Tag: workout

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!

 

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!

Spring Cleaning 101 – Going Organic with Beauty & Cleaning Products

Spring Cleaning 101 – Going Organic with Beauty & Cleaning Products

For today’s post – I’d like to talk about the benefits of swapping out your CVS brand makeup with organic and natural ingredients. A few weeks back, I was listening to a podcast where the woman had recovered from a variety of different illnesses and diseases by following a holistic nutritionist and her guidance on eating clean and shaking up her daily routine. This woman had struggled for years with various illnesses and it wasn’t until she met with this nutritionist where she realized that what she was putting in AND on her body could be affecting her health. So, slowly but surely, she began eating clean, whole foods that helped to nourish her body inside and out. One by one, she started replacing her cleaning products and makeup with organic, 100% natural options. And as one would assume, after just a few months, her illnesses dwindled down and she finally began to feel energized again. It was like a weight was lifted off of her just by simply adjusting the way she was treating her body. No prescription drugs needed – just 100% natural remedies.

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The more I thought about this woman’s experience, the more I realized this was such an easy switch that could help me in the long run. If you think back to 100’s of years ago, our population was SO much more in touch with nature. We weren’t surrounding ourselves with technology. We weren’t consuming all of these chemicals that are hidden in cleaning products like detergent, or in makeup like foundation powder. We were living in a world that hadn’t yet been tainted by all of these material goods.

Check out this article I found from the global healing center on the 6 reasons to go organic!

Some key highlights I found from skimming through this article are the following:

  1. Conventional beauty products contain petroleum-based ingredients such as aluminum. Aluminum is found through mining which has had a very negative affect on the environment, especially in places like the Amazon rainforest. Did you know that the deodorant you’re using likely contains aluminum? Did you also know that there have been clear links to breast cancer & alzheimer’s disease??

Pro Tip: Go 100% organic with your deodorant! There are so many options these days – Toms is a perfect example!

  1. Conventional makeup can leave your skin feeling damaged due to it’s intense chemicals used in these products. Whether it’s a CVS brand or MAC – if it’s not 100% organic, there’s a VERY good chance it contains chemicals that can be poisonous to the endocrine system. “Parabens and phthalates are two common examples of substances found in these makeup products” – both of which have been linked to cancer and type II diabetes.

  2. Did you know that not only applying these cosmetic products on your body can be harmful but also breathing in the aromas like perfume or lotions can be extremely toxic. The chemicals found in these have been linked to cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, and birth defects.

Pro Tip: Choose products that are 100% natural like essential oils (i.e. lavender and roseship oil are great examples).

  1. As I touched on above, products that can be applied to your body like face washes, face lotions, body lotions, and body scrubs all too, can have harmful, long-term effects.

Pro Tip: As this article points out, “if you can’t eat it, don’t wear it.” So what are some good examples of body treatments that are both natural and energizing for your skin? Opt for body lotions such as cocoa butter which contains fatty acids that can help to keep your skin youthful and soft or a lotion derived from hemp oil. Other good products contain ingredients such as white tea, grapes, apricots, and pomegranate seeds.

  1. With summer quickly approaching, we all know the importance of protecting your skin (something I quite honestly need to get better with)! UV protection can be found in natural organic and mineral-derived ingredients such as Titanium oxide or Zinc oxide.

Pro Tip: I just recently picked up the brand “Yes To” Carrots Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15. There are SO many options, so make sure to choose one that works well for you!

After reading through these 6 facts, it’s quite frankly an obvious choice to swap out your conventional makeup items, your cleansing, and cleaning products and go organic! If it means possibly lowering my risk of disease and cancer, decreasing the amount of harmful, toxic chemicals getting into my body, and leaving me feeling and looking more youthful and energized – I’M IN!

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My advice? Don’t feel like you need to go crazy right off the bat. Stores like Target and Wegmans carry PLENTY of natural products for a pretty good deal! Keep an eye out for sales, etc. – you’ll find them, I promise!

Here’s what I’ve started to swap out: Shampoo, Conditioner, Deodorant, Lip Liner, Lip Stick, Lip Gloss, Foundation Powder, Blush, Body Lotion, Face Wipes, Nail Polish Remover, Soap Bars. So yes, it is a work in progress and I have a lot to do! But hey, it’s a start and I’m already feeling better about the positive lifestyle changes I’m making!

