WIAW #103: Happy 26th; Let’s Have Some Cake or Two!

Happy WIAW my friends! 

It’s a special one because this passed Sunday on the 22nd, I celebrated my 26th birthday home in New York. As always, thanks Jenn for hosting.wiawphotobutton I have to say I think this was my best birthday yet. The weather was prefect, my whole family was there and everything just went right. Not to mention grabbing some delicious iced island coconut coffee from a rest stop on my way to New York. I just love Green Mountain coffee. The night before we went to a Michael Jackson tribute show at Lehman College for my cousin since he graduated high school! My mom picked up this delicious chocolate mousse cake and you know I ate it! Can’t pass up a good mousse-cake. Two and six are two of my favorite numbers; duh for June and 22 so I think this year is going to be a kick ass one. I woke up early and got a workout in at the very first gym I went to in NY. It’s where I started my weight loss journey almost five years ago. Then my mom and I went to Zumba with one of the best instructors ever; Sharon from Excel Yoga in the Bronx. Thanks for the awesome class as always Sharon! Post workout, we had smoothies from a place across the street called Juice Me. I created my own and had a spinach, kale, raspberry, grapefruit and almond milk smoothie (plus I added my own protein and flax).My dad and I went to a Yankee versus Baltimore game which was half a present to myself and half a late father’s day gift.We definitely had a blast and it was nice to spend some time with him. Plus my team won, so that’s a plus. Sorry dad!I had a chocolate pear ganache cake from my mommy; happy birthday to me! Presents? Spin shoes, a camera, Starbucks gift card, coffee and also a tattoo from my brother; a tree of life (with my frog in it!). Of course a little alcohol was involved. Instead of getting raspberry lambic, I got the peach one since I felt that was a smidge more summer-y. So delicious.

It hit me this morning that I am 26 and four years away from 30 which is crazy. 25 was not such a great year, but things can only go up from here.
I am excited for the AAAI/ISMA Cape Cod Conference coming up in August. Stay tuned for all that jazz :)
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#UnpluggedTravels

This weekend I decided to unplug myself from social media; that means being on Facebook, checking Instagram, Snapchatting, blog reading and YouTube watching.

Why?

Well during yoga last week, the yoga instructor mentioned about disconnecting ourselves from social media and technology. While I couldn’t turn off my phone (for work/ personal purposes) I was logged off of all things and kept myself away.

I honestly can say I felt more relaxed as there are so many things going on, I feel like social media distracts me from my “problems.” I needed to just sit and be with myself and organize my thoughts.I went to New York to visit my family, get some health (which by the way, I feel 99.9% recovered!) things taken care of and switch cars with my dad. My car is basically “dying” so he’s going to try to fix it. My dad is pretty awesome for doing so and eventually when all things are right, I will work on getting a new car by the end of the year/ early next year. Thanks dad! Any who, I enjoyed the little things this weekend liked iced coffee.And lunch with the family.And Froyo with the moms; Peanut butter and praline frozen yogurt w/ blackberries, kiwi, almonds, granola and a peanut butter drizzle. Say what?!Making a smoothie for my mom and I post Zumba…Or maybe mommy taking taking care of me and baking some paleo cookies. So good!Now, it’s time to relax and prepare for next week’s new classes to begin!

Have a good week y’all :)

Holidays at the NYBG

Happy Holidays once more my friends!

I am actually heading back to MA today. It’s bittersweet to go back but my parents are going to be visiting me for New Year’s Eve, which should be fun. I do have to work when the clock strikes twelve, but that is okay with me.I had a mini vacation and got Christmas off (which I was suppose to work). Oh by the way, check out my snazzy coat from my mom. I am in love with it! Thanks mom Xo! I am grateful for all things right now in my life and for my family. As you can see from the nature and train, my mom and I went to the New York Botanical Garden (again) and enjoyed the #trainshow!Above in JFK airport, Belvedere Castle in Central Park!Some buildings of New York City.One of my favorite places in New York; Pelham Bay Manor!And most people know Macy’s downtown in New York City.Time to go to some yoga and then head on the road. I am sure I will be exhausted later tonight. Hope everyone enjoys their last weekend before the New Year!

Kiku: Adventures at NYBG

This weekend I came to visit the family in the lovely New York. On Friday, I went with my mom to the New York Botanical Garden.We went to enjoy a Japanese flower art exhibit called “Kiku,” which means Chrysanthemum in Japanese. We walked around and enjoyed the gardens.Check out that pineapple!And old man summer from the four seasons.Coffee is always in order.Check out this spooky looking house! We took a little trolley tour before enjoying awesome taiko drumming. Such beautiful sounds for a beautiful day.Enjoy your weekend my friends!

What’s Intense Right Now?

This semester of grad school is by far the most intense. I feel like I am being pulled in so many directions. (See more Art of the Brick at the end of this post)I’m dealing with a lot of clinical nutrition. It’s kicking my butt and I feel like every chance I get, I am reading. I found this salted caramel latte by Bolthouse Farms and boy is it delicious! I mixed in more of my coffee just so it didn’t taste so sweet. Believe it or not, my desire for sweet stuff has reduced and I look for more “salty” things.

Along with the latte, here are some other things that have been bought over the past couple of days. Even though I may not have the ultimate sweet tooth, once in a while I like to make protein “truffles.” So, so good!I’ve been kicking it up a notch at the gym too = intense! #Sweatyface all the way.Oh and always remember to stretch after your workout. Sometimes I forget and regret the feeling in the morning, but it is super important that you stretch to improve flexibility and reduce your chances of injury!Not to mention, fueling your body right, is also quite important.Something I wanted to talk to y’all about is my food allergies (while I show you more from Art of the Brick!). You may be seeing wheat and peanuts now in my food choices. I am actually going to be doing a research project on food allergies/ intolerance and how one may out grow them. Now, I am not saying go eat your allergens!I’ve noticed that all of my allergies got worse except for wheat and peanuts. I’ve always been lactose intolerant but that is something that always changes; some months it’s super intense, some months it’s fine. So for now, I am experimenting and seeing how things go and of course, doing plenty of research! What’s your take on food allergies and outgrowing them?Let’s just see how things go here in New York for a bit, shall we?Question: One more day til Friday! What are y’all doing this weekend? Even been to the Art of the Brick exhibit or NYC’s Discovery Center?

Another Walk Through The Gardens

While visiting my family in New York, my mom and I went to the Botanical Gardens again.Though it was a cloudy day, it was still beautiful.We took a ride on the tram and toured the garden.Even sat down to enjoy some lunch; pesto panini with greens, cheese and salami. Mmmm.There was even an awesome farmer’s market. I snagged me some peaches and… A scone! This scone was pure heaven, hence why my mom got me two. She is totally the best. Thanks mom! It has been so long since I enjoyed some type of muffin. Only in Vermont.
We also went to the garden’s store to browse around. Boobs Flowers anyone?#KidAtHeartQuestion: Are you still a kid at heart too? Shop around any Farmer’s Markets lately? Any yummy finds?

WIAW #61: Gone Random

This WIAW it’s going to be a tad random. I will be showing you some coffee goodness, grocery goodies and delicious eats. If you are new to the WIAW party, go check it out over at Peas and Crayons!wiawphotobuttonFirst off is coffee; while driving to New York on Monday (yes I’m in NY), I stopped by a service area and there was Pistachio ice cream flavored coffee. Seriously one of the best coffee flavors I have ever tasted.Before I went to my house in NY, I stopped by the supermarket to grab a few things. Chia and hemp seeds, quinoa, dried cherries, almonds, crackers, cheese wedges, chocolate, almond butter and such.I also ate lunch because I was starving! I had some marjoram seasoned chicken with green beans and roasted potato wedges. Nothing like some meat and potatoes from time to time.For a snack, I went with a cut up peach, splash of soy, chia seeds and almonds/almond butter.Yesterday was a nice day, so I just had to dress up a bit. My mom and I ended up going fishing in Central Park. My mom and I both caught a fish. And as tradition, caught a poor turtle. Sheesh.While fishing, we had some lunch; I made a salad with nuts and seeds, Swiss cheese wedge, quinoa, brown rice, multi-grain roll, almonds and grapes. Dessert? I had So Delicious soy chocolate ice cream with chia and hemp seeds and almond butter. I’ve been craving ice cream and my mom had this so… I just ate it all.

Question: Ever do random things? I’m practically the definition of random. Favorite coffee flavor? I am going to go with toffee nut, hazelnut and now pistachio ice cream. Oh yes!

Frolicking

Hello my friends!

After a session I had on Sunday, I went with my mom to the Botanical Gardens to chill. It was so nice to just spend time with her as I have been super busy. Life is just getting in the way as of late.She’s too cute!Frolicking in the Rose Garden.Simply beautiful.We also had coffee and lunch together. I had a turkey and bacon panini with pesto, cheddar, tomatoes and arugula. Best sandwich I’ve had in ages.And how could I forget? On Saturday, we went to see Kinky Boots for her Mother’s Day present.I loved getting a little glittery.It was a pretty good show! I had fun with my moms and I am glad she enjoyed her evening.Sorry I’ve been MIA, it’s just been pretty hectic for me and I am trying to even remember to eat or pee sometimes. I know that may be too much information, but it’s quite true!

