Friday, December 28, 2007

Follow Up

Down 5 lbs. and only 2 more to go before the New Year...I'm gonna lose that 7 lbs. I just know it. If not, no biggie, I'm totally PMS'ing so that can make weight loss a bit touch and go with the water weight fluctuations. However it's nice to know that I'll be ringing in the New Year on a nice healthy note and feeling pretty lean and sexy. In fact, if I do decide to go to my friend Jan's New Years Eve Party, I'll take some healthy snacks to make sure that I stay on the straight and narrow. My spinach stuffed mushrooms are always a hit and so are my homemade kale chips. I may even try to make the new recipe that Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen Asparagus, Mushroom, and Goat Cheese Frittata that sounds absolutely divine...can't wait, I just adore all those ingredients, especially goat cheese. I totally stole the pic of the casserole from her website, hope she doesn't mind. I personally think it's gorgeous all golden brown, but she suggests cooking it for less time.

Oh I promised a report on my hypnosis experience...well I'm still rolling that one around the ol' head at the moment. I don't know what to think. It's one of those things where they want you to let go and stop trying to be in control, and for a control freak like me...well that proved to be rather difficult. It was sort of like pulling teeth and it made me feel uncomfortable. Not that I mind going out of my comfort zone, that's part of the biz that I'm in...always overcoming obstacles and fears...but I wasn't too crazy about the experience. It really is like guided meditation, but I find that I feel wayyy more relaxed after a nice yoga class with a shavasana & meditation at the end. I'm gonna try it a few more times before I knock it, but so far I'm not too thrilled about Hypnosis.

Today there's a Fat Burning Pilates class at the gym and it sounds like just what I need to give my work-out a bit of a kick in the pants...I love changing things up, it always gives great results and makes me sore for days. If I don't tell you on Monday, Have a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

So far so good...

As soon as Christmas was over, so was the junky eating. Sure there are still treats around and being offered, but as I said in my last post, I've had enough! It feels good to be eating clean again. I was a little worried about last night's ladies night, but my teacher had made some low cal. veggie soup! My vegan friend would have loved was made in a vegetable based broth with bokchoy, cabbage, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and peppers, I think that was it, but the bokchoy (sp?) greens spiced it up was perfect, filling and cleansing all at the same time...yay for fibrous vegetables! Today at work, lunch was catered of those really huge heroes with Italian meats and cheeses all over it, and a nice mixed green salad with tomatoes, onions & olives in it...I made myself a big plate of the mixed greens with a few olives (3 to be exact) and the other veggies I mentioned and sprinkled it with a nice balsamic vinegar & olive oil. I didn't even touch the monstrosity of a sandwich...yay me! Tomorrow is Pizza Friday at my work...that's a tough one...I smell it and I start to drool for a piece of pie...but absolutely not! I must stay strong. I've got a goal to reach by New Years and I'm not going to let one piece of pizza defeat me. I'll just have my morning snack around 11ish so that I won't be hungry when it arrives.

I worked out today and yesterday as that's another plus I can check on my list of good things done for me.

On another note: I'm trying out hypnosis for singers tonight...why not, it couldn't hurt. If I can over come underlying anxieties and the like its all the better. The brain is a curious thing...I'm not a big believer in these sorts of things, but it's more like guided meditation I hear, and since I enjoy yoga, perhaps this can't be too way out there. I'm willing to try anything once. :) I let you know what I think about it...a sort of review on the subject. So wish me luck or whatever you wish in those situations.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

High Hopes

Wow, I'm sooo done with "Holiday" eating! Seriously, how many cookies, chocolates, and other sugar-loaded carbs can one eat in less than a month? Well as we know from past blogs and fellow bloggers, an average of 7 lbs. per American. That's a lot of junk that's consumed. Have you ever truly thought about it? What goes into a basic treat? The main ingredients are generally Sugar, Flour, and some kind of oil or Fat to hold it together. Empty, Empty Calories...yummy? Sometimes, but generally you're left feeling lousy after the consumption of it.

