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Oct 242014
 

*Don’t forget, there’s still time to enter my gummy bear giveaway! Details available here.*

Hey friends! Happy Friday! I’ve had a few fun things going on in the last couple of days, so let’s catch up shall we?

Revolve DC

Yesterday morning I went to a 6:00 am Body Ride class at Revolve DC. Have I mentioned lately how much I am loving trying out new studios as part of my free month of ClassPass? Well, I’m saying it now. It’s awesome! I could get used to this for sure.

Although there are tons of classes available through ClassPass, I constantly find myself drawn to ones with morning classes (you know me) that are about 10-15 minutes from my apartment. So far, I’m pleasantly surprised at the variety of options!

This week there was a morning spot available at Revolve DC, and since I had heard about Revolve from a lot of friends and fellow bloggers, I decided to check it out.

Before heading over to Revolve, I did some quick research on The Fit Crasher to see what I was in for (I learned my lesson after not researching reformer pilates) and I’m so glad I did! Once I read Meaghan’s review I realized there was plenty of street parking available near the studio, so I decided to drive instead of run there. This decision allowed to me to sleep in for an extra 5 minutes which was oh-so necessary. 😉

When I arrived at the studio about 5 minutes before class started, I was greeted to pumping music and a flurry of activity. By the time I arrived, I was one of the last ones to get settled! You definitely want to arrive early for this class; they start right away.

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After signing in and filling out a quick waiver, I paid the $2 rental fee for a pair of spin shoes. Then I dropped off my bag in one of the combination lockers (love!), filled up my water bottle from their filtered water fill station (love!), and headed into the class.

Mara was my instructor for the day, and she was nice enough to come over and help me clip into my bike pedals since I am a newbie to clip-in bikes and had zero clue how to do it. Whoops. I’m so glad she was there to help!

Then as the music was pumping, the lights turned down low and the class began. I really enjoyed the darkness of the spin room – it helped you focus on your form and speed instead of worrying about how much the person next to you is turning up her bike resistance or staring at your reflection in the mirror and thinking about how you look like a sweaty sleepwalker, since it is 6:00 am after all.

For the duration of each song, Mara would guide us through different exercises. From one minute sprints with 30 second rests, to gradually “climbing” a hill for a whole song until you could barely pedal by the end, there was a lot of variety.

About mid-way through the class we brought out the weights that were hanging by the bottom of our bikes, and completed a great upper body circuit. I don’t know if it’s just been a while since I’ve worked out my arms in a new way or what, but my shoulders were burning! In the best way, of course.

After this we did a bit more sprinting in and out of the saddle, and then the class was over. Just like that, 45 minutes later, I was dripping in sweat and feeling like I just had a really great workout.

photo (1)Such a fun way to switch up my morning routine!

Fit Crasher Happy Hour

Then last night after work, I met up with my fellow DC Fit Crashers!

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We’ve been blogging together for a couple of months now, and although I’ve met a couple of the crashers at fitness events here and there, and had met them all via Google hangout, it was nice to get us all together for a happy hour. Unfortunately Maggie got sick and wasn’t able to join us (feel better, Maggie!) and Meaghan was in New York so she obviously couldn’t join us, but it was great to get the rest of the group together.

We wound up meeting at Bar Charley, a nice bar in the middle of the DuPont Circle and U Street neighborhoods, which had some delicious food and hand-crafted drinks.

I wound up ordering a “shoulder to the wheel” for my cocktail, which was made up of  tequila, allspice, lemon, egg white, and whole bunch of other things that I couldn’t name. It was sweet and fruity – but not so much as to give me a headache – and I adored the frothy egg white on top. Yum.

As far as food goes, we decided to go with two of the “poutines and fries,” which were essentially french fries with delicious gourmet toppings. We got the Chesapeake (fries with Old Bay gravy (!), blue crab, and ricotta salata) and the Catalin (fries with avocado and some kind of chorizo, topped with a fried egg). The Catalin was really tasty, but the Cheapeake? Wow. As someone who was born and raised in Maryland, you better believe I was all over that. Yum.

Overall the food and drinks were great, and it was so nice to put faces to names and get to know this crew a little better 🙂

Run with Anne

This morning I met up with Anne for our weekly run! We decided to skip the track today since she’s running the Marine Corps 10K this weekend and wants to save her legs. Works for me!

We met in Courthouse at 6:00 am and decided to run into Georgetown, which is one of my favorite routes. It was a good one for today too since it was so dark and all the sidewalks are pretty well-lit (compared to some of our other favorite running trails which would have been pitch black).

It had been a little while since I’d seen her (we skipped last week due to thunderstorms) and we had so much to catch up on! We had so much fun chatting along the way.
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I always love running through Georgetown, even when it’s this dark out!

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After two miles we turned around and headed back up to Courthouse. Our pace was a little slower than usual (around 9:15 overall), but we stayed steady up through the mile-long hill of death home, which was really great. Once we were back, the sun was finally starting to rise, but we were too far from the water to see the sunrise. Boo. photo (1)

After our run we spent about 15 minutes walking for our cool down, which was so nice. It’s always so fun running and chatting with Anne!

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Good luck to anyone running the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend!

Questions of the day: How do you feel about spin classes? Do you have a signature cocktail?

 Posted by on October 24, 2014
Sep 102014
 

Good morning!

