Longest Fall Run + Grilled Chicken Kale Salad

Hey Everyone!

I’m more excited about the fall temperatures than the pumpkin spice lattes, scented candles or the changing of the leaves. It’s been forever since I’ve had a comfortable run. I quit running last summer, but this summer I powered through and it definitely paid off. The game plan was a success. Last night was the longest run I’ve completed in a very long time. It was so comfortable. My joints didn’t ache, I was never out of breath, no cramps popped up and I could have ran forever. I headed out a little later in the evening and made sure to fuel up properly for my run. I originally planned on seven miles, but felt so amazing and didn’t want to stop. I also didn’t want to walk back in the dark on the trails, so that also played a factor. oqqp4331I’ll be writing a recap post soon with more food and workouts I’ve been doing this week + last week! You can follow the October Fitness Challenge Instagram if you want to keep up 😉 camn1461
This afternoon I ran three miles and it was so nice. It was breezy and kind of chilly. I’m going to be wearing long sleeves soon! I ran uptown Charlotte and did a couple stair obstacles along the way.  img_7109 I ran Freedom Park last night and stopped at Fresh Market for dinner ingredients on the way home. It was around nine and I lost my appetite after walking grumples, showering and drinking a protein shake. I put the ingredients in the fridge and decided to go straight to bed. The exhaustion caught up with me. Balsamic Kale Salad W/Berries, Grilled Chicken, Honey Roasted Mixed Nuts, Avocado, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries and Cucumber!I ended up making this yummy salad this afternoon after my run instead. Balsamic Kale Salad W/Berries, Grilled Chicken, Honey Roasted Mixed Nuts, Avocado, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries and Cucumber!This salad was so good that I’m going straight back to the Fresh Market and buying a ton of the same ingredients to make this salad to eat all week. Balsamic Kale Salad W/Berries, Grilled Chicken, Honey Roasted Mixed Nuts, Avocado, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries and Cucumber!
The great thing about the fresh market is that I can buy the nuts and dried fruit in little serving sizes because of their bulk section. I love buying only what I need.Balsamic Kale Salad W/Berries, Grilled Chicken, Honey Roasted Mixed Nuts, Avocado, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries and Cucumber!Ingredients: Cucumber, Kale, Strawberries, Blueberries, Mixed Honey Roasted Nuts, Honey Goat Cheese, Avocado, Cranberries, Grilled Chicken Breast and Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.  Balsamic Kale Salad W/Berries, Grilled Chicken, Honey Roasted Mixed Nuts, Avocado, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries and Cucumber!
I made a GIANT bowl of the salad so I can have for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. I’ll have to get some more grilled chicken for the top. I think a chicken salad would be delicious on top. Balsamic Kale Salad W/Berries, Grilled Chicken, Honey Roasted Mixed Nuts, Avocado, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries and Cucumber!
If you haven’t had this brand of Balsamic Vinaigrette yet, you need to try it! I stood in front of the dressings for about ten minutes contemplating which dressing to get and I’m SO GLAD I went with this one. It goes great with sweet or savory. Balsamic Kale Salad W/Berries, Grilled Chicken, Honey Roasted Mixed Nuts, Avocado, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries and Cucumber!  Questions for you!

  1. Do you eat salads all year round?
  2. What is your favorite salad dressing?
  3. What has been the highlight of your week?

kale salad

Don’t like kale? I never used to like it either! My brother made me this salad a couple years ago and I fell in love…You can find the recipe here!


  • cam

    your milage is amazing

    Reply to cam
  • Jona

    Where do you get all these ideas?? You are really amazing!

    Reply to Jona
  • Liuye

    Hi ! I just back from vacation..and you had sent 5 articles ..wow..it really took me all this night to reading…good job!i always love to know your travel.adventure and food[eventhough I just can see the photos]

    1.Do you eat salads all year round?-_—no .salad is good..but I always think it’s not good enough to give all we need.

    2.What is your favorite salad dressing?
    Vinegar ..sounds weird ..right?but I just love it! Can’t help myself 凸^-^凸

    3.What has been the highlight of your week?
    This week,,definitely my birthday!!!!
    Oh yeah! I had a work out in the morning and take a shower then I went out,..watched my favorite talk show .. ..had a break in my. Favorite coffee bar.have a chat with bar owner like usual .then I had a fatanstic dinner!actually now I just finished my dinner and replying ..sounds normal day..but I live in a big city [Beijing] on my own.so don’t have family celebrate birthday.with me ..but I haven’t been alone..somehow I always like enjoy myself …..so it’s a normal beautiful and comfortable day.
    This week I am going to call it [birthweek] haha I always spend one week to celebrate my birthday every year . Haha love ya !

