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Visiting New York City

After my husband came home, we decided to go visit New York City.  Even though we live approximately 90 miles away, we rarely go.  Between, traffic, tolls, and parking it’s not the easiest place to get too.

So last week, we decided to take the train from Trenton.  It was an easy process, and we made it to Penn Station and into Manhatten.  We ended up staying on 57th street close to Central Park, Broad Way and Times Square. We had booked the hotel before I decided to stop running, so we had planned to run in Central Park.  One day we will (that isn’t the New York City Marathon!)

While in NYC, we didn’t do a heck of a lot.  Both my husband and I are relaxed and we like to take trips with not a lot of plans.  We figure it out as we go along.  For the most part, we walked around New York just looking at sights.  We did go see some of the big things like the Empire State Building and Times Square.  I’ve been before, but it’s always fun to see again! empire state building

We got close to the Empire State Building but opted not to go in.  empire state building

Times Square

One thing we both wanted to do is get a New York Bagel.  As someone who went to college in New York (way upstate at SUNY Potsdam), we got used to good NY bagels.  NJ just doesn’t compare.

My favorite is a Nova Lox.   It was a good bagel (not that I’m an expert) and I have no complaints. 

The one thing we did do was go see a Broadway.  We booked tickets to “Waitress” starring Sara Bareilles.  I like Sara Bareilles as a songwriter, and the Broadway was about a diner waitress…how could we go wrong?  It was excellent, and I highly recommend it if you’re ever up that way.

Before leaving, we also checked out Ellen’s Stardust Diner near Broadway.  The Diner is unique in that the servers are always performing.  You get a meal and a show.  You’ll see your server perform for the entire restaurant.

ellens stardust diner me

We had a great weekend away.  It’s funny, as I mentioned, New York is not a far commute for us, but we never go!  We will definitely go back sooner rather than later.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to New York City?

Where was the last weekend trip you took? 

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River Star Diner

Recently I went to the River Star Diner in Hackettstown, NJ.  Before going it was an area of New Jersey I hadn’t been too. I’d heard from a friend, it’s a pretty small town. When driving through, I didn’t realize how hilly and beautiful the area was.  There are several different parks, and plenty of runners and cyclists out.

Trying new diners and hiking has allowed me to see so many different areas of the state.

Atmosphere: A
The River Star Diner is located along a small creek.  If you are lucky enough to get a window seat, you can see birds and small animals frolicking in the water. The inside is typical of a normal small town diner but it’s great you can look outside.

When we arrived, the parking lot was full, however, there was plenty of seating available.  I definitely think they could use a bigger parking lot. Even when every parking spot in a diner is filled, there always seems to be room.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but it was nothing unusual or unique.  I don’t have any complaints or anything unique or interesting about it. River Star Diner

Service: A

Despite the diner being relatively crowded, our waitress was great.  Our food was brought out quickly, and we had plenty of refills and food.

Food: B
River Star Diner The River Star Diner has a huge menu and nothing is left out.  There are about 10 pages of menu.

I ordered the scrambled eggs, bacon, french toast, and a side bagel.  It’s a pretty standard; home cooked diner meal. River Star Diner

The eggs were cooked well.  The bacon was crispy, and I liked the french toast.  I can’t remember the last time I ordered French toast before but River Star used thick bread.  Thin bread might be healthier but thick bread tastes better.

I’ve mentioned before that I think North Jersey bagels are better than South Jersey.  I try to get one whenever I’m up there.  The bagel was delicious and I left feeling both full and satisfied.

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was $12.  It was definitely one of my cheaper diner meals.

Summary/Would I Come Back?
I enjoyed the River Star Diner, and the view was unique and fun. If you can, request to sit by the window!  I don’t have any complaints and it’s one of the better diners I’ve been too.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Service: A
Food: B
Cost: $10-15
Overall: B

Questions for you:
Which restaurant you’ve been too has the best view?
Where are your favorite bagels from?

Nutley Diner

Last month, we headed back up to North Jersey and New York State to hike at Bear Mountain State Park.  We wanted to have a big breakfast before hiking. You never know what can happen on the trails and the last thing I wanted was to feel exhausted in the middle of the forest.  It’s an excuse to go out for brunch and eat at a new diner.  What more could I want?

Nutley Diner

Atmosphere: A
The Nutley Diner is a big, shiny metallic building.  When we arrived on a Sunday morning, it was crowded. It’s probably a bad sign if a diner isn’t crowded on a Sunday morning.  That’s prime diner time.  Every parking spot was taken, and we parallel parked on the street.  Even though the lot was full, we were sat quickly.  I was pleasantly surprised they sat us so quickly.

IMG_6212

Service: A
As I mentioned, I haven’t been to a diner that crowded in a while.  The waitress refilled our beverages, and the food was brought out within 10 minutes.  That is great speed for an empty restaurant, let alone a restaurant where every table is filled.  The Nutley Diner was the fastest service we’ve ever received.

