running & workout recap 8.15 – 8.21


Since switching to Runkeeper from MapMyRun, I have fallen out of the habit of sharing my splits in these weekly workout recap posts. Runkeeper is awesome and I definitely like it more than MapMyRun but their screen for splits isn’t as screenshot friendly.

This has worked out just fine for me lately as my pace has pretty much meant nothing to me this summer to the point where I barely even stop to look at the splits screen when I finish my runs.

The heat and humidity have both been relentless these past few weeks that I find myself lucky to have been able to run outdoors at all, let alone care about how fast I am moving. Most of my runs this summer have been all about effort levels over watching my pace which I believe is more important for me when the weather is challenging.

In the next few weeks as the weather slowly cools down and I settle into training for the NYCRuns Falling Leaves Half Marathon, I will start to pay attention again to my pace for certain runs and do a better job at reporting my splits.

workout recap

Monday – 7 hot miles & Pure Barre

They said the heat wave ended Sunday night but it was still very hot and humid early in the morning! I wanted to run longer but by the hour mark, I was feeling a bit nauseous out there so I headed home for a quick set of Pure Barre Tone in 10.

Pure Barre Tone in 10 combo:

  • Thighs & Seat
  • Arms & Abs

Tuesday – 10 Miles

2 mile warm up + 6 miles of fartleks + 2 mile cool down

I am loving fartleks this summer. I speed up and slow down as I feel like it which is perfect for summer weather running. No pressure or focus on time, pace or distance.

Wednesday – Pure Barre Mile High Series & 5 Easy Miles

I barely remember running these miles which I guess is a good thing. No news is good news.

Thursday – Yoga & 8 Miles

2 mile warm up + 2 miles increased effort + 4 miles alternating .50 easy/.50 effort

This was a great run but I was tired the rest of the day. I don’t know if it was from the run or just a lingering fatigue that I realized I was feeling all week.

Friday – Pure Barre (rest day from running)

Thursday’s exhaustion was not like me at all. I wasn’t sick but I was to the bone tired so even though I woke up feeling much better today, I knew I needed the day off from running.

Running a few easy miles as I normally do on a Friday morning seemed pointless in the grand scheme of things. It made more sense to skip the run and feel fresh for Saturday’s long run rather than push myself and possibly feel fatigued for future workouts.

I have been meaning to switch my rest day from running from Sunday to Friday so this became the perfect time to experiment with the change.

My favorite Pure Barre online workout with feature focus on thighs was enough to get me moving without sweating. I usually use 5 lb free weights for Pure Barre but dropped down to the 3 lb weights to keep the workout on the lighter side.

pure barre online workout with focus on thighs

Saturday – 13 Miles

Yesterday’s break from running was super smart as I had extra pop in my step for this run. I realized I felt better than I have in a while out there so I like to think the rest day from running combined with lowered humidity helped move me along at a comfortably quick pace.

I even remembered to check my pace at the end of the run to see I averaged 8:45 overall.

My fastest split was mile 11 @ 7:53.

Sunday – Short, easy run

I plan to head outside for a few easy miles. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

[bctt tweet=”workouts from the week! #running #runner #runkeeper #purebarre #fitfluential” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Has it cooled down at all where you live?

Is today a rest day or a run day for you?

Best thing you ate so far this weekend?


workout recap 11/2 – 11/8


Aside from the time change bringing me daylight for my runs this week, the weather has been so oddly warm for November it’s incredible.

I took this picture yesterday morning as I started my long run right around 6:00 am. Although you can’t tell that it was already 65 degrees, it’s still real pretty, and bright outside too!

running path

A few things about my workouts from the week:

Pure Barre never gets easier you just get better at it. It’s still so challenging yet I can feel how strong I have become over the last year, especially during the ab section at the end. The warm up section is still killer though every.single.time. I wish that part would just get a teeny bit easier 🙂

I need cardio breaks/rest days from running during the week. I can’t really plan those rest days in advance as I rather go by how I am feeling on any given day but it’s definitely needed to avoid burnout and fatigue.

weekly workout recap

Monday – Pure Barre Mile High 1 DVD & 5 Miles

I kept things easy which turned into 4 miles progression and 1 mile cool down.


Tuesday  – 8 Miles

It was colder than they said on the news, I probably should have worn gloves. In any case, decent run. I followed my negative split workout and almost achieved it perfectly.


