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The Runner’s Diet {Recipe: Spring Salad with Orange Vinaigrette}

In 80 days, I’ll be running my first 5K – not walking, but R-U-N-N-I-N-G.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve officially gotten off my sedentary butt and have taken to going to the gym 4-5 times a week since the new year. I have also been exercising at home on my off days. I’m working with a really awesome running trainer who is teaching me how to work within my heart rate zones to run most effectively. He also kicks my butt with strength training and core exercises, which makes me actually look forward to the running portion of the session!

I don’t think I’ve shared this on Dine & Dish yet, but my motivation for finally getting back on the running bandwagon (after about 10 years of being off) was this inspiring blog post by Karen Russell. It’s a long one, but read it. Afterwards, if you aren’t inspired to get up and move, there might be something wrong with you ;)

So, here I am now.. with 80 days left to train… I have my fancy, handy, dandy new Purple Polar Heart Monitor (love it), all the right running clothes, a team of friends working with me towards the same goal, and I feel great. So what’s the problem?

Well, as most people already know, I’ve discovered that exercising and running is not enough. My eating habits are horrible and my will power is even worse. Although I have come to enjoy my daily run (I NEVER thought I would say that) I’d like to have the added benefit of dropping a few pounds along the way. It’s not going to happen if I don’t figure out how runner’s eat… because I’m pretty sure it isn’t this, this and this!

I’m inspired by the following bloggers who run and love food as well: Courtney from A So-Called Runner, Johnna from 52 Sweets, Jenna from Eat, Live, Run, and Ruthanne from Eclectic Whatnot. If you know of any other bloggers who love food yet manage to stay fit with exercise and balanced eating, please let me know.

In the meantime, I’m doing what I know is necessary… increasing my greens and enjoying more salads. We love salad around here and know that it is good for us – so I don’t know why I feel like I’m “missing out” on something when salad is on the table.

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This Spring Salad with Orange Vinaigrette was a recent meal. A filling salad with plenty of protein and flavor… I honestly didn’t feel like I was being cheated of anything (except maybe bread) when I was finished eating it. If you have a favorite healthy type recipe or salad recipe, I’d love if you’d share in the comments section.

(And don’t worry… Dine & Dish isn’t going to turn into a health food, no sweets, no carbs, no good stuff kind of blog. I just would love some of your tips to help me get this “running me” in better shape, all around!)

Recipe: Spring Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 ounces pre-washed Dole spring mix salad
  • ¼ cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
  • ¼ cup crumbled, cooked turkey bacon pieces
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. In a large bowl, combine orange zest, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, Kosher salt, black pepper and extra-virgin olive oil. Whisk until well blended and smooth.
  2. Place lettuce, cheese, walnuts and bacon pieces on each individual plate. Drizzle with the blended orange vinaigrette dressing.


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  1. I’m so excited about your 5k plans! I love what you said about not becoming a no-sweets blog, it’s about balance. I blog about cupcakes and then I go for a run, hoping it all evens out.

    Here’s one of my favorite healthier lunches, veggie spring rolls with almond butter: http://johnna52.blogspot.com/2011/06/rooftop-party-and-vegetarian-spring.html

  2. Good for you!! I love working out but hate running. I’m debating doing a marathon too! Good luck :)

  3. I’m running that race too, Kristen! You’ll love it. It’s a great race. Cheers to your new luuuv!

  4. Amy Kempf says:

    Drink lots of water,96 oz. increase your fiber will make you feel more full so you won’t have to snack as much. Eat as much natural foods as possible so that your body will break it down faster. Good luck on the 5k. I started jogging again after so many years and I forgot how I enjoyed it!

  5. I like to follow life after bagels she has great information for runners. I have started to run but I am no where near ready to run a full 5k. I am impressed especially since it is so cold where you are.

  6. Good luck, I know you can do this. I’ve been struggling to motivate myself too. I just am not quite sure how to balance my love of food and cooking with it. Looking forward to seeing how you do. In the meantime I can ask my sis in law for some tips if you like. She does tri’s and iron man’s. Doing amazing and kicking butt at 44 years young. She started a few years ago so there is hope. xx

  7. Annette Friesen says:

    Congrats Kristen! I am 56 years old and ran my 3rd marathon last year. I didn’t start running until I was 46. I started with a 5K and went up from there. Running has been one of the best decisions I made. — I don’t have any health recipes here but have found that eating less in quantity is the key for me. I try to limit foods during the week and allow a few special things on the weekend. All the best on your race!

  8. Salad looks delicious! I just signed up for my first ever 6 mi run. I’ve never done any kind of run. Congrats on getting back to the running and good luck on your 5K!!!

  9. Good Lunch with your run!! You’ll do a phenomenal job :) — your salad, well it looks sooo delicious. Filling – healthy and yummy …. a total win in my books :)

  10. You go girl!! I’ve never be a runner, but I am kicking my butt and getting some exercise again………blogging had turned me into such a sedentary person.

    That salad looks right up my alley!! Thanks for sharing Kristen!!

  11. So proud of you!! Running is my stress relief & it’s amazing how running [or even walking] outdoors can give you such peace of mind. Let me know if you need any healthy, energy giving recipes :) xo

  12. That’s awesome!! I’ll totally be rooting for you!

  13. Oh wow, this salad looks delish!

  14. I definitely swear by eating slowly and little bits at a time. You need to (most of the time) think of food as fuel for your body not an occasion. Have a little bite to eat (small salad or piece of fruit) wait a little bit. If you’re still hungry, have a little more, wait again. You’ll learn your limits pretty quick. Also, weight training is KEY to dessert eating. By building muscle, your body becomes more efficient while resting therefore you can metabolize that pie faster than you can say jogging! Good luck to you! I’ve been where you are. There’s lots of healthy recipes over on my blog http://www.betsylife.com if you ever get sick of salad!

  15. Congratulations Kristen!!!! I used the couch-to-the-5K last year when I had reached an unhealthy weight. Running (and WW) helped me lose all of it…. until the holidays hit. I was ALMOST to my goal and now…. well, I’m up to needing to lose quite a bit. Having stopped running in December, it’s back to it for me. Looking forward to reading more of your success with running!!!

  16. Yum yum yum – I am so making this! the flavours together are just make for each other! brilliant!

  17. So happy to hear you’re running again! After being “off” for about a year, I’m back to it, too. I’ve missed it SO MUCH!

    Keep it up, lady! :)

  18. Salad looks awesome! I know this was like 5 months ago, but still, I super stoked you got back into running and even enjoy it, good work!
    I’m a runner, and I eat healthy… and then I have cake and ice cream. Since you said you were looking for blogs like that ;)

  19. I just come across to your page and it’s motivated to me!!! I get running and diet again seriously. Thank you so MUCH!!


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  6. [...] unique. This will be served with a simple salad using the salad mix from Animal farm and an orange vinaigrette with the oranges from G&S [...]

  7. […] Recipe and Photo credit to dineanddish.net […]

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