It’s Wednesday already, which means it’s What I Ate Wednesday time! I love this opportunity to reflect on my eats and workouts from the week. It’s a great way to take a snapshot of a single day, and see how I’m doing health and fitness-wise.

Today we’re taking a look at Tuesday. Let’s see how I did, shall we?

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As always, my thanks go to Jenn for hosting the linkup!

(Unpictured) Pre-breakfast Snack

Yesterday morning I met up with Anne for another one of our early morning track workouts, and since I knew I wouldn’t be eating for a few more hours, I ate a small handful of raw almonds beforehand for a little fuel. It did the trick! Almonds make great emergency snacks, and I always keep some at home, in the car, and in my snack drawer at work. 🙂

No pictures of this one, because who can remember to take a picture at 5:30 a.m.?

Workout

By 6:00 a.m., Anne and I were at the track and ready to go! It was dark at that hour, which was somewhat depressing. I guess those bright summer mornings are officially over!

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Luckily there was still enough light for us to see the track, and soon the sun started coming up.

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Once again, the track was really busy! I love that everyone is up and at ’em so early in the morning.

Our workout was pretty similar to last week’s, and looked a bit like this:

  • 1 mile warm up – pace: 9:21
  • 2 miles of sprint the straights, jog the curves – first mile overall average pace of 7:47, second mile 7:36 (YES!!!)
  • 1 mile cool down – pace: 8:40

We ended up doing 4.15 miles total (we went a little over by accident) at an average overall pace of 8:22. Thanks to Anne for keeping track on her Garmin!

Overall I was thrilled with this workout. I know everyone runs at different paces, and for some of you running a 7:36 mile might not be a big deal, but for me that is really fast!! I was so proud of us 🙂

Thanks, Anne for the great workout!!

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Next week we are going to try sprinting half the lap (not just the straights) and I’m so excited to see how fast we can get! Woohoo!

Breakfast

Once I got home from the track, I quickly showered and gobbled up a breakfast of whole wheat toast, natural PB, banana, honey, and chia seeds.

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I was running a little late for work because Anne and I got caught up talking while stretching, so I didn’t have time to make much else. This worked though! 😀

Lunch

Around 12:15 p.m. my tummy started rumbling, so I dug into my salad.

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Don’t be fooled by this picture, it was actually gigantic.

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In the mix was:

  • Spinach
  • “Power Geens” from Costco
  • Broccoli/carrot slaw
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Grilled chicken
  • Feta cheese
  • BBQ sauce dressing

I love that this salad was really voluminous – thus keeping me full – but was still low in calories because of all the veggies! These giant salads have been my go-to lunch lately. Yum!

Dinner

Well to be honest, it’s Tuesday night as I type this and I haven’t made dinner yet. Be right back while I go cook something!

Ok I’m back 😉

For dinner I made a pasta dish with chicken sausage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, and cheese.

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It was great!

Now I’m rummaging around trying to find something for my sweet tooth…perhaps a couple of Hershey Kisses will do the trick? 😉

Catch you guys later!

Question of the day: Is it dark when you wake up these days?

 Posted by on September 10, 2014
Mar 172017
 

Hello there! How was your week? I had a particularly good one–despite some bitter cold weather–and it seemed to fly right by! Here’s a look back at my workouts from the week.

Sat., March 11 – Solo eight-mile run into D.C. and along the Georgetown waterfront.

As I mentioned in my weekend recap, I was super proud of myself for this run since I was cold, alone, and struggling to run up all the hills in Rosslyn. The thought of taking an uber home crossed my mind a million times during the hilly part of the run, but luckily I stuck with it and powered through to the end. Woohoo!

Sun., March 12 – On Sunday I took a Yoga 1 class with Fabio’s sister Diane at Edge Yoga in Courthouse. This is one of my favorite yoga studios and I love that their Yoga 1 class is really what a Yoga 2 class would be anywhere else. We got into some challenging poses (we even attempted flying lizard, which was a no-go for me) and I really enjoyed the stretch after the long run the day before.

Mon., March 13Anne and I decided to start the workweek off on a sweaty note with a Monday morning bootcamp class at Urban Athletic Club. We had the new(ish) instructor, Ali, again, and she took us through a couple of rounds of EMOM (every minute on the minute) and AMRAP (as many reps as possible) intervals with moves like toes to bar, TRX rows, TRX mountain climbers, burpees, thrusters, and more. I challenged myself to use heavier weights than I usually do and I was SO sore after this workout. Phew! It was a good one, if a little more CrossFit-y than I usually like.

Tues., March 14On Tuesday I enjoyed a lazy, snowy rest day! We were initially supposed to get between 8 and 12 inches of snow on Monday night/Tuesday morning, but it wound up being only about 2 or 3 inches here in Arlington. It was still enough to allow Fabio and me to work from home though, so I was a happy camper!

We took Jack to the park before we got started on work, and needless to say, he had a blast in the wet, heavy, snow.

We played a couple of rounds of fetch with a stick we found until we all got too cold and decided it was time to head back.

Once we were warm inside, I made us some blueberry muffins for breakfast using this recipe.

The recipe was perfect since we only had a tiny bit of almond milk in the fridge, and I liked that it called for Greek yogurt, honey, and old fashioned oats instead of any butter, oil, or refined sugar. Woohoo!

Fabio and I wound up working from the couch in front of the fire for most of the day, which was lovely! I could get used to that!

