February 11, 2012

Banana Almond Pancakes (aka Paleo Pancakes)

I may be eating more cleanly, but I still miss the small luxuries, especially on the weekend when the usual egg scramble or protein smoothie just isn't going to cut it. If you Google "Paleo pancakes" you'll find a host of recipes claiming to transform clean, flour-free, dairy-free ingredients into something that resembles a pancake. Someone told me to try it with almond meal, but since I didn't have any I decided to give an almond butter version a try.

You simply mash up a banana with egg, almond butter and any other add-in you desire, I used vanilla extract and a dash of really good cinnamon.

I was able to mix it relatively well with just a fork, but put it through the Vitamix for an extra smooth consistency.

I prepared them just as you would a regular pancake and the result looked surprisingly appetizing.

And the taste? They taste amazing, if you like bananas and almonds. Thankfully I love both. The texture is nothing like a traditional pancake because of the lack of flour. They are relatively dense, but not in an unpleasant way, and they are super clean and super healthy. I'm going to continue to experiment with recipe variations, including almond meal vs. butter. But for now, if you have a pancake craving and want to be healthy, give these a try.

Banana Almond Butter Pancakes for One

1 ripe banana, mashed
1 egg
1.5 tbsp almond butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mash with a fork or pastry cutter until smooth. You can also mix it in a food processor or powerful blender.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat with a spritz of cooking spray (if you're eating butter you could alternately use a dab). Pour the batter into heated skillet in desired pancake size. Allow about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the pancake has turned golden brown.

Drizzle with honey, top with fruit or other desired topping.

Makes 2-3 small pancakes, depending on size.

February 9, 2012

Not That Special and Egg How-To

Many people have the luxury of driving to their morning workouts, or doing them right out the door, but I live in New York City so mine often involve a long subway ride before Starbucks is even open. I occasionally whine about having to wake up so early, even if only to myself. But the other morning when I boarded an already packed train at 5:45am, it hit me that waking up pre-dawn is really not that special. A lot of people do it for various reasons - to care for their children, to work an early shift, to exercise, to study. My mom wakes up at 5am every morning for her job and she works really hard.

So there will be no more whining from me about the early mornings. Waking up at 5am is a choice, and it's to pursue a passion that is really fulfilling. I've been trying to get to bed much earlier to compensate and on good days, it works.

And now for the egg and avocado how-to since it turns out I'm not alone in my love of the egg. Here is how it's done (original source):

  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add sizzling agent of your choice (butter, oil, cooking spray). I opted for a dab of olive oil in my quest to be heart-healthy.

  • Slice an avocado lengthwise with skin on to create a thick slice in the middle; reserve the sides for other delicious eating.

  • Pop out the pit and create a larger hole in the center. This is where I may have gone wrong, not creating a large enough hole as I had massive egg spillover.

  • Place the avocado slice in the pan and crack an egg into the center. Add a teaspoon or two of water to the pan, cover and cook two minutes or until the egg is done to your liking.

February 5, 2012

Latest Obsessions

I tend to get on a kick with something I love and can't get enough. Here's what I'm adoring lately.


They say eggs are nature's perfect food, but they're also incredibly delicious and can be made so many ways. Eggs are actually a long-term obsession of mine, but since I consumed more than a dozen this week and have tried a few new preparations, they are at the top of my list.

Soft-boiled (left), Inside avocado slice (middle & right)


Even when slightly under ripe, there are few things better than a mango. Living in New York City I'm a bit spoiled since sliced mango can be found at just about any deli or fruit market throughout the summer. But winter is another story. So when my local market suddenly had a surplus of mangoes I bought one and braved the process of cutting it up myself. Thanks to Alton Brown's simple method, I've been enjoying freshly cut mango all week.


(See egg photo above) Avocados are simply amazing. Mashed, sliced with a little sea salt and hot sauce, on salad, in smoothies, cubed up on top of just about anything, I could eat avocados every day. They are incredibly nutrient dense and contain a good dose of healthy fat. I do moderate the amount I eat for overall calorie control, but absolutely love them for all of the goodness they contain.


Before you think my brain is only on food, I am so in love with Pinterest. I spent hours this weekend looking at beautiful photos of beautiful things, mostly food of course.

Last week's training was a struggle. It was one of those weeks where I had to scramble to fit it all in and went from feeling amazing in one workout to miserable in the next. I skipped a swim, but we all know I'm not too torn up about it. I'm supposed to rest on Sundays but haven't yet this month so today I followed the schedule and rested. I already feel more balanced.

February 1, 2012

Half-Assed Race Schedule and January in the Books

I'm really happy with how January wrapped up on the training, fitness and lifestyle front. I spent the entire month battling the nagging voice telling me, "go ahead, sleep in and find another day to do that workout," and as a result had only two days off the entire month. One was scheduled, one was murdered by a 12+ hour day at work. Not bad. My numbers are still quite low because I'm creeping back from zero, but I'm thrilled with how I feel, the fitness I've gained and most of all, I'm running again!!!!

But as pleased as I am with the start I've gotten off to, I can't seem to pull the trigger on races this season and as a result, my schedule is looking pretty sad. There are three things holding me back:

  1. My foot. I'm terrified I'll re-injure it so I'm being uber conservative and avoiding running events longer than a half marathon, and pretty much only doing a couple events for fun. I want arrive at IMMT un-injured this year, it's my number one goal.

  2. The Olympics. Many of you know I worked at the Vancouver Games and will also be on the ground the entire duration of London. That work really heats up in April and will consume my life until I return August 13. And let's not forget that IMMT is August 19 (this falls into the "what the hell was I thinking" camp).

  3. My fear of commitment. I'm normally all for putting a stake in the ground and committing to events, even a year or more out as is the case with Ironman. But given the insane travel and nonstop activity at the end of last year, I am going through a serious homebody phase and want nothing to do with road trips, airplanes or weekends away. For now. That may subside after another month in my PJs watching Netflix.

Given all of this, here is my light race schedule for the season so far:

I may add a half Ironman in June, or perhaps Horribly Hilly Hundreds, but for now this is it. I'm looking forward to ending my season early and focusing more on general fitness and recovery, and also taking time for myself. I'm planning a huge trip to Egypt and Jordan in September. The only thing I love more than triathlon is travel. And food, of course.


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