Life of Late ~ 2.5.16

FriYAY!  Welcome to this corner of the world where I work and workout.  I have one more week and then it’s a wonderful three day weekend (thank you United States presidents) and I’ll be off to Charlotte!  But now, let’s start the day with some random links and a hodge-podge of pictures.

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^^ Let’s all ooooo and aaaaaahhh over a non-filtered view of the Central Park reservoir.  I took it along my commute from speed intervals to work through the park.  Boy, I could never grow tired of this view – always putting a smile on my face, especially with all the ducks floating around.

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^^ This week has been filled with desserts upon desserts upon desserts.  Ok, it really stems from the fact that I’ve been out on two client outings and one restaurant week dinner with Lindsay and each one included dessert.  How could I pass up on something so special?  To be honest, the cookie above was somewhat a disappointment – too crispy and grainy and crumbled too easily.  It should have been a biscoff or cookie butter cookie for sure.

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^^ Dessert at Scarpetta was a MUCH better decision.  Most of the table went to town on the booze, but I decided to hold out for the last course and between the cheesecakes and valrhona chocolate cake, I was in seventh heaven.

 

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^^ Because I run (workout) to eat.  And have fun.  And fulfill my social life.  Would you believe that the picture above and picture below were less than a week a part?  IT WAS 50F IN FEBRUARY!!!  I actually told myself that this winter would ultimately decide my fate and it’s not looking half bad.  Thank you global warming.

IMG_5101^^ How’s this for a meme?  See I can make fun of myself (though I actually made the meme…)  See, we are lucky to have pictures from NP workouts and I was secretly glad this was caught this on camera.  Shall I make it a dating profile?  Oh and in terms of running, I don’t want to jinx myself but the last few runs have actually felt really good. I’m not sure what the reason may be – maybe integrating bread back into the diet. ;)

Vimeo ~ “Telluride Avalanche Dogs” ~ You will finish this movie in tears and want a dog immediately.  I would love a golden doodle.

Refinery 29 ~ “How I Tripled My Savings in 3 Months

Goop ~ “The Lean Closet” ~ Please please please let me help! I love organizing and sorting!

Food and Wine ~ “12 Secrets of New York Central Park” ~ Oh one of my favorite places in the city.

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^^ Tooooootally digging my new Lululemon running crew.  We have been meeting on Saturday mornings at 9am out in Brooklyn and so it has been perfect running around 4-5 miles over the Manhattan Bridge and then 4 more around Brooklyn with these folks.  I’ve even made a few more friends and learned of a few more good book titles to read!

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^^ Though I don’t always have a need for syrup, I love strolling through our farmer’s markets to see the goods and how cute the packaging is.  Got to love that small town feel in the big city.

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^^ NP Love.  Last week’s bridge day was tough but these gals made it worth it.  There are definitely those days where I’ve considered just sleeping in (yes my body actually might be asking for that) buuuuut I never regret going to NP.

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That about wraps up another week of working out (oh and work) and epic views.  As for this weekend, I plan to see the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, go on a long run, test out a new breakfast spot (between the Egg Shop and Two Hands), dine out at Lilia in Williamsburg (SO EXCITED), and finish it off with some sort of viewing of the Super Bowl.

What are you up to this weekend?  Are you rooting for the Panthers or Broncos?

 

 

A Mini Trip to Greece

Oh the days that I dream of jumping on a plane and exploring the world.  However since I don’t really have the funds or roadmap to do so, I’ll stick to the exotic flavors found here in New York City.  Last week just so happened to be my college friend Michelle’s birthday and her restaurant of choice was Taverna Kyclades in the East Village.  Taverna Kyclades is a little Greek haven right off the L train (14th street and 1st avenue) with an original location out in Astoria.

The name Kyclades stems from the group of islands in Greece, islands known for its beautiful beaches, gorgeous sunrises, and apparently delectable food and since Astoria is known for its Greek population, it would be an obvious choice for the first location.  But back to the location in the East Village.  I must have walked past that bright blue awning more than 50 times, each time reminding myself to check out the  menu.  Well, finally Friday was my chance!

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Taverna Kyclades
228 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10009
~ History ~ Menu

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Here we are with the birthday girl getting the rundown of menu specials and making the tough decisions of what to order.  The way to go is by ordering a few large dishes for the table and eat family style rather than individual platters.  After all, you can sample so much more this way :)

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^^ Traditional Greek Salad with one big HUNK of feta.  There was another gooey cheesy dish >> saganaki << dough filled with graviera cheese, but it was inhaled before I could obnoxiously take a picture.

Side note – I decided Friday would be the last night of whole30 so that I could enjoy the family style festivities.  I’ll draft up some of my thoughts on the experiment but do have to say, going out and being social was quite tough with all the food “rules” and I didn’t want to miss out.  Friday meant wine and cheese to the face and eating at such a lovely restaurant was well worth the splurge.

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^^ Greek style shrimp covered in some sort of tomato sauce.  I’m not much of a shrimp person but soaking up the remaining pieces of sourdough bread with this sauce was an excellent life choice.

IMG_4978 ^^ Our main event – baby shark.  Yes folks, we made that happen.  But I swear, it tasted like a mix between white fish and tender chicken.   Michelle had actually been wavering between the baby shark and one of the market specials, but when our waiter dropped the $75 a serving price tag, we made the decision to stick with mr. shark.

IMG_4980^^ We had asked to have a candle in the shark but when that wasn’t possible, we settled for candles in the custard. ;) Happiest of birthdays Michelle! So glad we could help you celebrate and explore a little more of the city.

Running + Brunching in Harlem

Running + eating are hands down my favorite weekend activities, at least for right now.  I mean, there are tons of articles that promote working out with friends and to celebrate with a nice leisurely brunch, (while still in workout clothes nonetheless) it’s utterly perfect.  This Sunday I met up with a couple of friends to run from Union Square to the tip-top of Central Park.  We made our way through the practically empty 5th Avenue (best way to see the sights in my opinion – nice and early) and along the winding roads of the park.

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Once at Harlem Hill we met up with six or so other November Project buddies and forged on to run 3-4 hill repeats.  The last few weeks we have been meeting at Cat Hill (near The Boathouse) and brunching at Le Pain Quotidien but to be honest, this hill was much more enjoyable.  I guess you could say enjoyable is a relative term since we had just run 6.5 miles up to the park and still voluntarily ran up a hill.  Multiple times.  While Harlem Hill is certainly steeper (at least it feels like it at times), we managed the same mileage for a fewer number of reps.  Aka less painful in my opinion.

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^^ One of many squads #runforbrunch

From there, we headed up to a Starbucks around 117th street and waited for the rest of our brunch buddies to arrive.  New York restaurants have this annoying requirement that everyone in the party must be present in order to be seated.  Ah well, I guess for them it means efficient ordering but can also be quite annoying.  First world problems.

Lido
2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026
~ Brunch Menu ~

Most people in the party opted for an unlimited mimosa to pair with their meal but I went for the hot fruity green tea.  We also decided to order a few plates of the oh so garlicky sourdough bread, a decision I do not regret.  Think about creamy garlic bread on steroids and that about sums it up.

IMG_5024 ^^ One of the clutch orders — white Polenta, Truffle Oil, Mushroom Ragu, Parmigiano Reggiano, Poached Eggs

IMG_5025^^ As you can see Jackie was so excited to eat and be photographed.  Jackie also likes to make fun of me and my eating habits.  Like when I asked for the hazlenut butter at Le Pain and then proceeded to scoop it out and eat it with my spoon.  (Don’t worry mom, I didn’t eat it straight out of the jar.  I have some control.  Some).  Jackie then took it away and this is why I keep her around.  ;)

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^^ My order of Braised Short Rib Hash, Poached Eggs, English Muffin, Hollandaise.  I attempted to substitute the English Muffin for spinach but apparently that was a no-no.  At least the running poached egg was on point and thank goodness whole 30 was over.

12628537_10101642596490366_2544804129979401331_o That’s a wrap for this week folks.  A few tasty restaurants in the works for this upcoming week and weekend!  As I like to say, #runtoeat ;)

Life of Late ~ 1.29.16

Happy last Friday of the month!  Very original start, I know but here we are one month into 2016 and how’s it looking for you?  Those resolutions still on track? ;) Well, thankfully with February 1st on Monday, there’s a chance to reboot and refocus (I’d like to spend less time on my phone and be more present!).  Here are some of my favorites so far.

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(photo creds to Matt Powers – November Project)

Also, with Groundhog Day on Tuesday, you can really hone in  whether you have an addition 6 weeks to work on that summer bikini body.  Just kidding.  Sort of.

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^^ Best.Saturday.Schedule.  Running (or working out in some form) and then popping by a Juicepress (or two), and brunch with friends.  Now I’m normally not a beet fan, but this juice has me hooked.  I think it has to do with the ginger and lemon combo, something to make it so scrumptious. (now how often do you hear that about a juice?)

The North Face ~ “North Face Ultrarunner Stephanie Howe Talks Acceptance and Healing Post Injury” ~ Reassuring to know that we all go through these times.

Well Blogs : The New York Times ~ “A Personalized Diet is Better to Suit You” ~

Well + Good ~ “Why BFF Time Can Make Your a Whole Lot Happier” ~ Good sweats, good eats, good company and I’m SOLD!

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^^ Exploring one of the best vietnamese joints – Lucy’s – in Brooklyn with Marnie and Lindsay :)  You really do only have two or three choices between the banh mi and pho but oh the love they put into those dishes.  I went with the brisket pho, sub out noodles and add extra bok choy.  Mmmmm delish and oh so filling when it was starting to get chilly outside.

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Look where I’ll be in 5 years!  Sure, these quizzes are just about as spot on as the horoscopes in the free AMNY subway newspaper but hey, it makes sense.

Zanita ~ “Reminders When You Are Having a Bad Day” ~ Some are cliche, but go with it.  So true.

Refinery 29 ~ “I Quit Drinking Coffee for a Month and Here’s What Happened” ~ Sold.

Well + Good ~ “This is what happens when you eat 40 teaspoons of sugar a day” ~ Yikes. That’s all folks.

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MY NEW FAVORITE RESTAURANT.  A couple of friends and I were on our way to the Justin Bieber dance class when we happened to pass Tacombi in Flatiron.  We only had a hot second to eat dinner before dancing the night away and this couldn’t have been more perfect.  Tacos + guacamole + horchata oh my.

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^^ Serious flavor packed into that meat and the atmosphere was casual and so inviting.  I asked for the meat with no tortillas (not much of a fan of corn tortillas and this whole “whole30” thing going on…ok horchata was a cheat treat) and the waitress replied “I’ll see what I can do but the kitchen runs us, not the other way around”.  I just laughed because that’s a great answer.  The kitchen was kind and did serve sans tortillas though :)

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^^ Appreciating the view as I sprinted down the East River Path and trying my best to keep up with my friend Marnie.  She is training for the Boston Marathon and I offered to join the last 7 miles (at 8min) pace of her run.  Well, things don’t always turn out as planned and we ended up doing 8 miles at 7:40 pace.  I was cursing to myself most of the way down as it was 20F (feels like 11) and I was dressed like a marshmallow.  But, if I can run like that and dressed like a marshmallow, should be good for the next half in Phoenix, right?

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^^ Eating the rainbow at the local Sweetgreen.  Whenever I bring my meals to work, I’m able to keep up with the whole30 program but eating out can be somewhat of a pain, especially when all you want is avocado toast.  Thankfully Sweetgreen has oodles of options (often on the pricier side) and some of the freshest ingredients!

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^^ This is why I feel the need to get off my phone more.  I got on the subway and saw every.single.person on his or her phone.  No, people don’t normally chat on the subway but this is just a condensed example of how every other aspect of life seems to be.  GET OFF YOUR PHONES PEOPLE (yes, I was on my phone to take this…besides the point)

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^^ Just me and my desire to make the perfect snow angel before hibernating during Blizzard Jonas.  Good times.

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Peace out friends.

“Do What You Love & Love What You Do”

The Blizzard Named Jonas

Last Saturday we had a nice little visit from the one and only Blizzard Jonas.  I have had my fair share of storms out in Mammoth Lakes/Mammoth Mountain, California and one or two snow storms here in the city.  But never have I been caught in such a blizzard!

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So let’s rewind a few days and start on Friday.  Lucky for me, the November Project workout was located a mere 10 minute jog to Union Square.  There we spent about 20+ minutes running around the park, doing burpees, step-ups, and dips.  Work was work and most of the folks were chatting about the impending storm.  Everyone was throwing around bets if it would actually turn out to be a bad storm.  Last year’s so-called blizzard ended up being a bust, so no one was really sure what to think.  Well, we were all in for a surprise.  The predicted 12-18 inches turned into 24-30 and this blizzard missed being ranked #1 by a mere 1/10 of an inch!

IMG_8317 IMG_8318 ^^ Saturday morning I woke up and was about ready to leave for the gym (running in a storm? no thank you, I’m not that crazy) when I turned on the news and saw the reports of MTA possibly being shut down and the vast amount of snow that had accumulated.  Between the news and the fact that the wind was whipping outside our windows made me re-think my plans and I settled into watching the news and eating breakfast.  (oh and a nice little encouragement from a friend to be logical and stay inside)  It would have been fine if I made it to the gym but the prospect of walking back if the subway really did shut did not sound enticing.

IMG_8319 IMG_8320 IMG_8328 IMG_4859^^ After about four hours of being cooped up and two movies later, we decided to take a walk.  The wind had somewhat settled and we were feeling the effects of being cooped up.  Goodness I truly feel for the people who have storms like this all.winter.long.  Well, by 2:30 all cars were required to be off the road and all the stores were closed.

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The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent watching more movies and television shows (thank you Netflix), a mini workout, and an early bed.  Some of my friends were out at the bars buuuuut I didn’t have any desire to venture out into the wind.

IMG_4871 ^^ Sunday morning was absolutely gorgeous!  The sun was out, the snow was somewhat crisp, and Central Park was FILLED with people.  I swear I have never seen so many children and families in one place – most of which were all sledding down random hills throughout the park.  I ran a loop with one of my friends (faster than I had anticipated, which was a pleasant surprise, especially with the snow), and then met up for a few Cat Hill repeats with the rest of the girls above.

IMG_4876 ^^ The morning (or rather afternoon by the time we sat down) wouldn’t have been complete without a nice little brunch.  I took a mini oops or hiatus from whole 30 because I was craving avocado toast so darn much.  Sure, there was chia pudding, but after eating it all week, I wasn’t really in the mood.  I have noticed some positive effects but it’s sure tough to implement outside of your own kitchen!  More on that to come, but here’s to Blizzard Jonas – sorry you didn’t make it to #1 but it was a storm for the records, that’s for sure.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”  John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

That Juicepress Life

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have caught onto my weekly Saturday routine.  It starts with a run (or workout depending on weather) and a picture posted with some fun hashtags (though all my hashtags are fun) including #willrunforjuice, #jprunclub, and #juicepress.  Then I usually find my way to one of the various Juicepress locations around the city to pick up my free juice.

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^^ Rain or shine, I’ve got Juicepress on my mind ;)

People, these things usually cost $10+ dollars and for simply promoting the product through social media, I get to pick one out for FREE!  They’ve gotten stricter over time and now require you to post the picture at least 30 minutes prior to entering the store, but for someone who is up and at ’em early anyways, it’s no problem.  Also, if you think about it, the fact that we have to promote the picture and hashtag is practically organic advertising.

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^^ I don’t always consume beets, but when I do, it’s mixed with a lot of other things…especially ginger and lemon

IMG_0367^^ Their smoothies aren’t half bad either.  This may have been the Green Light – filled with banana, kale, coconut water, etc.  What I HIGHLY recommend is the Cold Brew Smoothie + Almond Butter.  Noms to the max.

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^^ Also a huge fan of their pre-packaged smoothies, most of which make for a perfect recovery meal – look for the ones with the least amount of sugar and added bonus of nut butter!   If you get into the habit of going every week, it’s easy enough to test a different juice out every time and work your way through the store without breaking the bank.  Of course, there are days where I do feel obligated to give back and I purchase a juice or two extra to sip throughout the week.

So, this Juicepress habit of mine.  When a friend sent me an email about a seminar filled with lots of health and wellness talk PLUS a goodie bag, I was all in.  Not to mention it was at the Juicepress close to my apartment, so there was practically no excuse.

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We arrived to a room filled with chairs and goody bags such as the one above.  We ultimately had way too many people in too small of a room, but that’s just typical New York for ya.  So step one, rifle through the bag to see what swag was included.

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^^ Yes.  We are totally off to an excellent start.

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^^ Next up, how many juices can we fit in our pockets and purses before the Juicepress folks notice?  #sorrynotsorry

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^^ A little bit of hummus and avocado toast (unfortunately not whole30 approved but oh so pretty looking).  I also missed out on that water game but hear the rose water was fabulous.  You know, paying for all those health benefits.

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^^ DESSERT PLATTER made up of raw chocolate and various nutty ball creations.  Ok, not exactly whole30 approved but I did slip and test out one of the sesame balls.  I chocked it up to a nut butter protein snack.

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^^ A full look at all the goodies.  Juicepress is all about the healthy lifestyle so that includes plenty of workout coupons including pilates, yoga, a fhitting room discount and SOULCYCLE.  Winning.

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^^ Oh and I’m that blonde girl in the middle! #famous ;)

So now onto the actual reason that people came.  We spent the next hour or so listening to a solid panel about juicing and health and wellness.  Listening to Marcus – the founder – was actually quite interesting and shared a little bit about his “food journey”.  The message that really resonated with me was that his goal was to find purpose in his work, find a way to help people and to do that through food.  Everyone has a food story – whether it’s good, bad, recovering, or therapeutic.

It’s not what you take in, but what you leave out” (quoted about juice and lifestyle choices, but could really be applied to everything in life).  You are more likely to operate better with good fuel in your body than crap.  Also, focus less on what you don’t have control over and more on what you do have control over.

We heard from Dr. Berzin, founder of Parsley Health, and she spoke a lot about functional medicine.  She emphasized the idea that food is at the center of everything – what you put in your body affects how you age, how you function on a daily basis, how you heal, and ultimately how you live.

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Everyone even touched upon the question of juice cleanses and their responses were great – you aren’t supposed to go on a juice cleanse to lose weight because let’s be honest, anyone can lose weight if you stop eating.  BUT, it’s all about clearing your system of JUNK and if juicing helps you do that, then test it out.  Every person is different and each body will react differently to food trends and diets and programs.  The key is to listen to your body and YOU DO YOU.

What’s your take on juices?  Any favorites?