How to Stay on Track While Working

For many people, it is hard to stay on track at work or while working. I have actually been experiencing the opposite — I stay on track really well during the week and while at work and tend to indulge here and there on the weekends. The absolutely biggest key to staying on track is being prepared. If you are prepared, you are golden. To prepare well, you need to know your body and your habits, then plan accordingly. Knowing myself and planning accordingly, this is how I prepare for the week ahead:

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I’m fortunate enough to not have to do a full food shop right now, but I still try to get to the store so I can buy my own necessities, especially ones for work. This is just a snapshot of a few of my staples:

  • organic oats or granola — I like Nature’s Promise Organic Oats or Organic Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats and Ola Granola (found at Stop and Shop)
  • organic coconut palm sugar — for oatmeal, coffee and other sweetening
  • unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk — I like Silk and So Delicious brands because there is no carrageenan. I use this for coffee at the office.
  • greek yogurt — I’ve been getting Chobani 100 recently because it’s all natural and only has 7 g of sugar; that’s half the sugar of other greek yogurts, unless they are plain. I’m not really a fan of the plain, so I consider this to be pretty good! I have these as a snack or part of my lunch.
  • fruit — for snacking or to pair with lunch
  • organic gluten-free superfood crackers — I am LOVING Mary’s Gone Super Seed Crackers. I usually have a few with lunch.
  • organic bars — Also loving Pure Organic bars (banana coconut and chocolate brownie). I have these on hand for when I need a snack between breakfast and lunch.

Other great staples:

  • organic baby spinach — for salads and smoothies
  • organic dark chocolate — for a delicious treat that’s also nutritious. I LOVE this organic, nonGMO, fair-trade and soy-free THEO dark chocolate made with coconut!

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  • nut butterΒ — this vegan Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter is amazing. It has no sugar and is made with coconut oil. I like to either have some with my Mary’s Gone Crackers or have a little scoop before I head home to workout.

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  • nutsΒ — it’s always good to have these on hand. I usually go with roasted unsalted almonds but am now trying a cashew pistachio almond mix from Back to Nature — made with these 3 nuts and sea salt.

I like to pack a salad for lunch and aim to have some meat with it, like chicken or a turkey burger. But when I eat breakfast at 5 am and eat dinner at 6:30 pm, a simple salad at 11:30 am is just not enough. And that’s okay. So I aim to have a source of protein around 9 am, when I start to get a little hungry (a yogurt, a bar or some nuts), and I have some crackers and fruit or a yogurt with lunch, depending on what I had for a snack. I have a pretty big lunch, but I need that to get me through the rest of my day.

I then try to have a little something before I workout since I don’t get home til about 4:30 pm. This could either be a scoop of peanut butter, a handful of nuts, a banana with peanut butter or simply a piece of fruit if I am doing something light like going for a bike ride or taking a walk. Fueling up before a workout helps your body prepare for the workout ahead and can actually lead to burning more calories during and after your workout. It also helps me from being ravenous by the time I eat dinner.

We cannot be afraid to eat or underestimate the power of our food — our bodies need nourishment from good food.

I dedicate 12 hours a day to work alone between commuting and being at the office. Adding in a workout and anything else that comes up in the evening adds up to a long day! But I’ve adjusted quickly and amazingly. I go to sleep early, eat smart and workout regularly; all of which have helped me tremendously. I could not do this if I did not take the time to plan. Sure, sometimes I don’t want to prepare my lunch the night before, make my breakfast or stop at the store after a full day’s work, but I do it because I know the next day I am going to say to myself, “Thank goodness I went to the store,” when I get hungry at work or “I am so happy my breakfast and lunch are already made,” when I’m getting into my car at 4:50 am.

Planning will make or break you. You either suck it up and do it or wish you had later on. Which would you prefer? And when you get hungry at your desk, it’s nice to know you have this waiting for you in your drawer /in the refrigerator:

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I hope this encourages you to prepare and choose wisely!

Good food, good tips, good moves, good for you

xo Kim, Running on Good

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Snack Attack! Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

Who doesn’t love a good snack? A crazy person, that’s who. Snacking doesn’t have to detrimental to your health or weight. It CAN be. But it doesn’t HAVE to be. That’s where you come in. You control what you eat. And when you are well educated, prepared, determined and love what you are eating, you are good to go!

So one day, I decided to oven bake something that I love–chickpeas. I’ve done the homemade sweet potato chips (which I love), have yet to tackle the homemade kale chips (for no particular reason), and wanted to use something that I already had. Most of us always have oil and salt in the house, it’s the last ingredient that stumps us. I happened to have chickpeas in the pantry and gave it a whirl. It was magical. SO crunchy, SO satisfying, SO tasty. A perfect snack.

