Yoga Schedule

I teach yoga now.  I only have one real class, but I love it.  It is my favorite thing I do:

C1: Corepower Yoga 1: Wednesday 6pm  @ Corepower Yoga: Walnut Street. 

C1 is a beginner vinyassa flow.  It is the same every week as it is designed to build strength and flexibility. However, for beginner or experienced yogi’s, this is one hell of a workout.

I say only one real class above becasue i also teach John Paul a class every morning.  We get up at 5:38, yoga in our yard starts at 5:45.  Once I am more versed, we will offer classes to those in our neighborhood …. exciting!!!

200 Hour Teacher Training

I did it!! I am a certified yoga instructor!   I have officially completed 200 hour training and Extensions at Corepower Yoga Walnut Street (CPY).   Even more exciting, I am teaching a beginner vinyasa flow once a week at CPY at 6pm on Wendesdays and a Wake Up Yoga class on Tuesday mornings in my office building.  That’s right!

whole group

Here is our whole motly crew!

group and instructors

This is the extensions group with our stellar instructors!

The whole Teacher Training program at CPY was incredible.  I learned so much about myself, gained strength, both physical and mental, and confifencce … I am more happy then I ever thought i would be.  It helped that my whole group was fantastic … I love them all.   When I began, I did not understand how emotionally attached I would get with all of these folks … It is a feeling like non other.

Teacher training was fun, but also very intense … 9 hours of class time, plus 60 yoga classes in 9 weeks on top of my full time job.  I was exhausted, but, I am not going to lie, it was all worth it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  It helped that my supper supportive fiance person cooked, cleaned, did laundry, picked me up from the train …. he helped me every way he could … I couldn’t have made it through with out him.  I am one lucky chick.

One of my favorite parts of teacher training, was our Karma project.   We built kits out of donations from KIND for Our Brother’s Place’, a local shelter in Philadelphia,    As we were building, I learned that the owner of Crossfit Center City, Wylie, founded UliftU, a program that teaches unemployed, formerly incarcerated and homeless a job skill in the wellness world so they are able to go out in the world and be successful.  We walked our kits over to Wylie’s CrossFit gym where we took a half hour yoga class with two of the UliftU participants.  They were so .
getting ready
Building our kits!!
On the way there
On our way there …. it was cold.
Class
Yoga class with the members of UliftU!
All of us
 The whole group!!
My whole experience thus far has been completely amazing and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Life after the Whole30 … The reintroduction process.

My body hates pizza.

I have been off Whole30 for a couple of weeks now and have had, in small doses only, beer, wine, cheese, peanut butter, other legumes and sugar,but not that much just cause I haven’t felt like it and also it  so I might as well keep that habit going.  None of these items have effected my weight or the way I felt.  Then, I had pizza. … I still felt very full the next morning.  I weighed myself and to my horror, gained 7 lbs.  I only lost two pounds through this whole process … one in the thirty days and one more following.  So??  I am never eating bread again!! Okay, this is a lie and I do not believe in absolute statements, but I am going to try and stay away from bread as much as I can.  It’s just not worth it and so, I therefore, went on a quest to find pizza alternatives  sans bread.  I am not really into the idea of gluten free crust even though I have never tried it.  I have no basis for this opinion other than I just feel like it’s not the healthiest alternative.

Moving along, I found several inspirational websites such as Empowered Sustenance, Bustle and Hella Wella.  And, learned that pizza can be made on zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, cauliflower (I feel like this is probably a tad bit tricky), spaghetti squash and the list  goes on.  This evening I attempted pizza on portabella mushrooms … it was so fantastic, easy and fun.  Even though, there are several recipes online, I just went to Acme and picked up what I felt looked good.groceriesMy ingredients:

  1. Olive oil (not shown)
  2. Onion
  3. Sweet sausage
  4. Portabella mushrooms
  5. Goat Cheese
  6. Kale
  7. Tomatoes
  8. Colby Cheese and Pepper Jack Cheese in the form of string cheese.  This happened because I initially was only going to use goat cheese, but then decided that was taking away from the pizza feel and i had turned my meal into bruschetta.  So, I ran down the block to Wawa and got the only cheese there i could melt.

To get started, I preheated my oven to 425. cooking in progressI cooked the onions and sausage in olive oil. Five minutes on each side.

mushroomsAt the same it, I sauteed the mushrooms in olive oil … also five minutes (ish) on each side.

Almost doneI layered, goat cheese, shredded kale, diced tomatoes, sausage and a mix of colby and pepper jack cheese over the mushroom. And put them in the oven for 5 minutes.

