Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 2 of 30 Day Challenge: *&^%$#

MOTHERFUCKER.  That's what came out of my mouth when I got on the scale this morning.  JP popped his head in, "Honey, did you call?"  

"I said MOTHERFUCKER!  Not Badmuthafucka!"

How could I have GAINED a pound since yesterday kicked off my clean eating and workouts??!  Muffy and Gutty were cackling as I got off the scale in a huff of frustration. WTF?!? When I started TAM Bootcamp back in January, I lost 4.2 pounds after the first day! 

Then my friend Jess put things in perspective, telling me that I had encountered "Gutty and Muffy's evil cousins, Greedy and Impatient."  Well said, my dear. TOUCHÉ

OK, enough of my moaning.  Let's talk food.  I made a culinary collage of leftovers with my steak from last night.  This morning I made a 1 egg/1 egg white omelet with 2oz of leftover steak, 1/4 cup of roasted corn and a sprinkle of mozzarella.  

Steak & Eggs, Baby!
 Lunch was the rest of the steak on top of romaine with the rest of the roasted corn, caramelized onions/mushroom medley, cucumbers, a few sliced almonds and the most flavorful dressing I've made in a while!  Thanks again to my girl Jess for the base of the recipe which I put my Parker Spin on...I think the title itself should convince all ya'll to make it!

No-Oil Smack Yo Cowboy's Mama It's So Good Smoky Maple BBQ Yogurt Dressing
1 single serving carton of Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1 Tb worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 Tb maple syrup
1 Tb hot sauce or chili sauce

Steak Salad with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Corn and the Best Salad Dressing EVAH.
This was one of those days at work when I was wishing I was home in bed snugged up with the doggies watching a marathon of Say Yes To The Dress and Lifetime movies....I just felt tired, cranky and snacky.  SO much so, that I decided around 2pm that I needed a little 'pick me up' in the form of chipotle flavored gluten-free chips and liquid Satan Diet Coke.  I'd already snarfed down my ensalada del dia and my *yawn* blueberry snack.
Better than a candy bar...but notsogood.....
I've decided that sitting at a desk job is the Mistress' undoing.  SO much time sitting, taking calls for stories and editing on my desktop computer gives me waaaaay too much time to think about snacking and eating.  When I'm on the job for TV reporting-- it's gogogogogogogogo all day, and I rarely have time to even let the thought of a Chipotle Rice & Bean Snack Chip cross my mind!

With visions of snacky snacks in her head...
No joke, this this is the, uh, action pic that NPR snapped for my bio....Chasing down chips leads and following the trail of chocolate corruption. Yupper.

I got home and set my laptop up outside by the pool with old school Dance Cardio '08.  I love that sequence of dances and my white ass actually figured out the choreography after all these years!  I sweat buckets and really tried to "perform" the routines, as Tracy herself emphasizes.

Dinner was a total triumph.  Badmuthafucka picked up 2 rotisserie chickens from the store and I made a scrumptious peanut curry sauce with rice noodles.  Holy Shnikes, it was good.  I made up the recipe and I really suggest you make it-- it is seriously one of my faves that I've come up with:

Spicy Peanut Curry Sauce with Chicken over Rice Noodles with Sauteed Garlic Spinach

Peanut Curry Sauce
1 Tb canola or vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 heaping Tb red curry paste
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 can coconut milk
1 Tb fresh ginger
1 chopped jalapeño
1 Tb soy sauce or Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1 Tb Thai Chili sauce
1 Tb brown sugar
Juice from 1/2 a lime
Spring onions for garnish
Chopped chicken

In a large saucepan, saute minced garlic cloves in the oil for about a minute on med/high heat until they start to turn golden.  Add the heaping Tb of red curry paste and stir for another minute until fragrant.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until blended.  Simmer on medium low heat while you prepare noodles and spinach.  Add the chopped chicken last before you serve it.  (This would be a fabulous vegetarian dish as well!)

I tossed the rice noodles into boiling water and boiled for about 3-4 minutes.  They were the really thin ones, so it didn't take long to soften them.

Sauteed spinach
1/2 bag of fresh spinach
2 garlic cloves minced
1 Tb olive oil
pinch of sea salt

Sautee the minced garlic cloves in the olive oil until they start to turn golden.  Add fresh spinach leaves and stir until they begin to wilt.  Add salt and serve immediately.

Now, I'm just getting to my Meta MS work....ugh.  I'm tiiiiiiiiiiired.  But I'm going to finish this workout, damnit.  I did have my 2 glasses of wine, but I resisted seconds for dinner, so I'm doing well tonight.  Let's hope the scale is friendlier tomorrow.....


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 1 of 30 Day Challenge: Healthy Kickstart


It's Day 1 of my 30 Day Challenge!  The scale was a harsh reality check this morning....I don't even want to say the number.  Oh fine.  Since you asked....


Laughing all the way to the mid-170's is Miss Muffin Top and her nasty ass sister Gutty McFatty.  Muffy and Gutty, if you're listening....THIS MEANS WAR.

I evicted you bitches once--- you fat ho-bags of chub better be outtahere in 30 days!!!!  I'm going to take pics every 10 days for another chance for you to say, thank God I'm not that chubby dramatic before and after.

I'm not sticking to one particular diet plan-- taking a few meals that I liked from the TAM Bootcamp Diet, a little bit from the Beauty Detox Solution and mixing and matching some of my own recipes.  The key for me is portion control and not drinking my weight in wine!  OK, so I had 2 glasses with dinner tonight, but atleast it wasn't a bottle.  Baby steps.

Here's what my meals looked like today:

Breakfast: Egg White Omelet with Spinach and Chickpeas

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad with Crunchy, Y ummy Stuff
As you know, I'm not a big fan of salad, unless you toss mine in a very naughty way  add lots of yummy, crunchy stuff.  Soooooo, I'm trying to incorporate my favorite things into la ensalada del dia.  (That's the "salad of the day" for all ya'll non-bilingual folks!)

Today's salad had grilled chicken, beets, cucumber, honey roasted almonds, roasted corn & jalapeños, and a no-oil red pepper dressing that I improvised and improved upon (IMHO) using Kimberly Snyder's Beauty Detox Solution's recipe as a base:

No-Oil Red Pepper Dressing
1 red pepper seeded and cored
1 small tomato
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon squeezed
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 grinds of black pepper
1 Tb apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp unpasteurized miso paste
2 Tb water

Blend all ingredients in a food processor and top on your salad. (This recipe made 2 large portions of dressing for me.)

Another fave-- and another recipe bastardized from the Beauty Detox Solution is a Creamy Avocado Dressing.  Here's my version:
1 ripe avocado
1 garlic clove
1tsp sea salt
1/2 lemon or lime squeezed
palmful of cilantro
1/2 jalapeño
1/2 cup water

Blend in food processor until smooth.  Add more water if you don't want the dressing as thick.  It's basically a guacamole dressing to drench your salad in.  Pretty awesome if you have to give up the dang nachos.

Back to the daily bread...(or lack thereof...)  Here's dinner:
Dinner: Rib Eye Steak with Roasted Broccoli, Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions
Badmuthafucka wanted steak tonight so I limited myself to a palm size portion with a bit more broccoli.  I roasted the broccoli at 400 degrees with a bit of olive and sea salt for about 25-30 minutes. So good!  I also caramelized onions and mushrooms with a tiny bit of butter, olive oil, a sprinkle of sugar, a splash of sherry and some balsamic vinegar for an hour.  Melt. In. Your. Mouth. Delish.

For my workout, 30 minutes of Level 3 of Meta Omni was a 50 minute ordeal.  My legs were B.U.R.N.I.N.G. and I had to keep stopping between, in the middle of and at the end of each sequence. FUCK.

I did 40 minutes of half-assed dance cardio while watching some C.S.I. in the background---- I was really tired and just couldn't get into it. (The workout or the show...)

Finally ended the workout with the appropriately named "Food Baby HIIT" workout by the Blogilates chick.  The good news, unlike my cardio attempt, is that I started sweating immediately.

Lots of girls on the FB TAM sites have been raving about HIIT workouts-- but many, for fear of "cheating on Tracy" *gasp* have been hesitant to do so.  Since T and I are not on speaking terms right now because of the customer service debacle, (ha!) I figure that now is the time to cheat... I mean, the Blogilates girl is cute!  Asian Persuasion, baby.

I'm heading to bed with a steak and wine food baby.....hey, atleast I got the damn workout in and didn't go back for seconds on food, (or a third glass of wine!)

Progress, right?  Check out the HIIT workout below.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In The Spirit of TAM...


I don't want to rehash old drama from last week, but I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to write about this on my blog, yet.  If you already know the story, sorry for the regurgitation-- and the nasty aftertaste I'm just now washing away!

