learning to eat, cook, and live healthier one day at a time.

Monthly Archives: May 2014

Good Morning!

We’re two days away from race day people! Nerves are setting in!

I completed a 2 mile run last night and am debating whether or not to do an easy 3 miles tomorrow morning. I really want to get one more run in, but will not have any time today as I am driving to Minneapolis straight from work.

Let’s jump into the second installment of Friday Favorites: a collection of random things I’ve been diggin’ lately.

Friday Favorites:

1. Baking

Okay, so this is not a recent occurrence. I always love baking, but I’ve been on a hiatus since Easter which is a long time for me. Mike’s birthday is this weekend, so I had an excuse to make the best cake on earth: Oreo cake!


This is seriously one of the most amazing cakes ever. I made the same one last year following this recipe, and made the addition of little cookie dough balls in the cream filling this year. Hopefully it’s a hit!

2. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter


This is also not really a recent development. Peanut Butter & Co. has some awesome flavored nut butters, but this one is close to the top of the list. I’m not normally a chocolate in the morning kind of person, but this peanut butter isn’t terribly sweet and has a nice cocoa taste. I actually have two jars in my cupboard right now and have been putting it on a bagel thin or english muffin pretty much every morning this week. So good!

3. Quest Bar Lemon Cream Pie 


I absolutely love Quest bars, but unfortunately, I can’t afford to buy them all the time. I recently discovered the lemon cream pie flavor and it may have taken the place of banana nut muffin as my favorite. It seriously tastes like a lemon poppyseed muffin. If you’ve never tried Quest bars, you should check them out. They’re all natural, packed with protein, fiber, and actually taste good.

4. HIIT Cardio

This might sound stupid, but I really miss HIIT cardio. I have gotten so bored with steady state cardio and running throughout my half marathon training. Last night I decided to turn my scheduled 2 mile run into an interval run by going 1 minute at a slower pace, and 1 minute at a faster pace and just the slight variation felt so good. I really miss sprinting. I feel like it makes the time pass much quicker for some reason. Definitely looking forward to fitting more HIIT into my workouts after Sunday’s half marathon!


Alright folks, that’s all we got. Sorry this was so food-centered, but I do like talking about food. Next time I post will most likely be after the half-marathon! Scary!


Happy Memorial Day!

Having Monday as my typical day off is always nice when if falls on a holiday. Some of my coworkers and I had plans to get together by the pool at my apartment building and maybe grill some hotdogs today, but rain is ruining those plans.

Despite the gloomy weather, I accomplished my final long run of my half marathon training this morning!


AHHHH!! It was a rough one. But I did it.

I was just not feeling like a run this morning. I was doing alright for the first 5 miles or so, but cramped up really bad after eating a couple PowerBar Energy Blasts around mile 7 and the run just went downhill from there.

I had the energy blasts during my 11 mile run last week and felt like they really helped. Not sure what happened this time. It was also warmer than I like in the mid 70s, and I felt dehydrated towards the end. Ugh.

Even so, at this crappy pace I would still finish the half marathon in just under two hours, which is my goal.

I wanted to collapse on the floor when I got home, but decided to stretch and take and ice bath before diving into a yogurt bowl I prepared before the run.

yogurt bowl

yogurt bowl

Yes, I really needed that Oreo on top. I used plain nonfat greek yogurt, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, about 2 TBS oats, chopped strawberries, blackberries, and the Oreo. Solid post-run meal. Oh, and I chugged about 3 glasses of water.

Backing up.

I want to share a protein pancake recipe that I made for breakfast yesterday. I make protein pancakes so often I really don’t even pay attention to what I’m doing anymore and just kind of throw stuff together. However, this batch had a texture that was so close to real pancakes that I just have to share it.

Oatmeal & Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

oatmeal protein pancakes

protein pancakes


  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 1/2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • berries, PB, syrup for topping


  • combine all ingredients (expect toppings) into blender
  • blend until well combined, should reach batter-like consistency
  • heat medium skillet to medium-high heat, spray with nonstick cooking spray
  • scoop about half of batter into skillet, cook 2 minutes each side.
  • repeat with other half of batter
  • top with anything you’d like!
close up cakes

close up cakes

Sometimes it’s just all about getting that perfect texture, and these cakes have it. I topped mine with strawberries, banana, and some PB2.

You can easily switch things up in this recipe. Regular milk in place of almond milk, or whole eggs instead of egg whites. Part of the fun I think is experimenting and making a recipe your own.

Anyway, I have some extreme meal prep on the agenda for today until the weather clears up! Okay, not really extreme meal prep. It’s probably pretty wimpy compared to a lot of people. But, fruit salad is on the menu for the week again which is very exciting.



