Category Archives: Lunch

‘Fun Time is Over’

Hey, hey!  Thank you so much for your birthday wishes via comments, texts, and tweets—they made my day!  My coworkers even gave me a card yesterday, which was such a sweet surprise.


Another surprise greeted me when I got home—PajamaGram pj’s from my parents!


Now that I’ve been 23 for a solid 24 hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that—to quote Red Forman from That 70s Show—fun time is over.

In the above clip, Red (who reminds me so much of my grandpa!) determines he’s been too lenient in raising his son Eric, declaring “fun time is over!”  And for the past week, I’ve been living in a let-the-easy-workouts-roll world, which screeched to a halt Monday morning with some Full Throttle Endurance tempo work.  After warming up and progressing through some technique drills, my pace group ran around the indoor track for 10 minutes, then hopped on treadmills for 10 minutes of hills—while maintaining our tempo pace. (We eventually built up to 90 seconds at 3.5 percent incline—whew!) Then we repeated this cycle for a total of 40 minutes, and I hit the pool afterward for a 30-minute swim.  This girl was down for the count!


On Tuesday morning, I shutdown “playtime” (another Red Forman-ism) and upped the weight on all my strength training exercises.

And this morning, our team indoor cycling practice contained mostly solid intervals (80-85 percent of maximum heart rate), plus a few all-out efforts.  My crazy dedicated teammates and I also did a quick run off the bike.  So basically, there will be no more FTE playtime until the end of the month!


After my double-workout, I refueled with a protein smoothie.


Kind of a gross color thanks to the spinach, but super delicious—one frozen banana, frozen strawberries, a ton of spinach, plus almond milk, chia seeds, and a scoop of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.

After breakfast, I met Jen at Starbucks!  She was in the neighborhood for a Finish Line Physical Therapy appointment, and since we tried (and failed) to meet up before Sunday’s race, we made it happen today.  She’s super bubbly and sweet, and you should definitely check out her blog if you don’t read it already.


After I ran errands and organized my apartment, I threw together some spinach and leftover spicy black bean quinoa for lunch.


Topped with avocado of course!

Oh, and before I forget, I have some exciting news to share—my big-girl internship will transition from part-time to full-time starting next week!  I just wanted to give you a heads up my blogging might be sporadic for the next week or two as establish a new schedule.

How often do you back off your workouts or take a recovery week?  Better yet, how many rest days do you take each week?

I Just Like to Kick …

Happy Friday and February 1, friends!


I ventured to the New York Road Runners (NYRR) office yesterday afternoon to pick up my t-shirt and bib for the Gridiron 4-miler race, and my walk to and from the subway took me through Central Park.  No complaints here!

Workout #1 – Swimming

Recovery week team workouts officially ended this morning in the pool.  How’s this for a pleasant surprise—Andrew moved me from fast lane number two to fast lane number one! (During our team swims, Full Throttle Endurance uses five of Chelsea Piers’ six lanes—one slow, two medium, and two fast.) Technically, I’ve been in the fast lane for this training cycle, but it was the slower of the two. (I’ve mentioned this before, but I should note again that I’m training with the “level-one” team; if I were training with the racing team, then I’d probably be in the slow lane.) Anyway, Young C got called up to swim with the big dogs!  I also learned I’m a semi-decent kicker:  The guys in my lane told me to lead our 6x50s.  I was a little hesitant to hop up to the lead-off spot, but I put on my big-girl pants and set the pace.

I just like to kick—kicking’s my favorite!



Overall, I really liked life in this new fast lane.  Swimming alongside these guys (I was the only girl in the lane) was definitely more challenging, and I had to work harder to stay on pace.  That will hopefully lead to improvement, though, so I hope to stay in that lane for future workouts.  And honestly, based on my basketball experience, I’ve learned that guys—in terms of both coaches and teammates—push me more and typically don’t take things personally.  Case in point:  All four told me to lead the kicking drills.  This honesty makes it easier for me to do the same.  Case in point:  Once it was time for the pulling drills, I promptly demoted myself and took the caboose spot. (Remember the pulling drills from last week?)

Finally, after practice, we tried on team cycling and racing uniforms! (When we start riding outside, everyone wears a team jersey and shorts, which makes it easier for the coaches to tell who’s in our group.) Much like getting my FTE t-shirt, trying on tops, bottoms, and jerseys made everything seem real—it still blows my mind that I’m part of an awesome NYC triathlon team sometimes.  I’ll definitely share pictures when the gear arrives!


I refueled after practice with my go-to spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich.


With a slice of pepper jack cheese for good measure.

