Cookie Dough Cashew Butter Bark

**First of all, thank you sooooo much for your kind words from my last post! I ❤ the triathlon/running community! Everyone is so supportive and motivating!**

14182455_10157391643220644_1176643895_n

Since the race, I have been pretty pathetic on the training front. Zero swimming, zero cycling and 2 runs, both super easy. I have been mentally and physically drained trying to squeeze everything in, and with weekends predominantly being dedicated to training, I REALLY needed a rest! And I think I deserved it 🙂

That meant that this week I have had more time for BAKING!

It was perfect timing, because MERIDIAN FOODS were awesome enough to send me a MASSIVE hamper of loads of their different nut butters, jams and maple syrup!! My favourite so far has to be the pecan butter, so if you see it in the shop clear the shelf immediately m’kay (and save a jar for me)? I lather that stuff onto cut up apples and it is better than dessert – and coming from me, that’s saying something!

14193580_10157391642680644_1697371037_n

I thought I would try something different and attempt “bark”. This is a popular treat in America (the have a lot of peppermint bark at Christmas, for example) so I did my research, aka searched pinterest, and found Cookie Dough Cashew Butter Bark!

14137809_10157391643420644_1422297320_n

(thumbs up!)

You have to keep them in the freezer so it a) doesn’t soften, and b) out of sight, out of mind!, so clear a space and try out this recipe immediately…oo and did I tell you they are HEALTHY, too?! Oo oo AND did I tell you you only have to use the food processor, so it saves you on dishes?! Ok here goes…

Ingredients
  • 3 cups cashew butter (I used Meridian – they have huge tubs available)
  • tablespoon coconut oil, softened a little (something from Costco)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used Meridian)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (again, something from Costco)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (recipe called for 1/2 but I like ‘dem chips)

 

Method

  1. Start with the nut butter and put in a food processor, along with coconut butter and maple syrup and blast it for a minute or so until mixed. Add flour, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla to the mix and pulse several times until mixture is smooth like the consistency of cookie dough. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Scrape mixture into a parchment paper-lined tray until smooth. Freeze cookie dough bark 30 minutes or until solid. Cut into pieces and store in freezer until ready to serve.
  3. Make another batch a day later because you will have eaten it all and be desperate for more!

14169695_10157391642700644_1261881792_n14215412_10157391642985644_39696125_o14182302_10157391643100644_947432776_n

(Prior to freezing. Finished product not photographed because we forgot and by the time we remembered there wasn’t enough left)

If you don’t want to be too healthy, substitute the coco flour for 1/2 normal flour, and use butter instead of coco oil, and add a 1/2 cup sugar to get a thicker consistency.

And before I forget, the “nut bars” are unbelievable as a protein bar post session! You can keep them in your car/sports bag, so no excuses for not eating straight after a workout to start the recovery process!

Let me know how you get on!


Favourite nut butter?

Favourite nut butter recipe?

If you don’t like nut butter, what is your favourite all round treat recipe?!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Ironman Sweden: I am a Kona Qualifier :)

If you haven’t seen my race recaps yet, where have you been? Just kidding (not really) – you can find them here, here AND here!


Firstly, I want to do my thank yous…without these guys I wouldn’t have even made the start line. In no particular order so please don’t fight:

  • A massive thank you to Planet X for the bike that got me through a tough and mentally windy 112 mile bike course! And for understanding the reason I wrote off your first TT bike you sent me. 
  • Helen Strachan, THE BEST physio I have EVER come across! I pretty much moved in there the first month after the accident and she put in a fair shift trying to get my knee to bend again. She didn’t even mind touching that horrific new scar of mine! She is a legend and now a great friend!!
  • Gordon, Gregor and COAST for re-teaching me how to swim (I am now only 15 seconds off my lifetime best for 100m free! haha) and helping me to be 1st out of the water in Sweden. There is so much work still to be done in that discipline again so you will see me back on poolside at 5.30am soon in the future. Maybe. 😉
  • Steven Miles at Holburn Cycles for his ridiculous stories and advice. This weeks’ stories involved a midnight bike race/scavenger hunt around Aberdeen trying to find outrageous clues, such as purchasing the item belonging to a given barcode in a 24 hour supermarket (it was bag of ice), and choosing his “favourite” page in an abandoned cottage (page being of a p0rn magazine in a building in the countryside)…the things he gets up to! I digress.
  • Phil Mann and Callum Walker for continual check ups on me throughout my rehab , Freyja Prentice (who has another inspiring story of 13th at the Modern Pentathlon European Champs after nearly breaking her leg!) and her fam for whisking me away for some TLC, and EVERYONE else who has continued to rescue me for coffee and cakes, come round for catch ups, or send me such kind words. I love and appreciate every single one of you!
  • Mum, Emma, Kyle and Keith of course!! I would be a mess if I didn’t have their support. They deserve my trophy more than anyone for putting up with an injured drama queen all summer! ❤

Heroes Hour of the Ironman was pretty spectacular. Those guys who have been going for nearly 16 hours truly are heroes in my eyes. I think 10 or so hours is a long time to be out there on a race course, but me going at “race effort” for 16 hours?! That sounds even more painful! The same applies to the marathon; I am going as hard as possible for 26.2 miles but it takes me just under 3 hours. Those guys who push themselves as hard as possible for 26.2 miles in 4 or 5 hours deserve a larger medal in my eyes (seriously, you should see me at finish lines…I get so teary-eyed!)!

