Ruby is here! (+some other updates)

Hey there! It’s been a little while again but I’m still here! The biggest/best thing that has gone on since I wrote last is that my best friend Brenda (ya’ll know her on here by now!) finally had her baby a week ago today!! I got to be there for the whole time she was in labor (about 17-18 hours) and now her gorgeous little babe is here in our world. Of course we made our time at the hospital a blast…

Obviously she had her Spinning water bottle with her.. homegirl took a spin class the day before this! My hero.
Obviously she had her Spinning water bottle with her.. homegirl took a spin class the day before this! My hero.
Obviously we watched Broad City all night long <3
Obviously we watched Broad City all night long ❤

And finally at 9:25 AM, Ruby came into the world!

Ruby and Daddy!
Ruby and Daddy!
I am finally an Aunt!! :)
I am finally an Aunt!! 🙂

She is absolutely perfect and I am so excited to start my journey as an Aunt! I also fell even more in love with Brenda watching her become a mommy. One of the most special moments of my entire life!

And on to other stuff…

I don’t want to go on about too much right now but lets just say I’m still dealing with anxiety. I am learning how to manage it/accept it/live with it more than I was. It’s a really hard, AWFUL process but I focus on each hour and just getting through it. I know this won’t last forever but it certainly feels like it is going on forever.

So while I am still on a hiatus from teaching Spin, I have been going to CYC at least 3 times a week and running here and there. Running is SO hard after taking basically all winter off and not being at all consistent. Here’s what my running is looking like right now (in the spirit of keeping it real)


I’m doing some run/walk intervals but nothing set- just running until my lungs feel like they are going to explode (thanks, allergies) and then walking a bit. Getting past 2 miles right now feels sooooo hard. A good friend said the other day to me that training for the first 3 miles is always the hardest when getting back into running and she is so right. Once I can consistantly/easily run 3 miles again, I’ll start training for longer runs. I don’t have a half marathon or any race at all right now planned until October, but I may try for a 5 miler at the end of next month. CYC is so amazing and hands down the best spin classes I’ve ever taken! They are so motivating and SO fun, plus super challenging but I can feel myself getting stronger. If you are in the NYC area, let me know if you want to try a class with me!

Natalies class from this past Saturday!
Natalies class from this past Saturday!

This past weekend was an absolute blast. John’s mom came to visit us and we took her to most of our favorite spots- of course you need at least a full week with us for us to take you to alllll of the best spots 😉 Friday night started with Patsy’s pizza and a walk down 8th avenue from 23rd to 14th St to show all the fun gay culture through Chelsea- she loved it!

Saturday morning we headed to brunch at Le Grainne Cafe, our absolute favorite place for french toast and delicious coffee. This is hands down the best french toast in the city.


We strolled through Chelsea Market and Union Sq, then I took a quick class at CYC and met back up with them in Soho at Harney & Son’s tea. From there we walked through Soho to a few other stores, then took the 6 uptown to show her Grand Central. I always forget how magical Grand Central is until I’m seeing it through someone else’s eyes!

It started raining so we cancelled our initial plan of walking from Grand Central to Times Square and just headed to dinner. We had to of course take her to our favorite, 5 Napkin Burger, as we take pretty much everyone who visits us!

Sunday morning we headed to one of our favorite bagel places, Absolute Bagel, on the Upper West Side. This is right near the gigantic cathedral on 110th st that we wanted to see. We’ve been past it a million times but never actually went in until Sunday! It is so huge. Definitely a must see here.


We walked all through Central Park and took the train down to the West Village to get Big Gay Ice Cream…obviously 🙂 We were pretty exhausted so we ended the trip by heading back uptown to Trader Joe’s and last but not least, Shake Shack. If you can’t eat red meat or cheese like me, they have chicken sausage dogs that are incredible!


According to my FitBit we walked about 10-11 miles total for the weekend!

Fill me in on your lives!! What’s new?! 🙂



My First 2 Spin Classes!!!

