MY FIRST HALF MARATHON


I don’t even know where to start this post...

I could go back 5 years ago, explaining to you how I was the biggest couch potato on the planet, how I never worked out, and how I even LOATHED runners.

I didn't even start really getting active until I met my husband. He was in love with running. It brought him freedom and excitement. It gave him alone time, and it was a goal that he loved to fulfil. 


Tod (my husband) was always so alive, vibrant, happy, energetic, and healthy. I want that. I wanted energy! I was always borderline anaemic so I blamed my laziness on that. Tod inspired me to start eating healthy, to get active, and to create goals of my own.

Zumba became my thing and running has always been Tod's thing, but after I started going to races with Tod and his parents I decided I wanted in on the action.

I have always been pigeon toed since the day I was born and in high school I would get my mom to write my gym teachers notes so I wouldn’t have to run. My knees and hips would hurt so bad that I would be limping and crying after gym class. So bizarre! 

So yes I was a bit hesitant to start working out cuz I could remember the pain that my legs caused me. But I was eating healthy and was determined to get fit. So I decided to train to run a 10km race, and I did it, without pain! And another, and another. I ran an 8 km in between, then a 15 km.


If you've been following me on my blog or Instagram you'd know I've been training since January for this dreaded half marathon. It was my New Years Resolution to run it and during the last week I regretted it with all my heart. I was so worried I would stop, get hurt, and give up!

I NEVER STOP RUNNING. It's my goal. I don't care what my time is I just cannot stop running...It’s my goal because as a kid & teenager I always stopped.

We drove 2 and a half hours to our provinces capital to run this race. Tod watched the kids so I could get up early, drink my pre work out shake (with some extra matcha to kick start my adrenaline) and then he dropped me off at the University's stadium, where the start line was. 

Photo taken my Mary Tjart

Omg I was so nervous and it was so cold out. I lined up for the washroom over and over again. It's funny how your body just wants to empty itself out before a run.

I met two super awesome girls that I hung out with before the run! They kept me laughing and super pumped for the run, which made the time go by so fast. I was so happy that they added me on facebook after! 

I totally forgot to locate the satellite on my Garmin watch before the whistle blew so I was already running before I pressed start on my watch.

Gosh I swear, running with hundreds of people around you is sooo EXCITING! You are so pumped, nervous, and crazy, all at the same time. I had my sights set on a tall guy who had a nice pace. I kept up behind him until he totally disappeared (maybe he was a ghost). I remembered seeing 4km sign and thinking OMG OKAY ONLY FIVE MORE OF THOSE TO GO (and a bit), KILL ME NOW.

Photo taken by Mary Tjart

The weather was perfect. There was an over cast sky and the sun was slightly coming out. By the 8th kilometre the sun was playing tricks on us. Coming out and then hiding again. But it didn't rain once.

 There were so many awesome people cheering us on on the sides of the road. Some of the signs were hilarious, like “Get on! I’ll piggy back you the rest of the way!” or “Your almost there! 2km left to go. Oh wait no I lied. You’re not that close!” actually I was quite mad at that one….

There were water stations every 3kms but I decided not to drink anything because I always get a cramp while I run. Good tip on cramps - If you have a cramp on your right side, hold your right arm up in the air and use your left hand to hold pressure on your cramp and honestly, in no time flat your cramp will be gone. 


Anyway back to the run. I couldn't believe the track, we ran down streets with mansions and golf courses and ocean views. It was unreal! It made the time go by so much faster.

Every time I would get tired and my body would say WALK MANDY WALK JUST DO IT, I'd come back and say YA RIGHT! Just keep going and you'll break through this! And I would always keep going and then after I break through that wall of tiredness it would be smooth sailing for another 3km, then again the battle of the mind telling me I needed to stop.

At 10km I slurped on a homemade gel pack that I made the day before. It contained a banana, dates, 2 Tbsp. chia seeds, matcha powder, maca powder, and water. It was a brown slime, with no added colours or preservatives! But it tasted great and it totally gave me that extra boost of pure energy (nutrition) to take me the other 10.1km.

Running is so much more than just about being fit, or about accomplishing a crazy goal, it's about training your mind to not give up! You have to tell it, numerous times, not to give up. You have to boost yourself up, tell yourself you’re worth it, that your dreams do matter, and that you can have it all, just keep pushing forward. It's amazing how great you feel once it's over.

Photo taken my Mary Tjart

I saw my ghost man and past him at this point.

