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Posted on Mar 24, 2014 in Dear Diary, Working Out, Yelp | 11 comments

Ommmmm (Nom Nom)

To all those who think that my job pretty much just means I eat all the time (and, to be fair, I do eat a LOT for this job), I want to set the record straight. Not errrrvery single event that I throw as the Yelp Northern Virginia Community Manager is totally food-centric. I mean, sure, a lot are (and I love ’em!) but yesterday I actually got to do my job AND get some fitness in at the same time, thanks to the yoga-tastic event that went down!

Yelp’s Mind + Body Bender took place at Mind Your Body Oasis in Crystal City, a wellness center and yoga studio that gave Yelp Elites the chance to try out many different kinds of massage therapies (Thai! Mysokeletal! Full-body! Chair! Reiki!) as well as participating in yoga and bellydancing classes!



It was a full event with lots to see and do, and I even got a chance to be thrown around by MYBO’s Thai massage specialist for a few minutes. I’ll, a-hem, go ahead and let those photos speak for themselves…





LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

Being of the no pain, no gain persuasion when it comes to massage, I actually loved it, and it was over far too quickly for me! I guess I’ll just have to go back and get pretzel-fied again. 🙂

In other news, you should be happy to hear that I totally cheated on my weigh-in once a week rule and checked myself out on the scale yesterday. I can happily report that I am blessedly — amazingly! — back to my pre-San Francisco weigh-in weight. So those 2.5 gained libbies are officially gone! I’ll wait until Friday to officially report in, but I just wanted you all to know that I am most definitely working it!

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Posted on Feb 25, 2014 in Dear Diary, Working Out | 9 comments

Aerial Yoga

Alas, I fear I must now face the stark reality that I will never, ever be a Cirque du Soleil-style aerialist.

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My coworker Kimberly and I went on a fitness adventure by trying out Aerial Yoga at Spark Yoga in Arlington.

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As you can see, aerial yoga is yoga that utilizes aerial silks in all of the moves. The description on the website reads:

Ready to fly? Decompress your spine and your mind by practicing yoga from a hammock suspended above the ground. Classes may include inversions, upper body exercises, and adventurous tricks using aerial hammocks.

Now, I’m no yoga pro, but I’ve been to enough classes and done enough at-home DVDs to know my way around a sun salutation or two, and my understanding was that this “beginner’s” level aerial yoga class would actually make things a little easier because the silk helps to support your weight and whatnot.

Plus, hello! It just looked fun!

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Weeeeell, as it turns out, my assumptions were both true and not true. But mostly not true. Sure, certain stretches were made simpler (and deeper!) by utilizing the silk. It was cool to do things like put your foot into the fabric while sitting on the ground (so it was kind of like up in a sling) and stretch, or putting the silk under your arms and falling leaning forward into a cobra pose. Plus, doing child’s pose while sitting in the “bucket” felt pretty fab.

But all the other stuff we were expected to do? Nottttt so much. As it turns out, putting a strip of fabric underneath your pelvic bone and downward-dogging on top of it actually kind of hurts. Not to mention the part where the instructor told us to then lift our legs off of the ground, so ALL OF OUR BODY WEIGHT was being balanced on our pelvic bone. And since I obviously have quite a bit of weight on me still, I couldn’t really do that (it REALLY hurt!), so then I started feeling pretty bad about myself when I saw all the other girls in the class suspended over the ground with ease.

I think the biggest problem with the class as a whole was that the instructor is so advanced in her aerial abilities (she was — is? — a professional aerialist and pole dancer) that I don’t think she considered giving out any modification suggestions. I mean, even when I did CrossFit and P90X and all that ridiculousness, there were always modifications for folks who weren’t as strong or as fit, and I didn’t get any of that at aerial yoga. And, hey, maybe it’s just that there aren’t really modifications possible with aerial yoga, but if that’s the case they should probably advertise that the class is for those who are already a little more advanced in yoga to begin with, right? I mean, throughout a large percentage of the class, I just kind of sat/dangled there not really knowing what to do (and feeling worse and worse about myself) while all the other girls got their Cirque du Soleil on. Womp womp.

Thankfully, the last 10 minutes of the class were somewhat redeeming. You end with savasana, but you do it inside the silk, so it’s basically like lying in a hammock/being wrapped up in a little cocoon. The instructor comes by and swings you gently back and forth, and you get to just lay there. Unfortunately, while I think the goal of savasana is to clear your mind and get into a good mental space, all I could do was fixate on how crappily I performed throughout the entire class. It was still nice and comfy though.

Anyway, as you can tell, aerial yoga really didn’t end up being for me, but I think a seasoned yogi or just folks who are lighter and more flexible might have a more enjoyable experience. And I guess for now, I’ll just stick to regular on-the-mat yoga whenever I need a fix. Blessedly, while I was whining to Kimberly after the class, she reassured me that she faced a lot of similar problems, so it does help to know that I wasn’t alone in my misery, haha.

