Life of Late ~ 3.27.15

We made it.  The last day of the work week and the last Friday of the month.  Folks, friends, people – this is the end of March already.  Time is pretty much flying by. So to celebrate this, let’s end on a hodgepodge of what has been going on in my corner of the big apple.

IMG_8933 >> because spring does not mean it should still be snowing, right? … … … I thought so <<

IMG_8934>> my mom and I made the trip to central park twice last weekend and each time (morning), we ended at the uptown Joe Coffee with a cold brew coffee and cinnamon scone for me and cappuccino and rosemary scone for her.  simply divine <<

IMG_8766 >> joyful almond smoothie from juice generation is quite nice, especially when it is free.  I was planning to use the rest of my gift card, but when the machine stopped working, they ended up giving it to me for free.  Don’t mind if I do. <<

IMG_8923 >> swish. let the march madness begin.  does anyone have a baller bracket that is still in the running?  one can NEVER predict the upsets…never <<

We sometimes like to joke about this whole November Project World Takeover.  Or do we?  Just this week, the awesome NYTimes journalist Courtney Rubin wrote an article about our tribe and the movement that Brogan and Bojan started back in 2011.  You may recognize a name or two 😉  Courtney came to one of our workouts a month or so ago, participated in the shenanigans and then interviewed a few of us on why NP is so special.

Then, what do you know and Racked picked up the NY Times article, pinning November Project as an “anti-Soul Cycle”, which really means against paying $35 a workout.

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>> double trouble crew from a couple weeks back.  because working out at 5:30 and 6:30 is just sooooo much fun (sometimes…when the weather is nice…which means it’s not -10 or snowing) #runtoeat <<

Speaking of eating, remember how I talked about my obsession addiction love for peanut butter?  Well, I told myself that I would not out right purchase a jar of nut butter.  Lucky for me the cafeteria provides an excellent spread of crunchy and creamy Skippy.   But, seeing as I am no longer a teenager and have to really think about what goes into my body, I better start taking better care of it.  (*Not that I ever had one of those supermodel metabolisms anyways…stupid genes. Just kidding mom and dad 🙂 I still love you)

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I connected with a company called us.myprotein.com, which is the biggest online sports supplements store in Europe and rapidly growing in USA.  They also operate myvitamins.com – online store offering Protein Powders, Instant Oats, and other healthy foods health and wellness.  To be honest, I’m not much of a protein powder person and I’d much rather prefer to consume products, which contain ingredients that I can understand.

I’m sure we have all heard over and over how important omega 3’s are to one’s heath and what about those monounsaturated fats?  (insert thumbs up emoji and thank you to my friend Rebecca 🙂 ).  But really, I have to give two thumbs up to these products because the peanut butter is made of JUST peanuts, none of that added sugar business that I was eating from our 10th floor cafeteria.  I only started taking the Omega 369 a couple days ago, so stay tuned.

IMG_8913 >> have I told you how much I love Joe + cold brew lattes?  Cold brew coffee, strong coffee, just coffee.  I’ll take it 🙂 <<

~ “10 YouTube Channels That Will Actually Make You Smarter” ~

There are days when I feel I am digressing in my education.  Not that I really want to go back to school, but I don’t feel that staring at a computer for 8+ hours a day helps with my mental capabilities.   I’m 100% sure my attention span has digressed but what’s new.

An article about elite athletes brings up some good points about running.  One of my favorite quotes – “For us, running competitively is not about winning the race, but testing our mettle, seeing what we’re made of. It’s a negotiation–and sometimes a battle–with our own egos.”  David’s (the author) takeaway:

4 Keys to An Elite Attitude

1 – Don’t treat training runs or race times as indications of your self-worth
2 – Value every runner’s efforts, success and potential
3 – Don’t beat yourself up in training or in evaluating your workouts and racing
4 – Recognize that your running ability is a result of many factors, not just how serious you are or how hard you push

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>> that time we skipped the line to access the rooftop bar and and celebrate these girls’ march birthdays <<

hope you have a fabulous weekend 

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A Delicious Deliverable Discovery

Dinner, dinner, dinner.  It’s always quite a dilemma of what to make, mostly because I rarely keep the fridge stocked with ingredients and end up making mixed veggies and some sort of chicken or fish.  Sure, that’s healthy but can get a bit boring at times.  This is a total cop-out since there are thousands upon thousands of recipes out there.  My friend Alex has even started her own blog called Burke’s Bites and has been documenting some wonderful recipes that I must try out.

But, I know myself and I know that even when I leave work right on time, it’s not entirely plausible to work out, whip up a gourmet meal, relax, and go to bed by 10pm.  Even after shuffling my schedule so that I work out in the mornings, my energy level and creativity usually has diminished by the time I walk in the door.

It’s also safe to say a large percentage of New York City residents rely on Seamless.  Knowing the take-out options – one is bound to get in the habit of ordering burgers and fries and pizzas (oh my).  Yes, w all have days to chill out with Ben & Jerry, but I live by the idea of “eat good feel good” and definitely feel the effects of eating too much on the not-so-healthy side.  So, in a city filled with free fitness, Soul Cycle, and green juice enthusiasts, there should be a better or healthier option, right?

what is munchery~ home ~ menu ~ gifts ~

Based in San Francisco and New York, this relatively new food service plans to make eating better easier, which seems to be a national trend.  The food is made by top of the line chefs and delivered to you by some of the best drivers.  Talk about quality service!

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Have a food allergy or particular eating or dietary habit?  Have no fear, they have a variety of filters to add to your order so you can select the perfect meal.

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Talk about the plethora of options.  Some of these meals I could only dream of making on my own.  Part of this reason is that I’m not a huge fan of leftovers and most delectable recipes make recipes in bulk (note 4 to 6 to 8 people).  Unless I’m cooking for the apartment or for friends, I end up being a short order cook and sticking to the basics.

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~ GIVE FOOD FEEL GOOD ~

Gift cards to Target or Starbucks are so old school (but still appreciated).  Here’s yet another way that you can 1) show someone you love them 2) send a thank you 3) just be nice

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Not only can you give the gift of food to friends and family, but it’s also a charitable company as well!  I bet it you’ll feel 2x as good knowing that you’ve eaten a tasty and healthy meal AND helped give back.

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So now that you know about this booming business, maybe, just maybe Munchery can be the new solution to your dining dilemmas.

Just to note, this post was not sponsored or requested by any Munchery employee or advocate.  It’s purely my own discovery and desire to share the wealth 🙂

What’s your go-to weeknight meal?

Take Back Lunch and “Dig Inn”

Lunchtime has become a forgotten time.  Not too long ago it was the best part of the day.  Heck, I even used it as an answer for my Tournament of Roses Parade Court interview.  If I really wanted the position, I should have used some answer like “my peer counseling class”.  But, I guess I didn’t think that through and honestly, the best part of my days were lunch because I could hang out with my friends. Needless to say they did not ask me back.

All through elementary school, junior high, and high school were had at least 30 mandatory minutes where we were supposed to eat, catch, up and play without the stress of homework or studies.  Often times people (cough cough this teacher’s pet.  That’s right, I admit it) would use the break to cram for a test or finish up homework, but most of the time, it was a welcome escape from the stress of school.

Through experience, I’ve realized the lunch hour has disappeared from the workforce. People no longer socialize but rather grab takeout or a quick salad and hustle back up to their desks where they stare at computer screens.  Sure, I’ve been guilty of this, especially during March Madness when I felt overwhelmed by reporting and clients demanding this and that.

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What I came to realize is that I was actually less productive because I had skipped out on time away from the computer screen, skipped out on much needed social interaction, and skipped out on the ability to breath and take a break.  We can’t always be moving like the energizer bunny (although I try really hard to).  I also end up wondering what I ate for lunch since sitting in front of my computer distracts me from the food itself.

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So in a moment of spontaneity I left the confines of the office and ventured into the humid air of New York. Even if I didn’t get the chance to sit down and eat outside, a brisk walk would do the body and mind good and I was on a hunt for some quality chow.

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Enter Dig Inn, a higher end healthy salad bar that reminded me of something I would find in Santa Monica, California.

~ Their Mission ~

We believe everyone deserves to eat well, even on a budget. So we’re democratizing the farm-to-table movement by offering ridiculously good food at a reasonable price.

That means sourcing local, seasonal ingredients – not just because they are ‘local’ – but because fresh, healthy ingredients taste best. That means you’ll find grills, flames, and all the other good stuff people use to cook real food behind our counters. If there’s a steak on your salad, we’re grilling it ourselves, on the spot.

We’re here to change the way people eat, and things are off to a great start.

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 “Apple Green” – Apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, romaine, parsley

Here we are with a lovely green beverage.  Honestly I was a little taken aback at the price, but then put it in perspective as this is NYC.  Also, with that much produce, $8.50 made more sense.

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I guess you could say it’s a fresh take on the Subway station.  As you enter the store, you are presented with a large blackboard menu listing the day’s options.  Since it is a hotspot during the workweek, I suggest selecting your meal quickly.  Maybe bring a friend and as they stand in line, you can survey your options.

IMG_4945_FotorI ended up selecting a salmon salad over spinach, kale + apple salad, and smashed sweet potatoes.  All for about $7.35, leaving me full, focused, and ready for the rest of the day.

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 The only downside to venturing into the streets of New York is that I’m usually on my own.  It’s tough to gather up my coworkers when all of our schedules differ.  But for now, I’ll balance our cafeteria lunches with my quick jaunts outside the confines of work to stretch my legs and expand my horizon in the big city.

Dig Inn
Locations ~ Food ~ Juice 

Everyone Loves a Farmer’s Market

Garden fresh produce, gourmet granola, and delicious poultry, fish, and meat right in your backyard. I remember the first time a farmer’s market was established in our little town back in California.  It must have been around the time I started high school and unless we were out of town, I made sure to visit each and every Saturday.  I even made friends with the berry man and he would help me practice my Spanish, even if it was only for 10 minutes every week.

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Turns out there are more than enough markets to choose from in and around the island of Manhattan.  I like to treat myself once in awhile to a trip to Union Square spot, a hub for all the funny characters from the city.  You have your yogis, fresh produce snobs, and oh so many college students (after all, it’s near NYU).

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I tend to arrive with $20-$40 in hopes of not spending any more than that. Otherwise I would end up with oodles of produce that I couldn’t consume and end up broke.  I also like to balance out my shopping between the local grocery store, Trader Joe’s (if I can find the time and patience), and the weekly market.

IMG_5061I love the seasonal products such as apple cider and pumpkin doughnuts, fresh figs, and summer berry scones. 

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More often than not, I take a trip to the market just to people watch.  To be honest I have trouble picking from the stalls, unsure which apple looks more delicious or which head of lettuce is more reasonable in price.  One has to accept the fact that some vendors will be more expensive due to the local of their products and the methods in which it was grown.  The whole food debate of cost vs. health and how both can be obtained in a reasonable manner.

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There was one time where I finally decided to purchase a bag of mixed greens, only to arrive at the register and be told it was $30 for only two handfuls of lettuce.  Um, I’m sorry, did I hear that properly?  Yeah, that was quickly disposed of back into their respective bins and I was on my way.

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Manhattan Farmer’s Markets

Union Square Greenmarket
E 17th St & Broadway 10003
Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat – 8am-6pm – year round

Tribeca Greenmarket
Greenwich St. & Chambers St. 10007
Wed & Sat – 8am-3pm, year round

Tompkins Square Greenmarket
E 7th St & Ave A 10009
Sun – 9am-6pm – year round

Tucker Square Greenmarket
W 66th St & Columbus Ave 10023
Thu, Sat – 8am-5pm – year round

Columbia University Greenmarket
Broadway between W 114th St & W 115th St 10025
Thu, Sun – 8am-5pm – year round

Grassroots Farmer’s Market
145 St (between Edgecombe & Bradhurst) 10031
Tue, Sat – 9am-4pm (Jul 13-Nov 23)

West 42nd St Greenmarket
42 St between 11th and 12th Ave 10036
Wed 8am-6pm (Jul 10-Nov 27)

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Summer Camp for Bloggers

Yes this Blend Retreat recap is probably a week late but better late than never. Plus I had to break it up from the other lovely blogger’s recaps.  Wouldn’t want to step on everyone’s toes now or overwhelm the readers.  That’s right, always thinking about y’all.

Isn’t it great when you enter an event not knowing a soul and leaving with some honest to goodness best friends?  I went into the weekend with open expectations, just hoping to meet some great people and be outdoors.  What I received was so much more.  I’m not just talking about the endless supply of goodies from Arctic Zero to Quest Bars, but possibly lasting friendships, raw and real conversations, and so much more.

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Where would I even begin on this trip?  Well, let’s just say that I’m still riding the high over a week later.  Sure it’s back to work and the grind of city life but reliving those memories of the outdoors and blogger bliss helps keep me sane.  I’m not so impressed by the 12 hours it took to arrive home on Sunday and lovely humid and rainy weather I was greeted with in the city but that’s another battle.  I have a feeling this summer will be the true test of my strength on the east coast.

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If you didn’t catch on, I’m recapping my trip to Park City Utah for the Blend 2014 Retreat.  Now many people are unaware of the term “blend” just as I was unaware of the term “hangry” for a while.  No fear – it’s another way to say “Blogger Friends” and I personally think it has a better appeal than “hangry”.

But anyways, this retreat was a way for bloggers – most of which fall into the healthy living category – to meet and connect.  Some of us follow one another’s blogs and have connected online a number of times, but have never met in person.  A few of my coworkers think this is odd but in today’s reality of online dating and technology in general, it couldn’t seem more normal.

The adventure began Friday where I successfully took public transportation to JFK and arrived way too early for my flight.  Three coffees and about 6 hours later, I was in Park City.  Those who had actually planned ahead had arrived on time and were off on a group run led by the ever so sweet Janae (Hungry Runner Girl).  I arrived just in time to indulge in a snack break hosted by Arctic Zero.  After all, those travel days are quite exhausting, don’t you agree?

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There I had the chance to meet my roommate Megan (who was uhMAZING) and sip on a smoothie made with almond milk, Arctic Zero and some frozen fruit.  I did feel a bit hipster with my mason-jar like mug, but that’s as hipster as I’ll ever be.  We scooped up a few extra mugs and were on our way.

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The swag bags for this trip were beyond belief fantastic.  But really.  The sheer amount and quality of goods practically paid for the trip and will definitely help my future grocery bills.  I can’t even begin to list out all the goodies we received but just know, I’ll be pumping out some  posts with my favorites.

One of my favorite sponsors was Quest Nutrition. The representatives at the retreat were just a blast to hang out with and get to know.  I found it even more fun to talk with them because they lived near my hometown!  I love those small world connections 🙂

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The whole trip really did seem like a summer camp.  We had a schedule with boot camp on Saturday and Sunday mornings, both of which were oodles of fun.  I love working out in the morning and well just love working out in general.  We had sets of push-ups and burpees and even some sprints. What’s funny is I completely forgot about the altitude and was wondering why it was such a struggle.  Oh, working out in the mountains is not the same as sea-level-ish Manhattan…blonde moment.

Day #1 – Led by ONNIT – Total Human Optimization

Day #2 – Led by GPP Fitness (definitely my favorite of the two)

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Such an attractive picture right?  Hopefully you can’t spot me

Following our workouts, we were treated to buffet breakfasts – day #1 sponsored by Quest and day #2 sponsored by Yoplait.

IMG_4793Picture with my new blend Ashley ❤ Also, there’s something homey about drinking coffee out of a mug.  

I HIGHLY recommend the coconut yogurt by Yoplait.  It may have a bit more sugar than a plain Greek variety but I’ve never tasted a flavor more pure and even enjoy the flakes of coconut stirred in the middle.

I do however have a love/hate relationship with buffets.  This is because while there are a ton of different options to choose from, I feel obligated to take a bit of it all. This usually leaves me a bit full and sleepy but no fear because a hike was near!

IMG_4758Pep talk (nutrition-talk really) by Organic Valley and a quick pic with celebrity trainer Joel Harper

That’s right, on Saturday we took the gondola up the mountain and proceeded to hike around some of the ski trails.  While it wasn’t like the trails I was used to at Mammoth Lakes, it sure was nice to be out in the fresh air.  My roommate and I attempted the long route back home and may or may not have just created our own trail down the hill.  Definitely wouldn’t have passed the scout test there.

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What was truly nice about this retreat is that it enabled the bloggers to hang out, explore the outdoors, and get to know each other.  We didn’t have any seminars and there wasn’t a strict schedule.  We simply were allowed to explore, chat, and get to know one another as well as the beautiful area around us.

IMG_4871_ Fotor_CollageA stop into town with my gals is of course a must.  As is a picture with Mr. Moose.  What can I say, I make friends with all the animals, real or not-so-real.

It was also refreshing to talk to everyone about food, fitness, body image and more.  Really it seemed as though we had been best friends forever.  In fact, I had more heart-to-hearts with these gals than I did with some of my college friends.  I guess it comes with the territory of blogging – you are practically putting your life out there for the world to see and read.

But wait…there’s MORE

IMG_4798We ended the weekend with a giveaway, one prize for every blogger.  I swear it was like Christmas morning or winning a mini-lottery.  This girl came home with a “six month supply” of Organic Valley coupons.  Who knows if this will really last me six months but I’m game to try.  It’s safe to say I won’t have to make too many grocery stops in the future.  That or I’ll be able to bake some more goodies for my co-workers.  Either way, it’s an epic success.

Some of my new blends below 🙂

Candice Bement – http://hungrymotherrunner.com

Heather Blackmon – http://betterwithveggies.com

Danica Buss – http://itsprogression.com

Lindsay Cotter – http://cottercrunch.com

Ashley Cubit-Palms – http://milesonoats.com

Amanda Dewitt – http://semihealthyblog.com

Nicole Handler – http://fitfulfocus.com

Janae Jacobs – http://hungryrunnergirl.com

Molly Keck – http://thislifeissparkling.com

Samantha Kolpin – http://betterwithsprinklesblog.com

Julie Luong – http://juliegoeshealthy.com

Mollie Lyon – http://molliessprinklesoflife.com

Madelyn Moon – http://moonfitness.net

Megan Olson – http://theskinny-life.com

Heather Powers – http://kissmybroccoliblog.com

Bethany Qiang – http://thesmallvictories.com

Stephanie Reiter – http://wholesomebydesign.com

Emily Roark – http://perfectionisnthappy.com

Laura Skladzinski – http://50by25.com

Brooke Stluka – http://wreckingroutine.com

Gina Topley – http://healthloveandchocolate.com

Brittany Trentham – http://delightsanddelectables.com

Kait Welch – http://chickadeesays.com

Katie Wheeler – http://peaceloveandoats.com

Lindsay Wright – http://lindsayslist.com

Until next time my blends…