PB & Jelly Ice Cream

I think I’m in love. With (vegan!!) peanut butter and jelly ice cream. Seriously, last night’s treat was life changing. But let’s rewind…

Thursday breakfast was coffee, cherries, Oikos vanilla greek yogurt, and 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Lots of protein and fiber – very filling!

Breakfast

My morning passed very quickly and before I knew it, it was 12:30pm. I had arranged to meet the broker uptown to check out an apartment during lunch, so I needed to get a move on. I sped out the door of my building, took the train uptown, checked out the apartment, and was back at my desk by 1:40pm. Pheww! I was almost late meeting the broker so I practically sprinted down the street (in work clothes, with my giant bag on my shoulder). It was worth it – the apartment was decent and the price was a steal! Hooray!

I returned to the office excited by my potential new digs and devoured my lunch. I was extra good today and packed leftovers rather than buying something from the cafe. I spread about 1/4 cup white bean hummus on whole wheat flat bread and then added green pepper, zucchini, and feta. I rolled it all up and chowed down.

Wrap

My headache just would not go away, ugh. I’m sure it’s stress/tension related. Lots of changes going on over the next month! Around 4pm I sipped on a small non-fat latte and ate a peanut butter granola bar. Nature Valley recently re-formatted their granola bars so that they no longer contain HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). They’re still not the healthiest things on the planet, but they are made with whole grains. And they taste like a peanut butter girl scout cookie!

starbucks iced latte

Granola bar

Alma and I met with the broker after work and submitted an application. If all goes well, we’ll sign the lease on Monday! I knew I wasn’t going to have time for any cardio today, so I decided to walk the 2 miles or so to the pilates class where Katie and I were planning on taking a class. I snacked on my apple (umm…not very good. early season apples are wayyy tart!) as I checked out the front of Sixth Street Pilates. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw that I had agreed to go to an Intermediate/Advanced mat class. Oh lordie.

Pilates

Pilates

Luckily I survived the class. My abs were feelin’ the burn, but it’s almost beach-time, so I won’t complain!

Afterwards, Katie and I headed across the street to Lula’s Sweet Apothacary. I’ve been hearing about this place for weeks and it did NOT disappoint.

Katie

Lula's

The shop is reminiscent of an old-school soda fountain. In addition to ice cream by the scoop, Lula’s serves sundaes, milkshakes, and soda floats the old-fashioned way. The best part? Everything is vegan!!

Lula's

The counter guy gave us a taste of the “Death by Chocolate” ice cream and casually mentioned that the fudge mixed in to the ice cream was made fresh that morning. Holy yum! I cannot believe this stuff is dairy free. When I saw peanut butter & jelly ice cream, I knew there was no other option for me. I ordered a scoop and was in heaven. It was so creamy and I could taste big pockets of chunky peanut butter and sweet berry jam.

ice cream

I’m not exagerating when I say that this ice cream was probably one of the best 3 ice creams I have ever had. If you’re in the New York area, check Lula’s out! And no, they are not paying me for this ringing endorsement :-)

Ice cream is all well and good, but a girl cannot live on dessert alone. When I got home, I made a little snack (dinner?) plate of green pepper with hummus and a toasted baguette with almond butter and fruit preserves. I just opened up a jar of Sarabeth’s preserves and while the flavor is awesome, the consistency was quite runny. It was like 100 degrees in my apartment, so maybe that’s why? I stuck the jar in the fridge in the hopes that it will firm up. Anyone else have experience with Sarabeth’s jam?

Baguette with almond butter and jam

After checking some emails and getting things ready for work the next day, I promptly sprawled out on the couch. As Nate and I watched a thoroughly unsatisfying episode of Law & Order (the little Haitian boy did not deserve to go to juvie!), there may have been some unpictured Garden of Eatin’ organic tortilla chips. Mmm, salty.

