my journey to be my best self

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

legs, bums and tums

In health, Uncategorized on May 31, 2011 at 10:31 am

Well this is certainly not Eat, Pray, Love.  I started the morning with a brisk walk up Kensington High Street towards Club Kensington, the neighborhood gym.  I left early enough to be there in time for Legs, Bums and Tums.

This is how the class is described:

Targeting the lower body muscles, this class will help tone and reshape thighs, tighten buttocks and firm abdominal muscles.

Why did I read mat class in the description?  When the instructor walked in he looked like the Incredible Hulk, just not green but equally muscular on top.

I instantly thought, “What did I just get myself into?”  And I knew I was doomed when I heard Michael Jackson blaring from the speakers at a pitch that only dogs should be able to hear.

Apparently the best way to target legs, bums and tums is through step aerobics.  Damn.  The women in the class must be regulars because they are moving through the routine seamlessly and I am hopping up and down on the step trying to catch up.  Useless.  At some point I just started laughing. It is absolutely hilarious that I found myself in this aerobics class with the instructor walking around singing, “I kissed a girl and I liked it.”

I was relieved after 35 minutes when we changed the pace and finally got a mat and started toning.  After 25 minutes I was glad to lay on my back and listen to Kenny G.  60 minutes later I was so glad class was over but I am thinking about returning next week.


day trip: cambridge

In travel, Uncategorized on May 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm

So far my experience in London is very difference than my last stay.  I think it is because I realize I didn’t take advantage of all of the opportunities to explore a new place.

Today we went to Cambridge and along with exploring the college town we went punting.  When Whitney asked if I wanted to go punting she had to then explain what punting is: boating in a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow.  We were smart enough to hire a punter.  Otherwise we would likely have been in the river.


I have to say punting was one of the best ways to tour the city as Jack told us about each of the colleges and the bridges as we reached them.  At 16, Jack was quite knowledgeable about Cambridge and all of the colleges in town.  This was a relief because when we were heading out Jack was distracted by the swans and didn’t want to leave the dock as the swans were bringing their babies closer.  He would have preferred to feed them Tom’s bread all afternoon.

Instead of traveling down the river and back we decided to hop off and finish our tour by foot.  First we had what Whitney called our best meal out.  As we walked around we found the candy store and Whitney was literally a kid in a candy store.

We would have shopped more but it began to rain.  Surprise, surprise.  But before we got home we marveled at some of the architecture.

We had to run in in the rain to the train but were back in London.  Whitney planned today’s outing.  Well done, Whit!


i love afternoon tea

In travel, Uncategorized on May 28, 2011 at 10:28 am

There are some things that British just get right.  And tea is one of them.  Tea is a ritual that I remember wanting to bring back to the states after my last visit and if I lived any closer to Fortnum & Mason I would have been treating myself to tea every afternoon (between 3 and 6).

I absolutely love tea.  How can I incorporate it into my daily routine? This is the fat girl in me because I cannot have tea with cream and sugar every day.  Actually that would be the least of worries.  It would be the finger sandwiches and the scones with clotted cream that would do me in.  That and the cupcakes.  But when in Rome…

I will be back again (several times) before I head home.  Be jealous.  Very jealous.

Don’t I look happy?

i miss new york

In travel, Uncategorized on May 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm

As much as I have enjoyed the quiet of Boston and the opportunity to reevaluate my life and what is important, I miss New York.  Of all the things I miss, I miss my friends the most.  I miss sitting and talking with my girlfriends over (many glasses of) wine. The laughter is the confirmation I need that my thoughts are valid.  You do not get that in solitary confinement.

