Why the blog?

I write as the Spirit moves me. I have prayed about what I'm supposed to do with my life a lot. A lot. Writing. Writing is what I believe God is leading me to do. Whether or not He wants me to write for anyone to read is His business. Much of my writing has been therapy for me so maybe I'm the only one who is supposed to read it. So, why the Blog? As a sounding board, a note pad, a place to keep my ideas and thoughts. A place to share and promote my books, and photography. Written prayers, a place to vent. Possibly, even a place for the unknown reader to learn about the love of Jesus.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Cookie Please...

I have been doing a lot of baking lately.  Perfecting older recipes, trying out new ones.  I'm getting ready for my 6th marathon and I want to make sure my energy bars are 'just right'.  I also want to see how they travel.  On my recent mission trip to Panama I took several of my Fruit and Nut granola bars and they were delicious from home, to airplane, to El Valle, and back on the plane.  I'm sure my recipes aren't 'new' or 'revolutionary', however, I do know they are delicious! 

My newest endeavors have included spaghetti squash, a pineapple and coconut desert that's not quite ice cream, not quite pie filling - but YUM, and cherries.  Have you ever tried to pit a half-dehydrated cherry?  Still working on figuring that out.  Long story short, I didn't want to buy pre-dehydrated cherries because they are coated with sugar and other junk I don't want.  The grocery store I use featured cherries one day so I bought a big bag.  They were not pitted.  I've dehydrated frozen and they seep juice everywhere.  To prevent loosing any goodness I dehydrated them with the pits in, for 10 hours, then cut them in half, dehydrated another 2 hours, then removed the pit.  There's got to be an easier way!! 

Below are pictures and a few of my newest recipes. The explanations are pretty quick because I've gone into greater detail on similar blog posts.  If you'd like more details message me and I'll be glad to do a step-by-step how to.  If you want a cook-booklet, send $6.00 to my Paypal account (freedspirit05@me.com).  It's not fancy, but all the recipes are in one place.  

Spaghetti Squash

First up - Spaghetti Squash.  I've always wanted to make it but was a little afraid. I'm not a huge...okay so normally I dislike squash.  Avoid it at all costs.  However, in the attempts to broaden my horizons I tried it.  Simply cut the squash down the middle, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe a little garlic, turn upside down (opposite of this picture) and bake at 350F for an hour.  Turn over and scrape the flesh with a fork and it looks like spaghetti.  It does have a bit of a crunch and needs salt.  I like to put my favorite red sauce on top, just like regular spaghetti.  It's good! Filling, too.  







Flat bread
Whole wheat flat bread
I bought a handy, dandy tortilla press to help me make flat bread.  You can make with any type of flour, white or wheat, with our without yeast. (the one on the left has yeast).  Simply mix together 1 coup flour, 1/4 to 1/2 cold water, 1 tsp olive oil, and a pinch salt.  Knead, roll into 1/2 inch sized balls, cover the press with plastic wrap and press.  Not too hard, you don't want it paper thin.  For a cracker bake at 225F for 45 minutes.  For a softer bread bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes.  If  you use yeast, use my whole wheat bread recipe and let proof twice. Once in ball form, and once after pressing.  It will rise a bit and get a big air bubble in the center.  Make a pita type pocket bread. 

 

These are my post-run smoothies.  I do a wide variety, depending on my mood.  First take a dozen or so ripe bananas, peel, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.  Use one banana, and fruit of choice, add a handful of raw nuts.  Optional - a handful of raw spinach, 1/4 cup cacao powder, 1 Tbs natural peanut butter.  For the liquid add about a half cup of unsweetened regular almond milk.  About to the middle of the blueberries in the picture, enough to get the blender moving but not so much the smoothie is runny.  







 Apple muffin.  I had an apple and wondered what to do with it.  Did I want pancakes? No.  So, I took whole wheat pancake mix, added a cup of ground oats, an egg, some almond milk.  Then I took an apple, chopped it up fine.  Put some in the grinder and made apple sauce.  Ground up some almonds, threw that in.  Yummy!  Don't be afraid to get creative with your food.



Coconut delite
Coconut delite





I don't remember where I got the base recipe for this one.  I had a whole coconut and wanted ice cream.  Since I'm allergic to dairy I decided to make something yummy and cold.  Not quite a smoothie, not exactly ice cream.  Take a whole pineapple and cut it in circles.  With a paring knife cut just inside the rind to get rid of all the hard stuff.  Keep the center.  Put half the pineapple in a blender with 1/2 cup canned coconut milk, 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes, and 1 tsp vanilla.  Puree until relatively smooth. The coconut flakes will remain chunky.  Pour into two bowls and chill/freeze until the edges are frozen but the center is firm but not hard.  So delicious! If you have them available, add some fresh coconut flesh.

