WIAW #6: Yogurt and Peanut Butter and Ice Cream, Oh My!



Welcome to another round of WIAW! I’m really getting into this habit and look forward to seeing what everyone over at Peas and Crayons is featuring for their eats. This morning’s November Project workout temporarily distracted me. I was loving the shout-out from Christopher MacDougall in the NY Times today…and then he showed up at our workout! Now that I’m home and showered and cozying up to a plate of pancakes, I have some major food photo drooling to do before I head to school. Without further ado, here’s a snapshot of my yesterday’s eats…


Breakfast of champions

Breakfast of champions

Breakfast: Coffee, yogurt, a Braeburn apple, and an egg and goat cheese wrap inside a Food for Life brown rice tortilla. I received a package courtesy of Food for Life, and I’m happy to report that they’re a great new discovery. I love the Trader Joe’s kind, but the nearest TJ’s is one block south of my apartment – and about 1.5 miles to the west! Sometimes I buy groceries there and walk across Central Park, but in future I can find these at the natural foods store around the corner. The trick is to warm one for a minute in a pan before wrapping around your favorite filling. Then they’re nice and chewy and don’t break like a lot of gluten-free wraps!


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WIAW #5: Some Serious Salmon



Welcome to another WIAW, with Jenn at Peas and Crayons! Below are my eats from Monday, when I ate salmon at three meals without any intentional planning (I also had a bunch of smoked salmon left over from the weekend). I do love salmon, so it isn’t a surprise. And it comes in so many delicious forms. This day featured smoked salmon at breakfast and lunch and a filet of fresh salmon at dinner, but might just as easily have included a salmon burger or sushi. I try to think about sustainability since I prefer wild-caught salmon, but hopefully I’m doing okay!


Breakfast: One of my smoked salmon scrambles stuffed into a gluten-free wrap, with cucumber slices on the side. I paired this with a cup of berries for a filling morning meal. I also snacked on two slices of Muenster cheese while I was making the scramble.

A smoked salmon scramble wrap

A smoked salmon scramble wrap

This scramble is ready for its close-up!

This scramble is ready for its close-up!



Cinnamon and cream cheese

Cinnamon and cream chees


Morning snack: I grabbed two of my apple cinnamuffins and a smear of cream cheese to take to school, and munched on them around 11am while in class. I usually go for Greek yogurt or peanut butter on my muffins in a hurry, but the cream cheese paired nicely as well, especially with the cinnamon flavor. Kind of like cheesecake frosting!





Le Pain Quotidien Jams

Le Pain Quotidien Jams


The only thing that would have made it even more delicious was a dab of jam, because I love that combination – sadly, I did not have the means to cart a jar around in my purse, though I had picked up a jar of the Blueberry Jam at Le Pain when I was there for brunch last weekend.




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Welcome to another round of WIAW! I’m here to share yesterday’s eats with all of you, and can’t wait to see what everyone else over at Peas and Crayons has been cooking up. I was on the go pretty much all day, so you’ll see a lot of snacks! I woke up in Connecticut, went to a doctor’s appointment, hopped on Metro North and got off for class in Morningside Heights, took the subway to my internship at Lincoln Center, walked home across Central Park to the Upper East Side for dinner, left again for a Junior League meeting, and got home for good around 9pm. During that time, I consumed a lot of my go-to snacks, actually triple-timing both Greek yogurts and apples. At least I branched out with the varieties – a Dannon Greek Strawberry Banana, Fage 2% Acai Blueberry, and Fairway 2% Plain for the Greek yogurts, and Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, and Empire apples. And so, without further ado…

Strawberry banana yogurt + crispers

Strawberry banana yogurt + crispers


Breakfast: Today was a little snack-y, beginning with an early breakfast before an appointment in Connecticut. I had a Greek yogurt with some gluten-free Crispers (generic Crispix, sans barley malt) and a cup of decaf coffee, and an apple.



Brunch follows breakfast

Brunch follows breakfast


Brunch: After my appointment, I came home to eat, grab my stuff, and hop on a train back to Manhattan to head to an early afternoon class. I knew it might be my only real meal for awhile, so I whipped up a turkey cheddar omelette and had some salad with honey mustard dressing on the side (and another apple, yes). I also had a second cup of decaf coffee – a Dulce de Leche Cake Boss K-Cup.






