My Fitbloggin Goal

(Photo Source)

As most of you know by now, I’m signed up for Fitbloggin ’11 in Baltimore. Yeah – can’t wait to see my Healthy Living Summit friends again like Fervent FoodieA Girl and Her Mutt, and so many more!

Two awesome girls, Jen and Mandy, came up with an awesome idea – called Fit 4 Fitbloggin – to encourage Fitbloggin attendees to reach their fitness goals before the conference. That’s great motivation, don’t  you think?

Although I don’t need to lose weight or “get in shape”, that doesn’t mean I can’t have a goal. My goal for Fitbloggin is to add more yoga and strength training to my weekly workouts in order to gain more flexibility, muscle, and definition. I know it doesn’t sound like a very lofty or concrete goal. However, for a girl who’s been running for over 20 years – pounding the pavement 5-6 times a week –  adding weights and/or yoga to my routine on a regular basis would be a major accomplishment – not to mention a major benefit for my body.

For all Fitbloggin attendees, I hope you will join the rest of the Fit 4 Fitbloggin crew and tell us about your fitness goals! Seriously, by sharing your goal with 200 of your closest fitbloggin friends you are bound to improve something about your health and life!

Sunday is Giveaway Time!

With such a busy travel schedule coming up, I find myself making tons of lists:

  • To do lists
  • Packing lists
  • Shopping lists
  • Clothing lists

…and so on. When making my lists, I try to keep them in the same notebook or folder, so that they are easy to find and refer to. However lately, I find that I’ve filled most of my little notebooks and have resorted to making lists on sticky notes or on Word documents on my computer. Although this helps get my items on “paper”, I’m not always in front of my computer and I tend to lose the sticky notes after a few days.  This obviously makes my life more hectic and stressful, and I definitely do NOT need more stress in my life right now!

In addition to lists, my schedule pretty much forces me to keep a detailed calendar/schedule for all of my trips, family functions, and other responsibilities. I really don’t like living my life on a schedule, but c’est la vie. This is the main reason I attended the Time Management session at the Healthy Living Summit a few weeks ago. I wanted to learn how to become a better time manager, although not a micro time manager. It was at HLS where I learned about the Quo Vadis day planners, notebooks, and other products that help make scheduling life easier.

For weeks now, I have been looking for a stylish yet functional notebook as well as a planner and had my eyes set Quo Vadis. The parent company of Quo Vadis, Exaclair, very graciously sent me several notebooks, mini-notebooks, planners, and notepads to try. Although I have not tried the planners as of yet (because they are for 2011) I’ve tried the Rhodia dotpad and the Clairefontaine magnetic journals. The dotpad is perfect for making lists – you can tear your list out and take it with you when you’re done, or you can leave it in the pad to save for reference. The Clairefontaine journal is equally handy for journaling daily thoughts, making “life lists”, etc. And what else I love about this journal is that it is hard cover and comes in a very Eurochic design, complete with a faint old-fashioned map of the Mediterranean…

The magnetic strip is a huge bonus – I don’t have to worry about it falling open or flapping around when I’m writing outside on my deck.

As you can see from the pictures above, I received way more Quo Vadis goodies than I can actually use. So you know what that means – it’s giveaway time!

Clairfontaine Journal Giveaway!

I will be hosting several giveaways on both RWC and Bistro Chic involving these awesome notebooks and planners in the coming weeks. The first giveaway will be for one of the stylish magnetic notebooks (the brown hardcover picture above). As I said before, it’s perfect for keeping track of your day-to-day thoughts and activities, and it’s also small enough to fit in your laptop bag or even your purse. So whenever you have a new idea to add to your list – voila! – just pull out your Clairefontaine journal and go to it.

There are two very easy ways to enter the giveaway for one of these awesome Clairefontaine journals:

  1. Comment – Leave a comment on this post tell me how you would use the journal if you won. Or
  2. Tweet – If you don’t have time to leave a comment, you can tweet this post out as a chance to enter.

You must do one of these two things by 9 PM Eastern, Wednesday, September 8, 2010 in order to enter.

I just had another great idea – I’m off to write in my journal!!

Good luck everyone!

Chip and Dip Bowl Giveaway!

When I attended the Healthy Living Summit, I was fortunate enough to go on a tour of the Frito Lay plant in Wisconsin. I learned so much about Frito Lay chips and was quite impressed at all of the steps they are taking to make healthier and greener products.

Now, you all know I’m a chip addict. But I also love dips! I love dips of nearly every kind – bean dips, fruit dips, taco dips, veggie dips, chips dips, etc. However, I’m quite aware that dips often contain high amounts of calories, fat, sugar, and sodium. That’s why I was so glad the girls at Frito Lay sent me a fantastic dip recipe made out of plain Greek yogurt.  Take a look at the recipe – it’s so much healthier than most dips. Hint – it only has 45 calories per serving!

Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Dip

Serves: 8; Serving Size: ¼ cup


  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded
  • 1 ½ cups nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Cumin to taste


  • Grate cucumber halves by hand or chop in a food processor until coarse, but not mushy. Place grated/chopped cucumber in a strainer and cover with a paper towel to squeeze out the excess juice. You may need to change the paper towel a few times.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, chives, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Fold in the cucumber and season with salt and pepper. Add cumin to taste.
  • Refrigerate until chilled, about an hour.
  • Nutrition Information (per ¼ cup serving):

    45 calories, 5 g protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 2 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 91 mg sodium

    The other day I was craving something crunchy and salty, so I promptly made this dip and paired it with some Frito Lay SunChips. Fantastic! The creamy, spicy dip was a perfect combo with my SunChips, although I probably ate more chips than the dip! But hey, they have 18g of whole grains per ounce!

    Frito Lay Giveaway

    As I mentioned last night, I will be doing more giveaways in the future. And guess what? I have another one for you right now! Frito Lay has graciously offered to give one of my readers a fabulous Crate and Barrel chip and dip bowl, with extra dip bowls. Plus, they are throwing in a bag of Lay’s, SunChips, and Tostitos Scoops!. And all of this just in time for Labor Day weekend! I sooo wish I could enter this giveaway myself! But because I can’t, I’m giving it to one of you.

    How to Enter

    All you have to do to enter is either:

    • Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite Frito Lay product OR
    • Tweet/retweet this post on Twitter

    You must enter the giveaway by 9 PM Eastern on Wednesday, September 1, 2010. After that, I will pick a random entrant and post the winner on the my blog. Easy peasey, don’t ya think?

    Good Luck! Now, let’s get snacking!

    Why Am I Smiling?

    So why am I smiling? Well, mainly because I have big things on the horizon. Let me explain….

    As most of you know, work has been crazy busy and will continue to be that way until the end of the year. I’m in charge of a $3.5 million project at work that will hopefully lead to many good things in my career. But that’s only part of the reason why I’m smiling. I also am smiling because:

    Fitness – I can honestly say I am in the best shape in my adult life. Quite honestly, I’ve never been out of shape in my adult life, but this summer, I have really been ramping up the running and yoga, which makes for great toning!

    Blogging – I have major things in store for Running With Cake and Bistro Chic which will include site redesigns, several giveaways, food, travel, and more! I wish I could share more with you but mum’s the word for now.

    Travel – Although my job is very stressful, it is about to take me to some wonderful cities, including San Francisco, Vancouver, and possibly NYC. I’m looking forward to meeting up with Annelies from Attune Foods, One Healthy Apple, and Suki, who all live in the San Fran area. It will be like our own mini Healthy Living Summit! By the way, if there are any HLS or Fit Bloggin attendees from Vancouver, drop me a note – I might have time to meet up!

    Family – I have an incredible husband who is not only tech/social media savvy, but he is also very understanding when it comes to blogging and trying to reach my goals. Mr. C and Ms. M are also wonderful and very patient when it comes to their blogger mommy. And my in-laws are a God-send for all the help they provide with the kids and the house. I couldn’t do all of these things without you!

    So as you can see, things are moving very quickly in my life. I hope you stick around and find out what happens on my personal “reality show”!

    And on that note….

    Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

    – Ferris Bueller

    HLS Swag Bag Winners!

    Hello All!

    Thank you all so much for entering my Healthy Living Summit Swag Bag Giveaway! I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer so here you go—

    And the winners are (via random number generator online):

    • Jenna Z Posted August 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm | I am a Quaker ADDICT! I LOVE oatmeal, in bowl, bar, cookie, ANY form! Once for vacation we stayed at Quaker Square Inn, where the hotel rooms are INSIDE the grain silo at the former Quaker factory. And they have an oatmeal bar everyday for breakfast!   AND
    • Krista B. Posted August 19, 2010 at 12:47 am | Hi Jennifer! This is actually my first post on your blog. I discovered you a few weeks ago and have been reading it ever since. I don’t consider myself to be an avid runner – yet. Like you, I enjoy staying in shape but LOVE food! Your blog has become an inspiration to me. 
My personal favorite of the products would be the Stoneyfield Yogurt.
Especially when I top it with mixed berries and Kashi granola! Yum!
I’m looking forward to reading more! 
~ Krista

    Jenna and Krista, please email me your mailing addresses at jennifer at so I can send you your swag!

    Stay tuned for another awesome giveaway next week!

