Get the Gear!


Now that we have our New Year’s resolutions rolling, our race schedule set, and our travel plans beginning to take shape, it’s time to make sure we are outfitted properly for all our activities.  Whether we are running down the streets of Portland, cycling through the outskirts of Bend, or trekking through the trails in the Applegate Valley, we like to rep one of our favorite vegan/wellness/training blogs.

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve been fans of Matt Fraizer and his site, No Meat Athlete for over 3 years and have used many of his ideas, recipes, and training plans.  We also have several shirts in the NMA line, including some t-shirts, running shirts, tanktops, and hoodies.  Their is currently a pre-order happening on cycling jerseys, as well as a sale on many of the great NMA items.

If you are in the market for some running or workout gear, or need some good plant-based training advice for your next race, half-marathon, marathon, check out Matt and No Meat Athlete and GET SOME GEAR!

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Web Feast Friday


It finally feels like winter here in the Pacific NW, and we have a brand new dusting of snow on  the hills throughout the valley.  We’re eleven days into the year, and still holding strong to our commitment/resolution of blogging every day!  We have lots of great ideas for posts, and lots of great recipes and stories to share.  We also have some exciting adventures on the horizon that are sure to create even more blog fodder. Snowshoeing is on the agenda this weekend, along with a little wine tour.  In the meantime, sit back and relax the second installment of Web Feast Friday for 2013!

Simple.  Easy.  Indian flavors.  Love it!

For those of you who want to go raw with us next month, here’s a recipe to bookmark.

The EPL household is a big fan of savory waffles.  These just made the cut for Sunday brunch.

Health vegan Twix bars?

We’re everywhere!!!!

We’re hosting a vegan Super Bowl party this year, and you KNOW this will be served!

Lot’s of recipes this week means lots of cooking and baking is taking place.  One such cooking escapade involves a shopping trip to the Asian market, no real plan, and $100 in groceries.  Stay tuned for that story!

We leave you with some winter running inspiration and motivation.  Play outside this weekend and cook some good food.

Web Feast Friday: New Year’s Edition

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Four days into 2013, and so far, our resolution to blog each day of the year is still in effect!  That means we will be treating you guys to at least 360 more posts in 2013.  Both of us have laid out a list of resolutions/goals for the year, and over the course of the next couple of months, we will be posting all the details.  In honor of 2013 and resolution season, we offer up several resolution/make-yourself-better links to assist with the process.  Feel free to share these with us, and we can all be accountabila-buddies!

These tips would easily free up a good 40 hours every week!  Just think about what you could do with 40 hours.

If you resolution is to find a nice vegan guy/gal to court, make sure you read up on these details.

Keep your feet happy and cruelty-free in 2013!

2013 is guaranteed to be BIG year for Team EPL, and it can be a BIG year for you too!

Watch this movie in 2013.

Follow this blog in 2013.

Here’s a load of links from No Meat Athlete that can help you with all your plant-based fitness needs.

Eat/drink one thing green at every meal.  Here’s some ideas!

It’s a new year, I’m glad to be here!  Happy 2013 folks!

Friendship Oh No No List

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Our highlighted white people problem of the day is that Evan and I like hanging out with each other so much that we turn down hanging out with any other friends. We will pretty much stay exclusively in cordial acquaintance status if they violate too many things on our oh-no-no list. Let’s take a peak at a few items on our oh-no-no list shall we?

  • Not finding public flatulence hilarious 
  • Not having an opinion on the Biggie/Tupac Feud
  • Having any opinions on fantasy football
  • Serious turtlenecks (but dickies are somehow on the ‘we are definitely hanging out you ‘ list)
  • Not laughing at this video: Billy on the Street
  • Or this one:
  • Agreeing we believe everything you do just because we look/sound like you (i.e. white = republican, vegan = pissed off activist, girl = like the sex in the city movies)
  • Lacking a healthy respect for 90’s hip hop (it helps if you know the ending of this sentence: In West Philadelphia born and raised…)

I do want to say that there are a few things that supersede all the oh-no-no’s and automatically qualify you as cool:

  1. Playing air guitar at anytime and/or instinctive head-banging during that one part in Bohemian Rhapsody
  2. Getting stoked to cook us vegan food
  3. Loving us enough to tell us what you think and not give a damn what others think of you
  4. Properly rocking an ill-fitting dickie (see oh no-no list)
  5. Flying 1800 miles just to hang out with us (on purpose)

Let’s give a slow-ascending clap for my friend Evonne who is braving the elements of air travel and will arrive in just a few short hours at the Medford Airport for a 2-week visit. Not only does Evonne meet all the criteria of do’s and don’ts, she is actually embarrassingly more cool than us and we’re unclear on why she wants to hang out with two sloppy, smelly ‘adults’ in their natural environment. Her loss in this case.

Evonne is my oldest friend – our mom’s met at the YMCA while still pregnant with us and are still amazing as AARP badass mofo’s who, at over 60 y/o, can ride their bikes across Switzerland, keep up with the kids on RAGBRAI (a 450+ mile, 7 day bike ride across Iowa), and still muster the energy to cut out and mail us clippings from the local newspaper on the different ways we could potentially die as single young women and/or recipes for bean dishes.

Evonna's momma Donna (left) and my momma Denise (left) finishing strong. 80's running never looked so sexy...and so orange apparently.

Evonne’s momma Donna (left) and my momma Denise (right) finishing strong. 80’s running never looked so sexy…and so orange apparently.

Evonne has done more in the past 5 years then I will do in a lifetime, including teaching English in Japan, being a snowboard instructor in Colorado, riding her bike across the US, running multiple marathons, and is now teaching speed walking, badminton, ultimate frisbee, and spinning classes while she finishes her degree at the University of Iowa. She is sarcastic and loves to play outside and loves vegan food and has been known to hit the town with our friend Rachel wearing straight-up footy pajamas just for laughs. If you don’t believe me on her awesomeness, check out these moves (she’s single hot, slightly-crazy dudes in cyberspace!):

Man, it’s gonna be a great few weeks. Yes, we will be posting food in the coming days and weeks as we have culinary adventures with friends.

(from left) Hayley, Evonne, and Rachel before the La Crosse Half Marathon, or what Evonne named as "our movement excursion". Expectations were low and no land speed records broken - but we finished!

(from left) Hayley, Evonne, and Rachel before the La Crosse Half Marathon, or what Evonne lovingly coined “our movement excursion”. Expectations were low and no land speed records broken – but we finished!

How to stop buying self-help books and start building your 2013 race schedule

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Ahhh....we love a fresh start!

Ahhh….we love a fresh start!

We are beginning the year with a guest, our friend Evonne from Iowa (more on her amazingness tomorrow), so we are doing what any self-respecting hosts do when guest visit – hide all the shit we are ashamed to show.

*Sidebar: I refuse to use the word hostess as I am avoiding all words that could provoke spontaneous binging on sweets/tearfully re-watching the slideshow on my computer entitled “Sugar on my teeth” scored with the jam This Used to Be My Playground by Madonna.

Back to our shame. Usually we have the most shameful items in the dark recesses of the odd-shaped bedroom that we don’t use except for a futon and “things to be filed”, but other items we enjoy on the reg but have to carefully balance our self-respect and the general fear and concern of others when deciding to keep them out or not. The Game of Thrones Land of Ice & Fire Map kit? Stay. Our collection of hand puppets? Hide. Our collection of hundreds of owls? Stay. Our collection of dozens of decorative potpourri  in various shaped bowls? Hide. Our stuffed animals which we have named and treat like real animals? Stay.

And their is one thing that we love dearly yet always hide: our throngs of self-help books. I’m not kidding. A mega-throng. We can’t seem to resist the promise from anyone in a blazer or with a beard of a better life – relationships, diet, exercise, traveling, making money, spending money, finding passions/strengths/careers/other books…oh man, we love experts. Actually, I think it’s less about the experts and more about the promise they all have in common – A HAPPY, BLESSED, ABUNDANT LIFE OF FREEDOM! With every new book came a new Monday morning promise – THIS week will be the start of something different. THIS time, everything is about to change.

Well maybe it was all those years of self-help kool-aid or the fresh Oregon air or the placid simplicity of the hill people we see wandering our streets smoking joints in their 1992 Air Jordan t-shirts that have inspired us to do things differently. THIS time, instead of planning on doing things – we are getting it done son! Nothing is quite so motivational as throwing down fat cash and signing your name on the liability release for races to make you say – oh damn, I better start doing some shit.