    Reply to Liuye
  • Melissa

    Yum! I love fruits on my salads; I definitely have to give this one a try.

    Do you eat salads all year round?
    YES! All the time. I didn’t realize there are people that didn’t haha

    What is your favorite salad dressing?
    I love balsamic and sometimes I mix balsamic with a touch of ranch if I’m craving creamy.

    What has been the highlight of your week?
    I live in Florida so we were hit by the hurricane yesterday; knowing that we’re all safe + lucky. 🙂

    xo, Melissa || http://www.greenpalatelife.com

    Reply to Melissa
  • Ann

    Yes, we eat salads like that all year round! My favorite dressing is Old World Olive Company’s Red Apple Balsamic! Sooooo delicious!!
    The highlight of my week was the field trip I had a chance to go on with my son, to ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, Michigan! So fun! ? Probably the last field trip ever……lol!

    Reply to Ann
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Ann!

      Oh yum, i’ll have to try that! I have to change my dressings up all the time or I’ll get sick of them!

      That sounds like a fun trip! 🙂 I bet your son enjoyed having you there!

      I miss Michigan! GO LIONS!!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lindsay Mestieri

    Girl, you NEED to run a half marathon! You can totally do it & you’ll fall in love 🙂 I ran my first 3 years ago this past September & have run 7 halves and one full since. Congrats on your times & distances!

    Reply to Lindsay Mestieri
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I know I know and I WILL, but when I’m ready 🙂 They make me so stressed!

      Hopefully by spring or the end of the year!

      xo xo & nice job on all your races! That’s inspiring.


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ashley

    This salad looks amazing! I love using kale is salads now because it holds up so much better during the week. Much easier to make a big batch on Sunday and then separate out smaller portions as I go. Still too warm here in Dallas! Send me some of your fall weather!

    Reply to Ashley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Ashley!

      Thanks 🙂 I agree and I love that it tastes better as it marinates in the dressing overtime. It doesn’t wilt like the other leaves! Super good cooked as well 🙂 The fall weather won’t last forever! I do love our heat + chill mix weather!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    Did you go out with the anticipation to run that long, or did that just happen?

    For me, the latter happens a lot in the fall!

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
  • Vanessa

    Yummy, thanks for the salad dinner inspiration! 🙂

    Do you eat salads all year round?
    I love salads all year round, but mostly eat them in summer when I can go and pick the ingredients just outside in my families garden. It is amazing to see where your food comes from!

    What is your favorite salad dressing?
    Mostly I make a balsamic vinegar dressing with a bit of mustard and honey.

    What has been the highlight of your week?
    I went to a Rugby match yesterday which was amazing! Not that I understand rugby at all, but my Uni played against their rivals and unexpectedly won quite high. The crowd was cheering all the time and I loved it soo much.

    Reply to Vanessa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Vanessa!

      No problem 🙂

      Salads in the summer are much fresher, but it’s still warm down here and I’m going to get as many salads in as I can before the warm and comfort food cravings kick in.

      Love making homemade dressings and yours sounds amazing, especially with the mustard addition! I’ll have to try that for sure!

      I don’t understand rugby either, but I bet that was a fun experience!

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Caitlyn

    Hi Taralynn,
    Just wanted to tell you I made the perfect cup of coffee this morning, I didn’t do anything special but it just turned out REALLY good today (or maybe I’m just really tired……). As for the questions:

    1. I’m actually not a big salad eater, and part of the reason is because I can never find the perfect dressing to use, an when it comes to what to put in it I’m always afraid to put stuff in and ruin the taste ya know?
    2. Right now I don’t have one and am definitely open to suggestions.
    3.Well, because of this hurricane coming through, it has really cooled down the weather where I live so I’ve actually been able to take my dog out for walks and runs without her getting really hot (she has a double coat unfortunately), I always feel bad for her during the summer time because she is always stuck up in my house. So I definitely can’t wait for it to nice out so I can take her on multiple walks a day ^_^

    Reply to Caitlyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Caitlyn!

      Love that! I can totally appreciate the perfect cup of coffee! Sometimes its just right 😉 Thank you for sharing that with me.

      Have you tried just making your own? or doing the dressing on the side until you find one you like? I like to do that sometimes.

