5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Hello and happy Friday! I’m so glad you guys found my post from yesterday all about trans-fat (what it is, how and why to avoid it) helpful! I loved all your ideas for other nutrition hot topics related posts – I’ll aim to start sharing a nutrition tips post about once per month from now on. Stay tuned!

In other news – I thought it would be fun to share a “Things I’m Loving Lately” post, since it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these.

#1 – First up: Oatmeal!


I still love my flour-free and protein packed breakfast pancake, but now that the weather has gotten cooler, I’ve found myself craving hot bowls of oats in the morning again. I’ve been alternating between my Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (click for recipe – pictured above) and my standard favorite Perfect {Microwave} Banana Oatmeal (click for recipe).

My favorite combo as of late (which I just had again this morning) has been the 1/3 C variation of my banana oatmeal recipe, and when it’s out of the microwave I stir in fresh blueberries, chia seeds, and about 1/4 C cottage cheese. I know it sounds gross, but the salty + sweet combo with the cottage cheese and banana is SO GOOD together. Try it! And don’t forget the cinnamon. :)



Looks gross, tastes awesome, I promise.

#2: Reading!

I’ve been working my way through a number of nutrition-related books lately as research for AnneTheRD client work, but in between, I’ve been enjoying some fun fiction, too. My favorite as of late was “Gone Girl” – have you guys read it? It is SO. GOOD. Seriously the best book I’ve read in ages. I read it a few months ago and tore my way through it in days because I just couldn’t put it down.


Another book I read a few weeks ago and really liked was The Age of Miracles.” Sad, but really good – a very unique premise and beautifully written, too. On the helpful/non-fiction side of things, Matt and I recently listened to the audiobook version of Contagious: Why Things Catch Onin the car on some of our recent trips and found it fascinating. Check it out!

Also in the helpful/non-fiction category, I wanted to share that my blog friend Matt came out with a new book recently, No Meat Athlete, which I think you guys will love!

no meat athlete book

Matt was kind enough to send me a PDF version of the book so I could check it out, and I have to say, it’s really great. I’ve always loved Matt’s blog for great, practical running advice and yummy vegan recipes, and his book is no different.

From him:

With a foreword by Thrive author and former pro triathlete Brendan Brazier, co-written with Matt Ruscigno, M.P.H, R.D., and published by Fair Winds Press, No Meat Athlete is a distillation of the most effective tools I’ve discovered in my own journey towards a lifestyle that’s the healthiest and most fulfilling I’ve ever experienced, including:

  • Plant-based nutrition principles for maximum health, energy, and performance
  • Habit-change techniques, to make sure your changes last
  • Over 50 high-energy recipes and “formulas,” including smoothies, energy bars, sports drink and gel recipes
  • Goal-setting steps for creating your own “magnificent obsession”
  • Simple running fundamentals to keep you injury-free and having fun
  • Training plans for 5K, 10K, and half marathon races

No Meat Athlete includes everything you need to maximize your own energy and fitness, all presented in the manner I’ve become known for — down-to-earth, flexible, fun and realistic. You know, so that you’ll actually use it.

I’ve always found Matt to be a big source of running inspiration (he just recently ran his first 100 mile ultra marathon – check out the recap, it’s amazing), and the book shares how Matt went from being a casual runner, to qualifying for Boston, to training for his ultra. It’s full of tips on how to fall in love with running, how to build up distance gradually and safely while avoiding common roadblocks, and how to fuel yourself appropriately with plant-based real food. There’s also a great section on raw food written by my friend Gena! Obviously you guys know I’m not vegan, but I love Matt’s open and inclusive approach to healthy eating, focusing not on preaching any specific type of diet but more so on sharing a realistic love for whole, real food, no matter what that looks like for you. I’d highly recommend you guys check out his book!

What books have you loved lately? I’m always looking for new ideas, and I have a Barnes and Noble gift card from my birthday to use up! :)

#3 – Soli Beat, the dance workout DVD my friend Gina and her fellow dance instructor Sasha recently released together!


Gina sent me a copy of the DVD so I could check it out myself, and I loved it! The DVD videos include a warm up, a cool down, and 8 high energy and fun dance workouts each under 10 minutes. What I especially loved is that the DVD also has a separate “learn how” section with short videos breaking down the moves in each of the dance workouts slowly and with instructions. I’m not the most coordinated with things like this, so I loved that feature – I was able to watch those first, learn the moves, and then do the actual dance workouts when I was comfortable and ready. Perfect! I’m so proud of my friend Gina for producing this – you can learn more about it and purchase a copy of the DVD on their website, Sage Dance Fitness. I hope you love it as much as I did!

#4 – Wine! I’m loving Chianti Classico lately.


On Wednesday, I was invited to a fun press lunch at Bibiana Osteria Enoteca, one of my favorite Italian restaurants in DC. Hosted by Mr. Tommaso Marrocchesi Marzi, the wine producer of Tenuta di Bibbiano, the event featured Bibbiano’s wonderful wines, a selection of the best Chianti Classico’s to come out of Tuscany, which were paired with specialties from the region.

