Pumpkin things.

But is a just me, or are things getting a little out-of-hand with the pumpkin everything thing?

I get it, it’s fall, and I think fall is one of the most wonderful seasons in the whole world.  Especially when the sun is out, which I haven’t really witnessed since fall began in North Carolina.  But the temps are a little cooler, I’ve been able to run without feeling like I’m going to vomit, and overall, I think this fall thing is a win.

Except…I went to a meeting early yesterday morning, and would you look at what I found.

Pumpkin PieThere, amongst all the asparatamey sweetness that is Yoplait (no shade to Yoplait, I used to like drink this stuff until I discovered Fage), was a Pumpkin Pie flavored yogurt as one of our breakfast options.  So obviously, I had to taste it.  I mean, what is the argument here.  I like pumpkin pie, I like yogurt.  But this was a major, major fail, and this, along the vast collection of pumpkin-flavored things to grace our Food Lion shelves over the last month, has just got to stop.

I have a confession to make.  I don’t care for the pumpkin spice latte (PSL).  I don’t care for pumpkin filled Oreos.  I don’t want pumpkin spice hummus.  Truthfully, the furthest I was ever willing to go was with pumpkin bread.  And pumpkin cheesecake, that too.  The rest of it?  I’m just not here for.

I’m sorry.

Does that make me grumpy?

Fitness Gods.

The best thing happened to me yesterday morning.

Let me back it up.

******

So I’ve been teaching Zumba® Fitness for almost 5 years – taking for longer than that.  And the entire time I was taking, and the entire time that I was training, I had a total fitness crush on my trainer/original teacher Koh Herlong, and then Tanya Beardsley, with whom I had the pleasure of taking a master class before she retired from the company to do her own thing.  I loved the way they taught, I found myself tearing up when they made a connection to their classes, and I’ve always strove (striven?!) to bring the same to my classes.  I love to teach, and I hope that comes through to my classes.

Yesterday, I was working in my office on the schedule when the kid from the fitness desk downstairs called.

“Yeah, there’s no one here to teach the 4:30 step class.”

Shit.

By the grace of God, I’d already planned to take a cycle class, and was already in workout gear.  I literally jogged downstairs, strapped the mic on, broke the news to the class that I would not be teaching Step, but a Cardio Dance class, and went for it.

“Whew, it’s over,” I thought 45 minutes later!

“The teacher that teacher this class always teaches the toning class after.  You’re teaching toning, right?”

Of COURSE!  I found a CD that was like 140 BPMs (a little fitness inside thing) with Miley Cyrus featured, and I WENT FOR IT.  I stepped out of my little Zumba box, dusted off my AFAA certification, and played my role of Fitness Director perfectly.  I had an awesome, awesome time, and after, a few of the chicks in class walked up after, and told me how awesome the toning class was, and how I’d kicked their butt! (Thank you Body Pump™ training!)

Which brings me to this.

******

Body PumpI’m still working through some of my team teaching for Body Pump, and was super nervous to teach with this beautiful goddess, Monica, who introduced me to Body Pump.  She’s a flawless instructor, and radiates a really unique sort of beauty and professionalism in her classes.

This morning, she allowed me to team teach with her, and following the class, she gave me a hug, complimented my connection with the students, and said that I was ready to teach.

I have died and gone to heaven!

Do you have any fitness crushes?  Spill!

 

I slept for like 15 hours last night.

I’ve been eating clean for a good week now, and my meals have been amazing.

But the thing about clean eating is that you’re eating a lot of things that come from the ground, a lot of grains and salad, and not a whole lot of prepackaged stuff.

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That’s all well and good, except I don’t think my body was ready for the fiber brick that was about to hit it.  By the time Friday rolled around at lunchtime, I wasn’t feeling well.

Friday afternoon, I was feeling even worse, and by the time I got off of work, I went to bed.

I went to bed around 4:00, again around 6:30, and then once again around 11:00 and didn’t wake up until about 10:30 on Saturday morning, just before my Zumba class.

After all that sleep, a few swigs of pepto, and a double fist full of antacid, I feel okay.  I’m not ready to slam like 8 pizzas or anything, but whewwww, next time, I need to make sure my body is prepped for the fiber party!

How’s your week been? 

Starbucks + Alcohol. Dream come true, or nightmare on Elm Street?

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard.  Starbucks, coffee behemoth, is going to start to serve alcohol nationwide.

Is this idea a good one, or is a total nightmare?

Well, as you know, I’ve been a fan of Starbucks simply for the fact that you can find one virtually anywhere that you are in the world, and their coffee is, at the very least, decent.  But when Starbucks announced on their website last week that they’d be serving alcohol, I definitely raised an eyebrow.  Here’s what they had to say about it. 

The place you love during the day now has more reasons to love it at night.

