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Posted on Jun 8, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 25 comments

The Big Apple: Part III

This is the last one, folks, I promise. But if you need to catch up on Part I or Part II of my epic NYC weekend, be sure to check those lengthy posts out, hehe.

So! After the excitement of Harry Potter, How to Succeed, and meeting Mr. Daniel Radcliffe himself, our final day in the Big City was destined to be a little more low-key. We woke up Sunday and only had one thing on the schedule (other than trying not to miss our bus back to DC, that is!):

Meeting up with these lovely ladies for brunch!


My beautiful friends Steph & Diana – high school buddies from my Taiwan days!


We met at The Mason Jar, a cute little place with unfortunately slow service but a great brunch menu! Enter my first attempts to make up for the kazillion calories I had consumed throughout the weekend:


I got an apple salad that had tons of greens, blue cheese (yummm), craisins, and walnuts. Yummm. Brunch also came with a mimosa. Triple yummm! It was awesome getting to catch up with Diana & Steph, even if only for a little while. I forced them to take some pictures with me outside after we finished eating:


We couldn’t miss out on this classic pose, after all!



And with a few sad goodbyes, and the promise that I would be returning soon (I hope!) Steve and I hightailed it to catch our bus back home. ‘Til next time, New York!

And that, as they say, is that! It’s been a busy week since getting back, too, and it’s only Tuesday! Last night I met up with my lovely friend Lizzie for dinner at Rustico in Ballston and worked in a teensy bit of exercise while I was at it. Huzzah!


I laced up my new New (hehe) Balance sneaks that I was given at the Fitbloggin’ Conference and leashed up the pups to walk ’em over to my parents’ house (0.6 miles).


I ditched the dogs at Grandma & Grandpa’s at that point, and continued to huff on over to the Metro to head one stop over to meet Lizzie at the Ballston Metro station.


The path from my parents’ house to the Metro is a hilly little jaunt! Probably about a mile, maybe a little less — it definitely got my heart rate up, so that’s good! I really liked the shoes at first – cushy but supportive. Unfortunately, my incredibly undefined heels kept rubbing up against the back lip of the shoe, and I have some fairly painful blisters on ’em now. Sad! Dinner was great though, so I guess that made up for it.


In case you didn’t get to see last night’s Daily Eats post, I got a small beet salad to start with (INCREDIBLE!) and the appetizer of mussels in tomato sauce for my entree.



The mussels also came with two gargantuan breadsticks… which I didn’t totally avoid. Heehee. But, considering the amazing selection of pizzas and pastas that the Rustico menu boasted, I thought my salad + seafood choices were pretty good! And between the walk there and the walk back (picked up the dogs on my way back and hustled on home!) I worked over 3 miles into my day. That’s something, right?

Now that travel and trips and stuff have died down somewhat temporarily, I’m making it a priority to work some kind of exercise and activity back into my routine. Since the Fitbloggin’ 5K my exercise habits have been pretty much nonexistant, I hate to admit. So this is my new goal: do at least 20 minutes of activity every day. Even if this means just getting the dogs out for a quick walk. If it’s 10:30 PM and I realize that I haven’t done anything but sit down and stand up all day, I get off my laurels and DO IT. I figure that if I can work just 20 minutes of something into my day, then maybe I can bump that up to 30 minutes soon. And then maybe to 45! And then I can start ramping up the activity level, impact, etc. Baby steps, baby steps, as always. I’m really reverting back to square one here, in order for me to attempt to establish a real routine. And hey, at least I got my 20 minutes in today!

What’s your exercise routine? How did you establish one? Do you stick to hard & fast times to exercise, and types of activity? Or just do what you feel when the mood strikes? I want to know! I know I’ve said it many, many times before, but I really want to try again. This is still the thing I struggle with most when it comes to embracing a healthy lifestyle, so I need your help! πŸ™‚


  1. start slowly….30 minutes….a walk, a slow jog…and just do it every day…pick a time that works best for you, like 4pm after work, every day, for me, i do 6:15am, every day, my alarm clock goes off and i give myself no choice…soon, it will be automatic…i hope this helps, good luck, beautiful!

    • That “automatic” feeling is what I’m really hoping for, too. Here’s hoping…!

  2. Good for you for walking everywhere last night- good exercise and good for the environment too!! 20 minutes a day is a great start!!

    • Baby steps, hilly walks… πŸ™‚

  3. Oh geez, I’m currently struggling to get back to exercising as well! My days are long and exhausting. I can’t make myself get out of bed at 4:45 am these days (“sleeping in” til 5:30 is much more appealing!). And after work? Forget it. I leave my house at 7:15 a.m., and get home around 6:45 p.m. Between watering my garden, playing with my pup, cooking and eating dinner, and spending some much-needed time relaxing with my sweetie -when!?! It’s frustrating.


    • It is frustrating! I also work really early (I get to work at 7 AM) so early morning really doesn’t make sense, but I’m always so wiped out at the end of the work day, too. I know it all sounds like excuses, but it really is hard to convince myself there’s enough time. Which is why I’m trying out this “20-minutes-a-day” thing. I figure I really can’t make excuses not to find 20 minutes SOMEWHERE, even if it just means cutting 5 minutes off of 4 other things I do in the evening. I hope, anyway…!!

