The Adventures of Now

exploring the mix of fun, fitness & health…as a diabetic


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Adventures in Cambridge: Part 2

Last Saturday morning I was awoken by a flurry of text messages asking if I had arrived …..feeling loved is not a bad way to wake up! Even if it was a little earlier than planned. I had finally crashed at 3am the night before, after a full day of heavy lifting, so I was feeling it the next day. Once I was out of bed, the first mission was finding coffee….and preferably breakfast to go with it. I was trying to not do the whole “bar for a meal” thing but easier said than done / tough to break old habits.

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I had scoped out Yelp days in advance the night before  to know what my coffee choices were. I opted for Darwin Ltd since it also listed breakfast sandwiches. Still asleep, wide-eyed   sleepy-eyed, I stumbled my way to the shop. While full of personality on the inside…

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I got a little nervous seeing the outside…

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Yes, I’m being dramatic. But finding the coffee shop that was going to be my source of comfort was key in making me feel at home. Being in a non-functional, exhausted funk, I was overwhelmed by the sandwiches, the popularity of the place and my odd freakout over if I had enough cash / they accepted cards…..so I just went for the coffee and popped in next door to the health market for a few snacks…and yes a protein bar. Since it was so sunny out and fairly warm, I decided some fresh air would be good before I faced all the unpacking, so I decided to do a wide loop before heading back to the apartment. I was also in search for a grocery store. All Yelp led me to was specialty stores and Whole Foods…. there had to be a general grocery store riiight?? Well if you find one, let me know, because I’m still searching. I despise grocery shopping as it is and I got very used to shopping around in NYC for what select items I needed and doing cost comparisons (I’d rather spend my money on a meal out than a meal in). I had 5 grocery stores within a 10 minute walk, plus a health food store that had competitive / if not lower prices and Target not too far away.  Plus I would trek over to the West side for Trader Joes every so often. I may have been called dramatic for my freak out due to the lack of options but I’m not kidding. Seriously, all of Cambridge goes to Whole Foods?? When looking at areas originally, I was reassured by the fact that Cambridge has a Trader Joes. What I didn’t consider was how accessible it would be to me. I still haven’t attempted the buses here and while a 20 min walk doesn’t sound too bad, it’s not the easiest trek. I considered hauling the goods home my arm work out. While I’m still on the hunt for where I can stock up on Chobani (their new flavors please, maybe even a champion or key lime flip!) and get apples for less than $2.50/lb when I eat at least one a day, I have made some break through on the coffee front.

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Dwelltime does not mess around when it comes to coffee. While it seems to be a wifi hotspot, it’s not overly crowded. I started off with iced coffee and it was the good stuff, strong. Plus their registers are iPads … they offer up a little Brooklyn style comfort. I’ve been in there a few times already and switched to a hot coffee on a rainy afternoon. The barista offered up a blend and I took her suggestion … didn’t know I was getting a hand crafted drip-coffee. Did I mention there’s no card minimum? Love it / dangerous. And the day that I got the drip coffee, I treated myself to a Pumpkin Cranberry Vegan cake …..oh that was delicious.   I’m all for paying more for a good cup of coffee but this wont be my regular quick fix.

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Enter 1369 Coffee House. One major draw back is the cash only thing, I’m awful about having it on me and now that I’m saving my quarters for laundry, I don’t even have that emergency stash for a small cup. But their coffee is pretty good and they have a large selection of teas. They offer up wifi but I think only the first hour is free and then you pay, it’s also more packed in there so I think this will be my more regular to go place. Still lots to explore.  I walked through Iman Square, while not the next block street, it does offer up a few coffee shops & restaurants that looked worth checking out. Perhaps that’ll be on the list for this weekend.

 

Adjustment #2 : it’s going to take me a little longer to get to coffee ….but I’m slowly scoping out my likes & dislikes

Adjustment #3 : Seriously, where do Cambridge people (uh is there a name?) grocery shop? Considering PeaPod, anyone use it before?

