Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine, and Champagne (or Part Of My Weekend In Napa)

This past weekend was a fun weekend getaway for me! I went to Napa/Sonoma with my mom and sister-in-law! This trip had been in the works for a while now, and I had been looking forward to it for a long time. Even though I grew up in Northern California, I moved to LA when I was 18 and never went to Napa before. But my mom likes to go there and my brother and sister-in-law go up there at least once a month. So I was in good hands and trusted them to plan an awesome weekend.

I got into SFO very late on Friday, and the three of us headed up to Sonoma where we were staying. Since it was dark out, I didn’t really see too much, but I was very excited to see what was in store for me the next day.

On Saturday, we had a fun full day planned. Also, my best friend Kate was able to drive up and join us for the day! Once Kate got to the hotel, we got into the car and headed to our first appointment of the day: Arrowood.

I had no idea what was going to happen at the tasting, but my sister-in-law had set up a private room for a wine and cheese pairing. Plus, we had an incredible view!

Sonoma

Once we got inside the tasting room, we were given a menu of all the wines, cheeses, and condiments that we would be enjoying.

Arrowood menu

I’m typically a champagne or white wine drinker, but my sister-in-law really wants me to start liking reds. So I tried everything that was given to me (although I still don’t really like reds yet).

Arrowood Tasting

The whites were really good. And the cheeses really did make a difference in how each wine tasted. I had never really done a formal wine tasting before so this was a very cool experience. And I’m glad that my sister-in-law made an appointment for us for a private tasting because the lobby where non-appointment guests had tastes was very crowded and loud.

I didn’t end up purchasing any wine from Arrowood, but Kate and my mom got some.

After that tasting, we went to Benziger where they had a tour of their grounds as well as tastings. We didn’t have an appointment, but a tour was starting right after we got there, so the timing was perfect!

This tour started out by driving around some of the vineyards and the guide explaining on how they made the wine. They do everything on site, and while the grapes weren’t currently growing, it was all beautiful.

Benziger

After driving around the grounds, we got to go inside one of the caves where they store the barrels of wine.

Benziger cave

This was so cool! We learned about the barrel process and how long they have everything aging in the cave.

Cave barrels Benziger barrel

After touring the caves, we got to taste some of the wines. Again, I liked the white ones but the reds weren’t my favorite.

After those two tastings, we headed into town to have a nice lunch between our tastings. We were in a bit of a rush, but we all ordered things that were able to be made quickly. I had a mushroom truffle flatbread (I figured that would soak up some of my before lunchtime wine).

As we were leaving lunch, the sky started to look funny. And as soon as we were in the car a hailstorm started! It wasn’t too crazy at first, but then the hail got bigger and bigger and the storm didn’t seem to be letting up!

Our last wine stop for the day was Gundlach Bundschu. At this winery we had set up a cave tour and tasting inside the cave. It was still raining when we arrived, but we rushed into the cave to start the tour and tasting.

We learned a bit of history about the winery and then we tasted some of the wines that had already been bottled. But after that, we got to taste some of the wines in the barrels that were still aging!

Tasting in the cave

I probably learned more about wine that day than I have in my entire life! And I think that everyone agrees and also had an amazing time! And I bought a bottle of white wine from that vineyard (my mom will be driving down my way in April so she’s bringing me my wine since I couldn’t put it in my carry on).

Benzinger Group Photo

After all those tastings, we went out for a fun Italian dinner. Then Kate had to head back home(sadly she couldn’t join us for the entire weekend).

The next day wasn’t a wine tasting day (more on Sunday in tomorrow’s post!), but Monday was another wine day!

On Monday, we had 2 tastings set up. The first was at Duckhorn, where my brother and sister-in-law are members (so they get free tastings!).

Duckhorn Mom and me at Duckhorn

It was a bit cold out, but they had heaters on the patio, so we enjoyed a nice tasting outside. And we got a lot of tastings!