Question: How was everyone’s Memorial Day weekend? Any fun-ness? Hope you did because I was WORKING ALL DAMN DAY. Boo.

Health & Weight Update

Happy Friday my friends!

Today we will be talking about my health while showing you a few beautiful pictures from my walk with a good friend of mine yesterday in Fort Tryon Park. Now as you know between my food allergies, anemia, bile reflux and hiatal hernia, things haven’t always been good for me in terms of my health. But then as you know, I decided to gain weight. I’ll recap that in case your are new. My lowest weight was 138lbs, but I wasn’t healthy at all.

Sure I was skinny and got to my overall weight goal, but what happened? I was sick, sluggish and ever part of my body was fragile. At that time, my anemia was getting worse. When I worked out too hard, it would affect my body a lot. I simply had no energy what so ever. It took some time to decide, but I decided I wanted to gain and go to 155lbs maximum. I did just that, but then I got into a little depression in February. I was just not in the mood and most of the time I at ice cream for dinner. It was not a good point in my life and then my weight went up to 164lbs. Almost 10lbs more then what I originally wanted.

Where is my weight at now? I fluxuiate between 159-162lbs. At first it was annoying and I wanted to get back to the 155lbs, primarily because that’s the highest I could get without starting to need new clothes. Most of my clothes still fit now and in some I actually look better; more curves.   It was hard to deal with this new bigger, yet stronger and healthier body. It feels much better then striving to feel happy just to fit into a size 4 pair of jeans. I went to the doctor’s and they said nothing was wrong. I am perfectly healthy.

It amazing how food can cause sicknesses like in the case with my food allergies. But I never thought losing weight would make me sick too. I should have known, I mean… being 240lbs was not healthy for me at all. Literally everything is about balance; whether it’s eating of your weight.I’m am writing this for you now because it took me almost two months to accept this new body I am in. But honestly, I have never felt healthier, stronger and even sexier. At the end of the day, you have to do what you feel is right. I am happy that at one point in my life I could say I lost 100lbs, but now I am content knowing that my weight loss/ maintain/ weight gain journey has created a much healthier me.

I hope everyone is well and has a happy weekend. And tomorrow I will be announcing the winner of the giveaway and let you know the extras I added to it.

Question: How do you maintain a healthy balance; whether it’s food, weight or life realted?

L’Ecole Restaurant (Review)

Another Non-WIAW, I do apologize, but you can forgive me right? I’m on vacation people and oh, I totally forgot about this awesome post, so here it is!

Ya’ll know Bobby Flay? Well he graduated from the French Culinary Institute. It is now called the International Culinary Center. And I so happened to go there to the restaurant under the school called L’Ecole or “The School” in French. I got a chance to dine here for free.IMG_20130301_121757 I actually went to visit the school just to check it out and what not. Any who, the atmosphere was very relaxing. The first bring you the menu and it changes every week. I got a chance to go by myself and then I took my mother so she could enjoy it as well.IMG_20130304_180707The “fixed price” comes with an appetizer, main course and dessert. Everything is included expect for wine, which they sell by the bottle. They then bring you a bread basket. Okay, I did try the bread and it also comes with grass-fed butter. So delicious.IMG_20130301_121947When I went with my mom, she ordered a red wine that had chocolate and vanilla notes. I honestly didn’t get that from the red wine, but it was not bad. I am more of a white wine kind of girl, but my mom is not. Hence the red wine choice.IMG_20130304_182436For the main course (I opted for no appetizer and had the same entree both times), I ordered a grilled skirt steak that came with roasted root vegetables in a red wine mustard sauce. The steak was so tender, juicy and really yummy. I didn’t want it to end.IMG_20130301_123430The first time I went my dessert was a chocolate pear cake cake (not gluten-free) with bourbon ice cream and chocolate meringue cookies. Oh my, seriously… best dessert ever!IMG_20130301_125618The second time I had a cappuccino semifreddo with a dark chocolate sauce, vanilla meringue cookies and foam. It was basically tasted like gelato, but a really darn delicious gelato.IMG_20130304_192330My mom ended up ordering a creme brulee, which she was in love with.IMG_20130304_192337 We then ordered some coffee after, which was divine and I was very impressed that they had Stevia. I know, I am such a food nerd. Overall this place was amazing and I would totally go again.IMG_20130304_192140Question: Are you a Food Network kind of person? My mom loves Food Network. Me? Sometimes it sparks my interest and sometimes I’m just like what the hell?