Sweet Burgers?

April 1, 2010

I am at school right now, sitting next to a fine young lady who has been sniffling for the past 92 minutes.  It has taken everything in me to practice self-control and not ask her if she needs a tissue and if she would like me to go get her one.  On a much lighter note, check out my newest re-creation i prepped last night based on a childhood favorite.  Does anyone remember those insanely good Coconut Pecan Fritters that they would sell around christmas time?  No?  Just a Colorado thing, maybe?  Well this is going to sound new to you!

Honey’d Pecan N’ Coconut Burgers

1 cup     Cooked Kashi Seven Grain Pilaf
1/4 cup     Flax Seeds
1/4 cup     Shredded Coconut
1/4 cup     Crushed Pecans
1/2 cup     Whole Spelt Flour

1/4 cup     Organic Honey
1 cup     Unsweetened Hemp Milk, Almond Milk
1/4 cup     Dried Mulberries

SIMPLE!  Mix together dry and wet ingredients in one big bowl, add some hemp seed oil or almond oil (from the top of your almond butter jars) to a pan (I eye it out, roughly 1 Tbs) and cook as if they were actual burgers!

Easy enough?  I thought so.

Were they good?  I had two after dinner last night, two for breakfast this morning, and one after lunch a few hours ago.  I guess so.  Deane, out!


A little inspiration, once again, from my old friend Sean Carter.  This pretty much sums up the past week so well i don’t need to go into any detail about it because: IT. IS. OVER.  Which i am simply ecstatic about as you can tell!  Exams, decisions, ridiculous people, criticism left and right… And you know what the best part about the whole week was?  My Ipod carrying me through the whole time.  Without music i would simply be lost in life, that and food.  In fact if i were lost in the forest (because i can’t stand tropical weather on a deserted island), the only items i would hope to have with me would be a sharp knife (for slicing up the raw veggies i would collect), a brand new 80GB Ipod PACKED to the absolute fullest of all different types of music that would act as my personal soundtrack for the duration of my stay, and my Timex (which i have not taken off in two years).  And if you are wondering about the last one, yes it showers with me!  What would hope to have?  And would you rather be lost in a forest or stranded on a deserted island?  I bet you guys could think of some odd items!  C’mon i want to hear them, i have had a serious week so i would love a little fun in the comment section!

As you can probably guess, my eats have been pretty uninspired over the past week, but this has left me feeling a little different as to how i want to approach my blog from now on.  I intend on posting roughly five times a week (that will be my new goal) and i am going to theme-out my weeks for a while based on how i am feeling!  For example, this week i was thinking of re-creating some of the recipes that I loved as a kid.  Not only will they now be vegan, but they will have a much better nutrient profile their older counterpoints!  I love that i feel so inspired while reading everyone’s recipes around the few blogs that i read.  Whether it was Mama Pea’s Yukon White Bean Basil Burgers , a Hungry Hippie’s Roasted Japanese Pumpkin Sandwich , a Colorado Native’s Pepita Cabbage Kabocha Lunch, or Katie’s Honeydew Ice Cream.  Something must have clicked in my brain after reading all of these.  I give you my first re-creation of the week based on a sandwich that i had a close relationship with in elementary school:

Blue Butter Flax Cakes (No Bakes)
[Yields about 12 1-2 Inch Cakes]

1/2 Cup        Almond Butter
1/2 Cup        Oatbran
1/4 Cup        Chopped Dates
1/2 Block     Mori-Nu Tofu (Any Texture Should Work)
1/4 Cup        Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk

(Mix these ingredients in a magic bullet or blender until fairly smooth)

Add ingredients into a bowl along with:

1/2 Cup      Oats
1/2 Cup      Blueberries
1/2 Cup      Kashi Puffed Seven Grain
2 Tbs.          Pumpkin Seeds
2 Tbs.          Flax Seeds
2 Tbs.          Chia Seeds
2 Tbs.          Sunflower Seeds
2 Tbs.          Crushed Almonds

Form into balls or cakes, whichever you prefer.  I prefer balls.  (Cue Steve Carell).  Pop those in the fridge for a few hours and you will NOT be disappointed with the result!  I promise.  Optional to add:  A couple tablespoons of honey or other natural sweetener.  (I don’t really like my deserts too sweet, so these are perfect and remind me of the blueberry jam, almond and peanut butter sandwiches the mother used to pack for me).

