The Lion’s Head Tavern

Despite a late night of un-packing and blogging, I was able to wake up in time for coffee and a pre-work run. It helped that this was the first sunny Monday since…hmmm…April?? I’m lovin’ the sun!! I ran for about 25 minutes and while I was a tight in the usual places, I wasn’t in pain. Progress, I say! Afterwards, I stretched and stretched some more until it was time to shower and head to work.

Breakfast was blueberries and vanilla Stonyfield Farm yogurt with a Kashi chewy granola bar and a calcium supplement. Basic, but filling.

yogurt with antioxidants

granola bar + calcium

Although my leg felt OK during my run, it really started bugging me while sitting at my desk. I wish I didn’t have to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day :-(

Around noon I decided to go for a little walk to stretch my legs. I ended up walking for about 45 minutes as I made trips to the library, pharmacy, and Banana Republic (50% off sale!).

When I got back to my lunch it was time for lunch. I made a salad with a bunch of ingredients that I had in the fridge at home: lettuce, tomato, olives, 3 egg whites, Newman’s Own lite balsamic vinaigrette, salt, & pepper. It was filling, but a little boring. I miss my creative cafeteria salads, but I’m trying to save a little money. On the side I enjoyed some Kashi TLC crackers and a Babybel cheese.

salad for lunch

kashis

Around 4pm, I needed to take a little break from my desk, so I decided to get an iced coffee. I added some half ‘n’ half and ate a vanilla almond biscotti on the side.

coffee and cookie

After work, I headed downtown to meet Nate. We did some errands near his office while I snacked on an apple. I think this photo was taken mid-bite!

apple

Around 8pm, we headed to The Lion’s Head tavern to meet some friends for $3 beers and 25 cent wings!

Lion's Head Tavern

Cheap Beer Here

I started off with a blue moon.

Blue Moon

After our table shared an order of fries, I moved on to a Raspberry Hefeweizen. It was yummy – reminded me of raspberry iced tea! The other beer that I’m holding is Nate’s. I’m going to have to regulate on that silly facial expression of his. It’s making an appearance in every photo that we take!

Raspberry Hefeweizen

The best part of the night was the 25 cent hot wings with blue cheese dressing! Nate and I split an order of 20 (Megan portion = 6, Nate portion = 14). Yum!

DSCF2903

Boys

Check out Nate’s bandaged arm – he experienced a pretty nasty bike crash during the Philly Triathlon this past weekend. The arm bandage and wrist splint are nothing compared to the scrapes on his back and the stitches in his leg. Despite the crash, he finished the race – maintaining a 6 minute per mile pace for the 10K even with a busted up leg.

Nate and Charlie

The Lion’s Head is a little dive bar near Columbia University – it’s a good choice for a low-key evening and decent prices. Although the wings took quite awhile to come out of the kitchen, I’d definitely recommend this place.  Beer + hot wings may not have been the healthiest dinner choice, but this is why I make it a habit to eat healthy breakfasts and lunches. In my book, spending time with friends and indulging in a little bar food is one of the best parts of being young and living in New York City. I’d never trade that for a salad :-)

 

Delta Grill and The Pony Bar

Some friends and I found ourselves at a place called Delta Grill a few nights ago. The restaurant featured New Orleans style decor, food, and drinks.

Delta Grill

Atmosphere of NOLA

I started off with a sweet cornbread muffin with butter and pint of Blue Point Toasted Lager. I really liked this beer! And Blue Point Brewery is a local company – it’s on Long Island.

