January 31, 2014

Five Friday Favorites 1/31/2014

Okay, slow down 2014, we are already a month into the new year! If you missed it, check out my post from yesterday about recent deliveries and packages! I need to really focus on my goals for 2014, although I have been better at trying new recipes and have used far more than one this month. I plan on sharing some of my favorites here next week! Also this weekend is Super Bowl Sunday, which is less exciting that it was last year when I celebrated the Baltimore Ravens victory in streets of Charm City.  I'm feeling pretty nonchalant about the whole thing, but at least there will be some good food with good friends. Here were are again for another five of my favorite things!

Five Friday Favorites
1. Favorite quote: SOTU speech: "I believe that when women succeed, America succeeds"-Barack Obama
Whatever your politics are, it's important to still hear about what is going on and what our nation's leaders think. I happened to like the State of the Union speech a lot this year and especially the focus on girl power. With lots of problems in the world, people seem to forget the inequalities that still exist between women and men.  Also Joe Biden is hilarious. 
barackobamaSOTU_gif
From People.com
2. Favorite workout: Core Workout for Runners from Crazy Running Girl

This workout looks awesome because it has some core moves specific for runners that does not involve just a million crunches.  These reverse plank leg lifts below look especially difficult! 

crazyrunninggirl.reverse-plank

3. Favorite recipe on my must-make list: Fudge 'Ems from Barr and Table
Fudge Ems!
I have seen and pinned multiple recipes for black bean brownies but have never tried them. This recipe for more a black bean fudge looks super easy and delicious-good thing I have a couple cans of beans lying around! 

4. Favorite meal of the week: Grilled Bronzini from The Food Market
bronzini_thefoodmarket1

Last night I had an amazing dinner at The Food Market in Baltimore. It's a super hot and trendy restaurant that has been open for less than two years. I had a really nice brunch there about a year ago so I was excited to try their dinner menu. We started off with the hot nuts, street tacos, pan roasted popcorn (with grated basil parmesan and truffle oil!), and lobster fingers to share for the table. Lobster fingers are like chicken fingers, except made with lobster. They were amazing. Anyways, for my entree I ordered the grilled bronzini which was a massive piece of fish, perfectly cooked and paired with asparagus and a caper-raisin butter sauce. I also got some soy roasted brussel sprouts instead of potatoes because I love brussel sprouts.  I'm so glad I was not disappointed!

5. Favorite feature: Featured blogger on Miles to Blog
Lauren
Sorry for the self-promotion, but I am super excited that I was picked as the featured blogger on the Miles to Blog directory this week! Miles to Blog is a newer running blog directory that organizes running bloggers by location and allows runners to connect with each other by sharing blog posts and race recaps. 

Any big plans for the weekend?

January 30, 2014

Sorry We Missed You #1

Today I'm introducing a fun little feature I'm going to post on the blog every so often I'm calling Sorry We Missed You which will be showcasing some of the recent packages I've had delivered to me. I am shipped packages from giveaways I enter and happen to win (I enter lots!), products from brands I'm working with, and all the things I buy when I have spurts of being an online shopping addict. Whoops. 

Sorrywemissedyou1

You may be confused about the title of the post unless you know firsthand the turmoil of living in an apartment building and trying to receive packages. I'm not talking about one of those big apartment buildings which conveniently have lobbies or front desks. It's pretty much a guarantee that I miss a package at least once from the Postal Service, Fed Ex, or USPS before I get it. I love getting mail, but it can be so inconvenient sometimes. 

 If no one is home, a package can't just be left on my stoop in the middle of a city street so I'm always receiving those "Sorry We Missed You" or redeliver slips. Pretty much the biggest pain because guess what, I work during normal business hours, like most people and am never home to receive packages!  I take photos of most things I receive and never get around to uploading them (worst blogger ever) so think of this as a bunch of snapshots of the more exciting mail I receive!

Nuunpackage1
I was super pumped this week to receive the first order I purchased as a Nuun Ambassador! I picked up a visor to wear to rep Nuun at some spring races and also the multi-pack of their All Day Nuun to try all out all the flavors! I'll let you know what I think soon, of course. 
Larabarpackage1
A month back I got some samples of Larabars to try. I like these bars when before workouts or to keep around as snacks for when hunger strikes. I've had the Snickerdoodle flavor before and LOVE the nice cinnamon flavor it has. I was lucky enough to get to sample the seasonal flavors-Pumpkin Pie and Cappuccino, yum!
DeltaLabspackage1
My Delta Labs Green Tea + supplement delivery. I love the girly touch of the pink tissue paper it comes wrapped in! Remember use code "BREATHEBLOG" for $5 off any order, anytime.


