California vs. New Jersey

Since moving to California from New Jersey, I have noticed some differences with many things.  I will always be a Jersey Girl but I’m in love with Cali.  Check out the list I compiled for your enjoyment!

Driving/Cars

  • I have to pump my own gas.  I honestly don’t mind because it’s not like, “Oh, it’s too cold to get out of the car”, but it is nice having someone do it for you.  I was friendly with the guy who pumped my gas in NJ so that relationship is lost in CA.
  • Road rage isn’t bad in CA.  There will always be asshats on the road but the % is definitely less on the West Coast.
  • There are many more electric and hybrid vehicles in CA which is great!  Gas prices here are not for the faint of heart but be careful when crossing the road or parking lot because you can’t hear electric cars!
  • HOV lanes are great!
  • If you’ve seen The Californian’s on SNL, it is so accurate with directions!  Check it out here!
  • Ramp meter.  Never heard of it?  Me either before moving here!  During rush hour, the on ramp has lights to control merging vehicles.  It’s kind of a great thing!

Food

  • Unless you go to Little Italy in San Diego, all the Italian food is terrible in CA! It’s gotta be the water on the East Coast that makes it all taste so good!

 

  • CA definitely makes up for the lack of tasty Italian food with the Mexican food.  Everyone makes homemade tortillas, so many different type of salsas, elote is common (and one of my favorite things), the carnitas are very yummy and they have drive-thrus!  That’s right – drive-thru for homemade burritos, tacos – and I’m not talking about Taco Bell!  Also, I’m a huge tamale lover and they have them in some delis in the food store!
  • Donuts – there are tons of donut shops in CA.  Homemade donuts are the best BUT Dunkin’ Donuts is very scarce and sometimes you just want Dunkin’!
  • There is no Wegman’s in CA.  This makes me very sad. In fact, the closes Wegman’s to me is in Erie, PA!
  • It’s not easy to find a good Italian deli in my area.  Luckily, we found Pronto’s in our town but they don’t even have prosciutto, roasted red pepper and fresh mozz sandwiches on the menu.  Like, WHAT!?  I have to order it as a make your own sandwich.
  • I miss a good salty pizza.  After a night out, you can’t just go and get a slice.  I’m sure you could in San Diego or LA but it’s either fast food or Mexican.  I know when I visit NJ I’m going right to Pete & Elda’s and Molinari’s!
  • Tons of breweries!  So far my favorite is the Belching Beaver.
  • There is no Wawa 😦
  • Taylor Ham isn’t as good as in NJ

General

  • THE BEACH IS FREE!  That’s right – you don’t need a badge, there are no badge checkers or badge police.  It’s a beautiful thing.
  • The beach goers clean up after themselves.  There is no loud music.  No one sits on top of you.  Surfers everywhere.  The lifeguards are just like on Baywatch.
  • When you go to the store, you have two bag choices:  Pay 10 cents per bag or bring your own.  I prefer my own bags!
  • You get money back on recycling your bottles.
  • People are actually NICE in stores!
  • No hurricanes but there are earthquakes.  No hurricanes = no dunes therefore you can always see the ocean.  If you are a couple miles in-land, you can actually see the ocean because we’re at a high elevation than the ocean.  It’s gorgeous!
  • Dogs are everywhere!  CA is a very dog friendly place.  Most stores, restaurants and coffee shops allow our little 4-legged family members and it’s awesome!  Don’t be surprised to find a dog in Walmart either!  In fact, one of our favorite spots has a doggie menu!
  • The weather is incredible and it’s so good for my hair!
  • Last but not least, the sunsets in California are incredible!  It is truly an event with everyone flocking to the coast line right before the big ball of fire settles for the night.  I do miss my sunrises though!

If you’d like to check out pics of our adventures, check me out on Insta @liz11379!

Advertisements

Kidney Failure!?

We’ve all heard how important it is to drink water on a daily basis but do you actually heed the advice?  I for one, do not which is a huge mistake on my part.

I’ll admit, I hate drinking water.  It makes me feel so bloated like I’m going to float away.  But this weekend I truly learned a lesson on how important it is to drink water.

On Saturday morning I got up and felt like going for a nice walk on the beach.  So I texted my friend Billy who happened to be in town from NYC and we hit the boardwalk.  It was a gorgeous morning around 9am and we started at the beginning of Belmar.  I figured we would walk to the end of Belmar and back and be done but we were talking and just kept going.

I caught him up on my crazy online dating experiences and he told me about his recent audition for HBO’s “Girls”.  Before we knew it we were at the end of the Spring Lake boardwalk . While we were walking I had my Map My Run app going to track our time and distance and at this point we hit about 3 miles.

