Reintroductions: AIP Protocol

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Last month I wrote about how I was doing the Autoimmune version of paleo to see what is causing my allergic reactions and inflammation. It has been challenging in some ways and easier in others. I still am having a hard time with no coffee and living in NYC this does make eating at restaurants challenging. On, the positive side, I feel good and this has really encouraged me to tackle some things in the kitchen I wouldn’t have attempted in the past. While buying hormone-free meat and pantry staples and health food stores may seem pricey because I’m eating out less and I’m only cooking for myself I have found that I’ve been saving money on my weekly food bill.

I recently began the slow process of reintroducing foods. This takes a while because you can only introduce one new food to your diet at a time and you need to give yourself three days in between introductions so that if you have a delayed reaction you know what causes it. You also are encouraged to reintroduce foods in a certain order. You start with the things that most people don’t have a reaction to and work your way up to foods that are harder to bring back. So far I’ve successfully reintroduced eggs, cardamom, anise, and alcohol in small quantities.   I keep a symptom journal to track any changes during each addition. Mustard and Almonds are what I’ll be trying to reintroduce this coming week. I can’t wait for coffee but that’s not until later.

 

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356 Project: Recipes 256-270

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Less than 100 recipes to go. Here is another batch.

256. Honey Lavender Peaches

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Source: Simple French Paleo

Notes: Three flavors I love!

Rating: LOVED

257. Rosemary Pate

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Source: Autoimmune Wellness Handbook

Notes: I had never cooked beef liver before and was surprised that I liked this so much. This lasted me about a week. I stored it in the fridge.

Rating: Liked

258. Rashers and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

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Source: Original

Notes: This is the AIP version of one of my favorite breakfasts from when I lived in Ireland. Rashers are Irish bacon. They don’t get extra crispy but I like the slightly different taste. I’m lucky because there is a UK and Irish butcher shop near my office, Meyers of Keswick.

Rating: Liked

259. Orange Garlic Wings

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Source: Fed and Fulled 

Notes: These were sweet and tangy.

Rating: Liked

260. Creamy Mushroom Sauce

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Source: Original

Notes: I heated coconut milk in a pan with animal fat and garlic. I added sauteed mushrooms and herbs. Coconut milk in the only dairy substitute you can nave on the elimination portion of AIP. The problem with that is everything tastes a little sweet even when it is a savory sauce.

Rating: Okay

261. Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash Pasta

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Source: My Plant-Based Family

Notes: I cooked the squash according to the directions in the recipe and served with cooked ground beef and the mushroom sauce I made.

Rating: Liked

262. Raw Cookie Dough Balls

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Source: Unbound Wellness

Notes: The cookie recipes I’ve found on AIP are so/so. Since you can’t use eggs and most flours it’s hard to bake. This raw recipe was great though.

Rating: Liked

263. Sauteed Market Greens

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: I altered this a bit after listening to the Autoimmune Wellness Podcast. They suggested adding anchovies to sauteed greens to get some extra fatty acids in.

Rating: Liked

264. Oysters with Mignonette Sauce

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Source: Tasting Room

Notes: I steamed oysters and served with this sauce.

Rating: Liked

265. Broiled Ceaser Salad

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Source: Adventures in the Kitchen

Notes: The lettuce was too soggy after broiling.

Rating: Okay

266. Blueberry Banana Smoothie

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: I also added spirulina to get some greens in.

Rating: Liked

267. Macaroons

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: I added carob powder to get a chocolate like taste.

Rating: LOVED

268. Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: Instead of cooking on the stove I made this in the crockpot on low for 8 hours.

Rating: Liked

269. Coconut Chicken Salad

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Source: Original

Notes: I coated grilled chicken with coconut flour and honey then rolled in coconut flakes. I cooked in an oiled saucepan till the coconut was crusted and served with an arugula salad with a vinegarette dressing.

Rating: Liked

270. Hot Carob

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Source: Unbound Wellness 

Notes: Carob, unfortunately, doesn’t have quite the same taste as chocolate.

Rating: Okay

365 Project: Recipes 241-255

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I’m almost done with the 30 day elimination period of AIP. As you may have guessed there are a lot more meat recipes in the tail end of this project.

241. Smoked Salmon Bundles

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Source: Original

Notes: I blanched asparagus and rapped the bundles in smoked salmon topped with horseradish and cappers.

Rating: Liked

242. Honey Balsamic Chicken Salad

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Source: Original

Notes: I coated grilled chicken in coconut flour and drizzled with honey and balsamic. I tossed them in a pan of coconut oil and cooked until the outside of the chicken began to caramelize. I tossed the chicken in a salad with spinach and berries and served with a balsamic vinegarette.

Rating: Liked

243. Apple, Date, and Coconut Cookies

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: There were several variations on this in the cookbook. Two posts ago I made the fig and pear variety which I liked more.

Rating: Liked

244. Rosemary Garlic Mashed Turnips

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Source: Original

Notes: I cut up about three pounds of turnips and threw them in a pot of water. Once it boiled I covered and turned it to low to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. I mashed them with some coconut milk and garlic. Once it was creamy enough I stirred in some dried rosemary.

Rating: Liked

245. Maple Balsamic Mushrooms

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Source: Original

Notes: I sauteed mushrooms in coconut oil and added balsamic vinegar and maple syrup till they carmelized. The maple syrup ended up with a bit of a burnt taste. Honey would have worked better.

Rating: Okay

246. Cinnamon Sage Steak

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Source:  Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: There are a few AIP dry rub recipes in this cookbook. This was my favorite and I have made it a couple more times. It’s an easy under 10-minute dinner that I serve with veggies and sometimes a baked sweet potato.

Rating: LOVED

247. Tropical Avocado Smoothie

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Source: Original

Notes: I blended half an avocado, half a banana, half a cup of pineapple, some mint sprigs, and coconut milk.

Rating: LOVED

248. Cauliflower Sauce

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Source: Pinch of Yum 

Notes: I used coconut oil instead of butter and coconut milk instead of cow’s milk.

Rating: LOVED

249. Salmon Alfredo

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Source: Original

Notes: I steamed zucchini noodles for about four minutes then tossed with the cauliflower sauce, sauteed mushrooms, and baked salmon. This would have tasted better with chicken.

Rating: Okay

250. Lavender Peach Honey Smoothie

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Source: Cooking with Books

Notes: This was a nice break after being on a tropical smoothie kick for a bit. I used coconut milk instead of cow’s milk.

Rating: Liked

251. Avocado Chicken Caeser Salad

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: This dairy-free version of caesar dressing was great.

Rating: Liked

252. Raspberry Dream Smoothie

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: I’m finding berry smoothies too sweet these days unless I cut them with some greens.

Rating: Okay

253. Saffron Garlic Pork Belly Skewers

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Source: Original

Notes: I cooked the pork belly in coconut oil with saffron and garlic and skewered in between ribbons of cucumbers.

Rating: Liked

254. Lemon Pie Date Balls

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Source: Autoimmune Wellness Handbook

Notes: These were addictive.

Rating: LOVED

255. Chicken and Raisin Stuffed Squash

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Source: The Magical Slow Cooker

Notes: After following the directions for cooking the squash in the recipe I stuffed the halves with grilled chicken and raisins.

Rating: LOVED

 

365 Project: Recipes 226-240

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226. Hearty Vegetable Soup

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: I was easing into eating more meat again so I made this with homemade vegetable broth instead of bone broth

Rating: LOVED

227. Marinated Salmon

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: I added pomegranate seeds

Rating: Liked

228. Broccoli Cauliflower Fried Rice

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Source: Original

Notes: I sauteed cauliflower rice and broccoli in coconut oil with coconut aminos and ginger.

Rating: LOVED

229. Sea Salt Kale Chips

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: I wish these had been just a touch crispier.

Rating: Liked

230. Dry Rub Herb Steak

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: I’m used to making saucy meat dishes but since AIP is a bit more limited with what foods you can eat there are a lot of dry rub recipes to try.

Rating: Liked

231. Sweet Potatoe Fries with Garlic Sauce

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: This is like a healthy version of my favorite treat in Ireland, garlic cheese chips.

Rating: LOVED

232. Stone Fruit and Black Tea Smoothie

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Source: Autoimmune Wellness

Notes: I can’t use my protein powder in my shakes while on the elimination portion of this AIP program because most have grain, soy, or whey as an ingredient. I have learned that I can use collagen protein so I may look into that.

Rating: Liked

233. Warm Salmon Peach Salad

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Source: Original

Notes: I served grilled salmon on a bed of spinach with fresh peaches and apricot vinegarette.

Rating: LOVED

234. Roasted Fig Salad

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Source: Original

Notes: I roasted figs for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. I tossed the figs in an arugula salad with pomegranate seeds and a pomegranate vinegarette. I served this at a dinner party so for everyone else who was not following the autoimmune elimination plan I included pecans and goat’s cheese.

Rating: LOVED

235. Cranberry Apple Crumble

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: I made this for a Rosh Hashanah dinner party.

Rating: LOVED

236. Pear and Plum Green Smoothie

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Source: Original

Notes: I blended a Bartlet pear, plum, spirulina, and spinach with filtered water.

Rating: Liked

237. Burger with portobello bun

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: The flavors were great and the portobello was so juicy.

Rating: LOVED

238. Pineapple Dream Smoothie

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Source Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: When I have meat fatigue I tend to do one of these smoothies for breakfast.

