Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Favorite Things: Starbucks edition

Quick Weekend Update
I had a nice weekend of exercise and catching up with friends from out of town. I also got a glorious 11 hours of sleep Saturday when someone super sweet suggested that he sleep on the couch with the pets so that nothing could disturb me for an entire night (I'm a light sleeper, so our pets tend to wake me up fairly frequently, and it's been rough lately).

there was still snow on the ground on Friday!
After a gorgeous 5 mile run on Friday, I got myself gussied up and we headed down to meet friends from undergrad at a new restaurant on the Lower East Side, Cata. I was really surprised by how much is already up and running, since I know how many areas of Staten Island and most of the Rockaways are basically still a disaster zone. However, the Lower East Side appears to be mostly recovered, and restaurants there could very much use your support! Subways aren't 100% but it wasn't much of a hassle to get down there after we checked service alerts to know what subways weren't running normally.

If you like tapas, you'll love Cata, which has really great Spanish small plates. Also a huge range of gin and tonics (not my drink of choice so I stuck to a glass of cava). After a delicious dinner, we saw a stand-up show at the Upright Citizens Brigade, dropped by a bar to watch the last quarter of the Knicks win against the Mavericks (4-0 to start the season! Go Knicks!), then caught a late showing of the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. It's a fun action movie, and really beautifully filmed, but guys, the plot... I'll just point you to Vulture's attempt to break down the evil genius's plan. Obviously that's part of the whole Bond franchise -- ridiculously convoluted evil plots -- but this one especially was ridiculous.

dark restaurant = ghostly me
After too few hours of sleep, I met up with my friend Hana who was visiting for the weekend. Our plans were unfortunately changed because we couldn't get to the early class we planned on due to subways not running as we'd expected. Still, it ended up nicely since we got to have a long lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. We were seated across from some ladies talking about how lucky their friend was for marrying the man she did, because if she'd married some other guy she'd be pregnant with the baby of someone unimportant, and how terrible would that be? I just have to preserve that conversation for posterity, because... really? Really?

the interior of the Barry's Bootcamp Tribeca location
Anyway, after lunch we tried Barry's Bootcamp. My feelings basically mirror Hana's, which is why I'm just going to link to her review. I think I'd go back occasionally but don't see it being a major part of my fitness routine. I didn't have an "instantly in love" feeling like I did with Uplift Studios, Strala Yoga, or Physique 57.

My Favorite Things: Starbucks!
I love Starbucks. I know, a white blonde girl who likes Starbucks? How original! But I do, I love Starbucks. They have a magnetic pull on me. Whenever I'm out walking Mason with Sourabh and I see one, it's like a force field pulling me in to spend $5 on a cup of soy milk in a cute cup...

But seriously, I love Starbucks for more than their fancy drinks and holiday cups. In fact, I don't even like the fancy drinks all that much (but I DO love those holiday cups). My favorite part of Starbucks is actually the fact that I can reliably get something healthy there when I'm rushing around or traveling. Running errands and need a snack? Pick up a KIND bar and banana. Starbucks has really stepped up their healthy food options in the past year, and these are some of my favorite picks.

Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal
"hearty, 100% whole-grain oatmeal"
I love oatmeal. Starbucks has oatmeal. Enough said? Ok, well not quite... it's important to note that if you add all the toppings, the 140 calories quickly climbs up a lot higher. However, this is a great breakfast option because who doesn't have a Starbucks close by? Perfect if you're leaving for an early flight or slept past your alarm (because you totally budget in time to make yourself breakfast every morning, right??).

Protein Bistro Box
"cage-free egg, white Cheddar cheese, honey peanut butter, multigrain muesli bread, apples and grapes."

I always like putting together a plate of different items when I make lunch for myself, so this basically does the job for me. Lots of protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and some fruit make this a nice lunch option. And at 380 calories, it can definitely serve as a small lunch.

Goat Cheese and Garden Veggies Bistro Box
"vegetable medley served with goat cheese, tzatziki dip and cranberry almond crackers"
This one is better as a snack than the protein box, given that it's 220 calories and wouldn't be super filling. I generally don't eat much dairy, but I make an exception for goat cheese because, well.... if you like goat cheese, that's self-explanatory, right? (And if you don't, who are you??)

Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap
"a wheat wrap filled with cage-free egg white, spinach, feta cheese and tomatoes."
I got roughly four hours of sleep last night because I was up reading Gone Girl. Crazy addicting (also, crazy people). Good vacation read for sure. Anyway, I just wasn't up for making myself lunch, so I grabbed one of these on the way home from my morning class. I love these as a warm, filling small meal. At 290 calories, it's perfect paired with a piece of fruit.

Roasted Vegetable Panini
"roasted zucchini, eggplant, and red peppers with baby spinach and provolone cheese on focaccia bread"
This is probably my least favorite of the things on this list, just because it's white bread and the cheese can feel a tad bit gummy. However, it's still tasty and is filled with veggies, so it's a good option for when you're craving a sandwich for lunch. And at under 350 calories with 13 grams of protein, it should keep you pretty full!


What's your favorite Starbucks food or drink item? 
Have you tried Barry's Bootcamp? What'd you think?

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