Archive of ‘workout’ category

A Wedding & A Move

Last night Bobby and I went to one of my best high school friend’s wedding. (I wore this dress to last year’s holiday party.) Isn’t Bobby’s new suit great? He got a black one too.

The bride was beautiful. I don’t have any pictures that actually came out, but trust me – gorgeous.

After my complaining I did get in some exercise yesterday – I did a 2.2 mile walk with my parents’ pups (down to the end of the road and back) and then I danced at the reception for a long time. The food was great as well and it was such a nice evening.

My one complaint? They stole our wedding song! I’m half kidding… We’ll probably still use it because it seems like a very popular song.




We are finally finishing the move up to the city today. We’re seeing New Moon at 1pm with some friends and then we’re driving in with my dad‘s truck and the cats.

This morning’s exercise was two yogadownload sessions recommended by Coco – 20 minutes “core yoga #1″ (I’ve done this before) and 20 minutes “yoga for buns” (never did this one before). I’m off to see that movie…

Happy Sunday!

Eating Out and About

Yesterday (Friday) was a hectic day! Bobby and I drove into the city to drop off a bunch of stuff at our apartment (we’re moving in this weekend), got a parking ticket ($95 – wtf), picked up Bobby’s new suits (they’re beautiful – Michael Kors), ate out twice, I got a mani cure, and we both got ready for my friend’s wedding today (Saturday).

We did the lunch special at Edo Sushi. I got chicken and broccoli again ($5.75; steamed) and Bobby got Salmon Don ($12). These are Droid pictures. The special comes with soup (miso for me)…

And then you get your entree. Mine came with rice on the side but I saved it to make fried rice later.

Edo’s is my favorite Pennington restaurant.

Dinner was at a new place called Pho 99; it’s Vietnamese. It’s up on Route 27 past Princeton. I opted for the papaya salad with shrimp (my usual). It comes with peanuts and a nice Vietnamese dressing. I also add hoisin sauce.

It was actually quite average and much smaller than I’m used to. Bobby offered to share his very large bowl of pho with me (beef noodle soup) and I happily obliged.

The pho was delicious. The broth was really good; so was the beef; the noodles were just average though. I’m like Heather; I don’t have beef often, but sometimes it just hits the spot. This was super lean and thinly sliced.

I have to go get dressed and ready for the wedding (it’s at 2:30pm)… after the reception we’ll do some more moving or wait until tomorrow.

Holding myself accountableI have not gotten in a good workout this week or last week at all. I want to get back on track with that. I haven’t even been able to do my standard walking or yoga. I’m writing this here for answerability. Maybe I’ll try to get a walk in before the wedding. I have also been eating grapes by the pound, and I need to stop for the sake of my skin, tummy, and wallet (grapes are expensive; they make me bloat; I just had a facial – I don’t want to ruin it). The facialist said to cut back on sugar and I want to listen to her (I know she’s right).

What are you doing this weekend?

Kombucha My Kabocha

I’m eating lots of yums at my parents’. My mom made this wonderful amazing stir-fry tonight for dinner.

I don’t know the recipe, but I know it had lots of peanut butter. It was delicious. Maybe I’ll ask her how she made it sometime soon. It had all of my favorite veggies – broccoli, mushrooms, carrots (which I actually avoided because I’m trying not to turn orange), and red peppers. She’s not scared to use enough oil to make it taste good either.

This morning (and yesterday I think) for breakfast I made a really good bowl of hot cereal. I mix together…

  • ~1/2 cup of quick cooking oats
  • a few tablespoons of farina
  • cook it in water & almond milk
  • cinnamon, almond or orange extract (or both!), dash of salt

I like to top it with milk (whole cow’s milk or more almond milk) and maple syrup or honey. My facial lady told me to avoid sugar and see what happens (I know what will happen – my face will be clear), so today I had it with no syrup (but extra milk).

Uh oh. I think I have a new addiction. It sounds like kabocha, but it’s more expensive – kombucha.

The one I tried was $3.39 (yikes) and it was "GT’s Organic Botanic No. 7 Kombucha". I specifically got the one with probiotics to help with my digestion. This one was raw.

Kombucha is a fermented Chinese tea. It takes about 30 days to make; during the process various nutrients are formed (enzymes, probiotics, amino acids, antioxidants, and polyphenols). It’s basically the healthiest thing you could possibly drink.

