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vinyasa, vino, & my fav L.A.-dy bloggers.

28 Jun

This past Tuesday, I was privileged to attend “Vinyasa y Vino,” hosted by Whitney of To Live and Diet in L.A. and One Medical Group at General Assembly in Santa Monica!

IMG_7369I have been reading Whitney’s blog for awhile now and love how she balances studying to become a Registered Dietician with fitness as well as having a lot of fun in LA!  We hadn’t met in person until Tuesday, so I was glad I was able to attend!

The event kicked off with a fabulous 45 minute yoga class led by Jake Ferree  of Aura Yoga.

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I loved Jake’s style and the pace of the class. Since I started studying for the bar, I have been mostly doing spin, body pump, and running and have let yoga fall away a little bit.  This class was so energizing and also calming and it felt SO WONDERFUL that it reminded me I need to do more yoga.

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{Photo Credit: Leigh Green Photography}

I will definitely check out Aura Yoga again post-bar!

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After the vinyasa came the vino!  I enjoyed a glass of Chardonay from One Hope Wine.IMG_7375Every bottle sold benefitted a different charity, which I thought was pretty cool.yoga_13{Photo Credit: Leigh Green Photography}

I also enjoyed some tasty passed appetizers from Luvo, and I just learned Luvo is now doing in-flight meals with Delta! Sort of makes me want to book a flight just to try it…

I spent the rest of the evening chatting with some of my favorite L.A.-dy (get it?) bloggers.  It was so nice seeing Gigi, Ashley, and Katy!   I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I love how blogging allows you to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise.  When I recently met Katy for the first time in April, it felt like meeting an old friend, so it was so great to see her again and meet her fiancé.  I tried to seem as not-weird as possible so he doesn’t think it’s weird Katy makes friends online…

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Katy and Me!

Whitney gave out some raffle prizes and passed out goodie bags to everyone full of some great products.  It was one of those “how cool is this?” experiences and I am so lucky I had the chance to go.  It was a much-needed Tuesday night break amidst monotonous and draining bar studying!

I can’t wait to try these Luvo frozen meals…Maybe not 100% paleo, but a good healthy option.

IMG_7386…And some of the awesome products in the goodie bags.   So far I’ve LOVED the cherry cashew pure bar, hint water (I was already a huge fan),   and I love this Clean Plates LA book!

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The co-host of the evening was One Medical Group, and we all were given a free one-year membership to check it out.  My primary care physician is in my hometown, so I may check it out!

Thanks again for a great Tuesday night vinyasa y vino sesh, Whitney!

What would you rather do to de-stress: vinyasa or vino? 

jamba juice fit trends.

25 Apr

Wednesday was a day jam-packed full of fitness for me.  I subbed a 6 am spin class and then headed out to the gorgeous Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica for an event put on by Jamba Juice called FitTrends.

It was a great day sampling Jamba concoctions and learning about their recipes, trying the new “it” workouts, and mingling with my favorite LA HLBs (healthy living bloggers, duh).

20140424-163905.jpgWhen I arrived, I grabbed a Kale-ribbean Breeze smoothie from their “Whole Food” line of smoothies.  My fav Jamba Juice growing up was Caribbean Passion, and I’m trying to avoid sugar, so this was a good go-to.

I immediately met up with Katy, Monica, Melissa, and Tiffany!

IMG_6632It was great seeing all of these women — it is so nuts how social media has allowed us to go from strangers to real life friends. The future is awesome.

We kicked off the morning with a warm up with Venus Williams and celebrity trainer Samantha Monus. It wasn’t anything too strenuous — and I immediately envied Venus’ top.  Athletic apparel envy is REAL. (I later learned it’s from her own line – EleVen by Venus).

IMG_6630Throughout the day  we sampled four different workouts that have popped up.  Everyone loved the Pound workout.  We used drumsticks and moved to the beat, hitting the sticks above us, on the ground, and to the side in unison.  It was a good mix of cardio, strength, and some ab work, and a lot of fun.  I’d definitely love to take a full class sometime, especially after a particularly stressful day. IMG_6636

Monica had a great Instagram video of the class here.