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

The Struggle is Real

The Struggle is Real

So the title here says it all. There are quite honestly some mornings where I wake up – groggy, unmotivated, unenthused by the day ahead of me. Now I’m sure I’m not the ONLY one that feels like that, right?? I mean let’s face the truth – summer is gone and we’ve now welcomed Fall (or pretending to) with open arms. Us Bostonians can already feel the crispness in the air or can see the frost glistening on cars early in the AM. For those of you familiar with my blog and therefore, my workout routine – I face it head on, early in the morning…every day. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you even get a pretty sunrise as pictured below!

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Whether I like it or not, I’ve committed. I’ve even rubbed off on my boyfriend who was so fortunate enough to have dealt with my 5AM wakeup call that he just couldn’t resist anymore! It’s actually a HUGE motivating factor when on the mornings where I snooze my alarm too many times to count, he rolls out of bed and gets going. Now, my competitive nature instantly would fight back and I would have no choice, but to get out of bed and follow suit.

Side note: a fun fact about Boston is that parking SUCKS. You’re lucky as hell if you find parking included with your apartment. If you’re unfortunate like ourselves, than you’re likely paying $125 or more a month for a (crappy) parking spot, that is most certainly, NOT right outside of your apartment. What is our parking spot like you ask? Well we park in tandem. So if I pull in first and Justin pulls in after me – I’m trapped until he leaves. As you can imagine – this has caused A LOT of stress on our relationship! LOL but all kidding aside – the point of bringing this up is that this parking situation has secretly set us up for success in getting out of bed for our workouts in the morning. If one of us commits to going and our car is blocking the other, we can’t decide last minute the next morning to call it quits. So, as much as I love to hate our tandem spots – it is another motivating factor locking us into our morning workout routines!

Now, I realize not everyone may have a roommate or tandem parking spots to keep them on track in the mornings – so how else do I stay motivated? My biggest realization was beginning Kayla Itsines. I discovered how important it is to follow a routine workout plan and make sure it’s FUN and that you SWITCH IT UP. This is key. I used to only run, every day. As much as I love running, it got boring and I most certainly did not look forward to getting up in the morning for it. When you switch up your routine enough (and choose something fun and exciting) it keeps you motivated, trust me. Whether I’m doing Kayla (or customized versions of HITT), trying out a new ClassPass studio, or doing a nice run – it more than always, gets me excited! So, what does my usual routine look like?

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Monday – Kayla Itsines Leg Day! I get up and head straight to the gym at my office. I drink a coffee (w/ a spoonful of coconut oil) on the way and then I’m ready to go when I hit the gym.
Tuesday – Morning Run Day! // Depending on my energy level, I may hit up a reformer Pilates class or yoga in the evening (through ClassPass of course)!
Wednesday – Kayla Itsines Abs/Arms!
Thursday – Morning Run Day and potential class in the evening!
Friday – Kayla Itsines Abs/Arms!
Saturday – Either REST // ClassPass (Yoga, Barre, Pilates, etc.) // or Long Run
Sunday – Either REST // ClassPass (Yoga, Barre, Pilates, etc.) // or Long Run (I wouldn’t do a long run both days – just choose between one or another)

There you have it folks! Though it’s not always easy and it CERTAINLY can be a struggle, it’s always worth it. I find a way to make it work because my body, my health, my mind – are all SO important to me!

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!

Healthy Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad

Healthy Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad

Healthy Tuna Salad:

I hear it alllll the time, people either absolutely hate or absolutely love tuna out of a can. I used to be one of those people that hated it. However, I’ve finally found a way to taint the smell a bit and to make this tuna super healthy AND tasty for a delicious lunch! How so?
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Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1 can of Tuna (I buy mine in water, no salt added)
• 2 TBSP of Plain Greek Yogurt (I prefer Fage Greek Yogurt)
• 1-2 finely diced celery sticks
• 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice
• 1-2 tsp of spicy brown mustard
• ¼ finely diced yellow onion
• Salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder – I give each a few shakes, but I also love my dishes highly seasoned – make sure to test a little out and slowly add more to your liking

