Life Alive Giveaway Winners

Before I get to the winners of the giveaway, I have to say THANK YOU, again, for all of your sweet and thoughtful comments on my anniversary post. Seriously, you guys are the best! I appreciate all of the suggestions you had for things you’d like to see, as well as compliments on your favorite parts of B2B. I definitely plan on getting more workout videos on the blog this year, some yoga flows and a lot more at-home, quick, no equipment necessary workouts since that was one of the biggest suggestions.

With that said I used a random number generator and the following people have won themselves each a $20 gift card to Life Alive Café:

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Congrats Breezy and Athena!! Please email me with your mailing address so I can get these out to you!! burpeestobubbly {at} gmail {dot} com (unless you plan on coming to kickboxing on March 1st, then I can hand deliver them 😉 )

I have another really fun giveaway going up on the blog in a few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled 😉

I hope you all have a wonderful day and weekend, friends. And a big thanks to everyone who has reached out to me via texts, emails, FB messages, etc. to see how I’m holding up after my recent skin condition. I’ll share more about what I was going through next week, but I wanted to say that things are seemingly on the mend at this point and the bad tests have come back negative, so I’m trying to focus on that. Hugs to you all (it’s not contagious… I promise!).

“You workout… you can eat what you want”

“You workout… you can eat what you want”

Have any of you heard this line before? My boss brought in a bunch of Girl Scout cookies into the office last week and I politely declined saying I wasn’t hungry and I had hit a sweets quota over the weekend when I worked at a chocolate fundraising event. His response? “Monique, you work out all the time. You can eat a cookie… or 5… and be fine.” Well, he’s probably right, but does that make it ok? Does the fact that I workout mean that I can eat what I want and not have to worry? Well, no. It doesn’t.

I’ve heard that 90% of how you look is what you eat. It’s what you put into your body. What you’re fueling yourself with. If your diet is made up of constant pizza, ice cream, cheese burgers and French fries, you’re going to have to work out a lot longer than a few hours a day to try and counteract that, right? And, if that is your diet on a consistent basis, do you think you’ll have the energy and motivation to get to the gym to “work it off”? Probably not. I know when I have off days with eating where I find myself eating greasy food, chips and sweets, it brings my mood down, makes me cranky and also makes me lethargic. On the other hand, when I have a day where I fuel myself properly with fruits, veggies, yogurt, nuts, etc., my energy is usually cranking and I want to get to the gym to keep the healthy feeling going. When I look and feel good because of what I’ve eaten and what I’ve been doing at the gym, it serves as motivation to keep doing those things.

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But this doesn’t always happen and sometimes we all fall off the wagon, right? It may just be a day or a few days, and while those aren’t going to throw away all of the hard work you’ve done to look and feel good (just like eating a cookie), it’s important to get yourself back on track to where you’re eating foods that make you feel good.IMG_5652

The point is, I workout hard and often because I love it and because I like to look and feel my best. I realize that having a cookie isn’t going to throw all of my hard work away, but the mind frame of “I workout so I can eat what I want”, could throw it away over time, or not give you the results you’re looking for after spending day after day at the gym (side note: my friend, Mary, wrote an awesome guest post on Athena’s blog talking about her “Journey to Fit” and when she had her “ah ha” moment about not being able to out-exercise her diet, she started to see the changes she wanted. It’s definitely worth a read if you haven’t read it yet). If you’re making the time to get to the gym with the goal to get stronger, leaner and more toned, you really need to commit to that and fuel your body to help foster that change.

Here are some ways I fuel my body to help make me look and feel good, as well as prepare me for my workouts:

  • Eat lots of veggies- I bring a salad for lunch at work every day, making sure to load it up with veggies, spinach, protein (chicken or turkey or eggs), healthy fats (avocado or nuts) and dairy (cheese). I also make sure my dinners have loads of veggies in them.
  • Eat lots of fruit- I have a banana, apple and berries on a daily basis. To go with my salad for lunch at work, I have a Greek yogurt with berries and chia seeds. This lunch helps keep me satisfied for at least a few hours.