TGIF! What’s your favorite part of your weekend routine? Nate and I have a weekly date night on Fridays and it’s my favorite part of the whole week! It’s a great way to transition into a relaxed, chill state-of-mind :-)

House Hunters

All day I kept thinking that it was Thursday, when it was actually only Wednesday. This has been quite a busy and long week…I need some R & R! Besides being a little stressed, I had quite the productive day. Breakfast was coffee, dark, sweet cherries (love these!), 1 cup low fat plain yogurt, and 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch.

Breakfast

I love finishing off a container of yogurt – so fun to use the big tub as a bowl :-)

empty yogurt containe

I managed to fit in a quickie gym visit at lunch – 30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical (I alternated 1 minute fast with a few minutes recovery), foam rolling, and 3 x 10 lunges. Short and sweet!

Lunch was the usual salad – eaten at my desk because of back-to-back conference calls.

  • romaine, carrots, mushrooms, onions
  • spoonfuls of baked beans and pinto bean salad
  • spoonful of artichoke and olive salad
  • spoonful of sun dried tomato-pasta salad
  • piece of pesto cauliflower
  • feta cheese
  • whole grain croutons
  • Tbs balsamic vinaigrette

Yum! There were lots of varied flavors, textures, and colors in this lunch. It kept my taste buds guessing :-)

Salad

I had a wicked headache all afternoon, so I took to advils along with a skim cappuccino and some trail mix. It helped a little bit.

cappuccino and trail mix

After work, Alma and I had an appointment with a broker. Why are brokers always so sketchy?? Anyway, I knew it was going to be a long night so I grabbed another handful of trail mix from a 25 cent machine. This was actually really great trail mix! I might try to re-create the combo of peanuts, cashews, m&ms, and raisins at home.

Trail Mix

Alma

We braved the rain to look at an apartment uptown- it was decent, but we’re still searching for the right place.

When I got home I made myself a little pomegranate juice cocktail – 1/2 cup POM Wonderful juice + 1 cup lime seltzer. Mmm, antioxidants!

Pomegranate Juice

Dinner was another pita pizza – whole wheat flatbread topped with fresh mozzarella, feta cheese, zucchini, green pepper, and basil. Next time I might put marinara sauce on this. It was tasty, but it needed a little somethin’ extra.  It was super filling though – I love cheese and veggies!

Pizza

Zucchini!

For dessert Nate and I finished off the last of the peach cardamom pie, served with vanilla ice cream, of course!

Pie with ice cream

 

The 101 Best Running Tips Ever

Pack the Perfect Salad

Preventing Childhood Obesity – Funny Article from The Onion

Question of the day: What is your best tip for getting everything done/staying organized??

Spinning My Wheels

Congrats commentor #3 – Whit’s Getting Fit! Email your address and I will send you the Newman’s goodies :-)

3

Timestamp: 2009-07-29 14:16:56 UTC

Well, summer has finally made an appearance in New York City. As I left my air-conditioned bedroom on Tuesday, I was blasted with a wave of heat and humidity. I won’t complain though – this summer has been way too rainy in my opinion!

I was running around like a mad woman all morning, so breakfast was a little on the light side: coffee, cherries, and a Fage 2% Greek yogurt. And of course, I had my daily Adora calcium supplement! I like Adora because it tastes just like chocolate :-)

Frida coffee mug

breakfast

Around 1:30pm I decided to take a break and head outdoors. It was a bit hot and sunny, but eating my lunch away from my desk is so worth it. I read a few pages of my book (The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb) and enjoyed the usual salad.

salad

  • romaine, carrots, onions, mushrooms
  • spoonful of broccoli in pesto sauce
  • spoonful of roasted beets
  • spoonful of wheatberry salad
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • feta cheese
  • whole grain croutons
  • 2 Tb balsamic vinaigrette

I know this must get boring to see day after day, but I really do love the salad bar at work! It’s so easy to meet my veggie quota for the day when I don’t have to worry about washing, prepping, or storing salad ingredients. And the prices are pretty affordable too!

