Sunday, December 22, 2013

Winter Break Begins with a GIVEAWAY!

My goal was to fill up every moment of my winter break with fun & friends & to blog every day of my adventures...until last night...when I felt that pain in the back of my throat signifying that I'm coming down with a cold. I was planning on going on a nature walk with my friends this afternoon, but I chose to nap instead after having lunch with my friend Kristin. Something about mud & drizzle just wasn't really working for me & I'm starting to feel kind of achey, so I didn't even really experience FOMO* (much).

Despite the beginning of a common cold, my winter break is off to an excellent start. Lots of Flywheel, acupuncture, & time with friends so far. Last night, Becca, Jess, & I headed to Angela & Brendan's to make ornaments for their tree. Becca & I, the token Jews, had WAY too much fun with this, & I surprised everyone with the fun nostalgia of SHRINKY DINKS! Imagine, if you will, 5 adults (& a black lab) staring intently into the oven, squeeeing with joy as the Shrinky Dinks shrank! SO much fun!

Shrinky Dinks fresh hot out of the oven.
Angela & Brendan's dog Hanes, the new love of my life.
Oh hey, enough about my weekend, I think I mentioned a WINTER BREAK GIVEAWAY! I happen to have acquired a coupon book from Tofurkey: a total of 6 coupons, each for a different item, worth a total of $5 off (or more if you consider double coupons!). Here's the deal: Share a favorite holiday memory in the comments for your chance to win. Winner will be chosen by random drawing on Friday, December 27th @ 11:59pm. Coupon Book will be sent to the lucky winner that weekend, so by the time I go back to work in January, you will have your coupons! Can't wait to hear your stories!

Happy Merry!

*Fear Of Missing Out

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On My Favorite Vegan Lip Balm

I'm one of those people who actually uses up her lip balms before losing them (usually). I'm kind of proud of that fact...even if I am currently a little mad at myself that a relatively new tube of my favorite brand rolled out of my purse this past weekend.

I'm also one of those people who is addicted to lip balm. I always have one in my purse, in my upstairs bathroom, in my downstairs bathroom, & at my desk...with extras in a drawer so I always have them. Yes, I'm a lip balm hoarder

A few years ago, I won a few tubes of Crazy Rumors Vegan Lip Balm from a blog giveaway. That blog no longer exists, & truth be told, I wasn't that impressed with Crazy Rumors.

In addition, though I love the flavors (root beer, yes please!), I'm not that into Hurraw, either (unpopular opinion). Maybe their "moon balm" is thick & rich enough for me, but otherwise, I haven't gotten much benefit from their products.

Last winter, in Harrisburg, I ran out of lip balm. I'm an addict. Panic set in. Because there was no vegan lip balm in all of Harrisburg, the moment I got back to Philly, I headed over to Whole Foods, where I found Soothing Touch Lip Balm, with a happy little "I'm Vegan" right on the tube!
Best. Lip Balm. Ever.
Soothing Touch is not a totally vegan company, which may be why I never see it on any vegan blogs, but they do have a vegan line of products, which makes me happy. Their vegan lip balm is thick, long-lasting, & very healing. It comes in unscented, vanilla chai, & lemon cardamom. I highly recommend it, especially this time of year.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Best. Weekend. Ever.

This coming Saturday is my 1-year Philly-versary. I've been reflecting a lot on how my life has improved since leaving Miami: the friends I spent time with + all the cool stuff I did this weekend = perfect examples of why my life is awesome.

On Saturday morning, I hopped on the train & headed out to the Byrn Mawr Flywheel. I took Nicole's class (excellent as always), got coached by Emily on my form & technique (which helped me sustain about 10 RPMs more in both 2nd & 3rd positions today!), & went to lunch at Vge with Nicole, Emily, & Emma. Bryn Mawr is really cute, & it's always fun to hang with the FLY girls. It was a FLYtastic day!

Saturday night, I attended The Humane League's Holiday Party for the Animals with my friend & neighbor Leah. Prior to the main event, where I later met up with my friends Jess, Becca, Angela, & Brendan as well, Leah & I went to the VIP dinner where we sat with Isa Chandra Moskowitz. (This is the part where I get a little fangirlly.) Vegan with a Vengeance was the first vegan cookbook I owned & it was a life-changer. I remember reading it cover to cover & not only loving the recipes, but also finding Isa to be so cool & relatable. Of course, I totally wanted to be friends with her. Imagine my delight when upon finally meeting her in real life, she made me so immediately comfortable, that I didn't fangirl at all. She was cool to hang out with, her keynote was witty & heartfelt, & I got my copies of Vegan with a Vengeance & Isa Does It both signed.
Leah, Isa, & LJ: Three Awesome Jewish Vegan Women in Fabulous Glasses
On Sunday morning, I finished my Flywheel Ride Every Bike Challenge with bike #1! It was a great ride, & there's a blog post coming on my experience as a whole. It was a lot of fun & I'm really glad I did it.
Ride 49 (Bike 1) of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge (& my Bryn Mawr ride)
Around noon, I met up with Jess, who was so moved by my Thankful Thursday blog post, that she chose to gift me with a shopping trip to Lululemon--it's a really sweet program that Lululemon ambassadors (Jess is an ambassador) get to do for one student during the holiday season. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that she chose me & so overwhelmed with the fabulousness of my new sports bra & tank, that I forgot to take a pic of us for the blog--Jess, I'm coming to your class on Friday morning & I'm wearing my new threads--be ready for a photo op!

I spent the rest of my Sunday baking cookies & watching quirky independent movies on Netflix. This was a really great weekend & it's really all about the people in my life. I've said it before & I'll say it again...moving to Philly from Miami Beach was the best decision I ever made.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thoughts on Flywheel on a Thankful Thursday

Today in class, Jess said something about channeling our "inner endurance athlete." And my first thought was, "I don't have one of those, I'm not an athlete."

Wait, what?

In addition to having been a yoga practitioner & teacher for the past 15 years, I bike approximately 20 miles in 45 minutes almost every day. Sometimes, I take an hour class & I bike closer to 25 miles. Sometimes, I do a double (2 classes in a row) & I bike around 40 miles. I just might have an inner endurance athlete. Thank you, Jess, for helping me find her.

