Monday.

Happy Thanksgiving-week guys! Hopefully today is more like your Wednesday if you have Thursday and Friday off. Sometimes short weeks can feel longer than normal weeks but let’s keep trucking! Recap of last week…

Monday

Taught 3 classes (6:45 AM, 5:45 PM and 6:45 PM). I am not on the bike the whole time for any of my classes anymore and my body has benefited so much. Would you ever take 3 spin classes in a day? I don’t know anyone who would, so why would an instructor do it? I feel a lot stronger teaching off the bike these days which took years! However 3 in a day is still a lot since I still have over 8 hours of work sandwiched between them.

Tuesday

Taught another unexpected triple! I taught my normal 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM but helped out last minute for the 6:00 PM too. I had wanted to get in a treadmill run before my PM class but couldn’t when I picked up the 6 PM.

Wednesday

Taught my 6:30 AM class at Harlem Cycle and it was a great crowd! I subbed out my 6:00 PM class and was going to go to bootcamp and get my own workout in but was absolutely exhausted after 7 classes in 3 days. I went home and relaxed in bed which was so necessary.

Thursday

Taught my 6:30 AM class and rode for most of it to get my workout in. John and I had dinner plans with our roommate after work so it was my only chance to sweat. We have lived with our roommate for almost 6 years (it isn’t unusual in NYC to have a roomie when you are in a couple, hello most expensive rent ever) but we don’t get to hang out often because of our schedules. She wasn’t able to come to our wedding because she was out of the country for work so she treated to us a delicious Italian dinner at a place in our ‘hood I had never been to called Saggio. A little gem way uptown! We had the best calamari ever to start.

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Then I had the squid ink linguine with grilled calamari (obsessed with it) in a spicy tomato sauce.

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And had a totally unnecessary piece of tiramisu to cap it off.

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Sorry for horrible pics, it was very dark inside and too small to blind people with the flash!

Friday

Taught my 6:30 AM class at Harlem Cycle (#FriYaY) and subbed a 6:15 PM class. My legs were pretty much not working at this point as this was class #9 and #10 for the week. John and I went to a new pizza place after class that replaced our beloved Patsy’s a few months ago. Since I started eating more paleo-ish before my wedding, my craving for pizza has gone down soooo much. If you know me, you know that you never saw that day coming. I can’t eat an entire (cheese-less) pizza to myself anymore! It’s in the same exact spot but under new ownership and a new name- Zia Maria. Happy to report it was AMAZING! Didn’t get a pic but it was absolutely delicious. So happy to have a replacement pizza joint back in our lives.

Saturday

Sweet, sweet REST! I had to work all day and I treated myself to a mani/pedi after. Then I headed to a Friendsgiving! A girl that I love that comes to my classes invited me to her place for a feast and it was great. Always fun to meet new people! John made me green bean casserole to take with me since I was at work all day. He is the best wife husband 🙂

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SUNDAY

Brenda met me for a 2 mile run/walk and then took my spin class I was subbing at 10 AM. The run was horrible- it was the first absolutely freezing day of the year (colder than the 10K I ran last weekend) and the wind was insane. I wanted to get 4-5 miles in to keep this distance shape I sort of built but oh well! We had brunch after class and then I went home and stayed on the couch for a solid 7 hours with John watching movies and staying away from winter. After 28 winters you would think I would be used to it…

Here’s my workout plan for this week which includes traveling!

Today- Taught spin and heading to Barry’s Bootcamp tonight after finishing some work (have my usual class covered tonight)

Tuesday- teaching 3 classes, trying to get a 2-3 mile run in before my AM class

Wednesday- teaching spin and a 2-3 mile run

Thursday- 5 mile turkey trot! And a long walk after dinner is always essential

Friday- Trying out my first Orange Theory class up in Rochester!

Saturday- Planning to hit up a spin class and BodyPump class at the YMCA in Rochester! #GuestPass 😉

Sunday- Rest day, maybe a hot yoga class in Binghamton before heading back to the city

What are your workout plans for this busy week?

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My First Thanksgiving.

I hosted and cooked my first Thanksgiving yesterday for my best friend Brenda, her boyfriend Eddie, John and I and it went even better than I expected! Granted Thanksgiving food is relatively easy to make, but I really don’t cook so I was just hoping for the best!

I started off the day with a long workout to make room for the food. I ran 6.5 miles that felt really, really good and then practiced spin for awhile. Had a huge burn that put at least a little dent into all the butter and sugar I consumed last night 😉

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Once I headed back to my apartment, I got right into cooking. Living in NYC means we have a very small kitchen but ours is actually big by NYC standards. It was still difficult to only have very small counter space but I made it work. First thing I made was my grandma’s delicious sweet potatoes. The recipe is actually my Aunt Judy’s, who is the most delicious cook EVER, but my grandma would make it for me every year and sometimes when I just was craving it. They are SO easy to make and are basically a dessert but they make your turkey and other sides taste so much more delicious.