Check em’ out>

And i had to picture a Golden Delicious apple that i grabbed this morning as part of breakfast because it was begging to be photographed!

Deane, Out!


March 28, 2010

Bare with me ladies and gents!  I am buried deep under a pile of notebook paper and i think i am starting to burn a whole through my glasses.  I will be back with a nice little post ASAP :)

I like the way you move.

March 26, 2010

Hey Guys!  Very crazy week, exam and paper yesterday, exam today and exam Monday!  So i will keep this short and sweet and start off with my third and final tip, which may just be the most important!  MUSIC.  Without a motivational factor, exercise can often be uninspired and lackluster.  I can’t stress enough how much music can provide momentum, motivation, inspiration, distraction, and also add a fun factor to your routines, runs, bike rides, even swims!  Here are a few CD’s that i have on my playlist right now, and a few favorites that you guys will have to check out…

Deane’s Music List

Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
Kanye West – Graduation
Jay-Z – The Blueprint
Muse – The Resistance
Lady Gaga – The Fame
U2 – Live From Madrid
The Shins – Chutes To Narrow
Outkast – The Love Below
RHCP – Californication

Love any of RHCP’s old stuff!  They are so fun to run to.  Here is what my eats have looked like the past couple of days, thanks for being patient while i am in the process of putting a recipe page up!

Japanese Sweet Potatoes.  Chopped.  Popped in the Oven.

A buttercup squash that i thought was a Kabocha and was so disappointed that i may have burned it purposely…

My favorite Eden product.  Makes for a quick dinner when added to some steamed veggies :)

Orange Zest & Almond Butter Granola

So crunchy, and delicious!

I will be back tomorrow with a week re-cap!  And my pumpkin-seed butter review (Bleh)  That is all that needs to be said…  I would much rather eat raw pumpkin seeds, making them into a butter is so not necessary!  :)  Deane, Out!

The Perfect Push-up.

March 22, 2010

Whenever i speak with a runner or someone who is planning on running a race in the near future, i cannot stress enough how imporant cross-training is.  It doesn’t matter how much time you have to train, do it.  You have to make time for cross-training or else you are literally breaking down muscles over and over again without properly building them back up.  Running 7 days a week is both counter-productive and hazardous to a training schedule AND your health. This is not coming from the 4th year pre-med student who picked this up in an exercise physiology textbook; this is coming from the kid who is all-to-familiar with the negative outcomes that over-training can lead to: Injuries, Nutrient Deficiencies, Disorders, Diseases, and obviously poor-performance.  I walked into my freshmen year of University a healthy, fit, strong, 18 year old who loved everything having to do with athletics, exercise, fitness, and strength-training.  Slowly this passion turned into an addiction that i didn’t really understand at first until i started seeing the effects it was having on my life.  Running 80 miles a week, and strength-training every day was leading me no where.  Not only was i ALWAYS tired in class, but i felt like i was neglecting personal relationships as i was in bed by 9:30 every night and up at 6:30 to start my “training” regimen over the next day.  I tried to justify my habits by reading tons of articles on elite-endurance athletes and how much they train.  I thought, they can do it, why can’t I?  And i still to this day feel that i am capable of competing on the elite scale.  But what has changed?  My entire attitude towards health and fitness.  I thought i was in the best shape of my life at that point.  WRONG.  I was run down, I was diagnosed with pernicious anemia, my B-12 levels were low, i had a bone-marrow biopsy done and they found only trace amounts of reserve iron and i was unhappy. Fitness is not about how you look or feel about how you look on the outside or whether or not you beat your own PR every other day.  At some point, everyone has to accept a boundary level that we as humans are not perfect, and that RECOVERY IS OF THE SAME IMPORTANCE as training, as well as it is a integral part of any successful training program.  I soon realized that giving myself 2 days off a week was allowing me to not only perform better, but increase my speed, and my distance (running-wise).  Could this be true?  Could letting my body rest be the key to greatness?
Once i came to this wonderful realization and began building my strength back up again, i began taking three days a week to fit cross-training into my plan and littering the other four with stable runs (8m, 10m, 12m).  This worked wonders for me. My body was able to  heal from the pounding it took during my runs on the days that i cross-train and focus on building the muscles that support my posture, core, and stability.  I realized that while strength training my heart-rate was no where near where it was when i was running, which i wasn’t very happy with.  It is obvious that i didn’t want cross-training to surpass the amount of stress on my body that i was attaining on the other days, but i was looking for more.  This is where the push-up became one of my best friends.

