Wednesday Workout: Bodyweight D.C. Workout {~20 mins}

Good morning! I’m so glad so many of you liked the D.C. recap that I posted earlier this week. To keep the D.C. trip theme going, today I’m sharing a quickie at-home, bodyweight workout that I did in the comforts of our Airbnb. One of the fun things about traveling for me, is coming up with different types of quickie workouts that can be done anywhere. Sure, I could’ve checked out a fitness studio, but the goal for my vacation workouts is to get them done quickly so that they aren’t interrupting our other plans. If I took a class at a studio, it would require more time on my part when you think about how long those classes are, where I would have to travel to get to one, etc. Running is always an option, but with the amount of walking we were doing, the last thing I felt like I needed to do was log more miles.

Of course, and I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, if I didn’t feel like working out while on vacation, I wouldn’t force it on myself! But that’s generally an every day mindset I try to have. Just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean I should skip workouts and eat and drink everything in site – that’s just not a mentality that I want to have. Plus, it makes me feel yucky! So, when I travel, I try to keep the same mindset I have when I’m not traveling when it comes to working out and food and drinks: listen to my body! If I feel like resting, I rest. If I feel like having a decadent dessert, I eat it without regret. If I want a salad for lunch, I eat it.

That said, since movement is something that’s so ingrained in me, I generally want to do some of it when I travel, and quickie, at home workouts are generally what I opt for (unless there’s a gym where we stay – in that case I’ll usually check it out!). This one is great because covers all the bases – lower, upper, core & cardio. I was dripping sweat by the time I was finished! Even better? I was showered and ready for breakfast by the time RM got out of bed!

The format of this workout is common to what you generally see on B2B: I picked 6 exercises I liked and felt like doing – on vacation, there is no need to spend time doing exercises you don’t like, no matter how “good” they are for you to do! It’s all about getting in some sort of movement (if you feel up to it!), and doing exercises you like makes it so much better.

Bodyweight D.C. Workout

In case you missed my videos on my Insta Story, some of the ones you may have questions on are here:

 

As always, I’d love to hear if you tried this out!

I’d also like to hear your thoughts on mindset when it comes to traveling. Do you tend to try and keep the same mindset you have in your every day, non-traveling life or do you tend to “let loose” and eat/drink/not workout with the “hey! I’m on vacation!” mentality?

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Weekending in D.C.


Last weekend, RM and I hopped on a quick flight to D.C. It’s been on our “want to visit” list for a while, and when I found a great price on flights (that we could use our JetBlue CC points on!) and a super cool Airbnb, we decided to jump on it. All of the sites I went to said that September through November were the best times to visit D.C., weather-wise, so it worked out perfectly.

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We opted to fly out on a Saturday as it was cheaper than a Friday, and I think I actually liked it better than leaving on a Thursday. We flew into the Ronald Reagan airport, which I would recommend as it was a quick 15 minute Uber into downtown D.C. Plus, JetBlue has flights basically every hour so it’s easy to find something that works for you! We opted for the 8:40am flight out of Boston, allowing us to sleep to a normal hour and still get us to D.C. by 10:30am.

We stayed in a really great Airbnb in Logan Circle, which was the absolute perfect location for us. It was within a 5 minute walk to 14th Street, which is lined with restaurants, bars, cafe’s and stores. It was about 1-2 miles to the major sites, but we would rather be close to restaurants than the sites so it worked out well. Here’s the link if you’re looking for the best place to stay: Affordable Luxury – Locan Circle. Penny was so nice and helpful and the Airbnb had everything we could need or want. We both loved the feeling of “going home” after a long day of touristy things on our feet.

We quickly dropped our things off and headed out for a quick snack (and drink) before making our way to the White House. We ended up at Slipstream, which was totally our style – lots of healthy food options, good coffee and tasty bubbly 😉

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From there, we walked to the White House, Washington Monument (which is HUGE, btw, I couldn’t get over it and kept talking about it all weekend, lol), WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and more. It was a lot of walking and a lot of site-seeing, but it was a great way to kick off the weekend!

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We walked our way back up to 14th Street and popped in at Churchkey for a drink and a snack. They have a HUGE beer selection, so if craft beers is your thing, I’d suggest checking it out. When we finished up, we stopped in at the Whole Foods to stock up on necessities for our stay: breakfast items, fruit, snacks, beer & wine. Loved having that handy!

