Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A good day.

As I titled this post, I had a moment in which I was amazed that I had a good day because I had a headache all day. Of course. But I'm starting to feel better.

I had a good day at work--got a lot done, had a meeting that was positive. I ran some errands, picked up some accessories for my birthday party costume, went grocery shopping, & walked a total of 2 miles.

good shop today!

After my errands & shopping, I came home & made a big salad. It was delicious, but I don't like the one picture I took of it, so you'll just have to believe me that it was awesome. I love a good chopped salad w/ a whole lot of variety of colors & textures. It's awesome.

After work, I had some edamame (pictured above!) & then sat down to watch some Orange is the New Black, during which I ate banana-cacao Vitamix ice cream with, get this, granola sprinkled on top. How's that for variety?

Now to get back to OITNB. Have a good night!

Wednesday Morning & What's Up with my Health

OK, definitely off to a better start today than yesterday with my Something New. I've been better about limiting my social media time & I've gotten a lot of work done already today.

For breakfast, I had a smoothie, of course. The usual, loaded with kale. I don't know if it's the nutritional content of the green smoothies or the loudness of the Vitamix, but my breakfast really wakes me up & gets my day going! I added peaches to my smoothie today, they used to be a staple, but I haven't had them in a while. They made for a very tasty smoothie that I forgot to take a picture of. That's OK. It looked pretty much like any other green smoothie.

For my little snack between breakfast & lunch-ish, I had some eggless egg salad & rice crackers. YUM. But after last night's post about my ruts, I'm inspired for some errand running this afternoon.
a tasty rut to be in
I have a meeting at 1pm. After that, I'm going grocery shopping with a very specific list based on some recipes I'm excited to try.

So I alluded to some health issues I've been having early on in this blog. Here's the deal. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome--here's the basics on wikipedia, feel free to learn more elsewhere). My symptoms have included ovarian cysts & uterine fibroids; irregular, heavy, & lengthy periods (read: scary); acne; & quite strangely, hair loss (most women w/ PCOS have an excess of hair, in much fewer cases, the symptoms can mirror male pattern baldness, ugh).

I obviously prefer to treat this as naturally as possible, so my medical team consists of Dr. Jaie my Naturopath, Eva my Acupuncturist, & Nancy my Midwife. My treatment includes:

  • Acupuncture every 1-2 weeks
  • Herbs & Supplements
  • More exercise, especially more cardio
  • Eating a lower glycemic index
  • Eating less gluten
  • Eating less processed "foods" in general

The reason I bring this up today is because in addition to clearer skin & less hair loss, my moon just started today & I'm already starting to see some improvement in my cycle since making the exercise & food changes. When my cycle is as short as it's been, 1 day more between periods is actually quite an improvement. The moment of truth will be when we see how heavy the flow is this time & how many days it lasts. Wish me luck for something normal!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

And speaking of ruts...

Of course, I had granola w/ blueberries & blackberries for a snack while I watched Orange is the New Black.

My friend Katie tweeted me an answer to my question about being stuck in a rut in the previous post. There are spreadsheets involved. I'm overwhelmed by the potential for awesome. Ahhh, I do so love spreadsheets.

But before the spreadsheet idea appeared before me, I decided to start flipping through my cookbooks again. Do you know that I've had Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Appetite for Reduction since it came out & I still haven't made anything from it?! What is wrong with me?! So that's where I'll start.

And I may very well be building [& color coding] a spreadsheet very soon.

Oh, & my Something New of laying off of social media? Didn't go so well today. Just check out my timeline. However, I still had a very productive day. And tomorrow is another day, I'll try again. :)

Have a good night!

Stuck in a (Yummy) Rut & a Positive Spin

So, I'm a triple Virgo. One thing to note about Virgos, besides the obvious OCD, is that we are creatures of habit. Do I think this is a bad thing? No. But do I think it makes for boring blog material for my readers? Maybe.

Can you guess what I had for dinner? You've seen it on this blog before, & you will, indeed, see it again.

I thought about making a tofu scramble, but ugh all that chopping & the hot stove! Instead, I just threw together another eggless egg salad which I had w/ rice crackers. It's fast, it's easy, & it's very tasty.

Here's the positive spin, though. The old me would have eaten the whole batch in  less than 2 days. As well as all the rice crackers...actually...if I'm being really honest here, maybe even 2 packages of crackers in that time. So I'm working really hard on portion control because I admit that I do have binge tendencies. And even if I am eating some of my favorites over & over, at least I'm getting to enjoy them over & over instead of scarfing them down so fast & then feeling sick from the overeating.

Do you ever get stuck in ruts like this? Any suggestions on a way out of it? Or if I even should get out of it? What would YOU do?

Throwing random ingredients together

I don't know if it's because I'm super hungry because all I've eaten since that epic Flywheel class this morning was an apple & hummus, or if what I threw together just now is actually good, but I'm going to go with the latter.

Does it even look good? Meh.
So I made some quinoa today. And I baked a sweet potato. Then I stir fried some garlic, ginger, mushrooms, & peas (I really love peas...a lot of people think that's weird, but whatever, it's a texture thing). I added some seasonings & wilted in some spinach at the end. Then I threw it all together. Weird, right? But definitely tasty. Or I was just super hungry. 

Umm. It wasn't so tasty that I needed to write down the recipe to remember it. So I guess there's that. Whatever the case may be, it packed a nutritional punch, right? And that's what matters.

Awesome Tuesday Morning Part 2.

Yes! Another Personal Best at Flywheel this morning. Every day, I get closer & closer to hitting my goal of 300!

You know why I kicked ass so hard today? Because Jeffrey was flying on the bike right next to me. He's been away for about 2 weeks, is getting over a cold, AND didn't have enough breakfast this morning, but he STILL killed it with a total power of 323 & a PB for average torque at 30! (Yes, we DO both study our stats!) I'm totally impressed and totally inspired. Thanks, little brother! And thanks, Hanna, for giving us a kickass class...& for playing Madonna!

After class: Sweaty Sibling Selfie

OK, back to work! Also hungry.

