Category Archives: Dinner

I Cheated

Friends, I have a confession to make:  I cheated.  That’s right—I’m no better than Barry Bonds or Lance Armstrong.



Too soon?

But I had to do it.  I needed to do it.  And I know everyone else does it, too.

Before you heard from others, I wanted to tell you first:  I cheated—on my hairdresser.

My curls were crazy long and froin’ way too much, and since I don’t know when I’ll head home again, I went to Bumble and bumble (thanks for the recommendation, Jen!), and got the most expensive haircut of my 23 years of life.


I pulled it back into a ponytail to make sure it could be done, hence the limpness/loose curls.  Looks good, though, right?

The actual salon blew me away—two stories, complete with its own café—and I couldn’t believe how thorough the hair-chopping process turned out to be.  An assistant washed my hair (and gave me a scalp massage!) before my stylist, Nico, assessed my mane hair and developed a style plan (or whatever it’s called).  My two demands?  Keep the layers, and the shorter, the better, but it needs to be able to be pulled back into a ponytail.  I’m used to my hairdresser at home who knows my hair, my lifestyle, etc. (I’ve been going to her since literally day one), so the whole hair-cutting process, including answering several hair-care questions, took more than an hour.  Nico cut it and wanted to see how it dried and how my curls reacted—and he was visibly surprised when he couldn’t style them!  He even said something like, “I can always control curls.”  Mine have a mind of their own, though—ha!  Anyway, he then cut more off, and I can still pull it back into a ponytail.  Well, more like a pony-nub, but it works.  And I got some samples!


Yeah, the salon has its own line of hair products—totally normal in NYC, right?


Last night’s dinner centered on leftovers—almond-crusted tilapia, plus roasted veggies and sweet potatoes.


Even though meal prep can be a pain, it makes for some speedy weeknight meals.

Workout – Yoga

After a challenging few days of workouts, I welcomed the chance to sweaty and stretch at Yoga Vida this morning.  Even though I stick out like a sore thumb a triathlete at a yoga studio (ha!), I really enjoy practicing yoga once a week.  Today’s class contained some hip openers and core work, both of which I definitely needed.


Before heading to the studio, I prepped some overnight one-hour oats with frozen strawberries and blueberries, plus plain Greek yogurt, chia seeds, almond milk, and instant oats.


Plus a huge scoop of almond butter!


After I cheated on my hairstylist, I finished up the spicy black bean quinoa.


I think an apple with almond butter is in order.

Have you ever cheated on your hairstylist?

So, About This Weekend …

Happy Thursday, everyone!  Who’s ready for the weekend?  I can’t wait for Friday to arrive—lots of fun and fitness planned.  More on that in a second …


Shortly after inhaling that delicious pear muffin from the Union Square Greenmarket yesterday, I sat down for a real meal—leftover spicy black bean quinoa with some avocado slices.


The recipe I shared was fairly conservative on the spiciness scale, so I’ll definitely add more Tabasco next time.


I promise there’s some turkey on this Paleo pizza; I went a little heavy on the cheese.


Plus some roasted veggies on the side.


After sleeping in and enjoying two cups of coffee, I experimented in this kitchen and tried to make a protein pancake, but failed miserably.  Can’t win ‘em all.  I eventually settled on waffles.


And in related news, I’m totally out of nut butter.  Grocery shopping must happen today!

Anyway, I’m pumped tomorrow’s Friday because my parents and one of my sisters are coming to visit—and celebrate my birthday!  I turn the big 2-3 on Feb. 5, so it will be nice to kickoff the festivities early, especially since Tuesday will be relatively low-key—can’t forget about Wednesday morning’s 5:45 a.m. indoor cycling workout, so it’s safe to say my 22nd birthday shenanigans won’t be replicated.


Homemade cupcakes and Pinot Grigio.

This means I’m officially an adult, huh?

In addition to spending quality time with the fam, I’m also running a race this weekend?


How did my type-A/slightly-ODC self overlook this?  Remember when I planned to run the Dash to the Finish Line 5-K, which was ultimately cancelled thanks to Hurricane Sandy?  Well New York Road Runners (NYRR) agreed to transfer race registration and gave runners four or five options.  Basically, most of these choices were longer races (10-13.1 miles), and although it would be fun to run 10 miles (#runnerd), this distance doesn’t match my training goals.  Luckily, the Gridiron 4-miler is more aligned with sprint- and Olympic-distance triathlons—the Nautica South Beach Triathlon actually contains a four-mile run—so I promptly signed up.  And obviously forgot about it!  Let’s just say this will be an interesting experience:  One, I can’t throw a spiral—there’s a “longest throw” contest, which I might conveniently miss—and two, this will be my second time ever running in Central Park, so the hills might kill me. (Ha—I’m so in trouble!) With this in mind, my only goal for this Superbowl Sunday run is to follow the “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker” approach the entire time (aka this will be a training run.)

Time to head to NYRR for race material pickup!

Have you ever overlooked/forgotten about a race or important event?  How did you handle it?

Pleasant Surprises

Friday has arrived—woohoo!  Any fun plans for the weekend?  One of my best friends from college is visiting today (hurry up and get here, Melissa!), so I’m super excited!  The next 24 hours will be filled with gossiping, wine drinking, and cupcake eating, which sounds like a perfect way to kickoff the weekend.  Anyway, as you can tell from this post’s title, I’ve had a series of pleasant surprises within the past day or so, which means it’s time for another list.

Surprise #1:  Getting new neon gear!

After publishing yesterday’s post, I received a package from my friends at Swim Bike Run New York City.  We go way back on Twitter.


Exhibit A:  Trying to get me to buy a tri bike.

Last week, we exchanged a few tweets …


Exhibit B:  Just being a #trigeek.

Which lead to this surprise—a cap that goes on your bike helmet during dark rides.



Neat, right?

Surprise #2:  Enjoying sweet potatoes.

I know, I know; obsessions with nut butter (guilty) and sweet potatoes are prerequisites for healthy living bloggers, but I’ve never been a fan of orange spuds—until last night’s dinner.


I tried a recipe from my Practical Paleo cookbook for sweet and savory potatoes, and holy yum, these tasted delicious!


They’re easy to make, too:  Peel and cut the potatoes; coat them with coconut oil; sprinkle on a mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon; roast them in the oven.

Surprise #3:  Swimming in the fast line wasn’t a one-time deal.

At this morning’s Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) swim workout, I returned to the fast line.  Honestly, I’m still shocked.  And the workout itself went well, too.  After warming up and completing the same technique drills as last week (back kick with rotation, alternating right/left kick, one-arm stroke, etc.), we chipped away at the main set that included 6×75 (steady effort) with 20 seconds rest, 6×100 (alternating steady and solid efforts) with 30 seconds rest, and 4×200 pulling with 20 seconds rest.  It was the final pulling set that got me; my arms will be sore tomorrow!

Surprise #4:  Getting more gear.

Remember how one of the best parts about playing sports was getting team gear like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and sweatpants? (Or maybe that was just me?) Even though I’ve been training with FTE for two weeks—and working with Andrew one-on-one for much longer—I feel “officially official” thanks to this team shirt.


Woohoo!  Have a fabulous Friday!

Do you like sweet potatoes?  How do you prepare them?  Did you play sports back in the day?  What was your favorite article of team clothing?

Miami, Here I Come!

Good morning, friends!  Guess what—I officially registered for the Nautica South Beach Triathlon, which will be my first race of the 2013 season!  I’m pumped!  Miami, here I come!

