Can we start over?

Lesly and I met up at Rosslyn Station this morning to bike 35 miles together. We planned to do the Arlington Loop, an aside through Potomac Park into Old Town Alexandria, then back on to the Loop and join up with the W&OD out to Reston.

Sounds like a straightforward plan.

However, the high today was only supposed to reach 46, and it wasn’t that when we started in Rosslyn. It was flippin’ cold!  Then, with a steady headwind of 10mph out of the north, plus gusts every time we got compliant, they were a hard fought 35 miles. There was nothing straightforward about this ride! Lots of cadence training on my part. I kept hearing Dory’s voice in my head, “Just keep swimming…”

The rest of the week looks pretty miserable, even for short mileage days. The forecast for Saturday is rain and SNOW! Are they kidding?

I think we should take a quick trip to someplace warm to train. This is crazy!

On the upside, I shared some energy bars I made with Lesly and she liked them. So I thought I’d give you the recipe too. They’re from Minimalist Baker and they’re NO BAKE!

Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
5 mins
Total time
15 mins
Healthy, no bake granola bars with just 5 ingredients and a sweet, crunchy texture. Peanut butter and honey complement each other perfectly in this ideal portable breakfast or snack.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 10 bars
  • 1 cup packed (200 g) dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)*
  • 1/4 cup (84 g) honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
  • 1/4 cup (64 g) creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup (112 g) roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (135 g) rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
  • optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.
  1. Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (Mine rolled into a ball.)
  2. Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I just prefer the toasted flavor.
  3. Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside.
  4. Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
  6. Press down firmly until uniformly flattened – I use something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better.
  7. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars (or 9 squares). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh, but it isn’t necessary.
*Although not ideal, if your dates don’t feel sticky and moist, you can soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will help them blend better and hold the bars together better. But ideally, you can find fresh, sticky moist dates.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 217 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 31 g Sugar: 19 gFiber: 4 g Protein: 6 g



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