      YES! I totally get that. I have to walk Grumples at 6am because it’s too hot out in the summer! Luckily it’s cooling off and we love our walks. 🙂 Hope you’re staying safe during the storm if you’re close! xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Carly

    I’m so impressed by your run and the distances you’ve been hitting lately ! I want to get back into running again this fall!

    Your salad looks AMAZING! I could eat a salad every day for the rest of my life! I love adding roasted veggies in the winter to make it heartier and a bit of warmth. My favorite dressing is Balsamic Crema! Its not necessarily a dressing but it works and has amazing flavor without being too much!

    Highlight of my week so far was finally getting an afternoon walk in the sunshine with Moose yesterday! After rain for days and days I really appreciate the sun so much more! What’s your highlight so far? Besides your awesome run of course!

    Reply to Carly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Carly!

      Thanks so much! Feels great. The weather plays a HUGE role!

      YES roasted veggies with spinach or kale! (not on romaine or iceberg) & that Balsamic Crema sounds good!

      Ahhhhh I bet that was great. I’m sure moose appreciated it!

      My highlight was coming home from San Fran and going on a mini road trip to Tennessee with Kyle!! 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    I do, especially at restaurants. I LOVE gettings salads at restaurants, but I have a hard time making them for myself! I don’t know what it is (I’m weird) but I can’t bring a salad for lunch to work because it makes me nauseous thinking about it (I wish I could). I don’t know what it is! Maybe it’s the thought of it all sitting together for hours before I actually eat it? I have no idea. But I might try the salad at home idea next week for suppers!

    I love poppyseed dressing with a salad that has strawberries, nuts, and a white cheese of some sort!

    I found out that I get to move into a new apartment in January! (Thank the Lord.)

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Jennifer!

      YES & restaurants always have the best damn dressing!!

      Do you put the dressing on the salad? Maybe put the dressing on once you get to work instead of letting it sit there!? lol

      Oh yum! Sounds like a good combo! i love a lemon poppy seed with goat cheese and berries!



      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily Weir

    I’m a HUGE salad fan and could eat one every day. Most Sundays are spent prepping my salads for the week so I can easily grab them to take to work, with just a swap of ingredients each week. My go-to dressing is just plain balsamic, or a homemade concoction of olive oil, honey, lemon, garlic and Italian herbs. As for the highlight of my week, that will hopefully be when work is canceled tomorrow because of the hurricane on the other side of the state. I’d much rather stay home safe than battle the winds and rain on the road in the morning.

    Reply to Emily Weir
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Emily!

      ME TOO!! Love that you prep them. It makes them so much more convenient! I do almost the same homemade combo but with a little balsamic vinaigrette added.

      I hope you’re staying safe and I’ll keep you in my prayers!!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    Yum that looks really good. I love salads all year round. I tend to eat huge salads as my main meal in the warm weather and smaller salads with soup during cooler months.

    Reply to Heather @ Polyglot Jot
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Heather!

      Thanks!! & I do as well. Soup and salad is my favorite combo. Sometimes when I’m really lazy I like to do the all you can eat soup and salad at olive garden 😉 Orrrrr I made my minestrone soup and eat all week long out of the crock pot.


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bethany

    The Mexican goddess dressing at Chopt is TO DIE FOR!!! It’s avocado based, with a little kick, and it is just SO GOOD! I wonder if they sell their dressings……. Chopt is one of my favorite places when I am too lazy to make a salad myself 🙂 I go in with the mindset of trying something different every time, but I always end up getting the same thing! I am still working on trying to like kale… I tend to use 1/2 kale and 1/2 spinach or romaine to try and teach myself to like it. But I will definitely have to try this salad recipe!

    The highlight of my week? My 2 year old niece grabbed my face, looked me in the eye and told me she loved me 🙂 She makes my heart melt!

    Reply to Bethany
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Bethany!

      YES it’s so good! I also get the same thing! You can ask them for extra dressings to take home! I do that and use them throughout the week. I love having chopt (kebab cobb) on lazy sundays or on road trips!

      OK THAT IS THE FREAKING CUTEST!!!! what personality! 😉


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kaitlyn McIntyre

    9 miles woah! I was up to 5 miles at the longest but got out of running for a while, now 2 miles feels like 20. I love salads all year round. My sister makes one that is apples, avocado and goat cheese that I love! My favorite salad dressing is either just mixing up my own (Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic salt, dill, shake-shake-shake voila!), or Makoto Ginger Dressing. I can eat it on anything from salad, to bread, to noodles for dinner-in-a-minute, it is SO yum. Bottles don’t last long in our house, so I only buy it occasionally.
    The highlight of my week has been that today I got to dress up like a pirate for work, and thats just silly fun at it’s best. I have read your blog for years, starting back in the Tumblr days, but never commented. LOVE your upbeat attitude, positivity radiates from you girl 😀

    Reply to Kaitlyn McIntyre
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Kaitlyn!!