WOOOOO HOOOOOOO! As I write this, I am so sore in just about every inch of my body which has never happened to me from spin class! After being really sick after Thanksgiving, a.k.a my 2nd cold already and it wasn’t even December, I didn’t work out all weekend and was getting really nervous with my first spin classes looming over me Tuesday. I was still really sick Monday so I stayed home from work, went to the urgent care clinic and got some medicine for a minor sinus infection and also left with a prescription for an inhaler and medicated nasal spray. According to the doctor after I described my symptoms that have been on-going for a year now plus years before that seasonally, I have extreme allergies that need to be treated with more than just the occasional Zyrtec. Anyways, I had listened to my planned playlist over and over and over and wrote down the ques but of course 3 days without being on the actual bike and I needed my fix. I went down to the 24 Hour Fitness in Soho and took the 6:00 PM spin class, mostly for peace of mind that I hadn’t lost all fitness in 3 days 😉 You know that you know that feeling.

It hurt. It was so hard and even extra hard because I was sick. But as usual, I felt amazing afterwards!

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(I also ran a 1 mile warm-up on the treadmill before class)

Usually when I’m sick my appetite is insane, this time it’s been absent and my stomach had been hurting. All from nerves, I’m sure. I made sure to refuel and also fuel for the next day’s intense classes!

italian roll w/ avocado, 3 egg whites w/ jalapenos, small sweet potato w/ goat cheese, smoked paprika, garlic powder + dijon mustard! TRY THIS COMBO!
italian roll w/ avocado, 3 egg whites w/ jalapenos, small sweet potato w/ goat cheese, smoked paprika, garlic powder + dijon mustard! TRY THIS COMBO!

Oops I also forgot to add turkey bacon in that description. I love bacon.

I got a good night of sleep and woke up yesterday ready to rock. I listened to my playlist and yelled out my ques in my room (my neighbors now think I am hosting a spin class in my room I’m sure) while drinking coffee. Lots of coffee. I choked down some oatmeal and got down to the gym almost an hour early to make sure EVERYTHING was going to run smoothly! I can’t get over how friendly and welcoming everyone at 24 Hour Fitness is. I love it there already!

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Rumor had it I was subbing for a VERY popular instructor, and I loved how everyone came in kinda upset that he wasn’t there. I assured them I would make them sweat and groove, no worries 😉 And I did just that. I felt 100% natural up there and LOOOOOOVED watching people sweat, sing along, and look so determined! The 12:30 class had amazing energy and is a time slot I would really love to teach regularly. I forgot to snap a picture of my heart rate monitor for my first class, but thanks to nerves and trying to keep up intensity with the class, I burned a record 679 CALORIES in 57 minutes total of class! My best friend in the universe, you know her by now ;-),Brenda was amazing enough to schedule her clients around coming to my first class! I could not ask for a better friend. It made me a lot less nervous having her there! Afterwards we went to Subway to refuel. Yes.

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I ended up having just enough time to get back to my apartment, take a quick shower, and make this yogurt bowl to eat on the train back to the gym. This is right about when exhaustion hit me first. Good exhaustion, though!

strawberry Chobani, Kashi Go Lean twigs, sliced banana + PB
strawberry Chobani, Kashi Go Lean twigs, sliced banana + PB

I arrived 25 minutes early which is seriously ideal. I hope I am never rushing to classes but I know that will happen sometime! I foam rolled the crap out of my quads that were on fire from Monday nights class + my previous class, and was greeted with some of the members telling me I better be as good as the guy I was subbing for! Haha talk about pressure! I loved it though and was confident I would give them a great workout with music they would love.

And an hour later, I did just that. Just like my first class, everyone said they loved my music and got a great workout in! I saw lots of people dropping like flies after back-to-back jumps and sprints. So proud!

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I. Was. Fried. In the best way possible! 🙂

Famished and exhausted, John scooped me up and took me to get celebratory pizza because when isn’t eating pizza a good idea?! Knowing we wanted to get custard at Shake Shack after, we tried a new-to-us pizza place in Hell’s Kitchen right near SS, called Don Giovanni’s. The pizza was fantastic, and I don’t even think it was just because I was in a 1,275 calorie deficit! It came out cheesier than I expected, but I ate it anyway. YOLO.

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Eggnog custard with little crispies on top.

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Insert me collapsing into bed and not even making it through 1 episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Best sleep I’ve gotten in a LONG time!

My entire body, even my upper body, is so sore today and I am physically drained. It feels so, so good to do something that has meaning to it and that brings other people happiness and endorphins!

Here is the playlist I used for both classes and will use for my 6:00 class on Friday night. I’m not sure when my next class will be after that but I will have a new playlist for whenever that is! Also, computer savvy people- how do you post a playlist from Spotify? I tried to print screen it, crop it in Paint, copy it to Word, then email it to myself and it didn’t work. I am not good with computer programs apparently even after using them for the last almost 15 years.

