Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Hi all and welcome to Wednesday! We have made it to hump day – woot woot!

Today I would like to share with you guys a super delicious muffin recipe to get into the flow of FALL and PUMPKIN EVERYTHING (I am a white girl and I am proud!). I made a batch of 12 muffins on Sunday and as of yesterday morning, they were GONE. Terry and I each had two and my roomies devoured the rest. I think it’s safe to say they were yummy:)

These muffins are flavourful AND nutritious so there is absolutely NO GUILT in eating one of these bad boys!

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Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

I cup pumpkin puree
1 cup honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 small zucchini, grated
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350oF.
Mix together pumpkin, honey, coconut oil, egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Add the zucchini and chocolate chips. Mix all together.

Add about 1/4 cup of mix to each muffin paper.
Bake for 15 minutes.

And VOILA. Enjoy all 12 or share with your roomies:) I got a request to make another batch today, so you know where I will be!

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Do you have a favourite muffin recipe?

Favourite pumpkin-flavored thing?

Do you or have you lived with roommates?

My Favourite Podcasts (I Can’t Believe I Am Writing This)

There was a time (think 2 months ago) when I thought podcasts were for old people and for people slightly older than me who thought podcasts were the coolest new technological thing (no offense meant – bear with me). But it’s also funny, because maybe 6 months ago, I thought the same thing about blogs. Who the heck writes a blog? And even more so – who reads them? They’re for old people trying to be cool. And don’t even get me started on iBooks.

But then I actually read a blog. Then I wrote a blog post. Then I listened to a podcast. And then I downloaded the library app on my iPad and read a free book. I was blown away.

Did I get old or less cool? It turns out neither.

Podcasts are actually super great (and super cool:) for so many reasons:

  1. I love learning about basically anything and it turns out you can find a podcast on any subject. (Yesterday I learned about Lithium and last week about Venus Fly Traps – why not!)

  2. THEY’RE FREE. Like really, morally free (unlike music).

  3. They’re super easy to access, search for and consume. Not to mention portable – even my little iPod Nano supports the Podcast app.

  4. The ultimate distraction: there is a place in my heart for running with music (namely during a race or a speed workout) but I love podcasts because they keep me entertained on long, solo runs. It’s like having a few really smart friends right there in your ear;)

In the past 1-2 months I have developed a serious podcast addiction. I now have up to 10 different stations/subjects and I get overly excited to run because I keep those podcasts solely for runs. If you’re a podcast junkie like me, then you might enjoy this little list I threw together of my favourite podcasts to date (please note that I am still a newbie to podcasts!)

FAVOURITE PODCASTS (Sept. 22/15)

  1. Serial from This American Life

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    -If you’ve listened to Serial, then you know. If not, I highly recommend it. The story will pull you in immediately, but just a warning, you may develop an obsession with Adnan Syed’s case.

  2. Undisclosed

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    -A more in-depth look at Adnan Syed’s case than Serial. If you liked Serial, you’ll love Undisclosed.

  3. Talks With Teachers by Brian Sztabnik

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    -This podcast is great for teachers and future teachers (or anyone interested in the education system).

  4. RunnersConnect Run to the Top with Tina Muir

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    -Of course, what better podcast to listen to while running than a running podcast? I love listening to these podcasts because it’s really like reading a running blog WHILE running! What could be better?!

  5. RadioLab

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    -I’m an English major and basically suck at anything science/math related, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t interest me a TON. RadioLab makes harder concepts much easier to understand.

  6. Greater Good Live

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    -Another scientific approach to many simple aspects in life – like happiness! Crazy interesting.

  7. The Marathon Show

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    -I think the name speaks for itself:)

  8. Marathon Training Academy

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    -Again, I think it speaks for itself:)

  9. Criminal

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    -Basically Law&Order in your pocket.

Oops, I only had 9. But hopefully, that 10th spot can be filled by YOU.

I hope everybody has a fantastic Tuesday full of great food, great people and something that makes YOU feel good!

à demain!

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Do you listen to podcasts? When did you start?

What is your favourite podcast?

Playing Catch Up

This past week has been crazy – which is why I have been mostly MIA. It was my second week of classes, but my first week back to (dance) teaching. I have 10 classes to teach this year plus 1 competitive number to choreograph so it is going to be a BUSY year. But always fun!!

Although I didn’t manage to get my act together and update my blog, I DID manage to get in all of my miles last week (35km!). Here is a quick recap of my runs last week:

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Long run on Monday. All went well. I found a handy-dandy 8km loop starting and ending at my house. I ran 8km, grabbed water and headed back out for the remaining 6.5km. If you have ever had a stop at home in the middle of your long run, then you know how hard it is to get back out onto the road to finish. I was happy that I stayed under 6:00min/km pace, but even happier that I pushed myself to finish the 14.5km that I didn’t even want to start. especially after stopping at home and seeing my big, comfy bed! I finished strong and felt ecstatic afterwards.

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Wednesday – speed/hill workout. I ran 1km to warm up, 10 100m sprints/100m walks and 1km cool down with a big ol’ hill thrown in there for good measure. I added in core and hip work afterwards.

