Hello. It’s me. With a ton of pictures.

And just like that, another year is coming to an end! It’s been quite a year, lots of bad and lots of good, and a new year is always a nice thing to look forward to! I am hoping to really get back to blogging more regularly and post my spin playlists, food, etc and my journey of getting into tip top shape for my wedding! John and I have moved our wedding date to October 15th and switched our venue (I am the most indecisive person ever) and I am even more excited now! Below are some a ton of pictures to catch up on the last couple of months before this year ends. 

FOOD: (obviously)

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Food from the vegan hotspot by CHLOE
Food from the vegan hotspot by CHLOE
From just a few weeks ago! Have been eating outside every chance I get still!
From just a few weeks ago! Have been eating outside every chance I get still!

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Veggie burger at 5 Napkin (a long time favorite) with Andrea!

The extremely rare occasion I actually meal prep these days.. so simple!
The extremely rare occasion I actually meal prep these days.. so simple!
Looks gross but the best thing evaa.. chicken spedie sub from home!
Looks gross but the best thing evaa.. chicken spedie sub from home!
Dark pic but the delicious gnocci from my cousin's wedding!
Dark pic but the delicious gnocci from my cousin’s wedding!
and the desserts from the wedding!
and the desserts from the wedding!
Easiest dinner ever.. steamed potato with coconut oil, chicken sausage, sauteed bell peppers and runny eggs!
Easiest dinner ever.. steamed potato with coconut oil, chicken sausage, sauteed bell peppers and runny eggs!

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Crazy overpriced avocado toast & latte from the raved-about Bluestone Lane.

The best view ever... diet coke, chips and guac on the beach!
The best view ever… diet coke, chips and guac on the beach!
Fresh veggies & seafood on salad for lunch in Mexico!
Fresh veggies & seafood on salad for lunch in Mexico!
mmmmm ceviche!
mmmmm ceviche!
Pina colada shaved ice!
Pina colada shaved ice!
fish tacoooooos
fish tacoooooos
Heaven?
Heaven?
Our drinks of choice on vaca.. bloody marys and white russians, which couldnt be more random for either of us haha
Our drinks of choice on vaca.. bloody marys and white russians, which couldnt be more random for either of us haha
Vacation breakfast!
Vacation breakfast!
Tamarind margarita, so soooo good
Tamarind margarita, so soooo good
LOBSTER tacos!
LOBSTER tacos!
crab benedict...outrageous.
crab benedict…outrageous. From Philip Marie’s
Work Thanksgiving... holy moly, my co-workers can COOK!
Work Thanksgiving… holy moly, my co-workers can COOK!

FASHION: (because when I’m not in gym clothes, I live for it!)

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MEXICO! (John and I went November 3rd-9th, stayed at The Westin Spa & Resort again and had such an amazing time.. got upgraded to a huuuuge suite, too!)

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Our bedroom in our suite!
Our bedroom in our suite!
Living room!
Living room!
Balcony #1
Balcony #1

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My handsome, sweet sweet dude! <3 <3
My handsome, sweet sweet dude!

My sweet baby Ruby: (So she made 2015 the best year ever actually, and if you’re new to the blog she isn’t my actual baby haha)

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Teaching Spin: (For 2 years now!)

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Okay, so 2015 had a LOT of good to it after all! This is my reminder to myself, and to you, to really focus on the positive in all situations. It is a very hard thing to do and I struggle with it daily, but we are always a work in progress.

Merry Christmas to you all, and may 2016 be an amazing year for us all!

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Hump Day Check-In

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.

Monday:

4:30 AM wake up call to get to Soho to teach Spin. 

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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

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Breakfast:

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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.

Lunch:

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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.

Snack 1:

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Snack 2:

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Dinner:

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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 😉

Tuesday:

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.

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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!

Dinner:

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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.

Dessert:

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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.

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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!

Spin!

This past weekend, I successfully completed Spin teacher orientation after months of saving and planning for it!