KodiakCakesMuffin1KodiakCakesMuffin2
I won a Twitter Giveaway from Kodiak Cakes to try their new Minute Muffins which remind me of microwavable instant oatmeal based on the packaging. I love their pancake/waffle mix so I'm super pumped to try these out. I got the package yesterday and am already drooling over the flavors which are lemon chia,apple cinnamon oat, double dark chocolate, and mountain blueberry!

Poshmark1
Lastly I have some clothes I purchased because I'm clearly dreaming of warmer weather. On the left is a black sequin J.Crew skirt I bought on Poshmark app. Also on the left are a pair of hot pink J.Crew shorts that I had been lusting over since I saw them last spring/summer. I finally picked up a pair on J.Crew.com's most recent sale with an extra 40% discount making them around 1/4 of the original price. Win. On the right  is a Lululemon purple marathon skirt also from the Poshmark app. I'm excited for my secondhand Lululemon with all the comfort and style at a fraction of the price!

DISCLAIMER: I was sent Larabars and Delta Labs Green Tea + for no charge to review but received no other compensation. I receive a discount on Nuun products as a Nuun Ambassador. Any other products pictured have been specified as a giveaway prize or personal purchase. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Did you receive any packages this week? Do you do a lot of online shopping?

January 27, 2014

Uneventful Weekends

Lately I have a lot of great posts swirling around in my head that I need to actually plan out to type up.  It's even been a while since I participated in the Marvelous Mondays linkup, mostly because my weekends have been slightly boring. Guess what, I like it that way. I'm in that lull between the holidays and spring where I'm not too busy yet. My calendar is getting quite full starting in a couple of weeks and starting my last grad school pre-requisite class this week on top of working  full time is going to be hectic. Boo. I probably should have just gone to bed earlier last night instead of watching the Grammys. They were quite underwhelming so I should have just tuned out after Beyonce performed and been more well-rested today. At least there are some great benefits to having an uneventful weekend.

1. Sleep.  I am still awful about getting to bed early so I caught up on some rest and sleep this weekend. It's even better when cuddling is involved. 
Sleep_pooh_gif
Sleeping in is the best. 
2. Cooking. I like having time to leisurely cook a nice big breakfast or fancier dinner.  Yesterday even though I was short on time due to sleeping in late, I prepped my lunches , set up a beef stew in the crockpot for dinner, made those red velvet cookies I talked about for dessert (SO yummy), and got a whole chicken in the crockpot later for dinner tonight. Winning. 

3. Mindless TV watching and Netflix. Saturday after a freezing run I showered, ate, and spent a few hours in the same spot on the couch watching Netflix and some random crap that was on TV. Some may call it wasteful, but sometimes you just need to veg out. 

4. Going out for coffee. Besides the occasional coffee I pick up at work when I'm in need of a little pick me up, I usually brew my own coffee in the mornings or forgo it.  I like the experience of grabbing an americano at one of the local coffee shops leisurely on the weekends. It's the little things, ya know?
latteart_gif
I effin love latte art too. 
5. A nice long run and stretching followed by a big meal and a long nap. Enough said. 

6. Brunch. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day so doing it leisurely on the weekends with others is the best. Even if mimosas aren't involved, but as long as there are pancakes!
Parks and Rec gif
Yes, I've been watching Parks and Rec on Netflix. 

7. Throwing back a few beers. I haven't had too much of a chance to hang out and have a few drinks these past couple of weeks (that's what happens when you're an adult, boo) so it was nice to have a night to try some craft beers and see some friends.

I'll just leave you with dose of truth from me, speaking of good days: 
eecards_nutbutter
#nutbuttersanonymous

Did you have a lazy weekend? What's the last good thing you watched on Netflix or TV?

January 24, 2014

Friday Favorites 1/24/2014


Ugh, this polar vortex weather makes me want to do nothing but put on tons of layers and lay on the couch watching TV. Like most of the Northeast, I had a snow day and a half this week where I did just that, along with lots of sleeping of course.  I suppose I can't be too unhappy because today is Friday! I start taking my last prerequisite class for grad school next week along with hopefully figuring out some sort of half marathon training plan. The only thing I'm looking forward to today is a charity cycle class at REV that I won a spot in thanks to Mary! Here are some of my favorite things from this week. 