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After resting up and showering, we decided to go to Estadio, which was a Spanish tapas restaurant. We found seats at the bar as soon as we got there, which was lucky because the place got so busy throughout the night! Everything about this restaurant was excellent – the bar staff, drinks, food & vibe. Seriously, we were both in foodie and drink heaven! While we sipped our drinks (Tecolate – Tequila & Cava, Rosemary & Grapefruit, for me and Old Raj Gin & Orange Thyme Tonic for RM – the Orange Thyme Tonic was house-made and so good!), we took recommendations from the bar tender. We opted for the following dishes: Bacalao Crudo, Jalapeño, Avocado, Orange & Olive Oil, the Calamari, the Sauteed Shrimp, the Grilled Pork Loin, Crispy Kale & Seared Peaches and then the Brussels Sprouts, Caramelized Onions, Pine Nuts & Currants. We ended with a Pumpkin Bread Pudding which was TO DIE FOR. Seriously, one of the best desserts we’ve had!

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On Sunday, I started the day with a quickie workout and then we made our way to the National Archives Museum to see the Declaration of Independence, Emancipation Proclamation, Constitution and more.  I’ve heard that this museum can have long lines, but we got there early enough to avoid them so it was great. From there, we went to the Capitol Building, Library of Congress, Botanical Gardens, National Air and Space Museum and ended at the Holocaust Museum. It was a long day of tourism things, but everything we saw was incredible, but I have to say I was most moved by the Holocaust Museum. It was a really intensely powerful museum and there were times where I got really emotional. I’m still thinking about it, so even though it was a lot to take in, I would highly suggest visiting if you can.

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Once again, before we went back to our Airbnb, we popped into a bar for a drink. This time we ended up at Pearl Dive Oyster Bar, which was great because they had an outdoor bar and a good scene of people.

For dinner, we opted for a casual dinner at Etto Pizzeria, where we had a delicious meal. We started with some cured meats and a spicy cauliflower dish and then shared a pizza and everything was really good! Plus, sitting outside in October is pretty great 🙂

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On our last day in D.C., we opted for less touristy stuff and decided to head over to Georgetown for shopping and walking around. We stopped by the White House first, though, hoping we might see some action (we didn’t 😦 ).

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Georgetown reminded us both of Newbury/Boylston, but also Beacon Hill. The only difference was that there were more stores and fewer restaurants. It was a really fun way to spend the day end end out the vacation – and we scored some great things!

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For our last dinner, we went to Ghibellina. I had wanted to go to Le Diplomate because it was recommended to us by the Airbnb owner and every website we went to, but it was always super busy. Ghibellina was great, though, and we enjoyed a casual meal at the bar.
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All in all, it was such a wonderful trip! I’m not a huge history person, but I have to say that I really enjoyed all of the history that D.C. has to offer – it was a pretty incredible city! I hope you find this post helpful if you decide to take a trip to D.C.!

Questions for you: Have you ever been to DC? What’s a city that’s been on your “want to visit” list? Do you prefer active vacations or beachy vacations?

 

The Easiest Veggie & Turkey “Hash” (aka: our summer staple dish)

We eat a lot of veggies in our house. When I went shopping with my sister, she couldn’t believe we bought a few heads of lettuce, kale and spinach, which are just our leafy greens. She asked if we ate all that in a week and I said “YUP!”. RM has veggies pretty much every meal and I eat salad’s for lunch a lot so when you add it up, we plow through veggies!

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And, while I do like veggies more than I used to (thanks to RM for being such a proponent of veggie eating, and showing me new ways to cook them so that they taste great!), the process of cleaning and chopping can be time consuming. If I had more free time, I would love to spend hours in the kitchen, chopping, cooking and drinking wine, but that’s just not realistic for me right now.

Enter my favorite time saving hack thanks to Whole Foods; pre-chopped veggies!!! Yes, it may cost more than buying whole veggies and chopping them myself, but the time I save is worth the money I save! I find these in the produce section, where Whole Foods has a HUGE selection of partly prepared produce varieties that save lots of time in the kitchen. I’m not sure what other stores have in terms of this, but I’m sure they have something!

