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Monthly Archives

June 2018

Grain Free Cookie Dough Bites

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These little gems are incredibly easy to make and will put a smile on any kids face… Or adult, for that matter!

Chickpeas are the “surprise” ingredient in these Cookie Dough Bites. I know… Chickpeas! You’re thinking, “Ewww…. That does not make me want to eat these…” But go with the intrigue here and make them! I promise you’ll never know chickpeas are in them by the way they taste! They literally taste just like cookie dough!

I love to keep these around the house for a healthy, go-to snack. They are great for the kiddos lunches or after school… They are also the perfect pre or post-workout snack!

We’re smack in the middle of summer as I type this, but I can’t help but suggest these for around the holidays… As a clean eating “sweet” that you can have on hand while trying to avoid all of the sugar-laden foods that are typically easier to reach for during the holiday season.

I like to make these by hand – full confession: I really dislike cleaning the food processor! Ha! But, you can easily throw all of the ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) into the food processor, give it a whirl and done! Just stir in the chocolate chips, roll into balls and bake. Easy as that!

You will love these!!

Grain Free Cookie Dough Bites

Yields about 40 cookies, slightly larger than a silver dollar…

Ingredients:

  • 1, 15oz can Chickpeas, well rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel (Eden’s brand is preferred due to quality…)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup natural almond butter
  • ¼ cup raw local honey (maple syrup, if vegan…)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup 70% or higher dark chocolate chips (use EnjoyLife brand, if vegan…)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with coconut or avocado oil cooking spray.
  • Mash the chickpeas – you can use a food processor, a blender or your hand and a fork… They don’t need to have a completely smooth consistency, but fewer the chunks, the better…
  • Combine all ingredients, except for chocolate chips and mix until smooth (you can use a food processor, a mixer or a spatula and mix by hand…) Make sure the chickpeas are well combined.
  • Put in the chocolate chips and stir in. The dough will be very thick and sticky.
  • With wet hands, form into balls approx. the size of a silver dollar. I like to use an small ice cream scoop for this…
  • Place onto prepared baking sheet. If you want them to be more like “normal” cookies – slightly press down on the dough to flatten – they will not rise too much.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes. If serving immediately, allow to cool 5 minutes on the sheet pan and then serve. If storing for later, allow to cool 30 minutes and then place into an airtight container and then into the fridge.
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with coconut or avocado oil cooking spray.
  2. Mash the chickpeas – you can use a food processor, a blender or your hand and a fork… They don’t need to have a completely smooth consistency, but fewer the chunks, the better…
  3. Combine all ingredients, except for chocolate chips and mix until smooth (you can use a food processor, a mixer or a spatula and mix by hand…) Make sure the chickpeas are well combined.
  4. Put in the chocolate chips and stir in. The dough will be very thick and sticky.
  5. With wet hands, form into balls approx. the size of a silver dollar. I like to use an small ice cream scoop for this…
  6. Place onto prepared baking sheet. If you want them to be more like “normal” cookies – slightly press down on the dough to flatten – they will not rise too much.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. If serving immediately, allow to cool 5 minutes on the sheet pan and then serve. If storing for later, allow to cool 30 minutes and then place into an airtight container and then into the fridge.
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Episode 160: Interview with Dylan Miraglia

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In this episode we chat with the best handle bar mustached muscle pants elite OCR athlete on the scene Mr. Dylan Miraglia (the “G” is silent people).

Dylan talks with us about:

  • His life as a youngster and how he discovered OCR
  • How his brother is his greatest motivation on many levels
  • What made him choose the short course, stadium sprint & TMX, format
  • His program design for short course OCR
  • The importance of a strong aerobic run base
  • His mustaches’s favorite beer
  • and the always important question, could he beat a bear in a fight??

***This podcast is brought to you by the word Specificity….. not Specisifity (insert hand to face emoji) :-)****

Outro song: “juice” by Yo Gotti

CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes or Stitcher!

The Health Episodes #11: How to take Ownership of Your Performance, Nutrition, & Life

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Take Ownership of your training, nutrition, & life.  In this episode Alix and Mo help you understand how you can stop letting outside forces/people/situations dictate your day/life.

