Thanks so much for all your feedback yesterday when I was debating a gym membership.
After my post, I set out to do some further research. And my research was fruitful!
I am really, really good at the internet. As I said in my last post, my company didn’t offer a real discount. At least, not one that employees could actually find on the intranet. But with my talents, I found another company’s website for employee offers, typed in my own work email address, and before I knew it I was on a webpage for employees of MY company — with an amazing discount right there! All I had to do was sign up and it was mine! Why is this information nowhere on our intranet?
There was one catch, though. In order to take advantage of this offer, I had to commit for a year. I started weighing my options once again, trying hard to rationalize a 1 year commitment. But it kept coming back to one problem — I don’t expect to be employed past April, and there is no way I can pay for a gym membership without having a job!
I rationalized and rationalized. I emailed lots of friends. I had multiple phone conversations with the boy. I tried talking myself into just going for it. I still was not ready to commit. And then I got a phone call.
The membership director I spoke to on Saturday called to check in on my decision to join and to see if I was able to find I discount. “I have a website open in front of me right now with this discount,” I told her. “But it requires a one year commitment and I just don’t think I can do it.”
She started thinking, suggesting all the ways I might be able to use another discount. “Does anyone in your apartment belong to NYSC?” Nope. “Did you used to be a member?” Nope. “Were you a member at another gym recently?” Yes! “Do you still have your barcode from that gym?” Yes! “That’s it. We have a discount for you.”
And that is how I got a pretty good price on a month to month, commitment-free NYSC membership! In order to pay for this, I will be cutting down on one medical treatment a month. If I find that I am suffering too much, I can just cancel my membership (with 30 days notice). I am so glad I didn’t sign up on Saturday. I KNEW there had to be a better offer and I got one!
I went to the gym after work to sign the papers and get my membership card and I was all set!
That is, until this morning when I woke up to an email from the PR Director at NYSC who read my blog entry about my dilemma with a very generous offer. How cool is that. I love when companies step up. I can’t reveal yet what the offer was since I am waiting to hear back from her on my follow up email, but I am hoping to be able to save a little bit more money . . . it might be too late though.
Either way, now I have a gym membership! I can use my “home” location at any time and all other locations (such as the one across the street from my job) during off peak hours and weekends. Not a bad deal! And there is another location pretty close to me that has some good classes on the weekend’s, so I am sure I will be heading over there a couple times. And working out during the day by my job. I have to start leaving gym clothes at work again. And I can spin again! Once I get the hooks back in my shoes, that is.
Another thing that is annoying about the building gym that I forgot to mention yesterday: I only have access to it when the boy is home because I need his key to get in. That is why I bought the rebounder, which I still plan to use, but now I have this my new gym as an option as well. Perfect.
After all the excitement of joining the gym, it was time to meet some friends for dinner at a restaurant I was very excited for. The plan was for Missy, Melissa, Gena and I to eat at Peacefood Cafe on the Upper West Side. I read about it in a Vital Juice newsletter and given its convenient location to my apartment, knew I needed to try it out. The menu sounded divine!
I got there early and sat on a bench in front of the restaurant. Nearly every person who walked by made some comment about the restaurant’s name. Think “Oh, Peacefood. Just what I need. More peace in my food!” in British accent. I guess not everyone is ready for the Peacefood!
Unfortunately, Melissa had to back out since she was given some urgent work to do, so it was just three of us. The restaurant itself was adorable. We each ordered tea that came in large mugs that I loved. I got peppermint and it was delicious. I had obsessed over studied the menu during the day and wasn’t able to decide between these two choices:
Roasted Japanese Pumpkin (Kabocha) mashed and seasoned with a little sea salt, ground black pepper and extra virgin olive oil, topped with caramelized onions, ground walnuts, vegan goat cheese and seasonal greens
Mushroom Duxelle with roasted sweet peppers, onions & zucchini
As much as I wanted to finally try kabocha after reading so many blog raves, I was really craving pizza so that is what I went with. Luckily, Missy ordered the kabocha sandwich and Gena ordered a side of kabocha, so I could have the best of both worlds.
I made the right choice. Seriously, that might have been the best pizza I have ever had. It tasted amazing, and the peppers and zucchini really added something special to it. Everything was cooked to perfection:
AMAZING. Devour is too dainty a word to describe what I did to that.
Gena got an amazing salad topped with some delicious looking avocado. I took one look at her giant salad and felt a pang of envy. When I see a salad like that, it makes me miss salads so much and depresses me that I can’t eat them (my stomach will not allow it). While I couldn’t taste her salad, I could, however, taste her roasted kabocha!
Cut off a piece, put in mouth. Chew, chew. Chomp. Swallow.
The verdict? Ehh.
Maybe it was so built up to me from other blogs? Maybe it wasn’t a particularly sweet kabocha? I don’t know. What I do know is that I would take a sweet potato over that kabocha any day. It just didn’t taste that sweet to me. I will need to try again, but that is my first impression. So I am not in any big rush.
This is Gena‘s big salad with the kabocha in the background.
Then I tasted Missy’s kabocha sandwich. I don’t have a picture here yet, but when she posts it I will be sure to steal it. The star of her sandwich was without a doubt the caramelized onions. They were so sweet and flavorful! Delicious!
Aside from the food, our meal was great because we had so much to talk about. This was my first meet up with Gena in such a small setting; while we have emailed countless times, we’ve only seen in each other in large groups, so I am thrilled to have gotten the chance to sit down and eat a meal with her. And Missy is one of my closest friends (for those of you who don’t know, we met in Israel 2 and a half years ago), so there was great company!
As I looked around the restaurant, I was especially happy to see that it was pretty filled up. It is so great to see a vegan, healthy restaurant doing such good business.
Of course, we will have to do it again with Melissa — who, I might add, is running in the NYC Marathon on Sunday! Good luck to Melissa, I know she will do great! Melissa is my running idol since she went from not being a runner to running (like me) to running marathons (not like me. yet?). And she introduced me to Girl Talk.
After we paid the check (imagine 3 girls; 2 english majors and 1 blonde trying to do the math) we walked to the counter and spoke to the restaurant owner. This man was so nice! I asked them if they deliver and they said they do! The boy and I are BIG into food delivery. As I mentioned, SeamlessWeb is my best friend. But there aren’t many places on there that are affordable and healthy. The healthier options are a bit pricey. And I am always wary of what goes into making my food these days. So I was so happy to learn that Peacefood Cafe delivers. I plan to start ordering and trying everything on the menu! And I emailed SeamlessWeb to suggest they add Peacefood Cafe to their service.
Before leaving, we approached the pastry display. The desserts all looked so good! I bought a mini brownie (keep in mind, everything is vegan) to take home. When I got home I tore into it! Sorry, no picture. But know that it was so so so so good! I have been craving a brownie for about a week now, and this one really hit the spot. Perfect small treat for my sweet tooth!
If you’re in NYC, I definitely recommend stopping at Peacefood Cafe. They also had a lot of smoothies that I am dying to try, like the Chocolate Mint – Cocoa, Avocado, Mint, Agave. Yum. Wow. I want that right now.
And of course I want to try lots more menu items. I expect this restaurant to become a staple for me.
I’m going to the Seattles tomorrow morning very early, so I probably won’t be back on the blog until the middle of next week. Maybe a little surprise before then. Maybe not. I might be spending too much time smushing this little girl: