My Thoughts On Being “Type A”

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you’ve all had a good week. Mine has been good and even though I’m not working from home today (hopefully exciting news to share with you soon), I’m still feeling like it’s Friday- woohoo! I’ve got a little bit of a “heavy” post for you today, but I’m hoping some of you can relate and we can get a good discussion going in the comments section. So, read away and let me know what you think!

If you’re on Facebook, I’m sure you’ve seen this post, which gives 16 signs of being a little (or a lot) “Type A”. Since I frequently joke about being super Type A, I couldn’t wait to read through the article; I just had to see if I was really, truly Type A or if maybe I just carried some of the Type A traits.

Waiting in long lines kills you a little bit inside.
You’ve been described as a perfectionist, overachiever, workaholic or all of the above.
You bite your nails or grind your teeth.
You have a serious phobia of wasting time.
You’re highly conscientious.
You’ve always been a bit of a catastrophist.
You frequently talk over and interrupt people.
You have a hard time falling asleep at night.
People can’t keep up with you — in conversation or on the sidewalk.
You put more energy into your career than your relationships.
Relaxing can be hard work for you.
You have a low tolerance for incompetence.
You’d be lost without your to-do list.
At work, everything is urgent.
You’re sensitive to stress.
You make it happen.

Verdict? Holy crap. If being Type A was on a scale of 1-10, 1 being not at all and 10 being the definition of… I am right there with a big ol’ 10. Woof. I mean, it wasn’t a huge surprise, but I didn’t know that I would pretty much be/do all of them so much “by the book” (or article in this case).

With that said, this article made me think… a lot. While I like and appreciate a lot of these qualities that I have because I think they have been a huge factor in why I am where I am today, there are some that I’d like to be more of a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-10 instead of the 10 I currently am.

As I mentioned in my New Years Post, this year it is my goal to relax more and stress less, go with the flow more and schedule less, live a little more carefree and worry less… you get the idea. Basically, it’s very natural for me to be the way and act in a way that’s listed out above, but is that “good”? Is that “healthy”? I do all these things for myself to be healthy and live a healthy lifestyle (workout, eat well, try to not drink too much, take the stairs and walk when possible, etc.), but am I doing too much? Is my need for overachieving, succeeding and always wanting to be better an unhealthy trait? Is my fear of wasting time, taking on too many things, saying “yes” even when I want to say “no” and having an inability to relax creating an unnecessary stress on me? Sometimes, yes, I think it is.

I’ve talked to my friend Athena about this before because I know she can relate. I remember telling her about one particularly upsetting weekend when my Type A came on strong. It was a Sunday last summer and I was really stressed… to the point my sister told me I was being a crazy person. The week had been crazy busy and I had a bachelorette party in NH on Saturday night so when I got home Sunday morning, I did go a little crazy. I was so stressed about cleaning the apartment, doing my laundry, going grocery shopping, getting my blogging done and working out that I was literally tunnel-visioned and wouldn’t stop until I got those things done. It was a terrible, terrible feeling and although my sister told me to relax and forget about all those things because they weren’t things that I HAD to do, I couldn’t. That’s the hard part… it’s when you know something isn’t really that big of a deal, but you make it out to be.

But, for me, it’s easier to just get the things done and off my list (I ALWAYS have a to-do list going and I love the feeling of crossing things off. Sometimes if I do something that wasn’t on my list, I add it just so I can cross it off…) when it’s bothering me and THEN relax. If I relax and push things to the side, when it comes time to face them, I am even more stressed than I was to begin with.

Knowing this about myself is one step closer to working on letting go of some of those thoughts and “type A” qualities in favor of relaxing, going with the flow, being spontaneous, putting more into a relationship and choosing that person over something on my to-do list, etc. I don’t always have to be in a rush or on a time schedule. I don’t always have to have a to-do list. I don’t always need to do X amount of things on one day because I did Y amount of things the day before. I don’t need to be home by a certain time so that I can blog and make my lunch for the next day. Because you know what? Life will still go on if I don’t do those things; I will survive, haha. Although it’s hard to imagine, it will all be ok if I let go of things for a day, few days or even a week. So, that’s my goal for this year. To loosen up and work my way down the 1-10 Type A scale and get a little more balance in my life.

I want to hear your thoughts! Where do you find yourself on the “spectrum”? Do you relate to any of those Type A qualities that I listed above? What’s something you want to work on this year?

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My Kind of “Boxed” Wine…

I don’t think I’m surprising anyone when I say I love wine, right? Nope. Definitely not. Well, with that said, it’s safe to say that giving me a present that includes wine is never a bad idea. And when it involves multiple- 6, to be exact- bottles it’s a very good idea! Imagine my face when I opened the box and saw these beauties!

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I don’t know where this was bought, but what I love about it is that there was a sheet of paper with each type of wine’s flavors and good food pairings.

