Wednesday Workout: 20 Minute Kettlebell AMRAP Workout

Hi! I’ve got a great workout to share with you today. I did it yesterday when I went to the gym during my lunch break and it literally kicked my butt! In a good way, of course ;) I was huffing and puffing throughout the exercises and rounds and felt entirely spent by the end- a sign of a good workout, right?

One thing I want to challenge you to do if you try this: GO HEAVY your weight selection. Of course, I don’t want you to injure yourself by choosing inappropriately heavy weights, but if you don’t feel tired when you complete the number of reps listed out for each exercise by the time you finish them, it’s probably a sign you’re stronger than you think you are and can increase your weight. I promise- you won’t get bulky (more on that in a post to come!).

I used a 16kg (about 35 lbs) weight for the swings and half of the burpee/upright rows and used a 12kg (about 26 lbs) weight for all the other exercises. By the end of each exercise, I was tired and out of breath and was happy it was time to switch because I didn’t know how many more reps I could do! Because of the challenging weight choice (for me, anyway), I was only able to get through 3 rounds, but I was happier with 3 rounds where I really felt challenged than 5 where I felt like I could’ve kept going. But, to each their own!

20 minute KB AMRAP workout

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San Francisco: Part 1 Recap

Can I please go back to San Francisco? If you could plan out a perfect weekend getaway, it would be exactly the weekend I had with a few of my girlfriends while in San Francisco a few weekends ago. Everything from the travel itself to the weather to the company to the city was so awesome. Since I’ve got lots of pictures and things to recap, I’ll break them up so that the post isn’t ridiculously long- enjoy!


I had an 8:30 flight and since I live a mile from the airport, I had time to get up and do a little workout before calling a cab. I did 20 minutes of random cardio moves and ended with a fun combo: 10 burpees, 1 hand release push-up… 9 burpees, 2 hand release push-ups… 8 burpees, 3 hand release push-ups… and so on until I did 1 burpee and 10 hand release push-ups. It was way more challenging than I thought and my arms were spent by the end!

I packed up my healthy snacks and got to the airport with ease.

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Weekending: The Gagnons Do Boston

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine, per usual, went way too quickly. I still have San Francisco to recap for you, but for now, let’s do a little weekend recap!

Friday night, RM and I headed into the city to have a sushi dinner at Douzo. It feels like it’s been ages since we had a Friday night date night, and since we aren’t eating meat on Fridays (Lent), it was a great excuse to get out and do a sushi date night. Per usual, the food was fantastic. We shared a few rolls and sashimi pieces and had their spicy garlic coated edamame which is absolutely delicious! Paired with a few glasses of rose and good conversation, it made for a great night!

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Oh, and tempura bananas and ice cream to finish the night? Perfection.


Saturday morning started with my cardio kickboxing class which is always my favorite way to start the day! But what I was really excited about on Saturday was the fact that my parents were coming down for the night. My sister used her points and got them a night at the Renaissance, so she, her boyfriend, RM and I headed in around 6 to meet for a pre-dinner drink and then dinner at 75 on Liberty Wharf. Have you ever been there? It’s right on the water next to Jerry Remy’s and it’s a cute, tiny little restaurant with delicious food! We all loved our meals- everything from the steak tip salad to salmon to seafood stew to a burger and my Jambalaya, was just awesome.



Post dinner, we headed over to Whiskey Priest because mom wanted to go dancing. I hadn’t been there in years, and it didn’t take long for me to realize why: it’s such a young crowd!! But, they had a great live band and we had so much fun dancing and meeting people. Guess that’s what happens when you bring your cute little mom to the bar ;)

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“I’m a guy magnet!”- Sue Gags herself. We did not know these guys, but she had guys and girls dancing with her all night!


Even though I stayed out way later than I anticipated and drank more than I would’ve liked, it was seriously such a fun night. I’m so lucky to have parents who love coming to the city and going out and having fun.

Sunday morning had a very lazy start, which was perfect. And these healthy pancakes? The best RM has ever made!


All in all, such a fun weekend! I was so sad last night when I knew it was coming to an end.

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Where do you go dancing? Have you ever been to 75 on Liberty Wharf?


Wednesday Workout: San Francisco Total Body Stair Workout

Good morning! I’m popping in quickly today with a fun workout my friend Amanda and I did when we were vacationing in San Francisco last weekend. I have so much to recap for you from my trip, but this week has turned into a crazy week between having a flat tire to deal with, laundry/unpacking and so much work at work, so those recaps will have to wait until things slow down a bit.

I’ve shared before how I stay healthy while on the road, so it shouldn’t be surprised that I worked out while on vacation. I think it’s such a great way to see a city, give you energy for the day and help you stay a little bit on track. I never workout to my normal intensity and if something comes up and I don’t get to my workout, I don’t stress about it, but for me, getting in a little sweat sesh while on vacation just helps set the tone for my day because it’s something I love to do.

Luckily, my friend Amanda enjoys being active, too, so she was totally game for a workout. Because of the insane hills and a little jetlag, I opted for something other than a traditional run. We ended up at a park and when I saw the most insane set of stairs, I knew exactly what we would do: run them! We ran up, did some core/upper body/lower body exercises, then went back down. We did this 10 times and our legs were shaking by the end. And the next day? I felt like I had been walking on the highest of high heels for 4 days straight- our calves were SO incredibly sore. I’ve never felt anything like it, but can only attribute it to running up the stairs on the balls of my feet and then walking around, up and down all the hills, etc.

San Francisco Total Body Stair Workout

To change it up, Amanda and I alternated from running every step to running every other step. By the end, though, we definitely were moving a lot slower up the stairs. I mean, look at these things:

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But, the view at the top is totally worth it, right?

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I felt so thankful for the beautiful weather, a friend who was interested in working out and soaking it up with me, and for sweating out my hangover ;)

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Of course, this workout can be done even if you aren’t in San Francisco with crazy good views, it’s just more fun when you are :)

Questions for you: Do you workout while on vacation? Do you like to workout outside? Do you run stairs?

Guest Post: Fitness As A Lifestyle

Good morning! Today is my last day in San Francisco and since I usually post something fitness related on Mondays, I thought this guest post would be perfect. This is an incredibly motivating story from my friend, Lauren. Lauren and I were roommates in college and have shared so many good memories together. I wanted her to guest post today to share her story of recent transformation. Although she has lost 12 pounds and look fantastic, I think is even more amazing about her story is her mindset towards food, working out and adopting a more healthy lifestyle. Her confidence now radiates and it’s so great to see her so happy with herself and her accomplishment. I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did!


Fitness as a Lifestyle

Facebook post on February 8, 2015: “The Best. Feeling. Ever. is to have someone ask you, “Did you lose weight?” The only reason I’ve heard that recently is one word: Beachbody, & the exact reason why I chose to become a Beachbody Coach! I’m finishing up on Day 21 of my 21 Day Fix tomorrow, and I can’t tell you how much better I feel now than I did just a few short weeks ago. (Not to mention having the luxury of working out at home during these 5 snow days in the past 3 weeks (& not have to clear my car off to head to the gym!) Summer bodies are made in the Winter & I’m dreaming of SUMMER! Want to know more? Just ask! : )”

What a month it has been! I went from one extreme to the other. I never cooked. I didn’t go to the grocery store. (I still don’t know what exactly I ate the past year.) I didn’t know the difference between protein vs. good fats and bad fats. My acceptance of “quick fast food” and poor planning led me to a place that I never thought I would be: self-conscious and not confident in my own health.

How long does it take to create a habit? 28 days? After this past month, I’m thinking it only takes 21 days. I just completed the first round of the Beachbody program the “21 Day Fix”. I was skeptical at first, as I had never tried a “program” before. I played sports all throughout high school and college, but never kept with anything since besides cardio and classes at the local gym ( or with Monique, which always were great workouts!!). I went to the gym because I knew I should and did enjoy running (when the weather was nice), but after the holidays and with the shorter days and less daylight, I was feeling less-than-great. I saw my friend’s post on Facebook about her success with Beachbody, and immediately felt as though it could be something I was interested in. (Note: This was in October 2014.) My excuse then was that I was traveling for work and didn’t think I had time to commit to a fitness and nutrition plan; I was right. Life seems to be more and more about timing as I approach turning 30… :P If there is one thing I know, if I don’t want to do something, I will be creating 5 excuses why I shouldn’t do it – rather than look at the positive, and have ONE good reason why I should.

Why I Did It: The holidays came and went, and what was left was an excess of 10+ pounds that I was not OK with keeping. Early January 2015 I reached out to my now Beachbody Coach and said I was ready. I signed up for Team Beachbody, and purchased the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack with Shakeology to make my best attempt at changing my lifestyle.

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The 21 Day Fix did just that.

My outlook, my lifestyle, and everything I look at now is different. The basis of the program and Beachbody is with the following philosophy: “Fitness + Nutrition + Support = Results.”

