Tag Archives: Pilates

Good reads, good workout, good dinner, good day

I was busy busy busy yesterday. After work, I ran home to grab returns and headed off to the library. Chris currently is into Mad Men, so I picked him up Season 2 and picked myself up a new book. The book I just finished, The Principles of Love, is a young adult novel about a 16 year old girl starting at boarding school. Yes, I’m a 26 y/o with a ivy league degree, but I still love me some young adult fiction. Some y/a novels captures life moments so much better than many adult novels. Do you know what I mean? This book was particularly good at capturing the main character’s emotions, and I’m excited to read the next book in the series. Plus, the book is set at Hadley Hall, so how could I not read it?

A school named after me? (photo by Chris's sister)

Pilates was great yesterday. My instructor has been slowly upping the difficulty level, and yesterday’s class was really demanding. I felt a little Cirque du Soleil with some of the moves we were performing. It’s actually super fun doing these new crazy moves. I sweated more in Pilates last night than I ever have before (sweating = sexy). My teacher waited to the end to point out that we did the whole class without taking any breaks for the first time. I hadn’t even noticed, but I guess that explained the pile of sweat on my mat (sweating = still sexy).

I came home to Chris busy making dinner (swoon). Here’s a look at my plate:

Mock chicken sandwich, corn on the cob, and sweet potato fries.

The Morningstar mock chicken breast made a yummy sandwich when I added some relish and lettuce to give it an extra oomph. The corn on the cob hit the spot, as always. The only disappointment was the sweet potato fries. I was really hoping they would be stellar, but they turned out to be mushy. Next time I’ll make my own instead of buying them from the freezer section.

This morning I had promised myself I would get up early and go for a run. Chris wasn’t able to join, because he had to be at work extra early, so when the alarm went off I just couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed. I hit the alarm and ended up falling back asleep and having one of those dreams where I am back in high school, forgot to study for a French test (it’s always French or Math), and thus end up bombing it. The sleeping-in guilt was talking loud and clear. To make up for missing my run, I will brave the heat and go out tonight. For now, I’m busy hydrating.

Are you a before or after work exerciser?

Little Miss Competitive

When I was little, my dad would call me Little Miss Bossy. I hated the nickname then, but nonetheless, I’ve always had a fondness for the Little Miss characters.

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In fact, I have a Little Miss magnet on my fridge courtesy of the Target dollar bins that allows me to circle with a moveable magnet what Little Miss I am for the day. Last night, I was Little Miss Competitive. Sure, there isn’t actually a Little Miss Competitive, but work with me here.

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Since I’ve been doing Pilates 2x a week since February, sometimes the classes can feel a bit repetitive, and I feel myself slipping into an only okay workout. Last night, I started to feel that way at the beginning of class. I decided to create a game to remedy the situation. I decided that I was trying out for oh-say the Olympic Pilates event – because yes, if they had that I’d surely be top contender, hah – and had to stick every move perfectly. Well call me crazy (it’s okay, go ahead), but it worked. My ultra competitive side came out, and I tried my best to hold all the moves perfectly. I had a strong workout, and I’m currently watching my phone for a call from the IOC.

After my competition workout, I was ready for a big dinner. In the summer, that means one thing, a big salad. I hard boiled eggs, while Chris chopped up all the veggies. In the mix was lettuce, tomato, onion, chickpeas, shredded cheddar, and hardboiled eggs. Chris surprised me by bringing home a French baguette to go with the brie I picked up for $2(!) at Zabar’s the other day. It was the perfect summer dinner.

I love Zabar's.

We rounded out the night with a fabulous trip to the dog park. Often, Hadley is incredibly obsessed with playing fetch, but last night we refused to give him a ball. Eventually he relented and had a wonderful play session with another pup. My little welshie is learning lessons!

Whatever, I do what I want.

The night ended with my catching up with Friday Night Lights and enjoying some dark chocolate pudding I whipped up. Instant pudding is currently one of my favorite quick snacks. A ½ cup is all I need to cure my chocolate cravings, and I get a serving of dairy in. Double score.

Oh, and let’s end this post on something exciting: Chris and I signed up for our first 5k on July 12!!!

What Little Miss (or Mr.) are you today?

Tuna steak and cupcakes, but not tuna steak cupcakes

Rain was pouring down in the city off and on all day. I had the pleasure of getting stuck in a downpour on my way back from lunch. I didn’t have an umbrella, but I did have a cardigan. I ended up wrapping it around my head Fiddler on the Roof style and running back to work.

