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Back in the saddle

29 Aug

After a summer hiatus, due to the lack of internet at camp, I am back in the blogosphere. Camp was great. I adore the kids, love being outdoors all summer and have the best co-workers anyone could ask for. I kept up with running 3 days a week (most weeks) and threw in the occasional body weight workout and yoga. Camp food was okay for the most part. Packing the oatmeal, muffins and bringing protein powder got me through the summer relatively unscathed.

Now that I’m home I’ll be prepping for school and planning tonnes of new culinary and workout adventures for the new year. I’m hoping that keeping organized will keep me on track and feeling wonderful.



12 Jun

These delicious, and pretty nutritious treats are from my cousin Sarah’s blog. They’re super easy to make, and you can customize them however you want. I mix in coconut, flax meal, white chocolate chips and chopped peanuts with 1/4 c of honey instead of the 1/3 because they’re a little sweet for me.


I’ve always been a lover of the butter – peanut butter that is. My condolences to all those with an allergy that inhibits them from experiencing what is in my opinion, the greatest food on earth.

My peanut butter eating habits have evolved over time. I used to be a nothing but Kraft extra creamy kinda gal but dabbled in the crunchy once and fell even more in love. Since reaching my adult years and starting to put more thought into what I eat I begin eating the natural stuff. At first I hated it. It missed that zing, that makes you never want to stop eating it, extra creamy bit – aka the sugar! So it took awhile for it to catch on but now I’d never go back! The “regular” kind taste kind of like a dessert to me now. I am not partial to any particular brand…

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Russian Spy Cookies

1 Jun

final productSneaky baking is becoming an obsession. I love putting weird things in traditional baked goods to make them a) healthier and b) more fun! Today, with some inspiration from’s avocado coconut cowboy cookies, I made cookies that are super soft and moist and taste just like banana bread! Delicious. To make them even better they contain only 4 tablespoons of honey, no refined sugar and the fat comes from avocado! Even better, they are gluten free, low carb, and super high fibre. I consider this a winning recipe!

Why Russian Spy Cookies? Russian spies are the sneakiest things I could think of, and these cookies are pretty sneaky too! They aren’t the sneakiest looking cookies, since they have a tiny bit of a green tinge from the avocado, but they sure don’t taste weird. As I’ve mentioned before attaining “not weird” status is important. If my picky brothers will eat it I’ve done a good job of hiding whatever it is that’s weird.

This recipe also uses coconut flour, which smells delicious and is super high fibre and super low carb. There’s lots of liquid in this recipe as well so the cookies turn out nice and moist. The original recipe calls for you to roll them into balls, yeah that wasn’t going to happen. I think my bananas were a little big so it was more liquid-y than the version from But they still turned out great.

Coconut Avocado Cowboy Cookies

1 cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 mashed bananas – ripe but not overripe – try to use medium sized bananas

1/4 mashed avocado

1 cup milk (I used coconut)

2 eggs

4 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chocolate chips (you could use craisins, or other dried fruit too)

Mix up the dry ingredients and set aside. I like to squish the lumps out of the coconut flour now to make it easier when you add this mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix all the wet stuff, mashing the banana and avocado up so they’re not chunky. Add the dry to the wet and mix, squishing lumps as you go. Add in the coconut and chocolate chips (or whatever else you like) and then put the mixture in the fridge for about 15 minutes. I found this helped the mixture thicken up as the coconut flour had time to absorb the liquids a bit. I spooned out the mixture onto baking pans (parchment lined worked better than just greased) and then baked for about 18 minutes at 375 F. They were golden brown but still soft.



hitting the pavement

31 May

And I’m back! Running, that is. Finally, I am able to test out this foot of mine and so far it’s holding up. This makes me super excited because in less than 3 weeks I will be at one of my favourite places on the planet: Camp Towhee (seriously, This is where I will spend my summer with some of the most fun and caring people and campers I know. Perks of the job include a wonderful running trail around the lake…which I intend to conquer. 7km. That is the goal this time around. 6k gave me issues last time, so I’ll be a little more cautious this time around.

falling off the wagon

30 Apr

Finish exams and stuff my face sums up my week. Not only was it my momma’s birthday this week, but I also went back to work at the grocery store. Paycheck = great, constant supply of unhealthy snacks = not good. I can’t resist a good sour jujube or caramel corn, or anything dipped in sugar, especially when I hit the afternoon slump. There was just no discipline this week. At all. I did get all my workouts in and I’m up to 6km as I train for an 8k run on the May long weekend. However, I undid all of that with the ridiculous amount of crap I ate. Starting today, I’m writing down everything I eat. Lots more discipline. No more snacks at work unless I bring something from home or it’s a fruit or a veggie.Done.

Anywho, for momma K’s birthday I made her a normal vanilla cake with lemon curd (my fave!) and a whipped cream frosting topped with lots of yummy berries. I use the joy of baking recipes for all of these items, but I wasn’t so impressed with the cake. It was really dense. I was looking for something that would stand up to the lemon curd and not get soggy, but I didn’t want something I could build a house on top of either. Not impressed, still on the lookout for a great cake recipe for my non-g-free family and friends.

