Monday, December 27, 2010

Paleo-rrific with a side of the Holidays

For the most part, I've been sticking to the Paleo path of eating throughout the holidays.  Have I been perfect?  No.  Did I plan on being perfect?  No.  Is it ok?  Of course!  Why kill yourself and miss out on celebrating good food and cheer with friends.  I've found in my many years of "dieting" and the quest for nutritional balance in the universe, that absolutes will get you every a bad way.  If I'm absolutely strict and one sided in anything I do, I find that the balance to that is that I will absolutely sabotage myself and undo all the good I've done...Thus moderation is introduced into the lifestyle.  You can enjoy many things in life as long as you do it in moderation.  Now that's a difficult concept to grasp, especially during the Holidays, but this year, I feel that I've accomplished the task with poise, grace, and definite success.

For Thanksgiving, I joined a lovely group of friends to do the annual Thanksgiving Buffet at Ulysses, downtown Manhattan (Stone / Pearl Streets) and found that I could have my cake and eat it too.  Due to my healthy grazing since September, I have found that my body doesn't really want to consume much in one seating, thus I had bits of yummy goodness at the Thanksgiving feast without over indulging...heck I didn't even want more than one bite of my dessert.  And at the after party, I basically stuck with drinking my calories by having my friend Eric's most delicious mulled good, I look forward every year!!!

This Christmas, I was invited to have dinner at a friend of a friend's house and enjoy a wonderful culinary journey.  The menu included the following:
  • Potato, Leek & Broccoli Soup with Parsnip Bacon
  • A Smoky Chorizo Stuffing from the brilliant George Mendes of Aldea
  • Pork Shoulder Cassoulet, served with Braised Balsamic Onions and Whipped Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Mascarpone
  • Homemade Banana and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Everything was divine from the start, now let me share my experience of our Christmas Dinner.

We started with Potato, Leek & Broccoli Soup with Parsnip Bacon, a surprisingly divine delight.  A wonderfully blended array of vegetables that were topped off with a few crumbles and Parsnip Bacon.  What is Parsnip Bacon you ask?  Well the clever chef/host of the evening created a Christmas miracle by crisping parsnips until they became pieces of bacon-y goodness...I the?...what the?...and fantastic!...what's next water into wine?  All I have to say was the mix of perfectly pureed warm soup with the crispy parsnip bacon made for a most comforting experience both in taste and texture.

The Smoky Chorizo Stuffing was a new way to appetize the guests and the palette with lovely small portions of mixed pumpernickel, raisins, onions, peppers and of course chorizo.  The blend of sweet breads and veggies welcomed the salty spice of the Chorizo sausage folded into the mix and served with starter shots of Irish Whisky & Pickle Brine...absolutely unique to this girl's experience and very happy to have been educated in the ways of the pairing.  This has to be tried.  My description is inadequate, but the match really woke up the senses and pleased both my sweet, savory and salty cravings in one...seems like there's a theme to this journey.

Thankfully we got a break inbetween courses as the Pork Shoulder Cassoulet was finishing its cooking time...and we were able to savor and digest the offerings our host had to share.  During this time we mingled, shared Barolo red wine, a lovely dry sherry, and a deliciously crisp Riesling that I had with the stuffing in the previous course mentioned.  All in all a good start to the meal, and a perfect half-time as we waited for the main course of the evening. 

Finally our host noticed that the next course was ready to go as we prepared ourselves for the Pork Shoulder Cassoulet, served with Braised Balsamic Onions and Whipped Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Mascarpone.  Apparently a Cassoulet is (from Occitan caçolet [kasuˈlet], French: [kasuˈlɛ]) a rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the south of France, containing meat (typically pork sausages, pork, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), pork skin (couennes) and white haricot beans (thank you wikipedia).  This particular one contained a tender and moist pork shoulder served with a spicy pork sausage and white beans, all seasoned to perfection and happily balanced with the braised, sweet balsamic onions and fluffy, cloud-like puree of whipped butternut squash & sweet potato mascarpone drizzled with a balsamic reduction (I believe).  Again as it seems to be the theme of the meal, balance found its way with everything from taste, texture and that pure comfort-food feeling from something so hardy as a cassoulet. 

After everyone cleaned their plates (and I don't mean we did the dishes) the offerings of dessert appeared, Homemade Banana and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  Now don't be fooled, there was actually no cream in this particular dessert, but a lovely frozen blend of ripe bananas with ground vanilla bean to make for a sweet, light finish to the meal.  There was also a surprise of butternut squash pie that one of the guests (Vanessa) brought that was most welcomed by all.  My first experience with a butternut squash pie and it was absolutely great!  A deliciously spiced and sweet filling that was both smooth and rich, served in a flaky well-made pie crust...a really nice compliment to the "Ice Cream" (sorbet?) that was being served.

I believe there will be pics and descriptions of our meal at the following website:  once he gets the chance to post it.  A most delightful evening, and many thanks to our host and my friends for including me.  I can't wait for the next adventure!

Now back to my paleo grazing of proteins, veggies, fruits and nuts...and of course I've got a date with the gym today after work...yeah, that gym, he never stands me up (wish I could say the same).

Enjoy the rest of your holiday season and remember, moderation!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Breaking Through

Today marks breaking the 20 lb. loss.  Since I went home to Texas in Aug/Sep and realizing I needed a definite change, I have done it.  I've changed my habits and eating and found great success in what I am doing (wow that was alot of "ands").  I'm really a fan of the paleo way of eating.  I feel energetic, healthy, and finally thin again...all this just from my diet.  I would like to drop a little more and now sculpt my bod (that's right...I've still got my eye on the prize...bikini model  I've been avoiding the gym the past couple of months in an effort to balance the crazy schedule I keep and I am now at a point, now that my latest show is done, where I can really focus on getting back into my gym habit.  I know, why did I get out of the habit?  With the stress of flying back and forth to TX in order to spend time with my brother-in-law James and deal with his cancer, then his funeral, and taking on rehearsals, performance and producership, on top of a break-up with my boyfriend of 3 years...I felt that something had to give, so I let it be the gym.  I tend to really overdue things, especially when I'm in a show, and so this time I decided to just focus on eating healthy and to do everything I can to avoid getting sick.  SUCCESS!  I dealt with all the hard life issues, and my performances were fantastic.  I have to say, it's been a really challenging past couple of months, but I feel that if I can get through these trying times, I can get through anything.  I'm actually surprised that I was able to stick to eating clean for the majority these past few months.  It really shows growth within my psyche, because normally I would self-medicate with food to get through adversity and stress.  I think focusing on the good eating actually helped me through all the crap I was dealing with, and I have to say that I've come out on the otherside for the better.

A few tricks of the trade for my successful weight loss so far.  I will put it down here so that I can come back and review when I need:

1.  Eat something first thing in the morning.  Generally I find a piece of fruit and/or some almonds in the morning are a great way to start out.

2.  Eat a good solid meal for lunch.  I'm usually famished by 2pm when my lunch hour roles around, so I make sure my "biggest" meal of the day is at this time...definitely have some good protein and lots of veggies here.

3.  Snack, snack, snack...I always have almonds or a piece of fruit (apple) on me so when I do feel hungry, I can just have a quick bite...keeps me from eating bad or being tempted later.