Cornbread w/ butter

Blue Point Toasted Lager

For my entree, I chose the blackened tofu salad. My mound of mixed greens was topped with cherry tomatoes, scallions, portabella mushrooms, cous cous, and blackened tofu with a mustard-y dressing on the side. The fresh vegetables really shone through in this salad and the cous cous was an interesting addition.

blackend tofu salad

Blacked Tofu Salad

Nate was very excited to get huge pulled pork po boy for only $10. Quite the deal for Manhattan! Some extra crispy waffle fries were served on the side – I tried a few and gave them two thumbs up :-)

po boy

After dinner, we headed to The Pony Bar in Hell’s Kitchen. This brew-pub was just featured in the NY Times blog The Pour, so we were super excited to check it out! The atmosphere of the bar reminded me of an old western saloon. The walls and benches were wooden and empty barrels served as tables.

The Pony Bar

The wall behind the bar featured the day’s menu of draft beers. Everything at The Pony Bar is American Craft beer – no bud light here!

Beer menu

I started off with a Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer from 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, CA. My beer was described as a light, straw colored American-style wheat beer that is brewed with 400lbs of fresh-pressed Watermelon in each batch. This beer was very interesting – I definitely noticed the watermelon flavor! However, I’m not sure if I would order this again…the beer and the watermelon did not seemed to meld together very well. It was almost like drinking beer with a watermelon after taste. Oh well, at least it got me in the mood for summer!

Watermelon Wheat

About half-way through our beers, the bartender rang a bell and shouted something that sounded like “Beer!” Later on, we learned that this meant a keg had been tapped and a new barrel was being opened. The mood of the bar was very energetic, but not too loud for us to carry on a conversation.

Boys in a bar

boys

The beer was good, the atmosphere was jovial, and the prices were reasonable. Bravo Pony Bar!

Bridal Party Road Trip

I set my alarm pretty earlyyy for a Saturday (6:45am) and after I had my coffee, I set out for a run. Since I was visiting my family in Pennsylvania I didn’t have access to my gym. My leg was behaving fairly well, so I thought I’d try out a few miles. I’m happy to report that I was able to run 20 minutes mostly pain free! I had tightness in my IT band and knee, but overall I felt good. I went super slow and stretched and iced afterwards. The IT band strap that I’ve been wearing to stabilize the muscles and tendons seems to be helping. As I was waiting for Jen to pick me up, I enjoyed an orange and a Kashi crunchy almond granola bar. And I brought teddy grahams to snack on in the car!

breakfast for the road

teddy grahams logo

Jen drives

in the car

After my dress fitting and bit of bridal shop browsing, Jen’s sister and cousins joined us for lunch. I don’t think that the rest of the bridesmaid’s quite understood the concept of my blog – I guess photographing food does seem a little odd :-) Anywayyy, we drove around Doylestown a little bit before settling on the Cross Keys Diner for lunch. The diner was located in what seemed to be an old house – loved the cute wooden porch!

our lunch destination

Diner

Behind the counter, the day’s specials were listed on a chalkboard.  Cute!

meun board

I was hungry for some hearty diner food, so I ordered the Vegetarian Rachel sandwich. It contained two slices of rye bread with swiss cheese, sauerkraut, onions, and tomato stuffed in the middle. The bread was buttered and the sammy was grilled until everything inside was hot and the outside was crispy. It was good, but a little bit greasy! But I guess that’s to be expected at a diner ;-) I enjoyed the pickles that were served alongside, but passed on the chips. I’m a big french fry fan, but for some reason I’ve never liked potato chips all that much.

lunch!

The soon-to-be maid of honor, Jess, ordered the grilled chicken salad. Don’t all those veggies look so fresh and colorful? I was very impressed with the quality of this salad!

Grilled Chicken Salad

Jen ordered a classic diner breakfast. I like that she eats her eggs with ketchup! My philosophy is: the more ketchup, the better! Plus ketchup (and all cooked tomato products) contain a healthy dose of lycopene. Lycopene is a phytochemical (a carotenoid to be exact!) that is thought to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration). Yum!

diner breakfast

The bride’s side of the bridal party: Joe (brideman), Adrienne (bridesmaid), Jen (the bride!), Krissy (bridesmaid), Jess (maid of honor), and me (bridesmaid)! I think I have a mouth full of gum in this photo. Oops!

