Category: Yoga & Workout Variations

My Morning Routine + Why I Cherish it So Much

My Morning Routine + Why I Cherish it So Much

One topic I’ve been meaning to post about for a while has been my morning routine. I know this is something I’ve talked about it in the past, whether it be on the blog or on instagram, but I definitely want to reiterate WHY I cherish my morning routine as much as I do. Mornings for me are the most important part of my day. I find that starting my morning out on the most positive note possible truly sets the tone for how the rest of my day will look. My motivation, my productivity, my happiness, my dedication and so on, all depend on how the first hour or two of my day goes. This may not be true for everyone, but I’ve witnessed it first hand for myself.

 

A few things you want to AVOID in setting the tone for your perfect morning routine are…

 

1) Not getting enough sleep.

Sleep is SO important for me. I need at least 7 hours to be a functional human. I find that if I go one or two nights with a poor sleep, my lack of fitness motivation and self-control around food cravings are the first clear signs that I’ve been deprived of sleep. I instantly procrastinate my workout (which is clearly also a sign from my body telling me that sleep would be more beneficial than working out at the moment). I also find that I lose most of the self-control I have around shoving my face with highly sweet or salty foods. If that’s the case, I crave something sweet in the morning, which in turn spikes my blood sugar levels, which then leads me to crash before lunch-time, which then continues to put me in this spiral of craving sweet or super salty “junk” food for the rest of the day. THIS is why sleep is KEY. Sleep gives me you the energy to be the BEST version of yourself.

2) Starting the morning with negative thoughts.

I’ll be honest, waking up at 5:30am when it’s still pitch black out is not always fun, but waking up in the dark AND immediately having negative thoughts about the day is not going to make things any better. To be honest, what gets me out of bed in the morning is my delicious latte that I’ve been having on repeat. Especially on a chillier, fall or winter morning, waking up to warm, delicious (caffeinated) beverage can do just the trick! Give yourself something to be excited about when waking up! Shocker: for me it’s a yummy breakfast and morning beverage!

3) Rushing.

So long as you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep (ps this may mean you need to get into bed earlier! I usually turn off the lights around 9/9:15!), I’d recommend waking up early enough to allow yourself time and enjoy the moment. Again, rushed mornings, mean stressful mornings. And starting your day out stressed is certainly not going to help you take on the day. Is that netflix episode REALLY worth an extra hour of sleep?? (ps I definitely need to take my own advice on this one. Even if I’m still going to bed early, I know that watching TV before bed is a BIG no). Also, have you ever heard of the Circadian Rhythm?? It’s the 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings (i.e. HUMANS) that are affected by things like temperature, sunrise/sunset, etc.

So now for things you CAN incorporate into your morning routine to make it that much better…

 

*Also as a disclaimer, I’m certainly not saying you NEED to incorporate all of the below in your morning routine. That’s just not always realistic, even for those who do have plenty of time in the AM! My suggestion is to just try out a few different ones every now and then and eventually you may find 1 or 2 that stick.

 

1) Oil Pulling – LOVE this ayurvedic practice.

Just started it earlier this month and truly feel and see noticeable results. You want to do this FIRST thing in the morning (before even drinking most fluids). It’s suggested coconut oil is the best for this. Use about 1 TBSP and swish around for about 5-10 minutes (or more if you can!) This is a great practice to incorporate since you can easily multi-task, such as prepping your coffee or breakfast for the day!

2) Get yourself a good skincare (and oral) routine!

Super simple, but ditching the chemical/toxic skincare products can truly leave a long-lasting impact. Why? Because we should care JUST as much about the products we put ON our skin, as the products that we consume daily. Our skin absorbs whatever you’re applying on it and can be just as unhealthy, if not more so than eating something comparably toxic. Think about it…our skin is the LARGEST organ on our body. Treat it well and you will feel so much better! A few non-toxic skincare lines I’ve been loving recently include Cocokind Skincare and Frank & Whit. PS this also includes toothpaste! I recommend Toms or Dr. Bronners!

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3) Make yourself a delicious, warm morning beverage.

I love having a warm drink in the morning (usually something slightly caffeinated) that makes getting out of bed easier and a little more exciting, especially during the colder months! I usually choose to go with a latte & 2 espresso shots, bulletproof coffee, or a bulletproof matcha latte. Matcha or other various teas are awesome as well and a great option for those who have ditched coffee! Or if you’ve quit all caffeine – turmeric or superfood lattes and elixirs make for a great, yummy, and nourishing treat!

4) Gratitude Journaling.

This takes all of 3 minutes – I promise you and makes such an impact. Simply journal a few things a day you’re grateful for. Can be ANYTHING. Grateful for good health, grateful for your yoga practice, or even your new job! Next, write a few goals. I like to include very attainable and then DREAM goals. This is all about MANIFESTING and believing you have all the power to write your own destiny.

5) Practice 10 minutes of light yoga.

This is such a great way to get the spinal fluid moving with some nice, easy back bends and twists. Twists are great for detoxifying the body and help to loosen up the spine after sleeping horizontally all night. I also find it’s a great way to kickstart the metabolism and gain a little energy for the day.

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6) Eat a nourishing breakfast full of healthy fats, protein, leafy greens (if possible), fiber, and some hearty carbs!

7) Put on music that’s light and upbeat! I LOVE doing this in the morning. It totally helps to wake me up and puts me in a great mood!

Hopefully this has given you some new ideas to help take your morning routine from a 5 to a 10! It doesn’t have to be everything, just take baby steps to find what works best for YOU! Comment below and share what your morning routine looks like! I’d love to hear!

 

Ballin’ on a Budget: Tips for the Staples (Food, Fitness, & Style)

Ballin’ on a Budget: Tips for the Staples (Food, Fitness, & Style)

Happy Hump Day!

As you know, I’ve been on a MAJOR budget lately but the last thing I want, is that to stop me from living my life and doing things (or buying things) that make me happy and healthy! Being a small business owner, while working multiple part-time jobs, leaves little to no “extra” spending money. When it comes to spending money, there are a few things I’ll invest in. Food is absolutely number one. Food is medicine to me. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had to pay for a pharmaceutical. Wholesome, healthy food has been my save and grace and for that reason, I’m ALWAYS willing to spend an extra dollar or two. As for fitness, that’s probably tied with food. Again, I feel my BEST when I get a good sweat in, surround myself with a positive fitness community, and treat my body well! Lastly, I threw style in here because that’s always been a fun passion of mine. I feel the clothes I wear are a representation of who I am. I consider myself a pretty creative individual and my clothes allow me to express my inner fashionista (lol, too far?)

Let’s start with FOOD. How to eat healthy on a small budget.

I’ll be honest, I don’t always follow my own advice. The convenience of having a Whole Foods within walking distance can be far too tempting most times.

  • A lot of “chain” grocery stores now carry your everyday healthy products at a much cheaper price. I’m a huge fan of shopping at Wegmans. Their organic produce selection is top-notch. They have great bulk food options (and prices). Trader Joes is another one that has really low prices for their produce and other products.


