My New Favorite Day

In college, I used to dread Sundays. I would wake up around noon (still feeling the effects of Saturday night partying) and have a ton of things to do before the day ended: papers to write, chapters to read, lab reports to finish, a long run with the cross-country/track team, and maybe some laundry.  But over the past few years, Sunday has become my favorite day of the week. I’m a total Grandma and don’t really stay out late anymore, so waking up at a decent hour is no problem. I’ve also learned to love long runs because they’ve become something I want to do rather than something I have to do. Oh, and I don’t have homework anymore. That’s pretty sweet! So I’ve decided,  Sunday is my new favorite day!

Favorite day started off with a walk to Dunkin’ Donuts for a latte lite. Love.

morning latte

And then it was time for oats in a jar. I had about 1-2 Tbs of almond butter left at the bottom of the jar, so I made stovetop oats and then added the oats to the almond butter container. The hot oats melted the almond butter and everything mixed up quite nicely!

  • 1/2 cup oats made with 1 cup water, splash of milk
  • sea salt and cinnamon
  • sliced banana
  • 1-2 Tbs almond butter
  • a few chocolate chips

Oats in a jar

My oats were perfect fuel for a long run! The weather was so amazing in NYC yesterday – sunny and 68 degrees when I set off for my run. I stopped around mile 6 to stretch out my ache-y IT band, but other than that I felt strong throughout my 12.5 mile run. I finished in 1 hour, 49 minutes which is about 8:45 per mile pace. If it weren’t for time constraints, I would have run longer! Love this weather. Can we just skip January, February, and March?

Central Park[source]

I foam rolled and stretched and then re-fueled!

  • 1 cup plain Oikos greek yogurt
  • chopped apple
  • 1 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1/2 Kashi crunchy granola bar

Yogurt Mess

And a clif bar on the way out the door!

Clif bar 

I met Katie for 5pm yoga and the same instructor from last week was teaching class. I love, love, love this teacher. Her core sequence is killer, but the deep stretches and the instructor’s mind-body philosophy more than make up for my sore abs. I don’t think it would be cool to take a camera into the studio, but I wanted you all to see what Yoga to the People looks like, so I pulled an image off of their site (thanks http://yogatothepeople.com). If you’re in the NYC, San Fran, or Berkeley areas, you have to check out this studio. I think the instructors are great and I love that the classes are donation based. Sometimes I have more money in the bank account, sometimes I have less, but I can always manage a donation for a yoga class. And that’s a very good thing.

Yoga to the People[source]

*Note for those unfamilar with yoga: this photo makes it look like the class is worshipping an altar or something, but they’re really just in child’s pose (a gentle, resting pose).

After a quick stop at Trader Joe’s (madness on a Sunday evening!), I dashed home to start laundry and dinner. Before I got down to business, I had a small snack: 1/2 whole wheat sandwich thin with Greek olive hummus.

Hummus

And then for the next 2 hours I cooked risotto. Yikes. This recipe was A LOT more labor intensive than I expected. The results were pretty good and I have a ton of leftovers, but I’m not sure I would do this again! But just in case you have a lot of time on your hands, I’ll post the recipe. Note: I improvised and used ingredients that I had on hand, so feel free to use different kinds of cheese, wine instead of beer, or arborio rice instead of brown.

Megan’s Pumpkin and Cheese Risotto (adapted from a Millenium Knickerbocker Hotel recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 Tbs olive oil
  • puree of one small pumpkin
  • 1/2 can of pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice (use arborio if you have it)
  • 4 oz cottage cheese (or you could use goat cheese)
  • 2 laughing cow lite cheese wedges (or you could use Parmesan cheese)
  • 5 cups hot water (or chicken stock)
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs butter

Pictures 004

Directions:

