Hot Yoga + Dinner Party

I feel like I just had one of the best weekends ever. It was a perfect balance of fitness, food, friends and a ton of fun (and only a little work πŸ˜‰ ) which I feel like never happens. I ended the week strong with staying on track and eating all of my meals at home Monday-Thursday and with some great workouts. Friday night I planned to go to my first hot vinyasa class (I’ve done Bikram, didn’t love it) and John agreed to come too! We went to Yoga to The People which offers $5 hot vinyasa classes at their 38th St location!! They fill up VERY quickly, so we got there a little early and snagged the last 2 spots. The room was less hot than bikram but I still was absolutely drenched just a few minutes into the class. I freaking LOVED it. I haven’t practiced Vinyasa in so long and the soreness in my back, shoulders and abs are insane. John liked it, too! Yay!

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We followed that up with pizza in bed. I had a long run Saturday morning and what better way to refuel from hot yoga? This was literally my dream date night. I love my soulmate πŸ™‚

Medium no-cheese pizza with grilled chicken and onions. Beyond amazing.
Medium no-cheese pizza with grilled chicken and onions. Beyond amazing.

Saturday morning: 8 mile run through the crazy fog of Central Park. IN SHORTS! πŸ˜€

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I had an awesome meeting with someone at noon at a Starbucks in Brooklyn so I had to shower quick and tried a new-to-me drink that STUFT Mama used to drink. Bare with me: Iced venti soy green tea latte with no classic syrup, 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla, and a shot of espresso.

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SO good. I estimated the calories at 250-ish since I nixed the classic syrup and it cost almost $7 so I will not be purchasing these much unless I plan to get a 3rd job at Starbucks.

After my meeting I met John for brunch at… you guessed it… Brindle Room. We’re so predictable but it’s hard to try new places when you find a place that’s so perfect. I did however try a new dish there instead of my usual, which was Shakshuka. I didn’t know until I just looked it up but it’s an Israeli dish and really healthy! It’s just a base of spiced tomato sauce, poached eggs, feta cheese crumbles, scallions and parsley. At Brindle Room it’s served with grilled sourdough bread.

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Here’s a link to a great recipe for it. I think this may become a new dinner for me!

After brunch we stopped at Trader Joe’s wine shop and then back home so I could whip up an apple crisp for the dinner party we were going to. My good friend Sharde at work is an amazing event planner and host, and she had a dinner party at her apartment last night. She is a freaking amazing cook! She went all out and set up gorgeous tables with centerpieces that had flowers and goldfish in them.

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Her menu included baked chicken breasts (stuffed with mozz, tomato and basil but I had mine plain since cheese… boo), asparagus, caesar salad, potatoes, pasta salad and bread.

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While I wanted to dive straight into the bowl of caesar salad and eat all the chicken, I saved room for wine. Lots. Of. Wine. I hadn’t drank since September so I’m in struggle city today with a killer hangover. But it was worth it because we all had so much fun!

shots! i sat these out... it was best.
shots! i sat these out… it was best.
aren't we pretty?
aren’t we pretty?

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the hostess!
the hostess!
wine. too much wine.
wine. too much wine.
loves them!
loves them!
:)
πŸ™‚

Great, great weekend. Ready to tackle another healthy week tomorrow!

What were the highlights of your weekend?

Have you ever done hot vinyasa or bikram? Like it/love it/hate it?

Don’t Make Me Laugh.

I am in so much pain right now. A good pain, but a strong one. I worked out with Brenda on Saturday morning, meaning I let her train me and I have never been in so much pain DURING a workout or after. Even after 4+ hours of cycling last week, she beat me to a pulp. More on that later, but let’s discuss the delicious food I’ve had since we talked last!

Backtracking to last week, I was so exhausted from my 3 spin classes in 24 hours that I took Wednesday and Thursday off to rest. Wednesday night my brother came down to the city so we met up in Brooklyn for pizza and froyo/Shake Shack. Grimaldi’s for pizza of course, 2 pies for the 3 of us. Demolished.

Pie 1 of 2.
Pie 1 of 2.
My 2 favorite guys in the world!
My 2 favorite guys in the world!

On the way back to my brother’s car we passed Orange Leaf and since I was on an antibiotic last week, I figured I HAD to get my yogurt intake for the day. Right?!

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Sadly I barely made a dent into it. I wasn’t crazy full from the pizza but my appetite just isn’t as raging since I’ve been running less. Even tons of Spin doesn’t make me as hungry as running! Anyone else?! The boys got Shake Shack shakes and John literally ordered a double burger too. After 6 pieces of pizza. No words.

Friday I was off from job #1 but job #2 I had at 6:00 PM so I got to sleep in a little and then busted out 1 of my finals. My class Friday night was so great again! I am loving teaching cycling SO SO much and right now since I’m just subbing I have no classes scheduled this week and I’m so sad. Hoping someone will need a sub!

1.5 mile treadmill run first then class!
1.5 mile treadmill run first then class!

After class I went back home to finish another final and get to bed relatively early for my morning session with Brenda!

Saturday morning was so beautiful and I was so grateful to be off from work to enjoy it. Saturdays have a great feel to them when you don’t have to be stuck at a desk all day! I ran 3 miles first to warm-up and then Brenda put me through absolute torture. It looked like this:

  • 1500 meter row in 6 minutes. Broken into 500 meters in 2 mins, rest, then repeat 2 more times. I was almost in tears halfway through minute 1.
  • TRX squats (20), TRX bodyweight rows (10) , tuck jump to squat thrust x 15— repeat this circuit twice. The bodyweight rows were INSANELY hard!
  • Assisted pull-ups w/ a band. In a nutshell, I could basically not even do 1 WITH the band. Hardest thing ever, great thing to work towards!
  • 3 sets of 10 lat pulldowns w/ 72 pounds (random weight but on a machine)
  • Ab circuit: full sit up w/ legs on the ground (pilates move) on the way back bring your legs back and then reach up to touch toes x 15; feet in TRX strap, bring legs to chest then pike x5, feet in TRX strap, brings legs to chest then spread legs apart x10

Sorry if my descriptions are weird, not sure of proper names just yet! All I can say is that besides my shoulders/lats/forearms/every inch of my arms being insanely sore, my abs have NEVER felt sore from a workout before. I wanted to punch her in her face, naturally. It hurts so bad to laugh, cough and sit up. I will definitely be repeating this circuit on my own!! She is AMAZING at what she does. If you are in the NYC area and want her info to get training with her, let me know!!!!

No better way to start a weekend than sweating with your best friend. The rest of Saturday was spent brunching with John at Grey Dog, of course. Afterwards we got coffee and walked around for a few hours, before deciding to go home and just relax since it was pretty cold out. I got pretty wild and made a big bowl of chicken noodle soup and ate it in bed. Have you ever heard of such a wild Saturday night?!

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By the way, Progresso chicken noodle is really good.

I also had a few bites of a chocolate chip cookie dough Questbar after. After 3 bites I realized I could NOT bare the taste of it anymore. Over the summer I loved them, but I was also still using a lot of artificial sweeteners. Now that I eat mainly real food and only really use stevia in my coffee in the morning and that’s it, it tasted awful to me. It also upset my stomach within minutes. Not knocking but all in all they are a pretty fake food and I will not be ever buying them again!

Sunday morning I woke up planning to run 8-9 miles. I woke up exhausted, sore beyond words, and nothing in the world sounded better than going back to sleep and just spending the morning in bed with John. Something we never get to do! It felt amazing and I felt no regrets. I have 2 races this weekend and haven’t been running much at all, but I have no worries. I’m enjoying the rest of the year before I get serious again with training and it feelsΒ good!Β After snuggling for a few hours, we made our way to brunch at Brindle Room. A weekend with my 2 favorite brunch spots is THE BEST. We were ready to gnaw our arms off by the time we got there since it was 1:30 and we hadn’t eaten anything yet. He got his burger and fries, I had my favorite smoked pork hash and for “dessert” we split the banana challah french toast with nutella and fruit. YUM.

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my cute date
my cute date

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To avoid the food coma we were about to slip into, we walked around for quite awhile and did some shopping at Marshall’s. I got a new really big pot to make chili in, fleece lined leggings to run in, Nike training gloves (my hands get SO sweaty when I lift and hurt) and Nike dri-fit slight compression socks. I live and breathe for Marshall’s/TJ Maxx, dudes.

It started to snow around 4:30 so we made our way home and did a huge load of laundry. Our bag weighed probably 30 pounds and we have to lug it 2 blocks so we counted that as our workout. We worked up our appetite for dinner finally around 8:30 and got 2 human-sized pieces of pizza. $3 each. Can you seriously beat that?!

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(Don’t worry- I peeled off my cheese. Sigh 😦 )

Ha! So big
Ha! So big

Not the best pizza ever but good for being so cheap and huge.

And the weekend ended with setting up our first ever NYC Christmas tree that my roommate decorated so beautifully!

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So there ya have it. A solid week of workouts and not-so-healthy food. That’s what weekends are for!

Food + Race Rambles.

‘Twas another weekend full of food and racing, just the way I like it. If only I hadn’t had to work both days, it would have been the picture perfect weekend. A girl can dream, eh?

Let’s just dive right into the food. Regardless that my half marathon series is over until at least December but definitely January (I signed up for another 1/2 for the end of January, but have one on my mind for December) I am still carb-loading on Saturdays like it’s my job. Maybe one day it will be my job. Until then I will just have to use my own money to do so which is the not so fun part. ANYWAYS, the food.

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One of my very generous co-workers heard around the water coolers that I loved Biscoff so she brought me a jar. She is clearly an angel. I am proud to announce that it’s a few days after she gave it to me and there is still some left to last until at least tomorrow, and I also shared with John. YUP.

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Instead of eating it by the spoonful (okay I have 3 times) I’ve been putting it on my oatmeal and when it melts to form a pool my heart also melts. Those are FRENCH TOAST goldfish swimming on there. I love that I can add some sugary crunch to my oats for about 40 calories for 10 fishes. I am fully aware that this picture shows more than 10 fishies.

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Swooped into Whole Foods to get some soup and had to try a little piece of this grape, walnut & blue cheese pizza. It was really, really good but I picked off the walnuts. Didn’t like the crunch on a pizza. Love that you can get little samples or super small pieces at Whole Foods just to get a taste!

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John and I went to get pizza at Patsy’s Saturday night and he always gets an order of meatballs and I eat the sauce. I mean I dip my pizza in it too since I have to scrape off all the cheese, but I also eat the sauce with a fork. The chunks of tomato in it and the flavors are so good I can’t even describe it. YUM.

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Pumpkin pie froyo with fruity pebbles is life changing. John was gagging just looking at it. Do not ever trust his judgement.

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Pre-race Sunday morning. I am IN LOVE with this top. The brand is Mondetta and I got it at TJ Maxx. I’ll have to take a picture of it more close up but the details are so cute, especially on the back. It always feels good to run in something that’s cute πŸ™‚

This was the Poland Spring 5 Mile Marathon Kick-off race. So weird to think that I ran this last year too! I have now been racing long enough to be doing the same race twice. Crazy. That also means it’s been a year since Hurricane Sandy too. How does time go by so fast?

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Hills on hills on hills.

The race has the same finish line as the NYC Marathon which is so cool.

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I ran this pretty hard and felt strong and really good for the whole race, except my right hip flexor/groin area was killing me from mile 2 on. It was hard to even lift my right leg to run, so I had to ease up on the pace a few times when I really could have gone faster. SO frustrating. I am giving up on ever being fast.

