7 Day Body Blast – Day 2

One day down, six to go! My salad last night turned out amazing despite the fact I forgot to buy fennel. If you recall, the salad was a Salmon & FENNEL Salad. Needless to say, I was nervous the taste would be completely off. It was still fantastic to my surprise and awe. I can say this because my trooper-of-a-husband, who has been eating everything I’m eating, completely agreed. His report on everything I’ve made? So far, so good!

I started off today with a body blast elixir (I still don’t enjoy it, but Rob actually does!) and a Butternut Squash & Cherries smoothie. The smoothie was amazing. Instead of the raw almond butter, I used natural peanut butter. It’s also worth noting that when you freeze a banana, peel and cut in half first. Last night I prepped lunch and chopped everything but the avocado for my Arugula Orange salad. I had leftover White Bean & Kale soup so I’ll be eating that for dinner.

Salmon & Fennel Salad, Butternut Squash & Cherries Smoothie, Arugula Orange Salad, White Bean & Kale Soup

I packed my workout clothes and all of my food and headed into work for the day. I’ll be going directly to a studio class with Katy at 5:45 p.m. and I teach class at 7 p.m. I’m excited to head in and hear how everyone is doing. I’m also looking forward to feedback and more recipe suggestions!

I teach tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. and can hopefully get a good night’s rest tonight. I had some trouble sleeping last night, but I think that was due to the fact that a rambunctious kitten wouldn’t leave me alone. But seriously- how can I be mad at that face?

Louie

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7 Day Body Blast – Day 1

Today marks day one of my barre3 7 Day Body Blast. This challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. After completing the 28 to Great challenge in February, my body and the way I think about food changed. While I considered myself a healthy eater before, I experimented a ton in the kitchen, using honey and dates as sweeteners, kale as lettuce in salads and spinach/dairy-free smoothies. While I didn’t (and didn’t intend to) drop a lot of weight, I’ve gotten compliments on looking leaner and more toned.

The 7 Day Body Blast is simple. You eat a smoothie for breakfast, soup for lunch and a salad for dinner while completing two 10 minute workouts and a 40-60 minute workout 6/7 days. Recipes are on the barre3 blog along with workout suggestions. I know my body and therefore intend to slightly modify this challenge and make it my own. For example, I get light-headed if I’m not eating every 3 hours. I have almonds and a Larabar as my hunger stabilizers. Otherwise, I’m sticking to it!

I kicked off today with half of a morning elixir before heading to a studio class at 6 a.m. As much as I tried to love this water/lemon/apple cider vinegar mixture, I have to say it was the most awful thing I’ve ever tasted. Some folks swear by it though, so I’m going to quite literally chug my way through the rest of the week. I also had my Larabar on the way to the studio. After a great class, I got home and ready for work, then made an Energy Smoothie to take on-the-go. I was hesitant at first, but after chilling it in the refrigerator for an hour it was amazing! The disgusting brown color is due to the fact I added in some very delicious frozen blueberries.
EnergySmoothie

Yesterday, I made a batch of White Bean and Kale soup to take for lunch. I added some red pepper flakes for spice, but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Result? One of my top 5 favorite soups ever.
KaleandWhiteBeanSoupFor dinner, I’m making Salmon & Fennel salad. I intend to do 20 minutes of barre3 online tonight and prepare my smoothie and lunch for tomorrow.

I must admit, after looking at the recipes, I was afraid and a little overwhelmed. Not only because of some “new” ingredients but because I thought making a grocery list and finding the time to make it all would be impossible! But as I found out during the 28 to Great challenge, a little planning goes a long way. Later this week I’ll share my grocery list and meal plan in an easy-to-print PDF document in case you feel like embarking on your own body blast.

I can’t wait to share some new recipes on day two. Wish me luck on tomorrow’s elixir…

Engagement vs. Existence – March Resolution

I had such a fun time with my February resolution. I’ll be sharing some new restaurants and coffee shops I discovered in addition to healthy recipes in my next post! Right  now I want to focus on getting in the right mindset for March.

This month’s resolution is simple: to engage more with the world around me.  A lot of people, including myself, go through their day-to-day activities without much thought. Getting dressed, going to work, studying, cooking dinner, watching TV, social commitments. It’s all so routine.

I want to learn to be grateful for each moment and appreciate those around me. My action steps for this month include:

  1. Making the effort to call more friends and family members just to say hello.
    We’ll shoot for two each weekend. I hate talking on the phone, but it’s an important part of keeping any healthy long distance relationship going. I still don’t understand WHY this is so hard for me.
  2. Skyping with at least three friends this month.
    Who wants to volunteer?
  3. Looking people in the eye on the street.
    Smiling at them. Making small talk while waiting in line. At worst, I’ll become the creepy, talkative girl in the elevator. At best, I’ll brighten someone’s day a little.
  4. Mystery date night-ing with Rob.
    I have to give my friend Sara and her boyfriend, Michael, credit for this one. It’s such a good idea I’m implementing it. Rob and I will take a turn making secret date plans for each other. 
  5. Finding some peace in the outdoors.
    When it’s above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, of course. I spend so much time in front of a computer during the day that I need to get out more. Even if it’s just for a five minute walk around the block. I’ll really see what nature has to offer me!

