Friday, November 4, 2011

Fitness Fridays: October 28 - November 3

Friday, October 28: day off

Saturday, October 29: Spin class at NYSC, Complete Physique Workout 1

Sunday, October 30:

Monday, October 31:

Tuesday, November 1:

Wednesday, November 2:

Thursday, November 3:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Complete Physique

In my last two posts, I mentioned a fitness plan that I'll be starting. I'd like to officially introduce, Complete Physique, an in-person and online nutrition and fitness personal training program started by the lovely Ali and her husband Chris. Ali and Chris are smokin' hot and they are hoping to make everyone else smokin' hot, too! Ali is rolling out a few new plans, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to test out a new program that I believe in, and maybe even reach my goals in the process! The program is 12 weeks, and I have started integrating the workout plan into my fitness routine since late last week. I'll be talking more about the workouts and my experience overall as I go through the program.

If you want more information, feel free to check out their website: http://www.facebook.com/completephysique and/or contact Ali at ali.completephysique@gmail.com.

Are you integrating any new plans into your regular routine?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fitness Fridays: October 21-27

The Week in Review:

Change in weight from start at Friday morning weigh in: +1.6

Fitness:

Friday, October 21: Run 30 minutes

Saturday, October 22: Hatha yoga 1 hour, Elliptical 30 minutes

Sunday, October 23: off

Monday, October 24: Spin 45 minutes

Tuesday, October 25: Run 35 minutes (2.95 miles), Workout 1 from Complete Physique

Wednesday, October 26: Workout 2 from Complete Physique

Thursday, October 27: MEGA Spin class 45 minutes

Thoughts: This week had the most days in the week that I worked out, and I have to say, I feel great this week. I definitely overdid it on eating just about every day, but I will attribute those attacks for chocolate to my lady time! It felt great to get this all in!

I'm not happy about the weight gain (really, who would be?), but I am going to start fresh today with a new week and not look back - try to correct what may have gone wrong. But I'm feeling good, so that's the most important piece right now!

How was your week?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Introducing Fitness Fridays

Recently I have decided to get into a more regular fitness routine. A little backstory before I dive right in:

I started dancing when I was three - tap, jazz and ballet. I traded tutus for cleats when I was 11 and started playing soccer. When I got to high school, I played three sports a year - swimming in the fall, indoor track in the winter, and soccer in the spring. I also kept with tap in the evenings. Even then, I was never totally happy with how I looked, though in retrospect, I must have been in great shape!

I got to college and basically stopped doing any physical activity. However, I moved into a 5th floor walk-up for my junior and senior year, and wound up losing a few pounds and finally felt pretty good! (But man, those were a lot of steep stairs, especially with laundry or groceries!) And THEN I moved to Syracuse to work full time, and though I was a member of the JCC, and played some sports recreationally with friends, for the first time, I found myself in an almost totally sedentary lifestyle - wake up, drive to work, sit at work, drive home, sit on the couch. Combined with a job that I spent a lot of time cooking and eating at, I gained about 25 pounds in the three years that I was there. At my June 2010 wedding, I was actually at my highest weight ever. I didn't love the way I looked in my wedding photos, all of the sudden I couldn't really deny it anymore. Last October, I decided to make a change. I joined Weight Watchers online and began spin classes. Over the next 6 months, I actually lost 15 pounds! I plateaued though, and with a very busy summer job, and a negligence for WW, I gained almost 5 pounds back.

I made the decision this fall that yo-yo-ing is over. I rejoined Weight Watchers online, I bit the bullet and joined New York Sports Club and I have committed to making a real and lasting change. Also, I will be participating in a 12-week program that my friend is piloting - she is a personal trainer and creates online plans with fitness and nutrition and I am happy to try it out. I'll be blogging out that more soon.

So what is Fitness Fridays? Every Friday I will check in with my workouts from the week, and anything related that came up through the week, including any weight changes. Since my last weigh-in on Friday, I have 11 pounds to go to my goal and I've been pretty stuck for a while. I've also taken "before" photos, but I'm not confident enough to share them yet! I hope that you'll share some of your fitness and nutrition tips with my on Fitness Fridays, and hopefully I can give you some ideas about working out for the week as well!

What do you think? Have you had your own up and down experience? What have you done to make a lasting change?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Starting Anew

Hello friends!

My apologies for a long silence. I'm back and I have a lot planned, so I hope you'll stick along for the ride. I'm still working on building up this blog in terms of features, and in the meantime, I have a lot to share with you.

Here's what's going on with me:

I'm head first into the school year - my second and final year of graduate school at Hunter School of Social Work pursuing my Master's in Social Work with a focus on Community Organizing. I'm in class two days a week and in the field three days, working at an organization that I hope to continuing working at when I graduate in June. I will definitely be posting more on these experiences soon! I'm also finishing up a term as a Student Faculty Senator, and serving for the year as the President of the Board of Student Representatives for the School of Social Work. In short, I have a lot going on!

