Tag Archives: Clean Eating

How to Roast the Perfect Kabocha Squash

how to roast kabocha squash pittsburgh | almost getting it together

Confession time: I had no idea what a kabocha squash was until I started reading HLB blogs. I probably had eaten one in a curry at some point and never realized it.

I forgot how much I loved winter squash until this past year. I’ve always been a fan of summer squash – but winter squash? They were shaped funny and how the hell are you supposed to cut one open? Then everywhere I looked there was a kabocha squash recipe – kabocha donuts, kabocha soup, kabocha pancakes, roasted kabocha. I couldn’t escape it so I had to find one to see what the buzz was about.

I finally found one little kabocha at Whole Foods in September. My first attempt at roasting it turned into me nearly slicing my hand off trying to cut it open – then drizzling it with agave and cinnamon. I started picking at it straight from the oven – and I was hooked.

Then, in true Pittsburgh form, kabocha was no where to be found. Angela and I even went to City Market in Columbus trying to find them from the farmers, but no luck. I even Googled “where to buy kabocha squash in Pittsburgh” – nothing.  If you know me, you know I don’t give up that easily.

Finally, after four or five different desperate Google searches, a Yelp review popped up of a Japanese market in Squirrel Hill. “Only place to find kabocha squash, or Japanese squash” some helpful Yelp-er told me. That person is a saint. If I knew where they lived, I would send them an Edible Arrangement*.

I didn’t go to this particular market right away. I was afraid of being disappointed. One day, my friend Jamie followed me to the mall, and I noticed an “Oriental Market” in the North Hills. I immediately turned and was the only white girl in there. No one knew what I was doing. I did, though. I headed straight to the produce section, and low and behold, sweet, sweet kabochas, I snagged two huges ones and gifted one to Angela since she had never experienced the delight it had to offer.

Then a few months passed (okay, maybe a month) and I didn’t head back out that way. I suddenly decided to stop by the Japanese market in the aforementioned Yelp review. They had one little kabocha. I asked the shopkeeper if he had more. “How many do you want?” I told him all that he had. He brought me out a box of four kabocha squashes.

how to roast kabocha squash pittsburgh | almost getting it together

Squash of my labor.

If there’s a run on kabocha squashes in Pittsburgh – I know why and I know who reads my blog in Pittsburgh and I’m going to be really pissed if I can’t find one. (Okay, I’ll help you out – the Korean market in Shadyside by the Laundromat also has them.)

Moral of the story: if you can’t find kabocha squash, head to an Asian grocer. They always come through.

how to roast kabocha squash pittsburgh | almost getting it together

Roast kabocha squash.

Perfectly Roasted Kabocha Squash
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Ingredients
  • Kabocha squash
  • Coconut oil, either melted or spray
  • Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Wash squash thoroughly because you can, and should, eat the skin.
  3. Put squash in microwave on high for 3 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with coconut oil.
  5. Cut squash in half and scoop out the strings and seeds.
  6. Once squash is cleaned out, cut in strips or wedges (I prefer strips).
  7. Line on baking sheet and spray lightly with coconut oil.
  8. Sprinkle cinnamon on squash.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes, turning halfway through. Don’t be lazy – it seriously makes a difference. Kabocha squash is the one place I don’t get lazy.

 

Chat with me:
What food do you love but you can’t find? Do you love kabocha squash? Has anyone ever sent you an Edible Arrangement? (I’ve never gotten one, if anyone would like to send me one please contact me for my info.)

*Edible Arrangements did not sponsor this post, but if they are reading this and would like to send me an Edible Arrangement to review, feel free.

Salted Caramel Chia Pudding

salted caramel chia pudding gluten free vegan | almost getting it together

Chia seeds are having a real moment. I personally love chia seeds, mainly because I have a fear of not getting enough omega-3s or fiber, and also a tablespoon of them can turn 1/2 cup of oatmeal into like 3 cups of oatmeal if you do it right. (Okay, maybe 2. Just add double the water). If you want to learn more about chia seeds (and seeds in general), Davida at The Healthy Maven had a great round-up of all thing seed.

