Nutritional Planning and Hello Hummus

by Joanne on April 5, 2010

I was trying to do a little research on my first half marathon coming up this Sunday. I wanted to see the elevation chart and find out about all pit stops along the way.  The response from the coordinator was very disheartening: 

“There is no elevation chart. There are rolling hills and some challenging shorter inclines.  There are 4 water stations for the half marathon but the only bathroom facilities are at the start and the finish.  There are a lot of trees and wooded areas along the way.”

   My emotions. 

Advanced nutritional planning is a priority.  Not only because of the above information regarding available pit stops (personally, I take having to squat in the woods as being most humiliating), but because I want to have the maximum available energy and strength to get me through the run.  I want to enjoy it and not feel like I’m going through self inflicted torture. That was done in college and was not due to exercise.  I wrote down everything that entered my mouth today and will see what happens with my energy and …ah …”what not” tomorrow.

Don’t freak out…I eat a lot and I eat often.  I am at my desk most of the day and snacks that are quick and readily available are important. Being able to get a refrigerated item such at yogurt or cottage cheese and make myself tea allows me to stretch.

  • Preworkout:  8 oz water mixed with Acai Berry Blast Protein Energy Drink


  • Breakfast:  1/4 cup dry steel cut oats cooked with cinnamon, 1/2 banana, 1 TBS raisins. 1 TBS PB added after cooking.  1 cup mixed berries.  1 Protein Shake (protein powder, 1 TBS powdered PB, ice and water)

DSC_4251 DSC_4253


  • At 8 AM finishing the coffee brought from home.  2 pieces of gum following coffee
  • At 9:20 AM coffee and 2 more pieces of gum to follow (I LOVE coffee but not the aftertaste)
  • Mid Morning Snack (10:15 am):  1/3 cup Non Fat Cottage Cheese + 2 TBS mixed nuts and dried fruit.
  • 11:35– starting to get munchies again.  Had about 1/3 of a Protein Plus Bar

prot plus

  • 12:20 was lunch which was 9 baby carrots with 2 TBS red pepper hummus (I snack on the carrots and hummus while preparing my salad).  A salad of 2 cups baby spinach + 2 sliced radishes + 4 grape tomatoes halved + 1/3 red bell pepper chopped. 1/4 cup organic wild rice plus 3 oz of tuna.


Topped with 3 TBS Annie’s Lite Ginger Vinaigrette.    lite gingerly  and a glass of water

  • 1:10 Back at work Vanilla Caramel Tea and 2 chocolate covered Altoids
  • 2:30  Munched on about another 1/3 of the Protein Plus Bar from earlier.
  • 3:45 pm Drank a Muscle Milk Lite.  image
  • 6:15 pm Dinner:  Risotto with Fillet of Sole and Asparagus (recipe to come later)


I’m done eating after dinner.  There are some trainers that say you should have protein before going to bed due to the “over night fast” but I prefer to go to bed on a relaxed stomach.  It may not be the best plan, but it works for me.  

What’s your best eating plan the day before an event?

Now for the Hummus – this was so good. I should make it all the time.


This is a a classic bean dip.  It is a Middle Eastern dish typically made from mashed garbanzo beans (chick peas), tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, and garlic.  Take all those components, add a little personal touch and you have Hummus.

I buy it every week. There is no excuse for me buying it because it’s very easy to whip together.  Lazy I guess.  My favorite flavor is the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.  Here is my homemade version of Hummus.  


  • 2  15 oz can Organic Garbanzo Beans – – reserve the juice from one can.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 2 Organic chopped parsley (sometimes I use curly and sometimes I use flat leaf)
  • 3 large cloves, chopped garlic
  • 2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini (you can substitute natural peanut butter in a pinch however, connoisseurs of this dip will not appreciate that substitution AT ALL.  I don’t mind it – Ted doesn’t like it).
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (use 1 tsp if you like cumin)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper *Be careful with this. If you don’t like spicy, use less. You can add more after your taste test below.
  • 3/4 of a fresh red bell pepper, chopped *Make sure you have a little extra incase you want to add chunks of fresh red bell pepper afterwards. This adds a nice little crunch to the hummus.

In a food processor, add the beans (NOT the liquid they came in-yet), salt, olive oil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, red pepper, and fresh chopped red bell pepper.  Puree to desired texture. I like mine fairly smooth.  Taste and see if you might like more lemon? more oil? more pepper, even more garlic?

Add some of the reserved Garbanzo bean juice you reserved from the can to make the puree the desired thin/thickness. 

Remove hummus from the processor and put into a bowl.  You might want to add chunks of fresh red pepper at this point instead of mixing them all in.

Enjoy with crudités such as carrots, celery, bell pepper strips.  You may serve on pita bread and crackers as well. 



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  • At 2010.04.05 19:27, Jonna Green said:

    Hi Joanne,

    So funny you just did this post about hummus because I made some this weekend as well and it came out great! It was so easy and nutritious and I liked knowing exactly what and how much was in it.

    Wishing you a great race!


    • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Applecrumbles. Applecrumbles said: Event planning – eating right: […]

      • At 2010.04.05 20:58, Judi said:

        Love, love hummus! I soak my own chick peas and cook them. I never heard of the idea of substituting the natural p-nut butter if you don’t have tahini. I will have to try that some time.