Rocking the babushka.

After work, the rain let up, so naturally it was time to take Hadley to the dog park.

Chris's sister took this picture on her last visit, but this is his typical dog park look.

Then, I made my way to Pilates. My Pilates instructor told me that it seems like I’m getting a lot stronger and that I’m keeping my legs straighter during the exercises. Success! I felt pretty dizzy during class, though, but I’m pretty sure its because I have to exercise without wearing my glasses. Once I put them on after the workout, I was fine. How do other glasses wearers deal with this issues? Unfortunately contacts aren’t an option for me.

I was super hungry after Pilates. Guess what I made for dinner …

Ceasar salad! But not just any ceasar salad, I made tuna steak ceasar salad. A friend recently convinced me that tuna steak is super easy to make. It turns out she was right. I bought two frozen tuna steaks from TJ’s, set them out to thaw while I was at Pilates, rubbed them with salt and pepper, and then cooked them in a frying pan for 3 minutes on each side. I added one steak to my ceasar salad. Instant fancy ceasar salad! Tomorrow, I’ll enjoy the second steak in a sandwich.

Tuna steak makes my salad seem fancy.

Learning how to make tuna steaks was a good lesson for me. Even if something seems hard to do in the kitchen at least check it out. It may be a lot easier than it seems.  I always was afraid to try cooking tuna steak, because it seemed difficult to cook it just right. Now I’m thinking about taking on homemade pasta this weekend, but we’ll see.

I spent the rest of my night watching HGTV. Kelley recently introduced me to this channel, and I’m hooked. Even though Chris and I are still ions away from buying, it’s fun to watch other people find their dream homes.

I winded down the evening making a batch of cupcakes to bring into the office tomorrow.

They all couldn’t fit into the container, so Chris and I were forced to eat one each. Such is life.

Want one?

What is your TV guilty pleasure?

My Wheels Will be Spinning

I am so very sleepy. All I want to do is cuddle up in a nice ball and take a nap. Preferably snuggled up with this guy:

Chris can join to, I guess.

Alas, a nap is not in the picture today. There’s a lot to be done, and if I nap I’ll totally mess up my sleep pattern and just be tired again tomorrow. So instead of taking a nap, I’ll just be cranky. Good idea? Great idea.

Pilates yesterday was awesome. Moves are still harder than they were before vacay, but I was able to hold all the positions! I felt like my muscles were going to ripe out of my core at times (sexy image), but nonetheless I held the positions. I will admit that I have a pretty decent pain tolerance. Sometimes having a high pain tolerance is a good thing – like now when I’m trying to jump back right where I left off in Pilates. Sometimes it’s a not good thing – like when I refused to admit that there was something terribly wrong with my knees when I ran competitively back in high school. Or that time when I broke my elbow in 3 places in law school, and before going to the hospital first insisted that Chris take me to the library so I could finish a journal assignment, and then had him stop at Taco Bell (in my defense there’s often a long wait at the ER and I didn’t want to get hungry). But last night, my ability to just pretend the pain wasn’t happening resulted in a good workout. I would like to point out that the Pilates pain was good pain not the bad I’m injuring myself pain. As you can see from my highly academic examples, there’s a difference.

After Pilates I met Lauren for dinner at Mamoud’s Falafel. It wasn’t the best falafel in the world, but a falafel pita was $2.50!!!! That’s just ridiculous. Not even Subway, my broke student standby, is that cheap. So no, not the best falafel, but way better than its price point. I will return.

Link

Right, back to the fact that I’m super sleepy. I’m exhausted because I insisted on waiting for Chris to come home from work before going to bed. I was reading a book (not even a good book), lost track of time, and missed the email that said he was going to be home super late. When he showed up and told me that it was already past 1 AM, I was shocked. We were then idiots and stayed up chatting until nearing 3 AM so now I am le tired. I’ll be cute and say it was worth it, though, to spend some time with him.

Under the super sleepiness, though, I am just a little bit pumped for my evening. I’ve read on so many blogs about how awesome spinning is, so I finally decided to sign up for a class. It’s just one class at a nearby gym so if it’s a total failure then it’s not a big lost. I’m actually thinking it may be a mess. If you’ve been reading for a bit, then you know that I have pretty special knees. I haven’t been on an actual bike since … well I can’t remember. A lot of times when I pedal my knee makes a popping noise, so I usually just avoid bikes. However, I’ve been told that if the stationary bike is at the proper angle, my knee should stay in its proper place and all should be fine. I’ll give it one class and if I come away limping, I just won’t return. Still, I’m excited that maybe I won’t come away with a peg leg and will have found another class to get addicted to like Pilates.

