Tag Archives: nutrition

Black Toenails and Pumpkin Spice Everything

Hope you all had a great weekend!

My weekend started off a little rough, I won’t lie.

Blackened toenail after running a marathon

Disclaimer– if you’re easily grossed out or don’t like feet, please feel free to skip this paragraph. I won’t judge you. So after finishing the marathon, it was pretty clear right away that my toenail was turning black. This has happened to my mom a few times, and it’s never been too big of a deal (despite having what we affectionately call “mutant toes” for a few weeks). From her experiences, I expected the nail to be sensitive for a couple of days, and then to fall off after several weeks to reveal a sparkling, healthy new nail. I even painted them a nice, festive orange to disguise the gross black color of my big toe. Well, it remained very sensitive several days later, until I was in the library doing schoolwork (and wearing sandals because closed-toe shoes were just not going to happen yet), when I bumped the toe against my other foot. It was incredibly painful (only my dignity kept me from bursting into tears) and it started bleeding profusely. Just what you want to happen when you’re trying to get some work done at the library. 😉 That night, I went to the walk-in clinic to get it checked out. The diagnosis: infected and needs removal. 😦

So my past few days have revolved around picking up antibiotics, calling a local podiatrist, and sorting out insurance issues. But things seem to be figured out now, and hopefully I’ll be good as gold soon. Needless to say, I have not gotten any runs in since the marathon.

But that’s enough about the toe. I wanted to take a minute to jump on the bandwagon of healthy living blogs that are getting REALLY into pumpkin this fall. Because I love it. And I have been eating A LOT of pumpkin-things lately. Some might say too much. But they would be wrong.

Pumpkin Spice Everything for fall

Like this pumpkin spice smoothie – a couple of scoops of pumpkin puree, frozen banana chunks, vanilla Greek yogurt, cinnamon,  apple pie spice (because I couldn’t find pumpkin pie spice at the store… I figured these were similar enough!), and almond milk. So good!

I also made pumpkin butter by mixing equal parts pumpkin puree and peanut butter. I sweetened it with honey and added more of the apple pie spice, and I have been eating this on toast or with bananas nearly every day.

And today, I went grocery shopping and was so excited to discover this-

Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt

I had to get it. I mean, COME ON, it’s a limited batch!!!! So yeah, I guess you could say I like pumpkin.

Stay tuned for some marathon-related thoughts from my mom! ♥

What’s your favorite fall food and/or flavor?



Filed under Food, Marathon

Lessons Learned From Marathon Training.

Hey there!

While my training for this marathon has been less than ideal because of my EHL strain, my mom has been powering through the plan (an intermediate level Hal Higdon plan for any curious runners out there), and doing fantastic! In today’s post, she is sharing some of the lessons she has learned since stepping up the mileage for the marathon.

Lessons Learned While Training For a Marathon - Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

  1. Walk

We did a little more research to prepare for this marathon than we had done when training for our first half, and so after a runner friend of Nora’s dad recommended a couple of  books, we were on our way. We settled on Jeff Galloway’s running /walking method. (Galloway says the mix of running and walking is what prevents injury – despite all the added miles – and that appealed to me!)

I decided to try running a one mile followed by walking a minute – and this interval seems to work for me. It’s gotten me through a 17, an 18, and a 20 mile run (a little more about this one later). Even after running further than I ever have before, I ended the runs feeling great, and more importantly, I was able to walk just fine the next day.

Don't be afraid to incorporate walk breaks into your marathon training

(I also decided to keep taking my walk breaks during the shorter runs during the week, reasoning that since the goal was to keep my legs fresh for the long run on the weekend, it couldn’t hurt to take it easier during these hot, humid mornings. Which brings me to the second thing I learned: WATER.

Hydrating properly is key.

  1. Water

Drink it! One of the other books we looked at encouraged runners to walk through the water stops as they hydrate. (I like this because it’s hard for me to drink and run at the same time. Without choking at least.) So in addition to carrying a bottle on the longer runs, I started carrying a small bottle on short runs, and sipping as I took my one minute walking break. What I discovered was that, between the walk breaks, and sipping some water, I could run between 4-8 miles on a hot, humid summer morning and still feel really good, whereas in the past, I would have been drained and cranky.  I was also surprised to discover  that when I looked at my watch, I was only off my normal pace by 20 to 30 seconds, so despite the walk break, my times were pretty similar.

