#NYTough Plus P&G Giveaway!

As soon as my son gets on the bus this morning for school, I am off to the city for the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet.

I am super excited to attend once again this year but the stress of driving through midtown rush hour traffic in the rain and somehow making it home in time for my son is certainly on my mind.

City driving is not for everyone. It tests your patience in a way that only an active toddler who hasn’t napped because they have an ear infection can rival.

So get the timing of this —

Proctor & Gamble is currently running a promotion called #NYTough!

I am really picky when it comes to the brands and topics I talk to you about but when I was approached to talk about what makes me #NYTough AND provide you with a giveaway, I was eager to get this post going!


I knew exactly what I wanted to say as soon as I heard the subject to the point where this post wrote itself in my head within a matter of minutes.


As a lifelong New Yorker, of course I am tough. You just have to be.

I can drive around Manhattan weaving in and out of traffic simultaneously creating my own lane, hail a cab in the rain and get to it before you can and walk the streets of Times Square at midnight after getting a manicure (open 24 hours!) and shopping the many levels of Forever 21 (open till 2:00 am!).

I have no issue admitting though that part of this toughness comes the sheltered New-York-is-the-best-and-only-place-to-live mentality.

New Yorkers are like that. We tend to think that life outside of this area doesn’t exist and even if you try to say that it does, it just isn’t as good.

At least that was my mindset as a kid.

I was so sheltered in my thinking, so out of touch with the rest of the country that even when visiting other regions, they weren’t the same which translated into “aren’t as good” and I couldn’t wait to get home.

Home to New York.

Times Square

Where life moves really fast, the roads are tricky to travel and if someone you don’t know says hello to you, you assume something is wrong with them because it cannot possibly be that they are just being friendly.

It’s the truth. Rarely does someone just say hello, even if you do know the person. Sometimes, you pretend that you don’t.

Do you know I couldn’t even leave New York for college? I thought I could do it but changed my mind three days before I was supposed to leave for the University of Delaware.

I remember thinking,

“Okay, there is a Friendly’s down the street from my dorm but this place is too different for me. It isn’t New York. My roommate is from some place I have never heard of, she doesn’t know what rainbow cookies or black & whites are and I don’t know what to do with that.”

rainbow cookie cupcake

By the way, did I mention Crumbs Bake Shop reopened this week?!

I realize that my thought-process from when I was 18 sounds insane but I was a kid and didn’t know any better.

I don’t regret my decision to stay in New York for college at all because I don’t think I was ready or mature enough to leave but I do wish I wasn’t so sheltered in my thinking for so many years of my life.

As I got older, I came out of my sheltered thinking and learned to appreciate Chicago-style pizza, the beauty of San Diego and the warm weather that happens year round in Florida.

I realized that people in other states are just as cool as New Yorkers, if not cooler, because they often lack that edge and unapproachable nature which so many seem to walk around with here.

I have grown up to realize that as much of a New Yorker as I am (like really, one word out of my mouth and you know where I am from), I am no different from my running friends down south, out west or up north.

We all look forward to our post run meals, enjoy shopping at Trader Joe’s, have issues resisting the Whole Foods Food Bar, live in our compression socks, and without even having this discussion, I am pretty sure we all smell after a run if we don’t use deodorant.


I swear by Secret Clinical. Really, I do.

Not because P&G is offering us this giveaway but because I find it works the best for me.

I only knew it worked the best when I attempted a different brand because it was on sale only to realize I smelled a few hours after applying it under my arms.

Never again will I switch my deodorant from Secret Clinical and never again will I live a sheltered New York life because there is so much more out there than a rainbow cookie or big black & white from a New York bagel store.

black and white cookies

But those cookies are really good and you just can’t get them anywhere else and if you think that you can I assure you they aren’t the same so if come to visit I will be really nice and take you to try one.

Giveaway Time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.jsBe sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter today so you can keep up with the Meet & Tweet action (#FitblogNYC)!

This post is linked up per the usual Thursday Thinking Out Loud. Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!


I received free product from Proctor & Gamble but no further compensation was given to write this post. All sheltered New Yorker thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

What makes you #NYTough?

Did you go away for college or stay close to home?

Favorite kind of cookie?


WIAW – Recent Eats And Lots Of Apples


This is not the What I Ate Wednesday I had in mind.

I have been planning out some foodie-fun posts like healthy packaged snack choices and finally updating my vegetarian meal planning post but none of that had time to develop because my son STILL HASN’T STARTED SCHOOL.

Not that I am complaining or anything because the quality time together is just lovely (although I took him and his friend to the movies and they made me sit somewhere else so that doesn’t exactly count as quality time), but really, like, why is his school district the last to start TOMORROW?

Anyway, I am headed into the city this morning to attend the Healthy Brand Showcase and, since there is no school for us, my son will be coming along with me for the fun.

I cleared it with the Healthy Brand people in charge and they were more than inviting and he is more than excited to check out the food and product samples available.

I do have some random eats worth discussing with you so, in no particular order, let’s begin…


The other day I mentioned on instagram that I bought the Cinnamon Raisin British (English?!) Muffins from Trader Joe’s.