We’ve always been your neighborhood spot where you can take a moment to unwind, grab a well-deserved treat, and meet up with friends. But sometimes, you just want a glass of wine and a delicious bite to eat without going to a bar or making a restaurant reservation.

Say hello to a new way to enjoy Starbucks after 4 p.m. Drop in after work, with friends, after yoga, by yourself, after a long day or after a great day.

The food is amazing. The wine selection is simple and smart. The chairs are just as comfortable as they are in the morning.

We hope to see you soon.

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via Starbucks

My main reservation? The food at Starbucks is literally so bad, so how good could their wine be?  I love wine the same way I love scones – is Starbucks looking for a way to ruin everything that I love?

I’m interested to try the wine, maybe pair it with some food I haven’t tried before, and let you all know what I think, but suffice it to say that Mama is skeptical about the coffee giant’s latest additions to their growing menu. 

Oh P.S. wanna hear a new take on Starbucks?  Visit The Skinny Confidential and read on why she switched off her Starbucks addiction.  Really, really interesting!

Zevia Zero Calorie Soda Review + Reader Giveaway!

Yep, that’s right, I said giveaway! Holla!

So in light of the awful fate that befell me yesterday, where I had a terrible reaction to some scallops I was excited to cook, I was shuffling around the apartment like a zombie – I looked and smelled terrible, and I felt like I’d spent the entire night partying.  I was digging around in the fridge making my lunch when I spotted the 6-pack that Zevia had sent me a few days ago.  I fumbled around for the ginger-ale flavor, and slammed it before my stomach had any time to go back on the promise that it would never to do me what it had done the night before.

zeviaSo Zevia, which I first spotted at Whole Foods a while back, is a zero-calorie soda, sweetened with stevia, an artificial sweetener that my father (a type-1 diabetic) seems to enjoy more so than the other sweeteners out there, because it doesn’t leave that really weird taste in your mouth that diet sodas can tend to leave.

Zevia was kind enough to send me my very own variety pack of the stuff as a way to try a good bit of the flavors, and I was pleasantly surprised!  There are a couple of things to remember when you’re drinking your Zevia, which comes in 12-oz. cans, very much the same way that a can of any old soda might come in.

  1. Drink it cold . Zevia suggests this and reminds you that cold is not cold enough!
  2. Drink it out of the can.  Zevia tends to get warm and flat in a cup and that’s sorta gross for any soda.

So as I sampled Zevia, I was really pleasantly surprised with the ginger-ale, which is probably my favorite flavor, and the cream soda, which tastes like the cream soda that my mother used to give us from Haiti, minus the really weird dye, calories, and sugar.  My least favorite would probably have to be the cherry cola flavor, but generally this flavor kinda creeps me out in real life, so that makes sense.  Generally, the sense that I get with these is that they’re more water, less sugar, and lacking in the weird aftertaste department that I get with a Diet Coke.  This morning, I actually gave my beloved caffeinated Diet Dr. Pepper away because the thought of the aftertaste was making me more nauseated than I felt like I needed to be at that point.

Onto the giveaway!  

I’m giving 5 readers a 6-pack of Zevia!  Enter below, and I will announce winners on or around 3/20/14!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more info on Zevia, visit their website

Or their Facebook

Or their Twitter

Or on IG 

🙂 Enjoy!

Part 2 – Would I train with an overweight trainer?

So before we get started on all the dramz, lookie at what Mama Chelsie sent me yesterday! I was laying on the couch yesterday, when she sent me a gorgeous pic and a recipe of what she’d made for dinner. Since I had nothing for lunch today, I decided to give her recipe a whirl, put a little more of a spicy twist on it, and pack it for lunch. I hope it’s good, cause it’s all packed up now!

photo 1

photo 2

So the way it all works is really easy. One can of seasoned black beans, drained, and I smooshed them all up in a ziplock. I mixed the smoosh up with an egg, some paprika, some garlic, and some hot pepper, added a half-cup of bread crumbs, and I grilled it up with some olive oil. With my refined palate, I added a dab of ketchup to eat it with tomorrow, and I’ll let you know how it turns out. But it smells BALLER. And in case you forgot about Chelsie, she’s the mom who helped out with my post last week. Click to read, it’s super, super good, plus there are pics of my super cute niece on there!

But moving right along.

Yesterday, without any prodding or judgement, I asked you all if you would work out with an overweight personal trainer.  The answers ranged from “absolutely not,” to “why not,” to one particularly sweet answer from one of my campers, and here it is.

Considering I’m still considered overweight but I am very healthy and teach Zumba and am becoming a personal trainer I would say I would pay a person who was overweight because the weight doesn’t mean anything. I have a dangerously slow metabolism which makes it extremely hard for me to loose weight consistently unless I’m working out all day basically, but I still know how to help others to be successful, ya know?

