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power [delicious] cookies.

February 6, 2012

I made these last night for D and I.  A perfect treat for the Super Bowl and soooo easy to make!

These make a perfect treat anytime. They also make a perfect breakfast, a perfect snack, and perfect post workout fuel food.

We often refer to them as healthy cookies, because, all of the ingredients are natural, unprocessed, high in protein and good for you! 

Who in life can even resist dark chocolate?! [yumm-o desert!]

Here is what you will need…

  • 4 cups of natural ground almonds [I will typically buy in bulk and grind in the blender]
  • 1 cup of Quinoa flakes [I often replace this with ground flax because it is easier to find!]
  • 1 cup of unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup of organic honey [or agave nectar, or maple syrup]
  • ¼ butter [I use earth balance, vegan butter…you could also use natural peanut butter]
  • 2 egg-whites
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries [or raisins, or dried cherries, or prunes, you choose!]
  • ¾ cup of dark chocolate chips

Heat your oven to 375 degrees, and lightly grease two baking sheets.

bet you can't eat just one.

Mix all of the ingredients into one big bowl.  Make Tim-bit size balls [or slightly larger] by rolling a handful of the ingredients between your two hands.  Place on the tray and bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit for [at least] 15 minutes. These balls  of deliciousness will fall apart   if you aren’t patient!

This recipe makes 25-26 generous sized cookies.  If that’s too many, try half the recipe! Or make them all and save some in your freezer [they will last up to 3 months frozen!]

Let me know what you think! Enjoy!! 

ash.

tour de bloc.

February 5, 2012

On January 16th I competed in my first climbing competition. Tour de Bloc.

Okay, that was quite some time ago. Life has been busy. I spent the week following the comp, recovering and talking about how much fun I had. And now, I’m ready for the next one!

For those of you who have not been to a climbing competition before, the rundown…

While there are numerous ‘tour de bloc’ competitions, occurring across Ontario and Canada, typically each comp will have some representation from across the country.  In January [@ Burlington’s Climber’s Rock], there were over 250 competitors, competing in Open, Experienced and Recreational and Youth categories.  The Open category, and most competitive, was represented by approximately 40 women and 90 men this year. 

There are 50 problems set throughout the gym, ranked from the easiest climb to the hardest climb.  Each boulder problem has points associated with it.  Points are assigned for completing the ‘problem’ on your first attempt [the most points], second attempt [ the second most points], or third+ attempts.  The higher ranking the problem is that you do, the more points that you get.  The goal for a competitor…get the highest amount of points possible. 

Problems are not always ranked exactly from easiest to hardest. Also, climbers may find certain problems more suited to their climbing style, than others.  The start of the competition means scoping out the problems you want to climb!

For my first competition, my hope was to have fun, try as many problems as possible, and get the chance to try a new style of setting.  I was also excited to watch my guy, Mr. Voltan, make an appearance and compete! Mission accomplished! I had a great time, tried a lot of really cool problems and met a lot of really great people [have I mentioned all climbers are awesome?]

At 4:30pm the Open category of climbers are finished. Tally their score. Submit their score cards.  [At this point, I think everyone makes some good food a priority. Burritos were perfect!]  And wait for the list of competitors to complete in finals [8 men and 8 women who score the highest will move on to Finals and compete in an isolated style competition.]

Finals began at 8:00pm and are so exciting to watch! There were so many strong men and women climbing, so you can imagine how impressive it all is.  If you haven’t come out to finals of a climbing competition, I STRONGLY suggest that you do.  Check out http://www.tourdebloc.com/TDB9/News/News.html for upcoming comp dates!

A big congrats to all climbers who competed and made finals this year, you all crushed!! Special congratulations to Iyma Lamarche [women’s division] and of course, my most favorite guy, Dave Voltan [men’s division] who took first place in finals this year!

Check out another view of the comp http://evolvingmovement.ca/2012/01/15/tdb-climbers-rock-wrap-up/ which includes details of the day and some great pics!

 

climbing @ the comp. thank you Will for the photo!

This upcoming weekend, another competition will take place in Ottawa at Coyote Climbing Gym. See you there [I can’t wait!]

ash.

soup for james.

January 16, 2012

perfect for warming up {cuz it's cold outside!}

If you are like me, you constantly look for delicious and healthy dinner recipes. Better yet, ones that are quick and easy.  After much practice and taste testing meals, D-Vo and I have perfected the chicken soup.  I would describe it as a stew, or as the ultimate post-climb or workout fuel. It is hearty, colorful, and one of the healthiest and most nutritious things you could make for dinner.

 

 

Prep Time:          8 minutes

Cook Time:         35 minutes {30 minutes if you don’t include Chicken!}

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 orange pepper {can substitute yellow, red, or green pepper} (chopped to preferred size)
  • 1 bunch (2 handfuls) of broccoli {can substitute for 1 large zucchini} (chopped to preferred size)
  • 1 cup (approx.) of chopped carrots
  • 1 [organic] white potato (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 [organic] sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 L of Organic (low sodium) vegetable broth {or chicken brother if you prefer}
  • *Optional – 2 chicken breasts (chopped into small cubes)
  • 2 teaspoons of Olive Oil
  • 4 cups of water

Deets:  

Finely chop your onion. Add chopped onion to a large pot with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Stir for 5-6 minutes on medium heat.  Add all vegetable broth and increase heat to medium/high.  Bring to a boil. Add chopped potatoes, sweet potatoes and chicken breast. Cook on high for 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Add pepper, broccoli, and carrots, cover and cook for an additional 25 minutes on medium heat.  Serve hot!

If you do decide to make this dish vegetarian, cook your potatoes about 5 minutes longer than the rest of your vegetables. In total, the potatoes need about 25 minutes.

*Tip* Make sure you do not use the same serving spoon/ladle that you used to stir the raw chicken with (when it was first added to the soup!)

You can be really creative with soups like this.  Experiment with a new vegetable you love, and see what works best.  {D-Vo and I have learned, some veg works better than others, this recipe is our fav mix!} Remember, if you are adding meat, I suggest cooking it for at least 30 minutes!

This recipe will make approximately 4 [generous] bowls of soup, which usually means someone gets a delicious lunch the next day! Or, freeze what is leftover, and re-heat when you are too tired to cook!

Bon Appetite!

ash.                       

ps. James you are awesome for being so patient! I hope you enjoy!

resolution sneak peek.

January 15, 2012

I spent more time (then I have in past) thinking about my new year’s resolutions.  My recently completed list will become my list of accomplishments I celebrate throughout 2012!

I do not want to bore you with the details of all my resolutions.   But, as some of you have requested, I will share the most important things I have committed to doing this year.    

~Spend more face time (or phone time) with my lovely friends.  This is definitely a reoccurring resolution. We all get busy with work, relationships, new homes, new babies, and everything else [so very important,] that requires our time.  As our responsibilities grow, so does our need for close friendships and support.  So, I will schedule phone dates weekly [to my sisters living too far away,] and plan cocktail nights or desert catchups [at least] each month.

~Run 2 miles, 2 times each week.  Okay. Most of you are probably wondering…that’s it?! But let me make clear, I am not a runner.  2 miles will typically take me 23 minutes, including a 2 minute warm up and cool down.  I do not run fast, but I run consistently.  A short cardio session makes me feel good, and helps me with my climbing strength and endurance.  So, in 2012 I will run [at least] 2 times each week.  This will usually be Tuesday and Thursday.  While it is best to commit to a day and time, my run is best saved for rest days [from climbing.]  When my muscles need a break, the short run keeps me motivated and moving!

~Give yoga a chance.  Because my body [muscles] and mind will thank me!  I’ll admit this – I will run to the climbing gym before choosing a yoga class.  But, when I do make it to a yoga class, I leave feeling stretched, refreshed and relaxed.   So this year, I will do yoga for 1 hour at least 1 time each week.  My favorite class [highly recommended,] Sarah’s Vinyassa at Yoga Space. 

~Read [at least] 5 books.  5 books [at least 1 non-fiction] recommended by 5 different people [taking recommendations now!].  My Dad recently recommended, my next read, ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow.’  I would love to hear about your highly recommended and favorites!

~Send Kung Fu[Lion’s Head Ontario.]  For those of you who are unfamiliar with ‘So…you think you know good Kung

Lion's Head, Ontario

Fu?,’ it is the name of a sport climbing route at Lion’s Head [a crag about 3 hours North of Toronto].  I first got on Kung Fu late this past summer, a fantastic, dynamic, and challenging route.  I believe, at the time, it was the highest and most difficult climb I had tried.  I fell in love!  It has ‘a little bit of everything’ and it will require me to push myself wellbeyond my comfort zone.  I can’t wait to get back on it again [come summer!] So, during the winter season, I am having fun climbing [at least] 3 times each week.   [At least] 1 day is spent trying to keep up with D-Vo and his training schedule [inspired by Mike Doyle.]

[please] Share with me your New Year’s Resolutions [commitments] and how you have stayed on track so far!

ashley.

a monday must read

January 9, 2012

Good morning everyone!

Since reading this earlier today, I have been eager to post and share with all of you.  This is the perfect way to start or continue thinking about your resolutions (commitments) for 2012!

