Fresh Start

11695900426_35d0506fd4_z

Here I sit with a glass of champagne, still carbonated though we opened it almost 48 hours ago. What? It would be a shame to pour it out. Why do we even have left over Champagne? I don’t know! I mean, we had plenty to celebrate–JB proposed! It was a perfect way to ring in the new year (pun totally intended) and 2014 is full of opportunities and big, happy promises.

What else has been going on? Let’s see…well, I’ve fully embraced the “off-season” which means eating a large stack of blueberry pancakes with butter and syrup and a side of bacon for New Years Day brunch, consuming copious amounts of chocolate just because it’s in the office breakroom and no one is looking, and doing close to no, zero, zilch workouts.

At first I was pretty nervous about it. Suffering from the bug that is mental burnout (and the extreme Chicago winter), I worried that I would never feel motivated to workout again, let alone be competitive. Then I worried that I would lose fitness. A pro-cyclist posted a comment on my oh-so-anxious Facebook post and told me to get over it and drink a beer. And that’s how I got to where I am today. Now I’m just worried about gaining weight. Okay. Not really.

I got a call from my coach earlier than I expected–this week–and he asked me about my road cycling goals. Totally caught me off guard. I thought I had more time! Time to get my head back in the game. 24-hours later and I penned a couple of summer goals (with one pretty ambitious, yet attainable, goal) but with a focus on cyclocross. That buys me a little more time, right? No. The Training Peaks schedule for next week tells me so.

Time to detox!

11695482914_b47e6473bc_z

JB got purchased a NutriBullet a month ago and we have been using it non-stop! At first, I was skeptical but now I love it! It’s so powerful, it’s basically a mini version of a Vitamix. It will blend raw beet root to a smooth paste. Not that you would want to eat that straight, no shooter, but it can do that!

Here are a couple of my favorite everyday recipes. One is a take on the healthy-fast food chain Protein Bar’s Beet Box: beets juice, carrots, ginger, cucumber and apple. The other is a new recipe found in the amazing book, Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris. This book is chalk-full of amazingly healthy, powerful, cleansing, nutrient-boosting recipes! It’s a must if you own a blender.

11695932706_b3811c395b_z

Ginger Pear

Serves two

Adapted from Superfood Smoothies, Julie Morris

Gather:
1 very ripe pear, cored and diced
1/4 c. dried white mulberries
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled
2 cups fresh spinach
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c. water (or to taste/consistency)
2 tsp. lemon juice

Method:

Blend everything together in a high powered blender and enjoy. Will keep in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

11695427723_837fc1c56b_z

Droppin’ the Beet

Serves one

Gather:
1/2 c. beet juice
1/2 c. carrot juice
1/2 granny smith apple, chopped
1/4 c. cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled
2-3 tsp. lemon juice

Method: 

Place everything in a blender and enjoy. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

Yes, you can make this with raw beets and carrots but the smoothie will be thick and closer to the consistency of baby food. If you can’t find fresh juice at the grocery store or do not own a juicer, simply add 1/2 cup of water to thin it out and reduce the whole foods to 1/4 cup.