That that don't kill me, can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, cause I can't wait much longer. Kanye West, Stronger

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What I eat on weekdays

*Bikram NYC post will be up this weekend. I want to try another class before I review.*

So just to give you an idea of what I eat on a weekday, here it is.

Please note, I am 5 feet tall and right in the middle of a healthy weight range for my height, so most people (all you blessed folks, who didn't stop growing at age 11!) will need more food!

Today is an example of a pretty normal day. I tend to have days where I am starving and days where I never get hungry, but yesterday I seemed to be hungry at regular intervals. I try to eat every 3-4 hours.

Breakfast-(post 4.5 mile run)
6 oz lowfat yogurt
1 peach
1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean

Large salad with broccoli, string beans, cucumber, tomato, carrot and beets. 1/2 cup black beans and wee sprinkle Parmesan cheese. 1/4 cup 7 grain salad. Sprinkled with balsamic.

(I get a huge salad everyday for lunch, my most common is spinach, kidney beans, carrot, cuc, cherry tomato and sprouts.

But my all time favorite is: spinach, cuc, sprouts, carrot, cherry tomato, SUN-DRIED TOMATO, AVOCADO, and 2 grape leaves. Served with a slice of whole grain bread. I love to spread the avo, and layer it with sun dried tomato and sprouts and sprinkle with salt. Heavenly. I get it once a week as a treat! Another side note, I tried AVOCADO like 15 times before I liked it. Now I love it. It makes my skin and nails so much clearer when I eat it regularly! So embrace the avo!)

At checkout I spotted a Glenny's 100-calorie chocolate peanut butter brownie. I waited to finish my salad to see if I really wanted it. I did, so I went back up to buy it. I usually have whole grain bread or fruit or both with my salad but my sweet tooth was acting up. I try to save sugary food until later (like a 5pm post workout energy bar) in the day because once I start....
PS it wasn't that good, and I won't buy it again.

Large red delicious apple and baby bell light cheese ( I decided to forgo the snack bar to get in some real food)

3 mile run (very rare to go to the gym twice, but I wanted to get some distance in and I had to stay on campus for 3.5 hours until my 8:30 midterm review--plus it is 15 degrees here, so I didn't move all day)

7:30pm-dinner. Ate two meals on campus because I had been getting home and eating dinner at 10 everynight for the last two weeks.
8 piece Sushi roll with (pickled squash, avo, cuc and carrot, brown rice), 15 raw almonds and a small nonfat latte. I also hated everything about sushi, ginger, wasabi, nori, now I love it all. Just keep trying. I figured I couldn't live in nyc and not like sushi. Although I still have no courage to try the neon raw fish.

1 cup fa-yeh (fage) with thawed frozen berries and a few slices banana topped with cinnamon and a crumbled raweo (raw oreo from Blessing's available online and in health food stores)

Some people were wondering about what to eat before and after workouts. Here is a good article called Eat to Lose Before and After Workouts from Beauty Eats. I'm not endorsing or interested in weight-loss per say, but I think this is one of Beauty Eats better articles. Some are so-so, but I am really picky about my nutrition info!

I won't be listing my meals again. But general posts about my tips and thoughts, as well as the occasional recipe may appear. Other than that, I'll leave it to the experts!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

15 tips to get through a workout

-Make it a date--find a friend or coworker that also wants to workout regularly, just make sure it is someone who won't cancel at the last minute, and someone you would feel bad canceling on

-Implement the ten minute rule-like the 10 second rule, this one is critical. The first ten-15 minutes are the hardest, always! So just get through the first 10 and you will probably stay for more, if not at least you did 10.

-Love your playlist-a good song can keep you going that extra 5 minutes, a bad one can make each second painful. Check the side for my favorites and mix it up often!

-Take it easy and bring a mag-every workout doesn't have to be intense, some days just relax and enjoy breezy time on the elliptical. It's creating the pattern that counts...intensity can come later. I don't usually read magazines during cardio because I am not the best machine multi-tasker, but my friend told me her secret is to keep the cover model of Shape/Fitness in front of you for inspiration.

-Crash a class-either try a new class or at places you have to pay, ask if you can try it once for free. It always feels great to get a deal and a fresh routine. Who knows you may love it so much you never need to look at this post again!

