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I am not an athlete. Frankly I’m a bit of a weakling; I can’t do a push-up or a chin-up and even struggle to lift my cast iron skillet. I’m also very uncoordinated, my knees bend in a weird way, I have way bigger feet than anyone my height (did I mention I’m short too) should and nothing I have ever done could be described as graceful. All that aside, I am a runner. It has been one year since I got serious about exercise, I put aside all my physical inadequacies and just started running. It’s not easy and takes an extreme amount of motivation and dedication but I do it and I love it. I thought running was something that would get easier over time but it doesn’t and sometimes I need to talk myself through it. I joked in a previous post about having a pro-gluten mantra but have actually since then come up with a mantra that I use to motivate myself while I am running:  I can. I am. I will. Let me explain; the I can part is referring to the fact that I have run nearly everyday for a year, when I feel like I can’t do it I only need to refer back to the fact that I have already proven to myself I can do it, therefore the I can’t bit doesn’t work. I am: it’s hard to tell yourself you can’t do something when you are actually doing it, so I remind myself that in addition to being capable, I am in fact currently doing it so just keep going. I will: I will continue to make exercise a priority in my life so I need to accept that it’s hard and just do it. The reason I bring this up is that I have found that this little mantra is applicable to many areas of my life where I need a little push and maybe a little mantra could help someone else stay on track in an area that is difficult for them. So there. Now if I could just figure out how to write using paragraphs…

How about a delicious post run snack?

Fruit and Cereal Bites

wet ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)

1/2 cup agave nectar, maple syrup or brown rice syrup (either is fine but I think the brown rice syrup would work best)

dry ingredients:

1 cup finely chopped dried fruit (I used mango and cranberries)

1/3 cup chopped nuts or seeds (I used pumpkin seeds)

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1 Tbsp. ground flax seed

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups puffed rice cereal (I used Nature’s Path Koala Crisp)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the wet ingredients until the margarine and oil are melted. Set this aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients and stir in the oil mixture until everything is coated.

You can use either a standard or mini muffin pan for these, whichever you use line the cups with a liner or lightly grease them. Distribute the mixture evenly among the cups then cover with plastic wrap and really pack the mixture in pressing firmly (the plastic wrap is to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands). Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. If you did not use liners, give the bites a little twist before removing and they should come out easily when they are ready. I forgot to mention in the original post that these should remain refrigerated, they self destruct somewhat when exposed to the elements.