Archive | June, 2012

June Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day!!

30 Jun
The Lean Green Bean

It’s that time of the month again – Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day!

For my newbie readers, Foodie Pen Pals, is exactly like what it sounds. Every month, readers and bloggers come together to send each other a care package with yummy, delicious treats and then post about it (for non-bloggers, they can guest post if they choose). The program was created by Lindsay over at TheLeanGreenBean. Of course, there are rules that need to be followed, including dietary restrictions (if required) and a spending limit. But more on that later… including how to participate in July!

This month I received my package from Julie. My box contained: ginger honey crystals; fig marmalade; a praline; and a jar of Dazzle Peanut Butter Crave.

This is actually not my hand. I had to google a pic because I ate my jar and tossed it. That’s how it good this stuff is. For serious.

Yummy tea crystals!

Pralines = yummy!


I’ve tried fig butter, so I was open to trying the marmalade – how much different could it be? It was good! As was the praline.  I really enjoyed the ginger crystals too. I am not a huge tea drinker, but I liked this a lot. The big hit though was the jar of Razzle Dazzle PB crave. It took me some time, but I managed to polish off the entire jar. It would have taken me less than a week, but I practiced some self-control. This.Was.Hard. I mean it had white and dark chocolate chunks, honey, and raspberries. If I could marry it, I would’ve. And I told my husband this numerous times. Whoops, hehe.

In sum, a BIG thank you Julie for my box of treats!

Don’t you want to get in on the action? You know you want to! Here are the deets:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for July, please fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by July 4th as pairings will be emailed on July 5th!

And if you’re interested in seeing what I sent to my Foodie Pen Pal, Christie, head on over to her site and check it out!


Running with Giants!

26 Jun

Happy Tuesday folks!

I woke up Monday morning feeling as if I were hit by a Mack truck.  On Saturday I went to my husband’s ten year high school reunion and I had maybe one too many drinks (did my patriotic duty and had lots of Yuengling, which the oldest brewery in the good ol’ US of A). And then I went to a diner and ate a grease bomb of fries and chicken fingers. So on Sunday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was to run a 5K. My stomach was a wreck and I was so sleepy.  However, I knew I would be meeting up with Jen and that getting a chance to run through MetLife stadium might be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  With the help of my husband, I crawled out of bed and got ready.

After driving from Long Island for what seemed like forever (I slept most of it), we arrived at MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (In my opinion, it will forever be The Meadowlands, the same way CitiField (home of the NY Mets) will forever be known to me as Shea Stadium.)

MetLife Stadium

A sign welcoming runners!

Another sign at the stadium

Before the race, there were various activities/festivities going on. I stopped at a few booths quickly just to get a sense of what was going on. It was close to race o’clock and I didn’t want to miss the start.  I even got a free pedometer (woot!) from Walgreen’s and Duane Reade who sponsored the race.

Kind of self-explanatory

Pre-race announcements being made.

It’s me and my bud, Lucy! I need to get therapist tips from her.

NYRR t-shirt & bib booth

After quickly meeting up with Jen and a friend of hers, I was off to my corral.  As I stated in my last post, New York City had recently had a heat wave. Though the temperatures were nowhere near as high as they were last week, it was still pretty warm out (mid 80-s). Before the horn sounded, we were lectured on staying hydrated throughout the course.

Aside from two on-ramps, the course was flat (it was mostly a loop outside the perimeter of the stadium, until the last ½ mile when we entered the stadium and got to run down into the field and into the end zone). I was super hot and sweaty throughout the race and took water breaks at each water station and even ran through the hose they set up to cool off the runners.

Before I knew it, I was in the stadium and the second I ran onto the field, I nearly teared up. Was I nuts for even considering not running? It was an amazing feeling. My husband met me on the 40 yard line.  It was a cool experience for him too since he is a HUGE Jets fan and the Giants and Jets share the stadium.

Hello goal post!

Me on the field!

Me & the hubster!

Anyway, with all the water stops, I added 2 minutes to my time (barf), finishing in at 32 minutes. I need to get more acquainted with running in the heat. I have the Queens 10K next weekend and that’s 6.2 miles in 85 degree weather (so the forecast claims this far out). Below are more pictures that were taken!

Hey hey, Tebow’s a Jet now!

View from the field

Another shot from the field (immediately from the finish line)


Through the finish line!

I really am so grateful to the NYRR for putting up this event and hope that it becomes an annual race!

Hot Summer in the City

23 Jun

Summer solstice is the day of the year with the longest period of daylight. How did you spend your summer solstice? I spent mine practicing yoga in the middle of Time Square.

Athleta and the Times Square Alliance hosted Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga. Attendees were challenged to find tranquility and transcendence in the midst of the world’s most commercial and frenetic place, Times Square. Thousands of yoga enthusiasts came to participate in an all day yoga fest.

Participants received a Solstice gift bag and Athleta provided free Manduka yoga mats to the first 1,500 that arrived to each class. Between classes, there was an Athleta Fashion show and music from Prasanna. Plus, there were lots of free giveaways, raffles and more at the Solstice Yoga Village.

Because of my schedule, I was only able to attend the early morning session, which started at 7:30 A.M. until 8:45 A.M. That meant I was on the train at 5:15 A.M. – I had to make sure that I got there on time because of two things: 1) I was meeting fellow SweatPink ambassador Melissa and 2) I really wanted a yoga mat. My yoga mat was annihilated by my cats who found their ohm by scratching it all up.

Anyway, it turned out that this day marked the beginning of a 3-day heat wave in New York City.  It was already 85 degrees when I got to Times Square (I felt bad for anyone who went later on in the day when the temperatures reached 100 degrees with a real feel of 107 degrees). Melissa and I lucked out and found pretty good spots to get our yoga on. If we came any later, we would not have been so lucky. Melissa is so nice! We instantly clicked and she invited me to come join her on a training run with the running club she is in. She’s also super-bad ass, training for a marathon and is going to become a Yoga instructor.  Rock on Melissa!

Sign in Times Square detailing the days’ events

Another sign spotted on my way to check-in

Times Square at 6:15 AM – normally never this quiet

Solstice Village!

More of Solstice Village!

Mindful awareness relaxation

Melissa and I – Tree Pose for the Win!

After yoga, I had to run off to my internship. I was sad I couldn’t stay and check out the Yoga Village. I did manage to get a free sample of Tribe garlic hummus with some crackers as I ran through to get to the train. One word: YUM!

I really enjoy yoga and wish I had more time in my schedule to fit it in. My life is so hectic and crazy and I would love to be able to practice more mind(ful)-body awareness. I think it would be extremely beneficial to me as a runner and a social worker.  There is a yoga center a few minutes from my home and I think once my summer classes and internship are over, I am going to join.

Tomorrow’s my race at MetLife Stadium (Duane Reade and Walgreen’s: Giants Run of Champions 5K). Wish me luck! In the meantime, Namaste (oh and GO JETS!).

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

19 Jun

I want this to be me! At the least the bike ride part, though the abs I wouldn’t mind.

My name is Kasandra and I don’t know how to ride a bicycle. (Waits for everyone to sound off a Hi, Kasandra). Yes, I don’t know how to ride a bike. I am 27 and don’t know how to ride a bike. Or drive (I am working on this one too). How did I grow up and never learn you ask? Well, I had training wheels on my bike when I was a kid and became a chicken when my dad took them off. I remember wobbling, falling off, and thinking, “this is not for me” all whilst crying because I skinned my knee.

All of this is normal when learning how to ride. Except, I did not get back on.

Now that I am older, I want to be able to bike ride – it’s so good for you and it’s a very green action (I want to do my part with the planet – like our bodies, we only get one!). Also, how’s it going to look when I have a kid and I can’t teach him/her to get on the bike? Or go on a ride with them?

So, with that said, does any body have any recommendations for a bicycle? I don’t want anything too pricey since I am just beginning.  I don’t mind the bumps and bruises now – I just want to cross it off my New Year’s 2012 resolution list – the year is half way over!! I don’t want to add it to 2013’s list (that is if the Mayan’s are not correct).

Happy Tuesday and don’t forget to get your #sweatpink on!! (Speaking of SweatPink, I’ll be hosting my very first raffle soon for some stylish pink laces, woo hoo!).

Losing 13.1 (or 26.2?!) challenge!

18 Jun

Lose a Half-Marathon!!

Right before I got married, I hit my goal weight and was so pumped. However, between grad school, working full time, interning part-time, some pounds crept back on. I’ve been working with my nutritionist but I’ve plateaued more or less and keep yo-yo’ing 5lbs.

Frustrated? Hell yes and I needed extra motivation. Coincidentally Jess of RunWithJess decided to open a Lose a Marathon challenge on her site (in conjunction with her own weight loss goals).

Now I don’t need to lose 26.2lbs but there is an option of 13.1 which would put me back at pre-wedding weight, plus a few extra pounds less. So on a crazy whim I decided to take part.

Wish me luck ad I try to lose a half-marathon! 🙂

Portugal Day!

18 Jun

Happy belated Father’s Day to all dads, dads-to-be, and mom’s who also are dads.

I set off my day with the 2nd Annual Portugal Day 5 miler held by the New York Road Runners. I began the race to an amazingly slow start – 10:33. I knew I had wanted to start off slow since I have a tendency to start off too fast, and then I burn out. So I was happy I was slow, but I also didn’t want to get stuck at the pace either. Overall, the run felt pretty good (it’s nice to run DOWN Cat Hill, and not UP). I stopped twice for water (and for about 20 seconds, because I didn’t want to lose pace). My splits for the race were:

Mile 1: 10:33

Mile 2: 9:46

Mile 3: 9:44

Mile 4: 9:37

Mile 5: 9:33

Below is a picture of me pre-race and after the race (don’t judge, sometimes, you run for the bagel).

All pumped and ready to run!

Cinnamon raisin bagel, get in my belleh!

Anyway, next race up is the… NEW YORK GIANTS 5K! Thanks to everyone who voted/participated. Getting to run in MetLife Stadium may be a once in a life time opportunity – I had to take it.

I am also super excited to finally take out my new Nike Frees +3 for a run this week. Aren’t they so pretty?

Punch Pink, of course

That’s all from me today. KR out!

NYRR Mini 10K Pictures!

16 Jun

Well, I got an email from NYRR that the pictures from the Mini 10K were up. I was excited to see them… until I saw them.

My initial reaction? Woof!

But, as Seriously Ugly Race Pics (created by the lovely Erica and Stacy) says: “If you look good, you’re not working hard enough!” and “Race hard; not pretty.”

With that said, here are the pics:

Go me, go!

Working hard

Run hard; not pretty

Crossing the finish line (my arms in the air – happy to be done)

Tomorrow’s the Portugal Day 5miler in Central Park… looking forward to race day! Have a great Saturday! And remember: “If you look good, you’re not working hard enough!” and that goes for any workout – not just running!