Quitting – The Last One

This is the last time I write about quitting the gym.  Promise.

Recap:

Tuesday 5/6:  I gave my two weeks’ notice in which I said my last class would be Saturday, 5/17.

Saturday 5/10:  A regular rider (let’s call her R) was the only person in class.  I told her I gave notice and she promised to come to my last class as long as I used my Elvis ride.

Present

Saturday 5/17:  I walked in at 8:30 and the room was dark.  At first I thought this to be very appropriate until R walked in at 8:35, apologizing for being late.  I used my Elvis profile and she loved it.  At the end of class she thanked me.  “It was because of you that I was able to cross things off my bucket list and reach my personal fitness goals.”  And that’s what I’m going to miss the most…helping others without realizing it until something triggers their gratitude.

Needless to say, as I left I saw the sign up list for class this morning had “cycle 8:30 am” crossed off and the class calendar for 5/12 – 5/18 did not have my last class on it.

Here’s to restful Saturday mornings, sleeping in with my love and my Finn, until my session with Trainer J.  Until next time, Fitters.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Stuck in a Food Rut with a First Attempt at a Frittata

Last fall I participated in an 8-week long paleo challenge (recap here).  I discovered some recipes I liked so much, I continued eating them after the challenge ended.  One in particular is the sweet potato hash.  I continued eating the hash topped with eggs and avocado week-daily for the next six months.  I reached such a point of boredom and frustration with food that I began rebelling.  I pigged out on the samples the buyers and sales people put out for my co-workers to try.  There were Annie’s Organic Bunnies, Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles, and Godiva’s new truffles in Crème Brulee, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Lava Cake (O. M. G!).  Outside of work, I was eating risotto appetizers, pasta entrees, and brownie sundae desserts.  In other words, I ate like garbage.

I am paying the price.  I sleep at night but wake up tired.  At work, I feel sluggish and ready to crash by two o’clock.  When I go to WOD, I move very slowly and feel heavy and dense whenever I have to run.  I am not performing at the level I should be at.

In an effort to combat the food boredom and newly developed bad (okay, awful) eating habits, I reached the conclusion that I need to cook at home more and try a variety of recipes.  I shouldn’t be eating the same thing every day.  I also know a few things about me:

  • I like to eat protein-heavy breakfasts and I am partial to eggs for breakfast
  • I munch all day long so I need a variety of snack options or meals with multiple parts
  • I need a filling lunch, preferably loaded with protein and vegetables, but not a salad
  • I try not to eat after 4 pm on days I have CrossFit

I stumbled on this recipe from Fabfitfun.com for a Frittata with Ricotta and Mixed Greens and decided to give it a try.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (not going to be used all at once)
  • 1 medium red onion finely diced
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes (maybe 2 pinches)
  • 1 pound of mixed greens (I used a 10-oz bag of pre-ripped kale from Trader Joe’s – be sure to remove the spines)
  • 10 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I left this out)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (I suggest using more)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 8 ounces part-skim ricotta
  • 1 sprig of mint leaves (I’ll leave these out if there is a next time)

 You need to:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 (I used standard bake, not convection and I did not need to pre-heat at the very beginning.  I could have done this later on.)
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a large, non-stick, oven-friendly skillet.  Add the finely diced red onion and cook until soft (about 4 minutes).  Stir occasionally.  (I’d add a pinch of salt to the onion for flavor.)
  • Add the red pepper flakes and mix again.
  • Add half of the kale (or greens of your choice) and cook until wilted and crisp but tender (about 5 minutes).  Place the sautéed greens in a colander.
  • Do the same thing with the remaining kale.
  • Let the kale cool a bit then squeeze dry (I used a paper towel to help).
  • Transfer the kale to a bowl.
  • Wipe out the skillet with a damp paper towel.
  • Add the red-wine vinegar, ricotta, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper to the kale and stir to combine, making sure the ricotta is blended evenly.  (You may want to add salt here.)  I added the leaves of a mint spring (ripped up) to this mixture.  I’ll probably leave them out next time.
  • Whisk together the eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon with black pepper (Parmesan would be added here) in a large bowl.  (You may need more salt here.)
  • Fold the ricotta mixture into the egg mixture and stir until all ingredients are mixed together.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook until the sides are set (about 8 minutes).
  • Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the eggs are completely set (about 15 minutes).
  • Make sure you use an oven mitt to remove the skillet from the oven as the handle will be very hot.
  • Invert frittata onto a serving platter to serve.

You may want to leave the frittata “upside down” depending on how the “top” looks.  As I am using this for lunch, I don’t mind having it “bottoms up”.  If I were serving this to company, I would put the nicer side up (as you see in the picture).  If the frittata does not fall right out when the pan is inverted, use a spatula to loosen it then turn the pan upside down.

image

(Picture taken by my loving boyfriend on his iPhone as I was too lazy to climb a flight of stairs and get mine.)