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Ever been to the Cambridge area? Suggestions? 

Ever move to a new town / city ? Biggest challenge?

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Adventures of Cambridge: Part 1

Last Friday evening around 10:30pm marked my arrival to Cambridge, MA. By 1:30am it was no longer a road trip with  my dad and all my stuff….I was officially in my new place.

Let me just tell you, unpacking a van and carrying everything up to the 3rd floor is a whole heck of a lot easier than carrying it down from the 5th and trying to figure out how you’re going to cram it into an already stuffed vehicle. Especially when those stairs from the 5th floor are plentiful and narrow and steep and the new one is a simple wide spaced two flights with landings in between.

It was a looooong day. It started with running around the UES to drop off donations (yes, I should have done it the week before), pick up last-minute items and clean up the apartment at 10am. I owe my dad a big thanks on that one – because of course I had more stuff than I accounted for which made it quite the accomplishment that we (he) fit it all in. Then again, doesn’t he remember picking me up from college from freshman year at college ? Or better yet, when he would pick me up from my mom’s house and I would have a large suitcase, a backpack, a duffel bag and some extra bag full of dolls or crafts or sports stuff……when I was only going to his house for 3.5 days…in the same town! I was no  two-two like Karen Brewer

… I  shuffled my stuff back and forth, want to have options. Should have taken it as a chance to learn outfit planning early on.

Anyways… it went smoother than I anticipated given that taking a load of laundry up 5 flights had my arms aching and me huffing the other day. I got a bit of kick back in to my step as I brought loads down. I tend to make moving on myself a lot harder than it needs to me. Like walking 12 blocks with a bag full of books (thick books like Harry Potter and Fountain Head) to donate early in the morning. The fact that I went low during that trip alone was a smack to the forehead reminding me I should have cut back on insulin. With no food left  it was few pit stops for candy and coconut water through out the day.

When we arrived to Cambridge, a solid 5 hours later than planned, I had to meet up with the new roomie to grab the keys. By that time it was established that we would need to grab me some snacks and juice to have on hand for the evening. As we started unloading and the clock soon approached midnight I started panicking, not knowing if anything would be open. Sure there were tons of people out walking but my street (I guess they’re not called blocks anymore) is residential. I used to have a 24 hour CVS an avenue over.

With a yelp search I spotted a Starbucks that was open until midnight but we were quickly approaching that and only half way unpacked. Then I located a 7-11  … those have to be 24 hours I exclaimed. Silly as it is, I felt a little safer. So I stocked up a few bars and a coconut water. And then proceeded to binge on them once hunger kicked in and our weird diner dinner wore off.

Oddly, the one thing I did manage to pack from the kitchen was two bottles of honey … boy am I glad for that.

 

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I went low in the middle of the night, finishing off the rest of my food supplies. Waking up a little on the low side, barely functioning and having to figure out where there was a cafe (and is it cash only ??), the next morning I was grateful for that honey to give me a little boost.

Sounds dramatic and silly, yes? It is, but it’s also a lesson that I’m going to have to plan a little better in Boston. I’m not able to run downstairs or a street over for juice if I run out of glucose tablets. Going low in the middle of the night with no food is no joke …. especially when I was dropping all day with the uptake in activity.

 

So adjustment # 1 : not having a convenience store, let alone a 24hr one, on your block for emergencies

 

First week in the books, bring on the adventures!

 


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Summer Saturday Firsts

I slept until 9:30 on Saturday – the first time not being rudely awaken by my alarm clock before 5:30am all summer.

When I woke up I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. I knew I’d be meeting a friend for coffee soon enough but we hadn’t set a time.

Gone was the ritual of pre long run.

It was also my first Saturday in August that I was staying in the city.

So what to do when you don’t need to have the usual toast & PB and have some spare time?

Cook pancakes for the first time in months (and like the 5th time in years).

I found a simple recipe off my Pinterest board and adapted it (really chefing it up).

