Turkish Get Ups {Video}

29 Fri, 2011 § 5 Comments

(We’ve been having fun with Dave’s iPhone camera)

Dave recently introduced me to

the Turkish Get Up

with 25# bar

[I also practiced with the 45# bar, which required a bit of grunt — good grunt though.]

I like them!  Core intensive.  Full Body.  Static.

It’s all in form & how you hold your body & use your arm & knee to stabilize as you roll up to sitting, to kneeling, to standing, then reverse the movements.  You could also do these with a kettle bell, but then you lose some of the lateral stabilization the long bar offers.  Keep the bar high & your arm engaged.  *(update) Also, articulate through the spine as you lay back down, really engaging your deep core muscles.  I think about making each vertebrae, especially in my low back, touch the mat as I “roll” back down.

I am just trying to figure out how to work them into workouts.  Any suggestions?

Indian Creek & [Flourless] Almond Butter Cookies

28 Thu, 2011 § Leave a comment

We always wish we had something sweet when sitting around the fire.

[photo by David Finch]

The smore suggestion is often thrown around, but vegan marshmallows are expensive & usually use syrup — & Allie-approved graham crackers & chocolate aren’t exactly cheap either…& I’m out of homemade chocolate…already.

We went with cookies, because cookies are easy & easy to tailor.  I did not want a flour-based one that might leave us feeling heavy for climbing, so these use almond butter as the base with ground flaxseed to bind everything together.  They are a little crumbly — not so much so they disintegrate on you, but they might not survive milk dunking —  subtly sweet & [almond] buttery.  Cookies that were exactly what I was wanting for our camping trip:

Almond Butter & Cacao Nib Cookies

makes ~16 small cookies

Preheat oven to 350*F.

  • 4 dates, pureed into paste
  • 1 C almond butter, unsalted & stirred well
  • 1 flax “egg” (whisk 1 T freshly ground flaxseeds with 3 T warm water, allow to thicken ~10 minutes)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • ~1/4 C cacao nibs (or mini-chocolate chips)

Combine all ingredients except cacao nibs & mix well [you don’t want to bite into a salt or baking soda cloud].   Stir in cacao or chocolate pieces.  Spoon into tablespoon-size balls & flatten onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for ~12 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack & cool 15 minutes longer.

~

What sweets or treats do you take camping?

Indian Creek & Our Damp Solitaire

27 Wed, 2011 § 10 Comments

Our new route to Indian Creek, Utah is one of my favorites.  Monument Valley is stunning & diverse.  Even though driving home & back to “reality” can be disheartening, I can think of worse views.

[photo by David Finch]

Clouds, often responsible for creating nice, filtered light & ominous skies for photos, plagued much of our camping trip.

[by Allie]

Rainy days meant fewer climbing days, because wet rock should not be climbed, though many choose to ignore this common sense & decency law.  The weather treated us to a lesson in Being & patience as we were left to fill more days than expected with “rest day” activities.

One morning we took advantage of National Park Week & the waived fees to trek into Canyonlands.  We intended to hike to the confluence of the Colorado & Green Rivers.  The longer-than-anticipated, already quick-paced hike was cut short when we turned & ran 3 – 4 miles back to our little, awaiting Eisley.  I would definitely call this an advanced running trail & hope we actually make it to the confluence next time.

Another rainy afternoon, we retreated into the tent for card games.  Much of our time was spent reading to each other though.  We took turns reading chapters from Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, beautifully written & highly enlightening.  I was tickled (yes, tickled) when Dave asked me to read aloud to him.  The simple act of sharing a book felt fresh & intimate, especially because we were immersed in pages so fresh with passion & intimate with love for the desert.

Though the rain spoiled some of our “plans”, it offered us time to reflect inward, connect outward & recognize its precious presence in this beautiful desert.

~

Do you ever read aloud with others?

Sprouted Quinoa, Pear & Molasses Granola

26 Tue, 2011 § 2 Comments

Did you miss us?  No?  Did you even notice we had left?  No? 😛  Tricky aren’t we?

I eluded to our camping trip, which we thoroughly enjoyed…last Tuesday through Sunday.  I prepped a couple posts, hit schedule, unplugged & lost myself in the desert for 5 days.

Aw.

(even despite the rain.)

Aw.

Are we really back?

We are, but now I can reminisce over our adventures with you.

We should always start with food though; don’t you agree?

I love quinoa granola & have found its perfect match: molasses.  Try it.  You’ll never look back.

