Spin Out Your Stress

My week went by fast, but I am so ready for the weekend!

After Thursday night’s 10 mile run, I decided it would be best to sleep in a little on Friday and plan for a p.m. gym visit. My day started off simply: coffee, Nature’s Path instant oatmeal (made with skim), and a banana.

oatmeal with banana

Lunch was a leftovers re-mix: lentils, 1/2 sweet potato, melted mozzarella cheese, and hot sauce. I heated up everything for 2 minutes and then mixed in a big handful of arugula. All of the flavors melded together quite nicely :-)

arugula, sweet potato, lentils

I managed to fit in a brisk 15 minute walk at lunchtime….I sat at my desk for 10+ hours yesterday and I could NOT do that again today. I needed some sunshine!

Afternoon snackeroos were decaf cappuccino and another honest foods baked granola bar. I love the ingredient list on these bars: oats, almond butter, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, etc. So good! I can’t wait to try all of the flavors. The variety I had yesterday was pretty good – it had a decidedly almond flavor.


honest foods

I was feeling kind of brain-fried when I finally left work, so I wasn’t in the best of spirits when I arrived at the gym. I thought about packing it in and going home, but I know that I always feel better after a sweaty workout so I stuck it out. I warmed up on the elliptical for 10 minutes and then took a 45 minute cycling class. This instructor was nowhere near as fun as the guy who teaches my Tuesday a.m. class., but all-in-all it was a good workout and I felt better afterward.

I stopped at Whole Foods on my way home and decided that I needed a little snack from the salad bar – a small container of spinach salad with lemon pepper tofu.

whole foods salad

And then when I got home, I heated up some lentils with hot sauce (that’s the last of the lentils, I promise!) and a veggie burger with hummus on a whole wheat sandwich thin. And there wasn’t a simple carbohydrate in sight ;-)

lentils and veggie burger

I experienced some internet problems that caused me to freak out put a damper on my to-do list, so I decided to unwind with a book + early bedtime. But before I hit the sheets, I needed a snack: Oikos plain greek yogurt with a Tbs almond butter and 1/2 crushed Kashi granola bar.

yogurt

Things are looking up today – the internet issues are solved, I’m about to head out the door for a run, and I have a fun afternoon + evening planned with one of my best friends from high school. Happy Weekend!

What if you’re a runner, but can’t tolerate pasta? No worries, there are other options.

Question: Are you a pasta lover? Or do you prefer to get your carbs in other ways? I don’t really like pasta, but thankfully I DO love potatoes, bread, and oatmeal. Yay, carbs!

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.

In the News:

Something we probably already knew: music makes exercise easier!

Live in New York? Hungry for pumpkin? Check out these local restaurants that are serving up seasonal fare!

Before you dig in to the candy, start your day off right with some high protein pumpkin pancakes. This one’s for you Holly!

Keep Halloween candy portions in check with this tool.

Did you know that trick-or-treating dates back to the middle ages? Find out more Halloween facts here.

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

Running Shorts

Before I get down to business and chat about my running and foodie adventures, I have some exciting news! Matt (NoMeatAthlete) and I are the newest contributors for the online news network True/Slant. The focus of our column will be on all things running: gear, races, nutrition, athletes in the news, etc. We’re still figuring out the direction for Running Shorts, but we’re open to suggestions. Check out our inaugural post and let us know what you’d like to read about!

I totally had a case of the Mondays yesterday, boo. But I did begin the day with a 3-mile run with Alma. That helped get the week off to a good start!

Breakfast was a cappuccino and overnight oats. The overnight oats won’t be winning any beauty contests, but they were filling and yum!

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup Fage 0% greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • sliced banana
  • handful of cranberries
  • LOTS of cinnamon

overnight oats

The options for a bag-lunch were slim pickings (need to go to the grocery store…), so I hit up the salad bar at lunch time. I enjoyed this beauty outside in the sun (probably one of the last days I can eat lunch outside this Autumn!).

salad

  • romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, red onion, mushrooms
  • stalk of baby bok choy
  • spoonful of white bean & artichoke salad
  • feta cheese, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, croutons
  • sample of a tostone and a spoonful of rice & beans
  • Tbs balsamic vinaigrette

And then some pop chips! They were handing out samples of these little 50-calorie bags near Columbus Circle last week. Score!

popchips

Dessert was a (surprise!) magic bar from a co-worker. Coconut, graham cracker, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, mmm. It’s a good thing the portion was small – these little babies could be dangerous!

magic bar

And then around 5pm, I poured myself a bowl of Heritage heirloom whole grain flakes with skim milk.