Workout #2 – Biking

Originally, I planned to ride during tomorrow afternoon’s SU game, but since my family will be here, I want to watch the game with them—and not be pedaling away on my indoor bike trainer.  Around 11 a.m., I hooked up my bike, hopped in the saddle, and put in my 60 minutes of zone-2 work.  Done and done.


I can’t decide if I like the spicy black bean quinoa better hot or cold; I eat it chilled at work, but always heat it up at home.


Either way, the avocado needs to be there!

Time to clean my apartment for the fam—enjoy the day!

Do you prefer working out solo or with a group?  Have you ever trained alongside members of the opposite sex?  What did you think?

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?

Top Health and Fitness Blogs Award

Happy Hump Day!  I hope you’re staying warm; it’s crazy cold here.


Since I’m from the tundra Central New York, I should be used to this weather and shouldn’t be complaining.  On the bright side, at least there’s no snow.  Anyway, I have some exciting news to share today:  Fitness and Frozen Grapes won an award!


eCollegeFinder recently released its list of the best “wellness, health, and fitness blogs on the Internet,” which it calls the “greatest resources in the health and fitness blogging community,” and someone (thank you!) nominated me!  If you want to add more blogs to your reader, then definitely check out the other winners, including Alex and Hollie!

Workout #1 – Biking

Another Wednesday, another Full Throttle Endurance indoor cycling session.  During our 10-minute warm-up, Andrew confirmed this week is our last big push for the month, meaning we’ll back off the intensity on Monday.  With that in mind, we completed a killer workout today that focused on increasing cadence and building strength.  It wasn’t exactly like Monday’s “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker” workout, though.  We started off with some high turnover rate drills (one minute greater than 110 RPM, then one minute at 90 RMP; repeat four times).  Next, we increased resistance and maintained cadence, and finally we completed four intervals at 80-90 percent effort.  Whew!

Workout #2 – Swimming

Next, I hopped in the pool for a reverse-brick workout. (The training schedule called for a swim, but a few of my teammates brought sneakers so they could practice running off the bike, which I plan to do next week.) Let’s just say it’s a good thing the bike comes after the swim during an actual triathlon.  I tried to work through the drills and maintain good technique, but I felt totally gassed after 20 minutes.  I wanted to push through and swim for half an hour, but I could feel my form going down the tubes, so I called it a day.


After having my hair freeze walking back to my apartment, I wanted oatmeal and not my usual breakfast sandwich.  Since I have a few super ripe bananas, I figured “oatless” oatmeal would be perfect.


And it was indeed—with some strawberries and almond butter.  So not only did my breakfast choice prove surprising, but so did my luck shopping for big-girl internship clothes!


The Gap came through—dot legging jeans, print denim top, navy blazer, and three pairs of socks.  I guess navy/denim is in right now?  Ha!  Would it be bad to say another purchase made me just as excited?


The indoor cycling studio at Chelsea Piers has a state-of-the-art Suunto heart rate training system, so people can wear compatible heart rate monitors that track and display data on three huge screens located at the front of the room. (The system also emails the wearer stats at the end of each workout, so they can track improvement.) During our spin sessions, Andrew relays target heart rate percentages for each drill (70 percent, 80 percent, etc.), so this Suunto monitor ensures I’ll be on track.


More leftover spicy black bean quinoa.


There’s some wilted spinach underneath the avocado and quinoa, promise.

Would you rather shop for “real”/work clothes or fitness apparel?

‘Shorter, Shorter, Quicker, Quicker’

Happy Monday, everyone!  Did you have today off for MLK Day?  Three-day weekends are the best, right?  Before transitioning to the bulk of this post, I want to thank everyone who came to last night’s first official #TriChat.

#trichat-twitter-profile We discussed 2013 season goals, and Jen and I were blown away by the sheer amount of participants and the high-quality conversation.  It wouldn’t have been as successful without USA Triathlon’s presence, and we couldn’t have asked for a better first chat.  If you want to #trigeek out with us (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t?) our next Twitter-based conversation will take place Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. EST.  Yes, it’s Superbowl Sunday, but this afternoon chat time leaves plenty of time for football festivities! (After Feb. 3, we’ll return to our normal time of 8 p.m. EST.)

Workout #1 – Running

Today’s workout with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) included the same running drills we did last week, including more barefoot running.  During the tech work, Andrew told us to shorten our strides and increase our cadence, which will help improve running efficiency, muscle memory, and arguably recovery.  As you can tell from the title of this post, the phrase of the day was “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker”—shorter strides and quicker turnover.  Eventually, we split up into our pace groups for 2-3 tempo miles.  Even though my group’s prescribed pace was 8:28 (which is a little conservative for me), we banged out two miles in the 7:20-7:30 ballpark, so I struggled to hang on for the final four laps.  I kept telling myself “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker,” but I fell off the pace and ended up finishing about 10 seconds after my group’s first runner. (Our group contained three people, and our third member dropped off with 800m left.) I’m obviously disappointed I couldn’t maintain my splits, but it’s early in the season, and I can only improve.


