My cycling playlist for tonight.

Cycling 11-9

It starts out with some more chill tunes, then speeds it up towards the end, so that the workout gains momentum and ends on a high note.  When I run again, this will be my new playlist. 

Run time: 52 minutes

Enjoy 🙂


Not So Normal Day

Today was ok…


I started out foam rolling, stretching, and icing.  Yep, no running for me yet.  I think Annie is right, it’s my IT Band.  When I foam roll it, I could cry :( 

I have to get better though!  I have a turkey trot to do with Daddio on Thanksgiving day.  And that is coming up fast!  I’m going to do a recipe series for healthy versions of your favorite Thanksgiving foods, so stay tuned!


Although my foam roller really hurts….it really helps.  I almost feel like breaking into song….

“Come on baby, make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good” –John Mellencamp

No?  Ok so maybe that’s just me.


Have you ever foam rolled???  I like this tutorial from Runners World.  The videos are linked.

The weather is perking up a bit.  We hit 65 today, which is EXTREMELY mild for November.  I know the cold is coming, I’m bracing myself for it. 

It was still chilly this morning, so I made myself a big bowl of oats!


Topped with vanilla almond milk, brown sugar, raisins, and a dollop of peanut butter (the love of my life!)  Mr Snowman accompanied my breakfast with piping hot coffee from the Keurig.  I’m onto Caribou Coffee now.  Very delish.

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I got my coffee down, and headed out the door for classes.  It was so much easier to get up and ready this morning, as sunrise was at 715 as opposed to 815.  Yes, Purdue is on the edge of the time zone.  We should be central time, but the darn state is confused.  They just recently started going along with the whole daylight savings time!  They’re late bloomers I guess 😉

Oh the best part of my day!?  Free Starbucks coffee!  It wasn’t ready when I ordered my tall coffee this morning, so the nice guy at the register only made me pay for my coffee cake.  He even brought the coffee to me when it was ready.  Thank you Starbucks!


After class, I headed home for lunch.  I’m on an egg kick right now, so lunch was scrambled eggs with a bit of cheese, topped with Wegmans Southwest Salsa with Blackbeans and corn mmm mmm!  Plus two slices of Virginia Savory bread.  I think I need to open my own Great Harvest somewhere…I eat a lot of their bread.


What is that you ask???  Its a cold face mask.  What do I use it for?  Getting rid of headaches!  Yes, no pain reliever involved.  I think this crazy weather is causing some major sinus issues.  I won’t complain, I like the mild weather.


I noticed this when I was taking the trash out!  I had no idea I lived this close to the Lafayette water tower.  The way the sunset was shining off of it with the red in the trees, I had to take a picture.  I can see the Mount Pleasant water tower from my backyard at home, so it makes me feel a teensy weensy bit less homesick.

Later on….

Dinner did not disappoint.  I got hungry a lot earlier though because of the time change. 

Dad thinks I should call this meal “Yankee Pot Roast”…so that’s what its going to be called

Yankee (Doodle) Pot Roast


  • 2-3 lb roast
  • a bunch of baby carrots
  • 2 large stalks of celery (chopped)
  • 4 small yukon gold potatoes (diced)
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • 1 can vegetable broth (hey, that’s what I had on hand)
  • sprinkle of Montreal Steak seasoning
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Whisk soup mix and broth together in the slow cooker.  Place roast in first.  Top with veggies and seasonings.  Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.  To make gravy, take out roast and veggies once cooked.  Keep drippings and broth in slow cooker.  Add Wondra/Flour (about 2 Tbsp) and whisk.  Allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

So, you’re probably asking, why red meat?  Well why not?   Unless you are eating a burger for lunch and a steak for dinner every night, I say enjoy red meat in moderation.  Once a week will not hurt.  To make the eats a little healthier, choose a leaner cut such as sirloin.  I’m not an RD, this is just my philosophy on food and healthy eating.  I do, however, have 4 and a half years of nutrition education…

The less healthy choice I made today were these little babies:


I thought, PERFECT, tiny cookies to keep my inner cookie monster from raging! 

MAJOR FAIL….They’re almost gone and I bought them on Saturday.  My inner cookie monster comes out even if there is a crumb on the ground from a cookie.  I should have known better.  I think there is always that one food for everyone, that if they keep it in the house, they can’t keep their hands off of it. 


Just one more. . .

Well Charlie and me are going to go switch between DWTS and the Steelers Game!  Have a wonderful evening everyone 🙂


Charlie says tootle-loo 😉

‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the season to be thankful 🙂

Today was All Saints Day at church.  Not all of us may be Christian, nor religious, but I believe that most of us find the importance of remembering those who have positively impacted our lives and being thankful for them.  In this way, they have acted as a “saint”.