Make sure you're eating nutritious meals with plenty of carbohydrates.

  3. Food

Eat it! Training for the half marathon three summers ago, Nora and I just did some carbo-loading the night before and that was about it. But for this race, we had purchased Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners, and began paying close attention to what we ate – and how much –  and making sure we had good snacks, especially some carbs, frequently during the day.

Nancy Clark's Food Guide For Marathoners

But as it happened, on the two consecutive days before my scheduled 20 mile run, I had “special outings.” I ended up eating late lunches (in one case just pizza, so not balanced) and then just having ice cream for dinner!! (this is occasionally something that happens in our household). Now these are not things you have to avoid when training for a marathon, but these meals were not complete and so I learned the hard way that my muscles hadn’t been fueled properly. At about mile 12 of my 20 mile run, I felt my legs tiring, and even a few cramps. This was surprising to me since I had run the 17 and 18 mile runs without any discomfort!  I kept fueling during the run, and managed to keep a positive attitude all the way to the finish. But later that day, as I realized I had messed up my diet during the two previous days, I realized just how important it is to  maintain  a good diet. This Sunday, I will make sure I eat balanced and nutritious meals in the days leading up to my last 20 miler before the race.  And lastly: Ice.

Ice your feet during marathon training.

  1. Ice

Though I haven’t been able to have a full-on ice bath yet, I have enjoyed filling a basin with water, some ice, and a couple of my frozen Dassani water bottles (I also use these alone sometimes, rolling them  under my feet as I watch TV). This modest ice bath feels really great after a hard run, and though it can’t help with the blackened toenails  (that’s what dark red nail polish is for), it cools your toes and feet,  and gives you an excuse to sit back and relax and think about how amazing it is that you’ve just run so far!!

18 Miles during marathon training

20 miles during marathon training

So there you go! Have a wonderful long weekend (and maybe go for some long runs if you can!) 🙂



Filed under Marathon, Training

Father’s Day Recap & Recipes

Hello again! 🙂

Hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day yesterday!

My mom and I kicked off the day by going for a ten mile run at a bike trail a few towns over (we’ve got to keep those long runs coming, what with another half marathon in early July and my marathon training!). It was nice to switch the setting up a bit, and the trail was shady for the majority of the run, which was a nice bonus. We ran through a little tunnel at one point and I paused to take a picture of some weirdly insightful graffiti.


Pretty deep for graffiti, huh?

In the afternoon, the family just hung around the house enjoying the lazy Sunday afternoon. We watched a World Cup game (there is definitely some World Cup fever in this house!), and just relaxed, soaking in the beautiful weather we were having.

In the evening, we made my dad’s favorite dinner in honor of Father’s Day – taco salad. I whipped up an absolutely delicious and protein-packed guacamole to have on the side. That’s right – guacamole with PROTEIN! The secret ingredient – cottage cheese. I’ll admit, I’m not entirely sure if I’m really a fan of cottage cheese by itself, but whipped up with some avocado and lime juice, it was AMAZING!


It was a cinch to make too. All you need is:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • juice of half a lime
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (or you can substitute with whatever hot sauce you have on hand)

Put it in your food processor, and process until smooth. Voila! It turns a very pretty pale green color, and the cottage cheese gives it a fluffy, creamy texture.


My mom made a tangy salsa to pair with the taco salad as well. I’m not a fan of salsas that are too spicy. This one has a little heat, but more of its kick comes from balsamic vinegar.


For the salsa, you will need-

  • 14 oz. can of diced fireroasted tomatoes
  • 1 can chopped green chilies
  • 3 chopped up scallions (including the green part)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons pimenton
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • cilantro (optional)

Again, just combine everything in the food processor and blend!


Taco Salad - YUM!

Taco Salad – YUM!


I think it's safe to say my dad enjoyed this meal!

I think it’s safe to say my dad enjoyed this meal!


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Filed under Food

Settling into the New Routine

Hey there! 

So the past week and a half have been a little hectic with trying to sort out schedule changes, work shifts, and getting back into the flow of school. But I’m back again!

Now that things are starting to settle down, I’m excited to really get going with my routine.  Our next half-marathon (in Virginia Beach, so pumped to visit there!) is only about 7 weeks away. Which is super cool, but also a little scary.  I need to start planning out my long runs, and I’m going to have to be focused and dedicated to getting them in. If I don’t, this race might not be so pretty.


