Thursday, June 30, 2011

Avacado and Pine Nut Wrap--Pret A Manger

(please note:: photo is not mine, and I would not wear that tacky ring)

I am still relatively new to this Vegetarian Lifestyle so finding lunch on the go can present a challenge sometimes. However I have always been a big big avacado lover, I mean it is one of the most delicious and versatile vegetables out there. ::Daydreams about guacamole:: Okay I'm back. So 3 weeks ago I was running out to get a quick bite on my lunch break, I had about 15 minutes to get something and get back to the office. Thankfully NYC is packed with food options, for every block there is about 6 different types of eateries. SCORE!

I am also a big fan of Pret A Manger, their salads/sandwiches/snacks are all super yum, plus they're super close to my job so I choose them in a pinch also They are a tad pricey but you can't really put a price tag on a good meal, can you?

So I stumbled across this little gem as I was scanning all the vegetarian options that they had to offer. I read the list of ingriedents:Avocado + Toasted Pine Nuts + Mediterranean Dressing + Parmesan + Basil + Tomato + Cucumber + Spinach + Pret's Seasoning + Tortilla Wrap Then I read how many calories this would cost me...440 (under 500, score!)

I grabbed a diet coke and ran back to work. I have gone back twice now for this wrap. The creaminess of the avacado, the crunch of the pine nuts and the pret's seasoning are all so complimentary of each other I simply cannot resist! I would reccomend this to vegetarians and non-vegetarians as it is too tasty not to try.

Thumbs up to Pret and thumbs up to you for trying it!

Fitness Incentive

I live in a small town on Long Island. A town where you cannot go anywhere without seeing someone you know. This was one of the reasons I did not want to join the gym in the village..I didn't want anyone who knew me to see me attempt to work out, I was so embarrassed by how out of shape and overweight I had become since I graduated high school in 2004.

However Fitness Incentive has been voted the best gym on all of Long Island for the past 4 years (this year included) They offer over 150 classes a week! They open at 5 am and close at 10, basically they don't allow you to have an excuse NOT to work out. I decided I would purchase a 3 month membership in April of 2010 to see if I would actually stick to a workout regime. Not only did I doubt myself  but everyone around me who knew my exercising history did.

My sister always raved about one of the teachers classes at Fitness Incentive, how great she was and how the workout was unlike anything else. I was hesitant because she's in incredible shape and I clearly was not. However one Sunday morning I mustered up the confidence to give it a try. I hid in the back of the packed out class hoping I wouldn't see anyone I knew as I attempted to Kickbox for my first time. As soon as the music started I KNEW I was in trouble... It was so fast! How was I ever going to be able to keep up with these people? I thought about walking out right then and there...there was no way I could make it through 60 minutes of jumping jacks, lunges, punches, etc

But I did.

I modified a lot of it, but it was my first workout in years! I kept telling myself if you can get through this it will only get better. You have to do this, you cannot give up. I remember my sister turning around a few times to see if I was still there and probably to make sure I was still alive. I think knowing she was there supporting me was also a reason I kept going, I almost felt that I would let her down if I left and quit.

After that first class I went up to the desk and extended my 3 month membership to a year. I have consistently attended all of her classes and have become stronger than I ever thought possible. I never thought I would come to a point in my life where I would make decisions based on my workouts. I don't go out and drink Friday or Saturday nights because I want to get up and be in that gym at 8 am literally kicking ass. I leave there feeling amazing(and exhausted). Not everyone understands how I can skip out on a night of boozin it up at the local bar just so I can go to the gym, but they don't need too. This is about ME and no one else.

After about 6 months of working out consistently and building relationships with different people in the gym the instructor included she asked me to write my story for the gyms newsletter. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to read about me or my story (funny as I write a blog about me AND my story) but with some coaxing I agreed. I was printed in the March 2011 F.I.T to print newsletter and received an overwhelming response from people I knew and even more from those I didn't! It was a great feeling to know people genuinely enjoyed what I wrote and it was another thing I had pushed myself to do that I thought I couldn't.

"You gain strength,courage,and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face....Do the thing you think you cannot do."

A journey begins with a single step

In December of 2009 my family and I went out to dinner to celebrate my younger sisters 21st birthday. As in most celebratory situations lots of photographs were taken by several members of the party. I was always a little wary of other people taking my picture because they could never get "my good side," the angle was bad,or it made me "look fat." But the camera doesn't lie...the facts were there I was just too stubborn to admit it--I WAS FAT. I had consistently been gaining weight and ignoring the scale, ignoring the bigger clothing sizes..Basically I was living in pure denial. But I will NEVER forget the feeling when I saw this picture::

I couldn't believe it, how did I let this go on for this long? How did I not notice how ginormous I had become? No wonder I was so upset all the time, No wonder I had heart palpitations (I thought it was from too much sugar) No wonder I wanted to sit around and watch T.V instead of act like a normal 23 year old. I got on the scale the day I saw this picture, and never looked back.

It has taken me a year and a half  but I have lost 35 pounds, the healthy way. I have found gym classes I love, food that not only tastes great but makes me feel just as good. With all that I have lost in weight I have gained in happiness, health, confidence and most importantly MUSCLE ;]

I have had so much support during my journey from my fiance, family and friends... People tell me how great I look and how I am motivating THEM to be a better person, to try things they haven't tried before, to become a better version of themselves.This is unreal to me. When I started my journey I just wanted to loose weight so I could look in the mirror without being upset at what I saw. I'll admit it was NEVER about getting in shape or being healthy, my goals were vain but at the time it was all I wanted. I still have a long way to go and a whole new list of goals that I want to achieve which is why I've decided to start a new chapter and document it as I go...

"Every journey begins with a single step."