Category Archives: new things!

Fitness #FaceofFitness Contest!

I entered this* on a total whim the other day, and actually think I was pretty late to the game – it shows on the contest that voting started October 19 and ends today? – but regardless, I’m in!

Fitness Magazine’s Face of Fitness Contest
(tweet/share with #FaceofFitness hashtag)


As of yesterday I went from #229 to #30, and now it’s kind of exciting and I’m here to ask for your support! You can see my submission below, and if you’re so inclined, please click through to vote:

lululemon Georgetown Ambassador Run 1

Vegetarian BQ Marathoner

By day I am a corporate wellness dietitian, coaching people to change their lives and make healthier choices. By any other time I am a runner and yogi, spreading my passion with anyone who will listen, run or stretch with me! I lead weekly group runs as the Georgetown lululemon Run Ambassador, share my adventures in fitness through my blog – – and join fitness groups around DC to meet like-minded people. Two years ago I cut out meat from my diet, and was training for my first marathon. My own food philosophies and habits were evolving. Now I have four full marathons behind me, and as of October 2012 I am a Boston-qualifier. I love to help people realize that finding your fitness passion will open doors in every aspect of life! By challenging yourself you realize what you’re truly capable of – that the lines of your comfort zone should always be tested. My face is always smiling because fitness teaches me how to grow and become the best version of myself!


I sort of have a career history with Fitness magazine…we continue to cross paths!


Thank you for your vote and/or for coming here to read the story!



Filed under about me, Goals, Lululemon, new things!, running

What it Means: Four More & ACA

It’s not often you’ll find me touting political beliefs – the Obama-Biden bumper-sticker I received for donating to the campaign is on my fridge, not my bumper – or getting deep into discussions, debates or long-winded arguments. Rather, I do my own research (read, watch and pick D’s brain) and “like” photos and smile when I feel proud of what we’ve done as a country.

I voted for Obama

I cannot wait to take advantage of our DC life and head to the inauguration on January 20th. History, we heart you!

In the meantime, I’m trying to really wrap my brain around what this means. Given my profession and passion, the things that matter to me are education and changes to student loan laws (if/when I go for that Masters…), changes in agriculture and environmental laws, and last but not least the Affordable Care Act.

With ACA in effect, this re-election means:

  • Women have control over their care. ‘Nuff said. (Why this was ever not the case would be a separate conversation…)
  • Coverage must be provided for: pre-existing conditions (this is huge; you know the significance of this when you see it first-hand) and pregnancy (under job-based plans).
  • Medicare recipients will save money on the cost of services and prescription drugs.
  • “Gender-rating” is essentially eliminated – meaning women can’t be charged higher because, well, we’re women. Because we’re of “child-bearing” age and might cost the health insurance companies more. Coverage also “vastly improves” for other minority groups.
  • Light is shed on preventive services. What this will mean, long-term? Who knows. But it’s a step in the right direction. For now: “You may not have to pay a copayment, co-insurance, or deductible to receive recommended preventive health services, such as screenings, vaccinations, and counseling.”
  • For example: “depending on your age, you may have access — at no cost: Counseling on such topics as quitting smoking, losing weight, eating healthfully, treating depression, and reducing alcohol use.”


I realize this post is quite out of character here, but I hope that won’t always be the case. It’s so important that we’re aware of these things and invested in what it means for each of us!


Moving on to other fun things we do in DC…run! I love the Tuesday night lululemon run club because it gives me a weekly run along the waterfront and underneath the Kennedy Center, coming up to Lincoln and seeing the National Mall. We had a great election-night turn-out, as we all tried to pass the time and enjoy a cool evening in our city:

Lincoln memorial at nightwomens memorial DClululemon georgetown run club 11.6.12


And with all of that, I bid you happy post-election day. Good-bye ads, hello to four-more-years!

How was your election day/night?

Non-US peeps – were you interested, too?


Filed under Dietitians, health, in the News, new things!

Whole Grain, Whole Heart: New Quaker Eats & Treats Giveaway!

I am a huge fan of oatmeal, and have yet to break the oatmeal-for-breakfast routine almost every day of the week. I find it comforting and satisfying, and while I usually stick with the same toppings (peanut butter, banana, honey/agave), I like that my cooked bowl of oats is open to variety!

The first oatmeal I knew and loved was Quaker, a childhood association equivalent to that of Cheerios and Eggo waffles (how else would you “make” oatmeal? eat cereal? have toaster waffles?!)I’ll stand by them now because their {huge} container of my favorite hot cereal still reads one ingredient: rolled oats. (This is obviously not true of the instant oatmeal packages; I stick with the simple, pure stuff.)

Because of this, I was open to the #QuakerInsiders invitation! This included an “insight into the latest and greatest tasty breakfasts and snacks”, and a chance to review seven new products.

The Quaker folks are branching out into new oatmeal flavors, new cereals and entirely new products!

Whole hearts cerealyogurt bars & cookies

That bowl on the left shows what I had for a “treat” most nights this week – handful of cereal + almond milk & dark chocolate chips! The Whole Hearts cereal has a hint of honey sweetness, with the usual whole-grain taste you expect. I’ll put dark chocolate chips in cereal, granola, or oatmeal – yes, I do think they complement everything.  Quaker had a similar idea…

chocolate chip oatmeal

Other items in the #QuakerInsiders delivery? Yogurt bars*, Stila strawberry bars, Soft-baked oatmeal raisin cookies, Soft-baked banana bread bars, Oatmeal squares (cereal), Whole Hearts (cereal, see above) and the above-mentioned chocolate chip oatmeal.

*Slightly disappointed to note that this item contains high-fructose corn-syrup. I wouldn’t recommend these as a first-choice healthy snack.

IMG_3353I can’t say that I’d reach for each one of these products and drop it into my grocery cart, but I did love the Whole Hearts cereal and D loved the banana-bread bars (so much so that I didn’t get a bite…!). I shared the cookies and yogurt bars with coworkers, and got a thumbs-up.

If you’re looking for whole grain products that are easy to bring on-the-go (individually wrapped), these are surely better than an candy bar or “power” bar. Each product boasts its own profile of nutrients from the whole grains, shown to be heart-healthy.

WANT TO TRY THEM OUT, TOO? Let me know! Enter to win your own package of Quaker goods by answering the following in your comment:

Are you a Quaker fan – oatmeal, classic granola bars, or otherwise? Which one of these products would you taste-test in your kitchen?

Winner will be announced Monday, 10/15!

Full Disclosure: The Quaker Insiders program provides the products free of charge to review. There is no monetary compensation for this post, and the opinions are my own.


Filed under food, Giveaway, new things!, Nutrition

TTT: MCM Training Gear

A short list of things are complete necessities to get you through any training cycle. In no particular order, I think they are: attitude checks, routes you can remember (and enjoy), gear you love and shoes you trust. Water and food are in there, too, but those are filed under “life” necessities. So, we’ll them there.

Training is the time to try new things if you’re up for it, so you know what will work best for race day. I used the summer to stock up on my favorite lululemon gear (see: Speed shorts & Run Swiftly tees), readjust to carrying water on the run and…wait for it…try new shoes. Completely new to me, after running in the exact same shoe for 2.5+ years.

Nike changed the Pegasus! The 29’s appearance says it all. Rude.

Six weeks later, what started as a few random aches and weird cramps and other things that should never feel normal turned into chronic pain. I limped around the office one day because my ankle hurt after a 5-miler. Here’s your sign.

All of that said, here’s some new (and new-old) gear carrying me through a few miles these days:

1. Purple Pegasus Shoes! The good ones! I searched ALL over for these things (online running warehouses, local running stores, Zappos), and finally found them on Ebay. Thank you, fellow Pegasus lover who bought two pairs but only needed one!  Their best quality? Look at that design…

purple nike pegasus shoes

Immediately my feet and joints felt better. I should’ve known. Stick with what works! Don’t test out new shoes during the first few weeks of marathon training without a back-up safety net around. Whew.

2. lululemon Run: Turbo shorts – These were given to me by the Georgetown store to run around in and see what I liked and/or disliked about them.

Likes: blue, side pockets, waistband pockets & slightly more length than the Speed version.

lulu turbo shorts blue

My only dislike is that the ruffling on the side is a bit stiff, so they don’t feel as free-and-flowy as the speed short always does. Otherwise, I now have beautiful blue shorts (with tons of pockets – big plus!)  in my rotation. Win!

