A week later, on New Years Day, the husband dragged me out the door at o'dark thirty to hike up a different trail and catch the sunrise. Mind you, it was about 20 degrees outside with a windchill likely in the single digits at the top of the mountain. Sound like fun? Surprisingly, it was quite enjoyable, and I was thankful for the time and flexibility to relax in my sleeping bag and witness the beauty of the first sunrise of 2015 over the mountains of southwest Virginia.
These slower days are much appreciated, much needed, and have had me thinking: given all the time in the world, what would I do with it? And why I am not doing more of those things now? The same thoughts can also be applied to diet and nutrition. There are those things that we eat because we feel like we should, and there are things that we eat because we truly enjoy them. In my eyes, a positive balance can be found between the two. Indulging is just as "healthy" (when kept reasonable) as "eating more fruits and vegetables" and so on as the dietary guidelines tell us to do.
One thing that I love to eat but don't do so often enough is pancakes! And two things that I'd love to make more time for in 2015 are cooking up new recipes and practicing my food-photography skills.
On the day after Christmas, in preparation of switching over to my new blog format, I decided I was in the mood for some cooking and photography. My photography has come a long ways since I started blogging, and some of my older recipes have some less than stellar pics to go along with them. I whipped up these sweet potato pancakes, or as I like to call them "golden cakes" and took advantage of the natural light of actually being home in the middle of the day give them the proper photoshoot they deserved.
These pancakes are egg and dairy free (vegan), but not gluten-free. The banana and sweet potato are the stars of the show with a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla from the soy milk to really pull the flavors together. They are quick to pull together, and freeze well, so don't hesitate in making an extra large batch to freeze for later.
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 sweet potato- baked, skin removed and mashed
1 banana, mashed (the riper the better)
2.5 cups vanilla soy milk 1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine your dry ingredients in a medium-large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl: add your cooked and mashed sweet potato + mashed banana and mix thoroughly. Whisk in milk and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into the dry, stir until completely mixed and smooth. Cook on the griddle at 250 F or on stove over medium heat. I suggest using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and spreading them thin so they cook through the middle.
< View and download recipe card here >
Yields approximately 18 pancakes (1/4 c. batter each)
Nutrition Facts (per pancake): 80 calories; 16g carbs, 3g protein, 2g sugar
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Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and triathlete residing in southwest Virginia with her husband and dogs. Follow along as she shares favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
Another year has flown by, which means it's time to sit back and reflect on the past season. It has been a season of challenge in many regards, and most definitely not the season I had hoped or planned for. Thinking back to my coaching meeting in January, coach Jim and I had discussed taking things to the next level and I set some pretty high goals for myself. That remained the plan through June, until I through a complete 180 by dropping Chattanooga and deciding to focus on my health. I can vividly remember that day, sitting next to the pool after a short workout when coach asked if Chattanooga was still in the cards. I don't remember whether or not I actually responded, but I do remember the emptiness and defeat I felt in that moment knowing in my heart that the answer was no. I consider myself a "fighter"... being Italian makes me stubborn to the core and I am very loyal to the commitments that I make. However, in that moment God was calling me to let go of my own personal plans and trust in Him instead. As humbling and difficult as it was to walk away from Ironman training this past season, I'm incredibly glad that I did.Hearty Miso Soup
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