yoga

2014 Resolutions

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So, the other day I caught myself popping a stick of Orbit at the exact moment I was thinking, “Maybe I’ll try cutting back on gum this year.”Photo on 12-28-13 at 3.31 PM #2

Clearly, that’s not happening.

After reviewing how I did on my 2013 resolutions, one thing that stuck out to me was the fact that I did not take my own advice about measurable goals. I talked about meditation and mindfulness, but did I outline any kind of plan for myself like, “I am going to meditate for this many minutes this many times per week?” Nope. I said, “Get outside more,” but I didn’t get any more specific than that. Hardly a recipe for success.

So, with that in mind, I have come up with a few 2014 resolutions for myself:

  • Go to one networking or other professional event per month—I actually started this back in September and have stuck to it so far.
  • Practice yoga twice per week.
  • Catch up with friends over drinks or a meal at least once a month.
  • If he deserves to have a drink thrown in his face, throw the drink…and then make a quick exit.

I also have some other goals in the financial/business realm that aren’t as easy to summarize in bullet points, but I’ll say that I’m planning to make Quickbooks one of my new best friends this year. I also am going to need to clock some serious coffee-shop hours for a writing project, but looking forward to that. Haha maybe I can at least turn that last one into a bullet point:

  • Work in a coffee shop at least once per week

What are some of your goals for the new year? 

What I Ate Wednesday #132

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And here we are at another What I Ate Wednesday. Thank you as always to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party. Take a visit to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

I’ve been sharing a lot of Saturday meals lately because during the workweek, it’s pretty routine: oatmeal at my desk; salad or soup & random veggies at my desk; Greek yogurt; something in a bowl for dinner…It’s not that I don’t enjoy good meals Monday through Friday—I just get sick of photographing stuff against the florescent-lit, fake-wood surface of my workspace. Weekends are a lot more colorful and I like recounting fun times.

I spent Saturday in NJ with my family. My mom had an open house at the space she shares with several other practitioners. Several different people discussed the work they do and there was a different kind of meditation every hour. The open house didn’t start until the afternoon, so I had time for a restorative yoga class and some lunch before heading out. Later on, I had dinner at Rosa Mexicano with my parents and sister. We had a really nice time.

  • Breakfast: Zucchini bread oats with PB
  • Lunch: Butternut squash red lentil soup over kale with a toasted pumpkin waffle and—yep—more tahini
  • Snack: A plain Chobani with cinnamon, a spoonful of instant oats I found at my mom’s, and a few strawberries that were surprisingly nice for October
  • Dinner: at Rosa Mexicano—a glass of cava; a few chips with guac (made table-side); salmon over black beans & roasted corn and mole sauce
  • Snack: (unpictured) half a sliced banana to keep my stomach from growling before bed

What’s your go-to dish at a Mexican restaurant? I’m all over anything with mole sauce. What was the best thing you ate recently? 

Late September Weekend

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I don’t know about you, but I find some weekends pass by without a chance to savor a damn thing. Fortunately, this weekend has been quite the opposite.

After a Friday night spent drinking wine and painting pottery with some lovely ladies, I had Saturday brunch with a friend at Mojave in Astoria where we got to sit outside in the sun. The rest of the day was spent with my notebook in various outdoor “happy places” in the city. I snapped a few pictures in Riverside Park because it was just too gorgeous not to share a glimpse, but for the most part, I just tried to unplug.

Sunday so far involves yoga, catching up with a friend who’s visiting NYC from way to far away, and then I’m celebrating some Libra birthdays over dinner with my family. I love this time of year. It’s a great chance to soak up the last bits of warm weather and reflect on where you are and where you’ve been and where you want to get to next. And how.

What have you been up to this weekend? 

Random Sunday Thoughts

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*My fingers get really confused between my work computer and my home computer. If my fingers had brains, they would be at a pretty low risk for Alzheimer’s, what with all the mental workouts!

* I am making this soup today after seeing a link to recipe on How Sweet It Is a few weeks ago. Cannot f-ing wait.

*Last night I celebrated a friend’s entry into his late twenties in a bar with lots of old-school video games. It was great to catch up over drinks and pizza with friends I’ve been happy to see a little more of recently. Instead of a surprise cake there were surprise donuts, which was adorable. I tried a piece of a coconut one that looked delicious, but after a bite, I realized that maybe I’ll just never be a donut person, and what with all the other things out there to enjoy (as illustrated in yesterday’s post), that’s totally okay.

I may not love donuts, but pizza I can dig
I may not love donuts, but pizza I can dig

*Also, either I’m getting old, or those two Jameson & club sodas I drank last night were stronger than I thought. Goodness. This morning was not quite like the clear-headed morning after the last karaoke outing. I was up for another Athleta yoga class, but super-thankful it was a gentle one that did not involve hanging my head in downward dog too much.

*”Wow, my day was just not complete until you offered to send me a picture of your [preferred phallic euphemism]!” said no woman ever. I can’t decide if it’s better or worse to get a “warning” first. Furthermore, in what kind of work setting does one have the freedom to be taking/sending these Picassos in the middle of a weekday? Unless it’s the kind of thing one saves on one’s phone for when one feels like killing any semblance of mystery that remains in the modern world? As far as dating is concerned, I am officially jaded. My fall calendar is filling up fast with professional events and with birthday celebrations for friends and family. I’m willing to risk the possibility of turning into a gray-haired New York City eccentric with tons of stories but no wedding ring if it means actually enjoying my life.