I’m just getting in from a nice and easy 3 mile morning run that was supposed to be at half marathon pace.



Got a little ahead of myself on the whole half marathon pace, but oh well.


I’m hopping on the Friday blogging bandwagon and would like to share some of my recent ‘favorites’ and things that I’ve been diggin’ lately. Let’s see where this goes.

Fruit Salad

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 8.10.13 PM

I have been eating a sickening amount of fruit salad this week. I made this huge bowl on Monday and have been adding it to greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and of course enjoying it by itself. Summer fruits are so delicious I just can’t get enough of them. I think I’ll add some blueberries to my next batch!

Simple Charm Necklaces


Not sure why it looks like my chest is having an allergic reaction in that photo. Whoops! It seems like on TV, you either need to wear a big staple piece necklace or something very subtle. I’ve found myself really gravitating towards simple charm necklaces like these lately. I love the one pictured above that I got from a cute store called ‘Zing’ in Sioux Falls last weekend. My mom also got me a similar one with a circle charm as an Easter gift.

Cerise Limon La Croix Sparkling Water


I’m a big fan of sparkling water. I spotted this new flashy La Croix flavor in Target the other day, and when I saw a case was on sale for $2.99 I had to go for it. Plus, I love all things cherry lime (especially Sonic’s cherry limeade). If you’re a sparkling water drinker, I recommend giving this new La Croix a try.

Spring Weather

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 8.10.24 PM

I never want Summer. I’m sure that sounds nuts, but I’ve never been a fan of hot weather. On the other hand, I’m loving Spring. It’s been absolutely perfect in Sioux Falls this past week; highs in the mid 70s and very little wind. I’m dreading the 90 degree weather and humidity that’s just around the corner. I’m going to enjoy this ideal weather while it lasts!

Hope everyone is looking forward to their Memorial Day weekend! I’ll be working through Saturday but am hoping to get outside to enjoy the holiday weekend Sunday and Monday. Plus, the outdoor pool at my apartment complex is opening this weekend. Woo!

I did it!

11 miles

11 miles

This morning I completed my long run for the week: 11 miles at under 9:00/mile! I have not been able to stay below 9:00/mile since my long runs passed about 7 miles, so I am thrilled about this. I have one last long run next week before the race!

The morning started with my regular pre-run meal.

Pre-run snack

Pre-run snack

English muffin with Peanut Butter & Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams PB and sliced banana!

This was also the first run of my training that I used fuel. At around mile 7, I popped a couple PowerBar Energy Blasts.

Energy Blasts

Energy Blasts

Running fuel

Running fuel

I had four of these little guys during my run. Surprisingly, I didn’t cramp up at all from them. Not sure if it was a placebo effect or the energy blasts, but I definitely felt energized through the end of my run.

All I could think about for the last couple miles was getting home to eat some cottage cheese topped with delicious fruit salad that I made last night.

Post-run snack

Post-run snack

Plus a couple dark chocolate almonds because I needed chocolate.

This fruit salad was one of several things I made last during during a little Monday meal prep time.

Monday meal prep

Monday meal prep

Tuna pasta salad, fruit salad, ground turkey, chicken breast.

The tuna salad is on point let me tell you. I definitely need to share the recipe on here very soon. I was thinking of roasting some zucchini and yellow squash tonight as well to use throughout the week. We’ll see!

I’m feeling very good about my run today but also very, very sore. My muscles haven’t ached this bad from a run in a very long time. I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be rough.

Good afternoon!

I hope Monday is moving right along for everyone. I’m off today, and had an 11 mile long run on the agenda this morning. Unfortunately, I wound up putting it off until tomorrow. You’ll never guess why!


Windy Sioux Falls

Windy Sioux Falls

Rain isn’t a problem for me, but the wind most certainly is. I probably would have braved it if the weather tomorrow wasn’t looking so promising; 60s and pretty much no wind.

I know I’m supposed to put myself through any running conditions during training since you never know what weather will be like on race day. However, I’m about 99.9% sure there will not be 25 mph winds in Minneapolis on June 1, because it’s almost never windy there.

After vetoing my run, I made myself a big breakfast of protein oats.

Oats + Whey, PB, Strawberries, Banana, Almond Milk

Oats + Whey, PB, Strawberries, Banana, Almond Milk

All mixed up

All mixed up

Woooow those photos make my food look so appealing…not. I really need to charge my actual camera and stop using my crappy phone.

Anyway, I love protein oats. For this bowl, I heated about 1/2 oats and mixed them with 1 scoop chocolate whey, a pinch of cocoa powder, strawberries, bananas, and PB2.

