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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 032017
 

Hi friends! How was your week? Mine was pretty meh – nothing bad happened per se but nothing really great happened either. Plus, as Fabio will tell you, I’m prone to getting the “February blues” because winter is my least favorite season BY FAR. I need some sunshine in my life!

Anyway, I don’t have a full Favorite Things Friday post for you guys today but I did want to stop by to recap my workouts this week. Let’s take a look!

Saturday, Jan. 28 

I went for a quick run with Jack on Saturday morning. We only went about a mile, but it was something!

Sunday, Jan. 29

Sunday was a rest day. 🙂

Monday, Jan. 30

On Monday morning, I met up with my friends Anne and Kathleen for a class at Urban Athletic Club via ClassPass (<–affiliate link for $30 off!). One of our favorite instructors Teisha is no longer teaching at the Georgetown studio, so we were excited to try out their new instructor, Ali.

The first half of the workout was 20 minutes of AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of front squats, kneeling shoulder presses, dead lifts, pull-ups, and burpees. We counted down the number of reps for each exercise, so we started with 10 reps, then 8, then 6, etc. We were also supposed to increase our weight each time, meaning that we were really struggling to complete the two reps at the end because the weights were so heavy.

This workout structure was pretty different from UAC’s usual set-up, which was fine except that there wasn’t really enough equipment for everyone to be doing the same exercises at one time. So, for example, when it came time for me to increase my 12.5 lb. weights, I had to go all the way up to 20 lbs. because all the 15  and 17 lb. dumbbells were being used. This isn’t usually such a big issue when we’re split into different stations, but with everyone working on the same exercises at the same time it was a bit of a problem.

The second half of the workout was 12 minutes of Tabata with exercises including med ball V-ups (holy abs!), kettlebell swings, weighted walking lunges, and hanging toes to bar (omg more abs).

This half went much smoother!

All in all I really liked Ali as an instructor and on Tuesday my arms were SO SORE from all the pullups and my abs were pretty sore too. Success! I think with time she’ll be able to figure out how to get around the equipment issue (or maybe Urban Athletic Club will bite the bullet and buy more…hint hint, Graham).

We got a little snow on Sunday night, so when I got out from class I had to snap a photo of the beautiful snow-covered trees in the morning light.

Ok, maybe there are some good things about winter.

Tuesday, Jan. 31

On Tuesday morning, I covered three miles with Jack to kick off my Cherry Blossom 10 Miler training. Fabio will be running this race with me as well, so hopefully he’ll start joining me for these training runs soon? 😉 The run was NOT easy for me, and we went pretty slow, but hey, I had to start somewhere. It’s amazing how running three miles used to be no big deal for me at all – in fact it was always my “easy” distance – but after so much time off from any serious mileage it felt like a struggle. Ugh. More on this below.

Wednesday, Feb. 1

On Wednesday, Anne and I hit up CorePower Yoga in Dupont Circle for their Sculpt class! You guys have heard me rave about the Sculpt class before – it’s the one that’s a mix of yoga and bootcamp-type exercises and incorporates weights and a burst of cardio. Anne and I decided to go all the way to Dupont for this class since one of our favorite instructors, Mandy, was teaching! She was great, as always. Now I’m dying to take Anne to Monica’s class at the Clarendon location! I know she’s going to love it!

This Sculpt class really is the best – try it out if you haven’t yet!

Thursday, Feb. 2

When I asked Fabio how he wanted to use his last ClassPass class of his cycle, he said he wanted to do yoga because he likes how it “stretches him out.” Well, ok then. Even though I had just gone to yoga the day before, I decided that taking the Hot Power Fusion class at the CorePower Yoga in Clarendon was different enough from Sculpt to do consecutively. We wound up taking the class with Melody and it was just the perfect level of challenging. It was also really hot in there – much hotter than the Sculpt class. Phew!

Recycled photo!

It was a great way to start the day, and Fabio seemed to enjoy the class too!

Friday, Feb. 3

Rest day!

All in all, I’d say it was a pretty good week of workouts. There was definitely a bit more yoga that I usually do – especially two days in a row – but the classes were different enough that I thought it was fine.