Coffee: A

I was surprised to see the Nutley Diner brewed local Lacas coffee.  Lacas is local to me in South Jersey and about 80 minutes south of the Nutley Diner.  The coffee was a darker roast and hot. I have no complaints. I like Lacas Coffee and buy it to homebrew at my house too.  One additional thing I like is restaurants that use logo mugs.  It’s not as common but I always think it’s a great touch.

Nutley Diner

Food: A
Like most diners, there were plenty of options.  Since it was breakfast time, I went with a Mederrenean omelette and bagel. While North Jersey bagels are no NYC bagels, they are better than South Jersey bagels.  I’m sorry South Jersey friends, but it’s true.

Nutley Diner

The Mederettean omelet was good. The omelet was baked, and it was large.  It wasn’t overly greasy and the there was plenty of feta cheese and onions.  I liked it a lot.

Nutley Diner

They added plenty of butter to the bagel. By plenty I mean it was drenched in butter but to be honest, I didn’t mind.  As a kid I grew up with butter dripped bagels as a treat.

Nutley Diner

Dessert: B
We ordered a black and white tuxedo cookie to go.  The cookie wasn’t amazing or terrible.  It tasted like a frosted sugar cookie that we split while hiking.

Nutley Diner

Cost: $$
For my coffee, omelet, cookie and bagel the cost was $20. It wasn’t bad considering all of the food I received.

Summary/Would I come back?
I enjoyed the Nutley Diner a lot.  It’s one of my favorite diners in the area, and I’ll be back.

Atmosphere: A

Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
dessert: C
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A

Questions for you:
What’s the fastest service you’ve gotten? 
What’s your favorite type of bagel? 

Enjoying My Time

I know my blog is often associated with waffles, pancakes but occasionally….well the majority of meals I like to eat other food too.  This can serve as a life update post too because those have been few and far between.  I’ve been working and going out to eat the majority of time catching up with friends.  It’s somewhat expensive, yes, but I’ve accepted August will not be the month for me to be frugal and since I saved up enough working both jobs and I won’t have the luxury of seeing a lot of people once I move for a while…Not to say I’m going crazy and spending my entire savings account but I’m panicking when I spend more money then usual.

I apologize if some have already appeared on instagram and you feel you feel like you are seeing déjà vu.

This is long overdo but there is another Oiselle athlete in my area Mollie is simply incredible.  I’m not sure anything I could say could give her a proper introduction but she is gorgeous, down to earth, 16 minute 5ker and actually also expecting very soon!  Anyways, I’ve gone out with her a couple of times and people like her make me wish I wasn’t leaving the area right now.

Mollieandi

Not to mention eating with Ashleigh.  Ashleigh is one of my good friends that I’m always so glad to be able to hang out with her.

AshleighandI

I ended up ordering the steak salad which was quite good.  It had all my credentials after all…steak and crumbly blue cheese.

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In the midst of work, I was able to eat lunch with Stella.  We went to the Yorgo’s Bageldashery in Norfolk.

StellaandI

Although I’m not vegan, they had a lot of great vegan choices.  (Literally half their menu was vegan).  I opted for a bagel with salmon on it which was awesome.  It still doesn’t beat the Baglary in my college down.  Those were the best.

bagel

So that is just a few of my friend adventures in the last week or so.  Outside of a normal 40 hour work week, I’ve been packing like a mad woman and enjoying my last few weeks with my parents and family.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite restaurant ever? Why? 

WIAW: Before Regionals

As much as I want to say that I went out of way to eat well for my race last weekend, I don’t tell dirty lies.  I always get a lot of questions about how I eat before races, I had a good idea I was running on Saturday but not a good idea about how well I would do…ect.  So to be honest nutrition prerace wasn’t at the top of my thoughts as it sometimes is for bigger races.

The day before  I was a tad nervous, considering I didn’t really have the best base going into this race.  Or anything really.  But that is beside the point.

I had whip cream with a side of ice cream, Thursday night.

I seriously think I like whip cream more then ice cream.

Friday night dinner (since it was travel), I went to the salad bar at Wegmans.  Contrary to many people’s popular belief, you do not need to carb load for a 5k…or 6k.  As long as I didn’t have some huge steak the night before, I’d be fine.  But I do credit this salad to being one of the best I’ve ever made but that could be because it probably had roughly 1000 calories between the cheeses, marinated olives and whatever else I throw in there.

If there is anything that remains constant in my nutritious training cycle is my far too much count of coffee. I didn’t have the luxury of going to a gas station but was able to get about 24 ounces of cream…I mean hotel coffee. 

I had bought several French toast bagels from Wegmans and had one with one of those individual almond butter packets.  I was not about to buy a whole container of PB for one bagel and especially because I somehow accumulated about 5 jars.  (If you know me, you know I enjoy PB  but I’m not obsessed…these 5 containers will probably last me an entire year no joke).

French toast bagels are my fav

Then insert the race here.