  • Do you go through workouts with your trainer, buddy, or alone blind?
  • Do you just eat food without paying attention or putting in effort to fuel properly?
  • Is everything someone else’s fault, do you let other people, situations dictate your attitude daily?

Ownership of your training:

  • learn a new movement or learn understand the movements that you are doing
    • whats the “why” behind the session/particular exercise
    • ask your coach trainer to help you learn
    • start with ONE movement
  • Taking ownership in this realm can give you confidence to take on other tasks you may have been intimidated by

 Ownership of your nutrition:

  • you don’t need to become a food scientist
  • learn the health benefits of one food each day or each week, then incorporate into your nutrition
  • Learn how the foods/supplements you eat affect your body, performance, recovery, etc
  • Learn how to prepare a meal for yourself
  • Learn how to order healthy at a restaurant and/or stick to healthier options when eating for business
  • ENJOY yourself when eating out and own it!

Ownership of your life:

  • Do you wake up and watch the news or check social media and realize how that dictates your attitude, response/reaction to others for the day?
  • Do you allow situations at work or home “put you in a mood” for the day?
  • Wake up each morning and start by owning the first 10-15 minutes 
    • box breathe, meditate, smile
    • repeat this mantra “today I take ownership of my thoughts and emotions. Today I take ownership of my body and food”
  • If you make a mistake OWN IT, don’t dwell on it, learn from it and make it a positive 
    • “I realize I could have done xxx better”  or  “In looking back I see where I could have done/said xxx for a better outcome/response/etc”
  • At the end of each day write in a journal what you took ownership of that day.  Whether its one thing or 10 things, write it down.  Review it the next morning after breathing, meditation, and while saying your mantra to start your day/mind off on the right track  Review your wins.. 
  • At the end of each week/month/year you can go back and look at all of your ownership WINS and see how you have progressed

CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes or Stitcher

Mindset & Meditation: What Will I do Today, What Did I do Today

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What Will I do Today/What Did I do Today…

“Daily disciplines build on one another. You can’t complete change in one day, but when you work towards implementing a daily routine, that routine can create real noticeable prolific change”

All to often we wake up in a rush, turn on the news, or hop on social media, see something negative, and in our over-tired state of mind let that negativity create our attitude going into the day.  In our recent Health Episode Podcast Alix and I discussed taking ownership of your day, which is exactly what you have the ability to do when you flip you daily script from allowing outside forces dictate your attitude, reactions, & emotions. Instead wake up and say to yourself “Today I WILL XYZ” and take ownership of your day.

 

So here is what we recommend you do:

 

  1. At the beginning of each morning spend 1-5 minutes box breathing with a slight smile on your face. As you are breathing and smiling begin to create your day.  “Today I will ________”, not I “want to” or I “hope to”, be definitive in your thoughts and declaration.
  2. At the end of each day, take a minute or five and write down in a journal “What I did today” that was positive, that improved your quality of life, your health/fitness, your relationships personally and professionally, your mindset, etc.
    1. The next morning you can even review your “wins” from the previous day as a reflection and motivation to accomplish goals for the day ahead

 

Start with small goals each day. As you write them down you are building a catalog of accomplishments, wins, etc.  Go back at the end of each month and review all of your wins and take a moment to appreciate your progress.  Small goals/wins amount to huge victories and success in the long run.

Roasted Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Raw Parm

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I stumbled into writing this recipe on accident. I’ve learned that those are the recipes that are often-times the very best and the ones I go back to over and over again!

A little insight into me: I love french fries (hang with me here…) – many days after school when I was in, I don’t know, let’s say 1st grade through 5th or 6th grade, my mom would stop and let me get french fries and a coke or chocolate milk shake for a snack… Yes, you read that right. 🙂 My parents actually used to joke that I was going to turn into a french fry, I ate so many of them! Ha! And I would not go near a vegetable – except broccoli, which my grandmother always called “trees” – which she would make Italian style with good olive oil and lots of garlic… That’s the only way I would eat it. But put greens in front of me or carrots even… I was having none of it!