Also, after the gym I’m going to head to the library (if it doesn’t resume raining) and pick out a new book!!! Plus, Grey’s Anatomy is on and oh that show is so bad it’s good. I can’t help myself for liking it. 1L year in law school we used to have Grey’s viewing parties, so I guess I’m not alone in my love. I’ll probably fall asleep watching the show, but that’s actually probably a lie, because I can’t fall asleep sitting up (stinks to fly international with me). Still, let’s hope for an early bedtime tonight!

Ever take a spinning class? Like/love/loathe?

Allergies Strike

I was so naive. I thought I made it through allergy season unscathed. It was already mid-May and I had not a sniffle nor red eye. Maybe my body had gotten over allergies? Maybe I was cured? Maybe they were just waiting to jump once I let my guard down? Yea, it was the last one.

Today, I woke up with that signature allergy feeling – the one where I feel like a cartoon character who stepped on a shovel and got slapped in the face with it. This is a pretty good analogy as my face is puffy enough that it kind of looks like it was slapped with something moving at a good speed. The puffiness is messing with my vision, which is already blurry without the help of allergies. Please forgive my typos.

Okay, so now that I have complained and whined, I shall try to put a positive spin on this post. At least allergies mean good weather and spring. And good weather and spring we have been having all week long. So that’s a happy thing. Another happy thing is I made it back to Pilates last night. I haven’t been in close to two weeks because of vacation and boy did I lose a lot of strength in such a short time! Moves that I could hold somewhat easily two weeks ago I can’t hold the entire time right now. My teacher tells me it should only take about a week to get back to where I was and I hope that’s the truth. At least I left feeling totally stretched out last night, which is always a nice feeling.

After Pilates last night, I got back into the cooking swing of things. I tried out Quorn Chik’n Nuggets for the first time. They were really good and like all Quorn products I’ve tried, tasted a lot like the actual meat. This freaked me out a little bit, but mostly it was a good thing. I paired the nuggets with a baked potato topped with some cheddar. Easy and yummy dinner to eat while working on catching up on lots of DVR from the past week and a half.

One of things I am most excited about being home from vacation is getting back into cooking dinners. I am always looking for some new recipes. What are your favorite spring time homecooked meals?

Pilates and Puppy Time

Yesterday’s weather was perfect. Maybe more than perfect. At 9PM it was still above 70 degrees. Today NYC is a rainy mess. But let’s focus on yesterday.

After work yesterday, I left in a wonderful, let’s-achieve-a-lot! mood. I mean, it was 70 degrees. I stopped by the library and picked out two new reads. Then Hadley and I traveled to the dog park. He had fun obsessing over a ball, so that was all good and cute.

Following the dog park, it was time to scoot over to Pilates. Since people who were just experimenting with Pilates from the Groupon have either left, or in my case, stuck around for the last two months, we are beginning to up our skill level. In the beginning, Pilates was really hard. My neck would hurt after class a lot. But then, classes became easier and I would wish I had a harder work out. Now I am getting what I wished for. Over the last two weeks, we have been upping both our intensity and skill level. My neck is a little sore today, and yesterday I learnt that I have pretty much no muscles in my middle back. On the up and up, I did learn that I can do a push-up easily enough – something I couldn’t even have faked two months ago. I’m excited to keep advancing with Pilates and learning new moves.

I came home from Pilates starving. Chris is still in the midst of trial (done hopefully this week!!!), so I’m still eating solo. I enjoying cooking for one, because then I can make whatever I want. Yesterday, I wanted a nice big salad. The problem was, I had a piece of salmon sitting in my fridge that needed to be eaten. So I compromised and grabbed a salad on my way home at the food store salad bar and cooked salmon to add to it. While the salmon cooked, I needed to munch on something, so I tried out a recent Whole Foods purchase:

Nutritional info

I’m really excited to have found these chips. Alone, I don’t think they would work, but used as a dipper they are excellent. They have an earthy taste with a little bit of a spicy kick. Lentil chips and hummus was the perfect app to curb my hunger as I waited for my salmon.

New go to snack.

When the salmon was ready, I threw it on top of the salad, and mixed it all together. It was a good compromise.

I ended the night taking Hadley to Rita’s for ices. I got a peanut butter ice and he got custard in a Pup Cup. This is Hadley’s favorite treat, but I only let him have it sometimes, since sugar isn’t good for dogs. He was thrilled to be included in my Rita’s run last night.

