Top 10 Fitness Items

Last week the famous Janae posted about her top ten fitness related things.  Some items we share, some we don’t.  I always enjoy reading about what other people enjoy using for their workouts so I thought I would share.  All thoughts and opinion’s are mine.  I’ll start from ten and work myself to one.

  1. Garmin 10

For me I use the Garmin 10.  I don’t need to buy a fancier watch because I don’t even use all of the Garmin 10 features.  It does exactly what I want (track mileage and pace when I choose).  I don’t necessarily need one (mapmyrun works too) and when my Garmin dies it really isn’t a big deal for me.  That being said the Garmin 10 is a nice tool.

  1. Body glide

I get serious thigh chaffing.  Without body glide, it’s painful.

  1. Foam Roller and Golf Balls

Right now I use them both twice a day to work out knots, kinks and whatever else are in my muscles.  I’ve always been an avid foam roller user, trying to keep my calves calm.

  1. Nalgene

My nalgene is full of water at all times.  I think I must drink 6-7 daily.  It’s that swimmer past I guess.

  1. Newton Gravities

These in reality should be number 1 but since I’m currently injured they aren’t at the top of the list.  I’ve gone through 21 pairs of Newton Gravities throughout my running career and they’ve always worked for me.  To me running shoes are the most important expense.  If you can’t afford anything else, you need quality running shoes before beginning to up miles.

Before donating last year.
Before donating last year.
  1. Injinji socks

My feet get pretty sweaty and end up causing blisters.  For me, my worst blisters used to come from between my toes. Having a toe sock allows it to protect my toes from blisters. I haven’t gotten a blister since using these socks using injinji.  (Bonus: I can wear them with flip flops too).

injinji

  1. My iphone

I like music when I run.  All of my music is on pandora which is on my iphone.  It’s always really nice to listen to music.  I don’t normally run with friends so music is nice.

  1. A Gym Membership:

Some people don’t feel they need a gym membership.  It’s really important to me.  I’m a fair weathered runner.  I don’t like running in the pouring rain, ice, hail and wind.  I would prefer to run on a treadmill.  I also like to cross train (or I’ll get injured).  I also like meeting new people at the gym (like my friend Jamal).

Post running with Jamal
Post running with Jamal
  1. Compression sleeves

My calves get really tight.  Without compression sleeves (combined with other things to loosen up my calves) I would be injured.  I know that.

compressionsleeves

  1. Runderwear…

It wouldn’t be LOLZ blog without runderwear would it?  Seriously though, if you’ve never raced in briefs you should try it.  It’s the most liberating experience behind streaking.  Oiselle does a good job making briefs that cover my butt completely.  (TMI but I have not had good luck with asics or saucony briefs).

As seen here
As seen here
and 26.2 miles of runderwearing here
and 26.2 miles of runderwearing here
And here
And here
Also here
Also here
Even in college here (Flashback...Monday...)
Even in college here (Flashback…Monday…)

Questions for you:

What are some of your top fitness items?

Do you use a gym membership?

New Berlin Diner

New Berlin Diner (Berlin, NJ)

I was back from Virginia and found ourselves about an hour south of our house.  We could have held off and just ate at home, but we were in a new area of NJ so we thought trying a new diner would be fun.  I put “diner” into the foursquare app, and The New Berlin Diner popped up a mile away.  Perfect.

So we found ourselves at the New Berlin Diner.

New Berlin Diner Atmosphere: A

The outside of the New Berlin Diner is an old cable car-style diner could be bigger than the 15 car parking lot.

Inside: Cable car diners are my favorite.  They feel more personal and give you that diner vibe.  It’s like a throwback to the 1950s.  I’m not sure what the Berlin Diner was like (Or even if it existed) but they did an excellent job with the “New Berlin Diner.”  It feels the most like a diner versus any diner we have been too.

