Welcome to the world, Jack!

It has been quite awhile since I have visited my blog, let alone wrote anything. Life gets in the way, but so does my own laziness. It’s been so long that I have managed to become a mom since the last time I was here!

John Robert aka Jack was born on May 22. His 8lbs, 14oz was much smaller than the anticipated 10+ pounds that the doctor predicted (THANK GOD), but at 21.5 inches long, he was definitely my kid. Since then, he has beefed up quite a bit…so much so the doctor measured him twice at his 2 month checkup to make sure she didn’t make a mistake!

All in all, my pregnancy was easy (minus a pandemic, clearly). I had a short bout of morning sickness early on which threw me for a carb-filled loop. I had a few common aversions…eggs, touching raw meat, and chicken…and I craved cereal like Kellogg’s was going out of business. My diet didn’t change much, so imagine my surprise when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes!

I know now that GD isn’t the fault of the mother, but the fault of a lazy placenta. I had passed my one hour sugar test with flying colors, but the anticipated size of the baby plus at-home monitoring of my blood sugar told a different story. While I wasn’t convinced I had GD, I decided that following the diet would do nothing but make sure that Jack and I were both healthy. I missed eating candy, but I powered through.

One thing that I would not give up is working out. As my pregnancy went on, my exercise routine changed dramatically. Running was out early on because it wasn’t comfortable, so I began walking more. I did at home boot camps with local gyms and spent quite a bit of time doing yoga with the Peloton instructors. I can’t recommend enough that other pregnant women do the same, with the blessing of your doctor. While the rest of me felt very large and uncomfortable, I was extremely proud of my arms by the time I was ready to go to the hospital!

I’m planning on sharing Jack’s birth story this weekend and I’m excited to use this blog to share some pregnancy tips and tricks that I picked up along the way, as well as share my post-partum fitness journey. While most races are cancelled for the foreseeable future, I have some big goals for myself this year: I want to PR in the 5K and 10K.

I can’t wait to share this journey with you!

Putting Some ‘Yunk In My Trunk.

In my younger days, I was a total cardio junkie.  I’d toil away on the elliptical for an hour with no problem but my body and mind would shut down as soon as someone said strength training.  The group fitness scene in Philly made me see the error of my ways.  Studios like Unite Fitness and RippedPHL taught me that lifting weights will only help my running while yoga and barre classes are easy ways to tone without killing your joints.  My move to Manayunk left me worried that I would skip strength training because these studios weren’t conveniently located for me anymore.  Luckily, Manayunk has their own fitness scene and these three studios are putting Main Street on the fitness map.

Row Zone

RowZone Manayunk – When I lived downtown and used Class Pass, Gary’s Row Zone Rittenhouse classes were my JAM. It’s a great mix of cardio and strength and I love changing up my routine…I am NOT one to sit down at the rower on my own.  I was thrilled to find out that RZ Manayunk is only blocks from my house and even more excited when I had instructors as great as Gary.  I definitely recommend it!

Hotbox Yoga

Hotbox Yoga Manayunk – After my move, it took me awhile to get back on my mat.  I’m not sure why I wasn’t motivated, but it probably had something to do with missing my beloved Yoga Habit and Priya. Last week’s rainy Tuesday inspired me to sign up and when the offer is $40 for 40 days, how can you go wrong?  The studio space is large without feeling too big and while they don’t have mirrors (that’s a plus for me), they do have windows. The super nice staff is a big perk, too!  I plan on getting back into regular practice and hopefully into a headstand for once!

The Wall Cycling

The Wall – Spinning and barre are stupid expensive endeavors.  Flywheel (while amazing) is close to $35/class and that’s INSANE to me and Pure Barre practically requires a second mortgage. Enter The Wall.  Located right off Main Street, the studio offers barre and cycling in a really bright and open space.  Best part…a 20 pack is around $200.  CRAZY. I love being able to work it in as regular cross-training again since I’m not breaking the bank to do it.

Walking up and down the hills in Manayunk as well as running on the many trails available to me are still my main forms of working out, but these fitness studios have definitely worked themselves into my regular routine.  My joints, and my butt, thank me.

Philly’s Rock N Roll 10K

Months upon months ago, I signed up for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon.  Fast forward to the beginning of August, I realized I had neither the desire nor the endurance to run a half right now.

Despite Competitor’s reputation for being difficult to deal with, I realized I could seamlessly transition my half registration to the 10K. Since I had signed up so far in advance, I didn’t feel like I was losing a lot of money so I was happy to downgrade to run a race that I would enjoy.

Competitor’s expos are usually large and in charge, and this year’s was no different.  I showed up a little before the opening at noon on Friday to get in and out on my lunch break.  Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea.

