Monday, August 29, 2016

Graphic Workout Tanks






Now that the Olympics are over, I think we've all been motivated by the best athletes to train harder. I'm always all about dressing for my body type and size, which means I'm not wearing form fitting tanks from lululemon anymore. Instead, I've discovered Dicks Sporting Goods which has a variety of fashionable and affordable workout clothes. It's free shipping if you order $25 worth of merchandise. They are opening their first store in DC next month by the Costco. Here's some cute clothing I found on their website.

I just finished up a month of Barre3 classes and they were tough! For September, I'm going back to spin classes to avoid plateaus by mixing things up. Last weekend was National Park Service Birthday so entrance fees to National Parks were free and I went on a 2 hour bike ride  which was nice. I've been freezing watermelon in my ice cube tray to use in smoothies to thicken and sweeten them up! I'm revamping my fitness goals and making lifestyle changes. I've recommitted to consistent meal planning which makes me feel prepared  for success as I know what I'm going to eat for dinner every night. I'm back on myfitnesspal counting calories which has always given me success. I still get my treats in as everything fits into the daily numbers. Yes, I still go out with my friends Friday or Saturday night. But, I'm staying focused on reaching my goal of losing 30 lbs by the end of the year. Who else is trying to shrink down this fall?


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Monday, August 22, 2016

Rio Olympics: Controversies

I've always enjoyed watching the Olympics, I counted down to these and can't believe it's already over. I'm going to have serious withdrawal symptoms. There's just something special about the games that other sporting events just don't have and I get to watch sports I never get to watch otherwise like synchronized diving, synchronized swimming and beach volleyball. I was even surprised to see a triathlon as an event. I read an article that said that male sports fans don't typically watch the Olympics, that the Olympics is mainly watched by women. The reason being is that to us it's like a reality tv show with all the back stories of all the athletes. I don't if there was a serious study behind that theory, but for me, it rings true. I don't watch sports but love the Olympics.


The US won 46 gold medals, 37 silver medals, and 38 bronze medals for a total count of 121 medals. Of those medals, swimmer Michael Phelps came home with 5 gold and 1 silver. He was given the honor of carrying the Olympic torch in the opening ceremony, the first opening ceremony he has attended since at the last four Olympics he was competing the next day. Overall he's won more medals than anyone else who has competed in the Olympics. He will have to pay a $55,000 victory tax on those medals! U.S. Olympic Committee awards athletes with prize money if they win a medal: $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. But that money is taxable even though you are winning a medal for your own country. What do you think, should athletes have to pay taxes on their medals?  Athletes spend a lot of money on their year-round training and travel, I think it's unfair to be taxed on winning a medal for their country. Also, did you know that the actual gold medal value in gold is $501?

Did you notice there were no flowers at the Olympics? In previous years the winners would get their medal and flowers, this year they get a paperweight instead for sustainability reasons. When the men's basketball team was awarded their gold medals, one paperweight was dropped and broken by the man issuing them so Carmelo Anthony didn't get one, but he was a good sport about it.

A straight married reporter from the Daily Beast joined a gay dating app to find gay athletes in Rio. Then published an article outing the athletes, some who were from countries that don't support gay people. There was also some controversy over  two athletes who were competing as a woman, but may be genetically ambiguous because of high levels of testosterone. The two on the right are Margaret Wambui and Caster Semenya who won medals in the women 800m. Gender testing is not new to the Olympics, it has been around since the 1940s.


Kerri Walsh Jennings of beach volleyball competed in her 4th Olympic games this summer. It was hard to watch this sport as her games were always on at 11pm, which is midnight in Brazil! The idea was for it to air live on primetime in California. They made it a party atmosphere with strobe lights and music blasting. The timing affected attendance as I could see half the seats were empty. Kerri won gold at the previous three Olympics but got a bronze this year. She said when she lost the second to the last game in the tournament she didn't sleep the entire night because she was devastated. Then she said there is "no shame" in a bronze medal because it brought her so much joy because she won this and didn't lose. She's ashamed to admit that she felt differently about bronze before.

My issue with the women's beach volleyball is why do they play in bikinis? They've been asked if they find this sexist and they say no, they are dressed for the beach and don't want pockets weighed down with sand, blah blah blah. Yet the men's beach volleyball team wear shirts and shorts and some other countries had their women in more modest clothing.