Obviously, as my taste-buds have changed (through a lot of work I’ve done on my own through my nutrition – I’m here to tell you, just because you were raised eating a certain way does NOT mean you have to give in to that way of eating as an adult – I’ll save this for one of our Health Episodes Podcasts 🙂 ) I do not eat near as many french fries as I did when I was growing up. That is not to say that I don’t crave them and full confession – I have my share of sweet potato fries about once a week at our favorite Dallas restaurant: Origin Kitchen + Bar

What I try to do now is create things that allow me to have the same process of eating as if I had a bowl of french fries in front of me. Meaning: french fries are a finger food – they are a little crunchy and salty and they just satisfy, you know? So, I’ve found that when I roast green beans or even asparagus and allow myself to eat them with my hands as I would french fries – it truly satisfies that craving in my brain and in a far healthier way.

Okay, so back to THIS recipe and how I stumbled upon it… I was craving something salty and wanted that unctuousness… But I try to keep my french fry indulgence to once a week or less… So I thought, “Green beans!!!” I had intended to make roasted chicken with a side of salty roasted green beans and a side salad of baby greens, roasted cherry tomatoes and grated raw parmesan. But when I started cooking, the salad just didn’t sound as good anymore – I just wasn’t that hungry anymore, but I had already blistered the tomatoes for the salad… So I thought well, I’ll just pour them in with the green beans and grate some of the parm over the green beans and tomatoes – that way nothing goes to waste.

Whoa! Best. Audible. EVER! Mo and I started eating and looked at each other and decided this should be my new go-to side dish for any occasion! The acidity of the tomatoes cuts through the salty green beans and the cheese adds so much flavor. Gah! It is so good! I could eat a whole recipe by myself, I think! That said, it is great as leftovers for lunch the next day too! And SO easy to double the recipe and use it as a food-prep item that you keep in the fridge to eat through the week.

Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Roasted Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Raw Parm

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 10oz cherry tomatoes
  • 4oz block raw manchego or parmesan

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment, spray with avocado oil cooking spray and set aside.
  • Make sure green beans are dry and then spread onto the lined sheet pan. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the green beans.
  • Roast approx. 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. They are done when slightly browned.
  • While green beans are roasting, make sure tomatoes are dry and then place them into a large, dry nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. They are done when they are browned in spots and the skin is slightly blistered. (You might hear them pop a little – that’s okay!)
  • When green beans and tomatoes are done, pour the tomatoes over the greens beans while still on the sheet pan. Grate desired amount of cheese over the top and toss well to combine. Serve!

Notes:

  • You can roast the tomatoes in the oven with the green beans if you prefer. I’ve found that when doing so they release their juices due to the steam and it creates a bit of sogginess. It’s not bad – just better when done separately and the tomatoes are kept dry.

 

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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment, spray with avocado oil cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Make sure green beans are dry and then spread onto the lined sheet pan. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the green beans.
  3. Roast approx. 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. They are done when slightly browned.
  4. While green beans are roasting, make sure tomatoes are dry and then place them into a large, dry nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. They are done when they are browned in spots and the skin is slightly blistered. (You might hear them pop a little – that’s okay!)
  5. When green beans and tomatoes are done, pour the tomatoes over the greens beans while still on the sheet pan. Grate desired amount of cheese over the top and toss well to combine. Serve!
Recipe Notes

You can roast the tomatoes in the oven with the green beans if you prefer. I’ve found that when doing so they release their juices due to the steam and it creates a bit of sogginess. It’s not bad – just better when done separately and the tomatoes are kept dry.

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Episode 159: Interview with Ryan Kent

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In this episode Mo, Miles, & Vic talk with Spartan Pro Ryan Kent and recap the recent Spartan AT&T Stadium Sprint. Along with Ryan’s race recap we discuss:

  • What it is going to take for him to win the series
  • How incorporating heavy strength training has helped his performance
  • How he will alter/change training in prep for Spartan Championship series
  • How/when he draws mental strength from his time on The Selection
  • What will it take to win TMX
  • and more!

CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes or Stitcher

***Outro song “Posse on Broadway” by Sir Mix-A-Lot…. Because it’s fun :-)***

Episode 158: Interview with Spartan Elite Kevin Gillotti

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In this episode Miles and I sit down with one of the Spartan OG’s and a true master of endurance sports Kevin Gillotti.  Kevin has been heavily involved in triathlon and duathlon for over 28 years before diving deep into Spartan racing. Not does Kevin has decades of experience, he is fast as hell and at 48 shows no signs of slowing down ANY time soon.

