Get a Go-To Workout

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For me, consistency is key when working out. As cliché as it sounds, something is better than nothing. So on those days when I REALLY REALLY don’t want to workout, when I am 100% just not feeling it, I ignore my workout plan and  I deadlift. I warmup do a 5 x 5 deadlift set and walk away. This has saved me, from skipping a workout, so many times. This being, having a go-to workout, something I can always feel mentally ok with doing, something I can always talk myself into doing, because it won’t be “that hard” but it will still “count for something”. Now, I know deadlifting isn’t for everyone but for me, it’s the thing I can always motivate to do and it is an effective workout.

After talking to a few friends here is a starter list of go to workouts for those days when you REALLY just are not feeling it:

  • Deadlift
  • Jog 1-3 miles
  • Dance for 30 minutes
  • Sun Salutations
  • Walk 30 minutes

Do you already have a go-to workout? I’d love to hear what it is and grow my list! Please write it in the comments section.

 

Staying on Plan with Happy Hour and a Deal

So, I LOVE happy hour, almost as much as I love brunch, for different reasons of course. Happy Hour is my jam because I know I’ll get some quality time with folks but also get home at a decent hour. Oh, yeah, and the food and drinks at a deal price. Quesadillas, mozzarella sticks, wings, old fashioned, margaritas, daquiris, all at discount …YES YES YES YES and YAAAASSSSSSSSS!!!  Having said that, even though happy our is kind to my wallet it’s not always kind to my waist, or these thighs. So, let me introduce you to my favorite light happy hour combo: Bubbles and Oysters!!!! No, not everywhere serves them but when I can I try to steer my groups to a place that does. $1 oysters are pretty popular around NYC and most places that have wine on the happy hour list, include some type of bubbles.

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This photo is from a happy hour at Pinkerton Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. $1 oysters and $9 glass of bubbly rose, made for delicious and economical (for my waist and wallet) start to that evening. And let’s be honest, this combo is absolutely  fabulous #decadence

Skinny Margarita?

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I really like margaritas, but I don’t love the calories that come with them. So I’m forever in search of a “skinny” version I actually enjoy. While killing time, waiting for a friend I wondered into Williams Sonoma and saw this “Skinny Cocktail” mix. The combo sounded right and they were having a 20% off sale, so 15 minutes and $13 later I wondered back out with the bottle in hand. I gave it a whirl that night and I’ll say that for 15 calories and the cost, it was a good buy. The mixer made the tequila more interesting and didn’t taste like chemicals.  Is it a delicious margarita? No. Does it make a good substitute when you are trying to save some calories but still want a mixed drink? Yes. I’m actually looking forward to trying it with bourbon.

Trying Something New: Brunch and Basketball and Football

In an attempt to get out more, my girls and I decided to combine things we love brunch and football! Ok so, I love football and they’re good sports, but mashing up our interests led to a fun afternoon, and we discovered a great brunch deal at Mullanes in Brooklyn. The food was good (like yeah this ok not mad I ate it) but the service was amazing and the drinks kept coming.  This year we are going to get adventurous and actively seek out new spots to add to our rotation. img_1714

Brunch during play-offs at Mullanes in Brooklyn with $10 bottomless mimosas

Decadence: Breakfast Naan

My favorite make-at-home-savory-decadent-brunch: BREAKFAST NAAN!  img_2535

It is so delicious and easy.  When you are ready for some decadence but don’t feel like doing much work, this may just become your go-to. Seriously, there are few restaurant “treat meals” I’d prefer to this AND you use minimal dishes so clean up is a snap.

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What you need to make 2 (which you can cut in half and serve with a salad for 4 people, though it’s not hard to eat a whole one) :

1 package naan

½ cup shredded cheddar

½ cup fresh or shredded mozzarella

2  tbs ricotta (full fat or skim)

2 tbs cream cheese (full fat or light)

2 eggs

2 – 4 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled

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What you need to do:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees

Place the naan bubble side up.