After the race and cooldown, I had a container of protein pudding.  I seriously love this stuff too, it is extremely pricey so I don’t buy it a lot.  I do, however, treat myself to it.

My protein stash…the pudding is in the circular containers…I somehow accumulated the other bars

This isn’t an off the wall before/after race post (or you ate that beforehand, oh my stars!) but to be honest I didn’t pay entirely too much to my nutrition as I would for a race that I had been training for if that makes sense.  I hope to have more when I’m running more consistently.

And, of course, if you want to link up to another PMB tomorrow (which you should).  Here is the photo!

Questions for you: Favorite pre/post race foods?

Race Eats

I guess we shall just keep this running shin dig rolling into another running post. Your comments from yesterday’s post about real running really warm my heart!  I was pretty nervous that some people wouldn’t feel as strongly as I do, but it’s a really big topic that I even talk about in real life with my nonrunner friends!  😉 

Since it is a what I eat Wednesday day, I thought I would share some of my favorite prerace foods. 

I must say-I’m mostly boring when it comes to prerace foods.  I have never really had a point where I ate too close to a race and vommed for running but I’ve come kind of close.   I have with swimming and vom+chlorine water.  Oh dear but that was because I ate a piece of pizza literally 10 minutes before swimming the mile race.   In middle school, I knew how to prerace fuel let me tell you.  My only concern with middle school swim meets is how much pizza I could have. 

I digress.

Depending on the race time and how far it is away-I will eat different things.  Any races after 8:30am-I’ll wake up around 6 and have a waffle or pancakes.  I eat them every morning before I do my training runs-why change it?  They give me energy and I always feel more comfortable.  The only thing I skip though if it’s race time, is yogurt.  That normally doesn’t sit well in my stomach.

oatmeal pancakes have been my prerace choice lately (in my recipe section)

Dairy won’t sit well in my stomach via running or swimming unless it’s had 2 hours to digest.  I don’t like to take chances-especially in longer races.  Yogurt is the most awful thing to feel when you are having a hard workout, in my opinion at least.

So let’s all pretend that you are shocked that I eat pancakes before a race.

Confusion face shot. Appropriate.

What happens if the race is at 7 am?  Am I waking up at 4 to eat breakfast?

I can honestly say I have never done that before.

Then it comes into, well how long is the race? 

(I should have made a flow chart).

If the race is under an hour I will have a snickers marathon bar.  They have never once upset my stomach and we all know how much I rave about these and eat them like candy.  I normally will have one before the race and one after-usually an hour before.

I normally hoard and have about 20 on my person at all times.

If the race is more than an hour and starts before 8:30am (ie: 10 milers and halves)., I’ll have a bagel with peanut butter or pumpkin butter.  I’ll still eat it about 2 hours before and normally cold.  I don’t toast my bagels a lot but before races I do.  Random fact of the day.

Toasted bagel with pumpkin butter. Also peanut butter, but not almond butter because I don't care for it.

Keep in mind this is all eaten with 24 ounces of coffee and 24 ounces of powerade zero.  Both are my favorite prerace beverages of choice.  For me personally, I can stomach coffee before races but I know that is not the case for a lot of people.

Because gas station coffee is the bomb.

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Question for you:

1.       What do you eat before races?  After races?  During races? 

2.       What can/can’t you stomach during races? 

Like I’ve rambled…the only thing I’ve had a problem with is stomaching yogurt.

Friday Favs

Somehow in the last few months, I fell off the photography bandwagon.  Maybe it’s because my camera died and my cord was under my bed.  Who really knows.  Anyways-I promised myself on Thursday morning, that I would document a good amount of my eats so I can actually add new photos to Friday favorites.

But first in honor of Friday, I decided to dress like a real girl…lumberjack.

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This weeks Friday favorites are a little different because I have been more or less eating different things.  Change is good.

I’ve taken a liking to eggs.  A lot of them.  I’ve literally had at least 2 eggs daily.  Right now-eggs are a big protein source for me.   For now, I’ve stopped completely using protein powder.   As in none.  I have been using it for 3 years daily, so it’s a big change for me.

Oatmeal-it’s nomtastic.  I can add an egg in there too.  Then get complete sources of protein as well as nomtastic carbs.  I used nomtastic twice in one paragraph.  I’m a toolbag.

Oatmeal pancakes, just because.

Lots of sweet potatoes.

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Other favorite things of the week include this sweet shirt that I found at Walmart for a dollar.  Why I felt compelled to buy it-I don’t know.

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Fun Facts of Friday:

  1. It has been 30, 70, sunny and sleeting all in one week here.
  2. I got my hair chemically relaxed and I can’t wait for it to grow out.  I miss my curly hair fo real.
  3. Well I’m off to go jog my cross country course and prepare for our championship race tomorrow.  By prepare, I mean the broski’s team is also going to be there and I’m picking his ass up for adventures.

    Minus his hair is all chopped off.

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Question for you:

1.       Best oatmeal creation.  Go.

2.       Tell me a fun fact about you. 

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