Making a lifestyle change is a choice that everyone needs to make for him or herself.

It could be little things throughout each day that you are able to do to increase your fitness and see results, such as taking the stairs or walking instead of taking a shuttle. These choices become easier the more you invest in your health and fitness, which change your lifestyle as a whole.

How I did It:

  1. Created the sample daily meal planner. This allowed me to balance my meals: Breakfast, Snack #1, Lunch, Snack #2, and Dinner according to the allotted food groups/containers and daily allowable amounts.
  2. Had ongoing “shopping lists” to ensure that I had enough food throughout the week to prep meals.
  3. Prepared meals. Using the meal plan, I would prep for the next day the night before and pack my meals and snacks for the day. (This saved me $!)
  4. 30 minute at-home *total body* DVD workouts when I came home from work (or before work on days I felt more motivated or knew I wouldn’t be able to have time after work.) Planning was key. All that was needed: yoga mat, weights (light and heavy sets) and an area to work out.
  5. Accountability through my personal Instagram account: @laurendeannabb

Now came the hard part: Posting my results! Don’t get me wrong I was so proud of myself and felt GREAT, but there was something about posting my “before” pics on social media that just didn’t sit well with me. (I was both ashamed and proud at the same time.)

Let’s take a step back here. When I first purchased 21 Day Fix I was as committed as I have ever been to a program, and more importantly: to myself. I chose to create another Instagram account just for myself to track my journey and hold myself personally accountable for the next 21 days. When the 21 days was over, and I compared my “before” picture to my “after”, I was amazed and completely IN. It is a feeling that (I hope) will become addictive. The results were a combination of the program, my determination, and no one can ever take that away from me. Best. Feeling. Ever. I then opened up my personal progress Instagram account for those that wanted to follow my journey and see my progress. To my surprise I had 50 followers within the first 24 hours!

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Before Pic (Left) – Taken 1/19/15

After Pic (Right) – Taken 2/9/15 (Down 12 lbs)

Once my results picture was out on Instgram I began to receive calls/txts/emails from a number of people congratulating me on my hard work, and more importantly saying that I inspired them to take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. This was such a great feeling. : )

What Now?

I have taken a few days off and had my share of wine and pasta, and realized that having all of the “extras” hasn’t made me feel any better. I miss the daily workouts, my Shakeology, and my overall healthier lifestyle. This was the realization for me. It doesn’t matter when your decision to live healthier happens, as long as it does happen. Life is too short.

I will be starting my 2nd round of the 21 Day Fix challenge soon, and invite anyone to join me! Please visit my website to learn more about any of the Beachbody programs. I’m not here to “sell” you the product (these products sell themselves based on the results alone). My purpose would be as your Coach throughout your journey. Beachbody programs range in length, and commitment requirements, but all the tools you will need to succeed will be given to you. Isn’t life all what we make of it, anyways? :P

What I’ve learned over the past 3 weeks:

1) Planning is key. Planning gives you control and stability in your life. Let’s face it – there are so many things in life we CAN’T CONTROL, so why not keep what we CAN CONTROL- positive and healthy?
2) I CAN COOK! (And I’m not bad at it!)
3) I have found myself learning more about a healthy diet, and I can see my LIFESTYLE change – not only my diet.
4) Workouts have become acceptable in the comfort of my own home and I am seeing RESULTS.
5) I’m saving $$$. I used to stop and grab a coffee/bagel, eat out for lunch, and grab dinner/drinks. With pre-planning my meals I know the food I am eating is healthy, I’m saving $ throughout the week, and I’m not “drinking” extra calories.

Everything from my confidence and knowledge, to my digestion has improved. This was the change I needed, and I want to thank Monique for allowing me to share what I have experienced with all of you! : ) Thanks for reading, and I enjoyed sharing my story with you all! Please let me know if you have any feedback/questions. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

All the best for a happy, healthy, 2015!

Lauren Deanna
Team Beachbody Coach

Instagram: @laurendeannabb


Blog Post Questions:
• Have you worked with a Beachbody product before?
• If so, how did you like it? Which one?
• What do you do now that you previously weren’t doing before as part of a “healthy” lifestyle?


So, what did you guys think of Lauren’s post and story? It’s pretty awesome, right? Thank you so much for doing a guest post for me, Lauren- I’m SO proud of you and your accomplishments over the past month. It’s amazing what eating well and working out will do for your mind, body and general outlook on and approach to life.