Molasses is a rich source of iron & calcium — important for those following a plant-based diet — as well as magnesium & potassium, providing 20% of the daily recommended value for each of these nutrients.

Sprouted Quinoa & Pear Granola with Molasses & Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 250*F.

  • 1 pear, diced
  • 1 C quinoa, sprouted
  • 1/2 C almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 C ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 C black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 C sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 C buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 C hemp protein powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • cinnamon, optional
  • 1/4 C coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 2 T apple juice

Stir together dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients separately.  Stir wet ingredients into the quinoa mixture & mix together.  Spread granola onto a parchment-lined baking sheet & bake ~1 hour.  Allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces & storing in an airtight container.

Homemade granola — especially quinoa granola — is great for camping, backpacking or hiking.  It is the perfect way to cram a lot of nutrients into a light-weight, easy-to-pack & store snack.  Along with pieces of banana, this was delicious, light fuel in the mornings.  Dave enjoyed it so much, I’ll be sure to make enough to share next time.  😉

~

Do you cook with molasses?

Dear Dave,

25 Mon, 2011 § Leave a comment

There was always something different about you ~

…insightful & deep & talented but also silly & carefree…

We could talk for hours & never bore — we are still blessed with long, meaningful conversations (as well as silliness).  You a strong man, & I have always cherished the beautiful person you are, full of love, compassion & openness to grow.

Every day is brighter with you in my life.

Our lives could have easily taken very different courses after we first met, but somehow — fortunately — reconnected.  Even now, I am often overwhelmed with how amazingly & beautifully life has worked out.

I only wish I expressed how I truly feel better & more often.

Happy Birthday, my love.

Burpee to Pull Up [Video]

22 Fri, 2011 § 6 Comments

One of my new, favorite moves.

Though the jump gives you some help with the pull up, this is still exhausting.

I like my burpees to be more dynamic than this & have a little more “pop” from the push up into the squat.  I also want to work on jumping from the squat into the pull up more quickly, rather than pausing to establish my footing.  Dave recorded me doing 8 of these after my workout last Sunday, so I am going to blame the lack of “oomph” on fatigue. 😉

Every day we push ourselves we get stronger, right?!

I like to do 3 sets of 10, which is fatiguing.  Even more fatiguing is doing these as intervals like below.

Tuesday Morning HIIT

  • Burpee to Pull Up : 10 sec rest; 30 sec max – 6 rounds = 4 minutes
  • Hamstring Curls on yoga ball: 30 sec; 10 sec “rest” SWITCH TO Ball Pikes: 30 seconds – continue alternating 6 rounds = 3 xs each = 4 minutes
  • Side Lying One-Arm Tricep Press Ups: 20 sec alternating each arm, no rests – 6 rounds = 6 xs each side = 4 minutes
  • Hanging Knee Raises: 20 sec then Mt Climbers: 20 sec (no rests) – 6 rounds = 6 xs each = 4 minutes.

Unplug

21 Thu, 2011 § 3 Comments

All of the techy capabilities we have now-a-days are amazing &, of course, I love the blogging community & other social media like Facebook.  When we are here, let’s be here.  Let’s share recipes & ideas about lifestyle, health, fitness & whatever else suits our fancy.  Let’s be engaged in active discussions, make friends & enrich each others life though we may never meet.

When we aren’t here though, let’s be wherever it is we are.  Go for a nice walk & leave your phone behind — & stop texting when you are with your friend at the coffee shop or on a date for goodness sake!  Facebook won’t collapse if you don’t check it every hour.  You don’t have to Tweet every thought.  Conquering Angry Birds won’t make us like you more.  😉

Connect with someone face to face, with nature or simply with yourself.

[photo by David Finch]

Adbuster dares you to unplug & see what happens.  I challenge us all to step back & evaluate our digital “addictions”.  I will be completely unplugged part of this week [though I have a short video & workout scheduled to post tomorrow].  You don’t have to do an extreme digital detox & swear it all off; determine the permanent changes you could make for a happier, healthier, more connected you.

~

Spring Cleaning, Eating & Camping

20 Wed, 2011 § 4 Comments

Spring has brought on more than just the need to get out & rough it for a few days.  It has triggered other transitions as well — Spring Cleaning we’ll say — like cleaning up our finances & tracking how we are spending all of our income, so we are better & more quickly able to save up for more extensive traveling.

That is not the only thing I have been cleaning up a bit though: I generally eat quite clean but lately have been trying to eat particularly clean & time my meals according to my physical activities.  I feel great & might be figuring out a few more things about my body & nourishing it properly.

