Monday, April 30, 2012

Have I Mentioned...

...that I'm running my first 5K soon?  In 2 weeks from yesterday to be exact.  And I'm nervous!  3.1 miles in a row?!?! I've NEVER in a million years thought that I would be excited to run for multiple miles, but I am.  I have been working hard, and I'm excited!  (And you can sponsor me if you feel so inclined.  I would really love it, and so would the amazing cause that's sponsoring the race. Click here to kick me some dough.)

I totally understand that to a lot of people, running 3 miles is practically nothing.  But to me, it's going to be a huge accomplishment.  I've had to teach myself how to run, and it hasn't been pretty. Nor has it been fun.  But I'm finally feeling stronger, and more confident that I can make it.  As long as I don't have too many mornings like today.  I got my arse out of bed at 6:15 and the shoes were hitting the pavement by 6:22. Usually, the cold air greets me with a gentle punch in the face and I get moving.  Today, however, I never felt like I really got in to it.  Physically, my feet were moving, but it never felt comfortable.  According to, I ran about 1.6 miles.  My legs felt heavy and I wanted to stop the entire time I was going.  Boo.  It was the longest 16 minutes of my life.  (Ok, I exaggerate.  Moments in my life have felt longer.  Like labor.  Being in labor was worse than this morning's run.)  It's alright though.  I made up for it with an AWESOME class tonight at the gym!  There was such great energy in the room, and we had a great time.  I even recruited a couple of new members!  Note to self:  buffalo chicken bites and french fries for dinner on Sunday, no matter how stressed out you are, make for a very bad Monday morning workout. 

Last year, I organized a team at work.  We all wore matching shirts, complete with glitter. Some walked it, some ran it, and all had fun.  It was so amazing to pull together such a diverse group of people who were just out to do something healthy.  A couple were pregnant, a few were workout fanatics, and one was even a breast cancer survivor.  I was so sad that I couldn't run it with them :(

Hi team!  You guys were so great.  
Even my mom and sister ran it.  Well, my sister ran the whole thing.  My mom started out on the walker's route, but decided half way through that they were moving too slowly.  So she cut over to the runner's course. Totally legal in an official race. 

Can we go out to eat after the race?  I'm gonna be starving...
So while everyone was running their little hearts out, I did what I do best- took pictures of myself. I had some pretty cute props with me, don't ya think? 

Happy Mother's Day to me!

But this year will be an entirely different story.  I have since parted ways with my team, so I will not be sporting a College Prep glittery tee.  Don't worry, though.  My girlfriend and I WILL be donning pink together.  She is thinking it will be in the form of socks and bandanas; I'm rooting for sequins and headbands.  I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Wish me luck.  I need it. 

Have a healthy day,


Friday, April 27, 2012

Food Lovin' Friday: The Best Lentils EVER

And now... for my second installment of Food Lovin' Friday... I present to you a recipe for the Best Lentils EVER!!!  Get excited, friends.  This is  a good one.  And I made it up by myself.  I'm so culinary.   (Is "culinary" an appropriate adjective in this context?  I don't really think so, but it's happening.)

Step 1: Chop up some celery, onions, and carrots. Try to get all Food Network Star with it, but don't chop off your fingers. That would put a damper on things.

I love this knife. My mom got it for me for Christmas, and it literally cuts ANYTHING. Thanks, Mom.

Step 2: Add the vegetables to a pot with a little olive oil and garlic.  Saute it all for a few minutes, then add the lentils. (Make sure you wash them first). 

Your kitchen is going to smell so good at this point...

Step 3:  Add some chicken broth, and increase the temperature. As the broth heats up, the lentils will soak most of it up. ( If you want this to be more of a soup, you can add either a second can of broth, or some water flavored with chicken boullion.) 

If you're thinking about getting me a Christmas present, I could really use an electric can opener.  This one is kinda awful.

Step 4:  Let the flavors all get to know one another for a while.  Stir them all together once in a while.  You can add some salt and pepper at this point. You'll know their done when the lentils are nice and soft.  They are ready to eat at this point, nice and hot.  I like to sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

Trust me, these are as good as they look.

