2 Week Challenge: Workin’ on my Fitness

OK, so the healthy eating challenge lasted about two and a half weeks, but I’m happy to report it went very well!

Once I got past the initial junk food/carb/everything delicious and bad for you cravings, it was really easy to stick to eating healthy. I didn’t ever put any strict limits on myself. I ate carbs and had the occasional chocolate or two, but I made sure not to let those little treats ruin the whole two weeks. When I did indulge, I paid careful attention not to gorge and only to eat enough to satisfy the craving. A lot of times, though, I didn’t even want to indulge. I was feeling so good that I didn’t want even the slightest little junk food to make me feel bad (read: bloated and gross). My body is a temple, you guys.

For me, the key to my healthy eating challenge ended up being portion control. I focused on eating smaller portions at every meal and really paying attention to when I felt full. I was amazed to see how satisfied I was with eating such small meals. And on top of that, indulging didn’t feel so awful when I only ate a tiny helping of something not-so-healthy.

I think my best moment of the challenge happened last Sunday at brunch. Tall Guy and I were in Boston visiting my family and we tried out a new restaurant that had been recommended to my mom. I ordered the Eggs Benedict, which is my favorite egg dish of all time and hard for me to pass up when I’m out to breakfast. When the food was brought to our table, my meal looked so good! A few bites in, however, and it was a very different story. There was no Canadian bacon, subbed instead for sliced avocado and tomato, which would have been fine if the Hollandaise sauce tasted lemony like the menu promised, but the eggs were completely flavorless. And the potatoes, while fried nicely, were accompanied with sauteed Vidalia onions and too sweet for my taste. The only part of the meal that was really pleasing to my palette was the side salad that came with the dish. Now, normally, I feel like if you pay for it (or someone is paying for it), you should eat it all. But with my healthy eating in mind, I decided it would be ridiculous to eat something that I didn’t enjoy, especially since it wasn’t super healthy anyway. Instead, I ate the side salad and half of the Benedict and let Tall Guy finish the rest. That may seem like a tiny victory, but to me it became clear that the two week challenge had really changed my thinking about food, which is a huge win in my book.

Doesn't that look delicious? Looks can be deceiving...

Doesn’t that look delicious? Looks can be deceiving…

On to the next…

Running! I still consider myself a runner, despite the fact that I haven’t run on a consistent basis since before I ran the Philly half marathon in 2011. But I really, really love running and have been attempting to get back into it for some time now. For a variety of reasons, the latest being a weak ankle that continues to give me problems, I haven’t been running on a regular basis. That ends today.

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It’s hard to get back out there after such a long time. My muscles are weak, I can’t run that fast or that far, and I have a nagging thought that I’ll look stupid against all of the “experienced” runners. But the things is? That stuff doesn’t matter. Running (and exercising in general) isn’t about how you look, how fast you can go or how you compare to other people, it’s about how you feel. One of the reasons I love running is because it’s a total body workout and you start to see results fast. I can probably barely run a mile right now, but I know that if I keep at it, I’ll be able to breeze through a mile in no time and will be on to bigger and better distances before I know it. There’s not much more you can ask for in an exercise routine.

So this next two week challenge is to run 4 out of 7 days each week. Since I know that I’m the type of person who does best with a schedule, I’ve decided to run M/W/F after work and do a “long” run on Saturday mornings. I’m going to start slow, to make sure my ankle can handle it and that I don’t do too much too soon and injure anything else, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to make this schedule work!

And one thing I will definitely be doing is making a running playlist! Any song suggestions for me?

I know that getting out there today will be the hardest part, but I’m excited to get started so I can become a “regular” runner again soon! Are you a runner? Have you been wanting to get into running, but just haven’t done it yet? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!

Happy running! x

Olympics Obsessed

It’s finally here! The Olympics Opening Ceremony is TONIGHT!

Even though Sochi is kind of a hot mess,  I’ve been counting down the days to the Olympics and cannot wait to see all of the different events! Everyone is as excited about the Olympics as I am, right?

My Olympics obsession started way back in February 2002 when my dad and I took a trip to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was pretty young, but I will never forget all of the crazy things we did on that trip. Highlights include… Seeing the US Women’s bobsled team win Gold; taking an old-school train through the countryside to the cross country course; sitting in the very back row at the ski jumping stadium and making friends with the women next to us; getting ice cream from a shop called COWS; trading 3 pins for a green jello pin; seeing Bode Miller on the podium at a Medal Ceremony; my dad and I making the best steak sandwiches I’ve ever had in our tiny hotel room; sitting on the side of a mountain at a skiing event with no jacket on because it was super warm out; getting a t-shirt signed by the Jamaican bobsled team; going to a Dale Chihuly exhibit; seeing a medal women’s hockey game and watching the losing team cry on the ice; and realizing I had the best dad ever when he got tickets to the Medal Ceremony where ‘N Sync was performing. We saw every event except for curling and speed skating and it was, hands down, the best vacation I have ever had (and probably will ever have)! We took millions of pictures, but unfortunately they were all on disposable cameras (do you remember those?) and the prints are now sitting in an album at my parent’s house, so I can’t share them with you, but just take my word that the trip was amazing.

ornament

My dad sent me this picture last week! We bought one of the (super fancy shmancy) 2002 Olympic commemorative ornaments.

