Dancing for Food

Overcoming the ballet body image.


Banana and Peanut Butter and Chocolate, Oh My!

Banana and peanut butter has been my go-to snack lately (sometimes with chocolate chips).  I used to never eat that large of a snack.  I’d stick with the banana only in most cases.  But now that I’m running so much more I’ve found that I really need the extra protein.  Obviously.

snack 1

Learning that it’s totally ok to have a more substantial snack has been a bit challenging because of that whole ballet body image thing.  In the past, a larger snack would freak me out and make me think I was going to gain weight.  But you know what?  I haven’t.  I guess what they say about eating more actually helping your metabolism is true.

snack 3

I’ve been eating a small mid-morning snack too.  Lately it’s been string cheese.  I’ve had a mini protein shake (just 1/2 scoop protein powder and water) after morning runs.  I haven’t really altered my main meals.  Or my desserts.

And you know what?  I’m not gaining weight.

I finally took the risk with eating more (in a good way) and didn’t freak out.  If you had told the bunhead Melissa that this would happen, she would have laughed in your face.

snack 2

I guess I’m making progress.  🙂



Crock Pot Lasagna Soup with Roasted Green Beans

Oh boy do I have a good soup for you guys!

bowl close up

I stumbled upon this little gem on keyingredient.com while browsing Pinterest the other day.

close up

We made a few modifications based on taste and what was easily accessible for us.

gooey cheese

It was delicious.

You’re welcome.

Crock Pot Lasagna Soup


1 28-oz can diced tomatoes

1 6 oz can tomato paste

3 cups chicken broth (we used 2 cups chicken and 1 cup beef because we ran out of chicken broth)

1 lb ground turkey, cooked on stove with olive oil, salt, and pepper

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried parsley

1 tbsp dried basil

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cups any variety spaghetti sauce (we used roasted garlic sauce from Trader Joe’s)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 cup water

1 package orechiette pasta

shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Mix diced tomatoes, and tomato paste in crock pot.

2. Add broth, ground turkey, garlic, parsley, basil, onion, 1 cup spaghetti sauce, and salt/pepper.

3. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

4. When 30 minutes are left of cook time, add in remaining 1 cup spaghetti sauce, 1 cup of water, and pasta. Stir to combine. Continue cooking on high for 30 minutes.

5. When ready to serve, top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

lasagna soup

Oh but guess what?  That’s not all.  On the side we had roasted green beans with fresh parmesan cheese.


Oh sorry.  A close up?  Well, ok.

green beans close up edited

You’re welcome.

Roasted Green Beans with Parmesan Cheese


1 lb green beans, washed, trimmed, and cut

olive oil

salt and pepper

freshly grated parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400

2. Combine green beans, olive oil, salt, and pepper in large ziploc bag.  Shake until all pieces are coated.  Let green beans sit in bag for as long as desired (the longer they sit, the better the flavor).

3. Spread green beans on baking pan.  Roast for 20 minutes or until soft but not mushy.

4. Remove from oven and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.

Edited to Add: I’m sharing this recipe in the Pantry Party!  Go check it out!

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Run Surf City

I didn’t run this morning.  Shocker, I know.  Instead I took a 3.5 mile walk.  Why?  Because I’ve got a race tomorrow.  🙂

I supposed in theory I could have run anyway, just a short one, since 13.1 miles seems like nothing these days.  But given how my legs have been the last few months, I figured an easier day was a smarter plan.

Honestly?  It was SO NICE to wake up slowly and eventually meander out for a short walk.  I tend to be a total weirdo and look at Facebook/Instagram/email the entire time.  While listening to country music on Pandora.

The not nice part was that Mat injured his wrist again at work and had to leave early and go to the clinic.  This time he has to be out of work for at least a week because he’s not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds.  He should get worker’s comp pay though, thank God.  It’s technically less than his normal pay, but it’s also tax free so it comes out about the same.

Since he ended up being home in the mid/late morning, we were able to eat together.  I had a massive bowl of cereal and an apple pear with coffee.


By the way, despite having an injured wrist, he still manages to play Halo.

injured wrist

After getting some bridal shower invitations addressed, we headed off to the Surf City expo.  I love this expo because it’s all beachy.  Super fun!

expo 1


expo 2


We sampled lots of Clif bars and shot bloks.

expo 3


Ready to race!