As I pack my bags, yet again, and plan my travel to London I am suddenly reminded that I will not be in New York this summer and even though there are so many things to look forward to there are things I will certainly miss.  Included on that list:

  • yoga in Bryant Park
  • picnics in Central Park
  • film festival in Bryant Park

  • concerts in the Prospect and Central Parks

  • drinks at rooftop bars

  • dinner at restaurants with outdoor seating
  • dinner on the grill

  • lobster rolls at Brooklyn Flea

  • corn at Cafe Habana and Habana Outpost
  • weekend trips to the beach

And of course the extra boost of energy that I have knowing summer won’t last forever.  

our best selves (guest blogger: mom)

In health, Uncategorized on May 12, 2011 at 10:21 am

I not only survived, I conquered a 3 day cleanse. All juiced vegetables and fruits for 3 whole days! Why you ask? Well, I did it with my daughter ( as some of you faithful readers already know). A great mother daughter experience ( right up there with getting our noses done). No really this was a good in the memory bank experience . 3 days of wiping the produce section of the local super market out, veggies and fruits flying all over the kitchen, red juices all over the counters and constant whining. But more importantly constant encouragement, 3 days of working a plan . And a good healthy plan, together. Doesn’t get any better than that (unless of course we were shopping and eating). Just kidding.

Now, where as my daughter was doing it to continue on her journey to be her best self (and as a mother I encourage that) and not as a diet ( I don’t encourage that). And btw she can’t afford to lose another inch and my mother who believes a woman should have “a little something on her” would not be happy about this “fat girl in a skinny girl’s body” or “being my best self” thing going on here. I encourage healthy eating habits , exercise and getting in touch with your body.

I, on the other hand already know all of that stuff and am flat out trying to shed these extra pounds that actually don’t belong to me! I am (like my girlfriend says) “bringing sexy back” (lucky for me sexy it’s just around the corner and not all the way down the block or in another town). And when my husband went to the store to get replacement fruits and veggies (he never goes to the store couldn’t find the kale because he didn’t know what raw kale looked like) and followed our instruction not to eat in our home for 3 days I knew then he was all about supporting this healthy, bonding, mother daughter thing but was certainly down with “bringing sexy back”! Now don’t get him wrong he loves me just the way I am, but what man doesn’t like a little excitement like the new bathing suit I’ll be wearing while on the beach with him? Or the new slinky little number I’ll let him take me to dinner in? And the new Gucci bag I promised myself if I completed the cleanse (ok, he doesn’t see how that fits in but hey whatever motivates you).

Well, as I said we survived and conquered this thing. We feel good, look good and shed 5 lbs. We spent 3 days together in harmony with a single purpose. To be our best selves. To work together, to be in a healthy relationship with one another, to love, encourage and support each other, well that’s my defintion of “being our best selves.” And yes we are!

L’s Mom

cleansing: day 3

In health, Uncategorized on May 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm

It’s day 3 and I am 5 pounds lighter. Thank God.  I deserve a reward for drinking fruits and vegetables for the last few days.

Yesterday I didn’t drink all of my drinks, making this more a fast than a cleanse.  I just couldn’t. I was drinking so slow and then next thing I knew it was 8:30 and I had 3 drinks to go.  And the first was coconut water. Impossible.  Mom drank all of her drinks.  Go Girl! But I was stuck after the second green drink.  What tasted so fresh and so clean clean on day 1 was so hard to swallow day 2.

I hoped if I started the day early I could drink everything and be done with this cleanse.  Everything tastes a little better today.  Thankfully.  Because yesterday I was complaining so much I really didn’t know if  I would make it.

I signed up for yoga class this morning and as soon as I signed up I thought to myself, “maybe this isn’t the best idea.”  When I laid down on my mat I saw stars.  It was psychological. It had to be. I am not malnourished. I am getting all of the nutrients I need through my juices.  So I needed to get the thoughts of passing out out of my mind and focus on my practice.  An hour later I was still standing and ready for my next juice.

When I asked my mom how she was doing with her juice she said, “Fuck.”  I felt her.  I made it though all of the juices except the coconut water.  I just couldn’t.  It tastes awful.  I didn’t expect it to but its really really terrible.

I was adding items to my mental grocery list all day.  I am so excited to eat.  To chew.  This is what we’re eating tomorrow: acorn squash, eggplant, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocados.  I can’t wait to sink my teeth in the vegetables.

I have complaining the last 2 days but I think it’s was a good way to get a tune up.  And I am sure (even though it’s not acting like it) my body is thanking me.

cleansing: day 2

In health, Uncategorized on May 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I am making a list in my head of all of the things I would like to eat.  Almost like a grocery list except everything I see I add to the list. It was such a beautiful day that I decided to go to Georgetown. And as soon as I got in the car I thought to myself, “I wish I could eat today. Even frozen yogurt would be good.” Wishful thinking.  I hopped in with 3 juices and Keith looked at the green juice and I asked if he wanted to taste.  We had the most hilarious conversation as he considered tasting my green juice.

Keith: What’s in it?

Lola: Kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, watercress, parsley, pear…

Keith: You have me until pear.

Lola: What?

Everything tastes better day 1.  I thought it would get easier. But its just not. It’s getting harder and everything tastes awful.  I want to quit.  I absolutely don’t want to eat this tomorrow.  I watched (in pain) as Keith had a slice of pepperoni pizza.  I don’t eat pepperoni but I would have today.  So I survived that and then what do we walk upon?  Free Cone Day at Haagen Dazs.  Well damn.  Keith got a cup and I got one for my Dad.  When a bit dripped on my hand it took every ounce of strength I had not to lick it off my fingers.

I am trying my absolute hardest not to think about food.  But right now everything looks, smells and I swear would taste delicious.

Maybe I should just go to bed and start again tomorrow. Oh, no. I can’t I am only on drink 3.  I have no choice but to survive.

cleansing: day 1

In health, Uncategorized on May 10, 2011 at 10:03 am

We celebrated Mother’s Day with brunch on the rooftop at the W and by the end of the meal I was so full from my waffle, bacon and all-you-can-drink bellinis I fell asleep on the couch.  I remember more than an hour before feeling full.  Did I stop eating? Of course not.  It was a buffet.

I thought it was probably a good idea to drink a juice before going to bed last night so my body didn’t go into shock in the morning when I started drinking my green juice.  I made cucumber, celery and apple juice.  My mother said she wasn’t hungry before but was starving after her juice.  She also claimed to have a headache.  I told her it was psychological.  Since when did cucumber, celery or apple make her head hurt?

So here goes day 1.  Hope we make it through the day without passing out.

I started my day late. I wasn’t hungry but when my mom came home from spinning (I warned her not to go).  She started the morning with hot water and lemon and she was ready for her 1st juice: spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, watercress, parsley, pear, lemon and ginger.  She started complaining about the green juice.  To be honest, it wasn’t very appealing in the bottle.  At least with her ahead of me I would know what to expect throughout the day.

And according to her I would have to go to the bathroom all day.  She jumped up and ran to the bathroom as soon as she finished telling me this and I yelled down the hall, “I can’t believe you really have to go.” She replied, “I just hope I make it where I’m going before I have to go again!” Great. I am not looking forward to that.

I wish you could have seen her face when I told her I liked the green juice. Ok, fine it’s not good but it’s not disgusting!

Next juice: grapefruit and mint. Easy.  Ok, not so easy. I had a headache. Not a debilitating one but an ever present one.  I want to skip to the almond nut milk, date and vanilla juice.  But no, green juice is next on menu. Again.

The worst drink ever? Coconut water. And the Goya water has little chunks of coconut that clog the straw.  I really thought it was the end of the cleanse for me.  I couldn’t imagine finishing the can, let alone drinking the next day and the day after that.

Our kitchen has become a juice factory.  The amount of fruits and vegetables is unbelievable and the amount of time it takes to make just a little juice is disheartening.  But once you start on this journey there’s no turning back so I have to juice to be ready for tomorrow morning.

I packed the next 2 drinks with me in a little cooler: beets, carrots and fuji apples and the last drink, almond nut milk, dates and vanilla.  I finished these in the movies and had to run to the bathroom twice.

What have I gotten myself into? Oh well, day is over and I’m not hungry and barely miss chewing.


Mom: If I survive this I’m getting a pocket book.

Me: If you survive this you’ll have a clean, healthy body.

Mom: Good.  I can put my new pocketbook on it.

goodbye boston

In travel, Uncategorized on May 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

When I was applying to graduate programs I was hesitant about Boston University because I didn’t want to leave New York for Boston.  When I decided on BU I remember telling myself, “you can live anywhere for a year.”

And now it has been 8 months and I can’t believe my stay in Boston has come and gone so quickly.

While I never thought jumping up and down on the couch with champagne in my hand while looking into the crowd for cute boys would get old, I have come to like my  new life. I miss New York but will now miss the quiet of Boston.  I have grown to be my biggest, strongest, fastest, best self in Boston and I attribute it to the quiet, to the time to think and evaluate what is most important.

I changed my diet (after I realized I had to unbutton my pants after every meal).  Everyone I encountered scoffed when I said I was doing Weight Watchers.  I admit it does seem a bit excessive for someone who is not, by definition, overweight.  But it was the best way for me to really consider what I was eating and to learn to how to treat my body better.

I started juicing.  And I love it.  I am not even turned off by the cleaning yet.  When I was little my friend’s mother made her and her brother to drink blue-green algae.  I was so thankful that our mother didn’t subject me and BJ to it.  And now I am the woman with a glass of thick green juice.

After a hiatus between 2000 and 2007 and then from 2008 to 2011 I started working out.  I dreaded it but signed up for Condition & Tone at the gym.  I pushed myself and am now going to miss Allison pushing me, especially in spinning.  I have finally chosen my body over my hair.

I have made a conscious decision to remove any unhealthy relationships from my life just like I removed the toxins from my body through diet and exercise.  I have practiced kindness and haven’t allowed any unkindness that I have been faced with the get me off track to be the best version of myself.

Everything is harder in the beginning and gets easier along the way.  All you have to do is decide to be your best self.  And everything else will follow. That is the #1 lesson I will take from Boston.

So long, Boston.  (I can’t believe I am saying this) I will miss you.  I will miss my friends the most:

1. eating family dinner with Gabby (and Clay)

2. having Gabby to motivate me at the gym (because I would have never gone if she hadn’t signed up with me)

3. reconnecting with Laura, who I had not spent time with since high school

4. meeting new friends to explore the city with: Tiffany introduced me to Daniel and James introduced me to Jenn and I am so glad I had them both

5. having 2 school friends to study with, complain to and show my crazy to knowing they wouldn’t judge me even though we’re new friends: Whitney and Verity and (my guidance counselor who I cannot make any decisions without) Divya

I will miss all of those things and:

1. shopping on Newbury

2. brunch in South End

3. lunch in Boston Common

4. studying at Boston Public Library

5. dinner in Little Italy

6. drinks at Liberty Hotel and Drink

7. watching Celtics with crazy Boston fans

8. finding all of the black people on Harvard-Yale Weekend (won’t miss getting kicked out of the club because black people = gang members)

9. day drinking on Marathon Monday

10. sunny days on BU Beach

Next adventure:


vacation is over

In health, Uncategorized on May 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm

The perfect vacation is defined as sitting by the pool listening to the sound of the ocean, feeling a cool breeze while soaking up the sun and drinking pina coladas.   And that is how I spent the last 4 days in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

And every minute of it was worth it.  But now that I am back, I have to get back to my healthier lifestyle.  I want to keep my beach body that I debuted this weekend.

I will not bring back my eating habits from Mexico; room service, buffets, all-you-can-eat will be removed from my vocabulary momentarily.  But what I will bring back is a few new juice recipes:

  • apple, banana, mango
  • apple, spinach, banana
  • apple, orange pineapple

I just wish I could have brought someone back to clean my juicer in the mornings because that was the best part of having my juice in Mexico.  I am already dreading cleaning it.