Britney Spears- Work Bitch (warm-up)

Jennifer Lopez- Get Right (moderate hill, climb in saddle then climb in position 3 for each chorus)

Drake- Hold On, We’re Going Home (stay in position 3 from previous song, work up to heavy hill sitting in the saddle for each chorus. Push the pace on the hill the last chorus)

Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams- Get Lucky (seated flat, 4 count jumps on each chorus)

Rihanna- Jump (add on resistance, run in position 2 and sprint in position 3 for each chorus which will be 25 seconds x 3)

Macklemore- Can’t Hold Us (seated FAST flat pyramid- first 1:20, then 40 seconds, then 25), run/recover in position 2 for each chorus)

Rihanna feat. Jay-Z- Talk That Talk (stay in saddle for whole song for heavy climb. Add on resistance at the beginning of each chorus)

MGMT- Kids (take off some resistance to pick up the pace, push on each chorus 80% of your maximum which ends up being 30 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds last push)

Usher- Scream- (seated FAST flat, 3 x 25 second sprints on each chorus) My favorite song to sprint to!!!

Black Eyed Peas- Pump It (add a bit of resistance to run to the beat, then tapbacks on each chorus. You come up to position 3 and stick your hips back for 1 count, then stand up for 1 count, repeat)

Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake- Holy Grail (moderate to heavy hill depending on where your legs are at, climb to Justin’s part and run as fast as you can with resistance during Jay-Z’s parts. Use Justin’s parts as recovery!)

Miley Cyrus- Wrecking Ball (heavy, heavy climb in position 3 until last chorus- sit in saddle and push with all the effort you have left!)

Drake feat. Rihanna- Take Care (cool-down)



Let me know what you think of that playlist! 🙂


Food + Race Rambles.

‘Twas another weekend full of food and racing, just the way I like it. If only I hadn’t had to work both days, it would have been the picture perfect weekend. A girl can dream, eh?

Let’s just dive right into the food. Regardless that my half marathon series is over until at least December but definitely January (I signed up for another 1/2 for the end of January, but have one on my mind for December) I am still carb-loading on Saturdays like it’s my job. Maybe one day it will be my job. Until then I will just have to use my own money to do so which is the not so fun part. ANYWAYS, the food.

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One of my very generous co-workers heard around the water coolers that I loved Biscoff so she brought me a jar. She is clearly an angel. I am proud to announce that it’s a few days after she gave it to me and there is still some left to last until at least tomorrow, and I also shared with John. YUP.

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Instead of eating it by the spoonful (okay I have 3 times) I’ve been putting it on my oatmeal and when it melts to form a pool my heart also melts. Those are FRENCH TOAST goldfish swimming on there. I love that I can add some sugary crunch to my oats for about 40 calories for 10 fishes. I am fully aware that this picture shows more than 10 fishies.

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Swooped into Whole Foods to get some soup and had to try a little piece of this grape, walnut & blue cheese pizza. It was really, really good but I picked off the walnuts. Didn’t like the crunch on a pizza. Love that you can get little samples or super small pieces at Whole Foods just to get a taste!

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John and I went to get pizza at Patsy’s Saturday night and he always gets an order of meatballs and I eat the sauce. I mean I dip my pizza in it too since I have to scrape off all the cheese, but I also eat the sauce with a fork. The chunks of tomato in it and the flavors are so good I can’t even describe it. YUM.

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Pumpkin pie froyo with fruity pebbles is life changing. John was gagging just looking at it. Do not ever trust his judgement.

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Pre-race Sunday morning. I am IN LOVE with this top. The brand is Mondetta and I got it at TJ Maxx. I’ll have to take a picture of it more close up but the details are so cute, especially on the back. It always feels good to run in something that’s cute 🙂

This was the Poland Spring 5 Mile Marathon Kick-off race. So weird to think that I ran this last year too! I have now been racing long enough to be doing the same race twice. Crazy. That also means it’s been a year since Hurricane Sandy too. How does time go by so fast?

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Hills on hills on hills.

The race has the same finish line as the NYC Marathon which is so cool.

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I ran this pretty hard and felt strong and really good for the whole race, except my right hip flexor/groin area was killing me from mile 2 on. It was hard to even lift my right leg to run, so I had to ease up on the pace a few times when I really could have gone faster. SO frustrating. I am giving up on ever being fast.