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So that’s what my RunKeeper app recorded but my official time was 50:38 for a 10:08 pace, which is exactly one minute slower than last year. Can we please just go by my app time, thanks. πŸ™‚ I ran 1.5 miles to the race and 1.5 back for a total of 8 miles for the day.

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Yesterday was also my 1,000 day of logging my food on MyFitnessPal. I owe so much of my weight loss success to you, MFP! In all of these 1,000 days I have probably missed 3 days of full logging. Even on the bad binging days I used to have, every bite got recorded. Everyone has their own opinion of counting calories but it works for me πŸ™‚

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Sunday ended with $5 mussels & fries at Brindle Room.

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And pumpkin pie + roasted apples custard at Shake Shack. All with my love Johnny, of course. We got this great (but fuzzy since I enlarged and screenshot it) picture of us from my friend’s wedding last month.

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I kinda love him a lot. πŸ™‚

How was your weekend? I wanna hear your workouts + delicious eats!

Grete’s Great Gallop 1/2 Marathon!

This week has been a little crazy so I apologize for the lack of posts! I’ve been in exhaustion city since running the half on Sunday but I’m starting to feel human again. Here’s a little recap for ya!

I wrote last week about how I wasn’t really feeling motivated to run, and I honestly woke up Sunday morning feeling the same way. I drank my water and coffee, ate my 1/2 banana and PB, put my Polar heart rate monitor on and headed for the subway. The race started on the east side of the 72nd St. transverse in Central Park so it was relatively easy to get to. As per usual, I was in the porta potty line 1 minute before the race began but since I’m not fast I always have about 10 minutes to spare way in the back of the corrals. That’s a perk of being slow, yes?

When I signed up for this race back in August, I was dreaming of a nice chilly start to the race being that it was in October and all. Well, 2 minutes of being outside Sunday morning and you were drenched in sweat from the thick humidity and mist. I was glad I had hydrated so well the day before and morning of and I am particularly happy with how I hydrated through the whole race. I carried a Nathan’s hand held water bottle about 3/4 or a little less full and sipped it every 5-10 minutes until I ran out of it at mile 9.

nathans

This size fits my iPhone 5 (with no case on it), my credit card and ID, and a little baggy of Swedish Fish.

I felt pretty great mentally and physically for much more of the race than I expected. The one mantra I told myself when I would start to get anxious at how much time I had left was to “stay within the mile you are in”. I have read that many times and it helps so much! I would just focus on being in mile 4 or mile 10 and get through that mile. I kept my music off until the 6th mile for a little mental break in the miles, too. Dedicating the harder miles to someone is really helpful too. I thought about my grandma for all of mile 8 when one of her favorite songs came on my playlist- Unforgettable by Nat King Cole. It brought tears to my eyes and an instant sense of motivation!

This course was 2 full loops of Central Park and let me just tell you… it’s Wednesday and the soreness in my quads is still making it very painful to walk down any stairs! Hills on hills on hills. I fueled with Swedish fish at mile 4 and mile 8 and didn’t feel like I needed any extra energy. Swedish fish are amazing and a cheap source of sugar for a long distance run!

I stopped to stretch out my calves and left IT band 3 times and while I wish I could get away with not doing that, I just don’t want to risk an injury. I wait until the tightness is pretty bad to stop so I don’t feel like such a wuss but it definitely feels like a necessity to do.

Finally mile 12 came and as it usually goes, it was the worst mile of the whole race. I almost stopped to walk about 300 times but instead I ran slower than I’ve ever run before. It honestly barely felt like I was moving my feet but soon enough I saw Brenda and John near the final .10 of the race. It gave me the boost of adrenaline I needed, and I sprinted my way through the finish and somehow managed a smile!

