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Yesterday, I posted a healthy pizza recipe, but perhaps you’re not a pizza fan, have a gluten allergy/intolerance or want a lower calorie option. So I bring you egg or breakfast “pizza” – essentially like a frittata, with all the delicious possibilities of “toppings,” but without all the carbs.

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I use a silicon round baking dish, spray with non-stick cooking spray or grease with a little olive oil, put whatever veggies/other ingredients I want to use in the dish (pictured above – layer of fresh spinach, chopped mushrooms, shredded tuscan kale, sliced cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese, fresh dill), then pour in the eggs (today I used egg whites – it’s okay if the egg mixture is below the level of the veggies, just try to pour the egg evenly over the veggies so that they are coated), sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop in the oven (400 degrees F for ~20/25min, like with the pizza the center will take the longest to cook, should be firm but fluffy). Adjust the thickness/quantity of egg depending on if you’re cooking for 1 or 2 people.

Slice it up like a pizza and serve with a side of fruit salad for a nicely balanced breakfast (or lunch or dinner)! Each slice is also great topped with avocado slices and/or wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla. Great Sunday morning meal to fuel my mid-day run – thank goodness it’s finally “warmed up” today to slightly above freezing!

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Another week, another batch of granola!

It’s insanely cold this week in NYC, so I needed to add a little kick to this week’s recipe. It’s a twist on my ginger coconut granola – this time with slightly larger chunks of chopped uncrystallized ginger, which gives this recipe a more potent ginger flavor. The chunks are quite large and the chopped pieces are very sticky, but I discovered that if you massage them with a little coconut oil, they are easier to separate and intersperse throughout the other ingredients. The oil also allows the ginger to get a little crispy on the outside while remaining chewy on the inside when you bake it (although you will only get this texture once the granola cools).

I also used a wider variety of nuts/seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, chopped pecans, sliced almonds) and coconut flakes. I kept the maple syrup, oats, cinnamon, vanilla and salt the same, but barely used any coconut oil this time (just a tiny splash in the maple syrup mixture). I think it’s my favorite version yet…even crunchier, spicier, bolder and more addictive! It’s also a bit closer to the version that I love from Borough Market (Mini Magoo).

Here are the before and after baking shots. You’ll know the granola is ready when the oats are nice and crispy and the coconut flakes are nicely browned (stir frequently to make sure they don’t burn). I made a larger batch today as I’m sending half of it to my sister in California – makes a great homemade “just because I love you” gift! I also included nutrition facts on this recipe (see below).

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Stay warm folks – E and I layered up big time and managed to knock out 14M for our Valentine’s Day long run yesterday, but with today’s sub-zero temps, I think it’s a lazy indoor day for us!

Ginger Coconut Granola (Version 2)

Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp coconut oil
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/8 cup flax seeds
Generous pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped uncrystallized candied ginger (lightly coat knife blade in oil to help with stickiness)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Combine dry ingredients except for ginger in large bowl (use more or less of the various nuts/seeds as desired)
  3. Whisk together maple syrup, salt, vanilla and coconut oil in small bowl
  4. Pour wet into dry mixture and combine so that it is evenly distributed
  5. Massage chopped ginger pieces (which are likely stuck together) with a tiny bit of coconut oil using your fingers and separate pieces before adding to mixture
  6. Spread mixture onto parchment lined cookie sheet (or use foil brushed lightly w/ oil)
  7. Bake for 15 min, stir mixture, then bake for three 10 minute intervals in between stirring until oats are crunchy; if you see the coconut flakes browning but oats are not yet crunchy enough, you may want to stir every 5min to make sure it doesn’t burn
  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely
  9. Store in an airtight container

Yield: 6 cups granola

Serving size: 1/4 cup

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It never ceases to amaze me how much better a great run can make me feel. I’m still only running three times a week, but man did I make those three runs count.

