Meatless Meals & Easy to Make Veggie Burgers

by Melissa on October 28, 2014

Hi Eat on the Runners!  Long time, no write :(

forgetting someting

I know, it makes me sad too.  Sometimes when life happens, blogging slows – which is a good thing!  But I’ve missed my creative outlet and interacting with you all on a regular basis.  That is why I am back and ready to roll!  Let’s get this meatless party started (…said no one ever…crickets…)

I kid, I kid.  But seriously, I am a long time carnivore who loves beef.  Yes, I try to always buy organic grass fed or use the beef from a local farm back home, but it is seriously something in my diet I have a hard time going without. 

But when given the task to help with a vegetarian cooking demo for a client at work, I jumped on the chance to have more hands on experience with cooking demos and public speaking.  Introverts need a lot of work to survive in front of a crowd. 

So task was given: find veggie burger recipe and make it for 20 people.

uh….I’ve only ever bought veggie burgers.  Morningstar.  Boca.  Dr. Praegers.  Amy’s.  Make a veggie burger?  Well I guess I make my own beef burger, so why not these?

Veggie Burger 2

Thank goodness for Maria (at Bean a Foodie and one of my very good friends) as she has hands on experience making a variety of meatless meals.  She had a recipe for Mexican Style Black Bean burgers and all the ingredients sounded delicious.  But, in typical Melissa fashion, I didn’t follow the recipe to a T.  I added some shredded carrots (1/4 cup) and 2 ears of corn (about 1/3 cup of corn).  I love color!

Veggie Burgers 1

Well they were a hit!   Adding the smoked paprika gave them the taste of a real meat burger and the texture was spot on.  Not sure I’ll be buying anymore pre-made burgers since these were a cinch to make and cheap too.

Veggie Burger 3

The recipe is here:  Mexican Black Bean Burgers by Bean a Foodie

Here a few others I’d like to make sometime soon!

Thai Veggie Burgers from Oh My Veggies

Quinoa Chickpea Burgers by Pure Ella

Lentil Chickpea Burgers with Avocado Green Harissa by Cookie and Kate

Perfect Veggie Burger by Oh She Glows

Do you have any favorites that you make?

So how did the cooking demo turn out?  GREAT!  They loved the veggie burgers and I cooked up a few onsite to show them how simple and easy the process really was.


I handed out small bites topped with Wholly Guacamole (small obsession with them!)

Mary, one of the other RDs at WCS, made a delicious quinoa salad to share with the group.


Quinoa is a great protein source for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.  In this mix:  quinoa, edamame, kale, red onion, cherry tomatoes, avocado, mango, pumpkin seeds, and a lemon vinaigrette.  It was so good I think I would eat it as a meal all by itself. 


Speaking of other great things!  Next month, I’ll be hosting a 30 day abs challenge!  Including recipes, eating plans, workouts, and exercises to get you closer to your 6 pack – despite THANKSGIVING!

november abs challenge

Join me next week with the first installation!  Heather (Dietitian on the Run) will be in on the action as well, offering her insight as a vegetarian and kick a$$ marathoner ;)

Have a great day everyone!


Post Workout Fuel

by Melissa on September 25, 2014

As a dietitian, I’m more than well aware of the effects of proper nutrition on the body, especially when it comes to performing your best during a workout.  This fueling strategy is not only needed before the workout, but also after.

However, as a person, I have to learn it the hard way like everyone else.  I teach two fitness classes on Wednesday nights.  By the time I get home, it’s been over a 12 hour day for me and I’m exhausted.  While I’m starving, I really just want a shower and my bed.  Usually I’ll whip up an egg or a slice of avocado toast, and while this is good, I know I could be doing so much better considering I’ve just worked out for 2 hours.

Manitoba Protein Powder

So what’s my answer?  Smoothies!

The reason I love smoothies as opposed to a meal is because (A) I can make it quickly (B) It takes little effort and (C) I can pack a lot of nutrition into one glass.

So here are two smoothie recipes that I’ve been loving lately to fuel me (and fill me) up after a long night of teaching!


Vegan Berry Protein Smoothie (protein powder provided by Manitoba Harvest)

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 TBSP hemp seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ice

I’m usually pretty picky about protein powders, especially those that aren’t whey based.  However, the Manitoba Harvest blend seemed to mix up well and didn’t have the grainy consistency that I normally feel comes with a vegan based protein powder.  Definitely worth giving a try!


The reason I love the above smoothie is because I always have those items on hand and it literally takes no prep.  Pull it from the fridge or freezer, dump into the blender, and go.  When dinner is at 9pm, this is perfection.