The line snaked around the lobby of the convention center.

Also unfortunately, an email went out right before I left that their shipment of tshirts was delayed and they wouldn’t arrive at the expo until 2pm. Normally this would annoy me, but I assumed that due to the hurricanes in the south, there were a lot of shipping issues across the country.  People were given the option to come back to the expo later or pick up one at the finish line.  I ended up not doing either…I’m not a fan of the RnR shirts so I didn’t want to clutter up my house with something I didn’t even want.

My favorite part of any RnR expo is the Brooks booth.  I wear a notoriously expensive sports bra and they are rarely on sale outside of a race expo, so I always buy at least one. With 15% off and a free lingerie bag with purchase, I was pretty pumped!  I plan on doing a post about the slight redesigns on the Juno after a few wears.

I wandered around for awhile, picking up some free snacks and checking out the shoe sales.  Unfortunately, my beloved Kayanos weren’t on sale enough to warrant buying a new pair at the time.  I’ll have to keep an eye out for deals.

This was my first race at the Art Museum since moving to Manayunk and I was concerned about race morning logistics.  Luckily, I had purchased an Uber Pass for the month and it was only $5.99 to get to the start.

Views like this never get old.

I was there early enough to easily check my bag and watch the first 5K runners come across the finish line before lining up to start my race.

I wasn’t really expecting much considering running hasn’t been my main focus for awhile, but I knew that a flat course would make for a much easier run than the hills I’ve been getting used to!

Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say about the race itself.  It’s a standard out and back course on MLK Drive along the Schuylkill River.  I love the views it provides, but it’s a standard course for any Philly runner.

I came across the finish in 1:08:33, which is far from my 10K PR.  I think it served as a great motivator for ramping up my running this winter in preparation for the Hot Chocolate 15K and the Broad Street Run in the spring!

I’ll leave you with a picture of my recovery plan…

I regret nothing.

Meal Plan Monday 9.18.17

I had every intention of putting up a kick-ass Meal Plan Monday post, including actual pictures of deliciousness (or deliciousness in progress).  I had gathered all my links from Skinnytaste and Budget Bytes by last Thursday, ready to take on this week like a boss.

Flash forward to the weekend: I came, I saw, I conquered the Rock & Roll 10K, as well as a post race brunch, a cupcake from Cake Life (just like Beyonce would do), some pizza and wings.  I laid on the couch like a log, watching episode after episode of Crossing Jordan and to be honest, I regret nothing.  Sunday was a full day with an early morning Spin & Sculpt session at The Wall, a wonderful baby shower with friends from high school, and more pizza and wings for dinner with the BF’s brother, sister-in-law and kids.  All in all, a truly wonderful weekend.

Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor
I highly recommend A Taste of Britain in Wayne for your bridal or baby shower!

Notice what didn’t get done: a grocery list.
We headed to Wegman’s after our second pizza and wings binge of the weekend, totally unprepared to grocery shop but 100% committed to getting back on our healthy-eating wagon.  And you know what? We did wonderfully.
1. Get in the right mindset before you go inside. Just because you overindulged for a few days and probably feel bloated, don’t think “Oh, it’s time for a juice cleanse.” It’s not.  It’s just time to recommit to your goals.
2. Shop realistically. Yes, I’d like to plan to eat only veggies for 3 meals a day until you feel normal again, but that has never really worked for me.  I like a well-rounded meal of vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates.  Plan accordingly so you won’t feel deprived, which could lead to more indulgences that you don’t actually enjoy.
3. Keep a list of stand-by recipes in your head.  It makes shopping without a true list much more manageable.  We picked up salmon and broccoli to make our favorite Maple Soy Glazed Salmon and roasted veggies, as well as pre-marinated steaks and a new pack of chicken to grill for salads and lunches.  Nothing fancy, complicated, or new but all very satisfying and delicious!
4. Avoid trigger aisles.  I am the WORST with buying snacks for the car ride home from the store, especially when a bulk candy section appears in front of me.  WHO DOES THAT?! It’s like a 20 minute drive and we’re not going to starve.  I get into this mentality that tomorrow is a new day, so I might as well enjoy one more treat before I refocus. Not cool.  I successfully avoided the gummi bears and jelly beans and we were both better off for it.

While it’s easy to look on Instagram or Facebook and see all of these wonderful bloggers with their pre-portioned week of meals, it’s not always feasible or necessary to work that hard at meal planning.  Knowing that life will get in the way sometimes and having a plan B will ensure that everyone starts their week off on a high and healthy note!

To the Professor!

