Oct 272017

Hi friends! How was your week?

Mine was pretty crazy once again, but hopefully the end is in sight. I’m tired of leaving the office at 7 or 8 p.m. only to pull out my laptop and do more work after getting home. It’s fun and rewarding work (thank goodness!) but this schedule is exhausting!

Luckily I was able to step away for a little while this week to get more of a “regular” blog post written for you guys, which is a summary of some of my food and fitness updates from the last few weeks. I think I mentioned this a little while back, but when I’m stressed, I crave all the comfort foods. Of course life is all about balance, but I’ve definitely been doing my fair share of stress eating lately and I know I need to reign it in. Here’s a peek at how I’ve been trying to balance everything.


Despite my busy schedule, I’m still prioritizing getting in a workout as much as I can during the week. That’s one of the benefits to being a morning workout person – no matter how late in the evenings I have to work, I’m still able to get a workout in since I get it over with as soon as I wake up!

ClassPass is still going strong (<–referral link for $40 off!) and I’m taking between two and three classes a week through there, usually with my buddies Anne and Kathleen. In the last few weeks, we’ve been making regular visits to Definitions, Urban Athletic Club (though we’re not a fan of this new format they’re trying out), Next Phase Studio, and BodyMass Gym.

While I like all of these classes a lot, BodyMass is probably my favorite now. We especially like the instructor Virginia, who’s super energetic and encouraging. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a cute pup named Flex that we get to play with when class is over. Love that place!

Anne is super pregnant right now, but trucking along like a champ! I’m sure going to miss her when she’s out after the baby is born. 🙁

Aside from my classes with the girls, I’m taking a lot of Orange Theory Fitness classes with my college friend Courtney who recently moved back to Arlington. I bought a pack of 14 classes a while back, and I’m going about once a week right now. The classes are challenging but fun, and I always feel like I got a really great workout afterwords. I’ve been going to the Clarendon location even though Ballston is in walking distance because a) it’s closer for Courtney and b) I really like the instructors, especially Alex who invited me to OTF in the first place back in February. She’s great!

Question for any of you OTF regulars: Do you try to get your heart rate in a pyramid, with most of your time spent in green, then orange, then red? One of the instructors told us about this goal recently, but Courtney and I couldn’t quite figure out why you’d want to spend most of your time in the green zone vs. really pushing yourself during the workout. We’re told it’s so you can burn fat longer, but I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts!

Lastly, I’ve been dropping into the occasional spin class and yoga class and still running a bit with Jack, but bootcamp dates with friends are definitely taking up most of my workout schedule right now. 🙂


Since I’ve been staying at work so late, I’ve been trying to cook big meals over the weekend that can last as leftovers throughout the week. As I mentioned, we had meatloaf on Sunday (it came out great!) and then I repurposed it for a few different meals throughout the week.

So for example, on Sunday we had it with mashed potatoes and broccoli (I told you, I want all the comfort foods right now!), and then on Tuesday we had it in a chopped salad with roasted acorn squash and spiced nuts. It was really good both ways! (And a little healthier on Tuesday, obviously).

The roasted acorn squash and spiced nuts were leftovers from another dish I made late last week: quinoa-and-kale-stuffed acorn squash with pecans that I found in the latest issue of Giant’s magazine, Savory. This was another really tasty meal!

As you can see, I’m definitely craving all the comfort foods, but I’m still not eating too unhealthfully, and I’m still having my standard breakfasts of cottage cheese+fresh berries and salads with either hard-boiled eggs or chicken for lunch, plus yogurts for an afternoon snack.

There was one night last week where I caved and got Jimmy Johns for dinner – including one of their giant cookies – and there have been some work treats like cookies and donuts floating around the office that made their way into my belly. But those days are to be expected, and that’s what all the planning is for the rest of the time, right? 😉

Questions of the day: What do you make for dinner when you know you won’t have time to cook? OTF peeps, what do you think of this pyramid goal thing?

 Posted by on October 27, 2017

  5 Responses to “Food & Fitness Lately”

  1. I go to OTF about twice/week and have never heard about the pyramid thing. Also, it’s very hard for me to get into the red zone, even at all outs, and I’ve never had an instructor push me to get there. At my studio (in Utah) we mostly hear about trying to get between 12-25 minutes in the orange. Some workouts, like the strength ones, are harder to get into orange, but staying in the high green is still positive. And the constant back and forth between green and orange is what is supposed to keep the continuous burn— at least that’s my understanding?

    I’m curious, are you in the middle of Halloween Week as well? We’ve had workouts like 28 reps later, Thigh-Day the 13th, Don’t Breath etc. Is that a franchise thing?

    • Must be – the call it “hell week” here but have similar workouts this week. Sadly I went on Monday expecting to try it out, but it turns out “hell week” didn’t start until Tuesday, and the wait list was too long for me to join any of the other days. Womp womp.

      If you Google “orange theory pyramid challenge” or “orange theory perfect pyramid” you can find some images and posts about it. I guess according to those who believe in aiming for this, you’re supposed to spend most of your time in green, then less in orange, and then even less in red. I usually have mostly orange, but I’m ok with that.

      Thanks for weighing in!

  2. You don’t have to justify to your readers why you’re eating comfort foods! So what if you ate meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner or had a cookie? That sounds awesome. Life is about balance, and life also comes in seasons. This is a busy season for you, so you’re more prone to gravitate towards heartier meals. All good in the ‘hood. We’re human, too! P.S. The stuffed acorn squash looks great!

  3. Hi. I don’t go to OTF, but I’ve read a lot about the heart rate zone stuff. The general principle is that as your heart rate goes above 60%, the workout becomes anaerobic, and you are using glycogen stores to fuel you. When the HR is 50 – 60%, fat is used to fuel the workout. Now, this is highly debated, but this might be what the folks at OTF are basing their suggestions on.

  4. I am pretty new to OTF, but have been trying to go 2x week. I have heard of the pyramid, but mostly I just try to follow their advice to spend 12-25 min in the orange/red zone. Sometimes that is hard if the floor section portion isn’t as intense- but I just try to show up and survive the class haha. Hoping it will help with my cardio fitness!

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