Many of you followed the recent saga with Tracy Anderson's assistant, Ali Rickards, on Facebook.  If you are unaware, basically, it was brought to my attention that a number of devoted TAM'ers had been promised various items from the TAM team for participating in QVC, for winning contests, etc... and I myself, was still waiting for my $150 gift certificate for being a finalist in the Instagram contest.

So, I sent the following letter to all of the TAM emails addresses I had, including the customer service email for GOOP, so Tracy's biz partner and BFF, Gwyneth, would also be brought up to speed with the issues. (What can I say, I'm a reporter, so I figured it would be most effective to contact ALL parties involved.)  *I've taken out names to protect the identities of the ladies involved: (Also, the copying and pasting is creating white blocks in the formatting, so apologies for the weird color changes.)

Dear Tracy and the entire TAM team:

I am writing this on behalf of myself, T, P, E and B.  We are all faithful followers of the Method and have been thrilled with our results.  But, unfortunately, we are writing to you because of our immense disappointment with your customer service follow-through.

We are all waiting on promised items from the TAM staff—from gift certificates to customized workouts, eating plans and DVD’s that never arrived.

E and I were runners-up in the Instagram contest, but to date, have never received our $150 gift certificates.  E was also promised an additional gift bag for her family to celebrate the journey she has been on with her brave son throughout his cancer recovery.

When T was showcased on QVC, Tracy promised her a customized workout, since she was classified as a “flute” (combination of glute and hip.)  She was also told she would receive shakes, ankle weights and a gift for her daughter.  T excitedly checked her mailbox for weeks, only to be disappointed with no package at all.

Similarly, B, also a QVC testimonial, was promised shakes and DVD’s for the time she spent on QVC promoting the Method and received nothing.  In addition, B also won a workout with Tracy.  Again, no follow-through and no workout.

The TAM staff changed, re-scheduled and then canceled P’s customized workout with Tracy at the last minute.  P had made special arrangements to cut a visit short with her father, who was very ill at the time, to make sure she was available for the planned workout with Tracy.  P's before and after pictures have been featured on the TAM website because of her incredible transformation.  Not only was her one-one-one workout canceled and never rescheduled, she never received a customized meal and workout plan as promised--- or even an apology. 

This is utterly unacceptable.

On behalf of all of these incredible women, I want you to know how saddened and disappointed we all are that none of our efforts have been adequately rewarded as promised.  We did our part:  We dedicate time out of our day every day for Tracy’s Method and we have all put in hours of commitment to Tracy—from taking the time to give testimonials on QVC to rallying votes from friends and strangers on Instagram for the Detox contest.

We are all part of a group on Facebook that follow the Tracy Anderson Method and I am sorry to report that due to this horrendous customer service, there are a number of women who have left the Method.  None of us want to give up TAM, but we feel disrespected and would like you to respond with the items that were not only promised to us, but that each of us earned fairly.

Out of respect for the women that have helped create what has become a fitness empire, also known as the Tracy Anderson Method, give us the courtesy of an immediate response and shipment of our promised items/gifts/certificates, etc.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Well, initially I received a cordial email back with explanations for each of the episodes of failed customer service--- from confusion about QVC gifts to Tracy canceling a private workout because of her high-risk pregnancy.  Then, Ali shot back with this:
I wish you had brought these issues to the attention of our Info email address before writing such an angry email and including people who are not involved such as GOOP's customer service.  It really isn't in the spirit of TAM.  I would also like to point out that these are all gifts, not things that were purchased, we appreciate your enthusiasm but our company is spending a lot of money out of pocket to give to you.
I was furious.  To turn it around on us, basically saying that we were being ungrateful for the money coming out of the deep pockets of the business??...But instead of flying off the handle, I tried to remain classy and yet firm:

Ali-- I’m disappointed that you view these promised items as “spending a lot of money out of pocket to give to you.”  May I remind you that these weren’t simply freebies to a few chicks who do some occasional leg lifts.  We are all part of a community who has incorporated Tracy’s Method into our lives and have been uniquely affected and individually inspired by our results.  I started a blog, Mistress of the Method, dedicated to my TAM journey because of how highly I regard Tracy and her revolutionary fitness system.

Every single person mentioned in my email has contributed to Tracy’s business in a positive light—from the QVC visits to P’s before and after pictures on Tracy’s website, to my weekly blog postings.  From a marketing perspective, the effect we, as a whole, have had on Tracy’s outreach far exceeds the monetary value of any “gift.”

