Introducing Women Out on Trails

Anna Boom

because you may not always be on Okinawa…

Trails. Women out running together. WOOT. That is what brings us together every week, on Saturday mornings, Tuesday and Thursdays at lunch.

If you have run with us, we hope you felt supported and encouraged and challenged. We have loved sharing our time out there together with you and so many amazing women. Thinking back over the miles and smiles, it is simply awesome.

But military life…we don’t stay in one place very long and so many of you have moved on or will move on.

taking the WOOT love with you, when you go…

Some of our running group, moved on to the San Diego area and started a new group out there together, introducing WOOT San Diego. And to match the new group is the new acronym, Women Out on Trails.



If you are heading that way to visit or on a move, please contact their group and introduce yourself. The trails in SoCal are much different from Okinawan jungle, think deserty, longer and with much more variety. You may have to drive farther to meet up but you’ll have your trail buddies ready to go.


Where are you going next? Maybe North Carolina? WOOT NC, you say 😉

update since publishing the post: WOOT NC is here and WOOT Hawaii is on the aloha horizon…


What To Do With Tahini – Part Three

Jannine Myers

This is the last post in a 3-part series on tahini. In the first post, I shared a recipe that uses tahini as one of the seasoning ingredients. In the second post, I shared a recipe that uses tahini as one of the main ingredients in a dressing. In this post, I will be sharing a recipe that uses tahini as a key dessert ingredient. As you can see, tahini is extremely versatile and can be used in both savory and sweet recipes.

This final recipe is by far my favorite. I stole it actually, from my friend Laura King, who is an amazing cook and baker. I changed things up a little, but the modifications I made resulted in a very similar-tasting dessert. It’s not very often that I find a recipe that is enjoyed by everyone in my family, but this one is a winner and I think your family will enjoy it too.

Laura’s Frozen Tahini-Banana Raw Dessert

Base Ingredients

1 cup raw, unsalted almonds

1 cup gluten free oats (or regular oats)

1 tsp vanilla extract

dash of sea salt

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 to 2 tbsps coconut oil


Put all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse until a nice crumbly dough forms. Add tablespoonfuls of the dough mixture to a muffin/cupcake pan. Press the mixture down firmly.


Topping Ingredients

2 bananas

1/4 cup tahini

1 tbsp almond butter

6 dates (and 2 tbsps honey – optional)

1/2 cup Greek vanilla yogurt


Add all of these ingredients to the food processor or blender and pulse until nice and creamy. Pour the mixture over the crumb bases, then place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.


Melt a couple of handfuls of dark chocolate chips and drizzle over the frozen desserts. The chocolate will set right away.


Either store in an airtight container in the freezer, or if you’re like us, start eating!


 For another variation, try Laura’s version – Base ingredients: 1 1/2 cups almonds, 1/4 cup oats, 2 tbsps coconut oil, vanilla extract, salt, 1/4 cup honey. Topping ingredients: bananas, 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tbsp peanut butter


What To Do With Tahini – Part Two

Jannine Myers

For a recap on why I am posting about tahini, read my first post here, otherwise keep reading to see what the next recipe is. Besides being a staple ingredient in hummus, tahini is great for adding flavor to main dishes, or for creating delicious sauces and dressings. This next recipe, like the one in the first post, also comes from It’s a light and fresh green lentil and spring vegetable entree, with lemon-tahini dressing.



1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 small shallot, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup uncooked French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 bunch of asparagus (about 2 cups), ends trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced 
5 cups Spring greens (a combination of spinach, kale, arugula, and swiss chard)
1 small avocado, diced
4 radishes, sliced into very thin rounds
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp minced red onion (I don’t recommend the red onion – it was a little overpowering)
1/4 cup pine nuts (I also added 1/4 cup dried tart cherries – these added a really nice burst of sweet/sour flavor)


  1. Prepare the dressing by combining the first eight ingredients (tahini through salt and pepper) and whisking until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
  2. Combine French green lentils with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Boil for three minutes, and then reduce heat to low. Cook until lentils are tender but not and mushy, about 20-25 minutes (test lentils about 18 minutes along).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for about 1 more minute, stirring often. Add the Spring greens and cook until they begin to wilt. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the lentils and asparagus between four plates. Top with diced avocado, radishes, red onion, and pine nuts. Drizzle with the lemon-tahini dressing and enjoy.


