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Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Circuit Workouts, Ob, Running | 19 comments

Make Good Choices

Every time I leave the house, I say the same thing to Ob & Marley. I always say, “We will be right back! Make good choices!” ←Read in that lovey dovey voice annoying people (like me) talk to dogs in. It is a weird habit I developed when we used to leave our house unsure of whether or not we would return to total destruction, compliments of Ob.

IMG_0959Me telling the dogs to make good choices started as a joke, but it just sort of stuck. Thankfully, we haven’t lost any pillows in quite some time and I never worry about Ob destroying the house while we’re gone now (*knock on wood*) but I still tell them to make good choices every time we leave.

The point of that story isn’t to give you another example of how weird I truly am, but to tell you that I had to take my own advice this morning.

I slept through my alarm and I woke up super bummed about it. I had big plans to tackle a 5 mile run this morning before Dave left for work. I really wanted to get in some good mileage outside before we get smacked with another Polar Vortex that is going to cause temperatures to drop into the single digits again this week. I knew it would most likely be my only run outside until this weekend when temperatures warm back up…and by ‘warm back up’ I mean ‘get back into the 30s.’ And to make matters slightly more complicated, Atlas has been fighting some congestion. His congestion isn’t anything serious (praise the Lord), but I don’t feel comfortable taking him to childwatch at the Y because 1) I don’t want him getting sicker and 2) I think it is inconsiderate to put other people’s children at risk of a cold. (Fun fact: It is a serious pet peeve of mine when people bring their kids to the gym, knowing their kids are sick, just so they can get their workout in. It is rude, inconsiderate and selfish. And that’s how I feel about that…in case you ever wanted to know.) So, a treadmill run was out for the day.

So, long story short I made the decision to walk the dogs with the 1 hour I had before Dave had to leave for work. I knew this was the right choice because Atlas didn’t need to be out in the cold with the dogs later and the dogs needed exercise before the bitter cold struck again.

I was even more bummed when I walked outside with Ob & Marley and realized it was actually a very pretty morning.

ImageOkay, so it wasn’t beautiful weather. But, it was sunny and temperatures were in the high 30s, which is perfectly acceptable running weather to me.

The dogs played and had a blast, but by the time we got home I was fighting back tears. Yes, I was crying over missing a run. Let’s just go ahead and blame that on those hormones (how old does Atlas have to be before that no longer is a valid excuse?). My runs right now aren’t about losing weight, training for a PR or even getting back in shape (although, I do hope all those things happen). My runs are more about alone time…sanity…quiet time…releasing some endorphins…gaining energy, etc. And I felt like I missed my one shot for all that for the week. How’s that for being overly dramatic?

Dave hugged me before he left, knowing I was on the verge of bursting into the ugly cry and said, “Don’t let this ruin your day.” That’s when I realized I had a choice to make.

I could let 1 missed run ruin my day or I could put on a happy face, make the most of the day and choose joy. I chose the latter, and it was a good choice.

I also chose to do a circuit workout from the Nike Training Club app. ← Good choice.

Image 1I chose to spend some time reading my Bible. ← Good choice.

I chose to enjoy a healthy lunch (veggie burger topped with avocado, ketchup & mustard and a side of mashed sweet potatoes). ← Good choice. Ugly picture, but good choice.

Image 3I also chose to order truffles from Momofuku’s. ← Great choice.

The moral of this story is 3 fold.

  1. I need to take my own advice more often.
  2. Happiness is a choice. Life is never going to go exactly how you hope and plan, but you choose how you respond to the curveballs. One of my favorite quotes is “Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape.”
  3.  Momofuku’s b’day cake truffles make all things better.

So, next time your day doesn’t go as planned, I challenge you to make the choice to be flexible, be happy and make the most of what you have to work with.

And by the way…missing 1 run isn’t worth crying over…keep it into perspective. But seriously, if I miss running outside this weekend I will probably cry a river. It’s those dang hormones, I tell you.

And in all fairness, it isn’t that hard to choose joy when this little guy is around.

Image 4I’m not even going to pretend like that was a tactful way to include a picture of Atlas. I just wanted a picture of him in this post because I think he is awesome and I felt like I needed some way to tie it in. I’m a new mom  - cut me some slack (Seriously – how old does Atlas have to be before that is no longer a valid excuse?).


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Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 in Circuit Workouts, Healthy Dishes | 10 comments

Les Mills GRIT

This is the posture of someone who was humbled by their workout.

GRITI made it to the demo of Les Mills GRIT at our YMCA this morning and it kicked my butt in the best way.