4.  My last meal of the day is usually before 7pm...THIS is so crucial to my weight loss.  It gives me enough time to burn the calories before I wind down for the evening.  And eat absolutely nothing but water after 9pm.

5.  Tea...since you're off dairy on the Paleo Diet, I found that replacing my coffee with tea accelerated my weight loss in a way.  I drink tons of green tea actually...but try to cut it off before 3pm if you can or you may find yourself unable to sleep later.

6.  Be active.  Even though I've not been hitting the gym, I do live an active lifestyle with such a hectic schedule that I keep...and I do live in NYC, so I walk everywhere.  I really do love to's a great way to take in everything around you and unwind all at the same time.

On that note, I'm going to have a cup of tea and get ready for the Holiday weekend.  Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy all that you have around you.

All my best,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Continued Success

So, the eating clean really pays off.  I'm feeling great and have been seeing lovely results.  Basically 20 lbs. down...would like to go another 10-20 more.  It's hard to gage, especially when you add weight training in there.  If you lose fat but gain can't really go by the scale.  I hear Jillian Michaels weighs more than she looks, all that fantastic condensed muscle on that petite frame...fantastic.  So who really knows, I can just wait and see how my clothes fit and how I look in a bikini  ;)  That's the goal, as always, hot bikini  I think it's fun to have an ultimate goal...don't you.  What's yours?  Have you visualized what you want for yourself?  Let's are my goals:

1.  Hot bikini bod by January. (Beat the New Years rush) - this includes working-out at least 4 days a week.
2.  Raise $50,000 for OMRT productions by January. (I'd settle for 1/2 by January and the other 1/2 by June)...if you'd like to help me reach that goal AND get a TAX DEDUCTION before the end of the year, you can donate at the following link:
3.  Take a tropical, relaxing and fun vacation this year...again  January would be ideal.
4.  Purge my apartment and life of unnecessary items...and ORGANIZE everything!
5.  Learn, I mean really learn Italian!  Would love to speak it rather proficiently.
6.  Get a head start on next year's season for OMRT.  (i.e. Budget, Venues, Marketing, Fundraising)
7.  Follow-up with all networking contacts made this year and establish friendly, comfortable relationships.

I could keep listing, but we'll start with these.

The big Wagner, Verdi & Vodka Gala at Merkin Hall was a great success...we had a lovely turnout and everyone had an amazing time.  All the feedback was positive and exciting.  I'm thinking that we will surely have something good come out of all this.

La Boheme is next on the agenda.  It promises to be an intimate, young, sexy and powerful production.  I perform Musetta on the evenings of Nov. 13th & 19th and the afternoon of Nov. 21st...I hope you can come out and support the company...and of course see me do my thing...I promise that you will truly be moved and entertained!

Alright, speaking of...I have some Italian work to do before rehearsal tonight.

Oh...btw, I've included another article on Gluten...hope you enjoy the read:

All the best.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Paleo Rocks...get it?

The Paleo way of life truly rocks (nod to our cave dwelling ancestors).  I feel amazing, I'm down 16 lbs. and I have energy to spare.  A few cheats here and there with some red wine and a bit of chocolate.  And I highly recommend the "Secret Shake" at the bottom of this blog.  Talk about a great way to start your day...this really kicks you into high gear, I find myself sprinting up the subway stairs in the morning.  This probably also falls under a "cheat" as I use whey protein, but there's no lactose involved, so I'm pretty sure it's ok, PLUS I'm seeing fab results!

Pictured to my left was one of my lunches from 2 weeks ago, and what I'll be having for lunch today  :)...sooooo delicious.  I really love rotisserie chicken.  I've also been heavy into roasting veggies in a little bit of olive oil with salt & rosemary.  The general medley of vegetables roasted have been a mix of onions, carrots, parsnip, and yellow squash...sometimes I will bake a Cornish hen or chicken with them too.  Think I may do a pot roast sometime this week as well...yummy!  Some of you have been asking about the link that got me interested in the Paleo Diet in the first place, so I'll attach a link for you to read up on it yourself:

On the opera front, Godiva Chocolate will be sampling at our big Wagner, Verdi & Vodka Benefit Gala on October 30th (we're doing a tasting today at the Ansonia...mmm), and there are two designers who will be dressing some of the ladies for the event, including myself.  I go for a dress fitting tomorrow at Gustavo Cadile's studio.  I'm so excited.  His dresses are GORGEOUS...just hope I can fit in one...I know I'm "not a fat opera singer" per se, but I'm definitely not of the super model variety when it comes to the waif like apparel.  He says he has size 6's in the here's hoping!

I'm off to my lunch date, so enjoy the lovely shake recipe below...and be good to your body.

Here's the recipe to Jackie Warner's Secret Shake. This is a meal replacement, and is supposed to be ultra healthy, help you burn fat, and help your recover faster from your work-outs. Yeah, you need a blender for this...I know it sounds gross, but it doesn't taste as hideous as it sounds...the berries cover everything.

1 Scoop (low-glycemic) Protein Powder  (I am currently using Isopure - Vanilla)
1 tsp. Glutamine Powder
1 tsp. BCAA Powder
1 tbsp. L Carnitine (I am currently using the liquid, rasberry flavor)
1/2 tbsp. Flaxseed Oil
1 Cup Frozen Spinach
1 Cup Frozen Berries (have fun, blueberries, strawberries, rasberries)

Have a great day!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Life for me is always about self discovery and self improvement.  Thus once again, I'm tweaking my nutrition a bit.  I've decided to try giving up dairy, all grains, and legumes...yep, that include alcohol (not that I'm a big drinker, but still I like a nice glass of wine every now and then).  What prompted this change, I read an article about gluten, and grains...and it lead me to the Paleo "diet".  Basically, its simple eating of lean proteins, veggies, fruits and nuts.  The dairy is the hardest thing for me to give up, for I LOVE cheese, milk and cream in my coffee...not to mention, I was practically living on Greek Yogurt.  No worries, however, I'm only trying it out through the end of October, see how my body likes it and re-evaluate from there.  Thus far I've lost 11 lbs. of the horrid TX weight I gained when I was home so much in August (can you say BBQ & Mexican Food?)

As for the working-out, that starts again on a regular basis today.  I have to admit, that August and September were sparse when it came to gym visits, but that all changes now.  I've got my footing under me again and its now time to go back to that lovely zone I visit whenever I go running for 30 minutes at lunch.  It really helps relieve the stress of the day.  Not to mention the fun classes I get to take after work, and my favorite Shred DVD at home.  I have at least been climbing on my elliptical at home for an hour about 2-3 times a week, so it hasn't been a total loss.

In the opera world, things are definitely hopping.  Sooo many projects in the works, and it's been quite a balancing act to get everything up and running, especially when it seems my personal life has been a bit out of sorts lately.  For those of you who follow, the Maestro and I are no longer an item, however we are still good friends.  I just felt that we were better suited as friends and it was time I focused on other aspects in my life.  So yep...I'm single...let the party that it already hasn't.  Life in NYC is non-stop, and with my opera producing and performing career, my calendar is pretty full (almost too full).  Not that I'm complaining.

