Seashells and Planet Fun

After a good run in the morning, filled with sprints and pushups, I headed in for a quick breakfast, so I could get back outside quickly to enjoy my last full day in North Carolina.

Ray’s cousins came to visit and so Ray’s dad, Ray and I went on a long walk to collect seashells.

We found some beautiful seashells, saw a jellyfish swimming in the ocean, grabbed up crabs and did jumps and cartwheels in the water.

The cousins, Katelyn and Madison, didn’t mind me taking a bunch of photographs. The girls are so sweet and gorgeous, it was easy to take beautiful shots of them.

The obligatory jumping photo had to be taken!

The excitement continued into the evening. We went to a fantastic restaurant called Duffers, where I ate delicious food and had a lovely time, laughing and chatting with the family.

After dinner, we headed out to Planet Fun, which literally is fun! We played laser tag (I’ve never done that before and now, I think everyone should do it. It is a BLAST to run around and catch people!), did glow in the dark mini-golfing and played really fun arcade games.

Breakfast: Greek Yogurt and Granola.

Lunch: A Hebrew National 97% Fat Free Hot Dog on a Wheat Bun with Tomatoe and Sweet Relish.

Dinner: Chicken Gyro with Pepper Jack Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoe and Steak Fries. I gave the pickle away.

Sea Kayaking

Anytime I’ve ever kayaked, I was not scared…until today. I’ve kayaked in the ocean, I’ve even kayaked with whales swimming close, but I’ve never had waves keep knocking me over. Luckily, my hubby was close by to rescue me each time!

I’m also not used to the Atlantic, since my family always went to the Gulf or the Caribbean to swim. With clear waters, you see what critters lay below and it’s not as scary as dark waters. The closer I was to leaving the shelter of beach under my feet, the more worried I was about the things I couldn’t see.

My brother-in-law did a much better job at staying afloat, so I caught a shot of him floating forward on a wave.

It definitely is good exercise to keep attempting to stay afloat!

Exercising in the Sun

I was determined to have a somewhat healthy day in the south, so after Mass, I started off the morning by cooking breakfast for Ray and myself.

I chopped up red and orange peppers and browned them on the pan for a few minutes.

Then, I mixed eggs in a bowl, with red crushed pepper, salt and pepper.  I poured that mix into the pan and in a few minutes, I had a delicious breakfast ready for us, completed with a flamingo coffee cup!

I started the morning off with some exercises on the beach. I’m attempting to be able to do pushups daily now, so I did those in the water. It was refreshing to do them as the ocean water came over to make me feel a little less sweaty as I worked hard. I also did leg lifts, crunches and pelvic thrusts. It was Sunday, so I usually take Sunday off from major exercise anyway.

I had to do a jumping photo! I love this style of photography, since my fellow friend and photographer, Andrea, got me into the art. It makes you look like a leaping gazelle!

Breakfast: See above. Scrambled Eggs with Orange and Red Peppers

Lunch: Salami and Swiss Cheese Sandwich with Tomatoes and Red Crushed Peppers.

Dinner: Seafood Pasta, Corn on the Cob and Salad.

Hello, North Carolina.

I’ve been looking forward to a weekend on the beach and was very excited about this trip. My husband’s family rents a house in Holden Beach every year. This year, the house had a pool and elevator and an inverted floor plan, which made it the most beautiful house I’d seen on a beach thus far!

We started off the morning in the Presidents Club Lounge at the airport. Ray’s card was upgraded and with all the flying we do, it was a lovely change to start off the morning with no hassle to find comfortable chairs. It was also a plus to have free food and drink.

I can imagine that free wi-fi, office areas, showers and free bar will be useful on other trips!

The house was beautifully decorated and I love this new style of a beach house, where the second floor is the one with the kitchen and living room.

The second floor has the best view of the beach and ocean and it’s where everyone always hangs out.

The bedrooms are on the first floor and no one spends nearly the same amount of time there as they do in the common areas of the house.

When we got to the house, we quickly unpacked, which was made so easy with the help of the elevator. Then, we headed out to the beach. I couldn’t believe how incredibly warm the ocean was this year. Each year, the Atlantic Ocean is always chilly, especially this early in the season, and you have to enter it in stages. Unbelievably, the pool was actually cooler than the ocean, which seems…impossible!

Ray and I enjoyed a long walk on the beach that evening and went to bed early, since we wanted to be up for 8AM Mass the next morning to have the rest of the day free to enjoy the beach.

Breakfast: At the Continental Presidents Club, I ate a bagel with Philadelphia Creme Cheese and had Coffee with Skim Milk, while reading a magazine.

Lunch: The sun seems to suppress appetites, so I just made myself an orange shake. It was just orange juice and about 20 ice-cubes. Delicious! I followed it up with an orange. I know it seems like a healthy choice, but I did flub a bit and had icecream and banana bread as well…

Dinner: Sweet Potatoe. I added salt and pepper after it came out of the microwave. It didn’t need any other condiments, since the sweet potatoe is very flavorful.

Friday Night Omelet

I’ve blogged about having breakfast for dinner before and I decided to go for it again after a pilates/yoga workout on Friday night. I definitely wanted something with protein. Protein helps build your muscle, so eggs are perfect after a strength training session.

I met my husband after work, grabbed a couple of items from H & M (for our weekend trip), including a bathing suit and a coverup and walked the 40 blocks home. On our way, we decided to stop at Lyric Diner, where I had my omelet with feta and spinach. I had about 1/3 portion of the food to stay within my calorie range.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Raisins. The tea kettle was boiling my tea, while I took the photos.

Lunch: Vegetable Stir Fry with Chickpea Veggie Balls.

Dinner: See above photo. Omelet with Feta and Spinach.

Dance Away!

Dancing is so much fun that you don’t even notice how many calories you are burning. An average of 450 calories per hour is burned with high impact dancing. I got a chance to go to a nice lounge called the Crimson Club to raise money for the Catholic Charities Junior Board and the St. Nicholas Project.

I met some of my friends at the gala and we each got a $1000 fake chip. We were able to “gamble” with this chip and received raffle tickets for every $100 chip we turned in.

I played Black Jack, Roulette and some spinning wheel game.

Every raffle ticket I received, I would throw into a bucket with the hope of winning a prize. My money was on the spa treatment, a signed Jewel CD or a $200 visa gift card. Unfortunately, my name wasn’t called!

I did, however, get a consolation prize of some delicious dessert! Then we danced the rest of the night. Overall the gala raised around $19,000.

After almost everyone left at midnight, a friend and I went to 230 5th Avenue. Walking past it, you wouldn’t know that it is anything but an office building, but you go in and take an elevator to the 20th floor and head up to a fantastic rooftop bar. Robes were available for those who got a little chilly, but we held off since we had our wraps. We stayed there and talked for several hours and enjoyed the Empire State Building and its lights in front of us. I haven’t been out like that in quite a long time, so it was a lot of fun to hang out with my friends and explore some Manhattan clubs.

Breakfast: Breakfast Bake with Cheddar and Broccoli.

Lunch: Pita with Feta and Chicken. Toasted to perfection!

Dinner: At the gala, I had a teeny slice of pizza, some pasta and salad.

Rain, Rain, Rain.

I had planned on going to the Norah Jones free concert in Brooklyn, but the rain made me change my mind. So, I met some friends for a drink. Well, let’s face it, since I’m on this 90 day kick, I’m not really drinking much alcohol, instead, I had a water with a bit of cranberry, a twist of orange and a twist of lemon. I had a few bites of a quesadilla, but quickly realized the calories weren’t worth it. If something doesn’t taste amazing to me, it’s just not worth wasting my calories on it.

I did enjoy the place on the Upper East Side enough to mention it. It was called Molly Pitcher’s Ale House (2nd and 85th). It was a great place to meet my friends and meet new friends–I even met a guy running for state senate. Good times!

By the time I got back to the Lower East Side, I was completely soaked. I walked past a local homeless man and decided that he needed my umbrella more than me–after all, I was heading to a home with a hot shower and he was standing under a dripping awning. I recognized him from a homeless shelter I volunteered with a year or so ago–I remember learning that he had a methamphetamine addiction, which is why he will pause mid-walk. I rapidly made my way through hard rain and puddles and wondered what else I could have done for that man. I just hope I didn’t shame him in any way when I gave him the umbrella. The one thing I hope for myself and everyone else in this world is to always have dignity.

Breakfast: Cornflakes and Skim Milk.

Lunch: Chicken with Apple Reduction and Veggie Medley.

Dinner: Snacked on Some Stuff at the Bar, but the photos didn’t come out since it was so dark. Sorry! Quesidilla and a Chicken Tender and One Buffallo Wing were involved.

Fun in Bryant Park

Saw a lot of interesting things in Bryant Park today, while I was there eating lunch.

On Tuesdays in Bryant Park, Terri from the Arcadia Bird Sanctuary brings several birds to educate and delight park goers.

I didn’t have my notebook with me this time, but I’ll get back to her and ask her a bit more for a future post. What I do know is that she volunteers her time and has been doing so for 2 years. She clearly loves birds.

I loved the spacing of the people waiting for a bus on 6th Avenue.

Today’s NY Daily Deal was a $10 Hoola Hoop Class and in the theme of the day, I saw girls hoola hooping, but in Bryant Park, instead of Central Park.

Breakfast: Granola and Skim Milk

Lunch: Feta and Chicken in a 1/2 Pita. I brought my food to the park with me and enjoyed eating it outdoors. New Yorkers are known for their Vitamin D deficiency and I was told it might help me resetting my sleep cycle, so here we go sun!

Dinner: Chicken Lasagna

Reach for the Skies

Today was one of those days with beautiful skies, so I needed to take a photo of the sky in Madison Square Park to show off this gorgeous day. Short post today, since I posted three yesterday.

I worked out hard today and I’m ready to go to bed at a decent hour. Tomorrow, I’ll be up early to run at the Hudson River and continue working toward my goals because in a flash, this will all be over, and I want to feel great about my progress.

Breakfast: Cornflakes with Skim Milk.

Lunch: Meatball Sandwich. Anything warmed in a toaster oven is so tasty!

Dinner: Chicken Lasagna. I added red crushed peppers and it was wonderful. Remember all of these photos are on salad size plates, so even though something may look like it completely fills the plate, I am still not overeating. It allows me to eat a variety of foods, without overdoing it.

Relaxing Sunday

I mentioned in last night’s post that I would put up a few photos from the party that I went to last night, so here are a few photos of some friends.

To be clear, the party was for an art exhibition. A half dozen painters, dancers, singers and musicians were there to show off their art and music. Various bands played in this wonderful hidden schoolyard in the heart of SoHo.

The party also feel on the eve of the 201st anniversary of the founding of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, which was recently named a Basilica by Pope Benedict XVI, so it was another reason to celebrate in their schoolyard.

After being out late last night and blogging after I got home, today was a day of just relaxing and sticking to the eating goals. This is day 50!

Breakfast: Granola and Skim Milk. A measuring cup makes sure that you stick with your calorie range.

Lunch: Multi-Grain Bread with Beef

Dinner: Chicken Lasagna. There will be a lot of that this week. The great thing is makesomething delicious and low calorie (with whole wheat noodles and lean meat like turkey or chicken) and split it up into portions to stick with your 300 calories.

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