So now what? That's right, it's time to rid our bodies of the crap we've been putting into it...key word: Detox. Time to feed our bodies good wholesome foods like leafy greens, clean water, whole grains, and trying to make sure it's as organic as one can get. There's no good in trying to eat healthy when the veggies you're consuming have been covered in do your best to know & plan on what you're putting into your's the only one you've got, so treat it nice. And why we're at it, make sure you get away from the computer and walk around...get some exercise. Not only do we need to feed ourselves well, we need to keep the body moving and burning those excess holiday calories that may have been consumed. For me that means hitting the gym and really pushing myself. Perhaps a nice circuit training class, or a good jaunt on the treadmill or elliptical...oooh or even better, YOGA! No better way to detox than with a yoga class full of stretching and twisting that really encourages the body to rid itself of unwanted radicals. enough talking about it, time to put it into practice...I believe I'll have a nice hand full of nuts right now with 2 glasses of water & my first dose a vitamins. Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2007

OMG it's Friday!!!'s finally Friday 12/21...the day that I've been trying to make it to and through. The day where I can finally take the Holiday off as soon as they release us from our desks. Did I mention that besides being an Opera Singer, I also work a day job in order to supplement my finances. It turns out that I'm a rather quick & efficient assistant...I get all my work done so fast that it leaves me time to do things like write in my blog and study my music and languages :) I truly do have the best boss ever (He knows that I study and he's totally cool with it...such a great guy). As soon as the clock ticks to 12:30 noonish we have an inner-office party with actual libations...but seriously, people are already partying and enjoying some holiday cheer.

I decided to make gifts this year, so I made little gift bags of sugar-free, low carb, low-cal. Spiced Chai mix to enjoy with Hot Water or Milk...hopefully my friends and colleagues will appreciate this...I'm giving them a warm, soothing gift that they can enjoy without adding to their seems a bit chintzy, but it was made with love and consideration. I personally enjoyed a cup last night w/some splenda was delish.

So now off to finish some "work" and prepare myself for a nice Holiday of reclusiveness and rest (if possible).

Happy Holidays to All!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Uphill Battle

I feel as if I'm fighting an uphill battle at this point. With finances running thin and the offers of free lunch, how does one say no...I mean that's at least $20 bucks I can save towards purchasing a gift or paying a bill. Unfortunately the lunches provided are not the healthiest, generally consisting of a pasta, a fried something, or a fatty sandwich...even the vegetarian options are slathered with cheeses and condiments. How does one win in this situation unless one abstains. So I've resigned to trying not to eat many goodies, but to eat what I like in moderation. I also know that once this week is over, it'll be time to detox something major (Hello Phase I). I actually can't wait. My body has been screaming at me for eating off my program lately and no wonder I have this lingering cold (or whatever it is) for the past 3 weeks now.

On that note: I had a voice lesson last night and I hadn't realized how out of shape physically and vocally I had gotten in the past 3 weeks. Being sick really takes a toll on the voice and I felt like I was relearning how to sing last night. My teacher also stated that I allow too many people to get into my head about singing, and that a vocalist must be strong and confident in their technique and ner be swayed from it, no matter who's doing the to the devil with the Maestros...she makes a good point, that the greats, especially the current Russian crop of singers would be damned before allowing anyone to screw with their technique. I mean you are hired based on how well you sing, so who has the right to try and change it once contracted? I originally come from the world of Musical Theatre, and in that world you do what you're told...or you don't work...but apparently in the Opera World, you smile, say yes Maestro or Herr Direktor and keep on doing what it is that you do well. Same with coaches...there seems to be a big faux pas that's happening in the coaching realm of the Opera World, with coaches trying to give technique notes...No're a're job is to make sure my diction, notes, rhythm, and dramatics are accurate, but screw with my technique and we're done! It sounds a bit bitchy and diva-esque, but you have to protect your instrument...and if singing the words is causing vocal stress then it's up to you as the singer to correct it until it sounds & feels right (you may have to correct this with your teacher). A general rule is...if it hurts, don't do it! You could do some major vocal damage otherwise.

Alright, enough ranting...I've got to study my French before my coaching this evening...oy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nowhere to Run to Baby

I used to look forward to the holidays...really I did, but that was before I became weight obsessed, sleep deprived, and financially I believe that was at the ripe old age of 6. Now I dread the holiday parties with the bubbly flowing & the passed hors'durves and the catered lunches with the pastry platters and the gifts of cheeses & chocolates coming in nonstop! Ahhhh...there's nowhere to run and hide until it's all over. No wonder Americans gain 7 lbs. between Thanksgiving & New Years, we're inundated with food, no, not just food...fattening food brimming with lard, butter, sugar and empty carbs all decorated with a glaze, sprinkle and spackling of chocolate & whipped cream. I can't gain the 7...I must lose the 7 by Jan. 1st...I've got major competitions & auditions coming up and I must be at my vocal, mental and physical best! So I will do my best to stay away from temptation and keep pushing myself to work-out and get proper rest...and boy could I use a nap right now - seriously.

