Archive for August, 2012

Zaggora Hot Pants Review

Not your usual Wednesday post, friends. It’s still Nichol, but with a product review!

*Disclaimer* I’m not a paid product reviewer (although that would be cool), but I definitely enjoy trying new things. If anyone wants me to test drive a new Ferrari or carry a Birkin bag, drop me a line! I received a pair of these pants to review, but the opinions are mine, all mine!

Today I am going to talk a little about Zaggora Hot Pants. I’ll give you my general opinion first, and then some details on the why and how I came to the conclusion I came to. I actually really liked these pants and would wear them, but only for a short periods of time and for certain exercises.

#1 Look and Feel

My Zaggora Hotpants were the long Flares, in black. They honestly looked like scuba pants and they made me look pretty svelte. For that alone I woud be willing to wear them daily.

That being said, they are a little tight, but not so much that I couldn’t breathe. Now I hope no one gets offended, but the best part of the pants is the removal of the pants. I wouldn’t realize how hot and sweaty my legs were, but when I was rolling the pants down, it was the best feeling ever. Especially when the air conditioning is on, and the cool air hits the hot legs. Oh man.

I also debated on sharing this, but in the interest of full disclosure… You need to wear underwear (some people don’t, just saying) but when the pants come off, underwear is SOAKED. It’s gross.

A big downfall for me with the Hotpants is the need to wash them everyday. They will start to stink, as do any pants that you profusely sweat in, but these will get rank. Also gross.

Hotpants in Use

Since I got the Hotpants during P90X, I decided to use them for P90X. Most videos are an hour, with the exception of YogaX, which is 90 minutes.

I very quickly realized that Zaggora suggests 30 minutes because 30 minutes is apropos. After an hour, I felt like I was in a sauna and I may still be sweating.

The last couple of suggestions is that you really stick with cardio. Anything requiring flexibility is not easy in these pants. For days that I did yoga and Kenpo, I wore regular old track or yoga pants. I did wear them when strength training and that was not bad.

Ideally, they seem to be best suited to running, walking, or an elliptical.

I’m not 100% that they make as huge of a difference as the site claims. One of my biggest questions about the study they did is the eating habits of the women. The women wearing Hotpants may have lost more weight and inches, but I couldn’t find any information on if they ate the same foods as the women in the control group.

I plan on continuing to wear the pants, but for cardio.


Recipe: Very Tasty Quinoa-Based Salad-Type Dish

The Big Man and I were at a potluck; one of the dishes was a very tasty quinoa-based salad-type dish. I happened to be talking to the woman who brought it and mentioned that it was really good (which is when I learned that she was the one who brought it!). She rattled off the recipe — and I actually remembered it! We’ve had this a few times, and I’ve modified it slightly from the original.

When I cooked it up earlier this week for lunches, The Big Man had a bite and said it was “an explosion of flavors.” It’s also one of those dishes that is so easy to modify and add what you like.

You could, of course, make it with rice or couscous instead of quinoa, but it would have less protein and the cooking time would change.

Very Tasty Quinoa-Based Salad-Type Dish


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • ½ teaspoon tumeric
  • 3 cups water
  • 1½ cups quinoa, well-rinsed
  • ¼ cup yellow raisins
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (craisins)
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • ½ tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¾ cup cooked peas
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans

In a large pan, saute onion and carrot in a bit of oil.

Add water, quinoa, tumeric, raisins, craisins, almonds and garlic. Stir to mix.

Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, 20-25 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in peas and pecans.


This is probably the nicest food pic I have ever taken for this blog!


Fara, you were chosen as the winner for the kitchen scale!

“Do mini workouts while watching TV such as doing burpees or pushups when there are commercial breaks.”

Please e-mail team at to claim your prize!

Happy Birthday To Me!

It’s Nichol’s birthday and it’s Wednesday! Two for one!

So I’m 33 today. I’m having some emotional lability about that. Let’s do some pros and cons.

Pro – presents!
Con – single
Pro – cake!
Con – cake makes me fat
Pro – increased recognition that cake makes me fat
Con – I’m going to eat cake anyway
Pro – I’ll exercise more
Con – still single
Pro – still fabulous

Basically, I’m choosing to be happy and only minimally wallow because the pro list includes cake and presents.

There’s also the non-shallow pros. Which include all the accomplishments I’ve racked up since my 31st birthday (mini sprint tri, 5K, weight loss, healthy eating).

