Blueberries Fight Belly Fat

Good morning everyone! It’s another great day in Chicago land! I had an awesome 4-mile run in the beautiful sunshine and crisp, cool air. After my run, I drank a ton of water while sporting my new Lucy wristband…

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Because I’m on Lucy’s email list, I received an email with a coupon for a free bright pink wristband. How fun! I know, I know, I wasn’t actually wearing the wristband, but I’m not really in to wearing wristbands while I run or exercise. But it does make for a cute water bottle cover. And, it’s great for soaking up all of the condensation from the bottle. 

After my run, I enjoyed a fantastic breakfast…

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I had a cup of Cheerios Multigrain and topped it with 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (yeah- I’ve replenished my Costco supply!) and 2 tbsp chopped walnuts.

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The blueberries are so plump and juicy and full of antioxidants. Plus they have tons of vitamins, including C, A, and E. A recent study out of the University of Michigan (Go Big 10) has even shown that blueberries can help fight belly fat – so how can  you not love this little blue fruit!

OK, enough blueberry babbling for me, gotta get some work done.

Catch you all later!

Breakfast with Aveda White Tea

Good morning everyone! It was another perfect morning for a 4-mile run! The sun was shining and there was an awesome crispness in the air. And, that was not the only thing that made this morning fantastic – I also received an email telling me that RWC is now on alltop! I guess this means that I’m on my way to becoming official – he he! I have one more special treat to share with you all this morning, but first – breakfast…

I started my day with a protein-packed breakfast…

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I had 1 cup of Cheerios Multigrain topped with about 2 tbsp of walnuts – delicious, crunchy and full of MUFA (monounsaturated fats!)

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In addition to being added to alltop, I had but one more reason to be happy this morning – I’m finally trying out my new hand soap…

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I recently received this sample of Aveda’s White Tea with Aloe guest hand soap. If you know anything about me you know that I LOVE little, guest soaps. And, I’ve always loved Aveda products because they are all made with flower and/or plant-based materials.

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So, even though it’s supposed to be guest soap, I couldn’t resist trying it out and giving you my thoughts. This particular soap – White Tea with Aloe – is part of the Westin hotel chain’s line of bath products, specially made by Aveda. I love the shape of the soap – a dainty little green leaf. And, the scent is amazing. I’ve always been a fan of white tea bath/body products and this is one of the best as far as hand soaps go.

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The luxury bath bar left my hands feeling clean, soft, and with a very fresh scent. Love it! I only wish I could get similar bar in the Aveda stores.

Ok, now I really must get back to my real job…have a great morning everyone!

All work and no vacation

I don’t know what’s going on with me this week. I just couldn’t get my act together this morning. I even woke up an extra 15 minutes early to start my run earlier. Yet, I still didn’t get to work until 9:15 AM! I’m usually there by 8:30, so it’s really unlike me to arrive so late. I know what it is – it’s the end of summer and I still haven’t taken a real vacation! I really can’t take one though because this is my busiest season. But, all work and no vacation makes Jen a very cranky girl.

Enough complaining already. Because I was running so incredibly late, I had to make a quickie breakfast….

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A cereal mix of Cheerios and Kashi Go Lean Crunch, topped with about 1 tsp of sliced almonds (for added MUFA). You just can’t beat that huge CRUNCH in the morning! Always wakes me up, that’s for sure.

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I went outside to enjoy my breakfast on my usual front porch breakfast table and got a rude wake-up call. There was a horrible natural gas smell all over the area. I couldn’t smell it in the house thank goodness, but it was really thick around the house. I should really call someone about that….

Today, my boss is coming back to the office after being gone for about 10 days. So, I guess that means I really have to start working – ha! Who am I kidding, I’ve been working nonstop (hence the need for a vacation.)

Now that I’m at work and it’s nearly 9:30 AM, I really need to buckle down and get a few things done. I really want to go to Whole Foods at lunch, but have a long list of things I need to accomplish before I can head out the door. 

Enjoy your day!

Relieve Stress With Lemons and Lavender

I woke up extra early today for my Monday morning run. Come to find out, there was a huge thunderstorm passing through my area. So I opted NOT to run outside and hopped back into bed. NOT running on days I had planned on running tends to stress me out a little. So, although I went back to bed, I didn’t go to sleep. I just laid there thinking about not running and all of the work-related projects I have yet to accomplish before our big meeting at the end of the year. All of these racing thoughts can really stress a girl out. Maybe I need some lemons…


Why, you ask? Well, a new study shows that certain scents, like lemon, mango, and lavender, can actually help boost your mood and help reduce stress. The way I’m feeling right now, I think I need to combine all three scents to get the maximum relaxation effect – he he!

Well, I don’t have lemons, mango, or lavender in the house at the moment. So, rather than just laying there being stressed, I decided to get up and start getting ready for work. Then, I had a little breakfast..


