Friday Favorites – May 27th, 2016

dance dance


Happy Friday! Are you guys doing the long weekend dance yet?  I have just a few more hours of work before we head up to Vermont for the weekend. My family has a home in Manchester Center, Vermont which is the perfect place to visit when we need a weekend out of the city.  We are doing something new this weekend and spending a bit more time in town enjoying some new restaurants, workouts and shopping. While we’re not in town we’ll be hiking and breathing in the fresh, clean air and enjoying the warmer than normal weather.

I hope you guys enjoy a wonderful, long weekend. Please take a moment to remember the reason and history for this long weekend as it isn’t just about cookouts and welcoming Summer. So since there is very little time between now and the weekend, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

  • How can I not address this week’s opening picture. Wedding dancing is definitely one of my favorite things as there is nothing more fun than our group of friends, great music and a huge dance floor. This picture was taken two hours into the reception and what you can’t see is that I was dancing barefoot and sweating profusely. Can we have another dance party soon guys?
  • Thank you for this explanation of  why Memorial Day is a three-day weekend.
  • I finally caved and ordered my first off-the-shoulder blouse. Miraculously, both Bo and I find it flattering and fun. I’m going to wear it to dinner tonight with my new sandals, white jeans and simple gold earrings.
  • I loved this OPI nail polish so much that I bought it at Rite Aid following this week’s manicure. It’s a bright, cheery pop of pink that coordinates with almost any color or skin tone.
  • If I’m craving something other than an apple and almond butter for an afternoon snack, I’ll turn to this popcorn. The hint of olive oil and sea salt gives it a rich, delicious flavor while still only being 24 calories per cup! There is nothing artificial or crazy on the ingredient list just popcorn, sunflower oil, olive oil and sea salt!
  • Earlier this week I had the opportunity to hear two employees from LinkedIn talk about the perfect profile. This graphic easily helps anyone take a lackluster or non-existent profile and quickly transition it into a profile that will get attention and build your equity online. As they reminded us during the speech, a profile isn’t only important for job-seekers but also people who manage others as these days employees go directly to LinkedIn to learn more about future employers or team members.
  • While I take a pre-natal vitamin daily, I think it’s very important for people to understand more about vitamins. This quote articulated the importance of understanding the why and aligning it with your doctor.  There are only 13 vitamins, which are essential for health, compared to over 85,000 dietary supplements for sale in America.

Have a great weekend friends! I’ll check in from Vermont with some of our adventures but until then, I hope you enjoy some rest and relaxation.


Getting to Know Megan Malasarte


Happy Tuesday guys! I have a fun post to share with you all today thanks to the team at Brooks Running.

Did you guys know that the Olympic Track & Field Trials take place in just a few weeks? My friends at Brooks thought it would be fun to give readers the opportunity to get to know some of the Brooks Beast athletes who are competing. I was thrilled to interview Megan Malasarte, a professional runner with whom I have a great deal in common. We both graduated from the University of Georgia, spent our days in between the hedges cheering at football games and burn off steam in the same way. She is an accomplished runner, placing 4th at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships and is the indoor and outdoor record holder for the 800 meter at University of Georgia.  From the email exchange alone, you can tell that Megan is a wonderful and fun runner. I can’t wait to cheer for her next month in person while spectating the Track & Field trials with Brooks!

Megan Malasarte 2


What does your typical day look like right now, at the peak of training and competition?

o   Let’s say it’s a typical Monday. We will almost always meet at Brooks HQ at 10 a.m. and run to Green Lake from there to then do some technical drills and strides on the turf fields. Mondays are our easy days but are just as important as our workout days which are on Tuesdays and Fridays. Those days are the longest because we’ll have a workout in the morning, eat lunch, then get in our lift shortly after. On average, our practices can range from at least two to four hours every session. 

What is the your favorite piece of Brooks gear? 

o   My favorite piece of Brooks gear, which is totally a tough question because I have several favorites, is the Women’s LSD Running Jacket in white because it’s pretty versatile for most of my running outfits whether it’s 50s and rainy or 60s, slightly cool and windy. Bonus: it can pack itself into its own pocket in case you get too hot during the run!

x-default What do you to release stress? 

o   Not to seem too cliché, but retail therapy usually releases stress for me and sometimes that may just even mean going to a store to look around. I find it relaxing and enjoyable because I really like fashion and clothes. A more economically savvy way for me to release stress is going for an easy run around Green Lake. 

As a fellow UGA graduate, how did collegiate sports influence your time in Athens at the University of Georgia? 

o   Being a student-athlete at UGA completely shaped my college experience but in the best way possible. There may have been some events or experiences I missed out on by being a student-athlete but with that, I was able to travel and compete in places I had never been before, meet some of my best friends, and most importantly, it opened the door to professional running for me. So, GO DAWGS!UGA runner

How did you make the decision to go from collegiate to professional? 

o   I decided to continue my running career post-collegiately because I felt as though I had some unfinished business to take care of and then I was presented with this rare opportunity to run for such an awesome company. Opportunities like this don’t come often so I went for it! It would have been pretty difficult for me to conclude my running career after college because I love it so much!

What was your major at UGA? What do you miss most from your college days? 

o   I was a Digital and Broadcast Journalism major with a minor in Communication Studies. Oh man, I’d have to say I miss tailgating and going to football games the most because it was the real deal at Georgia. We would have long runs those mornings but it was always so fun because we’d run through campus and see everyone tailgating at 8 a.m.! A perk of being a student-athlete was getting into the sporting events for free including football games where the student-athletes had a certain section they got to sit in, right underneath the scoreboard behind the field goal. 

What food do you eat every day? 

o   It’s not the cheapest everyday food yet well worth it for the nutritional value, but I try to eat an avocado a day.

What has surprised you most about being a pro runner? 

o   The most surprising thing about being a professional runner is feeling as though I knew enough about running leaving college and then realizing as a pro, I know nothing. It’s like starting from scratch. I thought that once I turned running into my lifestyle and dedicated all my time, energy, and efforts into it that I’d see the results of that right away but that wasn’t the case. There’s this transitional period you have to experience and to trust the timing of it all. 

Many women deal with body insecurities regardless their size. There are hashtags like #ihavearunnersbody which helps break through stereotypes. Even though you are an accomplished athlete and runner, what is something that you have now embraced versus being self-conscious of it and what tips would you give to people? 

o   At this level, it’s so easy to fall into comparing your body image to others because everyone is so fit and toned. It turns into ‘who is the fittest of them all?.’ I’ve had insecurities about my stretch marks and my stomach but in time, I’ve learned to embrace them because they’re not qualities that hinder my running ability but more so, qualities that set me apart from the other runners. If I could give one tip to people, I would say own what you’ve got because people will take notice, not of insecurities, but in your self-confidence. Embrace you and all of you!

Be sure to follow Megan on Instagram and Twitter to be inspired by her on a daily basis!

Thank you to Brooks for providing me with this opportunity as part of the Brooks Run Happy Ambassador program. 


Food & Workout Journal – May Week 3

Happy Sunday guys!

As promised, I want to share my food and workouts with you as part of my renewed focus on my health and well being. Similar to my weight loss journey with Weight Watchers back in 2005, I find that tracking my food and workouts as well as sharing them with you on the blog helps hold me accountable. I am not counting calories or points this time around, just focusing on eating primarily healthy, natural foods. When it comes to workouts, keep in mind that I am currently recovering from a strained hamstring and bruised cuboid which have limited my workouts. In the coming weeks there will be a more high intensity workouts and running but for right now, I’m listening to my body and doing what feels good.

I am tracking my workouts daily but only tracking my food Monday morning through Friday afternoon. While it may not work for everyone, I find that allowing myself the freedom and flexibility to enjoy on the weekends helps me. I am also limiting alcohol to Friday and Saturday, with a goal to have no more than five glasses during the course of the weekend.  You will also see that I am a creature of habit.  This week I had the same breakfast most mornings and almost an identical lunch. Keep in mind that I work from home most days and therefore I try to buy enough salad ingredients to make a week’s worth of salads. Sometimes the salad varies based on leftovers in the refrigerator but I try to keep the base the same.

at home lunch

  • Monday
    • Breakfast: Unsweetened iced green tea, banana and Starbucks perfect oatmeal
    • Lunch: Salad (spinach, grilled chicken, egg whites, celery, tomatoes, carrots, red peppers, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon, and red wine vinegar)
    • Snack(s): Apple with almond butter drizzle (~ 1 tablespoon), 2 cups natural popcorn
    • Dinner: Healthy Mexican Grilled Shrimp Salad
    • Water: 9 glasses
  • Tuesday
    • Breakfast: Coffee w Unsweetened Almond Milk, Fage 2% yogurt, 1/4 cup Purely Elizabeth granola, 1/2 banana, chia seeds and flax seeds
    • Lunch: Salad (spinach, 1 egg + 1 egg white, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, balsamic)
    • Snack(s): Apple with almond butter drizzle (~ 1 tablespoon), 2 cups natural popcorn
    • Dinner:Healthy Mexican Grilled Shrimp Salad
    • Water: 10 glasses
  • Wednesday
    • Breakfast: Coffee w Unsweetened Almond Milk, Fage 2% yogurt, 1/4 cup Purely Elizabeth granola, 1/2 banana, chia seeds and flax seeds
    • Lunch: Salad from Potbelly (Spinach, hummus, tomatoes, grilled chicken, cucumber, egg white, avocado, dressing on side)
    • Snack: orange + 1 serving almonds, unsweetened iced green tea
    • Dinner: Salmon, roasted broccoli and fennel & kale salad from Little Beet
    • Water: 8 glasses
  • Thursday
    • Breakfast: Coffee w Unsweetened Almond Milk, Fage 2% yogurt, 1/4 cup Purely Elizabeth granola, 1/2 banana, chia seeds and flax seeds
    • Lunch: Salad from NYC deli (Spinach, grilled chicken, edamame, tomato, carrots, cucumber, celery, green peppers, salt, pepper, olive oil & balsamic)
    • Snack(s): orange + 1 serving almonds, 1/2 serving popcorn (without butter) at Lincoln Center during King and I
    • Dinner: Homemade Greek salad (romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, red peppers, feta, chicken, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice)
    • Water: 11 glasses
  • Friday
    • Breakfast: Coffee w Unsweetened Almond Milk, Fage 2% yogurt, 1/4 cup Purely Elizabeth granola, 1/2 banana, chia seeds and flax seeds
    • Lunch: Refrigerator leftovers salad (spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, 1/4 avocado, onions, 1 egg + 1 egg white, balsamic
    • Snack: orange + 1 serving almonds, green tea
    • Water: 7 glasses
    • bar method


So there you have it! After the first week I’m down three pounds and hope to lose one pound per week, on average, until I am back at my healthy weight and my Summer clothes fit again.