8 Miles, 10 Miles

First and most importantly, Happy Friday!

Secondly, thank you for all the kind and supportive comments yesterday. Hearing from readers and knowing that my running and cooking adventures provide inspiration is why I write this blog! It should be noted that the author of yesterday’s email did apologize, however I received another not-so-nice email when they realized I discussed the issue on my blog. All I can say to that is…Oh well! I use this blog as way to discuss issues that affect my quest for a healthy lifestyle and I think yesterday’s blog post was beneficial for me in that respect.

My daily eats and running mileage have been MIA lately, so prepare for a monster recap! I’ve tried to keep it balanced :-)

I woke up feeling wayyyy tired on Wednesday morning and kind of headache-y, so instead of running right away, I hydrated (decaf coffee and water!) and ate breakfast first.

I made a delightful bowl of oats:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water
  • chopped apple
  • sea salt and cinnamon
  • tsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs (or a lil more!) almond butter
  • sprinkling of chocolate chips

oatmeal

After waiting awhile for digestion (and downloading the new Jay-Z/Alicia Keys song..) I was ready for my run! The weather was brisk (50 degrees), but sunny so I wore shorts and a long sleeve shirt. 90% of me was comfortable, but my hands get cold no matter what!

I was feeling quite sluggish for most of this run, but my legs finally perked up around the 5 mile mark. I finished the 8 miles in about 1 hour and 12 minutes (9:00 per mile pace). After a quick shower and change, it was off to work!

My tum was feelin’ a little off (I think I might be getting a cold), so lunch was a little lighter than usual:

  • 1 cup oikos plain greek yogurt
  • sliced banana (it’s hiding in there somewhere!)
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

pumpkin seeds

And a vita muffin + cappuccino for a snackeroo (do you like that word? I think I made it up!):

vita top

Cappuccino

Worked, worked, worked throughout the afternoon and then came home for an easy dinner: apple cider, Campbell’s Selects onion soup with lentils, and a whole wheat sandwich thin with arugula and mozzarella cheese.

french onion soup and sandwich

Andddddd I was still hungry. I got a new container of hummus (Sabra’s greek olive – LOVE) and was going to have it with some pita chips, but then I decided that another sandwich thin would be a better option. More whole grains and fiber!

arnold sandwich thins and sabra's hummus

I finished up some work on the computer, chatted on the phone, and finished the night off with half of this lil’ guy: a Trader Joe’s PB&J bar! This brilliant creation featured milk and dark chocolates, raspberry jam, peanut butter, and crushed potato chips (!!). And while this is definitely a treat, 1/2 the bar only had 150 cals, 4 grams of fiber (not shabby!), and 3 grams of protein. Plus a lil calcium and iron. Sweet :-)

pb & j bar

I woke up feeling a little under the weather yesterday, so an early a.m. gym visit was just NOT going to happen. Instead I spent some time in bed reading emails and catching up on google reader.

And then off to work for me! I’m running low on fruits and veggies in the kitchen, so breakfast was two bananas and a packet of Nature’s Path Flax Plus instant oatmeal made with 1/2 water, 1/2 skim milk. This oatmeal presentation wasn’t nearly as beautiful as yesterday, but you get the idea…

Flax Oatmeal

Lunch was another sweet potato with lentils, mozzarella cheese, and hot sauce. I know this is boring, but it’s so quick and delicious! I heated everything up in the microwave for about 90 seconds to get the cheese melty :-)

Lentils & Sweet Potato

Afternoon energy: decaf cappuccino and a vita muffin top.

Cappuccino

vita top

Things got pretty crazy in the office around 4:30pm and the next few hours were go-go-go. I had a plain whole wheat Arnold sandwich thin sometime around 5:30pm. Too busy to snap a picture, so this stock photo will have to do:

sandwichthin

I really like these sandwich thins. They’re perfect for all sorts of sammies – pb & j, hummus & veggies, deli meat, etc. Or you could top with tomato sauce and mozzarella and make a mini pizza!

I left the office a little before 8pm and was feeling hungrryyy, I debated going straight home, but instead I had a snack in the elevator, and headed directly to my gym. I’ve found that if I don’t allow myself any internal debate (and just GO to the gym or a run), I’m much more likely to get it done. So I snacked on an Honest Foods cranberry lemon zest bar (oh my goodness, so delicious!) and was on the treadmill 15 minutes later.

Honest Foods

Must have been the energizing carbs, protein, fat, and fiber in my snack – I ran 10 miles in about 1 hour and 28 minutes (yes, all on the treadmill). I originally planned on going to a road workout with my track club, but due to the late night in the office, that didn’t pan out. By the time I was free to go running, it was dark and I would be by myself, so I made the decision that the ‘mill would be safer (although more boring).

