Tag Archives: Frozen Grapes

What I Ate Wednesday – The New Normal

Hiya–happy hump day, friends!  Thankfully, this week seems to be flying by—I can’t wait for Saturday’s indoor triathlon!



This Downton Abbey hipster meme cracks me up!  Not related to this post at all, but I know some of you are obsessed with the show like me.

Anyway, I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons today for What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW).


The blog has lacked food pictures lately, so I figured there’s no time like the present to reintroduce meal photography.  Here we go!

Pre-workout Fuel – 5:30 a.m.

Should I even say that 5:30 a.m. is a late morning for me?  Nope?  OK—moving on.


This is what I eat before every morning workout:  half of a Kashi granola bar, one cup of coffee (with almond milk), and a ton of water.  The run itself didn’t go so great–after Monday’s a.m. team run and a 45-minute p.m. spin on the indoor bike trainer, my legs were spent.  Guess that’s why you need a recovery week, right?

Breakfast – 7:30 a.m.

Standard spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich on Udi’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread.


With another cup of coffee and lots of water.

Lunch – 12:40 p.m.

Spicy black bean quinoa topped with avocado, plus some carrots.


I could eat this quinoa every single day and never get sick of it!

Mid-Afternoon Snacks – 3:30 p.m.

One of my coworkers was eating something crunchy, which triggered a craving for something similar.


I snacked on some almonds to keep hunger at bay, and a little while later, I ate a vanilla Chobani.


Love this stuff!

Dinner – 7:15 p.m.

No surprise here—baked salmon with roasted veggies and sweet potatoes.


Since I meal prep on Sundays, the fish just had to bake for 20 minutes, and the sides went in the microwave.  Easy peasy.


Huzzah!  Frozen grapes for dessert!

What are some of your go-to healthy snacks?

Blame it on the Snow

Hiya, friends!  Did you watch the election coverage last night?

I did until my bowl of frozen grapes was gone.  OK, this will be the end of politics here until 2016, but I thought it was neat watching Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie do their thing on MSNBC because both spoke at my alma mater back in the day.  Todd talked as part of our President’s Forum, and as the Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, I even got to interview him!


He was surprisingly funny and down-to-earth.  And at graduation, Guthrie delivered our commencement address.


She did a great job!

Workout – Running

Well, winter has arrived in New York City.  This morning’s chilly temperature (35 degrees Fahrenheit) called for Under Armour and fleece gloves. (Oh, and we’re also expecting a nor’easter, and some areas are being evacuated.  Sigh.) Anyway, on my way out of the building, I met a fellow triathlete!  He was wearing an Ironman shirt, so I had to ask him about it.  We chatted for a few minutes before heading separate ways for our runs.  Or rather, he crossed the street and sprinted ahead of me.  Yep, he’s an Ironman all right.  After a 45-minute run with some fartleks, I also did some upper-body strength training.


Somehow, I’ve been hoarding almost-empty almond butter jars, so it’s going to be an overnight-oats-in-a-jar couple of days.  Not that it’s a bad thing, of course.

Today’s mix included frozen strawberries and blueberries, plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, cinnamon, almond milk, and chia seeds.  Oh, and Seneca7 registration, aka the best race ever, opens today if you’re interested.


Blame it on the snow—I was craving a warm midday meal, and I knew a salad wasn’t going to cut it, so I toasted a turkey and cheese sandwich.

I popped it in the oven to for a few minutes and microwaved some leftover roasted veggies.  Mmmm!

Again, blame it on the snow—dinner’s cooking already.

Gotta love the crock pot!

Do your eating habits change with the seasons?  What are some of your favorite crock pot recipes?  Please linkup and share!

Hey, You Never Know

Hey, everyone–I hope you’re having a great Tuesday so far!  Don’t forget to vote today!

Chilly, winter-like weather has arrived in New York City, but I can’t complain; Syracuse has already seen its first snowfall of the season.  Even without these flurries, I’m having trouble motivating myself to head outside for a bike ride.  I might wait until this afternoon and hope it warms up a bit.  Good thing my parents are bringing a bike trainer this weekend.  Oh, I haven’t mentioned that yet?  Yep, my parents and one of my sisters are visiting for a few days—woohoo!  It’s been one month since I’ve seen them, and not going to lie, I’m also very happy they’re coming with a trainer.

