Monday, April 28, 2014

MEX Strummer

Mr. Guaranteed Personality finished up his MEX this past Saturday.  This is DOCNA's Championship Title, like ADCH or MACH.

Obligatory photo with judge

Crazy Pants did not want to sit still for the camera.  Crazy Pants doesn't want to sit still for much of anything.  In fact he broke his start line first class of the morning on Sunday and I marched him out of the ring for the first time ever.  In fact it's the first time I've ever marched a dog out of the ring for anything.  Felt bad but his start line is beginning to erode and I can't have that.  I wondered if he understood why he was leaving but he held his start perfectly for his next two runs and at the practice jump so I guess it was the thing to do.

His final MEX run was an uninspiring Standard run, I saw the judge's arm go up for the dogwalk so I thought we had a fault and decided to experiment with rear crossing the weaves which did not go well but is not a fault in DOCNA.  It wasn't until I was leashing up Strummer that I happened to hear the scribe question the judge about the dogwalk and found out Strum did get a rear foot in and the judge took back the fault so we were clean.  Then there was the horrifying leap from the apex of the down ramp of the dogwalk on his victory lap.  The best part of the video is Strummy's training partner sticking his nose through the fencing at the end to congratulate him.  I put his NAC run on the video as well since it was a fun run and fast.  He dropped the last bar probably because it was a double heading into a congested area where equipment was stacked against a wall.  I think he just balked a little jumping into it.  But it's still a Q in the NAC and he ended up in 1st.

NAC and Standard MEX run
Strummer's MEX Run and NAC from colliebrains on Vimeo.

It was a tiring trial even though I'd only signed up for 3 runs per day because I'd had 4 straight days of mountain biking in Eagle and Fruita (over 4 hours drive) before the trial.  We were having our roof replaced and I thought it would be best all the way around if we took a mini vacation.  Of course roof had some major issues and they ran a half day late but dogs were mostly o.k. today with the noise and people.  Tomorrow we start with the re-tile of the bathroom project which will be super fun since it's our only bathroom.  Thankfully the Rec Center is only 5 minutes away and I can shower there but sheesh what a pain.

Now to recover for USDAA Regionals starting on Friday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pizza Night

I'm not known for my cooking skills.  In fact quite the opposite.  But I'm learning.  Wednesday night is usually pizza night and by that I mean frozen pizza night.  But since I've given up wheat this also means I've given up regular pizza crust which means pizza night gets really weird.  And by that I mean I end up chopping up a plate of lettuce for myself and removing the sauce and cheese from the pizza and putting it on the lettuce.  Lettuce pizza.  I wish I was joking about this.  Jonny usually does the cooking.  Or the Indian restaurant on the other side of town.

But as fate would have it I accidentally requested the 'Wheat Belly Cookbook' from the library rather than just the plain old 'Wheat Belly' book and when I picked it up after waiting weeks for it I was extremely irritated with myself for the oversight.  But I'd gone to the hassle of braving downtown traffic and the sea of homeless people who form a moat of not such good smells at the entrance to the library and there were actual cops so who knows what was going on in the library this time (the state of the Boulder library is very sad making but that's a post for another day) so I figured I should at least check out some of the recipes.  And wow, so much delicious stuff in there and all of it easy, less than 30 minutes mostly.  A perfect book of delicious food for the culinarily challenged.

I started last week with wheat free pizza made from a crust of almond flour, coconut flour, flax seed, egg and cheese.  I can't put the exact recipe from the book because duh but if you go to YouTube and search for 'wheat free pizza' (or gluten free or paleo or whatever) a similar recipe and explanation will come up.  But so easy, even I could do it.  And no dogs got drunk this time and nearly had to go to rehab which is not something I can say about the last time I attempted pizza crust.

The crust looked like this:

And the finished pizza?  So much deliciousness.

Spinach and mushroom

And so filling.  I was full after 2 slices and forced down a third because I was in some serious calorie deficit already.  So much tastier and hearty than regular pizza crust.

That was last Wednesday.  And tonight?  Cauliflower pizza crust.  This time I used a recipe I saw on YouTube.

Again, so easy.  And again, no drunk dogs.

The crust.  Should have cooked it a little longer.  I'm never sure how to adjust for altitude until I try cooking something the first time and I prefer stuff undercooked to burned.

Spinach, mushrooms and onions this time.

