Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's a Hard-Knock Life

Gotcha singing it now don't I...well if not, I've got that song going over and over again in my head, enough for everyone. It has been a hard-knock life lately and I'm not even talking the economy. Health wise, I've been doing terribly...since Thanksgiving I've been suffering from weird aches and pains. Granted I am the type to over work, over indulge and over do everything, it's not surprising that my bod doesn't want to keep up. I guess one cannot function on 5 hours of sleep a night for 3 months running...who knew? I guess I'm really not nineteen anymore and I just don't recover like a teenager...but I don't think I was ever able to function well on that little of sleep before, I would just get sick instead and be forced to stay in bed! Forgive if this blog seems a bit ramble-y...but I'm still functioning on less than idea sleep and my brain has been foggy for the last month. The positive is that I haven't caught a cold or flu yet this season (or that I can remember), the negative, I'm being effected in other ways. My bones and joints have been really achy and my muscles feel tight and sore (and sadly I haven't been to the gym in a month or so). I have 2 different doc appointments set up and have spoken with a nutritionist/trainer. Her advice was to of course get more sleep, but to also try coconut water (not milk) to help give my bod some natural potassium and magnesium that it might be needing, not to mention help to hydrate it as well. So I did that and have noticed some improvement. Over all, I know the answer...I am suffering from pure sloth and gluttony!...There's a reason they're counted in the seven deadly sins. I've gone completely off my healthy eating and exercise plan...and have indulged way beyond normal human consumption. I've eaten the cookies and the stuffing and the left-overs and haven't done one damn thing in the gym to counteract the effects. Is my own fault for not taking care of myself...and I've dragged my friends down with me...particularly the poor Maestro. He held off as long as he could but all the crap I brought home, eventually got to him and he caved, and thus the vicious cycle began. Seriously, sugar and carbs are like crack (in fact that's what we call it in our household)...and thus we've consumed the empty crap and it has drained us of all nutrients and gumption, thus leaving us puddled shells of the people we once were...just reaching for the remote and another handful of crack.

Well, it stops here! We're going back to our old, healthy ways. I've rejoined the gym (actually that was 2 months ago) and we've thrown out all the crap/crack in the house. You can't eat it if it's not there! AND I'm scheduling actual sleep time where I can get my 8 hours.

Yeah, Yeah, I know...it's a bit cheesy to jump on the New Years Resolution bandwagon (which I generally don't), but hey, it's a necessary evil...Lord knows I need Resolve! I can also understand why people choose to do it at this time of year...they need to recover from the previous feasting holidays of the past couple months...wow, can they cause damage.

So the plan:

The Maestro and I have decided to go ultra-clean...that's right kids, we're giving up the chemicals! This is very hard, due to the fact that we're both addicted to diet sodas and artificial sweeteners in our coffee. Not to mention all the hidden chemicals in your everyday foods. So we're gonna make it simple! Lots of wholesome veggies (organic if available), grilled meats, organic/low-fat dairy, legumes and some low-glycemic fruits (diabetes runs in the fam.) We're avoiding all "white" foods and introducing whole grains back into the diet after two weeks. This too will be interesting, because we have to look again for the hidden sugar & chemicals. As I stated earlier, we're leaving the artificial sweeteners behind, and opting for natural, lo-cal ones...thus hello stevia...is agave also lo-cal? Time to do my research. We're also using several of our gift cards and treating ourselves to some new kitchen appliances, namely: A steamer (for veggies), a new coffee maker, some good knives, and maybe even a food processor (for fun new recipes).

We're also introducing our bodies back to an active lifestyle...so now it's back to the Shred, the yoga, the elliptical, the long walks, the nice jogs (for the Maestro, my knees can't keep up) and finally the free weights (this will be a revisit for me, but new to the Maestro, as he's been mostly a cardio man all his life...yet he has the genetic make up to build something quite extraordinary.)

I'm really excited to have a partner in this venture and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish. Funny thing is, this happened not by vain longings, but the grand desire to be ultra healthy. We want to live long, healthy, happy lives no matter what age, and we want to do it before we're 60 and asking what happened to our youth? There's no time like the present to get in great shape and feel alive. I want to be a well-oiled machine...and be one of those hot 70 year-olds that look 20years younger than you'd guess...granted I've got a long way to 70...heck I've got a long way to 50 or even 40 for that matter, but its time to start taking care of myself so I can enjoy life at any age.

Start your engines Ladies and Gentlemen...we'er off!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Remember to Breathe

Wow, that statement can trigger a whole slew of thoughts...when working out, when stressed, when angry, when holding your breath for a long time...you know...just remember to breathe.

In this case, it's regarding making choices...those little decisions that can effect the next minute, the rest of the day, the rest of the month. The decision to order the eggwhites with turkey bacon on multi-grain toast, instead of the bacon, egg and cheese on a roll (or an everything bagel)...the split decision that allows you to reach for that Christmas cookies or perhaps opt for the nuts instead. So I tell myself, "Breathe" when currently confronted with the new front of decisions that come with the holidays...I've had to do it this morning especially. Reading Jillian Michael's daily rant about the Tortoise & the Hare is a lovely reminder that slow and steady wins the race. This rings so true during this festive season of eating and partying. Just a slow and steady resolve to remind us that we don't have to be perfect, but it's good to remember to take it one choice at a time and keep on trying.

I've found that my choices are light years better than they were 10 years ago...I didn't change overnight...I flubbed alot...but I always kept the inspiration in my mind that you can never fail if you never stop trying...so you have a bad day, week, or month, but isn't your intention always to get back on track? Well then get back on track...take a deep breath, and ease back into it. You'll be proud with all the little successes throughout the day that add up to make one big success...and before you know it, you're light years ahead of where you were. We work so hard to keep ourselves healthy, why let one little flub derail the whole program. I like being an all or nothing kind of girl, don't get me wrong...it feeds my OCD tendencies sooo well and I love to chart my success...however, that only works when you have the all...but one screw up makes me want to do nothing, and before I know it, I've got a new amount of weight to lose...Not good. Apparently that method doesn't work...so now a new approach. Breathe and take one thing at a time. One good choice after another. Do I really want that pound of Godiva? PMS me says yes, but I've done so well so far, I think I can live with out it at the moment. Besides, I'm still full from that delicious Eggwhite, Turkey Bacon on Multi-Grain Toast sandwich I had not 2 hours ago...The moral of the story is: You can plan a good program, but if you find yourself faced with temptation and/or difficult choices, stop, take a deep breath and try, try again.

Have a great day,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tis the Season...To be Tempted

Or just gain an unwanted 5, 10, 15 lbs.? You spend all that hard work and time to lose weight and then the Holiday's come and moderation gets a new meaning. Why must we be bombarded with high sugar / high fat foods? Our office is a mine field of such gooey treats that you can't walk 5 feet without stepping on something bad! And not to mention all the parties and events one is subjected to this time of year...especially if you're a social butterfly like me...a girl just can't help be popular ;) Seriously...why is it so hard to get those 10 lbs. off? It takes something like 3 months to drop the poundage, but why does it seem to only take 2 days to gain it all back? Curses!

So the plan? We can continue to work-out (maybe even up the time at the gym) but generally most people are EXHAUSTED during this time of the year.)...We can avoid all those bad foods (who are we kidding, it's the Holidays, and besides it's ok to indulge a little...but make sure it's a little)...OR we can set a new plan of action and way of thinking. Let's approach this in a better way:

Continue to work-out, and instead of adding hours to the treadmill, maybe consider adding in a yoga class here and there this season...a nice Spa experience for the body. No really...I feel better after a Yoga class than I do after a massage. Both for me are just as relaxing; but with Yoga, I'm burning calories, stretching my muscles, taking much needed cleansing breaths, clearing my stressed mind and come out of the whole thing in a much improved mood. They have so many types & levels available nowadays, there's no excuse to not take advantage.

Have a lovely Holiday filled with lovely Holiday Treats! WHAT? That's right, but make them yourself with the many healthier version-ed recipes out there. Come on, if you found my blog, you can google recipe alternatives for your favorite treat, or even better, get inventive. Let me get you started, here are some lovely alternatives to some Holiday favorites:

Holiday Food Makeover:


If you can't imagine the holidays without eggnog, you're in luck! With a few simple modifications, you can start enjoying this traditional holiday drink. This version uses artificial sweetener in place of sugar and replaces the full-fat dairy products with their low-fat counterparts. It also calls for an egg substitute rather than raw eggs because of the risk of salmonella poisoning.

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 cups egg substitute
2 tablespoons artificial sweetener
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated skim milk
3 cups fat-free half-and-half
1 tablespoon brandy extract

Pour 1 1/2 cups egg substitute into a bowl. Add artificial sweetener and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually blend in vanilla, evaporated skim milk, fat-free half-and-half, and brandy extract.

Chill for 24 hours to allow flavors to blend. To serve, stir well and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Nutritional information
181 calories
0 g fat
3 g cholesterol
22 g carbohydrate
15 g protein
0 g fiber
299 mg sodium

or if Eggnog's not your thing how about:

Hot Mulled Apple Cider (Wassail)

Everyone loves a warm cup of cider (known to many as wassail) during the holidays. This recipe gets a boost of flavor from oranges.

Makes 4 servings

Sugar-free apple cider drink mix
1 quart (4 cups) water
4 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 oranges
2 teaspoons cloves, whole

Following the directions on the package, combine the appropriate amount of sugar-free apple-cider drink mix with 4 cups of water in a large, heavy saucepan.

Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Keep the oranges whole and leave the peel on. Press 1 teaspoon of cloves into each orange and add them to the pot. Bring to a simmer over high heat; simmer 10 minutes.

Remove from heat; let steep 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift out oranges and discard.

Nutritional information
2 calories
0 g fat
0 mg cholesterol
0 g carbohydrate
0 g protein
0 g fiber
5 mg sodium

Enjoy...and if you're looking for more great recipe ideas, check out Kalyn's Kitchen in the blogroll...I've found her South Beach recipes are good for most dietary needs AND they're delish!!!

Have a great day,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bloggerama, it's a Celebration!