-Think of your inspiration-think about what you are trying to achieve, the butt you want your rear to become, close your eyes and envision your body changing and getting stronger. In a few weeks 6 mph may seem easy! It is good to have specific goals, such as ten regular push ups or a 5k in 30 minutes. Wanting Jessica Beils arms is okay too.

-Really focus-sometimes thinking about how hard you are working or how hard you want to go helps. If you are focusing on your form or your breathing, you seem to forget that you are miserable.

-Let your mind wander-If focusing isn't working out, distract yourself. The gym is a great place to go over conversations in your head, think of your to do list (if it doesn't cause panic), imagine your favorite spot at the beach, the outfit you want from H & M. I have a big post on distraction earlier in the blog. It works!

-Find a gym crush-cute boys and trainers have gotten me to the gym on more than occasion. In fact, a boy really inspired my love of the gym and my commitment to go regularly. The first time I saw him at the gym, I was mortified that he could see my sweaty, but I got over that when workout became a conversation point. Plus, seeing how amazing his 6-pack was gave me the determination that the effort was worth it. Oh Mr. 13th street, you are a god.

-Machine hop-keep switching machines and you won't get bored. 10 minutes treadmill, 5 minutes rower, 10 minutes stairmill, just keep it moving!

-Take it outside-sometimes a brisk walk is really what you need, the fresh air is rejuvenating!

-Treat yourself-to a manicure, a stop in the sauna or a hot bath, cause man after that workout, you deserve it!

-Buy really cute clothes to workout in—if you want to show them off, you will go to the gym. They should make you feel great about yourself. Also make sure they are the best ones for your workout. Running in cotton can be torture, look for moisture wicking clothing that can really transform the ease of your run!

-Treadmill Karaoke-It's kind of embarrassing, but I am a huge offender of treadmill karaoke! I just run so much better, happier and faster when I am mouthing the words to my favorite songs! Try it, it rocks!

Lucky #16 added
-Break up-fights and breaks ups with significant others are prime fuel for a great workout. The anger, the aggression, the angsty fem music takes your rpm up by at least 30%. Think of how mad you are, how many desserts you ate just so you wouldn't look like the "salad girl", and how hot you want to look for the next guy/girl. And remember unless you are having hot hate sex, you need to make up for the calories you will no longer be burning in bed.

Please note: All posts are meant to be taken lightly, not literally!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bikram or Bust

I still haven't gotten to try Bikram. For the last three days, I have been making excuses (some legit, some not so much) for why I couldn't go, but tomorrow is the day!

I am excited to finally give it a try! Right now I am to yoga what Elizabeth Gilbert is to meditation. I want to like it, I try to like it, but I often find myself wandering off and missing the whole point. However, I think the intensity of Bikram might be right up my alley. Just for a quick wrap I did enjoy the three classes I took at Laughing Lotus. I highly recommend Edward as an instructor. He would be like, "exhale into chutarunga", you know if you're into that sort of thing." Plus they have great tea and Newman's cookies waiting for you after class.

I have noticed a bunch of yoga studios have a 30 day challenge, where you sign up to attend 30 days of classes in a row. I don't think I could manage to find time every day to go to a scheduled class. Has anyone tried it?

There seems to be a surge in articles about Yoga for Weight Loss this month.

Women's Health has an at home yoga workout, check out Om Alone

Fitness magazine has a yoga for weight loss online video. I tried it out. It was pretty fun and easy to follow, although an hour is too long for my computer to last for online videos. If you can't view it you might have to sign in first, so try this link.

Short on time? Try the Women's health Fry Fat on the Mat workout: Crush Calories with heart-revving yoga.

The debate seems to be out on whether yoga is effective for weight-loss. I mean I think Gwyneth's great genes and personal macrobiotic chef had as much to do with her figure as Jivamukti, but who knows.

While I may totally get the yoga thing yet, I do like feeling long and limber. It seems to balance my mood quite nicely--and that's worth more than a few pounds + or -.

In honor of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I would like to encourage people have dialogue on the comments this week. If you need support or have questions or a loved one suffering from an ED or you just find yourself spending too much time worrying about food or weight, we are all here to help. Also please check out my link on the right to Geneen Roth's articles.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Weekend what I eat wrap up

At around 6:30 I had a small meal to keep me tided over until the party. I was unusually hungry all day, so I had a few Dr. Kracker sunflower cheese crackers in the afternoon.

