A D.C-tastic Morning Run + A 5 Minute Lunch

Good morning! I’m riding a pretty sweet endorphin high right now thanks to an a.m. run with these lovely ladies.


I met up with my college buddies Kathleen and Sarah at 7 a.m. down on the National Mall. It had been too long since we all met up since we’ve all been traveling a ton lately! I really missed them – so good to catch up over a little exercise. :)


We started our jaunt heading towards/past the Capitol. I love this view of it coming back!


It was super humid and gray out again, but at least we didn’t have the July sun beating down on us. Even if it’s early morning it still feels hotter when the sun is out!



The miles FLEW by this morning thanks to chatting away the whole time! Around mile 4, we decided to stop up at the Washington Monument to take in the views.



So lovely that it’s finally open again to the public!


And so cool to get to take it all in without the crowds. I love early morning on the National Mall – it’s so quiet and calm out, and the only other people around are runners. You feel like you own the place. :)


The girls and I looped back near the Capital, dropped off Kathleen, and Sarah and I continued back towards Metro Center, where we stopped and got coffee and then strolled a little ways. What a wonderful way to start the day. 6 miles, too – sweet!


As for food, I made a super easy lunch yesterday I wanted to share – have you guys ever tried this Channa Masala from Trader Joe’s?


I’m not normally a frozen/convenience food person at all because I don’t find them very satisfying (and the ingredient lists are usually atrocious), but I really like this stuff – stellar ingredient list and super tasty, too. The key with things like this is to just bulk it up a bit with some veggies and add ins so it’s more satisfying!


I started with a base of wilted spinach – just pop a HUGE handful of baby spinach on a plate, microwave 1 minute, and bam.


Next up – 90 second brown rice.


Followed by the Channa Masala and some cherry tomatoes, to amp up the volume a little.


YUM! The Channa Masala package contains two servings, but I was super hungry and ended up eating all of it. No shame. Don’t be scared to listen to your bodies, friends! Some days you just need more food than others and that’s okay. Second guessing yourself and denying your hunger is what ends up getting you into trouble later. If you’re hungry, eat. Your body knows what it needs, and those needs will change a little day to day, so what might satisfy you one day might not be enough the next, and vice versa.


Zara agrees. She’s a good intuitive eater. :)


Have a wonderful day, my friends!


  1. 1

    Great idea to bulk up the frozen meal! I don’t by them very often because of the $$ but sometimes it’s nice to try new dishes like that & I will definitely try adding mine to a bed of spinach next time!

  2. 2
    Jennifer says:

    I followed your lead and added some brown rice to my kale and kidney bean salad yesterday. I definitely felt an energy and mood boost! I think I need more grains in my life. :)

  3. 4

    I usually buy a huge bag of fresh spinach at Costco and freeze half of it in ziploc bags specifically for bulking out bean and grain bowls. It’s a lifesaver for those times when I want some vegetables in a meal but don’t have time for much prep work (or just don’t feel like doing it, ha!)

    • 5

      Does it freeze well?? I need to start doing that!

      • 6

        The bag usually says “don’t freeze”, but that is really is more of a “WARNING, THIS WON’T MAKE GOOD SALAD IF IT’S FROZEN” piece of advice (which should hopefully be obvious!). For smoothies or tossing into a bowl of channa masala, freezing is great and I prefer the taste/texture to the frozen spinach I buy at the grocery store (it’s less bitter and blends into smoothies better, since it’s baby spinach rather than mature leaves). Depending on what your local stores carry, it may also be more economical than buying frozen spinach.

        I am a big believer in having a well-stocked freezer, and this is definitely one of my favorite things to have on hand!

        • 7

          Awesome!! Thank you so much. My husband and I are both teachers and are constantly on the GO! I am always looking for ways (and meals) that will save me time and money. So knowing that we can freeze the spinach and use it later…AWESOME!

  4. 8

    here’s a question. do you prefer baby spinach or regular spinach (maybe we can call this “adult” spinach, ha), and do you know if there’s a nutritional difference between the two? i usually go baby spinach for salads, but if i’m cooking it, i’ll go “adult.”

    • 9

      I like to mix it up! Nutritionally I’m not sure – the “adult” spinach might be slightly higher in nutrients but I wouldn’t worry about it. :)

  5. 10

    Ahh, humidity! I’m moving from San Francisco to Nebraska this weekend and am NOT ready for the humidity…especially during workouts. Kudos to you for staying positive that at least the sun wasn’t out…no summer double whammy in that sense!

  6. 11

    DC is such a beautiful place to go running! Trader Joes is the only place I will buy a frozen meal from. I’ve tried their frozen lamb vindaloo and think it’s delicious!

  7. 13

    I’m so jealous of the views you get to run to, Anne! So pretty. :)

    Also, I’ve been rocking the big lunch salads lately too. I basically just made a HUGE salad with all the veggies under the sun, but after seeing your salads I’ve been adding beans and either quinoa or brown rice in there too! I’ve noticed a BIG difference in my afternoon energy levels and I’m not near as snacky in the evenings. :D

  8. 15

    I’ve been looking for some frozen options to have on hand for those days when there really just isn’t time. Great to know that Trader Joe’s has options that are relatively healthy!

  9. 16

    That cat is just gorgeous!! I feel she gets “beautifuler” every pic you take!

  10. 18

    Your food looks amazing! I gotta learn how to make that..

  11. 19

    I love the chana masala from Trader Joe’s! That plus some rice and I’ve got a meal!

  12. 20

    Just popping in to say I am always so impressed by your ability to eat intuitively. I really, really want to, but I just struggle so much. Definitely a work in progress!

  13. 21

    I LOVE Trader Joe’s frozen channa masala! The way that you bulked it up looks so delicious, too!

  14. 22
    April Arguin says:

    Love the post and amazing views of the capital! Wondering what kind of water backpack system do you use? I have been thinking about investing in one for awhile now but I am so picky about the taste of my water and other CamelBak styles I have tried before makes the water taste odd.



  15. 24
    Roadrunner says:

    Great run, great food!

  16. 25
    Lauren K says:

    You guys look so cute! Impressive for a humid day :) I’m struggling running thanks to the beating sun here! Even though the temps are not bad, I agree, the sun makes a huge difference!

  17. 26

    That run looks incredible! Every time I go there, I tell myself that I need to live near DC one day so I can run on the mall all the time. I would totally add in a loop to the Jefferson Memorial – that one’s my favorite! You’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful area :)

  18. 27

    We were in DC this weekend/week. We took our 4 and 6 year old around the mall. As we were walking past everything, I actually thought of all your morning runs and how great it would be to have this scenery every day. My 6 year old says she wants to move there because you can play any sport on the grass there. She was impressed how much was going on, on a Tuesday afternoon. :)

  19. 29
    lindsey says:

    Thank you for your honesty in portion size! I am so over small portions! Intuitive eating is so amazing…love it!

  20. 30

    Woohoo lovely Dickinson ladies :)

  21. 31

    It is very humidy here in England and running is hard but once the cooler weather comes i am always pleased that i had run through it as it feels so much more better. i hope that make some sence!
    I also never eat ready meals or things like that for the same reasons but must admit that it looks good.

  22. 32

    The Mall is my usual run, because it is right by my office. But lately I’ve been incorporating sprints. I nearly wiped out on the gravel!

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