Thrive Market. This one I accidentally bought the membership a year ago, BUT I will say, it HAS been worth it. When you stock up and spend more than $49 on groceries, you get free shipping. Not to mention, they always are doing free product giveaways with your order. See this picture on the left, that rosewater came free! Last time, I got two cartons of Califia Farms products. They offer these deals while supplies last. PLUS almost all of their products are discounted (trust me, I’ve checked and compared!) I love using Thrive when I’m running low on all of the expensive oils, dry goods, nuts, superfoods, etc.
– Buy from the BULK FOOD SECTION! A huge part of our diet is nuts, grains, dried fruits, almond butter, and so on. The bulk food section at any store tends to always be cheaper than if you were to buy it pre-packaged.
– Get yourself a WholeFoods Whole Body Benefits Card at customer service. Gets you 20% off supplements!
– Always keep an eye out for Whole Foods sales. Trust me, a lot of my fave products like Health-Ade Kombucha, Simple Mills, Purely Elizabeth, Hilary’s Eat Well, etc. goes on sale!
– Scroll through your fave instagramers and you can ALWAYS find a discount code for some of your favorite products! PS – I’ve added in some of my discount codes at the bottom of this post!
– Speaking of Kombucha, did you know that anytime you buy a case (of anything) at Whole Foods, you get 10% off! Sometimes the cashiers don’t even realize this, so make sure you ask.

Now moving on to fitness…

If you know me, I’ve joked that I’m a serial fitness dater (not sure if that even makes sense…) But what I’m trying to get at is that I…

1) LOVE switching up my workouts (which is actually really good for your body) and…
2) I’m always on the hunt for “free trials”, “membership deal sign-ups”, “student discounts” (sry I know this is bad but I still use my student ID everywhere…it doesn’t have an expiration date!), 30 days for $30 unlimited, and so on. The deals go on. ESPECIALLY if you’re living in a college city. SO keep an eye out for those.
* For example, did you know you get a 1-week free trial with CorePower Yoga?
– Create your own work-out space at home! I did this for almost a year after I quit my “luxury” gym (spending far too much money on a monthly basis). I had a yoga mat, simple weights, and did a lot of HIIT. Kayla Itsines (like every other girl haha) was one of the programs I followed. Youtube and even the fitness instagram world can both be great resources.
– I also switched up my workouts with runs and yoga. I will admit, I recently found an AWESOME gym deal ($25 a month) and I felt now was a good time to jump on that since we’re entering into the brutal seasons of Boston (i.e. the dreaded Winter months). The snow and cold makes running outside not fun and certainly doesn’t help with any of my fitness motivation.
– ALWAYS search groupon or gilt city before paying for any studio. Guarantee there will be some deal out there.
– You can also join ClassPass and pay a CRAZY cheap price ($19 if you’re a new member) for your first month. I’ll be honest, I cancelled after 🙂 Though I love the idea of it…I couldn’t get myself to pay the regular monthly price after your trial ends.
– Search on your cities event page for free fitness classes!
– Go to community/donation-based yoga classes.

And finally…STYLE!

I will admit, I was a HUGE spender when it came to clothes. Especially when I had a pretty nice income. I never dropped money on super pricey designers but I definitely regularly shopped at Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People. Obviously times have changed and I can’t afford to do that anymore. LUCKILY, I have a lot of clothes in my closet that I no longer where and I’ve found a FAB way to cheat the system. Whenever I’m getting an itch to shop or update my fall wardrobe for example, I’ll search through my closet and drawers for pieces that are in season (this is key because most trendy thrift stores won’t accept out of season clothing). I’ll then search through any hats, shoes, jewelry, purses, jackets, etc. to see if there’s been anything I haven’t touched in the past year (or sometimes even 6 months if I’m feeling frisky).

Oversized jackets never go out of style in my book // found @ Buffalo Exchange
Loving these pieces from Buffalo Exchange. Pair a slingy dress w/ a sparkly see-through long sleeve (and pearls!) – Perfect for the Holidays!

I then march my giant bag of clothing to my FAVE thrift store, Buffalo Exchange , vintage and used clothing. (located in Allston on Harvard St. for my local friends). PS there are Buffulo Exchange stores all over the US. I found one in Queens, NY and spotted one while in Denver, CO. They are extremely picky with the clothes they accept, so make sure it’s in style, trendy, in pretty good condition, and hipster(y) is always a plus. Though it can be annoying as the seller when they send back nearly half of what you brought in, it’s also great because you know that you’re going to find the racks are all stocked with clothes, shoes, and accessories that are in style and SUPER cheap (I’m talking almost everything under $20)! They’ll offer you either a store credit or cash (though the cash ends up being like half of what you’d get with store credit), so I always keep the store credit! I then go shop, pick up a few staple fall items, and then end up having a $0 balance thanks to the clothes that I brought in and were accepted! Also, always check the quality of the clothing, if you find any small tears or stains, they’ll discount it even more, usually like 30-50% off.

Get yourself a pair of fun loafers for Fall // found brand new (Zara) @ Buffalo Exchange
…and a pair of funky wedges to go with pants & an oversized sweater // again found @ B.E.

This is my NUMBER 1 tip to always keeping fresh new items in your closet without spending a dime! Happy shopping ladies (and men)!!

So there ya have it friends, my personal tips to BALLLLLLIN’ on a budget 😉



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Sips By – (customized monthly tea subscription box order) code ‘EATRUNTEA’ for 50% off your first order.
OMG Detox – (detox beauty blends) code ‘CALLI10’ for 10$ off.
Health Warrior – (superfood bars) code ‘eatrunandallinbetween30’ for 30% off your order.

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

Happy HUMP day y’all!

For this weeks post I wanted to share with you tips I’ve been using to help calm my ever-so-racing mind! Being an adult is hard AF. The number one thing that’s been giving me a bit of anxiety lately has been around finances. Who else can relate? It’s unfortunate that money tends to be the number one culprit behind anxiety and stress for the average person. As you all know, I left my steady paycheck to pursue starting my own business. Luckily, I have no family, kids, college tuition, etc. to pay for…but that doesn’t mean I’m not covering rent, internet, gas/electric, car insurance, car payments, groceries, boston city parking tickets and tow fees (LOL) and oh just trying to have a social life as a 25-year old living in a thriving city. Yep, costs certainly add up and unfortunately, they’ve been leaving me with quite a bit of stress these days. I know I’m not alone and knew I had to share with you my personal tips that help me to calm my crazy mind. I wish I could say these would help to solve all financial issues (haha wishful thinking) BUT they certainly help to get into a right headspace, to then be able to better tackle solving those financial burdens.

1) Take a walk and listen to your favorite podcast.

I know this sounds obvious, but I promise you it’s an INSTANT mood-booster and gets your mind off of things. Find a podcast (or two) that you’re super into and commit to listening to them on walks. My podcast list is growing which leaves me with more motivation to get out the door and kill a podcast or two each day. Plus, the added vitamin D is SO crucial and hello, walking = happy endorphins!

PS – here’s a quick list of some of my fave podcasts at the moment. They’re all available on itunes and are FREE!