The food was absolutely fabulous – we started with a simple arugula salad, followed by a pasta course (a delicious smoked potato gnocchi with seasonal veggies and shaved parmesan), a main course (I had the grilled sirloin with polenta, slow roasted carrots, and balsamic – this was AMAZING), and a dessert (chocolate ganache with a crispy chocolate crust). I ate about half of each of the plates and left feeling satisfied, not stuffed. It was all so good!

bibiana lunch

As for the wine, it was incredible, and I loved hearing more about how the wine was made before we tried each of them. My absolute favorite was the first wine, which was paired with our salad – the Bibbiano Chianti Classico DOCG, which was beautifully smooth but rich with nice hints of cherry. All the wines were great, though – the others we had were the Chianti Classico DOCG Mintornello and the Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva Vigna del Capannino. With dessert, we had a sweet Vin Santo San Lorenzo.


Fun fact: did you know there’s a difference between regular Chianti and Chianti Classico? I love Chianti but never knew there was any specific difference between those two varieties until Wednesday! Apparently, wines labeled Chianti Classico can ONLY be produced in the Chianti region, which is an area of about 100 square miles, with the grape harvest being restricted to no more than 3 tons per acre. Generic Chianti is a cheaper version with less stringent requirements about production, too – only 75% of the grapes in regular Chianti have to be Sangiovese, as compared to 80% and up in Chianti Classico. Chianti Classicos also must have an alcohol content of at least 12%, and the wine must spend at least 12 months aging in oak barrels. Interesting! I love a slight oaky taste so I’ll have to make sure to go for Chianti Classicos vs. regular Chianti from now on. Well worth it for the higher quality, it sounds like!


Thank you again to the team at Bibiana for hosting us! And random sidenote – I need to roast carrots more often. The ones pictured above with the balsamic and the steak were SO good. They were so sweet and caramelized!

#5 – To round out this totally random post, I’m really loving Pinterest workout motivation lately.

I love Pinterest for pretty photos of food and recipes, but my absolute favorite thing about Pinterest, by far, is all the amazing fitness (and life) motivational quotes. I have three motivational boards on my Pinterest page – my general Life Inspiration board, which I love to look at anytime I need a reminder to believe in myself and step outside the comfort zone.

TRY!Image source

Next, I have my “Run Happy” board, which features all sorts of inspirational running quotes for those days I need that extra kick in the pants to get out the door (or to remember how lucky I am to be able to run).

Run with your heart.
Image source

And lastly, I have my general “Fitness Workouts & Inspiration” board, which features some fun pinn-able workouts from my blog and others, and some general inspirational fitness-related quotes. 

If you have a minute today, check those boards out – I hope they inspire you, too. :)

And now, time to get back down to work! I’ve got all sorts of things to cross off my to do list before the weekend begins, especially since I’m going out of town this weekend! On Sunday morning, I’m flying out to Houston, TX for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s annual conference for dietitians – the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, abbreviated FNCE. I’ve never been before so it should be fun to experience it and to meet/see so many of my fellow RDs! I’ll be there until Monday night, when I fly straight to NYC for a blogger trip with Brooks and my fellow Run Happy Ambassadors. Wednesday morning, I’ll hop on the train back to DC. Busy but fun week ahead!

First things first, though – the Tough Mudder is tomorrow morning! I’m both terrified and excited. Have any of you done the Tough Mudder before? And if so, any thoughts on what to wear/what to expect/things to keep in mind/general tips for me and my friends?! We’d very much appreciate it! It looks INTENSE… yikes.


  1. 1

    That food looks amazing! I love Italian food, and that looks really legit.

    I’ve never done a mud run before, but they seem really fun. Hope you have a blast!

  2. 2

    “No Meat Athlete” is my next book! Can’t wait

  3. 3

    I’ve run TOUGH twice –

    I know it’s a little late but these will save your hands:

    I have found these for sale at home depot/lowes other hardware stores. I recommend calling the store ahead of time to see if they have them in stock.

    The electricity, IMO, was the largest mental hurdle – I don’t really think it hurts though. It’s like a little “Hello” from the course.

    Stay safe, don’t be a hero! Get help over obstacles, you don’t want to injure yourself.

    Also, at Funky Monkey, the water is not very deep. If you fall off, don’t think there is 6 ft of water. A lot of people break ankles thinking the water is deeper than it is.

    Have fun!

  4. 5

    Love your Pinterest boards! :) Definately following now. I saw this one today and it made me laugh! So true for me…

  5. 7

    Oh my goodness, Bibiana Osteria Enoteca looks divine!!! I’ve never been! On my to-do list! I just posted a recipe for roasted carrots today, I am loving them lately as well!! I’ll have to try your microwave banana oatmeal. I make Kath’s whipped oatmeal a lot, but I need a faster version for weekdays. Good luck on your tough mudder!!!

  6. 9

    If you loved Gone Girl, you need to check out Gillian Flynn’s other books. I love Pinterest for all of the motivational quotes too….. seriously, what an awesome site! Good luck on the Tough Mudder…. I’m sure you’ll do fabulously!

