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Wednesday Happenings & #Elf4Health Update!

28 Nov

Happy hump day, folks! We’re getting closer to the weekend, hooray! After having such a short week, a full week is kind of hard. 😦 I am also getting into finals mode so my stress levels are starting to creep up.

As you know, I am an #Elf4Health. My elf was MIA the first day, but she like myself, is in finals mode and simply got caught up in studying. But now she’s here and she got things rolling right away. So Monday’s challenge was #MeatlessMonday. I provided my elf with one of my favorite recipes:

Arroz con Gandules

As some of you may (or may not) know, I am Puerto Rican – 100% through and through. I know I don’t look “it.” But that is besides the point. Anyhoo, my mom makes the best arroz con gandules ever. It’s so rare when she makes it, so when she does (like she did with Thanksgiving), it is truly special. And the best part of arroz con gandules is the pegao. Pegao is Spanish for stuck, stuck together.  What is Pegao?

Rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot is called “pegao” and is crispy and delicious. Not everyone is skilled is making pegao – it is an art. Whenever my mom is putting away leftovers, I make sure she leaves the pot so I can get some.

Anyway, before I truly sound #fatfluential, instead of #fitfluential, Gina from Skinnytaste created a lightened up version. So I sent my elf that recipe, which you can find here.

In return, my elf sent me a link to this yummy Indian dish called Chola Masala. 

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I love, love, love Indian food and one of my favorite places to eat in the city is BrickLane Curry House in the East Village.  So I was super psyched for this recipe – I plan on making it over the weekend since there are a lot a few items I need to buy to make this meal happen.

Tuesday’s challenge was to send a handwritten note to someone. I sent the super pretty card below to a fellow blogger.

Wednesday’s challenge is to try out a new exercise. I am trying a new gym class today at lunch called Pi-Yo which is a combination of pilates and yoga. I am super pumped for this. I am having a lot of fun participating in #elf4health. And it is still not too late to join. Just head over to TheLeanGreenBean or Nutrionella for more info!

Finaaaally, I finally tried BoomChickaPop that Carlyn over at JustKeepSweating raves about whenever she does a Target haul. I live a town over from Carlyn actually, and so when I went to Target this past weekend, I made it my mission to find it.

My verdict? It’s a win! So much flavor for only 35 calories a cup and a serving is 4 cups. Holy moly yum! So if you spot it in your neighb, go pick it up!

Alright, back to work I go. #bademployee Have a great day!

Back to the Grind!!

26 Nov

Happy Monday everyone!

I am hoping everyone had a fantastic weekend. The holiday break has come and gone (much faster than I would have liked).  After running 7 miles on Saturday, I set out to run 3 1/2 miles or so on Sunday. It was freezing out and my legs were so fatigued. I felt like I had cinder blocks on my legs. Ugh. Plus running into the wind again, was not fun. But I pushed through and accomplished my miles.

#proof

In other news, some of you might have noticed that I am an #elf4health. What is an Elf for Health? Started by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean and Ella of Nutritionella, Elf for Health is a six week challenge that will run from the Monday after Thanksgiving through the first week in January. There are daily tasks, daily winners, prizes, weekly newsletters, and a Facebook group for support.

As an Elf, I am expected to support my assigned buddy with their holiday health goals and the daily challenges. Elves & buddies will be reassigned every 2 weeks. It’s a reciprocal relationship, I am an elf for my buddy and my buddy is my elf.

I’ve already reached out to my assigned buddy and got a jump start on the first challenge. I am super excited about this challenge and look forward to sharing more with you!

Finally, I am super excited to try this:

Celestial Seasoning’s Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride.  Tons of people have raved about this tea on Twitterverse and while I am not a big tea drinker, I decided to give it a whirl. Anything that tastes like cookies has to be great right? I also bought their Gingerbread Spice tea and am looking forward to trying that as well. I’ll keep you all posted on what I think soon! 🙂 Have a great start to the week!

Friday Fitness & Follow-up!

16 Nov

Happy Friday!

We made it to the end of another week. T minus 8 hours until the weekend officially begins! I don’t know about you, but the week dragged. I am so exhausted. On my way to work, I hit up my local Starbucks to get a cup of their Christmas Blend (one of my faves!) and a lady ahead of me ordered a grande 6-shot cappuccino.  So, a grande typically has 2 shots of espresso already… to add 4 more?!  Hey to each his/her own, but I felt nauseated at the idea of drinking something with that much caffeine. 😦

Did it work…?