I feel all warm and bloggy today...I've got such a positive outlook on life! I'm currently in the frame of mind that no matter what I do or eat, I'm still gonna reach my health & fitness goals. I'm not gonna stress about how or when I'm going to get there...instead I'm just going to relax, take it one moment/step at a time and KNOW that I'm already getting there...In fact I'm there now! I'm a heck of alot healthier, slimmer, and happier than I was 10 years ago. I would have been desperate to get to the weight and well-being that I'm at now. Isn't it nice to realize you've reached a goal and can look back and be thankful and celebrate you?! Yeah...I think it's great too! Yay me, and yay you, for continuing to strive for the best you & me we can be! Life is good kids...let's get out there and enjoy and celebrate life. It feels good to be active and be able bodied...and most of all ALIVE. I know the economy is currently limping, but hey...it's only money...I personally have enough stuff in my life to last me a lifetime...I don't need anything more...I have food, clothes and a roof over my head...and most importantly I have my health. Ok, so what if I lose my job...well I'm not above hard work...I'll clean toilets or flip burgers if I have to (doubtful that it will come to that) but again it doesn't matter because I'm alive and well. And if I keep my health up, I will be able to continue for along time and enjoy the beautiful simple things that make life worth living like friendship, love and laughter. I'm so rich in those things that I could not want for more. Sure my bank account goes back & forth in the negative, but I didn't choose my career for the money...I'll sing for free if it means the arts will continue to live and thrive...If I can share music with someone and bring a joyful and/or meaningful moment to them, then I've done my "job". I guess the moral of the story kids is that we should be Thankful for what we DO have...there is so much possibility out there you just have to see it, cease it and celebrate.

Have a great day!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Did you miss me?

*sniff sniff* You probably didn't even notice I was gone...that's ok...I know I've been neglectful.

So I'm still trying to hold strong to the healthy side of life...but life is not getting any easier. Ugh...at least I still have a job, good thing I didn't leave when I had those other offers..."last man hired, first man fired".

The singing is going well, and I just finished doing "Martha" at The Liederkranz, and I'm now learning my music for Die Fledermaus and Rigoletto...life is busy but good. I've been off and on of my eating and working-out lately and I'm trying to honestly get back into it, but boy have I been feeling tired and distracted. I'm still only averaging about 5-6 hours of sleep and I haven't really found a resolution for that. Perhaps up my vitamins to help balance the lack of rest? NO...I've just got to schedule it into my day like I would any other important activity!

I was whining to MizFit earlier about how every time I start up in the gym again, I get sick within the next week or two...and then I have to decide to either push through or lay back and recover. I can't afford to get terribly sick or I can't keep singing...it's a delicate balance...maybe that's why opera singers get thick after a while?...eh who knows, but my life and health depend on getting and staying in shape...and if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna REALLY do it. I want to be in mad, sick shape. I'm tired of feeling a bit doey or always looking a bit plump...I can weigh 135 but still be squishy in the middle, and that's NOT ok! I want to be a LEAN, MEAN, SINGIN' MACHINE! I think that's my new motto / mantra...I'm gonna make it happen...law of attraction baby! Ok, now I'm just rambling.

Alright kids...I'm off to an event, but I'll try to post more tomorrow.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Breathing Room

I'm finally back from tour, Turandot has ended and now I can concentrate on Martha, Die Fledermaus, The Telephone, and Rigoletto...whew. Believe it or not, I feel that I have a little more time now that I'm not at the theatre every night...or at least not that particular theatre...lol...now I just have to be at the Liederkranz for rehearsals, and it's nice not to have to split my time.

The tour for Turandot was a bit hectic, the cast bus broke down on the way to the first venue, and we had new hair and make-up people thrown in at the last minute, so I was helping with that plus heading-up the wardrobe department...it was a crazy and exhausting experience...I'm still feeling it today. Also, the horrid thing about being on the road and traveling at night is the lack of food choices...you've got McDonalds or McDonalds, oh and there's also McDonalds...if I see another McDonalds, I'm going to jab my eyes out with their golden arches and pour salt in the wounds! I ate way to much crap on this trip and couldn't wait to get back home and start eating like a healthy adult again. So here I am, back on the happy and sane eating again and I'm also contemplating adding back in my work-outs. I believe I'll try for a few days of shredding and some lunchtime walks. After I accomplish that for the next couple of weeks, I believe I'll join a gym and make that my lunchtime routine again. That's the plan and I look forward to my cute winter wardrobe. Last winter all my clothes where hanging on me, and so far this year, they're back to fitting, which means that the 10 lbs. I've gained are not just a number on the scale, they're inches around too. The only positive note is that since I've not been doing the hardcore work-outs, my knees have gotten about 80% better and I can go up and down the subway stairs with considerably less pain. I've got to really concentrate on micro-bending my knees and doing low impact cardio...the littlest misstep and I'm back in bad-knee-land. So I have to remember to ease my way back into the exercise and activities and to take my eating choices one moment at a time. I'm ready to get back to a healthier lifestyle and start taking back control. No time like the present :)

Have a great day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Having a Fat Day

Yeah, I'm having one of those PMSy Fat Days today...totally feeling like a big ol' cow...moooo, but I know it's just hormones, water weight and the neurotic / paranoid feelings that come with that bastard TOM.

Currently I'm over tired and just trying to survive the next two weeks...if I make it through the 27th of this month, I should be able to find some breathing room to get a little more rest. This weekend is packed full of back to back events...starting with last night's Turandot Show, followed by work today followed by building a wig after work, followed by my bf's off-broadway play tonight...then I have to be up at 7am tomorrow morning to be at the theatre by 9am to do hair, make-up and wardrobe for the student performances of Turnadot, then I'll get a 3 hour break and then back to the Theatre for the evening performance of Turandot, then up again Sunday morning at 7 to do the student performance again followed by Martha Rehearsal at the Liederkranz...then I get to start the work week all over again on Monday morning *cry*. I'm really tired and want a day off :( Unfortunately I'm trying to save that for the day after we go on tour the following weekend, because I KNOW I'll be exhausted after working a touring show all next weekend...that's why I just have to make it through the 27th, because Turnadot will be over then and I can concentrate on my rehearsals for Martha and my other music studies which entail learning Adele for Dec/Jan.'s Die Fledermaus with Opera Manhattan and Gilda in Rigoletto to prepare for upcoming auditions...in fact, I really need to get the two new arias I just learned from those operas memorized on top of memorizing the Martha score (it goes up in mid-November).

On a lucky and positive note, I won an assorted case of OATMEGA 3 Wellness Bars from the lovely give away on MizFit's blog. These beauties should be here within the week or so and I can at least have a yummy and nutritious snack for when I'm running around like a chicken these next few months...lol. That will definitely help me from caving in and grabbing a slice of pizza or something.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
Have a great day!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays and the arrival of fall, I thought I'd share some of my favorite treats that won't swell the waist line and may actually give you a happy protein / omega 3 boost. These are recipes I found and tried from Kalyns Kitchen, you'll see the link on the left side under blog rolls. :)

First are my favorite gluten-free Almond/Flax Cookies...these little gems are divine and I love having it with a glass of cold milk (% left to your discretion) I know these are a repeat from a previous blog of mine, but they're worth repeating AND pay attention kids, we're going to use the cookie batter as crust in the next recipe!

Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Cookies with Almond and Flaxseed Meal
(Makes about 15 cookies)

1/2 cup trans-fat free margarine (be sure not to choose a margarine that has water for the first ingredient)
1 1/2 cups almond meal (I use Bob's Red Mill brand or Trader Joe's)
2 T flaxseed meal (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
1 cup granular Splenda
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla (I use Mexican vanilla)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Put on a plate for rolling cookies:
2 T Splenda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
In large mixing bowl, beat margarine with electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add half the almond meal, Splenda, flaxseed meal, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and cream of tartar and blend well with mixer until thoroughly combined. Beat in the rest of the almond meal. Cover bowl and chill several hours, or as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine 2 T Splenda and ground cinnamon on plate. Use a tablespoon to scoop out dough, then roll into a small ball and roll in Splenda/cinnamon mixture. Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. (I used a fork to smash the cookies down, which is optional.)

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cookies are slightly firm and starting to brown. (I got distracted and baked them a few minutes too long, but they still tasted great.) Cookies will get more firm as they cool. These cookies are a bit more crumbly than regular cookies, but I thought the crisp texture was really nice. Cookies will keep for a few days, or can be frozen for a few months.

South Beach Suggestions:
Made with trans-fat free margarine, cookies like this would be approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet. They aren't low in fat, even with margarine, so this would probably be a "once-in-a-while-treat" for South Beach Dieters.

FYI I usually QUADRUPLE the recipe, these cookies keep for weeks (yay nutty goodness)!

The next little favorite recipe of mine is for a low-fat, low-carb, sugar-free, Pumpkin Cheesecake...and is this ever delicious! I also use the cookie recipe above to make a much better crust, just nuts on the bottom is a bit bland and doesn't allow the cream cheese to spread very easily.

No-Sugar Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake
(8 servings, but it's better to double the recipe for a thicker / hardier Cheesecake)

2 packages (8 oz. each) light cream cheese (not fat free!)
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract (I used a bit more)
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling which contains sugar)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. apple pie spice (recipe called for pinch each of nutmeg and cloves, but I didn't have any cloves)
non-stick spray for baking dish (use very sparingly or it makes it hard to spread the cheesecake)
whipped cream (optional, I didn't think it needed it)

Preheat oven to 325 F. In large bowl combine softened cream cheese, Splenda, and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Blend in eggs, one at a time. Remove one cup of batter and spread into bottom of glass or crockery baking dish which has been sprayed very lightly with non-stick spray. (I sprayed my dish too much and had a hard time getting the first layer to spread evenly. Next time I would put a thin layer of the cookie recipe and only spray the sides with the nonstick spray.)

Add pumpkin and spices to remaining batter and stir until blended. Carefully spread pumpkin layer over first layer. Bake in preheated oven 35-45 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then chill several hours or overnight. Serve with whipped cream if desired and wait for compliments.

