Thursday, December 12, 2013

P90X Update...

For those of you who care, I just want to post a quick update on my P90X workout status. I'm in week 4, or the 'recovery' week of the first phase and feel amazing! My endurance is at an all time high and I feel a lot stronger, and can definitely tell during each workout that I'm getting stronger. This week has been kind of a flub though. The last workout I did was Sunday. The reason is because my knee has been hurting a bit and I've decided to take it easy a few days since it's the 'recovery' week, which is just a more toned down week of workouts. Lots of yoga, stretching, and a bit of cardio. It's feeling a lot better so I plan on picking back up on the workouts tomorrow. These non-workout days haven't been wasted though... I've hiked out to the ice caves twice (as you know from the previous post) and did some light yoga and stretching on my own.

I'll post another update as the weeks progress!

Back to the Ice Cave

Since Mendenhall Lake is nice and frozen and somewhat 'safe' for venturing across, a few friends and I decided to hike out to the ice caves both Monday and Tuesday. The ice cave, known as Brown's Ice Cave, has been there for a number of years, and let me tell you... it is surreal how amazing it is in there. There is some risk involved, especially getting to it from walking across the frozen lake. When there's snow and ice on the ground, walking across the lake is certainly the safer option compared to hiking West Glacier Trail to the cave.

That trail is pretty gnarly in the summertime, and trying to navigate it covered in snow and ice is super risky. I suppose if you had ice cleats, rope, a harness, and ice pick, and a crew of knowledgeable fellow hikers it wouldn't be that bad, but that gear is a bit pricey. I'll take my chances crossing the lake :)

Once in the cave, there's the risk of it collapsing under it's own weight at any moment. The way I see it, if it's been there for years and years, and it happens to collapse the very moment in time that I decide to explore it's glory, then it must just be my time to journey into the afterlife. No doubt that one day it will eventually collapse, I just hope no poor soul is in there when it happens. It is without a doubt one of the earth's most beautiful places. Being under a glacier, surrounded by ancient ice is something most people only dream of experiencing. The brilliant blue glow of the cave is almost hypnotizing... the energy of that cave can't be put into words.

I'm super thankful to have ventured into the cave three times now, and walked out alive and happy. The snow is almost too deep to make it out there again until summer, but you better believe I'll be back.

Here are a few photos from that adventure. You can see the entire album HERE on my Facebook page.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sandy Sunrise

Dustin left for work a little after 7 this morning, so I decided to get up and take a stroll down to Sandy Beach to catch the sunrise since it was a clear morning. Man oh man am I glad I did! It was SO beautiful. One of the most beautiful sunrises I've EVER seen. I'm not real sure what time this happened. I know I started walking towards the beach around 8, and the colors really started popping a few minutes after I got down there. The colors didn't last long though. 5-10 minutes at the most, then faded to a dull orange. After I got a few photos and I couldn't feel my fingers anymore, I headed back home. 

Raw Berry 'Cheesecake'

So I was browsing raw food recipes the other day and stumbled upon this gem: Raw Cashew Dreamcake

It looks like a cheesecake. It tastes like a cheesecake. But it's totally healthy and best of all, it's RAW, which means all those good enzymes and vitamins from the ingredients don't get destroyed from being exposed to heat. If you're not familiar with raw food, do a little research. Ever since I came across my first raw food website I've been hooked ever since, trying different recipes and trying to incorporate more raw foods into my diet. Going on a 100% raw food diet will cure practically any disease, illness, even cancer with time. It's the way nature intended on humans to get nutrients. 

Anyways, I can go on and on about how awesome a raw food diet is, but I'll let you discover that on your own. I would love to be able to go 100% raw, but it's something you have to incorporate over time. Most people who jump in head first never stick with it. There are plenty of foods that I would miss (hello, mac and cheese?!), so right now I'm just trying to eat as much raw food as possible and leave it at that! :)

Here is the recipe for my raw 'cheesecake' that I made last night!

To make the crust:
  • 1/2 cup pecans (you can use almonds or walnuts as well)
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • pinch of sea salt
Add all ingredients into a high speed blender (I used my Ninja, but a Vitamix or Blendtec is recommended) and blend until it's combined well and sticky enough that you can make a little ball and it won't fall apart. I soaked my dates for about an hour to soften them up for better blending.
Press the crust into a pie pan.
I had to use an oval dish because I still have my raw pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving!

It should look like this:

To make the filling:
  • 1 1/2 cup cashews 
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted
  • 1 whole vanilla bean or 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup berries of choice
Combine all ingredients except the berries into a blender and blend until very smooth. I soaked my cashews overnight for better blending. 
Pour about 2/3 of the mixture into the crust and smooth it out with a spatula. 
Add the berries to the remaining 1/3 of the cashew filling and blend until smooth. You can use any type of berries you like. I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

Pour berry mixture onto first layer of filling. 

Place in freezer until solid. It took mine about 2 hours. 

Let it set out a few minutes to soften a bit before slicing (heating a knife under hot water helps with slicing).

Store any leftovers in the freezer.

Enjoy your healthy, nutritious 'dessert'! 

Soaked cashews ready for blending. Don't forget to drain before blending!

Lemon gettin' juicy!

Vanilla bean cut up, ready for blending

Coconut oil is amazing!

I used this, but raw honey is ideal.

All blended up!

'Cheesecake' layer

Berry layer

Before going in the freezer.

After 2 hours in the freezer

Final product! Yum Yum!!

Well guys, there you have it. This is how I made mine. It's so easy and SO good.

I have no clue on the nutritional info, but as you can see, there's nothing unhealthy in this dessert. If you have a nut allergy, then this is definitely not for you! It's dairy free, raw, and could easily be make vegan if you substituted the honey with Stevia or other vegan sweetener of choice.  I think the honey helps with the texture, so keep that in mind.

If you make this, let me know how it goes!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunday Shreddin'

Our instructor training got cancelled yesterday, so we decided to go shredding anyways! Dustin, Niles, Susan, and Lisa joined me for a stroll up Eaglecrest to get some good turns in. This was the second time using my Burton Spliff splitboard, and man oh man is that thing fun! I was worried about the float, since it's short for a split, but I guess Burton's 'nug reduction' technology works pretty well afterall. Although the fresh layer wasn't that deep, only a few inches, I could tell it will float just fine through the waist deep shred days ahead of me this season. It's getting easier going uphill in split mode. I've conquered some pretty steep pitches without my Sparks skins failing me. Only one tumble so far, but that was my bad technique at fault. I can't wait for the shred adventures this winter! I really wish Dustin had one too. If Santa is anywhere reading this post, then you know what I want most for Christmas... a split for my man! :) Oh, and lots of snow if you can make that happen too :)

I GoPro'd the ride down, but I was just holding it in my hand so pretty much all the footage is worthless for a video. My goal today is to hopefully get a few decent still shots out of it. I lost my one and only attachment clip for my GoPro, so I can't attach it to my telescoping pole I use most often.

I got a few photos to share though!