The Grief Marathon & Quinoa

quinoa for breakfast

quinoa for breakfast

A New Year’s resolution… Have you made any? How about running a marathon? A number of my friends and family are runners and it impresses me to no end. It seems like a lonely endeavor, but day after day they persevere no matter how cold the weather or painful the perspiration in their eyes. They have a goal and they see a finish line. In some ways, Grief is much like running a marathon.

my cheerleaders

my cheerleaders

Remember the first day of exercise? The body, a little overwhelmed by the assault, rewards you with soreness. For some, the pain that follows is excruciating and requires a bit of medication. But you are determined and this pain, while undeniable, will not keep you from going forward. In time each workout gets you a little stronger and you go a little faster. There are sunny days when the run is actually quite enjoyable. Yes, there are sunny days and even an occasional rainbow.

there will always be better days

there will always be better days

It’s a race and along the way there are supporters. They hand you some water or a tissue to wipe that burning water from your eyes. They cheer you on and hold you up when it seems there is no strength to put another foot forward. It’s an exhausting long run, but you can do it. I know WE can because along the way no one is cheering as loud as the person we have loved and lost. In our hearts, they go wherever we go. They do whatever we do. They are running the race and some day we will see them at the finish line.

He is cheering me on

He is cheering me on

Ok, so if you are going to run a marathon you must eat healthy. Have you tried quinoa? Pronounced “keen-wha”, it is an ancient grain first discovered in South America. Packed with protein, B vitamins, iron and fiber it is a powerhouse of nutrition and the perfect food for those who want to reduce meat consumption or go vegetarian. Versatile and gluten-free it makes a great substitute for other grains. Quinoa is often used as a side dish or in stuffing recipes, but today’s recipe is a warm and nourishing breakfast pudding. It will keep you energized and running all day. Feel free to substitute any fruit and nut toppings you like. Happy 2015!

bittersweet jewels that burst in your mouth

bittersweet jewels that burst in your mouth

Toasted Almond & Pomegranate Quinoa Breakfast Pudding

1-cup quinoa (pre-washed)

1¾ cups skim milk or almond milk

4 tablespoons honey or agave syrup

¼-teaspoon almond extract or vanilla

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

¼ cup chopped roasted almonds

Over medium heat, toast quinoa in a dry skillet for a few minutes or until quinoa begins to darken. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine toasted quinoa, milk, 2 tablespoons honey or agave, almond extract and salt. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover leaving lid slightly ajar and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and white spiral-like threads appear around the grains. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Divide quinoa among 4 serving bowls. Top with yogurt and a drizzle of honey or agave. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and almonds.

11 thoughts on “The Grief Marathon & Quinoa

  1. Bravo Lisa ! From my point of view, you have captured the essence of running. To compare endurance for running to the same needed for grieving is genius. I too believe in those heavenly cheerleaders whose words of encouragement resonate with every step…”You can do it ! “. And hopefully we do it in Peace and with Hope…

    • I am always so impressed by you and Sarah, Brian and Julie running those races…it just seems so hard and uncomfortable, but I know those endorphins kick in and the feeling of crossing the finish line….just amazing and proud

  2. Love this! I have a quinoa/veggie “fried rice” recipe planned for this week but I’m going to try this with any leftover quinoa!

    • glad that you like quinoa–it really is so good and healthy and easy to make. Let me know if it helps keep you warm in the windy city

  3. I will have to try this as I am always looking for healthy breakfast ideas. Your posts are always so inspirational! Happy new year!

  4. Just made the Toasted Almond and Pomegranate Quinoa Breakfast Pudding this morning. So hearty, delicious and satisfying. I did not have pomegranate so I substituted blueberries and strawberries. I can’t wait to make this when we have house guests because I know it will be an instant hit!

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