Rating: Liked

239. Garlic Sea Scallops

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Source: Ciao Florentina 

Notes: I served this with sauteed spinach.

Rating: LOVED

240. Mushroom and Cauliflower Risotto

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Source: Original

Notes: I sauteed mushrooms and riced cauliflower in a tablespoon of coconut oil and added a cup of bone broth in 1/4 increments until the liquid cooked down.

Rating: LOVED

 

365 Project: Recipes 211-225

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The other day I wrote about how I recently started the Autoimmune Paleo Program. The majority of recipes I post in this batch of 15 were made prior to my starting that. I always cook faster than I post.

211. Zesty Tomato and Olive Sauce

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Source: Original

Notes: I sauteed garlic, basil, and yellow grape tomatoes in a tablespoon of olive oil. Then I added 6 oz of quartered black olives, a can of crushed tomatoes, and a small can of tomato paste and simmered.

Rating: LOVED

212. Eggplant and Mushroom “Meatballs”

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Source: Plenty

Notes: I used quinoa instead of millet. Cooking whole grains can take up a lot of time so I typically prepare one grain in a slow cooker over the weekend, refrigerate the leftovers, and use them in other recipes during the next few days.

Rating: LOVED

213. French 75

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Source: The Fashionable Cocktail

Notes: My sister bought me this book for the holidays a few years ago. It is a great mix of simple and elaborate cocktails.

Rating: Liked

214. Digestives

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Source:

Notes: This recipe said you could use a sweetener or milk. I used stevia. These cookies tasted good but they weren’t crisp like a traditional digestive. I would try using milk next time or perhaps baking them a bit longer.

Rating: Liked

215: Fig Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

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Source: Original

Notes: This was a lovely salad to kick off fall with. It was figs, arugula, plum, and goat’s cheese.  The dressing was olive oil, pomegranate vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

Rating: LOVED

216. Egg in the Hole

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Source: Original

Notes: This is one of my favorite comfort foods but I’d never attempted to make it before. I buttered Ezikel bread and cut a hole through one slice. I but a whole egg and spinach in the hole and cooked in a frying pan like you would a grilled cheese sandwich.

Rating: Liked

217. Eggplant Salad

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Source: One Good Dish

Notes: I added these cutlets to an arugula salad with goat’s cheese. They didn’t get as crispy as I had hoped.

Rating: Okay

218. Eggplant Mango Udon Noodles

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Source: Plenty

Notes: Loved these flavors. I used udon noodles instead of soba noodles.

Rating: Liked

219. Mango Dream Smoothie

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Source: Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: I also added some spirulina to this.

Rating: LOVED

220. Vanilla Chai Latte

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Source: Original

Notes: I made chai tea with some vanilla bean and heated coconut milk. I have since learned that traditional chai tea isn’t on autoimmune paleo because of the seeds in the spices so I’ve started making an earl grey latte instead.

Rating: Liked

221. Garlic Beef and Broccoli

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Source: The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: It had been ages since I had cooked red meat. This was a nice alternative to Chinese takeout.

Rating: Liked

222. Dill Shrimp Salad

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Source: Original

Notes: I made lemon dill vinegarette and tossed with cooked shrimp and lettuce.

Rating: Liked

223. Turkey Sage Sausage Patties

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Source: The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: The recipe called for ground chicken but my butcher only had turkey so I used that which does tend to get a little drier than other meats.

Rating: Liked

224. Sunchoke Salad

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Source: Original

Notes: I roasted sliced sunchokes in the oven and served in a spinach salad with fresh peaches and apricot dressing.

Rating: LOVED

225. Pear and Fig Spice Cookies

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Source: The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Notes: There are some variations suggested in the recipe. I tried a slightly different version later but preferred this one.

Rating: LOVED

 

 

Mindful Monday: A New Challenge

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About a year ago I broke out into hives and never figured out why. A couple of months ago I woke up and my left eyelid had swollen half way shut. I was told at urgent care this was most likely a delayed allergic reaction. Antihistamines cleared up both the hives and the eyelid, but since it happened twice I was referred to an allergist specialist.

Based on my history and symptoms she didn’t think it was a food or environmental allergy. Instead of testing me for reactions to common allergens she recommended that we first do some blood work to rule out autoimmune diseases. She was able to rule out serious diseases such as Lupis but my ANA test did come back positive. This means that my allergic reactions are the result of healthy cells being attacked by my immune system from time to time. An ANA test can sometimes come back positive in a person who doesn’t have any autoimmune issues. However, since I have been diagnosed with psoriasis and mild rosacea in the past my doctor has ruled this out as a false positive. Psoriasis and rosacea are also autoimmune diseases and it’s not uncommon for someone with one autoimmune disease to develop more as time goes on.