Wed., March 15 – Anne and I were ready for another sweaty workout on Wednesday morning, so we hit up BLAST in Foggy Bottom for a treadmill/strength workout. For anyone who hasn’t been to BLAST, it’s very similar to Orange Theory in that half the class is spent on the treadmill completing various different intervals (sprints and steep hill climbs) and the other half is spent on the floor doing various strength work.

Anne and I both agreed we enjoyed the BLAST workout more than we did the last couple of times we’ve gone to the class. I don’t know if it was the instructor (we had Lauren) or just that we are getting more familiar with the format, but I have a feeling we’ll start going back to BLAST more often!

Thurs., March 16  On Thursday, Fabio and I took a spin class at FlyWheel in City Center. It was a great class, and as usual, I sweat up a storm.

My overall score at the end of class was 158, and when I checked back to see how my score compared to last time, I realized that the last class I took was exactly one month ago (Feb. 16) and I got exactly the same score then too. How random is that? I usually fall somewhere between 230 and 270, but to get the exact same number two classes in a row is a pretty big coincidence. What can I say, I guess I’m consistent lately? Anyway, the class was great! Plus I always like when Fabio joins me for a class. 🙂

Fri., March 17 – Rest day!

Ok so really quickly before I sign off for today, I have to share this random story with you from this week.

So on Monday at Urban Athletic Club, Anne and I were chatting with this girl during our cool down stretch about where she likes to go on ClassPass. I remember she had a really cute matching leggings/sports bra set that had black and white palm trees on them, and she had a University of Maryland gym bag. We left class and I didn’t think about her again.

Then on Wednesday as I was leaving BLAST, I noticed the girl walking out in front of me had a University of Maryland gym bag. I looked down and saw the black and white palm tree leggings! My first thought was, OMG – it’s that girl again! My second thought was, I hope she did laundry yesterday! (Lol – hopefully she did.) She was too far away from me by then for me to say anything to her, but I remember thinking it was such a coincidence to see her twice in one week.

THEN on Thursday when I got to FlyWheel, I saw the University of Maryland gym bag again! It was sitting under a bench and when I looked around, sure enough I saw the same girl sitting by me putting on her spin shoes (this time she was also wearing the palm tree sports bra so again, I hope she did laundry lol). This time I said hi to her, and we laughed about how we took three of the same classes this week.

Anyway, I just thought it was such a random coincidence that I had to share here! Now I’m wondering when I’ll see her again, and if she’ll have on something other than the palm tree outfit, lol. Next time I see her I also want to ask if she went to University of Maryland! I’d love to find out if we have any Terp friends in common.

Alright friends, that’s all for today. Have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the day: Have you ever seen a stranger more than once in a week? It’s so weird when that happens, right?

 Posted by on March 17, 2017
Mar 102017
 

Sorry for the late post today – I screwed something up with my auto-scheduler! Better late than never though, right?

Hi friends! How was your week?

Fabio left for his bachelor party trip to Tampa, FL this morning, and he’ll be spending the long weekend with his friends at the Yankees’ spring training baseball game. Or is it games? I’m not really sure how that all works, TBH. Oh well.

While he’s away I have some fun plans the weekend, one of which includes picking up my girls’ bridesmaid dresses from Bella Bridesmaids. Some of the girls got their dresses shipped to them directly, but a few got them sent to the store in D.C. so I’m going with my mom on Saturday to pick them up.

Hana sent me this picture when her dress arrived at her office yesterday. 🙂

Cute!

I can’t wait to see how all the dresses look together, especially since we had to guess by holding up a similar skirt when we were in the store.

Woohoo!

Before I get too far ahead of myself though, let’s talk about this week! Starting with my workouts.

Sat., March 4 & Sun., March 5  Rest days! I spent these days enjoying my bachelorette party in Fort Lauderdale with my best friends. Does staying out dancing until 3 a.m. count as a workout? 😉

Mon., March 6 – Another rest day. My body was EXHAUSTED after all the fun, and I needed some time to sleep in before getting back to reality.

Tues., March 7 – Finally back it! Fabio, Anne, and I took a bootcamp class at one of our favorite spots, Definitions DC!

It was Fabio’s first time going to that class and he seemed to really like it. The instructors are so good at Definitions and really make newbies feel welcome, so I could see why he enjoyed it.

We completed a bunch of different intervals that included exercises like rowing, battle ropes, planks, TRX squats and rows, kettlebell swings, and side shuffles. It was a good one!

Wed., March 8 – Anne and I headed into DC for another class on Wednesday, this time for our favorite Sculpt class at CorePower Yoga! Our favorite instructor Mandy was teaching again, and she just makes these classes so difficult.

For those of you who don’t know much about this class, it’s a mix of yoga and bootcamp-style exercises and includes weights, a cardio segment, and lots of muscle-burning movements. I always think the plank series in particular is super hard, and the sweat was dripping off my face onto my mat the whole time. Lovely.

Thurs., March 9 – It was a beautiful day on Thursday, so Fabio and I headed out for a 3 mile run with Jack! Our pace was pretty speedy for us – around 8:52 – which are numbers we haven’t seen in a while. It’s nice to be building speed back up!

