It’s a Maniac Monday… 

Ok it’s not really a maniac Monday, only when it comes to the metro. Metro is shutting down parts of every line for the next year (which means it’s virtually impossible to get to work in a decent time) and soon I’ll have to work from home as I won’t have a way to get to work. 

Aside from that, I had a great weekend! I went to NJ to see my niece, Haleigh’s dance recital. I got to spend time with my family, which is always great and see my niece dance. 

She did awesome! It brings back so many wonderful memories for me of how much I enjoyed it and how I need to find more dance classes in the area. On Saturday Haleigh and I got to paint pottery at this fun place called Family Clay Time, where you paint a piece of pottery and if you want to drink/eat out of it, you have to put it in the kiln. So we will get them in a week. I’m super excited. We both picked mugs. Here they are below: 


Who do you think picked the Princess Mug? I almost considered that one. 

Once they come out of the kiln, they will be very bright in color and have a nice glaze to them. 

I came back to DC yesterday afternoon and immediately went to the grocery store so that I could do… Yep you guessed it! Meal prep! 

Now that I have a system, it’s getting faster. Picking what to have for the week usually is the toughest and then once that’s decided, I go to work! 

Here’s the finished product below:


This week I made:

  1. Granola Bars (they have become a staple!)
  2. Coconut oil granola
  3. Southwestern quinoa
  4. Sweet potatoes with corn
  5. Chicken Breast
  6. Salmon
  7. Regular Quinoa (seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder and Pink Himalayan salt)
  8. Cottage cheese

Five Friday Faves

As Friday winds down, while I’m here in NJ, here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

  1. Daily Motivational Passages that I read every morning before I start my day. 
  2. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. She is one of my favorite authors. Great great book that I read in a week! 
  3. Pure Barre. I have started going to classes and am loving it! It really has helped a lot with my strength training and running. 
  4. Running. I’ve started to run again and it feels great! I am going to start training for the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in Philly and am beyond excited. 
  5. Being able to go home for the weekend and spend some time on old familiar roads like this one:

It’s been a busy day and I am happy to be able to get this post up! Being home in NJ with the family is great! 

June is in Full Swing! 

Hello! I am back from my hiatus. It has been quite a month! I got to visit with my friend Sarah, I went to Jamaica,Turned 30 and my boyfriend threw me an amazing surprise party! May was an amazing month. Turning 30 hasn’t made me feel too different yet, however it has forced me to really think about what is important to me and what I want to continue to do. One of those things is this blog. I made up excuses daily as to why I shouldn’t write/what I had to say wasn’t important/etc and was the sole cause of there being no posts until now. 

And now I’m back! This weekend I ended up teaching for the first time in three weeks (due to work, travel, bday events). Saturday we took care of some errands, went for a run (in addition to me teaching) and purchased air purifiers from Target, which are making a big difference already. I’ve been experiencing a lot of issues with the air quaility and the air conditioning. 


Me in my Saturday errand/workout attire. 

Sunday I taught as well and we went to visit Santosh’s parents in Springfield. Sunday night is meal prep so of course I prepped and measured our food for the week while Santosh did the laundry. Here is the end result:


What’s in there? From left to right:

  1. The Oatmeal Cranberry Bars I make all the time. Recipe is here but I alter the recipe by using 3 eggs instead of 2 and closer to a cup of canola oil.
  2. Cashews measured and bagged. 
  3. Babybel cheeses portioned off. 
  4. Cottage Cheese (new favorite)
  5. Alexia Southern Sweet Potato Blend (They come in the frozen aisle and only take 5 minutes to heat up!)
  6. Earthly Choice Southwestern Quinoa (They also are in the frozen aisle and take 4 minutes to heat up!) 
  7. Chicken breast (I buy a rotisserie chicken from Giant and portion it out with the quinoa for the week)
  8. Brown rice seasoned with garlic and onion powder cooked in the Rice Cooker. 

Does meal prep make a difference? For us I think it does! It allows us to save money and it also allows us to both make healthy choices. For me, it’s a lot easier in the morning to grab the containers out of the refrigerator and just go. Everything I eat now is high in protein, lower in carbs and mostly gluten free. 

Originally, we both did gluten free for health reasons. However, I’ve found with recent foods I’ve tried to eat (homemade NY style pizza in NYC) that my body cannot process flour and I have a sensitivity to it. My father, sister and cousin also all have gluten sensitivities and allergies so it’s not just something I can chalk up to my stomach not agreeing with something. 
At the end of the day, I feel better with the food choices I make now which has also attributed greatly to my weight loss. 

Do you meal prep? What do you find works best for you during the week? 

Hellooooo It’s May! 

It’s already May, which means it’s my birthday month! I am going to be the big 30! In addition to continuing to better myself, I have a few goals for May:

  1. Run at least 30 miles this month. I am already at 5 as of today. 
  2. Find one thing everyday to be grateful for. 
  3. Celebrate every day either with a treat, workout or good conversation.
  4. Smile. 

