Too Much Research and Pumpkin Soup

by Joanne on October 20, 2014

Do you ever think that we might find more information than is needed when searching the internet?  I do especially when the information deflates confidence.  Here’s what happened.

The TCS NYC Marathon is fast approaching. I’ve just begun my tapering and had the time and energy to scope the internet for answers to this question:  “Is the NYC Marathon course harder than the Boston Marathon course?”   I looked at 3 sites and 100% said a BIG, NASTY …


There were also a few “Not a course to PR”.  There were more “Take it all in. Bring your phone and take photos.  Enjoy the race.  The last stretch into Central Park will take everything you’ve got”…. and so on.   You know, I think I did this very same thing to myself the first year I ran Boston.  By the time I finally made it to Athletes Village race day morning, my nerves were shot, my legs were jelly, and I wanted to go home. 

As race day approaches, I’m hoping to rustle up confidence and focus on the positive aspects of my training.  How strong I was in training this summer. How I felt so good during most of those long 20 milers and that slow but long 26.2 Portland Marathon with Ted. It’s really tough when we get nervous to dig deep and pull up positive thoughts to get over our fears.  Those fears are the hurdles we have to get over in order to succeed,   Let the mental games begin!

…And so we fuel our thoughts with warm comforting PUMPKIN SOUP!

I picked  the perfect little pumpkin.  It was perfectly round.  It had a perfect burnt orange color.  Thoughts of all the delicious things that could be made from that pumpkin! 

The air had a little chill in it and the leaves were blowing around the yard.  I could smell the fall air that hinted at the inevitable cooler season over the horizon.  Then I looked at my pumpkin and thought “soup”. 

Pumpkin soup3

Pumpkin soup1Pumpkin soup2

Serves 4

  • 1 small pumpkin or you might use a butternut squash if preferred
  • 1/2 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 4 tsp. roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Place pumpkin on a foil lined pan and allow to roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until fully cooked.  Allow to cool. *Cook time will depend on size of pumpkin.

Slice pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.

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Scoop out the pumpkin “meat” and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 6-8 minutes until they begin to turn golden.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the pumpkin, the broth, salt and pepper, nutmeg and honey. Stir and allow to cook for 20 minutes with the lid on and stirring occasionally.

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Don’t forget to top the soup with roasted pumpkin seeds when ready to serve!

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Light, wholesome, and good for warming the bones.

How much emphasis do you put in the information you find on the internet when it comes to something that is very much under your control?  When it’s something that is very individualistic?  Do you think you’ll fall into the same category with the same outcome as everyone else?  or do you believe that you are different and the outcome will be different?

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Green and Yellow Bean Salad with Ricotta

by Joanne on October 17, 2014

I told Ted I would just like to get out of my own head.  There seems to be one negative thing after another that continues to go round and around in my brain.  The media shoves bad news at us every day.  Finally I had to ask myself “what can you do about it?”  The answer? Nothing. The things that plague my thoughts, I have no control over.  Then I asked “If you have no control over these things, why worry?”  The answer makes no sense and that would be “Just in case….”.    Now if you think about it, 80 to 90 % of our worries never come to fruition.  And that, friends, is what I told myself.  

Since I’m a worrier by nature, it won’t stop but at least I can nip things in the bud before they escalate in my brain to make matters worse.  See the entire article at EXAMINER.

What’s your way to deal with negativity, stress, anxiety, worry? 

Green and Yellow Bean Salad with Ricotta

I found this recipe on FoodandWine. It’s fast, healthy, and vegetarian. Did I say how good it was?  Well, it’s good. It’s REAL good.  *Modified for ME Thumbs up


Serves 4


  • 15 oz can drained and rinsed cut green beans
  • 15 oz can drained and rinsed yellow wax beans
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 large shallot, chopped fine
  • 1/2 a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 TBS oil cured olives, pit removed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese *Use the best quality you can find. Full fat ‘cause a little fat is good for you.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the beans for 5 minutes then drain and allow to cool.

Mix the olive oil, vinegar, shallot until blended. 

Add the cherry tomatoes and olives. If the beans are just warm, they’ve cooled sufficiently, then add them to the cherry tomato bowl. 

Add the ricotta cheese by cutting it into teaspoons and adding one teaspoon at a time, leaving about 1/3 of the cheese to top the salad upon serving. Toss to coat.  Chill slightly.





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Easy Does It on a Weeknight- That Incredible Edible Egg

October 14, 2014
easy meal4

I thought this week should be taper week but it doesn’t seem like taper week. I’m tired, I’m cranky, I’m absolutely desperate to sleep in.  But no, not until November 3rd, the day after the New York City Marathon or rather the TCSNYC Marathon.  When I run with Zoey in the morning, I’ve been getting […]

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Protein Cookie Disks, an Iron and B6 Loaded Snack

October 11, 2014
Protein Disks1

Once again creativity in the kitchen abounds by combining nutritionally rich ingredients resulting in a flavorful, guiltless protein, energy snack.  Good Points:  Low Cholesterol, Low Sodium, High in Iron, VERY High in Vitamin B6           Bad Points: Can be high in sugar if you use regular dried fruits, regular peanut butter. Makes 30 Protein Disks each […]

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Day After Portland Marathon 2014

October 8, 2014
Wine and beer at Wild Wings

All body parts were ready, willing, and able, although moving slower than normal.  Walking was the best solution and was done immediately after washing up following our 26.2 mile run as well as early the following morning. After cleaning up from our excursion around Portland with 9000 other marathoners (actually not sure of the runner […]

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Portland Marathon 2014

October 5, 2014
J T ready to run

From “The Oregon Distance Runner” Oregon Road Runners Club, September 2014 by Larry Axmaker.  Excerpts from his article… “What is a Runner?  Runners are dreamers, eternal optimists and often out of touch with reality. No surprise here. So pushing yourself to the edge of death and destruction is normal, and, of course, will surely make […]

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