Making Me Happy this Morning

Great things are happening in my world this morning:

  1. Michael Franti & Spearhead's newest album, All People, was released today. I woke up to my iTunes pre-order all ready for download. I'm listening to it right now & it's just one home office dance party after another. His music is just so uplifting. Makes me happy.
  2. I added raw cacao to my smoothie. I'd stopped that for a week or so, not sure why at all. It's super tasty. Looks green + tastes chocolatey = radness. Makes me happy. 
    cacao + green
  3. Going to Flywheel at 9:30. Can't wait. First time to take class with my brother on the bike next to me. Going to be so much fun. And so competitive. And he's totally going to kick my ass. Makes me happy.
  4. I got work done last night that was on my to do list for today. Finally not feeling like I'm drowning at work. For a moment. Makes me happy.
  5. I got a good night's sleep. I really love my official 11pm bedtime. I did have some insomnia, I couldn't stop thinking (it happens), but I was working on manifesting something awesome, so it's OK. Makes me happy.
It feels good to take stock of these little things that make me happy. It's always good to take a moment & have gratitude for all the good things in life. I try to live in happiness & gratitude every single day. But sometimes when I'm under a great deal of stress, I slip into survival mode. Which brings me to my question to you, dear readers. When you are so stressed, & you're just IN IT, how do YOU get out, how do you find your way back to that happiness & gratitude? Please share some strategies. Comment or tweet @ me! And have a great day!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Oh Monday.

So drained. But got so much accomplished.

The staying off the social media most of the day was a big help. Yay for Something New. My day started great, super focused, super productive. But I took a walk-break this afternoon to run some errands (walked a total of 2.2 miles, yay for remembering to use Map My Walk!). After that, I was much less productive for a couple hours. Still got a good number of phone calls done, & now, after I should be finished with my work day, I'm still taking care of a few things. It's an extra crazy time right now at work, but as soon as I finish this post, it's back to Orange is the New Black.

Let's see. For a late lunch, I had some spring rolls. After errands, I had a bowl of potato-leek soup. And now, I'm going to have a bowl of granola w/ blackberries & blueberries.

spring rolls. fwiw.
That's all I really have to say. Sorry, dear readers. I am exhausted & my brain hurts. I hope your Monday was not nearly as stressful as mine.

Have a great night!

Eat & Tweet

So. Much. Busy.

I'm just about finished with grading for the day, but I couldn't go any further until I ate something. I finished the rest of my faux tuna (chickpeas) w/ rice crackers. And now, I'm about to get right back into grading.

I've checked Twitter a couple times, & responded to a few tweets, but having TweetDeck closed was probably one of the best decisions I've made! Truth: I may or may not be having withdrawal symptoms from Twitter. My little work breaks will be to Eat & Tweet. Heehee...I love that--it rhymes--that makes it become a "thing" for me! Fun!

OK, enjoy the rest of your day, dear readers. I'll check in with you later!

Monday, Monday

Good morning! Remember last night when I said I had a couple more projects to work on? That actually turned into watching the 1st 2 episodes of Orange is the New Black. Worth it. And worth reactivating my Netflix. Looking forward to the end of the day so I can watch 2-3 more eps!

So, it's not even 9:30am & I've already done about 2 hours worth of work this morning. As far as my Something New is going, I checked social media early, tweeted about the fact that I won't be tweeting (um, what?), & have been avoiding it since...except to write this blog post. I'm feeling a lot better & less overwhelmed about work than I was last week, I hope this feeling lasts.

Breakfast is, of course, a green smoothie. It's much more satisfying than yesterday's.


That's it for me so far today. Those papers aren't going to grade themselves & those teenagers certainly aren't going to call themselves. But, I do have a question....

I wonder. Has Something New inspired any of you, dear readers? What new things are you trying? New foods? New strategies? Something that scares you? I'd love for you to share in the comments. Of course, you can always tweet @ me too, but know that it might will take me a little longer to respond to tweets.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Sunday Afternoon...full of WORK?

So there's a lot going on at my school right now (for those of you that don't know, I'm a High School English Department Chair in an online school): the new version of my course launches tomorrow, & there's a lot to do to get ready for it. I needed to deal with a lot of html today, all while learning a new template. I needed no distractions, so I had to leave the house.

I went to Chapterhouse, my usual free-wifi-cafe, but their wifi wasn't working so well today. So I had some ginger tea with a friend, then did a yelp search for "free wifi" to find another place nearby...a place that was not Starbucks. And that is how I stumbled upon Good Karma Cafe. Free wifi, vegan snacks, inexpensive, & a block closer to my house than Chapterhouse. I still love Chapterhouse because board games(!), but I think that Good Karma will be my new go-to place for those times I need to work outside of my apartment.

Not only did I get a whole lot of work done in the hours I was there, but I also had a couple of healthy snacks. I had an herbal tea & a bagel w/ peanut butter & banana & a few hours later I had a chocolate-soy-banana smoothie. Not bad for cafe food, right?

nom nom nom
They use plant-based plastics & they take recycling VERY seriously
I got a lot accomplished, & I was finally ready for a change of scenery, so I made my way home...through the rain. Home at last, cold & wet, I found myself defrosting the potato leek soup I promised Nikki I would save for her. I do not think this makes me a bad sister-in-law, & I'm sure she won't either, because she knows I make this soup all the time. And I needed soup! Cold & Wet!

Also, I ended up walking about 2 miles today as I made my way from one cafe to another. Not bad for being a little stiff from all of yesterday's walking.

Now I have a few more projects I want to work on tonight while I gear up for a very busy week.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend, dear readers. Have a great night & a great week!

Addendum to previous post

That smoothie did not do a damn thing for me this morning. I've already had faux tuna + rice crackers.

Also, let's add get the hell off okcupid completely for the whole week (if not longer) to my Something New. Because ugh. Seriously. If you see me mention okc this week, CALL ME OUT.

Something New & What's in Store for Sunday

You may remember last Sunday, when I started my first official Something New. The purpose of doing something new is to develop new good habits. Last week, it was my goal for every school night to be in bed by 11pm. This worked so well for me: I was more focused & productive at work, & I was even in bed before midnight on the weekend nights. This is a new good habit that I'm definitely keeping.

I was planning on making this week's Something New to remove all of the game apps from my iPhone...but I already did that a few days ago & I don't even miss them a little bit, so I needed to think of something new & different for this week. This week, to add to my efforts at being more focused & productive at work, I am going to limit my social media usage: no facebook or okcupid during the work day + taking little breaks to blog & tweet. Wish me luck...& feel free to call me out if you see me tweeting too much!