However, I made a few resolutions this year to make this experience different. At the start of last year, I fell into a black hole of no social life and all school work all the time. It was very difficult to find a balance. This year, I have resolved to not fall into that pattern again. I am making seeing friends a priority (when possible), and also incorporating regular exercise into my routine. I recently joined New York Sports Club, and I will be participating in a program for one of my friends soon (more to come on that soon!) so we'll see how that goes!

So that's what is going on with me.

What's going on with you? Tell me, I've missed you!

Monday, June 6, 2011

One year ago today!

I can hardly believe it, but one year ago today, I married my best friend. I decided to officially announce my farewell on Weddingbee today as well, as it seemed like it was time. Now that my semester has ended, I hope that I'll be able to post more regularly over here, and share the recipes, deep thoughts, and oh! vlogs! that I've been missing over the last few weeks. If you're just jumping over from Weddingbee - welcome!

With that, I'm back, and I'm out for now - I have to finish getting ready for our anniversary dinner at Otto - more on that later!

Hello again friends - leave a note to let me know what you've been up to!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hello there, friends!

Hi friends!

I'm sorry to have been so quiet lately! I was getting into a great blogging groove, and then...wham-o computer crash. I basically lost EVERYTHING and spent a few days agonizing that the papers I was working on for class would be lost. Alas, the papers were saved, but almost nothing else. I just got a new computer, and I am working on putting everything back together on it. I have been furiously taking pictures though, and hope to come back and regularly post very soon. Think: skinny red velvet cupcakes with a chocolate surprise center and low-fat cream cheese frosting. Yeah, you know you want to stick around for that!

Anyway, just wanted to update - I'll be back soon with Vlogs and blogs and more!

For now,
E

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vlog Fridays! First kiss

Hi everyone! I can't believe it's already time for another Vlog Friday! I love this week's prompt:

Tell us about your first kiss

As I say in the video, I going to tell you about my first kiss with my husband, because really, that's the one that counts :). Please tell me your story in the comments or link to your own vlog post on this comment!

Oh, and don't mind the little bit of bedhead that I have, I took this in the morning.

video

Jump over to VlogFriday organizer's blogs, Kate and Cole, for more posts!

Oh, and side note - I may be moving this blog to wordpress - would you come with me? And also, any thoughts on the blogger-wordpress decision? Anything is helpful because I am still undecided!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Vlog: What three things in your home represent YOU?

Happy Friday friends!

I love this vlog prompt: "What three things in your home represent YOU?"

I spent considerably longer deciding what to choose than it actually took to record this. I went back and forth - do I choose something from the wedding because it was so important, or do I choose something that represents my family because they are such a huge part of my identity? Something from social work because it's my life, or my favorite book because I love to read so much? Well, anyway, I didn't choose any of those things - check out my vlog to find out what I DID choose!

video


What three things in your home represent YOU? Please feel free to link to your vlog on this prompt in the comments as well, and tell me what you chose!

Check out Vlog of the Week organizers, Kate's and Cole's, blogs for a list of other Vlogs about this topic!

This week's vlog prompt is both Vlog of the Week and Vlog of the Month - Check out the Vlog of the Month Club here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Good one, Mom

I don't usually have much patience for the jokes that my mom sends to my email, but I actually laughed out loud at today's email. So I thought I would share.

PSA: Not for the easily offended.

My 1 day employment

So after landing my new job as a Wal-Mart greeter, a good find for many retirees, I lasted less than a day....

About two hours into my first day on the job a very loud, unattractive, mean-acting woman walked into the store with her two kids, yelling obscenities at them all the way through the entrance.

I said pleasantly, 'Good morning and welcome to Wal-Mart. Nice children you have there. Are they twins?'

The ugly woman stopped yelling long enough to say, 'Hell no, they ain't twins. The oldest one's 9, and the other one's 7. Why the hell would you think they're twins? Are you blind, or stupid?'

So I replied, 'I'm neither blind nor stupid, Ma'am, I just couldn't believe someone slept with you twice. Have a good day and thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart.'

My supervisor said I probably wasn't cut out for this line of work
.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I Vlog Wii Zumba (Warning to me: this is embarrassing)

Hey friends,

So, I have been hearing a lot about Zumba lately, and I have really been wanting to try it. Unfortunately I have not been able to find any classes near me that seem to fit with my budget/schedule, so I opted for the next best thing: Zumba for Wii! There has been a lot of buzz about it, and I have been looking for something fun to do on days when I can't get to Flywheel for Barre or Spin, or my prison-gym for regular workouts or swimming (more on my workout schedule coming soon), and I picked this up. I will review it, but I made you a video as well, lest you are worried about trying it. This video is ridiculous and I can't believe I'm putting it on the internet, but well, I am. I'm sorry about the sound - if you turn up your volume, you should be able to hear the music. The video displays the first song and a half.

