Clean Quinoa Salad

January 22nd, 2014

This is my go-to quinoa salad recipe that we discovered when we did the clean detox program. All the ingredients are deemed ‘clean’ which means:

- that they have an alkalizing affect inside the body
- they are not potentially an irritant or allergen
- they do not have an inflammatory response in the body
- the raw uncooked ingredients means they contain enzymes that help with digestion (cooking destroys these enzymes)
- no preservatives and low in toxins

 

Uncooked Quinoa

Uncooked Quinoa

SALAD INGREDIENTS:
– 2 cups of quinoa
– 1/2 to 1 cup of currants or raisins
– 1 cup of diced carrots
– 1 cup of chopped almonds
– 1 cup of chopped celery
– chopped mint
– chopped parsley

DRESSING INGREDIENTS
–  1/2 cup Olive Oil
– 1/4 cup Lime juice
– 1 to 2 tsp. of honey, maple syrup or agave

DIRECTIONS:
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 cups of quinoa and cover. Cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.  Rinse in cold water and drain well.  Toss the cooled and drained quinoa with the rest of the ingredients. Mix the dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Give it a good shake and pour over the quinoa mix. Add chopped spinach and chicken for a more complete meal rather than a side dish.

Runners and Cyclists: How to help Prevent Injury, Improve Function, and Increase Efficiency

October 9th, 2013

What limits you when you are running or cycling? What prevents you from going longer or faster?

For most people it is because of a pain/ache, injury or tightness they’re experiencing. More often or not this is due to a lack of function, which can cause poor joint alignment. When we lose function our bodies use compensative movements to make up for the gap in function. Certain muscles will work overtime to help support the mis-alignment. This leads to uneven fatigue patterns which can then lead to injury, pain and stiffness.

What can we do about this?
Quite simply: restore muscular function to create proper alignment. Muscles are responsible for holding joints in correct alignment. Achieving this will prevent uneven fatigue so we can maximize our biomechanics and have improved efficiency of movement

Sounds great, right? So how do we do this?
Enter ADAPT’s Cycling and Running Durability Programs.

I really like the word “durability”. Don’t we all want to be durable and have longevity in the sports we love playing?  ADAPT’s programs are designed with this in mind.  A lot of work, careful thinking, and testing have gone into these products to make them simple and relatively quick to use, easy to follow and implement and most importantly — be effective.

durability photo2

ADAPT’s Durability Programs
The Cycling Durability Program and the Running Durability Program provide the specific exercise requirements for an individual to perform the sport at their highest ability with protection from common injury.  As the name suggests, the programs keep you “durable” in your chosen sport by restoring and maintaining proper muscular function.  

The ADAPT Cycling Durability Programs are specifically designed to help cyclists and runners maximize performance, whether you are an elite competitive cyclist/runner, serious recreational cyclist/runner or weekend warrior. The programs are designed to restore and maintain the function required for the sport. It is a complement to your current training program and when used consistently, athletes experience protection against common injuries and improved performance.

\durability flow chart

The Durability Programs include:

-A warm up routine called “Pre”.  The purpose of the “Pre” is to introduce ideal muscular interaction before the workout.

- A cool down routine called “post”. The purpose of the “Post” is to counter any compensative movement patterns due to uneven fatigue that occurred during the workout.

- A routine called “Reset” designed to re-establish efficiency of movement when fatigued. During a workout you don’t want to push on through if you are experiencing uneven fatigue. The “Reset” program will help set the body back to neutral.

- A routine called “Cycling Efficiency” designed to improve efficiency of movement.

- 3 joint specific recovery routines called “Supplements”

photo 1

 

How the Programs are Packaged:
The durability programs are available as a pdf file or in a spiral bound 8.5″ by 5.5″ fully laminated 16 page booklet. It’s small enough and durable enough to transport and carry around. My copies still look brand new after 12 months of consistent use. It’s an easy to follow program. You will find it is set out very logically with images of each exercise. If there is any doubt, there is a website available to you if you find you need detailed descriptions of the exercises.

FEEDBACK:
The Running and Cycling Durability programs are two products that I have been consistently using for the last year. I have been able to ride longer and harder than ever injury free. I’ve been able to race competitively in 5-7 hour events with good form throughout. The key is to use the programs consistently to complement your training. And the results will follow.