I used oatbran since I didn’t have oats, 1 scoop of protein powder (Sunwarrior Vanilla, 1 scoop = 70 calories vs. her 100 for 1/2) & omitted the stevia (trying to cut out the sugar / sugar substitute s where I can!).

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Clearly these look nothing like Dashing Dish’s crepes. These were straight up pancakes and they were yummy. Thick and cakey.

Growing up I used to fear pancakes at slumber parties and such since it was carbs and hard to calculate, usually a serving surpassed my allocation and what slumber party breakfast has perfect servings??

So I steered away from them. And I never got syrup – not the real kind anyways. Though I wasn’t much for the fake stuff either and it wasn’t an option at my dad’s house …. a teeny tiny bit of honey was all I got. Oddly I never got into butter and jam was equally threatening. So I learned to like pancakes dry.

Since these were so thick I didn’t do the yogurt filling, plus I just wasn’t craving it. Perhaps one day I’ll look up a no-sugar glaze type recipe (any suggestions??) to go with it.

This morning I made them again! Before coffee and before even putting my contacts in (that might be considered a fire hazard)! I tossed in some of the fresh cherries that I’ve been obsessing over this summer. Out of kitchen tools I never thought I’d need – I definitely would have made use with a cherry pitter!

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Ignore the coffee grounds on the counter … contacts still weren’t in yet. 

 

So what else made  it a Saturday of firsts? 

Finally having a coffee date with a friend who lives a block below me…..and plotting Color Run logistics.

Meeting a friend’s boyfriend finally – love when I get to meet the person behind all the stories.

Meeting new babysitting charges …. these kids are serious soccer players !

Not having to get on a bus and letting plans evolve naturally   – love when it all links up together!

 

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Your turn:

Are you love a pancake lover ? 

Syrup ? Real or Fake? Butter? 

Favorite pancake recipe ? 

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Longest Saturday & First Bridal Shower

This past weekend I headed out to Southampton again. Opposed to the weekend before, I had a little more time since I was taking a later bus.

I was quite proud of how I aligned everything together – and even more impressed with how it all worked out.

Our TFK’s Long Run was at 59th street & 1st avenue / Queensborough bridge. Perfect! Not only was it the easiest commute yet (imagine if I still lived on 61st) but there was a Bed, Bath & Beyond on 61st, my gym on 59th & Park and the Jitney stop at 59th & Lex. The pieces were all there.

I lugged all my stuff to the meeting stop, including clothes for 5-ish days, foam roller, yoga mat, recovery items and a party dress that dried just in time.

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Pretty sure the gym front desk thought I was nuts as I stumbled in with all of this, drenched from my run.

After 14 less than awesome miles, I jumped into the group stretching, got a coconut water to mix with my protein powder (uh ending runs at a grocery store = brilliant, we created an express line of TFKers buying chocolate milk, fruit & Gatorade) and mopped my self up. Then I headed to Bed Bath & Beyond, dumped my bags in a cart and aimed for the registry section. Easiest process ever! And they gift wrapped it!

At the gym as I was pulling myself together to sit on a bus for 2 hours I got to eves drop on two women who used to do group runs together. Hearing about races and injuries and fellow runners made me excited {I’m becoming apart of this!! } as I was leaving I approached them (awkwardly) and thanked them for the added inspiration.

Compression socks on, I proceeded to nap for the next ~1.5  hours trying to ignore the fact that my legs would much rather be stretched out.

Saturday evening I catered a party with my old company – and I jumped right back into it  –  I was manning the kitchen. {hey, I never said I couldn’t cook, only that I don’t } I held strong until the end of the evening. Then I crashed.

But one of my best friends was back home for the shower and I was already in town so I faked energy and rallied. I’m getting good at changing on the go. Dancing was the destination. Ok I could do this, their energy & good music….it would boost me.

Yeah we didn’t last long.

