Pumpkin Muffins with Date and Coconut Icing.

Pumpkin muffins!

I want to eat ALL the food.

No seriously, since ramping up the training my appetite has doubled! While I sit here writing this I am thinking about what to have for second dinner!

The bonus of upping the training and getting stronger has been that I have finally managed to lose most of the Eurotrip weight from last years epic adventure where I put on 6kg in 5 weeks! Yes, you read that right!

It only took me a year…! Before I left I was the healthiest I have ever been and I really thought it would be easy to lose when I got back and into a routine. I took it for granted and was really surprised when I was struggling to fit back into my clothes 6 months on!

I didn’t want to force myself into a strict regime or “diet” but was also justifying eating that second burger because I was going for a run later…! I was also super impatient! I thought that after a month of getting back into training I would be right back where I was before I left –  and I was super frustrated when I wasn’t!! However, after taking the focus off losing weight and shifting it towards training for longer distance tris – what do you know?! My clothes fit me again!

I guess my point is, I underestimated how hard it would be and that it’s also very easy to fall into the mindset of well I am exercising heaps so I can eat 10 of everything including a tub of peanut butter and ooooh look chocolate!

Nate and I have both been trying to get out nutrition right with this amount of training too. I now understand the importance of fuelling my body right after my training sessions and my favourite go to is a banana and some Dextro. We are also learning the importance of nutrition while training!

Our aim on Sunday was to run as far as we could in 2 and a half hours. Nate made it to 30km while I got to 25km… after the 2 hour mark I was really shuffling and on struggle street so this weekend I will attempt to eat on my run… this is going to be a massive struggle for me as I used to get sick running even 2 hours after I had eaten!

These muffins are an awesome snack idea and they are SUPER moist. You could omit the barley syrup and add in some corn, basil and semi dried tomatoes for a savoury muffin too.

The malted barley syrup is awesome as it has a mix of simple and complex carbs perfect for both before and after exercise!YUM!

The bits and pieces

1 egg (or flax/chia egg)

1 tsp maca powder (optional)

1 tsp organic vanilla essence

1 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp nutmeg, ground

2 C wholemeal SR flour

1 ½ C steamed pumpkin, pureed

¼ C olive oil

3 Tbsp malted barley syrup

 

Icing

15-20 dates

½ C shredded coconut

¼ C boiling water

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Preheat oven to 150°C and grease a muffin tray.

In a large mixing bowl, add wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Add dry ingredients into mix and stir until well combined. Be careful not to overmix or the muffins will become tough and rubbery.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on top.

Remove and let cool.

In a food processor, process dates and coconut adding water as needed to make the mixture smooth. You want it the consistency of icing so you can ice the muffins.

With a knife, ice the muffins with the date and coconut mixture and then devour!

Enjoy!

Brickie xx

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Choc Muesli Bars.

Mmmmm Bars!

Holidays are over, wah! Training is in full swing…!

On the weekend we went to Jamberoo where I had the time of my life riding over these rolling hills. Everything is SO green – something about riding around here reminds me of being in Mudgee. Although the roads are MUCH better!

I recently bought some cocao powder out of curiosity. I had put it off for ages after being deterred by the price and also thinking it can’t be THAT much better. Wow. Was I wrong, it is as good as everyone says. It’s not bitter at all and apparently it is super good for you as it contains lots of magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese.

I have also been trying to get up in the mornings to train. This is a struggle. I have NEVER been one for training in the mornings, I will happily get up and blog and drink coffee and ease my way into the day! However, the thought of training in the mornings just doesn’t do it for me. I have been out of the habit of going to bed early too making the battle much harder. I did come across this interesting article about how to get up earlier and so far it is working. For me, the trouble was that I would set a super early alarm, not be able to get to sleep for ages and then not be able to get up.