Salad additions:

• A bed of spinach or kale
• Chopped beets
• ½ avocado
• Mixed bag of red cabbage, carrots, broccoli (you can find this combo at most grocery stores in the veggie area by the bag of lettuce)

For the salad dressing:

• 2 tsp of honey
• 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
• 2 tsp of spicy brown mustard

Mix all these above ingredients together very well before serving over salad.
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Now, top your salad combo with the healthy tuna mixture and add as much or as little of your honey Dijon vinaigrette to finish it off! For those picky eaters out there who still find this tuna difficult to eat, bring a whole wheat 100 cal pita pocket and stuff your salad combo in there. It makes for a great pita sandwich combo!

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!

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?!

In with the New Obsessions and Out with Old

In with the New Obsessions and Out with Old

It’s now September and tear, tear – the summer is coming to an end. Well, at least that would be true if I was still on the east coast, but shockingly, it’s still 80’s here in Sunny California on a daily basis! Hey – I’m not complaining…although I could use a bit of some cool breeze every now and then.

Anyway, I’d rather not jinx anything and just get to my point. I love the changing of seasons. It means in with the new and out with the old. It means trading in your crop tops for big sweaters and letting go of your blonde, sun-infused highlights for a darker look. It also means (my least favorite part) giving up that glowing summer tan.

As my way of saying “Welcome Fall”, I’d like to introduce you to my new section:

In with the New Obsessions and Out with the Old – where I will give you a rundown of my new obsessions’ for the week and the ones that I’ve moved on from. For those of you who know me well, I don’t really care what people think. So if I’m newly obsessed with something that was trendy a month ago – get over it! And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Second thing you should probably know about me, I sometimes pick up new hobbies or become obsessed with something one day and then completely move on from it the next. So, just bear with me – I tend to be impulsive when it comes to things like that 🙂

Now, what have I been obsessed with lately?

Flash Tattoo’s – I know. I’m totally late on the band wagon. BUT thankfully, Summer is not exactly over here in California, Which therefore gives me an excuse to get tatted up all over my bodddd. I love this gold and metallic look on the hands, wrists, ankles, back, anywhere! It’s so fun and instantly chic’s your outfit up.
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Acai Bowls – Well, because they are 1000x’s more amazing than the best parfait you’ve ever had – yes, I realize that is a risky statement – but trust me, that’s saying A LOT. I mean Acai Bowls are the most amazing purple deliciousness that has been created, topped with all of your favorite health-food toppings…what is there not to love??
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Fresh White Sneakers – Again, this trend has been around FOREVER thanks to chucks. But lately, the “no-white” after Labor Day hasn’t stopped me. I’ve been allllll about my clean new white Vans. They’re fun and dress down a casual/fancy outfit, which I love for work!
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Choker Necklaces – THANK YOU to Brandy Melville (and Kylie Jenner) for bringing back my favorite childhood accessory – the Choker Necklace. I feel so in touch with my inner rebellious, bad-ass self.
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Festivals – Yes, I realize this is VERY vague. Because there are no limits to what kind of festivals I wouldn’t attend. Music = number 1 for sure. Food = definitely close to number 1, but number 2 will do. Drinking/Food = Well, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a DAGE? Case in point – I love festivals – be it an arts, food, and wine festival (yes, the bar area LOVES these), an edm festival, a Lululemon Yoga festival, and OctoberFEST, a Greek Festival, a Food Truck Festival, etc. – the list could go on and I am forever thankful for this.
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Cookies and Cream Quest Bar – First let me start off my saying that this particular flavor happened to come out JUST A FEW DAYS after I decided to go Vegan. This obviously upset me because I love oreos and I loved quest bars – but sadly, the whey protein in there meant I could no longer eat them as a Vegan. You can imagine my excitement in trying these once I moved away from my Veganism – pure joy I tell you! The chunks of oreo goodness are purely amazing.
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Socks – Who knew socks could be so multi-functional?? Also, how can you not be obsessed with fun socks when you find yourself immersed in a store full of JUST socks? Silly socks, chic socks, knee socks, dress socks, and oh, there’s more. Whether it’s paring fancy socks with heels or rocking your best pair of funky ankle socks with your white kicks…socks rock and will forever be your best friend when it comes to fighting off those blisters…….
socks

Road Trips – I don’t care where you are, who you are with (alone, with family, friends, a significant other) just do it! Go somewhere completely new, be spontaneous, don’t have a set schedule. It’s always best to just wing your road trip, seek new adventures, make some friends and take in whatever beautiful scenery may be surrounding you. Oh and take advantage of the last of the warm weather – I don’t suggest road-tripping in snow…trust me, it’s no bueno.
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That my friends, is what’s hot in Calli’s world …for this week!