I used a 10" by 8" glass baking dish to cook this. Next time I think I would double the recipe and only increase to a 9" by 13" baking dish to make a thicker cheese cake. This would show off the layers better. Some cinnamon dusted on the top would have been a nice touch.

I also like cutting these into little bite sized cubes and freeze them for a later frozen treat when I'm craving things like ice cream. It sure hits the spot.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have and please let me know what you think...Have a great day!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Not Dead Yet.

Ok...so we're currently in "Hell Week" at Dicapo, I'm there as their Wardrobe Head Mistress for Turandot...hey I'm somebody's mistress...lol. (Turandot is an amazing show by the way, very impressive how a scaled down version can still be so powerful...the leads are amazing and the sound that the chorus is making is awesome. I definately reccomend seeing it if you have the chance, not to mention that it's a visually gorgeous show!)

Anywho, you know my schedule, up before 6am...work from 7:30am-4:30pm and then go to the theatre from 5pm-11pm or Midnight...on my "off" nights I go to my rehearsals for "Martha" an operetta being done at The Liederkranz. Surprisingly I'm surviving...tired? yes, but doing alright considering. I am eating really well now and taking my vitamins, which makes me proud, because usually under such stress I cave to stress-triggered eating. When I'm extremely tired and stressed I usually lose my appetite, but want to eat junk food as a comfort (drug of choice) to the situation, not to mention it's quick and easy with such a schedule as mine. This time however, I'm making a concentrated effort to eat well and avoid the junk, which has kept me energized and kept me from catching everyone else's colds I believe. I'm going for walks at lunch time and enjoying the fall weather up here and eventually, once things calm down a bit I'll join a gym. I'm starting to want to work-out again...I miss the strength it gives me, especially in my core...nothing like having a strong core, you feel almost invincible.

Within the last two weeks, I've lost 5 1/2 lbs. just from sensible eating and running around like a chicken. And the extra $$$ I'm earning at Dicapo has afforded me the extra means in which to eat better and more often...sad but true...it's expensive to eat in this city and with the schedule I keep it's almost impossible to cook at home currently.

My home life is another matter, that's where the neglect really shows. I'm lucky I have alot of clothes, because the laundry is piling up and my kitties are being very vocal with me! Thankfully, my cousin Philip helps with feeding them when Carmine and I can't make it home in time from late rehearsals...and Carmine even offered to drop off & pick-up my dry-cleaning, shoe repairs, and laundry...I've just got to be home long enough to gather it up in order to take him up on such a kind offer. He's such a sweetheart and really gets my crazy life as his is just about as crazy...however he's fortunate enough to make his living primarily in the arts and doesn't have to hold down a day job like me. He's been such a positive influence in my life: Not only is he a great friend, but he's a great vocal coach, a wonderful Italian language teacher, an all-around awesome person, and my kitties LOVE him...I really lucked out when he came into my life :) His mom even commented on how good my Italian is getting when she came to see our performance of Don Giovanni...hehe.

So as you can see, I'm not dead yet and I think I'm gonna be ok. I'm also really excited about this weekend's upcoming events. Friday night is the opening night of Turnadot at Dicapo Opera, and I've even been invited to attend the Opening Night Gala at the Asian Society. I believe I'll where my cute little green Chinese silk dress that I bought in Beijing a couple of years ago. I'm also excited by the prospect of a 3 day weekend...yep, we're off for Columbus Day at my company, God Bless the Italians! This means I'm actually gonna get some much needed rest, and maybe even some much need fall cleaning around the house.

There's the update for the week thus far. Have a great day!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

BFL Day 2

Generally people do well the first few days of a program because they're so gung-ho about the plan, but I've decided to take the "babystep", "ease into it" approach. I'm generally ingesting something every 2-3 hours (I won't say actually eat) anyways and it's pretty much on the higher protein side, so now to ease back into the work-outs...somehow!

I went to my voice lesson directly after work yesterday and then I was supposed to meet up with my friend to go to her apartment to work-out and take our "before" photos (ugh). However, I got to my voice lesson, exhausted as usual, and my teacher gave me a lengthy lecture on how I need to be taking better care of myself. She knows that I watch what I eat, and that I try to exercise, but her concern is my constant fatigue. She said, "there's tired, and I have many students that hold full-time day jobs and pursue a singing career, and then there's you...always exhausted beyond tired..." She then made me promise to go for a check-up with my doctor to make sure I'm not "sick" with something and if that's not it, then to drop one of the many things I'm doing. I personally just think I need more sleep...I can't ever get enough, and sadly it looks as if I'm measuring about 6 hours tops per night. I know I'm not a teenager anymore and that this is a common complaint in my blog, but how does one find time to get more sleep when they go to work at 6:30am in the morning and don't get home until 11ish every night after rehearsals, performances, and events? I would love to drop instantly off to sleep after I get home, but first I must feed the cats, wash my face, and get prepared for the next day (which is better, because it allows me to unwind and sleep a few more minutes in the morning)...by then it's midnight and I know that I'll only be getting another 6 hours and then start the cycle all over again. And where do I fit in the work-outs? I used to go at lunch, but my gym membership has expired and due to my job transitioning I haven't renewed it...the problem there is that I don't know where I'm going to be in the next few weeks, but once that's settled I can remedy that. However, I don't know if the new employer will let me take lunch...I know it's "law" but alot of them frown on you actually taking a lunch hour and I usually run over in time with my work-outs and the clean-up afterwards. If I stay here at my current job, I'll have more freedom, but alot less money, and I'm currently drowning financially...so I have to find a better paying job. I took the long way around to say that I didn't go to my friend's place last night and work-out...instead I went home, took a shower and went to bed by 10pm...thus I got about 8 hours last night, and I feel a bit better. Still tired, and for some reason I'm achy like I did work-out but at least I got more sleep. Perhaps my body's coming down with something, everyone around me has a cold currently. So I'll keep popping my vitamins, washing my hands, and try to continue to get more sleep, but again where do I get my work-outs in? I've got rehearsal tonight, so I won't be home until 11ish again (another reason I went home and crashed last night)...I don't know if I have the strength anyways, stairs get harder and harder everyday...I'm serious about feeling like I've been working-out (sore and fatigued) without doing the work. Perhaps its the stress of the new job hunt (especially since the one I got fell through) However my teacher says that I've been exhausted for the past 4 months...I told her that I feel fine, just a bit tired, but she thinks I'm just getting used to feeling crappy all the time...lol. Honestly I feel fine...I feel strong and energetic, just a bit tired and groggy in the mornings and after work. And she does see me directly after work every week!

So the plan:

Continue to eat healthy and take my vitamins, do my best to get more sleep, go for a check-up with my doctor, settle the new job hunt within the next month and try to get in lunch time work-outs even if it's a quick walk through the East Village.

Food Blog for today: (very bad so far)

8am: 16oz. Decaf Coffee w/sweet & low + 1/2 & 1/2

10am: 16oz. Decaf Coffee w/sweet & low + 1/2 & 1/2
(no this is not a typo, I did have the same thing twice)

12pm: Grilled chicken parm w/steamed green mixed veggies

3pm: Chai Latte w/skim milk, splenda & cinnamon

5pm: Bison burger patty w/steamed string beans

8pm: Bacon Cheddar Omelet w/mixed green salad & balsamic vinagrette + decaf coffee w/sweet & low and 1/2 & 1/2

Sorry about the previous ramble above, but I feel a little better and a bit more focused.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Body for Life

I'm starting a new challenge with a friend of mine. She seemed so lost and desperate for help, so I agreed to do the Body-for-Life challenge with her. For the next 3 months I'm accountable to her and myself to eat 5-6 healthy meals/snacks a day and work-out 6 days a week, while drinking ample amounts of water and taking my vitamins & supplements. Heh...I'm already tired just typing it up. The good thing is that this was the first program I ever did (10 years ago) that got me on my weight loss way, and I know that it's sound and that it works. I lost the first 30 lbs. on this program years ago, so maybe I'll lose my last 20-30 on it as well. I do have fond memories of it too...in fact it was because of the BFL program that I learned how to work-out, use weights and eat right...it was actually just what I needed at that point in my life, and maybe it is again. Funny how things pop up at just the right moment when we need them the most.

To keep my progress on the straight and narrow, I'll be blogging it here:

Day 1 Wk 1 BFL Challenge

8am: 16oz. Decaf coffee w/sweet & low + 1/2 & 1/2
10am: 20 Raw almonds w/10oz Diet Dr. Pepper
12pm: Bowl of black beans & 2 Turkey Sausage links & 1/2 a pickle
3pm: Only managed to drink 1/2 a Diet Pepsi
5pm: Cold chicken breast & a pickle
9pm: Handful of cashew nuts (unsalted)

Not the best so far, but not terrible...and I did take my vitamins with lunch. I've got to go grocery shopping to really get some good foods into my meals.

As for exercise, my friend and I have made plans to meet after work and take our before pics and then work-out together. I'm game for anything, I just need to get my butt moving! By New Years, we'll be in tip top form...assuming we can keep it going...wish us luck.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Day with Diet Girl

Actually it was late afternoon into evening if you want to get technical, but never the less it was a great time to be had by all.

We decided to meet up in front of Virgin Records in Union Square where I immediately recognized Shauna and Gareth crossing the street and coming toward me...she gave me a big grin as she approached, obviously confirming that we indeed "knew" each other. A quick greeting and the regular introductions and then it was down to getting through the masses and onto the train to Bayridge Brooklyn. We started getting acquainted on the ride over to my old hood, laughing and gabbing on the way. It took me a sec to adjust to Gareth's awesome Scottish burr, but I was insync before you could say Chip Buddy.

