I Tried Cava + Other Recent Meals

Sometimes I wish I had more time (both actual time and mental time) to write blog posts as often as I used to in the past. But then I remember that my job takes up much more time (both actual time and mental time) than it used to and that I can only do so much.

Maybe one day, though, I can get back to writing more than my 2-3 posts a week. I’m hoping to get a Friday Favorites post together for this Friday but I haven’t even started it yet. Maybe once my son is settled into college (OMG), I will find a new routine. I kinda have a lot going on (aside from work) in terms of thinking about/preparing for my baby starting college in two weeks, finishing the dorm shopping/organizing, and then there’s my personal life which is directly affected by the world news.


Cava just opened near me so of course, I had to try it. While I still need to figure out what “my combo” will be, so far I’ve had it twice and liked it.

Will it be better than Wild Fig? We shall see. The pita bread from Cava, thus far, is not better than Wild Fig, Greek Cove, or Pete The Greek.


I do like that you get so many choices of hummus and toppings at Cava. Although, with so many choices, I already ended up choosing so many items that I’m not quite sure what I was tasting.


I’m not sure if I was taking a picture of my Chopt salad below or my pretty Stoney Clover woven pouch.

I went back to the lemon tahini dressing in place of the tzatziki that I had been ordering for a while.

chopt salad

Wasn’t I just saying that my go-to dinner at home lately is a salad with a baked potato? Like literally, this is dinner if I’m eating at home. I’m rotating between sweet potatoes one night and regular baked potatoes the next. This is what I call cooking. Baking a potato and making a salad. My salads lately contain:

  • romaine
  • tomatoes
  • mini persian cucumbers
  • feta cheese
  • chickpeas
  • avocado
  • balsamic dressing

salad and sweet potato

I met my parents at The Cheesecake Factory for dinner the other night. For a minute there, I questioned if I should order a veggie burger. Anyone who knows me knows that I get the same salad for over twenty years and only recently, started to maybe order the vegan cobb on occasion.

That alone was enough of a switch. I’m just not ready to order a veggie burger because, if I’m being honest, twenty years ago I once ordered something other than a salad at The Cheesecake Factory and I didn’t like it and wanted to do dinner over again. While I’m not as nutty as I was then, I don’t forget how I felt that night and I just can’t take a risk like that just yet. Yes, I know I sound insane and although I’m being funny by still referencing that story from the past, I’m just not ready to order something completely different at The Cheesecake Factory!

bbq ranch salad

I never say no to Linda’s Fudge Cake.

lindas fudge cake

Remember when they changed Linda’s Fudge Cake? I barely remember the old version either but I wrote a post about it and it’s still a popular search result.

Let’s Talk About Oatmeal + Recent Meals + Purple Sweet Potatoes


I spoke with two separate people over the last few days about eating oatmeal. I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast, every single morning, for years now. I stopped sharing pictures of my daily bowls of oatmeal because it started to feel really repetitive for me to share, not to mention, my bowls never look too photogenic.

I’m still in the same routine of cooking steel-cut oatmeal with old-fashioned rolled oats, making enough servings for four-five days at a time. Cooking the two types of oatmeal creates excellent texture and volume to a bowl of oats. Even my son likes my oatmeal (without added sugar beyond the fruit in the bowl!).

I buy the organic oatmeal canisters from Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe's oatmeal

If you are still buying instant oatmeal packets, I do recommend making your own oatmeal using steel-cut and/or old-fashioned rolled oats instead. Instant oatmeal is the most processed form of oatmeal and you really don’t want that because you lose most of the nutritional benefits of eating oatmeal this way. Not to mention, instant oatmeal packets often have added ingredients and added sugars.

I always recommend adding natural sweetness to oatmeal using cinnamon, fresh or frozen fruit, and of course, peanut butter. But what if you love instant oatmeal packets? Well, a good way to ease yourself off and gravitate away from those flavored instant oatmeal packets is to start mixing some of a packet with the plain oatmeal that you make yourself. Each time you do this, use less and less of the instant oatmeal packet. This will help you to easily steer yourself away from the packets, slowly, without the abrupt change. No one likes an abrupt change.