In our experience, TAM customer service has consistently over-promised and under-delivered and we are simply holding them accountable, like any loyal customer would.  Tracy has high expectations for her devoted followers…why wouldn’t we share the same high expectations for her team?
I decided to share the dialogue on the largest TAM fan page since so many dedicated TAM'ers were upset about various customer service complaints and was not met with a smiley face from that bird brained twit Tracy's assistant:
Hi Parker,

I have sent out everything that has needed to be sent out to the recipients.  I really don't appreciate you sharing our emails with a Facebook group.  We try to keep things positive here at TAM.
POSITIVE?  The entire experience could have been positive if customer service had just sent out that items that were PROMISED in the first place.  My last interaction with Ali, was my response to her last email:

Ali--- With all due respect, the reaction from my Facebook friends was shock due to the tone you took in your email response. Perhaps you should consider it a lesson in customer service.

I appreciate your follow up.

The very next day, I received a very apologetic email from the PR firm handling detox week:

I recently became aware of the debacle regarding the delivery of the $150 gift cards that you have been owed for some time and wanted to personally apologize for the delay.  There have been a number of technical obstacles that have impacted our ability to process these gift cards.

Regardless, this has been unacceptable and embarrassing to all parties involved.  To avoid any further delays, we have decided to mail you $150 pre-paid gift cards.  Please let me know by this weekend if your mailing address that you originally provided has changed.  Otherwise, your gift cards will be going out in Monday's mail.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me directly via email or my mobile.

Less than a week later, I received a $150 check.  BAM.  DONE.  

I called the PR guy to thank him for his attention to the matter and he suggested that I be on a conference call with the TAM team to communicate all of our concerns.  He wants to know how they can improve their  customer service and felt like my speaking on behalf of the TAM facebook group would be valuable for Tracy and friends.  I've yet to be contacted about a date for the conference call, but all in all, I'm happy that the matter was finally resolved.

Here's the proof in the form of a check-- waaaaay better than receiving a gift certificate!

Was that so hard?  $150 check from TAM for Instagram Contest
I think what this represents for me is a reminder of why I love being a reporter-- it's a chance to be a voice for others who either don't have one, or don't recognize the power of their own.  In this case, many of the girls had already done their due diligence and written emails, made calls....and still had been ignored.  I'd like to think it was the power of the group that finally got us the attention from the TAM team.  

All this time, I though how exciting it would be to meet Tracy someday-- and of course, ya'll know about my little fantasy of cooking for her and Gwyneth on our "girls weekend away," LOL!  So, thinking that the person who had Tracy's ear the most (her assistant, obviously) was so nasty and obviously was reprimanding me in a hateful way, broke my heart a little, to be honest.  Just thinking that Tracy would have a negative image of me in her mind, when all I was doing was standing up for what was promised to me and to other loyal TAM'ers.

So, I had a META-physical conflict going on in my head....get it?  META?  hahahahaha!  (I amuse myself, sometimes....)  Had I lost faith in the Method?  Would I still feel good about doing the TAM workout?  I'm about to start META level 3 Omni...I realized I was dreading it.  Because the whole experience chronicled above made me feel so sad, mad and frustrated.  

Would Tracy really know the truth about how we were treated and how we felt?  Did she actually read that email dialogue?  Anyone with half a brain would see how unprofessionally Ali handled herself, how horrifyingly immature, right?  If that conference call doesn't happen, I may never know.

Then I started thinking back to why I began doing the Method in the first place.

1. I loved how it made me feel.

2. I loved my results.

That, lovelies, is what I would like to think is truly In The Spirit of TAM....And enough for me to move on from that nasty little dialogue, put it behind me for good and get back to the best part of Tracy Anderson's Method.  The freakin' workout.

Now that my 18 hour days are over, I'm ready to get back to intense TAM mat/dance cardio and get my flabby ass back in shape.  It's been 3 weeks of no working out while I was working on-air for NBC (I opted for an extra hour of sleep instead of hitting the mat....but with only 4-5 hours a night, I needed it.)

I'm going to put myself on a 30 day sprint-- not exactly bootcamp, but a STRICT schedule of working out and eating clean.

I'm going to document my progress, naturally, on my blog....and you know what that means.  UGH.


And Miss Muffin Top and her nasty ass sister, Gutty McFatty will be smiling WIDE (emphasis on WIDE) for the camera.  It's true.

Mistress of Mayhem Moderation is back....I can't promise it's gonna be pretty.  But it's gonna be real.

This picture pretty much sums up why Muffin and Gutty are back in the picture....literally.