#Runergy bars
#Runergy Bars

These are my new favorite #Runergy bars.  It's a similar recipe as before but I put them in a silicone chocolate mold.  They are raw, not cooked, not even dehydrated.  I don't give this recipe away.  If you're in Florida (or Utah week of 7/19) message me and I'll sell you some! I eat them before and during my long runs (greater than 10 miles).

Pumpkin chip cookie

This is my son's favorite cookie.  It's on the blog. Type it in the search bar to find the recipe.  It's pumpkin and chocolate chip, dairy-free.



Fruit and Nut and Everything granola bars


These are the granola bars I travel with.  Fruit and nut and 'Everything' or Fruit and Nut plus cacao.  I don't give this recipe away either.  I sell them for $5.00 for the F&N, $7 for the 'Everything'.   I will say the Everything has espresso powder and is so good, I could eat nothing else all day every day for the rest of my life!
Cookies!! 



Cookies please!!  I love cookies.  On this blog I have a lot of cookie recipes.  I mix and match all kinds of ingredients.  That's the fun thing about food and baking.  Take a little of this, a little of that, start with a base dough and have fun.  I mentioned earlier that I wanted to make something with cherries.  I also had some avocados I needed to do something with.  The lighter cookie on the left is made with the 2-ingredient base - 2 ripe mashed bananas and a cup of oats, ground.  I then added my dehydrated cherries, chopped up, and chocolate chips.  Baked at 350F for about 10 minutes.

The darker cookie, doesn't it look red?  Well, it's the cherries.  
1 mashed avocado
1 egg
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup honey (or agave if you want it vegan)
1 TBs (or a little more) ground oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup dried cherries

My cherries weren't completely dried because I plan on making more granola bars.  The original recipe that I found called for apple juice.  Since my cherries were juicy, I didn't add it.  

Put all the ingredients, except the cherries in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Add the cherries and blend another 30 seconds or so.  Now, here's the tricky part.  I put the first batch on silicone baking pad.  Nope. They stuck.  Use a non-stick pan and spray with cooking spray - liberally!  Bake at 350F 10 minutes, cool, the put in the fridge.  I also added 1/8 cup of ground cacao beans for a little crunch.   You could add chocolate chips, espresso powder, nuts, coconut, etc.

All of these recipes need to be refrigerated.  The granola bars will keep longer if they are dehydrated until crunchy.  I like them a little softer.  To be quite honest, they are so good they won't last long enough to worry about spoiling!  I tend to make a huge batch of everything then freeze.  I hope you enjoy making fun, delicious, and healthy recipes.  Message me with any questions.  If you try a recipe and you loved it, tell me.  If it didn't work for you, message me and we'll figure out what to do to make it yummy.  

Happy Eating.  Be sure to check out my book sale on Amazon!  


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Kindle Countdown Deals

New Kindle Countdown deals begin on 7/10 and runs through 7/17.  Prices begin as low as $0.99!
Kindle Countdown Deals

Friday, June 5, 2015

Today's Thoughts and a Recipe

Today didn't go as planned.  It happens.  I'm not terribly disappointed.  Last week my long run was an awesome 21 miles without stopping and I had hoped for a repeat and maybe push it to 22 miles.  Didn't happen.  At mile 8 my left ankle began to hurt.  Same ankle and same location as two weeks ago.  Because I'm leaving for Panama on a mission trip in four days and I have a marathon in a month, I decided to call it quits and walk.  It didn't hurt to walk so I didn't even think about calling someone for a ride home.  So, mile 8.5 I begin to walk.  Then I realize - I'm a long way from home!  Sure enough, I walk 6.5 miles.  It wasn't too hot (I had started at 5:30 am) so I wasn't miserable.  Things like this happen and I got the time on my feet, which is good for my training. I think praying during the entire 3+ hours really helped me stay positive, no, I know it did.

I prayed about such things as the state of this world, how people get so wrapped up in other people's business.  I don't really care who's doing what to whom or what someone I don't know is doing to their body, what this country is doing or if the sky is falling.  What other people do is between them and God. 

Let me re-phrase this:  I care, I'm simply not going to let outside forces manipulate my thoughts and behaviors. I had a long discussion with one of my children the other day about control.  Do what you can, not what you can't.  You have control over your own thoughts and words and actions. Nothing more. The rest is in God's hands.  The battle isn't between ISIS and the world, between this person or that person and the media, it IS between God and Satan.  I know for a fact who has already won (God) and, therefore, I don't sweat the little stuff - such as what other people/governments/media/political groups do or think.  