Below are a few websites that we used to find, pick, sign, pay for, seal, and deliver our future folks. Our future of buns you can bounce a quarter off, robust quad-meats, less truck-drivery arms, and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from helping yourself YOUR way!

Helpful websites to help you build your own race schedule:

  • Running in the USA –  Search by race, state, date, mileage along with linked website and contact information. Perfect for finding one race month by month and/or plan an active vacation
  • Southern Oregon Runners – Local organization that promotes events all over Southern Oregon. Some of the most elite trail and road runners in the world live in Southern Oregon, come see why.
  • Fitness Sports  – Local Iowa race website run by a Des Moines shoe store by the same name, promotes events in iowa by race, date, mileage.
  • Half Marathons site –  Narrow down the field of races and experience the fastest growing event in running. Search by location and race.
  • Trail Runner – Just like Running in the USA, but only for trail runs. Is the best site with the most trail races, an event that is a blast yet difficult to find in the girth of road runs on other sites.

Oh, and we did take from those books the idea that in order to hold yourself and to be held accountable, it helps to share goals with anyone and everyone! So chicky-check it out (and please join us if you can – I’ll be the one sweating out my mouth at the back of the pack):

2013 RACE SCHEDULE 

January: Schmidtman 5k

Pic from the 1st annual Schmidtman 5k (the combo of Evan and I's last name) - a run we do together on the 1st of January each month

Pic from the 1st annual Schmidtman 5k (the combo of Evan and I’s last name) – a run we do together on the 1st of January. Our bib #’s are our goal weight

February: Couple Truffle Shuffle 10k (Medford, OR)

March: Shamrock Run 8k (Portland, OR)

April: Bridge to Brews 10k (Portland, OR)

May: Rock n Roll Half Marathon (Portland, OR)

June: Race for the Animals 10k trail run (Portland, OR) + Granite Man Trail 5 mile (Applegate Valley, OR)

July: Ashland July 4th 10k (Ashland, OR) + Deschutes Dash Duathlon (Bend, OR)

August: Hood to Coast relay (Mount Hood – 199 miles – Seaside, OR) + Mount Ashland Hill Climb Half Marathon

September: Wildwood Trail Trial 10k (Portland, OR)

October: Portland, OR Marathon!!!

November: Turkey Trot 10k (Medford, OR)

December:  Try not to get fat. This has yet to be accomplished and we don’t want to complicate things with running a race – although we probably should as a way to potentially guilt our way into not getting fat. Hey, nothing says the holidays at our house like a vat of guilt (and copious amounts of starchy foods).

Can you spot the most photogenic people in the race lineup? (hint: my mom and I are in there somewhere)

Can you spot the most photogenic people in the race lineup? (hint: my mom and I are in there somewhere)

Goal setting is making us lazy

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Tis the season for letting ourselves go.

Yeah, there is the proverbial “letting bygones by bygones” and “Should auld acquaintance be forgot” (does anyone know what the hell ‘auld’ means? Up until writing this blog post I thought the lyric was “may all acquaintance be forgot” – which is kinda morose sounding yet also how I feel after most New Year’s nights when I’m stuffed like a vienna sausage into my hometown bar surrounded by the same people who used to point out my lady-stache and are now screaming ‘I KNOW YOU!’ into my ear then spilling their drink on me while I try to cover my upper lip.)

Anyway, I’m talking about the classic letting yourself go where all you can think about at work is doning your dumpy sweatpants, ordering Thai, and consuming diabetic-coma levels of sugar cookies while bidding on Jedi ornament’s on e-bay.  Last night we ordered so much food that the lady handing us the several bags at Lemongrass Thai asked how many people we were feeding. I lied and told her 3…but she knew. She knew.

Here is the good news: holiday sloth is not only totally acceptable, it’s encouraged. Why would you start eating healthy now when there are a dozen Holiday parties over the next few weeks? Listen, if Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock can celebrate their marital union for 2 weeks, the least I can do is celebrate Jesus’ birthday the whole month. (Evan says I’m reaching with my outdated pop culture reference. What is this, communist China? Ok, that is going a little far.) Oh, and any other time of year this behavior would be considered giving up hope, but December is the month for hope – and we are getting our goal setting on like a mofo!

Evan really went above and beyond for those beads.

Evan really went above and beyond for those beads.

