11 signs you're addicted to soulcycle
Recently I took a cab to SoulCycle and the driver asked why I enjoy it. He said he sees many people going there, and they all the look the same, but happy.
I said, “It’s like a dance party on a bike.”
“Dance party on a bike?!” he said. “In 20 years of driving cab, I have never heard anyone say such a thing.” He looked at me in the rearview mirror. “Lady, either they make a fool of you or you’re a fool!”
Then he laughed all the way from Brooklyn to Astor Place.
Well, it finally happened. I got bitten by the SoulCycle bug. Which I’m sure my boss thinks is hilarious. You see, SoulCycle was my client prior to going on maternity leave and I spent months saying things like -
who in their right mind would spend $32 to go to a spin class
what is with the cult following??
no but really, who spends $32 on one fitness class?
And then…..they opened a studio in Greenwich and I was there front and center on Day 1 to give it a go. And by front and center I actually mean hiding in the back row. Jen came out from the city to keep me company at my first class (she is also a huge fan). I will admit I was a bit scared so I was glad to have Jen beside me.
I should also mention that I hate exercising. I consider it a form of torture. I can think of nothing worse than going to a gym. I figured I would hate SoulCycle and never go again. And yet, I immediately loved my SoulCycle class. Like, love-loved it. I couldn’t wait to sign up for more classes. Now, I log onto SoulCycle’s website at noon on Mondays and quickly sign up for my classes the following week. Not only do I have my favorite instructors but I also have my favorite bike so signing in at noon is imperative. I actually wish I had more time so that I could do more than two classes a week. Wait, did I actually just write that? Yep, it’s strangely addictive.
And look, I still think it’s stupid expensive (prices just went up to $34 plus shoe rental is $3 and then add a bit of tax on top) but given that it’s the only exercise that I am remotely interested in then I don’t mind sucking it up and shelling out the dollar bills.
My friend Casey just so happens to work for SoulCycle and came out to visit the new studio last week. She stopped by my house on the way for a visit. I am kind of envious of her wheels!
We left our two dogs at home for a play date (during which they pretty much ignored each other) and went for a ride at the studio together. That’s the other strange thing about SoulCycle. It’s an exercise class - yes - but it’s also a social activity. I’m on a mission to convince each of my Greenwich friends to join me for a ride in the coming weeks. Casey’s shirt says it all - it’s a cardio party.
- Casey: (calls and sounds panicked) Meg. We CANNOT go to Soul Cycle tonight, I'm sorry.
- Me: What why?! Everything ok?!
- Casey: The temperature dropped 20 degrees outside.
- Me: Oh. So we can't work out because it's too cold.
- Casey: Correct.
- Me: Makes sense to me. Call you later!
- Me: (orders Thai food on Seamless)
30 Healthy foods for 2012
Meaty and filling, as a stand-in for beef they can slash up to 400 calories from a meal. They may also protect against breast cancer by helping to regulate a woman’s estrogen levels.
Try this: Sauté sliced mushrooms and shallots until tender. Add a splash of white wine and cook until evaporated. Serve over roasted fish or chicken. Or try Grilled Steak, Mushroom, and Green Bean Salad.
Another high-fiber cholesterol fighter. On weeknights use the pearl or quick-cooking variety. More time? Give hulled barley, with its extra layer of bran, a go.
Try this: Add sautéed mushrooms and sherry vinegar to cooked barley. Or try Creamy Barley Salad With Apples.
A surprisingly good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Those are the fats that lower the bad-for-you cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good-for-you kind (HDL).
Try this: For a healthy on-the-go snack, pack a handful of walnuts with some dried figs and a few anise seeds. (As the ingredients sit together, the anise releases flavor.) Or try Corn Salad With Feta and Walnuts
4. Whole Grain Pasta
Contains three times the amount of fiber per serving as the typical semolina variety. Skip pasta labeled “multigrain”: It may be made with a number of grains, but they aren’t necessarily whole ones.
Try this: Toss whole-grain pasta with pesto, chopped arugula, and grated lemon zest. Or try Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Asparagus.
