Another Year.

Well, I’m another year older and probably at least a little wiser ๐Ÿ˜‰ Saturday was my 26th birthday and while it poured rain all weekend, I got to spend the weekend with my mom and my mom’s boyfriends daughter Amanda. I picked them up at Port Authority late Friday night and we went to grab food at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. I have always wanted to go to this place and if you aren’t familiar with it it’s a diner where all the staff are aspiring actors/actresses/performers, so they sing and dance on the tables! It was way cooler than I expected! photo 3(2)

We tried to ignore the rain as we walked around all day on Saturday and shopped our butts off! My poor John was so, so sick all weekend and his birthday was yesterday. He couldn’t even get out of bed let alone walk around in the rain all day. I was supposed to meet Brenda around 6:30 AM for a long run but I was actually scared to leave him alone he was coughing so terribly and in so much pain, so I stayed in bed with him until later in the morning. My heart rate monitor at least made me a cake!ย  photo 5(1)

Around noon we headed to brunch with Brenda and Eddie to the place we went to after the NYC half a few weekends ago, Philip Marie. I was so obsessed with our service and the atmosphere that I wanted to celebrate my birthday here! The food is also amazing but I think even if it weren’t I would still go there! I got eggs with toast and potatoes, super basic but delicious. That butter was NOT eaten.photo 1(1)ย  After brunch my mom, Amanda and I headed downtown to check out the 9/11 memorial. I was so glad they wanted to go because of course I’ve wanted to but it’s one of those things that when you live here you just keep putting it off because you take all of the things to do for granted. It was so beautiful and also sad to be there.ย  photo 3(1)ย  photo 2ย  We made our way back up to Times Square to hit up the gigantic Forever 21 and H&M. Let’s just say they have no idea how much I love them for me going to Times Square on a Saturday ๐Ÿ˜‰ It actually was really fun to be a tourist for the day and we ended up getting some great things. I treated myself way too much this whole month, always telling myself it was a birthday present. I have more birthday presents from myself this year than ever in my life combined, haha! shop

Shopping was followed by a ton of pizza at Patsy’s and froyo afterwards. My perfect birthday dinner!

Amanda, mom, and me!
Amanda, mom, and me!

Once we got back to my apartment, we had our own karaoke session of singing old school Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, which was inspiration for this week’s spin playlist. I had one of the most amazing classes ever yesterday morning! Everyone was feelin’ every song and a woman came up to me after class and told me my classes and music gets her higher than heroin! haha Flattered yet also concerned ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sorry I haven’t shared a playlist in awhile, but this one is too good to pass up.ย  photoย  After I taught my Sunday morning class, I came back home with bagels and donuts for John and we napped and watched Arrested Development all day and night. Not the worst way to spend a birthday, but certainly not fun when you are super sick! We are going to have a re-do on our birthdays sometime this week.

How was your last birthday spent?

DR OZ!

Hi!! This week has been insane for me and to top it off I have been so, so sick. This is the worst cold I’ve had in a couple years and has knocked me on my ass. I’ll do a quick re-cap starting with last weekend and bring you up to speed with what will be on today and/or Monday! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last Saturday night:

My usual pre-long run dinner (cheese-less chicken and onion Domino’s pizza), except I ate the WHOLE thing because on top of my long runs I now teach 3 spin classes on Sunday’s.

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Brenda and I ran a great 8 miles Sunday morning and they felt pretty effortless for how little I’ve been running. Thank you, 1099 spin classes a week.

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Followed up with my hour spin class that we had a ton of fun in. I used the same playlist that I posted here because I hadn’t used it in this class yet.

I started to feel sick this day and by Monday it was full throttle terrible sore throat. I stayed home from work but had to teach my 6:30 AM spin class because guess what? No one wants to sub at that hour haha I pushed through and came home to rest all day. My throat got worse and worse but it was my first night teaching at NuYu so I had to go. I drank a couple Emergen-C’s throughout the day and it at least took away the achy feeling and gave me a bit of energy. This was a 45 minute ride and more of a beginner’s class so I took it super easy and it was a great vibe! Here’s the playlist for that.

