Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Chris and I found a local cycling club called Green Valley Cyclists and we’re really excited to join.  They post different rides throughout the week and each ride is labeled either an A, B, or C (+/-) depending on the average speed, difficulty, extra help/stops, etc.  We decided to start out with a C ride this past Sunday to try it out, especially since I only have a slow mountain bike and only take a spin class once a week.  Boy, did it kick my butt!  ‘C’ rides average 10-12 mph and this one was 22 miles, their easiest ride ha!  ‘A’ rides average 18-25 mph and are usually 30-40 miles with minimal stops.  Maybe I could ride my car along side?  I guess I have a ways to go for that one!


With my mountain bike I was slowing everyone down!  I felt like I was pulling a giant piece of lead while everyone else was breezing by.  It got really hot and windy towards the end and I thought I was going to keel over.  I am also a very salty sweater and need to carry more Gatorade or those jellies with me to get more electrolytes.  I was like one big salt-lick when all the sweat evaporated lol  At least I powered through and finished :)  I think a road bike is the first thing on my list before I attempt another group ride, but it was a really good workout and fun to meet other cyclists.  I wish I would have remembered to wear my HR monitor to see the calories burned.  I was absolutely ravenous afterwards!!  I could have practically eaten anything and continued to eat throughout the day.  Does anyone else get like this with more intense exercise?  I think I about cancelled out any of the calories burned and then some I got so hungry.  But, I didn’t feel too sore the next day, so that must be a good sign :) 

So before the ride I had an average sized bowl of cereal with a 1/2 banana (this is also the perfect post-workout fuel).  During the ride I had 3/4 of a homemade bar.  Right afterwards we had a chunky strawberry granola parfait thing from Jamba Juice, and then when we got home we had this . . .



Pumpkin Crème Brulee French Toast

This is the perfect brunch food that you can make in advance and it feeds a lot of people.  I love brunch food!  I first came across this idea at Nothing To It!, a great cooking school in Reno that I worked at for awhile in college.  This place was sooo much fun, and I’d really like to do something like that again someday.  I lightened this version up with some non-fat half-n-half and egg substitute.  I also added some canned pumpkin and extra spices to warm it up! 

Yield:  8-10 servings (but probably even more)


  • 1 quart vanilla non-fat half-n-half (the original called for heavy cream!)
  • 1 1/4 cups egg substitute
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 rounds of Hawaiian Sweet bread, sliced
  • 5 slices whole wheat bread (I didn’t have enough of the sweet bread and had to use some of this)
  • butter and brown sugar for caramelizing on top

Mix the first 9 ingredients in a large bowl.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan and place 1/2 the bread slices in the pan like a jigsaw puzzle filling in all the gaps.  Pour half of the custard mixture on top.  Place the remaining bread slices in the pan (with the whole wheat in the middle) and top with the rest of the custard mixture.  It will look pretty wet, but it will get absorbed when it sits.  Cover and place in the fridge for 4 hours up to overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Let custard sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and then bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until slightly golden and no longer liquid in the middle.

Cut into your favorite shapes and place on a foil lined cookie sheet.  I like an offset diamond shape.  Put a little bit of melted butter on top, sprinkle with brown sugar and broil until the sugar browns slightly (Alternatively, you could sauté them).  As it cools, the sugar will harden and get crispy like crème brulee.  I like to serve mine with Greek yogurt for dipping, honey for drizzling and cinnamon for sprinkling.  You could also mix a little pumpkin into the Greek Yogurt.  Yum!

This dish is pretty filling, although it didn’t weigh me down and it definitely hit the spot after a long bike ride!


All together now . . . Since I had that fruit parfait earlier, I went easy on the fruit, but still had to have some of course!  Added an egg in the background for some extra protein and fat.  I just love egg yolk!


Do you find that you tend to eat a lot more if you are more active?  Or does exercise not make you very hungry? 


Chow and Chatter said...

looks great we need to start cycling again stopped after baba, need to get a baby seat LOL you need a road bike! if we lived closer you could use mine

kristen :) said...

oh my gosh, that would be awesome!! Ahh, you'll get back at it, your little one is just so darn cute to leave! I found a new Giant, said he would give it to me for $630, yikes! It's normally 800 though and that's cheap cheap compared to the others. Sigh.

Peanut Butter Swirl said...

now that is some of the best looking french toast that I have ever seen!

Gina said...

Mmm the french toast looks and sounds wonderful! Like you, I get hungry when I workout, in fact sometimes I get hungry WHILE I am working out, and my stomach starts to grawl! I even eat before I workout, it's wierd. I've read that exercise is supposed to make you less hungry, right afterwards, for me it's the opposite.

Anonymous said...

omg, that french toast is AWESOME, considering my avid love for pumpkin AND brunch food! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

Eve said...

Wow - I need to try that! I had french toast for breakfast this morning but it was boring in comparison :)

Emily said...

Oooh, that french toast looks delish! I love pumpkin flavored carbs. :-)

It sounds like that was a super hard bike ride. My rear starts to get really sore if I ride for more than a half hour, wimpy, I know.

bHealthier said...

you know me, I love french toast especially pumpkin style! lovely recipe.

I also enjoyed the slow cooker recipe and your recap of the conference trip! it looks like fun times!

Exercise like my longer runs make me the opposite of hungry for a few hours after, I find it hard to eat anything. After a few hours- I am so incredibly hungry I am a bottomless pit.

Otherwise, my cross training and regular ellipticizing stuff doesn't seem to affect my appetite too much.

Anonymous said...

First off, thank you for your comments and suggestions. I am already friends with burpnslurp, and yes she is great! I will look into her recipes!

That french toast looks incredible! I am in love with your camera, and of course you... you take great pictures! There is no doubt that a hard workout will rev up your metabolism and make you want to eat eat eat! Gotta feed that workin' bod!

Thanks again!

Tyler said...

aw biking is so much fun! but it is A LOT easier with a road bike :)

that fresh toast looks heavenly!!!

Thinspired said...

The pumpkin french toast would be a great Autumn brunch dish! It really reminds of Fall, which is my favorite season :)
I definitely notice a hunger correlation with exercise! It usually doesn't hit me until the day after, though. I think my body takes a while to process it ;)