Sometimes, when the torq is high, I think to myself, "If I was on a real bike, I'd probably get off & walk my bike up this damned hill." But I'm not on a real bike & it's not a real hill, so I power through because I'm STRONG. Recently I dreamt that I was riding my bike up Smokehouse Lane (near the house where I grew up, a long, gradual hill that I may or may not have walked my bike up as a child), & in the dream, I told myself to push through because I would in the stadium. Thank youFlywheel, for showing me how strong I am, even in my subconscious!

I hit a new PB yesterday in Nicole's class. She later tweeted me that I'm "the definition of #nevercoast"--hell yes, I am! Thank you, Nicole, for noticing, & for genuinely caring about your students' progress. Trust me, it means a lot.
Rides 47 & 48 (Bikes 3 & 2) of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
Seriously, thank you to the whole FLYfam. Knowing you has changed my life for the better & I appreciate each & every one of you even more than you know. Friendship & fitness...it's really a win win!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

On disobeying my acupuncturist & forcing myself to take rest days

I had a smoothie this morning for breakfast. My body is so out of whack right now (my last period was basically 3 weeks long, 'nuf said), & I'm pretty confident it has much to do with nutrition. My acupuncturist said absolutely no raw, especially no raw cruciferous veggies, but I don't get enough greens without the smoothies, so this morning I did exactly what she told me not to do. And starting my day with a healthy green smoothie seems to help me make healthier choices the rest of the day. I added ginger to it for heat & I had hot tea before & after with all of my herbs & supplements. Then I actually cooked something for lunch (I'm loving Isa Does It, by the way!) instead of having takeout or something frozen. I feel good about this decision. We'll see how I feel as time goes on, & we'll see what she says in 2 weeks.

I'm almost finished with my Flywheel Ride Every Bike Challenge. I'm down to my last 3 bikes this week. My reflections on the front row...I don't like it. I'm often alone, I can't really see the Torq Board, & I just feel awkward. Just 3 more bikes & I can enjoy the middle of the room again. Just 3 more bikes & I can enjoy the "glory" of having ridden all the bikes. It was fun to challenge myself. I'm glad I did it. I'm also glad it's almost over.
Rides 43-46 (Bikes 5, 7, 6, & 4) of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
I was forced to take 3 rest days last week due to tattoo healing. It reminded me of the importance of taking rest days. I don't want to overdo it, I need to be conscious of my bad knees, & I don't want to get burned out. To that end, I'll be doing 3 days in a row of Flywheel followed by 1 day off. On the off day, I might do yoga, but I might do nothing. Doing nothing sometimes is kind of nice. I worry that I could slip into my old lazy ways, but I'm reminding myself that it's just. one. day. I think that's going to be really good for me.

OK, I took time to blog right now because one of the programs I use at work was down, but it's back up, so back to work! Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On Celebrity Worship

I tweeted about this earlier, but 140 characters was just not enough for me to express my disgust with what I saw last night & this morning.

The first article I read about the latest vegan celebrity heros (barf), JayZ & Beyonce, included this direct quote: "On December 3rd, one day before my 44th birthday, I will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!!" Honestly, I'm amazed I was able to find the quote again in the sea of posts worshipping them for going vegan, in which this quote is very noticeably missing.

I just don't understand celebrity worship. At all. They're people whose jobs are acting & music & sports & etc. And yeah, they're good at their jobs. And yeah, their skills do indeed make the world a more beautiful & fun place. But they're people, just like you & me. There's absolutely no reason to put them up on a pedestal. AND, they're grossly overpaid when a teacher (ahem, like ME), who makes, I dare say, a more important difference in making the world a better place, is struggling to get by. The values in our society are just so skewed.

Good on JayZ & Beyonce for trying a plant based diet for 22 days. They'll be healthier for it (briefly) & YAY for bringing attention to the vegan movement. But I think JayZ was very clear in that quote above--they're not about to give up their fur or leather or snakeskin. And you know what I think they're going to do come Christmas day when their experiment ends? I think they're going to sit down to their Christmas ham & turkey & they won't look back.

So. Maybe someone will educate them that vegan means so much more than a plant-based diet. Maybe I'll be proven wrong. That would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath. But maybe we could all just take a step back & stop idolizing them for doing less than every vegan does every day. They're just people, after all.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Flywheel Philly Bikes 10 & 9, Thanksgiving Leftovers Party

I have 7 bikes left until I finish my personal Flywheel Ride Every Bike Challenge. I'm looking forward to being done & riding the bikes I want to ride in the middle of the stadium, but this was definitely a fun experiment.

Bike 10 was a tough bike for me, so bike 9 became an amazing reward. As much as I know that the numbers aren't as important as I make them out to be, it's still a little discouraging to work so hard & come away with a low score. I mean, not so discouraging as to make me throw a tantrum or anything, but still, over 100 points higher the next day on another bike felt REALLY good!
Rides 41 & 42 (Bikes 10 & 9) of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
My Vegan Thanksgiving Leftovers Party was a SUCCESS! I had a great time with my friends, & my fridge is empty of leftovers now, so I'm no longer in leftovers binge danger. (Just check out my google calendar for the past few days...you'll see how much bread pudding I ate!)

I forgot to take pictures once everyone was here, but I realized something I love about this apartment that I loved about my South Beach apartment, as well. It's an easy space to reconfigure any way I want for any event I want. Sit down dinner with my family? Easy with borrowed chairs & tables. Buffet style casual gathering with my friends? Easy with the same borrowed chairs & tables. (Massage room Sunday night? Easy when my massage therapist comes over & sets up her table!)
only half the room, but you can appreciate the setup
In other news, my Handmaid's Tale tattoo is halfway done. We both got tired last night, so we're finishing it in 2 weeks. I can't wait. My literary legs look SO COOL! And with that, I need to get back to work...3 weeks left until winter break, I can do this!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

On Thanksgiving Part 1, Flywheel Philly Bikes 12 & 11, & Nutrition

My Thanksgiving dinner was a success! Everyone enjoyed, even my mom! My brother admitted to being a little scared of the seitan roast, but he liked it so much, he even finished my mom's serving, which seems like a good sign to me. Huge shoutout to my sister-in-law's ex-husband (I know, take a moment to wrap your mind around that one!). He always comes through with any kind of party supplies--a cooler on my birthday, tables & chairs for Thanksgiving--I definitely appreciate him, & I appreciate how positive their relationship is--it's so good for their son, & so different from what I went through with my parents' divorce.
My Dollar Store tablecloths look good to me!
Plate full of Vegan Thanksgiving Awesomeness
DESSERTS!
Oh, & here's something awesome! My stepmom adopted a Farm Sanctuary turkey in my honor this year! How great is that? She really gets it. Makes me really happy.