Finish MushroomThis is an awful picture of my finished product.  Clearly, I need to work on taking pictures.

Finished on a plateHere is another finished product picture.   Still not that good, but better … sort of.  Regardless, I am beyond thrilled on how this turned out …. the meal was delicious, satisfying and light 🙂  Plus, there is plenty of left overs for a scramble in the morning.
And finally, this is me with the food…..
selfieI took this picture with the intent to send it to John Paul to demonstrate how I was cleaning as I cook. However, after taking the photo, I discovered it does not look like I am trying to clean as I go at all.  My kitchen is a mess!! So, I kept this to myself.

 


 

Whole 30 Complete!! My journey!

I pretty much think of myself as a healthy person … I work out a lot, try and eat right and  have a blog about what I know about nutrition and working out. However, I am not perfect and when my soon to be sister in law suggested she, John Paul and myself try the Whole30 diet, I thought why not? The holidays were a little rough on my waist line and, even before that, I have been eating bread and having a drink at every meal, I could use a good detox!! So we embarked on our 30 day mission to exclude alcohol, grains, legumes sugar except in fruit, soda, and honey and no grains. What does that leave? Meat, seafood, eggs, a lot of eggs, so many eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats ie: oils, nuts and seeds. The three of us created a What’s app group called Whole30 squad and shared every meal … And, two weeks in, we gained a fourth squad member, John Paul’s Mom, Dianne. At first, Dianne tried adding cheese to her salads … we quickly rectified her ways and were soon all on the same page.

I honestly did not think I was going to be able to do it … I have done something similar before and gave up two weeks in. But, Whole30 was a piece of cake. I was never hungry. The meals we made, shared and learned were fantastic. And, I really bonded with john Paul and the women in his family through recipes, encouragement, comfort and creativity.

Chili
Chili
Fajita Tray ... we made this a lot. Sometime with Chicken and sometimes with Sausage.
Fajita Tray … we made this a lot. Sometime with Chicken and sometimes with Sausage.
We made this a lot too. Turns out I love butternut squash almost as much as I love peanut butter ... almost.
We made this a lot too. Turns out I love butternut squash almost as much as I love peanut butter … almost.
So many eggs!
So many eggs!
We took a lot of trips to the Acme
We took a lot of trips to the Acme
Snacks are better this way.
Smiley Face Banana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga!
Yoga!
Food we wanted to eat, but didn't.
Food we wanted to eat, but didn’t.
Tea
Tea helped me through many afternoons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Learned.
Obviously, I eat too much. I know this is not a diet, but really? Who cuts sugar, alcohol, carbs, legumes, and grains from her diet for thirty days and only loses one pound? This chick. I did not cheat at all except for when I accidentally ate some barley on day 22. It’s ridiculous. I think I even eat more than John Paul … he lost 30 pounds. His sister lost at least 10 and his Mom is still going.

However, despite my lack of weight loss, I feel great!! I have a ridiculous amount of energy, I sleep like a champ, my skin is more clear, sort of,. The Whole30 people call this ‘non scale accomplishments.” Whatever they call it, I am sticking with it. … where, by sticking with it, I mean I am adding peanut butter and wine back into my diet …. Let’s not get crazy, I can’t live without those two staples. And every once in a while, I am going out to eat … I am not turning into a food obsessed lunatic. Other than that, everything else is staying out.

Additionally, I learned that egg yolk tastes ridiculous good with bananas, that I LOVE sweet potatoes,  that I crave donuts when there is no sugar in my diet …. donuts were literally the only thing I wanted and I don’t even really like them and that, it turns out, I really love black coffee and tea …. for years I convinced myself it was all about the cream.

I can also make delicious and creative new dishes.  .

It took 30 plus days for me to understand, Whole30 really and truly is not a diet. It is hard to comprehend at first as I restricted all the foods I love from my life and that to me means diet. However, instead of dieting, it is a way of life. A life where I simply excluded processed food and replaced it with real food. This is my new style and I love it all!!!!

First reintro food
First reintro food

Since completing our 30 days, John Paul and I have continued

Whole 30 Diet Prep Day

Tomorrow, John Paul and I are starting the Whole30 diet created by Melissa Hartwig … she is pretty cool. We set up a whats app to remain in constant communication with our third group mate, Amy (John Paul’s sister and my soon to be sister in law) on our daily meals. We are supposed to report everything we ate via social media, but decided food reporting through facebook is a bit to aggressive for this crew.

Whole 30 … Basically meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats ie: oils, nuts and seeds. No sugar except in fruit, no alcohol, no soda, no honey and no grains for thirty days.

