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February 01, 2013


Cheryl Ware

Hello, Deb, if you are following this post, I'd love to hear more from you about your training and experiences eating plant based, successfully participating in ultras and losing weight as a middle aged female. I run marathons and seem to be in the same quandry you were in. Thanks so much. Cheryl Ware.


I am wondering about the Scanpan. On the website, it does not talk about the materials that it is made from (aluminum content, coating, etc.) Just wondering if it is safe.


These waffles look fantastic. However, I'm honestly a bit taken aback by all the "I only ate this in five whole hours" or "I only ate this besides a snickers all day" chatter. I get that this waffle is hearty, but only 300 (with your spread) calories to hold a person off through intense exercise plus doesn't seem adequate. Maybe it's because I'm 24 so need more calories (and I'm a runner), but that amount just doesn't strike me as realistic or healthy. Love the waffles, don't like the emphasis on minimal calorie intake. It kind of reads like a mainstream women's magazine.

The Healthy Librarian

@Claire---you're totally right--& that wasn't my intention. Frankly, my waffle is topped with a cup of blueberries (70 calories) & PB2 (50 calores) & chia (80 calories). It's not a low calorie breakfast & if you make them larger--they're even more caloric. I'm betting Deb's waffle was much larger than min.

OK-- I was a little surprised by the small amount of food too that she ate on that run, but she's an experienced runner. I've got to share with you, though---the metabolism of a 24 year old compared to a sixty-something is really different. There is no way that I can eat the way I did at 24--(& I wasn't even exercising then)--now that I'm 63 & much more active. It's just a fact of life. Ignore our "old lady" talk about calories.

I eat when I'm hungry--and as much as I want, but that's only because it's no-oil, not sugar not-calorically dense food. I couldn't do it otherwise.

For me to be able to "last" until I get home & can eat lunch really is a big deal. I'm usually hungry much sooner. These really are hearty waffles.


Hi cheryl! I would be happy to share whats worked for me. I will do a brief rundown here in case others might have similar questions.
Probably the easiest way to describe the way i approach eating plant based is this:
1.Eat real food, as close to its natural form as possible.
2. Avoid sugar and wheat.
There are alot of foods that might fall under the category of "vegan" that are very poor nutrition- i do not buy ANY packaged or prepared foods. My pantry is full of simple raw ingredients.
Why sugar and wheat? Both create an inflammatory response in the body, both raise blood sugar levels quickly, creating stress on the endocrine system and insulin response, and wheat in particular is often responsible for " leaky gut syndrome" and poor absorption of nutrients. Getting off of wheat might have been the biggest factor in my weight loss. For me, and many others who might not even be aware of it, its bad stuff!
Removing those two things from my diet, and concentrating on whole, natural foods with an emphasis on dark leafy greens ( i have a love affair with kale, i add it to everything, i might even put some in the waffles! ) the weight fell off without trying, but my gut health improved so greatly that my energy levels rose dramatically and i could train more... And with good whole foods, i now had the nutrients to heal and recover more quickly. The body is wonderfully designed- if we give it what it needs, it will heal itself. For me, a plant based diet gives me that nutrition.
For heavy training weeks, a few more good fats, like avocado , almonds, and whole coconut, seem to help. the only "prepared food" i occasionally buy is organic coconut cream- it is simply raw coconut pulp and coconut water blended, just an easier way to get coconut, which is a power packed plant food for sure. I have carried a spoonful in a tiny ziplock during ultras.
I also include naturally fermented foods ( kombucha, sauerkraut) as a good probiotic source.
Getting leaner will help your running. But getting healthy, which in my experience, means plant based and a good healthy gut, will literally change everything about how you feel. Gut health is critical. You are what you eat, and where that food makes it way into your body is in the gut.
This may be more information than you wanted! I dont mean to hijack Debby's blog.
But, in case you are interested, i am just about to start a blog about eating plant based and running, It isnt published yet, but should be searchable under "Veggie Trails" very soon. ( Debby, I hope its okay to mention this) Meanwhile, two other very good blogs aimed especially at running are No Meat Athlete and Good luck with your training- i'm convinced that finding the right balance your body will be able to perform to its potential! And the weight loss will just happen as a natural result.

Claire, you have a good point- i dont think I intended to emphasize low calorie intake. And you are correct, it is more important to focus on nutrition. I personally dont focus on calories- hubby Steve and I have followed a low-heartrate training plan that helps train your body to burn fat during long runs, so we tend now to not need as much fueling . (and, for what its worth, snickers is not my usual go to food, but hubby had one in his pack... And hey, nobody's perfect.). The waffles are slow burning, and i just didnt feel hungry.


I also can't wait to try these waffles. This thread really interests me - I'm also 58 and since eating plant-based, and no oil I've lost weight, feel great and completed 3 half-marathons. My 4th is on Sunday in San Francisco! Deb, I look forward to your upcoming blog. Debbie, I love the HL blog and get great ideas and support from you. Thank you!


I bought a Cuisinart Green Gourmet pan based on your recommendations for no-oil non-stick cooking and am totally thrilled with it - and I'm considering getting some more. Do you think the Scanpan is somehow better?


Good luck with the race .sunday, Shannon!