After a long ice bath (I’m sure the water sizzled as I entered it, I was so hot!), a light massage, and having grabbed a beer (non-alcoholic…don’t worry, it was put straight back) and a few slices of pizza (that was not put back and was inhaled in seconds) in the athletes’ finisher area, I met my support crew and they helped me with EVERYTHING (collecting bike, carrying bags, holding me up) as I hobbled my way back to the hotel.

When I arrived back at the room, I should really have showered but instead I READ EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR MESSAGES and cried my eyes out! Poor Kyle had a lot to deal with this holiday! A quick shower later (I didn’t want to be alone – I hadn’t talked much in over 10 hours and I wanted lots of attention for doing so well!!) and I put my legs up on the bed while Mum and Keith came in and told me they hadn’t eaten all day out of following me/spectating/anxiety, so they were going to grab food, so we headed to the canteen (where there was a massive spread and a LOT of fajitas were demolished).

Coach Noodles called me to go over the race with me and for once I actually detected some pride in his voice! I had achieved the unachievable; never mind the Ironman, I put a smile on Scott Neyedli’s face. I also chatted to his girlfriend (who I can confirm is real!) who was soooo nice and I can’t wait to meet her (yes I am coming over to visit, Scott. Get your spare room ready).

When we finally made our way back to the finishing line, the crowds were so loud and excited, myself included! It was just after 11pm and it was like a massive party! When the final runners came in together, and the commentator announced that one was a successful Ironman, having completed the course in 15hours59minutes, he also announced that the last athlete crossing the line that day had done so in 16hours0minutes and a couple of seconds, not being able to be called an Ironman. I think every single one of the thousands of spectators’ hearts sank. The silence was deafening. In my eyes if you cross that line, who are an Ironman.

After that last athlete came in, the fireworks started, which still gives me a lump in my throat thinking about it. They represented so much to me (and on top of that they were SUPER romantic!) – I don’t think in that moment I have ever been happier or more proud of myself, and I had accomplished had finally sunk in.

Ok, back to the fun stuff: the following day, I woke up STARVING!!!! Phil was fidgety all night so was up and already having breakfast in the canteen, so as soon as I woke up I met him straight away (pretty much in my pjs and I had certainly not bothered to look in the mirror yet) and I left Kyle to join us later! That morning was when Swedish meatballs have never tasted so good!

We decided a walk would do us good, so after packing up (Keith dismantled my bike – thank yoooou!), we said goodbye to Mum and Keith (they headed to Stockholm earlier than us to have more time there – and probably get rid of the kids for a few extra hours…we wanted to stay for the awards banquet – for obvious reasons!) and headed to the shop to spend a ridiculous amount of money on all the Ironman-branded stuff I could find. I am a sucker for marketing.

Kyle bought me a bright hoody so everyone can see I did an Ironman (I WILL be “that” guy when you next see me!), and I bought some tshirts, cycling stuff and a visor (I think I may have been the only person out of 3,000 competitors that day not wearing a visor).

11911030_10156001104440644_1826354852_n

(what Mum had been wearing the previous day…no wonder I spotted her!)

11950982_10156001104670644_962737769_n

(I didn’t buy this one, HOWEVER look at the other Moore in the race – I want to be called SKEETER!!)

The three of us then ventured to Ben & Jerry’s to get cinnamon bun ice cream (new flavour! Delicious!) because we had had breakfast a whole 30minutes ago and were hungry again, then to the Coop (actually pronounced “coop” funnily enough) for train snacks (can you see a theme here), then realised our priorities may have needed readjusting as the ceremony had already started. In a taxi we go straight to the banquet.

11925980_10156001080090644_29128506_n

(I love ice cream)

Winner! We get a table at the back with no people on it (I think a lot of people had headed home, considering it was already noon and Kalmar is pretty hard to get to) which was full of ALCOHOLIC beer this time! We watched a quick slide show of maybe 20-30 photos of the day, and I was on 1 of the slides – just me! What are the odds?! It was a close up of me swimming with my brightly coloured nails (that matched my Planet X fluorescent bike!) with a Scottish flag and Swedish flag on each 4th finger) – hope I can find it again!