I couldn't snap a picture at Rita's (no hands), but doesn't this look like a smug and satisifed dog?

I ended the night reading one of my library picks in bed and tried to wait up for Chris to come home, but failed. I can’t wait to have that boy back in my life!

Mission Eat the Perishables

After work yesterday, I fed Hadley as usual. I’m getting to the point where I have a lot of things in my fridge that need to be eaten, so I decided to spice things up for him by mixing in a veggie Big Frank’s hot dog. Does anyone else’s dog like vegetarian meat? Hadley loves these “hot dogs”.

What do you mean it's not a real hot dog?

After taking care of Hadley, I went to Pilates. We did something new since we had a small class of only four people. We were each given two small rubber balls. We went through our movements and had to either balance a ball on our stomachs while doing positions (seriously hard when you are bicycling your legs) or place them between our ankles or thighs and keeping them there during our movements. I actually really liked the challenge. I felt my ab muscles more than usual, since I was concentrating on my placement so much. Also, it felt like I was playing some sort of human arcade game, so the workout went fast.

All about ball control.

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Post working out, I was starving. Our visitors went into the city to meet Chris to have a “man dinner” at Keens Steakhouse. That left me to my own creativity for dinner. I had nothing in mind to cook, so I played a game where I put all the food that needs to be eaten before it spoils out on my counter and stared at it. Like I said, a lot was getting ready to go bad soon.

Hmm ...

When the food didn’t cook itself, I (wo)maned up and did it myself. This may be one of my more interesting concoctions, but it was good. I took the baked potato and zapped it up in the microwave. I know that baking a potato in the oven tastes much better, but it also takes forever, so I usually rely on my microwave here. While it cooked, I sautéed the red onion, broccoli, asparagus, and tofu together.

Still not really sure what I'm making.

My initial idea was to stuff the potato with the vegetables. But then I would be neglecting the refried beans, and they really did need to be eaten. So I chopped up the potato, added a layer of refried beans, mixed some shredded cheese in with the veggies through in some avacado and olives and created some sort of large skillet like dish. I naturally topped it with my go-to low fat sour cream. I think there was some hot sauce, too. Judge away, but this creation was filling, delicious, and full of veggie goodness. What weird but yummy kitchen creations have you made?

 

You can't even tell all that's going on that bowl.

 

I wound down my night watching Grey’s Anatomy. I was so sad I was watching it alone, because it really deserved both a viewing party and a glass of wine. It was their musical episode, and I really wanted to hate it, but I was actually pretty amused by it. I especially like that while everyone else was singing, they had Meredith and Derrick out of the scenes. Maybe they are tone deaf like me? Did you watch the Grey’s Anatomy musical last night?  

 

Stop what your operating on and sing your hearts out.

 

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Greek Ends, Life Goes On

If you don’t watch Greek or haven’t watched the finale, go ahead and skip this first paragraph:

Anyone else a huge ABC’s Family Greek fan? I cannot believe it just ended last night. I understand that all good things must come to an end, and I will even give you that this show was coming to its logical end, but I really wish they were given a full season to wrap things up. It seems like the show was cancelled a few episodes in to this season, and they had to tie up all their loose ends. Fast. And they made all lawyers look evil in the process. “You have to choose between your future and your friends.” Really horribly unrealistic law professor? But I digress. Ignoring the bit where they sent Casey and Evan to law school and didn’t know how to handle it, I found this to be an amazing season. The entire show was a surprise to me. It was the little show that could, with great characters that evolved over the series, witty jokes, realistic and unrealistic college moments alike, and their running joke with the Plain White Tees as frat brothers. When the show began – and even up to mid-way last season – I didn’t want Casey and Cappie together, but by the end they proved that they deserve to be with each other. The last two episodes were rushed and somewhat messy, but overall Greek stands tall as one of my favorite shows. Now Army Wives is my favorite hour long show on TV. How sad is that?

Back to your regularly scheduled program:

Pilates felt so difficult last night. I think it’s because I used my ab muscles a lot when I was running on Sunday. I felt beat and so darn hungry by the time class was over. When I came home, I immediately made dinner. I combined left over veggie fried rice from a nearby Malaysian place with a bunch of tofu. I know a lot of people say that tofu unseasoned has no flavor, but I really enjoy it. I was still hungry after dinner – why am I just ravenous some nights – so during Greek I enjoyed some frozen yogurt. After dealing with the end of Greek, I ended the night by starting a new book.  I am only two chapters into The Circus in Winter, but I can tell this is going to be a good one. My goal is to read 25 books in 2011, and so far I’ve gotten through 6. The last book I was reading, I had to abandoned because it was still boring me 200 pages in. I hate giving up a book, but sometimes it’s just not worth the effort.