It isn’t until April 7, which means I have plenty of time to train (approximately 86 days, but who’s counting?).  For the past three years, Full Throttle Endurance has traveled to Florida for this triathlon, and signing up for a destination event (or a “race-cation”) is a great way to kick off the racing season.  Plus, I’ve never been to Miami, so it will be fun to explore, hang out at the beach, and celebrate post-race with my teammates.  In terms of the race itself, I signed up for the classic distance—0.5-mile ocean swim, 19-mile bike, and 4-mile out-and-back run.  Nautica SoBo also offers an Olympic-distance course, but since this will be my first event of the season—and not to mention my longest triathlon to date—I figured the shorter one would be a better decision.  And even though it’s still early in the training cycle (and even though I haven’t finalized my race schedule), I see this tri as a “C” race, meaning I’ll “train through” it; I still want to do well, obviously, but I won’t be “racing” it.  I’m so excited!


A pizza craving hit me hard last night, so I made an individual Paleo pizza.


Toppings included sauce, cheese, spinach, and chopped orange peppers—yum!

Workout – Yoga

The weekly workout schedule I posted Sunday has totally changed—Andrew emailed our training group a plan after that evening—and today was a scheduled rest/free day.  It’s been a while since I practiced yoga—remember my yoga phase in October?—and I knew a Vinyasa class would be good for active recovery, so I went to Hilaria’s 7 a.m. session at Yoga Vida this morning.  It was just what I needed; I worked up a good sweat, stretched out, and even completed some ab work (which will be even more important now that I’ll be riding in aero).


No judging—during savasana, my mind wandered to breakfast.  In my defense, though, Hilaria told us to listen to what our bodies were saying, and mine seemed to be fixated on hunger—ha!  A cold meal sounded good after a sweaty class, so I whipped up a protein smoothie.


This mix included a frozen banana, frozen kale, frozen blueberries, chia seeds, almond milk, and one scoop of Jay Robb egg-white protein powder.  Plus my second cup of coffee.

Time to finish up some freelancing assignments.  Have a great day!

Have you signed up for a destination race, gone on a “race-cation,” or taken a trip solely devoted to doing something active?  Did you enjoy it?

Under the Weather

Happy Friday, everyone!  As you can tell, I’m feeling a little sick today.  ‘Tis the season, right?  Both my dad and one of my sisters were sick when I was home, and I’m trying to catch their coughs, sore throats, and congestion.  It probably didn’t help that I sat in a freezing train car for five and a half hours yesterday either.


I didn’t feel great last night—I figured I was just tired from traveling—so I picked up some soup and sushi from Whole Foods.


The chicken noodle soup tasted delicious; I wish I went for a bigger container and left the spicy salmon roll!  Oh, and another sign I wasn’t up to par—I didn’t buy any fruit!  Sure, I loaded up on spinach, peppers, and carrots, but I forgot (maybe?) to get apples.  However, a package of Christmas cookies from my friend Connie picked my spirits up! 1_3-christmas-cookies-collage

Gluten-free peanut butter cookies, red velvet chocolate crinkles, gingerbread bars, peanut butter pretzels dipped in chocolate, and mint chocolate chip cookies–mmmm!  Thanks again, Connie!

Workout – Swimming

Even though I didn’t sleep great and felt a little under the weather, I went to the pool this morning for my usual 45 minutes of drill work.  Thanks to my congestion, I had some trouble breathing at first, but it became easier as I warmed up.  Oh, and I was totally *that swimmer* who lost her kickboard during her pull sequence.  Whoops!


Another sign of sickness—I wasn’t starving after swimming.  What is going on?  I still made a spinach and egg-white breakfast sandwich.


I struggled to finish it, though.

After eating, I took care of some errands, and then parked myself on the couch.  I haven’t moved since, except to make lunch.


It’s official—my appetite has disappeared.  Usually, I eat lunch between 12:30-1:30 p.m., but as 1:40 p.m. approached, I didn’t feel hungry at all.  I knew I needed to eat something, though, so I kept it simple.


Baked tofu with pepper, cumin, and red pepper flakes, plus some peas.

I have an indoor bike trainer ride scheduled for tonight, which I really need to do because I haven’t been in the saddle since last year (ha!), but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea.  Here’s to hoping this is a cold I can sweat (or swim) out!

Do your eating habits change when you’re sick?  Do you crave foods you don’t usually like?

