Archive | fitness RSS feed for this section

taking a rest day: it’s okay.

16 Jul

As a mostly Type-A, competitive weirdo, I sometimes usually stress out if I miss a workout or deviate from what I had penciled into my calendar for my workout that day, but I am just popping in here to remind myself (and anyone other there reading) that it is absolutely okay to listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

Be gentle to yourself.  This morning, I had mentally prepared to swim and ride in Malibu with my triathlon training group at 7 am.  However, as Friday rolled around and I realized I was exhausted, the prospect of waking up at 5-something to get down to Malibu did not sound appealing.  So I adjusted, and allowed myself to sleep.   I still got up and knocked out some Tone it Up workouts (and plan to do some cardio later).  Workout accomplished, and no loss of sanity or sleep. WORTH IT.

Only compete against yourself.   On that same note, it’s also important not to let your equally competitive friends get in your head —  the “they did xyz workout, I should have too…” guilt-game can be very, very real, and also unhealthy.

So my advice, for myself and others, is to (obviously) try to workout 5-7 days per week, but it’s okay if you need to adjust.  Or, god forbid, take a rest day one day!  Most of us out there  have commitments beyond exercise, so sometimes those take priority.

Just incorporate a lesson from the worst Bachelor of all time, Juan Pablo, when thinking about whether or not you should take a rest day:

yD3mtKyL

Any tips on how you incorporate rest into your routines? 

fitness friday: a pre-weekend workout tip.

1 Jul

In general, I love to work out.  I like how I feel the whole rest of the day and it in general just makes me happy.  Even if some of my colleagues joke that all I do when I’m not at work is exercise, it is an important part of each day.  But, as the week goes on, sometimes it is hard to make myself get out of bed, especially after a long week of waking up early to squeeze in workouts and the occasional late night at work.

A few months ago, the DTLA Soul Cycle opened, which is walking distance from my current apartment.  My friend Kristina started going every Friday before work – and we quickly became tight with our instructor, Lisa.

12991026_10100896346206919_6780298291576761196_n-1

I absolutely LOVE Soul Cycle – and I can say that because I teach spin classes, and have also tried basically every other major spin studio, at least those in LA.  I’ll save my intense musings on why I love Soul so much for another post, but the point is it works for me.  Just like that “If we build it, they will come” line from Field of Dreams, if I schedule a Soul rooster ride, I will go.  I start every Friday off early, STOKED to work out, and then I grab a smoothie on the way to work.  Not to mention, going to Soul Cycle feels like a treat — I don’t wake up annoyed I have to get a run in or do weights in a haphazard and lackluster fashion in my living room.

Kristina, Lisa, and me this morning.

Kristina, Lisa, and me this morning.

So, my tip is to give yourself something to look forward to — maybe a run date with a friend, a studio class, a hike, etc.  It’s both a motivator to work out when I might otherwise opt to sleep in or phone it in, AND its a reward for getting through it all the other days AND I get to spend time with Kristina before work.  Win-win-win.

Leave a workout tip below: What’s your tip for beating the battle with the bed? 

foothill 5k challenge [race recap].

21 Sep

I’m a week behind in getting out my race recap from the Foothill 5k Challenge benefitting Back on My Feet, but I guess better late than never, right?

This was a unique event because trail races are normally longggg distances (read: 50k), so this was a fun way to get a trail run experience without being out in the sun all day.  The race started and finished at the Glendale Sports Complex, but we ran up in the foothills through some rolling hills, switchbacks, and one pretty gnarly grade.

The race kicked off around 8:20 or so.  I was a moron and went out the night before, and slept for about 2 hours before it was time to head out to the course, so my goals were anything but lofty (finishing sounded good).  I wasn’t hung over (because, tank) just wrecked.

10665229_10152744344039672_805742230904469489_n-1

At the start with my fellow BoMF Homeboy Industries volunteers – Phil and Brian. Phil won the thing.

At the start, we met this trail runner who had a SICK tattoo of the original Nike shoe (the Nike Cortez) engulfed in roses.  I don’t have any tats but have always sort of wanted one.  This has gotten the wheels turning…

10687168_10103486116681033_1475414180471734074_n

At the start…

The race was a lot of fun and definitely made me want to get on trails more often — but I need to buy trail running shoes because I found myself having to brake SO much in order not to completely lose it on the downhill portions.

Here’s the view from the top:

10610803_10103479180012173_6290519247723963007_n

I traded places with one guy the last mile or so — I’d pass him going up and he’d get me coming down.  He was so chatty afterwards and thanked me for pushing him (I returned the thanks obviously — I would have slowed down a lot without him on my tail).

I finished in about 25:50 which I was happy with it considering the difficult course and extreme heat. It felt a lot SLOWER than sub 9-minute pace so I’ll take it.

I was 17th place overall I believe and was the second woman, so I scored a Run With Us gift card and a free month to Yogaworks! I need to make those things happen.

