mmmmmm.  Then heading downstairs to make a fabulous breakfast of pancakes and lots of delicious fruit.

The problem with this picture is that pancakes of course are full of gluten and low on protein. Being as I like to eat wheat free and make sure I get in my protein serving at every meal/snack, I’ve been forced to miss out on this delightful breakfast with the fam for far too long.

The good news, my friends?  I have found a solution!! I’ve come up with a delicious, nutritious, wheat free, high protein pancake recipe! Woot woot! So no more do I have to sit back and drool while the fam eats their meal.  I can now partake in the awesomeness of pancakes once more. Want more great news? This recipe is super easy and doesn’t require any crazy ingredients. I know, I know, just thank me later.

*Disclaimer: I am not a photographer so please do not judge me or this recipe by the quality of these photos.  You’re just lucky I took the time to take a picture or two before gobbling up all this goodness.

So without further ado, here is my protein pancake recipe.

 Clean Eating Wheat Free Protein Pancake 

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  •  1/2 cup oat flour (*to make your own, grind regular oats in Vitamix or blender.  Be sure to use gluten free oats if required)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder (*use gluten free brand if required)
  • pinch of sea salt (I use Redmond’s Real Salt)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl.  Add in wet ingredients and whisk together.  Let batter sit for a few minutes.  In the meantime heat your griddle or frying pan.  You can either make one giant pancake, like I do, or make 3-4 smaller pancakes.  Cook as you would a regular pancake, watching for bubbles to form on top before flipping and cooking 1-2 minutes on the other side. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

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This recipe even passed the test with my son, who is ULTRA picky in the wheat free department. Mmmmm mmmm good.

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What’s your Saturday morning routine? Are you a Saturday morning early riser or do you enjoy a more laid back kind of day?

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The Rains Came Down

Calgary flood. June 22, 2013

Life seems a bit surreal right now.  I’m sitting here in my cozy house with my family.  Outside the sun is shining, the streets are dry.  I hear lawnmowers mowing.  And yet, half of my city is under water as I type.

My son was supposed to have his end of the year preschool picnic on Thursday at Bowness Park.  They said we’d have the picnic rain or shine. Well, rain or shine did not include flooding so they cancelled that morning. It never even crossed my mind that this rain which kept us inside for the day would turn into the worst flood Calgary has ever seen.  The park where we were supposed to meet to celebrate the end of the year is no more.  Covered in the muddy flood waters of the Bow River.

Although our area was saved from flooding, my daughter’s school was cancelled Friday and now Monday.  Many schools are now closed for the year.  Diploma exams are optional for students in Calgary.  The Downtown Core is closed.  A ghost town. My husband is not allowed to go to work. They are saying until mid week but possibly longer.

I’ve never been a fan of Twitter, I don’t really get it. But in the last two days I have learned quickly how helpful Twitter can be in a crisis.  The most up to date information at your fingertips. I have been glued to my Twitter feed.  I can’t stop following the flood coverage.

I keep thinking of all the people evacuated from their homes.  Many people are now able to go back.  What will they find when they do? So many damages.  So much loss. My heart breaks for them.

Right now I feel so helpless. I’m watching this city, this province, being washed away. So close to the damage but it feels like a world away.  I’m hoping to hear soon in what ways we can volunteer.

But I also feel encouraged.  Watching the ways this city is coming together, united, so many people ready and willing to step up where they can.  It just goes to show the strength of this city, the true heart of Calgarians.

Most of all I feel extremely grateful.  So grateful that my family and friends were saved from the floods.  Grateful that we are all safe and healthy. Grateful for all the blessings that God has given me.  If there is one thing that everyone can take from any disaster is a reminder to be grateful for what you do have.

Pray for those affected by the floods.  Lend a helping hand where needed. Give what you can.

If you are able to give to the Alberta Relief Fund please visit the Red Cross website or call 1-866-696-6484

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The Breakup

It's Over

My love and I have separated for awhile. It’s been a week now and I’m feeling strong in my decision. Although we have a lot of really great times, the relationship was really just starting to drain me. I tried to stick it out, give it one last shot, but I’m just so tired of being let down again and again. Yes, Facebook, you and I are on a break.