The biggest thing that’s weighing on my mind right now is my running. I was really surprised by how hard the three miles felt to me, and I have to admit I’m not looking forward to my longer training runs at all. I wound up signing up for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler because a bunch of our friends will also be running it, and I LOVED everything about it the last time I ran it, but I’m starting to wonder if distance running is just not my thing anymore.

Of course I’m still going to do the race (I don’t believe in quitting!), but I think there’s a reason I haven’t done any races at all since 2014. I’m a big believer in doing exercise that you love – exercise that you look forward to – and distance running just doesn’t make me feel that way right now. Maybe that will change once I get back into the longer distances? TBD.

Question of the Day: Do you enjoy distance running?

 Posted by on February 3, 2017
Jan 272017
 

Hi friends! How was your week? Mine was a good one, but I’m glad it’s almost over because we have some fun wedding planning activities on the agenda for the weekend! One of which is cake tasting which is obviously something I’m really looking forward to. 🙂

Anyway, before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s talk about this past week! Instead of your usual  Favorite Things Friday post, I wanted to talk to you guys about my current food and fitness routine as I prepare for my bachelorette party which is coming up in just four weeks. Eek!

First, let’s recap my workouts from the week.

  • Saturday, Jan. 21: Rest day! We walked a bit around the park in Queens.
  • Sunday, Jan. 22: Rest day! This day was filled with driving home and lots of grocery shopping/meal prepping.
  • Monday, Jan. 23: Rest day. I was feeling exhausted from the weekend, and my knees were still hurting me from my recent tendinitis. I took some ibuprofen and iced/elevated and then had no more problems for the rest of the week! Woohoo!
  • Tuesday, Jan. 24: 7 a.m. FlyWheel class via ClassPass (<–affiliate link for $30 off!) with Fabio and his coworker Kyle! It was really fun to have a couple of friends with me during this class, and I really enjoyed pedaling alongside them! I wasn’t feeling my best during this class and didn’t get as high of a Power score as I usually do, but what are you gonna’ do. It was still a good workout, and I was dripping in sweat by the end.

When we got home from class, we spent a few extra minutes on Jack cuddles.

Ha!

  • Wednesday, Jan. 25: 7:15 a.m. class at BLAST DC with Anne! Anne and I had both taken classes at BLAST before, and thought it would be nice to switch things up from our normal spots. BLAST incorporates a mix of treadmill climbs/sprints with some strength work on the floor, and both of us agreed that it was really hard!

There was also less of a mental challenge since you were just following what the instructor told you to do vs. trying to remember an interval yourself, so we felt like the class went by kind of slowly compared to our usual bootcamp classes. It was still a great workout, but I’m not sure we’re ready to add this one into our regular rotation. (Plus the 7:15 start time meant I wound up being 15 minutes late to work. Boo.) Overall we still enjoyed it though!

  • Thursday, Jan. 26: 6:30 a.m. class with Anne and Fabio at MADabolic in Arlington! We had Vicki as our instructor on Thursday, and she was awesome!

Our bootcamp took us through 5 stations 6 times around with a mix level of effort from 80% all the way up to 90%+. It was a great workout and flew right by! I actually remember thinking how much more I enjoyed this workout than the class the day before. It was a lot of cardio which wasn’t exactly what I was looking for after two days in a row of it (usually MADabolic has more strength) but I still enjoyed it!

  • Friday, Jan. 27: Rest day!

And there you have it – my week of workouts!

Alright, now let’s chat about food! As you guys know, with my bachelorette party coming up soon and dress fittings and wedding events following shortly after, I’m trying to make sure I’m eating as well as I can so I’m in good shape during this exciting time in my life.

A few months ago I read about Tina’s new meal plan program, Designed to Fit Nutrition, which gives you customized meal plans depending on your body type, goals, and macronutrient targets. I’ve been wanting to learn more about macronutrients for a really long time, and I thought this meal plan could be the perfect way to educate myself about how many grams of carbs, protein, and healthy fats my body does best on. For example, I’ve long thought that my body doesn’t do well with carbs, so I was hoping this plan could help me test that out!

