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why i’m a paleo bandwagoner.

8 Sep

If you follow me on any other form of social media, you’ve probably seen me throw around the hashtag #paleo in somewhat of a haphazard fashion, and I realized I never shared on my blog what that whole thing is all about.  So here we go…

Up until recently, I went by the “I am a runner and I work out a lot, I can eat whatever I want, it’s fine” rule of thumb.  Sure, that worked out well — I maintained my weight and was a marathon runner.  While this is true, I wasn’t really “toned” and I think that could be largely attributed to the fact I was not fueling my body with healthy, nutritious foods but instead I was loading up on carbs and lots of things that are, in hindsight, healthy junk food (read: oatmeal and ALL THE PEANUT BUTTER).

This is a photo of me on July 4, 2013.  I had run a full marathon one month before, and so I was essentially in the middle of a running hiatus and not really giving a thought to how I was eating or the amount of beer I was drinking at law firm events or anywhere else for that matter.  I had the exercise portion of being an athlete down but my diet was probably not doing ANYTHING to aid my efforts.  I know I look “fine” here except for the fact that my bikini top is completely ill-fitting and I was wearing a ratty old shirt I had literally owned for 7 years, but the point is I was essentially sabotaging what I was doing at the gym.  “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet” proved to be true for me.

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I have never been comfortable “dieting” — it is just not me.  I refuse to count calories or restrict myself, and have always been a proponent of “everything in moderation.”

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(5k time: 23:34)

Last April, a few of my friends from the gym and I decided to create a “paleo challenge” amongst ourselves for a few months.  For two months, I eliminated carbs (no bread, baked goods, french fries, oatmeal, pasta) as well as sweets, soda, and other junk. After the first week, I was fully adjusted — and you know what? I LOVED IT.  I loved how I felt, and I also loved that I could still eat A LOT with relatively little thought, and yet I was eating more nutritious food.

I didn’t weigh myself, but I noticed that I was more toned or lean, if that makes sense.  Here’s a photo of me from July 4, 2014.

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(5k time: 20:41)

When our challenge formally ended, I kept it up all the way through the bar.  I took the month after the bar relatively easy on myself and cheated here and there.  After Labor Day, my gym fam kicked off cleaner eating.  I am again going paleo, and this time adding the additional challenge of cutting out dairy (I relied heavily on greek yogurt and cheese, so I am challenging myself to also give those up for three months this time).

Obviously I am not an R.D., but I wanted to share what worked for me and that I’m not #paleo just because it’s trendy or bougie or expensive.  It is easy for me to work into my life, and it has made me a better athlete.

Here are some of my tips:

There’s a lot of websites/literature out there that talk about how important it is to get certain types of organic meat and how you should cut out dairy, but I don’t really follow that – I just cut out all carbs (except for fruits and vegetables) and sugar.

What I do:

The HARDEST thing for me was to give up carbs in the morning.  I SWORE by oatmeal + peanut butter + protein powder in the morning and thought I “needed it” so I was so hesitant to give it up, but now I literally wake up every morning CRAVING eggs.

Here are my staples:

 

Breakfast:

3 eggs cooked in coconut oil + breakfast sausage or bacon over kale/mixed greens
Paleo Egg Muffins (like mini quiches w/o the crust, you can make these on Sunday for the whole week).
Oatmeal Minus the Oats” w/ Almond Butter for days when you just want something sweet.  Sounds weird but is DELICIOUS (can also substitute canned pumpkin for the banana, which I may even like better)
Chia Seed Pudding (also delicious)

 

Snacks:

– Celery/Carrots/Peppers cut up
– Fruit
– Hard-boiled eggs
– NUTS!!! (Almonds, Cashews, Pecans…whatever. ).
– I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Quest Bars (not 100% paleo, but VERY low-carb).  Great for pre- or post-gym. Stick them in the microwave for 10 seconds and your life will be forever changed.

 

Lunch/Dinner

I am the worst cook ever (seriously besides being athletic/smart/funny my husband needs to know how to cook because I SUCK) so I normally make a bunch of chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, or steak or something and eat it for a few meals along with vegetables, also makes it easy to take to work/school.  Some of my old-faithful meals:
– Chicken + Veggie Stir Fry + Soy Sauce (pretty self-explanatory)
– Chicken Lettuce Wraps
– Chicken or Steak Fajitas Minus the Tortilla
– Any type of salad
Cauliflower Pizza (surprisingly good)

 

Eating Out

– It makes it so much easier to just decline the bread/tortilla chips (you won’t miss ’em)
– Chipotle is HUGE for me because it feels like a treat — just order a salad and don’t skimp on the guac!

 

 

five for friday.

