Progression Running and Mother’s Day Recipes


I really enjoyed my work out yesterday morning. So much so that I put together a fun little graphic for you in case you want to give it a shot the next time you are in the gym unsure of what you feel like doing with yourself while you are there.

mix it up workout

You may be wondering what a progression mile is so let’s discuss it.

A progression run is one where you begin slowly and gradually increase your pace to finish faster.

I chose to run each mile of yesterday’s workout progression style by increasing my speed every tenth of a mile.

I started at a comfortable pace  and then hit the button up every tenth of a mile so it looked something like this:

 0  –  .10 –  6.8

.10 – .20  -6.9

.20 – .30-  7.0

.30 – .40 –  7.1

.40 – .50-  7.2

.50 – .60-  7.3

.60 – .70-  7.4

.70 – .80-  7.5

.80. – 90-  7.6

.90 – 1.00 –  7.7

Each time I got back on the treadmill, I started at a faster speed. This is a great little workout and since you are only running a mile at a time, the increase in speed is totally doable mentally and physically.

Pick a comfortable pace for you; what I find comfortable may be too fast or too slow for you.

In fact, interval workouts such as this make me sweat more than just plain old running yet give you the runner’s high quickly. It’s super good for you to change up your normal workout routine to get the heart rate up there and make use of different muscles by varying intensities and moves.

Running Links of Interest:

Progression Runs

How To Achieve A Runners High


I think we are officially starting to feel the spring weather and with that comes that blasted ice cream truck jingling his way around my neighborhood.

If you recall from last year around this time, my silent battle with the ice cream man was just beginning.

I don’t remember who won last year but I have been hearing his music over the last several days so it is time once again for war.

Edy's Slow Churned

I picked up this Edy’s Neapolitan and my son is all sorts of happy and obsessed with a nice bowl in the evening topping off with whipped cream.

$2.50 for the entire carton gives us several happy servings –> Take that Ice Cream Man!

Mother’s Day on Sunday. Wow. Time is flying, isn’t it?

In case you didn’t know, my son and I started an annual Mother’s Day tradition a bunch of years ago where we go out super early for breakfast.

We go to our favorite diner (the one with the baked oatmeal!) and actually try not to go there all year for breakfast just to make our Mother’s Day tradition extra special.

Here’s the thing though – we are considering switching up our breakfast location. We have two other places in mind and once we decide I will let you know.

This is a big deal around these parts and a constant conversation for the last few weeks.

I may have a ton of recipes and enjoy whipping goodies up but when it comes to a holiday such as Mother’s Day or my birthday (yes, I consider my birthday a holiday), I don’t want to cook, I want it all done for me.

That being said, I will be picking up dessert on the way to my parent’s house Sunday for dinner. I haven’t decided what that dessert is just yet but make no mistake, it will be fabulous.

If you are not like me and actually feel like cooking, here are some recipes worth checking out:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes If a picture could define me, it would be these cookie cupcakes.

Flourless Banana Bread MuffinsI do have a few overripe bananas staring at me on my counter….

If only I had enough blueberries to go around:

Banana Blueberry Baked Pancake   – Love the concept of baking the pancakes rather than dealing with the flipping. My immediate thoughts are to sub out some ingredients and even use Kodiak Cakes for the pancake batter. Hmm

Whole Wheat Blueberry Crumb MuffinsNeed these in my life.

Rosemary Brussels Sprouts with Blueberries I have shared this one before and I am sharing again since it is still on my mind. I must make them already and you should too.

Have a very Happy Mother’s Day and a wonderful weekend!


Are you willing to share your blueberries yet?

Is there ice cream/frozen yogurt in your freezer? What kind?

What are you doing this weekend? Baking or cooking for Mother’s Day?




Three Tip Tuesday – Being A Friend


One of these days I am really going to talk about Apple Cider Vinegar and the health benefits associated with adding it to your morning glass of water.

Today is not the day. It was going to be the day until I decided we needed to talk about something else entirely, something that is weighing on my mind and part of my daily life at the moment.

