30 Minute Treadmill Workout & Cincinnati Eats

Hi guys! As promised, I wanted to share a sneak into the rest of my trip in Cincinnati.

green smoothie

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I ensured that I had a healthy breakfast and lunch as well as limited snacking so that I could enjoy dinner or happy hours with my colleagues. Tuesday morning I was delighted to see that Ingredients, the restaurant in the Westin Cincinnati, had a green smoothie on their menu. I ordered it to go, sipping it while I walked to the office. The thick, cool smoothie included almond Milk, Kale, Spinach, Banana and protein powder. Our catered lunch included sandwiches and chips so I did my best to choose a healthy option that would also not leave me starving – half a turkey sandwich, a handful of plain chips, celery and carrot sticks and a dollop of hummus. Since we had to be in meetings first thing Wednesday morning, I wanted something I could eat while walking to the office. Our group met at Starbucks to grab coffee and while there I picked up my old favorite – Starbucks Egg White Feta Wrap, banana and skim cappuccino.  Instead of waiting in the long buffet lunch line on Wednesday a few of us dashed down the block to The ‘Wich, a delicious, downtown sandwich and salad shop. Each time I go here for lunch I’m amazed by the flavors and price as their 11 huge salads are less than $8.99 and include one of the side items. If you like Greek salads their dressing is delicious!

The Wich Cincinnati

Tuesday night our team dinner was at Nada, a popular Mexican restaurant in downtown Cincinnati that has been open for eight years. While many other downtown have changed over the years, this fun and funky Mexican restaurant seems to still be going strong. Even though the menu changes more frequently than the seasons, the guacamole and margaritas are always delicious. After a long day of meetings and lots to celebrate with the team, I toasted with one of their house margaritas before enjoying the chips, guacamole and the El Jefe salad. This entree salad includes mixed greens, grilled chicken, shredded queso Fresco, avocado, pico and creamy like dressing – yum!

Nada El Jefe SaladThe highlight of the meal were their thick, perfectly salted chips. It’s a good thing they don’t sell these by the bag!  Any time I fly out of the Cincinnati airport I often stop at Chick-Fil-A as it is such a rare treat. I wasn’t in the mood for another salad so I ordered their Grilled Chicken Sandwich and shared a small order of waffle fries with my colleague.

Workout wise, I almost skipped Wednesday’s workout in favor of more sleep, but I knew that a quick run would give me a lot more energy than 30-minutes of sleep especially since I would be sitting for 11 hours during our conference. I find that treadmills are far less boring if I have an interval workout that keeps things changing the entire run.

30 minute treadmill workout

This 30 minute run was inspired by Mile High Run Club as it combined hills and speed. Since it was 3.1 mile it also served as the perfect opportunity to do my first Rock’N’Roll Virtual Run 5k – Making A Band.

Making A Band 5k Run

Thumbs up for a healthier than normal business trip to Cincinnati! Moderation is truly the name of the game for me, as I do not want to sacrifice toasting the group with a margarita nor find myself snacking aimlessly.

Your turn – Team Chick-Fil-A grilled chicken or fried chicken? I’m grilled all the way! 

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A Weekend in Avalon

Sunset in Avalon

Last night as the sunset, we said “see you later” to Avalon, New Jersey and headed back to NYC for three days of work.

It is hard to describe the joy we experienced this weekend as 11 people crammed into a small, bay facing shore house in Avalon for 48-hours. You know those weekends that you just want to enjoy as long as possible, hoping that it won’t come to an end? That was this weekend.   Even though the air conditioning didn’t exactly work and there was only one bathroom, the laughter was constant, the dock served as a second living room and a jump into the ocean waves or off the dock was the perfect way to cool down. In fact, I don’t think any of us would change a thing about the weekend. It was so wonderful to create new memories with the group. Here is a hilarious picture from 1996 that the cousins (Bo, Meg, Sarah and Katie) recreated last night before we drove back to NYC.

cousins 1996

cousins 2016

Many shore rentals, including ours, are Saturday to Saturday, which means that we didn’t leave for the shore until bright and early Saturday morning. We left Brooklyn at 6 AM with hopes of being in Avalon by 9, allowing us to enjoy a full beach day. Our plan worked perfectly and we were exploring the area on two wheels, with iced coffee in hand, by 9:30.