I’ve been a big fan of Body Pump for years (another Les Mills group exercise class), but up until today I had never tried GRIT. Dave swore to me that I would love GRIT and that it was ‘my style’ of workout and he wasn’t lying. I absolutely loved the class! It is 30 minutes of high intensity training and it is more of a bootcamp style workout, making it not nearly as choreographed as other Les Mills classes. It felt more like a group personal training session.

There are 3 versions of GRIT: strength, cardio and plyo. I’m told cardio is the toughest, but I did the plyo class today and I can’t imagine it getting more difficult.

GRIT PLYO is exactly what is sounds like…a ton of jumping.


It reminded me of my high school days playing volleyball and running cross country (except I’m not nearly as agile or fit as I was when I was 16 and I didn’t eat an oatmeal cream pie 10 minutes before the workout). Everyone was cheering for each other, so there was a sense of camaraderie in the room. The energy level was nothing short of infectious and the exercises were geared towards athletes (making you run faster, making you jump higher, etc). It was amazing in the ‘my legs can’t handle another jump squat’ kind of way. I began sweating in the warm up before we ever started the various rounds of exercises. Les Mills definitely makes the most of that 30 minutes. It was filled with jump lunges, weighted jump squats, mountain climbers, lateral jumps, broad jumps and more. By the time we finished on the floor with an ab workout, I was done.

If you ever get a chance to take a GRIT class, I highly recommend it. Les Mills instructors are some of the best out there so I’m confident no matter where you take a GRIT class, you’ll have a good experience. Those teachers are legit.

I worked up a serious appetite in those 30 minutes so I immediately came home and made a salad, which I ate with 1 hand while using the other to hold Atlas.

IMG_4424In the salad went spinach leaves, an apple, half a pepper, a cucumber, some blue cheese and some balsamic dressing. I wolfed it down and then ate a Reese’s peanut butter cup. That obviously didn’t get photographed…the truly delicious things never do.

Now, I’m off to go play with my little mister.

IMG_4421I have a ton of errands to run (I’m totally out of almost every hair product I use – this would never have happened to me pre-baby) but it is just too dang cold to go outside with Atlas. I’m thinking I’ll have to deal with greasy/knotty/frizzy hair for another day or 2. #momlife.



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Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in At Home Workouts, Circuit Workouts, Running | 26 comments

The 500 Workout

Guess who ran 7 miles this morning? Just kidding. (That joke would only be funny if you read this post.)

I actually ran 3.5 miles with Ob this morning, but I was happy with that. I averaged an 8:20 pace, which is a new postpartum record for me.


I can’t take all the credit. The boys of One Direction helped push me and Ob helped pull me.

1directionI know…it is pathetic that I’m as close as I am to 30 years old and still listening to boy bands. I can’t help myself. The pop tunes just motivate me to move.

I always usually prefer running farther than 3 or 4 miles (5 miles seems to be my ‘magic number’), but I’m still learning to balance quality time with Dave, precious sleep, walking the pups and taking care of Atlas. Sometimes I am not able to run as far as I want due to time constraints and other obligations that are just more important. However, this morning I made the most of the 30 minutes I had to exercise and pushed myself and it paid off. I finished feeling accomplished and ready to tackle the day!

I was pretty sore at the start of my run today because yesterday I completed this workout.

500WorkoutI dubbed it the ’500 workout’ because I ended up completing 500 reps of various exercises. At least, I think I did. I double checked the math on it twice…but my math skills aren’t the best, especially when done without the assistance of a calculator. If you complete this workout and realize it is only 475 reps, please don’t e-mail me and tell me. Just let me believe I crushed 500 reps. Thanks.

If you want a serious challenge, do it twice and then call it the “1,000 workout.” I wasn’t up for all that though. I rounded out the workout with some supersets, which included drop squats, cross back lunges, plank rows and upright rows. Then I immediately ate 3 pieces of pizza crust from the pizza Dave ordered. How’s that for recovery fuel?

I also polished off a bag of these. Have you guys tried these before?

Brookside CandyMy sister gave me a bag to try when I was visiting her in Atlanta. Again, I was all like, “nah, I don’t like dark chocolate” and then I tried one and proceeded to eat 3 bags myself. Perhaps my taste buds have matured and I do like dark chocolate now? I’m not sure they are all that healthy, despite the fruit on the bag…but they’re delicious so try them anyways.

Atlas and I have big plans today. We are going to make buffalo quinoa burgers for dinner, play outside with the dogs before temps drop below freezing again (bummer), read some books and practice putting our hands into our mouth (that last one is more Atlas – I’ve got pretty good hand-to-mouth coordination…hence the empty bag of dark chocolate pomegranate candy featured above).