Wednesday officially wrapped up the 10-day Shakeology Challenge. I know many are curious to learn how it went.  While I did not follow the plan meticulously, I did follow it 85-90% of the way. Some substitutions had to be made because a) I am not only cooking for myself, but my hubs and 2) when a Nor’easter hits and you don’t get home until 9pm, the last thing you want to do is cook, so you get takeout. That is life for you!

But back to more important things – the results!

Great news!

I lost 3lbs overall and an inch off my waist so that is a win-win for me! I really enjoyed Shakeology and yesterday, I had no idea what to eat for breakfast. I ordered a month’s supply on the site and will be getting it on a continuous monthly basis, woot! No more disruptions for me. 🙂

Running updates:

  • I will be handing out bibs tomorrow at NYRR HQ for the Race to Deliver 4 miler on Sunday. If you’re running it and are picking up your bib, come say hi! 🙂
  • I am running the Hot Chocolate 10K with Amanda of Run Principessa (you may remember her from the great big blog swap from earlier. It’s on Roosevelt Island, to which I’ve surprisingly have never been to. I am excited to meet Amanda in real life! If you want to know more about Amanda, check out her site and follow her @runprincipessa!
  • This happened:

I entered as a random drawing as part of a group with another SweatPink Ambassador. The drawing will occur on December 10th. I’ve never been to DC either! I am keeping my fingers crossed! (My husband is going to go bat-$%# if I get picked as we’re already going to FL for the Princess Half. Whoops.)

Do you have any fun weekend plans?? If so, share with me!!

Got Algae??

13 Nov

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Recently I applied for, and was chosen, to be an Energybits Ambassador!  Energybits are awesome and I am a huge proponent for what they stand for.  A little background info first: Energybits started by Catherine Arnston after learning that a significant portion of population 97% of all chronic illnesses in America were being caused by nutritional deficiencies.  Energybits are completely natural, good for both you and the environment and a huge source of protein (60%!).

So what exactly is EnergyBits made of? Algae (specifically Chlorella and Spirulina). Before any of you say, “ew,” first off let me say that the algae has been endorsed by the United Nations as the most nutritious food on earth. Secondly, spirulina algae has been a favorite of Olympic gold medalists for decades. And algae has been consumed all over the world – even back to the 16th century when was a food source for the Aztecs and other Mesoamericans until then.

Everyone can benefit from Energybits:

-Athletes

-Children

-Energy (obviously!)

-Colds/Health

-Detox

-Hangovers

-Jet lag

-Mental vitality

-longevity

-Weight loss

-Pet health

Under the umbrella of Energybits are: Energybits themselves, Skinnybits, Vitalitybits, and Recoverybits. There is a bit for everyone!  The bits are low calories (1 calorie per tab  – love this!) and are easy to take.  You can swallow them or chew them… whichever you prefer (they taste really “green”).

Anyway, I am going to have more information soon about my Ambassadorship and will let you know. But I just had to share the news! To learn more about Energybits and be #poweredbybits, you can go to their site, follow them on Twitter at @energybits and on Facebook.

Have a happy Tuesday!

Mother Nature Hates NYC

8 Nov

I was originally going to have this post up yesterday, but since it took me 3 hours to get home, it did not happen. First we had Hurricane Sandy, which we’re still feeling the effects of – especially those who are suffering from losing their homes and possessions, and now we had Nor’Easter Athena last night. Athena dumped snow all along the tri-state area from 2 inches to 8 inches! Yuck! And this weekend, rumor has it that we will be in the 60s which generates a huge WHAT THE?! from and others.

 

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But back to last night… I got on the oh-so-reliable (note sarcasm) Long Island Rail Road and at one point the entire system shut-down and I got stuck at the station before mine.  Husband came to the rescue and picked me up. By that time it was so late, the last thing I felt like doing was cooking. Take-out to the rescue! Options were limited and we ended up hitting the Taco Bell drive-through where I tried out their Cantina Bowl which is their take on the burrito bowl from Chipotle.

Wannabe Chipotle

It was fine for what it was and the situation. I am feeling the effects of that – sodium = bloat. I’m looking forward to working that off later at the gym. But the take away is that Chipotle is way better!

Shakeology update! Today is day 4 of the 10-day shakeology challenge and I am feeling good overall. I was going to experiment with a new recipe for my morning shake but I didn’t have time so I stuck to peanut butter, chocolate vegan shakeology, and almond milk. So, so good! It is super filling and I am amazed how it keeps me going up until lunch. I also feel more energized. And, I’ve gone down 2lbs so far – woo hoo! 🙂 I am looking forward to taking my measurements.

