Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fully Function Cookies: The Cookie Department

I have a sweet tooth and am always trying to find healthy ways to satisfy it so when I heard about these "fully functional" cookies, I had to give them a try. The Cookie Department is a new start-up out of California that is bringing you cookies that are delicious and good for your. Each cookie has a specific purpose and is made with all natural ingredients.

The Cookie Department sent me some samples of the Great Full vegan cookie to try and I am a fan! This cookie is made out of sweet potatoes, cranberries, and oats for a delicious twist on the oatmeal cookie. As the name suggests, it is filling and I even found out that it provides great energy for a workout, when eaten an hour before. With this cookie, I can satisfy my sweet tooth in the afternoon and also get energy for my evening workout.

My only complaint is that these cookies still contain quite a bit of sugar and there are some alternative sweeteners that could be used like stevia, honey, or agave. Of course, the biggest battle to making healthy sweet snacks is the sweetness factor. So I say, if you're going to have a cookie then reach for one of these instead and get some purpose out of it rather than just "empty calories." 

The Cookie Department has a great selection of functional cookies (shown above) that you can shop for online of find in DavidsTea stores in the Chicago area. Lucky for you, The Cookie Department is providing Healthy Fit Goddess readers with a 20% discount! Just use code HFG30 in the online store. Hurry, because the code expires on May 31.

How do you satisfy your sweet tooth?

Disclaimer: The Cookie Department provided me with free samples and a discount code in exchange for a review post. All opinions and text are my own.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 9 of Indy 500 Mini Training

It's less than a week until the Indy 500 Mini Marathon on May 3! I think I can get that PR because I've been feeling good with training and I did well in the CARA Lakefront 10-miler last week. Week 9 and 10 are pretty boring because I'm trying hard to taper and not do any tough workouts.

Monday - short run
2.62 miles for Boston!

Tuesday  - BodyBlast at BAC
A pretty good workout for only 30 minutes. I did some additional arms and abs work afterwards.

Wednesday - Sweatworking!
FabFitChicago hosted an awesome #sweatworking event at CrossTown Fitness in West Loop. We did an amazing workout and then mingled afterwards. I'll write more about this when I review another CTF class next week!

Saturday - Long Run
5.38 miles at 8:41 pace
A nice and easy run that didn't even feel "long." Kristin, Heather, and I checked out the new Summer House for brunch after and it was amazing! I had the sunrise burrito with eggs, avocado, pico, and salsa. 

Sunday - Rest

What was your favorite/best workout last week?

Don'y forget to enter my Bridal Sculpt GIVEAWAY!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Favorites - Books

Here's what I'm reading right now! Click on the book image for more info on Amazon.

What are you reading right now?

Also, don't forget to enter the Bridal Sculpt GIVEAWAY!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

You don't have to be a Bride to Sculpt!

Last week I got to check out a fabulous new workout in Chicago, Bridal Sculpt! No, I'm not secretly engaged, and you don't have to be planning for the big day to do this great workout. But it is geared for women that want to get in shape to look their best on their wedding day. My friend Jeana from Fab Fit Chicago teaches the class on Thursdays at 6pm so she suggested I try it out. I actually went to the Tuesday 6pm class with Ashley.

The Bridal Sculpt classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm at the Dance Center Chicago on Lincoln Ave. I tried to take some pictures during the class but they were blurry. You can see in the pic above that the studio has full-length mirrors which is great for checking your form. 

Ashley led us through a couple of circuits involving body weight movements, jump rope, planks, and strength movements with a resistance band. The class is an hour long but went by fast because we were constantly doing something different by rotating through exercises. Ashley is a great instructor and is able to give individual attention because of the small class size. All of the movements allowed for modification so this class is great for beginners. 


Bridal Sculpt is offering one of my readers a 3-class package for free! That's a $60 value! All you have to do is comment on this post telling me what you want to get in shape for, whether it's your wedding, looking good in a bathing suit this summer, or just to be healthy. Then, fill out the Rafflecopter app below letting me know that you commented. (If it doesn't work, let me know in the comments and I will add you manually.) You can also get extra entries by tweeting about the giveaway and following me and Bridal Sculpt on social media.