Yes, this dish is hearty enough to eat as a stand alone meal. Easy, healthy, and SO good!  Even my 4-year-old loves them.  And he eats practically nothing.  That, in my book, is a WIN! 

Have a healthy day,


Oh, PS- if you like it then you better put a Pin on it... (please and thank you)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I did something so cool and so out of my comfort zone this weekend.  Hooray for trying new things!  In an effort to get in touch with my Inner Zen, I signed up for a "Yogathon" that was being hosted by a local yoga studio in order to raise money for a camp for kids affected by cancer.  I figured I could recruit a friend or two and we could go get all "peaceful" together. Well, my friends are lame were busy, so I headed out by myself.
Now, I don't do a whole lot of yoga, but I've done a little here and there.  I dabble, if you will. And I've never taken a class at a real yoga studio- I've stuck to the classes at my gym, that are all done in the dark, with a whole bunch of stretching and laying quietly.  I typically leave said yoga classes and go jump on a treadmill to complete my workout.  Little did I know what kind of surprise was awaiting me.

There were several options on the day of this Yogathon.  It was 4 hours long, broken in to 3 seperate classes that started basic and got progressively harder.  So Brilliant Me decided to push myself and head to the last session: Power Vinyasa.  Might as well make it worth my time, right?  

This is the yoga studio that hosted the event. I might go there
someday for a real class.

Of course I had to make a stop on my way.  And yes, it was to purchase a mat.  Whatever.  I used to own one, but it got ruined when I used it to teach on a super gross floor somewhere last year.  So yes, I've been using the ones at the gym ever since.  Nothing like doing child's pose right where someone else's bare feet have been. Yum.
Hello new pink mat.  I think we're going
to get along famously. Please don't smell
too new when I open you in front of a
bunch of yogis.
To anyone who knows me, it should come as zero surprise that I got lost once I pulled on to the campus, and drove around the exact building where I needed to be approximately 14 times before I finally parked.  Oh yeah, and it was pouring rain.  Like, huge drops.  Walking in late as a soaking wet newcomer to a serene yoga setting where most people seem to know one another is such a cool way to make a first impression.  Try it sometime.

Ok, moving on.  I looked around the room and noticed that all kinds of people were "stretching out" by holding themselves in these weird, twisted poses, with their heads down and their legs in the air.  You have got to be kidding me.  Side note: the only place for me to put my mat was approximately 6 inches behind a guy who was wearing holey socks.  I found out very quickly that he also had extraordinarily long legs.  Boo.

Anyway, class started with an introduction of the first instructor: "This is the guy who we love because he kicks everyone's ass. Now let's get started".  Lord help me. 

But surprisingly, the music started (upbeat, dare I say HIP-HOP??), and I suddenly found myself in my happy workout place.  I was feeling strong, flexible, and filled with power. I was totally doing it!  Wait, was this workout actually... FUN?????

I really wish I had not left my iPod on the front seat of my car because I really wanted to share a pic or 12 of what was happening in there.  But truthfully, I was so in to it that I probably would have forgotten to use it anyway. 

So then after about 45 minutes, the second instructor took over.  She started by saying "move through your vinyasa and meet me in Warrior II" Ummmmmmm... excuse me?  I don't have a vinyasa. Glancing around the room, I kindof plank and down-dogged for a minute and somehow ended up looking like everyone else.  It then was on the verge of going down hill from there, but I miraculously managed to hold it together. In fact, I think I did a pretty great job. And this is despite the fact that I'm pretty sure she used the word "triangashana" (What?? Triangle pose?  Ok then, why not just say that? Duh.) She said a bunch of other shanananas too, but I just faked it. And then came those weird, twisted balancing poses.  None of which I did, by the way.  It was actually a very awesome feeling to have a nice sense of confidence SHOT within a 5-minute series when I couldn't get in to a SINGLE one of the poses.  Luckily, neither could about 97% of the class.  Phew.

And all of a sudden, it was over.  I was lying in meditation after an hour and a half, and I was feeling pretty great.  Hmmm, maybe I should try some power yoga more often...

