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 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 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 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... 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 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 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'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

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 really was just supposed to be a 2 week detox to get your liver and the rest of the system cleaned out and 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) 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. the fall season is already filling up quite'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 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 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 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 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.