Wednesday Workout: 3 Circuit Lower, Upper & Cardio Step360 Workout

Hey there! Before I get into sharing the workout for today, I wanted to remind you of the fitness event/class that I am hosting at the New Balance Flagship store in Brighton tonight. It starts at 6:30pm and I’ll be leading a 45 minute Cardio Kickboxing Bootcamp class while the amazing DJ Sprino live DJ’s for us. After class, you’ll get a 20% shopping discount and will get to enjoy bars from Larabar, juices from Purity Organics and more. There are already over 30 people who have signed up, so if you want to be part of the crew, make sure you sign up here– you don’t want to miss this event!

And now, onto the workout. A few weeks ago I shared a Step360 workout with you. I enjoyed that workout so much that when I was thinking of what I wanted to do for a workout on Sunday, I knew I wanted to include it. If you don’t have a Step360, any type of step would work for it and if you don’t have a step of any sort, you can totally do the workout without.

The way the sets/circuits are set up is that each one has a lower body move, upper body move and cardio move. Each exercise is performed for 10 reps and you move from one to the next with only as much rest as needed. Try to rest between rounds rather than exercises in order to keep the heart rate up and get the biggest bang for your buck. You’ll complete 3 rounds of each circuit before moving on to the next.

As far as weights, I used 2 different sets of dumbbells: 10’s and 20’s. I haven’t been doing many leg-focused exercises lately so I kept the lunges light- with the 10 pounders- and was soreeee on Monday (but lunges and especially jumping lunges always make me sore!), but used a 20 pounder for Goblet squats and 2 20’s for the deadlifts. The biceps curl to press with 20’s was hard, but it felt good to really work for the reps! these are just examples of what I used- of course when you’re doing this, do what works for you and your body!

I posted most of the exercises on my Instagram story, but if you missed them, I’ve uploaded them to YouTube:

I hope you try this because I think you’ll like it!

Questions for you: What piece of equipment have you been loving lately?

How I Stay Active Working A “9-5” Desk Job

While many people in my classes think I just live the fitness life of teaching classes/training people (I wish!), I do have a regular “9-5” job (which is actually more like a 7-5 job, but who’s counting 😉 ) that requires me to do more sitting than I need/want. I try my best to stay as active as possible throughout the day, but I’ll admit: when you’re super busy with back to back meetings, it can be hard to get a lot of movement in! I’ve touched upon this topics a few times  before on the blog, but as there are some new followers out there, I thought I’d touch upon it again- I don’t think we can receive too many reminders/tips on how to stay more active in our day to day lives, even if you aren’t working a desk job!

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the “take the stairs!”, “park further away” and the “get up rather than calling”, tips, right? And rightfully so- as much as these may seem like nothing, every little bit does count when you add it up. Which I think is the biggest way that I stay active: I move as much as I possibly can…

I park on the ground level of our parking garage so that I have to walk to the front door and then up 2 flights of stairs to my office.

I use the bathroom downstairs so that I have to do the stairs down and up.

I drink a lot of water so that I a: have to get up to go to the bathroom frequently and b. have to get up and refill my water frequently.

I walk to people’s office’s instead of calling or emailing.

I do laps around the office, sometimes “pretending” I need supplies or something in the kitchen.

Rather than combining my water refill/bathroom/etc. into one trip, I break it up and do it separately

I’ll try and go for a walk- even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes.

These may not seem like much, but they really do require much more movement on my part than if I didn’t do them. And I’ll be the first to say- it’s so easy to NOT do these things. To take shortcuts to save time. To call people instead of walking to go see them. To get caught up in your work and realize you haven’t stood up in 2 hours.

Creating more movement in your day when you work a desk job requires you to be cognizant of your movement and to continuously think of ways you can move more. In fact, I started doing a lot of the above movement tips when I started wearing a FitBit because I was shocked to see how little I moved during an average day in the office and I’ve even noticed that I move less now that I don’t wear a step/movement tracker because I’m not as aware of how much or how little I’m moving.

Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with days where you decide to veg out on the couch rather than get movement in. In fact, I think it’s very good to have days like that once and a while, but in general, I think movement is always a good choice. Our bodies are meant to move and if we are lucky enough to be able to move them, we should. It doesn’t have to be intense (it shouldn’t always be intense), it doesn’t have to be long (it shouldn’t always be long) and it doesn’t have to be organized- a simple choice of walking to do errands, go out to eat, go to Church, etc. will help get you moving, accomplish a “to-do” and make you feel better. I feel so fortunate to be able to walk to Walgreens, the dry-cleaners, the grocery store, Church, my nail salon and some of our favorite restaurants so I try not to take advantage of that by driving to them when I know I can walk to them. In fact, as we start to house hunt, a requirement of mine is being able to walk to things (this is not something I had the luxury of doing when I was a kid because I lived in a very rural town, so I love being able to do it now!)).