Giveaway ends on Thursday, May 1st, at midnight and is open to residents of the Chicago area only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Bridal Sculpt provided me with a free class and the giveaway in exchange for writing this review post. All text and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

Whether you're afraid of the oceans rising in the next century, think climate change is a hoax, or just want clean air for your kids, I think that it's hard to deny that humans must use resources wisely in a time of population growth and increasing quality of life. For me, Earth Day is about realizing the need for humans to work in synergy with our home.  Resources are not unlimited and there is clear evidence of man-made pollution and adverse health effects in urban areas. Our current way of life, especially in the United States, is not sustainable.

Sustainability is my theme for 2014, and I think I'm doing pretty well. I'm eating mostly plant-based, taking public transportation when I can, and trying to make the case for nuclear energy's role in sustainable development. Read my post today on #Atoms4Earth. You can design your life to take only what you need instead of abusing resources. Earth Day is about celebrating our life on Earth and educating ourselves on how to preserve our only home.

How are you celebrating Earth Day?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Race Recap: CARA Lakefront 10 Miler

First of all, congrats to everyone who ran the Boston Marathon this morning! I'll be logging a run on the Nike+ app later today to support Nike's campaign for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Week 8 of Indy Mini Marathon training was light and ended with the CARA Lakefront 10 Miler on Saturday. It was a chilly but beautiful spring morning. Ryan and I drove to Montrose Harbor and got to the starting line by 7:30 am. I love that about smaller races is that you don't have to get to the race an hour or more earlier to get into the corrals. There were about 1300 runners and the course took us north a bit, over Cricket Hill, and then south along the lakeshore. I was cold at the start but warmed up within the first mile. And I'm glad that I didn't wear more layers because the sun was warming up towards the end of the race.

Ryan got this action photo of me (he didn't run). I took it easy for training last week because my ankles and calves have been in pain, and they did hurt during the 10-miler. I powered through the pain and kept my pace under 8:30, which was my goal, and my projected race pace for the half marathon in a couple of weeks. So I finished in 1:24:17 at 8:26 pace! This was a great time for me and a PR by over 10 minutes from my last 10-miler, the Cherry Blossom in DC in April 2011. 

The race was well organized and I really enjoyed it, besides the pain in my legs. The post-race party featured some interesting food samples, like macaroni and cheese and beef on a stick, I gave those to Ryan haha. I ran in to some CREW and RNCF friends and then we headed home, but not before stopping at the Over Easy Cafe for a delicious brunch!

Any tips for easing ankle/achilles/calf pain?

Did you run for Boston today?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favorites

Favorite Inspiration
I'm constantly challenging myself
to get out of my comfort zone

Favorite Kitty
Whiskey lounging on her tree :)

Favorite Lunch
Salad with amazing Avocado Cucumber Dressing from
Brendan Brazier's new Thrive Energy Cookbook

Favorite Workout
Run to Road Runner Sports to pick up my
CARA Lakefront 10-miler packet, race is tomorrow!

What are your favorites this week?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Quinoa Kale Salad

It's spring (although it snowed in Chicago this week) so I'm back to eating salads for lunch instead of comforting and warm soups. I have lots of quinoa salad recipes but I haven't make one with kale yet, so here it is! The key to making kale edible is to massage it with oil. This helps break down the vegetable and easier to eat. This salad has quite a few ingredients but it's easy to make. The amounts are approximate so feel free to adjust to taste and skip an ingredients or two if you don't have it.

Ingredients (3-4 servings)
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 cup water
4-6 stalks kale
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 red pepper
1 carton cherry tomatoes
2 green onions
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup kalamata olives
2 Tbsp. dulse flakes
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

These ingredients are approximate so use to your own taste. First, start cooking the quinoa by combining with the water in a pan. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer until the water is absorbed. Add more water if quinoa is not cooked thoroughly. While the quinoa is cooking, shred kale into bite-size pieces (without the stem) in a large bowl. Add olive oil and thoroughly massage into kale until it turns a dark green color. Chop the red pepper and onions and add to bowl. Halve the tomatoes and olives and add to bowl. Add the pine nutsdulse flakes, chickpeas, vinegar, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Once the quinoa has cooked and cooled, add to bowl and mix again. It's good to let the salad set for a while for the tastes to combine and absorb, the vegetables won't get soggy so the leftovers are great too! Serve cold.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 7 of Indy 500 Mini Marathon Training

Here's week 7 training for the Indy 500 Mini Marathon on May 3. This plan is an intermediate program with the hopes of getting a PR and finally beating my 1:55 half marathon time. I made this plan with the help of The Crew and Kate of The Four Percent.

