HELLOOO! Ahhh, I miss you guys. So much. My new schedule is still something I’m trying to adjust to so I need to get on a blogging schedule since the only time I can blog now is at night when I’m home. I’ve just been subbing a lot of night classes and then waking right back up to teach in the mornings, so my nights are spent getting home at 9, wolfing down a bowl of cereal (meal prep fail) and going to sleep sweaty. Beautiful, I know. But the new job is going good so far and overall I am 79% less stressed. It’s making a difference already!
So here’s what I’ve been up to the last couple weeks in a big summary of pics. Let’s get caught up!
Enjoying my weekends off to the FULLEST! I’m not one to waste a weekend day doing nothing anymore, so brunching is always necessary. This is my new favorite brunch meal from Grey Dog:
Egg, sausage & goat cheese on a croissant with perfect sweet potato fries & a soy iced latte.
I finally met the gorgeous & super sweet Andrea the weekend before last! She lives in Hoboken so she met me for a 6 mile run & took my Sunday spin class where we had a blast! Brunch afterwards at Tavern 29 up on the rooftop. (Red pepper & goat cheese omelette w. homefries & avocado)
I’m looking forward to being friends with this gal. She is a doll and her positive energy is just what I need in my life! 🙂
1st day at the new job and it was so beautiful outside. Took my stripey pants, studded oxfords & homemade salad outside to eat… Along with everyone who works on Park Ave. Love it. First week I did so good with meal prep, even snack prep, so I have to get back on that train because I only get 30 minutes now & it’s too hectic to buy and eat in just 30 mins!
Absolutely loving my outfits. I’ve always wanted to dress preppy but never thought I could pull it off. I’m loving it.
J Crew Factory “city fit” crops are the best pants ever, FYI.
Teaching loooots of spin & improving my watts! My “flat road” resistance number is getting higher which is awesome to feel myself getting stronger! In fact, I see my clients improving and it’s such a great feeling! Brooklyn 1/2 Marathon bib pick-up in downtown Brooklyn! Gorgeous views. Ran the 1/2 with my roomie Kira since it was her first half! It was so nice to take it easy & help someone achieve their fitness goal. She did awesome and it was a hot one out. The course is amazing & I can’t wait to demolish it next year!
Refueling the right way… 5 Napkin turkey burger with melted blue cheese, mushrooms & onion with sweet potato fries & diet coke. I went home to crash and John went to dinner at Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem with a friend and brought me back pulled pork, mac & cheese and coleslaw. Their mac is my favorite ever so I indulged… So dumb. Still in pain 4 days later. Cheese (except blue, goat or feta) and I just can’t.
11 PM that night I left for a less-than-24-hour trip to Binghamton to see my amazing little brother graduate from Binghamton University. He is hands down the smartest, funniest & most kind hearted person I’ve ever known. Love that he is my brother! I was actually emotional watching him put on his cap & gown & walk across the stage. We’ve been through hell and back with family things for the last 2 years, but he perservered and still did amazing graduating with a Biology degree!
That wraps up my first week and a half of my new life! The nights I don’t teach, it’s pretty amazing to be home by 6:15! Oh, it also helps that my new co-workers are absolutely HILARIOUS. Like, they make me cry from laughing so hard and just being goofy. I fit right in 🙂
How is it already Thursday?! This week has FLOWN by because I have taught Spin every single day since last Friday! It’s been a crazy non-stop week, that’s for sure. I welcomed today’s rest day with open arms and sadly one extremely sore and pained hip and glute 😦 I need to spend a lot of time foam rolling the next few nights before the More/Fitness Half Marathon on Sunday that I’m obviously ill-prepared for. Brenda and I ran for 1 hour and 25 minutes last Sunday before my spin class and I was seriously dead the last 15 minutes. Where am I supposed to fit running in when I’m teaching spin so many mornings?! So many things are up in the air right now and I’m hoping to have it figured out by next month and hopefully that includes a big change. 🙂
Backing up to last weekend because it was so awesome, on Sunday after my long run and Spin class, I met up with my good friend Alyse and her awesome roommate and other friends that I love for a belated birthday brunch. Alyse is the sweetest! She took me to ABV which has my favorite eggs benedict in the world and amazing iced coffee; pretty much my two favorites.
The hash browns take it to a whole new level. A whole new level of caloric insanity, I’m sure 😉
After brunch we stopped by Dough Loco, a doughnut joint that Alyse had told us about that we had to stop at. No one else really had room for a doughnut the size of their head except me, and I’ll blame that on the fact that I did almost 3 hours of cardio before hand. So, a blueberry doughnut was part of my refueling, natch.
We hung out at Alyse’s apartment for awhile before John and I split to hang out down in the East Village for awhile before his belated birthday dinner. We went to Brindle Room because it’s John’s favorite and the food is so delicious. We had beer battered pork belly for an appetizer and it was ridiculous. So, so good.
I had the happy hour $5 mussels and fries for dinner because… $5. And they are GOOD.
Followed up with froyo at a new-to-me place that I am now obsessed with and thankful it’s so far downtown I won’t be running there more than once on the weekends, Yooglers. So many awesome flavors and SO.MANY.TOPPINGS. HELLO, POPTARTS AS A TOPPING!!!!
AND oatmeal squares, aka my favorite cereal but it’s $8 a box here so I never buy it?! Actual heaven.
Included in that weekend was teaching spin Friday morning, Saturday morning, Sunday morning (+8 mile run), then bright and early Monday morning. I also taught Monday night and came home to a great dinner late Monday night. I needed some healthy grub after all the junk from Sunday!
Sweet potato with goat cheese & raspberry preserves, egg whites, baguette with smashed avocado, and my first attempt at a poached egg that I overcooked by… a lot. It was still good! Followed by a bowl of my current cereal obsession, strawberry frosted mini wheats with vanilla almond milk.
Tuesday morning after I taught spin, I came home to finally take a glorious nap and try to regain some energy. Around 2 I thought I should probably go try to find some food so I went to a place in my neighborhood I have seen but never had the chance to try. It’s basically a cafe with all kinds of salad, sandwiches, etc and it’s directly across from Columbia hospital. The food is SO fresh and much more affordable than places in midtown! I got a turkey sandwich on this delicious tomato foccacia bread and a huge feta salad.
And my healthy dessert I’ve been having every night this week with no guilt: Even if you don’t have an allergy to dairy, these are worth eating. So Delicious brand coconut almond bars for 170 calories each, topped with vanilla almond butter. Of course the almond butter is optional but… not really. 😉 They have the exact consistency of real ice cream but only 10 grams of sugar which is really good for a dessert. They are a little pricey but worth it if you can’t eat the real deal!
And finally last night, I taught back-to-back spin classes which is only the 2nd time I’ve ever done it. I must say, teaching twice in a day isn’t bad when it’s spread out but back to back is pretty brutal. By the end, I was light headed and was completely depleted of everything!
I ate a banana right away then a quick protein shake and some Popchips with 1/2 an avocado for dinner. Not even remotely fancy when trying to prepare dinner at 9 PM and SVU is about to start! Did anyone watch last night? I am so happy that guy finally offed himself. He was so creepy.
How has your week been with workouts and food? My sweet tooth has been off the charts lately, woops.
We’ve made it to hump day! Woo woo. How are you doing with your lose the fluff meals? I’m proud to say I have made it here with some delicious, healthy meals and good workouts. Let’s hope I can keep it up for the rest of the week! Here is a look at what my last 2 days of workouts and meals have looked like.
4:30 AM wake up call to get to Soho to teach Spin.
I am fully aware that flavored coffee creamer isn’t very healthy, and I also don’t really care. I don’t dump 1/2 a cup in my coffee, but probably around 1-1.5 tbsp. I eyeball it but don’t go crazy. I’m not even a fan of hot coffee but it’s fast for me to make at home and it’s too cold in the mornings right now for me to handle iced coffee at 4:30 AM. That has to wait until 10:00 AM.
Workout: 1 mile treadmill run + taught 55 minute Spin class
1/2 cup quick oats, 1 tsp brown sugar, cinnamon, banana topped with 1 tbsp coconut peanut butter and 1 tbsp Crofter’s organic raspberry jam.
I made my turkey chili into vegetarian chili just by leaving out the turkey, adding an extra can of red kidney beans and a bunch of chopped up bell peppers. I actually did this just to save money and total calories. It’s still SO good without the meat! Topped with avocado, Frank’s hot sauce and some Fage 2% plain greek yogurt. I also had a 100 calorie bag of Popchips to dip in this. Favorite meal ever.
This was so, so good! A can of tuna mixed with 1/2 a small avocado and sea salt, steamed plain broccoli, sweet potato chunks and ketchup/mustard to dip. It makes it all taste like a cheeseburger 😉
I was off from both jobs for the first time in awhile! Would have loved to teach a class yesterday but no one needed a sub, so I slept in til almost 11 AM then had the same oats pictured above and coffee. I lounged around for awhile and then got hungry again around 1:30 and made this delicious pre-workout lunch.