Over the weekend, one of my closest friends began the journey of divorce. We know that I am no stranger to the topic and watching someone close to you go through the process can be very emotional and challenging not just for your friend, but for yourself.

Even if you haven’t been through a divorce or you don’t know anyone going through the process, we all experience ups and downs in life and have times when we need to be there for our friends and loved ones.


Love this. Just love this.

But what do you do to help someone? What do you do if you can’t relate to what they are going through, or even worse, you relate all too much that it starts to hurt you or you fear projecting your situation into theirs? What do you do when you know you can’t solve their problems and really don’t know what to say in order to make them feel better?


I gave this all some thought over the last few days and came up with some of the ways I go about being a good friend:


Sometimes, the best thing you can do is listen. Sometimes, you can’t solve problems and most of the time, your friend isn’t looking for you to be the savior.

Being there for someone, just as a person who will listen and chime in with an “uh huh” to signal you are still on the line is often all you need to do.


While I went through my own divorce, my closest friends were always there for me just so I could vent. Not only could they not solve my problems, half the time they couldn’t even relate to what I was going through and you know what? Neither could I.

It was all so foreign to me that I didn’t understand anything that was happening and probably didn’t make much sense when I was speaking yet just talking through my confusion and sadness was enough to make me feel that much better.

My friends didn’t need to fix things. They didn’t need to relate or say anything. They just needed to be there for me.


Of course I would figure out a way to plug  the value of exercise.

As we often talk about, not only will exercise help produce endorphins, help clear the mind and put you in a “happier” place, it also helps relieve stress, keep structure and routine to your life as well as put focus somewhere other than on the negative.


A daily exercise routine is something you do for yourself. When you focus on yourself, even if only for 30 minutes a day, you are building up your strength and confidence as well as doing something for YOU.

The strength and confidence you gain fitness-wise will absolutely carry over into the other areas of you life.

BONUS TIP: I advised my friend to price around for a gym that offers babysitting. This provides her with built-in childcare, the opportunity to exercise and her kids the opportunity to play. Getting a break from the kids is good for everyone involved, especially when you are dealing with rough emotional situations.


Appetites are an interesting thing – some people overeat when struggling while some tend to lose their appetite during stressful times.

As shocking as it may sound, I used to be one of those people who lost their appetite and couldn’t eat.

Keywords: USED TO BE

I promised myself years ago that nothing and no one will ever upset me ever again to the point where my meals can’t be consumed.

We must eat. For several reasons.

We need to keep eating to function. To take care of our children. To keep with our routine. To be able to exercise in order to produce those endorphins to make us feel happy.

And, if you want to know the truth, my love for running helps me to keep this strong stance on food. Running is very important to me that no matter what goes on in my life, I will never let my emotions take over and upset me to the point where I can’t eat.

If I can’t eat, I can’t run. And that would be a sad day.

When my friend told me she couldn’t stomach food, I offered up a few suggestions that are easy to choke down, require little to no preparation and just enough calories for energy until an appetite returns:

  • Orange Juice
  • Pretzel rods
  • Chocolate milk
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Soup – did you know I don’t like soup?
  • Fudge brownies – Listen, the fudge brownie thing once worked for me so maybe it can work for someone else

I know I am a healthy living blogger but I would be lying to you if I pretended like I didn’t go to The Cheesecake Factory for dessert after several court dates or treat myself to my favorite Red Mango parfait at various emotional times during the process over the years.


This very picture is from one of those post-court dessert days.

There are times in life that call for a favorite treat to momentarily make you feel better.

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Speaking of chocolate, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and so is The Healthy Maven’s Great Valentine Day Bake-Off.


Chocolate + Fruit = Delicious Antioxidant-Packed Happiness.

As much as I love my cake and ice cream sundaes, I really do have a thing for chocolate covered fruit.

Indulging with fruit that is dipped in chocolate satisfies both your cravings (emotional ones too) and daily fruit requirement.

Who needs to pay for an Edible Arrangement when you can easily make it yourself at home? Recipe to come tomorrow, I promise.


