My Vegan Life | Gardein Mandarin Chick’n Bowl

I thought that Asian inspired dishes would be my ultimate craving when I went vegan, but one of the reasons why I don’t miss meat at all is because of the wonderful alternatives provided by animal friendly companies like Gardein! 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. It’s honestly BETTER than actual chicken (as I’m finding with many recipes)! 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.

I can’t wait to cook this one for my boyfriend, I know for sure he will love it!

This post was not sponsored by any products mentioned and everything was purchased with my own money. (But I mean, I’m happy be sponsored if Gardein is listening 🙃).

Happy Eating!

Alicia

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My Vegan 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. Even better, my boyfriend adopted the vegan life last year so it’s so easy to go out for date nights with someone who gets it! 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

Anything is Possible

It’s taken me a really long time and many ups and downs to figure out what I want in life and make a game plan to achieve. I have suffered from a negative mindset, felt with naysayers and unsupportive people, and been surrounded with both people who have no ambition and people who thrive on ambition. The latter is the best kind of friends to have! Over the past year I’ve had som pretty low lows. With lacking self esteem and motivation toward both my dancing, my career, and my business. Through yoga, meditation and reading, I’ve uncovered a lot of ugly truth about myself and people around me. The difference now as I write this? I understand.

I’ve always been the girl with too many hobbies and interests, and I’ve had several people tell me I’m too busy and have too much going on. Like being multitalented is bad? Over the years I’ve developed more of these hobbies so I guess I am not going to get any better at limiting myself! The biggest thing, is something my Mom told me from the time of childhood: you are who you associate with. If you hang out with people who aren’t going anywhere, you won’t go anywhere. If you hang out with people with ambition and the nerds, you will be much better off. How does this relate to dance? For a while I didn’t have many people who understood why I dance. Since making friends in the ballet community, so much of this, including my crappy attitude toward myself, has changed. Losing weight and taking better care of myself has also helped. Being motivated to dream has been the pinnacle of it! If I go into ballet class with a bad attitude (pun intended) I have a bad class. If I go in telling myself I’m a great dancer and I belong here, even if I’m not perfect, I have a good class. It’s all in the mindset and I’ve seen it play out MANY times. Ballet, especially pointe, is very mental. I know I am strong enough, but fear holds me back. I started seeing this in my non-ballet life as well, that fear and anxiety is what always holds me back from so many things. Right now I’m learning pirouettes on pointe. If I don’t think about it, I can get up. If I sit there in my demi plié panicky about falling….well we know how that ends. In my life I’ve done this as well, but all of that is changing. The more I stick my mindset to “I’m going to try”, because it’s better to dream big and want everything and take huge risks that may involve failure, than to sit by and watch it pass by and do nothing. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Trying and failing is better than wasting the prime of your life on what if. In January I was unhappy with my body. I had hit my highest weight, 185, to date, and I’m not afraid to tell you all because I know I’ll never hit is again. I’m 5’7″ and muscular, with some booty and a D cup, and always have been even when I was at my ideal weight. However, my ideal weight hovers more around 150-155, where I can see my muscle tone that I work hard for. So I did something that I convinced myself for a long time I couldn’t do, I took control. I lost 18 lbs and counting since then, and am almost ready for bikini season! I did the Blogilates 28 day reset, cutting alcohol, sweets, gluten and dairy, and drank tons of water. Sure I craved, but I didn’t give in. Add in ballet and running and the weight came off! I still have about 12 lbs to go before I’m happy, and have no doubt I can do it. It’s all in the mindset.

A quote that’s been going through my mind lately: “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not why ships were built.” Cheers to that!

Ballet in 2018 | Goals | Pushing the limits

Starting 2018 my friend and I went up to Cambridge for a open house at the José Mato Ballet Theater. I haven’t danced in 3 weeks due to holiday and my car breaking down and needing to buy a new one. Deciding to take this class at the highest level offered was terrifying since I have a hard time with confidence taking anything but beginner class.

But this year I’m going to push myself. There’s no way I’ll ever get better and understand the steps that confuse me if I don’t do them repeatedly. In he higher level classes I feel vulnerable, scared, like instead of flying, I’m just flailing. There are a lot of steps I don’t know, and that scares me, but if I don’t ever try it, it will be impossible to ever learn it.

So I will keep going to classes, both in and out of my comfort zone. Keep pushing, learning and practicing. Because one day it will pay off and I will fly.

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

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!)