3. lululemon Run: Light as Air Skirt…

As I strolled into run club last week, the Georgetown crew had their usual welcoming smiles that said “We have something for you!”

lulu run skirt black

I don’t think they realize that they broke my no-skirt streak…

I’m not “against” the running skirt, per se, it’s just that it’s not me. It’s not something I seek out, and definitely not something I would run in. Not for any reason other than I played soccer growing up. So, there’s that.

My opinion? lululemon makes adorable running skirts, but I never would have picked one up and bought it. Test it out? Take it home? Run in it for Tuesday’s 5-miler? Well, I mean…okay…

It was so comfortable. I totally forgot I was wearing a skirt, and seriously? Those things are cute. You got me, lulu! So tricky.

I probably won’t continue to run in this, but you bet I will wear it around on a casual weekend or maybe for a tennis game? (When I think skirt I can only associate it with tennis.) It’s in my wardrobe now, and I’m not ashamed of it.


What gear do you deem essential to your training cycles?


Filed under Lululemon, new things!, running, running gear, shoes

Going Long in DC: The 18-mile Version

There are at least four major running trails in the DC area, in addition to the National Mall and various parks, that make it pretty easy to knock out 10-20 mile runs. The trick is whether/not you want to do an out-and-back, a big loop, or take your chances going through the quadrants (SE, SW, NE, NW). The latter usually leaves the mind confused as to how you’ve run through three neighborhoods already and only covered four miles. This District may be dense, but it’s square-mile area doesn’t rank high on the “Big city” list.

I love running in DC, but these legs needed a new-to-us route and a break from the norm. The mind needed a distraction from “18” (we have a history – 1, 2) and a new perspective.

Solution: the long group run! I usually tackle the higher mileage solo, but see above. This needed to be different, and it certainly was. Since the group  plan was “12”, I got in a good 6-mile warm-up which is great for “settling in” to the run and also breaking it up into thirds. We did an out-and-back route, so my mind just had to think 6, 6, 6 (not superstitious at all).

Running ‘New’ Grounds: Starting from our usual spot in Dupont we headed east passing Logan Circle, Gallaudet University & a few intersections that probably wouldn’t be too safe if you were solo on two feet (just keepin’ it real).

The end goal – run to, and around, the National Arboretum! This is a “446 acre major center of botanical research”, which happens to include miles of road and trail for running, walking, biking or very slow driving.

National Arboretum garden
National Arboretum Columns

Image sources – top, bottom (the original Capitol columns!)

There were a few of us in the 18-mile camp that day, and this 2-mile break from neighborhood streets, stoplights and early morning stares was just what we needed. Obviously the scenery wasn’t too bad, either!

I’d recommend adding this park into long run in the fall or spring, specifically – in my image-search I’ve seen tulips, changing leaves and a lot of garden space to be enjoyed!


All said and done, we were back at the Dupont fountain just shy of our distance goal but with no Type-As among us to suggest running circles until a watch beeped a clean “18”. Whew. Two and a half hours of running is enough for us to call it good and accept that the summer humidity took its toll!

Up next: an early 20-miler! Solo. Friday morning. I have three days to get creative with that loop.


What’s your favorite way to tackle a long run? I’d love to add in a travel weekend during a training cycle to experience some mileage on another city’s trail system. Suggestions welcomed!


Filed under DC, new things!, running, running buddy, training

Cycling 103: Chesapeake Criterium

The final installment of the “Cycling 101” posts might make you scratch your head and question the sanity of every racing cyclist. Here, we meet the Criterium. Watching this race might make you dizzy; participating in it defies any logic I can piece together. Yet, D did it twice in one day.

Chesapeake Crit WarmupChesapeake City Hallspecialized allez

In a Criterium race:

-Racers are divided or grouped by category (aka Cat); for this event, there was a Cat 4/5 race, a Cat 1/2/3 and then age-specific events (which is rare).

D rode twice because he did an age-group race and the general 1/2/3 race.

-The laps are high-speed, high-intensity, and typically only one mile long.

-The race length is either minutes or number of laps – i.e. they may race for 45 minutes, or race as long as it takes the group to race 45 laps.

Yes, 45 ONE MILE laps. I know. (“45” being an arbitrary number here.)

The race often includes a prime (“preem”) – i.e. a prize for winning a mid-race lap. This is noted by a bell or race director announcement prior to the designated lap, and basically means there’s a random sprint and then they all just keep looping around again.

