La Jolla Half Marathon Race Recap

The La Jolla Half Marathon. Back in 2010 this was my first half marathon ever. I thought it was kind of a one-and-done type of thing. Not even this race specifically, just half marathons in general. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon — 6 years, 4 La Jolla’s and 20 half marathons later…here we are.

The race started at 7:30am at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. I thought I was being smart coming from the north and exiting on Lomas Santa Fe to Stevens Ave. However, instead of being able to cross over Via de la Valle to the Del Mar Fairgrounds parking lot, cars were forced to turn left and head east. I ended up flipping a U and parking in the surrounding neighborhood. I ate a little more of my oatmeal, lubed up with body glide, fastened by bib and walked over to the start. I had to go to the bathroom so I easily slid into the Del Mar Surfside Race Place hall where I waited in a short line of 4 people. I exited the bathroom and had a brisk jog to the start. I popped into wave 2 and waited 2-3 minutes before the race officially began.

It was already hot and I knew by the time I hit the first aid station I’d be taking water. I didn’t bring a water pack but I probably should’ve. I mean, I carried my fanny pack last week on a 6 mile trail run in the lagoon (and even though I felt like an absolute kook it was completely necessary). I didn’t have a playlist prepared so I ended up just listening to my NYC Marathon playlist (and I forgot, it’s actually a good one!). I didn’t pay much attention to my pace, I knew I just needed to listen …

Quest Protein Bar Giveaway!

Every long run, every race needs to be fueled for sustained endurance.  That’s why every early morning I’m running, (sometimes while I’m still in bed) I’m reaching for a Quest Bar.  They’re a simple and fast fuel fix.  I can eat them as close as 15 minutes before a run and not have any digestive issues.  Plus I don’t hate on having a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast (my favorites are still choc. chip cookie and white choc. raspberry)!

If you haven’t jumped on the Quest Bar bandwagon…it’s one you need to get on.  Quest Bars are my favorite because they are comprised of both quality and quantity.  Meaning they’re high protein bars with little ingredients, and it takes me longer than 30 seconds to ingest.  Plus I’m sure you’ve seen their versatility all over the healthy-living webosphere.  They have the ability to transform into pop tarts, cookies, pies, etc.

So what does this all mean for you?  Well, today I’ve partnered up with Quest Nutrition to hopefully get some of you hooked on Quest too.

TWO winners will each win a Quest Bar 12 Flavor Sampler Pack + two bars of White Chocolate Raspberry + two bars of Double Chocolate Chunk + two packs of Peanut Butter Cups


What I Ate Yesterday

Here’s a “What I Ate Wednesday,” but of yesterday.  It was a delicious day that started out with these pancakes that I CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF!  I jazzed them up with some banana slices and almond butter in addition to some honey.

Then after work I was feeling a bit lethargic, but thought I would still feel better after a run.  I ran, sans watch, influenced by Olive to Run’s May Challenge.  It was only 3 miles, but it was just one of those days when you can’t get your legs to move.  I kept turning my wrist in to look at my time…but there was no time!  It was actually quite refreshing and it allowed me to focus on my latest obsession — The Great Gatsby soundtrack.

For dinner I made spaghetti squash hash browns.  Did you know there was even such a thing?  Or that this could be done?  They tasted almost identical and I think this is even easier to make.

Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns
Adapted from Empowered Sustenance
1/2 medium-sized spaghetti squash (about 2 cups prepared)
2 Tbsp. olive oil

  1. Prepare the spaghetti squash.  The easiest way to do this is poke holes all over it and microwave for 8-10 minutes depending on the size.  Remove from microwave, cut off the ends, and slice in half.  Remove the seeds.  With a fork, string out the squash.
  2. Take half of the spaghetti-ed squash and remove all excess water.  Option to wring using a clean kitchen towel, or I pressed it between a few paper towels, several times until it was dry.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the dried spaghetti squash in an even layer and press down with a spatula.
  4. When you see the edges begin to brown, wait a couple minutes and

Savory Breakfast Oats

Before we left on our Jtree trip, I made a menu that tried to roll over ingredients from dinner to breakfast to condense our load and pantry.  No room for excess/full bottles of condiments and booze!