The other smoothie I made was an Apple Pie Smoothie.  Can’t get enough apples when they’re in season!


Apple Pie Smoothie (this one will keep you full for awhile – high in fiber)

  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 TBSP chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ice


This might be one of the best ways to hold on to summer while jumping head first into fall.  Yes, I love pumpkin, but apples deserve their time in the lime light at this time of year.

What is your favorite way to refuel after a workout?  Do you continue to drink smoothie year round?

AND THE WINNER OF THE AMRAP BAR GIVEAWAY???  CAIT!  Yay :)  Email me with (melissa at eatontherun dot net) for more info.

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Fueled and Motivated (Giveaway!)

by Melissa on September 13, 2014

Happy Weekend!  It’s rainy and chilly here in the Nation’s capital and feels like fall.  It’s a perfect day to sit down, write a blog post, and sip on some coffee.  This week I really hit the workouts hard with strength training, teaching, cycling, and running.  And because of that, my nutrition really needed to be on point.  I can definitely feel a difference when I’m eating well and just scrambling for something to get by.

A few weeks ago, AMRAP Nutrition sent me a few bars to try.  I’m all about a good nutrition bar made from real ingredients.  It’s the reason I only recommend two bars to clients, friends, and families, so I am also glad to have another good go to nutrition bar for the many people I know who are busy and on the go!

My favorite was the almond and honey bar!  Containing just almonds, honey, unsweetened coconut, egg-white protein, sesame seeds, cinnamon, sea salt it filled me up and kept my sensitive system in check.  One word of caution, these bars are not meant to be a “snack” as they weigh in around 270 – 320 calories.  I ate a half a bar before heading into a workout and that worked just fine for me and held for about 2 hours.

You may ask where the “AMRAP” name comes from.  Since I am not a CrossFit athlete, I didn’t know how to respond to a food that really stood out for that type of athlete.  However, I loved the description on the back of the product:

“As many rounds as possible (AMRAP) defines our philosophy.  Through determination, intensity, and focus we aim to empower our community to reach their full potential.  Join us, and together we will change the world.”

GAH!  How much more motivating does that get!?  

Their site also follows up by saying that since CrossFit was originally designed as a supplemental fitness routine to any athletes’ training, their bars are also perfect fuel for any athlete.  I would have to agree, especially looking at their ingredient list.  Most of those items I eat as a group fitness instructor and distance runner.   Registered Dietitian approved!

If you have a chance, try these out.  They’re delicious and they are great for on the go nutrition for any athlete, CrossFit and runner alike ;)


And if you’d like to try a pack out for yourself, enter my giveaway for one 12 pack ($48 value) of your choice!  Enter through Friday 9/19 at 12pm EST.  Here’s how to enter (leave a comment to let me know which you’ve done!):

If you’re amped for a workout now, let me share my new 60 minute cycling playlist for this week’s Wednesday night “Ride” at Crunch.

It’s created with the first and last two songs serving as your warm up and cool down.  Enjoy!!!  And if you’re ever in the DC area, feel free to give me a shout out and come try a class!  I’d love to have you.

What is your favorite nutrition bar for on the go?

Disclaimer:  AMRAP sent me these bars for free to test and try.  All opinions are my own.


Letting Go of the Marathon

by Melissa on September 9, 2014

Hi, my name is Melissa and I’m a recovering marathon drop out.

It’s been 17 days since I made the decision not to run the Marine Corps Marathon.


[post beach run - where I ran without training on my mind]

This sounds like a joke and I wish it were, however deciding to “quit” training and also re-evaluating why I really wanted to run another marathon in the first place has been a process.  Leading up to the decision, I dreaded each and every run.  It was as though the lacing up of my shoes and the logging of the miles ate at me and made me realize that training for a marathon was another job.  I HAD to get this run in or else I wouldn’t race well.  I had to do 8 miles today or else my training would go down the tubes.


Or else….

That was the motto going into month 3 of marathon training and it was just mentally brutal.  Run, or else.

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve realized that I have a pretty strong love affair with running.  Yes, the love waves at times, but there has never really been a week without a run.  The run is a sanctuary.  A place to let go.  Even with training for half marathons, I still enjoyed the process.  The 7 – 10 mile long runs on the weekends.  The 3 -5 mile weekday runs.  And completing these miles either alone or with friends.


[long run in State College, the place that taught me to love the half]

The marathon was different.

The long runs were solo.  A long drawn out process that had me feeling as though my entire weekend was ruined between gearing up for it and then recovering from it.

