Fast Food: 3 Ingredient Healthy Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies

Have you ever been tempted to eat cookies for breakfast? Well, now you can with all the chewy goodness and none of the guilt. Or even better, you can trick your kids into eating oatmeal.

All you need for these Fall inspired Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies is three ingredients, an overripe banana, canned pumpkin, and quick oats. We recommend sneaking in a few chocolate chips and cinnamon, but additional mix ins are up to you!

Try reaching for a couple of these cookies before you go for the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte for your Fall pumpkin fix. A standard size clocks in at 380 calories and almost 50 grams of sugar. Enjoy two of these cookies for about 200 calories, only 22 grams of sugar, and lots of slow absorbing carbs to keep you full for your run.

cookies-snall

Ingredients

1 ripe banana

1/3 cup canned pumpkin (can substitute with an additional banana)

1 cup quick oats

Optional: Chocolate chips, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, raisins, dried cranberries, peanut butter, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, pinch of salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place banana in a large mixing bowl. Mash with a fork until large chunks are blended. Add canned pumpkin and mix. Add oats and mixed until well blended. Mixture should be thick, wet, and sticky. Add more canned pumpkin if too dry, or more oats if too wet. Add in optional mix ins and stir. Grease baking sheet. Roll dough into 8 individual balls, and flatten to desired cookie shape. Pack tightly to avoid breakage. Bake for 15 minutes.

 

 

Turia Pitt’s Success at Kona

I really feel so bloody proud of myself! Kona was so brutal, and I’m totally ecstatic to have finished. It was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve taken on – the wild heat, the humidity, the powerful crosswinds that almost push your bike off course.

It was far from the perfect race – the heat got to me, I couldn’t keep any food or drink down, I battled a headwind for 90 km… so much of the day did not go as planned and I had to dig deep and then keep on digging, even when I was certain there was nothing left to give.

turia-resized-2

Over the fourteen and a half hours of my race, I battled these conflicting thoughts. It was like every lesson about overcoming pain and challenging myself came out to be tested. I had moments of sheer euphoria and intense pain. I compared myself to others on the race and I wanted to give up more times than I’d probably like to admit.

But then I’d find a way to come back to myself and focus on the path ahead of me. It was in those moments that the race became achievable.

It’s interesting because the theme of this World Championship was Kupa’a – a Hawaiian word that means being steadfast and focused, being true to your journey and your surroundings. I heard Mark Allen, six-time World Champion, speak about Kupa’a last week. He spoke about turning your focus away from the other competitors so that you can remain steady and focused on your own race. He spoke about being loyal to what surrounds you – accepting the heat and the wind and embracing that as part of the experience.

So, for every challenge, for every moment I wanted to give in and give up, I came back to kupa’a.

It’s not like there was this one big decision to just be focused the whole time. It was this back and forth struggle between negative distraction and positive progress all day.

I think that’s why I’m so proud of myself. Not because it was a perfect race or a personal best, because it was neither. I’m proud because I kept fighting to have kupa’a. I fought all the way to that finish line and that feels damn good.

Quit Your Job and Travel

HOKA Athlete Jen Benna is known for dominating in the ultra world. She’s had podium finishes at almost every ultra she has run in the last 4 years, most recently including a 3rd place finish at Leadville Trail 100.

This year, Jen made a big change in her work, family life, and training. She took the leap to quit her full time job to focus on the more important things in life. The first step was packing her life into a camper and moving to Alaska for the first stop on her journey. Jen says the hardest part was making the decision to do it, and seems to have no regrets since. We sat down with Jen to learn more about this huge lifestyle change and the incredible positive impact it has had on her and her family.

ultra-lifeHOKA: What made you finally make the decision to quit your job and start traveling with your family?

Benna: I don’t think changing my lifestyle happened overnight. But certainly there were a few wakeup calls that pushed me to rethink what I was doing with my time, my life, my family and why. There’s always been a wanderlust in my blood. A desire to not stand still, to be in nature, in new places and to share them with my children and my husband. But as time went on, I was feeling so confined within a corporate job and only getting a few weeks of the year to travel. I kept thinking is this it? Is this all we get? I mean, I was so grateful to have a great job and to provide for my family, but I was getting a feeling that I needed to take a break. Then, my little brother passed away very tragically and we had been dealing with ongoing health issues after my daughter’s surgery and ICU for over a year. The stars really aligned and the universe was telling me- it’s time, it’s time to go. You can work your whole life, but you may never get another chance to go do something big like this anytime soon. My whole life had changed and I knew it was time. So we went.

