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

Don’t love running? Neither did Matt until he discovered the beauty of the trails. Check out the new Running Shorts article on True/Slant for the whole story!

Cursing the alarm clock every morning? Read these tips for getting the restorative sleep you need.

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

Grete’s Gallop 1/2 Marathon Recap

I did it!

I did it! This morning was the Grete’s Gallop 1/2 marathon in Central Park and the longest run I’ve done since the Boston Marathon in April. As most of you know, I’ve been dealing with a pretty serious hamstring injury since the winter and tried nearly everything (chiropractors, acupuncture, trigger point therapy, etc) to get some relief. For the past 6 weeks or so I’ve been able to run (mostly) without pain and have begun building mileage again. My hamstring (and IT band) still aren’t perfect, but they are getting better. Back in June I couldn’t even run 3 miles and now I can run a 1/2 marathon with minimal discomfort. I’m pretty sure this is something I’ll need to stay on top of (rest, foam rolling, yoga) for a long time, but at least I’m running again!

Today’s race was very important to me for several reasons: Grete’s Gallop was the first race I did once I moved to New York City in 2007, it was the race where Alma and I met (and became friends!) back in 2008, and this year it marks my return from injury. I finished today’s race in 1:54:35 which is 18 minutes slower that my 1/2 marathon PR (1:36:38), but I honestly couldn’t be happier. I am SO thankful to be running (and racing?) again and I know if I’m smart about training, I’ll regain my fitness someday soon.

But, let’s back track to my pre-run eats…

In the spirit of being economical (just bought a new macbook, ugh), I ate very inexpensively on Friday. Breakfast used up some more Nature’s Pride 12 grain bread topped with peanut butter, honey, and a sliced banana.

Banana and PB sandwich

Lunch was leftover brown rice, pinto beans, sauteed spinach & onion, and soy sauce.

Leftover rice & beans

I also made a lunch time visit to the Union Square Farmer’s Market to pick up some Autumn decorations (I plan on using the dried corn to make popcorn later on).

Autumn

There was so much gorgeous local produce – I wanted to buy it all!

Farmer's Market

Friday afternoon snack was a Stonyfield Farm yogurt with some dried cherries and peanut butter chips.

yogurt

I was craving comfort food for dinner, so I whipped up a bowl of oatmeal (quality carbs, mmmm).

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water
  • chopped apple
  • chopped prunes
  • cinnamon
  • dash of brown sugar
  • A LOT of peanut butter (pre-run fueling!)

Stove top apple oats

I spent the rest of the evening baking up some goodies for tomorrow’s house-warming party and catching up on my favorite TV shows.

Saturday = 1/2 marathon day!

I was up by 6:30am and started the day with 1/2 cup of coffee. Pre-race breakfast was two slices of 12-grain bread topped with mashed banana and honey. With a tall glass of water!

About an hour before the race I had 1/2 luna bar and then I carried a power gel to have around the 8-mile mark.

Fuel

The race began promptly at 9am and my teammate Ani kept me company for the first 7 miles or so. I wanted to start off veryyyy conservatively, because I hadn’t run longer than 11 miles in many months. My first 6 mile lap around Central Park was right around 9:05/mile pace and then at the half way point I tried to pick it up a bit. I felt strong and controlled the entire 13 miles and my last 2 miles were around 7:30/mile pace. Yahoo! I was very, very happy to finish this 1/2 marathon in 1:54:35 (8:44/mile pace). Being injured and having to take a break from running was very difficult. I don’t think I will ever take running for granted again. Here’s hoping foam rolling, yoga, and careful training keep me pain free!

I chugged some Gatorade at the finish and then headed over to the post-race Norwegian festival for some food: 1/2 bagel and goat cheese spread

Bagel

DSCF4776

Big props to Alma – she had an amazing race today and ran a HUGE PR – 1:32:31!

Alma and Megan

After a MUCH needed shower (humidity does not do nice things to my hair…) I heated up some brown rice & beans and added some spicy hummus and a laughing cow cheese wedge. Lots of protein and quality carbs in this dish – I will try to eat some vegetables later today :-)

rice & beans

And finally – dessert! After I ran Grete’s in 2007 I had a special cookie from Levain Bakery. Today seemed like a good day to go back :-) These cookies are nearly 1/2 lb and are amazingly good, but they are probably only a “once in a great while” treat!