This “recipe” is seriously SO easy, but what we love about it is that it covers a ton of ground on the veggie front, plus we add the turkey for a little protein. In terms of eating, we either eat it alone, with eggs (RM does this), on salad, in a quesadilla – there are seriously so many options! Which is key for us when it comes to meal prep – we want lots of variety so we don’t get sick of what we have in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • Chopped onions (you can buy pre-chopped or chop your own)
  • Confetti rice (this has broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, but you can use whatever you find, which might be just broccoli or just cauliflower)
  • Shredded Kale (or spinach, if you prefer)
  • Shredded Brussels Sprouts (if you want)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2-3/4 lb Organic ground turkey
  • EVOO – to taste
  • Salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes – to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a pan over medium heat and add some EVOO. Once warm, add the onions and let cook for a few minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for a few minutes before adding in the confetti rice and then the kale and Brussels sprouts. Throughout the course of cooking these veggies, add in the salt, pepper and hot pepper flakes to your liking, as well as the EVOO.
  2. Once the veggies are cooked, remove and place in a bowl. Add the ground turkey to the pan you used to good the veggies and cook until it’s fully browned.
  3. Add back in the veggies and let simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Serve however you wish 🙂

See? I told you this was easy! And, really, there are no rights or wrongs when it comes to what you add and how you cook it. I’ve done it a dozen different ways and we have never been disappointed.

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If you find yourself short on time and not able to get in the veggie in-take you want because it takes a long time to prepare everything, I highly suggest trying this method out. While it may cost you a little more, when you think about what you’d do instead of this (maybe order out or get stuff from Whole Foods hot bar?), it’s probably worth it!

Have a great day 🙂

Questions for you: What’s your best time saving hack in the kitchen? Do you like to chop veggies or would you prefer it done for you? 

Wednesday Workout: 4 Round Kettlebell Workout

Hi there! How is your week going? We leave for DC on Saturday and I have yet to do a stitch of planning or packing … oops! In the meantime, I wanted to talk about kettlebells and kettlebell training with you. Any of you use KB’s? I’m sure most of you are shaking your head saying, “yes, Monique, of course!” 😉 I, too, fall in that category. I use KB’s traditionally (in terms of the traditional swing, clean, figure 8, clean & press, snatch, etc.), but also as a replacement for dumbbells from time to time as well. I love them because they are so versatile, and they challenge the body in a different way than any other piece of equipment at the gym.

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If, however, you use KB’s, but don’t really understand or know why they are such an amazing piece of gym equipment, here are a few reasons:

  1. They help improve mobility & grip strength based on the design of the KB and the intended usage (ie: Ballistic movements not always in your traditional movement planes)
  2. Great cardio alternative as many of the movements, by nature, have a cardio aspect in that they bring your heart rate up because of the explosive movement patterns.
  3. Not a lot of equipment is needed to get in a full body strength and cardio workout – just a few KB’s will generally do the trick, and they don’t take up a lot of space or require a lot of space to use. Last week, for instance, I packed my KB in my car so I could do a workout outside during my lunch break!

And these are just some of the reasons why KB’s are so great!

That said, when Rep Fitness reached out to me to see if I wanted to partner with them and check out a piece of their equipment, I jumped on the opportunity! When I checked out their website, I found SO MANY THINGS that I wanted, but in terms of my at-home gym, I felt as though a KB was the best option for me to go with. I opted for a 25lb. one because it seemed like a middle of the road weight that would allow me to use it for the most amount of exercises. They also just released their “LB” or “pound” kettlebells, which is great because it avoids the math conversion game I always have to do in my head when I use KB’s that are in kilograms (which is fairly standard for KB’s). These are available in 5lb increments from 5-60lb’s and then 10lb increments from 60-100lb’s.

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I’ve been working out with it for about a week and I have to say – I’m really loving it! Sometimes I find that KB handles can get slippery as I get sweaty, but the Rep Fitness KB’s have a bit of a texture finish that help to avoid slipping. But don’t worry – it’s not textured enough to irritate the skin, just enough to help with better grip. Another part about the Rep Fitness KB style I like is that the weight is etched into the KB face so it will always be visible. They also paint a circle around the horn base (handle) on each side which corresponds to a weight so it makes it easy to quickly know what weights a gym has or what ones people are using. I saw that my gym (EBF FIDI) has a slew of Rep Fitness KB’s and it really is much easier to see what weights are available by looking at the color on the base of the horn.

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The workout I have for you today includes a lot of the basic KB exercises, working lower, upper, core and cardio. AND! You really only need 1 piece of equipment, but if you have 2 different weights for KB’s, I would suggest using that so you can go heavier on the lower body & swings and keep it lighter for the clean & press.

