Category Archives: My Ramblings

So Long Comfort Zone: Periscoping With Purpose

Hey everyone! Thank you for stopping by blog and for checking out my latest Periscope: So Long Comfort Zone: Periscoping With Purpose. I’m just guessing that there is where you came from since I just finished Scoping about this. While I’m at it, thanks for the heart love…cause you give show me heart love, right?!

As I mentioned in my scope, video is not my thing.

I avoid it like the plague, even though I know that it is a key component to my business and I could help more people by having an active YouTube channel. Typing that out actually just made me feel kinda selfish, because my goal is to help people with their health and fitness goals, but I let my issues with video stand in the way from doing that. Whoa. Sometimes being human totally sucks!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the jail I’ve locked myself in to with all of my fears. It’s not a cool place to hang out at all. Fear keeps me from doing things I would like to do. It keeps me from trying new things and reaching goals that I have set for myself. Now more than ever, I want to break free of fear and see what’s on the other side of my comfort zone. Is this a scary thing, hell yeah! However it is necessary and I know that now.

If you believe in higher powers or the Universe guiding you through life, then we could totally hang out. I’m not a religious person at all, but I do believe that people come into your life and things happen for a reason.

Recently, I had someone come into my life who introduced me to “Ooola Life” via a post on Facebook. Upon some conversation, she told me about their website and I was in love as soon as I checked it out. I even ordered their book and devoured it in about 48 hours. (I’m currently on the worksheet section and feeling more inspired than I have in a long time!)

I began following them on Periscope and something they spoke about struck a cord with me. They spoke about fear and how it’s just a feeling that you need push through. How you need to take a deep breath, process the feeling for 20 seconds and just push forward. This Periscope got me thinking about my fear of video and made me realize that I need to get over it. I began thinking that Periscope was the perfect place to start, despite being a live broadcast with no second chance. The reason why this was appealing to me? It’s not permanent. It’s not up forever for people to see. It’s there for 24 hours and then it’s gone! I like that. I’m not 100% sure why just yet…but I do and I’m going with it.

Fast forward a few hours and I was scrolling around Pinterest when this graphic caught my eye:

Periscope With Purpose

I immediately clicked on it and read what it was all about. Right then, right there, the Universe was guiding me toward what I needed most. A guide to conquer my fear of video. I no longer had the excuse of “I don’t know what to Periscope about”….it was all right in front of me.

With a click of a button and a little bit of typing, I signed up for the challenge and saved the graphic so I would be able to plan out some scopes. Not bad for a first step!

Today is the official kick-off date for the challenge and I’ll be doing a scope shortly, but it’s not my first scope! The other day I couldn’t get the thought of Periscope out of my mind and I had just finished a chapter from the Oola book on fear, so I decided to just hit broadcast and go for it!

It was a terrifying 5 minutes for me, but I am so grateful for the friends who hopped on to the broadcast, showed me some heart love and commented in support of my first scope!

I know this post doesn’t have much to do with health & fitness in the nutrition and exercise sense, but conquering fear is part of mental health and I am ALL for that! As a matter of fact, it’s something I have been really been working on myself and will be posting about more often. But don’t worry, I’ll be sharing lots of recipes, more updates on my journey and other fitness related info soon. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter. It’s the best way to stay in the loop about new groups coming up and other specials!

Are you on Periscope? If so, please let me know what your username is and I’ll stop by to see your most recent scopes! You can find me here.

Not on Periscope yet? Check it out and maybe join me in 31 days of Scoping! I promise you we will not die from talking on video (even though we might feel like we will). I’m sure I will flub, lose my train of thought or totally bomb on a scope or two, but you know what…it’s okay. It shows that I’m a real person. I’m not perfect, I don’t have my shit together, I have fears, I’m a little weird and I sometimes forget what I was doing and as I watch more scopes I’m realizing I’m not alone!

So head on over to Blog Clarity to sign up for daily reminders and tips to go along with this challenge…then comment below to let me know if you’re in!

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Tips For Clean Eating During the Holidays

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The holidays are a time of year that are filled with family, dinners, parties, cocktails, cookies, shopping and of course the stress of trying to get it all done. Don’t let the holidays derail you from your fitness goals. It takes a little effort, but you can avoid the weight gain that is oh so commonly associated with this time of year. Check out my tips for clean eating during the holidays and start your new year off ahead of everyone else.

1. Eat Breakfast: Eating a healthy breakfast everyday sets the tone for your day. If you try to skip it and opt for a trip to the local coffee shop for a sugary mega-super-ginormous latte, you’re setting yourself up for overeating later in the day. Having breakfast and eating small, clean meals through out the day is also going to be your key to success on the days you have parties or events to attend. You’ll keep your energy high and your blood sugar stable, which will result in less cravings for caffeine, sugar and fatty foods.

Bonus Tip: If you skip breakfast because you are always short on time in the morning, consider making these Healthy Egg Muffins or adding a nutrient dense smoothie to your morning routine.

2. Be Prepared: On days when you’ll be running around shopping, make sure that you carry healthy snack options with you so you can avoid becoming hangry. A piece of fruit, some homemade trail mix, a nutrition bar or some raw nuts are all great, portable options to keep on hand. Long lines and crowds can be energy draining, so it’s important to have healthy energy boosts on hand. The last thing you want is to be tempted by the candy options while on line to check out.

Bonus Tip: Slow cookers can be a life saver during this time of year. You can find lots of Clean Eating Slow Cooker Recipes on my Pinterest board.

3. Manage Portion Sizes: When attending cocktail parties or buffets, opt for the smallest plate option available. Doing so will keep your portion sizes in check and it will reduce your chances of  over stuffing yourself. Having a smaller plate will also force you to get up to refill it. This will give you time to truly think if you want more and if you do, you’ll at least get a little bit of activity in the process.

Bonus Tip: Carry sugar-free mints or gum with you to holiday parties. The minty flavor will keep you from picking on foods.

4. Indulge Wisely: Don’t overdue it on foods you can have anytime of year. Save the splurges for foods that you only have access to during the holiday season, like grandma’s pecan pie or the first batch of cookies for the season that your children helped to make. By doing so, you won’t feel cheated or like you can’t enjoy the foods that may be linked to childhood memories. When you head into the holidays knowing that these special foods are okay, you’ll reduce the risk of feeling like a failure which can result in binge eating. Strive for balance, not perfection!

Bonus Tip: Make a list of the foods that you only have around the holidays and make sure you balance them out with healthier options. Remember, just because you give yourself permission to have these special foods doesn’t meant it’s okay in gorge yourself on them. 

5. Make It Yourself: If you’re invited to a dinner party, don’t be afraid to call the host or hostess and ask if you could bring a dish. Many times this is very appreciated and it will give you an opportunity to ensure there is a healthy option at the gathering.

Bonus Tip: On days you know you have a special event revolving around food, make sure you get some exercise in. From a 30 minute walk to a short yoga season to help you stay calm and collected. Exercise can help you make wiser food choices.

The holidays don’t have to undo all of the hard work you’ve put into health this year. Just look ahead at your week and make a plan! You may even inspire someone else in the process.

For some more holiday tips, be sure to check out this past post: Here Comes the Holidays

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Goal Crushing Holidays – Don’t Fall Into The Trap

goal crushing holidays

Halloween is the kick off to the holiday season. It is the start the of the goal crushing holidays and the “treat” temptations that will become a everyday struggle from now until New Years Day.

Right now, many of us have homes full of “fun sized” candy and I’m sure we’ve all dipped into it. Those fun size treats then get us feeling down about ourselves and instead of saying “I can turn this around” we end up making more poor choices, this time with our meals or we’ll skip our workouts because we’re having a sugar crash and lack the energy to due them. Where exactly is the fun in this?

Next we begin to use Thanksgiving as an excuse and say “We’ll, I’m not going to re-start now, I’ll be eating and over indulging on Thanksgiving, so the Monday after will be my start date.” Thanksgiving dinner turns into leftovers the next day, followed by hours of shopping and more poor food choices because you’re on the go. (Do you really know how many calories are in the sugary, blended frappe topped with whip?! It’s scary!) By the time Monday rolls around you’re too tired to workout, so you decide “I’ll just start on January 1st.”

The problem with this is that we let “being busy” stand in the way of our goals. (You do have your goal written down where you can see it, right?! If not, you should read yesterday’s post.) From holiday parties, to cookie swaps, to drinks with friends, and crazy nights of shopping & wrapping, we allow each and every one of these events to become more important than our goals…and that shouldn’t be the case.

Every time you allow everything else to be more important than your goals, or you allow a slip up to get the better of you, it gets easier and easier to slip back into old habits. The same old habits that took you months to change can come back in a weekend if you allow them to. (Crazy right?!) Before you know it, all of the progress you’ve made is gone and it’s even tougher to start over.

This holiday season, I don’t want to see that happen to myself or any of you! Don’t be the average and allow those 7-10 holiday pounds to creep onto you. I know the holidays are hectic, but I also know that we can all carve out 30 minutes a day to get our workout done and we can all make smart food choices 80% of the time (I know you all have time to check Facebook and scroll Instagram so decide what’s more important). These small decisions can be a goal saver during the holidays and they still allow you to have your favorite food and treats during the season…just in moderation.

What I am asking of you right now is for complete and total honesty…not with me, but with YOURSELFWhere do you want to be come January 1st? Restarting and losing the weight you had already lost again, or feeling a sense of confidence and pride because this is the first year you didn’t let the holidays bully you into hating the way you look and feel?

I know this is not an easy time of year and I’m not asking you to do this on your own. As a Health & Fitness Accountability Coach, I can help you find a program that will fit your lifestyle & goals and I can also provide you with a private group of like-minded people to help you stay accountable, share you struggles and celebrate your achievements, as we conquer the holidays together!

My next group will be starting on November 17th and I would love to have you join me. For more information, please comment or message me on Facebook.

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Just Be Yourself

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Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve ebbed and flowed with what I was doing, where I was going and how I was posting. I allowed the opinions of others, as well as what other bloggers were doing, to influence what I was posting and to be honest, I wasn’t being true to myself. As a result of this, blogging became a chore to me and I would stop doing it for weeks on end. I’ve recently decided to stop the insanity and follow the one good piece of advice I’ve received ” Just Be Yourself “.

Just Be Yourself.

It’s a powerful phrase. Who am I? What do I stand for? What do I like? What don’t I like? It’s food for thought to say the least, and it’s something that has been on my mind for awhile now.

After some reflecting, I can say that I am a mom and wife who always has the best interest of my family in mind. I have struggled with my weight since junior high school and I finally found success through at-home fitness. I am a personal trainer who is not comfortable in a gym setting…at all. I am very shy and often doubt myself. I spend too much time worrying about what other people think of my choices. I struggle with body image and often still see an overweight person in the mirror. I put other peoples needs before my own and often feel burnt out and angry because of that. I am an independent person and have a hard time asking for help…I used to view it as a personal failure. I KNOW that I am meant to do great things and have a purpose in life. For a long time, I lost my personal identity to being a mom/wife and family responsibilities. I only recently began to “find myself” and discover what makes me happy. Coffee makes me happy. I love crisp fall weather and sitting by a fire. Laughter is therapy for my soul. I have a strong desire to get back into running and complete a half marathon. I am a wanna-be traveler and have a list of places I plan on visiting. I LOVE cooking. Buying fresh ingredients and experimenting in the kitchen is my happy place. I am a work in progress.

Self reflection is not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary if you want to be happy.

After making this list, I took some time to review my blog this past weekend. Some of the posts I enjoyed the most were the ones about my personal journey. I started this blog as a journal for myself, so I could look back and see how far I’ve come. As a matter of fact, I never intended for this blog to be public. I’m not an expert, so I don’t think I should be blogging advice, HOWEVER I do know what has worked for me and what hasn’t and by sharing all of that, someone reading this may relate and I may help them. Now THAT is what I set out to do when I decided to make this blog public.

Paying it Forward is something I know I am meant to do.

When I started my weight loss journey, I didn’t have a coach, an accountability group or anyone to guide me. I was on my own and it was a scary thing. I didn’t have a lot of outside support, but thankfully I had the support of my family. I had lots of success when I started and I also had lots of failure. Heck, I still have both to this day! There were days I wanted to give up and just go back to sitting on the couch, shoveling ice-cream into my face. I am thankful everyday that I didn’t do that. I am thankful everyday that I discovered social media and the hashtag for P90X on twitter – it helped me to stay motivated during my first round and kept me moving forward. I am thankful I discovered what coaching was and found an on-line group of like minded people who were doing the same thing as me. I am thankful I shared my blog with someone and they told me I should be sharing this with others. This blog has helped me to find my voice, even if it has also left me feeling lost at times.