Have you ever tried aerial yoga?

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Posted on Jun 25, 2011 in Blogging, Dear Diary, Food | 13 comments

Yoga, Mountains, Food, & Deodorant

Yup. Most random blog post title ever. But believe me — all of these things are absolutely relevant, and it’s been less than 24-hours into the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference! Things have already been a whirlwind of education, activity, and excitement! I’ll try to keep this succinct, but be forewarned that Colorado is kind of beautiful. So, you know. I’ve been taking a lot of pictures.

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You probably understand why. 🙂

So after yesterday’s opening keynote speech, the sessions included talks on working with companies & PR firms as a blogger, as well as hearing from two bloggers that have successfully parlayed their blogs into books! Both very interesting, and very educational. In the true spirit of this being a fitness & health bloggers’ conference though, things were broken up with a sweet little fitness break:

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And after the sessions the whole group walked over to Whole Foods Boulder for a special dinner they prepared just for us!

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Heather, Anne, and Theodora were more than happy to pose for pics on the way. 🙂

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And they served up quite the feast! Since so many of the conference attendees have special dietary needs and preferences, the meal was completely vegan — and totally delicious!

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Strawberry Gazpacho Shooters

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Tofu Spring Rolls wrapped in Bok Choi

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Cucumber-wrapped Salads

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Roasted sweet potatoes and cheese-less grilled pizzas

And for dessert…

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Some kind of cashew cream-lemon-mousse-something-DELICIOUSNESS.

After our meal we popped inside the Whole Foods building to pick up some libations…

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And showcase Theodora’s inappropriate love for kombucha.

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Don’t worry folks. Most of the time she looks much more like this:

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BAHAHAHA.

Then it was back to the hotel for the opening night cocktail party! I’ll give you one guess who the sponsor was.

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Yup! Degree Women deodorant — see? It all comes full-circle, hahaha. Don’t worry, I didn’t walk out of there with those deodorants. Not all of them anyway… kekeke.

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Guess they didn’t get the memo about what kind of conference this is, hahaha! Don’t worry, I stuck to the fruit plate:

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And about a quarter of this local beer (too hoppy for me!)

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Before I totally passed out at around 10 PM. In my defense, I’d been up since 6:30, and it was midnight on the east coast! Besides, my alarm was set super early for…

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7 AM yoga taught by Kia,

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Concierge lounge breakfast (thanks again, Papa!) with LOX! Mmmm.

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And an early morning photoshoot… I can’t help it! It’s just so beautiful here!

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I hope everyone else’s weekend is going as well! Now it’s time for me to sign off so I can actually pay attention to this next session on social media, which we already know is something I am super interested in!

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Posted on Apr 21, 2011 in Food, Working Out | 22 comments

Double the Pain.

So I found out what taking hot yoga classes two days in a row does to your body! Hint: it don’t feel good. I’m soooooooo sore today!

Now don’t get me wrong, mentally I feel pretty good. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot, and I’m super proud of myself for going yesterday even though I was already kinda sore from the day before. However, for a complete non-yogi like myself… it’s hard. People don’t think that yoga is hard but believe me, it IS! So, I’m not 100% I should can go again today. Initially I was like, “Yeah! I’m going to go three days in a row this week!” because I’m headed to Delawhere? to see Steve on Friday, but now I dunno. Am I just being lame? I feel like I’ve heard that when it comes to soreness and working out, you should if you’re just a little bit sore, but you shouldn’t if you’re a lot a bit sore. Thoughts?

In other news, last night Ben, his girlfriend Taylor, and I walked the puppers over to my parents’ house for dins! I think that she felt that after seeing my (vegan) Whasian spin on her classic Sweet & Sour Pork recipe she had to show me what SHE would have done if given the chance to veganize it herself. And thus:

Sweet & Sour Soy Gluten was born.

Hahahaha, that name doesn’t sound too appetizing now that I think about it, but the dish really was delicious! I like soy gluten because it resembles meat much closer than tofu does, so it’s an easy substitution in recipes like this. The other vegan dish she made was a vegetable dish with mushrooms, Chinese hairy squash (yuck name, yum taste), and my favorite vermicelli noodles!!

And in the corner you can kind of see the third dish my mom made – something with beef and Chinese broccoli that looked delicious but that I did not partake in. Just 3 more days, Gretch… you can do this! For good measure, here’s a snap of my bowl:

Sorry for the iPhone pics, but in our haste to get over there I forgot to bring my camera. Plus, we were walking with two dogs and a bag of stuff to return to my mom (including some now-too-big workout clothes to give to my aunt! Hooray!) so I feel like traipsing down the street with a DSLR might not have been a super fun addition anyway. And since the picture quality in this post is less than stellar, I shall now try compensating by providing a higher QUANTITY of them. Hahahahaha, I’m really not sure why I find that so funny. Mayhaps yoga has officially addled my brain sense of humor? Ah well.