In other news, I'm almost finished with my Ride Every Bike Challenge! I had a tough ride today on bike 11 (except that I LOVED Jess's playlist, which included I Love Rock N Roll & Hungry Like the Wolf), then it's bike 10 tomorrow, & finally, I'll have made it to the front row (except I did bike 8 on Thursday)! I'm on bike 9 Monday, which I'm pretty excited about because it's the 1st bike I ever broke 300 on, & then I have to take a few days off Flywheel, because I'm getting tattooed Monday night. But after that, I'll have just 7 more rides to finish! YAY & YAY!
Rides 39 & 40 (Bikes 12 & 11) of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
Finally, I've been concerned that I'm not getting enough greens because of cutting out raw as per my acupuncturist's recommendations. It's helped with one of my issues, but another issue is flaring up, so I'm bringing back one smoothie per day. The rest of my food intake will still be warm & cooked, & I'll add ginger to the smoothie to give it some heat, but something definitely needs to change. Wish me luck!

Thanksgiving Part 2 tonight--the Vegan Leftovers Party! So excited to get together with my friends & chow down again! Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday: The Thanksgiving Edition

First of all, I'm thankful that I did so much prep & cooking for the past 2 days, that today, I can kind of take it easy. I have 2 more dishes to make, but mostly, I just have to put some stuff in the oven & let the heat do the work.
So. Much. Chopping.
Taste-testing in Vintage Pyrex.
Because of that brilliant strategizing, I'm thankful that I have time to write this blog post & time to soak in a hot bath.

I'm thankful that my family is not only open to me making the whole Thanksgiving meal vegan, but that they're all excited about it too (almost all...you-know-who is always a wildcard, but I think she'll be on her best behavior).

Oh & I'm thankful for Flywheel (I know, you're so surprised). I'm almost done with my Ride Every Bike Challenge. I'm thankful that today, I allowed myself to go really out of order on the bikes (I'm scheduled for 12, 11, & 10 later this week, but 8 was available this morning in Na'Tasha's, so I took it. I wasn't sure if I'd have time to workout today (see above), but when I saw that I did, of course I went for it!)
Rides 36-38 (Bikes 15, 13, & 8) of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
Of course, I'm thankful for lots of other things: my friends, my family, my health, my career...& the fact that I'm really happy in my life right now.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

And so it begins.

Today is for prep. Lots of chopping & roasting. Starting a few recipes, finishing maybe 2.

This isn't even everything.
People have asked, so here's my menu:
  • Brie (from Artisan Vegan Cheese) & crackers
  • Hot artichoke dip (can't remember where I found this)
  • Roasted squash soup (LJ original recipe)
  • Seitan Roast (Vegan Dad)
  • Stuffing (LJ's mom's recipe, veganized)
  • Caulipots (Appetite for Reduction)
  • Gravy (Veganomicon)
  • Sweet potato latkes (hanukkah-ified from Veganomicon)
  • Cranberries (Veganomicon)
  • Green beans (Veganomicon)
  • Apple Galettes (Veganomicon)
  • Pumpkin chocolate chip bread pudding ( modified from Veganomicon)
Wheeeeee! I love cooking this holiday!!! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Flywheel's Holiday Express Challenge

I hope you're not tired of hearing about how much Flywheel has changed my life, that you get that it's a really big deal that I've gone from couch potato to FLYaddict. I'm so much stronger since I started & I feel a lot better in my body. That's important.

Maybe you've been thinking about joining me? Maybe you already go to Flywheel, but you're thinking about going more often? Well NOW is the time!


I am so stoked for this Holiday Express Challenge. First of all, if you don't have the monthly unlimited package, with this deal, you end up paying less per class than with the other packages. And secondly, you have the added bonuses of a Nutrition Seminar AND a Form & Technique Workshop. (I am beyond excited for this workshop--I can't wait to learn to refine & improve so I can gain even more out of what is often the best 45 minutes of my day!)

The timing couldn't be better--this challenge is nestled between Thanksgiving & Christmas, holidays notorious for overeating (I'm making 12 dishes for Thanksgiving alone!) & it gives you a jumpstart on that get fit & healthy new year's resolution that you know you're thinking of making.

So come on! It'll be fun & it'll be good for you--that's a win-win right there. And let me know if you're going to do the challenge--I'll totally arrange my schedule to be on a bike right next to you, my friends!

The challenge starts Monday, December 2, make sure you call or email to sign up (contact info in the flyer above). See you there!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

On OCD & Numbers & Flywheel

Let's preface this post with 2 things:
  1. I actually have been diagnosed with a mild case of OCD. I'm not just throwing the term around. Fortunately, like my anxiety & depression, it's no longer really affecting my life. (YAY for nutrition, exercise, & years of therapy!)
  2. I'm pretty damn awesome at laughing at myself. Which seems like a really good character trait. Or at least a really good skill to have. It took me a long time to get here.
Rides 33-35 (Bikes 16, 17, 14) of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
Before I started my Ride Every Bike Challenge, I almost exclusively rode bikes 36, 27, & 18. The first time I broke 300 was on bike 9. Do you see a pattern here? Yeah, I like numbers divisible by 9. To force myself to let go of that, I challenged myself to ride all the bikes.

So, of course, I've been riding the bikes in order from 49 to 1. Twice (prior to this weekend), I've had to go slightly out of order (30 before 31, 19 before 20), but it wasn't a big deal, because I was able to get back in order the very next day. But then, I hit a section of the stadium that fills up quickly & I hit it on the weekend.

Yesterday, I did a double because it was the only way I could hit bikes 16 & 17 this weekend. I had to do 16 before 17, but only an hour before, hahaha! It was totally fun--I love Na'Tasha's playlists & my brother was on the bike next to me in the 2nd class! (Also, I enjoyed a Vegan Treats cinnamon roll that was as big as my head last night with no guilt!)