This Little Piggy!  Tackling "The Big Ed" sandwich at The Whistling Pig.

Oh yeah.  That's me, shooting an episode of Georgia I inhale eat a sandwich that actually isn't even on the menu at The Whistling Pig in Pine Mountain, GA.  "The Big Ed" is Texas toast, topped with mayo, pork loin, coleslaw, french fries, and onion rings.  Oh yes, I did. 

Day 1 starts NOW.  

More details on diet, menu and some other good eats....Think Thin bars, NOT included.  Cuz, girls, this little piggy needs to do more than THINK thin.  Can I get an AMEN?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Crazy TV News Chick Update


It has been a whirlwind two weeks with 16 hour work days and a combination of excitement, anxiety, crunching deadlines and adrenaline fueled live reporting.  I am totally in my element!

As most of you  know from my Facebook posts, NBC hired me to do some freelance work during their Olympic coverage.  So, after my regular day reporting for NPR on the radio from 8am -3:30pm, I head to the TV station for a 4pm to 1am shift.

I assumed this would mean reporting on local Atlanta athletes and the like, but I have been plugged into their daily news coverage, which is perfectly fine with me.  Part of what I love about reporting is the unexpected nature of day-to-day stories and the "go on live TV at any moment" pressure.  Call me crazy, but that kind of pressure cooker atmosphere is where the Mistress thrives....

Prepping to go live on the NBC set
Here's a moment from a typical day in the life of a TV news chick:  Picture being in the back of one of those TV news vans, with less than ten minutes to go until the top of the newscast.... My cameraman is swearing like a sailor while he's slamming to edit the last part of our story, trying to tune in the live shot, while I'm getting a mic check, and hoping that I'm not sweating through my foundation.... then rehearsing in my head what I'm going to say in the actual live shot.  I hear the producer say in my ear, "10 seconds to air, Parker, stand by.... GO!"

Live on NBC News in Atlanta
It's super intense and I feel like I have jet fuel coursing through my veins in those moments.  I freaking love it.  Adrenaline junkie that I am, it's the climax of every day working in TV news!  Here's a link to the above story on a lady who contracted flesh-eating bacteria.

Funny thing about being back on TV though--- all of the sudden, people start coming out of the woodwork....all the people who stopped returning  my phone calls when I left the biz and wasn't "that girl on TV" anymore....the 'friends' who start commenting on your FB page:  "Saw you on NBC last night, Parker!  WOW!  Let's catch up!"

Badmuthafucka predicted it.  He was like, "Just wait-- you're going to suddenly have a lot of invitations to 'catch up' with people.  MMMHHHHMMMM.  Catch up, indeed.

In the midst of my frantic pace, I haven't been able to get very regular workouts in--- combine the hours of what are in essence 2 full-time jobs with primary election coverage for NPR that lasted until 2:30am and going live on-air for NBC the rest of the week after midnight, it's been exhausting.  I'm trying to pace myself, but it's hard...Instead of getting up to workout, I've been choosing the extra hour of sleep because I simply have to be rested.  The good news, is that I've actually lost a couple pounds in my marathon work schedule-- I'm being really diligent about packing high protein meals and not snacking on junk.  I have been indulging in Diet Coke, which I normally don't do, but the caffeine is necessary during these couple weeks of craziness!

Thankfully, you can't really see the extra weight I'm carrying in my face, so even with the ten pounds that TV adds, you would never know from my live shots that Miss Muffin Top and her nasty sister Gutty McFatty are tucked under my blazer! LOL!

On a serious note, please pay attention to the hazards of driving while exhausted and looking at your phone in traffic!  I rear ended someone on my way to the TV station on Friday.  Totally my fault.  Fortunately, no one was hurt and there was hardly any damage to the car I rammed, but let my accident be a reminder to STAY OFF YOUR PHONE WHILE DRIVING!  NO TEXTING and NO EMAILING!  All this extra cash I'm making is going to be spent on car repairs.  Awesome.

Collateral Damage: Driving while Tired and Looking at Email
I still managed to show up for work at the news station after my fender bender and was promptly put on a story about a cleaning crew who found a fetus in a shoebox stuffed into the freezer of a vacant apartment.  And that, my lovelies, is the glamour horror of TV news.

I have about a zillion loads of laundry to catch up on and a kitchen floor that needs scrubbing, so chores are calling, but wanted to give you a "crazy TV news chick update" while I had a moment!

Lots of Love,

Mistress of Rear Enders....(Wait, that sounds worse than I intended!)