Focus on What Matters.

As I move forward with this blog, I will be focusing on what matters. To me, that’s being true to myself, sharing my experiences and helping those who can relate to my story. I will no longer blog about things because I “have to” or because” I should”. I will only blog about things that I truly want to share because I feel passionate about it or because I know someone could benefit from my sharing. What other people think can no longer be a concern of mine – Their happiness is NOT more important than mine! I am making a promise to myself to reclaim this space as my own. To open up, be real and not only share my triumphs, but to share my struggles. There is no such thing as perfect and by trying to portray perfection, we only fool ourselves and rob ourselves of all the amazing things we have achieved, because we become so hung up on all the things we have failed at.

When you Feel like Quitting, Remember WHY you Started.

This little piece of advice can be applied to EVERYTHING in life. When you know WHY you are doing something, you become unstoppable!

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Chase Your Dreams

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Once again I have been a slacker when it comes to writing here and honestly, I’m okay with that, because I’ve been busy chasing my dreams.

I was feeling a little bit lost in my life and what direction it should take, but I’m feeling much more focused now. I suppose it’s something we all go through at some point in life. When I lost my job a year and a half ago, I knew I wanted to switch my focus towards my passion, which was health & fitness. I spent some time deciding how I wanted to go about doing it and eventually decided to begin studying for my NASM Personal Trainer certification, as I’ve mention here before. I’m proud to say I completed it, however once I did, I didn’t know what I wanted to do next. I was never comfortable being in a gym and that is where most people start out once they are certified, so I sucked it up and went to meet with someone at a local gym about shadowing and learning the ropes. While I was there, I knew in my gut it wasn’t for me. NOTHING about it felt comfortable and after speaking with the trainer there, I knew in my heart I wasn’t going to be happy following that route. So I went home, cried and questioned everything I had been doing to this point.

That is when clarity took over and I realized that the answer had always been in front of me. I had taken steps down the path toward it in the past, but always got scared, worried about what other people were going to think and talked myself out of it.

You see, back when I completed my first round of P90X 4 years ago, I tried Shakeology for the first time and really liked it, however I really couldn’t afford it. I saw the nutritional value it offered, but I couldn’t get past the price tag. That is when my coach introduced me to Beachbody Coaching (Yes, I said Beachbody Coaching…please don’t run away now) and how I could get a 25% discount on Shakeology. I was very skeptical at first and I asked a million questions to everyone I knew who was doing the program on Twitter and I eventually decided to sign-up. While I was told I was inspiring and motivating by many people I met at that time, I wasn’t comfortable coaching anyone so I just enjoyed the Shakeology discount and if people asked me what I was doing to get in shape I would tell them, share a link and make a little extra money by doing so.

From time to time I would attend a local Beachbody event, because I loved the programs. Coaches I met there would try to talk to me into “working my business” but I refused to “drink the Kool-Aid” so I would just smile a nod. In all honesty I was intrigued by it, but I was also scared of it. I wasn’t a fitness professional and I was still trying to figure out all this fitness stuff on my own. How on earth could I possibly help other people reach their goals when I hadn’t even reached mine?! When I look back on this I was stupid and I was just scared. I was scared of leaving my comfort zone, scared of what other people would think and scared of failing. Now I know that failing at things is the way to grow in life. If we just sit back in our comfort zone, we aren’t living life to it’s fullest, and we certainly aren’t being as happy as we could possibly be.

Over the course of 4 years I have toyed with the idea of actually following this path and coaching others, on and off. I always allowed the fear to stop me but I never quit. I thought about it many times but for some reason I never called and cancelled my coach account and I never fully gave up on the idea of doing it. Why? I’m pretty sure it’s because the Universe wants me to pursue this. I know … I know… the Universe?! Yeah, well… I’m not religious but I do believe in a higher power. I wholeheartedly believe that we have a path we are meant to follow in life, and that people and events come into our lives to lead us to this path. When we ignore the path things will keep happening to redirect us towards it, and that’s what kept happening to me with coaching.