For dinner I had a small bowl of Kashi Go Lean topped with a little Go Lean Crunch and almond milk. I also had a salad of some leftover veggies.

Not a normal dinner, but I didn't want to mess up the kitchen before the party.

Too much liquor!

The spread, before the hummus, crudites, and brie were set out.

By the time the party rolled around, I really wasn't hungry. (So eating beforehand is actually a good tip.)

However, throughout the night I did end up munching (tip to note for next time, don't eat just to be social or because it's there--or skip the cereal so party food tastes better.)
I had:
5 ounces red wine.

I had two pita wedges with hummus. About a cup and half of crudites. Around 10 cashews.

A sliver of baked brie--about 1/15 of the brie shown.

At around 11:30 we finally cut the three layer red velvet cake. I was excited because I had never had it before. My roommate used the Magnolia Bakery recipe. I just had a small amount, which immediately fell apart because it was so moist.

I honestly wasn't a huge fan, but I wasn't very hungry either. I actually felt sick. I like the way healthy foods feel in my body better--and ice cream--raw or otherwise--always agrees with me.

So there you go. I'll post a more normal day on Wednesday.

Because there are so many awesome food loggers out there (I don't know how Kath, Jenna and all the other fabulous ladies do it, my hat goes off to you all), I am going to leave daily logging to them!

Here is my new plan:

I will keep the focus of my blog on fitness--my real goal is to give people new ideas, have fun testing out new workouts, and to inspire my passion in others.

However, I understand that it is helpful to see how a healthy eating and regular physical activity work together to give you energy, vitality and a little bit of bliss!

So I will periodically do posts with a focus on food, so you can get an idea of my general eating habits and my philosophy.

I eat out a lot, and that is where most of my fabulous meals come from, what I eat at home is kind of boring. I enjoy cooking, but rarely have time. I also love the experience of dining out, so my next food post will give you an idea of what I typically eat when I go to my favorite mexican, italian, and tapas restaurants.

When I have more time after midterms, I will post more about what I learned from visiting a nutritionist, and the guidelines and tips she gave me.

As a disclaimer, going to a nutritionist is an experience perfectly tailored to your body, you palate, your eating habits and your activity, so if you have questions, I encourage you to visit one at least once--you'll be surprised how much you learn! I thought I was kind of a know it all about nutrition, but I wasn't an expert on how my body responded to what and when I was eating. The small changes and additions I have made to my diet to my diet have left me much more satisfied. I actually eat more often and more real food (yes Kath is right), so what I added naturally helped me lose my desire for junky food I was always craving!

If you have any questions (exercise, food, emotional eating, body image) feel free to ask or email, I will be honest and give you my thoughts.

Lentil Goat Cheese Salad +snack

I was starving at 11:30 so I had a baby bell light, a handful of sugar snap peas (so yummy) and green tea.

At 2, I was ready for lunch.

This salad was very easy. In fact I made two salads at once by dividing what I was chopping on the cutting board into one bowl and one glass tupperware container--slightly different ingredients in the container. (Here is a good link on making salads to last all week. ) I added to a bowl about 2 cups mixed greens, 1/4 red bell pepper, 1/2 a plum tomato, 1/3 cucumber and a few leftover broccoli florets, snow peas and carrots. Then I heated up some prepackaged steamed lentils from Trader Joe's (probably healthier than canned) and warmed some crumbled goat cheese to get it slightly melty. I added some dried parsley and basil to the lentils and a sprinkle of Celtic Sea Salt. I spritzed the salad with some Salad Spritzer's Balsamic Breeze.

I also toasted up 5 mini pita bread, which I dipped in some Cedar's Garlic Lovers Hummus.

I got this recipe for a book called Eat Smart, Lose Weight, which was on clearance for a $1 at the bookstore. It has some good veggie recipes. To see more of my books, check out this post on my other blog, which is sleeping right now!

The lentils only stay good for a few days, so I am going to have to try and freeze them or find some good recipes fast! Send them my way if you have any.

Last thing, I won't post the rest of my day until tomorrow because I will probably be out quite late.