Oatmeal Every Morning

My mornings start with a cup of coffee followed by a small bowl of oatmeal before my workout. Pre-run oatmeal, if you will. I NEVER exercise on an empty stomach.

I have another bowl after my workout (post-run oatmeal). I’m a big believer in pre and post-workout meals and have no problem basically eating the same thing for both meals. I barely remember that early morning bowl by the time I eat my post-run breakfast!

My first bowl of oatmeal has a small amount of oatmeal with cinnamon, blueberries, and peanut butter. I used to eat fresh blueberries but then a few years ago switched to frozen blueberries after having a stomach virus. Let’s not discuss that though.


My post-run oatmeal is basically the same as the pre-run oatmeal except I typically add more fruit and depending upon my appetite, more peanut butter. Lately, I’m back to adding the very cherry blend from Trader Joe’s to my bowl of oatmeal. I love the big cherries! There were times when I added greek yogurt or protein powder to my post-run oatmeal but I haven’t done that in a really long time.

very cherry berry blend

Oatmeal posts of interest:

What Goes Into My Oatmeal

6 Healthy Recipes Using Oatmeal To Try Today

Blueberry Pie Protein Oatmeal

Autumn Oatmeal

How I Make Overnight Oatmeal

Dinner From The Cheesecake Factory

Another week, another chance to use my Cheesecake Factory gift card.

My son and I shared the Asian Lettuce Wraps for a change. The Asian Lettuce Wraps are on the Skinnylicious menu. We chose these lettuce wraps over the Thai Lettuce Wraps because we wanted a smaller portion.

I switched up my salad order and chose the California Guacamole Salad which I’ve had a few times in the past and really like it. I also appreciate that the salad came with two containers of dressing because I saved it to use with the salads I make at home. I’ll get a few servings out of that one container so it’s great.

california guacamole salad

Whole Wheat Vegetable Pizza

Last week I ventured away from my usual whole wheat vegetable slice from Monte. This time, I was back to my old favorite. When I don’t know what to have for dinner but don’t want to cook, this whole wheat pizza loaded with vegetables is always a great option.

whole wheat vegetable pizza

Salads & Power Bowls

I can’t recall the last time I stopped at Chopt for a salad prior to this weekend. What was in my salad from Chopt? Good question. I definitely know there were spicy peppers. The rest is a mystery but most likely including quinoa, spinach, romaine, avocado, and lemon tahini dressing. I don’t remember the rest of the ingredients to be specific.


My at-home salad creations look boring but taste good. This salad contained romaine, roasted pearl tomatoes, asparagus, corn, chickpeas, and avocado. I used the leftover spicy avocado dressing from my salad from The Cheesecake Factory.


I’ve been eating a lot of purple sweet potatoes in the last week. The antioxidants in purple sweet potatoes are even higher than what you get in a regular sweet potato which means a heck of a lot of nutrition. I added purple sweet potatoes to this power bowl (or shall I say power plate). My power bowl (plate) included roasted purple sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli and peppers, mashed chickpeas and avocado, and a scoop of the three-layer hummus from Trader Joe’s.

power bowl

Not sure how to make a power bowl? I once wrote a great post on the topic – here it is if you missed it.


WIAW – Lots of Sea Salt & Salad

Jumping right in to what I ate yesterday!


Pre-Run: Coffee, water, small bowl of oatmeal with mashed banana.

There’s nothing more satisfying to me than my post-run oatmeal especially when served in an almost empty peanut butter jar. Remember a few months ago when I sort of fell off the peanut butter wagon? Well, that was short-lived.

This peanut butter jar contains cold, cooked oatmeal mixed with frozen blueberries, diced strawberries, Skoop B-Strong (my favorite plant-based protein powder), almond milk and some peanut butter.

