Hummus Review + a recipe

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a fun, active Labor Day weekend. I got to spend a few much needed days back home with my family! I got to run some trails and cruise on the back of my dad’s tandem…so fun to get some variety!

With the start of football season and therefore on-my-own-for-dinner-season…my eating habits tend to change. Instead of big meals, especially at dinner, I tend to snack more often. My go-to right now? HUMMUS! I love it with gluten free crackers, inside a wrap, as a dip for fresh veggies or even spread on a slice of turkey for a quick protein pick me up.

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I usually make my own hummus because it’s so easy (and cheap too) but when I saw a new brand (maybe it’s not new, but it’s new to me) at the grocery store on sale I had to give Lilly’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus a whirl. It is different from other store bought hummus I have tried, but I really really like it! There is no tahini in it, so it is safe for those of you with sesame allergies and is completely fresh tasting. The texture is also smoother than most other store bought brands, and definitely smoother than my home made version. I thought it was maybe local, but turns out it is made in Portland, OR. I’ve been loving having it with my snacks, and Phil has been putting it on his turkey sandwich every morning. I might have to put this in the rotation along with making my own!

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No Lilly’s where you live? Want to make your own? It’s easy!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
1 crushed garlic clove
A few pieces of roasted red peppers
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Extra Virgin olive oil

Blend the beans, garlic, peppers and spices in a food processor. While it is mixing, slowly add oil until the consistency is smooth. Taste it, and adjust spices as necessary. Store refrigerated for up to a week. The awesome thing about this recipe is that it can be modified flavor-wise however you like it. Sometimes I put in some tomatoes and basil, sometimes artichokes, and sometimes totally plain. However you dig your dip – you can personalize it just for you!

 

PS – After writing and proofing this post… the word “Hummus” is completly weird to me. Does that ever happen to you? It looks like I spelled it wrong and I can’t figure out why the heck this tasty spread is called “hummus”! Hummus? Hmmm…yes?

 

A Weekend Trail Race – The “Run” Down

This weekend I had the chance to head out of town a little bit and participate in a trail race in Pagosa Springs. My friend and I initially signed up for the half marathon distance this spring and between her getting pregnant, me getting injured and running programs getting slightly de-railed…I ended up doing the race with another friend, and the 10K distance. A lesson in listening to your body and being flexible I guess.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day to run. We headed out of town bright and early (it was actually DARK and early) and headed west to Pagosa. Fueled with waffles with peanut butter and coffee to-go…we were ready. The fun part about this race is through all of our ups and downs in this training period, we were really just there to have fun and get a good run in. Living in the valley now, I don’t often get the opportunity to run trails or hills, so I knew it wouldn’t be a PR race by any means.

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We pulled off the road during our drive to soak in the beautiful morning scenery around Wolf Creek Pass. The low clouds and the trees were almost mystical! It was a good stretch break too!

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Once we got into town, we checked into the race and got our socks. We are totally “we run for the shirt” kind of girls, so it took us some time to get excited about dancing chilies socks they gave us instead of t-shirts. But we decided to wear them and join in the spirit of the Mountain Chili Cha Cha! We huddled in the car for a while to stay warm, and then did the typical pre-run bathroom stop, running shoe/people watching and a little warm-up stretch before we took off up the trail. It was about 60 degrees and slightly overcast: the perfect running weather!

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 We love our Brooks Running Shoes! 

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The race itself was challenging but completely beautiful. While I was huffing and puffing I had such a huge appreciation for trail running, and the experience made me yearn for those weekend trail runs I had become so accustomed to. We walked some on the hills, and there were times we were a little backed up on the single-track trail, but overall, we just really enjoyed running somewhere new and giving ourselves a new challenge. Trail runners are a special group of people and it was fun to be running with a group so encouraging and friendly.

We both actually realized halfway through the race that although we have both spent most of our lives in CO – this was our first real TRAIL race!  While we were clipping (ok – sometimes plodding) along, we both agreed that we were SUPER glad we weren’t doing the half marathon! Quite a bit more training would have been required for that one, and the 10K was the perfect challenge.  We finished strong, as the last mile or so was either flat or down hill, so it felt good to push it across the finish line and not feel like completely wimps. We placed about halfway through around 60 participants so we were pleased with that too.

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Jamie and I at the finish line! 

I spent most of the race (ok all of it) absolutely starving so we headed out to find some post-race grub after enjoying the finish line water, oranges and potato chips (heck yeah Cha Cha race organizers…yum!) While waiting for restaurants to open for lunch, we walked along the San Juan River and even spent some time soaking our tired feet in the chilly waters! We didn’t visit the hot springs resort – but we smelled them and walked by to check them out.

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It’s not a race unless you celebrate with a margarita – so that was the first thing we ordered when we finally got seated on the beautiful patio overlooking the river. We enjoyed our drinks and some grub, and then walked around town a little longer before heading out.

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On the way home, we stopped for a mini-hike up to see Treasure Falls at the base of Wolf Creek Pass. It was just a short walk from the parking area, but it made us realize how much we had worked our legs! I think the people we walked by thought we were completely out of shape because of how much we were dragging! It was fun to see the falls though – another chance to experience the beauty of Southern Colorado!

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Once I got home I showered and took a nap – the early wake-up call and challenging run sure wiped me out!

All-in-all we had a SUPER-FANTASTIC day. It was great to visit somewhere new, do a race with a great friend and running buddy, and enjoy the challenges of trail running again. It motivated both of us to make more of an effort to head out to the trails on the weekend, even if it means a drive!