Lean Deane’s Tips For The Ultimate Running Machine # 2

I am crazy about push-ups, i even hold the record at my high-school for more completed in two minutes.  But i will admit, although i considered 130 a mega-fitness achievement in high-school, i was not engaging all of my muscles nor was i concentrating on what i should be working while doing so.  A perfect push-up as i like to refer to it, should take 10 seconds!  You should be focused on extending your legs as far as possible, while being as straight as possible with your toes dorsi-flexed towards your head.  Your butt should be level with the rest of your body and you hands should be shoulder-width apart.  You should start off on the ground with your nose touching the floor or almost touching the floor (if the floors in your gym are a little iffy).  When raising you should be concentrating on engaging your pectoral muscles, abdominal muscles, and keeping your legs absolutely stiff.  Count to 4 coming up, BUT DO NOT COME UP ALL THE WAY.  You should be stopping and pausing for one second with your elbows bent at about a 75 degree angle or 3/4 of the way and back down to touch your nose to the floor for a 4 count.  If you want to make it much harder on your self, don’t come down all the way every other push-up, rather bounce at the bottom and hold for longer at 3/4 of the way up.  If you get really good with the bouncing method, start allowing your palms to jump off of the ground about an inch each time.  Whether you can do 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 pushups (which will be close to impossible if you are using this method properly) the best way to end a “set” is with a 120 second plank in push-up position.  I have seen professional runners use my method and they love it and swear by it compared to regular plank position.  On your last push-up of the set, come down to about 3 inches or so from the ground, hold and stiffen your legs engaging your abdominal muscles.  Tell me how it works out! :)  Perfect push-ups are capable of working five different groups of muscles, increasing your heart rate during anaerobic activity, and with other body-weight exercises are also capable of eliminating the need for expensive gym memberships (woops, the secrets out).   I do 30 minutes of perfect push-ups on my off days and love every minute of them because i feel as though i am working my entire upper body and strengthening my core to improve and stabilize my running posture.  I hope you all will try them as well.  I will try to post a video soon when i find suitable camera time at work.

Anyone ever tried this stuff?  I intend to tonight, i’ll let you know how it goes!  And thanks for all of your great suggestions regarding Seattle :)  Deane, out!

Workin’ Up A Sweat.

March 21, 2010

Ever wonder why you are the only one on the recumbent bike who isn’t drenched in your own sweat?  How about the reason for your gym-buddy’s amazing fitness levels and yours are pretty lack-luster even though you always hit the gym together?  Based on huge mistakes i see every single day and studying the human body for a living, i have compiled a few tips for getting the most from every single workout.  Over the next week i will be providing one tip per post,  we’ll call them:

Lean Deane’s Tips For The Ultimate Running Machine

  1. Cardio.  Cardio.  Cardio.

    Even though 80% of people that walk into any health club are looking for the quickest way to a firm, lean, and toned body; they do not realize that strength training will NOT get you there ALONE.  One of the biggest missteps I see people make is strength training 5 days a week, maybe one or two body parts a day or what they call “concentrations” and come in on the weekends for a few hours of cardiovascular activity.  People, not only are you not going to reach any goal that you have set for yourself this way, but you are setting yourself up for a slew of injuries in your near future.  Working one or two muscles a day will often bring more mass to the specified muscle itself and if your main goal is to lose that extra weight you have been carrying around, this should become first priority.  Building muscle will be integrated in, but believe it or not cardiovascular exercise is capable of both burning fat AND building muscle simultaneously, if you know what you are doing!  Walking for twenty minutes on the treadmill is obviously not the way to activate your machine to burn excess fat, but it is a starting place!
    Any type of cardiovascular exercise can be rated on how effective it is or isn’t based on your heart rate before, during, and after you take part in the event.  If you are a person who is fairly new to aerobic activity (requiring more oxygen than anaerobic activity) than you may want to ease into a new program because you do not want to put unfamiliar strain on your heart and lungs.  Your cardiovascular system is SMART.  It is capable of memory and will let you know when you are doing good for yourself vs. sending yourself to an early grave.  A general rule for people who are 21- 65 for a healthy HR range goal while exercising is to take your age, subtract it from 180 for your minimal heart rate for burning fat and engaging in efficient activity, and add 20-30 for the max heart rate.  For example, i am 21 and my healthy range would be AROUND 159-189.  Have i ever seen my heart rate go above this number?  Yes, but i like to keep it under 189 and it is NOT necessary for anyones HR to ever exceed this number.  Sprinting, high-knee intervals, or stair runs are often the culprit for my extreme HR levels.  I usually like to keep my heart rate around 170-175 while running.  Of course this is different for everyone and not only depends on your age and fitness levels, but any past history or problems you or your family have had regarding disease or sickness.  A general rule that i give to most of my clients is any form of cardiovascular activity, preferably outdoors (fresh air is always better) for 25 minutes IN the target HR zone three times a week.  This is a great way to ensure a longer, healthier life, and will also help you reach any weight goal you may have if paired with a decent strength training program!  This may mean a 5 minute warm-up jog, combined with a 25 minute run, and a five minute cool-down jog.  You do not want to abruptly halt a strenuous activity for several reasons, the most important being that it is not beneficial and will cause your HR to sink rapidly rather than easing it back down to resting or low activity levels.  Of course people who plan on training for a road race or another competition will want a more intense schedule, but this is a GENERAL rule that i provide for first-timers and maintainers.  A health evaluation is often necessary to outline any fitness goals you may have.  If anyone is curious about anything that i have written or write in the future, contact me with all of your questions and i will try and respond as quickly as i can!  Although i do dedicate most of my time to either learning about the human body or training it, i urge you to only take my words as knowledgeable opinions and to consult a doctor or health practitioner for any questions you may have before starting any type of regime!

    I’ll leave you with a few meals and a few questions that i have come up with in the past few days!

    Steamed Asparagus/Broccoli/Brussels topped with chopped Roma Tomatoes and Nutritional Yeast.  I eat A LOT of greens :)

    Steamed Mung Bean + Peaches and Cream Corn + Nutritional Yeast ( i put it on everything! )  I know my meal pictures are pretty unappealing as of late, but i promise you that they will get better from here on out due to the fact that i will have a little bit more time to not only cook some different things i have been waiting to try, but make them look presentable and sit down to a real meal rather than grabbing and going!

    So what if i think chick peas, bosc pears, sweet potato chunks, sweet corn, homemade granola, turkish apricots, and nutritional yeast are a good mix?   This is the norm for me… You should see what i eat when i’m feeling off… ;)

    And a few important, but random questions for all of you guys out there:  Have you ever been to Seattle?  Any great restaurants, or places i should know about?  And how many of you payed your own way through undergrad, graduate/med/law school, and how did you deal with the debt?  Did you pay it off right away?  Did you work three jobs while in school?  How did your life change in the process?  Were you able to keep relationships with your friends in the process?  Thanks guys!  Deane, out.

Yeah, probably not.  But i am going to pretend they do because i literally had NOTHING green left in my house to cook.  So steamed parsnips and grilled eggplant seemed like the perfect St. Patrick’s Day Dinner… No?

