Eat Happy Run Healthy | Running and Healthy Recipe Blog

10 tips to help you stay safe running in the dark

STAY SAFE RUNNING IN THE DARK

The season for running in the dark has arrived. Along with holiday candy comas and face-stuffing festivities, we endure the challenge of keeping up with fitness while battling shorter days and low-light conditions. Don’t fear the darkness! Get out there! But first…

Check out these 10 tips to help you stay safe and seen while running in the dark:

BE BRIGHT – We can all thank the running industry for continuing to offer head-to-toe options flashing back to the neon colors of the 80s. Thank goodness! Wearing the most illuminating colors on the run is the brightest move you can make. The science behind how our eyes react to color is fascinating. Bright yellow is best for dusk while neon green is a more visible color as eyes adjust to the darkness. Of course once it’s pitch black, those neon colors are ineffective and the retroreflective pieces take over. A car’s headlights pick up the mirror-like surfaces of the reflective material, making you shine like the star you are! (Want to geek out about the science of colors and how fluorescents work? Read this.)

Here I am wearing the Brooks Bolt Jacket and Bolt Hat.
Love these fun, reflective accessories like wrap bracelets and headbands too!
eat happy run healthy reflective running in the dark

Oh, and I just ordered one of these bad ass lighting/reflective vests to try — the Tracer360 from NOXGEAR. A fellow November Project member was wearing one at a workout, and the functionality looked awesome. I’ll report back.

GET LIT – Now that cars and cyclists can see you, let’s make sure you can see the road. Headlamps are

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30-day challenge: get more from your core!

30-DAY CHALLENGE

Next 30-Day Challenge
STARTS NOVEMBER 1st!

Can you believe it’s been a week since we finished the last 30-day challenge? Why not start another one? Wait, ANOTHER 30-day challenge? OH HECK YEAH!

You know that highly addictive feeling you get when you start to see and feel results? I don’t know about you, but I started seeing them in the first 30-day challenge, and I’m pumped to see more! Now look, I’m not necessarily getting phone calls to be on the cover of Fitness Magazine, but crushing 100 push-ups will give you a little (teeny-weeny) bit of arm definition. My arms pulsed in pain just thinking about doing 40 push-ups 30 days ago, but not anymore. BRING IT! Let’s not let all that hard work go to waste!
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 The last 30-day challenge was a combo of push-ups and core strength. Those 30-day challenges are here if you need to reference them or care so deeply about fitness that you want to share them with the world.

This next 30-day challenge is going to take what we started and build upon it. Each day will have a 50 push-ups and 100 crunches, but this time there’s an added variety to the planks. We’re looking to diversify the muscles we are working in and around our core. There will be a combo of STANDARD PLANKS, RIGHT SIDE-PLANKS, LEFT SIDE-PLANKS, UP/DOWN PLANKS, AND REVERSE PLANKS. There are videos below if you want a visual on some of these different types of planks.

You might be looking at this challenge thinking, “how the hell am I going to do 50 push-ups and 100 crunches and then all these planks?!” One tip of advice is to not look at each day’s task as one big number, but instead break down the sit-ups and push-ups into smaller groups between planks. For Example – Day 1: 10 push-ups, 20 crunches, 5 sec plank, 10 push-ups, 20 crunches, 5 sec left-side plank, 10 push-ups … get it? If the 50 push-ups and 100 crunches seems like it’s a little too advanced overall, drop them down to 30 push-ups and 50 crunches per day, or even less if you need to. Your call. Find a challenge for yourself, set a 30-day goal, and stick to it!

Click here to download this 30-Day Challenge
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If you are unfamiliar with any of the plank styles, check out the below videos:

PLANK VIDEO

SIDE-PLANK VIDEO

UP/DOWN PLANK

REVERSE PLANK

how to make coconut milk – how to video

coconut milk recipe

Making a batch of homemade coconut milk is EASY. SO, SO EASY! I’ve seen some recipes that begin with cracking open a coconut. That’s where I stop. Who has that kind of time? Smashing a coconut open with a hammer is way more work than I’m willing to commit to. Picture a hammer, a coconut, and me — that story doesn’t end well. This SIMPLIFIED recipe starts with opening a bag of shredded coconut. No heavy tools. Watch this video to see how easy it really is!

Making coconut milk takes only two ingredients — water and coconut. Start with 4 cups of almost boiling water and 2 cups of shredded, unsweetened coconut. I use Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Medium Shredded Coconut. Combine both ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend on high for 20-30 seconds. The Vitamix 5200 blender is my blender of choice (such a game changer!), but use whatever blender you have. After the blend, you are looking for a creamy, milky beverage.

coconut milk

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gluten-free fig newton recipe

gluten-free fig newton recipe

Fig newtons have been one of my go-to running fuels for years. Let’s be real, a runner can only choke down so many gels and gummy chomps before making a mid-run pit stop at a Chipotle becomes a necessity. Okay, so maybe in my wildest running dreams could I chow down on a burrito mid-run and not puke, but I have found that munching on fig newtons gets me over the need-for-food hump.
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Figs are a smart fuel choice for runners because of their concentration of vitamins and minerals. 

POTASSIUM: I mentioned some of the benefits of potassium in this smoothie recipe, but as a reminder, it help our bodies maintain a balanced electrolyte level. Potassium also helps the brain function and enhances muscle control and contraction. Eating a fig (or a banana) while in the middle of a cramp won’t make it go away, but you can help prevent them by maintaining proper electrolyte levels.
IRON is used by our bodies to create hemoglobin, the protein in our blood that carries oxygen. Maintaining proper levels of iron allows our bodies to perform at peak levels. Female athletes are more at risk for iron deficiency because of the blood we lose each month through menstruation. Ever wonder why your same running routes at certain times in the month feel like more of a push?  Your iron levels could be to blame.
FIBER: While that word might make some people cringe, know that fiber is a good thing. Just half a cup of dried figs has 7.3 grams of fiber. Some of the fiber in figs is soluble (helps slow digestion so you feel fuller longer), and the other is insoluble (helps improve bowel function). And for that, we say thank you to figs!
CALCIUM: If you’re consuming a non-dairy diet and struggling to  get enough calcium, turn to figs! Eating a small handful each day puts you well on your way to achieving the daily recommended intake.
 photo fig newtons pic.jpg
After years of eating store-bought fig newtons, I finally looked at the ingredients. Yikes! I’m actually shocked that figs are still listed as the main ingredient. I also wondered what it would take to create a homemade version that was fairly simple, included unpronounceable ingredients, and had no preservatives. Considering I’ve been wrestling my husband for the last cookie in the batch, I think I’ve come up with a winning recipe. These fig newtons are not only gluten-free, but I’m totally in love with the added zip of orange zest. Knowing exactly what ingredients are going into these makes me that much more excited about trusting them to my stomach on the run.

Let’s get started! Making the dough is fairly straight forward — combine the dry and wet ingredients separately and then stir them together. Once that is complete, wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for an hour. Don’t worry if the dough feels a little too moist and sticky, the fridge time will help even that out. About 15 minutes before the dough is ready to come out of the fridge, pre-heat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then follow the directions to get the fig filling prepped in the food processor.
gluten-free fig newton recipe
Next is the fun, hands-on part! Start by getting the dough out of the fridge, unwrapping it, and placing it on a piece of parchment paper. Next, cover the dough with a top sheet of parchment paper and begin rolling the dough into a large circle/rectangle figure no more than 1/4″ thick. Make sure the length of the rolled dough will fit on the baking sheet. A little parchment paper trick: I like to use one big sheet and fold half of the paper over as my top layer.
gluten-free fig newton recipe

Once rolled out, carefully lift the top parchment paper off the dough. Spread the fig filling on half of the dough, leaving about 1/2″ from the sides with no filling. Now we need to fold the non-fig side on to the fig side. Don’t try to pull the dough from the parchment paper; simply pick up a corner of the parchment paper and fold it carefully over the half with the fig spread. Push down lightly across the surface. Carefully pull back the top parchment paper layer, leaving the top dough layer folded over. See below for reference.

gluten-free fig newton recipe
Now might seem like the perfect time to cut your dough into squares. Wait, stop, don’t do it!  I’ve found that this dough is a little too sticky to cut. I’ve tried it and epic recipe failures have occurred. We’re going to bake this as one giant cookie FIRST, let it cool, and then cut it into squares.  That’s my recommendation.

The last step is transferring the dough to your baking sheet parchment paper. Easy peasy. Take the parchment paper from your baking sheet, lay it on top of your prepared big cookie, and gently flip the entire cookie over so what was once the bottom of the cookie is now the top.

gluten-free fig newton recipePlace the unbaked cookie on the baking sheet, and bake for 20-23 minutes or until golden brown in color. Allow to cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Traditionally fig newtons are little squares, but get creative with it… or just eat it as one ginormous cookie. That’s cool too. Same great taste, with a little more character. Want to take your fig newton experience over the top? Try it with a side of homemade coconut milk. 