Yes, if you live under the superfood rock, chia seeds are what makes chia pets. Also most things you should eat are plants so I don’t know why that scares you. Chia seeds also make pudding, without all the milk and sugar and crap JELL-O sticks in theirs (sorry, Bill Cosby). I’ve been seeing chia pudding everywhere and started craving it. I had a failed pumpkin chia pudding recipe… and then decided I wanted salted caramel pudding. I’ve been craving caramel pudding since I saw it on a post on Running with Spoons, but unfortunately caramel pudding does not exist in the US (or at least not in the greater Pittsburgh metro area grocery stores).

Even though this recipe looks time intensive, it seriously takes five minutes total. It’s kind of an overnight plus the whole next day sitting around waiting time, so start it before you go to bed (soaking the dates and almonds) then blend it all before you go to work/school/have a fulfilling life that doesn’t involve either of those (and then I’m extra jealous of your life and the fact you will be enjoying this delicious chia pudding). Make it for your next dinner party because it’s vegan, gluten free, paleo, raw – whatever, everyone can eat it unless they’re allergic to almonds.

salted caramel chia pudding gluten free vegan | almost getting it together

Topped with a little cocoa powder because life is short.

Salted Caramel Chia Pudding
 
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Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond milk, separated into ½ cups
  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup dates, pitted
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt (or normal sea salt)
Instructions
  1. Put almonds and dates in a small container and cover with water. Let sit overnight.
  2. The next morning, drain water from almonds and dates.
  3. Put almonds, dates, ½ cup almond milk and lemon juice into blender or food processor and combine until a liquid and no small parts remain.
  4. Put chia seeds in a container. Poor almond-date-almond milk mixture over chia seeds. Add remaining ½ cup almond milk. Cover and shake to combine.
  5. Let mixture sit at least 4 hours, or until chia seeds absorb all the liquid.
  6. Top pudding with sea salt and enjoy.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 98 Fat: 5.5 Carbohydrates: 12.3 Sugar: 7.4 Sodium: 163 Fiber: 3.7 Protein: 2.9

 

Chat with me:
What’s your favorite superfood? How do you like to eat it?

Please, Eat a D**n Salad (and Giveaway Winners!)

matcha green tea muffins by one ingredient chef | almost getting it together

First off, I wasn’t even going to post today but it’s Angela‘s birthday so basically this post is homage to her. If I had never met Angela, this blog wouldn’t be in existence because she gave me the courage to start my blog and write about things I wanted to write about, not what I thought I should write about (hence why I never post about clothes anymore – I do that enough at work!). Ang, thanks for making me a better person you beautiful girl, you.

nutty for life angela | almost getting it together

Look at those tans!

Back on track: If you know me, or even know of me, as a person, you should know that I love green things. And by green things I mean vegetables. I truly, truly haven’t met a vegetable that I haven’t liked (other than white potatoes, ew). I know it’s probably super obnoxious to people who can go days without consuming a vegetable, but I honestly just like them. A lot. I grew up eating a ton of veggies, I dabbled in vegetarianism in high school and college – I’m that person who chooses what she’s eating based on sides rather than the main course.

I originally made what I lovingly referred to as a “basic b***h shamrock shake” (because come on, what food/healthy living/lifestyle blog/anything with print doesn’t have a shamrock shake redux somewhere in the past 16 days?) for Davida’s Green Food Link-Up but like, I couldn’t be that girl (sorry if you were that girl). Then I made my mint chocolate chip overnight oats and my life was basically changed.

Today, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to showcase some green recipes I’ve either tried and loved or want to try because I think I’ll love them. In my honor today, I’m asking you to eat a salad, and if not a salad, please just eat something green that is natural and not from food dye. I swear it won’t kill you.

 

Oh, and without further ado… here are some people who #gotlucky thanks to random.org number selection! If you won, please e-mail me your full name and mailing address to cpisone@gmail.com!

nunaturals giveaway rafflecopter| almost getting it together

Chat with me:
What did you do for St. Patrick’s Day this year? What is your favorite green food?