Fri., March 10 – There’s a TRX class in Rosslyn I’m debating going to tomorrow morning (I’m writing this on Friday night) but I haven’t signed up yet because I’m thinking I might want to hang around with Fabio in the morning before he leaves for his trip instead (you know, to make sure he didn’t forget to bring clean underwear and remind him – again – to please be careful and come home in one piece). 😉 So we will see how I feel tomorrow!

As for other highlights from the week, I had a few!

Favorite Lunch

After all the debauchery in Fort Lauderdale, I enjoyed a delicious salad full of #alltheveggies on Monday for lunch. I had the Rad Thai salad from SweetGreen, and it hit the spot!

Favorite Dinner

My dad had a meeting in Arlington on Wednesday, so he stuck around when it was over so we could have dinner together. We went to our favorite Tex-Mex spot, Uncle Julio’s, and I enjoyed two of the three fish tacos pictured below.

I love when there are leftovers!

I also ordered one of the skinny margaritas instead of the big swirl cocktail I usually get (which is half frozen sangria and half frozen margarita), and it was delicious!

Favorite Delivery

Man, the people from Giant are just the BEST! As if the chocolate package I got a couple weeks ago wasn’t enough, this week they sent me a few of their salad dressings to try out.

I’m especially excited to try the organic white balsamic vinaigrette dressing, which looks right up my alley. Thank you, Giant!

Favorite Special Occasion

Remember when my friends sent me this amazing basket full of alcohol that I am supposed to drink during various wedding planning milestones?

Well we are officially less than 100 days out from our wedding, so Fabio and I enjoyed this bottle of delicious beer one night this week!

Lol – see Jack in the background?

We were a couple of days late due to the bachelorette party last week, but we still made it work. We enjoyed the beer while trying to figure out first and last names for everyone we’re inviting to the wedding, which is something we should have done ages ago and actually wound up being pretty tough (we had a lot of “Maria y familia” and “Sarah & her boyfriend” so we had to clean up all of that). Blech. The beer made it easier. 🙂

Alright friends, that’s all I have for today. Have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the day: Are you a beer drinker or wine drinker?

 Posted by on March 10, 2017
Mar 022017
 

Well friends, by the time you read this I will be on my way to my bachelorette destination! My girlfriends planned the whole thing (kudos to my MoH Bianca and awesome bridesmaid, Megan!!) and the location is a surprise! All I know is that I’m supposed to pack bathing suits and warm-weather clothes, so I know it’s going to be awesome. Plus, I just love my friends so much that you could literally stick us in a shack somewhere and I’d be a happy camper. 🙂

Anyway, I’m out for vacation today and tomorrow, and I’ll *try* to get a recap post for you up on Monday but that will depend on what time we get back on Sunday (since my friends booked my flights for me too, I don’t know when we get back!). Surprises are so fun. 🙂

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s talk about this week’s workouts.

Saturday, Feb. 25: A beautiful 5.6 mile solo run through Arlington and D.C. It was pretty challenging, which always seems to be the case when I run alone. It was so pretty though!

Sunday, Feb. 26: Rest day!

Monday, Feb. 27: Anne, Kathleen, and I decided to try something new on Monday — we took a kettlebell conditioning class at CRUNCH gym by Metro Center. As soon as we arrived, we were blown away by how nice and welcoming everyone was. We got a tour of the gym and the nice locker rooms, and then it was time for our class!

We were especially happy about the variety of kettlebells available, which is very much the opposite of one of our favorite spots, Urban Athletic Club. Over there, there are limited options and we sometimes have to share kettlebells. Not at CRUNCH!

We all grabbed a few kettlebells and picked up a big exercise ball for our workout, and then got started!

The class was relatively low-key as it focused more on strength and didn’t include any cardio, which I actually thought was a nice change of pace for us. I also liked that you could make this class what you wanted – if you used heavy kettlebells then it could be really challenging and if you went lighter ones it would be a nice, relaxing strength session. I wound up using fairly heavy kettlebells (two 12 lb. ones was plenty challenging for me) and was sore the next day.

I liked this class and would definitely go back when we’re looking for something a little different!

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Fabio and I headed into Georgetown on Tuesday morning for the C2 class at CorePower Yoga. Fabio’s been getting more and more into yoga lately so when he requested going to a class on Tuesday I happily obliged. 🙂

Sorry for the grainy and dark photo!

The class was fairly challenging and also gave us a good stretch. I also was a sweaty mess by the end, so I’ll consider that a success.

Wednesday, March 1: Anne and I headed into Dupont Circle for another class at CorePower Yoga (two days in a row!), but this time it was their sculpt class. Our favorite instructor Mandy was teaching, and she absolutely killed us! For whatever reason, the class was much harder than last time, which was both horrible and great. 🙂

All in all I’d say it was a good week of workouts so far! I didn’t have room for my sneakers in my carry-on, so if I do any workouts while I’m away it will probably be something low-key like more yoga or some walks on the beach (assuming I’ll be by a beach?). But, if I don’t get any workouts in that’s ok too! I actually planned around this weekend when making my Cherry Blossom 10 Miler training plan, so I’ll be happy with whatever happens.

And now let’s talk about my Monday night, which wound up being super fun and special since we had our wedding menu tasting!

We had initially planned to do the menu tasting on a weekend, but sadly we couldn’t get our schedule to align with the staff at the wedding venue (they have a lot of weekend events and other weddings) so we went on Monday night instead. My mom, stepdad, dad, and little sister joined us for the fun. 🙂

While there we got to try the champagne (woohoo! Fun Monday indeed.) as well as a ton of hors d’ouvres, salads, and entrees.