On-the-go PB&J Yogurt


Early afternoon snack: While in class at school, I had a Fage 2% blueberry yogurt with a Peanut Butter Cup muffin crumbled in. I’ve mentioned before that I prefer mixing my own fruit, peanut butter, etc. into Greek yogurt, but these are great for when you’re on the go and don’t have that option! I packed the muffin, two yogurts, and the soy crisps pictured below and had them with me on the train.






A little like Dunkaroos!

Late afternoon snack: I found these mini rice cakes (or that’s what I thought they were) and decided to give them a try because I love anything apple cinnamon (like my Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins!) They turned out to be little crispy cakes made of soy protein, and made a decent little snack with a 2% Greek yogurt. I mixed some peanut butter into the yogurt and dipped the cakes in, a fun little treat to brighten my afternoon, during the two hours working at my internship that I squeezed in after class.






A simple salad to start

Dinner: Sometimes, even the most food-focused among us are in a rush and haven’t prepared anything ahead of time. I got home from my internship at 6pm and had exactly half an hour to cook and eat dinner before heading back out to a Junior League committee meeting at 7pm. So I turned to my freezer, where I try to keep a stash of a few frozen meals for times like this. I usually stick to some brands that I feel okay about eating – Amy’s, Evol, and Garden Lites to name a few. The meals are pricier than cooking, of course, but like I said, we all have crunch times! Tonight, I actually tried a new one, Udi’s Gluten Free Broccoli and Kale Lasagna.



Saved by Udis

Saved by the Udi’s bell

I’ve had Udi’s products before, but only recently saw their new line of frozen meals in stores near me. Since these boxed meals are never enough food to satisfy me, I try to add in whatever plain veggies and protein I have on hand in the fridge. Tonight, that meant frozen broccoli and cauliflower, and some plain cocktail shrimp. I tossed a few shrimp on a salad to eat while the meal was in the microwave, and then dug in. The meal appeared very “white” when cooked, which isn’t something I really like (colorful food is a must for both health and enjoyment in my book!) but I cut through the noodles and there were bright flecks of carrots and greens. It was pretty good – the cheese was a bit bland, but it hit the spot.



Blueberry sorbet with sprinkles

Blueberry sorbet with sprinkles


Then later, when I got home after my meeting, I had some blueberry sorbet with sprinkles for an evening snack, followed by an apple and some popcorn. I tend to eat most of my food between 8am and 8pm, but I’ve found it’s best to have a substantial snack if I eat dinner early and head out again – otherwise, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with my stomach growling!




An Empire apple and Skinny Pop

An Empire apple and Angie’s popcorn


I enjoyed my snacks while watching an episode of Friday Night Lights on Netflix. There’s barely anything left on television that I actually watch anymore – now that Parks and Rec is over (and sadly it seems like Hart of Dixie has followed suit) all my mindless entertainment comes from old favorites. It’s probably for the best – I don’t have much time to spend in front of a TV anyway!





© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.




Welcome to take two of What I Ate Wednesday! I’ll definitely be posting these the first Wednesday of every month, but since I’m blogging more and getting into the habit of photographing things (even the ones so delicious I don’t want to wait to taste them) I’ll do an extra round of WIAW every now and then. It’s so much fun to see what everyone else linking up at Peas and Crayons and Clean Eats Fast Feets is enjoying for their eats! This WIAW was prompted by a few things. First, the day documented here is the Tuesday after the NYC Half Marathon (even though it was Sunday, I was still in ‘eat all the food’ mode). Second, it was also the day that one of my very best friends in the world was scheduled to have her first child – and since she and her husband live on another continent, I spent a few hours waiting by Skype for some good news and snacking all the time! And third, it was during my law school spring break week so I had even more extra time to sit around and snack. (Also, this is officially my last spring break ever! Crazy.)


Greek yogurt with peanut butter, blueberry jam, a crumbled Peanut Butter Cuppin, and extra peanut butter!

A PB&J Crispy Cup!

Breakfast: I had the luxury of sleeping until 8:30 am (I’m on break, but I’m an early-to-bed and early-to-rise type. Anything past 9am is shocking these days!) I began my day with a mug of decaf Cake Boss Dulce de Leche coffee. Then I had a cherry Dannon Light n’ Fit Greek yogurt, with Barbara’s Brown Rice Crispies, fresh blueberries, and a little peanut butter mixed in. Basically, it was a peanut butter and jelly crispy cup of yogurt. I don’t typically go for the Greek yogurt that has fruit in it, as I prefer to mix in my own fresh fruit, but since I’m in Connecticut at my parents’ house, I get the benefit of a fridge full of Costco finds courtesy of my dad – like 24-packs of Dannon Greek fruit yogurts. I’m not complaining!



Today I took some fresh bananas and whipped up a new twist on my Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins, using one whole banana and a pouch of Gerber's pureed banana - they turned out so creamy and delicious!

A few little bites of heaven – this morning and this afternoon!

Mid-morning snack: For a few days after running a race, I never want to sit down to a huge meal. But I do want to eat little things constantly. I wasn’t in the mood for regular oatmeal (maybe it’s the vaguely springlike weather) so I decided to whip up a batch of muffins. We had a stash of Gerber’s squeezable banana packs because my mom and I thought they might make good on-the-go running snacks, but I don’t really like the taste. However, I thought they might work in muffins, so I used one whole banana and one pack of pureed banana in a twist on my Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins. They turned out creamy and delicious! I had two right from the pan.



A simple salad with fresh ingredients

My own twist on a Greek salad – the Frankly Fresh grape leaves are a great GF + vegan find!

Lunch: A bowl of romaine, carrots, and red cabbage, with Annie’s raspberry vinaigrette, feta cheese, a grape leaf, and grilled chicken. Both lunch and dinner today are totally courtesy of Costco ingredients. Some people might disparage big box stores (and they have for decades, considering how Tom Hanks talks about them in You’ve Got Mail) but it’s so much more cost-effective than a regular grocery store, ESPECIALLY for healthy whole foods. When I compare prices on, say, apples or lettuce, to those in a grocery store in NYC rather than in Connecticut, I cry a little inside. For example, a 3-lb (48 oz) bag of this Dole salad blend is $2.99 at Costco, whereas a 12 oz bag is $3.49 at an NYC Food Emporium or D’Agostino. Sigh. Moving on!



My pre-run snack smiled back at my today!

My snack smiled back at my today!


Afternoon snack: A couple more of those marvelous muffins, with fresh blueberries and a cup of decaf coffee.







My own delicious and nutritious "spaghetti and meatballs"

GF “spaghetti and meatballs”

Dinner: For my main course, I had a bowl of gluten-free, high-protein ‘spaghetti and meatballs’ made with this black bean spaghetti we found at Costco. It packs a wallop of protein and complex carbs and tastes great with sauce and cheese – definitely not like typical pasta, so don’t expect that, but if you like black beans, I’d recommend giving it a try! I tossed in some mirepoix (carrots, peas, corn, and green beans) and garlic and mozzarella chicken meatballs, and topped the whole thing with Parmesan cheese. Filling and delicious!



Sweet and snappy

Sweet and snappy


Dessert: I kept it simple with a bowl of Angie’s sweet and salty kettle corn and a Pink Lady apple (you must know I’d squeeze one in somewhere!) A sweet treat to end the day.






What was your favorite meal today? Are you a snacker or do you stick to three square meals a day?




© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Food for Thought



A few articles recently got me thinking about food in our culture. I’ve been reading Mark Bittman’s columns in the New York Times for awhile, and he focuses on bringing the focus back to real food. Many of his suggestions for improving the food ‘industry’ are great. But the Times publishes articles on eating ‘this’ and not ‘that’ all the time, and the Wall Street Journal is just as guilty, reporting on research that we should restrict the time during which we eat – until, of course, the next piece of advice rolls around or the government changes its mind again. And these, for a New Yorker, are some of the most reputable publications we look to for news. Don’t even get me started on all the ‘diet tips’ and ‘secrets to weight loss’ that appear on the cover of every girlie magazine around!

One of the many downsides to this constant focus on how we treat food, instead of on just eating food, is that everyone begins to feel like it’s completely acceptable to comment constantly on the eating habits of other people (or even worse, to act like an amateur nutritionist dispensing advice that may or may not hurt the recipient). I get so many comments from acquaintances, ranging from shock if they’re with me at a post-run brunch at the volume of food my sturdy 5′ self can consume, to lectures on eating more when I just have a cup of tea or small glass of wine while out (because they don’t know that I’ve already eaten my fill, or simply am not hungry, and somehow don’t understand my routine of eating when I’m hungry, even if it’s at weird times!). I’m motivated to spread the word that this whole commenting on what other people are eating thing is not okay, unless the comment is (a) how delicious it looks, (b) ‘can I have the recipe?’ or (c) a question about my allergies (which some people hate, but I don’t mind, because some of mine are weird and most people have never met someone allergic to oranges, so I consider it a learning experience). But otherwise, my mantra is live and let live.

Even though I’ve moved past letting those comments affect my behavior, I still think they have a bad effect on promoting distorted body image and eating habits, especially among the young. I used to read those lists of ‘Top 10 Foods to Avoid’ or whatever they’re titling them these days, and suddenly decide that I had to cut out salmon, or something else completely ridiculous, and feel guilty if I slipped up. I’d try to copy ‘guilt-free’ recipes and in the process I didn’t just retain the guilt, I lost the joy in food. Now, I basically ignore everything I see and hear that purports to be advice on food, because the best advice, it turns out, is listening to your own body (and your doctor, of course!) I’m eating way more than ever before as I ramp up my running and add in new workouts, making sure to fuel and refuel properly. Between that and the fact that I need to eat every couple of hours to feel alert and focused, what I eat on a daily basis (showcased in my WIAW) tends to be mostly whole, unprocessed foods (with some ice cream and my own homemade baked treats, of course!) in pretty large quantities – I can put away a LOT of fruit and yogurt! And it suits me just fine.


2% Greek yogurt with peanut butter, blueberries, and a crumbled Caramel Apple Cinnamuffin - YUM

2% Greek yogurt with peanut butter, blueberries, and a crumbled Caramel Apple Cinnamuffin – YUM


But I didn’t just decide to share my own eating habits as a snapshot of my own life – I want to make it part of my effort to show the world that food means something different to everyone, and that no one should have to deal with other people commenting on what they eat, or feel ‘guilty’ at any time. There are some inspiring reads out there from other bloggers on this same topic, and I’ve linked a few of them here: Better Than Sprinkles on ‘Guilt-Free’, the Pickyrunner Food Story, and focusing on food itself at Running With Spoons. It’s wonderful to know that others out there have the same goal, and it’s my fervent hope that change is possible!





This is my Thinking Out Loud Thursday – I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you ever get frustrated when others comment on your food choices? Do you think we’ve all become a bit too food-obsessed?




© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.


Welcome to WIAW!

So now that I’ve been at this blogging thing for a few months, I’ve learned a lot more about the whole universe of writers out there sharing their thoughts and lives. It’s provided me with so much inspiration, and made me feel like part of another community, which is awesome. In the spirit of many of my favorites, I’ve decided to post a ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ on the first Wednesday of every month. This definitely makes me feel like I’m more integrated into the blogging community, but it’s also important to me because while I post many of my recipes here, what I eat on a daily basis obviously includes so much more – and I think it’s totally possible to eat for both health and happiness! Part of my growing love for cooking is experimenting with new foods, and figuring out ways around my allergies when trying different dishes. But there are some standbys I can’t live without (apples, Greek yogurt, eggs, baby carrots) that you’ll probably see in every future WIAW post. So without further ado, this is a little look at how I lived and ate yesterday!


Two muffins to start the morning

Two muffins to start the morning

Pre-run breakfast: A good little cautionary tale is how I ran my first half marathon last year without eating beforehand and taking in about 5 sips of water, then basically threw a temper tantrum when my parents and I went to JG Melon for brunch about an hour after finishing and there was a wait to be seated, so was taken to the diner up the street and not only ordered like an impatient kindergartner, but ate a plate of sweet potato fries bigger than my face and was promptly sick. Sad face. I’ve realized that anything more than a 10k for me requires a little fuel in the tank. I hate gels and goo, and I’m allergic to many bars, but I can stomach one of my little muffins, a perfect mix of protein and carbs. This time, it was two Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins.



Rudi's GF spinach wrap with white Cheddar, turkey, and scrambled eggs

Rudi’s GF spinach wrap with white Cheddar, turkey, and scrambled eggs

Post-run brunch: My schedule is a little strange because I’m a law student – I have class in odd blocks of time and fit running, reading, working at my internship, blogging, and other daily activities around those hours. So on Tuesdays, for example, I end up eating lots of little meals and snacks. I had a wrap with turkey, eggs, and Cheddar cheese with some cucumber slices, with a chaser of cottage cheese with some blueberries, for a post-run refuel before I headed to school. Oh, and about two bottles of water and a cup of coffee to rehydrate. (I hydrate more than pretty much anyone else I know, but hey, whatever works!) 


School and internship snacks: I had class from 11am-3pm, so I had a yogurt with GF apple cinnamon cereal, a Braeburn apple, and another muffin. Then, I was at my internship from 3:30-6pm, and I had a bag of baby carrots and one of those little to-go packs of hummus, along with a second yogurt. Honestly, my snacks are pretty repetitive – they have to be small and sturdy enough to throw in my backpack, and it’s hard to bring more than one thing that needs an ice pack. I’ve started freezing yogurts and using those as the ice for other foods if I want to bring a real lunch, but then I have to wait for them to thaw to eat them, which is sort of unpredictable! I also drank about four bottles of water and a bottle of Propel.

2% Greek yogurt with apple cinnamon O's

2% Greek yogurt with apple cinnamon O’s

I poked that little hole in the top of the muffin to pack in some peanut butter before wrapping it up to take along!

I poked that little hole in the top of the muffin to pack in some peanut butter before wrapping it up to take along!










A bowl of Veggie Quinoa 'Pagodas' with chicken, cheese and more veggies

A bowl of Veggie Quinoa ‘Pagodas’ with chicken, cheese and more veggies

Dinner: I was home early enough to whip up a home-cooked meal, so I went for one of my big bowls. I just bought a box of Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta on sale and tried it for the first time as a base – it was pretty good. I never really ate a lot of pasta as a kid, except for mac and cheese, because I didn’t like tomatoes or tomato sauce (luckily I’ve reformed!) and I’m allergic to pesto. But I’m starting to try it more often. I topped it with chopped grilled chicken breast, the 365 brand of mirepoix (basically peas, carrots, corn, and green beans) and a bunch of Parmesan cheese. With another bottle or two of water, of course.



My peanut butter cup sundae with sprinkles

My peanut butter cup sundae with sprinkles


Dessert: I love ice cream, even in winter, so as my own way of telling the snow it was time to go away, I made myself a little sundae – peanut butter cup ice cream with a little extra peanut butter and some chocolate chips, plus my favorite allergy-free rainbow sprinkles tossed in for good measure. I also had another apple, Pink Lady this time. And a cup of apple cinnamon spice decaf tea.





I really like salted rice cakes as a delivery vehicle for PB + J - something about that sweet n' salty combo!

I really like salted rice cakes as a delivery vehicle for PB + J – something about that sweet n’ salty combo!

Evening snack: some rice cakes with peanut butter and raspberry jam. Nothing fancy! And, admittedly, yet another apple. Empire, if you’re wondering. I’ll be perfectly honest, I eat far more apples than the one a day your doctor recommends – easily two or three a day in fall and winter. It’s a little less in the warmer months, when peaches and berries are in season and added to the mix, but even then, apples are just so easy to grab and go, or to slice up and enjoy with a little peanut butter. They go well with both sweet and savory foods, and to be totally honest, I don’t feel like I’m done with meals without finishing off an apple at the end sometimes.




So there you have it! 6 ‘eating times’ in a day, with food in a variety of shapes and sizes. I pretty much eat within the 8am-to-8pm range, so it’s every couple of hours. And I enjoy every bite!


So I refill that water bottle about 10x a day...and altogether this gets me through 24 hours!

So I refill that water bottle about 10x a day…and altogether this gets me through 24 hours!






© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.