Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Exercise creates endorphines, endorphines make people happy, and happy people just dont kill their husbands.

I realized the other day that I haven't taken a day of from exercise, physical activity, or any other kind of activity in the vain of staying trim in awhile. I realized this because, apart from dragging myself to yoga or the treadmill, I utterly have had no energy to even try on clothes at the H&M sale. I knew immediately something wasn't right. It could be the disgusting heat wave that the Eastern half of the United States is undergoing at the moment making even triathletes sluggish, but heat doesn't really get to me, I mean I do hot hot hot hot yoga. So I remember hearing awhile back about exercise addition. You may laugh, but its a real thing. I remember hearing an interview with Jake Gyllenhaal about his bout with being an exercisrexic. So, my name is Ashley and I am a exercisrexic. I mean I guess there are worse things to be addicted to.
Currently in my gypsy swag living I have discovered wifi in the 4th floor stairwell of my apartment building. There I am standing, because it looses connection if I sit down or move my computer the wrong way, in the steamy crazy hot stairwell feeling a little like a poor man's Carrie (Sex in the City, because I know some of you won't know) looking at the apartments across the way. Wondering about other persons' living spaces, and how they make their small spaces home. But they aren't gypsies like me I suppose. They are real people with real jobs and reality all around them. Sometimes I think that would be nice but mediocrity isn't what I strive for in life. Maybe thats why I am a exercisrexic. But I think back on it and really anything I have committed myself to, I have gone full balls to wall to achieve it. Some hobbies I have dropped after a week or so but mostly if I find myself passionate about something I become a rexic, so to say. Like for example I use to be a tanerexic, diet cokerixic, taco bellerexic, Starbucks vanilla frappacinorexice, shoppinrexic, lotsofcerealwithlotsofmilkrexic, cheererexic, and I am sure there are more but those are ones that stick out in my mind. All of these rexics came and went of course but to think about how obsessive I become about things says a lot about my character. Says, Hey I'm dedicated, and maybe a little crazy, but at least I exercise now:)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Let the Motherland Down

Recently I have started a new chapter in life entitled Veganism. Its not because of animal cruelty, which I do care about but I love the taste of tender juicy chicken, a spiritual quest, or anything else granola crunchy. Its for the simple fact of staying slim and trim and the within the first week of giving up carnivorous food choices I dropped five pounds. My body responded surprisingly well to the diet change and I have been going strong for over a month now. I had given up diary previously for the same reasons about 2 years ago, and that was huge for this capin crunch fruity pebble milk girl. But I quickly fell in love with soy and almond milk and never really looked back. Vegetables have become a staple in my diet, which is definitely a good thing considering their missing presence in most of my Southern fried chicken and grits upbringing. I was a picky eater and obsessed with Lil Debbie Oatmeal Pies, given I was an adolescent and had the metabolism to pull it off.
While watching Diners, Drive In's, and Dives last night, one of my favorite shows on Food Network, which is always blaring in my 4X4 city apartment, Guy mentioned he went to Knoxville on one of his food excursions. I was intrigued and consulted google promptly. Turns out he went to a joint called the Pizza Palace located on no other than Magnolia Street. Magnolia has a reputation in Knoxville of not being one of the fairest of fair streets in town but it seems like whenever food shows come to Knoxville they some how end up on Magnolia. Man vs. Food recently featured a BBQ joint in Knox located on none other than Magnolia. If you aren't from Knoxville or know about the east side vs the west side its funny these places are being featured on TV as some of the finest foods Knoxville has to offer located in somewhat of a slummy local. It just goes to show don't judge a book by its cover ANYWHERE you go.
Anyway in the episode one of the owners says "we carnivores down here, they ain't any vegetarians in Knoxville" , and I have to admit my heart sank. My Southern roots suddenly felt like they were plucked from the lush East Tennessee grass they were planted in. But the person I am now is different and my outlook on health and life I have is different and THAT'S OKAY. I am still that 4th grader who wants fried chicken, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, sweet tea, and an oatmeal pie for dinner, just not tonight:)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nothing Better than the Coffee Jitters

