Loving lately – food, leggings, & TV
Apr
18th

How is spring break already over? This week seriously FLEW by. I mean, technically I still have the weekend, but still.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “loving lately” post, and since some new and fabulous things have made their way into my life, I thought it was high time I share them with you.

1. Lemon hummus. I’ll be honest, I’ve been in a bit of a rut with hummus. Normally, I can’t get enough, but I’ve been kind of over it. But, I can’t eat falafel without hummus, so when I was making Amy’s for dinner, I had to have some, so I decided to mix it up.

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Lemon hummus, where have you been all my life?? I just want to sit down and eat the whole tub with a spoon.

2. Orphan Black.

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Have you seen this show?? I really want to watch it when I saw the previews for the first season. The second season premiers this weekend, and I found the first season for free on Amazon (with Prime). John and I binge watched the whole thing in like three days! It is non-stop, edge-of-your-seat, can’t stop watching epicness.

3. Oatmeal. I know, I hate oatmeal. I’ve always hated oatmeal. My oatmeal for people who hate oatmeal was ok, but it wasn’t something I craved. My newest oatmeal concoction eliminates the boogeryness that is traditional oats and is pure deliciousness.

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4. Jiva leggings. Remember how I won one of the February yoga challenges on instagram? Well a couple weeks ago I got my prize, my Jiva leggings!

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I’m so excited that Jiva is sponsoring the challenge Paige and I are hosting this month, because these are seriously the most comfortable leggings I have ever owned, not to mention they are gorgeous!

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It feels like a second skin, and unlike every other pair of pants I’ve ever owned, they don’t dig in at the waist. They posted a teaser picture on ig of shorts too. I’ll definitely be treating myself to some of those once they come out.

Oooook, time to go bury my nose in the books (at least until the Orphan Black premier tomorrow!!!!).

P.S. Yesterday, John and I made a random trip to Boston to look at an apartment. The one we looked at a few weeks ago fell through, but we’re excited about this one so cross your fingers for us!

Questions: Have you seen Orphan Black? What’s the last show you binge-watched? Any fun foods you’re obsessed with lately?

Our NY bucket list
Apr
16th

If everything goes according to plan, John and I will be moving to Boston one month from tomorrow! If it doesn’t, we’ll be moving in a month and a half. Either way, our time in New York is quickly coming to an end.

There are so many things to do in this area – touristy and not so touristy – that we haven’t made time for. Once we knew for sure we would be leaving, we started working on a list of things to do before we go.

Our original plan was to do them throughout the year. Unfortunately, at this point time is flying by so fast that I don’t think we’ll be able to get to them all. This post should really be called “things I’d do in NY if I had enough time.” We should be able to manage at least a few though, especially with my parents coming to visit for graduation.

OUR NYC BUCKET LIST (in no particular order)

1. Go to the TODAY Show. We watch every morning and have for years. We just have to go at least once!

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2. Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The classics. I went to the Statute of Liberty once when I was really little, but I don’t really remember, so it doesn’t really count.

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3. Get tickets to the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. And go, obviously. I’ve heard this is practically impossible so it’s extremely unlikely to happen, but I’m a huge fan and would basically die if I got to see Jon Stewart in real life. *swoon*

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4. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Another classic.

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5. Take the dogs to Central Park. John has been wanting to do this basically since we moved here, so we have to make it happen.

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6. See a Broadway show. The only reason I haven’t already seen lots of shows is that I’m cheap and John isn’t particularly interested. But I have to see at least one!

7. Visit Philadelphia. We’re so close, and I doubt we’ll ever be this close again. This is another one I don’t think we’ll be able to fit in at this point, but I really wanted to see the major historical sites.

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8. Hike at Bear Mountain. Bear mountain state park is seriously 30 minutes from us and looks so beautiful. We actually tried to go once, but there was an accident or something and we were stuck in traffic for hours before giving up and turning around. I really want to get some hiking in ASAP so maybe after finals and before graduation we’ll get a morning hike in or something.

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Questions: Are there big “things to do” where you live that you’ve still never done? New Yorkers, are you embarrassed for me that my list is so touristy?

Choose your yoga
Apr
14th

I’m really excited for today’s post because it is one I have been wanting to write for a while. Lucky for me, one of my favorite bloggers Elise gave me the perfect opportunity when she asked me to guest post while she is away recovering from her busy season at work. Even luckier, she asked me to write about yoga!