Why you ask? Well, I’m tired of the constant comparisons. Tired of the lies. Either it was negativity constantly being thrown at me or eye rolling lies of omission. Partial stories trying to make me believe life is as perfect as a photoshopped picture when I know the reality is far less than pretty.

And if it wasn’t that it was the company that was kept. People I have tried to leave in the past are far too close for comfort. Because it doesn’t matter what friends I have kept, I’m subject to the scrutiny of their friends as well. The network is too big, too intertwined, too full of constant reminders of past hurts. Too full of drama. High school mentality. A written word on this forum is said without thought. Words that, if face to face, would never escape the lips.

Was I immune? Absolutely not. Friends should be chosen carefully because if you spend too much time with someone it’s all too easy to take on the less than favourable traits. I took on all the collective traits that bother me so much. I’m easily influenced. I was drawn in, sucked into the black hole. Time stands still. Poof it’s gone. Spent on what? Drama? Gossip? Definitely not enough on those that are most important.

Was it all bad? No. There are many things that I will miss. Inspirational stories, hilarious happenings, and a place to share my memories with those that I love. To be honest, most on my list are great people that I love. So I hope that by letting go of this bigger relationship, the real relationships will still hold strong.

Will I be gone for good? I can’t say for sure. I tried it once before and only escaped for a short time before I was back. But I can’t keep doing this dance any longer. This relationship can’t be the most important one in my life. In order to make room for the really important ones I think it needs the boot. I need to recharge. Get my head on straight. Spend time face to face with my little ones instead of my iPhone screen. Have real face to face coffee dates instead of screen time, couch and coffee dates. Stop thinking in Facebook status form. Make real memories instead of ones that just look good in a check in photograph.

So once again Facebook, I bid you adieu.

Leesa D just checked-in with her family. 😉

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BMO Vancouver Half Marathon Part 2: Race Day

IMG_511921.1k.  Sometimes I need to say it out loud to remind myself how far I actually ran. I remember thinking 10k was an impossible goal and here I just ran 21.1. Wow.  The things the body is capable of when you remove the self imposed limits!

So let’s go back to the start of the day.  First off, I slept awesome, which is crazy for me because a) I never sleep well in hotels and b) it was the night before race day!  I heard my hubby’s alarm go off but decided to wait for my own.  I knew his was a “smart alarm” set to go off anywhere between 4:50 and 5:05 so I decided I would just catch the extra z’s until I heard my own.  A few minutes later, to my annoyance he tried to wake me up.  “Leesa, you need to wake up.” “I WILL when it’s actually 5!” I snapped through gritted teeth.  “Leesa, your alarm didn’t go off, it’s 5:10”.  Whoops! Apparently I set my alarm for 5pm instead of 5am.  Rule #1 for race day: Show up on time.

After throwing on all my race gear we made our way down to the hotel lobby. Our hotel set out a small breakfast of muffins, fruit and coffee for race participants. Of course I had to skip the muffins (wheat) but I snagged some for Peter.  I grabbed myself a banana and a coffee and headed upstairs for my awesome overnight oats that I made in the fridge the night before.  Best idea ever.

After nervously pacing around the room, going over everything I was bringing a million times and making sure everything I needed was either on my person or in Peter’s backpack…it was time to head to the train station.

Had to laugh at this ad in the train station.

Had to laugh at this ad in the train station.

As expected with over 12,000 people participating in the marathon and half marathon, the train was packed with runners. The feeling that I was actually a part of this major event was so exhilarating! We were all going to the same place, for a common purpose.  We had all set our goals and pushed ourselves to get to where we were today. I was so happy, and also a complete ball of nerves.

