Friday, December 30, 2011

Fit Friday

The very last Fit Friday of 2011!
Crazy, ain't it?
Hello, 2012!
(I've finally caught on to the whole it's twenty-twelve, not two thousand twelve thing. So proper)

....Anyway! Back to what I'm here for...

I've been digging this kettlebell workout from Women's Health Mag for the past two weeks.

It's so quick and so simple and I'm left feeling it for days.

BUT! before the kettlebell comes HIIT (which really burns the fat).
Ooh... Is this a two-for-one FF?
HIIT & KB? Lucky you!

This is my super simple HIIT routine:

Start with:
10 minutes easy to moderate pace

Repeat this 5-8 times:
2 minute sprint (huffing and puffing, can't talk you're running so fast)
1 minute rest (easy to moderate or uphill FAST walk)

End with:
10 minutes easy to moderate pace

I'll occasionally switch it up with an incline or mix up the intervals.
Do whatever works for you.
Be creative.
I hope you all have a wonderfully groovy New Year's weekend!
Be safe and have fun!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


 I was a late bloomer.
While nearly everyone around me had taken up the hobby of running, my big butt was glued to the couch watching re-runs of The Newlyweds on MTV.
I mean, I'd occasionally dabble in the sport of running, but it never went further than a couple [miserable] runs.
My attempts at becoming a "runner" were often road blocked by one thing or another:
too hungover from the night before, too tired from studying all night, lack of confidence, lack of motivation...
The list of excuses went on and on.
But, to be honest, a big part of me never took to running because I thought I was bad at it.
In high school, I was the punk who WALKED the mile which was a requirement for every student's annual fitness assessment.
Yeah. I would never be caught doing that today. Ah, high school.

Anyway, with the encouragement of friends (primarily my college roommate, Frankie), I made a commitment to myself to give running a chance.
Without excuses.
I wanted to be a good runner.
I knew what I had to do. I had to practice running to be a good runner.
I wasn't a natural Olympic gold medalist runner (and nor will I ever be!).
So, I started small (about 1 mile) and worked my way up to longer runs and even ran a half marathon in 2010.

BAA 10/10/10 Half Marathon

Even today, I am by no means a "great" runner, but I'm sure as hell better than I was in high school.
And I'm not even a diehard, life-long runner like my college roomie, Frances.
I'm practically a newbie in the grand scheme of things.
So, so what if I'm not running as fast as I'd like to be?
I'm RUNNING! I'm doing something ACTIVE! And it's FUN!

Looking back, running was my gateway into the world of fitness and a healthier lifestyle.
Running got me off my ass and into shape.
(There is a lot more to "getting in shape" than just running, but just the act of being active helped push me in the right direction)
 I just needed a little help from friends and a little reality check.
And after running for several years, I've accumulated a couple tips I've learned along the way that I'd like to share with you.

Just in case you too need a little help from a friend.
(or, for the seasoned runner, these are just some things I've learned along the way -- maybe they'll help you too!) 

LM's Top 10 Running Tips:
  1. Pace yourself. Start slow and gradually pick up the pace. You don't want to end up exhausted half way through your run.
  2. Invest in a good pair of sneakers, it will truly make a huge difference. If you're from the Boston area, Marathon Sports specializes in finding you the right running sneaker. Frankie recommends Fleet Feet as good resource for people outside of the Boston Area.
  3. Try running outside -- it's fun and certainly more entertaining than the treadmill. Take in all the scenery around you.
  4. Before hitting the road, map out your run with online apps like Knowing your distance before heading out will help you pace yourself and you'll be more likely to stick to your plan.
  5. If you run the same loop everyday, try switching it up. It's good to shock your body with a new running loop!
  6. Make sure your belly isn't full or empty: wait about 1-2 hours after you eat before hitting the road.
  7.  Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. It's hard at first, but after a while it becomes meditative and almost second nature. Also, inhale through your belly (not chest) when you breathe.  This article talks about belly breathing.
  8. It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you need a break, don't stop completely -- just slow down to a manageable pace.
  9. Watch your posture. Don't slouch forward, keep your head up and shoulders back, pick up your knees!
  10. If you find yourself at a brutal hill, repeat the mantra: "NOBODY BEATS YOU UP THE HILL!" (Frankie, the true diehard runner, taught me this one. Thanks Fran!)
Happy running!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Life Update: Holiday Weekend

Did you all have a fabulous holiday weekend?
I know I did
I spent lots of time with family, ate lots of food, opened lots of gifts (I was spoiled this year), and I even lit the Menorah!

 christmas eve/the aftermath/lilly/rob/christmas cioppino/
christmas morning run/lilly/christmas eve dinner/brian

Now it's back to the grind... Kind of.
Maybe not totally back to the grind until after the New Year.