I had half of my dark chocolate-peanut butter chip cookie and have plans to devour the rest sometime this weekend:

dark-chocolate-peanut-butter-chip-broken-400px

Ok, I’m off to go clean and prepare for tonight’s house-warming PARTY!

Have a great weekend!

Another one bites the dust

Have you ever seen that episode of Sex & the City where Carrie’s computer dies and she freaks out? Yep, that was me on Sunday night. My 2.25 yr old Apple Mac Book was running a little bit slower than usual, but other than that everything was A-OK. Then in the middle of writing an email I got the “spinning color wheel of death” and was unable to force quit. I shut down, but only saw a scary blinking file folder/question mark upon restart. After 2 frustrating hours of trying to re-install the operating system software, run disk utilities, and re-setting the PRAM I still had no result.

I was lucky enough to snag a 1pm appointment with the Apple genius bar in SoHo the next day (usually you have to wait a few days for an appt), but the Mac tech had some bad news for me: “Your hard-drive failed and we can’t recover the data”. Uggggh. I could have replaced the hard-drive for a couple hundred dollars, but I put a lot of wear and tear on my laptop these past few years and I was worried that I’d have to buy a new machine in a few months anyway.

Soooo….I bit the bullet and left the store with a brand new Mac Book Pro (plus 3 years of Apple care extended warranty!). This was a pretty hefty investment and my bank account is NOT happy right now, but a laptop is essential to my life  and I know I’ll get my money’s worth. However, I’m going to be watching my budget veryyyy carefully over the next few monthes. It’s a good thing I like pb&j!

Photo courtesy of my cell phone camera. Can’t believe I just bought a new laptop.  Ahhhh!

Mac Book Pro

Anyway, here’s hoping Tuesday will be a better (and less expensive day)! I started the morning off with my usual cup of coffee and a mini lemon zest luna bar. I love the little snack size bars!

luna bar

About 7:30am, Alma and I headed out for a run in Central Park. The weather was a bit chilly, but once we started to sweat the breeze felt nice. My legs felt pretty stiff (between Saturday and Sunday I ran 17 miles…), but otherwise I felt OK. We finished our 8 mile run in 1 hour, 13 minutes (a bit over 9:00/mile pace).

After a bit of foam rolling and the quickest shower ever, it was off to work!

Gulped lots of water on the subway and then threw together a quick breakfast at my desk: a container of Stonyfield plain yogurt, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/2 banana, and a cup or so of Kashi cinnamon Heart-2-Heart.

Yogurt and Heart-2-Heart

Plus, an adora calcium supplement! I don’t always mention it, but I usually have two of these 500mg calcium + vitamin D + vitamin K supplements per day. Tastes just like chocolate :-)

Adora calcium disks

A visit from Mr. Softee – A miraculous milkshake?

From the NY Times: Probiotics, Health or Hype?

Attention New Yorker readers: Would you be interested in meeting up on Saturday evening?? Assuming I survive the 1/2 marathon that morning, I have a little event planned for the evening hours:-)

Send me an email: runnerskitchen@gmail.com

Central Park Track Club

Yesterday’s attempt at a nap = FAIL, so instead I made some popcorn on the stove top. I put a Tbs of canola oil in a big pot and turned the heat to medium-high. After a minute or so of pre-heating, I added a 1/4 cup of pop corn kernels and shook the pot to make sure they got coated with the oil. I placed the lid back on the pot and waited until the kernels popped. I poured the popcorn in a big bowl and liberally sprinkled it with salt and chili powder. Yum!

Chili Popcorn

Later in the evening it was time to head to the annual Central Park Track Club benefit/fund-raising dinner. Ironically, the event was held at the New York Athletic Club – our biggest rival! I guess they were feeling sportsman-like and gave us a deal on the event space ;-)

NYACAll dressed up!

CPTC

And the open bar + dinner spread was pretty yum:

CPTC Benefit Dinner

I was very pleased with all of the vegetarian options - salad with balsamic vinaigrette, Caprese salad, mixed veggies, and vegetable lasagna (with extra parmesan cheese!).

And white chocolate-macademia cookies for dessert – our table split this plate. Although I’m pretty sure I could have eaten most by myself…

Cookies!

After hearing the guest speaker (legendary coach Frank Gagliano), I checked out the CPTC gear that was for sale.

For Sale

Even though I already have a team uniform and a fair amount of gear, I couldn’t resist a new t-shirt and team sports bra.

CPTC Gear

As we left the event we received sweet goodie bags: magazines, books, luna bars, sports drink powder, gels, gym guest passes, etc. The benefit committee did a really great job soliciting donations!

Goodie Bag!

Before bed my stomach started to grumble a bit. I felt like I was a little low on protein today, so I had a promax bar and a cup of tea before bed. These bars taste delish, but all the fake ingredients kind of sketch me out. I don’t think I’m going to buy them anymore.

Promax

I agreed to run a few miles with some CPTC girls early this morning, so I set my alarm for 5:50am (ugh). Felt kind of yucky at first (wine last night + not much sleep), but once I had some coffee and started running I felt better. Don’t I look excited to be awake??

Megan is excited to be awake at 6am

I ran 6 easy miles in Central Park, lots of rain. I felt pretty good when I finished, but my IT band was a little sore (forgot to wear the pre-wrap today).

As soon as I got back home, I hopped in the shower. It was pouring rain and I looked like a wet dog, hehe.

Breakfast #1: banana and peanut butter (plus some more pb straight outta the jar).

Banana & PB

Breakfast #2: Baked apple-pecan french toast casserole!

Baked French Toast

I based my recipe on a ridiculous Paul Deen concoction, but made it a little healthier :-)

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup/brown sugar mixture
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • apple, thinly sliced
  • handful of chopped pecans

Directions:

  • Coat a 8″ x 8″ pan with cooking spray
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon
  • Place bread slices in pan (they will overlap)
  • Sandwich the apple slices and pecans in between the overlapping bread slices (don’t worry too much about this – if some apple slices are on top, that’s fine)
  • Pour egg mixture over bread slices, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit for a few hours in the fridge (overnight is best)
  • Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes
  • Enjoy warm with extra maple syrup and cinnamon!

Makes 2-3 servings

I’m planning on a much needed yoga class later this afternoon. I’ll be foam rolling my IT band and cozying up with a good book until then.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!

Prepping for a Long Run

Slowly, slowly, slowly I am starting to feel like my old self again. It’s been nearly 9 months since I injured my right hamstring and there were definitely times this year when I thought I might never get to do a long run or race again without pain again. Things still aren’t perfect – my right hamstring still aches sometimes and it resists a bit when I try to push the pace. BUT, it’s a million times better than it was in the Spring. In June I couldn’t run for 5 minutes without having serious pain. So it’s been a long road, but I think things are finally starting to turn around. Even though I’m signed up for the NYC Marathon on November 1st, I’m going to defer until next year. As much as I’d love to be running through the crowds near First Avenue and Tavern on the Green, I’m not ready to tackle another marathon yet. But next year? I’ll be there.

meganmarathon1

Ok, enough reflection! On to the food! I had plans for a long run on Saturday morning, so I whipped up a yummy pre-run meal Friday night. A few days ago NoMeatAthlete featured a wonderful pesto recipe on his blog. As soon as I saw all of that fresh basil, I knew I had to make some of my own!

Pesto ingredients

Megan’s Version – Homemade Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmigianno-reggiano
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  • Place basil, pecans, and garlic clove in food processor, process until a thick paste forms
  • Run processor on low speed and stream in the olive oil
  • Add cheese and salt and process just until combined

I mixed about 1/2 of my homemade pesto with 1/2 lb of penne pasta and a pint of cherry tomatoes. Makes about 3 servings. You can refrigerate the leftover pesto for up to a week. Mix it with some light mayo and use as a sandwich spread. Yum!

Pesto pasta

Pesto- Cherry Tomato Pasta with Grated Parmigianno-Reggiano:

Pesto, penne, and tomatoes

And for dessert – the last two oatmeal-pb-chocolate chip cookies with a dollop of nocciolla (hazelnut) gelato. Heaven.

Cookies and gelato

I was up bright and early on Saturday morning – around 6:30am (who am I???). After some coffee, I dug into my pre-run breakfast: a piece of whole wheat toast with sliced banana, peanut butter, and honey. Plus some more spoonfuls of pb straight out of the jar. When it comes to peanut butter before long runs, my brain usually asks “Is that really a smart idea?”, but my tastebuds always say “YES!”