After sweating it up with the Pound girls, we headed upstairs for a little blind tasting of different Jamba Juices to see if we could guess the ingredients.

IMG_6643These were actual fresh-squeezed juices (not smoothies).  We tried:

  • Tropical Greens –> my favorite
  • Veggie Harvest –> they call this one “the kitchen sink” because there’s so many different veggies packed in it.
  • Citrus Kick –> VERY ginger-y
  • Great Greens –> the most “green” tasting smoothie.

I went 4/4 on the guessing, but it was pretty easy.  I also thought it was cool that even the apple juice included in these juices is fresh.

After we sipped, we spoke with Carol Chen of Jamba Juice who told us all about how Jamba creates it blends as well as the ingredients it uses.  Check out the gorgeous farmer’s market display behind her (which we all got to raid at the end of the day!)

IMG_6646Carol talked about a lot of interesting things including…

  • how Jamba Juice works with their Research & Development team to see what the trends in the industry are.
  • Kale is no longer a trend — it is a mainstay and that can be seen from the fact that major grocery stores carry kale chips, dips made with kale, etc.
  • A trend for 2014 is “global spices” — ancho chile was one she mentioned.
  • Consumers are getting sophisticated and want to be put on a culinary journey — that’s how Citrus Kick (orange juice, apple juice, pineapples, ice, and ginger) came about

After we were all Jamba-fied, we tried workout #2 – Pop Physique.   I’ve tried various bar-type workouts before and am not really a fan, I prefer lifting normally (BODY PUMP!!!) instead of the small, “tucking” movements of bar-type classes.  The pop session was challenging though and the instructors were both upbeat!

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Melissa, Tiffany, and Kara tucking away.

Next up was lunch! I chatted with Katy, Melissa, and Lindsay over some salad and sparkling water before moving inside for a chat with Venus and Jake “Body by Jake” Steinfeld.  But first, Gigi and I took a selfie…

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Loved meeting you, Gigi! [photo credit: instagram.com/gigieats]

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The conversation was light-hearted, but full of interesting facts and tips about Jake and Venus’ approach to healthy living.

How they got their start in healthy living

  • Jake said he was a chubby kid with a stutter who used to eat everything, but his life changed when his Dad got him a set of weights at 13.  He started eating more moderately and became hooked on physical fitness.
  • Venus started training to become a pro tennis player at the age of FOUR. (FOUR!)  Her mom didn’t keep junk food in the house at all so she learned to love healthy foods at an early age

Jake and Venus’ 3 Tips for Healthy Living

  1. Don’t expect to be perfect.
  2. Be consistent – healthy living is about longevity.
  3. Just get started.

Why Jamba Juice?

  • Other than their orange juice and wheatgrass shots, and the fact that she is a franchisee, Venus says Jamba is aligned with her beliefs ever since her mom “hid the cookies.”
  • For Jake, he believes Jamba is aligned with what families need.  This is important to him because he is working to help put fitness centers in elementary schools.

How do Venus and Jake stay motivated?

  • Venus said she often has a “battle with the bed” — but hearing Serena get out of bed to go to practice helps her get out of bed too!
  • Jake does a 42-minute workout, 6 days a week.  He uses that time to plan out his day, so by the time it is over he has worked out his body and mind.

Least favorite workout? food?

  • Venus HATES planks (funny, because I love ’em) and she is NOT aboard the broccoli train.
  • Jake hates squats and liver.

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After our chat, we explored workout #3 – Hoopnotica.

Hoopnotica is a hula-hoop based workout.  You can burn up to 350 calories in an hour hooping.  I was able to keep the hoop up pretty well, but wasn’t trying to do any circus-like tricks.  This class was fun, but it felt way more like play and not at all like exercise (totally fine for most people, but I like a little bit greater bang for my buck). Also, I somehow got a bruise on my side from 15 minutes of hula hooping. Cool, Gillian.