Seated twist

I have so many friends and meet so many people who think yoga is not for them. Among the fitness crowd, one of the things I hear the most often is that yoga is “too slow.” I talk to people who tried yoga once and didn’t like it so they gave up on it altogether. This makes me sad not only because I love yoga, but because they are missing out for no reason.

Yoga comes in alllll kinds of styles and flavors. There really is something for everyone. Check out my guest post to discover which style of yoga practice could be right for you.

Finding the right yoga for you

Yup, still planning
Apr
13th

Soooo clearly I’m not sticking with that whole “no plan” thing. In some ways it was relaxing, but for practical reasons (like not wasting money on groceries, for example), I think planning is still important for me for now. At least I gave it the old college try!

workout plan

MEALS

Chewing is still not the easiest with my wisdom teeth healing up, but I am back on solid foods (yay!). It’s just more difficult and time consuming. At least it forces me to pace myself. I will miss the excuse to have ice cream for meals though. ;)

Monday: Coconut quinoa patties {recipe}

Tuesday: Mexican tofu scramble {recipe coming soon!}

Wednesday: Stir-fry by John

Thursday: Crispy tofu rice bowls with thai peanut sauce {recipe}

Friday: Butternut squash enchilada casserole {recipe}

Saturday: Leftovers

WORKOUTS

I am really looking forward to getting back to real workouts this week, and as an added bonus, spring break means lots of flexibility!

Monday: Yoga + run + abs

Tuesday: Yoga + ZCUT PS7

Wednesday: Yoga + teach Zumba

Thursday: Yoga + ZCUT PS8 + run

Friday: Yoga (yin) + super legs supersets + TRX (arms, back, abs)

Saturday: Ashtanga yoga

Sunday: Yoga + spinning

Yes, I know there is no rest day, but a) I will probably end up just randomly resting one day, and b) I rested basically all week this week so I feel like it is fine.

Questions: What’s on your plan for next week?

More blogging self-reflection
Apr
11th

Happy Friday! Next week is spring break. Wooooooohoo, party hard-y! And by party hard-y, I mean study hard-y because finals are basically upon us. Annnd I have to complete a long and complicated application for admission to the bar. Yay?

I debated sharing today’s post because I felt better after writing it, and it helped clarify some things in my mind, but I wasn’t sure it would have any value to anyone else. In case it does, I’m sharing it anyway.

I know you’re all probably beyond “over” my prolonged blogging existential crisis.

i don't want to hear about it

I keep writing posts about my revelations, and at first I feel better, but then a few days go by and I’m back in a funk. I’m not feeling as inspired as I did when I first started. Luckily, I think I may have identified the missing piece (or pieces) that are keeping me from just being myself and loving blogging again.

Since I started blogging, I have definitely changed. In a lot of ways, it has been for the good. Blogging makes me want to be “better.” To set the best example possible. The problem with this is that sometimes I am not the best. I’m just a human being human. But I’ve noticed that in my day to day life, I’ve started letting the blog dictate my decisions. And by that I mean that if there is something I want to do but wouldn’t want to share (and wouldn’t want to hide because I would feel phony or unauthentic), I don’t do it. You could see this as a great thing. It pushes me to be better. It holds me accountable. But it also gets frustrating.

I think the real question is why should I feel uncomfortable sharing my health choices in the first place? Hannah (Clean Eating Veggie Girl) had a great post on this last week that really resonated with me even though the causes of pressure are a little different. I love the blogging community. Truly love. But I also feel a lot of pressure. Pressure to be like everyone else and to think like everyone else. I learn and grow so much by reading other blogs and getting to know other bloggers, but I don’t write as freely as I used to, and I don’t feel as free as I used to.

All of this pressure is self-inflicted (and probably related to my “real life” awkwardness and social anxiety), so I’m hoping to combat it by asking myself this question: What would you write if no one was reading? Not because I don’t care about my readers (I do!! So much!!), but because I think it will remind me to let go and be me instead of trying to fit myself into the box that I think I should be in.

what would you write if no one was reading

Thanks as always for listening to my rambles. <3

Question: Bloggers, does the accountability that comes from blogging pressure your decisions? Non-bloggers, do you find value in reading about healthy living from people who aren’t perfect, or who are still experimenting and figuring things out?

