Workout Blog: Blonde Ponytail

Fellas,

I don’t know about you, but I am completely hooked on the Olympics.  I can’t get enough.  I am glued to the tv.  Last night was gymnastics and do you think I could peel myself away from the boob tube?  no.  So setting my phone alarm for an early workout felt tiring, but I did it anyway.  As luck would have it, my phone died in the middle of the night and I accidentally slept in!  Great, but not great because I missed the chance to get out and exercise.   I have been mostly running here in New York because I don’t have access to much else.  But sometimes when it is too rainy or hot (or I my phone dies in the middle of the night I do a workout at home (mostly BodyRock).  Luckily I found another blog that specializes in at-home workouts and lots of them require no equipment!  I did the Feisty Fifty today and it kicked my bootay!! My arms were shaking and I was dripping big sweat drops onto our floor within the first 7 minutes!  She has all the right certifications, and she dresses a lot less scandalous than some other workout sites.  So far so good!

Check out Blonde Ponytail when you get a chance!

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Homemade Ice Cream…Hold the Ice and the Cream

I love me some ice cream on a hot summers day (and on a cold winter’s day…okay, basically any day).  It’s been so hot and humid here that my bananas get ripe in 24 hours.  Then we have to hurry and eat the whole bunch before they go bad.  Earlier this week I had to put 4 in the freezer, and tonight decided to try something I have heard a lot about…homemade ice cream from frozen bananas.  I found several recipes from thekitchn.com and decided to try Dark Chocolate Banana Ice Cream.  I was surprised it turned out so sweet when it has no sweetener in it.  It wasn’t as good as the real thing, but curbed my craving a bit.

Here it is:

Dark Chocolate Banana Ice Cream (originally from thekitchn.com)

  • 1 1/2 peeled medium bananas, sliced into coins and frozen until solid
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend bananas in food processor until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Blend in cocoa powder, cream, and vanilla. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid.

I didn’t have a food processor, so I used a blender.  It had a few banana chunks, but it did the job pretty well.  I also used whole milk since I didn’t have any cream, so it was really more of a milkshake than ice cream.

Consensus:

Me: I give it a 6.5 out of 10

The Mr.:  “Not bad”

The Wild One and Tornado:  Gobbled it up and asked for more.  They couldn’t even tell a difference!

Tomorrow I am trying another flavor.  Stay tuned!

PGM is MIA

Where have I been?  Oh man, I’ve been feeling so bad I’ve been neglecting this blog and lots of times I go to sleep racking my brain about what I could have written that day and I finally have come to terms with why it’s been so hard.  Here it is.

The grocery shopping situation in New York is impossible!  We’ve been here almost 3 months and I still haven’t found the system that works.  First of all, we spend twice as much on food here.  TWICE!  No matter how hard I try to cut the cost, we have empty cupboards if I don’t spend twice as much. Previously we lived in Queens where stuff was slightly cheaper, and we had a car.  It’s been kind of a shock here in Manhattan.

I first tried going to Costco.  There is one 2 miles from our house.  I have to walk through a pretty seedy neighborhood the entire way so we make it a family affair so The Mr. can flex his big muscles and scare off any intruders.  It worked ok, but the kids melt down after being strapped down in the stroller, then strapped down in a shopping cart, then strapped down in a taxi.  I thought of sending The Mr. alone, but I don’t even know what kinds of foods they have, so I need to be there.  It is a $15 cab ride home, so I wanted to make it worth the trip.  A big inconvenient trip makes for bringing home a good stash, but I forgot our fridge is only a 1/2 fridge, so where do I put all that food??

Then I discovered shopping online…did I write about that here?  You order online and they bring it the next morning to your apartment.  It was expensive, but worth the cost I thought.  Until I started discovering little surprises when my shipments arrived…like I thought I ordered a big 16 oz. carton of sour cream and instead they sent over a 6 oz. container.  Didn’t I order 10 apples?  There are only 4.  The most recent order had about 8 errors like this.  Plus the produce was tiny and I figured out is was MUCH more expensive than even the NY prices at grocery stores.  So I nixed that idea.

Then there is the whole inconvenience of shopping in tiny grocery stores with 2 toddlers, no car, and a 1/2 mile walk home.  What is a girl to do?  I’ve tried it all.  The double stroller does not fit down the aisles.  So I tried putting Tornado in the single stroller and having The Wild One walk which poses two problems The Wild One is running like a crazy banshee and knocking things off shelves, and how do I carry all my groceries home with my little fan club in tow??

So THEN I decided to do it at night after The Mr. gets home and the chillins are tucked in bed.  I can’t carry very much for that far of a distance, so I bring a stroller with me and pile it up.  Exhibit A.  

Don’t I look thrilled?  haha.  Even doing it this way only gets me through a few days so I have to do it a couple times a week, which is a hassle and it cuts into our hang out time.  Even still, I have to take the subway down to Trader Joe’s so I can get other items they don’t sell here like dried fruit and other snacks for the boys.  But compared to the alternatives it is sort of the only way to do it I guess.  I think real New Yorkers just shop every night on their way home from work and pick up food for the next 24 hours, and eat out a lot.

