Lions, and Tigers, and Dinosaurs, Oh My!

Hey all, this is going to be a drive by post because we are heading out to the zoo in a few minutes.

I arrived at yoga class with 10 minutes to spare and received the LAST yoga card (cards they hand out to make sure they do not go over 20 people). I was so happy to get in! But, even with their nifty card system, there were somehow two extra people, just like last time. Sounds like they need a new system.

Yoga was very HOT again this morning because of all of the people combined with the heat being on full blast. Savasana was extra relaxing today. The music was just right, the temperature had evened out, and I really felt calm. During savasana, our yogini also does something really cool. She goes around to each student, one by one, and gives them a very quick neck/head massage with this wonderful smelling lavender cream. I love the smell!

For breakfast, I had a quick cup of Trader Joe’s blueberry nonfat Greek yogurt topped with a few sliced almonds for extra MUFA!

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Plus, I had my daily shot of wellness from Zola…

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After breakfast, I got ready than ran to Target and the grocery store. I made awesome time at both stores and ended up only being gone for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Scott and I made sandwiches for lunch so that we could avoid eating at the zoo. I’m not against zoo food, but I’d really rather eat my own food and save money.

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I made my 1/2 sandwich using double fiber Brownberry bread. I added a few slices of deli ham and low-fat salami, plus a little cheddar cheese and a bunch of red leaf lettuce. On the side were a couple of handfuls of Cape Cod low-fat chips and a crunchy pickle.

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Now that our tummies are happy, we are headed to the zoo to see the dinosaur exhibit before it ends. After the zoo, I’m going to try to convince Scott to make a side trip to Red Mango froyo – we’ve never had it and there’s a store not too far from the zoo. I say it’s fate and we should not tempt fate.

Alright, we’re off to the zoo. Lions, and Tigers, and Dinosaurs, here we come!

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…

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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!

My Favorite Starbucks is Closing!

Hey everyone! I’m doing much better today, although I am getting sick which is never fun. I’m still stressed over all the work I have to do, but today everything just seems more manageable. 

I started my day with a quick 4-mile run. I didn’t want to push myself too much due to being sick. I felt a little winded during and after running, probably because it’s getting harder for me to breath.

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Breakfast was a big yogurt bowl made with a carton of Trader Joe’s vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt, mixed with watermelon chunks and 1/4 of a nectarine. I topped it with the last of my chopped walnuts. I love this creamy, crunchy texture! I also had a shot of Zola’s Daily Wellness. The juice shot claims to help boost your immune system (ie. help you from getting sick). Maybe it just wasn’t strong enough to fight off the bug that I have.

As I headed to work, I heard Starbucks calling my name. I arrived at my usual store and found out that they are closing as of September 13! I was in shock as I walked out of the store holding what could be the last mocha frap I buy from that Starbucks. Boo hoo.

On a more positive note… since it was really the only convenient Starbucks on the way to work, this may be a great opportunity to reduce my Starbucks purchases. I’m sure my husband would be thrilled!

My morning at work was full of meetings, to-do lists, and tons of writing/work. There’s a seminar being held onsite at our office this week so there are twice as many people as normal stuffed into the staff lounge, to which I’m pretty annoyed. Luckily a coworker offered to pick up Potbelly for everyone and I quickly jumped at the offer!

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I enjoyed a super tangy turkey and provolone sandwich on whole-grain – skinny, with tomatoes, lettuce, brown mustard, extra pickles, and HOT peppers. Oh my, I haven’t had Potbelly in sooo long and it tasted awesome! I really had to stop myself from NOT inhaling this. And, it was all under 300 calories – bonus.

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Now that my tummy is pleasingly satisfied, I’m am back to work once more. I have a conference call in a few minutes, then it’s the first of two business reports that I have to draft. The fun never ends around here!

Have a great afternoon everyone!

Hump Day Stress

Hello all and Happy Hump Day! I am having a very stressful day (and a BAD hair day which just adds to the fun). So please excuse me if I’m not my typical cheerful self. Despite being my off day for running, I woke up early to try to get a jump start on the day and that I did. 

Before I left, I ate a quick and healthy breakfast ….

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A super juicy nectarine! They’ve been so good this season – I don’t think I’ve had a bad one yet. I also had a piece of Brownberry Double Fiber bread with a tbsp of MaraNatha all-natural creamy peanut butter.

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For quite a while, this was my go-to breakfast for the work week and on the weekends. It’s simple but healthy because it has tons of fiber, protein, and MUFA! Throw a little fruit and a Daily Wellness shot and you’re all set.

I arrived at work just before 8:30 without making any detours (although Starbuck’s was calling my name). I am in charge of so many projects right now that all seem to have the same deadline – how the hell did that happen?? But, I have to keep reminding myself that many people out there have lost their jobs, so I should just be thankful that I still have one in this economy. 

