The downside of those nutrition labels.

I’m one of those people who flips over a package and reads the label in the supermarket before buying food. At this point I can discern whether it’s worth it or not in about a nano second.

I know I want to eat something balanced and try to limit the amount of sugar I take in every day. This of course means splurge foods that used to be favorites are no longer in my food rotation. The good news is I can figure out an alternative that’s going to work.

Which brings me to last week, I was totally excited for the S’Mores Frap to be back at Starbucks, it’s a sign of spring. It also has 65 grams of sugar in a grande, and even I realized I can’t modify that and keep the taste to go. So I live without 2 days worth of sugar in one drink. The old me would’ve just ordered the drink. It wasn’t as bad as my rant over the Jack Daniel’s Pulled Pork at least. That was the nutrition label I should’ve never read and let myself live in oblivion to how much sugar barbque sauce actually has.

Bottom line is: READ THE LABEL. Even if it’s going to make you cry. It’s funny how those unhealthy foods of my teens are probably better for me than anything else.

Thoughts a week after my first IDEA Personal Trainer Institute

It’s been just under 6 months since my passed the ACE Personal Trainer exam. I’m in the hunt for a gym job to make my side hustle; but with a flex work schedule that changes week to week it’s been difficult. There is a need for me to find a niche and a focus, then make my changes.

Last week, I attended my first IDEA Personal Trainer Institute down in Virginia. It got my Continuing Ed done until I need to renew my cert in 18 months. That alone was a big plus. More importantly I came out with tired but with a rejuvenated focus on making my lifestyle change.

Amongst the revelations I had:

  • I was in the lower end of the age bracket of attendees, I always feel old when I train at a gym where most of the staff was born after Kurt Cobain died;
  • Your passion can be a mid career change. Everyone I talked to has done something else at one point in their life;
  • Continuing learning is a must I don’t want to be the meat head trainer that doesn’t advance their techniques with the times. I can always find a way to improve the person that I am;
  • I need to find a local TRX gym, my next certification is going to be that–I just need to start taking my own classes for it;
  • It’s going to be a yearly thing even if I’m not training and coaching clients full time, I got that much out of it.  Next year I’m stopping at Trader Joe’s before I check in. A weekend on hotel food just does not cut it when I eat as clean as I do.  I have 11 months to get an awesome business card design too.

Saturday, not Monday Morning Quarterbacking

I head down next week to my first fitness conference since deciding to get my certification. The sessions have been selected and changed 4 times, my networking business cards have been printed and picked up. The fashionista in me stalked instagram feeds to see what people were wearing at earlier conferences so I would know what to pack. I even splurged on a brand new Yeti water bottle, thinking it’ll remind me afterwards why I’m on this journey. I’m mentally ready to go, hopefully I won’t be that weird kid starting a new elementary school newbie.

So the plans for the weekend are simple to learn and make connections. It would be amazing to find a training job lead that lets me vocalize my passion, but keep my day job and its health insurance. I’m limiting myself to paying cash for anything I want to buy at the event marketplace–I know how I can impulse shop.

Plus my favorite college restaurant has a location down the block from the conference hotel. Fitness convention or not–I am so looking forward to a Miami Vice and an order of nachos.

Confessions of a Pinterest Addict.

Full disclosure, on too many occasions I woke up in the middle of night and couldn’t fall back to sleep I ended up sucked into Pinterest to the alarm went off in the morning. It’s like my dependency on caffeine, I own up to it. The weird pins were there to prove it, at least I wasn’t going for the middle of night Amazon binges. Middle of the night Amazon binges can be scary.

A couple of months ago, I realized I had to do a full social media purge if I was going to create an online persona. Facebook was the easiest, my account has been Grandma appropriate since she joined 7 years ago. Twitter, I mainly use as my news source, I only had to update my avatar. Instagram I barely touch, I need to get better with utilizing it.

Then came the boards, they looked worse than my dresser drawers. It was a watching TV and waiting in Doctor’s offices project. I searched for how to create a unified experience–on Pinterest of course. In the end I learned a lot about doing the purge.

  1. I had boards I hadn’t used in years. My scrapbook from vacation 2016 is still not done. Why did I need a scrapbook board? That board got archived. I had a board on closet organization from when I was an early failure at the Marie Kondo thing, it got deleted.
  2. There was redundancy I had meal prep pins on both my workout board and my recipe boards. I streamlined them into one sub section. There easy to find now. Recipes I’ll never make got taken off. 200+ pins of liquor and sangria recipes were cleaned up.
  3. I unified my board covers, it meant about an hour on Canva, but I now have the same background across all my platforms. I had a picture that I took last summer on vacation that I love. It also gave me the perfect color scheme to work of off.
  4. I got picky about what I pin, goes back to the clean up. I eat clean 90% of the time I don’t need to pin elaborate desserts.
  5. I created a board for all the random stuff. It lets me save what I want to save, but it’s all in one spot. That board is my weird pin home. I thought about making it secret, but I decided it can be my quirky part. I did make boards about unrelated stuff secret.