Wednesday – Pure Barre Pure Results / Rest Day From Running

Pure Barre Pure Results

I took a day off from running and skipped the elliptical as well. I needed a cardio break.

Thursday – 8 Miles

This was a good run which consisted of the following:

2 mile warm up

3 miles increased effort

2 miles of .50 mile easy/.50 speed

1 mile cool down


This running workout followed a similar pattern to the 10k workout I shared a little while back — it’s perfect for the treadmill.  

Friday – Pure Barre Mile High 2 DVD & 35 Minutes Easy Running

A little while after my workout I stretched things out with Yoga For Hips, Hamstrings and Back.

Saturday – 14 Miles @ 8:55

As nice as it is to have warm weather in November, this 65 degree thing is a little too hot as I much prefer running long in the cooler weather.

I was sweating more than I have in a while and crazy thirsty towards the end of this run (and for hours afterwards even though I didn’t stop drinking).

Sunday – Rest Day From Running

I may pop in a Pure Barre DVD or go for a walk.

In case you missed my post from earlier this week about How To Add Variety To Your Workout Routine, be sure to check it out!

how to add variety to your running and workout routine

[bctt tweet=”Workouts from the week #running #purebarre #restdays #fitfluential #yoga @pure_barre”]


How is the weather been where you live? Unusually hot or cold?

Do you plan your rest days or go by how you feel?

Best thing you have eaten so far this weekend?



Using Your Homework Pass For Running


My brain clearly works through the use of analogies.

Remember when your teacher would give out a special “homework pass” that allowed you to skip your homework assignment on a day of your choice without any reason whatsoever?

I thought about this the other morning when I debated taking a completely random day off from running.

topic tuesday running

It was last Monday to be exact. I woke up with the odd-for-me thought of I am not going to run today.

I didn’t particularly feel like running my usual routine loop or any route at all.

I just didn’t.

But I wasn’t tired. And nothing in particular was wrong.

In fact, as the early morning moments went on from the time of the I am not going to run today thinking, I was wide awake, not lagging, nothing bothering me—actually in a really good mood with super loose and limber body parts.

So why exactly was I going to take off?

Of course I deserve a day off if I want one and I do not need to have a reason.

There’s no denying my dedication and I put in more than enough miles all of the time that taking off unplanned without reason would mean very little to my running routine.

workout summary 2014

The crazy part to this workout summary is that it doesn’t include most treadmill miles. I rarely bothered to log them.

I thought about using my  “homework pass” though when it would matter more, just like I tell my son when he receives one.

Save it for when you are super busy after school! Use it when you are too tired! Skip your assignment when you have Hebrew school! Don’t use it today! Today you have the time to do it! You will thank me, I swear!

I thought about the week ahead.

Frigid temperatures, blowing snow. Ice.

I had no real reason to skip Monday’s run but felt I may have good reason later on in the week so I decided to get dressed, throw on my running shoes and just head out to do something a little bit different.

Instead of my routine six-mile loop, I scaled it back to a 5k distance with the intention of pushing my pace and seeing what I had to give for those 3.1 miles.

I had such an endorphin high in just under 24 minutes –and it was really fun too since it was different from what I normally do!

I went home fresh and ready for the day, super glad I saved my pass for another time.

Now listen, there are true times where you need a day off. When that is the case, you take it.

But when you are on the fence about it and unsure as to what to do, ask yourself the following questions before making your decision:

Did I get enough sleep last night?

Am I recovering from an injury and feel like I could really benefit from the day off?

Do I have a nagging pain anywhere?

Do I feel sick? Am I getting over an illness? They say you can run with a cold when symptoms are above the chest; symptoms below the chest no. If you have a fever, please stay home and feel better soon.

What is my schedule like the rest of the week? Is there a better day to skip rather than today when I have the time?

How is the weather looking for the upcoming week? Am I better off outside today or a different day?

What can I do that I maybe didn’t plan on doing as my workout that I would prefer at the moment instead?

If you conclude that today is your day to run yet your brain still doesn’t feel like it, sometimes just telling yourself that you will stop running after ten minutes if you still aren’t in the mood is all you need to do.

Trust me, once you are ten minutes into your run, you will feel great, in your groove and really happy that you saved your homework pass for a more deserving day.


Do you remember receiving those special homework passes? Did you use it right away or save it? I totally saved it!

What time do you normally go to bed?

Favorite pre-run meal?