  • Steep bay leaf in 5 cups of very hot water.
  • Heat olive oil in large pot and saute rice, onions, and pumpkin until onions are translucent and rice has nutty aroma.
  • Add garlic and saute briefly.
  • Add beer and deglaze the pan.
  • Remove bay leaf from hot water and discard.
  • While stirring rice mixture with a wooden spoon (vigorously!), add one cup of hot water at a time until rice absorbs all water.
  • This is where I started to freak out – my risotto was taking a very long time to cook. I was stirring and stirring and going to the laundry mat to pick up my laundry stirring non-stop for nearly 50 minutes before everything started to come together. I realized this was because I used brown rice and the original recipe uses white arborio rice which has a much shorter cooking time. This is what I get for trying to be healthy…
  • Anyway, after your rice has finally absorbed the water and is al dente (soft, but chewy), add the canned pumpkin, salt, pepper, and cheese.
  • Before serving, add Tbs butter and stir until melted.
  • Allow the risotto to sit for a minute or so before serving and then enjoy over spinach or mixed greens.

pumpkin risotto

pumpkin risotto

After dishes and laundry folding, I was ready to pack it in. Phew, what a night of domesticity!

I finished up my Sunday with an episode of Mad Men, a glass of milk, and 2 white chocolate pumpkin cookies. Perfect.

cookies and milk

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Question: What’s the most labor intensive thing you’ve ever cooked or baked?

Big Apple Buzz

After my late Halloween night, I was feeling a little less than stellar on Sunday morning. But with some coffee and a big glass of water, I rallied enough for a run alongside the West Side bike path. Hannah and I ran about 5 miles (~43 minutes) and then came back to my apartment for breakfast!

Non-fat Dunkin’ Donuts latte, toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with goat cheese, and a sliced apple with almond butter. Full of stabilizing protein, healthy fat, and carbs. Oh yeah, and a mega-dose of caffeine.

cinnamon raisin bagel

Approximately 10 minutes after finishing breakfast, Hannah and I hit the road for another run. In order to get to mile 19 (1st Ave/115th St) in time to see our marathoning friends, we had to jog (walking takes too long!). I was a little worried about the coffee + breakfast + running and I wouldn’t do this every day, but it actually worked out fine. We were able to see the the runners at mile 19 and then again at mile 22. I wore my Nike + to record the distance and we ended up running/jogging about 3 extra miles throughout the early afternoon.

Female NYC Marathon winner: Derartu Tulu (love her!)

derartu_tulu

It was fun cheering with the crowd, but I’m not going to sugar coat it – the whole atmosphere of the NYC marathon has been kind of rough for me. I was entered in the marathon this year, but when I was side-lined by injury this summer, I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to participate in the race. It was a really hard decision to defer my entry, but I know it was the right one. If I had attempted to run yesterday, I probably would have only exacerbated my IT band/hamstring issues. I’m finally able to run again (for which I’m incredibly thankful!), but there are still days that my hamstring/knee bother me a lot and I’m always worried the injury will come back in full force.

All of the well-meaning co-workers who asked “are you running the marathon?”, the bombardment of Marathon ads on the streets and subways, and the general running buzz throughout the city have been constant reminders that I spent the better part of 2009 injured. I’m glad to be building mileage again, but I’m also frustrated that I can’t run as much or as fast as I’d like to. But it’s not all doom and gloom – there are some positive things that have come from my running struggles this year. I don’t think I will ever take a run for granted. I appreciate each mile that I’m able to complete. I’ve learned to enjoy new activities like cycling and yoga and I’m very excited to experiment with an indoor triathlon (January 10th!).  And being injured has allowed me to have a deeper understanding my body. I am more attuned to aches and soreness and fatigue, but I can also appreciate how good a pain-free run can feel. So as 2009 comes to a close I hope I can start moving forward, focusing on what I will be able to do and not the races that I’m missing out on.

Ahh, my heart feels better already. Thanks for listening.

I downed some Kombucha when I got back to my apartment and felt full of energy all afternoon – I was even motivated to sweep & mop the floors and take out the recycling!

Kombucha

My stomach started to growl around 3pm, time for a mini-meal of pineapple chobani greek yogurt and sliced banana.

Pineapple Chobani

Oh yeah, and a cupcake the size of my head. Earlier in the morning Hannah and I made the very wise decision to scope out the selection at Make My Cake – the cake shop (!!) next to my apartment building. I went with the red velvet cupcake, a Southern Classic. Not only was the cream cheese frosting rich and tangy, but the cake was incredibly moist (Magnolia, you could learn a few things from the folks Uptown). The red velvet had spicy undertones, so if you’re looking for a classic cupcake taste this might not be for you, but I really enjoyed it. I nibbled on this cupcake all day long and devoured every last crumb!