Disclaimer: A few things you should know about me before you see this:
  • I am not coordinated. Never have been, probably never will be. Also, I look a little bit like a monkey when I dance. I am okay with it.
  • I do not take myself very seriously.

video


If you watched that, I hope you were laughing with me, and not at me. And maybe it helps give you an idea of how fun it is!

An after video:

video

And my review:

All in a all, I would give it, from a first-timer's experience, an A-/B+. It was definitely fun, and I definitely got warm and even was sweating, but I cannot see this being the sole form of exercise and actually making a difference. Only time will tell on that point of course. For 20 minutes, it was fun, the time passed quickly, and I was definitely moving. Of Wii Fit, Wii Active and Wii Zumba, it is definitely the most fun in a silly way and I will definitely do it again. If you are on the fence, I would say go for it.

I hope this helps!

Do you Wii Zumba? Are you on the fence? What are YOUR favorite Wii Workout games? Would you post a ridiculous video like the first one on the internet :)?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On the Table: Super Cheesy (Healthy) Mac and Cheese

Welcome to my kitchen! I love to cook and adapt recipes, and I love to read cookbooks and food blogs, so I thought I would give it a go at combining the two. Where better to start than with everyone's favorite...

I love macaroni and cheese. Probably more than most people. Embarrassingly, I really love the boxed mac and cheese - I would eat a bowl of that good ol' blue box any day. However, as I have gotten older, and more experimental in the kitchen, I started to make my old boxed favorites from scratch, and I came across a mac and cheese recipe that I just thought would pass the test. When I tell you that I L-O-V-E-love this recipe, I mean it. It surpassed the box any day (and I never thought I would say that!). Plus, it has the added benefit of hidden veggies and protein, so...win-win!

Everyone has an "I don't eat vegetables" person in their life, and every vegetarian has an "Ew, tofu? That stuff is gross." often sitting at the table. And that's fine, everyone is entitled. However, I love to serve this to said company and prove them wrong. They don't even know they are eating (and loving) tofu and veggies!

Just for reference, the products that I use in my kitchen are just my preference and what we had around, your favorites will work too!

Healthy Mac and Cheese (Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas)

You will need:
  • 1 box of pasta (I used Barilla Plus, any shape of cut pasta will work, I used elbows)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, margarine or veg oil (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 - 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 12-oz package of silken tofu
  • 14 oz of shredded cheddar cheese (I use fat free and it tastes delicious but many fewer calories - you can use full fat if you want. I have also used a combination of many other cheeses, such as smoked gouda and mozzarella, and they are all good - use your favorite!)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Welcome to my teeny tiny NYC kitchen!

All these delicious veggies in mac and cheese - who could imagine?

Step 1: Prep your veggies: Onion and garlic chopped, sweet potatoes heated in the microwave for 8 - 10 minutes until soft to the touch, split open and ready to be scooped out.

Step 2: Cook your pasta, according to the package (unless you're like me and you like it just past al dente...). When the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside.


Step 3: Add one tablespoon of margarine, the onion and the garlic into the pot. Saute over low heat until just cooked through.

Step 4: Turn off the heat. Add the sweet potatoes and silken tofu to the pot. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy.
If you don't have an immersion blender, don't worry, you can mash this with a spoon, or use egg beaters, it just may take a little bit longer.


Doesn't that look delicious already? We haven't even added the cheese! Make sure blend it really smooth!


Step 5: Add cheese and stir over low heat until all combined.


I just made this and my mouth is already watering. Seriously, how cheesy and amazing does that look? Make sure you stir in the cheese over low heat so it doesn't burn or separate.

Just one more demonstration of cheesy goodness!


Step 6: Dump in the drained pasta and combine with the cheese sauce


Make sure it is thoroughly combined.


Step 7: Serve and enjoy!
We love to sprinkle just a little truffle salt right on top in our bowls. Mmmm mmm good!

You will taste this and never know that it is loaded with vitamins and protein! I serve it along side a green vegetable and a salad and we all finish the meal with happy tummies.

Cut and paste this recipe to use in your own kitchen! (And please stop by to let me know how it goes).

Healthy Mac and Cheese (Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas)
Makes 12 servings (one hearty ladle), WeightWatchers 6 Points+ per serving

Ingredients:
  • 1 box of pasta (I used Barilla Plus, any shape of cut pasta will work, I used elbows)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, margarine or veg oil (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 - 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 12-oz package of silken tofu
  • 14 oz of shredded cheddar cheese (I use fat free and it tastes delicious but many fewer calories - you can use full fat if you want. I have also used a combination of many other cheeses, such as smoked gouda and mozzarella, and they are all good - use your favorite!)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
  • Step 1: Prep your veggies: Onion and garlic chopped, sweet potatoes heated in the microwave for 8 - 10 minutes until soft to the touch, split open and ready to be scooped out.

