My First Veggie Burger In Years

I absolutely love starting my day with a run. It’s always so energizing and makes me feel super strong – like I can do anything!

After my 4-mile interval run, I had a little breakfast…

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I had a cereal mix of Cheerios Multi-grain and Kashi Go Lean Crunch topped with some fresh blueberries. I also had my third shot of Zola’s Daily Wellness shot – in a crystal wine glass because I’m such a fancy girl!

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My work day started with immediate meetings and then some work on a super secret training project. But, that was actually pretty fun. Then, we had our annual staff appreciation luncheon, which was a picnic/BBQ theme…

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There was a TON of meat or meat-like products to choose from, including burgers, brats, hot dogs, ribs, and veggie burgers. I chose the veggie burger and topped it with all of the fixins’…

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I have not had a veggie burger in YEARS and this one was sooo goood. Makes me want to stop buying turkey burgers and get these. Although I don’t think my husband would like that too much – he he! I also had Mediterranean type salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, peppers, feta cheese, and the most onions I have ever seen in a salad. Seriously, this should have been called an onion salad.

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As you can see from my pretty full plate, I also had a cute fruit kebob. Fancy, fancy, even on a plastic plate!

There was also an ice cream bar but I am way to full to partake in that treat right now. I hope there’s some left this afternoon!

Now, it’s heads down for the rest of the afternoon. Because I’m off on Monday and Tuesday, I have a bunch of loose ends to tie up before I leave.

Enjoy your day everyone.

New Research: Popcorn as Healthy as Vegetables

Hello All! Well, I never ended up going for my walk. I was hoping to walk to a new farmer’s market about a 1/2 mile from the office. But, when I was about to head out, I decided to double check how late it was open. Sure enough, it’s only open until 1 PM and it just happened to be 12:45 PM! Bummer. So, I opted to stay at the office and continue to work – not very fun, but fairly productive.

But, I did snack on some really tasty popcorn….

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It was just the microwavable kind with butter and salt, but I also added a little black pepper – so good!

There was a time when I would eat popcorn nearly every day at work. But then I became burned out on it and stopped eating it altogether. Now, I enjoy a few cups every now and then. Popcorn is actually a great alternative snack to pretzels and chips because it has way more fiber. And, my popcorn only had 25 calories per popped cup.

Not only does popcorn have more fiber, but new research presented last month at a meeting of the American Chemical Society found that popcorn has surprisingly large amounts of the healthy antioxidant, polyphenols. Polyphenols, which are commonly found in fruits, vegetables, chocolate, wine, coffee, and tea, are known for protecting against cardiovascular disease and reducing the risk of cancer. Further tests showed that popcorn contains similar levels of the antioxidants per gram as fruits and veggies. Who would have thought that popcorn would be as healthy as a salad!

For dinner, I had intended to make BBQ chicken and grilled sweet potatoes, but I arrived home later than expected AND the chicken wasn’t defrosted. Don’t you hate that?! I had to make a fast executive decision – we were going to have homemade pasta sauce instead.

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And even that took longer than expected – and all I had to do was warm up the sauce! We didn’t eat until about 7:30 PM which is really late for us. I swear we’re not that old, we just don’t like to eat late.

Now I’m enjoying some of Edy’s Spumoni ice cream – one of my husband’s favorites.

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He says that he likes to eat it after having Italian food because it “settles the stomach”. This is just one of my husband’s many justifications for eating ice cream and other not so healthy foods.

Ok, now I’m off to bed. We have our annual staff appreciation luncheon tomorrow, and you know what that means…more food! I’m hoping we have a few healthy selections on the menu, but what can you really hope for with free food?

Have a great night everyone!

Small Breakfast Leads to Major Hunger Later

Afternoon everyone! Although today was my rest day for running, I set my alarm with the intent of getting in a quick 2-3 mile run to jump start my day. Well, when 5:30 AM rolled around, I looked at the clock and decided to stay in bed. I think my body is so used to taking a break on Wednesdays that it just expects to have extra rest on those days.

Because I didn’t exert my usual energy this morning, I wasn’t very hungry at ALL. In fact, I even felt full – which was weird because I only had soup and a couple pieces of bread last night for dinner. But, I never skip breakfast (unless I’m sick). That would not be RWC way! Besides, there’s tons of research showing that if you don’t eat breakfast, you are more likely to eat more calories than you normally would throughout the day, which can obviously lead to weight gain.

So, to accommodate my lack of appetite, I made a very small yogurt bowl – because even a light breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.

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My yogurt bowl consisted of 1/2 a carton of Trader Joe’s plain nonfat Greek yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt is NOT my favorite but it was already open so I wanted to use it up. I topped my yogurt with some fresh blueberries and a dollop of MaraNatha all-natural creamy PB. I would love to say that this was a great combination, but for some reason it just didn’t taste right today. It could have been my tastebuds, appetite, or the fact that the yogurt had already been open and sitting in the fridge since Sunday.

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Needless to say, I had a few bites of this and then just tossed it out. But, I did have another shot of Zola’s Daily Wellness drink…

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Hmm, now I’m waiting for that burst of energy to kick in – he he!

Well, eating such a small breakfast caught up with me around 10:30, I was so hungry I was ready to eat just about anything. But, I remembered that I stashed some crackers in my drawer the other day…

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I received these Kashi original 7-grain snack crackers for free and thought they were quite good. The 1 oz bag had a total of 130 calories, 3 g of fat, 2 g. of fiber, and 3 g. of protein. However, it was such as small bag that it only subsided my hunger for a little while. It’s definitely not meant to replace breakfast.

