Life

Weekender – Toronto

One Day on Weight Watchers Take 2

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My Weight Watchers notepad from DollarTree. I don’t bother with printing the Food Logs anymore instead I write into this handy pad that has enough lines to fit my consume list. I also find the cover ironic! ūüėČ

In my last healthy living post here, I already mentioned that I moved back to my Sister’s for the remainder of the summer. This brought some changes to the way I eat and implement Weight Watchers. When I started this diet I was roped in by one of my Canadian friends I stayed with so we had a lot of snacking (especially in the evening), lighter lunches, big dinners, lots of roast and big salads prepared for sides with at least seven different choises of dressings on the menu. My family is from Hungary, Eastern Europe so our eating habits and meals are kinda differ from the American style: we are not so big on crackers, eat warm, big lunches and light, cold dinners and try to not snack afterwards. We prepare different salads: they are made with distilled vinegar or pickled and truely only a side-dish, cannot be consumed by itself. I do think that I eat more healthily on Hungarian lifestyle and snack less but in the end it’s different for everyone what healthier means and when I will be back in the U.S. and a kitchen of my own I’ll most likely follow a mix of the two.

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St. Stephen’s Day

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The August 20th National Holiday is a public holiday for all Hungarian, most shops and offices are closed. It is the annual celebration of the foundation of the first Hungarian state more than a 1000 years ago, it is also our first sainted king and founder’s, Saint Stefan’s¬†name day, hence the date.¬†The new bread is blessed on this day too.

The programs start on the day before, the 19th and continue on to the 20th, they consist of commemorations organized by political parties, family programs, concerts of folk and children bands, street and gastronomy festivals such as The Street of Hungarian Flavours (Magyar √ćzek Utc√°ja) along the Buda Riverbank where the country’s annual cake contest winner’s dessert is presented, craft festivals such as The Festival of Folk Arts¬†and the festive mass at the Basilica in the heart of the capital (the mass includes a pretty important procession around the Basilica with a relic of Saint Stefan, his right hand).¬†The festivities are closed officially by¬†the grand finale of fireworks.

The fireworks start at 9pm and last a half an hour. You can see them¬†from the high points of the city (mostly on the Buda side) or from the river bank. I do have to caution everybody that it is a huge event, for safety reasons there are a lot of road blocks and it’s really crowded. Basically people start gathering 1-2 hours before so it’s packed by the start, also there’s no way of sitting down. It’s not comfortable but it well-worth the effort. To be truthful most Hungarians don’t go see it live, because the Hungarian public TV channel broadcasts it live every year, so you can enjoy it from the comfort of your home beautifully edited with music. Last year I did go out however with friends… we had an insider at the Basilica so we could see everything from birds view on the topmost balcony… it was a once in a lifetime experience! Once again, a hundred thanks to a dear friend, Laci for arranging it! I even got a little bit teary eyed because I knew I was heading out from Hungary and not returning for at least 1.5-2 years. Now, teasers. These weren’t taken by me so see the credit down below. This photographer has awesome pictures of Budapest!

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Photos by G√°bor Haszon

If you are close to Hungary I suggest to head over and spend the day of August 20th there… and for all my compatriots: Happy August 20th! Let’s hope that¬†the fireworks will be up soon on M1’s Media Library, here¬†or on Youtube.

See you soon!
‚ô•Eszter

Weekender – MarineLand

Deer Park:

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Belugas and a killer whale:

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Bears:

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See you soon!

‚ô•Eszter

My Battle Against Cellulite – Weight Loss Edition

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Nivea Q10 Cellulite Gel, Champion trainers from Payless ShoeSource, Old Navy knee-length black sports pants, Bazinga! T-shirt from Walmart, Indianapolis Colts cap (inherited from my dear Sister)

I’ve already mentioned on the blog that I started dieting (post here and here) and feel quite accomplished with Weight Watchers. Since then I stayed¬†silent on the topic, but kept working hard and tried to follow the instructions to a T. It paid off splendidly but halfway through I realized it’s not enough to change my eating habits. Since my teenage years, like most women I was cursed with cellulite in¬†my thigh to waist area. This is where I start gaining first and losing last. So when I moved back to my Sister’s, for one I changed my eating habits again (they keep to a more Eastern European meal plan,¬†explanation’s coming in a not-too-far future post) and decided to start the most readily¬†available and inexpensive workout, running coupled with Nivea Q10 Cellulite Gel.

Every day I wake up and go for a 25-30 min. tops running routine in our neighborhood. This consists of a quick (less than 5 minutes) warm-up for my muscles and joints, a minimum of 15 minutes of uninterrupted jogging that I do in a nearby longish crescent road that leads back home (generally I go for three laps), a 2-minutes wind-down walk and a 3-minutes stretch at the end. This works for me quite well, though I try to keep my days pretty active too (with a 3 and a half year-old around the house I have a lot of opportunities for extra walks, playground visits and so on.