Speaking of cycling—and by extension, triathloning—I spent yesterday afternoon researching events and identifying races for 2013.  At this point, it’s an extremely rough list, but the racing bug bit me hard after I talked with Jessica, Robin, and Valerie on Sunday.  These NYC-based triathletes belong to different clubs, but they recommended a lot of the same races in the Tri-State area, including the Rev3 in Middlebury, CT, and Mighty Montauk. (Full Throttle Endurance has its own race calendar, which I scoped out, too.) Because it’s so early, a lot of the triathlons haven’t opened registration yet—or even established a race date for that matter—but I did enter the lottery for the 2013 Aquaphor New York City Triathlon.


Hey, you never know.  In its 13th year, this Olympic-distance event (1500m swim, 40-K bike, and 10-K run) lets more than 3,000 triathletes swim the Hudson River, bike along the West Side highway, and run through Central Park.  There are several ways to get an early entry/guaranteed spot—if you volunteered in 2012, deferred 2012 entry, secured a 2012 champions club VIP, or placed in the top 3 of your age group/division in 2012—but for the most part, the majority of hopeful entrants will be on equal footing come drawing day on Nov. 12.  I really, really hope I get a spot, so I’m crossing my fingers and toes!


After running and strength training yesterday morning, I made an open-faced spinach and egg-white sandwich.

It was my first warm morning meal post-Hurricane Sandy (I’ve been eating bananas and dry cereal), so it tasted extra yummy.


A few hours later, I threw together a salad with spinach, carrots, turkey, and yellow peppers.  I topped it with a dash of S&P.

And I completely forgot it was Meatless Monday.  Whoops.


Since I spoiled my vegetarian day, I went ahead and baked pesto tilapia for dinner.  This is quite possibly the least appetizing picture ever, but it was really good!

Plus roasted mushrooms and red and orange peppers on the side.  And, drumroll, please–my first bowl of post-Sandy frozen grapes!

Totally hit the spot!

Have you ever won the lottery?  Have you made your 2013 race calendar yet?

A Rainy NYC Run

Before laying out my running clothes last night, I checked the weather forecast, and it projected cool temperatures and a light drizzle this morning. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this!) Strangely enough, I don’t mind running in the rain; in fact, I kind of like it.  Maybe it’s because I’m from Central New York (my first thought is “at least isn’t not snowing!”).  Or maybe it’s from years of playing softball and field-hockey during downpours.  For whatever reason, I have a strange affinity for rain-running—I set my 5-K PR of 21:13 during a rainy race—so passing up today’s run because of the less-than-ideal weather was never an option.

Even in the mist, making my way along the West Side Greenway was awesome.  Sure, my legs turned red and my curly ponytail somewhat resembled a wet dog, but it was totally worth it.


Before jumping to breakfast, here’s a quick look at what I prepare for last night’s Meatless Monday dinner:  white bean, kale, and mushroom soup.

Oh.  Em.  Gee.  If all my attempts at making soup result in this level of success, Fitness and Frozen Grapes could turn into a soup and seafood (and sushi!) blog.  Recipe coming your way tomorrow!

Oh, and dessert.

Pretty predictable at this point, right?


Anyway, after my wet run, I made an open-faced breakfast sandwich with spinach, egg whites, and yellow peppers.

Plus a slice of Ezekiel low-sodium bread.

After my meal and against my better judgment, I wandered through Times Square in search of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.

The GNC near me didn’t have any in stock, so I decided to brave the throngs of tourists.

I mentally prepared for the worst, so the walk wasn’t as bad.

And the guy working there gave me a free gold membership card, which I’m sure they do all the time, but still.


Back at my apartment, I heated up a bowl of leftover soup.

It’s possible it tastes even better today.  I’m off to track down an apple-almond-butter combo.  Have a great day!

Does your fitness routine change when the weather does?  Do you like running in the rain?

Settling In

Hey, everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend!  My Saturday and Sunday were jam-packed—both literally and figuratively—with all things apartment-related.  With the minivan loaded to the brim, my dad and I drove five hours to the city.  Even though we got caught in some rain, a lucky omen greeted us.

Hopefully this rainbow means lots of luck in the Big Apple!  And speaking of omens, here’s something else that happened:  After arriving at our hotel, my dad and I went out to dinner, and as we chatted away, I realized my watch’s battery stopped working—it called it quits at the exact time I left home.

How weird is that?  Even stranger, I bought the watch in NYC two years ago.  Maybe things are coming full circle?  Or perhaps this means one era has drawn to a close, and I’m entering a new, exciting time.

Anyway, on Saturday morning, we started the daunting process of unloading and organizing.

So.  Much.  Stuff. (This isn’t everything, by the way.) These move-in gifts from the management were a pleasant surprise.

The apartment itself is still a work in progress, and I promise I’ll post pictures within the next few days.