Oh yeah, of course I had a smoothie for breakfast. I had a bit of a late start today, & some work to do around the house, so not sure what else my Sunday will bring.

The usual.

Have a great day! And if you're trying something new this week, I'd love to hear about it! Comment or tweet @ me!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Brief reflections on Blackfish & the rest of my night.

So Blackfish was excellent. I'm not going to say a lot about it, but I do recommend it. Sea World is nothing but a heartless corporation who exploits both wild animals & human beings. I have more to say, but if I start, it will turn into a really long rant, & this blog is not the place for it. Just educate yourself. See this film. Take action.

In other news, I think, in addition to Flywheel this morning, I think I walked a total of 6 miles today. It might even be more, the way I zig & zag through the streets, basing my turns on the lights. I should start using that Map My Walk app...downloading now. Because I want to know exactly! (Of course I do.)

After the movie, I had some granola w/ blackberries, blueberries, & banana. The usual evening snack.

But wow. What a great day! I was out of the house almost the entire day, I feel like I lived every moment of my Saturday! I'm going to sleep really well tonight!

Saturday afternoon.

I can't believe how much I walked this afternoon, at least 4-5 miles, I think so far. I was all over the city, treating myself to acupuncture, buying a ton of produce at the Italian Market, eating stirfry at Honeygrow, not finding most of what I needed at Trader Joe's. Now I'm exhausted & I think I need a nap before the rest of my Saturday night starts happening. But in the meantime, here are a couple pictures:

$10 worth of produce from Italian Market!

Stirfry goodness from Honeygrow.

I think I'm seeing Blackfish tonight at the Ritz. I'm looking forward to it, as I've been boycotting Sea World for quite some time. Hopefully, I'll make it to the Ritz on time. I don't always have great luck with that, but maybe tonight will be my night!

Saturday Part 2.

I love the moment I get home from Flywheel & my workout clothes are so drenched that I literally have to peel them off. They're sitting in a pile on my living room floor while I write this post & have a quick snack before I shower, & head out for the rest of my day.

I. Love. Stats.

It's so much fun for me to track my progress. Today wasn't a PB, but I still feel awesome. I could very easily obsess about getting better & better each time, but I've consciously chosen not to. Every time I go to class, I do the best I can. As long as I keep doing that, I feel great. Every day does not need to be a PB!

My little snack was faux tuna (chickpeas) & rice crackers. Have you noticed how much I love rice crackers? My grandmother introduced them to me about 25-30 years ago, & I've been obsessed ever since. I can actually eat a whole package all in one sitting. I haven't, though, in a couple of weeks. Proud of myself!

More photogenic than I thought it was!

OK, dear readers, I need to move on to the next part of my day! And if you haven't told me about YOUR Saturday yet, I'd love to hear about it! Enjoy!

Saturday morning!

Woke up this morning, still totally jazzed about that yoga class last night. It feels good to teach once in a while, though I have no interest in teaching regularly. Still, I wish this rotator cuff pain would ease up a little more so I could be back on the mat a little more often for myself. My massage therapist mentioned that the pain is probably also related to my job and the fact that I spend all day every day typing away on my computer. I'm just going to ignore that as I keep on blogging....

Breakfast was, of course, a smoothie. But I forgot to take a pic of it & it's more than halfway finished. It's pretty green.

I've got a busy & fun Saturday ahead of me: Flywheel, acupuncture, Farmers' Market (or Italian Market), a movie, & a couple of projects I want to focus on...some of this may end up being on Sunday, hahahaa.

What fun plans do you have for your Saturday? I'd love to hear about them, so please, comment or tweet @ me! Have a great day!

Friday, July 26, 2013

What a great night!

I had SO MUCH FUN tonight. First of all, my yoga class went really well. It was a very twisty class--I love how detoxifying twists can be--so I hope that a lot of my students went home & had some great poops. (Oh yeah, I don't think I've mentioned yet on this blog how obsessed I am with poop. So. Now you know.) I had fun, they had fun, my asana sequence flowed really well, & my playlist was pretty damn rad.
Playlist. Songs that I love that uplift me.
After class, I walked with one of my friends who came to my class to Rittenhouse Square to meet up with another of our friends for a picnic. She made us black bean & sweet potato BURRITOS. I live for burritos! I had one burrito & some "Beanitos" chips w/ leftover burrito filling. SO happy. When my nephew was an infant  (not that long ago--he's 9 months old now) & I'd see him all swaddled up, I used to call him a burrito. He's also yummy.
Burrito. Not my nephew.
On my way home from the park, I stopped at Rita's for a kid's size Chocolate Water Ice. Yummers.
My sweet treat for the night.
Now I'm going to soak in an epsom salt bath & rest. I have a busy day tomorrow that includes Flywheel (duh), acupuncture, & perhaps a movie if I can make it to the Ritz on time. Have a great weekend, dear readers!

2.5 hours til yoga

This hummus that I got last week at the Farmers' Market. I don't even have words to describe the yum. It's local, FreshaPeel Hummus from Lancaster, PA (FYI, it's pronounced LAN-cas-ter, not lan-CAS-ter). They had so many cool flavors to try, I somehow ended up with the Summer Pumpkin Hummus & it's fantastic on Granny Smith Apples. Guess what I had as a mid-afternoon snack. Yep.

Later, I had an ear of local sweet corn that I roasted in the oven. DELISH. Sorry, no pics.

I'm just ready to leave my work day behind & get to the yoga studio. Then, after yoga, I'm having a picnic dinner with some girlfriends in Rittenhouse. Great way to start the weekend!

Friday Finally!

Oh hey, did you know I'm teaching yoga tonight? What? You didn't know? Where've you been? Funky Friday Flow @ 5:45-7pm tonight at Yoga Garden on South Street. (If you've never practiced there, your first week is free!) I put together a great playlist and wrote a great asana sequence. It's going to be so much fun!

In other news, I'm having another stressful day due to the same reasons I mentioned yesterday. I'm being deliberately vague because this aspect of my life has nothing to do with the blog, but I'm exploring a lot of options & possibilities for both situations, which are, to a degree, related.

Nevertheless, while in a conference call full of gloom & doom this morning, I still had time to enjoy a smoothie.

smoothie at my desk

Later, as promised, I made some faux tuna salad out of the rest of those chickpeas, which I enjoyed with some rice crackers. No pictures, because this stuff is beyond not photogenic. But oh so tasty!

OK, back to work. I'm overwhelmed & in a bit of a meltdown, but I'll get through it! Have a great day, and SEE YOU TONIGHT AT YOGA GARDEN!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

a VERY little bit of comfort fooding

After my amazing morning, the rest of my day was a letdown, to say the least. I had kind of a bad work day because of reasons I won't get into here (bad work days happen, fortunately, they're not the norm). Also someone who I trusted, outside of work, has been letting me down for some time now & today, I reached the end of my rope. I had to turn mean & I'm really upset that I've been put in this position.

I tried to suck it up & get some work done. But it was hard. I made a healthy eating choice, & enjoyed a late lunch of some spring rolls. Then I tried to get more work done. But, of course, some students gave me ' teenagers are wont to do, of course. I've worked with teenagers for 15 years, usually I'm used to it. But today, it's like I was being kicked when I was down. The worst.

So I made a conscious decision. I was going to allow myself one vegan ice cream bar from Sweet Freedom. JUST ice cream. No brownies. No cupcakes. Only ice cream. I walk in & say, "I need ice cream." And she says, "OK, but we're all out of chocolate." (Yeah, they know me there.) And the tears welled up in my eyes. But then: "We have cookies & cream!" Me: "That'll do." And it did.

Mmhmm. This helped. A lot.
Later, I had leftover garlic-chickpea-marinara for dinner. It was better today than yesterday. And after hosting a late-in-the-evening webinar, I had my favorite nighttime snack: granola w/ blueberries & bananas & almond milk!

Tomorrow will be a better day. And a FRIDAY! Have a great night!


So. Fucking. Proud. Of. Myself.

I hit a personal best this morning at Flywheel. 4 points higher than my last PB. I'm psyched, not only that I did it, but that I actually care about the fact that I did it. This is new, this having fitness goals, & it's pretty damn fun.

OK, I'm nomming on the last of my eggless egg salad w/ rice crackers, & listening to a meeting at work, so I'll check you later, dear readers!

Hope you're having an excellent Thursday!

I'm SO excited!

Good morning! I'm getting really stoked to teach yoga again tomorrow night (Funky Friday Flow, 5:45pm, Yoga Garden, 9th & South St).

Last night, I wrote an asana sequence that I'm really proud of (just came right back to me...I hope everyone is in the mood for some cleansing twists!) and I started pulling songs for my playlist. The last time I seriously taught yoga was before this trend of the playlist really mattering began. I'm liking this trend...especially because for Funky Friday Flow, the playlist is as important as the asana. Right now, I'm listening to the 1st draft of the playlist, seeing how it flows, and I'm as excited about the music as I am about the asana. This is going to be a great class!

Balcony Smoothie. And PECO.

It's been a busy morning so far. I've also been grading papers, drinking a smoothie (duh), and getting ready for Flywheel! After Flywheel, I have a meeting, so I'll catch you this afternoon, dear readers.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'd forgotten how much I love cooking.

A couple days ago, I made a huge pot of chickpeas. I know I'll be using a lot of them to make some mock tuna this week, but I found myself craving the texture (of course) so I started flipping through my cookbooks to decide what to make. Alas, none of the recipes really spoke to me...I saw one that included marinara sauce, so I took that idea & did my own thing.

Being back in the kitchen, as opposed to waiting for the delivery guy to arrive, has really awakened my creativity (writing every day hasn't hurt, either!). I love seeing what I have in the house, considering what nutritional needs I haven't met yet for the day, & then just throwing something together & seeing how it goes. Today, it went well. I don't have a name for this dish, so let's just call it chickpea-mushroom-garlic-spinach marinara, OK? Because that's pretty much what it was. HEAVY on the garlic. And yum. And fast & easy. And this is why I'm not a cookbook author.

my shitty aerial view food pics might be another reason

It was a busy day at work, so I only had time for 2 pretty short walks, maybe totaling 1/2 hour today. Bummer. But, I'll make up for it tomorrow morning, because I'm going to FLYYYYYWHEEEEEEL!!!!!!

Tonight, I'm having one more snack of granola w/ blueberries & banana, & I'm either going to watch a movie or work on my yoga playlist.

Have a good night!

A Special Treat

Sweet Freedom Bakery is one of my favorite places in Philly. Not only vegan, their baked goods are also gluten free & allergen free. So I can go in there & get whatever I want! Squeee!

Nutritionally, Dr. Jaie (my naturopath) wants me to focus on eating a lower glycemic index, so that means cutting back on all the things that my sweet tooth craves so hard. But baked goods from Sweet Freedom don't have processed sugars or processed white flour, so for sweet treats, they're definitely a healthier version. And I deserve a sweet treat, dammit!

So today, after a snack of eggless egg salad (I'm amazed & proud that it's lasted this many days!) & rice crackers, I met my friend Takia (Uptown Soul Food) for cupcakes at Sweet Freedom!

Vegan GF Fauxstess Cupcake Goodness! <3

The conversation was, of course, as great as the cupcake...I have really awesome friends. Now I'm back at the home office to get some phone calls done.

How is your Wednesday going, dear readers? What are some of your favorite sweet treats?

A Smoothie & Some News

I tweeted this morning about licking the tamper of my Vitamix & had a request for my smoothie ingredients of the day. So: kale, apple, banana, blueberries, ginger, sprouts, spinach, red cabbage, grapes, almond milk, flax seeds, dates, supplements. I think that's it.


It seems as though the heatwave has broken. I actually enjoyed the above smoothie out on my balcony while sitting in an adirondack chair, enjoying the breeze & the morning sun...& grading papers. 

And then I got an email from a friend who needs me to sub her yoga class on Friday night. Though my practice may be limited because of my shoulder, I can still teach! I don't think I'll ever teach yoga regularly again, but I love being out of retirement just enough to sub once in a while. So. If you're in Philly, I'll be teaching Funky Friday Flow at Yoga Garden from 5:45-7pm. Come get your asana on!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday night.

