workouts

More Power!

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Another Monday meant another early morning at Central Rock Cambridge. Today I worked a bit more on power and footwork than on endurance. Here was the routine (the warmup is similar to last week):

  1. 5-10 mins stretching, focus on shoulders and hips.
  2. Pick a bouldering level that is two grades below your redpoint level, so for me that’s a V0. Do a V0 three times in a row. For the first one I took my time and stretched out on each hold.
    1. Do a core exercise until exhaustion. Here’s a list of the exercises I did today:
      1. Tornado situps (lie flat, swiftly bring legs up straight, bringing up the butt and into middle back if possible, twist hips, come down and then bring upper body up to a situp)
      2. Straight leg-lifts
      3. Side crunches
      4. High plank rhomboid shrugs (I just made up this name as I’m having trouble finding an example, you hold a high plank position and do pushup action just with the shoulder blades: draw shoulder blades together and chest comes down, push shoulder blades apart and chest comes up)
      5. TRX plank knees-to-chest
      6. Pull-up prep (more on this below)
      7. Bridge with alternating legs up
  3. Repeat #2 with two more V0s, focus on overhanging V0s.
  4. Repeat #2 with four V1s but only do each V1 twice, again focus on overhanging V1s.
  5. Repeat #2 with one V2, climb it only once if you flash it, climb up to three times if you don’t.
  6. Work at least 5 minutes on your project. My project is a slabby V3 so it was a nice contrast to the power prep I did. I made it about three moves past last week and am just one move from the top so I’m stoked!
  7. Hit the weight room for this circuit (if you have time repeat this at least twice, I only had time for one set):
    1. Seated tricep press low weight for 12 reps, higher weight for 8 reps (I used 15 + 20 lb)
    2. Reclined tricep press low weight for 12 reps, higher weight for 8 reps (I used 15 + 20 lb)
    3. KB lunge and row x 10 each side (I used 26 lb KB)
    4. Situps on the ball x 20
    5. Grab two weight plates (I used 2 x 10 lbs) and hold with your fingertips while doing deep lunges the length of the room x 2 (~25 paces in that gym).
    6. Pull-up prep or pull-ups to exhaustion
  8. Spend at least 5-10 minutes cooling down and stretching. Focus on releasing shoulders, triceps/biceps, forearms/wrists/hands and hamstrings + quads.

Overall this was less bouldering problems than last week (15 plus about 5 tries on my project, as opposed to 30 plus projecting last week) but since I chose overhanging routes and harder problems it was quite a workout. I also felt I could focus more on my footwork with the harder problems. V0s are so ladderish that while my intent was footwork, I mostly worked on quiet feet and played a bit with flagging where appropriate. Today I was able to do more with heel and toe hooks and I really needed to up my flagging and drop-knees and get weight in my feet to support the steep climbs. It felt really good and I can feel myself progressing and using more of my entire body when I climb.

Finally, I want to give a bit shoutout to Coach Rich of Mountain Strength Crossfit for his helpful advice on pull-ups. I believe I mentioned that I finally have started being able to do unassisted pull-ups. Well, there’s a little catch to that. I’m doing well at engaging my lats to start and then my biceps to finish but I get to a point where my biceps are pressed against my forearms and my head is barely over the bar; it’s like I get stuck. Another trainer told me I had to engage my rhomboids there so I went to give it a go and Rich checked my form. He immediately noticed a few things. Yes, I do need to engage my rhomboids, but I needed to alter my posture altogether. I need to look up (I was looking forward) and aim my sternum towards the bar. As a beginner I also need to widen my grip to start so as I pull back my elbows have space to come next to my ribs and my rhomboids engage. He has me doing an exercise where I hang in this wide-arm position, look up, point my sternum at the bar and just work on engaging rhomboids as I do continuous “mini pull-ups” (my word, not his). I will update you all on my progress, but I’m hoping this advice also helps others. This “mini pull-up” is what I mean by “pull-up prep” in my routine above.

Rich also gave me the weight plate exercise (#7F). This seems like a great exercise for climbers as it works grip strength, shoulder/back and legs.

More next week, along with hopefully an article on the importance of working antagonists. I can’t tell you how much better my hands are feeling now that I’m regularly using PowerFingers to strengthen my extensors. If you have any training tips please send them my way!

