Monthly Archives: June 2016

WIAW – Recap Post

Hi Guys.  I think it was cold out last time I did one of these posts so I thought I’d share with you what I ate yesterday.  So, while today is definitely Thursday, we’ll still call it “What I Ate Wednesday,” because it’s actually what I ate on Wednesday ūüôā  Boy guys, Wednesday sure was A DAY.  Like one of those days that moved so quickly it makes your head spin but moved so slow you constantly found yourself checking what time it was.

Wednesday morning actually started out slow.  I woke up at 5:05am without an alarm and decided that instead of waiting until 6:15am to go to bootcamp, I’d just go to the gym and take it easy on the elliptical with some good ‘ole Netflix.  Currently switching between Grace and Frankie and House of Cards.  Who else watches?!  Because I went to the gym an hour earlier than normal, I actually had time to cook a breakfast I hadn’t had in what felt like decades…Anne’s Banana Pancake!  I never seem to have ground flax when I make it but I had garbanzo bean flour so I gave that a try and it was perfect.  I topped my pancake with fresh blueberries, my homemade whole milk yogurt, and peanut butter.  Hit. The. Spot. ūüôā  Enjoyed with black coffee!

  
By the time I arrived to work, it had been almost 3 hours since I had my pancake and I was craving something sweet.  I listened to my body, and treated myself to a donut.  No shame at all.  Enjoyed with the rest of my coffee.

  
Then I was off to a meeting that would end up being the longest meeting of my life.  2.5 hours later, my body was screaming, feed me!  It was lunch time.  I like to eat as many veggies at lunch as I can to fill up, and I love that the cafe at our hospital has these amazing veggie salads every day that employees can purchase for .91 cents.  Lately, I’ve been bouncing between the broccoli bacon salad or the kale salad.  Today was broccoli bacon day!  I paired the salad with some leftovers:  pulled pork (this recipe + BBQ sauce) + sweet potato + cabbage / spinach salad.  So good.

  
I’m a snacker and today was no different.  I got hungry multiple times throughout the afternoon.  First were these “banana cookies.”  Recipe included only 4 ingredients too!  Banana, nut butter, chocolate chips, and oats.  Definitely more granola-y than cookie like, but it still tasted good.

  
Next was a giant container of blueberries and cherries.  Who else loves summer fruit?

  
Still feeling hungry around 4, I had about 10 whole wheat crackers to tide me over.  I probably should have spread peanut butter on them… regrets ūüôā

  
Then, a once and a blue moon treat for me, a coke zero.  I gave up soda cold turkey a few  years ago and rarely crave it now.  I usually only want a few sips and that’s what went down here.  I put the rest in the fridge and might drink more later in the week.

  
Dinner was late because I work late on Wednesdays.  I had to drop off something at my parent’s house so in good fashion, I raided their fridge.  Veggie, chicken and feta wrap + chips.

   
 And because it’s impossible to end the day without chocolate, chocolate.  This dark chocolate and orange bar I bought recently.  Chocolate paired with a guilty pleasure of mine, Pretty Little Liars.  Anyone else watch?

  
So that was my day.  Ever have a day where you can’t seem to stop eating?  I eat when I’m hungry and I was hungry far often than normal

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Hyde Park Blast Recap + Other Adventures

You guys!  Saturday was my 6th Hyde Park Blast.  This fun, 4 mile race has a special place in my heart.  Back in June 2011, I decided I needed to get back into running.  I had always used my knees as an excuse but no more.  I decided that day if I could run this 4 mile race with no hiccups, I would sign up for my first half marathon.  The rest is history.  That hot, humid day in 2011 is mostly a blur, but I remember feeling accomplished when I crossed the finish line.  While it was hands down one of my slowest races of all time, I felt like crossing 13.1 off the theoretical bucket list was a realistic thing!  For your viewing pleasure, here’s a photo of me and my mom at the event in 2013 (my third blast).


Another thing I love about this race is that it’s become a really cool way for me to see how far my level of fitness has come through slowly but surely getting faster every summer.  I have a hard time believing that I was ever this slow, but online race results doesn’t lie!

2011- 44:07
2012- 42:46
2013- 38:30
2014- 35:40
2015- 42:15 (the chip time didn’t work during this one, so I’m not sure what my exact time was!)
2016- 32:31 (PR!)

  
So I guess spoiler alert already, I PR’d this weekend.  Although the super fun part about that PR is that my goal was really just to finish.  As of today, training for the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis, IN has begun, and my goal for the blast was to finish.  My training plan had me scheduled to run 12 miles Saturday, which I wasn’t feeling, but knew I needed to get a few extra miles in, so I turned what could have been a 1 mile warm-up jog to the start line into a 3 mile adventure run from my apartment.

Love the smell of fresh donuts before 7am.


Free TVs anyone?


I felt like it would have been bad luck to run through the finish area prior to even running the race so I ran around it.

I found my running pals, Mary included and we were off to the start.  I’ve been a big proponent recently of running based off of feel, so I didn’t have any real goals for this race.  When the gun went off, I felt good so I started booking it.  Then, some of the hills started killing me.  I slowed back just a bit and caught up with Mary.  I used her pace as motivation to keep moving quick for the rest of the race.


Even though I run this race every year, and I live a mile a way from the start, I always forget just how brutal the hills feel when moving at a faster race pace.  Oof!  Here are  two photos of Mary and I trudging along.


 Take a look at that elevation map.  See what I mean!? 

 
Before we knew it, 4 miles were done.  PRs for me and Mary!  Awesome.  Our friend Katie placed in the top 50 women in a 3000 runner field and Todd beat his goal time.  Everyone crushed it.  Go team.


 The activity didn’t stop with the blast.  Next on the agenda was Yelp’s Kick Off to Summer event at 50 West Production Works for some free craft beer and a sand volleyball tournament.  My team placed second, and my friend Julie’s team won!


 The rest of the day was spent wandering around town, which led us back to Hyde Park to watch the Chariot Races and some of the cycling.  So fun!  My legs are definitely sore this morning.

Who else enjoyed the sunshine this weekend?

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Weekly Food + Fitness + Life in 9 Pictures

  1. Two Blue Apron Meals!  
    This Peruvian chicken recipe with green beans (+ extra spinach from my fridge for good measure.    
    An arepa party!
  2. Volunteering in the community–always wonderful when I can return to my old stomping ground, the Freestore Foodbank 
  3. Blood orange + key lime Yagoot topped with crunch topping (brown sugar + cashew + coconut).  So good, I have another yogurt date planned for tonight!  
  4. Satisfied a breakfast craving.  
  5. Feasted after run club at 50 West Production Works.  Nothing beats an out and back run on the bike trail followed by good food, great beer, and fun people.  Can’t wait to return for the Yelp Elite event tomorrow–I’ll definitely be trying out the sand volleyball ūüôā  
  6. A Blue Ash bootcamp.  This one killed my hamstrings.  
  7. The most random breakfast:  dark chocolate almonds + cherries + grapes + an egg  

Best thing you saw, did or ate this week?  Tell me!

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Why Having a Workout Buddy is Almost as Important as Working Out

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Posing pre-marathon with two of my favorite workout buddies!

As a registered dietitian and fitness enthusiast, I frequently find my peers and patients asking me how I stay motivated and inspired to fit in physical activity.¬† The truth is, it‚Äôs always a challenge because some days, you just don‚Äôt feel like it.¬† Just because I am well educated on the reasons I should be working out, doesn‚Äôt mean it‚Äôs easy to push myself to work out every day. ¬†Want to learn how I find accountability with my fitness routine? ¬†Head over to my blogger friend Jess’s blog, Dietitian Jess, where I’ve shared a guest post on this very topic.

Happy rainy Thursday everyone… it’s almost Friday!

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Yelp’s Cincy Made and Taste of the NFL

So last week was probably the week I ate everything. ¬†Seriously. ¬†All the events centered around food seemed to take place all at one time. ¬†I wanted to pop in and share some of the bites I tasted with you all. ¬†But first, let’s remember balance. ¬†Because last week I ate a lot of foods I don’t normally eat all the time. ¬†But this week isn’t centered around food-focused events and I’m balancing out last weeks indulgences with lots of fresh, lighter fare in exchange for the pastries, donuts, and fried treats.

Yelp’s Cincy Made¬†at Urbana Cafe


I was such a fan of this event. ¬†This was a new to me coffee shop downtown and boy am I glad this event helped me discover it. ¬†Yelp’s Cincy Made events are free to individuals with Yelp accounts and designed so you can get an inside look at all aspects of some really cool local businesses. ¬†The space itself was really inviting but modern, and the exposed brick on the wall really added to the ambiance.


The coffee was amazing. ¬†My espresso was bold and flavorful; not bitter but definitely strong. ¬†The food here is the star of the show though. ¬†It’s not just your average chocolate cookies and brownies at this coffee shop. ¬†Pastry Chef Stephanie is formally trained and prior to joining team Urbana, she worked as a pastry chef in fine dining establishments. ¬†This has led her to create some delicious and absolutely beautiful treats. ¬†Let’s talk toast bar–probably one of the most unique things I tried at Urbana was the toast. ¬†Stephanie comes up with different toast creations are they are as beautiful as they are tasty. ¬†A close second to the toast for me was Stephanie’s chocolate lemon scone. ¬†SO GOOD.

The Freestore Foodbank’s Taste of the NFL

 

Taste of the NFL is hands down my favorite volunteer event with the Freestore Foodbank (FSFB) every year. ¬†Since I used to work at the FSFB, I always get invited to help with this high profile event. ¬†The Cincinnati Bengals team up with local eateries for one giant fundraiser where attendees can get autographs from their favorite players and taste some of Cincinnati’s best dishes. ¬†This year, per usual, was incredible. ¬†Because I could spend days typing reviews of every single bite I tasted, I’ll share some highlights with you below.

Holtman’s¬†

Always a favorite of mine. ¬†I’ve been obsessing over the simplicity of just a solid sprinkled donut recently. ¬†Always hits the spot.

 Taste of Belgium
This fun play on chicken and waffles was the best thing I ate.  It was a deliciously dense waffle topped with pulled pork and mango chutney.

This short rib and bacon dish.  So good.
This bacon and pea dish wins the creativity award.  I have never tasted anything quite like it.
The Phoenix
I’ve never eaten anything catered by the Phoenix,¬†but was super impressed with their lobster corn dog. ¬†Nice and crisp outside and moist inside.

 Tom + Chee
You may know this local establishment from shark tank. ¬†I know them for the grilled cheese donut. ¬†It’s as heavenly as it sounds.

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5 Things Friday!

TGIF, Friends! ¬†This week has been incredibly busy between deadlines at work, and evening commitments after work. ¬†Some highlights for the week include Yelp’s Cincy Made at Urbana Cafe and volunteering (then indulging later) at my favorite Cincinnati fundraiser, Taste of the NFL. ¬†I’ll have full recaps on both those events coming at ya next week but I thought I’d share 5 food and fitness tidbits from my week so you can get a glimpse of how I’ve managed to find balance amidst the chaos!

  1.  I made it two times to P/E class at the Blue Ash Recreation Center.  Every time I go, I realize how much I miss having the time to attend all 5 early AM classes.  Per usual, Andrew designed some killer workouts, and my hamstrings definitely felt it yesterday when I tried to run.   
  2. Taste of the NFL! ¬†I love that I’m on the volunteer list for this event. ¬†Not only do I get to support a great cause, but I get to taste some of Cincy’s best eats. ¬†I think the last time I felt that full was Thanksgiving dinner. ¬†Standouts for me were obviously the dishes that included donuts, but more to come on that next week ūüôā¬†¬†¬†
  3. Yelp’s Cincy Made at Urbana Cafe was a winner in my book. ¬†I love supporting local business, especially those with coffee, so learning the history behind the business and getting to taste some of their menu offerings was a real treat.¬†
  4. After a week of indulging, I was in major need of something green. ¬†It’s rare that I crave kale–those who know me best know it’s not a favorite food of mine–but when I saw the kale salad in the cafe at work today, I knew it would hit the spot. ¬†Paired this salad up with some hummus and wheat crackers. ¬†Perfect satisfying, healthy lunch.¬†
  5. A patient told me yesterday, “God gave us taste buds for a reason.” ¬†Couldn’t agree more. ¬†Food is meant to be enjoyed and every now and then, we may have a week where we overindulge, but finding balance and getting back on track is the real key to staying on the healthy lifestyle wagon.

What are your taste buds planning to enjoy this weekend?  A new recipe?  A new restaurant?  A favorite food? 

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The New Nutrition Facts Label

Hi Friends! ¬†Happy Monday. ¬†I recently wrote an article that is soon to be featured in a professional newsletter, but I thought I should share some key highlights from the article with all of you. ¬†The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released it’s final rules¬†for it’s overhaul of the nutrition facts label and food manufacturers¬†with more than $10 million in annual food sales¬†are expected to transition to the new labeling format by July 26, 2018. ¬†So, what does this mean for you, the consumer? ¬†Detailed below are what I consider to be some of the most relevant and significant changes to the new food labels. ¬†Let’s take a look:

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  1. Updated Design
    While the classic look of the label will remain, many updates have been made to ensure consumers have access to the information they need for making informed dietary decisions:

    • Increasing font size for ‚Äúcalories,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúservings per container,‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúserving size.‚ÄĚ
    • Bolding¬†the “number of calories,” “servings per container,”¬†and ‚Äúserving size.‚ÄĚ
    • The¬†footnote section on the label will better explain what the percent daily value actually means to you, the consumer
  2. Up-To-Date Nutrition Science
    The new label will feature the addition of “added sugars,” in grams and percent daily. ¬†It’s no secret that added sugars are detrimental to our health. ¬†Scientific data has demonstrated a positive association with weight gain and obesity in children and adults. ¬†In addition, added sugars have been linked to a variety of other health conditions including heart disease. ¬†Research has also demonstrated that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if more than 10% of total daily calories consumed come from added sugars.

    Another scientifically relevant update comes with the removal of “calories from fat.” ¬†Current research demonstrates that the type of fat consumed is more significant than the amount consumed.

  3. Serving Size Makeover
    Serving sizes must now reflect amounts of food and beverage that people¬†actually consume, not what they should be consuming. ¬†Over the years, how much individuals eat and drink has drastically changed since the previous portion size requirements were published back in 1993. ¬†Here’s an example of what I mean: ¬†The reference amount for a scoop of ice cream was previously 1/2 cup of ice cream per serving. ¬†The new nutrition label will reference a 2/3 cup serving of ice cream. ¬†While I find it a major bummer that the new label will not reflect the modest portion sizes we¬†should be¬†eating, I think it’s important for consumers to have easy access to accurate information about their food, and this change in serving sizes will allow consumers to make realistic and informed decisions.
  4. New Labeling Requirements For Certain Package Sizes
    Package sizes that are between one and two servings (like a 20 ounce soda bottle) will now be labeled as one serving. ¬†This is to reflect the idea that most consumers are not just drinking half of a 20 ounce soda bottle, they are most likely drinking the entire thing. ¬†For products that are larger than a single serving but could be consumed in one sitting, manufacturers will be required to provide “dual column” labels to identify the amount of calories and nutrients on a “per serving” and “per package” basis. ¬†An example of this new requirement would apply to a pint of ice cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday Thoughts #4

Happy Thursday guys!  The week is almost over and I feel like I’ve been going non-stop since last Friday.  Thank goodness I’m working a half-day tomorrow.  I could use the rest and relaxation!  Between work and other obligations this week, it’s been a busy one.  For this week’s Thursday Thoughts, here’s what is on my mind.

Got a unique taco dinner at Frida 602 Saturday.  Think brussels sprouts taco with a peanut salsa.  It was tasty but can someone please explain to me when it became socially acceptable to charge $5 for a single taco WITHOUT MEAT?!  I’d go back if it was for drinks and a snack, but I’d have to eat way too many tacos for it to feel like a meal.  PS local readers, their margs were killer.

   
 Hill workouts have been the theme of my running this week.  I did one Saturday and Tuesday.  Pretty proud of Saturday’s though because not only did I run some steep hills, but I also made it a negative split run.  What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?

  
Donut obsession still going strong.  Last week was National Donut Day.  I enjoyed a sweet treat (or two) and got my donation in to the Salvation Army.  Did you?

  
Attempted to make Anne’s grain free pancake this week.  It’s always a major fail.  I can never get it to cook properly.  Who has advice?!  Either way, it still hit the spot and made for an incredibly filling breakfast.

  
Who is aware of the new nutrition facts panel?  It’s pretty hot news in the world of nutrition.  I’m thinking I’ll share the inside scoop–what you need to know in an upcoming blog post.  I’m glad the label is getting a makeover.  It’s about time that the label pair better with current scientific information.

  
I’ll leave you with a picture of the dogs.  I babysat them all last weekend.  Aren’t they cute?

   
 It’s going to be 95 degrees this weekend in Cincinnati.  Hoping to still squeeze in a run!  How are you planning on staying cool?  

 

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Memorial Day Things

Hi Friends.  Gosh.  I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday.  I have a proposal:  all weekends should be long ones.  It gives you time to do fun things and relax all while making the week fly by.  I feel like zero people would argue with a 4 day workweek.  Let’s make it a thing!  This is going to be one of those posts where I over share details of my long weekend with you.  Are you ready?

My weekend was filled with all the outside activities, starting out Saturday morning with the Clippard YMCA 5K sponsored by my running club.  Because I’m in summer training with Queen City running, my entry for this race was covered.  Since free is my favorite price, I was pretty stoked.  Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous prior to this race.  It’s been what feels like decades since I’ve actually raced a 5K.  I didn’t even know what my PR was.  Anyways, my friend Katie and I showed up bright and early to pick up our packets.  Almost too early.  We didn’t realize how small and casual this race was.  It was a very small field of runners, maybe 200 people tops, so there was no reason to arrive an hour before the race.  Regardless, we took advantage of that extra time to squeeze in a mile warm up jog and some stretching.  Since this race was so casual, they just had everyone line up together at the start in the parking lot, and had all the sub-9 minute milers line up in the front.  Hey!  That’s me!

  
And off we went!  The course was flat for the first mile and then the second 2 miles were very hilly.  This course was very small and very casual like I said, and they forgot to mark one of the turns, so some of the super fast runners missed one of the turns… oops!  Since I had a turn-doc, I didn’t miss the turn, but I could see how easy it would have been to follow the crowds.  Throughout the whole race, I was neck and neck with the second place female.  It was a fun feeling running a smaller race, knowing the entire time it was very likely I would place!  There was no chip timing for this race, it was all done by the gun, the old fashioned way.  I crossed the finish line about 9 seconds after the second place female in 24:09 (7:54 pace).  I’ve never placed outside of my age group category in a race before, so snagging the 3rd place overall female award was pretty exciting, even if my time wouldn’t have held it’s own at a larger 5K.  And shout out to Katie!  She placed first!  Our prizes you ask?  YMCA memberships.  Cool!

 

 
After there race, I rushed home to change as some of my college friends were coming to town for a visit.  First on the agenda?  Checking out the brand new rooftop patio at Rheingeist.  The space is super welcoming and perfect for hanging out.  I’ll be back all summer long.  

Next stop?  Taste of Cincinnati.  This event happens every Memorial Day Weekend in the Queen City and I rarely attend.  Why?  It’s always super hot, sticky and crowded.  But visitors in town meant I had to show them some of Cincy’s best!  After sampling a few small bites (a taco from Red Sesame – DELISH, and Bella Luna’s bread pudding)  it was back to Over the Rhine!

  
 My friend Sarah is just as Holtman’s obssesed as I am, and she had to get her fix while in town.  I will never argue with a donut run followed by window shopping so of course I was down.

 
After a long nap back at my place, a late dinner was in order.  After spending the day in the heat, a light meal sounded tasty so I suggested E + O.  They are normally packed, however we snagged a seat on the patio lounge right away.  Awesome.  I ate here last month for a friend’s birthday and while the service disappointed then, the food did not.  Tonight the food was just as spectacular.  We tried a few things and shared.  The brussels sprout salad is my favorite, but the edamame guac and the sushi rolls were delish as well.  Plus, my margarita was super refreshing.  It had egg white in it which added a thicker mouthfeel to it.  I’m not sure if I loved it or not, but it definitely hit the spot.

   
   
After such a jam packed Saturday, I wanted Sunday to be slow.  Coffee emporium + Farmers Market were on the agenda.  Then lot’s of time spent hanging out on the couch.  Then, my visitors had to head home.  So sad.  Come back soon, Sarah and Molly!

  
Monday was the laziest of days.  After meeting up with Katie in the morning for a hot, sticky, humid, 6 mile run, I showered and headed over to Katie’s pool.  I think laying out poolside for half the day backfired because I got terribly sun burnt.  Oops!  After the pool, I headed over to my parents house to grill out.  On the menu?  An ice cold beer served with BBQ chicken, corn, zucchini and some good ‘ole blue oven bread.  Hit’s the spot every time.

    

What did you do this Memorial Day weekend?  What was the best thing you ate?

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