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I pretty much want this picture enlarged and framed in my room. So proud that my 2nd half marathon is complete! I actually finished 2 seconds slower than my first one in May but it really doesn’t matter to me! Finishing is all I’m concerned with πŸ™‚

Finishing time was 2:29:17. Pace of 11:24 per mile. Rockin’ the 11’s like it’s my job, right Erika?! πŸ˜‰

I had to go into work right after for a few hours, and had 0 appetite until I got out of work. I forced down a plain bagel with a little butter, a coconut water, and a pumpkin muffie from Panera brought to me by a co-worker! My heart rate monitor showed that I burned over 1800 calories during the race so this wasn’t nearly enough to refuel but I made up for it later! Mussels, fries, and my first BURGER in 348347329 years. NOT a good idea but I also knew that going into it…

Sorry for the dark lighting!
Sorry for the dark lighting!

Delicious, $5 mussels from Brindle Room.

I had a craving for a burger so bad I could have died. I’m more or less allergic to red meat (I don’t know what else to call it when every time I eat it it gives me a 2 day long stomach ache?) so I haven’t eaten it in a long time. I’ll usually have 1 or 2 burgers a year and it has to be EXTREMELY worth it. I knew the portion was really small and John doesn’t toss around lightly what he considers the best burger in NYC so I went for it.

burger w/ blue cheese & caramelized onions
burger w/ blue cheese & caramelized onions

Seriously worth every bit of pain that followed. YOLO?

I then proceeded to collapse in bed only to have to wake up at 4:30 AM to travel 4 hours to get my hair done. Let’s leave that for tomorrows post πŸ™‚

I’ve rested Monday, yesterday and today out of pure exhaustion so I’ll have a chance to run twice before Sunday’s half marathon! Am I crazy or am I crazy?!?

Have you ever ran a half marathon? Thoughts on the distance?

Bronx 10-Miler

As I’m writing this, my body is so extremely sore and it makes me oh so proud πŸ™‚

Yesterday I ran the Bronx 10 Mile raceΒ and it was one of my favorite races I’ve done so far!

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It was warmer than I had anticipated but it was a beautiful Sunday morning. John tagged along with me ’cause he is the best and the race started close enough to our apartment that it was just 2 easy trains away. I had a little bit of coffee and my usual 1/2 banana with 1 tsp PB. On our way there I ran into the woman who I owe my love of races to! We met 2 years ago in a running group and she helped me run my first race ever in November 2011, a 4 mile race. After that she hired me at Chanel and got me into long distance running. She runs multiple marathons a year and tons of other races. We don’t work together anymore but she is still a huge inspiration to me!

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Like I said, it was a beautiful morning.

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I’ve run 10 miles many times but I’ve neverΒ racedΒ 10 miles, pushing my body to maintain a pace that is faster than I normally run for that many miles while taking no bathroom breaks. I had to pee SO bad from about 3 miles on, and the line for the porta-potties at each stop were too long so I decided to just power through. In all honesty, I didn’t care if I just peed my pants… but for some reason I couldn’t and eventually the feeling kinda goes away. Yay for that πŸ™‚

When I would approach a water station, I would run up to it really fast, grab the cup and then power walk for a few seconds while I drank it. This turned out to be an amazing idea that I will do for my half marathons this and next weekend. I stopped 3 times to quickly stretch out my calves and IT band/knee because it would get really tight and “locked” feeling, if that makes sense. Each stop was just a few seconds and I didn’t care how it was affecting my pace. I’d much rather stay injury free than run through the pain that the tightening causes!

The miles went by pretty fast and the course was gorgeous. There were quite a few hills despite the website saying that the course was flat… not sure who determines what “flat” is but this was not flat! It was challenging but not insane. But my legs are so sore today that I know I put in some good work!

Before I knew it, we were near the finish line and I gave it my all! I nearly barfed at the finish line.

So red. So sick to my stomach.
So red. So sick to my stomach.

I finished in 1 hour and 47 minutes, which is a 10:42 average pace. I was aiming for 11 minute miles so I’m super happy!

I took a bite of a bagel that they give you after the race but I was too sick to eat it. Apparently everyone else was too.