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The day was very long but I enjoyed every second. I learned SO MUCH that I can barely believe all the classes I’ve taken the last 2 years have all been pretty incorrect! Every teacher has their own style of course, but a lot of what I learned about poor form and contraindications I believe may have contributed to my knee/IT band pain over the last 2 years. I will still continue to take my favorite classes each week, but hopefully as a better student! For now, I am planning on practicing 2 times a week on my own when the spin room is empty before I start auditioning for teaching positions at gyms! WOO HOO! 🙂

I know I’ve mentioned it in posts, but I’m running my first half-marathon (God willing) on May 5th in my hometown Binghamton, NY! I was signed up for it last year and couldn’t train because of severe shin splints, so I’m hoping everything will be fine throughout this training cycle. I should be more nervous than I am since a lot of my runs still feel reallllly hard after being so sick (and lazy, okay) December-beginning of February. But I was running 8-10 miles every weekend over the summer and into the fall, so I know I can do it. My first actual week of training was last week, and I nailed it! My plan is basically 3 miles on Tuesdays (easy but hilly), 4 miles on Wednesdays (with some HIIT thrown in next month for speed), 3 miles on Thursdays, and long runs on Saturdays or Sundays depending on my schedule. Monday and Friday’s are spinning and yoga, or rest if need be. I also need to make sure I am strength training 2-3 times a week, whether it’s a quick session at the gym or a class, or Jillian Michaels. SO MUCH TO DO.

Anyways, my first long run since Christmas was this past Sunday, and after 3 hours of spinning the day before I figured it would hurt pretty bad. My legs felt amazing and it was the first time I had tracked my GPS in months. Weird enough, I was running the same pace for long runs that I was running last summer! However, my 3 miles yesterday morning were over 1 minute slower and felt much much harder, so you never know. I have been waking up every day and reminding myself how lucky I am to have a passion for fitness and the ability to run. No need to even care about the pace when you are just thankful to move and sweat 🙂

That being said, I am still miserably exhausted juggling work, school and fitness so some mornings I end up oversleeping still. Like this morning. I was bummed cause I had 4 miles on the plan today, and can’t do them after work because John and I are going out to Brooklyn to see one of our favorite comedians! So I’ll plan on making up the 4 miles tomorrow morning before work. Then it’s off to see my family for a long weekend. Balance is extremely challenging but we really have no other choice, huh?

Now if the weather would just stop being crap-tastic, I could have a little more motivation to pound the pavement in the mornings. 

Remember me?

Hi, you may remember me as the person who is supposed to actually be writing in this here blog… Well, prepare for a little update that contains some GOOD NEWS! It’s just been a pretty good 2 weeks or so, since I last blogged, so let me fill ya in.

As recommended by my therapist whom I started seeing in December, I also made an appointment with a psychiatrist so that I could have an anti-depressant prescribed to me. I met with him on Thursday January 17th after a particularly horrible week, and directly after a really bad work day. It was a long and intense 80 minute session, I left with a prescription for the only medicine I was willing to try (I have been really against taking any kind of anti-depressant for years.. Me giving in was a huge sign that I was at rock bottom) and Friday morning was my first day on it. I am happy to report that after just 2 weeks, I am feeling a lot more positive, inspired, focused and more like myself. No drastic difference in my personality, just the happier me that I usually am! We will see how the coming months go as this determines if the medicine needs to be given in a larger dose. Another positive side effect… Lack of appetite/less anxiousness about food. This alone has lifted so much weight off my shoulders, I cannot even begin to describe!

I have awesome news that I can’t share for… Well, an undetermined amount of time. No, I am not pregnant. It’s something really cool and awesome but I want to make sure it’s 10738% in order before I announce! 😉

Last week I started my online classes and have spent hours each day since (except this past Sunday when I was miserably hungover) studying my little ass off. My business courses are interesting and not at all terrible. Accounting on the other hand? Let’s just say I’ve gotten real intimate with the huge book and googling everything to do with just the basic terms of accounting… And we are only on Chapter 1.

In a nutshell, I am juggling my 40-50 hour work week, 5 online classes and trying to keep up with working out. I hope you can understand my lack of blogging! Speaking of workouts…

I finally am getting back into a groove, since I’ve been VERY unmotivated after my month of sickness. I’ve been eating really well and clean, my pants are feeling loose (YAY!) and I know the next step in the formula for me to have my goal body by June (PRIDE WEEKEND!!!!) is to make my workouts consistent again. One thing I am going to stick to? Running without my GPS apps for awhile. I do not need a visual reminder of how slow I’ve gotten. I went for my first GPS-free run today in years! I’m just going to set time goals when I run, like today was “run for 30 minutes”, until I have my base built again. Even though I hadn’t run in weeks outside, being GPS free and not dwelling on a slow pace made my run feel incredible! Also incredible- wearing shorts on an outdoor run in January 🙂 I followed it up with a 1 mile incline walk on the treadmill holding 7 lb weights, doing random arm exercises during. HOLY sweatfest, for only 15 minutes.