To sum it up, yes, I work at an office for anywhere from 8-10 or 11 hours a day, but that doesn’t mean that I am completely sedentary all day. All it means is that I have to make extra effort to get some movement in. It’s nothing too hard or time consuming, but – and I hate to sound cliche- every little bit does count. Moving makes me feel good, so I make it a priority to do it in some way, shape or form as much as I can.

Questions for you: How do you get movement in during the day? Do you find it hard or do you work at a job where movement is part of it? Do you have any tips for fellow readers for getting more movement in?



Bebe’s Boyd Street IPA {Brewing Beer at Hopsters}

This post has been a long time coming! Last year, I got RM a gift card to make beer at Hopsters Brewery in Newton Corner… conveniently located a short 5 minute walk from our apartment. However, for any number of reasons, we didn’t end up making it there until RM’s birthday back in December. When we realized we still hadn’t gone AND his birthday was on a Friday night, we figured it would be a great way to celebrate his day.

We loved Hopsters for many reasons before our visits (beers are great, food is delicious, vibe is on point), but after we worked with their team to make beer and saw how much they knew and how passionate they were about beer, we loved them even more! It was pretty cool watching them in their element.

Since this was RM’s gift and because he is the beer lover out of the two of us, I let him make all of the decisions in terms of what type of beer we were going to make. Recently, he’s really been into IPA’s, so he chose to base the beer off of their Double IPA recipe. What is really neat about the process is that they use their recipes just as that- a base- and then as you start the actual process they offer different options/suggestions for how to change it up a bit. For us, we opted to change it up in terms of the types of “hops” we used.

I had no idea there were so many to choose from! Between that and the wheat and barley, it was such an interesting project and learning experience. On top of learning about hops and beer ingredients, we learned about the process when it came to actually brewing the beer.

It starts out in a big barrel type thing where the water and hops and other ingredients get heated to a certain temperature. While this happens, we had the chance to have a beer (not the one we were making, haha) and some food. I think it was about an hour or so. Once this was up, we watched as they moved the beer from the barrel into keg type setup that they keep in their lower area. From there, the beer takes a few weeks to go through the fermentation process. Once it’s reached that point, you go back and start the bottling process.

The first session takes about 2 hours when you include the wait times throughout various parts of the process. The bottling takes about an hour and a half as you have at least 72 bottles to fill and cap! For some reason, our brew created nearly 90 bottles but we had to give them to Brody (or Brady? I can’t remember his name, but he was the one who helped us with our brewing- he was amazing!!) since we were only allowed to take 72 home by law.

(And yes, while it make look like we bottled on the same day due to RM wearing the same shirt, it was done about 3 weeks later… he just clearly loves this shirt 😉 )

Once we finished bottling, we were able to put our labels on and take them home. After your first visit, they give you the link to where you can upload your label design to their template so they can print it for you. The brewing, bottling, labels and gratuity are all included in the cost, which is nice. It was about $230 for us to make an IPA (just as an FYI).

And as for the name, RM’s father had nicknames for his 3 kids and Bebe was RM’s nickname. He also lived in the apartment we currently live in when he was a kid (during the Bebe nickname time period), so he decided to go with Bebe’s Boyd Street IPA. The close runner up was the Irritable Italian IPA (gotta love a good alliteration), which I think should be the name the next time we do it 😉

Overall, this was such a fun experience and we learned so much! We would both recommend this to anyone who enjoys beer or is looking for a good gift idea! Big thanks to Hopsters for making it such a fun activity- and for helping us brew and absolutely delicious beer!

Questions for you: have you ever made beer before? Or wine? What’s the last activity date youv’e done? 

“Do you eat that?”

Every couple of weeks, it seems like my company is hosting a luncheon for some type of contract/business win. Most of the time it’s pizza and salad, but other times it’s random. Last week, it was sandwiches. I’m not a huge sandwich fan, but I think that’s because we never ate a lot of them growing up. I didn’t have ham and cheese for lunch, we didn’t go out for Italian subs, and I didn’t even like jelly or jam for a while so I would just eat peanut butter sandwiches, which isn’t really your traditional sandwich. In other words, my indifference towards sandwiches has nothing to do with the fact that there’s bread (often times lots of wonderfully delicious bread) involved with it; I don’t not (love that double negative) eat sandwiches because of the carbs. I’m all set with applying rules to different food categories and letting that dictate how I eat.

