#PathToFit Recipe for 2015! Cranberry Basil Shrimp Cocktail

So here we are. Year 2015! Personally, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can finally stand tall. You know that feeling? When you give yourself a break from trying to EXCEED at everything and just focus on the one thing that makes you your best.

That’s what 2015 is about. It is not to become new in improved. It’s about feeling good, refreshed, and embracing where you are in life.

Which leads me here. Welcome to my old yet new Cotter Crunch. If your’e viewing this in bloglovin, email, or other format, just click to go to my real website and you’ll see a FRESH look ( thanks to jenny). I will definitely go into more details when time allows, but for now, this Sherpa Wife is all about inviting you to sit and eat at my table and cheer you in on your 2015! Whatever that may look like! Yes, corny, but that’s me.

welcome_finalSo…

How are you kicking off the 2015? Are you trying something new? Are you striving to take better care of yourself?

I think both are great. But let’s Keep it simple and Choose wisely.

Just move each day. Just focus on REAL food. I think it’s always best to start with that and go from there. Wouldn’t you agree?

veggies from whole foods (4 of 1)

I’ll be teaming up with Garmin vívofit and Whole Foods Market to help keep us ALL on the PATH to good health and fitness these next few weeks.

The Garmin vívofit tracks your steps, sleep, activity, and more. And I think you know what Whole Foods Market can provide. -→ REAL food focus!

shrimp cocktail with cranberry basil sauce

Now, about the eating part. Here’s a LUCKY recipe you can try out for the New Year. Fruit and Fish (or Seafood) are supposedly  to be eaten at the first of the year to bring “abundance” and luck. Good thing I have an abundance of Sizzlefish shrimp and fish to keep our year stocked full of luck!

cranberry basil cocktail sauce and shrimp

I also love using fresh basil in this recipe because it can bring in the medicinal properties we all need after a holiday season of eating. There are several types of basil plants, all which contain essential oils and phytochemicals. Plus it has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-microbial properties, which can help remedy headaches, fever, anxiety, nausea and more. I’ll cheers to that after a month of holidays!

Healthy Gluten Free Cranberry Basil Shrimp Cocktail

Serves: 1-2

Ingredients
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries (or frozen and thawed)
  • ½ bunch basil leaves chopped
  • gluten free cocktail sauce (I buy mine from whole foods) or you can make your own.
  • lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional for more creaminess)
  • ¼ tsp each black pepper and sea salt
  • 10-12 medium wild caught shrimp (preferably peeled)
  • Note: want is spicy? add in 1 tbsp fresh horse radish or siriracha.
Instructions
  1. First, boil your shrimp. Devien and place in ice.
  2. In blender, combine your basil, cranberries, and cocktail sauce. Blend then add in 1- 2 tsp of lemon juice and your sea salt. Blend until smooth.
  3. Spoon into bowl. Place shrimp and veggies around the bowl and sprinkle a little basil and black pepper around the shrimp to add more flavor. Make sure to keep your shrimp on ice to keep cold. Shrimp are safe at room temperature for 2 hours but need ice to maintain freshness if left out longer.
  4. I also like serving this with feta and gluten free crackers or dehydrated veggie chips!
Notes
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

Well friends, that’s my first Path To FIT (and Healthy) Recipe for 2015! More to come, as well a big long update on the Healthy Bites, Cotters, and more! Oh, and after 6 years of blogging, I finally created a COTTER CRUNCH Facebook page. Another change, and reason for it! I hope to connect more with you all there.

Favorite good luck food to eat at the beginning of the year?

Cheers to 2015!

Disclaimer: Garmin provided a vívofit and Whole Foods an $100 gift card

This Space…

This Space…

It’s under construction.

Similar to what our 2014 looked like. Lots of behind the scenes work, hard labor, sacrifices, frustrations, and inner growth.

I don’t have a “BEST OF” post for you, because honestly, it wasn’t my (our) best year. In fact, I’m exhausted.

But it was a year of realizations.