There were two ladies who were crazy runner/walkers. They would almost sprint, then walk, then sprint, then walk. I don’t know how they kept that up but I was hot on their tail the whole run until 16km, then I passed them for good. I was so excited when they didn’t run past me AGAIN at turbo speed. They must have stopped for water at the last station and got a cramp….

Tod, his parents, and two of our kids (the third one stayed home) met me at the 17km mark and said "Hey! I love you" and gave me high fives "We'll see you at the finish line!" My plan was to keep an even pace the whole race and speed things up a bit at the end but I just couldn't run any faster. I decided to keep that same even pace for the remaining last kilometres.

As I came around the last bend I had way too many emotions to even name. I was crying in pure happiness AND wanted to throw up. I saw Tod’s mom again and she yelled my name and I knew it was almost over!

I followed a lady down the road to the finish line, I raised my arms, closed my eyes and smiled as I crossed that line. I smiled so hard I could have laughed at how happy I was to finally be done. A wonderful old lady congratulated me with a metal and I looked for my husband, while trying my best to walk. 


Showering after never felt so good. I could barely stand and the hot water made me feel nauseous again. I still had that overwhelming feeling of I DID IT. I was a proud chicka and I still am. Now, let's see what other goals I can accomplish in this life time!



I wanted beautiful photography in this post so thank you to my sister Mary for letting me use some of hers :)

THE SMOOTHIE THAT WAS SENT FROM HEAVEN TO FULFILL MY EVERY DESIRE

OH MY GOSH....

I am running a half marathon in two days.

Someone please help me walk after!


As soon as I am done my run THIS is the drink I will be asking my hubby to make me.

Then a long drive back home :)

DATE, ALMOND BUTTER, HEMP SMOOTHIE FROM HEAVEN
Serves 1

Ingredients
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 5 dates, pits removed and soaked in the filtered water for 1 an hour or longer
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. hemp hearts
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup #2
  • 1 tsp. carob powder
  • 1/2 tsp. maca powder (optional)
  • a dash of cinnamon

1. Remove pits from dates and let soak in the filtered water for an hour or longer. 

2. Blend all ingredients on high until smooth. Serve and enjoy!!!


BEST BREAKFAST CEREAL EVER


Hey everyone! I hope you are all loving your spring as much as we are. Here in Western Canada our weather has been all over the place, by the hour. Going from rain, to hail, to bright blue skies. It's pretty bizarre! But on the nice days I find myself in the garden with the kids, getting our hands dirty, loving the smell of nature. 



So you may have noticed that I've been blogging less lately and sorry to anyone who likes reading and catching up with us but I'm just so involved in planning Health & Wellness day, potty training, making desserts for people AND gardening that all my free time that I used to spend blogging is now being taken over by activities and other fun. I promise to write here as much as I can!

Over the Easter break I made this cereal and it was a total hit. I grew up hating cereal. I always found it....WAY TO DARN SUGARY! Like a total over load to the taste buds. So cereal of any kind was banned from my house. This recipe was originally supposed to be granola but with all the awesome dried fruit I decided to pour homemade almond milk over top and let it soak for 10 minutes, then eat it up. And wow was it ever delicious! Seth likes to devour things, just like Tod, but I like to savour my yummy food. Taking little bites and thinking about the textures, flavours and how totally awesome it is for us!


This cereal is so easy too. Basically I took whatever I had in the house and then just threw it all together. You can follow my ingredients or you can use your own.


I'm so happy because this cereal is the best whole foods recipe ever! Nothing comes from a can or has been processed to death. All the fruit has been dehydrated and all the grains, seeds and nuts are still in their raw form as well. Now that's beautiful food!


If you don't have a dehydrator I'm sure you can bake it. Try baking it at 275°C for 45 min to an hour on parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. Stirring once half way through. If it's not crunchy enough for you place it back in the oven for longer.



My 2 year old, my 8 year old, and my 13 year old loves this cereal! I'm so happy I created it for us!


Enjoy this cereal and feel the love from all these nourishing ingredients!

♥ Mandy


BEST BREAKFAST CEREAL EVER
Makes a lot!

Wet

  • 1 cup nut or seed butter, I used sunflower seed butter today
  • 3/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract


Dry
Grains, dried fruit, seeds and nuts of your choice! I used:

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dehydrated sprouted buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup banana chips
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried pineapple
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


1. Toss all the wet ingredients into a pan and turn on to the lowest heat. Mix for 2 minutes and take off heat before it gets hot.