I purchased TurboFire and the package finally came yesterday. I love when my gym has Turbokick.  So now I have no excuse to workout at home if I can’t make it to the gym, especially if the weather is crappy!

Finally, and this is an important one, Carlyn of JustKeepSweating and Jenn of FitAppetit are hosting a virtual run to support victims of Hurricane Sandy. It’s called Racing for Relief and all of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross.  You can register ($10.00 minimum donation) through November 30th via their blogs. You can run any distance you’d like – from a 5K to a full 26.2 miles and even print out a bib and order a race t-shirt (the proceeds also go to the Red Cross). Their goal is to raise $1,000.00 by the end of the month and they’ve already raised $300.00 and it’s only the first week in November! For those who care, I am doing a 5K and I ordered a shirt.

I am going to end this piece with a quote from Lululemon’s manifesto and I want you to think of how it fits your life:

“The world moves at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you two steps behind. Do it now, do it now, do it now!”

Let’s Get Dirty!

1 Oct

Sunday was the Merrell’s Down and Dirty Mud Run. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. The last mud run I did was fun but more challenging than I imagined. And it was only a 5K. This time, I was running a 10K – 6.2 miles. I was also battling a cold that has been going around. The night before, I told the hubster that if I wasn’t feeling well the morning of, I would not go. I also told him that if I did feel good the morning of, but felt ill at any point during the race, I would DNF (“Did not finish”) and find a volunteer to escort me back. I wasn’t chancing it. So when I woke up, I was surprised to feel so great, so energetic, and so pumped. Having learned some lessons from the first mud run, we made sure to bring a towel and extra bags. I also made sure to wear my medical bracelet, wear long pants instead of shorts and bring socks I didn’t mind tossing. I also made sure to bring my fuel belt, bring my Gu chomps and bring a bottle of water with Nuun.  I felt like I was overdoing it but I wasn’t sure what lied ahead.

Anyway, once we arrived, I pinned my bib and entered my corral and was super nervous. But once the gun went off, the butterflies disappeared and off I went. I tackled many, many obstacles along the way, including:

  • Slippery Mountain
  • Inflatable Mountain
  • Monkey Crossing
  • Sand Bag Carry
  • Balance Beam
  • Marine Hurdles
  • Cargo Net Climb
  • Not 1, but 2 MUD PITS!
  • Tires
  • Low Crawls and Tunnels
  • High and Low Ladder Walls
  • Wading in the water – the Atlantic no less, and the water was great! I can at least say I made it to the beach this year, ha!
  • And 10 Push-ups!

I had such a great time completing the race and felt great the entire time – not too tired or anything at all! And I made great time – 1:26, considering that I had to wait for some of the obstacles and I had to take a few minutes after the first mud pit to rinse out my eyes since I got dirt and mud in my contacts. After the run, I grabbed a souvenir (a cozy fleece zip) and my veggie burger. I am awaiting official pics, but here are the ones I captured:

Before!

After!!

My shiny medal!

#Proof

I highly recommend doing this race if you have the chance to. It was amazing and so much more fun than The Survival Race. The obstacles were better spaced apart and it was mostly flat. It was also better organized (from porta potties, to fluid stations, to mile markers, amount of volunteers, etc.) and that to me means everything! I cannot wait for next year’s event! Next up: Entenmann’s 10K & Staten Island Half, woot-woot!! What did everyone do this weekend? I want to hear!

Sweatastic Saturday!

22 Sep

What up folks?! Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend! Birthday weekend continues and much fun has been had! Today, I ran the Fifth Avenue Mile with the New York Road Runners. It was a lot of fun running down the 5th avenue as fast as I can. Some guy was like “go girl” to me as I dashed by. And hooray, I set a new PR on running my fastest mile – 8:38! Afterwards, hubby and I had brunch at Sarabeth’s – you may recall that I ate there earlier this summer during the SweatPink meetup. Then, I waited on line to meet Kara Goucher! I was so excited and so nervous – she is my runspiration! I had bought her book when I first started running. She was so sweet and down to earth. She even wished me a happy birthday when signing my book! Afterwards, I was on cloud 9, tripping over my own feet all the while swooning like the fan girl I used to be when I was 12 and singing into my hairbrush to the BackStreet Boys.

Waiting to meet Kara

Race was sponsored by Nissan

Ahhhh!!

Cheezeball grin

Kara!!

!!!!!!!

I am exhausted from today, so I am hitting the sack early – 10K tomorrow! Wish me luck!