Food = Energy

Food = Energy

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nuts about Nuttzo!

Didn't get to post last night. I was pretty bummed about it actually, but realized I late that I had an assignment due the day before (yes, it may have been a tad late). Curse these online classes! Anyway, I had to get that done with after returning from taking the train two towns over to exchange workbooks for my essay correcting job which took place after my evening math class...aren't you annoyed just reading this? So...I had no time to post (or it just would have been an incoherent "blah" that I would spend today's post explaining it). 

So on with it already! Speaking of math class...

Definitely made my "Math of Money" class a whole lot more enjoyable! It's like eating a soft, thick cookie dessert, especially when you pair it with coffee--which is what the metal cylinder is to the right of the picture. I usually go for one of the bars with chocolate in it, but I'm loving this Black Cherry Almond recently. Also, just learned today from Val that these Clif bars have about 50% of your daily need of Vitamin B12. This is HUGE when you take into account that vegans are often deficient in B12. 

This was intended to be photo exclusively of Nuttzo, but of course Sweet Dreams had to get in on it. 

Never heard of Nuttzo? I figured as much. It's a 7 Nut + seed butter that is to die for. Val first heard about it during her Dr. Oz phase and when it came in the mail (we ordered it almost immediately) it was love at first sight. This one we got at the endurance expo this past Sunday. We saw their vendor table and rushed over. We had a couple samples and learned that the seller was the sister of the Nuttzo founder who is based out of California. Pretty cool!  

Anyway, it's got an incredible taste and can be used for anything and everything just like peanut butter or almond butter. The past couple of days I've been mixing into my oatmeal breakfasts to add a protein kick to my start-up meal. I wanted to take a picture after I mixed everything I put in my oatmeal, but realized it looked kind of unappetizing. But you can't judge a book by its cover, right?

 A magnified image of the oldest known piece of the Earth's crust, glowing blue because it is being bombarded by electrons. Normally it is red.    
Is that an x-ray of a lifeboat? A broke flash drive? Oh I know, I know! It's a damaged photograph of a futuristic tunnel-like hallway probably used on a movie set (look closely!).
Well, all of the above possibilities are incorrect. This is a photograph of the oldest piece of earth ever discovered. Read about it here.

See, now you have some insight as to the other kind of miscellaneous headlines and topics that grab my intention when I'm perusing W cubed. (That just happened.)

I don't really have to say much about the next image except for this: They're VEGAN!!!!
Energy Truffles with 300x150
"Homemade Energy Truffles courtesy of this Runner's World e-article .

Have high-blood pressure? I sure hope not, but if you do or know someone who does, check out this article that I came across a couple days ago. It is focused on a vegetarian diet as a way to combat high blood pressure. Here is a short excerpt:

Many factors could be affecting the vegetarians' blood pressure. Vegetarian diets are often lower in sodium and saturated fats, while being higher in fiber and potassium. (Bold, mine)
Vegetarians also tend to have lower body mass indexes because fruits and vegetables are less energy dense - meaning you can eat more of them for fewer calories.

Okay that's enough for today. I have to get on with my day. Stuff to print out and miles to run. Today's workout is some kind of speedwork. I haven't decided yet what I will run, but I know it's been a while since I got the legs moving at a rapid rate. Mile repeats? Speedy 30 second intervals? We shall see, but I'm just glad I had a hearty oatmeal breakfast packed with nutrients to fuel me (Maca-Cacao-Hemp powder blend, raisins, banana slices, Nuttzo, cinnamon).

Happy Running!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Go Vega!

Mondays get such a bad rap, but today is definitely a good one! Woke up pretty early and more then tired, but I needed to go for a decently long run. After the incredible calorie consumption this past weekend, I needed to get back on track. I managed to get in 14 miles on Saturday, but yesterday I was too full to even think about moving, let alone running. 

Today was a new day, though, and I got out the door around 7 and took off to explore a couple of Rutgers campuses. 
Was thinking about an easy 2 hour run, but I think all the pita bread and hummus from yesterday gave me quite the energy boost.

Immediately after I walked in the door, I had a Vega Apple Berry "recovery accelerator" mixed with water. Val spent $10 at the expo yesterday for a sample bag of Vega products that was probably worth about $25-30. In it were various bars, protein mixes, and recovery drink mixes with various vitamins and electrolytes. 

I couldn't wait to have the Vega bar Val gave me with breakfast. Not pictured: coffee, of course! (That's what the milk was for)

Running coach Jason Kilderry presenting on training and technique for runners. There were four "rooms" each with a different seminar simultaneously taking place every 50 minutes (does that make sense?). 

Val trying on her new Giro aero helmet. What a bargain! Hope it helps her for Nationals and for the new tri season starting this summer!

Val having her swim technique analyzed in the endless pool. This thing is so freakin' cool! If only our landlord would allow us to put the smallest model in our loving room...oh and there's the cost part too. Val's uncle had his technique analyzed as well.

Had so many Honey Stinger Waffle sample bites that a vendor at the expo just kept cutting up and putting out for people to try. Val and I have definitely tried our share of honey stinger waffles, but they sure didn't know that (and yes, Val and I do consume honey).

That's all for today! I will leave you with a video that can only make you say, "I wish this never happens to me." Watch it here.

Happy Running!

PS: Told you I'd make up for the lack of pictures last post!

Friday, February 21, 2014


Ahhh it's been way too long! First, I have to apologize to my readers (if I'm lucky enough to even have any "readers").

You ever get into a exercise rut? I used to get into them at least 3-4 times a year where I just didn't want to do anything that requires putting on workout clothes. And the annoying thing is that you don't intend for it to get that bad. You take a day off, then something happens on day 2 and so you tell yourself: "Definitely back at it tomorrow!" And then that tomorrow comes around and you're already so used to all that extra time you have by not exercising that you find any reason (excuse) to not lace up.

Well that's how it was this past week with blogging. Sadly, I don't have any legitimate reasons for not posting other than I let night snowball into however many nights its been. I mean, I guess I could say I've been really busy and that would be the truth. I can't even pretend that I've been watching or even keeping up with the Olympics these past two weeks.

School work has definitely picked up and substitute teaching and essay correcting for another job has definitely taken up much of my non-school time. I've even had to put in my two weeks notice at the YMCA I've been working weekends for for the past year just so I can get a breather each week. It's going to be weird actually having a Saturday to do what I want and not have to request off or find coverage to run a race or go out with Val. I'm even missing out on New York's Vegetarian Food Festival next weekend due to work, which seriously bites! Hopefully Val will get to go and enjoy it for the both of us.

Speaking of weekend plans, Val and I are heading to Philly on Sunday for the 2014 Endurance Sports Expo ( and we are so excited (If she could edit my blog she would say she's more excited than I am. Val: That's just because I haven't had time this week to even think about the expo!). Some of the seminars we'll be experiencing on Sunday are:

Run Stride Analysis (I'm skeptical of the accuracy, due to the likeliness they will be using a treadmill. Still interesting to see though.)

Run Training and Technique.

There are other cycling seminars and a swimming one or two that I know Val (the triathlete of this couple) is very excited for as is her uncle who is also very into triathlons. I have two triathlons under my belt and I gotta be honest, I'm satisfied for now. I've decided it's all running for me this year. 

Speaking of running and triathlon, check this article out about a 21 year old who was a stud high school runner and has since returned from serious injury to only become a stud triathlete:

But anyway, I'll definitely be posting about what we see and do on Sunday at the Expo and I promise I'll have plenty more pics then I'm sharing tonight (Considering that's 0, I guess I only have to share like 2-3??).

Before I end this post, I have to leave you with cautionary advice and a laugh (or not, if you're sensitive to what happens) all rolled in one video: Enjoy

 Happy Running! 

P.S. Idk why, but Val and I are in some kind of tempeh phase these past few weeks. I mean we have always enjoyed it and it wasn't unusual to see it in our fridge, but now we're running through about 3 packages of tempeh a week (a lot for us) and I can't say that I don't like it (obviously!). If you've never had tempeh (If you don't know how to pronounce it, it's likely you've never had it) then please get to your local food store, head to the tofu section and pick up a pack of tempeh (might want to confirm that they have it first). While you're there, pick up a container of tofu as well. Both foods are soy products and serve as excellent substitutes for meat and even better sources of protein. Tempeh has a wonderful grainy texture that gives it a meat-like feel while you're eating it which is perfect for new vegetarians/vegans or those on the fence about making this (positive) lifestyle alteration.

Whew! Longest postscript ever! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

What falls from the sky, is white, and is seriously challenging my training??

Snow day # ....IDK! There have been too many! What did the snowstorm do for me yesterday? Well I was able to catch up on some homework that has just been sitting on my desk (and table and coffee table). The kitchen needed a good sweeping too so got that out of the way.

But a good run is what I needed the most and did that happen? As much as I'd like to say that I was crazy enough to go out in the blizzard-like snowfall and brave the storm, it didn't happen. Val and I expended 0 energy yesterday unless you are desperate (like us) and decide to count getting up from the couch to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner as doing squats. Speaking of dinner though...going out for Valentine's had a bit of a different look this year.

I'd be lying to you if I maintained the fib that we actually cooked dinner as I previously alluded to. wouldn't have been a true snow day unless we ordered in for dinner, subsequently making a delivery person deal with the outside elements instead of us! We're awful people, I know! But the tip was pretty good.

So our dinner of choice: the vegan pizza ( Teese brand soy mozzarella cheese) that I have wrote about a couple times already.

The Bronzino AKA. Heaven in a box: eggplant, pepper, onion and garlic.

I don't even want to write about the line of events that this pizza sparked. Let's just say they involved chocolate chips, some peanut butter, bananas and raisins. Hey! We had fruit!!

As for the news I've come across the past few days, check out some of these below:

This message at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center has since been covered by parked cars.

How cool would it be if you got to try out Google Glass during class? (quite the Dr. Seuss)

That's all for today! Hopefully the ice isn't too bad out there as my phone is showing me 37 degrees and I am feeling good about a run!

Happy Running!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Oh the smells!

As much as I love running outdoors, I have recently been wanting to go to the gym on campus. I preach about running outdoors over running on a treadmill yet I haven't been able to shake this gym feeling. Until today.

Knowing I had class at 9:50 this morning, I decided I would run in the afternoon. Following class was a 1 hour 45 minute meeting and after that I had to correct some student essays for work. I was actually looking forward to this because I was dying for a coffee!

So I headed over to the Barnes & Noble bookstore on campus and had myself a tall coffee with soy. I was going to grab a Nature Valley Peanut Butter Crunchy bar (So good!! And I already had my daily Clif bar), but I decided to try their Protein bar instead. Now I have to admit, I did count calories as I had lunch during my meeting, but I really wanted something with my coffee. The NV protein bar had 200 calories versus the PB crunchy bar's 190. What the heck; why not?! Now, I wish I can tell you what the flavor was and include a picture of it, but get this: I can't find it online! I was just Googling "Nature Valley protein bar", "Nature Valley protein chocolate", and some other searches with other keywords. No luck. The flavor I had isn't even on the Nature Valley website! What the heck Rutgers B&N bookstore!? I promise you I had a NV protein bar with chocolate chocolate chunks and, I'm pretty sure, cherries in it, but I have no way of proving this until my next visit. If you would like to verify my search or just prove that I can't look for anything (generally pretty true), then check out their website for yourself:

Anyway, by the time I got back to the apartment and had my sneakers on, I had just 45 minutes for a run. I wanted to be out there for at least an hour, but that just wasn't possible for today. So I had the great idea of heading to the gym and getting in a quick run on the treadmill and then complete a quick gym workout afterward. After reading this article ( about stair climbing, I figured maybe I could reap some of these awesome benefits by putting the treadmill on an incline.

So I run to the gym, put my jacket, hat, and ID in a locker, and immediately question the decision I had made: I had to wait around for one of the five six treadmills to become available. If that wasn't unnatural enough (for me), the place smelled awful! I learned that running outside definitely, though undesirably, improved my ability to smell BO when it was around me...and I think it amplified that ability as well.

I finally get on a treadmill and my "run" lasted all of 3 minutes 36 seconds and not because the power went out or a fire alarm was pulled. I just couldn't take it! The smells; the pounding of the treadmill; the incredibly inaccurate pace that the machine indicated I was running  when I know my body and I know what certain paces feel like. So I left the gym and, without a watch or gloves, proceeded to run one of the most enjoyable runs I have completed in quite a while. I don't know if it was the liberating feeling I got from the lack of weight on my wrist or if it was the fact that I felt like I needed to prove why outdoor running trumps treadmill running, but I felt incredible.

So I guess, in a way, I have to thank that treadmill for those 3 minutes and 36 seconds. If that's all it took to remind me why I love running outdoors no matter the bitter temperatures, then that is time I don't mind not getting back!

Happy Running! (Sorry for the lack of pictures today!)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Anniversary Weekend!

I just want to post about an incredible weekend it has been. Yesterday was Val and I's 3rd anniversary and it was quite a day (and weekend). 

While Val had to go into work for a few hours in the afternoon, I was able to get in a good 80 minute, 10 mile run. Wearing short running shorts on a 28-29 degree day definitely turned some heads throughout my route, but I didn't care; it felt great to get out there and wearing shorts is definitely the way I like to run. 

When I picked up Val from work I surprised her with a gift certificate for 5 yoga classes to Sakula yoga studio in Metuchen where she's been to before and had a good experience. I figured I couldn't go wrong as she's been talking about yoga recently and her mom got her a new yoga mat for Christmas. 

Then it was time for Goldie's.... (Pictures at the end of the post!) 

Goldie's is a relatively new vegan restaurant in Asbury Park. It opened up in September right down the street from an awesome vegan lunch place: Twisted Tree Cafe which explains why we never heard about until a month ago when we were trying to plan where to celebrate our anniversary. What an amazing experience we had.

We've been to Blossom's in NY, Vedge in Philadelphia, Sprig & Vine in New Hope, PA, Elizabeth's Gone Raw in Washington, D.C., and out of all of these fancy shmancy (Sprig & Vine is much more casual, but still) places, Goldie's topped the list. 

You would think three appetizers and our entrees would fill us up and it might have had it been non-vegan food. But the beauty of vegan eats (for Val and I) is that we get to eat more before we really begin to feel it! Given that, we decided to get two desserts to finish out the night. Or so we thought. After those two desserts...2 more. And just to satisfy our intense sweet tooth, we ordered our fifth dessert plate and the last dessert option on the menu! Yeah, we have a problem. You don't have to tell us! 

Our eats & drinks:
Fried cauliflower 
Fried Hen-of-the-Woods mushrooms
Roasted brussel sprouts with an incredible apple butter spread on the side

Chickpea Socca (Val)
Truffle-marinated Tempeh (Me)

Desserts: TOO MUCH TO TYPE!! but here I go (in order)
Truffles (70% cocoa)
Olive oil cake w/ lemon almond ricotta and berry coulis (i.e. fancy culinary terms for "sauces" or "toppings")

Cranberry-blackberry cobbler 
Roasted Gala apples w/ an amazing hazelnut brittle and cinnamon rum cream to top it

And if that wasn't enough...

Chocolate cookies with a hazelnut butter and panna cotta (these were our favorite of the 5 and literally (almost) to die for!) 

Kale-Ginger margarita
Tangerine Mojito 
Spiced pear 
....and I guess I'll add the "Perfect" Manhattan to this list although it was wayyy too strong for either of us lightweights!

 Most decadent chocolate truffles ever!
 Olive oil cake

Val's chickpea socca (bottom) definitely beat out my tempeh dish

 My Tangerine Mojito (left) and Val's Kale-Ginger margarita 

 Happy 3rd!  

And if all of that wasn't, after devouring Carob-covered Raisins for breakfast, we went to Val's best friend's house for lunch with her and her parents. 

On the menu: 

Val's famous homemade Black-bean Quinoa veggie burgers

Val's second set of parents and I. Claudia showing off Val's veggie burgers!

Thank you, Val for putting up with me for the past 3 years. It's been quite a ride and, God willing, we have countless years ahead of us!

That's all for tonight!

Happy Running!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

"I love you, Angie. Sorry, hunny."

The Olympics have begun! While the official opening ceremony will occur tomorrow, events have already took place over in Sochi. Val and I are currently watching while doing homework, and for some reason I am Cravinggg some popcorn.  

Angie's kettle corn popcorn is definitely my favorite. It's truly heaven in a bag. 

So my running has definitely taken a hit over the past few weeks after my return from dealing with jock itch. I can't get even remotely close to the weekly mileage I want to be at or should be reaching by week's end. What has made it worse is that my brain has not realized that my mileage has been reduced; I have definitely increased the calories lately and I practically salivate just thinking about all the Clif Bars in my desk drawer. 

School was delayed yesterday and we had minimal options for breakfast (in my opinion). Then, I remembered my drawer. Black Cherry Almond was the choice of the day and my what a choice it was! Definitely worth a try...

Put yourself back into your childhood for a minute. Imagine you have just gotten into some disciplinary trouble and your teacher is about to tell you the consequences of your action. You expect a possible detention, extra classwork in place of recess, or, in the case of my high school, sweeping the cafeteria during your lunch period (after you finish lunch, of course). But the teacher doesn't deliver any of these options. Instead, you have been assigned to run x # of laps around the playground parking lot or perhaps the gym. "This isn't soccer practice!" you think to yourself. That's right, younger version of you; this is school in the UK. The education secretary of the UK has listed running laps as a permissible form of punishment along with weeding the grounds and other methods you can read about here:

How in the world does punishing children with running laps make sense in an era of rising obesity and decline in health and activity in children across the world? Mind-boggling! 

I'm sure this guy wouldn't approve.

Speaking of Mo Farah, he is training for his first marathon which will be the London Marathon taking place this April. The track speedster and Olympic champion has definitely got distance talent as he showed in his debut half marathon last September in England. How does he think he'll do in London? 

Again. Mind-Boggling.

Enjoy Day 1 of the Olympics!

Happy Running!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Winter wonderland

Now, this is a winter! Rutgers has a longstanding reputation for not cancelling school for any weather-related reasons. This reputation has certainly dwindled over the past few years, but this semester alone is enough to have made a dent in the university's reputation: since the beginning of the "Spring" semester, Rutgers has already closed the campus twice and has called for a delayed start for tomorrow.

This is one of the few snacks we enjoyed while spending out snow day at Hidden Grounds in New Brunswick. Hidden Grounds is a new underground cafe-style spot great for reading, catching up with a friend, and getting h/w done. This picture is of a Bombay sandwich of which its key ingredients are Indian cheese and mint chutney spread; Val and I got avocado instead of the cheese--so good! 

I keep saying to Val how much I'm tired of the snow, mainly because I'm tired of running in the snow. Truth be told, though, I actually have been loving running in the snow. Today I had a sudden euphoric sense while on a 4 mile run this morning. I thought it was going to be a drag having to deal with slushy roads, ice patches, and constant slipping, but it was actually an awesome experience. I could literally feel my leg muscles tightening, being used to ground my body and prevent a fall--quite an unusual, but sensational feeling. The snow-packed sidewalks were also a nice change of terrain from the roads and sidewalks that surround my current dwelling. As I was running, I recalled Anton Krupicka running up mountains and imagined I was doing the same. It is for this reason (and the impending bad weather for tomorrow) that I decided to run another 2 miles tonight and these miles were no different; except, I got to wear my headlamp again!

A bit out of context and delayed, but I thought I'd share this picture. It is of my parents' (read: dad's) kitten, Toby, watching the first quarter of the big game on Sunday. Five minutes later he was asleep like the rest of us. Kidding...but really.

That's all for tonight! Check out some of the links below for interesting running news articles that I have come across over the past couple days.

A new indoor/outdoor world record was set in the women's 1500 meter. The girl is one of three women in her family that are standouts in the running scene. Check out the article to see if you recognize the name and what her time was.

Ever hear of the 1% incline on a treadmill to mimic outdoor running? Apparently it's not that simple. Check out the article to see what I mean.

Want to be the first person to run across Canada entirely self-supported?! Too late. Feat accomplished. And yes, he was wearing a Flash costume...

I want to be like him when I'm his age: still going at it and staying strong while doing it. What in the world am I talking about? Find out:

That's all! Hope everyone stays safe tomorrow.

Happy Running!