Showing posts from 2014

Plan a Local Holiday Outing

The holiday season is an easy time to put your feet up and relax at home, but there are so many ways you can enjoy your time without a) lying around all day, or b) spending a fortune.

Two weeks ago, Eric and I planned such an outing based on this NYC tour put together by The Huffington Post.  It started at Macy's/Herald Square and worked its way up to the Upper East Side, stopping at impressive holiday shop windows, city holiday displays, and tasty treats along the way.

An outing like this is not only free, but also keeps you on your feet for a few hours as you walk around without even noticing the many steps you're taking!

Another bonus is that you can spend some time outdoors! Getting outside has plenty of benefits, but unfortunately happens too rarely during winter.

To warm up along the way, we stopped at Maison Kayser, as per HuffPo's recommendation to get a croissant and hot chocolate there.  Eric had the croissant and I enjoyed the hot cocoa.

Some shop windows were

Friday Features

It's the return of Friday Features!  Lately, I've been seeing more and more articles promoting some research findings that I've been living by for a while. Vindication! Love having a quick link to send to my friends, family, and YOU that unearths and explains some important science that impacts your life.

"Light emitting e-readers detrimentally shift circadian clock" The American Association for the Advancement of Science recaps a research study's findings about the negative impact of e-readers' light on participants sleep quantity and quality, as well as their alertness and functioning the following day!!

Yet another publication has caught up to the times:
"Nutritional experts say it's time to stop fearing fat."
The article as a whole is tentative, as the title indicates
by placing responsibility on the "nutritional experts."
It goes back and forth, asking expert after expert about their take
on a recent research study.  Some advice…

Put the Camera Down

Pictures.  I've always been a picture person.  Come to think of it, it's a wonder I didn't invent Instagram, myself!  I was the friend who used to always bring along a disposable camera (remember those?), and then a digital camera (my Canon is my favorite), and now still often insists on bringing a real camera even though our phones take fantastic photos.

I'm the one who shouts "Smile!!" to capture a fun moment.  I snap candids, too.  I photograph, share, scrapbook, and reminisce.   I believe photos are an important tool to hold on to and re-live happy memories.

So why am I daring you to put the camera down?  

Truthfully, I could just as easily tell you to TAKE PICTURES, and maybe someday I will. But for now, this is a dare I have personally been working on this past year.

Last summer, one of my best friends got married.  It was the most beautiful ceremony, followed by the most fun reception.  As a bridesmaid, I was occupied throughout the day and, of course, …

Let It Go

Hello, friends! How is your holiday season going??

Last month, I dared you to move on Thanksgiving, and I'm pleased to report I heeded my own advice.  First, I helped my mother in the kitchen with the chopping of manyyyyyy colorful veggies.  Later on, I was able to spend a decent amount of my holiday playing with my cousin's adorable two-year-old!  His energy was contagious and I found myself out of breath more than once just following him around.  I moved around, ate my vegetables, and enjoyed time with my family, so overall it was a happy and healthy holiday.

The morning after Thanksgiving, I even went to my old favorite Spinning and yoga classes! It's always fun to visit and work out with my first and favorite instructors.

I've successfully continued easing back into exercise, but what about easing back into BLOGGING?  Hellooooo, please forgive me for my neglect!  Sure, I've checked in with a few fun dares (have you tried sunchokes yet??) and some cool events…

Ease back into exercise

Health update: I'm finally well again! 

After over a month of pain, my cough has finally disappeared. My recovery makes me really glad I made the hard but healthy choicenot to run the 10k in October--definitely the smart decision.  While I was sick, I intentionally stepped back exercise because my lungs couldn't handle it and I really wanted to get better.  There's little glory in coughing myself through a workout, no need to put additional stress on an already stressed body.

BUT, feeling well and ready to work out... how do I get back in?  

For me, it started with walking.  As I explained in my post about not running my 10k, even walking around the city was leaving me short of breath.  So, that's step one: Early in November, I began going on the treadmill on a slight incline, walking at 3.0 mph for 20 - 30 minutes.  Later, I increased to 3.5-4 mph and also added in yoga stretching to warm up my muscles again.

In the second week, I tried the elliptical to get my heart r…

MOVE this Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, my American friends!