Given the winters in upstate New York, running outside isn’t really an option right now. The highs lately have been hovering in the teens or even lower, and snow and ice are pretty much permanently coating the sidewalks. Not ideal for running.  Luckily, I do have access to an indoor track at my school! It’s small, and I feel a bit like a hamster in a cage, going around and around on that track, but I much prefer it to slipping and sliding outside.

Food-wise, I’ve been having fun experimenting a little lately! I’ve been playing around with different flavors of overnight oats. I generally use vanilla greek yogurt, 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, a tablespoon of chia, and then whatever flavor I want. I’ve had it with peanut butter, which is delicious. This morning though, I tried a raspberry version by mixing in a couple of spoonfuls of raspberry jam.

Raspberry Overnight Oats

Raspberry Overnight Oats

raspberry overnight oats2

It was great! This breakfast keeps me full a long time too, and the chia seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch. Dinners have been a lot of stir-fries of frozen veggies, tofu-meat, and salads. I don’t have any pictures currently, but those are on the way!

With Super Bowl Sunday fast approaching, I’m hoping to try out some new recipes as well! There’s nothing quite like hanging out with good friends, watching some football, and eating delicious food, is there? Do you have any Super Bowl recipes you swear by? 

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Filed under Food, School, Training

A Guest Review…

Hello there! 

Today’s post is a little special- this is NOT Nora posting, but the OTHER HALF of the Running Duo (aka her mom!)

As runners, Nora and I are always looking for that perfect refueling bar, something that amuses my husband, who always kids us about our “candy bars”. So, a few months ago, he found an article about an unusual kind of bar and sent it to me: the article was about Chapul Bars, and the unusual thing about Chapul Bars? Well, that would be that they are made with crickets, or rather finely ground cricket flour. He thought I would laugh or be grossed out, but actually, I was pretty intrigued!


First, I researched a bit about the company. The founder of Chapul Bars is Pat Crowley, an avid white water rafter who grew up exploring the great Colorado River. After visiting Central and South America and studying the water shortage problems there, he returned home and set about obtaining a master’s in hydrology. With 92% of most industrialized nation’s water going to agriculture, Pat began to wonder how such use could be reduced so that the production of protein, vital to our daily diets, could be less of a drain (no pun intended! ) on our water resources. As a white water rafter and guide on the Colorado River, he could see the strain on the river first hand.  After watching a TED talk by Doctor Marcel Dicke about the use of insects as a source of food, Pat Crowley and some friends began to talk, explore and experiment and, eventually, developed some recipes! At that point, Chapul Bars was born. (The cricket flour they developed provides the protein usually provided by soy or whey protein in other bars.)


When I told Nora about my interest in Chapul Bars (and what they were made of) she looked at me funny and said, “You go ahead, but I’m not eating bugs.” Not an uncommon reaction, but one that the company is hoping will change with time.

Chapul makes three kinds of bars:

  • The Chaco Bar (the original flavor) made of dates, chocolate and peanuts, and flax and walnuts.
  • The Aztec Bar, a nut free bar made of dates, cocoa, coffee beans, and cayenne pepper.
  • The Thai Bar consisting of dates, almond butter, and cashews, flavored with coconut, ginger and lime.

Sounds pretty good, right?!

After much deliberation, I decided on the Aztec Bars and ordered a box of twelve. (Somehow I missed seeing that Chapul offers a sample pack of all three, oops! )

When the bars arrived in their simple brown box with a picture of a cricket on one side, and the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River on the other, I told Nora again about my plan to try the bars, and she once again, voiced her skepticism. Despite my enthusiasm, I put off actually trying one. Whenever we returned from a run, I would have the usual protein shake, or a piece of whole wheat bread with almond butter. I was a little nervous, too. So for several days my “buggy bars” remained unopened.


But this morning I did it. After returning from my four mile run, I told my husband this was it! I drank some more water, got myself a second cup of coffee, then opened one of the Aztec Bars.



(I like that the packaging is simple and recyclable, unlike so many companies that over-box and over-package things to make you think you are getting more for your money!)  Freed of its wrapping, the bar looked like a small brownie, very dark, with a slightly oily sheen. I took a bite as my husband watched.


And the taste? Well, it does taste a little bit like a cappuccino brownie, with the coffee beans lending some crunch – and then you get the spiciness of the cayenne. But there was no need to be nervous. Nary a taste of crickets at all – not that I would know what a cricket would taste like! The bar was moist and delicious and tasted great with my coffee!


