Focus and Control plus Pumpkin Pineapple Barley Pudding

by Joanne on November 4, 2011

Going the distance in endurance sports means you need to focus. You need to maintain control of body and mind. What does this mean to me and does it mean the same to you?

Focus: As we’re running along and the miles start to add up, it’s normal to lose focus. Sometimes zoning out isn’t a bad thing but you need to bring yourself back to the job at hand. To do this, you need an “on switch”. That switch is anything personal to you that reminds you of the job you need to get done.  It might be a word written on your hand “POWER” or “STRENGTH”,  a simple mantra that is meaningful to you.  Keep it simple and make sure it’s going to bring you back into focus on your form, your pace, your body, your breath.

Control: In order to complete endurance sports, when everything begins to tire, you need to get your body and mind working together. I’ve been reading a lot lately on how your body begins to tire and your mind starts trying to protect the body by slowing it down and sending you signals to stop. That’s when it gets tough. You have to fight your own thoughts and desires. You need to get back a unison of body and mind where both are striving to achieve the same goal. This is the mental part of the race. It’s control.

Self talk. Mantras. Focus. As you complete your last long training runs and everything begins to tire, practice control the same as you would your nutrition. Make note of what works and what doesn’t.

A NUTTY ANNOUNCEMENT!  Bad news for peanut butter lovers: Prices have soared! Because the South had some pretty crappy weather, some favorite brands of peanut butter are raising prices up to 40%. Yikes! Get your 26.2 Mini Loaves now!


Feeling in the mood for Fall, I decided to make a pudding that would be a healthy substitute for morning oats.


This makes a lot so cut the recipe in half if you like.


  • 1 cup pearled barley cooked according to directions (I used 1 cup barley to 3 cups water, brought to a boil and then simmered an hour and a quarter).
  • 12 oz. Fat Free Evaporated Milk
  • 15 oz. Organic 100% pumpkin puree
  • 8 oz. crushed pineapple with juice NO SUGAR ADDED
  • 2 TBS brown sugar *After you’re done cooking the pudding, you can add more sugar if you need to.  Suit your taste.
  • 2 TBS Agar Agar (this is a vegan thickener used instead of gelatin)
  • Pumpkin spice to taste

Over medium heat, bring the milk, pumpkin, pineapple, sugar, and Agar Agar to a boil, stir often. Reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the barley and pumpkin mix to a large bowl and stir.


Top with cinnamon or whipped cream or …what ever your fancy, but ENJOY!


The bowl that was put out for the photo was put into the fridge. Ted THOUGHT he would have it when he returned from his swim. Yeah. He THOUGHT.  I ate that bowl and had one more.  There’s something about a bowl of pumpkin, pineapple and barley that is just so pleasing.  Maybe it’s because the bowl is a nutritionally packed bowl of satisfaction.

Do you like pudding?  What’s your favorite to make?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • At 2011.11.04 10:13, the wicked noodle said:

    This looks perfect for this time of year! Thanks for sharing!

    • At 2011.11.06 23:06, Monet said:

      I do like pudding…but I’m a sucker for chocolate! But this pumpkin barley pudding sounds pretty darn good. Thank you for sharing another delicious and inspiring post. I hope you have a great Monday full of laughter and love.

      Previous post:

      Next post: