Wednesday Workout: Jumping Jack & Total Body Blast

Happy Wednesday, friends! How about the nasty weather yesterday? On the one hand it was nice to be WFH, but on the other hand it made it hard to want to work; nasty weather like that just makes me want to curl up and watch movies all day (even though I don’t know the last time I’ve ever done that!).

Today’s workout is great for a rainy day when you don’t want to go to the gym/leave the house. I did this a few weeks ago with a pair of dumbbells- easy enough! The way the workout works is that each circuit will have jumping jacks, a lower body exercise, an upper body exercise and a core exercise- a classic full body workout. You’ll complete each circuit 3 times and it took me just about 30-35 minutes which was perfect for an early morning workout.

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I think everything should be fairly standard, but the one thing you might not recognize is the table top crunch, which I got from Lauren. To do this you start on your back with your feet in the table top position and a weight in your hands. You want to make sure you keep your core tight and your lower back pressed to the ground as you crunch up & pretend to place the weight on your shins. SLDL= single leg deadlift. If you need explanation on anything else, just let me know in the comments!

I really enjoyed this workout- I hope you try it!

Also ,the weather looks decent for tonight and tomorrow night so if you’re planning your workouts, consider joining me for my 5K bootcamp tonight and fighters conditioning tomorrow night. Both are in the seaport district by Gather/District hall and tonight is at 6pm and tomorrow night is at 5:30pm.

Questions for you: Do you take advantage of rainy days and curl up to the TV or with a book if your schedule allows for it? Do you still try and get a workout in? What’s a cardio move you like?

Some Food For Thought…

Over the weekend, I attended parts of the Boston MANIA event in Danvers, MA. MANIA is a big fitness convention allowing fitness professionals to get together, learn from the “experts” and gain some continuing education credits. This was my 3rd MANIA event, and while I think it can be beneficial, I think it will be my last time attending. I’ve noticed that not much changes in terms of presentations/sessions from year to year and I didn’t feel like I gained much in the way of new fitness tips/exercises that I can use in my classes.

However, on Saturday afternoon I opted to switch from a battle ropes class (because it was seemingly the same as it was a few years ago when I took it) to a session called “What Do I Eat”, which was lead by Bruce and Mindy Mylrea. Mindy is the creator of Tabata Bootcamp and she and her husband have transformed their diet over the past 5 years to being a primarily whole food plant based diet. While this isn’t necessarily the diet/lifestyle for me, I always enjoy learning more about this way of life from people who have spent years researching, experimenting and living a certain lifestyle.

There were many parts of the presentation that I really enjoyed, but I think what I liked the most was their approach to working with and helping clients who want to lose weight. Rather than telling them they can’t have something (because deprivation always has the opposite effect!), they tell them that they can, but they show them how to re-prioritize what they’re eating. It was a super simple concept, which is exactly why I wanted to share it with you; as my girls Lauren and Athena always say: healthy doesn’t have to be hard. If you start with a few manageable changes that you feel like you could sustain for the long-haul, you’ll find that the whole process of change will be easier than if you start out by removing all the “bad” stuff.

Here’s what they shared with us:

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The idea being, start with your veggies, fruits, grains, etc. because the stomach response to stretch first and then calories so filling it up with food that takes up a lot of space without a lot of calories first will help eliminate filling up with all the high calorie foods that don’t take up a lot of space (ie: it takes eating more of that food to stretch the stomach and tell you you’re full). After that, you eat your fillers, which is probably my favorite part of the meal- I LOVE sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc. Lastly, you eat what you really want- whether that be steak, pizza, pasta, etc. By filling up on the whole, natural foods first by the time you get to your bowl of pasta, you’ll likely be too full to eat the whole dish, which is key if you’re trying to lose weight.

While listening to them speak on this, I couldn’t help but think back to pizza lunches at work. Rather than filling my plate with multiple pieces of pizza- which I know will weight me down for the rest of the afternoon- I take one plate and fill it up with salad- lots of salad! Then, I take a slice of pizza on another plate. I eat my salad- maybe even have seconds of it!- first and then make my way to the pizza. By this time, my stomach has been filling up with lots of veggies (stretch factor!) so I’m less likely to eat multiple pieces of pizza, but i still feel satisfied because I ate pizza which was what I really wanted. Win-win situation if you ask me.

I know this may seem like a no-brainer to a lot of you, but if you struggle with weight loss and dieting, maybe this will help you re-think what you’re doing and try a new approach if what you’re doing doesn’t seem to be working. Also, Lauren and Athena are great resources for this topic, too, because they believe in a similar approach to weight loss.

Questions for you: Are you someone who jumps from diet to diet or do you prefer to make lifestyle changes? Do you work better going “cold turkey” and eliminating stuff entirely or do you prefer an approach like the one above where you keep in your “guilty pleasures” (not my favorite term) but just changing your portion sizes and increasing veggies? 

