Showing posts from 2015

Hello, It's Me...

Hello, friends! It was four years ago today that I dared to write my first blog post, and so I'm daring to write again.  A lot has changed since that first post, and a lot has changed since my last post, too. While I haven't been writing, I've still been living the "dare you to" lifestyle, and I dare you to keep it up, too!

I'm dropping in quickly, today, just to say HELLO and assure those remaining subscribers that I'm still here! If you haven't already, I dare you to connect with me on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook to keep up with my latest dares, cooking adventures, fitness endeavors, and other fun activites. I still continue to share updates and content via those channels, and look forward to keeping our wellness discussions going!

See you there. Have a great weekend!

Celebrate National Running Day with Charity Miles

Happy National Running Day!  Did you know that today was the day?  Fortunately, here in NYC the rain has stopped but cooled everything down.  Perfect for a run!  Dare you to hit the road with me.

Last year, I celebrated #NationalRunningDay by signing up for my first 10k!  That summer, I rocked my running goals and the 10k race.  However, it's been an uphill battle since then...  After another recent month sans run, I finally hit the road again last week.

First, on Memorial Day, I laced up in the morning before it was too hot. I hadn't been running in over a month--and even that was a lot of stop-and-go--I wanted to really kick back into gear!  I set my Nike+ app for a full 3.11 miles and told myself that I would run the whole thing. And I did!  I kept slow and steady and finished my 5k in about 33 minutes, and since then vowed that I'll get back to covering a 3-mile jog at least once per week for the summer. That's the plan!

Then, this past Saturday, I hit the road aga…

Make Your Gym Habit Stick (Three Tips)

I used to be a gym rat.  I didn't go every day, but I went several times a week and I stuck to my routine.  After a summer spent outside, dedicated to my running goal, and a fall spent getting and getting over a respiratory infection.... I fell out my gym habit, hard.

My schedule no longer had regular gym days built in, and I lost interest in some of the classes I used to attend religiously.  In December, I was finally able to re-instate my healthy habits, and--so far--I'm meeting my January goal of three workouts weekly.  For this reason, I thought it's the perfect time to discuss ways that I manage to stick to my gym habit, and how you can, too.

Maybe YOU set a new year's resolution to go to the gym more often, try a new type of exercise class, or become a runner.  Whatever your commitment is, here are some tried and true ways to ensure you meet your fitness goals:

Make Your Gym Habit Stick 
with These 3 Tricks:

1. Schedule Your Workouts in your Calendar.  

Treat your …

Find a Wine Tour

Going to Napa Valley would be a dream.  I've never been!! (Insert distressed emoji here.)

I figured that, here in NYC, my opportunities for a Napa-like experience would be limited.  Sure, there are wine stores that offer tastings (done that!), but the concrete jungle is otherwise nothing like Napa.
Then, my friend Alyssa signed us up for a "Wine and Music Tour" out in Long Island!

It's made just for Manhattanites: a Hampton Luxury Liner charter bus departs from Midtown and drives wine-lovers to three different wineries on the North Fork of Long Island.  Alyssa and I always have a great time together, plus we both love wine.  The day was topped off by the perfect weather--low 70s and clear skies. Couldn't have asked for anything better!

We met up on the corner, chatted our way through the two-hour ride, and stepped out into the sunshine of North Fork.  We'd spend an hour each at the first two wineries, and two hours at the last.

First stop: Osprey's Domin…

Friday Features

It's been a wonky week. Amazing weekend last weekend (I'll recap soon) followed by an exhausting exhausting/sickly couple days. I'm zonked!  TGIF -- time to catch up on some ZZZs.

It's also FRIDAY Features! Here's some old and some new news and interesting reads!  I saved the best for last, too, so don't miss out:

Personal and Social

Want to understand introverts better--for a friend or for yourself?
This infographic totally made me go "this is me!"
For the why and how of interacting with introvertsclick here to learn more.