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Although I drink a lot of wine and have been to a number of wine seminars, I really don’t know that much about different varietals, food pairings, aging, etc. My fellow blogger “friend” (is it appropriate to call someone a friend if you’ve only corresponded via social media? I’m going to make it appropriate.) blogs over at The Slant where he talks about the perfect pairing of wine and running… Burpees to Bubbly, Running and Wine… I couldn’t agree more with his outlook on the two! Anyway! He writes hilariously witty posts and I’ve learned so much about wine from his blog. I’m hoping to get him to guest post for me when I’m in Dallas in a few months (hint, hint…).

So, what I’m trying to say, is I can’t provide any in depth analysis of the wines, but I can tell you that if they all taste as good as the Rafale French Merlot, I’m in for a treat!

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I like heavier/thicker red wines and this one was definitely that. It was very flavorful and was perfect for a casual Friday night.

The box came with 4 reds and 2 whites and I think I’ll try one of the whites next.

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I feel like I’ve heard of Terranoble and since I’m a Chardonnay lover (and love Chilean wines), I’m sure it will pass my taste-test approval (but, let’s be honest, what doesn’t? Well, Franzia boxed wine. Sorry mom- I just can’t do it!).

The red that I’m most looking forward to try is the Pallas, simply because I think the label is really cool (yes, I judge wine by the label).

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So, pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s chat!

Red or white? It depends for me! I really enjoy both, but tend to order white when I’m out at a bar since it doesn’t do as much damage if I get bumped and spill. Weather also plays a huge role in terms of whether I’ll drink white or red. Hot, summer day/night? Definitely an ice cold class of white wine, please. Snowy, cold, winter evening? Big ol’ glass of red always does the trick!

What type of red or white do you enjoy the most? Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc for whites and Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for red. Lately, though, I’ve really been enjoying a good Malbec!

What’s your “go-to” wine when you’re at a busy bar and need to just order something quickly? Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc

Do you judge a wine by the label? Yes! How can you not? Unless I’m craving something in particular (usually J. Lohr or La Crema), I’ll pick something out with a neat label.

Your turn! Let me know your favorites 🙂

Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Kale & Ground Turkey Lasagna

Well, well, well. I have quite the recipe for you today! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a big fan of Italian food. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that there are so many other things I’d rather eat instead of a big ol’ bowl of pasta. It’s just not something that fills me up and keeps me satisfied.

But, last weekend I got a craving for lasagna. My dad had given me a big container of his homemade sauce and I had been keeping it in the freezer for a time when I knew I’d use it all up. Lasagna was the perfect dish to do that!

Although this lasagna has real noodles instead of vegetable noodles (and, ps, my Zucchini and Summer Squash Lasagna post is probably one of the most popular posts I’ve done. It amazes me to see how many people have repinned it on Pinterest. Seriously. It’s crazy!), I think it’s still relatively healthy since I used whole wheat noodles, part skim ricotta and kale. That makes it healthy, right? 😉

Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Kale & Ground Turkey Lasagna

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 – 3/4 lb of lean ground turkey. You can use beef if you’d prefer, or leave the meat out entirely if you want to make it vegetarian!
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cups of chopped mushrooms
  • 2 big handfuls of kale, rinsed chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 of a container of part skim ricotta (or whatever type you want)
  • 2-4 cups of sauce
  • whole wheat lasagna noodles (I think I used 6 in mine)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • seasonings to taste (I used sea salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, Pampered Chef & oregano)

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Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350*. Brown the ground turkey. I added seasonings as well. I also got to use my new meat utensil that I got from my Pampered Chef party… loved it! If your lasagna noodles need to be cooked before you bake the lasagna, do that now as well.

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2. While the meat is cooking, chop your veggies. When the meat has finished cooking, remove it from the pan and add in your onions. I “caramelized” my onions by adding about a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of brown sugar, BUT, Elle, who blogs over at Nutritionella recently posted an amazing looking breakfast skillet recipe in which she caramelized onions and if you want REAL caramelized onions, follow her instructions 😉 Once the onions are mostly caramelized, add in the mushrooms. Lastly, add in the kale when the mushrooms have softened.

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3. When the kale is finished cooking, you’re ready to start assembling the lasagna!

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4. I baked mine at 350* for about 30 minutes. Once it looked bubbly, I broiled it for about 5 minutes to get that pretty browned top.

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This was the perfect meal for a Sunday night and as I’ve re-heated it a number of other nights this week, I can say that it only gets better! Casseroles are my favorite “Sunday Night Meal” to make because they are so easy to heat up when I get home from the gym and am starving AND they continuously taste good throughout the week. Some leftovers don’t re-heat well, but casseroles, soups, etc. re-heat so well.

I hope you enjoy this- let me know if you try it!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite type of lasagna? Do you make your own sauce? Kale- yay or nay?

Wednesday Workout: Across the Floor Workout

Last week, I taught a SHRED workout that required a lot of movement. Well, duh, you’re probably saying. Don’t all workouts require movement? Yes, I guess they do. But in Thursday’s class, the movement was moving from one side of the room to the other. I used to do these types of workouts at the Allston BSC since the group ex space was on a basket ball court and therefore there was so much room and it worked out great, but I hadn’t done one in a long time so I figured it was time to bring it back! The Central Square studio isn’t as big, but if you go there and back twice, it’s basically the same thing 😉

It’s funny, because as I was making up my workout, I realized a lot of the exercises/moves I wanted to do were “animal” moves: crab walk, alligator crawl, inch-worm push-ups, bunny hops… you get the idea. My friend Athena and I had a convo a while ago about all the different animal moves she could do in her class (Train Like an Animal is the workout she came up with) and while I didn’t do all of the same moves, I did include a lot of them because they work perfect for across the floor workouts.

Across the Floor Workout

So, what you do in this workout is you start with the weighted lunge and lift going across the room and back, then do you do the cardio. Then you do that set once again before moving on to the inch worms. Here are some notes/comments on the moves and how they were performed:

  • Walking Lunge & Lift– add weights for a more advanced version!
  • Inch Worm Push-Up– do 2 push-ups at the end instead of just 1 like shown in the video.
  • Squat & Bicep Curl- If you’re starting on the left side of the room, you’ll step your right foot out, squat, step your left foot over to meet the right. Then do a bicep curl. So it’s step, squat, step, curl. Moving from the left side of the room to the right, and then back
  • Alligator Crawl- If your on a wood floor, put your feet on a towel or Gliders (if you have them) and get into a plank position. From there, walk your hands forward so that you are pulling your legs behind you. This is KILLER for your upper body/lats/shoulders. Wowzers we were all dying.
  • Bunny hops- these are just little jump squats that you do in a forward direction. Want to make it harder? Hold a weight overhead.
  • Plank w/weight push- Get into a plank position with a weight between your hands on the floor. Use one hand to push the weight forward and then walk in that plank position to the weight. Repeat. On the way back, you’re going to walk backwards in the plank position and this time you’ll push the weight under your body towards your feet. Try to keep your butt down during this- it has a tendency to want to lift up 😉
  • Frogger Burpees– instead of turning around to jump back to your spot, keep moving in one direction until you get to the other side of the room.

Phew! I think that’s it! If I didn’t explain something clearly, don’t hesitate to ask me for a better explanation. I should’ve taken a video of myself doing these, but it’s hard since I don’t have a lot of room in my apartment.

This workout left me really sore- I hope it does the same for you!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite workout format? Stations? Across the floor? Circular circuits? Any of these moves new to you?

Weekending: Margarita’s, Birthdays, Puttering…

Last weekend was so much fun! It was a good mix of social events, fitness and relaxation. I was able to hang out with a number of different groups of people, which was a nice treat.

Friday

Friday night, I got together with some of my gym friends (Athena, Ashley, Jen and Stephanie) at The Painted Burro in Davis Square. I didn’t get a picture of us, but I got a picture of the food and margarita’s, which is just as good, right? 😉

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Have you been to the Painted Burro? Holy crap do they have amazing margaritas AND tacos. I got the zucchini one and the Mahi Mahi one.

Unfortunately, I ended up being double booked on Friday, so I had to leave the girls after dinner to make it into the city by 10 for my friend Keefe’s birthday at The Brahmin. I hadn’t been there since my birthday and was quickly reminded of how much I like it there! It was great to see so many friends from home and I’m happy to report that I only had 1 wine while I was there because I didn’t want to be hung over for kickboxing.

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Saturday

After a sweaty and packed kickboxing class (love having my A team in the front row 🙂 ), I treated myself to a Skinny Chai Tea Latte and shopped around Target, of course buying impulsive treats…

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Since I had absolutely NO food in my apartment and wasn’t about to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach (worst idea ever), I swung by Panera Bread for some soup to warm me up!

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‘Twas a nice little Saturday afternoon 🙂

I was tempted to stay in on Saturday night, but my upstairs neighbor, Lisa, invited me to join her and some friends at the Back Bay Social Club and since I didn’t have any reason not to go (I’m trying to be better about going with the flow and being spontaneous), I took her up on her offer. I quickly made a pizza and got ready. I’ve been doing straight hair a lot lately, but since I didn’t have time, I opted for an up-do. With curly hair, I don’t even have to use a sock or bun maker to make a nice looking bun- I love it!

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Sunday

My first thoughts on Sunday morning: Holy hamstrings! I couldn’t believe how sore they were from kickboxing. Good thing yoga was on the agenda!

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I love Exhale spa SO MUCH. Seriously. The locker room alone is worth the cost of the classes- gorgeous showers, sandals, robes, razors, combs, lotion/gel/hair spray, etc. It’s such a nice treat since I’m so used to crappy gym locker rooms at the Y and the BSC.

The rest of my Sunday flew by, which is always a little disappointing. I changed the sheets on my bed, cleaned, prepped my lunches/salads/snacks for the week, blogged… and next thing I knew it was time to start cooking!

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Yes, that’s the most delicious lasagna- I’ve got to share the recipe with you!

And that’s about it. I finally got to get caught up with writing a bunch of posts that I’ve had drafted for a while, so be on the lookout for some good recipes, workouts and a few other things this week!

Questions for you: Where is your favorite place to do yoga? Where is the best margarita in Boston? Where is your favorite place to go out in Boston?