I asked for a gift certificate for Designed to Fit for Christmas, and I signed up at the beginning of January! This week was my first week on the four-week meal plan, which meant there was lots of planning and prepping going on at my house on Sunday.

Overall I’ve been really enjoying the recipes on the meal plan, and at first I was actually surprised by how much food I was “allowed” to eat! When I first saw the plan I thought it would be way too much food for me, but now that I’ve been on it for a few days I’ve realized a couple of things: 1) My portion sizes were way too big before, and when I carefully measure and weigh (!!) my food I can better gauge how much I’m eating and 2) On this plan I can eat a bunch of smaller meals all throughout the day, instead of just doing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s been really great so far, and I’m already feeling like it’s made a difference in how I feel about my body!

Here’s a peek at some of what I’ve been eating.

Egg scramble with potatoes, egg whites, eggs, cottage cheese, broccoli, peppers, onions, and hot sauce.

Overnight oats with chocolate protein powder (this is new for me), almond milk, almonds, and shredded coconut.

I’ve also been drinking protein shakes after my workouts (chocolate protein powder + almond milk) with half a banana. These shakes keep me full throughout the early part of the morning, so then the rest of my meals come a little later in the day as well. This helps keep me satisfied with all my lunches and snacks through dinner time!

Lunches have been a combo of salads (weighed!) with hardboiled eggs and half a sweet potato…

Or Southwestern chicken salad made with Greek yogurt and all kinds of veggies. Yum!

Afternoon snacks have included fruit, almonds, Kind bars, and RX bars! I really like these chocolate sea salt RX bars, and especially like the ingredient list. Two thumbs up!

Dinners have mostly included lean meats, veggies, and sometimes carbs! Weighing my food has been really important for me here, as this is where I find I used to overestimate my portions the most. Whoops.

We also had breakfast for dinner one night, which I was super excited about. Greek yogurt protein pancakes and chicken apple sausage for the win!

There’s even room for dessert some nights, including organic graham cookies and a tablespoon (measured!) of peanut butter. You better believe I licked that tablespoon clean. 😉

All in all I’m really enjoying this plan, and I like that each meal is balanced in terms of how many grams of protein, carbs, and healthy fats I’m getting specific to my body and my goals. I’ m never hungry while on the plan, but I don’t feel like it’s too much food either (which I was worried about at first). You know I’ll keep you posted, but for right now I’m thinking this is the perfect tool to help me feel my best next month for my bachelorette party! Woohoo!

Question of the day: Have you ever tried such a prescribed meal plan? Would you be able to follow it?

Obviously I’m going to stray from a bit for cake tasting this weekend, which is a-ok in my book! 🙂

 Posted by on January 27, 2017
Jul 072016
 

Hey friends! How’s everyone doing today? I attended another fun class at Urban Athletic Club with my buddies Anne and Kathleen yesterday, and instead of just glossing over it with some vague details I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you more about how this class is structured and why I love it so much.

I’ve received a few emails/comments lately from other DC locals on ClassPass who are looking for recommendations on classes to take, and Urban Athletic Club (UAC) is definitely one of my favorites! I usually go once a week using a combination of my ClassPass classes and a package of classes that I bought a while back, and it’s such a great workout every time. Plus, I love having the opportunity to spend an hour catching up with Anne and Kathleen while we work out! Multitasking at its finest!

UAC has a couple of different locations, but I’ve only ever been to the one in north Georgetown. Take note that it’s not down by the waterfront, but up closer to Dupont on 27th and Q NW. There is usually street parking and/or meters available nearby, and the entrance is located right on 27th up a flight of stairs. There are signs, but if you don’t know where you’re going it can be easy to miss!

When you arrive just ring the doorbell (it’s marked) and the instructor will come open the door for you.

Speaking of instructors, my favorites right now are Teisha, Romain, and Graham. Graham is the owner so he’s not teaching classes very often, but when he does they are always fun and challenging! Teisha’s classes feature tons of 90s throwback songs and plenty of cardio, whereas Romain plays the latest house music and songs on the radio and is a little more focused on mobility and strength (though really, all the classes are pretty similar).