-Riders that fall behind and/or get lapped (remember how this is only one mile long?) may get cut from the course. Safety first!

This all depends on the race directors, the technical difficulty of the course and how many people fall back. In some cases, lead groups of 3-4 racers may be lapping the main group but everyone still gets to keep racing.

Yes, sometimes I think they must make this stuff up as they go, too. But somehow it all works…

-Winning requires a mix of skills! You race for distance, speed, sharp corners and a sprint finish.



{Photos courtesy of  Bob & BJ’s SmugMug}

Spectating is very entertaining here; I can walk to any part of the course and see them two minutes later, or sit comfortably in a lawn chair enjoying my post-run laziness, and get up every 3-4 minutes to snap blurry pictures and watch them zip by!

Spread Love Spectator

When in Chesapeake, why not rep my favorite granola {LoveGrownFoods} and hydrate courtesy of D’s team, representing the District {DC}? Exactly. Perfecto.


These guys are tired after essentially sprinting alongside each other for over an hour, not to mention some of them did this twice with only a short break in between! The Crit is an easy race to host because it only requires enough street permits for one mile’s worth of road. It’s a good race to ride if you want to test out some speed but not all on your own

And while you’re on the search, we recommend racing by a beach so that your evening “cool-down” can look like this:

Virginia Beach walk

Thanks to Amy & Steve for meeting up and revealing this “secret” quiet beach!


Any Crit-lovers out there?

Any runners also wondering how in the world the mind can entertain you for the same one mile loop on repeat?

Next up: the distance! In September, we visit the “Gran Fondo”…


Filed under cycling, learning, new things!, travel

TTT: Lulu Runversions, Sweet Tacos & Chobani Beach Power

In this week’s TTT we run, we eat, we chobani-beach.


1) Our lululemon Georgetown run club likes to mix things up a bit, and our post-run yoga gals had something in mind for this week’s dose of random. After our trail+bridges run – incorporating the Roosevelt Island loop into a 3 or 5.5 mile loop – we all met back up at the store for some stretching and strengthening.

Then, we went upside down! Because, well, why not?

Running Yogisinversions 1

Meet: The Running Yogis, and their inversion demos.

inversions 2 inversions 3

After showing us how it’s done, we all had wall-space and as much time as we wanted to play around. Inversions involve a lot of muscle activation; joining the forces of your legs, core and arms you’ll stay up with “ease”. Learning to get those three groups to work together is the trick.

I think we got it…

inverted running yogis Thanks, Shauna & Johanna! We heart you, and your crazy post-run ideas.

2) Running, inverting and walking home leave this chick starved and up for anything. As my luck would have it, D had his Chef’s hat on for the night.

On our menu – Sweet Potato Tofu Tacos

sweet potato tofu tacos

These were inspired by a recipe in the Feed Zone Cookbook, by Allen Lim (cycling chef icon). D improvised a bit, but the gist of these easy, quick, feed-these-athletes-NOW tacos looks like this (for two servings):

Sweet Potatoes (1-2)
1/2 block tofu
~1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
4 corn tortillas
1/2 avocado, chopped
Seasonings to taste: cinnamon, cilantro, salt/pepper

Microwave or bake sweet potatoes until softened. Mash with a fork (skin on or peeled, up to you and how much fiber you want!). Crumble tofu into tiny pieces, sautéing in 1 Tbsp olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add mashed potatoes, sliced yellow onion and seasonings of choice (D went with cilantro & cinnamon). Heat the tortillas in the oven (Broil) or on a heated skillet (cooking 1-2 minutes on each side).

Serve as tacos with salsa & avocado garnish to taste.


3) Thanks to an impromptu race sign-up on Monday night (for him) that coupled with a surprise package delivery (for her), we will be having a CHObani-powered beach trip this weekend!

chobani beach

Yes, that is the largest CHOBANI beach towel ever, and I can’t wait to use it. Along with the towel came a screw-top water bottle, a beach-bag armed with speakers (we have yet to really figure this out, but it has speakers!) and a recipe card.

Chobani, you never cease to surprise n’ delight. We’re more than happy to spread the Naturally Powered word all around the Virginia beach for you!


What’s got you upside down this week?
Any mini weekend trips coming up?


Filed under dinners, food, Lululemon, new things!, recipes, running, travel, Yoga