Here it goes

So today is my first weekend day breakfast post. Most of my posts will be all together at the end of the day because I rarely get home before 9pm during the week.

Today I woke up at around 8am. I scrubbed my bathroom and cleaned my fish bowl for an hour. I had about 4 ounces of almond breeze and an Adora calcium + Vitamin D+K supplement.

Around 10 I made breakfast. About 3/4 fage, 2 huge frozen strawberries from trader joe's (thawed in microwave), a small handful of Kashi Go Lean (maybe 1/3 cup) and half a sliced grapefruit. Adora consumed earlier and one large glass seltzer. I also had a diet coke in the morning. Gross my biggest weakness and the habit I am most guilty about! I will not have another today!I used half a Seventh Generation recycled paper towel as a napkin.

Iused half a Seventh Generation recycled paper towel as a napkin.

Hopefully my body had enough time between the Adora and the fage to absorb all the calcium. A note on the hand method. Your hand is typically the perfect portion size for your body, so be it a handful of nuts, a fist size serving of pasta, or a palm size serving of protein, your hand is a great way to measure with out getting crazy. Trust your body; it was made perfectly!

I have a lot planned for the day. Tons of school work, sorting out life details, trying a Bikram Yoga class at Bikram NYC ( my fitness passport gives my a free week), cleaning like crazy because my roommate is having a birthday party here tonight, making a double batch of slightly different salads to eat twice, clean once, and perhaps going to a friend's birthday party much later tonight.

This should be an interesting eating day because my other roommate is an amazing chef, and he is making two phyllo baked bries, a triple layer red velvet cake and more. Obviously, between the two parties there will be lots of alcohol around.

Last night I worked out with my friend and he gave me a great workout. 35 minute run (I alternated 6.2 (2 minutes) and 8 mph (intervals starting at 30 seconds and going to 2 minutes and coming back down). 15 minutes on the rower, 20 minutes on the elliptical, 8 minutes on the rower in underhand position. We wrapped up with 10 minutes free weights, 3 sets of 10 on the aductor and abductor machine and about 5 minutes abs and some stretching.

He aims to burn at least 1000 calories. I never pay attention to the calories, but if he burned 1000, I probably burned around 650 or 700. No fair! :)

PS Thanks to magic spell check fairy who fixed my spell check. I heart you!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Little Runner Rock Your Body Challenge

I just saw that it is Self Challenge season! I thought I might do a weekly challenge for myself as well as my readers (if there are any out there)!

On a side note, Self mag and I seem in tune because there was a little snippet about sneaking 3 one minute exercises (such as 1 minute jumping rope, 1 minute jumping jacks, or 1 minute of alternating split jumps) into each day to burn an extra 400 calories a week. See it's all about sneaking it in! I am so jealous of all those who have nice weather because it is soooo hard to get natural exercise in during winters up north. Today it is snowing up a storm, and while I love the thick, fluffy flakes, it means even less walking!

So on with the Rock Your Body Challenge!

This is from one of my marathon coach's practice e-mails. He gave a treadmill option each week, in case you had to miss practice--and I think he always made it harder than the actual practice :)

I left the park workout in because that is where he describes pace and effort. For those of you in runnable weather conditions, you can go to to get distances and then type and then figure out a comparable route at your location if you are really ambitious.

I am going to give it a go this weekend, and I encourage you to try it too. Walk if you can't run!

Beginner and intermediate options below. There is an advanced version as well, but this is quite enough for me!

Half Marathoners and Beginners Marathoners workout:

Very simple workout ! We are doing the last Hill of our repertoire !!! (which doesn't mean that will stop us from 'inviting' you to run more hills in the future )

Course and distance for the workout : From East 90th street, head north to 110th street traffic light. We are running the Harlem Hill, yes, yes, we save the best for last

Goal and description of the workout : During the hill repeats, break down the hill in 2 parts. 1st part goes up to the first turn (coach will be there), 2nd part goes from there to to the top of the hill (traffic light) YOU WILL ALTERNATE the way you run the hill, Meaning: one time you'll run the first part easy and push the second part and the next one, push the 1st part and easy a bit on the second part (think overloading your muscles during the first part and hold for dear life on the second half). this is an easy one !! I think !!