So needless to say, I’ve been neglecting the blog since it is hard to get to the store to buy all the ingredients I need for awesome new recipes.  Plus I am worn out from just living!  We have been eating lots of pasta.  And rice.  Pretty boring stuff.  Anyway, bear with me until I get back to normal life in just 11 short days. WAHOO!  Don’t worry – I’ve been collecting lots of stuff I want to try.  Yummy recipes to come soon!  Bear with me faithful readers!

Recipe: Zucchini Pancakes

I threw a taco salad together the other night with a bunch of random leftovers, but it wasn’t enough to make an entire meal.  So I looked up some things to whip up along the side and came across these gems.  They were actually quite yummy.  It took about 5 minutes to mix up and about 8 minutes to grill.  I ate mine plain but my lil bro ate some with BBQ sauce and said that was good too.

Zucchini Pancakes (Original recipe and photo from What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today)

  • one medium zucchini
  • 1 large egg
  • small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • a few leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp of herbs de Provence
  • a few drops of lemon juice
  • freshly ground pepper (3-4 pinches)
  • salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and then fry on an olive oil, on a medium heat. Drop by heaping Tablespoons onto a griddle.  Cook approximately 4 minutes on each side.

Consensus:

Big hit all around except for the kids who each had about a bite.  They have been getting a little but pickier lately, and opted for just eating taco salad.

Milk Update

It’s now been a month since we tried our milk fast, so I thought I’d report.

I try to keep it real on this blog.  I feel like blogging can allow you to be a false persona in order to impress people or make it seem like life is wonderful.  In honor of keeping things honest, here’s an update on how the milk cutback has gone in the last month.  It was hard.

We are not huge milk drinkers.  Especially since we started trying to eat mostly whole foods, we consume less milk because of less cereal.  So the real challenge was what to give the boys for drinks.  I gave them almond milk this month.  They didn’t really notice a difference as far as I could tell.  They were pretty happy.  Cooking with almond milk didn’t seem to change the taste of most things, except for homemade macaroni and cheese, which was pretty nasty.  Anyway, we basically just used less milk and drank less milk.  But again, I felt weird just giving my kids water.  Creature of habit!

I never felt fully comfortable with the almond milk, I think because I read the ingredients.  It’s filled with a bunch of junk and at least high quality milk just has one or two ingredients.  Sigh.  Here’s the recurring theme of me being torn with what the right thing to do is.

So this week…I bought a gallon of milk.  We surprisingly have barely touched it.  But it is nice to know it’s there.  So, my experimental milk fast had mixed results.  Bottom line for now is that I am slowly cutting back until we don’t drink it and we don’t miss it.  I haven’t had a glass of milk in a while, but I DID eat some yummy granola with milk the other morning and it really hit the spot.

There you have it folks.  Here’s another milk article from the Times last week.  An interesting closing paragraph reads:  “Osteoporosis? You don’t need milk, or large amounts of calcium, for bone integrity. In fact, the rate of fractures is highest in milk-drinking countries, and it turns out that the keys to bone strength are lifelong exercise and vitamin D, which you can get from sunshine. Most humans never tasted fresh milk from any source other than their mother for almost all of human history, and fresh  cow’s milk could not be routinely available to urbanites without industrial production. The federal government not only supports the milk industry by spending more money on dairy than any other item in the school lunch program, but by contributing free propaganda as well as subsidies amounting to well over $4 billion in the last 10 years.”

More reports to come soon, but in the meantime I am not going to be too strict on this one for now.

Workout Log

I’m going to start posting what I do for exercise in a tab at the top.  Feel free to click on there anytime… I am probably going to update it weekly with what I did that week in case others want to follow along.  Here is my log from last 2 weeks.

Week of 6/18

Monday:  4 mile easy run

Tuesday: 12 minute interval workout:

1) Plank and Leg Jumps

2) 10 high knees and 10 forward kicks

3) Push Up Burpee forward back jumps

4) Wood Chop Roll and Jump

30 seconds on each one, repeated 3 times.

Wednesday: 4 mile brisk walk

Thursday: Off (company in town)

Friday: off (company)

Saturday: walked approximately 10 miles with all our company (gotta love NYC!)

Sunday: off

***

Week of 6/25

Monday: off

Tuesday: 5 mile run

Wednesday: off

Thursday: 3.5 miles ( including 5x 4oo meter repeats)

Friday:  50 second Intervals

1) Lateral Side Jumps

2) 3 walking push ups 5 mountain climbers

3) 5 hops to left elbow 5 knee ups

4) 5 hops to right elbow 5 knee ups

5) Star Abs Outs

6) Reverse Pull Ups

Repeat 2x

Saturday:  6 mile run

Sunday:  off