After Jillian died, the last thing I thought about was my health. My mind was a dark place, full of dark thoughts. Black. Like Melanoma. There were days when I caught glimpses of sunshine, although to this day, I cannot think, cannot hear the word,” sunshine” without cringing. I still feel a sense of guilt for enjoying a day when sunshine is in the forecast. After all, sunshine/tanning beds stole my girl.
I feel fortunate I was able to recognize I needed to take charge of my life. I knew I was on a slippery slope to no-where. With the support of family, and some very dear friends, I began a new journey towards health and fitness. Running has been my magic bullet. Exercise in general is what changed my course. But with exercise came the desire for knowledge. How do I fuel this body? I’m 60- how can I sustain the demands on my body?
With the research I’ve done and experimenting with what works for my body and energy level, it’s pretty simple. Whole foods. I steer clear of anything in a package if I can help it due to preservatives. I read labels. It has been a true lifestyle change, and I feel good about it. I have a sense of accomplishment knowing I’m taking care of the body that allows me to run. To work, to play. To love on my grandbabies.
I don’t know if this is true for everyone currently on an exercise program, but for me, I’m hungry all the time. Trying to find healthy snacks can be a challenge. Having a variety of fruits and vegetables on hand is ideal- except for the waste. I can’t eat it all before it starts to look sad. And I hate wasting food. So- enter my trusty dehydrator.
I started using both dehydrated strawberries and pineapple for snacks on my long run. I used to carry GU, but I’m giving this a try to see how it works for my energy level and any stomach discomfort. Today on my 8mile run, I had one slice of pineapple and a handful of strawberries. And I’ll tell you this. I am loving, loving, LOVING, the crunch of the pineapple and the way it melts in my mouth while I’m running. (oh great, now I’m hungry again). So, for my first long run with dehydrated fruit, so far, so good.
How I dehydrated strawberries and pineapple:
Preheat your dehydrator to 135
Wash and pat dry your strawberries.
Cut out the stem and slice in even pieces. I got about 4 pieces out of one strawberry. Try to keep your slices the same so they dry evenly. The thinner the slice, the less time it takes to dehydrate.
Thin slices took about 8 hours to dehydrate.
Place in a vacuum sealed mason jar for 7 days or so, shaking the jar every day. This is called “conditioning”. You want to make sure there is no moisture left if you’re storing them long term. If you see moisture, you need to place them back in the dehydrator. I didn’t bother with these, because I knew I’d be eating them right away.
Preheat your dehydrator to 135
For these pineapple slices, I purchased can slices. They are typically thicker than slicing your own from fresh pineapple.
Pat dry with papertowel.
Place on trays.
These slices took a little over 24 hours. They feel pliable when done. Always check once the fruit has cooled down to determine it it’s finished.
The same holds true for pineapple. You need to condition the fruit.
Place in a vacuum sealed mason jar for 7 days or so, shaking the jar every day. This is called “conditioning”. You want to make sure there is no moisture left if you’re storing them long term. If you see moisture, you need to place them back in the dehydrator. Again, I didn’t bother with these, because I knew I’d be eating them right away.
Consult the link below for drying fruits and vegetables safely.