I love that this religious celebration comes at a time when the whole country is preparing for Thanksgiving and the Holidays.  This time of year is for being with family and friends, and being thankful.  So why not be thankful for our family and friends? 

My family has supported me, cheered me on, taught me right from wrong, led me on a successful path, and loved me with every ounce of their being.  For this I am thankful, and I love them with every ounce of my being. 

I hope today you will reflect on those who have positively impacted your life (alive or passed away) and show thanks.  Gratitude opens up so many doors 🙂


‘Tis the Season to be Merry 🙂


I love coffee, tea, hot chocolate, you name it, if it’s cold outside and the drink is warm, its in my mug.  So ‘Tis the season to bargain shop!  I found these two winter mugs for $3.99/each!  The snowman is from Target (one of my favorite stores!) and the red and white one is from Homegoods/TJMaxx (a bargain shoppers heaven for cooking/decorating stuff).  I love to bargain hunt!  Do you?


Sur la Table usually is not the place to bargain hunt, so I bought $1 cookie cutters to make sugar cookies for Christmas.  A snowflake, a tree, and a snowman will be so much fun to decorate!  Do you bake your own, or eat everyone else’s cookies??


$1 ornaments!  Total steal :)  I decided to redo my decor for my Christmas tree (it’s been blue white and silver for 4 years – Penn State tree), but my living room is deep orange, so I’m going with the metallics – gold, silver, and bronze.  I think it will make a classy tree!  How do you decorate your Christmas tree?


I found “Miracle on 34th Street” at Target today for $8.99!  I haven’t seen the original, so I figured for that price, I can watch it and rewatch it, and rewatch it.  But I have to say that “It’s a Wonderful Life” is my favorite all time Christmas movie, but the claymations (ie Rudolph and The Year Without A Santa) always make me read for Christmas.  What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

Sorry if you’re not ready for the holidays yet, but it’s coming fast and I just want to enjoy it for as along as possible….2 months isn’t too much right?  That’s still only 1/6 of the year!


Tis the Season to Eat GOOOOODDDD Food !

Caprese Panini ala Great Harvest


Ina Garten totally inspired my latest creation.  I had these sandwiches A LOT while I was in Italy and it reminds me of a caprese salad on a sandwich. 


You need:

  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • pesto
  • provolone or mozzarella cheese (I like provolone better)
  • your favorite bread
  • butter

I used Virginia Savory bread from Great Harvest and it was perfect!  Do you have a Great Harvest near you?



Spread pesto on both sides, layer with tomatoes and cheese.  Butter the outer sides of your sandwich.


Use your panini maker and squish and cook until the outside is golden and crusty!  (Squish is a technical Panini term that only the best Panini makers in Italy use 😉 )


Serve with your fav veggie!  I ate broccolini for the first time with it.  Come back for that recipe later (regular broccoli can be subsituted).


HELP !!!

So my running lately has been on hold.  I hurt my knee last week and then ran my half marathon…and it still hurts!  It hurts on the outside and only when I run on it!  Do you know what I did to it?  Can you help me solve the puzzle??  If so leave a comment or email me (you can find my email under About >>Contact Me )

I Love . . .

I have a confession to make: 


I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER, probably more than any other food. 

If the end of the world were to come tomorrow, I would want to spend the rest of the day eating peanut butter. 

I love peanut butter on sandwiches.

I love it with fruit

I love it as a savory topping

and I love it straight out of the jar. 

I love cheap peanut butter, I love all natural peanut butter, I love flavored peanut butter…

To conclude I love Peanut Butter.  Which is why when I saw this today, I kind of freaked out


The last jar of Wegmans creamy peanut butter peaking out of the pantry.  THE LAST JAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wegmans Creamy Peanut Butter is by far my favorite.  What is the difference between this jar and Jif or Skippy or Peter Pan?  I think for me its just creamier and maybe a little thicker in flavor.  So thank you Wegmans, for making a cheap and delicious version of my favorite food :) 

Note:  I do not have a Wegmans near me anymore, so I send a request to my Mom to package this peanut butter, along with other Wegmans items that I LOVE.  Thanks Mom, love ya!

Snack of the Day:

Of course it has peanut butter!


Half an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin, Wegmans Creamy Peanut Butter, Pumpkin Butter (also purchased at Wegmans), and raisins.  I think this combination of foods needs to be repeated again.  It was delicious, but gone too fast.


Something else the I love:


I think looking through cookbooks for recipes is more fun that surfing the net, however, it is not friendly for my student budget, as they can cost $25 a pop!  So how does one get themselves out of this?  A library of course.


I brought these two home yesterday.  Ina Garten, you are my culinary role model!  Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan is another I picked up (great reviews on Amazon).  I thought it would strike a great balance with the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes I’ll make from the Barefoot Contessa hehe


Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwiches….mmmm


Vegetables!  Yes please


oooooo yummy…this is actually from the Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.  Ina Garten would be proud 🙂


I cant’ wait to start!  Tomato, Mozzarella and Pesto Panini’s will be made this evening.  I bought Virginia Savory Bread from Great Harvest yesterday that is begging to be eaten. 


Hope everyone is gearing up for a wonderful weekend!  I’m Christmas shopping tomorrow.  Tis’ the season ya’ll!


Christmas Countdown:  50 more days!


“As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.”

– Donald E. Westlake

Eye Opening


I’ve been running across a lot of hype about McDonald’s and people claiming that the food doesn’t decompose.  In essence, the food that you put into your body that was handed to you from the drive thru window is like King Tut: resistant to the test of time.  That’s exactly what I want to eat.  *rolling eyes*

Sallie Davies was actually the woman who discovered the non-decomposition phenomenon of McDonald’s food.  After 6 months of watching her “experiment”, she noticed no mold growth on the food but rather a plastic feel and a sheen. 

McDonald’s of course came back to say that Sallie’s claims were unsubstantiated and any burger held this long would not look like this unless it was tampered with.  So you can make of it what you will, but here’s another look at someone else who found that McDonald’s food won’t decompose.


So let me ask you this, if mold and fungi won’t eat this food, why would you??? 

I’m not trying to say that you shouldn’t eat at McDonalds, but it just raises a good question. 

However McDonald’s food isn’t the only food in your house that is resistant to decomposition…a lot of processed foods won’t age.  Ever wonder why those Christmas sausages they sell in the store can be sold outside the freezer section next to the bread???  Or why frozen pizzas can stay in your freezer for years and still be edible?  Truth is: SALT (and a lot of chemicals). 

So when you’re headed to the grocery store, restaurant, or your kitchen, will you think about your food choices a little more?  I hope so.  That’s really what I’m trying to do here.  I like food that goes bad in a week: fruits, vegetables, fresh bread, fresh fish….

Last photo to leave you with (please come back to Eat On The Run even after I show you this….PLEASE!!!)

What is it???  Think chicken nuggets….


Now go have your lunch break with a healthy whole grain sandwich made with fresh preserves and all natural peanut butter.  Followed by a big juicy pear and unsweetened iced tea 🙂



Disclaimer:  You can Google all these images and websites.  What I wrote about is what I read about.  It is my report.  Seeing this story on CBS news made me realize how much hype it was getting.  So read with a grain of salt and take what you will from it. 

Recovery and Questions from #FitBlog

I want to extend a big thank you to my legs for running the 13.1 miles even during times of extreme pain.  Thank you for walking my butt around Chicago that afternoon, and then getting me around campus the next day.  I’m sorry that you’re still sore and achy. 


So I’m taking a few days off from running, teaching spin to work out the kinks, and foam rolling.  Later on this week I’m going to pay homage to one of my favorite recovery tools 🙂



What is #FitBlog chat?:  it is a Twitter chat, set up by Katy Widrick on Tuesday evenings at 9pm.  You don’t have to have a blog to participate. 

Every week someone new will moderate the questions, and the community will respond.  Here’s a list of this weeks questions and my responses….

1) When it comes to the holidays, how do you strike a balance between moderation and celebration?

I usually will indulge in what is special during that time of year.  If it’s pumpkin rolls during Thanksgiving or my mom’s chicken parm on Christmas Eve.  If there is a food I see regularly, like chocolate chip cookies, I’m less likely to indulge.  Try to decide what you really want to try and enjoy and what is going on your plate just to fill space.

1.1) What is your favorite October – December Holiday?

I love Thanksgiving because its all about being with family.  It’s not about the gifts or anything, just family and friends.  That’s the best kind of holiday you could ask for.

2) How has social media changed the way you respond to people that say/do something negative toward you or others?

Social media has made me more aware of our differences to be open minded and smart about how I choose to communicate .  I know that people read my blogs, my tweets, and my facebook updates.  Even if I’m only affecting one person, that is still one person, and I want to influence that person in a positive way.  I think I’ve also grown more immune to others negativity as a result.  Being involved in social media, you see a lot of bashing and complaining.  We need to use these tools to help people, share our knowledge, and spread hope.

3) Define beauty — what does it mean to you in 140 characters or less?

Beauty is appreciating who you are now.  Right now.  Not who you want to be or what you want to look like.  Learn to love who you are now.  Life won’t wait.

3.1) Do you consider yourself beautiful?

I do now.  I didn’t for a very long time.  But, now I’m meeting so many of my health goals…eating well, exercising regularly, and managing my stress levels.  When I’m doing all three of these things I feel beautiful, and I’m therefore motivated to stick with those habits.

4) Look back at the last 10 months of 2010.  What’s your headline?

Goodbye Undergrad…Hello PhD! 


Choose one of these questions and let me know how you would respond 🙂

The Windy City – A Halloween Race (13.1)

What do I consider a good time for Halloween???

A) A Big Bowl of Candy?


B) Carving Pumpkins?


or C) Running a Half Marathon

If you guessed C, you would be correct.  Carbo-loading, restricting my intake of candy and alcohol, and running 13.1 miles seemed like more fun than bobbing for apples, drinking loads of pumpkin beer, and dressing like a bar maid…if you think I’m weird, you’re probably right 🙂

So on Saturday, Chris and I headed into the city (my first time to Chicago!).  We stayed at the Blackstone Renaissance, which was absolutely wonderful.  I highly recommend staying there if you’re headed to Chicago.

When we got there, we definitely needed to stretch our legs.  So we took a long walk along Lake Michigan.  I loved the views.  Sadly, even though I’m from Pittsburgh, I had never seen a Great Lake (except from a plane).



Sears Tower aka Willis Tower…


Down by the water.  I soon realized why it was called the “Windy City”.  My hair looked pretty bad the whole time. 


We headed to Navy Pier.  But before we got there, we saw a giant noodle….yes a NOODLE!


There was a warning…


“Please don’t climb on the Big Noodle.”

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The Pier was chock full of some pretty fun things, if you’re 5 or have the heart of a 5 year old…as I do.  I loved the fun house mirrors that made me look taller.  Maybe I’ll install one in my bedroom 🙂


Loved the view while we rested our feet.

Later on, before we SHOPPED, we headed to Millenium Park, home of a giant mirror like bean.  Interesting, and everyone was touching it.



“Hello good lookin” ;)  Yep we did split a Venti Iced Soy Caramel Macchiato…gotta keep the energy up!


The view from underneath the bean

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Soooo cool.  I love how these pictures turned out.

We had to walk about 12 blocks to get to Niketown, but I saw some of the most beautiful buildings…my favorite: The Chicago Tribune Building.




Then I found a spot that I’ve been wanting to come to since I was 8!

The American Girl Place 🙂


Then we did some shopping: we tried on Vibram 5 Fingers (I’m still not sure), found a Lucy Store (great workout gear, annoying salesperson), and tried the new Columbia Omni-heat jackets and gear….I was warm and snug as a bug in a rug!

Before our feast of Italian food and bread at Rosebud, we saw a Giant Spider hanging out on the side of building.  Only on Halloween.


We were so exhausted, I think we inhaled our food, watch the PSU vs. Michigan game (which PSU won!), and fell fast asleep.  We dreamt of running shoes, perfect weather, and lots of water and porta potties along the race course hehe




All dressed and ready to go…sleepy faces included.

Many people wore costumes, I just wore bats in my hair.  Disclaimer: wearing bats in your hair will not make you any faster.


I was excited!!


Good morning Chicago!  Let’s Race 🙂


Although this picture doesn’t show it, there was a huge backup at the porta potties, so pre race relief was not in sight!


Starting to get ready and antsy in the pantsy.

We started the race around 8 am and ran along the beautiful lakeshore trail.  I loved the race course.  My run was definitely one of my worst and I had the worst knee pain.  I’m rehabbing it now with lots of ice and Aleve.  But, if you’re looking for a fun Half Marathon, try the Chicago Monster!  Great hotel accommodations, great communication by the race staff (even with the overnight race course change) and wonderful volunteers. 


A stiff but happy finisher 🙂


Both of us were pretty sore and tired, but before we left Chicago for the day, we had to go to the Sears Tower!


It’s known as the Willis Tower now because Willis Group Holdings, Ltd. leased more than 140,000 square feet of space on three floors in 2009.  So it was renamed “Willis Tower” in July of 2009. 


We took a tour of the history of Chicago and the Sears Tower, along with a short video depicting the construction and history of the Sears Tower.  Then we climbed the 110 Stories on an elevator that went 26 feet per second.  My ears popped a few times on the way up!


The top!



It was so beautiful.  Good thing I didn’t have a heart attack in the elevator (a weird thing I’m afraid of).


There are 4 different sky decks which are made of all glass that allows you to feel like you’re floating above the city.  SO COOL!


We actually saw 2 couples get engaged at the top!

Afterward we got coffee at Dunkin, I LOVE DUNKIN, and I had a Fall Munchkin :)  A munchkin for a munchkin.  Chris had the full Fall Donut, I ate the donut hole, a match made in donut heaven 🙂

Considering we did run 13.1 miles that morning, we were still hungry, at least I was.  So we stopped at a hotel restaurant called Cafe 676.


No one else was in the restaurant while we were, so we had the best seats.


Even a view of Niketown!

But the best view came after we ordered:


French toast with orange cream and granola.   Perfection!


I loved Chicago 🙂 and I can’t wait to go back!


Hope everyone else had a wonderful Halloween weekend and had their fill of candy and treats