Foodie Penpals Reveal (& Chobani Champions Giveaway Winners)


Before I get into the Foodie Penpals post, I realized I didn’t announce the winners of the Chobani Champions Giveaway…here they are:

Tia and Christine – please contact me so I can arrange to have the yogurt shipped to  you!  Thank you to everyone who participated! =)


Lindsay, a fellow FitFluential Ambassador and one of my new blogger/twitter friends started this awesome program in September called Foodie Penpals.  The idea behind it is simple – each month, she pairs up all the participants (over 200 this month) and a box of fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats are exchanged!  I had read about it on her blog a few months ago and finally got the courage to sign up and give it a try this month! (For more information on participating in the Foodie Penpals Program, check out Linday’s blog or the information section at the bottom of this post)

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    Chobani Champions Review + Giveaway


    My son is at the age (13 mo) where he wants EVERYTHING that mommy and daddy eat and drink.  Thankfully, we eat healthy about 95% of the time, so some of our good habits have already rubbed off on him (I will not go into detail about the other 5% of the time!).  My husband and I are huge Chobani fans, and I’m happy to say that my son has been eating Chobani Greek Yogurt since he was about 10 months old.

    The grocery store we shop at has a limited variety of children’s yogurt – I had never seen or heard of Chobani Champions yogurt before – UNTIL I received an email from a representative at Chobani.  She offered to send some samples of the two new flavors – Vanilla Chocolate Chunk and Orange Vanilla. Talk about knowing exactly how to get to my heart: sending me free samples of a product for me makes me happy but sending me samples for my little man puts me over the moon!

    What is Chobani Champions yogurt??
    – First greek yogurt made for kids
    – Contains 20% of Daily Vitamin D and 10% of Daily calcium
    – Comes in pre-portioned, 3.5oz cups (each containing just 100 calories)
    – 100% Natural – no artificial colors, preservatives, flavors or sweeteners added
    – Four flavors: Orange Vanilla, Vanilla Chocolate Chunk, Honey-Nana, and VerryBerry
    For all of the information on Chobani Champions Yogurt, check out their FAQ page on their website!

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      New Feature coming soon: The PR Spotlight!



      I am starting a new feature on NYCRunningMama to highlight some of my favorite runners!!  I wanted this column to be different from the usual runner bio…

      I am going to be featuring runners who have recently PR’d – it could be a race or training run.  It could be on the treadmill, track, or on the roads.  The purpose of the feature will be for the runner to discuss what they did differently – whether it was pacing, fueling, hydration, training, mental preparation, etc.

      One of the things I love most about running is that I’m constantly learning – I learn just as much from the 4:30 marathoner as I do from the 2:45 marathoner. Hopefully this feature become a tool in which we all learn from each other.

      I think we all enjoy sharing the news when we do something we are proud of.   Most of us won’t be winning half marathon or marathon races anytime soon.  So why not have this feature highlight  the ultimate success everyday runners can hope to achieve? A PR!

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        The meaning of Valentine’s Day


        I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day.  Growing up, it was one of my favorite holidays.  My dad would give my sisters and I a single rose and a box of chocolate.  My mom would have a few thoughtful gifts and her famous handmade cards in our lunchbags. I couldn’t wait to open my lunchbag at school to see her beautiful card…I always felt extra loved on Valentine’s Day.

        We didn’t have a lot of money when I was younger and were taught that the best gifts were the thoughtful ones…not necessarily those with the biggest price tag.  My mom only ever wanted homemade cards and gifts – nothing fancy or expensive – just something that took time to make for her.

        I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point in my life, I began to view Valentine’s Day in a much more material way. The little things didn’t matter as much and it seemed all I cared about were the expensive gifts I hoped expected to receive. I had this warped mentality that the more money that was spent on me, the more I was loved.

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          Do Yasso 800s work?


          Two weeks ago, I gave the infamous Yasso 800s a try.  Bart Yasso, the Chief Running Officer (CRO) of Runner’s World and author of My Life on the Run, has created a workout that (many claim) predicts your marathon time.

          Here’s how it works:  Want to run a 4:00 marathon?  Do 10x800m in 4:00 with an active (jogging) recovery of 4:00. Shooting for a 3:15 marathon?  Complete your 10x800m in 3:15 with a 3:15 active recovery. (*Note: Bart recommends incorporating Yasso 800s on a weekly basis in your marathon training plan – he suggests starting with 4x800m and working your way up to 10.)

          I had never done this workout before but since I’ve been doing mile repeats on a pretty consistent basis I wanted to see how many I would be able to complete. I ran 8 repeats before my son woke up from his morning nap.  I am training for a 3:10 marathon, but was (overly?) ambitious and ran the repeats in 3:05 (with a 3:05 active recovery).  To be honest, I’m not sure I could have finished the last two – numbers 7 and 8 were extremely difficult and I almost stopped on the 8th one because I was dry heaving.  However, the NJ Marathon is 12 weeks away, so I should be able to complete the 10 well before the big day. 

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            What My Family Ate Last Week (Wk 3)


            The week started off great – we kept to the schedule perfectly!  Unfortunately, by the end of the week, a few unexpected events occurred and we ended up ordering out twice.

            Monday: (Pasta Primavera) I found this recipe in Giada  De Laurentii’s Everyday Italian cookbook. (The full recipe can be found here.)  It was a light, tasty, and healthy pasta dish that contained fresh, roasted veggies: onions, peppers, squash, zucchini, and  carrots. My two complaints: prep time took me a bit longer then the suggested 25 min (I must not be a quick chopper!) and I needed to add a good amount of salt to the finished dish (Note: I don’t add the recommended salt when I am cooking because I try to limit the amount of salt on food that my son eats.)