*Speaking of enjoying life, let’s talk about music. My friend David posted the new Pixies EP1 on my Facebook the other day. Pixies without Kim Deal. So weird! Even though it’s just not the same, I will never be able to not love the Pixies. It’s pretty crazy to think it’s been ten years, but I associate their music so, so much with the summer and fall when I was 17 (haha so unique, I know).  Sometimes it seems like a universe away, and other times, a week since I was blasting this song 24/7:

What’s on your mind this Sunday? 

VROU

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vrouLast weekend when I took a free yoga class at an Athleta store, there was a rep from a company called VROU giving out free samples. Though I’m not generally a fan of “special” water, I’ve been known to blow $4 without blinking on a bottle of kombucha, so why not try a bottle of water specially designed for my sweaty female self?

The company was founded by a former professional soccer player who was inspired by the resolve of women she encountered on a trip to South Africa to build a better, more equal life—so much so in fact that she decided to name her product after a South African word for “woman.” The website explains that, in addition to providing essential nutrients, “VROU aspires to create communities that enrich and empower the lives of Girls and Women globally. We want to inspire all Girls and Women to realize their potential and share with the world their unique strengths.” So community-building water. Part of every purchase goes to one of the company’s non-profit partners to work toward benefiting young girls.

Were I in a different frame of mind, I might point out how vague that all sounds, but lately, I’m digging the idea of women helping other women. We need to take care of each other, so if you want to do it buying or selling “special” water, why not?

The taste of the pineapple-guava flavor was nice and subtle. Though I can’t say it’s something I’d seek out, it was a nice change of pace.

Do you like “special” water? I don’t know why I keep calling it that…

Delicious Baking Fail

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IMG_2799I don’t know what got into me, but I absolutely had to make banana bread this morning. Maybe I can blame it on the surprise hot yoga. By “surprise” I mean that there was no one to open the studio this morning, so one generous student offered up her roof. The instructor was cool with it, so we had our yoga class on the roof. The host was even kind enough to supply some spray-on sunscreen. It was a bizarre but fun little adventure. I love New York.

banana bread recipeStill, it was pretty hot (I heard this heat wave is on its way out? ), so I must not have been in my right mind when, after a quick shower, I decided banana bread would be a brilliant use of the ripe specimens languishing in the fruit bowl. And not just any banana bread—I was going for mad-scientist/healthy banana bread. Using this recipe for some inspiration (Averie always has the best recipes), I realized I had almost everything I needed, minus the flour. I had to go pick up a few things at the drug store, so I figured I’d grab flour there too. Naturally, there was none, and I was in no mood to brave the grocery store crowds, so in all my sun-soaked brilliance, I thought, “Oh, duh, just make oat flour..”

ground-up oats = oat flour
ground-up oats = oat flour

So I did.

I followed my made-up recipe to a T. I was even patient and let it cool 2o minutes before attempting to turn the mini-loaf over onto a wire wrack. If you’ve been with me a while, then I probably don’t even have to tell you this, but suffice it to say that, given my (lack of) successful past baking attempts, this happened. Inevitability—it’s the joke that writes itself. IMG_2812

However, there’s a happy ending to this story. Turns out the texture and taste of this particular baking fail were fan-f***ing-tastic. Turns out I just can’t flip a loaf to save my life. Good to know. So I did what I’d intended to do all along: I enjoyed a little bit of banana bread warm from the oven with some non-fat ricotta on top. Bam! Vaguely-healthy, mad scientist dessert.IMG_2811

Always an adventure over here.

Any favorite cooking/baking fails? What’s your favorite banana bread recipe? 

PS—don’t forget to enter my Firmoo giveaway!

Easy Summer Dessert

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I love summer. I even love the sticky humid days that come with it. My theory is that the heat helps me relax because my muscles aren’t as likely to tense up like they do in cold temperatures.

For better or worse, I’m that dietitian who will run down to the kitchen to get someone a meal they’ll actually eat, especially if it’s someone I’m a little worried about.  I’m happy to do it, but it does get exhausting. I have so much respect for nurses and CNAs who are on their feet running around all day long taking care of people. It’s also interesting that I spent so much time talking about weight management with people who want to lose weight only to find myself focusing on getting enough calories to keep up the pace.

Sweating under my lab coat in the humidity isn’t exactly sexy, but when I hang that thing up and head out for the weekend (even if I stayed late to finish all my work), I have almost no trouble transitioning into Personal Life mode. There’s something to be said for putting on a dress and getting out into the summer evening air.

IMG_2640Another thing I love about summer is how much easier food prep is. Meals are just simpler—fresh, in-season produce, less cooking—it’s a beautiful thing. Last night I saw the fruit stand on my way home had some gorgeous black figs for sale. For whatever reason, figs are one of my ultimate comfort foods—they’re just so luxurious and—dare I say it?—a little bit sexy.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy figs is roasted. They’re the perfect addition to many a sweet and savory dish. In the spirit of easy summer desserts, I enjoyed some over a little frozen Greek yogurt with dark chocolate chips. It was absolutely perfect—and a great way to celebrate my one-year-anniversary in my apartment.

This morning I took a great yoga class that focused on the heart chakra. It was an awesome reminder of how much stronger I’ve gotten in the past twelve months—mentally, emotionally, and physically. Like I often say, Always an adventure.

What do you love about summer? Any favorite summer foods?