Monthly Archives: November 2012

November Foodie Penpals

After 2 months of not having a consistent address/life, I’m thrilled to report that  being all moved into our new apartment means that I got to participate in Foodie Penpals for the month of November. I missed being a part of the fun.

Luckily I was paired with an amazing penpal, Will, one of the most enthusiastic, friendly bloggers that I’ve ever met. Will is the author of Junior High Foodie. Also, he’s 12 years old. He wrote his note to me in pencil on lined 3-ring binder paper. It made me wish I was back in a place in my life where binders connoted textbooks and chalkboards rather than political jokes. (Resisting urge to make one here…) So Will’s correspondence was a breath of fresh air.

Will sent me:

  • Love Crunch granola. My first time trying the stuff. It’s addictive, man. Potentially even laced with crack.
  • Annie’s Party Mix. Demolished within a week.
  • Sassy Apple salsa. That name just makes me laugh.
  • 2 Soy Joy Bars. Great staples.
  • Organic spicy dark chocolate bar. Made with cayenne pepper and pumpkin seeds, this has some serious kick. Wow, one bite is all you need to satisfy a chocolate craving.
  • Organic powdered peanut butter. When Will first contacted me and asked if I had any special requests, I took the opportunity to make a plea for PB2, which I had easy access to at my old health food store in NYC, and which I cannot find ANYWHERE in the city of San Francisco. (If any SF readers know where I can find it, please drop a comment!) Anyway, awesome Will found something potentially even greater than PB2 – an organic version with similar calorie counts. THANK YOU, WILL! You’ve made me a happy camper.

If you haven’t already jumped on the Foodie Penpal bandwagon, December is a perfect time to do so. Rather than pairing people up to send each other treats this month, penpals are being asked to donate the $ they would have spent on a box of goodies to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Head over to Lindsay’s blog to get the deets. I LOVE this idea, as helping contribute to hurricane relief efforts from afar is a topic that’s near and dear to my Cali-based heart.

Happy December, all!

4 Strategies to (healthfully) Work from Home

Since moving to San Francisco, I’ve transitioned from being a traditional office workerbee to being a remote-work-from-home-er. Yes, the flexibility is awesome. But it has made me have to deliberately shift the way I do some pretty basic daily things (Like eat. And move. Yes, that basic.), and I thought sharing my stay-healthy-while-working-from-home techniques might be beneficial to others as well.

Strategy #1: Schedule movement breaks

My commute, which used to involve a substantial walk, plus some stairs, now consists of a shuffle into the second bedroom/home office. I wear a FitBit, and the stats it reported during my first week on the WFH job were abysmal. I was logging about half of my normal daily steps. Not cool. Now, I schedule calendar reminders for mandatory walks around my block, and squeeze in lunchtime TRX classes when my schedule allows. It keeps me from going stir crazy, and reminds me to get moving (often).

Self-restraint looks better than caution tape would, right?

Strategy #2: Back away from the kitchen

I used to pack my breakfast (overnight oats), lunch (salad, always a salad), and snacks (fruit or some kind of protein-ish bar) and bring them to work each day. It not only saved a lot of money, but it also eliminated the temptation to scarf down more than I wanted to. Now, the kitchen is always in sight, and I literally have to say (usually aloud and in a very authoritative voice), “Mariell, back away from the freaking kitchen.” Now I do my best to ignore its existence entirely and stick to a regular meal schedule. No mindless snacking = muffin top management.

Strategy #3: Get dressed up

It’s tempting to stay in your PJs all day, but so much better for your life (and productivity) to put on “real” clothes to signal that it’s work time. It doesn’t matter if your real clothes are made of moisture wick Luon. (Actually, it’s a plus in my book.) As long as you didn’t sleep in them the night before, it counts as getting dressed as far as I’m concerned.

Strategy #4: Make after work plans

Though I’m communicating with my coworkers all day, a purely virtual social existence will drive you a little crazy after a while. So when my workday is done (at 3pm, since I work EST hours) I need to A) get out, B) workout, and 3) see friends. It’s just necessary so I don’t turn into anti-social martian. The only downfall of this strategy is that it has largely kept me from devoting as much time as I’d like to blogging. I love healthypantz dearly, but nobody likes a cranky blogger. I’ll get better at the balancing act soon, though. Promise.

I know many of you also work from home full-time. Any tips and tricks to share that you’ve learned along the way? My sanity thanks you in advance. 

I heart NY

I have been circling a number of posts from overhead lately, intending to finish and publish them last week. But then last week happened, with all its hurricane force fury, and now anything health or fitness related seems downright trivial in comparison. Other bloggers and writers who experienced Hurricane Sandy first-hand have been able to string their thoughts together far better than I can here, and I’m impressed with their eloquence (per usual). However, as a newly minted San Franciscan, Hurricane Sandy has been a strange experience for me. And for once in my verbose life, I’m having trouble finding the right words, so I’ll go with a picture.

I keep getting comments from people about how lucky I am to have moved out of NYC when I did, since my apartment was located squarely in SoPo (South of Power). But I don’t. I’ve been glued to Twitter and every news outlet out there for information and signs of hope in New York and New Jersey. It’s hard to be a New Yorker and not live in New York right now. I’ve given monetarily to Red Cross relief efforts, but it still feels like a cop out. I want to be out there volunteering my time, donating my blankets, being a Helpful Harriet. But I’m many many many miles away. So instead, I’ll use my internet connection and my credit card to help house, warm, and feed people who have lost everything. You should too. Here are a few resources to help you out in that department:

New York and New Jersey are tough cookies They will rebuild. Let’s help em out, team.