So, as of this month, I am officially applying myself with my coaching! I am chasing my dreams of helping others and paying it forward. I am no longer running from this opportunity to touch other peoples lives and pass along the knowledge that I have gained over the course of my 5 year weight loss journey. I was able to change my life and I know that YOU can too. If you have been scared to start, I want you to know that it is normal and it doesn’t mean that you can never do it!

Now that I have  finally, openly, talked about what it is I do, I hope that if you are ever up late watching TV and an infomercial comes on for P90X, T25, 21 Day Fix, PiYo or any other Beachbdoy program, you will wait to order it and come speak to me first. If you already own one of these programs but have struggled with them or never even got started, I would love the opportunity to coach you,  find out what your goals are and help you to reach them!

It’s time to chase your dreams and make them a reality!

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Leaving My Fears Behind

take every chanceAs 2013 prepares to be nothing more than memories and 2014 prepares to make it’s grand entrance, I am suddenly struck by fear.

Fear of everything that is waiting ahead of me…and I know that is not good.

As I look back on all of the years that have passed, there has been both good and bad. I have always survived the tough times and those tough times made the good times all the more sweeter. I know that everything life tosses at me happens for a reason and is given to me as a lesson that will mold me into the person I am meant to be. One would think that knowing this would allow for me to continually move forward with confidence, but sadly I am sitting here frozen in fear.

This year has been full of change and quite honestly, as horrible as some of it seemed, it was all for the best. Losing my job in March felt like the end of the world at first, but I had long since outgrown that place and I was comfortable, so I stayed. Life knew it was time for me to move on so it removed me from my comfort zone and actually allowed me to take advantage of some wonderful opportunities over the summer. Those opportunities pushed me even further out of that comfort zone by making me participate in group fitness, allowing me to meet some incredibly inspiring people and allowing me to look deeper into myself and my passion for fitness. As a result, I enrolled in NASM classes to become a Certified Personal Trainer and while I’m full of excitement with this decision, I am also full of fear due to it.

There is a fear and anxiety of failing. It’s overpowering at times and it brings me to tears. As I posted in the past, I hold myself to such high standards that I don’t allow myself to make mistakes and that needs to change. I’ve made some progress in this area but I feel like I have so much riding on this that I have to be tough on myself.

2013 has forced me to look at myself, what I like, what I don’t like and what I would love to do. I don’t want to do a job just to earn a paycheck. I’ve been given a gift this year and I intend to make the most of it. Hopefully my best is enough to get me to where I wish to be…if not, I guess there is something grander out there and I haven’t figured it out yet.

With that, my resolution for 2014 is to let go of the fear. It is not going to be easy as I am a worrier by nature. I worry about everything and it’s an awful thing. I know that I can’t change the past and worrying about the future is silly because it hasn’t happened yet. I need to learn how to live in the moment and truly just enjoy life as it happens. I’m not saying that thought won’t be put into the future, but I am refusing to drive myself crazy worrying about the “what if’s”. In all honesty, I have an amazingly supportive family and as long as they are happy and healthy I’ve succeeded.

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Summer Recap

Can you believe summer is almost over? I feel like the past two months have been a total blur and that’s probably because it’s the first time I’ve been home for the summer with the kids in a long time.

I normally keep the same schedule all year because I’m working, but this year I had the opportunity to be home with them for their whole vacation. We spent a lot of time at my mother’s pool, took a family day trip to Hershey Park, went to Coney Island and of course celebrated both of their birthdays!

As a result, I have had little time to blog the way I would like to, but that’s okay. I’ll have all fall and winter to catch up and share my adventures in fitness with you all.

Here are some of my favorite photos from this summer…

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Mini Golf and Splashing in the pool to start the summer off right!

coney island

An afternoon in Brooklyn at Coney Island. We checked out the aquarium, ate at Nathan’s and of course rode on some rides.

Point Pleasant

It wouldn’t be summer without a day at Jenkinson’s at Point Pleasant!

Hershey Park

The highlight of summer for me has been our trip to Hershey Park. It was our first time there and we had a blast. Can’t wait to return for the holidays!

Birthday Fun

Maddie turned 12 this summer and we celebrate with a few friends, Monster Mini Golf, pizza and cake!

