Today’s post is all over the place. Luckily, at least I won’t be all over the place this weekend. I was gone at least three weekends in a row and hosted company last weekend. I was about to go out of town again this weekend, but I’ve managed to talk Kev into just staying home. Woohoo! I have too much work to do around the house for a pajama day, but hopefully I’ll indulge in at least a little good ole’ fashion laziness.
First, I want to talk about resistance bands. I mentioned them in my most recent workout post, and I want to share why I like to incorporate them from time to time. They’re not better than free weights, but they have noteworthy benefits. One of these benefits is great for travel season – they fit in your carry-on!
This BodyBuilding.com article brings up another resistance-band bonus:
With your resistance band training, every part of both the concentric and eccentric part of the exercise has resistance, resulting in better range of motion strength and more complete stimulation.
The article also says that many people who strength train give the eccentric part of the exercise significantly less attention than they should. It also offers some exercises that incorporate the bands (some good, some not so good, but that’s just my opinion).
FitSugar.com mentions another added benefit:
You’ll find that when using resistance bands, it’s easier to target smaller muscles and also mimic real-life sports scenarios. Because the bands offer tension in all directions, you can use them to mirror the movements you make in your sport and strengthen those muscle groups.
FitSugar doesn’t go into any further detail about this type of training, but I’ll fill you in briefly. Exercises that strengthen your muscles in ways that make you stronger and better prepared for real-life activities are called functional exercises/movements. Who really bench presses their bags of groceries? Resistance bands help you practice functional movements, and they often help strengthen your stabilizer muscles at the same time.
On a side note, here’s a video to a few of my favorite functional movements. I really like the last exercise.
Next topic: Packing your lunch gets annoying. Seriously. After a long day of work, an hour+ commute, unpacking and re-packing the gym bag, cooking dinner, and assisting with some of the dishes, the last thing I want to do is prep more meals. However, here’s my secret.
Okay – I actually only have a beer when packing my lunch on rare occasions. Nevertheless, it helps! I hear wine helps too – gotta try that next time.
Also, I made my first batch of overnight oats in a jar last night. Milk, oats, cinnamon in an empty peanut butter jar, and I have sliced strawberries ready for topping in the morning. I can’t wait to try this after my workout when I get to the office!
Finally, I want to discuss something that’s surprisingly cool. If you shamelessly leave the gym like this:
You arrive at work like this:
What are your plans for the weekend? Will you be out having fun or getting in extra pajama time?
It’s that time again – What I Ate Wednesday (wiiii-aawwww)! If you’re a foodie, health nut, or cook, head on over to Peas and Crayons to check out other bloggies’ muchies.
I started with another three-part breakfast, which included a pre-gym rice cake and a post-workout GNC Vanilla Soy Protein (natural and under 5 ingredients) workout shake with water. Now that I’m at work, I’ll also be enjoying a parfait. It’s all-natural plain yogurt (fat-free), with 1 cup of blueberries, and my first attempt at toasted oats.
Due to my Real Food June challenge, which I mentioned yesterday, I couldn’t buy any granola at the store or use my regular Kashi GoLean cereal for parfait topping. I was convinced I could make a lower-fat and lower-sugar version myself.
My oat topping includes 1 cup of oats lighted toasted on stove top and then mixed with 1 tsp olive oil, cinnamon, and 2 tsp maple syrup. I then spread the oats on two baking sheets and baked them at 350 for about 8 minutes. The little buggers are pretty good, but I’m not posting this as a recipe. They’re not cereal or granola quality, but they’re good, cheap, and all-natural. Hopefully they last me 3 mornings!
As you can see, my lunchbox is packed to the max. It’s a huge box too! This includes 3rd part of breakfast, lunch, and snack. Lunch is another veggie bowl. This one is not as tasty, but it’s not bad. I plan to post a recipe tomorrow. It’s perfect for losing a little water weight, which feels good after my vacation. It includes basil for flavor and asparagus for its diuretic properties.
My afternoon snacking consists of two servings of hummus with a cup of raw broccoli florets every day this week. I got a little hungry yesterday, so today I also brought a green apple. Girl scout motto = be prepared!
Dinner will be more leftovers from Monday night (the last of it). We are having one of Kev’s college buddies over for a sleepover tonight, so I’ll make the boys meatloaf. Mmmmm! It’s my mommy’s recipe, and it’s fan-didilly-tastic. I’m going to cook it and try my best not to pout in the corner with my lame leftovers.
There were a couple other mini things I wanted to mention.
- I was just invited by Jemma at Celery and Cupcakes to join in on a bloggie food swap with UK bloggies. I had to decline, but stay tuned for an update to Jemma’s roundup of all who participated. (Trust me. The other bloggers do NOT want my baked goods! My cookies don’t bring any boys to the yard.)