Online presence I’m still a work in progress. I’ll get there. What matters is that I found my balance and I’m creating the best me.

How the Pillsbury Doughboy got me fit.

Thanksgiving Morning when most people are in pajamas watching the parade, I have this view. For 2 1/2 miles I run up and down behind a balloon making sure it doesn’t crash into anything. It’s an awesome cockatail party introduction. I thought I was in decent shape Thanksgiving 2015 when I took out the Pillsbury DoughBoy for the 2nd time. It was a crazy parade that kept me on my toes, and I was wrong. As the one who runs balloon operations, I had to make 2 first aid calls, which required me running up 2 NYC blocks, both times I was totally winded. On top of it I take the center rope of the balloon when we deflate post parade, I couldn’t lift my arms Black Friday morning. Anybody who works in retail, will tell you that’s a recipe for disaster.

So after I recovered from that holiday season by escaping to warmth and actually sleeping for a week, I knew I needed to get myself into a gym. I started small, hell I could barely hold a plank with my trainer bracing my feet for 30 seconds. I was 34, and probably in worse shape than most women twice my age. I knew I had to make a difference quickly, I hated that I was popping Advil like tic-tacs. I was winded walking up 2 flights of stairs. It wasn’t who I wanted to be. By August the change was noticeable, 2 1/2 years later the scale hasn’t changed much, but I’ve leaned out and put on the muscle.

I hate that it took me this long to get to the healthier me. I’ve never maintained a loss more than 4 months before this. It really is about finding the balance that makes a lifestyle sustainable.

How I finally got my Quiona right.

Since I started eating cleaner—I’ve had an affinity for quinoa. For me it’s just such a better carb option. But no matter what I tried I never ever could get the right consistency. I was relying on Birdseye and shelf stable microwave bags. It got expensive quickly—when I could find them.

So I decided to buy a rice cooker, not the giant one, the tiny little $12 on sale 3 cup Black & Decker one. I never make 9 cups of rice, I don’t need a giant rice cooker. First couple of times I tried mixing rice and quinoa, total fail. I didn’t account for the fact that they needed different cook times. Back to searching for the elusive steamer bags I went.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to try soaking and rinsing the quinoa before cooking it into the rice cooker. The first time it worked like a charm. The consistency is fluffy and it comes out perfectly. I soak the half cup with some dried seasoning the night before in water. I let it sit in the fridge. I make sure it gets a good rinsing, apparently that was my missing step all along. My tiny little rice cooker does the job. Then when the water is just about soaked in, I cut off some buttter add some more seasoning. Then I fluff it with the paddle and let it sit for a few minutes.

In the end I get the perfect balanced meal. Spinach and chicken with sun dried tomatoes, served over that perfect fluffy and seasoned quinoa. I know spinach combination works thanks to those Birdseye freezer bags.

Monday Musings

I was in one of those hippy dippy Pollyanna type modes at work all weekend.  Why?  Probably because I realize negative energy does carry over to the people around us. A smile reall can go a long way. At the same time someone that is in a toxic mood can bring down everyone around them.  My boss even remarked that sometimes I can diffuse a tense situation simply by being calm, collected, and smiling.

Then again, Starbucks is doing Cherry Mochas which have always been one of my favorite drinks. It could’ve been the sugar talking—even if I only do 2 pumps of cherry and 1 pump of mocha in my venti latte.   I might try to eat clean and low sugar, but somethings you need.

Why do I meal prep?


So this how I like to keep my food storage cabinet. I still remember Oprah saying she was possessive of her Tupperware the year Gladware was on the Favorite Things list. I don’t love bread, but I get that.

Why the obsession with the storage containers? Because I live for my meal prep day. It is so much easier to coook one set of work meals for the week, and not be running out for fast food everyday. When I know I have that healthy option done, I’m good to go.

For me it’s not necessarily about saving money, it’s about knowing what I’m eating. This girl is not afraid of the meal prep shortcuts. She’s about eating as clean as possible everyday. Shortcuts aren’t the enemy in finding the balance.

There’s always Trader Joe’s in the time of need.


Here we go. . .

Let’s start with my primary rules I’ve developed to keep the balance in my life. Took me forever to realize if everything isn’t balanced, I’ll never be happy.

  1. Don’t skip a Monday or the beginning of your week workout. It sets me up to be lazy the rest of the week. Though if my body needs sleep that wins out in end.
  2. Mess up on a meal, get over it and start fresh with your next one. People that eat perfect all the time are boring. Sometimes you just need a Wendy’s burger.
  3. Shortcuts are okay. I have the freezer full of Trader Joe’s veggies to back me up. If they can slice my fajita veggies for me, I’m perfectly fine with that.
  4. Time in the gym is the easy part, the rest of the hours is where life gets complicated.
  5. Life is short, eat the bacon.