A kid’s point of view: comfy shoes + no more cast!

nikesMy new Nike Pegasus 30 shoes are awesome!!! I didn’t realize how bad my old Adizeros were until I tried good shoes on. My Pegasus are the best shoes I’ve ever had!! They have AMAZING cushion and support.

I also found out that my gait is more or less straight, which is good.

In other news I got my cast off on Thursday!!! When the nurse got done with the saw, I ran over to the sink to wash my arm off. You are very lucky you weren’t there because my skin was peeling. It was so gross! It was like my arm had dandruff, but worse!

beancast

Getting my cast cut off!

My hand felt floppy out of the cast. The doctor said it was because I haven’t used those muscles in like a month. I have to wear a splint for 2 weeks, but at least I get to take it off when I take a shower.

After we were done the doctor told us about a race he ran this winter when it was below zero. Would you believe he ran in snow shoes? He said the snow was so deep he felt like a snow plow!

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Gluten-free lemon coconut bars for amateurs

Should I put off this post about a really tasty treat that would be great for Easter (or any festive springtime celebration, really) because we only managed one crappy cell-phone shot before they disappeared?

Sorry the photo doesn't truly capture how tasty these are, but as Grandma Annie-Bananie used to say, "That's just the way it is."

Sorry the photo doesn’t truly capture how tasty these are, but as Grandma Annie-Bananie used to say, “That’s just the way it is.”

Nah. We live life on the fly around here, careening into cool discoveries and maddening roadblocks with equal frequency, and this blog, for better or worse, tends to reflect that.

If you want to see awesome artsy photos of these bars, click here for the original recipe from greenkitchenstories. If you want to know how they worked out for a frequently flustered  family trying to figure out how to help a kid deal with a possible gluten issue, then keep reading.

Before we get to the recipe, here are the answers to a couple of key questions:

1. Is it hard to make your own almond flour?

Not really. We threw some raw almond slivers in our coffee grinder and that seemed to work out OK. Almond flour is expensive, as with so many things involved in a gluten-free diet, so we’re looking to save a bit where we can.

2. Do these bars taste OK if you don’t bother with the lemon zest?

As I mentioned earlier, these disappeared pretty quickly. Grandma Linda raved about them, though she agreed with Ben and I that the zest would’ve added a deeper “tang” that would make them even better. We plan to try that next time. But you can get by with just bottled lemon juice, as we did.

The recipe

Crust

Coconut "oil" looks and acts like Crisco at room temperature.

Coconut “oil” looks and acts like Crisco at room temperature.

5 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup almond flour (we ground slivered almonds in our coffee grinder)

1 pinch sea salt

2 egg whites (save the yolks for the lemon curd)

Filling

3 eggs + 2 egg yolks

6 tbsp maple syrup

1/3 cup lemon juice + 1 tbsp zest (we didn’t use the zest, as I mentioned above)

1/3 cup almond flour

Dust with 3 tbsp coconut flour (we used powdered sugar)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the coconut oil (it’s solid at room temperature) in a sauce pan on low/medium heat. Add maple syrup, shredded coconut, almond flour and salt. Stir until everything is combined. Remove from the heat.

2. Crack two eggs, save the egg yolks for later and add the whites to the sauce pan while stirring. Keep stirring for about a minute; mixture should be getting sticky.

3. Line a 12×8 inch baking dish with baking paper (we just used baking spray) and pour the coconut mixture into it. Spread it over the bottom of the pan, using a spatula or your hands. Bake for 10-12 minutes while you get to work on the filling.

4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs + the 2 egg yolks. Add the rest of the ingredients. Beat for two more minutes.

5. Pour the mixture over the baked crust in the baking dish. Bake 16-19 minutes or until edges are light brown and center is set.

6. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing up the bars. Dust with coconut flour or powdered sugar.

7. Now they’re ready to eat — and hopefully you will get better photos of these than we did!

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Shopping fun at the running store

Look what I found on the $25 clearance stack!

Look what I found on the $25 clearance stack!

After substitute teaching at Colleen’s school yesterday, we took off on a shopping trip – to the Three Rivers Running Company.

Colleen gets down in the "start position" in her new Nike Pegasus at the Central Fort Wayne YMCA.

Colleen gets down in the “start position” in her new Nike Pegasus at the Central Fort Wayne YMCA.

It was the first time she got measured properly for running shoes and had her gait analyzed. (In a house with four “girls,” all of whom can fit into each other’s shoes, it’s not uncommon for her to grab a pair of my shoes or sneak a pair out of her big sister’s room.) Funny thing is, we discovered the youngest girl in the family has the biggest feet. And now she has her own pair of “real” running shoes. (Her last pair came from Kohl’s.)

I went for a test run in the Adidas Boost, which I loved, but they didn’t have it in my size. I settled for the Boost Glide, which was less sleek, not as flashy and $30 cheaper. It kind of felt like buying the ugly step-sister model, but when we stopped at the downtown YMCA afterward to try out our purchases, I liked how they felt on the track and even began to view their understated color scheme as “tasteful” rather than “boring.”

We were in kind of a hurry – Ben called during our run to see when we were bringing home dinner – so I didn’t try out my bonus purchase, a pair of Vibram Five Fingers marked down to $25 in the clearance stack.

