Resolution friendly recipe: Raw beet, apple & sesame salad

By: Heather Nielson

Most people know they need to eat healthy but sometimes it’s hard when an unhealthy option simply tastes better! I’m always trying to find recipes that I know are healthy and actually taste good. I also agree with experts that having as much variety in your diet as possible is better for you than always eating the same foods everyday. I know that’s another hard habit to break because we do what’s easiest most of the time and when it comes to food, buying and making the same dishes eliminates variables of stress, the unknown, time etc. We are comfortable with what is familiar and requires as little effort as possible. That’s why my collection of recipes fulfills 3 important qualifications: healthy, relatively uncomplicated and takes 30′ or less to make (sometimes soups needs to simmer longer but that’s easy and you can go back to doing other things).

I hope this next recipe motivates you to try something new and easy and tastes good and is healthy! I found this one on-line and originally had radishes and since I hate radishes, I substituted them for apples but feel free to go back to radishes!


Raw beet & apple sesame salad

  • 4 medium sized beets, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 small apples cored and chopped into bit-sized pieces
  • 4 TBL sesame seeds
  • 4 TBL balsamic vinegar
  • 4 TBL lemon juice
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • Pepper to taste

1-Combine all ingredients, mix well and refrigerate at least 1 hour



You’ve got goals……… now what?

By: Heather Nielson

We’ve been talking a lot about goal setting over the last month with Craig’s post about changing the time line on his personal goals, as well as my other post earlier this month about setting yourself up for success while you think about what your goals are going to be for the coming year. You also may have had the opportunity to hear Craig speak over at Cascade bicycles about goal setting. After all of that, we hope you have some specific, measureable, attainable, realistic & timely (S.M.A.R.T!) goals for yourself. You’ve probably even started working toward them and keeping track of your progress, adjusting your timelines, nailing down your resources and are still really motivated.

I wanted to now talk about what oftentimes happens after you’ve gotten started working toward your goals: you self-sabotage. We’ve all done it. We don’t ‘see’ the results we were expecting as quickly as we were expecting to. I’ll never stop saying it: consistency is your biggest ally. You didn’t get to that high powered career position in just a few months, it took years. You didn’t add all that unwanted weight in just a week, it’ll take more than a few weeks to take it off. In this age of instantaneous gratification, I think sometimes we forget that most things take time. How much time? That depends! It’s also no secret that everyone responds differently to training, new methods of habits are unique to the individual and there is always more than one way to a destination. Again, keep track of your progress. If you decide to change something, change one thing and then wait for a week or two! If you change too many variables at once, you won’t know what was/is working and what is/isn’t.

We aren’t meant to go through life alone. That’s not how/why we evolved nor is it healthy. Surround yourself with experts, people you trust, create a support system, educate yourself, never stop asking questions, trust information from only the most reliable resources and last but certainly not least: don’t stop listening to your body and gut. This is the hardest, but most important part to your success. If something doesn’t feel ‘right’ or like it’s just not working for you, it probably isn’t! Change one thing, ask an expert, keep track, and you will keep pedaling closer to that goal!


The New Year – Grind = Reward!

Well I don’t know how your holidays went, but mine were short and fast!  I am finally feeling recovered and ready to tackle the new year.  Some years I hit the ground running January 1st, but this year I sit here on the 17th and am just barely ready to start the new year.

So the first thing I like to do is look back on last year.  What did I come away from last year feeling was unfinished or needed to be improved?  What sucked and must never be repeated!  What was awesome and must be doubled down on?

Was your year a Grind?

Every year is different, some years I am pretty close to nailing my goals/ideas for the year, others I am so far off I wonder what the hell I was thinking.  This past year was a little of both.  I look at my life in columns, each column can be rated on a scale of 0-100.  Columns include:  Family – Love – Friends – Fitness/Health – Business/Career – Spiritual Connection – Fun.  First question, how did I do last year, how close to 100 am I in each category?  Answer:  70, 80, 60, 80, 50, 55, 60.  

It is interesting to me that I can pour myself into improving one of these columns, only to find I didn’t end up getting any closer to 100.  Then another column like my fitness is the best it has been in years with less time spent working on it as the prior year.  Some years you grind, laying the foundation for future success, other years you reap the reward of prior work done.  This is the game of life.

This is where coaching really pays off

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Set yourself up….for success!

By: Heather Nielson

Showing up is half of winning. Preparation is key to success. Setting goals before hand give you a clear focus and direction. Still not convinced? So many times we focus on just ‘the doing’ whatever ‘thing’ you want to be better at; and granted, ‘doing the thing’, practicing, logging hours, clocking in, etc is certainly a huge portion of getting closer to your ultimate goal.

The logistics, preparation and planning can be just as important and if you don’t get those things right, your lack of preparation can cost you valuable steps towards your goal as much as a simple lack of fitness from just not ‘doing the thing’ of riding your bike.

I could talk about any goal generally but since Cycle University is about helping you reach your cycling related goals, I’ll talk specifically about cycling.

Let’s say your main goal for 2016 is to become a better climber. That is a very common goal. The main ‘thing’ you can do is go out and climb to become a better climber, but what does that mean exactly? Does that mean go hard climbing every single day you can and see if you can beat your previous time and if you didn’t you’re failing? Absolutely not.

The preparation in reaching a goal like climbing better starts with a specific goal like “I want to climb Hurricane Ridge in under X minutes, besting my previous time of X”. If you have a coach or have been working with power for awhile, you should be able to break that down into how many more watts you need to be able to produce over a given period of time to reach that goal. Now break that down into steps from where you’re at now to where you need to be. Perhaps your time line is realistic, perhaps it’s not’; adjust if you need to! If you’re not realistic about time lines than you’re setting yourself up for failure.

The next step comes down to breaking down those steps into perhaps monthly/quarterly fitness goals. How much time will you need to train? Can you realistically put in that kind of time? Again, if you can’t, change your timeline. After that comes the logistics. What are your resources? What do you need versus what do you have? Make a checklist: Indoor cycling, commuting, a coach, a training partner, on-line articles, a power meter, a new bike fit, a new bike, etc. Be realistic about time frames, cost etc for obtaining the resources you feel you need, then adjust again!

Lastly comes the day to day routine. What do you need to make sure you hit your goals everyday? Do you need to change your routine a little? Allow for commuting time? More gear, bike parts, fuel, bike lights, etc. If you’re not realistic about what you need versus what you have then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

The common themes to setting yourself up for success are setting specific goals, setting realistic time frames and making lists of resources that you need versus what you already have. Prevent failure by now by not being in denial or not being specific enough; all of which can all lead to self-sabotage.

It’s not just about how many watts you can produce, it’s about all the details, steps and resources to help you produce them!