I made these into pancakes and the kids surprisingly ate them, mind you I really did lower their expectations, and they of course covered them with sugar . These kids of mine are harsh critics of the healthy foods. I still love my traditional crepes (eggs, white flour etc) but avoid making them too often, I think I'll thin this mixture down and keep as my new crepe/pancake recipe. If recipe works well as crepes I'd love to know. Thank you!

Cheryl Ware

Hello Deb, Thank you for your post. I presently follow your blog and No Meat Athlete and a few others. I primarily eat a healthy whole food vegan diet. I am at a healthy weight, but recently found that I have moderately high genetic cholesterol. I go off vegan for family harmony every once in a while. I am parent step-parent to 4 kiddos, ages 21, 19, 17 and 12. I was interested in ultra runner Deb because her profile was similar to mine. I will be on the look out for your veggie trails blog!

The Healthy Librarian

@Caroline: I still have my Cuisinart Green Gourmet--but, recently my husband burned some tofu that was in an Asian marinade & it's impossible to remove the residue. It's OK to saute vegetables--but certainly work for no-oil pancake browning--or veggie burger browning. As much as I like the Green Gourmet for sauteeing wo oil--it's surface doesn't do the job for no-liquid/no-oil browning---which is why I use the oven on high heat with parchment paper to brown burgers & fries. I've heard excellent reports about the ScanPan from many--& one reader experimented specifically with pancakes & burgers. It worked. I'll let you know how it goes for me, when I purchase the pan.

@Cheryl: One HHLL reader also has familial hypercholesterolemia. She's slim, very physically active, & was vegetarian. Figured she was doing the best she could do. Switched to vegan with oil--then finally saw a significant lipid improvement when she went plant-based no-oil. She will likely always need a low-dose of a statin--along with her diet changes, but, for her, it's a huge benefit to manage the condition primarily with diet--and only have to take a low-dose of a statin--and avoid the side effects of larger doses over a lifetime.

@Deb: Thanks so much for following up with your excellent comment to Cheryl. Looking forward to reading your new blog. We need to see more of this from a woman athlete's perspective. You'll be the next Brendan Brazier, Scott Jurek, or Rich Rolls.

@Bernie: Scanpans have been around for a long time--and are made in Denmark. There aim is to make a non-stick environmentally toxin-free alternative to Teflon. Whether it is 100% safe is for researchers to decide. Sorry, I just don't have that data. I aim for "doing the best I can do, given the information I have". I can saute & make most all dishes without a non-stick pan. If I can brown veggie burgers, potatoes, & pancakes in a Scanpan---I'm interested. If you're concerned that it's not 100% safe--you probably want a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. I've seen elaborate seasoning preparations that claim they'll make cast-iron into non-stick. Someone sent me an article on it from Cook's Illustrated, I think. Google it.


Hi again Debby- Thanks for making that clear and I see the toppings certainly add up. I'm looking forward to trying these waffles! I also really enjoy your informative posts on FB. Thanks for the awareness you're spreading.


Hi, These look great except my husband won't eat flax because he read something about them being linked with prostrate cancer. Can you suggest a substitute for the flax so that when I make them my husband will eat them also.
Thanks so much,

Healthy Librarian

@Lisa: substitute chia or hemp seed for the omega-3's. Both should work just fine.


We had a scanpan and it didn't last a full year. It was SUPER at first; I could cook anything with no oil and no stick. Now, I have the green pan. It's not as non-stick as the scanpan . I'm debating about the scanpan again, but I wish my other one would have lasted longer. (We hand washed it and never stuck it in the dishwasher...)


p.s. the pancakes look great! Can't wait to try them!

Courtney J

I don't have a Vitamix, but I do have a grain mill. Would grinding the grain in my mill make too fine a flour for this recipe?


I made these yesterday, substituted buckwheat flour for the groats because it's what I had on hand, and they were delicious!
Claire, I loved your comments and agree that emphasis on calories and weight is not the best focus. A nutritionist suggested to me many years ago that I get rid of my bathroom scale - one of the best pieces of advise I've ever received and I haven't owned one since. Last time I got weighed was about a year ago when I had a physical - I'm 5'7" and weighed 124 lbs. - oh, and I'm 60 yr old.


Hi - I would love to try these since its so nutritious. Can yoiu recommend any good substitute for pumpkin or suflower seeds. Thanks

Judy Donovan

We had these this morning after shoveling our selves out - the storm wasn't as bad here as expected and it was actually quite beautiful...OK back to the waffles.
The only change I made was to use roasted buckwheat groats (kasha) - my unroasted buckwheat decided to hide just as this was all coming together. Pumpkin seeds and almond milk.
We used a Chef's Choice waffle iron and they took 4.5 minutes each.
These waffles are the BEST ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm already thinking about variations, add chipotle and a little cornmeal, omit the raisins.
This is a really EXCITING recipe. Many thanks to both of you.


Adding my thanks here--we made these last Saturday and we all enjoyed them! The only change: I've struggled to get waffles to cook all the way through so I made them as pancakes--thinned the batter just a little. They still took a *long* time to cook through...but they were a hit! I will get brave and try them as waffles sometime. Thanks for posting this recipe. :-)

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