Breakfast was a nice bowl of mixed cereal, 1/2 Cheerios and 1/2 Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Then, I headed out the door to work, bypassing Starbucks. Instead, when I arrived at the office I made a huge cup of Tazo Awake Tea. I probably should have had chamomile to calm my nerves, but Awake helps me start my day with a clear head.

Now, I need to be heads down for the rest of the day – which, ironically, ends at 2:30 PM for me because I have a doctor’s appointment – and not for a stress test!

By the way, if you have a favorite, all-natural stress reduction tip, please give me a shout!

New Look for Running With Cake!

RWC To Get New Theme!

I am so happy to be feeling better and to have my appetite back. But, I am even more thrilled to report that Running With Cake will be getting a new theme!! Yeah! I’m so excited. My husband, the technology guru (seriously, he had a story written about him in the newspaper that called him this), is going to be giving RWC a more updated and fresh look. I’m not sure when it will be finished, but look for it in the very near future.

As I mentioned above, I think I’ve finally kicked this flu bug that I’ve had for the last 3 days. So, when I woke up this morning, I decided to do my normal Sunday morning run. I started my run around 9:30 AM, which is nearly 3 hours after I usually start my run during the week. By that time of the morning, it was nearly 80 degrees outside. That was a big mistake. To add to my heat challenge, I felt like I had absolutely no energy – like I was running with a headwind, uphill, for the full 4 miles. I even had to walk about a minute to catch my breath. Some people would say that I should have skipped running today, until I was feeling 100% again. I rarely skip my run, even if I’m not feeling well. I have to be seriously ill – we’re talking swine flu, to have me not run. I don’t recommend this hard core running attitude for everyone. In most cases, it really is good to take a day off from running or other exercise when you’re really NOT feeling well. Maybe I should following this advice next time.

Anyway, by the time I pulled my sweaty self onto the doorstep, I was pretty exhausted and starving. So, for breakfast, I made a huge Greek yogurt parfait…

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I started with one container of Oikos nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt, and mixed in a whole nectarine, about a 1/2 cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal, and a dollop of all-natural creamy peanut butter. I thought it would be a good combination because it was mix of all of my favorite things – yogurt, fruit, peanut butter, and crunchiness. Well, nectarines and peanut butter do not make the best flavor combination – lesson learned. It was still edible though.

After breakfast, it was little housecleaning and a discussion or two about my new blog theme. Then, it was time for lunch. Being gone last weekend really threw us off of our grocery shopping schedule – so our pantry is pretty bare. Thankfully, my husband whipped up a very simple but tasty lunch for us….

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Trader Joe’s wheat penne pasta with Newman’s Own Organic Marinara. The sauce was a little bland – but that’s marinara for you, so I added a ton of parmesan cheese. Much better.

Now, I really must get to the grocery store or I will be eating cereal for dinner tonight. Have a great afternoon all!

Second Breakfast

Well, I’m feeling better today, but still not the greatest. I did not go to yoga because I just didn’t want to push it. Instead, I slept in until about 8 AM, although I didn’t sleep very well the whole night. When I did finally get up, I had more energy than the day before, which was a good sign. I was really hungry for some reason too, so I grabbed breakfast right away…

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I made a mix of cheerios and Kashi Go Lean Crunch with a few strawberries. It was a little rough on my sore throat but I managed. 

Then I had a very nice surprise. My father and mother-in-law came over and brought a chocolate covered coffee cake! So, of course, I had a second breakfast…

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Hmm…so incredibly yummy! I had this slice of cake with a cup of Tazo Awake tea, which my throat desperately needed.

My husband and his father worked on our front porch for most of the morning, and then we all broke for lunch. I ran up to a local and very popular diner for hot dogs and Chicago-style Italian beef.

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I had an original all-beef hot dog with all the fixings – hot peppers, onions, tomatoes, relish, and a huge pickle. I also had a few crinkle-cut fries on the side. Very good – but again, not as good as it could have been if I wasn’t sick.

Now, I’m soo tired that I’m contemplating a nap. See you all tonight!

Birthday breakfast at the office

Hello everyone! I had a great start to my morning. Just as I was getting ready to start my run, I ran into my dog-loving neighbor. She was walking a new puppy (she was just puppy sitting) and it was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – my absolute favorite dog! Oh, I just wanted to take him home, but then reality set in. With my husband’s and my schedule, we just can’t fit in a dog right now. 

After an awesome run I quickly got ready for work. I didn’t eat breakfast before I left because we were having a little b-day party for a coworker – breakfast included. Check out the goods…

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We had fresh pastries from a very popular local bakery. I’m only showing photos of the mini donuts because the other pics didn’t turn out. Aside from the donuts, there was also a lemon ring cake and a chocolate chip pecan coffee cake.

