Posted by Big Mike on March 29, 2013

I know it’s not too shocking when I tell you I LOVE to eat and it sure is wonderful that we have so many choices in Syracuse.  One of the best things to happen to us is the explosion of wonderful restaurants from all over:  Indian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Mexican, South American to add to our amazing long time Italian, Greek, Irish and French restaurants and All-American Diners.  You can pretty much eat your way around the world and never leave town. BUT our town is missing one of the all time great ethnic foods: Turkish!

There’s something about where Turkey is located, the bridge between Europe and Asia, that makes Turkish cusine a fusion of many delicasies.  Turkish food has a variety of nuts (pistachios, chestunts, almonds, hazelnuts, wlanuts), fruits (plums, approcots, apples, pears, grapes, figs), meats (lamb, beef, chicken, fish) added to eggplant, spinach, peppers, onions, garlic, lentils, beans, and tomatoes.  Yes, it’s got just about everything!  Add to that spices and oils from the East and West …. plus  lots of yogurt (what we now call Greek Yogurt may have originated in Turkey, “yogurt” is a Turkish word and it’s basic to many dishes.  In fact, the owner/founder of Chobani Greek Yogurt is Turkish-American Hamdi Ulukaya).  Turkish food has a diverse selection of pastries, soups, and bread.  And please do not forget Turkish Coffee!!

I’ve been to Turkish Restaurants when I travel out of town and I have enjoyed Turkish food at the Taste of Syracuse. If you know of a Turkish Restaurant around here, please let me know!!



Project 42: In Review

March 11, 2013

Marissa here (a behind the scenes girl here at Sunny 102) – and I just completed Project 42! Let me tell you a little about myself before I get into my journey on the program. I’m a 26 year old female, who let’s be honest – went a little food crazy during college (which is now 5 years behind me). I’d find myself at the dining hall with a plate full of chicken tenders, and I’d eat every single one of them. The all you can eat ice cream bar, that was my favorite. Since college, I’ve cut fast food out of my diet after reading “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser. I’ve never been a health nut, but I would say I’ve been health conscious. My lack of knowledge on what was good/bad to eat has been holding me back for years. I’d spout out all kinds of excuses over the last few years about why I wasn’t exercising… my bad knee (knee surgery twice), my bad back (due to my knee), no time (I work a TON), it’s cold out (like always), the list goes on. Finally, I was presented with a challenge – to join Project 42 at Well Rounded Health & Fitness.


In case you’re not familiar, let me summarize what Project 42 is. It’s 42 days of high intensity workouts (where no workout is the same every day) with cardio and strength training at Well Rounded Health & Fitness. In addition, you are given a customized diet (based somewhat on your blood type) that includes eating 5 meals a day. That’s what it is on paper in plain simple text… but what Project 42 inspires you to do, is much more than that.


Project 42 is about making yourself number one priority. It is about making friends with sacrifice and inconvenience. Project 42 is about building your extraordinary. Turning “I can’t” into “I can”, pushing through fear, self doubt and lack of focus to do what you have never done before, because the road to change is not easy, if it were, it wouldn’t be a challenge. Project 42 is about having a purpose, a reason why you are doing the project – and being able to mentally visualize it. If you can’t visualize it, you can’t be it. It’s about setting goals and achieving them.


It is NOT convenient to make a huge change. It is NOT easy to stay committed.


When you look at an unhealthy food, or when you want to skip the gym to sleep – you have to look at it as a choice to either move in a positive (north) direction, or a negative (south) direction. Every action has an outcome because behavior never lies.


This program helps you believe that you can do anything for 42 days.


I see the world in a whole new light now after completing Project 42. I now hear excuses like they are in bolded letters – and I try very hard to not let them slip out of my own mouth. “I want to lose weight BUT…” I’ve gotten that one a lot from people. Internally, I’m rolling my eyes – because I now realize there is NO excuse to not take care of your body. I now look at food differently, it’s now fuel for the fire – not for indulgence. Exercising isn’t a chore now, it’s an opportunity to make a better me.


In the last 42 days this is how I made friends with INCONVENIENCE:

  • I woke up at 5am (I’m not a morning person)
  • I went to bed at 9pm almost every night (I missed my tv shows)
  • I sacrificed time with family/friends (I missed out on fun activities)
  • Weekends were busy with food shopping, cooking, cleaning, and week planning (Pushing time management to it’s fullest)
  • I warmed up a meal on my car dashboard heater (well, I didn’t want it cold!)
  • I ate green beans and chicken at 11pm (had to fit in those 5 meals!)
  • I ate a salad with my fingers (I forgot a fork?)
  • I practically lived out of a gym bag for 42 days
  • I got bronchitis week 5-6 ( still went to the gym every day, wheeze and all)
  • I pushed myself harder in the gym than I ever thought possible (and sweat more than I ever thought possible too)

All in the name of making a BIG change.


At one point, probably around week 3 or 4 I started to feel a change in my mind and body. I felt more confident, more awake and healthier. My clothes were starting to fit different. Then, around week 4-6 everyone else started noticing. I have never been good with taking compliments, but the “you look great” comments were flooding in. To me, I saw myself every day and didn’t see the difference- so I was skeptic if they were just filler conversation, or sincere. Also I didn’t know what was the appropriate response? I just kept saying “I’m trying really hard”, because it was the truth.  Now that I see my end results, I realize that they were all sincere.


I can’t say enough kind words about every single one of the trainers at Well Rounded Health & Fitness… Jeramy, Kim, Rich, Kyle, Steve and even the intern Nick “Superman”. They’re there to push you to your 100% each and every day. They’re there to teach you about how the body works, how to properly do an exercise, to turn the dial up on every machine, to make you laugh even though you’re on the edge of puking, or to hand you a heavier weight because they believe in what you can do. I’ve never found myself in an atmosphere at a gym where everyone is encouraging, positive and always trying to take the next step. Working under Jeramy Freeman was an honor, he is an expert in his field and I take every word he says to heart. Jeramy has PROVEN that this system works, that he has the knowledge to lead you there and that he has the background to help you become your own extraordinary.


Also, I’d like to remark on how great the facility itself is. You know how they say “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Well, I truly believe you can judge a gym by it’s locker room. I’ve done the Syracuse tour of gyms – tried many unmentioned facilities, but I have never come across one this nice! The locker rooms are upscale and equipped with lockers, showers, changing rooms, bathrooms, a SAUNA and a STEAM ROOM! There’s nothing better than pushing your hardest at the gym and then going in for some relaxing sauna time. Not to mention everything you need except a towel is there for you to use. Not only are the locker rooms nice, but there a variety of different cardio machines, a whole strength training room, an on-site massage therapist and a room where all the Project 42 magic happens. It’s clean, set up well, and most importantly to me – I never have felt like the odd man out. Often at other gyms, I feel like everyone’s lined up and staring at you, that has never been the case at Well Rounded Health & Fitness and I think it’s because we all have the same goal in mind, to live a healthier lifestyle.


Over the last 42 days, everyone doing Project 42 has become like a family. A group of people that realize that it takes hard work to accomplish anything worth achieving. We’ve stood by eachother when we’re pushing ourselves to the max, or when we need extra encouragement. We’ve shared recipes, and insightful words. Everyone is on the Iam WellRounded Facebook, so getting to see their daily updates lifts you up if you’re having a bad day because you see that there is a community of  people in the same boat as you, working for the same goals.


Project 42 isn’t about losing the most weight on the scale. It’s about re-sculpting your body and FEELING better… putting on muscle and losing body fat. It took me a while to understand that. My midway body comps were a little disappointing number wise (because I always strive for the best), but I was feeling great. Now, after the 42 days – I realize that it’s not about the numbers at all.


Below is a before an after picture of myself. Proving to everyone, that if you set your mind to it, you can achieve anything!

Green, Red, White, and Blue

March 09, 2013

Hello again from the weekend guy, and I’m getting a bit whimsical as I watch people dressed in green heading to the St. Patrick’s parade.  It reminds me of the many I’ve attended through the years, some on typical March afternoons (rain, sleet, snow, wind) and others on days like today, with lots of sun and not a cloud in the sky. 

