Tag Archives: granola bars

Recovery Monday Bars Recipe

24 Feb

I’ve decided to stick with the original name for these tasty little things. I made my way through the first batch in a little over a week. I ate them mostly as mid-day snacks and lemme tell you, they totally satisfied for a couple of hours at least. Today, I had two after a long bike and again, felt really full.

I upped the good-fat/protein ante on the batch I made today by adding an egg white and more seeds. The downside is that they are no longer vegan but they’re still packed with good-for-you stuff and have enough bulk to make you feel fuller for a longer period of time.

I don’t know that I would consume these so greedily if I wasn’t in training but I see no reason why they can’t be a healthy snack for anyone who wants to ditch store-brand and take control of what enters his/her body. They are also so easy to make a mildly impaired monkey could pull them off. Anyway, la recipe:


2 cups oats
1/3 cup soy flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Agave
1 large egg white
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup shredded baking coconut (this stuff is sweetened; you can try this recipe with unsweetened flaked coconut but I’m not sure it would be as tasty. If you do, let me know how they turn out)

Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together oats, flour, salt, and cinnamon until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine agave, egg white, apple sauce and vanilla extract. Add to dry ingredients and stir until well combined. This will be a wet, slightly sticky batter. Add the cranberries, seeds, nuts and coconut and stir until combined.

Spread evenly into prepared baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden around the edges and set in the middle. Cool in pan for about five minutes. Then cut into bars. Remove bars from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. They should be good for about 10 days.


Tests, Tests and More Tests!

24 Feb

This week was all about tests. Wednesday I had to have my head examined; Tuesday I had to examine 1000yards in the pool and today I tested my bike speed/effort on a 10K course. This test was supposed to happen on Monday but didn’t for various reasons. Wednesday I was also supposed to get in a 60 minute easy ride but didn’t because I was strapped to a chair in a dark room for most of the day. So my off day today ended up being all about combining the Wednesday ride and the Monday bike test. I  spent exactly two hours in the saddle door-to-door. This is the longest I’ve been on my bike since November. Luckily, I had a training partner to keep me company and there were a couple of stops.

Stop One: pick up training partner on the way to Key Biscayne and borrow a pair of sunglasses (I somehow managed to forget mine back at my place) from her.

Stop Two: fill up water bottles at La Carreta before the first turn around.

Stop Three: put on training partner’s chest strap so i can use her xt310 to record my bike test numbers since my broke-ass Polar is of no use any longer and I still haven’t bought my own multi-sport training device.

Stop Four: wait for training partner to finish her leisurely round trip on Virginia Key after killing myself on the bike test.

I’m not sure of total mileage for the trip but my test was OK. I finally broke 20mph! My average speed was 18.9mph. I did 5.29miles in just over 17 minutes. Avg HR 160. Max HR 170. I’m sure that’s all very interesting to you. But what does any of this means?

It means that now my coach will look at these numbers and the numbers from my swim test on Tuesday (1000 yards in 23:15) and my HR info for both of those tests and he will make adjustments to my training schedule leading up to Nautica. We are about six weeks out from that race–about the half way point in training. So this week I got to dial down the volume a little. Next week, I’m sure mileage will increase.

In the mean time, I have a fun 3 x 150yd open water swim to look forward to tomorrow at 7AM! Get to TEST the old wetsuit for the first time since December. Bought some lube today so it’ll be a nice easy slip n’ slide into the suit. The swim is immediately followed by a 45 minute run. Sunday will be a long bike/short transition run.

I also did some bake testing today. I finally perfected those Recovery Monday Bars. Hmmm…can I still call them Recovery Monday bars if I perfected them on a Friday? I also messed with my Perro Grande Muffins. I used apple sauce instead of pumpkin and added 1/4 cup of flax oil which made the almond milk unnecessary. I’ll post the bar recipe in a minute but I think the new muffins need further testing before I deem them worthy for popular consumption.

Recovery Monday Bars

13 Feb

Today is Monday. Monday is a recovery day. Now, before I go any further into what this particular Monday has looked like, I want to make sure we’re all up to speed on the lingo. Recovery does not mean that I am “off” or enjoying a day of “rest.” On off days, I don’t have a scheduled triathlon workout but I can take care of other stuff–like my job, my badly neglected social life, etc…I can do yoga, I can tootle around on my bike. On full rest days, I’m supposed to stay off my legs as much as possible. Full rest days normally come 48 hours before a race or 24 hours before a long training session, say a long run or a long bike or a long bike followed by a long run (a.k.a. a “brick.”)