ADAPT Training
ADAPT Training is a performance training facility in Beaverton, Oregon. ADAPT has created a multi-level approach to training ranging from rehabilitation to athletic enhancement. Their approach is based on the understanding that every human body adapts to their surrounding environment and will lose or gain muscular and joint function based on the requirements of their daily activities. 

How to Purchase:
The durability programs cost $35 each.
Contact Breakaway Training via email (Julie@breakawaytrainingonline.com) or call (503-913-1671) for more information on how to make a purchase.

Quinoa, Oat and Banana Bars

March 7th, 2013

I have been making a batch of the Quinoa, Oat and Cherry bars every week. I made this variation to mix it up a bit. I also tried a savory version: nothing sweet; just rosemary and parmesan cheese. I’m still perfecting the recipe. If you like banana bread, then you’ll love this version.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups of Quinoa
1 can of coconut milk
2 1/2 cup of Oats (Trader Joes and Bob’s Red Mill have gluten free oats)
1 1/2 cup of yogurt, kefir or almond milk
1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup of mashed, ripe banana
1/2 cup of carob or chocolate chips
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp nutmeg
1/4-1/2 cup of sweetener (agave, honey or maple syrup)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 peanut butter
(Apple sauce or almond meal to change consistency)

 

Oats, Quinoa, coconut, and cherries

Oats, Quinoa, and coconut.

DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large bowl, soak the oats in the yogurt, Kefir and / or almond milk. The longer you can soak the better. I typically soak for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. If the oats absorb all the liquid; add a bit more.

2. Bring the coconut milk and 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the quinoa and simmer until the quinoa is cooked. This should be in about 10 minutes or when the liquid is absorbed.

3. Once the oats have been soaked and the quinoa is cooked, set the oven for 350 degrees.  Combine the oats and quinoa, and mix in the rest of the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry, add some almond milk, yogurt or apple sauce. If it is too wet, then add some almond meal. You want the consistency to be like a thick oatmeal. Pour the mixture into a large greased casserole dish (13 x 9) and bake for 35-45 minutes.

4. Cool in the casserole dish first before slicing into bars. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

Quinoa, Oat and Cherry Bars

December 3rd, 2012

For the last 6 months I’ve been making a batch of these bars every week. They are good for breakfast, make excellent snacks, and can even be a dessert.  I’ve used them to fuel up before, during and after a race / ride. These bars are very versatile and are easy to make wheat-free and/or dairy-free.

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups of Quinoa
1 can of coconut milk
2 1/2 cup of Oats (Trader Joes and Bob’s Red Mill have gluten free oats)
1 1/2 cup of yogurt, kefir or almond milk
1-1 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes (Bob’s Red Mill)
1-1 1/2 cup of dried cherries (Trader Joes Bing cherries)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of sweetener (agave, honey or maple syrup)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 – 1 cup peanut butter
Apple sauce or almond meal to change consistency

Additional options:
Chopped nuts
Nutmeg

Oats, Quinoa, coconut, and cherries

Oats, Quinoa, coconut, and cherries

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large bowl, soak the oats in the yogurt, Kefir and / or almond milk. The longer you can soak the better. I typically soak for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. If the oats absorb all the liquid, add a bit more.

2. Bring the coconut milk and 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the quinoa and simmer until the quinoa is cooked. This should be in about 10 minutes or when the liquid is absorbed.

3. Once the oats have been soaked and the quinoa is cooked, set the oven for 350 degrees.  Combine the oats and quinoa, and mix in the rest of the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry, add some almond milk, yogurt or apple sauce. If it is too wet, then add some almond meal. You want the consistency to be like a thick oatmeal. Pour the mixture into a large greased casserole dish (13 x 9) and bake for 35-45 minutes.

4. Cool in the casserole dish first before slicing into bars. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

Quinoa, Oat and Cherry Bars

Quinoa, Oat and Cherry Bars

Quick and Easy: Vegetarian Bean Chile

May 10th, 2012

Make a big pot of this and serve it with corn bread one night and a baked potato another.  A green salad on the side makes for a great meal.

This can be a quick and easy recipe if you use canned beans and tomatoes.  However, I’ve been really trying to get away from using canned foods for several reasons: they are more expensive, I don’t always know how they have been prepared, and then there is the whole issue of what the can is made from (some are still lined with BPA).  Try to buy organic (check out Eden Foods products).