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My throat was on.fire. after teaching even though the room at this gym is small and I didn’t have to scream, so I stopped at 16 Handles for froyo to soothe my throat. Great excuse, right?

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Just a little bit to tide me over until I got home and made a healthy dinner full of vitamins to help me out!

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I was off from work Tuesday but had to teach at 7:30 AM and I was feeling worse. I ended up feeling better for awhile after my class but that was just the momentary endorphins because by the afternoon I was dead again. I NEVER lose my appetite, and this week I have had to force myself to eat to have enough energy for my classes and to get better. I was in bed all day and night Tuesday with the hopes of feeling better for Wednesday morning because I had VIP tickets to…

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Last week I was contacted by one of the producers of the show asking if I could film a few videos of myself saying some scripted lines, one of me working out and either stepping on a scale looking really happy or looking in the mirror proudly! I chose the mirror shot to keep it real since I don’t believe in the scale making you happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

We got to sit right in the front row and it was awesome! Despite my coughing fits, it was a really great experience and Dr. Oz is a smart man. He mingled with the crowd more than I expected and I’m in a group shot with him that will be up on the Facebook page next week so I will post it then! So, my videos will either be on TODAY’S 4 PM SHOW (EST) or MONDAY’S. They were unsure of the schedule of shows yesterday and I have not heard back from them. Hopefully they still use me! haha

After the show (we were there for almost 4 hours and hadn’t eaten before) we ran to brunch because we were about to eat our hands. French toast at our favorite little french cafe, Le Grainne Cafe, that we have celebrated great things at!

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This is the best french toast IN THE WORLD. It’s made with baguettes so it’s crispy on the outside and has an orange zest to it, topped with almonds and served with thin sliced ham, a couple little potatoes and fruit. I also had a soy iced latte that was so strong and so needed.

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Latte = happy Jen. If you watch the show today or Monday, I am in the front row and this is what I wore! The shirt isn’t as dark as this pic shows and John had a red flannel shirt on.

After brunch, I went home to rest and had to head back out to sub the 7:00 PM class. I was the most sick at this point and losing my voice, but ended up having an amazing class. It’s funny how that works! I took it as easy as I could, which really means I was still working too hard. It’s hard to slack off when you have 20 people looking at you for motivation! You know how they say go ahead and workout if your cold is in your head, but don’t if it’s in your chest? Well it’s true. Working out Wednesday night made me feel 100x worse almost immediately after stopping, so I grabbed some Mucinex at CVS on my way home.

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Definitely has helped a ton. For $27, it better. I REALLY hate taking medicine and almost never do since there isn’t a cure for the common cold but now that some of my income depends on me being healthy and able to workout I wasn’t playin’ around.

I made it through about 7 hours of work yesterday before I had to call it quits and go home. I was sweating through my clothes and feeling super weak so I molded myself back in my bed and today I’m feeling better. Still sneezing my brains out and coughing, but not as weak. Progress.

So yes, amazing news that I will be on the Dr. Oz show!! I’m sure I will be able to get the clip and post it here as soon as I can! Beware that it’s corny but I’m actually a pretty corny person haha

Have you had a really bad cold this winter?

Do you watch Dr. Oz? My grandma would be sooo excited, she loved him!

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? ๐Ÿ˜€

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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 literallyย 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.

 

 

Don’t End, Weekend.

I get really sad on Sunday’s because I just don’t want the weekend to end, even when I have to work. I have felt pretty under the weather this weekend but had to push through and teach 2 spin classes and finally get my ass in gear with a long run to prepare for my spring half marathons. That of course takes lots of food to fuel so here’s a look at what I’ve been chowing down on since Friday!

We saw on Scout Mob that this italian restaurant called Three of Cups on the Lower East Side had a 50% off deal up to $25 off, so we went down on Friday night to eat up. I had the grilled calamari to start and it came with a really spicy marinara sauce which was great.

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I also had a panzanella salad which is one of my favorite types of salads, but it was pretty bad so I only had a few bites of it. The pizza was DELICIOUS though. It had a really smoky taste to it almost like it was grilled.

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Lots of iced soy lattes were had. Also, a homemade poptart at Birch Coffee. 100000 times better than a real PopTart, I swear!