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  • Eat healthy fats- I always have almonds with me for a snack, as well as almond butter and/or peanut butter. I also try to eat avocados whenever I can.
  • Dairy- I know there’s a lot of debate on whether or not we need dairy in our diets, but since I don’t have any issues with it, I enjoy that piece of my diet. I love cereal and have it almost daily. I recently made the switch to 1% milk instead of Skim and it’s such a difference… for the better!
  • Protein! Since I’m at the gym so much, I really need to make sure I’m eating enough protein to support my growing muscles. I’ve contemplated adding a protein powder into my diet, but haven’t made that jump yet. For now, I’m making sure I eat plenty of nut butters, lean chicken or other meats, eggs, etc.

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With that said, I’m not strict with my diet and I have cheat days, too. I don’t restrict anything from my diet, but I am trying to cut back on sweets. I was good over the summer, but over the past 3-4 months, my sweet tooth has been out of control, which is part of the reason why I turned down the cookie. It was 10am and the last thing I needed to do was crank up my sweet tooth at that time of the day. I’ll never cut out sweets entirely because I love them too much, but cutting back and getting rid of the cravings is my goal over the next few months.

So, I want to hear from you! Do people give you a hard time when you turn down an indulgence (sweets, chips, fried food, etc.)? How do you handle that? How do you fuel your body for your workouts and day to day activities? What’s one piece of your diet that you swear by the most? What’s your biggest weakness- sweets or savory foods? Any tips you want to share that help you stay on track with your eating and workouts?

**Side note… when I say “diet”, I mean what you eat on a daily basis and things you try to incorporate or leave out. I don’t mean a “diet” where you’re counting calories or points or restricting yourself or anything like that. I don’t believe in those types of diets because I think if you eat REAL foods (staying away from over-processed snacks, meals, etc.), 80-90% of the time, you deserve to have 10-20% of your diet to be a little less structured (I stay on track all week, but on the weekends, if I want a beer with lunch or French fries with my sandwich instead of a salad… I do it. We all deserve to indulge a little, otherwise we’ll end up binging in the long run.).

Wednesday Workout: Tone Your Tush! {without equipment!}

I’m really enjoying reading through your entries and comments on my giveaway post. I love hearing things you’d like to see more of on my blog, and one of the things that seemed to be a common request was more at home, no equipment necessary workouts. I couldn’t agree more! While I like posting the workouts I teach, I understand that many of you reading the blog are probably looking for shorter, equipment free workouts you can squeeze in before or after work. So, my goal is to start posting more workouts like this for you- starting today! This workout focuses on your legs and glutes, but I did throw in some optional core work in there, because let’s be honest, we can always use a little extra core work, right? The time intervals go as follows:

  • 60 seconds- strength. If you want to use weights, feel free, but the workout is meant to be a body weight workout, so explore your range of motion, speed of the exercises, etc. Try to get deeper with your squats or lunges, try to squeeze harder as you lift, try to stay lower in your pulses. Take it up a notch in this workout!
  • 40 seconds- cardio. The cardio moves I chose compliment the strength moves- gotta love the double burn!
  • 20 seconds- pulsing. If you didn’t feel the burn yet, you’ll feel it in this piece!

You have the option to do each set once through, twice through or three times through. You can do all 2 or 3 rounds of each set before moving on to the next, OR you can do each set once through and then repeat all of the sets again in a circuit format. Lots of options!

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All of these moves are pretty basic, but if you have questions, just shoot me a message and I’d be glad to explain!

Questions for you: Do you like working your upper or lower body more? Is this the type of workout you’re looking to see on the blog? Do you like body weight workouts?

Indoor Cycling at Flywheel

If you read my post on my experience at Recycle Studio, it’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of indoor cycling. In fact, I don’t know if I can go back to regular spinning. I love the experience that indoor cycling classes bring: loud music, crazy good energy, great choreography AND the addition of weights for some upper body work and sometimes even core work. When I workout- unless I’m planning to just do lower or upper body or core workouts- I like to leave the gym or studio feeling like I had a total body workout. I feel like indoor cycling accomplishes that far more than just a regular spin class. It’s more bang for your buck (and that’s necessary when you’re dropping $$$ on boutique studio classes) and I’m all about that.