The Bride's side

The wedding isn’t until next June, but the next year should be full of fun planning! I’m already plotting bachelorette party activities :-)

After we arrived back in Wilkes-Barre, I headed up to the mall for one of my favorite treats: chocolate covered frozen banana! I ordered my banana dipped in dark chocolate, peanut butter, and rolled in peanuts. It was very decadent, but at least the banana counts as a fruit! :-) I enjoyed my banana as I walked around the mall and Target.

frozen banana

My chocolate peanut banana snack kept me full until about 8 o’clock when it was time for dinner. I offered to cook dinner for my family and corn on the cob, turkey burgers with tomatoes, onions, and cheese were on the menu. I enjoyed my turkey burger on 1/2 toasted whole grain bun. With lots of ketchup for dipping, of course! I used Jen and Jesse’s Ranch Turkey Burgers for inspiration. I mixed a pound of  lean ground turkey breast with some diced raw onions and 1/2 packet of ranch dip seasoning. I formed 4 patties and cooked them on the George Forman grill. Topped with cheese and veggies, they passed my family’s taste test! Or so they told me :-)

turkey burger and corn on the cob

After dinner, I went to see The Hangover with some friends. It was a very funny movie. If you’re looking to laugh non-stop for 90 minutes, I highly recommend it!

When I arrived home, it was after midnight and I was in need of a midnight snack: yogi detox spice tea and a piece of buttered cinnamon swirl toast. Mmm.

king arthur flour cinnamon swirl toast

Sunday was a bit hectic, so I’m just posting the highlights! After a solid 9 hours of sleep, I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee on the back porch. I sat in the sun and it was a great way to start the day! For breakfast I chowed down on 1/2 cantaloupe filled with a Stonyfield Oikos greek yogurt (vanilla), and a Kashi crunchy almond granola bar.

Sunday breakfast

After I digested a bit, I grabbed an icy cold water bottle and set off on a brisky 40 minute walk. My leg was feeling a little stiff and achey and I didn’t want to push it by running two days in a row. When I returned home, I stretched and did 3 x 10 single leg squats, lunges, push-ups, tricep dips, and abs. Pheww! I was one sweaty girl afterwards. The next few hours were a whirlwind of showering, packing, and driving, so I forgot to take photos of lunch and snacks, but check out these peanut butter truffle brownies that I made. I made these this weekend so I could share with my family. Otherwise, I might be tempted to eat all of them myself!

peanut butter truffle brownies

so good!

After sitting in bumper to bumper traffic near the GW Bridge for nearly 2 hours (uggghhhh), I finally arrived home and unpacked the car. It was already 9pm and I was starving! I threw together a quick salad of lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and egg salad. To make the egg salad I mixed 2 chopped egg whites and 1 chopped egg with 1 Tbs mayo, 1 tsp mustard, and S & P. Quick and easy!

quick dinner

In other news, I’m headed to the Healthy Living Blogger Summit in Boston August 14-15. Woo hoo! The event is sponsored by some of one favorite companies (Stonyfield Farm yogurt!). On the agenda:

On Friday, August 14, the 125 attendees will be treated to an amazing ice-breaker cocktail party at a swanky Boston restaurant.

On Saturday, August 15, attendees will attend a day-long “conference” with tons of fun activities, product taste tests, informational speakers, and more. The day includes a Stonyfield and Mix My Granola breakfast bar, a lovely lunch, and a PM snack.

Plus we’ll be getting a swag bag from the summit sponsors(Stonyfield Farm, Zesty Cook, Food Buzz, Mix My Granola, Barney Butter, Amy’s Kitchen, Amazing Grass, Vega Foods, Pro Bar, Nanny’s Cucina, Oh! Nuts, and Pom Wonderful).

Hooray, I can’t wait to meet other food and fitness bloggers and spend a weekend in Boston!