I started chatting with someone next to me on the train.  This was her fourth half marathon.  I told her it was my first and you could tell it immediately brought back fond memories of her first half.  This well meaning woman shared her story about her first half marathon,  then continued to tell me that I really should be running 10 and 1’s and should not try to just run straight through. That my legs would feel like lead and I would do much better running 10 and 1’s.

I left the train second guessing myself, questioning if  I should in fact be running 10 and 1’s but knowing that I’d never practiced running that way.  Am I not going to be able to finish the race now?  Is my strategy all wrong?! Will I completely regret this decision to try to run straight through? After chatting with my husband (my voice of reason) he assured me that I should stick with what I’ve been doing.  Stop second guessing myself and do what I have been training to do.  What would I do without my hubby?!

Beautiful walk to the start line.

Beautiful walk to the start line.

After we all got off the train we were in for a much longer walk than expected.  Crowds of people, narrow sidewalks and an extra block detour around the start line left us shorter on time than we thought.  We then walked up to the porta-potties and I realized why it would have been a much better idea to arrive at the start line an hour early as suggested.  Although there were 80 toilets, the line ups were HUGE! We had about 25 minutes to make it through the line before our 7am start.  At about 6:58 with 3 people in front of me I officially started to panic.

The start line is up there somewhere!

The start line is up there somewhere!

Nope, not nervous at all...

Nope, not nervous at all…

Then I started listening to a conversation behind me and heard someone make a good point:  They go by chip time so even if you are a few minutes late to the start, your chip time won’t count until you cross that start line.  Ok, deep breaths Leesa, it will be ok.  And of course it was all fine anyway since it was a staggered start and I was way back in the second to last corral.

Smiling on the outside shaking on the inside.

Smiling on the outside shaking on the inside.

I made it to the start line right at 7am, but of course, we were still in for a bit of a wait.  As I waited with the other runners, my nerves were going completely psycho.  My hubby was so good and calm reassuring me the whole time.  Telling me to relax, have fun, enjoy the race.  And then finally it was time for us to start.  My stomach did a triple flip, I turned on my music, started my Runkeeper and tucked it in my new little Phantom Pak…or so I thought.  Apparently I should have tested that a bit more in the hotel.  I dropped my phone which luckily didn’t land on the ground as it was attached to my headphones.  I tried again (remember I am half walking half running to get to the start line at this point) once again I almost dropped my phone on the pavement and was very close to taking out a person or two behind me since I did a dead stop while everyone else is moving along towards the start. This was not helping the nerves! Third times a charm, I got my phone set up in the pack and away I went.

As I started running with the incredible crowd I was just in disbelief that I was really doing it.  I was running my very first half marathon.  This was insane! This was what I worked for! There were tons of people standing on the sidelines cheering us on. We turned the first corner onto Cambie Street and my emotions got the best of me.  I looked down the street at this sea of people, this gorgeous (admittedly too hot for racing but gorgeous nonetheless) day, this beautiful setting and I almost burst into tears right then and there. I didn’t realize this day would be SO emotional for me. I choked back the tears and kept on going.

Since it was a downhill start I had to be a little more careful not to get caught up in the excitement and start running too fast.  I’d been warned many times about starting out too fast being the worst mistake. So I kept it slow remembering John Stanton’s words,  that the first 16k should just be like my long run.  Slow and steady.  Take it easy.  Enjoy.

I had packed three mini baggies of Honey Stinger Chews in my gel pockets and had decided to take them at 3 miles, 6 miles and 9 miles.  (So if you noticed in any of my pictures that my pants are bulging in odd spots around my waistline, those are packets of chews, not strange pockets of fat ;)) As I was approaching the 3 mile marker I grabbed my first bag of chews and finished them so I could be ready for the water station.  I approach the water station and….no water.  Umm..wha?! They were packing up the tables as they’d run out. I couldn’t believe it and then of course started to panic that these chews were going to cause me some major stomach distress without some water to wash them down. But, well nothing I can do but keep going so away I went. I hit the water station at mile 4 and felt much better.

Shortly after the 4 mile marker I realized my Runkeeper was going mental.  Apparently I was running at a pace of 3:33/km at one point.  Um…yeah if I was pushing it as fast as I could possibly run I would not make it to that pace.  The next time the app called out to me it told me I was running at a pace of 8:35/km.  Obviously, something was off.  This of course made me get nervous once again.  I seriously rely on my Runkeeper to pace myself.  But again, what could I do but keep running?! So I chose to completely ignore the pace callouts as I knew there were no longer accurate.  Instead I focused on enjoying the race.

Right around this time I turned a corner and saw a guy holding a sign that said something like this:

I decided not to run 21.1k today and made this sign instead.  Time to beat…18 minutes.

This guy ran the half in a full on chicken suit! Hilarious.

This guy ran the half in a full on chicken suit! Hilarious.

This totally cracked me up and distracted me from my Runkeeper issues. I was almost at the 6 mile mark (approx 10km) which was where I had decided to take my next chews. Since I didn’t actually trust that there would be water there this time, I waited until I was right up to the water station before taking my chews.  Of course this meant I also needed to stop and walk to eat them and drink my water.  I guess we could just call that my version of 10 and 1’s. 😉

I knew Peter was going to be waiting for me somewhere between 10 and 12km so I was on the lookout for him.  I thought I saw him on top of a bridge and waved emphatically before realizing that no…no that wasn’t him. Oops.  What I did see shortly after this point where two people dressed in nude body suites and strategically placed leaves with a sign that said “Run like you’re naked”.  Awesome.  Another good laugh.

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I met up with Peter just before the 11km mark.  He was cheering loudly and being an enthusiastic photographer. I smiled and waved as I went by and then looked up and saw him running farther down the course.  He stops, takes some more pictures/video, runs farther down the course, stops, takes some more pictures.  By this time I’m trying not to laugh too hard. It was so good to see him and his enthusiasm really gave me a great pick me up.

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At this point we were going past Sunset Beach and I was seriously taking in the beauty of it all.  I LOVED this stretch.  I got to see Peter, the scenery was awesome and there were a ton of people cheering everyone on.  I was thanking God for the beauty of it all and for allowing my body to heal enough to take part in this race.

I believe there was supposed to be a water station at mile 7 but either there was no water or I completely missed that one.  So by the time mile 8 came along I was really looking forward to grabbing some water.  I was so not used to that heat as I’d been running in Calgary winter conditions throughout my training. We came up to the mile 8 station and…no water once again.  They were cleaning up the tables. I started giving myself the pep talks.  No worries, you can do this.  You’ll get your water at the next one and take some more chews.

This stretch was throughout Stanley park.  It was great to be in a nice treed area.  There wasn’t a ton to see at this point but I was still relishing in the beauty of the park.  My pace was feeling good.  My legs were feeling good.  I totally had this.

I got to the mile 9 marker excited for some water and some nutrition and….nope, no water on the tables. Apparently they ran out of cups at this one.  There was someone dumping water into people’s hands so they could at least get a sip.  I figured I’d better at least get a little bit cause who knows when the next water station will be.

I was still feeling pretty good and pep talking myself to finish this 16k long run. As I approached the 10 mile marker I knew that this was it.  The end of my 16k long run and the start of my 5k race. I was looking forward to grabbing some much needed water and being on my way.  But once again…no water.  The tables were being put away and we were met with a lot of  “sorries”.  I was getting slightly disheartened. I was tired, I was thirsty but I knew I couldn’t give up.

I started pushing my pace more treating it like a 5k race. But of course with no Runkeeper to tell me how fast I was actually going I think I may have pushed myself a bit too hard. Mile 11 came and went and once again still no water. By 18k I was done.  I was exhausted. I told myself it would be ok if I walked for a bit.  This may have been a mistake.  Once I started walking it was seriously hard to get going again.  The last 3k were a bit of a blur. There was definitely a lot more walking than I’d like to admit.