Realizing that maybe God has other plans for us. Maybe the past 7 years have always been in HIS plan.

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This space ….

It’s not changing. I’ll always be a sherpa wife. I’ll always want to nurture and support my family, friends, and others. That’s what Cotter Crunch is all about.

But this space…

It’s evolving into one focus, one vision, one plan.

As we move into 2015, I see great things! But most importantly, I see a season of reset, rest, and letting God do the rest.

Cheers and be back soon!

The Sherpa Wife

ps.

If you’re looking for something to do in the meantime, go make these and share with your family and friends. xxoo

Holiday Healthy Bites Round Up

Merry Christmas Eve! If you are reading this, then you probably are a master at the Holidays and have your to do list completed. Well done! If you’re like me… I’m still scrounging and fitting in one more class with my boot campers, so wish me luck!

But after all that is said and done, go relax and enjoy your holiday! And when you find yourself with a stocking full or goodies; like chocolates, baking supplies, coffee, granolas, cookies, trail mix, etc. then go do yourself a favor and make one  of these Healthy Bites recipes and share with others!

GF Holiday Healthy Bites Round UP

All these healthy bites are made with ingredients you probably have already or will receive as gifts! They might not all be Holiday flavored, but they sure do fit in with gift of health!

 Cocoa Cherry Cashew Pistachio Bites –> for when you get a bag full of trail mix or pistachio nuts in your stocking. Plus these are paleo/vegan! And check out all the bites in the link up from this post!

Cherry Cocoa Pistachio Bites

 Gluten Free Muesli Bites —> For when you receive another jar of oatmeal cookie or muesli mix and you just can’t handle another jar of Overnight oats. Haha! Posted this recipe as a guest post on Family Sport Life, so check it out!

museli mix

Bourbon PB Gingerbread Bites —> so you can have an excuse to drink more bourbon and eat it too!

bourbon PB gingerbread bites (4 of 1)

Coconut Latte Bites –> For when every sibling you have gets you a starbucks gift card for Christmas. Stock up on WHOLE BEANS!

coconut-vanilla-latte-Healthy-Bites-bites_thumb.jpg

Personal Pancake Batter Bites —> for when you took advantage of their Black Friday Sale and now are loving all things FLAPJACKED!

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And last but not least, Cookie Crumb Bites —> for when you the bag of Holiday cookies are now cookie crumbs that you just can’t seem to let go of! I posted this recipes as a guest post on Trainer Paige’s site and just had to share here again! It’ s a must make!

cookie crumb protein bites (4 of 1)

Gluten Free Cookie Crumb Protein Bites
recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch
Ingredients
  • ⅔ regular peanut flour (can use coconut flour or almond meal)
  • ¼ heaping cup protein powder of choice
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup coconut butter or other nut butter (I use vanilla sweet spreads)
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • ¼- 1/3 cup favorite GF cookie (crumbs) (i used an Udis Gluten Free snickerdoodle)
  • optional : add in white chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, etc.
Instructions
  1. This recipe is super easy because you don’t need to grind anything! just mix up dry ingredients first, then add in peanut butter, extract, and honey. Mix well, then roll into balls/bites. Freeze right away then store in fridge or freezer to maintain freshness. Makes around 20 bites, give or take.
  2. NOTE –> if you add in more coconut or have a thick protein powder, you might need to add more honey and/or nut butter to keep batter from being to dry.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! I’m finishing up the last bit of work with Sizzlefish and then hope to refocus, rest, and rescharge for new beginnings in 2015!

cotters iholiday

Now get rollin!

Cheers!

The Crazy Cotters

 

Dairy Free SUPER Fruitcake Smoothie {Paleo}

When I was a kid, I used to get giddy when we hit the last 5 days till Christmas. It meant school was out and I hadn’t a worry in the world. Plus I knew I was on the nice list. I was a goody two shoes, so Santa loved me! ;-)

Well, today that giddy feeling is kinda still there, but along with it is a feeling of being rushed. Like an “oh crap I haven’t bought any gifts yet” kind of feeling. And an “oh my gosh why are these lines SO LONG let’s hurry it up people” kind of feeling. I know you can relate, right?