      • When Dave signed up for a new health insurance plan, it required us to talk to a Health Coach two times per year. My complaint to her was this exact same complaint: I already get up at 5 a.m. and am exhausted by the end of the day. Even when I do have time for exercise at night, it keeps me up, which is no bueno for an early morning wake-up. Her suggestion, which I’m hoping can somehow translate for you was: Reward yourself on mornings after you workout by setting the alarm for 20 minutes later. I did this and it worked well for motivation and sleep! πŸ™‚ If you don’t have wiggle room in your morning routine, maybe you could reward yourself with dressing extra cute or having a delicious breakfast or something. Just something that will make you feel good about your activity the night before.

        • I love this idea! Rewarding myself for working out seems like a natural step, since I already sort of operate on an unofficial reward system for when I am good with my food and weight loss. I don’t know why I didn’t really think of it before!

  4. I like the 20 minutes per day plan. Right now it is easy for me to exercise because I’m following a training plan — I think that is key for me: having a calendar already filled out with what I do on each day (with 2 full rest days too) so I don’t have to think about it.

    • I think that would be an ideal place for me to get to. I figure if I can start by just forcing myself to do something every day, that will probably translate well into planning out an exercise schedule (routine!!) throughout the week when I do get into the “habit”.

  5. Do you like exercise videos? I have seriously at least 20, and they are perfect for that 9:00pm “oh shoot, I didn’t work out and I need to move my bum”.

    • I do have a couple, and I agree, they’re great for that last-minute “aw, crap. I still gotta workout” feeling, haha. But other than Jillian Michael’s 30-day shred, the ones I have are quite time-consuming as well, which is why I always talk myself out of doing them! I need like an arsenal of at-home workout DVDs that span like, 20-minutes, 30-minutes, 45-minutes, and then finally 60-minute workouts for when I have time for those. Any suggestions for shorter vids?

  6. I am in the same boat. The 20 minutes a day is a good idea! Do you have cable? If so, check On Demand – Exercise TV usually has a bunch of quick workouts you can do. I also recommend getting a set of hand weights and using those a couple times a week – this can even be done while watching tv!

    • Hmm, good idea. I’ve been trying to do things like sit on an exercise ball instead of the couch while watching TV, doing crunches and stuff during commercials, etc. but it never lasts very long haha. Hand weights would be a great addition to all of that though!

  7. I workout after work because I hate waking up super early to do it and I get off work at a reasonable time.
    I usually put together new weightlifting routines every 4 to 8 weeks and I stick with them and track my progress.

  8. 20 minutes per day sounds good enough! like they say, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking short distances (up to 20 minutes) instead of going by bus/car/whatever is always a good start, I think! I actually walk about 7 miles a week, just because I am walking to my gym and to the tube, instead of taking the bus. It really does sum up in the end!
    Personally, I take a lot of classes at my gym, so I have set times when I work out, but apart from the classes, I just go whenever I feel like it and do whatever I am in the mood for. I have experienced that if I really do not feel like running on the treadmill, and I still will, it wonΒ΄t be good (not talking about laziness ;)). So I would recommend just trying it our for yourself, find something that works for you… and try to stick with it! Good luck πŸ™‚
    And I really enjoyed your NY posts! So happy for you to have met Daniel!

  9. Mussels–love! I think baby steps are key to establishing an exercise routine. I try to do my work out first thing in the morning to get it over and done with and ride the endorphins all day. πŸ™‚ Some days though, it just can’t happen, so if I know I will be exercising in the evening, I bring my clothes to work and change in the restroom before leaving the building. I’m also a big fan of exercise DVD’s in the evening, and I try to load the DVD in the player before work for one more check on the temptation to just plop on the couch and watch TV.

  10. I’m a morning person so if I’m planning on a more intense workout, I usually try to get it in before work. I save yoga, walking, swimming for the end of the day because they’re more relaxing for me. And sometimes, my head just isn’t in the right place so I switch it all up! πŸ˜›

    • See, that’s my problem. Because I think ideally I’d really LIKE to be able to “get it out of the way” first thing in the morning, since I always have so much more energy first thing than after work. But… my hours just don’t really lend themselves to that. Le siiiigh.

  11. I’ve been making a date with a friend for the last two mornings to do some dvds (both happened to be Jillian Michaels). There’s no way that I would have done them on my own; I would have chickened out and made an excuse, but knowing that I made a commitment to work out with her really helped me to drag my bum out of bed and do it. If you have to be at work super early, then a morning day might not be the best idea, but you could maybe do an evening one and make a healthy dinner together for a girls’ night.

    • That is a really great point. I definitely am far more motivated when I’m working with someone else — plus I feel more pressure not to flake out on it. Much like with this blog! πŸ™‚

  12. If you wait to “feel like it”, you’ll never do it! πŸ™‚ And if you don’t make time, you’ll never have time! Find a time slot that works – and make it happen. Consider it part of your job. Do it 5 times a week (not just 3), because it is easier to form habits that way.

    For me, I have several “time slots” in my day I tried out, and eventually found one that works pretty well. My time is pretty tight during the week – just 30 minutes exactly – so I hustle and squeeze it in.

    If you try out many different things you’ll eventually find something you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it. If you can’t find something you enjoy, find something you can tolerate until you find something else to try. πŸ™‚

    • That is very true — and is why I never do it! Your reasoning is exactly why I’m trying out this 20 minutes a day — EVERY DAY thing. If I can just figure out where to best squeeze it into my schedule, I can start relying on crafting a routine around that time, right? And in the meantime, hopefully I can play around with trying lots of different things within that time (and obviously the 20-minutes thing is just a baseline. Obviously it would hopefully be longer than that I just don’t want to set myself up for too much of a time commitment and then flake out like I have in the past! Haha)

  13. I so proud of you for committing to exercise! We can be workout buddies soon!


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