Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sudden Fame, Soup and Salad

I saw one of my ongoing clients today at 9:45 in the morning. She had a double hip replacement a couple of years ago, and is doing pilates privately with me twice a week to become stronger in her hips as well as to gain overall strength and flexibility.

but right as we were wrapping up her appt, S., the owner of the studio, came into the room and stood there, looking at me with some urgency. This was odd. he doen't usually show up like that. He asked me if I had 20 min. or so, and I said yes. He asked if I would "jump into" the pilates classroom, where an advanced pilates class was happening (taught by his wife and co-owner of the studio, H.). There was a camera man in there, filming for either a commercial, or a webpage.. I'm not sure which yet, but S wanted me to get on the one last empty allegro (pilates machine) so that the class would be full during filming. Two of my co-workers were also in there, taking part in the class, so the room would look nice and full. I knew that we were going to be doing some filming this weekend, but I had no idea that they were actually starting today.

I didn't have time to think really... just ran to the back room, put on my toe sox really fast, and ran into the classroom. The class was going in full force - right in the middle of doing some intense 100's roll ups, H. cueing abs and rib funnel. It was fun and slightly surreal all of a sudden to have to "perform" and have a camera man stare down at me with his lens. The whole class was more quiet and focused than it usually is. People act differently when they're on video!

I didn't bring quite enough food to work with me today. Lunch was a sprouted wheat bun, toasted (the toaster at work has really come in handy) with almond butter on it. I also had a banana, an orange, and half of a Pure bar for a snack.

Towards the later afternoon I was really hungry. I stopped at my favorite" save-me -in-a-starving-pinch" health food store on the way home from work. Seriously, I'm sometimes embarrassed to go to this store, because I'm there just about EVERY day. Yes, I'm the woman who doesn't know how to do a big shopping once a week (I'm working on that). I picked up some ready-made organic salad. I love shredded beets, so my salad was full of beets, some sprouts, purple cabbage, shredded carrots, pumpkin seeds ( REALLY good in salad), and a little bit of feta dressing. I added some flax oil to it when I got home. I also had a big bowl of lentil soup that I made a couple of days ago, some raw filbert nuts, and lemon/ginger tea with agave and fresh lemon juice. It was delicious! Soup and salad are two of my favorites. I'd like to make a pot of soup every weekend during the fall and winter.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

True Colors

Like many people who are trying to eat nutritiously, I sometimes use stevia powder as a sweetener. I use the little packets of white stevia powder to sweeten my tea, lemonade, smoothies, and even coffee. The packets are convenient and since it is so sweet, a little goes a long way. But being the organic snob that I am (I'm admittedly addicted to organic food), I began to wonder why I can't find any organic stevia.
Today, I wanted to make a smoothie as part of my lunch, and I had an idea. I'd look at my favorite health food store (just a few blocks away from my house), and see if they had any organic stevia in their bulk spice section. They have just about every other spice and powdery substance in bulk, but I never thought to look for stevia there.

And I found this:

organic stevia leaf.

It's green......

It makes sense that it's green, since stevia is a green leaf plant. I wonder if they process it to make it into the white form that you usually find it in.
So, this made me very happy to find! It's organic and it seems to be closer to its natural form. You should take a look at your health food store and see if you can find some. It's realllllly sweet. I used a little too much in my smoothie, but it was still tasty:

(all organic)
apple juice, non-fat milk, frozen strawberries, apple, cinnamon, and stevia.

I drank it with this:

two organic frozen flax waffles, with organic peanut butter. It was delicious, and just the right fuel after my run and before I went in to the pilates studio to work.

Oh, and half of this bar which is my favorite right now. It's organic, raw, vegan, and so GOOD. It's a chocolately brownie treat with walnuts. I'm thinking of buying a bulk box online.

Speaking of colors, I'm loving the fall colors of this time of year:
My buffet at the moment:

Bright red (spotted while taking a walk):


Sunday, April 18, 2010

On Travelling 3,000 Miles, Conquering a Phobia, and Going Back To The Birth Place.

I kept hush about it before hand, but my mom, Alex, and I went to New York on April 7th. We had planned this trip since last October, when my mom called me one day and in a hesitant tone asked me if I wanted to go to New York with her in April. Her hesitant tone was due to the fact that she knows I'm deathly afraid of flying. She can understand though, because she too, hates to fly. As a matter of fact, it was in 1982 that we last went to New York together, and our plane lost power in one engine on the way back. We had to make an emergency landing at the San Francisco airport. Yeahhh, that is probably when our flying phobias got rooted.

Nevertheless, we're from New York, have family there, and my cousins daughter was having her bat-mitzvah on April 10th. Our family there has been putting the pressure on us to visit. My mom decided she was going to go, and Alex decided he wanted to go with her. It came down to if I was going to go also - free tickets included from my mom's credit card points. I said yes.

This was the first time the three of us.. my mom, me, and Alex have gone on a trip together. It was such an adventure! I should tell you that Alex had never been on an airplane before (he's 15). He'd also never been on a train, or through a revolving door! It was fun to do all of those things with him. I mean hey.... the New York subway is a heck of an introduction to riding the train, wouldn't you say??

At the San Francisco Airport, waiting to get on our flight to NY.

We stayed at my aunt and uncle's house on the beach, about 30 min. outside of Manhattan. The beach is their backyard. So relaxing.

One of the main reasons we went to New York, was for my cousin's daugher's bat-mitzvah. I had never been to one. It was quite the event.

I like to watch the Regis and Kelly show (I'm home some mornings at 9:00). Something about it is very "nostalgic New York" to me. I sent away for tickets to be in the studio audience, and got them! Alex and I went to the show on April 9th. It was very surreal. At one point, Regis came right up to me and said "hi."

