Happy New Year! 2010 in Review

Happy New Year to all.

I will be back to normal posting soon. In the meantime, here is an overview of wonderful things that have happened this past year…

Last year’s resolutions.

I wanted to learn a new language (didn’t do this), go to Hawaii (yes!), I cultivated patience, I ate more fried rice, ate less meat, I didn’t drink more Kombucha, I did drink less diet soda (overall), and I ended the year on a yoga streak (though I’m not sure I did much yoga throughout the whole year).

The Warrior Challenge (intenSati).

This was a month-long challenge to do 3+ classes a week of intenSati at one of New York’s poshest gyms. I had fun, and learned a lot.

Good conversations with good friends about behavioral change.

jan 30 2010 001

And also about drinking tea (yum) and eating kabocha.

Eating Fats.

The great fat experiment went well overall. I learned a lot about what my body needs. One thing to note is that it needs (a lot of) animal fats, so I will try to include more this year.

Trying acupuncture.

This was for stress and hormone stuff. Unfortunately at the time I wasn’t ready to commit to everything that I needed to do for acupuncture to work properly, so I quit after two sessions. I may give this another shot sometime though.

How Much Protein Do I Really Need?

This post was written as a response to anyone who doubts that vegetarians (or even vegans) can get enough protein on an animal-free diet. I don’t know the answer to this – I know that I need animal protein, but maybe not everyone does. My opinion on protein has changed (for the better) since I wrote the post. I’m now more into a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb lifestyle.

Random favorites.

Including macrobiotic meals and fast food. I try not to limit myself too much.

Trailmaking and Wedding Planning.

Bobby and I went to NJ for the weekend and helped my dad build a trail. Lots of fun – hoping to do more things like that this year.

IBS Management.

I came up with a plan for my IBS – my IBS Management Plan. I didn’t stick to it as much as I would have liked. This year one of my resolutions is to get it under control as much as possible! Recent changes in my eating (eating more fats, fewer grains, more protein) have helped a lot.

Job changes – from full-time to part-time… (And back to full-time again, later in the year.)

Which meant more time to blog, more time to take a class (linguistics), and more time for my favorites like papaya salad and fresh cherries.

Discovery: eating mindfully.

Which later on led to…

And then, oh yeah…

I GOT MARRIED!

We were married in a Quaker meeting house and the reception was in my parents’ (beautiful) side yard. Here is my other wedding recap. (Guest posts listed there – had lots of good ones!)

Then we…

Went to Hawaii!

We had two glorious weeks on the beaches of Maui. Oh how I want to go back.

Walking talk (about how it is awesome).

How to Get Glowing Skin (very popular post).

I turned 24.

Had to have a kabocha scone for dessert on my birthday.

Project Food Blog.

(Didn’t get very far.)

The Hunger Diaries happened.

It died down pretty fast 😉

My Macro Plate Recipe.

Finally revealed it.

College-visiting with my sister.

(She got into her first choice! Not Brown, which is where we went that weekend.)

Highlights of the Fear and/or Sanity Weekend.

We took a weekend trip down to DC – so fun. Love the short hair.

And again… happy new year!

Healthy Monday Tip #4: Walk for Exercise!

Healthy Monday is a public health initiative founded in 2005 in association with Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and Syracuse University. HM’s goal is to end chronic preventable disease in the U.S. by offering people and organizations a weekly prompt to start and sustain healthy behaviors, intentions, actions and initiatives. For most Americans, the week begins on Monday. Studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week. That makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health and the health of our planet.

I mentioned yesterday that I quit the gym and got tons of great responses. In keeping with the “quit the gym” and “fit for free” theme, today’s Healthy Monday Tip is…

Walk for Exercise!

I wrote about this once before (walking for health). Walking is something that you can add in to your daily routine no matter what – no matter how old you are, how fit you are, where you live, or how much time you have. I am a 24 years old, I work full time, I’m moderately fit, and I live in New York – and I walk every day.

How to Fit in a Daily Walk

  • Walk to work.
  • Walk home from work.
  • Take a 20 minute walk in the morning before your morning routine.
  • Take a 20 minute walk after lunch and/or dinner.
  • Have a date-walk with your significant other and chat about life instead of plopping on the couch to watch TV.
  • Go to the park and walk around with a camera; take pictures of pretty flowers.
  • Walk around your city or town and check out all the Christmas decorations.
  • Go window shopping (might be a good idea to leave the wallet home).

Why You Should Walk

  • It’s heart-healthy (apparently so is a 3/4 cup serving of oatmeal).
  • It’s good for your brain – as we get older our brains shrink… but the shrinkage is less for people who walk more. (I’m not kidding.)
  • It puts you in a good mood and fights depression.
  • It’s good for your bones (weight-bearing activity).
  • Walking a mile requires the same amount of “work” as running a mile. So why run if you can walk?

How to Walk?

  • Make sure you have proper posture. Stand tall as you walk; don’t lock your knees. Think of how monkeys walk (but don’t overdo it that much or else you will look like a goof).
  • Walk with your arms, too. It’ll increase the exertion.
  • Short and fast steps are good if you want to get your heart rate up, but…
  • Slow and steady steps are good too. Just get moving.

That’s all for today’s Healthy Monday. I’m off to… walk to work.

How much walking do you do?