Vampire chipmunk + Liebster love
Apr
9th

This is hands-down the most bizarre-o post title I’ve ever had. Perhaps I should explain.

Wisdom teeth out on Monday = swollen cheeks and blood. Too much? Ok moving on.

wisdom teeth out

Best husband ever, am I right?

So far the recovery is going better than expected. I’m not in too much pain and I’ve hardly taken any pain killers. The only bad thing is the hunger! I eat a lot of pudding and yogurt and it makes it hard to feel full. Today I’m supposed to teach Zumba (and am officially allowed to exercise again) so we will see how that goes. I probably should have gotten a sub, but I don’t always make good choices…

Moving on to the Liebster! One of my best blends Amy nominated me for the Liebster award, a fun award that helps you learn more about bloggers and find new ones. Amy has been a hugely positive influence on me in blogging and in life. She is sweet and supportive and always there to listen. If you haven’t checked out her blog you absolutely should!

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Technically, I’m supposed to ask my own questions and nominate more bloggers, but I’m being a jerk rebel and am just going to answer Amy’s questions.

1. Who/what inspires you in the kitchen? Who/what inspires you in the gym? (or other fitness space)

My fellow bloggers inspire me in the kitchen! Seriously, if it wasn’t for Pinterest and blogs, John and I would still be eating our rotation of pasta with Ragu, ramen, and rice and eggs for dinner.

As for the gym, I guess I’m mostly inspired by myself? Not in an egotistical way, just that my workouts are for me, and I’ve found that by focusing on myself and not others I feel better about myself and more easily avoid the comparison trap.

In yoga, I’m inspired by the community on instagram! I have met so many amazing people, and even more than their pictures, I’m inspired by their words.

2. What is the strangest thing in your gym bag (or purse) right now… and why is it there?!

Narcotics. For the pain! Don’t worry I’m not moonlighting as a drug dealer.

3. If you were stranded on an island and could only take three foods, what three would you take and why?

1) Ice cream because it’s my favorite food, 2) zbars because I have eaten them everyday for over a year and never get sick of them, and 3) salad (yes I know that isn’t really a single food) because I know I’ll be craving it to balance out the ice cream.

4. Savory or sweet – and why?!

Sweet all day every day (see question 3). I’m pretty sure I have a mouthful of the world’s sweetest teeth (minus 4… get it?? ha). I can’t comprehend people who say they prefer salty to sweet. Like, what? How?

5. How have you changed since beginning your blog?

This is a somewhat loaded question at the moment and I have a post planned for later this week on this topic. For now I’ll say that blogging makes me evaluate my choices with greater scrutiny. I pride myself on being transparent about health and fitness related choices that I’m making. I hold myself to a higher standard than I used to so I can practice what I preach. Usually this is a good thing, but not always.

Blogging has also connected me to people who help me grow in my healthy living journey by sharing their own stories. I know that’s vague, but I’d have to write a book to be more specific. <3

Questions: Choose one (or more!) of the above to answer!

No plan + small victories
Apr
7th

Hello friends! How was your weekend?

porch yoga feetI feel like things have been a whirlwind around here lately. With the semester ending and graduation and the move coming up, we’re all over the place. This weekend we were in Boston to look at apartments (I think we found one, cross your fingers that we get it!) and for one of my best friend’s bridal showers! It was so amazing to meet all her family and friends, I’m so grateful to be a part of her bridal party.

bridal shower

Normally, I share a plan for the week on Sundays, but yesterday I didn’t, for two reasons. First, I’m getting my wisdom teeth out today and I have no idea how the healing will go. It seemed silly to plan out meals I may not be able to eat and workouts I may not be able to do. Second, in response to my post last week, the wisest maven I know suggested that maybe letting things go even more might help. I can’t say I’m optimistic that it will help, but this seemed like the perfect week to give “no plan” a try.

I got another great piece of advice from Amy to focus on small victories, so that’s what I’ve been trying to do for the past few days (and plan to continue to do). On Thursday, I realized late afternoon after my workout that my food intake for the day had been really low. It triggered the old high, but after some internal battling, I convinced myself to eat extra before dinner because I knew I knew it was the right choice for my health. In the past, a light day like that might have triggered days or even weeks of restricting to “keep it up.” Small victories can be big ones. :)

Questions: Any small victories in your life lately? Should I be worried about my wisdom teeth recovery?