Red Velvet Cupcake from Make My Cake

Mmm, cupcakes.

cupcake hannah

After I said my goodbyes to Hannah (sad), I met Katie in the East Village for quite possibly the best yoga class ever. The teacher’s style definitely wasn’t traditional, but I loved her the mind-body philosophy, the fast pace of the asanas, and the intense core sequence at the end.

Pretty hungry by the time I left class and in need of groceries, so I stopped at Whole Foods. Ahh! Salad bar twice in one weekend! So good, but so $$. Will cook tonight.

Whole Foods Salad Bar

My take-out container included:

  • base of romaine lettuce
  • roasted mushrooms
  • collard greens with pineapple
  • roasted beets
  • roasted apple
  • wheatberry salad
  • tuna salad with apricots and celery

Worth every penny. Yum.

After too many a few hours of email writing, photo uploading, and organizing for the week ahead, I was ready for a snack.

Lucky for me, my yoga buddy had gifted me with a container of vegan peanut butter & jelly bars. I can believe that they don’t contain animal products, but I’m pretty sure they contain crack. So delicious. Hopefully I will have the recipe soon. You’ll have to make your own, because I’m not sharing :-)

Cookies!

Were humans “born to run”? Check out the newest Running Shorts post and see what Matt has to say!

Question: Have you ever had a sports-related injury? How did you deal?

Happy Halloween!

This has got to have been the.longest.week.ever. Thank Goodness It’s Friday!

megan

Friday started off with the usual coffee (1/2 decaf), lots of emails, and a baked apple with vanilla oikos greek yogurt.

baked apple and oikos

Mid-morning snack: Kashi crunchy pumpkin spice granola bar (‘Tis the season for pumpkin after all!)

kashi

I was workin’ like a mad woman trying to get through my to-do list and by the time I looked at the clock, it was already noon. I debated staying put and finishing up a project, but I knew I’d feel better if I got my blood flowing a bit. I hurried to the gym and made it in time for a “spooky cycling” class at 12:15pm. It was awesome! We listened to “The Monster Mash”, “Thriller”, and the theme song from “Ghost Busters” as we pedaled away. I love going to this instructor’s class because i.have.a.huge.crush.on.him.too.bad.he.likes.boys he always plays the best music!

After spin class, I popped into the cafeteria for a salad.

salad

This yummy jumble of flavors included:

  • arugula, mixed greens, carrots, onions, mushrooms
  • feta cheese, cranberries, pumpkin seeds
  • piece of sweet potato
  • spoonful of rice & beans
  • spoonful of pinto bean salad
  • brussel sprouts + roasted apples

And then some salt & pepper popchips (addiction).

pop chips

Even though it was the day before Halloween, my office was seriously lacking in candy, so I ventured to Duane Reade in search of something sweet. I debated getting some candy corn, but instead decided on a box of kudos. I think the last time I had one of these was in the mid-90’s, but it was surprisingly good! I tried the chocolate chip variety (100 cals, 3.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber) and it satisfied my sweet tooth while being a little bit healthier than candy. At least it’s made with whole grains :-)

kudos bar

I chugged water all afternoon in preparation for hot yoga with Agnes and by 6pm I was ready to do some warrior poses in 95 degree+ heat. Really, it’s fun. However, tonight’s class was just so-so. The instructor wasn’t my favorite (I never like the ones that make us do bicycle crunches…), but in the end I’m glad I went!

After I convinced everyone in my subway car that I was a bum (sweaty mess), I arrived home with a mission: quickest dinner ever!

I heated up an Amy’s Kitchen Veggie Tamale dinner and while it does NOT look pretty, it certainly tasted good!

My photo:

Amy's Tamale

Amy’s photo:

Amy's Kitchen

Umm, Amy wins.

And for dessert – 2% Fage greek yogurt with PB2 and tart cherries mixed in.

fage

Ok, that’s it for tonight. Hannah will be arriving via Bolt Bus from Boston any moment! And I haven’t showered yet. Need to hop to it.

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Question: What’s your favorite Halloween candy? I love mini snickers bars!