We made this for the ULTIMATE pre-hike, hearty, loungy Sunday camping brunch.  Basically…we killed the camp food game!  Honestly, if I had a restaurant I would serve this to you.  So give it a shot, camping or at home, and let me know what you think!


Savory Breakfast Oats
Serves 2
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup water
2 Italian sausages (pre-cooked)
1 container sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 avocado
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 eggs


  1. Boil water and add oats.  Cook until water is absorbed.
  2. Separately, simmer the mushrooms until cooked.
  3. Heat the sausages until internally warm.  Cut into slices.
  4. Cube avocado and crumble feta.
  5. When you’re almost ready to serve, cook eggs.  We tried to make these a little runny, but they kind of steamed all the way through.
  6. Evenly divide between two plates and layer oatmeal, mushrooms, sausages, avocado, cheese and egg.

Holiday Bagel Buffet

After Thanksgiving, the holidays really start to pick up. So instead of trying to fit in a dinner party, we decided to host a holiday brunch get together and gift exchange. We put together a spread including Bruegger’s Bagels Orange Cranberry bagel. This special flavor is the perfect juxtaposition of bright orange zest and tangy cranberries, and pairs well with sweeter toppings such as raspberries and Bruegger’s Bagels Honey Walnut cream cheese.

What you need —

  • Bruegger’s Bagels Orange Cranberry bagel
  • Bruegger’s Bagels Light Plain cream cheese spread
  • Bruegger’s Bagels Honey Walnut cream cheese spread
  • Raspberries (or any other berries)
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Mint

The Best Balls

If you ever get a bad blister, these band-aids will be your lifesaver.  They are padded and protect your raw blistered part.  Plus they kind of melt into your skin, sealing out any bacteria that might infect your healing wound.  They’re also waterproof which makes them ideal for showering and also means multi-day use.


So thanks to these, I’m finally hitting the road running again.  I’m planning for 6 warm miles (it says it’s 93 degrees right now.  But who knows, I am indoors!) and Body Pump after work.  Yesterday I was confined to the elliptical, but the 30 minutes seemed to fly by– I got hooked on a new show, Criminal Minds on A&E (I just love fictional investigative TV).  I’ll just be happy to get running again.

Now onto the balls.  I have the best new pre-run fuel which also doubles as a sweet treat! These are by far the best balls. ever.  I think I’ll call them Lara Balls because they’re reminiscent of the bars.  They’re also sweet, but not sickening sweet (plus they’re paleo, raw and vegan).  I was able to stomach one of these before a couple morning runs last week.  Don’t just trust me, try them for yourself!


Lara Balls
Inspired by {never} homemaker

½ cup medjool dates, pitted
½ cup unsulfured apricots
1 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup shredded coconut
½ cup almond butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2.5 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

  1. Soak medjool dates for 15 minutes.  Take out of water and remove the pits.
  2. Place dates, apricots, and cashews in the food processor.  Pulse to fine bits.
  3. Since my food processor isn’t large enough, I transferred these contents to my Kitchenaid mixer and then added the shredded coconut, almond butter, vanilla extract and maple syrup.
  4. Mix

Easy Faux-Ghetti

’ve been meaning to make this broccoli slaw “spaghetti” for awhile, and once I got around to looking at the directions, I realized it was a lot easier than I thought.  Like, easier than making spaghetti, easier.  No boiling water, no waiting around.  We’re talking 10-12 minutes max for a veggie-laden “spaghetti.”

Broccoli Slaw “Spaghetti”
Simplified from Hungry Girl
1/4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
One 12oz bag of dry broccoli slaw
1 cup basil marinara sauce (no sugar-added)

  1. Bring a skillet with ¼ tsp olive oil to medium-high heat on the stove.
  2. Add slaw and 1/4 cup water. Stir occasionally and cook until water has evaporated. Cook until al dente (around 5-8 minutes).
  3. Add tomato sauce, stir and continue to cook until hot, about 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and flavor with seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, basil, etc.).  Makes two 2 cup servings.

