Last Sunday, I didn’t run any marathons, but I felt hungry to the point as though I did run one. Of course a trip to lab was on the agenda, but as soon as I was done, I was ready to fill my belly with all things delicious.

I truly craved a hearty, Mediterranean meal because I knew it would have all the nutrients I was craving as well as taste amazing. But having to wait for 30 minutes or so on the train with a growling stomach was not going to cut it. I got off at Westwood, just to dive into the mall and get some snacks…

@fitjoynutrition , I think you’re getting better at this protein bar thing 😉

One of which was a new FitJoy protein bar flavor. I had no idea FitJoy released some new flavors recently, but since one of them was a “Cookies & Cream” flavor, I could not let it get away! The bar had three distinct layers, with the top being a chocolate fudge-like flavor with small crispy chocolate pieces. The bottom layer was coated with a chocolate shell, and overall the bar was a good mix between crunchy and chewy (though not too chewy—what I liked about it overall was how firm it ended up being)!

I took a bus back to Santa Monica and stopped right in front of my lunch destination—Mediterranean food at Crimson sounded so mouthwatering at that point.

Crimson, Santa Monica

When I stepped inside, it felt like the A/C was on full blast, but no energy was actually being “wasted” since it was just the cooling blacks and greys on the wall that allowed the restaurant to help keep patrons feeling refreshed.

Eating inside on a hot day…

I saw that it was an order first, then sit down kind of set-up, so I walked over to the front and grabbed a menu. The Falafel Veggie Plate sounded appetizing of course, but there was plenty of room for customization and add-ons.

Got the ‘Falafel Veggie Plate’

My plate ended up holding a gargantuan volume of eats. I was shocked, but happy, with the food that lay before me, and I was eager to tuck in.

The complete plate :: the gorgeous array of grilled vegetables <3

Since it was mostly veggies and healthy fats, I got full pretty quickly.

Tahini -> kale salad and hummus -> falafel in garlic sauce -> ricccceeee

But I’d say I did a decent job getting to all of the good stuff…only some rice and a bit of kale salad, along with half of a tahini cup was left.

So much good stuff on one plate…couldn’t finish it all!

After my hearty meal, I immediately felt my eyes droop. Obviously it was time for a nap. Home was a short ways away, so I wasn’t too far from falling into a cozy Sunday afternoon nap. After my nap, I woke up ready to eat some more! I was feeling ravenous for some reason that day, and I just went along with it. Spoonfuls of this Gooey Bananas Foster D’s Naturals Fluffbutter did the trick.

I was skeptical at first when I saw the Gooey Bananas Foster @dsnaturals Fluffbutter on sale at GNC for 50% off it’s retail price. It made me think “what’s wrong with the flavor?”, but no such answer exists. It definitely had the taste of bananas, but it wasn’t overpowering at all. In fact, it tasted as if the nut butter was made from finely mashed caramel-coated bananas. Bananas are my least favorite fruit, so take me seriously when I say this flavor was GOOD.

I was well-fed that Sunday indeed. Later on in the week, I indulged with other new-to-me treats that included the following…

Two more new FitJoy nutrition bar flavors: Homemade Pumpkin and Raspberry Chocolate Truffle:

Homemade Pumpkin
Homemade Pumpkin

Homemade Pumpkin bar reminded me of a giraffe based on the looks of the top! It had orange splotches and a light swirl on the top, with crispy wafer pieces scattered over the surface.

The Raspberry Chocolate Truffle bar had a slightly sour flavor (which isn’t that surprising), but it had a chewier and denser taste/texture in comparison to the pumpkin and cookie flavors I tried above.

Everything I love, all in one mug.
Everything I love, all in one mug.

There was a thin chocolate shell on the bottom, and its appearance actually reinded me of a Luna coconut bar. I broke the bar in half, and added it to a yogurt blend with pumpkin spice Amazing Grass mix. For good measure, I added a Lenny & Larry’s Snickerdoodle cookie!

Goodie Girl Cookies - Mint Slims
Goodie Girl Cookies – Mint Slims

I also came across these cute, mini Thin Mint-like cookies by Goodie Girl Cookies. I found these at Starbucks one day, and they made the perfect accompaniment with a coconut milk cappucino, on my walk to the train station.

For Ralph’s Freebie Friday promo this past Friday, they were giving out free Larabars! I used the opportunity to snatch up a Key Lime Pie bar flavor, and didn’t regret it.

Key Lime Pie Larabar
Key Lime Pie Larabar

I hadn’t had Lara Bars in quite some time, so having this flavor made me realize I was missing on out on something so naturally delicious. I think I’ll keep coming back to this flavor, especially as the summer months approach.

On days when you feel ravenous, do you eat whatever you crave or try to reign it in?

Crimson Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chocolate Fix

Chocolate Fix

Late last week, I started taking antibiotics for my bacterial sinus infection, and since I have to complete the cycle to the very last pill in order to avoid resistance, I thought it would be fun to try new-to-me foods in the process, since I was instructed to not take a pill on an empty stomach. Gotta listen to the doctor’s orders—right ;)?

On Friday morning, I woke up with some aches, but no fever! I was able to sleep soundly that night since my doctor prescribed me some codeine cough syrup to help with the incessant coughing that had been accompanying my fever every night. To see how much my body was capable of doing, I went to the gym to get some light exercise in (ZUMBA).

After an hour of that, I stopped by Vitamin Shoppe to pick up some Cookies and Cream Quest Bars. Unfortunately they weren’t in stock, but then I figured that this would be the perfect time to try something new, so I finally decided to try the Quest Cravings Protein Peanut Butter Cups that have been out for a while.