While I used to survive on an English Muffin with peanut butter a day without fail for like seven years in a row, I decided after having these English Muffins for a few days that I really do prefer oatmeal first thing in the morning.

And, I also decided that I much prefer the Food For Life Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread and English Muffins over these Trader Joe’s English Muffins.

I haven’t been eating much lunch at home lately but when I do, it’s still my fave chick pea and avocado mashed on the Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread. And, I have been adding Nutritional Yeast to the mash which makes it quite tasty.

chick pea avocado mash on ezekiel bread

Since yesterday was, um, the hottest day of the year so far (explain that one, I can’t) we went to Red Mango for a cool lunch.

red mango parfait

I look forward to this parfait more than usual at the moment because I can load up in the berries department which is something I really can’t do right now at home.

I don’t even want to discuss that well-priced and big containers of berries are few and far between in the stores.

Good thing I still love apples.

In case you forgot, apples with peanut butter are my most favorite anytime snack.

apples and pb

Sometimes I get creative and mix the peanut butter with some Skoop A-Game. I really love the flavor combo.

I also really love a crumbled up Grain-Free Banana Bread Bite on top of a diced Granny Smith apple.


When you store the bites in the refrigerator and mash them up into a crumble which I adore, it makes for a spreadable/scoopable apple topping. And yes, of course add some extra peanut butter.

I introduced my son to the world of apple slices with hummus as a change of pace snack.

apples with hummus

Not a great picture but you get the idea. It’s his new favorite thing.

Our other new favorite thing is to make the GF Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bites using the Skoop A-Game instead of the Skoop B-Strong.

oatmeal chocolate chip bites with skoop A-Game

And, this, well, this is pretty funny…

My son sometimes forgets that he is the child and I am the adult.

When he isn’t with me, he questions what I do, who I do it with and to make matters worse, he monitors my instagram and is sure to follow up on anything he feels he might have missed out on.

text conversation

I was rather honored that he felt the dinner I posted on instagram which I made for myself appeared as though I dined out in a restaurant or something.

sweet potato fries with chick peas and vegetables

It’s all about the Power Bowl.

I could eat this every night and never get tired of it. Just mix up your seasonings and flavors to keep it all interesting. If you are short on time, rely on steamfresh vegetables instead of roasting the fresh kind.

And, because you rely on me for dessert news, Crumbs Bake Shop will be reopening! Click here to read about it.

Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!


Favorite way to eat apples?

Which apple is your favorite? I love Granny Smith but Pink Lady is a close second when they are in season.

Do you have a food/meal that you have eaten every single day for years? Before I existed on English Muffins with peanut butter for breakfast, I lived on Life Cereal for a good four or five years every morning without fail.




Panera Bread Hot Chocolate And Favorite Food Partners


Please forgive me if I go back on my word this weekend.


So I always say that I prefer to chew my calories rather than drink them but I need to make an exception. Have you seen the new Panera Bread hot chocolate topped with CHOCOLATE CHIP MARSHMALLOWS?

I decided that the new Panera Bread hot chocolate is a must-try and really, the marshmallows count as chewing.

You kind of wish you were hanging with me now this weekend, don’t you. I know where it’s at. Well, at least where the good tasting stuff is at.

The other morning while I was running my mind wandered to the topic of my favorite food partners.

You know, those people in your life you enjoy spending time with and more importantly, good food with.

Let’s start with my dad. Of all the things we have enjoyed, including our frozen stash of candy bars in the freezer (everyone should have a frozen stash), we still look back fondly on the day when we were out shoveling snow and decided we deserved a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.

Only the cookies never made it into cookie form. I baked them in a square pan with the intention of blondies. Only the blondies didn’t happen either. We sat down with the pan, two forks and that was that.


While this is not the image from that memorable day, it is the  Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie  from the blog, Averie Cooks. I have been meaning to try this recipe. It would certainly work well on a snow day. Or any day.

Come to think of it, my friend Heather and I always skipped plates and normal servings as well.

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We took this picture a few months ago at a party. 25 years later and we still think we are kids.

While she may have moved to Florida when we were 15 (which broke my heart at the time), during our regular visits- we had one agenda.


Entenmann’s Marshmallow Iced Devil’s Food Cake for her and Publix chocolate chip cookies for me.

I don’t have a picture of the Publix cookies BECAUSE NEW YORK DOES NOT HAVE A PUBLIX SUPERMARKET.

People think New York has it all but we don’t have a Publix nor do we have half of the yummy places described on other blogs.

Heather would bring the Publix cookies up from Florida and I would bring her the Entenmann’s cake when I went down to visit.

She happily sat with her cake, eating it row by row and I had my package of cookies. The stuff memories are made of I tell you.

If you think I am all about dessert, you are right. Sort of.

My friend Robyn and I have a specific agenda and unspoken agreement that dinner plans = sushi. We are currently on a mission to hit every sushi spot in New York.

IMG_4996 (2)

She even allows me to snap pictures before we dig in.

But of course our time together never ends without dessert.


One time we couldn’t decide on which cupcake to get at Crumbs Bake Shop so we tried a whole bunch.

