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

Category Archives: Minneapolis

A recent tragedy in my life has me thinking about comfort food.

On Sunday, my family and I had to put Figaro, our 17-year-old kitty down :(. It was absolutely awful, but he was old and had been on a slow decline for a while. The poor guy had about every medical problem possible, so we knew it was time.

Sweet Figaro

Sweet Figaro

That photo was taken of Figgy a couple years ago, when he was still a little plump and had some pep in his step. He had lost more than half his body weight when we took him to the vet last week.

Anyway! On to a more positive note.

When dealing with hardships like this, I either have absolutely no appetite, or turn to food to make myself feel better. I guess you could say I’m an emotional eater.

Most people have their favorite comfort foods. Macaroni and cheese and pizza are probably my go-tos. I’d also guess that most people associate comfort foods with not so healthy foods. Well, I made a discovery this week: comfort food can be healthy!

So what’s my healthy comfort food? Greek salad.

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

I’ve realized I always turn to a Greek salad when I’m dealing with some type of a crisis. It sounds so random, but it’s true. When my mom had a major terrifying surgery, the only thing I could even think of eating was a big Greek salad topped with gyro meat from  ‘It’s Greek to Me‘ in Minneapolis:


When Mike’s dog Bella died, we went out to our favorite Greek restaurant ‘Athenian Room’ to celebrate her life.

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I’ve had a hard time thinking about Mr. Fig over the past few days, and have just been craving Greek salads. I’ve made my own version for dinner the past couple of nights.

I’ve been using chopped romaine lettuce, sliced cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, crumbled feta, and roasted lemon chicken to make the perfect comforting Greek salad. I even made my own dressing using olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, pepper, garlic and chopped olives.


So if you’re ever going through a hard time, or just having a rough day and want to turn to pizza and nachos, try to think of a healthier dish that is equally as delicious. Even if it’s a big less convenient, it’ll be worth it. I don’t know about you, but I never feel better after over-indulging in greasy food. A healthy comfort food can make you feel better about the difficult situation, and about yourself!


I was so ready to run the Minneapolis Half Marathon this morning.

race ready

race ready

I got an email this morning as Mike and I were heading out for the race, informing me that it had been delayed an hour due to thunderstorms and lightning. Mike and I sat in his car near the beginning of the race for over an hour before I eventually made my way to the start line at around 7:30 with the rest of the runners. The rain was clearing up, and I was feeling good and ready. I found my pace group, and my adrenaline was really rushing. About five minutes later I started seeing people running away from the starting line. Slowly, the word began to spread through the 6,000 runners that the race had been cancelled. 

Cancelled?! It was barely raining. There was no official announcement right away, but it was pretty clear that the race was off.

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I ran a couple miles to blow off some steam as I waited for Mike to come back to pick me up, but it wasn’t enough to get over my disappointment. I couldn’t help but think about all the runners who trained for months, some preparing for their first marathon ever. What a let down.

It was disappointing that the race was cancelled, but what was worse was the way it was handled. The organizers had promised updates on the status of the race through email and Facebook. That never happened. There was no official word that the race was actually cancelled until about an hour after it was supposed to start.

The reason they gave was dangerous weather, but it didn’t rain a drop after it was cancelled, and apparently the course was in fine shape. I still got all the race gear, but none of the pride that comes from crossing the finish line.

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This is pretty much how I’m feeling right now:

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This is Ella! The only thing she has to be sad about is that it’s not a sunny day and she isn’t running around outside.

I wasn’t sure how this race was going to go, but I definitely was not expecting it to be cancelled. I feel a little deflated and unmotivated. I have another half marathon coming on in September that will hopefully help me get over this unfortunate situation!


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!


Good Morning!

It’s the first day of my work week and I’m felling good despite being pretty drained after my drive back from Minneapolis last night.

Here’s the weekend recap.


I arrived in Minneapolis around 10:30 Saturday night and picked up my friend Carly before heading over to Mike’s sister’s apartment. After changing and hanging out for about an hour we headed over to a nearby bar. It was a pretty relaxed night that ended in a Domino’s pizza that I unfortunately do not have a picture of. But I promise it was amazing.