Monday - short run
5.02 miles at 7:59 pace!
Today was just supposed to be an easy run to recover from the long run over the weekend but I ended up going out fast and staying that way. I'm actually pretty sure that this was my 5-mile PR, a week after the Shamrock Shuffle of course. I never run under 8:00. The reason might be is that Ryan said he would meet me after work at Chipotle at 6:30 pm and it was already 5:50 when I went out for the run. So I rushed to get my 5 miles in before dinner. So, maybe I should have Chipotle for dinner every night??

Tuesday  - HIIT at BAC
As I said last week, I'm trying to check out more of the classes at BAC because I'm just terrible at working out on my own at the gym. I thought HIIT would be a good one to try but we really didn't do HIIT. High-intensity short intervals are supposed to be something like 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest. And a real rest so that you can go all-out in the next set. But we did thinks like high knees for 30 seconds and running in place for 30 seconds, not really HIIT. There were some fun core movements where we passed medicine balls in a circle but I was not impressed with the class, overall.

Wednesday - Run
I met up with The Crew at Road Runner Sports for Girls Night Out. We did a 3 mile run (I ran there to tack on 2 more miles) and then there were some raffle prizes along with cupcakes and champagne. I also got to test out physical therapy from Delos Wellness. The therapist massaged out my tight ankle and it was both painful and good. 

Thursday - Spinning at BAC
Recovery before long run 

Friday - Long Run
12.1 miles at 8:47 pace
My legs were pretty tired during this run and I really didn't feel great. My calves and ankles hurt the most and it was a pain to finish. I did get the miles in though and greatly enjoyed the warmer weather we had in Chicago this weekend. It was beautiful on the lakefront (see above). I decided to take the rest of the weekend completely off to let my legs recover and the upcoming week will include only easy workouts. A recovery week in training can greatly help down the road. I also have the CARA Lakefront 10-miler this Saturday, so it will be good to rest up for it. Then, I'll go harder next week, and finally taper for a week.

Saturday + Sunday - Rest

What was your favorite/best workout last week?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Favorites

Favorite Read
Modern Pioneering by Georgia Pellegrini that I got from Lion + Maven

Favorite Workout
"Girls Night Out" with The Crew at Road Runner Sports 

Favorite Lunch
Eating on the patio at Big Star with fellow bloggers:
Lion + Maven // The Garden Apt. // 312 Beauty

Favorite Run
This morning along the lakeshore path, what a beautiful day!

What were your favorites this week?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Quinoa Curry with Chickpeas and Sweet Potato

I came back from vacation in Florida last month and didn't have much fresh food in the kitchen but luckily my cupboard provided me with enough ingredients for this recipe. Also, Kristen at Fab Fit Chicago inspired me with her curry recipe! South Asians are all about their spices and curry generally contains spices, like turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and ginger, which have great health benefits. This dish can be eaten on its own for lunch or dinner but also makes a great side dish!

Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)

4 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup quinoa
1 sweet potato
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 16oz can chickpeas
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. curry powder
1 cup spinach leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Sirarcha sauce to taste (optional)


Add vegetable broth (or water and vegetable bouillon) to large pan and bring to a boil. Peel and chop the sweet potato into small cubes. Add quinoa and potato to pan, reduce to a simmer once the water is boiling. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and water mostly absorbed. Then, add the red pepper, chickpeas, peas, oil, and curry powder and sauté for a few minutes, add more water/broth if necessary. Add spinach leaves and cook until wilted. Add salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste. You can add more curry also to adjust taste. Ready to serve and great as leftovers too!