So not only do I love watching the Winter Olympics every 4 years because of the fun events (snow cross, anyone?) and the amazing athleticism that these people display, but it brings back really fond memories of my own Olympics experience.

Tune in to the Opening Ceremony tonight on NBC at 7:30 pm! And be sure to check out the NBC Olympics TV schedule so you don’t miss your favorite events!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Another recipe I’ve wanted to make for a while!

Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip (recipe from the Frank’s RedHot website)
makes about 4 cups of dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c Frank’s RedHot buffalo sauce
1/2 c blue cheese dressing *can substitute ranch dressing
2 c cooked chicken, shredded *I poached a couple chicken breasts
1/2 c crumbled blue cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine all ingredients in a 1 quart baking dish. I used a loaf pan.
3. Bake 20 minutes, or until mixture is heated through. Stir.
4. Serve with crackers or vegetables. I served it with tortilla chips.

No wonder this dip is so popular nowadays! It was a perfect snack while we watched the Patriots game.

Don’t Talk to Me While I’m Watching Hockey

HOCKEY IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!! And clearly I couldn’t care less…

hockey

via Pinterest

Yes, tonight is a good night because hockey is FINALLY, officially, on my TV again. And I, of course, am rocking some orange and black gear. If you haven’t discovered your love for hockey yet, do yourself a favor and put on a game tonight, ok? GO FLYERS!

A Little Bit of This

Let me start off by saying that I can’t believe it’s May already! Where did April go? And while we’re at it, why hasn’t it felt like Spring until just now?

April was a really tough month for me. I couldn’t really bring myself to do much of anything for the better part of the month, much less write a semi-decent blog post. Despite that fact, there is a lot that I want to talk about, so let me just jump right in…

BOSTON

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My dad sent this to me today. Copley Square, Boston, MA.

The Boston Marathon Bombings left me pretty numb for a good two weeks, and I still haven’t fully recovered. Being from the area, most of my friends and family were at the Marathon, many close to where the bombs went off.

The attack hit really close to home, both figuratively and literally. The worst part, for me, was experiencing it all from 6 hours away. I was so emotionally invested into what was happening in Boston that it was hard for me to focus on anything. All I wanted to do was curl up under a blanket and watch the news, like so many of the dearest people in my life were doing. But life goes on, and most people here didn’t seem phased by the events that happened. I, on the other hand, couldn’t stop thinking about them.

For those of you that don’t know, “Marathon Monday,” as it’s called in Boston, is also a holiday: Patriot’s Day. So, it’s kind of a big deal (if for no other reason than that it always marked the beginning of our Spring vacation week). I used to go into the city to watch the Marathon every year. Up until April 15 2013, the worst thing that ever happened (to me) at the Marathon was having to buy a really awful pair of Gap wind pants and knowing that I looked less-than-stylish all day (clearly tween Martine had her priorities straight).

Luckily, family and friends were all ok. Unfortunately, one of my mom’s friends cannot say the same. He and his girlfriend were standing right near where one of the bombs went off and are still in the hospital today. His colleagues set up a GoFundMe campaign for them and they’re very close to their $100,000 goal. Even if you aren’t in the position to donate anything, I encourage you to go to the campaign site and read the updates from him. Today, he was visited by the EMS crew who saved him, and gives some insight into what exactly his ambulance ride to the hospital was like. Scary stuff.

My Ink to the People t-shirt!

The light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, is how truly amazing it has been to watch Bostonians and Americans come together to support our great city. Emerson students created a Boston Strong t-shirt that can be purchased at the Ink to the People website. Net proceeds from each order will be donated to The One Fund. Professional sports teams from all over the country gave special tributes to the city of Boston intheir own ways, which, as a sports fan, was especially nice to see. Even the Yankees, the number one Red Sox rival, played Sweet Caroline after the third inning at their game on the day after the bombings. And runners in cities across the country honored Boston Marathon runners with runs of their own. We even did a Boston Solidarity Run right here in Philly. My favorite, by far, was the Boston Red Sox tribute video, which I unfortunately wasn’t able to properly embed on the blog, but it’s worth the click, I promise!