  • The Chasing Joy Podcast (positivity, wellness, self-love)
  • The Skinny Confidential: Him & Her Podcast (wellness, blogging/business tips, marketing your brand)
  • Actually Adultish (wellness, “adult” things for people in their 20’s and 30’s)
  • Rich Roll Podcast (wellness, entrepreneurship, spirituality, veganism, endurance training)
  • BulletProof Radio (wellness topics)
  • The Lively Show (high vibe living, law of attraction)
  • Let it Out with Katie Dalebout (wellness, positivity, self-love, entrepreneurship)
  • The Balanced Blonde: Soul on Fire (Spirituality, health & wellness)

2) Essential Oils, Diffusers, Candles, and Incense

This has been a big part of my practice lately, whether during yoga, meditation, or just hanging out at night before bed. Lavender oil can be rubbed on the back of your neck, your third eye, on the inside of your wrists, or pillow before going to sleep. The aroma of the “lavender helps to remove nervous exhaustion and restlessness, while increasing mental activity.” I love adding it to my diffuser before going to bed.

I’m also obsessed with lighting candles and incense. Incense are so cheap to purchase, you can buy various scents (including lavender if you wanted to keep up with that calming trend), they smell amazing, and instantly have a calming effect on me. I think personally, incense remind me of a yoga studio, which tends to be a calm, peaceful place that I can mindfully take myself to in the comfort of my own home.

3) Get upside down AND practice light, restorative yoga.

When in doubt, I always get upside down! Whether it’s headstand, forearmstand, handstand or just a simple, legs up the wall, inversions have been proven to have a calming effect on the mind and get the blood circulating which is KEY. If you can’t do a headstand, DON’T YOU WORRY! It’s just as effective to put your legs up the wall! Find any way to get your legs comfortably vertical. Also, peep my blog post on simple yoga moves to help relive stress and anxiety!

4) Whip up a calming beverage before bed or in the morning. It also never hurts to have a side of Cacao Vegan Chocolate 😉

There are a number of go-to concoctions I’ll whip up if I’m feeling super stressed or anxious. Most importantly, you certainly want to AVOID caffeine if you’re already feeling very uneasy. My go-to beverages include:

  • a calming tea: chamomile tea, peppermint tea, lemon balm tea, passion flower tea, rose tea
  • OR you can boil warm water, add fresh squeezed lemon, fresh ginger, and a drizzle of honey
  • CALM VITALITY – all natural anxiety relief powder that you add to warm water. Promotes healthy magnesium levels and calcium intake. You can learn more about the product here.
  • Make a healing “golden milk”. Golden milk is a medicinal drink that has been used for years in eastern medicine. Simply add 1 tsp of turmeric, a splash of cinnamon, ginger (optional), cardamon (optional), a pinch of black pepper, 1 tsp coconut butter (optional) a sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, honey, or organic vanilla extract) with 1 cup of warm coconut milk and mix well. Occasionally I’ll throw it in my nutribullet, but if I’m lazy, I just use a mini whisk! I love having this before bed. It makes me feel SO good and you get so many anti-inflammatory benefits!

And for my favorite go-to vegan chocolates?

5) MEDITATE.

I know, I know you probably hear this ALL the TIME. But, I promise you, it does help and can instantly put you in euphoria. I had been playing around with different methods of meditation, which I’ve shared below.

  • Guided meditation. There are SO many free ones on youtube. Just search “5 or 10 minute guided meditation” and find one you like.
  • Candle light mediation. Best done in the dark (Either early morning or at night). Sit upright on the floor. Stair into the candle without trying to blink as much as possible. After 5 minutes or so, close your eyes and focus internally on your third eye. You should see a colorful image of the flame still burning. Use that as your focus point. If you lose it, you can open your eyes again and refocus on the flame for another minute or so before shutting the eyes again.
  • Silent, seated meditation. This has been working the best for me lately, however, I advise you play around with timing of the day. I used to try and practice in the morning but found this just did not suit me well. I started mediating between the hours of 4-6pm which seem to work MUCH better for me. Usually at this time of day, my to-do list is out of my head and I’m actually read to just sit and be mindful. I’ll usually set my timer for 10 minutes, while sitting up right on the floor with a block under my butt (helps with comfort).

Though these work well for me, everyone is different! Play around and see what works for you. Also, if you have any ideas/or tips that aren’t posted about, please comment and share below! I love hearing what everyone else does to relieve stress and anxiety.

5 Yoga Moves to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

5 Yoga Moves to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

Hello everyone!

For this weeks blog post I wanted to share with you some fairly simple yoga moves to help reduce anxiety, stress, worrisome, and so on! Trust me, you’re not alone. We all likely go through periods in our lives whether it’s personal or work related, where we’re feeling overwhelmed, helpless, unsure of ourselves, and so forth. There are so many natural remedies out there we can look to in order to help reduce the anxiety and stress we may experience from time to time. I myself have a strong type-A personality which leads me to put un-necessary added pressure on myself, which ultimately surfaces feelings of doubt, uncertainty and of course, can be the leading causes of my anxiety or stress I may experience.

As soon as I’m feeling any of these emotions bottled up, I now find myself naturally on the yoga mat – even if it’s for 10-15 minutes, to bring myself to the present moment, BREATHE, close my eyes, and truly feel myself and the stress go away as I flow through these poses. You only need just 10 minutes a day to incorporate these poses, whether it be first thing in the morning, mid-day, or just before going to bed. The last thing I want to call out is that no pose is PERFECT. We’re all at different levels, we all have various strengths and flexibility throughout the yoga practice. It’s important to not put to much pressure on whether your legs are straight or your back is perfectly curved – what’s important is to truly FEEL the stretch. Close your eyes and let your mind and body naturally connect. This feeling you will find is where yoga happens.

1) Dandasana – Staff Pose / Janu Sirsasana – Head to Knee pose

How to get into pose 1: Sit on the mat comfortably with your legs stretched out in front, flex the toes and try to keep your legs together. Place your hands by the sides of your hips and ensure your mounds of your hands are firmly grounded next to you. As you firmly press into the mat, you should automatically feel your spine elongate.

*This is a great post to begin with before moving into Janu Sirsasana (the next pose below).

How to move into pose 2: Firmly ground one leg long into the mat. From staff pose, bend one knee in and place your foot on the inner thigh of your opposite leg that is lengthened and grounded into the mat. It also helps to soften your belly, engage you butt, and then inhale up and lengthen your arms above your head. As you exhale, fall forward, placing your body over your lengthened leg. It’s OK to have a bend in your knees as you really want to feel this stretch lengthen your spine and stretch your lower back. It’s also helpful to use a strap as a variation!

Additional benefits: helps with digestion, relieves menstrual pain, calms the mind

2) Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose

How to get into this pose: You can feel free to begin from staff pose (as explained above). From here, ensure your butt is firmly grounded and you bring your heels to meet. This will help to ensure you’re externally rotating your hips and this activation will help to intensify the stretch. Continue to lengthen through the tailbone through to your spine and grip your hands around the feet. Feel free to bend forward for a variation of this stretch.