This does not, however, mean that you should not be involved and sit on your thumbs.  Do what you can, not what you can't.  Volunteer at a homeless mission, vote, plant seeds of the Good News, teach people truth, do a good deed, be kind and love one another, etc.  

So, read the news, listen to the media, listen to your family/friends/neighbors then think "What can I do that is positive?"  Gossip about him/her/the situation?  No.  Worry?  No.  Post inflammatory comments all over social media?  No.  

Do one good thing.

Then do another.

Love your neighbor.  

Trust in the one true God that has already won the war.
John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."


Now, back to today.  
I'm sitting here on my couch, feet up, craving chocolate.

























I've got my compression socks on, feet propped up after my "long run" and I'm craving something sweet.  I eat a few jelly beans, but that doesn't do it.

Cookies!!  I want cookies, but not just any cookies because I'm allergic to dairy and don't eat store bought cookies.

Mixing up a batch. 

I decide to whip up a batch of double chocolate, espresso cookies.  Dark chocolate chips, cacao powder, espresso powder, and lots of love.

Almost ready for the oven.

You have to press them down because they don't spread.

Fresh out of the oven.

Yummy double chocolate chip espresso cookies!

RECIPE:

2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 2 TBS all-natural applesauce
1/2 cup plus 1 TBS coconut oil
1-1/2 cup agave or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
8 oz dairy-free dark chocolate chips
1/2 c cacao powder (not cocoa powder)
2 tsp espresso powder

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream together wet ingredients then add the chocolate chips.  Add dry ingredients.  If the batter seems dry add more applesauce.  
Spoon batter onto parchment paper
Spray your fingers with non-stick spray and press the batter.  These will not spread out.  You can leave them in little balls if you want, just turn temp to 325 and cook a little longer.
Bake for 8 minutes, let cool, then enjoy with a cold glass of almond milk or other non-dairy milk.

Here are a few more pics of some recipes I've recently tried:

Spinach crackers

Frozen banana bombs

No bake vegan carrot cake

Hope you enjoyed the blog and the recipe!  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Road to Deseret

Friends and family have often asked me how I'm able to run a marathon, much less a 5K.  It's no secret - one foot in front of the other.

Seriously though, it takes training, time, patience, and the right resources.  I have used several training logs/plans/programs including GallowayRunner's World, and my all-time favorite Strength Running.  I've learned a lot from each plan - schedules, nutrition, injury prevention, strength, and keeping a log. 

This is my log.

I've never kept a running log, at least not a detailed one.  I kept on my mirror a list - 
Sunday - rest
Monday - short run
Tuesday - strength
Wednesday - short run
Thursday - core
Friday - Long run
Saturday - cross train

I generally adhered to that, tweaked it as necessary, but didn't really think about keeping a journal until this race.  The upcoming race, in July, will be my sixth marathon.  I want to look back and see what worked, what didn't, how I can do better the next time without spending hours looking over Facebook posts.  

If you're a runner looking for a training plan for your next or first race, read with the following in mind - This is how I trained, it worked for me (I hope).  It is not your perfect textbook training plan.  I've made mistakes, slacked off when I should have pushed and vice versa, and I've had setbacks.  Read my journal, laugh, cry, shake your head and think 'well that was dumb', applaud, whatever, then go back up to the links and find a plan for you.  

Be warned - it is long.  The log/journal started way back on March 30th.  The workouts listed such as Sabre, Stiletto, Ballista, etc. come from Strength Running.  You can look them up online and on YouTube.  I don't list specific abdominal exercises.  Again, find them online.


3/30/2015 - Sabre Warm Up.  10-mile run, 1 mile walk
3/31/2015 - Standard Core, Stilletto, Treadmill 40 minutes
4/1 - Sabre
4/2 - 11 miles, strength
4/3 - abs
4/6 - Warm up, Clay Loop 9.79 miles.  Clay Loop video
4/7  - Treadmill, strength
4/8 - 10.3 miles with hills, Pike
4/9 - 14 miles Clay Loop.  On this run I met Desiree Linden and her training team. Quite the honor.
4/10 - Strength, abs
4/11 - 6 miles treadmill with negative incline.  Explanation - My next race is about 90% downhill.  So, I raised the back end of my treadmill up with 2x4 boards, initially, to give me a constant downhill.
4/13 - 10 miles Clay Loop, squats
4/14 - Ballista, Core, Stilletto, treadmill walk
4/15 - 10 miles easy.  Didn't sleep well the night before.  Saw a noisy crane during my run.
4/16 - abs, 10.3 miles Clay Loop, squats
4/17 - treadmill - 45 minutes easy; 7 mph 2 min/4/4; 8 mph 1/1/1:30; 6-7 2 min - total 9.5 miles
4/20 - core (abs and core are basically the same)
4/20 - Apopka Loop with a group 12.7 miles.  Saw lots of wild critters.  Apopka Loop Trail video.
4/21 - West Orange bike trail 12.72 miles
4/22 - core, strength, sprints 7 miles
4/23 - core
4/24 - 16 miles around my neighborhood in Apopka.
4/27 - rainy day.  strength, 10 miles on treadmill up to a 5 incline
4/28 - rainstorms again.  Treadmill, stairs in my house, core, strength, negative incline walk.
4/29 - Sick on the couch.  Nothing.
4/30 - 10 miles easy
5/1 - Sick day again.  I don't like being sick!
5/2 - High school stadium stairs.  
Running the steps
Strength Training




