Category Archives: Travel

Calamari on the Hudson

Good morning blog world! It is almost Friday, and I am happy about that. This week has been so busy for me I’ve hardly had any time to think let alone blog, but I’ve finally got all of my photos organized so I’m going to give it a try!

Breakfast this week has been simple but yummy. I had some tasty strawberry banana oats one morning.

In the bowl:

  • 3/4 cup of oats
  • 1 tbsp of oat bran
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • strawberries
  • 1 tbsp of dark chocolate dreams peanut butter

I could throw DCDPB on anything and it would taste amazing.

This was a huge bowl of oats, and it kept me full until about…9:30AM that day. Oh well. I think I just ate it too early.

I’m pretty sure my dinner on Tuesday was a bowl of Kashi H2H cereal with almond milk and maple pb because I needed something quick and light before taking Body Pump! So good!

The rest of the week is kind of a blur! However, this morning I had one of these:

A Chocolate Cherry Bomb! In the smoothie:

  • 1 cup of almond breeze
  • 1 scoop of chocolate rice protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp of maca powder
  • handful of frozen organic cherries

It tasted pretty good since I’m accustomed to the rice protein. It was actually filling.

Now to the good stuff! Last night I went on an impromptu boat ride on the Hudson with my good friend Brendan, his parents, and my sister!  His parents have a boat that the keep at a local yacht club and they invited us out for a ride and dinner! So exciting! 🙂

After work I headed to Brendan’s where we met up with his parents and drove to the yacht club. It’s so cute inside! It looks like a great place for parties.

Brendan thought ahead and knew my sister and I would be hungry after work, so he made some Sangria and brought some cheese and crackers. What is better than wine and cheese on a boat? Nothing, I don’t think. He said he used peach Chardonnay and threw in some fruit to make the Sangria. Yum.

Thankfully the cheese and crackers held me over until dinner. 🙂 We took the boat down the Hudson River south to Coxsackie and enjoyed the ride.

For dinner we pulled the boat up and docked at Yanni’s Too located at Coeyman’s Landing.

Yanni’s is a great local riverside restaurant that is only about 25 minutes south of Albany (and only about 15 minutes from me.) I love it there. They are famous for their fried Calamari. So obviously, we had to order some for an appetizer. We got the Calamari Four Way Sampler, which included the Original: lightly fried and tossed in a lemon garlic wine sauce; Rhode Island style with banana peppers; Calamari Red with a light marinara sauce; or Chipotle style with a smokey jalapeno sauce. I’d have to say my favorite was either the Rhode Island or the Chipotle style calamari. The banana peppers on the Rhode Island calamari were slightly tangy with a bite, almost kind of lemony, and the Chipotle style wasn’t too spicy, just had a bit of a smoky flavor. So good. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

So, after filling up on fried squid, I ordered my main meal: the Portabella Sandwich: Marinated and grilled portabella mushroom cap with balsamic glazed red onions, goat cheese and roasted red pepper aioli.

One word: incredible. I’ve had this sandwich before so I knew I would love it. But, since I wasn’t too hungry any more after eating the Calamari for an appetizer, when my sandwich came I only ate the mushroom, onions and goat cheese. I took the bun off to try to save myself some calories. (Probably around 300? The bun was huge and probably grilled in butter.) And it would have been difficult to eat anyway since the mushroom usually make the bun sopping wet with juices and then it just becomes a huge mess. 🙂 I loved the creamy goat cheese though, so tasty. I ate probably half of the chips too.

After dinner we headed back to the boat for the ride back to the yacht club. It was getting pretty late and I was exhausted! But riding on a boat in the dark was kind of creepy but fun. We were kind of reminded of the Jaws ride at Universal Studios! Ahhh! 🙂

Anyway, I had a great time with Brendan and his lovely parents. (His parents are like our second family since we have been friends with Brendan for over ten years!) They were so awesome to take my sister and I out on their boat for dinner! 🙂 Can’t wait to do it again!



Filed under Events, Food, Restaurant Reviews, Travel

Long runs, beaches, and chocolate zucchini cupcakes

Things I like to do on my day off: lay on the beach, go for an 8 mile run, and bake chocolate zucchini cupcakes. Not in that order. 😀

This morning I woke up and knew I had to do my long run today, because there was no way I was running that much on the Fourth of July. I have too many plans and a four mile race that morning!

I fueled with some peanut butter toast and honey, with some chia seeds sprinkled on top, and a cup of green tea. And I was ready to go.

