Time For A New Pair of Running Shoes…

Morning everyone! I had intended to run 8 miles this morning, but only ended up running 6 miles in a little over 50 minutes. I woke up later than I had planned and sometimes, the only way to get back on schedule is to shorten your workout a little. 

Prior to my run, I thought I’d break out my first ever CLIF bar. I’ve heard they are more for “guys” but because they were on sale for $1, I thought I’d give them a try.

9.13 Cliff bar

The chocolate chip peanut crunch bar has 260 calories. To me, that is quite a few calories for a power bar. I decided to only eat 1/3 of the bar, so about 85 calories, before my run. The CLIF bar was pretty tasty, although I’ve tasted better. I’m sure, because it’s more gear toward highly active men, that taste wasn’t their #1 priority. Overall, I’d say the bar is a little too much for me in calories, plus it’s huge compared to other bars. I would probably get sick mid-run if I ate the whole thing. 

My run went very smoothly for the most part. At the beginning, I felt a little sluggish, but once I got over that Sunday morning slump, I really felt great. Although, my calves and hips are a little sore. I’m thinking it’s time for a new pair of shoes! I can always tell when it’s about that time because parts of me that normally don’t ache, like my back and glutes, start to get sore. 

For breakfast, I thought I’d try the new Kashi cereal I bought yesterday. At just $2 a box on sale, I thought I’d try the Go Lean High Protein & High Fiber Cereal with 10 g of fiber and 13 g of protein. I think that’s the most fiber I’ve ever seen in a cereal!


Instead of eating a full cup/serving of this cereal (I didn’t want to shock my digestive track), I decided to go half and half with the high fiber version and the the Go Lean Crunch…

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The cereal mixture was lightly sweetened and packed a great crunch. I also added handful of fresh raspberries – ‘cuz berries are so good for you! Along with the cereal, I also chugged my Daily Wellness shot from Zola.

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We’re headed out to do a little shopping, then work around the house. I also think there is a homemade apple pie in store for tonight, so stay tuned for the yummy photos!

Cereal Better Than Sports Drink After Exercise

Need Post-Run Refueling? Try Cereal

The next time you do a hard run or other intense exercise, you may want to opt for a bowl of cereal instead of your normal sports drink. New research from the University of Texas Austin compared the post-exercise effects of both cereal and exercise drinks in 12 trained athletes. They found that a bowl of whole-grain cereal with skim milk replenished the athletes’ immediate muscle fuel, called glycogen, as well as the sports drink, and in some aspects, even better. Cereal and milk is typically less expensive than sports drinks, making it an even better option for nonprofessional athletes like me!

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On many mornings, you will likely find me enjoying a big bowl of whole-grain cereal after my run – just like today! I was up and out the door around 6:20 AM today to run a moderately paced 4-miler. I’m still sick so my energy level has not been the greatest.

After my run, I measured 1 cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch-Honey Almond Flax, which has 8 g of fiber and 9 g of protein in every serving! I poured in about 1/2 cup of skim milk and then the crunching began!

I also had my Daily Wellness Shot from Zola and a few chunks of bright, juicy watermelon…

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I love watermelon! I’m sure I will be longing for this lovely fruit all winter long.

Today, our office is, once again, being overtaken by strangers and food! I’m trying to avoid the staff lounge/kitchen as much as possible for this reason. For lunch, I had a bowl of leftover veggie pasta salad…

9.11 lunch

It still has great flavor even when it’s nearly a week old! I think the photo of the salad turned out pretty well, considering it was taken in my cube.

Alright. Must get back to work so that I can leave early to get a jump start on my weekend. Have a great afternoon!

Odwalla Choco-walla Disappoints a Hungry Runner

Happy Labor Day!

A few days ago, I made a quick run to Dominick’s, a grocery store that I had not been to in at least 6 months. Dominick’s is a typical grocery store, although it generally has higher prices than Jewell, the store that I frequent most often. Well, when I walked into Dominick’s I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had completely remodeled the store – it was now a cross between an upper-scale grocery store and Whole Foods. Perfect timing too, considering the backlash that Whole Foods is receiving. They had a ton of great deals too on specialty and health food items. In fact, I was able to buy 5 power bars, each for $1. I don’t normally buy powerbars but have recently been eating them to see if they help with my running performance.