Power Endurance

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I still owe updates to my Thanksgiving post, but somehow the time has flown and we’re past the holidays and on to another new year! I’m pretty happy with how my physical fitness went in 2014, but I definitely have plans to ramp it up in 2015. My biggest fitness accomplishment was my commitment to and improvement in climbing. I can’t believe that it was a year ago that I was gifted a membership to Central Rock Gym, but what might be more impressive is that I kept a regular routine there for the entire year, woot! I went from a casual climber doing 5.6/5.7s and working on V0s, to regularly red pointing 5.9/5.10s and flashing V2s. That still makes me a “beginner” in climbing classification, but it’s also motivating to keep going along with finding ways to get to the next level.

My biggest focus right now is footwork. I’ve watched hundreds of hours of climbing videos (literally) and have worked a little bit with trainers and I’m left with mentally understanding what I need to do with my feet, but not executing it properly…especially when I get tired which is exactly when the technique would really help me. So lots of work on soft feet, trusting the grip and pressing my weight into my toes. I will get there! The other focus is general fitness (esp. core fitness) and projecting more so I can stretch myself.

Today I did a power endurance routine that I modified from other climbing workouts online. Many of the climbing workouts I’ve found have been for people who are at the V5/5.11+ level of climbing. I’m not there yet and there are some things I can’t do safely: e.g. finger training, as I already managed to inflame the tendons of my right hand by overdoing finger training. My hands will strengthen as I climb more and eventually I’ll be able to get on the hangboard, but for now my focus is technique and, the topic of the day, power endurance.

I’ve been top roping and leading a lot lately, which is great for endurance but not ideal for power. Since CRG opened a new bouldering gym in Cambridge with morning hours that alternate their Watertown location I’ve been able to get in on Mondays and boulder. They also have an excellent fitness area so I’ve begun making my own routines to keep myself challenged and my heart rate up. This was my workout today. The intent was to build up sustained strength (aka power endurance). It was intense, rewarding, exciting and definitely got my heart rate up! I was bright red by the end of it!

1/5/2015

  1. 5-10 mins stretching, focus on shoulders and hips.
  2. Pick a bouldering level that is two grades below your redpoint level, so for me that’s a V0. Do a V0 three times in a row. For the first one I took my time and stretched out on each hold. You will repeat this for every V0 in the gym (that was 10 problems at CRG). After each set of three take a “break” by doing one of these:
    1. Pushups to exhaustion.
    2. Tornado situps to exhaustion.
    3. Leg lifts to exhaustion.
    4. Tricep dips to exhaustion.
    5. Side sit-ups to exhaustion.
    6. Plank or forearm plank to exhaustion.
    7. Insert your own challenging core exercise here.
  3. Once done, work at least 5 mins on your project. Don’t have a project in the gym? Pick something at least one grade above your redpoint level.
  4. Think you’re exhausted? Great, do one last round of a challenging core exercise (I did TRX plank knee-ins and sit-ups on the balance ball) and then pull-ups to exhaustion, which was just two for me because I’m still working on my pull-ups.

That whole workout took me an hour. There was very little rest time. The trick is to manage the on and off the wall time so your forearms don’t get too pumped. The “break” time when you work on core should be equal to the time you’re on the wall. IF you run out of problems in your low grade at the gym go to the next level up (e.g. V1 in my example) and try your three rounds, or drop to two if you’re getting really pumped.

In theory, this workout will build strength, help you learn to get through the pump and help you burn some calories with the cardio rush. Since I was working on easy problems and repetition I was able to focus more on my footwork and also play with different ways to climb each problem (I tried to use slightly different body positions each time since V0s are loaded with holds).

If you’re a climber and you try this I’d love to know what you think of it and what your favorite climbing workouts are!

Feeling Great!

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I’m continuing to find improvement with my knee! Next week I’ll only be heading to PT once and as long as things are still going in the upward direction she shouldn’t need to see me again for a month, woo!! I’ve learned a lot during this process and I’m thrilled that not only did I manage to not lose fitness during my recovery period, but I’ve actually gained a ton of glute, hip, core and leg strength. I can’t say this enough, if you’re in PT do your exercises. Seriously. Your recovery is your responsibility. They’re not giving you exercises for their health, they’re giving you exercises for your health. Do them.

With that said, here’s my week in review of exercise. It was my “hell week” at work as we prepare for students to return to school so that included rolling out new machines on campus, reimaging the entire campus, rolling out six new servers and completely re-doing the server rack. In other words, it was a very physical week at work for me. I adjusted my workouts accordingly.

