Wonderful Wednesday and a Swirly Goodness Surprise

The HelpHappy hump day! I hope everyone had a great day and are already looking forward to the weekend. I stayed up way too late last night engrossed in The Help. This book is absolutely amazing and very thought provoking. The first book by Kathryn Stocket, this book quickly became a national bestseller. It is based in Mississippi during the heart of integration and the race riots. The book links three ordinary women one one great journey. Having grown up in the South, three decades later, many of the roots that are explored in this book are still in place today. I highly recommend picking this up at your local library or downloading it for a long run via iTunes! Having stayed up too late reading, I gave into the snooze button this morning and decided that I would make evening yoga at Equinox a priority tonight. I am so glad I did! Tonight’s yoga was a hilarious but wonderful experiment. Due to it’s proximity to my office, I have visited the 54th and 2nd Equinox location for all my weeknight yoga classes thus far. I like that the studio is removed from the rest of the gym so there is no stereo or weight room noises leaking through. This evening I was able to leave work in time for the 6:30 Vinyasa Yoga taught by Jay Johnston. I was excited by his resume/yoga theory which is always posted below the teacher’s name on Equinox.com: “…Additionally, he has run three New York City Marathons. Jay teaches Hatha, Hot Style, Vinyasa and Gentle to accommodate all students. He asks his students to focus on breathing and relaxing in the poses no matter how challenging as he believes that deeper results will come when the body is ready to open. ” My hopes were answered and he definitely focused on poses that are often found in yoga for runners routines. We did multiple hip openers, runner’s pose, pigeon, shoulder stands, and downward dogs. His aditude was very different from any other teacher i’ve ever had. He didn’t turn off his cell phone and therefore it proceeded to ring during class, he promoted his band’s upcoming gig shamelessly, and his chant was “everything’s alright.” But, regardless, there was something very real about him and his practice. In addition, he moved around the room constantly adjusting and motivating his students. Regardless of his cell phone and odd demeanor, I think i’ll be back next Wednesday night!

Tonight’s Dessert

As I left Equinox tonight I spotted a Pink Berry. Having never tried the cult yogurt chain, I headed inside to have a taste of the tart delight. The first thing I noticed was the atmosphere. The inside was bright and welcoming, filled with tables and chairs. Many of NYC’s yogurt hot spots such as TastiDLite are dark, dismal, and lacking tables and chairs. The next highlight was the topping selection. I was in disbelief as I saw they had healthy toppings such as kiwi, raspberries, and fun ones such as cocoa pebbles and carob chips! Everything looked fresh versus artificial which was a change. Their pride themselves in the swirly goodness that is packed with live cultures, calcium, nutrients, and quality ingredients. The pomegranate I sampled was a bit too tart, the original was smooth and much like Oikos or Chobani, but the coconut captured my heart! I was hooked! It is amazing! One main difference between Pinkberry and it’s competition is the topping prices. For $1.25 extra you can enjoy unlimited toppings. I packed my coconut with strawberries, pineapple, grapefruit, carob chips, and two animal cookies! HOW FUN! I’m so excited I finally tried Pinkberry. Their fresh ingredients and natural flavors please my palate far more than the artificial flavor of TastiDLite.

Attention NYC Lululemon lovers: Between now and February 14th Equinox has a 20% sale on all items in their gym stores. This means that a beloved $52 Lulu tank is just $40!!

Hop on over to Krittie’s site to win some great chocolate milk and Amazing Grass!!

Whats your favorite Chobani super bowl recipe? http://runnerwifelife.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/its-giveaway-day/

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Summersaults, Yoga Goals, and Gnu Bars

I’m exhausted! The work week, two a day workouts, and decreased sleep has definitely caught up with me! I’m absolutely beat right now and am so glad to be curled up in our living room sporting my pjs, eating a yummy, quick turkey burger dinner, and waiting for the newest episode of Grey’s! Bo and I watch very few shows on a weekly basis but we have enjoyed Grey’s since it’s first season. Almost every other show we watch is via iTunes or Netflix live streaming. Lately we’ve been hooked on Gossip Girl. It’s such a guilty pleasure but quite fun, especially enjoying the New York scenery. It’s amazing how quickly trends come and go; not only with clothes but also with food and places in the city. Some of the places they frequent during Season 1 are no longer the NYC hot spots and have instead been replaced and long forgotten.

