My Healthy Life | Gardein Mandarin Chick’n Bowl

Eating clean and having energy for dance are two things that are really important to me. I wanted to try being vegetarian for a while to see if that would help my weight loss come faster, and after a few months I have to say that although I found a ton of fun new recipes, the added chemical and carbs actually made me gain a few pounds. This is one of my favorite dishes I made that was really good and not too bad on the calories! The first time I purchased meat alternatives was a teriyaki stir fry, but when I saw this orange chick’n I knew I had to give it a try, and was not disappointed. I could seriously eat this every day! Here’s what I did:

1/2 packet Gardein Mandarin Orange Chick’n and 1/2 included sauce. I cooked it in a stir fry pan for the recommended time, while simultaneously cooking white rice and steaming broccoli. When the Chick’n was about done I added some chopped green peppers and red onion to the stir fry and the sauce. I put the rice in a dish, then added the stir fry pan contents and the broccoli.

This post was not sponsored by any products mentioned and everything was purchased with my own money.

Happy Eating!

Alicia

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My Healthy Life | Summer Salad and Refresher

In January I completed the Blogilates 28 day reset and started my journey to weight loss and health. I have since lost 20 lbs, and while I still have more to go, I feel great and have also turned my diet to vegan shortly after completing the challenge. The hardest things to give up for me were fish, eggs and the amazing sweet and sour chicken from our local Chinese restaurant. I was never one for beef, and there are so many great alternatives out there that it is really easy not to miss meat. Eating at family party’s (my family loves to grill) has also been fairly easy. I usually just eat the sides (potatoes, corn on the cob, pasta salad, and veggies) but if I know I’m going to a cookout I will bring my own veggie burger or make a vegan dish for us to eat.

I have since discovered so many delicious recipes that I figured I’d start sharing them here along with dance since it all goes so well together.

Today’s recipe is a lovely tofu salad!

I started by grilling some tofu while preparing the veggies. Kale and spinach as a salad base, cucumber, tomato, red onion, black olives, chickpeas, green pepper and half an avocado. Olive oil, pink salt and pepper as dressing. Mix in the tofu and you’re set for a yummy lunch!

I also had a large mason jar of cold water, with fresh mint leaves from the garden and a squeezed lemon slice!

Next post I’ll update on how my summer dance and workout have been going!

Happy eating!

Alicia

NYC Trip | Lincoln Center | Bloch Store and Downton Abbey Exhibition!

Monday I went to New York City (a nice few hour train ride for us) mainly to see the Downton Abbey Exhibit, but since we were in the neighborhood I decided to make some ballet stops too!

We left from Rhode Island pretty early in the morning, taking a 7:45 train and getting to Penn Station around 10:30. Our Downton Abbey tickets weren’t until 2 so we took the subway to Lincoln Center and I finally got to take some picture in front of the famous fountain!

And of course in front of the theater sign where there was conveniently a “barre”

Next up was the Bloch store right across the street! Let me tell you how I have dreamed of coming to this store and standing in that beautiful window to be fit for shoes! I’ve been wanting to try several of the new stretch shoes, having had pretty good success with the Eurostretch, and they even had some models that aren’t on their website.

After some trial and error, and a very patient and awesome fitter, I decided (it was a tough one between 2) on the Synthesis in a 7XX. I have to get used to the smaller platform of the tapered shoe, but they look sleek and lovely and I can’t wait to finish sewing them and to break them in!

The shoes that came in close second (which I still may order and try!) were the Superelative, which I’m wearing 2 photos up.

My Aunt gifted my my shoes for my upcoming birthday, and bought herself a new sweater for class, so we both got pretty blush bags! She’s taking her first class tonight as we speak, and I can’t wait to hear about it!

Next we were off to a quick lunch before the show, and went to a healthy place next to the exhibition called Fresh&Co, which was delicious! I had a turkey sandwich with cranberries, since I was starting my 28 day cleanse the next day and will be omitting gluten and bread (that’s another blog)!

Now off to Downton! I fangirled almost as much as when I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I just love the clothing of this era! I even wore my hat from the time!

I have to say, since going I’ve been shopping on ModCloth and Unique Vintage all day for some modern flapper looks, and have looked at going to a roaring 20s lawn party!

I think I could pull off the look of both Edwardian fashion and 20s!

We started in the “downstairs” area, because the exhibit was set up like the house. This was the kitchen, servants area, and where the staff would dine and do much of their work. My moms favorite was all of the cooking appliances and ways of preparing food, since she’s basically a modern Mrs. Pattmore!

Seriously, that table is like something out of a wedding! A Downton wedding sounds good to me!

Since I already love dressing vintage (more of a 50s look) I think some Deco/ 20’s inspires clothes might be making an appearance in my wardrobe! I mean, those dresses! Plus who doesn’t like a good hat! Time to find a 20’s party to go to!

I think it made me want to re-watch the series again, and hope for a Downton movie!

(Harry Potter fans like myself will get it!)

The day was fun and exhausting. I need to make it a point to get to NYC more often, to shop and take classes. Until next time!

Morning Class | Adult Ballet Blog

My office was closed today in observance of the Veterans Day holiday (thank you Vets!) so there was a rare chance to attend class at 9am and it was taken advantage of! Since it was an advance class (which screams avoid! To me) nerves almost convinced me to not go, I’m that dancer that’s been in beginner/intermediate class for ages because of my issues with remembering combos and psyching myself out. 

