Almond Recovery Bars. Vegan. Gluten Free.

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These bars are a little bit or a whole lot decadent but with a redeeming quality – packed with muscle recovering protein, fats and carbs to help fuel you and your body post workout.  They are almond packed with both raw nuts and lots of almond butter.  I keep these in the freezer and they are firm but perfectly edible in a frozen state.  My daughter grabs these post swim practice.  I grab them post run for a quick snack because my stomach typically isn’t ready for a lot of food.  The chocolate drizzle is optional but totally worth it if you go that avenue.  You can easily half with and half without too.

This weekend is yet another weekend of traveling to tour a university for my oldest.  So much fun but tugging at my heartstrings a bit knowing that this is around the corner.  Gasp!
Ingredients:

1/4 cup of raw almonds, roughly chopped
3/4 cup of almond butter (I prefer Justin’s)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 very ripe banana
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (I use gluten free Bob’s Redmill rolled oats)
1 scoop of Vega One  (I used coconut almond but vanilla would be awesome too)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Chop your almonds and set them aside.  Into your food processor add your almond butter, sea salt, banana and cinnamon.  Blend to combine for about 45 seconds.  Then add your oats, protein and syrup.  Blend until combined well.

Spray or line an 8×8 pan with oil or parchment and add your bar mixture.  Press it down firmly and evenly throughout the pan.  Melt the chocolate by adding to a bowl and microwaving on melt chocolate setting (if your microwave has it) or in 20 second increments.  Stir well and repeat until melted.  Taking a fork, dip into chocolate and then drizzle over the top of the bars.  Freeze until set, which takes about an hour or more.  I then remove and slice and store in an airtight container in the freezer.  We eat them straight out of the freezer or take it out and let a bar sit for about 5 minutes at room temperature before consuming.  Enjoy!
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fitness_update
Peak week of training is always a dichotomy for me.  I’m exhausted, fatigued and waning in spirit.  That’s one side of my brain.  The other side loves the endorphins and the pure effort that I get to put forth.

Today I ran a marathon.  Yes, it’s just a regular  Thursday. Well its a rainy, stormy Thursday or at least it was at 3am.  I got up and headed out. My plan was to run 20 alone and 4 with my friend Amy (hi Amy!!! I love you so much for helping me out.).  I knew I would need a little boost at the end.  My plan was loosely maintained.  I did a lot of running nearby my house so that I would be at mile 20 (further distance away) to meet her.  It poured on me 3 times and kept a nice rain for most of my run.  It did delay me a bit and I met her at 6:30 on the nose but had only gotten just short of 19 done.  She wanted to run 4 and that’s what we did and then I headed home – running what I thought till 24.  I  hit 24 and saw my husband drive by.  I bursted into tears for some reason – well because I’m exhausted, missing him and saw him cheering me on as he drove by and I’m just so blessed.  And by the time I got back into my neighborhood I was at 24.89.  Okay reevaluate.  Let’s try a marathon.  And that’s what I did.
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Mizuno Wave Rider 18’s.  Vega Accelerator Recovery drink.  Pro Compression tall socks.  Garmin Fenix 3 watch.  Momentum Jewelry

I did PR my marathon time by 14 minutes from the Shamrock marathon in March.  I was quite happy.  I’m not the fastest runner and I still maintained my heart rate training.  I was happy to get another marathon under my belt and this was perfectly my style.  Out and back before the world even started to bustle.  It was great chatting with a friend and diverting my “please let this be over” chatter in my head for at least a few miles.

Weekly recap:
Sunday: 14 outdoor miles
Monday: 5 treadmill miles/weights/core
Tuesday: 7 outdoor miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 26.2 outdoor miles

That’s it from here.  I’m undecided if I’ll run or not tomorrow.  If I do it will be on the treadmill and only a short distance.  I’m at 52.2 for the week and happy.  Now to rest and replenish.

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— Knead to Cook

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