Winter Running – be prepared


It took me a good while to wrap my head around winter running. Here in Southern Ontario we get some deep freeze temps, snow and ice that make running dangerous and really uncomfortable. What I’ve found is if you’re prepared for the elements, you can run safely and comfortably.  With a lot of trial and error I finally figured out what gear and clothing works best for me and I want to share them with you.

Please keep in mind that my winter gear has been collected over a few years and not all at once. It’s expensive so I tend to buy just one or two quality items a year or slowly upgrade to higher quality.

Let’s start from the head and work our way to the toes.

Headgear


To keep my head and ears warm I use the the famous Buff on all my runs. This tube like head gear (the ones that the TV show Survivor uses) can be worn so many ways. I normally wear it folded once and worn over my ears like a thick headband and sometimes I wear it over my ears and face to keep the wind chill off.

Check out their website but be careful because you’ll want them ALL. They also make them with merino wool 😍

Of course any cozy wool hat is sometimes needed too.

Noxgear!!! Light Vest. < strong><<<<<<<<<
ssential for all my dark runs. This vest is pretty incredible, so light weight that you forget you have it on, fits snug so it never moves, easily worn over a hydration vest or running jacket AND you can choose a different colour every time you wear it, make them flash with an easy press of a button. It takes 3 AAA batteries and they last forever.

Join my Noxgear group "My Fitness Hobby" and get a 30% off coupon code. http://www.noxgear.com/noxgearnation/ always see runners and cyclists out wearing these, I’ve been told I look like a running alien!

Leggings and Pants When shopping for winter legging you want them to have a brushed interior that’s extremely warm and comfortable. Made from stretchy, durable high tech materials that won’t stink up your closet. A great material to look for is Merino Wool!!

Most of the big box stores like Sports Check, The Gap, MEC , REI and The Running Room all offer a good selection. Although expensive,  I buy most of mine through LuLuLemon, I find the quality is very high and the items just last me for years. When I’m putting in some serious miles, I need my gear to work and not fail. I also don’t want to replace them very year so buying quality is key.

When the wind is high and it’s pressing -20c I use an outer shell over my leggings. MEC has a great selection, my go to by MEC are the Pearl Izumi Thermal Barrier Pant.

This outer layer will keep your thighs and bum from freezing as you run through the wind and wet snow.

Base Layer and Jacket! always lean towards a Merino Wool blend long sleeved shirt. Believe it or not I’ve found all my base layer Merino Wools at COSTCO!  For more information on this material check out https://www.smartwool.com/discover/why-merino-wool/merino-wool-101.html<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
ade winter running jacket by New Balance. Mine is 2 years old but much like this jacket I found online. https://ca.shop.runningroom.com/collections/reflective-jackets/running-room-unisex-printed-reflective-jacket-156560.html<<

Most big brands sell amazing jackets that will block the wind, offer reflective elements and breathable. Also, buy a size that will allow layers underneath!

Feet and Footing!If your feet are cold and wet and your falling all over the place, you’re going to be super uncomfortable, ya?

My feet don’t tend to get cold unless they get wet so I avoid the slush as much as possible. I have yet to master the dry feet.

My go to socks is the Woman’s Ankle Copper Sole Sock found at Marks Work Warehouse.

When I’m out running in the winter and the roads and trails are ice, I want traction so I feel confident, I bought a cheap pair of tracks from Costco for $14 very similar to these found on Amazon.

They come in size small, medium and large, depending on your shoe size. They just slip right over your running shoe. They take a bit to get used to but they’ll give you all the confidence you need on icy roads or trails.

My best advise is to follow this chart based on temperature.

Dress for it and you’ll love it!!

Simple Butternut Squash Soup

This is a thick, rich fall feels soup has tons of flavour. Something I put together with things I had on hand. Super easy and quick to make. My kids enjoy this soup with a nice crusty loaf of bread for dipping. 


