Everything Hurts

health

Getting out on good days

health, pain, exploring, trends, art and design, foodAmanda VinciComment

I've been riding the chronic pain coaster for a couple of months now, one week of feeling great followed by another of swollen muscles and stiff joints. During an especially bad night a few weeks ago I made a promise to myself, a promise to  have to take advantage of my good days. Make the most of them, go out there and get inspired.

I work in and live right outside of the greatest city in the world (my opinion, of course). But the last thing I usually want to do during down time is get pushed around on the subways and walk down long city blocks. But I've been keeping my promise to myself, pushing myself to get our there and explore what NYC has to offer.

Here's some of what I've discovered:

Pietro Nolita is a perfectly millennial pink instagramable hot spot just north of Little Italy. It's owner, Pietro, designed this 25-seater restaurant to reflect the warmth and happiness of his home country (and family's) – Italy. The food is quite authentically Italian, and I loved my al dente Cacio e Pepe. Everything is as the napkin suggests, "pink as fuck"... including the drinks, some of the food, and the adorable bathroom. 

Which seat would you take? I'm amazed by the skeleton stools and there was no shortage of inspiration at Collective Design Fair that took place May 3-7 during NYCxDesign. Unfortunately I didn't keep track of the names of these pieces or the artists they're by, but here are some of my favorites from the collection!

WE WILL NO LONGER BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD. Yes indeed. Love everything about this.

The piece above by Zachari Logan especially spoke to me about struggles with chronic illness and body acceptance. I related it to my recent realization that my body and mind connecting is what makes me feel whole.

I have a list of over 1,000 restaurants I want to try. Not exaggerating. And The Lucky Bee has been at the top of my list for a while now. Yet another posh and adorable restaurant, this one serves a Thai inspired cuisine and delicious drinks. I was a little disappointed with my meal (not much on the menu for veggies) but my friends really enjoyed theirs. Go for the drinks and a snack, service was slow slow slow though.

I visited Gallow Green for my second time this week, thanks to the good people at Facebook hosting my work team for drinks and snacks. I absolutely love this rooftop bar and restaurant that's located on top of the McKittrick Hotel, home of the famously creative show Sleep No More. The drinks and food here are pricey but unbelievably good.

My summer goals are officially set: eat healthy (except when at a great restaurant) drink only a little (except for brunches!) and explore a lot (except for bad pain days... and work. Still have to go to work). Hooray for getting out on good days!

Veganuary! Going vegan for 1 month

cookies, health, recipe, vegan, wellnessAmanda VinciComment

It's cliche but the new year inspires us to try to make some life changes — and that's a good thing. Any kind of motivation for this spoonie, even if it is short lived, is a wonderful thing. To celebrate the death of 2016, I drank and ate whatever I wanted all over the city of New Orleans, but I did so with one thing in mind — Veganuary.

Veganuary is going vegan for the month of January of course. No animal products at all — no meat, no cheese, no eggs, no butter. Easy peasy I thought. I'm already vegetarian, what's a month without cheese?

Hard. That's what it is. It's damn hard. It's only been 5 days and the brie in the fridge is screaming at me from 3 rooms away. To make matters even more difficult, I'm doing dry January too... no alcohol. 

Why go vegan? Of course there's the obvious benefit of not contributing to the mistreatment of animals and the reduction of environmental pollution — which is a big part of why I went vegetarian. But there are also plenty of health benefits too!

  • a vegan diet is richer in nutrients
  • vegans tend to have lower BMIs
  • helps in weight loss more than other controlled diets
  • lowers blood sugar levels
  • improves kidney functions
  • may protect against certain cancers
  • lowers your risk of heart disease
  • can reduce pain from arthritis!

Read more about the health benefits of a vegan diet here.

To help myself stick to my new diet, I've collected a variety of delicious vegan recipes to try, from sweet to savory. I've also made a pact to not buy any products made from animals either — no leather, no wool — to fully commit myself to the lifestyle. Click each image below for the recipe.