It’s Totally Normal To Ride A Spin Bike In Bloomingdales


I love the opportunity for randomness…


As a peanut butter lover, it is my duty to make sure you are aware of the recent nut butter recall.

I was slightly nervous when I saw Trader Joe’s involved since I recently bought a jar but it seems that only their almond butters made the recalled list.

If I want to be honest with you, years ago when I was a Reduced Fat Skippy Crunchy Peanut Butter lover and it was recalled in a major way, I continued to eat my way through my jar supply because I would rather have risked contamination than go a day without my favorite peanut butter.

Please keep in mind that I may not be the best role model.

So sometimes I go to bed planning ahead for a rest day in the morning only to wake up, see the sun, feel refreshed, go against the plan and head outside.

Big mistake people. Big mistake.

Once I started running yesterday I just knew I should have stayed home. My legs were tired and needed a break yet I was stubborn and decided they would be fine.

It’s a cumulative effect for me because I can run and run and run….until I suddenly slow down without a pain or soreness anywhere just knowing I need a complete break.

Rest is in order for this morning.

Only I won’t rest, I will clean.

Only I can’t be trusted near any cleaner that involves bleach.

pottery barn shower curtain

My beautiful Pottery Barn shower curtain (don’t you love the ruffles?!) is now tye-dye because I am a fool and let the bleach cleaner dribble three large splotches on the curtain.

I was then left with no choice but to splatter-paint bleach all over the entire thing.

I will admit that I like it. Of course I do, I love tye-dye anything.

I also love The Cheesecake Factory where I had lunch yesterday with two friends.

cheesecake salad

Of course we needed extra onion rings.

onion rings

Those are Michelle’s nails by the way, not mine. Mine are pink, not French.


Always a tough decision.

Anyway, getting back to The Cheesecake Factory, I just need to vent for a moment once again about the Skinnylicious menu.

skinnylicious menu

While I understand why they invented such a menu and I think it’s all sorts of great when restaurants try to accommodate people with healthier options, the truth is, making it separate and labeling it as “Lighter” or “Skinny” tends to put some people off.

Since kids speak their minds, speak the truth and often say what most adults think but don’t verbalize, we can listen to my son.

He wants nothing to do with this Skinnylicious menu and pushes it away from him immediately.

Why? Because, as he says without even reading it, “it is diet food and not good.”

I have tried to explain to him that it’s the same burger just with a salad option. It’s the same appetizers just served in smaller portions.

People feel that “Skinnylicious” or “Lighter side” means a sacrifice on flavor and satisfaction which isn’t always the case.

It would almost be better if restaurants started offering more vegetable options as standard parts to their entrees as well as replace the standard French fries with a salad so that the fries become the substitution on request rather than the other way around.

Click here for my last rant about Skinnylicious menus which offers some tips on how to order “skinny” from any menu.

And while we are on the random theme today, I participated in a super random spinning session with sandals on my feet in, of all places, Bloomingdales.

spinning in bloomingdales

Totally normal, I know.

spin in bloomingdales

There was an AIDS fundraiser taking place yesterday afternoon while I was in the store picking up new moisturizer so I was told that if I hopped on the spin bike for three minutes, I would earn a $10 Bloomingdales Gift Card just like that.

I tried to ask for a six-minute ride in order to receive $20 but it didn’t work in my favor.

My plan is to use the gift card at their Forty Carrots restaurant next week when my son has days off between camp ending and school starting.

We love to eat at Forty Carrots and ten dollars towards a meal is always welcome.

Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!


Do you have any of the recalled nut butters in your pantry?

How often do you skip your rest-day plan?

Do you ruin household items with bleach too?


Thinking Out Loud – Crumbs vs. Frozen Yogurt


Thinking Out Loud posts are a lot like what our phone conversations would sound like if we were actually speaking instead of me writing and you reading.

Although, I rarely talk on the phone since I prefer to text and I never really talk about running with my friends because they don’t run but  when I am on the phone with my dad (who I prefer to talk to rather than text with) we do talk running because he always asks if I ran that morning and how it was.


Turns out I was able to run outside yesterday in place of the treadmill. The rain stopped just long enough for seven miles although it was so crazy humid that it felt like it was raining just without the actual rain drops.

It did start to rain for a bit after my run which required rain attire in order for me to leave the house.

lulu rain jacket

I never wear athletic apparel outside of a workout but decided to make use of the Lulu Lightened Up Pullover since I didn’t get to wear it during my run.

The back of the pullover is so cute, right?

Let’s talk quickly about rest days just to follow-up the topic a bit from yesterday.

Rest days are important. Do I take them as often as I should? Probably not. But I listen to my body to the best of my ability and never run if I don’t feel up to it, if I am sick or if something hurts.

I could have run some junk miles on Tuesday but I didn’t see the point.

There are plenty of runs that are slow-paced, plenty of runs that happen on tired legs but when you know you need a rest day, when you know your body and your next run will benefit from the break, when you know that going out there just to get your endorphin high which can only happen if you go slow because you are tired and burned out, you must force yourself to NOT put the workout clothes on and do something else.

Please note that I don’t actually rest. I don’t know how. Instead I organize and clean cabinets or bake to fill the spot in my routine where the run would normally take place.

Think about it like this:

I can run today on very tired legs and feel icky throughout the miles and rest tomorrow OR I can rest today and have a super-charged, fast paced happy run tomorrow.

Try that thought process next time you struggle with taking your rest day.

I think I found a new song to sing out loud while I am running.

really dont care

I don’t know which version of “Really Don’t Care” I should buy for my playlist (they all sound the same!) but when it comes on the radio I am singing it at the top of my lungs as I drive with the roof opened and windows down.

Remember when you were a kid and you listened to your Walkman while in the car with your parents because they had the radio tuned to nerdy-old-people music?

I am cool and listen to cool music so why does my son put his ear buds in to listen to his playlist while in the car with me?

The best part is that I can hear what he is listening to and it is usually the song I just had on the radio.

I don’t get it.

What I do get is that my Club Mango card has been loaded with a five dollar reward!


You know how I love my Red Mango parfaits and a good savings.

While I count Red Mango frozen yogurt in a separate class high above the rest of the self-serve fro yo chains, we need to talk about those other frozen yogurt store chains for a minute.

Ever since Crumbs shut their doors almost two weeks ago, there has been lots of press suggesting that the demise of Crumbs is due to a trend towards calorie counting and a more health conscious society.

crumbs cupcakes

While that may be true, the same people who have decided to ditch their weekly Crumbs cupcake are the same people you see loading up giant cups of frozen yogurt covered in mounds of toppings.

frozen yogurt

Do you really believe that your container of frozen yogurt covered in chocolate chips, gummy bears, oreo’s, peanut butter cups and graham cracker crumbs topped with hot fudge, a drizzle of marshmallow and whipped cream and sprinkles is any lower in calories than a cupcake?

Just because the yogurt is fat-free, low-fat, dairy free, gluten-free or 25 calories per ounce,  I am confident in saying that a cupload of yogurt and toppings will weigh in close to, if not more than the calories found in a cupcake.


Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!


Any new songs on your playlist?

Do you wear workout gear during the day or just for your workouts?

Do you struggle with what to do with yourself when you take a rest day?

Favorite ice cream/yogurt toppings combo?



WIAW – Rest Day From Running And Vegetables

The rain is currently coming down pretty heavy outside my window. Wet and dreary weather would have worked perfectly for me had I planned on a rest day for today.

Keyword phrase here:  Had I planned.

I can’t plan rest days. I can consider a certain day of the week where I may want a rest day to occur but more often than not, I go by how I feel.

Yesterday needed to be my rest day. I ran a whole bunch last week and even though I wasn’t sore or stiff or anything like that, I knew my muscles needed a break and couldn’t wait for a rainy day.

Had I chosen to run yesterday simply because the weather was more suitable, those miles would have been complete junk on tired, useless legs.

Instead, I feel refreshed and ready to run this morning even if it means running on the treadmill because the rain seems to be too heavy even for a rainy runner like me.

You know you took a rest day when you wake up eager and itching to run on a treadmill.


I do not adjust what I eat to cater to rest days. I still eat an early breakfast and then another two hours later, as if I had run in between.

Sometimes I am not as hungry and sometimes I am just as hungry as if I ran six miles in between meals.

I don’t see the point in skimping on meals just because you didn’t run because if you are hungry, you need to eat, and, your body still needs fuel for recovery and strength for the next run.

Anyway, food lately….. Lots of pots of oatmeal have been cooking on my stove since I have been eating bowls for breakfast…and lunch.