Any book recommendations?  

Do Pilates and You Can Hike Too

Like my infomercial title? 

This past weekend, Chris, Hadley, and I went to a B&B in Upstate NY. I’ll post about the entirety of our trip later when I upload all the pretty pictures.  Right now I want to talk about one of the best parts of our mini-vacation, a long hike through the Mohonk Preserve.

I’ve always loved nature and hiking is one of the best ways to experience it. However, since my knees are always bummy, I’ve had trouble doing long strenuous hikes in the past. This always upsets me, because I hate calling a hike short or having to stick to a flat path when everyone knows the most fun path is the one going straight up and giving you the best views.

Our Sunday hike was probably the best hike I have ever taken based not on sights, but rather on my level of ability. I hiked up hills in the snow in sneakers for around 2 hours and had little to no knee pain!

 I am pretty sure I started to sound like a Pilates infomercial while we were hiking. Every time I went to do something that in the past may have hurt my knees, I focused on drawing strength from my core like we learned in Pilates. It worked! I was able to make it to the top of the hill no problem and get the good views I craved without suffering. I was able to bound through the snow on slightly treacherous paths and not cry out from pain. It was fabulous.

So thank you Pilates. Building up my core strength and learning to focus on drawing from my core muscles, such as my abs and thighs, has been such a beneficial lesson. I am officially hooked to Pilates and aspire to become a true Pilates-nut. I had no clue that it was going to help my knees so much, but quickly after starting I realized that going up stairs wasn’t hurting my IT-bands and knees like it has for years. I started to read up more on Pilates and learned that its wonderful for people like me with joint issues. I plan on rearranging my budget and figuring out how to continue to pay for classes after my Groupon runs out.

So if you have knee problems like I do, I really recommend giving Pilates a shot. It is really helping me so far and it’s only been 3 weeks. It also helps tone muscles – my friend just told me the other day I looked so much smaller and I haven’t dropped any pounds recently. I’m just toning up from my workouts. Pilates won’t help you lose weight, but it will give you lots of other benefits. So yes, that’s my infomercial for the day.

What are your experiences with Pilates?

Who doesn't love a good infomercial?

 

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My Weekend: The Relaxing plus Pear and Blue Cheese with Caramelized Onion Pizza

As I mentioned, my weekend was a mix of on the go and relaxing. Sunday began the relaxation. I started the morning with Pilates. Pilates isn’t super relaxing, but it is fun! I feel myself getting stronger every time, and it was a great way to start the morning.

After Pilates, I had a pretty chill day. I watched Friday Night Lights and cuddled with Hadley. Then Chris and I decided we hadn’t cooked in too long and decided to get creative in the kitchen. I have been wanting to try to replicate a meal I’ve enjoyed at California Pizza Kitchen, so we made:

Pear and Blue Cheese with Caramelized Onion Pizza

– 1 pre-made pizza crust

– 1 Bartlett pear

– 1/2 white onion

– Fresh mozzarella cheese (I didn’t measure how much I used)

– Shredded mozzarella (I didn’t measure how much I used)

– Blue cheese (I didn’t measure how much I used)

– 1 cup Arugla

I started by caramelizing the onions. To do so, I took a tsp of butter and melted it in a pan. Then I added half a sliced onion into the pan. I stirred the onions continuously until they were brown. Then I put them in a bowl while I prepped the rest of my pizza.

I took the pizza crust and covered it with thin slices of fresh mozzarella. I spread it out and left spaces.  I then covered the whole pie with shredded mozzarella.  I next sliced up the pear and covered the entire pie with slices of pear. Then, I added my caramelized onions. I next crumbled a small amount of blue cheese on top of the pears. I added salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic.

Before going in the oven.

I baked according to the direction on the pre-baked pizza. It ended up taking around 15 minutes.

Out of the oven.

I topped the pizza with arugla mixed in a balsamic vinaigrette. I took a pretty picture of this with actual vibrant color, but because my blog doesn’t allow me to ever post truly good pictures, it will not load. Sad face.

The pizza came out really well. It was crispy and cheesy, but the pears and arugla added a certain freshness to the taste. I will be making this again.

What kind of toppings do you like on your pizza?