The recipe calls for a pesto sauce that gets drizzled on top of the frittata upon serving.  I decided to omit the pesto as I’ll be taking the refrigerated version for breakfast at work.  Hence, the addition of the mint to the frittata itself.

The recipe made 8 good-sized slices, 3 of which went home with my boyfriend for his breakfast.  The other 5 I’ll be eating daily along with Trader Joe’s frozen hash browns.

As this was pretty easy to make, I’ll definitely be trying another frittata in the not-so-distant future.

You can see by my opening confession and the ricotta in the recipe that I have not been keeping up with paleo.  I enjoy food.  I would rather eat in a more healthful manner (balanced meals, mixing in veggies, limiting my sweets) than omit whole food groups.

Happy eating!

Tell me, what do you like for breakfast and how do you break up food ruts?

Update: I Quit!

I did it.  I submitted my two weeks’ notice to the gym today.  This is the third time I submitted notice that I was quitting a job.  I hate writing them and I hate giving them.  When I commit to something – whether it be work, a friend, or a relationship – I stick with it until it becomes toxic and I am forced to let it go.  I am having a difficult time coping with this decision; but, it needed to be done.

I knew I made the right decision when I received the reply to my notice e-mail:

Okay thank you so much for letting me know. I wish you all the best!

Best.  Decision. 

Besides, who can resist cuddling with this face:

(Finn helped me fold my laundry the other night.)

Time to Quit?

In January 2012 I sat through the 9-hour orientation to become a Spinning® instructor.  I loved taking Spinning® classes, attending a minimum of two classes each week and using them as my sole form of cardio work to complement the strength training I did with Trainer J.  I admired my instructors so much, I decided I wanted to be just like them and acquired my certification.

I taught my first class that May at the YMCA a few towns over.  The class had one person, my boss.  By mid-summer, I was consistently packing 6-7 people in each class.  Mind you, the room only had 14 bikes, including the bike for the instructor.  By the end of the summer, I had 12 people in the class.  When I got to the Y each Saturday, I knew there would be no fewer than 8 people, all of whom would try to talk with me after class the same way I would talk to my instructors after class.  I loved it!  Looking back, there are times when I regret leaving.

I left in March 2013 because my boss was not supportive (she had no idea that my classes were packed and became jealous when I told her so) and I was offered a position of growth at a brand new gym.  The new boss promised me supportive management, classes that would grow and additional bikes when the classes were overflowing, hours at the front desk in order to learn how gyms operate, and a management position when another franchise location opened. 

I gave the Y 2 weeks’ notice based on the projected opening day of the new gym.  One week went by without teaching; two weeks went by; finally, a month later, I had my first class.  At the new gym, I was given three classes (Tuesday 8 am, Friday 6 pm, Saturday 8:30 am).  Most of the time, I would show up just to leave or I would teach to one person.  Thankfully, the gym paid me regardless of attendance.

By the end of the summer, I was teaching consistently to 6 riders and those promises went unfulfilled as my boss quit.  A week later, the owner called me to tell me they were getting rid of the Tuesday morning and Friday evening classes (he didn’t know how to pronounce my name).  When fall kicked in, my class size dropped: I had between 1 and 3 people showing up, sometimes no one.  In December 2013, the group exercise scheduler changed.  I told the old one twice I needed coverage the last weekend in January for the CrossFit competition with no reply.  I replied to the introductory email from the new one telling her I needed coverage and she replied it wouldn’t be a problem.  At the competition, they called to inquire what time I was coming in.  That was when things really started going downhill.

In March I asked for coverage for a class as I wasn’t feeling well (I had the flu-like bug that was going around) and I wanted to sleep in and feel better.  I loved sleeping in and spending the morning relaxing with my boyfriend and Finn.  We took Finn to the dog park where she socialized with other dogs and we with other owners.  We ate breakfast together and relished the stress-free Saturday morning.

This past Saturday put the final nail in the coffin, if you will.  I was exhausted and waking up at 6:30 was no picnic.  I knew after I taught I had to get to JFK airport by 11 for my known traveler interview.  I had no time to nap before my session with Trainer J.  I needed to nap afterwards to be awake for a family dinner with D and his family.  I arrived at the gym at 8:29.  No one was signed into the class.  No one was in the room.  I waited until 8:35 and left.

I don’t want to give up teaching Spinning® classes but my passion is dying.  The gym sucks the energy out of me and I don’t want to teach there anymore.  I do sub classes at another gym and will continue to do so.

Let me ask you, how do you know when it’s time to quit?

My answer:  When you have to ask, deep down you know it’s time to go.

What’s your answer?

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