Once we arrived in Bayridge (and I got my directional bearings) we took care of the first order of business, hitting the little Italian bakery before they closed in order to procure the delicious little 7 layer cookies (a.k.a. tri-color cookies)that I've been bragging about to Shauna for a week or so now to have for a later planned snack. Then we walked over to the quaint little coffee shop where the Maestro was meeting us and picked him up on our way to the Indian restaurant I had chosen. Ten blocks later, we arrived at Indian Passage where we were eventually seated...not that it was packed or anything, I just don't think they were expecting people so early for dinner (and the service is always a bit slow there.) Once we were seated, we gabbed and perused the menu, my recommendation? The Mixed Grill...an assortment of Tandoori delights from Lamb to Shrimp to Chicken all on one plate...I ordered the Chicken Tikka part of the grill, my favorite, and it's tender goodness did not disappoint. Shauna and the Maestro both opted for the full grilled meat assortment and Dr. G chose a sort of paneer saag I think...all accompanied with basmati rice, soft naan bread and the most delicious creamy sauce that makes everything just right. This truly is my favorite Indian restaurant in all of NYC...that's right, way out in Bayridge Brooklyn...even better than the posh places I've tried in Manhattan. It seemed that everyone was satisfied with their meal and the conversation was great...we even touched on what exactly it is a Maestro does and he was happy to explain (if not excited) :)

After dinner, they served us some Mango Ice Cream that refreshed the palate, we paid the bill that eventually came (remember slow service) and then it was off for a nice jaunt over to the bay and the Verrazano Bridge. Ok maybe not exactly a jaunt more like 3 or so miles walking over and up to the bridge, but we were all glad to walk off the massive amounts of Indian food we had just consumed. It was a lovely evening, in fact we were so lucky that by the time we started walking towards the bay, it was sunset, so we were able to enjoy the lovely colors over the water as we walked. After a while of meandering along the bay the sun went down and we finally reached the bridge. The lights of the Verrazano were glowing off the water in a rather ethereal looking way with it's blue glow. We chose to reward ourselves with a rest on one of the benches lining the bay and took in the view of the bridge, the skyline, and a little boat that was tossing rather violently in the water. In fact the boat looked a bit questionable where several times it seemed to sink down at one end as if all the weight in the boat had gone there...we joked that perhaps they were getting rid of a body...and on that note we decided to leave as not to become unwilling witnesses to a crime. We headed over to a coffee shop to have a nice warm drink to contrast the nice fall air and to eat the 7 layer cookies I had been carrying around with such care :) We arrived at the coffee shop 30 blocks later and sat down at an outside table, ordering a variety of drinks...The Maestro with his standard iced decaf, me with a nice hot cup of chocolate raspberry decaf coffee, Dr. G with his 100% Colombian, and Shauna with a nice cup of English Breakfast. Once we were served our drinks, I pulled out the little bakery box with red and white string and gingerly opened it under the table, passing out the little delicacies to the group in a sneaky sort of fashion. (I had to keep it on the DL as no outside food was allowed). We then bombarded poor Shauna with questions about her upcoming interview. What was she going to say? How was she going to answer the questions the publisher had prepared for her? What do you do when faced with questions that were more fluff than substance? Shauna of course was well prepared with notepad and pen handy and talked about all the ideas and confusion surrounding the book. How do they market The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl? Is it a diet book? Is it a novel? I believe they decided to reference it under Chic Lit...which I guess is the happy medium betweenst the two (but personally I don't think it does her book enough justice, however Chic Lit. does well over here in the States). If you haven't read the book, then order it from the UK or buy it here when it comes out in December...I highly recommend it, as it's a really enjoyable read and hard to put down.

Once we finished our drinks and our interrogation of Shauna, we decided to head home (she did have an interview the next morning afterall). We chatted a bit more on the subway laughing and gabbing easily like old friends, and sadly when we got to Union Square we had to part ways. As we gave each other hugs and big smiles, I couldn't help but wish that they lived in NYC...Carmine even commented on how genuine and nice they were and what nice friends they make. We really enjoyed our time with DG and Dr. G. and yes they're just as lovable in person as they are on paper...more so to tell you the truth, and as I think you'd expect.

My only complaint of the night were the high-healed boots I had chosen to wear...sensible and way cute in City terms for the office and commuting, but not idea for walking 5 miles (the full round trip that we ended up doing to coffee shop, to restaurant, to bay, to bridge, back to coffee shop and then back to the subway.) But other than that, it was a top notch night-out with top notch peeps. I hope they come again and soon...Maybe next time they can see the Maestro and I in performance. Oooh...and perhaps we'll do Korean food too.

Oh and YES I did shamelessly get my book signed by the Author...and to my happy surprise I got Dr. G. to sign it too (with a little help of coaxing from Shauna) which really made my day...

So there it is...my little essay on an evening with the Famous Diet Girl and her Dr. G. Try not to hate me too much ;) (yeah I'm a bloody bragger)

Have a great day!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I'm getting pretty bad at this whole blogging on a regular basis thing...but here I am at present.

I'm sooo PMS-ing and I've got all the stomach gurgles and weird gastric cramps...not to mention my eating was rather unauthorized last week. Oh well, I'm back on the wagon currently and trying to up my activity even though all I want to do is sit in my living room floor and eat french fries. That sooo won't happen...but I do have a nice rotisserie chicken waiting for me at home, and that should be nice with some greens on the side....I'm actually looking forward to it.

I've been feeling a bit guilty lately, because I'm cheating on my day job. I've been going on interviews with other corporations that want to pay me alot more to work for them. I've really got to consider it, as much as I adore my boss, I'm drowning in debt and making almost twice as much as my current salary is a big deal...if I make as much as projected, I'll be out of debt in 2-3 years. That's a huge goal for me. Then all the money from there, I can save and really concentrate on my singing career...and possibly going off to Europe to live & work.

James is at home and doing really well, I even got to talk to him the other day and he was in good spirits. So I have a positive feeling about his recovery. Thanks again to all of you and your well wishes...You're really the best.

Currently I'm at the point where I'm so overtired and overwhelmed that I'm ready to shut down and not do anything. I don't know how to avoid this mode...I tend to do that when I've been burning the candle at both ends. I guess I should just sleep and relax as much as I can and then get back on the busy highway that is my life...we all need a rest stop every now and then...right?!

Well...kudos to all and I look forward to catching up with you whom I've been neglecting.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I haven't blogged since August? Really? Wow time flies. Well time to update you with the goings on.

My brother-in-law James' surgery was successful. They were able to get all the cancer they believe and have already done the reconstruction on his neck, jaw and ear. He has to go through a round of chemo & radiation for precautionary reasons, but other than that, he's already back home and doing much better than expected. He was so lucky that most of the cancer had grown inside the tumor on his neck and had enough blood flow and heat that it remained there instead of spreading to the rest of his body...the doctors said that he was VERY fortunate. Seriously, thank you for all your well wishes...please keep sending them his way while he goes through the chemo and continues his recovery...I really believe that good thoughts out there truly shape the universe.

On the singing front...Don Giovanni was a success and it looks like they're adding 2 more performances in late September...Opening night was completely packed even with the Hurricane that came through on Saturday night...go figure. My next few roles are Adele in Die Fledermaus, to be performed in late December so I have to start learning that ASAP!...I also have to learn Giannetta in L'elisir d'Amore to be performed in January and Lucy in The Telephone to be performed in the Spring. I have a full calendar through 2009 it seems...that's really exciting...hope I remember to get some sleep...lol.

Ok kids, back to the grind.

Have a great day!

I've also been sticking with my eating regiment for the past two weeks, with one cheat day per week...and it's going really well. I'm steadily losing poundage and am starting to get my footing again.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Good and The Bad

Busy weekend and week coming up. The final rehearsals for Don Giovanni, which means once performed on Sept. 6th I've got to start learning Nannetta in Falstaff and Gianetta in L'elisir d'Amore...not to mention polish Lucy in The Telephone. It's good to be busy and it looks like even more film work is on the horizon for me...so my mind is swamped with all the things that are coming up and what needs to be accomplished. Eventually I'll actually be able to quit my day job and concentrate on the arts. This is the good side of things.

The bad side of things is that my family is dealing with a very sad time right now, something that I've been keeping to myself for awhile. My brother-in-law / friend James has been diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma cancer and is having surgery today to remove what they can...then he undergoes radiation and chemotherapy after that. According to my mom, they're removing skin & muscle tissue on his right side from his pectoral muscle up to his ear & mouth, all the while trying to maintain his ligaments and nerves...then in about 2 weeks they're going to take muscle and skin from the left side and graph it to the right...at least this is how I understood it in my hysterical state...I could be totally lost in the procedure, but no matter what it is, it's horrible and a very long recovery time. He's really the sweetest guy in the whole wide world and a great dad. My niece is such a daddy's girl I don't know how this will impact her...and I fear the worst for his true condition, because apparently even with the surgeries and treatments its a slim chance. Completely breaks my heart and how it is affecting my mom who loves him like her own son, my sister of course because she's watching her husband suffer and their kids, well I don't even have to go into it. Please pray, meditate, send good thoughts or what ever positive energy you can send to James would be much appreciated. I know he loves life and his family and I want to see him survive. He's not the kind to care about his looks and would rather live to see his little girl grow up instead of an early grave (he's only 35). I know this is a graphic and very personal blog, but I just needed to get it out.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Ok, day 3 and still doing good. I had a small moment of wanting to cheat last night but I held strong and stuck to my eating plan :) Small victories add up to big ones.

It was an interesting day of mixed events and emotions yesterday...I'm currently bouncing around my office (day job) covering everyone while they're on vacation this week and my hours are all screwy due to this...however last night, Carmine took me to a fundraising event for Chelsea Opera and we had a lovely time on a cruise around Manhattan at sunset...We even made some new friends on the journey. At the same time, the ex-bf Jake called and informed me that he was heading to my place to take the air conditioner...wha?...granted it used to belong to his old roommate, but the guy left it there over two years ago and I thought it was kind of crappy to all of a sudden come and take it (with NO notice)...on top of that they also took the BBQ grill in the backyard. Now this is something that they left originally saying they didn't want...so I'm sorry, but that was a douche-bag thing to do! Not that I can't replace those things, just the fact that he used a key that he wasn't supposed to have, to go into MY apartment and take things they left that they originally didn't want. WTF!!! Thankfully my friend Kristin headed over there to supervise and demand the keys...that was so awesome of her...the girl's got my back. All in all, the romantic cruise, the sweet disposition of Carmine and the making of new friends helped to get my mind off the crappy thing the ex was doing. I seriously thought Jake and I could be friends, but I can't believe he was so disrespectful of me and my space...once again I say "douche-bag"!

Now that I've vented I'm going to go meet Carmine for a lovely lunch and try and forget about the stupidity of yesterday's Jake fiasco.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Ok I'm back on the wagon...and eating clean is in the cards for me. Heck I even have a dance class to attend tonight at 6pm. So things are good there. I'm sticking to my eating plan and it feels good (even though TOM is beating me into a pulp at this very moment).

On the singing front, check out the website where my upcoming performance is happening... www.operamanhattan.com I'm on their roster :) I've also received an offer to do the role of Gianetta in L'elisir d'Amore coming up in January and Nanetta in Verdi's Falstaff this winter with two different companies. Things are looking up!

I don't know if I'll have a chance to do photos of the new crazy hair because it has to change before the performance of Don Giovanni in September...and I think that change may happen tonight...we'll see.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Control Update

You peeps are the best...no really. So I'm still a bit out of control, but luckily, my cousin's bf brought dinner over and it was lean steak with veggies...I hadn't even planned on eating healthy, but it happened (what a nice surprise). This morning I got up and drank my psyllium "cocktail" and downed some vitamins and headed to work with the thought "I at least can try to eat healthy". Of course my plans were a bit derailed when I found a friend had left me a slice of homemade banana bread on my chair at work...and it was so worth it (mmm)! I did bring more of the meat and veggies to work with me for lunch today...so I'll take all the good advice I've gotten and take the good with the bad. And my chocolate craving seems to be pretty low (at the moment) so maybe PMS won't completely destroy my good eating plans.

On a side note, speaking of my couz's BF...he's also a hairdresser and he totally "modernized" my look...I currently have purpley-burgundy streaks in my strawberry blonde hair...including some crazy fun layers...it's very rock-n-roll, but I don't know if it's me. I'm not the most "cutting edge" person...I generally go for more classic look. It should be fun to have for awhile anyways and until the color fades enough where I can put an auburn wash over it to try and blend it down to a human color...lol.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Control Freak

I'm so out of control currently...mentally, physically, perhaps spiritually...I just know that my hormones are raging and getting the better of me. I totally had a 3 day weekend of crappy eating. I allowed myself to eat things that generally should never cross these lips and my body has swollen up as the effect. It's really interesting to see how the body reacts to food and certain activities. When you put wholesome organic foods into your bod, it seems to run well and never really wants for anything, and the brain has pretty decent clarity (except for the rebellious side that wants to eat pizza or in my case BAGELS). Granted I'm all for having your cake and eating it too, but when PMS strikes, it seems like I'm having more than just my cake, and the last thing I want to do is work-out to at least warrant treating myself. Ugh, I do so good and then I do so bad. I know I'm supposed to find a happy medium but for me, there doesn't seem to be one. I have to be all or nothing or it just won't happen. Perhaps it's my OCD personality (CDO, we must keep it in alphabetical order after all)...I just can't seem to allow myself to be ok with only doing part of a healthy eating regiment. But is it a healthy eating regiment if you only do it in part? I used to do a program where they'd allow you one cheat day a week...that really did seem to help and I lost my initial 30 lbs by remembering that eating healthy today is ok and that if I want the junk I can save it for my "cheat day"...but then I hit a plateau and figured that the "cheat day" may be the reason the loss didn't continue. So last summer, I really cleaned up my eating and lost another 20...but I've gained 10 back since then and have kept losing and gaining back that same 10 lbs. over and over again...I'm on the gained back side right now thanks to my adventures in eating this past week. The detox went well and I lost weight (water) sure, but it's not something to maintain for the rest of my life, nor was it intended to be a lifestyle...it really was just supposed to be a 2 week detox to get your liver and the rest of the system cleaned out and functioning...so mission accomplished. Now to figure out what I can do as a normal everyday function in eating. I at least can say I no longer crave blueberry muffins for breakfast (that used to be my nemesis...the morning cupcake if you will)...so that's a good thing. And I've really been wanting to get back into yoga again, my body just aches for it. So I think I'll try to continue to eat the good wholesome things and see if I can't do a "cheat day" once a week and then see if I can't get it to once every two weeks until it becomes something that is more of a rarity as opposed to the rule. I hear that eventually you don't crave the bad things anymore...but I've never really gotten to that point yet...perhaps it's an Urban Legend.

Have a great day!

PS...check out the about me area in this blog...there has been a happy update!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm Here, I'm Here

Sorry, I know I know...I've been a bit negligent with blog writing the past few days...but here I am. So the weekend went alright, I lost 8 lbs. in one week on The Fat Flush Plan (that's the name of the book that got me started) and now I'm in week two. I decided on Sunday that I would start adding back legumes and nuts because the Phase I foods in the original plan were just not giving me the amount of energy I need to keep going with my crazy schedule, plus I don't want to miss my work-outs. If I fall behind on lvl 2 of the 30 Day Shred, then I have to start all over again to get my endurance back up...I'd rather add in more sustenance in order to maintain my work-outs as opposed to the starting over option. So I feel great, and there is a lot of balancing I'm trying out with my eating so that I know what works and what doesn't. There was definitely something that I ate in one of my meals yesterday that didn't quite agree with me and I'm going to have to figure it out.

On the artistic front: Zerlina is going quite well and Don Giovanni plays at The Westside Dance Project on Sept. 6th and then at The Esplanade on the 10th...these are only concert version performances with a full production to be done in 2009. I'm also cramming to learn some Despina for an upcoming audition in September, on top of learning Lucy, I also have to start learning Blondchen, and preparing my rep for audition season and a new recording + I've been offered some Hair & Make-up work aswell for October, but that is all contingent on the schedule for my possible upcoming film. Hahaha...so the fall season is already filling up quite nicely...it's going to be a busy year :)

Today, I've got a voice lesson after work, and then a date with The 30 Day Shred and some possible yoga.

Have a great day!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Over the Hump

Well it's day 5 of my new eating regiment and I'm over the worst of it. Day 2 & 3 I had the worst head and body aches...my body was detoxing. I can't imagine how it is for people going off serious drugs like heroine. If detoxing simple sugars and chemicals like caffeine affect you so badly, think how a stronger substance would make your body respond. I'm finally at the point of the plan where I'm feeling much better and starting to get my energy back...I may even try to do a Shred work-out tonight...I've only had enough gumption to do long walks. I'm seriously flabbergasted at how my body is responding to the whole holistic eating thing. I've lost 7 lbs. since Monday due to elimination that the body is going through. The plan has you drinking at least 64 oz. of cran-water (a mixture of 1 oz 100% pure cranberry juice/unsweetened with 8 oz purified water), regular purified water, hot water with juice of half a lemon in the morning, psyllium, flaxseed/flaxseed oil, and taking GLA, CLA, Liver Cleansing supplements (like fiber, milkthistle, & dandelion root), and of course a multi-vitamin. Plus with all the organic low-glycemic fruits and veggies I'm eating, it's hard not to go to the bathroom...I don't think I've ever felt so clean, or cleaned out for that matter (sorry for the frankness). Only 3 of us out of the 6 have made it to day 5, the rest either didn't start the program or dropped after day 2 when the going got really tough. I'm serious, this is not for the weak of heart, you literally feel like crap...sort of like having the flu. If I hadn't read that this was a normal response with detoxing, I would have thought something was wrong or that I was getting sick. Thank goodness I made it through and now I can concentrate on the good eating part of the plan and adding back in the work-outs. Working-out hardcore is not recommended at first, I guess they know how bad week 1 will get ya.

On the Opera front, Don Giovanni goes up September 6th & 10th, with future performance dates to follow. I have several auditions coming up and I'm learning Lucy in Menotti's "The Telephone" to be performed within the next few months. So things are staying productive. Oh and I spoke to the writer/director of the short film I did in early July and the film is still being edited...AND she is still interested in using me for the feature film once it goes into production. I was starting to get concerned since I hadn't heard from the film people, but it looks like things are still rolling along.

Ok, so now to have breakfast and my first set of supplements.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Day After

Phase 1 Week 1 Day 2...Ugh! Ok, they warned this would happen in my reading, that you go through withdrawls and feel all the toxins coming out and they're not kidding. I've had a headache since last night and it continues to linger in a dull hum sort of way...not really painful, just annoying and a bit disorienting. On this eating plan, I gave up all caffeine, salt, sweeteners (except for stevia or flora-key) and anything processed. I figured, I'd be fine during this part of the diet because I don't smoke or really do any drugs beyond the occasional ibuprofen or coffee...however, this detoxing gets rid of EVERYTHING down to the french fries you ate last year. Any and all pollutants your body comes in contact with, is supposed to be pushed out of the bod...and boy do you feel it. Thankfully this feeling is only supposed to last a week at most...but 2-3 days is generally the norm, so hopefully I'll be less cranky & achy by Friday. So much for the idea I was going to feel energized from this...I guess I have to wait until the 2nd week for that part to kick in.

I'm also already bored with the food, and it's only been one day...however, my bison burger with steamed broccoli was delicious last night...but how often can a girl eat buffalo? Luckily there are several organic and natural restaurants in NYC, so at least I can go out to eat occasionally. I think I may make "stir-fry" this evening or something like...I need to mix it up and I also may have to cook up a mock spaghetti sauce or something, but what to serve it over? Oh I know, tofu noodles? I wonder if they have any preservatives in them, I better check. This ultra-clean eating is killing me...lol...I can't even think straight.

Well enough rambling, off to eat my next meal.