Quest Cravings Protein Peanut Butter Cups (1)

There are two cups per pack of standard size, and what’s cute is how the Quest name is imprinted on the bottom!

Quest Cravings Protein Peanut Butter Cups Collage

The cup is also even in length and circumference. I’ve noticed in the “usual” candy PB cups that the diameter is larger at top, with it narrowing at the bottom, but that’s not the case here. The filling is not that creamy, but more similar to a peanut powder. I didn’t mind the texture, but it could be off-putting to some.

PB Fillin'

There was a lot of filling however!

Would I buy these over a regular Quest Bar? Maybe if their price wasn’t $2.99 per pack, and perhaps if they were cheaper than an actual Quest Bar, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for these. They are worth trying at least once though!

Over the weekend, I found some awesome finds at Grocery Outlet and the 99¢ Store—which included 2/$1.00 Chocolate Jocalat Bars (from Larabar) and 2/$1.00 Chobani Raspberry Choco Fix Flips!

I was ecstatic to try the Jocolat bar first since I have been meaning to try them forever, but it always passed my mind when confronted with so many other bars to choose from at the grocery store ;).

Jocalat Larabar Chocolate

It pretty much had the same texture as a regular Larabar, although some chocolate flavor could be detected. It wasn’t anything to write home about though, at least in my opinion :/.

As for the Chobani Raspberry Choco Fix Flip, I was expecting to find yogurt (of course) with chocolate chunks and dried raspberries as the “mix-ins”.

Raspberry Choco Fix Chobani Flip Yogurt

Unfortunately, the yogurt (which was vanilla) was already mixed in with chocolate chip pieces while the “raspberries” in the flip portion of the container were pureed into liquid preserves. I was disappointed that the reality didn’t match up with my initial mental image, but the “real” version wasn’t too bad. Would I scope this guy out over key lime crumble? Probably not…

What has been your go-to chocolate snack lately?

Race Recap: Sunrise Run 10K

Race Recap: Sunrise Run 10K

Last weekend, I was glad to take a break from my Saturday morning LSD runs and get out to a race instead. I ran the Sunrise Run 10k, and the outcome was greater than I ever would have imagined.


I woke up at sunrise, in accordance with the theme (ha, who am I kidding, I always wake up this early!), but didn’t want to have too much to eat before the run. Tea and half a cherry pie Larabar did the trick. Gave the other half to my Dad, and around 6:20am, we left for the race.

Pre-PR Fuel!!

My dad dropped me off at the high school where the post-race tents were to be put up, and we (the 10k/Half marathoners) were told to load two buses parked outside. They were actually driving us to a more rural area for the start! The drive out took about 10 minutes, and I used that time to zone out and try not to think about the goosebumps that were forming on my arms (due to the highly air-conditioned bus)!

We were dropped off near some private houses/farms, where I spotted a white herding(?) dog, horses that were sleeping while standing up, and “bahhhing” sheep. Some runners chose to warm on a hill, but mostly everyone was lining up to use the porta-potties. They actually had to delay the start by fifteen minutes because everyone had to go, haha!

Once we did start, I let my legs do the work. I didn’t want to push to get ahead since I hadn’t warmed up properly, so I treated the first mile or so with a conservative attitude. Around mile 2, I had passed the speedsters who used all of their energy to soon, and was keeping a good 9-9:10 min/mile pace. I also started to feel some minor soreness around the bands of my knees, so I kept that in mind even though I had mentally zoned out.

By mile 3, the soreness became habitual, and what really was on my mind was my strategy to tackle the three huge hills that were ahead. After the first hill, I was greeted by some friendly cheerleaders volunteers who happened to notice that my shoes matched my ponytail (?). I gave an awkward laugh and pushed on.

Around mile 4, I could see the “figurative” light at the end of the tunnel. I had to get through a few turns, but then managed to make it back to familiar “civilized” territory. I passed a water stop at mile 5, and kept on chuggin’. Had to weave my way through some 5k walkers, but it wasn’t too big of a deal.

What I thought was awkward was when there were some volunteers handing out water bottles around mile 6. Um, why stop for water when you have like 0.2 miles to go, and for a water bottle at that? I don’t think many runners want to expend the energy to hold onto a water bottle while they’re racing to the finish line…

Well, I actually had 0.4 miles to go, thanks to this dirt track that loops to the finish line.

The Track

Other than the awkward pause the announcer had between my first and last name, my finish was great! I felt like I could have gone another mile or so actually, but I was glad it was over. I saw my sister’s friend at the race as well (she ran the 5k) and we stopped to take a picture since it was her first race.

I then chugged some water, and made my way to the coconut chocolate chip Clif bars that were calling out to me.


I left with 11 of these, by the way ;).

Went around to some other booths also:

Food Set-Up

Waitin' Around

Bagel quarters, and fruit was served. I was content with my Clifs, however…

The Line    Chillin'

I like how this race had a more organized way to check race standings. They had several computers set up so people could check their times without crowding around a huge A-frame. This was definitely a pro for this race.

Checking race results.

The most awesome thing that happened though? I placed in my age division!

Totally unexpected, but I was glad to walk away with a medal and a New Balance hand/face towel (I would have liked the running socks though…)

After admiring this cutie, we left for the Farmer’s Market, where I wore my medal proudly. My Dad also ended up chatting with two people he knew, and bragged let them know of my “win”. Actually, I think he was more excited when he learned I had placed, haha!

Cute dog :-3

The goodies from this race, specifically the medal, were such awesome surprises.

Race Swag!

Do I even need to say what I had for breakfast this past week ;)?

Have you ever had to bus to the start of the race?

Do you focus or zone out during races?

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