Fabulously well written and thought provoking – means to ‘become a wholer, truer person.’  A Monday must read!

Mastering the Art of living Meaningfully Well by Umair Haque (@umairh) http://blogs.hbr.org/haque/2011/12/mastering_the_art_of_living_me.html

Check back later today for my list of 2012 resolutions (commitments.)

ash.

a happy new year {resolution} commitment

January 8, 2012

Happy New Year’s Everyone!

What a busy holiday it has been!  While I loved every minute with family and friends, cottage fireplaces, climbs with d-vo, delicious home cooked meals , late night cocktails and festive deserts, I am glad relieved that the holidays have come to an end.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas! A lot! But the beginning of a new year is refreshing – the perfect time to re-evaluate all things working well for you and things requiring attention, change or new direction.

Resolutions require and deserve a lot of thought.  Be realistic and detailed.  Should only include what you feel strongly about.  What you really want or want to be aware of. 

So what if everyone and their brother does Pilates, runs, reads a book every week, takes up Thai cooking, or learns 3 new languages.  This should not be your (sole) deciding factor.  Finding motivation in anothers goals and successes is fantastic, but you have to decide what it is you want to do for yourself.  What you will commit to. 

If this year, you want to be more active, ask yourself why? Do you want more energy? Do you want to lose weight? Be very specific in your resolution.  It will help you to be more consistent, and help you meet your goal.  Consider this…

{I will jog on the treadmill 2 days a week}  That is a good start, and most people will find some success…in the beginning.  But life gets busy, and if you can’t run today…perhaps you will run tomorrow. Or perhaps you will be busy.

{I will jog on the treadmill each Monday and each Wednesday} This is a much more committed resolution.  If Monday and Wednesday are the days you run, you can be careful not to make alternative plans during this time.

{I will run on the treadmill each Monday and each Wednesday for 25 minutes}. The best yet.  Let’s face it. It’s easy to hop on, get tired or distracted, and end your workout early, with the promise excuse to make up for it next time.

Stick to your commitment(s). And feel good about it because it is what you want.

Enjoy your successes this 2012!

ode to sleep.

December 24, 2011

This post is looooong overdue.  

While I am not fond of excuses, I do want to provide an explanation to my whereabouts.  I have been sick. Just when I felt myself getting better… getting back into my routine… getting back into the climbing gym… cough. The never ending cough.

Cough.

Cough.

Cough.

And I tried EVERYTHING to make it stop.

Thank you to everyone who spoke to me of their personal and creative remedies. I promise, if you suggested it, I tried it. Because not only was I exhausted with the cough, I felt for the poor people sitting in ears reach.

What has helped with my recovery?  Humidifiers, puffers, Vicks vapor rub, and almost two weeks of eliminating all un-necessary physical activity.  

What my body (and mind) really needed? SLEEP! 

It’s the first thing we sacrifice when we get busy (next to working out.) And its one of the few things we need to survive the next day.  I will be the first to admit, it is easy stay up an extra hour, but near impossible to snooze (and make up for it) when you’ve got an agenda. I had to discipline myself to rest…really rest. And it meant getting a LOT of sleep.

Don’t let lack of sleep catch up with you.  In order to get up, and keep up, with busy family life, job life and doing all of the things you love to do, make sure you fit in some quality zzz’s.

Tips for the best bed rest.

  1. There is no magic number.  Everyone is different. Figure out how much sleep you need in order to feel your best the next day. The average night sleep for an active adult is 7 hours, but some people (like myself) require 8+.
  2. Try and go to bed at the same time each night.  Okay…you don’t have to be THAT strict about it, but if you know you usually head to bed around 11pm, you won’t switch on Transformers at 10:45pm, because you just CAN’T turn it off…
  3. Get ready for bed at least half hour before you plan to visit dream land.  If you are like me, while you brush your teeth you think of at least 3 things you need to do before bed (walk the dog, pick out tomorrow’s shoes, tell your boyfriend/girlfriend how much you adore him/her…)
  4. If you are under the weather or under an unusual amount of stress, sleep 1-2 more hours more (than usual) per night.  It is tough. You WILL feel extremely old when you tell your guy or girl that you are heading to bed at…9:30pm.  And you might not actually fall asleep until 10 (or later.) But putting yourself to bed early means more rest than usually, and a faster recovery.

The holidays can be stressful, but are also the perfect opportunity for some down time.  For the next couple of days relax, rest, spend time with people you love, spend some time outside (in the snow if your are lucky) and get give yourself the best gift, some well deserved and quality zzzs.

happy christmas eve all!

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