Some people say it tastes like vinegar; I thought it tasted a little bit like wine, only fizzy and better (I don’t really like wine). I’ll definitely be buying this again as soon as I can wrap my head around the price. It’s so darn pricey. I will absolutely try to make this in the future. Tips?

Speaking of yummy things, I did these 5 videos yesterday for exercise. They are each 10 minutes. Try them out! My sister loves Polly’s videos too.

Do you like kombucha? Have you tried it? Have you tried Polly’s videos yet? (It’s her birthday week by the way!)

P.S. Check out Clare’s Positivity Giveaway. She’s so sweet :)

I love New Jersey!

My mom is a great cook. Last night she made a vegan stew. Tonight for dinner she made VeganYumYum’s Rustic Bread & Eggplant Lasagna.

This was the best meal I’ve had in a while. It was fantastic. The flavors blended perfectly; the tomatoes were sweet and delicious; the bread crumbs were crispy; the eggplant was superb. The whole family loved it. She made one completely vegan…

And one with cheese…

My dad, brother, and sister have all raved about this lasagna to me. Now I know what they’re talking about. These disappeared in about 20 minutes.

My mom requested that I make my massaged kale salad (kale, olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice) and I topped it with some thinly sliced onions. Everyone loved this too! I was really happy. They were kind of doubtful about the kale but now I’ve converted them to be kale lovers.

I had a very yummy homey breakfast today. It was huge!

  • 1/4 cup (a little more) quick cooking oats (to use them up)
  • 1/4 cup farina (suggested serving size is 3 tablespoons)
  • <1 cup water
  • <1 cup almond milk (sweetened)
  • cinnamon
  • orange extract
  • dash of salt
  • toppings: whole milk, honey, agave nectar

I’ve been really into simple big bowls of oats with minimal toppings. I love my breakfast grains. I got into the habit of simple bowls while driving across the country. Almost every morning I had this at Denny’s (minus the fruit; that was Bobby’s):

A big bowl of oats topped with brown sugar, milk, and sometimes a little bit of butter.

Today and yesterday for exercise Bobby, Julia, and I walked to Kunkel Park and played on the swings.

It’s about 3 miles roundtrip. Swinging is also a great ab workout. No wonder (many) kids stay fit so easily.

What did you do for fun when you were little? I loved climbing things and I was always scaring my parents. I (almost) never got hurt though.

Walk This Way

I loved all of your responses to my Back On Track post. This challenge isn’t really about the food at all; it’s about my mindset. I’m not eating what most people would call “crap”… I’m just trying to be a little more balanced and mindful. This challenge is more about exercise and motivation and the mental part of health.

To get back on track this morning, I laced up slipped on my sneakers pink crocs and headed out for a walk. It was early and I needed some extra hop in my step, so I got a big cuppa joe from 7-11. Coffee is not evil. It’s a lovely lovely drink that makes me happy in the morning. And it’s a great walking buddy.

7-11Coffee

Oh thank heaven!

I ended up walking 4+ miles while chatting away with my dad and then my mom. The last mile or so I just walked and thought about stuff.

When I got home I made some notecards about my back-on-track goals, I read some sweet emails, and I gave myself credit. It’s important to figure out ways to make sure you can achieve your goals. It’s one thing to write them down; it’s another to actually follow through. Here’s the plan…

  • Make notecards that say WHY I want these things (done!)
  • Read the notecards at least twice a day (done today)
  • Make new notecards as I need them
  • Carry said notecards with me everywhere
  • Enlist help (thanks, Bobby!)

How do you achieve your goals?

I’m Back On Track

A few of my favorite bloggers have recently committed to getting back on track. Caitlin declared the whole month of November as a time to get back on track; Angela is doing it for the first week of November, starting today (the 2nd). I’m feeling it too: I haven’t been doing that much yoga, I haven’t been walking as much as I like to, and, to be perfectly honest, I’ve been eating a lot of crap. I haven’t been practicing mindfulness either, and I find myself munching through the day instead of eating proper meals.

This challenge might be hard for a few reasons – 1) Bobby and I are driving across the country next week; 2) the holidays and lots of decadent foods are coming up; 3) due to the move, I don’t know what my new routine will be (we’re moving to Manhattan btw). But I’m going to try. I’m synthesizing their goals and mine, and this is what I came up with. I’m going to try to do this for as long as I can. These aren’t arbitrary; these goals are what my ideal lifestyle would be so I want to keep up with them.

