Smoothie Recipe: Don’t try this at home.

I’ve been experimenting with smoothies recipes lately.  The key word there is “experimenting”.

Today I thought I would try to re-create the flavor of my Blueberry Banana Blaster muffins. How hard could it be? Blueberries, bananas, and bran were the easy part.  I opted to use orange juice for liquid.  I had All Bran Buds so I used them.

The result? It was really thick. The first few mouthfuls were intriguing enough that I thought I liked it.  It was mildly flavoured with just a little sweetness.  I proceeded to drink half of it and then it hit me:  Ew.  Not good!  I tidied up my mess and when I went to dispose of the remains down the drain, the leftovers plopped into the sink in a congealed mass that had the imprint of the cup in it (like really thick yogurt).  My guess is that the bran swelled which caused the consistency to change.  The thought of that made my gut swell, I swear!  Here’s the recipe below, just so you know what not to make!
1/4 cup all bran buds
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1 banana

Looks pretty good eh?  Yeah, just remember: looks can be deceiving!


Human Cheese aka Recycling Breast Milk

Human Cheese.  Cheese made from breast milk.  Read that again.  Say it out loud.  What do you think?  Do you cringe?  Wrinkle your nose?  Smile?  Maybe you wonder what it tastes like.

When I first heard of making cheese from human breast milk I shook my head and dismissed it as a chef’s experimental fancy.  I didn’t really have a visceral reaction to it.  I read this post on the Globe‘s website and the thought of human milk as a sustainable food source brought out a much stronger response.

Eating human cheese.  My initial reaction to this was:  No way.  Gross.  Ewww.  That’s just wrong.

Evolution being what it is, my brain kept working.

Why though?  Why would it be wrong?  Because there’s something cannibalistic about it.  But wait.  I nursed both my kids.  Does that make them cannibals?  No.  Okay so that string of logic isn’t so logical.  Why is it so easy to accept the idea of eating cow’s milk products and so difficult to warm to the idea of human milk products?

After a few days thought and a handful of conversations about human cheese, I’ve given up trying to explain my aversion to the notion of eating the ultimate in all natural organic cheese.  What I’ve become more fascinated by is the marketplace that has developed for the sale/purchase of breast milk.  A quick search uncovers several websites devoted to classified ads where an ounce of milk sells for anywhere from $1 to $3.  One company has already been created to re-sell the milk.  They pasteurize it and test it for disease/bacteria and then turn around and sell it at a mark-up.  I’m more averse to this commercialization of breast milk than I am to the idea of eating human cheese.

Food for thought.

Recipe: Post-Run Smoothie (Robcoat)

I was cold this morning when I returned from my run.  I was also hungry and sweaty.  I felt an urgent need to eat/shower/get warm simultaneously.  My solution?  Make a smoothie and drink most of it on my way up to the shower.  This one hit the spot  so I thought I would share.

Robcoat smoothie

(get it? Rasberries, Orange juice, Banana, Cranberry, OATmeal.  Lame, I know.  But trust me, you’ll remember it!)

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 banana
1/4 cup oatmeal (uncooked!)

I tossed it all into the container that came with my Braun hand mixer, gave it a few pulses and voila: breakfast in a jiffy.

For all the nutrient-oriented readers out there, here’s the scoop on this:

Total Calories: 307

  • Fat = 3 g
  • Protein= 8 g
  • Carbohydrates = 63 g
  • Fibre = 9 g
  • Sugar = 3 g
  • Calcium = 55 mg
  • Iron = 3 mg
  • Sodium = 6 mg

Nutrient analysis performed using AccuChef Software

Gear Review: Sugoi Firewall 220 Zip Jacket

Sugoi Firewall 220 Zip

Sugoi Firewall 220 Zip

I was the fortunate recipient of a Sugoi Firewall 220 Zip jacket for my birthday. Lucky for me, my birthday is in January so I was able to don that baby and try it out almost immediately.  Being me, I had to eat my birthday cake first.

We’ve been blessed with very cold temperatures lately and it’s provided ample sample temperatures to test out the Zip. I’ve used it in temps ranging from -2°C to a -17°C windchill. The only complaint so far? I’ve been too warm!


Extra long sleeves: At first, I thought the jacket was made for someone with gorilla length arms. The sleeves actually extend past the length of my fingertips. A few questions and answers later and I’m told that Sugoi designed the sleeves this length because of the number of cyclists who use this model jacket. They pull the sleeves over their hands to add warmth when they ride.

Reflective Trim: Sleeves have a small band of it.  There’s a  Sugoi pattern on the back plus a band across the back.  It’s not a lot but it is enough to draw attention to you.

Pockets: Two external pockets that have seam-sealed zippers to keep rain/snow out.  Two internal pockets that don’t zip.   They’re basically made from the construction of the zippered pockets.

Fabric: The front, sleeves, shoulders and a piece at the back are constructed with the Firewall material.  That means water and wind repellent.  The remainder of the jacket is constructed with breathable fleece.

It’s winter and I live in Canada so I’ve been layering under the jacket.  Lately I’ve been wearing a Polar-tec turtleneck with one other layer, either a fleece or a dry-tech shirt.  For the -17°C windchill run (-12°C without the wind), I just wore the tneck and a vneck adidas long sleeve tech shirt.  The run was 6k and by the 3k mark, I had my jacket open and was feeling very warm.  Of course, the wind was at my back so that helped 🙂  The windproof fabric of the Firewall was appreciated on the return trip, with the wind hitting head-on.

At first, I thought the sleeve length would be a real problem.  They are THAT long.  I thought the bunching that occurs from pushing the sleeves up would be a problem but again, it hasn’t. Truth be told, I haven’t noticed them at all, other than to pull them down partway to add to the layers covering my hands.

The jacket has a fair amount of give to it; it’s quite stretchy.  That’s helpful if you bulk up with a lot of layers underneath it.  Be warned though.  If you do add a lot of layers, you’ll find out pretty quickly that you don’t need them.

I’m looking forward to a few really cold runs to see how this jacket performs.  Based on my experience with Sugoi tights (mid-zero and sub-zero), I’m sure I’ll be warm and toasty.

Here’s the tech speak for the fabric:

Sugoi S3+ Protection – a combination of layers that provide superior protection under the harshest of winter conditions.
· S1 Next to skin layer for moisture transfer
· S2 Ensures warmth in cold conditions
· S3 Provides protection against the elements
Fabric: Body 100% Polyester / Polyurethane Laminate, Contrast 88% Polyester, 12% Spandex

Fit: Relaxed

Features & Benefits:

Waterproof and windproof triple-layer fabric to protect you from the winter elements
Outer layer – high-gauge knit instead of a woven, which provides supple and quiet performance, no uncomfortable crunchy feel
Middle layer – extremely waterproof and windproof durable polyurethane film that breathes well while keeping you dry, warm and protected
Inner layer – honeycomb knit fabric which allows moisture to wick away from the body
Two front zip pockets to stow essentials
Full front zip, waterproof, with zip-guard to avoid chafing
Reflective detail thanks to 3M Scotchlite so you are visible in car headlights
Shaped longer at the back to keep you covered whilst on the move
Ergonomically shaped sleeve for great fit
Dual adjustable elastic cord to gather at the waist for your perfect fit

Update: Another run completed on a cold morning (-°C20/-26°C with the windchill) and again, I was toasty in my Firewall 220 Zip.  My face on the other hand, could have used a balaclava!

Sugoi Firewall 220 Zip in Action

Warm Torso, Cold Face!

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