I visited Philly a few times during college and remember being unimpressed. Now that I’m a local, I find the same city amazing.  Something I never caught as a visitor, but love as a resident is the Schuykill Path which extends along the river for miles and miles. One minute you’re in the heart of the city competing for roadway with cars and the next your on an endless path with other bikers, runners, strollers, rollerblades…moving , active people basically. My bf and I love riding along the path to the next town over, Manayunk, and getting lunch on the river.

Roundtrip is almost 20 miles and takes about 2 hours. Its great exercise, beautiful scenery, and the break for lunch makes it perfect half day activity. Today’s 90 degree weather made the ride a bit more challenging, especially when my shorts seemed to glue themselves to my skin.

Our favorite place for lunch is the Manayunk Brewery. Does anything really beat eating on the water?

We had been here before in the spring and I was bummed by their salad selection (I think the options were garden or Caesar)  but now that its’ summer the salad options had expanded. This was my choice:
Riverside Salad
Jumbo lump crabmeat with marinated roasted shrimp, served over fresh field greens drizzled with sweet roasted red pepper vinaigrette and garnished with shitake mushrooms, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Review: Generous portion of field greens (I hate when restaurants are skimpy on the greens), the shitake mushrooms were cooked perfectly, big chunks of crabmeat, and the dressing was one of the best I’ve ever had out, as in I asked for it on the side and proceeded to use all of it.

My beer choice was the Blueberry, which was thirst-quenching and gave me an instant buzz 🙂

I love activities that get your heart going and lead to something yummy. Does anyone have any fun ideas for Philly?

Its been exactly a month since my last post.

After my appendix surgery, I wasn’t able to work out for several weeks, my appetite was screwy at best, and I was taking painkillers. For someone that defines themselves by terms such as “workout junky”, “health food nut”, and “I-will-only-take-advil-if-dying”, this was a hellish several weeks. I lost my identity. I felt false, like things I said weren’t true anymore. It made writing about leading a healthy lifestyle too frustrating. By the time the stream of holidays came around, I was eating cookies and toasting champagne with the rest of the world and feeling, big surprise, even more unhealthy.

But, its a new year. And, I, like everyone else, I get to regroup and make and meet goals.

I stumbled back to the gym last week, surrounded by the eager New Years Resolutioners, and feeling like a stranger myself. The treadmill looked so daunting, have I ever been able to run? By the third workout, I started to remember “the workout high” and by the fifth workout, I got on the treadmill. It was a pathetic showing at best, as my endurance is non-existent, but its ok.

Its a fresh start.

Happy belated New Year everyone.

If you have ever flown out of Newark Airport or entered NYC through the Holland or Lincoln Tunnel, you have probably thought New Jersey was gross. I used to think so too. Then, I started working with a client in western NJ and realized that first impressions can be WRONG. Using, I searched for hiking in the 10 mile radius of my client site zip code and that was the beginning of my love affair with Round Valley Park in Hunterdon County:

  • Favorite Trail: Cushetunk
  • Difficulty: Moderate, almost no flat terrain, but hills are small, well-maintained trail that allows for running
  • Views: Pretty great views of the lake but parts of the trail peak through to a road and you can hear cars
  • Other Perk: Great kayaking and a secret pond 2 miles in (access on the left hand side through small unmarked path). This would be be an incredibly romantic place to have a picnic.

From work, it takes me 5 minute to get there! 5minutes! I try to hike least 2 times a week. With such a beautiful surrounding, its hard to call what you are doing exercise. Take a look:

round valley

Every time I hike, there is something new…a smell, sound, an animal, the bugs depending on the weather…I sound like a sappy Thoreau devotee – but its true – nature is amazing.

If you have trouble getting yourself motivated to go to the gym, there is an alternative. Stay healthy by finding a variety of fun physical activities…hiking, swimming, shrunning, tennis, kayaking, walking instead of driving, etc.

Shopping + Running = Shrunning

One of my favorite workouts is to pick an errand in the city and run there. Errands include:

  • buying Broadway tickets
  • anything from Best Buy or Bed, Bath, & Beyond (furthest location possible)
  • checking out new stores – spices, natural markets, etc.
  • Union Square green market or Whole Foods

I use a great feature by Google called gmap pedometer to map my run. For example, I needed to pick up some heavy duty hiking socks. While I could have gone to the Patagonia near my apartment, I instead ran to the Eastern Mountain Sports in to ems

The distance is about 4.75 miles and with the pedestrian traffic (especially from Times Square to Penn Station) the run takes about an hour.

I burned about 450 calories, got my socks, and took the train home!

During the summer months this is a great way to check out the new neighborhoods, stores, restaurants, and get errands done in a fun way. Sometimes the errands are absolutely ridiculous, but I find it helps me to have a destination in mind.