Yes, I am that woman. The last minute shopper. One who rushes to get it all done in one or two days! I blame my husband. He’s super low key and saves everything to last minute, and over the course of our 7 year marriage, I’ve adapted to his ways…. hence Crazy Cotter Syndrome.

Okay okay, I don’t blame everything on him, but I do blame myself. Being caught up in “life” obligations can be distracting. It can can cause me to miss this whole “HOLIDAY” season. It can cause me to STRESS instead of slow down and DE-STRESS. It can cause me to forget to rest and digest.

Rest and Digest –> physically and mentally. Take a day, or two, or three, to digest REAL food. To let the nervous system calm down from all the hustle and bustle. To digest the SEASON (the slower the better).

This past weekend I took “DIGEST ” day.  And to kick it off, I focused on MAXIMIZING my nutrients with a festive SUPER “fruitcake” smoothie.

super fruitcake smoothie (paleo)

What’s in my SUPER FRUITCAKE smoothie?

super fruitcake smoothie (Paleo 2)

  • Grass fed Beef Gelatin ->  helps soothe the colon so that nutrients may be absorbed and reduce any reflux caused my acid binding foods. Plus did you know that it actually has an ANTI-STRESS effect? It’s TRUE!
  • Pumpkin – Vitamin A and Fiber
  • Banana- Potassium
  • Cocoa – Unsweetened. Packed with Antioxidants
  • Chocolate Nuttzo – Good Fat and Omegas (plus the brazil nuts have serotonin –> good for adrenals)
  • Coconut Milk – Dairy Free and Good Source of Saturated Fat (the good kind)
  • Blueberry Bai 5 – An antioxidant drink with Coffee Fruit (don’t worry, doesn’t taste like coffee, it’s the fruit in which the bean is grown). Coffee fruit is a amazing SUPER FRUIT rich in antioxidants and helps fight free radicals. Remember, free radicals cause cell damage. Free radicals are caused by… well… STRESS.

bai 5

See, a fruitcake in a DELICIOUS and NUTRITIOUS form!

Dairy Free SUPER Fruitcake Smoothie {Paleo}

Serving size: 1

Ingredients
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup coconut or almond milk
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup blueberry Bai 5 drink (Or Blueberry Juice)
  • 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp chocolate almond or hazelnut butter (I used Nuttzo)
  • 2 tbsp grass feed beef gelatin -- The one that dissolves, not gels. (or whey protein if you prefer)
  • optional add in --> frozen berries
Instructions
  1. Add liquid ingredients to blender. Then add in your fruit and puree and protein. Blend and serve! YUM!
Notes
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

You diggin this yet? If not, you so should! Trust me!

super fruitcake smoothie 2 (4 of 1)

Alright friends, time to tackle the last bit of shopping. I’m feeling energized and FESTIVE! The countdown to Christmas is on, bring it!

Favorite festive smoothie? Are you taking time to digest during the Holiday season? 

Stay thirsty, HEALTHY, and have a marvelous Monday!

Looking for More MEATLESS Monday recipes? Check out Deborah and Tina’s Link up!

LC (aka Crazy Cotter)

 

How to Incorporate Barre Classes into Your Running Routine

Well, here we go. Less than a week till Christmas and less than 2 till the New Year! I know, shocker, as usual! And most of you are probably already thinking of goals for 2015. I know I am. Well, more like things I’d like to accomplish or focus on. One of this is to take more classes. We just 3 more classes at our gym and I have only taken one! But hopefully that will change come January when my schedule slows down.

But here’s the thing…

How do I keep my classes, still run, and take barre? Isn’t that overdoing it?

How do you find the perfect balance without overtraining?

I asked my good friend and fellow runner/Barre instructor to advise! So Jolene… Share your TIPS… pretty please!

incorporating barre workouts into your running!

Incorporating running into your barre workouts

…or incorporating barre into your running!