We started our day with before shots to measure progress followed by a trip to the store. …. We were there for ten minutes (maybe it was 20, but it was still a very short excursion …. it is counting the time we spent waiting in like at check out) and spent $153 in Acme for two days of food meals …. that seems high, but it’s ok as we will use some items for more than two meals such as small tupperwears for our homemade salad dressing and the two big bags of nuts I got for our protein salads! John Paul and I stocked up on the following: 4 avocados, 4 bananas, 2 apples, pre wrapped chicken, lean red meat, mustard powder, parsley, thyme, paprika, spaghetti squash, almond slivers, cashews, 2 cartons of eggs, tomatoes, celery, diced canned tomato and 1 bag of grapes … tonight, I will prep us for tomorrow:
Breakfast: Fratata, avocado and 1 banana
Lunch: Protein salad with chicken and homemade basic mayo dressing (I am pretty nervous about this part) and one apple.
Dinner: Browned red meat, tomato sauce and spaghetti squash..

I’m not going to lie, I am very excited about this.

Last day of junk eating consisted of scrapple, eggs and toast for breakfast and rib-eye roni sandwich from fresnos for dinner … I had chocolate color pretzels, peppermint patty and a peanut butter smidgen as well 🙂

You will see. I also made the video above in fear I would be unable to finish my blog post, but I was wrong.

Yoga Kicks My Butt

This week, I attended five yoga classes at Sojourn Yoga in Drexel Hill. This happened because I got an idea in my head … Yoga Teacher Training. Core Power Yoga has a class starting in the beginning of October … I love it there. I get my ass kicked every time!!!. However, it’s three thousand dollars to attend … Ugh!! My very sweet parents even offered to help me pay for it. That is ridiculous and I would be taking advantage of their generosity. In reality, I should pretend I’m an adult and sign up for a payment plan, but I just can’t right now. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a very worthwhile investment and I fully intend on pursuing this endeavor in the near future. However, I have many trips planned, fixes to my house, and so much more, that I need to try to be conscience of my spending. For now, I purchased an unlimited monthly pass at the yoga studio down the street and am going as much as I can. Side Note: I am not going to lie, secretly, I am still thinking about living in the moment, doing the teacher training and worrying about other financial responsibilities later … this back and forth in my head is just a dramatic thing I drag myself through to make myself feel like a responsible person … it’s silly. Stay tuned.
Despite how active I am, I found out this week, I am in awful yoga shape. I didn’t feel it till this morning at my 8:30 Still Class. I was so stiff. I could hardly move … It was so embarrassing. I do think it is in part an afrwe effect of yesterday’s “run.” I learned last week, that the Philadelphia Marathon running from November 18th – November 20th includes an 8k in the weekend lineup. I can do that. I might even be able to do the half, but I need to get training, which entails three small runs a week and one long run on the weekend. I think the pain started yesterday when, two and a half miles into my long run, I suddenly had to go to the bathroom so badly that I could not run anymore. How odd I thought, but now, looking back on the situation, I believe this sudden urge to poo was brought on by the magnesium supplements I have been taking … perhaps it’s time to ease up on my daily intake. Anyway, I was convinced I was going to poop my pants … Recently, I have heard this happen to several people and I know I wouldn’t handle it well so I slowly walked over to Rite Aid, where they graciously allowed me to use the employee bathroom. This was far more embarrassing than not being able to move at Yoga. I felt like I had to purchase something so I go a blue Gatorade. For some reason, holding the bottle while running was an asinine and foreign concept so I downed the Gatorade and started to run. Terrible idea. My stomach was to full to move and I had to walk home. I went some crazy weird way, I don’t know why and ended up walking very very far. I believe this, in combination with being shockingly out of shape, attributed to my disastrous and painful morning at yoga. I took my stiffness as a sign to give my body a running break and went and played tennis with my Dad. But, no more breaks, tomorrow, it is back to one yoga class and one small run. I just have to keep pushing through … it is about to all feel sooooo good!!!

Philly Free Streets. I am a curmudgeon.

Today, I am feeling the effects of 35. My 35 year old self is a curmudgeon and I feel terrible about it. Everyday, small occurrences remind me I am aging, but today, my mid thirties mind set and all its awfulness is heightened by the event,Open Streets Philly. Last year, I would have been elated by this concept. I would have gotten up at 7 am on a Saturday with John Paul in toe for a day jammed packed with physical activity. I would have acquired a bike and gone the full ten miles one way and ten miles back and wandered around until someone kicked me out. This year, I want nothing to do with this event. It sounds awful. Crowded, bikes wizzing by, and people running in front of me at a diagonal … In my old age, I hate all of those things. And, most importantly, what is everyone doing with their cars??? All cars left on the street will be towed after 3am Saturday morning?? Is that even allowed?

