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

Category Archives: Snacks


Even though I work weekends, I love having the mornings free! I’m naturally a morning person and feel much more productive during the first half of the day than I do at night. That means I’m way more motivated to get up and workout before work as opposed to after. This is especially important when you’re training for a race, and have some long, time consuming and exhausting runs scheduled on weekends.

This morning’s run wasn’t too long, but it was definitely exhausting.

My eight mile run was fueled by my typical pre-run snack: PB & banana toast plus a hot mug of coffee.





I waited just over an hour for everything to digest before setting out on my run.

The temperature in Sioux Falls is great for running right now; upper 60s with a light breeze. However, the humidity is unbearable. It was about 95% humidity this morning and it didn’t taper at all throughout my run. I was sweating buckets by about mile three. I have an extremely low tolerance for any type of heat or humidity, so this did not go over well at all.

I felt drained by mile five and really had to work to keep myself motived and focused on finishing strong. All I could think about was the sweat dripping from my face, and how great it would feel to jump into a freezing cold lake.

Despite the unfortunate conditions, I finished. I wasn’t a great run, but at least I did it.

Image 1

As soon as I was done, I walked straight over to the outdoor pool at my apartment complex to wade in the water and cool off. I was greeted by a very sad sight.


Noooooo!!! Life goes on.

Since I couldn’t immerse myself in cold water, I decided to fix myself a cold post-race snack.


Smoothie with frozen strawberries, blueberries, banana, spinach, chocolate protein powder and almond milk. It cooled me down almost instantly.

Am I the only one who can’t stand any type of humidity during a run? Or an outdoor workout for that matter? I don’t know how Floridians do it. I can’t imagine running in the extreme humidity and extreme heat. Yuck. I can’t wait for the fall weather that’s just around the corner!




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.


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.

Good Evening!

As I said earlier, a 7 mile run was on my agenda today as part of my half marathon training. The weather was my favorite for running. About 40-45 degrees, partly sunny, nice breeze. I did an out and back run along the bike path in Sioux Falls. It was honestly an ideal run, but I still feel like I could have pushed myself a little harder. Here were my finishing stats:


It would be awesome if I could keep this pace during my race. Fingers crossed! After my run I spent some time stretching outside on this beautiful spring day, and headed inside to refuel with a smoothie bowl.

Outdoor stretch

Outdoor stretch

Giant smoothie bowl

Giant smoothie bowl

Into the smoothie went:

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • frozen strawberries
  • scoop of plain greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • frozen kale
  • fresh spinach
  • almond milk
  • ice cubes
  • topped with kashi

I felt very accomplished after my run. I know it was only 7 miles and I have a long way to go before my half marathon. But knowing that I can run half of a half marathon easily makes me feel much better about going the rest of the distance! Gotta stay positive.

Meal Prep:

Tomorrow is going to be a crazy long day for me. I will be spending the first half of my day covering a court case, and the second half working on the Sioux Falls municipal election. I’m looking at a 14 hour day, roughly. Yikes! I made sure to pack most of my meals since I don’t know when or if I’ll get a break at any point.

Lunch, Dinner, Snacks.


Tuesday meal prep

This is usually what my daily meal prep looks like, minus dinner. Apart from breakfast at home, here’s the menu:

  • large apple for mid-morning snack
  • turkey and cheddar sandwich with veggies and string cheese for lunch
  • quest bar for snack
  • pulled pork with beans and quinoa for dinner

I’m sure I’ll need a late night snack by the time I get home. I also have plans to bake some sugar cookies tonight to bring into work. I have a feeling one of those will also sneak into my lunch bag!

Off to get baking!

So have I mentioned that South Dakota is windy?


Just some casual 33 mph winds…no big deal.

That’s what I was dealing with this morning during my 5k run. This 5k was part of my half marathon training. Technically, I was supposed to run a real 5k race, but since my training schedule has to work around my strange work schedule, there was no actual 5k race that I could do today or even this weekend.

I decided to just try to run it to the best of my ability, as if it were an actual race.

The first half I actually had a tail wind and was doing a 7 minute mile pace. Once I turned around to come back, it was a different story. Running directly into those winds slowed me down to almost a 9 minute mile.



The stats


It wasn’t a terrible finish time, but I wanted to finish in under 24 minutes. I know I would have if there wasn’t this ridiculous wind. But hey, you never know what it’s going to be like on actual race day.

Although running into the wind is absolutely terrible, I find that if I look down at the ground in front of me instead of straight on it feels a little easier. Not sure if it actually makes a difference, but it feels like it does!

I followed up my run with a quick legs workout that looked like this:

  • Superset Leg Curls & Leg Extensions 3/12
  • Superset Leg Press 3/12 & Calf Raises 3/20
  • Stationary Weighted Lunges 3/12
  • Superset Donkey Kicks & Fire Hydrants 3/12

Followed by a quesedilla lunch and a couple errands!

After running some errands I came home and had a little greek yogurt parfait with two of my favorite fruits.


Yum! The parfait included plain greek yogurt, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, topped with strawberries, blackberries and Kashi cereal.


I put the blackberries on the bottom to try to make it pretty, but they kind of got lost. Whoops.


Mixin’ it up

So it’s starting to thunderstorm in Sioux Falls and apparently there’s a chance for a tornado nearby tonight? I’m thinking of heading down to the hot tub in my apartment building before dinner. Sounds nice and relaxing, right?

First of all, it’s cold Starbuck’s drink weather in Sioux Falls.

Iced green tea

Iced green tea

It’s also sunroof season. For now at least.

Let’s back up. I wasn’t feeling so hot this morning after a fun night out last night. I would have loved to go for a run in the 60 degree weather with no wind, but I knew it wouldn’t end pretty if I did too much moving today.


This morning I wanted one thing and one thing only; oats.


Oats with flax, vanilla protein powder, PB2, banana, craisins, and Kashi cereal.

Then I fell asleep for another two hours…yikes.


After moping around my apartment and drinking about half my body weight in water, I still wasn’t feeling the best. Perhaps a nice cold smoothie would do the trick?



Scoop of chocolate protein powder, 1/2 frozen banana, frozen strawberries, cocoa powder, spinach, 1 TBS peanut butter, greek yogurt, water and ice cubes.

By this point I knew a run wasn’t in the cards today. But I felt like I could muster enough strength to get a little shopping done. I headed to the grocery store to pick up my weekly essentials and some more shopping fuel.



Old standby.

Shopping was a hit. TJ Maxx just got a bunch of new stuff in and Express had 30% off clearance. Today I learned short people like me really can pull off maxi dresses! Now if it would just stay warm enough to wear one.

While browsing the racks, I had a weird craving for a mexican style burger. Weird? I decided that’s what I would be making for dinner, and sweet potato fries sounded like a fitting side. So, I bring you a homemade sweet potato fries recipe!

Sweet Potato Fries:



  • Slice sweet potato into about 1/4 inch strips
  • Spread evenly on baking sheet
  • Drizzle with 1-2 TBS olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne, or any other spices
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping half way through

And that’s it!



Alongside my mexican burger topped with jack cheese, guac, plain greek yogurt, salsa, peppers and onion.


I’m so happy I had this craving. It really hit the spot. Brought me back to my sophomore year of college when I worked at a diner and ate “mexican burgers” at least twice a week.

I’m still feeling pretty sluggish and am bummed I wasn’t able to get a workout in today. Tomorrow I have a timed  5k on the agenda and a lower body workout as well. I’m hoping to get the 5k done in less than 24 minutes, but we shall see!



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