I also made a pavlova, just for me 🙂 Well, I did share, but I could have eaten the whole thing. It was beautiful, and perfect, all marshmallow-y with a crispy crust. Topped with whipped cream and berries! If you’ve never made pavlova it can be super tricky. And it’s best to make it on a day that isn’t humid or rainy so it doesn’t get sticky.


3 egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 250. Line a pan with parchment paper

Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar by tablespoon as you continue to beat until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla. Sprinkle vinegar and cornstarch on top of the eggs and gently fold in (I use a whisk to do this so that I don’t kill the lift in my egg whites). Spread egg whites over parchment paper in a circle with a little bit of a well in the middle to hold the whipped cream and fruit.

Bake in oven at 250 for 60-75 minutes, until a very light brown colour. Turn off the oven and leave the door open a bit until the Pavlova cools. Store in an airtight container on the parchment until ready to serve.

Top with whipped cream and your choice of fruit!

Questions and Lemon Muffins

29 Mar

At the beginning of December I made the decision to eat gluten free in hopes of fixing the digestive problems I’ve had for a while. It worked. I feel great. Since making this decision I get the following questions all the time:

1. Is your diet that much healthier than before?

Actually, yes. But not because I cut out gluten. Along with deciding to remove gluten from my diet I’ve changed the way I eat completely. Lots of fruits, veggies and lean proteins. I have a smoothie almost everyday for lunch and oatmeal every morning for breakfast. I drink tons of water and limit myself to one extra special treat per week. A gluten free diet is not necessarily a healthy diet. I could eat tons of gluten free prepackaged meals, and most gluten free flours are refined and not whole grains at all. Plus most things like potato chips, chocolate and candy are gluten free. I changed my whole diet, not just the gluten free part.

2. Is it hard to be gluten free?

Yes and no. It’s hard when I’m not at home. Although most restaurants have a menu with some options for me, it’s more difficult when I’m at a friend’s house for dinner or need a quick snack on campus. I don’t like to ask for special meals, or enjoy explaining what I can and can’t eat. It makes me feel whiny and needy. So I carry lots of snacks and bring my own food, or a substantial gluten free dish if I’m going to a potluck. Otherwise, it’s pretty easy. I miss cupcakes and garlic bread, but I’m finding ways to make those gluten free as I go. If I’m not prepared or plans change at the last minute it is hard.

3. So, you can’t have any gluten?

Well, technically I can have all the gluten I want. I haven’t been diagnosed with celiac, so other than an intolerance the gluten isn’t destroying my intestines. I try my best to avoid all foods containing gluten including sauces, dressings, and condiments. I pay for it if I eat something that I should have avoided.

Oh and this week I was looking to venture into the world of muffins, so I started with a pretty basic lemon muffin recipe adapted from I halved the recipe because I only wanted to make a few muffins, omitted the stevia, and kept the milk amount the same because the dough was pretty sticky. I also used gluten free flour instead of almond flour; I just don’t have almond flour in the house. They turned out pretty well. Pretty dense. So I think next time I’d whip up the egg whites to see if they could add a little more lift to the batter.

You only live once,


Lemon Muffins adapted from

2 1/2 cups gluten free flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp lemon gelatin

1/2 cup demerara or dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp lemon zest

1/2 cup milk – add more if the batter is really thick

Mix together and bake at 350 for 18 minutes. Let cool and enjoy 🙂



Learning to Run…Again

8 Mar


Let’s get something straight. Running and I, we’ve never been friends. However, after much effort to eat healthy, get stronger and lose a little unnecessary weight, we have met again. Of my own volition. I must be insane.

I’ve been working out 5 to 6 days a week for the past 3 months and seen an amazing improvement in my strength, cardio ability, overall health and, to make it even more worth it, I’ve dropped about 10 pounds I really didn’t need (plus 5 of bloat after going gluten free). I feel great. I have a ton of energy. I actually enjoy getting up early to go to the gym and I’m so much more productive during the day.  Definitely worth the 2ish weeks of pain when I started.

Back to running, I decided to take this on as I’ve hit a bit of a plateau in my workouts. They’re still challenging and I lift heavier each week with lots of variety. But I’m stuck in a routine. I do the same things over and over. It’s gotten too comfortable. I felt like the treadmill was taunting me with “Karla, you know you want to. You can run. Prove me wrong”. So I took that inanimate object’s challenge. I stepped up with fear in my heart and legs that were less than impressed.

But I did it! Well sort of haha. I decided to start with some intervals, I use them on both the elliptical and the bike when I do cardio anyways. So I figured 20 minutes was a good goal and I’d do 1 minute of fast walking (4.5 mph) and then 3 minutes at a moderate running pace (6mph). I completed it. It still hurt, but my knees weren’t totally dying after and I got a fantastic workout.I think I’ll stick with this.

I guess a little crazy can get you somewhere in life.

You only life once,