Happy 4th of July and Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Fourth of July everyone and Happy Birthday to me (tomorrow)!

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Here I am with my pickle on a stick at our town fair for the Fourth. :-)

Tomorrow is my birthday, hence why I have been MIA this week. I have been SOOO busy shopping, prepping and cooking for my birthday party that we are having in my parent’s new backyard tomorrow. I promise to write a full recap filled with prep tips, pics, and the outcome! Let’s just say I did about 10 and a half hours of cooking/baking Β yesterday and more work today. I am not complaining at all because I truly LOVE to cook and bake. I am so excited to share the menu with you all. We will be having quite the spread!

Until then, enjoy the rest of the weekend and Happy Birthday America (and me)!!!

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Recent Eats!

Happy Wednesday everyone! I am not participating in WIAW because I didn’t document a day of eats but I do think Wednesdays are all about food in the blogging world so here are some of my recent eats!

Last week for my Dad’s 65th birthday (he may kill me for mentioning that) we celebrated with some Cuban food!

We ordered some yummy apps for the table:

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Empanadas filled with Spinach and Manchego cheese. I LOVE Manchego cheese, it is so good.

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“Cuban Sandwich” Papas Rellenos.

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This was amazing, Dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon, OMG!

For dinner I got the Red Snapper with a plantain salsa on top with a side of plantains and their house salad.

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After that we headed to a local ice cream place and I got the most delicious ice cream ever that I can’t stop thinking about it.

Vanilla ice cream with giant swirls of peanut butter and hot fudge. SO DAMN GOOD!

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I am just a tiny bit obsessed with chocolate and peanut butter.

On Saturday when I was shopping at Trader Joe’s they had samples of these Cookie Butter Dark chocolate cups. Verdict: AMAZING. I didn’t but them because they were a little pricey but I did take a second sample to bring home to my sister because she loves cookie butter!

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On Sunday I cooked dinner for my family. My parents are getting their kitchen re-done next week so they are trying to make their way through a lot of the food in the fridge/freezer. We had a ton of half way used frozen veggies so I made Pasta Primavera (I used mini shells, with random frozen and fresh veggies, grilled chicken and parmesan cheese). I also served it with a Kale and Apple Salad tossed in a Poppyseed dressing.

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Pasta primavera is such a simple, yet delicious and healthy meal!

I needed to bake for a gathering that I had to attend so I made these Chocolate Chip Blondies. Super easy recipe and not a ton of ingredients aka I knew exactly what went into them, now that is what healthy means to me!

We of course had to sample them and they were delicious!

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That is a wrap-up of some of the tasty food I have been enjoying.

Have you tried the Cookie Butter Cups?

Favorite Cuban Dish?

 

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Treat Yourself Tuesday: A day out with my best friend!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I am officially on Summer vacation, woot!!

That means more time for “live blogging” rather than pre- written posts, yay!

Today I am linking up with Becky over at Olives n’ Wine for Treat Yourself Tuesday!

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A couple weeks ago one of my best friends called me up and asked if I wanted to do a Market Research with her and get paid for it. I am always up for some extra cash so I decided why not!

On Saturday, we headed to the Garden State Plaza (a very big mall in New Jersey, pretty well known). Before meeting for the Market Research we grabbed lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. I love CPK, but have only been for dinner and for dinner I usually do pizza. Since it was lunch time we were both in the mood for salads, and CPK had a nice selection.

I decided to get this roasted veggie salad and added grilled chicken to it. It was SO good, I need to go back soon to get it. Give me roasted veggies any day and I am a happy girl.

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After that we had about a half an hour to kill so we decided to head into our favorite store, the Loft. They were having 50% off everything sale so we decided to peruse.

Now if you have been reading the blog, you know that I get a little weird about buying myself clothes. I do it like twice a year and I know that I need to get better about it.

The last time I bought clothes, I had bought a pair of my fav shorts at the Loft, to replace all my bigger sizes. I had decided that I wanted to come back when they were on sale to buy more. I spotted a pair of dark denim shorts that I had last year that were too big so I decided to get a new pair in my size. They also had these adorable sandals for only $10!

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So impulsive of me, but totally worth it!

After that we did our market research for a few hours. Before leaving the mall, Kathryn wanted to take me into this store called Lush. Have you ever heard of it? It was my first time there and it was the coolest store ever!! It is basically a store filled with beauty masks, body washes, lotions, shampoos, etc that are all natural and smell amazing. They have all these stations set up for you to try their products. Every item lists the ingredients and tells you who made it.

I decided to test out a solid body wash, that melts as you get it wet. After trying it and smelling it, I decided to treat myself! I normally am the girl spending $1.50 on CVS Body Wash, but why not have some fun? This body wash was $6.95 and it smells like Skittles!

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If you ever see a Lush near you, please go in, it is just such a cool store! I want to go back and treat myself to a face mask!!

I had such a fun day hanging with my best friend! We don’t always get to see each other but when we do it is always a great time and a real treat! :-)

How did you treat yourself this week?

Have you ever heard of Lush?

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Weekly Workouts: Body Pump and Running!

Happy Monday everyone and Happy Last Day of Work for me!! Summer break starts this afternoon!!

Let’s recap this past week, shall we?

Monday

Rest Day, I ran the Queens 10k the day before so I knew that resting needed to be part of the plan. I am going to do my best this marathon training to rest, recover and listen to my body.

Tuesday

A sucktastic 3.5 mile run. They are never all beautiful are they? I received my new orthotics the day before so my body was trying to figure them out and then they gave me a lovely blister. It was also horribly muggy and hot out, so this run just kinda sucked. I was aiming for 4, but when I felt that blister form, I listened to my body and stopped.

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I then had PT afterwards.

 

Wednesday

Since it was the last day for kids, I knew that going to bed a little later wouldn’t be as big of a deal, so I took at 7:30 Body Pump class in Hoboken. It was the release of Body Pump 94 and was it a sweaty one. I LOVE this instructor and I am hoping to take her classes more this summer. I really like the new release, it is challenging, has great music and made me sweat!

Thursday

I ran by my parent’s house because I was home for my Dad’s birthday. This run was OK, the blister wasn’t fully healed and it took me a good mile or so to adjust my form and not have ankle pain. Since I wasn’t loving this run either and I could feel the blister I kept it to the 3 miles and that’s it.

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Friday

Body Pump 94 plus a great ride in the city! We rocked our Body Pump shirts to celebrate the new release.

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Saturday

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A pre-marathon training “long run.” Since last week I did 6 miles, and my marathon training long run starts at 8 miles I decided to see if I could get to 7. I did it!! I actually felt amazing for a good portion of this run. I am starting to feel like myself again. I used vaseline for my blister which totally helped and I just felt like I could run and enjoy myself. It was still a challenging run but I felt great. My pace has really slowed down, but that’s okay. I am running again and that is what matters.

Sunday

Rest Day!

Anyone try the new Body Pump release?

 

 

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Meal Prep: Artichokes!

Happy Sunday everyone! Thank you Mommy Run Fast and Jill Conyers for their weekly Sunday link-up!

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I had plans up my parent’s house yesterday so I did some meal prep at their house. I am SO excited they are getting their kitchen re-done soon, so I won’t be doing much cooking there in July (even on Sundays) but I will have an AMAZING kitchen once it is done!

Although tomorrow is the last day of school for teachers (yes we have to go back on a Monday) I still did meal prep. I am going to continue with it this summer because it’s what works for me. Then I will have more time over the summer to enjoy all the fun outdoor activities Hoboken has, head into the city, go to the pool and not have to worry about what to eat because it is already prepped!

Breakfast

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Just some hard boiled eggs to have alongside avocado toast.

Lunch

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Salads! I do want to change up my salad routine soon and throw in some mango or strawberries or maybe almonds! This was the usual, beans, cucumber, tomato, avocado, TJ’s veggie 8 mix, beets and TJ’s grilled chicken.

Also, some sweet potatoes.

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Dinner

Super easy one pot wonder. One chopped onion, cut up chicken, mushrooms, a can of artichokes, and a lime for some acid.

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Serve over rice and voila a yummy dinner!

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Roasted veggies on the side.

Dessert/Snacks:

(recycled photo) 2 lbs. of strawberries chopped and washed.

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That is my prep for this week! I was in a time crunch and I started my food shopping at 4 and finished everything by 6! I was on a mission and I did it!!

 

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WIAW: Race and Father’s Day!

Happy WIAW!

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Today I am sharing my day of eats from Sunday aka Father’s Day and the Queens 10k!

Pre-race fuel:

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Water, Coffee, Ezekial Toast with Almond Butter and Jelly.

Right before the race I also had my Gu Chomps (not pictured). I always like to have the extra energy right before I race!

Post-Race Breakfast:

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Banana Overnight oats in an empty almond butter jar. I brought this along and kept it in the car (with an ice pack) to have before heading back to Jersey after the race.

Lunch:

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Massaged Kale Salad with a Poppyseed dressings, shredded carrots, tomato, and two hard boiled eggs.

Pre-dinner appetizer:

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Some Allouette and Crackers and Pretzels.

Dinner:

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Ginormous yummy steaks with grilled corn and a homemade horseradish sauce made with Greek yogurt. We also had roasted “potato fries” and ketchup but they weren’t done right away so they aren’t pictured. Such a delicious and decadent Father’s Day meal!

Dessert:

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We had two overripe bananas so I made these brownies. So moist (sorry I know people hate that word) and delicious, I totally had two. ;-) Along with some fresh cut up watermelon! *note if you make this recipe you may need to keep adding more milk, my mixture was super dry so I just kept adding milk until it was a consistency that I liked!

Did you do anything special for Father’s Day?

Brownies, Cookies or Cake?Β 

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Weekly Workouts: I ran a 10k!!!

Happy Monday everyone! I have one more Monday after this and then Summer Break starts!! I cannot wait for morning runs/workouts and marathon training!!

Let’s recap this past week, shall we?

Monday

5am workout club! (Haha my sister joked and said she thought that there was an actual 5am club that works out on Monday mornings. I just explained that I mean like the people that go at that hour are the 5am-ers haha.

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I googled this workout and it was great! I changed it up a bit by doing some back work instead of calf raises and butt lifts. I don’t really work out my calves at all because I feel like they get a workout from running. I have been really into pre-made online blog workouts lately. I love supersets or circuit style workouts and if someone has brainstormed it, why not use it!

PT at night too.

Tuesday

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3 Mile run before PT with 1 min walking breaks in between each mile. Running is tough right now, especially with the heat, but I am getting there! I also do a lot of “thinking, over correcting” about my form while running because I am so conscious of this injury. I am hoping soon to get that out of my head and just “be” on my runs. That is what I craved when I would do my long runs all winter long. That feeling of just being and running. I will get there, just gonna take some time.

PT after the run.

Wednesday

I had to Sit Shiva for a co-worker’s family member so I had to head out to a part of Jersey a good 45 minutes away from Hoboken and from work. The town luckily had a NYSC so I made the plan to try it out after my visit.

It was a really classy NYSC. The manager was so kind, greeted me and brought me to the locker rooms. I decided to do an Upper Body Dumbbell + Resistance Band Superset workout, with planking variations in between each superset. My legs were sore from the running and two days of PT so I wanted to give them a break. The NYSC also had a pool and I always keep my bathing suit and flip flops in my gym bag just in case, so I decided to get in a 30 minute swim after. This pool was SOOO much nicer than the one by my work. It was so clean and they even played music underwater. The only thing was they said you have to have a swim cap to swim and I didn’t have one. Luckily since it was so classy, they had a whole thing of swim caps and goggles for sale! I need to invest in some goggles because my eyes are on fire after a swim. But I got a swim cap, so now I am legit and also super sexy in it:

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Yes, that is a turtle decoration on it. Why am I single, I don’t get it? ;-)

Thursday

My PT told me that she said I could run/walk the Queens 10k, so I decided that I needed to up that mileage a bit if I even want a chance of making it through. I did a one minute warm up walk, run 2 miles, 1 minute walk, run 2 miles, and 1 minute cool down walk. I was so proud of myself to make it through 2 miles without stopping and totaling 4 miles. I’m not gonna lie, this was tough though. I have to say, I am not really beating myself up about losing running fitness. I have accepted that I had this injury and I have worked hard to recover. Injuries happen and you have to learn from them. No point in dwelling on the past, just keep on trucking (or should I say running :-) )!

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Friday

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Pump + Spin! We did a ride with 15 minutes of speed, 15 minutes of hills, and 15 minutes of intervals. Always awesome, always hard work!

Saturday

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My last Saturday of Pump and Spin! Back to Long Runs and the beginning of marathon training!!

Sunday

Queens 10k!!

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I ran the 6 miles through!! I stopped at mile two for a quick stretch break but other than that I ran the whole time! I totally took my time, paced myself and just made it through! It was not about time it was about getting to 6 miles after all the time I have taken off. My ankle felt a little sore once I got home but I used my roller on the tendon (suggested by my PT) and it totally helped! I am getting there!! Slowly but surely. ;-)

Run any races this weekend?

 

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Meal Prep: Corn, Chicken and Fries!

Happy Sunday! Happy Meal Prep Link-up thanks to Mommy Run Fast and Jill Conyers!

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Breakfast:

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Hard Boiled Eggs

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Butternut Squash sauteed in coconut oil and cinnamon

Lunch

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Salads: Red Beans, Cucumber, Tomatoes, TJs Veggie 8 Mix, Avocado, Whole Beets, and TJs grilled chicken! Technically this is my last week of having to meal prep salads for school but I think I’m gonna keep up with it over the summer so I have them to grab and go to bring to pool or the pier!

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Sweet Potatoes

Dinner

I was in the mood for something with corn, shredded chicken and potato “fries,” very random so this is what I created:

I roasted 3 potatoes and cut them in strips to make them like fries:

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I boiled and shredded chicken:

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Then I made this “salsa” that my friend always brings to school parties:

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Just mix all three cans together (she adds raw onion however my stomach does not handle raw onion) so I added lemon juice, salt, pepper and some garlic powder. I decided to keep it cold like a salsa and I am going to serve it over the warmed up chicken.

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Haha it looks SO bland but with the salsa over it, I think it will be good! I also have to have ketchup with my fries!

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Some SUPER roasted (oops haha) broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Dessert/Snacks:

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2 lbs. of strawberries washed and cut.

That is my meal prep for this week! Ready to get through the last full week of school (plus next Monday)!

What did you prep this week?

Any good “salsa” or “dip” recipes that you like to make?

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Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday everyone! I have one more Friday after this (plus an extra Monday) before Summer Vacation starts! I cannot wait!!

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Thanks again Running 4 Cupcakes for the weekly link-up!

Here are some of my favorites this week!

Favorite Find:

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Organic Chia Seeds for only $4.99 at Trader Joe’s! I feel like this is such a good deal because they are often expensive!

Favorite Breakfast:

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Greek yogurt with almonds, raisins and some Kashi Go Lean Crunch to make almost a Granola Parfait along with a banana, spinach, strawberry (and water) smoothie.

Favorite Lunch:

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I threw this salad together and it was like restaurant quality. I had never massaged kale before but googled how to do it (super easy) and voila this salad. Massaged kale tossed in a Poppyseed dressing (the Brianna’s brand), shredded carrots, a diced apples, two hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, and a diced leftover grilled potato. What an awesome combo and it’s so pretty!

Favorite Dinner:

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Greek Salad with grilled chicken from my favorite Greek restaurant.

Favorite Treat:

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Treated myself to a mid-week Mani & Pedi.

Favorite Dessert:

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Another night of Fro-Yo with a gorgeous skyline and catching up with my best friend!

Favorite Baked Good (s):

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I had two occasions to bake this week! On the left Hazelnut and Banana Chocolate Chip Biscotti and on the right Chocolate Chip cookies (made a little healthier by using half a cup of applesauce and half cup butter instead of a whole, whole wheat flour, dark chocolate chips and coconut suga, along with some other ingredients). Both recipes were from my Betty Crocker cookbook!

Tell me a favorite from this week!

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WIAW: A Fun Saturday!

Happy WIAW everyone!

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Today I am sharing my day of deliciousness from Saturday!

Pre-Workout Snack #1:

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Always coffee and water.

Then Ezekial Toast with Almond Butter & Jelly and an Opal Apple. Have you ever tried an Opal apple? They were good! I bought them at TJs last week because my usual Gala or Pink Lady didn’t look so great. They are 10 cents more (each) than the Gala but they were good! (Yes, homegirl is on a budget here and 10 cents adds up!).

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This was my first time trying toast and an apple before a morning run. I used to have a Quest Bar and an apple but I literally haven’t had a quest bar in at least a month or so (anyone wanna buy two boxes from me?)! I just see such a difference in fueling with more carbs and real food. I had the energy for a 3 mile run/walk and Body Pump with this snack.

Breakfast:

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A Green Smoothie on my balcony! I love eating outside! This one has spinach, strawberries, pineapple, a banana, chia seeds, steel cut oats, Greek yogurt and topped with some Kashi Go Lean Cereal.

Snack:

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OK so this isn’t really a snack but they had a sample of the new Peanut Butter and Jelly Greek Yogurt from Trader Joes when I was food shopping and they topped it with peanuts. Verdict- (I have heard this from others) that it has like levels of flavor. You literally taste peanuts, jelly and Greek yogurt in levels. I kind of wish they didn’t have the peanuts on it to give me a better idea. But at the end of the day I didn’t really think it was worth it to buy. If I want PB&J yogurt I can make it myself with a Fage and not have all that added sugar.

Lunch:

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After all my meal prepping I sat down to a random lunch of Scrambled eggs, half a sweet potato, broccoli and kale.

Later that afternoon after cooking and some cleaning I had like a half hour to just sit and relax (I am so bad about never relaxing) on my balcony with this Sparkling Water:

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PS: I totally got a shorts tan in a half an hour hahaha!

Pre-workout #2:

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On my way to meet Jen for my second workout of the day at CYC Fitness I walked and ate some Puffins cereal to fuel me for spin.

Dinner:

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After our sweaty spin class it was time to refuel with a delicious dinner at The Grey Dog! I got a Veggie Flat Bread and added grilled chicken along with a giant mound of delicious sweet potato fries. I LOVE sweet potato fries so much, yum!

Dessert:

On my walk home I wanted some watermelon so I stopped in this market in Hoboken, but the watermelon didn’t look so fabulous so I got some mango instead:

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Sweet little “night cap” :-)

Regular Fries or Sweet Potato Fries?

What do you eat to fuel your workouts?

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