- FitSugar had a neat post yesterday about non-vegan drinks. I already knew that about Guinness, but it makes me wonder how many other beers use animal products. Check it out here.
Have a great hump day y’all!
- Have you made your own granola before? How did it turn out?
- What’s the best thing you ate (or plan to eat) today?
Oh man! I have sooooo many pictures from yesterday; I don’t know where to begin! I guess it makes since to recap the day from the beginning. For those of you who may or may not have been following my trip, I’m still on the Hollywood fitness vacation I won from PopSugar, or more specifically, FitSugar. I met with nutritionists and had some awesome meals on Tuesday. Then I made a mini workout video for FitSugarTV with Jeanette Jenkins on Wednesday. Read on down to learn more about Thursday’s activities.
As I previously noted, I didn’t get as much of a workout Wednesday as I had hoped at the video shoot, so I made a last-minute decision to get in a quick workout before the PopSugar Inc. people picked me up from the hotel. (I felt like I really needed one after my bagel, light cream cheese, and cashew breakfast!) I only had 20-25 minutes, so here’s a rundown of my off-the-cuff, arm-circuit sweat session.
- 5 Minutes Elliptical – It’s a warm-up, but you should get a little winded.
- Circuit Set 1: Wood choppers (1 10-lb dumbbell, sets of 12 reps each side), Standing two-hand bent over rows (2 10-lb dumbbells, sets of 12), Alternating dumbbell curls (2 10-lb dumbbells, sets of 10)
- Circuit Set 2: Stiff-leg deadlift (2 15-lb dumbbells, sets of 12 reps), Squat with shoulder press (2 10-lb dumbbells, sets of 12) <- you do the shoulder press as you come to standing from the squat
- Circuit Set 3: Pushups (regular, sets of 10 reps), Dips from side of bench (sets of 12 reps), Overhead dumbbell press for triceps (1 20-lb dumbbell, sets of 10)
I did each circuit three times before moving to the next one. This should be quick, but don’t do the moves too quickly. Just limit your rest time in order to keep the heart rate elevated. I finished in 25 minutes.
I had a quick shower, and PopSugar Inc. then took Kev and I to their studios for hair, makeup, and lunch (No, Kev did not get hair or makeup!). For lunch, I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with avocado (hold the cheese, bacon, and mayo) with a side salad. Nothing to write home about… well… I blogged about it, but it’s not picture- or detail-worthy.
I was supposed to be filmed using the ridiculous-looking Elliptigo product. For shizzle, these goofy things sell for about $2k. When my turn came to try it out, I kind of freaked out. I saw myself totally falling over sideways. I never learned to ride a bike, so I wasn’t sure about the whole momentum thing you need in the beginning. It just seemed too awkward for me. Kev gave it a quick whirl though, and he did great.
Instead of sticking around for the rest of filming, they let us walk around Santa Monica before the next activity. Sweet! I had my first Pinkberry experience before hitting up the beach.
After beaching it up a while, Kevin and I met the PopSugar folks on the Santa Monica pier at the Trapeze School of New York. Yup, the next activity is trapeze school! You had a really great view of the beach from the top, and I think my legs got a little workout from it. I didn’t feel tired, but my hamstrings were a little sore later in the day. PopSugar was nice enough to let Kevin do it too!
After returning to the hotel, Kev and I got gussied up for dinner. We didn’t eat until 9:30 pm due to the traffic returning from the pier, our showers, and the fact that we split some champagne and cheese/crackers in the room.
We hit up Cleo for dinner, which was great. The restaurant features tapas-style dining, so we started with the Brussels sprouts. I prefer my version, but Kev really liked these. They were more oily and salty, but they added vinegar and capers. Delish! We then tried lamb shawarma. It was different and not covered in any sauce, just perfectly blended spices. Next was the beef cheek tagine. Amazing! I had never tried beef cheek, but I make a chicken tagine at home that I just love. Apparently tagine and I get along very well.
Kevin and I ended the night in our hotel’s very swanky lobby bar. The hotel’s club was full or privately rented out, so there was some overflow in the lobby. It was great watching all the people, and it was worlds apart from what I’m used to seeing. Although it was fun, all the beautiful (nearly naked) women kind of made me feel insecure and very self-conscious. I wasn’t really able to end the night on a good note, but I still had a really good time. Perhaps I’ll do another post on such insecurities at some point in the future.
Sorry that was so long! Thanks for reading!
*PS: Kaila over at Healthy Helper gave me a blogger award. I didn’t forget about it, and I’m excited to post it. I think I’ll do it as soon as I get home and things slow down a bit. Thanks Kaila!
Good morning! Here I am in the lobby, loving some complimentary coffee and Internet. I enjoyed another Trader Joe’s bagel with whipped light cream cheese in the room, just like I did yesterday. Kevin and I began the day Wednesday walking around Hollywood… and making another trip to Trader Joe’s. The TJ’s is so much bigger here! We saw the Chinese theater, the Kodak theater, and lots of shady stuff in between. Bail bonds, anyone?