Prep time 25 minutes

Cooking time 45 minutes


What you will need:

I tbs butter, ghee or olive oil 

1 medium sized carrot diced

1 medium sized onion diced 

1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed. 

3-4 cups of broth (900ml) (veggie, chicken or beef) use what you have or prefer. 

Salt and pepper to taste 
▫️Preheat oven to 400F, place squash cut side down on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil (or oil of your choice). Roast till tender, approx 40 minutes. 

(If you are tight for time, you can skip the above and just cube the squash and add it directly into the pot to cook down with the carrot and onion)

▫️ On medium heat, melt butter in a large pot, cook onion and carrot for 5 minutes. 

▫️Add broth, roasted squash, salt and pepper, simmer on medium to low heat for 30-40 minutes (once carrots are soft)

▫️Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to get your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

DELICIOUS !!

Basil and Spinach Pesto 

During my Whole30,  I really needed flavour for my meals and this basil recipe was it! Such a perfect match to all my dishes,  gives them a pop of flavour. This Pesto is amazing on roasted potatoes, roasted veggies, chicken, steak, salads, fish, rice, pasta.. You can add it to everything! 

Pesto Chicken Sandwich

What you’ll need: 


1/2 cup walnuts (sometimes I use cashews)

3 cloves of garlic 

3 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1 cup spinach leaves 

Juice of 1/2 lemon 

1 1/2 cups of extra/virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

⚪️ heat pan, when a its good and hot place the nuts on the pan and toss around till lightly brown. About 2 minutes 

⚪️⚪️Combine the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the basil and spinach and pulse until chopped. Add the lemon juice. While mixing on low speed, add the olive oil in a slow stream until all the ingredients are fully blended. Add the salt and pepper and pulse a few more times to combine.


This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze in serving sizes inside cube tray. 

Enjoy!

Recipe http://whole30.com/2015/04/pesto/

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins 

Tweaked an old recipe to give it a healthier twist. Your kids won’t even notice.


These came out perfectly, not too sweet and so moist!

What you’ll need:

2 cups all purpose flour 

1 cup coconut sugar 

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp pure vanilla extract 

1 egg

1 small mashed avocado

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 

1/2 cup milk or nut milk 

1/2 cup light olive oil 

1 tbs coconut oil to grease the muffin pan or use muffin paper cups.

1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (sprinkle on top of each muffin)

⚪️Blend all dry ingredients in your mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid mixer), once well blended, add all your wet ingredients and mix till nice and smooth.

⚪️⚪️ Fill each muffin 3/4 full and sprinkle each with chocoate chips.

⚪️⚪️⚪️Preheat oven to 400 and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes.

Makes a bakers dozen !
Enjoy!

Dairy Free Caesar Salad dressing 


Being lactose intolerant I stray away from dairy as often as I can. My husband borrowed a cook book from a coworker, Oh She Glows Every Day. What a gorgeous looking book! I’ll be ordering this book as soon as I can, I can’t wait to try more of her dishes. 

There were a couple ingredients that we didn’t have on hand like capers and chickpeas but we made a delicious chicken Caesar salad with what we had and from following her directions for a dressing. 

Instead of making the roasted chickpea we made our own garlic croutons using a whole grain sour dough bread. We also added baked chicken breast for an added protein. 

We were surprises how creamy this dressing came out. This was so flavourful and satisfying, and definitely adding it to our monthly meal plan. Next time I’ll double the dressing and store it in the refrigerator for a few days. 

⚪️Requires two hours minimum for the cashews to soak

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup water

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil 

1 tbs fresh lemon juice 

2 tsp Dijon mustard 

1-2 cloves garlic

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt 



⚪️⚪️ place cashews in a bowl and add water to cover by a couple inches. Soak for 2 hours minimum or over night. 

Using a high speed blender or food processor , add the cashews and remaining ingredients except the salt. Blend till super smooth, you may add a splash of water to help mix it, then add your salt at the end. Adjust any spices as needed at the end.