Here is what we have so far:

  • I did a blog a few years ago where I took a picture every day for a year and wrote about it. (http://ordinaryinstant.tumblr.com/). Then this year we started this little gem you are painfully tolerating now. SO – we decided that in 2013 we will be combining the two ideas and doing a blog post every single day for the whole year. Oh boy, get ready for many days of quantity over quality folks, which happens to be where I thrive. Get ready for an increase of dick jokes and pictures of my awkward youth.
  • We are a fan of 30 day challenges – in which we usually only execute full for 5 days and then make concessions. BUT NOT THIS YEAR! Some example are a month: running 30 minutes per day, sugar-free, gluten-free, 30 minutes of meditation, reading a book a week, buying nothing but essentials, no TV, 200 pushups/sit-ups, and our January goal of eating all raw. Considering we are blogging every day, you will be going through it all with us folks. Brace yourself for adults bitching a lot about their white people problems.
  • We just signed up for a lot of running events including the Portland Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon, Hood to Coast, and the Portland Marathon along with keeping our goal of one race per year. Many of these sign-ups occurred as a quid pro quo for eating copious amounts of indian food. The more food we binge on – the more strenuous of event we sign up for. This is sounding really sad.

What are some of your goals this year? How you will know measure success at year’s end? Do you give a shit? Ahhh, this really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Time to eat some peanut butter captain crunch and watch the Batman trilogy. Peace.

Painting vs. Sculpting


Endorphine shot of amazing insight from Tim at Running Raw – digging the analogy and bonus points for the delivery while trail running in a thunderstorm. I, too, have video of myself sharing thoughts with the world, but I will admit that footage of me kneeling against a tree saying “I shouldn’t have eaten that oatmeal” is slightly less inspirational. Thanks for upping the game Tim!

 

 

 

 

 

Black Bean Brownies with Strawberry Glaze

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Suped up nutrition thanks to Vitamin K mofo

I was overcome this week with an urge to bake something and eat the whole pan. It’s probably because I ran the Portland Rock ‘N Roll Half-Marathon this past weekend and I can justify that my metabolism is still amped up, so I need to fuel it…right? That’s what I get for reading too many Runner’s World and Triathlete magazines; I begin to trick myself into thinking their tips are equally useful for a runner who will sit on a curb halfway through a race to house a bag of twizzlers and pet a stray dog. But my argument will always be: why bust your ass running if not for the perverbial carrot at the finishline? It just so happens that my carrot is also deep fat fried and dipped in chocolate sauce.

Yet after a late night of watching Ironman hype-up videos and with our unexpected range of post-run mobility pumping up our egos, our newest gauntlent-off-the couch has been dropped to complete the 140.6 mile Ironman trek in 2014 and made official through our pinky sworn-in ceremony. So I guess that means we will be trading unrefined sugar and chocolate chips for black beans and bananas. But you will have to pry gooey frosting from my swampy, muscular, freakishly veiny hands because that is not making the cut!

Black Bean Brownies with

 Strawberry Glaze

*Thanks Happy Herbivore!

Black Bean Brownies

The name for these brownie poppers were going to be “Bean me up Shoties” until Evan reminded me that no one like puns. BOOOO!!!!

Strawberry Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized strawberries, puréed (about 2 tablespoons purée)
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients together.
  2. Dip brownies into the glaze.

For those people with a passion for the artistic and/or no children and too much free time otherwise spent reading gossip, add sprinkles and cut up strawberries into hearts for a special touch

Vegan/Gluten-free pre-workout fuel

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There are 37 days until the Portland Rock ‘n Roll half-marathon, which means that our weekends revolve around a long run…and the quality of our weekend depends on the choices we make surrounding that run. There is a part of me that admires those among us who can party all night, crawl out of bed the next morning, eat a convenience store honeybun, and hit the road – but those mortals and boring, responsible adults that make up the majority have to physically and mentally prepare for the ‘joy’ of running. There must be a part of me that loves running as I continue to sign up for events, but the only time I feel a runners high is when they are serving twizzlers at a checkpoint or when I manage to pass someone that is not running in a division that in itself is considered inspiring.

Most learning of how to fuel appropriately for long runs happens by remaining in-tune with your body’s equilibrium while on the road and afterwards. For example, when I began to feel signs of sleepiness or a little dizzy, I know I need at least 10 oz. of water and 50-100 calories. Then there are symptoms that unfortunately can only be fixed for the next run, like having to make an emergency pit-stop to the CVS bathroom or developing a cramp-induced pimp walk. I also learned the hard way after my first half-marathon that good cold-weather gear is essential to maintaining a normal core-body temperature, signs of failure include blue lips and extreme dizziness (as seen here after the race):

A congrats-for-finishing gift from my sarcastic (and uber carnivore) niece.