Eden Foods

Eden Foods

When I make this from scratch, I pre-soak the beans for 24 hours, changing the water at least two times.  Why pre-soak?  Beans (as well as seeds and grains) contain phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to important minerals and prevents their absorption in the body, in particular calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Soaking and sprouting reduces the phytic acid.  When buying canned beans I have no idea how they have been prepared.

INGREDIENTS:
1-2 cup of Black Beans
1-2 cup of small white beans
1-2 cup of Kidney Beans
1-2 cup of Chick peas (Garbanzo Beans)
1 onion, diced
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
5-6 roasted tomatoes (or 1 can of stewed tomatoes)
1 large sweet potato, cut into cubes and steamed
Chili seasoning:
3-4 tbsp of chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
1-2 tbsp ground cumin
1-3 tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp black pepper

Or use a readymade seasoning like Carroll Shelby’s chili kit. The red pepper is in a separate packet so you can add as much or as little as your taste buds like.

Chili Kit

Chili Kit

METHOD:
Pre-cook the beans.  Saute the diced onion in a little coconut oil. Cut up the tomatoes, toss with coconut oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Steam (or roast) the sweet potato.  Add the cooked beans (with some of the water they cooked in), sweet potato and tomatoes to the onions. Add the seasoning. Add water, vegetable broth or tomato sauce or paste to get the desired consistency.   Simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Top with sour cream, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and/or tortilla chips.
Serve with polenta, corn bread, cheese quesadilla, brown rice, or baked potato.

Quick and Easy: Fried Rice

April 19th, 2012

It has been a while since I last posted a simple and easy to prepare meal.  I want to return to this theme. I’m calling it the ‘quick and easy’ series.  I want to emphasize the importance of eating healthy real food.  You can’t reach your potential as an athlete if you don’t fuel the body right. As athletes, we are so time crunched it can be easy to reach for processed foods rather than preparing real food.

Now that our 6 year old daughter has some after school activities (right now it is swimming, yeah!) our evenings are busy.  For me to provide real food dinners for my family it takes some planning in terms of menu selection and time management. Here are some ideas that work for me:

1. When I have time to cook, I’ll cook up a storm: Cooking the things that are more time consuming such as beans, chicken, rice, etc.  Then I have these items already to add to meals for the next few days.

2. On our busy evening days, I’ve started to prepare some of our dinners in the morning before work.

3. With a little menu planning, I can make sure there are left overs that can be used in a meal the next day. For example:  cooking a big batch of rice one day to use for a Bento Bowl, and then using the left over rice the next day for this fried rice recipe.

4. Making big batches of a meal and freeze portions to use another week. Not ideal as it takes the ‘fresh’ out of the meal, but it works well for soups, stews and things like quiche. Pair these frozen dinners with a green salad to get your ‘fresh’ fixings for the day.

INGREDIENTS
Cooked cold rice
Coconut oil
1 Onion, diced
2 stalks of Celery, diced
2 Carrots, diced
Brocolli
1 Pepper, diced
1/2 cup Peas
1 – 2 cups Cabbage, shredded or any greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc.)
3-4 Eggs, scrambled
Protein of choice (Tempeh, chicken, etc.)

Dressing:
1/4 cup Sesame Oil
1/4 cup Soy Sauce or Bragg
1 tsp Ginger, minced
1 tsp Lime Juice
1 tsp Garlic, minced
2 tbsp Miso

OR use Trader Joes Trader Ming’s Soyaki Marinade

Trader Ming's Soyaki

Trader Ming's Soyaki

METHOD:
In a large stir fry pan, cook the onion in the oil of your choice. I like to use coconut oil instead of olive oil.  Once the onion is cooked, add the rest of the veggies. Mean while, scramble eggs in a separate pan. Once the veggies are almost cooked, add the egg, the rice, and tempeh/chicken. To make the dressing mix 1/4 cup of sesame oil, 1/4 c of Bragg, 1 tsp of ginger, 1 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp of garlic and 1 tbsp of miso. Stir into the rice and veggie mix. Alternatively you can use Trader Joes Soyaki marinade.  That’s it; quick and easy.

WARM Up Guidelines for Bike Racing

April 12th, 2012

A good warm depends on the type of event, your current fitness level, your level of experience, and how your body responds to the activity. What follows are some guidelines. Practice different warm ups during training to see which one prepares you best for any given event. What works for a road race will likely be different than what works for a time trial. Generally, shorter more intense events will require a much longer and deeper warm up than a longer event.