Starting off, (since I have three things to catch up on) I am grateful for:

  1. Nieces. This past weekend was my nieces last dance competition and seeing her dance was a wonderful moment for me. 
  2. Running. I started running again (hence the 30 miles in May goal) and it has been a welcoming feeling to come back. Can’t wait for races in the fall! 
  3. Rainstorms. Last night it poured. I mean POURED. At one point, I turned off the TV and just listened and I heard the rain and it was beautiful. It was nice to just stop and listen. 

Moving forward I will post what I’m grateful for and of course include my Five Friday Faves! Can’t wait to see all the things I find to be grateful for. I know this list will be really long. 

Below are my proud running pics from yesterday and today (starting off strong!) for my 30 miles challenge. 

Five Friday Faves 

I have been out of it this past week due to my sinuses acting up and making me feel really crappy. 

But I couldn’t miss my five Friday faves! 

  1. Bar Rescue. This show on Spike TV follows Jon Taffer, who helps rescue failing bars and is no nonsense! 
  2. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl. I am finishing this book and am loving it! It’s funny and a really quick read. 
  3. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Season 2 came out today. If you haven’t seen season 1, binge watch it on Netflix now and then start watching Season 2! 
  4. Walking outside. Today was the first time I’ve been outside since Tuesday. It really did help. 
  5. Kitty Pics-  Maddy adding new meaning to cat out of the bag.    

Maddy doing what she does best:  
  

Five Friday Faves

The weekend is finally here! With it I have five new Friday faves to discuss: 

  1.  Bosch. It’s an Amazon tv series that just is in its second season. We just finished it last night and it’s fabulous! Try it out if you have a weekend to spare! You could watch the whole thing (if you really want to) 
  2. Starbucks Mobile Orders. I use this everyday on the way to work. You order your drink on the app and pay ahead so that when you get to Starbucks your drink is ready for you and you avoid the line! 
  3. Unroll Me. For all those emails you don’t want anymore and need to unsubscribe, this app will allow you the option to keep or unsubscribe for such emails. It’s amazing! 
  4. Politics and Prose Bookstore. I LOVE this bookstore and live a block over from it. I went there today after work and got to sit in on a book event. The atmosphere is so calming. I will never not love being able to go in there. If you’re in the DC area, visit the store. It’s a DC staple! 
  5. Rainbows. I got to see a beautiful rainbow yesterday on the way home after torrential rain. It’s proof that there is beauty after a storm. 

 

Have a great weekend! 

Nutritional Check In & New Goals

About a year ago I decided to hire a nutritionist. My reasons were two fold:

  1. I wanted to learn more about nutrition and how it factors into overall health and weight loss (fitness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise) 
  2. I wanted to lose more weight and tone up. 

I went on the Internet and searched for a while and found Jaime. Reading the reviews of her clients sold me immediately. Her site can be found here Nutrition CPR

When I started working with Jaime, I eas training for my first half marathon last October (the Philly Rock & Roll 1/2). She helped me to fuel for each run and workout without feeling like I wasn’t being deprived or starved. 

Since I’ve been working with Jaime, I’ve lost weight, toned up and also gained a considerable amount of knowledge about carbohydrates, sugar, protein and gluten. Gluten is a particularly sensitive issue for me since my sister and father both have Celiac disease (as well as multiple cousins and extended family). I have cut out all the majority of gluten (pasta, bread, dressings, sauces, etc.) with the support of Santosh who had also been on board. It’s been a process but I have to say I have seen the benefits of it for both of us. More importantly, I feel a LOT better. 

With my 30th birthday approaching, I reached out to Jaime ( I try to talk to her once a month) to tone up more. Our conversation gave me the following goals for the next 6 weeks: 

  1. Limited sugar. Read the ingredient list and if it’s one of the first 5 ingredients it’s a no go. Which also means: 
  • No additional sugars in syrups, sauces, drinks, etc. 
  • Limited to NO alcohol
  • Eat lots of protein (it makes you fuller faster before eating carbs)
  • Watching the carbohydrates: limited potatoes, limited rice, etc. Read labels to see the carbohydrate and sugar content. 

Cook at home as much as possible and.. Drink lots of water. 

So I have my work cut out for me and I’ll be checking in with Jaime and also writing down my process here. I’m also going to be on MyFitnessPal so I can see my meal intake each day. Seeing the numbers in front of you helps.

Do you have nutritional goals? What are they? I’d love to hear them! 

      Hey Spring… You Can Come Out Now..

       
      It’s Tuesday, April 5th and it’s 28 degrees outside! Where is spring? I’m ready for warmer weather where it’s the perfect balance of warm but not DC Summer’s hot. 

