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homemade veggie burgers

I had an awesome 12 mile run this morning along my favorite running route in Boston -The Charles River!

Before my run, I had a bowl of plain greek yogurt with sliced banana, a BlueBran Vitatop and a scoop of peanut butter.  This was the perfect pre-run fuel with fat, carbs and sugar!  It stayed with me my entire run, but not in a bad way.  I felt great!

I didn’t like BlueBran Vitatop as much as I liked the Banana Nut, which I reviewed here.  It smelled like a Blueberry muffin as it was toasting, but was a little dry for my taste.  It was good mixed with my yogurt though!

After some time to digest, I was out on my run.  I haven’t run along the Charles since before the marathon(!), so I thought I’d share some pictures of my favorite Boston running route!

Cambridge side of the river!

Citgo Sign!

Mass Ave Bridge

Boston side of the river.

It was a gorgeous day in Boston for a run.  A little windy, but overall it was great.  I had a great run, check out my splits:

1 – 8:42
2 – 9:06
3 – 9:05
4 – 8:05
5 – 9:01
6 – 9:00
7 – 8:39
8 – 8:38
9 – 8:23
10 – 8:07
11 – 8:37
12 – 8:47

Average Pace = 8:40!!!

Once home from my run, I was craving fuel (and protein).  I grabbed a bag of trail mix from Youbar and munched on it while making my protein smoothie.

This mix contained chocolate covered raisins, cheerios, peanuts, raisins and apples.  Overall, the mix was great, but unfortunately the cheerios were a little stale.  These trail mixes would be perfect for a vacation with workouts planned!

I also used a protein shake mix from YouBar – Breakfast Shake.

This contained Whey protein, cane juice, egg white protein, bananas and cocoa.  Normally I prefer a natural form of protein, but I had this to use and it was perfect for today.  I souped up my protein shake by adding a banana, 1 tbsp of peanut butter and 1/2 cup almond milk.

This was perfect.  It tasted mostly of peanut butter and banana with a hint of chocolate.  I really enjoyed it.  The protein shake does not have a chalky taste, like many do.  They really taste like what is listed in the ingredients, which I love.  I think this would be perfect on it’s own mixed with milk, but I liked my additions to make it thicker and heavier.

However, this snack did not hold me over for long!  An hour or so later and I was ready for lunch.  I was craving salt, so I popped open a new can of Amy’s Soup and made a grilled cheese with cheddar.

Amy’s Fire Roasted Southwester Vegetable Soup

This soup was delicious.  I loved the whole chunks of potatos, carrots, tomatoes, corn and black beans.  It had a spicy kick to it and paired perfectly with my grilled cheese.

And some plantain chips!

Dinner was homemade veggie burgers!  This was a recipe out of the Moosewood Cookbook, which turned out great!

Middle Eastern Cannellini Patties

from Moosewood Restaurants Low-Fat Favorites

Serves 6 (makes 18 small patties)


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups minced onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup minced bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ground black pepper to taste


  • Warm the olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onion, garlic and salt and cook 5-10 minutes or until onions are tender.

  • Add the pepper and cumin and cook 5 more minutes, or until peppers are soft.

  • Mash the cannellini beans by hand in a large mixing bowl.

  • Add the parsley, lemon, rice and vegetables and mix well!  Add black pepper to taste.

  • Shape the mixture into small patties.

  • Cook the patties in a skillet or on a griddle for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

  • Serve with toppings of choice.  We served the patties in pita pockets with lettuce and avocado.

The cannellini patties came out delicious!!!  They were a little messy because they began to dry out and fall apart when cooked, but they still tasted moist enough and so good.  Even my husband liked them!!

They did take awhile to make by the time the veggies and rice were cooked, so it worked out for a weekend meal.  I’m not sure I would make this during the week due to time constraints, but they will be great for leftovers this week!

According to the Moosewood Cookbook, each serving (3 patties) contains 239 calories, 10.6 grams of protein and 44.2 carbohydrates.  With the avocado it makes a perfect meal.  You could also serve the patties on top of a salad or with a tabouli salad.


agave – good or bad?

I have seen a lot of articles lately on agave nectar, and how some people believe that it is just a glorified high fructose corn syrup.  I’m not sure that I agree with it to that extent, but it is still sugar, and sugar is not good for us!

Agave nectar has the highest amount of fructose of all sweeteners and is much much sweeter than most as well.  It has become very popular in the diet world becuase it is marketed as a lower calorie sweetener that will not raise your blood sugar as much as other sweeteners.  It is used in many low calorie recipes nowadays as well.

Numerous articles and blog posts have been written about the agave nectar over the past few months.  Check some of them out if your interested:

The Truth about Agave Nectar

Eight Facts about Agave Nectar

 All About Agave

Debunking the Agave Myth

I’m really not sure what to believe at this point.  I am sure that it is a battle that will be going back and forth between health guru’s for months to come.  I am torn on the subject, and will continue to use agave (and other honey and natural sugar products) as I do because I honestly do not use them a lot.  You will never see me using artificial sweeteners though, due to the chemicals.  What I do know, is that no form of sugar is good for you, but eaten sparingly, it is not going to kill you!  (And, be careful – forms of sugar are in so many things that you do not realize!)

Anyways, on to breakfast!

I skipped the gym this morning, due to my late workout last night.  I have a lot of trouble working out one night and then the next morning.  Does anyone else have this problem?  I think my body needs more than 9 hours in between a workout!

So, I started my day with some cleaning and a fruit smoothie!  I was craving berries and bananas this morning, so I whipped up this:


Berry Banana Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries (I used the Berry Cherry Mix from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple (you can’t really taste it, but it makes the smoothie sweeter!)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

Mixed up to perfection!



A little while later, I toasted up a Banana Nut Vitatop that I was sent to sample.

Vitatops are 100 calorie muffin tops that contain about 5 grams of fiber.  They have a few more ingredients than I would like, but they tasted good!  According to their website, Vitalicious is the inventor of the 100-calorie snacks.  Now, normally I would stay very far away from 100-calorie snacks because they are often loaded with crap!  Even though the bag of oreos is only 100 calories, they are still oreos!  However, I had read a lot about Vitatops on other blogs, so I figured I would give them a try.

Just because something is labelled as low-fat or 100-calories, does not mean that it is good for you.  Many of the 100-calorie packs out there are purely used as marketing.  Oreos are popular, so obviously if they come out with oreo packs that only contain 100 calories, consumers are going to buy them.  At least Vitatops are made with more natural ingredients.  They do not contain anything artificial or any preservatives, which means that they need to be kept in the freezer.

Overall, I liked my Vitatop.  It was fairly moist and definitely tasted like a banana nut muffin.  I did feel better about eating this than another bakery or store bought muffin!  I will not eat them all the time because I prefer a more natural breakfast or snack (such as oatmeal or a piece of fruit), but I will try the other types I got when I am running out the door or in need of a healthier muffin (the top is the best part, anyways!).

I toasted mine and spread some Almond-Hazelnut butter on the top for more staying power, but I guess I forgot to snap a picture!  I really enjoyed my treat this morning.

Almond – Hazelnut butter is the best!  No, seriously, best nut butter purchase I have ever made.  And, the ingredient list: Almonds and Hazelnuts! 🙂

Time for leftover Pad Thai for lunch!