Either way, these two workouts are super complementary to your body and just work so well together, it is amazing (I wrote a little about it here in a previous post for Lindsay)! I have been a casual runner for years, and by casual, I mean, I run to run, I don’t wear a watch, I don’t (usually) track my miles (once in a blue moon!) and I am not a racer (I’ve done a few half marathons but they just aren’t my thing). I run simply because I love how I feel when I run, before, during, and after, plain and simple.

jolene at barre

So when I began doing barre workouts almost four years ago now (and teach them too, for almost three years, at barre n9ne® studio, my home away from home!!), and realized how much I loved barre workouts too, I began to evolve my workouts to a point where I *just* do barre workouts and running and it has been the magic bullet for me.

So I thought I would share with you a few tips on incorporating running into your barre workouts, if you are a #barreaddict, and vice versa, how to incorporate barre into your running, if you are a run-nerd! Genius, yes?! ;-)

Find your balance.

Barre workouts are generally pretty intense for your legs, as you work them in every which way in the span of 55 minutes or less. From your glutes, to your calves, to your quads, you are hitting those muscles at every angle and to failure. That whole ‘embrace the shake’ mantra that we love (and sometimes love to hate!) so much is so true…those tiny pulses and tucks get those muscles shaking and to failure so well, that your legs will likely feel like jello afterwards! High five!

barre

What’s different about a barre workout is that it isn’t heavily cardio focused (a few of our classes are cardio-based, for example, but by and large, these workouts are for strength and toning mostly), so you may find yourself wanting that cardio ‘fix’ in addition to classes you take. And running is a great complement to classes. I typically suggest – and everyone is different – that you slowly marry the two together. If you have been taking, say, 2-4 classes a week, why not start at 1-2 runs per week on your off days and see what works.

For me, I teach throughout the week at barre n9ne, and also try to fit in a few of my own ‘me’ workouts, including a couple of classes and a few runs. And it works wonderfully. I refer to it as ‘smarter, not harder’ because I don’t think you need to run for hours to reach your goals. My runs are anywhere between 30-60 minutes, with one of those runs hitting 60 mins. I call this ‘smarter, not harder’ because with the right balance, you don’t need to work out for hours a day to reach your goals, you just need to find the right combination for your body and it just works.

Figure out what works best for you – before or after.

For me, I try to stack my runs on ‘off’ days that I take a class. However, there are some days where it may just work out where I may do both in the same day. Test run (no pun intended hehe) both options, if this holds true for you. Run before you take a class and see how your legs feel, and then run after you take a class (perhaps not back-to-back, though it can be done!) and re-evaluate.

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What I find so interesting is that I actually like both options for different reasons. On days I run before I take a class (in the same day, not back to back), I find my legs are more quickly get to that shake point and I dig that! It feels so good – and you won’t believe it till it happens to you. When those legs start shaking like crazy, you’ll be surprised at how much lower you can go into each move and how effective it feels!

On days I run after taking a class (or teaching, as it generally happens to me, given my schedule), I find the run shakes my legs out so much, it’s fantastic. I run strong, my legs feel conditioned and ready to roll.

And finally, I think running on ‘off’ class days is the ideal balance, because your legs are freshest, but a short 20-30 min run before or after a class (within the same day, not necessarily back to back) can be a great warmup (or cooldown) to your barre class.

jj

Use barre workouts to strengthen your imbalances.

I mentioned this in a previous guest blog I wrote for Lindsay, but truly, running and barre are completely complementary workouts. Prior to barre n9ne, I would get shin splints almost every single run, and I would need 2-4 days off minimum between runs given that. I have also struggled with IT band syndrome, as well as tight hips and hamstrings. But barre work has completely strengthened all of these muscle imbalances to a point where shin splints are no longer, I have much more leg endurance and can run a couple of days back to back, where that was impossible before, and my IT band has never felt stronger. So, use barre workouts as a tool to strengthen those areas that may be stumbling blocks for you. Talk to your instructor about exercises might want to do at home to build up that strength further and don’t forget to foam roll (foam roll, foam roll, and foam roll some more!), do some IT band stretches each day, and hamstring stretches, and you will notice SUCH a difference in your runs, and conversely, in your barre workouts, in terms of endurance and improvement!