Want to sound smarter in your writing?
Skim these 15 Words to Eliminate From Your Vocabulary.

A case study in social media's failure to tell the whole truth,
and the possible implications...
Madison Hollerand's Split Story


This HuffPo piece isn't new news anymore, but worth repeating until people get it:
Eggs Don't Cause Heart Attacks -- Sugar Does by Dr. Mark Hyman

NPR explains why sooo much research on he…

April BirchBox: Unboxing and Review


It's already May, I know, but I really wanted to share with you how excited I am about finally signing up for BirchBox last month!!

What is BirchBox?  It's an NYC-based company that curates monthly boxes just for you!  For just $10, you get a few small or sample-size beauty/self-care related items to try out, and if you find something you love, you can order directly through BirchBox. They've got a whole store online with occasional sales and holiday/themed collections. Plus, by shopping through them, you get points (read: credit!) back that you can use toward your future monthly boxes. Win-win.

I've wanted to subscribe for a while now.  I've seen others' boxes and admire all the information and video tutorials that BirchBox puts out online and in social media; I've learned a lot from them!  I have a pretty simple daily routine (some blush and maybe mascara usually suffice), so learning how t…

Re-evaluate the Research

Earlier this year, NPR published an article entitled:
We Lie About What We Eat and It's Messing Up Science
Dare you to give it a read, and more importantly, take note of its message.

The title really says it all: Research studies are often based on people reporting what they remember eating and doing, but people aren't really all that accurate or honest when answering such questions. The author summarizes a paper from the International Journal of Obesitythat asserts that self-reported data are so poor "that they no longer have a justifiable place in the scientific research."

Flawed data leads to flawed conclusions!  Our "conventional wisdom" about what prevents heart disease, cancer, or diabetes may be wrong.  How can we trust articles claiming "Research finds that..." when the finding is based on faulty self-reported data?

The problem is serious, because it's not just misinforming people who read health news; it's misinforming our policy ad…

Sweeten with Honey

In my efforts to eat more real foods and rely less on sugar, I've been using honey in my baking!  Honey is known primarily for its sweetness and can replace white sugar in almost anything.  In fact, honey is so sweet (25 - 50% sweeter than white sugar), that you need less of it to enjoy the same flavor!

More than sugar:However, unlike white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other such man-made, refined sweeteners, honey is a more naturally-occurring substance containing over a hundred different compounds, including plenty of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals.When you consume honey, you're getting so much more than just a hit of sugar, and, for that, honey is a much healthier sweetener than refined sugars!

The best kind of honey you can use is rawhoney, which can be found in most farmer's markets (bonus points for local!) and health food stores today.  Or, if you're so inclined, visit a local bee farm or raise your own!  That's another dare for another day...


Prevent Paper Waste (5 Tips for Earth Day)

Tomorrow is EARTH DAY!   On April 22, 2015, we'll celebrate our planet Earth and all it does for us. Let's give back and make sure we take care of it, too.

In honor of Earth Day, I dare you to prevent paper waste and offer you several ways to do so below! 

Proper papering is one of the simplest things we can do for our planet, but it's also so ingrained in our culture that we waste a lot of paper every day, without meaning to.  We can all pay a bit more attention to the paper that is printed and wasted on our behalf.

As a teacher, I do my best to use paper efficiently (like tip #3), but I could probably still do less printing in general (#2 is something I'll work on).  Check out the tips below to see what you can do to limit the amount of paper that YOU use!

Five Simple Ways to Prevent Paper Waste:

1. Opt for Online.  Still getting bills in the mail?  Opt-in to email notifications and online bill pay whenever possible. This is a simple way to reduce the amount of paper an…

Don't Check

Tracking your mileage is great... except when it's not.

Today, when my evening activity got cancelled and the sun was still strong, I decided to lace up and go for a run. My plan was 20-30 minutes, another nice jog, although this time I wanted to take fewer walking breaks than last week's runs.  I set my Nike running app on my phone to start, and when I heard the music, took off.