I’m a little nervous for this race because of how my legs have been, but I’m also excited.  Expos get me pumped!

And as has become my tradition, I bought myself a new Bic Band.  Love this pattern!  I don’t think it’s online yet.

bic band


Perfect for a beach run, no?

I love how Bic Bands donates $1 of every purchase to a charity.  I was talking to one of the girls at the booth and she told me which charity they were donating to for February, but since it’s not announced yet I’ll keep it hush hush.  🙂

And now it’s time to settle in and have a pre-race dinner of scrambled eggs and oatmeal.  Perfect carb/protein mix!

Are you running a race this weekend?


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MacBook Pro is All Better Now

After several weeks of having only an iPad to use for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, blogging, etc, my MacBook Pro is now working again.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the iPad, but it’s lovely to be able to type freely and quickly.  One of the reasons you didn’t see as many posts from me lately was simply that blogging from an iPad every day was a pain in the butt.

I replaced the hard drive and RAM myself, and reinstalled the operating system and all my programs.  It was fun!

hard drive



But now, I’m back.  And I have big plans for the blog.  Oh yes indeedy.  I’ll cover that more later.  First, let’s backtrack to yesterday, shall we?


I woke up yesterday feeling pretty good considering I had just run 20 miles the day before.  Mat and I took my sister to get her first ever pair of REAL running shoes, and as I mentioned to Skinny Runner, she went with Mizuno Wave Rider 16s.  Mat and Daddy and I are all about New Balance, but Mizunos worked better for her feet.

I got some new shoes too.  About time – I’d been running on my other ones since August/September!

new shoes

We made chicken fajitas for dinner last night and ate them with salad.  Good stuff!





Today was a non-student day since the kids all had finals last week.  That meant that us teachers got to go to school and have meetings and get our grades done.  My grades were done by Saturday afternoon, so that meant that this teacher got to go to school and have meetings and then sit around.

I could have gone out to lunch, but I opted to bring it from home because I didn’t want to spend extra money and didn’t want to consume extra calories.  I’ve been consuming enough calories lately in the form of Chipotle and frozen yogurt.

We made a barley shrimp risotto recipe in the crock pot for dinner.  We accidentally bought 10 minute barley so it got a little soggy, but otherwise it was good.



Steamed Brussels sprouts on the side.  I covered my plate in parmesan cheese.

dinner with parmesan



In other news, I realize it’s now Tuesday night and I’ve only covered Sunday and Monday.  That’s because not all my pictures had re-uploaded to Google drive.  I think I mentioned it briefly last night.

In still more news, my husband went from this, which he’s had for about a month,



no beard


He went on a beard kick for a few weeks and then suddenly decided never mind.  Not gonna lie, I like the smooth-shaven better.  🙂

Hope your Tuesday was good!

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20 Miles

I ran 20 miles today. This is something I never thought I would be able to do. The human body amazes me. With proper training, nutrition, and a whole lot of patience and determination, you can run a long distance. Ultramarathoners cover 50 miles at a time. I will never become that crazy, but it’s still an amazing feat.

I suppose it’s also amazing that the human body can do this too.

On your toes



Side note: I need to do more ballet again. Post-marathon I hope this will happen.

I woke up at 6 to give myself time to a) wake up b) eat something, and c) use the bathroom at least twice. Runners, you know what I’m talking about!

My pre-run fuel was a piece of wheat bread with plenty of peanut butter.

Pre run snack

I left around 7 to meet my dad at 15th street on the boardwalk in Newport Beach by 7:30. He had gotten there an hour before to get 6 miles in before meeting me – he had 26 miles planned for the day! He had to have such an early start because I needed to be home by noon to get ready for a 2 pm hair appointment. He said it was all good training though because these races start early. So true.

We definitely took some walk breaks and paced ourselves pretty slow in general. He actually has been going a little slower than I generally have, but it was good for me to do that. When we were done, my knee wasn’t nearly as stiff as it had been last time. We kept just under a 10 minute mile when running. I had a Clif shot gel at miles 8 and 15, and drank a Gatorade/water mix that became less Gatorade and more water as the run went on.

We started at 15th street and ran to the wedge where I had taken this picture last week.


Today was much more foggy and I didn’t a picture. You could hardly see the water.