Miles 1 – 4 on treadmill in 44:45. Felt great.
Mile 5 – 10:14
Mile 6 – 9:58
Mile 7 – 10:16
Mile 8 – 10:13
Total Distance: 8 miles
Total time: 1 hour and 26 minutes
Calories Burned: 901

After my run, I came back and rehydrated with some coconut water! This brand was so good, I will most likely be buying it again.

The top of the cap says “Happiness in a bottle”, and that is true!

I also had a chocolate strawberry protein smoothie in a mug. I finally figured out the key to making rice protein taste good: use half a scoop! It tasted SO much better!

In my smoothie: A handful of frozen strawberries, 1/2 scoop of chocolate rice protein, 1/2 cup of almond breeze.

The rest of my lunch was a vanilla honey Chobani with some raw oats thrown in. Yum!

Then my sister and I headed to Thompson’s Lake Beach to enjoy the sun!

The beach isn’t much, but it was nice to lay in the sun, relax, and try to get rid of my runner’s tan!

We stayed for a couple of hours, and then headed home to make some dinner. I was feeling creative in the kitchen today, so I decided to make some chocolate zucchini cupcakes!! 😀

While they were still in the oven, I had tons of leftover shredded zucchini, so I made zucchini and potato pancakes! I got this recipe a while ago from Cooking Light, I I just modified it a bit to fit the ingredients I had lying around.

Shredded zucchini, shredded potato, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and 1 egg mixed together and formed into patties, grilled on one side for a few minutes, and then baked in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

The mixture made about four good sized patties. I had two for dinner!

Dessert was a chocolate cupcake still warm from the oven! They were so chocolatey and delicious…you can’t even really taste the zucchini!

So far my day off has been pretty good! 🙂 Tonight I’m off to hang out with my cousin and listen to some good music in downtown Albany! Have a good weekend!


Filed under Baking, Food, Running, Training, Travel

Bash Bish Falls

Yesterday after my 8 mile run, I came home and my sister told me she wanted to go hiking. I was totally up for it, since I love the outdoors and I need more hiking trips in my life. She did some research and wanted to check out Bash Bish Falls in Mount Washington, Massachusetts. The hike to the falls is only a half mile out and back, so a one mile easy hike seemed totally doable, even after using up most of my energy during my earlier run.

It only took about an hour to get there. It is interesting because the hike starts out in Copake Falls in Taconic State Park (which is in New York State) and on the trail you cross into Mass! It’s pretty awesome.

My sister and I also discovered that this park has cabins for camping right across the creek! It was so cool, I would love to camp there sometime! Seeing the cabins made me miss camping.

Eventually we ended up at the falls! It was gorgeous!

There were actually people swimming in the water under the falls, even though there were signs posted all over the place that said swimming was prohibited. A couple of young guys even  JUMPED from the top into the water. They were CRAZY!

It was such a lovely day. It was pretty hot and humid though, so a swim would have been really nice. Too bad we didn’t bring our bathing suits!

The trail was an easy hike. There were people walking it in flip flops! I felt over-prepared with my hiking boots and camelback. 🙂 I did enjoy wearing my new boots though! They were comfy for the short hike.

We spent about an hour total walking to and from the falls. It was nice to spend some time with my sister!

As soon as we got into the car and drove out of the parking lot, it started sprinkling. We timed that hike perfect. It then started to lightning and thunder and we were driving through a downpour! We could hardly see out the window to drive down the narrow dirt roads. Thank God for GPS! We ended up pulling over near a General Store to wait out the downpour.

Imaging if were still on the trail during that? Eeek.

Eventually it cleared out and we headed home. It sure was an adventure!

I came home, exhausted, sweaty, and starving. I wanted to keep dinner simple and healthy. I toasted a sandwich thin and threw some roasted veggie bruschetta and shredded cheese on it. It was sooo delicious and satisfying. For dessert I had some of my mom’s five cup salad and some Edy’s light ice cream. Yum!


Filed under Food, Hiking, Travel

Sunday Adventures in Woodstock – Take 2

Ok, so, since I lost every post I’ve made, I feel like I should at least try to make up some. I feel like my last post about my trip to Woodstock was great and I want to try to write it up again for those who might have missed out. So here’s the shortened version, with pictures!

Sunday my sister, and my friend Brendan and I decided to go hiking in Woodstock, NY for the day! Before our hike we stopped at a natural foods store in the village called Sunflower Natural Foods. It was so cute! It reminded me of the HWFC in Albany, but more hippyish!

I got some dark chocolate with Sea Salt. It was yummy.

We began our hike here at the bottom of Overlook Mountain.

About a half hour into the hike, my heels started to hurt and I could feel blisters coming on.  This has happened to me before in my current hiking boots.  So Brendan and I switched socks and I put on a blister pad and on we went.

About a half a mile from the top there were ruins of an old hotel, which were really creepy! It looked like something out of Ghost Hunters!

The view was spectacular from the firetower!

Overall, it was about 4 miles total! It was really fun. And a good workout!

After hiking we were starving, so we headed to this place called The Red Onion in Woodstock.

I got a glass of Sangria to drink! I deserved it after hiking 2 miles up a mountain. 😀

Because I was starving, and salad just wouldn’t cut it, I ordered the  half portion of Seafood Risotto! It was delicious. The seafood included Mexican White Shrimp, Diver Scallops, Calamari and Mussels with Fresh Herbs.

For dessert, Brendan and I split some chocolate mousse cake with raspberry ice cream, which was to die for!!

The Red Onion was pretty expensive, but it was quaint little restaurant. The food was really good! And we got to sit outside on the front porch!

A very fun day indeed. And that is the shortened version of my Sunday in Woodstock. 🙂

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Filed under Food, Hiking, Restaurant Reviews, Travel

Breaded Goat Cheese, Gelato and Toga

I need to start coming up with more interesting blog titles! Anyway, this weekend was pretty good! The weather was nice on Saturday, and that was a major plus! I started out Friday night with a delicious dinner with some lovely ladies. After work I headed to the Midtown Tap & Tea Room, one of my favorite places in albany for after work dinner and drinks. The girls and I shared a bottle of delicious Riesling! I started with the Breaded Goat Cheese with Honey and Carmelized Onions. The best. thing. ever. I am IN LOVE with anything goat cheese, and this was the most creamy, delicious goat cheees I’ve had. Yum. And the honey really added to it.



For my main meal I got a salad:  Pan-Fried Eggplant with Mixed Greens, Tomato, Red Onions, Cucumber, Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, Feta, Homemade Croutons & Lemon Vinaigrette. It was perfect, since after the goat cheese app, I didn’t want to over do it with a bigger meal. I’ve never had eggplant on a salad before, so this was excited to try this. Since eggplant doesn’t have much of taste, it was pretty good fried, nice and crispy, but a little too greasy for my liking. Otherwise, it was a great salad.


I was actually pretty full by the end of dinner, but we decided that going down to Lark for some gelato at Crisan would be a must for dessert. I got two $2 scoops of gelato: chocolate and chocolate oreo. I swear, I could live off of this gelato. I ate it too fast and didn’t take a picture. My friend and I also shared some flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache icing. Baked goods are my downfall. I parked in Washington Park on my way to Crisan, and all the flowers were blooming, so I snapped this picture as I walked through:


The weather forcast for Saturday was looking great, so my sister and one of my friends decided to go to Saratoga for the day to get lunch and visit the 2010 Adirondack Summer Sports & Fitness Expo.  First, we had lunch at Bailey’s Cafe.  I started with some tea: coconut mango oolong.


And then ordered the soup and panini combo. A cup of Lobster Bisque Soup, and I probably ate about 3/4 of it. It was SO rich and creamy.


And then The Congress: Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers, Spouts, Lettuce& Tomato with Pesto Herb Mayo. A delicious toasted sandwich filled with so many great veggies! And the bread was super tasty and crisped just right. So good! It came with chips and I was pretty full so I didn’t eat them.


I really enjoyed eating at this little cafe, and we got to sit outside in the sunshine. For some reason, eating outside when the sun is shining makes everything better!

After lunch, we headed down to the Expo, which I was looking forward to. But after wandering around for about 30 minutes, and stopping at the booths, I realized it was kind of a let down. I was hoping to see more demos and workout gear. There was only 1 station with hiking supplies, a couple of stations with bikes, and a few for canoes/kayaks. The only running stations were the ones advertising running groups and upcoming races. Mostly people just wanted to sell you things, rather than inform you about the upcoming events. It was rather disappointing. Needless to say, I didn’t buy anything. But we did attend a seminar! The coach of the Saratoga’s running club gave an hour presentation on “how to get faster” and it was pretty fascinating.