Saturday:

  • This was my “rest day”. I took Toby for a short hike and a swim at Burgess Pond. It was probably 45 minutes of activity and much more of just lounging. 🙂

Sunday:

  • 30 minutes doing intervals on the recumbent bike
  • 30 minute Barre Pilates class

Monday:

  • 30 minutes doing intervals on the recumbent bike
  • ZuzkaLight’s Kettlebell Series Workout #1 – I was particularly thrilled to get back to working out with Zuzka. This was the first time since I’ve been injured. I did have to substitute one exercise, but this was a fantastic workout. I’ll post the workout here (with my modification) for posterity, but for the record if you like high intensity workouts I really recommend her ZGym. It’s paid, I have no affiliation with her, but I’ve been doing her workouts for three years now and I love them! You can find many free workouts from her on YouTube.
    • 2 Rounds:
      • 40 Side-to-Side Kettlebell Swings
      • 10 Warrior Rows (LEFT)
      • Standing single-leg kick-backs x 12 each side (wearing 5 lb ankle weights)
      • 10 Warrior Rows (RIGHT)
      • 20 Clams
  • 20 mins yoga, focused on legs.
  • This was the day we loaded out all the new machines, mostly desktops. It was 8 hours of lifting and being on my feet. If I knew in advance that’s what my day was going to be I would not have done the above intense workout. Thankfully, my knee made it through ok!

Tuesday:

  • 15 minutes doing intervals on the recumbent bike.
  • 45 minutes advanced yoga. I didn’t go into it expecting it to be as hard-core a class as it was. After Monday I needed some recovery, but this was intense!
  • Another full day of being on my feet along with some lifting but not as much as Monday.

Wednesday:

  • 30 minutes doing intervals on the recumbent bike
  • Double-leg-lift w/ crunch x 15 (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle)
  • Side leg-lifts x 15 each side (wearing 5 lb ankle weights on each ankle)
  • Standing single-leg kick-backs x 15 each side (wearing 5 lb ankle weights)
  • Completely redid the server room solo. LOTS of lifting, crawling, bending, etc.

Thursday:

Friday:

  • 30 minutes doing intervals on the recumbent bike
  • 15 minutes restorative yoga
  • Gave 2.5 hours of deep tissue massage
  • 1 hour gentle yoga practice
  • I’m hopefully also going to do a round of my PT exercises today. The day is still young. 🙂

You may notice I didn’t climb this week. That was more due to my energy level this week and the amount I used my upper body at work. I’m looking forward to getting back to the rock gym next week!!

Planting Your Seed of Fitness

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I’ve taken a long road to “fit”. Honestly, I was that kid who faked illnesses to get out of gym class and would gladly tell you the only time I ran was if something was chasing me. Now I’m on a regular schedule of working out for at least 45 minutes every day before work, alternating between high intensity interval training (HiiT), yoga and pilates. I hit the rock gym 2-3 times per week and attend yoga classes 2-3 times per week. I’ve fallen in love with kettlebells and weights. I take at least one day off a week for rest and ensure I’m alternating between exercising those fast-twitch muscles with those intense workouts with building slow twitch muscles and flexibility through yoga. Right now this is a good balance for me and I’m excited to see where I go from here. The things is, it was a long road to get here.

My partner has a favorite (non-original) line that he likes to use when I’m being self-defeating. “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” He reminded me of this just this week as I was watching bouldering competitions on YouTube and lamenting that while I’m falling in love with climbing I will never be phenomenal at it. Excuses poured out of my mouth. “I’m too old, these climbing athletes started when they were kids.” “I’m too tall and heavy.” “I’m afraid of heights.” The list goes on and on, but I have to admit that after watching these athletes compete I learned new techniques and the next time I hit the gym I was able to do harder routes and I had more confidence. I don’t expect to be a rock star climber, but the point is that I’m getting better. I’m planting my seed today.

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“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”

I mentioned my road to being fit was a long one. The first time I was even introduced to a type of fitness I enjoyed was when I was about 15 and my theatre teacher showed us yoga during our warmups. It was slow and gentle and I could get into it. I then found that I enjoyed the jumping parts of track and field (high jump, triple jump, long jump, pole vaulting) which was fun for a while but I quickly became intimidated by the real athletes on my team and I also loathed the warmups. So that didn’t stick.

