I’m Obsessed…

I can’t stop. I went to Trader Joe’s the other day and finally decided to make this splurge. It was SO worth it. I have been eating a spoonful every day. I don’t even bother putting it on bread or anything. I was deciding between the cookie butter and the cookie butter/chocolate swirl. I decided to go with the original cookie butter and then come back next time for the swirl. It is amazing and you must go get a jar right now!

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 To offset my new cookie butter eating habit, I decided to make a vat of healthy chicken brown rice soup. I used this recipe and this is how it turned out (sorry about the fuzzy pic- the steam was fogging up my iPad lens!):

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I just had some for lunch. It is surprisingly filling and super healthy and easy to make.

Morning runs in the snow have become a norm. I can’t wait to run in DC this weekend where it will be in the 60s and 70s. Time to dig up my running shorts!!!

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What are your plans for the holidays?

Tell me if you have tried cookie butter before!!

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Oatmeal, Tempo, and the 90s!

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with cold oatmeal. It started with the swiss oatmeal I used to get at Corner Bakery when I lived in DC. I have not found a place that serves the same delicious oatmeal just yet (and this was almost 8 years ago!!). I’ve tried to replicate this oatmeal many times but have not been able to. Finally, I just settled on my own version of cold oatmeal. Ok, this looks gross but I promise it is delicious and nutritious, especially since I added Honey Chex to it:

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of quick oats (I use TJs, of course)
  • 1 cup of almond millk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • handful of Chex

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together except the Chex
  • Refrigerate overnight
  • Add Chex (or granola, or any type of cereal or topping you desire) in the morning

My TEMPO RUN last night was a 7 miler. I felt really good and I want to attribute it to the clouds. I also wondered if spinning the day before helped so I will try it again next week and let you know. My tempo run last night was 8 minutes faster than last week’s 7 mile tempo, a huge difference.

Last night I played a bunch of 90s (maybe some early 2k) songs for Phil and made him guess them but the ONLY SONG he guessed correctly was a George Michael’s song!! Obvi he was missing out in the 90s. I, on the other hand, began to update my playlists. Here are some of the jams I added:

  1. Together Again- Janet Jackson
  2. Gangsta’s Paradise- Coolio
  3. All Cried Out- Allure
  4. Escapade- Janet Jackson
  5. Family Affair- Mary J. Blige
  6. This is How We Do It- Montell Jordan
  7. As I Lay Me Down- Sophie B. Hawkins
  8. Are You That Somebody- Aaliyah
  9. It’s Not Right but It’s Okay- Whitney Houston
  10. Heartbreaker Remix- Mariah Carey w/ Da Brat and Missy Elliot

On another note, I missed my run tonight. I’m sad but not really.

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-What songs are on your playlist?

– What do you do when you miss a run?? How do you feel?

Ladder Run and FOOOOD

I am very upset. Tuesday’s speed workout called for a ladder run: 400, 800, 1200, 1600 and back down with a 400m recovery in between each set. It was hard and my Garmin was supposed to be keeping track of all my sets. BUT IT BROKE. I went to upload my workout yesterday and nothing showed up for Tuesday. It was like it didn’t even happen. Maybe that means I should forget how sucky the workout was and focus on my tempo run today in the 90% humidity. Sigh. The things we do to run better.

Since I feel like I have been MIA, I want to share with you photos of what I’ve been up to:

Phil took me to BGR in DC a few weeks ago (not to be confused with BRGR in NYC. Sadly, there is no BGR in NYC…yet). They are known for their burgers so of course I got the lobster sandwich. It was the best lobster sandwich I’ve ever had, mainly because there was a ton of lobster and most importantly, NO MAYO ( I don’t like mayo).

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Phil gets me snacks when I go visit. Specifically, he gets me bags and bags of chips. I had Baked Doritos for lunch everyday this past weekend (please ignore the Super Mario pants I am wearing):

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Back in NYC, FaceTiming with Phil. He is wearing my Ninja Turtle shirt.

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I made this last night. It was supposed to be broccoli mac n cheese but I didn’t use mac. I ran out of one kind of pasta so I just mixed whole wheat shells with whole wheat penne. I also used frozen broccoli from Trader Joe’s. I used this recipe from skinnytaste (of course) but below is my adaptation (I tried to make it even healthier):

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Ingredients:

  • 12 oz whole wheat pasta (you can really use any type of pasta you want!)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp TJ’s unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups Silk unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cube chicken bouillon
  • 8 oz (2 cups) TJ’s Shredded Lite Mexican Cheese Blend.
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 12 oz TJ’s frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
  • cooking spray

Directions (this is directly from the website):

  • Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions for al dente (or slightly under cook 2 minutes). Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add onion and cook over low heat about 2 minutes, add flour and cook another minute, or until the flour is golden and well combined. Add milk and chicken broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick.Season with salt and pepper.
  • Once the sauce is thick, remove from heatadd cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.

This makes about 6 servings at 387 calories/serving.

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– Where do you get your recipes from?

– Favorite chips??

First Beach Day and Pizza

My plans to go to DC this weekend were foiled by an absolutely terrible bus company (which won’t be named but if you want to know you can message me). After waiting on the bus line for about 2 hours, I just straight up left the line and went home. Instead, I spent Saturday at the beach. It was my first beach day of the season (yes, I know the “season” just started 4 days ago…) and I had a great time not going in the water, lying out, and enjoying good company.

I spent Sunday eating this:

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It is the Tartufo MEDIUM pizza from L’Asso. This is the description of it: portobello pesto, mushrooms, mozzarella (smoked or regular), rosemary & truffle oil.

We went there for my brothers birthday and ordered two medium pies. The other was half Albondiga and half San Daniele. Safe to say we were all pretty stuffed. I would highly recommend this place.

I also found this avocado egg salad recipe on my fave website and made it yesterday. I had it for lunch today and it kept pretty well. I just placed saran wrap over the bowl and tied a rubber band around it to keep the air out.

I had TWO easy 8 mile runs on Saturday and Sunday. It was extremely hot on both days and my runs were extremely hard on both days. I keep telling myself that running in the heat is just training me to be a better runner but no matter, it still hurts!

To all my East Coast runners- get ready for another week of running in this grueling heat. Remember to hydrate and wear sunscreen!! My new favorite is the SPF 50 spray from Bed Bath and Beyond’s generic brand (I think it’s called Face Value). It is the exact same thing as Coppertone Sports, if not better, in my opinion.

Week #3 and Baked Ziti

Ok, I know this is a bit late but I needed to share this recipe and tell you that I didn’t miss any of my workouts in week 3. I am really understanding this cumulative fatigue thing because I sure am fatigued and definitely felt it during the 10 miler last weekend. I have been trying to ice my shins regularly, roll out my legs with my foam roller+ stick, and wear my compression socks when I’m home. Icing and rolling is very important, people!

Now for what I will be eating/have been eating for lunch this week: baked ziti with chicken sausage and spinach. I took THIS recipe and just added 4 links of TJ’s sundried tomato basil chicken sausage (out of the casing). I ground up the sausage first then added the spinach after the meat was fully cooked.

This is what it looked like right before it went in the oven (it looked even better after but I don’t have a good pic):

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If you guys don’t know about this website, it is amazing and I am going to try all her recipes http://www.skinnytaste.com/. This week’s training has been good so far. I subbed Monday’s easy run with spinning because of my shins and already feel better. I have also been trying to do Pilates at least once a week to keep up my strength. I am starting to hit my paces during my tempo runs (this was a problem for me before) and am just hoping it keeps up. I am also looking for a few 5ks to do for time trials so if anyone is interested, let me know!!

Two easy 8 miles this weekend in DC. While Phil is at work, all I plan on doing is running and eating the bread and chips I hope he bought me. I’ve also decided to make a list of my fave things to do/eat in DC since I am there all the time. Stay tuned :)

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What are your plans for the weekend?

Any good races coming up??

Weight Gain, Another Recipe, and a Running BREAK!

Alright. This is just ridiculous. I’ve gained 8 lbs since I joined Eq. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence but all this talk about “it’s all muscle” is just not true anymore because how can someone possibly gain that much weight in such a short period of time? Do I have to quit Eq now?? No, no. Whatever the reason, I’ve decided to stop weighing myself. I used to never weigh myself but then I got into the habit whenever I’m at the gym and now I can’t seem to break it. No more.

Speaking of weight gain, I made this baked banana french toast casserole with an oatmeal crumble over the weekend for brunch. I found the recipe on Pinterest (I love Pinterest so much…) I made the HEALTHIER version and here’s my adaptation of the recipe. I wish I took pictures but I can attest that it was tasty and I will def be making it again! I will just show you the original pic from foodiecrush.com:

Ingredients

1 loaf of french bread, cubed
3 ripe bananas, sliced
5 eggs
1 cup almond milk
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled plus 1 tablespoon for greasing pan
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup sliced almonds (or any kind of nut, or even better, choc chips like the orig recipe!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

for crumble
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup butter, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Generously grease a 9 X 13 deep-dish casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Place a layer of bread slices alternating direction of bottom crusts and top crusts to outside of pan. Add a layer of bananas and almonds. Repeat 2 more times ending with layer of bread.
  2. In a large bowl whisk eggs, milk, butter and vanilla together. Slowly pour over bread layers making sure to coat evenly.
  3. In a small bowl combine oatmeal, butter and brown sugar and mix into clumps with your fingers. Top casserole with oatmeal clumps. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or better, overnight (I only had a few hours and it was fine).
  4. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about a half an hour. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until edges are bubbling and top is golden. Remove and let set for 5 minutes and serve.

 

Now can we talk about RUNNING?

I took this week off for my long run, only totaling about 18 miles for the week. I’ve been feeling very sluggish lately and I have been running slower. I started looking back at my running and realized that I really haven’t taken a week off (with just easy running) since the beginning of the year. This is problematic considering marathon training starts in two weeks and I will need a pair of fresh legs. So the next two weeks will consist of easy running, not to exceed 20 miles/week. I’m going to use this time to take advantage of Eq and go to all the classes.

Speaking of classes, I took the 30/60/90 class on Saturday and I am STILL SORE. Boy, am I out of shape!! Tomorrow morning I’m going spinning because I finally got into this one instructor’s class. And this weekend I’m going to ride my bike. I hope Phil fixed my handlebars :D (THANKS BABE YOU’RE THE BEST).Speaking of Eq classes, I never told you guys about Pilates Bootcamp – I LOVED IT. I was sore for days and the instructor was pretty innovative. I’m going again this week.

I have 3 lemons and lots of flour that I need to use up before I move. What should I make?!?!

New Kicks and Weekend Excitment

I knew it was time for new sneakers when I started getting shin splints and blisters during every run. I deviated from my normal running shop and decided to stop in the Super Runner’s Shop in BK. I’m so glad I did because they have this device that scans your foot and creates a mold of it. The mold is uploaded into a program, which shows you where you apply pressure the most, how low/high your arches are, and just by analyzing my stance the guy could tell I pronated more on one side (true). So he recommended that I try the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9, as opposed to the Wave Riders. The Inspires also have moderate support and just slightly more of an arch because I have a pretty low arch in my right foot. I tested these babies out on my treadmill run this morning and felt pretty good. I just need to test them outside now. I love new running shoes!!! 
To go along with my new shoes, I just ordered me some hot PRO Compression Marathon Socks. I tell you, once I shop, I can’t stop. Stay tuned for the review. For 40% off, use code MARCH!
On another note, two major events happened this weekend
1. Baby Lucas is here!!!! I am going to be the best aunt ever and spoil that kid rotten. I am also going to take him running with me. Mommy is doing well and lookin’ good and the baby is the cutest. 
2. Nancy finished her first 5k!!!! This was the 5k that my group of girlfriends were SUPPOSED to do together but two flaked and one got pregs (but still came out to support so equally as good!) (don’t get me started on people flaking on races. That is an entirely different post…) BUT Nancy did such a great job. I ran from my apartment up to the race (11 miles) but I couldn’t find the start so I just met her in the middle and ran about 2 miles with her. 
Random Notes:
I got 50% off my Starbucks latte this morning, which I’m pretty excited about. 
I made baked tofu last night and I’m kind of proud of myself. The brown stuff on the pan is the marinade I used – I poured the remaining over the tofu and baked it.