But I slipped them on after our late dinner and wound up falling asleep in them. (Hey, herding  kindergartners is exhausting!) When I woke up several hours later, my feet still felt comfy, as if I’d slept in socks or slippers. I’m still wearing them, in fact. So  far, so good. I’m not going to wear them on pavement, but we’ll see how they feel on the trail.

My Adidas Supernova Glide Boost looked better once I got them away from all those other flashier shoes.

My Adidas Supernova Glide Boost looked better once I got them away from all those other flashier shoes.

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A modest proposal to change the name of ‘junk food’

Ever wonder how the factory stamps an "M" on these guys without cracking the candy shell?

Ever wonder how the factory stamps an “M” on these guys without cracking the candy shell?

Would it be easier to stay away from junk food if we called it something else?

It’s obviously a derogatory term, but the meaning has been hijacked by pop culture to the point that most people think of it not as commercialized crap but as a guilty pleasure. (It’s easy to scoff at somebody else’s Pop Tart fixation, so long as nobody messes with your Twinkies.)

For me, it helps to think of it as “industrial food” because that strips away the marketing glitz and all the pop culture tie-ins and reminds me that this is basically food made in a factory, as cheaply as possible.

That doesn’t have much of a ring to it, though. What if we called it fabricated food, or industrial-grade human filler? (I was going to type “human fuel,” but that would imply that this crap has some sort of nutritional value – which it rarely does.)

Any other nominations?

 

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Running fun, Tarahumara style

soccerrunColleen and I have been having a blast this past week kicking a soccer ball along the jogging path. We run and walk as needed to keep the ball on the move, and before we know it we’ve gone a mile or more. She loves the passing and footwork; I like the way it works my ankles and the constant change in speed and direction.

It’s a good way to “go for a run” with a kid who doesn’t particularly enjoy running except in the context of a sport or game. I like to pretend what we’re doing is a version of the running games the Tarahumara Indian kids play in Christopher MacDougall’s Born to Run.

I find myself wondering if we would’ve ever stumbled on this idea if I hadn’t been talking to marathon maniac April Birts last week about establishing a sense of balance between your running and your life. After hearing that April – a busy working mom — stays in marathon shape simply by making sure she gets in one long run each week along with 3-4 others, I went for a 15-mile run one day last week and then didn’t fret so much about what I did the other days.

I wound up with a fairly quick 6-miler, a 4-mile speed workout, 4.5 miles of our “Tarahumara soccer game” spread out over 3-4 days and even, on Sunday, my first mini brick workout when Colleen and I rode bikes for the first time at the Ossian trail and I followed that up with a 1.25-mile  jogging lap.

I wound up with my targeted 30 miles for the week without worrying about it too much or even trying that hard. I also had a lot of fun, without fretting about whether I was being selfish.

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A kid’s point of view: the Dirty Dozen

By Colleen, age 11

This week Mom asked me to research the dirty dozen and clean 15 to help us figure out which organic fruits and veggies to get in our Green Bean Delivery order.

colleenDid you know that everything on the dirty dozen list had at least 47 different chemicals and some had as many as 67? (That is what it said of pbs.org.) That is gross and also scary! It is like eating a chemical cocktail.

I am surprised that apples are on the dirty dozen. I would have thought they were clean 15-ers because they have a skin. Berries, I can see why they are on the list — no skin. But apparently I was wrong. I guess the problem is because you eat the skin.

So here is the list, Mom. Now you have to remember to customize our Green Bean order. (I will remind you since you always forget everything!)

The dirty dozen

  • celery
  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • domestic blueberries
  • nectarines
  • sweet bell peppers
  • spinach, kale and collard greens
  • cherries
  • potatoes
  • imported grapes
  • lettuce

The clean 15

  • onions
  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • mango
  • sweet peas
  • asparagus
  • kiwi fruit
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • cantaloupe
  • watermelon
  • grapefruit
  • sweet potatoes
  • sweet onions
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The pool terrorist

How can you get mad at somebody who's so darn cute?

How can you get mad at somebody who’s so darn cute?

FIRST  she wins the family NCAA tournament pool, THEN she sabotages Traci and I’s first  swim workout in weeks. My niece Kyla was quite the pool terrorist this week, and she still hasn’t even hit her terrible twos!

My sister was babysitting Kyla, so we decided to meet for adult lap swim at the middle school pool and trade off watching our 16-month-old niece. I took the first half of the session, and I have to say Kyla was fine while I swam — no excuses there, other than how terribly out of “swim” shape I am!

But when it was Traci’s turn, Kyla threw a fit. Traci babysits her one day each week to give Grandma Linda a break, and they’ve developed quite a bond. I tried pushing her in the stroller next to the lane in which Traci was attempting to swim, but she was inconsolable. Finally I took her out to the car, where she got distracted making the kinds of little discoveries kids make at that age. (Still a little too chilly to push the stroller outdoors.)

Though it wasn’t an ideal workout, it was great to get back in the water again after a long layoff. Hopefully my sister and I can start running together again soon and figure out what races  we can talk various family members into participating in this summer. (Hmm… wonder if it’s too soon to start training Kyla for a relay triathlon….)

 

Look at those chubby legs. (Glad mine don't look like that anymore!)

Look at those chubby legs. (Glad mine don’t look like that anymore!)

 

 

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