I wanted to create a healthy, light cake that tastes quite decadent yet could be suitable for dessert, tea or even breakfast (but perhaps, skip the frosting for your breakfast cake...or not!)
I look forward to baking with my twin girls though when they are a bit older, and I'd like to think creating and enjoying a (healthy-ish) cake together could be a fab tradition, especially after a family run. (Fingers crossed they will be happy in the jogging stroller for a few more years!)
Getting into a regular running routine can be tricky to start. But especially if you have a race in mind, committing to a schedule is huge. For me, starting small: 3 miles, 3 times a week is achievable for most people who already run. Each week, try to make the last run of the week (usually on a Sat or Sun) a mile longer. So next week, I'll do 3, 3, and 4, and so on. On days you feel great or like you want to push it a little longer, listen to your body and add a little extra.
Also, cross training is huge and if you want to protect your back (ever had back pain after a long run? It's no good!) you gotta tone your core. A strong core helps a strong back, and obliques are key to this. Here are my three quick oblique moves for whittling the waist and making it strong:
1. BOAT POSE WITH SIDE PULSES: Do 10-20 pulses on each side, for 1 to 3 reps.
2. STRAIGHT LEG SCISSORS: Do 10-20 on each side, for 1 to 3 reps.
3. SIDE PLANK WITH TWISTS: From side plank, bring your elbow down to lightly touch the ground then back up. Do 5-10 on each side, for 1 to 3 reps.
Get the newer version of my favorite lightweight Nike zip up here:
You have to nourish your body as an athlete, and eating lots of vegetables and protein and some fruit is a smart choice. Nuts and seeds and other energizing eats make great snacks. Of course, I like to enjoy the occasional healthy treat though, and this cake is a good way to treat yourself without derailing a training plan!
Banana Pumpkin Cake
(Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Nut-Free)
2 overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1-1/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup nondairy butter or coconut butter
2 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted (the organic ones don't conatin corn or other inflammatory non-ideal additions)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8" square pan with parchment paper or spritz with oil.
2. Mix bananas, pumpkin, sugar, water and vinegar together; set aside.
3. Sift gluten-free flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together, and then fold into wet mixture.
4. Stir in chocolate chips, reserving 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on top.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until batter has set and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.