Once again, very delicious, much tastier than bread crust but not as similar to bread crust texture-wise as the almond flour crust.  Definitely not as filling as the almond flour crust either, I easily ate half the pizza but I'd  hardly eaten at all today and had gone riding earlier so I was on the hungry side.  Jonny better hope he gets home from riding soon or I'm might tear into his half.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bulletproof Coffee - Mocha Style

Butter in my coffee?  I've been experimenting with so called 'Bullet Proof Coffee' which is coffee plus butter (grass fed or pastured) plus coconut or MCT oil mixed up in a blender.  You can read more about it here.  Some of the alleged benefits include improved mental function, help with fat burning (if you're following a low carb/high fat diet) and appetite suppression which is helpful for intermittent fasting.  My interest in it is a possible pre-race concoction to boost race day performance though the creator of the stuff doesn't necessarily promote it for that.

In addition, the creator sells his own 'upgraded coffee' which supposedly doesn't make you as jittery and icky feeling as regular coffee can and also supposedly doesn't make you have to pee as much or as urgently because allegedly it has less mycotoxins than regular coffee, even the fancy pants stuff.  He also sells his own 'upgraded brain octane oil' that is supposedly 18x stronger than coconut oil and purports to reduce brain fog, increase brain power and give you fast energy.  Now believe me, I know all about marketing.  More than I wish I knew.  I was plenty cynical about the claims.  But I was interested to give his stuff a try nonetheless.  I had no MCT oil and Jonny was out of coffee so may as well.

It did not go well at first to put it mildly.  Apparently at first I made the coffee too strong for what I can tolerate caffeine-wise and I felt very very bad for about 3 hours.  Heart racing, jittery, unable to think or do much of anything, pretty much the opposite of what I was hoping for.  But I put this down to user error.  I don't tolerate caffeine very well and I had no idea that the recommended amount would be too much for me.  So I kept cutting back the amount of beans I used and I started adding my own stuff to it.  First some almond/coconut milk with a dash a half and half and then some unsweetened cocoa until finally I had the almost perfect concoction - Bulletproof Mocha.  I say almost perfect because between the weak coffee and all the added stuff I now hardly feel any positive effect from the coffee.  So I may try to make it just a wee bit stronger and see what happens.  In any case, my new concoction is amazingly delicious and a solution to my love of mochas but intolerance of sugar.

The only downside is, wow, this is ridiculously complicated for first thing in the morning before I've had my caffeine.  This is all the stuff you need, not including a teapot and one or two pots.

I need some bulletproof mocha before I can make my bulletproof mocha.

Here is my recipe.

2 non-heaping tablespoons of upgraded coffee, ground very fine (this is weak, 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons are recommended but that was WAY too strong for me)

1-2 tablespoons grass fed or pastured butter or ghee

3/4 tablespoon upgraded MCT oil (working my way up to 2 tablespoons)

8 ounces boiled water for coffee

6 ounces or so almond/coconut milk blend plus splash of half and half or heavy cream

1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Before I start gathering and preparing everything I put a teapot of water on to boil and when it's done I put it in the blender to heat up the blender and keep it warm.

I heat up the almond/coconut milk and gradually add the cocoa.  Make sure a skin doesn't form because ewww, gross.  Of course you can use milk or cream or whatever you like or skip it altogether and just put the cocoa in the blender with the coffee.

Once you've got the coffee made however you like to make it (I use a pour over filter thingy because I don't know how to work the coffee maker and sheesh, already too much with the equipment and gizmos) and the milk/cocoa heated you simply pour the heated water out of the blender and add coffee, milk/cocoa mixture, butter and MCT oil then blend for about 30 secs.

Kind of a big hassle but mmmmmmm, so worth it.

And of course you can add sugar to taste and make whip cream if you want a real mocha.  I would have loved to have had whip cream this morning but sheesh that's another project and my stand mixer is so heavy to drag out and lift from the ground floor cabinet.  And really it was super tasty enough as it was.

Even better on a snowy April Sunday morning with one of my bestest buds for company (Jonny missed all the fun because at 6:30 in the morning he walked up to the local coffee shop in a snowstorm to watch a soccer game.  Because he might be a little bit touched in the head).

No I did not share it with him.  The last thing that dog needs is caffeine on a snowy day when he's cooped up inside.

I'll get off of food and back on to dogs and triathlon soon, just bogged down with important life type stuff.  But I've got 2 trials coming up in the next few weeks, one of them being Regionals and I've started working with a triathlon coach for the first time ever in my life and I'll write a bit about that too.