From there we went back down the boardwalk and all the way to the Santa Ana River Basin. We crossed the bridge and knew that we had to go until my Garmin said 12.7 and then we would turn back. Here was the view in Huntington Beach at mile 12.7.

12.7 mile view

Daddy eating Gu, not getting tired at all. 🙂

Daddy at 12.7

Me at mile 12.7, also not getting tired at all.

Me at 12.7

Not sure what’s going on with the red skin.  Or my half-closed right eye.

We kept running, or as Daddy called it, trotting, stopping to walk when necessary. Eventually we made it back to the Santa Ana River Basin and were officially back in Newport Beach. The entire way back was much easier mentally because we were going toward the cars rather than away from them. The Garmin beeped 20 miles a couple of blocks ahead of where we thought it would, and we walked back to the cars. Daddy still wanted to cover about a mile more because he hadn’t quite done the full 6 before meeting up with me. I thought he was crazy, but I also totally understand wanting to finish what you set out to do.

When we hit 20.

20 miles done


I got home, foam rolled, and drank a protein shake made with chocolate protein powder and chocolate coconut milk. ‘Twas delicious. I didn’t snap a photo. Oops.

After my shower, lunch was a banana and overnight oats. With well-deserved milk and Hershey’s iced coffee.

Post run food

I’m SO proud of myself for this run. I was nervous, and it was tiring, but I did it. Running it with my daddy helped immensely. Perhaps we can do it again before the race. My longest run before the marathon will be 22 miles, but it won’t be for a few weeks. I’m running the Surf City Half next Sunday, and I plan to treat it like a training run and either take walk breaks or just run it nice and slow. No PR goals for this one.

And now it’s time for a relaxing evening at home. Chipotle and Yogurtland are on the menu tonight!

Oh, and here’s a picture of Oakley trying to steal more hair elastics. I moved the basket of them from the counter to under the sink so she wouldn’t get them, but she promptly figured out where they were and now every time I open the cupboard for something she comes looking.

Kitty thief

What did you do today? Run? Something else? Rest? Share with me!

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Chicken Taco Chili

Tonight’s dinner was chicken taco chili in the crock pot. We used this recipe. We’ve made it once before, but it was a long time ago and was before we cut out chicken. Now we’re back to eating chicken again. I have to say, it makes life a lot easier. Trying to menu plan on a vegetarian diet is difficult because I felt more limited. I know there are lots of good veggie recipes out there, but I haven’t had time or energy to really find them.

Plus, I think my muscles are going to like me better eventually if I feed them more animal protein.


We had salad with it, again using lettuce from Alegria Fresh.

We also finished the rest of the biscuits. I had three. Shhhh…

Mat is playing with Oakley right now. Here she’s a blur as she jumps to catch a hair elastic.

And here she’s doing the cute pre-pounce butt wiggle thing.

And then she laid down randomly during playtime. Who knows.

Now that I’ve posted way too many pictures of the cat for one night, it’s time for Big Bang Theory and then bed. 5 am wake up call for the first time in weeks. :-/

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We Really Like Pizza

Tonight’s dinner was leftover pizza from last Friday. Because we had pizza on vacation also, we’ve had pizza 4 times in the past 8 days.

We decided to mix things up by having steamed zucchini instead of salad. I love salad, but I’m getting tired of it. I topped the zucchini with Parmesan cheese like my mom did when I first tried zucchini and liked it. You’d never know it now, but I was a pretty picky eater as a child. I liked broccoli and peas, but I wouldn’t touch strawberries, any kind of melon, or salad.

I know right?

Anyhow, this morning I intended to get up around 6 and enjoy a quiet morning while also getting my body used to waking up early again since I go back to work on Monday (sad face). But, because I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back asleep right away, when the alarm went off I sort of hit snooze a couple times and then turned it off thinking I’d get up in a minute. I woke up again an hour later. Oops.

I still managed to run some errands and do some laundry before my doctor appointment and taking my computer in. Fingers crossed they can get the data off my hard drive without costing me an arm and a leg! I can’t wait to get back to blogging from a real computer!

And now a cute picture. Oakley decided to help me watch tv this morning.

She’s a crazy kitty, but I really missed her while we were gone.

Alrighty…15 miles planned for tomorrow and it’s supposed to be 37 degrees at 6 am. This SoCal girl doesn’t understand that temperature! At least 15 will seem sort of easy compared to last week’s 17!