I do a lot of writing (and have an ebook soon to be released) on the topic of divorce, co-parenting and dealing with your emotions in a healthy way. Some links to additional posts and articles related to this topic can be found in the If You Missed It section at the top of the page.


Favorite comfort food? Dessert.

Favorite way to treat yourself without food? A Pedicure. Definitely a pedicure.

What’s your workout looking like today?













Thinking Out Loud – Somehow We End Up Talking Running


Just about every day, someone asks me what I do when I have nothing to write about. Truth is, I always have something to say and sometimes don’t know what to say first.


There are those times though, like this week for example, where my schedule is so overwhelming that I don’t have the time to devote to getting my thoughts out of my head and organized into posts.

Enter Thursday for Thinking Out Loud – My opportunity to sit down and just write what comes to mind.

Let’s see where this goes today, yes? Yes. Thanks Amanda for the link-up fun!

Remember how I needed to get into the city yesterday morning super super super early to attend the bris?

unnamed (27)

I am always up early, but up and out, into and out of Manhattan all by 10:00 am?

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I could say that my motivation for getting out the door so early in order to deal with city traffic came purely for the love for my family and desire to see this absolutely adorable and precious little cousin of mine, but that would only be part of the truth.

unnamed (28)

I will arrive just about anywhere at any time when I know an abundance of good food will be readily available.

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A fabulous food spread including bagels, lox, muffins, cookies, rugelach, fruit, french toast and who knows what else was a major driving force for me here. There. I said it.

I couldn’t even blame my little boy for grabbing slices of French toast in one hand and muffins in the other as I prepared his bagel and lox plate – he is so my child.

unnamed (31)

As I made my way through my loaded plate that was topped off with serious amounts of fruit, I was reminded of how I fuel up in the days before a race.

I always rely on fruit, especially watermelon, to hydrate me properly. I swear, the extra doses of watermelon work every time.

Remember when I took a fall season hiatus from racing?


Oh yes. I AM BACK. Fitness Magazine Women’s Half here I come. April 13, 2014.

I knew my hiatus from racing would be short-lived.

All I needed was a break. I knew that, accepted it, honored it and now I am over it.

I registered yesterday for the More/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon and I think before we know it, April will be upon us.

I feel like it was just yesterday that I ran this half but really, it was almost a year ago.

If you asked me what my exact finish time was for this race, I honestly couldn’t tell you.

Is that weird? Most runners know their times to the second. I can’t rattle off one accurate race time of mine if I tried.

It is becoming quite clear to me that numbers of any kind really don’t matter to me.

untitled (3)

In fact, MapMyRun sent me my training log for 2013. Their stats are based only upon the runs I actually logged meaning I ran even more than the statistics in the chart claim.


2013 WORKOUT SUMMARY view all
245 workouts
196 routes
1,503.3 miles
315.1 hours
125,434 kcal burned


Interesting. These numbers seem like they should be a big deal, some type of motivating factor to better myself in 2014 yet I don’t think they hold much value to me.

Sure, I am proud that I am out there just about every day yet I have no intention of trying to go above and beyond 2013’s statistics.

I just run for me. Not for the numbers. Not for the races, not to win. Just for me.


I run for my daily dose of endorphins. For the mental clarity it gives me. For that crazy confident feeling it gives me each and every time.

As I looked at how beautiful and amazing my cousin appeared yesterday only 8 days after giving birth, I thought about how I felt after having my son.

If you have gone through childbirth, you may be able to relate – I felt as though I was the only person in the world to give birth.

Sounds crazy, right? But I recall the feeling. I recall thinking I just did such an amazing thing, I brought a life into the world and yes, I was the only person in the world capable of doing so.

Now, we all know this is not true. We all know that babies are born every day.

Where am I going with this? Well, when I run, I feel the same way. I feel as though I am the only one out there.

Each run is mine and each run I set out for and complete is some form of a crazy amazing achievement.

Imagine having such a wonderful feeling several times a week? No matter how crummy a run is, you feel the accomplishment.

