Tuesday, October 27, 2009

There and Back Again

I'm back from tour and I am glad to be home...can you say exhausted. Thankfully I had and took the option of a day off yesterday and found much need rest. However, I do find myself still really tired and I'm so not motivated to go to the gym today. Bex and I have been sticking with it, we actually met and did upper body weight training yesterday...so yay for us. Which means today is cardio...I'll be going at lunch *said as she sips her coffee in hopes the caffeine will get her there*. I literally can't keep my eyes open and the desk job isn't helping. I also over booked myself for today, so now I'm stuck scrambling to create a workable schedule...I'm afraid I'm going to have to drop my coaching for after work today due to a rehearsal that is called earlier than I originally thought...ugh...guess my brain isn't functioning at the best of levels.

The tour went well this weekend despite the fact that everyone, including the lead soprano was getting sick...but not to fear, she sang beautifully and the audience loved every last bit it seems. Another interesting opera tidbit: It looks as if the Boheme I'm doing in December is being moved back to March/April...I'm currently awaiting the official word from the company. Oh well, that just means I've more time to really get the role into my body...who would complain about that?

This week's schedule is a bit crazy, yesterday was upper body, a Boheme coaching and a meeting with management, then today is cardio, then a repertoire coaching (if I can schedule it right), followed by Emmeline rehearsal, then tomorrow is lower body, a voice lesson, and hopefully home to take care of some errands, Thursday is cardio again, then a co-workers birthday party (which probably puts me at home around 10 or 11ish...hopefully no later), Friday is upper body again with Bex after work, then home to cook and prep our place for the big Costumed Halloween Party the Maestro and I are throwing on Saturday night...whew...and yes, this is all on top of my day job. I actually don't think I'd know what to do with myself if I had a free moment...knowing me I'd probably fill it.

I believe we're at the part of our nutrition and fitness program where we start losing focus and motivation. We are currently in week 4 and finding ourselves happy with the progress so far (about 9 lbs. each and new clothes found in the old one's we couldn't wear before), but also a bit tired and bored with our work-outs and food choices. So during this week we will try to be inventive with our menus and discuss how we're going to tweak our work-outs so that we can continue the progress. The real test will be maneuvering our way through the upcoming Holiday's starting with Halloween this weekend. I plan on making my sugar-free, lo carb Almond Cookies and my sugar-free, lo carb Pumpkin Cheesecake for the party and provide a crudites platter and other healthy party food options. However, there will be drinking, so we will have to remember to be moderate if we choose to participate in libation.

Ok, so now off to my next meal and back to the day job. Have a great day folks.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I Lost in Jeopardy...Baby...Oooooh...

I want to give a big shout out to Mickela Mallozzi, our Masala Bhangra instructor at NYHRC. Bex & I took her Masala Bhangra class last night and I have to say, it really is quite the work-out. About halfway through the class, Bex and I were comparing colors, as in who had a more purple face...I think I won in that area (perhaps purple is a little dramatic, I give you... magenta). I was also shocked at how soaked my gym clothes were when I got home last night as I was taking them out of my gym bag...OMG, they were absolutely drenched...so you KNOW we had a great time and definitely got our butts kicked without even noticing. That's the lovely thing about this class, it's so much fun and the music is so great, you don't even realize you're working out. Now don't mistake me...you know your sweating, breathing hard and having a few cramping side pains as your legs feel as if they're going to fall off, but it really doesn't seem like exercise...at least not in the boot camp, Phys. Ed. sort of way, and I like that! I have always loved to dance, and what a fun way to get in your activity for the day. Sadly, it looks like I'm going to miss class next week due to an event conflict, but I should be back the following week...assuming Boheme rehearsals don't conflict.

Yeah, I'm about to start getting ridiculously busy with the Opera work...I've got Boheme rehearsals starting in November, plus I leave for Hungary for a week to sing in the Mezzo TV Competition...It's crunch time kids!

Today is upper body weight training once again...this is the one day of our training program that Bex and I try to do together, besides our dance class. We need spots for the chest & some of the shoulder exercises, but we also seem to motivate each other to go beyond where we'd normally go on our own...it's a nice compromise. (Not to mention she's cute and lovely to have around...and I'm not just saying that in case she's reading this blog...hehe.) After our work out I have to run up to mid-town for an Opera Manhattan meeting. We're discussing the finishing touches for this Sunday's Anniversary Gala...if you'd like to come, it's Free Admission and you can get the information at http://www.operamanhattan.com/ and click on the orange Gala button underneath their flash show. Unfortunately I won't be there as I will be on tour with Rigoletto this weekend...oh well, I'll still get my opera fix ;)

Tomorrow I leave for tour and still have to get in my final work-out for the week. The plan is to awaken around 8ish and do a quick "Shred" from 9-9:30am, pack for tour (if I don't do it tonight), shower and get ready from 9:30-10:30am and then go for a nice brunch from 10:30-11:30am before heading to the City to be on the Tour Bus by 12:30pm. The eating is going to be tricky while on tour, but Bex and I went to Whole Foods and picked up some individually packaged organic almond butter to use in a pinch and I can always eat omelets, salads and straight up protein on the road...so I should be ok.

