Bye bye, $482.

Yesterday wasn’t really supposed to be much of an eventful day. I got to sleep in a little, grabbed a bagel and coffee to tide me over for a few hours since I had a dentist appointment at 11. I went there unshowered (sorry) expecting to be back home maybe in 2 hours or so. Wrong. I needed a crown put in over a filling that broke or something (I really don’t even know exactly what happened, but a small piece of one of my back teeth chipped off) because of my other dentist’s botch job. No problem, right? I did not expect it to be painful or to need as much novacaine as they gave me but it was a horrible experience that ended up costing me $482 after my insurance coverage. Seriously 50% is all you can cover? I will never understand health insurance. I am thankful that I only had to pay half but it makes no sense to me. I was there for 3 hours due to lack of dentists in the office yesterday and the procedure itself was done in steps that took forever. I had a horrible anxiety attack and was in a ton of pain the rest of the day and night.

Luckily my spin class was great last night and the pain went totally away for the whole hour I taught! It returned right after, of course. I picked up this class last minute Thursday night so I didn’t have time to prep a new playlist. My next classes are next Friday however more may become available so I have to work on a new playlist today. I love, love picking songs for my classes! I keep getting great compliments to both me and the front desk that the members are loving my classes and especially my music. 😀

I was forced to eat soft foods for the rest of the day yesterday and needed carbs to fuel me up for my class and a short run before class. I stopped by Whole Foods in Columbus Circle on my way home and grabbed a Jamba Juice. I would normally never get anything here but desperate times. I ordered a blueberry-strawberry-banana drink off the kid’s menu that had no milk or anything added just the 3 fruits.

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$3 for this tiny thing! Which would come back to haunt me hours later during class. I can’t digest smoothies properly for some reason. I had such bad heartburn I thought I was going to puke all over my bike. Fail.

Dinner was something quick, easy, and soft. Cold sesame noodles and spicy tuna sushi. This still took me an hour to eat because my mouth was so sensitive, but so good!

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This was not eaten yesterday but a couple of days ago at work. This flavor is so good! Topped with a little peanut butter and a broken up sea salt chocolate square.

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Oh yeah, yesterday was the first day in probably a month I had no candy/cookies/etc. I guess it takes my mouth being numb to lay off the sweets. Sad!

Have you ever had expensive dental work?

What was your workout yesterday?

Amazing Turkey Chili

I mentioned recently that my food obsession lately has been turkey chili. I ate it every day for lunch before I was off for a week and then decided late Friday night to finally use the ingredients I bought at Trader Joe’s earlier to make my own and save some moolah. I based it off of this recipe but tweaked a few things so I will write out what I used below:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pound 99% fat free ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped up
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes– this kind is really sweet & my favorite!! They come peeled inside not crushed so you have to crush them up in the chili yourself
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chili powder (i like it super spicy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

You just heat the oil in a large saucepan and then throw the turkey in to get it cooking. Cook it until it starts to brown then throw in the onion and cook for a few more minutes. After it was getting soft, I added in the liquids and all the seasonings. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. I let it simmer a little longer so it would thicken up because I love thick chili!

I’m still new to cooking so I don’t know exactly how to figure out serving sizes? I put all the information into MyFitnessPal and said it made 6 servings (1 cup) so each serving is 200 calories. I have eaten 1.5 servings (1.5 cups) 3 times so far and still have 1.5 servings left- anyone want to do the math on that if 6 actual servings was correct?

Top it with some 2% plain greek yogurt and hot sauce if you want to burn your mouth off.

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Even better the next few days! If you make this let me know how you like it! 🙂

Other random delicious eats from my weekend:

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Chicken, onion & goat cheese omelet (SO GOOD), salad & potatoes at Le Grainne Cafe for brunch on Friday.

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Crazy strong french iced coffee with the beautiful soy swirl.

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Spinach, apple, pear and ginger juice. I rarely get these but I’ve been so sick the last week I just felt I needed some extra nutrients.

