January 2013 Running Playlist

playlistgraphicNEW

 

Tomorrow is the last day of January. Can you believe that?! We’ve already got one whole month of 2013 under our belts. How do you feel about that?

I ran 53.75 miles this month. Most weeks I ran 10-11 miles, but one week I cranked it up and ran almost 20! There are tons of runners out here who run a lot more than this every week, but for me, 50-55 miles per month is perfect. My goal is to stay consistent with this kind of distance throughout the year, only really increasing my mileage during half-marathon trainings.

So, I usually post my monthly playlist on the last day of every month, but you guys are all so awesome that I decided to post it a day early.

For those of you new to Hungry Runner, I post a playlist of the top songs from my running playlist at the end of each month. They are usually a very random compilation of songs from a bunch of different genres. I’m a big sucker for the most bubblegum pop songs when it comes to working out and running, but I also love hip-hop, pop-rock, alt-rock, electronic/house, classic-rock… Basically a little bit of everything.

These were my favorite songs to run to this month:

  1. Boys Like Girls- Great Escape
  2. Icona Pop- I Love It
  3. Avicci- I Could Be the One
  4. Taylor Swift- I Knew You Were Trouble
  5. One Direction- Kiss You
  6. Mickey Avalon- Jane Fonda
  7. Pitbull ft. Christina Aguilera- Feel This Moment
  8. Karmin- Borkenhearted
  9. Flo Rida- Wild Ones
  10. Good Charlotte- Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
  11. Boys Like Girls- Heels Over Head
  12. The Darkness- I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Listen and Subscribe on Spotify

P.S. The only thing I love more than running to good music, is motivating others to run, s0 this tweet from Kelly basically made my week!

What are your favorite songs to run or workout to right now? Inspire me, because I’m always on the hunt for new tunes! Continue reading

Hungry Running Recap: Reasons for Running

Until yesterday, I had never seen Central Park in the snow. Which is sad, considering I’ve lived in New York for almost my whole entire life.

I know, what is wrong with me, right?!

I’m so grateful that I get to run there as often as I do. There’s something new to see every single time, and I’ve probably mentioned this in the past, but the sense of camaraderie among the runners there is energy enough to fuel any run.

This is especially true when the winter weather gets extra chilly and the temperatures start to drop below freezing. Anne at Rocky Road Running summed this up really well in her blog post, ‘6 Tips for Cold Weather Running‘ when she said,

“Truth be told, I’d prefer to run during a snowstorm than on a 50* F, windy, drizzly night. Snowstorms are kind of fun and there’s an interesting sense of camaraderie with the other wackos out there on the running path. I guarantee a 100% return rate on the awkward runner wave when you’re out there cranking out the miles during a snowstorm.”

Wackos unite!

And another reason why I love running (or even just being outside) during a snowstorm, the quiet. It somehow always becomes so serenely silent, no matter where you are, during a snowstorm. How does the snow do that? It’s beautiful.

I ran about a 6 miles yesterday.

I didn’t plan any kind of workout or think about my mileage before I left. I had just finished putting together a video blog, which had me in front of the computer for a good part of the morning and afternoon. All I wanted was to get outside, breathe some fresh air, feel the sunshine, and run.

And even though my phone died four-and-half miles in, leaving me music-less and without a camera (I may love stopping to take amateur iPhone pictures a little bit too much), this was still such an energizing and enjoyable workout. It reminded me why I run. And that’s simply because I love it. No other explanation needed.

One of my favorite bloggers, Ella, summed this up so eloquently a few days ago on Tumblr. She wrote:

When other people run, that’s their time to sort their day out, or to think through their problems, or to just be alone with their thoughts. I can’t do that. When I run, I lose track of the time, of who I see on the running path, of everything outside the realm of my feet and my breath and the music in my ear. I run outside because I don’t have to think about the treadmill, or its buttons, or the woman running next to me for thirty minutes, or the grunting from the guy lifting weights twenty feet away. I don’t run to train, I don’t run to win medals, I don’t run to lose weight. Not anymore. I’ve learned that I can get so much more out of running than just a jeans size.

I run to escape my own mind.

And so I will keep running, even when it’s cold out.

Because that’s where I’m happiest, in Central Park or on the highway, not thinking about anything at all, and only worried about my feet and my stride and my iPod and my legs and my gloves and one step in front of the other in front of the other in front of the other, and I refuse to let something like temperature take that away from me.

Because those thirty minutes, those four miles, that hour — they help me stay in my own head when I need to. When I need to stand my ground, when I can’t run away, and when I have to face my problems. Everyone has their own reasons to run, and everyone runs differently. Everyone is different. And to run for somebody else’s reason is to sell yourself short.

When I first started running, it was to lose weight. I would have never imagined that I’d end up loving it as much as I do now. I like to run races, I love that running helps me stay fit. But like Ella said, it’s not about the jean size, or the medals, or the PRs. It should be about having fun, letting go, enjoying yourself, enjoying the outdoors, doing what makes you happy.

So, while I plan to do some training and run several races this year so I can enter to run the 2014 New York City Marathon, I’ll keep this as a constant reminder that there’s nothing better than just going out for a run simply because I want to. Because it makes me happy.

And because Central Park is just so darn pretty.

What are your ‘reasons for running’? If you’re not a runner, what’s the one type of exercise that will always keep you coming back for more? Continue reading

Is it really healthy? Bread

Bread. Oh beloved bread. So fluffy and wheat-y. There’s almost nothing its grainy, hearty taste can’t be paired perfectly with. Without bread, there would be no such thing as sandwiches. There would be no slices of buttered toast to be savored with a breakfast omelet at brunch, no dough topped with oil, cheese, and sauce to be called pizza.

Yet no matter how it is so dearly adored, bread is still constantly demonized by so many. Some who dismiss it’s carb-y goodness, argue against eating grains. (Which, there is a small amount of evidence that shows they might possibly be harmful to the health of humans.) Others, mainly those promoting weight-loss diets, are just afraid of carbohydrates, which is silly because they are a main source of fuel for our bodies. Yes, eating too many– especially refined- carbs can cause weight gain, but eating, portion-controlled, complex carbs in congruence with a balance of protein and healthy fats is perfectly fine for most.

The reason I’m choosing to write about the controversial conundrum of bread, is because of a recent comment I received in response to my Top 3 Tips for Healthier Food Shopping video on Youtube.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuFGYiIzfhs%5D

In the video I talk a little bit about a loaf of bread that I purchased at my local grocery store. I point out several things that I typically consider (such as the type of flour used and added ingredients) when selecting store-bought breads. I posted this video over the summer, but two or three days ago, a Youtube user left a comment which said the following:

Bread in itself is NOT healthy! When you eat bread, simply slap it on your waste and unless you are constantly working out… especially women… you will GAIN weight from bread. Besides almost all bread is contaminated now days with the killer chemicals!

I’ll start by saying that I don’t completely disagree with everything that was said here. The sad truth is, most packaged bread products contain unhealthy additives and preservatives that no one should consume on a regular basis. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know that I talk a lot about “clean eating.” Angela Hattaway at Fit Day has very concisely defined what eating clean should consist of:

When someone makes the choice to eat “clean” they are choosing to eliminate all processed foods and extra additives from their diet.  Basically, you are choosing to eat whole, unrefined foods.

The basics of eating clean include – eating lots of fruits and vegetables.  These are straight from nature – the idea is to stay away from anything that may have been altered in any way.

Include meats, however; “whole” meats that you have chosen straight from the butcher or prepared yourself.  You would be very surprised to find out what is actually in ground turkey.

Enjoy whole grains – these are grains that are still complete and haven’t been broken down in any form.  Examples include: brown rice, whole wheat and other whole grains.  You will have to get used to reading over food labels.  Just because a product says its “whole grain” does not mean it is.  It also does not mean they have not added a bunch of other ingredients as well.

Eat fewer ingredients – try not to purchase items with more than 4-6 ingredients in the ingredient list.  Also, be sure you recognize every ingredient.  If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t put it in your body.

Eating “cleanly” is the number one way to improve your diet, no matter what you goals are. However, it’s extremely hard to find bread products that meet clean eating standards, which is why I rarely purchase store-bought bread anymore. If I do want bread, I’d rather make my own.