Well, back to the daily grind.  Have a great one!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sad News

My Dear Friend and Brother-in-Law James passed away Monday night after his 2+ year battle with phase IV Melanoma cancer. He was 37 years old and leaves behind two children, Isabella (10) and Ren (19). My mother has been living there with him and the kids for the above mentioned duration and taking care of him, the house, the bills, the kids (not to mention her own house and bills - she's a retired school teacher). It's been a long and hard battle for everyone, and he was very much loved. Unfortunately, James lost his job and was unable to work throughout the entire ordeal and had no health insurance, and so they have a ridiculous amount of medical bills and now funeral arrangements to deal with. I hope this doesn't go against all etiquette, but I'm asking any of you who can spare a few dollars. I know that economic times have been hard for everyone, but please understand that any amount is not too small...anything helps and it adds up and helps them keep the water and electricity on for another month and hopefully keep foreclosure on their house from happening somehow. I'm a bit embarrassed to ask, but the circumstances are truly dire.

If you would like to help, you can donate through this link that I set up with PayPal to go into a memorial account for the family. I am truly thankful for any help you can give, but I also understand if you're unable to right now with the way things are with the economy, you're prayers and good wishes are very welcome.

To my friends who already know this and have already pledged help, I am so very grateful, and thanks for stopping by the blog to read and check up on me.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Ponderisms (and my Comments)


I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes. (Silly)

There are two kinds of pedestrians: the quick and the dead. (So True)

Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die. (Yes, that's the point)

The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.  (Hmmm)

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,... lying in hospitals dying of.... nothing.  (We can only hope)

Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs,.. like they used to?  (I have this uncle...)

Whenever I feel blue,..... I start breathing again. (Clever...and it works!)

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism. (Ha)

In the 60's, people took 'acid' to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal! (OMG...You know...they're right?)

How is it, that 'one' careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire? (Ugh, tell me about it, and forget about rubbing two sticks together)

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these 'dangly' things and drink whatever comes out?'  (I'm assuming a man?)

If Jimmy 'cracks corn' and no one cares, why is there a song about him? (Yeah, I totally singing it right now, and it's going to be stuck in my head all day)

Why does your OB-GYN leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look 'up there' anyway?  (I actually appreciate that act...I'm very modest)

If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests? (Yeah...think about that one)

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is 'baby oil' made from? (Ew)

Do illiterate people get the 'full effect' of Alphabet Soup? (Oooh...good question)

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster? (I personally think it does)

Why doesn't glue stick to the 'inside' of the bottle? (Actually, I have a couple of old bottles at home that would disprove this question)
Hope you enjoyed my funny little share.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sad News

I’ve been so stressed, overworked, over worried, and under inspired lately. Things back home in Texas have not been going so well, and it’s really affected me. I’ll catch you up.

My dear brother-in-law James has been fighting stage 4 melanoma cancer for the past two years. We thought for a while that he’d be ok, but in August, it took a turn for the worst and the cancer has now metastasized and is in his lungs (40+ tumors to be exact). They say that at this point the cancer is inoperable and that all there is to be done is pain management now. What? Really? I have a problem with that prognosis especially for a man who is only 37 years old. He and I are very close, and he’s like a real brother to me. He’s been in my family now for almost 2 decades and we’ve become very good friends. This kills me and I’m so broken hearted watching him suffer and go through this. Not to mention there are two children involved, my niece (10) and nephew (19). I’m trying to be there for them as much as possible. I don’t want them to see how upset I am or how grave the situation is, but we also can’t hide the reality of the situation from them either. My niece seems ok with everything, but her thinking is “Daddy’s been sick and in the hospital before but he always comes home and things go back to normal.” However, my nephew gets it…he knows things are bad and that there is an inevitable end to this very sad story.

I’ve been home to Texas twice for a week in August and with a weekend in NYC in between and I have to tell you, with the stress of keeping up with my day job, my singing career, and now producing career here in NYC and the family issues back home in TX, I’ve found an extra 10 lbs. on my person. This has really taken a toll on my health. I’m doing everything I can just not to get sick. So now that I’m back in NYC for awhile (until they need me again and/or the funeral), I’ve really been trying to get some control in my life. I may not be able to control what’s going on with my brother-in-law or the medical bills that are stacking up against my family, and I may not be able to control the mishaps that happen when you’re trying to run an Opera Company, AND I may not be able to control the day to day crap that inevitably falls into your lap, but I know I CAN control what I put in my mouth and decide is nutritional. I CAN choose to work-out. I CAN take my vitamins and patrol my health in this manner. I have found this fact to be very comforting in a world that seems to be spinning out of control. This has allowed me to take a deep breath and dig in, in order to prepare myself for whatever may be ahead of me. Perseverance is sometimes the only answer in a world that seems to be going mad.

The past two weeks have really been good for me. Given me strength and fortified me. I know I can get through anything and accomplish what needs to get done. There is always a way. In fact, I’ve been keeping my food log, eating clean, working-out and getting as much rest as possible, and I’ve seen 6.5 of those 10 lbs. that I gained, leave. It feels so shallow talking about weight issues, when so many other things of importance are happening. But I feel that I need to talk this through and have some sort of order and outlet. So thank you for letting me ramble and pour.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Goings On

I’m still sore today from all the working out this week…surely it can’t be from just that one class on Tuesday? Granted we did take Masala Bhangra last night and it was so much fun and it went by rather quickly. My girl Challis and I really enjoy these dance classes, however we are considering going back to that Cardio Sculpt class next Tuesday since it thoroughly kicked our butts and really made us "feel it"! As she said to me yesterday, “it’s not like we didn’t make it through the whole class, even if we are sore.” So you may hear more of my whining later next week when I’ve suckered myself into taking the class that doth cause me pain. ;)

On the opera front: I’ve really gotten into the world of producing. My current projects are the Summer Concert Series starting mid-August where we’ll be presenting Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Mozart’s Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. On October 30th I will also be producing a fantastic Gala Event at Merkin Hall in the Kaufman Center which I’ve titled Wagner, Verdi, & Vodka, all with Opera Manhattan in which I have been given the title and position of co-Executive Director. I’m currently trying to arrange a vodka sponsor for the gala, we’ll see who the lucky vendor will be that gets to present their premium vodka to our cultural patrons. In November I’ll be singing Musetta in a new, modern version of La Boheme, in December I’m producing Humperdink’s Hansel & Gretel and in February the One-Act Opera Festival may change to the New Composers Festival where we will present new works by new composers. After that, we’ll have a few months off and then in June of 2011 we produce Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah.

I’m hoping when the madness calms down, I’ll get to take a week off in December or January and go to some Tropical locale. The Maestro and I are talking about a romantic getaway to some all-inclusive resort where we can relax and recoup from the drains of opera season…but my schedule is still pretty heavy during that time, so we’ll see how it works out…I may have to wait until late February to get away.

Today I meet with Challis and the Maestro for a lunchtime work-out and then after work I’ve got a date with the Maestro to go to the movies. I’ve come to a sort of peace when it comes to the movies these day, I can actually go and watch a movie without getting popcorn, soda, and/or other high calories snacks…but just in case, maybe I’ll sneak in a low calorie treat.

I have to say with the current work-out regiment, the great support from my dear friends, the mindful healthy eating, and the goal of a tropical vacation in the winter that includes me in a bikini, I may find myself in great shape before I know it!

Have you set your goal today?

Just checking...have a great day.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Feel the Burn

I've just started the glorious habit of taking work-out classes with my friend.  I have to say, that even though I generally work-out 3 to 5 days a week, I'm not as in shape as I thought!  Infact, the Cardio Sculpt class we took on Tuesday kicked our was like Jillian Michaels on crack...she would have been proud.  We're both still whiny and sore from Tuesday, but we have continued to forge through and continue to work-out everyday, even through the "pain" know, the good I'm proud of us too.

Tonight we take Masala Bhangra, a class I haven't taken in months...but now my schedule is open and I'm free to take the class.  I have to say I prefer taking dance classes, they always seem like you're playing instead of working.  Next Monday I believe we have Zumba on the schedule, but in the meantime, Friday & Saturday will be good old fashioned cardio and Jillian's 30 Day Shred.

Did I mention that I was whiny and in serious soreness?  For example, my quads and glutes are so sore that it hurts to sit, take the stairs, and generally just really, my legs have almost given out on me as I walk around the office.  It's the worst when I've been sitting at my desk for hours and I've gotten all stiff from the inactivity...oye!

On top of all that, the Maestro is finally back from being in Europe for the past 5 weeks, so we've been going on dates, catching up, and working-out together too.  Since yesterday, he's been meeting me and we've been doing cardio on my lunch hour.  So yeah, I'm feelin' it!  We'll see how long I can keep this up.  I know the lunchtime work-outs won't last too long because his schedule is about to get really busy, but it's nice for now.

So now to get some food in this body and then off to the gym...again.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Life's What Happens

I know it's been awhile, and we are now in my birthday month...boy how time flies.

So, I've been pretty off and on with the work-outs. One week, I'm perfect and busy busting my butt at the gym and the next week I'm partying and creating more damage to undo.

As the great John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." How true that is, and how true is the fact that we must find balance people. The kind of balance that allows for life to "get in the way." That's my current goal...learning to work-out, eat right and maintain a healthy lifestyle while allowing myself a few indulgences. But why do those indulgences always seem to pour in when I'm just trying to make it through the rain...seriously? Why are there so many parties in one week and none in the next? My job is to figure out how to navigate through times like these without doing serious damage to all the good things I've done for myself.

So go on to meeting friends after work every now and then...but instead of happy hour, how about a nice gym date...Zumba anyone? Or if you know you're going to go home and watch TV for a couple of hours, how about doing crunches, jumping jacks and squats while you watch...or in my case hop on the elliptical for a bit (best investment ever!). There's always someway to fit in fitness.

Have a great day, and enjoy what life brings to you.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Challenge (in a French accent)

I've always got a lot on my plate when it comes to life. I tend to take on more than one should even if you are a super-duper-multi-tasker like me (boy that's a lot of dashes in one word...if it was really a word). I was so overwhelmed at one point last week by my many things, that I couldn't even get my colloquialisms right, par example: "I've got a lot of Irons in the Air" or "I've got a lot of Balls in the Fire"... Um, you get the painful point.

So currently, I'm pushing myself to get in sick shape (not to be mistaken with sickly)...I mean really pushing myself. In fact last night, that's exactly what I had to do...push myself to work-out, no matter how bad I didn't want to. But I did it! I did my Shred and loved it once I was done. Isn't that always the way? It's hard to get yourself going, but once you do, you feel great and that feeling of accomplishment is sooo sweet.

Why the sick shape endeavor you ask? Well I'm singing in the Springbirds Cabaret later this month at Don't Tell Mama's and I want to wear my sexy, slinky gown for the event...thus we've got to tame the jiggly bits and bumps...OH and it's going to be filmed and on Television later this you know about the camera and those lovely extra 10 lbs. PLUS Summer's right around the corner, which means skimpy clothes and bathing suits (possibly a bikini?) We'll see what good I can do as the Summer months quickly encroach...and as always my Birthday falls in the middle of Summer, so we've officially started our annual Birthday Challenge! That's right kids...I personally have until July 24th to drop some poundage and tone the wobblies for that extra special birthday outfit (TBD at a later shopping trip)...but you know it's going to be chic and fantastic!

So who's game...who's up for doing The Birthday Challenge with me? More or less 2 and a half months to eat healthy, bust your butt working-out and getting those beautifying Z's. Let's do it!

Have a great day and looking forward to hearing about your successes!!!
P.S. Get it? I'm throwing down the gauntlet...CHALLENGE!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


So there's a difference between going through the motions and really giving your all. Have you ever just made yourself go to the gym and went through the motions of your same old, same old work-out? I applaud you and myself just for getting there...that's the 1st step, but since we're there...why not really make it count? It's so easy to fall into the comfort of your regular routine...but isn't that so...oh, I don't know...routine? And you wonder why you stopped seeing results months ago...or atleast I did. And so enters the whole "giving it your all" train of thought...or as we shall so lovingly refer to it as "GIYA"...not like mother earth Gaia...but more like your in the rodeo, like a big "YeeHaa" if you will...GIYA!!!! you're wrangling cattle! That means, really push it when you're working out...don't skimp on the movements, don't take the easy road...if it were easy, everyone would look like swimsuit / sports models. Seriously, turn it up a notch...keep those abs in and tight, control every movement up/down & in/out, listen to & control your breathing, do explosive movements, get that heart rate up and bring on that puke-y good feeling where you know your practically at your limit.

I'm currently doing Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred again (after being off of that program for about 3 months or so)...and boy she doesn't kid around! And I'm really doing it...there's no taking the beginner version this's all or nothing baby. I've also changed my guerilla cardio up a bit and am now doing faster, explosive intervals, thanks to Dr. Mercola's article, instead of gradated levels of growing hill-like speeds. Whew and I can feel it. The change in my body is so immediate, that even my coworkers have noticed the difference in less than a week. Yes of course I'm eating clean too...and it makes all the difference.

What is eating clean? Well, to me it means, eating lean and healthy...things like organic peanutbutter, eggwhites, lean meats and proteins like chicken breast and turkey, lots of green veggies, especially the dark leafy variety, lots of legumes, some low fat dairy (mmm...greek yogurt), and some good fats. Drinking lots of water and green tea...and avoiding all things chemical and processed. No bread, no gluten, no bad yucky "foods" that mother nature didn't intend on being consumed....sorry, you'll not see fish of any kind listed here, as I am allergic to all kinds :(

It's day 3 of my new GIYA attitude and LORD am I feelin' it! It's at the point where the good sore really hits you when you're trying to sit down, or go down a flight of stairs...eek...burning quads, among other muscles...who new I was so out of So even if you are a regular at the gym (like I am...does 3 days a week count?)...I definitely recommend GIYA!!! Really get in there and make it burn!

