Something Sweet- Cheesecake Chocolate Cupcakes

1 Sep

After being at Crumbs earlier this week, I’ve been craving something delicious and sweet. (Or let’s be real. When am I not craving something like that?) So, today I made one of the HungryGirl recipes for “Double-Decker Fudgy Cheescake Cupcakes.”

Yum. These bad boys have chocolate devil’s food cake on the bottom, cheese cake on top of that, and are sprinkled with semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. So good. And, slightly lightened up which makes them even better. Mine might not have looked as pretty as the original recipes pictures, but boy did they taste good…

Are you eating anything extra yummy on this Labor Day weekend? 

My HungryGirl Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake Cupcakes. Delicious!

That’s It! Thursday: Avoiding Clothes Shopping… No More!

30 Aug

I’m pretty cheap, but I love searching for a good deal. My mom used to tease me that I had way too many shoes, purses, and accessories but not actual clothes. I mean come on, shoes are the one thing I wear a small size in, of course I love shopping for them!

As I become more confident in my body, I’ve also become more comfortable clothes searching as well. I actually think that “cute” clothes look cute on me when I feel good in my own skin. Otherwise, I want to hide behind baggy jeans and an old t-shirt so as to not attract any attention to myself.

All of this to say, I did some shopping today. Bought some lovely items from LOFT and then a great black J.Crew cardigan for $16 at Buffalo Exchange! I’ve never owned anything from J.Crew ever so I’m pretty excited about that.

Shirt from the Loft, on sale of course! I love that green color.

I’m still buying the same sizes, but they’re fitting better and to me—most importantly—I’m confident in them!

What is your favorite thing to shop for? 

30 Aug

Cassy is an inspiration. Many of you know I’ve been feeling like I’m falling off the wagon lately. Then I read a post like hers and my motivation returns. I just had to share her most recent post.

Journey To Awesomehood

Sometimes, I don’t realize how much has changed in the past year. I have been constantly on the go since my father passed away last year, and I really have not taken time to sit back and think on everything. For some reason, if I am not accomplishing a lot, I feel like I am all of a sudden a complete failure. Gosh, I am such a drama queen sometimes. Ok, I am not too much of a drama queen because I don’t really like drama so that’s definitely not the right term for it. But, the whole not accomplishing thing is huge because I have accomplished way more in a year that I should be proud of. I am not at my goal yet, but I have done so much to set a foundation for a successful life. I got off my lazy ass and actually did stuff this…

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Crumbs: 99 Cent Iced Coffee but No Cupcakes For Me!

29 Aug

Some of you might be familiar with Crumbs, a delicious bake shop chain. And, I’m sure by now you’re familiar with my love of iced coffee. This summer, Crumbs has been doing 1 dollar iced coffees, any size. They’re delicious.

Today, I’m quite proud because I successfully drank my iced coffee, sitting dangerously close to the Cupcake display case. The options are overwhelming. Every flavor combination you can possibly imagine and then some. People came and went, choosing all sorts of amazing-looking cupcakes. But not me. I stayed strong. Don’t get me wrong, I was somewhat tempted to get a bite of chocolate goodness.

But then I thought about the sugar-crash later. And, I resisted. I was strong.

I’m proud of myself for that.

Cupcake Counter at Crumbs Bake Shop in NYC

Tell me about a time you were tempted but resisted… inspire me! 

Accountable Monday: On a Tuesday

28 Aug

Sorry for being a bit late with this post. I did weigh in yesterday– and saw 154.

That’s one pound down, and given that it’s the time of the month and I wasn’t very good last week, I’m very pleased. I’m still doing TurboFire until I get my hands on my friend’s Insanity, but am really having trouble with motivation.

I’m also due for taking measurements in the next few days so I’m hoping to see some good progress there as well. I’m about 7 weeks into my lifestyle change (and this blog) and am trying hard to keep it a routine- a balance- and not burn out/give up.

I have to remember that I’m doing this for so many reasons, and I can’t give up.

I can’t give up on myself. It simply cannot be an option.

End melodramatic post… sorry about that.

I Am Not A Failure If I Don’t Complete TurboFire

26 Aug

I’ve been having a battle with myself lately. I’m midway through month two of TurboFire and I posted recently that I was getting tired of it. This past week I haven’t been very good about getting those workouts done. A few of you suggested it might be time to change it up.

But, would I be failing myself if I gave up TurboFire before completing it? At first, my gut reaction was yes. Of course, I simply had to complete what I had started. What was the point if I was going to give up halfway through?

Here’s the thing though. I’m not giving up. I’m changing courses. Maybe. I might only do another workout for a day or a week and then go back to it. That’s okay. I know at this point in time I need a change to regain focus. I tried the “giving yourself a day off” to shake things up, and that didn’t seem to be enough. So, I’ve come to the decision that it is okay for me to change courses. It doesn’t mean I failed. It means I needed a change.

I’ll be borrowing a friend’s set of Insanity dvd’s and am going to give that a shot sometime this week. Who knows, maybe it will reaffirm my love for the fun dancey ways of TurboFire. Or, maybe it’ll help me push to a whole new level. I think what is most important is that I keep pushing myself. Keep fitness and my health as a priority in my life. I don’t necessarily need to follow one set series to do that.

We’ll see how this goes!

Sushi: A Healthy Option?

25 Aug

This afternoon, I enjoyed some delicious sushi from a local Japanese restaurant. Sushi is one of those things that can be healthy, or it can be loaded with unexpected calories you might not have expected. I read that one shrimp tempura roll can have over 500 calories! Here’s a few tips to help you pick healthy and importantly, delicious sushi.

Tuna Roll and Alaska Roll from Matsu Sushi in Astoria

-Ask for Brown Rice: It has more nutrients than the usual white rice found in sushi rolls. Whether you’re getting brown or white rice make sure you’re conscious of how much rice there is total. A roll can add up to quite a bit—it can be deceptive!

-Sashimi’s a good option: You won’t have to worry about the rice at all, and it’s still completely, utterly delicious, I promise.

-Avoid tempura and anything with cream (Spicy Rolls!): Rolls drizzled with mayo or containing cream cheese significantly increase the fat level. And, that tempura might be delicious but it’s still deep-fried, even if we call it by a fancier sounding name.

-Careful with that soy sauce: It is absolutely loaded with sodium. You can ask for lower-sodium soy sauce, but it still has a ton. Use sparingly. Miso is also pretty high in sodium.

-Order a side of steamed veggies or start your meal with edamame: If those rolls aren’t going to fill you up, munch on a side order of steamed broccoli rather than some of the other greasy options that might be on the menu (fried dumplings, I’m looking at you)!

-Don’t be afraid to ask: If you’re not sure if soy sauce or tempura flakes, for example, were used in the preparation of your roll, ask your restaurant.  Also, watch out for sugar based sauces—if you don’t ask, you often wouldn’t have known it was there.

-Split it with a friend: If there’s a roll that you’re absolutely craving and you know it isn’t the best option, try to split it with a friend and order a healthier option to enjoy along with it.

Do you like sushi? What’s your favorite kind?

I’m Getting Tired Of TurboFire

24 Aug

Or maybe I’m just lazy. Probably that. I don’t want to work out. I just want to lay around and do nothing. Why is that? I know I feel better once I get off my butt and actually do it, but committing to the actually getting to done.

I read all the time about people who “love” to work out. I believe them. But will I ever be one of them? Did they love working out when they first started out, or is it something they learned to love? Is it something you have to have within you? Or you just get used to the routine?

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll never love it. But I have to learn to accept it as an inevitable part of my life and routine. So, I guess it’s time that I stop complaining and go press play!

That’s it! Thursday: Do You Have To Take That Short-Cut?

23 Aug

One of the great things about living in NYC is the vast amount of walking you do on a daily basis simply due to the fact that you live here. My apartment is a ten minute walk to the subway- just under a mile. So, I walk at absolute minimum 2 miles a day. But why do I find myself cutting through a parking lot to make my walk shorter?

Do I really need to get there that little bit faster? Am I truly too lazy to walk around the parking lot instead of diagonally through it?

I hadn’t really thought about it. But, this morning on my way to work a light bulb went off. It doesn’t make any sense to be working out and trying to incorporate more fitness into my life, but yet keep taking short cuts on my regular routes. I was completely doing it out of habit!

Therefore, for this That’s it! Thursday, I’m going to work on being more conscious of “lazy” habits that I’ve developed—and no longer cut through that parking lot. I can totally walk around it and build up those extra steps. Every little bit helps!

How do you try to incorporate fitness into your everyday life? Park in the back of the parking lot? Do calf raises at your desk at work? I’d love to hear!

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and What it Means for Health and Weight Loss

22 Aug

I’m a big reader. Recently, I was reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and one section really stuck out to me—it speaks to how community affects our health.

Living a long life, the conventional wisdom said at the time, depended to a great extent on who we were — that is, our genes. It depended on the decisions people made — on what they chose to eat, and how much they chose to exercise, and how effectively they were treated by the medical system. No one was used to thinking about health in terms of a place.

Wolf and Bruhn had to convince the medical establishment to think about health and heart attacks in an entirely new way: they had to get them to realize that you couldn’t understand why someone was healthy if all you did was think about their individual choices or actions in isolation. You had to look beyond the individual. You had to understand what culture they were a part of, and who their friends and families were, and what town in Italy their family came from. You had to appreciate the idea that community — the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with — has a profound effect on who we are. The value of an outlier was that it forced you to look a little harder and dig little deeper than you normally would to make sense of the world. And if you did, you could learn something from the outlier than could use to help everyone else.”

This chapter was published in the New York Times and you can read it here. To me, this was an important eye opener. So often, we think about genes and decision-making as the two main drivers behind our level of health. The research that Gladwell is referencing indicates that it so much more than just the individual. Our health is also a product of our culture, the people that we surround ourselves with. Whether we’re trying to pinpoint why someone is healthy or why they aren’t healthy, we need to not only look at the individual but beyond them to their culture and environment.

Outliers (book)

Outliers (book) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does this mean for someone who is trying to change their current health status? To me, I think that it means we have to think of ourselves within context. None of us exist in a silo. We are influenced by the people around us and their values. Does something in our environment have to change in order for us to succeed in changing into a more healthy being?

How do you think your cultural context has affected your health?