My afternoon snack was a little early (I think I was stress-eating), but tasty and fairly healthy. I mixed about 1/4 cup trail mix with 1/4 cup dried apples. Yum!

trail mix

After work I high-tailed it over to a 45 minute spinning class at my gym. I wore my heart rate monitor and really tried to focus on keeping my heart rate up. I have mixed feelings about the instructor for this class. She plays awesome music, but she’s kind of  crazy. Once I went to a spin class the day after a 20-mile long run and she cranked up the resistance and told me I wasn’t working hard enough. Yo, chill lady. All I wanted to do was cross-train. But in some ways it’s good. I know how to push myself while running because I know my limits, but I ‘m not as familar with biking. When the instructor piles on the resistance or checks my heart rate monitor, I silently curse her, but I  get a much harder (and better) workout! I followed spinning with a 30 minute abs class (my abs are a bit sore today, but my neck is what’s really hurtin’!)

I took a photo of me in the cycling studio after class. I have very muscular quads and bike shorts really highlight that fact! I used to feel self-conscious about my big leg muscles, but now I am at peace with them. They’ve carried me through two marathons, long walks, lunges, many flights of steps, and 9 years of ballet. Thank you legs!!

spinning

Hehe, I was getting weird looks snapping this photo.

After some stretching, and a shower, I headed downtown to meet some friends for dinner On the subway, I had 1/2 an Amazing Greens bar to hold me over. I really liked this bar the first time I tried it, but now it seems too sweet. I think the dates + chocolate coating are a bit much for a pre-dinner snack. Maybe it would work better as a dessert?

amazing greens

Agnes, Catherine, her brother Antoine, and I met in Washington Square Park and then roamed over to Dojo.  I love this place! The menu is extensive and there are a ton of vegetarian options. The service is a little slow, but the prices are quite affordable.

I enjoyed the union square sandwich – grilled portabella mushroom, onions, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, avocado, and mozzarella on whole wheat bread. Yum! Avocado makes everything better.

Catherine and her brother are studying English in NYC for a few weeks, so it was very interesting to hear about their travels and time in the city. I always forget how much there is to do and see in New York  –  I feel so lucky to have it all right outside my door (or a subway ride away…)!

Dojo

Agnes, Catherine, Megan

Catherine and Antoine

Dessert was a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone, of course. The perfect cure for a hot and humid July night.

ice cream, of course

Wednesday will be another busy day:

  • Blog
  • Work
  • Lunchtime gym visit
  • View potential apartments with Alma
  • Catch up on emails
  • Laundry
  • Clean kitchen and living room floors

Question: What is your least favorite chore? Mine is definitely laundry!! Although maybe I would dislike it less if I had a washer/dryer in my building….

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10 Can’t Go Wrong Snacks

All-American Summer Menu

The Curious Cook – The Tomato, Accused but Probably OK

Northeast Tomato and Potato Crops Damaged

Newman’s Own Organics Giveaway!

I’ll admit it – I have a serious sweet tooth. As much as I love fruits and veggies – I can’t live without my chocolate and cookies! Luckily, Newman’s Own Organics makes a line of organic (and better for you!) snacks that I can feel good about indulging in. Not to be confused with the seperate company called Newman’s Own, Newman’s Own Organics was started by Paul Newman’s daughter Nell back in 1993. I love the company’s slogan – Great tasting products that happen to be organic. Nell Newman explains the slogan: “It really says a lot about us. We’ve seen in recent years that people want to know more about the food they eat, not just how many calories a product contains. It’s becoming more important to them how ingredients are grown and processed on the way to their grocers’ shelf. Once people see how much organic foods have improved since the early days of packaged `health’ foods, we feel they’ll seek them out.” Indeed! I want my cookies to taste good and be good for me :-)

Sally from Newman’s Own Organics sent me a ginormous sampling of products and I think it’s time to share! I will be sending one reader a package full of Newman’s Own Organics goodies – chocolate, pretzels, cookies, etc.

To enter the contest, leave a comment on this post naming your favorite snack food. You have until tonight at 11:59pm to enter. I’ll randomly select the winner and announce on Wednesday!

