Monthly Archives: October 2013

10K Training Update: Running Is Hard

Remember about 4 weeks ago when I was like, “Hey, I’m gonna train for a 10K“?  Well, believe it or not, we’re approaching the halfway point already.  My boyfriend (who hates long distance running) and I have almost exactly one month until we participate in our turkey trot on Thanksgiving.  I wouldn’t say training is going badly, but I have to be real with you.  I’m not really killing it.

I told you I’d keep you posted on my progress, and I’m a woman of my word.  Here’s exactly what I have and have not done up to this point.  The little red X’s indicate a completed workout, and the last red X on the chart is what I did today.

10 Novice

Notice all the blank boxes?  Yeah.  In my defense, my brother got married that week 300 miles away from where I currently live.  I was having a dress crisis.  Most of my afternoons during week 2 were spent combing Chicago for appropriate wedding attire.  Yes, I could have made time to run, but I didn’t.  That’s just me being honest.

The good news is that the unscheduled off days don’t seem to be holding me back.  My BF and I completed a 4 mile “long run” together last weekend with relative ease.  We didn’t break any records, but we finished.  And he hasn’t run that much at once since high school, so it was really incredible seeing him do something he didn’t think he was capable of.  He even went out the night before and bought special running tights to wear under his shorts.  So official.  And adorable.

During the weekdays, I have a different running partner.  He’s the kind of athlete who burns out early, but he’s working on his stamina.

DEXTER RUNNING 10K TRAININGTaken mid-stride during week 2

As previously mentioned, the turkey trot happens in ONE MONTH.  Until then, I’ll be channeling my inner Prefontaine and referencing my 10 Tricks to Getting Motivated, because it’s starting to get really, really chilly outside.  Holla at me if you have any running/workout tips you’d like to share, or if you need advice.  The address is thehungrytortoise at gmail dot com.  I always read and respond to every single e-mail I get.

I look forward to chatting.  Toodles!


Daily Dexter: The Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween!


Your favorite ferocious lion

P.S. More candy, please.


Recipe: Asian Sesame Slaw

Introducing cole slaw’s brotha from anotha mutha – Asian Sesame Slaw.

This creation is a great way to liven up your lunch, if you’re sick of the typical salad.  And it’s a balanced meal with protein and healthy fats.  I like to pair mine with whole grain crackers topped with fresh avocado (as seen in the blog’s series What’s For Lunch).  It’s portable.  It’s light.  It’s delicious.  And get this – it gets even tastier after a day or two in the fridge once.  Make a big batch on Sunday, and eat it until mid-week as your main meal or a side dish!



  • 2 c. shredded cabbage
  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c. raw cashews, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar


  1. Combine cabbage, carrots, cashews, and cilantro in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  2. To make dressing, combine the remaining ingredients in a smaller bowl.  Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Top with a few extra cashews and enjoy!

This recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.  It’s also dairy-free.  Each one cup serving will cost you about 90 calories.

Leslie The Dietician Tells Us… “What’s For Lunch”!

It’s not always easy eating well.  But today’s “What’s For Lunch” contributor has an extra important reason to stay healthy.  She’s expecting her first little baby!  Hooray!


Leslie, MPH, RD/LD, CLT & Owner of Health Hearts Nutrition LLC

Her name is Leslie.  I played basketball with her in high school, and now that we’re all grown up, she’s become a very distinguished expert in foods and nutrition.  Seriously, she has four different abbreviations behind her name.  It’s impressive.  To top it all off, she owns her own coaching clinic in Ohio called Health Hearts Nutrition LLC.  Even if you can’t pay her a visit in person, the website is really helpful.  I recommend stopping by!  And she’s always posting fun and interesting tidbits on Facebook.  LIKE her to follow!

Anyway, I was excited to get back in touch with Leslie, because… to be completely honest… I’m nosy.  I’m always curious to know what dieticians really eat.  The answer, at least in this case, is a little bit of everything.  And because Leslie is pregnant (AKA always hungry), she packs one lunch bag with lots of healthy snacks and picks from it throughout the day.  Let’s take a look!