10665152_10103479184597983_3216288228934216940_n-1

There was a strong showing from #DTLARunning, as well as my eyelids. My buddy Andres crushed it, clearly an indication of the PRs he is about to smash this fall racing season…

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 8.31.35 PMIt was a great event and I loved being out there supporting an organization that is so close to my heart.

Tell me:

Have you done a trail race? Where? Distance? Tips for trail running newbies?

Is there an organization you support? Tell me about it! 

 

 

fitness tracking with the EveryMove app.

10 Aug

[Disclosure:  I was given the opportunity to try out the EveryMove app through my #SweatPink ambassadorship.  All of my opinions are my own.]

I have been quick to jump on the fitness tracking bandwagon in the past — I recently purchased a FitBit and wore it with the goal of getting 12,000 steps a day.  I started to get frustrated when I didn’t hit that goal during bar prep – and by some weird fluke, my FitBit also fell off my wrist on July 4th – clearly a sign I needed to take a step back from compulsive fitness tracking.

That being said, it is nice and fun to get rewarded for logging those miles sometimes, and I track my runs through Nike+ (because, hello, they have excellent Instagram integration).  Enter: EveryMove.  This app allows you to sync your pre-existing fitness trackers (everything from FitBit and FuelBands to Nike+ and RunKeeper).

photo 3 (1)

After you’ve logged a few miles, you are given the opportunity to redeem them for rewards.  A lot of the lower-level rewards feature coupons for discounts for health products — but since a purchase was usually required to redeem those, I opted to donate my miles to charity.  I’ve so far kicked a couple of bucks toward the Make a Wish Foundation and toward cancer research through the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

photo 1 (1)

Overall, the app is easy to use  — once you sync it with your existing apps, it does all of the heavy lifting for you!

Head over to the App Store to download EveryMove for iPhone here.

Weigh-in: What do you use to track your workouts? 

 

#fuelyourbetter [vega sport protein bar review]

15 May

I am always interested in trying new-to-me protein bars and supplements and am always looking for healthful pre- or post-workout snack options.  I was especially excited when I got the chance recently to sample some Vega Sport Protein Bars through my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship.

Vega was started by Brendan Brazier, a vegan athlete and a former professional Ironman triathlete.  My friend Alexis had raved to me about Vega products so I was excited to try them.   Their current campagin — #FuelYourBetter — also resonated with me. Although I love to work out,  sometimes I need something extra to motivate me to get to the gym (especially if I’m tired) and I’m ALWAYS looking for a healthy post-workout fuel option.

2353-FuelYourBetter-Fueling-800x800 (1)

2353-FuelYourBetter-MuscleSoreness-800x800 (1)

Although there is a whole range of Vega Sport fuel options — everything from pre-workout energy supplements to mid-workout electrolyte replacements and post-workout protein bars and drinks —  I selected the Vega Sport Protein bars because often after the gym I like to eat something as opposed to drinking protein because I stay fuller a little longer.

Us_VegaSport_ProteinBar_BoxFront_ChocolatePeanutButter

Vega Sport Protein Bars contain:

  • 15 g complete, multisource, plant-based protein
  • 2.5 g BCAAs
  • 2 g glutamine
  • 1 g Omega-3
  • 27g carbs
  • 260 calories

This bar is NOT low-calorie, but that’s the point. It is protein-packed and designed to aid in re-fueling your body!  It is a great post-workout option, but I also have used it before a big workout (weights + teaching spin) for a healthier alternative to a carb-laden bowl of oatmeal.  I tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter bars but they will also have Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Mint – yum!

I enjoyed the texture of the bars a lot — they taste WAY more like a candy bar than the Power Bars I grew up on, and they are dense so you feel like you are actually eating something.  The consistency is not chalky at all.  I gave one to my mom and she was raving about it, too!

IMG_6786

Right now, I am trying to lean paleo, so these bars are slightly too carb-y for my goals right now (Quest is a good alternative).  With that being said,  these are delicious, nutrient-packed, and flavorful.  I’d love to try some of Vega Sport’s other protein and electrolyte products!

2353-FuelYourBetter-800x800-v5

What are your go-to protein bars?  Electrolyte drinks?  Weigh-in in the comments with how you #FuelYourBetter

[Disclosure:  I was given one box of Vega Sport Protein Bars through my #SweatPink Ambassadorship/Fit Approach in exchange for a review.  As always, my thoughts and opinions are completely my own].

powered by plant fusion [protein powder review].

6 Feb

A few weeks ago, Plant Fusion sent me some products to check out.  I wanted to try them all before posting a review (I have a couple left), but I realized I hadn’t blogged in forever and a day and I wanted to pop back into everyone’s lives for a second.

photo 1 (7)

Plant Fusion is a line of 100% plant-based protein shakes and meal shakes. That means they’re:

  • Dairy Free
  • Soy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Allergen Free

I was intrigued by all of the different flavors.  Plant Fusion sent me 5 protein shake packets:  Vanilla Bean,  Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate,  Cookies n Creme, and Unflavored, and two meal replacement shakes: Vanilla and Chocolate Caramel.