On recovery days, I still have to run. In fact, the run that is scheduled on my Training Peaks (more on TP later) is referred to as a “recovery run.” The benefits of recovery runs are apparently hotly debated. I am learning that most techniques for effective endurance training are. Hotly debated, that is. There doesn’t seem to be any debate that recovery runs are good for the athlete, just a debate about why they are good.

I’ve been told that RRs get blood moving through the legs again after a long or hard training run the previous day and that promotes the clearance of lactic acid. This article I just found on Active, claims that the benefits are more about training the runner to run on fatigued legs. Whatever. It’s a win-win either way and I gotta do one regardless. Tonight.

I gotta recoverun (ya’ like that?) tonight because I didn’t get up and do it this morning because I really, really wanted–no, I needed–to sleep in.

Another translation: “sleep in” for triathletes means, “wake up a minute after sunrise.”

But I don’t mind running at night. And I actually look forward to Monday night recovery runs because a) they’re easy (depending on where I am in the training schedule, they can be anywhere from 30-45 minutes at a luxuriously slow pace in a luxuriously low HR zone) b) I normally do them with the group (although tonight, I have to go it alone a little on the early side so I can make 6:30PM yoga so I can get home and get to bed before 10PM so I can get up at 6AM tomorrow to get my swim in before the work day begins) and c) …wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah, Recovery Monday. Yoga has to happen on a Recovery Monday otherwise I won’t be able to get to class until WEDNESDAY! Oh, the humanity! Before I started participating in this ridiculous sport, I was doing yoga 4-5 days a week. Now, I’m lucky if I can get eight classes in a month. If I don’t practice 2 days a week, I find that my running suffers. My sleep suffers. My brain suffers. My mood suffers. My friends suffer. My students suffer. There’s a whole lot of unnecessary suffering.

Also on Recovery Mondays (“RM,”) I like to catch up on “life” stuff. As in, I do laundry, I grade, I prep for classes. I’m feeding my teammate’s dog this week so I did that on RM. I bought a new vacuum last week so today I took that little red devil for a spin around the old casa. I also went grocery shopping.

And the same thing happens that always happens: I go off-list for a second and suddenly find myself in the granola bar aisle. This happens constantly. I never buy anything but it has become a kind of grand dream that I will find a box of granola bars that does NOT list High Fructose Corn Syrup (or even SUGAR) as its first ingredient. And even grander still, is the dream in which I find said bars and they don’t cost $5.99 for six of them.

So I stood in the aisle and I picked up every box of granola bars on the shelf and I scrutinized the labels, trying to find ONE that had less than say, 10g of sugar per serving. I’m sure I looked like a right ass, studying a box of Fiber One bars like it was a Biology text and finally I was like, “I never studied for biology.” And I threw the box at the head of a woman standing next to me (no, I didn’t) and I ran home in a rage (no, I didn’t)  to make my own (yes, I did).

I’ve tried making protein bars and granola bars in the past and I’ve never had much success. But this batch, I think, might be a winner. I also decided to experiment with soy flour (since I never have before and it packs a mega protein punch). It’s working for me.

I can’t remember exactly what I did–silly me, I didn’t write anything down–but I think it was like 2 2/3 cups oats, 1 cup soy flour, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, a handful of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1 cup canned pumpkin, like 1/4 cup blue agave nectar, some cinnamon and a twee pour of almond milk. Mixed it all together, baked it in a 9×9 pan at 375 for 25 minutes and voila. Here they be:

I kinda can’t stop eating them. But I will. I will freeze half the batch (individually wrapped) and throw them in my lunch sack when needed. Oh, I also made those muffins on the rack below. Here’s their Sears glamour shot:

These are old hat at this point. Couple mashed bananas, more canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, white whole wheat (with some soy flour thrown in today), agave and almond milk. I make them all the time and freeze in pairs. I like to have one before a long bike. They’re totally vegan too. In fact, so are the bars!

But don’t worry. I roasted a chicken at the same time I was baking.  No pic of the chicken. That would be indecent. I will tear it apart and try not to think of it as it once was (alive) and use it in spicy chicken-vegetable hash and other such recipes this week.

So now that all that’s done, I can stuff myself into my “cold weather” running gear (it’s 60 degrees here today) and head out to recover.