Today, I thought I was registered for bike 15, but I was on bike 14 when I checked in. Here's what happened:
  • I heard Nicole request bike 15 for her mom instead of another one.
  • Wanting to go in order, of course I butted in, "You can put your mom on 14 & me on 15! That way I can ride in order!" 
  • They explained something was wrong with the bike, that it might not be on the Torq Board or in my account. "No problem!" I said, because I'm trying oh so hard to not care oh so much about numbers!
  • I got on bike 15, started pedaling, & I noticed that the torq, current, & total power were all at 0 no matter what, so Nicole's mom (who has awesome taste in music, by the way--I loved her input on the playlist!) offered to switch back with me.
  • So we switched bikes. (Huge shoutout to Gladi & Hilary for switching my bike. Twice.)
So I rode bike 14. And maybe it was a hard bike. Or maybe my legs need a rest after that double yesterday. But I struggled! I'm actually amazed I came away with a 216.

But now I can't stop thinking about bike 15. As much as I claim to not care about the numbers, as I download them to my color-coded excel spreadsheet every day, it's pretty obvious that I care about them quite a bit. I think it might be really good for me to have no idea how I'm doing, to ride based on how the bike feels without seeing my scores. I wonder...would I cheat myself or would I push myself? It might be an interesting experiment.

That story was a lot longer than I intended. Sorry. The rest of my day includes Thanksgiving groceries & doing my best to stay warm. Have a good day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Last Night's Dinner!

OMG. Can we talk about my obsession with Injera Bread? (Here's a hint--it's the texture AND the flavor!)

I first tried Ethiopian food YEARS ago with my friend Kenda in DC at Dukem, & I loved it--spicy, great flavors, great colors, great textures, & is there anything more fun than eating with your hands?! (The answer to that is an emphatic NO!) I went to Dukem with her again a couple weeks ago, & I wondered why I haven't eaten Ethiopian in Philly yet. Because YUM. And because I CAN! (There was no Ethiopian food in Miami, but here, of course, I'm walking distance from an Ethiopian restaurant that Ed goes to so often they know him!)

So last night, Jess & I took Ed's recommendation, & headed over to Almaz Cafe where we both ordered the veg combo. I should have taken an after picture, because I may or may not have licked my plate.
Yum.
When I got home, I called my dad. Because he will LOVE this place & he's never had Ethiopian food before. (His response to me telling him about eating with your hands, "Awwwww, that's GREAT!") I told him that the next time he's in Philly (not counting Thanksgiving), that I'm taking him there.

OK, time to get dressed because I'm doing a Flywheel double today. Not out of a desire for extra exercise...nope, more like an obsessive need to ride the bikes I want to ride in as close to the order I want to ride them in as I can. Yeah, there's a little triple Virgo OCD thing happening here. Extra exercise is just an added bonus. I'm OK with that.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bikes 18-21

Three more bikes down this week! Today, my brother texted me a list of 19 bikes: "Which one would you recommend?" Then my sister-in-law texted to see what time I'm going to Flywheel tomorrow & to tell me how close she is to earning the Power Up tanktop for November. I love that our love of Flywheel has turned into a whole Family Fitness Fun kind of thing!

Rides 29-32 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
I've had a lot of thoughts on the different bikes & why I like what I like, but I'm holding on to that post until I ride 17 more bikes to my finish line! Give me about (less than) 3 more weeks!

Getting ready for an awesome Ethiopian dinner with my friend Jess, then tomorrow, I'm riding a double with Na'Tasha! It was the only way I could get the bikes I wanted in order this weekend...I'm hitting a popular section of the stadium!

Have a great night & a great weekend, dear readers!

(And did you notice? 3 days no posts followed by 2 posts in 1 day! Maybe I was in a slump or something & now I'm out of it! Rad!)

Boring Blogging?

I'm afraid my blog has been boring me. If it's boring me, it MUST be boring you. Sorry, dear readers, but that's why I haven't posted since Monday.

But never fear...I always have ideas up my sleeve. First of all, check out the sidebar. If you really care to see what I'm eating, there's a google calendar widget for you. It's a win-win, I think, because it still holds me accountable publicly, but it doesn't clog up my blog with boring lists of what I ate. This means I can spend more time talking about specific awesome meals (like on Wednesday night, when my friend Ed & I went to New Harmony & happily binged on dim sum!).

Ed's pic of our dim sum yum is way better than the one I was about to take.
In other news, I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving next week--I'm prepping the dinner for my family (even my mom seems to be getting excited), & the Saturday after, I'm hosting a Vegan Thanksgiving Leftovers Party. If you're a Philly-area friend, & I haven't reached out to you yet about this, message me!

Flywheel update coming up shortly...I road 3 more bikes this week, just 17 more to go to complete my Ride Every Bike Challenge!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Weekend of Junk-Food Junkie-ing

I don't know. Maybe it's PMS. Maybe it's the fact that I'm letting too many days go by without holding myself accountable on the blog (oops).

The worst was Sunday. I definitely need to start getting more greens into my system. I'm thinking about bringing smoothies back, despite my acupuncturist's recommendations. Not first thing in the morning, but maybe for lunch. I'm definitely not getting the nutrition I need, as you can see from the past 3 days.

Friday:
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal (the day started off normal)
  • Channa masala
  • Seitan & mustard sauce
  • Hot cocoa
  • More random seitan (I love the texture of Upton's, can't help myself!)
Saturday:
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal 
  • Portobello sandwich & chips
  • Chocolate cupcake
  • Pizza & beer
Sunday:
  • Channa masala (for breakfast, yeah, this day was really weird)
  • Macaroni & cheese
  • An entire (big) bag of Pop Chips (I don't even know how this happened, so much for conscious eating)
  • Candle Cafe ravioli (why the hell am I buying all this prepackaged boxed stuff?!)
I don't know. At least I made it to Flywheel 2 out of the past 3 days. And even to yoga last night, which actually felt REALLY good!
Days 27 & 28 (Bikes 23 & 22) of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
Have a great week!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Confessions of a Dirty Hippie

For at least a year, I've been using a combination of Dr. Bronner's, vinegar, and baking soda to clean everything. And by everything, I mean my clothes, my dishes, my apartment, & myself. And I was OH SO PROUD of this. "Look how eco-conscious I am! Aren't I a better person for not wasting plastic by refilling my Bronner's bottles? Aren't I great for avoiding chemicals? Validate my awesome minimalism & environmentalism & admire me for being so clean! For the love of goddess, praise me!"

But the thing is...my shit was not. that. clean. Really, I was the ultimate dirty hippie.

My clothes were dingy, my dishes were greasy, my apartment had fruit flies, & my hair & scalp left this grody buildup on my comb (I googled it & found on a "long hair message board" that it's apparently normal, but still...I am obviously not that into grody buildup).

Now don't go thinking I walked into CVS & bought shit like Tide or Palmolive or Pantene, because ew, toxic! But I did go into Essene & Whole Foods, compulsively read ingredients, & came away with products made for their specific functions.

I cleaned my apartment last night. I also did 3 loads of laundry. In case you care, here are the products I'm now using:
  • Laundry: 365 Lavender detergent powder, 365 Oxygen whitening powder for whites, & white vinegar fabric softener (not everything had to change!)
  • Dish soap: 7th Generation Natural Dish Liquid
  • Kitchen & bathroom surfaces: 7th Generation Organic All-Purpose Cleaner (works SO well--made me not dread cleaning the bathtub!)
  • More bathroom: Earthworm Mold & Mildew Treatment(so needed for this crazy huge bathtub):
  • Hair: Griffin Remedy Volumizing Shampoo (every other wash--I like the way my hair looks better with Bronner's so I go back & forth)
And wow. My clothes are brighter, my dishes are cleaner, my apartment is fruit fly free, & my hair is fabulous.

Now I'm not only doing something good for the planet as a whole, but I'm doing something good for the people who have to be around me. This dirty hippie is clean!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thankful Thursday & Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bikes 25 & 24

I started writing this post yesterday (& by started, I mean, wrote a sentence & a half), so my Thankful Thursday is a day late. Sorry. But does anyone really care? It's nice to have gratitude every day, right?

I guess I'm thankful that I'm not so compelled (read: obsessed) to write every single day. This feels like a sign that I'm getting better at holding myself accountable, which is nice.

I'm also thankful that things are going so much better at work. It's amazing what a new manager can do for one's work life. I feel like the past 3 months with that boss I didn't vibe with were just a bad dream, & more importantly, I feel inspired again. This might also have something to do with the new coaching aspect of my role, but I know it has most to do with him.

I'm thankful for my brother, my sister-in-law, & my nephews. I love having them in my life. And I'm especially thankful for the friendship I have with my sister-in-law--she is totally one of my favorite people in the whole wide world.

And speaking of favorite people, I'm thankful for Flywheel, & everyone who works there. Na'Tasha & Nicole both always cheer me on & they are both ALWAYS genuinely proud of my achievements. THANK YOU!!!!

Days 25 & 26 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
Finally, I'm thankful for myself for sticking to my goals even without daily blogging. That being said, here's what I ate this week:

Tuesday
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • Potato-leek soup
  • Spicy mustard chickpeas
  • Hot cocoa
Wednesday
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • Rice bowl from Agno Grill (#lunchontheFLY)
  • Potato-leek soup
Thursday
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • Spicy mustard seitan
  • Boston Creme Donut from Vegan Treats
  • Cheerios & almond milk at my brother's house
OK. Happy Friday all! Have a great one & a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bike 26

Whew, that bike was TOUGH yesterday, & Ryan likes a high torq, so I worked really hard! It was a fun class, he played Michael Franti for me--The Sound of Sunshine always makes me happy (it's a regular on the home office dance party playlist), so it was rad to hear it at Flywheel!

Day 24 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge

I'm having a great day at work, getting a lot accomplished, & had a great video conference call with my Teamies today that felt really successful. But I'm excited to leave for Flywheel in a little over an hour. I really need to get a workout in!

OK, yesterday's accountability:
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • Hot & Sour soup from New Harmony
  • Sauteed greens & mushrooms
  • Candle Cafe boxed frozen ravioli
  • Hot cocoa
I really hope that you all realize just how helpful it is for me to share what I ate every day. I've talked about it before, but I would really have some crazy binges before I started doing this. Eventually, I hope that I won't have to hold myself accountable like this every day, but right now, it's just what my OCD needs. So...thank you, readers, you're helping me just by existing!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Wonderfully Lazy Sunday

I had a nice Sunday morning in Harrisburg. Had my usual oatmeal & herbal tea for breakfast, scored 2 unopened packages of steel cut oats from my dad's pantry, spent some time with my mom & didn't get in a fight with her (even though she tried to pick one with me--super stoked that I remembered to use one of the neutralizing techniques that I recently learned AND that it actually worked!)
This is the house I grew up in. Pretty leaves, slightly filtered.
For lunch, I had leftover channa masala before getting on the train back to Philly. On the train, I mostly dozed off or looked out the window--it was really great to get out of the city & see some foliage, but I'm happy to be home.

Yesterday evening, I ordered dim sum from New Harmony, then proceeded to spend 6 hours on the couch finishing season 3 of The L Word.

A wonderfully lazy Sunday, indeed.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

On Traveling by Train & Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bikes 28 & 27

So I wrote this whole entire blog post 2 paragraphs on the train today. About being out of the city & getting to see the changing leaves & about looking forward to helping my dad figure out his new iPhone. But Amtrak's wifi was super sketchy, & nothing saved, so I was left with one sentence. So, here's the revision hours later.

The train was amazing. First of all, I love just rolling into the train station less than 20 minutes before departure--it's SO much better than all the anxiety of flying. Secondly, the ride was gorgeous. I spent a lot of it just looking out the window at the leaves. Is "Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful" still our anti-litter slogan? It should be, because wow, this state really IS beautiful.

I spent a lot of today doing iPhone tutorials for my dad & stepmom (dad has the 5s, stepmom has the 4s--her work JUST upgraded her from her ancient Blackberry). At the end of the day, I think they're both a lot more comfortable in the 21st century, & I think dad might REALLY be into talk-to-text. Tomorrow, I'll take some time to review before I head back to Philly.

In other news, this morning I did my 1st 60 minute Flywheel class with Hanna. It was AMAZING! I kicked such ass on bike 27, that I definitely need to ride it again in a 45 minute class, because I think I can PB on this bike, for sure!
Days 22 & 23 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
And finally, here's my accountability for the past few days:

Thursday:
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • Sauteed greens & mushrooms
  • Chick'n cheeze steak from Govinda's
  • More herbal tea
Friday:
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • Sauteed greens & mushrooms
  • Cheesesteak, potato salad, & a whoopie pie from Blackbird (I cancelled a 1st date that was supposed to be there, & ordered delivery instead)
Saturday (today):
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • Falafel & lentil soup from Shab's
  • Samosas & channa masala from Passage to India
That's it! I'm caught up on blogging! I'm actually enjoying this visit to my home town of Harrisburg (which I basically fled more than 20 years ago) & got to see my friend Adam who has been my bestie for almost my entire life. And now it's time to go to sleep in my childhood bedroom which has been dramatically redecorated over the years, but still feels like mine. G'night!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday & Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bike 29

I think I forgot Thankful Thursday last week because I was on vacation. So yeah, I'm thankful that my week off was so rad that I had no idea what day of the week it was.