  7. 11

    While I was furloughed, I made your flour-free protein pancake often. So quick and easy and filling! Sometimes I would throw in chocolate chips or dark chocolate peanut butter to mix it up a little. Now that I’m back to work I don’t have the time to make anything in the morning.

  8. 12

    Love this list! Wine is always on my favorite things list :)

  9. 13

    Anne, are you ever in Rockville? You’ve got to hit up Penzeys — their Vietnamese cinnamon is the best cinnamon ever. I buy all my spices there.

    (I just looked it up — apparently, there’s also one in Falls Church.)

    Some books I liked recently:

    Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent
    The Cuckoo’s Calling, by J.K. Rowling under the name Robert Galbraith
    Wave, by Sonali Deraniyagala (nonfic)

    And for something lighter, anything by Sarah Pekkanen or Curtis Sittenfeld. Sarah Pekkanen’s even local!

  10. 15

    Good luck with the Tough Mudder!

    Right now I’m reading the last book in the Wideacre trilogy by Philippa Gregory. If you like historical fiction you’d like it.

  11. 17

    Hi Anne! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and just want to say thanks for your resourceful posts :)

    I did the Tri State Tough Mudder 2 weeks ago. It was really muddy, and I was definitely sore for days afterward, but alot of fun. My biggest piece of advice would be to wear long sleeves/pants (I wore underarmor). This keeps your arms and legs from getting scratched up during army crawls and mud walls (you’ll be bruised by not all cut up). My other piece of advice is “teamwork makes the dream work” lol There are definitely some obstacles (ie the 12 ft wall) that I could not have done without my team. Enjoy!

    • 18

      Thank you for reading and for the advice! :) Did you wear gloves for the Mudder? I’m debating if I should get some…

      • 19

        I meant to buy gloves but didn’t get a chance before the race. A few of the guys on my team wore them and said they helped. Probably not a bad investment if you plan to do more races like this.

  12. 20

    My friends and I are doing the mid-atlantic tomorrow too. We’re in the same boat, not quite sure what to expect, so excited and terrified at the same time. We’ve had some drop outs from injuries and I myself am dealing with a continually pesky knee (old lacrosse injury) so we shall see how this goes! Good luck I’m sure you’ll do great, from reading your blog, you’re much better prepared for this than I am! :)

  13. 22

    It’s definitely oatmeal weather in these parts…decidedly chilly, wet and windy mornings in Ireland this week! I’m loving peanut flour protein pancakes too though…rediscovered peanut butter flour and it’s back with a bang! Would love Matt’s book! As a vegan myself I find his light heart-ted and humorous approach so refreshing!

  14. 23

    welcome to houston! the weather will be awesome this weekend!

  15. 24

    I did the Tough Mudder earlier this year. Wear workout pants/carpis long enough to cover your knees because they will get scraped up in the mud and rocks if they aren’t covered. I wore pads to cover my elbows as well (actually took an old pair of knee socks and cut the foot off, and just used it as an arm sleeve). And remember: it is a team event, so have fun and don’t worry about your time!! Good luck!

  16. 25

    Good luck!!! and a belated happy anniversary honeymoon pal!!!

    Mark has done the tough mudder twice and I would say do not wear shoes or clothes that you love. I think we got the stains out of his clothes, but the shoes were definitely ruined (but you may know that already from other mud runs). Just have fun! I’ve heard everyone is nice and helpful- it’s very teamworky.

    And I loved gone girl too! after I read it, I read her other books as well. now I’m reading the silent wife, which is similar.

  17. 27
    Roadrunner says:

    Great stuff, Anne, positively inspirational. Good luck in the Tough Mudder!

  18. 28

    I loved your banana oatmeal so I will have to try the variation with chia seeds and cottage cheese it sounds really yummy! I also loved Gone Girl and ended up reading Gillian Flynns other books too. I loved Gone Girl most but the others were still good. I’m currently reading the ‘Matched’ series by Ally Condie, which if you read Hunger Games us similar. If you haven’t read Hunger Games that would be another recommendation :)

  19. 29

    Gone Girl is on my reading list – just about everyone I know has said it is a must-read! I just finished reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It was published several years ago, but I have never had time to read it before (it’s almost 1000 pages). It is medieval historical fiction, which I never thought I would enjoy reading, but it is truly amazing – I highly recommend it for your next vacation. Good luck at the race tomorrow!

  20. 31

    I’m looking forward to meeting you Sunday at dinner!! Good luck with the Tough Mudder! I’ve only done the Warrior Dash which was MUCH less intense!

  21. 33

    Big thumbs up for Tuscan food and Chianti classico!! :)

  22. 34

    I’ve never been to a wine and food pairing. I need to find one in my area – looks like so much fun! I love pinterest for inspiration of all types, but I find it kind of depressing for fitness inspiration (lots of pictures of people in insane shape coupled with a workout like “Do 25 crunches, 25 lunges, 25 jumping jacks each morning for washboard abs!” haha)

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