Heritage heirloom whole grain

I was feeling kind of bored/blah after I left the office, so I headed back to my gym for some easy elliptical. I pedaled away for about an hour while I read my newest book: The Nineteenth Wife

After some stretching, foam rolling, and showering (still having hot water problems at my apartment, ugh), I headed uptown.

My mission for dinner: Assemble something healthy and tasty with whatever ingredients I had on hand.

I heated up a black bean veggie burger and rolled it up in a whole wheat lavash wrap along with hummus, mozzarella cheese, hot sauce, and shredded carrot. It was surprisingly good!

whole wheat wrap

Dessert came from the fridge & freezer: a warm vita brownie topped with almond butter. Protein? Check. Fiber? Check. Vitamins? Check. Delicious? Absolutely!

Pictures 006

As I finished up Mad Men, Season 1, Disc 3,  my tum started to grumble. Solution? Wallaby vanilla bean yogurt! With a satisfied stomach and sleepy eyes, I set my alarm for an early wake-up call.

wallaby

Ok, the sun needs to get its act together and start rising before I do. When the alarm beeped at 6:20am, it was still veryyy dark (and rainy!) outside. I dragged myself to the kitchen for coffee (half-decaf) and dried fruit and then set off for the gym.

Prunes

I went to my favorite 45 minute spinning class (yay, 80’s music!) and then finished up with a increasing speed 4 mile run.

  • Mile 1 – 9:20
  • Mile 2 – 9:15
  • Mile 3 – 8:00
  • Mile 4 – 7:45
  • Total – 34:20

Breakfast at my desk was a decaf cappuccino (perfect after my rainy, chilly commute), a banana, strawberry chobani, and 1.5 cups of Kashi Honey Sunshine.

banana and cappuccino

chobani

The morning was a whirlwind and before I knew it, my stomach was MORE than ready for lunch. I just finished the very last of the leftover octoberfest veggie chili (wahoo!) and a cornbread vitatop. After this morning’s long gym session, I’m sure I’ll be needing a snack soon. 

Leftover chili

Can’t wait until tonight – I have a yummy dinner recipe in the works. Stay tuned!

Who knew pumpkin seeds were so healthy? 85 seeds contain 126 calories, 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, Omega-3’s, and zinc. Now if we could only make them taste like candy corn…

Running and Biking Sandwich

When I woke up on Thursday morning, I was treated to a sauna-like spa treatment in my own apartment. Although the forecasted high for the day was 75 degrees, the super had the heat turned on full blast. And nope, we don’t have an adjustable thermostat.

I had the usual coffee (half decaf) and then did a mini strength workout: 30 pushups, 30 tricep dips, 20 bicycle crunches, 20 regular crunches, 20 crunches with lifted legs, 40 reverse crunches, and stretching. Pheww. The sweltering heat in the living room really helped me to work up a sweat.

When I got to the office, I sliced up a banana (it’s hiding in there, I swear!) and topped it with some plain chobani and a drizzle of honey.

Chobani

With a generous amount of Kashi Honey Sunshine. Straight-outta-the box. Yum.

kashi honey sunshine

Lunch was leftover Octoberfest veggie chili and a cornbread vita top.  I added a dab of butter and it paired well with the corn muffin’s sweet taste. 100 calories and 6 grams of fiber – you can’t beat it!

Leftover chili

I was running around to meetings all afternoon, but I made time for a cappuccino and some homemade trail mix (pretzel nuggets, spiced almonds, cranberries, chocolate chips).

 cappuccino and trail mix

And then I went to the gym for a run-bike-run sandwich. I started off with 2 miles on the treadmill (~9 minute pace), then transitioned to a 6:30pm spinning class in the cycling studio. This instructor was TOUGH. We did a lot of standing hill intervals (the longest lasted for 9 minutes, ughhh) and my quads were feeling pretty trashed by the end of the 45 minute class. Once I hopped off the bike, I ran back over to the treadmill and ran for another 2 miles (~8:30 pace) and then I was done!