I’m actually okay with being 33. I think that if I hit 35 and I’m still single and in school and perpetually broke, I’ll let it affect me a little more but for now, I’m going to celebrate and just be thankful for my life and the many blessings I have reaped. Not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally.

The last two weeks have been intense, in reference to my well-being. In a totally good way, but totally intense. There has been a lot of reflection going on in this giant brain of mine.

Now, don’t be alarmed, but I took a day off. A real, honest to goodness day off. No P90, no running, no walking, no biking, no swimming. I slept 12 hours that night.

I have racked up 226 straight days of exercise. Well, it was 221 straight until my day off. I’m beginning to think that I might need a few more of those. Problem is, I had such intense feelings of guilt about it, it almost wasn’t worth it. However, if I’m not resting, my body can’t repair itself. I am currently always aching. Not in a worked out yesterday and I’m sore kind of ache, but a pretty constant, dull throbbing kind of feeling. Probably not a good thing.

I’m still thinking about it. I would have to get over the whole pride thing I have going on. When I make that decision, you will be the first to know.

In the meantime, I’m going to party like its 1979. I’ll see you peeps on the other side of 33.

Don’t Blame It On Your Eyebrows

I told a story to my kids at school and thought that it would be relevant here as well.

In the 2008 Olympics, Michael Phelps won a race by 0.01 seconds. In the 2012 Olympics, he lost a race by 0.05 seconds.

In case you’re unaware: swimmers shave their body hair to help reduce drag in the water. They don’t necessarily shave the parts that are covered (head and groin), but arms, legs, chest, armpits — no hair.

NBC showed an interview with the guy who lost in ’08. (I have to assume it was a rerun of an interview from ’08, but I’m not actually sure.) In the course of the interview, he said that if he had shaved his eyebrows, he would have won.

They also interviewed Phelps after his loss. He basically said that he was outraced.

If something isn’t going your way, are you going to own it, or are you going to blame it on your eyebrows?

Are You Hungry or Just Snacking?

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. For her work, she often has small social gatherings, for which she provides snacks and drinks. We were talking about healthy snacks versus unhealthy snacks; she said that when she puts out things that are healthy, people don’t eat them.

Since her business is not directly health-related, she might not want to try to make a statement with her choices in snacks. Having good cookies might be part of what keeps business coming (though I would hope not). And the cookies she buys are really good.

However, most of the time, people will eat snack food that is served just because it’s there. Maybe it’s tasty. Maybe it’s just OK. But it’s there and so, without thinking too much about it, it gets eaten.

Typically not so with healthier foods. I saw it happen: set out a plate of cookies and a plate of apples. Which plate is empty first?

If you are legitimately hungry, you will likely eat what is available (assuming no allergies and that something available is palatable).

If you are not actually hungry, you’ll probably eat the junk food. And if there is no junk food, you just won’t eat.

(Of course, if you’re hungry and both are available, it will more depend on your habits than anything else. I was with a few ladies one evening and none of us had had dinner. There were fresh veggies, hummus, and cookies available. Some of us ate the veggies and hummus; some of us ate the cookies.)

Likewise, at home, when you go to the fridge for the fourth time in half an hour and are disappointed that the same food is there — are you hungry or bored?

If you want to stop eating junk food, the simplest way is not to be in proximity to junk food. Don’t keep it in the house. Don’t go to places that serve it. If you were a patron of my friend’s business and you didn’t want to partake in the cookies, you would sit across the room from the table — not right next to it. Eventually, it becomes a habit to make healthy choices.

Do you eat whenever there’s food available, or do you mainly eat when you’re hungry? Would you eat the veggies or the cookies?

Recipe: Southwestern Quinoa Wrap

I have been holding out on posting new recipes until I could take decent pictures of them, but it’s starting to look like I might never post another recipe again if I stick to those parameters, so I am using the picture from Epicurean Mom, where I got the recipe, and moving on 🙂 (She also has a recipe at that link for dressing that we didn’t use.)

This wrap was delicious and easy and filling. And for anyone who asks where vegetarians get protein, this wrap has tons of it! Quinoa, black beans, and avocado all have plenty of protein, and most whole wheat tortillas have a sizeable amount as well. And fried onions are delicious any day!

Southwestern Quinoa Wrap

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2½ cups veggie broth
15 ounces black beans
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup of corn
4 whole wheat tortillas

Heat veggie broth and quinoa in a small saucepan until just boiling.  Turn to low-medium and simmer for 25 minutes, or until just tender.  Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, add the onion.  Cook until browned and caramelized, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place corn on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Bake until just browning, about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Take a tortilla and load it up!

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