11944944_10156001079900644_1962042450_n

(yep, and I was caught eating yet again. Chicken and beer this time. Gotta have protein and electrolytes post race)

Then it was time for the Kona slots and awards for top 3 in each age group.

This is where I have some news to tell you. I didn’t accept my place at Kona, and it went to 3rd, hence why she is wearing the Hawaiian flower lei around her neck and not me.

11925931_10156000413320644_77811835_n

11896920_10156000413355644_1820579701_n

11911918_10156000413380644_2016506645_n

11948060_10156001080015644_1593571698_n

Why?

Because if I want to go all the way to Hawaii to compete in the World Championships with the best people in the world, I want to be the best Debbie I can be. And after the summer I have had, I am not anywhere CLOSE to that. I’m sure you can all appreciate how mentally and physically tough this year has been for me and, as I have said a bazillion times, health comes first. I have plenty time and hopefully I can qualify again when I am fully fit and ready to COMPETE and not COMPLETE the world champs!

…I can still milk that I qualified though, right?! 😉

The comeback is ON…kind of.

Yesterday the hospital cleared me to swim again!!!!!!!! My wound has finally healed!!!

What awesome news to end such a fun weekend!!

But first (turn down your volume!):

(Kylie in red)

(finishing straight)

The Baker Hughes 10k was on yesterday (Aberdeen’s biggest race)….Kylie Babez decided – on Friday night I believe – that his Achilles was good enough to race. So what did he do? Decide he needed new racing flats, buying them from Milnee at Run4It the next day.

“These are really light.”

“Maybe you should have bought them a few days ago, Kyle.”

“Nahhhh that would be too easy.”

“Are you at least going to try them out beforehand?”

“No, duh – today is my day off – the race is tomorrow. Why would I run the day before?”

“Why would you buy new lighter-than-all-your-other trainers the day before?”

“Because I am Ironman.”

“No. Next week you will be a HALF Ironman, Kyle. If these trainers don’t injure you more.”

[asks Stuart if they have his size. Stuart offers him the size DOWN. Kyle takes them anyway.]

“So you are wearing brand new shoes. Lighter than others you’ve had. While coming off injury. That you’re not going to try out until the race? That are a size too small?”

“Correct.”

Anyhoo, I have never seen Kyle so relaxed before a race! He had no pressure on himself since he knew he was not in 30min shape, BUT he still smashed it and got 3rd place in 33.06!! His time from Lumphanan, we worked out, would have won the entire race, never mind his PB from Ribble Valley!

 

Capture2

Afterwards, we had brunch with Andy and his kids (they helped me with cheerleading duties!), then got ready and met Fiona (who SMASHED the women’s field by over a MINUTE in a flying 36.18!), Tom, Phil, Kayleigh and Nick who all did amazing (yes Phil I’m included you for your excellent marshalling skills following a puncture!) for a few {too many} drinks and curry! It was so much fun!!!

11121631_10155589771825644_1960187820_n

(Princess Fiona, Phil, Kyle, Tom and I – last ones standing!)

11292683_10155589771700644_95405292_n

(twinnies!)

Although it is always nice to be a part of the race experience, watching thousands of speedy legs flying past me only gave me more motivation to push through the pain barriers and get fit again!

11251547_10155589771530644_594109294_n

11287366_10155589771615644_735404863_n

11310927_10155589771575644_1688419085_n

(my cheerleading squad!)

Waking up the morning after the night day before is never too much fun, but knowing I had the hospital for what I had hoped would be the final appointment got me weirdly excited. As soon as the words “you can swim again” came out of the surgeon’s mouth, I don’t think I heard much else (although I vaguely recall an appointment for an MRI scan to be determined was discussed afterwards)!!!

So what did we (Emma and I) do? Went for coffee of course! We have to follow tradition of the last 3 weeks! We tied it in with heading to her uni to print off and hand in her FINAL essay for her Masters Degree (in Project Management if anyone can give her a job??)!! Well done sister!

THEN we went swimming!!!!!!! I did 5x400s on 6.30 mixing up some pull, kick (with fins) and swim and trying to get as close to 30 seconds rest as possible. It happened, but it was A LOT harder than usual!

And so the comeback begins. I still can’t bend my leg enough to run or turbo, but I WILL manage to elliptical and stairclimb.

11269692_10155589771220644_199415013_n

(Ignore the cellulite we can pretend is bruising. Fake tan hides a multitude of sins. I miss fake tan.)

Not being one to brag (!!), I actually managed like 5 full cycles on the stationary bike a couple of days ago. Yes, I cried. Yes, it was painful and no I wouldn’t have managed it had Phil not been there to shout at me. It went like this:

“BEND THAT LEG. YOU HAVE NO BROKEN BONES AND NO TENDON DAMAGE (WE KNOW OF). IT IS JUST SKIN. SO BEND THAT LEG!!”