      This weekend was a lot busier for me that usual (which I’m not complaining about!) I went and took yoga on Saturday with my girlfriend Kristina at Epic Yoga and then went to a first time home buyers class with Santosh. Yes we are getting everything ready to start looking! I’m excited and nervous (but a good nervous) at the same time. I then went up to friendship heights with my girlfriend Kerie and got all new makeup at Mac. I really like it it’s just a new adjustment to put on new makeup and get into a new habit of using this makeup compared to my old one. 

      This was my second attempt at doing it myself (compared to the woman who did it in the store):

        
        
      Sunday, Santosh and I went to visit Santosh’s parents, ran errands and came home to prep for the week. I baked the oatmeal cranberry bars (which have become a favorite of ours) and the oatmeal no bake bites. I also tried for the first time one of Santosh’s mom’s recipes and it turned out so well! 

      The recipe includes: 

      • 1 onion
      • Cumin
      • Puréed Tomatoes (1 can)
      • Turmeric
      • Dal Masala
      • Salt & Pepper
      • Lentils 

      Sauté the onion in a pan with a little olive oil and cumin until the onion becomes clear. Add in the puréed tomatoes, turmeric, dal masala and salt and pepper. If you have lentils that cook really quickly, add them directly into the same pan. If you have lentils that cook longer, put them in the rice cooker and once cooked, add them into the pan for a few moments. 

        

      Cooking this weekend reaffirmed for me how much I enjoy cooking and how important it is for me to continue the habit of doing it. I am going to make an conscious effort to keep my word to myself and Santosh for us to cook. 

      What habits do you notice that you would like to keep or change? 

      Five Friday Faves

      It’s Friday! The end of the week is here and it’s my day off! Each Friday I want to focus on five favorites I have from the week as a way to end the week on a positive note (regardless of any struggles or events that take place).

      My Five Friday Favorites are:

      1. The School of Greatness Podcast by Lewis Howes.

      Santosh introduced me to this podcast, which is run by Lewis Howes, who is a former professional athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur, motivational speaker and motivator. His podcasts focus on striving for greatness and features people from every aspect of life who are striving to be better themselves and in turn help others around them be great. The podcast I’m featuring is his interview with Dan Harris. I’ve read Dan’s book, 10% Happier  and loved it. It actually got me thinking about meditation, which is one of my goals for April to execute.

      2. Amazon Dash Button.

      I have to admit that Santosh is a lot further ahead when it comes to technology and finding neat things for the apartment. He introduced me to the Amazon Dash Button for Maxwell House  which will actually re-order coffee for you when you click the button. Isn’t that amazing!? It’s through Amazon prime, so we got coffee delivered today for only $5. Amazing! We also got a Cottonelle button to help avoid running out of toilet paper. The entire concept of the button blows my mind. There are buttons literally for everything. EVERYTHING.

      3. Teavana Tea

      I have fallen in love with Teavana Tea. I used to not be much of a tea drinker, but going into Teavana has changed that. Instead of drinking tea out of a tea bag, you get loose tea, which can be re-steeped up to 3 times before tossing it (which saves you $$$ over the long run) and it tastes and smells so much better. Full disclaimer:I smell everything prior to eating or drinking it. Currently, I’m drinking Peachberry Jasmine Sutra and Weight to Go which is mixed with Dragonfruit Devotion. So Yummy!

      4. MeisterTask Program Management Tool

      Santosh introduced me to a new tool that can be used on the phone, computer and iPad which allows us to both share projects, tasks, and ideas and also assign them to ourselves and each other. You can create due dates for each task or project and be able to track what you’re working on. It’s called MeisterTask and it will sync with your Google Calendar so you’ll have it show up on all your devices.

      5. Dancing with the Stars TV Show

      I have been a fan of the show in the past and fallen off. But this season, I enjoy watching the show later in the week or on the weekend to see all the amazing dancers on the show. I have my few favorites, especially Wanya Morris from Boys II Men (I’ve been a fan of that group for such a long time and I have the cassette tapes to prove it). He is doing great this season! I can’t wait to see where he goes from here. I’m rooting for him in the long run. That being said, there are some other great couples on the show and I can’t leave out my absolute favorite professional dancer, Mark Ballas. I could watch him dance all day long.  He is AMAZING. Sidenote, he also is a singer and his song “Get My Name” is a Jazzercise song that I love putting into my sets.

      Time to Cheer! It’s Thursday

      I write this sitting down after a LONG day. But it was a productive day! By the end of my work day I felt like this:

        

      I got to workout on the elliptical and the treadmill, 35 minutes on each.  Here is my step count after that: 

        

      Slowly I’m focusing more time on my homework for lifehack and elite blog academy since I have time again! It’s amazing what having structure in your day. Now to continue it and make it a permanent habit! 

      What habits have you found that have been successful? 

      More to come tomorrow!