  1. Go to bed early (by 11:30pm) and get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
  2. Cut out artificial sweeteners. I’ve been on a diet coke kick recently and it’s time to stop.
  3. More veggies, less fruit.
  4. More cooked foods, fewer raw.
  5. Lots of water and tea.
  6. Cook and plan more (or at least eat out at cheap-yet-healthy places).
  7. Sit down for every meal.
  8. Do something relaxing for 30 minutes every day (yoga, a bath, these exercises).
  9. 30+ minutes of cardio each day (walking, running, yoga).
  10. Give myself credit. Even if I don’t do all of these things perfectly, I’m going to give myself credit for the attempts and partial successes.

Because we’re moving, I’m trying to use up the groceries we have and I don’t plan on buying more. This week I’ll be eating out a lot but I’m not too worried about that; I love eating out and I can always find something healthy on the menu. The only thing that worries me about eating out is the money issue. I wish I was less frugal :P

The other issue I might have is that this weekend is the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. I plan on eating well, but I doubt that I’m going to get much sleep because two of my favorite bloggers are coming to stay with me and we’re all going together. I am so excited to meet them.

Some of the yummy dishes I plan on making and eating during this November challenge are…

a healthy Thanksgiving meal, like last year’s

3-my-plate

fresh delicious salads

6-lotus-shrimp-pork-salad

lots of squash fries…

6-butternut-fries-agave-ketchup

this fun Indian mushroom recipe

8-mushroom-corn-salad

… and lots more. You should check out my recipes page for more inspiration. This bread recipe was one of the first things I ever posted (December 2007).

braid4

Anyway, back to the “back on track” plan. Today has been a good day so far. I did a yoga class this morning at my studio and I went to bed early last night (crashed on the couch at 9:30pm). I wanted to go to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner, but Bobby has band practice… so maybe not.

And now this post is getting epic. Happy November! Are you challenging yourself this month?

Iyengar Yoga

On Saturday morning, I woke up early. I puttered around for a while until I thought to check the schedule for my local yoga studio (I have a few classes to use up before we move next week). I found one called “Iyengar-Based” that started at 8am Saturday morning. I had just enough time to dress and drive over to take Tom Abrehamson‘s class.

If you’ve never heard of Iyengar yoga, let me explain. Iyengar is a style of yoga that focuses on correct alignment. Almost everyone (even us “flexy” people) will use blocks, straps, or bolsters. Okay, I didn’t, but I’m a pretzel. The use of these tools can help beginners experience the benefits of deeper/difficult poses, but they can also be helpful for advanced students that are just tired, sick, sore, or injured and wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience the full expression of a pose.

Iyengar yoga helps build strength, yes – but from what I experienced it is also a a very powerful tool to improve concentration and meditation. This type of class (for me) seems to have the most potential for the mind-body-spirit unification that yogis strive for.

Stress relief is a benefit that comes with all yoga practices, and Iyengar absolutely brings that release. Now that cold-season is upon us it’s imperative that we reduce stress and strengthen our immune systems. Iyengar (I think) focuses on standing poses to form a solid base both physically and mentally.

The class itself was very active and vocal. Tom came around and fixed our postures and gave very helpful instructions for finding the best alignment. The class will involve lots of corrections at first, but as you take more classes, the right alignment will start to come naturally. This style of yoga is great for me in particular because I’m a lot more bendy than most people. Most teachers think that I’m at my edge when really… I’m just not. Tom caught on to that and helped me find my edge. I loved it.

Another cool fact about Iyengar is that there are specific programs for healing various illnesses (back problems, high blood pressure, immune weaknesses, insomnia, and more). And it doesn’t stop with the physical – it’s also used to treat depression, anxiety, and anger. I suppose you could say this of many styles of yoga, but out of all the different yoga styles that I’ve practiced, Iyengar is the one that focuses the most on that mind-body-spirit connection.

What’s your favorite style of yoga? Why? If you don’t do yoga, is there something you do to strengthen your body and mind at the same time?

I don’t know if I could pick a favorite style. I love vinyasa and power yoga, but only very specific classes (Sadie Nardini is my favorite instructor). I love Julianne Rice’s “Hatha Yoga” at my studio. And now I love Tom Abrehamson’s “Iyengar-Based”. I think the instructor is so important… which is why I do most of my yoga on my own ;)

Let’s all go to muffin land

There is something inherently wrong with eating a big fat muffin while watching Biggest Loser. I’m going to pretend it’s okay. At least it’s a bran muffin.

I did have a yummy dinner before my muffin (thanks for the treat, Jill!). I made a hugh jass stir fry with random veggies from my freezer plus sliced burdock. I topped it with smoked mozzarella cheese. So simple, so delicious.

