Tag Archives: chocolate

Zen Friday

To be honest, every day I still don’t have a job, I wake up with my heart pounding.

The days that I have interviews or meetings are stressful, but having something that I need to do makes me feel like I’m not a waste of space.

I’m trying to freelance and create some of my own work so that I feel like I’m accomplishing something, rather than just being a drain on society and not furthering my career, but it’s still hard.

Especially days like today when there’s nothing I *have* to do. (Of course, all week, I was waiting for a day like today so I could relax.)

So I tried to do calm-making things.

I cleaned my kitchen.

I went to a yoga class.

And then some dude walked in half an hour late, made a big show of throwing all his stuff down loudly, sighing, and then walking out twenty minutes early. (It was an hour class, so he was only there for ten minutes. Um?) Thanks for interrupting my zen, buddy. There was also a woman next to me breathing so loudly that I first thought it was the air conditioning. I finally unwound by the end of the class, and then I walked out and the late dude and his wife were having a loud fight with their child. In the gym. And then I got in the elevator and heard a woman tell her friend that she “owed effing $40,000 because of his mistake.”

You know you live in NYC when the zen lasts for about three minutes after class.

But I was still determined not to let any of these people mess with my zen, so I went to another happy place: the running store. I’m obviously trying to curb my spending, but running socks and Gu definitely count as necessities during marathon training.


I’m trying new socks, because my feet seem to be swelling a bit with all this summer running, and I’m trying new fuel for my 15-miler tomorrow so that I don’t bonk. I definitely under-fuel on my long runs. (I’m not planning on taking all of that tomorrow!) Running retail therapy always helps.


I realized my diet has been lacking a bit in green veggies lately, so I stopped at the Stiles Farmers Market on my way home. (Well, to be honest, I stopped at Whole Foods first, just picked up kale and spinach and immediately put it down when I saw the length of the line.) If you ask me, this market is definitely a hidden gem in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s not the least bit fancy, but it has fresh produce at awesome prices. These two big bags were $14.00. Serious win.


I came home, sauteed a tiny bit of kale in olive oil and put it over my scallops and couscous from the other night, and sprinkled it all in nutritional yeast for a little extra flavor.

I was still feeling motivated to do more things for myself, so I tried my own take on Mama Pea’s dough balls. (Yes, I’m so late to this party.)

I did a little substitution: all whole-wheat flour instead of mixing whole wheat and regular; sunflower butter for peanut butter; all chocolate chips instead of peanut butter chips and no powdered sugar.





I haven’t baked them yet, but the dough tastes good!

Zen achieved.

Hershey’s Air Delight Helicopter/Hot Air Balloon Ride + RoadID Winner

Last night, Ashley and I were picked up by a car service and whisked off to the heliport for an adventure, courtesy of Hershey, to celebrate the launch of their new aerated Air Delight chocolate. Hershey’s Kisses have always been one of my favorite candies, so I was excited to see what they had up their sleeves, and of course, I was excited for the air adventures.



Well, some of us were excited.


Some of us were terrified.


O.M.G. We are about to get up in this itty bitty helicopter.


Sheer panic, y’all.

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[photo via Ashley]

Even before we took off, the view was pretty sweet.





Oh heyyy. Just flying over Lady Liberty. No biggie.


Flying over Newark Airport was pretty surreal. Those aren’t toys. Those are actual, full-sized commercial airplanes.


You can always get a cab at Newark. Whew.


I *think* that might be the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, but I could be totally wrong.


Kean football stadium.


After our 22-minute helicopter ride to Central Jersey, our next chariot awaited us to drive across the airfield to the hot air balloon. I was shocked with how smooth the helicopter ride was, and I was actually way less terrified than I expected once we were up in the air. Having a front row seat meant that we had amazing views, and sitting a few feet away from the pilot actually calmed my nerves. I think part of my flying anxiety stems from having no idea while in the back of the plane what’s going on up front.

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In case you were wondering how many people it takes to organize an event like this, the answer is quite a few.


The hot air balloon was piloted (guided?) by members of the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team, which apparently is a thing. Always a reporter, I asked our captain, Stan Hess, a few questions about the hot air balloon ride and competing on a hot air balloon team. Our balloon was tethered, because it’s part of the Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning this weekend (which means that you, too, can go check out this chocolate and go up in the Hershey’s balloon), but a hot air balloon can go up to 20,000 feet in the air. After 10,000 feet, though, he says you’ll need oxygen. That’s the same reason helicopters won’t go very high, but planes can go 30,000+ feet in the air. Planes pump oxygen into the cabin so that you can breathe.


And yeah. They call it a hot air balloon for a reason. That fire kept us up in the air.


And my buddy Stan, of course.


[Courtesy of Insider Images]

While up in the air, we got to sample the chocolates. The aeration made them taste light and fluffy, a little less solid than regular Hershey’s Kisses. Because of the aeration, you can eat 11 Kisses for 200 calories; regular Hershey’s Kisses are 200 calories for 9. (But I don’t think I could eat 9 or 11 Kisses in one sitting! Maybe going back and forth to the kitchen, though…)


[Courtesy of Insider Images]


[Courtesy of Insider Images]


[Courtesy of Insider Images]

After the hot air balloon ride, it was back to the helicopter to return to the city. Thanks to Hershey’s for such a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And the chocolate, of course. I can definitely cross hot air balloon ride and helicopter ride off my bucket list.

Also, I’ve picked a winner for the RoadID giveaway! I’m so excited for all of your races that I wish I could give everyone a prize, but only one person won this time around.

Leticia, can you e-mail me (theodora @ losingweightinthecity.com) with your contact info?

Question: What’s on your bucket list?