Sundays are always crazy busy when I’m home. Mike and I had tickets to the Timberwolves game and had plans to grab lunch at Mason’s Restaurant before the game.


The best thing about Mason’s is every beverage comes in a mason jar. I know mason jars are a little overdone these days, but I still love them.

After starting out with some bloody mary’s, I ordered a giant salad with arugula, goat cheese, beets, chicken, toasted nuts, and a balsamic vinaigrette.




That thing was massive. Then it was off to the game! They lost, but we still had a blast.


I was pretty bummed because if they win and get over 100 points, everyone gets free frozen yogurt. No frozen yogurt for us.

The rest of the day was spent visiting Mike’s family then dinner at my family’s house. My mom made some awesome baked rigatoni that I forgot to snap a picture of. whoops!


Sunday was spent lounging and having lunch with my mom. Oh, and a terrible run. It was snowing yesterday in Minneapolis. The 6 mile run I had planned sounded pretty unappealing once I looked outside, so I decided to give it a go on the treadmill. Big mistake. There are no words for how much I truly dislike running more than 3 miles on a treadmill. I have zero motivation and feel 10x worse than I would outside. I finished the run in just under 54 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime.

Next time, I won’t be such a little baby and will brave the elements!


I am beyond exhausted.

The past four days have been absolutely draining. Partly for good reasons, and partly for not so good reasons. Let’s start with the good, shall we?

I went home to Minneapolis late Saturday night after work. I ended up staying up very late with friends due to the time change. Like 3:00 a.m. late. The next day was jam-packed with seeing family and spending time with Mike. Our night concluded with a nice dinner of steak fajita bowls that hit the spot.






ready for eatin’

We didn’t follow much of a recipe for these. Just followed our cooking instincts. They were delish! Perfect fuel for my first half marathon training run the following morning!

Running in Minneapolis is usually such a treat, but the heatwave (40 degree warm up) that hit this past weekend caused puddles galore along all the trails, sidewalks, and even streets.


I spent the entire run dodging puddles, but by the end my socks and shoes were drenched.



I managed to finish my 3 mile run in about 27 minutes. Pretty decent time for dealing with the surprise obstacle course.

Now for the not so good. I am exhausted because I returned to Sioux Falls around 9:00 last night, and learned I had to be up to drive to Pierre, SD by 5:15 in the morning for work. I showered quick, ate a crappy dinner and hit the hay around 11:00. I haven’t felt fully awake all day. I had plans to squeeze a workout in once I got home from work, but my body is telling me to just be a bump on a log tonight, and I’m listening to it!



Good evening!

I want to start this post off by mentioning that Fall came and went rather quickly here in Sioux Falls. Yesterday, we got a grand total of 6 inches of snow!

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Christmas is definitely creeping up. Although the snow is about 50% melted already, I was beyond excited to walk out of work into a winter wonderland yesterday.

Travel Workouts

This past weekend I was visiting home in Minneapolis. Whenever I’m home, I know a lot of eating is going to be involved between my mom’s welcome home treats, and mine and Mike’s binge eating extravaganzas. Luckily, the area of Minneapolis I grew up in is full of beautiful places to run.

If you’re from the Minneapolis area chances are you’re familiar with the chain of lakes. I was fortunate enough to grow up just blocks away from Lake Harriet, and it has become one of my all time favorite places for a run.

I took advantage of the chance to run the lake while I was home. It was a beautiful Fall morning!

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The distance around the lake is just under 3 miles. With the short distance from my house added, the whole route adds up to about 3.5 miles. Nice and easy!

One of the days I was home I was just NOT feeling a run. I blame it on the big breakfast I had that morning. Instead, I opted for a circuit workout and some quick sprints.

I decided to do about a mile sprint or very quick run down to a local park where I completed the following circuit:



The run back to my house was definitely tougher than the run down. In all, the workout lasted no more than 30 minutes.

Working out while traveling can be tough. Whenever there’s a disruption to my normal gym routine I find myself becoming extremely unmotivated. It’s something I definitely need to work on.

I’m off to watch some Law & Order SVU and sip some coconut hot chocolate on this snowy November night!



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