Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars [vegan, gluten-free]

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars are perfect for your end of summer picnics! No baking necessary, salty and sweet to hit all the right spots for even the pickiest eaters. These are gluten-free (I used GF salted caramel pretzels) and have four good-for-you ingredients! Make them today and be the hit of your neighborhood fiesta!

Today is the last day to enter the #HealthyBBSummer contest! Hurry and take a picture RIGHT NOW of yourself enjoying your Barney Butter for a chance to win $500 for you and a friend!

#HealthyBBSummer

There are two types of people at the end of August, those who are ready for all things pumpkin and for temperatures to drop, and those that are still loving the triple digits and not wanting to turn on the oven.

This recipe is for the second group.

Because I still refuse to turn on my oven. #energysavings

Being a Barney Butter Ambassador has it’s perks. I was sent a package of my favorite almond butter to eat and of course, I had to make a recipe!

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There's still time to enter the #HealthBBSummer contest with @BarneyButter and win $500! Click To Tweet

I have a love-love relationship with sweet and salty things. Luckily, Barney Butter makes both a bare almond butter and one with salt, so I can have the best of both worlds. The neutral flavor of the bare butter lends itself well in this recipe because if it had anything else in it, I think the bars would have had too pungent of a salt flavor.

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Of course, to cut the salty, I added a layer of sweet in the middle. Chocolate and dates anyone?

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Arguably the easiest recipe I have every created, perfectly crafted for small parties or single people.

It makes 4 bars. I kid you not. Because who can really eat a whole pan of anything?

#flavorfatigue

Make these bars today for you and yourself your friends and be the sweet and salty end of summer hit!

First, I am linking up with Jen, Arman and Laura for WIAW

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[Waffle with coconut butter and syrup::Tempeh bacon sandwich with cheese, cream cheese, kale and tomatoes::Cool Mint Clifbar::Green Waffle with PB and Syrup]

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Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars

From at

Prep: Yield: 4Total:

You'll Need...

  • 2 cups salted caramel pretzels
  • 2/3 cup Bare Barney Almond Butter
  • 6 oz dark chocolate
  • 5 dates chopped

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels and almond butter until a mealy texture is achieved. Press half into a 4x4 baking dish (or donut pan??? OMG WHY DIDN'T I DO THAT?!?!). Put in fridge while preparing the chocolate layer.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second segments, stirring after each session. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the dates.
  3. Pour over the first layer of pretzel/almond butter batter.
  4. Put in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow to harden up (you can skip this step if you're careful about pouring the final layer)
  5. Top the chocolate layer with the second half of the pretzel batter.
  6. You can serve right away or put in the fridge for later.

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Enjoy!

Two Weeks With No Running

After my marathon, I had intended to take two weeks off of running and strenuous activity. The first week I was very successful and had no problem sleeping, resting, seeing friends and doing some yoga.

Week 2 was a different story.

I ran almost everyday that week, not because I thought I was gaining fitness or I “had to in order to eat,” but because I felt no pressure not to and every single day, a friend invited me to run.

Every. Single. Day.

As you might remember, when I am training hard, I don’t run with people as often. I follow my schedule and it works for me. I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing anything by doing so.

However, when I didn’t have a schedule and could do whatever I wanted, accepting those offers to run with people I never see was too tempting to pass up.

So I didn’t. I ran with them and I enjoyed every run.

Getting back into training, I had ups and downs, but I felt like I was getting fitter. I was doing workouts outside, taking care of my feet (or so I thought) and being careful enough with nutrition.

Well, when the summer winds down, my job picks back up. I was overtired from that, dehydrated all the time and not entirely sure what my shoe issues were.

By the time I fixed those shoe issues, I think the damage had been done. Bonking was the icing on the cake.

So, I swallowed my pride and stopped running.

Until it stopped hurting, I was off my feet in that way. To be honest, I probably would have healed faster if it weren’t for CTB but that is a rant for another day.

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I rehydrated fully, slowed down and started back to work on the base.

I started to strength train.

