A special interview and Summer Ratatouille

Yesterday was busy- it started with a 6:30 am spin class I was subbing, which is about the time I usually workout, but required a much earlier wake up. As much as I grumbled when my alarm went off, I loved getting that burst of energy first thing in the morning.

While L had her Tuesday morning class, I had the opportunity to interview Marshall Ulrich about his recent adventures.  He and a friend just completed the first circumnavigation of Death Valley National Park, about 425 miles and 40,000 feet of elevation gain in the heat of summer.  And all of this just 3 days after running his 18th Badwater Ultramarathon! (Badwater is a 135 mile race through Death Valley with temperatures up to 130 degrees!)

Marsh is also the author of Running on Empty, which I reviewed a few months ago.  He was incredibly down-to-earth, and I felt like we could have talked for hours. I took as many notes as I could and look forward to sharing what I learned from him soon.

School started here this past week, and it doesn’t change too much for us other than the extra traffic.  But it does remind me that summer is coming to a close.  I’m trying to use the remaining weeks to get our fill of summer produce before it’s gone. Here’s what we’re eating:

[Bfast: Yogurt, banana, oats & mila; Snack: 1/2 banana+ almond butter; Lunch: Eggplant Rataouille with white beans +polenta; Snack: (unpictured) plum + handful raisins+ almonds; Dinner: Laura’s Cauliflower pizza (yum!)+ Spinach salad with cukes, tomatoes + peppers; Snack: Rice “pudding” (leftover brown rice + almond milk+cinnamon)]

And what L’s been eating:

[Bfast: Yogurt+banana+granola; Lunch: pasta+avocado+cheese; squash; Dinner: Ratatouille; Snacks: goldfish (at school); small granola bar

Unfortunately, our easy-to-please toddler is finally taking a turn to the picky side.  She downs her breakfast, but has been picking at lunch and dinner lately.  She never used to leave food on her plate! It’s a strange transition, but I’m trusting that her body knows what she needs and I’m sure she’s getting enough.

It didn’t help that we made granola bars this afternoon, so she was counting on that being her dinner.  I heard myself say something I’ve never had to say before: that old, familiar “Let me see you eat two bites of your dinner and you can have dessert.”  I don’t want to start that battle! But we rarely have dessert, and these granola bars are actually a very healthy snack, so I played her game this time. And made a mental note to save any baking for after dinner!

I added the Ratatouille recipe to my Recipage… it’s so easy, and delicious!  If you’re looking for another way to use the last of summer’s eggplant, I recently added our favorite Mediterranean pasta recipe as well.

I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons . Check it out for more What I ate Wednesday posts!

Runners, have you read “Running on Empty“?

Moms, did your kids go through phases of more and less pickiness?

40 thoughts on “A special interview and Summer Ratatouille

  1. I am looking foward to the interview. What a fascinating guy! As always your eats Look amazing. I am a huGe rice pudding fan and that looks like a healthier alternative. My oldest definitely took a turn to the picky side as she left toddlerhood. She’s like her dad. My youngest is a much more adventurous eater.
    Marcia recently posted..Adjusting to Change: A Progress ReportMy Profile

    • I had forgotten how much I liked rice pudding until I saw it in a cookbook lately- decided to use leftover rice and make a quick version in the microwave, and it worked well! Yes- Marshall is fascinating. He’s such a nice guy, and had some great take-away messages from this adventure.
      Laura recently posted..A special interview and Summer RatatouilleMy Profile

    • I really enjoyed chatting with him! I appreciated the lessons he’s learned, I could relate to his thoughts more than I expected to, not being an endurance athlete myself. 🙂 The caulif pizza is really good, but takes some work, and I found myself peeling the wax paper off the crust, maybe a little oil first would help? I’ll keep experimenting with it.
      Laura recently posted..A special interview and Summer RatatouilleMy Profile

  2. Your ratatouille looks yummy! And Laura’s cauliflower pizza is excellent!

    My kids cycle through eating stages too. One day picky, next day eat anything and everything. It’s frustrating but a part of life. I’m trying not to be pushy and just let them be.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Zucchini MuffinsMy Profile

  3. I’ve never had or made ratatouille…but your photo looks so mouth-watering that I’m going to have to change that 🙂

    And while I’m not necessarily a runner, I’ve been interested in reading that book. I just finished Born to Run a month or so ago and loved it!
    MassachusEATS recently posted..WIAW #28My Profile

  4. my 12-month old is currently eating MORE than me! he has a banana, cheerios and two eggs for breakfast. i talked to my pediatrician about it (i was a little worried! isn’t that too much food!?) and he said i should enjoy it now and brace myself for when he starts being picky 🙂
    Amanda K. recently posted..Track ClubMy Profile

  5. Can’t wait to read your interview!

    Jasp’s pickiness is extreme. He eats about 10 foods. It’s one of the things the speech therapist works with him on. I’ll do a post soon of the things she has us do that would be good for any child, not just one with “issues”.
    Clea recently posted..Just me rambling some more…My Profile

  6. I read it last year and did an interview with him. I found the book fascinating, although I definitely formed an opinion about what I considered his losing a sense of balance in there. I’ll be interested to read your interview!
    misszippy recently posted..Race bag odditiesMy Profile

    • I know what you mean. The lessons he pulled from the Death Valley navigation were much more balanced- the importance of simplicity, connecting to nature- I connected to what he had to say much more so than in his run across America (through injuries, etc!)
      Laura recently posted..A special interview and Summer RatatouilleMy Profile

  7. I think I will make a similar pasta dish tomorrow night (minus the olives, too salty for me) since i am running out of ideas for all the eggplant and tomatoes in my CSA box! Both of my kids go through phases where they barely eat anything and then will eat like a 200 lb man for a couple weeks! I used to fight Alyssa a lot during the low eating phases but have since given up and have never fought with Cassidy over it. Poor first child, all the learning is done on Alyssa!
    Lindsay @ Fuel My Family recently posted..What I Ate out of my CSA BoxMy Profile

  8. WHat a fun day, I’m sure the interview was a great learning experience.

    O goes through phases where she will only eat certain foods or refuses to eat something she liked last week, like you I figure her body will do what it needs to get the right foods. I just keep giving her the healthy options and eating it is her choice.
    Jen recently posted..Running for a reasonMy Profile

  9. L is soo cute!! Miss Bean has been a picky eater since she started eating “real” food. Just recently she has started eating more but only of the things she likes…such as bananas! I used to try to get her to eat a variety of things but it didn’t work very well so I just go with the flow and let her have what she wants. She is still nursing so she still is getting some good balanced nutrition from my milk. I haven’t read that book but it looks good and would like to read a running related book soon, just have to make time to read 🙂
    Kris recently posted..Update from the Traveling MamaMy Profile

  10. Gabe used to be a super, super picky eater, and Carmine is, too. I’ve found that the less of a fuss I make over it, the better. My policy is to always have one thing on their plate that I know they like (usually fruit, or some kind of pasta or bread or rice), and if that’s all they choose to eat for dinner, so be it. It took a while before Gabe really started trying (and liking) a better variety of foods, so I’m anticipating that I’ll be in it for the long haul with Carmine, too. But you can’t force them to eat, so I say just roll with it, and as they say, ‘this too shall pass.’
    Michelle recently posted..Last-Minute 5K, and Lots of Racing On the HorizonMy Profile

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  12. I haven’t read Running on Empty, but I think those Badwater folks are badass. This year it was like 115 degrees and when I told Mr. L that they were running over 100 miles up to the base of Mt. Whitney, he thought I was joking!
    Travel Spot recently posted..Santa Rosa MarathonMy Profile

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