By now I think everyone has followed Lochtegate which overshadowed the last week of the Olympic games. What was small stuff over a bathroom, turned into an international incident over Brazilian pride. Keir Simmons took a film crew to the bathroom and couldn't find any vandalism. TMZ only found a broken poster. Ryan still won't admit he lied with his colorful tale to match his colorful hair, so I wonder if it is about protecting the millions of dollars of endorsements at stake or was he too drunk to remember accurately? lol  And to think this story only got out because he lied to his mother who happened to mention it to a member of the press from Australia she was sitting next to on a shuttle bus.

It's the highest profile story that's come out of Brazil over a drunken wild night. His actions caused his teammates (who didn't damage anything) to be pulled off a plane, passports taken and detained in Rio, while Ryan was already home. His teammates were not allowed to leave until they paid $11,000 to Brazil.  He probably can't believe his bad luck that not only did Brazil find where this happened they also have a clear color surveillance video to show what happened. Although TMZ says that 3 minutes of the video is missing and Ryan says those are critical minutes. I think if we can forgive Michael Phelps for his drug use and DUI two years ago, we can forgive Ryan as well.

I watched the interview he did with Matt Lauer and noticed Ryan dyed his hair back to brown to look serious. His house is under police surveillance for protection. If there's some humor that came out of this embarrassing situation is watching Al Roker and Nathalie argue on air over it, never seen them get heated over anything before. What an embarrassing episode for Ryan, who is pictured below with his stars and stripes grill from the 2012 Olympics.



Talk show host Ellen is known for her funny antics but I think we also know she doesn't have a mean bone in her body.  Jamaican runner, Usain Bolt, who has been the fastest man in the world for decade, was on her show last year and they are friends so she posted this picture on twitter with the caption "This is how I'm running errands from now on." Bolt found it funny and retweeted it. Bolt is a character himself always doing silly things for the camera, he's full of charisma as seen in this real smile caught in this photo as he ran during a race during the Olympics. Well, the picture went viral with people calling it racist. I admit the picture is questionable considering the historical context of this country, but I didn't bat an eye at it since I know Ellen isn't racist.






The closing ceremony was fun to watch last night, too bad it was raining in Rio for the first half. For the second part of the show they made in a true Brazilian carnival. The costumes were absolutely fantastic! The next summer Olympics will take place in Tokyo where surfing and skateboarding will be new sports.

Tag: olympics

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Crustless Quiche updated!




I've updated my crustless quiche recipe  which has been a staple for breakfast lately. Yes, I run the oven in the summertime. lol I've been reading up on how healthy cottage cheese is, but have never eaten it so I was trying to figure out a way to incorporate into my diet, then thought I can just throw it into my quiche! Cottage cheese is high in protein, a slow digesting complete protein that will keep you full longer. It has essential amino acids (which  help rebuild and repair muscle fibers), vitamin B-12, calcium, electrolytes, and the mineral phosphorus. Try to look for a low sodium cottage cheese if you can, and know that fat-free cottage cheese is much higher in carbs.

This weekend I made two of quiches and put one in the freezer for next week. Here's the portion size which I eat with ¼ avocado and fruit (peach, nectarine or watermelon) and together makes 300 calories.

 mushroom version


Ingredients
6 eggs
6 egg whites (8oz liquid egg whites)
½ onion
½ cup cottage cheese (full fat)
¼ ts black pepper
½  ts salt
1/8 ts garlic powder
mushrooms or red bell pepper (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray 9-inch pan then line with parchment baking paper which makes for easy removal and cleanup.
2. Spray a frying pan and caramelize onions. Add in vegetables if using.
3. In a bowl combine eggs, egg whites, cottage cheese, and spices. Add cooked veggies, then pour into pan.
4. Bake for 40 min.

Nutritional Analysis:
5 servings, 160 calories, 4g carbs, 20g protein

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer Olympics


I've been staying up late watching all the Olympic coverage, no surprise if you read all my posts from the Winter Olympics two years ago. My favorite sports are the Beach Volleyball, Swimming, and Diving because I used to be on a swim team as a kid.