But, the other day when we were talking in the kitchen about the sandwich lunch, a coworker looked at me and asked: “Do you eat that? You probably don’t.”, to which I replied “I do eat sandwiches and bread, it just has to be one that tastes really good to me. Or I have to be in the mood.” Take for instance, the most amazing prosciutto and cheese sandwiches we had while we were in Italy. They were so simple, yet so fresh and all around absolutely incredible so I gladly ate those on more than one occasion.

I find it funny how many people label or regard me when it comes to food and exercise. So often, people automatically assume that just because I write a healthy-living blog, because I generally choose lots of veggies, protein, fruits, etc. and because I workout and teach fitness that I don’t eat “unhealthy” things. That I don’t eat carbs. Or fats. Or sweets. As such, it’s fairly frequent that I’ll get the “I didn’t know you ate that.” or “ahh, it’s good to see that you splurge, too” when I’m seen grabbing a cookie, or peanut butter filled pretzels, or chips, or whatever else might be where I am (kitchen, at a party, at an event. etc.)

While I know people generally  don’t mean any harm with their comments, it can be frustrating because it’ snot my intent to send out the message that I only eat “healthy” things and don’t eat the “less healthy” things. Yes, I do workout a lot, but that’s because I truly enjoy it, not because I feel like I have to. Yes, I do try and “eat well” most of the time, but that’s because it makes me feel good to eat that way, not because I’m afraid to eat “less healthy” choices. But, there are also plenty of times where I skip workouts because I’m tired/sore/not feeling it. There are plenty of times where I happily agree to go out and get wings or pizza or ice cream.

Bottom line, there are plenty of times where I don’t fit the “healthy person” stereotype that society loves to talk about and label. I am a real person and I do my best to be my best every day. And sometimes that’s skipping workouts, having vino or eating a damn sandwich- guilt free, at that! Which, if you’ve followed me for a while, you surely know already 😉

I’d love to hear from you on this- do you find yourself following “food rules” or labels? Does that effect how you approach food? If not, how do you practice balance or moderation when it comes to food and exercise? 


Friday Things

Hey there! Happy Friday! This week has flown by- can you believe it’s already mid-March? And St. Patrick’s Day, at that! Is anyone doing anything to celebrate? I don’t think I am, but I’m OK with that- I’ve had plenty of years where I’ve had St. Patty’s day celebrations so a quiet one this year doesn’t bother me.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve popped in with a Friday post! And, to be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll continue with my “Five on Friday” series. It’s been fun, but these days I feel as though I’m struggling to find 5 share-worthy things with you, so what’s the point in that? Instead, I’d rather just share things of interest and relevance when they occur- sound good?

  • As Close to Us As Breathing- This was another book club book for one of my book clubs and I really enjoyed it! It was about a Jewish family in the mid 1900’s and it was interesting to see just how different things where back then and how badly different ethnic groups did not get along. It’s also interesting to see the family dynamic of the main character’s family.

  • Share your stuff!- After class last Saturday, two people tagged me in their after-class meal pictures and it was so fun to see how they refuel. I always re-post in my Instagram stories, so if you want to be included, be sure to tag me!

  • Snow Day Baking- While we were home together on Tuesday, RM and I both felt like cookies. We didn’t have the traditional cookie ingredients in the house so I googled “Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies” and this recipe popped up first. Luckily I had all of the ingredients so I whipped them up and we were both so happy with how they came out! They’re definitely “healthy” cookies, but they satisfied our cookie craving, too!

  • Sweat, Shop, Snack at New Balance Don’t forget, in 2 weeks I’m hosting a fitness event at the New Balance flagship store in Brighton. At 6:30 we will start a cardio kickboxing class and then after that you’ll have a chance to shop around (with a 20% discount) and snack on Larabars, sip on Purity Organics and more. Grab a girlfriend (or boyfriend!) and get your spot now– you don’t want to miss this!

I think that does it for me! I’ll be at the Y tomorrow morning for kickboxing if anyone wants to join in on the fun 🙂 10am!

Questions for you: Have you read any good books lately? Have you done any good baking lately? What are your plans for this weekend?