Asparagus & Scallop Saute

This was a quick, easy, and flavorful recipe that I found and dogeared in my Fitness magazine.

Scallop-and-Asaparus Saute With Lemon and Thyme
Inspired by Ellie Krieger (Small Changes, Big Results)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb.), trimmed and cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 scallops (I used U10 scallops but the recipe calls for bay scallops)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups cooked wild rice (optional)
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add thyme, lemon zest and asparagus and cook, stirring until asparagus softens slightly, about 1 minute.
2. In a separate pan, heat oil to medium-high heat. Add the scallops to the pan, cooking for about a few minutes on the first side until they are golden brown. Flip them over and let them cook for another few minutes.
3.  When the scallops are done, pour the asparagus mixture over.  Drizzle lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Serve with accumulated juices over brown rice if desired.…

Kelp Noodle Salad

About a month or so ago, when my dad was visiting, we went to Bier Garden Encinitas where I had a “Sprout Salad” with pea shoots, sunflower sprouts, kelp noodle, watermelon radish, and tangerine sesame dressing.  At the time, I had no idea what kelp noodles were, but when I got my salad, it appeared to have rice/vermicelli-like noodles.  It was a good salad, but it was one of those things where you pictured the dish differently than it arrived, so you didn’t quite remember what you ordered or what ingredients were used.

Fast forward to recently when I started to see kelp noodles pop up all over the internet (e.g. Grok Grub’s Asian Noodle Salad and Blogilates’ Peanut Miso Kelp Noodles).  I learned they were super low-cal and healthy, contrary to my belief they were just another type of asian noodle.

Last week I finally found some at Whole Foods!  And while I looking in the tofu/fermented/kelp noodle case, I also found mixed sea vegetables.  At a loss for what to make for dinner, on the back of the package was a recipe for a salad that I semi-mimicked (see below) with the addition of mixed greens and kelp noodles (since my whole mission was kelp noodles!).

Basically, this is a long rant about kelp noodles and how I developed this salad.  All you really need to know is that it’s easy, filling, bright and refreshing!

Kelp Noodle Salad
2 meyer lemons, juiced
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 package of kelp noodles, rinsed
1 bag of mixed greens
1 medium apple, diced
1 small avocado, sliced
1/2 cup mixed sea vegetables, rinsed

  1.  In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil.  Set aside.
  2. Prepare the kelp noodles (rinse) and cut to desired length.

On The Road, On-The-Go

Ok, so I went a little gung-ho crazy at Trader Joe’s yesterday, stocking up on some healthy/paleo snacks for my trip to New Orleans this upcoming weekend to week.  Of course I won’t be able to go and not have a beignet or two, but I just wanted to make sure  that I had some healthy alternatives to reach for either on the plane or during the conference.  And you know what they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!  Below are some whole ingredient products that don’t need refrigeration and should withstand some heat and movement.

  1.  Apples and nut butter – I love a big, crisp and juicy apple. Pairing this with a variety of different nut butters prevents this snack from getting dull.
  2. LARABAR – With minimal ingredients (primarily composed of a date and nut mixture), these have been my go-to energy bars since starting the Whole30. This is a good alternative for something sweet with options like Apple Pie and Chocolate Coconut Chew!
  3.  Nuts – Just good ol’ dry roasted, unsalted macadamia and hazelnuts.  These have quickly become a new addiction.


  1.  Unsulfured and unsweetened dried fruit – Apple rings, pineapple rings, and dried cherries with no sulfur dioxide and no added sugar.  I love throwing these with some nuts for a homemade trail-mix of sorts.
  2.  Roasted Plantain Chips – I haven’t had these before, but the only ingredients were plantains, sunflower oil, salt – they sound pretty safe.

How do you eat healthy on the road and on-the-go?