Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rachel Avalon’s Vegan Smoothie Recipe (Plus: The Good for You – and the Plan...


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via Eco-Chick by Starre Vartan on 4/20/11

I've never tried rice protein powder before, I'm going to check it out after seeing this video! I love smoothies for breakfast….

Healthy Smoothie Recipe: Holistic Secrets with Rachel Avalon from Rachel Avalon on Vimeo.


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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Twigs as Toothbrushes Get Designer Touch (Photos)


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via TreeHugger on 2/1/11

miswak toothbrush twig photo Image credit: Leen Sadder From toothbrushes with reusable handles to recycled plastic toothbrushes there are already some green(er) options out there for more sustainable oral hygiene. But much of the world has one up on us Western consumers on this front—using a totally biodegradable twig to clean their teeth. What's the best way to promote this product to the rest of us? Why, wrap it in plastic of course. ...Read the full story on TreeHugger


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hail no!

This happened months ago, but it's still a fun story...

After a grueling lifeguard training session, a nice Chipotle lunch,
and a movie, all with Things 1 & 2, I still wasn't ready to call it a
day. Since the weather was so nice(70 degrees, bright and sunny) I
decided to do some grocery shopping and other random errands I'd been
putting off.

I was on my way home, just finished fussing with my dad for wasting
the beautiful weather and not going for a run. It couldn't have been
more than 30 minutes, 45 tops, when the sky practically fell. That's
the only way to describe it. The sky went from clear blue to dark,
looming, and grey. The wind picked up and I decided there would be no
more stops, I just needed to get home before the rain.

So much for that. First, a few big drops. Then I saw a torrent of rain
making it's way towards me. All of a sudden, something hit my car
roof. A branch, I thought. But then it happened again. And again,
getting harder and more frequent. What the eff, I thought. Was my
windshield going to hold up? I couldn't decide whether to keep driving
of seek shelter. But there was none to seek! Other cars just rode by
as if nothing was happening. As usual, mom came to the rescue. I was a
block away, and even without leaves, her block gave quite a bit of

When It's All Said And Done...

I don’t know why, but it never fails to amaze me when hard work pays off. And that's how I'll summarize the Broad Street Run: all my hard work paid off. I hit my goal of coming in under 2 hours and in that, took 8 minutes off my best 10 mile time and a full 15 minutes off my worst. Granted, I still think of myself as slow, but I'll work on speed in my next phase of training.

I really didn't feel the benefits of my training until about 3 weeks before the race. That's when I started to feel strong and like my endurance ratcheted up. It was almost overnight and makes me wonder what I would have felt like if I hadn't skipped as many workouts. Would I have felt the changes 2 weeks earlier?

I was also happy that I had trained in as many different conditions as I had: Cold, rain, snow, wind, heat, you name it. And what did I get on race day? Humidity, rain, and a little cold, just for good measure. But to me, it was no biggie and I had a party waiting for me at the finish line. All through my difficult miles, I thought about my 4 brothers, who had run ahead of me, and my mom and sister, who were cheering on the side. So yeah, there was definitely pain, especially after mile 8, but I pushed through (another benefit of my training). And when I was almost spend, a quarter of a mile from the finish line, who should appear but N, my original training partner. With her encouragement, I found just a little more in me and made it across the line by the skin of my teeth.

So what's next? Triathlon! I'm registered, I have a bike, I've got a mentor. I just have to stick to the Active training plan and get used to a new pool, and I think I'll be on my way. Broad Street was definitely a boost to my athletic confidence. Now, when I go out, I feel like an athlete, who both trains and succeeds. And that's how I'm approaching my training from now on...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lessons From My First Bike Ride

This afternoon, I finally manned up and went on my first bike ride. I just went to my mom's house, which is about a mile away, but it was almost cathartic. For the past few weeks, I'd been kind of afraid of getting out on the road. Every time I turned around, a biker was on the news, or cornering me in the Bryn Mawr locker room, scaring me with hit-and-run tales. So, I had planned for my first few rides to be on the trail or bike path. But this great weather was too good to pass up. Since my brother had my car and I had promised to see her newly revived yard, I biked over to my mom's house. After staying for a few hours, I headed back, the weather having deteriorated amazingly fast. Each way it was 10-15 min, but it might as well have been an epic ride. Here's what I learned:

  1. Philly is one big hill. I live at the bottom of a hill, my mom lives at the top of another one. And there's just hills all around, everywhere you turn. And they hurt...
  2. Scarves are not bike friendly. No matter which way the wind is blowing, it will end up out of place. Tuck or pin well...
  3. Thankfully, you can hear most cars as they approach. And thankfully (or not so thankfully), there aren't many hybrids in the hood...
  4. All biking = at least a little funk. I didn't really sweat, but I smelled like the outside. A jacket might be a must...
  5. You will have stuff and need somewhere to put it. I had a little sling bag for just wallet/keys/cellphone, but had to leave behind my book and bike lock, which means I really couldn't go anywhere else. I'll have to get a backpack, since I don't see a messenger bag staying put.
That's what I've got so far. Feel free to leave some tips, I'm scouring the web for them. No plans for my next ride, but as the weather improves, I'm sure opportunities will present themselves...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Whew, that was a close one!

Remember that dilemma I had on Wednesday? How to get in a long run among all my other workouts and life and whatnot? Well, there must be something about the last few minutes of the work week that make the brain do amazing things. It JUST occurred to me to call my stylist and ask her to push my appointment back to midday. That way, I can get up at a decent time, fuel properly, and get my long run in. That also means that I can rest up tonight, thank God! I've been pushing it kind of hard (in my world) for the past few days. I did my 5 miler on the treadmill (it was awesome, I felt great) on Wednesday. Then, just because the weather was so great, I squeezed in a 3 miler just before my swim (1000m) on Thursday. And today I know what it means to have muscle fatigue. My legs are literally done. They're not sore, just tired, so a break will feel pretty good. A massage would feel even better (hint, hint). I'm wondering if this is what their supposed to feel like and if I'm supposed to push through the fatigue for another workout, just to get my muscles used to it. Oh well, I'm going to play it safe and rest up for a nice long 8 miler tomorrow. Now, what's for dinner?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Running and little else...

Just a short update today…
Yesterday, there was a 5 miler on the Broad Street Plan, but between rain and a just generally sucky day, I worked out with Alicia at Platinum Silhouette. We did back, shoulders, and abs. And I think I might have progressed quite a bit since the last time a strength trained. The weights seemed kind of light and there's no soreness. Even my back, which has been bothering me around bed time seems fine. It's not better, but it's not worse, either.

On a side note, while driving into Center City to see Alicia, I couldn't believe my eyes. There were runners everywhere, despite the rain and mid 40's temp. I felt some kind of way, like I didn't get the memo or something. So today I was sure to bring my running gear and my new Nike jacket, so I have no excuse not to get my run in, rain or shine.

I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to arrange my workouts later this week. Ideally, I'd get in another 5 miler and an 8 miler. But I'm supposed to get my hair done on Sat and will probably be in Atlantic City until at least Sunday afternoon. I think I'm going to have to write this out to make it work. Yeah, still looks kind of muddy. It's either a REALLY early run on Sat, leave AC Sat night so I can get some sleep and go for a run, do the 8 on a treadmill at the hotel (don't even want to think about that one), or running Sunday after I get back from AC, which I kind of don't see happening.

I think I'm going to just end up getting them in where ever they fit in. So, 5 milers whenever I can stand it for Wed-Sat., then I can take it easy or maybe get in a short hotel run Sunday morning. Doing what I can, but still raising the bar...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Why, oh why...

Goodness, I have so many blog posts to catch up on. Really, I have so much stuff to catch up on just in general. It seems like the only area I've stayed up on are workouts and even those have failed since Monday. So where to begin?

Let's talk about my fabulous shopping trip with my best and only sister. I made it through my shopping moratorium successfully and as a result, was in dire need of clothes that fit from head to toe. TMI alert. Even my bras were too big. I did get bras the weekend before, but they were such a necessity, I didn't think twice. And I went to TJ Maxx. I was never a fan of stores like that, I'm too OCD to look through the racks, but as my shopping eye gets better and the deals more apparent, I'm becoming a serious fan. Nike workout pants: not $60, but $25!?! Yes, I will gladly look through tons of ugly items and suffer the allergies. But the best part went something like this:

Me: Ooooh, look, Nike pants! And they're only $25!

Mom: Great!

Me: Aww, they're a small. (I was looking in the medium section)

Mom: Try them on anyway, Nike runs kind of big.

Me: MOTHER, I have been wearing Nike for how long? They run big but not that big. See my thighs?

Mom: Just try them on, and yes, I see you're thighs.

*Later, in the fitting room, after realizing just how much the boobage had declined, I got up the nerve and did the deed.

Me: OMG! O-M-G!

Mom: What?

Me: They fit! I can't believe it! They fit! I can fit a small! I'm getting them.

Mom: I told you.

Me: Yeah, but still, some things are just crazy.

Mom: You know how people have skinny glasses? You have fat glasses. Moni, you are not that big.

Me: I know, now I really just have a big personality.

So that was that. I rode a high like no other and have a new fave pair of workout pants. The next weekend, me and my sister ventured out to the Phila. Premium Outlets for the first time. I knew I need pants, since I had been surviving on jeans for the past 4 months, and I also wanted to see what the Nike Outlet had to offer. I know, my green side says Nike is bad, bad, bad. But dammit, they make a great product! The drive wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, only about 10min past King of Prussia and I probably could have cut 5min off of that if the new streets were actually in my Garmin. Note to self: get off at the exit AFTER the one Jemima tells you to. Anywhooo, the Banana Republic Factory Store was a small zoo but I found 4 pair of pants to try on. And here's where my story gets great. First of all, I am the proud owner of pants that are a size… drum roll, please… A SIZE 6!!! Can you believe it? I almost can't I'm still a good 3-5 lbs. (damned water weight) from my goal weight but apparently there is some muscle or something, because I am officially in the single digits! And BR is now officially my favorite brand. AND this was on the cusp of a PMS week. I know, TMI again. But still, gotta paint a clear picture. Then I get up to the counter and turns out there's a banging sale going on so I walk out the door having spent less than 100 bucks. Yeah, that great feeling got my sis 2 shirts and a pair of sunglasses, because not only is she a great shopping companion, it's more fun when someone else shares in the joy. We also hit up the Nike Outlet, where I got another pair of small pants (now my faves) and a windbreaker for another crazy low price. I was on a roll! Last stop was the Ralph Lauren Outlet. I have this urge to own polo shirts, but long or 3/4 sleeve ones are hard to find. I ended up with one polo, one sweater, and cute bracelets. I've got to keep my eye out for more coupons because I can now see why my bros love RL, he makes a great product. Oh, and a pair of shoes so I can put my sad Cole Haan loafers to rest. All in all, a great end to my shopping break. I think I'll take another one for a while. I'll wait for the seasons to settle and to see what I can use from the summer clothes that I've put away. I'm still looking for a pair of khakis and more polos, though. They are a great way to express my 'urban prepster with a hint of boho' look.

Now, the question becomes where to? I'm my dream size, but not my ideal fitness level or weight, not quite healthy. So, I guess now I need to just focus on my training and diet, like I have been and not worry about the scale as much. I know what I need to do: pretty much stay raw vegan and work out at least 4 times a week. That'll get me to Broad Street, SheRox, and whatever else I want to do. And I know by May I'll be at 135, insha Allah. I can feel it in my heart (right under the indigestion)...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meet Flighty Whitey

Just remembered I promised a pic of my new bike and didn't deliver. So,
here she is. And yes, I'm pretty sure it's a she...