Category Archives: hot yoga

Ringing in the New Year: A Healthy Alternative

It’s hard to believe it is December 30th.  Another year has flown by!  Tomorrow marks the celebration of the last day of 2010 and a welcoming of 2011. 

Some of you may have your New Year’s eve traditions firmly in place.  Until recent years, my New Year’s eve typically involved getting dolled up (fun), heading out to some place with an overpriced entry fee (not fun), and imbibing cocktails with my girlfriends (fun), avoiding the more ridiculous partygoers (perhaps this is why New Year’s eve is snarkily referred to as “amateur night”). 

Last year Bri and I did things a little differently.  After spending the evening watching old seasons of The Office, we watched the ball drop and promptly went to sleep.  We had to be up early to make it to the Hair of the Dog 5k!   I felt amazing after that race.  It felt really good to start the year off on the right foot- setting a healthy precedent, if you will.  That race was my fourth 5k.  I’d been running for approximately six months.  The farthest I had ever run was 3.1 miles. 

 On New Year’s Day 2010, I had some big goals for myself.  A 14k, a half-marathon, and numerous others.  That fourth 5k reaffirmed my commitment to my health and well-being.  I felt as though I had turned over a new leaf.  Instead of staying up into the wee hours of the night drinking, I made one healthy decision.  Which led to some others.  Happily, I achieved most of the goals that I set out for myself (which I laid out in excruciating detail in my last post).   In part because I rang in 2010 in a new, healthy way.  In part because I believed in myself and in my dedication. 

This year is no different.  Well, health-wise at least.  I won’t be spending it with my husband, seeing as how he is halfway around the world.  I will, however, be keeping my New Year’s fitness tradition going.  On New Year’s eve, the hot yoga studio I belong to is holding a late night “Studio 54” class from 10-11:30 PM.  You can bet I will be there 😉  I even conned one of my besties into coming with me (thanks Kristin! 😀 ) On New Year’s day I will be running a 3.5 mile race with some awesome ladies.  It feels really good to end the year and begin a new one participating in activities that I have come to love and identify myself with.  Cheers to a happy and healthy 2011!

How will you be spending New Year’s eve and day?  Don’t worry, I won’t judge if you are out partying.  Sometimes that is needed.  Though I may call you an amateur 😉

Image sources: (here) and (here)

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Filed under Fitness, hot yoga, Running

So You Want to Try Hot Yoga?

I’d always been curious about hot yoga.  When I came across a studio located next to the building where my father and I were taking dance lessons for our father-daughter dance, it seemed serendipitous.  Here is your chance- try it out!  I walked past the door and was instantly intimidated.  The people inside looked like serious yogis- that wasn’t me and I couldn’t see it ever becoming me. 

I pushed aside my insecurities (dude, I don’t know what I’m doing!) and signed up for my first class.  And was instantly hooked.  That was eight months ago.  I am so glad that I overcame my initial hesitation and tried something outside of my comfort zone.  If you have any curiosity about hot yoga- TRY IT! Here are some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the past eight months:

  • Drink a lot of water during the day prior to class.    On days when I have a hot yoga class, I typically take in at least 100 ounces of water, 64 of which I drink during the day before class.   Yes, I make a lot of bathrooms trips.  It’s okay.  If you show up to class hydrated, you are more likely to be able to stay strong and power through all of the moves.
  • Be prepared to sweat.  A lot.  Seriously.  Like you never have before!  I had heard that hot yoga was a sweat sesh but until you experience it, you can’t really comprehend it.  I walked into my first class with a hand towel and my mat, leaving a bath towel in the car.  When I asked the instructor if I should grab the bath towel, she smiled at me knowingly and just said yes.   Then I took my first class.  Well.  I was prepared to sweat.  I was NOT prepared to have sweat dripping off of my body in buckets, soaking the towel and the mat.  It was weird.  And awesome and cleansing. 
  • Wear as little clothing as possible.  It is HOT in the room.  Traditional Bikram classes are heated to 105 degrees.  Couple that with a full classroom of people working hard and it is going to be hot hot hot.  With that being said;
  • (Try to) Leave body issues at the door.  The hot room is no place to be insecure.  The heat will have even the most modest of women stripping down to their sports bras.  My yoga studio has students of all shapes, sizes and skill levels.  Everyone is focused on their own workout and there is no room for judgment.   
  • Your body will adapt to the heat.  The first class is always the hardest.  It is a shock to the system and may even seem like a form of torture (okay, I’m exaggerating.  It is intense though!).  My instructor urges students to try the classes for a week.  After the first few classes the heat becomes addicting!  It is amazing how well the human body adapts. 
  • Be prepared for some interesting bodily happenings.   Not necessarily of your own.  The worst is when someone next to you has had garlic or onions with their lunch.  Just yesterday a young kid was blowing his nose into his hand after ever pose and wiping it on his towel.  Yick.  You see all sorts of craziness in the hot room!
  • Invest in a hot yoga towel, like yogitoes.  When I first started practicing, I used a traditional bath towel.  It soon became clear that this would not cut it.  The towel didn’t cover my whole mat and I was slipping and sliding everywhere.  My yogitoes towel is awesome.  It covers the whole length of my mat and stays in place.  It is essential!
  • Bring lots of water to class.  You will drink all of it.
  • Coconut water is awesome.  After class, there is nothing more satisfying than drinking coconut water.  Well, except for showering, of course.  Anyway.  Coconut water is an awesome, natural way to rehydrate and replace the electrolytes you sweat out during the class.
  • It is addicting.  Even if the first class is tough, you WILL be back and you will become addicted 🙂

 

 Have you ever tried hot yoga?  If not, you really should!  It will enhance your athletic abilities, make you more at ease with your body, increase your flexibility, reduce stress… the list goes on and on!  Go ahead and try it- you have nothing to lose 🙂

*Disclaimer- I am not a yoga instructor nor a fitness instructor or health professional.  These statements are just what I have learned in my own experiences.  

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Filed under hot yoga, Yoga

Boots, Blends, & Bailey

Hi friends!  Thank you for all of the kind words and congrats on my dad’s first 5k.  I know he loved all of the comments!  🙂 

How was your holiday weekend?  It is starting to look like Christmas in my house:image

Isn’t this little tree gorgeous?  My stepmom found it at a craft fair.  I love it!  When do you usually start decorating for the holidays?  I am a strict wait until at least Thanksgiving passes kind of girl.

It was nice to have a four day weekend.  I got some shopping done and found these beauties:   image

Forty percent off at Banana Republic.  Score!  I have been on the lookout for a pair of flat tan boots for who knows how long.  It figures that when I’m not looking for them they pop right up.  I love them so much that I’ve been wearing them everywhere, including around the house.  😉

I attended a few hot yoga sessions over the holiday weekend:

  • Hot Rockin’ Vinyasa, 80s style (Wednesday evening)- I wore the most ridiculous eighties outfit.  It was fun!
  • 26 plus (Friday morning)- Like tradition Bikram but even harder!
  • Silent Bikram (Sunday afternoon)- my most favorite class ever.

All of that yoga has left me feeling awesome!  With the exception of one week, I think I hit my November goal of attending at least four yoga classes per week. 

Yesterday was a busy and fun day!  I ran 3.25 cold, invigorating miles.  I am on the fence as to what my perfect running weather is.   I don’t like it too cold but running in the summer is NOT my favorite.  Yesterday’s temps of almost 40 degrees was pretty awesome!

After the run, I met up with Jen to have lunch at Professor Java’s and give her some TJs goodies.  It is always fun to catch up with her!  She is the sweetest girl ever- look what she gave me:

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Freshly baked banana walnut bread in a cute little Christmas dish!  Thanks Jen 😀   After hanging with Jen I hit up yoga then got to see another one of my fave blends, who gifted me with delicious cookies.  Heather, I already had three of them 🙂  Thank you!