I’ve been liking my run-bike combos so much, that I have exciting news to announce! I signed up for my very first triathlon!! The triathlon is a bit unconventional – it’s in January and it’s indoors. Each participant swims in a pool for 10 minutes, bikes for 30 minutes, and then runs on a treadmill for 20 minutes. Rankings and places are determined by how far you go in each event. Now that my leg is feeling better, I’m getting excited about training for races again. I’m still bummed that I have to defer my NYC Marathon entry this year (the marathon is all anyone can talk about this week…) so being able to focus on something new is a really positive thing for me. Yay!

I don’t always do such a great job with re-fueling immediately after workouts, but I knew I needed some protein after my 1 hour and 20 minute Run + Bike. I had a McDonald’s gift card floating around in my bag for the past few months and I finally discovered a healthy use for it. I stopped by Mickey D’s and ordered up a child’s size low-fat chocolate milk jug. The 8 oz container contained 180 calories, 30 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of protein. The carb-to-protein ratio is nearly 3-to-1 which is ideal for muscle recovery. Bonus: it cost less than a dollar!

Chocolate milk

Once I made it home (I walked the mile or so from the gym – it was such a beautiful, warm night!), I was ready for FOOD!

I wrapped up a black bean veggie burger, hummus, hot sauce, mozzarella cheese, and arugula in a big whole wheat tortilla.

Wrap

And then for dessert: Fage 0% greek yogurt topped with dried cranberries and a big scoop of peanut butter. I felt like this dinner re-fueled me well!

yogurt

Despite a somewhat-restless night of sleep (mosquito bites!) my Friday started off pretty great – with coffee, 1/2 spiced pumpkin clif bar (love the holiday flavors!), and a 5 mile run with Alma. The weather was Autumn perfect – 50 degrees and dry. Also, highlight of the run – I caught a leaf!

leaf

The rest of my eats today have been pretty boring (leftovers, leftovers, leftovers), but I promise to be more creative this weekend!

This recipe for Almond Pear Muffins sounds amazing! I might need to test it out soon :-)

Check out this article which details the Pros and Cons of the Elliptical

What if the alarm clock doesn’t go off on race day?? The NY Times talks to runners who experience bad dreams before the marathon. The good news? Those scary dreams are totally normal.

Question: Do you ever remember you dreams? I do! And mine are always really crazy….

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 :-)

Avoid these 11 Most-Common Running Mistakes

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The New Super Foods

Looking for some yummy recipes? Check out my new RECIPE PAGE. Links to all the favorites – yay!

Chobani Greek Yogurt

First things, first – I wrote a guest post today for Angharad’s  Eating for England blog. You know you want to see more photos of those half-pound cookies I like. Mmm. And if that isn’t enough to sway you, the recipes that our English lady friend whips up are always amazing – check out her posh mac ‘n cheese dish. Swoon.

True to my word, I decided to tie on my baking apron last night. I had a big bag of Farmer’s Market apples that were just calling my name.

Apples

Megan’s Maple-Cinnamon Apple Crisp

Ingredients:

  • 6 large apples, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • another 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Toss the apples with maple syrup and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and place in a lightly greased 8×8″ baking dish
  • Mix together the ww flour, oats, brown sugar, and second 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Using the tines of two forks (or just use your fingers) cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly
  • Top the apples with the crumbly mixture and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 F
  • Note: My oven is super hot, so you might need to bake your apple crisp for a little longer.
  • Enjoy!

Apple Crisp

This recipe is so healthy (whole wheat flour, oats, apples!) that you could eat it for breakfast. Actually, today I did just that.

But first, I started off with some coffee to-go, a few dried plums, and a still-dark commute to the gym. I do not like waking up before the sun.

Prunes

I hit up a 7:15am spinning class (the music was only half as good as Tuesday) and then finished with a speedy 3 mile run (finished the last 400m or so around 7:00/mile pace). Pheww.

Busy morning at work, breakfast was eaten in parts.

Breakfast #1: Chobani peach greek yogurt

Chobani

Actually, yesterday I received a whole CASE of these little babies. Including the elusive pineapple flavor. Hooray! It’s (almost) better than Christmas. Do you want some of your own FREE greek yogurt? There might be a give-a-way waiting for you at the end of this post….

Chobani

Breakfast #2:

Apple crisp with (another) dollop of greek yogurt

Apple Crisp

Lunch was the LAST of the coconut cauliflower curry. This was delicious, but cooking for one person means eating leftovers for days on end. Yeesh.