Everything was extremely delicious, but my favorite items were probably the “Wye River salad” which comes with strawberries, goat cheese, and candied nuts, and the crab dip. Because how can you not have crab dip when you’re on the eastern shore of Maryland?

Really though, everything that we ate was absolutely delicious and we were so happy with the food for our wedding. I think our guests are really going to enjoy it!

After we ate we went through a bunch of other details like what napkin color we want, selecting china, chairs, table numbers, etc. etc. etc. It was a productive evening and we made a lot of important decisions!

We didn’t wind up getting home until past my bed time (around 10:45) but it was worth it to have such a fun and productive night! 🙂

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. I’ll talk to you when I get back!! Woohooo!!

Question of the day: What’s the best wedding food you ever had?

My friend Megan’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream stand was a memorable one for me!

 Posted by on March 2, 2017
Feb 242017
 

Hi friends! How was your week? Fabio was away for a work trip for the majority of the week, which meant I did lots of fun things I don’t usually get to do like wear face masks and go to bed at 9:00. 🙂 It was a pretty lonely week, but thankfully I had Jack to keep me company.

I also had a good book to read – I just finished America’s First Daughter which was really good! If you like historical fiction you’ll like this one. It also had some mentions of Alexander Hamilton and since I’m also loving that soundtrack right now it made me doubly happy. It was a good one!

Aaaaand, I started rewatching Grey’s Anatomy! I used to watch this show with my friends back when we were in college, but once I got out of school I fell way behind and haven’t watched since. I decided to start all over again from the beginning once Fabio left, and it’s made me so happy.

Fabio gets home later tonight (it’s Thursday night as I type this) and I can’t wait to see him! Woohoo!

Anyway, let’s take a peek at my workouts this past week.

Saturday, Feb. 18 – Seven mile run with Fabio on the National Mall! Gosh, that was such a good run. The weather made a huge difference!

Sunday, Feb. 19 – Rest day! I spent this day grocery shopping, running errands, and doing some meal prep.

Monday, Feb. 20 – Rest day! This was a fun day spent with my mom getting my hair done, going shopping, and enjoying a delicious lunch outside!

Tuesday, Feb. 21 – Bootcamp class with Anne at Definitions DC! As we drove into Georgetown for this class, we couldn’t get over the beautiful sunrise. Plus, it was light out – spring is coming!!

Our class was a good one, as usual, and led us through a bunch of different exercises including rowing, staggered-arm push-ups, various squats and lunges, kettlebell swings, and reverse crunches.

Anne and I both agreed our abs were sore from the reverse crunches the next day. Ow!

Also, for the picture above we decided to grab kettlebells that matched our outfits instead of the kettlebells we actually used during the workout (#bloggerproblems). Can you tell this 20 lb purple kettlebell was way too heavy for me? I’m practically falling over! Haha!

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Another bootcamp class with Anne, this time with our friend Kathleen at Urban Athletic Club! For whatever reason, this class was totally packed on Wednesday and was one of the largest UAC classes I’ve ever seen. Maybe the warm weather has people scrambling to get in better shape for bathing suit season? Who knows.

Our instructor Romain had us going through lots of difficult exercises that were a mix of strength and cardio.

The hardest thing he had us do was the “zombie walk” where we put our feet on these little furniture slider things and “walk” in a plank down the length of the gym. Anytime he brings those sliders out we know it’s going to be a tough workout. Phew!

Thursday, Feb. 23 – The weather was beautiful again on Thursday (it’s been awesome all week!) so I decided to take Jack out for a run instead of going to the spin class I had originally planned to take (luckily I made this decision on Wednesday night so I didn’t get charged for canceling a ClassPass class). We wound up running a 5K!

We finished in 27 minutes which is definitely not my fastest (my 5K PR is 25:19) but I feel like it was pretty good for a random Thursday morning run with Jack, especially given the number of times he made us stop so he could sniff and pee. 🙂

Friday, Feb. 24 – Rest day! The weather is supposed to be beautiful again tomorrow, so I’m hoping Fabio and I can go for a long walk with Jack after work. Fingers crossed!

Alright friends, that’s all for today! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the day: What things do you like to do when you’re alone? Also, does anyone have a face mask recommendation? I’m in the market for a new one. 🙂

 Posted by on February 24, 2017
Feb 172017
 

Happy Fridayyyy!! How was your week? Mine went by really fast, which always a good thing. And now I have a three-day weekend in front of me so I couldn’t be more excited! Woohoo!

Let’s jump right into today’s post with a recap of my workouts this week.

Saturday, Feb. 11 – Rest day! We ran about a million errands this day, so at least I got plenty of steps.

Sunday, Feb. 12 – Ran six wet and cold miles with Fabio. This wasn’t our best run ever, but it wasn’t too terrible either. Listening to the Hamilton soundtrack while running helped. 🙂

Monday, Feb. 13 – Rest day! I don’t usually take rest days on Mondays, but I was all out of classes on ClassPass and didn’t feel like going for another run. It was nice to sleep in!

Tuesday, Feb. 14 – Sculpt class at CorePower Yoga with Anne. We took Monica’s class and it was just as hard as I remembered. She led us through an intense plank series during the class that had my core BURNING. Phew!

Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Bootcamp at Urban Athletic Club with Anne and our friend Kathleen. Our instructor Romain (who we love!) took us through three stations with various exercises like broad jump/burpees, pull ups, mountain climbers, TRX rows, chest presses, thrusters, squats, lunges, and more. It was a great variety and the class flew by!

Thursday, Feb. 16 – FlyWheel class with Fabio. Now that Fabio is signed up for ClassPass (he gets 5 classes a month) I have been LOVING having him come with me to all my favorite spots! He seems to like FlyWheel a lot, which is great for me since now I have a buddy to keep me company during those classes. 🙂

Also, I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude to the shower at my office that never has a line, because it means I don’t have to deal with situations like this:

I have stood in that line before and it is NOT fun. Thank you, office shower!

Friday, Feb. 17 – Rest day!

Overall, I’d say it was a good week of workouts!

And now let’s chat about Valentine’s Day! Of course I wore my favorite heart sweater from J. Crew. My Grandma bought me this sweater a few years ago, and I feel like you can’t own a sweater like this and not bust it out on Valentine’s Day.

When I got home, I saw that Fabio had surprised me with beautiful roses!

He split them up into two vases so I could enjoy them twice as much (you can see the second vase in the background here). He is the best!!

He also knew that I would be disappointed if I didn’t get any chocolate, but I’d be more disappointed if he bought me a whole box (haha!). Yep, he knows me so well. So he bought me just a few Lindt chocolates, which was exactly what I wanted! 🙂

Since we already celebrated our Valentine’s Day date on Saturday, we kept things low-key on Tuesday night and cooked a delicious dinner at home. We played some music from Spotify’s Valentine’s Day playlist (all the while thinking about songs we could potentially use as our first dance song at our wedding – that playlist had so many contenders!), sipped on wine, and cooked dinner together. It’s always nice when Fabio joins me in the kitchen to help me chop and cook!

Before long we were digging into a delicious meal of salmon with cabbage slaw that was tossed in a Greek yogurt sauce with fresh wedges of grapefruit and grapefruit juice (this is one of the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse recipes).

It turned out SO well, and was maybe one of the best pieces of salmon I’ve ever cooked. Delicious!!

We spent the rest of the evening on the couch watching The People Vs. OJ Simpson (we just finished this show – it was a good one!) and snuggling with our furry friend.

The end.

Question of the day: How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

Admittedly, Fabio and I are pretty terrible when it comes to celebrating these kinds of holidays. I guess neither of us are that romantic? I think Fabio has stepped up his game lately though — this year he did great!

My dad always made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, and I remember being a little girl and getting some really thoughtful gifts from him on this holiday. 🙂 Dads are the best.

 Posted by on February 17, 2017
Feb 162017
 

Hi friends! As you know, right after Christmas I signed up for Designed to Fit Nutrition because I a) was looking for something to help me get my eating habits in gear before my upcoming bachelorette party and b) really wanted to know more about macros and learn how to count them/target them. I knew it was expensive, but I asked for the program for Christmas and my family was nice enough to gift it to me. It’s now been four weeks – which is how long the meal plan lasts – so I wanted to share my thoughts in case there’s anyone else out there who’s considering signing up.

If you’re a reader of Carrots ‘N Cake (which I would assume many of you are) then you’ve probably heard all about the program already. In a nut shell, it’s a four-week meal plan customized to your body type, eating/workout habits, and goals. The most attractive part for me was that the meal plan includes customized macro targets – i.e., the amount of carbs, fat, and protein you should be eating every day – which was definitely something I wanted to learn more about. The plan also comes with one-on-one coaching to help keep you on track.

So, what did I think?

To sum it up in a sentence: I learned what I wanted to learn, but ultimately I didn’t find it to be worth the cost. 

Here’s why.

To start off with, there were a couple of minor software bugs right from the get-go. My schedule was off when I received my first week’s worth of recipes (meaning I received recipes from Thursday – Thursday instead of Monday – Monday) and one time when I tried to access my account I got locked out because the developers were working on something (right around dinner time when I needed a recipe – grumble grumble). Luckily, both issues were resolved quickly and easily via email. I know DTFN is a new program with all new software, so these bugs are definitely to be expected. I think the DTFN staff did a great job at resolving the issues, and I’m sure they will continue to improve over time.

The biggest issue for me was the food. I guess I was expecting that the recipes given to me through DTFN would be unique since I was paying so much for the plan, but many of them were recipes that can already be found on Carrots N Cake’s blog. I liked all of these recipes – and some of them I hadn’t made before – but having been a reader of that blog for almost seven years (phew – that’s a long time!) I had seen a lot of the recipes before and was hoping for something a little more unique (especially given the price tag of this program).

I also was disappointed with some of the meals that weren’t recipes. For example, lunch some days included sandwiches made from Sara Lee bread, deli meat, American cheese, and pickles. I try to steer clear of overly processed foods, so having a meal plan that required me to buy these foods wasn’t ideal for me (in fact, I didn’t buy the American cheese at all, and used cheddar instead). I know Tina from Carrots N Cake has raved about Dave’s Killer Bread – an organic, non-GMO bread brand that does focus on wholesome ingredients – so why did this meal plan recommend Sara Lee? This is probably just a preference thing, but I feel like a heavier focus on wholesome ingredients wouldn’t be bad for anyone. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate shortcut meals – I definitely do! – but I also don’t want to be eating a lot of crap.