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I had a chocolate covered mini cake donut (about 2 1/2 inches) and a small piece of the chocolate coffee cake. I don’t normally eat donuts – I’ve just never been much of a donut fan, but these looked so cute and were just the right size for a taste. I had my pastries with a cup of steaming Tazo Awake – which really hit the spot!

After our little gathering, it was off to a nearly 2-hour meeting for me. It was a super productive meeting – a super productive morning all around. So productive that I decided to take the afternoon off to see Julie & Julia – yeah! I’m so excited to see it. 

But, before heading out for the day, I took the b-day girl out for lunch at a little Italian bistro near where I work.

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I had the veggie sandwich – full of grilled carrots, peppers, and mushrooms in a ciabatta roll. It also came with a small side salad and great-tasting seasoned French fries. Yum!

All right – I’m off to the movies. My husband is actually meeting me there. He said this is my one “girl movie” that he will see with me. Can’t wait!

Bleary-eyed Morning

Good morning everyone. I don’t know about all of you but I am so tired this morning. Thank goodness Wednesday is my off day for running. I went to bed at 11 PM and woke up at 5 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. I think it’s because I’m stressed about work. This mid-summer/early fall is the busiest season for me. So right now, all I’m thinking about is work and blogging.

Today is no exception. I have a meeting that starts in about 20 minutes and lasts for the ENTIRE day. I’m hoping I can sneak away at lunch for a quick break and upload photos.

Although I was still very full from last night’s business dinner at the winery, I knew I needed to eat something for breakfast. I also needed to choose wisely – I needed something that would keep me going until lunch at 12:30 PM, because there was really no time for a break, or eating, before then.

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I decided on an RWC staple, Stoneyfield’s Oikos Greek yogurt, vanilla flavor.

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I wanted to give the  yogurt a little extra punch of nutrition so I added about a 1/2 cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal for more protein and fiber and watermelon chunks for vitamin C (I feel a cold coming on so I’m trying to stock up).

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This tasted awesome, although it was almost a little too filling for me.

Now, I’m heading into my meeting and plan to take a big cup of Tazo Awake tea – so I don’t fall asleep!

Catch you all later!

I Am So Over Bagels…

Hey all! Hope your morning is going well so far. My 4-mile run was awesome today – my foggy head from yesterday is all clear today, thank goodness. 

After my run, I recharged with a protein-packed breakfast…

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About a cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal topped with two very plump and ripe strawberries. So yum! 

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When I arrived at work, I walked into the staff lounge/kitchen and saw a huge assortment of jumbo-size bagels. There must have been about 50 bagels and 7-8 tubs of flavored cream cheese. About 10 years ago, I would have jumped on those bagels without a second thought. I used to love bagels and ate them a ton in college and graduate school. They were so filling and cheap, which is necessity for a graduate student’s budget. I ate them so much that I became bageled-out after graduation. And, in recent years, I’ve realized that bagels just don’t sit well in my stomach anymore. They are so full of carbs/starch (not to mention meaningless calories) that they leave me feeling super full and nearly bloated after I eat them. So now when I see these massive, and I mean massive – they are as big or bigger than a CD, I just walk away knowing that I’ll be better off. 

Today, I have a very important afternoon meeting and a business dinner at a local winery (cool!). I’m pretty sure I will not be taking pictures of my dinner this evening. How weird would that look to my business guests if I was snapping pics of my entree? 

Well, I’m off to prepare for my meeting. Wish me luck!

Running in a Fog…

Good morning! It’s a busy, busy day and a busy, busy week for me. I’m really hoping to take the afternoon off on Thursday so that I can either lay by the pool or go see Julie & Julia, a movie chronicling the life of a food blogger who experimented with Julia Child’s recipes for a whole year, calling it the Julie/Julia Project. It looks so cute! So I guess I have to be extra focused from Mon-Wed this week, in order to leave early on Thursday!

I had a great 4-mile run this morning! I was sweating like crazy though because the heat and humidity were extremely high. I also seemed to be running in my own bit of hazy fog. I seriously was zoning out the whole time I was running. I guess I’m still trying to recuperate from my jam-packed weekend.

It was slim pickins for breakfast. I did find a blueberry yogurt (regular, not Greek) in the far back of the fridge that was still good to eat.

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So I had the yogurt mixed with a few walnuts and some Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal. It tasted sooo good! Especially because I had barely eaten anything from about 2 PM on yesterday.

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Just look at all of that creamy, crunchy goodness? After eating the yogurt, I did remember why I prefer Greek yogurt over regular. There’s nothing wrong with the taste of regular yogurt, but the Greek version is so much thicker and creamier. I’m sure I’ll be making a Trader Joe’s run very soon to stock up on my Greek favorites. 

Have to sign off for now. Have a great day everyone!