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Thanks Jolene!

Have you tried barre yet?

Runners… how do you balance your cross training and run routine?

Cheers,

LC

Grain Free Orange Maple Holiday Cookies

My Holiday gifts usually consists of food. Let’s face it, I’m frugal but also like to feed people. That’s allowed, right? Well, the Christmas is a perfect example. I have family and friends who like to receive Healthy Bites. Easy, I make a big batch for Holiday Parties, etc. But I also have friends who are more than gluten free. They are grain free or paleo or dairy free, etc. Hey, I’m all of those at times as well. Just depends on the week!

orange maple ginger cookies- cottercrunch (PALEO)

orange ginger maple (4 of 1)

Needless to say, I wanted to make sure those friends could enjoy an allergy friendly treat this Holiday season. Hence these cookies.

paleo orange maple cookies

To be honest, I winged the recipe. And to be honest, I loved them! But I wanted to make sure they were up to PALEO PAR so I had 2 other honest friends try them before I gifted them.

Results?

orange maple ginger cookies - Cottercrunch

APPROVED. Not too sweet. Refreshing. And the ones with icing were a bonus!

Grain Free Orange Maple Holiday Cookies

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 20

Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch or arrowroot
  • ½ tbsp baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • ½ tsp each --> clove and cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or xylitol to keep low sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sparkling orange juice (feel free to use fresh orange juice if you don't have sparkling)
  • ¼ cup coconut or almond milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter (I used sweet spreads maple flavor)
  • orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional -- Orange stevia liquid (3-4 drop fulls)
  • optional icing -
  • coconut oil
  • vanilla protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Combine all your dry ingredients and seasonings in a large bowl. Make sure they are finely mixed. In another bowl, whisk your egg and milk. Gently fold into the dry ingredients and beat on low, then stir in your sparkling drink , coconut butter, and maple syrup (or sugar if you are using it). All while beating on low or with mixer.
  2. The batter will be THICK but keep beat until all is mixed. Then add in your extract and mix again.
  3. Roll into a dough ball and place in wax paper in fridge for 2-4 hrs.
  4. Once that is set, roll out your dough with a floured rolling pan. Use cookie cutters to cut into 20 or so cookies. place on greased baking sheet and bake at 375F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. If you want them extra crispy, I would bake for 2-3 minutes longer.
  6. Remove and let the cookies cool.
  7. Once cooled you have the option of using icing. I mixed a ¼ cup coconut oil with ¼ cup maple syrup, a little vanilla, and cinnamon. Coated each cookie with the mixture them sprinkled with extra orange peel or orange zest and vanilla protein powder. You can easily use powdered sugar instead.
  8. If you want these cookies to be more sweet, then use extra maple syrup and icing!
Notes
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch


Oh, and did you see that special ingredient listed?

Yep –> it’s a sparkling fruit drink. Bai Bubbles Blood Orange to be exact. When added in with that maple coconut butter and orange zest, it creates a killer combo! More on that drink later.

bai bubbles

Okay Okay, I so i might have healthified these cookies to the max, but trust me,  you can make them extra sugary… if you so dare. ;-)

Favorite Holiday Cookie? Do you healthify things for friends or yourself?

Cheers!

LC

 

Thai Coconut Cabbage Soup {Paleo}

Last week I spoke about my love for coconut and cranberries in a soothing smoothie (for gut health). My husband (aka the kiwi) also happened to chat about rest/taking it easy. I guess you could say a little TLC is needed these days, and that is A-OKAY by me!

This week the love of soothing foods for gut health continues, along with more coconut. But let me explain why here. Hang with me.

Thai coconut soup with cabbage www.cottercrunch.com

You see, when the body (or at least my body) is under a certain amount of stress, digestion needs a little more support. This is usually why we back of high volume or intense training, and why we focus on getting nutrient dense foods in the system. But it can be tricky. The body responds differently to certain foods for EACH person.