 Proof that I made it out alive.  Looking all sweaty and unflattering.
People who take pictures of themselves in the car are so cool.
I look better in real life. (I think...)



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Catchin' Some ZZZZZZZZs

Last year at this time, I was working a full time job with "at-risk" teenagers, coming home to two boys who were 2 and 3 years old, trying to make it to the gym with some sort of consistency (which usually meant I was there by 5:30 in the friggin' morning), etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. You get my point.  I was busy. And so, by extension, I was tired.  Like, in bed every night with eyes involuntarily shutting by 9 kind of tired. But I thought nothing of it.  I mean, I worked hard.  I was drained both physically and emotionally by the end of each day, and I needed to get some sleep. No big deal, right?

Well, as I've told you before, it was also at this time last year that my body started revolting.  And somewhere along the way, it was discovered (by pure luck), that something was growing on my thyroid.  (And I will not make you relive the post I wrote about my ridiculous self-diagnosis of thyroid cancer. But it's in the archives.  Anxiety?  What makes you think I have anxiety??) Anyway, that little discovery got me sent to 2 more specialists, and both times, my blood work came back "normal". Now here's the part where the relevance of my title comes in:  I thought that falling in to bed every night by 9 and needing caffeine by 3 every afternoon was normal. Turns out, it's NOT!! 

A good friend of mine referred me to her Holistic Specialist. I know what you're thinking: oh great, lemme guess... she was cured by a witch doctor.  I know.  I was totally skeptical too.  But seriously, what did I have to lose at this point?  All I knew was that my body was literally falling apart, I felt like garbage most days, and the only thing doctors could tell me was to try to find a new job and start doing more yoga.  So here's what happened: 

I'll totally go in to more detail about what happened at my initial appointment in a later post, but the important thing in this case is that she sent me home with a bottle of nutritional supplements (think vitamins) that were specifically for my thyroid.  She explained that even though my blood levels came back within some textbook's definition of "normal range", they may be a little bit off for what MY "normal range" is.  "Here, take these for thirty days" she instructed. "They might even cure your problem completely". Not believing it for one second, I took the bottle and was on my way.

Hi Chelsea, you are very funny.
And you are one of the reasons
I miss having cable.
Fast forward about 2 weeks (ok, maybe more- I wasn't really great at taking them every day), and now I CAN'T SLEEP. As in, I don't get tired.  Ever.  I am up, ready to chat it up, watch a movie, cook tomorrow's dinner, clean the house, whatever, at 9, 10, even 11 at night.  There were so many nights when I would lay in bed and force myself to turn off the light after Chelsea Lately.  Um, that's at 11:30!  And I would still get up and run in the morning like nothing ever happened.  What the heck happened?  OMG, was I cured?!?! 

So here we are, a few months in to my new, totally bizzare lack of sleep habit, and it's finally catching up with me.  I'm still getting up before dawn a few days a week, working an emotionally draining job, and staying up way way way too late. But the only difference is, I only work a few hours a day, so I actually have time each afternoon to make up for an hour or two that I didn't get during the night.  Not a bad plan, right?

Well, a lot of days it's working out quite nicely.  But then there are the days when the laundry is just way too out of control to ignore.  Or the days when the boys lay down for approximately 7 minutes.  Or the days when I actually have to *gasp* stay and work a full day.  Ugh, those days kill me.  So what am I supposed to do?

Truth is, I really don't know.  My sleep habits are completly messed up right now.  We all have heard that the magic number is 8 when it comes to the amount of hours our body needs to function optimally.  I heard on a health show once that your body actually functions as if it has an alcholic drink in its system for each lost hour of sleep.  Wow.  So if I'm averaging 5 hours lately, I might as well be downing 3 drinks before facing my day.  How's that for reaction time and productivity?

So if you have any ideas on how I can get a normal sleep pattern back in my life, I'd love to hear it.  I'm going to visit the Holistic Specialist again next week, and you better believe it will be numero uno on my list. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go get in the shower and head to bed.  After all, it is 11:15 at night... 