I have mentioned before that my favorite YouTubers are Chelsea Lifts, Obese 2 Beast and Brian Turner. (Check them out, they are a hoot!) Brian and Chelsea are vegan and prove once again how effective this diet can be.

After a few days of just recouping, I went back to the drawing board. Why not use this time off to build up my body and make it more resilient? Now, I was not going for #GAINZ at all, but a deeper level of toughness.

Strength training is important for runners who aren’t injured and even more so for those that are.

Read about Kate Grace’s injury protocol from last year. It obviously works for Olympians.

I also was getting restless. As a future health coach, my specialty besides plant-based diets will be fitness. I think moving the body, in any way you can just makes you happier. When I don’t do that for a while, I get moodier.

I must point out here: my diet does not change whether I’m running 80 miles a week or zero. I try as hard as I can to fight those voices that tell me “I can’t eat because…”

This is so important to me and something I’ve taught myself. Being my own client, I have forced myself to believe that I am more than the miles, the blog posts, the food or the money. It’s a daily practice, but it’s worth it.

So yes, I took a couple weeks off. I figure this is making up for what I didn’t take off after the marathon. God has a way of getting you to do what He thinks is right.

This was right. I reintroduced myself to heavier weights. I reminded myself who I am without running. I still ate damn good food (even though I found out I am gluten intolerant haha lolzzzzzz) and still love myself.

This was the perfect few weeks to take off because it was busy at CTB, I started a new job at Blissful Eats and applied for one more. I worked on my creative projects, I read a damn book (!!!) and life is still pretty good.

Two weeks off from #running? What's a girl to do? Click To Tweet

Today, I am linking up with Meg for Week In Review.

How does your fitness regime change when you’re injured? How about when you’re busy?

The next time you’re unable to do your favorite thing, rather than get down on yourself, what can you do instead?

Running Links [08/28/2016]

Happy Sunday everyone! Enjoy the links! I’m off to enjoy my Sunday off hiking in the woods.

Running Links
Racing Can Be Rough and Tumble via Black Russell Runs

Need To Know The Weather? Ask A Runner! via Run To The Finish (I am quoted in this article!!)

What It’s Like To Finish Second To Last At The Olympics via Runner’s World

Why You Should Take A Rest Week via Fueled by LOLZ

SUNDAY READING! Articles from @fueledbyLOLZ @runnersworld @runtothefinish #runchat Click To Tweet

Mental toughness, Passion and Off Running

As of today, I have been off running for 9 days. I have not run since I bonked last weekend and although I feel recovered in regard to my immune system, I developed pain on the side of my foot that has prevented me from resuming my training.

If you had told me this was going to happen a few weeks ago, I would have freaked out a bit. I have racing plans for gosh sake! I have been doing workouts on the track, long runs and getting ready for fall racing.

After the bonk, I new I needed to take a small step back. I stopped the heart pounding runs and let myself recover. I felt a soreness in my foot that day, which turned into a legit pain the next day. It was kind of uncomfortable to walk, but I have an on your feet job so resting was hard. I iced twice and took pain reliever but you know, nothing works as well as just getting off my damn foot.

I figured it would take a few days for my foot to feel back to normal, but here I am a week and a half later still refraining from pounding the pavement. It does not hurt anymore, but I feel a niggle when I try to jog.

I’m not pushing it.

When I run for long periods of time, not running or thinking about not running triggers sadness and some anxiety. This anxiety is related to the “what should I do with my time?” Rather than losing identity as a runner or losing fitness. My fitness is fluid. I am losing specific running fitness, but I’m not unfit in a traditional sense.

The first few days of not running were ok mostly because I was still recovering from bonking. After that, when I felt fine again but my foot was sore, my mental prowess started to wane. I mean, I just love getting out there and moving my body. I’m used to running and it’s not new or that challenging.

I felt like I lost my passion.


It was then I needed some mental toughness. This same mental toughness that I use to get through long runs or workouts was necessary to help process this season of not logging miles.

How did I process this?

I let myself feel crappy about it.

I changed my racing plans in case I can’t run.

I focused on saving energy for the busy shifts at work.

I looked for other things to do instead.

What am I doing instead?