Enjoy this fresh batch of homemade gluten-free fig newtons on the run or off, but get them while you can — they won’t last long!
gluten-free fig newton recipe

gluten-free fig newton recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Production Time: 22 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Yield: 12 -14 cookies

gluten-free fig newton recipe

Ingredients

    for the dough
  • 1 cup almond meal, sifted
  • 2 cups oat flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • for the filling
  • 1 cup dried, de-stemmed figs
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp orange zest

Instructions

    Prepare the dough:
  1. In a medium size bowl mix the dry ingredients: almond meal, oat flour, cinnamon, salt, and orange zest.
  2. In a small separate bowl mix the wet ingredients: honey, melted coconut oil, and vanilla.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. The dough will be sticky and moist. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Prepare the fig filling:
  6. Place the de-stemmed figs, cinnamon, applesauce, honey, and orange zest into a food processor. Process on high until mixture is a paste consistency. Some chunks are okay.
  7. Preparing the cookie:
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Unwrap the refrigerated dough and placing it on a piece of parchment paper about the size of your baking sheet. Next, cover the dough with a top sheet of parchment paper and begin rolling the dough into a large circle/rectangle figure no more than 1/4" thick. PARCHMENT PAPER TRICK: I personally like to use one big sheet and fold half of the paper over as my top layer.
  10. Once rolled out, carefully lift the top parchment paper completely off the dough. Spread the fig filling onto half of the dough, leaving about 1/2" from the sides without filling.
  11. Now we need to fold the non-fig side onto the fig side. Don’t try and pull the dough from the parchment paper; instead, pick up a corner of the parchment paper and fold the figless side carefully over the half with the fig spread. Push down lightly.
  12. Carefully pull back the top parchment paper layer leaving the top dough layer folded over. Now you have 1 really large fig newton.
  13. Now might seem like the perfect time to cut your dough into squares. Wait, stop, don't do it! I've found that this dough is a little too sticky to cut. I've tried it and epic recipe failures have occurred. I recommend baking this as one giant cookie FIRST, let it cool, and then cut it into squares.
  14. To transfer the dough to your baking sheet parchment paper, take the parchment paper from your baking sheet, lay it on top of your prepared big cookie, and gently flip the whole cookie over so what was once the bottom of the cookie is now the top. This also helps unstick the part of the dough that was originally rolled firmly onto the original parchment paper.
  15. Place the cookie on the pan, and bake for 20-23 minutes or until golden brown in color. Allow to cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Traditionally fig newtons are cut into squares, but you cut them however you please. Get creative and EAT HAPPY!

Notes

Keeps in a sealed container for up to 1 1/2 weeks.

http://eathappyrunhealthy.com/fig-newton-recipe/

QUESTION: Besides fig newtons, what other foods do you like to eat while on the run? 

2015 nike women’s half — san francisco recap

nike women's half marathon

Running the Nike Women’s Half in San Francisco has always been a dream of mine. 

A couple weeks prior to the race, I was filled with excitement when Mecque, my buddy from Fleet Feet San Francisco, welcomed me to pace with her in the half. Um, YES!!! My original plan was to run alone, but having a run partner is always an added bonus. Plus, she’s full of vibrant running energy, AND she knows the San Francisco running scene like the back of her hand.

The best part about running with Mecque? Besides showing up with a Rockstar energy drink in her hand and a smile on her face, she’s also rocking a Flip Belt with a MINI Jambox. It’s like running with a personal DJ. When the road is normally filled with the sounds of heavy breathing and running shoes hitting the pavement, crushing a few miles to the beat of Pit Bull can be pretty motivating. I’m pretty sure we had groupies at one point in the race. I’m not the kind of runner who traditionally wears a running belt, but I’m now thoroughly convinced I need both of these contraptions.

Nike Women's Half
My alarm was set for 4:50 AM. Enough time to eat, dress, stretch, and perform all the appropriate morning bathroom duties (ahem), before meeting her at 6:00 AM. The hotel I stayed at was only 2 blocks from the starting line making it was easy to drop our bags and head to the corral. With 25,000 runners jammed into the city streets, there was an expectation of morning chaos, but everything flowed like water. Sunday also happened to be Mecque’s birthday. She was targeting a 1:55 finish for a PR. Even though I wasn’t 110% confident my body was going to hold up on the hills, I promised Mecque we would do our best to pace to her goal. Originally, my plan was to just cruise through this race, but I there was a bigger purpose.

Nike Women's Half
The race began on time: 6:30 AM. Races always begin with the cluster of slowness that you have to weave through, but we spread out nicely within a mile of the start. The first hill to speak of was at mile 2 and we gave a little push to get to the top. The sun was coming up and greeted us with a clear morning. No fog, but it was around 63° and there was humidity in the air. I was already sweating and took note that I should be drinking little sips early and often to stay hydrated.

A little past the 5K mark we headed into Golden Gate Park. (Our 5K split: 27:42, 8:54 per mile) We needed to make up a little time, but I wasn’t worried. I’d never been in the park so I was taking it all in. As we continued running west, the course brought us closer to the beach where a light headwind started to pick up. My hair was already drenched in sweat so it was like having my own personal air conditioner. We continued weaving through the park. Every once in a while a breeze would drag the scent of eucalyptus across our noses — ahhh, natural running zen!

Nike Women's Half

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