Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Day of Meals; Round 2

I thought I might call this post "What I Ate Wednesday" until I realized I already did a post like this called "A Day of Meals" in which I mini ranted about eating what makes you feel good and not conforming to diets.

This time my post was catalyzed by an influenster VoxBox I received... since I didn't think I could write a whole post on thinly sliced low calorie cheeses. I had planned on doing another post like this way back in February anyway, but I just plain kept forgetting to take pictures of what I ate. This week, I totally remembed, and - I have to say - I'm a little pleased with myself.

Breakfast @ 7:00am
Sourdough toast, an egg, and a slice of Sargento Ultra Thin Pepper Jack cheese. I always worry that I overdo it on cheese, but with this, it's just one slice, 40 calories, bam. done.
Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk Latte - 1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, 2 oz espresso, and 1 tsp pumpkin spice syrup

Morning Snack @ 9:45am
Chobani Nonfat Strawberry Greek Yogurt

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Solo Staycation

I planned it for months. As the weather warmed up through February and March, and I got out of my car every morning in Malibu, I longed for beach house lunches and late afternoons on the sand.
This was the first year in a long time that I didn't have something planned for the foreseeable future. No parent sponsored trip across the Atlantic, no long weekend in Portland with my sister, no talk of Hawaii in September. 

Tax season loomed and I struggled through the burn out of longer work days, teaching more yoga classes, fitting in my own exercise schedule, and not blowing off everyone I love. Thinking about the day to day sent me searching for my zen place - slow methodical breathing and a little mantra repetition. 

So, I planned some time off. 

A week, if you want to get all picky about it. The week after Easter... because it was the week after April 15th.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 16

This week was kinda lame. I ended with a brutal migraine on Monday and all weekend I was at my inlaws and couldn't really get away to get in a workout, but when I did workout, it was good.

Wednesday (P90X Day 35) was my rest day. I taught in the morning, did a lot of core and squats and dancing around with my ladies, and then taught again in the evening and did nothing. I didn't demo a single thing. I just walked around and told everyone what to do. Then I came home and ate all the vegetables in the house.

Thursday (P90X Day 36) kind of got away from me. I only had one student in my yoga class that afternoon, so I decided to do most of the practice right along side her. It was a really great little private session. I think we both got a pretty good workout, although I maintain it is way more challenging to talk through a yoga practice than to just do it. Ha. By the time I got Panda and headed back home, it was dinner time and hubs was already home from the gym, so I just made some spaghetti squash and called it a night. I figured even though I didn't do the P90X workout, I still worked out that day. Good enough for me.

Friday (P90X Day 37) I did plyometrics after a lovely lunch with an old friend. Since I had the afternoon off work, I got to workout whenever I felt like it and finished pretty early, which was awesome.

Saturday we drove to San Diego to visit the inlaws, and Sunday we drove back. At least I didn't totally overeat this weekend. I am giving myself so many points for not devouring all the snacks like I usually do.

Monday I went on a hike with my big sis. It was 5 miles and uphill the entire first half. There was no shade, so we were happy we wore sunscreen, but the first half of the hike was pretty brutal.
I ended up getting a migraine that night, so even though I planned on jumping back into P90X, I just was not able to work out any more that day.

and Tuesday I was still in recovery. I spent about half the day on the couch. Hooray for taking the week off work, right?

Lame week, I know. Oh well. I'll have to kick it into high gear this week. ;)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Freedom From Tax Returns Fix

I'm on staycation this week. Have I mentioned that? I'm in town - living it up in luxury, spending time with people I love, doing things that make me happy... all. week. long.

I scheduled myself a Stitch Fix specifically to arrive the Monday after tax season - before I'd even planned this week. It would be my gift to myself -  a surprise box of joy to arrive on my doorstep the morning after we got back from spending Easter with my inlaws.

It actually ended up arriving on the Friday before Easter, which was lucky because I'd already checked the website and seen the written descriptions of what was coming. I was dying to see it and try it all on.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kitchen Adventures; Alyssa's Favorite Cheesecake

 When I was in elementary school, my big sister and I contributed to the Chaparral Elementary School cookbook to fundraiser. We compiled this book of recipes and sold copies to raise money.

Big sis chose her all time favorite brownie recipe, and I, well, I was a bit of a cheesecake fiend, so my mom put this recipe in on my behalf.

Which I decided to contribute to Easter at the inlaws this year.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 15

Wednesday (P90X Day 28) was kind of a weird day. It was supposed to be a rest day (according to P90X). I had a doctors appointment in the morning after I taught my class, and then had to go back to the lab to have a thousand (normal) tests run after work, so the extent of my exercise was teaching my class - which was good bit of exercise - lots of ab work, planks, and squats, so I feel good about it. It's just strange for me to have that be my only workout.