Oh, and lots of sea salt. I don’t even mean a pinch of sea salt, I mean A LOT of sea salt. Several good shakes.

oats in a jar

The hotter and more humid the air during my runs (which seems like every single day this summer), the more salt I add to my post-run breakfast to get my electrolytes back to balanced.

I briefly mentioned last week in my review of Laura’s Master Your Fueling & Hydration E-Course that I didn’t even realize I had been walking around on a daily basis in a dehydrated state, with an electrolyte imbalance.

Adding some serious shakes of sea salt to my food, especially post-run, has made a huge difference in how I feel this summer after running.

I no longer walk around thirsty with the inability to quench the feeling.

I don’t feel as light-headed (I am sort of always a bit light-headed when I stand up but that’s just me in general with low blood pressure. But after running, especially after running hard/long in the summer, I feel noticeably better).

I am less headachy after hard workouts. And, if I feel a headache after a workout that won’t go away following breakfast, I eat again (something with sea salt) which usually takes it away.

I can tolerate caffeine better after a workout. It was getting to the point where I couldn’t drink coffee at all post-run without feeling extremely dizzy but that hasn’t happened as frequently since upping my salt intake.

I am rarely bloated and never have stomach issues anymore after a long run. My stomach used to be so finicky in the hours after hard/long runs but having balanced electrolytes seems to be all I needed.

You would think that salt would do the opposite, that it would bloat you, but that is not always the case. The body actually does need salt to function properly so when you hear all of those news claims that say you should limit salt in the diet, that may not be the best or smartest option for you.

There is so much more I can say about electrolytes and hydration but this is a what I ate Wednesday post so instead of me rambling, I am going recommend you check out my review of Laura’s e-course and consider signing up for it to learn more about proper fueling and hydration. Not everyone is the same when it comes to fueling and hydrations needs so it’s important to figure out what works for you personally. 🙂


My son is still on a kick of going to all of his favorite food places now that he is back from camp. I had no complaints when he asked to go to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I can always eat my favorite salad.

cheesecake factory salad


I had some romaine lettuce to use up in the refrigerator so I made a salad that involved the ingredients of the Power Salad recipe I shared recently with the addition of lentils too. I had made another batch of lentils and quinoa this week so basically every meal I make at home will involve the combo until I finish it.

power salad

In the salad:

  • Roasted brussels sprouts
  • Roasted cauliflower
  • Roasted sweet potato wedges
  • Lentils & Quinoa
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Feta cheese

I diced a granny smith apple and dipped the slices quickly in the peanut butter jar while hustling my son out the door to practice last night. Being a mom is all about multi-tasking!

I snacked on watermelon at random times yesterday too. Stew Leonard’s had watermelons on sale for $2.88 this week but the one I bought wasn’t as good as usual. I think watermelon season may be coming to an end shortly which makes me sad.


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

[bctt tweet=”Lots of sea salt in my diet plus what I ate yesterday! #WIAW #salt #hydration #cheesecakefactory #watermelon #running @healthyskoop #fitfluential” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

What are your symptoms when you know your electrolytes are off/you are dehydrated from your workouts?

Has the watermelon been iffy by you lately?

What was for dinner last night?

What I Ate Wednesday July 13, 2016


Lisa sent me an email yesterday morning wondering if I was having comment/comment reply issues. I had no idea that I was but after looking into things, some of your comments have been going to spam and many of my comment replies were not being emailed! I apologize if I didn’t receive your comment/you didn’t receive my reply! The replies were posting on the blog but not being sent via email/sometimes landing in spam.

Let’s take a look at what I ate yesterday and hope that your comments and my replies are received today!