In the wake of tragedy, the true American Spirit shines. I think, as a country, we can be proud of our resilience in the face of terror and know that we all are Boston Strong.

BEING (A) WHITE (TWENTY SOMETHING) IN PHILADELPHIA

At the beginning of April, I went to a town hall style meeting at the National Constitution Center. The meeting was hosted by Philadelphia Magazine and was a discussion about their then-recent piece titled “Being White in Philadelphia,” written by Robert Huber. If you haven’t read the article, and especially if you live in the Philly area, it’s worth the read. Not necessarily because it is such well written, hard hitting journalism (because it’s not), simply because it was a very hot topic when it was released, and it’s good to stay in the loop with things like that. Well… I think so, anyway.

The meeting was really interesting. It did get heated (if only I had popcorn!), and it wasn’t exactly super productive, but I think it was at least good that people came together to try to talk about the race issue.

As for the substance of the meeting and the article… Since the main point of the article was to get people talking about race, I think Huber did a great job. Was the article balanced? No. Did he step out of his comfort zone to get a different perspective on things? Absolutely not. But that’s one of the main reasons people talked about it. And it certainly did get a conversation going, even if that conversation was mostly accusing him of being a bad journalist.

One thing that someone said at the meeting that really stuck with me was something along the lines of the “if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck” saying. Basically, don’t dress like a thug and act like a thug and then be offended when people think you’re a thug.Now, that might not be the most PC point someone could have raised, but still… Yes. So. Much. Yes. If you want to be taken seriously in this society, you have to act the part. Now I’m not saying it’s ok to judge a book by its cover, but come on, people. Be smart. It’s kind of like when women get whistled at when they walk down the street. If I’m in sweat pants and a sweatshirt, then, yeah, why the fuck are you whistling at me? But I would expect nothing less for the woman I was walking behind the other day, who was wearing a skin tight dress that barely covered her ass and unbelievably tall heels. See what I mean?

As a white twenty something living in Philly… I can’t say I’ve ever been too concerned with black people. Not because I haven’t ever encountered a black person while living here (hopefully that wasn’t what you were thinking), but because I don’t really look at people as black or white, they’re just people. To me, it really doesn’t matter what race you are because by now I know that if you’re a good person, you’re a good person and if you’re not, you’re not. Race doesn’t have anything to do with character. Sure, how a person is raised has a lot to do withthat, but how you’re raised shouldn’t have anything to do with race. One of the panelists at the meeting kept trying to communicate the difference between race and class. Class, she suggested, is the real issue. Whether someone is black or white (or asian, hispanic, etc. etc.) doesn’t have as much to do with how someone is brought up and acts as much as class does, since class is dictated, in large part, by wealth and education. Changing the conversation from race to class is important, I think, because in order to make any progress with the issue, we need to first understand the issue.

I took a lot away from the meeting and I’m really glad I went. The older I get, the more I appreciate doing things that are a little bit out of my comfort zone and out of the ordinary eat, sleep, work, repeat. What different things have you done lately? 

Here’s hoping your April was better than mine. All I can really say is, bring on May!

x

For NHL Fans Only

In keeping with my “posting other people’s articles” theme that I inadvertently have going on right now, I offer you this. Not so informative, just really funny… A great way to end the week, if you ask me! And you’re gonna wanna click the “just trust us” link in there (young Keith Primeau!).

Note: Obviously you don’t have to be a hockey fan to read it, but you might not think it’s funny otherwise. Do yourself a favor and become a hockey a fan, ok?

Thanks to my friend @timbruckner for sharing it with me!

Beyoncé: Better than You… And Crazy

You either live under a rock, or you’re well aware that Beyoncé is performing at the Superbowl Halftime Show this year… Regardless, it seems that “Queen Bey” (or QB for the sports-inclined) was not at all pleased with the fan backlash after her lip-sync faux pas, which I posted about yesterday. In what can only be described as the “suck-it” move of the century, QB held a pre-Superbowl press conference today and, rather than just answer questions from the press, sang the National Anthem and then posed for pictures. Seriously. Just ask Deadspin.

This event happily coincides with my stumbling on the Beyoncé GQ article. Now, I’m generally a fan of Bey Bey (which is my preferred Beyoncé nickname, by the way), but I can’t be alone when I say that she sounds like she might murder people in her spare time… For fun. Seriously? Does she really need to document every waking moment of her ENTIRE life (since 2005) and keep it all in temperature-controlled archives? Does that seem a little psycho to anyone else?

(I know you’re wondering!) Bey Bey does NOT plan to lip-sync at the Superbowl. Or does she just plan to threaten people’s lives so they don’t tell anyone… I can’t remember!