Five on Friday {11.10.16}

Good morning! First off, thank you to all of our Veterans ❤ If you have today off because of Veteran’s Day, I’m jealous! But, I am working a shortish day so that I can catch a few afternoon sessions at the Boston MANIA event later today. I realized that my re-certification is due in March and I only have 7 or the 15 necessary re-cert credits so I’m hoping to get more this weekend! With that said, I have some fun things to share with you today so let’s get to it.

  • Planet Fitness in Watertown Earlier this week I had the opportunity to check out the new Planet Fitness in Watertown, conveniently located a short 5 minute walk from out apartment! RM recently joined and he said it was really big and nice and he was right- the space is HUGE and they have lots of various pieces of equipment. While a lot of the equipment is machine based- both weights and cardio machines- I was happy to see that they had a whole functional training setup in the lower area of the gym. The locker room was also really nice and they have various other perks if you get the black card membership. However, if you just want a cheap gym with no extra frills, a $10/month membership will get you just that! Can’t really beat that right? If you’re in the area and are looking for a new gym, I suggest checking out PF and if you join between Nov 9th and Nov 16th, 100% of the $10 down payment will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and STOMP Out Bullying- a very, very good cause!

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  • Bastille Kitchen Last Friday night RM and I had a date night at Bastille Kitchen in the Seaport/Fort Point area of the city. A coworker had told me it was good and she was right- everything we had was fantastic! We loved the atmosphere, the service, the menu options and the Beignets- yeah those were incredible! We started with the tuna tartar, had some Brandade Fritters and then the Braised Shortrib flatbread. I want to go back just so we can try more things!

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  • CastleArch Property Advisors If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen that RM has officially launched the start of his new company. I couldn’t be more proud of him for taking this leap of faith and finally deciding to pursue a passion rather than staying in a corporate job just for the safety and security it brings. CastleArch Property Advisors is a brokerage and investment advisory services firm, focused on the sale and leasing of commercial and investment real estate. So, in lamens terms, he helps businesses find commercial real estate for their offices/businesses. I’ve never seen him work so hard to get it up and running, but I’ve also never seen him so happy- it’s an awesome thing to watch. We’d love your support by “liking” his page on Facebook and following him on Instagram and Twitter 🙂

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  • New Office– We FINALLY made it to Ikea to pick up stuff for my new office/at home gym area. While it’s still not completely finished yet, I’m SO HAPPY with how it’s come out so far. I love the cleanness of the white and yellow- it makes for such a calming work experience. We plan on getting a treadmill or spin bike and a few extra weights which will just add to my happiness in that room 🙂

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  • New Balance Cold Weather Gear- Remember how I was asking for suggestions on good cold weather gear? Well my friends over at New Balance ended up sending me some pretty amazing pieces to try out. I’m totally obsessed with everything! This NB Heat Hybrid Jacket is perfect for outdoor activities and running errands because it’s thin and not bulky, yet because of the Polartec® Alpha® material it’s very warm! Plus, I love the mint green color. They also sent me these Performane Merino Tights, which are going to be amazingggg for the cold teaching nights ahead.

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Lastly, I was able to participate in a focus group at their headquarters recently which was SUCH a cool experience. They had me try on lots of different outfits and then they’d ask me a bunch of questions about how I felt about the style, fit, colors, design, etc. It was really neat. As a thank you they gave us a M4M Seamless Cable Pullover, which is infused with the NB Heat Technology. The fabric is unbelievable and it really did help keep me warm during a chilly run the other day.

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Lastly, I fell in love with these amazing Newbury Intensity Tights and ended up buying them because I couldn’t put them down 😉 Overall I’m loving all of my new NB goodies- they are the best!

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And that does it for me! Don’t forget to enter my giveaway over on Instagram– I’m giving away FIVE free manicure coupons. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend 🙂

Questions for you:  What do you look for when joining a gym? Have you ever been to Bastille Kitchen? Do you have any restaurants we should try? Do you have a separate office in your home? Have you bought any new fitness gear lately?

Wednesday Workout: 20 Minute AMRAP with weights

Hi there! Happy hump day 🙂 Are you having a good week so far? I’m so excited to write these posts for you because even though I have no idea if you’re enjoying them, benefiting from them or even reading them, I like adding the workouts I’ve done and enjoyed to my online “catalog”, aka, my blog 😉

I mentioned in another post recently how I’ve been enjoying tabata style workouts, especially when I’m tight on time because I know that they always kick my butt. The other day when I was at the gym during my lunch break I knew I wanted/needed just that: a short, butt-kicking workout. I’ve also been trying to bring back weight training on a more consistent basis so I made sure to pick appropriate exercises.

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By all means, nothing fancy, but it got the job done- in just 20 minutes (ok, like 25-28 with warm up & cool down 😉 ).

I’d love to know if you try this!

Questions for you; Do you enjoy these posts or do you skip the blog on my Wednesday Workout post days?