I always have a full mug of coffee (plus a lot of water which is unpictured) before my run. I took this picture thinking I would eat just a banana before my run but I ended up, as usual, mashing half into a small amount of oatmeal instead. I don’t know, I just like eating a bit of a warm breakfast before heading outside, even in the summer.

coffee banana

My favorite meal of the day: post-run oatmeal. I have been enjoying the oatmeal cold and then I add berries, mandarin orange slices, Skoop B-Strong plus Trader Joe’s Muesli and some almond milk too. Oh so good.

post run oatmeal


I am back to my mashed chickpeas and avocado craze! For yesterday’s lunch, I mashed my chickpeas with avocado, adding a little bit of Dijon mustard and diced plum tomatoes served with side of roasted Japanese sweet potato wedges.

roasted japanese sweet potatoes with chickpeas and avocado


We were planning to go to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner so I had an apple with some peanut butter before we left to hold me over between lunch and dinner.

One day I may try one of the new Super Foods salads at The Cheesecake Factory but yesterday wasn’t that day.

BBQ Ranch Salad at The Cheesecake Factory


We did not order cake at The Cheesecake Factory. My son was way too full from dinner so although I always have room for dessert, I didn’t want to put him over the edge by ordering any cake knowing he wouldn’t be able to resist once he saw it < – The sacrifices one makes as a parent.

I ended up having a Quest Bar later on in the evening. I don’t even think I ate the whole thing. I sort of just picked at it while staring at my pantry and it did the trick as the something sweet before bed.

Quest Bar

Enjoy your What I Ate Wednesday! Don’t forget to check out what everyone else is eating today. 🙂

[bctt tweet=”What I ate yesterday #wiaw #cheesecakefactory #oatmeal #skoop @healthyskoop ” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Have you tried any of those fairly new super foods salads at The Cheesecake Factory? I know there is a falafel one and a vegan cobb that both look good!

Which Quest Bar is your favorite?

Emergency Snacks: Which are currently in your stash?


In A Food Mood (WIAW)


I didn’t mean to miss a post yesterday but it just sort of happened. The weekend was crazy which made Monday even crazier for me in terms of catching up that I just didn’t have time to finish up the running post I was working on for yesterday.

Here I am now though! And it’s already Wednesday!

But I am in a mood. A food mood.

Lately I am just so tired of my usual meals. I don’t know for sure what it is that I want to eat, I just know that what I am cooking and eating, most of the time, just isn’t IT.

Maybe it’s the season. I don’t want to cook. I don’t want to plan, prepare or prep. I don’t even want to food shop. I don’t want to think about my next meal or what I am going to cook for my son (there’s nothing I can make right now that meets his expectations anyway, except the chicken parm I told you about recently).

I can’t even look at apples with peanut butter right now. I tried the other night, really I did, but it wasn’t what I wanted!

I have decided to go with the flow of my food mood feelings right now, even if it means eating out a bit more during the week, giving up peanut butter or stopping to pick up random bags of M&M’s three days in a row. If I don’t try to remedy my food mood, I know I will be unhappy and unsatisfied which is just not a nice combination, especially as I am entering my PMS days.

Steer clear. Just saying.


The usual pre-run oatmeal with coffee.

pre run oatmeal

After my run, I worked on finishing the fruit that was left from my Edible Arrangement along with some more oatmeal because oatmeal is one of the few foods not annoying me at the moment.


The birthday card from my parents came with lots of gift cards including one for Dunkin Donuts which is perfect because I am liking iced coffee at the moment.

dunkin donuts iced coffee


I thought about going to Red Mango but had too much work to do so I settled for making some sort of stir fry which involved a steam bag of frozen vegetables.

Are you familiar with my favorite steam bag frozen vegetable mix – the one with the broccoli, carrots, snap peas and water chestnuts? I cooked it in my cast iron skillet instead of the microwave and cracked some eggs and egg whites into the pan too thinking the protein would maybe help my cranky food mood.

On top of brown rice (one of those Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice pouches) with spinach and avocado plus Island Soyaki for flavor.

stir fry


I thought my son had a little league game but then the email reminder arrived saying in big bold letters, “WEDNESDAY’S GAME” so there went my theory.

