Oakland Marathon

Here I am all ready to run my leg of the Oakland Marathon. Can I tell you how much I loved this event? Finally one event that brought the people of Oakland together to do something healthy and positive. I love this city, so much. It’s expensive as hell, and has a lousy reputation, and the schools (for the most part) SUCK, but you know, where else in this whole damn world can you take your kid to the park down the street from your house and watch her play with children of a dozen different ethnicities without batting an eyelash? It’s not perfect here, there is still a lot of racial tension (less so than in other cities I’ve lived in though, no doubt) but I think things like the Oakland Marathon are a step toward healing. I’m so honored to have been a part of the inaugural race!

I ran the first leg of the relay, 6.2 miles, all uphill. I came in at 56:43, which I feel really good about. I’m a swimmer, not a runner dammit! :D My team was so great, I’m really happy I got to run with them. Our total time was 4:19. It was FUN, and I’m looking forward to next year (I’m planning on running the FULL MARATHON next year, for the record). I hope more of my friends participate next year, several did this year and it was great to see them on the course. Best of all was seeing our friends and loved ones cheering us on from the sidelines. Thanks guys!

Slow Cooker Spiced Apples

Berkeley Bowl had organic apples for $.99/lb today. They weren’t my favorite kind of apples but what a deal! I bought two 3 pound bags. So there I was with 6 pounds of apples. Time to make my favorite snack! You won’t believe how easy this is.

Slow Cooker Spiced Apples

However many apples you want to use, cored and sliced (don’t worry about peeling). Bear in mind they cook way down, so use a lot. My six pounds of apples filled my entire 7 quart slow cooker but cooked down by more than half.
cinnamon to taste (I used about 2 TBSP)
pinches of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, etc to your liking
dash of olive, walnut or coconut oil

Toss apple slices with spices and oil and put in slow cooker overnight on low. Voila! Deeply carmelized, melt in your mouth spiced apples. I like them scooped into a bowl with a few crumbled walnuts and a bit of almond/soy/coconut milk. I also like to puree them into apple butter. Except without the CUPS of sugar traditional apple butter recipes call for. They so do NOT need extra sweetening!

Cabbage, Apple and Beet Salad with Sunflower Dressing

I’ve had this salad taking shape in my head for a couple days, after reading about a similar salad on one of the message boards I visit. I just couldn’t figure out what to use for dressing, but then this morning as I made some fresh sunflower butter it all fell into place. It turned out quite nicely, it’s a mild, slightly sweet salad with lots of crunch. The beets turn the whole salad pink, but you could use golden beets to avoid this. The measures for the dressing are approximate, adjust to your taste.

Cabbage, Apple and Beet Salad with Sunflower Dressing

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded or finely chopped
2-3 medium beets, roasted, peeled and diced
2 apples, diced (I used fuji)
6 stalks celery, diced


1/4 cup sunflower butter (made with just sunflower seeds)
1 TBSP whole grain mustard
1 TBSP maple syrup
splash of apple cider vinegar
splash of soy sauce
water to reach desired consistency

Toss vegetables together in a large bowl. In small bowl whisk together dressing ingredients, then add to salad and toss. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.