Have a great day,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Eating to Live

One of the most important sayings that changed my life came from a Ms. Texas winner that I went to college with. I remember being at my heaviest weight trying to figure out how to diet and stick with it and so one day, I just asked her (figuring she might know a thing or two about dieting). The words that came out of her mouth were priceless and changed my way of thinking about food forever: "Do you live to eat or eat to live?" That was it. Very simple, yet ringing loud and true in my head. Do I live to eat or eat to live? Who's controlling who here? Would I let my love for fast food get the better of me? Or could I learn to look at food like I do medicine that will save my life? That's what she suggested...that to really get control over her eating, she finally had to take a step back and consider what food really is...her answer, that food is something that she would consume in order to keep her body fit and healthy. You really can go either way with food...you can either feed it things that will keep it running like a well oiled machine, or you can stuff it full of things that will cause it to clog, swell and shut down. I'm not saying it's easy, and I do believe that you can have your cake and eat it to...if it's well within MODERATION...but seriously moderate if not on the absolute occasional side. As for everyday however, I choose to eat medicinally. I find all the studies on foods and supplements fascinating...to know that macrobiotic diets are helping those with cancer, or that low-glyceminc diets are helping people suffering from diabetes...these are only a few testaments to healthy eating.

Over the years it truly has been a struggle and at my lowest point, when eating seems out of control, that question pops into my head...Do you live to eat or eat to live? I find that I'd rather have a long healthy life instead of continued bad choices. So I take a deep breath and clean out the cupboards again, throwing away all that can damage my health...if it's not there you can't eat it! That's been the pattern and the basic gist of what's helped me take control of my eating and making good choices.

Fast forward to today: We are now on The Labor Day Challenge and the healthy eating regiment. I'm opting for true medicinal practices in my eating. I'm set-up with all my organic and healthy fruits, veggies, and lean proteins, plus the supplements that will fill in where food leaves off. I'm actually excited to see how far I can take this. How will I feel? Will I have more energy? Will I be able to maintain this level of eating and supplementing? I can only take it one moment at a time and if I think of it that way, I should be ok...No need in overwhelming myself. It's actually been a fun challenge. There are limited spices and oils one can cook with on this plan of mine, and so I'm having to be more inventive when it comes to recipes. But so far, the turkey "meat loaf" and the egg "muffins" I made turned out truly delicious, and without the dreaded salt. I'm actually enjoying the flavors of my vegetables without all the extra stuff...who new that mushrooms cooked in flax oil could be so yummy and satisfying...and that spaghetti squash is really fun to make, we'll see how it tastes at lunch. If you're interested, here are the first few recipes that I've come up with and will be eating today.

EGG "MUFFINS"(makes 12)
10-12 eggs
1 1/2- 2 cups diced veggies: bell peppers (variety of colors) mushrooms (pre-cooked to get excess water out), tomatoes
2 cloves diced garlic
3 green onions or scallions diced small

Preheat oven to 375. Use regular or silicone muffin pan, 12 muffin size. If using silicone pan, drizzle or spray with flaxseed oil. If using regular muffin pan, put two paper liners into each slot, then drizzle or spray with flaxseed oil.

In the bottom of the muffin cups layer diced veggies, garlic and green onions. You want the muffin cups to be 1/2 full, with just enough room to pour a little egg around the other ingredients. Beat eggs well. Pour egg into each muffin cup until it is 3/4 full to the brim. Bake 25-30 minutes until muffins have risen above the rim of the muffin cups and are slightly browned and set.

These freeze well. For best results, thaw in refrigerator before microwaving. I like to wrap them in a paper towel when reheating in microwave to soak up some of the liquid that is sometimes released.

1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 cup diced bell peppers (fun with variety of colors)
1/2 cup diced green onions or scallions
1 medium yellow onion diced
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
1 egg (omega-3 type even better)
2 tsp. dried mustard
2 tsp. cayenne pepper

in a bowl combine Turkey, onion, veggies, spices and ground flaxseeds by hand until evenly mixed.

Prepare a loaf pan by drizzling or spraying flaxseed oil around bottom and sides of pan...pour off any excess oil.

Then put your combined mixture in pan and cook at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the loaf is white with brown crust around the sides and the middle cooks up clear juices.

This is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids...not to mention delicious.

Cut large spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds, cover with foil and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until soft when squeezed on the sides.

Scoop out squash from the skin into a bowl and add 1 tsp. cinnamon, 2 cloves diced garlic, and 2 tbl. sp. of Flaxseed oil. Mix until completely combined and serve.

So there's a taste of the menu for today, except for some bison burgers and broccoli waiting at home plus a nice mixed green salad with a little apple cider vinegar/lemon/flaxseed oil dressing.

Exercise wise, the plan is to do the 30 Day Shred DVD when I get home and then cook dinner...let's hope my energy holds strong.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Getting Ready

That's right, I'm getting all the info in line in order to get things off to a strong start. And I've got a plethora of people on board for the same eating regiment as me and the Maestro. By the way, Carmine is the Maestro due to the fact that, well, that's what he is...the music director and conductor of several opera companies here in the city...so now you know to whom I refer. Anywho...it seems that people are ready and excited about getting healthy and they all agree that they want to do it even if it means it will be hard. Nothing worth having is ever easy...you just become accustomed to new habits. So that said, I want to give a big shout out to Kistin, Challis, Chelle, Giuditta and the Maestro for joining me in the Labor Day Challenge (the Fat Flush Plan). We're gonna eat, work-out and supplement our way to a lean healthy bodies. Let's see if we can all stay on the wagon together...strength in numbers, right! I think I'll even throw a little cooking party at my place on Sunday to prepare for the week and those who are so inclined can come over and join in the preparation fun. This is going to be GREAT *repeats over and over again*...Ok...this is going to be f@cking hard! But we can do this, especially with such a great support system, here and out there. So no worries, we'll make this happen AND we can share the work.

The Maestro was mentioning he was feeling a bit fatigued and blue for the past couple of days and couldn't understand why...I mentioned that perhaps it was due to the lack of physical activity. We haven't shredded in the past two days and that his body was already used to a daily dose of adrenaline from the fabulous Shred DVD. So sure enough he Shredded today and is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed...that's the great thing about exercise, it really sets you right both physically and mentally. It's such a fragile balance and we have to remember that usually the last thing we want to do is the first thing we probably need, like getting our butts moving! In fact, Mark Salinas mentions this very thing on his blog in an article he found on WebMD...check it out. Thanks for the share Mark.

I'm also excited about how many peeps Val of the Dietbook has on board with The Labor Day Challenge as well...I mean it really was her idea this time around...so kudos to her for challenging me and welcome to all those who are on the happy train to positive change! Granted there may be more grumbling during, but in the end I think we'll all be pleased with the results.

Ok, so now to my next snack and more reading up on the Fat Flush Plan.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Labor Day Challenge

I know I'm a day behind on blogging, but I was recovering from my debaucherous birthday weekend :) More on that later.

Now, the Labor Day Challenge...hmmm...well as always I aim to get in shape...however this time, we're gonna attempt optimum health. So this entails several different phases of cleaning out and up the bod.

Phase 1 will be a healthy detox using natural aids of flaxseed oil, cranberry juice (100%) and lemon juice. I'm going to cut out major gluten, dairy and of course all processed foods for the first two weeks and really concentrate on healthy/organic fruits, veggies, and proteins. I know I can eat these things without incident.

After the first two weeks, I will continue to use natural supplements and start adding back the dairy and some of the grains (Phase 2)....I've got to figure out which one is giving me stomach aches and bloating...I had an episode last week when I started eating basic carbs again and I was in miserable shape, all curled up and fetal with stomach cramps...and that bloated, overly-full feeling continued throughout the weekend, even when I hadn't had anything to eat....so yeah, we've got some work to do to see what has been causing such odd effects.

Then Phase 3 will be the set way of eating once we've figured out what my reactents are and the bod is running like a well oiled machine. During all 3 Phases, we will continue to do the 30 Day Shred with other work-outs mixed in, ranging from yoga to interval cardio to weight training...I plan on keeping it mixed up and shocking the body as much as possible to keep it constantly growing and changing...besides, it'll keep me from getting bored. This is going to be a tough challenge...especially all the pre-planning, preparing the food and getting together the supplements. I plan on starting Week 1 next Monday 8/4/08 so that I can get ready properly...no half-assed attempts here.

I guess you see that I've been writing we, that's because the new roomie Carmine is going to do this with me. He's excited about getting in mad shape and having a healthy bod to show for it...so it'll be really nice to have a partner in this. Something's got to be said for those who keep us accountable, and a big thank you goes out to all you out there in blogland for that :) LOVE YOU FOLKS! You're the best blog friends a girl could have *sniffle, sniffle*

Ok, so now back to the research and accumulation of info for my crazy challenge goals. Look for the bday party update once I get the pics for show and tell.

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A New Year

Today is your birthday...duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh...it's my birthday too yeah...duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh...

Well it is my birthday, I don't know if it's yours or not, but happy birthday to all :) I feel like Frosty the Snowman, how every time he's brought to life he says "Happy Birthday!"...I may be tired today, but I definitely feel alive...granted it's more like Frankenstein's Monster, but I'm moving.

Yesterday I took a really fun class at the gym, Cardio Strip Tease...she really worked our core with the warm up, I was almost hurting by the end of it...but I guess due to my TOM condition I wasn't feeling very sexy. I know it's all mental, but there were moments I felt like I was an awkward adolescent again AND a hobbling old granny at the same time...my hips were stiff and I just didn't move very well...I had that moment of...Oh, I feel stupid.

Today I'm feeling like a Blobby McBlobbster...yeah, yeah, I know it's TOM, but the scale shows a 4.5 lb. gain (not to be confused with 45 - I think I'd throw myself in front of a taxi cab if I gained that much in a few days) and I feel like there should be a beeper warning anytime I decide to back up. I think once the Birthday week passes, I'm gonna really hunker down and eat ridiculously clean (yes cleaner than I've been eating...which may entail the half & half in my coffee in the mornings :( I wish I didn't get so bored with healthy eating...I could get alot more inventive with recipes, but it's a time issue. Maybe my new roomie will want to help me experiment with the cooking...he's already been great about the working out. Besides I'll be cooking for both of us, so I'm sure he'll be happy to help out, even if it's doing the dishes...oh God I hope he does the dishes...I hate that chore...especially after cooking for the week.

I'd really appreciate any insight to getting past my plateau, my weight seems to want to hover between 140 & 145 on my best days. I eat 5-6 small meals a day and work-out everyday (with an occasional 1 day off)...and the work-outs are always changing up at least every two weeks or so...I like to mix it up. Here's an example of my regular day.

