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Hello to our readers!

We hope that you are having a great year and we are glad to be back writing for you again ūüôā

I recently stumbled across a great (and healthy!) chocolate chip cookie recipe in a pretty unlikely place: a bag of muesli, a cereal that includes dried fruits, nuts and seeds in addition to whole grains.

The muesli that I used is pictured at left. It is Bob’s Red Mill Muesli and you can find it locally. I bought mine from West Side Market.

These cookies are delicious as well as low in fat and high in nutrition. Apple sauce is a great ingredient to use instead of butter, oil, or shortening. It gives baked goods a nice moisture and flavor. The cookies are pictured below. Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Muesli Cookies

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Muesli

3/4 cup sifted whole wheat flour

2/3 cup applesauce

6 oz. chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli semisweet)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

a dash cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside. Blend applesauce, sugar and vanilla together. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture and cinnamon and mix. Stir in Muesli and chocolate chips. Drop in tablespoonfuls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Yields about 36 cookies. Enjoy!

**This recipe is adapted from Bob’s Red Mill.

Winter Break

Hello to our readers! We have finished posting for the semester, but we will start up again in January. Thank you for reading, good luck with finals, and have a wonderful break!

This year, we have made great progress in many different areas of human health. We have researched Alzheimer’s, as well as diabetes and cancer. Wouldn’t you like to know just how far we’ve come this year? Time Magazine has published an informative and fascinating feature, “This Year in Health.” Check it out.

Throughout all of high school, I was a rower, so I have plenty experience exercising in pretty nasty weather.  Rowing in Pittsburgh means rowing with white caps rather regularly, so when it came to fall training, I regularly drove home wet and shivering.

My teammates and I always felt tougher as we approached races because we knew that we had rowed in worse conditions and lived. In college, I decided to quit rowing and turned to running instead; but, unlike with rowing, I made excuses when it rained and snowed.¬† While I’d run inside, avoiding the outdoors shook my exercise schedule.¬† So this year, I’ve resolved to continue running outside, although clearly, winter hasn’t come as soon as it did last year.¬† To help strengthen my resolve, I looked for winter exercising tips. I found a great website. Cold-induced asthma should not be an issue for most people.¬† The air is warmed to body temperature by the time it reaches lung tissue.¬† The dryness rather than the cold is irritating.¬† This winter, I plan to run outside rather than on the treadmill.¬† I will wear layers¬† to prevent frost bite and wear a balaclava to moisten and warm the air I breathe. I’ll be prepared for the cold the moment the weather dips below its current 40 degree low.

According to Tershia D’Elgin, in her book What Should I Eat: A Complete Guide to the New Food Pyramid, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are very beneficial to our bodies and we should try our very best to include the recommended servings in our diets. She explains that these fats help reduce the risk of health problems like cardiovascular diseases while also improving our body’s cellular functions. ¬†Additionally they help keep our “bones, skin, hair, and eyes” healthy among other things. When we cook with these beneficial oils, however, the heat can cause these oils to become saturated, making them unhealthy and significantly lowering their nutritional value. D’Elgin suggests that we steam our foods first and then drizzle some unheated oil on top. ¬†It is not impossible to cook without oil, in fact there are countless of recipes and ideas both in books and online about alternatives in lowering the amount of oil used in our cooking. I suggest using an olive oil or canola oil spray when cooking things like eggs to reduce sticking. Also, having non-stick pans is great because you do not have to worry about adding oil to the foods you cook so they do not stick to your pan. I am not an expert in baking, but I have used apple sauce in replacement of oil in muffins and I have also heard of people using yogurt in baking. ¬†Lastly, many of us love our fried chicken, and like the name¬†implies, we would be convinced that we cannot obtain good crunchy fried chicken without frying. Remarkably, well seasoned chicken breasts coated in crunchy corn flakes or panko (Japanese bread crumbs) baked in the oven can be as satisfying or even more satisfying than a battered piece of deep fried chicken (since you will be eating a much more healthier piece of all white meat chicken without all the calories from the deep frying).

One of the easiest (and most fun) way to not only make sure you run through the winter but to get faster while you’re doing it is to train with a group. If you know there are other people out there waiting for you to show up, chances are you’ll get out there–rain, snow, or sleet. Some of my favorite runs actually have been with groups in less-than-favorable weather. Nothing bonded my high school track team more than our first meet of the season when we had to race in our singlets and shorts through a hail storm. This summer, almost all my track workouts ended up total wash-outs, but the feeling of finishing that last 400, water sopping through your socks and shoes, everyone ditching their soaked-through shirts in the in-field, with your teammates was the greatest. So was knowing how tough we all are!

Groups not only hold you accountable for your runs, but training with a group can reinvigorate your solo training routine with intensity, competition and inspiration. How much can you really push yourself in that last 800 rep if there isn’t someone’s footsteps catching up to you and someone else’s shoulders bobbing ahead of you? It’s hard to realize how fast you can be if you don’t have a group of runners to push your limits. Running with a group also provides you with inspiration (If she broke 3:30, maybe I can too …) and people to bounce training, eating and racing ideas off of.

Lucky for us in NYC, the New York Road Runners has a ton of great clubs; some focus primarily on racing, others on socializing, but there’s all different paces, practice schedules and coaching styles, and most clubs encourage you to check out a few practices before deciding to join.

I’m going to be training for Boston this winter, and I can’t wait to spend my winter break training with Montgomery County Road Runners’ Boston Bound program!

Sometimes I can’t stop myself from craving something nice and sweet and not so healthy!¬† To quench my sweet- tooth I have discovered the BEST guilt free cupcakes.¬† These cupcakes are about as big as a quarter and taste amazing.¬† They are stuffed with deliciousness.¬† These amazing cupcakes can be found downtown(at Spring and Broadway) at a cute little shop called “Baked by Melissa”.¬† So when you are craving something sweet hop on the subway and get these amazing cupcakes!