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All you need to make these is anywhere from 4-7 sweet potatoes depending on how many people you’re feeding and how big the potatoes are. I bought the bag of organic sweet potatoes at Trader Joe’s which comes with about 6 medium sized potatoes. Just peel them (I didn’t even peel all of them) and then cut into chunks this size. Put them in a pot and cover with water and sea salt, then bring them to a boil. Lower the heat and then just cook until they are fork soft. You don’t want them to get mushy! Once they are fork soft, drain them put them to the side. In that same pot, melt either a stick of butter or 8 tablespoons butter substitute (I used Country Crock). Then add 1/2 bag brown sugar. I used the organic brown sugar bag from Trader Joe’s, not sure of the ounces, but I dumped in half of the bag and it was PLENTY!

My second favorite Thanksgiving dish is green bean casserole. This is such an easy dish to make super healthy while compromising no taste at all. I used about 6 cups of fresh green beans, not chopped but pulled apart so they aren’t super long. Put those along the bottom of a glass casserole dish. Mix together 1 can of 99% fat-free Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 cup milk, 2/3 cup fried onions and some black pepper. I actually had to use unsweetened vanilla almond milk because I had no regular milk on hand! Couldn’t taste it all, plus only added 15 calories. Pour that mixture over the green beans and then pour more fried onions on the top. Oven at 350, bake for 40 minutes.

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After

I quickly whipped up 2 boxes of Stove Top and some crescent rolls too but those are so easy a 5 year old could make them 😉

And last but not least… the turkey. Sorry I’m not sorry but I don’t have the patience that it takes to cook a turkey. Way too much work and I wanted to be able to enjoy my Thanksgiving morning with a long workout, so last weekend we decided to book a turkey at Popeye’s. Yes, the fried chicken establishment. A fun fact is that John eats there at least once a week, and somehow he isn’t obese. Anyways when he suggested it I laughed in his face but after some research we found out that it’s a pretty popular choice here in NYC and a lot of people gave it great reviews. They flash-fry it, roast it then freeze it so when we picked it up on Monday we just put it in the fridge to thaw out all week. Pop it in the oven for an hour and a half, then die of happiness when you take your first bite. Best turkey I’ve EVER eaten.

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My delicious plate:

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Now on to the desserts. Brenda my love brought over Muddie Buddies, cause she’s freaking awesome. We munched on those until the real desserts were ready. First up was my first attempt at John’s moms delicious apple crisp. Very basic and simple ingredients, but be prepared for an arm workout when mixing! I will post the recipe tomorrow actually because I don’t have it with me at the moment.

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I also whipped up some last-minute muffins. The idea popped in my head earlier yesterday when I went into the store to grab eggs and saw chocolate chips and butterscotch chips on sale. Pumpkin butterscotch raisin muffins. I went to the cake aisle to get a box of spice cake mix and then saw carrot cake and realized that would be even better. These are easy and so so delicious, but they come out REALLY moist and they’re hard to travel with unless you don’t mind an already crumbled muffin. I used:

  • 1 box carrot cake mix
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 2 egg whites
  • pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon
  • 2 mini boxes of raisins
  • 1/2 bag butterscotch chips

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I didn’t have one last night because I would have exploded but I took a small bite of one that I sent home with Brenda and Eddie. A whole one is about to be my afternoon snack 😉

Amidst all these food pictures we totally forgot to take pictures of us! We had an awesome time though like we always do. They are my favorite people in the world to just lounge with. Comfy clothes, tons of food, Wedding Crashers, and just good conversation. I love my peoples ❤

The holidays are still quite hard for me as it’s only my second one without my grandma and family, but creating new traditions is SO important and I intend to host Thanksgiving every year now!

Have you ever cooked/hosted Thanksgiving?

How WAS your Thanksgiving? Favorite dish?

So Cold.

Get prepared to hear me complain about being cold until at LEAST March, okay? Once it gets like this I can’t shake the feeling of being cold for months. It puts me in such a bad mood. My skin breaks out every winter from being so dry, I gain weight and become a miserable, depressed bear. Don’t you want to be around me?! 😉

The only thing keeping me sane this week besides turkey chili and my warm bed (that I don’t get to spend nearly enough time in) is that I had actual things to do with great people. Monday night after work I went out to dinner with John and some family friends to Grey Dog Cafe. Where else, right? They had never been before and they LOVED it, which means I did my job right. We indulged in a little dessert after because this place has some of the best desserts you’ll ever taste. John and I split a huge piece of pecan pie and they had the apple toffee cobbler.