I decided to eat an early lunch at 12:30 PM (usual lunch is at 1 or 1:30) because I was still hungry after my meager breakfast…

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I put together a nice size taco salad bowl, full of red leaf lettuce, Tillamook Vermont White Cheddar Cheese, a few random tortilla chips, and about 6 oz of turkey taco meat. Oh my, this tasted REALLY good!

Now, I’m headed out for a brisk walk in the sunshine and 75 degree weather.

Have a great afternoon everyone!

Free Week of Yoga During National Yoga Month

Hey there. I’ve had such a long day. It seemed like it was never going to end. It doesn’t help that it was 72 degrees and sunny outside and I wasn’t able to get out for lunch. I kept hearing people say how gorgeous it was outside, so I decided to leave work earlier than planned.

Seeing as September is National Yoga Month, I headed to an outdoor mall near my house to check out the new yoga and running lines at Lucy and the Gap.

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Me, in my most comfortable yoga pose and clothes!

Lucy had a bunch of brand new yoga and running gear – in fact they were just putting out some cool new t-shirts when I arrived. Lucy gear at full price is way too expensive for my budget so I have to wait for things to go on sale – I’m sure more than one of you can relate. On the other hand, the Gap had hardly anything on display, except for yoga pants, which was a big disappointment. Maybe I just need to go to their new affiliate store Athleta to fill my yoga and running gear needs.

On another note, both Lucy and Athleta have online communities that you can participate in by adding comments to a blog or attending events, etc. Way cool!

And, if you’re interested in trying yoga during National Yoga Month, check out Yogamonth.org. They have a promotion running right now where you can attend a free week of yoga classes in September at a studio near your house. You just fill out the form and it brings up all of the participating studios near your zip code.

Well, after my short and fruitless shopping excursion, I picked up dinner at Noodles cafe and headed home.

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I had a cup of tomato basil soup to which I added a bunch of fresh crumbled feta cheese. I’ve never had Noodle’s tomato basil soup before but I could have sworn this looked, smelled, and even tasted like tomato sauce and NOT tomato basil soup. I’m almost wondering if they gave me a scoop of their marinara sauce and not the soup! It was ok enough to eat though, but not what I expected. I also made a little homemade hummus bread…

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I took two very small pieces of leftover ciabatta bread and spread about 2 tbsp of red pepper hummus on top, then sprinkled the bread with fresh crumbled feta. The hummus bread was great alone and also for dipping in the soup!

There were too many rice krispy treats left from last night’s dessert, so I thought I’d have a couple more to help us get rid of them faster – he he!

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I even added a dollop of MaraNatha all-natural creamy peanut butter to give my krispy a little protein and MUFA kick. The only thing that would have made this simple dessert better is melted chocolate. Hmmm….maybe tomorrow!

I’m off to do a little magazine reading and then, hopefully, hitting the sack early tonight.

Take care everyone and see you in the AM!

RWC Zola Daily Wellness Shot Challenge

Hello everyone! I started my day with another super fast run. I hope my legs – and whole body for that matter – are not cursing me tomorrow morning! After my run, I downed a bunch of water. In the shower, my stomach started really growling, so I made another cereal mix for today’s breakfast…

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I mixed about a cup of Cheerios Multi-grain with 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch, and 1/2 cup fresh blueberries. This was just what I needed to refuel after my great run. Not only did I reenergize with cereal, but I also began my personal, Running With Cake Zola Daily Wellness Shot Challenge!

Zola Daily Wellness Shot

As I mentioned before, a few days ago, I received a bunch of Zola juices (all-natural, acai-based products) in the mail. I also received a 32 oz container of Zola Daily Wellness Shot, touted as supporting the immune system and giving you a boost of energy (although the claims/statements have not been evaluated by the FDA).

As an avid runner and yoga lover, it is very important to me to keep my energy levels up and to stay healthy in general. Aside from this, I began to think about how much I depend on caffeine each day, but especially on those days when I’m sleep-deprived. I basically drink caffeinated beverages (tea, coffee, diet coke) to give me a boost of energy and help me from getting drowsy at work. I know this is a mistake, but it’s a vicious cycle. But when the Zola drinks arrived, I figured I would try the daily shot once a day for 30 days to see if it made any difference on my energy level. 

So today is DAY 1 of the Running With Cake Zola Daily Wellness Shot Challenge. In 30 days, I will report back to let you know if this product really lives up to its claims.

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I measured out 1 oz of the thick purple-reddish juice shot and poured it into a glass. I smelled it at first, as I do with all new food products. It smelled a little fruity and slightly citrusy. Then, down the hatch it went. Wow- what a strong flavor! It wasn’t necessarily good or bad, but very strong and somewhat tart. This is definitely not a juice for sipping – maybe that’s why they call it a shot! Of course, after only one shot, it’s hard to tell if it’s had any effect on my immune system, energy level, or anything at all. So, the experiment continues. If you choose to try this at home, be warned that dark color of the juice may stain. I got a little on my fingers in the pouring process and my thumb is still slightly purple after several hand washings. I checked in the mirror to make sure I did not have a purple mustache – thankfully, I did not. My teeth also appeared to be fine, but I’d hate to see it get on my clothes!

After my juice shot, I jetted off to work thinking I was going to arrive on time, but actually arrived just after 9 AM – blah! I had a presentation to give at 9:30 AM so I had to do a fast prep and then off to the meeting for me.

Lunch happened to be leftovers from the other night…

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A grilled Italian sausage with a cup of sauteed sweet peppers and tomatoes. Very tasty, but for some reason, I’m STILL hungry! The snack monster is quickly sneaking up on me and I’m trying to resist. Luckily, I brought a bunch of Dr. Kracker mini-flatbreads just in case.

OK, back to work for me. Have a great afternoon!