Treadmill workout:
Warm-up 10 minutes8 x2 min @ incline 6 + 2 mins @ incline 8 recover 3 minutes cooldown
Same approach as the outdoor wkout. Alternate the way you run, the inclines, alternate between pushing the 6 % and the 8% incline.

Course and distance for the workout : Nice flat workout for you. You are going to run 3-4 loops of the bridle path. From meeting spot at 97th street cross the street and head south west on the bridle path. Those that run a 11 mper mile and above will run 3 loops, those under 11 mper mile will run 4 loops.

Goal and description of the workout : Warm up from 97th to West 86th (water fountain) from there you will pick up your pace at about 85-90% effort (3.5-4) to East 90 th street. Then cooldown up to 97th street. Then do another pick up from E97th to West 86 th street. Continue that method so basically you are going to alternate hard and easy runs between 97 th and 86th and E90th during the 3 or 4 loops that you will be running.

Again, when you are supposed to go hard, Go hard ! Do not be shy, allow the breathing to get heavy, get uncomfortable. During the recovery, run easy, easy, easy, your goal is to bring your Heart rate as low as you can in that time.
More about it when we meet.

Treadmill workout:
Warm-up 5-6 minutes then do6 x4 mins Hard @ incline 2 with 4 mins recovery @ incline 1 Cooldown 5 mins

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Setting the Bar

There are so many nutrition bars out there how to select the perfect one? Well guess what? There may not be one perfect bar, but many come very close. Here are a few reason that you might want to incorporate bars into your diet, bars can be helpful if you need extra calories (long term or short term), but don't want to/find it hard to get used to eating large quantities; a pre or post workout boost to get you through the workout without stopping at McD's on the way home to have a proper meal; or as a fun, fairly healthy snack in the afternoon.

I have always found bars confusing, so here is what the nu-train nutrition team says:

Ideally, bars should have a

-6:1 sugar to fiber ratio

-less than 5 grams of fat or less

-3 grams of fiber or more

-7 or more grams of protein

-200 cals or less

-no hydrogenated oils

(Note your needs may be different depending on your goals or if you are training for an endurance event.)

-Healthy pluses, real fruit, nuts and seeds

What bars make the cut?

-Gnu bars (These might have too much fiber for long distance running, but not me.)
-Lara bars (they do get knocked down for their sugar content, but I disagree with this because the fruit is unsulphered, natural fruit, not gross corn syrups, refined sugars and uber-processed crap sweeteners)
-TLC Chewy bars
-Clif Bars--check label
-GoLean Crunchy Bars and some Go Lean Rolls.
-Luna Bars

There are more, just check labels.

I would also add Think Organic bars and some of the Clif Nectars bars.

Here is a good article about a bar review quest. I ate a Pie has several bar reviews.

In my personal opinion, ingredients that your body can break down are more important than the calories and fat. I don't want my cells clogged with shellec, questionable added fibers and high fructose corn syrup to save 40 calories, especially if I can by utilizing the natural energy of dried fruits, which easily enter and exit the body.

So if the ingredient list is miles long, take time to consider how you feel about putting those types of substances in your body.

Or make your own

I haven't been able to get my spell check to work for months. It's driving me crazy, so I apologize for errors!

Lunch hour workout

I woke up this morning feeling very happy. I'm a happy person in general, but I felt quite sunny almost. In any case, I did a few sun salutations, but found my body very stiff, so I decided to take my time getting ready, rather than race to the gym.

This week has been really crazy, I have had to work or go to class until 8 or 9 every night, so Tuesday I did a workout video and last night made a pathetic attempt to jog in place while watching project runway, and do some lunges and squats during commercials. Oh well.

So today I actually went to the gym on my lunch hour. I usually hate to do this because it is so rushed and I am normally ready to eat at lunch time. Plus I had packed my lunch, so I didn't have to spend time picking anything up.

The gym was pretty busy, no treadmills available. So I hopped on an elliptical and did 30 minutes at moderate intensity. I felt fairly unfulfilled, so I will probably do another mini workout after work. I am actually working an event at the gym, so I will be there anyways! I want to sneak in some strength too, I have noticed a big difference since I stopped going to Physique religiously. But at $33 a class, I just can't afford it. It's not even about justification. I don't have that much money! But I might buy the Cardio Barre video, which is a similar workout.