            Tuesday: (Chicken Spezzatino). Another recipe from Giada’s fabulous Everyday Italian cookbook. (Full recipe can be found here). This is one of my favorite recipes over the last few weeks!  It was a hearty, healthy, filling dinner.  Spezzatino literally means “cut of meat” in Italian.  The chicken gets cooked in the stew, taken out, cut up, and then put back in.  The stew is a mix of tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, and kidney beans.  I recommend this for a cold, wintry night!

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              PureFit Nutrition Bars Review & Coupon Code

              purefit bar


              I usually shy away from most protein / energy bars because they tend to be too harsh on my stomach.  I don’t consider myself to have a sensitive stomach but for whatever reason, when it comes to protein nutrition bars, my stomach just doesn’t seem to agree with them (with the exception of PowerBar brand bars)

              I was approached by a representative from PureFit Nutrition Bars a couple of weeks ago to sample their product.  I initially hesitated – although they are touted as being the “#1 selling, wheat, gluten, and dairy free high-protein nutrition bars on the market for the past 10 years”, I didn’t want to deal with my usual stomach issues after giving them a try.

              Before I get into my review of them, let me first give you a brief background of PureFit Nutrition Bars.

              More information on PureFit Nutrition Bars
              High in ProteinNO Animal Products (Vegan)                       40/30/30
              Will not melt in Packaging                                                Non-GMO Soy
              All Natural                                                                       Kosher & Vegan
              Nondairy                                                                         Low Glycemic
              NO Cholesterol or Trans Fatty Acids                                 No Wheat or Gluten
              NO Artificial Sweeteners                                                  NO Hidden Carbohydrates
              5 different flavors                                                 

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                Nursing and Ultras ?!?!

                nursing and ultras

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                Do you think these two things can go hand-in-hand?

                When I was pregnant, I was often asked told : You know you can’t run a lot and breastfeed, right?

                And to be honest, at the time, I wasn’t really sure it was possible to run the miles I wanted, train for the races I had planned, AND breastfeed at the same time.  There was quite a bit of personal accounts and literature on exercising while pregnant, but I didn’t find much regarding running and breastfeeding. Both Runner’s World Guide to Running and Pregnancy and La Leche League’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (which was and still is my go-to book for all breastfeeding questions) said breastfeeding was completing safe (for mama and baby) if you were exercising.  But I couldn’t find anything quantifiable, any woman who said she ran “x” number of miles a week and was still breastfeeding successfully. (Note: I was not on twitter or blogging at the time so did not have the information these sites offer.) 

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                  Why You Want ME


                  Before I explain to you why I would be a great addition to your team, let me give you a brief background of how I ended up where I am today.

                  Exactly three years ago, I was getting ready to return from Iraq after my third deployment with the US Army as a Captain in the Military Intelligence Branch.  I had spent the last 15 months tracking, analyzing, and targeting the enemy networks in Baghdad.  It was the most rewarding job I had ever had.  I had made the decision to leave the military upon my return from Iraq – I wanted to settle down, start a family, secure a high-paying job in the business world, and be physically close to my sisters and parents after 10 years of living far away.

                  Shortly after, I began my new life with a great-paying job in NYC, I was living on the Upper West Side in a gorgeous apartment with my sister, and I had the freedom and luxury to run whenever and wherever I wanted.

                  Fast forward to today.

                  I am a happy stay at home mom to my 1 year old son, AJ.  Shortly after he was born, I made the decision to stop working.  I knew that if I had to be away from him for any sizable chunk of time, it needed to be for something I loved, something that truly made me happy.   The job I had was no longer fulfilling.  I didn’t wake up every day excited to go to work. I had NO PASSION for what I was doing.

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                    11 Random Things

                    Gonzalez Family

                    Ok everyone! I was recently tagged by Katye from Long Legs on the Loose,  Jen from Mom’s Gotta Run, and Janine from The Purple Giraffe.

                    If you are not already familiar with this, here are the rules:
                    1. Post these rules.
                    2. You must post 11 random things about yourself (Jen’s said 12, but Katye tagged me first so I’m going with those rules).
                    3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
                    4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
                    5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
                    6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

                    11 Random Things About Me
                    1. I was initially not accepted to West Point for medical reasons. I have a slight heart murmur and the medical board was concerned about my safety and ability to perform the physical tasks. I had to go to several cardiologists and take boatloads of tests (including running on a treadmill with monitors on my chest) to prove that the heart murmur had little to no effect on my physical abilities.
                    2. I do not drink any type of “juice” (orange, apple, fruit, etc) and haven’t since as long as I can remember – which is strange since I love all of those fruits!
                    3. I graduated from the US Army Airborne School (I am officially a paratrooper!) in 2002.
                    4. My 3 best friends are my sisters – Lauren, Danielle, and Nicole.  A sister’s bond is like no other in the world. They are my biggest supporters, confidants, and competitors.  I try to talk to each of them every single day. 5. I used to smoke.  It was a bad habit that began in high school and then started again when I was in the Army and deployed to Iraq.
                    6. I keep my power gels in my sports bra when I am on long runs.
                    7. I was a vegetarian for over 3 years and didn’t eat red meat for close to 6.  I started eating red meat again when I was pregnant with my son – I had the strongest cravings for it!!  I felt that it was my body’s way of telling me that it needed something for my son’s benefit.  And I’m still eating it to this day (he’s over a year old!)
                    8. My husband and I had a very small, intimate wedding ceremony in Central Park.  It was our parents, siblings (and their families), my grandmother, two aunts, and a few close friends.  We then went out to eat at a restaurant in Little Italy that my mom used to go to (she was born and raised in Little Italy).

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