I saw the 12 mile marker ready to be disappointed once again but wait…could it be? A table full of cups with water! I grabbed my cup and kept on moving. And then I started walking…and then trying to run but just not seeming to be able to push myself. I heard Runkeeper announce how long I’d been running and I knew that I just wouldn’t be able to make the 2:30 goal I had set for myself.  I was slightly disappointed but at this point I really just wanted to finish the race. As I started walking over a little bridge with about 1km to go I noticed a race photographer on the other side of the bridge.

Well of course I CANNOT have a photographer take a picture of me slouched and walking during this half! So I picked up the pace, turned on (what I thought was) a smile and kept going. Well, at least until I passed him where I promptly started walking again.  The self doubt started rolling through my brain.  “I guess I should have been doing 10 and 1’s after all!” “I can’t pick up my legs anymore” “I’m done.  I’m walking to the finish line” So I started hammering myself with pep talks.  “You CAN do this.”  “It’s only 1km! Of course you can run 1km!” ” It’s not that far! Pick it up!”

Seriously struggling but still moving.

Seriously struggling but still moving.

I could SEE the finish line! It was right there!! But it was oh so deceiving… With only a couple hundred metres to go I saw my hubby cheering me on.  I shot him an “I’m dying” look but of course didn’t want any walking pictures so I kept on running ;).  I pushed through the pain, telling myself that I didn’t come this far to quit.  I gave it one last push and finally I was over the finish line!

The end is near...

The end is near…

I was slightly dazed and confused at this point.  I grabbed my medal and probably looked ultra grumpy about it but in reality I was extremely happy and  just trying not to fall over.  I grabbed my bag lunch, granola bars, water and headed out to meet up with Peter.

And that’s when it sunk in.  I just completed my goal. I did it.  It wasn’t pretty.  It wasn’t fast but I actually did it!! I checked my phone and saw the Sport Stats update with my official time: 2:34:21.  Not quite my goal of 2:30 but you know what? It’s my first half marathon so it’s an automatic PB! Woot woot!

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After a post race excited chat with Peter and a good stretch we walked back to the hotel for a much MUCH needed shower.  I was so disgusting that I actually hopped in the shower with all my clothes on first. Heat and a half will do that to ya.

After a lovely shower and some fresh clothes we headed back to the finish line to watch my friend Becky finish the marathon.  She is a super inspiring runner and it was so exciting to cheer her on while she came in with her own PB!

Who is that happy at 42k?!

Go Becky Go! But seriously, who is that happy at 42k?!

While we were watching the marathoners come in I once again was overwhelmed with emotions.  Until you actually run a marathon or half marathon I don’t think you can fully comprehend how big of a deal it is.  Knowing how much it meant to me to run a half, knowing the feeling of accomplishment of what I had just done, I was just completely overjoyed for these people completing the full.  Twice as much work, twice as much training. I saw how much some of them were hurting. I saw a few people hit the wall, the crowd was cheering so loudly trying to get them going again.  I saw one runner stop to try to help another runner start moving again.  I knew they were giving everything they had to complete this goal. But regardless of your goal,  you still want to see others succeed as well.

These races, they’re not about other runners.  It’s not about being the first.  It’s about pushing yourself beyond what you thought possible.  It’s about being a better you.  Coming together. The mere presence of the other runners pushing you further to reach your goals.  This is why I run.  This is why I’ll never stop.

I’m so excited to say that another goal is complete.  I’m beyond thrilled to know that through everything I went through to get here, I still made it. For all the times I wanted to give up, for every time I wanted to throw in the towel, this is an amazing reminder that (although it may sound cheesy) you really can do anything you set your mind to. The girl who never thought she’d be able to run around the block just ran 21.1 freaking kilometres! Booya! Goal complete.  And now I can’t wait to keep moving towards the next.

Lastly, regardless of the water situation I still loved this race and would definitely consider it again. The course was gorgeous, the volunteers were great, the medals and race t-shirt were awesome.  Every other thing was fantastic.  I just might bring some hydration of my own next time! 🙂

Tell me about a recent goal (big or small) you accomplished that you are proud of.

