Friday, June 22, 2012

Warning: Healthy Recipe

So I normally don't rave about food on Twitter or Facebook, but I made this salad the other day and it rocked my taste buds. I just had to gush on social networks and I got requests for the recipe. (And just a warning, it is healthy *and* delicious. Even my brother who was super skeptical became a fan after a couple bites.)

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

1/4 cup pine nuts
2-3 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sea salt
5 Tbls. chopped cilantro
2 scallions (chopped)
1/2 jalepeno pepper, finely chopped & seeds removed
1 can black beans (or 1 cup cooked)

Preheat oven to 300. Toast pine nuts in small baking dish for 5-7 min. Set aside.

Remove cooked quinoa from pot and place in large bowl to cool (20 min. or so). Combine oil, lemon, cumin, and salt in bowl. Whisk together and pour over warm quinoa. Toss well. Add rest of the ingredients and toss. Serve at room temperature.

**I omitted the scallions and jalepeno and it still tasted divine!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Never Give Up; Never Surrender

The title of this post is a quote from one of my favorite movies, "Galaxy Quest." If you have any Trekkie tendencies at all, you simply *must* watch that movie. I still laugh until I cry when watching it. And it segues perfectly into today's blog post. (Love it when that happens!)

So awesome blogger/author Elana Johnson put together a Never Surrender blogfest this week to coincide with the release of her new book, "Surrender." (Visit her blog for great posts. Click here for a list of others participating in the blogfest.) The idea of the Never Surrender blogfest is for people to share a time in their lives when they didn't surrender. Talk about an inspirational topic!

I have a lot of Never Surrender moments (one could argue in my case they could be called bullheaded moments), but one that easily comes to mind is when I decided to run a marathon. Now, I run a lot, but running for 26.2 miles is a whole different ballgame. And because I like to be prepared (hush dear husband who chimes in, "try over-prepared"), I researched training programs and nutrition information. I talked to friends who'd run marathons and heard all about their experiences, and I put together my plan. The race itself is grueling, but honestly, what is more grueling is the four months of training to be able to run the race successfully. You read that right--four months where you don't slack off, when you have to eat right, when you figure out how in the world you are going to convince your body to run for 3+ hours, because, trust me, your body doesn't particularly want to.

It would have been so easy to surrender to the nice, warm bed instead of forcing myself to get up and run four days a week (three of those days I had to be finished and back home by 6:30 a.m. to get kidlets off to school on time). It would have been cake to spend my Saturdays doing something other rearranging the family schedule so I could run for hours. And it would have been so easy to think, "Forget this marathon-craziness. I'm in good enough shape. I don't need to." But I didn't. I stuck to the plan, even though some days it was the last thing I wanted to do. I ran the marathon and it wasn't as bad as I was afraid it would be.

The thing about pushing yourself to the limit is that you discover you can do much more than you thought you could. And when you never surrender, when you meet a challenge and conquer it, the reward is priceless.

I love this picture (not because I look particularly spectacular after 4 hours of running) but because you can see the satisfaction and elation of conquering a Never Surrender moment.

So when you're faced with something hard and it would be easier to quit than push through, remember to Never Surrender. Because you can do more than you think you can!

"Never Give Up; Never Surrender!"