      I know what you mean! When I take days, weeks, or months off…I feel the same way, but your body will always work it’s way back up! That’s the beauty of it. Your sisters salad sounds fantastic! Can’t war to try that dressing!!!

      Pirate for work? super fun!!!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share with me. Means so much and I love hearing from my readers!!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jen H.

    1. I like to think of myself as a salad aficionado. I eat salad every single day for lunch. Every. Single. Day. I love it!!! I think the perfect meal is a chicken salad loaded with lots of veggies!! And yes I do eat it year round. The great thing about salad is you can add so many different choices into it that you never get bored!!

    2. My current favorite dressing is Poppy Seed. I love the sweetness and it reminds me of summer. A bbq chicken salad with poppy seed dressing really hits the spot.

    3. Hmm…the highlight of my week has probably been finding Trader Joe’s Pumpkin flavored coffee on sale. I’m a pumpkin fanatic so this was a score for me! Plus come on, who doesn’t love Trader Joes!

    Happy Thursday!!

    Reply to Jen H.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Jen!

      Salad aficionado! LOVE IT. Totally agree about switching it up and making it new and tasty!

      Yum I love poppy as well and sometimes mix a little blueberry balsamic in with it!

      I LOVE pumpkin flavored coffee but it’s always in a light roast, so I have to do half and half!

      🙂 XO

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Dana

    I get a little tired of cold salads right about now so today I made this, which I’m sure will be my winter salad go to: quickly sauteed kale, turkey bacon, croutons I made from 1 slice of whole grain bread, some finely grated cheese, a little onion and I topped it with a runny yolk egg. The egg and the olive oil made a dressing of sorts and it was all kinds of yummy.

    I love Whole Foods organic lemon-tahini dressing. I love tahini flavor, but it’s hard to buy a big vat of it and use it up.

    I took a vacation day on Monday to organize my closet and it was so calming to get rid of old stuff. I like doing things like that so it was fun to me!

    Reply to Dana
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Dana!

      YUM! I will have to try that combo!!! Perfect for season and would be really good with some roasted butternut squash added! I bet its also gorgeous 😉

      I havnet tried that dressing!

      I love doing that as well. It’s so nice to get rid of things you don’t use! Makes life a little easier.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kat

    That looks delicious! I just started training for a half marathon. It’s my first one so I’m not putting any pressure on myself. You definitely have to do one! With those times and distance it shouldn’t give you anxiety 😉 I am so excited about the fall weather this year too! We’re still in the 90’s in Dallas UGH. Send good weather my way, please!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply to Kat
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Kat!

      Thank you! & congrats on training! That is awesome. Love that you’re not putting pressure on yourself. That is my biggest downfall and why I don’t train. I’m running for the joy of it and one day I’ll be ready, but on my time! I’ll do one sometime!

      We FINALLY escaped the 90s!!!! feels so good.

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brittany M.

    Hi Taralynn,

    Yes. I eat salads all year long! I love to make salad with spinach, feta cheese, strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, cranberries, and grilled chicken with balsamic vinaigrette dressing! I’ve made homemade dressing strawberry balsamic vinaigrette and loved it. It had tarragon in the recipe which I’d never used before!

    The highlight of my week was going to the doctor and finding out that I am 10 lbs lighter than I was around this time last year. Another highlight has been planning my daughter’s upcoming birthday party! She’s going to be five, and it’s a gymnastics party so I’m sure I’ll be tempted to whip out some old tricks!

    Congratulations on the run! That’s awesome! Have you thought of posting any instructional videos for some of the exercises you’ve put on the October challenge. I think it would be a great guide!


    Reply to Brittany M.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Brittany!

      Yum that is actually one of my favorite combos & your homemade dressing sounds wonderful!

      Congrats on the weight loss! All that hard work has been paying off 😉 I’m sure your daughter has you running around all over the place. 5 is a crazy age!! 😉 A gymnastics party sounds super fun!!

      I have thought about it, but I’m so bad at filming I don’t even know where to start. I should probably talk to some bloggers who do it and learn how! That would be super fun! I’ve definitely thought about it.