When you arrive, the instructor will take you through a warm-up (Teisha’s are usually ladder drills and Romain’s are usually stretching/walking movements) and then he/she will go over the workout for the day!

The class is broken out into three sections: turf, grid, and open.

The turf area is usually where all the cardio takes place, the grid uses TRX and monkey bars, and the open uses weights. The class divides up into groups of 3 or 4, and each group will cycle through all three stations for a set period of time (either as many reps as possible – AMRAP – in a certain number of minutes, or tabata style with a few seconds on and a few seconds of rest).

Once each group has gone through all three stations, it’s time for “half time” which will usually involve something like running around the block or holding a plank. After that, everyone breaks out into their groups again and goes to each station for the second half, but this time with completely different movements than the first half.

I’ll explain all of this in greater detail as we go, so I think this will all make more sense in a minute!

Turf

The turf is a long strip of red turf, and is usually used for activities like burpees, suicide sprints, shuffle runs, wall balls, bear walks/crab walks, jump rope and more.

This is the area where most of the cardio takes place, so you’ll likely be the most winded after being at the turf. Phew!

Grid

The grid has a combination of monkey bars and TRX equipment, and in my opinion is the hardest station!

Exercises at the grid can include pull-ups, chin-ups, knees-to-chest, various rows, and pistol squats (among others).

The hardest part for me is when the TRX straps are lowered down to the floor and we put our feet in the straps for mountain climbers and ab work. Ouch! Any time I walk into the studio and see that the straps are low I know it’s going to be a hard workout. 

Wouldn’t it be more fun to just hang around on the monkey bars? 🙂

Open

The open is just an open space in the back of the gym with lots of different kettlebells and weights. Usually this area will include kettlebell swings, walking lunges, sumo squats, snatches, cleans, and whatever else the instructor throws at us that day.

Some of the toughest moves we do in the open involve really light weights. Whenever the instructor tells us to grab a lighter weight that usual, it’s another sign that a tough move is coming!

Halftime

Halftime occurs once each group has cycled through all three stations, and is totally different each time! Yesterday we had the option of running around the block or doing a wall sit with bicep curls. It was really muggy outside so Kathleen, Anne, and I opted for the wall sit. It was tough!

Sometimes the halftime challenge is something more simple like a plank, which makes chatting easier. 🙂

After halftime we go to each station again and do completely different exercises! Because the class is structured this way, it absolutely flies by and I usually am left feeling sweaty, tired, and completely shocked that an hour has passed by already. In this class I’m always thinking about what movement I need to do next, and before I know it class it over and it’s time to stretch!

By the way, there is a shower at UAC, but only one. They provide towels too!

If you couldn’t already tell, I love this class so much and really enjoy working out there every week. If you’re local and haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot! 🙂

*Note: this post is not sponsored in any way and I pay for all Urban Athletic Club classes on my own. I just really love these classes!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite type of class to take?

 Posted by on July 7, 2016
Mar 162016
 

Look at that – we made it to hump day! Is this week flying by for anyone else?

I had a really nice day yesterday and I always enjoy reading day-in-the-life style posts on other people’s blogs, so I thought I would share a recap of my day yesterday in a similar (if less detailed) format. Ready? Here we go!

My morning began with a run on the National Mall with Fabio and Jack! It was super dark (definitely a downside to daylight savings time) and a little rainy out, but I’m glad we made it out there anyway.

We began our run in front of the Capitol building, looped around the mall by the Washington monument, and then ended again at the Capitol! Seeing this view (even with all the scaffolding around the Capitol) definitely made me think of House of Cards. I love this city! 🙂

IMG_9799

Sorry for the crappy photo!

Initially we had plans to run with with our friend Dan, but apparently we had a miscommunication about the time we were meeting and he didn’t have his phone with him, so Fabio, Jack, and I waited around for a little while before running on our own. Next time we will be more coordinated!

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It was a lot of fun running with my two favorite guys; Fabio doesn’t join me for runs nearly as often as I’d like. The spitting rain was a little annoying, but it was worth it for these sights!