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Had to travel down to the Chobani in Soho to try their seasonal pumpkin creation! Plain greek yogurt, pumpkin butter, cranberries, walnuts and gingersnap pieces. Incredible.

What’s your favorite kind of chili? Turkey, beef, chicken or vegetarian?


Happy Friday people! Since a lot of you don’t work weekends I should really hate you but I don’t! I only work tomorrow and Sunday I’ll be off, enjoying my 10 mile race followed by my favorite brunch 🙂

If you’re new to my blog you may not know that I have struggled with IBS my whole life and it’s been a long journey finding out what foods I just cannot handle without severe pain. The top food that I just figured out this year is corn. ANYTHING to do with it gives me horrible stomach pains that I can’t shake. While I pretty much never ate corn itself, there is a lot of food that I never realized contained corn. Since I also can’t eat red meat, I resort to veggie burgers when I’m at a burger place but sadly many restaurant and frozen veggie burgers contain corn. The hardest thing to give up has been tortilla chips. I mean, who wants to go out for Mexican food when you can’t even eat the chips?! Well, my alternative is popped chips. Popchips are great but if you haven’t tried Trader Joe’s version of just the original, you need to go there right now. I LOVE guacamole, so if I know I’m going to a Mexican restaurant I pick up a single serving bag of Popchips to bring with me and couldn’t care less about the stares I may get. It’s also one of my favorite snacks right now.

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Not only is this fine on my stomach but you save a ton of calories and fat. So even if corn doesn’t bother your stomach, this is a great option to bring with you to save some calories. A serving size of tortilla chips is like 14 chips for 140 calories and that pretty much goes in your mouth in about 60 seconds!

The other recent food group that kills me is dairy. My favorite food in the entire world is pizza. I also LOVE cheese but luckily my favorite cheeses are feta, blue and goat and they are okay for me. But I eat pizza at least once a week, usually twice. I have done this through my entire weight loss because I plan ahead and make the calories/macros work. It’s honestly so much easier to fit it in now that I can’t eat cheese! I honestly haven’t tried this at any other place because good Italian NYC pizza has very little cheese on it so I just pick it off, but we order Domino’s once a week and they make the most fabulous cheese-less pizza ever! I order mine no cheese, regular sauce or light sauce, jalapeno & onions. It’s basically like eating garlic-y jalapeno bread sticks dipped in marinara. I can eat the whole pizza for under 800 calories, but I usually save 3 slices for the following day.

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My last alternative I’ll share with you today is my obsession with froyo. I LOVE froyo. Sometimes it affects my stomach, sometimes it doesn’t but it’s never too bad if it does. The problem is I load it with sugary toppings (what’s the point if you don’t?!) so I make it a once a week treat. Other nights when I have the calories/macros left, I’ll make my own little froyo concoction. I usually take a Chobani or Oikos Greek yogurt and stick it in the freezer with the intent to eat it in 1-2 hours. I just take the single serving size and stick it right in like that. Once I take it out, I take off the foil top (duh.) and stir it up. It’s usually frozen just a little bit and kinda thickens it up. Sometimes I’ll scoop it out in a dish to put the toppings on, but you can literally just eat it right out of the container and add the toppings. Last night I fancied up the best flavor ever, Chobani’s 2% key lime pie. 2% or nothing for me!!

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I topped it with banana slices, 1 tbsp melted chocolate hazelnut butter, a few sprinkles and a 110 calorie white chocolate blueberry cookie. Fit my macros perfect! Eaten while watching Breaking Bad. We are up to episode 5 of season 2, so we’re chugging along!

So whether you have dietary restrictions due to health issues or are trying to meet calorie/macro goals, you can find alternatives to your favorite foods so you never feel like you’re missing out!

Do you have any dietary restrictions? 

What is your favorite caloric food to recreate a little healthier?

Winner Winner!