What To Do With Tahini – Part One

Jannine Myers

Have you ever bought a jar of tahini with good intentions of using it, and then remember a couple of months later that it’s still sitting in your pantry – unopened? I hope I’m not the only one who has done this, but I have to admit that I’ve done it more than once. So why do I even bother buying tahini? Well, I’d like to think it’s for all of the following reasons:

  • “Tahini contains more protein than milk and most nuts. It’s a rich source of B vitamins that boost energy and brain function, vitamin E, which is protective against heart disease and stroke, and important minerals, such as magnesium, iron and calcium.”  Source: Joanna Blythman, for The Guardian

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, and can either be made from unhulled or hulled seeds. Tahini made from unhulled seeds is often called sesame butter, and although it’s taste is more bitter than tahini made from hulled seeds, it’s nutritional value is greater. Both are good for you though, and if you’re not sure which one to buy, just make your purchasing decision based on your taste preferences.

But getting back to that unused jar of tahini, I’ll be posting three recipes this week that include tahini. The first two recipes are definitely not going to appeal to some of you, but if you enjoy minimally processed, and light cleansing-type meals, then you may want to try these. The last recipe, which I’ll post on Friday, is my favorite and was stolen from my good friend Laura King – you won’t want to miss it!

Recipe One – Lemon and Cauliflower Couscous with Roasted Chickpeas



I served this over a bed of organic salad greens


2 cups cooked chickpeas (rinsed, drained, and patted dry)
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided 
1 large head of cauliflower, cored and broken into florets (about 4 cups)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 medium cucumber, cut into Œ-inch pieces
1 large avocado, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
Pinch of fine sea salt and black pepper
1 Tbs. tahini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
œ tsp. honey
1/4 cup parsley, minced
Pinch of fine sea salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. Toss chickpeas with 1 Tbs. olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned on all sides, about 18 minutes. Toss chickpeas halfway through cooking time.
  2. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it’s “riced” (i.e., the size of couscous) Be careful not to overprocess—you don’t want to purĂ©e the cauliflower.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 Tbs. of olive oil and toss in the cauliflower “couscous.” Let it toast slightly, stirring often, and remove from heat after about 2 minutes.
  4. Combine the last seven ingredients (tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, honey, parsley, salt, and pepper) and whisk until smooth. This works best with an immersion blender or food processor. An immersion blender or a food processor will deliver the smoothest consistency, but a hand whisk will work, too. If the dressing is too thick, add a little more olive oil.
  5. In a large bowl combine the cauliflower “couscous” with roasted chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, raisins, pine nuts, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt. Drizzle with dressing and toss until well combined. Divide among four plates and enjoy!

Recipe from

Are Meal Planning Services The Answer For You?

Jannine Myers

A few weeks ago, one of our members asked if I had any “dinner recipe” ideas. Meghan Walsh is pregnant, with an under-two year old at home, and not much in the mood lately to put much thought into her family’s dinner-time meal. But, she says, her husband has probably had his fill of grilled chicken and salad, and would probably appreciate some menu changes.

I think Meghan’s problem is one that is shared by a lot of busy moms, and as athletes it can be a source of added grief because we want to make sure that we’re feeding ourselves and our family members a diverse and nutritionally dense diet. Often, the key obstacles that get in the way of our efforts to do so include: a ) busy schedules, b) small children to tend to, and c) a lack of ideas.

As I thought about Meghan’s dilemma, I was reminded of another conversation I had several months ago with one of our other members, Corinne Williams. During one of our weekend runs, Corinne asked me if I had ever tried using the Fresh 20 program. I told her no, that I had never heard of it, and she proceeded to give me the run-down on it and how she and her husband and son had been regularly subscribing to the program for some time.

The Fresh 20, described online as “Budget Friendly Meal Plans For Busy Families,” is exactly that. It’s a meal planning service designed to help families and singles eat fresh, healthy, and inexpensive meals each week. They take care of all the guess work for you, so all you need to do is buy the ingredients and prepare the meals, which by the way are so simple that your kids can help. Or if they’re older, you can even have them prepare the meal for you. Corinne occasionally asks her teenage son to cook dinner if she’s busy; she simply leaves her IPad open on the recipe page and he follows the directions.