 Hope your return to the work week is a good one :-)

Homeward Bound

After a long bus ride (~4 hours), I finally arrived in my hometown in Pennsylvania ready for my weekend to begin. Despite feeling a little motion sick from the bumpy ride, I was very ready for dinner! My family picked me up at the bus station and we headed to a local pizza joint. We were greeted by a rainbow!

Rainbow

I started off with a diet pepsi and a side salad (mostly iceburg with some green pepper and mushrooms hiding under there). It was just what I was craving – I love the generous sprinkle of mozzarella pizza cheese that they put on top :-)

Salad

My family and I split an order of fries – I had (more than) a few of these homemade potato yummies dipped in ketchup. Along with a slice of square pizza with onions. Yum!

Homemade fries

Pizza and fries

After dinner, I walked for about 20 minutes and enjoyed the cool summer evening. Mom and I finished up the night by picking up some breakfast essentials at the grocery store. On the way home, we stopped for soft serve! I usually get the baby cone because the portions are so generous. I chose a “baby” twist soft serve with sprinkles and a sugar cone. This ice cream dish/cone was the best I’ve had in weeks :-)

soft serve!

Have a great start to your weekends! I’m off to a bridesmaid dress fitting and lunch outing with Jen and Joe.

Eggland’s Best at Midtown Loft

EB

After work on Thursday, I walked to Midtown Loft for an event sponsored by Eggland’s Best. The folks at EB are always so generous – remember the blogger dinner I attended back in April? Hooray for eggs! The event was described as:

A “Power Hour” with award-winning fitness pro Cathe Friedrich.  Eggland’s Best and Cathe are teaming up to help Americans harness the powerful pairing of healthy eating and fitness – just in time for summer!

Cathe

Cathe was available for fitness Q & A (she led a cardio class earlier in the afternoon) and plenty of Eggland’s Best goodies were available for sampling. An array of sparkling waters, juices, and coffee were offered along with a create-your-own omelet bar. Yay!

Create your own omelet

Buffet of veg

veggies galore

Deviled eggs

eggs

Salmon and capers

eggs

In addition, Barbara Seelig-Brown cookbook author and host of the cooking show Stress Free Cooking developed three special egg recipes for the buffet spread. Barbara’s yummy creations included Lemon chiffon with berries, roasted vegetable souflee, and open-faced spinach and egg sammies. Barbara and I chatted about recipes for a few minutes (one of my favorite topics!) and I’m excited to try out her stuffed french toast recipe in the near future. You can find the recipe in Barbara’s Fall 2008 newsletter!

Lemon Chiffon w/ berries

open faced spinach & egg sammies

Recipe created by Barbara Seelig-Brown

I had plans to meet Nate for dinner + beers at 8:15pm, so I only sampled one of the sandwiches, but it was a good choice! A slice of hard-boiled egg was arranged atop a mini-toast and topped with fresh-from-the cob corn and spinach. I think I detected a drizzle of olive oil as well! This little snack was the perfect pre-dinner appetizer.

Pre-dinner snack

Before I left, Eggland’s Best loaded me up with a bunch of goodies: Cathe’s Buts & Guts workout DVD, a resistance band, Barbara Seelig Brown’s Stress Free Cooking book, silicone egg poachers, a spatula, EB stuffed egg, coupons for FREE eggs, a USB drive.

EB

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but since I’ve been using Eggland’s Best eggs, I’ve really noticed a difference. EB eggs have a much thicker, yellow yolk and they impart a richer flavor into my egg dishes and baked goods.  And the best part is:  Eggland’s Best uses a superior type of feed for its chicken (i.e. no gross vegetable by-products! EB feed is 100% vegetarian). As a result, EB eggs have 19% less cholesterol, 25% less saturated fat, 3 x more omega 3’s, 10 x more vitamin E, 3 x more Iodine, and 25% more Lutein than ordinary eggs. What a super food!

Free Pinkberry Today!