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After some foam rolling and a shower, John took me to brunch at my favorite place, the Brindle Room. We have gone 3 times now and I crave it every day! I get the smoked pork hash which is sauteed potatoes, bell peppers, onions and pieces of smoked pork with 2 poached eggs on top. With a side of their grilled sourdough bread with olive oil, it is the dreamiest meal ever.

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That awful feeling you get after a hard race where you can’t eat as much as you normally do. I couldn’t finish this and I sincerely hate that feeling.

We had to make a stop to celebrate National Coffee Day.

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I had a sugar-free iced soy dirty chai because I’m complicated. Turns out I should have just had water because I was pretty dehydrated from 2 hours of running in direct sunlight. Cue the migraine that ensued for the rest of the day…

I was craving salt so we stopped to get my favorite french fries with mustard sauce.

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Barely made a dent in them. At this point I wanted to go home and go right to bed but I stopped to get froyo that made me SO sick. It wasn’t the froyo itself, it was that I needed rest and shouldn’t have walked around for 4 hours after a 10 mile race. But, I don’t have every Sunday off so I wanted to enjoy it. Lesson learned: if you don’t want to be sick in bed all night, go home and rest after a hard race!

So since I didn’t refuel all the calories I burned in the race (which was over 1,200 according to my heart rate monitor!) I am STARVING today. Treating myself to a bagel for lunch, ya’ll. It’s the little things.

Have you ever pushed yourself so hard in a race that you were sick? Is it sick that I love that feeling?

Great Friends.

Have you ever gone through a time in your life where you realized if you didn’t have amazing friends there, you probably just couldn’t get through it? Or even in a happy time, great friends make everythingΒ that much more great. Saturday night I realized this (for the 903943th time) after a particularly awful day- 12 hours of work on a Saturday I mentioned it before but seriously.. it sucked- where I wanted to just go home and sleep. But that was not going to happen since it was my best friend Brenda’s birthday celebration! I knew once I got there and had a glass of wine I’d have a good time, but I was still expecting to be a Debbie Downer because I was so exhausted and mentally wiped out from work. Well, I was wrong. It was one of the best nights out I’ve had in a long time, besides the amazing wedding last weekend!

It’s next to impossible to not have a blast when Brenda is your best friend. πŸ™‚

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hahaha my face! I was warning people that my singing voice is NOT good
hahaha my face! I was warning people that my singing voice is NOT good

If you’re in NYC looking for a fun karaoke bar, go to Iggy’s on 76th and 2nd Avenue.

So since I had ran 9.5 miles, worked 12 and partied all night, just those 2 glasses of wine woke me up with a pretty disgusting hangover at almost noon. DEAD tired, but we headed to Brindle RoomΒ for some brunch action. This has become our favorite brunch spot. Highly recommend coming here if you’re in NYC or visiting!

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This is the smoked pork hash with poached eggs and grilled sourdough bread with olive oil. There are no words for how delicious this is. Already planning to go again after my 10 mile race this weekend!! πŸ™‚

It was a beautiful fall day so we walked all over, and ventured into Brooklyn. John wanted to go see a guitar expo and since we were in Brooklyn (a rarity) I demanded we find Ample Hills ice cream shop. Almost 90 minutes later (a few train transfers and delays) we finally made it. The line was long as anticipated.photo 2 (1)

Check out their website for the crazy flavors they offer.

Yes, I know I can’t eat ice cream without massive amounts of pain but I hadn’t had ice cream in months so I figured this would be worth it. And worth it, it was.

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We had the popular flavor “Salted Crack Caramel” in a pretzel cone. The ice cream is SO rich, we really should have shared a cone but we ended up not able to finish either of ours. The pretzel cone was overkill since the ice cream was salted, but a sweeter ice cream would be to die for in the pretzel cone. I ended up in a LOT of pain for the rest of the night after this, so it was one of only 2 things I ate all day yesterday. Lactose intolerance: you really suck.

I’m teaching a little boot-camp style class (unofficially) outside with some of my co-workers tonight after work so I will post the workout I came up with tomorrow! I’m so excited to do this!

What delicious things did you eat this weekend?