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Long Run Energy Experiment

Before I go on about my long run energy experiment let’s rewind a little bit…. we passed a major holiday here!

Our Thanksgiving meal was typical for this family: all brand-new recipes that were a hit!

thanksgiving dinner (

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Biscuits with Cranberry Jam from Caroline @ Chocolate & Carrots

Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Brussel Sprout, Butternut Squash and Apple Stuffing with Turkey Sausage

(of course) Turkey

& a not-at-all-healthy Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cheesecake with Gingerbread Crust for dessert

YUM. I’m still full. (That’s a lie. I’m always hungry. ha.)

Now onto Christmas…Happy Holidays! family photoGod, I love my family. ;)

While the crazies were out Black Friday shopping, I opted for a morning run with my best guy friend from high school!

Cardio > Sales (blasphemy coming from a 20 year old girl, I know.)

We had a KILLER run we call “Kingdom Loop.” The first 4 miles are a gradual incline, until you get to Kingdom Dr. Then its a steep steep climb to the top, about 3/4 mile. You know the hill gets serious when the conversation stops ;) After that it’s a downhill coast to home, a decent start at working off this monster of Thanksgiving (and the next day, and the next day’s….) dessert:

Very fattening thanksgiving dessert (

Made by yours truly

My marathon training plan is roughly following this plan from Boston Athletic Association: Beginner 16 week program. (I fast-forwarded to week 9).

This morning I cranked out my 15-miler first thing before it got too hot (yes “too hot” in December….SoCal probs.) With my dad by my side, of course!

Marathon training long run ( started a little bit of an experiment. On the actualy Marathon Day (50 days and counting!) I will be needing some edible energy on the run to keep my glucose levels up and active. My mom hooked it up on her last trip to Sports Authority and bought me just about every type of energy product on the shelf.

  • Jelly Belly Sport Beans (4 different flaves)
  • Clif Shot Bloks
  • GU energy gels (regular and Roctane) *Bonus for this one, there’s Peanut Butter & Espresso!!!!
  • Power Gel energy gels
  • GU Chomps energy chews
  • Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews

I’m starting my experimenting now so I know what works best by January 19th! Today I took along Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews in Pomegranate Passion (I promise I’m not affiliated with any of the companies and this is not some cheesy sales pitch!)

Long Run Energy Experiment 1 ( personal opinion…


  • Tasted delicious and fruity
  • “Organic” (if you’re into that sort of thing)
  • No stomach ache


  • You have to eat 10 for one serving…..considering I’ll be needing 4-5 servings, I don’t want to be eating 50 chews!)
  • Non-resealable package
  • Says “contains protein & fiber” on package…… 1 stinkin’ gram! That barely counts.

I liked the flavor of the Stinger chews and they didn’t have any horrible side effects but the fact that I would be eating dozens of them for energy doesn’t sound appealing. Next week I’ll try out a Gu or PowerGel. One gulp and DONE. To be continued…

My Cranberry Sauce Was A Hit!

I hope everyone in the states had a lovely Thanksgiving! Are you still in a food coma? Or are you fighting fellow shoppers over Black Friday deals? Did you have leftover pie for breakfast?

Good spread! Our dinner was full of color, and it was as tasty as it was bright! Our family is small, so it was just my mom, dad, and I (and Missy – who enjoyed a “Frosty Paws” doggie ice cream!) for our Thanksgiving meal. We had the traditional turkey, which my dad cooked to perfection, along with all NEW sides that we made for the first time this year.

Including…my Cranberry Sauce! I found a recipe for a homemade cranberry sauce that did not include “sugar” on it’s ingredients list.

I’m sorry if you are a fan of Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce, but that dense goo in a can is hardly the sort of condiment I want to put on my beautifully cooked turkey meat. To me, it is a strange texture with loads of refined sugars and a barely palatable after-taste.

My mom has always had an aversion to cranberry sauce, but she had only been exposed to the aforementioned canned variety and was pleasantly surprised by the fresh, homemade batch I made bright and early yesterday morning.

Low-Sugar Cranberry Sauce:

  • 1 (12 oz) package of whole cranberries
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple + 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 Tbs Honey or Agave Necter

1.) Wash and rinse cranberries; combine cranberries, applesauce, pineapple and pineapple juice, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.

2.) Allow cranberry mixture to simmer, stirring constantly, for 10-15 minutes while the cranberries explode (Yes, EXPLODE. You will hear them pop and sizzle while they burst open and thicken up. Fun!)

3.) Add in ginger and honey; allow to simmer over medium heat for another 10-15 minutes until it thickens into a crimson sauce.

4.) Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Another motivating factor to make your own cranberry sauce: it contains nearly 1/2 of the calories and sugar of the canned jellied kind. One quarter cup of this homemade sauce is 65 calories, 10 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of fiber.

*Canned jellied sauces are 110 calories per 1/4 cup with 21 grams of sugar (most of which come from refined cane sugar) and only .5 grams of fiber. Little adjustments really count!

Later I will have to share our stuffing recipe. (There’s bacon…)

In a few minutes, I will be heading out for a loooong hike with my family. We’ll be making some turkey-cranberry sandwiches for dinner when we get back! (And we can’t let that pumpkin pie go to waste ;) ) What do you do with your leftovers?

Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

I’m happy to be home with my family for Thanksgiving this beautiful morning! I arrived bright and early yesterday morning (by train!) and was reunited with my mom, my Missy, and less than an hour later I was reunited with LA Fitness. What can I say, we gotta pre-burn every Thanksgiving calorie we can!

This is my first time home in three months, and I’m so happy to get to spend a long weekend with my mom & dad! There’s a mighty long list I can construct of all the things I am thankful for. Among them are: my parents. The ability to run and compete. Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes. The “Undo” button. The snooze button. And this love bug:

The agenda for today includes a nice long run with some quick pick-ups while my dad rides his bike with me. Then some “quality time” in the kitchen as we cook up our turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and vegetables. I’m really lucky that my parents have adopted a healthy lifestyle along with me.  We are all very conscious about the nutrition of our food; while the holidays are a time of celebration, it’s still not an excuse to gorge your body with thousands of extra calories.

SO, with that said, our menu includes:

Lean Turkey Breast

Homemade Reduced-Sugar Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Veggie & Fruit-loaded Stuffing

Roasted Vegetable Medley

& Pumpkin Pie!

Of course recipes and pictures will be on their way! There are several ways to reduce the massive-caloric intake that is associated with the Thanksgiving Dinner. I will be making sure to get in a sweaty workout in the morning, and eating light and healthfully before the dinner.

Other obvious “strategies” for having a healthy holiday are eating in moderation and stop eating BEFORE you are uncomfortably stuffed.

Now ENJOY yourself :)

Who is braving the midnight crowds for Black Friday shopping?? I will be warm and snuggly in my bed. Can’t say there are any deals so unbeatable that I am compelled to wake up before the sun.

What healthy tips do you use for the holidays?

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