Ohh, how I cried. Funnily enough, after a couple of mojitos on Sunday, it bent a lot more easily 😉

11255109_10155589771430644_730226676_n

(mid-tears…)

So here goes. It will be a couple more weeks before I can cycle or run properly, but the rehab has begun!!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE for their kind words; calls, texts, emails, private/public messages, messages to family, cards, gifts, visits, taxi rides, gym trips, kidnapping for cakes/sleepovers….you know who you are and I will never forget that!

Planet X & Hi5 please don’t ditch me yet! And thanks for all your support through this so far!

Love you all & thanks again! ❤

Weekly Training Recap (17/11 – 23/11)

Monday

am: 4,400m easy in pool

pm: 45 min spin on turbo trainer

Tuesday

pm: 6.5ish miles with 1600 fast, 1200 fast, 800fast, then some hill sprints

Wednesday

am: 4,400m with (6×100 30bbm (beats below max), then 4×50 max)x4 (!!)

pm: 8 mile run with Freyja (it was her last full day in Aberdeen for a whole month!) 😦

Thursday

pm: 7 mile easy run

Friday

5.6km swim, 83km cycle, 10km run

Saturday

10 miles easy with Lucy

Sunday

Inverurie Duathlon

TOTALS

swim: 14,400m

bike: ~110km

run: 45 miles

other: 45 min core

I had a recovery week this week. Nothing too hard apart from one session in the pool, as I wanted to manage Friday’s training day, and also wanted to win Inverurie on tired legs!

Chocolate & Cherry Gluten Free Cookies

So the conversation I had with myself last night went a little bit like this:

“aahhh bliss – afternoon off after an awesome recovery day and a productive day at work – let’s bake cookies”

“no Debster you are meant to be an athlete”

“but I love cookies and deserve them”

“how about we compromise and you try out some gluten free ones or protein ones or something the running magazines all rave about”

“let’s do both”

Please pretend I didn’t say that and that I am not a psycho, m’kay?

So I heard cherries are great for recovery:

  • Faster recovery: Marathon runners who drank tart cherry juice five days before, the day of and two days after running experienced a faster recovery of strength compared to those who drank a different beverage. Read more on this study here.
    • Similarly, in another study tart cherry juice helped improve the recovery time after intensive exercise compared to the placebo beverage that was used. Read more on this study here.
  • Decreases muscle pain: Runners in an annual 196-mile relay race in Oregon reported significantly less muscle pain after the race if they drank tart cherry juice twice a day the week before and on the day of the long-distance race. Read more on this study here.
  • Less muscle damage: tart cherry juice decreased some of the symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage following strength training. Strength loss after exercise averaged over four days was only 4 percent, compared to 22 percent among those who drank another beverage.

I don’t tend to stock cherry juice in the house (!), but I DID have some dried tart cherries I bought from Costco the other day, and I searched for a “healthy recipe” for cookies containing these:

CHOCOLATE & CHERRY GLUTEN FREE COOKIES

Summary

Total Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 6 to 8 minutes
Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used coconut flour, but you could use whole wheat or gluten free if wanting to stay healthyish!)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (i used some posh one I got as a present that didn’t have sugar in it)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (I had some gluten free bp in my pantry for some reason so I used that, but it can also be omitted)
  • 3/4 cup refined coconut oil (I used regular coconut oil I got from Costco)
  • 11/4 cups unrefined sugar (I left this out and it still tasted great!)
  • 1/4 cup honey (I used a teeny bit more since I omitted the sugar!)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (can be omitted, but I kept them in because Debbie doesn’t make cookies without choc chips)

Directions

Preheat the oven 350 degrees F/170 C. and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.

In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the coconut oil.

To the melted coconut oil, add the sugar, honey, vanilla and eggs and stir until well combined. Let sit for 5 minutes to let the sugar dissolve

Add the dry mix to the wet and stir until well combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips and dried tart cherries.

Roll into 24, 1 1/4 -inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Press the balls down with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the cookies appear set in the middle. Do not over bake!

Let the cookies cool for two minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

10807943_10154849986255644_2140553599_n

(the finished article – I promise they tasted better than they looked! so chewy!)

These tasted ace! Well worth the Googling – they tasted posh – I think because of the quality of the cocoa powder?? I couldn’t believe there was no butter/sugar in it! Kyle is pretty much a cookie conisseur and he LOVED them!! And Lucy was also over (she eats super healthy 90% of the time) and said they were AMAZING for paleo style baking!!! Yay!!!


Questions for you:

Favourite cookie recipe?

Favourite “healthy alternative” recipe?

Favourite all time whocaresaboutcalorie recipe?