Night Shift Bake-a-thon

Day off + Night Shift + Fall = BAKING!

Since I’m off the wheat, I’ve had to learn how to bake again, which is an adventure! ¬†I’ve definitely found some delicious GF baking tips (and “clean eating”) – such as using black beans to make brownies and cupcakes! who knew?

Tonight, I’m trying a cornbread recipe replacing the flour with a gf flour mix, I didn’t do anything special to the amounts, but did substitute the buttermilk with goat’s milk yoghurt and greek yoghurt…it’s in the oven right now. ūüôā ¬†I shall post on how it goes.

here is the recipe:

instead of cracklings and fat, I used a tablespoon of veggie oil and didn’t put anything in place of the cracklings. ¬†finger crossed!

I recently made black bean cupcakes using more or less the following recipe:

instead of cake form, I used cupcakes and baked for 18-20 minutes and they tested clean.  I also used 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 splenda, and all in my blender. It was amazing. The clean-up especially.  In a couple cupcakes I put in a few chocolate chips, oh lord. awesome.  They are dense little cakes, but fabulous.

Ok, I’ll post the results of my¬†experiments¬†soon!!


It’s FALL! Summer Funk Begone!

Seriously. Fall. Am totally in love ūüôā I have missed you Fall. A lot.

So yes, I neglected my blog…biking…and running for all of August and part of July. ¬†You know how people get all sad and blue in winter? ¬†That is me in summer. ¬†I never realized until this year, how much I dislike summer. ¬†I’m sure an event this spring didn’t help the situation much, but let me tell you this – once I turned off my AC, I was beaming again and back on the saddle.

Fall. My favorite season. My one true love. ¬†The last time I enjoyed a stateside fall was in 2008, and then I only got about a month, if that. ¬†Thankfully I did get to head up to Duluth MN with the family and romp around the forests before I had to leave American fall for Afghan fall…followed by Iraqi fall….they just aren’t the same let me tell you.

Yes, I am STOKED about fall. ¬†Yes, I am one of the last humans remaining who still feels “stoked” is an appropriate and relevant word to describe one’s emotional status. ¬†Since this lovely fall has started I’ve not missed a bike ride into work, in fact I get sad that my commute is only 7 miles! ¬†I will soon need to take an even longer way home to just enjoy this weather more.

Another way I know I am over this summer funk, I’ve started baking. ¬†I found an AMAZING gluten free chocolate cake recipe, which I made entirely in my blender. ¬†I made it once with splenda, which was alright, and a 2nd time half sugar half splenda and in cupcake form…ah-mazing. and my gluten eating coworkers agreed! ¬†I bought yeast, so I can try making bread and other such things.

I feel alive again.

I feel happy.

I love life.

More posts to follow and I apologize for those who were/are following for my absence! ¬†It’s fall and Caribou is back!


Caribou is leaving the States!! ¬†I’ll be out on a little vacay – some well deserved rest and relaxation time. ¬†Look for new posts coming in early April. ¬†France and Portugal are on the menu!! ¬†Time to excited…but sadly time to put the smoothies on hold for a week.

The Quasi Cleanse has been amazing. ¬†I feel fantastic and am actually slightly nervous about eating regular food. ¬†My tummy has never been happier and I wake up energized and refreshed everyday. ¬†For anyone in a bad mood or grumpy tummy, turn up the dial on your fruits and veggies for a week – I’m serious.

Stay safe and happy trails.

Caribou out!

p.s. I also ran 4 miles today, jogged 2 and walked another 2!  All-in-all, a great day!!!

My Quasi “Cleanse”

I do not believe in fad diets or these bizarre cleanses where you drink water with lemons, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. ¬†Maybe its because both of my parents have food science/nutrition backgrounds, or simply because the body needs things like nutrients and calories to preform well. ¬†As part of my “ok, lets get serious” mind-set (applicable to finally getting my home o-r-g-a-n-i-z-e-d and re-committing to cycling, running, swimming, and yoga) I wanted to jump start my eat healthy, feel healthy, be healthy mindset.

Why Quasi Cleanse? ¬†I won’t lie. ¬†My diet in January and February…varied from great to atrocious [and everything in between]. ¬†**Mom/Dad – shield your eyes for this part** There were days where ice cream became dinner…rice and corn became the base of my diet…and veggies…well, we were growing apart. ¬†One benefit of eliminating gluten from my diet, it limits a lot of junk food, but there is a ton of naturally gluten-free crap out there too. ¬†Lent helped kicked me in the bum a little – it put an end to junk food and impulsive decisions. ¬†I wanted Lent to be more than a craving struggle, so I gave up making impulsive decisions – I highly recommend it…..Where was I? Oh yes, veggies and I were growing distant. ¬†I didn’t return their calls, they stopped texting. ¬†It was getting bad. ¬†I didn’t care who started the argument, it was time to make up and get our mojo back.

The Prep: ¬†To start, I put the cereal in the top shelves of my kitchen, threw out any remaining ice cream, and gave the kitchen a super clean. ¬†I always find doing a deep clean helps to literally wipe the slate clean – ¬†when you finish, I feel great and think to myself, “Ok, I can do this. Lets get started!” I broke out my Christmas present (thank you Mom and Dad) – the Vitamix blender and Costco card. ¬†Next stop: ¬†whole food smoothies.

The Plan: ¬†For 10 Days – No Grains, No Meat, No Processed Food. ¬†Limited Dairy. All Fruit and Veg. ¬†The plan was to increase my fruit and vegetable intake by … oh … 90% or so. ¬†The plan is pretty simple, eat tons of fresh/frozen fruit and veggies, sprinkle in some nuts and a little dairy. ¬†The end. ¬†Since its hard to eat a ton of fruit and veggies, I started making whole-food smoothies. ¬†No juicing – just blending the whole food.

The Execution: ¬†This is where Costco and Vitamixer come in. ¬†The Vitamix (and I’m sure other strong blenders) come in handy, I can toss in carrots, spinach, oranges, whole frozen strawberries, hit blend – and I have drinkable fruit and veggies! ¬†Its smooth and easy, fits in my Nalgene and off to work I go. ¬†For the fruit, I have a ton of frozen fruit in my freezer – why? Its cheaper, lasts longer, and has more nutrition since frozen fruit can be picked at the height of ripeness, they generally have more nutrients in them and tastiness. ¬†For fresh things, I have oranges, spinach, baby carrots, apples, and tomatoes on hand. ¬†Another part of my arsenal: ¬†pistachios, greek yogurt (beware of those with lots of added sugar), and kefir. ¬†With running and cycling, I want to keep up with some good fat and protein.

Smoothie Happiness: ¬†I’m including some photos of the smoothies I am making. ¬†Some are from recipes, others I’m tossing in what might be good. ¬†Mostly its been successful – one non-recipe experiment was a teeny bitter, but nothing some orange juice and agave syrup couldn’t fix! ¬†Overall, I feel so much better and its been about 5 days. ¬†Drinking whole foods, and not just juice, keep me full and happy. ¬†My tummy feels good, my energy is up (not sure if its the diet, the kicking my bum to go running, spring weather…I guess all of the above?) and I don’t miss my old habits! (well, when my coworkers get fries, they still smell damn good). ¬†I’m not counting the days until I’m done, and although I’m not going to eat like this for the next 365, I will definitely be keeping these smoothies as a main part of my diet in the months to come.


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¬†More to come as I make new smoothies ūüôā

Here is to being happy, healthy, and energized!

Happy Trails – Caribou out.