I just got home from Flywheel. I was hoping with all those carbs I loaded up on today, what with my insatiable appetite for risotto, that I'd possibly hit a personal best, but that was not to be. Still, I had a great workout & I kicked some ass. I feel like workouts are meant to be fun, and goddamn, Flywheel is FUN!!

I feel a hell of a lot better than when I wrote that super honest post earlier this afternoon. Feedback from friends helped me to see that I'm not alone (please keep the comments & tweets coming, I'm always looking for strategies to stay on top of my goals), but what really helped me was a great workout to great music. Na'Tasha's class was amazing, & I feel myself getting stronger every time I go to class. I also feel myself wanting to go out dancing. Seriously, y'all, if you haven't tried Flywheel yet, you're missing is NOT "just spinning"--it is really SO much more. They have stadiums all over the country, see if there's one near you. And if you're in Philly, click here & COME FLY WITH ME!!!!


When I got home, I had some granola w/ blueberries, bananas, & almond milk, & then I took a hot shower. Now I'm curling up with a book & getting ready to crash. I may even be asleep well before 11pm! Have a good night!

In the spirit of honesty...

I indulged in one of my bad habits today. Gotta own it publicly, right? I said I would.

I've eaten leftover risotto 3 times today. And honestly, it's not as great reheated as it was last night. Still yummy though. Obviously. Actually, I'm surprised & impressed that I didn't have risotto first thing for breakfast, because I totally woke up thinking about it.

It wasn't quite a binge, because it wasn't all at once & I'm not sitting here miserable from the overeating. And I made healthier choices this morning. But I just. couldn't. resist. I know I'm an emotional eater, or what I often call a comfort-fooder, but I'm not feeling particularly sad or in need of comfort today.

Am I alone in this? Does this kind of thing ever happen to you? Do you have coping strategies or ways to have more willpower in situations like this one? PLEASE SHARE!

I think some of my food issues/ eating habits are partly an occupational hazard because I work from home. But that doesn't explain how much I eat if I'm working in a coffee shop (I've rationalized this one because I've felt guilty for not eating/buying anything if I'm sitting there all day using their free wifi). It also doesn't explain that I had similar habits when I worked outside of my home. Yeah, so ignore that theory, I'm just rationalizing.

I'm leaving for Flywheel in about 2 hours. SO glad I'm going to get a great ass-kicking workout. I need it especially after the comfort-fooding episode of this afternoon.

OK, so dear readers, I really need you now. Please comment. If you want to commiserate, please feel free to share your own weird eating habits in the comments. Or, if you have strategies or suggestions, that would be awesome too. Thank you!


I'm going to Flywheel tonight! The excitement of that is getting me through my day, which is, as usual, full of grading papers & calling students. I slept really well last night, woke up before my alarm, & ready to go...though I have been spending more time tweeting than I should be. Still, I see a definite change to my life with going to bed by 11pm. I didn't even need a nap yesterday!

I had another smoothie for breakfast. It was really tasty with the addition of grapes. I love the flavor of grapes, but I hate the texture, so they're perfect for smoothies. (You will notice that foods I love & hate are almost always related to their texture. Is texture something you feel strongly about? Or is it just a weird LJ thing?)

Mmmm...smoothie goodness....
Later, after I finished all my grading, I had a snack. Have you noticed I eat a lot of small snacks throughout the day? This actually works better for me & I also get a lot more variety because of it. I had more eggless egg salad w/ rice crackers, because YUM.

(it's tofu)
Now it's time for the never-ending phone call portion of my workday. Hope you're having a good Tuesday!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Risotto so tasty I had to write it down...

As I was stirring & stirring & stirring & stirring & stirring & stirring, I was thinking about how risotto is such a labor of love & about that time 2 years ago when a certain Chef from Germany made risotto for me. Sigh.

The inspiration for tonight's risotto came from two places. First, was my twitter friend Amandah, a vegan & a rockin' Flywheel instructor--she made risotto a few days ago. (Go follow her on twitter & check out her classes, y'all!) The second inspiration was the shiitake & oyster mushrooms I bought on Saturday at the Rittenhouse Farmers' Market. My process was to google mushroom risotto recipes, glance through them, & then do my own thing.

I'm not so good at following recipes, but I wrote this one down because it was so tasty I wanted to remember what I measurements, though. What about you? What's your cooking process like? Do you measure or eyeball? Do you have a favorite risotto recipe?


Later, I had a small bowl of granola w/ blueberries & blackberries & almond milk. Sweet tooth = satisfied.

Oh yeah, before dinner, I did have time for a 40 minute walk, during which I ran into exactly the friend I was hoping to run into! I honestly think the reason I had time for the walk was because of going to bed before 11pm last night. I had a successful, productive day, & I intend to do so again tomorrow. 

Have a good night!

Monday Afternoon

Busy, busy, busy, but I think I can see a big difference in my day having gone to bed 2+ hours earlier than I usually do. The purpose of doing Something New is to create new, healthy habits. I'm definitely more productive & less of a procrastinator today than I usually am. We'll see how the rest of the week goes.

Once I got finished with the mountains of grading I had to do, I had a little snack. I made myself some eggless egg salad & enjoyed it with rice crackers. I could have very easily brought out the whole bowl of eggless salad & the whole sleeve of crackers & gone to town on it, but I'm working on portion control, so I brought out just the right amount.

Not the most photogenic food, but so tasty!
Later, I needed a break between all the phone calls I'm making, so I made some spring rolls, with the usual insides (carrots, scallions, mushrooms, sprouts, spinach, red cabbage). Inspired by Chef Rich Landau's (Vedge) epic win on Food Network's Chopped, as well as by what I'm reading in Vegan for Her, I added some chia seeds. It made the texture of my spring rolls even more fun! Who knew?!

Homage to my favorite Chef in Philly is pretty weak, but I tried!

A few more phone calls for work, & then I am definitely going to enjoy a walk with no particular destination or errand, before I come home & do even more phone calls & a dinner that I'm excited about making.

So, dear readers. How is your Monday going?

Monday Morning

Last night, I started my first official Something New. I went to bed before 11pm. I intend to do so every day this week & see how it changes my life. This morning, I leapt out of bed with my 7:20 alarm...if you follow me on twitter, you know that this is a huge accomplishment. I washed my face & brushed my teeth (I don't always do this--grody occupational hazard of the working-from-home set), made my way downstairs, & got right to work! So far, so good!

