Tag Archives: food

A Sunday Ramble


I’ve been feeling a little better.

Do you ever see that New York Times column, “My Sunday Routine”? I’ve only read it once or twice, but it made me feel like I should really have a better Sunday routine. Like, I make a quiche and have brunch with my friends, and hang out with my extended family all afternoon.

(Never mind that I don’t have extended family that ever hangs out together.)

Things that are going well

I’ve started a bullet journal! When in doubt, get hyper organized, right? It does feel good to make lists and mark them off, which is why I’ve been so enamored with Habitica the last few years. I like that I can put everything in my bujo, though. So far, calendar, daily to-do lists with events highlighted, blog ideas and topics (which makes it sound like I’m organized about blogging, here or elsewhere, and I’m not; I’d just like to be!), podcasts to follow/prioritize, stuff my mother asks for, food combinations I’m enjoying, the cable stitch pattern I’m using to make a scarf, and dog training progress.

I feel like I’ve only just begun. Now that I’ve started, I’m wondering why everyone doesn’t do this? Of course, now everyone IS doing it. But why aren’t we taught this in school? It’s so nice to have everything indexed and within reach.

I don’t know. Maybe this is the honeymoon phase. Maybe I’ll only love it for a few weeks. But I am still using Habitica, so I think it can all come together.

Food combinations that have been pleasant surprises

*Mango salsa and cottage cheese on sprouted grain
*Sliced banana dipped in ground flaxseed
*Greek yogurt with berries and 2 tbsp walnuts

I know, these aren’t earth-shattering. But I sometimes overlook the simple combinations that make food interesting in favor of complicated recipes. Mental note: it doesn’t have to be so hard.


Poor Ira Glass. I’ve seriously had him on my mind so much since last week’s episode of This American Life.

In Act 4, he talked about losing his friend, Mary, who had been the last person he talked to every day, since he and his wife separated. A few things he said really hit me, and now that I think of it, probably contributed a lot to my circles of thoughts about mortality and loneliness.

Today, I listened to Wait Wait, and now I’m catching up on Radiolab, which is pretty heavy. CRISPR was about the heady speed of gene editing. Now I’m listening to a two-parter on police shootings, and wondering if I should take a break to listen to that Nerdette episode on sex, or the Freakonomics episode literally titled, “Why is my life so hard?”

There are too many podcasts to keep up with! This is why it has a whole page in my bullet journal. 🙂


“Tell me about the ups.”


Last week I was catching up with someone after a meeting and said I was having some ups and downs. She said, “Tell me about the ups.” I loved that! It was saying, “Let’s focus on the positive.”

Interestingly, I had been planning a blog post called “Disappointment.”

Really. So instead, here are some of my ups:

  • Day job: going well and I may be full-time by end of summer!
  • Winter is in the rearview mirror! I’m really pleased to look back and think, I didn’t get sick a lot. I’m prone to respiratory infections (childhood pneumonia and many young-adult cases of bronchitis) and this is the first winter in a long time I can’t remember having any sinus infection or lingering chest cough – just a brief cold in January. I do believe it’s a sign that I’m taking good care of myself with food and rest, and finding a place in my daily meals for some warm, spicey food has made a huge change. I have to say, though, it was also the first winter in a long time I wasn’t working with kids every day! Kids should be labeled with big orange biohazard signs.
  • Building confidence as a group fitness instructor outside of Les Mills. Don’t get me wrong! I’m still completely obsessed with Les Mills and the endless cycles of learn new releases, launch, make playlists of old releases, lather rinse repeat… but it’s also been really scary for me to branch out into the world of designing one’s own class (outside of yoga). One of the biggest delights has been finding I can teach a HIIT class that everyone loves! I hated HIIT and thought “It’s just not me,” but when I thought of using the basic concept but tailoring it to my participants, I found out I could give them a fantastic workout even with low-impact options. It made me feel really creative, proud and brave.
  • Forgiveness of my imperfections/weak areas: I still haven’t mastered putting together a freestyle aerobic routine, but I’ve also learned it doesn’t really matter. People don’t really care if you get the V-steps just so, or if you have grapevines before a double-turn. People mostly want motivation, fun social experiences and a great workout. So now I save the sequenced footwork choreography for warm-ups, and do everything else interval style. Easier for me, and people at my day job love it. As one participant said, sometimes simplest really is best. Also, there are many variations on interval training, so no one will get bored. It was driving me crazy for a while, how I couldn’t do this new thing GREAT, but now I see it’s okay, it led me to find a better solution for my teaching style.
  • Greater understanding of my peers: Just, I’m beginning to understand the people who aren’t so into Les Mills. I used to think they were closed-minded, to be honest. And I do love Les Mills, likely always will, and I think they are the best exercise programs around. I know LM classes bring out the best in me as an instructor. At the same time, I sometimes get frustrated when they put plyo jumps in BodyStep (or worse, in BodyPump UGH!!!), and I don’t have the freedom to change that to an exercise that better suits my class other than the provided low option (which is often repetitive and boring in any program except for BodyFlow, which does options right). Anyway, I’m not trying to be negative here, just saying I can understand where the diehard freestylers are coming from. I get it, peeps.