Five Friday Favorites
Favorite website/app: Poshmark
brooks-running-poshmark-used-ghost-4

This week I've been addicted to Poshmark, an android/iPhone app (it also has a limited website) that is a virtual consignment store which allows you to buy and sell clothes, shoes, and accessories with the click of a button! After you sign up, you can just take photos of items you want to sell with the app and list them within seconds. I just started adding some things into my closet on Poshmark since I'm constantly switching up my wardrobe. I usually only buy things on sale and lots of consignment pieces due to my tiny bank account. The problem now is that I just want to buy everything and haven't sold anything yet! I bought a couple of workout tops, a J. crew plaid skirt, and a few dresses for spring so far.  Check out my closet (username: lserks1) -I've got some dresses, coats, and my first real pair of running shoes-Brooks Ghost 4 in 9.5 that still have miles on them!  

Favorite on the go breakfast: P28 High Protein Bagels
P28-high-protein-bagels

Besides my lazy snow day, I've been running late each morning which means I've had to whip up something quick for breakfast. I am LOVING these bagels with a banana, almond butter, and jam as a quick breakfast for when I'm rushing out the door. They aren't gluten-free, but they are 100% whole wheat and 100% natural and taste pretty darn good for a store-bought bagel. My main reason for eating them is that each bagel packs 28g of protein which I'm always trying to make sure I get enough of! P28 also makes flatbreads, bread, and peanut butter, which I have yet to try. I bought the bagels from Wegman's but you can find them online too!

Favorite guilty pleasure TV show: The Carrie Diaries
The-Carrie-Diaries

As a huge Sex and the City fan, I scoffed at the talk of a prequel TV series that followed young Carrie in high school. After a recommendation by a friend because of the fashion on the show, I watched the first episode of Season 1 on Netflix a couple of weeks ago while trying to run a few miles on the treadmill without dying of boredom.  Well, it looks like I'm hooked. I've watched about 5 more episodes and even though it's a cheesy teen dramedy, it's entertaining and endearing. Also the 80's fashion and music is amazing.

Favorite lust-worthy workout item: Oiselle Lux Side Zip Top
lux side zip top - heather charcoal - xs Oiselle
I don't own any pieces from Oiselle but everything I see looks so comfy! This side zip running top looks perfect for cold weather running. It's wicking and even has thumbholes.  I would probably wear this around the house too, let's be honest. I definitely wouldn't mind having this gift to me :)

Favorite item on my must-bake list this weekend: Naturally Red, Red Velvet  Chocolate Chip Cookies from Delighted Mama
Naturally Red, Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies (Paleo and egg free)

I'm a sucker for sweets, if you didn't already know. I'm so excited that I found the Delighted Mama blog this week where there are tons of recipes for healthier sweets (including lots of gluten-free, paleo, etc.).  This cookie looks like the perfect treat to make this weekend since I  have all the ingredients on hand and love anything red velvet. The red color comes from beets so they are not only all-natural  but also reminiscent of Valentine's Day (which is right around the corner!). 


What's your favorite quick breakfast? Did you have a snow day this week?

January 22, 2014

Skinny Limits Juice Cleanse-I survived!

With a snow day yesterday, I finally had some time to recap the juice cleanse I did last week! Skinny Limits is an Austin-based company that offers juice cleanses from 1-10 days in length. I was most impressed by the company because all the juices are completely natural, cold-pressed, and raw.  

This past year I've fallen in love with fresh juices and pick them up as snacks, meal supplements, or when they are on sale at Whole Foods! I see a juicer purchase in my future, but I was always skeptical of actually doing a juice cleanse. I love food and am pretty much always hungry-I'm not one of those people that sometimes just "forgets to eat". Also juice cleanses are pretty pricey, so buying one will probably make you stick to it to get your money's worth. 