Newman's Own Organics

Now, on to my Monday! Breakfast was an interesting affair. I chopped up a peach and added it on top of 6oz low fat, plain yogurt. On the side I filled a ziploc with 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch. To make things a little more interesting, I decided to add some cinnamon to the peaches. As I was sprinkling away, I noticed that the cinnamon smelled a little odd. I looked at the bottle and noticed that I had been using CUMIN instead of CINNAMON. Oh goodness. I thought about chucking the bowl and starting over, but it actually tasted pretty good! The yogurt and cumin produced a slightly middle-eastern flavor. I’m not sure I would do this intentionally, but I’m glad my breakfast was still edible!

Breakfast

Lunch was enjoyed outside before the thunderstorms started. The highlight of this salad was the piece of yogurt-curry chicken that I added on top. Yum!

  • romaine, carrots, onions, mushrooms
  • sugar snap peas
  • a few grapes/strawberry halves
  • yogurt-curry rubbed chicken
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans & chickpeas
  • feta cheese
  • whole grain croutons
  • Tbs balsamic vinaigrette

Salad

Afternoon snack was a mixture of things – dried apple, dried raspberries, nuts, chocolate chips, and a few Newman’s Own Organics chocolate alphabet cookies. Note: If you mix cookies and dried fruit together in a container, the cookies will get soft. Unless you like stale cookies (ahem…Nate), be forewarned.

Snack

My yoga plans were postponed so instead I headed to my gym. I contemplated taking a SHRED class, but I just wasn’t feeling a boot-camp style workout. Instead, I completed 35 minutes of elliptical intervals (2 minutes sprint, 5 minutes easy) followed by 3 x 10 push-ups, tricep dips, lunges, abs, and planks. Took less than an hour, but I felt like it was a very solid effort.

I was feeling tired, hot, and blah by the time I walked through the door. Luckily an ice cold diet coke and leftovers made me feel a million times better.

Din-Din

Leftovers

Dessert was peach pie and vanilla bean ice cream. I think the pie was even better on day 2 – the cardamom and peaches had time to meld together, delicious! I could not stop stealing extra spoonfuls from the pie plate :-)

Pie with ice cream

Check out this NY Times article about alternative sports medicine –  Gina Kolata and I could be hamstring injury twins!

8 Ways to top a pizza.

101 Simple Salads for the Season.

I love you, Mark Bittman, but you’re totally stealing my thunder.

Cardamom Peach Pie

It’s peach season here in the Northeast and ripe, juicy peaches are available in abundance. When I saw a recipe for Peach Cardamom Pie in the August issue of Bon Appetit magazine I knew I had to bake one for myself. I followed the directions exactly (no whole wheat flour substitutions this time…) because baking is so finicky. I think the result came out beautifully! The egg wash on the crust gave the pie a nicely browned finish and the absence of a bottom crust made it just a teeny bit healthier. Plus I used local, organic peaches. Mmm, pie! But let’s rewind – before I started my baking project, I fueled up with some coffee and a bowl of yogurt-y goodness. I chopped up an apple and added 1 cup low fat plain yogurt, 1 cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch, 2 Tbs Smucker’s Naturals peanut butter, and a dollop of homemade peach jam. Kept me full for nearly 5 hours!

Cereal bowl

I don’t have a food processor, so I always cut my butter into the flour with two forks. This works better than your hands because the heat of your fingers would melt the butter too much. You want to use super cold butter for pie crust because when the pie gets in the oven, the heat creates pockets of steam in the cold butter, and this results in a delicously flaky crust.

Cutting in the butter

I use a wooden rolling pin and a mat specially made for rolling out dough – prevents sticking! Chilling your rolling pin and using plastic wrap between the pin and the dough can also prevent sticking.

Rolling out the dough

Peach filling – I liked that this recipe only called for 1/3 cup of sugar. It allowed the naturally sweet flavor of the peaches to shine through.