Last Day at Home

Hi, everyone—Happy Hump Day!  Was today your first workday of 2013?  Sadly, it’s my last 24 hours at home.  I’ve had so much fun spending time with my family, celebrating Christmas, and ringing in the new year, but I’m ready to head back to the Big Apple.  Don’t get me wrong; I’ve loved being at home, but it’s time to go back—my big-girl internship starts next week!


Last night marked my second-to-last dinner at home, and we had spicy shrimp with cilantro and lime, plus jasmine rice and steamed snow peas.


I mixed the spice blend, so I made sure the entire 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper made it in—love the heat!

Workout – Swimming

On Tuesday, I called the pool hotline about eight times, hoping to hear the updated hours, but last week’s message kept playing.  Even without confirmation, I headed over at 6:30 a.m. this morning:  It was pool or bust—I was determined to swim.  Thankfully, it was open (woohoo!), and my 45 minutes of drill work passed quickly.  If I counted my final set of 5x100s correctly, then I set a new record, but since it was about 1:30 faster than the times I’ve been clocking at Chelsea Piers, I’m going to assume I messed up.  We all know how much I like math—ha!


I was obviously ravenous after swimming, so I quickly cooked up a breakfast sandwich.


I usually use egg whites, but there was only the equivalent of one left in the carton; if I’m being honest, I was too hungry to walk to our fridge in the garage to get a new container, so I just added an egg.  It worked.

After breakfast, I drove to the Pewter Spoon Café to get coffee with MB.


It’s my hometown’s newest (and only true) coffee shop, and even though it opened about three months ago, I hadn’t been before today. The menu looked impressive—lots of breakfast sandwiches/wraps, soups, and salads—and the coffee comes from a local company, too.  Anyway, MB and I caught up and talked triathlons for more than an hour.  I had some questions for her, and it was great to discuss the upcoming season.  My first task when I get back to NYC?  Buying and getting fitted for aero-bars so I go faster and really look legit! (For the non-triathletes, aero-bars basically move your body into a more aerodynamic position, making you faster and more efficient.)

What I want to look like:



(70.3 and Ironman World Champion Leanda Cave.)

What I actually look like:


Girl can dream, right?

My mom, sister, and I ran some errands and went shopping this afternoon, and I stocked up on running shorts, and I finally found a new swimsuit.


Since I’m on the taller side, I’ve been struggling to find a swimsuit that’s “long” enough.  The first one I bought ended up being too big, and the one I wear now has stretched out quite a bit, yet somehow doesn’t stay up.  I hope this TYR one works! (Oh, and Craig Alexander is a TYR athlete, so I have high expectations.)


After shopping, we stopped at Cantina Laredo for lunch.


Yummy chicken tacos!

What’s your go-to brand of athletic apparel?  Do you have a hard time finding shoes, shorts, swimsuits, etc. that fit?

Déjà Vu at the Pool

Happy Friday, everyone!  This week flew by, right?  Having a holiday in the middle of the week seems throws things off.


Last night, the family and I went to Circa, one of our favorite local restaurants.  Prior to last night, I hadn’t been there in a few months, so I was looking forward to going back.  Plus, since its menu changes every week or so, there are always fresh dishes that reflect seasonal foods and flavors.  For my meal, I ordered the spicy shrimp gumbo.


I really, really wanted to love it, but it was just OK; I hoped for a spicier, more flavorful dish.  I ate the shrimp and sausage and left most of the rice; I had plans for dessert—for Christmas Eve, my sister made a roasted pumpkin gingerbread cake, so I had a slice.


It hit the spot!


Back to an old favorite this morning.


An open-faced spinach and egg white sandwich with Sriracha.

Workout – Swimming

Good news—the local pool was open today!  I headed over around 11 a.m. for 45 minutes of drill work. (On a semi-related note, I’ve been loving sleeping in, eating breakfast, and having a relaxing morning before working out.)