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Yay! 🙂

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In the end we wound up covering only two miles, but a two-miler on a cold and rainy day is still a lot better than no run at all. 🙂

When we came back home, we downed some of our fresh juice (this week’s batch has a lot of beets in it!) and then I made some avocado toast using Dave’s Killer Bread, 1/4 an avocado, a slice of turkey bacon, sliced tomato, and cheddar cheese. I popped the whole thing under the broiler for a few minutes to make the cheese melty. Yum!

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I’m actually trying something new in regards to meals this week; I’ve been stuck at the same weight for a couple of years now and I’d really like to lose a couple of pounds before our engagement party in a few weeks. I’ve been trying all my normal tricks and although I’m back down to the bottom range of my usual weight, I would love to go a little past it. I’ve been reading lately about the benefits of a low-carb, high-fat diet, and decided to give it a try. I’m loosely following a meal plan I found online for that type of diet for this week, and I wind up liking it I’ll be sure to share it on here. So far I’m feeling great!

After I got into work, I sipped on some tangerine-flavored “positive energy” tea that my coworker brought in for me. It was yummy!

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Soon enough it was time for lunch! The meal plan suggested turkey club wraps with spicy sprouts, with the wrap being a kale leaf. To make this, I spread some Laughing Cow cheese on a large piece of kale, then layered in sliced tomato, turkey, turkey bacon, and sprouts that I had tossed with some sriracha.

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While this was a good idea in theory, my kale leaf was a little too small for all those toppings and things got really messy. I wound up ditching the kale for the second one and just wrapped everything in the piece of turkey, and it turned out much better. The spicy sprouts were especially tasty!

At around 3:30 I broke for a snack: two celery sticks topped with peanut butter. Does this remind you of childhood or what? All that’s missing is the raisins! Also, the celery sticks look massive here but it was actually a pretty small plate. Then again, they were pretty big…

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Works for me!

One benefit of daylight savings time is how light it is when I get home! I got home yesterday and the weather was just beautiful, so Fabio and I took Jack on an extra long walk. We even spotted some beautiful crocuses on our way, and you know what that means: spring is coming!

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Also don’t be fooled into thinking I found a beautiful meadow in the heart of DC – this is just a vacant lot where we let Jack run around off-leash that happens to have some pretty flowers growing. 🙂

Once we got home, I snacked on one of these Walkers shortbread cookies that the company sent me to review.

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Holy moly, are those things dangerous. So buttery and sugary! After tasting one I made Fabio hide them (haha!) so I wouldn’t go back for more. There’s something about the simplicity of a shortbread cookie that makes me feel like I could eat 10 of them. Yum!

I also snacked on some raw almonds; clearly I was starving and just couldn’t wait for dinner! Eventually I got things going in the kitchen.

I wound up making this recipe for broiled salmon with a honey soy sauce and some simple roasted asparagus.

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It turned out so well, and I will absolutely use this recipe again. The sauce gave the salmon such a good flavor! We actually bought this salmon from Costco and froze a bunch of it, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing this meal pop up again soon. Yum!

I had planned on snacking on some Greek yogurt and fresh berries after dinner, but the salmon was actually really filling (they were big pieces) and since I had splurged on the cookie already I figured I didn’t really need it. 😉

Instead I finished up the evening on the couch with my boys! We watched an episode of House of Cards (of course!) and then called it a night.

The end!

Question of the day: Tell me one thing about your Tuesday!

 Posted by on March 16, 2016
Mar 092016
 

On Saturday morning, I had the opportunity to join my friend Anne for a pop-up SoulCycle class at Union Market! SoulCycle recently teamed up with Target to offer free pop-up spin classes around the country, and you better believe I wouldn’t miss a chance to try the much-talked-about class for free!

(How nerdy do we look here? That first one caught us off guard! Haha!)

The class was held at Dock 5 of Union Market, which is the same place where the Lamb Jam I went to over the summer was held. In case you ever go to an event there and can’t find Dock 5, it’s all the way to the right of Union Market and up the stairs. Luckily they had marked it pretty well with SoulCycle and Target signs, so I didn’t have any trouble finding it. 🙂
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As soon as I arrived, I saw that they had blocked off certain areas of the large warehouse space to resemble a spin studio, complete with a front desk, shopping area, cubbies, and the bikes!

