Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lincoln Tunnel 5k Challenge!

Heather and I at the starting line on the NJ side of the Lincoln Tunnel
On Sunday April 17, 2011 I participated in the 25th annual Lincoln Tunnel 5K Challenge to benefit the Special Olympics of New Jersey.  It was definitely an interesting race, where the Port Authority closes one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel for runners and walkers to take part in the 5K!  The tunnel runs approximately 1.5 miles long each way, thus making a perfect course for a 5k run.  Surprisingly, the tunnel has a slight downward slope at each end, making the run challenging at the half way point and the end.  Overall a great morning run that I look forward to doing again next year! :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks...and fresh fruit?  It's officially baseball season again, and as the New York Yankees begin their quest for the 28th World Championship, I figured I'd weigh in on the food options available to fans at Yankee Stadium.  To my pleasant surprise, the stadium has introduced Melissa's Farmer's Market, offering fresh fruits and vegetables including apples, pears, bananas and carrots!  They costs a little more than at most NYC fruit stands, but cheap in comparison to the other food options (especially when it comes to the nutritional bang for your buck!).

Melissa's Farmers Market, Yankee Stadium
 In addition to fruits and vegetables, Yankee Stadium provides hungry patrons with an incredibly wide range of food choices.  The stadium boasts a family friendly Hard Rock Cafe, upscale dining at NYY Steak, and a plethora of concession stand options.  At $5 for one hot dog or a slice of pizza, you will be paying the price with both your wallet and waistline.  Due to New York City regulations, calorie counts are listed for all foods sold at the stadium, but as studies have shown, this often does not impact the choices people make.  (Refer to this NYTimes article.)

Here are just some of the many food options and their calorie counts:

NY Pretzel-630 calories
Nathan's Hot Dog-320 calories
Nathan's Crinkle Cut Fries-1236 calories
Nachos-1410 calories
NYY Popcorn Tub-2473 calories
Ice Cream Helmet-550-590 calories
Souvenir Cup Budweiser-290 calories

While I won't argue that hot dogs and baseball go hand in hand, keep in mind you can still make smart choices and stay nutritionally balanced.  Also, most stadiums will let you bring your own healthy snacks like trail mix or granola bars.  So head out to a game and feel confident about your food choices! And ROOT, ROOT, ROOT for the YANKEES! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Healthy Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

As you know by now, I enjoy combining my love for baking with my passion for nutrition.  Check out this recipe for a low-fat version of lemon poppy seed muffins!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • zest and juice of 2 small lemons
  • 3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a muffin or bread pan. In a large bowl, start by mixing the sugar and lemon zest together until it turns a yellow color and you can smell the strong scent of lemon. In the same bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate medium bowl, mix the lemon juice, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla and canola oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.  Finally, stir in the poppy seeds.  Divide batter evenly in muffin or bread pan and bake for 15-18 minutes.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

World Physical Activity Day!

Happy World Physical Activity Day! In honor of this little-known holiday, we should all get out and burn some calories! Whether it's hitting the gym, walking your dog or going for a jog, make sure to reward yourself with at least 30 minutes of physical activity today.  The ultimate goal is to get in physical activity most days of the week and 30 minutes today will get you started! 

Here in New York, it seems the spring weather has finally arrived, so there are no excuses not to get out there! I'm heading out for a run now...what physical activity are you taking part in today?