When I moved to Manayunk a few months ago, I knew my fitness routine would have to change a little…I was no longer downtown and walking past my favorite gyms and yoga studios on the way home.  Luckily, as a runner, my favorite workout can be done anywhere with the right pair of shoes, but I knew I would crave the inspiration and motivation that I get from fitness classes.

After seeing several posts about the Manayunk Beer Runners on Facebook (you might know their older brother, the Fishtown Beer Runners), I thought “Hey, this could work.”  A group of runners, all sizes/ages/paces, who enjoy torturing themselves for a few miles before meeting at a local bar for a cold beer? THESE ARE MY TYPE OF PEOPLE!

MBR 1 Year Group
Unfortunately, this picture doesn’t feature my favorite members of MBR…the dogs.

A few months have passed since my first run with MBR, and boy…was I right.  I have never met a more supportive, encouraging, hilarious, and weird group of people who I am happy to call my friends.  Led by Dave and Sandy, each week’s run is a challenging combination of hills…and hills (we don’t really have anything else in our area) that ends with good beer and great conversation.

The MBR chapter just celebrated their first anniversary with a beer-filled bash at Manayunk Brewing Company, where we congratulated each other on our accomplishments over the past year (nine people completed a marathon or ultra…including a few who ran Boston!), planned for the future with a new logo, and enjoyed talking running and complaining about how tired our legs are with our new friends.

MBR Logo
The artist who created this logo also made cover art for Snoop Dogg and/or Lion, which means we now have so much street cred. SO much.

It’s very rare as an adult to make new friends and I consider myself lucky to have easy access to a crew that gathers weekly to combine responsible running with responsible drinking in the interest of science, all with smiles and witty commentary as we try not to puke while running up Green Lane.

Did I mention that every run ends with a toast? I’m convinced people would be happier if they toasted more…maybe because they’d be drunk, but whatever.

To many more years of running, MBR, and most importantly…to the professor!

Join the Manayunk Beer Runners on Monday nights at 6:30 at Main Street and Green Lane. All paces welcome and drinking is obviously optional. Check the Facebook group for updates, route information, and general tomfoolery.

Well, would you look at that!

  • Maybe I’m late to the game on this one, but gym mecca Equinox serves up weekly meal plans on their blog! My favorite part: how organized the instructions are.  Prepping so many meals can be overwhelming, but with a step-by-step guide you’ll be done in no time.
  • A lot of women in Florida (and apparently around the world) are figuring out ways to get arrested in Gainesville after a pic was posted of some of their officers.  While the comments from the other users are hilarious, my favorites are the responses from the GPD itself.  Anyone else looking for a 2018 calendar?
  • Edith Windsor, LGBTQ rights pioneer, passed away this week at 88 years old. During a time when many feel as though their rights are being disrespected and threatened, I’m hoping that learning more about a woman who never gave up will inspire others to keep on keepin on. Here is a great profile written by The New Yorker in 2013.

Week in Workouts

Let me start off this post with the disclaimer that I definitely feel old after a night out.  BF and I did a mini bar crawl through Main Street Manayunk before Morgan’s Pier on Saturday night and I was definitely feeling it on Monday (and Tuesday, if we’re being honest).

Monday: I walked to and from the kitchen several times for snacks to feed my hangover, but I don’t think that counts.

Tuesday: See Monday, but with less snacks.

Wednesday: AM Spin at The Wall…and probably the most wonderful sweat I’ve had in awhile.  I felt like a new human after.

Thursday: Solidcore

Friday: Beyonce Yoga

Saturday: A 5K with BF on the Cynwyd Heritage Trail and through West Laurel Hill Cemetery…so great to change up the route!

Sunday: A sweaty 75 minute yoga session at Hotbox.

While I started out less than perfectly, I definitely finished out strong.  With the Manayunk Beer Runners 1 Year Anniversary party tonight, I know I will be motivated to keep up the momentum through this week!



Am I a Beyonce fan?  Sure.  I like her music and she’s definitely a badass.  Do I sit at my computer and wait for her to drop a new album? No. When my friend raved about Priya Hot Yoga’s Beyonce Experience class and suggested we attend the next one together, I was definitely down but also a little nervous.  Would I be in a room filled with members of the Hive?  Would they shun me for not knowing all the words to Lemonade?

Answer: no.

Lead by Brittany Policastro, the class was a serious exercise in female empowerment (the class is open to any gender but this one was dudeless) and confidence building.  She apologized for being injured and not being able to fully participate in the class, but DAYUM.  I wish I had half the moves she does, injury or not. She gently forced us out of our comfort zone (I don’t think anyone is used to booty poppin after some sun salutations) and created a safe space for people to express themselves.  WE DANCED IN A CIRCLE! What other yoga class is going to help you do that?