Speaking of the New Year.. Have you thought about your New Year's resolution?

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Non-Fit Friday

I don't have a Fit Friday for you today, but I wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy Hanukkah! 

I hope you find some time between friends and family to do something for yourself: 
practice yoga, go for a run, or take a spinning class. 
We all need to get away from the fam every now and then!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Cheer

Merry Christmas week and happy Hanukkah!

Are you guys all pumped up for the upcoming holidays? 
I am! 
Which is totally weird because I've forever been known as the Christmas Scrooge...
But, something's different this year. 
I've put a lot of thought into my gifts and I'm even digging the occasional cheesy Christmas song.
(Maybe even a whole Christmas album. Shhh.. don't tell anyone!)

egg nog challah bread french toast / christmas cheer
In the next few weeks I'm really looking forward to...
Spending time with family and friends
Lots of good food
The family Yankee swap
Giving Rob his gift
Cooking from my new cookbook
Reading this book
Running outside in the cold 
(I don't get to run outside very often in the winter -- it's dark when I wake up and dark when I leave work)

  Oh.... And I'm also excited for my trip to Costa Rica with Rob! :)

Last night I did this kettlebell workout with some HIIT and I'm feeling it today.

Have you tried using kettlebell yet? If not, you should!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fit Friday

I like my Fit Fridays short and sweet. 
I give you the goods and then I'm gone before you know it.

this looks fun, doesn't it? via
Anyway... I've known about kettlebells for a while now, but never really considered adding them into my usual routine. But, after I stumbled upon this post, I'm thinking about giving the cute little things a try. 
(cute? what? they kinda are!)
Check out the link, read it, digest it, do it. 
I'm gonna.
Have you tried a kettlebell routine before? What do you think?

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Question For Ya

Hi Friends, happy Thursday! 
I hope you are all well :)

I think I caught the blogging bug because I've been itching to blog ALL week. 
If I could, I'd blog every day. 
But, I'm sure you'd all get sick of my instagramed pictures, weird posts, and silly Fit Fridays.
(PS. I did this Fit Friday last night and I'm sore today. My armpits are killing me! I'll definitely be spending more time with the assisted pull up machine. That thing

Anyway, I have a long list of stuff I want to blog about, but I wanted to get your opinion. Is there something you're dying to know more about?
Nutrition? Fitness? Healthy living? Something about me?
Comment below, tweet me, facebook message me, or send me an email if you're shy.
If I have an answer or something to say in response to your question/topic, I'll be sure to blog about it!
(click on the little picture of me on the left hand side of the page to find my email)

Fit Friday coming up tomorrow, yeehaw!

So, I might've had half of this treat before dinner last week..

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


While everyone is endlessly going on about the holidays, I've been thinking about New Year's Resolutions. 

What's yours? Have you even thought about it? 
I have two: use less toilet paper and read more. 
(Is that TMI? Whatever, it's real!

I'm not even sure what the word "less" means, really. Like, only use 2 or 3 squares per wipe? I don't know about that.  Maybe I'll make it more general and change my resolution to: "be more mindful when using paper products". I mean, I know I could definitely cut back on all paper products, including printing paper (my job entails LOTS of paper. It's disturbing, actually).

Revised New Year's Resolutions: 
be more mindful when using paper products
read more often.
I like it.

Anyway. What I'm trying to say here is that you should be thinking about your New Year's Resolutions.
Think about it for a day or two... or a week...
It should be a reasonable, achievable, AND sustainable goal. 

Do your research. 
 (did you know I work in research?)

Your NYR can't be, "I want to lose 20 lbs by the end of the week". It should be more like, "I want to make an effort to work out at least twice a week" or "I plan to run at least 3 road races in 2012".
Your NYR can't be, "I'll run outside every day" if it's darker than dark outside when you wake up at 5AM and when you're done with work at 5PM. 
Make sure your NYR is plausible.

Also, consider things/events/people/feelings that could potentially keep you from achieving your NYR and come up with solutions to these "obstacles". When you have a goal, it's good to have a back-up plan just in case sh*t hits the fan. 

After you've thought it all through, create a reasonable plan and make your sweet little NYR happen.

winter sky via Rob
It takes more than just a quick thought to come up with a New Year's Resolution. 
Take some time now and think about it, plan it, and make it happen. 
You'll be happy you did come January 1st.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Benefits of...

Fish oil!

Do you take a fish oil supplement? I just started last week and I think I'm hooked. 
Improves skin condition, increases focus, reduces risk of heart disease..... I'm in!

I'd been thinking about adding it to my daily routine after Rachel Wilkerson (one of my favorite bloggers) and Adam Bornstein at BornFitness both mentioned great things.  And after coming down with another cold I promised myself that I would take vitamin C every day, so why not add some [totally unrelated] fish oil into the mix? 
I've been using Spectrum Fish Oil but I plan to buy some higher quality product once I've finished this bottle. Adam Bornstein recommends Nordic Naturals as an "industry favorite" (pricey, but worth it!).

This website claims that fish oil can....
Ease depression
Lower cholesterol
Reduce inflammation
Eliminate joint pain
Improve skin condition (big selling point for me!)
Promote weight loss
Improve vision and focus
Reduce risk of heart disease
Reduce soreness from weight training

Some of the "benefits" seem a little far fetched and the site is not a totally reputable source, but I'm sold! 
(I thought the website was funny more than anything)

I'll keep you updated if I notice any noteworthy benefits myself.

On a completely different note, I'm beyond excited to get back into the swing of things. Last week I took it really easy and didn't work out at all. It was hard to resist the gym and yoga, but I wanted to get better as soon as possible. I went to "an hour of power" on Saturday and that was my only physical activity all week (Rob and I went for a bike ride, too, but less than a mile on a bike does not count! BUT better than nothing, I guess!).

Tonight I'll be doing some yoga and tomorrow I'm planning some HIIT and weights -- I cannot wait!!!

Here's some pics from the weekend. Rob and I got our first Christmas tree!


rob, mini, and tree
our first tree

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fit Friday........ On Saturday?

Fit Friday on a Saturday.... Say what!? 
A day late, but better late than never, right?
I'm gonna keep this short so I don't take up too much of your time on this fine fine weekend. 

So, let's get to business!

A forewarning: these videos and links are awkwardly awkward and slightly......... pornographic. The whole site is a little raunchy, but they have some good stuff!

This is a 7 minute interval routine using only your body weight. I love workouts like these.. No equipment and quick. They use an interval timer (So cool. I need it!) but any kind of watch/clock will do. 

Here's the breakdown:
7 minutes total
1 minute mountain climbers
1 minute split lunges
1 minute plank butt squeeze
50 seconds plank
1 minute reptile push ups

... pretty simple, right? 
now go on with yo bad self and work it out!
(yup, I just said that.)

(I couldn't link up the actual video like above -- too raunchy. Look and see for yourself!)

Have a good weekend!
I hope I didn't offend anyone. 
Love you all!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fit Friday

TGIF is all I have to say about this week. 

sunsets are the only redeeming quality of my PM commute

I've been waiting all week to share this beauty. I can't wait to try it myself. 
Maybe next week. 

Timed workout:
1 mile run
100 push ups
100 squats
100 pull ups
100 squats
1 mile run

This looks tough but definitely doable! I'm thinking that I'll probably do 5 sets of 20 to break it up a little bit.
If this is too intimidating for you -- try 50 of each instead. 
It's your workout, do what works for you.

Rob and I are going to NYC this weekend and I hope we do ALL of the following: 
Dylan's Candy Bar (don't judge)
(I've been told there's actually no candy at Pete's. I'm disappointed.)
And, DUH, of course I wanna see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

(Very unlikely that ALL will happen. We always tend to plan more than our schedule allows for. Wishful thinking, I guess.)

Got anything good planned for this weekend!?