Lunch With Michele At The Little Beet


I love that it is already Tuesday even though it feels like Monday!

Three day weekends certainly help to make the week go that much faster which is super important this time of year when you are looking forward to enjoying some warm weather fun.

Although, even with my pool opened and my beach pass waiting to be used, you can still find me in the mall just like I was on Saturday….with Michele!

You may know her simply as Paleo Running Mama but now I truly know her as Michele. There’s nothing like meeting one of your blogger friends (blends) in person and liking them just as much in person as you do from this interesting thing called the internet.

I knew I would like her by the way. I read her blog every morning so I just felt like I already knew her so well. We are both mothers with similar parenting styles not to mention we are both runners and runners just understand each other.

I was so happy to see her after my 15-mile run on Saturday because she listened to the recap of my run, how I thought that maybe my Adidas Energy Boosts were sort of maybe upsetting the bottom of my toes for a brief minute and how I felt like I was done with the run at mile three yet without issue continued for another 12 miles.

These things only make sense and sound normal to other runners. I know I sound crazy otherwise.

All of this crazy runner chatting took place in front of the pants section at Lululemon as we touched each pair, discussed the specs and asked the Lulu girl to take our picture which was the normal thing to do <– normal to us that is, not so much to the employees.

paleo running mama

We met at Roosevelt Field Mall which is here in New York. Even though Michele lives in New Jersey now, she isn’t far at all and is originally from the area so this mall is technically her old stomping ground anyway!

Our plan was to shop around and have lunch in the new Dining District otherwise known as a mall food court.

There are so many great new food options in the dining district, including my favorite vegetarian spot Maoz, but I fought off the urge to eat the same thing I always eat so that Michele and I could both try The Little Beet.


Linking up with Sara for Tried It Tuesday so be sure to check out what everyone else is trying today!

The Little Beet has two locations in Manhattan and is known for serving, “good food deliciously.” All menu items are gluten-free and are inspired by season, local and natural ingredients.

The Little Beet

Since Michele follows a Paleo lifestyle and I live the meatless life, The Little Beet was a great choice because we could both enjoy what we love.

The Little Beet offers lots of healthy proteins, both vegetarian and not, such as tofu, salmon, chicken and steak.

Their roasted vegetable selection reminds me of the Whole Foods food bar which is certainly not a bad thing.

The Little Beet

They offer a ton of salad options and/or you can create a meal by selecting your protein and then choose your side dishes.

The side dishes included kale, roasted broccoli, a roasted cauliflower (I didn’t love the seasoning), string beans and sweet potatoes. They also had a few side “salads” which to me count as my proteins such as lentil, quinoa and a chick pea-type dish too.

I ordered four sides as a meal and chose the sweet potatoes, kale, roasted broccoli and a lentil salad.

The Little Beet

I sampled the quinoa salad before ordering but didn’t like it probably because it contained mint.

The sweet potatoes were terrific!

sweet potatoes

As for the price, it wasn’t cheap (about $15) but it was really good.

I know Michele enjoyed what she ordered too (salmon with a salad and some of the roasted veggies too) but you can check out her review by clicking here.

I can’t wait to get together with Michele again soon (we have some plans in the works!) not to mention, Arman made the big move from Australia to NYC which means we need to meet up with him too!

If you’re in our area, let us know! It’s always fun to meet other blogging friends 🙂

In case you missed my other “Dining District” reviews:



[bctt tweet=”Lunch with Michele at The Little Beet @paleorunningmama @scranberry33 #triedittuesday #thelittlebeet #blend #bloggers”]


Which mall do you frequent the most?

Does your mall have healthy food options?

Ever met a blog friend (blend) in real life?








Nagging Need For Cross-Training


I have this slight nagging need for some cross-training at the moment. I say slight because 99.9% of my being just wants to run outside every single morning but the other 0.1% of me knows that I cannot do that without running myself straight into the ground.


I decided to do something different so I tagged along with my fitness pal (and I don’t mean the app) the other day to try out a kickboxing class at a studio I had never been to before last week.

To be fair here, kickboxing is not a completely new-to-me activity. I have dabbled in and out of group fitness kickboxing classes since the age of 18 but haven’t taken a class on the regular in almost two years.

kickboxing class

ILoveKickBoxing is a kickboxing studio with lots of locations throughout the country. The class I attended was at the Oyster Bay, NY location but you can click here to find a location near you.

I was extra excited because the purchase of a three-pack of classes came with my very own pair of boxing gloves!

boxing gloves

I felt legit…and happy that I didn’t have to stick my hands in someone else’s sweaty gloves. Ick.

Before the class began, the very nice instructor sat with me for a few minutes to go over my current fitness routine and to discuss what to expect during the 60 minute class.

I made sure to inform her that I am a runner who just ran the Long Island Half two days earlier which was my way of saying, I will go at my own pace during the class and only do what I am comfortable doing as my muscles are sore and I don’t want to overkick or jab my way to an injury.

The truth is though, race recovery or not, I typically go at my own pace with any new (or even old) workout, only doing the parts I am comfortable with and modifying poses as I see fit.

Class Structure:

Taken from their website…

Our class is not a “follow the leader/punch the air” cardio class. It is a well-balanced workout consisting of cardio training and resistance training to help you burn fat and tone muscle in a short amount of time.

The first 30 minutes of class consisted of a brief warm up with cardio bursts like running (I can do that!), burpees (I don’t care to do that!) and lots of other quick little sets of stuff like push ups and core work which, I am so super proud to say, I handled like some old pro.

The second half of the class was spent with my hands inside of my fancy boxing gloves doing the jab – cross – hook thing and kicking the big bag.

kickboxing class

If you are wondering about my pretty pink tank top, it’s the Lululemon Power Y Tank (luon) and I am in love with it! It might be designed for yoga but I wore it for kickboxing and  love it for running. I want one in every color, it’s like second skin comfy and fits really nice too.