My allergist feels that since my breakouts are not frequent I don’t need to be on antihistamines on a daily basis unless my I start having more episodes. Since I’m currently not exhibiting any clear signs of another specific autoimmune disease I’m waiting until my next appointment with my primary care physician so I can go over my labs with her and see if there are specific tests or specialists I should be consulting with.

Right now this isn’t a big deal, however, I know what autoimmune diseases run in my family and I’m a big fan of being proactive vs reactive when it comes to health issues. So after going over some resources that were recommended to me, I decided to try The Autoimmune Protocol or Paleo program. This is very similar to people who follow a paleo or whole 30 plan except it is much more restrictive. You cut out all foods that can cause inflammation and after 30 days you slowly start reintroducing them one at a time. You keep a log of your symptoms and how you are feeling each day. When you have a reaction to something it’s a sign that you want to avoid that food.

I’m over a week into the elimination portion of the program and it’s hard. You are limited to any meats and fish that are fresh and don’t have any additives or hormones and any fruits or vegetables as long as they aren’t nightshades. This means no grains, no seeds, nothing processed, no eggs, and no dairy. I’m lucky that I live in NYC and have access to butchers, fish markets, and farmers markets which makes meal planning much easier.

There are three things that make this plan challenging for me.

1.It is animal protein based: I’ve gone through spurts of eating a vegetarian diet. I started eating meat again this winter around the time of my surgery because my iron levels were so low and my body wasn’t absorbing supplements. I’ve been off iron for a few months now since I’m no longer anemic and had been eating less and less dairy. I was hoping to go full vegetarian again and perhaps eventually vegan but that doesn’t seem possible right now. I have a lot of guilt around eating meat which I shouldn’t because I was raised an omnivore so this isn’t a new concept to me. While meat is encouraged at every meal on the AI Paleo plan I’m following the suggested plan for people who aren’t used to eating a lot of meat. I typical day for me has one meat meal, one seafood meal, and a vegan meal which is usually soup and a salad or a breakfast shake with coconut milk for a little fat and protein.

2. It is challenging to eat out: A lot of my socializing is around meeting friends for a meal. This program makes it challenging to eat out. I generally have to limit myself to a salad and make sure there are no nightshades like tomatoes on it and do a vinegarette or oil and vinegar for the dressing. The other alternative is getting a meat and vegetable dish as long as I can get it without condiments or marinades that may contain nuts, seeds, or nightshades.

3. You can’t have coffee. Beans and legumes are also off limits which includes coffee beans. 😦 Caffeine is allowed in the form of tea. I like tea but I LOVE coffee and I’m still having a hard time with this elimination.

In all my posts about health, I must emphasize that I’m not a medical expert or doctor. I would like to share the resources that I am finding the most helpful right now:

The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook 

The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast

The Paleo Mom

Simple French Paleo

A Squirrel in the Kitchen

Wanderlust Wednesday: My Favorite NYC Runs

 

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The North Woods in Central Park 

 

Earlier this week I spoke about breaking out of a running rut by switching up my routes. I’m spoiled by living in NYC with a number of amazing parks and trails. I wanted to share some of my favorites trails that you should check out next time you’re in the Big Apple. Even if you’re not a runner these are delightful walks.

1. Cherry Walk (Riverside Park): This narrow trail is along the Hudson River and takes you from the Upper West Side to Harlem. You have to commit to this run because there is no way off the trail until you reach the end. The best time of year for this route is spring because as its name suggests it is particularly lovely when the cherry trees are in bloom.

2. The North Woods (Central Park): Lovely trails, waterfalls, and wildlife make you forget you’re in the heart of Manhattan.

3.The Reservoir (Central Park) If you want to run on a flat surface this trail is great and the views are spectacular.

4. The Inner Loop (Prospect Park) This is a go to if I’m training for an organized race. It’s marked with distance points so it’s easy to track your distance.

5. Fort Greene Park This is a smaller park compared to others on the list but you can cover the entire park in a short time.

6. Riverside Park South This is another river run but it’s easy to switch up your routine by heading inland to the park at points or outward on the docks.

7. Inwood Hill Park This park is at the top of Manhattan just below the Bronx. There are lots of up hill runs and lovely views of vistas across the Hudson.

8. The Peninsula (Prospect Park) If you want to enjoy some nature on your run through Prospect Park this is an alternative to the loop run.

9. The Boardwalk (Coney Island) I love running here early mornings in the summer. It’s right along the beach and is sleepy before the swimmers and sun bathers hit the sand.

10. Harlem Meer (Central Park) The south side of Central Park can be flooded with tourist on nice days. This Northeast corner of the park is low key and the path along the pond and willow trees is beautiful.