The eggplant was grilled in my favorite eggplant grilling sauce, which just so happens to have a wonderful background (read bottle) and is very low-sodium.  Perfect taste and smells wonderful, just the right amount of tang and spice!

All grilled up and ready for the oven at 350* for 5 minutes to take away the excess moisture.

Lunch today consisted of a grilled vegan cheese sammich on seedy ezekiel bread… mmm.

The little burnt guy was the end of the loaf, love those…
Anyone else have problems keeping these ridiculous little buggers in their ears while running?

Sorry for the fuzzy pic, but these don’t deserve any better… I HATE “EARBUDS”.  Whoever first referred to them as buds couldn’t have been more wrong.  They should be called earenemies.  Thus why i used a very tight Under Armor hat to keep them in.

Sure running is an amazing workout, but i feel like my arms are losing out on the deal on my long runs.  This is where these gems come in…  500g weighted gloves.  Lovely.  And since my Polar Heart Rate Monitor strap ripped around Christmas time, and i will not run without my Timex Ironman watch, i have to basically rig an ankle brace around myself and run the wire out the back and into my shorts pocket which makes for a ridiculous looking contraption… I would post a pic but it is pretty embarrassing!  Hope everyone enjoys there St. Pat’s Day.  Stay safe.  Deane, out.

Westward Bound.

March 15, 2010

Good morning!  I trust all of you have taken to the lost hour of sleep fairly well this morning.  I must say, I didn’t really even notice it was gone… The main reason being that my trusty alarm clock of 12 years decided yesterday was it’s last and didn’t inform me of this… and you think you know someone… :)  Oh well, other than having 10 minutes to shower, eat breakfast, and finish cleaning up after making a gigantic mess of the kitchen opening a kombucha i would consider my morning fairly productive.  My breakfast consisted of a pre-baked treat that was excellent:

Any guesses?  This is sliced sweet potatoes swimming in hot, unsweetened, chocolate almond milk.  Still stumped?  Add organic oatbran, flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and what do you get?

Some weird looking, yet very tasty mini sweet potato muffins!  Unfortunately i think i am too late for Sarah’s SP Challenge but they were great none the less!

They came out of the pan surprisingly well, which is a definite first for me!  I attribute this wonderful phenomenon to coating the pan in the oil that rises to the top of natural almond butter.  I get creative when i don’t want to use olive oil for breakfast foods…
Lunch for the past few days consisted of some homemade vegan lasagna that i stole when i was home this weekend! :) Thanks, mom!  I noticed it kind of resembles a Hungry Hippie‘s version, and since i don’t have the recipe for this one and it is considered to be a family secret, i would suggest using Elise’s!

Apparently Snoop would enjoy some as well… Sorry, you are the reason i yet to have a dog, so I don’t think so.

Now on to the title of my post.  I am officially Colorado bound after my last exam!!! Where to from there?  That will depend on my job choices!  So far San Francisco is looking pretty promising! :)   I can’t wait.  It seems like everyone in my family has been traveling all over the world this year already, except me!  My sister just got back from Hong Kong, my pops just got back from Peru… It’s my turn :)  Where are you traveling this summer?  Any big plans?  Deane, Out!

Step it up, people.