Hosting giveaways for things I love is really so fun and rewarding. I’m super pumped to be giving away such a beneficial item such as PRO Compression socks and wanted to thank them again for allowing me to! The lucky winner is…

Kalyn! She blogs at Simon Says: Live! Congrats girl. I’ll send you an email! 🙂

In other news… I TOLD YOU that writing about my workout plans jinx’s (?) me. As soon as I posted yesterday… my knee started to ache really bad and it hasn’t in months. I iced it last night and didn’t run this morning, but it’s still really achy. Since it happens every so often I’m not freaking out about it, and I’ll continue to ice and foam roll tonight and try an easy run tomorrow. If it still is achy Saturday, I won’t race the 5K I’ll just be casually jogging it. No need to get a time goal just to get injured! Ugh, I swear that EVERY TIME I do any amount of speed work I end up in pain. I pushed the pace on my 4 miler yesterday and bam, pain. Really annoying when trying to get faster/ train for 9 races!

Other than that, it’s been a pretty uneventful day. It’s rainy and humid in NYC and I’m exhausted, despite sleeping a ton. The only thing I have to share is my delicious snack from yesterday afternoon.

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That would be a coconut Chobani (2%, absolutely makes the difference) with coconut cinnamon cocoa roasted sweet potato chunks. Stop what you’re doing and make these. The coconut CHO is out of this world!

In terms of supplements/ vitamins you take as a runner/athlete- what do you use? I really need to start taking glucosamine chondroitin and fish oil, both of which are supposed to be great for joints.

New Chobani + Whole Foods

I finally found the new flavor of Chobani this weekend. Apple cinnamon. It tastes even better than it sounds.

It is the perfect amount of sweet in my opinion because it’s not too sweet at all! I am already dreaming of ways to use it.. in healthy muffins? With oatmeal? In a smoothie? I am so excited! Because of the added sugar in the flavored kinds, I only have them once in awhile and they are such a healthy sweet treat!

This morning I woke up very reluctantly and so exhausted, but I tend to skip Monday AM workouts lately. I always go to my favorite spin class on Monday nights, but since every weekend is ever so indulgent, an extra cardio sesh can’t hurt. I did some of 30 Day Shred level 2 with Caitlin and some moves of my own, but I’m getting bored to death with the shred and think it’s time to try a new dvd!

My legs are screaming from the 9 miles of hill running yesterday! I did 35 minutes of torture on the elliptical… I can’t express how much I hate that machine. I was on resistance levels 8-16 and going fast for every few minutes, yet still couldn’t get my heart rate higher than 150. That’s like a jog for me. It was still better than nothing, but I am skipping my spin class tonight because my quads have suffered enough! But I cranked up the tunes and cranked out 4.35 miles.

Breakfast today: plain greek yogurt + frozen blueberries + Kashi go lean high protein twigs + banana + PB. Plus a soy misto from Starbucks. This combo held me over for over 5 hours!

Lunch was so random. 2 hard boiled eggs with ketchup + greek yogurt + cocoa roast almonds + apple + PB. So so filling because this had a ton of protein!

I skipped my afternoon snack of a Clif mojo bar since I’m skipping spin. Tonight’s dinner was courtesy of Whole Foods, I was craving salad bar so bad. My favorite salad at Whole Foods is this:

The combination of figs and red onion is amazing! I really don’t like pasta or rice, but wheatberries are an amazing grain. They are really filling and I love that they are a little more versatile than rice. I’ve heard people use them as a breakfast dish, instead of oatmeal.

My salad mess was lots of this, plus chicken marinated with pineapple, red sauce and peppers, beets, butternut squash, kale, sprouts, and a few pieces of tofu that I ate while waiting in line… oops 🙂

I was just too exhausted to even think about making anything for dinner. I’m going to bed no later than 10, so I need to go make my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow. Work out plan for tomorrow = weights and run in the morning and possibly a spin class at night. Let’s hope my legs are less sore tomorrow!