Each run requires me to show up. Getting through those miles, as fast or as slow as you go, requires mental and physical stamina.


And when you complete what you set out to do, you have yourself an achievement.

I haven’t addressed New Year’s Resolutions because I really don’t believe in them.

I do believe in the power of running though.

I feel pretty confident in saying that running (or at least a daily workout routine) will give you confidence into everything else you set out to do.

This positive mental boost achieved through the power of exercise will help to keep you motivated in your weight-loss goals, healthier eating goals and just about any other goal on your list.

There’s your New Year’s Resolution pep-talk. I feel much knowing I finally mentioned something towards the resolution hoopla.

I am such a planner but I think I enjoy posts like this that just happen as I type.

Make sure you check out the rest of the Thinking Out Loud fun!



Have you registered for any spring races?

Do you remember your race finish times?

Why do you run?










THREE TIP TUESDAY- Taking My Own Winter Running Advice

Good morning! Yesterday started so bright and early for us that it is a miracle I managed to squeeze in a run. Wait, it was no miracle. I made it happen.

IMG_0536 (2)

So what if I wear two different colored socks? As long as they are the same style, my feet don’t know the difference. It is much easier to allow yourself to wear different colored socks than decide to start sorting and folding laundry in the wee hours of the morning.

I easily could have skipped the run yesterday but I hate doing that. As hard as it is to get out of bed sometimes, it is a matter of minutes before the endorphins kick in making me glad I chose to run.

A morning workout always puts me in a good mood and provides me with energy for the entire day.


Perfect gift for me. Perfect. Just perfect. And I really do need some new mugs…


I had a totally different post full of tips planned for today. I often have so many things that I want to chat about that planning posts in advance can be good and bad. Good because I organize my ideas and bad because I often change my mind and decide I want to discuss something else entirely.

Over the past few weeks, we have discussed winter weather running accessories as well as cost-effective ways to get our must-have apparel and gear. If you follow other blogs, you have also read a ton of other winter weather running posts so the last thing I want to do is repeat everything they have said.

Rather than repeat what others have suggested, I decided to talk to you today about some things I have been trying to apply to my own routine now that the temps have dipped and my running has needed to adapt to the conditions.


I am the worst at pacing myself. They always recommend that you start slow to warm up and then dive into faster speeds which achieves those negative splits.

I, on the other hand, never really followed this theory. I always jumped on out there, feeling out for a quick pace, always hoping for a “great running day” meaning a pace that was fast yet came pretty easy.

This is not the approach a runner should take. Especially in the winter. The muscles need to warm up before reaching a peak speed. And in the cold weather, you really need a few more minutes to get those muscles prepped and ready to run.

Over the last several weeks, as the weather has changed from summer-like to fall, I have noticed that my muscles really need at least the first mile, and sometimes 3 miles, to feel warm and ready to get down to business.

Try to get your blood flowing a bit before you even step outside. Stretch, skip around the house as you get dressed, a few jumping jacks, dance- whatever gets your body moving and blood flowing. This applies to indoor workouts as well – loosen up those muscles!

I have been forcing myself to take this advice and it has worked wonders for me.

BONUS LINK: From my girl, Cait Chock, The Arty Runner Chick: Runner’s Legs Are Complainers


Cold  weather + exercise = runny nose. Do I really need to provide you with the science behind what they call Exercise Induced Rhinitis?

What I need to provide you with is the tip to stuff some tissues in your pockets.

Do you really want to wipe your nose with your gloves while you are running? Didn’t think so.


I don’t know about you but once the temperature drops, I don’t sweat as much as I do in the summer running months. Often we relate hydration with hot sweaty summer runs.

We need to remember to continue to drink and stay hydrated regardless of the temperatures. I have not been drinking much, if at all, during any of my runs and I have been feeling the effects the next day.

Extreme thirst is an understatement. I am waking up at night so thirst and dry that I have to get up out of my warm bed to drink A FEW glasses of water.

Even during the day, I am looking to quench my thirst to the point where I am buying pre-cut watermelon because water alone isn’t cutting it.