Additional benefits: improved circulation, alleviates menstrual pain, hip-opener

3) Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy Pose

How to get into this pose: This will feel like a mix between child’s pose and downward dog! Begin in table top by coming onto all fours. You’ll want to be sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists and that your hips are inline with your knees. From here, you can begin to walk your hands out in front of you, keeping them lengthened. As you exhale further into the pose, you can begin to shift your hips back towards your heels. You should feel a nice stretch in your spine as you maintain a bit of a curve. Feel free to rest your head on a block or to the floor in front of you.

Additional Benefits: stretches spine and shoulders

4) Ustrasana – Camel Pose

How to get into this pose: **Before moving right into this pose, ensure you’ve properly stretched out your back with possible variations of baby cobra, upward facing dog, locust pose, or spinx!! This is important as the camel pose is a intense backbend stretch. To start, you’ll want to begin in a kneeling position, hip-width distance apart. Next place your hands on the inside part of your hips and push your chest open, while your shoulder blades then press towards one another (further expanding your chest open). From here, you can begin to gently lean your head backwards, but be careful of your neck, especially if you’ve had any injuries here! At this point, you can choose to move into a couple of variations as seen below. It tends to be easier with the blocks by your side or by curling your toes up to add extra length if you’re unable to move as deeply into the pose. Be careful not to hold this pose too long. Come up slowly and beware of dizziness and high blood pressure. You may choose to start with an easier variation and then move into a more challenging one on your second round.


Additional benefits: relives menstrual pain, eliminates constipation, increased stretch around neck, hips, butt, etc.!

5) Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall Pose (aka one of my FAVORITES)

How to get into this pose: First of all, this is easily my favorite pose to do. I love doing this while in bed right before I go to sleep. It’s such a calming pose and you can really feel the tingly benefits from it as it drains your lactic acid and circulates your blood. Before moving against the wall, you’ll want to think about your height/distance from the wall, your flexibility, and whether you’ll need any added support under your lower back for comfort. You don’t need to worry about being at a perfect 90 degree angle, just ensure you’re feeling comfortable with where your lower back and sit bones fall. This should NOT be a straining pose. You should be able to hold this pose between 5-10 minutes to soak up all of the amazing benefits. Try playing around with variations/different support using a blanket or a block, etc. Enjoy!

Additional benefits: insomnia, mild depression, headaches/migraines, digestive problems

Hopefully these moves help to reduce any of that stress and anxiety if practiced daily. Feel free to leave any comments, follow/message me on my instagram page @eatrunandallinbetween or email me at: pappascalli@gmail.com with any questions 🙂

That time I traveled to Mallorca, Spain for my 200HR Yoga Teacher Training…

That time I traveled to Mallorca, Spain for my 200HR Yoga Teacher Training…

Hello Friends and Happy New Year!

First off, I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts this past month, but I’ve been in a whirlwind of activities since the start of December. Obviously, the one that most stands out as reflected in my title was my 200HR Yoga Teacher Training that took place in Mallorca, Spain over an intensive 17 days. There’s SO much I could share with you on this training, but I’m going to do my best to keep it as short as possible, so let’s give this a go.

To rewind just a bit, there was a moment sometime in mid-September when I realized my love for yoga had reached a certain point and my interest in furthering my practice was sparked. Since graduating college just over three years ago, I had picked up yoga and established my own self-practice at home. I hoped that by incorporating yoga into my routine, I’d see less injuries from running and working out. At the time, I only saw yoga as an alternate form of stretching and injury prevention that would allow me to continue running the long distances 365 days a year. Little did I know, that physical aspect was just a SMALL part of what yoga truly is.

Back to that September day, I made the commitment that I’d look into completing a yoga teacher training sometime in the next year. To be honest, I wasn’t necessarily 100% sold on teaching yoga, I truly wanted to do this for myself. I saw it as an opportunity to be in the present moment away from the hustle and bustle, grow, get to know myself, push boundaries, get out of my comfort zone, and of course, further and deepen my practice both mentally, physically, and spiritually. The idea of teaching yoga and running my own class at the time was actually terrifying to me since I never really saw myself as a teacher. Anyway, after only a few google searches and scrolls through bookyogaretreats, I stumbled upon the most fitting yoga teacher training in Mallorca, Spain. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was about this particular training, but I just knew it was the one and without little time to waste, I quickly applied and was accepted soon after.

Fast forward to December 1st, the day of our arrival. After over 13 hours of traveling, my anxiety and fear was through the roof. Between traveling on my own to a foreign country, meeting 27 other people from around the world, submerging myself in a truly INTENSIVE program (I mean physically, emotionally, mentally, all of above), and being completely in the unknown, I was no longer in control. I realized quickly I had to let go of my fears and just be in the present moment. Though I knew this was the approach I HAD to take, it certainly took a few days to accept and surrender to the program, be OK with the variety of emotions that overcame myself, and lastly, trust that we were in the amazing hands of our teachers.

I’ll be honest, the first few nights were definitely a struggle. I kid you not, I texted Justin after the first night “I MISS YOU SO MUCH!!!” and his response was “Babe, it’s only been a day…you have 17 more to go.” HAHA. Luckily, it only took a few more days (those of which were probably the hardest), to settle in and make friends. Fortunately enough, making friends was the easy part. I can barely put into words how truly amazing and kind-hearted everyone was from the very first second we all met. It was clear we were all here at this training for a reason. As we got to know one another, we all seemed to be at different cross-roads in our lives, but there was one thing we all knew for sure, and that was that we had set out to complete our yoga teacher training and somehow ended up on this beautiful little island off of the coast of Spain to achieve this goal together. Having this support system throughout the program was paramount in getting through the various emotions, challenges, fears, unknowns, excitements, and joy that each day had to bring.

Between 4 hours of yoga a day, to adventuring off through the trails that lined the coast, to meditating under the full moon while watching shooting stars fire past us, to running our very first yoga class, to practicing acro/partner yoga on the beach, to devouring homemade vegan meals daily, and to being vulnerable and opening our hopes and dreams up to one another…this experience was truly life changing. My expectations coming into this were completely naive. I assumed I’d come home nailing a handstand and adding hundreds of new asanas to my “toolkit” but what I ended up getting out of this program was SO much more.

We learned the history, philosophy, and foundations behind yoga. We learned about anatomy, cueing, safety, and sequencing. We learned about meditation, all of the amazing health benefits that yoga and meditation could bring, and the holistic approach known as Ayurveda. We made ever-lasting friendships. We conquered so many fears and (quite literally in a small fire by the beach) let them go. But what surprised me the most, was what I learned about myself and how much I grew in just 17 days. I know I have so much more to grow and couldn’t be more excited to see where my continued yoga practice takes me and hopefully, is something that I can teach and share with others one day!

I know that may all sound sappy and cliche but it’s 100% FOR REAL. I had heard before going to my teacher training that this experience would be life changing. At the time, I just shrugged that comment aside, not thinking anything of it. But, hey, I’m here to tell ya, it’s the truth! If anyone is interested in hearing more about my experience or just has general questions regarding yoga feel free to shoot me an email at: pappascalli@gmail.com 🙂

Intensive Yoga Flow & Workout Playlist

Intensive Yoga Flow & Workout Playlist

Hi there!

