Thursday, June 27, 2013


Fortunately AND unfortunately, I'm a pretty loyal Lululemon customer. As I've said before, the clothes fit well, look great, and function as they should. It's important to me to look nice in workout clothes, because they also act as "real" clothes for me a lot of the time. The bad part is pretty obvious, Lulu is expensive. I usually don't feel guilty about buying the basics since I wear them SO often. It does add up though.

I read about a pair of Old Navy crops that people swore by. Apparently, many clothing companies are starting to mimic the design of Lululemon clothing. I have to say, these pants really match up. They are the printed compression crop.

Here they are on me:

Another company that has a slew of clothing almost identical to Lululemon is....Target! Who would've thought? I found running skirts with the same pleat detailing. I'm not really into them personally, but they really look so similar:

Pleated back
Run: Pace-Setter Skirt*R
Lululemon running skirt

These shorts also are totally on point with my Lululemon speed shorts. They fit great, have the same hidden pocket details, and a cool contrasting back/front color. I got the gray and black version. See Lululemon's speed short here.

After my Target run (so happy to go to the Target in the city, it has a lot more than the one near me in the suburbs), I went to ZAKTi to train one of my favorite clients, Kristin. She did a really hard workout today that turned out to be a favorite of mine. I hope it was a favorite of hers too! Check it out below. I didn't tell her the "jog" listed at the top was actually a mile run. We repeated this twice, so 2 miles by then end, but I think it would be reasonable to do it 3 times if you have the time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Intense Ab Circuit

Today I'm going back to what I did when Connor was a newborn- break down the workout into small increments and squeeze them in where I have a few minutes! I'm loving this 3 minute plank circuit. So far I've done 3, I'm going for a goal of 5 circuits before dinner. Yes, that's a total of 15 minutes in plank!

It's really humid and in the 90's today, so I'm not sure a run is in my future. If not, I'll do a few tabatas to get some cardio in.

Try this circuit out and let me know what you think!

3 minutes total
Modification- pop out of plank as often as you have to in order to get a quick break, but pop right back in!

30 sec high plank
30 sec shoulder taps- keep hips level to the ground
30 sec high plank
30 sec low plank on forearms
30 sec leg lifts from low plank
30 sec high plank

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Friday!

Getting a picture these days is NOT easy. Little man moves around like crazy. 

I was trying to get a quick pic of Connor and I today, which clearly was no easy task. One of my mamas was happy to attempt it. Thanks for trying, Angela!

We've been having a great week, and Connor's been spending a lot of time out and about...which even means missing naps! Something I had previously forbidden! He's been such a champ though. If he catches a little more sleep in the car on the way to and back from the city, he's good to go. Still sleeping through the night (thank god).

Now, I think his expression matches what the onesie says. A gentleman indeed! Quite the rare serious pic from him.

Can't stay serious for too long ;)

Now, I realized the other day that I've been seriously slacking on posting workouts. Matt actually tried one of my workouts 2 mornings ago and has been moaning and groaning about how sore he is. I consider this a compliment :) 

You might think that since I'm a trainer Matt would do more of my workouts...wrong. He likes to do his own thing in the gym, and has even told me I embarrass him when we go to the gym together. Sorry hun! 

Try this one tomorrow (you too Matt!)

3 min run on treadmill- more than a jog, less than a sprint
15 pushups
15 deadlifts
15 upright rows
15 reserve rows
1 minute plank
20 squat jumps

Repeat at least 3 times!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Making a Change

The most intimidating part of weight loss or maintenance is getting started, and once you have gotten to your ideal weight, maintaining it. Most people get caught in the same traps which end up sabotaging their goals. 

I have a few tips that I've used to both drop weight, and keep it off. They're simple- certainly nothing earth shattering, but they work. 

Be consistent. Consistency is important in all aspects of healthy living- especially with food and exercise.  I typically eat the same few things for breakfast. I know they are: healthy, easy to prepare, tasty, and fill me up. Lunch tends to be somewhat repetitive as well, and dinners switch up often. If you find something that fits your needs for breakfast, who cares if you eat the same thing almost every day?

Plan ahead. Meal planning is a very important and useful way to ensure you stay on track with your food. Unhealthy lunch and dinner choices usually happen when you have nothing planned and grab something quick out. If you're new to healthy cooking, find a few recipes (try some of mine!) and put them into the rotation. Once you have healthy cooking methods, you can adapt your favorite recipes to be healthier. Check out my healthy recipes for some ideas. 

Workout planning is JUST as important as meal planning. Pick a day (I like Sunday for this) and look at your calendar. Maybe there are 2 days that will be impossible to work out based on your work and social schedules. Make those your rest days. Once you know which days you're working out,  think about the kind of workout you're going to do. Maybe it's a class at the gym, a run, or a circuit workout at home. Whenever I see people wandering around the gym floor aimlessly, I'd bet they had nothing planned, and as a result, are getting a workout that isn't as effective as they'd like. 

Weigh in. Everyone has their own opinion of how often you should weigh yourself- if at all. I think it is important to check in regularly. Maybe that's once a week, maybe twice (I usually weigh myself twice per week). The number on the scale certainly doesn't define you, but if you don't weigh in you're more likely to eventually step on the scale and realize you've gained ten pounds. That won't happen in one week, but if you see a 2 pound gain, maybe you'll step back with dessert for a bit. Weighing in is especially helpful if you gain weight evenly on your body (I do). In that case, it really can be hard to tell when you've gained. There have been times I swore I shrunk my pants in the wash....yeah, no. That's when I needed to check myself and remember to weigh in!