With that said, it was a no brainer that I wanted to go to a blogger event that was being hosted at Flywheel last weekend. I’m on a serious “boutique studio” kick, whether it be barre, yoga, indoor cycling, bootcamps (you get the idea), so having a chance to try out a “new” studio without having to pay the hefty class fee the boutique studios charge was pretty awesome.

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Anyway! I headed to the Prudential Center at 1pm last Saturday for the event. I love blogging events because it’s so fun to meet other bloggers and hear about what they blog about and to make that connection with each other. I was stoked to see Stacey and Sarah, as well as meet a bunch of new ones (Lucie was a total sweetheart and I want to have her do fitness photos of me!).

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I was surprised to see how big the room was! I feel like boutique studios are often on the smaller side and space seems to always be limited (I had to sign up a week in advance for a class at Recycle!), but I think Flywheel had over 40 bikes set up in a stadium seating manner and I can only imagine what the energy would feel like if the room was packed- I love that!

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I was a little nervous going into the event because I heard that they post your speeds up on monitors… ummm, while I am very competitive, I wasn’t stoked about this because spinning/cycling isn’t my thing and I didn’t want that type of competition to hinder my experience. The instructor did use the monitors, but I liked that she only displayed our speeds when she wanted us to push ourselves. It really does serve as great motivation and I’m happy to say I didn’t get caught up on the rankings! My legs were beat from having taught kickboxing earlier in the day, so I knew I wasn’t able to give the ride my all and I was ok with that.

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Flywheel was different from Recycle in that the rides were not as choreographed at Flywheel as they were at Recycle. The rides at Flywheel were more interval based, which was a nice change and they definitely pushed my boundaries and forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I loved that the bikes had little screens so you could see your level (torque), RPMs and power. I’m a big numbers person, so being able to know where I should be level and RPM-wise helps me pace myself and push myself.

We used weight sticks for upper body strength training for 1 song and I loved it. My arms didn’t burn as much as they did during Lindsay’s arm song in her Recycle class, but it was still a good burn. We didn’t incorporate any core or chest exercises at Flywheel like we did at Recycle, but I think that’s the difference between the two: Flywheel is more interval based and Recycle was more total body/choreographed… or at least that’s how it seemed to me based off of my experience at both.

What I love about Flywheel is the fact that they offer a “first class free” pass, which I think is SO important at these boutique studios. Classes are expensive and I think a lot of people don’t even try it out because they don’t want to drop $25-$30 on an hour long class (which I totally get, I’m just a sucker for new fitness classes and know (hope) that the classes will be worth the money… which they usually are!), so offering a first class free option is a great way to get people in the door!

All in all, I loved my experience at Flywheel and definitely look forward to going back, maybe with my sister since she’s been spinning lately and would love to take advantage of a free class pass!

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Also, big thanks to Jessica for setting up such a fun blogger event! And big thanks to City Sports and all the other vendors who provided the best goodie bag treats. I’m a sucker for free things AND treats, so goodie bags are like my favorite things 😉

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So, if you’re looking for a fun place to workout and get an incredible workout (seriously, my quads were BURNING and I was soaked by the end!), definitely head on over to Flywheel and you can snag your first class free!

Questions for you: Have you been to Flywheel? What’s your favorite type of spin class? Intervals/Endurance/Choreographed/Song Tempo? Are you a sucker for giveaways?

This Week: Workouts, Snow Frustration & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Thank you all so much for your kind words and great suggestions on my 1 year anniversary post. You have no idea how much it means to me… seriously! You guys are the best!! There’s still more time to enter the giveaway, so head on over and enter to win it!

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Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was ok. Friday night I had a blast getting drinks and apps with my sister and my upstairs neighbor, Lisa. It ended up being an eventful night, but very fun! Saturday was full of fitness and baking since my evening plans got cancelled because of the snow and Sunday was quiet and low key because I was super uncomfortable from a weird skin breakout on top of my Chilblains. Yeah. Wasn’t fun at all.