This is a big deal because I HATE paying for pre-cut fruit.

Lack of proper hydration affects you during your runs too so keep drinking, even if you think you aren’t thirsty.

BONUS LINK: Sports Nutrition Trending Advice – info-packed post from Kath Eats Real Food

And before I go, I feel the need to share with you one more tip:


I found this sweatshirt at Target for $19.99 which is MUCH CHEAPER than the version they sell at Bloomingdales.

You are welcome.


Do you warm up before you work out?

Are you hydrating less now that it is colder outside?

If you are a blogger, how often do you plan posts in advance only to decide to post about something else entirely?




Pardon Me While I Rant

Fairway is still toying with me.


I am not at all amused and will simply be purchasing my granny smith apples somewhere else.

I shop at 5 different grocery stores Fairway, do you hear me? So don’t think I am any more loyal to you than the next store down the block. Especially if you are going to play this circular sale game with me.

Anyway, on to something more important. Well, maybe more important to you. My apple situation is actually pretty serious to me.

people magazine

I hear Gwyneth Paltrow has been named People Magazine’s 2013 Most Beautiful Woman. I don’t normally have what to say on things like this; the only celebrity news I chat about is Kardashian related.


Confession: I love watching the Kardashians. Kourtney and Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, doesn’t matter who what which is in Miami or Calabasas, I am all about the new episodes, new series, reruns, specials and Kim’s legal battle with Kris Humphries while being pregnant with Kanye’s baby.

Ah the beauty of being divorced – I am in charge the remote.

Anyway, back to Gwyneth. I am extremely bothered by a comment she made that  I read about in the newspaper yesterday.

She was giving credit to her five-day-a week Tracy Anderson Method routine for her “hard-won youthful look” and said the following:

“I mean, we all have our self-esteem issues. I have to work out Monday through Friday for almost two hours every day, and it’s a nightmare. Sometimes I cry, like, ‘I can’t do this anymore! I am so sick of it!'”

Dear Gwyneth, I do not know who taught you that your exercise routine should be making you cry. Your workouts should challenge you but not to the point of tears. Not to the point where you feel you can’t keep it up and that you are sick of it.

Can we say, overtraining much?

Listen, I am no expert, nor am I a celebrity.

Wait, yes I am. I was on Dr. Oz. I had a dressing room.

While we are all different and all have different thresholds,  if your workout routine is leaving you in tears or making you feel like you are so sick of your regimen to the point where you don’t want to do it, then it is time for a change.

Time for a break. A breather. A day off. Or two.

Your trainer won’t get mad at you. Your trainer is not in charge of you. Speak up for yourself. And for your body.

You won’t gain weight or drop a level of fitness if you work out an hour less or skip a day.

I don’t often take rest days, and I know I should. However, I do not push myself to spend 120 minutes a day several days a week running or spinning or weight training.

Every day that you lace up the sneaks cannot be a hard workout. It isn’t fair to your body. Your muscles need to time to recover in order to repair and rebuild. And so does your mood.

In all of my years of exercising, I have never, not one time, been close to tears regarding my routine. The reason I ensure to get at least my “30 minutes a day” is because it makes me FEEL GOOD.

Exercise should make you feel better about yourself, increase those endorphins.

Heck, exercise is supposed to have the same effect as those “happy pills” people take so often.

I am sure that Gwyneth has pressures that I cannot relate to. I was not even nominated for People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman (maybe the voters don’t watch Dr. Oz?).

However, one has to wonder how worth it is to be voted so beautiful yet speak of being miserable when it comes to the routine that it takes to maintain the desired beauty.

I love my routine. I look forward to it.

Lucky? Maybe. But I wasn’t always this thin, trim, and lean. I work for it sure, but would never do anything that made me cry.

Would you?

Words are Worth 1,000 Pictures

Warning: There is only one picture in this post. Sometimes topics need to be discussed and the words are more important than looking at pictures.


News flash people– I am not a machine. Or am I?

Why is this up for debate? Let me explain.

