All You Can Do

I’ve been practicing transcendental meditation (aka vedic meditation) for about 3 weeks now. I’ve been meditating twice daily since January 2013 so finding the time to meditate twice a day is easy and I’m really dedicated to fitting it in every day. i’ve been stealing away to a dark call room at my office for twenty minutes in the afternoon. It’s so nice to recharge. 

But my small roof gathering got in the way of my second meditation on Saturday night and I really beat myself up over it. For, like, two days. But I got over it. Beating myself up over it won’t change my missing the sitting.

Then it almost happened again tonight. The afternoon at work was busy and by the time I got home from the office, I didn’t have enough time to sit before my yoga class.

What to do. it’s generally suggested to do the second meditation between 2pm and 8pm because it’s an energizing meditation and you don’t want to be up all night if you do it at too late an hour. 

So, here’s what I did: I sat and meditated for 7 minutes while I waited for the train to come after yoga and then another 11 minutes once I was on the train. 18 minutes isn’t 20 minutes, but it’s better than nothing.

I’m not beating myself up this time. I got in a lot and I’m happy with it. 

Food Stuffs

Let’s talk about all the things that I’ve been eating recently that have made me feel awful. 

For starters, I’ve realized that I snack too much at work. We have mini Snickers and Hershey’s nuggets and M&M’s just lying around. Initially, I was pretty addicted these. I’ve pretty much toned it down to 2 pieces per day. But I’m still reaching for the junk even though I’m not hungry. It’s just there, right? So, it’d be rude not to partake. I made the decision a few weeks ago to start ordering apples, so apples and peanut butter is a go-to snack of mine in an attempt to keep away from the shitty chocolate.

I think coffee may be making my head hurt, too. I only drink one or two cups a day, but I need to drink more water. (Which I have been, but I need to drink more because: hot weather.)

But let’s talk about the baguette I ate last week. 

I’d packed my lunch – super healthy grilled chicken and zucchini noodles with pesto sauce. But I was like, “it’s shark week and I’d like something heartier to go alone with all of that healthy shit,” so I went to Eataly, which is conveniently located across the street from my office, and walked around until I found a small counter that sold baguettes for two dollars. I immediately bought one and I ate about half of it with lunch and throughout the afternoon.

When I say I felt like trash for the rest of the afternoon, it is a complete understatement. I felt like steaming hot trash that had just been bathed in a tub of burnt olive oil.

I don’t have celiacs. I’m not glutarded. I’m not giving up all bread because bread is great. But based on the complete meltdown that my body had last week when I consumed a stupid amount of baguette, I think I should lay off the bread that’s void of any nutrition at all. 

I think I could’ve trained myself not to be OK with feeling like shit after eating bread and pasta. I used to consume a ton of pasta and I ate regular bread all the time. Usually when I buy bread, I’ll buy Ezekiel, which is gluten free, and the last time I made actual pasta (and the only time that I even have a faint memory of) was July 4th. After J bought the Inspiralizer for me, I haven’t made an ounce of pasta. 

But lesson learning is never easy so I had to eat bread once again on Saturday night. More specifically, garlic bread. These were small pieces and there were four of them. I only ate two because of The Baguette Incident. Luckily, showing some restraint paid off and these didn’t actually make me want to start clawing at my stomach. Still, I was incredibly sad to be leaving two gleaming pieces of garlic bread behind. This is a feeling that I will have to learn to deal with. I hate wasting food. 

The margaritas I had later that night had zero effect on me. Nor did the tortilla chips (thank goodness these are GF) and queso. 

I have a love/hate relationship with my consciousness around food now. I notice when things make me feel like dying and I make a conscious decision not to fuck around with those foods anymore. This is for the best, but it also sucks. Who doesn’t love a good bread basket?

Aside from cheap chocolate and bread, what isn’t making me feel shitty? Fruits, vegetables, and smoothies. Pretzels are toeing the line right now. I would really, really, really like to eat a burger or pizza right now but I don’t want a food hangover. 