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After we checked in and reserved a bike, we were given goodie bags with new fitness apparel from Target! I love their C9 Champion line of clothing, which always seems to be good quality, fashion-forward, and much more affordable than my beloved Lululemon.

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As soon as we received our bags, Anne and I headed into the bathroom to change. Might as well use our new stuff right?

I was given a pair of blue capris and a loose black tank top that was open in the back (I couldn’t find the exact ones online, but these are similar to the capris and this is similar to the tank).

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I loved the fit and design of the capris especially, which had a slightly different pattern on the back side than the front.

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So fun!

Once we were changed, it was time to get cycling! We headed into a dark space that had the light blocked out by black curtains.

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There were lots of people in our class, and apparently a lot were even on the waitlist. I felt very lucky to have a spot!

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A few minutes later, we were on our bikes and it was time to get going!

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The class itself was pretty good, but after hearing so many awesome things about SoulCycle I have to admit I left feeling a bit…underwhelmed. At this point I have tried out different spin studios all across the DC area, and I always expected SoulCycle to be the best of the best. I actually found the class to be a little bit slow and it wasn’t as challenging as I would have liked. I’m wondering how much this particular class set-up and instructor had an impact on that. I definitely plan to check out a class at their regular studio with a different instructor sometime before making a final judgement, but since their classes are expensive and they aren’t on ClassPass I can’t really see that happening anytime too soon. Oh well – in the meantime, I’ll keep doing my thing at FlyWheel and Biker Barre. 😉

Either way, the event itself was a lot of fun (and very well organized!) and I had a really fun Saturday morning working up a sweat with a good friend by my side.

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Thank you for having us, SoulCycle and Target!

Question of the day: Have you ever been to SoulCycle? What do you think?

P.S. The new SoulCycle x Target clothing line that we previewed at the event was super cute, and very affordable! Definitely check it out the next time you’re in Target!

 Posted by on March 9, 2016
Mar 042016
 

Hey there! Happy Friyayyy!! 🙂 As I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve been having some great workouts lately and I wanted to take some time to tell you about them! Here’s a peek at what my workouts have looked like for the last two weeks, all of which were made possible through ClassPass. Yay! 🙂 (Psst – use this link to get $20 off of ClassPass registration!)

Last week

Monday: TRX at Reformation Fitness

I told you guy all about this class already; it was the one that was supposed to be a spin class but due to a dumb mistake on my end wound up being an awesome TRX class. Not a bad mistake at all, really! It was pretty hard and my glutes were really sore after this one, probably from all the weighted jumping lunges. Those get me every time!

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Tuesday: Fly Barre

Ah, this class is always SO incredibly hard! It’s a totally different kind of hard than the TRX class too – instead of sweating my butt off and being out of breath, my muscles shake and quake and I have to force myself to keep dipping and pulsing. The class was taught by Stephen, who is without a doubt my favorite fly barre instructor. I pretty much only take his class! (Side note: I actually talked about this class in an interview I did with WTOP radio recently! Check it out!)

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Wednesday: Run one mile/rest

Wednesday was supposed to be a rest day for me (which I definitely needed – I was really sore) but I still wanted to get moving a little so I took Jack on a rainy one mile run. It was nothing crazy, but it felt good to get my blood pumping.

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Thursday: Run 3 miles

Another rainy run with Jack! This time we covered three miles and made it over to Union Station. Hello, Capitol building!

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Friday: Metabolic Resistance Training class at Definitions

On Friday I joined my friends Anne and Kathleen for the Metabolic Resistance Training class at 6:15 am at Definitions! We love this class and try to take it every few weeks. It’s a small space, but the instructors really maximize the area and equipment to deliver a really fun and challenging workout. Love it!

Recycled picture, same crew!

Saturday & Sunday: Rest (Jess’ Bachelorette in the Poconos!)

