Monday, July 27, 2015

Gluten-Free Morning Glory Muffins

I actually made these up awhile ago; I was inspired by a very delicious muffin I had in San Francisco awhile ago, at the only gluten-free bakery I could find that I could actually have.  It was such a great muffin that I made my husband walk about 4 miles two days in a row to get one, and I'm still regretting not stocking up and freezing some.

Luckily they listed their ingredients online, and though I didn't have all the ingredients, nor did I use the large amount of sugar they definitely did, I was still able to come up with a pretty hearty and tasty morning muffin.  I also love that they fill you up for hours, especially when you bake giant, jumbo-sized ones like I did.

gluten-free hearty morning muffins

gluten-free easy muffins

Gluten-Free Morning Glory Muffins
 yields 14 regular muffins or 6 jumbo and 1 mini loaf

giant morning glory muffins


½ cup raisins
1 granny smith apple
3 carrots
1-1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
½ cup sucanat or coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup chopped pumpkin seeds or walnuts
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
3 eggs
2/3 cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil
2 teapsoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup orange juice

carrot apple raisin muffins


1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin or 6-cup jumbo tin with coconut oil or line it and spray the insides of the muffin cups.
2.  In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup raisins with hot water, and set aside to soak.
3.  Cut a apple into 5-6 pieces and place in food processor with 3 medium carrots and pulse until chopped pretty fine.
4.  Stir dry ingredients together.  Add drained raisins, carrot and apple to bowl, along with coconut, walnuts and sunflower seeds.
5.  Whisk eggs, oil, vanilla and juice and add to the above mixture, mixing just until combined.  Fill each muffin cup almost to the top and bake for 20-25 minutes for regular muffins or 30-34 min for jumbo, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6.  Cool several minutes on a wire rack, and enjoy!

gluten-free morning glory muffins

gf mini loaf with carrots apple and coconut

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Favorite Workout Tools

Trail running while listening intently to a podcast
I know yummy allergen-free fueling recipes are great (who doesn't get excited about trying a new recipe post-run? What?  Not everyone?).  But sometimes I do excited about other things too, and on the days I'm not just slipping on shoes and going for a run or walk with the pups, I do have some fitness tools I like to utilize to switch it up.  SO here are the things I can't live without on my fitness journey.

1.  Fitness DVDs.  I used to abhor fitness DVDs, probably due to a cheerleading conditioning elective class in high school in which a teammate's mom "coached" us by making us do the original Billy Blanks Tae Bo videos over and over.  Now though, I see the appeal of rolling out of bed and into the living room to do an early morning yoga or Pilates workout without worrying about my appearance or having to take more than a few steps to get on my mat.
Plus, when it's dark out or terrible weather, or when I'm traveling, it's an easy way to switch up my workout.  My current favorite is PiYo for low impact, but I also have DVDs ranging from Burlesque to gentle yoga to Insanity.

2.  My Yoga Mat(s).  Ok, I have about 5.  But my favorite has always been my lululemon The Mat.  Thanks to being a former lululemon employee as well as an on and off yoga instructor for 5 years, I have had the opportunity to try out many mats, and this is the one for me.  But really any yoga mat can be used for a variety of exercises and stretching routines.  If I had to keep just one thing besides my running shoes, it'd definitely be a yoga mat.

Yogi gets a little jealous when I roll out the mat instead of clipping his leash on

3.  My iPod.  And no, not for music.  I actually embarrassingly have usually 0 to 5 songs on my iPod, and it's the original nano I've had for years.  I got into listening to NPR and audiobooks a couple years ago and that's definitely my secret to hanging in their for the long run days.  I also love podcasts, and if it weren't for my iPod or phone, I'd probably take the dogs on much shorter walks.  Turns out though when you're listening to an interesting story or learning something new, you can walk or run miles and miles without realizing it.  Check out my post on my favorite podcasts HERE.

4.  My Bosu Ball.  Although there are many challenging bosu workouts out there, I usually use mine to sneak in a little exercise or flexibility training.  Sometimes I stand on it when I'm at the computer or blogging or doing any task where I can balance on the ball and work on heel raises and squats.  Occasionally I look up a YouTube workout or make up my own routine until I work up a sweat, but for the most part it's a stealthy relaxing way to strengthen and tone.

Check out the Bosu Ball complete with pump and bosu here:
BOSU Balance Trainer, Blue

5.  My aqua belt.  Yes, I love aqua jogging, preferably along in a pool with my iPod in a little baggie clipped to the top of my bun while I hustle up and down the pool.  I love it, and I love having my own  belt so it doesn't seem so public-pool germy.  I can vouch for this one working fantastic and lasting for years so far:


5.  Light weights, flexibility band, medicine ball, Garmin watch, gliding discs: there's a lot more things I like to use on occasion, but those four are my definite favorites.  I'd love to know what you like to do or what equipment you use on your non-running days!

Mediterranean Vegetable Salad

cauliflower couscous

I love using cauliflower because it's so versatile.  Raw, pureed, roasted; there's a long to be said for what at first glance seems to be a pretty bland veggie.

I did a revamp of my raw cauliflower couscous from a couple years back, and with a more flavorful dressing and more fresh vegetables, it was just what I didn't realize I wanted: a fresh, flavorful crisp salad dish that is absolutely perfect for a warm summer day or evening.

