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. 

(source)

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!

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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!

Holiday Weekend Recap!

25 Nov

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and weekend. My weekend was full of turkey, family fun, and running. Thursday morning I went for a run around my neighborhood and clocked in 3.5 miles before calling it a day as hubs and I had to hit the road to see my side of the family. It was so nice seeing everyone; it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen my family since my birthday 2 months ago and that for me, was no bueno. I don’t know where the time went! That’s life, I suppose? I definitely plan on going to see them more. Here are some pics from then:

Dad & me!

#nomnomnom

We had so many leftovers – that turkey was huge! 17lbs, sheesh! My mom said the only things left were either really small turkeys or even bigger ones… so she went with the 17lb one. That’s fine with me… I love turkey. 🙂 Afterwards we had the desserts that I brought over – Italian cookies and cherry pie, yum!

Friday was spent doing some minor Black Friday shopping – primarily I was hunting for a gift my niece wanted, but I managed to pick up a few things along the way. The best was doing shopping online – a majority of shopping was done that way (nothing like shopping in your pjs, ha!). Yay for Old Navy and Loft practically giving things away for free!

Saturday, I hit the pavement and completed 7 miles. I went kind of late in the day and running in the park gave me the willies, so note for future reference: not happening again. I think I’ve seen too many horror movies. 😦 Anyway, here is a pic right after my run:

#proof

It was a bit tough – it was super cold and I was running against the wind for a good portion of it. But I got the miles in and I felt great after. Later on hubs and I watched a Star Wars marathon on TV. We are huge Star Wars dorks! I was always a fan of Harrison Ford and ewoks, hehe!  Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend! I have another 3-4 miles planned for the day before meeting up with classmates for a group project. Be well!

Ever So Thankful!

22 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!

I started my day with a quick run around the park. I’m spending the day with my side of the family so I wanted to squeeze some form of exercise in before heading off.

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I don’t know about you, but I plan on enjoying myself later with lots of turkey and pie. I usually cook/bake from scratch, but I didn’t have time this week so I bought cookies and a pie from our local Italian bakery. #nomnomnom

Anyway I just want to share the top 5 things I’m thankful for this year:

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1. Hubster!! He’s my biggest fan and supports me in every aspect of my life… and doesn’t complain when I drag him to my many races which include very early wake up calls.

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2. My Familia: My family is so great and so wonderful. We may have our tough moments but we get through them and even stronger than before!

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3. My friends: My girlfriends are some of the best people a girl can have for friends. They’ve been with me through thick and thin… from drunken college parties to celebrating milestones. We all live far away from each other but we can pick up from right where we left off when we meet up.

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4. My kitties: I think we can safely say that I’m a crazy cat lady, but I don’t care. Not all the kitties live with me, but like with any pet, they give me unconditional love and they give some of the best snuggles.

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5. My Sweatpink and FitFluential family, blog friends, and readers: So so grateful to have this wonderful community in my life. You all encourage and motivate me in ways I couldn’t even imagine. So thank you for being all around awesome!

And with that, I wish all of you a wonderful holiday filled with warmth, love, family and friends!

I’m a #Fitfluential Ambassador!!

20 Nov

I am so excited and so thrilled to announce that I have been accepted as a Fitfluential Ambassador! I applied back in September and have been anxiously awaiting their decision. I am excited to be even more part of this amazing community!

Some of you may wondering, what exactly is Fitfluential? [all of this is from their site, and isn’t mine]

FitFluential is a nationwide network of highly influential fitness enthusiasts sharing their journey both online and offline through multiple social media platforms. Founded in April of 2011 by Kelly Olexa, FitFluential was designed to connect health and wellness brands with their ideal target market through customized, long-term experiential and contextual marketing campaigns.

And what is an Ambassador?

1. A diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative (ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary).

2. An authorized messenger or representative.

That sounds VERY official, but what exactly IS a FitFluential Ambassador (“FFA”)?

In many ways, the definitions above accurately describe FFAs. We consider our Ambassadors to be the highest rank in our rapidly growing community of fitness fanatics.  FitFluential Ambassadors are based on audience reach and content quality, but also on attitude and quality of content. 🙂

So what does this mean for ME?

Great question! As an Ambassador, I will have opportunities to work with Fitfluential’s brand partners. That means when fitness brands want to partner with solid FitFluentials on product launches, social media campaigns or audition bloggers for long-term partnerships,  Ambassadors are the first to be invited.  At the end of the day, the goal of FitFluential is to successfully connect brands in the fitness space with highly influential fitness enthusiasts that are an ideal match for that brand.