Leslie’s Lunch


  • Grapes and cheddar cheese for a mid-morning snack
  • Homemade cabbage rolls and sauerkraut for lunch (Leslie says the baby likes German food!)
  • A plum and coconut cashews from Trader Joe’s for an afternoon snack

Now I want YOU to answer the question… “What’s For Lunch?”!  E-mail me a description of your meal (with a picture!), and we’ll feature it on the blog!  The address is thehungrytortoise at gmail dot com.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Recipe: Tomato Rosemary Soup

Fall is officially here!  That means it’s time to wrap up in your favorite oversized sweater and sip on some soup.  Isn’t it just the best?  I love soup because it’s cozy, and it keeps me full.  Plus, I can make a big fat pot one day, and eat from it for a week.  My favorite?  Old school tomato with a warm, gooey grilled cheese.  Can’t beat it!


Making soup from scratch might sound difficult and time-consuming, but it’s really not at all.  All you need is about 30 minutes, a blender, and a few simple ingredients.   I adapted the following recipe from THIS one posted by food blogger Marc Matsumoto.

Tomato Rosemary Soup

Makes 3 Servings

1.5 Cups = 90 Calories



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 lbs of fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 14 oz. canned tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 inch sprig rosemary
  • sea salt, to taste
  • natural sweetener, if needed, to taste (calorie content calculated with calorie-free stevia)


  1. Add oil to a large pot.  Warm to medium heat and add the garlic and shallots.  Cook until slightly browned.
  2. Add fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and rosemary to the pot.  Simmer over low heat until tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the rosemary and transfer the mixture to a heat-resistant blender.  An immersion blender works just as well.  Puree until smooth, and then pass through mesh strainer to remove skin and seeds.
  4. Add salt as much salt and sweetener as you think you need.  My fresh tomatoes were purchased out of season, so I added a significant amount of stevia.
  5. I topped my bowl with plain soy milk to add some plant-based creaminess.  Non-vegans could use milk, cream, even greek yogurt.

Introducing… “What’s For Lunch?”

Happy Monday, ya’ll!  Today, we will begin answering that epic question we all ask ourselves each and every day…

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH GRAPHICMy actual lunch bag

This new “What’s For Lunch?” experiment will be a fun and interesting look inside the lives of hungry people who like to eat.  Each week, we’ll feature a new meal from a new individual.  You may know of them.  You may not.  Either way, you’ll see some of their favorite foods and get ideas for your own lunch!  Why don’t I do the honors in kicking things off?

Check out this spread… eaten at my desk on top of a newspaper like a real animal.

LUNCHJessica’s Lunch

  • Asian Sesame Slaw with field greens and raw cashews
  • 2 sourdough Wasa crackers
  • 1/2 an avocado with sea salt
  • Sliced English cucumber
  • Water

Now I want YOU to answer the question… “What’s For Lunch?”!  E-mail me a description of your meal (with a picture!), and we’ll feature it on the blog!  The address is thehungrytortoise at gmail dot com.


Recipe: Sweet Potato-Stuffed Mushrooms

True story.  I lived and worked with my best friend for almost 4 years before moving to Chicago.  Also true – this friend hated mushrooms.  We shared meals often, which meant no mushrooms on anything ever.   Not even on my half of the pizza.  A small price to pay for friendship, right?

When she got a fancy new job in California, saying goodbye was hard.  Tears were shed.  But maybe the only good thing about her moving away was that I got to say HELLO again to delicious, meaty mushrooms.

Today’s recipe is one I’m especially proud of, not just because it’s beautiful and really, really yummy, but because I had almost nothing by way of groceries in my apartment when I made it.  This recipe wasn’t planned ahead of time, as most on this blog are.  It was birthed from necessity, and by scraping together whatever was left in the fridge and pantry before payday.

These little mushrooms are hardy.  They’re filling.  They’re healthy.  And wouldn’t they make cute little appetizers for Thanksgiving?  Sweet potato poppers!  Adorable!

Sweet Potato-Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes About 6 Mushrooms

33 Calories Each



  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 6 large mushroom caps (I used plain ol’ white mushrooms), rinsed with stems removed
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 6 pecan halves
  • sea salt, to taste


  1. Peel, slice, and boil the sweet potato until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. While the sweet potato is boiling, brown your onion in a small skilled with a little bit of cooking spray.
  3. When the potato is done, drain the water, and transfer it to a heat-resistant food processor with the onion.  Blend until smooth.  Add sea salt to taste.
  4. Stuff the clean mushroom caps with as much of the mashed sweet potato as you can.  Top each with a pecan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the potato tops are just a little bit brown.
  6. Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy!


Craving more sweet potato?  Try my recipe for Crispy Sweet Potato Chips!

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