Tiffany caught this photo of Kara — and I’m in the background hooping away:

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photo credit: instagram.com/runninghutch

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post-hula with my twin for the day, Katy [photo credit: instagram.com/katymarie5]

Definitely a good option for the coordinated people out there!

The last class of the day was the one I was the most excited about — Surfset Fitness!  Surfset uses surfboards strapped to exercise balls — so balancing is a challenge as the surfboard moves with you. It reminded me a little bit of plyometric devices we used to use in cross country.

IMG_6672 This workout was tough — we did all types of core work, burpees, and some yoga moves. I’d love to try this again! And you know, actually learn to surf.  Fun fact:  these guys were on the show Shark Tank! IMG_6679We wrapped up the day with some sweet swag bags (I’m stoked on my new Jamba yoga mat – I needed a new one badly) and took photos with Venus.

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It was an awesome day and I am grateful I got the chance to participate — and I am sure there are other awesome things that happeend I forgot to mention. Thanks so much, Jamba Juice!

P.S. My legs HATED me later that night when I taught two more spin classes back-to-back.  Thursday was obviously a rest day.

Answer one (or both!) of the following:

  • Favorite smoothie? (Jamba or homemade)…
  • Favorite “trendy” workout? (I think we all know mine is Soul Cycle)…

lorna jane turns the big 2-5.

18 Apr

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend a party at Santa Monica Place celebrating Lorna Jane‘s 25th Anniversary.  Lorna Jane is an activewear brand that began in Australia and has recently popped up in Southern California in the last two years. I’ve never been an LJ shopper, but I was more than excited to check them out on Friday.

The celebration featured workouts, sport blow-outs from Dry Bar, juice samples from Juice Served Here, Sprinkles cupcakes, and VEEV cocktails.  I arrived a little before 4 and peeped on everyone taking Christine Bullock‘s pilates class.

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I hopped in for the 4pm class – a “Cardio Core” class with Sarah Kusch from the Santa Monica Equinox.

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This workout was pretty intense — lots of squats, lunges, etc.  I was a sweaty mess by the end! After Sarah’s class, I popped into the Lorna Jane store to do a little shopping.

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I love all of the fitness mantras throughout the store — I almost bought a shirt that said “create your own happiness.”

I tried a green juice from Juice Served Here. It was really fresh but not my favorite. 20140418-223356.jpg

I loved the color palate at Lorna Jane — everything is SUPER BRIGHT and fun. I tried on a bunch of different things — mostly tanks and tops because that is what I go through the most during the week.  Lorna Jane’s price point is pretty high, higher than Lululemon, but if the quality is on-point it may be a worthwhile investment.

I also love the fact that they offer a gift certificate if you bring in used fitness apparel. I have so many things that have gotten stretched out over the years, so I need to remember to do that!

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I ended up selecting a neon blue zip-up hoodie.  It was different from anything I have (more on the sporty side and less “girly” than some of my other high-end workout apparel). It was comfy and cool, and on sale! Woo hoo.  I wore it to the gym on Saturday for a weights class and my two guy friends claimed it was “dope” and “cute” which made me laugh. 20140418-223411.jpgI appreciated the Lorna Jane touches throughout the store — the dressing room had recipes and workouts they encouraged customers to save and share, as well as inspirational quotes.

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At 6pm, I went back out for a second workout.  This one was with Zuzka Light and was a short circuit workout using our body weight.  Although it was 15 minutes long, it was intense! We did all kinds of burpees, donkey kicks, curtsy squats, jumping lunges, etc.

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I met Zuzka afterward — she was so upbeat and seemed to really be having fun at the event! 20140418-223720.jpgAs the event was winding down, I got to meet Katy @ Joy Laughter Sweat.  We’ve been following each other’s blogs for awhile now but hadn’t met in person, so it was so fun meeting her in real life for a little bit!  (P.S. She has an awesome taste in music and I love her monthly run mixes).  I LOVE how I have made real-life connections and friendships with people through blogging and social media.

