Tag Archives: winter

Daytime Diva vs. Nighttime Ninja

9 Mar
Courtesy of Tumblr

Courtesy of Tumblr

It’s no secret that I’ve been lamenting the snow-pac-ageddon of 2015. The winter blues have made it all but impossible for me to wake up in the morning. And when I do keep my eyes open longer than 10 minutes, the comfort of my bed won’t set me free. My bed holds me hostage in the morning because it knows that eventually I’ll have to deal with the ridiculous cold that awaits me.

So instead of torturing myself with an early wake-up call, I’ve been working out after work. Sometimes I’ll actually go to the gym if I feel like being a bag lady. For the most part, though, I’ve been coming home to make use of my exercise DVDs and some videos on Hulu (an excellent source of material, btw).

Right as I was getting comfortable in my routine, this happened.

snow_melt

Courtesy of Tumblr

 

The sun is finally shining! The temperature is finally rising above 12 degrees. I don’t have to wear my grungy puffer coat. With the time change and the impending warmth comes a return to my daytime active lifestyle. We’re in the finicky weather season, so I won’t be getting up too early. But I can feel myself readying for the sunshiny days ahead. Running on the path. Morning yoga classes. Early boot camp.

Being a nighttime ninja served its purpose to prevent me from being too slovenly. For me, though, daytime diva is where it’s at. Still, I learned a few things about myself during the long, dark, cold days of winter.

1. Winter mornings suck. I forgot how depressing it can be to wake up in the morning and it still be dark outside. I don’t have to be at work until 11 a.m. Imagine waking up at 7:30 in the morning and it still being pitch black outside? Nothing makes your bed more comfortable that the dark of night…or day.

2. Population control. There are even fewer people in the gym at night than there are in the early afternoon. Because my work hours are so wonky, I’m coming into the gym right after the post-work crowd finishes its sweat-a-thon. It’s an in-between time where gym staff can really wipe down the machines (not the half-ass wipes they get from preoccupied gym rats). It fills my need for quiet.

3. Hunger games. Working out at home has made me hyper aware of my kitchen. It’s not like I woke up one morning and was surprised by my fridge. It’s moreso that post-workout meals seemed even more important. And those meals seemed to be larger. I’m not on any workout plan right now, so I haven’t been portioning out my meals. So the spinach, chick-pea, pasta salad was run through pretty quickly. As were my Mott’s Mango Peach applesauces. And, of course, my goldfish crackers. Working out in the daytime will definitely give me better dietary focus.

4. I can’t wait for winter to be over. I miss running in the park. I miss not having to strap on 10-15 extra layers of clothes, undergarments and coats. I miss the ease of a morning workout. It seemed like less of a chore when I was doing it in warmer weather. Winter workouts feel like a punishment, especially in the mornings. At night, it feels like a continuation of the workday, not a way to start the day.

There are 11 days until spring. But with the weather warming up, I’ll return to daytime diva status in no time.

Why I’m not a winter warrior

25 Feb
Well, it bothers me! Courtesy of Tumblr

Well, it bothers me!
Courtesy of Tumblr

I live five blocks from the subway. In Manhattan, that’s an OK deal. Compared to other boroughs, that’s a luxury. Five blocks may not seem like much. You’d think it’s about five minutes from the train to my door. And you’d be right.

What you’re not considering is the elements. The elements are wind (I live right by the river) and water (mother-effin’ snow). In case you live in California or Hawaii, you’re likely aware that it is cold as a penguin’s nose out right now. For some reason Mother Nature raised her hater-ation game to a new level. Boston has had so much snow MIT students are actually climbing a mountain to class. There are icicles hanging in the underground subways stations. Schools in Texas—Texas of all places!—are getting snow days because the world is just too damn hot.

And with all of this, my favorite activity has fallen by the wayside. That’s right, skinny people, I haven’t run outside in more than a month. I did a quick run while visiting family and friends last month, but it was 50 degrees out. I had to leave my jacket in the car.

I’ve said before that I’m getting better about lowering my degree threshold for a run. I’ve got it down to 37 degrees. But that’s above freezing. You know why? Because I am not a winter warrior.

Winter Warriors are the people who say eff it when the thermostat drops below 20 degrees. Their endorphines and sweat will keep them warm. That’s beautiful. Do you, boo. I am not one of those people.

I don’t like going outside when the wind is whipping my hair back and forth like Willow Smith. I hate when it feels like I’m being smacked in the face with icicles. Running with my hands in balls makes them hurt even worse. So now instead of focusing on my breathing and my pace, I’m focusing on the pain in my hands and if my nose will fall off from being so cold.

That’s too much stress. I run to clear my head. Running is simple: you just need good shoes. The winter requires much more thought and effort: thermal-lined pants (possibly two pair), knee-high socks to keep your calves warm, shoe spikes in case you run into a patch of ice, a beanie to keep your head warm, gloves, and a jacket. It’s just all too much.

I applaud anyone who can look outside, see Elsa’s playground and think it’s the best time to get in a run. It takes true dedication not just to your health but to your sport to continue on in these conditions. Get in a couple of miles for me. Runners are my people. But on this, we take separate paths.

I’ll be hanging out at the gym, putting in my time on the elliptical.

Would you consider yourself a winter warrior? How do you keep warm on winter runs?

Winter Advisory Meal Plan

26 Jan

Winter is no longer coming. It’s here. And according to weather reports, we East Coasters should be on the lookout for White Walkers, direwolves and giants.