How to Successfully Run in the Dark

How to Successfully Run in the Dark

It’s getting to be that time of year again when the mornings are still dark by 7AM and the sun sets before you’re even out of work. Ahhh why is daylight savings still a month away?? Well, because of this I’ve found myself caught in a number of dilemmas lately. I’m either A) waking up later because it’s pitch black at 6AM in the morning and I’m not a fan of running outside in the AM, in the dark, in the cold, in the fog/haze/etc. Or B) I find myself running after work, just as the sun is setting, or sometimes even in the dark. I know I just said that I don’t feel “comfortable” running in the dark in the morning, but for some reason running in the dark at night is totally okay by me. Don’t ask me why…something about the morning is just sketchy and too quiet. As you can imagine, I’ve been opting for option B lately. I actually have enjoyed running after work, just as the sun is beginning to set. Especially this time of year, the air is brisk, the ground is buried in crisp leaves, houses smell like fireplaces and other warming fall scents, you can bundle up in all of your favorite fall running clothes, there’s just so much to enjoy…you may even catch a glimpse of a pretty sunset!

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So lately, I’ve doing my runs at the track two times a week to get my workouts in, which actually works out well for a number of reasons. The little league football team is always practicing there after 5:30 so the big lights go on over the field as soon as it starts to get dark. Additionally, the coach is yelling his brains out at these small children to work harder and not to give up, sooo I just pretend he’s yelling at me as I “sprint” around the track…it certainly helps for the motivation and encouragement! Also this helps especially because I don’t have to worry about cars, traffic, sidewalks, etc.! Unfortunately, when I do run at home, in the dark, it’s not as “safe” as running on the track. I live in a heavily populated area; right off the highway so there’s typically a lot of people driving through my town. Also, there’s a good amount of highway and not enough sidewalks!
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The other night I thought it was a good idea to go for a run and MAYBE just maybe, try out the trail. I figured eh, I have my flashlight on my iphone (fail) and plus what could go wrong, I know those trails like the back of my hand (ultimate fail). Within a minute of running on the trail, I’m almost CERTAIN I saw a fluffy tail and what looked to be the shadow of a coyote in the distance. Now, I swear I’m not crazy. There are 100% coyotes in my area, as the majority of it does revolve around the woods. My dad has spotted a coyote and/or heard one a number of times in the past month! Anyway, I wasn’t in any mood to try and fight off a coyote, so I slowly backed away and continued my run on the non-existent sidewalk. I’m not really sure what option would have been safer…
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Running against the ongoing traffic, with no sidewalk or trying to successfully pass the coyote? This is a tough one seeing as I did almost get hit by a car going double the speed limit on a back road. Granted I probably went about this all in the wrong way. So here’s what I’ve learned…!

What not to do when running in the dark:

1.) Don’t run with an ipod, aka earbuds in your ears. Probably a bad idea seeing as you should be paying attention to the sounds around you if you can’t physically see anything in the dark. Whoops, my bad…already made that mistake!
2.) Wear bright clothing, particularly anything that has a reflector built in! Exhibit A, don’t wear what I wore…black spandex, and a dark blue long sleeve. It is a fact that you will not be seen in this dark attire.
3.) Run against the traffic if there is no side walk. Yep, I found myself guilty of this as well. Hey! It’s hard to cross the street when the traffic is never ending and I was in too much of a groove to stop! But, for future reference, it helps to go against so they can see you and you can see them (and hopefully jump into the bushes worst case scenario).
4.) Be knowledgeable about where you’re running. Oh look, one thing I did right!! It’s definitely important to know/be familiar with the area you’re running in. Luckily for me, I know these roads well and know where the ditches are to avoid! One spill could lead to a realllll bad accident and probably leave you in the hospital.
5.) May I suggest a dorky headgear flashlight? Okay, I’m being hypocritical hear because I can honestly tell you I’ll never wear this…BUT if you don’t feel comfortable enough running in the dark then make this a part of your attire!
6.) My last suggestion is to enjoy the run!! I LOVE running in the dark for the reasons I mentioned above and especially because I feel like I run 10x’s faster! Does it have that effect on anyone else?? I literally feel like I’m just cruissinnn on my runs and the biggest advantage?? You don’t even see the hills coming so you totally don’t feel the pain of them like you normally would! It doesn’t get any better than that.
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Flavors of the World

