Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Workout, and a Recipe

Out for a run.

  Today, I'm trying something new, a little bit different than my blog norm. Even though I'm fully into the off-season, my day-to-day routine isn't much different than what it is when I'm in-season, in Europe.

  Yes, I'm back home in the US, and I have my family and friends in closer proximity. But my job hasn't changed. I still play professional hoops. So for me, the summertime, the off-season, is a time to get better.

  And contrary to what you might think, basketball isn't just about shooting and dribbling. There are countless ways you can improve yourself: athletically, endurance/overall fitness, nutritionally, mentally. What the off-season allows me to do is be a little bit more daring, a little bit more experimental. I don't have games to prepare for, so it gives me the opportunity to spice things up and try new things.

  I don't have my own trainer. I'm on my own a lot, and I'm motivating myself. So I'm constantly looking for new things to do, new workouts, new techniques, a wacky recipe that I think would be fun to try.

  And that's what I want to share with you today: a workout I recently did, and a recipe I tinkered with this past week.

  Early in the summer, I run a lot. I've made no secret that I actually enjoy running a great deal. As the off-season goes on, I taper down on distance running, and do more basketball-specific running (sprints, intervals, etc...) so I'm in 'basketball shape' for the season. But even when I'm just running, I think it's a mental boost to vary the things you do.

  So here's a 'speed' workout I did last week from Runner's World:
THE WORKOUT: Half-mile repeats at your goal 5-K pace with a quarter-mile jog recovery. "The recovery is long enough to clear most of the lactic acid from your muscles, but short enough to keep the workout challenging," says Kastor. Beginners should do three or four repeats; more advanced runners can run up to 10 repeats. Measure the distance with a GPS or, or run by time (for example, if your 5-K pace is 8:00, run four minutes hard and recover with two to three minutes of jogging).
  I wanted to work to increase my pace. So here's what I did (does this link actually work for those of you not signed in as me??? If it does, isn't Nike+ awesome!?!): I tried to run 1/2 mile under a 7:45 mile pace, recover for three minutes at an easy pace, and then repeated it five times. I liked it. It was a tough workout, and I think it'll help me improve my natural pace. I'll do it again, maybe once a week, or every other week for a while.
Great for a quick snack on the go!

THE RECIPE: Power Muffins (a hybrid recipe I did, using aspects of three different recipes: Clean Eating Cranberry Muffins, Flax Power Muffins, Protein Power Muffins)


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1 cup oat (Quaker quick oats work fine) 
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/2 cup honey (for sweeter muffins) or 1/4 cup (for not-so-sweet muffins) 
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed 
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)

  • (you can add a ripened mashed banana in place of the apple sauce, I've also added a handful of chocolate chips to the mix on occasion!)

    Step 1 – In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, ground flax seed, and chopped pepitas.
    Step 2 – In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, honey, almond milk and apple sauce.
    Step 3 – Whisk the flour mixture in to the wet mixture and blend well.
    Step 4 – Spoon batter in to standard sized cupcake papers until the batter is approximately 1/4 inch from the top of the papers.
    Step 5 – Bake at 350F. for approximately 20 minutes or until they just start to turn golden brown. Step 6 – Allow to cool and serve. Eat and Enjoy!
    (Makes 12 small muffins)

            Nutritional Information: (estimated at
    Serving Size: 1 muffin, 97 calories, 3 grams of healthy fat, 3 grams fiber, 4 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbohydrate

      Try it if you're looking for a relatively healthy snack recipe! Pretty good with a little peanut butter on it. :) You can freeze them, if you're not going to eat 'em all up right away!

      Let me know if you try either the workout (that you can do at your own pace, of course!), or the recipe. AND if you have one of your own that you'd like to share with me, send 'em my way. Like I said before, I'm always on the lookout for something new to try!

      So what do you think? Keep posting workouts and recipes (don't worry, they won't always be weird recipes. But hopefully, somewhat healthy and tasty!)???


    1. Intervals are the best of the worst. Haven't done them since I was 12. More power to ya...literally :)

    2. Or maybe I mean worst of the best....