HOKA: What was the biggest thing that held you back from doing something like this earlier? How did you get past it?

Benna: I think particularly in the US, in our culture, work is king. You go to school so you can get a job, to make money, to provide for yourself, for your family. I always bought into that. It was what defined me coming out of college. Work hard, find a great job, do something good and take the time you get for vacation and make the most of it. I have always had a strong work ethic and I never thought I could ever leave a job to do something that on the surface seemed so wild, so irresponsible, so different from our cultural norms. And to do it with a family? I never thought it was possible, even though I dreamed about it for years. 

I finally stopped caring what everyone thought. I knew my husband and I were resourceful, had saved enough to be frugal and that jobs could come in the future. But time would never come back to me. I could never get back my children’s youth and the time with them was worth sacrificing, living simply and stepping out of the comforts we got so used to.

back

HOKA: What lifestyle changes were a part of this decision?

Benna: The most important thing we had to do was to decide it was possible. To change our mindset. Then the lifestyle changes could happen. To budget, to save, starting with basics such as not eating out very much or shopping only for necessities. The other major part was just getting used to not being on the phone, email or working so much. It was really hard at first. I wanted to check my phone, to call my co-workers, clients, etc. because I have worked almost continuously since I was 14 years old. Then I realized I can breathe, I can not feel guilty about being with my kids or not working. It took a complete mental overhaul. 

HOKA: What was your favorite part about Alaska?

Benna: Alaska was our choice because of how far out there, how wild it really is. We spent almost 4 months there minus my time training and racing in Leadville for the LT100. So it’s really hard to pick my favorite place, but a few moments really standout. Taking a 6 hour bus ride into the backcountry with just what we could carry on our backs to camp at Wonder Lake was a standout. As we camped out in subfreezing temps, I read my children Dr. Seuss in our tent, snuggled up, surrounded by blueberry bushes and the Alaska range. We loaded the kids into our running stroller and ran long distances amongst majestic moose, caribou, and grizzlies. Because of weather we had waited all summer to see Mt Denali and on the last day, the 20,320 foot peak came into view. I have never been so in awe in my life. Denali changed us. It seeps into your mind, it creates a desire to be near it, to stand on it, to respect the mountain. It capped off the most wonderful experience for our family.

I also ran the Historic 33 mile Chilkoot trail, which in the late 1890’s was the back breaking mountain crossing to the Klondike gold fields in Dawson City. Brave gold seekers traversed the “Golden Stair Case” on foot, by sled and hand made boats.  Many people perished on that trail and it brought a whole new perspective to running. I ran the trail in about 8:00 flat and without intention, later found that I had set a fastest known time on the trail for females. It was the most pure line through the mountains I have ever run. Combined with so much history and with only brutal wilderness surrounding, it was perhaps the highlight of my time running in Alaska.

trail

HOKA: Where will you be traveling next? How did you choose your locations?

Benna: After many short trips to Spain, we fell in love with the country, the people, the mountains and the culture. I think that’s where we will spend our late winter and spring.  

We have to be realistic about how many places we can travel with our two young kids. We have to figure in adequate time in each place to let the kids acclimate, to not feel rushed and to be rested. We don’t want to hurry. So less is more for us. If we get to know a few places really well and we feel like locals, then the goal is achieved. 

HOKA: How long do you plan on maintaining this lifestyle?

Benna: If I could find a way to support our family with this lifestyle I think we could do it for a long time. It’s nice to have a home base and to know it’s there when we need it, but I could see us traveling for many months of each year. Of course, the challenge is figuring out financially how to do that. So we know it might not last for a really long time and we are prepared for that. But in either case, we have gained a new perspective that puts family, health, marriage, travel and purpose over seeking endless financial riches. With these new priorities, our lifestyle will never be the same no matter how we end up supporting ourselves.

HOKA: What is the biggest challenge of this lifestyle? What is the biggest benefit?