Some of his tips included:

  • Make sure you start with a basic mileage of 20 miles a week (I just got to this mileage this past week)
  • Include one long distance slow run into your workout routine, anywhere between 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minute long run.
  • Work in hill workouts and tempo runs into your routine
  • Speedwork (the most confusing of all to me), and the most important if you want to be a faster runner.

The weather was wonderful when we left Saratoga, so when I got home I headed straight for my bike! I biked my good old loop 8 miles around my house. AND I made up the monster hill without getting off! Yes!! The ride is so scenic. And there are lots of trees.


Overall, I’d say it was a good weekend! This Sunday is my birthday, so expect a birthday related post to come soon!

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New York, New York – A Foodie’s Dream, Part 1

So, let me recap my lovely/rainy trip to New York City. My cousin Liz, and our friend Beth, and I took the train from Albany to Penn Station. Let me just say, I love food. This is the reason why I had to lose weight to begin with, I loved food too much. But since I’ve started eating healthy, I realized just how much I DO enjoy food, and how to control my eating and to still eat what I enjoy, but not go overboard. When I eat out, I try to pick the healthiest thing on the menu that I know I will like. I almost NEVER order pasta with a creamy (fattening) sauce or fried food. I stick to mostly vegetarian options, sometimes, seafood or chicken. So, one of the best parts of NYC is all of the GREAT food options, something I wish Albany had.  So let the fooding begin!


Monday morning can’t remember what I had for breakfast, I just remember packing apples and Luna Bars for the train, because I know sometimes eating habits get screwed up while traveling, and I didn’t want to ever be STARVING (thankfully that never happened) so I didn’t need to eat any except on the train. Here is the view of the train tracks from our hotel room.


Anyway, Monday afternoon we got to the city and had to trek from Penn Station to the subway to the hotel where we were staying, the Travel Inn. It had a LOVELY view (note the sarcasm) of the Amtrak train tracks! And it really looked grimy, because of the rain. But despite our view, the hotel wasn’t too bad. I would say the only negative aspect was the walk to and from the subway stop, about flourish blocks, which sucked hardcore in the rain. (Thank God for rainboots and a raincoat from Target).

So we were pretty much famished by the time we got back to hotel. We had plans to meet the girls’ friend Emily at her art school in Tribeca, and she knew of a great little place for sandwiches, called Pecan Café.


I LOVED this place. It was so awesome. And the sandwich was the best thing I’ve tasted in a LONG time! (maybe because I was insanely hungry at the time?) But I ordered a green tea and a sweet potato sandwich. The description from the website: roasted sweet potatoes, goat cheese, red lettuce and chives with sweet chili mayo on a French baguette. Toasted. DELISH!!! I would actually go back to NYC again to get this sandwich. Yummy. I wish I had taken a picture of the sandwich. (Note: I need to get over the fear of photographing my food in public! I’m always afraid people will think I’m a freak…I mean who takes pictures of all the food they eat?)

So after sandwiches, Emily wanted to take us to a bakery down the street, called Billy’s bakery. It was the cutest place. I ordered the chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, and the frosting was out of this world!! Extremely satisfying. And I got my cupcake fix! I am a SUCKER for baked goods…and I have an extreme sweet tooth, NOT a good thing! But it is extremely difficult to withhold eating cupcakes when everyone around you is eating them, I usually give in and make up for it later.


A little later on, we met up with Liz and Beth’s friend…and she took us to Saint’s Alps tea house in the East Village. I’m slowly getting used to the different areas in New York…maybe next time I will be able to find my way around by myself! It’s just one big grid. I swear, one day it will click! Anyway, this place was really cute and had a lot of different kinds of tea. I got the strawberry black tea, which was served cold. It was like sipping strawberries!! VERY sweet, so I don’t even want to know how many calories were in it.

For dinner on Monday we decided to hit up a Sushi Samba!! There are two in New York. I’ve been to the one in Miami and LOVED it!! The one in New York had a lounge dining area, which was where we decided to sit, and it was incredible. The lighting is awesome, and the music was so fun. Liz just wanted to get up and dance! If you look at the menu, they describe their food as a fusion of Japanese and Brazilian cuisine. It’s pretty cool, and the food is REALLY good.  I ordered a Pacific Samba Roll, which was king crab, avocado, asian pear, soy paper, wasabi-avocado crema. And a side of roasted veggies. Let me say, the veggies were WAY better than the roll!! I like sushi, but it’s not my favorite. The veggies were so good.  Liz and I decided to split a dessert afterward, and we got the warm chocolate banana cake, maple butter, banana chip, vanilla rum ice cream, divine!!!! Needless to say, I felt a bit guilty about eating too many sweets in one day, but I have to give in sometimes, especially on a trip like this! After dinner we were exhausted and headed back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep!