In the middle of the dance floor the fact that I hadn’t had a real meal since my run hit me and I was hungry! And tired! Being completely sober I was ready to call it a night – luckily so were they.

Stupid tired, that nutella sandwich I pulled together in the dark was the best thing ever!

I made C promise me an iced coffee stop on the way to the shower when the next morning arrived way too quickly. I popped into the bakery while she picked up balloons – efficiency. Breakfast options were limited to a buttered roll though I was so tempted by the blue duck cookie but quickly reminded myself of all the goodies to come.

While I’m not in the bridal party I quickly & happily jumped into party throwing mode. Working with two of my best friends that I pulled into years of catering, plus seeing old high school friends to celebrate one’s happiness – fiesta style. Not to mention I was in Pinterest heaven.

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Top highlights were:
– trying to get the keg from the car ….uh those things are heavy

- watching everyone run back & forth between the two entrances to catch the bride to be’s reaction

- delicious fajitas & amazing desserts that Sam made….available when long run hunger kicks in #willrunforcupcakes #andminiblueberrypies #andfudgybitesizebrownies

- seeing Sarah so happy and loved

After the party all we could think about were real showers – it was hot, we were already melted just from setting up the party.

Then it was time to finish off the keg and go for round two.

Card games ensued, I chugged Nuun and there were jokes of hydration – I haven’t laughed like that in a while. I decided I should go join some college kids in cards games before my long run – best way to hydrate!


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4th Fun

Look I made something! Yes, it’s a simple summer fruit salad but I was highly proud of my efforts. I even had mint randomly in my fridge (what possessed me to buy it – I have no clue). By the way, that package of cherries was the best I’ve ever had – I’ll probably be headed back to the store tomorrow to get more. It also made me wish I had a cherry pitter. Inspired by this tip I used a straw … that lasted for about 5 cherries.  Silly thing is, I have chopsticks that would have worked. Oh well, it left more for me to eat.

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I brought the fruit to a BBQ in Brooklyn … melted before getting on the subway but was able to pull myself together. Sort of.  Toto, we are most definitely in Williamsburg, pretty sure my blue floral H&M dress and I were not hip enough for this party. It was also probably a good thing that my hair was in a topnot because the lack of a haircut in over a year would probably given all of those hair stylists a heart attack.  But I love meeting new people and it was good to catch up with my cousin.

Plus I was introduced to this amazing invention …. how did I not know about this?

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It will be bought today. And it better work.

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Wednesday was a prescribed rest day. Apparently it was a sleep in day too as I totally ignored my alarms and slept until past 10am. When I was out getting  fruit I saw people out for their run and got a little sad – I felt left out that I wasn’t getting a workout in. But then I remembered that I did two yoga classes and 4 miles the day before …. a rest day was more than ok.  What wasn’t ok to skip was foam rolling, my right hamstring & glute has been adding up (oh yay, another one to add to the injury list) and while I’m not too sure where it came from I would like to make it go away….asap. So I got patriotic with my stick and a little massage therapy, also paying plenty of attention to my calves.

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Hope you had a wonderful 4th! 

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{Weekend Recap}: Team Run & NJ

On Saturday Team For Kids had an open house  – including a fun run. I think I need a headband / arm band / t-shirt saying “I’m Diabetic” … it would save me a lot of time. Growing up in a small town where you knew most of your peers since pre-school, I forget that it’s not branded on my forehead for everyone to automatically know.

My approach : my body / my feelings / my disease/ my decisions / my responsibility. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn from others and it’s basic courtesy regarding liability for me to inform all of the coaches … plus it’s for my safety.  Not to mention it’s a pretty large part of why I’m doing this! My body & I have had some battles and we’re about to go up against a whole bunch more – training for this marathon (just as important as the marathon itself ) is for my body & mind to prove to each other that it can be done. Diabetes is just along for the ride.

That said, while I made a stupid move and ran my blood sugars high (I couldn’t go low on the first run – how lame would that be!) …it wasn’t the diabetes that dropped me to the last one to finish, it was my stupid hip. .::Sigh::. But moving my way to the back had me getting to know all three coaches. And now I’m even more psyched for training runs.