Monday 10/26 marks the beginning of week 4. In this week we will evaluate our fitness level, how we're doing and see if we need to tweak the program and/or change it up a bit to shock the body. I believe that I'm ready for something new and/or different in my training regiment, as I'm not really getting sore anymore after my work-outs...thus it's time to push myself further...there's nothing like feeling the good sore after a good work-out. I may even inlist the help of my personal trainer friend Jake and see what suggestions he can give inorder to up the ante in our ever evolving fitness regiment.

I must say that I'm really proud and excited that we've stuck with our program for the past three weeks without missing a work-out or cheating on our diet plan...Kudos to us...Congrats the two Becca's. I can't wait to see how far we can take this and what kind of "sick" shape we can get into...did I mention excited?...YAY!!!

Ok, so now that my caffeine has apparently kicked in, I'm back to my regularly schedule day job.

Have a great day,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Balle Balle

V's birthday party last night was at a lovely steak place in Astoria, NY. Bex & I stuck to our plan and split a really delicious NY Strip with asparagus & spinach on the side. I finished the meal up with a decaf latte and it was just enough to keep me from craving dessert. Our reservations were at 7:30, however we didn't get out of there until 10:30 and thus I didn't get home until after 11...meaning bedtime was 11:30, but I couldn't fall asleep until 1am...UGH! So needless to say, I am very tired today. I really wanted my 7 hours of sleep last night...oh well, birthdays are very special things, and you shouldn't rush through life if you can help it.

Yesterday I did guerilla cardio. Seeing as how I got up to 8.0 on the treadmill last time, I started at a higher level this time, and so now the bar is set at 8.0 for now as the finishing interval speed. I think I'll try to work my way up to 10 (how high does the machine go?...is there anything after 10?) If there isn't anything after level 10, then it must mean I'll be going longer at the higher intensity levels OR start adding in the incline if my knees can handle it. Eh, I'll just experiment to figure out the right mix.

Today we continue on with our Masala Bhangra class from last week. I have to say it definitely got the blood pumping, so much so, that my face was purple for an hour afterwards...let's hope we get just as good of a work-out as before. Afterwards I have a date with the Maestro to go shopping for new slacks for him and some unmentionables (I guess I just mentioned it) for me. And since we're mentioning it, this shopping trip is a much needed one. He and I are both at an in between stage with our big clothes being too big, but our small clothes not quite fitting. If you've ever worn undies that were too big on you, you can understand the maddening effect it has on you...I mean there's nothing worse than being afraid that your drawers are going to fall down around your ankles as your walking down the street! TMI? Meh.

Anywho, I'm off for my second cup of coffee...I think this may be a caffeine induced kind of day.

Have a great one.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Birthday V

I got my 7 hours of sleep last night, and it was nice. However, I was not ready to get up this morning...I wanted more. That tells me that I have to be more consistent with my sleep in order to feel refreshed when I awaken. Ah sleep, a lovely, lovely inactive activity...How I do enjoy it when I can get it...yes I'm still talking about sleep. I'll try again tonight to get at least 7 hours, but that all depends on the events of the evening.

Wow...This Photo is really distracting, but so cute:

Today's schedule includes cardio at 12ish pm, then back to the day job, and after work I have my voice lesson from 5-6pm followed by a birthday dinner for my friend V (reservations are at 7:30pm). This is V's last year in her 20's and she wants to celebrate with a big steak dinner followed by drinks. My girl Bex and I have already come up with the plan on how to dodge temptation, sabotage, and all around scary choices. Are plan consists of splitting a steak with 2 green veggies as the sides, no wine, and no dessert...plus we have each other there to help keep each other strong. So I know tonight we'll stay on the plan, and hopefully it won't be a late night as I would like to get home and go to bed at a decent hour.

