My name is Dan Aronoff and I am New York City’s only blind food critic.
Staying healthy and fit in this environment can be tricky at times, but I have found effective ways to accomplish such a goal.
I am 31 years old and happen to be totally blind. I had a brain tumor at the age of three which is the reason I am blind because it was wrapped around my optic nerve which had to be removed. I recently received my master’s degree in social work and my goal is to help people with disabilities. Ive struggled to lose weight since as far back as I can remember.
Even in high school, I can remember weighing 200 pounds, and I have been trying to stay in shape ever since.
Just like you, there are some factors which can prevent me from doing my best (occasional laziness and a huge sweet tooth/chocolate addiction are two) and this is how Ive chosen to approach living fit!
I try to change my exercise routines often so that I don’t get bored.
I tried out hot yoga for the first time recently. 60 minutes of yoga in a room set to 110 degrees can be a very intensive but worthwhile work out. It’s not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it.
Ive also attempted a few spinning classes. The instructors are very motivating; each creates a customized playlist for the ride incorporating the warm up, various hills, sprints, and cool down at the end. The ride generally lasts 45 minutes and can be a bit exhausting especially during the first fifteen or twenty minutes, but by the end you are tired and happy.
Another great resource I use is ITrain.
They offer downloadable work outs that you can play through your mp3 player and use at home or at your local gym.
Whether it’s cardio, stretching, abs, strength training, or even yoga, I have tried a variety of work outs from Itrain with great results.
Furthermore, you can even buy a pair of headphones with a built in mp3 player from them which is great for exercising without any cords (and fun for technology nerds such as myself).
I want to make something clear at this point: I am not affiliated with this company and services can become pricey. That being said, I think it is worth the risk and expense in order to be as healthy as possible.
I have a few tips for fun and interesting ways to maximize your diet. (Something I am forced to do due to the fact that I am a chocoholic!)
During the past year I was required to work at an internship for 600 hours. I found a great technique for having a portable healthy lunch every day: I made my own salad.
Now I know some of you are shaking your head, you have probably heard this one before, but listen: this can be a fun thing to do.
I am a picky eater, so I enjoy picking out my own ingredients to use in a salad: crunchy romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, green peppers, etc.
How can we make this salad more interesting? I like to throw in some raisins, slivered almonds, and/or croutons!
In addition, I make my own croutons from scratch.
Take a few slices of bread and dice into crouton shaped pieces, in a separate bowl finely chop garlic (I chop several cloves because I really like garlic but you can adjust this amount), add a quarter to a half cup of extra virgin olive oil and let this refrigerate for several hours to infuse the garlic flavor.
Then take a zip lock bag, put the bread in it, then pour the oil garlic mixture into the bag and shake well to coat the bread with the garlicky oil. Arrange the croutons in a single layer on a baking sheet, top with high quality Parmesan cheese, and bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
I also enjoy making smoothies from scratch because, as we know, if you make them from home then you can control what you put into it.
This is great not only for health reasons but also for creativity: the sky is the limit in terms of what you put into your smoothie: peach, mango, any kind of berries, any kind of fruit juice, what flavor of yogurt will you try today?
Ive started to freeze bananas too. Cut them into chunks, wrap in aluminum foil and the next time you want to whip up a smoothie, toss in some pieces of frozen banana & the consistency will be outstanding.
That’s pretty much it except for one final thing: if you take anything away from this blog, please remember to always stay positive.
Being optimistic is what has motivated me in my attempt to lose weight for many years.
There were times when I could have gotten down or depressed, but staying positive has always helped.
I believe it can help you too.