Now back to regularly scheduled blogging.  For my first meal in my big-girl apartment, I made an old favorite—almond-crusted tilapia.

As you know, I’m obsessed with seafood, so this dish will make regular appearances on the blog.  For dessert, I had some frozen grapes my mom brought from home.

How sweet!

Workout – Running

I didn’t sleep that well last night, which was probably due to slew a new bed, a new room, etc., but I woke up a little after 6 a.m. for my first NYC run.  I headed over to the Hudson River Greenway for a 30-minute jog.  Holy cow, what a great place to workout!  It was great seeing so many people getting their sweat on—biking, running, and walking—and since the path itself mirrors the Hudson River, the view was beautiful. (I’ll have to take some pictures next time!) Plus, maybe because I had two rests days and/or because I’m used to hilly Central New York, I felt like I was flying this morning.  Speaking of CNY, I obviously needed to represent my favorite fitness people—Syracuse Bicycle, plus Fleet Feet Syracuse and their RUNapoolza 5-K.

Afterwards, I completed some upper-body strength training and ab exercises.


Another go-to made its first NYC appearance—overnight oats.

Technically, though, it’s a bowl of 20-minute oats with mashed banana, frozen strawberries, plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, and a scoop of Justin’s plain peanut butter.  This was my first time trying Justin’s, and I’m a fan.

I ran some errands after breakfast, which included yet another trip to Bed Bath and Beyond, Trader Joe’s, and GNC (which was out of Jay Robb egg white protein powder—what?!).


I broke for lunch around 1:30 p.m. and threw together a salad.

It was only after I gobbled down the turkey I remembered it’s Meatless Monday.  Fail.  Guess I’ll just have to redeem myself at dinner–I’m planning on making homemade soup tonight because I’m a big girl!

Do you participate in Meatless Monday?  Are you a vegetarian?

Special Talents

Hey, hey—Happy Saturday!  I’m up and blogging at ‘em early because my mom and I are off to the mall.  Anthropologie, here I come!


Say hello to tempeh, my new favorite vegetarian protein.  Sorry, tofu; we had a great run, but this nutty and grainy option has become my go-to.

Thirty minutes marinating and 10 minutes grilling.  Can’t get much easier, right?  Paired with roasted broccoli, mushrooms, and red pepper—plus some of my uncle’s homegrown peppers—this meal was solid all around.  Including in the dessert department.


Armed with liquid egg whites, I prepared “oatless” oatmeal this morning.  Shopping requires some serious fuel.

To the usual base, I added banana slices and frozen blueberries.

According to this week’s workout plan, Saturday was going to be an easy run or a rest day, and I chose the latter.  Yesterday’s 7.25-mile outing was the longest and farthest I’ve run since my half-marathon in August.  And although I don’t mind running in the rain, my right knee thinks precipitation is less than ideal:  I had reconstructive meniscus and ACL surgery the summer before my junior year of high school, and even though my right leg is totally fine now (actually stronger than it was pre-surgery), it has the tendency to “predict” when it’s going to rain. (The change in barometric pressure causes it to swell and sometimes hurt.) Basically, I’m like Karen from Mean Girls.

Anyway, since I’m feeling the effects from yesterday’s “forecast,” and especially since it’s raining now, I’m going to list to my body and rest up.

During my high school AP Language class senior year, my weatherwoman tendencies proved to be quite funny, especially because my teacher (a fellow William Smith alumna) also had ACL surgery.  Class discussions seamlessly transitioned from a lecture on direct objects to a weather forecast.  Good times.

Do you have any “special talents”?

How to Make a Two-Ingredient Pancake

Good morning, everyone—I hope your Wednesday is off to a great start!  Since a few readers asked how I make a two-ingredient pancake, I figured I’d show you the method behind the madness.  First, though, let’s backtrack to yesterday.


Honestly, the Healthy Pad Thai tasted even better leftover.  Isn’t funny when that happens?

For good measure, I used a spinach base and heated up some leftover roasted veggies, too.  Oh, and added more red pepper flakes—bring on the spice!

I worked through the afternoon—lots of blogging, writing, and big-girl apartment preparing—and I totally forgot to take pictures of snacks.  My eats included two apples (the ones from apple picking are fairly small), a handful of almonds, and a banana and almond butter protein smoothie.


We tried another new recipe last night, courtesy of PinterestBlackened Grilled Tilapia.

Not the best picture, but holy yum—this dish was awesome!  You know I’m all about spicy, but my parents couldn’t handle the heat.  This will definitely become a go-to recipe when I’m cooking living in New York City.  We also had roasted squash and zucchini.  Oh, and of course.