Regardless of the type of race, arrive at the venue in order to have enough time to register, pin your numbers, get dressed, have bathroom breaks, socialize, warm-up and get to the start line without too much rush.  For me, 1:30 hrs typically gives me enough time.

Where you warm-up is a detail you should consider ahead of time. You may be at a race where there are few roads and/or heavily trafficked areas, lots of stop signs, poor riding surfaces such as gravel roads and/or undesirable weather conditions. Your best solution is to pack a stationary trainer. This allows you to focus on a continuous and consistent warm up at any race venue in any conditions.

Place the trainer as close to the start line as possible so you can hear any changes in start times and be available at a moment’s notice.

Stationary Trainer

Stationary Trainer

Have an energy/electrolyte drink readily available during your warm up routine.  It is important to stay hydrated. Most people like to have music to pedal along to.  Have your playlist ready.

You need a complete warm up that activates all the energy systems used during your race. Start off pedaling at an easy pace. Slowly increase the intensity until you reach race pace. You want to expose your muscles to race intensity for a short time (up to 3 minutes). Most riders benefit from progressive intervals, with easy recovery spins in between.   After you have finished the block of higher intensity riding you will want to keep spinning in an easy gear to make sure any lactate produced during the warm up is removed.

Make sure you practice your warm-up routine beforehand in training so you can make any necessary modifications. It is important to experiment with different warm up routines so you can figure out what works best for you and the type of event you are doing. The length and intensity of the warm up should be dictated by your current fitness level.  Don’t overdo it. You don’t want to work too hard during the warm up so that you are tired for the actual race.

If you find you are standing around due to a delayed start; keep calm. Practice some visualization and mental imagery. See yourself riding very smooth, fluid and relaxed. Use positive affirmation by repeating power or trigger words. If there is space keep spinning around. Alternatively, perform some very light static stretches. Don’t stretch too deep. Your muscles will need to recovery from deep stretching and can result in a decrease in initial power at the start of the race.

Race Start

Race Start

CycloCross:
The start of a cyclo-cross race is one of the most crucial aspects of the race. You should be 100% ready to give maximum effort from the gun. Getting a good warm up is absolutely necessary to get off the start line fast and achieve a good position going into the first technical part of the course.

Ideally practice a couple laps on the race course. Ride the course relatively easy focusing on the technical areas.  Look for good lines around corners.  Re-ride any technical areas. After riding the course, plan to spend up to 45 minutes warming-up on a stationary trainer. Time the warm-up so you are finished about 5 minutes before the start of your race.  Keep in mind that you want to finish the warm up with enough time to get a decent starting position on the line. Keep hydrated and warm. Make sure you are in the gear you want to be at the start line.

Time Trial:
You need to be ready to ride at your threshold from the start in a time trial. Be sure to check the race clock (it can differ from the actual time). Check the start times and make sure you are within range to hear any schedule changes or announcements to ensure that you make your start. Remember, the clock starts at your start time, whether you’re there or not.  Make sure you are in the gear you want to be at the start line.

Criterium:
You should be 100% ready to give maximum effort from the gun in a criterium . Often before the start of your race the course will be open for 5-10 minutes to pre-ride. Take this opportunity to scout out the course. Even if it is just a simple four corner course. It is good to know where there may be any loose gravel, potholes, man hole covers, etc. It will give you a chance to figure out the best line to take around the corners.

A 45 minute race will probably need a good 45 minute warm up.  Keep in mind that you want to finish the warm up with enough time to get a decent starting position on the line. Your body will maintain the benefits of a structured warm up for at least 10-15 minutes after your warm-up is complete, so don’t stress too much if there is a wait on the line. Make sure you are in the correct gear at the start line. Know where the wheel pit is and when the end of the free lap rule is.  These things are usually explained by the chief referee at the start line. Pay attention.

Cool Down
An effective cool down will help accelerate your recovery by removing waste products (such as lactic acid) and reducing post exercise soreness. Just like you need to practice and experiment with warm up routines, you will need to with cool down routines too. Here are some basic guidelines:

Refuel:  After a race most athletes will find themselves in a bit of a hydration and fuel deficit.  Consuming the right nutrients shortly after exercise will help repair tissue damage and re-fuel muscles. There are many post-exercise recovery drinks on the market that help to hydrate, replenish muscle glycogen stores and repair muscle and tissue damage.