Have a great day,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gold Star for Today

Ok, so I did it right thus far today:

6:30am - 2 tsp. organic peanut butter w/1 cup organic skim milk

9:30am - Eggwhite omelet w/feta & fresh spinach & decaf coffee w/half & half

12:30pm - 0% Fage Yogurt & coffee w/half & half

2:10pm-2:45pm - Intervals on the Treadmill (guerilla cardio)

3:30pm - organic mixed green salad & balsamic vinaigrette
Not a bad start to the day...I've gotten in some awesome fuel into my body so far and had a lovely cardio work-out (purple face included)...yay me

Now the Plan for the rest of the day:

5pm - Vocal Coaching

6:30pm - Dinner

7pm - Cabaret rehearsal

11pm - Sleep, glorious sleep...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

What goodness have you done for your body today...let's hit it!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Watch OMRT's Post

Opera Manhattan is trying to win free rehearsal space so please watch our youtube video and that will add another view to our site. The most viewed video wins the space for a year. So click the following link and enjoy the show :)

If you want to be extra helpful, clear your browsing history and watch it it has to be a new view everytime it's watched for it to count.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you in advanced. And also feel free to visit to learn more about the company you are supporting.

Have a great day,


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Just a quick Bloggy McBlog.

Day 3 back on the healthy eating and have found much success so far hem...regularity with the added green veggies in my diet.

Day 3 of not drinking any soda especially my precious Diet Dr. Pepper...this one's a toughie to give up.

I went for an hour long walk in the lovely weather today for my "lunch hour" :)

And I plan on getting some nice sleep this evening, assuming I get out of jingle singing rehearsal at a decent hour *hope of all hopes*

Oh and Madama Butterfly opens tomorrow night and then on Friday on my evening "off" I'm going to see my girl Challis' off-broadway play W;t . So wish everyone "break a leg" or "toi, toi, toi."

Have a great day peeps.
PS...the above pic is of our Cio Cio San in her make-up and wig :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You Helping You

Day two, back on the blog and back to the healthy lifestyle. I've noticed that when you're in your 20's you figure you can deal with things like your health tomorrow... You're an untouchable, nothing can harm you. However, when we get to our 30's we notice, that we don't bounce back like we used to in our 20's...and as the decades just gets harder and harder. So when do we wake up? When do we realize that the time is now? Well, I guess that's based on the individual. Only you can decide what's right for you, and when you're going to take responsibility. Well, my time is now. I don't want to lose my health and my youth because I was irresponsible. If I can prevent certain diseases and degenerative effects, then count me in. I mean, if you think about it, if all I have to do is eat my green veggies and get my butt movin' to avoid time in the hospital or under a knife, um, then, hello!!! I know, I know, there are genetics and the taxi cabs on 5th Ave. that could shorten my life span, but hell if I don't fight it and look both ways before I cross the street ;) Seriously, just because heart disease and diabetes runs on both sides of my family, doesn't mean I'm gonna get it. In fact, just because it runs in any one's family that doesn't mean every person in that family is going to have that problem. My aunt and both my grandmothers are pretty healthy and don't have any heart or diabetic problems and generally the people in my family who do suffer from those disease are those who don't live the healthiest of lifestyles. Smoking, obesity, high stress jobs...those are the killers, and I feel if I avoid substance abuse, watch what I eat, and manage my stress in a healthy way, then I foresee a long healthy life ahead of me. But it's up to me, and there's no waiting, it has to happen now, today, yesterday and tomorrow. So I'll eat my healthy greens, I'll get in that cardio and resistance training, I'll brush my teeth, get my sleep, breathe and manage my stress...I will do everything in my power to live a long, healthy, happy life, and genetics can be damned!

I've taken gluten once again out of my diet. It's so hard, because I really love bread and pasta (mmm...comfort food)...but let's face it, Gluten makes me feel like CRAP. Thus I will avoid it and find healthy alternatives. I also started the regular gym visits again...I've got to make sure to get in at least 30 minutes a day of elevated, heart pounding activity 5 times a week. Sure I walk alot, heck it's NYC, but I only see positive changes when I challenge myself. Besides, I want to be able to wear a bikini and look good, before I get to the age where bikinis are no longer appropriate (Donatella hem).

So today, the plan is to continue to eat healthy, get my greens in and hit the elliptical for 30 minutes during my "lunch hour". What are you doing for you today?

Have a great one!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Home Home on the Range

I had rehearsal a little later than anticipated last night, but I'm here and functioning (barely) today. I've also started the day off right with organic egg whites and green tea for breakfast. Now to continue the goodness that I'm doing for my body throughout the day.

My mom has been visiting me in NYC for the past 10 days, and I'm sad to say goodbye as she flies back to Texas today. It's like we never missed a beat when we're together, and yet on different planets when we're apart. Hopefully I'll see her again soon. While she was here, she got a taste of my everyday life and the regularly hectic schedule I keep: Up at 6am, get ready, cook breakfast, feed the cats, pack the bag and run out the door & down 10+ blocks to catch the bus/train to work. 8 hours at the day job, with an hour lunch with mom, return to work until my day job is done, then we run to my next appointment for the day, whether it be a voice lesson, coaching, rehearsal or audition...maybe catch something to eat in between. Then after hours of whatever the night's activity was, we catch the train/bus back home, in bed by 11ish and start the day all over again. If it's an earlier night where I get home by 8 or 9pm then it's an hour on the elliptical before getting ready for bed, or if no lunch plans with mom, then my lunch break is spent at the gym...gotta get in the exercise somehow. Somewhere in the day, I may even get to see my boyfriend, but usually that's just to say goodnight and then it's off to sleep.

This past Sunday, we were invited out to the Maestro's parents house for dinner and had a lovely time...and can his mom cook! We started with cantaloupe and prosciutto (which I couldn't eat, because I'm allergic to cantaloupe...I was so embarrassed) but his mom graciously gave me just the prosciutto & roasted eggplant instead...delish. The next course was papardelle (broad noodles) w/fresh marinara that she had made from her garden's tomatoes & whole wheat rolls, and then quickly the 3rd course followed, which consisted of roast beef & roasted potatoes, chicken parmigiana, and a mixed green salad w/balsamic vinaigrette. OMG everything was so good and perfectly prepared. As we sat and digested everything we had just supped, out came the fresh fruit bowl for everyone to munch on (in case someone were to possibly get peckish in between courses) as she prepared coffee and presented us with a Lamb shaped panatone for desert. I assure you no one left that table hungry. The lovely thing about Italian families: the food is always good and abundant and the conversation always entertaining and central around the dinner table. Luckily after dinner was done and our visit had ended we still had a good walk to the bus and then to the train and then to another bus home where we could walk off a bit of that which we ingested. Yes, there's a lot of walking in NYC...thankfully. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and the Maestro's parents are always so lovely and hospitable.

So as I said earlier my mom flies out today, so send her good thoughts and wishes as she embarks on her journey home and that the trip is comfortable, quick and without incident.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Over Tired = Bad Decisions

I'm currently writing this while sipping organic carrot juice and eating organic mac & cheese. Sounds healthy-ish, except organic or not, mac & cheese is still mac & cheese and the carrot juice has tons of natural sugar in it...and you don't even want to know what I had for breakfast, but I'll tell you anyway: 1/2 a blueberry muffin, 1/2 a chocolate croissant, and a cup of coffee. Why the bad food choices...well my decision making is a bit off today due to the 4 possibly 5 hours of sleep I got last night. HOWEVER, there is a good reason for my lack of sleep...THE Jingle Audition. Let's just say...I got the job!!! Woohoo! In fact, it turns out that they weren't just hiring one person for one jingle ad, but a core group of singers to do at least a dozen jingle ads over the next couple of months. I've already been assigned 3 jingles to sing with possibilities of more. So look out world I'll be singing my way into your hearts through your trusty old TV and Radio machine. I'll be more detailed about which products to listen for once I've actually signed a contract and the check clears the bank, but it promises to be a fun and lucrative venture.