So far the eating and the exercise are on course and it seems that I'm finding my groove in this whole new lifestyle. When I do start introducing more "carbs" back into my diet, I think I may leave gluten out as I always feel rather lousy when I eat it. There are so many foods out there that contain gluten, that people don't even know they're eating it...read the labels peeps, always know what you're putting into your body. The great thing about living in NYC is that there are so many options for eating and if one wants to avoid the dreaded gluten gunk, you can find everything from gluten free cupcakes to pizza...no one has to give up anything, just make smarter choices :) I generally like to stick to the rule that I will eat mostly whole, natural, unprocessed foods if I can get it...and if it's organic, even better. The simpler the food, the simpler the planning. You can't go wrong with fresh veggies and such...so easy and so yummy...I especially love roasting my veggies with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, it really brings out the flavor.

I've rambled enough about food, time to get back to work. Have a great day everyone...and once again, Happy Birthday V.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Ok...Week 3 Day 2...and boy am I feeling it. I am so ridiculously tired today, that I can hardly function. I am definitely looking forward to getting my Lower Body Weight Training out of the way today at lunch so I can go home and crash after work. I've got to get more sleep, no matter what (a common theme in this blog it seems). Studies have shown that in order for your metabolism to keep humming along and for the muscles to repair and rebuild, that you must have 7-8 hours of sleep...8 being optimal. When you get 6 or less or even 9 or more (that's a lot of or's ), your metabolism basically comes to a screeching halt as your ghrelin (the hunger hormone) spikes to make you consume more calories. Your body thinks it needs more food to supply sufficient energy, thus you end up in a vicious cycle of not enough sleep and too much to eat. Ghrelin also spikes when your stressed due to our evolutionary make-up to the fight or flight tendencies, and I know that when I'm over tired, that it's easy for me to get over stressed. Thus, this girl needs to get some serious sleep.

Yesterday's guerilla cardio session was amazing....I ended up adding 4 more high intervals to my work-out, bringing my running up to 8.0 on the treadmill. I felt strong and I can tell my endurance is increasing...that's always exciting! As mentioned above, today is my Lower Body Weight Training which includes Abs...I look forward to this day as it only takes about 20 minutes or so in the gym where I can just hit it and go...it's almost like a day off ;) I also may be increasing weight today on some of my exercises, as I'm finding that I'm pushing through some of them too easily and I've got to keep challenging my muscles. Oh, as for stats, I'm down 8 lbs. since starting this program 2 weeks ago. My clothes fit much better and I'm feeling leaner...so far so good...the hard work is paying off.

On the opera side of things, I sang at an outreach concert last night with Opera Manhattan and it was a huge success. There were 3 other singers and we sang popular arias for a crowd of elderly folks who love opera...they were truly the best audience ever, and even sang along at some points. Its so nice to sing for such an appreciative and supportive group. We all had so much fun that we can't wait to go back and sing for them again.

Not much to say in the way of inspirational thoughts today...but that's my brain in a nutshell at the moment. It's hard to be clever when you can barely see straight. (I'm being a bit dramatic, but you get the gist).

Have a great day,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Making the Excuse To Do It!

Odd thing has happened these past couple of weeks...I have found that I am capable of prioritizing my work-outs and nutrition. Before, I've either been really good with the diet or the exercise, but rarely at the same time in such a successful manner. Today I celebrate the start of week 3 on my program. So far Bex & I haven't missed a work-out, nor have we slipped on our eating plan. That's never happened...I don't think I've ever worked-out 6 consecutive days in a row before (except for a quick 30 Day Shred stint, that lasted 10 days before a break)...and I definitely haven't ever gotten through the dread 2nd week...but I DID! I did it! I got through week 2 without missing a work-out! So what's changed...what allowed me to find this motivation? Let's break it down:

  • Having a buddy (Bex, and no I'm not talking in the "royal we" context) in the gym and doing this plan with me has been a HUGE help. We keep each other accountable and make sure we're exercising and sticking with the authorized eats. Plus it's nice to have someone suffering with you, so when you complain about how sore you are, they're right there with you sympathizing instead of thinking your some kind of whiny little pansy.
  • Making a plan. I can't state it enough: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I know you've probably heard that way too many times and it seems sort of fitness market jargon-y, but it's sooo true. We sat down and made out a plan for the next 6-12 weeks...we created a meal plan that cut out processed carbs, sugars and crap and has us eating 5-6 times a day...AND we created a fitness plan that consists of working out 6 days a week with alternating programs (i.e. upper body weight training on Monday, cardio on Tuesday, lower body weight training on Wednesday, cardio on Thursday, upper body weight training on Friday, cardio on Saturday, rest on Sunday, and then start with lower body weight training on Monday, etc... you get the idea).
  • Which leads to changing it up. If I did the same work-out day in and day out, not only would the monotony drive me to run myself right off the treadmill, but I also wouldn't see much in the results area. By changing it up, it allows my body / muscles to rest in certain areas, while I concentrate on new ones...it also keeps my brain engaged. I like throwing in a new dance class here and a yoga class there...always challenging my mind and body with something that's different. And we need to shock the body to see results...so mix it up, it's fun and it works the bod in a great way.
  • Making Fitness & Nutrition a priority! With my crazy busy schedule, I had to make my health a priority, like I do with any important appointment, appearance, rehearsal, performance, lesson, coaching, etc. in my life. This is my body, my product, my life we're talking about. I'm the most important thing in my life...hello...with out ME, there is no life...gotta keep healthy and kicking. Thus I schedule in my eating and my exercise everyday. It's a standing appointment that I cannot miss and if something comes up, then I fit it in accordingly. No more making excuses as to why I can't work-out...only excuses as to why I MUST work-out. Excuse, me, I'll be there, but I have a standing appointment at the gym first and then I'll be able to take care of XYZ. Get the point? No excuses when it comes to your health! That is the most important thing in your life...yes, even before your kids or your job...because with out it, you can't take care of anything, especially if you're not taking care of YOU! Besides it doesn't hurt to look pretty dang good either.
So now to week 3...I'm looking forward to continuing my stint of fitness. The week is already scheduled and ready to go! I'm actually excited...wow, another first. Have a great week kids, and do something good for you today!

My Best,


Friday, October 16, 2009

Masala Bhangra P.I.

Yesterday was my first Masala Bhangra class, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it AND it was quite the work-out. The instructor started us of simple enough and then built on the foundation where by the end of the class we were doing a whole Bollywood dance scene. My friend KV commented that it was the first class she ever took where she wasn't watching the clock and counting down the minutes...and in her book that's quite the class. All in all everyone got a good work-out while having a blast!

After the class was finished we adjourned to the locker room and I attempted to get ready for the book signing party that I was to attend by 7. After cleaning up and several passes of powder on my magenta face, I hopped on the subway and was at the bookstore in no time...in fact I arrived there before the rest of my party, so all was well.

The book signing was for a new book called "Detectives Don't Wear Seat Belts" by CiCi McNair. It's basically a memoir of the crazy and exciting life of Ms. McNair and her experiences from country to country as a female private investigator. She did some readings from the book as we (they, not me, sipped wine and noshed), and not only does it sound like an interesting book, but it sounds quite humorous as well. I'm looking forward to reading it.

After the signing, in which I did get my copy signed, my group and I headed off to dinner, however unable to agree on a place in that area, we headed back up to an old favorite on the Upper Westside. It was unfortunately getting late, and seeing as how I was running low on sleep and energy, I opted to head home and get some much needed R&R instead. Very happy I did, for I feel a bit better today than yesterday.

Now it's Friday, and the beginning of a busy Opera weekend and the continuation of my fitness program. So far so good with no slips and I've hit the gym everyday this week (HARD)...I'm proud of what Bex & I have accomplished and I'm looking forward to seeing how long we can keep it up!
Hope you're seeing great success in everything you do.

Have a great day,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whine & Cheese

I'm feeling a bit "under the weather" today. This is the 4th Day in Week 2 of our program and I'm at the point where you definitely feel worn out. Thus I have to make sure to up my sleep, take my vitamins, and drink lots of water. It's like clockwork, everytime I do a program there is always the moment when you feel like you're getting sick and it's my job to know the limits of which I can go. I'm pretty sure that if I do the right things, I should be able to push through this and come out on the other side the better for it. And speaking of the weather...it's horrible today in NYC. The weather is cold and rainy. I'm just not ready for Fall yet...what happened to Summer this year? Did we even have one? Guess that's why I'm dreaming about that Tropical Get-away...I can't wait, and I'm going to work sooo hard to get there.

Tonight is Masala Bhangra with my girls Bex & KV. I've been looking forward to this class for sometime now, and I can't wait to have my butt kicked Indian Style :) AND I totally forgot that I had RSVP'd for a book signing party tonight that starts at 6:30...SO, I'll have to hit class at 5:30 and at 6:30 do a quick clean up at the gym and basically jet to the party...hoping to be there by 7 (if my hair cooperates)...I think it's possible, seeing as how the gym and the party are both downtown. I don't know what to expect at this Book Signing, but I know it is supposed to be a wine, cheese kind of thing, and wine is off my diet at the moment (well drinking in general) so, I hope there are other things to sip while there. Water anyone?
I'm off to have some herbal tea and try to get things done before heading off to the gym. I'm currently enjoying these new challenges I'm facing, and it's nice to see what I can actually accomplish. Yay...go me...lol. What's your challenge? Are you facing them head on? Are you doing something good for YOU? Let's hit that motivation and keep it in stride.
Have a nice day,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Week 2 Blues