Breakfast this morning for moi:

A whole wheat english muffin with Tofutti “Better than Cream Cheese” and organic raspberry preserves;

Some of nature’s candy in the form of strawbs, bluebs, and a deftly cut up orange;

And finally rounded out with some cashews (for protein & fat! Gotta stay full!)

So there you have it. Not the most exciting of posts, but perhaps all the lactic acid build-up in my muscles is affecting my creativity. You may just have to let it slide this time, I’m afraid. 😉

What is the right way to go about exercising with sore muscles? Yay or Nay? I feel like there’s a lot of talk on both sides when I Google it (I’m classy, I know.) Help me out, pros!

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Posted on Apr 20, 2011 in Food, Working Out | 18 comments

Om.

You should all be very, very proud of me.

Yesterday, I signed up for an introductory yoga pass at Dancing Mind Yoga in Falls Church. It’s a 30-day, unlimited class pass that I am DETERMINED to get my money out of. So, yesterday afternoon, I went!

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The “1” in the photo above is because it’s my first class out of the hopefully bajillion I’ll be going to, hehe.

Dancing Mind isn’t a Bikram studio like the last time I went to yoga, but it is still a HOT yoga studio. A mere 95-degrees rather than the 105-degree torture chamber that Bikram takes place in, hahaha. They practice Baptiste Power Yoga (you can read more about it on their website) which incorporated mostly standard poses in very rapid succession, which made it into a pretty intense work out! So it wasn’t exactly relaxing as I still kind of think of yoga (they didn’t play any music during the actual class, just before & after) but it was a great workout (it included ab work! Schwaaa!?)

It was a really great workout, and I know this because I have some soreness in my arms and shoulders today! Huzzah! I know that this probably sounds like crazy-person-talk, but I also felt like my stomach was flatter and firmer when I woke up this morning. Probably just wishful thinking, or maybe delusion due to dehydration but I’m just telling you how I feel, hahaha.

Because the room wasn’t QUITE as hot as Yoga Reston‘s, I found I was able to do more poses and try a little harder. However, because of that exact same reason, I was SO much more exhausted afterward! Plus whole part about how I was a sweaty beast driving home:

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Well, you might not be able to tell that well in those photos, but believe me. Just… believe me. I’ll also add that the studio was really clean, and the instructor and all the regulars (and there were clearly a lot of them!) were really nice and welcoming. It had a good “vibe” to it (and the place is very highly recommended on Yelp, too — I checked. :P) I’m trying to embrace that whole “27 days to form a habit” thing when it comes to me being active (or whatever the actual number of days is) so I really want to go as much as possible. When I bought my pass I preemptively signed up for yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and then Monday – Thursday of next week. This is serious, folks! So if any of you in the area want to catch a class with me to encourage me working out and getting my “om” on, you just let me know. 🙂

Hokay, so. Moving on to dins last night! As I mentioned, I was really wiped out after the class yesterday, so I took it easy when I got home and just hydrated. Around 7:30 PM I finally peeled myself away from streaming “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” on Netflix (don’t judge!) to make myself some dinnah.

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I whipped up some homemade guac, a vegan quesadilla (made with Daiya), and served up some Pretzel Crisps on the side to scoop up the guac that didn’t make it onto my quesadilla slices. So… is it bad to eat an entire avocado for dinner? Because that’s totally what I did. Oops. 🙂

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For the quesadilla, I just did up two tortillas with some Daiya cheddar-style shreds in the middle, heated up in a pan with some melted Earth Balance. And then, of course, the real star is my simple yet muy delicioso guacamole. Holy schlamoly, I love avocado.

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If you’re not 100% sure about the best way to cut an avocado, this is what I do:

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, working around the pit in the middle. When you pull the sides apart, one will be pit-free and the other should have it sticking up out of it. Give it a whack with your knife so that it gets stuck in the pit, and just twist the pit outta there.

A Beautiful Fruit.

Then, make a checkerboard pattern in the avocado flesh with your knife, and scoop out with a spoon!

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Easy as pie. 🙂

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For the rest of the guac, you just chop up the red onion (I used a little less than a quarter of an onion for 1 avocado), juice your lime, throw some salt & peppah into the mix and mash away!

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Glorious, isn’t it?

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Yum. 🙂

What are some good habits you’re trying to form? Or, conversely, any bad habits you’re trying to break? Do you think there is validity to the whole “27 days” until a new habit is formed thing? And if so, do you think I can actually form a habit of exercising more days than not? Haha, I remain skeptical myself, but I figure I’ll at least capitalize on the momentum while I have it!

Until tomorrow, loves.

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