7:30am Coffee w/half & half

10:30am 15-20 almonds

1:30 pm Lean beef & bean chili

4pm 0% Greek Yogurt w/1 splenda

6pm Chicken & Broccoli

8pm - Work-out: 30 Day Shred (currently on Lvl 2)

Sometimes around 12 or 2pm I'll throw in a lunchtime work-out at least 2-3 times a week...it consists of either a 45 minute dance or pilates class OR 35 minutes interval training on the treadmill. And yes, I'm finally getting sleep...6-7 hours a night currently.

Maybe I should up the lunchtime work-outs to 5 days a week, on-top of my evening 30 Day Shred sessions? Perhaps I should have more than just coffee w/half & half for my 7:30am meal? My clothes fit fine...I don't feel like I'm really gaining gaining...do we think the muscle composition is changing after being on the 30 day shred for 2 weeks? Oh I don't know, I'm just starting to get frustrated with the whole process...Why can't I break 140? I'm only 5'4...I need to drop some poundage...I still have a lot of belly & hip/thigh fat that's got to go but I think my arms are starting to look pretty decent. This is the point where I always start to freak...I always see a gain on the scale when I'm doing any type of training that builds muscle...and instead of riding it out I stop, so I don't keep gaining weight. Do I just keep gaining weight? When does the scale turn the other way and you start seeing the muscle that's under the fat? When does the fat finally melt away? 6 weeks? 8? Ever? I think I've got the formula right? Eat small lean meals and work out doing a mix of cardio vascular & weight baring exercise...both aerobic & anaerobic...what else do I need to do? What am I missing? I really want to start this new year off right. I want to get really lean and toned. I'm tired of having the jiggles and the dimples. Any wisdom out there?

Alright, well now that my cry for help is out there...I'm on to enjoying the rest of my Birthday and celebrating the end of the Birthday Challenge. I didn't lose the pounds that I may have wanted, but I still think I look pretty good and my back and arms are starting to shape up...granted I can't really see my back, but I'll trust that it's happening by the way it feels.

Have a great day everyone and a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Enjoy Being a Girl.

You know, I really do enjoy being a girl...or woman if you will...but sometimes its sooo hard! *cue whimpering* Sorry to all the boys out there reading from this point on, and any squeamish females, but come on, the menstrual cycle sucks! Why do I have to get all bloaty, gassy, crampy, and cranky...grrr. I was in such pain and doubled over last night that I couldn't bring myself to do my work-out. The bloated, gassy cramps in my stomach where pushing out on my abdomen so bad that I had an earache as a result AND back spasms as well. WHY!!! I took some ibuprophen and sipped soda to help with the gassiness (is that a word?)...but by the time I started to feel a little bit human, it was way past my bed time and I knew if I stayed up another hour to work-out, I wouldn't be able to sleep for the following 2. I know you can't "make-up" a work-out, however because I'm feeling like a heffer and a sow [sou] (yeah, two different and large animals), I think doing a double dose of activity can't hurt. So, the plan for today: Interval training on the treadmill or find a fun class to take during my lunch hour, and do day 4 of lvl 2 of the 30 Day Shred tonight when I get home. Tomorrow's work-out will be tricky due to it being my actual Bday and all the going outs & ons. I may have to do another lunchtime work-out and then based on home arrival after my bday dinner tomorrow, if there's adequate time, day 5 of lvl 2. I'm definitely going to try to get them all in and I've already made plans to take Friday off to pamper myself before the big party with my group of friends that night. Pampering entails: Sleeping a little bit later, getting up and doing the 30 Day Shred, a nice long shower, followed by a leisurely brunch, then a little mani/pedi action & perhaps a visit to the mystic tan booth to add some color into my life (no real sun exposure for this girl)...then home with a final shower-off of the chemicals applied to the bod and on to dressing for Friday's fabulous events.

I'm sure I've mentioned the plans for this Friday evening, but here's a recap: Cocktails & nosh at the fabulous Pegu Club followed by Karaoke & sushi at Japas. Some of my bestest gf's are in charge of the guest list and I can't wait to see who will show...at least they told me where we're going so that a girl can dress accordingly...granted, I've had the bday dress ready and waiting for over a year to be worn, and I would have worn it to mud wrestling if need be...I've worked too hard not to. I'm getting really excited...but more than just going out to celebrate the bday...I'm excited to put that dress on and really see the progress I've made this year. Sure I have a back-up dress, but I don't think I will be needing it...this will be the year of my happy and fabulous NOHO boutique dress and there will be pics to document the occasion...I'll make sure to share after the approval process is over.

On another note, my friend Damon said the callback interview for The Biggest Loser went really well and he's up for phase 3 of the process...this is the background checks, a homemade video and a bio with photos. I can't say enough how much he needs this...I feel it will give him the jumpstart he needs to change is life. So everyone thank you for your previous good wishes and please keep sending them his way.

Alright, I guess its back to work for me.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ramble On

We did day 3 of lvl 2 last night of the 30 Day Shred, and I REALLY didn't want to. I guess I should give the little back story that after work we went to my voice teacher's house to have a little pre-birthday celebration...there we drank champagne, ate brie & crackers, french bread, and spinach/artichoke dip, to be followed up by mini chocolate cupcakes...I had 3... So by the time I got home I was buzzed and on an extreme carb & sugar high. I HAD to work-out, and boy was I not in the mood. I bitched and moaned the whole time, BUT I did get through it (without yacking). I accomplished day 3 and with sweat pouring off my brow. I'm excited now that I look back that I did push through and continue my endeavor to complete the 30 Day Shred, and by GOD, day 3 of lvl 2 is down. Only 7 more days of lvl 2 to go and then 10 days of lvl 3...almost halfway there. Oh and I guess I should mention that we is my friend Carmine and I...he's been doing the 30 Day Shred with me and he's the new roommate as well, so it's a healthy household indeed. It's also nice to have someone to work-out with, he's been such an encouragement...I'm glad he's around.

To make things worse or is it better?, TOM came last night and so now I'm sitting hunched over at my desk contemplating serious drugs. I do know that getting and staying active will help with the cramps so at least I've got that to look forward to.

I'm really starting to feel inspired with the whole regiment I've chosen for myself this time around. My muscles are in the good sore category and I'm seeing a difference already in my physique...even with TOM here. My tummy is tightening and getting less rounded...my arms are starting to shape up and my legs are looking pretty toned. In fact I wore a dress today that shows my arms and gams and I couldn't hardly walk down the street without a comment every block from some passing Joe. It IS NYC they're very "complimentary" here...especially when walking alone...I don't know if I'll ever get used to that, it creeps me out a bit...but I think it would be worse if the compliments stopped coming.

Oh, some interesting news, one of my dearest friends in the world called me this weekend looking for old photos of us in our college days. He was my partner for years in show choir and we did many a musical and play together. He was always on the larger side, being genetically predisposed to it and growing up in small town Texas, he's been plagued with obesity. For years he's been trying to lose it and the weight has really kept him from continuing to pursue a performing career...which is a great loss, because he's VERY talented. Well it turns out that the call and the need for photos is because he got a callback for this coming season's The Biggest Loser. This is very exciting and I know if he gets in, it will change his life. He truly needs the guidance and opportunity that the show offers. So everyone send good thoughts and wishes his way...his name is Damon. I really really hope he gets it...oooh, and maybe I'll get to meet Jillian Michaels in person...hehe...I'll be able to tell her how her 30 Day Shred is kicking my ass and she's reduced me to a whining, crumpled baby!

Ok, so now to the rest of the day...and I just got a present delivered at work. It's from my sister in Cali...oh, it's a stress relief gift basket...how did she know...good sister! We love her!

Have a great day everybody!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Daily Grind

Wow, so I'm on day 3 of Lvl 2 of the 30 Day Shred, and OMG am I sore. It's definitely the next step up. I'm looking forward to getting home and getting it over with...lol. I'm also way PMSing and everything seems to tick me off...isn't that always the way. Today I did not wake refreshed and ready to face Monday, instead I woke up almost a half hour late and running like a chicken to get off to work...ugh, I just want to make it through the day so I can go back to bed. Meh!

On the positive side, I can totally feel my muscles active and engaged from the weekend's work-outs and I feel that I'm getting stronger, even though the scale is at a standstill. I know I know...stop consorting the scale, especially when training and building muscle (+ PMS doesn't help), but it's SUCH an addiction. I guess it could be worse, there are worse addictions...like my addiction to fast food...this one's been a constant battle and I'm afraid it will always be that way.

What else...oh, I'm getting a new roommate. He moves in at the end of July I believe. This will be such a big help with the bills...Money is tight and everyone I know is feeling it. It will be nice to be able to breathe a little in the finance area of my life...but only a little. My cousin who also lives with me has also been offered a new job making almost twice what he is currently making, so that too will be a big help for us. Things are looking up, but let's not jinx it just yet...a piano may fall on my head or something.

Alright, back to the grind. Have a great day and week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Final Day of Level 1

Today will be day 10 of the 30 Day Shred and the last day of Level 1. The plan is to complete day 10 and to rest the following day in order to be fresh to take on Level 2. According to fitness experts, you're suppose to allow a day of rest in your work-out regiment, but no one can agree between how many days. Should I work-out 6 days and rest 1 a week? Or 3 days on and 1 day off and then on again? Is it ok to do the 10 days straight of one fitness Level, rest, and then progress to the next level for another 10 days? Or should I do 5 days rest and then do the next 5 days of each level? I won't lie, it's been HARD! I mean really hard, to the point of wanting to cry and throw a tantrum. It seems like every other day I'm feeling the effects but on the alternate days I feel pretty charged. Last night was a pretty good work-out...it was officially day 9 of the program, so I wonder if tonight's going to be one of drudgery or if I've progressed far enough that it's really time to move on? I've got 10 days until the big B-day celebration and the much anticipated B-day dress...I have to hold strong with my clean eating and working-out. I think I'll get to a nice point that will give me the gift of confidence, as long as I stay strong and forge through.

