To start making changes in my life, I’ve returned to running. There are fewer miles ran at a slower pace than two years ago. It’s humbling to return to level one of progress. Gone are my swift and quick days. My breathing is more strained and difficult. However, I know to continue, because it gets easy.

As for diet, cutting back on carbohydrates (carbs) is a start, but as a beginner runner, it’s unrealistic. The golden rule about carbs and energy was learned from an old boss when the anti-carb diet was at its height of popularity a few years ago. He mentioned most people don’t realize carbs fuel a workout. I did a little experiment of eating a small amount of carbs a couple hours before working out. He was right. My workout was highly energetic and more effective.

Returning to working out means indulging in a carb-fueled lunch, such as Basil Pesto and Mushrooms tossed with Linguine pasta. It’s a simple dish using summer’s fresh basil, baby greens, thinly sliced mushrooms and a hint of Parmesan cheese. For those on certain dietary restrictions, using whole wheat or brown rice flour linguine pasta are alternative choices.

I’m lucky to know healthy food, but it’s time to reapply the rules for portion control, avoiding sugary food (hello… I’m a sugarholic… what about you?), eating smart for more nutrients, and returning to a regular exercise routine. In discussing pasta and working out, I also forgot a simple reason to enjoying a carb dish: It brings joy, especially this Basil Pesto and Mushooms tossed with Linguine Pasta. And, a happy attitude is a step towards a healthy lifestyle.

What do you eat to fuel your workouts? Discuss in the comment section below.

Basil Pesto and Mushrooms tossed with Linguine Pasta


  • Olive oil; as needed
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper; as needed
  • Crushed red pepper; optional and as needed
  • 10 oz. linguine pasta; cooked al dente according to manufacture’s directions and tossed with olive oil (use white, rice flour or whole wheat pasta)
  • About 5 to 8 oz. baby arugula and/or spinach leaves (save time by buying a pre-wash bag)
  • 1 to 1-1/2-cups basil pesto (homemade version found here or store brought)
  • 10 oz. bella mushrooms; thinly sliced (if available, use a mandolin); reserve a few for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese; as needed


  1. Lightly toss the first seven ingredients together.
  2. When plating or packing for lunch, place pasta in a bowl or plate. Garnish with extra mushroom slices, grated Parmesan cheese, sea salt and fresh black pepper with a light drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Enjoy.
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One Comment

  1. I almost have all of these things in my kitchen, except for the pasta.

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