Peach filling

I used a heart cookie cutter to cut out the dough shapes. Then I brushed the crust with a beaten egg and sprinkled sugar on top.

Peach Cardamom Pie

After 45 minutes the crust was golden brown and the pie filling was bubbly! Is there anything better than the smell of a fresh, homemade pie?

Beautiful pie

Peach Cardamom Pie

After I completed my pie project, I took a long walk (~4 miles) to the Fairway supermarket in Harlem. It was quite hot and sunny today! I ended up buying mostly cool and refreshing groceries -

  • seltzer
  • dark, sweet cherries
  • little tomatoes
  • fresh, local mozzarella
  • Fage Greek yogurt
  • Breyer’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream (mostly for Nate…)

Fairway visit

After my long walk, I needed a snack! I sliced a banana and added 1/2 cup of yogurt, Tb PB2, and some trail mix to a bowl. This was a good combo of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Yum!

Yogurt with banana and trail mix

Around 4:30pm, I met Agnes for an iced coffee with whole milk and a few hours of girl talk. I made it back home JUST as it began to pour. I kind of like summer thunderstorms :-)

iced coffee

As I started to prepare dinner, I snacked on two Wasa crackers with TJ’s white bean hummus.

hummus and wasa

Dinner was a new creation that I’m going to call Caprese Pasta. I boiled about 1/2 box of shell pasta, sauteed 1/2 onion and 3 garlic cloves in olive oil, and then when the pasta was finished cooking, I added the onions/garlic,  pint of cherry tomatoes, a sprig of chopped basil leaves, and about 6 oz of diced fresh mozzarella. I drizzled olive oil on top and added some salt and freshly cracked pepper. Mmm, it tasted like summer! Luckily I have leftovers :-)

Prep

Caprese Salad

Later in the evening, Nate came over to tell me all about this morning’s triathlon (1st in his age group!) and we enjoyed some of my Peach Pie with vanilla ice cream. The cardamom gives this pie a decidedly “grown-up” taste, so if you’re not into pungent spices, you might want to omit to cardamom or replace it with cinnamon. The cardamom and peaches do pair deliciously with vanilla ice cream, though :-) I’d make this again in a heart beat!

Lawsuit over Sodium

The popular restaurant chain, Denny’s, is being sued over the high salt of its food. Some dishes contain more than twice the daily recommended limit of sodium and many health studies have linked high salt intake with high blood pressure and stroke. It’s no secret that a lot of restaurant food is unhealthy, but what do you think about lawsuits? Should food companies and restaurants be held accountable or should the choice be left up to the consumers?  I think as diners we have the right to choose to eat something un-healthy if we wish, but I also think we should know what we’re getting ourselves into. An ice cream sundae or a plate of fries might be obviously un-healthy, but what about the nearly 1,200 calorie spinach and shrimp salad from Applebee’s? I think that foods like that make calorie and nutritional counts on menus essential. Personally, I think all restaurants should post comprehensive nutritional info (including sodium) and then consumers should be allowed to make the appropriate choice for their diet. What are your thoughts??

From the Heights to Harlem

Is there anything better than a sunny Saturday morning? I started mine off with a HUGE bowl of yogurt goodness -

  • sliced banana
  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt (whole foods brand)
  • 1 cup Heritage Grains cereal
  • 1 Tbs PB2 (mixed in the yogurt)
  • dollop of almond butter, dollop of peach jam

This bowl had a lot of volume and made me feel quite full!

Saturday breakfast

Since it was such a beautiful day, I decided to walk to Target and back (about 3 miles round trip). I went with the intention of only getting a new Swiffer vacuum, but of course, you can never leave Target with just one thing! I picked up a cute pair of black capris and then stopped at Starbucks for a mocha Frappuccino (lite). I used to drink these wayyyy too often, but now that I limit myself to every once in awhile, I think I enjoy them more. The icy cold drink was perfect for the warm, sunny weather.

My frapp and reusable bags :-)Frappuccino

I stopped at the Farmer’s Market on the walk back and picked up a ginormous zucchini and a bunch of basil.