Mexican tofu scramble {recipe}
Apr
3rd

Thank you all so much for your support on Tuesday’s post. Reading your comments has give me a lot to think about and I can’t thank you enough for listening. I may have some follow-up thoughts tomorrow, but for today I thought I’d lighten things up and share a recipe! I’ve been playing around this this one for a while, and I’m finally happy with it.

BusyBod Mexican Tofu ScrambleBut before we get to that, I just have to say that even though it’s Thursday, I’m still furious about the How I Met Your Mother finale. It was terrible. I’ve been irrationally angry for days with no end in sight. If you’re a huge fan of the show and didn’t hate it, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore. Ok, maybe we can be friends but we can never speak of this again! Finale. More like… fail-nale!

Anyyyyyway, after I went vegetarian, for several years I refused to eat tofu because I thought it was too weird. When I finally warmed up to it, I only ate it at restaurants for the next few years because I couldn’t figure out how to cook with it. Then I figured out how to cook with it (hooray) but still wouldn’t try anything called a tofu scramble because it just sounded way too creepy. Turns out it’s delicious, and now here I am posting a scramble recipe. The moral of the story is, if you aren’t going to try this because it sounds creepy, get over it and try it. ;)

mexucan tofu scramble

MEXICAN TOFU SCRAMBLE

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 c. corn
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • 1/4 c. salsa
  • 1/2 lime (juice)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

  1. Wrap and press tofu in paper towel. If possible, leave wrapped for 30 min. If you’re short on time, just wrap it, squeeze out as much water as you can, repeat, and then get started.
  2. Crumble the tofu into a bowl.
  3. Heat 1 tsp. of oil over medium heat. Add the tofu and mix in 1 tsp. cumin and the lime juice. Cook until tofu begins to brown, about ten minutes.
  4. While tofu is cooking, rinse and drain black beans, defrost corn, chop onions and cilantro, and shred the cheese.
  5. Add salsa to tofu, cook one more minute. Return tofu bowl and add cilantro.
  6. Add the second tsp of oil to the same pan, saute onions until translucent.
  7. Add corn and beans, green onion, salt, and the remaining 1/2 tsp. cumin, cook 1-2 minutes.
  8. Return tofu mixture to the pan, cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  9. Top with cheese and serve!

We have had this dish plain, on rice, and with chips as pictured! The chips we baked at home using corn tortillas.

HOMEMADE BAKED CORN CHIPS

Ingredients

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • salt to taste
  • spray oil

Directions

Cut the tortillas into sixths. Grease a cookie sheet and lay out tortilla piece in one layer. Spray lightly with oil and top with salt to taste. Bake the chips at 350 degrees 8 minutes, flip them over and bake for 8 more minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. The time is a rough estimate, we keep testing them and take them out when crispy but not burnt, and the time varies by a minute or two.

Questions: How do you feel about tofu? Scrambled tofu? How much did you hate the HIMYM finale? <- please ignore this last question unless you want to join me in bashing it

Growing? Slipping? Or just addicted to dieting?
Apr
1st

One of my fav bloggers Arman had a great post last week about what he called the “diet mentality.”

I loved reading his take on it, and I thought the way he described it, as a mentality, was just perfect.

This is something I’ve been struggling a lot with lately, but I haven’t written about it because I didn’t know how to put it into words. I’ve been feeling uneasy, even unhappy. Reading Arman’s post really helped me get my thoughts together and put my finger on the problem:

I think I miss dieting.

am i addicted to dieting

It’s been about a year since I stopped counting calories and gave up my “food rules” and almost a year since I stopped weighing myself consistently. These are supposed to be big accomplishments and milestones towards a healthier, happier life. In some ways, they have been. I’ve talked about how freeing it is not to be constantly obsessed with food, with what I “can” or “can’t” eat, or how much, or when, and on and on. It’s nice to eat without a constant calculation running through my mind: what I’ve eaten, what I plan to eat, how much exercise I’ve done and plan to do and whether that will keep me on track.

