An injury update, then Meatballs & Spaghetti Squash

Hello!

So, I’m presently sitting in the doctor’s office hoping to finally get started on finding out what my injury actually is.

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I’ve been going to physical therapy for 4 weeks now with little improvement and I still can’t run. I know the recovery process is often slow but I still have pain and not knowing exactly what needs to be treated is a problem.

fast forward an hour

Okay, I just had xrays done. Since it’s been about 2 months, it’s possible a femoral stress fracture might show up. Either way, I’ve got a consult to see an orthopedic surgeon. Hopefully, I’ll get that call soon. *fingers crossed* If the xrays don’t show anything, the next step is an MRI. I just want to run. Running makes me happy. Running is me – I AM a runner.

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Tee-hee. ūüôā

Okay, seriously. Cross your fingers for speedy xray results and a sooner rather than later appointment with the orthopedist. I need all the good vibes I can get!

Question: Have you ever had spaghetti squash? It’s really easy to make and super delicious. And, it’s a perfect substitute for spaghetti if you’re eating Paleo or just trying to cut back on processed carbs. I’ll never forget the first time I made it – I couldn’t believe the flesh actually twirled out like spaghetti noodles! So cool!

Anyway, you can pair spaghetti squash with your favorite marinara or even some homemade meatballs! I definitely recommend these. Healthy, chock full of protein, delicious and easy to make. Start the meatballs first and then put the squash in the oven. This gives the meatballs more time to hang out in the sauce. Om nom nom!

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Meatballs & Spaghetti Squash
*note: if you aren’t a fan of spaghetti squash, use spaghetti or whatever you prefer. ūüôā

1 (2-3 pound) spaghetti squash
1/2 pound lean ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1 egg
1/2 cup minced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash seasoning (I used spicy hot – use what you like!
FOR SAUCE
1 can (14.5 ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup Italian seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash squash exterior, then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and place, cut side up, on baking sheet.

2. Place ground sirloin, ground pork, egg, onion, garlic, almond flour, and seasoning in a medium bowl. Using your hands, mix well. Shape into meatballs.

3. Put squash in oven and bake for 45 minutes.

4. In a medium saucepan, mix tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine & seasoning. Heat on medium-low.

5. Heat 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook until brown on all sides. As meatballs finish cooking, add to the tomato sauce, stirring gently to incorporate. Don’t want them to fall apart!

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6. When spaghetti squash is done, remove from oven and let cool slightly. Using a fork, remove flesh from the rind. You can either scrape or twirl – depending on how long you want the squash strands to be.

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7. Top spaghetti squash with meatballs and sauce. Om nom nom!

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– jennifer

Hug a Runner Day and some Peanut Butter Fudge

Today is a special day for two reasons. ¬†Firstly, it’s Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day (G.O.H.A.R.D.)! ¬†In 2009, a young person named Michaela McGuigan hosted a public Facebook event called “National Hug a Cross Country Runner Day.” ¬†That event had over 42,000 people attend!! ¬†That’s amazing!! ¬†Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to have been repeated in 2010. ¬†Two guys named Adam Goucher (retired distance athlete married to Kara Goucher, 10,000 meters bronze medalist in 2007 and American Olympic marathoner) and Tim Catalano (former distance runner at the University of Colorado, current writer, Teacher, Consultant at Edge-Ucation) decided in 2011 to revive Michaela’s event with a few changes. ¬†They upped the ante from “National” to “Global” – there are runners all over the world, after all! – and they dropped the “Cross Country” to include all runners of all ages, distances, and styles. ¬†So, I’m sure you know a runner, a jogger, a person who walks so quickly that it should qualify as jogging – today is the day to show them you appreciate them, in all their sweaty, stinky, black-toenailed, sore-kneed and tight hamstringed glory! ¬†Give ’em a hug! ¬†Of course, if you see a runner while she’s actually running, don’t swerve over to the side of the road, get out of your car and try to chase her down to give her a hug. ¬†The thought is sweet but, well, that may not work out so well for you. ¬† ūüôā

The second reason it’s a special day is because it’s National¬†Peanut Butter Fudge¬†Day!!! ¬†Woohoo!!! ¬†Unless you’re allergic to peanuts (and if you are, you’re definitely not celebrating this day!), this is definitely a day worth celebrating. ¬†I personally love peanut butter. ¬†Love. ¬†And when I say love, I mean, LOVE. ¬†I could eat peanut butter every day. ¬†Okay, I pretty much do. ¬†It’s a great source of protein, it tastes delicious, and all those monounsaturated fats are good for you! ¬†Here are some interesting facts about peanut butter. ¬†One of them is that Americans spend almost $800 million a year on peanut butter. ¬†I can believe it. ¬†I’m certain that I contribute a fair amount to that $800 million. ¬†And I’m talking REAL peanut butter – not the kind with extra additions like palm oil, partially hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats), sugar, etc. ¬†Real peanut butter is just peanuts and maybe some salt. ¬†Smucker’s Natural = Best. Peanut Butter. Ever. ¬†

So, anyway, peanut butter fudge. ¬†O.M.G. ¬†It’s like a gift. ¬†It’s like a hug for your tongue and tastebuds. ¬†Hey, after you hug your runner friend, give them a piece of homemade peanut butter fudge. ¬†They won’t be able to thank you enough! ¬†Okay, probably because their mouths will be full but you get the idea. ūüôā Om nom nom…..

Peanut Butter Fudge
(adapted from Alton Brown, the Food Network)

8 ounces unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar

Combine the butter and peanut butter in a 4-quart microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave for 2 minutes on high.  Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes.  (Use caution when removing this mixture from the microwave, it will be very hot.)  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will become hard to stir and lose its sheen.  Spread into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper.  Fold the excess parchment paper so it covers the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours.  Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.