On Friday – Terry agreed to run with me! He flat-out refused the 10km I had on my schedule, but agreed to run the 8km loop with me. Let me just say how much more fun it is to run with a buddy. Wow. We had a blast! I forgot to wear my watch for this run, but we finished 8km in about 46 minutes.

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Saturday – 5km easy run. All 5km of this run hurt, but I went out and finished. I had just downloaded a super interesting podcast so that helped a little:) Later that day, Terry led my through an upper body workout and let’s just say I’m still feeling it 2 days later.

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The randomest run you ever did see!! On Sunday, I ran an extra 2km to reach 35km for the week (the missing 2km from my 8km run on Friday). I tried to keep my pace around what Terry and I ran on Friday. I added in some more core and hip work after.

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And just because we’re all already here – I ran 16km this morning for this week’s long run! I did the 8km loop twice with a break at home for water, bathroom and half a Power Gel (tangerine – not my #1 favourite but I got it for free at my last race!). I had been feeling a little unmotivated for my upcoming race, still debating about dropping down to the 10km distance and feeling (for some reason) undertrained. I needed this run and it reminded me that I am more than prepared for this half marathon on October 11. I will go out there and give it everything I have – PR or not!

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(I ran with my phone in my sports bra and this was the end result. Blurry blue skies.)

I had received some bad news relating to my family back at home this morning, and I wanted more than anything to stay curled up in my bed and cry. Instead, I used this news as fuel for my run. I ran long and hard and for my Nana. She is currently doing well, but any positive thoughts and prayers for her are appreciated! She is my world.

After 4 straight days of running, my body is craving a rest day tomorrow. I will embrace it with open arms.

In other news (food news):

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I go through 1 sweet potato after 2 days. I am obsessed. (Recipe to come later this week!)

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I am really into throwing everything in my fridge into one bowl, mixing it up and eating it. This bowl has a kale salad mix, quinoa, sweet potato, chick peas and my homemade guacamole. It was delicious, I swear.

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A terrible picture, but on Friday night Terry and I made the best pizza ever. Really, it is better than a restaurant pizza. It had pesto, bruschetta and capricollo. Again, recipe to come later this week:)

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I have also been eating a ton of Egg White Oats. Like every single day. But I can never seem to get a picture of them? This empty bowl will have to do.

Happy Monday everybody! This week is going to be a great one – I can feel it.

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How were your runs last week?

What food are your currently obsessed with?

I currently finished my favourite banana marshmallows. Looking for suggestions – what is your favourite candy?

Does sad/worrisome news fuel your run, or encourage you to leave it for another day?

Some Music for Your Monday

Hi all! I am writing this post sprawled on my floor because I had a 9 mile/14.5km long run this morning and my body is DEAD. I really pushed my pace to stay under 6:00min/km and succeeded – yes!! But more on that tomorrow:)

As of lately I have really enjoyed running while listening to podcasts (Serial, Undisclosed, Criminal). I find they are really great at distracting me from any pain or discomfort and make the time fly by. Plus, I really love learning new things from these podcasts and telling Terry, my mom and my roommates about them afterwards (they usually smile, nod and then call me a nerd but hey, I really love learning!!)

On Sunday I did 5km of easy running and wasn’t in the mood for a podcast. Instead, I listened to one of my favourite running playlists entitled, “Running Motivation.” The songs on this playlist either talk about running fast, loving yourself or the fact that things will get better – all words I really need to hear during a run, especially during long/tiring/hard runs (which Sunday’s was not, but I still enjoyed the motivation). There’s just something about upbeat and motivational songs that make you feel like you’re flying (or in a music video which is equally as fun).

HERE are a few songs off of my Running Motivation playlist. I have a super weird and random taste in music but these songs do the trick! Enjoy:)

“You Are Enough” by Sleeping At Last (my absolute favourite)
“I’m Alive” (Dance Remix) by Celine Dion
“Up” by Shania Twain (“Can only go up from here!”)
“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield (Can you say Bridget from Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants movie?!)
“Defying Gravity” from Wicked the musical (I love singing along to this one)
“Ready To Run” by One Direction (My sister is obsessed with One Direction and is so pumped that this song made the cut)
“Girl Almighty” by One Direction (Ditto)
“I Lived” by One Republic
“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
“Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson
“If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow (“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad” –> best description of running I have ever come across)

Happy Monday to all!!

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What is your favourite song to run to?

Do you have any of these songs on your running playlist?

Do you listen to any podcasts? Any suggestions for me?:)

Back At It

The first week of my fourth year of undergrad is over already. That means only 23 more weeks of classes until graduation – yikes! Despite the massive piles of work and readings and the dread of upcoming projects, papers and presentations, I have been overly excited to get back into the swing of things with my routine.

I had four really really great runs this week, which I am beyond happy about. They weren’t particularly fast and were not at my goal race pace, but I felt strong and happy during all of them, which I think matters more (to me at least) than hitting certain paces. I hit the distances. And that’s what matters to me.