I have changed! What has happened to me? This is no way to be, but I couldn’t help it …. All of these negative things thoughts just popped in my head. Fortunately, that is only my emotional side. The side that cried at 50 First Dates the other night!!! I’m nuts. My reasonable side knows this is a fantastic program to get Philadelphians up and moving, which, even at 35, excites me more than I can describe. When I moved back to the Philly area 7 years ago, Philly was in the top five fattest cities in the United States. I remember because I was appalled and disgusted. Now, according to Salon.Com, we are not even in the the top ten … the unfortunate ten are: Memphis, TN, Shreveport, LA, Indianapolis, IN, Jackson, MS, New Orleans, LA, Chattanooga, TN, Mobile, AL, San Antonio, TX, Greenville, SC and Little Rock, AR … Instead, Philadelphia has made it to the fourth best walking city in the United States …. That is amazing!! I still have no intention of attending Open Streets Philly …. I am staying home to paint my bedroom in the suburbs, which, hopefully, will allow my cranky ways to subside enough to wish all the ambitious folks attending a fantastic day … It will be a blast!!!

Welcome Back Post!!!

Oh my goodness! It has been so long since my last post. I have missed my blog, but I have been running all over the place …. I have so many things to discuss, but will keep it short. I went to Longwood Garden’s Nightscape, which was absolutely amazing. I may even prefer it to the Christmas Show … it was a lot less crowded, warm, and there is live music on Thursdays. I cooked a few dishes that I will add to my recipes page, got sick and missed three get togethers … two birthdays and a trip to the Aquarium, went to a some dinners, watched a lot of Mr. Robot, and took some long walks … I decided I have pudged out a bit and my half hour workouts are not cutting it …. I need more exercise, so I walked 7 miles a day all last week … not going to lie, probably the main reasons I have been neglecting my blog. It lead to some early mornings and late nights, but I did it and I felt great. I took one walk after work one night behind the art museum. It was beautiful, however, upon return, I learned, via facebook, a woman was walking on the same path was hit in the head with a fish. It’s under the catogory “weird news” on channel ten … just saying. I can’t even wrap my head around this story … it is totally nuts.

Confession: I didn’t make it through the week. My walking expeditions sort of came to an end Friday. I went to see Adele on Friday night, she is so charming, it is rediculous. I don’t know why she just wasn’t on stage at age five just being awesome. Anyway, that day I only got a four mile walk in that morning. I meant to walk before the show, but ended up at the bar instead … it’s ok. I had fun. On saturday, I slept in too late, guess I had too many drinks at happy hour, and headed to the shore to my Aunts house without walking. She is 84 and looks amazing. Healthy, happy and full of life …please knock on wood. It was a blast. She told me she was borderline diabetic, but lost weight and cut carbs and it all went away … awesome. I did not feel too guilty about missing my walk, I swam in the water for about an hour and a half … the water was amazing. I had to get out because my eyes started burning from the salt. And, walked about 8 miles. 4 in the morning and 4 after a barbeque with John Paul’s family.. I am so impressed with my dedication.

Last night, my ability to walk was hindered by a bowling outing with work. I went bowling with work last night. That was embarrassing, I am a horrific bowler. I bowled a 54 in the second game, which is really really good for me. And, everyone tries to give me pointers, which are the same pointers I have heard a 100 times from other people and just don’t work … Regardless, it was fun. Good food, good drinks, good people. I am very lucky … I have an excellent work crew.

This morning I had to get up too early for work for a walk and tonight John Paul and I are seeing South Pacific at the Walnut Street Theater. We are season ticket holders and bring the age average down by about twenty years. However, last year, while I was in the bathroom, we almost made friends our age … John Paul apotted another fellow in his mid thirties and went over to talk to him in hopes he was also there with his girlfriend and they would be our new theater best friend. Apparently, it was going well until the guys girlfriend / wife came over and boxed John Paul out of the conversation. Needless to say, the new friendship did not amount to much and we have not seen them since.

Tomorrow, I am back on track …. I am walking because I believe it is such an underated activity. I have always lost a few pounds walking and could really use that right now. I am going to start again tomorrow. And go to yoga .. that’s right.

Tomato Caprese Chicken Salad

I found a new website that I love, FIVEHEARTHOME!!! I was looking for something lite to make for dinner … I am pretty sure I googled ‘tomato capreses’ when I came across Tomato Caprese Salad. Perfect quick and easy meal.