Timing is critical: After intense or long workouts, the body is very receptive to absorbing depleted nutrients to help repair any muscle damage. This is referred to as the Glycogen Window. It is thought that this window of opportunity is within the first 30 minutes post-exercise. During this window the body readily absorbs nutrients at a much quicker rate (carbohydrates eaten will be converted into muscle glycogen at 3 times the normal rate). This rate drops off dramatically after 30 minutes. So make sure you make the most of this glycogen window by drinking/eating 20-30 minutes post exercise during your cool down routine.

Spin: The more intense the race; the longer you should spend spinning. Typically 5-15 minutes of easy spinning is adequate.  This allows for your heart rate and body temperature to slowly decrease and help flush out waste products from the working muscles.

Stretch: Light static stretching

There are numerous good recovery habits to consider once you have completed your cool down routine and these include compression garments, ice baths, self massage / foam rolling, and elevating your legs.

Here are a  couple of warm ups defined by Heart Rate Zones (rather than power) to experiment with.

Warm Up 1

1)       Ride for 15-20 minutes easy spinning with high cadence (90+). Find a gear that offers little resistance. Stay seated. Heart Rate Zone 1-2.

2)       Stretch for 5-10 minutes.

3)       Ride for 5-10 minutes easy spinning with high cadence (90+). Heart Rate Zone 1-2.

4)       Ride for 1 minute in one gear harder but keep cadence high. Heart Rate Zone 2

5)       Ride for 1 minute in one gear harder; try to maintain your leg turnover (cadence). Heart Rate Zone 2.

6)       Repeat this for up to 5 more minutes. Every minute shifing to a harder gear. Heart Rate Zone 3.

8)       Change to an easier gear and spin for 1 minute.

9)       2 minutes in a gear that simulates your TT pace.  Aim to slowly increase your heart rate up to Zone 3-4.

10)     1 minute recovery spin

11)     2 minutes in a gear that simulates your TT pace (HR Zone 3-4).

12)     30 second jump; all out in a medium gear.

13)     2 minutes recovery spin

14)     30 second jump; all out in a medium gear.

15)     5-10 minutes cool down.

Check to see if your bike is in the correct gear as you line up on the start line.

Warm Up 2

1)      Ride for 15-20 minutes easy spinning with high cadence (85-95). Find a gear that offers little resistance. Stay seated. Heart Rate Zone 1-2.

2)       Ride tempo for 10 minutes Tempo with a slightly lower cadence of 75-85. Heart Rate Zone 2

3)       2 minutes recovery spin

4)       6 minutes slowly building to Heart Rate Zone 3 by the last minute.

5)       2 minutes recovery spin

6)       2 minutes high cadence interval (105). Heart Rate Zone 4.

7)       2 minutes recovery spin

8)       2 minutes high cadence interval (105). Heart Rate Zone 4.

9)       5-10 minutes Recovery spin (timed so it is as close to the start as possible).

Warm Up 3 

1)       Ride for 5 minutes easy spinning with high cadence (90+). Find a gear that offers little resistance. Stay seated. Heart Rate Zone 1-2.

2)       1 min spin in an easy starting gear. 15 sec Jump (90%). 1 gear harder. Heart Rate Zone 1-2.

3)       1 min followed by a 20 sec Jump (90%). 1 gear harder. Heart Rate Zone 1-2.

4)       1 min followed by a 25 sec Jump (90%). 1 gear harder. Heart Rate Zone 2-3.

5)       1 min followed by a 30 sec Jump (90%). 1 gear harder. Heart Rate Zone 2-3

6)       30 sec max cadence in an easy gear. 1 min recovery spin. Heart Rate Zone 2-3

7)       60 sec max cadence in a harder gear than the pervious effort. 1 min recovery spin. Heart Rate Zone 2-3

8)       90 sec max cadence in a harder gear than the pervious effort. 1 min recovery spin. Heart Rate Zone 3-4

9)       2 min max cadence in a harder gear than the pervious effort. 1 min recovery spin. Heart Rate Zone 3-4

10)    30 sec standing climb/ 30 sec seated climb. Repeat for 5 minutes. Heart Rate Zone 3-4

11)     5-10 min easy spinning.