I was lucky enough to receive a sample of Black Cumin Oil from Vom Fass USA,  whom has a great selection of oils vinegars and more including some organic options.  The Black Cumin Oil blended perfectly with fresh lemon juice and spices in this light dish, and I encourage you to give it a try!  It's a perfect side dish or light meal, and keeps well refrigerated for several days.

raw summer salad

Mediterranean Vegetable Salad


1 medium cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped and and packed
1/3 cup mint leaves, loosely chopped
2-1/2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup green olives, diced
1 medium cucumber, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small lemons, juiced
2-1/2 tablespoons Black Cumin Oil
1 teapsoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Red Ape Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

organic vegetables


1.  Rinse all vegetables (use a organic vegetable wash first if desired--that's my go-to way to get rid of any potential pesticides lingering on produce).
2.  In a food processor, add the cauliflower a little at a time, pulsing just until it looks like coarse grains or rice.  Add the parsley, mint, onions, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes for a few pulses.
3.  Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add chopped cucumber, olives, and fresh tomatoes.
4.  In a small dish whisk fresh lemon juice with cumin oil and apple cider vinegar.  Toss salad in the dressing, adding a little more lemon juice or oil if needed.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, adding more to taste if desired.
5.  Serve at room temperature or chilled for a refreshing light meal.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Fluffy Pancakes

coconut yogurt fluffy pancakes

gluten-free dairy free fruit pancakes

Happy Independence Day!  Sleeping in and pancakes seemed like the perfect start to a holiday Saturday, and so, my newest recipe was born.

I usually don't like pancakes very much; I usually pull out the waffle iron instead.  I often make the mistake of making my pancakes or waffles "too healthy" too.  I'm known for attempting little too no flour, and many times have screwed up batters by adding too much chia seeds or pumpkin and I end up with a healthy but soggy or gummy breakfast.  So basically, I do not claim to be a pancake expert beyond my simple banana and egg protein pancakes.

This morning though, I woke up craving pancakes.  I wanted the decadent, restaurant style fluffy pancakes I vaguely remember having when I was young (and didn't know yet why I felt sick all the time.  Yup, turns out no gluten or dairy for me!)  So when my husband eagerly said "yes!" when I asked if he felt like pancakes, I decided to forgo my usual habit of sneaking in as healthy ingredients as I can, and instead looking for a simply airy and fluffy pancake that we both would enjoy.

I took inspiration from this blog and tinkered it to my tastes and thus, the best. pancake. I've. ever. had.  Read below to make your own easy perfect-texture fluffy pancake.  Enjoy, and let me know what you think.  I'm pretty sure I ate twice as many as my husband and I still feel great.  And so happy.  I think the perfect pancake will do that to you.  Now for a bike ride and short run!  Happy 4th of July, friends!!

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Fluffy Pancakes
Yields 10-12 pancakes


3/4 cup coconut greek yogurt (I used So Delicious; any type of greek yogurt should be great)
3 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut or almond milk
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons oat flour*
1 tablespoon coconut flour
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
2-1/2 tablespoons granulated honey or palm sugar**
3/4 teaspoon baking soda


1.  Whisk yogurt, eggs, vanilla and milk well.
2.  Stir in remaining dry ingredients.
3.  Heat pan on stovetop on medium and spritz with avocado oil or coconut oil.
4.   Spoon about 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter for each pancake onto pan.  Cook until set and flip, about 4 minutes on the first side, 2 on the other, or until set and lightly brown.

easy gluten-free pancakes

5.  Serve plain or with additional honey or yogurt and fresh fruit if desired.

gluten-free pancakes

*Grind oats until fine in a coffee bean grinder or food processor for inexpensive oat flour; be sure to use gluten-free oats for a gluten-free pancake.
**You may use regular honey or maple syrup instead of granulated honey or sugar; just reduce the nondairy milk to 2 tablespoons.
If your batter is a little thick, add a little nondairy milk until the desired consistency is reached.

perfect fluffy pancakes
Add caption

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Recovery Rice Crispies

Eat up after your workout with a protein-rich delicious and filling rice crispy treat.  Healthier than your childhood favorite and way more rewarding.  I used Wild Friends flavored sunflower seed butter (they now have organic sunflower seed butter!) but feel free to use whatever nut or seed butter you have on hand.

This is a great post workout treat as it contains carbs and protein (and tastes good, of course).  Many sports and fitness nutritionists support that eating an appropriate amount of carbs in the 20 to 30 minute window following a workout restores muscle energy stores, and that a smaller ration of protein helps with recovery and repair.

Recovery Rice Crispies


1/3 cup Wild Friends Honey Sunflower Seed Butter
1/3 cup Wild Friends Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter
2 tablespoons water
1/2 mashed banana (about 1/4 cup)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 tablespoons water
2 cups Rice Cereal*
2 cups Erewhon Crispy Rice Cereal*

*any sort of rice/crispy rice cereal should do!


1.  On low heat, heat sunflower seed butters in a small pan.  Once melty and warm, add in water until slightly runny.  Stir in protein powder of choice and add the last 2 tablespoons of water.

rice crispy cereal topping
not so pretty, but so delicious!
2.  In a medium bowl, pour the mixture over the rice cereal.

organic rice cereal

3.  Line a 9" pan with wax or parchment paper and spritz with coconut oil.  Press mixture into pan and freeze until set, then slice and serve!  Stores well covered in the freezer.

The best deal on Wild Friends: trio of organic sunflower seed butters in the best flavors!  They also do great nut butters.

In a pinch, use plain seed or nut butter in the recipe, and add in honey and cacao powder and a dash of maple syrup and sea salt to taste.

wild friends sunflower seed butter