Today's plan is to meet with a composer for a possible project with Opera Manhattan this afternoon, and then window shopping with my Mom who's visiting from Texas. Poor thing, I've been dragging her all over, including to my audition last night, which by the way I forgot to mention didn't end until after midnight...thus the lack of sleep...I got to bed by 1:30-2ish and had to get up at 6am to come work my day job. After my mom and I window shop for a bit, then we'll take in some early dinner, and then head back to my apartment where I will drag my tired @$$ onto my elliptical and attempt to get an hour on the damn thing. I just gotta suck it up and do it!

So there's the latest and greatest. I will keep you posted once this Jingle Thing develops.

Have a great day,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Updates, updates, updates

 what's on the agenda for the singing career, fatness, and other such things?

Well on the Fatness part, I've only been averaging about 3 times a week with the I'm just holding at my weight pattern at the moment. My mom is here visiting NYC until the 23rd and after she's gone, I'll get back to at least 5 times a week.

The singing career has taken an interesting turn, I've got an audition for a "jingle" gig tonight and if I get it, I'll be very happy :) Who knows, maybe I'll be singing your favorite commercial jingle in the near Other singing news...Musetta (La Boheme) has been moved to November 2010. Should be a good show with orchestra and fun, funky costumes. Also, I'm working on the whole getting back into the Musical Theatre front and am preparing Carlotta to audition with for Phantom of the Opera in the next couple of months. Oh, and I've got a cabaret gig in May at Don't Tell Mama's here in that promises to be fun. Not to mention the new burlesque troop I've've gotta see this one, talk about sexy chic! So I guess there's lots of singing going on, but not necessarily in the Opera world. I wonder what my voice teacher is thinking with me singing all of these "unorthodox" styles?

Ok, so there's the latest in the world of Not a Fat Opera Singer...send good thoughts this way, and especially for the world of Opera, we're having a bit of a rough time in the current media heavy world, and our audience is dying off, and thus all the new productions and jobs with it. I'm afraid we've got a sick if not dying art form on our hands. I don't mean to be a pessimist, but I hear & see so many terrible things involving the Opera biz for the past couple of years and with all the companies that closed last year, it looks as if we're in serious trouble. So go out and support your local opera company and bring a'll experience great beauty and help an art form that has been around for centuries. Oooh...I almost forgot, talk about sexy chic, if you haven't already, check out,
they're young, hip and chic and I know they will help change the face of Opera and bring it into the 21st Century.

Have a great day,

(PS the photo is of the new, modern version of La Boheme coming up in November...lots of surprises and fun events surrounding this production, that you won't want to miss. I'll keep you updated as we get closer.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Calories In Calories Out

The old idea of calories in and calories out seems to be a staple that will never change. No matter what new scientific discoveries or new-fangled diet fad that comes on the market, you can’t get around the fact that calories exist and if you’re not burning them, then you’re probably storing them.

I’ve never been one much for counting calories. I would roll my eyes at the mere mention of such an archaic form of “dieting”, hey why don’t we pop in a Jane Fonda Video while we’re at it. All I have to do to lose weight is to eat healthy and exercise, right? That seems simple enough, and it is, IF you really know what you’re putting in your mouth and IF you’re really making an effort when you’re working-out. Let’s break it down: 3,500 calories = 1 pound, so if I’m eating 3,500 calories a day and don’t budge an ounce, then that means I’m probably going to see a higher number on the scale within the week right?...But if I burn say ½ those calories in the same day, then I will probably maintain my weight…THUS, if I only eat 1,500 calories and burn 500-1000 at the gym + the rest of my daily activities like work and walking about, then I’ll possibly see the weight on the scale go down…right? Eh…theoretically…calories in calories out right? Ok…right…but, if I eat say those 1,500 calories in potato chips in one sitting, then how the heck am I going to find the energy to really burn those calories at the gym instead of just wanting to lounge on the couch and watch Biggest Loser? Ok, ok….let’s break it down even more. Yes, the # of calories that you take in and the # you burn and get out are just that, a number, but where those calories come from, are an entirely different story. For example: Egg Whites are only 17 calories each, thus I can eat 6 egg whites cooked in no calorie butter Pam (totally 102 calories) and feel very satisfied for a couple of hours, as opposed to say 1 plain donut for 185 calories and feel greasy and on a major sugar high and then crash starting within 20 minutes and with the lasting crappy feeling effects for the next couple of hours, or until I break-down and start the vicious cycle all over again…oh and let’s not forget the 1.5 g of SATURATED fat in said donut, where as the egg whites are clean and lean proteins cooked in no fat no calorie Pam AND do nothing but feed your muscles instead of instantly going into your fat stores and clogging up your lovely organs and arteries…But again, calories in and calories out. You can eat egg whites until you’re blue in the face, but if you’re just sitting on your ass and not burning those calories, then those lovely protein laden nutrients are just going to go to that which you are sitting on, not to mention other fat storing places. You’ve got to get off your butt and do something, and you can even have too much of a good thing (too much water and you could drown yourself, too much rope to hang yourself with…) you get the point. Moderation peeps and basically get up and get going…That is the “secret” to weight loss…eating healthy foods within a certain caloric range, and the more you eat, then the more you have to burn. Really when it comes down to it, it’s all about balance…but that is another path that we will discuss someday in another blog entry.

Have a great day, eat well, and get your butt to the gym.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Doin' Good

I'm doing well so far in my new found sleep induced lifestyle. I'm happy to say that I've cut back on the unnecessary calories, have been eating clean and have seen a 6 lb. drop in the past 2 weeks. It's nice to see the scale finally go in the other direction and very encouraging. The only foreseeable bumps and detours I see in the road are social events. I've had to avoid the drinking, and junk food that is around when you're out with friends...and this Sunday is Superbowl, which is generally synonymous with pizza, chips, chicken wings, and know crap food that has next to no nutritional value. One of my lovely friends is throwing a Saints party and will be providing Oysters on the Halfshell, Peel-and-Eat Shrimp, Shrimp Creole, Red Beans & Rice, and Bread Pudding...mostly things I can't eat (especially since I'm allergic to shellfish). So the Maestro recommended that I just prepare my own meal and take it with me, thus to enjoy the game without the stress of the eats. Oh, and on a nice note, my friend who is throwing the party will be making special gulten-free bread pudding for some of the guests, so I may indulge in that a bit.