{Homemade Oatmeal Bread Recipe}

Whole wheat and whole grain products are considered healthier than refined “white” grains because whole grains are not processed (the protein- and fiber-rich bran and germ are not separated from the kernel), and therefore contain more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. But the problem is that many brands falsely tout the whole grain/whole wheat stamp on their labels because the FDA does not enforce a legal definition of how much whole grain or whole wheat a product needs to contain in order to use the words on its packaging. Basically, many products can feature the words on their labels without repercussion, even if the food item barely contains any whole wheat or whole grain ingredients.

All of that being said, what I want to use this post to emphasize most, is that everyone is different. The thing about that Youtube comment that really struck me was the part that says “When you eat bread, simply slap it on your waste…” This is such a generalized, blanket statement, but unfortunately, it has the power to scare some people, “especially women,” into never touching any piece of bread ever again. (Which is just nonsense if you ask me.)

Suggested reading: Obesity. Bloating. Bowel Problems. Headaches. It’s blamed for everything these days- so should you stop eating bread?

We all have different needs, different body types, different metabolic rates, and most importantly, different goals. Our body types and genetics play a huge role in the way that our bodies absorb and distribute the calories and nutrients from the foods that we consume. Because of this, the way that your diet is constructed should be based upon two important factors:

1.) What works best for you.

2.) Your goals.

For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks (that’s one pound per week), you might try reducing your caloric intake by about 500 calories per day. However what types of calories you decide to cut out should be based on your body and how it reacts to certain foods. What works for one person, i.e. avoiding bread products, removing grains from your diet, may not have the same effect for another. (Of course exercise is also needed for weight loss, but for all intents and purposes here, I’m simply referring to diet.)

And remember, not every single person ever is trying to lose weight.

However, for those who are, they all too often jump right into following the regimented plans of the low-carb or grain-free diet because they promise quick weight loss. However, for most people who would like to lose weight by implementing healthier eating habits, immediately restricting all bread and grains from their diet is an unrealistic approach.

That’s not to say that the guidelines for following the Paleo or any other diet should be completely dismissed. (Outlaw Fitness HQ has a great article comparing the pros and cons of The Paleo Diet that I highly recommend reading.) It means that you should conduct your own research because you need to find out what is going to work for you. Read everything you can. Make an informed decision for yourself and then try it out. The best way to learn is through trial and error. Change needs to be implemented slowly. One new step at a time.

As for carbohydrates, our bodies need them. They are an important source of fuel. Of course, contrarty to what some might believe, bread, grains, and pasta are not the sole source of carbohydrates in this world. If you want to try eliminating bread and grains from your diet, the following foods are good sources of complex carbs:

  • Beans and a legumes
  • Milk (Next in this series: Is it really healthy? Dairy)
  • Fruits
  • Root Vegetables (sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, carrots, raddish)

Personally, my body feels and performs best when I limit my bread and grain intake to just one or two servings per day. (Usually 1/2 cup of oatmeal with breakfast in the morning one serving of  either rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta in the afternoon or evening. I strive for one completely grain-free, mostly vegetable-based meal per day.) I don’t purchase loaves of bread, wraps, or pita pockets quite as often as I used to because (through much trial and error) I’ve come to find that I feel much better when I eat a truly clean diet, which does not include consistently consuming store-purchased bread products.

However, that’s not to say that I absolutely never eat any of it. When I want one, I enjoy a slice of pizza. (Or make my own homemade pie.) If I feel like having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I eat one. I don’t believe in ever completely restricting yourself from any one type of food.

Life is too short to never eat a garlic knot. (Unless you really don’t like garlic knots.) And what’s the point in going to brunch if you can’t enjoy some pancakes or French toast every once in a while? If you do the work to discover the rules that work for you and your lifestyle and consistently follow them 80-90% of the time, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy whatever treats you want when your heart so desires. And there’s certainly no reason why you can’t eat bread if you want to. Continue reading

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Me & A Liebster Award

I’ve been nominated for an award.

A Liebster Award!

In case you’re in the same boat I was, and have no idea what that means, here’s a brief little breakdown, copied from the lovely lady– who also happens to be named Katie- that nominated me!

The Liebster Award:

1. This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

2. The award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.

3. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.

4. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.

5. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.

6. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.

7. No tag backs (aka, don’t nominate the person who nominated you).

Simple enough, right? Right! So without further ado…

11 Random Facts About Me

1. In 2011, I lived in Virginia right outside of Washington D.C. While our nation’s capitol is quite an admirable city, I missed New York so much that I ended up moving back after just 6 months. What can I say? I’m a New York city girl at heart. Always have been, always will be.

2. I’m a distance athlete. No if, ands, or butts about it. As a swimmer, my race was the 500 yard freestyle. Now, as a runner, I’d choose to race 13 miles over sprinting 4 any day.

I spy a Hungry Runner in the pool. Can you guess which swimmer I am in the photo below?

3. I’m starting to become a little obsessed with food photography. My current blog crushes including Sally’s Baking Addiction, Chocolate Covered Katie, and The Novice Chef. I aspire to have food photos as lovely and scrumptious looking as theirs one day.

4. In college, I was the editor of the Entertainment and Lifestyle section of the campus newspaper for two years. Pizza was always present at our Thursday night editorial meetings and therefore, so was I.

5. I just found out that my Dad has no idea who Beyonce and Jay-Z are.

6. If you ask me, I’ll tell you, “I hardly ever watch TV.” Except for when I binge on entire seasons of Parks and Recreation, Gossip Girl, The Office, and Mad Men. But no, seriously, I like never watch TV.

7. I have a Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey Hepburn poster hanging above my bed. She is queen. Running to Tiffany’s and eating breakfast outside of the store was one of the first things I did upon moving into Manhattan.

8. I have zero sense of direction and absolutely no navigational skills. I am notorious for getting lost.

9. Since starting this blog about a year ago, I have become a fiend for oatmeal and I eat for breakfast nearly every morning. Before that, I used to eat cereal like some kind of newb.

10. Working with a personal trainer for over a year and having him help me go above and beyond reaching my fitness goals is what inspired me to get my certification and start helping others do the same.

11. Tumblr is my favorite social media network and I will shamelessly use this final fact to promote the Hungry Runner tumblr page because you should most definitely be following it.

Questions from Katie:

1. What motivated you to start a blog in the first place?

Writing is my heart’s true passion. I’ve had several blogs before this one. One about music, one about bookstores, even one that was just a potpourri of random collections of my thoughts and favorite things. So when I started to develop a really deep passion for health and fitness, it was only natural that I start a blog about it.

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Ireland, please.

3. What would your dream job look like?

Blogging, full-time. Updating Hungry Runner for all of you everyday.

4. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Flight.

5. Name something you’re really looking forward to in the near future.

The Central Park Gridiron Classic race on February 3!

6. If you could be part of any sitcom, which would you choose?

The Office. And I would be a much cooler, more interesting, more fun version of Pam.

7. What is a goal you have for 2013?

To qualify for the 2014 NYC Marathon by running 9 New York Road Runner races and volunteering for 1!

8. What is your favorite way to workout?

Hands down, running. Right now, specifically, running in Central Park.

9. If you had to eat the same food everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza. No questions asked.

10. If you could go back to live in any decade, which would you choose?

Uhhhh, this is really hard to choose, but you know what? The women in the 60’s got to wear really cool clothes. And they had Don Draper too. Both of those are good enough reasons for me.

11. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

“Never half-ass anything.” – My Dad.

Ron Swanson also once said something similar.

Bloggers I am nominating:

Pavement Runner

Maggie at Running with Balance

Candice at Embrace G-Free

Linds at Living Like Linds

Kailey at The Caffeinated Runner

Courtney at Real Foodology

Deborah at The Food Yogi

Izzy at Veganizzm

Alexis at Lit Chick Getting Fit

Anne at Healthy is Classy

Kate at Kate Runs

Now it’s your turn! Comment below and tell me 1 random fact about you!

Nominees: Email me at Katie@hungry-runner.com for your 11 questions🙂 Continue reading