  • Miles 1 – 9:20 pace
  • Miles 2 – 9:20 pace
  • Mile 3 – 8:55 pace
  • Mile 4 – 8:55 pace
  • Mile 5 – 8:34 pace
  • Mile 6 – 8:34 pace
  • Mile 7 – 8:00 pace (faster effort #1)
  • Mile 8 – 9:13 pace
  • Mile 9 – 7:20 pace (faster effort #2)
  • Mile 10 – 9:13 pace

“Dinner” was rather late, but yum. I had about a cup of plain, non-fat Oikos greek yogurt left in the big tub, so I mixed in about 1.5 Tbs of almond butter, a chopped apple, a dollop of pumpkin butter, and some pecans for a garnish.  I think that mixing the nut butter thoroughly through out the yogurt really put this flavor combo over the top.

Yogurt Mess

Clickety-clack went my keyboard into the night – a little bit before 1am I toasted up 1/2 a whole wheat sandwich thin and slathered it with Sabra’s greek olive hummus.

Hummus

Finally, finally, I finished up all I needed to do and hit the sheets. Phew, what a day. Thank goodness it’s almost the weekend!

Don’t have time for a gym visit – Check out these 5 Fun Ways to Workout at Home.

We all get in grumpy moods sometimes, but according to a recent study it can actually be GOOD for us. Interesting…

And the best part of Friday – a new Running Shorts article from me and Matt!! Are you excited?

Question: What’s your strategy for fitting in exercise to a busy work/school/social life schedule? Do you wake up at 5am to run? Take a walk during your lunch break?

Marathon Runner’s Apple Cake

It’s Thursday, thank goodness! I’m headed to the Healthy Living Blogger  Summit in Boston tomorrow – SO excited :-)

Wednesday began with a cup of coffee and another bowl of overnight oats. Mmm, I can’t believe I waited so long to try this! The heat makes me lose my appetite, so this cool and refreshing breakfast really hit the spot.

In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Oikos greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 Tbs PB2

I combined everything the night before and then added another 1/4 cup of milk right before eating. Yum!

Frida coffee mug

overnight oats

I took a long walk on my lunch hour and ended up at Whole Foods. I didn’t find any PB&J lara bars, but I did re-stock my Adora calcium supplement supply.

Lunch was put together with ingredients I had at home:

Course #1: chopped tomato, olives, feta cheese, cracked black pepper

Greek Salad

Course #2: blueberry oikos greek yogurt, blueberries, and a baggie of Kashi Go Lean Crunch

Oikos, blueberries, Kashi

Afternoon snackie was a couple of Fig Newmans! These were very yummy – soft and sweet. Would be perfect with a glass of milk or cup of tea.

Fig Newman's

After work, I headed to the gym for a quickie workout.

  • 20 minutes elliptical
  • 3 x 10 lunges and calf raises
  • 3 x 10 push-ups and tricep dips
  • Ab routine
  • Stretching

I had a few prunes post-workout to hold me over until dinner.

Prunes

Nate and I headed to subway for a quick and easy meal. I ordered a salad with spinach, red onion, tomato, cucumber, olives, sweet peppers, turkey, swiss cheese, and some sweet onion dressing on top. Yum! The veggies at subway are suprisingly fresh and I love how they chop up the turkey and cheese before adding it to the salad :-)

Subway salad

Salad

Throughout the evening, I also enjoyed 3 (!) slices of chocolate-chip banana bread. Yum, I love how moist this is.

Chocolate chip banana bread

I was a busy-bee for the rest of the evening. By the time I finished doing laundry, baking apple cake for Caitlin’s Team in Training fundraiser, and preparing everything for work on Thursday it was after 1:30am! Eek.

My inspiration for Marathon Runner’s Apple Cake came is based on Flour Bakery’s Apple Spice Snacking Cake. However, I made enough changes that I can call the recipe my own. I’m calling it “Marathon Runner’s Apple Cake” because the whole grains, nuts, and fruit are perfect for fueling long distance running!

Making a cake

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs cornstarch + 1 scant cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • dash of cloves
  • 3 chopped granny smith apples
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup raisins or craisins
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbs butter, softened
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 9″ x 9″ baking pan (I used a smaller sized pan, but use 9″ x 9″ for best results)
  • Chop apples and combine with raisins and nuts in medium bowl
  • Whisk together flours, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, spices
  • Cream together butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs one at a time, increase mixer speed to high for 1-2 mins
  • Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture
  • Stir in apples, raisins, and nuts by hand until combines – batter will be VERY thick.
  • Pour patter into prepared pan and bake for 45 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. Cover pan with foil if top browns too quickly.

Marathon Runner's Apple Cake

Marathon Runner's Apple Cake

Note: This recipe tastes like a combination between apple pie and cinnamon coffee cake. The apples get soft and caramalized in the oven and help the cake remain incredibly moist and tender. The whole wheat flavor, spices, apples, raisins, and walnuts make this a healthy indulgence!

Is pizza better than a salad? Read about these often Misunderstood Foods.

Also, for any of you long-distance runners: MarathonVal is giving away a spibelt! This little pouch will hold a cell phone, keys, etc without bouncing or weighing you down while you run. A MUCH better option than the clunky belt clip I stored my cell piece in during the NYC marathon.