Right now, I am SO thankful because it's Thursday & I'm STILL having a good work week. It's amazing what a new boss can do for one's morale. I feel like I can trust this one, like he really has my back, & that the English department will finally no longer be treated as the red-headed step child. The Lead Teachers had our first meeting with him yesterday, & I immediately felt comfortable enough to tell him exactly why I feel that morale has been so low lately. It feels good to have that after the last boss I had who seemed really sketchy to me. If I'm not being myself, I'm obviously not happy, so I'm happier already at work. YAY!

(Whoa, more thankful--the new boss just keeps getting better & better...I just got off the phone with him & I am THRILLED!)

I'm also thankful that I'm reconnecting with a friend with whom I'd had some miscommunications. Oh Mercury Retrograde, you so crazy! Ah, yes, I'm also thankful that MR is almost over! Whew!

Of course, I'm also thankful for Flywheel (duh, when am I not?). I kicked some serious ass yesterday in Nicole's class. I remember the first time I broke 300, I thought it was a fluke. But now I've been up there often enough that it might be time to gift myself with a 300 Club tanktop. We'll see.

Day 21 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
Also, I'm thankful that Flywheel is partnering with Agno Grill for "Lunch on the Fly." I love this--on Wednesdays at 12:30, you can order lunch before class, then come out & it's waiting for you! And YUMMY!
Look how happy & thankful I am to have lunch!
Closeup of my rice bowl & falafel. SO tasty!
In addition to that beautiful rice bowl from Agno, here's the rest of my accountability for yesterday: herbal tea & oatmeal, Candle Cafe mac & cheese, hot cocoa. 
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OK, so what about you, dear readers? Please share what you're thankful for!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

On forgetting to eat.

I have no idea what the hell happened to me yesterday. I was really busy? I just wasn't that hungry? My stomach was upset? I forgot to eat? How the hell does someone "forget" to eat? How the hell do *I* forget to eat?

I had my usual breakfast of herbal tea & oatmeal w/ all the fixins (banana, chia seeds, coconut, goji berries, etc, etc).

I had my epic poops in the morning (I could seriously set a clock by my epic poops. I also just like saying "epic poops.")

In the afternoon, I ate a whole bag of Brussels sprouts (I made Vedge's recipe again...perhaps I should try something else from their cookbook someday too).

In the late afternoon, shortly before Flywheel, I had another epic poop...which confused me, because they're not usually an afternoon occurrence.

During Flywheel, I found myself a little bit nauseated &, umm, gassy (sorry, ladies on bikes 30 & 32), & when I got home, instead of ravenous like I often am, I didn't eat anything, I didn't even make a cup of hot cocoa.

Weird. I don't know what was up with yesterday. I have had a headache for a couple of days, but it's not a terrible migraine, so I just don't know.

Whatever. I'll do better today.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Good Week (so far) & Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bike 31

So far, so good. I'm excited about some changes at work, & even though I had 4 meetings today, I feel really awesome about this shift. The Lead Teachers are going through this "corporate coaching" training, & I'm more than enjoying it...I'm a little obsessed with it, as well as with everything I'm learning about Emotional Intelligence.

When I was promoted (well, not really a promotion b/c my salary didn't change) to Lead a year & a half ago, I remember telling my mom about my new role. She was excited because it sounded like a "manager" & my response to that was HELL NO...I told her I was more like a "helper." "Servant Leader" seems to be the right corporate-ism for my role. And now this coaching training is really taking things to a whole new level for me & I like it! I had FOUR meetings today & I still feel awesome! It feels good to be happy at work again.

Also, I have a new boss--my 11th in 7 & 1/2 years--I'm hearing great things about him from a lot of people...many of whom I actually trust. So, I'm thrilled to work with this guy. Apparently, he's NOT a micromanager! YAY!

When I finished with work, of course I headed over to Flywheel. Na'Tasha's playlist was AMAZING. As usual, I had a blast in her class & I feel great having had a good workout at the end of the day. I'm happy to have ridden bike 31...skipping to 30 yesterday & going out of order wigged me out. What? You all know I'm a little weird. This isn't new information!

Day 20 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
OK, I have a little more work to do before I chill out with "The L Word," but here's my accountability from yesterday:
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • Leftover roasted squash soup
  • Sauteed greens with balsamic vinegar
  • Hot cocoa
That's it! Have a great night!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Too Busy for Blogging & Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bikes 32 & 30

OK, I haven't really been too busy for blogging, unless you define "too busy" as "can't stop marathoning The L Word."

My tattoo is healing really well...I was freaking out a little bit about how many days the pain lasted, but then I talked to a friend of mine who has a lot of large tattoos on her legs, & she reassured me: totally normal. Every time she would get up from sitting, her healing tattoos would throb--exactly what I've been experiencing, what a relief! Now I'm to the gross itchy phase of healing, & after 3 days of laying around on the couch, I got back on the Flywheel bike yesterday.

I'm not super comfortable in the shorts--I really prefer my capri length leggings--but I'm glad I bought them, because it's definitely good for me to be able to workout while I heal.

Here's how the past 2 days looked for me. I kicked ass yesterday on bike 32...not so much today on bike 30...but it still felt great!
Days 18 & 19 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
Sunday night was the New Moon Circle...really powerful changes happening this month, & it always feels good to gather with my sister-friends.
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And here's a little bit of accountability:

Saturday:
Sunday:
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Hummus & pita, roasted squash soup, & quesadillas at the Circle
That's it! And if blogging for myself wasn't enough, I'm applying to be a blogger for my school's website. Should be fun! Have a good night!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Laying Low

Wow. So it's either been so long since my last tattoo that I've just forgotten what the healing process is like, or a tattoo on the leg just hurts more because I put weight on my leg all day long. Whatever the case may be, I've been spending most of my time over the past few days on the couch. I just started watching The L Word, & I'm officially obsessed, so it all works out, but I miss Flywheel A LOT. I'm hoping to be healed enough to go tomorrow...I guess we'll see!