It was great to spend 90 minutes in a judgment-free zone where I was free to sing off key to Irreplaceable while in pigeon pose.  I normally find that pose to be therapeutic, but who knew how much better I would feel after belting out some tunes with it?

While the next Beyonce Experience isn’t scheduled until January, Priya will be starting a series of classes with musical themes.  I can’t wait to text my friend when the schedule comes out to say “Let’s get into formation.”

Meal Plan Monday 9.11.17

I don’t know about you, but stalking Refinery 29’s Money Diaries has made me realize how much money I spend on eating out, buying coffee, and picking up random snacks during the day.  While most of my choices are nutritious, it’s not healthy for my wallet.

I’ve found that the easiest way to cut back on money spent on food and drink is meal planning.  Since we moved in June, Mike and I have done a great job of pulling together a loose weekly meal plan to keep our grocery list focused.  Having a plan and the food needed encourages us to pack our breakfasts (I catch the bus around 7AM so I don’t eat before I leave), lunches, and pre-workout snacks.

For breakfasts, I keep a variety of frozen things that I can quickly pop in Tupperware and throw in my lunch bag, like frozen multi-grain waffles or English Muffins.  Paired with the peanut butter I always have in my desk and a piece of fruit, it’s a super easy way to avoid the many breakfast carts scattered around campus.

Lunches lately have been sandwiches on low-carb wraps, but I made a big pot of chili yesterday for football so we portioned the rest out into single-servings for the remainder of the week.  Crock pots for the win!  I will throw in some veggies and hummus as well as some tortilla chips to keep myself satisfied.

Snacks for this week are Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix, which I keep in my desk 24/7.  It’s not my favorite trail mix (there’s no chocolate in it), but it keeps me from mindlessly snacking when I should just have a glass of water instead.

Dinners are a little different this week since we have zero meat in the freezer…the world was my oyster when it came to a menu!

Here’s what we decided on…

Monday: Going out to dinner…it’s my running group’s 1-year anniversary party at the local brewery!
Tuesday: Chicken Primavera & a side of pasta
Thursday: Leftover Chicken Primavera & pasta
Friday: Turkey burgers, vegetables, and potatoes on the grill (Great pre-race meal as I’m running a 10K on Saturday morning!)
Saturday: Going out to dinner
Sunday: “Make Your Own Pizza” and salads (Trader Joe’s has the BEST pre-made crust)
I try to stay on track during the week, but life happens and you might not feel like making your Chicken Primavera if you don’t get home from work until later in the evening.  In situations like that, Mike and I have some frozen pizzas in the fridge that we can quickly pop in the oven.  No, it’s not the most nutritious option, but it is important to cut yourself some slack.  Not every meal is going to be well-balanced and homemade!

Let’s get ready to rummmmble!!!

Guys.  It’s football season. That means we don’t have any more football-less weekends until FEBRUARY!

Image result for last sunday without football

With the glory of the game comes everyone’s second (some people’s first) favorite thing about the season: food.  All the glorious fall food…crock pots for everyone!

Eating your way through Sunday doesn’t necessarily have to wreck the hard work you put in Monday through Saturday.  Moderation is key, but so is finding healthier versions of your favorite recipes.  Some are so good that even your fried food loving friends will devour them!


Texas Caviar – Basically salsa, but with beans (I also add corn) that will add some protein and staying power!  I make this for every get-together and at least one person asks me for the recipe as they walk out the door and they’re shocked when they realize how easy it is!  Best served with pita chips or tortilla chips.

Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Dip – A football staple that is a little more health conscious but still tastes delicious! Great with celery or tortilla chips.

Main Course

I try to keep my main dishes in the crock pot for a few reasons, namely you don’t have to spend your time cooking instead of watching the action.

I love this turkey chili recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.  Full of protein, low in fat and super delicious.  I like to put out bowls of sour cream, shredded cheddar, and green onions for toppings so people can customize it to their liking.  If you think you can control yourself and not eat the entire pan of cornbread (spoiler alert: I can’t), it’s a great addition to it as well!

Another great crock pot option is pulled beef from Skinnytaste.  Another one of my party staples!  Get some good rolls and thinly sliced provolone and let everyone have at it.


Not every football party requires dessert, but if you know people are going to have a post-game sweet tooth, these “ice cream” sandwiches from Skinnytaste are a great option.  I love to keep the desserts limited to cookies or cupcakes so people can grab and go as opposed to waiting for the cake to be cut.

While these recipes will keep you from breaking the calorie bank all in one day, intuitive eating (Fannetastic Food goes more into it here) is still your best option…eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, and enjoy the game!