Toast, Banana, PB

Luckily all of that peanut butter fueled me for a fabulous run! The weather was perfect (sunny and 60 degrees) and I was pleasantly surprised by my pace. I was a little tight for the first few miles, but after about 25 minutes everything loosened up quite nicely. I was feelin’ so good that around mile 6 I threw in a faster mile (7:45) and my hamstring didn’t give me much trouble at all. I ended up running 11 miles in 1 hour and 34 minutes (8:35 pace). Yahoo!

After chugging some water, I put my feet up against the wall for about 10 minutes (this reduces soreness and improves circulation).

Putting my feet up

And then I had some eats! I mixed some powdered sports drink into a glass of water, sliced up a HUGE honey crisp apple (seriously…the size was almost ridiculous), and had a lemon yogurt on the side.

Apple and yogurt

After a much-needed shower (lots of salty sweat today), I had a bowl of Kashi cinnamon Heart-to-Heart with pecans. And then another bowl :-)

Kashi H2H

Now I’m off to attempt a nap – I’m headed to a benefit dinner tonight. I need some rest if I want to stay awake past 10pm :-)

Have a great weekend!

Question: When do you feel most like yourself? When you’re out with friends? When you’re running? When you’re home alone with a glass of wine and a good book?

Running in the Dark

For the past few weeks, I’ve been running in the morning. I feel like exercising before work allows me to have more flexibility later on in the day (impromptu happy hour, anyone?) and my motivation is highest as soon as I wake up. However, on Thursday, I decided to postpone my run until the evening.

I prepared by fueling up with a baggie of pretzels around 5pm (it was warm outside, needed that extra salt!).

Pretzels

I hopped on the subway after work and was back at my apartment by 6pm. At this point my motivation was pretty low. It had been a long day, I was tired, I didn’t want to run, blah, blah, blah. But I knew I’d probably feel better once I got on the roads, so I changed into my running shoes and off I went!

I ran to the Northern entrance of Central Park and started down the West side. I was a little stiff for the first few miles, but by the time I met up with Ani and her brother at mile 2.5 I was feeling better. I ended up running about 8.5 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes and still felt like I had a lot of energy left. My right upper hamstring/butt was giving me a bit of trouble whenever I tried to drop the pace, but I’m currently massaging it out with a tennis ball, so hopefully that will help.

I forgot how enjoyable a night run can be!  I was able to do my run without the time crunch that mornings usually bring and running in the dark (don’t worry, I stuck to well-lit paths!) was an interesting change.

After stretching, foam rolling, and some ab work it was time for dinner:

I toasted up a slice of whole wheat bread and topped it with a falafel sunshine burger, sprouts, mozzarella cheese, and chipotle hummus. Arugula, dried cherries, and walnuts drizzled with balsamic vinegar rounded out the meal. Yum!

Sunshine burger

Falafel burger and veggies

After a shower and some Gossip Girl (FINALLY caught up to season 3), I ended the night with a cup of tea and a leftover red velvet cupcake from Crumbs. Cupcakes + Gossip Girl = my favorite guilty pleasures :-)

Red velvet cupcake

We all know I have a HUGE sweet tooth, so I need to do everything I can to prevent cavities. A few weeks ago Waterpik asked if they could send me an sonic toothbrush to try out. I’ll admit it – my dental care can be a bit lacking at times. I try to convince myself that Orbit gum is just as good as a brushing. Um, no. It’s not. So this morning I plugged in the Waterpik and gave it a whirl! The toothbrush stays on for 2 minutes (the recommended teeth-brushing time), so I really had to focus on cleaning every nook and cranny. The toothbrush also buzzes at 30 second intervals to remind you to switch quadrants. Loved that! After my thorough brushing, my teeth and gums felt very clean. Recent studies have shown correlations between mouth health and heart disease risk, so I think oral hygiene is something we all need to pay attention to. Thanks Waterpik!

Waterpik

Question: What’s your favorite part of the day? I think I’m a morning girl!

TGIF  Links:

Stay in shape naturally – no gym required.

Headache? Stomachache? Running injury? Sometimes time is the best medicine.

Eat right for the rest of your life.

Check out this new Dessert Hummus – the maple walnut sounds like a great waffle or toast topper!