Shortly after the oats I headed to the gym to complete a chest and triceps workout that looked a little something like this:

Chest & Triceps:

  • wide pushups 3/10
  • incline dumbbell press 3/10
  • cable flyes 3/10
  • decline flyes 3/10
  • bench dips 3/10
  • lying tricep extensions 3/10
  • tricep kickbacks 3/10
  • overhead tricep extensions 3/10
  • tricep pushdown cable extensions 3/10
  • plank core work

After my workout I hit up the grocery store to get my weekly essentials. There is so much good fruit in season right now! I love it! I picked up supplies for fruit salad and tuna salad that I plan on making tonight after my hair appointment. Stay tuned!



The title of this post is a very serious issue for me. I’ve never been able to run immediately after eating a full meal, or even shortly after. I typically have to wait at least an hour and a half after eating before heading out for a run, and that’s if the meal was small.

Since I began this most recent half marathon training I’ve also learned that I can’t run after a full day of eating, even if the last meal or snack was several hours before.

Last night it really sunk in.


This was the result of what was supposed to be a 5 mile run. I was slow, sluggish and cramped up the entire time. Absolutely terrible. I cut it short when I realized things just weren’t getting any better.

This is why I typically run in the morning, which I would have done yesterday if it wasn’t 25 degrees when I woke up. Yikes!

A typical pre-run snack is a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana, or something with a similar carb to protein to fat ratio.

Chocolate PB + Banana toast

Chocolate PB + Banana toast

If I’m running less than 5 miles I typically don’t eat anything before, maybe just a cup of coffee or a handful of cereal. I now realize this is just what I’m going to have to stick to.

On the bright side, I do not have a problem eating large amounts of food after a run. So that’s exactly what I did on Monday after my 10 mile run.



This run was great. I’ve never felt so good about a long run, but this one was really a blast. It definitely helped that I was in Minneapolis last weekend and had excellent scenery.



And it was my favorite type of running weather. About 60 degrees and overcast. After my run, I picked up this little guy at Whole Foods:


It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I wanted something light since I had plans to get lunch with my friend Carly. We went to a place called Barbette and I ordered a quiche with asparagus, mushrooms, onions and chevre cheese. Forgot to snap a pic. Whoops! I did not forget a picture of dessert, though.

PB + Sriracha

PB + Sriracha

If you live in the Minneapolis area, check out Glam Doll Donuts. This place rules. I ordered the peanut butter and sriracha donut and it lived up to my expectations. They always have funky combinations along with classics.

K now I want a donut.

Moral of the story: I can’t run after eating. I’d like to know who can. Is it an ability that runners build over time? Will I eventually stop cramping up if I just keep pushing through it?

I have an 11 mile run planned for this Monday. Stay tuned!


Happy weekend!

I technically still have a day to go before I can start celebrating, but what the heck. I had a blast at work today. I did a story on opening fishing weekend in Minnesota, and this is what my “office” looked like for the day:

Lake Shetek, MN

Lake Shetek, MN

I didn’t want to leave. Days like these I just really love my job.

Back up. Last night I made some amazing ‘healthy’ nachos while watching the NFL draft, because in my eyes you can’t watch anything football-related without football food.

'healthy' nachos

‘healthy’ nachos

To make these nachos, I toasted a Flatout flatbread in the oven at 400 degrees for about 4 minutes on each side. I then broke it into chips and topped with seasoned ground turkey, red and green bell peppers, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar, salsa, and plain nonfat greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Hit the spot!

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; Flatouts rule. You can do so much with them, they’re healthy, and they taste good! I often make quesadillas, pizzas, or just plain old wraps with Flatouts. I highly recommend giving them a try.

I had planned on getting a 5 mile run in this morning, but things changed when I was woken up by the 30 mph winds all night! It is psycho windy in South Dakota. All the time. I just can’t handle running in crazy wind, so I decided to postpone my run until after work. Luckily the wind died down a bit by then.

5 miles at 1/2 marathon pace

5 miles at 1/2 marathon pace

The last few weeks of my training really focus on running at pace. I’m hoping to stay right around 9:00/ mile or just under during my half marathon. My run was nice and easy, but the running path I take is along a creek and the bugs were just thick down there tonight. I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse as the weather gets warmer. I had to hold my breath several times to make sure I didn’t swallow any gnats. Lovely.

I’m heading home to Minneapolis for Mother’s Day tomorrow night which I am very excited about! I am not excited about the fact that I have to work at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow. I’m off to pack for the weekend, as I will be leaving straight from work tomorrow.

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