Loaded up with berries…sometimes served warm…sometimes served cold…sometimes mixed with greek yogurt…. and the other day, oatmeal swimming in lots of skim milk because I had a random and crazy strong craving for milk.


Do I even need to tell you there is peanut butter mixed in? I should really count how many times I open up the jars of peanut butter in a day, would be an interesting statistic.

I bought a can of pumpkin the other day because I missed it and also because I wanted to try Arman’s Three-Minute Grain-Free English Muffin.


I really love adding pumpkin to oatmeal but right now it’s all about using the pumpkin to make Arman’s recipe. 

grain free english muffin

I didn’t slice it but next time I will. I think I will be making a lot of these muffins because I love short ingredient lists and easy preparations.

I am going to try making them with chia seeds in place of the egg whites next.

grain free muffin and salad

I realize there is a salad along with the muffin in the above photo but I have laying low on the vegetables for the most part this week.

My stomach needs a rest day from vegetables sometimes just like my legs do from running.

It’s not that I haven’t been eating some vegetables; I still probably consuming more than most of America, I am just being a bit more selective in my choices and keeping the portion sizes to a minimum.

sweet potato dinner

Roasted asparagus (and roasted plum tomatoes above) tend to be easier on the tummy than broccoli so I have been pairing it with lots of sweet potato wedges and my favorite chick pea and avocado mash.

My son isn’t really a vegetable eater at all but he does accept lettuce, especially when I offer it with tacos.


I am the master of throwing together fresh, healthy and homemade tacos in a flash.  Shredded chicken which I cook and shred myself, mashed chick peas (because I had a can open and didn’t want to open the black beans), corn, taco seasoning, tomato paste and a drop of tomato sauce.

I will share a more in-depth recipe for the tacos soon but please take note at how I mash chick peas into his tacos and he is pretty clueless. I need to mash some more things on into the mix like I used to do to get him to eat more vegetables.

With the right seasonings and texture, I can even get him to eat vegetarian tacos.

I may take some time off from major vegetable consumption but never a hiatus from fruit.

fruit peanut butter snack plate

I love fruit. However, sometimes I think its sole purpose is to keep me from just eating peanut butter and chocolate straight from the jar and bag.

mighty maple dark chocolate

While little compares to chocolate fudge cake, brownies, cookies and sundaes, fruit with peanut butter and chocolate will always hit the sweet spot.

. fruit dessert

I will never grow tired or bored of this combination. Ever.

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


Do you plan your rest days?

Do you sometimes need a break from vegetables?

Favorite oatmeal mix-in’s lately?

Anyone else still drink dairy milk?

Rest Day And New Beauty Finds


I ran a little over six miles yesterday morning. I felt so super great that I decided there must be something to the whole don’t-run-too-many-days-in-a-row-and-make-sure-you-crosstrain-thing.

Today is a rest day. Want to occupy me for a bit?

I don’t know what to do with myself when my routine is off. Maybe I should clean the bathrooms. Or organize a closet. Or bake. Or maybe clean and then bake or, which makes more sense, bake and then clean.

A normal person would have just chosen to stay in bed and sleep a bit longer. I never claimed to be normal.

untitled (4)

The race is Sunday morning but I am heading into the city a bit later today to pick up my number,  check out the Race Expo and then land myself at the Blue Water Grill for dinner.

However, before I go,  I may need to stop at Whole Foods because I ran out of my facial cleanser.

Yes, I realize I was just at Whole Foods last week but I kind of sort of on purpose forget things as an excuse to go back to the food bar.

I haven’t done a skincare/cosmetic post in a while so let’s take a look at what I have been using and really loving these days.

skincare cosmetics lately

I know I say it over and over but the Whole Foods 365 skincare line is terrific.

1. Whole Foods 365 Facial Cleanser – For $5.99, you just can’t beat it. Free from the parabens and funky ingredients, there is no reason to use a facial cleanser from a department store beauty counter. Save where you can.

2. Whole Foods 365 Body Moisturizer – For $5.99 once again, no reason to use anything else. I find this moisturize super hydrating for the body and it is free from scents, parabens and all the bad things.

Clinique Products:

You may recall that I gave up my favorite skincare products along with my Dior addiction last year in favor of removing all allergens and parabens from my cosmetics and skincare.

I never imagined that I would replace my makeup/skincare with so many products from Clinique and be happy at the same time.

3. Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer with SPF – Love this product. I have been using it every single day for a year now and have no plans to switch it up. It totally subs as a foundation, is super light, nongreasy and includes an SPF of  15.

4. Clinique Super Daily Defense Moisturizer with SPF 20 – I switched to this moisturizer about a month ago and have been very happy. I was actually surprised to read not-so-fabulous reviews of this formula on their website but everyone is so different; I happen to really like it and I am pretty picky.

5. Clinique RepairWear Intensive Night Cream –  It’s richer than a day cream but not overly thick or greasy; absorbs right into the skin while hydrating and doing it’s thing.

I find it ironic to note my skin appears more hydrated now than when I used the higher-end (and much more expensive) moisturizers.


I have mentioned my newfound love of Guerlain, which is in the same family of companies as Dior but made without parabens and other allergens that have bothered my skin in the past.

While I prefer Clinique’s moisturizers (explain it, I can’t), Guerlain’s cosmetics are terrific and I recently added two new items to my routine.

6.  Hydrating Lip Shine is ridiculous and you need it. Super hydrating like no other lipstick I have ever placed on my lips, the color goes on beautifully and doesn’t get sticky. In fact, you don’t even know it is there except for feeling as though you just hydrated your lips with a great lip balm.

Guerlain Lip Shine

And the way it comes out of the tube is kind of cool too.

7.  Cils D’enfer Maxi Lash Mascara – Even if you can’t pronounce it, you need it. I just love how it glides right over the lashes without a clump while lengthening and curling without making you look like some tarantula.

I swore by Dior Iconic for years which was lovely and all but this mascara from Guerlain is much better.  Not to mention, it comes off pretty easy when you go to remove it without irritating your eyes which was always an allergy issue for me.

On my radar:

This Terracotta Four Seasons Bronzer from Guerlain.


I tried it in Bloomingdales recently and loved the various shades of bronzer plus the pop of pink color in the palette. Once I run out of the bronzer I currently use, I will go back to buy this.

It sound so silly but I really look forward to a new nail polish. I take my time selecting my color of the week and love pedicure season for the various shades of deep pinks and lavenders I alternate between.


Essie’s new Romper Room looks like a good time for the fingers; has anyone tried it yet?

So I have a feeling I will be popping in before the race on Sunday. I have yet to finalize what I am wearing and my running playlist is incomplete.

I feel all sorts of weird knowing that my usual long run tomorrow morning is capped at three miles so I guess I can fill that extra time with getting everything in order.

Have a great weekend!


I was not compensated in any way for this post; I just like sharing what I like and all thoughts/opinions are my own.

Who else is running the More/Fitness Women’s Half on Sunday?

Favorite cosmetics/skincare at the moment?

Favorite Essie color?





Three Tip Tuesday- Eat Your Sushi


The whole concept of a complete rest day really does work wonders for the legs. Even if you really feel like running and don’t think you need to rest, if you are truly due for a day off, take it.

I ran seven miles in the frigid weather yesterday morning and felt great. Well, great aside from waking up with a strange feeling in my stomach that made me want nothing but cold cereal for breakfast.


Who am I to wake up and want a cold bowl of cereal?

Thankfully my stomach started to feel a bit more normal by lunch time when I was due to meet one of my best friends for her birthday lunch at Nisen.


Sushi on an off-feeling stomach would not have gone well and since it is my favorite meal to enjoy, I would have been pretty upset to have to skip it.

Did I mention that I recently completed the coursework required in order to receive my Professional Certificate in Sports Nutrition And Performance?

I loved every ounce of the information covered throughout the program and really enjoyed one section in particular which discussed the health benefits of eating sushi.


I just made your day, right? If you were looking for an excuse to enjoy your favorite rolls more often, the health benefits associated with a lot of the ingredients makes consuming our favorite food part of a healthy and balanced diet.


I used to avoid the ginger on the plate and I don’t even know why.


Yesterday we actually ordered extra ginger on the side; anything good for digestion is a friend of mine.

For the longest time, sushi made me feel sick. I craved it and loved eating it but then my stomach would bother me for hours and I couldn’t determine the culprit.

After several experiments with various rolls, I concluded that the tempura portion was the problem.

You may love your shrimp tempura but in case you weren’t aware, tempura means fried.

My stomach clearly isn’t used to fried food and as soon as I started ordering my rolls without tempura involved, I never had an issue again.