I am not complaining though because no game meant time to go out for dinner courtesy of another gift card.

I was so happy not to cook!

Thankfully my favorite salad from The Cheesecake Factory is still my favorite salad. It’s been 16 years since I have ordered something different at The Cheesecake Factory!

cheesecake factory salad


We didn’t have dessert at The Cheesecake Factory because I still had some leftovers of the chocolate covered fruits from my birthday Edible Arrangement.

Here we have a chocolate covered apple slice, chocolate covered strawberries and the chocolate covered pineapple disguised as a cupcake.

I plated it up but obviously I had WAY more than this. Who would stop at only these three pieces when you have a container filled with chocolate covered fruit goodies? My only issue, the pineapple burns the roof of my mouth.

chocolate covered fruit

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

Do you ever get in a food mood?

Which foods are always your favorites?

What do you order at The Cheesecake Factory?

when you just need a brownie sundae


Every so often, I have a day when I am hungry yet nothing is appealing to me.

Monday was one of those days.

Breakfast is never really my issue. I really like and look forward to a small bowl of oatmeal with banana (plus coffee!) before my run and I always like oatmeal after my run (not pictured).


It was later in the morning, when I was getting really hungry for lunch but wanted nothing in particular, that my issue began. It was almost as if I knew that nothing I was going to eat was going to hit the right spot.

It was a truly annoying feeling actually.

Don’t even ask me how I ended up with a Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burger over a salad with roasted carrots and avocado because I won’t be able to give you a good answer.

Although it was good, it really wasn’t what I wanted and have I mentioned that lately I do not like salads or vegetables for lunch? Yeah, so I don’t know what I was thinking when I prepared this for myself.

 veggie burger salad

There was some watermelon in the afternoon but it wasn’t doing it for me.


Lots of colors going on between the watermelon, the pink bowl and my rainbow sweatshirt 🙂

By 3:00 pm, I realized it was only a matter of time before I needed to get to The Cheesecake Factory. I suddenly had the Godiva brownie sundae on my mind as the only food that was going to hit the right spot, satisfying whatever it was that I needed today.

Sometimes I just need a random, serious dessert. I have learned that going with exactly what you want to eat, even if it’s a giant brownie sundae on a random Monday, is the way to go.

So I had dinner at home, just as a pathway to dessert if that makes sense. There was a time in my life where I would skip dinner just to get to dessert but now I am an adult so I try not to do that.

Roasted sweet potato wedges with an omelette plus avocado. I was not in the mood for vegetables!

omelette with sweet potatoes

After dinner at home, we went to the The Cheesecake Factory and I felt like some girl on a mission.

godiva brownie sundae

Perfection. Exactly what I needed to feel normal again.

Everyone has their thing and dessert is mine. Had I not gone for exactly what I wanted, I would have eaten everything else in my house trying to satisfy a craving which we all know, never works.

Sometimes, you just need a brownie sundae.

[bctt tweet=”When you just need a brownie sundae #wiaw #brownies #dessert #godiva @cheesecakefactory ” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Don’t forget to check out what everyone else is eating today!

Favorite dessert from The Cheesecake Factory?

Are you good about honoring your cravings?

Do you ever have days when you are hungry but not in the mood for anything?


I Didn’t Go Food Shopping All Week & Weekly Dinner Plan


I must inform you that I have gone a full week, as in 7 days, without walking into a grocery store. Somehow we have survived.

I am hoping to hit up the grocery stores today and if I am lucky, I will get my food shopping just right again in order to avoid those midweek shops next week. It was a beautiful thing, especially since I didn’t have one free second to frolic about in Trader Joe’s purchasing things I needed but probably didn’t need immediately.

So dinner, as you may know from my previous posts, is not always smooth sailing around my house. My son is at that age where he wants nothing to do with what I cook, nothing to do with any ingredients that may be considered healthy and absolutely nothing to do with any product from Trader Joe’s. Why? Just because. The kid likes to torture me where it hurts.

