Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread

Today’s Happy Note: Baking.  I love baking.  Never fails to make me feel better.

Marathon Training: I did my yoga class and 4.5 miles with strides on Wednesday.  Yesterday I started the 30 Day Shred and then USB got here so I didn’t finish.  Today I did 20 minutes of hip-opening yoga before work, and 6.5miles after work.

For the first time in a long time my legs felt great!  It felt like I was gliding along.  I felt light but also strong.  Win.  I did 6×400, two per mile for miles two, three, and four.  It was spectacular!

I am starting to think that all of my hard training may have paid off!  Hopefully the rest of taper keeps going this smoothly.

And now, a recipe!  It’s been a while since I have come up with anything.  And to be honest, I didn’t exactly create this myself.  It comes from my Uncle John!  So, thank you, Uncle John!  It’s in our family cookbook.  It’s really cool!  It has pictures of my grandparents, an extended family tree, and recipes from everyone!

Caronae’s Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip Bread

Adapted from John’s Banana Nut Bread

  • 1.25 C Wheat Flour
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 C Oats
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 C pureed Pumpkin
  • 1/3 C melted Butter/Earth Balance
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 C Milk/Soy Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 C chopped Walnuts
Mix all dry ingredients together.  Add in wet ingredients.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake it all at 350 for about 50 minutes.  Let cool before removing from pan.
It’s pretty!  Look!
I shall be back with deeper thoughts tomorrow!
Any exciting weekend plans? I plan on a trip to the farmer’s market, some pumpkin carving, and lots of friend time!

Things I Do For My Heart

Today’s Mini Goal: Go on more NYC neighborhood walk-ventures.  This weekend I saw the East and West Village on foot, and I remembered just how much fun I have dong this.  I love people watching and getting a sense for an area’s vibe.  Some of my best weekend days in the city have been spent aimlessly walking around new places.  I’ve discovered Washington Heights this way, the Upper East Side, small chunks of Brooklyn, Chelsea, etc.

Things I do for my heart (or a semi-Valentine’s Day themed post):

1. Run.  Run run run.  Everyone knows exercise is good for you, but I think there’s something especially liberating about flying down a park path on a cold winter day.  It’s just got to be extra good for your ticker.  I did two miles first thing this morning to warm up and then did a 5k “race” at a running meetup (see number two).  I say “race” because I definitely pushed myself along the course (I’m guessing I did it at about an 8:30 pace thanks to two new friends, Chana and Amanda, who I didn’t want to beat me), but there was no timing or competition involved.  We left in different groups from JackRabbit and just sort of followed a course.  I don’t even know how long it took me!

2. Meet new people.  Social interaction is vital to our emotional and physical health, and I got plenty of that today via the race and meetup.  It was really great to get to meet other runners in a low-key, fun environment.  I tend to be shy in social situations like that, so it was nice to practice talking to people.  There were hardly any weirdos, either, although one guy did start telling me the details of his low-carb diet about five seconds after I told him my name.  I even talked to a few boys without having any panic attacks.  Go me!

Cupcakes may have been involved.

Dear Billy’s Bakery: I was not impressed by anything about your cupcakes except the frosting.  Please improve your recipe!

3. I ate pink things.  Like lox.  Surely this is good for my heart.  At the very least, salmon has heart healthy fatty acids, right?

4. I took myself to PB & Co!  This is good for my heart because it makes me happy.  And peanut butter has magnesium and folic acid, which are good for your heart!  I got an Elvis sandwich and Dark Chocolate Dreams.  A visual tour for those of you who haven’t had the good fortune to visit this nut butter mecca:

5. I took a nap.  Perhaps there’s no scientific proof for this, but a nap never fails to relax me.  And relaxation is good for your heart!  I’m planning on yoga tomorrow morning, which clearly has cardiac benefits, both on a fitness level and a mental level.

6. I ate plenty of dark chocolate, which has magnesium and flavonoids, a kind of antioxidant, which, according to my mom, improves your good lipids.  Also had oatmeal and walnuts, which are similarly good for me!

Conclusion: I’ve had a pretty damn good Valentine’s Day.  I’ll give you this picture to summarize:

A running tech shirt, a flower from a friend, and a jar of DCD.  I’d call it a pretty succesful V-day indeed.  Lots of heart-healthy things were involved all around!

What did you do for your heart today?