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(Not such a) City Girl

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I’ve been Manhattan for the past few days. My mom and I are here for my surgery which was on Monday, but we had plenty of fun over the weekend! We’ve spent so many weekends here that I feel like I’ve seen all of the major sites to see, and at this point there are only a couple places in the city that I really look forward to visiting. Central Park will always be my favorite spot in the city (Riverside Park and Bryant Park are a close second. Coincidence that all of my preferred spots are the ones that are the least city-like? I think not ;)

Running in Central Park (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

 

On Sunday morning, we walked to the Jackie Onasis Resevoir in the park to get in a 90 minute workout. It was sunny and hundreds (probably thousands) of other New Yorkers were running around the paths. Where else will you see SO MANY recreational runners in one spot?! By the time I got through about 10 miles, a layer of salt was left on my arms and neck from sweating so we booked it back to our apartment to shower and get ready for a late brunch next to the park.

Stronglikemycoffee.com Central ParkI’ve been wanting to try out Sarahbeth’s several times but we always run out of time or find somewhere equally appealing to go instead. Finally we planned a girl’s day and I had a brunch date with my beautiful mama!

Brunch with Mama at Sarahbeth's (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

Inside the restaurant was bright and energized. We split a peach bellini while deciding on which two brunch entrees we would share. We ended up getting one sweet and one savory, since it’s all about the balance ;) Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blackberries and a Garden Egg White Omelette.

Brunch at Sarahbeth's (stronglikemycoffee.com)The garden omelette came with a scone and homemade jam, and I honestly just could have eaten the jam with a spoon. Strawberry Raspberry, so so good. After brunch, we walked through the crazy crowds (apparently it was Puerto Rico day and a parade was expected see 2 million people waving their Puerto Rican flags with pride.) Finally we got to an equally-crowded  Times Square to do some shopping. My mom and I each got a couple new workout outfits which always make exercising more fun :)

Monday morning I checked in the hospital bright and early, and the bleomycin sclerotherapy treatment went smoothly. I am always nauseuas after anesthesia and the breathing tube always gives me a sore throat for a few days but that’s why these next two days are all about taking it easy and lounging. My mom and I have been watching episodes of the old ABC show ‘Brothers & Sisters’ which is completely addicting. Whenever I watch movies or shows with big loud crazy families, I always get a little jealous.

As glamorous as NYC looks on TV, I miss home. Where sidewalks don’t reek of urine and car horns are not the soundtrack of our nightly walks.

Well,  I just wanted to put up a little recap of our trip here to keep up with my medical journey blog posts. Later this week I’ll be back with another healthy recipe.

XOX Kenz

The Ultimate Healthy Breakfast

Today’s healthy breakfast “recipe” brought to you by our very good friends :) My family spent the weekend in the San Diego area (Missy too!) to visit our friends. Since we are all active and healthy, the weekend was full of good food and outdoor exploring.

I can’t wait to recreate the breakfast they made us this morning. It was a fun diversion from my usual oatmeal. Look at this spread:

Healthy Breakfast Parfait Bar

These were toppings for mini 7-grain pancakes (made with almond milk & apple sauce, cooked with coconut oil). You might want to rethink your butter & syrup combo after this….

So many healthy benefits to this breakfast: Omega-3’s, protein, essential amino acids, protein, antioxidants, magnesium, iron, fiber.

Put them all in a bowl and what do you get? A protein-packed pancake parfait (and yes, I was proud of myself for that alliteration.) Ta da!

Healthy Breakfast ParfaitThat is a beautiful Sunday brunch :)

I did a little research on the nutritional content of the ingredients above. Aside from being vegan, raw, and “clean”, here are some fun nutritional facts:

  • Hemp seed comes from the cannabis plant (yes, marijuana) but has miniscule to no THC, and does not contain any drug properties. It does however act as an extraordinary source of all essential amino acids. (Those are good!)
  • Cinnamon is a mega-antioxidant that controls blood sugar levels and has been shown to increase metabolism. It also has “warming” properties (freaky!) and in my opinion is one of the best scents ;)
  • Flax seeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids which do wonders for your heart’s health <3
  • Greek yogurt. I would say that Greek yogurt qualifies as a “fad” right now but I’m right on that wagon. It’s delicious, filling, low-carb/low-fat/low-sugar/high-protein. Those are good ratios!
  • Strawberries are the most popular berry in the United States (potentially arguable statement.)
  • Studies have concluded that blueberries can improve memory. They are also highly addictive.

(If you have any other toppings ideas, let me know!)

Time for a hike! Our families climbed to the peak of one of the local San Diego-area mountains. My calves were burning over the steep grade and the views were beautiful, all the way out to the ocean. Love hiking with my family!

San Diego Hike peak

Who has heard of geocaching? It’s a GPS scavenger hunt that takes you to hidden containers where players can leave behind objects and messages for future players to uncover. The top of the hill we climbed was a geocache location and Miss Johnna found the metal box hidden in a bush under rocks. Treasures!

San Diego Hike geo-caching

I love the idea behind the geocaching game. It reminds me of the TV show The Amazing Race, which is also the only reality show that I would actually consider signing up for. Thanks for such a fun & healthy weekend!

Dinner with the Hitts

Last but not least, next installment of my marathon training playlist. This week I’m going to have to go with Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down and I apologize for the old dude in his underwear…

A little bit of a throwback… The song is 14 years old and I remember listening to it in elementary school. It’s definitely in my 200-song playlist for marathon training :) There aren’t really any specific lyrics this time that I can relate to running, just love the beat!

T-14 days to my first marathon! Time to get those 8-hours of zzzzz’s…

Easter Brunch & Lemony Pasta Salad

I couldn’t have picked a better way to spend my Easter Sunday. After rising extra early for a church service with one of my best friends Kerri, we got to enjoy the radiant sunshine and bright blue sky. It was glorious! Knocked out an 8-miler before noon with plenty of time to get ready for our Girl’s Team Easter Brunch.

Easter Girls Team Picture (stronglikemycoffee.com) (stronglikemycoffee.com)

We see each other daily at practice, when we are not trying to impress anyone. T-shirts and spandex. Make-up is minimal. Don’t even ask about my hair. Blatantly mismatched outfits have become normal, especially when it’s getting closer to laundry day…We have mastered getting ready for practice in under 15 minutes. Which is why getting dressed up in our Sunday Best was so fun! Dresses and heels obviously warranted some photographic proof that we can, in fact, look girly.

Kerri and I got a ride from our friends Emily and Carissa……when we got in the car, we noticed that we all happened to be sporting denim jackets. Classic.

Denim Over the Shoulders

The Foursome (stronglikemycoffee.com)

The brunch was potluck style, and our team can cook! The table looked amazing with homemade goodies from everyone. I knew I wanted to bring something light and springy, so I turned to my faithful Pinterest for some recipe-searching. The result:

Light Lemony Pasta Salad.

  • 1 lb. cooked pasta noodles
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper to preference
  • 10 oz. non-fat greek yogurt
  • 12 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup steamed edamame, shelled
  1. Cook and drain pasta; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan, brown garlic for about one minute. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken broth and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add sauce to pasta; add in arugula, tomatoes, and edamame.
  4. Stir in greek yogurt; chill overnight.
  5. Top with fresh lemon slices and serve cold!

Light Lemony Pasta Salad for Easter Brunch (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Our meal was rounded out with some fresh pineapple, kale chips, chicken salad sandwiches, homemade whole wheat cinnamon rolls and other delicious dishes.

Next on the agenda: dyeing eggs! Guess what? Water and food coloring is not a sufficient substitute for vinegar and egg dye. Plan B: Expo Markers!

My Easter Egg (stronglikemycoffee.com)Hope you enjoyed you Easter weekend :) Now it’s back to the grind.

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