Spread 1 tbs cream cheese on each naan

Sprinkle half the mozzarella and half the cheddar on each naan

Split the ricotta and dollop onto each naan

Mush a whole in the middle of the cheese and then crack an egg in the middle of each naan

Sprinkle the bacon over each naan

Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes (depending on how dippy/runny you want your egg)

Pour yourself a mimosa

Enjoy

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It’s basically assembly line production (once you’ve cooked the bacon).  If you have kids they can each make their own, or invite your friends over and have a make-your-own-breakfast-naan party.

 

You can add any other ingredients you like, cooked mushroom, spinach, sausage…get creative! Just don’t skimp on the cream cheese, using that as the base layer really makes a huge and delicious difference.

 

Credit for this idea, to the Moxy NOLA, where my husband and I had breakfast naan for the first time, on our wedding weekend.

 

 

 

 

Talking To Myself

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Over the holiday week between Christmas and New  Year’s I managed to work out 3 times. That might not seem like a huge victory, since I’m normally working out 3-5 times a week, but it was. I really had to up my mental game. ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS CHILL WITH A WARM ADULT BEVERAGE IN HAND. But I knew, that if I only did that, I would not REALLY be happy because ignoring workouts AND not eating healthily would be leading away from where I want to go despite being where I wanted to be in the moment. So, in search of balanced holiday indulgence,  I got decadent with my food and beverages but maintained my workouts this wonderful holiday week. It wasn’t easy but I did it.

How did I do it? I talked, a lot, to myself.

Part of getting through anything tough, anything annoying, anything you just don’t want to do isn’t something anyone else can see or hear (unless like me, you do this aloud) is talking to yourself.  I do it all day actually, but getting conscious with it really helps me to get through the things I don’t want to do, especially working out.

When talking to myself, sometimes I’m in the camp of:

I can’t do this

That’s too heavy

I’ll never finish

I’m so slow what’s the point

Guess what, that sucks! This is the LAME camp.  It doesn’t make things any easier, it makes them worse. Clearly the task ahead of me is daunting or I wouldn’t be feeling the things that cause me to start talking myself out of the work.  BUT in most cases, I’m for some odd reason, trying to talk myself out of exactly what I need to do to stay on the path to the life I want. Also, I am not LAME. So saying lame things to myself is silly.  When I catch myself talking like  that I flip it around and get in the camp of a FINISHER of a DOER, in the camp of SELF LOVE.

I start to talk to myself like I am a part of the Badass Babe camp:

You got this

Let’s get it

Ready set go

Just a few more

You’re gonna be so amped when you’re finished

Finishing is winning, just start and go

GO GO GO

And you know what, it helps me get through.  Plain and simple, when I say nice things to myself during a workout, the workout is better, more fun, even dare I say, easier?

This helps me when I have trouble finishing work projects, cleaning the house, or completing any other lackluster task I’m just not in the mood for. At the end of the day, starting and finishing a workout always feels better than never having worked out at all.  #wordsmatter

 

 

 

Light and Cheesy Sandwich

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Despite having spent most of my adult life toying with Paleo and Low Carb dieting I really enjoy a sandwich.  When trying to find the balance between something to itch that carby scratch but not blow up my food budget I like usually turn to an egg white sandwich. I’ll pair it with soup or a salad if I’m trying to make a meal, but mostly tend to just eat this as a delicious snack. It takes about 5-6 minutes to make.

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All the ingredients are in the photo above, minus:  salt, pepper and cooking spray.

  1. Toast the English Muffin
  2. While it’s toasting separate the yolk and egg white (I use to save the yolk pretending I’d make custard but I was lying to myself, you do what’s best for you and your conscious with the yolks, I “discard” them)
  3.  Spray a pan with cooking spray and set it to medium heat
  4. Once the spray starts to brown, dump the eggs
  5. Your English muffin should be toasted by now
    1. Spread one half with mustard
    2. Put the cheese on the other half and put it under the broiler until melted. (you can skip the melting part but it ALWAYS tastes so much better)
  6. Flip the egg once the whites start to firm up and turn off the heat. They will keep cooking as you prep the rest of the sandwich
  7. Put the basil and tomato on the mustard half of the English muffin. Salt and pepper if you like
  8. Add the egg to the cheesy side
  9. Smash it together and enjoy

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So, yeah, in the above photo I am measuring my cheese.  When I have the time, I do this, it helps with portion control. My mind can’t get around how small 1 oz of cheese looks, BUT when I use this amount for a snack it normally satisfies. #stopsovereating

 

 

 

Afraid to workout? I was…

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I was afriad, did it anyway and actually had fun!