Skinny Limits 3 day cleanse was actually pretty reasonable compared to other juice cleanses I've seen at $149

Now I had mentioned the juice cleanse on my blog last week but there was some issues with shipping due to the polar vortex so the cleanse arrived late, which was not good because the juices are raw and perishable so I threw that box out and the Skinny Limits people kindly set up another 3-day cleanse order for me for the next week. Actually before I threw the juice out my boyfriend and I taste tested them (checking expiration dates of course!), I mean, seriously, a box of amazing looking juices right into the dumpster? He even snagged a couple green juices that weren't supposed to expire for a couple days according to the label and drank them that day. Well the juices were amazing and my non-health-crazed, non-juicing boyfriend agreed! Here is the breakdown of how my cleanse went: 

The juicesMany juice cleanses companies claim to be raw but the juices actually have gone through pasteurization or processing like HP processing which doesn't use heat but kills the living cells in the juice.  That's why Skinny Limits isn't something you'll see stocked in a store.  I also liked how it's literally just juice, without me buying a juicer, fruits and vegetables, and doing it myself. You know it's fresh because they all have expiration dates on the labels too!

The variety juice cleanse included 6 juices (16 oz bottles) for each of the 3 days. The juices arrived in a refrigerated package and are very perishable because they are completely unprocessed so you must start the cleanse within one day of receipt. 
SkinnyLimitsJuiceCleanse1


  • Pure & Simple: Kale, Cucumber, Spinach, Apple, Parsley, Celery, Lemon.
  • Balance: Kale, Cucumber, Spinach, Apple, Parsley, Celery, Lemon, Ginger.
  • Scorpion Lemonade: Lemons, Agave Nectar, Cayenne, Filtered Water.
  • Crescent Moon: Raw cashews, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon, Agave Nectar, Filtered Water.
  • Green Firefly: Kale, Cucumber, Spinach, Apple, Parsley, Celery, Lemon, Pineapple.
  • Lotus: Beet, Carrot, Spinach, Apple, Lemon, Ginger.

Taste:  Skinny Limits has standard, variety, tropical, and custom juice cleanse options. I chose the variety juice cleanse because I figured there's no way I'd survive without keeping it interesting! First of all the juices taste amazing. They do taste really fresh and have no particulates or gunk that needs to be shaken up.  The "greens taste" is balanced well with other ingredients such as apples and lemon.  I also particularly liked how the ginger in the Balance and Lotus juices was not overpowering or off-putting.  The Lotus beet and carrot juice tasted nice and sweet after drinking mostly green juices during the day. The Scorpion Lemonade took some getting used to with its tart lemon flavor and the spiciness from the cayenne. As with many juice cleanses, the yummy nighttime Crescent Moon was amazing. I'd tried a similar drink that I'd picked up at Whole Foods so I knew I was in for a treat. That tasted kind of like a thick and creamy chai latte due to the cashew milk, vanilla, and cinnamon flavors. 

How it Works:
Skinny Limits sends a little information pamphlet that comes with the juices. It says to start each day with a hot lemon water and then have a juice every 2 1/2-3 hours, with your last one being about 2 hours before you go to bed.  They also recommend drinking each juice within 5 minutes and not trying to stretch the time you spend drinking it. There is an approved list of foods if you get hungry too. 

How I felt overall: 
Skinny Limits says that the juice cleanse is not about losing weight but rather to heal your gut and regain some energy and clarity. I ended up losing 3 pounds on the cleanse, which I know is just water weight. It's still surprisingly to know that I was carrying around that much bloat though! I definitely was not as hungry as I thought I was going to be and loved that I was giving my body lots of greens and fruits. Every time I started to get hungry it was almost time for another juice so the timing worked out nicely. 

I didn't experience any possible detox symptoms such as headaches but did feel lightheaded when I tried to workout. Light exercise only is recommended during the cleanse. When I went to crossfit on days 2 & 3 I had to eat an apple with a couple tablespoons of almond butter or a handful of almonds.  I definitely was feeling kind of hazy and weak during my workouts so next time I'd probably just do some light stretching or rest the whole time as I did the first day of the cleanse. You are also supposed to eat lightly for a few days after the cleanse. The next day I ate an almond butter and jam sandwich for lunch along with a lettuce-wrapped burger and a couple of beers for dinner. I had some digestive issues for a couple days after the cleanse ended, probably because of the influx of solid food.  