Posted in fitness, Running, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon Recap Part 1: Pre-Race Prep

My journey to my first half marathon wasn’t exactly as I had planned. A few injuries took me out of training much longer than expected.  My emotions were all over the map.  There were quite a few times along the way that I thought I was going to have to call it quits.  So as I boarded the plane for Vancouver to accomplish this goal I had been fighting to complete I was nervous and excited and full of anticipation!

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My husband and I decided to turn this trip into an anniversary getaway as well.  We will be celebrating 9 years of marriage on May 23.  We were able to leave the kids with their grandparents for a little parent-cation of their own. (We have such amazing family!) So I was excited to spend four days exploring Vancouver with the hubs. We stayed downtown in order to be in the center of the action.  We were super impressed that between their transit system and the close proximity of our hotel to all the sights we wanted to see, that we didn’t miss our vehicle or need to cab it at all.

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We arrived downtown Saturday afternoon, dropped our bags and headed straight to the Health & Wellness Expo.  This is the first race expo I’ve ever been to so I was pretty excited to see what it was all about.  We arrived at the perfect time and walked straight in without a line to collect my race package.

Walking into the expo the first stop was the free 5 minute massages by Pain Pro Therapeutics.  There were only a couple people in line so I decided to take full advantage.  I’m so glad I did! Although it was short, it was a fantastic massage!  After that we started perusing the merchandise.  As I walked past The Running Room’s exhibit I noticed John Stanton standing at a table talking with people.  I was immediately star struck.  He’s such an inspiring person and I was dying to go up and talk to him but…well I’m a wuss. I’ve been in situations before where I’ve had the chance to talk with famous awesome people and I always screw it up.  I never know what to say.  I either stand in the background without saying a word or I start talking, my words get all jumbled, and I end up looking like a blubbering fool. So I walked away feeling slightly disappointed in myself.

We kept going and sampled coconut water, yogurt, many a protein bar and even a wine! Bondiband had a booth so of course I had to stop by and pick up a new headband.  And then I was on the lookout for a new armband or something to hold my iPhone during the half.

I know, I know…you should never try something new before a race. It’s one of the commandments of running.  But the problem was this: since all my running was done during cold weather I never had the chance to run with my armband and bare arms.  The Thursday before the race it was a cooker outside so I finally got to run in a tank top.  After only a 10k run my arm was completely raw and sore from rubbing where the armband was. So I figured nothing could be worse than what I was already using.  It was actually painful just to put the armband on again.

I ended up finding a great waist pouch, called the Phantom Pak, that holds my phone snuggly and doesn’t bounce whatsoever when running.  Sold! I was a little wary of not being able to access controls while running but as it turns out I really didn’t need to.  It saved my arm from any more soreness and it was so comfortable that I really didn’t feel like I was carrying anything during the run.

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So after hitting all the exhibits, sampling all the samples, making a couple purchases, we left the expo. I was still feeling pretty down on myself for not having the guts to talk to John Stanton.  After a pep talk from my hubby we decided to go back into the expo to say hi. We walked up to John at his exhibit.  I still had no idea what I was going to say to him.  So when he started the conversation first I was so relieved!  He was so awesome!! A little too awesome because I almost started crying. (No, that wouldn’t have been embarrassing at all). He was so helpful in calming my pre-race jitters and assuring me that yes, I could do this.  His advice to me was this:  Treat the first 16k like your long run.  You know what a 16k long run feels like.  Take it easy, don’t start out too fast.  Then after your long run, run a 5k race.  You know what a 5k feels like!

I loved that.  16k and 5k.  Doesn’t sound like such a big deal when you break it down like that. 🙂 After a quick photo op we left the expo.  For real this time.  I left feeling much more confident, but full of butterflies.

Photo 2013-05-04 7 42 55 PMBack to the hotel to check in and check out all the goods from the expo. Peter and I then headed out to grab a bite to eat.  We went to Malones Bar & Grill where I got to sip water while watching my hubby drink his beer. No I was not bitter.  It just made me seriously anticipate the post race drinks 😉  I had a great dinner of chicken, potatoes and veggies. Then it was time to head back to the hotel.

