Another week has come and gone and we had barely any snow! The sidewalks stayed clear and I was able to run outside every morning. I cannot stress how much of a difference this has made in my outlook.
We did have some cold weather return, but overall, it stayed in the 20s-30s in the mornings and I was able to bundle up, get outside for a run, and not have to employ my Yaktrax or worry about slipping and sliding.
I think that all my complaining about our never-ending winter paid off – we finally had a taste of spring in Cleveland!
It was just that though – just a taste – as of course after our 2 days in a row of 40s and even 50 one day we were in the 20s again. But, those 2 days of warmth, sunshine and just a little snow melting was all I needed to start getting my running mojo back.
As you likely heard, Punxsatawny Phill saw his shadow, which means we have more winter coming our way. I know he’s not the most scientific source, but based on the way our weather has been, I’d say he was right. I mean come on, each day this week it either was frigid cold or it snowed. Or both. And, my Yaktrax broke (even more) one day while I was running. So, after a few days outside and a few more days on the treadmill, I am definitely ready for warmer temps, less icy sidewalks and sunshine.
It was a cold, snowy and icy week here in Northeast Ohio. We didn’t get a lot of snow, but each day it seemed I woke up to a new dusting of snow and/or ice. The days were cold, too — most days were in the 20s, and I woke up to weather in the teens for my runs. The cold, combined with the days of somewhat slippery/icy roads, made for not the best running weather. I think it’s safe to say that it’s not even February, but I’m over winter.
Last week, I mentioned that I was doing a 21 Day Challenge with the Cleveland Marathon. The first few weeks have gone well and I can’t believe I’m more than halfway done! (Which means we’re more than halfway through January … yikes) Here are some highlights from this week’s challenge and how it has been going.
My kids love muffins. They always have. And who could blame them? Tiny pieces of cake in a muffin-like single-serving shape? What’s not to like?
These muffins are sweet enough that my kids call them “treat muffins” (they’re sweeter than my spinach/zucchini/carrot muffins), but healthy enough to be called “healthyish.” They use honey instead of refined sugar, and white whole wheat flour. I also add in half a zucchini for some moisture and added veggies – but these truly taste like just your every day banana muffins! They’re easy to make if you have about 2 bananas on hand, so much that I’ve asked my family to set aside 2 bananas and NOT eat them, just so we can make these.
Healthyish Banana Zucchini Muffins
Here’s what you need:
½ cup honey
⅓ cup avocado oil
2 large bananas, mashed (mine came out to be a little over 1 cup in volume)
1/2 zucchini, grated – pat with a paper towel to remove excess moisture (Note – I have made these without zucchini and haven’t had to change anything up, they’re still good just no added veggie)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (my kids love cinnamon, but if you’re not a big fan you can omit this or add in less)
1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Here’s what you do:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your muffin tin – I use silicone reusable baking cups and spray them with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix honey, avocado oil and eggs.
Add in the mashed bananas, grated zucchini, milk and vanilla extract. Mix well.
On the side, combine the dry ingredients — the cinnamon, flour, salt, baking soda. Add into the wet mixture and mix until just combined. DO NOT overmix!
Optional — add in blueberries or other add-ins. Suggestions include dried cherries or chocolate chips 🙂 I added in blueberries to a few of the muffins but not all. If you want to have blueberry (or another add-in) throughout, add in about 3/4-1 cup.
Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. Bake muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Mine took about 24 minutes.
Cool muffins and then enjoy! I like to keep 6 out and then freeze 6 so I have individual muffins ready to go whenever. I simply take one out of the freezer and defrost overnight OR in the microwave.
Nutrition info (I borrowed this from MyFitnessPal – I am not a dietician, just someone who likes to bake and make treats sometimes a little healthier, and I can’t claim 100% accuracy)
I’m not big on fitness challenges and I never have been. This time of year, over the summer, etc. my Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of “3 week ab challenge!” or “30 day healthy eating/drinking challenge!” and I’ll be the first to admit, they typically turn me off. Why? Because I like doing my own thing. I like to run, and that’s it. I’ll run for ME (not a challenge) and be happy with myself for doing how I do.
But last year, when I saw that one of my favorite bloggers, Runs For Cookies, was doing a fall to winter walk/run challenge, I thought, I can do this. What’s the big deal? I already run every day and track my mileage, this is just a group of people who like to do the same thing. Little did I expect that I’d finish the challenge with the most mileage of the group and a prize (the prize was given out randomly, but I was still just as excited to receive it – it’s a Kindle! my first one!).
So, when I saw Cleveland Marathon was doing a 21 Day Challenge starting January 1, I was curious. No, more than curious – I was interested. I had just done one challenge, could I do another? Especially since this one was mysterious – each day you’d be given a random challenge. It could be running related, strength training, or other healthy habits, all to help you prepare for training for the Cleveland races. So, as a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador, I decided to sign up!
Now that we’re one week into January – and I’m one week into the challenge – here’s how it’s going.