 

I woke up today, looked online at the CrossFit workout of the day (WOD) and my stomach dropped.  I was afraid. It seemed too much, too intense, it was what looked to be about 40 minutes of balls to the wall metabolic conditioning, AKA the stuff I don’t like (lifting is my thing y’all) AKA the stuff I suck at AKA the stuff that is UBER difficult for me.   After first shaming myself then pumping myself up I finally rolled out of bed and into the gym.  I told myself “just finish” but the fear was still there. Coach said “go” and I started the first move. I finished in under 25 minutes AND had fun. It was a FUN workout.  There was nothing to be afraid of!

On the walk home, overheating in my coat and sweating in the winter air, I started to think about what I was afraid of. I mean really, WHAT WAS I AFRAID OF? It wasn’t hurting myself, all the moves were ones I know and am comfortable with. It wasn’t, not completing the WOD, I knew if I started I would finish, So what was it? I’ll tell you what, it was, my ego.  I was afraid, I would come in last, not only last but like WAY behind everyone else. I was afraid people would mock me as I flailed and flung myself from move to move, I was afraid people would judge because I would need to scale the moves. I was embarrassed I needed to scale the moves, I used to be SOOOO fit.  In other words, I almost skipped a workout for fear of what other people might think. Silly right? I mean I know the only way I’m going to get better is by being uncomfortable and pushing my limits. I know where I want to go and I am willing to put in the work to get there, even if it ain’t pretty. If folks can’t respect that I got ZERO FUCKS to give about them and their opinions.  I forgot that, got lost in my ego and took my eyes and mind off my goal. On that walk home I remembered and refocused. #postworkoutclairty  Not working out, hell not doing ANYTHING, because I’m worried about what someone else will think, is not who I am and it’s not how I’m going to get to where I want to go. #worryaboutmyself

AND you wanna know what the kicker is, the girl who finished last, killed it!!!! I watched her in awe as she pushed through, clearly uncomfortable, but taking herself to the next level. I watched her huff and puff to the last double- under and I was like, that is one badass boss lady. Changing for the better, isn’t easy, it is a challenge, getting to the next level is work and it’s worth it. I know I need to push myself out of my comfort zone to get to where I want to be and not let fears about failing hold me back from who I can be.  I momentarily forgot, now I remember.  #yougottawerk

Need Motivation? Find Your Game Changing Why

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Shopping with my  Mom, just before I met my husband, where oh where have my abs gone? #relationshipweightisreal

When I find my motivation waning I go back to my “why”.  Sometimes it takes me a few days to notice I’m off track and check in with myself. Sometimes this might happen a few times a day, depending on how much “temptation” is at my door. But when I notice I’m not on track or when things start to feel too difficult or pointless I remind myself of my”why”. Why  am I fighting for fitness, going through all of this inconvenience and denying myself so much pleasure?!?!?!  Why am I not buying things when I REALLY REALLY WANT THEM and they would LOOK SO GOOD IN MY HOUSE?!?!?!?

Well, because I think there is something worth it on the other side. Something I am determined to get, something I KNOW is better than this current moment, something I know will FEEL better than the Old Fashioned and Louboutin’s calling my name. Something that can take my “I SHOULD” workout and save to an I WILL. Something takes that sacrifice and leaves me feeling good about what I didn’t do/get instead of feeling like I’m missing out. And that thing is my “WHY”.

A good WHY turns my SHOULD into WILL. A good WHY will take me from I should workout to I will work out or even I MUST workout.