Overall Kickboxing Thoughts:

I loved this class! I always enjoyed kickboxing through the years and really liked returning to it right now for a change of pace.

I was really happy to see that I still recalled all of the jab sequences I have learned and that I maintained good form <- the instructor told me so 🙂

I appreciated that this class involved more true kickboxing technique rather than be just another cardio kickbox group fitness class found at any local gym.

It was great comfort to have an instructor by my side since it was my first class to assist me with the second half of class to ensure I was able to follow the punching sequences being directed by the lead instructor.

I noticed a HUGE difference in my strength, balance and ability since the last boxing-style class I took almost two years ago at Lifetime.

kick box 2013

Flashback photo from July 2013! Read the post from that kickboxing class here!

Even I had to go back to reread that post because I recalled that I wanted to die within the first two minutes of that class at Lifetime not to mention I was left beyond sore and unable to move for a day or so after that.

This time however, I didn’t need to die. I felt so much stronger which I attribute 100% to Pure Barre.

Seriously. You can run mile upon mile but will only get stronger when you cross-train on a regular basis to strengthen and balance those muscles, especially when you incorporate the ever-important core work.

I immediately felt my strength during this kickboxing class (especially in my core) and noticed how able I was to keep up with so many parts of this class which made me beam from the inside out because I just knew it had everything to do with the my three (and sometimes four) day a week Pure Barre habit.

What a difference Pure Barre has made in my strength, balance and overall muscle tone in just under a year!

Will I continue to take more kickboxing classes? Yes! I have two left right now and will probably add a few more from time to time in my attempt to cross-train on a more regular basis.

Also on my cross-training list:

*Get back to spinning and try a SoulCycle class

*Hit the gym at least once a week for the elliptical machine in place of an easy run.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Tried It Tuesday posts!

[bctt tweet=”I tried an ILoveKickingBoxing class and loved it! #triedittuesday @scranberry33 #kickboxing #crosstrain #purebarre @pure_barre #likboysterbay”]


Are you a kickboxing class fan?

Do you make sure to cross-train every week instead of running for every workout?

How often do you do core work?

Tried It Tuesday – Potatopia!


I am really excited to be linking up today with my Lake Shore Runner-friend Sara’s Tried It Tuesday Series.

The whole point of Tried It Tuesday is to broaden your horizon, try something new to you and then talk about it!



For quite some time now, I have been meaning to try out Potatopia, which you may recall me mentioning since it opened fairly recently (right next to Maoz!) in the “Dining District” at Roosevelt Field (our local mall).


Last week became the perfect time to finally order up some potatoes since I was in the midst of my major potato craving spree.

Meet my LOADED baked sweet potato creation…


So many topping piled on top that you can’t even tell there is a baked sweet potato underneath it all!

It actually looks more like mashed sweet potato but it isn’t.


So it works like this:

You have your choice of just going with a Signature Meal created by the Potato Experts….

potatopia signature menu

OR being a little bit high maintenance and building your own by following a series of potato creating steps.

Potatopia Menu

Of course we needed to build our own potatoes and test the potato man’s patience as we contemplated, debated and changed our minds on the toppings over and over again until we got it right.


Don’t ask me exactly what my son ordered over there…All I know is that he went with mashed potatoes which I wasn’t thrilled about because I wanted him to get the thick cut chips, shoestring, waffle or curly fries just so we could share and have fun.

I didn’t want mashed potatoes but he didn’t care what I wanted.

Anyway, tons of toppings. Tons of proteins. Tons of options.

potatopia toppings

I tried the Vegetarian Chili but I didn’t get it on my potato. It was okay, nothing special.

potatopia toppings bar

I went with mixed peppers, broccoli, roasted mushrooms, marinated tomatoes, roasted corn and I think the cole slaw.


And a few dipping sauces.

potatopia with sauces

I did not get any cheese. I don’t love cheese, did you know that?

The Potatopia Positive:

  • Major variety
  • Lots of protein choices (chicken, steak, beef, shrimp, bacon, pork)
  • Vegetarian protein options too (chili and cheese)
  • The protein options help to make Potatopia a complete meal rather than just a fun side dish
  • Everything is customizable
  • I like that they offer baked potatoes in addition to the fried and mashed


The Potatopia Negative:

  • I didn’t see the portion size of the fried varieties but the baked potatoes were not as giant as you would expect. In fact, the guy gave me two sweet potatoes to fill the plate and told me the sweet potatoes were larger than the regular potatoes they had on hand which I found odd.
  • They don’t have avocado. Or guacamole <- Like, what?! How do you not involve avocado in your potato bar?
  • They need sautéed onions as a topping option. And onion rings!
  • Even though they have a vegetarian chili, I think they should offer more bean options for vegetarians and vegans (black beans, chick peas etc.) because I didn’t really like the chili, didn’t want cheese and ended up without protein. Oops.
  • I really liked my potato bowl…but I missed Maoz and kept gazing on over to their counter.


I had to get myself a Maoz side salad. I couldn’t leave the mall without my favorite roasted broccoli and cauliflower.

Next up on my list of places to try in the dining district will be The Little Beet.

So far I have only stopped at The Little Beet for samples but they don’t let you sample their sweet potatoes (trust me, I tried) and they look way too good to never experience.

The Little Beet Sweet Potatoes

Be sure to check out what everyone else is trying for Tried It Tuesday!

[bctt tweet=”I finally tried Potatopia! Check out my review #potatopia #triedittuesday #potatoes @scranberry33″]


Are you a mashed potato, baked potato or fried potato lover?

Favorite food court food to order?

What are you craving lately?

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