One of my other big pre-race stresses was what to eat for breakfast before the race! Since we had to be on the train by 6am I knew there wouldn’t be a place open for us to grab breakfast.  Especially since the breakfast we needed to grab would need to be wheat and dairy free.  I normally eat oatmeal before a run so I packed a couple servings from home as well as bowls and spoons.  But when we got to the hotel we realized they didn’t have a microwave so I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do.  But then I had the brilliant idea to do overnight oats! We were able to find some individual servings of coconut milk at the expo so I mixed that with my oats the night before the race and we were good to go!

I wanted to be fully prepared without having to run around in the morning freaking out because I couldn’t find something or something didn’t fit right or whatever other issue I created for myself.  So I tried on my full outfit then set everything out ready to throw on in the morning.

So I had breakfast ready, outfit ready, 3 alarms set.  I was good to go.  All that was left to do was get my butt to bed and get a good nights rest.  Check, check and check. I still couldn’t believe tomorrow was the big day! My head hit the pillow and race day dreams quickly followed.

What’s the farthest you’ve travelled to participate in or watch a race/event? Do you have a pre-race ritual? 

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No Sweat: Bondiband Review and Giveaway!

If you’ve been following my blog or have listened to my running ramblings in person you have probably heard me talk about Bondiband. I absolutely LOVE these headbands. Back when I was doing Fitcamp twice a week I was on the hunt for a headband that held my bangs back, kept the sweat out of my eyes, didn’t slip, looked cute and didn’t cost a fortune. I had no idea that it would be a near impossible quest!

After a lot of searching in every possible store in Calgary and then researching online I came across Bondiband.com. The headbands come in a ton of colours, designs, and with fun and cute sayings as well. Plus they didn’t cost a fortune so I wasn’t making a huge commitment by ordering a couple.

Well I ordered my first ones over a year ago and they are still my favourite headbands by far. I have worn and washed these headbands too many times to count in the last year and the are still as good as new. They are super lightweight so I sometimes even forget I’m wearing a headband at all. I don’t have to worry about them slipping. They always stay where they should be. Plus at only $8 a pop I can afford to have one in every colour 🙂

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When I run, I sweat. I sweat a LOT! But these babies keep it all out of my eyes. It always gives me great pleasure to come home from a run, peel my headband off and literally ring the sweat out of it knowing that it saved me from having all of that in my eyes.

My husband just informed me that the weather may get up to 30C on Sunday for the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon. Which means I will definitely be counting on my favourite little headband to keep my eyes sweat free.

So because I love these headbands so much, and because I love my followers and because I’m excited about my half marathon I decided to do a giveaway! Woot woot! I love giveaways. I have a super cute Bondiband ready to ship out to one of you. How do you enter? Receive one entry for doing each of the following:

1) Sign up to follow my blog

2) Follow me on Facebook

3) Share this post on Facebook

4) Tell me your favourite piece of running/sports gear

Leave a SEPARATE comment below for each of these entries you complete. And that’s it! I will be drawing for the Bondiband on May 17, 2013! So follow, follow, share and comment, comment, comment, comment! 🙂

To check out all the Bondiband products head to their website here:

www.Bondiband.com

This is my own personal opinion on Bondiband. I was not paid in any way to write this review. I just genuinely love these awesome headbands!

The winner has been chosen via Random.org! Becky from Bex Bakes and Cakes will be sporting a brand new Bondiband headband! 

Posted in My Favourite Things | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

Gluten Free Bread: The Good, The Bad and the Chubby

Photo 2013-04-24 1 55 57 PM

The good news? I found an awesome gluten free bread recipe!!! The bad news? I can’t stop eating the delicious gluten free bread! It’s making it even more difficult for me to get rid of the extra chubbiness I’ve been carrying around lately. *sigh* I figure after the first few loaves perhaps I’ll be used to having good bread in the house again and won’t feel the need to scarf it down so much? We shall see.