Honeymoon Recap: Sorrento & Pompeii

Part 3 of our trip was spent in Sorrento, which we got to from Ischia by another hydrofoil ride. We were so sad to leave Ischia, but were also excited to see more parts of the Amalfi Coast. I’ll be honest when I say that Sorrento was not our favorite part of the trip- not because it wasn’t beautiful, but moreso because it was a bit of a culture shock after coming from Ischia. Everything felt super touristy and way too Americanized- or catering too much to Americans. No one spoke Italian to us, even when RM would initiate the conversation in Italian.

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We also decided to skimp on the hotel a bit, which was a big mistake because our hotel (Hotel Eden) really left something to be desired, especially after having come from such a gorgeous, spacious hotel. Our travel agent warned us that it was only a 3 star, but we went ahead with it anyway with the plan that we would only be sleeping there. Unfortunately, RM was really sick for most of our 3 days in Sorrento so he/we spent more time in the room than anticipated and we were kicking ourselves for not getting a nicer hotel!

In hindsight, we should’ve just done a day trip to Sorrento since there isn’t really a ton to do/see there and everything you would want to see could be easily done in a day trip. That said, we really enjoyed the food there and ended up finding less touristy things to do so it turned out being all good. Plus, we were able to get to Pompeii really easily and that was incredible.

Where we stayed

As I mentioned, we stayed at Hotel Eden. Even though it needed some serious upgrades in parts of the hotel, it was in a really perfect location- walking distance from the major Piazza’s, restaurants, cafes, etc., which was ideal. They did have a pool which was a nice addition!

What we ate

Every meal we had in Sorrento was wonderful- there wasn’t a meal that we any complaints about!

  • Fauno Bar This is probably the biggest restaurant in Piazza Tasso (main Piazza in Sorrento) and has been around for a super long time. We were starving when we first got to the city so we popped in there and had a nice lunch.

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  • Trattoria Da Emilia Once we decided to open our Rick Steves book, we learned about Marina Grande, an area on the water in the lower part of Sorrento, a bit of a walk from Piazza Tasso. We fell in love with this area because it was quieter and more authentic feeling, and the recommendation to go to this restaurant did not disappoint! The food was really wonderful and I tried lots of fish that I normally wouldn’t, but they way they lightly fry things makes it hard to not be good 😉

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  • L’abate We were not in the mood for walking a lot and ended up choosing this restaurant which was right in the heart of Piazza Sant’Antonino. We loved everything about the experience- the food was really good, the atmosphere was great and there was awesome people watching.

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  • We had another great meal at a restaurant off the beaten path but I cannot remember what it was called, so pictures will have to do it justice!

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What to do

  • Walk around all of the small streets- there were so many little side streets, lined with shops, restaurants and cafes. While these streets were BUSY, it was cool to check them out.
  • Marina Grande- Make the walk to go down there because there are lots of great restaurants and cafes and it’s a bit quieter than up in the main piazzas.

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  • Rent a chair at the “beach”- Sorrento doesn’t really have traditional style beaches, but they have these boardwalks lined with chairs that you can rent. Rentals come along with the use of their bathrooms, wait staff and access to the swimming areas. The water was amazing- crystal clear and perfect temp! We spent an afternoon doing this and it was awesome. We went to Marameo and it was well worth the 10 euros each because we spent hours there, had drinks and a really awesome sandwich. It was such a relaxing afternoon!

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  • Take the train to Pompeii- This was one of our favorite memories from the trip because it was really surreal to think about HOW OLD everything was. We took the train (1.20 euros each way! Very cheap) and it was really easy to get to since it was a stop on the train route. Tickets to Pompeii were 12 euros each (I think), which did not include any guidance. You can rent headsets or hire a guide, but we did ok with just the Rick Steves book/his guide… and listening in on other people’s tours 😉 While we stayed for around 3 hours, we could’ve stayed for much longer because there is so much to see! To summarize better, I’ll share blurps along with the photos- enjoy!

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Mount Vesuvius in the background.

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Did you know prostitution is the oldest profession? Even in 30 BC it was a prominent part of the lifestyle. They had a whole house dedicated to it and this was one of the rooms- the concrete beds & pillows look so comfy 😉 along the top of the walls they had the “menu” of services provided. It was an interesting thing to check out!

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This is a picture of me in the “fast food” shop. It was located across the street from one of the bath houses and since the houses people lived in were so small, many chose to order food instead. This was so neat to imagine.

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This was me in a house- seriously so cool!

And that does it for out Sorrento visit. By the time the end of this part of the trip was coming to a close, we were really starting to like Sorrento a lot more than our original impression, which was a nice way to leave the city. And don’t get me wrong- Sorrento really was beautiful, we just felt as though it lost some of its charm because of how touristy it has become. That, and we would suggest doing just a day or one night there rather than 3… and don’t cheap out on the hotel- ever 😉

Questions for you:Have you ever visited a city for longer than you felt necessary? Do you tend to splurge or skimp on hotels?