Fitness Magazine has a few good 30-35 minute workouts featured this month. If you play with intervals and intensity you can really make your (limited) time count.

This is kind of random, but I wanted to share this article from Women's Health Magazine with you. It is about the best types of fish and seafood to eat, what is healthy for you and the environment. I found it very informative.

PS I did sneak a second mini workout, 30 minute tempo run. When I got home my new issue of Self was waiting for me! Great day start to finish!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Squeezing it in!

Today is president's day, so I have plenty of time to get to the gym, take a yoga class or go for a run. But we all know there are days when we don't know where we get into work early to finish something up, go to class after work and meet friends we haven't seen in forever for drinks, um not exactly time to go get in a workout, right folks?

So this post will be about squeezing in exercise, so you don't have to squeeze into your jeans!

I am sure you have read magazine articles that say do calf raises while you wait for the bus, so I know these might not be completely original, but these are ideas that I use on busy days.
  1. Powerwalk in the subway tunnel while you are waiting for the train. If you are lucky not to have to take public transportation (consider yourself lucky) maybe try to squeeze in a mini walk around the block before work or actually give the class park far away for the office thing. (calories burned in 10 minutes fast walking 41-for 120 lb. person--more if you have a huge Birkin bag haha.
  2. Break every other hour at work to go up and down the stairs twice. You have to really focus during your time at work to justify this, but the 3 minutes it takes to briskly climb up and down the stairs twice refreshes and refocuses me. Climbing 4 flights of stairs 6 times throughout the day--approximately 120 calories.
  3. Find a great mini workout to do first thing when you wake-up to get that metabolism going. Magazines are great sources for these. Fitness Magazine has particularly good express workouts. This is my fav (Stay Slim on the Road), I did it almost everyday while traveling in Europe for 3 weeks this summer; it kept me toned and I didn't gain an ounce despite consuming my weight in olive oil and gelato every day! Just a note, you might have to create a free account to access these.
  4. Fidget! Don't get obnoxious, but a little wiggling throughout the day can burn up to 700 extra calories studies say. If this is a little ridiculous to you, take the long way to the photocopier!
  5. Help out your man! Be it the bf or your Dad, guys do everyday things that burn serious calories. For example, shoveling snow burns around 70 calories in 15 minutes, mowing the lawn burns 60. Even offering to take out the trash, walk your roommate's dog, or empty the dishwasher counts for something!
  6. Give up your seat. Standing burns 50% more calories than sitting, so on days when you need to stand on the train. If you are in a car do some butt squeezes and sit up extra straight to engage those abs!

Things even I think are a bit too extreme: airplane yoga and in office workouts! I mean if you make enough to have an office, you should not have time to bust out a series of standing donkey kicks behind your chair! Obviously, I won't be doing any working out in my cube!

Do you have more ideas? Please share them!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Two a days and lots of treats!

The last three days have been so busy, I almost felt like a top spinning furiously until spiraling out to a dead stop. However, all the fun I had was totally worth it, but I am glad to have two days with absolutely no plans.

On Friday, I did 40 minutes on the elliptical before work. And then a 25 minute run after work. I was feeling very bloated after a work happy hour, and then having dinner with my girlfriend at Otto (one of my favorite Italian restaurants owned by Mario Batali) and toping it off with an incredible chocolate fondue dessert at the Blue Water Grill. I probably consumed a marathon's worth of calories in food and drink that night!

So I tried to really keep my intensity high by doing intervals. I have read over and over that alternating really high intensity with moderate intensity intervals burns more calories and fat than doing a steady moderate pace for half again as long! From what I understand, the difference is that people continue burning calories throughout the day after an intense workout.

A trainer I know completely agrees. He says that you can drop pounds with 18 minutes of cardio 5 times a week if you workout of smart. He suggests warming up for 5 minutes and then alternating 1 minute intervals at moderate intensity (about a level 7) with a minute as hard as you can possible go. Basically you can't wait for the minute to be over. He says if you can do more than 6 intervals, you are not pushing yourself hard enough. 5 minute cool down after.

So after my second workout out, I had very exciting plans to have dinner at Pure Food and Wine, one of my favorite restaurants. Everything is raw and organic with all nutrients and enzymes completely intact.

The food is so beautiful I had to share it with you!