I ended up running in Central Park (score – a new route!), walking back through it from NYRR office to my apartment and then going back to meet a friend. Triple CP in one day.

That night I limped my way out to a girls night which took a slight detour to a girls slumber party in Hoboken when a friend had an allergic reaction.

That would mark my first stay in New Jersey. Sunday morning we laid out at the park (um Hoboken Park? I have no clue what it’s called) it was pretty looking into NYC and I saw lots of runners around the quad.

When I finally reached home (not to self: always carry extra needles & both insulins) I discovered I didn’t have my keys. After meeting the roomie in the East Village to grab hers I finally got back to the apartment at 6pm (and found my keys on my bookshelf…).

Headed to Target I decided to walk the trip … along the East River.  Definitely got my share of vitamin D and water views this weekend. Being Mother’s Day & summer weather, everyone was out to play and there were a ton of BBQs & block parties that had me smiling.

As I made my way back from Target I realized it was already 7:45pm how did that happen?!  I had one last workout due on my GymPact . My gym closes at 9pm – both locations. And I still had both set of keys. I quickly changed and booked it to the gym by 8:20  – perfect timing to get my 30 min in. The roomie made it back to the apartment at the 20m mark, so I had to hop off the elliptical to let her in. Instead of running back into the gym 10 min before they closed I decided to finish out the pact by running (jogging) a few blocks around the gym. Totally counts!

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Moral of the story: sometimes those #short&sweaty workouts that you cram in between things are the best ones. Especially when you don’t have time to debate it and you go off pure adrenaline rush.


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{Weekend Recap} : Actively Eating & Outdoor Fun

  Saturday morning started off bright & early at 8am. It was my third year doing the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women in honor of a friend’s mom.  While there were a few runners in our group, the rest of us took the opportunity to slow down to a casual stroll and chat.

We ended it with the annual BBQ which included “flip flip scrabble cup” and break out dance routines :

After picking out horses (I took Take Charge Indy – it sounded powerful….and I had 2 seconds to decide)  I switched from Derby to Cinco de Mayo :

Pinata Baseball on the rooftop leaded to jumping pictures … we weren’t very good at them.  Someone made delicious cupcakes with lemon zest – perfect recovery fuel for a < 3.1 mile walk.

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Sunday was the first UGS/Athelta group run of the Spring season. Over 90 girls showed up!! I recognized some faces from the fall and there were a ton of new ones. I was really impressed with how the event was organized and even noticed little ways they improved from last year (raffle ticket inside of the goody bag? Brilliant! Sometimes it’s the simplest things).

I was hesitant at first to even go because of my hip & all the silly injuries but figured I could stick with the beginners and always drop down to walkers. With indirect peer pressure I ended up jumping in the intermediate group at the last-minute – a loose estimate of 9:30 min mile.

There was so many of us that even the intermediate group broke down into 3 groups. I ended up running with 5 girls and by the end started dragging in the bag – hip wasn’t too happy,  not to mention I was feeling the few weeks off from any cardio. But it was a good run & I’m glad I went.  During the group stretch I stepped away to do a blood test … so skipped stretching my first run back – way to go for injury prevention.

RunKeeper lied again so I didn’t get stats but we ran for 39:40 minutes and I think the coach said 10:15 min mile pace … something between 3.5 – 4 miles.

I then rushed to met a friend for brunch at Elmo‘s, shopping & The High Line.

Living in the UES I don’t visit it often and it was cool to see how much it’s expanded since I last went. Need to venture over there more often.

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I over-corrected for brunch and ended up going low as we were heading back …which totally calls for 16 Handles. I tried the Greek Honey Yogurt flavor  – I’ll be sticking to Birthday Cake (my fav) & Blueberry (that makes it healthier right?).

Lots of friends, activities & carbs – the perfect weekend.

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