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brooklyn

    I eat salads year round. I love them for lunch and sides during the colder months.
    Right now I am obsessed with ranch dressing, but usually I like a balsamic vinaigrette or Italian!
    I’m really not the biggest kale fan. I’ll eat it, but I don’t go out of my way to buy it.
    I wish I liked it more, I kind of hope that if I keep eating it eventually I’ll like it!


    Reply to Brooklyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You and me both! I love ranch dressing when its homemade or from restaurants. I don’t like the bottled ranch…yuck!

      I never used to like kale until I made kale chips, smoothies, sautéed it and when my brother made me that salad posted! I used to hate it. Now I LOVE it. I think you can definitely train your tastebuds to like things. I USED TO HATE VEGETABLES all together and now I could eat them for every meal.


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ashley

    Oh gosh! I have to try that salad. It looks amazing. I love salads, and eat them all year long. I need to get more creative at home.

    Highlight of my week: FALL BREAK!! I am a teacher and tommorow starts out break.

    Question: I have been having a hard time with go to breakfast ideas. I have been resorting to McDonald’s because I am pregnant, and if I don’t eat my sugar drops bad. Any ideas?

    Reply to Ashley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Ashley!

      Yes you have to try it! You’ll love it if you’re a salad lover!

      yay for fall break! you deserve it.

      Idea #1 drop McDonalds.

      Try to pack to-go breakfast on Sundays for the week! Maybe do greek yogurts with fruit and granola in to-go cups with some hard boiled eggs or homemade breakfast sandwiches! Having it all made makes it so much easier!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Erin

    Yes!! Salad is my favorite food because it’s so versatile! In winter I love putting roasted vegetables on a salad 🙂 and balsamic vinegar and lemon I love!

    Highlight of my week would have to be Sunday I found out I was pregnant! My boyfriend and I were not technically trying but now the shock factor is gone I’m pretty excited!

    Reply to Erin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Erin!


      Who cares about the salad CONGRATS ON YOUR PREGNANCY!!! Things always happen for a reason and this is going to be such a blessing!!!:) Please keep me updated on everything!!!! So incredibly excited for you and your boyfriend!!!

      xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brittany Joy

    That salad looks delicious! I need to step up my salad game, I love them out at restaurants but hate them at home and that is because I put very little effort in them at home! Great job on your run, I’m super impressed. Have you thought about doing a half or full marathon before? Seems like you would do great at a half with these runs!

    Reply to Brittany Joy
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you!

      It’s ALL about the effort you put into the salad. I do the same 🙂 I love making them at home because I usually have them leave things out or add things in at resturants and its so much easier to customize them at home. Saves money too!

      YES. I want to do a half, but only when I’m ready. I don’t want to train for one or get anxiety about it. It sounds silly, but running is fun when I’m not in a rush or hitting a deadline. When I’m officially ready, I’ll sign up for a half! I don’t think I’ll ever or ever want to run a full! But I also remember when I used to say “i hate running”, so we’ll see!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ashton Jury

    I am the salad queen, I can always eat a good salad and this one looks delicious! I love making chili in the crock pot during this time of year and whipping up a quick salad to go on the side!
    I usually lean more towards vinagrettes either homemade or different ones from the grocery store though lately I have been obsessed with 365 EVERYDAY VALUE® ORGANIC SWEET CARROT MISO DRESSING! It’s amazing! I’ve also been making my own Green Goddess one as well. I got the recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, I just love her! I don’t have too much going on this week, but next week I will be hiking in the Sequoia National Forest and I can’t wait!

    Reply to Ashton Jury
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Me too!! I love love love a good salad and a BIG one. Chili sounds so good right now:) I may have to put that request in with my dad! He is the king of chili. He won the chili cook off in Hawaii when I was a kid. I’ll never forget that day because I was the weirdo running around with a dead jellyfish. I don’t know why I thought I was so cool.

      I love making my homemade vinaigrette dressing, but didn’t feel like it last night! Sometimes I go with convenience! I’ll have to try the carrot miso dressing! If it’s from barefoot contessa, you know its good! LOVE HER recipes. Her show is super therapeutic and I love the way she talks.

      Have fun hiking the Sequoia! I cannot wait to hear all about it!!!!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bethany @LuluRuns

    That salad looks amazing/ I’ll need to make it ASAP! Congrats on your run girl, can’t wait to get running again!
    I love Balasmic dressing and Bolthouse farm dressings, so good!

    Reply to Bethany @LuluRuns
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you!!

      I bet you’re just itching to run:) Soon you’ll be able to run with the stroller and get killer workouts in. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

      YES, the Bolthouse farm dressings are so good.

      hope you’re doing well!



      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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