Thursday, January 22, 2015

pampered princesses

I don't know about you, but I could get a massage or a facial (or hell a mani or pedi) every day and be happy with life. There's something to be said about having relaxation that just makes me less crazed. I'm always looking for great places and great deals. Because my skin isn't the best, facials are actually therapeutic for my routine. And since I've been more active, I guess I can say the same about massages!
the lounge at bliss spa. brownies. mmm.

I seriously don't mind polishing my own hands and feet, but sometimes it's just nice to have someone else do it. That being said, I'm also a life long nail biter. I know, it's gross. I've stopped a few times for upwards of six months but then I get off track with keeping them painted and I start biting again, blaming it on stress.

But since I'm back on track with focusing on me and my own wellness, I'm also not biting. I've been trying to create more non-food rewards for keeping on track and losing weight and reaching fitness milestones, so a mani or pedi is the perfect reward. I'm focused on getting my nails a little longer so I can treat myself to a gel manicure. And then I get bored and wind up adding my own "art".

What are some of your favorite non-food rewards? I'm also trying to spend all of my dollars on rewards, since let's be real - I like the good stuff :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

running in the artic tundra

christmas day in new jersey

If you're experiencing freezing cold weather in the single digits - I FEEL YOUR PAIN! I absolutely despise the cold. I try to never wear a coat unless I have to. If I could wear flip flops every day, I most certainly would. I don't particularly love having tons of heat on in my apartment but it has been so frigid that I have to! My slippers are certainly getting worn these days!

Since I've only just been getting back into the running groove, this cold weather is making it super hard to stay consistent! I'm still on my break from the gym, so I can't just go to the gym (plus I hate the treadmill in general). I'm not sure how I can get and stay on track in the winter months. I've been hitting Soul Cycle hard, which is great for rest and cross training days, but I'm just feeling disappointed in my run progress. I can handle being out there in the 30's, but not when it is only seven degrees! And freezing rain?! I just can't!

How do you stay warm for winter runs? How can I stay consistent without getting frostbite?!

Monday, January 19, 2015

vacation countdown

There is nothing better than a warm weather vaycay during the cold and dreary months. It's also fabulous when you book it a little more than a month before - so the countdown is already so close! But with that shorter countdown comes less time to get beach bod ready.

I've been focused on exercising more and being in a running schedule since Christmas, but knowing that a bathing suit need to be on my bod in a month is a good push! I ordered a few new summery cover ups and sandals to keep me motivated and on track.

I can't wait to get my toes in the sand (and a drink in my hand!). What are your best strategies for staying focused and on track with a short term goal?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

fitbits for life

Last summer, after hearing all about my lovely coworkers' Fitbits, I bit the bullet and bought the Zip. It was cute and pink and it definitely helped me be more accountable about my steps. My Zip traveled to Italy and had a good little life. Keyword: little. I often wore it on my bra or on the loops of my jeans, but part of the clip kept falling off. Then one day - poof - it just stopped working.

In the meantime, I had upgraded my iPhone and was using it's step tracker. Helpful, but not the same. I reached out to Fitbit about the problems and found that they have a fabulous customer service department! They walked me through troubleshooting steps, and when ultimately it still wasn't revived - they shipped me a brand new Zip. (Note: I was under warranty and still had my receipt, so be sure to hold on to yours too!)

awkward thumbs up, fitbit style
But being the brat that I am, I decided to upgrade to a Flex! Welcome home little bracelet :)  Not going to lie, this was partially motivated by the fact that Tory Burch has some super cute FitBit accessories. I haven't purchased them yet - because I want to see them in person. But I am looking into other Flex accessories. Stay tuned for reviews on some of my favorites. But for now - I'm enjoying keeping track of my steps and testing out the sleep tracker! What tracker do you use? Any tips on keeping authentic with your steps? It kills me I don't "get" all my steps when I'm at SoulCycle!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

the ultimate playlist

Music plays such a big role in my exercise life. Spin class, one of my favorite workouts, is only as good as it's music. And I know that my run is usually only as good as my playlist. I'm always looking for help in creating the ultimate playlist. I don't how I will be able to run in a long race without seriously amazing tunes!

Thanks to Spotify, I love being able to create new lists featuring tons of artists. But I never like any of the lists they make. So I spend hours creating my own. What are you favorite songs/artists/playlists to run with?

Some of my fave songs to get pumped include: Born to Run (duh, of course The Boss is big on the list), Mr. Brightside, and Dog Days Are Over.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

pumped up kicks

As a self-proclaimed (and not ashamed to admit) shopaholic, nothing is better than the high of getting a new purchase in the mail. I think online shopping is even better because you get the high twice -- when you make the purchase, and again when it arrives. I know, I have a sickness...and I digress.

ANYHOO - these babies arrived! On sale and fabulous. I haven't worn Asics for running, so I'm eager to try them out. In the past I've gone for neutral shoes but these are labeled for stability so I'm ready to try something new. When I'm running the roads I find shin splints to be a problem so I'm hoping these help.

What kind of sneakers are your favorite to run in? Favorite brands for stability? I've been reading that maximalist styles of running shoes are "in" right now. This really is my time to get my run on!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

living life as the pickiest eater

So I may not be the pickiest eater ever, but I'm definitely one of the pickiest 31 year old eaters ever! I've come a long way and I eat a lot more than I used to but I still have a lot of food issues.

(a few of the) Things I can't even have on my plate:
Cooked tomatoes

I don't really care for red sauces (hence the cooked tomato issue), so that cuts back on the healthy sauce choices. It's not that I don't like the flavor - it's that I don't like the texture. I can dip things in tomato sauce or salsa, but only because I have control over how much will be on the piece. And to be sure that no chunks make it into my mouth. I know, I know - I'm slightly insane.

That being said - it's hard for me to just go online and find a recipe. I'm always having to adjust things - which sometimes changes the flavor too much. But I have had some successes!

The Spicy Parmesan Shrimp skillet from How Sweet It Is was fabulous! Next time I make it, I may cut it in half - there was a lot of marinade for the amount of protein/pasta in it. And I definitely threw in some extra red pepper flakes to kick it up. I also halved the pasta and added in veggeti-style carrots. It was delish and easy! I marinated the shrimp Sunday night and cooked the pasta - and then just cut the carrots and threw it all in a big pan Monday night, plus I have leftovers! 

What are some either flavor combos that work olive oil and soy sauce? This one used both - but definitely didn't have a strong taste of either - probably because of the Parmesan and red pepper flakes.