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Fantastic 6 mile run with Brenda. Of course because it was with her the 6 miles literally flew by and felt like we were running for maybe 20 minutes at the most. Looooove that!

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Followed by one of the most awesome spin classes I’ve taught thus far. I was endorphin high from the run and just had a ton of energy even though my legs were toasted. I felt like my ques were perfect (still learning!) and everything just flowed really well. Let me share with you the playlist since I haven’t in awhile!

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There is some repeats from other playlists because the songs are just too good. I was also wearing my new favorite sports bra and top that I got from Victoria’s Secret big sale.

This is me forgetting that my flash is on. Let it be known I am NOT a selfie expert.
This is me forgetting that my flash is on. Let it be known I am NOT a selfie expert.

I had to go right into work after my class but this morning on my way to the gym I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and grabbed a donut that I have been wanting to try as my reward after my 2+ hour workout. I burned almost 1,200 calories during it so a 400 calorie donut as a treat is just right. It’s the cookie dough donut and I BEG you to try it. I am NOT a donut person at all, like they just don’t do anything for me but this is life changing.

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I balanced that out with a nice big veggie filled salad. I was actually totally craving a crunchy cold salad so this is not for penance ๐Ÿ˜‰

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That about wraps it up.

Oh, I also am so sorry I lied to you guys and didn’t end up posting my thoughts on The Biggest Loser finale. I am actually still working on it and will post it soon, just be warned that I decided to get really personal in it and that’s why I want to keep working on it in hopes that it will help someone going through what I went through.

What did your weekend look like?ย 

Do you like donuts? If yes, favorite flavor or shop to get them at? The big debate in upstate New York is Dunkin Donuts vs. Tim Hortons. I LOVE Timmy Ho’s for their iced caps but I’d say DD’s takes the cake for donuts. Er, takes the donut for… the donut. Ha ๐Ÿ™‚

Lose The Fluff

Howdy! Hope your weekend was fantastic and that you ate delicious foods and got in some workouts! I did the eating part but failed on the workout part for Saturday and Sunday. D’oh! But I did teach 2 VERY intense spin classes on Friday so I was completely toasted by Saturday. Here’s the playlist and what we did for Friday’s classes.

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Where Have You Been: Warm-Up

Safe & Sound: run with resistance/moderate hill with 3 seated pickups (at 0:58 for 15 sec/ 1:31 for 30 sec/ 2:36 for 30 sec)

We Can’t Stop: add more resistance to start climbing a 2-part hill. Add resistance after each chorus and push on the legs for the final 25 seconds of the song

Diamonds remix: continue on the hill & make it a heavy one; start off with a faster pace from 0:10-1:35 then back off & climb in position 3 for 2 minutes. Back to the saddle at 3:50 and pick up the pace for the last 45 sec.

Scream & Shout: light resistance fast legs- 15 sec sprints in position 3 at 1:14 and 2:57 (back to saddle in between keeping up a fast pace)ย 

Wild Ones: run with resistance w/ 3 seated pickups for 30 sec (0:30), 60 sec (1:31) and 30 sec (3:04)

End Of Time: jumps on a moderate hill; 4 count jumps at 0:53, 8 count jumps at 1:42, 4 count jumps at 2:31, and 8 count jumps at 3:24. Easy to stay on the beat!

Applause: take off resistance for faster jumps: 2 count jumps on all 3 choruses. Keep a fast pace in between sets.

Video Phone: heavy hill, starting a rolling hill. Once the beat starts, alternate 15 seconds of climb with 15 seconds of fast for entire song!

She Wants To Move: lighten resistance but keep a moderate hill, 3 seated pickups for 20 seconds (0:51), 25 seconds (1:41), and 30 seconds (2:27)

Love On Top: back to heavy-ish climb but stay on the beat of the song. 40 seconds in position 3 at 1:01, back to saddle then up in 3 at 2:23 for rest of the song

I Love It- light resistance going right into 3 fast sprints at 0:23 (30 sec), 1:09 (35 sec) and 2:10 (20 sec)

Sweet Nothing- 3 more sprints to the finish! Class choice of doing sprints in the saddle or position 3. 2 15 second sprints and 1 30 second to finish.