So now that I've got the food and eating under control currently, and the sleeping is in order, I've now got to find my exercise inspiration. Time to really get myself back in the gym and really push myself. Please do share anything that inspires you to get your butt to the gym and stay there.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ah, the healing properties of SLEEP

I found the secret to weight loss…or at least the secret to jumpstarting my weight loss again...SLEEP…remember that one thing in my life that’s usually lacking? I had forgotten what real sleep was like. It turns out that sleep in your life helps you with a number of things, like self-control, more energy, the ability to wake-up in the morning without crying and gnashing of teeth…you know the basics. I know it seems that I’m making light of this, but believe me I really do know and appreciate the concept of getting enough sleep. If you’ve ever read this blog before, then you know that it is rare for me to get anywhere near to ample sleep (I generally average about 5-6 hours a night). I’ve read a gazillion books on diet, nutrition and fitness that all say the same thing…no matter what you’re doing right, you can't progress in you fitness goals if you don’t get enough sleep. In fact there are studies that say that you really should have 8 hours…no less than 7 and no more than 9, but to really aim for 8. It has something to do with your biochemistry and the hormones and chemicals that your body produces in that amount of time…anymore or less and you will jeopardize the delicate balance that is the miracle of your natural process. It is also important to mention that if you do get less than 7 hours of sleep and if you continue this pattern, then within a few days your body will compensate for the lost chemicals and create new ones that will encourage you to eat more calories in order to have energy. OH, and we all know that we don’t make the best choices when we’re over tired, so pair that with hormones like the increase of ghrelin and the decrease of leptin, and you’re basically screwed when it comes to your diet and willpower…believe me I know…I’ve tried. And one more thing…when you’re overtired, you’re less likely to go to the gym or get in your daily activity…yeah, it’s bad all around. (I gotta give a shout out to Jillian Michaels, I really took notice of the whole sleep vs weight loss issue from reading her book Master your Metabolism...not to mention a whole slew more of useful info.)

So, I’ve been making it a point to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night with my goal aimed at 8…this is my new practice, my new priority…SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP. I’ve stuck with this new mantra since last Saturday and it seems to be working its magic. I wake up in the morning feeling rested, I’m able to make good choices during the day, and the scale is already showing results. Here’s what I’ve been doing besides sleeping this week: I’ve started food journaling again, and while eating clean and writing it down, I’m also watching my caloric intake. I’ve been averaging about 1300-1400 calories a day and I feel satiated, and in control and happy with my progress thus far. Now that I’ve gotten the nutritional part under control this week with my new found rest-induced life, next week will focus on not only continuing on the whole sleep and eating clean thing, but it will also be the week where I reintroduce my fitness goals. Working in working-out where I get at least 20 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. I usually average about 30 minutes on top of all the walking I do around the City, so I think I’m finally going to start seeing results again...I'll let ya know as we progress.

Oh, and let me tell ya about my dinner last night…Taco Salad…delish. No I didn’t order or indulge, I made it at home and it turned out so great, satisfying, and so easy. Let me share the ease. I picked up pre-cut salad greens (a nice mix that had romaine in it for extra crunchiness), I grabbed an organic tomato (SO important…if you don’t eat any other fruit/veggie organic, please try to eat organic tomatoes – the non version is sprayed with 7 different pesticides, picked green, shipped cross country and the sprayed with argon gas [yep, what they euthanize dogs with] to ripen them quickly so they can sell them quickly to you….and tomatoes are such an important food when it comes to nutrition benefits)…so now we have our salad base. Then go to the dairy isle and try to find organic sour cream, if that’s not available, I went with the SmartBalance version which was pretty good, and then grabbed some finely shredded natural cheese (a Mexican blend) as long as it’s in the cheddar family. Then over to the Salsa isle where I grabbed some Green Mountain Salas (Hot is my liking) to add to my salad (so good and you can find it at Whole Foods and other reputable markets that cater to the healthy side). Don’t forget to pick up some fat-free “refried” beans while you’re at it, or some black beans, it adds a nice layer to your wonderful Taco Salad. And finally over to the meat isle where you pick up a nice pound of natural, 93% lean ground beef. I almost forgot, to make your life easier, go to the spices isle and grab a package of taco seasoning (I got the one with 30% less sodium) and maybe a small little can of tomato sauce to add thickness and sauciness to your meat :) …I used crushed tomatoes that I had at home. Now all you have to do is microwave the beans with a touch of water…cook up the meat really quick with your seasoning packet & tomato sauce, and prepare your salad. It literally took me 10 minutes to prepare dinner, especially by using the pre-cut greens & shredded cheese. I like to layer it like this: In a wide bowl, I throw in 2 handfuls of greens, then add some of the organic tomato I chopped, followed by the heated “refried” beans (about 2 tbsps), then I sprinkle a little shredded cheese followed by 2 tbsps of the taco meat, then another little sprinkle of cheese, followed by a tbsp of sour cream and finally a couple of tbsps of salsa. Now we’re ready to dig in. It’s so full of flavor, texture and goodness, that I can’t wait to do it again…seriously delicious!

Recap for your grocery list:

1 pkg. pre-cut greens (w/romaine)
1 organic tomato
1 pkg sour cream (try for organic or SmartBalance)
1 pkg of shredded cheddar cheese (I like the Mexican blend and go for natural if available)
1 packet of Taco Seasoning (go for the reduced sodium if possible)
1 can tomato sauce (small)
1 can Fat Free “Refried” beans
1 lb. of natural lean beef
Pam or Non-stick cooking spray to cook the beef in if you don’t already have it at home.

Makes enough for 4-5 people (or yummy leftovers if you’re lucky)

Bon Appetit

Thursday, January 14, 2010

If at First You Don't Succeed...

Try, Try Again, and Again, and Again, and Again...

Have you ever tried to lose weight and found success? Did you do SouthBeach or WeightWatchers, or joined the Boxing Gym, or something that changed your way of eating and moving and you lost a good amount of weight and thought "I've finally done it! I'm never going back to my old life of crap eating and pure slothful seclusion."??? You were a hero, you lost a good 20 or so lbs. and heck, could it be, you were now one of the untouchables? You could now relax and live your life because "You've got this." Well I have. I've been a good 20 - 30 lbs. lighter in my life and was pretty happy with where I was in the world of weighty issues. Granted, I still had ultimate goals model...bikini goddess...but those were just ideas to aspire to, to keep me on the straight and narrow. However, I got comfortable and really did feel untouchable (cuz I looked GOOOD)...THUS I allowed myself to miss work-outs, and eat things that weren't necessarily on my new "healthy regiment" I gained a few pounds, no matter, I now had the tools to get them off...I knew the secret...and it was only a few pounds, not like its 20 or something. long can you keep saying that before the couple of pounds start coupling with a few more and then they mate to make a whole family reunion of poundage? UGH...WHAT!!! How did I gain back the weight back?'s not all of it, but it's around a good 20 or so! Ok, Ok...calm know what to've done this before...breathe.