For us, smoothies and soup can give you more bang for you buck. Easy on the stomach but allow you add in KEY nourishment., such as herbs and spices! Adding in herbs and spices are also a great way to significantly increase the nutritional value of your meals, plus many herbs and spices serve as digestive aids.

Thai coconut soup with cabbage2 (4 of 1)

Hence my love affair with soup! It’s full of good broth, you can add in extra gelatin (see here why it’s good for gut health), herbs, spices, fats (like coconut milk), etc.

For this one, I took out the grains (like rice), and replaced it with cooked cabbage slaw. It’s soothing, nourishing, and just plain good for the soul!

Thai Coconut Cabbage Soup (Paleo)

Serves: 3-4

If you are not comfortable making your own broth, then i would use Nona Lims Thai Coconut Lime Broth
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1¾ cups unsweetened light coconut milk (15-ounce can)
  • 1 to 2 red chiles seeds removed, sliced or diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • dash of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 quart organic chicken broth or homemade stock
  • lemon grass - I tried using 1tbsp of ground lemon grass paste, but you can also use 2-3 stalks of fresh lemon grass (mash the ends)
  • 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup cabbage or broccoli slaw
  • Optional add ins: shrimp, chicken, tofu, etc., sirirachi, dried basil
Instructions
  1. First, sauté your cabbage slaw in oil, lime, garlic, and pepper. Set aside. (be sure not to cook all the way)
  2. Next, in a large pot, bring to boil your herbs, spices, and broth. Let is simmer about 10 minutes then add in your cabbage and simmer another 5 minutes.
  3. Next add in your coconut milk and another protein you want to add if desired.
  4. Mix in the your peppers (chiles) and cilantro and serve with sirirachi on top.
  5. Note --> don't like cilantro? Try using sweet basil instead
Notes
Recipe by Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

For those of you who prefer to buy your broths, I highly recommend using Nona Lims broths! I used their miso pho and their thai curry lime in similar ways! The best!

nona lim broths

Now let’s get get cooking! Your gut will thank you.

thai coconut soup with cabbage 4 (4 of 1)

What’s your favorite type of herb to use in soup? 

Have  meatless Monday recipe to share? Be sure to link up with Tina and Deborah!

Cheers!

LC

p.s

Since we are on the topic of NOURISHMENT, check out my friend Laura (mommyrunfaster) RESET program going on next month! A 21 day challenge to really RESET your health and focus on whole foods! She’s offering 10$ off the program to Cotter Crunch readers with the code COTTER! If you want to hear about last year’s program and success stories, go here!

Why Easy Sessions Make You a Better Athlete

Each month I get to a point where I just need a break. Instead of trying to push through workouts and act all invincible, I remember the 45 minute rule. The one the Kiwi often preaches to his athletes (and himself). The 45 minute rule (to me) means going easy, I mean REAL, easy for no more than 45 minutes a day for for a period of 7-1o days. This means yoga, hiking, etc. No intense workouts. No long runs. No racing.

yoga and Why Easy Sessions Make You a Better Athlete wp.me/p1N2t3-4b6

I know, shocker, right? So many of us are used to hearing push harder or longer and I’m saying don’t.

Move–> YES.Why Easy Sessions Make You a Better Athlete wp.me/p1N2t3-4b6

Train like an animal? No. At least not every day.

You’re questioning me, aren’t you? Well, I’ll let the Kiwi explain this one. The Easy session(s) rule. The reason why going 10-14 days without hard training just might be the best thing for you!

The Easy Session via Coach James (aka the Kiwi) Cotter.

I have been very lucky in the past to have worked under some of the most knowledgeable coaches in the sport. During those years I have picked apart and also applied some of their training aspects to my own training and to that of my athletes. As a coach, you always have to be evolving, learning, and catching onto trends of athletes. 