Whatever your new year, new you health resolution may be, start with January — who knows, it might just stick around for February too.

Happy new year spoonies!

EH Reviews: Atlas Foam Roller

eh reviews, health, fitness, exercise, productsAmanda Vinci2 Comments
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I am so excited to tell you guys about an awesome product I've been using lately! See that big red thing I've got behind me? It's a foam roller. And it isn't just any foam roller — it's an Atlas Foam Roller. If you haven't used a foam roller for your muscle stiffness and soreness, you've got to try it. This has been my first time using one, and I really love it. And if you have tried them out before, take a look at this one by Atlas. It's super high quality, and proven more effective in smoothing and soothing soreness and stiffness (that alliteration is killing me).

This "exercise" wasn't featured on the site, but it's the first thing I did when I tried the roller. Not actually what rollers are for,  but , it felt nice for my shoulder blades and arms.

This "exercise" wasn't featured on the site, but it's the first thing I did when I tried the roller. Not actually what rollers are for, but, it felt nice for my shoulder blades and arms.

New to foam rolling, I had no idea what to do with this big red foreign object I was now in possession of. Where do I start? Here of course ➡️ Atlas Foam Roller's Video Page . I browsed through the videos and singled out some movements that I thought would be beneficial to my pain, and not too difficult to start off with. The guys and girls in the videos were super fit and healthy looking, so I was hesitant. But, within 30 seconds of trying out the roller, I was confident I could learn quickly.

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I started out with rolling out my calves and hamstrings. My calves are always stiff and a little swollen. It's hard to massage-out the pain I feel there, it never quite relaxes. The foam roller didn't hurt while I was doing it, but once I stopped my calves actually felt a little looser. All I had to do was use it for about five minutes too!

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The Atlas Foam Roller has been getting a ton of use since I got home from my cross country road trip. My neck and shoulders are a wreck. Turning my head to the side and using the roller up and down each side of my neck really gives it a nice stretch. There's no set time to roll, do it as long as you feel comfortable.

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Clearly this is not the most flattering look, but it feels really great on your lower back. You simply slip the roller right above your butt, and lift your legs in the air and place them back down. It's a nice light exercise, and also rolls out all the muscles in your hip and lower back area. It's even safe if you've had surgery on your lower spine, like I had. I would just double check with your doctor if your surgery has been recent.

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Luckily, my arms never really hurt me. That wasn't the case this weekend though, after I took my little sister and a bunch of her thirteen year old friends bowling. I hadn't bowled in years, and by the end of our first game my entire right arm hurt from my wrist to my neck. The roller is great for this pain too. Just wedge it against a door frame and your body and squat up and down a bit. This movement was a bit more strenuous than the others I tried, but it really helped me work out this new set of pains.

There's really no limit to what you can do with the Atlas Foam Roller. My favorite part is that you can get a partner to help roll you out too — just lie on your stomach and have them press the roller into you and roll you from top to bottom, just like cookie dough. It's the best way to use it if you're really not feeling well enough for movement.

If you're interested in giving the roller a try, definitely take a look at their video "learn" page on atlasfoamroller.com — they'll give you an even better idea of all that you can do to simply and effectively ease your pain. There are few products out there that allowed me to take my pain relief into my own hands, and this is one of them.

The Atlas Foam Roller has both bearings and handles built into it, this really helps you to get targeted relief, reaching down into your myo-fascial layers of muscle. Really ideal for those of us suffering from chronic muscle pain. The pain at the myo-fascial level is stubborn and difficult to relieve, and the Atlas Foam Roller does a great job at soothing the relentless tension we often feel throughout our bodies.

Check out their website, Facebook and Etsy page.  And if you're located in the Dallas area, their super helpful and friendly founder Mark teaches foam roller fitness classes!

Now excuse me, while I go roll out my pain. Happy MLK day!

Sponsored.