Friday, March 27, 2009

Bikram Update

So I made it through my first Bikram class! Lemme tell ya, it was HOT. It was like running for an hour and a half, in New Orleans, in the middle of August HOT. I've never sweated so much in my life. In fact, this morning I woke up 4 pounds lighter than yesterday, and that was with my sweatpants and pajama top still on. The only other time that's ever happened to me was a day during my teenage angst years when I ate nothing all day and drank 4 liters of Diet Coke (don't ask). This feels healthier though, obviously.

Moving on...

For the most part, I didn't have as much to fear as I thought. I made it through the standing poses (the first half) without needing to stop for more than a few seconds at a time, although I definitely slipped out of a few poses due to the general slickness of my skin after 5 minutes in the room. The second half went pretty decently as well until about 3/4 of the way through the class (there was no clock, so I may be overestimating my stamina, but that seems about right), when after a sit-up my stomach was suddenly a gaping cavern, wanting only food. Needless to say, I got a little dizzy and had to sit quietly for about 15 minutes while my stomach growled. The problem was, by that point I was so hot it was hard to get comfy, even just sitting calmly. I guess I underestimated how tough it is to sit without any body part touching another (because they're all HOT), and with as little skin as possible touching the mat, because it is also HOT, and kind of drenched. Anyway, I made it back up for the last pose and breathing exercise, and then sort of hunched my way out of the room, much like an 80-year-old woman in need of a hip replacement. It was literally the toughest workout of my life, and I've run 90 minutes in the heat before - didn't even come close. Afterward, I was a puddle of relaxation (well, after I'd eaten anyway). All in all, pretty awesome, and I'll definitely be going back. I thought I would be going back today, but the gaping, empty cavern feeling has continued (I didn't eat enough when I got home last night, because there was no food to be had) and I am now eating like a pregnant woman, or like a cow, whichever you choose. I have eaten 4 times today, and I am still hungry. So today is a refueling day, and tomorrow I'll be back.

They say your second class is much easier...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I have a confession to make - I'm scared of yoga. Or, rather, I'm scared of doing my first Bikram yoga class. I've taken yoga classes before, but they were never of the hot variety, and I'm nervous. I've exercised in hot conditions before; it's unavoidable if you run and live in New Orleans. I love to sweat, even. I feel like a workout isn't a workout if I'm not at least a little drenched. Mostly, I'm worried that I'll get nauseous. See, I fear nausea like most people fear heights, or spiders, or flying. Even just thinking about it is making my heart beat a little faster, and herein lies the problem. I have panic attacks when I feel sick, although I'm not sure which comes first - sort of a chicken and egg problem. These, of course, make me feel more sick, and this leads to a vicious cycle of sitting on floor trying not to hyperventilate and telling myself that I will be fine, and I'm just freaking out, and there is nothing really wrong with me.* This has happened once before during a spin class due a super-elevated heart rate and a broken fan in the spin was embarrassing. I practically fell off the bike in my hurry to leave the room. So, while I'm looking forward to the class (I've been sort of in love with the idea of detoxifing my body lately. I even stopped drinking coffee), I'm also a little terrified. So, if any of you readers out there have done it before, please lend me any wisdom you might have.

*Clearly, this sort of behavior indicates that I may not be altogether sane, and I'm a little embarrassed that I've just admitted it on my blog.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Tonight for dinner I thought I'd go with something simple - burgers and fries. However, lately M and I have decided to go vegetarian-ish. No, you haven't stumbled upon someone else's blog. I'm still the bacon loving girl I always have been (and always will be), thus the "ish" part. Plus, it was all M's doing. He's worried about the environmental impact of our meat consumption, so we're giving this the old college try, except that we can still have meat for two individual meals per week. I think that concession may have had something to do with the high-pitched whining that greeted his suggestion. Yay for me! You can just call me the reluctant vegetarian(ish). I'll just state for the record now that the last time I was a vegetarian, I threw myself from the wagon by eating a grilled sausage and an uncooked hot dog in about 5 minutes flat. Full disclosure and all.

Anyway, so far being a semi-herbivore has worked out pretty well. It's been about two and a half weeks now, and I'm settling into the routine. It just requires a little more planning. Take lunch for instance - usually I have a sandwich comprised of some sort of cold cut and cheese. Now I either have to have leftovers, or a salad, or veggie meatless stuff that you buy in the freezer case. Since I'm a simple creature, and since I prefer to save leftovers for dinner, it's usually the last option. Not such a big deal. My grocery lists have changed quite a bit too. I didn't type today's up, as I have before, but it was a big ole column of produce with a few random other things like bread and snack food thrown in for good measure. When the checkout guy asked how often I shopped, he was pretty amazed that I only said "once a week." Apparently, my cart o' veggies indicated to him that I was "refusing to eat" and that he would eat everything on the conveyor belt in two days. Assuring him that you could make quite a bit out of a whole bunch of produce, I left for home.

This is where it got more complicated.

My sister, a die-hard veggie for many years now, has been sending me recipes. So tonight, it was to be "burgers" and garlic fries, the burger obviously being a homemade veggie burger. Lemme tell ya, she wasn't kidding when she said they took forever to make. Rather than mush together some ground beef with some other stuff, I had to saute a bunch of different veggies, then add liquid to allow my texturized veggie protein (sounds appetizing, right? It's defatted dried soy flour, but hey, don't knock it till you try it) to rehydrate, then let cool, then add flour and spices, then let cool for another half hour. In the interim, I nearly managed to set my kitchen on fire when I unwisely used a flat baking sheet for the fries and the oil leaked all over the bottom of the 475-degree oven. Awesome. It's not yet warm out, but there are many windows open in my house tonight. My bedroom, even with the doors having been closed, smells like a damn barbecue, and not in a good way. I even had to wear a bandanna over my face like I was in some old Western. All told, what would have taken a mere half hour if I were serving up beef burgers took an hour and a half. I was starving by the time I was done, and writing this post is giving my poor feet and back a much needed rest. Plus, my formerly clean kitchen now looks like this:

Note to readers - the dishwasher is also full. It's a big freakin' dishwasher. But hey, they tasted good, and were pretty substantial (12 grams of protein per burger, and M is currently laying on the couch telling me that he's "el stuffed-o"), especially when you consider that the main ingredient was the aforementioned texturized vegetable protein, which one writer has said that "even rabbits won't eat."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shameless Plug Tuesday!

What: Carmen & David's Creamery

Where: Prince St., across from the Fulton Opera House in Downtown Lancaster, PA

Why: really amazing ice cream. All of the ice cream sold in the store is made on the premises, which is actually strangely rare in a town surrounded in part by dairy farms. What this means is that the ice cream is always fresh and doesn't have a bunch of fillers, preservatives, or air pumped into it like the stuff that you buy in the grocery store. It also means that the shop's resident Mad Kitchen Scientist (David) gets to roll out new flavors once a week or so, and can experiment with more exotic combinations like Holy Mole (modeled after the spicy, chocolatey sauce used in Mexican cooking) and Baracky Road, which they rolled out for, duh, the Inauguration. And, for those of you into local/seasonal/sustainable foods, you'll be pleased to know that not only is the dairy local, but many of the add-ins come from Lancaster's Central Market, only a block away. Basically, it's the best ice cream I've had in my 27 years, and I've tried quite a few.

My favorite flavors: Lemon Drop (based on the candy of the same name), Dulce de Leche, Butter Almond, Pear Cabernet Sorbet, and Meadow Mint Chocolate Chunk.

Hours, flavors, photos, special events, and the like may be found at

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