I refueled after practice with coffee (obviously) and a spinach and egg-white breakfast sandwich.


Mmmm!  A few hours later, I sliced up a banana and sprinkled on some cinnamon and almond butter.


I don’t usually blog my snacks, but most days, I have a banana or almonds between breakfast and lunch.


After doing laundry and watching President Obama’s inaugural address, I turned to the fridge for lunch.


First, I steamed a boatload of spinach in the microwave and then added some of the spicy vegan black bean quinoa I made yesterday.  It tasted good, but it still seems to be missing something.  Hmmm …

I spent about two hours shopping for big-girl internship clothes—and subconsciously thought “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker” as I walked from store to store—which proved to be unsuccessful except for an unpictured Americano from Starbucks.  Priorities.

Workout #2 – Biking

Since Syracuse conveniently played Cincinnati at 3:30 p.m., I multitasked by watching the game and pedaling away on my indoor bike trainer. (I originally planned to swim after this morning’s workout, but the masters swim team had taken over the pool, and none of my teammates wanted to swim with them—ha!) Anyway, my legs felt a little tight and an easy 60-minute recovery ride sounded ideal.  Holy cow, though–what a game!  The Orange barely held on, 57-55!

When you run or workout, do you repeat words or phrases in your head?  What do you say?

Building My 2013 Triathlon Race Calendar

Hey, friends!  Can you believe it’s Thursday?  This week seems to be flying by—no complaints here!  I think we’re in agreement about the “healthy” Girl Scout cookie news.  If you try it, please let me know what you think!  Anyway, after publishing yesterday’s post, I found out that registration for my hometown triathlon opened (which caught me off guard because the original date advertised was my birthday, Feb. 5!), and I didn’t waste any time: I officially signed up for the 13th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon!

cazenovia-triathlon-registerMore on that in a minute—today’s eats first!


I’m feeling stuffy and congested today, so I opted out of my planned morning yoga class.  And plus, Andrew told us to take today completely off after yesterday’s butt-kicking indoor cycling workout.  I slept in until 7:20 a.m.—glorious!—enjoyed two leisurely cups of coffee, and then made an egg-white breakfast sandwich.


I finished the spinach earlier this week—grocery shopping needs to happen today—so I added roasted mushrooms and red peppers instead.  This combo packed more flavor, and I’ve become a huge fan of Udi’s Whole Grain Bread.


I wanted a warm meal for lunch, so I heated up a spinach, turkey, and pepper jack cheese tortilla in the oven.


Plus some carrots on the side.

13th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon

Even though I’m locked into the Nautica South Beach and New York City Triathlons, my 2013 race calendar hasn’t been completely finalized. (I’ve talked to Andrew and nailed down potential events, and I plan to share my official schedule once I register for each event.) Unfortunately, Full Throttle Endurance will not take a team trip to Central New York in August, but I knew signing up for the Cazenovia Triathlon needed to happen.  It takes place in my hometown, and it was also my first official swim-bike-run race; completing this sprint event got me totally hooked on the sport, so I have an emotional attachment to this race, too.  Plus, triathloning is all about finding your limits and pushing past them, so I want to kick butt, take names, and see how much I can improve—aka blow last year’s time out of the water.  It’s all about progress!



Speaking of progress, there’s been some already.


That’s right—no longer a swimming novice! (Since the 2012 race was my first true triathlon, I opted for the novice swim start.) Hey, remember that time I swam in the fast lane? (Too soon?)

Anyway, I registered last night, and this afternoon, I saw this post on the CNY Triathlon Club Facebook group page.


Does it surprise you that I was one of the first people to sign up?  Type-A at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

Is there a certain race or event that always makes it on your calendar?

This Week So Far

Hi, everyone—Happy Hump Day!  How’s your week been so far?  I’ve had a couple busy days, so I’m sticking with a list format.

Guess who did some barefoot running!

That’s right—Monday’s Full Throttle Endurance workout focused on form, and one of the most interesting parts of practice included 4x200m that we ran barefoot. (Good thing I got a pedicure last week!) Another highpoint?  My teammates tried to convince me to register for Ironman 70.3 Timberman!  Although I briefly entertained the idea, I know making the jump from the sprint to the half-Ironman distance isn’t a logical move.  I want to go fast (for me) before I go far.  One day, though! (And my first HIM will have to be Syracuse!)

Overnight oats returned.

It’s been way too long since I last enjoyed a bowl for breakfast, so I prepped some for Tuesday morning.



In three days, I’ve eaten quinoa three times.

