I like to run.Â I joined Utica Road Runners a few years ago but, being a bit introverted, never pursued volunteering and never attended club social functions.Â Just call me shy.Â
I finally bucked up some courage a few years ago, 2010 to be exact, and began talking to Road Runners.Â They were pretty darned friendly.Â In fact, it was one such RR that directed me to my first marathon, Wine Glass in 2010.Â Thanks Jim!
I'm still a bit stand-offish, but I have been participating more in events and of course it helped to know someone like my first running coach, Mike, who is very well known among the local running community.Â Â Â
Last weekend, Ted and I went to the Utica Road Runners awards banquet.Â Now I knew I had won the Grand Prix Race award in my division but I didn't know I had won another awardâ€¦
Here I am running in the early morning hours, blogging/journaling my runs and races and these folks noticed!Â You can't imagine what a great feeling. I'm no super star, no fast Freddy, but I am committed in my training so to have the group give you a pat on the back like that? Wow! Simply WOW!Â Thank you URR, you absolutely made my year!
I better stop scratching my â€¦umâ€¦."nose?" when I'm out running, it seems people might be noticing.
Let's get healthy! Let's start the day with a breakfast bar that gives you a good kick in the pants or skirt.
Everything you need to wake up and get going in the morning.Â Breakfast is so very important after a night of fasting. While you're sleeping, your body is still burning calories and using important nutrients to keep your body healthy.Â Breakfast is the best way to "stoke the fire", fuel the muscles and the entire system, getting it ready for the day ahead.
Serving size, 1 bar.Â The recipe will make 12 â€“ 14 bars, depending on how you cut them.
- 1 cup of chopped nuts (I used pecans and walnuts but if you are allergic to nuts, use an assortment of seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower).
- 1 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds
- 1 1/4 cup quick oats
- 1 cup dark chocolate covered espresso beans *These are sure to get you going in the morning, especially if you love coffee.
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 4 small to medium ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 325 F.Â Coat a 9 x 13 pan with non stick cooking spray.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.Â
Press into the prepared 9 x 13 pan, make sure to press firmly into the pan and even out the top.Â
Bake for 25 â€“ 30 minutes or just until the edges begin to brown.
Allow to cool about 20 â€“ 30 minutes then slice into bars.
Don't be afraid of the espresso beans.Â The chocolate does melt a bit into the bar but the beans provide a nice crunch without overwhelming the other ingredients.Â You can taste the banana as a background flavor.
If you don't enjoy the taste of coffee or can't do caffeine, simply substitute dried fruits for the coffee beans such as raisins, cranberries, cherries, or blueberries.
But if you're a coffee drinker and need a good healthy kick to get going in the morning, make a batch of these bars with the beans.Â Delish!
Maybe I should send some to Dean Karnazes. He loves his chocolate covered beans and always eats on the run. Literally!Â *Hey Boston Runners! Dean is going to be at the Expo, booth 434.Â Autograph time! Yay!