What is your favorite curry recipe?

What is your go-to meal when you get back from travel?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 6 of Indy 500 Mini Marathon Training

Here's week 6 training for the Indy 500 Mini Marathon on May 3. This plan is an intermediate program with the hopes of getting a PR and finally beating my 1:55 half marathon time. I made this plan with the help of The Crew and Kate of The Four Percent.

Monday - short run
4.75 miles at 8:40 pace, good recovery from the Shamrock Shuffle

Tuesday  - WOD at Cheetah Crossfit

Wednesday - Run Cross Training
I was supposed to do another 5 mile run today but I had a break down with the weather. I went outside all ready to run and decided that I just couldn't take the freezing weather anymore. So I went back inside and back to work and then later in the evening checked out BAC for the first time since it opened. I had signed up back in January and it was supposed to open in February but didn't until the end of March. I got a great sign up special with 2 months free so I'll get my money's worth before I make the big move. Anyway, I tried to run on the treadmill but that was boring (I hate the treadmill except at Shred415). And then I just hung around the machines for a while and did some floor movements. I've completely forgotten how to workout without a class! But BAC does have a lot of classes so I'll be checking out more of them over the coming weeks. 

Thursday - Cross Training + Sprint Workout
I had the chance to be one of the first people to check out the new Shred415 studio in Wicker Park! We just did a shortened half hour workout (usually an hour) but it was still a great workout. Since part of the class is sprinting on a treadmill, I count it as my "track" workout. 

Friday - Cross Training
Spin class at BAC - nice recovery before long run tomorrow!

Saturday - Long Run with The Crew
10.7 miles at 8:50 pace
My Nike+ app didn't work for the first quarter to half a mile so we ran 11. I had 12 on the schedule for this week but I skipped 11 last week because of the Shamrock Shuffle and this training plan is meant for the DC Half the week before mine that many of CRW people are doing. Not sure if I'll do 13 this week or leave it for after the Lakefront 10-miler. But anyway, the run felt great and only my feet/ankles were tired towards the end. The most annoying part is that the water fountains are still not turned on on the lake! Luckily there was a guy giving water by North Ave. beach but not enough stops for this long of a run. Later on Saturday, Ryan and I helped our friend move which involved a lot of stairs and thus my legs were shot by the end of the day. I also got over 7000 points on my fuel band, that's probably my most ever!

How do you plan your workouts at the gym?

What was your favorite/best workout last week?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Favorites

Since last Friday I wrote about my upcoming big move, here are some favorites from the last two weeks!

Favorite Sport
Dodgeball playoffs were last week and we won the championship!!

Favorite Event
Finally got to cash in my bday present from Ryan, Amy Schumer live!

Favorite Dinner
Celebrating our PR Resolution Crew with NTC Chicago

Favorite Run
Shamrock Shuffle

Favorite Workout
Shred415 at the brand new Wicker Park location

What were your favorites this week?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Week 5 of Indy 500 Mini Marathon Training

Here's week 5 training for the Indy 500 Mini Marathon on May 3. This plan is an intermediate program with the hopes of getting a PR and finally beating my 1:55 half marathon time. I made this plan with the help of The Crew and Kate of The Four Percent.

Indy Mini Training Week 5

Monday - long run
See post last week

Tuesday  - WOD at Cheetah Crossfit
A1) Front Squat: 3 x 3 reps at 80% of FS 1RM (85lb)
A2) Kipping Pull Ups: 3 x max reps -1, Rest 1 min

B ) 6 sets of the following – 100%:
1 min of work: 20 push ups + max wall ball in remaining time (10lb)
+ Rest 2 min

Wednesday - NTC Chicago
As part of the NTC PR crew we did an awesome NTC workout with Kate Hiipakka and then headed to Smoke Daddy's in Wicker Park to celebrate our 5-week program (which my program above is based on). It was a great time!

Thursday -  sprint workout
8 times 1 minute sprint, 1 minute rest

Friday - easy run
4-mile roundtrip to the Shamrock Shuffle expo

Saturday - rest

Sunday - Shamrock Shuffle!

What was your best/favorite workout this week?