After taking care of a few emails, spreadsheets, & calendar invitations for my team, I made breakfast. Can you guess what it was? Did you say a smoothie? Well, of course you are correct. You don't win anything for it though, because 1, there's a picture of a smoothie right there, and 2, I drink them every day anyway.

Breakfast of Champions!

I am hoping to get a walk or maybe a bike ride in today (still working on overcoming that fear, of course), but it's definitely going to be a crazy Monday at work. I'll do what I can. Maybe some home office dance parties in between grading papers. And I have like a million papers to grade today.

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday & Something New

After the bike ride--workout--bike ride of my morning, I came home, drank A LOT of water, & had some leftover potato-leek soup for lunch. I could have chosen a better lunch, but reheating soup took little to no effort on my part, & that's where I am. I also ate some grapes while trying to figure out what to do with my afternoon.

I cleaned my apartment & ate some more Flackers. I could have very easily put something on them, but they're tasty all by themselves & super easy to eat just right out of the box. Have you ever had these? They're raw, gluten free, totally good for you, & really tasty. I don't even really regret that I ate half the box last night & the other half this afternoon. What? It's not that big of a box! Check out their website! I am obsessed!

Later, I had more granola with blueberries, blackberries, bananas, & almond milk. YUM. I'd forgotten how much I love granola.

I went for a little walk around the neighborhood, because it had cooled off a little (it's currently in the 80s) & there was a nice breeze. When I got home, I had some edamame & a sweet potato. I just finished Chapter 2 of Vegan for Her by Ginny Messina with JL Fields--it's "Vegan Nutrition: A Primer." Apparently what stood out to me the most this evening was eat legumes & orange foods. I love this chapter & I obviously need to reread the whole thing & take notes, but those are pretty good take-aways so far!

Later, I made myself some banana cacao ice cream in the Vitamix. Yummy. But not so pretty.

a beautiful BLOB of ice cream
I want to do Something New this week. I did a lot of Something New last week: started this blog, umm, this morning alone was a whole lot of Something New. So, actually, I want to try Something New every week & make it a little series. This week, my Something New is to go to bed earlier: this week, I will go to bed by 11pm every night.

What is Something New that you will try?

Conquering a Fear!

I did it! I biked to the Art Museum, had an awesome hour-long workout with City Fit Girls (which included running the steps like Rocky...repeatedly), AND biked home! And the biking wasn't TOO scary. If I keep doing it, it'll just get better & better.

I am woman, hear me ROAR!
Honestly, I might not have biked (I was seriously considering public transportation), if Kiera hadn't encouraged me. She's super encouraging during the workouts too--not a mean bootcampy drill sergeant at ALL! AND, she helped me modify very easily for my bad shoulder. And the best part--these workouts are FREE--out of the kindness of Kiera's heart. She won't even accept a love donation! Here's the schedule for upcoming workouts: next one is August 4th. Be there!

And since I'm all about the City Fit Girls shout outs in this post, the Wellness Retreat is on Saturday, August 24th, from 9:30am to 3:00pm @ The American Dreaming Building. Registration is only $15, I'll see you there!

Conquering a Fear?

Enjoying a smoothie for breakfast as I get ready for my first City Fit Girls workout on the Art Museum steps.

I have a bad habit of letting things go bad in my fridge (while I go out to eat too often & binge on junk food), so this morning's extra smoothie ingredients are to prevent that from happening: kale, beet, spinach, sprouts, apple, blueberries, banana, ginger, flax seeds, dates, supplement powders, almond milk, & a dash of cinnamon inspired by my friend Christy (The Blissful Chef).

Another day, another smoothie
OK, so let's talk about this fear. I loved riding my bike when I lived in Miami Beach. I love riding Nikki's bike when we're down the shore. And I love my new-to-me vintage 1965 Schwinn. But biking in the city terrifies me. I'm sure a little fear is healthy, but this much may be debilitating. Nevertheless, this morning, I'm getting my ass back on the bike & heading to the Art Museum, so keep sending me that positive juju.

Have a great day!!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I was out & about a lot today. I stopped at Whole Foods after yoga for a coconut water (really, to get cash back, but always good to hydrate).

Then I went to the Rittenhouse Farmers' Market & did some shopping. One thing I need is more variety in what I eat, so I'm stocking my fridge & rebuilding my pantry. I had a raspberry-lemonade popsicle at the FM, then headed home for lunch...which was (wait for it) spring rolls (ingredients: one huge carrot, scallions, crimini mushrooms, sprouts, spinach).

Spring rolls.
So much for variety, but I hadn't made my second Whole Foods run yet--the FM helped me figure out what else I needed at WF. I ran some errands (including WF) & on the way I stopped at Vegan Tree for a bubble tea smoothie.
I love the texture of the Bubbles
After errands, I came home & had some edamame w/ lemon & salt, followed by a Granny Smith apple w/ this awesome hummus I bought today at the FM.
Then I walked all the way to the Ritz 5 for a movie. It was sold out. I walked home. This is not the first time this has happened to me. I had some granola w/ blackberries, blueberries, & bananas. Then I had a few flackers (flax seed crackers!) because I just wanted to taste them.

I swear there's granola under there!

It was a good day.

On ego, change, & yoga

In my very first post, I mentioned my long history with yoga. I've been a yoga practitioner for 15 years, a yoga teacher (specializing in gentle, beginners, & prenatal) for 8 years.

In 2008-2009, I practiced with (& hero-worshipped) a teacher whose practice turned out to be very ego driven, & therefore, very dangerous. He pushed me further into asanas than my body was meant to go & I let him because he was my awesome beloved teacher. I could do all kinds of amazing binds & arm balances--I was a fucking yoga rock star full of ego about all the awesome things I could do. I ended up with chronic hip, knee, & shoulder problems.

I spent the next few years just drifting, trying to find another teacher or another practice. I ended up working out with a personal trainer for my last year in Miami Beach who really helped me rebuild my strength & start to understand my body again. When I moved to Philadelphia, I began practicing yoga again at The Yoga Garden, primarily with Mark, Brittany, & Betty. It felt good...I love, but don't idolize, my teachers (yay! healthy!), & I've learned to listen to my body so I don't push myself like I used to. I've found some humility on the yoga mat. And yet, here I am, injured again.