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So that’s what my RunKeeper app recorded but my official time was 50:38 for a 10:08 pace, which is exactly one minute slower than last year. Can we please just go by my app time, thanks. 🙂 I ran 1.5 miles to the race and 1.5 back for a total of 8 miles for the day.

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Yesterday was also my 1,000 day of logging my food on MyFitnessPal. I owe so much of my weight loss success to you, MFP! In all of these 1,000 days I have probably missed 3 days of full logging. Even on the bad binging days I used to have, every bite got recorded. Everyone has their own opinion of counting calories but it works for me 🙂

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Sunday ended with $5 mussels & fries at Brindle Room.



And pumpkin pie + roasted apples custard at Shake Shack. All with my love Johnny, of course. We got this great (but fuzzy since I enlarged and screenshot it) picture of us from my friend’s wedding last month.

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I kinda love him a lot. 🙂

How was your weekend? I wanna hear your workouts + delicious eats!

Eat, Eat, Eat.

How is it already another weekend? The last month has completely flown by! After 3 weeks of long races, I thought I would be looking forward to a race-less weekend and a lot of rest but I’m totally feeling down about having nothing to do! Well, not NOTHING to do, since I’m doing the 5 mile Breast Cancer walk tomorrow but you know what I mean 😉 There is still time to donate if you can!

So besides a spin class Tuesday morning (my 1st in FOREVER) I didn’t work out all week. It felt pretty great up until yesterday when I was ready to run on my day off, then I slept in until NOON?! I apparently needed 12+ hours of sleep and had no time to fit in a run since I had tons of homework and a CPR class to go 3 hours from my waking time. I am now officially CPR/AED certified so I can begin auditioning for spin positions and possibly save your life if need be! Don’t quote me on that though…

Lack of workouts this week but no lack of delicious food. I figured if I’m gonna be lazy I might as well eat like junk too, right? One week every few months of total laziness is 100% needed (for me) to regroup and get motivated for new goals. Let’s just say I’m looking forward to going back to ZERO dairy again starting Monday. I haven’t had all that much but apparently 2 custards this week are enough to pretty much kill me.

I mean, it’s fall flavor time at Shake Shack… how are you supposed to say no?

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Cinnamon pear cobbler with roasted apples on Monday night. I look possessed and I probably am.

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Candied apple with roasted apples last night. The best thing (or at least ice cream thing) I’ve ever tasted.

I also had some vegetables yesterday! But yesterday was pretty much the only day I had them all week. Oops.

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I should really apologize for this picture but here are the facts: I was running 20 minutes late to CPR class and only had eaten oatmeal and it was 3:30 PM. I ordered this wrap from Tasty Deli, a local in my ‘hood, and CANNOT wait to eat this again. Spinach wrap with grilled veggies (a TON), feta and honey mustard. I ate it on the subway and had sauce all over my face and could not have cared less. WaHi knows their wraps, yo.

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Last night before the custard and after the CPR class (did I mention I can save your life now?) we chowed down at Island Burger. This place has amazing sandwiches and the 2nd best regular fries in NYC (1st for me is Brindle Room). Last night I kept it simple with a BLT minus the mayo and add avocado. The tomatoes on this were so fresh and it totally hit the spot. How can one go wrong with bacon? Ya can’t.

As always, oatmeal for breakfast erryday. Throwing on fall toppings makes it a whole new experience.

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Banana chia oats with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, honey, PB and apple butter.

NEEDED pancakes for dinner Tuesday night. Used Amanda’s recipe for super fat and fluffy ones.

  • 3 TBSP coconut flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp extract of choice (i use vanilla)
  • 1 TBSP greek yogurt (plain or flavored)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 8 drops of stevia

Make sure batter is THICK for the fluffiest pancakes. You can add extra coconut flour if your batter isn’t thick enough. This makes 4 cute little ‘cakes for me.

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Topped them with sugar-free syrup, coconut PB and sides of banana and turkey bacon. Brinner at it’s finest.

Finally got back on the workout wagon this morning with a quick 2 mile HIIT session on the treadmill and 15 minutes of push-ups and upper body work. Short but super sweaty workout! Trying to get in some miles before the breast cancer walk tomorrow morning, but will not do more than 7 miles. Need a little bit of rest from long distance for this week! 🙂

What deliciousness did you eat this week?