  • Step 2: Cook your pasta, according to the package (unless you're like me and you like it just past al dente...). When the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside.

  • Step 3: Add one tablespoon of margarine, the onion and the garlic into the pot. Saute over low heat until just cooked through.

  • Step 4: Turn off the heat. Add the sweet potatoes and silken tofu to the pot. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy.

  • Step 5: Add cheese and stir over low heat until all combined. Make sure you stir in the cheese over low heat so it doesn't burn or separate.

  • Step 6: Dump in the drained pasta and combine with the cheese sauce. Make sure it is thoroughly combined.

  • Step 7: Serve and enjoy! We love to sprinkle just a little truffle salt right on top in our bowls.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Hey Bandwagon - Jumpin' On! Dialect Vlog!

I've been watching this "Dialect Vlog" going around, and decided that I definitely wanted to try it! I think vlogging is hilarious and dialect is something that has always interested me, so why not? I noticed after I finished that I think I answered one of the questions incorrectly, but hey, we're not being graded, right?

Enjoy!

video

Here are the words, if you want to follow along:

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  • What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  • What do you call gym shoes?
  • What do you say to address a group of people?
  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped
  • body and extremely long legs?
  • What do you call your grandparents?
  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry
  • groceries at the supermarket?
  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with?
If you want to see even more, check out my fellow Bee at Ruffles and Truffles - Katie has a pretty comprehensive list going!

I think I like vlogging - once I can get over the funny feeling of talking to myself, I think I could really get into this.

What are words that other people have always commented that you say differently? Where can I find YOUR dialect vlog?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hello friends!

As I venture further from the world of weddings, and my former bloglife as Mrs. Hermit Crab at Weddingbee, I will make my new home on the blogosphere right here! I'll be sharing some of my adventures with food and friends, and trying to remember to take pictures along the way! I hope you'll join me :).

I thought I would kick off my new blog with results from my personal dna test, that I found over at The Handcrafted Life.

Here are my results:




I found out that I am an "advocating inventor." I actually find it strikingly familiar and generally right in line with how I see myself!



Here's what it means:

I am an Inventor
  • Your imagination, self-reliance, openness to new things, and appreciation for utility combine to make you an INVENTOR.
  • You have the confidence to make your visions into reality, and you are willing to consider many alternatives to get that done.
  • The full spectrum of possibilities in the world intrigues you—you're not limited by pre-conceived notions of how things should be.
  • Problem-solving is a specialty of yours, owing to your persistence, curiosity, and understanding of how things work.
  • Your vision allows you to identify what's missing from a given situation, and your creativity allows you to fill in the gaps.
  • Your awareness of how things function gives you the ability to come up with new uses for common objects.
  • It is more interesting for you to pursue excitement than it is to get caught up in a routine.
  • Although understanding details is not difficult for you, you specialize in seeing the bigger picture and don't get caught up in specifics.
  • You tend to more proactive than reactive—you don't just wait for things to come to you.
  • You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.
  • You have a strong sense of style and value your personal presentation - friends may even seek your style advice from time to time.
  • Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.
If I want to be different:
  • Try applying your creativity to more artistic arenas, and letting your imagination take less practical forms.

How I relate to others:
I am Advocating
  • Being social, empathic, and understanding makes you ADVOCATING.
  • Some people find being around others exhausting—but not you! You are energized by spending time with friends, and you are good at meeting new people.
  • One of the reasons you enjoy conversation as much as you do is that you often learn about yourself while talking things out with a friend; you realize things about your own beliefs while discussing them with others.
  • You have insight into what others are thinking and feeling. This ability allows you to be happy for others, and to commiserate when something has gone wrong for them.
  • You are highly compassionate, and being conscious of how things affect those close to you leaves you cautious about trusting others too hastily.
  • Despite these reservations, you are open-minded when it comes to your worldview; you don't look to impose your ways on others.
  • Your sensitivity towards others' plights contributes to an understanding—both intellectual and emotional—of many different perspectives.
  • As someone who understands the complexities of the world around you, you are reluctant to pass judgments.
If I want to be different:
  • While it's important to think about others, don't forget to take some time for yourself, and occassionally to put yourself first.
  • Take some time to spend with a few close friends; although it's difficult to find people to trust, it's worth the effort.
  • When you have great ideas, it can be hard to relinquish control, but it can also feel good to take the pressure off and enjoy someone else leading the way.

Take it for yourself
, and let me know what it generates for you!