March 12, 2010

Let me begin my saying that i am well aware of the strong opinions and debate surround this topic in particular, but today i feel it necessary to get my point of view out there.  Being in a profession where i see so many different life struggles, it seems that everyone i meet relates every single issue or problem in their life back to their weight.  You would not believe how often i hear that the reason or cause of a person’s weight gain is due to their money problems, their family issues, a job that they hate, or my personal favorite: a lack of time.
Seeing as it is my job to help them find their true healthy self and reach the goals that they have in their mind, i rarely ever find myself criticizing their theories on how they arrived at such an unhealthy way of living.  However, i am only human, and i do find that i am thinking to myself, “Why are you making excuses, do you think i am judging your reasons for letting yourself go?”  As harsh as this may sound, the one thing i cannot stand hearing come out of any of my clients mouths is the word don’t.  This is the one word that will send me over the top and i begin to question their motives for reaching a healthy point in their own life.  If they really wanted to be there, “don’t” should never be a thought that crosses their minds especially when used in such phrases as “Well, i don’t really have much time”, “I don’t think cardio is my thing”,  “I don’t respond well to strength training”, or ” I don’t want to take part in any classes.”  My simple response to any of these:  “Okay, you tell me why you are here.”
I have been criticized many times for my all-or-nothing approach to fitness, but i truly believe that EVERYONE possesses the amount of motivation required to reach ANY goal that they have in their head, and it is my job to help them find it.  The problem that i cannot and will not remedy is not having a goal and not caring enough to create one.  This person truly does not believe that they have it in themselves to do what is necessary to live a healthy lifestyle and is usually left to drown in their excuses.  Yes, i will literally stand up and walk out.
I’m sure some of you just mumbled what a jerk i am or stopped reading.  But for those that are still here (thanks!) know that 75% of the people i have told that i cannot help if they do not want to help themselves have come back and lost more weight and found more success in their lives after this little form of intervention.  I have developed great relationships with some of these men and women and i find that their stories are often all the motivation they need to find their true self again.  What they find is that they are also motivating others (including me) in the process, and there is nothing more i love to see than a person enjoying themselves during a workout.  YES, even those women or men who sit on the recumbent bicycles and gab for half an hour or coming in to watch their favorite show or read a magazine.  They could be at home, feeling sorry for themselves.  You all may not know that us trainers are watching you and inspired by each and everyone of you no matter if you are reaching your goal of making it to the gym 3 nights a week, or you have just finished your first marathon!  Never be ashamed to start a fitness regimen, you are taking a step in the right direction and no one can ever find anything wrong with that.  And for those that try and tear down any goals that you may have, know that doing yourself a favor is far more productive than doing anyone else a favor (health-wise).
I want to leave you guys with a great article i just read about Jaime Oliver.  He has a new show beginning soon which outlines America’s food systems, specifically what we are feeding our children.  This to me, is THE most important issue that needs attention in our countries (US and Canada) today.  One great quote from the article is that “Food companies should make education a central part of their business. ” This could not ring more true.  If food companies spent half of the money they waste packaging their foods in exorbitant amounts of paper and plastic on programs that convey just how much a healthy diet can lead to a happy life, their products would sell themselves.  Here is the link to the article.
In hopes that i may be able to do a little bit of bragging about my own Elementary school, i have to congratulate Colorado’s efforts in developing a healthy school-lunch distribution program which includes fun events like these. Way To Go, Indian Ridge!  How fun is that?  And by popular request, i want to share with you guys another form of cardiovascular activity that i am in love with, mainly because i get to ride this beautiful monster around…

Time Crunch.

March 12, 2010

I think they should make a breakfast cereal called “Time Crunch”.  I would buy it!  Often times i find myself waking up, showering/brushing my teeth and literally running out the door.  I forget all about breakfast on occasion, especially when i have no time to make my Earth Shakes.  This is where Time Crunch would come in handy.  My week this week can pretty much be summed up in one word:  Productive.  Although, i have not been nearly as productive on the blog front and feel as though i have been neglecting my page a bit in all the hustle and bustle.  Therefor i pledge that tomorrow i will get ya’ll caught up with photos of what my week has been like and even a glimpse into one of my famous workout sessions! ;)  Until then here was dinner tonight >

Steamed SP’s and Parsnips ever so eloquently placed on a pan lid for photographing.   Time crunch people, remember?  Clearly my priorities are more aligned with the taste rather than the presentation.  I also had a new flav of Kombucha (It was the blue one from a few weeks ago, yes i just got around to drinking it).  I have to say, it was pretty tasty, very different from anything else i have ever tasted and did not leave a vinegary aftertaste.  It is very hard to explain, but it was similar to a fermented blueberry flavor.  Or what i would assume fermented blueberries would taste like.  Blueberry wine we will call it!

Fruit Crime Scene.

And none other than a big ole’ pea protein/oatbran/banana/almond butter pancake.  Mmmm.  Cya tomorrow.   Deane, Out!