God. I tear up when this beautiful girl says this.

Here’s my take. 

Would I work out with an overweight personal trainer?  

Yes.

I am very fit, and very active now, but if I ever freed up some of my time and got into weightlifting, I would employ the help of a personal trainer.  Damn right I would allow an overweight personal trainer to train me, and here’s why.

I’m not perfect, and I don’t have x-ray vision.  Can I tell if someone is healthy by the way they look? Can I tell if they know what they’re doing?  Can I tell really much about them?  Not a ton.

I’m not overweight, nor have I been.  I’ve lost weight, gotten fitter, and learned to love my body. If, when I was in my transition period, someone had not given me a chance, I wouldn’t have had the strong Zumba following I have today.  I appreciate folks who stuck around while I figured things out, and I would do the same for others, especially given if they know what they’re doing.

I am a counselor.  Do I need to have gone through a divorce to counsel a divorced couple?

Does a heart surgeon need to have had a heart attack to successfully operate on patients?

To raise funds for Haitians in the earthquake last year, need I have been a direct victim of its devastation?

I think you know where I’m going here.  And I don’t hate or fault anyone for their opinion.  But for me, if Bre wants to train me?  Bring it on sweet pea.  I know you know what you’re doing. 🙂

Piggybacking

PS, piggybacking was the buzzword of the century when I was in college.  Seriously.  But moving right along!

Piggbacking off of my emotions regarding Rachel Frederickson’s weight loss, I’ve noticed this really weird phenomenon regarding women and their weight.

We can’t win.

In college, I gained a pretty decent amount of weight, which I’ve been really open about here.  But I supposed a lot of people I’ve known in the recent years might not know that.  So anyhoo, at the end of my freshman year, I was at Cram Jam, which was, coincidentally, a late night brunch so you could have fuel to study.  I ran into this girl, Kea, who I’d known in high school.  Kea greeted me by grabbing my stomach, and practically yelling, “Man, you’ve put on some weight.”

The day of Elon’s graduation, I actually graduated wearing this cute slinky skater dress because I couldn’t zip up the floral strapless garden party dress that I’d been intending to wear.  Another blow.

This is what I ended up wearing at graduation when I discovered the dress I wanted to wear wouldn't zip up.
This is what I ended up wearing at graduation when I discovered the dress I wanted to wear wouldn’t zip up. Ouch!

So in my mind at that point, I’m thinking that if I lose the bit of weight that I needed to, the comments should stop, right?

Well.

After losing the weight, I got a few backhanded “compliments” from folks that would get filed in the same manila folder entitled “rude-ass comments that people need to keep to themselves.”  One was when I saw a guy who I hadn’t seen in a while at the gym who stated “I wasn’t sure that was you!  I knew you’d lost a ton of weight, but I couldn’t recognize you!”  But the amount of weight I’d lost wasn’t like hundreds of pounds, so I’m guessing he was just saying that for dramatic effect.  And most recently, a superior of mine directed my direct supervisor to grab me an extra brownie after I went for the salad in the conference room, as she was “concerned about my weight.”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take a whole lot of stock in what folks say about my weight, for larger or smaller, however I really feel like I can’t win between a girl physically grabbing my belly, and then the uncomfortable levels of attention I started receiving upon losing just a little bit of weight.

So how do you comment on someone’s appearance without making it about a number on the scale?

  1. Don’t mostly.  Seriously, if you’re not good with your words, just don’t say anything.
  2. Try to avoid the words skinny, fat, or anything that is indicative of a number.  One of the nicest compliments I received was from my dad, when he told me how strong I looked after a stint at the camp.  I won’t ever forget that!
  3. If you’re truly concerned about someone’s weight, for bigger or for smaller, ask if they’re okay.  “Are you okay?  I’ve just been sorta worried about you lately!”  Please avoid announcing to the room that they could lose a few or they could eat a brownie.  If someone’s truly sick, your offer of a brownie really isn’t going to help them out.  Just FYI.

So what do you think?  You ever feel like you just can’t win?

The Biggest Loser

I, like so many of you, woke up yesterday morning, and after logging into all the social media accounts, was bombarded by news of ‘The Biggest Loser’ finale.

For anyone who may have been sleeping under a rock, here’s what went down.

Rachel Frederickson was named as the winner of TBL on NBC at the finale on Tuesday night.  As of all accounts, she was looking fantastic during the finale episode, and in the months between that episode and the finale, Rachel managed to lose a decent amount of additional weight, and appeared, by many accounts “shockingly thin” at the finale on Tuesday evening.

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TBL via YouTube

Off of her previously 260-lb frame, the former athlete dropped 155-lbs, and nearly 60% of her body fat percentage.

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via NBC

The responses following the finale ranged from what seemed like genuine concern, to downright evil.

Here are a few of my thoughts on Rachel Fredrickson and her weight loss.