Tonight I go to yet another Holiday Party, this time for the staff & board members of my opera company...and since I've been helping out with hair, make-up & wardrobe, I got an invite :) That's great for networking and it's nice to be appreciated by the folks you work for...however, the General Director is making his famous Lasagna (he's Italian, and from what I hear an incredible cook) about temptation. Well if I decide to partake, I will definitely have to burn it off at the gym.

Good luck to all during this trying season.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

Ok, the shows are over (for now - until January) and now I can focus on that 7 lb. weight loss goal I made with the lovely Ms. Dietbook Lady.

I went to the gym today and took a 45 minute circuit training class (which kicked my @$$ - I'm probably going to be way sore tomorrow) and I've stuck to my eating plan so far...Now to keep it going and continue to lose unwanted fat and gain much needed definition. I don't think I've been to the gym in 2 or 3 weeks since I caught that cold which lingered forever and I definitely wasn't eating all that great with my family in town...but now that is all over and I can concentrate on ME...Yeah, I know it sounds selfish, but believe me, it's self-preservation! Survival of the fittest and all that know proper upkeep is essential.

That said, I got the DVD of my latest opera and I watched a bit...I didn't look half bad, but I do see the areas I want to concentrate on and it just gives me extra incentive to keep going. I'll post some pics once I get a disk from the photographer.

Remember moderation during the rest of this holiday season...and make sure you get lots of rest if possible!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Any Inspiration Out There?

I keep telling myself I just have to make it through the 15th of the month and then I can "rest"...which means, once the Christmas show is over I don't have to be at the theatre every night. Not that I don't love being there, but a girl can only do so much and boy am I tired! There is some good news, I'm auditioning for another production of Mozart's The Impresario, so hopefully I'll get the role and be able to sing it again, this time well! Wish me luck, I audition for The Bronx Opera Jan. 14th :) I also have been invited to sing in The Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition on Jan. 7th...this means polishing new rep. and dusting off some old in order to meet the 6 aria in at least 4 different languages much for rest huh?

It seems that I've gotten everyone sick with whatever it is I had the past couple of weeks...including the Maestro of my past and current show...I hope everyone remembers to rest and take their vitamins (and of course get better soon)...

Other than that, I'm finding it hard to get back on my diet...I just want to eat whatever...not sweets necessarily, but things like bread and rice which are a big no no on Phase I. I may allow myself to eat those things in a healthy modified version and wait to cut them out until next I said, I just have to get through the 15th, so I'll get completely well and then restrict my diet again starting on to just make myself go to the gym and work out...ugh! Wow...I'm such a whiny B!+ch today.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Taking Control

So I'm back, and exhausted. Sadly I just couldn't shake the cold (or whatever it is) that's been growing and had to just sing through it this weekend. I didn't feel I did my best, it's hard to sing high E's & F's on swollen vocal chords that are inside an inflamed mouth with a swollen tongue...yeah, not good. I just have the worst luck this time of year with illness. I know it's due to the fact that we do to much, and then you add family visiting on top of rehearsals and working a day job, and blamo, you're immune system crashes and burns. So now I'm trying to rest up and get back to not feeling so overly exhausted. My last performance for awhile is this weekend's Christmas show and once that's done, I can "rest"...which means just work my day job, and get ready for the competitions and auditions I have coming up while learning new repertoire.

On another note, tis the season of goodies in the office everyday. The baskets of treats are coming in, the donuts are arriving and the lunches are catered...not to mention all the holiday parties. Yeah, definitely no healthy choices around here. So I'm bringing in my almonds and my 2% string cheese for snacks and I'm making plans to do healthy lunches with my family who is visiting and work-out sessions with my friends...we will get through this holiday relatively unscathed if possible, and plus I have a 7 lb. weight loss goal to meet before Jan. 1st! I will get there, but I have to admit, this has been hard since Thanksgiving. At least I haven't gained any weight back...just keep me away from those donuts...they look stale anyway ;)

Now if I can just get a nice massage to undo the knots that have stayed present in my neck, shoulders and upper back, then I'll feel much better and rested I think.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Out of Commission

There won't be any blog tomorrow...we're in HELL WEEK and my preview is on Thursday with Opening on Saturday, so I will be a bit nuts for the remainder of the week. Hopefully I'll get good photos from the show and a good review...if so I will see if I can post them here.

Wish me "Break-a-Leg"