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A reunion, an anniversary, and a mistake

Every day I read “The Hungry Runner Girl” blog. I love her enthusiasm for running (and eating) and the pictures of her adorable 2 year old. She is currently training for the Boston Marathon, which I qualified for last year. Reading about her workouts always fills me with inspiration to start training for my next marathon. She honestly makes it look like FUN.

I don’t know what state I will be living in in 16 weeks and I don’t know what my medical schedule looks like, so picking an actual race to register for seems risky. (Although the Suja Rock n’ Roll in San Diego looks pretty awesome.) However my Sunday “long runs” have fallen by the wayside in the past year, so I figure it wouldn’t hurt to get back into a more regimented running routine that would keep me in optimal shape when I can finally pick a race and start training.

Sunday morning I reunited with my GARMIN. Since I wasn’t focused on specific pace or mileage, I left the GPS watch at home for the past several months.

Long Run with the Garmin (

I’ve blogged many times about my love for long runs. They were my favorite component of cross country training. In the peak of my collegiate cross country career, a “Sunday long run” meant 12-16 miles. I haven’t gone on a double-digit outting since last summer because….well, I have no need to! I decided I would start with 9 miles this weekend, and try to add a mile each Sunday.

Immediately after walking outside, I regretted wearing a tshirt. It was 39 degrees with 27 mph winds, gusts of up to 40. The sun was hiding behind some clouds and there was not a single other runner or bicyclists on my route. But I didn’t charge that watch for nothin’! I ran out against the wind for 4.5 miles, turned around and ran back with the wind on my side. Average pace: 7:36 per mile (at 7,000ft altitude, just sayin’.) Good enough for me :)

This week is my one-year-anniversary since I decided to chop my hair off. Okay that’s not a legitimate anniversary, but I look for any reason to celebrate ;) I’m growing it out now, and I can’t wait until it’s out of this awkward-length stage!

In-between stage hair (’s also been one week since my birthday weekend, which was a non-stop food and drink fest. Such a blast, but I also feel like it’s time to get some good-quality nutrition back in my routine so I’ve stocked up on so much produce and protein. Starting with this dinner inspired by Gina’s The Skinny Taste Cookbook.

Lean Clean Dinner with shrimp, sweet potato and greens (

Except I made one little mistake. Rarely ever will I cook meat (strictly for my aversion to touching slimy poultry, not a vegetarian). Sooo I don’t have much experience at the meat counter. I asked for half a pound of shrimp. You can imagine my horrified face when I discovered that I had to REMOVE THE LEGS AND DIGESTIVE TRACT OF THE SHRIMP MYSELF.

I was so excited for cooking a clean, balanced meal so I decided to suck it up, watch a Youtube tutorial and ‘devein’ the shrimp like a grown-up. If you have not done this, I highly recommend spending the extra few bucks for frozen, pre-cooked shrimp because the slimy strings that came out of that crustacean were unappetizing.

But it does look good on the plate.

The snowy conditions here are making me slightly less eager to dawn some spandex and pound the pavement but I am determined to start a more structured running routine. Treadmills, Spotify and Pinterest quotes are winter workout necessities.


Commitment Quote

I love that! Have a happy Tuesday :)

Summer Seafood: Not Your Typical Quesadilla!

Quesadillas are one of the only Mexican foods I would eat as a kid. To this day, I still don’t care for corn tortillas, Spanish rice, tamales, or chiles. And beans? Refried, black, pinto or any other variety is on my Top 10 Most-Hated Food Items list. Tears were involved whenever I was forced to eat them at family dinners as a toddler. Now I just avoid them completely. I used to cringe at avocados but I have grown to LOVE them and use them generously. My parents are convinced this 180 will happen with beans too; I am sure it won’t. Anyhow, this all limits my choices when it comes to Mexican food so a good ol’ flour tortilla stuffed with cheese (and usually dipped in ketchup) was my go-to.

I haven’t had a quesadilla in a long time. As a health-conscious person, that amount of melted cheese is no longer appealing. But I’ve seen some pretty amazing quesadillas recently using more than just cheese. Spinach. Sweet Potato. Goat Cheese. Pesto. I had to try it myself. After all, we have a Quesadilla Maker just sitting in our cupboards! (I know what you’re thinking: isn’t a frying pan a quesadilla maker? Well yes, this particular kitchen gadget is a little excessive and a regular frying pan is totally fine too.) I decided to make a Pesto Shrimp Quesadilla.

For our Saturday night dinner, we bought Tomato & Basil whole grain tortillas (100 cal. each) and a brick of Colby Jack cheese. I still had some shrimp from last weekend’s Shrimp Burgers. I had whipped up some homemade pesto and guacamole earlier in the day.

For the pesto: In a food processor, blend 1 cup of fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil, a tsp of garlic, a few drops of lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper. You only need to spread a thin layer over the bottom tortilla; this pesto is potent! Top with shredded cheese, pan-fried shrimp and second tortilla and cook until it’s crispy and brown! It was so flavorful with the pesto and shrimp.

I had half of a quesadilla (with a scoop of guacamole!) and a salad, which was perfect. Half of one of these quesadillas is around 450 calories because of the cheese, so it’s best eaten in moderation with some veggies on the side. After dinner my mom and I went on a 50 minute walk around our neighborhood in the great summer night weather. Tonight I think I’ll take the night off and let my dad do the cooking ;)

Summer Seafood: Shrimp Burgers with Peachy Salsa

Recently, Pinterest has inspired a lot of my cooking experiments including this dinner over the weekend: Shrimp Burgers with Peachy Salsa from HowSweetTreats. I hardly ever cook with raw meat so this was out of my comfort zone. I have to admit – chopping up the shrimp meat in a food processor had me a little skeptical about these things. But after adding in the mustard, spices and breadcrumbs – HOLY YUM! Totally worth the mess. Seafood Perfection.

When it comes to burgers, go big or go home. I topped the patties with Lily Light Sour Cream (15 calories per Tablespoon) mixed with lime juice and pepper. Sliced Avocado. Homemade Peach Salsa. And Whole Wheat buns. The Perfect Mid-Summer Meal.

Shrimp Burgers:

1 pound raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp

2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 Tbs dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp basil

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp onion powder

6 Tbs sour cream (light)

1 lime

salt & pepper to taste

1 avocado, sliced for topping

6 Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

In a food processor, pulse the shrimp until chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl and combine with bread crumbs, egg, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and basil. Divide into six handfuls and shape into flattened round patties. Heat a skillet over medium heat with 1 Tbs of olive oil. Cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes on each side (they will be more pink and crispy).

Mix your sour cream with the juice of one lime and a dash of salt and pepper. Use as a condiment over the patties.

Peachy Salsa:

2 RIPE peaches, diced

2 Tbs red onion, diced

2 Tbs cilantro

Juice of 1 Lime

salt and pepper

Assemble and enjoy!


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