I am so excited to begin this journey and share it with you! Thank you to everyone who follows me, reads my blog, checks out my page on Facebook, and then some. I wouldn’t be able to do this without YOU!!!

In the meantime you should check out Fitfluential’s site, check out their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter!  FitFluential is open to anyone and everyone who is passionate about fitness, not just bloggers. You may have a Twitter account and follow some of your favorite bloggers and vloggers, but you don’t consider yourself active in social media. You can still be a member of the FitFluential family. Click here to join as an Enthusiast! (Best of all, it’s free!!) 🙂

Weekend Fun!!

18 Nov

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! My weekend was busy, busy, busy!  Saturday began with a 6 mile run.

I got my six mile run in at the park by my house. I figured I’d run the loop around the lake twice and with the to/from my house, it’d be 6 miles. Wrong. It was about 4 – I ran around that lake pretty quickly. But I had 6 miles to do, so I ran the loop once more and then headed home. I had to go by my house twice to get the full 6, but I did it, woot!

Afterwards, I felt really, really great! Running really helps clear my mind and find myself.  I enjoy running in the cold so much more than in the summer.  I am getting more comfortable running around my neighborhood more and more – there were other runners there, people walking their dogs, parents with their kids.  However, safety first and I asked my lovely #SweatPink Ambassadors for running safety tips and they happily shared their tips:

  • Brooke of Sweats and Sweets: Have your music just loud enough, but low enough to hear if anyone is around you. Also, a SpiBelt is fantastic at holding small cans of mace, if you want to carry that. Always run with your phone if you need to call 911.
  • Steffi of Almost Healthy Life:  Run in the daytime, always tell someone what time and where you are running, call that someone when you return home so they know you’re safe. Happy and Safe Running!!
  • Michelle of Push.Pump.Progress:  i dont listen to music when i run alone, and if its dark i stick to busy well lit areas and i wear reflective gear and/OR i have a little light that i can pin to my jacket that flashes and have your phone on you. When i can i tell a friend and tell them approx when i should be done the run and text them once i am home.

(There are a ton more and I want to share them all in another post… stay tuned!)

On Saturday I was also supposed to go to NYRR HQ to hand out bibs/do registration, but I had such an itch to run, that I knew travel wise, there was no way I’d be able to get my run in, change, and head into the city. So at the last minute, I changed my plus 1 to volunteering at the kids races at the God’s Love – Race to Deliver 4 miler on Sunday. Volunteers were supposed to be at the race by 9, so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do the run, plus check in by 9, since the race was at 8:30. So did all of the other volunteers I met at check-in.

Brrrr!!!

Turns out we could have – we weren’t needed until 10. So I/the other volunteers froze for little over an hour. There was coffee available and we happily drank it down to keep warm. Finally, it was 10 AM and we were off to the kids’ races. The kids’ corrals are divided by age group, with the youngest closest to the finish line. The age groups were 2 & under, 3 to 4, 5 to 6, 6 to 7, 8 to 9, and 10 to 12.  One of my tasks were to help line the children up, make sure their bibs were correct, and get them pumped. All of them were so, so cute, especially the 1 to 2 year olds!  Before the races began, kids were running up and down the course, which had a slight incline. One of the volunteers joked that the kids were interval training, hahaha.  The NYRR hired cheerleaders and when the cheerleaders began cheering, the 1 to 2 year olds took off and we had to run after them to get them back to the start line.

Omggg

Finish line!

I never get to see any celebrities despite having lived in the city so long.  I met George Clooney on my 12th birthday and Sisqo (remember him?!) once after school, but that was pretty much it. However, I got to meet WPIX’s own (channel 11 for New York City/Long Island) weatherman, “Mr. G” – he looks good for his age!

Interviewing a 2 year old! Hehe!

After the race, we cleaned up, and checked out. I even got a free shirt for participating. I wanted to do 3 miles in the park before heading home but my phone kept pausing/resuming/pausing/resuming… and after a mile, I gave up due to frustration. So, I walked another half mile and then headed home. But still, I got my plus one for the NYRR 9 + 1, so you will see me at the 2013 ING New York City Marathon! Hooray!!!

What did you do this weekend? Tell me all about it!  Have you ever seen any celebrities in your neck of the woods?

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!!