Sunday, May 29, 2011

First Yoga Class! And it was Outside!!

So as you know, I have been trying to get in better shape slowly and work on making numerous healthy lifestyle changes. I have heard amazing things about yoga and its numerous benefits. However, being on the budget that I am on lately, it is not something I can run to a studio and do.

Lululemon to the rescue! I have looked at their clothing and lusted after it for a long time. I read that they were hosting free yoga classes in Bryant Park during the summer. I convinced a friend to come along with me since I did not want to be the only one falling down and only getting halfway into the poses.

I loved the class!! It was so nice and relaxing to stretch and be outside with so many other people who wanted to do something good for themselves. We arrived approximately thirty minutes early and set up our mats in the third row. (Lululemon provides mats but we both brought our own because we didn't know how many would be available. It turns out that there are plenty of mats provided!)

The instructor was Matt Giordano. He also teaches at Pure Yoga and gave out free passes after class (I can NOT wait to try Pure Yoga!). He is also a Lululemon ambassador at the Lincoln Square store.

This class was very relaxed. I think he did a great job keeping the pace slow enough for a beginner. I had to look at the people in front of me a couple of times since the class size is so large I could not always see him perfectly. However, I never felt lost during the class. If I was a more experienced practitioner I am sure I would not have needed to check my form against a neighbor.

Being able to focus on doing something so good for me on so many levels in the middle of the best city in the world really gave me a lot to think about. I want to thank Lululemon for offering their free classes. You provided me a chance to engage in an activity that I have realized I love. Additionally, after the class, my knee felt unbelieveably lose and relaxed. It also felt stronger and more flexible than it has in a long time. I also want to thank the team of people who were there helping to organize it. It was such a contrast to put the calm of the yoga practice in an oasis of green with all the skyscrapers and city sounds very much present.

What I was entertained by was the number of people who sat and watched the class. There were tourists taking pictures and a lot of people staring. I normally am very self-conscious when stuff like that occurs since I am still in the beginning of my weight lost journey. However, I felt rather relaxed when I saw it happening. I was doing something good for me and taking steps towards being a healthier individual- there is no shame in that!

Lululemon- I will most definitely be back quite a few times during the summer for this WONDERFUL experience - thank you from the bottom of my heart for making these classes accessible to everyone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Zagat Food Truck Frenzy!

So I had a ticket for the Zagat Food Truck Frenzy which was origianally scheduled for last Thursday. However, the non-stop rain in the city had them re-schedule it for yesterday. It was unfortunate that it was still rainy and icky. I did not let that deter me thouhgh. I went armed with two friends, my friend Susan and the boyfriend's mom.

They gave you a pass to the event with four little tickets to tear out and pay with at the food trucks. 
The people at Zagat did a great job getting some of the best trucks in the city to participate. The must-try trucks on my list and that of my cohorts included Luke's Lobster Truck, Korilla BBQ truck and Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.

The trucks had all preselected either one item or a choice of items for people to sample. At Luke's Lobster the offering was either lobster roll or shrimp roll.

My mini lobster roll!! Isn't it pretty! It was small but full of lobster meat. It was delicious!

Susan chowing down!        

We later heard that they ran out of lobster very quickly at the truck. While waiting on line for the BGICT we heard the people at Luke's Lobsetr say that they had made 300 rolls before running out of lobster. That is a lot of happy tastebuds!

The next stop was Korilla BBQ. The people on this truck had an amazing amount of character and personality! They were a joy to talk to! One made fun of the Boston hat which made me giggle since I am a born and breed NY-er.
I loved the brightly decorated truck!!

The line for Korilla!

And when my beef taco was done I got asked if I wanted them to "chef it up!". I was so excited to see what this entails and loved their enthusiasim that I could not help but say yes. The problem ended up being that it was much more spicy than I would have wanted, however, it was delicious!
This is my beef taco and a pork taco. I do not usually eat pork so the beef was a great option for me. The put kimchi and korilla sauce and made it nice and spicy!

The next truck had my group split up. I went off with the boyfriend's mom in search of spicy chicken tacos and dumplings while Susan went to get pork chops with pork sauce. Her pork chops came from Bian  Dang truck. The spicy chicken taco and dumplings came from Big D's Grub Truck.
Big D's Grub Truck

Susan's pork chop in pork sauce. She ate half of it before I could get my camera near it. Shame! She also drowned it in hot sauce too! She likes the spice!!
Spicy chicken dumplings. The sauce is spicy mayo which was mayo mixed with siriracha. It was delicious and the mayo was just enough to cut the spice down to a manageable level for me.

The spicy chicken taco.

The best part of the day and the part I had been looking forward to for the longest time- Big Gay Ice Cream Truck!! I have been in love with their menu and have never gotten the chance to try it. I was very much looking forward to trying the Salty Pimp but they were not offering it so I tried the Bea Arthur instead (which would have been my second choice anyway).

I will agree with this award after my ice cream!

Bea Arthur - Vanilla soft serve with dulce de leche and rolled in crushed nilla wafers!

I figured if I put up pictures of friends I should put my face up here too!!

 All in all, it was a delicious day of trying new food and finding some new favorites. The boyfriend has been wanting to go to Luke's Lobster for the longest time and after this excursion I confidently told him I would not mind going or spending the money (we budget a lot) after the experience I had with them here. It also makes me look forward to using the Groupon I got for the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck sometime this summer!!

I also want to say that everyone was rather patient as I tried to capture all these pictures! So big thanks!!

Disclosure: I was not given a ticket for free or compensated in any way for the review here. My ticket was procured during the discount pre-sales that were open to anyone in advance.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Exercise in the Park!!

First off, I want to apologize for the lack of photos in this post. The boyfriend rushed me off before I could find the camera and add it to the backpack of fun.

The boyfriend decided that today would be a wonderful day to walk to the large park that we live close to. It is approximately 15 minutes walk away. It was a GORGEOUS day today. I felt so alive walking to the park after the nonstop rain lately. The boyfriend went running around the track there. I am still getting back into my exercise routine again so I went for a more conservative approach. I packed my foam roller and yoga mat with me. I ended up doing a whole lot more than I thought I would though! I did some foam rolling for my leg. I did a lot of stretching for my whole body. I did girly push-ups leaning against a fence that went around the track area. I did jumping jacks, lunges, crunches and repeated the whole process a few times! I did not write down the exact order of things or the repititions that I completed but it felt amazing to be outside and moving! 

 I completly enjoyed the exercising under the sun! It allowed me to get some sunshine and spend time on me.

The best part was the treat the boyfriend and I made afterwards. We both wanted ice cream (especially since there was an ice cream truck parked outside the track- that is just WRONG!). We decided to make smoothies. We had the instant smoothie pack so that went into the blender. We also added Splenda, frozen pineapples, frozen mixed berry medley, ice, lactaid (he is lactose intolerant) and some oats!

It was delicious! But our blender was not happy about it. It was extra-thick so I ate it with a spoon! It was almost just like ice cream! Plus we had decided to make them a little hefty since we are going out tonight and I do not want anything heavy at dinner before we head out later.

I promise there will be a repeat of exercise in the park shortly and I will make sure to pack the camera and shoot away to share with you!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ninth Ave Food Fair

So last Saturday was the Ninth Ave International Food Festival. I went with a friend and the boyfriend. It was a wonderful time out. I love street fair food and this had a great variety. And since I was with friends the best part was splitting it amongst ourselves so we could try more things. One of the first things we tried was a BBQ pork sandwich. We saw a stop roasting a pig on a spit (not an everyday sight in this city) and thought it would be worth trying. I am not a big pork fan and I have to say this was delicious. This was followed by some ribs and some Kobe beef sliders. I have had Kobe beef once before and this was much more delicious than I remembered it. I was rather upset at the tiny size of it but it was okay as it was a perfect bite. The best food of the day was surprisingly a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The boyfriend wanted this the second he saw it and I wasn't going to veto something he was so excited about. It was surprisingly delicious.

The street fair spanned Ninth Ave from 42nd St to 57th Street. We ended up walking its entire length once from 42nd to 55th (just me and the boyfriend) and than walked down to 42nd to meet up with the friend and than walked the whole thing again. It was a LOT of walking and moving about. It felt so good to be out and about in  the warmer weather and enjoying all the sights and sounds.  My knee held up wonderfully (little sore but nothing a rest break and a part of a cupcake couldn't fix).

The day ended with Mexican food with the boyfriend's mom! She is such a great cook!!