It wasn’t until after college that I really started caring about fitness. I moved to Boston, found myself walking to work and eating better (honestly, anything other than fast food was better than I had been eating in college) and I started dropping weight without even trying. I decided to check out a local yoga class and quickly fell in love. But, I’d walk through the gym to get to my class and would shake my head at the crowd on treadmills, ellipticals, and the weight benches. In part I was intimidated, and in another part I just felt like I wasn’t in that crowd. I had terribly negative misconceptions that people were there out of pure vanity and that it was just some daytime sex club for post sorority chicks and frat dudes. Years later I would find out how wrong I was, but at that time it was just not my scene.

It wasn’t until I went to school for massage that I started to really get it. The body is an incredibly fascinating thing. On one hand, it’s fascinating because of the amount of abuse it can take and keep on ticking. On the other hand, when you care for it right the body is capable of amazing feats of greatness. What I had yet to learn was that even MY body was capable of those things. 

Practicing massage is a lot like dancing. It takes a good amount of coordination and balance. It takes a good understanding of body mechanics and physics to avoid self-injury. Practitioners also benefit from being fit and healthy and having a more developed upper-body. I was blessed to have some classmates that came from the fitness world and they coached me to try getting in better shape and eating healthier. 

I started with free weights. Small weights, high reps. The reason this worked for me is that it wasn’t painful to do, and I saw results very quickly. I enjoyed feeling strong and seeing my muscles develop. Naturally, I then wanted to eat foods that helped fuel my body so I also began learning about better nutrition; a subject I continue to explore daily.

I continued with yoga and weights and naturally I had several lapses where I just slowly got out of my routine, only to pick it up again months later. But every time I got back into it I tried to take things further. I explored different types of yoga; some extremely challenging. I walked more and began hiking. I found summer activities, like paddling, running and swimming, that kept my attention and kept me active. It all started building. I was exercising because I wanted to be in shape for massage, and then the type of exercise I was doing demanded different parts of my body to be more fit so I started doing other exercises to support that. For example, when I found I enjoyed paddling it only made sense that I was continue with my free weights to build upper body strength. And in continuing with free weights I would need yoga to help me stretch those muscles for recovery. The combination of strength and flexibility came back into my massage sessions and I had more stamina.

It was about two years ago that I started getting into HiiT by following some videos online. For me, this was a perfect fit because I get bored easily if I’m doing a “routine”. The HiiT workouts I was doing were different every day. Similar to crossfit, I faced a new challenge and often didn’t know in advance what it was going to be. All I knew was that by the end I would be sweating my butt off and I would feel like She Ra. I suppose you can say I became addicted to the adrenaline; I definitely enjoyed the challenge.

I have to give the caveat that in most cases I do not recommend starting a new type of exercise by watching a video. It’s important, especially with intense workouts, to use proper form. By this point I had been working with a personal trainer, had studied anatomy/kinesiology and felt I was body-aware. Even still, I quickly transitioned to going to a kickboxing class that also did circuit training and I found it extremely helpful to have someone there who could call me out if my form was poor.

So I planted that seed back in 2003 that I wanted to be fit and my tree is still growing. I’m not a super-athelete, but I also feel like I could hold my own during the zombie apocalypse. The trick is to stick with it. Find new challenges that keep you interested. Listen to your body and know it’s a-ok to start slow. I started with walking and now I’m climbing three stories in the air and swinging around 25lb kettlebells like they’re kittens.

Also, did I mention the health benefits? Once upon a time I had “bad knees”, was on meds for acid reflux and insomnia, got colds regularly, and I had exercise induced asthma. With the right diet and exercise routine those have become vices of my past. I thought those illnesses were just part of who I was. Now my immune system is bangin’ and I feel stronger than I ever have!

I do have to say from my own fitness progress and from watching the progress of my clients over the years, it is imperative that you start at a level that’s appropriate for you. Diving head-first into a fitness routine that’s too strenuous for you is a great recipe for failure. For one thing, there’s a high chance of injury, which can start a terrible cycle of having to stop working out to heal, only to jump back in, overdo it, and re-injure yourself. So please listen to your body and take it at your own pace. The next issue is that if it hurts or you end up so sore you can barely walk the next day, you’re probably not going to want to keep going. Yes, it’s normal to have some burn, especially when you’re just starting out, but you can get in shape without pain. Seriously, I did it. If I was in constant pain I would not have made it this far. If you’re unsure of your fitness level and where to start I highly recommend working with a personal trainer. But if you can’t afford that it’s not a good excuse to not exercise. 😉 Look for community classes, beginner videos or just start with something really basic like long walks and a little jogging.