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I had a fabulous time at the event and loved getting to sweat with some hardcore LA-based trainers while learning a little bit more about Lorna Jane.  I totally support their “Move Nourish Believe” philosophy. 20140418-223740.jpg

I also picked up two sweatbands (because, neon) and I got a Move Nourish Belief diary free with purchase.  It also has a bunch of recipes, workouts, and inspirational sayings in it. 20140418-223747.jpg

 

Do you have a favorite  fitness brand? Why?  

[Disclosure: I received a $50 gift certificate to spend at Lorna Jane through my Fit Approach/Sweat Pink ambassadorship.  While I was encouraged to write a blog post, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own, and I did not receive any other form of compensation.]

legality of influence. [Fashion Law Symposium]

24 Mar

This past Saturday, March 22nd, I spent a few hours on campus (weird, I know) to attend a symposium put on by the Fashion Law clinic at my law school.  The name of the symposium was “One Channel Does Not Fit All:  The Fashion Law Implications of Omnichannel Marketing.”

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Let’s be real — I will be the first to tell you I am NOT interested in high-fashion (or even low-fashion, if that’s a thing).  My best friend is always on me about buying clothes that actually fit and spending time in stores that aren’t Lululemon.  So I didn’t go to this symposium because I want a career in fashion law.  I peeped the different panel discussions and one of them — about the legality of influence and the laws governing disclosures for bloggers — really interested me.

I had to miss the panels before lunch (because spin class) but I showered quickly, threw on a business-y dress that passes for fashionable in my eyes (even though I’m pretty sure peplum is pretty 2012), and headed over just in time for the lunch program.

Lunch was awesome for two reasons – first, it was catered by Joan’s on Third.  Second, it featured an interesting discussion between Bernard Campbell, co-founder of Fi3, and Crosby Noricks, Founder and Fashion Marketing Strategist at PR Couture.

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One component of the discussion was whether or not there is a place for stores in this era of digital marketing.  Crosby emphasized that she thinks stores will gain importance again, but it will be about the experience as opposed to the products themselves.  Again, I had to think about this as it applies to my life — but there’s definitely something about the Lululemon experience that makes me willing to spend a little more as opposed to trudging through clearance bins at the Nike Outlet.

Crosby also commented on the prominence of social tools — like bulletin boards — on brand websites, and how brands like Free People are reacting to consumer behavior by encouraging the use of things like selfies and hashtags and integrating them into the in-store and online shopping experience.

After lunch was the panel I was super stoked on — “Legality of Influence (Advertising & Disclosures).”

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Moderator:  Oren Bitan, Attorney,  Buchalter Nemer

Speakers:

  • Candice Hyon, Corporate Counsel of Marketing, Privacy, and Property at Forever 21
  • Lauren Indvik, Editor in Chief, Fashionista.com
  • Stacy Procter, Staff Attorney, Federal Trade Commission
  • Rey Kim, General Counsel and Senior VP, Legal and Business Development, HALSTON

I nerded out HARD while listening to this panel because it was pretty much a direct convergence of my professional (ish) life with one of my passions – blogging/social media.

First, I found it interesting that the FTC governs bloggers (I’m living in a cave and never really gave it much thought).

The FTC  is a civil enforcement agency.  It serves to protect consumers and to protect competition, and specifically focuses on policing unfair or deceptive acts.  Unfair or deceptive acts consist of:

  • a representation/omission
  • that is material
  • and is likely to mislead the consumer [a reasonable consumer, not someone who is ingrained in the industry and should know that posts are sponsored, etc.]

Under Section 5 of the FTC Act,  ALL material connections between bloggers and the advertisers/sponsor must be disclosed.  This applies to all types of blogs, and fashion bloggers are not exempt even though it could change the reader’s perception of them. Stacy suggested bloggers err on the side of caution and DISCLOSE material connections.  Makes sense.

Disclosures don’t have to take any specific form — they just need to be clear and conspicuous to the reader.