Monday was my usual 5-6M at an easy pace, this time including 1M at E’s tempo to make sure I could “feel” the right pace. I nailed it. I love my Monday morning runs – they always clear my head and help me focus. There’s way too much stuff buzzing around in there!

Wednesday’s tempo session of 6M, including 5 at E’s goal half marathon pace, was exactly what I needed to blow off some steam after a stressful start to the week. I hopped on the treadmill, turned up the music and banged it out. It felt good. Well, I still felt a few slight hamstring pangs every mile or so, which worries me given I haven’t done any speed work for two months aside from these slower-than-usual tempo runs (if I were training for my own race, I’d be running 7:30, not 8:20 min/mile), but so it goes. Five miles is the most I’ve done at E’s pace so I’m just trusting that I can carry on like that for another 8.1 next Saturday…

This morning’s 8.25M run at 8:36 average pace was relaxed and glorious. Slightly hot, yes, but my poor sun-deprived body from too many hours in the library really needed it. I felt pretty miserable when I got up this morning (too little sleep, too much stress) so I wasn’t sure how it would go, but everything clicked right into place as soon as I started my watch. Running really does make everything better! Now if only it would also make my last two finals go away…

I have Nutrition & Health on Monday afternoon, and Physiology (the one I REALLY need to study for this weekend) early Tuesday morning. Not thrilled that the final is at 8am, but I guess it will be nice to get it over with and have the whole day ahead of me to catch up on things like laundry (which I haven’t done in ages), cleaning etc.

More importantly, it will give me time to prepare for E’s visit! I haven’t seen him in two months and I can’t wait – he lands Tuesday evening, and even though I won’t get to see him that much between his work schedule and my trip to California, it’s better than nothing. I really hope we get good weather for the Brooklyn Half Marathon next weekend and that I am able to pace him to his goal. A part of me wonders if I’ve lost so much fitness since the NYC Half that I won’t be able to maintain 8:20 for 13.1M, but then I think back to what my usual pace is and I think I should be fine…it will just be slightly more challenging than usual. I’m extremely excited to run our first race together – even if we don’t succeed in reaching his goal, it will be a great experience.

 

My weekly post obviously wouldn’t be complete without a photo of what I’ve eaten lately, so here’s my current breakfast obsession – eggs in toast (or egg in a hole, egg in a basket, toad in a hole or whatever you want to call it). A friend gave me this idea when she posted this recipe, and reminded me that I hadn’t eaten this in years, and had never actually made it before. Easiest thing in the world. I didn’t follow the recipe – I simply cut out holes in my bread (and ate them, obviously), cracked the eggs into the holes, flipped them over and voila – awesome breakfast. So much more fun than putting a fried egg on top of the toast and it sliding around everywhere (although I do like piling on smoked salmon, avocado etc with a fried or poached egg on top). I used cooking spray rather than butter – I’m sure butter would’ve tasted great and I have tons left over from all my cooking exam practice, but after eating an entire pint of ice cream last night (the perils of final exams…) I figured I should show some restraint!

Time to get back to studying – I’ve done very well on my other three finals so I’m hoping I can maintain this momentum for the next three days. It really does feel like the end of a race though – it’s all about mental endurance. I feel burnt out from an intensive semester, but I haven’t worked this hard to slack off now. Three more days – and then a well-deserved break!

Enjoy the sunshine and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!

To eat or not to eat? That’s often the question when it comes to fueling (or not) for early morning runs. If you have a sensitive stomach like me, you want to avoid GI distress – however, you don’t want to bonk during your training either, particularly if your morning run is on the longer side. Finding that sweet spot can take a little time, but if you experiment and follow a few generally accepted pieces of advice, you should be able to figure out a system that works well for your body.

Check out a recent interview I did with Competitor.com on this topic – it was published today, so I of course wanted to share it on FFR! The advice is pretty basic – most likely things you have heard many times before – but it’s a good reminder to stay in tune with your body’s needs and to ALWAYS practice your race day nutrition strategy during your training.

Back to the books – but first, I’ll leave you with a couple photos from Sunday. It was such a gorgeous day and I really enjoyed my walk across Brooklyn Bridge with a friend.

I also loved all the Spring flowers sprinkled across the city – these daffodils behind bars reminded me of how I feel when I’m in my little library cubicle!

Today is my first day as a graduate student at NYU Steinhardt. I’m feeling a bit nervous, but mostly excited. January 23rd has been circled on my calendar for quite some time!

My first class is at 2pm – Nutrition & Health – and my second class is at 4:55pm – Intro to Food & Food Science. Both are in the same lecture hall, with a ten minute break in between, so I get to stay put from 2pm until 6:35pm.

I received all my textbooks in the mail over the weekend. I still can’t believe that a stack of five books that I’m only using for one semester cost me $690. Sigh. Hopefully they’ll be useful for reference later on, particularly when I’m studying for the RD exam. If you’re wondering why they don’t look particularly advanced, that’s because I have about a year and a half of undergraduate prerequisites to complete before I actually begin my graduate work. Thankfully, it’s interesting stuff (for the most part – can’t say I’m excited for Orgo this summer), and apparently (so I’m told) I won’t be the only older student in these classes. Still, I’m sure it will feel a bit weird to be surrounded by college kids – then again, it will probably feel strange simply being in a classroom again! I’ll keep you posted.

I managed to get a decent night of sleep – my white noise iPhone app at full volume + fan on high + earplugs + eyeshades system seems to be working, thankfully. I had originally planned another track speed session, but my quads are still a bit sore from Saturday’s long run so I opted for an easy 4.4 miler along the East river instead. It felt good to do something active but relatively low key to get myself into the first day of school spirit!

I’m a firm believer in having a healthy, hearty breakfast, particularly on big days like today. After my run, I had my latest favorite – a healthy twist on Bircher muesli. It’s delicious, but for whatever reason it hasn’t played a role in my breakfast repertoire for awhile. I rediscovered it in a post on Peanut Butter runner called “Overnight oats make a comeback,” which provided a great recipe. I like to make a slightly different version, but the fundamentals are essentially the same. As the name suggests, you soak the oats (rolled or steel cut) overnight and serve cold. You can also just leave them in the fridge for 20-30 minutes if you forget the night before, still tastes great. Super easy, tasty and so good for you! You can find my recipe here.

 

Today’s oats included plain nonfat greek yogurt, skim milk, agave, honey, pecan pieces, kiwi, blueberries, dried cranberries and one large banana. This time, I did remember to soak the oats overnight (I included everything but the fresh fruit), and it came out a bit softer than my usual 30 minutes. I’m sure this – plus my huge mug of coffee – will keep me feeling high energy for hours!

But let’s get back to school. Here’s the quick run down on my program, in case you’re interested. I’m working towards a Master’s of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics, with a concentration in Clinical Nutrition. I have only completed one of the required courses (Modern Chemistry – in high school!), so I have about 35 credits to go before I am eligible to apply for my Dietetic Internship. These requirements, which are determined by the American Dietetics Association, collectively make up the DPD, or Didactic Program of Dietetics. In order to secure a good Dietetic Internship (it’s extremely competitive – 50% match rate), I need a very high GPA as well as a substantial number of volunteer hours at a community center and a hospital. The internship is about one year long and can be done in NYC or elsewhere (UCSF, for instance, has a great internship). After that, I study for and pass an exam to become a Registered Dietitian, and finally, I take my remaining advanced coursework back at NYU. Yeah, it’ll be awhile until I graduate!

I plan to study year-round – two full semesters and two summer sessions per year – so I can begin work as a paid RD as soon as possible. This will be mentally and logistically challenging with volunteering, work and LIFE (running, blogging, relationships etc.), but I’ll do my best. NYU may not offer every course when I need to take it, but if all goes according to plan, I hope to finish my DPD plus some grad courses (Sports Nutrition and The Nutritional Aspects of Eating Disorders) by the end of Summer 2013. I hope to begin my internship in Fall 2013 and take my RD exam in Summer 2014 or soon after. Finally, I hope to finish my degree by the end of 2014, or Spring 2015 at the latest, to graduate in May 2015.

That feels so far off right now – but I guess it is only the first day of school! Time will fly, as it always does.

I am taking 13 credits this semester – four courses and a lab. Check out the schedule I made for myself – color coded and all! I am so type A, it’s ridiculous.

I had hoped to condense school into fewer days, rather than have big gaps every Wednesday and on certain Tuesdays. I had also hoped not to have “early” morning classes three days a week. Oh well! Campus is only 20 minutes away (if I walk quickly), and if I don’t feel like going back home in between classes, I always have my new second home – the massive NYU library.

I snapped that photo before someone told me that you’re not allowed to use cameras in there…apparently it’s a high security area. Whoops!

There are so many different study areas and student lounges around campus, many just for graduate students, so I’ll have plenty of options. I also can use the various branches of my gym, 24 hour fitness, or the two different NYU gyms included in my tuition. Once I get a part-time job and begin volunteering, on top of everything else, that schedule will no longer have all those nice white spaces! Things already feel crazy as I try to find work and volunteer opportunities, fill out grant applications, start my reading assignments etc. However, I’m very organized and I was a great student in the past, so hopefully I’ll be able to stay on top of everything, get straight A’s, do well in the NYC Half Marathon in March and begin coaching too. Those are some of my goals, at least!

Alright…time to sign off and get ready for class! But first, I wanted to share a few words of wisdom that E sent me this morning (via “The Daily Davar” emails he receives from Tikun), while wishing me good luck on my first day. It seemed particularly relevant to NYC, where so many people are constantly rushing around, absorbed in their own little worlds.

‘Greet every person with a smile.’ (Avos 3:17) When people smile at us, it makes us feel good – even if we are feeling miserable. You come into contact with hundreds of human beings every day – that’s hundreds of opportunities to make someone feel good by simply smiling at them.

And with that, I am sending you all virtual smiles! I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

When I’m training (or even when I’m not), cereal or fruit salad simply don’t do it for me. After my morning workout, I need a filling, healthy breakfast to help me recover and give me energy for the rest of my day.  But like many of you, perhaps, I usually eat at work and only have about 5-10 minutes to spare before the craziness begins.

I’ve included below my go-to weekday breakfasts, as well as a couple other quick and easy breakfasts I make if I eat at home before work or on the weekends.  They surely aren’t exotic or ground-breaking, but my breakfasts are substantial, healthy and also cheaper than most pre-made breakfasts I see in the shops. I cycle between them and change up the ingredients to prevent boredom, but always have them along with 1 liter of water and a big cup of coffee!

If any of these ideas sound appealing to you, stop by the grocery store and give one a try tomorrow morning! I usually do my shopping once a week and store it in the work fridge so it’s all there, ready for me.

Non-fat Greek yogurt or plain natural yogurt with fruit/muesli/etc:

*Place the yogurt in a bowl, and add fruit (berries, kiwis, pomegranate seeds, and/or sliced banana are my favorites), honey or agave syrup and cinnamon
*Try adding a 1/4-1/2 cup of museli (the no sugar added kind is best), ground flaxseeds, mixed nuts and/or dried fruit for something more substantial

Oatmeal made with skim milk and banana: (Also my pre-race or long run meal)
*Avoid the instant kind, and go for the type that takes 3-5min to cook in the microwave instead – you will stay fuller, longer! If you’re at home and have more time, try steel-cut oats – very dense and filling!
*Place ½ cup oats in a bowl, and add cinnamon and honey
*Heat up 1 cup milk in the microwave for about 1min, stir into the oats, and then put the combination back into the microwave for about 1.5-2min.
*Mash a ripe banana with a fork in a bowl, and then add to the oatmeal and put back into the microwave for another 1-2min, removing occasionally to stir.
*Instead of/in addition to banana, you can also try blueberries, dried cranberries, raisins, chopped walnuts, almonds or whatever else you fancy! So many options…

Peanut Butter & Banana Toast:
*Grab a couple slices of whole-grain bread, pop them in the toaster, spread about 2 tablespoons of natural peanut-butter (Peanut Butter & Co is my favorite) and some honey on top, and then add sliced banana. Simple and delicious, especially with a big glass of milk. Also great for a pre/post run snack!