The basis of the article is that o set your alarm 20 minutes earlier each morning to give yourself a kind of “jet lag” and you will start to fall asleep earlier too allowing you to be better rested for when that jerk of an alarm wakes you up the next morning. It’s definitely working as setting my alarm 20 minutes earlier every morning doesn’t seem as tough to tackle as a whole hour earlier than normal and now I am getting up at 5:30a YES! (haha!)

You can read more here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/so-you-think-you-can-be-a-morning-person/

On to the recipe – these came about as I was busting to use my cocao powder and we really need to start eating properly on our rides. We have a 4hour ride scheduled for Saturday so hopefully these will help keep us energised!

I think these would be good with dried apricots in them too – will try that next time! Also, I really just eyeballed the measurements so have a play around with it and just use my measurements as a starting point!

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The bits and pieces

15 medjool dates

1 C oats

2 Tbsp cocao powder

1 C almonds

3 Tbsp sesame seeds

2 Tbsp chia seeds

4 Tbsp water

 

In a food processor, process dates until they form a sticky ball. Add in almonds and pulse until almonds are chopped but not too fine. Add cocao powder and a dash of water, pulse until well combined. Add a little water at a time. You just want it wet enough to help the mixture combine

Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in seeds. Add a little more water here if you need to.

Smooth out mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Use the back of a spoon!

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Place in the freezer for 20 minutes or until firm. Remove and cut into pieces.

Store in an airtight container.

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Enjoy!

Brickie xx

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Cups.

Peanut Butter CupThe last few weeks have been fairly cruisey… aside from getting sick mid-exams!

We invested in a bike trainer a few weeks ago with the hopes of developing a solid base over winter. I’ve got to say, although there’s nothing like riding your bike and having the road to yourself I am actually enjoying smashing myself on the trainer.

I have been aiming to do some quality long rides but also use it to do intervals and take advantage of not having to dodge traffic! Aside from training I have had a 2 week break between uni sessions which has been awesome!

I caught up with 3 friends from school a couple of Sundays ago and apart from the fact I was nursing a shocking hangover (Happy birthday Lou!!) it was awesome! We quickly fell into old habits of talking a ridiculous amount of trash and giggling like 16 year old school girls.

We also discovered that it is coming up to TEN YEARS next year since we finished high school. This ABSOLUTELY spins me out – I feel like I am still 16 inside and out (except I clearly can’t handle being hungover anymore!).

This photo was taken over 10 years ago!
This photo was taken over 10 years ago!

The bond I have with these girls was formed when I was about 11 or 12 and there is truly something special about old friends and the way you slip back into certain roles and behaviours regardless of how different the path your life has taken you down. There’s an unbreakable bond having shared experiences especially when at the time, they felt like the be all and end all… When the boy you like doesn’t even know you exist or you missed out on going to THE party of the year because your mum said no – UGH! These girls got it!

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We are still just as hilarious (or immature)

 

While we don’t catch up as often as we all would like this was an afternoon I will treasure dearly.

Speaking of treasuring dearly, I came up with my own version of healthy peanut butter cups. As most of you know, I am obsessed with peanut butter – as is Nate. We were talking about how Reece’s peanut butter cups aren’t even that nice anyways, let alone having no real nutritional value!

So I decided to make some tasty treats that we could feel good about especially because my chocolate addiction is spiralling out of control!

I used the left over mixture to top my pumpkin pancakes too – SO GOOD! If you leave the left over mix in the fridge to set it becomes like a pudding – DROOL…!

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The bits and pieces

1 can coconut cream

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp maca powder

3 tbsp rice malt syrup

Peanut butter

Peppermint essence

In a bowl, mix together all ingredients except for peanut butter (and peppermint essence if using!).

Pour mixture into small muffin tray – fill to just under half way and place in the freezer for about 1 hour.

Spoon peanut butter on top of chocolate mix which should now be frozen and top with remaining chocolate mix.

Place back in freezer for another hour or until set. Remove from tray with a knife and store in the freezer in an airtight container.

With the leftovers, I added some peppermint essence and made some choc mint cups too.