This is a ramble.

We still have some catching up to do so be prepared, this is looooong!

Basically my life is spent doing nothing but working. Luckily right now I love my jobs, but I don’t love cleaning, laundry or grocery shopping and I had to do all of the above on my 3-day weekend. But the weekend before was no work and ALL play, so lets get to that fun stuff first.

John went out of town for a few days so Brenda and I planned a romantic weekend together since we hardly get to see each other for more than an hour at a time these days. First up: seeing our favorite comedians from the show Broad City! Anyone watch that on Comedy Central? Well it’s hilarious and a very REAL depiction of what life is like in NYC when you’re a broke 20-something. They were performing at FIT along with Bevers from the show and Jason Mantzoukas because he is at literally every comedy show ever. The show was awesome and we were hurting from laughing.

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On the way home I stopped and got myself a cheese-less pizza from Patsy’s to take back to my apartment and eat alone in bed. It was seriously glorious. I love John to death but sometimes you just need a night alone in bed… with pizza. Ya feel me?

 

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I slept in Saturday morning and casually drank coffee and watched TV. I NEVER get relaxing mornings anymore since I’m always teaching, so this was much needed. In the afternoon I headed to meet Brenda at Whole Foods for lunch then we spent the rest of the day walking all over the park. Once we got back to my apartment for a sleepover (yes, were 11) we ordered cheese-less Domino’s (please don’t comment on my pizza addiction) and watched Blue Crush because we will always be wanna-be Surfer Girls.

Sunday morning we lifted a little before my spin class, then headed to my friend’s birthday brunch at Bagatelle. It was Pride weekend so we knew we were in for some fun. It started out innocently enough with rounds of Prosecco, then some appetizers, and the main courses. She had a pre planned menu and we all passed the dishes and ate what we wanted. It was the perfect amount of food because we all really wanted more champagne than food 😉

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Then it got wild. Wild for 2:00 PM.

Superman bringing out champagne to another birthday girl. If this isn’t what your brunch looks like, you’re doing it wrong.

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Gigantic ice cream towers with sparklers. Again, NYC brunch > all other brunches.

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Happy Birthday baybeeeeee
Happy Birthday baybeeeeee

It was so fun and I hadn’t drank since my birthday so it was much needed. Brenda and I went back to my apartment for awhile and I was asleep by 8. Perfect weekend!

Last week my spin schedule was lightened and I was so grateful. I really needed some rest so the holiday weekend was perfect for it. My Thursday and Friday classes were cancelled, so I did a 3 mile run on Thursday then went to a CYC class on Friday morning. CYC is a boutique cycle studio (like SoulCycle except not a cult and less expensive) and Brenda loves it so I’ve wanted to try it for awhile. It gave me a run for my money, that’s fa sho. 45 minutes of crazy-ness including 4 songs where we turned up the resistance almost all the way so we weren’t moving our legs much and used 2-3 lb weights for back-to-back strength training. Sure that weight is nothing but it gets into your tiny little muscles and left me shaking! The founder of CYC, Keoni, was the instructor so it was a blast. He has the best energy and inspired me so much! It was nice to be the student and not instructor for once!

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French toast, coffee and cuddling was next up for my 4th of July.

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I alternated from my bed, my couch, and a lot of cleaning for the rest of the day. It was so nice to be able to catch up on life things that never get done because I’m always working!

Saturday morning was long run time with Andrea! This girl is going to be my saving grace for marathon training. The 3 miles I ran on Thursday were terrible, and while I still felt out of shape on Saturday it went much smoother. 8 gorgeous miles with the birthday girl!

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Followed by my favorite brunch with John at Grey Dog!

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Fried egg, turkey sausage and goat cheese on a croissant with sweet potato fries. YAAAS.

We walked around and got coffees and started to look for running sneakers for John becauuuuuuuuuse he told me he wants to start doing a little running with me. Yes, I almost died. I hope he sticks to it! 😉

What else? I ate fried chicken Saturday night. First time in like 4 years? It sounded so good, John loves it, and it was only $5. Long hair, don’t care.

Taught Spin yesterday morning with a little upper body lift before, then had an extremely active day that has left me very sore today. Started with a nice walk to get an acai bowl at The Juice Shop in Flatiron. Highly recommend this place.

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They also gave me 3 free green juices (maybe they could sense I ate fried chicken the night before?) but they didn’t taste so good, not even a little. I did some healthy damage at Trader Joe’s and lugged 2 very heavy bags back home. Then took 3 big bags of clothes from our cleaning frenzy Friday down to Buffalo Exchange to see what I could sell and donated the rest to Good Will. I made out pretty well and it felt really good to get rid of those size 2 pants I will never fit in again. I’ve been holding on to them for too long! Size 6/8 is working out just fine for me, thank ya very much 🙂

Meal preppin’.

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I’ll share what I’m eating this week and my new obsession from Trader Joe’s later this week! Feels good to blab on about my life to you all again! 🙂

How was your July 4th weekend?? Oh I also ate a hot dog on Friday too. John bought the all pork ones since I can’t have beef and it fulfilled a 3 year craving for me, on a nice white bun with ketchup and mustard. Mmmm the bad stuff!

AND- 29 days til Costa Rica. But who’s counting?!?! 😀

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Sunrises.

While the rest of today went sour, this morning was wonderful. I only slept 5 hours the last 2 nights, but I had an early meeting and needed to get some miles in so I woke up at 4:30 AM (like, ACTUALLY at 4:30 not just set my alarm but not roll out of bed til 5:30) chugged some coffee and started my run while the sun was rising.