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I’ve got to say, though, the snow has really been cramping my style and my plans. I love the snow and I love winter, but I hate the stress that it adds: worrying about whether or not classes will be cancelled, worrying about parking, getting disappointed because plans end up being cancelled because of the weather… it’s just getting old! Anyone else feel this way? What’s the thing about winter/snow storms that stresses you out the most or makes you the most upset?

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I subbed a kickboxing class at the Watertown BSC. It was a big group AND no one left… that’s a personal record for me at that gym 😉 Before teaching I did 15 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes of abs.
  • Tuesday- I went to the Muscle Mix class at the gym in my building. We used the Reebok core boards which was a fun treat! It was the same sub as last week (who was awkward) and she was still crazy this week. She also kept telling us to “suck in our guts” and to not let them hang over out pants. I found that offensive and just not really appropriate. I understand the point she’s trying to make, but I think she could approach it differently. Thoughts?
  • Wednesday- I ran a quick 3 miles on the treadmill (and changed the incline from 1-5%, which upped the intensity) and then taught UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- The BSC cancelled ALL classes, which has never happened in the time I’ve worked there. Literally. Even in the blizzard last year they didn’t cancel classes. It was such a shocker!! On the one hand, I was happy that I didn’t have to deal with getting there and getting home, but on the other hand I was sad to miss out on my double 😩 I ended up doing 30 minutes of kickboxing and 30 minutes of strength in my apartment. Perfect.
  • Friday- Rest! I did 10 minutes of yoga to stretch out and wished I had 60 minutes to stretch. It felt so good!
  • Saturday- Big day of fitness. I taught kickboxing in the morning (sorry to the front row if my sweat smelled like wine… whoops!), which ended up being a pretty intense cardio class. Later in the day, I went to a blogger event at Flywheel. Boy were my legs beat by the end of that!!
  • Sunday- Rest. I wasn’t planning on resting, but my Chilblains came out in full force from Friday night to Sunday. It’s terrible and I need to go back to the dermatologist. My fingers were so painful it hurt to bend them… and it spread to my toes. I know I could have it much worse, but I was pretty miserable yesterday, to say the least. I cleaned, grocery shopped, food prepped and caught up on blogging instead. Sometimes rest like that is just necessary.

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I’m not sure what I’ll do today… I might have even gotten my workout in by the time this blog post goes up!
  • Tuesday- If I don’t go to the Muscle Mix class (I have a call right before it so I may not be able to make it), I’ll lift after work probably.
  • Wednesday- Treadmill run and then teaching UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- Teaching SHRED and Kickboxing. At least my workouts are already made 😉
  • Friday- I’d love to get in 30 minutes of at home yoga!
  • Saturday- I have no idea! I’m not teaching and don’t have any other plans. Maybe I’ll go to Recycle studio or BodyPump or Core Fusion. I love open weekend days 🙂
  • Sunday- Again, no idea. Apparently my week is very open in terms of workouts…. I like that!

Things I’m Looking Forward To

Hmmm… I’m looking forward to getting a chance to have flexibility with my workouts this week. Hopefully I’ll be able to try out new classes or workouts. My Valentine’s plans last weekend ended up being cancelled because of the weather, so hopefully they’ll get rescheduled this week. Other than that, I’m feeling really blah. I’m trying not to let this whole Chilblains stuff bother me, but it is. It’s just painful and frustrating and it makes me nervous. I know I could be facing things much worse than I am, but it just seems like I can’t win lately. Literally, I feel like it’s been one thing after another in the past 2 weeks and it’s really starting to get to me. I need to get back to the doctors ASAP, because on top of the Chilblains, I also have some weird bumps all over my body… almost like bug bites. I don’t think I have bed bugs (I looked) and I changed my sheets, but they’re getting worse. My skin hates me and I’m looking forward to the day when it’s back to normal.

So, sorry about my womp womp attitude, but I just don’t like when my body isn’t working correctly. It makes me nervous, but hopefully after seeing the doctor I’ll feel better.

Questions for you: Has the snow interrupted your workout plans? Have you ever been offended by something an instructor has said? What are you looking forward to this week?