Just going to make this post a quick "what I ate" for the past 2 days, so I can get back to Netflix, but first, I DID leave the house on Thursday, because HALLOWEEN:
Fairy Princess at Vedge & a closeup of Squeee-tastic Pigtails
I called myself a "Last Minute Fairy" because all I did was buy wings at the last minute at a shop on South Street. Everything else I just had in my closet.

OK, accountability:

Thursday:
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • WF hot bar (Yes. I went there JUST to show WFC my new tattoo.)
  • VEDGE with Jess! We ate A LOT. It was amazing. We had 3 desserts because they're small & because HALLOWEEN!
Friday:
  • Herbal tea & oatmeal
  • Chicken cheesesteak & a donut at Govinda's
  • Homemade burritos w/ Daiya & Upton's seitan
  • Hot chocolate
OK, that's enough of a blog post for today. More Netflix please!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bike 33 Happy Halloween!

Before I run out on my quest to find some fairy wings (getting my thigh tattooed yesterday means I'm not wearing fish nets today, so I may have a last minute costume situation), here's a quick post to hold me accountable for yesterday & to rave about the incredible vegan meal I had...at a steakhouse!

But first...

This image is from the cover of Still Life with Woodpecker, my favorite book by Tom Robbins, my favorite author. The other leg will be done in a couple weeks, with The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood--my favorite dystopia. (Amazon links provided--if you haven't read them, you should.)
Minutes after Cindy finished. How awesome is my tattoo artist?
Yesterday started with herbal tea & oatmeal before Flywheel, of course. I had an OK ride on bike 33 & it felt good to fly after 2 days away. Now I have 2 more days away while my tattoo starts to heal.
Day 17 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
After Flywheel, I went to No Ka Oi Tiki (they just use vegan products, I didn't even have to ask!) for my tattoo, was there for a while, made a quick stop at Essene for groceries (including post-tattoo comfort food in the form of salt & vinegar chips & a Sweet & Sara S'mores!), then met up with the fam for Adam's 1st birthday dinner.

We went to Smith & Wollensky (I KNOW!). Nikki had called ahead & they said they'd be happy to make me something vegan. I snacked beforehand, not trusting a steakhouse for obvious reasons, but OH MY GODDESS, LOOK AT THE GRILLED VEGETABLE AWESOMENESS THAT WAS MY DINNER!
My favorite parts were the corn & the mushrooms.
OK, time to figure out what I'm wearing for Halloween dinner at Vedge tonight & possible trick or treating with nephews afterwards! Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Washington DC Trip Part 3

I'm home, but I want to post about my last day in DC before I head out for Flywheel, No Ka Oi Tiki Tattoo, & my nephew's 1st birthday! Wow, busy fun day I have planned! So excited!
Tourists on Segways provide a good seque to touristy pics, right?
After my webinar meetings yesterday, I had time to enjoy a beautiful fall day, so I took a nice walk. I found myself on Pennsylvania Avenue, so I figured, "Why not visit the President?"
Then I walked a little further & got this nice pic of the Capitol building. You know how I feel about politics, & I felt a weird energy around here, so I turned around & headed back for the hotel.
Happily, I found this tree with amazing changing leaves. Reminded me why I love autumn & how glad I am that I moved back to the northeast.

And here's my usual blogginess: herbal tea & oatmeal at Pret A Manger, Mac & Cheese (meh) & Devil's Food Cake (pretty good) from Sticky Fingers, Dim Sum from Ping Pong, & hot chocolate from Teaism.
Dim Sum Yum
Then I got on the Megabus, & headed for home. It was a great visit, especially with my friend Kenda. I can't let years go by without seeing her again!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Washington DC Trip Part 2

Holy moly, did I walk A LOT yesterday! Probably close to 8 miles! It's gorgeous this week, in the 50s/60s, so I have to take advantage of those temps while I still can, & be outside every possible minute.

I had planned on an early morning walk for breakfast, but then discovered oatmeal & herbal tea across the street from the hotel at Pret A Manger. Not having to go far to maintain my breakfast routine is perfect for me! Later, Kenda had a break from work, so we walked to Teaism for lunch. I really should have gotten the tea, because my tempeh sandwich was pretty disappointing: literally, a slab of store-bought tempeh on bread. The soup I had was so terrible, I had like 3 spoons full. What a bummer.

I took a nice long walk to Sticky Fingers to earn my baked goods, then took a nice walk home from Sticky Fingers, because why not! I had a cinnamon roll there...it wasn't the best cinnamon roll of my life (Vegan Treats knocks them out of the park), but I still enjoyed the hell out of it. I'm more excited about what I got to go to eat today for lunch in between my meetings--stay tuned!

After Kenda got done with work, we walked to Pilates. It was my 1st Pilates experience & I really enjoyed it. After Pilates, we walked to Busboys & Poets for dinner. YUMMY! SO many vegan options on the menu, I was almost overwhelmed! The waitress recommended the orzo & it was fantastic!
Yum!
That was yesterday. Now I should probably get my ass out of bed & go get some breakfast before my webinars today. Heading home tonight, & tomorrow is a big day for 2 reasons--tattoo AND my nephew's 1st birthday! Woohoo!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Washington DC Trip Part 1

This may be the perfect 2-day trip I've ever planned & it happened by total chance.

I have this friend Kenda--we taught together in Miami--we stayed in touch & became even closer friends long after she escaped the clutches of that cesspool of a city. She's the smartest, worldliest person I know. She is currently working for an organization based in DC, but she travels a lot for it--most recently, to do research & field work in Nepal. She is currently working on her PhD in London, which is where she currently calls home.

Enter my need want of vegan Birkenstocks & the UK-based company that would not ship shoes to me in the US. I IMed Kenda, asked if they could ship the shoes to her & could she ship them to me. Turns out she was planning a trip to DC for 10 days, she could just bring the shoes to me!

So. Not only do I get my shoes. But I get to see my friend too! AND, she has to work, so I also get plenty of alone time, which I think we are all aware, I ALWAYS need.