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day of food, family, and .... sitting around.  We sit watching the parade, we sit and catch up with relatives, we sit to watch football, we sit and eat dinner, we sit and digest, you get the picture. There's nothing wrong with taking time to relax and enjoy good company, but all this lying around can leave us feeling lethargic for days to come.

This Thanksgiving, I dare you to get up and MOVE!  

Maybe for you, that means getting in one awesome morning workout before the day begins--awesome!

Perhaps your family enjoys fulfilling a different Thanksgiving tradition of playing some backyard football.  Sounds great!

BUT there are many other ways to get moving throughout the day, too.  Here are a few ideas to try:
Get involved in the kitchen.  Often, holiday gatherings involve lots of home-cooked food. Whether you're the host and head chef or simply an invited guest, offer your assistance in the kitchen.  Cooki…

Run on Air: Get #FueledbyZero

Runners love to run. Runners are passionate about running, and they are addicted to running. Even shorter-distance runners like me get antsy after too long off the road. And we've all got goals: we want to run better, run faster, and/or run longer.BUT, runners also want to avoid injury.Yes, running causes injuries. The daily pounding is tough on the joints! It's undeniable: Running causes injury. 80% of runners report being injured in the last 12 months, and 55% had to take a time-out (4+ days!) from training due to injury. Even a small-time runner like myself has experienced occasional pain in my knees and ankles while running; it's not fun and definitely has made me stop running from time to time.Does this mean everyone should stop forever?Not necessarily -- it just means that runners need to train smarter! We can continue to build endurance, gain active recovery, and log miles, as long as we can manage impact on our bodies... and Octane Fitness is enabling runners to do…

say "WHOAH!"

First: WHOA--only a few days left to enter thehealthy recipe book giveaway!  Get delicious recipes to help restore your health.
You may recall that my running stalled the last couple months due to illness (boooo).  I'm finally easing my way back in; I spent much of November walking on the treadmill (cold weather!), doing yoga and Pilates, and even taking a Spinning class or two more recently. It's felt good to get moving again, but I didn't want to dive in head-first.  I did go to one BODYPUMP class, but my back hurt for a week after.  So... not heading back there until maybe later in December. For now, I've been enjoying simple movement, bodyweight work, and cycling--easier on the joints.
Speaking of easy on the joints, let's talk CUSHIONING... 

There's a new sneaker on the market, and it is nice.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to try it out myself (still in recovery, anyhow), but Eric did, courtesy of the kind folks at Saucony.

He was elated when his Saucony…

Live Positive

Hey friends!  Popping in for a quick post, because there's a cool contest going on at I want to share with you.  They're looking to give a generous holiday gift to someone who demonstrates how to #LivePositive.

Here's how it works:

You nominate someone who is deserving of a BIG ACT OF KINDNESS, everyone votes online, and then Tommie Copper gives the winner $10,000 !!!  How awesome is that?

You can enter by clicking here to submit a photo or video telling your nominee's #livepositive story (and enjoy %15 off your next order, while you're at it!).  There's just three more days for nominations to be accepted, so get moving if you know someone you'd like to nominate!

Starting next week, everyone can go on and vote for the the winner (November 24 - December 7), so get ready to log in and vote for a deserving nominee who truly showed that they #livepositive.

Watch the video below to learn more, or head right on over to the contest website to ente…

Try a new food: Sunchokes

Psst! Don't forget to check out last week's giveaway to win an amazing nutrition/health/recipe book, signed by the author!
It's been a while since a new food post, but I recently tried a food that was brand new to me: Sunchokes.

Have you heard of this vegetable?  I had never, but then I discovered that it's simply another name for the Jerusalem artichoke.  I'd never actually seen or eaten one of those, either, but had always assumed it looked more like, well, an artichoke (click to learn all about that "new food" dare here).

Intrigued, I gathered the details on this native North American tuber:

Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes, come from a plant that looks a lot like their relative, the sunflower.  What I found, though, looked nothing like a sunflower.  It's the tuber beneath it that looks like a knobby, rough, light brown rock. It looked sort of like ginger, but I honestly questioned whether it was even edible.

Peeled, cut, and cooked, it wasn&…