Waiting in line to get in to the show

More from Regis and Kelly

We spent a whole day in Manhattan- walking, shopping, looking.

Pigeons on top of the Empire State.

And a day in Brooklyn, where I was born. I love the old architecture there.

Is my fear of flying cured? Not 100%, but I'm definitely better about getting on a plane than I used to be. I was able to get into the "organization and rhythm" of flying more this time. Everything has a purpose and a timing, and works like it should for the most part. It also helped to tune into the air traffic control station and listen to the captain talking every once in a while. His voice was calm, and I knew that things were okay. I'm not ready to book another flight yet, but I'm glad I went.

What vacations are you looking forward to? Tis the season.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Early Spring Sunday

I love Sunday mornings.
Who doesn't.

Today, mine consisted of some of this on the coffee table, reminding me that spring (my favorite time of the year) is on the way:

And this for breakfast:

I don't usually eat pancakes, but today they sounded (and tasted) especially good. These are organic buckwheat pancakes topped with a little banana and pure maple syrup, which contains none of the junk like high fructose corn syrup that "regular" syrup contains. It costs more, but it's so worth it. This breakfast was quick, easy, delicious, and made with foods close to their source. My kind of meal.

Until next Sunday.....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Day

~Enjoy whatever and whoever it is that you love today~

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Medicine Cabinet Clean Out

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, I think about organizing my house, to help lull me to sleep. Oh yeah, I've analyzed this one a lot. Organization is something that I've been "working on" for years. Do you have anything that you've been trying to do/achieve, however "small" it may seem, for a long time? Organization helps me to feel calm, in control, and accomplished. I'm the kind of person who doesn't like the fact that a lot of things in life are beyond our control. It makes me uneasy, and spikes my anxiety. I don't really love the process of organizing a mess- but I love the finished results. And the process has taken on an almost meditative quality for me lately. When I'm focused on an organizing project, everything else gets pushed aside. My mind is quiet.

One thing that I love about our house is these built in cabinets in the hall by the bathroom.

In the bottom left, we keep towels. In the top left is our bedding.. sheets, etc. in the top right is extra shampoo bottles, and other bathroom items. In the lower right is the medicine cabinet (we don't have one in the bathroom).

Sadly, the medicine cabinet got to a point of disarray. Actually, it never was well organized.

Here's a before photo:

It's been bothering me lately, so I ordered some Clear Stacking Bins from the container store which fit into the space perfectly. I like that they are open in the front, so you can easily see and access what's inside them. I'm thinking about getting a label maker for labeling such bins.

I took everything out, wiped the shelves clean, tossed the things that we don't use, and organized most of what was left into the three bins. I thought about taking the medications out of their packaging, but realized that we might need to read the directions! Now, there is a lot more room. When you live in a small house, you need to make every part neat and functional, I think.

Here's what it looks like now (so much more pleasing to the eye, right?)

Just $20.00 or so, and about a half hour of time, and it's so much better.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Basic Work Out

Until I started my new job at the pilates studio about seven months ago, I taught fitness classes for 13 years. I taught it all... step aerobics, dance aerobics, kickboxing, body sculpting, abs/back class... of course, not all at once, and usually I only taught two or three classes a week. Getting exercise was easy because it was "built into" my job description! I also tried to get into the weight room a couple of times a week and lift weights.

Lately, there has been a big shift in how and when I work out, and I'm still adjusting to it. When I started my new job training for pilates, it was so intense ( I really felt like I was in medical school) that I hardly worked out at all for a number of months. That felt horrible, but it was all I could do to squeeze in a little walk or short run here and there. Maybe it was partially the emotional aspect for me. I was so overwhelmed and overworked for those months of training that I just came home and flopped, and didn't want to move. But my body started to feel the effects of not having enough regular exercise. I was getting sore and tight in ways I hadn't felt before, and that scared me.

I realized just how important movement is for me, physically and mentally. I knew that if I could work out more, it would help me relax and feel more centered at work, and in all aspects of my life. So I've started walking/jogging more. I like to record when I exercise on the calendar on my computer. Doesn't it feel good when you can look back and see that you worked out "X" many times during the week? I also try to take two pilates classes a week (not always easy when you have clients that conflict with class times) and, I'm trying to use the gym at work more.

I know, it seems kind of weird for a pilates instructor and personal trainer to be struggling with her own work outs, right? But even when you work at a gym/pilates studio, it can be hard to find the time/motivation/ whatever/ to get regular work outs. I'm dealing with the same issues that everyone has to deal with... finding exercises that I like to do, that I'll do regularly. It's different now that I'm not teaching cardio classes. When I teach pilates classes, I'm not actually doing the movements with the class for the most part- I show them what to do, and then walk around correcting their form, etc. It's also not cardio, though it's some good strengthening and stretching.

My new goal is to fit in a work out in the gym Monday mornings right after my 7:30 client, and then again on Thursday or Friday. I usually do about 20 min. to a half hour of cardio, and then some weights. It's not a long work out, but I feel like it's enough for now. I also try to take a pilates class twice a week, and then I walk/jog once or twice on the weekends.

I'm starting to feel like I want to take some kind of class on the weekends, but I'm not sure what kind yet. Spinning has been appealing to me, but I haven't tried it yet.

You really can get a decent work out in only a half hour. If you've been struggling with wanting to start doing something, but are having a hard time getting going, try this on a weekend morning...

Go on a half hour walk.... walk up some hills... you'll start to break a sweat. If you want to, you can add some short intervals of a slow run. When you come home, get on the floor and stretch/ do some abs for five or ten minutes. That's it. This has been one of my very basic work outs these last months, and it's made all the difference when I felt like I couldn't do more. Oh, and feel free to mark your work out on your calendar, and then have a nice warm cup of tea or coffee with a healthy breakfast....