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This week

Monday: Rest

Aka recovering from the weekend. 😉

Tuesday: HIIT at Reformation Fitness

I liked the TRX class at Reformation Fitness so much last week that I decided to go back this week for their High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class. I wound up taking the 6:00 am class with instructor Julie, and it was a great workout! One thing I really liked about her class was that she had us focus on technique/form before sending us off to the do the workout (sort of like at a CrossFit class). For example, we practiced doing snatches with pieces of PVC pipe to make sure our form was correct before we spent five whole minutes doing as many snatches as possible with a bar. Phew! It was a really good workout (it was mostly upper body on Tuesday) and the muscles in my back were pretty sore afterwords.

Wednesday: Urban Athletic Club

On Wednesday I joined Anne for one of our favorites, Urban Athletic Club! We always love the variety in these classes and they fly right by. The workout of the day was a particularly hard one, and we went through lots of push ups, pull ups, burpees, mountain climbers, (more) snatches, lunges, and more.

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Phew!

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Thursday: Rest day!

Friday: Run 3 miles

I’m actually writing this up on Thursday evening so this hasn’t happened yet, but I’m planning to run 3 miles with Jack tomorrow or hit the treadmill if it winds up being snowy. We will see!

Saturday: I have plans to join Anne for a special Soul Cycle class on Saturday, and I am pumped! You know I’ll tell you all about it. 🙂

Sunday: Rest day!

So there you have it, a review of two weeks’ worth of workouts all in one post. Phew!

Question of the day: How many times a week do you work out?

Anywhere between three and five workouts per week is good with me! I like my scheduled rest days. 🙂

 Posted by on March 4, 2016
Feb 232016
 

Whew, I had a rough morning yesterday!

I woke up at 5:15 am ready to hit the ground running with a healthier day, and after getting dressed and walking Jack I headed out the door for a 6:15 spin class at Reformation Fitness. After driving over there and parking, I walked up to the door only to discover that it was locked.

There was a sign on the door saying they keep the door locked during non-peak hours, and you should check your class confirmation email for how to get in (there was a key pad next to the door, so I thought maybe you had to enter a code?). I had been to Reformation Fitness for a morning spin class before and didn’t remember this happening, but I checked my email on my phone anyway to see if there was a code for the key pad. Nope. I stood around awkwardly for a few minutes watching the minutes tick closer to the class start time, and was so confused.

Thankfully one of the employees from Reformation came to the rescue and unlocked the door, and she asked if I was there for the 6:30 HIIT or TRX class. Hmm – no, I’m here for spin at 6:15? I double checked my ClassPass reservation and saw that while yes, it was at 6:15, it was actually at 6:15 pm. Ahhh!!

On Sunday when I was booking my class, I used the ClassPass website instead of the app, which has a new feature that recommends classes for you based on your previous classes. I saw spin at 6:15, which I know is a class I’ve taken before, so I signed up. Oops. I guess I should have looked at the class listing more carefully!

Luckily, the lady who let me in was very accommodating and she let me sign up for a 6:30 am TRX class instead. It was also really lucky that I wore my regular sneakers, since a lot of times when I take spin I wear my comfy Uggs and then change into my spin shoes right before class. Crisis averted!

I was then led into the TRX studio, where I sat and looked at my phone for 15 minutes while I waited for class to begin. I tried not to think about that extra 15 minutes of sleep I could have gotten. Sigh.

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Soon enough our instructor Erika arrived and walked us through our workout for the day!

We began with four minutes of as many rounds as possible of 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 10 squats. Then we rowed 850 meters on the rower. Truthfully, I started hating that rower after a while. Get me off of that thing! We also did a couple of planks and side planks to finish off the warm up.

Next it was time for our circuit of the day! Erika had us complete three rounds of the following:

    • 30 tuck jumps
      • Plank holds
    • 20 weighted jumping lunges
      • Up and down push-ups with feet in the TRX
    • 40 plank jacks with feet in the TRX
      • Weighted squats

This wound up being a partner exercise so while one person completed the first exercise (e.g., 30 tuck jumps) the other person would hold a plank. Then we would switch, until we’d each done the two exercises three times. After that, we moved on to the next set of two exercises (e.g., 20 weighted jumping lunges and push-ups).