Yesterday's cardio was a success. I made it through the Guerilla Cardio, even though I forgot my knee braces (not the best of ideas). I won't lie, I'm soooo tired. Week 2 is definitely kicking my butt, but I'll make it through. They say weeks 2-5 are the worst...why? Due to the sore muscles physically & the lack of seeing results mentally really. You always get a great 1st week that pushes you forward, but week 2 your body is trying to adapt, and you generally don't see actual results until weeks 6-8. It's week 8 that I personally see results. The weight just seems to melt off over night, and everyone seems to notice all of a sudden. I have to remember that and keep pushing myself forward... perseverance baby! I can't say enough how great it is to have my bgf (best girl friend) Rebecca on this journey with me...she really holds me accountable and helps me really go beyond where I'd go on my own. Thanks Bex...you're the best! .

Today I'm going to knock out my Lower Body Weight Training at lunch and then I have a voice lesson after work...then I'm "free" to do what ever it is I need and/or perhaps want to do. My friend Kristin V. is in town for the next 10 days and will be staying with me for a bit. I look forward to dragging her to the gym and beyond for some really great work-outs, she says she's pumped and ready for anything I throw at her! Muahahahahaha....I hope she knows what she's saying. Nah, I know she's up for it, she's always a delight to have around and game for just about anything.

This coming Thursday, Bex & I have plans to do Masala Bhangra, a Bollywood style Indian Dance class. She says it really gets the heart going and works the lower body...boy, after today's weight training, I bet I'm gonna be feeling it. If Kristin isn't already booked, maybe she'll join us for this fun new class (new to me & KV...but Bex has already been doing this for the past few months I believe).

I want to give a shout out to my girls, MizFit and Dietgirl on their new site and podcasts at Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone...I've always enjoyed reading their own personal blogs and I look forward to listening to their antics as well. Congrats ladies...I know this will be a fun and informative venture.

Ok...I'm off to my next meal...a frittata I made and is absolutely delish. It contains Spinach, roasted artichoke hearts and goatcheese. Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it, I just change up the ingredients to suit my tastes: Frittata (Breakfast Caserole)


Have a great day,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Working for it!

All's well in NYC. I've been eating ultra healthy and started a hardcore work-out regiment last Monday (week before Columbus Day). Thus I've had a week's worth of butt kicking moments at the gym. Thankfully, my actress friend Rebecca is doing it with me, which keeps me strong and accountable. Our training program consists of 6 days a week with ever changing work-outs. Here's an example of week 1 and what we've accomplished:

Monday: Lower Body Weight Training

Tuesday: Guerilla Cardio (HIIT)

Wednesday: Upper Body Weight Training

Thursday: Guerilla Cardio (HIIT) or Masala Bangra (Indian Dancing - Bollywood)

Friday: Lower Body Weight Training

Saturday: Cardio, or in our case Vinyasa Yoga

Sunday: Rest

Now we're on week 2 of our plan and we completed our Upper Body Weight Training Yesterday. Today will be more Guerilla Cardio, followed by Lower Body Weight Training on Wednesday, and so on and so on... I think you get the idea.

As for the eating, we're eating 5-6 times a day, small meals that consist of low carb, high protein....basically lean meats and veggies, or a nice greek yogurt with chopped raw almonds.

In one week, she's already dropped 7 lbs. and I've lost 5, but I'm thinking the actual scale loss will lessen as we build bone and muscle density...thus I'm gonna have to go off my goal jeans which I try on weekly. So far the goal jeans are still a bit tight, but they did slide over my thighs and hips, but it'll be a few more weeks before they actually snap together comfortably.

We each have goals as to why we're training so hard, mine is for my debut on International Television when I go and sing in Hungary in mid-November and then I play Musetta in mid-December, thus I need to be in top form for those events. Her goal is for her MFA audition at UT Austin in December, thus she too wants to be in top form (1st impressions are everything... especially in our industry). Then I created an even further challenge to keep us going after the holidays. I told her, when tax returns come around, and if we stick with the hard core training and eating right, that I'd treat us to a little tropical get away. What better motivation than knowing your going to be in a bikini on a beach somewhere? I know that'll keep my butt in the gym!

Another challenge is the fact that my friend Jake (the trainer) says that he'd be surprised if we even make it through week 2, thus, I'm out to prove him wrong...nothing fuels my fire like proving a point! I'm strong and I'll show him and myself that I can do this!..because hey, I can :)

What's your motivation? Why don't you join me, no time like the present right?

Have a great day.