I made this dish last night, complete with spiralized sweet potatoes, red pepper, green pepper, yellow squash, a little bit of cheese and spicy black beans. It was delicious and I didn’t want to die after. I have to start making more dishes like this again. 

First Hot Run

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I hate running in the summer. It’s miserable. The heat and humidity are unbearable so I haven’t run for a month. Yesterday, J and I ran a quick two miles (his Nike+ app said two miles, so whatever) in Riverside Park and along the Hudson River.

It was not an easy run at all for me. We walked up along the river for 20 or so blocks after we stopped running so we got a bit of a tan. We were exhausted after that. 

I can’t wait to run in fall weather.

Bait & Switch (& Switched Again)

I’m doing a free two-week pass at Yoga Shanti (the studio across the street from my office) and I went to a class that was listed as “Open” last week. I was expecting it to be Iyengar/Ashtanga with different levels of difficulty for each pose. But then I got to the class and the teacher exclaimed, “it’s restorative day!” 

And so I altered my expectations from getting a mild workout to getting no work out at all, but relaxing. I was disappointed at first, but then I reframed and thought, “you know, I had a colposcopy yesterday so maybe this is for the best!” and got excited. 

Then… it turned out to not be so restorative. Or at least not the kind of restorative class I was expecting when I hear something described as “restorative.” There were lots of inversions, which I know are restorative, but for me, they’re not really relaxing. We did the kinds where my neck is hanging in midair and makes me really stress out. 

Not exactly the kind of restorative that I was hoping for. 

But then that’s what happens when you walk into a situation with expectations. 

Weighty

I began a month or so back to give my weight a little bit of… weight in my mission to tone up for the spring, summer, fall… and for life. I talked about how I gained a few pounds over the winter and it was annoying me. To track my progress (or lack of progress), I began to weigh myself once a week on Wednesday mornings after my workout before beginning my day. I found that my weight fluctuates a lot:

  • 4/20: 159.1
  • 4/27: 158
  • 5/4: 156.6
  • 5/11: 159
  • 5/18: 156.8

Before the brutally, painfully cold winter, I was hovering between 151-154. 

What I forgot to recognize was that this weight gain could be partially from muscle gain. I do the elliptical and now use weights 3-4 times per week. Does anyone know if that could result in muscle gain? (The elliptical use, I mean, as using weights definitely causes muscle gain.) An as aside, I’m currently eating around 1300 calories/day. I know I need to up my protein and fiber intake, for sure. 

I know my weight doesn’t make me a good or bad person and it’s not even a particularly good indicator of general health if you’re in a safe range (obviously if you’re 300lbs and 5′4″, there’s an issue), but it’d be nice loose 5 or so pounds which shouldn’t be all that hard because I lost around 40 initially.

Am I about to give up peanut butter and cupcakes? No. Peanut butter is a food group to me. That’s probably why weighing 147 again will never be possible (which is what I weighed at my lowest when I first lost all of my weight, in a healthy way, in 2011-2012). And overall, I generally like how I look so I’m not willing to purge or starve myself. Please, I like food way too much to not eat it or waste it by regurgitating it. I might try to stop eating so much Italian bread though (the kind you get at restaurants). That shit is great but it’s mostly empty calories.

There probably isn’t really any advice that anyone could give because I like what I like, but i just thought I’d put it out there. 

Inspiralized @ Whole Foods

J bought the Inspiralizer for me a few months ago and I use it in over 50% of my cooking now. I haven’t made actual pasta in months. And aside from when I had penne vodka over the weekend at a restaurant, I haven’t eaten it. When I did, it made me feel gross. Anyways, when it was announced that Ali Malfucci, founder of Inspiralized, was doing a demo at the Upper West Side Whole Foods, I was super stoked.

She demo’ed how to to inspiralize a plethora of vegetables, showed how to clean the Inspiralizer, talked about how she got started, answered questions, and then made a pesto dish with zucchini noodles. It was so good.

I bought her first cook book and she was super sweet – exactly the same as how she comes across in her videos. She clarified how to stabilize my Inspiralizer to my granite countertop; which was something that I’d had a load of trouble with.

I can’t recommend this kitchen tool enough! It’s changed my life and my palette. 

And Just Like That

I posted last week about changing up my fitness routine and I did. I stopped doing 30 minutes of the same thing three mornings a week and it’s been awesome. 

Instead of 30 minutes on the elliptical, I’m now doing 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of hand weights (is that what they’re called? I don’t know). I feel like the weights get my heart going faster than the elliptical. I miss out on that last 10 minutes of Morning Joe, but that’s okay. The news is crap anyways. 

I also resolved to start doing my barre DVD (at least the arms part) regularly again – meaning 2-3 times per week. I’ve re-introduced crunches (on a medicine ball) into my routine too. 

I cooked last night and have a bunch of food ready to eat so no more eating lunch at Dig Inn (because while it’s better than Schnippers, it can’t be all that good to eat regularly). 

Remember: if you want to change your routine, you can. Just like that

Springtime Rant

So, I’m wearing a black dress today (#newyorker) and it’s a little short. In fact it’s a little too short. I’m pretty sure I shrank this dress in the dryer a few months ago and haven’t worn it since.

But is it really shorter just because it shrunk or because of my winter weight that’s hanging on like an annoying toddler? I’m really trying not to stress the 5 pounds that I’ve gained in the winter months but the struggle is real. I’m eating lots of vegetables and really only snacking on pretzels (I know, processed, ugh). I think I need to eat out less and cook more. 

When I “went out” (meaning I had some friends meet me at a neighborhood bar for wings, beer, and cake before being home by midnight) for my birthday last weekend, I had five beers. That’s usually 2-3 more beers that I’ll ingest in a weekend so maybe that’s the culprit for feeling shitty this week. Then there’s also shark week. So, yes, it’s probably a culmination of all of those.

Digression re: booze: I only really drink on the weekend and not that much like – 2 beers max. Sometimes I’ll go out and have one beer during the week. So I don’t think it’s my alcohol intake that’s making me feel gross. 

Here’s what my eating usually looks like during the week:

  • Breakfast: Lately it’s been a pear/banana/almond milk/almond butter /spinachsmoothie or a packet of organic oatmeal with 1.5tbsp of creamy peanut butter and 1 tbsp of jam mixed into it, and coffee.
  • Snack: A Hershey’s chocolate nugget or a couple of pretzel sticks. And green tea.
  • Lunch: Veggies and protein from Dig Inn, or some spiralized vegetables in olive oil from home with some kind of cheese or protein, or today it was chicken schwarma in a pita.
  • Post Lunch: Coffee and/or green tea and usually a peanut butter cookie Larabar. And maybe veggie chips or more pretzels.
  • Dinner: Usually it’s a leftover rice dish, or spiralized veggie noodles, or Greek yogurt with frozen fruit in it.
  • Post Dinner: Tea and something chocolate. 

I digress… BUT! the weather is finally nicer so I can start running outside again. I think the elliptical is getting a little monotonous in the mornings and I’m not sure how much effect it’s having on my health anymore. 

I still downward dog regularly, duh.

I think I should go back to being super committed to the barre DVD that I have and do more than just the arms. I also want to use the actual weights in my gym. I don’t want to look muscular, but I know that weight lifting is super beneficial to burning calories efficiently and getting in shape, so why not?

That’s my minddump for the week. If you have any suggestions or where I’m going wrong with my food, leave a comment. Thank you for listening. 😉

Running Shoes

Dear fellow runners: How do you know when to replace your running shows? I’ve had the same pair for the past two or three years because I don’t run all that often. I bought a new pair (basically the same as my current pair but with a different color scheme) last summer when Paragon Sports was having a huge sale (so they cost about $30). 

My current shoes have a tiny hole on one side but that’s basically the only thing I can see as being wrong with them. For all I know though, the bottoms are completely flattened out and not ideal for running (I’m making this up but it sounds like something that could be a thing). Here’s a photo of the bottoms:

To all the educated, experienced runners out there, how do my sneakers look? Do I need to toss them?