This is a wild episode and Kevin give us lots of great insight, wisdom and tips including:

  • How he overcame a devastating injuring early in his career, told he would never run again, and came back even stronger
  • How he continues to be a dominant force in endurance sports regardless of age
  • How he helped Spartan Race run on the back, programming, end in the early days
  • Why he doesn’t really care about lifting form
  • Why Hunter McCintyre needs to shut the hell up 🙂
  • Why mindset is so important
  • Why he doesn’t overtrain
  • Why you don’t have to run on trails to be a bad ass
  • And SO MUCH MORE!!

SERIOUSLY this episode is loaded with great information and inspiration!

 

CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes or Stitcher!

Check out Kevin’s website at www.kevingillotti.com

 

Mindset & Meditation: Your Mental Race Plan

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Mental Race Plan…

 

You have spent months preparing your body for race day.  You train when you feel good, you train when you’re tired and feel bad. You eat well and supplement to ensure you’re recovering between workouts and now race day is here and your body is ready to perform.  But what about your mind? Regardless of your physical readiness and your stellar nutrition plan, if you have not created a solid mental race plan, you could be selling your performance and ability short, or worse, setting yourself up for an all systems failure.

 

The latter actually happened to a good friend of mine at our last race.  He had trained for months, every day, getting stronger and faster and on paper should have dominated this race. He rarely, if ever, missed a training day and his nutrition couldn’t have been cleaner. Yet as we were toeing the line to start the race the one critical piece of his training puzzle that was missing bit him in right the ass like that dog that finally got loose on the mailman. His race was literally over before it even started. He forgot about his mental race plan.

 

To create your own mental race plan follow these steps, and feel free to edit any step or add another step if it helps you but do not skip any of the steps below.

 

  1. Day before the race nutrition
    1. Have this planned ahead of time so you know on race morning your tank is full with exactly what you need to perform your best
    2. Although this isn’t necessarily mental, practicing with this fueling strategy in training will give you the piece of mind that it works
  2. A few weeks prior to your race, or as far ahead as you can, begin to visualize race day
    1. What time will you wake up
      1. What will you do if you oversleep
    2. What will you eat
      1. Mentally rehearse chewing slowly and intently to properly digest your pre-race fuel
    3. Driving to the race
      1. See yourself sitting up straight in your vehicle, holding the wheel at 10 & 2 and practicing focused/confident box breathing
    4. Warm-up
      1. Visualize exactly how you will execute your warm-up
    5. See the start line and your competition (this is a big one)
      1. Visualize walking to the start, box breathing, and create a mantra that gives you confidence and power
      2. Mantra example: “I’ve trained for this, I am ready, I am strong, I am confident”
    6. If you are racing an OCR and have the ability to view the obstacles ahead of time, or know what they are from a previous race, mentally rehearse exactly how you will complete each one
    7. If competing in a triathlon or other event, visualize exactly how you will begin your race- if a multi-sport race, visualize the start of each discipline along with transitions between
    8. Mentally plan for roadblocks during the race i.e. failing an obstacle, a flat tire, a cramp, extreme fatigue, legs that feel like lead, etc. Create a mental plan to overcome each/any of these that could apply to you on race day
    9. Create a mental anchor and mantra that when the going gets REALLY tough during the race, you visualize this anchor and repeat this mantra to give you confidence and strength
    10. Meditate while box breathing going over each of the steps above at least 3 times per week.If you can do it daily, or even pieces of it daily that is even better

 

Again, feel free to add any step that could help you perform better on your big day. Put as much practice into your mind as you do your physical training and you will set yourself up for an incredible day!  If you need help creating your personal mental race plan email mo@linkendurance.comfor a consult.