Have a healthy day, (or night)


Friday, April 20, 2012

Food Lovin' Friday- Vegetarian Stir Fry

Hi! Happy Weekend!  Two things:  1)This week really flew by, didn't it?  (Not that I'm sad about that.  I hope the next 8 go by equally as quickly) and 2) I kinda suck at blogging.  I mean, I love it and all, but I get so sidetracked during the course of any given day and by the time I'm about to get in the shower and crawl into pjs I realize that, "yikes! I totally forgot to post today!" So for that I am sorry.  I'll try to do better.

So anywho (I really hate that fake word.  I hereby promise to never use it again), let's kick the weekend off with another fantastic recipe.  I really love that a bunch of people both here and on Pinterest seemed to like my Farmer's Market Pasta, so I will start sharing some other random creations more regularly.   In fact, I think I'll start doing it on Fridays.  Yes.  From here on out, tune in on Fridays for a healthy dinner you can easily recreate for yourself or your family.  Happy Birthday to  Food Lovin' Fridays!!! 

This week, I made a pretty amazing stir-fry.  And here it is in 5 pictures or less.  It's SOOOO easy.  I mean, seriously easy.  Make it this weekend for yourself.  And then share this post with everyone you know so they can enjoy some healthy deliciousness as well. 

Oooohhh... stir-fried non-chicken and vegetables. 
Lookin' good!

If you're not in love with soy "chick'n", you can use
steak or chicken. I for one, LOVED this though.

Here's the steak version for the Hubs. This
picture isn't blurry.  It's just hot and steamy.

This is the sauce I used. Aww, you don't have
a Wegmans near you?  I'm sorry.  You can
use another kind. I'm sure it'll still be good.

For those of you who enjoy a list of ingredients instead of a group of random pictures, this is what went in to my stir-fry:

Chopped up mixed vegetables (I used a package of frozen stir-fry veggies: broccoli, water chestnuts, baby corn and carrots)

some sort of protein (lean steak, tofu, chicken...)

Stir-Fry sauce

White Rice or Lo-Mein noodles

It's super easy:  Just heat a little bit of oil in a large skillet and heat everything up.  Make sure you stir it frequently.  Add the sauce and reduce the heat.  Serve over rice or noodles immediately. 

Question: What do you like to put in your stir-fry?

Have a healthy day,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The new obsession

What do you use on your floors? I used to use one of those huge wet mops, and I'd drag around a giant bucket with sloshing water filled with dirty water slash Pine-Sol. Then I realized that I hated putting that much effort in to getting my floors clean.  And I use that term "clean" loosely. There is no shot that using the same mop over and over is a sanitary decision. But my floors smelled clean, so I thought I was doing something right. And then I became infatuated with my Swiffer Wet Jet.  My house would still smell great, only this time, I could throw away the dirt.  Yes! Again, I totally thought I was doing something right.  That is, until  I took a second to actually think about what I was spreading all over my house.  Hmmmm.... nothin' but chemicals.  But wait! My kids play on those floors. They crawl around and drop food. They put their hands in their mouths and eat dropped food. There must be a better option.

Enter Steam Mop.

My new obsession. I can now clean and sanitize my floors with nothing but steam.  Ok, let's not get carried away- I am 100% NOT obsessed with cleaning.  In fact, I loathe it.  My house is not dirty, but I'm certainly not a clean freak either. Whatever. Exposing my kids to germs is just building up their immune systems, right?

Exactly why I love my steam mop.

The one I have- The Shark. 
This thing is so wonderful. Fill the little tank with water, attach the cotton pad, plug it in, and go.  The water heats up almost instantly, and suddenly I'm cleaning my floors. The steam billows up (I've heard it's over 200 degrees, but I'm not positive about that) and the kitchen tiles shine. You guys- I am not kidding- my floors get cleaner with this steam mop than they ever did with any other kind of mop. I just used it the other day, and almost took a picture of the cotton pad at the end of my mopping adventure, but something called pride got in my way.  There is no way I will ever admit how dirty my floors actually were.  (Remember those pore cleaning strips you tried when you were in middle school?  I equate the experience to that.)

I know you're thinking, "but I really love the smell of newly cleaned floors". Yeah, me too.  You equate smelling clean with actually being clean, don't you? Well, I have a solution for that too.  Put about 10 drops of essential oil into your steam mop's water tank. I used Lavender, and my whole house smelled like a spa when I was done.  Hooray for not breathing in chemicals!  (Or ingesting them if you are either a pet or a three-year-old child).

So there you go- a cleaning tip from a person who hates cleaning.  I hope you use it; I hope you love it. 

Have a healthy day,


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vacation from vacation

Hi!  I know it's been a while, huh?  I'm off from work this week, which is in turn, throwing my entire schedule off as well.  I always try to jam as many fun things into one week as is humanly possible, which always ends up backfiring and leaving the boys and I crazier than usual, and exhausted.  Sheesh, I'm totally gonna need a vacation from this vacation!

While I have been drooling over perusing friends' pictures on Facebook of their fancy migrations South, I have been living it up here in the ROC. Yep that's right, we've been coloring Easter eggs, eating our weight in jelly beans (oh wait, maybe that's just been me), going to swimming lessons, trying to catch up with friends who we never get to see because my stupid job gets in the way, and getting on eachother's nerves because we are never around eachother for this long at a time.  (Tune in to my other blog for my true feelings on spending a week "off" with the kids...) Butttt.... you don't read this for updates on my glorious life with two young heathens; you read it as a supplement to your healthy lifestyle.  So here are all of the healthy things I've been doing since I last posted 5 days ago:

1. Running!  OMG, it's true!  I officially signed up to run in the Mother's Day 5K to support the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. This will be my very first 5K (since my health crapped out last year at just about this time, and I didn't get to do it). I'm excited, I'm nervous, and I still can't believe I'm really gonna do this.  So anyway, now that I've committed, I have been running three mornings a week.  I usually do anywhere from 1.5-2.5 miles.  Now for all of you runners, I totally get that this is like, nothing.  But for me, it's nothing shy of miraculous that I can actually run for 2 and a half miles without stopping.  Oh, hey, wanna sponsor me? Here's the link.

2. Pilates!  Yes!  I've done it 2 and a half times since my last post (the "half" comes in to play because there's a lot of pilates-type stuff the class I teach). I went to a class on my own will the other night, and then got to teach a class last night.  It was my first time in this particular gym, and it ended up being a great time.  I'm not sure if the best part was that I got to teach on a stage, or that I wore a sequin headband.  But those are just minor details. Hooray for working the core for an hour straight!

3. Zumba! I love it. True story. I've moved up to the front of the class. That's probably a really embarrassing thing to admit, but I don't really care. I'm sick of standing behind people who are either off beat, moving in the wrong direction, or both. So now people get to stand behind me. HA!

4. Making moves! I can't really elaborate on this one yet, but suffice it to say that I've been doing a lot of thinking about what's coming next in this game of Life. I think I'm coming to some agreements with myself, and I like where my thoughts are taking me.  I have no idea whether or not any of these thoughts will come to fruition, but whatever happens will surely be healthy for the mind and soul.

What healthy things have you been doing?  I'd love to hear. C'mon- inspire me!

Have a healthy day,


Friday, April 6, 2012

Candy Heaven

When we were little, we used to wake up at some obscene hour on Easter morning to scour the house for our hidden baskets.  Upon finding them, (and about 50 thousand hidden eggs), the candy eating began.  And went on and on and on. My parents were normally pretty strict about how much sugar we ate. (We had the world's most boring bagged lunches.  Seriously. I mean, what second grader is excited about baby carrots and a peanut butter sandwich on brown bread? Boo.) But apparently the Easter Bunny did not have such particular guidelines.  He filled, and I mean filled our baskets with a huge chocolate bunny surrounded by ridiculously fun amounts of every single kind of candy imaginable.  Hooray for Candy Heaven!! 

