Comedian + MORE SPIN

Happy Saturday people! I hope you’re outside enjoying the sunny, warm weather (if you’re in NY) and not stuck in your office all day like me. I would literally do anything to just spend today walking around the city and Central Park, especially since this week it’s going back into shitty weather. I really pray that this is the last couple of weeks of cold.

So I had a super good week full of possible opportunities that I can’t say anything about right now, just keep positive thoughts for me if you can 🙂 On Thursday night, I was invited to a fashion show for Brooks at City Sports, but couldn’t get there until it had already been going on for an hour.

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We missed the actual fashion part of it but I REALLY wanted to try to find a pair of Brooks that I actually liked. I’m trying so hard to be able to run in Brooks… not for any reason really other than Mizuno discontinues the shoes that always are amazing for me and doesn’t replace them with ones that are ACTUALLY comparable. I tried the Pure Project line and none of them feel right, along with the Ravenna’s. I’m running in the Elixir 8’s now and they had 1 pair in my size left in the blue color (I have the pink now) super discounted so I grabbed those. I felt bad buying Mizuno’s at a Brooks event, but you have to run in what’s right for you! They did give us cool swag bags that have little travel bags and a super cool glass water bottle.

While we were inside the store I saw this man who looked just like Jeffrey Gurian, a comedian that we’ve seen on Kroll Show and I KNEW it was him. He’s pretty hard to miss. He was walking to his car when we left and at the last minute I ran over and knocked on his window because I just had to know if it really was him. And it was! He was SO SO SO nice! I’ve met quite a few celebrities living here and he is by far the nicest one. I’m sure he doesn’t get stopped a whole lot, but the man is amazing. Check out all the work he’s done!

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It was one of those awesome, super random nights you only have in NYC. Love it.

A couple good eats from the week:

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This was a day-before-pay-day broke as a joke dinner which was leftover stir fry veggies with a fried egg and hot sauce/honey mustard. Super good though and it’s dinners like these that I need to keep eating in lieu of take out or cereal because I’m lazy. Light, fast and healthy!

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This. This was amazing. I’m so obsessed with chai tea latte’s but avoid them because of the sugar, but when I saw this Spiru-tein chai latte dairy-free protein powder I had to grab it. I tried some with just almond milk and it’s not that great alone but I mixed up this little ice cream bowl and it was SO good.

  • 1/2 scoop Spiru-tein chai latte protein powder
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tsp loose-leaf chai tea
  • Stevia to taste
  • 5-6 ice cubes

Blend all together and stuck in the freezer for awhile, topped with dairy-free mini chocolate chips (I truly love these more than regular choc chips!) and PB. Yaaaaaaaaas! Now that I’m teaching a lot of classes a week, I’m going to up my protein a little for recovery and since I don’t like to eat a lot of meat (read: can’t afford to) I’m bringing back some dairy-free protein powders just to use like this at night.

As for the more spin topic of this post, I am going to be teaching at another studio! I met with the owner of NuYu Revolution, Susan Rappaport, about a month ago and I finally got to take a class with her yesterday morning and the concept of her very small spin/yoga/pilates space is wonderful; the class sizes are never larger than 10-11 people, so it’s a very personal experience. She knows your name, your fitness level, and what she needs to do to get you to come in and get your workouts in. You join her gym when you need someone who WILL call you if she notices that you have skipped a few workouts. I absolutely love it and really hope it’s a place I can grow with. I will be teaching there Sunday early evenings and Monday nights. That means with my classes at 24 Hour Fitness, The Fitness Guru and NuYu, I will be teaching 7 classes between Sundays-Tuesdays! Along with half marathon training, I’m overwhelmed in the best way possible! 🙂

Who’s your favorite comedian?

I don’t think I’ve ever asked this- have you ever taken a spin class? Love it or hate it?

Playlist + Coconut Bagel

As promised in my last post, lemme give you the playlist of the week. It was a gooooood one. We jammed out really hard and I can’t wait to play it for my Sunday class! By the way, I was offered another permanent class at The Fitness Guru! I will now be adding a 6:30 AM Monday morning class to my schedule. So, so excited and really hope I’ll get a following at that time slot.

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Let me know if you guys want me to post the actual workout too, not sure if that’s boring or useful!

So after my class Tuesday morning, I stopped by Brooklyn Bagel to get a bagel and go straight home to bed. I left upstate with a cold and felt REALLY crappy before my class so I knew I needed to spend the rest of the day just resting and didn’t have much food at home. I got a – wait for it- TOASTED COCONUT BAGEL. With raisin walnut tofu spread, but that doesn’t even matter. I’ve never seen a coconut bagel anywhere in my life! It was so freaking good… especially enjoyed in my bed, right Erika? 😀

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By the way, if you go to a bagel shop and they offer tofu spread you should try it. Even if you aren’t lactose intolerant. It’s basically impossible to tell the difference yet the tofu is better. I’ve never had straight up plain tofu spread because I don’t like plain cream cheese, but the flavored ones are so great!