Here’s some other facts from the discussion I found fascinating:

  • Pinterest is the highest grossing social network.  The average user is on it for 1 hr and 15 minutes and spends $175.  Take that, Instagram.
  • One audience member explained that many brands mentioned in rap songs are paid placements. (Example: “Pass the Courvoisier” was paid, but “Tom Ford” was not).  He also emphasized the fact that rappers are held to a different standard because there is no disclosure requirement.  I thought that was really interesting — I had no idea these were paid, but it makes sense.
  • While there may be some confusion between who is a “blogger” and who is a “journalist,”  journalists are governed by a Code of Ethics that requires that they do not accept gifts.
  • One panelist mentioned GOMI in the context that readers  are aware of when bloggers aren’t disclosing things they should be. LOVED the GOMI shout-out and I am pretty sure I was the only person in the audience who had heard of it.

I stuck around for the last panel —  “Legally Good: How to be Socially Responsible and Why it’s the ‘Right Thing to Do’ for Fashion Brands” — but I started to zone out a little and didn’t find this one quite as interesting.

After the presentation, I chatted with some of my friends who are in the Fashion Law clinic and got to meet Professor Riordan and some other people who attended the symposium.

I’m glad I checked it out!  If you made it all the way to the bottom of this nerd-fest, do me a solid and answer one of the following:

  • Favorite apparel brand (fitness or normal “fashion”)?  Why? 
  • Do any of your favorite brands do anything marketing related that you find particularly innovative? 
  • Favorite marketing slogan (currently)? 
  • What is your personal policy for your blog re: disclosures? 

guest post: know your numbers.

18 Dec

Hi everyone! As you may know, I am participating in the blog challenge #Elf4Health.  Today’s challenge is to “share your expertise” so I thought a guest post swap would work well for that.

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Samalee Allen, who blogs over @ Life from the Center of the Pie, is sharing her expertise on my little corner of the web and it’s all about debunking cholesterol numbers (and I am guest posting for her about how to become a spin instructor)

Without further ado, here’s Samalee…

“Ms. Allen?”

“Yes.”

“I have the results of your recent blood work. All is normal.”

“Normal?”

“Yes. Have a nice day.”


”WAIT! I need to know what those numbers are.”

“Would you understand what those numbers meant, if I told you?”

“Yes! See, I’ve been working really hard for a long time and want to know if it paid off.”

“Your total Cholesterol is 177 and your TSH is 1.96.”

“HOLY COW! HOLY COW!”

When you’ve struggled with with lousy, high cholesterol all of your adult life…

When 1/3 of your momma’s heart doesn’t work due to a major heart attack…

When the average weight for everyone on the maternal-side of your family is at 200+ lbs…

When you’re genetically predisposed to high cholesterol…

When your grandmother and bio-dad died of heart disease…

…you want to know your numbers!

Let’s Break Down the Numbers

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source: Google Images

Cholesterol is a fatty substance manufactured by our liver. Lipoproteins are fat and protein vehicles that transport Cholesterol. There are several kinds of vehicles, but we’ll keep to the 2 major types everybody talks about, LDL and HDL.

LDL (low-density Lipoprotein) – the wheelbarrow transporting cholesterol to the vessels and arteries.

HDL (high-density Lipoprotein) – the Amtrak transporting cholesterol out of the body

An easy way to remember which is which:

LDL = “Lousy”-density Lipoprotein (eL-evating the risk for heart attack)

HDL = “Healthy”-density Lipoprotein (hauling-out the risk for heart attack)

The average healthy person should have an LDL of <200, even better to have <130. For those who have risk factors (genetics, heart disease, obesity, smoking, hypothyroidism, fatty diet and an inactive lifestyle), the good doctors desire to push the LDL numbers down below 100. This is really a hard feat without the help of meds, nutrition and fitness working together. The target HDL of an average healthy person is >60. If the HDL number is lower, this increases the risk for heart attack.

My Experience with the Numbers

My total Cholesterol has been over 260 since my early twenties when it was tested. I am genetically predisposed for high cholesterol, but helped to keep it high with my poor nutritional choices. And, at some point, my thyroid decided to stop functioning efficiently. The thyroid aids in ushering out the LDL. Mine wasn’t doing it’s job. So, three years ago I started taking Levothyroxine (Synthroid) to keep my thyroid active and hoping to bring both thyroid and LDL numbers down. Still, the numbers remained unhealthily high.