This is a random picture of some lucky kid's
basket. Peeps AND Cadbury minis?! Wow.
Some major candy hoarding would have
been happening FOR SURE.
We knew it was only a matter of time before my mother announced that whatever wasn't eaten in two days was getting thrown in the trash.  THROWING CANDY IN THE TRASH?!!?!?!?  ISN'T THAT, LIKE, AGAINST THE LAW OR SOMETHING?!?! And so we embarked on a crazy sugar high,  and then taught ourselves some pretty intense candy hoarding tricks. (Well, my sister and I hoarded.  My brother just ate all of his, and then begged us for ours when he realized a week later what we had done). Hey man, it was survival of the fittest.

Well, I never really understood the whole "eat it all NOW" reasoning until I became a mother myself a couple of years ago, and became even crazier stricter about sugar consumption than my own mom was.  My poor lucky children won't even have the chance to candy hoard this Easter because there will hardly be any candy in their baskets.  Instead, the Easter Bunny found some non-candy (yet still fun) alternatives. 

Here is a list of things that are either being included in this year's basket, or were in last year's. Feel free to do this with your kids.  Trust me, everyone will be happy at the end of the day.

Plastic eggs filled with bunny-shaped cheese crackers or yogurt covered raisins. (Ok, ok, a few will have M&Ms or jelly beans too... but not too many!!)


Stuff from the $1 bins at Target. This year I found some pretty cool Spiderman gliding airplanes. Fun!

Sidewalk chalk, shaped like eggs of course

Welch's Fruit Snacks

Flip-flops (We are getting ridiculously excited for summer around here)

Small Lego kits

Coloring books



Granola bars (which they call "candy bars". I wonder when they'll figure out the truth...)

100% fruit "leather" (you know, those fruit strips that are actually made from fruit.)

There are probably more things that belong on this list, but I'm drawing a blank right now.  Tell me: what do you put in your kids' Easter baskets? What was in your basket when you were growing up? 

Have a healthy day (and a Happy Easter, or a Happy Passover, or just a great weekend),


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chronic Googler

I come to you today with a very profound, very serious, never-to-be forgotten health tip.  If you are ever faced with the chance (even if it's a 0.001% chance) that you may possibly be diagnosed with something, do not, and I repeat DO NOT become a Chronic Googler.  Have you ever done this?  (Yes. You know you have).  You come home from work with a headache, decide to Google it, and all of a sudden are suffering from a self-diagnosis of brain cancer?  I am a ridiculous Google addict, and 9 times out of 10, nothing good comes from it. (Unless of course I'm Googling fitness blogs, then... oh wait... I usually end up stumbling upon some crazy- fit girl who makes me feel like a fat piece... so no, Chronic Googling is NEVER a good thing.)

Last year, when I was undergoing all of my crazy anxiety and was trying my hardest to personally meet every single specialist in the entire state of New York, it was discovered that I have something growing on my thyroid. (This fact did nothing to help the anxiety, by the way.) The high chance that it was absolutely nothing to worry about did absolutely nothing to stop me from Googling the crap out of it.  Within minutes, the Internet had me diagnosed with thyroid cancer, obviously. And within minutes after that, I had found at least 127 fascinating horrifying blogs written by people who were also (and by also I mean actually) diagnosed. And yes, each of those blogs was complete with pictures of surgeries; half of which were botched somehow. omG. 
So I'm going to make a long story just a little bit longer by telling you that all of my freaking out was for absolutely NOTHING. Yes, I had to get a biopsy of my thyroid, and YES it pretty much sucked. But it was 100% benign. So I was sent on my way with a follow up appointment a year later. 

So here I am today.  My follow-up appointment was this morning, and again, I was a total wreck beforehand.  What if it had tripled in size? Turned in to cancer that was rapidly spreading? Become so bad that I had to be rushed in to surgery immediately if not sooner????? 

Well.... here's the news:  there was ZERO change!!!  Hooray! (Yes, that little nodule is still there, but tons of people have them and don't even know it. It's completely fine.) So no needle in my throat today!!!  No news is absolutely good news in this case. And being a Chronic Googler is absolutely bad news.  Now knock it off. 

Have a healthy day,