Autumn Miles

Despite Saturday’s rain and wind, I managed to fit in quite a few fun activities. I started the weekend early with some coffee and a 4.5 mile run mostly around the reservoir in Central Park. I was a little sleepy for the first 20 minutes, but I felt much better after that. I returned home to try out the new pineapple Chobani greek yogurt flavor! I enjoyed it with a sliced banana and 1/2 Clif mojo bar (the other half was eaten quite awhile ago…).

chobani

Mojo

Then Alma and I grabbed our yoga mats and headed downtown for 60 minutes of vinyasa flow. I was really challenged during the lunge asanas (especially crescent moon, yikes), but I felt sooo much looser and relaxed after class. I enjoy running much more than other activities (yoga, spinning etc.) so it’s always a struggle to find motivation to cross-train. However, I know how important stretching and strengthening are to my running, so that gives the activities a defined purpose. Plus, I’ve found that the more I do an activity (like cycling!), the more I enjoy it.

After class, Alma and I treated ourselves to pumpkin spice lattes! I ordered a no-whip decaf skim latte with 2 pumps of pumpkin spice syrup. My order was so high maintenance that the barista accidentally made me the iced version. Hot or iced, I enjoy all of the overpriced beverages Starbucks has to offer :-)

latte

When I got back from yoga class, I was h-u-n-g-r-y! I plated up some sliced apple with almond butter and a slice of whole wheat toast with (more!) almond butter and pumpkin butter. And then awhile later I dug into a multi-bran vitatop with pumpkin butter.

Almond butter

vitatop with pumpkin butter

An friend from college was visiting the city this weekend and I agreed to run a few miles with him that afternoon (um, yes, that would be run #2 for the day). We ran for about 3.5 miles at 8 minute pace. After this morning’s run and then the hour-long yoga class, my legs were feeling pretty dead. I made sure to snack on some tasty treats to refuel.

peanut butter lara bar & spiced almonds:

Pictures 025

and then a Sam Adams Octoberfest beer!

beer

After a few hours of being lazy, it was time for dinner! We braved the winds and rain and ventured to a restaurant called Turkuaz on the Upper West Side. I’ve been wanting to try this place for awhile and it didn’t disappoint. The interior was really cool – the main dining room reminded me of a tent in Middle East. The space was cavernous (by Manhattan standards anyway) and the ceilings and walls were draped in canvas fabric.

Turkuaz

Dinner started with some warm flatbread while Alex sampled a Turkish beer.

Turkuaz

For my entree, I actually selected something with chicken! Now if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you may remember my 30-day Vegetarian Challenge. At the end of the month I announced that while I wouldn’t prepare or consume meat at home, I might partake at certain restaurants or on special occasions (Thanksgiving). Lately I’ve been putting in some serious time at the gym/on the roads, so I felt like I could use the extra protein and heme iron.

Anyway, back to the entree: I ordered a chicken kabob dish that contained roasted tomatoes, char grilled peppers, yogurt sauce, and toasted bread cubes. It was so delicious! I would definitely go back to Turkuaz and order this again.

Turkish food

The rest of my evening was pretty low key. Alma and I opened a bottle of red wine that we had leftover from our housewarming party and I enjoyed some dark chocolates along with a few small pours of vino. Antioxidants!

red wine

I was having trouble sleeping on Saturday night (mosquito attacks), so around 3am I headed to the kitchen for a small (un-pictured, sorry!) bowl of cereal. The carbs + milk helped me drift of to sleep – finally!

After my late bedtime, I didn’t wake up until after 9:30am on Sunday. It was kind of awesome – I never sleep that late anymore!

spiced pumpkin pie clif bar

After the requisite coffee and 1/2 clif bar (new pumpkin pie flavor!), I headed out the door for a long-ish run. I wasn’t sure how my legs were going to feel after my high volume week of training, but I was pleasantly surprised. The weather was absolutely gorgeous  – 60 degrees and sunny. I’m sure that helped make my run so good! I ended up running 12 miles in 1:46:37 (a bit under 9:00 per mile pace) and I felt strong throughout. My IT band started aching a bit after 5 or 6 miles, but it wasn’t too bad. After the run I downed some water and a banana and jumped in the shower. Thank goodness our hot water was working again (ughhh…so many problems with the boiler in this apartment building).

banana

Around 2:30pm, I headed to brunch with my friend. At this point I had been awake for 5 hours and had run 12 miles, but had only ingested about 250 calories. I started feeling pretty yucky. On the subway I had 1/2 of an un-pictured fruit and oat bar (free sample from the HLS!) and that made me feel a teeny bit better.