Why Easy Sessions Make You a Better Athlete wp.me/p1N2t3-4b6  Cotter Crunch

The subject of rest is a problem for so many athletes, the problem being not many athletes like to take it when it is very necessary.

Over a period of time, I have found that the use of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) , along with feedback from my athletes comments, that sessions below 40 minutes around Z1/Z2 efforts (also known as Easy Zones) seem to allow for better recovery.

First –> what’ is Heart Rate Variability?

 Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to the beat-to-beat alterations in heart rate. Under resting conditions, the ECG of healthy individuals exhibits periodic variation in R-R intervals. The best time to measure HRV is first thing in the morning. See here for more details on how to measure it!

Second —> What do these sessions look like on paper? When should you take them? And for how long?

Let’s take a look!

Applying Easy Session Weekly 

  • In the cycle I use for training, I like to incorporate 1-2 x 40 minute sessions at very low intensity. I like to stick these in the day before a key session. I like to think 80% of your results come from 20% of your workouts.
  • Looking at HRV data, 30-40 minutes + a good sleep seems to help get you fresher to hit the important sessions in the block. Being fit is one thing, but being fit and fresh is another

Applying WEEK LONG Easy sessions After a Big Training Block 

  • With so many events on the racing calendar it can be very easy to tax your system and race poorly despite thinking you’re really fit.  Too much training and not enough rest can ruin your year if you’re not careful. When scheduling training, it is important to always stick in a 7-10 day recovery block after 10-12 weeks or training plus racing.
  • Again, with data from HRV, it seems that sticking in 10-14 days or rest between your next training block. If monitoring HRV and sleep, most athletes will start to notice their HRV improving as well as quality of sleep.

As an athlete it is your job to arrive at the start line fit and fresh, not just fit. So look at those easy sessions as the key to keeping you fresh so you hit key sessions! Arrive at the starting lines ready to race!

tim-and-james_thumb.jpg

What’s your take? Do you think easy sessions make you a better athlete or improve fitness? 

I hope so!

Cheers to rest and recovery!

JC and LC

 

Soothing Coconut Cranberry Smoothie {For Gut Health}

I love the Holidays! I do, really! But I will be the first to admit, no matter how hard I try, I still have my moments of exhaustion and stress. It’s my own doing. And I’m learning to say NO more and slow down. My body is the first to tell me to do so.

If you’re like me, you carry stress in your gut. If you’re like me, your gut lining may take a beating and need some TLC. This means I need to focus on eating NOURISHING HEALING foods, yoga, and easing back on intense exercise. These are KEY to helping the body manage acute stress.

coconut cranberry cleansing smoothie 2 (4 of 1)

IMG_4822

If you’re like my husband (aka the Kiwi), his stress comes from big career decisions while still in the middle of training for an Ironman. WHOA! That’s a lot of physical stress!

Either way, stress is stress. Mental or physical. And FOOD can help heal and repair when the body starts to break down. The rest is up to you to take ACTION and slow down. AM i right? YES!

 

coconut cranberry cleansing smoothie (4 of 1)

Two of my favorite foods for gut health and coconut and cranberries. You can read up on why I love Coconut MCT oil Here, so let’s focus on the other… CRANBERRIES!

Unsweetened Cranberries rank right up there with berries when it comes to antioxidant content! Antioxidants are essential to for combating the free radicals that can damage our DNA.  Free radicals attack the body when it is ….. STRESSED (physical or emotional).

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Raw Cranberries also provide you with an array of nutrients, including digestion-aiding enzymes. In fact, a new study has been linked cranberries to helping prevent attachment of bacteria to the stomach lining, similar to what it does for the urinary tract. This is good news for those who are prone to stomach ulcers. Source.

coconut cranberry smoothie 4 (4 of 1)

Okay, so we’ve talked about cranberries, and coconut. Now let’s talk about this smoothie recipe and what else I add to it to make it good for the gut.