There is a lot of advice on race fueling, but I have found the most success following the 5 essential steps that Matt Fraizer of No Meat Athlete has spelled out in his blog, reading any advice from our vegan athlete idols like Brandon Brazier and Rich Roll, watching documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc, and reading such inspiring books as The China Study, Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Eating Animals.    Through trial, error, and education, Evan and I have both fallen into a pre-race tradition that has been road tested and (so far) has been successful in providing sustainable energy during the race with no GI or other after effects. Cheers to healthy and happy training!

NIGHT BEFORE RACE/WORKOUT

  • If you are prone to GI problems, pre-loading the day before a race then having a light AM meal will help alleviate issues. Minimize eating high fat, high fiber, or foods with fructose. Eat most of your carbs at lunch the day before, then eat a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein for a light dinner.
  • Our favorite go-to, balanced dinner is Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce (see below)

PRE-RACE 

  • Pinole waffles (see below) from No Meat Athlete. To learn more about the power of pinole and be inflated with running inspiration, you must read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  Eat 2-3 hours prior to running.
  • Don’t overdo on water. Not only could this disrupt your run with a needed bathroom break, but you risk hypondratemia (water intoxication)
  • Other good pre-race foods are toast with peanut butter, almonds/nuts, grapes, or some cereals (watch the fiber intake)
  • Tums: take 2-3 about 20 minutes before a race. According to 3/GO magazine, “the calcium works with neuromuscular contraction and muscle metabolism, the carbonate helps to “coat” the intestinal cells, reducing endotoxin release and the ensuing (GI) symptoms.”

*Stay tuned for additional posts on whole foods for during and post-race recovery 

PINOLE WAFFLES *thanks to No Meat Athlete

Eat these...before the S&P birds peck at you. Scary.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup medium to finely ground cornmeal or pinole
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup oats, ground
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

If starting with cornmeal instead of pinole, toast it lightly in a pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until it is lightly browned and fragrant.  If you are using real pinole, grind in a coffee grinder to make a fine flour.

Preheat waffle iron.

Stir together the cornmeal, chia, ground oats, salt and baking powder.   In a separate bowl, mix together the applesauce, hemp milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.  (The coconut oil needs to be at warm temperature or warmer to mix, so you may need to microwave it to get it to a liquid state.)

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry to combine into a smooth batter.  Spray the waffle iron with baking spray even if it is nonstick, and pour batter into hot iron.  Follow the directions of your waffle iron, or wait until the iron stops steaming.

Carefully remove waffles from iron, respray with cooking spray, and repeat.  This was enough batter to fill my waffle iron 2 and a half times, making 4 waffles.

To enjoy immediately, top with maple syrup and the fruits of your choice.  Alternatively, slice into bars, freeze and take on your next run.

PINOLE WAFFLE NUTRITION: 233 calories – 7 g total fat – 0 cholesterol – 425 mg sodium– 32 g carbs – 5 g fiber – 3 g sugar – 4 g protein- 4 WW points

SOBA NOODLES WITH PEANUT SAUCE (v/gf)

Soba deliciousness.

INGREDIENTS:

The protein, fiber, and fat in peanuts give runners a slow, sustained energy source.

  • 6 tablespoons reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 ounces soba noodles
  • 3 oz. baked tofu
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

In a large, shallow bowl, whisk the tamari, peanut butter, vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, ginger, and garlic.

In a pot, boil 3 quarts of water. Add noodles and stir. cook until tender (5 minutes). Drain in a colander; run hot water over the noodles until the water runs clear. (If the noodles aren’t washed, they’ll be starchy and sticky.) Drain thoroughly again. Add noodles to the sauce and toss to coat evenly. Add tofu and scallions; toss again.

Garnish with siracha and cilantro. Serves 2.

SOBA NOODLES W/ PEANUT SAUCE NUTRITION: 397 calories –11 g total fat – 0 cholesterol – 800 mg sodium– 59 g carbs – 1 g fiber – 4 g sugar – 24 g protein- 8 WW points

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