See the blue steps?  I ran a lap around the track then up and down all six sets of steps.  Repeated the circuit four times.  Plus, there are 9 steps up on each side and two set of nine steps in the center.
5/4 - Core (Bob Harper's YouTube channel), Apopka Loop Trail 12 miles.
Saw 12 gators on this run.
5/5 - Hill Repeats on Clay Loop. 11 miles.  The cows were not happy with my choice of music.  Then, I was stuck in a traffic jam on the way home.  
My companion on Clay Loop

Calves in a pasture on Clay Loop

Traffic Jam for miles!

5/6 - Core.  That's all today, I'm tired! Recovery day.
5/7 - 18.5 miles around neighborhood.
5/9 - Stadium step circuit
5/11 - 8 mile easy run with a few sprints.  Sore from step run.
5/12 - 45-minute walk on treadmill with negative incline.  Core.
5/13 - 10 miles.
5/14 - core
5/15 - 19 miles on the West Orange Trail at 9:49 pace.  Not bad!  Core.
5/18 - Sprint Intervals with my son as coach and time keeper.  10 miles.
5/19 - core.  Walk on treadmill to break in new Teva hiking shoes 1.5 hours.  Later in the day, I twisted or strained the top of my left foot/ankle.

Here's where things get interesting.  Almost every training cycle, when I reach the week I'm to do 20 miles, something happens.  Illness, injury (usually not run related), travel.  This cycle is no different!  Ugh!!  

5/20  - Ankle hurts on treadmill attempt and road attempt.  Stationary bike for 20 minutes.  Core.
5/21 - Bike 45 minutes
5/22 - 16.8 miles.  Took it slow because of ankle soreness.  That evening - I accidentally kicked the stairs and broke my left 2nd toe.  Can you believe it!?
5/23 - Toe looked and felt fine.  Question break or bruise.  Ran 7 miles on the Recreation Field with my husband.
Broken toe.
5/24 - Toe doesn't hurt with shoes on.  3.5 miles on treadmill.
5/25 - 6.6 miles at the Recreation Field.
5/26 - Elliptical, walk on treadmill, mow grass (yes mowing grass counts as a workout with my yard)
5/27 - 11 miles neighborhood
5/28 - Core, hamstring curls
5/29 - 21 miles at a 9:55 pace and no walking.  Not going to let a little thing like a broken toe slow me down.  Besides, it doesn't hurt.
5/30 - Stadium step circuit - 3 circuits of up and down all blue steps; 8x up and down the same blue staircase; 4x up and down the silver seats, walk 2 miles
6/1 - Chakram, Standard Core, hamstring curls, treadmill with a high negative incline 4 miles (concrete blocks did the trick)
6/2 - Core and warmup, 10 miles with 0:45 sec/60 sec/0.5 mile run/sprint/walk repeats with hills
6/3 - Easy day.  Core, 3.5 miles on treadmill.  Mowed the lawn.  

I'm going to stop here for now.  I leave on the 9th for a mission trip to Panama. Please pray for me and the team I'm going with. The plan for 6/4 is rest and 6/5 is 22 miles. Also plan to hike a mountain in Panama.  I'll let you know how it all goes next post.  I'll leave you with a few random photos.  God bless and Have a Nice Run!


Core workout with my shadow, Oliver

Icing my feet after a long run

On the bike after injury

Early morning run at the Recreation Field

#RunForCharity #TEAM413

Post-run recovery smoothie

#Runergy bar before, #Smoothie after

Colleen Wait Edits

Colleen Wait Edits

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This YouTube channel was created to add video to my blog.  Read it here:  www.colleenwaitwrites.blogspot.com.  I write about my life, my books, my family, my cats and kids, and of course travel.