Pictures 033

Once we arrived at our brunch locale, I immediately ordered a big glass of OJ to get my blood sugar back up. Once the food arrived, I was ready to dig-in! I ordered the goat cheese and spinach egg white omelette that was accompanied by country potatoes (with lots of ketchup, of course) and a slice of sour dough toast.

Megan

omelet

It was just what I needed – I felt 100% better after eating! Post-long run brunches are fun, but I think I just need to skip the  shower next time. Food should come first in my book :-)

Oh! And the restaurant featured this amazing sandwich as one of their specials: french toast sandwich with ricotta and nutella filling, covered with strawberry jam and honey. OMG. This sounded so good. If I wasn’t craving salt and protein (eggs + potatoes!), I think I would have ordered this sammie.

Brunch Specials

I wanted to enjoy the Autumn weather for the rest of the afternoon, so after running some errands, I popped into a Starbucks and ordered a decaf skim misto with 2 pumps of pumpkin spice syrup. FYI: Mistos are 1/2 milk, 1/2 coffee and are about $2 cheaper than lattes! But I think they taste pretty similar.  I enjoyed my warm drink while walking around my neighborhood.

Starbucks

Once I was back at my apartment I basically crashed. Late bedtime + 12 mile run = sleepy Megan. I was able to enjoy a little nap and it was awesome. I wish I could do this more often!

My stomach felt a little off all day, but around 8pm, I knew I needed to eat something. I toasted up a slice of whole wheat bread and topped it with almond butter and 1/2 banana. I rounded out dinner with some veggie chili and ate it with a generous dash of hot sauce and a dollop of greek yogurt. Perfecto!

Toast

Veggie Chili

The rest of my Sunday was very chill – Gossip Girl watching, tea sipping, vita brownie (with almond butter!) snacking, and preparing for the week ahead.

vita brownie

Fingers-crossed, I think the  hamstring/IT band injury might be almost 100% better…

Last night I tallied up exercise totals for the week: 46 miles of running, 2 x 45 minute spinning classes, 50 minutes elliptical cross-training, and a 60 minute yoga class. Holy cow, I had no idea that I’d been that busy this week! My legs are a little bit sore from the increase in mileage, but this is the most positive (and pain free) week of training that I’ve had since last fall. Hooray!

Check out these healthy, Halloween cookies (they’re kind of like personal apple pies!).

Question: What’s your favorite thing to eat when you go out to brunch? Sweet (waffles and french toast) or savory (omelettes)?

Yoga in my Toga

I live in New York City and sometimes the “city that never sleeps” can wear on a girl. From my morning commute (you have to be PUSHY to get where you’re going on time) to my after-work grocery shop (Whole Foods at 7pm = madness!) I feel like I’m constantly in overdrive. Sometimes the only things that keep me sane are running and yoga! Even at the city’s busiest studios (where the mats are packed in like sardines), saying “Ohmm” and focusing on your breath can really help you re-connect with yourself. Last night when I got home from a long day at the office and some after-work appointments, I put some laundry in to wash and then took some time for ME. I started dinner by prepping a big pot of chili and as it simmered away, I changed into my yoga toga. Why, yes. I always wear ancient Greek attire whilst I perform my asanas!

yoga in my toga

Anyway, I took some relaxing breaths, worked out the day’s stress through some strong warrior poses, and inhaled the yummy aroma of my yummy veggie chili.

October Fest Veggie Chili (recipe inspired by Skinny and the City!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1  bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes (run your knife through them to break them up a bit)
  • 1 15-ounce can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup no-salt added canned (or frozen) corn
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 12 0z Autumn-themed beer (like Sam Adam’s October Fest!)

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Stir in garlic, onion, carrots, and bell pepper. Add chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Cook for about five minutes or until tender.
  • Reduce heat to low. Add the beer, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for approximately one hour.
  • Stir in the corn, lime juice, and crushed red pepper and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  1. Yield: About 7 servings
  2. Cost per serving: $1.42
  3. Nutrition: 270 calories, 3 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fiber

October Fest Chili

By the time I sat down to dinner, it was almost 9:30pm! It’s a good thing I snacked on a luna bar and leftover spiced almonds earlier in the evening. Mmm, this fiber-packed dinner is best served with a big dollop of Stonyfield Oikos Greek yogurt. It’s even better than sour cream!