NuGo obsession

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling exhausted after getting back into the city late Monday night. I somehow managed to trek downtown to bust out Level 2 of 30 Day Shred with Caitlin, but wasn’t feeling so hot during or after. I decided to use a sick day because hey, my last day is Friday and if you don’t use ’em ya lose ’em. Sweaty and tired, I crawled back into bed and got a couple more hours of sleep. Actually, I made a spinach protein smoothie to refuel from my workout and chugged it down quick before my return to slumber. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to spend a day with John as it was his day off! After a shower, I chowed down on a bowl of protein oats with a sliced apple instead of a banana, peanut butter and sugar-free syrup.

It was reaaalllly good and it felt great to enjoy a hot breakfast with hot coffee in my kitchen and not at my desk. I met John on the lower east side after he got his hair did (ha) and we wandered the rainy streets and found solace from the rain in a little bakery named Panya. John loved up on a 8000 calorie danish of some sort, and I enjoyed a hot americano. It’s a little Japanese bakery and they have some delicious looking bread, treats and food that I want to try at some point. We also hit up the East Village location of my fav store, Buffalo Exchange, and I found a vintage Yves Saint Laurent blazer! It’s not my style, but I am hoping to sell it on eBay or make a stop at a store that I have been dying to shop at: Second Time Around, which you may recognize from the show Fashion Hunters on Bravo. It’s an upscale consignment shop which is my idea of a good time.

After a pit stop at Trader Joe’s, I made up a quick (late) lunch before spin class. I was pumped for spin class all day, which makes me so excited! I really didn’t think I’d like it, but I’m falling for it. Lunch was a reduced carb whole wheat wrap with tabouli, egg whites and fat free feta with cukes, celery and hummus. Super delicious and great fuel.

I hit up a 1.75 mile run on the tread before spin class. When the instructor was adjusting my seat for me she asked, “Did you already work out?” Apparently the massive beads of sweat already dripping from me gave it away. She looked at me like I was nuts and yeah, I am. Already my butt hurts less after spinning my heart out for 50 minutes! She played great music and was really enthusiastic, plus this class was completely full unlike my first one where there were only about 8 of us.

Favorite part of this class: when “Empire State of Mind” came on and Alicia Key’s belts out “NEW YOOOORK!”, everyone in the class was trying to sing/scream and it reminded me how lucky I am to be a New Yorker. The pride of it all is moving, as corny as that might sound! But since it’s been a dream of mine for 20 years, it felt pretty euphoric 🙂

I finally hit up a little healthy market on the corner of my gym’s street and found some gooooood stuff.

Justin’s brand peanut butter (honey flavored) was on sale and I have been wanting to try it. My favorite peanut butter I used to buy upstate (1st natural PB I got hooked on!) was on sale, and my new favorite protein bars. Seriously, Nugo bars are my new favorite food/thing in the world. The first one I tried was the chocolate pretzel with sea salt when I was upstate over the weekend and I literally had to hold back tears this thing was so good. It seems that something that good could never be healthy, but they are definitely Jen(that’s me) approved. Every bite had a touch of sea salt and if you are crazy about salty/sweet combo’s, these will swoon you. The next one I tried was from the NuGo slim line, and I ate the roasted peanut with dark chocolate bar.

PERFECT post-workout refuel bar. Stats: 190 cals/ 7 grams fat/ 21 carbs/ 9 (!) grams fiber/ 2 grams sugar/ 15 grams protein. I am making an effort to eat within 30 minutes of a hard workout, and these are just what I needed. I also love the fact that there are no artificial sweeteners in these because my stomach can’t digest them. Last night I fueled through 3 finals with the help of coffee and NuGo’s peanut butter cup bar. This bar is not part of the slim line so there is a bit more sugar, but it comes from natural sources such as delicious dark chocolate. I was full for 3 hours, which coincidentally happened to be how long my finals took 😉 Get yourself some of these bars- you will NOT be disappointed!

At the end of my finals, I needed a quick bite- it was too late for dinner, so a Chobani pineapple Greek yogurt topped with Once Again crunchy peanut butter was the perfect fit.


What’s your favorite kind of protein bars? What things do you look for in a bar (calorie wise/low sugar/etc)?