2 May

Happy almost weekend everyone!  I just got back from a speedy 3.5 mile run with Back on My Feet and I wanted to share a few things I’m loving this week before I log some hours in the library today.  But first, you should all head over to my friend Melissa‘s blog The Valentine RD to check out my guest post about balancing law school and fitness!

Here’s 5 things I’m loving on this (hot) Friday…

(1) SUNRISE RUNS

unnamedI have been loving seeing the sun come up during my morning runs with Back on My Feet.  This one was taken on the North Broadway Bridge, near the entrance to Elysian Park.

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This morning we ran 3.5 miles along Alameda — I love Union Station so I had to take a picture.

(2) THIS SIGN

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OBVIOUSLY this is hanging in my kitchen.  Who doesn’t love a casual Kendrick Lamar reference (and kale)?

(3) TONE IT UP #BIKINISERIES

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I am really enjoying this challenge so far — the workouts are a nice little boost after what I am already doing.  More than that, though I am LOVING getting text messages like the one below from Jenn.

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So proud of her!

(4) SAMIRA’S CLOSET {and following it on Instagram} 

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I love a clothing boutique downtown (6th and Hill for you locals) called Samira’s Closet.   I’ve purchased a few things from Samira’s shop over the last year.  The other day, I found what I thought was the perfect dress for graduation, but when I came home to try it on again, the zipper broke!  They allowed me to return it, and when I came back I found an even better dress, PERFECT for a wedding I am going to this weekend. (Sometimes I am pretty awful at being a girl — and leaving “big occasion” dress shopping until the last minute falls into that category).

I love Samira’s Closet, but I also really love following the store on Instagram.  I think it is such smart/unique utilization of social media.  I saw the dress I ended up buying on Instagram earlier in the day and walked in and knew I had to try it on!

(5) Wedding Weekend Anticipation! 

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Me, Whitney, Kelsey, and Hayley at our high school grad night, June 2006.

This weekend is my friend Kelsey’s wedding!! I have known Kelsey since we were freshman in high school running cross country.  She was the fastest girl in our grade and I remember being in such awe of her athletic ability!  Over the years we became friends and I am so excited to see her tie the knot on Saturday to Drew, and to celebrate with Whitney and Hayley as well.  And, now that I have something to wear the real excitement can begin!

 

What’s one thing you’re loving right now? 

 

 

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)…

weekend eats. (or, the one with all of the bars).

13 Feb

I know, I know…another post?  I did a lot of fun things last weekend and wanted to share them before another weekend is upon us.

Last Thursday, I kicked off the weekend (enjoying my last few months — ever — of 3 day weekends.  Law school is the best)  with an evening session of yoga at YogaHop.  So far I’m on track with my “do yoga 50 times in 2014” goal).  It just so happens YogaHop is next to a Pinkberry, and I was there while Pinkberry was giving away free yogurt for National FroYo Day or something.

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I indulged in a small original with strawbs, mochi, and fruity pebs (a dream combo if I do say so myself).  Fun fact, summer 2007 and winter breack 2008  I worked at a Pinkberry.  I’m a pretty good swirler.

That night I went to Casey’s Bar and Grill for Loyola “bar review” and hung out with some of my section 3 peeps.

On Friday I was being super lazy — I went to Back on My Feet after 4 hours of sleep (whoops), came back and slept for 3 more hours, and then lolly-gagged around my apartment sort of cleaning, sort of catching up on TV shows…I know, #roughlife.  Luckily I ran into my friend Jordan as I was finally getting my act together stumbling out of my apartment in gym clothes to run some errands and we concocted a plan to hang out later.  I love when lazy days get salvaged!  We (+ Armita) went to DTLA’s brand new City Tavern.  I noshed on the brussels sprouts and the burger — both were excellent — and sipped on a Ladyface (!)  IPA. Our waiter was witty and well-versed in the menu and I ran into a friend from middle school so I’d say City Tavern was a success.

After dinner we headed over they indulged my inner beer fiend by letting me drag them to Sixth Street Tavern for more IPAs.

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city tavern//las perlas//spring st. bar

On Saturday,  I had a little spin class action with my favorite crazies (I may or may not have had to rearrange an entire playlist to make sure one of my regulars got to hear “Drunk in Love” before he had to leave early). #Surfboard.

After spin, I headed over to Echo Park to celebrate the one-year anniversary of my friend’s vintage shop truck (think a food truck but for vintage clothes).  I loved checking out the truck and bought two rings I had been eyeing.  Check out Selvedge Dry Goods.