The Health Episodes #10: Review of “The Magic Pill” Documentary

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In this episode Alix and Mo review the popular Netflix documentary “The Magic Pill”. Among some of the moments they highlight and discuss are:

  • Is a high fat low carb, or ketogenic diet right for you
  • Is the Heart Health Hypothesis wrong
  • How eliminating processed foods and sugars has the power to reverse disease states
  • How your children WILL eat what you feed them, although it may not be easy at first
  • and more

CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes or Stitcher

Check out Nina Teicholz’s New York Times Best Seller “The Big Fat Surprise” 

For more information about the aboriginal diet and health camp “Hope for Health” visit www.hopeforhealth.com.au

Blood Orange Summer Salad

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Salad’s can be boring. We get it. But when it is 7000 degrees in Dallas (not really, obviously – but good-ness it feels like it!) and the LAST thing you want is something hot to eat – salad’s can make the perfect meal! That’s right… To all my manly men out there – I just referred to a salad as a “meal…”

When Mo and I first met and I offered to make dinner and told him we were going to have “a big salad…” he almost broke up with me right there on the spot. (Look what he’d be missing out on today! Ha! 🙂 ) Nevertheless, he indulged me and all but licked his bowl clean. This girl can make a mean salad… And one that does not leave you feeling like you just ate “rabbit food…”

The key is loading it up with different textures and temperatures and then tossing it with a really yummy dressing.

First you’ve got to start with really good greens – none of this iceberg lettuce crap. I’m talking spinach, arugula, kale, mixed baby lettuces, mache, etc. Anything but iceberg!

Then, you pick out your protein – be it salmon, as on this salad, or perhaps roasted chicken, ground beef or bison, if you’re vegan – maybe some tempeh… And season whatever you choose really well! THIS is key!

Now lets talk temperatures – I love to toss a salad with some vegetables (anything in season) I’ve just roasted or a just cooked protein source – this way the warmth from the cooked item gently wilts the greens… I know this may sound odd but THIS is what brings the whole salad together and makes it really feel like a true meal vs just greens and vegetables on a plate.

So you have the crisp from the greens, the warmth from the vegetables and/or protein and now we need something chilled that when you bite into it along with the greens and protein creates this awesome experience in your mouth… Stop! Get your minds out of the gutter! I’m talking about FOOD! 😉 This is where avocado or fruit, like the blood oranges in this salad come into play…

Now the dressing… It really depends on what season we’re in for me. So, if it’s cold outside and I am craving greens but want something really hearty – I will make a creamy dressing with Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo as the base. If it’s hotter than hell outside and I want anything BUT hearty – I will simply use good extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil and either with a vinegar – red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or my fav: apple cider vinegar.

Last but absolutely not least – something crunchy – this should go on the salad after you’ve dressed it so that it doesn’t get the crunchy item soggy. I love to toast up sourdough croutons or roast some chickpeas or black beans. Toasted pumpkin seeds or almonds, pecans, cashews, etc. are great too! In this salad, the crunch actually comes from the way I cooked the salmon – because it is seared, it gets this wonderful crust! Mmmm… It’s SO good! You could also make your own tortilla chips by slicing up Ezekiel brand Sprouted Corn Tortillas or Siete brand Almond Flour or Coconut Flour Tortillas and toasting in the oven to get them crisp!

See? Salads don’t have to be boring! They are AWESOME if you follow these steps!

Now make this one and you can thank me later! 😉

Enjoy!!!

Blood Orange, Avocado & Goat Cheese Salad with Salmon

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 5-7oz wild caught salmon, skin on
  • 2 tsp ghee butter
  • 3-4 handfuls raw spinach, arugula or mixed greens
  • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ small avocado, diced
  • ½ blood orange, segments only
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Heat ghee butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season top of salmon with salt and pepper. Once ghee is melted, place salmon into the skillet skin-side-up. Let cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, based on preferred doneness.
  • While the salmon is cooking, place the orange segments into the bottom of a large bowl (this is so the juice does not make the greens soggy) and then place greens, goat cheese, avocado and chives on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top. Toss gently to combine.
  • To serve, place salad onto a plate or bowl. Gently peel skin of salmon off and place on top of prepared salad, skin-side-down.
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Instructions
  1. Heat ghee butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season top of salmon with salt and pepper. Once ghee is melted, place salmon into the skillet skin-side-up. Let cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, based on preferred doneness.
  2. While the salmon is cooking, place the orange segments into the bottom of a large bowl (this is so the juice does not make the greens soggy) and then place greens, goat cheese, avocado and chives on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top. Toss gently to combine.
  3. To serve, place salad onto a plate or bowl. Gently peel skin of salmon off and place on top of prepared salad, skin-side-down.
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