Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Stew, it's what's for dinner

Occasionally I like nice homemade beef stew but sometimes it gets boring for me and I need something new and different.
My sister found this recipe in The Paleo Recipe Book and I have to say, it's AMAZING!!! If you don't like sweetness than this might not be for you but let me just say it isn't sweetness like you'd find in a dessert.  It's more of a sweetness that mixes well with the beef and seasonings, kind of how honey mustard is great with chicken.  My absolute favorite part of this recipes are the apricots! They're chewy, sweet, and just compliments the beef so well, it's absolutely a must try!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Favorite Place in the World

I really need to be better about blogging but honestly, I haven't had anything interesting to say.  I hate to admit that I've been feeling down lately and I blame the heat and humidity for that.  Today is a new day though and this week I'll do my best to get rid of this stupid funk that's been crippling me.

Two weekends ago I got to spend time in my favorite city, New York City.  I absolutely LOVE this city!! I love the energy! I love how no matter what time it is, it never feels late.  I arrived late Friday or early Saturday around 12am and when I stepped outside onto the street outside Penn Station there were people everywhere walking and it felt as though it was 8pm.  I love how there are so many places to see and as a psych major, I really enjoy people watching and NYC is not short of people that's for sure! 

Saturday I spent the day to myself and had some MUCH NEEDED me time.  I took a walk to Central Park, grabbed a coffee and sat on a bench just losing myself in the environment and clearing my head.  I must admit that one of the things I enjoy about NYC is seeing the different clothes women wear.  So many different styles and all are beautiful.  After Central Park I walked over to The Sullivan Theatre to get a picture for my father (Big Letterman fan) and in front there was a mini market type thing going on.  I could have spent so much money there on jewelry alone but I was strong and refrained.  After 3 hours I decided it was time to head back to the hotel room and relax.  I didn't realize I was walking around that long! Thankfully the weather was beautiful!

Later that night I decided to meet up with a friend I knew from Ohio at a bar in Chelsea, but of course with it being my last night I decided I'd walk over to Time Square to see it at night.  So amazing, and SOOOOO many people!!! Normally I would be annoyed with how packed it was, but I was in NYC baby, in Time Square how could I be annoyed?!?! After that I sat at Bryant Park for a bit then headed over to Chelsea.  It was great spending time with an old friend but seeing I had to travel the next day I didn't pull a late night.

I cannot wait to go back to NYC and one of my rewards for reaching my goal will be a shopping weekend trip there with one of my best, and fashion guru, friends.  I'm so excited for that!

I love this artwork! Curvy is beautiful!

I thought I looked super cute so of course I took a pic of myself :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Let's get physical

I hate exercising! Correction, I hate prepping to workout and getting myself motivated to do so.  After a long hard day at work I'd much rather relax and mindlessly watch bad TV versus changing into another outfit and torturing myself to at least 30 minutes of physical activity. 

Surprisingly, I have 2 favorite forms of self torture that are a lot of fun! Coming from me, that's saying a lot!   Neither of these feel like exercise to me because both are FUN!!!

My #1 choice is Spin Class-if you haven't tried this GO TRY IT!!!

I warn you that your first time will be tough and your butt will be sore but keep going to the classes regularly and the soreness will fade.  I didn't believe it either but after my first week, my bum was fine! The gym I take this class at turns off the lights and cranks up the music and you just get lost in your own world and work up a killer sweat.  If you find that this is a class that you want to take regularly, I suggest you purchase the following:
  • Padded seat cover -- some gyms have these for you to use but let's be real, who wants to use 
                                     something hundreds of people put their sweaty bums on? 
  • Padded bike shorts -- sounds like a lot of padding but again, you want to be comfortable
                                      and as you progress you'll find you won't need the padded shorts and are
                                      fine with just the padded seat cover.
  • Cycling Shoes --        these should only be purchased if you seriously plan to make this a regular form
                                     of exercise as a good pair of cycling shoes are not cheap.  I believe mine were
                                     $130.00, bought at a local cycling store.  Shop around though!!! These shoes
                                     are great because they clip into the pedal so you don't have to worry about
                                     your foot falling out of the pedal pocket and they also give you more of a
                                     workout.  This is an amazing investment!

My second favorite workout is the new TaeBo PT 247.  The reason why I like THIS program better than the previous ones is because they come with resistance bands.  I like feeling a burn when I workout because I know something is happening, if I can't feel it then I think I'm not doing something right and I start to talk myself out the activity altogether.  This program is awesome and you will burn up a great sweat!!!  It's not super expensive either, I found one for $50 on amazon, AND you can do this at home or anywhere really.  The bands don't connect to a door hinge, they connect to gloves that you wear (which are provided) and then strap to your feet so if you travel a lot this is something you can take with you.  I absolutely love this workout and I've seen results from it so I say, give it a try!!!