My body is craving veggies a lot this week so I’ve delivered. Last night I made a nice little vegan dinner for no reason other than this is all I had and was too hungry to wait for eggs to cook to put on this. Just diced up sweet potato cooked in coconut oil with broccoli, onion and some broccoli slaw stir-fry. Hot sauce and Cattleman’s honey mustard on it.

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Oh that sauce is probably not vegan somehow but anyways this was so good and wasn’t missing meat at all!

And this morning, I FINALLY RAN OUTSIDE!!!!!!! Like, got out of bed and ran. This is a miracle, ya’ll. I’ve ran outside a total of 5 times this year and am soooo out of running shape. I’m not going to believe my GPS when it said I was running 10:05 miles this morning because it felt like I was MAYBE running 11:30’s. Either way, I ran for 42 minutes and it wasn’t freezing and I was REALLY happy to be out there. Central Park looked gorgeous, and the sun just felt ridiculously amazing. Stopped after 2 miles to pee because I literally always have to pee 2 miles in, bad enough that I really do have to stop.

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The glorious bathrooms of Central Park. That winter running hoodie I have on is SO comfortable and sooo fluffy; it adds probably a good 10 pounds to me. Not that it’s heavy, but it is so unflattering haha It has a zipper on the left side where you can stuff a lot in it and it just kinda sits on your lower stomach. Not ideal, but it’s warm and was $15 at TJ Maxx. ‘Nuf said.

I’m just praying it will stay in the 30’s for the remainder of the winter. 30’s I can handle, and no more snow. PLEASE.

What is the best thing you ate this week?

WHO IS SO EXCITED FOR SPRING TO ALMOST BE HERE???? Worst winter of my life.

 

 

Great People, Great Food.

Last night to get away from the stress of the holiday season, a bunch of my co-workers (and former co-workers) met up for dinner at a real Chinese restaurant on the Lower East Side called Congee Village. The place is really awesome inside with multiple floors and can seat big parties.

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The table has a glass circular set-up that spins so you can serve yourself buffet style right at the table. We let our asian friends do the ordering and everything was so, so good. I love chinese food, but I’ve truly only had americanized versions like general tso chicken. I can’t name everything but here are just some of the dishes we shared.

pork belly over preserved vegetables
pork belly over preserved vegetables
The green is bok choy I believe (sauteed) and the red-ish circular things are lotus roots
The green is bok choy I believe (sauteed) and the red-ish circular things are lotus roots

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One of my plates
One of my plates

I love the idea of ordering a bunch of dishes and sharing them, plus the small plates made it easier to not overeat. Usually when I eat chinese food I eat WAY too much and feel sick. I had multiple of these small plates but left feeling just a little full, not crazy. Everything was crazy good and my company was even better!

Meina & Angel! Former co-workers. We miss you!
Meina & Angel! Former co-workers. We miss you!

 

Erman, me & Sharde
Erman, me & Sharde
My giiiiirl
My giiiiirl

 

The whole gang of Chanel!
The whole gang of Chanel!

My co-worker Celine brought her husband and cutest daughter Olivia with us. We had so much fun with her!

how cute is she?!!
how cute is she?!!

After dinner we went to get bubble tea. Bubble tea is one of my favorite things EVER, however I can’t drink the milk tea anymore because of my dairy issues. I ordered just a plain black iced with half the sugar and lychee jelly. It was good, but nowhere as good as the milk black. Hopefully they will start to make it with soy someday?!

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Love this girl! She's gorgeous!
Love this girl! She’s gorgeous!

It felt good to be out laughing and having a good time. I definitely do not do it often enough these days!

Have you ever had authentic Chinese food?

If you like bubble tea, what do you order? My 2 favorites of all time are coconut milk black with honey instead of sugar and honeydew milk black! Mmmmmm I miss you, dairy.