New Berlin Diner Coffee: B

The coffee at the New Berlin Diner was good, not great and not bad.  It was average.  The waitress brought plenty of refills, and I got more than one refill (something that isn’t common in NJ).

New Berlin Diner Food: B

I was pleasantly surprised by the menu of the New Berlin Diner.  The menu could have been more massive than the diner itself.  I don’t know if a restaurant counts as a diner if the menu isn’t big.  I expected a more greasy style diner menu (to go with the atmosphere), but they have everything from seafood to salad to breakfast to sandwiches.

I ordered the Greek salad with chicken and a side of over-easy eggs with toast.

New Berlin Diner Salad

The Greek Salad at The New Berlin Diner came with tomatoes, eggs, feta, anchovies, lettuce, and tomato.  It was a medium-sized salad, and I liked the dressing.  This might have been one of my favorite Greek salad dressings so far.

The eggs were good.  It’s hard to have bad eggs, and I enjoyed them.   They didn’t have any pita bread, but the toast was an okay alternative.

New Berlin Diner Dessert: A

I got a milkshake which I promptly forgot to take a photo of…some food I am. The milkshake had plenty of whipped cream and cherry, which are huge bonus points for me.

New Berlin Diner Price: $

For two meals, a side of eggs, coffee, and a milkshake it was 40 dollars.

Would I come back to the New Berlin Diner?

I was pleasantly surprised by the New Berlin Diner.  If I find myself in Berlin again (which I probably will since I don’t work far from there), I would go back.

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been in an only cable car-style diner?

What is your favorite way to eat eggs? 

Ponzios Diner (Cherry Hill)

Another diner, Ponzio’s, located in Cherry Hill, has caught my eye several times. I never really want to drive 45 minutes to eat when I can find something delicious within 15 minutes.  I work relatively close to Ponzio’s, and a lot of my coworkers had recommended it.  Apparently, Ponzio’s Diner in Cherry Hill has been around for a while, and if it’s a diner, I will try it.

Ponzio’s Diner Atmosphere: B

The outside is big and located on a roundabout in Cherry Hill.  When you drive by you, think it must be good.  (Another case of judging a restaurant by it’s outside). The inside is separated into several sections with several different rooms and host tables.  It’s honestly a little bit confusing.

Which room do we go to? The mystery is still there…There are two or three host tables, and I’m not even sure we chose the right one.  We chose the side that looks most like a diner.

Ponzio’s Diner Coffee: A

Ponzio’s Diner had good coffee, and the server was attentive and refilled my cup often (also asking if I wanted whipped cream) Ponzio’s Diner also serves locally owned Lacas Coffee.  I have no complaints about the coffee.

ponzioscoffee

Ponzio’s Diner Food: D

Ponzio’s Diner has a massive menu as most diners do.  Ponzios Diner has everything you would expect at a diner: Seafood, Steak, Greek delights, breakfast and of course a bakery.

I ordered the Violetta salad with a salmon topper.  I was craving salmon all day, so I was excited they had it.  However, I was underwhelmed with the salad for two reasons.  The salad contained canned pears.  I expected to have fresh pairs versus canned (still with syrup/liquid).

Look at you chilling there little canned pear.
Look at you chilling there little canned pear.

The second reason Pozio’s Diner salad underwhelmed me was the $6 salad topper was clearly a frozen piece of fish and then heated back up.  I am rather positive but I could go to the local Acme and get a frozen bag of salmon for $6.  When I order a salmon topper (or chicken, steak, or any meat), I don’t expect a 2 oz piece of still partially frozen meat.

This has been the most disappointing main course of any diner so far. (Don’t let the photo fool you)

Ponzio’s Diner Dessert: B

Since my meal was underwhelming at Ponzio’s Diner and I didn’t eat it all, I decided to order dessert. I split both the red velvet cake, ice cream, and mini toffee cheesecake.  The toffee cheesecake was better than the red velvet cake.  The red velvet cake was okay, but nothing to write home about but the mini cheesecake was good. I would order the cheesecake again.

ponzioscheesecake

ponziosredvelvetcake

Ponzio’s Diner Cost: $$

For two meals at Ponzio’s Diner, dessert, and a beer it was $55.