    Everything In Moderation, Including Chips

    Have I ever told you how much I love chips? I don’t mean just love , I mean LOVE!!!! Hi, my name is Jennifer and I’m a chipaholic. And this isn’t a new love affair for me either. I’ve loved chips for as long as I can remember. I know what you’re thinking – I’m supposed to write about how to live a healthy lifestyle – and chips are bad, aren’t they? Well, it’s true that chips have little nutritional value – aside from standard carbs, fat, and calories that our body needs. However, my feeling is that no food should be bad or good. Eat any food that you like, as long as you eat it in moderation and balance it with a variety of foods from all of the food groups. So, I can absolutely have my chips as long as I balance them with vegetables, fruit, etc.

    In the last few years, Scott and I have been trying to eat foods in their most natural state – even chips. About 5 years ago, we were determined to find chips that had the fewest ingredients and ingredients we recognized. We settled on Cape Cod chips for the simple reasons that they tasted good and only had 3 ingredients – salt, oil, and potatoes. For years, Cape Cod chips were the ONLY chips we would eat, but we have since broadened our horizons.

    Last week, when I attended the Frito Lay tour, I learned that Lay’s signature chips – the plain potato chips – have only 3 ingredients – oil, salt, and potatoes. Shocking! I mentioned this to Scott over the phone who believed the ingredients, but was skeptical about the taste. But something must have peaked his interest along the way because he went out and bought 2 bags of Lay’s reduced fat all-natural potato chips made with sea salt. Tonight, while eating them with our turkey burgers and carrots, he said, “these taste better than Cape Cod, I don’t know why”. I admit, I felt the same way. Sorry Cape Cod, there’s a new chip in town.

    Anyway, after the Frito Lay tour, I begged and pleaded with the Frito Lay girls to give me a shirt, but alas, they had no more. Fortunately, they found a extra shirt back at the office and mailed it to me. Thank you!! It arrived today and I couldn’t wait to put it on. The shirt actually has a dual meaning for me. Not only did I want the shirt because I love chips, but I’m also an alum of Central Michigan University, home of the Chippewas – or the “Chips” as we would call them.

    And, as they say at CMU – Go, Fire Up, Chips! Have a great night everyone.

    Fitbloggin 2011 Here I Come!

    Hello All! It has only been one day since the Healthy Living Summit and I am already having signs of withdrawal! Why can’t people at work take pictures of their food too?

    So what does a blogger do when she has the post-blogging conference blues? She signs up for another conference! And that’s exactly what I did! I am officially attending FitBloggin 2011 in Baltimore in May and can’t wait!

    I’m so excited that FitBloggin 2011 will be in May next year! Last year it was in March, but luckily, Baltimore was experiencing freakishly warm weather – 75-80 degrees the whole weekend! I’m so hoping for a weather repeat next year. I am especially looking forward to staying at the hotel – it’s in an awesome location right by the harbor. Plus, the location is a prime spot for running and site-seeing at the same time.

    As you may remember from FitBloggin 2010, Scott and I had a little too much fun taking in the sites and exploring all of the food options Baltimore has to offer. As you can see from the Fitbloggin 2010 photo above, I was not shy about having my mango smoothie and drinking it too! See my previous post about the FitBloggin conference for a recap. And remember to follow @Fitbloggin on Twitter for more deets.

    So, anyone else going to Fitbloggin 2011 and want to meet up?

    “Taste of HLS” and Swag Bag Giveaway

    As you all know, I’ve been at the Healthy Living Summit in downtown Chicago for the last 2 ½ days. As many of you know, Chicago hosts the “Taste of Chicago” every year in June/July. It’s essentially a HUGE taste festival of the many restaurants in the Chicago area. Seeing as I’m from Chicago, I thought I would offer you a “Taste of HLS” – a short recap of all of the things I experience and “tasted” at the conference. In just 2 1/2 days, I managed to:

    1) Take a tour of Frito Lay in Beloit, WI, with about 25 HLS attendees, including Pickley Pear. Frito Lay products are awesome and healthy!
    2) Hug Chester Cheetah – I know you’re jealous!;

    3) Attend a swanky cocktail reception hosted by OpenSky where I took some crazy pics in the photo booth with Fervent Foodie and Training To Live;

    4) Take an early AM walk with some wonderful women around Chicago’s “Bean” and even caught a glimpse of morning tai chi! Thank you to A Girl and Her Mutt for arranging! Sadly, I am the one taking the picture so I’m not in it 🙁

    5) Enjoy a wonderful breakfast by Quaker Oats and Stoneyfield yogurt. 6) Listen to some amazing sessions about nutrition for athletes, food photography, and time management;

    7) Have a fantastic lunch provided by Arnold and Oroweat breads;

    8) Actively participate in a kick-ass flow yoga session (my head is still spinning from trying to keep up!);

    9) Munch on some super yummy Athenos products – OMG, everything is betta with feta – seriously, it is!;

    10) Get a little too friendly with some salad that ended up on my head. Thanks Chiaseedme!;

    11) Go on a very cool 3-hour tour by Tastebud Tours sponsored by Arnold and Oroweat – Lynn, you rock! The tour included stops at the Bergoff and the Billy Goat Tavern (Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Cheezborger, no fries, Cheezborger);

    12) Run a fairly decent 10K on Sunday AM along the lake shore; 13) enjoy an outstanding farewell brunch by Thomas’ bagel thins where we were encouraged to make a new cream cheese creation. I made a walnut, pineapple, and raspberry mix – fantastic!