2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour wet mixture over top of the dry ingredients and stir. 

3. Lay paraflexx dehydrator sheets on top of the dehydrator trays and pour cereal on top. Spread out into a thin layer on as many sheets as needed. Dehydrate on 115° for 2-3 days.

4. Serve with homemade almond or coconut milk! Let your cereal soak in the milk for 10 minutes before eating. That way the flavours to into the milk and it is even more delicious!


SOFT SERVE PEANUT BUTTER VANILLA ICE CREAM TOPPED W/ DATE CARAMEL & CASHEWS ALL IN A CHOCOLATE SHELL


WOWZA!!! Now this is a real treat!

K so go to your local Thrifty Foods and buy a tub a Vanilla ice cream made by Screamin Brothers.

Make sure you have honey, peanut butter, dates, maple syrup, raw cashews, coconut oil and a dark chocolate bar too. The shredded coconut is totally optional.

Melt your dark chocolate bar and pour into a tart mold, or muffin liners, or any cool molds you have. Sprinkle on shredded coconut if you like. I froze mine so they would harden faster. 


Remove the pits from 6 dates and soak in filtered water for an hour. In a small pan add 3 tbsp. coconut oil and 3 tbsp maple syrup and turn on to your lowest setting. Let melt and turn off stove. Then add 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 heaping tbsp. almond butter and a dollop of honey, Stir. Trust me this date caramel is worth every step!

Fill your sink full of hot water and place the vanilla ice cream inside for 10 minutes to soften.

Add your sauce mixture from the pan to your high speed blender along with your soaked dates and a pinch of ground celtic sea salt. Save date water for a smoothie!! Blend on high until dates are blended up, nice and smooth like.

I poured my date caramel into a Ziploc bag, cut a small hole in the corner and was ready to pipe my caramel on my ice cream...after I was eating it by the spoonful. What? No one saw....


In a bowl mix 2 heaping tbsp peanut butter with 1 tbsp honey. Add the soft vanilla ice cream to the bowl and mix. Take your chocolate tart bases out of the freezer and take out of the mold. Yes mine broke a bit but its still delicious! Spoon your soft serve vanilla peanut butter ice cream into your tarts, sprinkle with cashews for an awesome crunch AND drizzle on date caramel.

There, your world has now been rocked!

This post has been sponsored by #SCREAMINBROTHERS


SOFT SERVE PEANUT BUTTER VANILLA ICE CREAM TOPPED W/ DATE CARAMEL & CASHEWS ALL IN A CHOCOLATE SHELL
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 dark chocolate bar
  • 3 Tbsp. shredded coconut

Date Caramel
  • 6 dates, pits removed and soaked for 1 hour
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 tsp. unpasteurized raw honey
  • a pinch of celtic sea salt, ground

  • 2 heaping Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. unpasteurized raw honey

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped


1. Melt your dark chocolate bar by breaking it into small pieces and placing it into a small porcelain bowl. In a medium pot filled 1/4 full of water, heat on med heat and place bowl with chocolate inside. This is called the double boiler method. Stir chocolate until it has melted. Pour liquid chocolate into
4 - 4" tart molds, or muffin liners, or any cool molds you have. Freeze to harden. Sprinkle on shredded coconut (optional). 

2. Remove the pits from 6 dates and soak dates in filtered water for an hour. 

3. In a small pan add coconut oil and maple syrup and turn on to your lowest setting. Let coconut oil melt and turn off stove. Stir. Then add vanilla extract. almond butter and honey. Stir.


4. Fill your sink 1/4  full of warm/hot water and place the vanilla ice cream container inside for 10 minutes to soften.

5. Pour the sauce mixture from the pan to a high speed blender along with the soaked dates and a pinch of ground celtic sea salt. Save date water for a smoothie!! Blend on high until dates are blended up and smooth. Optional - pour date caramel into a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner to pipe on tarts.

6. In a bowl mix peanut butter with honey. Add the soft vanilla ice cream to the bowl and mix. Take your chocolate tart bases out of the freezer and take out of the mold. Scoop the soft serve vanilla peanut butter ice cream into your tarts, sprinkle with cashews and drizzle on date caramel. Serve immediately.

Thank you Screamin Brothers for sponsoring this recipe! Your ice cream is top notch!!

Happy Easter Everyone!

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