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That night, Jordan and Armita and I did DTLA drink fest part II.  We started at Las Perlas (because tequila).  I enjoyed a marg and Armita got some crazy cinnamon infused tequila with pineapple.  It reminded me a little bit too much of fireball.  After awhile we went to Spring Street Bar, mostly because I knew they have a good list of beers IPAs.   How I have any friends is beyond me.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun — it’s always a good night when a random stranger asks one of your friends if he can kiss her, and she makes up a fake boyfriend.  

On Sunday, I got up and lifted weights like a crazy person.  The highlight of Sunday was finding this awesome $7 bouquet in DTLA’s Flower District (and going to bed at 8:30 to prep for my 20 miler).

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Anyway, Happy Thursday!  My day is going to include some Business Associations, getting my computer back (!) and some yoga.

What’s on your agenda for this weekend?  

Fav DTLA bar? 

love you long (run) time.

12 Feb

Please accept my sincere apologies with the sporadic blogging.  I’ve been busy — but mostly I’ve been absent because my computer died on Sunday night.  I should have known better to try and install OS X.  No worries, Old Faithful will be back in my hands tomorrow.

Since I last posted, I have logged two long runs — I did 14 miles last Monday morning, and 20 this Monday, and both were fantastic.  I wanted to share a few aspects of what made them so great.

First, I love running on Monday mornings.  For me, it is mentally easier to kick off the week with a long run, rather than have it looming over me all week.  Also, it’s nice to be able to stay up later drink more IPAs on Friday and Saturday nights.

I also realized that NOT doing a straight out-and back run helps immensely.  For my 14-miler,  I ran 8.5 miles out along Wilshire, came back 5.5, and then hopped on the metro the last 3.  It was so much more entertaining because I had that many more new, fun things to keep me entertained.

A little bit after mile 6 I stopped at LACMA’s Urban Light exhibit…

IMG_5780… and then cruised through the infamous Rodeo Drive a few miles later…

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My turn around point was Wilshire and Santa Monica, where I snapped this pic: IMG_5790This run was relaxed and relatively speedy — I felt fine and could have kept going.  When I stopped at Mile 14, I hit up a 7-11 for a big bottle of water before hopping on the metro to take me from K-Town back to DTLA. 

I carried what I’ve been learning from these training runs into my 20 miler this week.  I mapped out a 20 mile route that my #DTLARunning group had done a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily,  my mom had the morning free and was going to be in LA, and offered to give me a ride from Santa Monica when I finished back to my apartment so I could shower and get ready for my 1:10 p.m. class.  I started downtown around 7:15 and took my time.  Most of the morning was spent along Sunset and Hollywood Blvd., and then I took Wilshire through Beverly Hills and Westwood, crossed the 405, and ended up in Brentwood for a few miles before ending up in Santa Monica (Wilshire and 26th).

I packed Clif Bloks (in Margarita flavor, duh) and took 3 of them every 5 miles (I took the last 3 at mile 18).

Surprisingly, my favorite place to run was in Hollywood, on Hollywood.   There was NO ONE on the street or the sidewalk at that hour, and I occupied myself reading all of the different names on the stars I passed.   I took this shot around mile 9:

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At Mile 10, I found a 7-11, bought a water,  fiddled with my iPhone, and took some Clif Bloks before I headed back out.

I cruised along and took water around mile 14 again at some drinking fountains in Beverly Hills.

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The run just sort of zipped along — it did NOT feel like I had spent about 2 hours and 40 minutes running.  As my run started clipping into the ‘teens, I kept thinking — there’s no way this is mile 16, maybe I’m only at mile 6?  And then I realized that I was in Westwood which is WAY more than 6 miles from DTLA.

I was surprised at how great I felt.  The combination of dressing smartly, taking a couple of salt pills, wearing Thirty48 socks and compression sleeves (love!) and being smart about fueling made this a great and enjoyable run.

I was also impressed by my pace — I kept an 8:13 average for the first 10 and a 7:57 average for the second 10.   Negative splits are HUGE for me and would be amazing to accomplish on marathon day — so I like the idea of starting out slow, warming up, and easing into BQ pace.  At the end, I felt tired (duh!) but not SUPER fatigued.  I felt sore, but not debilitated.  And I felt like I could have kept going, if I had to.

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I am pumped about where I’m at with my training and I’m looking forward to March 9th! From here on out it’s focusing on maintenance, injury prevention (read: yoga on yoga on yoga) and making sure I’m good to go for race day.

[Thanks again for being my shuttle, mom!]

When’s your next race?

Do you have any training strategies? 

beat blue monday. [clif bar giveaway!]

17 Jan

So one thing I don’t like about the holiday season is how every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas seems to have some sort of cutesy, hashtag-friendly name. Think I’m wrong? This year I heard about the usual Black Friday and Cyber Monday — but also Small Business Saturday,  Giving Tuesday, and of course the once-in-a-lifetime “Thanksgivingukkah” and the please-never-use-again “Friendsgiving.”