Sushi rolls can be prepared the way you request; ask your server to swap out the shrimp tempura for regular cooked shrimp.

I also request brown rice in place of white rice to bump up the complex carbohydrates and nutritional content of my meal.

Speaking of rice, if you are like me and enjoy ordering a ton of rolls, you may want to pay attention to the amount of rice you are consuming.

The tiny little rolls can be misleading. If you were to unwrap a sushi roll, there is a lot more rice involved than you think.

Lots of rolls= lots of rice.

To avoid a rice overload, try balancing out your plate with one of my favorites – the Naruto Roll.


Naruto rolls mean that cucumber is used as a wrap for the sushi without rice.

Is it just me or does eating sushi just make you crave more? Lunch was so good yesterday that all I want is sushi again today.

Aside from eating sushi yesterday, I ended up in Target and couldn’t leave without this:


I realize I don’t have a daughter but I wasn’t looking to buy this Lisa Frank coloring book for anyone but myself.


Sunshine and Unicorns make me happy; as does coloring.

I used to find baking to be therapeutic but I have started to question that relaxing hobby of mine since baking requires cleaning and I don’t feel like cleaning the kitchen more than I have to these days.


Coloring though? Involves no mess and is extremely relaxing for the mind.

Relaxing until you can’t find the right shade of pink that will enhance the picture of your bear floating in an ice cream sundae….


Do you love sushi? What are your favorite rolls?

How do you like to relax – baking, knitting, reading, coloring?

Last time you eat cold cereal for breakfast?






Honey Dijon String Beans – Recipe


My horoscope had a theme over the weekend:

“You will be more likely to succeed if you are following your heart” and “Personally and professionally, following your heart and your dreams is the only way to go.”

I guess I was on to something for myself on Friday

running heart

I kept this in mind during Saturday’s long run which certainly needed the strength and determination of my heart.

My pace lately has been several seconds off and while that doesn’t sound like a lot, I have learned that an off pace for me signals too many days of running.

I forced a complete rest day upon myself yesterday so that my legs would be fresh and ready to tackle a run this morning.

Instead of running, I played around with a favorite recipe of mine from when I was a little girl.

honey dijon string beans

As a child (and really until I was about twenty) I was the most picky of eaters and certainly didn’t eat vegetables beyond the basic peas, carrots and corn. Except for string beans.

Growing up, my grandmother had a garden in her backyard where she would grow string beans.

I was never one for nature (and still have no use for my own garden since that would involve dirt) but I do recall picking string beans, bringing them inside and helping to break off the ends so that we could cook them.


You should know that my grandmother no longer has a garden; she is too busy living up life in Florida, dating and have her nails polished in various shades of Essie blues and purples. I am telling you, life begins after the age of 85.

Since the string beans were on sale this weekend (and blueberries were not which I don’t even want to talk about) I decided to make the Honey Dijon String Beans I recall loving as a kid.


I knew that the recipe involved Dijon Mustard and I knew that the finished beans were to be eaten cold but other than that, I wasn’t quite sure what the recipe entailed.

My mother was the one who often made this recipe so when I asked her what I needed, she wasn’t really sure.

I have no issue informing the world that my mother is not much of a cook; I don’t think she ever baked a cookie and aside from the string beans, the only other food I recall her having a recipe for is brisket.

Not a problem; I was able to determine my own recipe to recreate the delicious and cold string beans from my childhood.

Honey Dijon String Beans


  • String beans (I probably used a little over a pound)
  • Two heaping tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
  • One tablespoon of Honey (you can certainly add more but it doesn’t need it)
  • Coconut Oil Cooking Spray or less than One tablespoon melted coconut oil *

*I prefer coconut oil lately but use what you have on hand


Wash string beans and trim off the ends. Add strings beans to a pot of boiling water and let cook for about five minutes. Drain string beans from the water. In a bowl, combine string beans with oil followed by mustard and honey. Mix to coat.

Refrigerate before serving.

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Served cold, these string beans make a terrific appetizer, side dish, salad or snack that you totally just pick straight out of the bowl in your refrigerator.

honey dijon string beans in fridge

Confession: I ate all of the string beans straight from the refrigerator before they were even completely cold let alone before I could attempt to serve them along side any meal or offer to anyone else.

So the warm temperatures we experienced over the last few days seem to be gone for now. I want to complain and say that it’s not fair and that this year is worse weather-wise than last year but as I looked back at some of my posts from a year ago right around now, I was feeling the exact same way.