Flavors of the World

Okay, so really I’m only touching on two cultures, so I’m not exactly providing you with recipes of the “world” per say. But, I’ll get there soon enough! It’s funny because I used to be the PICKIEST eater and now I literally LOVE any style meal. I actually used to be AFRAID of traveling due to the unknowns of what I’d eat while I was there…I could have starved!! LOL being over dramatic, but those were seriously my concerns just a few years back. But now…give me Greek, Mediterranean, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, etc. The list could go on forever, but I really do love exploring different cultures and attempting to incorporate a bit of their different flavors into my own meals and make it my own little crafty experiment!

And I also avoid a few of the “unhealthy” downfalls of eating out at these types of restaurants when they’re not local to their own country. I mean how many times do I go to Mexican and find myself shoving my face before the meal with chips and guac?? It’s literally impossible to avoid these tasty goodies and then, not to mention, my fajitas come out smothered in grease and drenched in cheese. It’s great to enjoy a treat like this every once in a while, but if you can create your own taste of the Mexican experience right in your own kitchen, without the temptations, why not give it a go?! Throw on some Mexican, whip up a margarita with some agave nectar, and there ya go! Time to start cookin’!

Healthy Ground Turkey “Tacos”:
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Ingredients:

-Ground Turkey (bought 365 brand from whole food’s)
-1/4 Cup diced yellow onion
-1 TBSP of EVOO
-Dash of Salt & pepper
-1 finely chopped garlic clove
-1 TSP of Chipotle Pepper (or more if you like an extra spice!)
-1/2 serving of the Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning (found in the small packages)

— Cook the above in a saucepan, beginning with the EVOO, the garlic, and the onion. Then add in the turkey meat, plus the extra seasonings. Cook until all browned, should be about 8-10 mins on med/high heat.

For the Extras:
-Head of Ice burg Lettuce
-Sliced Cherry Tomatoes
-1 TBSP of Trader Joe’s Red Pepper Eggplant, & Garlic Spread
-Fresh Cilantro
-1/4 Diced Avocado
-Extra Chipotle Pepper seasoning

— Using the a few large Iceberg Lettuce Leaves, spread the Trader Joe’s spread, then top with the ground turkey mixture, the tomatoes, a few slices of avocado, extra spices, and some fresh cilantro! Enjoy!!

“Thai” Style Shrimp and Veggies over Quinoa:
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First begin by cooking 1/4 cup dry quinoa in a separate small pot (cook according to directions).

For the Veggies:

-¼ red pepper diced
-1 whole poblano pepper diced
-2 finely diced garlic cloves
-¼ cup cooked corn (I used frozen corn and stuck it in the mirco)
-¼ cup cooked and shelled edamame (same as corn, used frozen and stuck in micro)
-¼ cup diced yellow onion
-½ of a small broccoli stem
-¼ Cup of shredded Carrots
-1 TBSP of Coconut Oil
-Paprika, Dash of Salt & Pepper
-1 TBSP of Ginger Soy Sauce (365 brand – can be found at Whole Foods, low cals and half the amount of sodium found in regular soy sauce)

Cook the above Vegetables together in a sauce pan. Start with the coconut oil, garlic, and onion. Then add the peppers and broccoli, finally add everything else plus the seasonings. Start on med/high heat, then adjust to med/low heat while the veggies soften and cook. Once everything looks well cooked, add a TBSP of the ginger soy sauce. Let that cook on low heat for another min or so with the veggies.