29 stir fry cheese

I also had a heart-healthy (3/4 cup) serving of protein powder oat bran (oat bran, protein powder, cinnamon, salt, vanilla). I topped it with lowfat milk and real maple syrup. And sesame seeds.

28 oat bran

Then the muffin. It was a very satisfying dinner.

I did Get Fit With Catra again tonight with Jill, and it was fun. Our workout was…

  • 1 lap around the park
  • 25 sit ups
  • 25 jumps (onto a 2 foot high wall)
  • 25 jumping jacks

Repeat circuit 3 times. We also walked to and from the park. When I got home I did 25 minutes of yoga – mostly Eoin Finn’s Yoga Quickie, but I did my own thing at the end.

I’m off to snuggle with my sweetie. My dad left this morning and I’m sad… but happy that I will see him in 2 weeks :) We are moving in less than two weeks and I’m so excited!

Do you have any tips for moving? I’ve done it a lot, but I’m always game for more pointers.

Monterey & Redwoods

My dad and I started out the day with almost matching bowls of protein powder oat bran.

Dad’s was topped with granola and maple syrup; mine with sesame seeds and maple syrup. (My dad did the Amazon deal already – what are you waiting for?) He wasn’t too impressed with oat bran, but he did admit that it was a brick-in-the-belly breakfast.

After packing some snacks (bars and fruit) we headed down to Monterey. We wandered around Cannery Row and Fisherman’s wharf…

Then we headed out to a park in Monterey for a short (but hilly) hike. We hit up Trader Joe’s for lunch before proceeding on to another state park on the way home – Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. This place was amazing. This tree was around before Jesus was even born. It was 2200+ years old when it fell back in 1934 and had been around for the signing of the Magna Carta, the Revolutionary War, and even when the Normans conquered England (1066).

These trees are huge.

As is this "banana slug".

When we got home it was time for drinks. I had a glass of wine – Murphy Goode’s Fume – and dad had more beers. I cooked up a quick and easy frittata for dinner using 6 eggs, zucchini, red pepper, red onion, and goat + parmesan cheeses.

On the side I made broiled tomatoes (idea from Whole Foods) – tomatoes cut in half, topped with olive oil, salt + pepper, oregano, and parmesan; bake at 400F for 10 minutes; broil for another 5.

And because I can’t go another night without kabocha, I made a big batch and ate it all myself.

I’m now munching on grapes and cursing Qumana for deleting the post that I just wrote (it looked pretty much the same as this one – I hope, anyway). Now I have to study like a mad woman for my anthropology midterm tomorrow.

Are you good at studying/preparing in advance for tests/whatever? Or do you procrastinate? For me it all depends on my other time commitments, my mood, and the class/work itself.

Get Fit at Whole Foods

Tuesday‘s exercise: the Get Fit with Catra workout (went with Jill) consisted of…

  • 10 standing lunges
  • 10 walking lungues
  • 10 pushups
  • 1 lap around the park (< quarter mile?)

Repeat 3 times.

We also walked to and from the park, so I’d add at least another quarter mile to that. It took about 40 minutes total. I think my time for the 3 cycles was about 10 minutes, but we did stretching before and I’m also counting the walking time. During the day I walked a lot (shopping) and I think I did some of the DVF exercises in the morning.

Wednesday I did the Diane von Furstenburg exercises again. I love these. They are so simple. I did most of them while watching “Faces of Culture“, a video series that I have to watch for one of my anthropology classes. I also walked 2 miles – 1 mile each way to and from the grocery store.

Here are some foods I’ve been meaning to share. Kabocha with goat cheese (why not? It works with parm).

A “grilled” (waffle iron grill) sandwich with a chicken burger from Trader Joe’s, alfalfa sprouts (alfa-alfa is what Bobby calls these), and some cheddar. Lightly buttered on the outside for crispiness.

A classic bowl of oat bran. Oat bran, ground flax, coconut flakes, protein powder, cinnamon, vanilla, salt (always). Topped (post-picture) with real maple syrup. Real maple syrup appears on all of my oat bran bowls now. It is a staple. This bowl was put in the freezer for 10+ minutes after cooking.

Do you have a “staple” food? Mine is certainly kabocha, all the darn time. Others that make frequent appearances include oat bran, homemade ketchup, and stir-frys. Nut butters go in and out, depending on how I feel. Recently I have been rather obsessed with burdock as well.

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