“I grew up in Milwaukee. I woke up to the smell of beer brewing in the city and that was how normal fresh air smelled like. I guess it is only natural for me, after a day of running hard at altitude and in oxygen debt, I have some sort of natural inclination to crave a beer, my own fresh breath of air. It is an opportunity to unwind and get comfortable after a day of training.” – HOKA Athlete Lauren Kleppin
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Who doesn’t love avocados?
So why don’t we stick them together?
Alright, so we can admit that chocolate and avocado sounds like an odd combination. But trust us, this one really works.
When we were searching for healthy ways to indulge on National Chocolate Day, we found that avocado is just as good with chocolate as it is with guac…when you know what you’re doing. You’ll never guess that this green fruit (yes fruit) is hiding in your pie. It actually provides a lovely pudding like consistency.
Easy? Just blend and refrigerate.
Vegan? Yup (when you are selective about your chocolate and graham crackers).
Gluten Free? Not quite. Substitute the graham crackers for a nut of your choice if you would like it to be gluten free.
Don’t take our word for it, try it! Here is what you’ll need.
One sleeve graham crackers
5 pitted Medjool dates
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 large or 3 small avocados
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
5 pitted Medjool dates
Pinch of salt
Start by blending one sleeve of graham crackers in a food processor. Once finely crushed, add pitted dates and coconut oil. Pour crust filling into a round pie tin, and press into sides of the pan. Pack the crust tightly, then refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Rinse food processor. Blend avocados until smooth. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring occasionally to avoid burning (Recommended: 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds). Add melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt to the avocado. Blend until well combined. Add coconut oil and pitted dates to the mixture. Blend until mixture is smooth. Consistency should be thick. If it is not thick, add more dates and coconut oil.
Pour chocolate mixture into crust and spread. Let set in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving.
Eating breakfast is the most important way to start the day, but it is easy to skip when life gets hectic. Overnight oats allow you to do the work at night, so healthy breakfast is handy right when you wake up. The best part? Only 3 common household ingredients are necessary for overnight oats- rolled oats, your favorite milk (skim, almond, soy, etc.), and chia or flax seeds. The rest is up to what you are craving or what you have stocked in the pantry.
These oats are a great way to get in some carbs before your morning run, or quick way to refuel when you finish your work out and don’t have time to cook. Here’s how to make your old staple oatmeal breakfast into something new and exciting!
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia or ground flax seeds
1 cup of milk of choice
Start by mixing your base. Add all ingredients to a mason jar or other sealable container. If you like thicker oats, you can experiment with adding some yogurt or protein powder.
Choose your mix ins: Nut butter, cinnamon, honey, vanilla extract, nuts, dried fruit, frozen berries, frozen peaches, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, etc.
Get creative! Add as many as you like. Then, seal your jar and shake until well mixed. Refrigerate overnight (about 8 hours is ideal).
Toppings: sliced banana, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, etc.
After your oats have sat in the fridge overnight, re-mix with a spoon, then add fresh fruit as a topping. Banana is our favorite!
HOKA athlete Sage Canaday and his girlfriend Sandi have been searching for a veggie burger option that doesn’t suck. Their solution? Make your own. As a vegetarian ultra runner, Sage Canaday has done the experimenting for you. This recipe is Sage and Sandi’s favorite. Find a friend to make them with and you will hardly realize they took longer than grabbing the store bought version from the freezer. Or better yet, make a large batch so you can freeze some for later.
“Super Healthy Lentil- Bean Burgers”
1, 15 ounce can of lentils (drained)
1, 15 ounce can of black beans or kidney beans (you can also use lentils again) (also drain)
1/2 of an onion cut into chunks
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp soy sauce (or tamari sauce)
1/2 tsp paprika
1.5 cup quick cooking oats
Heat oven to 400, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Blend all ingredients except the oats in a food processor except for the oats. Transfer lentil-bean mixture to a large mixing bowl and then add oats. Stir until well mixed. Form into 8-10 patties and bake in oven for 15min. Then flip them and bake for another 10min.
Still hungry for a healthy vegan dessert? Sandi whipped up these Banana muffins with apples, oats and dates.
HOKA ONE ONE runner Sage Canaday, 30, is no stranger to winning ultramarathons: He’s claimed victories at the Tarawera, in New Zealand, and The North Face Endurance Challenge, among other prestigious races. Now the Boulder, CO resident has his sights on this weekend’s Western States Endurance Run in northern California. “Western States is considered the most competitive 100-mile ultra-distance race in the U.S.,” Canaday says. “I want to compete against the best ultra-runners out there.”
While Canaday is known for speed and his ability to charge on climbs, he’s also a vegetarian, much like seven-time Western States winner (and running legend) Scott Jurek.
We caught up with Canaday to talk about his diet and fueling strategy, and how it helps him fly across the miles (and keep his skin clear!).
HOKA: How long have you been vegetarian? And why the move toward veganism?
Canaday: I really made a concerted effort to go mostly plant-based vegan after being ovo-lacto vegetarian [able to eat dairy and eggs] for the past 29 years. My girlfriend Sandi along with some scientific studies helped sway me. I’ve been about 98% vegan for the past eight months or so. A few times when we travel or go out to eat, I might try something with cheese or eggs in it, but when eating at home we don’t purchase those products anymore.
HOKA: Have you noticed any changes with your body since going mostly vegan?
Canaday: I don’t really notice a huge difference from being a vegetarian. I’m able to easily stay at the same weight I was in high school though, and I can eat as much as I want. I’ve always been a pretty lean guy, but it’s easier to keep a low body fat percentage. The biggest overnight change was that when I eliminated dairy, my acne cleared up!
HOKA: Have you noticed any changes with your running and training?
Canaday: I seem to be able to recover from high mileage—like running over 100 miles a week—and intense long runs, faster. I’ve also never had an overuse injury from running.
HOKA: How do you maintain your diet while traveling for races or other reasons?
Canaday: Traveling presents some challenges at times, depending on the location. We usually bring a lot of snacks. Fruit and veggies can usually be found at local stores and markets, so we try to stock up on those as well. Beans and rice are also staples in our diet, and they can be found in most places. A lot of times we’ll have to search for the top plant-based restaurant if we go out to eat though!
HOKA: Generally speaking, what are some key snacks you keep handy to maintain high energy?
Canaday: Fruit is always key. It hydrates, provides carbs (think quick, natural sugars), and is chock full of antioxidants and vitamins.
HOKA: What will be your pre-race breakfast at the Western States?
Canaday: I usually keep things simple in the morning: a banana on some pieces of sourdough, or whole-grain bread with a generous amount of almond butter. I drink quite a bit of plain coffee and water as well.
HOKA: Speaking of the race: Which shoes will you wear?
Canaday: I’m going to start of with the HOKA Speedgoats for the high alpine running and rocky trails, and then switch into the Claytons for the second half of the race. [Author’s note: The Western States course transitions from technical mountain terrain early in the race to more runnable, smooth trails in its latter stages.]