20130825-154124.jpgI came home to a package on my front step with new running shoes (two pairs…that’s right), some running shorts and leggings. Talk about a reward! What a great motivation to keep running and working towards the next big race! I can’t wait to try out the new(ish) Brooks “Pure” line. I ordered the Pure Flow and the Pure Cadence. I’ll be sure to give you a review once I put some miles on them!

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What about you?

Do you trail run? What’s your favorite trail race?

How do you reward yourself after a race? Margaritas? New Shoes? All of the above?

Disclaimer – I am not sponsored by Brooks and I was not provided with any of the shoes in this post. I’m just a big fan! 

 

 

My Cauliflower Obsession

Sorry to my email subscribers who just received a post with pictures only! Oops! Let’s call it a teaser post…haha!

Tonight I just wanted to share my little obsession with cauliflower. I don’t really know how it happened, I used to HATE that white, weird veggie! But now, I can’t enough! Especially if it is roasted. Roasting is the one way I know to make all vegetables totally delectable. Yum. If you aren’t a cauliflower fan you should really try the recipe below. This veggie is an amazing source of tons of nutrients, and studies show it being a key player in detoxing your body and reducing inflammation.

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What’s on my plate tonight?

Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower washed and pieced apart
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk up everything but the cauliflower and pour over those beautiful veggies in a large glass pan. Toss to coat. Roast at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Stir and mix about halfway through to get all of the sides golden brown and toasty. Serve with a turkey burger or whatever you like…or eat like candy…seriously, you might!

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What about you?
What’s your favorite veggie?

W.O.W. #17 – Just Do It + a Mood Booster Workout

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Nope…”Just Do It” isn’t my quote of the week. Although it could be. Have you ever had a day when you came home from work totally pooped out (mentally or physically) and all you wanted to do was gripe and complain and eat tater tots on the couch? No? You don’t eat tater tots when you’re tired? I guess it’s just me?

What about in the morning? Like today, I woke up in a terrible mood. Sometimes you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I KNOW some of you have done that.

It’s so tempting when you are worn out, stressed or just plain crabby to accept it as inevitable and just have a bad day. Or just be a lazy bum on the couch. Or snap at the next person who tries to talk to you. But guess what? I have a trick that can help you snap out of that lazy-crabby-bleh funk and give your day a complete shift.

It’s not a venti caramel latte, it’s not a bag of chips, it’s not even a mega online shopping spree (but hey…that does sound fun!).

Really, it’s quite simple.

Workout.

Just Do It.

Even if it’s 15 minutes of wake up stretches and abs before you start your day. Or an after work walk can have amazing effects. You never know, once you get going you might even feel so good you’ll want to kick some major butt and turn that walk into a run, or add some strength moves or plyos! I swear, the more I sweat, the better I feel. Check out my “Mood Boosting Circuit” below for an easy one to start with!

If you can only just get those shoes on and do something you’re pretty much guaranteed to feel better. I know this morning after my run I felt like I had pushed the “reset” button and my bad mood was good and I was ready to take on the day. And the other night when I was so brain dead I threw on a new pair of neon shoes (that always helps) and went for a sunset walk. Total stress reliever.

So after that long ramble it comes down to the quote of the week – some Words on Wednesday..

“You’re only one workout away from a good mood”

moodboost

Disclaimer: Although I am an AFAA certified Personal Fitness Trainer, you should consult a physician before starting any exercise program or diet. If you choose to do any workouts on this website, you do so at your own risk. 

Granola Recipe {gluten+dairy+nut free}

Hey all! In a previous post I talked about how every time I make granola, I do something different. Usually it’s because I don’t remember the recipe, sometimes it’s because I’m missing ingredients, and sometimes it’s because I want to try something new. Regardless…granola is a super versatile recipe that can be made with so many different flavors and add-ins that it makes for a really fun recipe to make over and over. That being said, sometimes my end-product turns out better than others. This week was no exception. I whipped it up, not really thinking much about the recipe – and using up several ingredients in my kitchen (aka: not measuring, just dumping the contents). It turned out delicious! So delicious, in fact, that my husband was munching on it when he was helping me clean up the dishes (I KNOW! He was helping me clean up my baking dishes when I didn’t even bake cookies for him!) and he asked why I always buy his instead of making it. Mine was THAT good! I’m gloating…I know. But he was right, this batch did turn out great and was just as good if not better than the store bought kind.

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Why do I make my granola and not his? Well – I buy certified gluten free oats for mine, and always aim to stay away from cane sugar/corn syrup. The gluten free granolas for sale in stores are prohibitively expensive, and less face it, not good. I’ve always bought his because he can eat everything and it’s cheap and it’s easy. But I’m re-thinking now. It is super easy to make, and even cheaper if using non-gluten-free oats. Ok…next batch is for you babes!

On to the recipe. The amounts are educated guesses…and feel free to substitute as needed. The key to good granola is getting enough sticky stuff in it to hold it all together!

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Homemade Granola {gluten+dairy+nut free}

7 cups combined oats and cereals (I used 4 cups certified gluten free oats, 1/2 cup puffed millet and 2 1/2 cups puffed rice)

1 cup ground flaxseed

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

dash of salt

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

Mix these dry ingredients all together. In a separate bowl, mix these wet ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup molasses

1 tbsp vanilla

After combining the wet ingredients, drizzle over the cereal/fruit mixture and mix until coated. Spread into a large glass baking pan (oil spray it first!) and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. After a half hour, stir and mix it up. And again 15 minutes later (at 45 min in). Let cool before you chop it all up – this will help you keep some chunks. I store it in a large plastic cereal container and eat with fresh fruit and rice milk or over coconut yogurt and fruit!

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