Tuesday, April 15, 2014

8 exceedingly pleasant benefits of going for a walk that have nothing to do with losing weight

1. You can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes - all at once. And that's the best kind of multi-tasking.

2. You can increase circulation, which can speed up healing.

3. More oxygen to your brain = more amazing, interesting, and unique thoughts to share on Facebook.

4. If you time it right, you can come home to: a fully charged cell phone/laptop, a finished load of laundry, or a clean washer full of dishes.

5. If you do it regularly, you get to go shopping for walking shoes more often - and these days, walking shoes come in freakin' fantastic colors and designs.

6. You can strengthen your legs, butt, and thigh muscles, not to mention your core - always a plus.

7. If you do it outside, it gives you a big dose of Vitamin D, otherwise known as the happiness vitamin.

8. More time with your thoughts = you're that much closer to figuring it all out. And that's pretty much been our goal as humans ever since we decided to walk on two feet.

Walk well.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Food for thought

"I'm not overweight.  I'm nine inches too short."

-  Shelley Winters (1920-2006)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Squash Soup and Green Walls: Synergy Pilates and Yoga

A few years ago, I took a few yoga classes at Synergy. I loved the green walls and wood floor, calming and at the same time invigorating. I loved that I was surrounded by women from all ages and walks of life. No matter how different we were, we were all after the same goal - wellness.

I pass by Synergy every day during my commute. I often look over at it and remember how good I felt when I went there, just that handful of times; the impact was that powerful.

So when I heard they were hosting an open house this week, I decided to give it a go - to remind myself what it felt like to walk through those doors looking to be Well.

It turns out Synergy isn't just about Pilates and yoga classes; across the parking lot in another space, it's a regular gym - treadmills, Zumba classes, etc. But the vibe is the same - Feel Good, Move More, Be Well. Some women who had just finished a spinning class came to the open house, looking equal parts spent and satisfied. They didn't have that smug, I'm-better-than-you-because-I-just-kicked-my-own-ass, competitive air about them - they were just happy to have had a good workout.

I'm tempted to try that gym out; as you know, I have a bit of an issue with my current gym. Maybe Synergy would be different. Or maybe I'm just the kind of girl who needs to exercise outside (and hibernate during the winter months).

The open house was packed with fitness enthusiasts, bloggers, social media people, and the usual Movers and Shakers of Howard County. I reconnected with old friends and met some new ones. Always a good time when that happens.

Once again, I accidentally stalked Chef Robert Gadsby. I swear that when I signed up for this open house, it was for the health and wellness aspect, not because I wanted to approach the chef, giggle like a school girl, and say inane things "You're good."

Yes, I ended up doing both of those things. Let's move on.

The Chef had prepared two things to give a taste of the offerings at Gadsby's Bar American - a bite-sized smoked turkey and ricotta salata on baguette, and (yippee!) his butternut squash soup. Remember when I told you about his butternut squash soup? Twice? This time around, he served it in individual cups topped with an almond crème fraîche and poppy seeds. (FYI: When he told me about the almond crème fraîche, that's when the "You're good" escaped my soup-soaked lips).

Linganore Wine also had a table, where they were serving tastings and full glasses of their wines. They've changed their labels since the last time I saw them - I like the new labels a lot. Always a sucker for a sweet white wine (especially when the sun is shining and the temperatures are rising), I came back for seconds of their Skipjack blend.

It was really nice to step out of my comfort zone and mingle a bit. Normally, I have the Sous Chef with me as a sort of handsome anchor - but this evening, I was flying solo. At one point, I very consciously walked across the room and engaged a threesome of women who were awkwardly standing near each other, but not talking. Perhaps the Skipjack was the source of my sudden courage, but whatever, I just went with it.

I used this new found bravery to approach one of the name-tag wearing staff members, and it turns out I think I may have some experience with that... I very happily exchanged business cards with her, and am looking forward to a treatment with her as I work to improve my mobility.
it may have been meant to be - I learned that she's a massage therapist who especially loves helping people who are dealing with pain.

See? Doing stuff you don't normally do can work out pretty well in the end.

And I suppose that's what health and wellness are all about - stepping out of your comfort zone in an attempt to better yourself, to reach beyond your current boundaries, and perhaps connect with something more than just your own world.

Be well.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Food for thought

"Great restaurants are mouth brothels.  There is no point going to them if you intend to keep your belt buckled."

-  Frederic Raphael

Homemade Pasta at AIDA

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Small Potatoes

1. Sous Chef and I are having dinner right now at Bean and Burgundy. Because apparently, we cannot get enough of this place. It's nice to be able to enjoy a glass of wine and nibble on treats like kimchi cheese fries while working on your MacBook.

2. Is it totally pretentious that I mentioned I'm working on a MacBook? I hope not. I'm not a total Apple Whore; I own an Android smartphone and I still know my way around the intimate areas of a PC. I swear.

3. I am realizing more and more often lately that I am not "young" anymore. I don't fit in quite yet with the middle-aged crowd, yet I am certainly not an irresponsible twenty-something anymore. I'm like a weird hybrid - I enjoy indulging in a deep red glass of Malbec just about as much as I like Buzzfeed quizzes that tell me which Sweet Valley High character I am. Oh dear.

4. Speaking of not being young anymore, check out this list of 30 healthy choices to make before 30. I've done 19 or 20 of them; several in just the past two years, so that brings my number down to the low teens. How many have you done?

5. Speaking of healthy choices, here's an unhealthy one. Although, if you look at it another way, maybe it is a healthy decision - you know, because of the portion control.

6. Speaking of Brownies, when are Girl Scout cookies coming again? I feel like it's soon...I haven't been accosted by a group of smiling tweens outside of the grocery store yet this year, so hopefully I haven't missed it. I love Tagalongs. And Samoas. And Thin Mints.

7. Speaking of Thin, I think it may be something I never am. But that's okay. As long as I'm happy.

P.S. I Googled "Thin Mints" to try to find a picture of the cookie, and that led me to Googling "Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies", which led to the suggested category "Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies Strain". As in a variety of weed. I wonder how they came up with that name...