What is your ‘magic number’ when it comes to running? I.e. the miles you need to run to feel like you truly got in a gooood workout. Please don’t comment with something like ’15′ because that will just make the rest of us feel bad. ;) 

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Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Circuit Workouts | 10 comments

How to Put Yourself in a Good Mood

Do this workout…

boredomfightingworkoutWhile listening to this song…

bestsongeverThen go to Starbucks and get one of these salted caramel cake pops…

IMG_4301And voila!

…You should be smiling at this point…



And if that doesn’t do the trick, just think…it is almost Friday! :)

I’m back in New York after a terrific week in ATL with my family and I’m looking forward to a weekend spent with Dave, Ob & Marley! I missed them a whole lot while I was gone!




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Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Circuit Workouts | 6 comments

Better Butt and Arms Holiday Workout

This post is going to be short and sweet, just like my workout today.

Better Butt:Arms Holida Workout


I have a bazillion Christmas card envelopes to address (okay, so really it is just 40…but anything more than 2 may as well be a bazillion when you have a newborn). It will be a Christmas miracle if I get these addressed, stamped and in the mail before 2014.

I did get to workout today though and it was a good one, so I’m sharing it here.

Here are some links to a few of the exercises if you’re unfamiliar with any of them.

I’m already sore, but I think this workout would have been more effective if I didn’t have 1.5 pecan pies sitting in my kitchen. I say 1.5 and not 2 because I already ate half a pie. I didn’t top it with ice cream though, so that made it reduced fat. It also made it less delicious.

Okay – those Christmas cards aren’t going to address themselves. Would be pretty flippin’ sweet if they did though! I’m off to cut another slice of pie and get ‘twerk (←how rednecks say ‘get to work’).

OH! And before I forget…

What are you baking for the holidays? I’m putting together a ‘must bake’ list and I want to know what is on yours! So far I’m thinking peanut butter balls, sugar cookies and maybe some trashed up rice krispie treats? But I’m open to suggestions! Tell me what you have to bake at Christmas and feel free to attach links in the comments section!

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Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in Circuit Workouts | 9 comments

Legs & Abs Supersets

Oh, you guys! Your sweet words of encouragement on yesterday’s post made my WEEK. You are the best and I smiled as I read each of your comments. Thank you so much! I’m so excited to share this crazy journey with you all.

Today I am coming at you with a workout…

Legs & Abs Superset


I originally had plans of kicking butt in this superset workout, but quickly determined I was going to need some extra extended breaks to make it through the exercises I wanted to do. While I am certainly feeling MUCH better than I have over the last several weeks, I’m still randomly hit with waves of nausea that can knock me on my butt right quick. Seriously – pregnancy is humbling. This workout took me longer than it should have and I didn’t break a huge sweat because I went slower, BUT a slow workout is better than no workout at all. I had to go slow and pace myself, but I finished it and I have the sore butt and legs to prove it! :) Holla!

On the food front, I woke up getting sick this morning and then had to teach classes for 6+ hours, so I wasn’t able to eat a lot today. I was on the verge of passing out when I got home so we threw some tortellini, shrimp, spinach and sun dried tomatoes together real quick and I ate it on the couch while moaning about how light headed I felt (totally handling these pregnancy symptoms like a CHAMP). I didn’t snap a photo because I felt like if I didn’t eat it as soon as possible I was going to die (←actual thought in my head). Now, I’m feeling better and eating a mini cupcake from a local bakery. Thank goodness for my juice plus pills, or else there would be days when this poor baby wouldn’t be getting much nutrients from me.

In baby news (for those who are interested), I’m super excited for this 2nd trimester. Word on the street is that is the ‘honeymoon phase’ and life feels somewhat normal again. The baby is crazy active. It was jumping all around during our sonogram, which was easily the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Dave & I joked that it looked like “Baby A” (←what we’re calling it for now) was doing plyometrics. That’s my baby!

And in other random news, I know it is mid-March but I’ve been listening to Christmas music at work. Maybe it is because I’m super hormonal…maybe it is because my job is super stressful right now….but in order to keep from crying at work I turn on Christmas tunes and play them at my desk and pretend that Christmas is right around the corner. Is that not the most pathetic thing you’ve ever heard?? Don’t worry though, this will change soon. Michael Buble’s new CD comes out in April and once that debuts I will listen to that on repeat until October before busting out Christmas music again.

What workout did you do today? Go ahead, make me jealous. You guys are animals. I read your blogs – I see the crazy intense stuff you do! :)

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