But if I’m being really honest with myself, there are things I miss about about it. Things that I crave. I’m a person who needs structure. Someone who plans their day with a color coordinated google calendar and geeks out over task management apps. I always, always, need a plan. For all parts of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m flexible, I change my plan on a minute by minute basis sometimes. I just have to have one. Planning is how I manage stress. And not having that when it comes to my food stresses me out. I miss the rules and the rituals.

I want to be clear that I’m not talking about the out of control feeling that triggers old demons and relapses. This feels very different. That is a high stress, panicked, deep need to control and restrict. This is a low-level, mild unhappiness. This is my Type-A personality and its inability to cope with anything haphazard or unclear. That said, since I’ve never been through formal recovery, I can’t say for sure whether this is related to my history or normal for people who thrive on rules.

The part of me that desperately wants to have a healthy, uncomplicated relationship with food wants to keep doing what I’m doing: making healthy choices but eating with freedom by listening to hunger cues and honoring my cravings. But the part of me that is uneasy and unhappy wants something to change. I’ve spent weeks and weeks trying to figure out what or how to change while respecting my food philosophy. The result has been a stalemate, and I keep catching myself dwelling on all those old habits, and even dreaming up new ones (but not putting them into action).

It is hard for me and stressful for me to eat without rules, and I don’t know how to balance that against the unhealthy mental and emotional consequences of eating with rules. I don’t know how to reconcile the two issues. Maybe I can’t. Maybe I’m just addicted to dieting and if I give it enough time, it will eventually start to feel better. I can’t figure out if I’m struggling to shake the diet mentality and this is just part of the journey, if it’s a sign of something more fundamentally wrong, or if I can incorporate some rules again to satisfy that craving without taking it too far.

I don’t have any answers right now, but I always want to be open and honest here, and this is where I am right now. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s a journey, and I’m still figuring things out. Thank you for listening, writing always helps me think things through <3

No questions, just your thoughts.

6 tips to improve your chaturanga
Mar
31st

Chaturanga dandasana is one of my favorite yoga poses. Many people think of chaturanga as a beginner pose because it is one of the first poses most students learn. In reality, performing this pose with proper alignment requires a great deal of strength, which is one of the reasons I love it. I also love the smooth and fluid feel of a basic vinyasa, it’s immediately calming and centering for me.

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Even though it is used repeatedly in almost every yoga class, many people do it improperly. I noticed this a lot myself teaching PiYo. When we included this pose in the #sweathappywithyoga challenge, and I included one of my top tips. Since I got such positive feedback, I thought I would share it here and expand on it to include some of the other alignment tips I’ve used in teaching PiYo and in my own practice. Note: I’m not a yoga teacher, these are just alignment cues I’ve gathered from instructors over the years that have helped me in my own work in the pose.

1. Place your hands so your index finger points forward. This is helpful for seriously any pose (or exercise) where your weight is in your hands. I used to have so much wrist pain doing push-ups, yoga, and planks. Then someone corrected my hand placement – I had my middle finger pointing forward – and I haven’t had a problem since (although my wrists still do get tired sometimes!).

2. Look where you are going: forward. Taking your gaze in front of you will help you move in the right direction.

3. Shift your weight forward, not down. Because we “lower” into chaturanga, a common mistake is to lower straight down. That seems like the logical motion, but you will end up with the wrong alignment in the arms. Instead, enter the pose from plank by shifting your weight as far forward as you can, so far that you can barely stay on your toes. As you shift forward, you will lower down naturally. Here is the video I posted on instagram to demonstrate:

In the top video, I lower straight down and end up in the wrong position. In the bottom video, which shows the correct form, I shift my weight forward. That way, once I’m in the pose, arms are properly positioned with my forearms at a 90 degree angle to the ground and my upper arms parallel to the ground.

4. Engage you legs and your core. This will help keep your body in one straight line.

5. Keep your elbows in. Your elbows should be pointing straight back, and pulled in so that they “shave” your ribcage. I always tell my students, if you can’t keep the elbows pulled in, go to your knees. Lower from your knees until you build enough strength in your arms. And that brings me to possibly the most important tip:

6. Modify if you need to! Because this pose is used over and over, there is a greater risk of injury from repetition if your alignment isn’t correct. Forget your ego. There is NO shame in modifying. Listen to your body. You will get stronger with practice. <3

Questions: How do you feel about chaturanga? Do you have any “basic” poses that are favorites?

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