Bike riding through Avalon

Since the rest of the group wouldn’t arrive until Saturday afternoon, we spent Saturday squeezing in a few activities. Bo and I took a surfing lesson together before meeting Russell and Meg at Primo Hoagies for huge, delicious hoagies. Their special, fresh bread was delicious and exactly the way I like it – crispy on the outside and chewy inside.

Surfing in Avalon

Primo Hoagie

Avalon Dunes

After lunch we spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach, body surfing through the waves and taking an afternoon beach nap before hopping on our bikes in search of a cool treat. Opened in 1957, Avalon Freeze was Meg and Bo’s favorite dessert spot growing up and I now understand the obsession.  This chocolate chip cookie cone was filled with soft vanilla ice cream then dipped in rainbow jimmies (sprinkles) and peanut butter crunchies.

Avalon freeze

We spent the rest of Saturday catching up with everyone, jumping off the dock and enjoying a late dinner. Bo’s mom brought a batch of her famous sauce and paired it with fresh shrimp, sausage, pasta, garlic bread and italian salads for our first meal together. After the day of fresh air and a dockside beers, our group was fast asleep by 10pm.

Bo and I kicked off Sunday with a long run which allowed him to give me a tour of Avalon and Stone Harbor.  Unfortunately the sightseeing combined with an uneven sidewalk resulted in a pretty nasty spill across the sidewalk and pebbles during mile 2. It looked worse than it felt and we were able to continue through our run until reaching our finish line – the beach!

Falling when running

Avalon long run

After our run, I spent the rest of the day relaxing on the dock. When I wasn’t reading, I was hanging doing cannon balls off the dock, stand up paddle boarding and laughing as we used tubes and boogie boards as makeshift floats. We headed back inside every hour to enjoy a brief break from the sun and follow the British Open golf tournament which ended up being far more exciting than anyone imagined!

Avalon dock picture

Late in the afternoon we took one last bicycle tour of the island together, heading to Stone Harbor to explore and visit some favorite spots. We played video games and skeet ball at the arcade, treated ourselves to local fudge, and explored the shops before riding back home for a final dinner with everyone and heading back to New York City.  Luckily, I only have to make it through three busy work days in Cincinnati before Bo and I get to head back to Avalon for a long weekend with his cousin and parents.

Avalon and Stone Harbor Recommendations: 

 

 

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Hiking Haystack Mountain

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When Vermont delivers sunshine, blue sky and beautiful 80 degree temperatures, there is nothing to do except lace up our hiking shoes and head out for an afternoon hike. Over the years we have done a few short hikes in the area but nothing like yesterday’s hike at Haystack Mountain.

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Haystack Mountain is the a 3,445 foot mountain located in Wilmington, Vermont just 30 minutes from my family’s home in Manchester. The hike to the summit is 2.5 miles and includes a portion on an old farm road followed by a steep climb through the dense forest.  Knowing that it was a warm day we carried two water bottles per person and two extra for Samantha, their Samoyed who accompanied us on the adventure.

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During the hour and a half hike towards the summit we crossed a few small streams and carved out logs.

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Staying on the trail was easy since there were trail markers every few hundred feet.

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The second half of the trail was far more technical than the first, requiring us to stop a few times and catch our breath as we scrambled up the rocks.  Luckily in this same section we were able to start seeing glimpses of the view waiting for us at the summit. As the trees grew thinner we could look out across the valley as well as be rewarded for our efforts with a slight breeze.

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An hour and a half after starting our hike we reached the summit and were rewarded with incredible sweeping 360 degree views of New York and Vermont.

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View from Haystack Mountain
We relaxed at the top for a few minutes before heading back down towards the car. By the time we reached the car we had covered 4.9 miles and were drenched in sweat.

 

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