  1. First and foremost, I honestly feel/have felt conflicted about the situation since the finale.  Is she too thin?  Did she lose too much?  Is she healthy?  And the reason why I feel conflicted is that there’s really no way to know what’s going on in her head.
  2. Admittedly, Rachel seemed a little disconnected when she gave this interview to Reality TV World, however, it’s perfectly acceptable that she might be considered she’s been in weight-loss land for the better piece of a year.  She never directly addressed questions regarding whether she’d lost too much, but does she have to?
  3. When you lose weight, sometimes you lose sight of what you look like, or how other people may perceive you.  You see the same girl in the mirror every day, and though she’s becoming stronger, maybe smaller, and fitter, it’s hard to gauge when you’ve gone too far.  So, it’s entirely possible that as she’s been locked up in weight-loss land, and really has no sense of what’s going on.
  4. She obviously developed an eating disorder when she was doing the show.”  That may be, but that’s kind of a terrible thing to say and speculate on, especially considered that none of us have watched her throwing up her food, overexercising, or completely starving herself.  Yes, she appears extremely thin in the photos, and there is no denying that.  However, that’s a a really, truly serious thing to speculate on, and that’s really between her and her doctor.  And finally….
  5. I think we forgot something.  Rachel Frederickson is a human being who probably isn’t a hermit and read and heard some of the things that were said about her.  At this point, she’s gone from probably being criticized for the better part of her life.  She was a fit athlete who blew up, weight-wise.  That couldn’t have felt good.  She worked down to what she felt like was a great goal weight, and is now being criticized for where she is.  Would she look beautiful perhaps at 120?  Maybe?  But again, that’s really between her and her doctor, and not necessarily for me to say.

Like I said, I feel horrible for her, and I truly hope she feels strong, happy, and healthy.  Now, tell me, what do you think of Tueday’s finale?  Have you ever felt criticized for your weight?  How you you think this will change TBL in the future?  

My week in food.

I promised last week that I’d send what a week in my diet looked like.  I don’t break promises, so here goes!

Friday

  • Breakfast: A banana, almond milk, and peanut butter smoothie.  This is one of my favorite breakfasts to make because it tastes like a total treat.
  • Lunch:  Easy!  A salad with broccoli slaw and balsamic vinaigrette.  I garnished it with some feta cheese.
  • Dinn:  I went really lazy with this one.  I had a butternut squash soup that I bought from Harris Teeter.
  • Snacks:  Fage total split cup, a rice krispies treat, and green seedless grapes.  Not all at the same time.  Duh.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: A monster trail mix bar and green seedless grapes.
  • Lunch:  A creation that I like to call a zesty rice bowl.  I make yellow saffron rice, combine it with black beans, corn, salsa, and a dollop of sour cream.  It’s delightful, and super cheap, especially for students.
  • Dinner: The samsies!  I had some left over.
  • Snacks:  The Fage total split cup, a grande latte with skim and two splenda, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Sunday

  • Brunch: French toast, and fruit.  About 1000 mimosas.  Sorry not sorry.

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Monday

  • Breakfast:  I’m a creature of habit – I went for that same banana peanut butter smoothie.
  • Lunch: I had more zesty rice bowl left over.  So I ate that!  Cheap!
  • Dinner:  This.
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This is all vegetarian. Broccoli (which I inhaled), chicken fried tofu, and vegetarian mac and cheese. There was enough for me to eat for lunch again the next day.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: My same naner smoothie and a large latte with skim.
  • Lunch:  Half of the dinner from the night before.
  • Dinner:  I was craving breakfast for dinner, so I made an egg and cheese sandwich on wheat, and baked some new potatoes (the little baby ones) in lieu of fried hash browns.  I love making comfort food a little lighter, and breakfast is definitely my comfort.
  • Snacks:  Before my workout, I made the nastiest concoction of beans – black beans, corn, and salsa.  I called it a bean salad.  I’m gross, I know.

Wednesday

  • Breakfast:  An Amy’s breakfast burrito.  Have you had these?  So good.

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  • Lunch:  Okay, today was a bad day.  I had another Amy’s burrito.
  • Dinner:  I went for the breakfast for dinner again. Yum!
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Two fresh eggs from my future sister-in-law!

Thursday

  • Breakfast:  A large latte with skim and two Splenda, and an egg and cheese on whole wheat.
  • Lunch:  Lunch was BORING.  Just another salad, with feta, Gardein, and broccoli slaw.
  • Dinner: This
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A Whole Foods Southern meal! Some BBQ Tofu, brown rice, a teeny bit of mac & cheese, and a corn fritter.

A week in my boring meals. They may be boring and repetitive, but they keep me moving.  What is your diet like throughout the week?  Anything that you consistently eat?  Anything that you won’t consistently eat?