Mint Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats and a Giveaway [Closed]

mint chocolate chip overnight oats | almost getting it together

As usual, I’m behind the times on green recipes. Since my birthday falls 10 days before St. Patrick’s Day, clearly I have other priorities in March.

I had actually been craving a shamrock basic b***h shake (i.e. a mint flavored smoothie in my world) but when I made it I just felt… basic and unoriginal. Maybe I’ll still post it because it was pretty good but whatever. (Has anyone seen the nutrition facts on a real Shamrock Shake? Ew. Just ew. I saw them while looking one up to show Davida what they were).

Then it came to me – mint chocolate chip overnight oats. I remembered I had Peppermint NuStevia and had yet to try that flavor. I actually originally made this with just mint and it wasn’t minty enough. True peppermint extract scares me because of a peppermint extract overdose incident (if a recipe calls for 1/8 tsp of peppermint don’t increase it) so I was glad to have a little dropper that held me accountable.

This oatmeal was amazing. So good I had to text Angela to tell her. Honestly it’s vaguely scary looking – I’m kind of self-conscious about how my food looks anyway (#foodbloggerprobs) and I was really self-conscious of this guy. But whatever, get festive and make a jar now – they’ll probably be great hangover food on the 18th. (Off topic: for a while, a kale smoothie was my go-to hangover cure.) Plus – they’re gluten free and vegan!

Mint Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats

mint chocolate chip overnight oats | almost getting it together

Sorry these photos are dark – natural light is no joke.

Mint Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats and a Giveaway [Closed]
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ large banana
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  • 5 drops peppermint NuNatuals Stevia
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened carob chips
Instructions
  1. Put spinach, banana, almond milk, cacao powder, fresh mint, and peppermint stevia in your blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Put oats and chia seeds in a jar and shake to combine.
  3. Pour blender mixture into jar.
  4. Add carob chips to jar mixture.
  5. Shake well to combine.
  6. Refrigerate overnight and in the morning, top with Greek yogurt or additional carob chips!
  7. Try not to be self-conscious of your breakfast.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 333 Fat: 10.4 Saturated fat: 3.2 Carbohydrates: 57.0 Sugar: 12.2 Sodium: 166 Fiber: 14.5 Protein: 12.5

 

Now you can #getlucky and win a NuStevia prize pack that includes the peppermint, cherry vanilla and lemon flavors! I’m giving away four prize packs and this is open WORLDWIDE. You’ll also get some NuStevia packets for sweetening on the go. If you don’t think you’re lucky, you can score 15% off your purchase with BLG0614 on nunaturals.com.

Now for the not so lucky part… I am not currently self-hosting and the free version of WordPress has some serious limitations, so you have to enter by going to the Rafflecopter page. I hope this doesn’t deter you from entering. Feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail if you have any problems entering and I’ll help you out. This giveaway ends at 12:00 a.m. on Monday, March 17th so enter now!

The giveaway is sponsored by NuNaturals but all opinions and recipe creations are my own. I was not paid for this post.

Chat with me:
What was your most memorable (or least memorable… haha) St. Patrick’s Day ever?

What I Ate Wednesday [4]: Savannah and Birthday Eats

Zunzis Savannah Salmon Salad Zunzis sauce What I Ate Wednesday | almost getting it together

Incase you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I spent the past weekend in Savannah. The last thing in the world I was going to do was spend my 25th birthday in Pittsburgh.

In early February, I received an invite in the mail to an award ceremony for my aunt who lives in Savannah on my birthday and knew it was a sign (she was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia – little known fact, my family, especially my aunt, is super involved with Girl Scouts). I immediately called my cousin Jaimie who lives in Atlanta and we quickly planned a trip.

Since we arrived late Thursday and spent a few hours talking with my aunt when we got to Savannah, we slept in. There was a ton of fresh fruit so I had my favorite breakfast for my birthday – lots of oatmeal with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt (not pictured).

gluten free oatmeal with chia seeds and fruit what i ate wednesday | almost getting it together

My grandmother and aunts all have the same dishes. No matter where I am, I feel like I’m at home!