And so, this was our first day in New York. I will continue the next post with Tuesday’s happenings!     

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New York, New York – A Foodie’s Dream – Part 2

Okay, since I’m writing this post two months after my NYC trip which I took in April so I’m going to do my best to re-cap the rest of the trip. Here we go!


Tuesday morning we wanted to some shopping. Liz had a meeting with her agent, so we went to a Starbucks around the corner for breakfast. I got one of their spinach and feta egg white wraps, which was a perfect healthy breakfast! We sat inside to warm up and get away from the rain.

Beth and I then walked around Bryant Park while we waited for Liz. We had lunch at Pax Wholesome Foods. It seemed like an okay place to get a quick lunch. They had tons of different foods on display behind glass windows (with the calories posted! yay!) I’m pretty sure I ordered a turkey sandwich. I remember the bread being really tough to chew. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever had that’s for sure, but we weren’t too familiar with the places to eat around here so we settled for Pax.

After a quick lunch, we wandered around more, and found Le Pain Quotidein, a cute little cafe/eatery right on Bryant Park. Little did we know they had a place to sit down and eat real food! If only we’d waited and walked around the corner. Oh well! We went in anyway and sat down for some dessert. This place was so cute!

I ordered a chocolate mousse cake. And it was to die for. Here it is already half eaten.

chocolate mousse cake in new york city makes me very happy

Beth and I hung out here for a while and chatted (away from the rain) and when it let up a little bit we walked around and did some window shopping. I think we went to Gap and Barnes and Noble where we then met up with Liz.  Time to go back to the hotel and take off the rainboots for a little while.

We ended up meeting a couple of their friends at a cute little Thai place not too far from the hotel called Aura, which was nice. I ordered the lemongrass chicken: grilled marinated chicken with lemongrass sauce served
with a side of papaya salad and sticky rice.
This was seriously some good chicken! If I were still eating chicken, I would order it again if I ever happen to go back to this place. I also tried the plum wine. It was a little too sweet for me, and that’s saying something! It kind of tasted like juicy juice! For dessert I tried the Fried Honey Banana with Coconut Ice Cream. Divine! I only sampled a bit of it though, but it was tasty.

After dinner we decided to see what kind of bars were around the area, and since we were staying in Hell’s Kitchen, we walked by tons of them. We decided on one that looked really cool called Zanzibar. The music in there was really funky and the lighting was cool. And it wasn’t too crowded, probably because it was a Tuesday night!

We sat down on the little couches and ordered our drinks. I got a Riesling.

I realized I am obsessed with huge wine glasses. 🙂 And Riesling. We hung out here for a while, but we were tired from walking around in the rain all day so the hotel bed was seeming nicer and nicer…


Today was the day we wanted to go to the museum! First we needed breakfast, so we went to a cute little cafe around the corner called Bis.Co. Latte. You can always find something good around the corner in New York.

these bright colors would wake anyone up in the morning!

It was lovely! We needed caffiene so I ordered a green tea and the girls ordered coffees.

For breakfast I tried my first bowl of steel-cut oats. It was love at first taste.

Sitting in this cafe on a New York City morning was delightful. I enjoy New York.

So, after breakfast, we went to the Jacques Torres chocolate shop! Mmm chocolate, my love. Jacques Torres was actually there at the shop too so it was kind of cool to see him! At first I only wanted to buy one thing, the breakfast bar! I was trying to be healthy! But a ginormous chocolate chunk cookie was calling my name, so I bought one and ate the whole thing! No regrets! I saved the breakfast bar for another time. 🙂

After chocolate, we headed over to the Rubin Museum of Art to see the Himalayan Exhibit, and that was really interesting. There is something relaxing about quiet museums. I don’t know what it is.

I’m pretty sure we fit lunch in there somewhere…I believe we went to this place called the Hollywood Diner, where I ordered a healthful veggie burger with no bun. But I remember it being pretty good.

We ended up going back to our hotel after the museum to get our stuff because we had a 4:00 train back to Albany. It was an awesome few days in the city! However, it does seem to rain every time I’m there. I’m really hoping the next time I go, which will probably be sometime this summer, it will be warm and sunny without a rain cloud in sight! 🙂

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