Benna: The biggest challenge is being in new places and having to figure out your bearings. The logistics of traveling with kids so young (2 and 6) can be challenging. What might look to be a 4 hour drive can quickly turn into 8 with stops, temper tantrums, and food needs. Patience and letting go of control over that is the only way this life works. Being a great mom is always the priority- not the travel itinerary. 

The biggest benefit is the absolute freedom we have. We homeschool our older child and we do her school work from mountain vistas or from our camper or from picnic tables. There is no set place- no conformity. She is learning as much as in traditional schooling but we are adding in so much about what we are seeing and experiencing that its a robust education for her. We are so simple and inspired in what we see and do each day that at night we are absolutely spent. I have never felt my heart so full.

cave

HOKA: How has your training been influenced by this lifestyle?

Benna: Alaska in particular has reinvigorated my running in a way I can’t fully express. The mountains there are unlike anything we have in the lower 48. I once spent 5 hours to cover 15 miles with Geoff Roes and his Juneau running friends, only to have to glissade down several thousand foot snow fields in a whiteout, hoping we weren’t too close to the cliff face somewhere below us. I started to learn how to really run technical terrain and there weren’t a lot of runs that were without major views, clean and cold mountain air, lots of rain and the chance a grizzly could be really close by.

But in general, I was able to really put in the work this summer for Leadville more than I could before. I had hiccups, sure, but I could finally justify being out there more. I also was able to take more time for prehab, PT work and the little things that add up to putting forward your best foot come race day.

shoe

HOKA: What is your next big race? What are your expectations for it?

Benna: I’m leaning towards jumping into the mix at the North Face Endurance Championship 50 in San Francisco this December with the intention that it will make me work hard for my real first A goal race next year- Transgrancanaria 125k in late February. I really don’t expect anything for TNF50 other than it will be really fast, always a deep field in one of my favorite places to run, the Marin Headlands. I think this summer and even Leadville taught me that I only race well when I am really in love with the course and the race. I loved Leadville with such a passion that finishing on the podium was just icing on the cake. So no more racing just to race. If I toe the line, I expect to compete with passion.

HOKA: How do you think this lifestyle will influence the people your children grow up to be?

Benna: Our young children are one of the major reasons we took a leap of faith to change our life. They are growing up so fast and I want to give them a basis of simplicity in such an overwhelmingly technology driven world. Not having any internet nor TV was a blessing this summer. Instead the kids enjoyed making friends, hiking and riding bikes at remote campgrounds. I understand that technology has it’s place in modern society but the foundation of who they are should be more simple than that. I want to give them mountains, camping, hiking, respecting our land as something that grounds them growing up. 

dinner

HOKA: What does your daily life look like now?

Benna: My life is a lot more unstructured and less rushed than ever before. We prioritize my daughter’s learning, my running, good eating and resting more than we ever have before. I actually am reading books for fun now- which is something I never ever had time for. Sleep is really important and I think I am making up for the past 5 years of not really sleeping much. With two kids however, we are so busy I wonder how I was able to work full time, run so much and be a mom.  I am a happier person not being so stressed out.

HOKA: What advice do you have for someone considering to make a big change like this one?

Benna: To really think about life as if you have already lived it. Will not changing your life cause you regret? Will you always wonder- what if I listened to my heart and went for it? In the end, if the answer is yes, than you should make the changes that will allow you to follow your dreams and everything else will fall into place. 

A HOKA Athlete’s Journey Coming Out

In 2013, HOKA Athlete Matt Llano made history by coming out as the distance running world’s first openly gay professional runner. As a member of Northern Arizona Elite, Matt raced in the Olympic Marathon Trials this year and has his eyes set on a podium and a PR at the upcoming New York City Marathon. Since coming out, Matt has made his mark in the running world, no longer letting the pressure of secrets hold him back. Today marks the 28th anniversary of National Coming Out Day. Here is Matt’s story.

matt-shoes

HOKA: What were your biggest fears in coming out to your family and teammates?

Llano: My biggest fear in coming out to my family, friends, and teammates, was that I would be rejected and ostracized for finally acknowledging this part of myself. When you hide who you are behind a wall for 21+ years, your mind can kind of play tricks on you. I legitimately believed that some of the people I was closest to would stop speaking to me and cut me out of their lives. It’s silly looking back on it now – I grew up surrounded by so much love and compassion, yet somehow deep down I thought I would lose all of that in an instant. 

matt-llano-running

HOKA: What advice do you have for people who are struggling to come out?