All right, time for the moment you’ve been waiting for (humor me, please!):  how to make a two-ingredient pancake.  Tina at Carrots ‘N Cake developed this recipe, and my version usually contains extra ingredients like egg whites and protein powder. (I use these add-ins after a workout.) However, since today’s a rest day (and I’m not feeling guilty, Natalie!), I figured it’s the perfect time to show how to make the base.

Two-Ingredient Pancake


1 small-medium banana, mashed

1 large egg

cinnamon to taste


1.  Spray griddle with non-stick cooking spray and set to medium-low heat, around 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  In a small bowl, combine mashed banana and egg. (I mash the banana in its peel, so I don’t dirty another cooking utensil.  Being lazy or going green—you decide!)

3.  Scramble mixture and add desired amount of cinnamon.

4.  Mix until cinnamon is combined, pour onto griddle, and let cook until golden brown, around 5-7 minutes. (This is huge—you need to let the cake cook through before flipping it.  While waiting, I usually play on my phone so I’m not tempted to flip it too early.)

5.  Flip flapjack and continue to cook, about 5-7 minutes.

6.  Remove from heat and add favorite toppings. (Almond butter and frozen blueberries are my go-to’s).

Pretty easy, right? (And yes, my pancake split into multiple pieces when I flipped it–oops.)

What are your favorite pancake toppings?

Taking Inventory

Happy Hump Day, everyone!  How’s it going?  For me, today epitomized the middle-of-the-week funk.

This is so a Wednesday picture, right?  Lots of cleaning, organizing, and taking inventory for my move to New York City—yaya!


After spending four jam-packed days in the Big Apple and eating out for my grandma’s birthday, I was more than ready for a home-cooked meal.  Last night, we went with an old favorite.

Spicy shrimp with cilantro and lime plus roasted broccoli and mushrooms left me feeling satisfied.  But not stuffed to the brim so I couldn’t enjoy a bowl of frozen grapes.

It had been far too long.

Workout – Bike-Run Brick

Clear skies and no precipitation meant all systems were go for my final pre-DeRuyter Lake Triathlon brick workout.  Both segments were relatively uneventful, except for this morning’s cooler temperatures.  It wasn’t freezing, but it definitely felt (and smelled) like fall, which got me thinking about how a chillier race-day forecast could affect my performance.  All summer, I’ve been training in warm conditions (obviously), and with temperatures starting to cool down, I haven’t practiced as much as I would’ve liked prior to Saturday’s triathlon.  For example, on the bike today, I never truly warmed up; it didn’t hinder the ride too much, but I definitely noticed a difference when it came time to run:  “Jell-O-legs” feel heavier when it’s chilly.  I can only control the controllables—like my training and nutrition—and I’m hoping the thermometer hits Saturday’s projected high of 67 degrees by 9 a.m.  On the bright side, I probably don’t have to worry about the triathlon being wetsuit-legal.


Following the chilly brick, a warm meal sounded perfect.  I attempted to make almond “oatless” oatmeal, but the almond extract proved to be too overpowering.

Speaking of Paleo-friendly oatmeal, I’ll post my go-to recipe tomorrow morning.  Let me know what you think!


I ran some errands with my mom this morning, so I enjoyed a late-for-me 2 p.m. lunch of quick ravioli and spinach soup.

Plus last night’s leftover roasted veggies.

And a peach for dessert.

Fueled by soup and veggies, I tackled the remains of my college glory days.

Yikes!  Bag by bag, bin by bin, I took inventory of what needed to be thrown out, what could be donated to the Salvation Army, and what was acceptable to bring to my big-girl apartment. (“This is a grown-up apartment now.” SATC the Movie anymore?)

Since I’m a type-A person, I thrive on organizing, so it was this process was quite therapeutic.  Weird, I know.

Even though the mess has reduced to a more organized form of chaos, I’m also a little overwhelmed; I’m planning to purchase a lot of household goods once I get to NYC, but there’s a bunch of stuff I should get beforehand.  A vacuum cleaner is on the top of the list.

Do you like cleaning and organizing?  Do you find any household chores strangely therapeutic?

Just Keep Swimming

Good morning, everyone!  I hope your Hump Day is off to a great start.  Today has been great so far—I reached a new triathlon-training milestone this morning.

More on this in a minute.


We had a semi-new dinner last night.  My mom has prepared this dish—from Brunetti’s Cookbook called pesce spada al pangrattato saporito (swordfish with savory breadcrumbs)—twice before, but this was the first time fresh swordfish took the starring role.

Opting to use fresh instead of frozen fish made it more flavorful.  Plus, because the dish cooked in the oven with the broiler on, the breadcrumb coating tasted like it was almost fried.  Yummy!


Of course.

They were necessary.

Workout – Swimming

Prior to today, my long swim clocked 45 minutes, and because my mind wandering during the tail-end of it, I knew today’s 60-minute OWS needed structure. (During an OWS, I swim to a neighbor’s buoy, circle it, and come back to our dock; this equates to one loop.) Here’s what I did:

-Loops one and two – warm-up

-Loops three, four, five, and six – “swimming fartleks,” or surging for 20 seconds before reaching the turnaround spot (two “sprints” per loop)

-Loops seven and eight – easy swim to the buoy, aggressive swim back (slower than sprinting, but pushing the pace)

-Loops nine and ten – cool down

Breaking up the workout into these sets provided a challenge and kept me focused.  Before I knew it, 60 minutes were up!

I’m guessing I swam about 1.5 miles.  Using the conservative pace of 20 minutes/800m equates to 2400m.  This might not seem like an accomplishment for experienced swimmers and triathletes, but considering I could barely swim for three minutes at the beginning of the summer, reaching this 60-minute mark is huge.  Plus, simply knowing that I swam for 60 minutes/close to 1.5 miles means I’m capable of conquering the half-Ironman distance of 1.2 miles—2014, here I come! (But, seriously; I’m thinking about it.)


While experiencing an exercised-induced endorphin high, I prepared a modified two-ingredient pancake.

With the one banana and one egg base, I added 1/2 scoop Jay Robb protein powder (so glad I picked up a giant bag yesterday), 3 tbsp. liquid egg whites, and some cinnamon.  The flapjack fell apart when I flipped it, but it still tasted delicious topped with blueberries and almond butter.

My mom and I are off to the mall shortly; I’m hoping for lunch at Cantina Laredo!

Question of the morning:  How you do stay focused during longer workouts?

An Unexpected Change

When I logged into Facebook yesterday afternoon and headed over to the CNY Triathlon Group, a post about this Saturday’s Skinnyman Triathlon caught my attention:  Race officials revised the bike course.  I immediately clicked to the race homepage for more information.

I also received an email last night.

The new route spans 15 miles, making it longer than the original 14-mile one.  After studying the route and plugging it into MapMyRun.com, I’m a little nervous.  Well, there’s good news and bad news.  The good?  I feel much more comfortable on the saddle now than I did one month ago for the Cazenovia Triathlon.  During my training for this tri, I’ve also made biking a priority, and I’m definitely a stronger cyclist.  The bad?  It looks like the Skinnyman ride will be more challenging than the Cazenovia course.  Not only is it longer, but it also has tougher climbs.  Here’s a look at the Cazenovia (top) and Skinnyman (bottom) elevation profiles.


According to my training plan, Thursday’s 45-minute bike will mostly likely be my last workout before race-day, so I’m going to make the trip to Skaneateles and ride the course. (Taking a “test drive” to the area will also give me peace of mind; there’s nothing worse than getting lost and arriving late to an event.) Although it will take more than 45 minutes, riding the route before the race will let me take note of the terrain changes, practice the climbs, and ultimately develop a logical game plan.

Mid-Afternoon Snack

Around 4:30 p.m., I mixed a bowl of blueberries, plain Greek yogurt, and Seitenbacher muesli.

It hit the spot!


It’s been a while since we had spicy shrimp with cilantro and lime, so I was pumped to see it back in the rotation.

And the obligatory bowl of frozen grapes.

Workout – Bike-Run Brick

Since I’m back to bricks, this morning’s double workout included a 9-mile bike around Cazenovia Lake, followed by a 30-minute run.  It looked like the skies would downpour at any time, but luckily, the ride was rain-free.  I did, however, get to practice cycling in somewhat slick conditions; it rained last night and early this morning, so the roads weren’t completely dry.  Like I learned during the Iron Girl Chalk Talk at Syracuse Bicycle, I deflated my tires a bit and stayed away from painted lines on the road.

Before heading out on the run, I slipped on my calf compression sleeves—I totally forgot to put them on for the bike ride—and wow, they made a world of difference.  Granted, it was still challenging running on less than fresh legs, but my calves felt OK.


As I neared the end of my run, I started brainstorming breakfast ideas. (Does anyone else do this?) Although I considered making a smoothie, I ultimately chose a three-ingredient pancake.

I combined one medium banana, one large egg, and one scoop of Jay Robb protein powder, mixed everything together, and cooked it on the griddle.  I also topped it with a little bit of PB and some blueberries.

Have you ever registered for a race that changed its course days before the event?  How did you handle it?