SkinnyLimitsJuiceCleanse2
Sweet note and pamphlet from Skinny Limits
Recommendation: I'm quite proud that I stuck to the juice cleanse with minimal solid food and was surprised about how satisfied I felt.  I really liked how the juice cleanse reset my normal schedule of when I eat and changed up my routine meal habits.  All of the people I communicated with at Skinny Limits were very nice, even with the shipping problems I experienced. Skinny Limits recommends doing a cleanse once a month or at least 4x a year. I don't think I would do it that often, mostly because I can't afford it, but would definitely recommend trying at least a 1-day juice cleanse after the holidays or a vacation. It is definitely something to do when you have time to rest and are not training for anything or are super busy. For now I'll stick to juices as snacks and making smoothies loaded with fruits and veggies! 


You can check out Skinny Limits on Facebook and Twitter or their website for my information! 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Skinny Limits. I was sent a juice cleanse to try but was not compensated in any other way. As always, all opinions are my own.

Have you ever done a juice cleanse? What is your favorite juice or smoothie recipe?

January 17, 2014

Friday Faves 1/17/2014

I cannot believe we are halfway through January already. I've been super busy finishing up grad school applications (eek) and getting a bunch of errands done. I'm on Day #3 of my Skinny Limits juice cleanse, and it's going surprisingly well. I am totally eating an almond butter and jelly sandwich tomorrow though.  Thank goodness it's Friday, and I'm back with some of my favorite things from this week. 

Five Friday Favorites

Favorite event of the week: Run for Meg-#megsmiles

MegsMiles

Meg Menzies, a VA runner, mother, and Boston marathoner, was tragically struck and killed by a drunk driver this week. It's so awful and tragic but it's nice that the running community is so supportive. This Saturday, 1/18/2014, there is a #megsmiles event where you can dedicate your run or walk to Meg. Remember to be grateful for all you have..  More information can be found on the facebook event here

Favorite easy recipe pinned: Buffalo Chicken Mini Meatloaf from PaleOMG
I pin pretty much every recipe I see from Julie's blog  because even though I don't eat strict paleo, all the recipes look delicious! I love a good meatloaf and this recipe looks super easy and different from what I usually make. I'll probably substitute ground turkey when I make it this weekend because that's what I have in my freezer! 

Favorite article read this week: 37 Things Only Runners Know from Thought Catalog
37thingsrunnersknow

Some of the articles or lists from Thought Catalog are really opinionated and one-sided but then there are ones that I absolutely love and relate to like this one.  Most of this list about runners is applicable to me, especially during marathon training season. And yes, my laundry is mostly sports bras and exercise clothes.   


#23 is especially true right now because I'm on a personal spending freeze for the month, haha:"23. You may not spend money on gym membership, yet the amount of races you sign up for leave you weeping for what once remained of your paycheck."

Favorite quick workout: Rock Those Abs
RockThoseAbs1

I have been pretty much neglecting my abs so I'm going to try to add in some quick core work a couple times  a week. I love this one from Jess that involves plank variations and only takes a few minutes! 


Favorite new kitchen tool: Vegetable Spiralizer
Vegetablespiralizer1
I know I mentioned this in my Friday Faves last week, but I finally got a chance to use my spiralizer earlier in the week to make some zucchini noodles to go with dinner and now I'm in love. It was really easy to use and the zoodles were delicious and boyfriend-approved. After spiralizing the zucchinis, I just sauteed it in a pan with some olive oil and garlic for 5 minutes and served it. 

There are a bunch of recipes on the Inspiralized blog all dedicated to a spiralizer so I think I'll try using sweet potatoes next with this recipe! If you also have a spiralizer check out my quickly growing Pinterest board dedicated to it!

[EDIT}: I've been asked multiple times now where I got my spiralizer. It was a Christmas gift but I asked for this one because it had been recommended a bunch. It was ordered off Amazon here. Let me know if you start spiralizing!
Have you ever used a spiralizer and have any good recipes? What's your favorite thing that runners only know?

January 15, 2014

Vega #OneChange

I think Vega nutritional shakes are awesome. That's why I was super excited to help Vega out with their #OneChange campaign. With a new year starting everybody wants to make big changes, but sometimes starting small will last the longest and make the biggest impact. Vega's campaign is about making, you guessed it, #OneChange to turn old habits into super habits!

They have a couple of #OneChange personas to relate to and to identify one area where you could improve your nutrition in the new year. The choices are: 

  • The breakfast skipper
  • The weekend splurger
  • The number cruncher
  • The serial snacker
While I almost chose the weekend splurger I ended up relating most to the serial snacker. It's mostly the snacking on the weekends that gets out of control anyways! During the week, I am great throughout the day until I get home from work and feel like a bottomless pit. Before dinner and before bed I get in a snacking mode where I feel really hungry!