Duckhorn tasting

There are only 5 of our 7 tastings in that picture! Again, I didn’t love the reds (I gave my tastings to Krystle) but I really enjoyed the white wine! I really liked the tasting at Duckhorn because we got a card for each wine that had some information like the mixture of grapes, aging time, and flavor profiles on it. I might not have loved the tastes of all the wines, but I loved learning more about them!

Then we went to our final wine tasting, and the one that I had been looking forward to the most! We went to Schramsberg for sparkling wine tasting!

This tasting and tour included a cave tour and tasting by candlelight inside the cave! We had been inside a few caves already that weekend, so I thought I knew what to expect. But this cave was so incredible with all the sparkling wine bottles stacked from the ground to the top of the cave!

Wall of champagne

And since this was on a weekday, the cave was busy with people working there. We saw them take bottles out of the cave to be cleaned and ready for the next steps in the bottling process. But the coolest thing we saw was the drumming of the bottles (I never knew that was a thing before).

Champagne drumming

We also learned how they get the yeast (which makes the bubbles) out of the bottles without losing the bottles. And that was also in a section of the cave that was floor to ceiling bottles.

In front of wall of champagne

Finally, it was time to taste! And the area for the tasting was so beautiful!

Champagne tasting

Holy moly that sparkling wine was good! I loved all 3 bottles that we tried. 2 of them cost more than $100 (more than I can afford), but we did try a rose that was a much  more reasonable price. So I ended up buying a bottle of that. And my mom ended up joining their wine club so I got to take advantage of her new discount.

That was such a perfect note to end the wine tasting weekend on! I had such an amazing time and we’ve already decided that we will be making wine tasting weekends an annual occurrence!

And I haven’t shared what we did on Saturday yet. That will come tomorrow, and that day was amazing as well!

Temp Job Time (or Feeling Like It’s An Old Job Again)

I finally started my new temp job last week. And it’s definitely a temp job. I’ll probably will only work 4 shifts for the job, but anything is better than nothing.

I like working for my old boss. We had a good working relationship at my old job and he gets how I need to have my things organized. And I’m the only person working on this particular job, so it’s nice that I don’t have to worry about who is dealing with which customer.

The job itself is pretty basic. It’s much simpler than my old telesales job and even simpler than my current box office job. I’m just following up on invitations for a gala event that is happening in a few weeks.

I’m actually very grateful that the job is basic. There isn’t much time for me to learn or get used to things, so I had to jump in right away. And I only need to know a few points of information to make my job successful, so I worked on those for the beginning of the first shift.

It’s a little nerve-racking starting to make calls again. But after the first few, I got right back into the swing of things. It was such an old habit that I started to do things that I had to do at my old job. I was dialing 7 to dial out (but at this new job I have to dial 9 so there were a couple of unsuccessful calls). And I was taking notes the way I had to before with tracking my name on the callers (but since I’m the only caller, that doesn’t matter anymore).

I’m working in 4.5 hour shifts, which is a nice amount of time. I don’t really have to take too significant of a break. Which is a little downside because I’ve gotten in such a routine with my eating. My shifts at this job are from 4-8:30pm. I ate a snack before work and was hoping that I could make it until 8:30/9pm before eating dinner.

It’s wasn’t too horrible, but I was starving by the time I got home. And I don’t like feeling that hungry. But since I only have 3 more shifts I might just have to deal with that. Or maybe bring a snack that is easy enough to eat between calls. But again, since it’s such a temporary thing I don’t know if it’s worth worrying about.

But honestly, right now I’m just super happy to have another job even if it is only for a little bit. Extra money is good, and because there are commissions at this temp job, there is potential to make some nice money. I didn’t make a ton of sales on my first shift, but I think that that is to be expected.

But at least for now, I’m making more than I was last week.

Short Workout Week (or Finding Ways To Fit It All In)

Even though I got 3 workouts in this past week, it feels like I had a mini-week of workouts. That might be because I usually workout on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (and sometimes Saturday). But due to lots of scheduling issues (including work and a trip), I had to fit all my workouts in during the beginning of the week.