Yesterday was crazy busy. After my usual breakfast of herbal tea & oatmeal, I went to Flywheel, got home, showered, finished packing, and made my way to the Megabus. Kenda met me at Union station, we dropped my stuff off at her hotel, hopped on the metro, ran some errands, & then had a nice long walk. I love being with friends who enjoy a good walk as much as I do--we walked almost 5 miles, mostly down Embassy Row, ending up at a phenomenal Ethiopian restaurant called Dukem (I ate there with Kenda the last time I was in DC in 2009, it was on the top of my list to eat there again.) We enjoyed a vegetarian platter (I am obsessed with injera bread!), then took a cab back to the hotel & crashed for the night.
YUM!
Now I'm happily laying around in the hotel, blogging, reading, & doing some work even though I'm on vacation. Meeting Kenda for lunch soon! Enjoy your day!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bikes 35 & 34, Mercury Retrograde

What a ride yesterday morning! I knew the bike was tight when I got on it, but I didn't care, because like I've said before, a great workout is still a great workout. Of course, today's DID feel better because the numbers were better. ;)

Days 15 & 16 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
I won't get into details with numbers, because it would require a lot of explaining, but I'll say this. The ride started out hard...then it got harder...& then all of a sudden, with 3 songs left in the class, it was normal! The only explanation for this was...dun dun dunnnnn...Mercury Retrograde. But if that's my biggest problem this retrograde, I'll take it!

OK, so really quickly because I have a bus to catch for DC, but I want to share a couple highlights from the past couple of days:
  • I got to spend time with my dad--he noticed my weight loss & told me how great I look! He doesn't always notice things, so that felt good.
  • I had an acupuncture appointment yesterday. It went really well & the warm cooked changes to my diet have really benefited my health (which I already knew because I could feel it myself, but it's nice to have it verified.
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And finally, here's my accountability for the past couple of days:

Friday:
  • Herbal tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Hummus & crackers
  • Samosa & Chana Masala from Minar Palace
  • Cookies (minonos from VCIYCJ)
Saturday:
  • Herbal tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Leftover Chana Masala
  • Balsamic vinegars & breads (I went to Cardena's again)
  • Seitan jerky & coconut water
  • Cookies
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That's it! Next post from DC where I plan to relax w/ one of my besties & eat really well!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bike 36 & a Day Late Thankful Thursday

Bike 36 may very well be my favorite bike in the stadium so far. Last night, I hit a new PB AND it's divisible by 9. (I like numbers that are divisible by 9.)

Day 14 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
I just realized I totally forgot about Thankful Thursday yesterday. I'm thankful for one very specific thing at this moment...that I'm taking the next week off work & that I will be DONE for 9 days in less than 4 hours. First I get to see my dad, then I go to DC for a couple days, then TATTOO, nephew's 1st birthday, dinner at Vedge on Halloween with Jess, & the new moon! It's going to be a GREAT WEEK OFF! Wheeeeee!!!

Wait, wait. I'm also thankful for this great coaching training I'm doing at work. It's mandatory for Lead Teachers, but I'm enjoying the hell out of it. I'm even participating!
__________________

Accountability for the past 2 days:

Wednesday:
  • Herbal tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • SO MUCH DIM SUM at New Harmony (this was the scene of the 2nd date, in which I was definitely judged for eating as much as I did, & taking great pleasure in said eating...if I can't enjoy a meal with you, then we are NOT a good match...no 3rd date...ugh)
  • Ginger tea
Thursday:
  • Oatmeal
  • Channa masala
  • Linguine Carbonara (made with Upton's bacon...recipe still a work in progress, but it's a GREAT start!)
  • Hot chocolate

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bike 37

Really quick post because I have to get ready for a second date tonight. The fact that someone made it past the first date is a whole lot of awesome, & I'm really excited to see him again. We've been texting a little since Sunday, not too much, so I'm not so scared. (We'll see how tonight goes...my cousin offered to run free background checks for me, so I hope to have the opportunity to call in that favor.)

I had another great ride this morning, & Jeffrey broke 400 again (this time on bike 42...the one I PBed on, breaking 300 for the 2nd time)!
Day 13 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
Jess's playlist was FANTASTIC this morning...though singing along may have affected my numbers. Singing & cardio don't really go together for me, but I tried. When class started with "Africa" by Toto, I was thrilled...& when she played "Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti, I got really inspired to pick up the pace (umm...except for the singing along issue, hahaha!). Here they both are, for your enjoyment:


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Finally, here's my accountability for yesterday:
  • Ginger tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Sauteed greens & mushrooms
  • Spicy mustard chickpeas
  • Pasta & "meat" sauce (Upton's, of course!)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Reflections on Flywheel Philly Bikes 39 & 38 & Issues with Body Image

It's a 2-post day!

Days 11 & 12 of LJ's Ride Every Bike Challenge
Whew, if you take a look at my score last night, you'll see I struggled on Bike 39. I'm not complaining, because a great workout is a great workout, & last night, I was more about being the proud big sister at Jeffrey's personal best--he broke 400 last night, I am in AWE. My brother is the coolest.

Obviously, you can see I did A LOT better this morning! And this morning, I was super proud of Nikki because she broke 300!

I'm sure it must be the endorphins, but after each of these classes, I was totally overwhelmed with love for my brother & sister-in-law. Or maybe it has nothing to do with endorphins at all...maybe I'm just lucky because I have the best brother & sister-in-law a girl could ask for.

with a new friend at the Farm Sanctuary Walk
After a day of deliberating, I just made the above picture my facebook profile picture. My first reaction to this picture was, "Squeeee! A puppy! With ME! YAY!" My second reaction was, "WTF are those dimples on my thighs, I sure am glad Leah didn't tag me in THAT one!"

I thought about asking my friend Kristin to photoshop my thighs before I posted. And then...I got the fuck over it. I'm 40 years old. My thighs are dimply, dammit! Who cares?! I'm healthy & I have cute pig tails & I'm wearing my awesome vegan socks & I raised lots of money for Farm Sanctuary & I'm WITH! A! PUPPY!

So yeah. I'm over it. And it feels good to be over it. Fuck you, media & society, for instilling the values in me to make me even consider photoshopping this! I'm stronger than you & I'm not alone.
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And with that, here's yesterday's accountability:
  • Herbal tea
  • Oatmeal w/ all the fixins
  • Soft tacos w/ Upton's
  • Roasted sunchokes (meh)
  • ALL the UPTON'S BACON
  • Hot cocoa