Lastly, the plan was just too much food for me. Again, this is probably just preference because a lot of people seemed to do well on their plans and lose weight, but I found myself eating much more than usual and didn’t feel comfortable with my progress. In fact, for this last week of the program I decided to ditch the meal plan altogether and follow my own instead. For $200, you don’t really want to be skipping 1/4 of your program, you know?

I also didn’t get any one-on-one coaching, but to be fair I think that might be a new add-on to the program (the price has gone up since then, which is what makes me think that feature might be new).

One caveat that is definitely important to mention here: There was an area to provide feedback and “check-in” with the DTFN planners, and I did not leave any of these comments there. Therefore, I didn’t really give DTFN a chance to course-correct these issues and I’m aware that is MY fault. I understand I shouldn’t complain if I didn’t even try to leave the feedback. BUT, I did leave some feedback about meals that I’d like to see repeated (which is one of the questions they ask you in the feedback section) and I never saw those meals actually repeated, so I didn’t know how much the DTFN planners were looking at those responses.

Anyway, I don’t want to be a downer or say anything bad about this program – after all it seems to work well for a lot of people and ultimately I did learn more about my target macros and how to track them after following this plan (which was my main goal). I wasn’t even going to write this post at all because I’m a big believer that if you don’t have something positive to say, then you shouldn’t say it. BUT, this program was a lot of money and I feel like I was very gung-ho about it in my first couple of posts about it, so I thought it would be important for me to share an update with my experience so you can make an informed decision about if this is something you want to try out yourself.

Alright, I think that’s all for now. Phew! That was a lot of words, and no pictures at all. Sorry about that. Tomorrow I’ll be back with my regular positive attitude. 🙂

Question of the day: Have you ever bought a meal plan like this one? What was your experience like?

 Posted by on February 16, 2017
Feb 132017
 

Well hello there! How was your weekend? Mine was a fun one, but it went by way too quickly. Sigh. Here’s a recap!

Friday

After getting home from work on Friday and taking Jack on a long walk with Fabio, it was dinner time! On the menu: Bubba turkey burgers and Alexia sweet potato fries (bunless for me, though Fabio had his burger on a potato hamburger bun). Plus pickles, ketchup, and mustard on top. Yum!

This meal is a new staple for us when we want something more “fun” than our regular weeknight dinners, but don’t want to get takeout or turn to something super unhealthy. I have a feeling this one is going to stay in the rotation for a while!

While we ate dinner, we watched the movie Girl on the Train. Though I read the book ages ago, I honestly couldn’t remember how it ended so it was still pretty suspenseful for me. I also had a glass of wine during the movie and a certain furry friend on my lap. Can you see Jack in the corner there? Haha!

This guy loves to snuggle.

I think we were in bed by around 11, which was fine by me! 🙂

Saturday

On Saturday morning we were up relatively early because we had an 8:00 a.m. appointment to get our car serviced (there was a recall on one of its gauge systems and it needed a quick software update). While they worked on our car, Fabio and I ventured over to a little cafe to sip on some cappuccinos.

We wound up spending an hour or so in the warm cafe talking about wedding plans, and I felt pretty accomplished by the time we were done! Soon enough our car was ready and we realized they had given us a free car wash and carpet vacuum while we were there. Sweet!

The rest of the morning was spent running a bunch of errands, including a trip to the mall where I bought two new bathing suits for my bachelorette party coming up in just two and a half weeks (!!). This was a big relief because the bathing suit I bought online a couple of weeks ago didn’t wind up working out, so I was sort of stressing out about what I’d wear. Bathing suit shopping is never a fun task for me (is it for anyone?) so I was really relieved when I found two that I liked. Woohoo!

One of our other errands took us into D.C., and since we were already there we decided to stop into Ghibellina for a lunch date! I’ve been wanting to try the pizza at Ghibellina for ages, and we realized we probably weren’t going to be able to squeeze in a Valentine’s Day dinner on Tuesday, so this lunch would take its place. 🙂

Fabio and I ordered two pizzas to share, and we wound up taking a whole pizza home with us as leftovers.

Both of the pizzas were absolutely delicious, and I really liked that they gave you scissors to cut the pizza slices with. So fun! I definitely recommend Ghibellina if you’re in D.C. and looking for some traditional Neapolitan style pizza.

The rest of the afternoon/evening was really relaxing and included a nap on the couch, some meal planning, leftover pizza, and the movie The Accountant, which we both really liked.

Then it was another early night in bed!

Sunday

Sunday’s plans included a six-mile run per our training plan for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. It was raining out when we woke up and we debated putting the run off until later in the afternoon when it was supposed to clear up, but I really wanted to get it over with so off we went in our rain jackets and hats.

The route I planned took us through a couple of new-to-me parks, including the really pretty Lubber Run Park which wound through the woods. I bet it would be beautiful in the fall!

Unsurprisingly, our run felt pretty challenging (and wet) and I was SO happy when it was over and we arrived back home. There’s nothing like the feeling you get after completing a run!

After showering up, we headed into D.C. for lunch at Modern Market. The D.C. location just opened at the end of January, and the kind store managers invited me in for a free lunch with a friend. (Lucky Fabio.)