Back when I was in elementary school, there used to be a “kids night out” event, which allowed students to hangout at this facility—it includes a pool, a few basketball courts, etc.—for a few hours on a Friday night, and I remember swimming in the pool and thinking it was absolutely huge. (After today’s workout, I can assure you it’s a standard lap pool!) In addition to this déjà-vu/blast-from-the-past moment, I also recognized the on-duty lifeguard who currently goes to my alma mater. (He’s actually the same age as my younger sisters.) We chatted for a few minutes—I had to tell him I graduated in May, ha!—and then I got to work.  I didn’t have high expectations for this swim because I hadn’t been in water for about one week, but it went surprisingly well; plus, it felt really good to swim since I’ve only been running while being home.

As I progressed through my drills, I noticed a few kids enter the pool, and they seemed to be goofing off—lots of laughing and very little swimming—which is totally fine.  Anyway, during my final set of 5x100s, one of their kickboards hit my arm, and instead of getting angry, I simply batted it away and thought to myself, It’s going to take more than a tap like that to rattle me.  Oh, open-water swimming …

I’m sure I’ve shared this before; it never gets old!


At home, I heated up half of a leftover chicken breast and wilted some spinach for round one.


This didn’t fill me up after swimming, so I also finished up the last of the jalapeño-stuffed peppers, plus some wild rice.


Mmmm!  I then proceeded to eat my weight in chocolate-covered raisins—ha!

What’s the most recent (or strangest!) déjà-vu/blast-from-the-past moment you’ve experienced?

A New-to-Me Sports Drink

Hi, friends—Happy Hump Day!  And Happy 12/12/12!  Did you make a wish when the numbers lined up?



I invited two friends to my building’s holiday party last night, and we enjoyed some wine before heading to GustOrganics for dinner.


It’s funny what you’ll find when you veer off your traditional route.  Because the restaurant is situated farther south than I usually walk, I had neither heard of nor walked by it before last night.  I really wanted a turkey burger, but they don’t serve burgers after 4 p.m. (weird, right?), so I ordered the hummus pita and quinoa tabbouleh instead.


It was delicious, especially the grilled zucchini and eggplant.

Workout #1 – Swimming

Not to jinx myself, but I think I hit a swimming turning point.  The 45 minutes of drill work flew by this morning (no Vince Vaughn sightings, by the way), and I feel more fluid in the water.  The body rotation exercises are becoming easier, but I still favor turning to my left, which is why I breathe exclusively to that side.  Swimmers, do you drill more on your weaker side? (During my basketball days, I used to shoot twice as many left-handed layups because I’m right-handed.) Now if only I could learn how to do a flip turn!


Good thing breakfast required zero prep work.


I inhaled these overnight oats in a jar; swimming gets me every time!


When lunchtime rolled around, I didn’t think twice—repeat of yesterday’s lunch was a no-brainer.


I also ate an unpictured banana and carrots.

I have a 60-minute interval ride scheduled this afternoon, and I’m trying a new-to-me sports drink—PowerBar Perform. (Thanks for the clarification, MB!)


During prior rides, I’ve been drinking Powerade, which has kept my energy levels up, but has led to some stomach cramps.  Nothing too bad, but I want to experiment with other kinds of nutrition.  Even though I don’t plan to do an Ironman anytime soon, this drink is dolled out at Ironman-sanctioned events.  Plus, if it’s good enough for three-time World Ironman Champion Craig Alexander, then it’s definitely worth a try.

Are you left- or right-handed?  Are certain tasks reserved for your dominant hand?  Do you use your non-dominant hand?

Big-Girl Job, Here I Come! (Sort of)

Great news on the job-front, friends—I received an offer for a paid, part-time editorial internship at a well-known diet and fitness publication!  After two interviews—one last week and a second-round one Monday—I heard from the company, and they offered me a position.  Woohoo!  I’m super excited because this brand (and its corporation) has been on my shortlist of dream jobs, and out of all the interviews I’ve had in New York City, I wanted this position the most.  The details are still being solidified, but I will start in early January and hopefully continue until May.  The new year also marks the start of official Full Throttle Endurance triathlon training, so 2013 will bring lots of structure and changes, and I couldn’t be more excited.