Since being off wheat I don’t normally eat much bread at all.  But I’ve bought a few gluten free breads to have on the rare occasion that I just really feel the need.  I have the Silver Hills gluten free bread and although I like the taste it’s really not anything like normal bread. The loaf feels like a rock.  Super dense, dry, tiny little pieces of bread.  It doesn’t exactly get me excited to eat a sandwich. But it works in a pinch.

And then I was perusing Pinterest yesterday and came across a gluten free, dairy free bread made in the breadmaker.  What a perfect excuse to haul out the old bread maker!  My poor bread maker has been unloved for years.  When I first bought it I stopped buying bread in the stores and always had delicious homemade bread on hand. And then for some reason I decided to put it in the pantry for bit. (Probably due to my severe lack of counter space) Bad move.  It’s been there ever since.

So why do I love this recipe so much? The bread actually tastes like bread! It’s moist, light and delicious.  You can actually fold the bread if you wish.  It won’t flake and fall apart.  And if you happen to drop a piece on the counter the children won’t go running to see who’s knocking on the door.  I also love that it’s a versatile recipe.  You have many choices as to what flours to use, plus you can add in extras such as sesame seeds or sunflower seeds if you wish.  And of course I love that it’s a clean recipe as well.

I'm amazed I had enough self control to stop eating and take a picture!

I’m amazed I had enough self control to stop eating and take a picture!

The original recipe was posted by Kim on Gluten Free Real Food.  Go check out her blog as she has other awesome recipes as well! She also has a simplified version of the recipe here if this one seems a little daunting to you. (It’s really not nearly as complicated as it looks!)

Since I didn’t have any special flours on hand I used my Vitamix to grind quinoa and brown rice flour.  Gluten free flours can get quite pricey so if you can make your own it’s a great option!

Don’t have a bread maker?  No worries! Click on the link to Kim’s blog for instructions on how to make it without a bread maker.  And without further ado, here’s the recipe!

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Kim’s Gluten Free, Dairy Free Whole Grain Bread

Posted with Permission from Gluten Free Real Food

3 large eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup oil of choice (I used Olive Oil but you can also use canola, corn, coconut, grape seed etc)
1 1/3 cup milk of choice – unsweetened (I used almond but you can also use rice, hemp, or cows) warmed to about body temperature
1 Tbsp +1 tsp honey
3 Tbsp brown sugar (I used Sucanat)
1/2 cup millet,sorghum, quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat flour  (choose one) (I used Quinoa flour for both)
1/2 cup second choice of flour – millet, sorghum, quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat flour (choose one)
1 cup multi grain rice flour, brown rice flour or my favorite teff flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup corn starch (potato starch works too)
3 t xanthan gum
1 1/2 t salt
2 1/4 t dry active yeast
optional add ins:
flax seeds
sesame seeds
sunflower seeds
add in a total of about a 1/4 cup
Directions:
Combine first 6 ingredients in bread maker pan. Sift next 7 ingredients and then add it on top of liquid ingredients. Toss in your add ins. Make a little well in the dry ingredients and add the yeast in to the hole. Start the bread maker. I used the Gluten Free bread setting on the bread maker.  Use a spatula to scrape down the sides during the initial mixing.
Don’t have a GF setting? Here’s what Kim has to say:
I do not have a bread maker that has a setting for gluten free bread. So during the initial mixing part I help it out a little. I use a soft spatula and scrape down the sides and help everything get all mixed in. GF bread needs less time as there is no need for additional punch downs like with wheat bread. My machine allows me to program in personal recipes so I use the following settings:
No preheat
Knead 1 = 5 minutes
Knead 2 = 15 minutes
Rise = 60 minutes
Bake 50 minutes
Temp 340 degrees

Now I’d better go make another loaf since this one is about done! I’m drooling at the thought of fresh bread with peanut butter on top. Mmmmmmm.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy a fresh slice of bread?

Posted in Baked Goods, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments