Greek Yogurt Sundae Bedtime Snack + Dallas Marathon Recap

Eating a bed time snack is NOT evil, nor will it make you fat. All my life, I’ve heard misguided food rules like “don’t eat after 8 pm” or “eating fat makes you fat.” Sure, you can’t pig out on a whole pizza or pint of gelato and expect to stay at a racing weight, but a healthy snack packed with 10 to 20 grams of protein is a smart choice for nocturnal noshing. This amount of protein helps to satiate hunger as it goes to work repairing muscle damage from workouts earlier in the day. My blood sugar remains stable through the wee hours and the result of this protein snack is that I don’t wake up in the middle of the night hungry or in the morning drained of energy.Greek Yogurt Sundae with Raspberries & Chocolate Chips - One of my favorite snacks to eat before bed is a bowl of Greek yogurt with raspberries and mini chocolate chips. Chobani is a favorite brand, the texture is so smooth and creamy and the company only uses natural non-GMO ingredients. There are so many delicious flavors like coconut and key lime — but I usually get the plain and mix in a flavored Stevia (like NuNaturals Vanilla or Chocolate Syrup) along with raspberries and a teaspoon or two of mini chocolate chips. It’s my version of a fudge sundae! I get 15 grams of quality protein thanks to this sensible sweet treat and all the ingredients I just listed have barely over 120 calories combined! An added bonus is that Greek yogurt has lots of calcium, and I could always use more of that bone-building mineral!Dallas Marathon - Jennifer Fisher So, on to the Dallas Marathon — I basically blew up at mile 18.Although I was super hydrated (I thought) and reasonably well-rested, I couldn’t hang at my planned pace in the high humidity conditions. At mile 15, I felt leg cramps coming on. Thank goodness my mom showed up with my favorite Nuun Hydration tabs (Kona Cola) super concentrated in a bottle of water — I drank full bottles during my TWO porta potty stops (ugh — there went 5 minutes).

mom giving me nuun at dallas marathon I had to start run-walking at mile 18 and was literally just making it 100 yards at a time near the end. This was my second worst marathon finish ever by a minute at 3:32 , 22 minutes off my plan and 42 minutes off an ancient PR, yet I notice that people roll their eyes when I mention the 2nd place age group finish — that was a surprise considering my condition. The highlight of the race was not when I fell into the door of the port-a-potty and scraped up my arm, but instead the highlight was proving to myself I had the grit not to quit. Ryan Hall was at the finish line and put the medal around my neck – that was awesome! So I am left with a dilemma. Ever since getting back to running in my 40s, nabbing a marathon time that correlates training and effort-wise to my other race distances (in everything from the 1 mile to 1/2 marathon) eludes me. In some ways, I’m ready to break up with the marathon . . . . but I can’t let my  final experience be this last one. But, that means I have to run another . . .

Have any of you runners ever had these feelings? What’s the longest you’ve ever “broken up” with running?

Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie & Marathon Countdown

Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie -

Where DOES the time go? It’s almost the middle of November which means cranberries are popping up everywhere, getting me excited for Thanksgiving) the subsequent Dallas Marathon just 17 days after that. Am I ready? No. Am I ever ready? No. So, I’m just not going to worry about it and be happy for what my body can do rather than what it can’t. Once again, I plan to follow the “fat-loading” pre-marathon diet that I did last year (read about it here). Because Dallas Marathon was canceled due to ice last year, I never got to see if all that avocado and salmon scarfing actually helped train my body to better tap fat stores as a more immediate source of fuel. The idea is that the body will spare glycogen reserves for use at the race by using fat stores more efficiently on the front end. In other words, no bonking – hopefully.

Dallas Marathon 2012 - Jennifer Fisher

2012 Dallas Marathon — it rained the ENTIRE race! That’s me, only girl in that group on far left.

So, enough about that – I can’t even think of running 26.2 miles at my race pace right now! Instead, I’d rather think about my Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie which is sweet-tart, but not over the top!  If you are looking for other autumn smoothie ideas, check out my collection of six fall season smoothies which includes a Maple Pear Chia Chiller. Enjoy!

Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie -

Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie Recipe

  • 6 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • Lemon- or regular-flavored stevia, to taste
  • Ice, as needed

Blend together juices, yogurt and cranberries. Add stevia to taste and ice to achieve desired consistency. Serves.1


So, who’s running marathons in November or December? Let me know! 

When Life Gives Lemons Make Citrus & Feta Salad #Recipe

This month, I’ve been learning about all the food-life metaphors firsthand . . . especially as it relates to my running. A few weeks ago, I was having a stressful day and thought I’d never get to squeeze in a run; in fact, I really didn’t even want to run, but I knew I would be rejuvenated. So, even though it was late, I laced up my shoes and headed out. Everything fell into place; I kept a brisk tempo from the start, felt awesome and my worries began to melt away under the stars – that is, until I tripped and broke the fall with my face. More seeing stars (but not the good kind) and a trip to the emergency room for stitches.  Ahh, “Life is like a bowl of cherries, sometimes it’s sweet and sometimes it’s full of pits . . . . or, maybe “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get!”

At least I have another chance to visit Maggie at Christmas.

At least I have another chance to visit Maggie at Christmas.

After healing and finishing up a few more weeks of training, I was really looking forward to racing the Dallas Marathon this past weekend and sneaking in some extra fun. I had a Pi Phi reunion on the schedule along with good girl-bonding time with my Aunt and Mom. But, none of it was to be – the marathon was cancelled as the city of Dallas iced over. I can’t say I didn’t mourn for all of Saturday. All the long runs, the speed work, the strength training, and diet changes  –I guess my 10 day fat-loading/ 3 day carb loading nutrition plan was for naught! But, as they say, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

shuttle run thefitfork jennifer fisher

Looking ahead to the next marathon.

So, instead of running 26.2, I spent the day sleeping in – I logged 10 hours which I don’t think has happened in the last 17 years! I consumed carbohydrates in excess (another rarity) and enjoyed every bite! I went on a short, easy run and thought about what my next race might be. That’s right, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

Citrus will boost your mood and your health!

All this talk of lemons reminds me of a beautiful salad I made last week for the Living Litehouse blog– Zesty Citrus & Feta Salad. Taking advantage of the cooler weather abundance of fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes and tangerines and pomelos, this salad is seriously simple to make yet is a total showstopper. The saltiness from the feta cheese crumbles creates a nice balance with the tart-sweet fruits. Plus, you have to love the health benefits. Citrus is high in vitamin C and can help keep a runner from getting run down. Lemons and other citrus fruits have a scent that has calming effect and can help reduce anxiety, perfect for those days when your marathon gets cancelled.

Don’t miss the full recipe and mouthwatering photos at Living Litehouse. citrus salad platter 1

Citrus and Feta Salad with Pomegranate Blueberry Vinaigrette

Serves: 8

  • 1 large pomelo
  • 1 Ruby Red grapefruit
  • 2 medium-sized oranges
  • 4 mandarin oranges or tangerines
  • 2 large limes
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 ounces Feta Crumbles
  • 2 Tbsp chopped mint
  • 2 ounces Pomegranate Blueberry Vinaigrette (I used Litehouse brand)


1. Slice pomelo, grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, and limes into approximate ¼-inch thin slices. With paring knife, cut away peel and bitter white pith. Remove any seeds.

2. Arrange fruit on a serving platter, and sprinkle with pomegranate arils, feta cheese crumbles and mint.

3. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Note: Salad may be made up to 24 hours ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator until serving time.





Shaking it Up! Salt Strategy for Humid & Hot Marathons

Hanging on despite weather for 14th female, 1st in AG.

I love hot weather; people think I’m weird that I’d prefer to be in 100 degrees rather than an allegedly comfortable 70 degrees. Even during Texas summers, I’ve been known to keep the air-conditioner set at 82-ish degrees and will sometimes sneak away like a lizard to go warm up in a sun-baked car.  But, for the record, I do not like to run races in high heat – let me repeat, I DO NOT LIKE THAT, no sir-ee!

But why does Mother Nature like to mess with me? I ask for crisp, cool and dry race weather (is pleading for 50 degrees every time too pushy?) and I get quite the opposite. This year alone, I ran the Boston Marathon at 90 degrees with straight up sun and both the Rock and Roll San Antonio and the Dallas Marathon in unseasonably warm and extremely humid conditions.

If you’re a runner, you probably know what happens if you sweat a lot in a race, especially in a longer events like a marathons or ultras. You get dehydrated, experience debilitating muscle cramps, and some athletes are even subject to hyponatremia (low blood sodium) which presents with confusion, lethargy, vomiting and other serious complications.  Just look in the mirror after a long, hot run; you can actually see the sodium crusted up on your face and clothing.

People have different amounts of sodium in their sweat, but the average runner loses about 1000 milligrams of sodium per liter (33 fluid ounces) of sweat. That being said, the majority of electrolyte replacement drinks only offer about a quarter to half of this amount per liter as a replacement. That means most people are sweating out more salt that they are taking back in. That’s why it’s a good idea to supplement with additional sodium and electrolytes above and beyond your drink, especially if you are a heavy sweater or the weather is especially extreme.  An article in Runner’s World, “Know Thy Sweat Rate” takes you through all the steps to accurately figure out how much you perspire during exercise.

Experts suggest taking two to four salt-electrolyte capsules per hour during endurance events. At the Dallas Marathon, I used the Salt Stick brand and it worked well, but there are many other options. Look for products that contain sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium.  I rationed out my capsules by taking one every 30 minutes and washing it down with my bottle if I still had one in hand or a splash of water at the hydration stops.

In addition to slowing dehydration and cramping, research also shows that sodium helps move fluids out of the stomach to enhance digestion, a plus if you have digestive problems. To me the perk about taking in the salt stick was that I didn’t have to drink as much Gatorade on the course – too much sugary sports drink seems to give me GI distress.  I did take in one bottle of Gatorade, but then my other bottle was filled with 3Fuel, a great product backed by CrossFit Endurance that fuels athletes with a proven micronutrient strategy of carbs, protein, and fat.  By the way, if you’re interested in trying the 3Fuel, you can get 10-percent off your purchase with the code 3FHUNT  .

Another interesting nutritional choice I made for the Dallas Marathon; instead of eating my traditional energy bar breakfast, I ate salty peanut butter crackers instead (again, more salt and less sugar).  No cramping, no potty stops – I was a happy runner who made it to the finish line without bonking!