I haven’t shared my workout playlist in a while and figured for the next one, I’d share my fave yoga flow playlist. This is for the yogi who likes to get their sweat on through an intensive flow session. The music definitely picks up a bit, so flow to the beat and feel the BURRRRNNN. I’d describe these songs as a mix of being melodic, dreamy, trippy, electronic, dubby, empowering, and so on (you get the idea).

Some of the artists include:

  • Big Gigantic
  • Flume
  • Adventure Club
  • Disclosure
  • Tove Lo
  • Bassnectar
  • Shaun Frank
  • Anna Lunoe
  • Zeds Dead
  • Sevon Lions
  • Kill Paris

…and so many more!

With more than 60+ songs to keep you going all day long – throw it on shuffle and let me know what you think! I love discovering new artists – so please feel free to share & comment!

— Also, feel free to give me a follow on SoundCloud so you can stay updated on new music & check out my other playlists as well!

An Interview with my Fast Runner Friend – Jackie D!

An Interview with my Fast Runner Friend – Jackie D!

Hi all!

For this specific post, I decided to switch it up a bit! I’m sure you’re probably sick of hearing about me, so I thought it’d be interesting to start a series where I interview friends who in some way, are just as connected to health & fitness as I am. Some of you likely know that I ran competitively in college and through that, I had the pleasure of meeting some pretty amazing people and not to mention, a few of my best friends to this date! I’ve learned so much from them and I’d say they play a HUGE role in keeping me motivated whether it’s wellness related or just personally.

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So with that…I introduce to you my very first interview with my teammate from college and one of my best friends, Jackie D’Antonio! Since I know Jackie won’t toot her own horn, I’ll do it for her 😉 Jackie still holds the Loyola University Maryland records for the following:

-Women’s Indoor Track 800m with a 2:13:92
-Women’s Indoor Track 1,000m with a 2:52:17
-Women’s Indoor Track 4x800m Relay (Team Time of 9:35.33)
-Women’s Outdoor Track 800m with a 2:14:90
-Women’s Outdoor Track Distance Medley Relay (Team Time of 12:18.36)
-Women’s Outdoor Track 4x800m Relay (Team Time of 9:23.74)
-Women’s Top 10 XC 5K with a 18.05.90
-Women’s Top 10 XC 6K with a 21:34.00

Let’s now fast forward 3 years later, post-college and see what she’s up to these days! Hope you all enjoy and feel free to leave any comments or feedback!

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1. What are you currently training for?

Rochester half-marathon on September 18.

2. What does your average week of training look like?

I typically run 3 times a week (2 workouts, 1 long run) and strength/cross train the other days. I (try to) reserve Sundays for yoga.

3. What is your goal time?

Under 1:30 for the half

4. What advice would you give to someone looking to get into running?

Be patient and be persistent. It takes at least 2 weeks to get in shape so don’t expect to end the first week running a 5k at 7 minute pace. It can be real tough at first, but stick with it–it DOES get easier.

​5. Favorite workout routine at the moment?

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are always my go-to; they’re quick and dirty. I find a lot of good strength ones on www.bodybuilding.com

6. Favorite grocery store?

What a silly question. Wegmans, duh.

7. Who is your role model?

My momma.

8. Why is that ^ person your role model?

She’s been running since middle school and has yet to stop. And she’s just overall the best human being I’ve ever encountered.

9. ​​​​​​Name your favorite dessert – doesn’t have to be healthy 🙂

I’m a sucker for a good eclair. Strawberry shortcake is also one of my absolute faves. OR warm apple pie and ice cream. I’ll pretty much eat anything you put in front of me.

​10. What does your morning routine look like?​

I usually wake up between 5:30-6:00, depending on if I am running or going to the gym that day. Do my workout, shower, make a smoothie for breakfast, and am out the door for work by 8:15.

11. Favorite drink of choice to enjoy with your lunch?

Seltzer. Also super into the Kevita Probiotic and Bai drinks. I love bubbles.

12. What do you hope to accomplish in one year?

Fitness-wise, I want to build myself a booty. Life-wise, figure out my next (literal) move in life; I wanna explore a new city, I just need to figure out which one!

13. What about 5 years?

To have run the Boston Marathon.

14. If you were stranded on a remote island, name 3 things you would bring.

My brother Joey (good for strength and brains), phone with a portable charger to call for help, and a water filter. Really thought logically about that one.

15. What new food did you recently try and LOVE?

Hapi brand Wasabi peas are bomb.

16. Favorite motivational quote?

“Remind yourself daily that someone is happier with less than what you possess.”

17. How do you recover after a hard workout?

Treat mahself to a yummy meal like my mom’s famous homemade pizzas!

18. What is your favorite strength routine in the gym?

I like picking about 8 exercises and doing a circuit of 1-minute on/45seconds off of various strength workouts. Some exercises I like to do are pull-ups, box jump burpees, renegade push-ups, deadlift to squat press, wallstand push-ups, weighted running arms, etc.

19. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Greece.

20. Last question, ​what keeps you motivated?​

Truthfully, food. Knowing that if I workout hard, I can (hopefully) continue eating whatever the heck I want.

5 Tips for Living a Balanced Lifestyle

If you would have asked me three years ago what it takes to live a “balanced” lifestyle after college, my answer most DEFINITELY would have been very different than what I’m about to give you now. It’s pretty crazy to see how my mindset has shifted in just a few years. I would say much of that is due to trial & error, along with continued research and solid advice from podcasts or fellow bloggers! Either way, I feel as though I’m at a pretty solid point in my life, so wanted to share any wisdom or advice gained in the past years with all of you. I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring as I continue to grow, love, and experience more!

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1) Beat the Sunday Scaries. Now this may sound ridiculous and I don’t even know if I’ve quite mastered this, BUT I will tell you that beating the Sunday scaries is the best thing you can do for yourself to start out each week on a positive note. I’m telling you, it all starts on Sunday – not Monday as most would assume.

My tip? Make the most of your Sunday and avoid stressing about work, school, or whatever it is you have going on beginning Monday. Think positively, enjoy the day, end relaxed, get a solid sleep, and wake up feeling rejuvenated and EXCITED (key word here) for the new week ahead of you!

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How you ask? Here’s my idea of a perfect Sunday …wake up, sip some coffee & go out for a nice run. Come back and prep yourself a HUGE healthy breakfast or check out your nearest cafe to treat yourself. Personally, I love exploring new local health-food cafes during the weekend. From there – the balls in your court – do something active, go for a hike OR if shopping is your vice, then do that if it makes you happy! I typically end the day with a food shopping trip & I try to spend NO more than 1.5 hours on meal prepping for the week. I love ending the day with a calming yoga session in my living room. This is the best way to go to bed in a positive mood. Oh and don’t check your work emails right before bed!

2) Eat Intuitively. If you haven’t checked out my past few posts on intuitive eating, then I highly suggest you read up on it! Long story short, I have certainly spent a lot of my time throughout college and post-college, trying out new “diets” or wellness “fads”. Though these may work for some people, we’re all different and one persons way of living is not necessarily going to be the answer for everyone else. Of course, it took me 3+ years to discover this. That all being said, I finally gave in to eating intuitively.