4 egg whites made flat, not scrambled, with some avocado pieces inside rolled up like a burrito, 4 pieces of turkey bacon, and whole wheat bread topped with Crofter’s raspberry jam. The salty-sweet combo of this lunch was the bombbbbbb.
Workout- 3 mile treadmill run + BodyPump class.
First BodyPump class in 5 months. Yikes. It was HARD, and I had to lower my weights a lot more than what I was up to in August before training for multiple half marathons took over my life. All that matters now is that I’m getting back into getting strong!
It was so, so bitter cold yesterday. I came home from the gym and took a nice hot shower, then warmed up a bowl of my vegetarian chili topped with the usual suspects. Eaten in bed all cozied up is the ONLY good thing about winter.
Keylime Chobani with 2 tsp Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips, 2 tsp coconut peanut butter and some fat-free Reddi Whip that I shouldn’t be eating because well, it’s dairy.
And the prize- homemade almond milk hot chocolate.
No good way to photograph that but let me give you the recipe! I modified it just a little from this recipe.
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
10-15 drops chocolate stevia or regular stevia, or desired sweetener
2 tsp Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
Pour all ingredients except chocolate chips into saucepan and heat on medium-heat, constantly stirring. I think I did this for about 4-5 minutes to get really hot but don’t let it come to a boil! The last 2 minutes or so I added in the chocolate chips so they would melt. I actually doubled the recipe so John could have some too and he liked it! That’s saying a lot since the boy lives on sugar. Top it with some fat-free Reddi Whip and it is the perfect winter night treat for less than 100 calories!
So there’s my last two days of workouts and food. I knew I would need a rest day after yesterday’s BodyPump class and it’s still too cold to run outside so I just slept in and am trying to stretch all day. The soreness is real, yo. Hoping to get in some running the next few days as the temperatures get warmer! I miss running outside so much. I don’t even know how I made it 3 miles yesterday on the treadmill, but I can tell you it involved stopping a few times to stretch out because it makes my hip so tight. Ugh.
What’s your hump day check in like?! Succeeding or having a little trouble? I feel like mid-week is when I start to feel like I’m a caged animal who hasn’t eaten treats in years. Stay strong!
I’m a complete sucker for all things recapped and end of the year recaps make me giddy. I never said I was cool, okay? So here are my top 10 favorite moments/events/accomplishments of my 2013, not in any particular order because I don’t wanna make one memory feel inferior to another memory. Aren’t I sweet? PS this is going to be a long post with a lot of pictures of me. Feel free to stop reading right here.
I’ll start with a short recap of my workouts. I use DailyMile to log my miles but I also use my iPhone notes to recap every day of the year with what workout I did including rest days. I will probably seriously do this forever, because I enjoy it. Just like logging my food every day on MyFitnessPal, it’s not even entirely about weight loss these days. I can look up any day in the past 3.5 years and instantly be taken back to that day. It’s not just about the food or the workout for that particular day, it’s the memories that came along with the rest of that day. Does that make sense? Anyways, without further ado, here we go.
Running- 572 miles
Spin- 35 classes, including teaching 8 of them 🙂
Yoga- 6 (um, woops)
Strength training/weights- 41 sessions
2014 fitness goals: run a lot more miles than that. A.k.a BE MORE CONSISTENT. Less excuses, Jen, less excuses. Stop being lazy and run. A tentative goal I just decided on after reading this is that I want to run 2014K in 2014. That equates to 1,251.4 miles. Since there’s no way in hell I could run 2000 miles in a year without breaking my legs, I will shoot for the kilometer version of 2014. With marathon training starting in the summer, I can definitely do this. Being more consistent will likely result in me getting a little faster, too. I want to Spin more, or more specifically teach more! I am loving teaching so much. I NEED TO YOGA MORE. My God, 6 classes over 12 months?! Pathetic. I am aiming to at least double that number, but hopefully a lot more. With strength training I really surprised myself. Didn’t think I had really done 41 sessions of it, but that was also counting very short 8-10 minute arm workouts which why would they not count? Just a simple goal to strengthen myself even more in the new year.
The months of training together every weekend was the best part. Achieving a hard goal with someone I love so much was one of the best feelings ever. I love this girl with all my heart.
2. Falling even more in love with my Johnny.
We strengthened our relationship so much this year. We did a ton of fun things together, including so many comedy shows I can’t even remember. We really made sure we made time for each other. He reminds me to think positively every day and makes me laugh even when I’m so mad at him that I want to punch him. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings us! And no, that will not be a baby.