Step two of this process is Nivea’s Q10 Cellulite Gel from their Q10 range that I’ve been applying religiously¬†every night, before bed¬†in the last 2,5 weeks.¬†This is a light gel that has quite a runny consistency and a fresh smell (reminds me of a cross between unscented¬†soap and lightly smelling men deodorant). After bath I gently rub a dollop¬†into my problem areas where it absorbs quickly and leaves a nice cooling effect on the skin. Fancy! It actually feels like it’s doing something. There are other Nivea Q10 products (moisturizers and lotions) targeting cellulite that you are supposed to use in conjuncture with the Gel. Since I’ve never tried those I cannot form a clear opinion on them but they are something I should look into based on my success with the Gel.

All in all this combination seems to be a good one because I started dropping cellulite left and right after the first 3-5 days. My skin in general appears more smooth and tight and my legs and abs started to finally show some muscle tone too… Now, with the diet on top that I adjusted slightly¬†to compensate the more active life style, I weight 154.0 lbs (working myself down from a whopping 169.8 lbs that is quite more compared to my regular, pre-USA measuring)¬†and dropped at least 1-2 sizes in pants depending on their cut… A miracle! I also feel more energetic and less winded after activity, and more alive in general. An all around win… now I just have to keep up with it!

See you soon!

‚ô•Eszter

Canadian Shopping Experience #2 ‚Äď The Pampered Chef

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I was lucky enough to get invited to join one of my friends friends Pampered Chef Party and I was impressed.

Pampered Chef is a company selling high-quality kitchen and grilling tools through the Internet (mainly Canada but they ship to the U.S. too) and independent consultants. It reminds me a little bit of Avon. The consultants¬†are invited to house parties with a bunch of women and they present the products by showing them in use. You can try the kitchen and grill tools and you chat with the girls… It‚Äôs all very relaxed. You are among friends so you are not awfully pushed to purchase, or else‚Ķ Also the hostess shares in the proceeds¬†in form of major discounts. I find this an everybody-wins situation and the quality is really top notch.

We were treated to a Margherita cocktail and a garlic dip with all kinds of veggies all the while she was talking about the brand and showing other favorite items. I had fun and in the end spent money on only one item (I am on a budget…), a pastry blender. I loved making cookies at home and can’t wait to start baking pies but I hate the chore of working the flour into the cold butter. There were countless other inviting and clever tools to make your life as a Master Chef much easier and enjoyable but I really restrained myself!

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Here’s their website.
See you soon!

‚ô•Eszter

Hungarian Expression Of The Week #15

Ny√°r/Gn (like in cognac or the Italian gnocchi)-ar/Summer

Canadian Shopping Experience #1

If you haven’t heard about this yet I’ll spend the whole summer in Canada with friends and my sister.¬†In this series I¬†will¬†talk about shopping experiences and stores that are rare or not available in Pennsylvania or the U.S. See past Canadian shopping tours in this post.

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In the first installment I wanted to write about thrift shopping in Value Village. I know there are thrift shops in the U.S. too… I’ve been to Salvation Army before but the two cannot be paralleled. Value Village is one hundred times better:

  • Better quality for clothes and accessories
  • Clothes are less smelly
  • The home ware and book section is paradise with beautiful things that are all in good shape

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One Day on Weight Watchers

06-16-2014_WeightWatchers-012Last time I wrote about my decision to diet and my goals in this post. Now I will elaborate on Weight Watchers.¬†First you need to determine your daily allowance, here’s¬†how¬†to calculate (via):

1. Gender:
Female- score 2
Male- score 8
A nursing mom- score 12

2. How old are you?
17-26- score 4
27-37- score 3
38-47- score 2
48-58- score 1
over 58- score 0

3. What do you weigh?
Enter the first two digits of your weight in pounds.
(for example, if you weight 198, you will add 19 to your score)

4. How tall are you?
Under 5’1- score 0
5’1-5’10- score 1
Over 5’10- score 2

5. How do you spend most of your day?
Sitting down? score 0
Occasionally sitting? score 2
Walking most of the time? score 4
Doing physically hard work most of the time? score 6

My tally:
Female – 2 WWP
Age between 27-37 years – 3 WWP
Weight at first 170 pounds – 17 WWP
5′ 10″ tall – 1 WWP
Occasionally sitting – 2 WWP

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25 WWP

Plus you get 35 WWP flex points for each week that you can use whenever you need to (outings, special occasions and craving) but be advised that it slows down weightloss. Then you count with every food you eat, snack, devour until you reach your allowance (and flexes). I also keep a Food Log during the day.  You can register at Weight Watchers or find resources about food points.

Here’s what I ate during one day of Weight Watchers diet…

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Hungarian Expression Of The Week #14

H√©tfŇĎ/Hate-fur (with silent r, ends with vowel)/Monday

My Hungarian expression posting day.