“Intuition” as defined by Google is “the ability to understand something immediately, or a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.” In it’s simplest form, it means that if I’m craving ice cream, then I’m going to go for it. Same goes for a crunchy & hearty salad. Or fish. Or a glass of wine!! Or WHATEVER it may be. It’s natural human instinct and that’s something that you shouldn’t ever refrain your body from. It’s certainly a mindset change, but once you fall into it, you’ll find more joy in eating and less worrying over how many calories you’re consuming.

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3) Work out Intuitively. So similar to above, I truly believe that working out should be intuitive as well. Like eating, this was a pretty challenging adjustment for me. Coming from a strict, routine running career for 8+ years, I was afraid that any change in my workout routine would quite frankly, make me fat. Of course, this was naive thinking. But, when you come from D1 college running where everyday, Monday-Sunday, was planned for you, it’s hard to let go of that routine.

What I’ve learned is that it’s SO much more important to listen to your body then keep yourself in such a strict routine. I should have learned this sooner having suffered from on and off running-related injuries. Regardless, I’m now in such a great place, where I wake up in the morning and decide what I’m feeling versus going to bed with a set plan. This simple shift in how I work out has helped my body and my mind recover.

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What does my typically workout routine look like right now? I just signed up for a half marathon in the fall, so my running/training will likely pick up! I’ve been running about 3-4 times a week, anywhere between 5-8 miles. On the other days, I’ll either hop on the spin bike or the stair master for 30-40 minutes. I’ll focus on strengthening my legs, arms, and core (all on separate days). I also have been incorporating a mix of yoga & pilates into my routine at least 2-3 times a week for about ~ 20 minutes. Lastly, I usually take a day off every other week. PLEASE note that again, one persons routine, isn’t necessarily the right routine for you. This is ALWAYS subject to shift based on how I’m feeling. If I’m extremely tired, I will take an extra day off where necessary. The most important thing is to LISTEN to your body.

4) Take risks and challenge yourself. I think the biggest thing my boyfriend and I are struggling with right now is not knowing where we will be living in a year and what we’ll be doing for work. We have so many ideas of where we’d love to live, travel, etc. but we also know that given circumstances, it’s impossible for us to plan a year ahead right now. So much can change in just a year, so rather than living in fear or uncertainty, it’s important to turn that into excitement of the unknown. It’s knowing that so much can change in just one year and you truly need to live day-by-day to enjoy those moments. In the end, you need to take opportunities that are granted to you, make the most of them, challenge yourself and know that taking risks can either fail or can turn into something greater than you could have ever imagined!

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5) Think Positively and Love YOURSELF. I know this sounds super hippie dippy, but if there’s one thing I’ve taken away lately, it starts with loving and respecting yourself. It’s OKAY to be selfish and do things for you. We were all put on this earth for a different reason. We were all given different looks, shapes, and sizes for a reason.

Start embracing what you have and work with it! I honestly believe that the notion of thinking positively stars with self-love. At that point, your perspective becomes more humbling and gratifying. You can begin identifying the impact you can make and whatever your greater purpose is or may be one day. Just going into each day with a smile can make all the difference! Oh and PS – sometimes it takes just downing a cup of coffee to get to that state 🙂

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That’s my advice to you AND me! Though it’s taken me some time to get to this point, it doesn’t mean it stops here for me. Life’s all about growing and learning and I hope to continue doing that year over year.

I would love to hear how all of you practice a balanced lifestyle! Please share and comment below!

My Favorite Fitness Instagrams to Spice up your Workout Routine

My Favorite Fitness Instagrams to Spice up your Workout Routine

In college I had the luxury of being on a D1 college cross-country and track team year around. This lifestyle created a structured routine for me over those four years. Of course, there were days where all I wanted to do was stay in bed all day while bingeing on netflix and almond butter. But most days, I knew that this lifestyle was absolutely worth every blood, sweat, and tear. I knew that this would mold my future and how I would come to appreciate health and fitness the way I do today. It taught me discipline, drive, determination, and that not everything in life comes easy. You need to work for what you want most.

As not to get too side tracked here, the point of all of this is that I no longer have that same structure to keep me committed each and every day to my health. My workout routine is now in my own hands. I have no 6 AM required gym sesh 3x’s a week. I don’t have a team strength trainer to walk us through gym routines. I don’t have a running coach anymore to prepare track workouts for us on a weekly cadence. It’s my responsibility to define my health and lifestyle.

Unlike a lot of bloggers out there, I don’t have any background in nutrition or fitness. All I have is what I learn through research and believe it or not, social media…more specifically, instagram. Yes, instagram has become like my own personal trainer. Every now and then I come across a new instagram account with unique workouts, HIIT exercises, strength training, and more!

Here are some of the fitness accounts I follow that cover almost all fitness spectrums – Cardio, HIIT, Strength, Core, Yoga, Squats & Bootay, Pilates, and more!

@Kayla_itsines
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@100KChallenge
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@bagsandbunnies
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@sugarysixpack
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@cardioexercises
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@laurasykora
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@squatvideos
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@homesquat
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@brigxx
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@amandabisk
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@toneitup
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Top Fall Jamz

Top Fall Jamz

No, I’m not referring to the kind of sweet, fruitful jams that are oh so perfect on a slightly browned piece of toast…no, I’m talking about music jams. Just as good, right?!?
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Anyway, nothing like some good pump up music to get you motivated as the temperature begins to drop and hibernation slowly but surely, becomes more tempting. For those that are familiar with my blog, likely know how obsessed I am with dance music. Whether it’s trap, big room, or deep house – I love it all and therefore basically eat, sleep, breathe it.

Now, don’t knock em till ya try em!

Scrub the Ground – Tommie Sunshine & Chocolate Puma
Won’t stop rocking the beat – R3hab & Headhunterz
90’s by Nature – Lucas and Steve Remix
Crunk – Siege
X – Dyro
Save Me – Keys n’ Krates
Wombass – Oliver Heldens & Tiesto
Ready to Fly – Mr Belt and Wezol
Split (Only U) – Chainsmokers & Tiesto
Sky High – Firebeatz
Deeper Love – Jauz
Squad Out – Skrillex & Jauz
Boss Mode – Knife Party
Odesza All we need remix – Dzecko and Torres
Jewlez and Sparks – Dope
Give me some – Fedde Le Grand and Merk & Kremont
Devotion – Bingo Players Jewlez and Sparks Remix

What’s so great about ClassPass anyway? A lot.

What’s so great about ClassPass anyway? A lot.

So just over 2 months ago, I signed up for a new subscription called Class Pass. I was introduced to this by a friend and instantly was drawn to the idea of what this subscription model could offer. For just $99 a month, I had the opportunity to attend up to 3 classes PER fitness studio a month. So for example, in my “neighborhood” alone, I have about 8 or so cooperating studios (this doesn’t even include the amount of studios that are along my commute home from work). This means I can go to 3 classes per studio. You do the math. I essentially could attend 24 classes in a month at that same $99 rate. Though $99 MAY sound like a lot, consider how much I was spending at other chain studios?? Now, I’m not trying to put down any of these studios down, but for me, switching up my fitness routine daily is normal. Having the option to try out new studios, different workout regimens, and all the while, feel like I’m getting my money’s worth is a BIG bonus in my mind.