Vega-One-Change

Serial Snacker: Yes, you can snack and feel good about giving in. Your stomach talks to you all day (it never shuts up!) Your bag or desk drawer is strategically stocked with a wide assortment of get-me-through-to-the-next-meal morsels. You struggle to turn down a slice of office birthday cake—hungry or not. And the 3 PM growlies can lead to pre-dinner nachos or amidnight snack over the kitchen sink.

Is that you too? If I'm going to eat a snack, I've been trying to be conscious of having something that will have enough protein to keep me full and also contribute some nutritional value to my diet! I have decided to incorporate Vega One smoothies as a snack as an easy #OneChange to my diet. This weekend and one night last week I made a smoothie with the Vega One chocolate nutritional shakes I was sent. The chocolate flavor was so delicious and satisfied my sweet tooth!

VegaNutritionalShake

Protein powders and bars are a tricky thing because a lot of brands out there have processed ingredients and aren't loaded with many actual nutrients. I have purchased Vega products before including the vanilla chai nutritional shakes because I like that the products are plant-based and mostly natural. The shakes come in five flavors: natural, chocolate, french vanilla, berry, and vanilla chai. If shakes aren't your thing, Vega also makes Vega One Nutrition bars
VegaOneNutritionalShake

  I love that the nutritional shakes are truly an all in one product so I don't need to add tons of extra ingredients to them. The Vega nutritional shakes include 15 g of protein,6 g of fiber Omega-3, probiotics, vitamins & minerals, antioxidants, and even greens so you don't have to go adding spinach to your shake! along with being free from dairy, soy, gluten, added sugar, and artificial flavors or colors a.ka. pretty much all the bad guys that you don't want to eat or ingredients you may have to avoid!
VegaOneNutritionalShakeReview
Yes I eat smoothies out of bowls with a spoon. Of course I top them with mini chocolate chips and sprinkles, too. 
Today I am sharing with you one of the smoothie recipes I came up with this week with my chocolate Vega One nutritional shakeIt contains all my favorite things-bananas, nut butter, and chocolate!
ChocolateCoveredElvisShakeVegaOne
I use unsweetened almond milk in my shakes and always not 2 tbsp of nut butter :)
What persona from the Vega #OneChange campaign do you most relate to? What is one small change you want to implement this year or maybe just this week to start small?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post through the Sweat Pink community with Vega One. I was sent a box of shakes to try but was not compensated in any other way. As always, all opinions are my own.

January 14, 2014

5 Tips for Your First Spin Class...ever or just in a while!

I decided to switch up my workout last night and thought I'd share! A new indoor cycling or spinning studio just opened up in Baltimore called REV Cycle Studio. Since I don't have a gym membership anymore I have been itching to take some group fitness classes, especially with the cold winter weather we have been having. With their introductory savings of 30% off class packages for the month of January (use coupon code REVITUP), it seemed the perfect chance to try out some spinning classes! I made a reservation for a class last night-choosing the 45 minute over the 60 minute class to ease me back into spinning. 

I have only taken spin classes about a dozen times in my life with the last one being over a year ago so I was feeling unsure of how the class would go. The bikes had cages on the pedals so it was okay that I didn't have fancy clip in cycling shoes (although the clip ins are recommended if you plan to take a lot of classes). The class ended up being great, and I left a sweaty mess! The studio is a beautiful space, and the class wasn't very crowded which was good for my first ride back on the bike.  We even were handed refreshing cool towels after the class was over which felt amazing. The class was full of high-intensity speed intervals mixed in with longer blocks of climbs. I forgot how great of a workout spinning is! If you have considered trying out spin, or like me it's been a while since you've taken a class, I've come up with some tips and reminders for when you decide to get back in the saddle!


5TipsforYourFirstSpinClass

1. Wear comfortable clothing. I find I'm most comfortable in form-fitting or compression capri pants and  a moisture-wicking, looser tank or short-sleeved shirt.  You are going to be sitting on the bike so capris or pants are a no brainer, and I like a top that is going to be comfortable and dry when I am sweating a lot during class. 