Forrest Gump- cooldown, reusing this song because it is SO perfect for a serene cooldown!ย 

Suffice to say after teaching 2 of those and a quick mile on the treadmill, I was sore, exhausted and famished. Cheeseless chicken and onion pizza from Domino’s with a side of marinara saved me.

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I swear to you this was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. It was cooked so perfectly and from how hungry I was, I was ready to cry at how thankful I was for this pizza. Is that sad or awesome? This was eaten in bed (yeah, you probably wouldn’t want to sleep in our bed) with Johnny while we watched Weeds. We needed a new show to binge watch since we finished Breaking Bad and I am LOVING Weeds so far! It’s so much more light-hearted compared to Breaking Bad. Any Weeds fans out there?

Saturday night after work all day, we went to 5 Napkin Burger for date night. I know I’ve posted about this place a billion times but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I got the veggie burger with mushrooms and blue cheese and sweet potato fries.

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The burger was so good and I actually only ate about 3 fries. Trying to get back to listening to my body and not overeating since that’s been the theme of the last 2 months. Ugh!

We stopped in Victoria’s Secret so I could use my gift card from Christmas and since Orange Leaf was around the corner, I had to stop in.

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I took my cup home and ate that in bed, too. There is nothing more comforting than eating in bed for me. I am not a neat freak, therefore crumbs in my bed don’t bother me ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling too hot so we just lounged around all day and eventually went to the diner.

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Considering this was basically my only meal of the day, just let the pancakes and bacon slide okay? ๐Ÿ˜‰ After the diner we did laundry and I meal prepped for the week which is the first time in months. I’m just very ready to get back on track and lose the fluff. This is a super hard winter for everyone. I know the weather shouldn’t be an excuse to eat junk (but yet it’s so easy to blame it on) but it’s definitely an excuse to be running less. I can only run 1 mile on the treadmill before my foot feels like it’s breaking off, so the treadmill isn’t an option. It’s been too icy and slushy so I haven’t been able to do a long run and my next half marathon is on the 26th! I’m not sure if I’ll be doing it just yet but if I can get in at least 3 longer runs before then, I’ll give it a go.

I’ll share my “losing the fluff” meals throughout the week for accountability! Goal is to get to Friday nice and healthy, then have a little treat Friday night as fuel for my long run Saturday. I have to switch it to Saturday because I’m going to a dinner party Saturday night and planning on drinking a LOT of wine for the first time in months. ๐Ÿ˜€

How was your weekend?

Do you treat yourself on weekends? Yes but I need to reel it in and scale down the treats.

Spin Playlist + More

Merry Christmas Eve! I started my week off yesterday teaching the 7:00 AM Spin class at the Soho location of 24 Hour Fitness. It was my first time teaching at that location and, as always in my life, eventful. The headset was different than my home gym and ended up not working at all, so I had to yell the whole class over the music. It actually was fine and made my energy come out even more! Only 3 people showed up because of the holiday (i’m assuming) but they were strong & I think I definitely woke them up.ย The room was SO HOT, like bikram yoga hot. I loved it. The sweatier the better! Here’s the playlist I used twice last week and this morning. I have to work on a new one for next week but this has been a huge hit! Below it will be what we did to each song, in case you want to use this for your own spin workout!

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Turn up the music- Warm-up, gradually add resistance to prepare for 4 songs of hills!

Super Bass- Moderate hill, seated pickups every chorus for 30 seconds

Sleepyhead- Add more resistance to get to a level 6.5-7 hill but moving legs to hit the beat, come up to position 3 for each chorusย 

Flashing Lights- heavy hill (level 8-9) with seated pickups every 10 SECONDS! The beat picks up every 10 seconds of the whole song, you move faster each 10 seconds. Should feel really hard by the end!ย 

Your Body- STAY ON THE HILL. Earn your downhill. Every chorus, turn resistance down and run in position 3. First chorus is 20 seconds, so only take off a little resistance. 2nd is 40 seconds so take off more. Final chorus, fly down that hill for 40 seconds!

When Loves Takes Over- Recovery song. Light resistance, fast legs to flush out the hills. 2 x 30 second pick-ups in the saddle at 0:52 and 2:23.

You Make Me Feel- Run with resistance. Add on enough to make keeping up with the beat challenging. 4 sets of sprints- First sprint (15 seconds) at 0:58 in position 3, back to saddle. 2nd sprint (30 seconds) at 1:42, stay in position 3 and continue to 3rd sprint (15 seconds) at 2:26, back to saddle. Last 30 second sprint in the saddle at 3:00.

Hard- heavy hill climb in the saddle, come up to position 3 for each chorus. Add on resistance before each chorus to end in a level 9 hill!

Jumpin’ Jumpin’- take off some resistance but keep enough to run in position 2. Fast run in position 2, fast run in position 3 for each chorus. Add on a little resistance throughout to avoid bouncing while running in 2.

Blurred Lines- light-moderate resistance, fast legs for whole song. Run in position 2 for 30 seconds at 0:50, back to saddle, then run in position 2 for 30 seconds again at 1:54, then down to position 3 for 30 seconds right after. Back to saddle and run fast from 3:30-end.

Pour It Up- Run with resistance in position 3 for whole song. Add on a little resistance to make it more challenging before each chorus!

Hollaback Girl- lighten resistance but keep enough to do jumps. 3 sets of jumps that are 30 seconds long, with 2 counts. Starting at 0:40, come out of the saddle for 2 seconds then back down for 2 seconds and repeat for 30 seconds. 2nd set starts at 1:30; last set starts at 2:24.

Starships- Sprints on a hill! Get on a moderate-heavy hill and get ready for 6 total sprints (THIS INCLUDES THE NEXT SONG!). First sprint is 15 seconds at 1:09. 2nd sprint is 15 seconds at 2:26. 3rd sprint is 15 seconds at 3:12. CLASS CHOICE WHETHER THEY SPRINT IN THE SADDLE OR IN POSITION 3!

Sweet Nothing- stay on the hill, last 3 sprints. FULL OUT SPRINTS FOR LAST SONG! 1st sprint is 15 seconds at 1:03, 2nd sprint is 15 seconds at 2:17 and last sprint is 30 seconds at 2:55.

Forrest Gump- Cooldown.

So fun. And YAY, I figured out how to copy and paste a playlist. Congrats to me.

Sunday night my brother came down and we went to dinner and got froyo after I got out of work. The froyo was necessary at 10:00 PM because dinner was disappointing. We went to Heights Tavern and usually the food is great but it was pretty bad this night. Oh well, my eggnog froyo made up for it! Eggnog flavored anything is my favorite and I wish they had it all year.

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The fact that it was 65 degrees Sunday night and we didn’t wear coats on December 22nd was freaking amazing. Ya’ll know my hatred for the cold. And now we’re back to the cold.

Since I was off from job #1 yesterday, I got to spend the day with my brother and his girlfriend. We had lunch at 5 Napkin Burger (the place I take all my visitors at one point or another!) and another round of froyo that we all ended up regretting. We were so full from 5 Napkin but who says no to froyo? It was great, as always, to spend time with those two. I love them and we always laugh our butts off.

Once I got home last night around 6, I felt like I hadn’t slept in a month. The last week I have been so exhausted, like I mentioned last post, that I fall asleep on the subway and can’t get out of bed when my alarm goes off. I seem to struggle with this every month when I have PMS. I guess extreme fatigue can really be a symptom of it. Anyone else struggle with it? I need some way to deal with it if it is going to happen to me once a month for many years to come. I also probably have low iron levels at the moment since my diet has consisted of mainly sugar this month. Ugh. Gotta get my dang act together! I was going to go to bed without eating dinner but John got my butt up to make something healthy. It ended up being really delicious and I feel a little better today.

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Sweet potato brussels sprouts hash with a runny egg, chicken sausage and hot sauce, plus toast with ketchup. It IS NOT weird to put ketchup on bread.

What are your Christmas Eve plans? John and I are doing our tradition for the last 2 years; order Domino’s and watch random TV. A.K.A what we do a lot of Tuesday nights haha. Sadly Christmas just doesn’t feel like any type of special day anymore. But I truly hope you all enjoy yours and if you get to be with family, cherish every moment. You never know when it will be your last Christmas with family.