But these terms have trickled into 2014…

Did you know that apparently “Blue Monday” is a thing?  Some people refer to the last Monday in January as “Blue Monday.”  It makes sense — the holidays are a distant memory,  some New Years resolutions have fallen by the wayside, and credit card statements from the holidays are popping up, so this can be a depressing time.

While the term itself might be a little bit annoying, I’m all about getting people outside and active, so I was so excited when one of my favorite fitness-friendly brands reached out with a giveaway to help combat Blue Monday.  Clif Bar is offering five That’s G readers a Clif Bar gift pack to fuel them to beat Blue Monday — or the winter blues in general — by getting outside and getting active.

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I love Clif Bar — their products are really delicious and half a bar is one of my go-to pre-run snacks. (Peanut Toffee Buzz, please!)

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So on January 20th, try to take your workout outdoors for a little new motivation. Studies show that stress relief is faster in natural environments than urban ones. Getting outdoors also helps concentration and productivity plus it releases endorphins to boost your mood. This isn’t so daunting for me in LA — where the high today is 85 degrees! But in the rest of the country, even indoor exercise will boost your mood and lift your spirits.

On Monday,  I’m substituting an early-am spin class so I’ll be inside (lame).  Some of my favorite outdoor activities are running (duh), hiking, stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP), and cycling.

collecting endorphins.

collecting endorphins.

teaching my roommate how to SUP.

teaching my roommate how to SUP.

christmas day bike ride with the fam in Oxnard. (aka a reminder I need to get a bike).

christmas day bike ride with the fam in Oxnard. (aka a reminder I need to get a bike).

To enter:  

Leave a comment below with your plan to beat the Winter Blues — running outside?  Yoga as often as possible? Let me know! 

Extra entries:

(1)  Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment here telling me you did!

(2) Like That’s G on Facebook and leave a comment saying that you did!

The contest will run until 11:59 PM on Wednesday, January 22nd and winners will be contacted via e-mail and announced here on Friday January 24th.  Good luck!

Disclaimer:  I am not being compensated for this giveaway (except in the form of a few Clif Bars).  Although Clif Bar reached out about running the giveaway,  all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

#elf4health week 4 in review.

22 Dec

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This was the last week of #Elf4Health — which is sad!  This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had doing any sort of online challenge.  I met some cool new people and challenged myself a little bit along the way.

Here’s how this week went down:

Monday’s task was to meditate.  I am not a big meditator — but I tried a new-to-me spin instructor at my gym and he played a song where we were encouraged to close our eyes and relax.  I took some deep breaths and tried to tune everything out.  Not totally meditative, but about as close as I get.

Tuesday’s wall sit came after a body pump class — so my quads were shaaaaaky.  I hung in there for 2 minutes.

On Wednesday, I linked up with Samalee to share our respective areas of expertise.  I posted about how to become a spin instructor, and I published her post all about de-coding your cholesterol numbers.

On Thursday, our challenge was to eat at least 3 food groups at every meal.  Breakfast included: toast with butter (carbs + fat), 3 eggs (protein/dairy) and a bunch of veggies (kale, spinach, and red pepper).   photo 1 (5)

I picked up lunch at a local sandwich place — that checked off a few criteria: bread (carbs), mozzarella (dairy), prosciutto (meat/protein), tomato (vegetable), and a side of a banana (fruit).

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Dinner was consumed post yoga and spin — and although I had worked out hard, I wasn’t really all that hungry. I went with my old faithful — the Green Monster. (Spinach – vegetable,  Peanut Butter – Fat, Banana – Fruit).  Later a beer and some french fries were consumed at Villains Tavern.

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On Friday I jotted down 6 things I love about myself — 3 physical and 3 non-physical. Woot.

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Saturday’s new fitness goals are three-fold:

(1) Do yoga 50 times in 2014. (More on this later)

(2) PR at the LA Marathon

(3) Actually foam roll.

My friend Angela and I at YogaHop last week.

My friend Angela and me at YogaHop last week.

Finally, on the last day of #Elf4Health I made a donation.   I dropped off the bags of clothes from last week’s closet clean-out at Goodwill.  I also made a couple of small monetary donations to charities that are important to my brother for part of his Christmas gift. (Direct quote: “Don’t get me anything for Christmas. Just donate to charity”…so we’ll see how this actually goes over).

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I had a great #Elf4Health and will look forward to participating in it next year!  I especially loved finding new blogs/tweeps/fitness freaks.

Elves — what was your favorite part of #Elf4Health?

I really enjoyed the variety of the tasks as well as reading everyone’s different ways they completed the challenges on social media.