My first workout of the week was on Sunday. This was actually my first Sunday workout. I didn’t think that it would feel odd to me since I work out on Saturdays, but I really felt a difference in a Sunday workout versus a weekday or Saturday one.

A lot of the difference was in timing it all out. I had to eat something pre-workout, have my workout, shower, eat lunch, and then head out to the Oscar Party. I wanted to make sure that I ate enough that I wasn’t starving at the party, but not too much so that I could enjoy some food there.

I managed to get through my workout fine and took a post-workout selfie to remember how hard I worked that day.

Post Workout Mirror Selfie

My Monday workout was a bit tough for me. It was the second workout in a row for me (which is still a bit challenging) and it was an early workout because I had my Disneyland afternoon/evening ahead. I also knew that at Disneyland, I usually walk between 5-10 miles, so I didn’t want to be too exhausted after the workout.

I had some issues during that workout (and at Disneyland later) with some pretty significant hip pain. I know that I’m pushing myself farther than I ever thought I could go (and probably more than my hip surgeon thought I could do as well), and sometimes I will just have to deal with the pain.

My final workout of the week was on Wednesday. It was also my day to weigh in for the end of the National Weight Loss Challenge. I had a goal of losing 10% of my body weight in those 6 weeks. I was about 2 pounds away from that goal, so I’m not too upset. I doubt I will win the national part of the challenge, but maybe I’ll place. And I feel good about my chances of placing in the challenge for the studio that I go to. I guess I’ll have to wait a little while to find out what happens.

The workout had 6 blocks in it, 3 of them being on the treadmill. And all the treadmill blocks were spent most of the time at a high incline (between 10-15%). I’m really getting better at the incline work and my base pace at 4% incline is starting to feel like a flat road for me. I think that will really help in my next 5K race where the road is really flat. Maybe it will feel like a downhill road then entire time.

Due to my trip, my next workout won’t be until tomorrow (Tuesday). That means that I will almost have a week off between my last workout and my next one. That scares me a little. Hopefully I don’t lose too much progress or strength during that break. I know I’ll be doing some walking on my trip, but nothing like what I’m used to.

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how my body reacts to such a long break (and I’ll try to make sure that I don’t have another long break like that in the future).

Fitting Splurges Into My Meals (or How I Need To Eat For Life)

I’m still getting used to post-cleanse life. It’s tough to find a balance even though I completely understand what I need to do now. But I had some opportunities to test out my new knowledge with some splurges over the past week.

It started on Sunday with the Oscars Party. I ate cleanly and limited my calories before going to the party. I tried to go to the party without being hungry, but I knew I could be there from about 3-10pm, so I’d have to eat at some point. I did make some good choices like cut up veggies. But that wouldn’t be enough to hold me over for the evening.

The traditional thing that Chris and Marie make for their party is queso dip with chips. So I made a small portion of that for me and it was really delicious! By eating so clean and plain normally, things that are different taste more extreme than I’m used to. So less of it filled me up and satisfied me. Beyond that, I stayed with pretty healthy options for the rest of the party. My weight the next day was up a little, but that was to be expected because of sodium.

The next test for me was Disneyland. I ate breakfast and lunch at home (and also did a pre-Disneyland workout at Orangetheory) and brought a snack with me. The only thing I ate at the park was my soup in a bread bowl. No treats or candy for me. And all I drank was water. With my smart choices and all the walking I did, I lost the weight that I had gained from the Oscar Party while at Disneyland and splurging a little.

I also had a minor setback/splurge this past week with some crispy M&Ms. Those are my favorite and they only just came back into stores after being gone for a long time. I didn’t need them, but I had them. But I balanced it out by not eating as much for dinner that night.