Finally, remember there is no finish line. Fitness is ongoing. Plant your tree today and keep growing!

Want some motivation? I just recorded my first virtual yoga class! Please check it out and let me know what you think:

For those of you who enjoy HiiT, I created two new progressions this week. It’s been a while since I’ve posted these but I’m hoping to make it a habit again. If you try them let me know how you did! Remember to warm up first!

Full Body, Cardio Focus (2 rounds, 45 sec activity, 15 sec rest)
  1. KB Swings (my reps 24/25)
  2. High knees 
  3. Side-plank leg-lift R (my reps 14/14)
  4. Side-plank leg-lift L (my reps 14/14)
  5. High knees
  6. KB snatch R (my reps 8/7)
  7. KB snatch L (my reps 7/7)
  8. High knees
Bicep Buster (3 rounds for time, my time 16:50)
  1. 10 reverse pull-ups in a pyramid (6-10-6 seconds) (for this, start at the top of the pull-up position and slowly lower down while counting out the seconds; for those who are proficient with pull-ups you can do regular pull-ups at the slow pace; for those who are new to pull-ups, try using a strap and modify as necessary to avoid injury)
  2. 15 R side crunches
  3. 15 L side crunches
  4. 30 bicycle reps
  5. 30 air squats
Now go shovel a foot of snow. 😉 Hehe, those on the East Coast may know what I’m talking about. I shoveled a good 14″ after this workout, and then did my cool down.

Pies and Pushups

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It has have been a while since my last entry but I’m still going STRONG on workouts and sticking to my food allergy/healthy diet.  I’m really enjoying seeing my muscle tone improve and I’ve been taking on new challenges.  I’ve fallen in love with kettlebells and have also added some heavier free weights to my collection.  My biggest struggle continues to be learning to do pullups.  So far I can do ONE unassisted and that’s a good start.

To keep my workouts interesting I’ve been varying things a bit.  I’m generally doing two Zuzka workouts per week (I’ve shelled out for her new ZGYM and in full honesty the first two workouts were worth more than the $10/mo price tag; they’re way harder than her free ZWOWs).  I also do two workouts inspired by myomytv.com, which offers awesome free kettlebell and bodyweight workouts.  I say “inspired” because while I sometimes outright do one of their routines, I’ve been experimenting with creating my own routines and so far I’m kicking my own ass. 🙂  I also do 1-2 pilates or yoga workouts per week.  On top of that I’m still running 1.6 miles per day, happily on the Mad River Path with my pup.  This has been a good mix for me and gets me moving at least an hour per day six times a week.  I take a day off to rest.

I’m going to start posting my self-made workouts here.  I’m not comfy recording videos yet, but I think I’d like to in the future.  So here are my three most recent WOD’s.  If you need a better description of the exercise just ask!  I’d consider these intermediate->advanced.  If you want to do them just listen to your body and adjust as needed.  Beginners should use lighter weights, shorter reps and a longer resting period.  If you’re more advanced use heavier weights, longer reps and a shorter resting period.  In general I’m using a 25lb kettlebell (or two for doubles).  My free-weights range from 5lb->20lb.

For an interval timer I’m using Seconds on my iPhone.

6/10/13 – Set interval timer to 3 rounds 45 sec activity, 15 sec rest
  1. Goblet Squat (20kg)
  2. Alternating KB Swing
  3. Alternating Curtsy Lunge (14kg)
  4. KB Single-Leg Deadlifts
  5. Skater Hops
  6. Renegade Row
  7. Chin-Up
6/11/13 – Set interval timer to 3 rounds 40 sec activity, 15 sec rest
  1. Glute Bridge Booty Pump
  2. Single-leg deadlift R
  3. Single-leg deadllift L
  4. Eccentric Focused Chin Ups
  5. Push Up Lean/Push Up/Push Back Combo
  6. Kneeling Ab Wheel Rollout
  7. Dumbbell Hammer Curl
  8. Dragon Flag
6/19/13 – Set interval timer to 2 rounds 45 sec activity, 15 sec rest
  1. KB Reverse lunge
  2. Snatch R
  3. Snatch L
  4. Around-the-world KB swings
  5. Single-Leg Deadlift R
  6. Single-Leg Deadlift L
  7. Side-crunch R
  8. Side-crunch L
  9. Weighted sit-up
  10. Double KB Swings