When the doctor decided to ward off the potential for a heart attack, he prescribed Atorvastatin (Lipitor) and I cried like a baby. I felt like a failure and a geriatric. I now refer to my meds as “vitamins.” Again, there was little change in the LDL numbers, even while being semi-active.

December 1, 2012, through prayer I felt like God was encouraging me to go on a partial fast eating only fruits, veggies, nuts and whole grains while avoiding animal proteins and sugar. Not easy for a couple of weeks. Then, on December 18, my husband suffered a heart attack…about the time of the arrival of my Forks Over Knives cookbook. I watched the documentary by the same name in the Critical Care Unit at Vanderbilt Hospital as Terry slept.

The church where we attend was focusing on a 40-Day Prayer Challenge. One of my prayer “seeds” is to receive healing from this lifelong battle with lousy, high LDL…even if God has me work for it!

Jan 2010: Total Cholesterol 336, LDL 250, TSH 11.45

Mar 2010: Total Cholesterol 313, LDL 225, TSH 6.18

May 2011: Total Cholesterol 339, LDL 256, TSH 3.47

Sep 2011: Total Cholesterol 250, LDL 173, TSH 6.12

Feb 2012: Total Cholesterol 207, LDL 130, TSH .92

Mar 2013: Total Cholesterol 177, LDL 98, TSH 1.96

So, what brought my numbers down?

I am convinced that without spiritual intervention, my numbers wouldn’t have changed so dramatically. I continue to pursue healthy, nutritional choices with plant-based foods on a daily basis and consuming meat only once-per-month. Consistently, my fitness includes 2-3 hours of cardio (including Zumba), each week, and recently adding light weight training. And, I still take my “vitamins.” It is my prayer to be taken off the cholesterol drug although my age (50 in June) and the odds are against it. I believe in God’s odds as my prayers are being answered and my numbers finally reflect a change!

Thanks, Samalee! Go check out her blog — Life from the Center of the Pie.

Let me know — what are YOU and “expert” at? 

#elf4health week 3 recap

16 Dec

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Week #3 for #Elf4Health is in the bag!  This was probably my least successful week with the challenge.  I had my last law school final right in the middle of the week (Wednesday) and was in 10-hour-days at the library mode for the first part of the week.

Here’s a reminder of what the challenges were:

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Monday’s circuit workout was…lackluster.  But for good reason! I had a huge half-mary PR on Sunday (post to come…I promise) and was nursing a gnarly charley horse back to health.  I ran 2 miles in the morning with Back on My Feet, which actually made the charley horse feel better. That said, everything still felt a little creaky so I went with a “stretch” circuit.  I reached out on the Elf 4 Health Facebook group for ideas and went with this one…

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Tuesday’s challenge was to “pay it forward” but my options were pretty minimal since I was spending the entire day trying to cram any semblance of understanding of trusts & wills concepts into my puny brain.  I did buy my friend Taylor an assortment of treats from Starbucks, but that didn’t count.

On Wednesday, I crushed Pay it Forward AND Healthy Snack.  Well, sort of.  I didn’t “pack” a healthy snack because I wasn’t at school long enough (I basically took my test and left).  But when I got home, I had some carrots and yogurt before teaching spin.

I made up for the lack of “paying it forward” on Tuesday by stopping into Target to pick up an Easy Bake Oven. My roommate’s law firm was doing a toy drive for Para Los Niños, and when Jenn asked me if I wanted to contribute I said “of course.”  She read me some of the things kids had requested, and when she got to “Easy Bake Oven” I said “YES. GETTING THAT.”  I never had an Easy Bake Oven, but I love the classic-ness of the gift. (My brother and I did have a Creepy Crawler maker, though).

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On Thursday, my “me time” consisted of getting my eyebrows done (FYI, threading hurts WAY MORE than waxing.  But you also don’t lose any skin, so there’s that).  I also got a manicure in the most obnoxious Christmas polish color I could find.