I had a talk with Eva, my acupuncturist, last week, about how our bodies change as we age & that what was once good for us, might not be anymore. I still want my body to need yoga, because my mind & spirit still do. I'm obviously in love with Flywheel & I'm looking forward to trying Bikram again, but I'm worried they won't give me what I need spiritually...what I get from my teachers at Yoga Garden. I guess we'll see.

This morning in class, Mark talked about Brahma, Vishnu, & Shiva as the beginning, middle, & everything has a beginning, a middle, & an end. I got teary eyed, as I often do (Mark's talks in the beginning of class always seem to be exactly what I need to hear), thinking that this is the end of my yoga practice as I've known it. But it's also a new beginning. Bring it on.

Something New & Something Old

Good morning! It's breakfast so of course, it's smoothie time! After a talk with a friend of mine about smoothies, I actually changed things up a little today. Ingredients: blueberries (new!), banana, kale, sprouts (new!), beet, ginger, flax seeds, dates, greens powder, inositol powder (supplement prescribed by my naturopath for my cycle issues), & almond milk. YUMMY!

I'm heading out the door now for Yoga Garden. My shoulder feels like it's ready, but I'm still skipping all vinyasas. I'm having a hard time accepting that yoga might not be right for my body anymore. I know I have some attachment issues something I've been doing for 15 years as well as to my yoga friends. Maybe yoga will be something I do once a week now instead of almost every day. Maybe I'll get into Bikram. I'm really not sure what will happen, but I'll let you know how class goes later.

Have a great day! Be well!

Friday, July 19, 2013

A movie & some snackage.

Have you ever seen Before Sunrise or Before Sunset? They're two of my favorites. Tonight, I watched Before Midnight, the 3rd & (maybe?) final film of the series. I have opinions on this film. I'm not going to share them because spoilers. But. There was lying on my couch sobbing. Of course, there was lying on my couch sobbing with the others, as well.

While I waited for it to download, & then watched it, I had a few snacks:
  • Edamame (have you ever added lemon juice? it's delish!)
  • Grapes
  • A few spoonfuls of Sunbutter straight outta the jar. At least the jar is empty now.
  • More soup

Now I have a headache from all the crying over the movie. I'm going to bed early, & tomorrow, I see what happens when I get back on the yoga mat.

It's all about the little things...

I got in & out of Whole Foods without any bingey junk food. Yes, you read that correctly. Twice in one week, I got in & out of Whole Foods without any bingey junk food.

Do you get that this is a really big deal? I'm the girl who can eat a Go Max Go bar AND a whole bag of Pop Chips on the walk between Whole Foods & my apartment. It's less than 5 blocks away.

Thank you SO much for reading...knowing that you are out there, knowing that I pledged to be honest with my readers & with myself about what I'm putting into my body really, REALLY helps. So please keep reading & commenting & tweeting. It really does mean a lot to me.

I took a long walk (about 45 minutes total) in the hot dirty city, had some important birthday-party-related errands to run in Chinatown, then made my way down to South Street Whole Foods. Also, I'm working on walking with purpose instead of just strolling...the purpose, of course, being fitness.

I DID get a little snack at Whole Foods: some falafel from the salad bar & a Green Chia Kombucha (am I the only weirdo who likes that kombucha w/ the chia seeds? it's so fun to drink!).

A little more work to do & maybe one more errand & then I'm going to take it easy tonight. It's been a long week.

Thank you, again, for reading. It encourages me more than you know.


Last night, as I fell asleep, I found myself thinking about what I'm going to do to workout today. I definitely need to MOVE EVERY DAY. The fact that I was actually thinking this is new. And awesome. Saturday, I attempt to get back on the yoga mat. I'll be skipping the vinyasas b/c I don't want to aggravate my slowly healing shoulder, but I miss my teachers & friends at The Yoga Garden, & I still have an attachment to a yoga practice that maybe I should really think about more closely. Sunday, I'm going to Kiera's City Fit Girls Workout on the Art Museum Steps at 10am! You should come! And yes, of course it includes running up the steps like's Philly, baby!

Breakfast: Oh hey, another smoothie! Slurp!
Breakfast of Champions!
Late Lunch: Potato Leek Soup. It's my favorite, & yes, I do feel like a crazy lady for making soup during a heat wave. But I eat [vegan] ice cream in the winter, so....

Soup: always tasty, rarely photogenic
I just got finished with the bulk of my work for the day & I need to get out of the house. Even though specifically says "dangerous heat index, limit outdoor exposure," I've got errands to run & like I said above...I need to MOVE! I promise to stay hydrated & to always walk on the shady side of the street.

Day Zero Project & Goal Setting

On June 25, 2011, I started my first to-do list on Day Zero. The Day Zero Project is a self-created to-do list with 101 items. The program gives you 1001 days to complete it. I am 79% complete with my list, which ends on March 22, 2014.

I think we all know that setting specific, measurable, realistic, often short term goals can be very beneficial. For me, Day Zero has really helped. Many of the goals on my original list have been revised or replaced since I started 2 years ago. As I grow & evolve, my goals grow & evolve, so I had to learn to be OK with the fluidity of my list (not easy for a triple Virgo). If I really want to commit to doing something, I add it to my Day Zero list.

My List as of Today! 
I added 2 new goals last night (read: replaced 2 unrealistic expensive travel goals that were pipe dreams anyway):

  • hit 300 total power at Flywheel
  • do 1 month of Bikram Yoga (a few friends have recommended it b/c of less strain on my shoulder than vinyasa & my acupuncturist's hilarious b/c I totally walked out on a Bikram class in 2008!)
How do you go about your goal setting, dear readers? Have you ever used something like Day Zero? What holds you accountable?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A 2-shower Thursday....

OK, so after Flywheel, I had a little snack, a Granny Smith apple. It was, sadly, not that tasty. I like them REALLY tart! This one was just meh. But I ate it while sitting in a webinar meeting for work.

