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Veg Out: Surrender to General Porpoise

January 8, 2016


In which I document that I really did try to get a jump on New Year healthy-ish eating.

In 2016, I’m doing something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’m training to become a Pilates teacher.

Yes. She who online-orders pizza with one eye and watches QVC with the other. She who, at least half the time, just wants to lie in a pile of warm laundry and eat a baguette. She will, of her own volition, shimmy into a black unitard* to practice breath and precision and grace and poise.




I really do love Pilates, and the Fletcher Pilates work is my all-time favorite form of exercise. During law school, the breath work saved me from being eaten alive by the Anxiety Monster. Doing standing work with the Fletcher signature red braided towel (pictured above) has managed to pry my oft-hunched shoulders from my earlobes.

I finished the teacher training prerequisites last month, and I feel like I’m progressing nicely. I feel stronger. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. But much of the time, especially when practicing the more advanced moves, I also feel like this corgi trying to jump over a child-proof fence. Enthusiasm only carries us so far, my friends.

12/31/15, 9 AM. Surely the at-home version of Juice Generation‘s green açai breakfast bowl will strengthen and lengthen my wee corgi legs, I thought. I tried one of their smoothies the last time I was in New York. It was so delicious and nourishing, it sent me skipping into traffic. In their cookbook, which I recently bought as a “Christmas present for Jules” in a fit of health planning, an Alvin Ailey Dance Company member says she starts every day with said açai bowl. INSTANT GRACE AND POISE UPON CONSUMING.

So the thing was like granola and milk, basically. The granola was hemp granola, and it was surprisingly tasty. But the “milk” was an epic fail, possibly due, at least in part, to user error. A blend of high-dollar frozen açai packet and kale and spinach and almond milk, it looked and tasted like I was eating a very expensive mud mask with a spoon.

(As I reflect on my outfit choice for that morning, I see defeat was inevitable.)


Not three hours later, Jules and I arrived at General Porpoise, a new Capitol Hill doughnut shop from the glorious Renee Erickson. I tried a doughnut filled with huckleberry cream, and Jules had the one filled with quince and autumn-olive jam. I washed mine down with an apple-cardamom soda, while Jules stuck with coffee.


“This certainly tastes like a $4 doughnut, ” Jules said between greedy bites, sugar shining on his lips and chin. I concurred. Oh, that dough. The pillowy chew of baguette innards, now deep fried and sweetened.


Naturally, Jules ate his while wearing a Marathon Finisher Sweatshirt.


Also, autumn olives, as it turns out, do not taste at all briny, and Wikipedia says they contain more lycopene than tomatoes. Cheeky Healthy Monkey.

But perhaps we shall, at least for today, measure health in endorphins stockpiled? If so:

(1) For crying out loud, the place is called General Porpoise, which is the best sea-animal pun I have heard in a long time.
(2) Inside, they have a hot-pink espresso machine.
(3) Outside, I saw a Pomeranian dressed in a (possibly cashmere?) grey hoodie layered under a doggie-sized leather jacket.

So, you know. JOY TO ME and I WIN.


Happy New Year!

*QUICK SURVEY: How would you feel if your Pilates teacher showed up to class in a gold lamé unitard?

A. Terrified. Nauseated. Some things cannot be unseen.
B. Delighted.
C. It depends. Is it 1982?
D. It depends. Am I also wearing gold lamé?




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