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Archive for May 16th, 2012

Hi guys!

I didn’t focus on food yesterday, because my thoughts were balancing precariously on the tip of my tongue and I worried that they’d slip away if I didn’t get them down!

However, my workday meals and snacks yesterday and today have been totally delicious. I also noticed (somewhat with chagrin–are they boring?) that they’re almost identical,  just a few variations here and there, which makes them…

Fraternal Twin Day Eats (a.k.a) Fraternal Tweats!

Don’t judge me.

Monday Breakfast: Cottage cheese with strawberry jam and strawberries; toasted whole wheat English muffin with PB and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Tuesday Breakfast: Plain Chobani with Splenda, cinnamon and sliced RIPE banana; Whole wheat English muffin with olive oil/butter spread. See the similarities?! Dairy + fruit, muffin + topping. Work with me.

1/2 Homemade Coconut Cherry Pie Larabar for a mid-morn snack both days!

Monday Lunch: Rawwwrr roast beef, swiss, lettuce and pesto mayo on whole wheat; veggies with balsamic

Tuesday Lunch: Cracked pepper turkey, wiss, lettuce and pesto mayo on whole wheat; veggies with balsamic

Both Days: Macaron Grand Format Infinitement Vanille: A gift from a friend returning home from abroad!

Pause with me for a minute here.

This ‘macaron’ sources from Pierre Herme in Paris, one of the most famous boutique Patissier and Chocolatier in France.

I’m generally not one for “dainty” desserts, but I’ve sampled Pierre Herme macarons once before in my life, and each flavor is a mouth-watering work of art.

Wheel of Fortune.

And of them all, the above ‘Infinitement Vanille’ is my ABSOLUTE favorite:

This macaron explores Pierre Hermé’s interpretation of the taste of vanilla.
He chose to blend vanilla beans from different provenances: Tahiti (depth and intensity), Mexico (floral note) and Madagascar (woody aroma).
This composition yields a “house vanilla” whose taste conveys his idea of what vanilla should be.
You fancy, huh?!
The boxed assortment from my friend included two Vanille, and I savored them like they were going outta style as my post-lunch desserts. And now they are gone :(.
Le Sigh. Forging ahead!

Both days: Mixed fresh fruit. Wanna take this straight to my veins.

Monday Snack: Peanut butter delight in the form of a Grab the Gold Bar! A classic around here. Always filling, always scrumptious, always homely.

Tuesday Snack: pb again, this time with pretzels–forgot to snap a pic, but here’s the telltale spoon!

And that’s my deja-food (love me or leave me) from the last two days! My post-work eats diverged a bit, but I still gotta share my desserts both nights, cause they both knocked it outta the park.

Monday Night: Chocolate 1-2-3 Cake drizzled with Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and globs of Super Vanilla-y Protein Frosting. Mama did good.

Tonight’s dessert was INCREDIBLY exciting! I live in Midtown East, which for those of you who don’t know much about the city, translates to safe, aesthetically pleasing and boring. Especially in the food department.

WELL, this past weekend my roommate Carina stumbled upon a magical place called Off-The-Wall that just opened right by our apartment….a make your own frozen yogurt bar like the famous 16 Handles!!! Flavors and toppings as far as the eye can see, and you pay by weight, so it’s much more affordable than Tasti-D.

I went to dinner with a friend last night, and there was no option but to hit up Off-The-Wall afterwards

Hers: Coconut, Vanilla and Cake Batter fro yo; brownie bites, graham cracker crumbs, coconut flakes and sliced banana!

His: Unintentional and appropriate halo. Cake batter and maybe cheesecake fro yo? Topped smothered with Reese’s cups! Man knows what he likes.

Verdict? Let’s just say, the proximity to my apartment is going to be a problem.

Honestly, this is headline news. I’ve already created my next combo in my head!

So, I also really want to share this fantastic article that was sent to me last week (thanks, Jacquie!), written by NY Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Renyolds.

Raise your hand if you work a 9-5 or more, where you barely move your butt from the seat all day–eat at your desk, work in a small space? Oh me me pick me!