I used the protein powders as I normally would — in smoothies and in a new recipe I tried — a Protein Powder Pancake.

Overall, I thought the protein powder had a nice taste and blended well.  I preferred the flavors I use ordinarily (chocolate and vanilla).  I didn’t love the chocolate raspberry, but that’s because I probably mixed it with weird things.  I don’t have a dairy intolerance or anything like that so I normally use whey protein, but it was nice to find a tasty alternative.

Here’s a few ways I used it:

Green Monster smoothie (aka the best recovery drink, ever)

photo 4 (3)Throw the following into your blender:

  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana (frozen, if you have it on hand, otherwise fresh banana works fine)
  • 1 large handful spinach (or kale)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1 package of chocolate or vanilla Plant Fusion protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Chocolate-Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

photo 2 (7)

Combine:

  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 5-10 fresh strawberries
  • 1 package Chocolate Raspberry Protein Powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Plant Fusion Protein Pancake 

photo 3 (3)This was surprisingly good.  I’ve tried two-ingredient pancakes before (just egg and banana) and didn’t love it — but I recently learned that you can use protein powder as a flour substitute.  This created a more hearty pancake that was flippable.  I loved experimenting with different toppings.

Recipe (adapted from Tone It Up)

In a bowl, combine:

  • 1 package chocolate Plant Fusion (that’s my favorite, but others will work!)
  • 1/2 of a large banana (mash with fork)
  • 1 egg white
  • splash of almond milk
  • small sprinkle of cinnamon

Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray, and then cook like you would a normal pancake.  I waited until the edges browned a little and the middle started bubbling, and then tried to flip it.  Once it was cooked all the way through, I topped my pancake with fresh fruit and organic maple syrup.  Peanut butter also made for a tasty topping!

Have you tried Plant Fusion?  What’s your go-to protein powder, if you use one? 

Favorite smoothie recipe? Link me! 

fabletics review.

20 Jan

[Have you entered my Clif Bar giveaway yet? Hurry and leave a comment on this post before Thursday and enter to win one of five Clif Bar gift packs.  Your odds are good!]

So if you’re like me and are fitness (and social media obsessed) you’ve probably heard of Fabletics. I normally resist subscription boxes (I don’t like being tied down, what can I say…) but I couldn’t say no when Fabletics had a deal for newcomers to get an outfit (two pieces, top and bottom) for $25.  That’s a steal in the world of fitness apparel — you can’t get one piece at Lululemon for that, unless it’s some crazy color no one wanted and is super sheer.

KatesPicks_01_1003x365

source: Fabletics.com

Fabletics is Kate Hudson’s fitness apparel brand and normally works where you get to select an outfit (2 pieces) for $49.95 every month once you sign up.  You can skip a month before the 10th of that month — but if you don’t, you are billed $49.95 to use as future credit.  I don’t love that aspect of it, but I am keeping my account active so I can peruse the site and see if any must-haves catch my eye in the future. Check out Melissa @ The Valentine RD‘s post for a more step-by-step guide on how the site works.

I filled out the online profile which asks things like what type of activities you do, sizes, etc.  After perusing the site, I knew I had to have a pair of these leggings. I wasn’t obsessed with the top, but I did like the fact it crossed over in the back. I made my selection and a little over a week later my package arrived. It seemed to take a little longer than it should have, but I’m not complaining.

Overall, I LOVE the pants.  They’re comfortable and stylish, and cute enough to wear as non-workout leggings. They’re also relatively thick, which is a plus.  The top is fine — the material is a thinner fabric (read: cheaper) than I usually go for, but that came in handy recently in a heated yoga class.

Shout-out to my little brother who snapped these pics of me when I was home the other day for a dentist appointment. (Squeezing that in before I turn 26 and have a few awkward months without dental insurance. Cool.)

photo 1 (6) Total fail on showing off the back of the shirt, but you get the idea.

photo 2 (4)

Another thing I like about Fabletics is their marketing technique.  They have fitness instructors who serve as brand ambassadors (they call them “Masters.”)  I like when large companies connect at the local level — it makes me like the company and feel like I can connect with them.  Jason Wimberly is a Fabletics Master, as is Kristie LaTray over at YAS DTLA. I am so bummed SkinnyRunner was less than a mile from my apartment the other day at a Fabletics/YAS event and I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT!!! #tragedy.

Have you tried Fabletics? What did you think of it?  Has anyone tried rival Ellie

I haven’t tried Ellie and am curious about quality/fit/style, etc.!

Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post and purchased from Fabletics because I wanted to.  However, this post contains affiliate links (if two people sign up using my referral link I earn a free outfit).