My parents and I are going to Philly on Saturday to see my best friend, who is currently recovering from chemo, and her parents. My mom called me today and said she was shopping in Marshall’s and going to buy some really tasty, fattening snacks because the bff has no appetite and is losing weight. She was running a bunch of stuff by me: Swedish fish, M&M’s, chocolate covered something-or-others.

Then I blurted out to nope, forget it all. I know she was coming from a good place but I told her that I was going to go to Trader Joe’s to get some not-as-mass-produced and not as unhealthy snacks because thinking about feeding my chemo-recovering bff processed sugar and garbage makes MY insides hurt and if it makes me hurt, it’s probably not going to be much better for her health either. 

So, while some of this may not be the height of health, it HAS to be better than the discount candy that sits on the shelves at TJ Maxx for months on end, right? I’m going to tell myself it is. 

My haul above included: sweet potato tortilla chips, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, chocolate covered almonds, dried mango slices, fruit juice gummy penguins, candied walnuts, whoopi pies, and cowboy bark (which is chocolate and pretzels, etc). 

Yes, this is indeed better than Marshall’s selection. 

The Upper West Side Wins

Of course it does. 

I feel like I keep seeing these New York Times’ and Curbed articles about people who love the Upper West Side. And then I feel extremely grateful that the prior few bidders on my apartment didn’t know how to fill out a board application and I was – or my broker was, to be clear, because that shit is complicated.

I live within a couple of blocks of the water and two massive parks. I live two blocks from the best bagels in the city (not my words, everyone else’s), I have some awesome bars, Columbia’s sprawling, green campus, an adorable independent pet store that comes complete with an adorable pet store kitten, Book Culture, The Hungarian Pastry Shop, and a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Westside Market. And lots of trains.

I love my ‘hood and I am very fortunate to be able to live here.

And if I have the means, I’m never leaving. 

The Upper West Side Wins

Upper West Siders Rejoice: Second Trader Joe’s Will Open Before Next Summer

I’m so, so excited. I may still go to the one at 72nd Street because it’s so close to my yoga studio that it just makes sense to go to that one after a class. BUT now this new one will take away some of the crowd that goes there.

Upper West Side, I love you. We’re never breaking up. 

Upper West Siders Rejoice: Second Trader Joe’s Will Open Before Next Summer

Rockin’ Lunch

For the last two weeks at work I’ve been consistently bringing my lunch every day. For someone who used to buy Starbucks every single morning and buy their lunch every day, this is unbelievable. 

As I wind down on Sunday evening, I once again start to ponder the week and what I’ll eat this week. I watched a few of the vegan videos on Essena O’Neil’s blog and her recipes look SO good. They were partially the inspiration for the wraps you see above. Of course the sauce on them isn’t vegan, and neither is the tiny bit of chicken, but they were tasty and healthy regardless. 

The wrap on the left has zucchini, cucumber, spinach leaves, and brown rice on it and the wraps on the right include spinach leaves, avocado, sliced peppers, and chicken. I’m not a huge fan of wraps and burritos normally because they’re so high in calories, but I’m working on finding rice wraps. 

I also have some of this leftover from when Steve was over on Friday night – this dish is honestly so good and lots of protein! I cooked up some chicken, there’s some rice currently cooking away, and I’m going to sauté some butternut squash soon.

This is such an expensive time of year that if i can save money and not eat out during the week, you better believe I’m doing it. Also: healthier. 

Morning Glory

Since it’s starting to be darker and darker in the morning, it’s been realllllly hard to get out of bed and make it 7 flights down to my basement to go to the gym. I know: life is hard. So, instead I’ve been taking it easy and drinking tea, meditating, stretching, getting ready, and then walking a couple of miles before I get on the train (i live about 3 miles from my office). Today I listened to a podcast called The Bowery Boys and “Supernatural Stories of New York.” I’ll usually stop at The Hungarian Pastry Shop or Irving Farms for coffee along the way too. I like Plowshares on 102nd and Broadway too, but their takeaway cups are the worst.

I’m trying to take it easier during the week because I’m usually booked up 100% between yoga+shows+friends+errands. Last night I had to run or go to yoga, so I ran down to Trader Joe’s (2.12 miles) and then shopped. Running on Broadway is kind of a pain in the ass, but it was okay. I ran sub-10 minute miles which is way too fast. I was dead by the time I got to TJ’s. I’m starting to love/hate running again because it’s so mindless. Just one foot in front of the other.

I’m going to go to a yoga class and then make it home to chill out and hopefully be able to stream the democratic debates (#feelthebern). I also need to buy kale, so there’s that.

What’s your morning routine? 

(The above photo was actually taken during a sunset one night in the last month.)

A productive weekend to myself.

I love my ‘to do’ lists. I had no plans this weekend, and instead of what usually happens – go out to eat a LOT with friends and spend unnecessary amounts of money – I decided to relax and make a list of things ‘to do’ and actually get them done. 

I went to my usual yoga class on Friday night. I love the teacher – Paula Lynch – because her classes are so anatomy focused. We spent a good 20 minutes rolling around on rubber balls, for example.  I grabbed a banana-chocolate-peanut butter smoothie from GNC on my chilly walk to the subway – maybe not the best choice for dinner as it was cold and so was the weather.

I slept for ten hours that night and went for a run the first thing the next day.

I had planned on doing 5.5 miles like the last couple of weekends, but my body was so tired and it wasn’t agreeing with the cold wind, so I only got in 2.5. But that’s better than nothing, right? I went to Whole Foods after that and I spent the next 3+ hours in Starbucks writing letters of inquiry and applying for a few jobs. It was exhausting, but I felt really accomplished after all was said and done. I went home to make butternut squash soup after. It’s really quick and easy – and one of my favorite winter dishes to make. Perhaps I’ll post the recipe at some point.

I spent the rest of the evening watching shitty edited-for-TV movies and chatting with friends. I don’t often stay up late – ever – anymore because I loathe getting up late the next day, but I was up til 1am and assumed that Sunday – today – would be wasted. 

Well, I was wrong. For some reason I awoke at 8am and decided to peal myself from my bed and make a 9am iyengar yoga class at my studio (YogaWorks – West Side) with a teacher whose classes I really enjoy (I haven’t taken one in a while though because she teachers during the day during the week). It was a great way to start a Sunday, to say the least.

I walked up to Trader Joe’s – to stock up on Clif Bars – and Jack Rabbit – to get my stride looked at. Two positive things came from those stops:

I realized Trader Joe’s was carrying their seasonal Candy Cane Green Tea again…

And that I need these sneakers… eventually.

I also listened to Dos! another 2-3 times and a friend invited me to the final performance of The Performers tonight… So, that’s where I’ll be. How was your weekend?