Archive for August, 2011


I am totally having a fashion flashback! I’ve been seeing these colored jeans everywhere. Is this a trend anyone wants to pick up on and follow? I kept thinking – no way! I’ve been into adding color into my wardrobe, but more in the way of tops, dresses, maybe skirts. But on the bottom? In DENIM? No way…

But I just suddenly remembered – I HAD PURPLE JEANS IN HIGH SCHOOL. From The Limited. That I hand-hemmed to perfection. I LOVED those jeans. How could I have forgotten?

I guess this is another sign of age – that you are around long enough for the trend to come back a second time. And I think it’s probably a pretty good rule that if you were old enough to actually partake of the trend the first time around — you are too old to try it again the second time!

Fashion Friday--by Christina: Colored Jeans During brunch on Sunday with a group of friends, a discussion was started about the trend of colored jeans.  While colored jeans were around all summer and seem to be staying for the fall, we are still all pondering if this is a trend worth investing in. I am personally a fan of this trend and remember wearing my colored Girbaud jeans back in 1990.  However, I do have a concern. Designer Michael Kors has said that if you were around the first tim … Read More

via barrebeefit

What’s For Dinner?

A lovely blend of frozen cherries, baby spinach, a scoop of Move, which is a fiber-based shake powder, and Vanilla Nourish, another shake powder which I guess is filled with nourishing nutrients. A sprinkle of cinnamon and a bit more of nutmeg. Blend with 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate almond milk and water to thin. And…an odd sickly purply shake.

Which was surprisingly tasty! I also downed four various “cleanse” detox tablets. Yes, I am now on Day 6 of “The Clean Program” detox cleanse. Remember, that one I implusively ordered through Gilt. Well, I’ve finally started it, realizing I was never going to find the perfect uninterrupted 21 days. The big hurdle this time is the last 6 days or so, I’m going to be at my parents’ house, and I’m going to have to explain to my mother why I can’t eat all the yummy food she has prepared for me. Oh, well.

So, how’s it going? Well, I am surprisingly not hungry. Although, I have to admit that I cheated the first five days of the program, by snacking from the office candy jar in the afternoons. But not to extreme. And I didn’t eat any full meals that were un-Clean. I guess I’ve been working my way into full compliance slowly. I hear it undermines the efficacy of the detox, but, so it is. There have been some weird detox symptoms – Day 1, I felt feverish and flu-y; you have to take the detox pills three times a day, at every meal, and sometimes they make me feel woozy. Like now. Yesterday, I got a horrid headache midmorning that got progressively worse, driving me to go home by 2 PM. After which, I slept until 6:30 PM. It felt like a migraine because I had extreme light sensitivity. And I just couldn’t think straight.

But, I’ve been able to continue my BBF workouts (except for Day 1, when I had to leave after 30 minutes, that was when I started feeling flu-y). I am probably eating more calories than most folks on the program who are really focused on the weightloss part and who maybe are just that masochistic. Me, I’m not into suffering. I also don’t think it’s that healthy to starve yourself. I mean, look at Gweneth Paltrow – she can wear amazing couture clothing, but does anyone really think she looks healthy? Maybe she’ll live longer, I don’t know. There has been research done on rats that show that those who are slightly undernourished have longer lives. Fine, ok, that’s just not my goal. So, they allow chicken, fish, and, I think duck, and lamb on this plan. I have at least a serving of chicken or of fish at lunch, sometimes both. Maybe over the 21 days, I’ll downshift that a bit and not get quite so much protein in there.  (The way the plan works, you get to eat solid foods for your lunch meal, shakes are just for breakfast and dinner.)

Benefits thus far: improved digestive functioning (ahem, you know…I had become very…irregular, and now, suddenly, back on the daily track!), lost 3 lbs, and no junk food cravings! The basis of the cleanse is to get harmful toxins out of your digestive tract. Maybe I believe that, maybe I don’t. My main goal is to jump start me back into healthy eating, then great! I had gotten to the point where, after a hard workout, I’d go eat something like a giant red velvet cupcake, or a chicken sandwich and fries from the drive-thru. Today…my cherry and spinach shake!

Oh, and another thing. People on The Cleanse are a bit fanatical. They have a whole web community where you can journal and blog and people actually comment and help you out with suggestions! It’s kind of cool. But, yes, I’ve been cheating on you Spices. I’ve been blog-journaling my Clean experience elsewhere. But, really, do you want to hear what gruesome shakes I’ve been having for breakfast and dinner?

So many different things can inspire the perfect moment. I sometimes latch onto a scene in a movie or a phrase in a song that just resonates into this romantic idea or concept that I keep coming back to. You know that perfect phrase in the song that says so much more than just the words themselves mean? Right now, I’m listening to the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack from Season Three, which includes that amazing season finale song, “Keep Breathing”…so many moments I could pull from that whole soundtrack to talk about.

The moment that has inspired this post is a scene from the movie “Because I Said So”. You may have missed this movie from a few years ago – Mandy Moore as a young single professional chef, Diane Keaton her meddlesome mother, and some guy who plays her adorable hipster boyfriend? I’ve watched this one a few times. A lot of themes that resonate with me in different ways, but the particular scene I’m trying to get to comes when the two relationships she’s been juggling both go awry – she dumps the one she realizes isn’t for her, loses the other because he finds out she’s been dating someone else. At the same time, she stops speaking to her mother because she finds out her mother has been meddling in the background the whole time. At this point, she’s mostly alone, having turned away from her primary support system after losing both of her charming boys. Then – a scene with her sitting down for dinner at her kitchen counter – she lays out the plate, pours a glass of wine, puts her napkin in her lap, tops her salad with freshly ground pepper and then digs in alone. There is something so lovely and poignant in that scene. To me, it is the loneliness, partially self-imposed, balanced with the bittersweetness of a determined independence in which she still recognizes her own worth by taking care of herself with a carefully prepared meal. As opposed to the more common image of the sad lonely person camped out on the living room sofa in sweats, eating meals out of bags and boxes.