9.5 powerbars

Of the 5 bars, I bought a CLIF bar, a LUNA bar, and 3 different Odwalla bars – one of which I had today. About 30 minutes before my run I tore open my new original flavor Odwalla bar…

9.7 Odwalla1

The original version, called the Choco-walla, is made with fruit, whole grains, and chocolate – all the things I love. Plus, it had a good amount of both protein and fiber. Well, it’s too bad I didn’t love this bar. Ok, I didn’t even like this bar. One taste and I knew this bar was not for me – the chocolate tasted chalky and it had another strange taste/flavor that didn’t sit well with me. I made myself eat 1/2 of it then I thew the rest in the trash. Well, that was only $.50 and 110 calories down the drain. But, I still have 2 more Odwalla bars to try, so we’ll see how that goes.

9.7 Odwalla2

After a few sips of water, to hydrate and to wash the weird taste out of my mouth, I headed out the door. On Mondays, I usually only do 4 mile runs because I’m pressed for time to get to work. Today, I ran a little over 40 minutes or 5 miles and felt GREAT! I think I might try doing a 7 or 8 miler next weekend.

I was really hungry again today after my run I did a shot of Zola’s Daily Wellness drink and then chowed on a big yogurt bowl…

9.7 breakfast2

I started with a carton of Trader Joe’s vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt and topped that with chopped watermelon, finely chopped Gala apples (fresh picked on Saturday!) and a few walnuts. So filling and yummy!

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I absolutely love watermelon in yogurt and on vanilla ice cream. It’s a great mix of flavors and it gives you added vitamin C and antioxidants in every bite!

We’re headed out to the store now and then onto to the in-laws for a Labor Day dinner. Hope you all have a beautiful, fun, and relaxing Labor Day wherever you are!

September is Apple-picking Season

Morning everyone! This is just a quick post before I jet off to go apple picking. I had to miss yoga class today because of our big morning event. I’m going to try to fit in a mid-week yoga session on my Tuesday vacation day.

For breakfast, I made a little yogurt parfait…

9.5 breakfast3

I took one carton of Trader Joe’s nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt and added blueberries and walnuts to it. I absolutely love TJ’s vanilla Greek yogurt. Even the girl at the checkout commented on how much she liked that type of yogurt. Too bad I can’t get my husband or sister to try it, I think they’d both like it.

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In addition to my yogurt parfait, I had my daily wellness shot and a slice of Hormel all-natural, nitrate-free, uncured bacon. There have been numerous studies that show nitrates may be linked to cancer so my husband and I try to buy most things without nitrates, like hot dogs, lunch meat, and bacon. You’d be surprised at how many brands actually sell nitrate -free products now. 9.5 breakfast2

Now, I’m off to go apple picking! I’m so excited because apple picking means apple pies, applesauce, apple crisp, and, of course, fresh apples!

Talk to you this afternoon!

Walnuts – Small in Size, Big on Nutrition

Hey Friends! My hair is officially shorter than it was this morning thanks to a brand spankin’ new haircut! I do like it, but it’s styled a little too flat for me right now (and that’s saying a lot since I like my hair straight) so I decided to wait until tomorrow to take a photo.

Prior to my haircut I ran to the grocery store and to Trader Joe’s just to pick up a few odds and ends, including Yogi antioxidant green tea which my husband loves. For lunch, I originally made a simple sandwich, but then doctored it up with a few Mezzetta red pepper slices and provolone cheese…

9.4 lunch

For some reason, I’ve been in a potato chip mood lately. Today, I had more of the Cape Cod low-fat plain potato chips – love them!

After lunch, I was able to get a little work done answering emails and even doing a little house work. Then, I actually sat outside in the warm sun and read my new Real Simple magazine – and I just happened to have a Starbucks mocha frap in my hand at the same time. I’m such a multi-tasker like that.

Friday nights are typically my night to cook. But, whenever Friday rolls around, I never seem to want to cook anything. Tonight followed that same pattern. So instead of me cooking the planned chicken stir fry, we opted for pizza takeout. I know, it’s such a cliché Friday night dinner, but it was gourmet pizza!

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My husband and I split a plank-style pizza. His half had pepperoni, spinach, and red peppers; mine had spinach, goat cheese, red peppers, mushrooms, and pesto sauce. I’ve had this many times before and it is so awesome each time I order it.

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I was pretty full after I finished my pizza (all but two pieces) but just a few minutes ago I decided to end the night with a little spumoni….

9.4 dessert

I had about 3/4 cup Edy’s spumoni and added about 1 tbsp of walnuts to the cold, creamy treat. I’ve been adding walnuts to everything lately – well, nearly everything. Most people know that walnuts, and many other nuts, are high in fiber and good fats (MUFA). But, new research from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that walnuts may actually help lower cholesterol more than fish. I am so glad to hear that news because I do NOT like fish, but LOVE walnuts. Finally, I have an argument for not eating fish!