These are pictures I found of what I had because I didn't feel comfortable taking a camera out at the table! I also had a great rioja red wine from Spain!

I found this picture here. I had the Spicy Thai Lettuce Wraps bottom right. They are so yummy collard beans stuffed with sprouts, mango, vegetables, in spicy almond butter sauce with the most delicious tamarind dipping sauce. This photo also shows the outdoor garden seating, I didn't sit there because it is freezing in New York!

I had some of their famous heirloom tomato lasagna with pinenut ricotta, thai basil pesto and sundried tomato marinara.

I couldn't find a photo of the classic sundae I had, but I put photos of raw desserts I have had. The torte is similar to Pure's Triple Chocolate Layer Cake. It is by the talented Chef Russell James, who trained with one of Pure's original owners. Below is Pure's tiramisu!

Saturday, I went to yoga before meeting a friend for brunch, and then I went to the gym, and spent the rest of the day/night running around the city shopping and attending birthday parties.

I got in so much exercise yesterday, I think I will take today off to clean my apartment (a high intensity workout in itself), do homework, and maybe even drag myself to the laundry mat!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A sweet break from all this healthy talk

Last night, I had a really strong workout; I almost didn't want to leave the gym. But leave I did because I wanted to make Valentine's treats for my co-workers.

I bought these cute pink mini take out containers at Michael's and mini cards, 12 for $1.

Then I baked sugar cookies, any recipe will do

And decorated them with Pillsbury frosting and m & m's.

I put the leftover M&M's and a few mini candy bars in the boxes

Then the cookies. I put the cookies in the fridge to cool them down quickly before frosting, and then I chilled them for a few minutes before sticking them into the boxes to harden the frosting.
Then I closed them up, taped on the card and tied with a bow!

This project was actually more theraputic than my yoga class this morning. Just call me Melissa Stewart. It's not too often a girl gets to craft in the city!

Punk Drunk Love?

So how much do I love workouting out if I am actually planning it into my Valentine's Day? Yes, fitness, you are my one and only.

But really, I am planning to go to a drinkstraveganza with co-workers after work to partake in some inter-office, I don't have a valentine, bonding. But after me and two other girls in the office are thinking about going to Punk Rope. One of my co-workers swears by it, and I have been dying to try it. It is offered at locations throughout the city and from what I gather, it hard core jumping intervals set to rock/alternative music.

Great review here, and an excerpt:

So how does one Punk Rope? What is the class actually like? Tim will say that Punk Rope is like recess on steroids (although Tim does not promote schoolchildren experimenting with performance enhancing drugs—say no to Barry Bonds). But that’s pretty much what you can expect. It’s a high-energy, 50-minute class consisting of about 14 intervals set to 14 different punk songs. Maybe you start the class to Green Day and an interval of jumping rope, starting with the basics and progressively working in little tricks and different techniques that focus on different muscles. Then, you’ll hit up an interval to the Ramones, where all kinds of fun activities can happen. Tug of war, relay races—you name it. This is what really brings the class together, where you really get to laugh and play with the people around you.

Since music makes my workout, this is seems like a good time. It seems to have the intensity I love in a good spinning class. I am not sure how the pre-workout drinks will play into the quality (or lack thereof) my workout, but it's not like urban rebounding. I thought I was going to fly off the thing and out the window sober.

Depending on what time my girlfriend wants to go out, I might bail on Punk Rope, but we'll see. I think I will squeeze in a workout before work for insurance.

Laughing Lotus

I took my first yoga class at Laughing Lotus this morning.

It was the Early Bird from 6:45-8:00. The description:

Rise and Shine and catch our earlymorning special for all of you 9-5'ers!Wake up your body and spirit in thisclass with a lively flow that's sure tostart your day off just right.

First impressions, the studio was nice, quiet and smelled of nice fragrant incense, not overpowering, just pleasant. They staff was friendly, and a good saleswoman. I had a free passbook pass, but she convinced me to get the new students first time only deal of a week for $20. This will allow me to try enough classes to really get a feel for the studio.

Laughing Lotus is known for its brightly colored walls, pink, green, purple and blue all in one studio.

My instructor was very nice, tying our class into both the crappy, rainy weather (why do I never remember to wear my fabulous Banana Republic Wellies on the appropriate days?) and the beagle that won the Westminster show.