I’m also looking at finding more good options for lunch. Now that my lunches can be cooked, I’m exploring what else I can eat while I work (which means that I need it to be ok to eat cold). Right now, I’m loving the quinoa cowboy veggie burgers from Trader Joes. I had one the other day with half an avocado and a banana. This kept me satisfied and full even through my workout!

Vegan Lunch

I’m hoping to not have as many splurges/treats in a normal week. This weekend will be tough because I’m going wine tasting and will be going out for some nice meals. But once I’m back, I will be back to my almost always clean eating. But this is normal life, and I have to learn how to live this way and still continue the right way on my weight loss journey.

Disneyland Afternoon and Evening (or Spending Time With My Evil Twin)

I recently renewed my annual pass for Disneyland. The level of pass that I have is only available for renewals, so I wanted to make sure that I renewed in time. I also made the decision to pay for the parking add-on, so I don’t have to spend $17 to park every time I go. I’m super glad I made that decision because just the other day, Disneyland eliminated the option to do a parking add-on (it’s only available now with the highest level pass which is about double the cost of my pass).

Right after I renewed my pass, I got a text from my Evil Twin Shey asking if I still had an annual pass. I told her I did and she said that she had been invited to an annual pass holder event and wanted to see if I wanted to be one of her guests! It was on this past Monday, which worked out perfectly for me!

When I got to the park, I took a few moments to enjoy the lack of crowds inside.

Empty Disneyland

Good to know that Monday afternoons are pretty empty. I’ll have to go to Disneyland more often then!

Shey and her friends who were joining us weren’t at the park yet, so I decided to do a trip around Disneyland on the railroad.

Disneyland Railroad

I love the circle tour around the park. It’s so nice and relaxing and I get to see how crowded different areas of the park are that day. And my favorite thing is between the Tomorrowland and Main Street stations. They have the Grand Canyon and Primeval World dioramas! The Grand Canyon diorama was looking great. But when we got to the Primeval World section it was dark and covered by tarps. I guess that they were doing some work back there, but it was sad that we still were hearing the audio for the dinosaurs without getting to see them.

After getting back to the Main Street station, I realized that the parade was about to start. Since none of my friends were at the park yet, I decided to see if I could find somewhere to sit and watch it. And there was actually a bench right on the parade route with one seat left! So I sat back and watched the entire parade (I can’t remember the last time I did that).

Disneyland Parade

The parade was pretty cute and as soon as the last float went past me, Shey texted me to say that they were all outside the gates of the park ready to get our wristbands for the event that evening! So I headed out to meet them and get checked in for the private event.

Since the private event in Disneyland didn’t start until 8pm, we decided to spent the first part of our time at California Adventure. Most of us wanted to ride on Tower of Terror, so that’s where we headed first. 4 of the 5 of us went on and I think we got a pretty funny photo (we are in the first row).

Tower Of Terror

Next, we headed over to one of my favorite rides, Radiator Springs Racers. Again, only 4 of us rode and I think 2 of the girls in the group had never been on the ride before. We all had a great time, and our car tied in the race.

Radiator Springs Racers

We also rode The Little Mermaid and Toy Story Mania. I rode alone on Toy Story Mania, so I couldn’t do some of the cool Easter Eggs on the ride (you really need 2 shooters for those), but I did get the second highest score in our vehicle.

Before getting some dinner, we went on California Screamin’. To make the wait shorter, we all went in the single rider line. I sat next to a guy who didn’t seem as enthusiastic about the ride as I was.

California Screamin'

For dinner, I got baked potato soup in a bread bowl. It isn’t the healthiest thing I can get at the parks, but it’s definitely far from the worst. Plus, I kept my calories low for the beginning of the day and I know that I usually walk over 5 miles during a day at Disneyland. So the splurge was worth it (plus it was getting cold so soup warmed me up)!

Then we headed over to Disneyland where there was only about an hour before the private event started. Our first ride was Space Mountain. I decided to tell all the girls about my mom’s rule how you have to ride with your hands up the entire time. They all decided to try it and I think we all had a great time on the coaster.

Space Mountain

After that, the park was starting to clear out. Only guests who had reserved spaces for the party could stay, and it was shocking how few people remained in the park! Our next stop was Star Tours, where we basically walked right on.

Star Tours Selfie

Followed by Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. I don’t know if I’ve ever walked on a ride as quickly. Shey and I rode together, and this was her first time on this ride. So I tried to help guide her to find the good targets, and I’m super impressed by her score! I never did that well on my first few times on the ride.

Buzz Lightyear

After Buzz Lightyear, I wanted to get an evil photo with my Evil Twin. So we found some pretty awesome evil hats for a quick photo.

Evil Twin

One of the features of this private party were some awesome photo ops with characters that aren’t always out. We decided to check out the villains photo-op but the line was pretty insane. We guessed it would take us about an hour to get through the line, and since we wanted to maximize our time, we didn’t wait. Instead, we went on some more walk-on rides.

I love Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and I haven’t had a chance lately to ride it at night. So of course, that was next. The ride instead is already amazing, but what made it magical was what happened at the top of the mountain. The fireworks for Fantasmic were going off as we were on the ride! It was a super cheesy and magical moment that I loved!

We followed that up by riding Pirates Of The Caribbean where we got stuck for 5-10 minutes in the very beginning of the ride. It was right next to the Blue Bayou restaurant which is usually pretty busy. And it was closed during this event so it was completely empty and quiet. That was a little creepy. We finally got moving again and by the time we got off the ride, I realized that I only had time for another ride or two before I wanted to head home.

I really wanted to ride the Storybook Canal Boats at night to see all the buildings lit up. Plus, they recently added a “Frozen” section and I wanted to see how it was done. As soon as we got into the main part of the ride, I gasped. It looked amazing and beautiful!

Storybook Canal at Night

The archways were all lit up with fairy lights and I really enjoyed the new “Frozen” castles.

Storybook Canal Arches Frozen At Night

I was planning on leaving then, but as we walked by Dumbo we realized that nobody was in line! I’ve never seen Dumbo without a crazy line, so of course we went on Dumbo!

Dumbo Selfie

I got my elephant all the way to the top and just spent the ride up in the air checking out all the amazing lights and sights of Fantasyland.

And as we were leaving the park, we noticed a dance party going on with a princess DJ and a guy walking around with a glass slipper. So we got a final group picture with the glass slipper.

Glass Slipper

By then, I had been at Disneyland for about 10 hours. It’s not the longest I’ve been there, but it was almost midnight so it was the latest I’ve been there. Plus I still had a drive home and had to work the next morning. But even though I left before the rest of my group, I felt like I had a super wonderful and full day at Disneyland!

I’m so grateful that my Evil Twin invited me to this event. It’s a rarity to see the parks so empty and I got to ride pretty much all of my favorite rides! This was the perfect way to start another year of having an annual pass!

Being “Wild” (or Not Guessing A Lot Of Winners Right This Year)

For the Oscars this year, I was at Chris and Marie’s house like I always am. It really is such a great way to watch the awards and everyone who comes to the party is so awesome!

I was trying to plan out a super clever costume for a while and I decided that going as a Lego figure from “The Lego Movie” would be perfect! I was looking up costume ideas online when I noticed that someone else who attends the party had recently pinned several pins on Pinterest about Lego costume ideas. I was almost completely sure that they would be going as a Lego person, and I didn’t want to compete with that.

I was feeling a little uninspired by other movies so I was stuck on an idea until a few days before the show. I realized that while it might not be the most clever costume, I did have the clothing and some of the gear to go as Reese Witherspoon’s character from “Wild”. If I did that costume, I wouldn’t have to buy anything and it would be pretty comfortable to wear for the day.

So on the day of the party, I put on some workout clothes and my hiking shoes and grabbed my hiking poles and my backpack (which I stuffed my purse inside) and headed to the party. Considering the lack of effort I put into the costume, I think I looked pretty good!

Wild Costume

I knew that my costume was pretty unlikely to win an award in the costume contest (I’ve only placed in that contest one time), so I was focusing on picking the winners on my ballot and hoping that I would place 1st or 2nd in that (since there are 2 prizes for guessing the winners). This wasn’t my most prepared year and I hadn’t seen as many of the films as I would have liked to, but I made my best guesses and felt pretty confident with what I picked.

That confidence was pretty short-lived once the show started. I did guess all of the acting categories correctly (and I’m super excited that JK Simmons won because he was a guest on the Inside Acting Podcast right before I started working with them). I also got the documentary and animation categories correct. But there were more that I guessed incorrectly than correctly.

I knew that there was no chance for me to win a prize, but that didn’t damper my experience at the party. I was having a great time and I thought that the Oscars were really good this year! I enjoyed the opening number as well as the performance for “Everything Is Awesome”. And while I was initially a little disappointed that Lady Gaga was the person doing the “Sound Of Music” montage, she did an amazing job and I really enjoyed watching how much Julie Andrews enjoyed Lady Gaga’s performance. And while the winners weren’t what I picked, I think all the winners were great choices and there were no awards where I was upset by who won.

After the awards were done, it was time for the costume parade so we could vote. Then it was time for the host and hostess to pass out the awards.

Oscar Party Awards

The friend who had pinned the Lego costumes on Pinterest was one of the winners. And all the other winners had costumes from “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

Overall, it was the perfect way to spend Oscar Sunday. The rain was a little annoying, but since I was inside watching the awards pretty much the entire time, it didn’t bother me too much and I was able to have an amazing Sunday afternoon/evening!

2 Floods in 11 Hours (or I’m Glad I Knew Where The Water Shut-Off Was)

On Thursday night last week, I was getting into bed when I heard the strangest sound coming from my bathroom. It almost sounded like someone turned my bathtub on, but I knew that unless someone broke into my bathroom to do that, it wasn’t that. I was a bit tired so it took me a moment to get out of bed to investigate the noise, but as soon as I got into the bathroom, I’m glad I didn’t take longer.

The hose that connects the water from the valve in the wall to my sink had disconnected and water was spraying everywhere! There was already a layer of water on the floor and it was spilling into my bedroom.

After a second of freaking out, I knew that I needed to stop the water. My dad had showed me in the past how to shut off the water from both inside and outside my house. So I located the shut off valve in the wall and reached in to turn it off.

Then, I realized that the hose that disconnected was the hot water hose. And I keep my water heater really hot, so the water coming out was really hot as well. I knew I had to turn it off no matter what, so I reached in, ignored the pain from the hot water, and got the flooding to stop.

I then took a moment to evaluate the situation. I could see exactly which hose broke, but I knew that I didn’t want to fix this myself in case there was a bigger problem than that.

IMG_4699

I got all the water cleaned up from the bathroom and bedroom floor and sent an emergency email to my landlord about this. Then I called my mom to ask about the pain I was feeling on my arm, shoulder, and back. All my skin was bright red and shiny, but my mom said that I should be fine (this issue was what made my workout on Friday tough).

The next morning, the handyman got to my house. He saw the problem and said that it would be a simple fix. About 15 minutes later, he put a new hose in and it was working great. Then he tested the cold water and the valve broke out of the wall and caused another flood.

And this time, since the valve was no longer in the wall, he had to run outside my house to turn off the water to my entire house from the outside. This also meant that the flooding was worse than what it was the night before.

IMG_4700

Again, I cleaned up the flooding and worked on drying things that got wet (towels, rugs, and my shower curtain). But fortunately the handyman helped me because he said that this was his fault.

After about another hour, everything was fixed and better than ever.

So, what did I learn from having 2 floods within 11 hours? I’m sure happy that my dad taught me some very basic plumbing information so I could shut off the water. The handyman said that he’s been to places where the tenant didn’t know how to do that so the flooding was going until he got there and it usually got pretty bad. I’m also grateful that this happened when I was home. I couldn’t imagine how horrible it would have been if this happened when I was gone for several hours. It also made me happy that I rent and none of the repairs were at my cost. But I would eventually like to own a house or condo and I really should learn how to do some more things so that I could fix things like this on my own.

And I guess my floors are probably the cleanest they’ve been in a while since they got washed and deep cleaned twice in two days.

“Only” 3 Workouts This Week (or Testing A Pre-Work Workout Time)

This week I only got 3 workouts in. I wish I could have gotten more workouts done, and it could have been accomplished. But I can’t have regrets in getting 3 workouts done when before Orangetheory I could only strive to get 3 workouts in in a week.

I thought I was starting my new temp job this past week, and that didn’t happen (I have no clue if it will happen this week either). But I planned my workouts with the assumption that I would be working the new job this week, so that restricted things a bit for me.

Monday was going to be a normal workout time. But then I realized that if I moved my workout to earlier, I could go to San Diego for the day. So I decided to sign up for a class at 7:30am. That’s so early for me! But I realized that unless I go to an earlier class, that is the only class time I could do if I wanted to do a workout before I start work (I will have to do that in about a week).

My body wasn’t really awake when I arrived to the workout, but I quickly perked up when I had to do my first push pace on the treadmill. I wasn’t in as much pain as I thought I would be, so that’s a big positive. And I think that my workout report proves that I kicked some butt in that early class!

IMG_4688

It’s not my highest calorie burn, but it’s up there!

As far as timing it out for a before work workout, it worked perfectly. But then I realized that there was no traffic on the freeway when I was going to the class and home from the class. I forgot that Monday was a holiday so many people weren’t going to work. So I don’t know exactly how it will work out when there is traffic, but worst case I start my work shift with wet hair. That’s not the worst thing.

Wednesday was my usual class time and it felt much more normal to me than my early workout. But changing things up for me is a good thing and I know I probably need to do it more often.

Friday was a challenging day. I had a bit of an incident at my house on Thursday evening and Friday morning (more about that in another blog post) and I was dealing with a lot of shoulder, back, and arm pain. My upper body is usually where I can push myself more and more since I’m so limited in my hip movement. But this class I had to try to go more with my lower body to ease things on my upper body.

I did step ups onto the bench which is something I usually avoid. They hurt quite a bit, but I pushed through them and fortunately that section of the workout was done pretty quickly. And I think I didn’t feel as much pain in my hips as usual because I was dealing with pain in my upper body. So my mind must have been confused with all that extra pain in parts of my body that don’t usually hurt.

This week will be another 3 workout week. And the week after will probably have to be the same. I’m trying not to get frustrated because there are things that I’ve been looking forward to that are preventing me from working out. And I have to be ok with 3 workouts without thinking that I need to do more. Plus, in a few weeks my life will be calmer and I can get back to seeing how often I can have a 4 workout week.

But for now, when I “only ” have 3 workouts, I need to make sure I push myself as much as possible to get the most out of those 3 workouts.

Bringing More Food Back Into My Diet (or Staying Vegetarian For Now)

This past week was my first post-cleanse week. Right when I started the cleanse, my plan was to have a steak on my first post-cleanse day. I was craving meat like crazy and that seemed like a good way to celebrate doing a cleanse (and being vegan) for 28 days.

But as the days in the cleanse went on, that plan started to change. I am still in the weight loss challenge at Orangetheory (1 week left to go with that) and my need to have a steak right away went away. Plus, I’ve got an amazing trip coming up next weekend with my mom and sister-in-law and my mom made reservations at a fancy steakhouse. I’m sure that that steak will be so much better than anything that I can make, so I’m going to wait.

My first post-cleanse grocery trip was a little overwhelming. Suddenly I could get whatever I wanted. If I wanted ice cream, I could have it again. If I wanted frozen mac and cheese (one of my favorite Trader Joes splurges), I could buy it. But I tried to focus on eating similarly to the cleanse plan.

I did get some frozen turkey burgers and frozen tilapia to keep in my freezer, but right now I don’t know if I’ll be eating them anytime soon. But they seemed like good “emergency” meal things to have. But I’m pretty much vegetarian at home right now.

The main things that I brought back into my diet were eggs and dairy. I’ve been eating eggs (1 whole egg and 2 egg whites) for breakfast most days. As much as I wanted to keep just having fruit for breakfast, that never satisfied me. I need protein in the mornings. I usually scramble the eggs up with some spinach and onions and top it with a 1/4 cup of cheese (which is the actual serving size and not just me dumping some cheese on top). I also added some greek yogurt back into my diet. I love to use it instead of sour cream for baked potatoes (my mom and dad now do that too). So I had it on Saturday night with some sautéed potatoes and onions. It was so yummy!

I also had a meal out this week. When I was in San Diego, I went out for dinner. There weren’t a ton of choices on the menu that seemed like good choices and almost everything had meat on it. I’m sure I could have asked for things to be made without meat, but the menu said “no substitutions” all over it. I feel good about my choice of Huevos Rancheros, but my body did have a big jump on the scale the next day. Not being able to control the oil, seasonings, and salt is not good for me as far as losing weight.

I tried not to freak out about the weight gain. I knew it must have been from salt in the food. But I had some good clean meals the few days after and that weight gain is gone.

Clean Eating Dinner

My weight now is just under where it was at the end of the cleanse. So I’m still heading in the right direction even with the weight gain from Monday’s dinner.

I don’t know if I’ll be adding meat back into my diet this next week before my trip. I have a full day tomorrow where I won’t be home from 11am until maybe 10 or 11pm and then the next day is the Oscar party (I’m hoping that I can make good choices while I’m at the party).

But the main thing I’m doing (which is one of the lessons I learned at the end of the cleanse), is that it’s ok for me to have a treat or splurge every once in a while. It’s safer for me if those treats or splurges don’t happen in my house so that they don’t become a regular part of my diet. And when I’m not out or enjoying a treat, I need to focus on good clean foods at home. That way I can balance it all out.

It’s taken 31 years and a lot of different diets, but eating right without being super restrictive is finally making sense to me.

Meeting My Mentoring Circle (or Being In The Minority)

Last night was the first meeting of my new Women In Film mentoring circle. I was a little nervous going in because of my experience with my last mentoring circle. While I really loved getting to know the women in my last circle who showed up, out of 10 women only 3 of us regularly attending the meetings. And while I understand that we all live busy and crazy lives, it was still disappointing.

One of my new mentors is a manager and the other is a producer. They were both so nice at the meeting and their stories and experiences were amazing to hear about.

After our mentors introduced themselves, we went around introducing ourselves. In my last mentoring circle, almost all the mentees were actors. There were some writers, but most of them were also actors (I think there was only 1 writer who wasn’t an actor as well). But in this group, there is only 1 other actor! Everyone else has such a variety of jobs. There are writers, directors, producers, and even someone who helps entertainment industry companies rent office space!

Not only did all the other mentees have a wide range of jobs, they were all super supportive and enthusiastic about the mentoring circle and what we can accomplish as a group! My old circle was supportive, but we were looking more toward our mentors as guidance to what our group should do. This time, we are taking charge of things and are planning our own mentee meetings between the meetings with our mentors (I’m actually in charge of organizing our mentee meeting).

I left the meeting feeling super positive and excited to see what the next year will bring for me and the other women in my mentoring circle. I really feeling like I was put into an incredible group that will help me reach my goals (and of course I will help them as well).

I’m not trying to put down my last mentoring circle. I learned a lot from my mentors and the other women who regularly attended the meetings. But I really felt like there was so much more that I could have gotten out of that group than I did. And maybe part of that is my fault that I did not ask to see if we could do more. But now I’m super motivated to make this next year super productive and I know that this mentoring circle will help me reach my goals.