Leftover curry

I’m sure I’ll need a lot of mini peanut butter cups a healthy snack between now and the fun pizza dinner that I have planned….stay tuned!

I just found this great new recipe site called FunnySpoon. Bonus: the site offers coupons on featured ingredients. Two of my fav recipes: Halloweenies and 1-2-3 cookie bars.

Live in NYC? Check out the upcoming Boho Bodega where you can purchase “green” products at wallet-friendly discounts. All proceeds from the store will benefit the non-profit New York Council on the Environment.

Pumpkin, Fennel, and Grapes – Check out this Autumn shopping list for more seasonal favorites!

And now…..a fun give-a-way!! I eat greek yogurt almost every day (love all the extra protein) and Chobani has graciously offered to send a reader some samples of their very own.

Here’s what you have to do:

1) Go to the Chobani website and take a look around.

2) Leave a comment telling me what new flavor of Chobani yogurt you’d like to see.

3) Get an extra chance at winning by linking to my give-a-way on your own blog and leaving a second comment telling me that you did so.

You have until noon on Friday, October 16th to enter. I’ll choose the most creative/yummy flavor then! Note: Must be a U.S. resident to win.

Ok. Ready? Set? Go!!

Bottomless Pit

Monday is the toughest day of the week, right? Luckily mine flew by pretty quick. I started off the work week with the usual coffee (yeah, about that cutting out caffeine thing…) and a peanut butter, pumpkin butter, and banana sandwich on Nature’s Pride whole wheat. LOVE the pumkin butter! Thank you Trader Joe’s.

PB & J

I was planted in my desk chair all morning (boo…), so was very happy to get up and stretch my legs during my lunch break.

I packed a spinach-sliced pear-blue cheese-pecan-and cranberry salad for lunch.

Pear, blue cheese, and cranberry salad

But the office is freezing, so I also picked up some hot broccoli soup in the cafeteria.

soup

And rounded everything out with some Dr. Kracker apple crackers. These crackers are a little bit sweet – they have dried apple in them!

Crackers

I was STARVING throughout the afternoon, so I snacked on a KIND fruit & nut bar and a mini luna bar (I don’t usually have two energy bars at once, but my snack drawer needs re-stocking!)

Kindbar

luna bar

I was feeling kind of blah when I left work (it was cold and dark by 6pm!), but I knew going to the gym would make me feel better. I read US Weekly and People while be-bopping on the elliptical for 60 minutes. Reading about the latest Jon & Kate Plus 8 drama made the time fly by….

Dinner was leftover Coconut Cauliflower Curry. Yay for leftovers and saving money!

Coconut Cauliflower Curry

And dessert was the remainder of the pumpkin swirl bread topped with greek yogurt and pumpkin butter. Mmm, carbs.

pumpkin swirl bread

This morning I woke up bright early for a 7:15am spinning class. Well, actually it was still dark when I left the apartment…I was rushing and only had time for coffee beforehand. MISTAKE. After 45 minutes of hill intervals I wanted to eat my arm. I immediately grabbed my breakfast from the locker room and chowed down on a vanilla oikos yogurt with a crumbled pb&j lara bar. I can eat a lara bar in about 4 bites (this girl is NOT a nibbler), so crumbling the bar over yogurt seems to make it last a little longer.

Oikos and lara bar

My early morning called for a cappuccino at my desk and an apple around 10am.

Cappuccino

Apples

An hour later I was STARVING again. I don’t know what is going on with me, but I’m a bottomless pit. I grabbed a tub of low-fat cottage cheese and a box of raisins as a snack.

cottage cheese

Early afternoon was full of errands and meetings, but by 2pm I was hungry again. Time for some more leftovers! I added a lot of hot sauce to my coconut cauliflower curry, just the way I like it.

Leftover curry

Hmm, leftover curry doesn’t exactly photograph well.

I’m sure I’ll probably need a snack before dinner time….

In the News

Check out this yummy vegan chocolate-peanut butter cup recipe from Alicia Silverstone’s new book.

Another point for the Mediterranean Diet – a new study purports that it can prevent depression.

Finally, from the NY TimesWill cutting calories (drastically) help you live longer?

Question: If cutting your daily calorie count by 25% meant that you could live much longer, would you do it?

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