And now for recipes!  This past Saturday I hosted a large dinner party for my family.  Along with accommodating my long list of food allergies, I also had to make the meal low-carb/sugar for my father who’s diabetic, low-salt for his wife who has high BP, dairy/gluten free for my sister-in-law (this is in line with my own diet too) and garlic-free for my brother.  Even more importantly, I wanted it to be FREAKING DELICIOUS to help show that you don’t have to eat crappy-tasting food just because you have a dietary restriction.  Also, since my family showered me with a ton of pie-making paraphernalia for Christmas, I made the meal Pie-themed.

Bring In The Pies!!

86aa7b8cd6c011e29c6622000a1f9e4a_7Paleo Shepard’s Pie (adapted from Elana’s Pantry and The Functional Foodie)

Ingredients – Makes ~1 large deep dish pie

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 lb ground grass fed beef
  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1/4 lb ground pork (I used a mild chorizo sausage from my local butcher which gave it a nice kick)
  • 1/2 lb uncured bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms of your choosing
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup red wine (I used a merlot)
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos (can use Worcester Sauce if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp chopped mixed herbs (I used basil, oregano, thyme and parsley from my garden)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 large heads cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft (I used one white and one yellow)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance or Virgin Coconut Oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Add shallots and cook for another few minutes.
  3. Add bacon and sauté until cooked, ~10 minutes (note: the bacon will not crisp, that’s ok).
  4. Add the carrots, celery and mushrooms and sauté until soft (it’s ok of the carrots stay a bit firm), ~10 mins.
  5. Add the meats, herbs, salt and pepper and sauté until browned.
  6. Add the stock, wine, coconut aminos and a paprika.  Stir and cook down broth until it’s ~60% evaporated.
  7. Meanwhile, add the cauliflower, coconut milk, Earth Balance/VCO, and a pinch of salt and pepper to your food processor and blend until it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes; this will not take long.  Taste-test and see if you need to add more salt and pepper.
  8. Pour the filling into a pie plate and top with the cauliflower mash.  Add a pinch of smoked paprika to the top for decoration if you like.
  9. Cook at 375ºF for 30 minutes, or until the inside is bubbly and the top is slightly firm.  Let cool for ~10 mins before serving.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (Gluten and Dairy free, no sugar added to filling)

Ingredients

Crust (and trust me, it’s GOOD, the non-gluten free folks loved it!):

  • 1 cup Almond or Pecan flour (I was out of almond so I ground pecans in my Vitamix which worked out beautifully!)
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour (my sister-in-law says next time I should try Bob’s Red Mill Shortbread Mix)
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Palm Sugar (you can use cane sugar if you’d like, I’m just allergic to it)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ cup Virgin Coconut Oil (room temperature)
  • 5-8 tbsp Cool Water

Filling (adapted from here):

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
  • 2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
  • 2 tbsp minute tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance cut into small slices
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Directions

Crust:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixer.
  2. Add the coconut oil and beat until dough forms small balls.
  3. Add the water one tbsp at a time while mixing until the dough reaches the proper consistency (it should hold together well but not be sticky).
  4. Separate into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap or parchment and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out dough and add bottom crust to a greased and floured pie plate.

Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla.
  3. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into bottom crust.
  4. Dot with butter.
  5. Roll out top crust and top the pie (if you want to do the lattice design I did use a pizza-cutter to cut strips of the rolled-dough and a long spatula to carefully lift the crust from the counter to the pie).
  6. Brush top of crust with beaten egg yolk.
  7. Wrap aluminum foil loosely around the outside edge of the crust to protect the crust from burning.
  8. Cook at 425ºF for 15 minutes, then drop the temperature to 375ºF and cook for another 40 minutes.  The crust should be golden brown and the filling should be bubbling.  I found the gluten free crust cooks faster than when using traditional flour so keep an eye on the pie so it doesn’t get over-cooked.  Cool before serving.

I’d love to know if you try my recipes or workouts.  Please pass along your feedback!  Now it’s time for a run!