East Village Eats

I planned on waking up at 6:30am, but the clock said 7:25am when I finally opened my eyes Tuesday morning. Rather than being irritated, I was thrilled! I haven’t been sleeping well for the past few weeks, so finally feeling rested was amazing! I had time for a quick cup of coffee and then it was out the door for a 6 1/2 mile run. I started off slow, but my last few miles were under 9:00/mile pace and I felt great! My upper right hamstring was making its presence known when I chugged up hills, but other than that it was a pretty great run. I’m praying that my bizzaro injury is fading farther and farther a way. Fingers crossed! Today’s soundtrack featured a lot of Fergie and Blackeyed Peas. A great way to start the morning, if you ask me.

After the quickest shower ever, I was out the door and on my way to work. By the time I sat down at my desk and at breakfast, I was famished! My morning meal involved a local Gala apple, strawberry Stonyfield yogurt, and a cup or so of Nature’s Path Pumpkin Raisin Crunch.

Pumpkin Raisin Crunch

I worked all morning and broke for lunch around 1pm. The day wasn’t sunny, but it was warm enough to eat outside so I headed to Central Park. I’m going to be eating out a ton this week, so I’m trying to pack my lunch a few times. Buying my daily ginormous salad, drink, and sunchips from the cafeteria is getting to be a little pricey :-(

When I made dinner last night, I prepared extra and packed the leftovers: arugula, clover sprouts, sunshine burger, chipotle hummus, and a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt.

Sunshine burger salad

Homemade salad

I love sunshine burgers SO much. They taste great, contain 8 grams of protein, and aren’t full of over-processd soy product. The only ingredients are organic sunflower seeds, organic brown rice, organic carrots, organic herbs, and sea salt.

And part II of my lunch: salt and pepper pop chips and a good book (Jane Eyre). I know that chips aren’t the healthiest food choice, but sometimes you just.gotta.have.them. And sometimes you need A LOT of crispy, crunchy chips to satisfy a craving. Popchips are “popped”, not baked or fried. Each 1 oz serving has about 120 calories and NO trans fat, saturated fat, artificial colors/flavors, or preservatives. I love getting the big 3 oz bags and eating most of the bag some with my lunch. And the salt and pepper really give each chip a nice “kick” of flavor.

Pop Chips

The rest of the afternoon passed s-l-o-w-l-y (I think Tuesdays are my least favorite day) and I needed a snack around 4pm. I’ve been receiving a lot of bar samples lately, so I decided to try out a cranberry almond Kind Bar. I’d never had one of these before and it was surprisingly good! The puffed rice made it taste like a rice krispy treat. However, the bar was a little small – I needed a glass of milk (unpictured) to satisfy my hunger.

Kind and Lara

Kind Bar

Finally it was time for this lady to hit the road. After work I had a nice long chat with my mom as I walked to the E. Village to meet Katie for dinner.

I’ve been wanting to try this little Vietnamese hole-in-the wall restaurant for a while and it did not disappoint. I ordered the summer rolls (hah, ironic because today is the first day of fall!) on top of a bed of vermicelli noodles. The summer rolls were packed with shredded lettuce, tofu, clear noodles, potato jicama, grounded brown rice, mint, and cucumber.

Summer Rolls

Lan Cafe

Yum! This was refreshing and veggie-packed :-)

Dinner is all well and good, but obviously a night with Katie is not complete without vegan ice cream from Lula’s. I went half and half with coffee & cookies and cookies & cream.  Swoon.

Lula

I ended up walking for a long time after dinner. I have a lot of things on my mind, a lot of tough things I’m trying to deal with right now.  I felt a little better by the time I made it back to my apartment and topped off my tank with a comforting bedtime snack: small cup of Stonyfield Oikos, Bear Naked cereal, and a spoonful of peanut butter.  

DSCF4581

Running news you can use:

Good nutrition is just part of the plan, check out the best Yoga stretches for injury prevention.

Training with a group makes running seem easier AND puts you in a better mood, say researchers from Oxford University. Seems like a win-win situation to me!

Get a good night’s rest and you’ll be able to recover faster from long runs and workouts.

Finally – A recent study out of University of Scranton (hometown love!) concluded that whole grain cereals and snacks pack an antioxidant punch rivaling the amount that fruits and vegetables contain. That’s great news for all of us who prefer Kashi over broccoli. Still…it’s probably a good idea to keep eating your veggies :-)

Question of the day: What’s your favorite whole grain?

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