Oh and did I mention that you not only get access to studios in your city, BUT when you travel, you can attend any class for NO additional charge. WHAT!? This means that when I go visit my boyfriends family in Long Island, I no longer need to worry about where or what I’ll do for my mini make-shift workout. Or when I’m traveling to visit friends in Baltimore, I can just search local studios on my app and BAM I’m set for the day! For me – this is a game changer and I’m obsessed.

But oh you must be thinking …this is just another one of Calli’s short-lived obsessions. You could be TOTALLY correct. But hey, if I’m using this in the summer and into the fall – just imagine how handy this will be in the winter when I’m REALLY not down to go for a run in 5 feet of snow. Just think of the possibilities!!

Want more of a reason to join class pass? Well, new studios are joining left and right. Just when you think the yoga studio conveniently located next to your apartment will never join, you receive an email the following day with new studios added to the portfolio. I’ve been to a whole variety of studios from small boutique-like pilates classes, spin classes, chain yoga studios, and even free gym time at nearby gyms! The funny thing is that I’ve now started seeing a pattern of the same people at all these different studios in the area. It may be because I’m in a big college city, but that certainly says something about this app and it’s attraction to fitness-obsessed locals!

Here’s the fun part – you can even test this subscription out for a week free of charge to decide if you like it! If you do, great, you’ll be charged 99 for the month …if not, then you get your money back after after the week is up!

What Have I Been Up To???

What Have I Been Up To???

Hey guys! I’m so sorry I’ve been AWFUL with posting lately! There’s been a lot going on with work and getting ready to move into my boyfriend and I’s new apartment in Boston! Anyway, now that spring/summer (I think technically Boston just fully skips over spring and jumps right into 80/90 degree days…) is FINALLY in full swing here in New England, I’ve gained a new sense of motivation. Motivation to keep up with my workouts, my cooking/clean eating, work in the office, and hopefully some more blogging in my life! Side note: if you don’t already, make sure to follow my Instagram: eatrunandallinbetween – I keep that pretty much up-to-date every day!

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That being said, I wanted to share that since my last post – I’ve actually began Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide and I’ve absolutely been LOVING it. I’m actually on week 9 now and feel SO much stronger than I’ve felt in a long time. I’ve decreased my running significantly, but at the same time, I’m still able to go out and run a solid 8 minute mile pace on a hilly 5 mile course – which in my mind is pretty decent seeing as I’m only running 3, maybe 4 times a week! I love her leg, arms, and ab days – they’ve helped to build some solid definition and I THINK I may just be around the corner from a 6-pack!! Okay…maybe not THAT close, but a girl can dream. For those who are not familiar with her guide, they are organized over the span of 12 weeks – so I have 3 more weeks left to kick some serious booty. Hellllloooo summer body!!

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In addition to my girl Kayla – I’ve also been really into yoga lately. I’ll go to 1-2 classes a week (they don’t always work with my schedule), BUT on nights where I can’t attend a class, I’m pretty much doing my own yoga session for 25-30 minutes in my room at night. It’s a great way to relax and stretch at the end of the day – plus, I get to practice my head and hand stands! Hopefully I can be whipping those moves out on the beach by the end of the summer…practice makes perfect, right?!

Aside from working out and cookin’ up a storm, my boyfriend and I have been getting ready for a big move on June 1! This will be our first apartment together AND we’ll be living in the city! We seriously could not be more excited and anxious for this move. It’s been a long time coming – we were in a long distance relationship for a WHILE, so it’s pretty surreal to finally be in the same city and soon enough, the SAME apartment 🙂 Not to mention, I’ve been crazed over furniture and decoration hunting. It’s amazing how the second you have a place of your own, you instantly go design crazy. I literally wake up in the morning with new ideas…I think Justin wants to kill me by now… Anyway, once our apartment is fully decorated – I’ll make sure to share some pictures!

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That is an update of my life thus far! Nothing crazy, just beginning to enjoy this warm weather and looking forward to summer festivities! Look forward to more posts in the upcoming weeks!

Tone it Up and the Kayla Movement…What’s This all About?

Tone it Up and the Kayla Movement…What’s This all About?

If I were to guess, the majority of you likely know about my blog because of my instagram account @eatrunandallinbetween OR through my Facebook account which if you’ve looked at my page…the only “social presence” I have on there are my continuous blog post updates #nofriends?! ANYWAY, the reason I bring this up is because using social media accounts such as instagram is a really great way to get motivated, be inspired, check in, and stay on track with your health and fitness journey! There are SO many wonderful fitness accounts out there that I follow. Seriously, I think I learn a new thing everyday. That being said, there seems to always be two popular fitness “movements” that I always see trending on social media. Ever heard of Tone it Up or the Kayla Movement? Katrina and Karena or Kayla Itsines?
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If not, I suggest you look into these different accounts and the impact that they’re making on the fitness community. It’s actually INSANE to see how many women’s lives have been changed thanks to the wonderful fitness plans, nutrition suggestions, workouts, motivation, etc. that these ladies have shared through social media. They’ve created a fabulous cult of kind and motivating women who check in daily through their instagram accounts AND all the while, commenting, sharing, and encouraging other women that are on the same fitness journey. Whether it’s through sharing each other’s progress pictures, posting your specific meal preps, encouraging one another when a “check in” photo is uploaded. The support that I’ve been seeing on instagram is more powerful than ever right now.
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I feel like when I started my blog over 2 years ago, I saw far more “cyber bullying” through instagram. Girls putting down other girls. Too skinny or too fat, paleo verses vegan, cross fit verses HIIT, strong opinions on workouts and nutrition plans that work and those that fail. However, lately, I’ve noticed more of a supportive movement. Perhaps the cyber bullying is still there, but the encouragement and support is just more over powering than the negative vibes out there. Regardless of what it is, it’s so inspiring and amazing to see how the health and fitness community has grown on instagram and through other forms of social media. I think a lot of this is owed to these two accounts.
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Typically, I’ve very skeptical on purchasing nutrition or fitness plans. I feel like I’ve done a lot of research of my own to get to where I am today. However, seeing the transformation pics out there through these two different fitness/nutrition plans, you can’t deny that they’re doing something right. Then it comes down to whether you actually want to go ahead and spend the money to purchase these plans. I think purchasing one of these plans would do AMAZING things for you both mentally and physically. However, some of us don’t have $100 to spend on a fitness booklet.
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So what’s plan B? How do you get the results that these girls have been seeing? Get on instagram! Seriously, so many meal prep plans and workouts are posted. Just search #toneitup, #kaylamovement, #kaylaitsines, #TIU …you’ll find a never-ending assortment of girls just like you posting their progress through workouts and meal plans. Additionally, both different products have blogs out there as well. Tone it Up has a free newsletter/email subscription you can sign up for and a blog AND they have a number of youtube workout video’s out there. Kayla Itsines has a really great blog that shares recipes, tips on Meal Prep 101, and more.