Some days I can eat what I consider the perfect meals (for me) and feel full, fueled and ready to tackle anything that comes my way.

My runs are amazing, my energy is amazing, I am focused and not hungry.

And then the next day, I can start off with the same breakfast and not feel the same. Still hungry, not fueled or focused and my runs/workouts suffer.

Or hmm, am I more like a machine than I think?

Machines really aren’t that perfect. They don’t run the same perfect way everyday like they are supposed to. Especially if the machine in question is my computer.

It freezes, doesn’t obey my keyboard commands, shuts off, jumps screens…should I continue?

And once you fix one problem, doesn’t another always arise? You can delete a virus from the system but then another program stops working. You can shut down, restart and reboot and then the internet connection is gone.

Kinda like me. One day my navicular bone has an issue. Then once I fixed that problem, I have a twinge in my hamstring, a pain near my knee or ice near my groin.

Perhaps all we need is a little bit of a 1.21 jiggawatt jolt to function perfectly everyday?


Hey, it worked for time travel so there must be something to the jiggawatt.

Truth is, nothing and no one is perfect.

But, there is one way to consistently assist ourselves in functioning to the best of our ability: EXERCISE.

We know I forever preach the importance of 30 minutes a day of physical activity.

If you missed the article I shared on facebook yesterday, I am feeling forgiving today and will share it again now.

I posted a link to a fabulous and informative article from Shape magazine that lists the “13 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise.”

Exercise is so embedded in my routine it is like brushing my teeth and hair each day. I don’t really need the reminder or boost to get out there but I do sometimes need to remind myself that whatever I am struggling with at any given moment will almost always feel or at least seem better after a good run, walk or interval session on the elliptical machine.

I am hoping you choose to click on the link to read the full article therefore I am just going to point some of the highlights:

13 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise (as stated in Shape Magazine):

  • Reduce Stress – Exercise  increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress.
  • Boost Happy Chemicals – (Endorphins!) Getting a happy buzz from working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost overall mood.
  • Enjoy The Great Outdoors –Vitamin D acquired from soaking up the sun (while wearing sunscreen, of course!) can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms.
  • Alleviate Anxiety – Moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety sensitivity
  • Boost Brain Power – Studies suggest that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking, and learning.
  • Sharpen Memory-Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things
  • Help Control Addiction –Short exercise sessions can also effectively distract drug or alcohol addicts, making them de-prioritize cravings (at least in the short term)
  • Tap into Creativity- A heart-pumping gym session can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards.
  • Get More Done- Research shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers.
  • Prevent Cognitive Decline- Exercise boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.
  • Improve Self Confidence- Regardless of weight, size, gender, or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person’s perception of his or her attractiveness.
  • Increase Relaxation- A moderate workout can be the equivalent of a sleeping pill, even for people with insomnia.
  • Inspire Others – Studies show that most people perform better on aerobic tests when paired up with a workout buddy.

It isn’t always about calories burned, running to lose weight, lifting to gain muscle, what to eat and not to eat to be the “right” size.

Exercise is an effective (AND HEALTHY) tool to assist us both physically and mentally on a daily basis.

Let’s face it. Life isn’t always fair. Things are not always peachy.

Sometimes situations arise in our daily lives that challenge us. We need to learn how to cope and deal in a healthy manner with whatever might be thrown our way.

As a mother I now need to teach my son these valuable life lessons as well.

Sometimes I am busy explaining to him that life isn’t fair- we can’t get a dog today, you can’t have an iPhone and I don’t really care if your friends can stay up past 9:00 pm every night.

But I have also had to explain the unexplainable horror of Sandy Hook a few months ago and last night on the way to baseball practice we had a discussion about North Korea and Nuclear War.

He wants to know what is wrong with these terrible people.

Well, for one, I told him that they probably didn’t listen to their mother growing up.

And, they clearly didn’t get their 30 minutes a day of exercise.


I need to know:

How often to you experience the dreaded hungry day?

Does your computer drive you nutty?

Do you feel better after you exercise?

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