October Fest Chili

Oikos

Bonus: Look at all the lovely leftovers I have! I portioned the chili into tupperware containers so they’re easy to take to work and re-heat.

Leftovers

Today’s Greek Yogurt + Yoga theme is a submission to Stonyfield’s Oikos Contest. A very lucky food & fitness blogger will win a trip to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachussets. For more information, check out Stonyfield’s Facebook page!

How awesome would a yoga retreat be – special workshops, hiking trails, healthy food!!?? Ohhmmmm, this girl needs some yoga R&R. Pick me, pick me!

Question: Does your favorite chili recipe have a secret ingredient? Beer? Chocolate? Pumpkin?

Battling the Brrr

Congratulations to Anne!

chocolate hazelnut chobani!! it would be like eating protein-packed nutella. a dream come true!

I loved her idea for nutella Chobani! Anne – send me an email (runnerskitchen@gmail.com) with your mailing adress and I’ll make sure Chobani sends you the goods.

I’m not sure what time of year the weather thinks this is, but yesterday was absolutely ridiculous. It was 39 degrees with pouring rain and a nasty headwind when I left the office. Yikes. However, the promise of hot veggie pizza lured me downtown. I met a lovely blog reader (Hi Courtney!) for dinner at Viva Herbal Pizzeria. This place had a serious range of choices – everything from regular mozzarella & tomato to mushrooms, spinach, and hemp seed on spelt crust. I ended up choosing the Santa Cruz slice – spelt crust topped with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, mozzarella, and soy sausage. Yum! But Courtney got something that looked even better (I think I might need to return to Viva Herbal…) – her slice was topped with delicious greens, miso tofu, and pesto.

Viva Herbal

Courtney

Once I made it home (my hands barely survived the walk/subway ride sans gloves!) I cuddled up under a blanket, popped in season 1 of Mad Men, and enjoyed another helping of my Maple-Cinnamon Apple Crisp. With a dollop of yogurt, of course! The greek yogurt is such a great sub for whipped cream – I can’t believe I didn’t discover it sooner.

Apple Crisp

I had a lot on my mind and did a lot of tossing and turning before I fell asleep last night.  Ugh, it was not fun waking up when my alarm went off.  Luckily, I made it to the office on time and celebrated Friday with some more apple crisp. I added some honey flavored Chobani to pump up the protein and staying power. I was skeptical of the honey flavor (I tried TJ’s greek yogurt with honey last weekend and was not a huge fan), but it really surprised me. The yogurt wasn’t too sweet – it actually reminded me of a subtle vanilla flavor. It paired perfectly with my cinnamon-y apples. Yum!

Apple Crisp and Chobani

Later on in the morning I snacked on a chocolate vita top. I was the lucky recipient of a whole BOX of these earlier in the week, yay! These healthy muffin tops and brownies each contain 100 calories, 5-6 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. They’re also packed with vitamins and don’t contain any weird artificial flavorings, colorings, or fake sugars. In fact the first 5 ingredients are: water, whole wheat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, egg whites, and cocoa.

vitatops

This little snack held me over well and I managed to squeeze in a spin class during my lunch break. I have the biggest crush on the instructor. I want the instructor to be my best friend – he’s amazing! My favorite quote from class: “Halloween is coming up. Get your workout in. Otherwise you’ll look awful in that costume.” Haha, tough love. After 45 minutes of cycling and the fastest shower ever, I was back at my desk ready for LUNCH. Since it’s Friday and I was sooo good about packing my breakfast and lunch all week, I bought a salad from the cafeteria. Yay! I missed you, vegetables.

Salad

In the mix:

  • arugula and romaine lettuce
  • slice onion, shredded carrots, mushrooms
  • roasted acorn squash
  • kidney beans, white beans, black beans
  • wild rice & cranberry salad
  • feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette

And a serving or so of sour cream & onion pop chips:

popchips

I had plans to meet Katie for hot yoga right after work, so in addition to tons of water, I snacked on a Kashi crunchy granola bar. Love these!