On Tuesday, I started the week with a long run of 13km (about 8 miles). I had no knee/IT pain and felt great the entire time. I stopped for a bit of water halfway at the only water fountain in the town (I’m pretty darn sure about this) because I drank my entire water bottle pretty quickly.  No fuel during the run, but I did have a Lara bar about 30 minutes prior to running.

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I have changed my training plan (again) to fit my crazy schedule better. On Mondays, I don’t have class until 5pm so I have tons of time for a long run (I did my long run on Tuesday this week because of the long weekend). The result of doing a long run on Monday has a bit of a pyramid effect: long run, medium run, speed workout, easy run. I’m sure there are tons of studies and tons of runners with experience that state that this is not the best way to train. But it works for me. I love starting the week with a long run because I swear the endorphins last the rest of the week.

On Thursday I ran 8km. I attempted this run at goal pace but fell a little short. I had done some weights the day before including bench press which left my chest and arms a little spaghetti-like come time to run on Thursday. I distracted myself the best I could with “Undisclosed” podcast (also deals with Adnan Syed’s trial for all those “Serial” fans). I am still pretty happy with my pace and distance all in all:)

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On Friday I tackled 6.5km with my friend, Briar. She had been working in Europe all summer and hadn’t had much time to run, so we took this one pretty slow even though I had a speed workout planned. Running with Briar was much more important to me than speed:) We explored new parts of the town I had never seen and even ran into FOUR FRIENDS along the way! So much fun. I am also loving the cooler temps for running.

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I had to run a little extra to get to and from her house:)

Briar and I also bought unlimited yoga passes! We have gone to two yin classes since Friday and it is sooooo nice to get back into yoga after a week without it.

Today (Sunday) I had an easy 5km. This run was solo and just what I needed after a busy weekend with friends. I wore my watch but didn’t look at my pace. I listened to my favourite running playlist and just ran easy based on feel. And the feel was great. It was one for the books.

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Tomorrow? Well, it’s Monday so – 14.5km/9 miles!

I hope everyone had a happy, restful weekend!

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Tell me about your weekend!

Do you use a GPS watch? If so, what brand?

Any knowledge/wise words about my pyramid running structure?

When is your next race/what distance?

Change of Plans…

I did have a blog post written and ready for today, but…

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I may have been very young on this terrible day. I may be Canadian. I may be many, many miles away, but that has never lessened the respect and mourning I have for this day and the people affected by it. Growing up, my mom would gently explain the events to me in the most age-appropriate way she could until I was old enough to ask questions and find answers myself.

Even as a Canadian, I have never disregarded the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001. For as long as I can remember since, my classes in school always had a moment of silence to honour and remember the lives lost and the tragedy inflicted. I feel that it is not just important, but necessary, to continue this tradition in respect to the events that hit so close to home for so many people.

Today is a day not to reflect on running or food, but on the meaning and importance of this day. I choose to always remember and send out my love and condolences to those who have felt loss on this day.

I hope everyone – no matter where you are from – chooses to stop and remember today.

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A Few Things I’m Diggin’ Today

Hump Day – yippee! And only the second day of the week. If only we could get used to this four day week/three day weekend thing. It does seem a tad bit more balanced and fair to me – don’t ya think?

Not a whole lot to report today, but I do have a few random things to share with you that either made me smile, laugh or just appreciate life a little more today.

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This meme pretty much killed me today. Not sure if this is so accurate because I spent 80% of my summer watching Arthur with the little guys at work, or if because I have literally been in this exact situation 58 times. Cookies for the win.

Cilantro Aversion Gene –> My friend, Erin, sent me this link after I glared at her shrimp tacos in distaste, as they were topped with cilantro. Apparently there is a genetic explanation for a dislike of cilantro and I definitely have that gene. My response after reading this article: “This is everything.”

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I saw “Straight Outta Compton” last night. It changed me. I can’t wait to download ALL the 90’s rap for my running playlist. The storyline is stellar and unique and full of emotional suspense (Terry begs to differ, but…). See this movie even if you think you won’t like it. Because you will love it!

North Bay has a restaurant/bar called The Moose. On Wednesdays you get a free pound of wings with your cover. Can’t wait to spend some quality time with some honey garlic chicken wings tonight… and of course my friends as well;)

101 Things I Will Teach My Daughter –> Missing my mom hardcore right now so this sparked a few tears. Happy and grateful tears, of course. Love you momma!!

If you’re feeling even more sentimental –> Sarah Kay’s poem (spoken aloud) “Point B.” It will totally make you weepy and totally make you want to call your mom/daughter.

And some less tangible things:

I am loving how sore I feel after running 8 miles yesterday. I feel like a mix of a rockstar and a super elite athlete. I am probably the proudest 8 mile runner in the world right now:)

I am also loving getting back to the gym at school and doing some weights. My summer consisted mostly of running and yoga (not complaining), so I am happy to do a little more strength training again.

I hope everybody is having a great day/week so far!

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Have you seen any movies in the theatre lately? Maybe Straight Outta Compton?

Those with kiddos –> what are their favourite TV shows? Do they like any throwback shows like Arthur?

Is anybody else super close with their mom?