Meal planning services might be just the solution for busy moms and also for those of you who are single active duty members. Listed below is a comparison of five different meal planning services – take a look and see if any might be a compatible fit with you and/or your family’s needs:

the fresh 20

The Fresh 20

  • 20 ingredients/20 minutes – should take less than 20 minutes to do all your shopping. Nothing is processed or frozen, to ensure that you are not eating preservative-free foods.
  • Step-by-step guide is provided to help with preparation for each week’s meals
  • Meal plans are posted on Fridays – that gives you the weekends to shop and prepare for the following week
  • 5 meals per week
  • Options for Classic, Gluten-Free, Veggie, Dairy-Free, Kosher, and Singles
  • 3 months for $18, or12 months for $54

Cook Smarts

  • Mission is to help anyone, even those who have never cooked before, to learn how to create quick, healthy meals. Jess Dang, the founder of Cook Smarts, describes the program as being like the “Home Ec” class that you never got to take.
  • When you subscribe to Cook Smarts, you get access to all their meal plans, dating back to May 2013. That means you can switch out any meals that you don’t like from your weekly meal plans.
  • Four meals are posted by Friday morning of each week; you’ll receive an email in your inbox. Paleo, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free options are all available. When you click on the link, it will take you to the menu and once you check the selections you want, a grocery list will be generated for you.
  • A “Make Ahead” option is available for those who would prefer to spend a little time in the kitchen on the weekend preparing in advance, and less time on week nights making the meals.
  • Short videos are available for you to watch and follow along as you cook the meals; the idea is to teach you how to cook as you go, i.e. how to dice onions, or slice chicken breasts, etc.
  • Average weekly cost of groceries is around $75 for a family of four
  • Not the best service for singles (cooking for one)
  • Cost for 3 months of meal plans is $21, 6 months $42, one year $72 (Best Value)

The Six O’Clock Scramble

  • Meals for each week, including sides and a grocery list
  • All meals should take no more than 30 minutes to prepare, and some take as little as 20 minutes.
  • Recipes and instructions are easy enough to be followed by younger members of the family, or teens at least. Or, maybe your spouse likes to cook too.
  • Recipe modifications are provided for picky eaters, and also for adventurous eaters.
  • Meals are balanced, healthy, and budget-friendly.
  • Meals can be customized to accommodate the following needs or concerns: weight loss, vegetarian, food allergies, gluten free, kosher, dairy free, and low sodium
  • Cost is $29 for 3 months, $49 for 6 months, and $97 for 2 years

No More “To Go”

  • 5 meal plans, with sides plus a bonus weekend recipe
  • A grocery list that’s sorted into categories to make shopping quick and easy
  • Tips to help you modify the meals if you have Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, or picky eaters in the family
  • A variety of different cuisines – using lots of different proteins, as well as fresh, seasonal produce and ingredients free of preservatives
  • What’s unique about No More “To Go,” is that all the meals are first taste-tested by real families (tested by all age groups – adults, teens, young kids), and only approved if they pass the “dinner table” test.
  • Cost is $7 for 1 month, $18 for 3 months, $34 for 6 months, or $64 for 12 months

Deliciously Organic

  • Recipes each week for 5 dinners, 1 or 2 desserts, and 1 snack
  • Emphasis is on organic meats, vegetables, organic dairy, healthy fats and oils, seeds, nuts, some fruits, and unprocessed sweeteners
  • Options available for Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Grain-Free
  • An organized grocery list is provided, as well as tips for getting food on the table quickly
  • Cost is $6 per month for the Classic, Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Grain-Free plans, or $8 per month for an All-Access plan which includes meal plans for all four categories.

Most of these services offer sample meal plans that you can try for a week or two before deciding to commit to a subscription or not. I tried the Fresh 20 Gluten-Free weekly sample plan and was really impressed with the quality and taste of the meals, as well as the ease involved in both shopping for the ingredients and preparing the meals. If you’re tired of stressing over dinner-time meals (what to make that’s healthy and delicious, and how to feed your family without breaking the bank), then I encourage you to try one of these meal planning services for at least a month and see if it doesn’t make a difference.