I do my best as a parent to balance our dinner plan with home cooked healthy meals along with nights at the pizza place and other restaurants too.

Last night for example, after a 6 month check up at the orthodontist (let’s not talk about his appointment okay? He needs a new retainer because he didn’t wear it enough at which point I broke into my counter attack of – I cannot force the apparatus into his mouth! It’s not my fault! I do the best I can!), we stopped at The Cheesecake Factory since it was dinner time, we were starving and hey, it was on our way home.

cheesecake factory salad

Cooking chicken for my son has been the major issue as of late. Since I no longer eat meat and poultry (I haven’t in four years now), it is very hard to argue with the boy when he tells me the chicken I make is disgusting. Do I really think it’s possible that my chicken, including my chicken parmesan is, as he says, disgusting? No. But again, I cannot taste it and he reminds me of this every time I tell him he is crazy.

I struggled with finding the right chicken recipe for his picky palate but I finally found and made a baked chicken recipe he LOVES this week! While I do not have pictures of his plates, he did enjoy this type of chicken a few nights in a row and has already requested it again for next week.

I want you to try this baked chicken recipe too and tell me how you feel about it!

Below are the rest of the dinners I have planned for the week in addition to making that chicken recipe again on Sunday to last for a few days for him. Please note that I pull these recipes from the recipe blogs  that I read and then pin them to my meal planning board in order to select what we will eat in the week ahead.

weekly meal planning menu

Sunday: Spicy Black Bean & Lentil Chili (with sweet potato fries!)

Monday: Leftover Chili

Tuesday: It’s either Pizza Night as usual or this Shortcut Vegetable Ragu (because maybe my son would eat it?!)

Wednesday: Easy Baked falafel < – Looks easy, we both will eat it and I can serve it with hummus, roasted veggies and brown rice.

Thursday: From the Freezer Night < – which means veggie burgers or my simple stir fry recipe which I hope to share with you in the next week or so.

Friday: Blackened Broccoli Pasta With Charred Lemon and Goat Cheese <- I do not eat pasta often at all but there is something about this recipe that has been calling my name.

Saturday: Out For Dinner

Some extra recipes of interest:

70 Vegan Holiday Recipes – I like this collection for any time, not just for holidays! Lots of good and different vegan meal ideas which I could use to shake up my usual meals.

11 Meatless Veggie Loaves

Broccoli and Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Muffins

Cookie Dough Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

Peanut Butter & Banana Protein Bites < – forgot about this easy snack recipe!

[bctt tweet=”I didn’t go food shopping this week & next week’s dinner plan #mealplanning #mealprep #fitfluential”]


Are you able to do your food shopping just once a week?

3 things you are doing this weekend?

What’s on your running agenda for this weekend?

Random Stuff & Next Week’s Meal Plan


Thank you for your sweet comments yesterday! I always appreciate what you have to say and love hearing your personal stories too 🙂 Really, thank you for sharing with me.

So I am all excited it’s Friday and even more excited that winter break is approaching. We may not celebrate Christmas but I do look forward to the no school thing as well as some of the fun stuff we have planned like The Big Apple Circus and a quick little trip to Boston for a few days too!

A few random things from this week:

I am obsessed with those new Pure Barre Tone in 10 workouts that I mentioned to you in Sunday’s post.

Pure Barre Tone in 10

I ordered the set of six workouts which stream online and I have been playing around with 10 minute workout combinations all week.

More details to come about these awesome new Pure Barre workouts in this Sunday’s workout recap post but oh my, they are challenging and leave me sore (this is a good thing!).

I didn’t stick to our meal plan Wednesday night because we went out for dinner to The Cheesecake Factory instead.

Cheesecake Factory Salad

I had a gift card (Thanks Hanukkah!) and it was the perfect night to eat out since I had all of the carpets in my house cleaned during the day so everything (except the kitchen) was wet and smelled like soap. Staying out of the house for as long as possible was the way to do things and the perfect excuse for not cooking even though the kitchen was perfectly accessible.