If I had to wager a guess, most you who answered ‘yes’ are physically active/workout on a regular basis, in some part to compensate for that fact you’re basically stagnant all day. Me again this is me! 

Well, it turns out that our compensation (demand payment for your squshy tushy!) might not be good enough. According to Reynolds, “Research shows that even regular exercisers may not be doing enough to counteract the health hazards of sitting down at a desk all day long.” Eek!!!

At the very least, Reynolds recommends standing for two minutes every 20 minutes, claiming that this can counter the physiological breakdown that results from prolonged sitting. Her personal antidote? Standing up at her desk to answer the phone and read.

Uh, she does all of her work-reading standing up? What about the importance of emotional health? My commute sneakers and Tupperware are bad enough; pretty sure Gretchen’s method would be social suicide.

Token office loser

Gretch is onto to something though, and dorky or not this article has definitely motivated me to find slightly sneakier ways to make sure I’m not breakin’ something that can’t be fixed. So here are some ideas I’ve come up with as my own subtle solutions:

  • Always take the long way: to the kitchen, the mailroom, supply room, bathroom etc.
  • Use the second floor bathroom sometimes for a bit o’ stair exercise
  • Do as much work standing at my desk as possible without raising questions about the safety of my desk seat bottom–> I think this will be least obvious when I’ve just come back from one of the above ‘errands’
  • Do more bathroom stall stretching! I posted about the hazards of office stretching early on in the blog, but it remains one of the only ways that I can get my blood pumpin’ a bit during the day. I might even kick it up a notch with some jumping jacks and butt kicks. What they hear  don’t see can’t hurt them.

I’ve also toyed with the idea of purchasing an exercise ball.

How it goes in my head.

But let’s be honest, I can’t even successfully complete crunches on one of those things at the gym, so I think I’d just be asking for another laughingstock scenario.

Aside from the above rattling revelation, I found almost every sentence of this article useful, spot-on and applicable to my own fitness/health routine, so I pretty much just copied and pasted the dern thing for ya!

More of Gretchen’s awesomely helpful hints and words of warning:

  • To Stretch Or Not To Stretch?: Research now suggests that stretching before a workout isn’t necessarily a good thing, because it causes the brain to think you’re about to tear those muscles, says Reynolds. “When you stretch and hold a pose, the brain thinks you are about to damage yourself and it then sends out nerve impulses that actually tighten the muscles,” she explains. “… The result is, you’re less ready for activity, not more ready for activity.
  • Don’t Skip The Warm-Up: Science suggests that a very easy warmup — a light jog, for example — may be all that most of us need. “What you want to do when you warm up is warm up the tissues,” she says. “You want to get the muscles, the tendons — all of the parts of your body — warm, and the best way to do that is to use those tissues.” Reynolds recommends jogging before a run or an intense sports match.
  • Running’s Rewards And Risks: Running reduces the risks of heart disease and diabetes, helps maintain your weight and improves brain health. “There’s very good science that running for even 30 minutes or so doubles the number of brain cells in certain portions of the brain related to memory,” says Reynolds. “Running is wonderful for the health of your body.” But the injury rate among runners, she cautions, is extremely high — with as many as 75 percent of runners getting one injury a year. “So running can be very hard on the body at the same time it’s very good for the body,” she says.
  • Humans Were Made For Walking: Walking may be the single best exercise that exists on the planet, Reynolds says. It’s low-impact and has a relatively low risk for injury. “Walking appears to be what the human body was built for,” she explains. Even 15 minutes will reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
  • The Difference Between Fitness And Health: Becoming fit and becoming healthier are two different things. “You can become healthy with a much lower amount and a much lower intensity of exercise,” says Reynolds. “A nice easy walk will improve your health. If you make it a little … harder or a little more difficult for you to walk, you will become more fit and you will get more benefits. But even if you just walk lightly, you will be healthier than if you don’t do anything.”

I hope you all found this as informative and helpful as I did! Question–how much exercise do you get during the work day/how do you cope with sitting for prolonged periods of time?

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