Happy Cooking!





Product Review – Saloman Park Hydro Handset

Jannine Myers

Last year I reviewed the Simply Hydration hands-free water bottle and wrote great things about it because I loved being able to run with a bottle that could sit securely on my waist (held up by just the waistband of my shorts), and have my hands completely free. This year I am pleased to write more great things about another water bottle that’s not quite hands-free, but almost!

The Saloman Park Hydro Handset is a 16oz. soft flask that wraps around your hand and wrist with a velcro strap. It can be worn on either the top or underside of the left or right hand. One of it’s unique features is that because it’s a soft flask, it “deflates” as you drink from it. It’s also unique in that it has a spill-proof lid with a bite valve that allows for a higher flow rate. All of these features make it really easy to drink while running, but without having to disrupt your run pace.

Additionally, the Hydro Handset comes attached to a mesh zip-up pocket that’s large enough to hold a set of keys and an ID card, or a gel if you are planning on running a little longer. This flask, while it may look a little bizarre to some, is in my opinion one of the best hydration systems available for short runs in hot and humid weather.

If you don’t like hand-held bottles in general (because you detest running with anything in your hands), you might be pleasantly surprised with this particular product. I sometimes run with my Amphipod hand-held bottle (usually on mid-distance runs), and although I have gotten used to running with it I still tire of having to “hold” it; the Hydro Handset solves that problem entirely. Overall it’s just a really great product and one that I highly recommend.




If you’d like to try this handset, use our WOOT discount code and order from – you’ll receive 15% off and shipping is free 🙂

Moist Banana Coconut and Goji Bread

This is a nice dense but moist bread, with just the right amount of sweetness and a delicious combination of flavors. Did you know by the way, that the goji berry is native to China, and that it has traditionally been favored throughout Asia as a natural and effective treatment for various health problems? It’s also been suggested by researchers that the goji berry may help to improve athletic performance! I’m not too sure about that, but it doesn’t hurt to eat them and they taste pretty good 🙂

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1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 shredded unsweetened coconut

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk (any kind)

1/8 cup coconut oil

1 ripe banana

1/4 cup goji berries



Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, milk, oil, and banana. Mix the wet and dry ingredients and stir in the goji berries. Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes.

Adapted from this recipe


Kids Won’t Eat Healthy Just Because You Tell Them To

Jannine Myers

I published a post recently about teenagers participating in short-term cleanses, and I advocated the advice of nutrition experts who suggested that a safer and more effective way to teach kids good nutrition habits is to model healthy lifestyle choices and behaviors. I want to expand on that concept a little further.

This summer, my younger daughter has been busy expending a ton of energy through the various sports that she’s been participating in (swim, dance, and gymnastics). In an effort to ensure that her body is being well-nourished, I’ve been including her in both the selection and preparation of our meals and snacks. Her involvement at the store and in the kitchen has made a huge difference in her willingness to try new foods and I’m convinced now that this is one of the best ways to turn a picky eater into a more health-conscious eater.

Modeling healthy eating behaviors is also important – I witnessed for example, the power of this just last week at the swimming pool. A mom was sitting beside me with her two younger daughters while her oldest was taking a swimming lesson. The two younger girls, aged approximately four and six, broke into the following conversation:

  • 6-year old: “Mom, can we have pizza tonight, I really want pizza!”
  • 4-year old: “Oh no, pizza is BAD! Mommy, don’t give us pizza.”
  • 6-year old: “But I like pizza, I want pizza!”
  • 4-year old: “No! We should eat like mommy. Mommy eats HEALTHY!”
  • 4-year old: “Mommy, you need to make us chicken, and wice, and bwoccoli!”

Role-modeling doesn’t work with every kid, but it does help to shape and influence children’s perceptions of food as they grow up, and with any luck they’ll eventually adopt healthier eating habits by the time they’re young adults.