Overall Thoughts/Summary of Ponzio’s Diner (Cherry Hill): 

I was disappointed with the Ponzio’s Diner and salad.  If I am capable of making better food that is saying something (the point of going out to eat is cooking thing you can’t).  If I go back, I won’t be ordering that salad.

I’ll probably try something completely new, like breakfast.  However, our server was one of the best and most attentive people I’ve had.

ETA: I’ve been back since but haven’t had any better experiences, so I don’t think Ponzio’s Diner is for me. To this day I can’t figure out why Ponzio’s Diner (Cherry Hill) is considered “one of the best” diners in NJ…but it’s always crowded when I drive by in Cherry Hill.

You can see all the diner reviews here.

Questions for you:

What is one thing you have trouble cooking and preparing?

Where was the best server or hostess you’ve had?  Why?

Negative Feedback

My blog has always been a journey of my life.  Since I began my blog a few years ago I’ve grown as a person and connected with so many different people. I have a lot of real life friends and family that read, as well as people I’ve never met.  Each person is sharing my personal journey with me.  I chose to write and share my life.   I’m not saying that in a negative way but nothing is forcing me to blog.  It is isn’t a source of income to help me survive and no one is telling me…blog or else.

So when I turn off the computer or shut it down, blogging and the internet are not at the front of my mind. I like to exist outside of the internet occasionally.

In life, not every comment you receive is going to be positive.  People are not going to tell you how awesome you are, or wow you’re an inspiration about every single thing you do.  You will have both positive and negative feedback.  The negative feedback is what helps you grow as a person. As hard as hearing the negative feedback and the truth is sometimes, it needs to be heard.

With blogging there is never much negative feedback.  I could go run 50 miles today coming off an injury.  That would be stupid. I guarantee someone would tell me what an inspiration I am for running 50 miles… Sometimes I wonder if blogging is the never never land with rainbows and butterflies where nothing bad ever has happens.  No one ever tells anyone: your idea is dumb or grow up.  That comment would be instamoderated because “omg sponsors”.

By now the website GOMI isn’t anything new.  It’s not a secret and it’s not a group of jealous haters making fun of bloggers.  My guess is it’s a combination of bloggers, readers and people who like to speculate and talk about bloggers.  GOMI forums both criticize and even make fun of a lot of bloggers.  It’s easy to do when no one knows your name and you are hidden behind a username.

Somethings GOMI says are hurful…ie: constantly asking me if I graduated college or how I did it…somethings on GOMI you can take with a grain of salt or even (gasp) better yourself from.  One thing I appreciate about the website is that it isn’t afraid to call out the BS.

Often times (like a few posts about when I completely dropped the ball using the word proportion instead of portion…) they are merited.  I don’t spend a lot of time proofreading my posts because I write them in the morning (between 6-7).  After that I go run for a run and then get ready for work.  I could spend more time on posts but my purpose with this blog is to share my life with friends and family as well as readers.  I want to share my life in “real life” as well and if that means sacrificing blog time to see friends and family…then so be it.  I will never apologize for that.

At the end of the day I’ve come to realize that my life exists outside of the computer screen.  Once I shut the computer off, the internet isn’t the focus of my life. It’s important to have that balance.

So yes, I graduated college.  I was a community health major with a math minor.  The only class I failed in college was Spanish 2.  Since my grammar is awful, you can only imagine how I picked up a foreign language.  It’s actually quite funny because my senior seminar class grade was based on one mid term and one 50 page paper.  RIGHT? I had to write 50 pages and they had to have proper grammar and spelling  (Incase you wondered I got an A-).

(My dirty secret is that I don’t blog like I wrote papers in college.  I put far more time and effort into college than I do a blog…).

