Sicilian Tomatoes and Mindful Running

by Joanne on July 13, 2010

I’m going to offer a little bit about success.  The thoughts triggered by my race on Sunday and I’d like to share with you.  But first…..

Working out:

Monday: 20 minutes on the Elliptical.   40 minutes of weight training for chest and arms. 3 1/2 mile very easy run with Shane.

Tuesday:  No warm up just right into a good leg workout with ab exercises for 45 minutes.  Shane and I were out the door early for a 6.9 mile run, Valley View and Switchbacks.  The horse flies were horrible.

It was Ted’s birthday Sunday.  I had no intention of making him a cake and told him so.  That immediately got me a lot of whining and sad looks. 

While Ted played golf on Saturday, I made a small, 6” round cake.  It was vanilla with almond essence.  I had a little bit of lemon wash left over so I used that on the cake, not knowing how the almond and lemon would work together.  For the filling, I mixed a pistachio pudding with whipping cream and topped it with pineapple chunks.  It was obvious Ted did not make this request.  He was not even asked what he wanted for a birthday cake because I just wasn’t going to do it.  What a meany!  


Needless  to say, Ted got his cake. I wasn’t going to decorate it, so I covered it with whipped cream.   Then he said he wanted it decorated with stick figures of what he likes:  Snow boarding, Biking, and Sailing. It’s impossible to decorate with store bought decorating icing over whipped cream.  It was one of my worst stick figure cakes.  Poor Ted got an  U  G  L  Y  birthday cake.  But it tasted great, topped with a small amount of butter cream hidden by a double layer of whipped cream.  It was a hit even though it was ugly.


Mindful running:  Being attentive to ones breath, body motion, and inner feelings while moving rapidly on ones feet.  

By making mindful running an important part of your training, your achievable goals are just around the corner.

Step one:  Set goals and say them out loud.  e.g.  I told friends that my dream pace was going to be 1:10 for a 9.3 mile run.  But realistically, I would be happy with 1:15. 

Step two:  Let that goal fill your mind every time you think about your run.   e.g.  The numbers “1:15” became imprinted in my mind.  When I thought of the race, the image “1:15” would appear in my thoughts and how I SO wanted to achieve that time. There were no thoughts of not achieving it.

Step three:  Feel the pace to achieve the goal.  This is accomplished through a series of different training runs but most importantly tempo runs (slightly slower than a 10K pace but maintainable for about an hour).

You can use mindfulness in anything you aim to achieve and not just running.  The art of staying in touch with your effort and visualizing the positive outcome is as important as the physical effort put forth in training.  Your ultimate success is created by that moment-to-moment mental to physical involvement as you run.  It’s not easy to stay that focused but the more you do it, the better at it you will become.

What outcome can you achieve through mindfulness?  Is it weight loss? Is it a race?  Is it a promotion at work?

Sicilian Tomatoes by Sally Bee


I promise to get to this book review but in the meantime, as a teaser, I’m posting a recipe from the book “The Secret Ingredient” by Sally Bee. 


*The recipe was adjusted to serve 2

  • 3 Large tomatoes (beef steak) *I also used 1 red pepper cut in half and seeded since I had extra filling.
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 TBS mixed ground nuts (S.B. uses pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (S.B. uses whole wheat)
  • 6 oz tuna, drained (S.B. uses chicken)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp capers, chopped
  • 1 tsp black olives, chopped
  • ground pepper
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 1/2 oz  to 1 oz low fat mozzarella cheese, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Slice tops off tomatoes and scoop out pulp. Chop tops and reserve for later.

In a frying pan on medium heat, heat the oil and add the onion, garlic and mixed ground nuts (or pine nuts). Cook for 5 minutes.

Add bread crumbs and tuna and cook another two minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the oregano, capers, olives, pepper, reserved chopped tomato tops and the hot sauce.

Scoop into the hollowed out tomatoes and add a slice of mozzarella on top.

Bake for 30 minutes



I preferred the red peppers over the tomatoes in this recipe.  Ted thought it needed more “pizzazz”. 

Possible flavorful changes:  Use Asiago cheese on top instead of Mozzarella.  Add more hot sauce.  For something totally different, use raisins instead of nuts and add curry powder instead of oregano and top with a tablespoon of whipped mashed potato.  Course with the curry powder and raisins, you wouldn’t call them Sicilian Tomatoes.


It was a quick and easy recipe for a light weeknight meal….for me any way.  The Birthday boy can eat cake.


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    • At 2010.07.13 07:47, Sue Scialdone said:

      When you were talking about the whining and sad looks I thought you were referring to Shane for a minute. The tomatoes look delish. I may try them when its a little cooler. No air conditioning makes using the oven a little to warm in the house.

      • At 2010.07.13 08:24, Joanne said:

        Maybe that’s why Ted got so good at it. He hangs around Shane WAY too much.

        • At 2010.07.13 09:21, Indi said:

          I really need to not read your blog early morning! It always makes me sooo hungry! Nice workout and as usual awesome recipes!

          • At 2010.07.14 08:30, Joanne said:

            Working out makes me hungry too – but not until about 4 hours later. Weird.

            • At 2010.07.13 10:42, sherry stockwell said:

              Wonderful recipe for tomatoes! I’ll be doing these soon. and? what a gooey good looking cake. Nice to visit you here and best from Jefferson’s Table. Thanks for your visit too!

              • At 2010.07.14 08:30, Joanne said:

                Thanks Sherry. Love that Chartreuse!

                • At 2010.07.13 12:24, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

                  LOL on the cake.

                  I think being mindful of just about everything is important and can make a difference in enjoying life or just muddling through.

                  • At 2010.07.14 08:31, Joanne said:

                    Lori – I like your thoughts on being mindful. So true.

                    • At 2010.07.13 16:59, tricia said:

                      Yum, those tomatoes look delish!

                      • At 2010.07.13 19:50, Joanne said:


                        • At 2010.07.13 22:32, Liz said:

                          Happy birthday, Ted! For what it’s worth, I think the cake looks (and sounds!) great 🙂 I especially love those candles!

                          • At 2010.07.14 08:31, Joanne said:

                            Ted say’s thanks – I passed your well wishes along to him 🙂

                            • At 2010.07.13 22:48, Monet said:

                              Those tomatoes look so good, and what a great way to showcase the summer bounty…I love anything with melted cheese so these look especially good!

                              • At 2010.07.14 08:32, Joanne said:

                                Thanks Monet. Hope you are enjoying your trip?

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