        I like what your doing with keeping track of what you are eating and then seeing how you feel the next day. I have yet to figure out what is best for me to eat before a race. I do know that overall the less sugar the better! Those berries in the photo look so good.

        So only a bathroom at the beginning and end of the race huh? I very rarely have to stop in during a 1/2 marathon. I think I tend to dehydrate myself :0.

        Good night!
        .-= Judi´s last blog ..Week 13 Running Report =-.

        • At 2010.04.06 08:40, Joanne said:

          My husband doesn’t like it made with PB but I don’t mind it. It’s worth a try.

          I still have some tweaking to do on the eating.

          So far, I haven’t had bathroom issues in a race. But this one, being 2 hours away, the car ride there, and my first half (nerves), it would be a reassuring thought to know there is “refuge” if needed. 🙂

          • At 2010.04.05 21:12, Dee said:

            oh goodness. all your food looks AMAZING! I’m totally nom nom noming at the computer screen. 😉
            .-= Dee´s last blog ..Happy Easter! =-.

            • At 2010.04.06 08:40, Joanne said:

              Thanks Dee!

              • At 2010.04.06 09:47, kalli@fitandfortysomething said:

                love this hummus recipe-i should make it- i spend too much money on store bought hummus.
                so sorry about the info on your marathon-you will be fine though- i know it 🙂
                i am with you, i do not like to eat anything before bed-in fact, i like to be a bit hungry when i sleep……
                have a great day!
                i awarded you an award on my blog this morning 🙂
                .-= kalli@fitandfortysomething´s last blog ..A Tough 8K and Greek Traditions =-.

                • At 2010.04.06 10:34, Joanne said:

                  Thanks Kalli. Most appreciated. 🙂

                  • At 2010.04.06 10:01, Dawn Hutchins said:

                    You are going to do great in that half marathon. I know that’s what I was nervous about too with the one I did but once I got going I was ok.
                    The hummus looks great. You know me, I’m a hummus kind of girl. Dying to try that salad with the tuna! I like the Annie’s goddess dressing. It’s fairly high in fat so I really measure it out but it’s sure worth it.
                    .-= Dawn Hutchins´s last blog ..London Broil =-.

                    • At 2010.04.06 10:35, Joanne said:

                      I haven’t tried the green goddess. I used to love GG dressing but then my tastes changed and I really shy away from any creamy type dressings.

                      • At 2010.04.06 11:06, Nicole. RD said:

                        The hummus looks wonderful! I can’t believe they’re having a 13.1 mile race with no bathroom pit-stops. I don’t know if this 1/2 is “big” or not, but that’s one huge reason I like running bigger races…my biggest fear is not having a bathroom!!! I hope you’re able to get your intake and “needs” figured out so that you’re super successful come race day!

                        • At 2010.04.06 13:23, Joanne said:

                          Thanks for your understanding. So far in previous races – all has worked out great. But I haven’t run 13 miles before in a race. No matter how hard I try to get my food intake right, the nervousness on race day is a factor that can’t be anticipated. Oh well…I’ll face the consequences. Fingers crossed.

                          • At 2010.04.06 11:56, Jonna Green said:

                            Hi Joanne,

                            For the hummus, I used a recipe on-line and tweaked it, but didn’t
                            really measure. Looks similar to yours:

                            2, 15oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
                            1T EVOO (I drizzled in a bit more after pureeing)
                            1T tahini (I drizzled in a bit more)
                            Juice of 1 lemon (I added some additional)
                            1-2 cloves of garlic (I think I used about 4, I love garlic!)
                            sea salt, white pepper, and a dash of cumin to taste
                            drizzles of water to thin it out

                            That was about it and it really tasted great and was low fat/low cal, etc!


                            • At 2010.04.06 13:23, Joanne said:

                              Great Jonna! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

                              • At 2010.04.06 14:42, Eileen said:

                                Joanne – best of luck to you in this half marathon!!!!! The full Boilermaker (I’m sure it’s in your plans) will be a piece of cake!

                                • At 2010.04.06 14:59, Joanne said:

                                  LOL – I waiting to see how hot it’s going to be. Maybe by that time, they would have closed the entries. What better excuse?!

                                  • At 2010.04.06 21:02, Pam (IIN Health Coach) said:

                                    The hummus looks really good! I like the addition of red peppers.
                                    I concur that tahini has a similar texture to peanut butter, but I’m with Dad on this one, no p.b. in the hummus, only tahini will do 🙂
                                    For lunches, I think you should up the 1/4 cup wild rice to 1/2 or 3/4 cup. That should get you more mileage out of that meal, so you can snack 3-4 hours later. I like the Larabars in the afternoon or fresh fruit and almonds. The Larabars are made of whole foods and have less ingredients than power bars.

                                    • At 2010.04.07 09:33, Joanne said:

                                      I enjoy the sweetness of the protein bars in the afternoon and I don’t like the Larabars. I enjoy “chewy”.

                                      My current percentages are 24% fat, 42% carbs, and 34% protein. I could probably up the carbs like you suggest.

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