5. Peanut & Almond Butters (All Natural)
Heart-healthy monounsaturated fats abound in these protein-rich spreads. Opt for those with just two ingredients—nuts and salt.
Try this: Mix with soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar to make a quick Asian dipping sauce for chicken skewers. Or try Cold Noodle Salad With Peanut Butter Dressing.
6. Oatmeal (Steel-Cut or Old-Fashioned)
Holds cholesterol in check, helps fight against heart disease, and keeps you full until lunch, thanks to its soluble fiber.
Try this: For a savory breakfast, drizzle cooked oatmeal with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.
It may cook like a grain, but quinoa is actually an herbaceous plant. It’s a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids, and offers the same energy and satiety you would get from meat, sans the fat or cholesterol.
Try this: Stir fresh lemon juice and chopped fresh dill into cooked quinoa. Or try Spiced Cod With Broccoli-Quinoa Pilaf.
8. Skim Milk
It offers nine essential nutrients: calcium, of course, but also B vitamins, which help neurological function, and vitamin D, a potential cancer fighter.
Try this: If you want a break from your regular morning coffee, warm a cup of skim milk with a dash of vanilla and ground cinnamon. Or try Low-Fat Fettuccine Alfredo
Packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, which keep blood vessels healthy. The plant fibers help lower cholesterol.
Try this: Fold chopped almonds into cooked whole grains, along with raisins or dried currants. Or try Chickpea Pasta With Almonds and Parmesan.
A protein powerhouse, these are flush with folate, a nutrient that may prevent certain birth defects.
Try this: Toss cooked lentils with extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped celery, and fresh thyme. Serve over salad greens. Or try Spice-Baked Sea Bass and Red Lentils.
Packed with fiber, this superfruit was one of the top antioxidant-rich picks in a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study.
Try this: Serve over vanilla frozen yogurt with a pinch of ground cardamom. Or try Frozen Blueberry Lemonade.
Made from wheat that has been steamed, dried, and cracked, this delivers more fiber than brown rice, plus you get a boost of potassium, B vitamins, and calcium.
Try this: Cook bulgur as you would oatmeal. Top it with honey and chopped nuts for breakfast or a hearty snack. Or try Minty Bulgur Salad With Salmon and Cucumbers.
The whites offer up protein with minimal calories (and zero fat or cholesterol). Egg yolks get a bad rap, but don’t skip them—they are awash with vitamin B12 and vitamin A, and they contain choline, a nutrient that’s particularly important for pregnant women.
Try this: Make a sandwich with whole-grain bread, sliced hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, olives, anchovies, red onion, and a drizzle of olive oil. Or try Steak and Eggs With Seared Tomatoes.
This protein-rich winner is an acquired taste for some, but totally worth it. Chockablock with vitamins D and B12, it is also an excellent source of calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Try this: Toss chopped sardines into a salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh parsley.
You’ll get iron (for healthy hair), plus folate and at least a dozen flavonoids—compounds that are loaded with antioxidants.
Try this: Blend a handful of spinach into your favorite fruit smoothie. Or try Spinach-Stuffed Steak Roulades.
Ounce for ounce, this fuzzy fruit contains twice the amount of vitamin C as an orange and almost as much potassium as a banana.
Try this: Thinly slice, then drizzle with honey and sprinkle with toasted unsweetened coconut.
17. Wild Salmon
Its omega-3 fatty acids may improve your mood and keep your skin glowing. Why wild? It’s exposed to fewer toxins than the farmed Atlantic variety.
Try this: For breakfast, mash some avocado on whole-grain toast and top with flaked poached salmon. Or tryMustard-Broiled Salmon With New Potato Salad.
18. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
An outstanding source of monounsaturated fats. When used in moderation, this tasty Mediterranean staple may even cut the risk of heart disease.
Try this: Gently heat olive oil with fresh herbs (such as rosemary and thyme). Drizzle on pasta, steamed vegetables, or sandwiches in place of mayo. Or try Sugar Snaps with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and Shaved Parmigiano.
19. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
A dinner staple from the leanest part of the bird: Half a breast has just 2.5 grams of fat and more than 22 grams of protein.