Minecraft Party

Matt is all about Minecraft this summer, so of course his 9th birthday was a Minecraft theme!

As you can see, we’ve had a busy summer and I look forward to time with friends this Labor Day weekend. Mike and I also started working out together again. He’s doing a Focus T25/Body Beast Hybrid, and I’m still doing T25 but joining him on the nights he does Beast! I missed weight lifting too much to just do cardio daily…we’ll see how this goes!

How has your summer been? Are you ready for fall or wishing there were still a few weeks left to summer?

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Time To Design…

The month of May has always been my time of the year to start new things. I don’t know if it’s because it’s my birth month, the fact that it’s spring and everything is coming to life again, or just some weird fluke.

Four years ago this month, I began taking steps toward becoming healthy so I could lose weight and while I began to thrive on that new journey, I began to suffocate and wilt in my graphic design business. After doing something that I loved for years, I felt nothing but dread and hatred toward doing it, so I closed up my business, shut down my auctions and took down my website. As soon as I did that, I felt instant relief. I focused on my fitness and my part-time job as a cake decorator. I was happy and loving my new journey in health & fitness, as well as learning and experimenting with cake decorating.

Fast forward four years, drop 100 pounds and subtract my cake decorating job and here I am. Only now, I have an itch to design again. I felt it coming on a few months ago when I was asked by a friend to help them with a logo. I felt it here and there during the years I took off, but I would design a tattoo or two, do an invite for a friend, design my own Christmas card or something small, that I could easily walk away from if I didn’t feel like continuing. However now I feel a void in my life and I’m ready to fill it with design again.

This past week I’ve been designing …and it feels good to be doing it …so I decided to dive back in!

Nicole Hynes Designs Logo Blue Chevron

Every morning I wake up, get the kids off to school and then focus on my workouts. I made a promise to myself that I won’t blog or design until my planned workout for the day is complete. I even start scheduling my day like I would if I was still working, and it’s helped. (Although today I was really excited about the stuff I was working on and may have fed the family frozen pizza after 8pm because I lost track of time…. ooops!)

Speaking of workouts, I’ve had a really good week. I felt good on my all trail runs, started lifting again and my friend Jac started a May Challenge with me, which I posted on the Facebook Page in case you would like to join in!

Nutrition has been so/so, but I’ve been drinking my protein shakes again. (Being sick really knocked me off my routine, it’s bad) Yesterday I stopped into GNC to pick up more the Designer Whey Protein 2GO but they didn’t have any. I of course had to look around and picked up a new Lean Shake 25 flavor, which is super yummy!

I'm a sucker for creamsicles!

I’m a sucker for orange cream flavors…takes me back to childhood!

The rest of the week was spent focusing on making new designs. I have an external hard-drive with most of my old designs on it, but I felt I needed to get some of the rust off and do things from scratch. Things came back pretty quickly, although there was a lot of cursing at first as I tried to remember the shortcuts to making scrapbook style paper, like I use to. I’m a huge fan of typography, so lots of time was spent on making sure I had plenty of fonts I liked, since this is a new laptop and I’ve never really designed using it before.

So, here’s to another May rebirth of me! If you’d like to see some of the stuff I’ve been working on, you can check it out at Nicole Hynes Designs!

Can you believe it’s May already? How have your workouts been going?

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{Bucket List Experience} Peter Luger Steakhouse

Last weekend, we drove into Brooklyn to celebrate my brother-in-laws 50th birthday, at the all mighty Peter Luger Steakhouse in Williamsburg. He is a steak lover and has always wanted to dine there, so my sister-in-law arranged a surprised dinner in his honor. There might have been a toddler style tempter tantrum thrown by him that resulted in this idea, which was one of the entertaining stories told over dinner, but I digress.

Happy 50th Birthday Larry!

Happy 50th Birthday Larry!

If you haven’t heard of Peter Luger’s, you most likely live under a rock, as there are few New York City restaurants as well-known as this steakhouse. The name itself is synonymous with steak, and they’ve been doing steak for over 125 years! Peter Luger has a few other proteins on their menu but don’t try to order them unless you want your waiter to scuff at you. They do steak, and by steak I mean porterhouse. They offer a “single steak for one” but as my husband and I found out when we attempted to order it (by our oh-so-rude waiter), “It’s not special…you need to order the steak for two”…..oh…um….okay. Then again, the waiter also seemed annoyed that we wanted menus. I mean, how often do you go to a restaurant where you are asked if you want a menu? Isn’t having a menu placed in front of you when being seated part of all dining experiences? Clearly, we were not ready for Peter Luger’s.