2. Bring a towel and water bottle. Unless you have the amazing ability to do an intense workout without breaking a sweat or getting thirsty, bring these. I always leave a spin class a sweaty mess if I've been working hard!

3. Arrive early and get comfy! Arrive early so you can find your bike and make all the necessary adjustments to it. I'm no spin expert, but I know that if you stand on the left side of the bike the saddle and handlebars should be around hip height, your legs are fairly extended, and to leave enough room so your knees aren't hitting the handlebars when you are standing up on the bike pedals. Ask the instructor if you need help getting set up!

4. Your butt will be sore the next day. I knew my butt was going to be sore the minute I sat down. I never feel too comfortable on the bike seats, and my butt and lady parts always take some adjusting to sitting on the bike. Apparently you can get padded cycling shorts that help if you plan on being a spin regular!

5. Talk to the instructor. If it's your first spin class or you have no idea how to adjust your bike, let the instructor know! It's going to be awful if you are uncomfortable on the bike or don't know the lingo during class. 

Couldn't stop at five-here's a bonus tip! 6. Go at your own pace.  It's fine to be motivated by others during the class to keep pedaling as fast as you can during intervals or adding just as much resistance as the girl next to you, but know that it's okay to go at your own pace. As long as you are pushing yourself, it doesn't matter how your speed or resistance compares to others-nobody else is looking! Last night my bike was closer to the front of the class so I could really focus on the instructor and my workout instead of what others around me. 

Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer or fitness professional, just fitness enthusiast! As always, consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise routine. Consult with a certified spin instructor before taking a class!


Have you ever taken a spin class? Do you try different workouts in the winter?

January 11, 2014

Five Friday Faves- All over the place

Last night I had a great time meeting up with some ladies to watch the Toned Up show on Bravo about the Tone it Up duo-I think it's going to be a weekly event! I've been fighting a cold this week that seems to continue to make me feel worse each day. I've been upping my intake of tea, apple cider vinegar, and green juice so hopefully I can kick this before the weekend is over!  Continuing with my thinking out loud rambles from yesterday, today I've got some of my favorite things from the past few weeks to share with you, especially from the holidays!

Five Friday Favorites


Favorite Christmas gift received: 
cookbooks and more running arm sleeves
ChristmasGifts2013
Arm sleeves were one of my favorite running items from 2013 so I'm excited to get lots more to wear as a layer in the winter and for when it finally hits spring! The pink Nathan sleeves are especially great because they seem to be a high quality,include little pockets, and have reflective strips on them. I also saw so many great recipe sneak peaks from the 21-day Sugar Detox Cookbook that I can't wait to try some recipes out!


Favorite healthy snack: 
Rhythm Superfoods Pineapple & Coconut Kale Chips
RhythmSuperfoodsPineappleCoconutKaleChips
I was lucky enough to win one of the Purely Elizabeth holiday giveaways on their Facebook page a few weeks ago and was sent some goodies from Rhythm Superfoods. I tasted some of their kale chips at Expo East, but this flavor was new to me. I tried to pretend I wasn't going to eat the whole bag in one sitting, but after my first bite of these delicious Pineapple Coconut kale chips I knew that wasn't happening. They had great crunch and the perfect touch of sweetness to satisfy my post-dinner snack craving!

January 9, 2014

Thinking Out Loud -Pizza on the Brain

Hello, today I'm participating in Amanda's Thinking out Loud Thursdays since I've got all sorts of random thoughts floating around in my head.


Thinking-Out-Loud

1. My juice cleanse was pushed back to next week due to delays with shipping because of the polar vortex and the juice being perishable. It has thrown my week off, but I don't mind eating lots of food for another few days! I'm also really looking forward to pizza on Friday. 

2. Speaking of the polar vortex, last night was the first night in a few days where I didn't sleep in two pairs of socks and a hoodie over my pajamas. It's supposed to be warmer this weekend/next week which has me really excited to run outside in the next few days. 

3. I really need a haircut. I just need to find time ASAP because all the layers have grown out, and I've given up trying to do anything with it. I think I'm keeping it right above shoulder length for now but don't know what style to get-I'm easily bored with my hair. 