Right away I knew I was going to like Modern Market – the flavor combinations on every meal item sounded phenomenal and I loved the focus on fresh, wholesome ingredients. Plus, each meal had the calories and macronutrients listed so I was a happy camper! My biggest problem was deciding what to order – everything sounded amazing!

I wound up ordering half a blueberry pesto sandwich (omg) and half an order of the butternut cashew soup, and both were incredible. I liked that this order came with a small salad on the plate as well. Extra greens are never a bad thing!

Fabio got the BLT+A sandwich with broccoli cheddar soup, and he was equally thrilled with his lunch. All of the food tasted so fresh and flavorful!

Later on, I also wound up ordering a peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie because it looked amazing, and I just wanted to show you guys the receipt for a second. See how it lists the nutritional information right on the receipt? Now that I’m using MyFitnessPal to track what I’m eating, I found this to be so incredibly helpful.

I also love Modern Market’s values on the back. 🙂

I have to say Modern Market is probably my new favorite fast-casual spot, and now I’m hoping they’ll open a location in Arlington soon. 🙂 Thanks for having me, Modern Market!

The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping and meal prepping.

We’re having these blueberry oatmeal breakfast bars this week, and I’m so excited!

The end.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite fast-casual restaurant?

Before trying Modern Market, I would have said Taylor Gourmet!

 Posted by on February 13, 2017
Feb 102017
 

Hi friends! How was your week? I had a pretty good one over here, and it included lots of great workouts! Here’s my recap.

Saturday, Feb. 4: Hilly 4.2 mile run with Fabio around Diane and Alex’s neighborhood. It was cold but sunny, and it felt pretty challenging. Listening to the Hamilton soundtrack while I ran helped me push up the hills. 🙂

Sunday, Feb. 5: Rest day!

Monday, Feb. 6: Bootcamp with my favorite workout buddies Anne and Kathleen at Urban Athletic Club! We had Ali as our instructor again and she split the workout into a couple of different formats so we did some moves that were EMOM (every minute, on the minute), some AMRAP (as many reps as possible) and some tabata (a few minutes of high intensity work followed by a minute or so of rest). It was a good one!

Tuesday, Feb. 7: Three mile run with Fabio and Jack! Thankfully this three-miler felt much better than last week’s, and left me feeling more confident about our upcoming training. Fingers crossed for a good run this weekend!

Wednesday, Feb. 8: Anne and I took a C2 yoga class at CorePower Yoga on Wednesday, and it was just what we needed! After a couple of days of cardio and strength work, a heated yoga class was just so, so nice. It was definitely relaxing but still challenged our core and balance muscles. I’ve also been improving on my crow pose, and can now get into it pretty quickly. Progress!

Thursday, Feb. 9: Fabio, Anne, and I checked out the Orange Theory in Clarendon and loved it! More on this below.

Friday, Feb. 10: Rest day!

So. Let’s chat about Orange Theory. I’m guessing most of you have at least heard of Orange Theory, but the premise of the class is that it’s a mix of cardio and strength-based exercises with a little extra motivation from a heart rate monitor customized to your personal heart rate goals.

Your first class at Orange Theory is free (!!) and the kind people at the new Clarendon location recently reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in taking a class. Of course I said yes! I brought my favorite partners in crime, Anne and Fabio, with me. 🙂

We arrived at the studio 15 minutes early to get set up, and our contact Alex took the time to show us around and help us put on our heart rate monitors.

Warning: all of these pictures are very orange. 🙂

Then she explained that for class we’d be spending half of the workout on the treadmills and half on the rowers/with weights and the TRX. She recommended that we do the treadmills first to get the cardio portion out of the way, and I’m so glad she did. It was by far the hardest part of the workout!

Ready to run!

Soon enough the rest of the class filed in and then it was time for the workout! Our coach for the day, Caroline, somehow was able to multitask enough to instruct the group on the treadmills and the group on the floor at the same time (similar to how things work at BLAST). She did a great job of us leading us through the different intervals, and I never felt confused about what I was supposed to be doing.

Unlike my experience with BLAST though, I never got bored on the treadmill portion because looking at my heart rate up on the screen was so motivating! Caroline would tell us when we were supposed to be in the “base zone” (a steady pace that you could keep up for a while, color-coded green), the “push zone” (a faster pace that you could sustain for a couple of minutes, color-coded orange), and the “all out zone” (basically a sprint, color-coded red).

The heart rate monitors meant that people could run at different speeds and still get the same intensity workout. So, for example, someone who’s not a great runner can get a workout of the same intensity as someone who runs all the time because they can adjust the speed of their treadmill to reach their target heart rates. It was such a cool concept, and I really felt like I pushed myself hard so I could get into the orange and red zones at the right times. (Plus we wound up covering almost three miles, which is good for our race training.)

The workout on the floor was pretty basic, and we did some rowing, squat presses, chest-presses, skull crushers, tricep extensions, and supermans. I liked that the strength part of the workout switched things up and gave you a break from the treadmill.

When we were done, I saw that I had burned 604 calories and had an average heart rate of 163. I also had 26 “splat points” which means my heart rate was at peak levels for 26 minutes. Phew! It was hard!

All in all I loved our time at Orange Theory, and I am so grateful to Alex for inviting us. Now I’m trying to figure out how I can get back more often since they’re not on ClassPass. Hmmm. Should I buy a package? Decisions, decisions.

Question of the day: Have you ever tried Orange Theory?

 Posted by on February 10, 2017