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We went out to dinner because afterwards I was having a little sleepover with my cute friend Sam! She is my mom’s best friends daughter and so cool. Like, I always wish I was 17 again whenever I am around her. She spent the night at my apartment so early Tuesday morning I could accompany her to the One Direction concert in Central Park where she needed an adult chaperone since her mom would be working. I was so excited! We had to get up at 4:30 am to get down to the park before 6:00 am and by the time we got there there were already THOUSANDS of people already in line. The sun hadn’t even come up yet by the time we actually got to the part of the park they played in!

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It was so cold and we were out there for almost 4 hours! But it was so great to see so many girls so happy and excited that these hotties were playing their favorite music 😉

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Me and Sam!
Me and Sam!

I didn’t stop being cold all day! Or exhausted. Can’t keep up with 17 year olds!

Last night I decided to cook dinner for John. It may be weird to you that this isn’t something that I ever do (save for like 4 times over 8 years) but we don’t eat or like the same foods so it’s pretty hard. Not to mention I get home from work later than him and depending on what I ate throughout the day I often just eat some avocado toast and pass out directly after. Let’s also just call this a semi-homemade dinner. I bought a rotisserie chicken and made some roasted potatoes. A for effort? What counts is that it was delicious, something we both eat and he loved it. Win!

I couldn’t keep my eyes open a minute after dinner so I went to bed, with another horrible night of sleep. Not sure what’s going on but I can’t seem to stay asleep for more than 2 hours at a time before waking up, and usually with anxiety. Needless to say I am a miserable, exhausted mess for the 3rd day in a row.

Things I’m looking forward to tonight: going to Big Gay Ice Cream with John after work to get pumpkin and eggnog soft serve! It’s only being served this week and I don’t want to miss it. Then coming home to get some of tomorrow’s food prepped! Pretty stoked to host my first Thanksgiving 🙂

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Do you cook for your significant other if you live with them? Some aspects of me and John’s relationship isn’t traditional and that’s why I love us. 🙂

Thankful for New Traditions

As expected, this Thanksgiving was a little hard to get through. First year without going upstate to be with my family, and first year without my grandma. Those firsts creep up on us and anyway you slice it they are just tough. Luckily I have a wonderful second family here in NYC that made sure we had a great time despite not being able to be with our families.

Wednesday morning started with a great workout. Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 Level 2 and a 3 mile run/walk. I was so sore from all the squats and lunges that I had to take walk breaks through that run. SUCH a wuss! Speaking of Jillian Michaels- she came into my store today and no one called me until she had left. We aren’t supposed to act like we know who they are if celebrities come in, but still?! I don’t think I could have contained myself! Girl is my idol 🙂

After working all day, we got ready and headed to my fabulous co-workers apartment where she put on a big dinner for us.

all dolled up!

With how crappy I’ve been feeling about myself lately, I really have to remind myself that getting dressed up and putting on makeup makes such a huge difference with how you feel. I love fashion and feeling beautiful, and that gets lost upon me when I feel so bad about my body like I have lately. Yes, I’ve gained weight that I am struggling to lose, but with my clothes that do still fit I should be rocking them right? So that I did. (Black pleated dress from Forever 21, Leather jacket is Elle brand, red tights from Forever 21, black ankle boots from random store in NYC, spike necklace from H&M, snaked bracelet from H&M, huge ring & earrings from Forever 21. AKA cheapest shopper ever)

beautiful dinner set up!

We had lasagna, salad, asparagus, potatoes and some rolls plus the really important food groups of Grey Goose and champagne 🙂 Which led to us dancing and singing our asses off. SUCH a fun night!

best friend and I

 

my gorgeous co-worker Christine!
the lovely ladies I work with!

Thanksgiving day I bypassed a hangover which literally never happens to me, I usually get a hangover from just 2 drinks! But I walked around all afternoon until Brenda got out of work, and we headed to a diner to get some food. It wasn’t turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, or any of my favorite Thanksgiving type of foods, but it was 2 of my favorite foods of all time.

eggs and french fries, covered in hot sauce.

Our night ended at my apartment, stuffing our faces with snacks.

 

Funny thing is we had planned on going wild and eating anything we wanted all night, but this was what we grabbed at Duane Reade and both still got stomach aches ha!

I had a few cries and really missed my grandma badly, but I know that these new traditions of spending Thanksgiving with the new families you create when you move away from home will get easier. I am super thankful that I have made great friends here!

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you spend it with family or friends?