The class started with a bit too much chanting and chatting for me. But I’ll be honest, pretty much any chatting or chanting is too much for me. I like to get to business and chat/chant later.

The class was good, we flowed nicely through the poses and the music was some of the best I have experienced in a yoga class. There were only a few balance poses that were too hard for a novice like me, but it was an open class. There were only 7 students, so we all got plenty of attention.

I would have liked a more vigorous sequence too really feel a burn. We did slow sequences that allowed for deep stretching, but nothing was held for more than 10 seconds.

There is a sun salutation class from 7:30-8:45, which would make it hard for me to get to work. I asked the manager about them, and she said they weren’t much more vigorous than the class I took. Kind of a shame since, Sun Salutations can be but kickers with all the jumping back and forth and standing to and fro!

But I will definitely try a few more classes to see if I can find one that will allow me to get the caloric burn and invigoration I am after; I plan on doing a good 45 minutes of intense cardio at the gym after work. (I didn’t get a chance to work out last night, even though my body wanted to.) I will also ask me friend how is an instructor to give me a mini session to get the names and moves down, so I can take advanced classes. I’ll put my summary in one post, so you all don’t get too bored!

On a closing note, I did feel calm and centered after my workout. So far my workday has been very pleasant. I also noticed when I was putting on my make-up that skin looked better than usual. Maybe it was the circulation, maybe it was the deep breathing. Either way, I'll take it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

FitTV Hollar!

I was at my parent's house this weekend, and while I would have loved to spend the time upstate skiing, it wasn't in the cards.

However, my parent's have FitTV, which is amazing. If I had Fittv and the Discovery Health channel, I would probably never leave the house!

Over the course of the weekend, I did a few episodes of Gilad's show. Just to be classic. I also did a few All-star workouts, which are great because they feature a different trainer every day. So the workouts are always new. I tried an episode of Namaste Yoga, and it was tought. The positions were to challenging for a novice like me, but it was grounding nonetheless.

Today, I had every intention of getting up to go to the gym before work, but I just couldn't drag myself out of bed. So I did Shape Bikini Bootcamp Redefining workout, it's a pretty good workout for a half an hour. I might try to go the gym after class ( I get out at 7:45PM), if I am really motivated, but we'll have to see.

I just can not seem to go on my lunch hour, midday is a very low energy time for me. If anyone has suggestions on how to change this, bring them on.

If you are looking for a yummy healthy treat for only 30 calories try Adora Chocolates, 500 miligrams of calcium and 30 calories, plus indulgent, pure dark chocolate taste! These have no gross chemical taste like viactiv!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Workout like(with) a guy!

Sorry if I have been totally MIA. I have been so busy with school and volunteering, that I haven't gotten home before 9pm all week!

It has definitely hurt my workout schedule. I actually went to the gym at 11:00pm on Tuesday! I haven't done that in long time. I always play Smile at You by Fleetwood Mac for the line run from the darkenss. haha

Working out this late is good and bad. I am all amped up for a few hours, so I can study or clean until 1 or 2 without crashing. But it does make it harder to wake up. It also can make me pretty hungry, so I have to practice serious self-control to keep my calories from adding up to a full fourth meal.

Anyways, my tip this week would be to try working out with a guy. I worked out with a co-worker this week, and I got a whole new routine and kickass workout. Plus you tend to be a bit competitive when you workout with a partner, push yourself a bit harder.

So this was our workout.
  • 30 minute treadmill run at 7mph.

  • 10 minutes on the rower.

  • 15 minutes on the elliptical.

  • Final five minute push on the rower with underhand grip.

  • Abs on the balls.

Good stuff! A good solid 60 minutes of cardio feels good and switching up the machines allows go to keep your speed up without getting bored.
In other news I went back to Exhale and did the harder Core Fusion class. I have to say, it's not for me, sorry exhale lovers! It is a really good Pilates/strength/yoga combo, but their just isn't enough cardio-like elements for my taste. I like more on the barre and less on the mat. However, the spa is gorgeous, and I love the Green Dragon clothes they sell. But for a kick as workout, I am going to stick with Physique 57 for now.

Next up to try: Prana Power Yoga and Laughing Lotus.