Saturday, December 31, 2011

New year, new post...

Hi there! Haven't blogged here in a little while. Mostly because my autumn was major hectic and the holidays have been busy, busy, busy. And full of awesome, non-healthy, home cooked food. Yay for holidays! But, like a lot of people, I put on a few pounds over the holidays, and now it's time to indulge in some good HEALTHY food to take them off.

Actually, I want to take off more than a couple pounds. I want to lose about 15-20 pounds next year. I'm not at a totally unhealthy place right now, but losing some weight would really help my performance at my circus pursuits. 15 pounds less is 15 pounds less to lift. And since I'm starting to do some partnered aerials and partner balancing, it's 15 pounds less for someone else to lift too.

However, in the past, I've had a really hard time balancing weight loss and activity. Don't get me wrong, I know how to lose weight and maintain it... but the only thing that has really worked is dropping my calories WAY down and quitting my exercise. If I drop my calories a little and keep exercising, I don't lose weight. If I drop my calories very low (like 1000-1200 calories) I lose weight, but I don't have the energy to keep up my normal activity... if I try to keep exercising I start catching every cold that comes along and I'm pretty darn miserably sick.

So I'm going to try something different this time. I'm going to try the Whole 30. I'm going to lean towards including more starchy vegetables, like beets & sweet potatoes, because I know I don't do super fabulous on low carb diets (or frankly any extreme low-anything diet). But I'm going to keep it really clean, no grains, no dairy, no packaged foods. It's something I can do for a month and see where it gets me.

This will mean I'm going to be posting more recipes, yay!

Hopefully this will mean I can lose some weight without suffering performance-wise. And if it doesn't, it'll be a learning experience. I'm curious too what it will mean for my burns and bruises. Aerial arts are pretty brutal. I walk around all summer showing off legs that look like they've been randomly beaten. For whatever reason, the bruises take a long time to clear up on me... I don't know if it's because of my age or if it's something missing nutritionally or what. (I've had bloodwork recently and I'm not anemic.) I use arnica gel, but they still take forever to clear. I'm curious if there's anything I can change in my diet that will improve the bruising.

Friday, December 9, 2011


This is my all time favorite Sangria recipe. I make it all the time for summer BBQs, and our friends love it. Why the heck am I posting a summer BBQ drink recipe in the middle of winter? Because celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito posted about the alarming calorie count of sangria to his twitter. And then, his twitter followers started posting back monstrosities involving diet soda and sugar free fruit cocktail. YUCK!!!

My sangria is more of a fruit studded red wine spritzer, but that's never bothers anyone. If you want to be a party pooper and watch your calories like a hawk, then yes, it has less calories than the syrupy brandy spiked sort. But I mostly make it because it's super easy, super tasty and you can drink it all afternoon and never get uncomfortably drunk.

JJ's Sangria

2 oranges (valencia preferred)
1 lemon
2 Tablespoons sugar, maple syrup or honey
1 green apple, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup sliced strawberries, cherries, peaches, pears or other fruit
1 bottle decent but not great red wine
1 bottle San Pellegrino or lemon flavored sparkling water

The night before the party: Juice one orange and the lemon. Peel the other orange and cut it into small chunks. Put the fruit juice, sugar, fruit chunks and wine into a large bowl and set in the fridge overnight to soak. Stick the sparkling water in the fridge.

Day of party: Fill your pitcher half full of cold sparkling water and ladle in an equal amount of wine/fruit. Serve!