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On Friday, I went on 3 miler with BOMF, went back to bed for a few hours (amazing), and then went to try and run my “fastest mile.” Unfortunately, USC’s track was closed so I stopped by LA State Historic Park since one lap around the dirt track is one mile.  I ran 6:34. It HURT. I thought I would run a little closer to 6:00, but the dirt track and not having music threw off my game. (And the fact it wasn’t broken up into even 400s made it harder to pace). Regardless, I completed the challenge!

I did Saturday’s Closet Clean out today — I completely cleaned out my entire closet and drawers and ended up with about a bag and a half of things to donate. My closet REALLY needed it — and now it is less of an eyesore.

My Sunday “meal planning” consisted of shopping at Trader Joe’s.  Since I’m not in school right now, my schedule is really flexible and it’s hard for me to set a strict schedule of what I’m eating when, but I picked up some easy-t0-make meals and produce to get me through the week!  Today I made eggs over-easy for brekkers, which was a delicious change from my usual go-to of scrambled eggs.

I can’t believe there’s only one week left! I’ve loved this challenge — and getting to know my new elf, Katrina Runs! Goal for this coming week: actually do the challenge on the assigned day.

ELVES: What has been your favorite day of the challenge so far? 

I felt most accomplished on the new workout, 100 burpees, and “eat the rainbow” days, but the Pay it Forward day was the most inspiring to me!

#elf4health week 1 recap

2 Dec

I’m currently in the library studying for my Trusts & Wills and Criminal Procedure finals — but my hand is cramping up from writing flashcards so I thought I’d switch gears for a second and crank out this blog post.

Good news — I successfully finished Week 1 of #Elf4Health!

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It has been a lot of fun following along on Twitter and Instagram with everyone participating, as well as getting to know my elf, Nicole.

Here’s how the week went down:

For Meatless Monday, I had a busy day at school and was there for lunch and dinner.  While I was able to avoid meat pretty easily (burrito bowl FTW!) it made me more cognizant of the fact I need to get (back) in the cooking game.  Side-note: current favorite meatless meal? Still scrambled eggs + spinach.

On Tuesday, our task was to unsubscribe. I used a website called unroll.me and got rid of a bunch of unwanted e-mails, but I have slowly noticed some of them start to creep back in…weird.

On Wednesday, we had to try a new workout. I ran with Homeboy in the morning and taught spin at night, but I also checked out a new workout (55 burpees, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, and push-ups are no joke). I also wrote about some new-to-me workout studios in LA I want to try here: Brand Spankin’ New Workouts.

On Thursday, after a little Turkey Trot action, I headed home to see my family. I’m not a huge caller (texting generation, duh), but I called my Uncle while I was driving home instead of the usual text or e-mail (and because it’s totally unsafe to text and drive). 

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On Friday, I used the Ounces app (thanks, Cori!).  It was fun to be more conscious of how much water I was imbibing throughout the day, and I like the fact they include a push notification at noon to remind you of where you’re at.

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On Saturday, aka “treat yourself” day, I first taught a little spin and logged some QT in the library, but then I headed out to dinner in DTLA with my parents and headed to the Kings game against the Calgary Flames with my Dad.  I was lucky to win tickets from the organization I volunteer with, Back on My Feet.  Definitely a treat!

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The “treating” may have continued with a slice of pumpkin pie and a full mary registration (barely beat the Dec. 1 price increase)…

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On Sunday, I woke up and immediately got my first 12 burpees done for the 100 Burpee Challenge.  I love living on the West Coast, but there’s no greater motivator than waking up to zillions of tweets of everyone doing #Elf4Health on the East coast already beasting.  I headed to the gym for Body Pump, spin, and then completed 38 more burpees before studying for a few hours.

After the library, I finished the second 50 (in blocks of 10) and then snapped this photo.  I spy a tiny tri…

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(Tri-cep not -athlon…let’s not get carried away).

I’m excited for the next week of challenges…even if it is somewhat of a distraction from holographic wills and spendthrift trusts (yes those are things, yes you should be happy you chose a different profession).

Elves:  how did Week 1 go for you? Favorite challenge?