Marathon Fuel

So one of my New Years goals is to start making dinner at home at least five times a week. I really want to teach RJ the value of sitting around the table and enjoying each others conversation over a meal. Hubby and I have been really bad about this over the past year. Most nights we would either sit in the living room while catching up on our favorite TV show or grab something easy like Chipotle. Seeing as I love to cook, this is something I am really excited to get back to. We have a Menu Chalk Board that I made last year and I am excited to start using it again! Plus I always love sharing recipes with all of YOU!


As I am marathon training (less than 10 days to go) I always eat a little more carbs the week before my marathon week and than during marathon week I eat more protein. According to Brown University, athletes should eat about four times the servings of grains as the average person. “Runner’s World” magazine explains that carbohydrates act as fuel, and that the amount of glycogen stored in your muscles has a direct impact on how far and how long you can run.Many carbs also have a high amount of fiber, which helps regulate your digestive system and prevents cramping during races. The magazine recommends a diet rich in foods such as couscous, potatoes, sweet potatoes, polenta, quinoa, rice, pearl barley, amaranth, buckwheat and whole wheat breads — instead of filling up with doughnuts and brownies. A few days before the marathon I will be eating more protein to help with the recovery of muscles after the race!

Instead of loading up on spaghetti, I decided to try out a new recipe (to me)  from Cooking Light! The husband and I love creamy pasta dishes, but never get them because they are always filled with cream and high in calories. So when I saw this recipe and it was a lot lighter, I just knew we had to try it. Now know this, if you want to make this recipe you need to carve out at least an hour, but it is so worth it.  You have to stir the pasta for about 30 minutes, a lot like Risotto, definitely helped me to SLOW down!


Skillet-Toasted Penne With Chicken Sausage

– Adapted from Cooking Light


  • 6 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat  penne pasta
  • 1 cup sliced sweet onion
  • 13 ounces Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 0.5 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Oregano leaves (optional)


1. Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pasta; cook 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Remove pasta from pan.

3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, and sausage to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage mixture from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Return pasta to pan. Add stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is nearly absorbed before adding the next (about 35 minutes total), stirring frequently. Stir in sausage mixture, zucchini, juice, chilies, salt, and cheese. Garnish with oregano, if desired.

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 cup) Calories 394; Fat 11.8g (sat 3.1g); Sodium 601mg

Skillet-ToastedPenneWithChicken Sausage

It was the perfect fuel for my last 8 mile run this morning! This weekend I will run 10 miles Sunday and two 6 mile runs next week and then SUNDAY is the Arizona Rock and Roll MARATHON! I am really excited as Hubby and RJ will be there to cheer me on.


I have also been enjoying all kinds of whole food breakfasts , staying home has allowed me to make more than just a bowl of oats, although that is a staple most mornings.


And a bit of random fun for today….I love our new Chalk Board sign on our door for Valentines Day. A great $10 spent with my Kohls Cash!


I am also making it a goal of mine to go through one room a week in our house and re-organize or just get rid of extra things we (I) don’t need. I figured I would get a jump on Spring cleaning.


And guess who turned 4 months this week????


Isn’t she the cutest? No really?!


Question: What is your go to staple breakfast of choice? How are your New Year’s goals going so far?


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  43. Jana kayser Avatar
    Jana kayser

    On days I work I LOVE Trader Joes frozen steel cut oatmeal! So quick & easy & healthy. I love that I dont have to add anything & the sugar is low!! Pair it up with cheese or fruit & I’m full!

  44. That blanket still looks huge!! haha We’re trying to eat cleaner in general. Sorta Paleo, mostly gluten free, which I will start tomorrow! 🙂

  45. My Winter breakfast has been about a cup of roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes topped with 2 eggs. Keeps me full for hours!
    Can’t believe she’s almost 4 months! Such a cutie pie!

  46. My go-to breakfast for the last few months has been oatmeal with PB2 and either diced apples or banana. Over the summer, my usual is plain greek yogurt with berries and rolled oats, and a little vanilla extract. Post-reset, I’ll likely start making. Egg white frittata cups to increase my protein and decrease my carbs a little until my mileage picks back again.

  47. No really.. She IS so cute! We do easy oatmeal and the toddler loves it. We were exactly the same about meals. It was a priority in theory and then when the baby began to actually sit up we were like.. no really- we have to make this happen. And it’s great. Kudos to you! Don’t give up! It gets fun when they can talk and bonus: they do better at restaurants and at other peoples’ homes. Score!

  48. My favorite breakfast is either chilaquiles or a smoked salmon, onion omelette but those are not weekday meals. My staple is Chobani Yogurt with Go Lean Crunch and a touch of dried fruit. However, I just tried the Super Oats from Love Grown Foods and I’m in love!

  49. Aww 4 months already!? I really need to go through our house and starting throwing away stuff – we are moving in 6 months and there is just so much stuff we have accumulated. This is the perfect time for me to starting cleaning out!

    That pasta looks DELICIOUS!