Personally, I do not have Irish blood running through me, but my wife does.  Syracuse’s West Side has a long history rich with the Irish culture, and green isn’t just a color, its a statement.  Just take a look at the upside-down traffic light and recall the tale of the Stone Throwers to realize our Irish roots run deep. 

While I take note to recognize the Irish today, we in Syracuse are now representative of many different cultures.  Our friends and neighbors now represent a wide swath of cultures and people, further adding to the tapestry that makes up our community.  Today we feature a parade down Salina Street, but on any summer weekend, you can attend any one of a number of festivals that feature food, dancing, music, artwork, and religion (or, no religion at all).  I’ve attended many, and can’t say I favor one over the other.   All are unique, interesting, and fun.

Now here’s where I get a bit patriotic.  The reason for all of this, being able to openly assemble and celebrate and speak freely,  is because of the great country where we live.  We’re free to gather and celebrate our similarities, and what makes us unique.  Today, being unique means wearing a green hat or glasses, raising a glass in a toast, or talking proudly about where you’re from. 

It makes me proud to live in Syracuse, USA.


Follow the bouncing ball?

February 23, 2013

Hi Folks, weekend guy Keith K. here, pondering the big game on the SU hill today.  Sports talk within the Galaxy family is usually saved for our sister stations that air the games and provide a place to talk about the games too.  But when it comes to SU basketball, I think we can talk here too. 

You know how I know?  My mom. 

When I spoke to her on the phone the other day, she asked me what I thought about the Orange this year, and if they have what it takes to go to the Final Four.  My mom is as far from a sports fan as you can imagine, but the SU basketball team has captured her attention, as it has the attention of tens of thousands of us.  At least 35-thousand plus will be at the Carrier Dome for the final home Big East contest against Georgetown. 

I can remember as a teen watching and listening to the games on the radio. Those games were played at Manley Field House, and everyone at school would be talking about the game the next day, so not watching, was not an option. 

Fast forward to 2013 and that conversation with my mom.  It hit me that as a city and community, we tie a lot to the local sports team.  When they do well and climb the polls, people here pay attention.  It gives us a reason to wear orange.  It gives us pride.  It gives us something to talk about at the water cooler.   It gives us a reason to feel good, a shared experience that is uniquely Central New York. 

And, it gives me the chance to talk sports, with my mom.


Try a NEW activity every week!

February 11, 2013

Have you ever been snowshoeing? Have you ever cooked sushi?

I am a firm believer in trying to find new things every week to enjoy! I’ll go to a comedy show, or go see the Silver Knights soccer team play – just to try something new. You never know if you’ll like something if you don’t even give it a chance! Sometimes, I might not be so hot on the activity (especially making sushi – just buy it!) but other times, it’s cool to push yourself  out of your comfort zone and try something new!

This weekend, my “chance” was given to ice fishing. Some of my friends are avid ice fishers, and this weekend was the Erieville Ice Fishing Derby – so I figured I’d give it a try. First of all, to prepare I had so many layers on you couldn’t tell if I was a lady or a man. Long johns, sweat pants, snow pants (or the intention of, but that’s a whole other story) hoodies, coats, gloves, scarves – I was going to be in the cold for hours in the middle of a lake, I needed to be prepared! Walking on the ice is the first challenge – slipping, drudging through the 8+ inches of snow we got the day before, it seemed like the set-up was miles away. Thankfully I had some experienced ice fishermen with me who wanted to teach me how to do it. I got to learn all about baiting the line, hooking the fish, and most importantly – beers in a can make a slushy almost instantly while ice fishing.

After two hours of sitting, literally staring at a hole (with only one bite) I came up empty handed. The other fishermen I was with did catch a couple. Here’s a picture of my friend with a small mount bass (unfortunately out of season so it went back into the lake)

I must admit, I did spend a good hour of the time on the ice in a nice heated shelter … it still counts, right? I had a pole in the lake for two hours!

Here’s the important factor (at least for me), it’s not the activity itself that makes something enjoyable, it’s the company you keep.

Go out and try something new this week!