How was your weekend? I logged my last outdoor run on Saturday morning, a quicker than expected 10 miles with one really big hill near the end. I decided to throw it in there to test myself mentally and to simulate what it might be like at the toughest parts of my race this coming Saturday. I felt like I was moving at a snail’s pace but managed to pull of some decent training splits so I suppose that means I’m ready. As far as this week goes, the plan is to rest, do a couple of lighter runs, and get plenty of sleep.
On Sunday my buddy Jess was running the final stage of The ENDURrun, which was the marathon stage. She didn’t know I was coming out but I made some crazy bright yellow signs and popped out along the course a couple of times to cheer her on. Jess ran an amazing race AND qualified for Boston, which makes me even more proud of her.
We did some post-race celebrating and the rest of my afternoon was spent cleaning my condo and starting to pack for SeaWheeze. Speaking of packing, that’s exactly what inspired the theme of today’s post. It’s been a long time since I’ve shared some of my favourite things with you, and many of them will be coming with me out to BC. Starting with…
1. The New Balance Fresh Foam Trail Shoes
I posted a full shoe review for these guys two weeks ago, and have run in them several times since. Every time I put them on, I can’t believe how light they are, especially given their bulky sole. I love their bright colours, support in all the right spots, and the crazy deep lugs on the bottom that provide amazing grip. I’ll be running SeaWheeze in Asics (although I haven’t determined which pair will be ‘the chosen one’ yet), but the Fresh Foams will also be in my suitcase for our trek up The Grouse Grind on Sunday.
Guys, I am a HUGE podcast nerd. Listening to them while I’m at home or on long car trips has become one of my favourite activities and I love being able to constantly learn while doing other things that need to be done in my day to day. They’re a productivity-oriented person’s dream and the ones I listen to mostly focus on fitness, nutrition, endurance sports, entrepreneurship, social media, and marketing. I was going to list them all here but when the list got to be greater than 10, I realized it might be a topic better covered in a separate post. Stay tuned – it’ll come in September!
3. GoldfadenMD Skincare Products
Specifically, the Radiant Skin Renewal Starter Kit, which is coming with me to Vancouver because the container sizes are perfect for travel. I’ve been an ambassador and guest on GoldfadenMD’s blog, The Daily Scrub since early this year and have had a chance to try out a lot of products in their line. The Doctor’s Scrub is one of my faves, and comes in the starter kit. It contains tiny crystals that do an awesome job at exfoliating and keeping my acne-prone skin under control. If you try this after attempting to use a drugstore off-the-shelf facial scrub, I promise you will never go back!
Psst! If you’d like to give GoldfadenMD a try for yourself, you can save 15% using coupon code ‘EatSpinRunRepeat’ at the checkout. 😉
4. The Pact app for iPhone
I wouldn’t consider myself an app junkie, but recently one of my friends introduced me to Pact, a health and fitness app that you can earn money from by eating clean and logging workouts. Once you create an account, you set pacts for the week. There are 3 types:
- The fruit/veggie pact – Take a photo of a fruit or veggie you’re eating and give it a short description. Community members vote on it and if you photo is verified, it counts towards one of your veggie pacts.
- The workout log pact – There are several ways to make a workout count, including synching with RunKeeper and MapMyFitness (which are also apps.) Or, if you don’t like to run with your phone and work out in a gym, you can do like me and use the gym check-in method. Pact locates your gym via GPS, verifies it, and every time you visit the gym, you’ll ‘check in’. Pact then starts a timer and as long as you’ve been working out for at least 30 mins before checking out, it counts.
- The food logging pact – Log your meals with MyFitnessPal and synch the two accounts.
What’s the point all the logging? You earn cash for the pacts that you keep, but lose cash for ones that you don’t. You can hook up your PayPal account so that your earnings can be deposited there, and if you don’t hit your target, Pact will make a withdrawl – so that’s the incentive to stick to your goals! If you eat a ton of fruits and veggies and work out regularly, it’s pretty much like making free money. The only hard part is remembering to actually take the photos! You can learn more about Pact here. It’s available for iPhone and Android.
5. DIY Fruit Roll-Ups (that don’t require a dehydrator)
I was a HUGE Fruit by the Foot fan when I was a kid and can’t believe I’m saying this, but my preferred way of eating it was to wrap the roll around my thumb and lick it until it was gone, at which point my thumb and tongue were a lovely shade of purple or blue. Attractive, right? Fruit by the Foot days ended when my parents were told by the dentist that they would rot our teeth (surprise surprise), and I was never a fan of the supposedly healthier versions sold in the produce section that actually HAVE REAL FRUIT IN THEM.
Well, until I tried to make my own.
On the weekend I was home doing a bunch of thrilling domestics like cooking, cleaning, scrubbing floors, and finally scraping the last bits of dirt off my shoes from The North Face Endurance Challenge half marathon last month. I figured that if there’s was ever going to be a good day to have the oven on for 5 hours, that was it.
Based on what I’d read in the past, I figured all that needed to be done was puree some fruit in the Vitamix, pour it on a piece of parchment paper, and let it sit in the oven until all the moisture was gone. And you know what? That’s exactly what happened, and they turned out beautifully!
I made 2 flavours: Vanilla Peach and Berry. At 2 ingredients for each batch, these hardly qualify as recipes, but I’ll post them on my Recipes page for future reference.
2-Ingredient Healthy Fruit Roll Ups
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 5-6 hours
Ingredients (2 8×11″ sheets)
For Berry Flavour:
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 cup blackberries
For Vanilla Peach Flavour:
- 3 large ripe peaches, pitted and chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 200F.
For each flavour, puree the ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. You should get about 1.25 cups of fruit puree for each.
Pour onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Spread the puree as evenly as possible.
Bake in the oven for 5-6 hours, checking them periodically. I found that the peach ones were perfectly dry after 5, but the berry ones needed an extra hour. If the pieces around the outside seem to be very dry, use kitchen scissors to cut a strip (the parchment AND the fruit) off. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking until the fruit layers are completely dry in the middle.
Cut the fruit leather into strips, leaving the parchment attached. This will prevent the bits from sticking if you aren’t going to be using them all immediately. Store in a sealed container and peel the parchment away when ready to eat.
Alright, that’s all for this round of favourite things. Before you go, I’d love to hear…
- Have you ever tried making your own fruit roll-ups? Any success?
- What’s one thing you’re loving right now?