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How I made these babies:

  • Grease a pan with coconut oil
  • Toss chickpeas in any seasoning you want (I like Real Salt, chili powder, and garlic powder)
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 45-60 minutes (I like them REALLY crunchy; I just tested them after 45 mins)

*You could also experiment at 425 F for 35-40 minutes if you’re impatient.

DONE! They are so easy, the hardest part is waiting for them to do done. Chickpeas are naturally low in fat and filled with protein & fiber. They’re also great for your colon and digestive health. So naturally, they add up to be a much healthier alternative to any packaged snack. I recommend organic chickpeas or ones with no additives. READ those labels, people! Chickpeas are very inexpensive, so getting a good quality can of chickpeas is no wallet burner. Eat ’em at home or pack them up and take them with you in the car or to work, school, and on your other daily travels.

Next time you have a snack attack, try these out! Enjoy xo

Eating Well While Away

Last weekend I was away in Montauk for my sister’s bachelorette weekend. Aside from Montauk being my favorite place that I’ve ever been to, I also love the great food options. I always plan my meals ahead of time because that’s how I stay in control, balance my diet, and feel my best. Planning is key. If you do not plan or think ahead, you are tempting yourself with making a poor decision. Here are some of the meals I ate while on the road/away:

  • (on the road) Larabar and water
  • (lunch) Egg white scramble with quinoa, avocado, lettuce, and tomato + side of yogurt, granola, and strawberries
  • (snack) KIND bar and an orange
  • (dinner) Salad with grilled chicken + small packet of mixed nuts
  • (breakfast) Egg whites, turkey bacon, avocado, and spinach on a whole wheat wrap, banana, iced coffee
  • (lunch) Apple and “Breakfast in Barbados Smoothie” made with oats, banana, almond milk, coconut water, and a touch of cinnamon (there was originally honey instead of coconut water, but I asked for the substitution and added the cinnamon myself)
  • (dinner) Crabmeat cocktail with avocado as an appetizer, atlantic swordfish with mango salsa, coconut jasmine rice, and sesame toasted green beans (all delicious!)
  • (dinner treat) Two mango margaritas–made with mango puree (I was on vacation!) πŸ™‚
  • (breakfast) Chobani yogurt, banana, small pack of almonds, iced coffee

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*And always, lots and lots of water! Especially now that it’s summertime and we are all out in the sun and heat.

Do some research before you go somewhere. Can you find a place that offers good, healthy food options? If so, utilize it! Don’t brush it off because you’re on vacation. In Montauk, there is an organic and natural food market/cafe where I get my smoothies, fruit, KIND bars, and other snacks or things to bring back to my room while I am there. It is so amazing to have a place you can rely on while away.

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You’re supposed to go on vacation to relax, so don’t make the mistake of going overboard and indulging every day at every meal to come home and feel guilty. Find whole food options, stick with them, and plan! Planning will help you indulge wisely. I knew I wanted to enjoy my dinner, so I had a big breakfast (the egg white wrap) and a smaller lunch (apple and smoothie). I also bought a small (1 serving) size bar of Green and Black’s Organic 70% Dark Chocolate and put it in the fridge in my room. That way, if I really wanted a treat I knew where it was and what it was going to be. But I planned to make dinner my time to get what I want, and I did (hello, two margaritas!). I didn’t even have the dark chocolate til I came home!

All weekend I was satisfied and eating delicious foods. I came home without an ounce of guilt. The two margaritas and traveling certainly made me retain a little water, but within two days of being in my normal routine and fitting in some running and swimming, I was back to normal. Hope this helps guide some of your vacation planning! Remember to stay active, too! Go for a swim, take a walk through town, maybe squeeze in a run on the beach–even if it’s for 20-30 minutes; you’ll feel so much better! I went in the ocean and got to walk in town a bit, then got right back into my normal routine when I was home and had a good night’s sleep. Be healthy, be wise, and enjoy yourself!

Nature Box

My first Nature Box came today!Β photo

So far, I’ve tried a little from 3 of the 5 bags. In my box I received Italian Bistro Pretzels, Whole Wheat Figgy Bars, Lemon Meringue Waffles, Banana Bread Granola, and Taj Mahal Snack Mix. I have tried the granola, fig bars, and pretzels, and they are all so good! The pretzels are definitely male approved, too; they are very flavorful and my boyfriend just ate the entire bag. All of the snacks have NO high fructose corn syrup, NO partially hydrogenated oils, NO artificial sweeteners, NO artificial flavors, NO artificial colors, and 0 grams trans fat. 3 of my 5 bags are also vegan.

Nature Box is a really cool way to get your snacks because you know they are better than more than half of the snacks at the grocery store, and it’s delivered to your door every month. I think it’s a neat way to cut back on your grocery bill and have a stable way of receiving snack foods. You can also cancel anytime, so if it’s something you want to try, you can sign up (and most likely get your first box for a discounted price–$5 or $10 off), try out your first box, and cancel if it’s not for you. Also, after your first box you can start hand picking what snacks you get! If you’re not into being surprised, you don’t have to be! I think that’s also a really cool option for those of you that might be vegan. Since some of their products, but not all, are vegan you can hand pick your vegan snacks!

If you’re interested, I think it’s definitely something worth trying. Trying new things, especially with food, is part of the fun! πŸ™‚

Healthy PB&J

Today for lunch I put a healthy spin on a classic sandwich–PB&J!

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This is all-natural Peanut Butter & Co. “Smooth Operator” peanut butter and organic apricot preserves on Ezekiel bread with an orange on the side.

Peanut Butter & Co. is a great all-natural peanut butter brand with a shop in NYC that I am dying to go to. They have tons of flavors and the few that I have had are all delicious. I got apricot preserves because apricots are such a great fruit, but I couldn’t bring myself to skip buying apples and oranges and sub apricots. So I got the preserves instead! The combination of the apricot and peanut butter was different, refreshing, and delicious. The two tastes blended so well together.

Ezekiel bread is sprout bread. It is a source of whole grains, is wheat free, a low glycemic index food, and has protein! This bread is much healthier than wheat bread, yes even whole wheat. Give it a try! I used to eat it a lot when my mom would buy it for my sister because of her allergies, but I had trouble finding it here at school. Thankfully, I found it at Trader Joe’s.

This is a great way to enjoy the comforting and classic PB&J, only healthier. And if you have allergies Ezekiel is a great bread choice, you can try different butters (almond, sunflower seed, cashew, etc.) and different jams or preserves (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, etc.). There are so many options! Mix it up and enjoy πŸ™‚

The Perfect Recovery Green Smoothie

Today was a great day. I went on a 6.13 mile run and then made the most perfect recovery green smoothie!photo

This smoothie was so delicious, creamy, yet drinkable. It was perfect. I don’t have much else to say about it other than it was perfect, so here’s what’s in it:

  • Almond milk, about 2/3 cup (I use unsweetened, Trader Joe’s)
  • Coconut milk, about 2/3 cup (I use unsweetened, Trader Joe’s)
  • Water, about 1 cup
  • Spinach, about a big handful
  • Frozen Mango chunks, 2 handfuls (Trader Joe’s)
  • Golden Ground Flaxseed, 1 heaping tablespoon
  • Chocolate Protein (100% whey or whatever you like to use; no artificial ingredients!) 1 scoop
  • Avocado, 1/2

Note: I did not measure anything when I made this, which probably added to its perfection. It just happened. I tried to estimate everything as best I could. Although, this batch did fill up my entire blender; so it makes a lot. I would say do 1/2 to 2/3 cups of almond milk AND coconut milk each, then add in the water.

I added about 1/2 cup water early on and another 1/2 cup at the end. I blended everything together (minus the last 1/2 cup of water and avocado–honestly, I almost forgot the avocado), THEN added in the avocado and a little bit more water. I think these measurements should still do you good. The mango makes this VERY thick and creamy, so don’t skimp on the milk and water–you need it! But I would advise you to start with less and you can always add more.

To make all this mumbo-jumbo easier, go with 2/3 cup EACH of almond and coconut milk (unsweetened preferably) and 1/2 cup water. If you need more liquid, add more water.

I really hope some of you try out this smoothie because it was so good! It’s packed with a ton of protein and two green superfoods-spinach and avocado! Everything in it is good tasting and good for you πŸ™‚ just like a green smoothie should be! PLUS, smoothies are great for on-the-go! Blend, pour into a to-go bottle, and you are on your way with a delicious and nutritious meal in tow! Smoothies can also be served for breakfast, lunch, or a treat! Keep them in mind, they’re great πŸ™‚

Tilapia over Spinach with Broccoli and Olives

Tonight for dinner I made Tilapia. It was light and perfect for a warm day like today πŸ™‚

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This is baked tilapia over fresh organic baby spinach with steamed broccoli and small pitted black olives.

I baked the tilapia in a pan (covered) with lemon juice, garlic powder, a touch of salt, lemon pepper, and two lemon slices. My fish was still somewhat frozen so I baked it for 15-17 minutes at 350, but if it is thawed it should be less time. I steamed by broccoli and just put everything together! To top it off, I drizzled on a little bit of salad dressing. This meal was very easy to make, light, very nutritious, and satisfying. Fish and vegetables are a great combination for dinner, especially after a warm day πŸ™‚