After meeting Craig Alexander last night (did that really happen?!), I baked a piece of salmon and reheated some leftover roasted veggies.


And then I proceeded to read As the Crow Flies: My Journey to Ironman Champion way too late, so I got a late start this morning.


With a 90-minute indoor bike trainer session and full-body strength training workout on the docket, I decided to eat a real meal first.


Good thing my toaster decided to work this morning.

Workouts – Biking and Strength Training

First up, I hopped on my bike for a steady, 90-minute aerobic endurance ride.  I played around with my Garmin and set it to beep if my heart rate went above a predetermined beats per minute (BPM) level.  Doing this workout based on BPM proved to be tough; my watch beeped a lot, which forced me to control my breathing.  Once I got into a rhythm, though, the ride progressed very smoothly.  In fact, it was definitely the best bike trainer session I’ve had yet, which makes me think I executed it correctly.  Andrew told me these workouts should be moderate—I should work up a good sweat—but not intense or super challenging; I should leave each working feeling good and strong (read:  not push myself to the limit).  At the 90-minute mark, I definitely felt strong; I could’ve pedaled longer, and I even thought to myself, “Running right now doesn’t sound so bad.”  Famous last words, though—ha!

Next, I went to the fitness center to lift.  I haven’t said much about the program up until now, but I do like it so far.  I’m familiar with most of the exercises because of basketball, so the learning curve is nearly non-existent.  However, I’m a little nervous—the plan prescribes high weight, low reps for each exercise, and I didn’t like how my body responded to that philosophy during my college basketball days. (Read:  I became very strong, but I also gained a lot of weight.) Granted, I know the high weight, low rep outlook wasn’t correctly executed then, so I’m willing to try it again.  And if I don’t like the results, then I’ll back off the weight.


Ham and Swiss melt with avocado for the win!


Oh, this was epic.  I also made a side salad with spinach and roasted veggies.



Heading to my building’s holiday party shortly.  Have a great night!

Seeing Green



Even aside from this Christmas tree on 53rd and Lexington Ave., the color green has popped up quite a bit.


Example one:  Last night’s dinner.  Too much?


I baked pesto tilapia and cooked some peas on the stovetop.  And I watched Elf for the fourth time this season.

The hue found its away into today’s workout, too.


Oh, yes—Andrew hooked me up with a festively color-coded off-/pre-season triathlon training program.  I blurred the schedule because I plan to write a post that discusses my workouts for the next month. (Look for that on Sunday.) For now, I will say that I’ve been structuring my workouts appropriately across the disciplines in terms of frequency and duration, but there are crucial components I overlooked.  Good thing this newbie enlisted a coach!  Basically, the main changes include sweat sessions with more structure (specific drills, specific heart-rate zones, etc.) and more full-body strength training.  Oh, and speaking of lifting, I feel very conflicted about that part of the plan right now.  It deserves a post of its own for sure.

Workouts #1 and #2 – Running and Strength Training

For the rest of this week, I’m going to pick and choose the workouts that coincide with my schedule, and I’ll start following the plan 100 percent next week.  Anyway, one of the days features a run/strength train/bike combo, so that’s what happened today.  First, I went for a quick 30-minute run and then spent 45 minutes doing the total-body strength training workout.  I’ll talk about the actual program more, but let’s just say I will definitely be sore tomorrow.


After stretching and doing some ab work, I made a breakfast sandwich with (green) spinach and egg whites.


Warm morning meals have returned thanks to the cold weather; it was 30 degrees during my run.


Bet you didn’t see this one coming.


Yep, that would be a protein smoothie with one frozen banana, blueberries, kale, chia seeds, almond milk, and one scoop of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.  It surprised me, too, and it was delicious.

OK, time to cook dinner before watching the SU game and biking on my indoor trainer.  Ninety minutes in the saddle, I’m coming for you–let’s go Orange!