There was a luncheon for the awards ceremony, but nothing was really gluten-free so I picked at some grilled chicken and veggies. Totally forgot to take a photo and also it wasn’t photogenic. t was at the same table as all of my aunt’s girlfriends, many of whom I have ran half-marathons with in Savannah or Disney, so it was definitely fun. My aunt also did an Ellen-style selfie on stage… and I realized my entire family is selfie-obsessed except me.

family | almost getting it together

I look totally out of place with my cousins and aunt because of my dark hair and skin. Was I adopted?

Afterwards, we decided to go downtown and do a little shopping at my favorite store in the world, Paris Market (more about that on Getting it Together on the Road: Savannah, coming soon). I was hungry – verging on hungry, really – so we stopped by Zunzis and I had my staple salmon salad and one of Jaimie’s falafels that honestly was maybe the best falafel of my life.

Zunzis Savannah Salmon Salad Zunzis sauce What I Ate Wednesday | almost getting it together

Salmon salad from Zunzis with a bite of falafel off to the side.

My Aunt Sherry is a huge runner (I ran my first half-marathon with her on my 21st birthday!) so she signed us up for a Shamrock 5K that ran through the squares of Savannah. I was a little disappointed during the Savannah Half-Marathon that the race didn’t go downtown but after running approximately one hundred corners, I understand why.

I started scheming and thinking I had a chance to place in my age group. Never before (besides the AEO 5K we had at work this summer) have I been in the front of the pack (okay, top 1/5th of the pack) in a race. Eating a salmon salad an hour and a half before was a bad idea (I know better but my hunger got to me) and I definitely felt it around mile 1.5 (despite running a 7:42 mile two). I didn’t place in my age group, but I was in the top 15% overall and top 6% of women so I’ll take it. Also this time is off because I did not cross the start line at the gun – I was definitely sub-26.

savannah shamrock 5k | almost getting it together

THIS TIME IS WRONG, SAVANNAH.

savannah shamrock 5k | almost getting it together

I proceeded to never warm up that night after taking off my gloves, ear band and jacket.

My aunt is also gluten-free and told me about this new restaurant that had gluten free pizza called My Your Pie (JK on the my pie, I’m glad I fact-checked that). Your Pie is basically the Chipotle of pizza – you choose your crust (white, whole wheat or gluten free) then whatever cheeses, veggies and meat you want. I never eat pizza anymore (besides my 10-Minute Gluten Free Pizza), so I was pretty pumped to eat pizza on my birthday. Then I had to indulge because it was my birthday and eat a kid’s sized gelato – half pistachio and half dark chocolate.

what i ate wednesday my pie gluten free pizza | almost getting it together

Gluten free pizza from Your Pie.

what i ate wednesday my pie gelato | almost getting it together

Birthday treat – gelato from Your Pie.

So basically on my birthday I ate a ton and felt totally guilty on Saturday and had to run it all off (kind of… before I proceeded to drink a ton of champagne). This was really different for me because I feel like for the past few years I’ve had to go somewhere fancy for my birthday with my family and this year I just wanted pizza so I had it. This is basically a break-through with me eating things because I feel like I should.

Full Savannah recap coming soon!

And of course, linking up with Jenn from Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!

Chat with me:
Have you ever been to Savannah? What did you eat on your last birthday? Is your family as cool as mine?

Autumn Vegetable Fritatta

autumn vegetable gluten free fritatta | almost getting it together

I know autumn is long gone (unless you’re in the Southern hemisphere, then it is just on the horizon), but this is what a certain someone asked me to make when I asked what they wanted for breakfast. 

My mom used to make frittatas pretty often. I used to think they were so fancy, but they were her way of using up whatever vegetables were leftover in the fridge. I honestly hadn’t really made more than one or two before (that honestly were just failed omelets, so I was so surprised when this one turned out.

I probably would have used gruyere cheese (let me know if you try it with that), but the pepper jack gave it a nice kick. Plus, I add Cholula to anything savory that stands still so it gave me an excuse to use my favorite condiment and a little bit of avocado for some healthy fat on the side. I actually ended up eating a slice of this cold one morning when I was particularly snacky and knew I would be ravenous in an hour so I just wanted to nip the hunger in the bud.

