Happy Marathon Monday!

April 21, 2014 · 1 comment

Happy Marathon Monday, everyone! I can’t believe it was just one year ago that our city changed forever. While I’m not in Boston today, I have a guest post from someone who is running this year and may be crossing the finish line as you read this. Like me, she grew up watching the Boston Marathon in Wellesley every year but lived in the town next to mine where the race starts in Hopkinton. Here is her marathon story. 

Hi Everyone!

My name is Lauren and I blog over at Will Run for Boston where I share my love of running, healthy living, and my family. I am really excited to post for Sarah today and hope that you enjoy the story that I have to share!

WRFB Photo 1

My husband Henri and I just made the big move from California, where we’ve lived for the past 2 years, back to my home town in Massachusetts and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. You see, I grew up in a very special place, Hopkinton, where the Boston Marathon starts.

My family first moved to Hopkinton when I was in 4th grade. Before that I don’t think I knew what a marathon was or even gave running a second thought outside of playing soccer, but when you live in the town where the oldest (and best) marathon in the world starts its nearly impossible not to catch the running bug. Each year in the spring the town would hold a “Mini Marathon”, a day filled with races for kids ranging from 200m for the 3 year olds to the mile for the older kids. I ran my first race at the Mini Marathon that first year that we were in town and it was awful! I couldn’t breathe, I needed water BAD, and I didn’t think I was going to make it but my parents and sisters cheered me on and I crossed that finish line.

WRFB Photo 2

I have no idea what my time was or what place I came in but after finishing that race I realized that running was something that I COULD do. And more than that, it was something I WANTED to do.

That same year all of the Kenyans that were running the Boston Marathon came to my school the Thursday before the race. We had a little pep rally for them, cheered for them, and got to listen to them talk about running in Kenya past lions and all sorts of other wild animals. I can still remember being 9 years old and sitting there in awe of these amazing runners. Four days later I got myself all dressed up in my new Kenyan T-shirt for Marathon Monday.

WRFB Photo 3

For the first of many times in the years to come, my family and I went to Wellesley to cheer on the runners at the half-way point of the marathon. As we watched the elite runners sprint by I cheered my little heart out. I was officially a fan of running – I had been hooked.

WRFB Photo 4

Since that day (14 years ago now) I have run cross country and track throughout middle school, high school, and even through 4 years at a NCAA Division I school. But my biggest dream has always been to run the Boston Marathon. When I first heard about the events of last year’s marathon I was in complete shock.

How could someone do that to such a great city? How could someone do that to such a great race?

That week following the 2013 marathon was the most homesick I ever felt while living in California. I felt so helpless and wanted nothing more than to be in Boston, to give my family and friends a hug and tell them that I loved them. I can’t even tell you how many times I cried that week. It was at the end of the week, when the search had been resolved and questions started being answered that I knew without a doubt that 2014 HAD to be the year that I ran my first Boston.

So today, maybe even as you are reading this, I will be making my way from Hopkinton to Boston. The dream that I have had since I was 9 years old will come true. And I will be blessed to be counted as one of the 35,000+ people running the course today – not just to chase personal bests or glory for ourselves but to show the world that last year’s acts of terror will not stop us. We are Boston Strong and we will run.

A BIG thanks to Sarah for letting me share my story with all of you!

Wishing you all a very happy Marathon Monday!

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NYC is only a 3.5 hour train ride from Boston but I can’t believe how different our two cities really are. From the amazing restaurants with healthy options to the wacky fitness and food trends. Today’s guest blog is something you would never find me blogging about… eating bugs! I didn’t believe it myself. I also asked Becky to share her favorite healthy NYC restaurants for those (like me) who are not ready to give Jiminy a taste.

Hey guys! I’m Becky, a marketing/food studies student at NYU with a few thoughts on the future of food and fitness. You can check out my food styling/photography work and see what I’m eating at my website, http://blairfoodproject.com/.

Step aside, powdered whey/soy/pea protein! The newest healthy food trend has arrived, and it might surprise (and maybe terrify) you, but trust me—crickets are the new quinoa. Think about it—all over Asia, Africa and even Australia, bugs are enjoyed as a nutritious and sustainable source of low-carb, low-fat protein. Blame the negative stigma surrounding bugs on American media (I’m looking at you, Fear Factor), because there’s really nothing to be afraid of. Most bugs serve as a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids.

And get this—100 grams of top sirloin beef has about 29 grams of protein and 21 grams of fat, while the same amount of grasshopper contains 20 grams of protein with only six grams of fat. The nutrition aspect is only part of the appeal, because insects are by far the most sustainable living protein source out there. Farming insects emits ten times less greenhouse gas than farming livestock does! Crickets are a great example of the sustainability of eating insects, because they require six times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein. They also produce 80 times less methane than cattle! Here’s a fun fact for you wannabe cavewomen—insects are a paleo protein source in the most literal sense—our Paleolithic ancestors really were munching on crickets and beetles!

Exo cricket bars

Don’t get me wrong—just because I’m down with entomophagy (eating bugs) doesn’t mean I’m about to munch on a mouthful of mealworms or throw a caterpillar in my bag for a snack between classes. As entomophagy becomes more widely accepted, I suspect we’ll see a rise in healthy, protein-packed packaged food producers that use insects. My current favorite of these is Exo, a protein bar company based out of New York City that uses fruit, nuts and cricket flour (dehydrated and ground crickets) to create sustainable, nutritious and seriously good bars (think Larabars with added protein and nutrients). They come in PB&J, Cashew Ginger and Cacao Nut, all developed by a 3 Michelin Star chef. As if the health benefits and the environmental sustainability aren’t appealing enough, the taste and texture will have you chirping with joy (… bad joke?).

If you’re like Sarah (who says she could never eat crickets) and still aren’t sold, I can definitely recommend some amazing and bug-free food spots in NYC.

Foods collage

My favorite go-to affordable breakfast in the West Village is at Oatmeals, a cozy café that serves up—you guessed it—all kinds of oatmeal (see top left picture). Think Pinkberry but for oats (seriously, why didn’t I think of this?!). With a seemingly infinite range of healthy topping options (from fresh fruit to chia seeds, hemp hearts and greek yogurt), you won’t even feel guilty when you indulge in a bowl of salted caramel apple oats every once in a while.

For lunch and dinner, my all-time favorite meal in the city is at Westville (top right), where the list of perfectly prepared market vegetables takes up almost an entire page of the menu.

After dinner, you can find me at Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Company in Union Square, where the froyo-like soft serve is made of just fruit, water and a touch of organic cane sugar (bottom right pic). I also can’t get enough of the gluten-free and vegan baked goods at Babycakes on the Lower East Side, which somehow taste even better than the gluten-filled alternative (bottom left).

Hope you fit foodies are inspired to try a crazy new product, or at least discovered some new NYC eateries to check out. Best of luck!

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