By this evening an insane amount of snow is expected to blanket New York City. I’m not happy about this. I hate the cold. I hate snow. They combine the two things I cannot stand: being cold and wet.

But since Mother Nature is a hater, I have to deal. I’ll go to work today, hopefully come home early (preferably by subway, MTA!) and prepare to hunker down in case I have to work from home tomorrow. But just because Mother Nature has unfriended me and unleashed this hellbeast upon this fair city, it doesn’t mean I’m allowed to slack off.

The first thing anyone should do in case this kind of nonsense threatens your town is ensure you have provisions. Not everyone is lucky enough to live across the street from the grocery store. But it’s going to be so cold that those cashiers won’t see me for days. Instead, I’ve put together a few food ideas for you to prepare as you (and possibly winter boo) prepare for Winter Storm Juno (the worst name ever).

Breakfast: It’s the most important meal of the day, you can’t deny it. But your usual cold cereal or cup of yogurt isn’t going to cut it this time around. You’re going to need something hearty to start you off. I suggest a nice bowl of oatmeal. It is, after all, national oatmeal month. Celebrate with a cup of warm goodness flavored with frozen berries and a little brown sugar. Or, if yogurt isn’t your thing, an egg-white omelette with veggies and a sprinkle of cheese will do the trick to get you started. And don’t forget your coffee (or tea), because it’s cold out there.

Lunch: If you weren’t a fan of them before, now’s the time to make leftovers your best friend. You’re going to need something that travels easily if you have to go to work, or something that’s not going to require a lot of your time if you have to work from home. I’m a fan of chili. I make mine with turkey burger and kidney beans. Be careful of the high amount of sodium, but the fiber and protein work wonders for your system. You’re going to want food that will warm you from the inside out. Also a good look: pasta. Whole wheat spaghetti with marinara sauce is always delicious. Soup is good, too, but it doesn’t travel well. There’s always the risk of spillage.

Dinner: Now’s the time to have some fun with your meal. If you’ve already prepared the night before with your soup, pasta or chili, tonight you can make another good, hot meal. For me, it’s all about comfort food in these situations. That’s when I bust out my mini-meatloaves and macaroni and cheese with sauteed or roasted veggies.

Snacks and desserts: Now that you’ve warmed yourself up with your regular meals, a few cold treats won’t hurt you. In preparation for the whiteout to come, I’ve sliced up some red, yellow and orange peppers for hummus dipping. I also picked up some Goldfish crackers and will do my best not to devour them in a day. As for my sweets, I’ve got some applesauce cups and bought some snack size Haagen Dazs ice-cream bars. I know how bad I am when it comes to my sweet treats, so hopefully Mother Nature will stop hating and melt this snow quickly.

What are you doing to prepare for winter wonderland? Whatever it is, be safe and drink wine.

Winter Is Coming, Cuffing Season Is Over

14 Nov

The end is near, skinny people. At least for my single skinny people. The terrible season is upon us. Worse than that, Mother Nature has decided to be a hater and send another Polar Vortex our way a little early this year. Which can mean only one thing: Cuffing season is coming to a close.

What’s cuffing season? If you have to ask, you must be booed up. Good for you. You don’t have to do the seasonal merry-go-round of dating to find out who you’ll be cuddled up with come winter. Because winter is is most definitely coming. You won’t want to go outside in this.

snow

courtesy of Tumblr

My disdain for the worst season ever is well documented. It’s cold, it’s rainy, and it makes my allergies act up. One of the other things I hate about this time of year is cuffing season. It’s like playing Duck-Duck-Goose as an adult…but with nighttime cuddling once the object of your affection is caught. Coupling cuffing season and fall together can keep a girl busy. Mostly, you’ve got to get your stores in order because you’ll be having company during those long winter nights.

It can be easy to fall back on old faithfuls like cookies and chips when you know that you and boo will be laid up in the house binging “Breaking Bad.” But wintertime is not the time to fall off track. Here are some things to keep in your cabinet for you and winter boo to snack on in the in-between time.

1. Hummus. I love hummus. Like…we have a thing. I am dedicated to Sabra’s Supremely Spicy Hummus. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. But instead of picking up a bag of pita chips, I suggest using colorful peppers as your dipping mechanism. Red and yellow peppers are the best, especially if they’re cold.

2. Popcorn. Olivia Pope may not be able to make up her mind between Jake and Fitz (pick Jake!!), but she does know a good nighttime snack combo: wine and popcorn. Instead of putting a bag in the microwave, you can pop your own kernels over the stove. It’s less sodium and you can control how much you make. And there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine to top off the night.

3. Goldfish Crackers. I understand that my obsession with Xtra Cheddar Goldfish could, by some, be considered unstable. But I don’t care. I control my need to devour an entire bag by putting them into the smaller Ziploc bags. They’re great for portion control. Plus, if winter boo grabs one of the small bags, I don’t have to worry about him eating all my Goldfish. Cuz he might die.

4. Fruit. Summer is usually the best time for the good fruit like berries and melon. But fall and winter will give you some of the ripest apples and pears around. You can still hook up a nifty little fruit salad or just slice some of those suckers up and eat them with peanut butter. Because peanut butter is awesome.

Bonus: You two aren’t going to spend all your time in bed. Eventually you’re going to have to get up and consume actual food. Maybe you could cook together. Because nothing’s sexier than a man who can cook. So saute some tilapia. Roast some veggies. And finish off that bottle of wine. Because Winter is Coming and it has no patience for your deprived cabinets.