It can be tricky to eat clean while camping though.  With a good amount of planning & prep work, I think I may pull it off for our Creek trip though.  I will share details, photos & recipes after our trip, but here is a look at our menu:

~Breakfasts are simple & light, so we can get up & get to the crag [the outdoor “climbing wall”] bright & early.

  • Rooibos tea
  • sprouted quinoa, pear & molasses granola
  • fruit
  • Dave also has muesli & oatmeal, kefir & hard-boiled eggs.

~”Lunch” is also small; we prefer to snack throughout the day between climbs.

  • fruit: apples, cantaloupe, kiwi
  • dates rolled in coconut
  • popped amaranth & papaya energy bites
  • baked tofu

~Few things are better than returning to camp completely exhausted & enjoying a delicious, nourishing dinner.  Some of these are experimental, & I’m excited to see how they turn out.  Cross your fingers for us!

  • tinfoil dinners with lentil-walnut burgers & meat for Dave [2 nights]
  • Field Roast sausages with roasted apples, butternut squash & rosemary in butter lettuce wraps [2 nights]

~We always wish we had something sweet after dinner, so I decided to make a treat to satisfy our cravings but without the sugar shock or heaviness flour often leaves.

  • [flour-less] almond butter & cacao nib cookies

~Staying hydrated means a lot of water; I am also taking coconut water this trip.  We always come home a little dehydrated — sometimes more than a little — & sometimes I get pretty sick following a trip.  I also often crave tart juice after an especially active, sweaty day, so I grabbed a tropical Naked juice made with coconut water, pineapple, mango & other juices for a nice treat on the rocks.

~

How & what do you usually eat while camping?

Desert Trip!

19 Tue, 2011 § 3 Comments

I am in need of simplicity.

[photo by David Finch]

To be honest, we live pretty simply; but there is something centering about the desert & a long camping trip — Dave & I have both been craving this!

We have all but been counting down the days to our upcoming Creek trip.

Indian Creek, Utah is one of our favorite climbing destinations

& where Dave & I exchanged our vows.  I have talked about The Creek before:

1.  Here is a glimpse of why Indian Creek is so cherished.  This camping trip differed from the usual & opened our eyes to a different perspective of IC.

2.  Many people find the desert boring; these people are crazy. 😉  I find a sense of peace in its austerity, & I always learn something about myself among it sparseness & resilience like I shared in this post.

I am sure I will have more to share after our Spring trip!

~

Do you find the desert beautiful?  Any camping trips planned?

Braised Collards with Currants, Chickpeas & Cashew Cheese

18 Mon, 2011 § 3 Comments

Meet one of the random dishes that triggers a good amount of teasing.

Did I mention it is breakfast?

Dave — & most people — find it bizarre I can eat greens in the morning.

I feel completely nourished & balanced when I start the day with something like this though.

Immediately after a good swim & moderate bike ride, I had a recovery drink of coconut water, maca, blue berries, half a banana, a tablespoon of hemp protein, ground flax & carob powder.  About an hour later, braised collard greens tasted perfect.

Cashew cheese complemented the collards & is a quick & simple condiment to make.  I have found the ratio I like for a small batch using 1/4 C raw cashews : 2 T nutritional yeast : 1/2 T flax oil.  I use the “chopping” attachment of my magic bullet to first grind the cashews to powder, then add the nutritional yeast & process to mix.  Add the oil & combine till slightly moist & crumbly.  This lasts 2 – 3 servings for me.  You can make a larger batch:  simply use half the amount of nutritional yeast as cashews & a quarter the amount of oil compared to the nutritional yeast.  I am going to try it using sunflower seeds next time.

~

Prepare the collard greens by slicing the leaves from the stems; discard stems (or give to your dog to munch on).  Roll each leave in on itself & slice thinly into ribbons.  Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a medium pan on medium to medium-high heat; add the collard ribbons & toss using tongs.  Cook until the leaves are lightly braised (seared), tossing occasionally.  Splash with balsamic vinegar & toss again.  Cover & reduce heat to low.  Cook until leaves wilt; add currants & chickpeas.  Cover & continue to cook, tossing so it wilts & braises evenly, until collards are soft.  Serve in a wide bowl & top with hemp seeds & cashew cheese.  A mochi waffle on the side provided a nice, contrasting crunch.

I felt fueled for our day of climbing — our first trip to the Pit!

~

Do you ever like greens in the morning?

Where Am I?

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