In keeping with my simple but healthy theme, I ate a 1/2 ham and salami sandwich for lunch, with a side of sweet and crunchy carrots…

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Not very fun, I know, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Now, I’m thinking about going to Starbuck’s. And, it’s not that I need the caffeine, it’s more that I need a pick-me-up. I hate that I rely on Starbuck’s to put me in a better mood. But I guess it’s less expensive than going on a shopping spree!

Have to get back to work. Have a great afternoon everyone.

A Lovely Vacation Day Morning…

Good Morning All (or Good Afternoon for some!) I was up an out of bed early on my vacation day. I would have loved to have slept in but I have so many things that I need to cram in today before I head back to work tomorrow.

Before heading out for my run, I grabbed another Odwalla bar to give me a little extra energy.

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Unlike the one I had yesterday, this Banana Nut bar had a much better flavor. But, even with a better flavor plus 5g of fiber and 4g of protein, I can’t say that I really loved this bar.

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I ate 1/2 the bar and then put the rest in a bag to save for tomorrow. It wasn’t so bad that I would throw it away like yesterday!

Then, I headed out the door for my Tuesday morning run. I had so much energy and was able to run another 40-minute, 5 mile run with no problem. When I arrived home, I downed a bunch of water and had my daily shot of Zola’s juice. This juice shot is really starting to grow on me – not the taste but more because I feel like I have more energy throughout the day. Maybe that’s why my runs have been so good – he he!

The plan for today was to make an apple dessert since we still have 3 1/2 pecks of Gala apples to eat. I made yet another run to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the week and for the apple cake I had planned on making. 

At the store, I also picked up a little breakfast muffin. Ok, it was a HUGE chocolate chip breakfast muffin! But, after all, I am on vacation!

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I only ate half and saved the rest for an after dinner treat. Then it was baking time! Yes – I really DID make a homemade apple cake today. It smells so good baking in the oven right now, and, from what I can tell, it looks like I did everything right! I really hope it turns out well because I don’t have the best track record when I bake brand new desserts.

Now, my husband and I are having a quick lunch before we head to our afternoon movie – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!

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I made a 1/2 sandwich with sliced deli ham and low-fat salami and a little veggie pasta salad on the side. I didn’t want to eat too much because I want to save room for popcorn!

See you all after the movie – have a great afternoon!

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.

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!

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!

Kickin' It Up a Notch

Afternoon all! Hope your day started off great. My run was fantastic this morning. I had so much energy (despite only getting 6 hours of sleep – blah!) so I kicked it up a notch with some speed intervals. It feels sooo good to run FAST because I’m used to running at a moderate pace. I’m really hoping to increase my pace some over the next few months and actually enter a Fall race – maybe a Turkey Trot – gobble, gobble!

Since I was running late again this morning, I grabbed a quick, but high fiber and protein cereal mix…

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I mixed 3/4 cup of Cheerios Multi-grain with about 1/2 cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch, plus about 1/2 cup blueberries for extra fiber and antioxidants.

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Breakfast kept me feeling satisfied for the entire morning. I wasn’t even tempted by the new birthday treats (coffeecakes, donuts, etc.) in the staff lounge – ha ha! I was really tired around 11 AM though and had to pop open a can of diet coke for a quick wake-me-up drink.

For lunch, I enjoyed more of my homemade split pea soup that I froze almost one month ago today. Wow, time flies when you’re eating good food. I only have one more bowl left out of this batch, so I guess it’s time to make more!

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Today’s soup was still as tasty as the day I made it. It’s really filling too because of all of the fiber, so I’m hoping it carries me all the way to dinner.

OK, back to work for me. Have a great afternoon everyone and I’ll chat with you tonight.

Running in the Rain

Well, it is raining for the third day in a row. I know we need the rain but come on! When I woke up this morning, it was just drizzling a bit, so I laced up my running shoes and headed out the door. It was chilly so I wore running capris and a light rain parka with a hood. I was determined to not let the rain stop me – although I’m sure my ipod had other ideas. I actually don’t mind running in light rain. It definitely keeps me cool. A light misty rain also seems to clean away all of the dirt and grime from the ground and leaves things smelling fresher than before. And, somehow, everything just seems quieter, maybe because there are fewer people outside milling about. 

After my wet, but awesome run, I made a quick breakfast parfait….

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It almost looks like ambrosia salad in the photo! But really, it’s not. I mixed one container of Trader Joe’s nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and walnuts. 

Seeing as it is my day off, I leisurely got ready and then headed out the door to the mall to see if there were any end-of-summer deals. Well, no real deals to speak of, but Lucy’s Fall line of running gear looks very promising.

On my way back from the mall, I met my husband for lunch at our favorite Italian hot spot…

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I had a personal pizza topped with (very few) black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and goat cheese – oh my, this was gooood!

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I also had a small Misto salad, made with mixed greens, grape tomatoes, topped with goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

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It’s time to clean up the house and do a little more reading before heading back out into the rain this afternoon.

Enjoy the rest of your day!