Finally over my fear (and realizing that these bars are actually pretty tasty!)

So, bars with a “mission” and great taste! I don’t know if I’ll be able to convince the other half of this running duo to try these, but I’m a believer and I plan to pass them around to our running-club friends when we run the Lake Winnipesauke Relay in a few days. (I’m sure I will make some converts to cricket consumption.) 

Would you be willing to try a protein bar made using crickets?


Filed under Reviews

Bananas, Injured Toes, and Iced Coffee

Hey there! 

Hope everyone’s week is off to a good start! I’ve begun classes so things are already starting to get busy, but it’s definitely a good kind of busy. After a pretty relaxing summer, I’m happy to be getting down to business again.

Because of my class schedule today, I didn’t have time to get my run in during the morning, so I was forced to brave the 80 degree temps and humidity this afternoon.

tue aug 27


I kept it kinda short today since I’m technically in my tapering stage for the half marathon I’m running Sunday! I’m very excited for this race. It’s a combo 5K/Half Marathon, and while I couldn’t get any buds to run the 13.1 with me, a bunch did sign up for the 5K so I’ll have some friends waiting for me when I cross the finish line.  The anticipation of seeing everyone will be just what I need to stay motivated during the final miles.

I cooled down after the run with a little ice coffee from the “coffee bar” in my room!

coffee station


And yes, those are White Chocolate Macademia Clif Bars you see there! Except, I accidentally got the crunchy kind, which are, in my opinion, nowhere near as tasty as the chewy ones. 

I also had a banana with a little almond butter and granola to satisfy my post-run hunger.




Yum. It was just what I needed after the hot afternoon run.

On a different note, I was looking at my feet after I finished the run and noticed that the little dark (sort of black-ish) spot on my big toe blister area had gotten bigger and felt tender, which alarmed me a bit, given that I’ll be running roughly 4 times the distance I did today on Sunday. After consulting one of my housemates (a dancer who happens to be an expert on blisters), I decided it was probably a blood blister, and that I would try to drain it. The surgery was successful, and the black spot on my toe is now gone!

injured toe

Maybe I have a future as a podiatrist? 

I am a little concerned though that my big toe may fall off running this half marathon. I hope that doesn’t happen; I quite like having 5 toes and would prefer to keep them all!

We’ll just have to wait and see I guess! In the mean time, I’m going to take a couple days off from running in the hopes that the skin will be all healed by Sunday. 

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Filed under School, Training

Changes, Challenges, and Growing Up

I’m finally back!  Sorry for the brief hiatus, I was driving up to school and moving in for my JUNIOR YEAR!!! Gah. It’s scary how fast time is flying by.

This year is going to be really different from my past two years of school in a lot of ways. I’m super excited about some of this, but also a little nervous if I’m being totally honest. For the first time, I’m living off-campus in a house with a few girlfriends. I’ll be doing my own cooking for most meals, and I’m going to have to worry about grocery shopping for myself! I know that doesn’t sound very scary, but trying to budget and keep track of what I’m buying (and making sure it’s mostly healthy!) will be something new for me.

kid forever


Growing up is kinda scary. BUT it’s also ridiculously cool/exciting/fun/awesome! Some things I’m excited about for the coming year:

  • my classes (yes, I’m a nerd… What can you do?  )
  • my friends (I have an amazing network of friends at school and I’m so happy to be reunited with them finally!)
  • running some more half-marathons!! (I have one next Sunday!)
  • cooking for myself and trying new recipes (photos of my creations will be posted! and details about the successes/failures of particular recipes.)
  • having my own room!!! (pretty self-explanatory, even though I love my roommate from freshman/sophomore years! In fact, she’s just down the hall from me now. )

Then, there are the things that I admit, I’m just the teensiest bit worried about:

  • finding the time to run, blog, study, do homework, go to work, etc… (time management is going to be important!)
  • staying organized with all my commitments
  • missing the mother half of this Mother-Daughter Running Duo (and my family, Brady and Keeper) 



I love this quote. And as the year progresses, I’m going to have to work through challenges/stresses/life problems. They’re part of life, and all I can do is handle them the best I can. After all, you can’t have the ups without the downs!

my feeet1


It’s going to be an adventure, for sure! Here we go 


Filed under School, Thoughts, Uncategorized