I don't know when my love affair started with the tall (I like Venti), dark, roasted, and handsome aroma of coffee. But I am glad it did and I am never gonna give you up coffee bean. Over the past year I have had some great coffee in some interesting places. From Tennessee to South Korea I do have to consider myself somewhat of a Coffee Connoisseur. There is NOTHING like that first taste of a great cup of coffee, whether its your morning cup, your afternoon snack, or your little secret to keep you going through a night out on the town. Let's be honest, coffee is like crack, but a good beneficial type of crack. It is loaded with antioxidants and does wonders for your focus. Like Mae West said "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful", and I agree. I would sleep in a bag of Costa Rican or Guatemalan coffee beans if it meant I could have my sweat smell like the bitter sweetness of a great cup of coffee. Being a barista for the good part of 2 years I know a good cup of coffee, and not to mention how to make a mean latte. I am a purist when it comes to coffee. In the winter nothing beats a hot brewed 20 ounce cup and in the summer nothing can stand against an iced cold coffee with a big straw. Sometimes a splash of soy, but more often than not just coffee in its naked, original, delicious form. I figured I would give my top 4 coffee places I have had the pleasure of sucking down a cup of the finest legal drug to date.  One of my goals this summer is to explore New York's coffee scene so this list will grow eventually and I will share my data, maybe once and for all removing Starbucks from my coffee love life.

1. Best Iced Coffee I have had to date and there is an art to making great iced coffee.
Ports Coffee and Tea Company
23rd Street New York, NY
This is a recent discovery. They brew Stumptown coffee and know how to make a mean iced coffee, not to mention a black, vanilla, coconut, chocolate tea that will make your toes curl.

2. Starbucks
All over the world
I know, lame. But Starbucks will always know coffee. Period. Get over it.

3. Cafe Grumpy
224 W20th Street
New York, NY
They brew coffee fresh to order. Nuff said

4. LePommier
Paju City, South Korea
Yep, Asians know their coffee too. They are more into iced Americanos, which are just as delicious

Saturday, July 9, 2011

On the Road Again

I have spent much of the past 4 months confined within the small ca coons of different modes of transportation. Planes, trains, automobiles, and briefly a scooter. Currently my chariot is a Megabus en route to New York at 2:40 in the morning. I love travel and I love that I have to sometimes travel for work but being in a constant state of motion can get a girl down. I have started to watch the show "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" and can't help but feel like my bloodline, made up of mostly Cherokee and mountain people, contains traces of the infinite Gypsy. The people on the show are referred to as "travelers", and yes indeed I am a super duper traveler.
So here are some Gypsy tips to keep you feelin fresh, even in the most awkward and tiniest of crawl spaces.

1. Bring a Blanket and or sweater
I don't care if its 90 degrees outside, the temperature inside some sort of traveling vessel will always go up and down. There is nothing worse than being on a bus or plane and freezing to death.
2. Bring Snacks and Water
Airplane food is expensive and if you fly low class like I do you usually always have to buy food unless your on an international flight. But even on international flights the food served to the peasants in economy is crumby and packed with preservatives and sodium. So bring trial mix, fruit, and water. This also goes for bus trips, because you can't just ask them to pull into the next BP along the interstate.
3. Bring Entertainment
Kind of a no brainer but sometimes internet doesn't work, phones die, and chargers stop working and you need an old fashion book or magazine
4. Get things done while traveling
Especially long distances. Return phone calls, emails, read that article, start a blog. Don't just update your status a million times. Things on your to-do list you have been putting off can get squared away when you only have a 2 foot radius to move.

Maybe these couple of Gypsy travelin tricks will help you out on your next adventure.

Friday, July 8, 2011

4: A nod to Beyonce and nostalgia

I found myself awake at 6am today, ready to take on the world. Felt a little like Beyonce, who I learned shares the same favorite number compulsion as I do. 4. 4 is both Beyonce and I's favorite number. So it seemed only appropriate that I publish my first blog EVER on the 8th, which is a multiple of 4. Yeah, I am a little obsessed with 4's. But thinking back on it, how could I not be? A lot of my life has been surrounded by the number 4. My birthday, fortune cookies, names, license plates, and now Beyonce. It follows me around, a little reminder of good things to come. Maybe its a little OCD but like Elizabeth Taylor's white diamonds, it has always brought me luck. 

The last couple of days have been filled with nostalgia, kind of like a permeant state of being in a Heartland Series Episode (If your not Southern, google this) The beginning of my summer promised adventure and new beginnings, but settling into the dog days of July change and patience has been more of the frontrunner. 

So hopefully with my little piece of the worldwide web I can maybe let off a little of my big City steam and let my Southern Blonde hair down. 

So, Enjoy!!!!