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This was a really tough workout, it reminded me a bit of the Kayla Itsines workouts that I used to do/still do on occasion. I can’t say I missed the tuck jumps or weighted jumping lunges! Everything was also much harder with our feet in the TRX bands, which I’ve learned from past workouts at Urban Athletic Club. Phew. It was definitely a hard workout, and I’m actually glad that I mixed up the spin class time so I could try something new!

At the end of class during our stretch, I realized I didn’t pay my parking meter because the 6:15 spin class was supposed to end at 7:00 am (the time you have to start paying) and with the class confusion I forgot to go back out and pay it. Erika mentioned that the meter maids were outside right as we were wrapping up class, so I high-tailed it out of there and arrived at my car right before I got a ticket. Side note: I also packed myself a delicious salad for lunch about an hour later, and then left it on my counter. What a Monday!

Anyway, the TRX class at Reformation Fitness wound up being really great, and I will definitely be back. When my hair is sweaty and my face is red, you know it was a good one!

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By the way, if you want to use my ClassPass referral code, you can get $20 off your first month!

Question of the day: Please tell me about something stupid you’ve done recently to make me feel better. 🙂

 Posted by on February 23, 2016
Feb 052016
 

Hi friends! Happy Friday!

This week I tried a new-to-me studio via ClassPass, the Dailey Method! Located right in the heart of the U St and 14th St corridor, this studio that opened last August combines both cycling and barre into a super effective one-hour workout. Based on their website, it looks like traditionally the Dailey Method is focused more on barre, and they combine moves from ballet, yoga, and pilates to deliver a great toning workout. The DC studio, however, has spin bikes as well, so they can offer a class that includes 40 minutes of cycling and 20 minutes of barre. What a great combination!

I arrived about 10 minutes before class, and was able to find plenty of street parking right outside the studio (then again, it was 5:50 in the morning and I bet parking would be a lot harder in the evenings). The studio is located a few blocks from the U St metro (it’s on the same block as Ben’s Chili Bowl) and is on the second floor above street level.

the dailey method DC

As I climbed the stairs, I noticed a sign that said I should consider the stairs a warm-up to my workout. Ha!

I also saw a sign for their new member deal – $99 for 4 weeks of unlimited cycling and barre. Not a bad deal!

the dailey method DC new member deal

The entry area was very inviting, and after being greeted by the woman at the front desk, I was asked to sign a quick waiver via iPad. From there I was shown to the cubbies where I could store my coat and shoes, and then I changed into my bike shoes and entered the studio space.

Upon entering, I noticed 25 bikes set up to the left,

the dailey method DC spin bikes

and a barre-style set up to the right. Cool!

the dailey method DC barre

I immediately hopped on a bike near the front and got warmed up. Once class started, we spent the next 40 minutes pedaling to some great music (our instructor Molly even played one of my absolute favorite songs, Love Again!). I will say that if I was coming to this class just for spin, I probably wouldn’t be super impressed. The bikes were really close to one another, and Molly seemed like maybe she wasn’t all that comfortable up there teaching the class. It’s not that she did anything weird or bad, I’ve just taken about 100 spin classes at this point and she didn’t seem to be as confident as some other instructors I’ve taken classes with. Either way, she led us through a bunch of sprints and climbs, and before we knew it, 40 minutes had passed and we were stretching on the bikes.

Molly told us to leave our shoes right by the bikes, and head over to the barre area. (Note: If you care about things like this, you might want to pay attention to what socks you wear, because unlike in a normal spin class, everyone is going to see them during the barre portion of class. I obviously was not thinking about this, and wore my favorite workout socks which are pretty worn out and even have a hole in the bottom. Oops.)

Once at the barre, Molly led us through a bunch more exercises that had us focusing on our core and technique. We held some planks and side planks, did a short arm sequence, worked on our obliques and lower abs, and concluded the workout with some stretching and yoga poses. Molly seemed way more comfortable when teaching the barre portion of class, so I’m guessing that’s just where her experience is. I’d be interested to see how their other instructors compare!

Overall it was a fantastic workout, and I definitely plan on going back. 🙂

Question of the day: Which do you like better, spin or barre?

 Posted by on February 5, 2016