Basil and zucchini

My stomach was feeling a tiny bit hungry, so I snacked on some Trader Joe’s trail mix – almonds, peanuts, dried raspberries, and dark chocolate chips. Yum!

trail mix

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but my doc doesn’t want me to run until I see him again (on August 6!!). I’m really trying to be a good patient and listen to him this time. Spinning, long walks, and easy elliptical are OK, but I shouldn’t run. I hope by announcing it on my blog, I’ll be more likely to follow through :-) I didn’t feel like going to the gym on such a nice day and since I had dinner plans with Alma, I decided to walk to her place! If you’re unfamilar with the layout of Manhattan, the island is long and skinny (about 13 miles long, 2 miles wide). I live in Washington Heights/Inwood (very top) and Alma lives in the southern part of Harlem (middle-ish). It was about a 5 mile walk and took me 1 hour, 40 minutes. It was surprisingly pleasant! I enjoyed the nice weather and chatted on the phone with Hannah (miss you!). When I arrived at Alma’s, she greeted me with a cold, juicy nectarine. Perfect! I didn’t take a photo, but here’s a stand-in image :-)

nectarine

Alma and I decided to make a chicken-pasta-sauce dish roughly based on Jenna’s shrimp scampi. However, we improvised A LOT and our end result was quite different. It tasted pretty amazing though. Perhaps we should copyright this recipe? :-)

Alma and Megan’s Mediterranean Chicken Scampi

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Tb Spanish olive oil
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes (ours had jalepenos added)
  • Glug of red wine (we used a Spanish Tempranillo)
  • 1 1/2 large chicken breasts, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • ~10 pitted green olives, halved
  • 1 sprig of fresh basil, leaves chopped
  • 1/2 box whole grain spaghetti or angel hair (we used Barilla plus)
  • big handful of feta cheese
  • cracked black pepper

Directions

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute garlic until soft
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add dry spaghetti, and cook pasta until al dente
  • Pour diced tomatoes (do not drain) and wine into skillet, allow to cook for a few minutes
  • Add chicken, red pepper, olives, and lemon juice to skillet
  • Cook everything in skillet over medium-high heat until chicken is cooked through
  • A few minutes before the chicken/sauce is finished, add the basil, feta, and cracked black pepper
  • Serve over pasta and add some extra feta on top! Enjoy with wine :-)

Prep

Sauce

Barilla plus pasta

Megan and Alma's creation

Wine

Alma

This dish was really yummy AND it’s great pre or post run fuel. You’re getting protein from the chicken, complex carbs from the pasta, tons of veggies, heart healthy garlic, wine, and olive oil, and a bit of salt from the feta. Don’t forget – runners need more sodium in the summer months due to the warmer temps and sweatier runs! The only thing we would change next time is the wine. The high alcohol content of the Tempranillo didn’t really pair well with the lemon and tomatoes in our dish. Too acidic?

I left Alma’s and walked to the subway around 9pm – I think this extra bit of walking brings my total to about 9 miles of walking today! Yikes, my legs are definitely feeling a bit tired. When I returned to my apartment, I did some much needed cleaning and of course had to end the night with some mint chocolate chip ice cream. Mmm…

ice cream, of course

I got in bed around midnight and dozed off fairly quickly. However, about 30 minutes later I woke up super hungry! I guess it was all the walking I did today – I needed a snack ASAP or I wasn’t going to be able to fall asleep. I decided on a peanut butter & jelly Clif Mojo bar that I’ve had in my stash for awhile. This bar was really delicious! Almonds and peanuts were mixed together with a fruit flavored jelly and the whole bar was dipped in a vanilla yogurt coating. My only complaint? It was quite small! Luckily the satiating nuts quelled my hunger and I was able to sleep for a solid 9 hours. Yay!

Clif Mojo

Blast from the Past

Love this photo! It’s from the 80’s party during senior week – May 2007. Miss you ladies of 44 Home Avenue :-)Material Girls

Material Girls

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