No Alarm and Sautéed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins

by Joanne on May 18, 2011

I HATE IT when that happens:  forgetting to set the alarm.  As you know, I had my workouts planned for the week.  Tuesday morning, if I got up at 4 am, I would have time to ride the bike for 45 minutes, lift weights, and run for 30 minutes with Shane.  At 3:15 I woke up and hated that I had to use the bathroom only to get back into bed for 45 minutes longer.  I thought I’d lay awake until the alarm went off but the next thing I knew, Ted was up and dressed.  I looked at the clock:  5:07 AM   OH NO!  This totally screwed up my plan. 

I got up but my my legs were really sore from Mondays leg workout (funny…I didn’t notice it at 3:15???).  Shane and I went for a 40 minute fast paced walk.  When we got home, there was time to do a quick back and bicep workout.  As Tuesday progressed, my legs got more and more sore and stiff.  I was actually going to get that 30 minute run in after work but because of the way my lower body was hurting, it was probably a good idea to pass.

Today/Wednesday: Ran 1 hour 11 min. at an ave. pace of 9.43.  No weights today. My quads and hams were still sore but running through it didn’t seem to be a problem.  Another good morning for a run. 

Are you flexible or inflexible when it comes to your workout plan?  I dwelled on the fact most of the day that I missed my planned workout.  It REALLY bugged me.  Guess I’m pretty inflexible.

Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins

It took me years to appreciate spinach.  As a raw salad green, it wasn’t crisp enough.  Sautéed, it was soggy and flavorless.  Then my taste buds matured.  Spinach has become a daily requirement in my diet.  The thing about spinach is that you need to add a little healthy bit of vitamin C to help reap the total benefit of calcium and iron.  This is because the dark green leafy vegetable contains oxalic acids which tend to block the absorption of iron.  The oxalic acid content increases when cooked.


Spinach is a “power” food, not because of the reputation Popeye gave it but because it’s packed with essential nutrients which, if eaten daily, will help to reach the RDA for calcium, iron, folate, Vitamin A and more. All the essentials for maintaining healthy bodies ( strong bones, immunity from disease, a healthy heart, and good eye sight).

1/2 cup of spinach = 1 serving (source: Lifescript)

Nutrition in 1/2 cup cooked spinach

  • Calories = 21
  • Fat = 0
  • Carbohydrates = 3 g (2g dietary fiber)
  • Protein = 3 g
  • RDA’s:  122 mg calcium (12%); 133 mcg folate (33%); 3 mg iron (30%); 419 mg potassium (*no RDA for potassium);7,371 IU Vitamin A (147%-184%)


Sautéed spinach with pine nuts and raisins

  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 12 oz. spinach (Use frozen, partially defrosted otherwise you will need A LOT of fresh spinach) *Fresh spinach will cook down to about 1/3 it’s original size.
  • 2 oz. (1/2 cup) Pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 to 2 TBS lemon juice (up to you and your taste preference)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Heat the oil over medium high heat and, when hot, add the spinach.  Cook for about 3 minutes. 

Add the raisins, pine nuts, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly otherwise the pine nuts and raisins will burn. Add the lemon juice and cook 1 more minute.



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  • At 2011.05.18 07:53, McKayla @ Green Groats said:

    That looks like an awesome combination. I love spinach, raisins, and pine nuts! I’ve got to try that.

    I have those same feelings of frustration with workouts, except I easily forgive myself when I’m not able to do a morning workout. I’m usually OK with falling back to sleep and agreeing to workout after work.

    • At 2011.05.18 11:28, Joanne said:

      It’s a super side. Let me know if you try it.

      • At 2011.05.18 14:32, jasmine said:

        Me too mcKayla…already this week I’ve changed my mind about getting up before work once this week, headed straight to the gym after work yesterday :p ….Usually i regret it though. I prefer the way my body feels after working out, and then heading to work with extra energy. Then I’ll be wound down exactly just right for the evening after the after dinner walk….approx. 45mins around the neigborhood.

        • At 2011.05.18 16:19, claudia lamascolo said:

          Great healthy combo that is perfect for my diet… love it!

          • At 2011.05.18 16:45, Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat said:

            Yum- I used to eat that combo all the time when I lived in Spain! I would love to re-create it.

            • At 2011.05.18 17:42, Bela said:

              I hate when Im not on schedule it really throws off my whole day.

              • At 2011.05.18 18:52, Ola said:

                The recipe looks cool. I’ve just looked for something with spinach. I have quite a big patch with fresh spinach, so we eat it often.

                • At 2011.05.18 23:42, Susan said:

                  Wow, you get up so EARLY to work out. How much sleep do you get/need each night? I’m very curious because I’m not a very good sleeper and am in bed way too long in my (and my husband’s) opinion. Just thinking about getting up so early makes me anxious!

                  • At 2011.05.19 08:34, Joanne said:

                    I get about 5 1/2 to 6 hours during the week. I’ve always been a person who doesn’t nap nor do I rarely sleep over 7 to 8 hours. We’re all different and if you need sleep, you need sleep but you can experiment.

                    Keep in mind, it takes about 14 days to get comfortable with a new habit OR breaking a habit.

                    You might also want to review your diet. Maybe you aren’t getting enough carbohydrates? or you might be getting too many carbs that tax your body (sugars and processed foods).

                    If you don’t already, try adding whole grains, brown rice, sweet potatoes to your diet EARLY in the day, say before 1 pm? Eat a good protein rich meal at night with green vegetables and forget the starch.

                    See how that works. Experiment. Where there’s a will there’s a way if you want to make a change.

                    Take care and thank you so much for your comment.

                    • At 2011.05.19 00:57, Gera@Sweets Foods Blog said:

                      4AM , wow in my case I prefer not to sleep and start quick in the morning – a nap will be necessary though.
                      I’m flexible, especially in trainings for race-places that you don’t know how will be terrain, mud, water – you must be prepared, mentally.
                      Of course, not always I have success 🙂

                      All the best,


                      • At 2011.05.19 10:17, Chaya said:

                        Hi, I have something called QED on my Bizzy B Bakes blog. QED is quick, easy and delicious which this recipes sounds like. Could I spotlight the recipe along with the blog?

                        • At 2011.05.24 22:06, Bizzy said:


                          Sorry, it too me, so long, to get this done. Thanks for letting me use this healthy and yummy recipe.

                          • At 2011.05.25 10:59, Lisa said:

                            I just buzzed in from bizzy bakes… Your post was cute…I think it’s awesome you did your workout..You could have made excuses and blew the whole thing off! This recipes looks delicious… I look forward to trying it!
                            Have a great afternoon..
                            Take care,

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