If Monday Were a Person…

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This has had me dying laughing all morning. What a Monday already and it’s only noon. As usual, I haven’t been getting more than 5 hours of sleep the last few nights for the sake of getting up early to workout and practice some cycle routines since- did I even mention this?! – I got the job I auditioned for last month! I still haven’t taught yet because the process is taking awhile to get started, but I want to feel prepared so I have been trying to fit in at least 20 minutes of practicing a few songs in the cycle room. Anyways, I get on the subway at 5:45 this morning and sit down across from someone (not even sure if it was a man or woman because they had a huge jacket with the hood on and something covering most of their face) who I quickly realized was smoking something. I’ve never actually seen someone smoke on the subway but have always wondered why it isn’t more prevalent, especially because I live far up in Manhattan and it takes awhile to get to the more crowded areas. Another guy gets on, smells it too and yells, “OHHH HELLLL NOOOO! YOU SMOKIN’ CRACK! WHAT THE F**K MAN THATS CRACK YOU CAN’T SMOKE THAT SHIT ON A TRAIN!” I look at the person smoking with panic/horror on my face and they look at me the same. For some reason this morning the train was relatively crowded for being that early and everyone on that cart was basically passed out or near it. I threw my scarf over my face and basically ran to the opposite end of the cart so I could switch carts at the next stop. The smell wasn’t cigarettes or weed, so I have to assume the guy who said it was crack was right. He came down to the end with me and was yelling out to everyone, “You’re all high and you don’t even know it! All getting high on CRACK and don’t even know it!” No one flinched, however that isn’t unusual for NY. Once I got to the next stop and switched trains, that one had a homeless person on it that smelled so god awful I had to breathe into my scarf for the next 20 minute ride. Still, I’d rather smell filth than straight up crack. NYC, you never fail to amaze me.

I felt much better once I got to the gym and busted out 40 minutes of cycle practice. I can’t wait to get my first class over with! The nerves are torturous but I’m really excited.

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Backin’ up to the weekend…

Friday night = homework til late and a veggie filled dinner that I completely regretted Saturday morning. I ate a LOT of veggies Friday because I was craving them. My stomach does not enjoy them but I seriously needed them.

roasted brussel sprouts & asparagus, jalapeno chicken sausage, turkey bacon, toast with avocado & goat cheese
roasted brussel sprouts & asparagus, jalapeno chicken sausage, turkey bacon, toast with avocado & goat cheese

Goooood brain food!

Saturday morning = quick 25 mins of spin practice. Long day of work because of extended holiday hours. Met up with Johnny after for a nice dinner at a new place. We kind of eat at the same few places all the time and you know why? I swear every time we try a new place I’m disappointed and yearn for one of our regular spots. We went way downtown to Back Forty and John would like to mention that the burger he had was INCREDIBLE. The atmosphere was also great but the menu doesn’t have a ton of options (like literally not one chicken dish) so I went with a roasted squash salad and split fries with John. The fries were good but the salad, not so much.

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It’s romantic inside though, very dimly lit as you can tell.

John played around with his new camera and I’m kind of obsessed with the colors of my outfit in this one.

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That’s water, not liquor!

Sunday morning I got up to complete my second to last race of my 2014 marathon qualifications! It was brutal. It was only 20 degrees out with a lot of wind, making the “real feel” 8 degrees. Um, just ran last weeks race in shorts. I prepared the night before by purchasing this awesome Smart Wool neck gaiter from Jack Rabbit sports. It was $30 but I promise you worth it, as it helped me with my lung issue in the cold. You can wear it just as a tighter fitting scarf to cover your neck, or stretch it up to cover your nose/mouth/ears. It stayed put for most of my run and I let it down a few times to breathe the cold air and try to get used to it. The gloves I’ve had since last year, they are New Balance and have the fingertips that let you use your phone. Found them at TJ Maxx for $10. Lululemon bag not a necessity for cold running, but it sure is a necessity to carry my stuff around and still have a cute bag 🙂

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Just lookin’ like a bank robber. This is how I dressed for the run and it ended up being perfect. Running tights from Target years ago, orange tank top (sweat wicking so your sweat doesn’t make you more cold), Lululemon stride jacket. I was never too hot or cold and warmed up quickly. The only thing is by the end of running for 70 minutes (the race was 4 miles, ran 6.75 miles total) my fingers were frozen. The gloves aren’t thick enough for long distances.

As usual, Central Park was beautiful.

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I felt really good during the race but still had the continuing right hip flexor pain from mile 2 on. I had to stop and walk/stretch a few times which is now just becoming the norm for me. No bigs. I still finished in 43 minutes (10:43 ish pace) which is fine by me 🙂

I had to head straight into work after a very fast shower (seriously, such a buzz kill) so after another long day I wanted nothing but pizza and my bed. John and I had our usual Domino’s order (I’ve been getting cheeseless with onions and grilled chicken, SO GOOD!) and watched Breaking Bad. We’re finally into season 5! I was up too late though and desperate for sleep.

How was your weekend?

What do Monday’s look like for you? Sometimes I get Monday’s off and after working a weekend there is NO better feeling!