The Non-Hunger Diaries: How I Eat And Move {Part 2 of 2}

Today’s post is a continuation of Monday’s post on how I eat. Today’s topic: How I move! If you’re curious about the Non-Hunger Diaries title, see this response.

A Chillax Workout Routine

I’ve been talking up my new gym a lot lately, but I haven’t turned into your typical gym rat. Update – I have actually quit the gym. I tend to stick to milder workouts like yoga, pilates, ballet, and Nia (my new favorite workout). Not to say that these things are always “mild” – but they’re definitely customizable. You can work at the level that you’re comfortable with for that day and not feel guilty about not giving it your all.

I like to fit in some kind of movement each and every day so I’m never hesitant to take a step back in class and stick with the lower level option. In yoga I always take a few extra child’s poses; in Zumba or other cardio classes I never go full intensity for the whole hour. It’s not what feels good for my body so I just don’t do it. On the other hand if you do love giving it your all in class, go for it! (Just make sure you take a break sometimes.) For me, I enjoy moderate exercise every single day. It keeps me healthy (body and mind).

I walk for exercise anywhere from 1-4 miles a day. It’s so important to listen to your body and give it rest. I will always think that walking is the best form of exercise (as long as you have proper form) but in a city of smelly streets, sometimes it gets to be not so fun, and it’s also getting cold. For most of history humans did lots of low intensity “exercise” all day long – we were not built to go full out for an hour and sit on our butts the rest of the day. (This is why I love Nia.)

Other linkies on exercise:

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That’s all, folks.

What’s your workout routine like? Have you found something that works for your body?

CSN Giveaway Winner

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I’m not sure if I will have a long post for you today; I have a ton to do at work and later today a best friend is coming to stay with me. She’ll be here until Saturday. Tonight we are both going to concerts (I’m going to the Belle & Sebastian one in Williamsburg) and then we are going to have lots of fun tomorrow (facials!) and Saturday. Hoping to take her to my gym at least once.

Speaking of my gym, these are the classes I’ve taken since my last update:

  • Tuesday: Yoga. I love this class and I am going to try to take it once a week. I would take it more but I’m pretty sure he does the same flow for all classes in a set week, and I like to vary it a bit more.
  • Wednesday: Vinyasa Yoga. This was a really interesting flow – I will probably go back to see what else he comes up with. It wasn’t a sweaty flow at all, but it was a cool combination of poses.
  • Thursday (today): Cardio Sculpt. Awesome class! Just enough cardio and weights for my liking (it was only 45 minutes) – I did not walk away wanting to die but I did get in a great workout and was very sweaty.

I am off to work. I also have to do a quick clean sweep of my house before my guest gets here tonight.

What’s your favorite workout class?

Some Fun (Free) Exercise Routines (Videos)

My bachelorette weekend was great 🙂

I haven’t mentioned (or updated about) my whole “Operation Wedding” routine in a while, but I have been keeping up with it. I’ve definitely noticed changes in my body that I am happy with! Here are some exercise videos that will (quickly) get you lean and toned:

  • Bootcamp Calorie Burn (with Kendell Hogan – a dude). I know I’ve mentioned this one before. I just did it this morning. It’s 30 minutes and it’s a killer workout if you don’t have much time. All cardio, very sweaty, awesome encouraging instructor. Definitely check it out.
  • Crunch: Fat-Burning Pilates (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). This routine is about 40 minutes total. It has 2 parts – standing and mat work. I usually just do the standing bit (just under 30 minutes) which is basically cardio pilates. I am sweaty by the end, but not panting. Definitely good for getting the perfect body shape – long, lean muscles; sculpted tummy; lean arms, etc…
  • Crunch: Super Slimdown (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). Another Ellen Barrett! This is a mix of pilates and yoga; it’s very dynamic yoga (not many long holds). It’s around 40 minutes. I usually do the first part (more yoga-oriented and kind of cario-ish). I think this is my favorite of all the videos I’ve done recently.
  • Pick Your Level: Weight Loss Pilates (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). This is just over 30 minutes. If you’ve ever done a “pick your level” workout before, you’ll know they’re all similar. Ellen demonstrates each move at 3 different levels. I usually do level 3 to make it hard. This is another workout that’s great for toning – it’s a little bit of cardio, but not that much. Some is standing and some is mat work. I really like this because of Ellen Barrett – she is my new favorite instructor.

There are a few other Netflix videos that I’ve done, but these are the ones that are actually worth mentioning. I will recommend against 10-minutes solution: Kickbox Bootcamp – this will give you weirdly shaped muscles in all the wrong places.

My focus recently has been on a combo of cardio, pilates, and yoga. And not too much – I never do more than 45 minutes in a day and I don’t do them every day. I don’t know why this works so well for me! I also try to get in 1-2 miles of walking each day.

The other thing that’s helped me (a lot) is Bran Crispbread. I snack on them after dinner. They satisfy my urge to munch without compromising my waistline. They are definitely what I would call “diet food” (cardboard) but they are not that bad. They have just 12 calories a piece (they’re the size of a notecard).

I like them with guacamole or spreadable cheese. They’re also good topped with cream cheese and jam. And they have free shipping right now if you want to order some. They’re a little pricy but I am always down to try anything and I will probably even order more.

What’s your favorite workout video? Have you ever had bran crispbread?