Llano: This may not seem very easy, but my best piece of advice is to find someone – anyone – you feel comfortable coming out to, and tell them. The words may come easily, or you may find yourself choking back a river of tears, but it is worth struggling through and getting it out. I found that there’s a snowball effect that makes it easier and easier each time you do it. 

HOKA: Why do you feel like it was important to come out publicly within your running career?

Llano: I saw athletes coming out in other sports (Robbie Rogers in soccer, Jason Collins in basketball, Tom Daley in diving, etc.), and noticed a void in the running community. If I’d had a role model in my sport to look up to when I was young, it literally could have changed my life. I felt a responsibility to be the role model I never had. 

matt-stretching

HOKA: How has your life changed since coming out? How did it affect your running?

Llano: Immediately after coming out, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Being in the closet was holding me back, both on a personal level and in running. I lacked confidence in myself, and that permeated every aspect of my life. Coming out changed that, and while I’m still not where I’d like to be on that front, I’m a heck of a lot closer now than I ever was before.

HOKA: How has the running world received you as an athlete who is gay? Do you feel like you have been able to inspire progress or help others by coming out?

Llano: Aside from a few nasty messages I received at first, I’ve been very well accepted in the running community. I receive private messages on social media all the time of people reaching out and expressing my positive impact on their lives. It’s humbling, and it makes me so grateful that I took the leap when I did. My only regret is that I didn’t come out and tell my story sooner. 

HOKA: In Rio this year, there were a record 11 openly gay male Olympians, and none of them are American. What is your reaction to this?

Llano: Obviously I was really hoping to be the 12th openly gay male Olympian, but unfortunately it didn’t come together for me this time around. I think all of the openly gay athletes in Rio are helping to show that we’re just like everyone else – we can like sports and be involved in them at every level, from high school athletics to the Olympic Games. It’s really important to be having this dialogue and hopefully inspiring the next generation of LGBT youth to chase after whatever dreams they may have.

HOKA: What are your hopes for New York Marathon this year?

Llano: My goal is to get on the podium in NYC next month, and nab the top-American spot as well. I’ve had a pretty rough 2016 so far, but things have actually been looking up lately, so I’m hoping to ride that wave of momentum through November 6th. Despite missing several months of training earlier this year, I’ve been hitting workouts like never before and running more mileage, and my body seems to be absorbing it like a sponge. It would also be nice to come away with a new personal best – even though NYC isn’t known for being a fast course, I’m definitely in PR-shape, so it’ll be interesting to see how the race plays out.

Meet HOKA Athlete Heather Jackson

HOKA athlete Heather Jackson made her IRONMAN Kona debut just last year, yet she finished as the top American female. She placed 5th overall, making a huge come back on the run leg of the race. This time around, Heather is a favorite to head to the podium. She has proven her dominance in the 70.3 distance since switching from Princeton hockey player to pro triathlete, winning IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur D’Alene and IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside twice. Heather’s training focus transitioned to the full IRONMAN distance this year, and her eyes are set on a big win at Kona.

heather-smaller

Heather is easy to spot on the course. If you don’t catch her Pink inspired hair cut (her favorite music artist), distinctive tattoos, or HOKA Clayton racing shoes, you can be sure to see her rocking a Wattie Ink speedsuit. Wattie Ink is co-owned by Heather and her husband Sean Watkins, who she feels lucky to have as her top supporter, training partner, and manager.

One of our favorite parts about Heather is how she dreams big in all aspects of her life, and seems endlessly interested in mastering new things. She says that if she wasn’t a triathlete, she would attempt to be a pro snowboarder. Leave it to the triathlete to be great at every sport she tries! However, Heather can also admit her short comings, claiming she would be a rock star performing with Pink if she wasn’t tone deaf. For now, she’ll settle for being one of the fiercest competitors in triathlon, and fitting in some quality rest time while she’s not training. Specifically, sitting on the couch with an ice cold IPA and laughing at kitten videos.

HOKA ONE ONE wishes the best of luck to Heather and our other athletes competing at Kona, including Kevin Collington, Luke McKenzie, and Leanda Cave.