My weekend in NYC was great and therapeutic for my mind as I was able to spend 3+ hours walking the city on my own and enjoying the company of myself.  I love that city!! I really needed that time to myself to just clear my mind.  Of course today I'm tired but it was well worth it!  I'm worth the me time :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Me time

Hello to the few people who read my new blog! Pardon any typos, odd fonts, etc as I'm writing this post on a train en route to my favorite city.....NYC. My previous visits to the city involved a lot of preplanned agendas and I'm very much looking forward to the "me" time. Tomorrow I plan to grab a Starbucks coffee and sit in central park for awhile people watching and just enjoying the time to myself. Also plan to go see Time Square and the Ed Sullivan theatre (my dad is a big Letterman fan). While I love those in my life, sometimes a girl just needs her own time and what better place than NYC?!?! So to those who actually read this, what are ways that you get your "me" time? Oh and my mind has been developing ideas for my next fun post, I'm actually pretty looking forward to putting the ideas together, I think it will be fun. We shall see.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dress Code & Demons

Ok my best friend is in fashion, a girl I call my little sister because I've known her for so long works in the fashion industry in NYC you would think I had some sense of style.  No. I don't.  I'm a lost soul when it comes to fashion.  I fear patterns, stripes make me nervous, and color combination is not something I'm good at.  I go with the typical "matchy match" but I've ventured out a bit, trying new things.
I'm a shirt tugger.  You know, that girl you see in public who is always adjusting her shirt?  That's me.  Why do I do this?  To keep myself COVERED.  We've all seen the girls out there who display the muffin top, the ones who wear their pants a size too small and you can't help but wonder how they can even breathe!  I'm not that girl.  I like my tops flowy b/c it hides me better.  I see many cute outfits but because how my body is shaped, of course it doesn't look right on me.  I have small legs and someone with my waist must apparently have larger legs because finding jeans that fit my legs AND waist....HARD!!!  I love wearing skirts but again, I go with the flowy top b/c it hides the spare tire or whatever the trendy word is for that :)
So today, I'm going to make a vow to try to step away from the flow and go with the flattering.  I'm realizing that it's much more than just the body but my mind needs a journey as well.  I don't see how I can grow if I continuously hold onto these old feelings and paranoia.   I'm not an individual who hides from social settings, in fact I love people.  But I will confess something,  even though I know it's not true I always feel as though all eyes are on me when I'm in public.  Maybe there are some eyes on me but in my mind, I'm always thinking it's for negative reasons. 
Just last week I stopped into a local gas station for some bubble gum (yes, you read that right) and this elderly man in front of me turns around and said "Miss, did you just come from the beauty parlor?"  I turned around to see who was behind me because surely he wasn't talking to ME.  No, he WAS talking to me.  "Excuse me?"  "I asked if you just came from the beauty parlor because you are a very pretty young lady."  Asians aren't big blushers but I'm pretty sure I turned red.  Now rather than enjoying this moment of flattery guess what my mind did, it panicked because suddenly everyone in the vicinity of this conversation turned to look at me.  I always handle myself very well, but inside I wanted to crawl into hole.
THIS MUST STOP!  The very first step in most personal journeys is to take control of your mind.  Let go of the past, look to the future.  Don't let those demons take you down! That's part of my journey, smashing those demons down to the ground and seeing myself as my friends see me. This is going to be one sweet ride

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paleo and addiction

As promised, I will discuss Paleo but I must confess I didn't re-start the program today.  I ate very healthy (well honestly I didn't eat much today because I was super busy) but I wasn't full Paleo.

Ok, so what is the Paleo diet?  There are a few nicknames but I believe the most common one is the Caveman diet.  It's been referred to as the healtiest diet and basically, if the cavemen didn't have it, neither can you.  Obviously in this day and age there are things we have that they didn't (i.e. olive oil) but for the most part your entire food intake consists of meats, veggies, and fruits. No grains, no dairy (yes no milk, butter, cheese, yogurt..NO dairy), no sugars, no fats (I know I'm saying no a lot).  You don't count your calories meaning if you love steak, you can eat three steaks but no baked potato, no sour cream, and no A1 sauce.  I know it sounds almost cruel but honestly, it really isn't that bad at all!

My sister found this diet and introduced it to me.  The first week was the hardest because I have two addictions, diet cherry pepsi and rice (I'm Asian remember?).  Our first week was focused on adapting to the new eating habits and I lost 4 pounds that week WITHOUT exercise, pretty sure it was all water weight but that's ok.  For meals we'd eat meats with veggies (oh you can't have corn either).  I became very close with sweet potatoes and pretty much had them in every way you can think of.  We started with a 30 day challenge and in the midst of this was my birthday which we spent in NYC.  Imagine being in fabulous NYC and not being able to eat what you want.  We thought it was going to be SO hard but NEITHER of us cheated the entire weekend and we ate out everyday.  It's amazing how your mind makes you think you're missing out on something when you diet but this isn't a normal diet.  We had the yummiest steak at a Cuban place, delicious fish at a mexican restaurant I never felt deprived.  Of course walking course walking the streets smelling pizza and whatnot wasn't my idea of heaven but again, I never felt hungry. 

The key thing to keep in mind if you want to try this is DEDICATION! You HAVE to be dedicated to this. And I know it sounds scary but if you make it through that first week, the rest will be a breeze.  We started with a 30 day challenge. unfortunately fell off the wagon but here's my testimony.  When I was living paleo, I felt GREAT! I had energy, I felt alive (sounds cliche I'm sorry), my mood was very happy, and my skin looked AMAZING, it was glowing.  Since I fell off the wagon, I'm lathargic, sad, and my skin isn't glowing anymore.   Basically you detox your body from all the artificial things they put in your common everyday food items and you start eating fresh.  I highly reccommend everyone to give it a try because I promise you, you'll be amazed with how you feel! Primarily mentally, your mood really does change and you find yourself happy.

This is an awesome website that explains it all and it's the site we used.   http://whole9life.com/   There are also amazing books with recipes out there and I'll start posting some of my favorites as well.  Give it a try, you'll thank me :)

Ok, personal note.  Tonight I did 23 minutes of taebo (my knee started locking on me) and then 35 on treadmill, worked up another good sweat, feeling fabulous.

Until next time!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A look at the orange on toothpicks

As promised, pictures.  Sigh this is not fun for me seeing this old picture.

July 2005, I couldn't tell you how much I weighed but it had to have been A LOT! Things to notice:
#1) My eyes are squinty not because I'm Asian but because my face is so fat it's squishing my eyes
#2) Holy chins batman!! My face is so tiny!! Not my head, my face (eyes, nose, mouth). 

July 2005

Now let's skip ahead 2 years shall we?  This was my "success" period where I got down to a size 18 but couldn't tell you my weight.  How great do I look with one chin? Or at least one small double chin
October 2007

Present day, not a size 18 but not as bad as first pic (I need new glasses that don't fall so low!)  Ok I feel a bit better about myself now :)
May 2012, April 2012

So tonight I did a very good thing.  27 minutes of taebo and 25 minutes on the treadmill.  One of my very best friends has been my cheerleader and my workout natzi.  I have the honor of being in her wedding and with this being my third wedding, I'd really like to look awesome for once.  I have to say, she's the most amazing friend a girl could ask for and her faith in my and this hard journey, well there are no words!  Ok, endorphines are making me sappy, I must stop now :)

Tune in tomorrow and I'll start talking about my eating habits as I'm back on paleo tomorrow! If you don't know what that is, you'll be educated tomorrow :)

Love you ninja!

First Blog, here we go!!!

One of my very best friends said that perhaps I should start a blog as means of keeping me motivated and getting thoughts out so they don't overwhelm me, so here I sit, writing my very first post.  FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!
I don't forsee anyone but those closest to me reading this, which I'm ok with as a girl just needs to get her mind clear sometimes and with the journey that I'm on right now, I'm sure there will be A LOT of clearing to do in the future.

The primary "topics" of this will be my journey of self discovery I guess you'd call it.  I should have discovered myself by now at the age of 36 but believe it or not I'm still learning about who Sarah is.  I've spent a good chunk of my life focused on others versus thinking about myself that now I'm FINALLY doing what's best for ME.  I think the most amazing thing that has come from this so far is seeing who my real friends are.  I like knowing the people in my life that are my TRUE friends and love me 110% versus those who only had me as a friend to fit THEIR needs.  Those days are over!

Weight loss, the two most dreaded words in the english language.  Yes, I am on that journey as well.  In a nutshell (and pictures will be provided in the near future), the best way to describe my body is simple.  Picture a nice round orange, now place two toothpicks on the bottom of said orange and VOILA there is Sarah!   Oh you can also add two toothpicks for arms too for the FULL effect.  Also place long black hair and glasses and then you have the real me.  That is my body, I have nice legs, not too shabby arms (can use toning and fat melting), but the middle is where I get super messy! Or as my sister calls if, chubbly wubbly.  So I'll be documenting the journey from being pretty but fluffy to down right sexy. And of course I'm sure I'll end up talking about other things as well, but de-chubbling will be the number one.  I must maintain focus, I'm going to be a bridesmaid in less than 4 months, no more excuses!!

Pictures will come soon!