I’m posting from my phone so the pictures I add just attach at the bottom, and I hate it, but I know you want to see a sweaty pic of me, and a bowl of my all-time favorite soup from my favorite restaurant in my hometown. It’s buffalo chicken soup, probably 5000 calories, and I enjoy every one of ’em 😉

Miss and love ya’ll! I will try to post more!!

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Shake & Cake

Tuesday night was uneventful.. Too drained & sore for the gym, so I pulled on my compression socks and watched Law & Order all night. Perfect.

Yesterday I forced myself to go to the gym after work and ended up with a killer workout! 20 mins of HIIT on the treadmill (45 seconds of sprints with 45 secs of recovery) then a 55 minute spin class! My normal ones are 40-45 and the extra 15 mins are NO JOKE!

I had a big veggie filled salad for lunch so I wasn’t feeling any veggies at dinner… I committed the ultimate sin and had a shake and a cake for dinner!

But I can’t keep a secret.. This was a protein smoothie and a protein cake! I tried out a new-to-me protein powder and wasn’t thrilled. However, the shake contained:

4 ice cubes
1 packet Rainbow Light vanilla protein
1 tbsp PB2
1 banana
1.5 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Sprinkle of cinnamon & splenda
1/2 teaspoon Xantham Gum (optional- this just makes it THICK!)

Blend, pour in bowl and eat with a froyo spoon. Optional but really amazing: top with 1/3 cup Kashi GoLean twigs and peanut flour sauce (2 tbsps peanut flour mixed with 1 tbsp water).

Now for the cake. Or muffin. Whatever you wish to call it.

1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp protein powder
1 tbsp PB2
2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg white
Optional: apple pie spice (found on iherb.com!!)

Mix and microwave 2 minutes in large mug. Top with more peanut flour and sugar free maple syrup.

This combo was so filling! I could barely finish the smoothie bowl but obviously, I did. It was the perfect post-sweaty workout treat.

Pictures added at end because I’m blogging from my iPhone.. Really can’t figure out how to add the pics on the app unless it’s at the end! I am so not app-savvy…

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Money Honey

It’s no shocker that living in NYC is expensive; it’s mainly the rent, because I save a ton of money by not owning a car and paying for gas (a monthly subway pass is only$104 which offers unlimited rides, and I’d rather walk than take a taxi anywhere) but one thing that really creeps on your wallet is the temptation everywhere of food, shopping, and just living! I have a serious addiction and devotion to Starbucks, and I go through good periods where I can control my habit and only buy it a few times per week. But lately I have been buying my delicious soy creations (iced coffee with soy or soy mistos) at least once per day, if not twice! I am obviously a gold card holder there so I get free drinks every 15th drink, but those have been coming quite frequently if you catch my drift…

I have been doing my best to get out of the debt I collected since I was 18 (way too many credit cards) and last month I actually paid off 2! I have done a great job at figuring out how to eat healthy on a budget, but I need to remember that by factoring in exactly how much I can spend per paycheck on coffee and other goodies, I can further improve my financial status. Enter in my famous: each time I don’t buy a coffee, I put the amount I would have spent in my savings to go towards a credit card. I have easily accumulated $15 in a week, and that small amount goes really far! The faster I get out of debt, the faster I can focus on beginning a career that I actually love. I want to work in health and fitness, coaching others on how to live a healthy life and have it be delicious and fun. That can’t really happen successfully until I don’t need the amount of money I need now to pay my bills and rent. I am more than happy to have a job that doesn’t pay high as long as I am happy. I want to make sure my career path helps others in a positive way and is challenging.

Anyways, that’s what’s been on my mind all day (every day!) but I assure you I have been eating the same things as yesterday 😉 I did not have a morning workout today so I am planning on a spin class after work, so I will definitely be making an iced coffee around 5:30 or so to get my energy level up! It sure does suck to work til 6:30-7 every night and have to work out so late!

Have you ever been in credit card debt?

What small ways do you save money?

Do you have normal working hours?

weekend pics & my <3 for spin

Happy Tuesday! I had a great weekend despite having to work both days. I may be an adult but my 6 month break from the retail world really spoiled me with having weekends off! I started the weekend off on Friday after cleaning all day by having a marathon gym session, aka back-to-back classes. I started with a 20 minute HIIT treadmill session that felt amazing because I had just downed 5 cups of coffee! Then I headed to a total body class that was completely different from the first one I took last week, let’s say I wasn’t feelin’ it as much because the teacher was very “zen” if you will and way too slow. However, every inch of my body was burning from her very small motion moves and I was sore all weekend! After my HIIT and strength class, I was going to do a spinning class but that is one class I cannot take when I don’t like the instructor. She had the music too low so she could talk the whole time… I hopped off and performed my own private class on these awesome bikes that have a screen attached. 25 mins of intervals that I was choreographing to my playlist. I am definitely going to get certified in the next few months so I can be a teacher! I am loving spin so much!

After the gym I hung out at Caitlin’s and had some wine, then we went to dinner at the best place ever, Five Napkin Burger! I seriously am always in the mood for this place. Best homemade veggie burger, sweet potato fries, and the atmosphere is so fun and swanky! We started off with more wine while waiting for a table.

That’s Caitlin! Go to her blog and tell her to update more, because she is a fabulous gal and some of us would like to read her fabulous writing… 🙂

Saturday I worked and had a great lunch. If I work weekends, I treat myself with my favorite sandwich from Macaron Cafe. While I was waiting, the awesome girls gave me a free macaron. It was earl gray flavored and really good!

Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day and my job happens to be right on the path of the parade. That meant on lunch hour, the streets were so crazy.. it took me 10 minutes to walk 2 blocks! Everyone was drunk and it was hilarious. I was jealous, obviously. I met up with Caitlin after for some 16 handles froyo but was disappointed in the flavor selection. Where did no sugar added irish mint go?! I settled with a little angel food cake (way too sweet), cookies & cream and peanut butter. Too chocolatey for me.

Later that night John and I were going to go get thai food for dinner, but I was exhausted and wanted to explore our own neighborhood for once. We have done brunch once in our neighborhood, but there are a lot of good restaurants just blocks from us because the big Columbia Presbyterian hospital is around the corner from us! We ended up at Antika Pizzeria, which was super nice inside, dimly lit and really relaxing. I love that in a restaurant. I was really craving FAT, like badly. That sounds gross, and I don’t mean greasy or fried foods. I eat plenty of peanut butter (obviously) and avocado, which is healthy fat, but I was in the mood for something comforting and sinfully delicious. Enter: Caesar salad. If you weren’t aware that Caeser dressing is especially fattening, now you are. I have a thing for creamy, fatty salad dressings and I very rarely indulge anymore. This salad was thebombdotcom. Creamy, salty, cheesy, yum. Sadly, they put anchovies on top and I swallowed one down not even thinking what it was. I’ll never eat one again. YUCK!

The pizza was delicious, and after a few slices and my fatty salad, I was stuffed.

Dinner was my treat, so John decided to order dessert. How sweet of him, on my dollar 🙂 He chose the nutella pizza with strawberries and bananas, thinking it would be a small, personal pizza at best. He was wrong… very wrong.

I had a piece despite my fullness, and it was pretty good. Not life changing, and I definitely like crepes better. It was really really thin like a crepe, but not as good in my opinion. We waddled home after lingering for awhile, and I overslept and didn’t work out Sunday despite carb-loading. Oh well 🙂

This morning I enjoyed a yummy bowl of egg white oats with chia, banana, blueberries, Mila** and Better’n Peanut Butter. I also went to spin class at 12:15 because I was off today. It was my favorite instructor, and after class he told me he really wants me to get certified and to send him a playlist of music to spin to! Clearly he sees me singing and dancing the entire class. No shame.

**I am continuing the Mila giveaway until Friday! Comment and let me know if you use chia, flax or mila and how you use it! You do not have to be a blogger, you can be a reader and comment!