Sweet Potato Hash

It’s been a pretty blah, boring week. Nothing of note to report on. I’ve had a headache every day and been an emotional mess thanks to my monthly friend, so I’m just hanging by a thread. My 4 mile run yesterday was my first one since my 10 mile race on Sunday and it did NOT feel good at all. I think I felt something pop in my left hip during the last 2 miles and my hip hurt the rest of the day. That trickled down to my knee and my foot so I decided to take today off and rest. I guess this is my taper? I’m planning to run tomorrow but definitely not Saturday. I’ve also been stress eating too much candy/sugar this week but the positive in that is that it is nothing compared to my old ways of stress eating! But still, I didn’t need 2 snack size dark chocolate mounds (which are amazing by the way) and a dark chocolate Reese’s before bed last night. It did taste damn good though 😉

I’ve been so lazy about dinners lately, but one delicious meal I made for dinner on Tuesday was a hit. I tried to recreate the hash I get at brunch with what I had on hand. The result was fabulous and I’ll definitely be stocking up on what I need to make this for dinner a few times a week!

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Sweet Potato Hash:

 

  • 1 sweet potato, chopped up
  • Diced up onion (however much you want) & green onion/scallions
  • Red bell pepper, diced up
  • Whatever meat you want… I used a chicken sausage
  • 1 Egg
  • Hot sauce/ketchup (optional)

I sauteed the sweet potato, onion and bell pepper in coconut oil. I put the sweet potato chunks in for about 5 minutes by themselves first because they take awhile to cook. Toss them all in garlic powder and any other spice you want. Cook up the meat in a separate pan and toss in with the potatoes/onions/peppers for another minute or 2. Fry up an egg, plate the hash and throw that runny egg on top. Top with hot sauce, ketchup, whatever your heart desires!

I love hash for dinner because you can throw in whatever vegetable and protein you want on it, plus it really doesn’t take long at all. If you’re like me and love to eat breakfast for every meal, this is perfect. A regular potato works too, I just love the sweetness of a sweet potato against the salt.

What is your favorite easy dinner to make?

Bootcamp + Buffalo Chicken Soup.

Well last night was just delicious.

First off, the beginner’s boot-camp I taught for a few of my co-workers in Central Park was SO FUN! I seriously loved every second. I had been nervous all day because I’ve never taught anyone other than John how to do any specific workouts, but my peeps were so great. I helped them modify moves for their fitness level & any problems (one has back problems) while also showing them to keep moving during the hard parts by scaling back a bit instead of stopping. Here is the workout we did which first started with a 1/2-ish mile walk to the park from work.

Warm-up:
*Forward arm circles
*Backwards arm circles
*March in place

Circuit 1: 
*Jumping Jacks
*Star jumps landing in a squat

We did 15 jumping jacks, followed by 15 star jumps, then 20/20, 25/25, 30/30. Minimal rest between each set.

Circuit 2:
*Mountain Climbers
*Crawl out/push-up/crawl back

We did these in sets of 10/10, 15/15, 20/20, 25/25.

Circuit 3:
*Squats
*Lunges

We did these in sets of 10/10, 15/15, 20/20, 25/25.

Circuit 4:
*Planks

We did 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds with just a second or 2 of rest between them.

Cool-down stretches.

It took us about 35 minutes and I had them focus on form rather than going super fast. Even my butt was kicked after this! Those star jumps to squat and regular squats have my booty burnin’ today! 😉

Even more incentive now to study for my PT certification!

After class I stopped at Trader Joe’s to get ingredients I needed for what I had been craving & researching all day: healthy buffalo chicken soup!

This is the recipe I used and modified:

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed & diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce (less if you want less spicy, more if you want extra spicy)
1 can chunk chicken in water (or you can use 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts already cooked & pulled, but i’m poor and lazy 🙂 )
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (i used the kind you shake out)
1/2 of single serving Fage 2% plain Greek yogurt (or Chobani)

Optional: blue cheese crumbles, scallions, crackers, baguette

Heat medium/large soup pan on medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Throw in diced onion, stir to cover in oil and lower heat, letting it cook & get soft for about 5 minutes. Keep stirring & add smashed diced garlic & let cook for 2 minutes. Keep stirring & add 1 tbsp flour. Let cook for 1-2 mins and stir in buffalo sauce, chicken broth, cheese, & chicken, stirring constantly. Raise the heat & let it come to a boil, then reduce heat & let it simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

At the last minute, stir in by the spoonful the 1/2 container of 2% Greek yogurt. You can add the whole container if you want, this just makes it creamy! Take pot off the heat and keep stirring for a few minutes to make sure yogurt is mixed in well.

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Serve with crackers, blue cheese crumbles & toasted crunchy bread. Or whatever your heart desires.

Perfect crackers for this soup!
Perfect crackers for this soup!

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I have never made soup before so I’m crazy proud of myself. This soup is to die for. It makes about 4 servings that I measured out at 1.5 cups which is about 325 calories, including the little forkful of blue cheese crumbles.

(I was already ready for dinner tonight, writing this at 6:30 AM on my way to the gym)

Make this now.

What is your favorite soup?