Having a blog is a funny thing sometime as I often forget that A) twitter updates my facebook page and B) quite a few of my friends read the blog previously and therefore were automatically alerted when I returned. Today at work, my dear Lauren, called to my attention the fact that I left out a few key points when discussing her gym habits. I must say that she is quite right and therefore deserves some explanation. She frequents the Meat Packing and Greenwich location because she is lucky enough to live less than a block from the Greenwich location. The fact that this happens to be the Equinox hot spot is only a reflection of her apartment’s great location and she and Casey’s taste in neighborhoods! In regards to exercise, Lauren is the type gal I only dream of being. She had her Equifit assesment a few months ago and found that she had the lowest body fat percentage for someone with her cardio ability! 🙂 *oh sigh* While she may not be a cardio expert, she is my yoga inspiration! When she lived in Minneapolis she practiced at a local studio regularly and therefore is far beyond my level. She has helped challenge me and push me to the next level. Even today in class, when my headstand attempt turned into a full summersault she never even laughed! Instead, she reminded me that when she wad a young girl she always used the tripod before going into headstand. I think, like her, I will use this method until my core becomes stronger.

This brings me to my yoga goals. Tonight, during Tracy Matthew’s Power Vinyasa class at Equinox,  she pointed out how important breathing is to each of our individual yoga practices. Therefore, over the next few weeks I am going to focus solely on my breathing versus speed during class. I think this will help me gain more from the class while also furthering my practice. In addition, Lauren and I have decided that we’d each like to go to at least two yoga classes a week in addition to our cardio. It looks like I’ll be frequenting the Thursday night Power Vinyasa and Saturday morning class at 44th and Lex. If you’re a local NYC reader, let me know if there is another class you’d suggest. I’m hoping to join Lauren at the Sunday night Greenwich class next weekend. She and Sara have both raved about it! What do you all wear during yoga? Do you have a favorite brand? I absolutely love the fit and feel of my Lululemon Groove pants but I wish they were lighter weight or breathed more. Half way through class today I was drenched! In addition, do Yogitoe mats make a big difference? It seems like spin shoes and yogi toes are two things I need to invest in if I keep up with these habits!

Last night while I was picking up my favorite calcium chews at GNC, I rediscovered Gnu Bars. I’ve had these a few times right when they entered the market but I didn’t realize how many flavors they have! They were on sale at GNC so I decided to grab one to sample. At work, I enjoy breakfast after my workout around 8:15am, a mid morning snack, lunch, and then a midafternoon snack. I try to ensure that one of my snacks is fruit or vegetable while the other is often a carb. I found that I tended to load up on empty carbs during my midafternoon snack when I was especially hungry or thirsty. I thought that pairing a Gnu bar with a large bottle of water would be perfect. Today I enjoyed the Peanut Butter. The flavor was not as strong as I was hoping but overall the taste was better than many other high fiber bars. These bars pack more than your average bar. One bar delivers HALF your daily fiber needs! The nutritional information is also pretty good considering the fiber and all the ingredients are easily pronounced and part of a list that is less than 18 items long which is much better than Fiber One bars! Each bar is 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 12 g fiber, 4 g protein, and 15% of iron needs. I wish there were a few more grams of protein or nutrients packed in the bar but that would probably come through artificial means.  The craziest fact is that ONE BAR equals FOUR GLASSES OF METAMUCIL! WOW! I hope to stop by GNC tomorrow morning to grab a few more bars in different flavors. Depending on my taste test results, I may opt into their Joy of Fiber program! $45.89 is the cost for 30 bars when you order them via the website! I will have to shop around to see whether this is a good deal. I may also check out Amazon.com
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