Thursday (P90X Day 29) was the first day of Phase 2, which introduces new workouts. When I got home from work and teaching, I started Chest, Shoulders & Triceps. It was haaaaard. My arms were so tired when I finished and I got a really great calorie burn considering I was mostly weight lifting.

Friday (P90X Day 30) was back to Plyometrics... womp womp. I remember this the first time around - getting bored with Plyo and wanting to go do something else! Le sigh. Oh well, I powered through it when I got home from work. I'm still not jumping very high and I'm stepping through for a lot of the moves, but that will happen when you do modified everything for 2 weeks. Can't just jump back in at full speed.

Saturday (P90X Day 31) I had to go to work, so I got up around 9 and did Back & Biceps while hubs went to the gym. I forgot how hard that workout is. It's a super low calorie burn compared to some of the other weight lifting workouts, but man, it is tough. So many curls.
I'm back to almost 100% doing Ab Ripper X. It felt so good to finally get some ab work in. Then the whole family piled into the car and headed out to the 'Bu so I could work for a couple hours. Then we went to the beach.

Sunday (P90X Day 32) I was able to go to my friend Chelsea's barre class. It's a tough class, but it's hard for me to make it work with my schedule, so I try to go whenever I can! After that, I was supposed to do yoga, but I just took Panda on a mini walk. I figured I got plenty of exercise earlier in the morning.

Monday (P90X Day 33) after a long day at work, I did yoga with my friend, Jenny, at her house. Then I went home and did P90X Legs & Back. It was late by the time I finished my workout, but I love the leg moves in Legs & Back, so it was woooorth it! It makes me feel strong.

Tuesday (P90X Day 34) was Kenpo X! It was also tax day, so I was super wiped out by the time I got home. I almost skipped my workout altogether, but decided to get up and do it. I'm glad that I did, but it really took a lot out of me.

How was your week?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kitchen Adventures; Italian Cream Soda

Tomorrow is the big day. I got a sub for my class so I can stay at work as long as I need to efiling tax returns.
Due to the swampy nature of my schedule right now, today I didn't make you something shiny and new (to me). I made you one of my all time favorite warm weather refreshers.

This is not a "new recipe". This is just the first time I used a measuring spoon so I could tell other folks how they could do it too.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Currently; April 2014

It's Saturday, I know. Most of you won't see this until Monday, but it's the 12th, and the 12th is when I post these currently thingys.

3 more days until I can breathe. As tax season comes to a close, I am more and more tired every day. I am so very much looking forward to my week off. Words fail me.
Teaching 4 classes a week on top of my 9-5 on to of P90X = one tired Alyssa

Currently, I'm...

I gave up on Lost at Sea. Since it's a book of short stories, I just couldn't get myself to get involved in the book as a whole. I finally picked up A Long Way Down, which is on my reading list for this year. I haven't gotten very far yet, but I'm enjoying it thus far.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 14

Wednesday (P90X Day 21) was technically a rest day and I did get to take it pretty easy. I just drove out to my friend's house after work for an hour of yoga. We did a little sampling - some core, some arms, some twists, and some deep stretching. It was perfect.

Thursday (P90X Day 22) was another early day. I opted to skip the 5am wakeup and do P90X Chest & Back after work and teaching. I did almost the entire class while teaching, so I was able to get my heart rate up a bit and get a good stretch, so when I got home, was ready to start Chest & Back, realized that I had started week 4 of P90X, which is kind of a rest week (but not really), and I was supposed to do P90X Yoga, I decided 1) I had already done yoga and 2) I had not gotten quite the workout I wanted, so 3) I would only do half of the Chest & Back routine.

Friday (P90X Day 23) morning it was surprisingly easy to get out of bed at 6am. I actually had a moment when I thought to myself "why stay in bed and workout later if I'm awake enough now?". So I went downstairs and pressed play on some P90X Core Synergistics. I was actually a little concerned when I started this workout because I knew there was one move I was the plain not going to be able to do, and then a few others I knew I would have a hard time with. Dreya rolls, were a big fat no go. I couldn't put all my weight on my lower back at any point, so rolling up and down from standing to flat on my back was just not going to fly. I also had a tough time with the transitions between superman and banana, and bow to boat. I could hold all four forms, but getting into and out of them was tough. Stupid bruised tail bone.

Saturday (P90X Day 24) I did Kenpo X in the morning before hubs and I went to the farmers market. I really noticed a big improvement in the tweakyness of my back - almost no issue and I could do jumping jacks and X jumps without any real issue. There was some minor stuff, but overall, it felt great.

Sunday (P90X Day 25) was stretch/rest day, so I taught early in the morning and did most of the class. I taught another class at noon and then we went to the park and I ran laps. It took 7 laps around that park to get in just over a mile. Needless to say, it was a mellow workout day, but since it was supposed to be a rest day, I don't feel like I should have done anything different.

Monday (P90X Day 26) I was supposed to get up early and do Core Synergistics, but I didn't sleep well the night before, so getting up early was no going to happen. I ended up practicing with the class for almost the full class at 8:15, and then later in the evening, I did the whole yoga routine with my friend, like I always do. I also made sure to work some extra core work in there since I knew it wasn't likely I would get my P90X workout in in an official capacity.

Tuesday (P90X Day 27) was scheduled to be Yoga X. I wasn't planning on doing it, but at the end of the day, it worked out in my schedule that I'd be home at a reasonable time and I thought why the heck not? I'd been doing P90X for a month and hadn't done Yoga X once. So, I did it. It was challenging for sure. I didn't remember there being so many pushups. Ha. Of course there are so many pushups. It was boring at times too. I had a couple of moments when I was ready to move on and they just stayed. Also, it is not simple and easy to get back from Warrior 2 to Warrior 1 - at least not if you're aligning your feet and hips as you go, so it's a little frustrating for me that he goes back through warrior 1 after ever little flow.

ANYWAY, that's it for this week. How was yours?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Yoga & Fitness Favorites

1. Zella Streamline Live-In Capri Leggings - They call these leggings "live in" and aptly so. I could actually live in them. I would wear them all the time. They have just the perfect amount of compression. They're so so flattering and soooooo comfortable. I have them in a million colors and lengths, and they go on sale all the time, so I am always stalking the Nordstrom website for when they do.

2. Nike Pro Racerback Compression Bra - I found this bra at Nordstrom rack in teal with grey polka dots, wore it once, and then went back to find it in more colors. Once my previous go-to sports bras (C9 from Target) started letting me down - so to speak - I needed a more supportive option. These bras stepped up to the plate, offering support without cutting into my back and sides making those ick rolls nobody likes.

3. Lululemon Run Times Tank - This was the top lululemon traded me to teach there a few weeks back. I love it oh-so-much, I am thinking about going and getting one in black too. As is the way with lulu, it's a little on the pricier side, but it's a really great top. It's simultaneously breathable and supportive - one of the few workout tops I don't need to wear a bra with. It's flattering and doesn't show when I'm sopping with sweat.

4. Yogitoes Yoga Towel - Yoga towels are amazing if you like taking classes that really heat up and you end up dripping sweat all over your mat. Yogitoes grip to your mat, so the towel's not sliding around all over the place. I only put out towels once I've worked up a sweat. I've found that if my hands and feet are dry, I will slip more with the towel than without.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 13

This week ended up being a lot of learning how to modify and compensate enough to get a complete workout with a bizarro injury. If you read on, be ready for that.

Wednesday (P90X Day 14) I almost got up and did 6am yoga on my own, but I was feeling pretty stiff - not nearly as sore as the previous few days, but not quite looking forward to moving around, so I went back to bed. I wasn't even tired. It was crazy easy for me to get back up 40 minutes later. I ended up with a half hour of free time after I finished getting ready because I'd still gotten up early. Then I did my mommy & baby class. Like always, I did most of the class - planks and bridges and boats and squats - and most of it wasn't impacted by my injury. I had a little trouble getting the right angle for boat, and anything laying down on the hard wood floor was (oddly) difficult to get into because of my bruised behind. Luckily, it was supposed to be my rest day, so I didn't feel like I was really skipping a workout.

Thursday (P90X Day 15) morning I was feeling pretty stiff still, so I decided not to start my morning off with pushups and pull ups. I had a leisurely morning and after work, I headed to my friend's house for some yoga time.  When I got home, I gave Chest & Back another shot. I got a good workout in. I had kind of a tough time adjusting to using bands - especially since I don't have anything to hook them too, so I was leveraging them off my feet. I also tried 30 lbs for lawnmowers, which was maybe a bit much. I went back down to 15 lbs for the second set. I don't have anything in between or else I would have tried 20s or 25s. I decided to skip Ab Ripper X - primarily because 90% of the workouts are on the low back and mine just wasn't up for it yet - between definitely bruising and possible tweaking. I decided to wait until my sacrum is feeling better.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

30x30; Make Popovers - Vanilla Spice Popovers

When I first put this item on my 30x30 list, I thought I would just open up one of my favorite baking books and be immediately inspired and enthralled by their popover recipe.

... but when I looked in all three of my favorite books, I could only find recipes for plain/classic popovers. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I really had a hankering for something more fun.

So, I took to Pinterest, and within seconds had options upon options for my popover adventure.