Autumn Veggie Fritatta
Serves six

autumn vegetable gluten free fritatta | almost getting it together

Serve this for St. Patrick’s Day since it has some green in it… right?

autumn vegetable gluten free fritatta | almost getting it together

Gotta Fritatta.

Autumn Vegetable Fritatta
 
Prep time
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 chicken sausage link
  • 6 oz pepperjack cheese, grated
  • ½ cup butternut squash, cooked
  • 8 oz shitake mushrooms
  • 4 cups spinach
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat a sauté pan or a cast iron skillet on the stove on low heat.
  2. Add olive oil & garlic. Cook garlic until fragrant, about one minute.
  3. Add chicken sausage and cook about 10 minutes or until nearly fully cooked.
  4. Add mushrooms and cook until soft, about 10 minutes (because you're on low heat).
  5. While mushrooms are cooking, mix eggs, egg whites, grated cheese, almond milk, salt and both peppers in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Add spinach, green onions and squash and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Continue stirring to make sure veggies are well mixed.
  7. Add in egg, cheese and milk mixture. Turn up heat to medium.
  8. Let sit on medium heat until fully cooked, about 10-15 minutes.
  9. Set oven to broil and pop pan/skillet in for 3-5 minutes until top browns.
  10. Serve with salsa, avocado or whatever else you like with your eggs.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 Calories: 235 Fat: 15.1 Saturated fat: 7.6 Carbohydrates: 9.1 Sugar: 2.3 Sodium: 660 Fiber: 1.7 Protein: 15.4

 

autumn vegetable gluten free fritatta | almost getting it together

Look at all that vegetabley goodness.

 

Chat with me:
What’s your favorite way to eat eggs? What meal could someone cook to impress you?

Now Trending [3]

I had some cool ideas in my mind for a blog post on my birthday but alas, between traveling and work and life, things got ahead of me. Time spent on inevitable flight delays (will I ever be on a flight that is on time again?) has given me some time to catch up a little on my reading list and the ability to share some cool stuff with you.

Life
Aziz Ansari, one of my favorite comedians and star of one of my favorite shows, Parks and Recreation, is working on a book about love! He did what Aziz does best and took to Reddit to get some real-life stories on love.

Pittsburgh is 5th on the list of unhappiest places to work. Womp womp.

Ever wonder how you can live the life you love? Lorna Jane’s blog, Move Nourish Believe, has a cool spreadsheet to make you see what your priorities are versus what makes you happiest.

Food
Climate change is about to impact us all in a big way – the price of avacados might rise so steeply that Chipotle may stop selling guacamole. Say it ain’t so.

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season and if I was able to eat gluten, you know I would be all over a box of Thin Mints. Just kidding, I have exceptional self-control, I would have one then forget I ever bought them. But all kidding aside, I miss Thin Mints, so I’m going try this refined sugar, flour-free Thin Mints from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.

Fun fact: when I was in high school, one summer after cross-country practice every day I would make chocolate chip pancakes. Thus began my love obsession with pancakes, breakfast and eventual weight gain (likely). I loved undercooked, battery pancakes and these Cookie Dough Chocolate Pancakes from Purely Twins look just like what the doctor ordered.

Watch
Iggy Azalea has been at the top of my running-list playlist for the past couple of months. I love when musicians make over classic movies for their music videos (Has anyone seen This Must be the Place by Miles Fisher?) and Iggy nails it with her rendition of Clueless.

Coconut Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes

Coconut Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes | almost getting it together

I had been craving two different breakfast foods – quinoa pancakes (which I had never had before but I often find myself craving foods I’ve never tried) and coconut blueberry waffles (alternatively, which I had never had). Luckily, President’s Day gave me a chance to create the breakfast food of my dreams since Saturday and Sunday breakfasts had been oatmeal (since I assumed I was doing a long run on Saturday then truly did a long run on Sunday).

Top these with coconut butter, almond butter, Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries for the full effect.

Coconut Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes

Coconut Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes | almost getting it together

The quintessential pancake shot.