Food Journal. This is a tool that I find especially helpful during the weight loss process, and depending on your preferences, even during maintenance. I think people really underestimate the calories they take it. Often, you think you're eating something healthy- because it's marketed that way- but it's way too calorie dense. Olive oil is a perfect example of something that everyone thinks of as "healthy" because it contains low saturated fat. There are still 120 calories per tablespoon, and if you measure it out you're probably using a lot more than one tablespoon! Those calories add up, and can quickly turn a simple veggie side dish into a calorie bomb. 

Think about these tips and how they might help YOUR weight loss and healthy living. Pick a workout and get it done!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oddyssey Half Marathon- Race Report

 I can now officially call myself a half marathoner! Sunday marked my first (I can already tell there will be more), and I really feel a great sense of accomplishment. Although I've been running for years, I never raced much. Running was strictly my cardio component, and I think that's why I hate such a love/hate (emphasis on the hate) relationship with it. Races have given me goals to work toward, and helped me focus my workout plans. I've always been big on planning workouts, just like I plan meals. If I went to the grocery store without a plan or list for the week, things would inevitably be messy. Too much of one thing and not enough of another. That's how I feel about workouts, too.

Sunday started early- 5 am. I wanted to give myself enough time to wake up, have coffee and breakfast, and get things ready for when Connor woke up. Coffee is a must before any morning run for me. Breakfast is always the same- a piece of whole grain bread with peanut butter and sliced banana.

My running buddy Alia picked me up at 6, and we were down to the start with more than enough time. The Oddyssey half marathon was a much smaller race than Broad St, so the lines to the port-a-potties weren't bad at all. We went twice before even starting, haha. Nerves were getting to us!

Pre-race shot 

Since this was a much smaller race, things started out somewhat crowded but spaced out a lot once we got going. We both use a running app on our phones, and we were both very surprised when they told us we were going at a 7:15-7:30 pace. Neither of us felt like we were running very fast at all, but since both of our apps said the same, I believe it. 

Around mile 2 there was a bathroom, and other runners said it was the only one for a few miles. We waited in line (which took much longer than expected), and kept going. Bathroom breaks were something that certainly affected our time. I'll just say that we both had babies this year...the pee breaks were necessary!

Some of the course took us along the MLK Drive and Kelly Drive, both locations that I frequently do my longer runs. That made me feel comfortable, since I already knew the terrain. It did surprise me that when we ventured into areas I didn't know, there were some serious hills. I guess I'm not familiar with them because I avoid those hills!

I knew Matt and Connor were stationed around mile 9, and it was such a great motivator to see them and know the race would be over pretty soon. We were both feeling really good at this point, and even Matt later commented that it seemed like we were just hanging out like normal, laughing and chatting as we ran. That's the great part about having someone to run with. Alia and I are a lot alike and can just talk about anything for awhile. That comes in handy when you're running 13 miles!

So happy to see my little man
A nice police officer took this for us
At this point, we were right before running over the Falls Bridge and back down MLK Drive to the Please Touch Museum (if you're familiar with Philly). 

I did start to struggle a bit at mile 11. We drank some energy drinks and I ate a few energy beans. I'm not sure if that was it, but I started having a few cramps. Once we hit the mile 12 sign I felt better. What was one more mile, anyway. Well, that last mile was a freaking hill! Seriously, who would do that? It felt a bit daunting to come around the bend, see the big hill, and then see most people walking up it. Ugh. 

Looking back at the race, I definitely felt prepared. There were some moments that I was feeling pretty tired, but I never had a "I can't do this anymore" feeling. To be honest, I don't think I'll do this particular race again next year. The hills weren't my favorite, and it was pretty expensive for a smaller race- $80. 

Alia and I are now planning our next race- most likely the Philadelphia half marathon in November! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Come Meet Me at ZAKTi!

Today marked the last official training session of the "You Better Work, Mama!" workshop, but it's been so much fun that we're going to keep it going.

We meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11-12 at ZAKTi. This group has been so much more than small group training. Although the workouts are a very big part of what we're doing (and why the ladies come), I really think they come back for the outlet it provides. Any new mom will tell you how wonderful it is to talk to other moms, moms that are in the thick of it too. 

ZAKTi security crew

Topics of conversation include (but are not limited to): husbands (and how they drive us crazy), sleep, breast feeding, babies that don't sleep, nap training, jerk babies that won't sleep....notice a pattern?

The weather was so perfect that we took advantage and started the workout outside. It's so easy to get outside and use minimal (or no) equipment, and still get a great workout.

Patiently waiting while mamas train

Connor came with me to this session, and patiently waited while Pete was finishing up his group training. 
Workin on his fitness

Delicious stroller

If you're interested in joining us for total body workouts, and so much more, send me an email or leave a comment below. Check out ZAKTi's website!

Now, I have to admit that I've been a bad blogger. I promised to write a post about half marathon training, and have not. To be honest, I haven't written it because I haven't really been doing official training. Since Broad St (5 weeks ago) I've been running 2-3 times in addition to my strength workouts. I've done longer runs of 7, 9, and 10 miles. Hopefully that will be enough to prepare me for the half on Sunday! I'm not running for any particular time, I'd just like to finish!

Just because!
Happy Friday!