Michael Phelps has already won 23 Olympic gold medals! Here's an interesting article on his life story, chaotic relationship with his coach, broken family, DUIs, and contemplation of suicide. Now his net worth is estimated at $55 million. Right before one of his races as he was putting on his swim cap it snapped and broke! Luckily his teammate lent him his hat. You've probably noticed all the cupping marks on his back, he's a fan of acupuncture like myself.

His teammate Ryan Lochte, unfortunately, got robbed at gunpoint in Rio. He dyed his hair gray for the Olympics but the pool water turned it a shade of green. Oddly enough one of the Olympic pools mysteriously turned a shade of green overnight! They blamed it algae and not enough chemicals in the water. After making the divers compete in it, they finally drained the pool of 1 million gallons of water.  In the Olympic village the most popular app being used is Tinder! The app had a HUGE surge of users! lol Ryan Lochte being one person spotted on the app, even though his girlfriend is there too, ummmm.....

Simone Manuel became the first black female swimmer to win an Olympic gold. It was also the first time two black female athletes (Lia Neal) were chosen to be on the American swim team at the same time.  This is significant because a "disproportionate number of African-American children cannot swim - USA Swimming puts the figure at 70%." BBC

As a tennis player, I was interested in seeing the tennis matches. Serena Williams  lost her chance to win a medal at these Olympics losing three matches. I read soccer goalie Hope Solo's memoir last year and she's no stranger to controversy. After the woman's soccer team lost their game and chance at a medal, she once again showed what a sore loser she is by saying, "We played a bunch of cowards, the better team did not win."

There was one feel good story that came out of the Olympics. A woman was chatting with her uber driver in Philadelphia and found out his son was competing in the Olympics but he couldn't afford to go to watch him. She set up a gofundme account for him and raised $8200!

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas is sadly once again being criticized for her hair by other black women on social media. This happened to her at the London Olympics too. Training for hours, it's impossible for a black woman's hair to look perfect. This double standard for women to look good while they excel at sports is impossible.If you have netflix, check out her bio-pic movie. One of the Italian gymnasts made a racist remark saying, "Maybe next time we'll paint our skin black so we can win."

Every Olympics I've noticed the same thing about the Opening Ceremony, the Americans come out with their cellphones to record the audience. I wish they would just be in the moment and enjoy it. This is being filmed for them. What caught everyone's attention was the athlete from Tonga who came out oiled up.


Off topic but I saw the movie Suicide Squad this weekend starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto. It's an anti-super hero movie that is dark and twisted but I really enjoyed it. While not something I would have picked out myself to see, but it was fun to see the villains in Gotham. Make sure you sit through the credits because there's a scene after it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Visit to a Lavender Farm


I visited a lavender farm for the first time! While it didn't look like those pictures you see of lavender fields in Provence, France, it was still beautiful. There was row upon row of purple lavender with a faint smell, but also tons of bees. The gift shop had every imaginable lavender product! I bought some culinary lavender to make lavender lemonade.







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Monday, August 8, 2016

Beach. Sand. Sunshine. Ahhh, Annapolis

I took a day trip with some friends to Annapolis. It was so nice to get out of the city for a day. Our day started off at nearby Sandy Point Beach. It has an amazing view of the Bay Bridge, but orangy sand. But it's not an ocean beach so this is to be expected. It's the closest beach to DC, only 45 minutes away. Much easier to get to than Ocean City. I brought a book to read but surrounded by friends we chatted up the whole day I had no time to read. lol I packed the Glowing Green Smoothie with me in an ICONIQ stainless steel water bottle and it stayed cold for hours! It's a much cheaper version of the S'well bottles.




Annapolis is  a charming waterfront town with gorgeous views of the sailboats passing by on the Chesapeake Bay. For dinner we took a river taxi over to Ego's Alley to Pusser's Carribean Grille and sat outside on their dock.


  US Naval Academy
 
Pusser's Carribean Grille



Ego Alley is known for yacht owners who parade their egos down the narrow alley to show off their big boy toys! It was really nice to check out the boats and beautiful views of the waterfront while sipping on drinks on the dock. Afterwards we called an uber and went to town for after dinner cocktails.







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