Hello and welcome to a Sometimes Healthy Friday!
I just got back from a jam-packed 24 hours in NYC, which involved many Sometimes Healthy adventures.
Had to include the standard NYC coffee picture, since I know you all have come to expect it.
The reason that I went to the city was to attend a culinary panel on health trends in the foodie world hosted by Celebrity Cruises. The breakfast panel took place at Rouge Tomate, a contemporary restaurant on the upper east side that is pioneering a sustainable, well-balanced and even nutritional approach to high-end cuisine. If the four star food wasn’t enough to drool over (and I did), the panel was moderated by the editor-in-chief of Food and Wine magazine, Dana Cowin and included Marc Murphy, Chef and Owner of the trendy NYC restaurants, Landmarc and Ditch Plain AND a judge on the popular Food Network show, Chopped.
The Food Geek in me literally giggled with glee when I first saw the two of them sitting next to my table (but, don’t worry, I held it together ya’ll -gotta fake it ’til you make it right?). Though the panel only lasted about 30 minutes, it was extremely entertaining and chock full of information I had never heard before. I was writing furiously in my notebook the entire time and cannot wait to share the interesting tidbits that I learned from these culinary leaders in Monday’s post. Stay tuned!
Until then, let’s break down my 24 hour trip to the Big Apple into “Healthy” and “Sometimes Healthy” categories.
Healthy: Breakfast at Rouge Tomate
Not suprisingly, since the panel was about health trends, the breakfast was fresh and healthy too. From “Local Stone Ground Buttermilk Polenta” to Pumpkin Maple Scones with Lemon-Scented Ricotta, the was probably the most healthy, balanced and tasty breakfast that I’ve had in a long time.
The gourmet meal kicked off with a Fingerlakes Honey-Scented Yogurt Parfait with Concord Grape Jam that bursted with different flavors in every bite. Here’s a preview:
I’ll share more on the food Monday, but to suffice it to say, even though I always joke about my “unsophisticated palate” when you put high quality food in your mouth, you can taste the difference, no matter how refined that palate is.
I also enjoyed the conversations before and after the panel. It was just plain refreshing to be in a room full of people that were just as passionate about healthy living as me.
Sometimes Healthy: Walking Straight to Dylan’s Candy Bar after Healthy Panel
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Damn girl, can’t you lay off the candy store for one trip?” But, in fairness, I had to get on the subway to head back to midtown and the candy store was right next to the stop. Plus, last time I went to Dylan’s I was with my mother, and, bless her heart, I couldn’t exactly roam the store forever to make sure I didn’t miss anything important, like usual. It’s one thing to drag your mother to a giant crowded, candy store, but it’s another thing to make her stay there for a while!
Thankfully, as it was the middle of the day on a Thursday yesterday, the store was practically empty. I had a field day hitting up the gummy bear bar.
Then, I spotted these babies, and I can’t believe I’ve never seen them before!
Mega gummy bears four times the size of regular gummy bears…genius! Now, if they could just have bins with the giant gummy bears from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, my life would be complete.
In the great words of Mr. Wonka, “There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination…” I’ll keep on dreaming….
Here’s a quick rundown of the “loot” I scored at Dylan’s
Coffee tumbler, candy corn, gummies, and fudge, pumpkin spice and dark chocolate fudge to be exact. Check out the size of that gummy bear.Oh, and there was a bit of chocolate-covered candy corn in the mix as well. Hey, when in Rome ya’ll.
Healthy: Hiting up My Old Gym
You may not believe this, but I didn’t take one bite of that candy after I bought it. That’s because I hopped on the subway and headed straight to my old gym, Equinox. My friend, Karim, is a trainer there, so he was kind enough to put me on the guest list.
I met Karim a few years ago back in the city when my fitness was at an all-time low, and he helped get me back to my best! After that, I would go to Karim every once in a while for what I called a trainer tune-up to check in on my fitness and learn some new exercises. He is one of the best trainers in the city. NYC residents in search of a trainer to inspire you and give you the tough love ya need, he’s your guy.
It was very helpful to talk to Karim about some of my concerns about being a trainer and get some tips from an expert. He gave the ol’ confidence a little boost – thanks Karim! I also enjoyed learning about his fabulous life as a big-time trainer in NYC, which is way more glamorous than life in the Hudson Valley. He may have started out as my trainer years ago, but I definitely consider him a friend now.
I’ve talked about how satisfied I am with my gym upstate, especially for the price, but being at Equinox reminded me how luxurious it feels to work out at a high-end gym.
Please ignore the stiff selfy and check out that beautiful locker room. Fresh towels for days, beautiful wooden lockers and pristine tile floors.
Don’t want to work out with bad breath or smelly arm pits?? No problem, Equinox has got you covered! It’s the little things, folks.
The extravagant settings added an extra pep to my step, and I banged out a cool 9 miles on treadmill, like it was a walk in the park.
I really wish the treadmill would allow me to run for more than 65 minutes. The last 1.75 miles was much faster, so I ended up averaging about 8:45 per mile. Not bad for a “just for the hell of it” run!
Right after my run, I savored the feeling of wiping my sweaty face with their eucalyptus-scented towels.
Oh, Equinox, I’ve missed you and your glorious lavish towels. Can you please come upstate?
Post-run, I found an empty corner in the gym to bust out a new tabata workout that I’m going to share with you below. I also came across this little picture while reading SELF magazine, and it literally made me LOL.
I’ve definitely got the “sweat like a pig” thing down.
But sweating like a pig is really no big deal when you’ve got spa-like showers like these to cool off in.
Throughout the shower, I had to remind myself a million times that I wasn’t rushing to get to work (like I usually was when I lived in the city) and to slow down to enjoy the relaxing setting.
It’s a nice change to be visiting NYC without having to experience the “go go go” mentality that usually accompanies life in the city.
Sometimes Healthy: Making a Pit Stop at Crumbs
Again, this one is not my fault. It’s located right next to the subway, so I just HAPPENED to walk past the store before boarding the subway.
The site of all those decadent cupcakes never fails to make me smile. Of course, you can’t exactly “window shop” in a cupcake store.
I purchased the Girl Scout Chocolate PB Creme Cupcake: Chocolate cake filled and frosted with peanut butter cream cheese frosting and topped with chocolate drizzle and a peanut butter creme cookie. Anything topped with chocolate drizzle and a peanut butter cookie is guaranteed to be delicious. I’ll let you know when I have it for dessert later tonight!
Healthy: Taking a Moment to Stop and Smell the Coconut Water
As I mentioned above, whenever I visit the city, I have to actively remind myself to slow down and enjoy it for a few minutes. To be honest, when I lived there, I was always running from place-to-place, so I never felt like I got the chance to just take it all in.
This may sound boring to some, but I never just took the time to “do nothing” when I was in the city. It was pleasant change to just sit down for a few moments, decompress and think about everything that I had done over the past 24 hours. I wish I had taken this time more when I lived there!
If you read my blog regularly, you know that I typically share a recipe on Friday. Last night, after returning from NYC, I was hard at work on a Butternut Squash Apple Pie Muffin (an idea which actually came about from a reader request!). While I was happy with the results, I’d like to try tweaking a few things before sharing the recipe on the blog next week.
Until then, feast your eyes on this preview of the batter.
Sweet and buttery apples folded into a batter that includes apple sauce, butternut squash and a maple kick. The best part? This is one healthy, nutrient-packed muffin. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!
The good news is that I do have a new workout to share with you! On Monday, I briefly touched on my new-found love for tabata. The science behind tabata fascinates me: HIIT with 8 rounds of 20 second intense efforts, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Some scientists even claim that this 4 minutes of intense exercises is worth the equivalent of an hour of steady cardio.
Whether or not that “urban legend” is true, research has definitely proven that tabata delivers results both during and AFTER your workout, because it increases your metabolic rate post-exercise.
Seriously, it’s not a fad, ya’ll. This is the real deal. If you’ve never tried tabata, now is your chance. Here’s a total body tabata workout to dip your sneakers into.
In case you’re wondering about any of the moves, here are a few links to explain any that are unfamiliar:
To make this workout even easier, download the Tabata Timer to your phone, so you won’t even need to think twice about the intervals! And remember, it’s okay to rest in between sets. Take up to 1 minute in between each set, and you’ll still get the same calorie burn.
Happy-Tabat-ing ya’ll. Enjoy the weekend. I’m off to clean like a madwoman, because we are having some very special guests this weekend: my brother and his wife!
Have you ever done tabata? Thoughts?
What’s your favorite city to visit?
Is your gym like a spa, too? What is the BEST gym you have ever been to?
Do you ever feel like you need to take more time to stop and smell the coconut water?