2009 Central Park Triathlon

Sunday had an early start – Nate’s alarm went off at 5:30am and mine beeped shortly thereafter. The 2009 Central Park triathlon was being held in NYC today and it was Nate’s last race of the season. To fuel myself for some serious spectating, I started off with strong coffee, a banana, and blueberry Oikos Greek yogurt.

Frida coffee mug

DSCF3784

I was very glad for the extra protein in my morning yogurt – for nearly 3 hours I was walking, jogging, and cheering as I spectated the triathlon.

The 400m swim was held in Lasker Pool -

The Lasker Pool

Go, Nate, Go! The bike leg was 12 miles (2 laps of Central Park).

Nate on his bike

The run was a hilly 5k.

Run out

Run Finish 1

Nate’s dad participated as well. It was fun to have two people to cheer for! The lay-out of the course allowed spectators to see the entire swim, all of the transitions, two points on the bike leg, and the run start/finish.

Mark on the run

Nate was fourth overall (1 hour, 59 seconds) and first in his age group. Woo-hoo! The official results will be posted on this site.

Awards Ceremony

Zico coconut water was available for the athletes. I love this stuff, but Emily and Alma were not big fans….

Zico taste test

Emily and Alma

After the race, I headed to my gym to do a little strength training and shower. A box of coconut water and some pistachios held me over until lunch.

Zico coconut water and pistachios

We went to one of my favorite places – The Popover Cafe – for lunch. I love the big, flakey popovers that are served with strawberry butter.

Popover

Mine arrived hot from the oven – check out how hollow the popover is inside!

Popover with Strawberry Butter

I ordered the Bistro salad for my entree – the salads are HUGE at the Popover Cafe. I think I ate a whole garden’s worth of arugula. Atop my green mountain, I had roasted pears, red onion, goat cheese, and pecans. With some mustard herb vinaigrette for dipping.

Bistro Salad

I’ve found that dipping my fork in dressing before each bite provides the perfect amount.

Bistro Salad with Dressing

Even though I was stuffed after lunch, I made room for a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee. My early morning wake-up was starting to make me sleepy….

iced coffee

Despite my afternoon caffeine fix, I still managed to take an hour long nap when we got home. It was just what I needed! After some blog work and errands, I started to get hungry for dinner. I sliced a tomato and some fresh mozzarella and made a panini on the George Foreman grill. With a little EVOO on the plate for dipping, of course!

Tomato and mozzarella

Dessert was another peanut butter brownie (Nate added walnuts, swirls of Smucker’s Natural, and Newman’s Own Organic pb cups to brownie mix!) and a bit of vanilla bean ice cream. I may have gone back to the pan for some more nibbles of brownie :-)

PB Brownie

Question: What sport do you think your body is best suited for? Do you have a swimmer’s shoulders? A runner’s legs? The height of a basketball player? After years of trying (and failing) to play ball sports, I’m pretty sure I’m meant to be a runner or cyclist :-)

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 :-)

Puddles

Thursday was another dreary, rainy day. When is it going to start feeling like summer?? After a 45 minute commute involving puddle jumping, midtown traffic dodging, and some wet shoes, I was safely indoors and ready for breakfast. This bowl isn’t the most glamorous looking creation, but it served its purpose! 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen berries, and 1/2 cup Optimum Slim. Two cups of coffee on the side (ugh, didn’t get to bed until after midnight).

Yogurt bowl

Lunch was on the later side (2:30pm) and was my usual salad from the cafeteria.

In the mix:

  • mixed greens, romaine, onions, carrots, shredded zucchini
  • kidney beans (~1/3 cup), feta cheese, whole grain croutons
  • dried cherries
  • Tbs balsamic vinaigrette
  • 3-Seed cracker and a few olives (yum!)

Salad

Later on I had a Kashi chocolate-pretzel bar (5 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein) and an adora calcium supplement.

Snack

I dashed out of the office at 5:30pm to make a 6pm hot vinyasa yoga class. As usual I was a puddle of sweat by the end! I rehydrated with a large SIGG full of water and some raisins. I made a quick pit-stop at my gym to cool down on the elliptical for a couple minutes, shower, and then headed back uptown.

sweaty

snack

When I finally got home I tried out one of the new French Meadow Hemp Bagels that I received the other day (packed on dry ice!). These bagels were packed with 19 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber! The bagels had a very earthy taste and were covered in seeds. The nutritional stats on these guys were amazing and they tasted good too!

Hemp Bagels

From the French Meadow website: Start your day right. Each of our deliciously chewy Hemp Bagels contains 19 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber and is packed with crunchy, nutty hempseed, flaxseed, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Try one toasted for breakfast or as the base for a satisfying sandwich.

Covered in almond butter, banana, and honey - yum!

hemp bagel

I was still feeling a little hungry after my bagel so I finished off the last of my Optimum Slim cereal with some milk.

cereal

After some housework (bleh) and some blog work I treated myself to some Hershey’s chocolate twizzlers.  Around midnight it was time for bed. Now it’s Friday. TGIF!!

twizzlers

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