After a long day at work, I was tired, not expecting much from my legs.  Instead, I started out strong!  I felt great. My shins were bothering me a bit, but breathing was steady. The gorgeous weather was the perfect pick-me up and my old 10k playlist had me going with the beat.  I actually think I was going quickly, probably closer to a 9-minute mile than last week's 11-minute joggers.  I kept looking forward to the moment the app would tell me my first mile was complete and what the time was.... except it didn't come.

I passed the spot that I know to be about a mile in my regular run, but n…

Make a Comeback

Excuse me while I dust off this page...

HELLO!!!!  The sun is coming back, and so am I.  As April finally appears to be letting spring in, I'm finally returning to some of the things I love: running, drawing, reading, and BLOGGING!  Time for new posts, new dares, new updates, and more.  In the fall and winter, I was feeling beat and fatigued, and blogging was simply not my priority. This time away has made me miss writing, dares, and you, so I'm back!

I'll be bringing a combination of dares for you and updates from life over the past few months as I catch up.  While I don't think I've taken on any new huge challenges since the fall, I've been working on maintaining the dares I began way back when, and maintenance matters.

One thing thing that I did not maintain was running.  After my first 10k race in September and then backing off when I was sick, I simply stopped running.  It got cold, and after months off it, the treadmill just didn't feel like a good op…

WIAW: Quick Meals in Disguise

WIAW... it's been a long time since my last "What I Ate Weduesday" post!  See my previous WIAW posts here, and check out other folks' WIAW over at Peas & Crayons.

Yesterday's meals were all simple, although they'd look like they took quite a bit of time.

I was so tired that I slept through/snoozed my first alarm--very rare!  Got myself up eventually, showered, got dressed, and made eggs. The eggs caused a rude awakening, because the smoke from the frying pan--after I was done cooking, set off the alarm.  That shook me to consciousness.

Thus, breakfast was simple: eggs over lox. Lox, courtesy of my grandmother, who brought them for me when we celebrated Mother's Day on Sunday. She knows I love them but don't buy them often.  Thank you, Grandma!

Lunch was Turnip Noodles with Toasted Walnut Pesto.  Sounds fancy, right?  It's actually a "7-minute meal" by Hungry Root.  They have a variety of vegetable-noodle dishes that are pre-portioned a…

Make these Superbowl Snacks

TGIF!  This Friday, I'm sending my link love to some tasty treats for your weekend.

Here are some yummy grain-free recipes to bring to your Super Bowl gathering!

Start your Sunday with paleo banana pancakes for breakfast.

Make your own guacamole - with Greek yogurt!

Try Jenn's Parmesan Pesto Whipped Feta as an alternative dip.

I love these Paleo Buffalo Wings, or you can try out these Paleo Glazed Chicken Wings.

Another interesting twist: Spaghetti Squash Pizza?!

How aboutgrain-free apple crisp for dessert!

Just a few ideas for you :)  Hope you have a great weekend -- Go Sports! 

Make this Quick & Easy Banana Egg Breakfast

Bananas and EGGS? What?

Yes, bananas and eggs.  Whenever I'm making this for myself, whoever is home will give me a quizzical look. Once it's ready and they've tried a bite, they always raise their eyebrows in surprise--pretty good!

It started for me back in the day experimenting with "paleo pancakes" -- that is, pancakes that are free of grains.  Some of those banana pancake recipes are longer and more exhaustive than others.  They can make some dismally flat pancakes, or some incredibly fluffy pancakes.  (I'm a fan of the fluffy, myself.)

Over time, I stopped following the recipes and began doing the simplest, quickest thing possible: simply scrambling eggs with banana.  Dropping out the almond flour, the baking agents, etc., made the process so much easier, yet just as delicious.  I get starchy sweetness from the banana and protein from the eggs. Win!

Quick and easy banana-egg-omelet-pancake-mish-mash!  
Here it is:


3 eggs
1 banana
Oil or butter