So now we start back with the healthy eating and we start getting our butt moving again...OMG...I forgot how hard this was the first time, and it doesn't seem to be working the same as it did when it was new. Why doesn't the weight come off as quickly anymore...why am I not as dedicated as I was the first time? Why do I keep slipping up and putting things in my mouth that I shouldn't and WHY do I not make myself work-out everyday? Let’s think about this for a moment. So I keep starting over on my “regiment”…why do I keep doing it over and over again? Because it worked the first time and with great results…but I neglected to realize that once you’ve found a healthy lifestyle, you can’t just assume that once weight is off that it will stay off if you go back to your old habits…it was those old, bad habits that got you to Fattyland in the first place. Sure you can have your cake and eat it too…BUT they never tell you that in order to eat that cake you must serve it with a heaping helping of moderation on the side and try to grasp the concept of calories in and calories out. Have that piece of cake, but make sure it’s worth it and that it really is a once in awhile thing. It always seems that events, celebrations, holidays, dinners, stress,…life comes up and the excuse to miss a work-out or have a “goodie” is a valid allowance. Again, have your cake, BUT don’t have it everyday and if you have it in that day…don’t keep eating it all day! In other words, I already messed up my eating for today, I’ll just “enjoy” the rest of the day and eat bad. But do you really enjoy it? I know I do…hahahaha…atleast as it’s passing my lips and into my tummy…but then UGH…my stomach…ugh, I’ve got the shakes, indigestion, nausea, gas (teehee), a headache, you name it…I generally don’t feel well when I eat things that I shouldn’t…and then I don’t have the energy to really go burn those calories that I just ingested. What a vicious cycle…no wonder I was a chubmonster…and somehow I am regaining that glorious title.

So what do you do? If what you know worked for you the first time around, but doesn’t seem to really be working this time (or the other 20 times you’ve retried this “miracle cure to fatness”), THEN what do you do? Obviously, if you’re constantly re-trying the same old method, but it doesn’t seem to be working, then perhaps it’s time to stop and re-think things. Or maybe, you really need to re-read and really commit yourself to the challenge as you did the very first time you tried it and it actually worked for you. PLUS we can’t forget that the human body is a lovely organism that evolves and adapts…THUS, perhaps you need to try something new or more advanced to shock the body into change. What if you’ve tried everything and your brain hurts and is melting and leaking out of your ears at this very moment at the swirling amount of options that you’ve tried and failed at? Again…BREATHE…let’s think about this. What really works? Ok…for me, I know that sugar & bread (namely Gluten) is the enemy. I know that when I eat things with those two ingredients in them, I have problems. My blood sugar goes crazy, my digestive system gets all gunky and I swell & bloat like a led zeppelin (not the band…the blimp kind). There’s an answer…cut out sugars and gluten from your diet…not necessarily the easiest thing, but doable. I’ve also found that processed foods in general don’t sit well with me, so we’ll avoid those too. Alright we have a plan forming. I also know that eating small meals throughout the day, usually well balanced to higher in protein, keep my blood sugar level and my energy up…add this to the list of things to do. Now we can’t forget EXERCISE…it’s simple…I have to work-out and it has to be at least 4-5 times a week, even if it’s only for 20 minutes. I know that my body responds to working out. I also know that I have to keep challenging myself in those work-outs or I will definitely hit a plateau, get discouraged, and want to quit. It’s hard enough getting your butt up and moving, the last thing I need is extra mental discouragement...that means changing things up…mixing up the types of exercise I’m getting so I keep the body guessing. OH and don’t for get sleep…the hardest thing for me to get…but without it, I get overtired and have no energy to do anything and that leads to foggy brain and then the wanting to chuck it all out of sheer exhaustion…not good…SO, get some sleep already (how about 7-8 hours).

Looks like we have a plan forming…but this plan is a road you’ve gone down before. So what will make it different this time? What will make me really commit? I need to persevere and really do this…what am I missing? Any ideas?

All I can do is try…and keep trying. I can say that every time I try, I learn. I gain new knowledge and pick up a new good habit, and it seems to really help change my lifestyle. No I’m not at my goal weight, and yes I fall off the proverbial healthy-lifestyle wagon, but I’m better than where I started when I began my journey to a new me.

Overview: The Plan

Eat 4-5 small meals a day (high in lean protein with only some complex
Avoid Sugar
Avoid Gluten
Avoid Processed foods
Drink Water,
Water, Water
Get off the Diet Soda!
Cut caffeine way

Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night
Cut off eating 2-3
hours before bedtime
Cut off work-outs 2-3 hours before bedtime
Clear your

Work-out 4-5 times a week
Work-out for at least
20 minutes a day
Mix it up
Really push yourself…you’re only cheating you

So there we have it…this is the plan…now to stick with it. Please feel free to chime in…I’d like to know if there’s something I missing.

Happy New Year Folks!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tightrope Walking

Hey kids, long time no see... I'm back and finally functioning, life is and has been a crazy whirlwind of events.

As we last read, I returned from the lovely country of Hungary, where I ate fried mystery meat and drank ridiculous amounts of alcohol (on the last night there). Since I got back from Hungary, I hit the ground running. First with taking up the helm as producer for Opera Manhattan's Hansel & Gretel (which got great reviews!!! Check them out:


After Hansel & Gretel was done, I came down with another horrible cold that started the Monday before Christmas...Not good, due to the fact that I had an audition that following Tuesday for a Christmas gig and then to sing for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day at said gig. Needless to say, I lost my voice with the new sickness and with the horrible cold weather/snow for that week. However I did somehow manage to sing for Christmas and as soon as Christmas Day was done, so was I. I finally just collapsed, took the week off from work and stayed in bed for some much needed recovery. After New Years, I did go back to work, but under puny circumstances. Half the week at work was spent leaving early and coming in later with one missed day in was a rough week, but I was trying not to miss anymore work (I need those days for my opera tours). Which leads us to the current week.

I feel so much better! I started my clean eating and work-out regiment again...Monday (The 30-day Shred Level 1), Tuesday (The 30-day Shred Level 2), Today is still up in the air due to my voice lesson and dinner plans after work, and Thursday is a bit sticky do to other plans that have arisen. However I know I shouldn't push myself too much my first week back from recovery. I'll just play it by ear and listen to my body to gage how much I can handle without relapsing. I have to say, I'm the worst at taking it easy...I'm generally an all or nothing kind of gal...which is not necessarily the smartest way to go about things. I tend to get all "gung-ho" and really push myself until I can't take anymore. I think it's good to have a hard working, ambitious personality & work ethic, but know when to say when (especially when you get sick)...BUT also, don't let it become a crutch or reason for excuse either. As all good things in life, we must find balance, and that is my never ending endeavor. As Ms. Jillian Michaels says, "pain is fear leaving the body...push through that pain to become stronger." And that's what I'm talking about...knowing the type of pain to push through...finding that balance to know what is the good sore and what is the bad. I think I'm learning and I know if you've ever had a really great work-out, then you know what I mean by good sore :)

So...on top of get well, healthy and fit, we have the next few productions now mounting on the horizon. I am once again donning my producer hat for Opera Manhattan's upcoming One-Act Opera Festival. This is going to be an exciting and very interesting group of productions. The festival's theme is how love drives one to madness, thus we have Dido and Aeneas, Erwartung and Bluebeard's Castle...very intriguing operas (and the last two are rarely done.) Whilst in the midst of producing these 3 gems, I will also be the head hair & make-up artist for several other productions at another opera company here in NYC. Yep, I'm a Jack of all Trades ;)

Then I have my own singing to concentrate on. In April, I'll be singing Musetta in a new, hot, modern production of Puccini's LaBoheme. We've already had a photo shoot for PR materials and I've now got to buckle down and get my role memorized before rehearsals start in March. Here's one of the fun pics from the shoot:
I might add, that this getting ready for this new production is a nice incentive to really get in great shape, who knows what the costume will be (think modern French hipster...with me as the gold-digger, brand-loving type.)
Have a great day!