Coconut Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup egg whites
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
Instructions
  1. Heat skillet on medium heat and spray with coconut oil (or whatever you use as a non-stick spray).
  2. Mix quinoa, coconut milk and egg whites in a bowl.
  3. Add coconut flour, shredded coconut, vanilla and baking powder and mix well. Coconut flour has a habit of sticking together – be sure to mix all of it out.
  4. Fold in blueberries
  5. Pour pancake batter onto heated skittle and let cook 2-3 minutes until bottom browns and is able to flip.
  6. Flip pancake and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  7. Top with whatever makes your heart flutter and enjoy.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 186 Fat: 3.9 Saturated fat: 1.9 Carbohydrates: 24.4 Sugar: 5.3 Fiber: 5.4 Protein: 10.9

 

Coconut Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes | almost getting it together

Use the coconut butter. Trust me.

 

Chat with me:
Do you crave foods you’ve never had? What are you currently craving?

How to Have a Successful Long Run

First off – I’m not a trained running coach, a doctor and my last science class was AP Biology in high school, so the below is what works for me. It might not work for everyone. I’ve been running for 11 years now so I have figured out what works best for me – and I’m still figuring it out every day – but this is what I’ve used to run my past successful four half-marathons in 2013. Also I don’t know what kind of shape you’re in – I have the mentality I can do whatever I put my mind to (aside from being taller than 5’0”) so basically I’ve developed and honed the “crazy runner gene” over the past 11 years.

There was a time in my life where I was terrified to run more than 5 miles. I thought I couldn’t do it. Then one day I had a lot on my mind and went and ran five miles and it was over before I realized what happened. This was in high school – and I still remember it 6-7 8-9 (crap, I’m getting old) years later.

The biggest hurdle of increasing your mileage for the first time is the negative self-talk. I’ve discovered the biggest part of forcing myself to go out and run double-digits in single digit temperatures and piles of snow is telling myself I’m good at what I’m doing, that I’m enjoying it and I’m fully capable of whatever it is I’m trying to do. Once you tell yourself that you’ll leave all the negative self-talk for another time, you’re overcome the hardest (mental) part.

Increasing mileage safely is really important.  I add 1-2 miles to my long run each week when I’m increasing my mileage. It works for me, but I also run 1000+ miles a year (rough estimate, but probably close to accurate) so I have a good base. Be sure you have a good base – you can easily run 3-4 miles – before you try to run 5 or 6.

Okay now to the fun part – fueling! Eat a good breakfast. What works best for me I’ve discovered is oatmeal with nut butter and some banana. Be sure you didn’t get wasted the night before and drink a lot of water the day before and the morning of.

longrun1

Nut butter – essential to long runs. Deliciousness courtesy of Angela.

I also take homemade energy bites or Larabars with me – maybe 100-200 calories worth – if I’m doing anything over 10 miles. If you’re starting out – take it with you for 6+ miles. Sometimes I’m more fatigued than others. Eat something when you’re starting to feel tired – I can tell that my legs feel heavy and I eat something and I get a pep back in my step.

almost getting it together national oatmeal day trail mix energy bites

Make my Trail Mix Energy Bites to take with you on your long run.

More important than food is water. I used to never take water with me, which was dumb. When I get dehydrated I start to get really negative. When I start to have negative thoughts, I drink more water – whatever, it might be all in my head but again these are tips that work for me. I have a little 10 oz Amphipod I use. On really hot days and really long runs (think over 12 miles) I either keep more water in my car and make my route stop by there to refill or stop and get water. (One time I stole a little Gatorade out of the machine from Sheetz when I was running near my grandparents house because I was DYING and they didn’t have a water spigot. I didn’t have any money with me. I still feel bad about it… kind of.)

Another important thing for keeping your attention in the run and not giving up and walking home is to have an interesting route. I love trail running because of my cross-country background so usually I do 90% of my runs on a trail. Sometimes if it’s snow covered or I need a change of scenery I go somewhere else.