I am trying to create higher quality content for my blog and brand.

I am taking tutorials on how to work social media platforms and watching seminars from the smartest women in my blogosphere to learn how to make my content better.

I started lifting weights.

I joined other communities that aren’t running focused.

I’m taking more time to cook for myself.

I opened up other things in my life that fill me up in the same way running did.

I am not done running, never will I stop doing that, but I’ve taken this time off in stride rather than let it fuel my misery.

When I decided to take a running break, I went back to my gym to start my membership back up. When I started talking to the woman at the desk, she mentioned that they were looking for people to work the desk. Call it divine intervention, but it had been on my mind recently about getting a different job apart from CTB. Not only is it exhausting, but I think it’s a reason my foot is taking longer to heal. It’s hard to rest an injury when you use it all the time.

So, I applied. Who knows if I’ll get it, but I have my (injured) foot in the door. Who knows what connections this could make?

Life goes on even when running doesn’t. I have defined my identity before as a runner, and I still believe that. However, when running gets disrupted, it creates opportunity to explore other creative outlets in my life.

Running will always be there, right now, I’m focusing on other things. My passion isn’t lost, it’s channeled in a different direction.

#Running will always be there. #mentaltoughness #tol Click To Tweet

What is your passion?

What do you channel your energy into when you can’t do it?

Who likes lifting weights?!

You Can’t Save Animals If You’re Dead

This week in IIN, we began a lecture series on vegan and vegetarian diets. I have been vegan for almost three years now so obviously I have a biased towards this way of living.

Not only do I believe it is healthy for the body, mind and spirit, it is also good for the planet and of course, the animals.

In the first lecture, something Joshua, the founder of IIN said stood out to me. He was speaking about young adults and how we have the ability to eat a vegan diet successfully because we are young, vibrant and have healthy bodies simply because we have not yet lived as long.

He made the comment that what works for us now, might not always work in the best way, so we need to be mindful of that toward our clients and not force a certain diet upon them.

This made me think about my own personal choices and evaluate what I would do if such a situation were to arise.


What if a completely vegan diet wasn’t working for me at a certain point?

What if I had a disease and the only food my stomach could handle was some sort of animal product?

What would I do?

Well guys, you can’t save animals or promote healthy lifestyles from the grave.

I went vegan for ethical reasons and stay this way because it works for me, both healthfully and morally. However, if there came a point where I was ill or needed some form of calories from animal sources to survive, I would not hesitate to consume them.

This topic can be tied into my experience last Sunday with Coke.

Do I drink it regularly? No.

The situation I was in led me to consume it greedily.

Do I regret it? No.

Let’s say I was in another situation like that and the only thing available was cheese. Would I have eaten it?

Yes.

Why? Because honestly, I would not have made it home without something.

Click To Tweet

I am lucky (actually, we all are lucky) that we live in a culture and society that allows us the choice between animal calories and other types of calories. Given the choice, I will always choose the cruelty free option, unless my life and well being depend on it.

Consuming a small portion of an animal source to sustain my health and life is collateral damage for the good I can do alive to protect hundreds of other animals through my message.

Cruelty free and vegan is something I will always strive for, but I acknowledge that perfection is not always possible.

Tying this into my future health coaching practice, I will remember that each of my clients have their own lived experience and know what things they prefer in order to be successful. Just because I thrive on a vegan diet, doesn’t mean they will.

It will always be my message that a vegan way of eating is best for the planet and the animals, however part of meeting a client where they are at means allowing them to pursue their truth and realizing they might not be ready to embrace what I believe is the best way to eat.

Now, I am linking up with JenArman and Laura for WIAW!

Breakfast:

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Pumpkin spice waffle with peanut butter, coconut butter and maple syrup. Side of apples and cold brew.

Lunch:

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Budda bowl with tofu, roasted veggies, black beans and snap peas

Snack:

5

3 year old granola bar I found in my backpack

1

banana chips

Dinner:

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Almond butter, grape jelly and banana burrito, bowl of broccoli with dip

Is it pumpkin spice time for you yet?

Would you eat something out of the ordinary for your health?

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