This is what raw breakfast looks like this morning. What? You say that it doesn't look raw? That's because raw food isn't really that much different from cooked food, especially at breakfast. This week, I've made it a goal to eat at least one raw meal and one raw snack per day, to see how it makes me feel. I've read some info online about how people feel "energized" and "invigorated". I want some energizing invigoration!
This bowl includes a combination of oat groats, steel cut oats, barley, almond milk, almond butter, 1/2 of a banana, and a little squirt of agave. I allowed everything to marinate overnight so that the oats would soften up a bit, and now I'm thoroughly enjoying the combo. It's surprising how much it tastes like expensive (fattening) granola. It's just a little crunchy (from the oat groats), but its really very good. Trust me. If it sucked, I'd tell you immediately.
I can't say that I've felt energizingly invigorated after eating my raw meals, but I definitely didn't feel bad. Something that I've noticed about raw foods is that no matter how much I eat, I don't feel stuffed. Not to mention, I don't have that need to overfeed...don't get me wrong, the food I'm eating is great, and I could likely overfeed myself. I just don't have the urge to.
Something else I've noticed is that there hasn't been much snacking going on in Joggersville lately. Again, I just don't have the urge to snack. Even while I'm cooking, I don't have a burning desire to pull something out and start snacking. I'm not giving all of the credit for this to raw food eating though. I'd say that a lot of my satisfaction has been related to the great variety of foods that I'm eating lately. This typically keeps me very satiated, and not needing to go overboard in snackyville.
In exciting food news, I have now received all of the cookbooks I ordered from Amazon. In addition, I ordered and already received Ani's Raw Food Kitchen. I've only flipped through the pages, but it seems to be nothing short of amazing.
Another exciting food tidbit is that I also received my beautiful, lovely, spectacular Excalibur Dehydrator. Lemme tell you this...if you want one of these beasts, I have two tips for you.
1) Don't plan on ever using approximately 250 square feet of your counter space again. The thing is not small. To me, it made absolutely no sense to buy this thing and then let it sit in the box somewhere, or stick it in my storage unit and go dig it out every time I want to use it. That felt very noncommittal to me. And that's not how I roll. So, despite the fact that my kitchen is just slightly larger than the size of a postage stamp, I lovingly cleared off one entire section of counter and devoted it to the Excalibur. I haven't used the thing yet, but I have all of the ingredients for coconut carob macaroons, and I'll just say this. Calib had better earn that piece of precious counter space.
2) For the love of all things frugal, please go on eBay and purchase a "blemished" model rather than paying full price for the non-blemished one. I thoroughly inspected this thing. Trust me, I did. There is not a single blemish to be found. At least not to my eye anyway. This makes me feel wonderful, not only because I feel like I got a ridiculous discount on a perfectly beautiful Excalibur, but also because it speaks volumes to the level of quality control standards that Excalibur demands. If they kicked my perfectly beautiful Calib off of the assembly line, then they have very high expectations. I like that.
In running news, my first 1/2 marathon is 9 days away! Holy cow. I was really afraid that the 2 weeks I took off were going to kill me when I started back running, but I haven't had any knee/calf/leg issues that are worthy of mention. That is a total relief. I think that my cross training and core exercises (in addition to the PT exercises that I still do at home) has really done a lot of good. This week, my schedule is 5 miles Tuesday (check!), 3 miles yesterday (check!), 5 miles tonight, and then 10 miles on Saturday. That will (again) be my longest run ever, and my last long run before taper week. I'm not nervous about 10 miles...I'm looking at it with excitement because it'll be a new challenge for me. Not to mention, I have a great out and back route planned--there's something very satisfying for me about running 1/2 way and then being able to turn around and go back. It feels less difficult. It's completely mental. Does anyone else experience this?
One other exciting mention is that last night I watched The Spirit of the Marathon, and it inspired me to change my October 10th 1/2 marathon into a FULL. Now THAT is really exciting, no? I've been tossing the idea around in my head for a while because I really wanted my sister and I to run our first marathon together (call me sentimental), but I didn't know if I was up for the challenge. Last night, while watching that movie, it occurred to me that I can pretty much do anything I set my mind to.
I told my Sista, and she said I was crazy. But she loves my kind of crazy.
A couple of weeks ago, I cheated my terrible luck and actually won a bloggie contest. I suppose that when one enters 94,527 contests, but doesn't win a single one, something eventually has to give. The odds have to swing the other way at some point. You know, the way that makes me win. The odds apparently did just that when I won Sarah's contest. Sarah's blog is really fun, by the way. The girl hasn't spent more than $20 on groceries in like. Well, ever. But she always manages to whip up these gourmet meals, and never goes hungry. That's my kind of girl.
Sarah (and the people at Bob's Red Mill) allowed me to pick out any item I wanted from the Bob's Red Mill website. I decided (rather quickly) on the Spice Apple Bran Muffin Mix.
And, just for the record, I want you to ignore the bed of Hershey's Kisses that the muffin mix is chillin on. They weren't mine. You can't prove anything.
The nutrition info looked pretty darn good to me. I wasn't concerned with the "as prepared" stats, because I knew I was going to change it up a little.
Use 3 squished bananas instead of oil. Preferably, one of the bananas should have a large, unsightly bruise. It just tastes better that way. Trust me on this. I know these things.
Use 1/2 honey and 1/2 agave nectar (in place of all honey or molasses).
Add 2 tablespoons of milled flax. It's good for you.
Stir all of the lovely ingredients together
Place in greased (I used spritzes of olive oil) muffin pan.
See, now this is where it got a little hairy for me. I preheated my oven to 400 degrees, as the instructions on the package recommended. I don't generally have any issue with my oven being too hot. The instructions said to bake for 15-18 minutes. I set the timer for 15 minutes. Around 14.5 minutes, my smoke alarm started blaring.
Thankfully, it was just a false alarm. There was apparently a crusty little burned nugget of something or another on the bottom of the oven. The crusty burned nugget decided to catch on fire. Crisis averted. Apple banana flax agave honey spice muffins saved.
Do you see this little baked-in banana squish? Yeah, so I totally planned that.
Moist and delicious. It never stood a chance.
Apple banana flax agave honey spice peanut butter muffins? Pinch me.
In light of the delicious yumminess of Bob's Apple Spice Muffin Mix, I'm awarding them the Jogger's Seal of Approval. Buy it. It's good.