For the Shrimp:
-1 cup small shrimp
-1 TBSP of coconut oil
-Paprika, Dash of Salt & pepper
Cook the shrimp in a separate sauce pan on med/high heat. I used frozen, already shelled and cooked shrimp. So they only need a few minutes being “sautéed” and then they’re ready to eat!

*When the shrimp and veggies are both done, add this to the quinoa and enjoy!

Enjoy the mix of cultures in your own kitchen and be sure to follow me on @eatrunandallinbetween for daily food and fitness postings!

Coconut Cilantro Lime Shrimp & Avocado Salad AND Carrot Pumpkin Mug Cake

Coconut Cilantro Lime Shrimp & Avocado Salad AND Carrot Pumpkin Mug Cake

The title basically says it all! I haven’t posted some recipes in a while so I figured it was about time! I was really in the mood for an island/summer inspired dish since I’m now trapped indoors all day, everyday of the week! Gonna have to get used to this work grind and find other “summer” outlets so I don’t become totally depressed. (Only Kidding!) But, it’s definitely a challenge going from summer breaks to realizing that I will no longer have anymore season long vacations *sigh*…

Anyway, this one dish did the job for me and I could have sworn I was back in Hawaii if I just closed my eyes for a few seconds….

Coconut Cilantro Lime Shrimp & Avocado Salad:
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For the shrimp…
-1/4 fresh squeezed Lime
-1 finely sliced garlic clove
-1 TBSP of Cilantro
-1.5 TBSP Shredded unsweetened coconut
-1 TBSP of Coconut Oil
-Paprika (add to your SPICINESS liking!), Dash of pepper, salt
-Shrimp (again, this is all based on your preference)

— Cook the above in a frying pan until well done, let sit for a few minutes before adding to the salad

-1/4 cup dry Quinoa – Cook based on directions
-1/4 – 1/2 sliced Avocado
-Spinach/Iceberg Lettuce
-1/2 TBSP of shredded unsweetened coconut to top of the salad
– 1-2 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (you don’t need much dressing as the shrimp will add some extra juice to the salad)
-1/4 fresh squeezed Lime
-1 TBSP of Cilantro

— The below is the salad “base”. Once you add the shrimp, toss the salad well, serve, and enjoy!

Carrot Pumpkin Mug Cake:
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-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
-1 chopped date
-cinnamon
-1 tsp of vanilla extract
-1/4 cup of shredded carrots
-1 egg white
-1 tbsp of walnuts
-1 tbsp of vanilla almond milk
-1 tbsp. of oats
-honey and almond butter to drizzle

–Mix all the above together in a mug and cook for about 2-2:30 minutes. Keep an eye on the “cake” as it rises. If it starts to pour over the mug, then take it out and let it cool! *BE careful as the mug cakes come out extremely hot, so let cool before eating!* Top with Honey, cinnamon, and almond butter for a “frosting”!

Enjoyy!! Be sure to check out my instagram @Eatrunandallinbetween for daily postings (as long as i’m stocked up on groceries!!)

Rise and Grind – Working out in the AM

Rise and Grind – Working out in the AM

Ahhh so I’ve been getting a few questions and full on disbelief from friends and family on how the heck I manage to wake up at 5:30 in the morning (ALMOST every day of the week) to workout. To be honest, I hate it at the time. But, after it is SERIOUSLY the best feeling and I highly recommend anyone who’s attempting to workout after a full 8+ hour day at work, GOOOD LUCKK, y’all are crazy!
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So granted some of you just may not be morning people and have been stuck in your late afternoon/night owl routine OR some of you simply just graduated from college and are stuck in your senioritis laziness phase. For those that are stuck in your college phase, it may be harder to readjust! I don’t know about some of you, but there were days were I had no classes and could sleep in/stay up as late as I wanted to. Then I graduated in May and found myself, yet again, free to do whatever I pleased for another solid 2 months. WHEN was this freedom going to end?? Well, clearly it ended a lot sooner than I was wishing for. Work came and I was rapidly introduced to early mornings, long and exhausting work days, then the two-hour block when you’re home where all you want to do is watch cheezy reality TV shows. So, where does working out fit into all of this?