Throughout my life that WHY has changed. Right now my fitness why is because I’ve got a honeymoon coming up. My financial why is because I’m in my 30s and I don’t own any property. These are strong motivators, I imagine walking the beaches of Croatia, turning heads in my Agent Provocatuer swimsuit (PS they’ll be on sale Jan-Mar), my husband all googly-eyed and have a visceral response, that scene motivates me to make good choices. I also picture myself house shopping, maybe buying a vacation property I can rent out for a return, or settling into my own place. Both are very exiting and tug at my heart strings.   Those visceral responses are important, they are what help me order the grilled chicken salad over the nachos and not ” feel bad” about “missing out”.  That response is what helps propel me out of the bed and into my workout or close the screen after I’ve filled my cart with things I don’t need on Gilt.com.

A honeymoon is motivating for a few obvious reasons, but let me get a bit deeper. Sure vanity is part of it, let’s be real. BUT I also don’t want to lose myself, for a long time being fit was a part of who I was, of my self identity. Not that my abs were the identity,  but that I was strong and able to participate in any activity with confidence and always had the energy “to go” at work or at play. Being the fittest I can be “starting my new life”, having lots of energy, owning my identity and feeling like I can fully contribute (which is how I feel when I’m fit) means a lot to me.

If you have a goal but trouble finding a why that gives you a visceral response, a WHY that motivates you and takes your SHOULD TO WILL try the 5 Why’s question. Ask yourself WHY you want that goal, then ask why again, then ask  to why again… 5 times and see if that can lead your game-changing why.

Here’s an example:

Goal: 20lbs weight loss

Why:  Because I wanna look good

Why: Because I feel good when I look good

Why: Because my ability to be there for my daughter is better when I feel good

Why: Because I when I feel proud of myself I know it makes her feel proud

Why: Because I want her to be proud of me

Feel that? There you go, give it a try, what’s you game changing why?

To be sure it’s not always easy for me to remember my why in the heat of the moment BUT it definitely helps having one rolling around in the back of my head.

Date Night and a Deal: Ria Bella

img_1381Having a delicious and decadent meal scheduled for sometime in the next 5-7 days always makes it easier to moderate my eating over time.  I believe that every meal doesn’t NEED to be delicious, sometimes food just needs to sustain you. For example when your day is back to back with meetings and phone calls and things to do and you literally have no more tan 10 minutes to eat. At that point in time I’m not going to focus on what I’m eating, I don’t have time to enjoy it, so I just try to pick something healthy, chew, swallow, and keep the hanger-monster at bay.  It is easier to pick something healthy when I know I have something decadent and delicious coming later in the week (not that healthy can’t be delicious, I know it can).

Having said that, let’s be real though, at some point if I’m only eating for sustenance I’m going to to end up sad and grumpy.  Enter, the treat/cheat meal. It’s the meal where I eat for taste and nothing else.  Not to keep me fueled for a workout, not to get me through the  day, not to feed my feelings,  I just eat for the joy of eating. Knowing I’ve a got a meal that coming helps me to stay focused on my healthy.

And so, onto date night at Ria Bella… I love PIZZA. I’m obsessed with melted cheese in all of its glorious forms,  grilled cheese, nachos, mozzarella sticks, cheese toast, fondue, Mexican queso, just to name a few. But pizza, to me, is the pinacale of melted cheese, nothing showcasing how amazing ooey and gooey cheese can be like a pizza. So, I saw a Groupon (yep they still exists) for one of my favorite pizza places and thought maybe I should get this, $35 for $70 worth of food, not too shabby. Then, I walked by and saw they are now serving beer and wine (they had been dry up until this point) and I knew it was on: DATE NIGHT!!!

We started with the broccoli rabe and shrimp, I just HAD to have something green, you know to balance it out and quite the guilt goblin in my head. The greens were bitter and delicious, the shrimp well cooked and flavorful, seriously hit the spot. The dish came with an olive bread that is not be missed.

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Then onto the main event, they do half and half pizzas if you like. So we did his and hers style with the Mariella, me, (vegetarian with ricotta) and the Pizza con Gamberi, him, ( shrimp, cherry peppers and avocado).

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Of course we split a bottle of wine and then came home for a bit more wine and a movie on the couch.

Ria Bella is a few blocks off of the G train Greenpoint stop and 100% worth the voyage. There are some great bars within walking distance on Franklin Ave and on Manhattan Ave (same block as Ria Bella) if you feel like getting up to more than eating.