Okay, that’s some of the ups. I also got a new car, and am planning a move to a new apartment soon, yay, but that’s outside the scope of this blog. I’d love to hear about your ups, so keep in touch!

(Ego slash) Pride! and Music



I am pleased to announce that I have gained “Advanced” status as a BodyFlow instructor! I was trying to be modest and wait for someone else to announce it for me, then I realized I’m single and Les Mills isn’t going to post it on their webpage (though they totally should), so it’s up to me. I’m very proud. I’m proud even though the letter from Les Mills reads an awful lot like a pass-withheld letter, which is super annoying.

You have achieved an outcome of ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR. There are a few areas that require on-going attention.

Enclosed is your AIM Assessment Action Plan, which highlights the areas requiring improvement to achieve Les Mills™ ELITE instructor status.

Seriously! That is the exact wording from the pass-withheld letter (and I would know!).

Hello?! It’s not exactly easy to get advanced status, Les Mills. A bit more of a pat on the back would be nice. I would much rather the letter say, “You are a rock star, and in order to become Bruce Springsteen….”


I just got four CDs from Dynamix in the mail, so my evening is planned! This is my first time ordering from this group-fitness-music superstore, so I’m kind of excited. Time to plan my next class! I’ve been getting by with my own music collection, and trying not to make the Les Mills gods angry by using their music. It’s hard to resist all that good workout music!

So now I’m learning the new Les Mills BodyFlow and BodyStep releases, and I’m creating my own class choreography and trying to remember that. (It’s so much easier to remember choreography you made up, though!) It’s a really fun, creative process.

I totally love my life.

Intuitive Eating


Before you do anything, check out the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. If you’re like me (and most Americans I know), just the outline could change the way you relate to food forever.

I saw this book at the library and thought, “Well, sure, I already know all about that, but I’ll see what they have to say.” I like to know what’s out there in diet and fitness land, for when people ask. (As much as possible to appear to know everything.) Still, it changed the way I think about food radically.

I have practiced mindful eating, and I haven’t considered myself a “dieter” in… oh, 20 years? (I don’t really count The Best Life Diet, though maybe I should!) I read a book when I was 16 called Fighting the Female Fat Cell and was convinced straight away that dieting:

  1. was bad for your body
  2. would lead to yo-yo weight gain
  3. just not worth it

Reading Intuitive Eating, however, showed me that I was still practicing restrictive eating. I thought of certain foods as “good” and some as “bad.” I thought, if I tracked my calories on Livestrong, it wasn’t really dieting… just being mindful. It wasn’t, though. If I tracked something really high in calories and went over my limit for the day, I’d feel guilty, and then I’d end up eating more because, well, why not? I’d already messed up.

I’d also resist foods I was deeply craving. Then, when I’d finally give in, I’d eat a lot, perceiving it as my “last chance” to eat these decadent foods.

Until I read Intuitive Eating, I didn’t realize that I was sabotaging myself this way.

So I changed. Almost overnight, I got rid of the food police and gave myself permission to eat whatever I enjoyed, as long as I really enjoyed it. Knowing I could always have more later took away a lot of the mystique of the foods I was craving.

Now I can think of Nutty Bars and instead of thinking, “Oh, I can’t let myself have those, I just won’t stop,” I think, “Eh. They’re okay. Maybe I’ll have one later, but I’m honestly kind of over them now.” I mean, within a week Nutty Bars lost their hold on me…. These were my nemesis food for years.