This morning I had to drop of my fave little guy to get his teeth cleaned (and a few pulled) at the vet 😦 image

He was shaking when I dropped him off.  I feel so bad!  I will be calling the vet soon to make sure he is okay.  Poor little!

Okay friends, I’m out- enjoy your cyber Monday!

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Filed under Bailey, Blends, holidays, hot yoga, I'm random, Jen is Green, Running

Miscellany 2

Hi guys!   How y’all been?  I’ve been fairly busy with work and lots and lots of hot yogaaaaa.  I am well on my way towards hitting my goal of 4x a week.  I even woke up at 5:40 A.M (!!!) this past Tuesday to take a class at 6:30.  It was awesome!  I had a cold, rainy three miler with Melissa on that evening (her marathon is in THREE DAYS holla) and I wasn’t even tired.  I did, however, pass out at 9 P.M.  Early riser=early to bed fo sho 😉

Yesterday I conquered another one of my goals:  image

I made tofu (recipe forthcoming), with the help of a secret ingredient: image

Okay, maybe not so secret but it is dang good!  While in Philly this weekend I will be hitting up Trader Joe’s to replenish all of the goodies I picked up last month during the blogger grocery shopping bonanza.  Yes! 😀 

I have some guest posts going around in the blog world- our wedding is featured on Brides Up North– check out the site!  Julia has really outdone herself in her new venture.   I also wrote about staying healthy while traveling over on Linzi’s blogHow do you stay healthy on the road?

Other exciting stuff- I get to see my husband in less than two months, for fifteen glorious days!  😀 😀 😀 So excited!  Hopefully the holidays will fly by! 🙂 

If you’re going to be in Philly this weekend for the marathon, let me know!  Maybe we can meet up 😀

Check ya later!

8 Comments

Filed under Early Riser, Guest Posting, hot yoga, I'm random

A Productive Day and a Delicious Recipe

Hello everyone!  I hope that you enjoyed Veteran’s Day and took some time to reflect on those who served and are currently serving.  I know I have 😉  Today has been incredibly productive- I wish I could have every Thursday off!  The day started with a vet appointment for Mr. B- he had his annual checkup.  The poor little guy is such a champ.  I held him when he got a shot and he didn’t even whimper!  I had to stop and get him special treats afterwards, of course! 

After the vet I headed out to get a 4 3.3 mile run in. It was a gorgeous day out today!  The weather has been a little schizo, seeing as how it was snowing buckets on Monday and I had to go back inside today to change out of my cold gear and into a long sleeved tech tee and shorts without gloves!  Although, taking off the gloves was a bad idea since I had to cut the run short- my hands were FREEZING and I was back at my house 😉  It was a great day to run though- it is cheesy but the cold air really made me feel alive! 

After the run I got to making one of the most delicious recipes I think I’ve ever made, courtesy of my friend Nicole.  I’m kind of obsessed.  Then I accompanied my dad to Fleet Feet to get him fitted for a pair of running shoes.  I am running his first 5k with him in two weeks, yippee!  I should have known better than to think I would come out of Fleet Feet empty-handed.  Nope, I walked out with this: image

A Brooks running jacket!  She is gorgeous.  I justified it because I had a $25 gift card from the store (love the loyalty points) and it fit like a glove .

Look, it even has a special spot inside for your ipod! 

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Okay, I’ll be honest.  What really sold me was the thumbhole!image

Yes, I’m obsessed!  I can’t wait to run in it!!

After coming home from the store I hurried over to a glorious hot yoga class.  Today’s class was much better than yesterday’s if only for the fact that the creepy guy wearing only tiny shorts that gyrates his hips in circles while staring at himself in the mirror to “warm up” before class  (seriously.  I wish I was joking) wasn’t present.  It was awkward last night, to say the least!   Did you have today off?  If so, what’d ya do? 😀

Okay, so on to one of the best recipes ever.  It is a little intensive but I promise you it is worth it, especially if you like risotto and cheese.  I had it for dinner tonight and it is one of the best risotto dishes I’ve ever had, if I do say so myself 😉

Risotto Caprese

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a gentle simmer and maintain over low heat
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and sautee until soft, approximately two minutes.  Add the arborio rice and stir until each grain is well-coated, approximately three minutes.  Add the wine and stir until completely absorbed.
  3. Add the simmering stock to the rice a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly.  Once the liquid is completely absorbed (but never completely dry on top), add the next ladleful and stir, repeating until only 1/4 cup of stock is left.  Reserve the stock.
  4. Cut the fresh mozzarella into 1/2 inch pieces.  When the rice is tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center and creamy looking, remove from heat and stir in reserved stock, the mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.  Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.

image

This is so cheesy and delicious.  This recipe is definitely a keeper (even if your arm is sore from all of that stirring) ;).  Do you like risotto?  Have you ever made it?

Have a great evening friends- it’s almost the weekend! 😀

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Filed under Bailey, Food, hot yoga, Recipe, Running, Yoga

Miscellany

Good morning friends!  Another Monday morning is upon us!  Did y’all enjoy the extra hour we got from setting our clocks back?  I think it messed with my system a little; I went to sleep at 8 PM last night and didn’t wake up until 7:30 AM this morning.  Ahh, at least I can say I am well-rested now! 

This past weekend was a blast!  On Friday night I headed to the gym for the first time in MONTHS to make use of the treadmill, since it was already uber dark at 6 PM.  I did a speed/interval workout that I think is called “quarters.”  Anyway, here is what it looks like, Katie style:

  • Warm up for half a mile at desired warm up pace (for me this is 5.8 on the treadmill
  • Sprint for a quarter mile (6.9-7.1 on treadmill)
  • Recovery jog for a quarter mile (5.3 on treadmill)
  • Repeat until you reach your desired mileage- for me, I repeated five times to reach three miles.

I was a sweaty beast when all was said and done!  I usually resort to these sort of interval workouts while on the treadmill because it is so dang boring!  I am also thinking I should just purchase a treadmill.  I used to use my gym membership for classes and the like but no longer- hot yoga rules my life!  I am essentially paying $44 a month to use a treadmill a few times.  Kind of silly, eh?  Do you own a treadmill?  If so, any brands you can recommend?

I also hit up Target this weekend.  I went in to purchase the final installment in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) and came out with the book plus a pair of jeggings and a cute pair of black shoes:

image

I couldn’t resist!  They were only $20 and I have been on the lookout for a pair of low black flats/heels/whatever.  They only had a few sizes left but mine was one of them.  I figured it was fate 😀  Do you get sucked into impulse purchases at Target?  I know I’m not the only one 😉

On Saturday and Sunday I attended my bikram yoga classes, bringing my total to four for the week.  I’m on track with my November goal of attending class at least 4-5 times a week!  The classes always kill me but I feel so awesome afterwards.  I cannot rave enough about it!  Before class on Sunday, I manged to get in three miles outside- it was a gorgeous, chilly fall day!  I listened to one song on repeat for the entire run- OAR “City on Down” live at Madison Square Garden.  It’s an awesome song to run to!  Do you have any songs that you can listen to over and over again?

Lastly, I hosted a fun jewelry party on Saturday night.  My sis in law is a Lia Sophia consultant so she came by with her yorkie, Bella.  The cat kept staring at Bailey and Bella.  You could tell she was bitter that Bailey somehow managed to multiply 😉  Some of my fave bloggies even stopped by!  A good time was had by all.  I made guacamole (3 avocados, diced onion, diced tomato, fresh lime juice, salt and pepper) and homemade macaroni and cheese.  The mac n cheese was to die for!  Definitely a worthwhile splurge 🙂  You can find the recipe I used here.

A final question for everyone- I am spectating the Philly Marathon in two weeks to cheer on my running buddy Melissa (yippee!!)  For those of you that have spectated before, any fun tips to share?  I am excited! 

How was your weekend?  Enjoy your Monday, friends!

27 Comments

Filed under hot yoga, Interval Workout, Running, Shoes, Target, Yoga

Goals and Green-ness

Good morning!image

Stop taking pictures so I can sleep in peace, devil woman!

Thank you for all of your comments on my first trail race!   There really is something about running in the woods.  I definitely recommend trail running!  You do have to be on higher alert when running in the woods- constantly looking ahead of you to make sure you don’t trip over a rock, branch, your own two feet, piles of leaves and the like.  Over the summer I ran a few times on a trail near my house.  I created two rules for myself when running on the trail: 1) Never wear headphones and 2) Carry mace pepper spray.  Admittedly, I didn’t follow my second rule all the time because I didn’t have pepper spray until I purchased it at the end of summer, but no matter.  When running on the trails, you are typically alone and surrounded by only nature.  I think it is important to be on alert in case any creepers are out there looking to cause harm to someone- hence the pepper spray and lack of headphones.  Do you have any safety rules that you follow while running?  If so, please share! 🙂

Ah, so October is gone and we have two months left in the year.  Hello, November!  😀  I am typically not one to wish life away but with this deployment I am counting down the days/months gleefully.  Since it is the beginning of a new month and racing season is over, I’ve established some new goals that I would like to accomplish:

Goals: Life/Personal

  • Finish our wedding thank you cards.  I wanted to have this done by the six month mark.  I still have 25 to go.  I NEED to get this done before Christmas cards start going out.
  • Change over last name on passport/social security card.  I avoided having to get the title to my car changed by purchasing a new car.  Kidding, kidding 😀 That was a convenient side effect though.  I need to have my passport changed (it is 110 dollars to change it, dang son!) and my social and then I’ll be Katie H on everything!
  • Organize closet.  I’ve been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubing and in the first chapter she discusses how organizing her closet helped organize her mind.  I totally need to ruthlessly go through and edit my wardrobe. 
  • Go Green.  I’ll discuss below.

Goals: Health/Fitness

  • Conquer tofu.  I would like to learn how to cook tofu at home.  I am very intimidated by it.  Namely because a lot of draining is involved and I don’t know if I will do it right.  Since I am not eating as much meat and love tofu, I need to conquer cooking it!  Any tofu recipes to share?
  • Attend hot yoga a minimum of four times a week.  Ideally I would like to go 5-6 times a week, but I am traveling a lot of the weekends this month.  If I’m not home, I can’t attend the classes.  I am very excited to focus on my yoga practice in these winter months.
  • Maintain a base mileage of 10 miles/week.  Obviously I’m not running as much as I was during training, but I’d still like to maintain some sort of base.  This way, when I start training next year I will have something to work off of!

Do you have any goals for the month of November?

So, one of the goals I mentioned was going green.  My friend and fellow blogger Jen started a really neat challenge last month:

The Green challenge!  I wanted to join last month and then saw what the challenge was- only drinking local wine and beer.  Mmm, I definitely couldn’t adhere to that- I love wine too much.  New York state does have some good wines but they just don’t compare to my Italian chiantis or my Argentinian malbecs.  The thing about Jen’s challenge that I really respect and appreciate is that the challenges actually present a challenge– I am betting it is damn hard for her to only drink locally.  Anyway, this month’s challenge is right up my alley- limiting/reducing plastic use.  Check out her post for more information, but the basic tenets are this: eliminating waste when dining out (unless you can recycle it), no plastic water bottles,  only using to-go cups with coffee/tea (this will definitely be a challenge), no plastic grocery bags, etc.  The challenge lasts for a year.  I am really excited to be on board!  Do you have any tips or tricks on how to reduce plastic use?

Thanks for reading and have a good one, friends!

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Filed under Bailey, Goals, Green Challenge, hot yoga, I'm random, Jen is Green, Running