Then I took a walk. I had a very important errand to run (picked up my 40th birthday party invitations, so squeee!) & I wanted to get outside in the ridiculous heat again before my post-spinning-shower, so I would only have to shower once today...whether out of water conservation or laziness or the fact that I had a busy work day, whatever. Oh but this heatwave...I thought, having lived in Miami Beach for 11 years & Dallas for 3 years before that, that I could handle summer in the northeast. But wow. Every time I step outside, it's just oppressive & it makes me feel dirty...not the good dirty. But at least I get a good song stuck in my head every day:

I got back to the home office, then I had lunch. I had spring rolls again. This is actually a bloggy concern to me. Will it bore you if I blog about having smoothies every day for breakfast & spring rolls almost every day for lunch? I'm sorry. I'm a triple Virgo, I can't help but be a creature of habit, & I like what I like.

My afternoon was non-stop phone calls for work. I had a sort of dinner before hosting a webinar tonight. I wanted to use up the sauce I made yesterday, but I'm out of noodles. So there I am, dipping a couple slices of bread right into the pot in between calls. I need to use up this damn bread. Yeah, I'm a classy lady.

Then, after the webinar, I realized that I was short some of my party invitations, so I had to take another walk to pick up the rest. Even though it's dark out, it's still crazy humid & in the 90s. So. You guessed it. It's a 2-shower Thursday. Just after one last snack: it's the last piece of bread in the house...I had it with some Sunbutter. YUM.

Thursday Morning, July 18

If you follow me on twitter, you are probably aware that getting out of bed is my least favorite thing in the world. I whine about it nearly every day & sometimes it takes me close to an hour from the time I wake up to the time I make it downstairs to my home office. (Next week, I'm going to do a specific experiment in which I go to bed earlier (better sleep = better wellness, yes?).) But today, I leaped out of bed before my alarm. You know why? I'm going to FLYWHEEL this morning! AND, my friend Kiera is going to be there with me!

I'm enjoying a tasty green smoothie right now for breakfast while I grade some papers. I realize that I get stuck in smoothie ruts, so I'm going to work on changing it up a little. But not today. Ingredients: almond milk, apple, banana, kale, ginger, dates, flax seeds, cacao, greens powder, inositol supplement.


After breakfast, you know where I went! There was a technology glitch, so I don't have all of my stats to post, but my total power was 251 today. My shoulder is feeling stronger during the arm portion of the class & I'm definitely in less pain, which is great. I'm also feeling stronger in position 3 (that's when you're standing)--I'm learning how to engage my core there, so I feel more steady & every day, I can go a little faster.

Kiera & Me Before Class! 

OK, I have a meeting & some phone calls & some errands, but I'll see you later, dear readers! Have an inspired day!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm not going to beat myself up over a Water Ice

So when last we met, I was about to take a walk, which I did, indeed, do, for about 20 minutes. The walk included a visit to Whole Foods. The Whole Foods visit did NOT include the hot bar, Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Puffs, Pop Chips, Go Max Go Bars, Hail Merry Tarts, or any vegan baked chocolatey goodness. This is a huge win. The items listed above were often daily occurrences.

Snack #2: Organic multigrain bread w/ Sunbutter.

Dinner: I threw together a nice little pasta dish: quinoa pasta, organic tomato sauce from a jar with added garlic, mushrooms, & spinach. My naturopath specifically wants me to cook more & go out/ get delivery less. I'd forgotten how much I love cooking. This was quick & easy & tasty.

After dinner, I took another walk, this one was a little longer, about 1/2 hour. Part of the beauty of living in Center City Philadelphia is its walkability: even running errands is a little bit of exercise. On the way home I passed a Water Ice place. I could have very easily come home & eaten some clementines to get my sweet fix. But they had Chocolate Water Ice. And it was dairy free. And it was delicious. And I'm not going to beat myself up over a Water Ice.

Wednesday July 17

Wow, thank you for the kind comments & tweets about my Before Picture. To clarify, yes, I DO see my inherent sexiness & badassery & overall general hottiness in that picture & no, I wasn't "fishing for compliments." Because I also see a girl who has let herself go a little bit, a girl who is about 20 lbs over her healthiest weight, a girl who at this age, should really be taking better care of herself. And yes, it's true, I AM my own worst critic, but it's more about how I feel than it is about how I look. And I don't feel so good or healthy right now. And I know that eating more healthfully & exercising more seriously is going to be a lot better for my body, mind, & spirit. So. That's where I am.

Anyway, for today, I'll try condensing what I ate into fewer posts. We'll see how that goes.

Breakfast: Similar smoothie to yesterday, but I didn't add beets, so it was actually green.

Lunch-ish snack: 2 ears of roasted local corn on the cob. Easy to do while I'm busy grading papers & going to meetings at work. Also, YUM.

No salt, no pepper, no Earth Balance. Just GOOD.
Now I'm going to take a work break & get out of the house & have a "nice" walk in 96F + 36% humidity = heat index 99F.

A Before Picture

My SIL, Nikki, & me at a wedding 2 weeks ago
When I look at myself in this picture, I see a girl who is having a great night full of so much fun with people she loves, a girl who is so lucky to have a sister-in-law who is also a bestie. I see a great smile & a whole lot of sexiness rockin' that red dress. I see confidence.

But I also see belly fat. And big arms. And I hate that I see that, that chub is where my mind goes when I look at this otherwise happy girl who had a great time that night. Because I am all about body positivity, I really am. And usually, I'm comfortable & confident in my body. But sadly, I'm not right now. And it's not at all easy to admit this publicly, because I'm known for having that positive body image.

Nevertheless, it's not just about the chub either, because I'm still hot as hell even with those tummy rolls, dammit. I just know that the aches & pains in my joints, as well as the ridiculous irregularity of my cycle & all of the symptoms that go with it...I know that all of that can be improved with more exercise & better food choices. A little self care goes a long way. So here we go.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dinner & a Walk

Tonight, I checked out a great Indian restaurant in Old City called Karma. I tried not to overdo it, but it was so delish. I ate a samosa & chana peshawari with rice & roti. I didn't really need the roti. At least I didn't finish the roti. I have a real problem (read: addiction) with bread.

Enjoy this really shitty picture of my chick peas.

Instead of going for beers, we went for a walk. A long walk. Which made me feel better about eating such a big dinner. I love wandering the city at night. Actually, I love wandering the city all the time. I love the architecture & the history of Philadelphia.

Today's eating was definitely more like my normal than yesterday's. But decidedly less binge-ish. Success!