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Showing posts from January, 2012

Bake Blondies Better!

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Wow this is long overdue.  All fall, I've been baking up my signature blondies, although, for the first time in years, I've been switching up the flavors. Keeping things interesting. Healthifying it up!

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In December, my friend Jeff came over to help me prepare not one, not two, but FOUR batches of blondies--each a different flavor.  They're all the same basic recipe, with variations on flavor and dietary-swaps.  I began baking the plain chocolate-chip blondies before he arrived, to get things moving.

It all starts with some melted white chocolate and butter*...


Mix into another bowl containing mixed sweeteners, vanilla, baking powder, and eggs (or sub--see below!)


Anddd flour, etc, combine...


Add your semisweet chocolate chips!  Save a few to top it off with later, and a few to nosh on yourself. (Perks of being the baker.)

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Et voila - blondies, 45 minutes later.

Jeff arrived with the rest of the white chocolate needed and made me a VERY happy girl.


Read more to see what…

NYC Blogger Playdate + Kettlebells !!

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I am sore today.  Ask me why.  (Why are you sore, Meredith?)  Because I had a kick-butt workout yesterday at Anderson's Martial Arts Academy!

Let me back up, though, because this was part of something majorly momentous:  my first blogger meet-up, a group fitness class and lunch, organized by Keelie at Sweat=Success, who brought a dozen NYC health & fitness gals together on a Saturday afternoon.


It started at Anderson's Martial Arts, where stellar instructor Dasha and her team generously treated us to an hour-long runthrough of their signature Kettlebell Kickboxing class.  What are kettlebells, you ask?  They're those funny-looking weights in the photo above, and they come in all shapes and sizes!


The Academy provides a nice description of their unique workout:

Kettlebell Kickboxing is a one-of-a-kind FEMALE only method developed by fitness & martial art expert Dasha Libin, MS, NASM-PES, NASE. Kettlebell Kickboxing redefines the body by combining the sleek and deadl…

Virtual 3.5-mile Race Recap

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In honor of her 34th birthday and her 1st "blogiversary", Toni at Running, Loving, Living is hosting a virtual race!  


Obviously, I signed up right away. Why not? Just another great excuse to push myself to run at my best.

Today was when I planned to do it.  It worked in well to my running schedule for the week.  The only glitch was that I'd meant to do the run in the morning, but I awoke, got dressed to run, applied EverStride, and affixed my heart rate monitor, only to discover that my Garmin battery was drained. Oops!  So I plugged it in and postponed my run until noontime, and spent my morning fueling up and doing some reading for classes.


Finally, up and out!  This was the perfect day for a "winter" run, and it was actually beneficial that I waited until later in the day, because it was quite warm out!  Sun shining, crisp air, and a dry path; what could be better?

I was planning to run as long as I  could for the first 3.5 miles to time myself for the virt…

Make up for it!

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Is it okay to take a week easy when you're not feeling so well?  Of course!  Is it alright to do an indoor workout instead of your planned outdoor run, because it dropped below freezing and snow covered the streets?  In my book, that's a smart move.  However, do NOT use these as excuses to fall behind in your training plan or to drift further from your goals.

Last week, these two things happened at the same time.  Since the Boston 5k a few weeks ago, I've lost my mojo.  The combination of the weather and my awful head cold kept me from performing at my best, and kept me in the gym all week rather than outside running, and, even then, I didn't give my best.  And now, even today when I'm feeling better, I couldn't seem to get myself to the gym to log miles. Another unplanned rest day. Sigh.

This all meant I fell way below my weekly quota in working toward my 600 Miles in 2012 Challenge.  I logged 3 miles of treadmill running on Monday, but then the remaining mile…

Use your sportswatch for ALL workouts!

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So you remember, last month, I got my very first sportswatch: A Garmin 405CX.  I tested it, it worked out well.  Some of you may have seen the recent New York Times article about the inaccuracies of GPS watches.  For me, this isn't such a huge deal.  As of now, the maximum distance I cover in one run is 6 miles, and usually it's closer to 3, so any error might not affect such a distance. Further, I don't need it to be exact-exact.  In races, I'll trust the course planners' judgment, knowing that my own GPS may not be perfect.  It'll be good enough for logging my miles in 2012 for my resolution!

It was a great help in my training, helping me pace myself.  That's how I stayed strong during January's 5k Resolution Run.  You can see below, it wasn't perfectly steady (or maybe we can blame THAT on error?) but I continuously hovered around my goal pace: 10 min / mile.


HOWEVER, I've foundtons of uses for my sportswatch besides the GPS distance-tracker …

Make an Omelette

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This weekend, get some vegetables into your brunch by making a vegetable omelet!  This is for newbies: Omelet-Making 101.



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Although I make omelets all the time, I'm always surprised when someone I know says they don't know how; they just scramble.  So this time, I dare you to make an omelet, and not only that, but to fill it with VEGETABLES instead of meat, cheese, etc.  This is one great way to get those recommended daily servings in, and early on!

Quick question: do you prefer "omelette" or the Americanized version "omelet"? Tough call, here.  I used to do the double-T French style, but recently I find myself spelling it omelet.  Guess it depends on how fancy I'm feeling?

You can choose whatever produce you like. Here, I chose baby spinach, button mushrooms, and plum tomatoes, but your options are endless: shredded carrots, avocado, broccoli, portobello mushrooms, onions, bell peppers...

Then, slice them and dice them.  Sometimes I keep them pretty l…

Don't Stop: 5k resolution race

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What a weekend!  Where do I begin?  Well, I guess I'll start at the very beginning ("a very good place to start..."), and in the middle, you'll get to read about my second 5k race!


From the start:
On Friday I traveled to Boston to visit my cousins Stephanie & Aaron.  Steph and I did some running-related errands (scoping out Garmins, buying running socks, trying on masks) before settling at home, where Aaron had prepared a deliiiicious eggplant parmesan dinner.


For dessert, Stephanie whipped out her ice-cream machine (ooh, ahh) and we tossed in Greek yogurt, sugar, and... was it vanilla? to make homemade FROYO!!


Wowww.  It churned and churned for 20 minutes before it magically emerged as frozen yogurt, tasting just like the best froyo in Philadelphia.  I like it because it really tastes like actual yogurt (because it is), but sweeter (sugar. duhh).  Delish!  We added all kinds of toppings, of course, although it was definitely tasty enough to eat plain.  Between t…