All is not lost

** I’m bookending this post with BSI reminders since we’re getting right down to the wire! Check here for more info. If you missed my announcement earlier, the BSI prize will include, amongst other things, two boxes of the RARE Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea, the best tea in the world. Are you not ridiculously excited right now??? **

I woke up around 8:00 this morning, and Erin and I set out (in her car!) to hunt down a location for our five-mile run (half marathon, here we come!). The first trail we checked was completely covered in snow and ice, but we lucked out with the second: a paved bike trail in Tibbetts Brook Park. The clear-enough-to-run portion of the trail was just over two miles long, so we ran the length and back plus did a little bit extra to make it a full five. While the trail was not completely covered in ice, we still had to “ballet run” over several slippery sections, slowing us down significantly. Stats: 57 minutes, 457 calories, 149 average heart rate, 164 max heart rate.

Back at the condo, I got started on breakfast:


img_2776I popped two Nutrigrain waffles in the toaster and set out to develop some oatmeal pancakes! I found a packet of oatmeal in the cupboard that I recognized from the post-race goodies we received at Race for the Cure in September. I mixed the oatmeal with an egg, a splash of water, and some baking powder and baking soda. I Pam’d a pan and poured the batter in:


Flipped when set:


And spatula-ed the pancake into four pieces when it was done so that we each had two pancake quarters and a waffle. For the topping, I mixed some banana pieces I had saved from my mommy’s group at work yesterday with the last of Erin’s frozen blueberries and 1/4 cup plain yogurt.  A drizzle of real maple syrup and a dollop of berry jam from a local farm joined the yogurt topping:


Delicious, if I do say so myself!

After breakfast, Erin and I continued our productive streak with more suburban car errands (yay!!). Accomplishments of the day: Erin’s car passed inspection, she successfully redeemed a Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupon, and I found another little mystery goody at Target to include as a BSI prize. Erin, the most generous hostess ever, capped this string of accomplishments with an offer to drive me allllll the way back to Brooklyn (saving me a 90-minute subway ride!), including a stop at Fairway, my favorite grocery store in the world!! If you live in this city, you know that the combination of a car + Fairway is pretty much a New Yorker’s dream come true. I only wish I hadn’t had so much food still left from last week in my apartment — if I had more fridge/freezer space, I would have taken advantage of the car to buy enough groceries for the next six months!

Once we arrived at Fairway, I wanted to capture the beauty of this foodie heaven with a photo, but when I tried to turn my camera on, nothing happened! I may have actually said the f-word (something I never do!) when I realized I had forgotten the battery/charger in the wall back up at Erin’s house. Ahhhhhhhh!! After all of that productivity, I was going to have to go all the way back to Yonkers with her to collect the battery and then take the subway home. DISASTER. Regardless, we forged on with the shopping. Expecting that I wouldn’t be home until at least 6:30 pm, I did my favorite trick of turning samples into lunch. I had cheese, mini pumpernickel rounds with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and one of the best samples I’ve ever encountered: magic pop rice cakes with freshly ground (still warm!) almond butter, peanut butter, and honey roasted peanut butter. I piled the nut butter onto three different magic pop pieces and may have had approximately 1/2 cup of freshly ground goodness before I was through. Obviously too much, but I was feeling stressed and it was soooooooooo delicious.

Post-shop, Erin and I made the quick drive from the store to my apartment so I could at least drop everything off. Once at my apartment, however, roommate Brigitte saved the day– first with an offer to let me use her camera and second with the genius idea to transfer the memory chip from my camera into hers (which seems like an obvious enough solution, but I had been thinking I’d have to wait to get my battery to get all of my pictures back!). Erin, as if she hadn’t been generous enough already, promised to overnight ship the battery and charger back to me on Monday. So all is not lost :-).

I had a successful shop at Fairway (where it is impossible to have an unsuccessful shop). I got a gallon of skim (for yogurt), 5 bananas, 3 lbs Fuji apples, a big bag o’ oranges, Medjool dates in honor of my BSI choice, a baby butternut squash, and tons of grains from Fairway’s bulk bins — steel-cut oats, quinoa, millet, yellow corn grits, and raw wheat germ:


Total cost: $27. Gooooooooooooooooooooo Fairway!!!

I’ll be back later with dinner. In the meantime …

** SUBMIT YOUR BSI entries!! Deadline is end-of-day Sunday (aka TOMORROW), and I will announce a winner Monday evening. Check here for more details. I’m so excited to see what you all come up with that I bought that container of dates at Fairway so I can try some of the recipes next week :-). **

So complicated

Complication #1 involves my camera, and you all were thisclose to not finding out what I ate yesterday. But since I’m determined not to ruin anyone’s weekend by keeping my food secret, I have found a temporary solution! More on that eventually …

Complication #2 involves my computer. After nearly 4.5 years of flawless charging, my power adapter has decided it wants to ruin my life. It’s been steadily declining all week but has reached a new low today. Because I have to hold the cord to the computer in a crazy gymnastics formation, I am forced to type with only the index finger of my left hand … and I’m a righty. I never learned how to type correctly, so my pointer finger is the only one that knows where all the keys are. So please forgive me for making this post light on words and heavy on photos!!

Rewinding to Friday morning …

7:20 am breakfast – last cup zucchini-lime cheesecake oatmeal, 1/3 cup healthy cream cheese frosting, 2 chopped strawberries, two crumbled graham sticks unsweetened coconut, cinnamon:


12:30 pm lunch –

GC baked tofu + roasted veggies:


Yogurt with ricotta, apples, banana, strawberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger:


Veggies from Thursday night:


Half cup tabbouleh salad from coworker Nitza:


Two candies from the candy jar:


2:30 pm snack – apple with pb:


4:30 pm snack – giant orange (look at all the babies in front!!)


I lost my mind for the last hour of work while I was catching up up notes and engaged in a little candy madness. I’ve been overdoing it on the candy this week, but there’s an explanation! Before Christmas, I stashed/hid a whole bunch of candy (left over from the parties we held for the families) in the empty tissue box on my desk and immediately forgot about it … until I accidentally discovered it again this week! And ate it all. Here’s SOME of what happened yesterday afternoon:



Now that the tissue box is empty, the candy problem should be solved …

(Ahhhhh, my computer charger now will not work AT ALL. I hope the new one arrives soon! Switching to roommate Brigitte’s computer …)

6:30 pm dinner – Pizza & Brew

After work, I subwayed up to the Bronx where Erin Gunn and her boyfriend Mike picked me up and took me out to dinner (thanks, guys!!) at Pizza & Brew, an Italian restaurant in Yonkers. I was ravenous and ate the lemon wedge from my water AND the lemon wedge from Mike’s water:


I know you’re not supposed to eat these lemon wedges in bars/restaurants anymore because they’re full of germs, but when hunger calls …

My entree came with a side salad that had chickpeas — how exciting!


I ordered Bluefish Marechiare (fresh fillet sauteed with capers, olives, and mushrooms in pomodoro sauce served over linguini) but asked for it with polenta instead of pasta. Yummmm, it was so good! And enormous:


I almost cleaned my plate, except for a little sauce and some of the olives:


Oh wait, never mind. I DID clean my plate. Crusty bread always saves the day:


I really don’t know how I finished this. I was a bottomless pit yesterday!! It was probably enough food for three meals, but I didn’t even feel stuffed when I was done — just perfectly satisfied.

Erin got Fettuccini con Funghi (homemade noodles with sauteed assorted mushrooms in a light pink cream sauce):


And Mike got Catfish Caruso (sauteed fresh fillet with vodka lobster sauce and baby shrimp served over rice primavera):


Erin and Mike could not finish their meals (lightweights) and had to take over half home.

We had initially planned to go to bowling and karaoke, but our lazy grandma-ness set in (and Erin’s car getting a flat tire validated our laziness) and we just wanted to do nothing.  While waiting for AAA to arrive at Erin and Mike’s condo, we watched Mike do some yoga on Wiii (is that the correct number of i’s?) Fit:


And I shared my next Quaker True Delights bar with them: Toasted Coconut Banana Macadamia Nut. This one had much more even (and heavy!) distribution of nuts, though I think chunks of real banana would have been a good addition (instead of what seemed just some essence of banana spread throughout):

so many nuts!

so many nuts!

look, it's glowing!

look, it's glowing!

Later, when Erin went out to meet AAA and get her tire taken care of, I snuck into the fridge and found a jar of Hershey’s Hot Fudge which I quickly put to use with a bit of pb:


Isn’t that a beautiful sight??? We were in bed by 11:15, and I ended up sleeping for over eight hours for the first time in … well probably since the last time I was at Erin’s since she always sets me up with light block curtains :-). It was glorious. To be continued …

Remember me?

While I work on a marathon post of the last 36 hours (and simultaneously conquer myriad technical difficulties), please allow this photo of jumbo Israeli Medjool dates to inspire your Blogger Secret Ingredient creativity:


Soooooo, please submit your BSI: Dates entries ASAP! Sunday (tomorrow) is the DEADLINE. The contest is open to everyone, even if you don’t have a blog. Check here for more information and a running list of submissions. Please help by spreading the word on your blogs!!

I’m still tweaking the prize a bit more, but to whet your appetite, I do know that the winner will definitely receive TWO boxes of the hard-to-find Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea, featured here and elsewhere on the blog. If you’ve never tried this tea, you have to trust me that it is the most delicious flavor ever to grace the planet. The winner of this contest is going to be one lucky chef!!

Ding ding ding ding!

(That’s the sound of the food jackpot bell ringing.)

*** Hurry up and submit your BSI: Dates entries! The contest is open to everyone, even if you don’t have a blog. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check here for more information and a running list of submissions. Please help by spreading the word on your blogs!!***

And welcome to all of my new readers! This is my first time at the computer since I left this morning, so it might take me a couple days to get to everyone’s comments. It’s past my bedtime!

I’ve been on a free food roll this week, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Excellent news for the budget, but I don’t know how long I can keep up this pace — I feel like I’ve only had about 30 waking seconds in my apartment all week. I’m going to work on zooming through today’s food recap. It’s a long one!

I left class on the Upper East Side at 1 to head to a doctor’s appointment in Bay Ridge for 3 (basically opposite ends of the earth, if you’re not familiar with NY). Since I was going to be switching trains at Union Square anyway, I decided to turn my oatmeal-for-$1 coupon into lunch at the Jamba Juice there. With tax, the oatmeal actually came to $1.08, but since I found $1.50 on the ground in a subway station yesterday (I know!! Who drops $1.50 in quarters and dimes and leaves it???), I’m considering it free. I got the banana oatmeal with brown sugar crumble:

img_2643img_2644Needing a place to sit and eat, I strategically maneuvered myself (and my oatmeal) over to the Whole Foods next door where I knew side-dish-potential would be high. And oh my goodness, did I hit the jackpot!! I sneakily collected samples in a container meant for the fresh-ground almond butter and then parked myself in the cafe upstairs to enjoy my complete and balanced meal. Clockwise from top left: maple ham, veal scallopini, grapefruit slices, orange slices, ginger snap pieces, lemon snap hearts:


And the real winner: drinking chocolate!



Because I like to live on the wild side, I retrieved the peanut butter from my stash of what-if-I-can’t-find-free-food backup snacks (carrots, apples, pb, and raisins).

Can you guess what I did??? Banana brown sugar oatmeal + pb + drinking chocolate:


Yum yum yum yum yum yum.

On my way out of WF, I discovered that two new samples had surfaced. I didn’t want them to feel left out, so I got one of each. Pumpkin-seed black bean burger and buffalo chicken with blue cheese:


I hopped back on the subway to continue the odyssey to Bay Ridge. At the doc’s office, I had a blue raspberry mini candy cane from the receptionist’s desk to mask my buffalo-breath:


After the doc, I headed back into the city (eating my carrots and apples on the way) to meet my friend Rami for tea at Grey Dog in the village. Rami and I became friends in an NYU elevator in September 2001 when I discovered he was studying abroad here from Australia … where I was planning to study the next semester! Here we are dancing at his wedding this past summer (he’s second from left):


And here’s Rami’s grilled chicken press:


And my Earl Grey with skim and 1/2 pack of sugar in the raw:


If you know any baby boomers in need of boomer-related services, Rami can help at :-). And, a special shout out to Rami’s wife Ali who also reads the blog. Hi Ali!

When Rami and I finished catching up, I met Gina and Kate a few blocks away for yet another NYU Alumni event: a workshop on age-defying fitness by Marilyn Moffat. In the interest of time, I’m going to skip a review of the talk’s content and just cut right to the food. My plate included broccoli, grape tomatoes, red and yellow pepers, cauliflower, carrots, pineapple, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, cantaloupe, almonds, triangle of swiss cheese, 3 cubes of cheddar, goat cheese crusted with freshly ground black pepper, and raisin walnut bread:

plate #1

plate #1

The goat cheese and the raisin walnut bread were definitely the stars:


So I spread one on top of the other, added the final backup snack of raisins, and had three more slices:


Plus plate #2 (bread pictured is part of the 4 slices total):


I ate several more handfuls of unpictured produce plus this cookie that made me miss fall:


And since I’m always thinking of the future, here’s what I brought home:

goat cheese, cheese chunks, almonds, bread (now in the freezer), carrots/peppers/cauliflower for work snacks tomorrow, and zucchini for cooking

goat cheese, cheese chunks, almonds, bread (now in the freezer), carrots/peppers/cauliflower for work snacks tomorrow, and zucchini for cooking

So like I said, it’s been a long and busy day — academically, socially, gastronomically, transportationally, etc. — but I’m no poorer than I was yesterday!!

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post tomorrow since I’m going straight up to Yonkers after work to visit Erin Gunn (one of my oldest friends from home and my other half-marathon-training partner) for bowling, karaoke, and a Saturday morning 5-mile run. I’ll be back with a full report later on Saturday, along with a special announcement about the prizes I have selected for the BSI contest. The submissions list is growing, so get your entries in ASAP!


*** Hurry up and submit your BSI: Dates entries! The contest is open to everyone, even if you don’t have a blog. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check here for more information along with a running list of submissions.

If you do have a blog, please use it to help me spread the word, just like Meghann, Biz, and Andrea have done (thanks, ladies!). My blog is still new and small, so I need all the help I can get! ***


Because class today doesn’t start until 11, I got up at 7 (the luxury!) for a short and light run. Short due to time constraints; light because I had to stop every minute to pick my way over giant patches of black ice. Stats for 2.3 miles: 27 minutes, 201 calories, average hr 140, max hr 151.

After my run came the real success. In response to my yoga disaster last weekend, Victoria suggested that I try the Gentle Hatha #1 from I did just that after my run this morning, and it was perfect. This beginner class was much more my speed and had more poses that were familiar to me from when I used to take yoga classes at the gym. Plus, I felt so relaxed and stretched when I finished. I will be doing this again, yay!

For breakfast, I had a cup of Zucchini-Lime Cheesecake Oatmeal with 1/3 cup healthy cream cheese icing, 2 chopped strawberries, cinnamon, unsweetened coconut, and 2 crushed graham sticks from the snack packs I brought home from the NYU mentoring event last night. Oh, and a cup of Earl Grey with unsweetened Silk on the side:


Now I have to run because this prof HATES lateness, ahhhhhh. Hope you’re having a good day!