As you can see…there really are NO excuses now. You’d be surprised at the amount of tips and helpful advice that can be shared and inspired. Plus you’ll gain an amazing support system through motivated people just like yourself!

What’s HOT in the Fitness World Right Now?

What’s HOT in the Fitness World Right Now?

As the majority of you likely know by now, I’m not a certified nutritionist or fitness trainer. I’m just your every day health nut who works an 8-5 job, but still finds time to get my workouts in and cook up some nutritious meals throughout the week. That’s one thing I won’t ever give up. That being said, you can find me scrolling through health and fitness blogs, instagram, twitter, and pinterest accounts. That’s where I do my so called “research”. What I like about this is that I’m not just reading facts, but true experiences and real time feedback. I pretty much discover the new “hot” foods, ingredients, supplements, workout routines, etc. simply through following various fitspo accounts. The other thing about these accounts I follow is that they’re real people just like me. Obviously, there are accounts I follow that 100% dedicate their life to fitness and healthy and likely have over 100K followers. But then there’s also accounts I follow where they may be attending grad school or have a 8-5 job like myself. These people may not have 6-packs and they may only have 2k followers, but their posts and “fitspo” still inspire me, regardless of how well known they are in the fitness world.

All of that being said, I find myself trying out new ingredients, products, supplements, and workouts based on the feedback I hear from the accounts I follow. So, based on what I’ve been reading up on lately, here’s a look of the hot supplements, products, and workouts I’ve been keen on adding to my daily regimen.

Hot Products:

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Arctic Zero and a new brand I just ordered called “Wink” Frozen Desserts
Purely Elizabeth Granola
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– 18 Rabbits and Raw Vegan Macro Granola Bars
Frozen or Freeze Dried Acai Powder
– Quest Bars

Supplements:

Spirulina
Chlorophyll
– Fish Oil Pills
Apple Cider Vinegar “shots”
– Plant Based Protein or Designer Whey Protein Powder

Workout Routines:

Tabata Workouts: Typical workout would look like 4 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off of cardio (ex. burpees and jumping jacks or skaters and high knees); then 3 x 30 seconds of strength (ex. lunches w/ weights and push ups); then do 2 more sets of cardio and 2 more sets of strength — REALLY great way to get a hard, fast, full-body workout in. More Tabata Workouts Here!
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Booty Exercises – I’ve been incorporating a lot of Barre and Pilate moves into the ends of my workouts. Lots of leg raises w/ ankle wights, donkey kicks, bridges, etc.
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– Continued focus in nighttime yoga (15 – 20 minute sessions and always ending with handstands against the wall… WILL GET THERE ONE DAY!)
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My Take on Barre

My Take on Barre

Over the past few weeks, my friends/family/boyfriend have likely heard the following phrases come out: “had a great morning, hit the barre first thing” or “can’t meet after work, heading to the barre” or “the barre has GREAT music and energy” or …you get the picture. I’m not an alcoholic I swear. Okay okay, jokes old, I’m lame – but sorry, can’t help getting a kick out of it still! Yes, I’ve become completely obsessed with barre class. Particularly, I’ve been hitting up the Pure Barre studio – a chain of boutique barre studio’s across the country. To my luck, one studio is located 5 minutes down the road from my office and is conveniently the same distance to my apartment…how can I say no?

I tried out my first Barre class last winter and LOVED it, however, I was still so stuck on ONLY cardio at that point. I felt that running was the only way to stay in shape. However, lately, I’ve realized that running is not the ONLY answer and quite frankly – I think I just need a long break from running. And coincidentally, this realization could not have come at a better time. Winter hibernation is the perfect time for this! Now don’t get me wrong. I still love running and it is TOTALLY a great workout. I’ll still do 3-4 miles at least 3 times a week. But, I’ve cut back a lot. Honestly, my plan is to take off the winter and then start up training again mid-spring.

Anyway, given this – I’ve found other ways to stay in shape and really work on toning and strengthening my body. Barre has been a fitness routine that I really enjoy and am ACTUALLY seeing results from after just a few weeks, which running has never done that drastically. I loved my first class at Pure Barre so much that I purchased a 1 month unlimited sign up for new clients and jumped on that ASAP. I can tell you I have taken full advantage of this – literally, I go almost every other day possible…
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For those of you who still may be wondering what exactly barre is, let me give you a run down of what a typical class at Pure Barre would be like:

The studio is fairly small, there’s just one large room carpeted and surrounded by mirrors and of course, the barre that wraps around the room. The studio is welcoming and the fitness trainers there are all super upbeat and friendly! One thing I noticed at my first class and all of them following, is how tentative the fitness instructors are. I arrived a few minutes early to my first class and they walked me through some beginner tips. Come in, grab a ball, a strap, and 2 sets of weights. Pick an area close to the mirror, in the front of the room so that you can easily pay attention to your form. Take the class at your own pace, you know your own limit. And most importantly, when in doubt, ALWAYS tuck (essentially, act as though someone is constantly punching you in the stomach!)

On the dot, the instructor comes in – the class room is filled with no more than 15 people. The music starts up – AH – upbeat house and dance music – I could get used to this. Let me tell you – this music is so crucial for a class like this – so many of the moves go exactly to the beat and the music will push you through the pain. We begin right away with the warm up – the fitness instructor coaching us all the way through, whether you’re a regular or brand new to the class, the instructors will coach you through every move. Not only that, but they are really good about paying attention to your name as you arrive to the class. Which is so nice, because throughout the class they’ll say your name with encouraging comments or coaching tips – I find this aspect so important and I really appreciate how personal they are with the class!
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Now after your warm up, you go straight into working your arms. You have the option of using no weights, 2 lbs, 3 lbs, or 5 lbs. Don’t let the amount of the weights fool you! Your arms WILL be shaking by the end, I promise you. Once you are done with arms, you’ll do a quick stretch and move into working your “seat” (the outer part of your bum, aka the Bikini target zone, aka every women’s goal for the best summertime bod) 😉 Again, they will work you until every inch on your body is uncontrollably shaking. After this workout, you’ll then get a really nice stretch in. Another thing to note here is that this brief stretching actually Really pays off. My yoga instructor even commented on how much my splits have improved…wooo!! Progress!!

After your seat and stretching, you’ll then progress into outer/inner thighs, then slow done a bit into core. Then the fun begins as you wrap up the class with a VERY intense core session. Again, the goal here is to get you to the point of shaking for every muscle. So you can bet your core will be worked to the bone!

Quickly, the hour flies by and you’ve made it to your final stretching stages. Lastly, you’ll wrap up the class with a group applause and I can guarantee you’ll never feel more accomplished than after this barre class!

Last bit of advice – drink a lot of water before hand and make sure you dress appropriately! See below for advice on what to wear:
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Similar to yoga attire…

– Long spandex/leggings/capri spandex (don’t suggest wearing shorts as you do moves and stretches that may show a lot…if you get the point…)
– Any type of tank top – highly suggest a tight one for flexibility with movement
– You will need special socks with a grip texture on the bottom – you have the option of purchasing these there for $3

Feel free to leave comments and let me know if you’ve ever tried Barre and if so, what’d you think?!


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