On the way back it started to get pretty hot and I could feel my skin burning.  Since I didn’t expect to go on the long trek that we did, I did not put on sunscreen.  Irish girl fail!  See below…

lizsunburn

Half way back my legs started to hurt but we had to keep going because no one’s going to pick my butt up.  We made it to the end (after 7.3 miles and over 2 hours), got in the car and he suggested we go to Toast in Asbury Park.  Once we got there we had a bit of a wait so I suggested we stop at the Brickwall and grab a beer.  I tried the Hell or High Watermelon beer which was light and delicious.

hell or high

When we finished we went over to Toast for breakfast.  When I walked in I was overwhelmed with the smell of food that I immediately felt nauseous.  (This is not at fault of Toast – this place is actually pretty amazing and last time I was there we saw Big Pussy from The Sopranos so it has a special place in my heart).  I looked at the menu and didn’t have any desire to eat because the thought of any of it made me sick.   I ended up ordering pancakes and spent the rest of the time in the bathroom because I was sure I would be sick.

Luckily, Billy suggested we go home because I would have felt too bad to make him leave on my account.

When I got home I turned the AC way up and crawled into bed and slept for a bit.  I woke up feeling much better but still sluggish.  That night I went to the Headliner for a party and had a few Coronas.  Another big mistake.

Sunday morning I woke up and my back was sore.  I didn’t dance or fall (which wouldn’t surprise anyone if this happened simultaneously) so there is no reason for this soreness.  When I touched my back I realized it was my kidneys.  I looked online to see why my kidneys would be sore and finally determined it was from dehydration.  (http://www.ener-chi.com/articles/dangers-of-dehydration/)

Saturday’s long walk without water or sunscreen plus beer = dehydration.  This truly scared me.  I was pretty nervous especially since my grandmother has had her share of kidney issues.  Everytime I got up my kidneys hurt and I was very tired.  All I could do was drink as much water as I could throughout the day.

I’m happy to report that I’m feeling much better today.  I urge everyone to drink water especially before, during and after a workout.  I really learned a good lesson this weekend.

Dear baby Jesus,

Thanks broseph for making my kidney pain go away.

Xoxo,

Liz

Rock Out

Music

A big part of my life has been about music.  I could hangout and just listen to music all day and have spent many hours at concerts just soaking it all in.  My earliest memory of music I have is driving around with my stepdad listening to 101.5 in New Jersey and he would tell me the year that song came out and where he was.  Usually it was somewhere in Vietnam or the Azores while he was in the Air Force.

I remember in the early 90’s grunge was big and I couldn’t understand a word they were saying.  I used to tell my stepdad that I liked his oldies better because I could understand the lyrics.  When I was in college I interned and then became employed at WRAT in Belmar.  This was an amazing opportunity for me because at the heart of it was music.

Music also keeps me going while I’m working out.  Melissa at Ultimate Fit Zone usually likes to play popular music and Eddie will put on hard rock.  While I do like both, I prefer the hard rock because it makes me push harder.  Here are some tunes for a good mix:

Pop

  • Crank It Up – David Guetta
  • Die Young – Kesha
  • Memories – David Guetta
  • Without You – David Guetta & Usher
  • More – Usher
  • Strong – Kanye West

Hard Rock

  • Down with the Sickness – Disturbed
  • I Hate Everything About You – Three Days Grace
  • Stupify – Disturbed
  • Remedy – Seether
  • Lit Up – Buckcherry
  • Inside the Fire – Disturbed

If this doesn’t get you moving, I don’t know what will….

Food On The Go

Healthy Fast Food

When I started going through this new regiment of working out and changing my eating habits I was gung ho about following the diet that I was given.  One thing I found was the amount of time it takes to prepare.  I go to two different stores for food to save money and then bring it home to cook for a few hours over the weekend so I can grab and go during the week.

I have to admit I have become lazy especially in the mornings.  Typically I will switch up my days of a cooked breakfast (eggs, turkey sausage, toast) with cereal.  More recently I don’t do either and just grab a banana and a Nature Valley Protein bar that I keep on hand as snacks.

I’ve noticed that more and more fast food places are offering healthy options which is great for me because I can still have a hot breakfast without falling off the wagon.

Wawa – They are now offering a Sizzli which is a ham, egg white, cheese and multi-grain English muffin at 240 calories.  Not too shabby!  Stay away from the 2 for $3 offer though because you only need one!  Wawa’s salads are also really good but stay away from the soft pretzels.  They are my weakness!

McDonald’s – Who would have thought that McDonald’s would offer something relatively healthy in this generation?  I grew up going to McDonald’s on the Belmar boardwalk and in fact had my 5th birthday there with a Grimmace birthday cake.  Who doesn’t love their amazing fries?  And the sauce on their Big Mac – wow!  But now that I’m an adult, smart choices are a must.  McDonald’s offers an under 400 calorie menu but be careful not to mix it with fries because it will set you over!  I’ve heard they are offering egg white McMuffins but they aren’t available around me yet.

Burger King – Who doesn’t love the golden crown at Burger King?  When I was a kid my dad would take me here all the time.  I remember he would always get the Whopper and I’d get a BK kids meal with a new toy and a crown!  Burger King is updating their menu by offering a veggie burger that is 410 calories.

Wendy’s – Wendy’s seems to be behind the ball here with healthier options and they don’t highlight their lower calorie options which they should!  I did find some options below 550 calories such as salads, chili and a baked potato.

Most importantly I DO NOT suggest eating at these places everyday.  These items are still high in sodium and sugars. If you are just too busy to make a warm meal atleast you know there are options out there without losing control of your goal.

Happy eating!