I should probably repaint my nails which are sporting some badly chipped New Year's Eve sparkly polish.  I've also started taking Delta Labs Advanced Hair, Skin, and Nails formula so hopefully that continues to help keep my nails from chipping and help my hair to look healthy and awesome. I've been taking biotin to help with my peeling nails but this formula but this formula has 28 other vitamins, minerals, herbs, bionutrients, and antioxidants, including biotin to support healthy hair and nail growth. Sounds great and can't wait to see results!
DeltaLabsHairSkinNailsformula

As always, you can use the code "BREATHEBLOG" for $5 off any Delta Labs order! 

January 7, 2014

Charm City Run Race Series Deal and a Detox

Today I have a great race deal to tell you about if you a Baltimore area runner! I was planning on running at least the Charles Street 12 Miler Race which I ran last year again, but ended up signing up for the Sole of the City 10K and the Shamrock 5K (last year's recap here) too because I couldn't pass up this great offer! And I'm a crazy running lady. Of course.

If you run Charm City Run races there is a new packaged price for the newly created B3 race series which includes the annual Shamrock 5K on March 16, the Sole the City 10K on April 12, and the Charles Street 12 Miler on August 9. Also right now (unless it sells out!) there is a deal on LivingSocial for the B3 series where you are paying only $150 instead of the $200 regular series price. Registering for the B3 bundle includes all the premiums for each race and a special B3 finisher's medal and Under Armour backpack. What an amazing deal-I'm glad I hadn't registered for the races yet. 


 I've done all three races previously, and they are all in different parts of the city but all fun! It's a great way to bite the bullet and sign up for some races to make those New Year's fitness goals a reality!
2013CharmCityRunB3Series
You can get to the LivingSocial deal right here and find more information about the B3 series from Charm City Run here
I read on the Charm City Run Facebook page that if you have registered for one or two of the races already you can email Charm City Run to get in for the B3 series if you want to run all three!

January 6, 2014

2014-Let go of the negative and embrace the positive

Well the holiday season was a whirlwind as usual so I'm still out of sorts. It's making it harder to get back into the swing of things because I went back to work on Thursday after being off for over a week and then got a snow day on Friday which makes this Monday morning even more unbearable. Especially because I had a lot of lazy days sleeping in way late in there. 

Today I am sharing my new year's to-do list with you. Super original, I know. I call them goals because I think the word resolution gets a bad rap, as in you might completely forget about your resolutions by the time February rolls around. Also having a set of goals to work at seems much more feasible to me rather than these big ideas I may have that do not come with some sort of game plan.  I was definitely inspired by these 5 goals which are awesome. I separated my goals by what the are mainly attributed to-mind, body, or soul. I will definitely try to write these out and post them in my bedroom so I can revisit them. I find it easier to focus on one at a time so 12 goals for 12 months in a year is perfect!

I have seen people come up with themes for 2014 which I like a lot. I think it's good to reflect on what you want to accomplish in a year. My theme would be to be happy. That includes doing things I want to do, not feeling bad declining invitations or things that take up my time which don't make me happy, and also allowing my self to be happy. As always, let go of the negative, breathe, and happily allow the positive to enter.  I'm a list person at heart though, so here we go :)


2014Goals

MIND
1. Re-learn French. I was a French minor in college and still a total francophile. I'm going to get on that Rosetta Stone business and re-learn how to speak French again because it's a skill I don't want to lose!
2. Read 14 books.
3. Try 1 new recipe a month from a cookbook. I have all these cookbooks lying around so I want to actually make an effort to tackle some of the more time-consuming and fancy recipes in them!
4. Live in the now. Planning for the future is important, but I want to focus on seizing the day and not waiting for some perfect time that will never come to do things I want to do. 

SOUL
5. Show more affection. I think it's important to make an effort to keep in touch with people and the people you care about know that!
6. Travel more.
7. Be bold-take chances without fear.
8. LOVE myself and how I look, flaws and all. 

BODY
9. Eat more greens!
10. New marathon and half marathon PRs. Always trying to improve!
11. Improve pullups (unassisted finally?) and string together double unders.
12. Work hard at feeling good in a bathing suit this summer. Superficial and pretty much on every female's resolution list, but feeling good in a bathing suit a.k.a. the least amount of clothing you are usually wearing in public is a huge self-esteem booster. 

If you don't believe in yearly resolutions or goals at least remember this- keep spreading love in the world and you are awesome so dream big!
Do-All-Things-with-Love-2014

Do you have any New Year's resolutions or goals? How many cups of coffee do you need this Monday?
 
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