What is in it:
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds cooked diced chicken (about 4 cups)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 (8-ounce) tub fresh mozzarella pearls
1 small bunch basil, leaves washed, dried, & sliced into ribbons (chiffonade)

How I made it:
I am not a huge fan of mayonnaise .. never have been. Plus, I think there is somewhere around 90 calories a tablespoon ad a ton a fat. Not the good fat, the bad fat. So, I used cottage cheese as a replacement. I mixed Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, balsamic vinegar, honey and garlic power. I left out the salt because I try not to add more salt whenever possible. In this case, I tasted the sauce and I felt it needed it. However, I’m glad I held off .. I ended up adding a cup of pistachios to finish the meal and did not need anymore salt. However, before getting to the addition of pistachios, I put the sauce in the fridge to cool.

I seasoned the chicken with garlic and cooked it on a skillet. While the chicken cooked, I diced tomatoes into quarters, cubed the mozzarella … I couldn’t find any pearls at Acme, and mixed the two along with pistachios and full pieces of basil. I never know how to add basil into a dish so, unless otherwise indicated, I use full pieces.
I actually thought this looked really good too! I would also eat this one day, but on this day, I continued onward with the recipe …

Pis

After the chicken cooled, I mixed the ingredients last mixed with the chick and sauce. We just ate it from a bowl, not on a roll or any type of bread. Fantastic. And, was just a delicious the next day for lunch. However, next time, I would add the pistacios last as aa topping instead of in the mixture.

final

I continued you to peruse the site … everything looks wonderful. Can’t wait to try another dish!!

Family Trip to Atlantic City

Proceeding my trip to D.C. was a day of rest followed by a mini trip to Atlantic City. Booking Atlantic City was much more challenging then D.C. … 2 hours and 15 phone calls later, we landed at the Tropicana through PriceLine.com. It turns out the prices are much higher when you call the Tropicana directly and going through PriceLine saved us one hundred and eleven dollars and turned our king size bed plus cot into two queen size beds. It was a win / win situation.

Atlantic City started off the same as Washington … a quick three mile run and one of my mom’s green smoothies consisting of spinach, whey protein, lemon, unsweetened almond milk and blueberries … I tried to get my mom to participate in blogging with me as she loves to cook and take pictures, but she has yet to contribute … stand by. We drove down to 58th street beach in Ocean City to spend the day at the beach before heading to the Tropicana, 58th street beach has a bathroom and place to rinse your feet, plus it is never overly crowded. It is just a nice place to be.

The water was perfect … big frequent waves and warm water, but not to warm! It was refreshing! After a day of swimming and relaxing we headed to the Tropicana, which was a bout a half hour drive through Margate and Vetnor .. it was a Sunday night … the highway would have been packed with traffic. Our room at the Tropicana was beautiful … spacious and comfy with an excellent view. The Tropicana is like a small city below. You don’t have to go outside for days, which is a good thing because it started to pour right after we arrived. Despite the small city at our finger tips, finding a place for dinner proved a challenge. We started at Casa Taco where we were squished in a corner next to a large family with a screaming baby. Apparently all the other tables were being held for reservations, we promptly downed our margaritas vacated the restaurant and headed to Carmines … a family style Italian restaurant. i have been to the once in D.C. and loved it, but Carmines is not really a place for my parents … they a finicky eaters. My mom kept saying “we could never agree on one thing.” I explained I would eat whatever they wanted and quickly figured out they did not want anything on the menu. I downed my double glass of wine and we headed to our third restaurant … PF Changs. The wait was too long and we were too tipsy at this point to have another drink without any food, so we left. We ended up grabbing a quick bite at Marketplace Express. We are wackos!! Four restaurants in one night? Traveling with parents presents it’s challenges! But, it was perfect. Everyone got what they wanted and it was delicious. Since it stopped raining, we we exploring the boardwalk … it was a lovely way to end a lovely day!!

The next morning, I was too tire to go running on the beach as I had planned. Instead, we packed up and started our day with brunch at Bungalow Restaurant and Lounge. It was beautiful and tasty. We all got the same thing ….an omelette filled with feta, spinach and mushrooms. My mouth is watering just thinking of it now. Proceeding our meal and a heavy application of sun screen, we headed back to 58th beach in Ocean City for the day. The Atlantic City beach looked just as lovely. It has bathrooms and a shower as well, but I grew up going to Ocean City beaches and it just felt like an Ocean City kind of day.

Upon arrival, I immediately jumped in the water. It was freezing and completely flat from the rain the night before … not a single wave. It looked like a lake. We spent the day lounging on the beach reading, taking walks and swimming! It was such a happy day we didn’t end up home till 10pm that night and I am still yearning for more … Can’t wait for my next excursion, stay tuned!!