Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Get'er Done

It's been a rough couple of days... I'm overtired and I'm really starting to feel it. This past week and weekend, I got in a good couple of days where I got in some Guerilla Cardio and other work-outs. I also worked at Dicapo every night last week with two shows on Saturday and Sunday (whew)...yes this is on top of my day job. In between shows on Saturday I did get the opportunity to do some yoga with my NaFOS group in Central Park; you couldn't have asked for a more perfect day to do yoga outside, or heck just be was gorgeous! Our instructor Kristen was amazing and guided us through a nice rejuvenating was quite the work-out without realizing it until later (and I thought I was taking it easy -- HA!) By the time I got through the weekend, I needed a weekend to rest and prepare for this week, but as we all know, that just didn't happen. For some reason, the week just won't allow me two weekends in the same week...stupid calendar! Thus today I'm extra tired and fatigued and TOM has come to visit, so the last thing I want to do is work-out...but I did it! That's right, I got my butt to the gym and did a good 30 minutes of Guerilla Cardio on the treadmill, and I feel the better for it.

This coming weekend our NaFOS group is having more yoga in the park on Saturday, and then on Sunday I leave for tour with The National Lyric Opera. We'll be hitting the Northeast for two days and then coming back to NYC. I took Tuesday off, so I could get a day to myself...I just know that if I had come back and gone straight back to my day job, I would never catch up on my rest or anything else I need to do in order to prepare for the following week. I'm currently trying to come up with a game plan to sticking with my diet and exercise regiment while on the's so hard when they provide "food" on this venture and it's generally not the healthiest of choices. Hopefully there will be a gym and/or pool at the hotels, and I hope I can pack enough snacks for the road.

On a different note: Try to avoid Fat Free Half and Half...I just found out that it has corn syrup in it! can they do that to dairy. You think you're making a healthy decision, but there the food industry goes and starts mixing in crap into your food. I guess it goes to show that you should never stop reading labels.

Have a great day,

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I’ve finally begun my running program again...Why did I stop? My knees my friends, my knees…It seems that anytime I try to take up running, I suffer from anywhere to a week to a couple of months afterwards with stabbing knee pain (stairs are agony). I know, it sounds awful…well it is. So what to do? Never run again, have knee surgery, run upside down on my hands? Um, none of those are acceptable options for me. So, back when the pain began during my last running program endeavor, I had my friend Jake (yes, the ex-boyfriend / personal trainer) help me figure out WHY I was in pain, WHAT was I doing wrong, and HOW to perhaps “fix” the problem. After much trial and error he came to the conclusion that a.) The small stabilizing muscles around my knee joints were under developed, b.) That I needed to get proper footwear, and c.) I’ve got to learn to run with good form. We worked on some exercises to help strengthen the muscles for a while, but I found myself lost without his help at the gym and quickly found myself of doing other activities. I also went to the running store to get an assessment, but wasn’t completely satisfied with the shoe choices at that moment. However we did work on my running form and I feel it improved, but of course the knees couldn’t keep up so the running program went by the wayside.

Now determined to get in a good Guerilla Cardio and return to the exercise I found that I really feel challenged by and enjoy, I decided to give it another go. This time, I went to the running store and did another assessment and found that I overpronate (my feet roll in too far when I run). So we tried many different running shoes, and I chose ones that of course helped correct the overpronation (built up on the insides with a special support bar within the heel), but also a ½ size larger for toe space, narrow enough to hold my foot in place, lightweight, and has a high enough arch to give me proper support…oh yeah, and their cute too (bonus)! The next order of business was to take care of the knee stabilization issue (muscles don't build overnight...well not as much as you might need). So I purchased two knee braces with metal stability bars on either side to see if this would help keep my knees in alignment and also to keep me from hyper extending my joints when I run (yeah I have joints that hyper extend…not good for high-impact situations). Now add the corrected running form and voila I’m ready to try running again.

So last week with my new braces and running shoes, I thought I’d try it out with a work-out that I’m already familiar with, thus I “Shredded” and the outcome was a positive and interesting one. I found that I was definitely using my body and muscles differently with the new balancing and support system…This was a positive feeling and aftermath. Then on Monday I took my new additions to the gym and hit the treadmill…starting with a 3.5 walk and then slowly adjusted my speed up and down for 30 minutes testing out my new found security. No knee pain and again I felt different muscles that had been activated due to the new adjustments. Tuesday was a day off, just to be on the safe side and then another go at it on Wednesday. This time I went a little faster and longer in the running sections of my program, and again had positive results with no knee pain in the equation. So today I’m going to see if I can do two days in a row without causing injury. I’m just really listening to my body and making my adjustments accordingly…baby steps people, baby steps. I let you know how it goes!

As for NaFOS, we have our first Yoga class with GrowFromTheGround Yoga this Saturday in Central Park. It's supposed to be sunny and 72 degrees...can I order up a perfect day or what?!

Have a Great day,


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

NaFOS's First Meeting

We had our first NaFOS meeting this past Sunday where we talked about the program, handed out booklets and enjoyed a cooking / preparation class. We were able to inform the participants about what is expected and answered questions that they had. Then we got to the actual cooking part of the meeting and the fun really started. There were a dozen people washing, chopping, blending, mixing and preparing fresh vegetables and lean lovely proteins. We were cooking and tasting as food became ready, starting with Kale/Swiss Chard Chips (thanks Hungry Girl). Everyone was so astounded at how good the chips were and they were really excited that they could still snack and snack healthy. They asked me how much was a serving of kale chips, and I told them that it was a guilt free snack and to feel free to munch away…you can’t get enough kale in your diet in my opinion. The next course we had was a tasting of the Asparagus, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Frittata, a favorite for breakfast and loved by everyone who had some. Next was the Sautéed Cabbage and Onion with low-fat Turkey Kielbasa (haha, people didn’t realize they liked cooked cabbage so much…surprise!), then the Italian Chicken Zucchini packets…mmm. Finally the “Lasagna” (homemade lean-beef bolognaise sauce w/low-fat cottage cheese & part skim mozzarella over roasted egg-plant layers) was ready and boy was it a hit! One of my favorites. After our tasting dinner, we retired to the living room for Almond cookies that we had rolled, pressed, and baked during the whole shebang. What a great way to finish the night and everyone had a fun and informative time. Who said eating healthy has to be boring?...I proved to them, that it’s not only healthy to eat this way, but delicious…one may even say it’s better than many restaurants one may frequent? And did you notice there’s not one processed or empty carb in the whole night? Nope, not even in the cookies which were made with Almond meal & ground flaxseeds.

Here’s what one of our participants had to say about Sunday’s meeting (oh and just an FYI, she’s only 20 years old, but wants to learn about eating right and getting fit…wow, I wish I was as aware as she is at that age):

I actually had a lot of fun yesterday! You wouldn't think a meeting about healthy food, and exercise would actually be entertaining, but it was! A lot of what you were saying about the food that we will be eating (lean protein, vegetables, no white flour) really sounds good. While I have eaten like that before, a lot of what you said has put it in a new outlook for me and I'm really excited to start next week. And I'm even more excited about the dance, yoga and boxing classes. Oh and the Kale chips were amazing! I was telling my mom we have to make them. See you soon!

I’m sorry, but that just gets me so excited about what we’re doing here and I hope we can all make great progress. Oh, and you can find a lot of the recipes that were mentioned in my previous blog entry.

Have a great day!