“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it” [Oprah Winfrey]

Warning: Sporadic entry ahead.

I feel as if I’ve been running everywhere lately, literally. Per usual, I’ve been a girl on the go. After a long weekend (Wednesday to Saturday) celebrating a few birthdays with the gals, it’s good to be home for a solid amount of time – and back in the gym. Training for my third half marathon is officially in play (signing up tomorrow night) and the fundraising e-mail is being drafted. Throughout the training, I’ll be posting my running log and a “Tip Of The Day” for aspiring first-timers.

My weekend consisted of a lot of this:

Photos galore - I'll restrain from posting sorority style group pics. New wardrobe additions: check.

A solid amount sunshine, sand between my toes, suntan lotion and QT at the beach. Favorite thing about Long Island: beaches with real waves along the Atlantic Ocean. Oh Milford - how your Long Island Sound shores are oh so subpar.

Smart dining choices. Shown here: a fresh fruit cup - the perfect addition to Thursday morning's brunch.

Driving. Snapped a shot of the NYC skyline while sitting in some serious traffic.

Oh … and this:

The chilly, rainy weather demanded an appropriate lunch. Maybe not the most beautiful picture – but butternut squash soup was the perfect, delicious touch to a gloomy afternoon.

Sidenote: I was just channel surfing and stumbled upon the 2003 treasure “What a Girl Wants.” “You Get Me” by Michelle Branch is playing. Yes, I’m having nostalgia. Yes, I’ve been following her on Twitter. And I may or may not have taken a break from blogging to check out what songs of hers I have on iTunes, reminiscing of my awkward Abercrombie & Fitch filled middle school days.

Hard to believe August is almost over. It’s already time back-to-school (or for many of us: a harsh reality check) and soon enough – it’ll be wedding season, marathon time and my boy will be back in the United States. For now, I’m going to enjoy the rest of the corniness of Amanda Bynes in her peak.

Oh! And before I forget – I’ve been getting a bunch of questions via e-mail, and I definitely want to take the time to address some of them this week! Lookout for upcoming entries talking about:

  1. Healthy lifetstyle suggestions for gals on the go
  2. Talking to friends about making healthier choices
  3. How to make positive changes when you feel like there’s no hope

What’s your favorite meal for a rainy day? Anyone else training for an October/ November race?

Today’s workout song: “Freedom 90″ by The Cat’s Meow

“Without obsession, life is nothing” [John Waters]

I think it’s time to come clean; It’s time to divulge about my obsession.

Disclaimer: I know my obsession isn’t exactly the best thing for your teeth. Throughout the years, I’ve had a one-for-one rule. One glass of bubbly, one glass of H20. And to be honest – it’s been doing me pretty well so far.

“DC.” Diet Coke. The most refreshing thing after an sun-filled afternoon at the beach, next to a McDonald’s dollar vanilla cone for 140 calories. My girlfriends at college would laugh about this – my obsession with DC. My college paper had the same initials – and often during a long night at work we would take a run to the local 24-hour convenient store, and while working at “The DC,” and grab some DCs.

During the days working at 463 Summerhill Road, I would run down the dirt path toward my car on humid afternoons – scorch my thighs on the hot grey leather seat and drive away from my summer camp paradise, 13 minutes down Route 90 to Cumberland Farms, knowing that a 99 cent “any-size” beverage awaited me, with ice.

What is it that I love about it? Putting my finger on it isn’t exactly easy. The perfect blend of carbonation and syrup; I know I love the taste. But often, I wonder if it’s the memories I associate with it. Those summer drives, late nights with the sand between my toes and the bugs nipping at my shoulders; Being a little girl and always sharing a large $5 (overpriced) DC with mom at the movies … it’s always been there.

What’s your “DC?” Your favorite summertime pick-me-up?

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better” [Albert Camus]

And so the holiday weekend begins! First – let’s track back to last night.

Sauteed scallops with asparagus and penne, courtesy of momma. YUM! The scallops were so tender and it was nice to take a night off from my newfound Julia Child tendencies. Spent my night in watching a rerun of “Glee,” followed by “Bethenny Getting Married.” In the words of my friend Brynne (wait ’til later in the post) – I undeniably have a girl crush on her. Her brutal honesty may turn some off … for me, it’s refreshing. Not to mention, her apartment is adorable. And her pup Cook? Forgettaboutit.

Three cheers for success today – hip hip – hooray! Hip hip – hooray! Hip hip … well you get the point. My first successful experience with egg puffs after some failure earlier this week. Breakfast today: two egg white puffs topped with paprika, pepper and feta on a whole wheat english muffin, alongside blackberries, peaches and a sliced banana.

Cue rendezvous with Brynne for a morning run. I convinced her to attempt a modified Crossfit workout – which consisted of:

  • 800 meter run
  • 15 squats
  • 10 push-ups

And we did circuit four times, for a total of two miles, 60 squats and 40 pushups. With the cool temperatures and shady path, it was the perfect morning workout! And what better way to top off a workout then with two iced green teas, mine – with a shot of raspberry!

We took a quick field trip to grab my diploma at what my dad refers to as “The Fraternity House” (it arrived in the mail yesterday) and some mail … but not before snapping this quick pic of Brynne sporting her UConn pride with this blue and white leis (loveyoudon’thateme!).

To pair with your embarrassment, I’ll share what we snapped after opening my diploma:

Lunch was inspired by nostalgia. A ton of my friends are just returning from Birthright trips. For those of you who haven’t heard of the opportunity – Taglit-Birthright Israel provides the gift of first time, peer group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26. I went on it in December 2007 with my good friend Ali.

Ali and I in the Negev desert.

… after seeing all of these Facebook uploads, I decided it was time for some Mediterranean cuisine. Enter hummus, Israeli salad and baby carrots.

SO FILLING. A whole wheat wrap with spinach and artichoke hummus, sugar snap peas, romaine and feta (it was a feta kind of day), a chopped tomato and cucumber salad and baby carrots (with more hummus, of course). Another beautiful day summoned me to the beach, where I was joined by my friend Ali.

We finished up our day in the sun with smoothies from Liquid Lunch. My weapon of choice: A raspberry banana smoothie with skim milk, the perfect blend of tangy and sweet!

OH … and how could I forget – Happy Food Friday! This week’s find, Sunland banana peanut butter. For a true banana fan (I did mention how much I adore banana chocolate chip ice cream from the UConn Dairy Bar, right?) – this is heaven. Looking forward to pairing this with some sliced granny smith apples in the near future!

For now, I’m looking forward to attempting my first whack at tofu. Look forward to see whether I succeed, or fail. What was the last food you took a risk on in the kitchen? How about your favorite vacation destination?