Remember that batch I made on Sunday?  I’ve been having leftovers for lunch—and topping the mixture with some avocado.


The recipe turned out pretty well, but I want to tweak it a bit.

Today’s indoor cycling workout kicked my butt.

OK, to preface this story, my alma mater hosted a young alum event last night, and although these gatherings are fun, most people enjoy an adult beverage or three beforehand.  With that said, I went to happy hour at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ last night with some friends ($2 margaritas, count me in!), and let’s just say that one and a half margaritas, one and a half glasses of wine at the event, and barely six hours of sleep did not equate to cycling success.  Holy cow, the workout nearly killed me—pedaling drills, plus a ton of intervals, which included a series of climbs at 80 percent effort.  I was totally gassed at the end, and luckily, I was in good company:  After surveying the spin studio during our cool down, Andrew told us not to complete a second workout and take tomorrow totally off. (Following team workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we usually complete another uncoached workout.)

Our prayers have been answered—introducing a “healthy” Girl Scout cookie.

As a former Girl Scout (troop 741!), I have no idea how I feel about this news.


Throw it back.  I’m the tall, awkward one standing on the right. (As if you couldn’t tell!)

Tell me about your week!  Would you eat a better-for-you Girl Scout cookie?  What’s your favorite happy-hour drink?

Life in the Fast Lane

Happy Friday, friends!  TGIF, right?


Glahhh—I still can’t believe I’ll kick off the 2013 triathlon racing season in Miami!

Workout #1 – FTE swimming

After two successful running and biking Full Throttle Endurance workouts this week, I was excited to get after it in the pool.  I was a little nervous, though; swimming is my Achilles’ heel, so I seeded myself in the “medium” lane this morning for warm-ups and hoped I wouldn’t get booted to the “slow” one.  How’s this for a pleasant surprise:  After I completed 100m, Andrew told me to hop over to one of the fast lanes—say what?! (Our group used five out of the six lanes in the pool, and there were four or five athletes in each.) I couldn’t believe it and even asked if he was sure—ha!  I held my own during the drills (lots of back kicking and single-arm stroking to focus on technique) and moved up to the second slot in my lane. (Some swimming etiquette I learned today:  The fastest swimmer goes first, the next fastest second, etc., so people maintain enough space.) I highly doubt this will be my normal lane, but at least I can say “remember that time I swam in the fast lane?”

Workout #2 – Running

After the swim session, I headed back to my apartment, changed clothes, and set out for a quick 30-minute run.  And just like that my workouts were done by 8 a.m.!


I literally spiced up my standard spinach and egg white sandwich with a slice of pepper jack cheese.


Such a delicious combo!


I ate a banana while running a few errands, so I didn’t feel super hungry when lunchtime rolled around.


Another standard protein smoothie with a frozen banana, frozen kale, frozen strawberries, almond milk, and one scoop of Jay Robb egg-white protein powder.

Have you ever surprised yourself during a workout (positively or negatively)? What are your plans for the weekend?

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?

Can’t Put it Down

Hi, everyone!  I officially made it back to New York City in one piece!  The five-and-a-half hour train ride passed quickly thanks to a new book.


I’ve read about 200 pages so far, and I can’t put Wild down!  When I was home for the holidays, my cousin MK and I decided to form a virtual/long-distance book club; she lives in Colorado and loves hiking, and since I’ve seen this memoir popping up frequently on the blogosphere, I suggested it for our first read.  There’s a strong possibility I may finish it tonight!

Workout – Swimming

Originally, I planned to take today off, but I figured since I would be sitting for most of the day, I should move a little.  Plus, I finally figured out my local pool’s hours, and I also wanted to wear my new swimsuit; during my 45 minutes of drill work, it felt great, and I hope it doesn’t stretch out.


Back home, I quickly made a spinach and egg-white breakfast sandwich—I still had organizing and packing to do!


I also drank and second (and third) cup of coffee.  I’ve been experimenting in terms of having caffeine before working out.  The past two mornings, I’ve downed only one cup (as opposed to my usual two) and saved the second for afterward.  I don’t think I can totally give up my pre-workout coffee—especially next week when Full Throttle Endurance training starts at 5:45 a.m.!  You can’t workout if you’re still asleep, right?


I didn’t do a good job of documenting lunch because I was too busy reading—whoops!  First, I ate a turkey and cheese sandwich with spinach and spicy brown mustard.


And chased it with some leftover roasted broccoli and an apple.

1_3-lunch-roasted-broccoli-apple During the train ride, I also munched on some carrots and polished off an apple cinnamon Chobani.  And now, I have to go grocery shopping—there’s no food in my apartment!

Is there a book, movie, TV show, etc. can’t you put down?