But what does any of this have to do with my looking for the perfect salad dressing? Well, that image occasionally inspires me to assemble such a meal for myself. Tonight, I prepared a pan-fried trout, a salad, and poured myself a glass of prosecco. For the salad, I scrounged my fridge for interesting ingredients and I found a nice simple combo of romaine, grilled peaches, and pecans. But then, I had to dress it. All I could think of was to toss in a bit of rice vinegar and sprinkle some salt. It wasn’t half bad, but I realized – I do not have an instinctive sense of how to dress a salad. Does anyone have some basic go-to dressings they use when preparing a simple salad at home that they could recommend for me? What are the basic building blocks on which I can then layer my own flavor ideas? A good salad can be such an amazing meal. I love the part of trying to dream up what different types of produce, cheeses or nuts to combine into an exciting new flavor combo. That part I can get. But the dressing part has me a bit at a loss…

What I love the most about the idea of taking the time to create a full meal for myself and sitting down to focus on enjoying just the meal is what that image says to me about taking the time for yourself. To treat yourself as well as you’d treat an honored guest. I think it’s important for us all to think about – whether you tend to spend most of your time working for an employer, taking care of children, or providing for a spouse or significant other. We take all this care to do our best for other people and things in our lives. I think it’s just as important to put 100% into our efforts to take care of ourselves, too. It’s different from treating yourself to a spa day or new purchase. Because it’s not just spending money on yourself, or paying someone else to pamper you – it’s putting real time and effort into giving yourself a lovely treat. A treat that would be even lovelier for me if I could just learn to make the perfect vinaigrette.

Girl Power Inspiration of the Day

Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.”–Clementine Paddleford

In the past few weeks, I’ve really let work take over my life and I started to sacrifice all the other things again. I actually let myself go down to just one Barre Bee class a week! This past Sunday was the second week in a row I only made it to the Sunday afternoon class and I noticed that the class felt like it was even harder than it felt the week before. I think because I lose all the progress I gain in one class in the intervening six days and then it’s like starting all over again. Or maybe I was just suffering from withdrawal. Whatever it was, I sat down Monday night and proceeded to block off time to make room for my BBF classes in my schedule again.

But in order to try to keep to three to four classes a week during times I’m available, I was going to have to branch out into some new areas. A few months ago, BBF added a couple of new types of classes in addition to the basic Barre Bee class – Barre Burn and Bardio. Now, Barre Burn, I tried several weeks ago. Not sure it’s for me, but I haven’t written it off completely yet. It’s like “hot yoga” but it’s a hot barre class. I know there are a lot of people who love hot classes, but the thing is, I sweat enough as it is. As soon as I start moving a little, even in a super-airconditioned room, sweat starts dripping. It runs in the family. I have to admit that there was something interesting about working out in a 95 degree room. For one thing, I was able to get a lot deeper into my stretches – and that alone probably made the class worth it. I have super-tight hips and shoulders and could use a little help in trying to loosen those areas up. However. The heat. I was ok for the majority of the class. But then I hit the 45 minute mark and started to feel a little woozy. I walked out for a minute to get a cup of water. Then, when I came back – I deteriorated rapidly. I started to see spots and wasn’t quite sure I was going to make it to the end of the class without passing out. For the last five minutes, I was really just going through the motions and I probably didn’t look so good. So, I don’t know. It doesn’t seem like the greatest workout for me. But, next time, I’ll bring a full bottle of water and try to drink more throughout the class. How much did I sweat? Have you ever experienced sweat beading up on all parts of your body? I was sweating out of parts of my body that I did not know had it’s own sweat glands. Like on my shoulders and forearms! At least I didn’t notice sweat coming out of the backs of my hands…

Tonight – I tried the Bardio class. Another version of Barre Bee Fit that I had dreaded trying. The description is “intense 45 minutes of interval training” or something like that. Basically cardio. Which I hate. My heart rate gets up, I get bored, I get tired, I am counting down the minutes until the end of class. All sorts of cardio – spin class, running, any kind of aerobics class….just not my thing. But Bardio kind of worked for me. The workout is really hard, there were moments when my heart rate got so high, I wasn’t sure it was healthy. But then the interval stops. Just like the Barre Bee class – the workout pushes you to the limit until you don’t think you can take anymore – and then you get a break. And you switch to the next thing. Before I knew it, the 45 minutes were over and we were stretching. For me, the frequent switching from one exercise to another – that’s what keeps me going in these workouts. I can do anything for 60 seconds! Then I get to do something else for the next 60.

So, now a cardio class, too. Perfect. In addition to working on all the major muscle groups in the Barre Bee classes, I can work on my good ol’ heart muscle, too. Which some say is the strongest muscle in the body.

Finally, for you Spice Ladies who won’t get to try out this amazing workout in person, because you all live in the wrong city or wrong country, I have a gift for you. Barre Bee Fit has their own youtube channel now. Here’s the latest sampling; take a look and then maybe go check out some of their other videos. Not anything close to the real thing live. But it gives you a general idea. Let me know what you think!