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I posted the above picture exactly a year ago when I complained about having to run inside on the treadmill.

I loved those rainbow Asics but they were so not comfortable!


Best thing you ate all weekend?

Did you eat vegetables as a kid?

Do you have to force yourself to take rest days?



Let’s Talk Overtraining

Even though I am a morning person, you should know it is getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. It is cold and dark and my bed is so warm and inviting. It is a cruel world I tell you.

It doesn’t take me long though to adjust to being awake. I mean, look at what I have to look forward to:

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Oh, you noticed I managed the perfect flip of the pancake, didn’t you…

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I was so excited about my pancake flipping that I just had to share it with you! It is the little things in life that excite me.

Yesterday we briefly touched on overtraining. The whole fine line between pushing yourself and overtraining is a slippery slope. I try really hard not to repeat what so many other blogs have already said but overtraining is a serious topic and not something we can go without talking about a bit more in-depth.

Quick signs you may be overtraining:

  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Increased illness
  • Normal running pace is much slower than usual and stays slower for several runs
  • Slower muscle recovery, increased soreness, muscle fatigue lasting longer than normal
  • Irritability
  • Loss of desire to exercise
  • Shin Splints
  • Stress Fractures
  • Amenorrhea

You should know that I just rattled off the above list  because the signs and symptoms of overtraining are embedded in my brain from constantly reading up on this topic.

Why do I read about it? Well, to be honest, it is something I worry about. It is something I often think I am hovering on the border of even though, knock on wood, I am RARELY sick, RARELY injured and don’t have a majority of the symptoms.

But really, are we supposed to wait until we experience ALL OF THE SYMPTOMS? Are we supposed to run ourselves literally into the ground before we realize it is a time to take a rest?

Symptoms or no symptoms, you know when you are doing too much. You know when something is just “off” and really, if you are googling overtraining, you already know you are overtraining and need a rest day.

I gave some thought about why it is I don’t allow myself enough rest and wanted to share with you what I came up with:

I am a creature of habit. Wake up, drink coffee, (flip a pancake), blog, brush teeth, run, get on with the day….

When something in my routine is missing, I feel off. Wrong. Not OK.

My morning run gets my blood flowing, energy levels boosted for the day and is my best brainstorming time.

My mind is free to wander, free to organize, free to think about whatever it wants. I really get my best thinking done while running and since I write every day, this is a huge positive.

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But, as much as the mind craves it, the body needs a break. The muscles need time to recover in order to grow and support further workouts. Not giving yourself a full break only sets you up for a slew of problems…and dare we say…a possibly injury.

I know all of this yet more often than not, I push it all into the back of my mind.

Sure, there are easily two days each week where my workouts are light, but what my body needs, and all of our bodies need, is a day where we don’t put on our sports bras, don’t work up a sweat and just get on with our day like most of society.

Funny how I say “most of society”. The media, the government, the FDA, the marketers behind every diet and exercise product as well as all of the social media platforms are all pushing society to exercise more and eat less.

It is important to understand that sometimes exercising less and eating more are what YOU need.

Easier said than done. People who don’t exercise don’t understand. Nonrunners even don’t understand.


This totally cracked me up. Even though I have never run the 26.2, I do have the 13.1 proudly displayed on my car.

Here is another interesting thing I realized: Running isn’t about the calorie burn for me. Sure, it is nice, it keeps me lean and able to basically indulge whenever I want.

But, when it comes to running and food, I get more excited about how my food tastes after I run.

You too?

I swear, oatmeal is that much creamier, peanut butter is that much more dreamier, yogurt is sweeter, pizza is cheesier (or wait, maybe that depends on the pizza place?)…I don’t know what it is, maybe my taste buds are simply heightened but whatever comes into contact with those taste buds in the hours following a good run just tastes that much better.

But what would happen if one day a week my routine was off? What if I didn’t have a major brainstorm or for one day my peanut butter simply tasted amazing instead of heavenly?  Is that so terrible?

A while back, I used to treat myself to a special cup of coffee from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts on my rest days. I found it to be a treat and something to look forward to for the mornings that I didn’t run. Sort of like a filler in the slot of my routine.

I need to bring Rest Day Coffee Day back, don’t you think?

Related links of interest:

Are You Running Too Much?

Know The Signs of Unhealthy Exercise Addiction





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