Basically no words for how amazing it was to be chosen for it, have a photo shoot for it, and see my mug all over a magazine 😉 It brought me a TON of views to my blog and I love all of the comments I receive telling me they found my blog because of my article!
I just re-read that post and teared up. She is due with her first baby this March and I am so excited to meet the little guy. Love you Frach!
6. Really appreciating the real friends I have, even though distance separates some of us.
I got to see most of the people that are truly my real friends at least once this year and it was great! It’s been really hard to find real friends in NYC. I’m lucky enough to have Brenda and John here but it’s proven difficult to find other people that I have things in common with and who want to build a real relationship. It’s tough! But I’ve heard it all my life that it gets harder to make friends as you get older. The few new people I became close with I am thankful for, though. And my brother is one of my closest friends which I never thought would happen! I love him to death and although we are really different, we’re still getting closer as we get older. I really hope 2014 will bless me with at least one new good friend that actually likes to do the things I like to do! When you stop partying to better your life, like I did, you see who sticks around and sadly I did lose some people. Their loss.
7. Eating so much good food and developing a better relationship with it.
2011 and 2012 I was dealing with a horrible eating disorder, which if you’ve read my blog for long enough you know all about. After losing 110 pounds, I still thought I needed to lose a lot more and since my body was already at a super healthy (and borderline underweight) size, I had to nearly starve myself and work out for hours a day to keep losing weight. I looked terrible, lost hair, my period, etc. It was a time period more imprisoning than being overweight. Once I finally got help and started to eat more, I went way overboard and started binge eating for months and months. I gained weight in all the wrong places because of it and felt so miserable in my skin, once again, until this year. I found a comfortable medium between loving to work out but being okay with resting whenever I want to without feeling insanely guilty and eating what I want. I was in really amazing shape this summer and fall and while I’ve gained a little this month from all the dang sweets, I know that I can get back to feeling great without deprivation or anything extreme. I love to eat healthy, and I am so much happier eating pizza all the time by fitting them into my macros after a few doses of the healthy stuff, of course. If I could marry pizza, I would.
8. Becoming a Spin teacher!!
I got certified in March and finally got a part-time position in November. I am excited to see where I can go with this! It’s so much fun creating playlists and seeing the look on my classes faces when they hear a song they love. I also love the look on their face when they really don’t like me during a heavy hill climb. 😀
9. Finally completing my Associate’s degree.
Not something I talk about too often on here except for mentions of homework here and there, but school is something I have struggled with completing. Not for lack of intelligence but lack of time and money. I graduated high school in 2006 and went right to community college in my town and worked full-time. After 1 year I decided I would wait awhile because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and work was more important to me since I had no other choice but to support myself as I moved out of my parents house at 19. I finally decided to go back in 2010 but had to again take my time and take some semesters off, and long story short I am finally done with my Associate’s degree. It’s kind of embarrassing that it took so long, but in the end it’s my life and I have way more work and life experience than most people my age. I’m not sure what my path for school will be from here so just taking it day by day!
10. Cooking more and hosting my first Thanksgiving!
I thought at 25 it may be about time to start actually cooking once in awhile and trying recipes. I didn’t cook a lot or anything, but I did make many batches of the best turkey chili ever, a buffalo chicken soup that’s to die for, and I cooked all of our Thanksgiving food! One of my main goals for 2014 is to cook more and not eat out so much. The last 2 months i’ve barely been in my kitchen out of pure laziness.
And there we have it. Another year is gone and another one is on the horizon. I have realized that I am not Type-A enough to have a laundry list of resolutions that I will actually stick to. I think it’s important to constantly want to improve yourself and get more out of life and that’s what I am going to strive for!
I hope you all have an amazing New Years Eve and I want to hear what some of your goals are!!
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.
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.
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!
My co-worker Celine brought her husband and cutest daughter Olivia with us. We had so much fun with her!
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?!
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.
It may be hump day and therefore we’re almost to the next weekend, but I still haven’t wrote about my past weekend foods and they are definitely blog worthy. The last picture of my last post was the epic brunch I had after my race. I had been craving pancakes for a long, long time. Like months long. I eat protein pancakes every now and then but I wanted real, fattening, sit-in-your-stomach-all-day pancakes and I think I earned them after 9.3 miles in the snow 😉 They were delicious! It’s been probably 3 years since I had real ‘cakes!
