Summer Runner Smoothie

by Alexandra London-Gross on July 17, 2014

in Drink, Food

Of course the day that I sit down to write this post, it isn’t 90 degrees with 90% humidity in Virginia. While I am thoroughly enjoying this “cold” spell, the return of southern summers isn’t too far away.

I’ve struggled to find a breakfast that is quick and easily digestible before morning runs. The 4:30am alarm is not so enjoyable but it’s also the only way to get food in my stomach and a few miles before the heat becomes unbearable. I also really don’t want to think that early in the morning.

I finally put two of my favorite breakfasts together for a quick hit of carbs that doesn’t leave me feeling weighed down. Overnight oats in a smoothie.

Summer Runner SmoothieThe night before prep the oats. I like 1/4 cup whole oats (not quick cooking), 1 tsp ground flax, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk. Add it all to your blender and place it in the fridge over night. In the morning add 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 banana, 1 date, 1/2 additional liquid (I use either coconut water or more almond milk). Blend it all up and your breakfast is set!

Summer Runner Smoothie

This is also a great post-run smoothie. My stomach is way happier having everything blended up than a bowl of oatmeal to digest. It’s still a great hit of complex and simple carbs to keep me energized during sweaty runs.


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Accidental Vegan Baking

by Alexandra London-Gross on July 10, 2014

in Food, Recipe

Some of my baking experiments turn into accidental vegan recipes. I remember struggling for so long to transition recipes into gluten-free substitutes. It took a while just to figure out how to use gluten-free flour blends. Then I was challenged to make both gluten-free and vegan desserts. This was easy as long as everything was raw (think lots of nuts and dried fruit), but baking was a whole other obstacle. Over time I’ve expanded my comfort zone and now have pretty much figured out the basic components to gluten-free and vegan baking. I wanted to make a quick breakfast or snack for this week without involving a trip to the grocery store.

Breakfast cookies to the rescue. Vegan, gluten-free and free of refined sugar. Easy peasy.

Banana Blueberry Breakfast Cookies (vegan, gf)

This is a true use what’s in the pantry recipe. Banana blueberry muffins are my favorite combo, so I thought this would be a fun muffin top type of cookie but you can throw in whatever dried fruit or nuts you have, just stick with the basic oats, flax, liquid ratio.

Banana Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

by Alex London-Gross

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: bake breakfast snack dairy-free gluten-free vegan sugar-free banana blueberries oats

Ingredients (9 cookies)

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries


Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large oven, mash the bananas until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and melted coconut oil until well combined.

Mix in the flax seeds, oats, coconut flakes, pecans and dried blueberries. Stir well until a sticky dough forms.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop out the batter onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.

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Banana Blueberry Breakfast Cookies (vegan, gf)

Chewing and fulfilling. You can’t be unhappy eating these with a cup of coffee, no matter how early it is.

Banana Blueberry Breakfast Cookies (vegan, gf)


I happily munched on these all week with a smoothie. They also travel well since its not a flaky pastry! Speaking of travel, I shared a few of my survival tips on the Purely Elizabeth blog this week. I usually spend as much time packing my carry on with snacks as I do actual clothes, but these are a few of my tips to making healthy choices while running through airport terminals.

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Two Day Juice Cleansing

July 8, 2014

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have heard some talk of spending the weekend with lots of bottles of juice. Suja was running a great special on their 3 day fresh start cleanse and since I am typically a skeptic of anything that feels like it could involve starvation, I figured if […]

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Summer Fruit Crumble

July 1, 2014

Sunday was the first day in a while that wasn’t 99 degrees and 99% humidity. Naturally, that meant the oven could be turned on without making me melt indoors. I’ve been stocking up on all the fresh fruit we only see in the summer. Cherries, berries, peaches – I’m essentially on a constant sugar high. […]

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Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

June 22, 2014

I’ve been craving rhubarb lately, which must mean summer is finally here. I didn’t grow up eating rhubarb but remember one summer that my grandmother made a strawberry rhubarb pie. I’m pretty sure I was the only person who ate it. There is something about the sweet-tart combination that I love. It is oddly one […]

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CSA Week 4

June 17, 2014

It has been hot as heck here in Virginia. We had a truly welcome break from 150% humidity over the weekend, but now its back to the summer trifecta: hazy, hot and humid. I’d like to believe that I’d be less disgruntled by the tropics outside if I didn’t have to focus on running as […]

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Feeling Fancy

June 11, 2014

I firmly believe that there is no such thing as too many green vegetables. However, there are the rare weeks when leafy greens are overtaking my fridge and need to be used at a faster rate than a salad a day. I made this vegetable tart last year but changed the crust and used all […]

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At Home

June 7, 2014

I closed and moved into my very first home almost two weeks ago and it still all feels a bit surreal. I keep saying that this all happened so quickly, which is the absolute truth. I’m settled in and am truly grateful for this space. It’s amazing how different it feels walking into a house […]

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CSA Week 2

June 2, 2014

I’ve had a fast and furious week. I think an angel got it’s wings by performing a moving miracle for me last week. I am in my new home and just about completely set up. A few more small things to finish and I’ll post picture of the house! During all of the furry, my CSA […]

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Green Eggs

May 25, 2014

This is last thing that I really cooked in my rented house. I’m kind of freaking out over that statement and that in approximately 48 hours I will be a homeowner. This is a true back to basics moment. I have nothing in my pantry and only the staples in my fridge. For whatever reason […]

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