Pinkberry tart frozen yogurt is celebrating the arrival of their new summer flavors (passion fruit and coconut) by giving away FREE small cups w/ one topping Today, June 26 between 5-9pm. There are PinkBerry locations throughout New York, California, and Texas. Click here for more details!

Pinkberry is low-calorie, made with live & active yogurt cultures, and it tastes great!! Love it. pinkberry

You are what you eat

Tina from Carrots ‘n Cake featured a photo of my fridge contents as part of her guest blogger series. Thanks Tina!

I had planned on getting up at by 6:45am on Wednesday, but next think I knew, Nate’s alarm was going off and it was almost 8am. I grabbed a cup of joe from my neighborhood coffee cart and headed to the subway. The commute was crazy this morning – a track fire on the 1 train line and a smoke condition/electrical fire on the A train line. Scary stuff – especially after Monday’s DC Metro collision. Luckily, I made it to work safe and sound! My coffee wasn’t that great, so I only had a few sips. I was expecting to want more coffee later in the day, but I didn’t! And no headache or anything. Woo-hoo.

Breakfast was more delicious, dark, sweet cherries, Stonyfield vanilla yogurt, and 1/4 cup Bear Naked Protein granola.

Breakfast of Champs

I had a Dr. appt right after work, so my lunch hour was the only time I had to visit the gym. I did my usual “super set” strength routine with a 10lb weight, squats, abs, push-ups, and ended with 10 minutes on the elliptical. It was a quick workout (30 minutes total), but it left me feeling invigorated for the afternoon ahead. I’ve been wearing an IT band strap which seems to be helping and the Dr. suggested I also get a thigh/hamstring sleeve. With all this gear, I’m going to look like the bionic woman! Anyway, lunch was eaten at my desk and was the usual salad from the cafeteria. Now, I want to clarify – when I get salads for lunch, they are not puny, little side salads. The salad bar is pay-by-the-pound and I usually get about a pound of food. In addition to the veggies, I make sure to get protein and carbs in the form of beans, tofu, cheese, croutons, pasta salad, etc. Today’s creation featured roasted broc, hummus, homemade pita chips, and white bean & artichoke salad. Yum!! The homemade pita chips were salty and delish.

Pile of hummus and cheese

Yumm-o

Snackies were a chocolate brownie clif z bar and some prunes around 4:30pm. That’s peppermint tea in my mug – not coffee!! :-)

Made for kids

Prunes

p.s. Look at the stash of dried fruit that my mom sent me last week. The dried strawberries were amazing – Nate and I both think they taste just like fruit roll up. Thanks Mama!

fruit from my mama

After my Dr. appt (now he wants to try acupuncture and give me a thigh sleeve…) I headed home to make din-din. I dipped some leftover bread (was keeping it in the freezer) in a mixture of 1 egg, 1 egg white, cinnamon, and vanilla. I topped my yummy french toast with peanut butter, maple syrup, and berries (defrosted). For whatever reason, this french toast turned out perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – SO good!

Leftovers never looked this good

PB French Toast

I finished the last of my maple syrup tonight and I tipped the bottle upside down and drank the last little bit. I didn’t have very good table manners tonight :-) But it was delicious! Nothin’ better than sweet, real maple syrup.

Maple syrup

For dessert, I decided to make some homemade chunky monkey “ice cream”. I got the idea from a Self Magazine blog. I added a frozen banana, splash of milk, dark chocolate chips, and some pecans to the blender. The result was cold, creamy, sweet, and delicious! The taste was very similar to chunky monkey. Unfortunately, it’s not that photogenic…

Chunky Monkey...almost

After a few hours of laundry (ugh) I finished off the remains of my bag of raw pecans and a few more dark chocolate chips.

Trail mix

And finally, my Boston Marathon Finisher Certificate arrived in the mail today. Hooray! Have great Thursdays everyone :-)

Boston Marathon Finisher

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