Popsugar Inc. picked me up and brought me to the studios just in time for lunch. We all had salads, but the salads came with hard, greasy breadsticks, which I ate and sort of enjoyed. I’m not the kind of girl to turn down bread! I got a quick makeup touch-up before Jeanette arrived for our shoot. (Recognize that outfit from my race day???)
We filmed a quick workout video that should be posted on FitSugar some time in June. I hope it’s soon! I thought I was going to get to workout with Jeanette, but all we did was the video. Luckily that was still pretty cool. I just wish I had known to workout on my own at the hotel before arriving. Jeanette sweetly offered to mail me a collection of her other workout DVDs. Yay! I think she felt badly that I didn’t get a workout. :) Nice lady. Very high energy and very loud. But very nice lady, indeed.
After the shoot, I was driven back to the hotel. I quickly showered, and one of Kevin’s friends picked us up to show us the town. We ate sushi (well, I had seaweed salad and salmon sashimi) and drove around to see the sights. I really wanted to hit up some of the bars we passed, but Kev and I were pretty worn out again. Sigh. Tonight, we will see a hint of night life. It’s “the thing” to do here, and I can’t believe we still haven’t!
Hellooooo! After checking into the hotel yesterday, I power walked my happy butt down to Trader Joe’s. I was so glad Kevin was with me; Hollywood is a scary place! He got scotch, and I got sprouted wheat bagels for breakfast. We made it back to the room just in time for Kellan and Susi from PopSugar, Inc. to pick us up for activities.
We rode (in a Prius… so Cali) to Real Food Daily in Santa Monica to meet up with Willow and Stephanie of C & J Nutrition. Willow and Stephanie analyzed some of my regular meals and gave me some tips about nutrition. I couldn’t say there was too much new info, but they seemed very knowledgeable and super friendly. They also gave me a few tips on cooking fish, an admitted fear of mine. Kev and I split the Not-Chos. Since Real Food Daily is a vegan restaurant, the chips were covered with a delicious cashew “cheese” sauce instead of actual cheese. They were delicious!
Kevin and I had a few hours to walk around Santa Monica before meeting up with Kellan and Susi again for dinner. It was surprisingly chilly. I thought Southern Cali would be hot, hot, hot.
Yes, if you recall from yesterday’s post, I packed a lunch on the plane. So yes, the nachos were second lunch. My belly wasn’t loving the time change! I usually eat dinner at 6:30, but we were meeting for dinner at 7:30, which is 10:30 Eastern Time! I was glad for nachos, and I was excited for dinner. We ate at True Food Kitchen, another foodie dream. Susi took photos of all her food, which reminded me to do the same. I must admit, I felt a little silly doing it because she actually gets paid to do that sort of thing – I just really like food!
Dinner was great, but dessert was amazing! This was my first rhubarb experience, and lemme’ tell ya… it won’t be the last!
When Kevin and I were at TJ’s, we purchased a bottle of champagne to enjoy at the end of the evening, but when we got back to the room, we kind of just passed out. Travel is exhausting… especially in a tall pair of Steve Madden wedges.
Yesterday’s post mentioned a trip, and now you get to hear the details. I won a trip from FitSugar to Hollywood, CA. Woohoo! We get to stay in a sweet hotel, enjoy a nutrition consultation with C&J Nutrition, a fitness consultation with Jeanette Jenkins, and do all sorts of workouts. Although we have the evenings free to see the sights, I don’t think we’ll party too much since I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. for the workouts. Thank goodness I’m used to that!
We leave tomorrow for the trip, but don’t worry, I’ll bring my laptop and camera so that I can document all of our activities. Although I wish there was more room in the rigorous schedule for sight-seeing and relaxing, any day on vacation is better than a day at work, right?
I can’t say I agree with Jeanette’s logic in this clip. In fact, I believe the opposite, but it’s always good to hear new perspectives. Maybe I’ll learn some good stuff I can share with you all.
Tomorrow morning I might try and squeeze in a little pilates before flight, but today I had a regular gym session. I did 20 minutes on the elliptical before hitting the weights. In order to fit in the elliptical, I had to skip one exercise and superset a few others, but I made it work. The elliptical felt gooood after the hard run I had Saturday. (BTW, just found out I got 3rd place for my gender/age group!) At least I allowed myself to recuperate on Sunday. Kevin, a buddy, and I all went boating for a few hours.
burnt to a crisp a little toasty, but I’ve got to be tan for Hollywood, right? I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it! Have a great week, and be sure to check in with me tomorrow to hear about our flight, nutrition consultation, and foodie dinner.
What are some must-do, must-see, or must-eat things in Hollywood/LA/Santa Monica? I need some tips!