The mid-week runs started either very early or were done in the heat of the early evening.  They were what my long runs were for the half marathon.

Stepping back, I realized that each of these things that I mention are what the marathon brings.  Long runs 2+ hours long.  Many weekday miles.  Limited time to cross train and enjoy your social life.  That’s what it’s about.  This brings enjoyment to many.  Those who train for marathons and love the process.  They have this glow about them leftover from their weekend long run or the last race.

I wanted that.

I wanted the marathon glow.

That’s why I signed up for a 2nd marathon.

But guess what?

I had the glow.  But I didn’t have to train for 26.2 to get it.  I had it from 6.2 and 13.1.  The 10K and half were my glow inducing races.  The training left me room to breathe and savor the miles.  The race day was short enough for friends and family to come and long enough for me to feel accomplished.

I had the glow … and I’m working to get it back.


The marathon is NOT a bad race distance.  I repeat, the marathon is NOT a bad race distance.  However, it is not the race for me.  I ran one (2011 Pittsburgh Marathon) and know what it takes to finish.  I’ve attempted to train for a 2nd and now know what I need to from my training plans.

The last few months of training have allowed me to do a lot of introspection.  I have learned a lot about myself and learned that you don’t fail by not completing the marathon training process.  It’s not failure – not by a long shot.  I have re-evaluated what my goal really was.  My goal was to become a better runner and to challenge myself.  And guess was – I accomplished both of those things.  And thanks to my great coaches, Julie and Lisa, who have so patiently allowed me to find this out, I feel ready to tackle the 10K and half with new vigor.

So I have decided not to give up on the marathon but rather to let it go.  I am letting go of the idea that to be a runner I have to run a marathon and love doing so.  I am letting go of the thought that I’m a failure for not completing the process.  Because there is a huge different between giving up and letting go.

“When we give up, things may be finished, but they are not resolved. Perhaps giving up feels more like a passive victim, as though something is happening to you or you are reacting to something outside. Letting go feels empowering, an active, thoughtful choice, rooted on the inside. Giving up can be a petulant, immature response to something uncomfortable. Letting go is steadiness and calm in the midst of discomfort. Giving up can involve hasty words or impulsive behavior. Letting go can be choosing to respond by not responding, or waiting long enough that you have lived out your response without words. The aftermath of giving up can feel like resentment, rationalization, guilt, or frustration. The aftermath of letting go is relief, confidence, peace, and freedom.” –Kristen Armstrong from Runner’s World Mile Markers Blog

I am not the victim and I am not passively giving up on the marathon.  I made an active choice to let it go and move on to new goals.

Hello, my name is Melissa, and I let go of the marathon 17 days ago.

And I love running.


Marathon Training = Lots of Shoes

July 29, 2014

Even if I weren’t in training for the Marine Corps Marathon, I would probably still have an excessive amount of workout shoes – especially running shoes.  It’s an Achilles heel. Just a week ago, I broke out a new pair of Mizunos to try out for LOOONNNG distances – the Wave Enigma.  This pair has […]

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Long Run Fuel

July 23, 2014

This weekend we dropped to less than 100 days to the Marine Corps Marathon!  OH MMM GEEEE!!! And this weekend marked the first weekend where long runs returned to double digits.  While 15 was on the training schedule, 13 was all my body was managing.  After talking with Julie, my coach, I’m really just happy […]

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ALO Yoga: A Review

July 18, 2014

Back in May, ALO yoga reached out to me and asked if I would like to try some of their clothing.  I can tell you one thing, fitness clothing shopping to me is better than any other type of shopping.  Hands down.  Yes, this girl likes to get dressed up and walk the walk, but […]

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Stay Hydrated

July 16, 2014

So between a week of extreme stress and high temperatures, I’m learning the hard way what dehydration can do to the body.  My marathon training has kind of gone down the tubes, however I know exactly where to go to get back on track – again one of the other reasons it’s 100% beneficial to […]

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June 30, 2014

Don’t ask about my post naming inspiration….it’s been a long weekend. But, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I have a strong love affair with peanut butter (aka peanutbuttahhhh).  I really don’t care what form it comes in – crunchy, creamy, natural, no-stir, salted…I’m game.  So, when we got home late […]

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Summer Running Favorites

June 18, 2014

Nothing feels better than coming home, cracking open a box of new running shoes, and then heading out the door. I mean seriously…. Ok, yes.  My idea of great shoes are from brands such as Mizuno, Nike, and Under Armour.  Sneakers over stilettos So that is why I’m sharing my top 5 favorite summer run […]

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