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I think most of these are moves you’ve seen before, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Quick note on the High Plank Knee to KB Tap – for this, you put the KB between your hands in a high plank and bring your knee to the KB, trying to tap it each time.

I think that does it! If you’ve been in the market for a new KB, or any new workout equipment, I highly suggest heading over to Rep Fitness’s page and seeing what they have. Their prices seem very reasonable and it avoids you having to carry heavy things through the store to buy them 😉 Big thanks to Rep Fitness for providing me with a KB to use!

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Questions for you: What’s your favorite at-home piece of gym equipment? If you could just workout with 1 piece of equipment, what would it be? Do you use KB’s in your training?

Friday Shares

Hey there! I was looking through my phone and realized there were some (mostly random) things that I wanted to share with you in case you’re interested.

  • Homemade sausage night – a few weekends ago, RM and I headed over to our friends’ new house in Westwood to make sausage. Sounds random, but it was SO fun! On top of making our own sausage, we made homemade sauce, pasta and even the salad dressing was homemade. We had 2 Kitchen Aid mixers running pretty much non-stop – good thing the vino was flowing well 😉 It was such a fun dinner, especially knowing that we made almost everything we ate. Thanks for having us over, Jessi and Chuck! can’t wait to do it again!

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  • Cooking Light Mac n Cheese – Last weekend, it was a gross, rainy Saturday and RM and I didn’t feel like going out to dinner since we had gone out the night before. After much debate on what to cook/eat, I remembered this delicious mac n cheese recipe from years ago (2011, to be exact). Luckily, I still had the magazine and with a quick trip to the store, was able to whip it up. We added in our homemade garlic, Parmesan and parsley sausage and it made for SUCH a good dinner! We also used Jovial’s brown rice pasta and you honestly couldn’t tell it wasn’t the “real deal”. We enjoyed leftovers for a few days – definitely recommend this dish next time you’re craving comfort food!

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  • Apple Crisp – we went apple picking last weekend and I couldn’t WAIT to make apple crisp. I quickly googled a few variations and ended up making this gluten free one, which came out incredible! Seriously so tasty, especially served with Talenti’s Vanilla Bean gelato (our absolute favorite brand).

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  • Revere Pre & Post Workout – A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone from Revere, the startup providing plant-based powder formulas derived only from natural, whole foods to help users maximize the results they get from their exercise routines, to see if I’d be interested in trying out their products. I had recently seen a bunch of other fitness professionals sharing things about this product, but, as with any “supplement”, I was skeptical. That is, until I read more about the product and ingredient list. Normally these types of products come laden with ingredients we can’t pronounce, but not Revere! I plan on doing a bigger recap later, but wanted to share a quick bit now. I’ve been using them for a few weeks and totally love them, mostly because the ingredient list is SO clean, but also because they just mix with water (and they give you an awesome bottle to mix it in!).  Besides vitamins, the only other ingredients are things like sweet potato, beetroot, green tea, pomegranate and a little sugar, but nothing artificial! If you’re interested in learning more in the meantime, check out their page where you can find all the info. Also,if you like what you see, I will have a discount code for you soon!

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  • Seaport Sweat – This is just a reminder that Seaport Sweat is continuing through the END of October!! Though it’s getting dark MUCH earlier these days, there are plenty of lights that give it such a nice ambiance 😉

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  • Lululemon Treats – Speaking of Seaport Sweat, a group of the new Seaport Lulu employees came to my class on Monday and surprised me with this amazing top! I’m seriously so excited because it’s the perfect top to workout in the cooler, but not yet cold, temps. Plus, it’s super cute. Thanks, ladies!!

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  • Since We Fell – this is our new book club book and so far, I’m absolutely obsessed and cannot put it down. Has anyone read it?

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  • DC Weekend – Next weekend, RM and I are heading to DC for a little 3 night getaway. We rented an amazing little Airbnb apartment that looks to be in the heart of restaurants and sites, but otherwise have no plans. Anyone have any restaurant or sightseeing suggestions?

And that does it for me! I hope all of you have a great weekend – it’s supposed to be another warm one 🙂

Questions for you: Have you done any fall baking recently? How about any fall activities? What are you reading these days? Have you tried Revere products? Do you use any protein powders or anything before or after a workout?