My blog is a flow of my thoughts to the screen.  I don’t (and I never will…sorry) worry about grammar as much as if I had grades on the line. Maybe if I had paychecks on the line each month, I would.  But now…I am just making enough to break even, enjoy my hobby of blogging and build a network of friends.

I don’t really have a point to this post I guess.  My blog is a reflection on my life.  Some days there is a point to my posts, some days it’s just me thinking out loud.  I find that my blogging is more of a reflection of my own life versus trying to reflect to others.  I guess that is why blogging would never be a good career choice for me.  I would rather reflect upon my own life versus post about trivial products that I’ve never even tried.

I have a lot of real life friends and family that keep in touch through my blog.  I have a lot of readers that I’ve never met in real life.  I enjoy the connection I have with each person near and far.  I always appreciate the support but I do appreciate negative feedback because it helps me grow.

To be clear I’m neither attacking any bloggers or attacking GOMI. I’m just writing out my thoughts that whatever you do you’ll have feedback both positive and negative.

Michael’s Restaurant (Lawrence)

Micheal’s Restaurant (Lawrence)

Last week, Melissa and I went to lunch at atMicheal’s Restaurant in Lawrence.  While we didn’t meet or see Michael, we did have an enjoyable time.  It’s funny, we both lived in NY, and now both live in NJ.  Anyways we decided to meet almost exactly halfway.

Melissa is an amazing woman.  She is humble, but I’ll brag for her.  She has completed an ultra marathon, several marathons, and a kick-butt runner.

image

Micheal’s Restaurant Atmosphere: C

The inside of Micheal’s Restaurant is a typical diner.  You walk by a small bakery section, and we were immediately sat into a booth. A few regulars were sitting and staring at us like we didn’t belong.  It was nothing unique or exciting, but nothing bad either.   It was just a regular, plain diner.

Micheal’s Restaurant Coffee: B

At first I would have given the coffee a D but (finally) after flagging the waitress down she gave us a refill pot.  It wasn’t overly good coffee, but it wasn’t bad.  This is another category that I will end with another normal, plain diner coffee.

Micheal’s Restaurant Food: B

The menu at Micheal’s Restaurant was extensive as all diners are.  At first, the waitress gave us just a breakfast menu.  I thought that the menu was extensive (without realizing there was no lunch).  Then she gave us a lunch menu, and both of us ended up ordering salads.  I ordered the Greek salad with chicken and pita bread. (As I do in about 99.9% of my first times to a new diner).

greeksalad

It also came with a bowl of split pea soup with their signature croutons.  Honestly, their croutons were fabulous, and I could have filled upon them.  Their croutons alone bumped up the food rating from a C to a B.  I should have taken a photo, but it was gone too quickly.

The Greek Salad was a little bit smaller than I was hoping.  I think I was a bit jealous because Melissa’s salad was massive and my mine was dinky.  It came with lettuce, egg, tomatoes, onions, tomato and grape leaves.

Micheal’s Restaurant Price: $$

At Micheal’s Diner, it was 32 dollars for two coffees, two meals, pita bread, and extra chicken.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back to Micheal’s Restaurant (Lawrence)?

If I’m in the Princeton area again, I will probably go to the Princetonion over Michael’s Restaurant.  I didn’t think Michael’s Restaurant was terrible, but there are better choices in the area.  If I do go again, I’ll try the all you can eat salad bar and see how that is. The service was a little bit slow (I thought maybe the woman forgot about us).  Once again, just another average diner in NJ.  The company (Melissa) made it a lot of fun, though.

I give Michael’s Restaurant (Lawrence), an overall rating of C.

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite soup?

Mine is either split pea or lentil.

What is your favorite restaurant dish?

I love Greek salads and omelets at diners.  I never have any of the ingredients on hand to make a great salad.  My omelets turn out to be scrambled eggs.

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