Sunday morning I met up with a good friend Alyse who is from my hometown and is one of the best foodies I know! We went to ABV on the Upper East Side and it became my new favorite brunch place. Great iced coffee, cool atmosphere and only 1 train and 1 bus from my apartment. We both went with the eggs benedict, which I’ve only ever had once before.
The highlight of this was the extremely crispy hashbrown that comes on top of the english muffin. It was absolutely DELICIOUS, and so was the little salad that came with it. We were stuffed to the brim after this and I cannot wait to shove this in my mouth again sometime real soon.
John and I went to dinner Sunday night (after lots of digestion from my brunch) at Feile in the dreaded section of Midtown that is housed right by Madison Square Garden. I say dreaded because this section of Midtown is worse than Times Square. At least Times Square is pretty to look at, 34th street is hideous AND chock full of tourists. We had a Scoutmob deal for 50% off there and this is now going to be a go-to restaurant for us. I had the Angry Bird burger, which is a turkey burger with Frank’s hot sauce, blue cheese and crispy onions. I ordered it with no bun and it came with fries topped with a tiny bit of shredded asiago cheese and herbs.
My favorite flavor combo of all time is ketchup and blue cheese together, on a burger and with fries. Throw in Frank’s hot sauce and I can’t. I just can’t with how good it is. Feile has a pretty fabulous menu for being a sports bar, and it’s also pretty nice inside. Check it out if you are in town for a hockey game or
Desserts for the weekend, because obviously.
Eggnog macaron from Bouchon in Columbus Circle. I’m a macaron lover, and this was the best one of my life.
And a little froyo of course.
Eyes were bigger than my belly for this guy and only half of him made it in. That’s not a bad thing, as I need to cut the hell back on sugar anyway! Ah. After Christmas 😉
As for workouts this week, Monday I did a short recovery workout from the weekend because I was majorly sore from the race Saturday. I had to be at work super early so I just did 5 mins on the treadmill, 15 minutes of Spin and 10 minutes of strength. Plus lots of foam rolling in my sweet socks.
Yesterday I taught a Spin class in the morning and had a great time! It was my day off from work and no, I don’t consider teaching Spin work 🙂 Afterwards I actually got to dress like a normal human for a few hours (I have to wear a uniform at work, and it’s hideous) and it felt pretty great. Until it was snowing like crazy, so I went home and went to bed for the rest of the day. Yes.
No idea why I’m not smiling? Just go with it. P.S. I got that sweater from TJ Maxx over the weekend and I LOVE it. It has a sheer shirt underneath it and the sweater part is just baggy and so comfortable.
What was the most delicious thing you’ve eaten recently?
I mentioned recently that my food obsession lately has been turkey chili. I ate it every day for lunch before I was off for a week and then decided late Friday night to finally use the ingredients I bought at Trader Joe’s earlier to make my own and save some moolah. I based it off of this recipe but tweaked a few things so I will write out what I used below:
2 tsp olive oil
1 pound 99% fat free ground turkey
1 yellow onion, chopped up
1 cup water
1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes– this kind is really sweet & my favorite!! They come peeled inside not crushed so you have to crush them up in the chili yourself
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 heaping tablespoons chili powder (i like it super spicy)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
You just heat the oil in a large saucepan and then throw the turkey in to get it cooking. Cook it until it starts to brown then throw in the onion and cook for a few more minutes. After it was getting soft, I added in the liquids and all the seasonings. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. I let it simmer a little longer so it would thicken up because I love thick chili!
I’m still new to cooking so I don’t know exactly how to figure out serving sizes? I put all the information into MyFitnessPal and said it made 6 servings (1 cup) so each serving is 200 calories. I have eaten 1.5 servings (1.5 cups) 3 times so far and still have 1.5 servings left- anyone want to do the math on that if 6 actual servings was correct?
Top it with some 2% plain greek yogurt and hot sauce if you want to burn your mouth off.
Even better the next few days! If you make this let me know how you like it! 🙂
Other random delicious eats from my weekend:
Chicken, onion & goat cheese omelet (SO GOOD), salad & potatoes at Le Grainne Cafe for brunch on Friday.
Crazy strong french iced coffee with the beautiful soy swirl.
Spinach, apple, pear and ginger juice. I rarely get these but I’ve been so sick the last week I just felt I needed some extra nutrients.
Had to travel down to the Chobani in Soho to try their seasonal pumpkin creation! Plain greek yogurt, pumpkin butter, cranberries, walnuts and gingersnap pieces. Incredible.
What’s your favorite kind of chili? Turkey, beef, chicken or vegetarian?