Although simple, this short list will give me some places to focus. I often neglect friends that mean so much to me for absolutely no reason. I’m excited to get started and do more than just simply exist in the world around me.

barre3 Brain Dump – Part 1

barre3

What a whirlwind the past several days have been. I returned from barre3 instructor training in Seattle yesterday. The experience was life-changing. I got to meet a ton of cool, fun, inspiring women AND learn even more about a place I’d already fallen in love with.

The result? A great network of ladies and learning more about the barre3 way of life. It was a breath of fresh air to see that this company is everything it paints itself to be. The people are authentic, caring and nurturing. To hear our trainers speak about it in such a genuine way was heartwarming.

I have a million other things to say about how amazing this experience was mentally. However, before I get too far into that (which I’ll save for Part 2 of my barre3 brain dump!) I’d like to share some knowledge about the physical benefits of barre3. Christa, one of our two trainers from the weekend, is a former dancer turned physical therapist. She taught us a ton about anatomy and the way barre3 helps align your body.

I was obviously aware that it was a good workout (helloooo toned arms & booty!) but it was interesting to read the “why.” Christa was busy taking the above picture- but you can check out her blog post to (1) see a lovely picture of her and (2) read all about the physical benefits of barre3.

Sharing Thanks

Do you ever get the feeling you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be? Today I’m feeling so thankful for all of the opportunities in front of me. For those who don’t know, I’m in the midst of training to become a barre3 instructor. I am obsessed with this workout and everything it stands for: honoring your body, having fun and challenging yourself. I started taking classes in October as a way to tone-up and get healthier. It ended up being a lot more than that. I’m beyond ecstatic I get to share my love for this workout with all of you!

Another reason I can’t stop smiling? This afternoon, Courtney Gerlach, the owner of barre3 Columbus, held a  donation class for the CYP CLUB’s annual charity event, A Date 2 Remember. We had a full class and it really warmed my heart to see members of the young professional community come together to raise money and try something new. All of the money from this class (and from the event) goes to United Way of Central Ohio and City Year Columbus. They’re both awesome charities and I truly believe they’re making huge strides in changing the Columbus community for the better.

My husband (pictured below), brother-in-law, and a few personal friends came to this afternoon’s barre3 class as well. They’re not as familiar with A Date 2 Remember, so it meant A TON to have their support, too. Unconditional love at it’s finest!

RobandKatie

I wanted to share my happiness with all of you and encourage you to find a way to do what you love. What my favorite late-night comic said is true:

If you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”

SIDENOTE: For those interested in trying barre3, I’ll be teaching a few free community classes before officially being added to the schedule. I’d be happy to let you know when those will be!

New Thinking Thursday

Thursday is when I start looking forward to the weekend. I get to choose my own activities for a full 48 hours. Spend time with friends? Workout? Study? Go to dinner? Read a book? No one dictates that but me!

It’s become increasingly more important to make my free time count as the year progresses. I came across a few quotes today from spark new thinking that energized me:

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice

“Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn’t come before.” -Shelby Steele

“Nobody ever wrote a plan to be broke, fat, lazy and stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.” -Larry Winget […and while I wouldn’t use all of Larry’s exact words… I get the point he was trying to make!]

I’m motivated for a productive, fun and fulfilling weekend. Bring on Friday!

Update: 28 to Great and January Resolutions

After being knocked on my butt by some not-quite-the-flu-but-still-pretty-bad illness, it’s been quite the week! I took yesterday as my rest day for the 28 to Great Challenge instead of today- hoping that was the worst of it. After a quick trip to the doctor, however, I’ve been ordered to stay home, away from the public, and to not exercise until my fever is gone. Not ideal.

After reading up on illnesses and exercise, it turns out his advice is in line. Plus, my muscles are so achy and I feel so fatigued I probably wouldn’t last very long. Hopefully my prescription kicks in and I’m all better for tomorrow’s 8:45 a.m. class with Kevlin at barre3 Columbus. FINGERS CROSSED!

Otherwise, my 28 to Great challenge is going awesome! While I can’t control what my body temperature is doing, I can control what I’m eating. These past few days it’s been a lot of soup. I’ve also been sure to add as many veggies to it as possible and to snack on fruit to make sure I’m getting enough nutrients… even though my appetite is non-existent. When I feel like I’m dragging, it’s been really helpful reading blog posts from my fellow barre3 challengers like Missy and Jenn. While there’s only 16 days left, I actually plan to incorporate a lot of these food changes into regular life.

Next update: January resolutions. My progress so far:

  1. Donate used books to a local library
  2. Hold the door open for others whenever the occasion arises
  3. Pay the Starbucks’ tab for the person behind me in the drive-thru
  4. Send birthday cards to family/friends
  5. Donate blood
  6. Comment on three blogs/week
  7. Be polite on the road
  8. Leave five recommendations on LinkedIn
  9. Bring coworkers a special treat
  10. Send flowers to a local nursing home

The ones that are crossed out are either in progress or complete. Feeling good! This weekend will be a great time to go through my old books… and I’m definitely planning a Starbucks run. Hoping to cross of a few more! And as soon as I’m feeling better I’ll be scheduling a blood donation appointment. Wish me luck and keep sending those positive vibes. I definitely need them today!