Tomorrow, we are headed apple picking with my husband’s whole family. It’s a tradition we started a few years ago. After that, we all go out to lunch, then head home to start out apple-treat baking. I think a homemade apple pie is in my near future. Stay tuned for a recipe!

Have a great night all.

The Last Days of Summer…

Morning everyone! Can you believe it’s Labor Day weekend already! I’m a little sad that the summer is over, but I have a great weekend ahead. Here’s what’s on my agenda for the last days of summer…

  • Friday – haircut (which is an event for me)
  • Saturday – Apple picking with the fam
  • Sunday – Outdoor music concert (my “Labor Day weekend show”)
  • Monday – Golf (not me, but the guys) and a BBQ
  • Tuesday – A vacation day for me and hopefully the day I finally see the latest Harry Potter

I want to fit in some magazine reading and a new recipe or two. So much to do, so little time! 

But, before I get into the weekend, let’s talk about today! The weather is just amazing this morning – slightly cool and sunny. It was just perfect for a run.

For breakfast, I was inspired by Tina’s oatmeal this morning and decided to make my own oatmeal creation…


I started with about 1/4 whole oats and added 1/2 cup skim milk. After I microwaved it for 2 minutes, I added a spoonful of MaraNatha all-natural creamy peanut butter, a few walnuts (I’m on a walnut kick if you can’t tell!) and a handful of blueberries. Oh my, this is such a filling combination and full of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. 

I also had a little chopped fruit that I brought home from our staff luncheon yesterday…


Doesn’t that fruit look yummy! Finally, to top off my breakfast, I had a shot of wellness from 

 I have a ton of grocery shopping to do today so I need to hurry up and get ready then head out the door. I also have a haircut appointment at 1:45 – yeah!! I’m dying to try a new style, but I’m such a nervous nellie about my hair. Whatever I decide, I’ll post some pics later – if it turns out well. Otherwise, I’ll be in hiding for a few weeks -ha!

By the way, what’s everyone doing for the long Labor Day weekend? Even though I have a full weekend planned, I really wish I could pull a Jimmy B. and say I was heading up to San Francisco for the Labor Day weekend show… I can never get enough Jimmy!

Ok, now I really have to get going. Have a great morning 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….

8.2 popcorn

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.

8.2 dinner

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.

8.2 dessert

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.

8.2 breakfast2

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…

8.2 snack

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…

8.2 lunch

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!

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…

8.1 Lunch

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!

Almost like "Hot" Yoga

Good morning friends! It’s another unseasonably cool and crisp day outside. I actually had to wear a jacket to yoga this morning. Yoga was fantastic today! The yogini really took her time with the class. She was also very patient when 24 people showed up to a class that is supposed to be maxed at 20. But, in true yoga fashion, we all just picked up our mats and moved as close as we could to one another without getting into each other’s personal space. With the extra bodies in the room, it was VERY hot – almost like bikram yoga, which I am not used to. People were actually sweating, which I almost never see. But we managed.

After yoga, I tried out a new organic health drink that was sent to me in the mail….

Zola Energy Smoothie

The makers of Zola drinks sent me a big box of juices, smoothies, and a juice-shot drink.  The juices and smoothies are made from a Brazilian recipe and contain superfruits like Acai berry. 

Zola Energy Smoothie2

I had an Tropical Blend Energy Smoothie made with Caja Fruit, Acai, and a bunch of different kinds of fruit purees and juices, like pear, apple, and pineapple. It even has green tea in it.

Zola Energy Smoothie3

I usually shy away from fruit smoothies and juices because they can be loaded with calories and even fat. This smoothie is 125 calories a serving and has 2 g Fiber – not bad for a smoothie drink. The drink itself has a great flavor, although is not as thick as a typical smoothie.

8.29 Zola Energy

Would I buy this smoothie at the store? Yes, I would definitely buy the juice, particularly for the great flavor and the fact that it is loaded with healthy ingredients. But, because I’m not really a juice drinker, I think I would save this drink for times when I needed an extra boost of energy or vitamins, like when I feel a cold coming on.

Aside from the juice, I also made a small bowl of Strawberry-peanut butter oatmeal…

8.29 Breakfast2

I started with 1/4 cup whole oats mixed with 1/2 cup skim milk. After I microwaved that for 2 minutes, I added 2 strawberries, 2 tbsp of walnuts, and dollop of MaraNatha all-natural creamy peanut butter. Hmm…so good..

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I think we’re now headed out to do a little site-seeing downtown or maybe just do a little shopping. 

Have a great afternoon everyone!