Meal Planning:

I intend to do some food prep  Sunday morning. I don’t normally but there are a few things I want to make in advance of the week ahead:

Meatless Meatballs – I don’t even know if I will eat them this week or just freeze them.

Quinoa – For salads, power bowls and chili if I decide to make it before Sunday.

Cold S’Mores – An oldie but goodie dessert recipe of mine which is perfect for prepping and freezing in advance – I will share with you next week!

If you are wondering how I go about figuring out our dinners for the week ahead, my process is this:

I pay attention to the recipe blogs I follow all week. If I come across a recipe that I think my son would like, I pin it to my meal planning board on pinterest. Later on in the week, I take a look at those pins plus pull inspiration from the rest of my pinterest boards and then discuss the dinner ideas with him (always the fun part).

I try to keep some nights easy, some nights leftovers and the more involved meals on the nights we are around and have the time. Although, I don’t love anything too involved ever!

Weekly Meal Plan December 14 - 20

MondayBeef Taco Bowls (looks really easy! I will make a vegetarian version for myself)

Tuesday – Pizza night (I may make my sweet potato pizza bites for me)

WednesdayPeanut Sauce Veggie Fried Rice  (Very excited about this! May sub the tofu with chick peas)

Thursday – Out for dinner

Friday– Loaded baked potatoes (perfect long run fuel) but want to make this Mexican 7 layer mashed potato bake for my son

Saturday – Out for dinner

Sunday – Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili

Extra recipes of interest:

25 Vegan Cookie Recipes

Graham Cracker Gingerbread House – Totally planning to make this one night! I bought the gingerbread house kit last year (or the year before?) from Trader Joe’s but it wasn’t awesome. This looks easy enough and more fun.

Healthy Carrot Muffins

Flourless & Grain Free Fudge Brownie Bites – I keep meaning to make these again. Reminder for both of us!

Have a great weekend!

[bctt tweet=”Random Stuff & Next Week’s Meal Plan #PureBarre #CheesecakeFactory #mealplanning #foodprep #vegetarian #fitfluential #recipes @Pure_Barre”]


3 things you are doing this weekend?

Are you a routine food prepper?

Are you making a gingerbread house this yar? What do you use? A kit? Graham Crackers? Actual Gingerbread that you bake? Tell me!

weekend stuff & workout recap


How is it Sunday already? Let’s catch up a bit before looking at my workout recap from the week.

weekend stuff and workout recap

  1. Dinner at The Cheesecake Factory because I needed another photo of my favorite BBQ Ranch salad in my wordpress image library.
  2. Cold Stone was out of chocolate dipped waffle bowls again but I remained calm.
  3. Oats in a jar will never get old after a long run, never.
  4. My Adidas Energy Boosts are starting to feel worn out which seems to have happened too quickly until I realized it’s been almost three months so I shouldn’t be surprised.
  5. I need this shirt that says Uh Huh because I say Uh Huh a lot.

Workout Recap:

Monday – Pure Barre Mile High 1 DVD & 5 Easy Miles

Tuesday – 7.61 miles & Yoga

I just didn’t have enough time to finish out the other .39 to reach 8 miles but no complaints here, it was a great run.

I was running comfortably consistent for the first few miles so I told myself to pick up the f&*^ing pace because I knew I had some speed in me to give.

It worked.


Wednesday – 6 Miles & Gym Time

I felt like something a little different today so I broke up my run with some time in the gym.

3 Miles Easy @ 9:30 pace outside

In the gym for strength training (biceps/triceps) and sets of jumping jacks in between

3 Miles back outside @ 8:55 pace

Home for planks and Pure Barre style stretching

Thursday- Pure Barre Pure Results & 3.50 Miles

We were up and out super early to attend my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah service in Scarsdale so I squeezed in Pure Barre before we left the house.