Ah Crumbs Bake Shop. Did you know I have gone to Crumbs on more than one occasion to only encounter empty display cases where cupcakes should be? Yeah, they tend to run out.

Imagine getting excited for a cupcake, opening the door to Crumbs only to see empty cases?

Traumatizing, I know.

And sometimes, they only run out of MY CUPCAKE. My cupcake would be the chocolate fudge brownie. Thank goodness for my selfless neighbor, Meaghan. She is quite the good food friend.


She has gone above and beyond more times than I care to admit to make sure I get the Crumbs cupcake of my desires.

She happily drives me across Long Island to locate the Crumbs Bake Shop that is fully stocked with “the right” cupcakes. She will tell you she does it because she understands I take dessert seriously and that otherwise I will remain hungry, cranky and dissatisfied.

And then, well, there is my partner in good food crime who routinely dines with me wherever I want to go.

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And not only that, we both appreciate a fabulous meal and decadent dessert and when we share, I might even enjoy it. Did I just say that?

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Sort of like those hidden Mickey Mouse images that appear all over Disney, you can find my partner in good food crime hidden throughout the blog. If you look closely enough, you will spot the shirt, the hands, the spoon…I like to keep you all on your toes.

Speaking of toes, mine have been freezing this week while I am running. We all worry about the right gloves, scarves, hats and apparel – what about winter running socks?

I think along with the Panera Bread Hot Chocolate, I will be seeking out therma-fit socks if they exist. Have a great weekend!


Who are your favorite food partners? What do you eat together?

Have you tried the Panera Bread Hot Chocolate yet?

Do you wear different socks in the winter when you run?

Favorite Crumbs cupcake?



Random, Cool and Weird

This week is flying right by me. Luckily, I slowed down enough to not trip myself out the front door.


Boys. I will never understand.

He is lucky I didn’t hurt myself – it would have interfered with dinner.

pizza bagel

Welcome back to Wednesday Night Pizza Bagel Night. You kinda want to eat over at our house, don’t you?

Some people start up the elaborate cooking in the kitchen thing once again when the school year starts. Me? Not so much at the moment.

pizza bagel 2

Instead of completely throwing in the towel and picking up a whole pizza, I went with grabbing a few whole wheat bagels and making them into pizzas all by myself – sauce, mozzarella cheese and a quick side salad makes for a cost-effective, relatively healthy and what I still consider a home cooked meal.

I am not sure why but I really haven’t been interested in elaborate cooking or meal planning. Although wait, I did make the boy baked chicken parm the other night….And that turned out to be quite an experience.

When I took the last egg out from the refrigerator on Monday to get the breading for the chicken going, I discovered something rather interesting:


Is it me or is that a sunshine looking at me on my egg?

It isn’t cracked, it isn’t stamped but there is clearly a sun shining at me. My friend thought maybe it was an eye with pretty lashes but if you ask me, it is sunshine.

Totally random, weird and cool all at the same time, yes?

If you are too cool to consider my sunshining egg cool, check this out:


It’s a donut. It’s a bracelet. It’s a donut bracelet.


I came across this delicious piece of jewelry at the Kate Spade store.

I don’t know that I would want to wear a donut but I am partial to the pink frosted with sprinkles simply because it was my favorite as a little girl. Why? Well, because it was pink. And pretty.

Interesting take on the term hybrid if you ask me….And actually, so is this:

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Crumbs joined in on the craze to cross donuts with croissants and launched the “Crumbnut”. You can even get your Crumbnut filled with Bavarian Crème.

I don’t know – I am sure these croissant donuts are good but according to me, dessert bliss must involve chocolate.

Speaking of chocolate, you should know that I had an extreme chocolate craving Monday night. I don’t often get strong cravings so when I do, I must obey.

I had already eaten dinner, already eaten dessert yet I just could not get the feeling of needing serious chocolate out of my mind. My taste buds were basically crying out for straight up chocolate. Or fudge. Or fudge cake topped with fudge.

I really wanted Linda’s Fudge Cake but since it was late and I couldn’t get to The Cheesecake Factory (or Chocolatecake Factory as I like to call it), I made the executive decision to go with some handfuls of chocolate chips.

Several handfuls.

And you know what? It did the trick. I felt much better.

I know there is the whole debate about cravings and how to squash them with as little calories as possible but let’s face it – a sugar-free chocolate jello pudding is just not going to cut it when you want the real thing.

If you don’t give yourself what you truly crave, you will end up eating 6 different low cal options, remain unsatisfied and then go and eat a half-gallon of the ice cream you fancied anyway.

I am not saying to stuff your face with fudge cakes, cartons of ice cream and packages of cookies every single day.

What I am saying is, if you can learn to truly be in tune with your body and learn to recognize a real craving, there is no reason you can’t give yourself what you want AND need without falling off the healthy eating wagon.

Everything in moderation people.



 What would be your ultimate food hybrid? I think my favorite dessert hybrid is the cookie cake. Can’t get enough of a good chocolate chip cookie cake topped with fudge icing.

Do you give in to your cravings? What do you crave?








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