Vegetable Omelet:
*I use 3 eggs/1 yolk; whisk together with a fork, adding salt & pepper to taste
*Steam (microwave is easiest) your vegetables of choice – I like baby spinach, sliced mushrooms, and/or zucchini. Wash and put in the microwave, cover with a lid, and cook for about 1min.
*While the veg is cooking, spray the frying pan with cooking spray or add some olive oil and turn on the heat.
*Add the egg mixture to the heated pan, and once halfway cooked, place the veg on one side of the omelet.
*Add a small amount of sliced or shredded cheese, if desired, and then fold the omelet in half and remove from the when fully cooked.
*Place inside a whole-wheat wrap or pita, along with some sliced avocado, for something more substantial

Fruit Smoothie:
*I always try to keep frozen berries & bananas (separated into small pieces), in my freezer for this purpose
*Place your frozen fruit of choice into the blender, along with some skim milk (fill to just below frozen fruit), honey, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
*Use greek/plain yogurt, muesli and/or walnuts or almonds for a more filling smoothie.
*Blend together – add a couple of ice cubes to thicken the texture. Reblend.

Welcome to FFR

Hi, I'm Claire! I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (MS, RD, CDN) and a Road Runners Club of America certified coach. This is where I share my latest adventures in running, racing, food & travel! If you'd like to work with me, please visit my professional website, Eat for Endurance.

My PRs

Marathon (Chicago): 3:33:18
Boston Marathon: 3:36:14
Half-Marathon: 1:37:21
10M: 1:14:52
10k: 44:52

My latest photos

This morning's breakfast bowl isn't exactly pretty, but really delicious and filling! Two fried eggs in a pan with black beans (I used 1/2 cup = 1 serving), a little feta, a few spoonfuls of ricotta, some pesto (random but had some leftover and tastes great with eggs), and 1/4 avocado. Cooked all together for a high protein tasty breakfast! Awesome @onepeloton endurance ride earlier today with my buddy @mattwilpers before enjoying some family time outdoors on this beautiful day. Arielle came to visit afterwards and clearly is a big Peloton fan too! Speaking of which, check out the latest episode of the Clip Out (a Peloton fan podcast) - had such a great time talking all things nutrition and Peloton with @clipoutcrystal and Tom, who are hilarious btw! (Link in bio - my segment ~20min in). Wishing everyone a very happy first day of Fall! 🍁🍂 It's my favorite time of year to get out into nature and go for a run. L'Shana Tova to those who celebrate! We started the New Year with some apple picking at @wilkloworchards on our way back to NYC yesterday. Was so much fun, and Arielle was a great little helper! We don't have much food in the house after being away so these crisp local apples with almond butter will be our tasty, healthy snacks today. Getting ready for the loooong drive back to NYC after unplugging in Lake Placid for my bday! Fueling with a bowl of 5% plain Greek yogurt, bananas, peaches, and apple cinnamon granola. Not much of a view from our balcony this morning of Mirror Lake - swipe right for our view yesterday! So beautiful and peaceful here - minus screaming baby, of course. 😂 #Tbt to earlier this week, when one of my awesome @nutritionenergy clients surprised me with a @levainbakery cookie after we talked about them at our last session. I had planned to save half for my husband (those cookies are seriously dense!), but it was so delicious, I changed my mind and had the second half later in the day. Did I feel bad about it afterwards? Did I end up skipping dinner or working out more to compensate? Nope! I had already eaten a healthy balanced lunch, and it's not everyday that I enjoy such a decadent treat (although you will find me having smaller treats quite often 😀).

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