So, I’ve given myself permission to eat, to trust myself and what my body wants. I’ve released guilt surrounding food, and stopped counting calories. I’ve been doing this for 3 weeks, and interestingly, have lost weight. It wasn’t my goal, but I’m not displeased about it, either! Mostly, I’m really happy that all my angst around food is gone. I think this would be a longer process for someone who was a chronic dieter, but definitely worth it.

I’ve even added the certificate of training as one of my self-study goals for next year, so I can introduce these lessons in my personal training sessions. I’m already recommending the book like crazy (obviously).

Let me know if you try it! I hope it’s as helpful for you as it has been for me.

Cheesecake Calorie Factory!


I’m going with some friends to the Cheesecake Factory for ice cream tonight, so I took a peek at their menu. Oh, all the yummies! I thought maybe I’d stick to the simple “Dish of ice cream,” but I suspect they make that sound boring so that you’ll buy fancier/more expensive items, like the Godiva brownie sundae. I mean, really, which one sounds better?

Then I went hunting for nutritional information. It wasn’t easy to find. And when I did find it, I was shocked. Just go through the menu for a few seconds and check out the calories on random things. Crazy.

In case you’re feeling lazy, here are a few highlights (chosen for contrast):

Cheesecake (per slice):

  • original cheesecake 707
  • Godiva chocolate cheesecake 1109
  • Adam’s PB fudge ripple 1326

Well, thank goodness I’m not eating cheesecake tonight, right? But then, looking at the ice cream, that plain old boring “dish of ice cream” suddenly seems a lot more appealing:

  • dish of ice cream 277-333
  • Godiva Chocolate Brownie Sundae (serves 2) 1018
  • factory mud pie (serves 2) 2065

When I first looked at the menu, I thought I might go crazy and get a hot fudge sundae. Thinking it would be maybe a few hundred more calories. But not quite, unless by a couple hundred you mean 1200 calories! (For a total of 1534.)

No wonder they don’t widely publicize their calorie count. Dinner and dessert could be two days worth of calories for some people!


  • Today I teach BodyFlow at 2, and then I’m going to practice BodyStep.
  • BodyStep is coming along surprisingly well. Everything about this process has been far more delightful than I expected. I picked up the choreography quickly, had a fantastic time at training, and my technique is almost where I want it to be for taping. I am subbing a class next Friday. I think I’m going to tape it. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be The Best Class Ever, and I’ll be able to get my certification out of the way early. That would be awesome. If not, it will be a good learning tool, and I’ll be better prepared as I continue working toward certification.
  • Yesterday I ate a whole can of Pringles Sour Cream and Onions. A poor choice.

Happy Weekend, Ya’ll!


It’s been a few weeks since I updated. I feel bad, because I left that whole Kickstarter thing hanging in the air. Thanks to those of you who were willing to jump in and support the project, but it was not approved. Oh, well.

So far, so good this weekend. Went to friend Heather’s BodyFlow taping bright and early, taught my own 10 a.m. yoga class, then came home and crashed. I felt sort of jealous of the people with beach bags going of to enjoy the outside until I went grocery shopping. Two seconds in the parking lot was enough to make me really grateful to come home and relax in the AC!

I am eating (reasonable portions) (for now) of chips and salsa to celebrate summer instead. I’m facing some big changes in the next week, which is causing a fair amount of stress, which is leading to some comfort eating…. but my healthy choices are still outweighing my less-healthy choices.

I’ve been having my box of local veggies delivered for a month now, and it’s fantastic! It has definitely increased the variety of vegetables in my diet. I’ve also been making green smoothies, almost every day. I thought that would be a pain, but it’s really easy and surprisingly delicious. I actually look forward to my green smoothie and have even had one for dinner once or twice.

My hands have been hurting really badly since yesterday. Maybe Thursday, but yesterday was when I really began to notice it. My feet were hurting on Thursday, but I knew that was from taking BodyStep in old shoes – time to get some new ones. I can’t figure out why my hands hurt, though. It was so sudden, and they hurt all the way from my wrist to my fingertips, front and back. It makes weight-bearing exercises (like those we do a lot in Flow) really painful. I can only hope it ends soon.

Okay, enough complaining. Off to learn the new BodyFlow! (57!)