Kashi Crunchy

Yoga was good (and hot) – it’s been too long since I’ve been to one of these classes! However, since the weather is freezing outside, I had to bundle my sweaty self up with a bajillion layers.

Once I got home and showered, it was time for some dinner. I started off with some baby carrots and hummus as I prepared the main dish.

Carrots and hummus

After seeing Caitlin’s Eggs in a Hole, I knew I had to have some of my own! I used a glass to make a small hole in the bread, placed it in a lightly oiled frying pan, and then dropped the egg in the middle. After a few minutes, I flipped it over. I added a lil’ mozzarella cheese for good measure.

Egg in a hole

egg in a hole

Delish, but I was still hungry. Spinning class + hot yoga = feed me, feed me.

I heated up the last of my sunshine falafel burgers and topped it with some hummus and hot sauce on toast.

sunshine falafel burger

I did some stuff around the house (so.many.dishes.always) and then started off the weekend with some Hulu TV a delicious slice of pumpkin cheesecake. Yum!

pumpkin cheesecake

Ok, off the bed for me. I’ve gotten an early wake-up call tomorrow :-)

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Coconut Cauliflower Curry Recipe

The remainder of my weekend was action packed and full of lots of yummy food! On Saturday evening, I ventured out to Williamsburg to have dinner with some friends. We headed to Motorino, an Italian place that serves Neapolitan brick-oven pizza.

I started off with a glass of pinot noir:

Pinot noit

And chose the pommodori pizza for my entree. My pizza featured fior di latte (a type of cheese), garlic, basil, red & yellow cherry tomatoes, and pancetta afumicata a top wood-fired crust. I was hungry after my 10-miler, so I put a pretty big dent into this pie, but we all agreed that Motorino was a bit too heavy-handed with the oil. The middle of the pizza was a tad soggy for my taste. 

Motorino

Pizza

After saying goodbye to Agnes and Bill, I continued my night in Williamsburg with some after-dinner drinks. I met up with my friend Mark for a vodka cocktail before he headed out for a night on the town.

Megan & Mark

Being the old lady that I am, I passed on the clubs and headed home to my bed by midnight :-)

The next morning I was definitely feeling the effects of too much to drink and eat. I grabbed a latte from Dunkin’ Donuts  and headed to the gym to get the sludge out of my blood. After an hour of sweaty elliptical intervals and a few bottles of water, I was feeling much better.

Highlight of my morning – grilled corn with jalapeno butter from a street fair vendor. Mmm. Yes, I eat vegetables for breakfast.

grilled corn

And then a pumpkin-palooza when I returned to my apartment: a slice of toasted pumpkin swirl bread topped with pumpkin butter and a Oikos greek yogurt with (more!) pumpkin butter and a crumbled cashew lara bar.

Pumpkin

The afternoon included a much-needed yoga class with Agnes and then a trip to Barnes & Noble for a pumpkin frappuccino. Yes, I’m a little bit obsessed with fall gourds :-)

Pumpkin frappuccino

Afternoon snack while I watched Netflix did some work: banana and peanut butter

Banana & PB

Later in the evening, I got creative in the kitchen. Inspired by Kath’s Coconut Cauliflower Chana, I cooked up my own version of spicy-veggie-curry delicious-ness.

Coconut Cauliflower Curry

Coconut Cauliflower Curry

Coconut Cauliflower Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 sweet potatoes, chopped (I left the skins on, more fiber!)
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 Tbs tumeric (or curry powder if you have it!)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp hot chili sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetend, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  • Heat oil in large soup pot and add the onions, cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the garlic, salt, tumeric, ginger, and chili sauce and cook for 5 more minutes
  • Add cauliflower, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, shredded coconut, and water
  • Cover the pot with a lid and cook on med-high for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • When sweet potatoes are fork-tender, remove from heat and serve over brown rice. Add extra chili sauce and greek yogurt as toppings. Makes about 5 servings

Health Benefits of Tumeric (from the World’s Healthiest Foods foundation):

  1. Anti-inflammatory
  2. Effective treatment for IBS
  3. Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  4. Inhibits cancer cell growth and metastases
  5. Researchers believe the combination of cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower!) and curcumin (a component in tumeric) could be an effective therapy not only to prevent prostate cancer, but to inhibit the spread of established prostate cancers.

Have a great Monday!

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