So, two key points:

  1. Involve your kids in the food selection and preparation process
  2. Set the example

Here’s a recipe to get you and your kids started in the kitchen – it’s one that my daughter really enjoyed making and one that we all enjoyed eating:

Granola Cups

4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Unsweeted Apple Sauce
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
1/3 Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Ground Flax Seed
1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
1/4 Cup Dried Blueberries, Cranberries or other dried fruit1 cup fat free greek yogurt
Fruit of your choice for toppings: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana slices
1. To a small sauce pan, add the coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, and salt.
Heat until all ingredients are combined. Remove from heat and stir in the apple sauce and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl mix together the oats, coconut, flax seed, almonds and cranberries.
3. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir until completely coated.
4. Place the mixture into the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool.
5. When ready to bake, grease up a muffin tin and fill each opening about 2/3 full.
Using your fingers press into the center of the hole and then work your way around the edges to form a bowl. If the dough is sticky, wet your fingers with cold water, shake them out, and proceed. Repeat as necessary.
6. Place the bowls into an oven preheated to 325 degrees. For regular sized muffin cups, cook about 20-25 minutes. For mini muffin cups, cook about 15-20 minutes.
Let cool completely before removing from the tin.
7. Store in an air tight container. When ready to eat, fill with the yogurt of your choice. Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!
Original Recipe Source here
Making the granola cups – Step one
The next morning: okay, so I cut her some slack and let her indulge in a few chocolate chips 🙂
Delicious – and filling!

Recipes From Friends – Part Two

In my previous post I shared a delicious quinoa and roasted sweet potato layered salad; in this post I’m sharing with you a recipe that has been passed on my good friend Laura King (although she admitted that the recipe is actually one that was passed on to her from her mother). These spiced bran muffins are awesome, but a word of warning – Laura and I love these muffins because they are a common bakery item in New Zealand and not unfamiliar to us. But if you’re not used to eating bran muffins, you may find the taste and texture unappealing.

A quick word about wheat bran before I post the recipe: most grains have a hard outer layer, which when separated from the grains, is known as bran. Wheat bran is a great dietary source of fiber, and therefore an excellent recipe addition for anyone looking to increase their daily intake of fiber. If you can’t find it here in Okinawa, you can order it online from

Spiced Bran Muffins 


1 cup of bran

3/4 cup milk

2 tbsps golden syrup (this is a syrup we use in New Zealand, and it really does make all the difference in taste, but a good enough substitute would probably be maple syrup or honey)

1/4 cup sultanas or raisins

3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground ginger (be generous with this, it’s worth it!)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg


Combine bran, milk, golden syrup and sultanas in a bowl. Let sit for 5 mins. Add dry ingredients to bran mixture. Add sugar and beaten egg. Loosely stir mixture to combine. Bake at 180C (350F) for 18-20 mins.

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Recipes From Friends – Part One

This week I’m featuring a couple of recipes that were passed on to me – the first is a quinoa and roasted sweet potato layered salad, and the second is a spiced bran muffin (to follow in a consecutive post).

Quinoa And Roasted Sweet Potato Layered Salad

My good friend and fellow athlete Mark Busam, came across this recipe online and sent it to me to try. I’m so glad he did because this salad is somehow light, yet comfortably filling, and the different flavors work really well together. Best of all, the ingredient list contains foods that are full of wholesome nutrients – perfect for athletes looking for a quality post-workout meal.




  • 1 small sweet potato, unpeeled, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/4 red pepper, diced
  • 2 cups greens (you choose)
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon salted sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup mango, fresh or frozen
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons water


  1. Preheat oven to 400ÂșF.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl, add oil, and stir to coat. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a pan, and roast for 20 or so minutes, stirring a couple times, until the potatoes are soft.
  3. Place the quinoa and half a cup of water in a covered pot on high. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid is all soaked up and the quinoa is tender.
  4. Puree the mango with the balsamic vinegar and water, and set aside.
  5. Allow the roasted potatoes and quinoa to cool to room temperature.
  6. Start layering the salad, starting with the black beans. Add the cooked quinoa, and pour the mango balsamic vinaigrette on top.
  7. Top with diced red pepper, greens, roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, and seeds.
  8. Store in the fridge.
  9. When you’re ready to eat, mix everything up and enjoy!

The original recipe offers a “make-in-a-jar” version, but I layered the ingredients directly in a salad bowl.