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That’s where we find a solution here. You could either A) Wake up at 7:30 (still pretty early in my books) and get ready/get to work by 8:30/9AM, then work ALL day, then workout for an hour and a half, then get home cook dinner, and promptly go to bed with no time for relaxing or watching Keeping up with the Kardshians (you mean you don’t forward to watching that on Sunday nights??) OR you could B) Wake up at 5:30 (still just as early and STILL feeling the same “tiredness” I’d feel waking up at 7:30, getting your workout in, then being showered/dressed and ready to get to work by 8:30/9 AM, completely done and guilt free for the rest of the day. Not to mentions, your endorphins are probably running high after a good workout, further waking you up and most likely making you more attentive and productive at work.

If you ask me, I’m going to go with option B hands down. Granted I’ve always been an early riser, that doesn’t mean I enjoy waking up THAT early. I’m typically up and going between 8 and 9 AM. So regardless of whether I’m waking up at 5:30 or 7:30, I’m going to be groggy and tired, so why not fit in your workout early.

Here are the benefits:

Increases your metabolism for the day, you’ll be burning extra calories all day long!

Fasted Cardio – works for some people, and other’s not…but it helps to burn the fat from the NIGHT before.

– Wake up, workout, without feeling bloated for work – further allows you to WANT to eat a breakfast

Eating breakfast in the morning because you’re hungry! Breakfast is GOOD for you! It jump starts your metabolism for the day and makes it less likely for you to eat less at night. The fact is that most people claim they’re “not hungry that early in the morning”, however if you worked out before hand, I can 100% guarantee you’ll want to stuff your face with a giant breakfast before work!

You’re done for the day! Go home and RELAX after work!

Gets your body used to a routine – and even better, for those who are training for road races, half marathons, or marathons come the fall, the routine of an early morning workout will only help to benefit you come race time since your body will have become accustomed to being active early in the morning!

Less likely to ditch the workout in the afternoon! This comes from my own experience, I snooze the alarm in the morning and push my workout to later in the day. It turns out I’m exhausted coming home from work by 5:45 (shocker!!!) and I skip the workout. This happens on the weekends TOO, I continuously push my workout back another hour, then another, and before I know it, it’s 9 PM at night…too late!

Less likely to eat more than needed throughout the day! Why? Because most people are up early = early breakfast, then = early lunch, which means by 4/5 PM you’re starving. If you’re planning on working out, then you’ll likely grab another snack. After your workout, you’ve burned a lot of calories and your bodies telling you you’re hungry, but it’s already so late that you eat a frozen dish or take-out and it’s probably a large portion due to your state of hunger AND then you’ll probably even help yourself to a small snack/dessert afterwards. If you had your workout done in the morning, you can come home, COOK your own meal, and be completely satisfied by the time it’s 7 PM.
So, you’re probably thinking this still doesn’t answer my question on HOW I manage to wake up early every morning and workout? Well that’s where the benefits come in. I mean, after reading through all of those, is that not enough motivation to make you want to get up and do your workout?! I know personally that any time I snooze my alarm and leave my workout for later, I regret it EVERYTIME. Now, for many of you, a possible start would be to commit your time to morning classes 2 or 3 times a week. That way you’re obligated to show up (assuming you paid and/or signed up). This is a great way to get your booty into gear and acts as a kick to get you out of bed and to the class on time. If you’re switching a few early mornings up with a few afternoons, you may find it easier to begin falling into a fully committed morning routine.
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My last tip for you is SLEEP. So obvious, yet so many of us ignore it. For example this past weekend, I got absolutely no sleep and I had a tough road race on Sunday, and was out in the sun constantly. Come Monday morning, I was completely exhausted and snoozed alarm away. I accepted the fact that I needed a day off. Yet, Tuesday, I tried once again to wake up and knew it was not happening. This just shows how 3-4 days of receiving under 6 hours of sleep will set you back A LOT. Finally, by Wednesday morning I was able to wake up. So my suggestion to you is get at least an average of 6-7 hours of sleep every night of the week. I typically try and go to bed by 9:30-10ish and wake up at around 5:30.

Hope this helps everyone and motivates you to try out the early morning workout routine! I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised 😉


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