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I rarely run on the east side but I needed a little variety from my Central Park route, and I’m glad I caught this. I don’t blog about the details of the heavy shit in my life, but I can assure you… it’s heavy. There are days I have no idea how I’ve made it through the last year and a half, but seeing a gorgeous sunrise like this kinda restores some of the lost faith. Every day for the last year and a half has been a struggle. I think I’ve cried at some point every single day for however many days a year and a half makes. I haven’t felt like myself in a long time, but running is one thing that makes me feel normal for at least the minutes I’m in motion. No price tag on that.

Sooo.. let’s get off that heaviness 😉

Another reason the morning was great is because I tested out these Mizuno Wave Precision 13’s that I bought a few weeks ago on sale when I was visiting Syracuse. I have been wearing the Mizuno Wave Elixir 7’s for the last year and I have loved them so, so much. The only problem is that they don’t make the 7’s anymore and I returned the pair of 8’s I tried. They were different and didn’t feel good on my feet at all. So I snagged the last pair of 7’s I could find earlier this year and just need to move on and try another kind. Realistically, the color of these is what sold me.

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Freaking obsessed. When I wear these to walk in, I literally can’t stop looking down. Oh, and I purposely wore a purple top to match today. #dork

 

The first thing I noticed about these is that they fit my feet a bit tighter, narrow-wise. My elixir’s now feel HUGE on my feet after walking in the Precision’s and now running in them. They make me naturally fall a little more forward and heel strike less, which is a huge plus. I took them for a 4.5 mile test run and they felt really great so I have to figure out what to do from here. My Elixir’s still have at least 2 months left in them and at over $110 a pop I need to wear my sneakers as long as possible 😉 I have a 10 mile race on Sunday so I will stick to my Elixir’s for that, but I may wear my Precision’s for tomorrow and Friday’s runs and just keep them to 5 miles or less.

In food news, my 2 repeated eats this week that have been SO delicious are:

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This is a toasted cinnamon raisin english muffin with turkey bacon and egg whites. That salty sweet combo is out of control.

Another thing out of control?

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Yeah. Trader Joe’s went there. Apple cinnamon goat cheese. It is seriously one of the best things I have ever tasted. Plop it on a hot roasted sweet potato like so:

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This has been an amazing snack this week. I am so thankful goat cheese does not hurt my stomach!

I take back what I said in the first sentence of this post. The rest of my day is NOT ruined because tonight is the season premiere of LAW AND ORDER: SVU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I don’t work tomorrow!!! Two AMAZING things I need right now 🙂

Please tell me you are a Law and Order: SVU fan?? If not, you can’t read my blog anymore. Kidding! But please, go watch it. I anticipate a stroke during tonight’s episode due to my heart exploding with anxiety.

New Lunch

With my healthy eating back on track the last couple of weeks, I felt like I needed something new for lunch.

Breakfast and dinner fill me up and I don’t need a snack afterward, but there is something about lunch that I can’t seem to get right. No matter the size of my lunches, I am hungry (like growling stomach) an hour or two later. I always have a salad filled with protein and veggies, and other times I have greek yogurt with fruit, whole wheat cereal & peanut butter. That works longer than a salad for me, but I wonder why my metabolism is revving at lunch time? Any ideas?

The one thing that does the trick is the delicious vegetarian baguette sandwich from Macaron Cafe. However, at $8 a pop and on a baguette, it’s a bit of a splurge. I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday to set out on creating my own version, healthier and much cheaper!

My version this week was more like a breakfast sandwich, but since eggs are super cheap and I love them, they are the protein source of this sandwich. I might try turkey if I can find some un-processed kind somewhere. So I microwaved 4 egg whites (take a large coffee mug, spray with pam, crack egg whites in, shake in seasoning, stir & microwave for 1.5-2 mins) to save time vs using a frying pan. Lazy.

Most important part of the sandwich: the carbs! I work out almost every day, and I think incorporating a good carb at lunch is the key to making my lunch last in my belly. I opted for Trader Joe’s high-fiber sprouted wheat bread, which is made with wheat berries instead of flour. The consistency is a bit stale, but once toasted it’s the same as whole wheat bread. I really love wheat berries as a grain and thought it would be cool to try in bread!

In my avocado phase but too lazy/confused as to how to peel and cut one, I opted for Trader Joe’s spicy avocado dip. At 40 calories per TWO tablespoons, it’s the perfect amount to spread thick on my sandwich and create an amazing flavor that mayo could never top!

The last part of my sandwich this week: cheese. I went for cheddar flavored soy cheese and melted it on top of the egg white patty. I had this for lunch Monday open-faced with a side of mushrooms & hummus:

Kept me satisfied and powered me through the most intense spin class ever Monday night! The room was literally foggy with everyone’s sweat. Deeeeelicious!

Yesterday I had the same sandwich with baby carrots and grapefruit on the side. Didn’t end up eating my afternoon snack because I wasn’t hungry! Score!

My workout yesterday was 30 Day Shred Level 2 then another intense spin class. 2 spin classes in 12 hours = ouch. In places that it sucks to be sore 🙂

Dinner last night:

Ahi tuna fillet, edamame, broccoli, hummus, guacamole, goat cheese. Lean and green!

Breakfast right now is 2 slices of sprouted grain bread with Better’n Peanut Butter and a sliced banana and coffee with light vanilla soy milk. SO delish! I just wasn’t feelin’ oats this morning because it’s not very cold!

Today is my day off so I am going thrift shopping at a few of my favorite places. I’m thinking if I find anything good I’ll do a post on that?! Most people know I love fashion and I would love to start doing some fashion posts, if not for anything more than to inspire myself… sometimes fashion falls by the way side when you aren’t feeling your best ya know? Shopping will be followed by some gym action.. I’m hoping for a run and some time on the elliptical! My knee is feeling a little better, but I don’t want to push it. Cross-training is really helping!

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.

Yums.

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