Trail Cookie Recipe [Guest Post: The Sophisticated Caveman]

If you follow me on social media, you're probably aware that I'm currently dealing with a rotator cuff injury. A little over a week ago I was out on a run and I completely bit it (meaning, it was an epic fall that I not-so-secretly wish had been caught on film so I could laugh at it.) Anyway, in order to protect my face/head I decided to use the side of my right hand, my left knee and the top of my right shoulder as a landing pad. As a future reference, I wouldn't recommend you do this. For starters, its a really awkward position to get your body to land that way. Also, it can REALLY mess up your shoulder. After a week of being super stubborn, I woke up last Saturday in such discomfort that I couldn't even focus. A trip to the doc was in order. Luckily, it doesn't appear to be a severe, permanent injury (I don't need surgery!) and is "only" a strain. This still means that I can't currently go for runs and I won't be able to go to my SWEAT Chicago classes for a few weeks, but it's better than the alternative. Needless to say, with my arm in a sling, it's a bit difficult and a big pain in the butt to try and get any real typing done. 

 

Lucky for me, a few weeks ago I connected with this guy right over here, Brian Kavanagh of The Sophisticated Caveman. In fact, you may have seen the interview  he shared on his blog recently! Brian is a chill guy with a love of food and the outdoors, which I insanely appreciate. I too share a love of outdoor activities, so when we discussed a guest post, it seemed perfect to throw some knowledge at you about hiking. Not only are you getting information on why you should give hiking a go, but Brian's also sharing a delicious recipe for some cookies to take on the trail.

For more info and updates on Brian, find him on Facebook and/or Instagram!


4 Reasons to Take a Hike

There was a time when exercise was a four letter word for me. I would break out into a profuse sweat at just the thought of going to the gym. I usually counted this as my workout.

Around the same time I was discovering what paleo living was all about, I also rediscovered the beauty of hiking. Something about sweating through mile after mile of trail surrounded by natural beauty just connected with my soul. I strapped up my boots, loaded up my pack, and haven't looked backed since. Hiking is still my favorite form of exercise, and something that I just can't live without.

It is amazing how your feelings about exercise change once you find an activity that you actually enjoy.

So here are four reasons why I enjoy hiking so much, and why I think you should give it a try too.

1. Hiking is a great form of physical exercise - Hiking can be an amazing cardiovascular workout, especially when you trek at a good pace up some decent inclines. Also, all the ups, downs, and various terrains that you encounter on a hike work a variety of different muscle groups. It is a much more complete workout than you would ever get on a treadmill.

2. Hiking improves the mind - New studies continue to show the mental benefits of exercising outdoors. It has proven to improve mood, boost self-esteem, and reduce stress. At the very least, hiking is a good excuse to unplug for a while and get away from the crowded noise of daily life. 

3. Hiking puts things in perspective - The world looks different when you are seeing it from the top of a mountain. It is a pleasant reminder that a big, beautiful world exists outside of your home or office. The day to day problems and challenges of "real life" just seem a little bit smaller when you’re seeing them from a higher altitude.

4. Hiking is affordable. - Like any activity, there is always an opportunity to go crazy and buy thousands of dollars’ worth of gear. But at its core, hiking requires very little aside from a decent pair of trail shoes. I suppose you don't even need shoes at all if you want to be a truly hardcore caveperson (not recommended though).

Whether it's an obscure nature path at your neighborhood park, or a 30 mile trek through some high mountain pass, a trail somewhere awaits you. So go take a hike!  Plus, here's a recipe for a sweet treat to enjoy on or off the trail: 

Caveman Trail Cookies

Caveman Trail Cookies by The Sophisticated Caveman
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 6 cookies

Ingredients:
1 ripe banana
1 egg, beaten
½ cup cashew butter
2 tbs coconut oil
3 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds
¼ cup unsweeted shredded coconut
¼ cup cacao nibs
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl before adding in the egg, cashew butter, coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Stir in coconut flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Fold in chia seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut and cacao nibs.
  5. Divide mixture into six even sized cookies and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes. Then remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.