Take this advice at your own risk

Sometimes I get emails or comments from blog readers thanking me for the healthy eating/nutrition advice. That usually makes me feel a little bit like a fraud. I mean sure, I like to cook healthy-ish foods and devour vegetables, but I also eat a LOT of dessert, often wait too long to eat after running, and I’m a single 20 something living in NYC, which means sometimes dinner = cocktails. Anyway, the reason why I’ve been thinking about this is because someone was reading my blog archives and remarked on how I used to blog about everything I ate. I stopped doing that sometime in 2010 for a lot if reasons, but primarily because I’m not an expert (I studied Renaissance art and Italian in college, not nutrition science). I figured I had better stick to writing about things I sort of know about (running!) than things I don’t. Now, this isn’t to say I’m completely ignorant on the subject of nutrition- I’d like to believe I’ve become somewhat self-educated through reading books and articles about the subject. However, I just wanted to clear the air and remind everyone to take my nutritional “advice” at your own risk. On the other hand, if you want to chat about 15th century frescoes, let’s go.

Even though I don’t really do it anymore, I still thought it might be fun to bring back a “what I ate today” post. As humans we’re curious creatures and while I’m by no means the nutritional ideal, maybe some of you will find it interesting.

BUT FIRST! I’m going to tell you about Thursday’s tempo workout. It was my first team workout since the Philly half 6 weeks ago and while I’ve done a few races/ workouts on my own, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Luckily I had a good group to run with and we posted some solid negative splits. With the exception of the last mile, we were able to exchange brief conversation and dare I say…the first half even felt relaxed? It was a good re-introduction to tempo runs…here’s hoping I can keep this momentum up through mid-April!

The workout was one of our staples- a 6.5 mile tempo beginning at w. 72nd st and heading north on the west side, through the cut off at 102nd st and down the east side to Cleopatra’s needle around e. 80th st. Those first 3.25 miles were to be run around marathon pace and then we turned around and were instructed to run about 15-20 seconds faster.

1.5 mile warmup
6.5 mile tempo: 7:29, 7:21, 7:29, 7:05, 7:03, 6:59, last 1/2 mile at about 6:40 pace
1.5 mile cooldown
10 miles total for the day

Was this the hardest workout ever? No. But did we run it as instructed and finish with boosted confidence? Yes, definitely.

Last week has been decent in terms of mileage, still haven’t jumped into full on marathon training, but Ive been able to hold steady in the 40 mile range. It was also crazy busy at work, something I don’t think is going to let up any time soon, so on some days running at ALL was a victory.

Monday – 6 miles
Tuesday – 6 miles (2 miles at faster than marathon pace, 1 mike at 10k pace)
Wednesday – 4 miles
Thursday – 10 miles (6.5 mile tempo)
Friday – 5 miles
Saturday – 12.5 miles
Sunday – REST DAY, after 39 continuous days of running, the streak is over. My shins hurt.
Total: 43.5 miles

On to the food! The perfect diet for a 20-something who is running 40-50 miles per week? Probably not, but maybe you’re interested anyway. At least dinner involved vegetables, not vodka.

Photos from Friday, January 6th

Breakfast: french press coffee with half and half, orange, lara bar

Morning Snack: more coffee, vanilla chobani yogurt

Lunch: Although it looks like a bowl of lettuce, I assure you that this bowl of veg from Just Salad also included: romaine, kale, carrots, asparagus, scallions, sesame tofu, quinoa, and smokey paprika dressing.

Afternoon Snack: Many candy cane Hershey’s kisses. No photo. You’ll survive.

Dinner: Tomato and chickpea soup inspired by Runner’s World. Yes, I was cooking at 10:18pm. Normal dinner time these days, I guess.

My recipe was kind of loose. I sauteed an onion, some celery, and a bell pepper in oil until soft and then added some garlic. Then I added a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, and salt and pepper to taste. I brought this to a simmer for about 5 minutes and then removed from the heat. To finish up, I added a can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained) and 1/2 bag of cooked egg noodles. Serve with grated cheese and bread and dinner is ready in about 15 minutes!

Next time I might either use less noodles or add some broth or another can of diced tomatoes. The resulting dish was a a sort of pasta-soup hybrid. I would like it to be more soup-like, please.

Lately, every night has been ending with hot chocolate and whipped cream. I use instant packets, but doctor them up with extra chocolate chips and sometimes peppermint extract.

How do you make your hot chocolate? With milk? water? from scratch? with cinnamon/cayenne? Tell meeee.

  • That soup looks so good!

    I’ve been into hot chocolate lately made with skim milk, cocoa powder, and a little stevia or sugar. To make it a little fancier, I’ve been adding frothed skim milk and cinnamon. I’ve also added cayenne extract and peppermint extract (not at the same time) and really liked it. Chocolate chips would be good too, but I keep forgetting to buy them. 

  • I’ve discovered that the secret to hot chocolate is to use a mix of cocoa powder and chocolate chips. I stir together a handfull (or two) of chocolate chips with a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder and a table spoon of milk in a saucepan until the whole thing melts. Then you gradually add more milk a little at a time until it’s more liquidy than ganache-y, then pour the rest of the milk in and stir it till its heated through. It’s a little more complicated than pouring powder into a cup but it’s delicious and so worth it!
    Also, candy cane kisses are the BEST EVER! I love that they have sprinkles inside. 

  • sarah

    How many Hershey’s Kisses did you eat? What kind of bread is that? Did you use 2% milk? Skim milk? Why? It’s skim  milk, isn’t it! You’re not eating enough. Is that celery in your soup? Why would you eat celery if you’re not trying to lose weight? What are Warm, Chocolatey memories? Is that about some guy Kelly dated?

  • sarah

    Oh and I make hot chocolate from scratch with a cocoa-sugar-milk slurry. Fuck yeah slurries.

  • Excellent workout! And 39 consecutive days?! Amazing! Enjoy your rest day, woman!
    Hot cocoa is so great in the winter – I usually have fro yo after dinner, but maybe I should try a hot cocoa. Love the idea of mixing in chocolate chips.

  • Anonymous

    skim milk? woman, please. it was definitely the full-fat artery clogging kind. i promise.

  • Alicooks3

    hot chocolate from scratch for sure… with half and half if i have the choice, good dark cocoa, a little honey and some cinnamon (sometimes cayenne to spark it up!) YUM! also, just a tip if you want to add past to your soup, you want to cook the past first separately, otherwise it sucks up too much of the “soupy-ness”….. hope that helps next time 🙂

  • Alicooks3

    for some reason both times i typed pasta it said past….. there… that’s better!

  • Anonymous

    i did cook it separately! but alas i don’t think the soup had quite enough liquid for all the noodles.

  • Lately I’ve been into Nutella hot chocolate. Just heat a cup of milk on the stove with a tablespoon of the stuff until it’s hot and well-blended and enjoy!

  • Courtney Sanders

    my fav way to make hot cocoa is using the Hershey’s cocoa powder quick recipe:
    2-3 tsp. cocoa powder, 1.5-2 tbsp. sugar, 1 cup skim milk: add all ingredients to mug and microwave 2 minutes. add 1/4 tsp vanilla if ya want and top with whipped cream. SOooooo yummy!

  • dude, i want to chat about 15th century frescoes. enlighten me with your knowledge, please.

    this day of food needs more butter. that’s all i’m going to say. 🙂

  • i love you, sarah.

  • 39 days is an impressive streak. I tried for a streak once and I think I only made it up to a week. I haven’t made hot chocolate in forever, but I’m loving all the awesome tips in the comments.

    By the way, I just found your blog randomly through Google. I can’t even remember what I was searching for anymore. Anyway, I thought your blog looked interesting and I’m looking forward to reading more posts.

  • Anonymous

    ooh, I don’t really make hot chocolate that much. Although, I think it’s much creamier when made with milk. I really want to go to City Bakery and have one of their delicious hot chocolates with the homemade marshmallows – I’ve never been!

    I like that staple workout of yours/CPTC’s! I need to start the speedwork back up this week – it’s about that time!

  • Christy Sorrentino

    Ahh hot cocoa…I drink it daily. I buy the nestle fat free and I mix it with a cup of water and one Splenda packet. I sometimes add in marshmallows for a little extra! Always delicious!!

  • Nicole M Falcaro

    I make my hot chocolate with baileys or khalua! And def whipped cream.

  • Anonymous

    Ohh what a good idea for my leftover homemade Khalua!

  • RunTheLongRoad

    i love hot chocolate!  i always put these little candy canes dipped in chocolate into my mug and they melt away.  to. die. for.  

  • Anonymous

    The soup looks delicious! I’m definitely going to have to try it. Sounds super easy; just how I like it!

    I love hot chocolate but have only had once this winter so far. And it was more like chocolate soup, really, since it was from City Bakery! Haha! If I make at home it’s with a packet too and water usually.

  • I bought hot chocolate packets (which I add to water) a couple weeks ago thinking it’d be good for winter…which has been escaping us for the most part.  But it’s still delicious!

    I like that CPTC workout…I might give it a go tomorrow.

    February is hot chocolate month, we must head to City Bakery.

  • Sofia

     i like your ghetto fabulous hot chocolate. i never really make hot chocolate at home but am on a mission of sorts to try out every supposedly fab or not so fab hot chocolate in the city. and then when february rolls around I plan to live at city bakery. wooooweee.

  • Page

    That soup pasta thing still looks good to me! And I agree, I don’t do what I ate posts, but it is interesting to see it once in a while from people who don’t do it often.

  • Hot chocolate powder, with a bit of water then hot milk, sugar, and a tiny amount of coffee because it brings out a deeper flavour for me somehow. Cream on top, of course =)

  • Well that salad packed a punch! Sounds yummy! I make my hot chocolate with almond milk and usually a packet 🙂 

  • My mom and I make the best hot chocolate at Christmas (or any other holiday) time when we’re together: It’s called Coconut Tres Leches – it does NOT taste like coconut if your are not a coconut fan) – its from Better Homes and Gardens and can be found here: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/drinks/coconut-tres-leches-hot-chocolate/ …I was spoiled groing up with real  milk and cocoa hot chocolate so I’m a bit of a hot chocolate snob. Though 7-11 has some great hot chocolate from the machine 🙂

  • Anonymous

    wow, that coconut tres leches recipe looks really good! thanks for sharing!

  • I usually go the lazy route when it comes to hot chocolate and use the instant packets. But I always doctor it up. My favorite mix (aka my college staple drink) is a packet of hot chocolate, coffee, cinnamon and lots of whipped cream. Perfection. 🙂

    And congrats on making it through the streak! My running mileage over the holidays was less than impressive. Still trying to get myself into full marathon training mode.

  • Heather

    That soup/pasta looks good – I am planning on making the black bean one from the same runners world tonight for lunch this week.

    I make my hot chocolate with milk and powder – I think it is Lake Champlain – in a canister.  So good!  I also bought a cheap milk frother and froth my milk so I fill the mug.  Love it!

  • Usually I make hot cocoa in the traditional unsweetened cocoa, plus milk, plus sugar on stovetop method. But my sister made these for people’s stockings, and I might not be able to go back: http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2011/01/06/hot-chocolate-on-a-stick/

  • Anonymous

    so many hot chocolate recipes, so little time! i bet these would make great gifts.

  • Pbrown30076

    Trader Joe’s Sipping Cocoa with mini-marshmellows….very yummy and dark chocolatey!

  • Anonymous

    i love that brand!! i need to get myself to TJ’s to re-stock.

  • Megs

    It depends on the time of day-  I totally use packets no matter what, but in the am i use half hot water half hot coffee.  In the evening I doctor it up with some generic irish cream, and possibly some whiskey.

  • I’m on a similar hot chocolate kick, but I add pb chips to mine – I die. 

  • Hmm hot chocolate! I use unsweetened cocoa powder (I don’t like super sweet things),  milk or unsweetened soy milk depending on how i’m feeling, splash of vanilla (this is KEY).  Hmmm 

  • Freckles76

    I make a Dominican Style Hot Chocolate: a small block of Dominican chocolate ( you can buy at your local bodega) or you can use a piece of dark chocolate 72%. You need a fresh piece of ginger and a few all spice balls. It is spicy and delicious. It can be made with milk or water, I use vanilla almond milk.

  • Ellen Collis

    I LOVE seeing what other people eat. I don’t know what it is about food pictures, but they suck me in…even if it’s a plain bowl of oatmeal…or a LaraBar 😉