    14) And, last but not least, say goodbye to some fabulous bloggers – I hope I will all of you again next year!

    Thank you to all the sponsors and especially to the HLS planning committee for all of your hard work in making this a conference of epic proportion.

    Now, for all of you non-attendees…The Healthy Living Summit Swag Bag Giveaway!

    Before, during, and even immediately after the event I read about so many of you who wanted to come but could not due to work, school, finances, etc. I hope that you can all attend next year because this conference was truly worth the money.

    And for all of you who could not make it to the Healthy Living Summit this year, you have a chance to experience a little piece of HLS via Running With Cake! As you probably heard, HLS attendees received some very hefty swag bags thanks to the many sponsors and the HLS planning committee. There’s no way I’m going to use all of my swag so I’m giving some of my goodies away to you!

    That’s right – I’m giving away two HLS goodie packs to two fortunate readers. Here are some of the items that will be divided between the bags:

    1. A reusable grocery/gym bag by Frito Lay or Oroweat
    2. Oroweat travel coffee mug
    3. $4 and $1 coupons for Arnold/Oroweat products
    4. $10 giftcard to subway (only one of these, sorry!)
    5. Free Stoneyfield yogurt coupon
    6. Frioto Lay Chips
    7. Quaker Granola Bar
    8. Free Attune food coupon
    9. Oh Nuts! cashews or peanuts
    10. Arnold and Oroweat recipe cards and measuring spoon
    11. A surprise gift from me!

    How to enter:

    • Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite product/brand is from the ones I mentioned above. OR…
    • Tweet/Retweet this post over Twitter

    Do either of those things by 9 PM Eastern on Thursday, August 19, and you will be automatically entered. I will then randomly select the two winners and let you all know who won!

    Sound fun? OK, let’s go!

    HLS: Aim for Being Healthy, Not Skinny

    Hey all!

    I’m live blogging from the Healthy Living Summit ! Only have time for a quick update because my computer battery is quickly wasting away.

    This morning, I met a bunch of HLS women for a walk before breakfast. We headed across the street to Buckingham Fountain then onto the Bean!

    Breakfast was a small bowl of Quaker Oats – gotta have my oats! I’m then attended an awesome session about nutrition for athletes, which also reinforced the need to aim for being healthy rather than skinny!

    See you all later (or tomorrow, depending on Internet connection) for a full recap!

    A Visit From The UPS Man…

    Only one more day of work until the Healthy Living Summit! Yeah! I took the afternoon off from work to run some errands and to get some last minute sun by the pool – he he! It was so relaxing laying by the pool and following everyone’s HLS comments on Twitter – HLS bloggers are awesome!

    While laying by the pool, I heard a familiar noise at the front of the house – the screeching/halting of large tires and the grrrr of a large engine. Who could it be but the UPS man! I’ve never been so happy to see Brown! And what did my Santa in brown shorts bring me? My Anthropologie top for Saturday’s dinner at Mercadito (can’t wait to meet Rhodeygirltests and Fervent Foodie!) and my RWC t-shirt.

    I was so excited to receive the packages that I ripped them open like a child on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, my RWC tee did not turn out exactly how I had ordered. Thankfully, Cafe Press addressed the issue and is sending me another one – directly to my hotel on Friday – free of charge! Now that’s service! As of now, this (or a similar one) is the shirt I will be wearing to the sessions on Saturday – hopefully, you can pick me out from the crowd!

    And on the subject of clothes, here’s what I will be wearing…

    • Friday Frito Lay Tour – yoga pants and t-shirt
    • Friday night OpenSky reception – cocktail dress
    • Saturday sessions – capri yoga pants and RWC t-shirt
    • Saturday Arnold Tour, Mercadito Dinner, Drinks/Dancing – Capris and a fun Anthropologie top
    • Sunday run and breakfast – Lucy running skirt and fitted running shirt

    All outfits are subject to change based on weather, mood, and if I spill the odd drink on myself! Ok ladies, must get packing, then it’s off to bed to rest up for my 6-mile run in the AM. Safe travels DawnPickley Pear and everyone else attending HLS!

    Night all 🙂