I am not big on being dressed and out the door by 6:30 am but I will do it and drive in rush hour traffic up to the Westchester area for good food which I am always guaranteed when my family is involved.

nathans bar mitzvah

We got home before noon and I swear I felt jet lagged. I was so tired but not tired, had a weird headache and couldn’t grasp how early it still was because it felt much later since we had already put in a full day.

My friend Meaghan suggested I go for a short run in order to feel normal. So even though it was much later than my usual run time, I ran 3.50 miles (9:30 pace) and it actually felt decent! Best decision I made, I definitely felt better afterwards.

Friday – 5 Miles & Pure Barre (ab section)

That time I ran with my lululemon pants inside out.

5 miles

I only realized that my pants were inside out because I went to put my key in the back pocket and the pocket was on the inside instead of the outside. Oops.

Saturday – 15 Miles @ 8:45 pace

Rather uneventful long run which I suppose is a good thing.

Sunday – Rest Day

[bctt tweet=”weekend stuff & workout recap #running #workouts #cheesecakefactory #coldstone #weekend #fitfluential #purebarre “]


Are you due for new running shoes?

Best thing you ate so far this weekend?

Can you run at any time of the day or does it only work for you at a certain time?


2 Things To Tell You


I need to let you know that I had Linda’s Fudge Cake topped with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream Saturday night at The Cheesecake Factory but I didn’t take a picture of it which almost makes it feel like it didn’t happen but it did happen, just like old times.

But that isn’t one of the two things I needed to tell you about on this fine Monday morning.

Thing #1:

I woke up yesterday morning and decided I felt like taking a Pure Barre class at the Pure Barre studio!

pure barre

Taking a Pure Barre class at the actual studio has been on my mind for the last little while.

I like to pop into the studio every so often and I am well beyond the every-so-often window so yesterday, after publishing my workout recap post, I logged into my Pure Barre account online, registered for the 7:45 am class and basically rolled out of bed (remembered my sticky socks!) to arrive on schedule.

Pure Barre

To take a picture inside the Pure Barre studio one must pretend that they are looking at their phone.

My current thoughts on taking a Pure Barre studio class vs. the at-home Pure Barre workouts:

The class routine still follows same pattern, just like the DVD’s and online workouts.

I felt stronger than I recall last year which means my at-home workouts are getting the Pure Barre job done.

We used resistance bands for the leg and seat exercises which was definitely challenging.

I liked having the instructor there to correct my form and make sure my heels were up high enough.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the class, it reinforced to me that the Pure Barre workouts I do at home are just as challenging and effective. I did not feel like the class offered me something different or much more than the Pure Barre workouts I do at home which made me so very happy!

Pure Barre is easily a three times a week habit and I certainly can’t get to the studio that often, not to mention, it’s quite pricey if you are going to go on a regular basis.

They are coming out with a new cardio Pure Barre class though within the next couple of months. When that first rolls out, I will certainly take a class to try it and then hope that they release a DVD or online version 🙂

Thing #2:

Since I already had my credit card in my hand to register online for Pure Barre, I went ahead and also signed up for my next half marathon!

Fred Lebow Manhattan Half


Michele and I are both running the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half so this is extra exciting. I am focusing on the fun of running together rather than how challenging those rolling hills in Central Park can be or the possibility of weather interference (it is January after all).

I like running in the cold (remind me that I said this) and it’s time I redeem myself on this course since it’s the same two Central Park loops as the Fitness Magazine Half Marathon. Remember when I had to drop out half way through my second Fitness Magazine Half? Yeah, that one still haunts me.

Time to start running a few hills so my legs don’t go into shock in Central Park, that’s for sure.

[bctt tweet=”2 things to tell you #PureBarre @pure_barre #running #halfmarathon #FLMH #weekend #cake”]


When is your next race?

Best thing you ate all weekend? Definitely my Linda’s Fudge Cake sundae from Saturday night!

Have you taken/signed up for any new fitness classes lately? Which one?



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