As you  can tell, our waiter was a pleasant man, which the restaurant is known for. (I hope your sarcasm font is working right now.) He brought all new meaning to the word rude, but it gave us something to laugh about as we sat around the table enjoying the yummy bread that was brought out by a different waiter, who had a great personality, by the way!  Speaking of bread, it was some damn good bread. The basket contained three different kinds, onion, oat and one with salt and caraway seeds on it, but don’t expect it to be served warm. It’s a good thing I workout, cause spreading cold butter on cold bread is not an easy task!

Peter Luger is also known for their bacon by the slice, so of course we all ordered some as an appetizer. It was truly delicious, especially when teamed up with their famous Peter Luger steak-sauce (which my husband said tasted like it had a cocktail sauce base). The only drawback to this part of the meal was once again our waiter, he dripped hot bacon grease all over my other brother-in-law’s girlfriend, with no apology at all. Oh…and many will say you have to order the tomato and onion as an appetizer, heck, your waiter will most likely guilt you into it as he did to us, but skip it. It’s not worth the $20 they charge for it and only one person at our table even touch it after it was served.

Back to the porterhouse, which they do their way. Your waiter will ask you how you would like that cooked when you order, but it doesn’t matter. You will get your steak served medium or rare and you’ll shut your mouth and like it. Thankfully, this was not a problem for anyone at our table. My father-in-law actually complained to us because he didn’t think it was rare enough, and of course it wasn’t because it’s served on a plate so hot you can keep cooking it right there at the table. You want it well done, leave it on the edge of plate to continue cooking!

The steak is served family style and comes to the table pre-cut. Your waiter will serve each person a few pieces and warn you not to touch the piping hot plate. He will then spoon the buttery/oily sauce that the steak arrives in over your slices, and if you are lucky, he will be kind and make sure that he is not dripping butter sauce into your beverage (unlike our wonderful waiter). The sides are also served family style at Luger’s. My husband and I ordered the German style potatoes, which are just hash browns. They were good, but would have been better if they weren’t burnt. The steak was very good, but lacked seasoning to me. I’m not a steak expert by any means, but I didn’t taste anything special about this steak…I guess I don’t understand the hype surrounding it.

Peter Luger Steakouse

Top Left: Bacon by the slice, Top Right: Bread Basket, Bottom Left: Steak served family style, Bottom Right: My plate

Despite being stuffed after our meal, we ended up ordering some Chocolate Mousse Cake and New York Style Cheesecake for dessert. I REALLY wanted to order the Holy Cow Sundae, which many around us were having, but there was no way the button on my jeans could handle that after all of the food I already ingested. Dessert is also served family style and comes with Peter Luger’s famous “Schlag”, which is whipped cream. Upon arrival of your dessert, the waiters toss gold, chocolate coins onto the table as a finishing touch. Too bad they can’t be applied towards the bill.

Dessert at Peter Luger

Left: Dessert Menu, Top Right: Dessert served family style, Middle Right: Close-up of gold coins, Bottom Right: Chocolate Mousse Cake with “Schlag”

While this blog may seem like we had a horrible time, we didn’t.  Peter Luger Steakhouse is one of those bucket list experiences. It’s been one of Zagat’s top restaurants in NYC for over 27 years and people rave about it all the time. Being as we were born and raised in Brooklyn, NY – you kinda feel like you have to eat there at least once, and now we can say we have.

If you plan on going to Peter Luger Steakhouse just be prepared for a nostalgic, somewhat “German beer hall” atmosphere, wobbly tables, uncomfortable chairs, surly waiters, high prices and don’t forget to bring cash, because they don’t accept credit cards. Make sure you order the bacon, skip the tomato & onion, don’t order anything but the “steak for two” (or more) and save a little room for dessert.

Ultimately, it was a nice afternoon filled with beautiful skylines during the drive, family and lots of laughter.

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April 3, 2013 · 11:34 AM