Have a good playlist to listen to. I recently listened to Madonna’s MDMA Tour Live on Spotify ~1.25 times on a 15 mile run. It actually went by fast in my head because I was jamming out to all of Madonna’s classics. (And let’s be real – she’s great thinspiration fitspiration because she’s in great shape for being in her 50s. Say what you want about her arms being veiny – she’s able to werk it on stage still. You can’t do that without being fit.) I also recently discovered Podcasts and those keep my mind off the insane amount of time I’m spending in the snow, dodging ice and cars. I recommend The Dinner Party.

Finally – have a delicious meal to look forward to. Don’t go eat 1,000 calories in one meal and undo all the hard work you did, but eat something warm (if it’s winter out, duh) and nutritious. I love having a huge salad with some sort of treat – healthy muffin, kabocha, or my 10 Minute Gluten Free Pizza. I also have an almond milk latte after every long run. I don’t know why – it’s just my thing and I look forward to it so it helps me get through it.

Again – these are things that work for me. They may not work for everyone and don’t go trying something new on race day. Rookie mistake.

Chat with me:
Do you do long runs? What are your ways of coping with a long run (or super intense workout/bike ride/swim/whatever)?

I’m joining Lisa from The Skinny on Health for her Fit Tip Tuesday. Head to her blog to see more fit tips!

Fit Tip Tuesday Button

Bloody Mary Mussels

My dad could not stop talking about making mussels and more so, these Bloody Mary mussels he had at some brewery near Slippery Rock. On Valentine’s Day I was driving home from work, contemplating what I was going to eat for lunch because of course that was dependent on what I was eating for dinner, and called my dad to suggest we make mussels for dinner and be single together. So that’s what we did.

I had to think about what all types of things go into Bloody Marys to think about what should go into these little guys. My dad swears by Clamato juice but since they were already fishy (I think?) I decided to just use tomato juice. My dad also suggested Worchester sauce and horseradish because I totally would have forgotten about those. I was thinking garlic, Tabasco, celery, sea salt – all of the delicious accompaniments.

A quick Tabasco story because I know you all really want to hear it. When I was in Hong Kong and seriously jonesing for Mexican food, I would throw down approximately $30 USD for a burrito. Yeah, Hong Kong is expensive, but once you’re outside the US, Mexican food is few and far between. I didn’t have a kitchen. I had to go to extreme measures.

Anyway, back to the Tabasco. So we were at whatever the Hong Kong crappy equivalent of Mad Mex was (I seriously think it was Mad Mexican because a waiter gave me a sombrero one night when I was drunk and it said Mad Mexican or something on it. See photo below for reference) and we ordered margs (duh) and they were INSANELY sweet. Like way to sweet. So we poured Tabasco in them because what else are you going to do whenever you need a buzz to forget about the amount of money you’re paying for a burrito.

mexican food hong kong | almost getting it together

Said stolen somber – it says “Mexican with Attitude”

So these mussels were gone in like 5 minutes. They were delicious and super easy. Mussels seem scary to cook but they aren’t. Unless you’re allergic to shellfish and then they are scary because you’ll die.

Bloody Mary Mussels

bloody mary mussels | almost getting it together

Mussels – insanely easy to cook.

Bloody Mary Mussels
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 lb mussels, debearded and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1⅔ cups tomato juice (PURE tomato juice, not crap from concentrate with sugar added or something)
  • ⅔ cup chopped celery
  • ⅓ cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp fresh horseradish
  • 2 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp worchester sauce
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp celery salt
Instructions
  1. Mix everything but mussels, garlic and olive oil together and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven (or large sauté pan – anything large enough so the mussels can all be beside each other without being on top of each other) over medium high heat.
  3. Add in garlic and stir until fragrant, about one minute.
  4. Add mussels to pan. Put lid on top and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Check mussels after 3-4 minutes. If they are mostly closed, continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes, checking every minute to see if they are opened.
  6. Once they are all (or mostly) opened, add in sauce and stir well. Re-cover pan and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  7. MUSSELS ARE DONE! See, that wasn’t too scary, right? Enjoy your mussels as long as they are open. If they’re closed don’t eat them you’ll die.

 

bloody mary mussels | almost getting it together

These were devoured in less than 5 minutes.

Chat with me:
Is my writing on point today or what? And by point I mean ADD. Also – what is the most money you would ever pay for a burrito?