Tonight I have a voice lesson for the first time in weeks. I've been having some coachings, but not a voice lesson due to the filming schedule from a couple of weeks ago and the cold I brought home after it. I feel I'm ready to now concentrate and to progress in my music career. I also turned down the contracts offered to me from my current opera company due to the big possibility of a SAG contract for a feature film coming up. It's all in negotiations and I won't know for awhile, but it is possible that shooting may begin as early as September. I'm a bit sad and will miss my friends and the opera house I was working with, but it's time to move on to other things. I'm still working with Opera Manhattan though and will be doing the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni in late August...I'm also up for several other roles this year with this new company and I'm very excited. So life is changing but it seems in a positive manner, so there's much to look forward to this season.

I hope all of you are doing well and I can't wait to read and catch up with you.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

7 Days Straight

I have done the unthinkable...I've actually worked our 7 straight days in a row (a first for me). My latest goal is to do the 30 Day Shred DVD for an actual 30 days straight...7 down 23 more to go...lol. Actually there are 3 levels to the DVD so I assume you're supposed to do each level for 10 days and then move on to the next. So I've only 3 more days on Level 1 and then I progress to Level 2. I am very excited so far and feel that I'm accomplishing something in the short time that is left before my Birthday. The actual Birthday is July 24th, but we're partying on the 25th since it's a Friday and we can sleep in the following day :) Yeah, there will be drinking involved. BUT, until then it's hardcore eating clean and healthy, no alcohol, lots of vitamins and water...and the 30 Day Shred...I'm even considering taking the 25th off instead of my actual birthday, so that I can get my work-out in before the events happen that evening. I believe we'll start with cocktails & tapas at Pegu, followed by dessert & a wine pairing at Chickalicious, then onto Karaoke at either Sing Sing or Japass...we'll see who cuts us the best group deal. It will only be 20 of my closest friends...lol.

So far I've lost 7 lbs. and I already feel slimmer in my clothes...that birthday dress is going to look fabulous and I can't wait to dress to the nines and go out to celebrate, not only my birthday, but the hard work and accomplishment. The great thing about the DVD that I'm using is that it tones the bod while burning calories...so hopefully, my arms & back will be in a state that I approve of by then...and I really feel that I'm getting there...so I'm totally stoked.

I'm also being considered for a feature film at the moment, so it doesn't hurt to be getting in shape for the camera...you never know when filming will go up and I have to be ready. The only thing is that I don't know if the shooting schedule will interfere with my Opera schedule and the trip to Hungary this November...it's really just a waiting game and so all I can do is hope that it will all work out.

Ok, it's time for my mid-morning snack and on to working on my music.

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Forging Through

I'm still sick but forging through. I did exactly what I set out to do yesterday and felt productive in doing it. I ate clean, took my vitamins, took a nap and then got up and did the 30 Day Shred DVD...I'm literally trying to do it for 30 days back to back (if possible)...Today will be day 4 and I'm looking forward. The eating has been really good today and although I'm sniffly, I feel pretty ok...Not great, but not terrible.

My bday is coming up soon and I'm already getting the fabulous evening planned out. It looks like cocktails at the Rockefeller Center Cafe (where the skating rink is during the winter season) followed by dinner, live music and dancing at Havana Central. Should be loads of fun filled with happy people sipping mojitos. I'm really dedicated to looking FAB in my bday dress and really sculpting my back & arms...those are the main body parts I'm concerned with in this dress...I will look awesome!

That's all for now...Hope you're all doing well.
Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sick, but Still Going

Ok, I'm officially sick with a head cold. Annoying, yes...but other than that, I'm still functioning. The fitness experts say that you can still work out when sick if you follow this simple rule: Neck up = yes, neck down = no...in other words...if it's in your lungs or have full body aches and pains from fever and sickness, stay out of the gym. As for the simple little head cold or sinuses, then keep forging through with your program. I have to admit, I'm also way drowsy from the medicine I took to breathe and sleep last night...I'm sitting here at my desk with fuzzy vision and the sad nodding off that comes with it. I took the meds around 11:30pm last night...it should be out of my system soon. However, I could just be really tired from the amount of working-out and lack of sleep I've been getting...about 6 hours a night...and we know that when working-out, you need at least 7-8 hours of sleep to really recover.

My goal for today is to continue to eat well, get in a work-out, get lots of water, and get some good rest. I may skip my lunch hour if I don't feel better by then and leave early from work. Hopefully I can get in a nap and then work-out...but it's all contingent on how I feel...that's all one can do.

Now back to my zombified state.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I know

I've been MIA for way too long, but I was up in PA shooting a film short for a possible SAG Feature film. Oddly my film career is happening and I'm not even trying. As for my opera career? It's all turned upside down as the rest of my life is right now.

I broke up with my boyfriend of 3 1/2 years, I'm shooting films, I'm getting opera contracts that don't offer me much more than cover roles and chorus, and I'm questioning my validity in the world that I'm pursuing at the moment. I seriously have alot of thinking to do and much to accomplish and I feel a bit lost at the moment. I'm sure all will present itself in due time...I just trust things will work themselves out.

As for diet and exercise; I gained 5 lbs. while on location for the film shoot, thanks to craft services and Doritos. I haven't eaten Doritos in I don't know how many years...it seriously may be close to a decade...but boy are they yummy...I can see how people get addicted. The good news is that I've had two full days of healthy eating and hardcore working-out and the weight is already coming off. I have about 2 weeks to finish getting in shape for my Bday celebration and I will not be derailed.

Sorry to have disappeared for so long...but I'm back now!


Thursday, June 26, 2008


5 lbs. gone and I’m feeling good. TOM is pretty light and hasn’t been too bad this month, so no complaints. Our internet at work has had its surf control updated and we’re blocked from all kinds of internet use. I can’t blog as much due to big brother watching and reporting our internet usage…So sorry if the blog is a bit sparse lately.

I have several people doing South Beach with me and there seems to be strength and solidarity in numbers. We’re all on Phase 1 together sharing advice and recipes. It’s been going well so far. Carmine has offered to go back to Phase 1 to help reinforce our efforts, but the boy doesn’t have any more weight to lose…it would be unhealthy for him to cut his carb intake at this point…he needs his fruits and whole grains. So we decided that we could work-out together and that would be a nice way to help me reinforce my weight loss and toning efforts. He’s been the model of discipline…he never cheats on his eating plan, unless you count a few glasses of wine, which is allowed on most healthy diets…so no, he doesn’t cheat. I’m very impressed and eating a meal with him is always a “no stress” situation, because he encourages and reinforces good habits. It’s hard to hang out with friends that eat junk and want you to do the same. I’m such a social eater that I have to admit that sometimes I’m easily swayed. In fact this Friday is my friend Lynne’s Bday party at a bar with almost nothing but bar food. I’ve already informer her that I’ll be there, but I won’t be partaking in any of the eats and drinks. I’ll just have to make sure that I eat before the party in order not to be tempted by hunger…hunger can be the undoing to any good intentions. So I’ll go and sip on diet soda all night while hanging with my friends…it should be fine, but wish me luck anyway.

I’m a bit over tired right now. My brain is complete mush from all the music and words that I’m cramming into it. I’ve so much to do and the space of time allotted is getting smaller and smaller. Good thing I’ve got an incredible singing coach in Carmine, it pays to have friends that can help you in all areas of your life. It’s been such a blessing that he came into my life when he did; I’m accomplishing so much with him in it. Yay good friends.

On that note, it’s time to get back to work and find my next meal.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Crazy Days of Summer

The weekend was beautiful…not too much rain and a lot of fun. On Friday night I met up with my bf Rebecca and we shopped and then had cocktails until my friend Carmine joined us. Then we walked up to midtown to the Russian Vodka Room for my friend Seth’s Birthday party…where two other friends joined us for infused vodka and Russian cuisine. On Saturday, my cousin Philip and I had our first BBQ of the summer at our place, with the help and co-hosting duties of my girl Rebecca. There was sooo much food and booze and the grill cooked from 5pm until Midnight…constantly grilling veggies, meats, and even the famous Banana Boats (which were a BIG hit!) Rebecca made a huge vat of Sangria and some AWESOME Guacamole that is unmatched anywhere…oh and she also combined the burgers for the grill which were spectacular! The weather was perfect both day and night for the party and people didn’t leave until I basically kicked them out around 2:30am…I’m sure my neighbors probably hate me now…lol. Sunday, I had a church gig that I sang at which had me waking up at 6:30am to get there…so yeah I got maybe 4 hours sleep, and then I took it easy the rest of the day, just cleaning up a bit and watching movies. TOM also came to visit finally on Sunday morning (at church mind you) but like a good girl scout, I was prepared. So now I’m surfing the crimson wave, have eaten my weight in BBQ, Guacamole, Banana Boats and Alcohol and according to the scale I’m a good 10 lbs. heavier than I was 2 weeks ago. Oh the carnage! Oh well, I’m back on the straight and narrow today. My ankle is doing much better and I plan on hitting the gym to see what I can accomplish…there’s no pain currently, so I’ll wrap my ankle and go as far as possible without causing discomfort. And if I get home early enough tonight after my ladies night event, then I’ll attempt the 30 Day Shred DVD…assuming I’m not crippled after today’s gym excursion.

On the career front, I was cast in another movie. This time it’s a SAG-pending short film. I got the script this morning and it shoots next Monday & Tuesday…talk about short notice, but I guess that’s how these things work. So now, I’ve got to start learning my lines and developing my character, on top of all the opera prep work I’m in the middle of right now. My week is crazy with events, lessons and birthday parties, followed up by the film shoot…I don’t know how I’m going to get it all in, but I will somehow. I always do! The film coming up, will also help me to really work hard this week to shed some poundage…I’ve got to get it together to be happy with the way I look on film (which may be never, because I can’t watch myself, it freaks me out…lol). But at least it’s an incentive on top of the BD Challenge, plus TOM will be gone and so will the water weight that comes with him. I should be down by “8” pounds by this time next week, because we all know it’s mostly water weight that I put on (almost over night).

So now to work on my lines and music, this is turning out to be a crazy and productive summer. I guess I’ll rest when I’m dead…lol.

Have a great day!