Arriving early and grabbing a coffe at the adorable French café next door, finding a place at the barre (in the back corner) and beginning class with a nice window view was a great start to the morning! The flow of class was enjoyable with emphasis on really using the upper body to dance and express movement. Adage was beautiful and manageable on my dim memory (even remembering it enough to write it down after) and for the first time in my memory of dance, feelings of grace and that my dancing wasn’t akward and floppy filled me instead of terror and nerves. I’m hoping this becomes a permanent change because it felt good! 

Sadly, my current work situation requires 9-4 on Fridays and unlesss I’m a wizard and can start negotiating some remote work, it will be rare that this class can be attended (*cough* I’m sick)! But today was wonderful and productive!

P.S. I’ve had to write the last 2 blogs without using I️ because Apple is special and glitches! I️ am so annoyed!

xx,

Alicia

My Healthy Life | Pre-class power food! | Adult ballet blog 

I’ve been that dancer who has struggled with body image immensely over the past 4 years or so. Growing up in a mostly Italian family, it was encouraged to be a member of the clean plate club and seconds were always offered and encouraged. On top of that, everyone on both sides on my family are amazing cooks! Growing up it was never a problem because being so active in dance and gymnastics weight was never an issue and that call to Burger King after practice (and right across the street conveniently)!

Even when starting dance again as an adult, I’d been going to the gym daily, taught pole and aerial fitness classes 4 times a week,  and had a very active job bartending (chasing drunks around was cardio)! The past few years, age has caught up with me and I’ve gained 20 pounds that scream at me when looking in the mirror, and cause me to hate photos, and love that photoshop is a skill that comes with my photography and graphic design job!

Now that I’ve been consistent with dancing again, and really want to continue to improve, workout consistency and training, as well as conscious healthy meal and snack choices are a must. A few months ago I’d come across The Dancers Best Body Program (www.thewholedancer.com) which includes healthy eating, nutrition, and inspiration which we can all use more of! Recently beginning to go through the lessons has inspired me to get back on track with multiple dance classes a week, a return to aerial, and conscious eating.

I’m going to start keeping quick and easy meals on the blog here because if you’re anything like me you just don’t have time for all the elaborate meal prep that diet plans require. If anyone knows any clean eating resources for quick and easy meals, link me in the comments below!

Tonight’s pre-class dinener took about 10 minutes!


It was easy and a good source of both protein and carbs for energy as well as a good helping of dark leafy greens.

• 1 cup whole wheat ziti

• small chicken breast (palm sized)

• 1 cup steamed spinach

• A few spoonfuls of  organic pasta sauce with herbs

Now it’s off to stretch my calves that are still sore from yesterday’s class!

Alicia

Practice Makes….Better

So I’ve (proudly!) been back to consistent ballet classes for 8 months straight! This has to be a personal record, and since no financially devastating events have happened to make classes unaffordable like has happened in the past, I’ve definitely seen progress. While I have been dancing since I was 22 (9 years) as an adult, until the past 4 years ago I was very inconsistent so progress, especially on pointe, would leave me back at square one frequently. My first year of college I was able to take multiple classes a week at the Boston Ballet which was a few minutes away from school and ballet/ contemporary and pointe at The Studio: A Dance Center for adults whenever I could.

I’ve always been that person to forget combos, and have to follow someone, which is probably still true if I took more intermediate classes (which I will do once I’m out of busy photography season) but right now I’m happy in my awesome beginner class where I’m feeling like I am progressing and re-learning the basics I never learned when I started because the studio I attended was more focused on performance. I still fear I will never be good at petit allegro, but it’s getting better!

I’ve always been told practice makes perfect. With being an artist, dancer, gymnast and learning an instrument, it is always practice! But I’ve come to determine that practice will NEVER make perfect. Why? Because perfection, and striving for perceived perfection, is unrealistic and will drive you completely mad reaching for something that is unlikely to be achieved!

Instead, I aim for better. Even if it is just one little thing I do better than at my previous class….a longer balance, better turn, remembering the combo…BETTER is better than driving myself mad over unrealistic goals. I still have that dream of being on stage someday, but for now I’ll just be over here working hard on my strength and getting back to 3 classes a week to improve!

AliciaAlicia_wm-27Alicia_wm-33Alicia_wm-67(thankfully I’m also a better photographer than when I did these as well!)

Hope is the Anthem of my Soul | Adult Ballet Blog | National Suicide Awareness Week

Suicide Awareness Week confession: I’ve struggled with depression, hopelessness, and feeling like I am never enough for most of my life. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 20s that I could admit to myself that I had a mental illness. I’ve felt like most people would be better off if I’m not here, and I know how easy it is to slip into the darkness that is our own minds. I’ve failed so many times at jobs, and felt like I don’t fit in anywhere, even in the industries I love and want to make a career in. As I sit here and write this I am in tears because yet again I have disappointed people that I care abouts opinions and the familiar feeling of hopelessness is taking over. I work full time and am growing a photography business, and basically just made a fool of myself in front of prominent vendors for working full time and not editing fast enough. It makes me feel like I should throw in the towel because I will never be able to edit a full session in 2 weeks. Today I felt guilty for going to class and not staying home to edit. I was told I was unprofessional because I told someone my timeline for editing was because I worked full time as well as growing my business. Now I’m sitting here downing wine and feeling guilty for writing this blog.


The point of this is I want you to know you’re not alone, what you are feeling, others are feeling too. Sure I feel like crap and am crying into my wine, but I know I’m a great photographer and clients who have my timeline expectations and are ok with it are the people for me (shameless self promotion: http://www.aliciaannphoto.com) Hope is the anthem of my soul, and I hope that one day I can accomplish my dreams and be able to be good enough to fit in this industry that seems to take and never give.
National Suicide Awareness Week: https://twloha.com/

xx,

Alicia