Try this: Shred cooked chicken and toss with olive oil, raisins, curry powder, and fresh lime juice. Or tryStuffed Chicken Breasts With Tomato Salad.
The payoff from this leafy green: loads of vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, and antioxidants. Kale is also a good source of lutein, an eye-friendly nutrient that may slow macular degeneration by more than 40 percent.
Try this: Make kale chips by tearing the leaves into pieces and tossing with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300° F until crisp, 20 to 30 minutes. Or try Quinoa With Mushrooms, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes.
You’ll get nearly 20 percent of your daily dose of fiber in one ½-cup serving, plus cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats.
Try this: For a side dish, halve an avocado, drizzle with soy sauce and fresh lime juice, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Or try Spinach Salad With Avocado and Pepper.
22. Kidney Beans
A chili essential, these were found to be one of the most antioxidant-rich foods in a USDA study.
Try this: Make a quick salad with kidney beans, olive oil, fresh lime juice, and fresh cilantro. Or tryTurkey and Bean Chili.
23. Sweet Potatoes
The darker the color, the richer these tubers are in the antioxidant beta-carotene.
Try this: For a side dish, steam cut-up sweet potatoes and apples. Puree with maple syrup and crushed red pepper. Or try Spiced Braised Beef With Sweet Potatoes.
Supercharged with nutrients—think calcium, B vitamins, and beta-carotene—this leafy green fuels your body with fiber, too.
Try this: Sauté chopped chard with sliced garlic, then toss with whole-grain pasta and raisins. Or try Swiss Chard With Chickpeas and Couscous.
These young soybeans pack more fiber per serving than shredded-wheat cereal and have the same amount of protein as roasted turkey.
Try this: Puree cooked edamame with garlic, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice for a quick hummus-like spread. Or try Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs With Edamame.
The antioxidants in this winter squash keep skin healthy; its potassium helps lower blood pressure.
Try this: Peel, cut into chunks, and roast with olive oil and sprigs of fresh thyme. Or try Pumpkin-Leek Soup.
Your go-to source for vitamin C, which, among other useful traits, can help the body burn fat. And in addition to helping prevent colds, vitamin C may stimulate collagen synthesis to keep skin looking supple.
Try this: Roast orange wedges along with salmon. Or try Seared Scallops With Snow Peas and Orange.
28. Nonfat Greek Yogurt
Rich in probiotics (bacteria that may improve digestion and increase your immunity), this extra-thick yogurt can contain 8 grams more protein per serving than conventional yogurt.
Try this: Mix with ground cumin, chopped cucumber, garlic, and cilantro. Serve with grilled chicken. Or try Beef Stroganoff With Yogurt and Dill.
A vitamin C gold mine—½ cup of cooked broccoli satisfies 80 percent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommended daily dose. It’s also a key source of vitamin K, which helps blood clot properly.
Try this: Toss with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Roast at 375° F until tender. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan before serving. Or try Pork Chops With Garlicky Broccoli.
30. Black Beans
These burrito mainstays boast antioxidants and magnesium, which helps maintain nerve and muscle function.
Try this: On a baking sheet, toss canned black beans with olive oil, ground cumin, and salt. Roast at 450° F until crispy, about 10 minutes, for a tasty snack. Or try Jerk Chicken With Rice, Black Beans, and Pineapple.
My Favorite Things Collide...
Tonight I’ll have the opportunity come combine my two favorite things…
The High Line is my favorite place in Manhattan. It carries intrinsic value and it’s part of the Chelsea neighborhood community that I’ve been part of for 6+ years. SoulCycle is a newer and different kind of community, one that promotes positive health an well-being. It’s a place, experience, and activity all at the same time…a lifestyle.
If you ever come to vist me in NYC, you better believe that we’ll be walking the High Line as well as working out at SoulCycle Tribeca or W77th (with Ryan F., Charlee, or Lori A.).
I can’t wait to clip in this evening…it will give “take it home” an entirely new meaning…
I’m not sure if tickets/bikes are still available…but you can check it out HERE if you’re interested…