Soothing Coconut Cranberry Smoothie {For Gut Health}
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen unsweetened cranberries
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • ½ banana (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp MCT Coconut oil
  • 1 Scoop Vegan or Whey Protein (I Used the My Cotter Creation Vanilla with digestive enzymes and L- Glutamine)
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
  2. See link below for My Mix Protein info!
Notes
if you are unable to consume protein powder (for dietary purposes), then sub in coconut yogurt or kefir to get in probiotics.

Recipe By Lindsay @ Cotter Crunch

You’ve got your coconut, you’ve got your cranberries, now let’s about how to get in more probiotics, enzymes, and protein!

This is where  MyMix  come into play! I really enjoy this product and what the company is about. They really do TAILOR to your dietary needs. Basically, you create your own nutrition supplement (pre or post workout).

My Mix Protein

I created two custom nutrition mix powders with specific supplements and allergy friendly combos that we need each day. One is vegan (with hemp and probotics) the other is more paleo friendly with grass fed 100% whey protein, a B vitamin complex for energy, a digestive enzyme and L-Glutamine (to help absorb our nutrients more). Both great for muscle repair GUT health. I like to alternate plant/animal protein so that the body get’s a variety of nutrients.

If you’re interested in trying out my personal COTTER CREATION mixes, check out these links below. It will take you straight to the store. Use Code CCRUNCH10 for 10% off

Now go blend this and stay stress free! ;-)

coconut cranberry cleansing smoothie 3 (4 of 1)

Disclaimer: My Mix allowed me to create my personal protein mixes free of charge. We love them! Yes, that is our honest opinion. Always!

What’s your go to HEALING food?

Do you ever use unsweetened cranberries in more than a sauce? If not, it’s time to start!

Cheers,

LC

Paleo Cocoa Hazelnut Bread with Molasses

Bread.. oh bread. How I love the smell of baking bread, or anything sweet for that matter. And can I tell yo something? 80% of the time, the gluten free food/treats I bake are for the Kiwi. Don’t get me wrong, I eat them too, but I mean I make things I know he will love (flavor wise). Then again, there isn’t much that man won’t eat. Which makes my job easy!

That other 20% of the time, I make something that is MY FAVORITE and then completely hoard it. Okay, I give him a few pieces, then hide the rest. Come on, you know you’ve done that before.

paleo cocoa molasses hazelnut bread (4 of 1)

Well, this bread is my craving. My dark chocolate, nutty, molasses craving. And it’s grain free because that’s what my body wanted.

Paleo Cocoa Hazelnut Breads

This bread.. it’s rich, in the best possible way. And if you warm it up, add butter or coconut butter, and drizzle with more molasses or dark chocolate sauce, you’re totally allowed to lick the plate.

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This bread… I probably make again soon for the Holidays, and the hoard more. Hey, sometimes a Sherpa Wife needs to be selfish. Oh and that I did!

Paleo Cocoa Hazelnut Bread with Molasses

Serving size: 8-9 slices

Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup coconut or tigernut flour
  • 1 cup plantain flour (you can use other GF flour here or oat flour if you don't have plantain flour)
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tbsp baking soda
  • dash of sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional --> to make sweet feel free to add in stevia baking sugar or ½ cup coconut sugar/brown sugar, etc.
  • Optional --> for extra protein add in ¼ cup gelatin powder
Instructions
  1. Mix your dry ingredients first in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk your eggs and milk. Pour into bowl with dry mix. Add in your hazelnuts and molasses and beat or mix until batter is smooth. Pour into an oiled bread pan and bake at 350F for about 25-35 minutes. Check center of bread at 25 minutes to see how it's baking. If you are using a different flour, it could take longer/shorter.
  2. Once cooled, drizzle with extra molasses, cocoa powder, and chopped hazelnuts to top!
  3. Makes about 8-9 slices.
Notes
Recipe via Lindsay @ CotterCrunch.com

Make this, share if you’d like, or selfishly save it all for YOU! Santa won’t put you on the naughty list quite yet, I promise.

paleo cocoa molasses hazelnut bread 6 (4 of 1)

Do you hide food from your family? Favorite way to use Molasses?

Cheers!

The Selfish Sherpa Wife