You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2009.

Did anyone take advantage of the BURN open house last weekend? I managed to get a spot in the Build and Burn session with Beth B., which was awesome. I really liked the strength training mixed in with speed and resistance intervals on the treadmill. As aforementioned, I rarely mix up my workouts, and often rely on some standard settings on the treadmill. I felt really challenged in the BURN workout, and motivated to try and replicate some of the intervals when I’m working out on my own. I highly recommend BURN to anyone who is trying to shake up their usual routine and get quicker results in a short amount of time.

I also squeezed in some cooking this past weekend, and made a great spicy soup recipe that I want to pass on. The following recipe for Jamaican Sweet Potato Kale soup came from my friend Steph, who I take yoga classes with frequently. She is a self-proclaimed soup-nut, and has tons of cheap and easy soup recipes to recommend, so there will be more to come.

This particular recipe is great because of the few ingredients, very little prep time, and super healthy super-food inclusions of kale and sweet potatoes. As I mentioned in my Kale-chips recipe, kale is rich with vitamins, anti-oxidants, and fiber. Sweet potatoes offer carotenoids in their bright orange color, and are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. And coconut milk contains anti-bacterial properties. This recipe is a little fiery, so adjust the habaneros according to your preference. Read the rest of this entry »


Do you have a workout buddy, or do you prefer to sweat it out on your own? I’ve been contemplating the idea of finding someone who would be willing to be my buddy as I get through this recent struggle and continue on this fitness journey.

I have a chronic pain condition, and there are some days where working out are just not possible. There are some days where I just need a little prodding or the knowledge someone is counting on me to be there to work out with them. A little motivation and encouragement can go a long way. Read the rest of this entry »

The Turkey

I did it!

Thursday morning, at what seemed like the crack of dawn, I ran the Smoke the Turkey 5k Race held in my hometown of Toledo, Ohio.

What a thrill it was to run in this event. It took me a while to wake up that morning but when our car pulled into the lot at the race site, I felt wide-awake and ready to run. I attribute this to two things: I was with good friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile and I was anxious to see what I could do after training hard for a month and a half.

Group Post Race

After getting my runner’s packet, I pinned my bib on and laced my racing chip to my shoe for accurate time tracking.When my group of friends was ready, we headed to the staging area. Although between my group of friends there was an intense rivalry, we ended up staging closer to the back of the pack. Surrounded by dogs on leashes and double-wide baby strollers, we waited for the crowd to start moving forward so we could start the run and officially start our race. Read the rest of this entry »

I bought a new dress (on sale!) and paired it with some boots and cute jewelry today, and received quite a few complements on my outfit. It was such a wonderful feeling to look great and feel comfortable in what I was wearing, and to be appreciated by others. I have never felt that I had a particular “style” which I call my own – or even any type of fashion sense, honestly. Lately I have had several people that I work with say they like how I dress, and it has made me re-think about how I dress. Read the rest of this entry »

I am sitting in the airport on my way to my family for Thanksgiving, and lucky to have free wi-fi right now. A lot of people get stressed about traveling during the holidays, but I think I have been doing that for so long that it just seems to be a part of the journey these days rather than an inconvenience. (Of course, expensive airplane tickets ARE quite an inconvenience compared to the regular fares!) I do my best to go with the flow when it comes to traffic and delays, and remember that a lot of other people are also trying to get to see their loved ones during this week. I don’t usually stress out about the traveling part of the trip, but rather about the seeing family I do not see often and presenting myself (job, body image, relationship status) to them. Even in the hard times, my immediate family members are always there for me and supportive of me and my goals for myself.

A new song by Sarah McLaughlin came through my headphones, and I want to share these inspirational words from “One Dream.”

We can feel a change is coming / like a kiss upon the tide

Breathing life into every heart / the hopeful kind of times

Cause we’ll walk this road together / though at times we felt alone

In the struggle to leave dissent / we find the strength one yet to find


And you know that you can make it

You’ve got the whole world in your hands

And you’ve spent a lifetime working for this moment

And you are shining

You’re all that you wanted to be


What are your dreams for yourself?


I think a lot of people, myself included, get into ruts at the gym because we tend to do the same workouts every time we exercise. Instead of mixing up workouts, we end up only running on the treadmill or only lifting weights. We tend to not have the time to mix up the workout with some cardio and weight training.

The lack of combining weight training and cardio slows down progress but with a Healthworks BURN class you can amp up the workout and see results. BURN classes are small group workout sessions with an emphasis on interval cardio and strength training. (Definition). Fortunately, for each new member at Healthworks, they receive a complimentary BURN session.

This past week I tried out Jakki’s BURN Baby, BURN class that is offered Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. in Cambridge. A personal trainer and Ride instructor, Jakki exudes energy and inspiration, so I was excited to train with her. Here’s a look at the one-hour work out we completed.

To start the workout, Jakki had us do a light warm up on the treadmill getting the heart pumping and blood flowing. Read the rest of this entry »

I feel like it’s been so long – and that’s because I haven’t felt well for two weeks! I still haven’t been able to work out, despite my last bright idea. Every time I move at all, I start coughing and coughing, and it takes a good ten minutes to settle down. I feel much better than I did before, and I’ve been going to work and school, I just cannot seem to get rid of this cough! I’ve had plenty of time to sit around and plan and think about my next big event, though, so that’s a plus. Here are my options so far: Read the rest of this entry »

Last week, model Kate Moss was quoted as saying in an interview that “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”  I heard about the quote during my spinning workout yesterday as the instructor and fellow Healthworks members discussed it. (Read the article in the Telegraph)  Our instructor, who is one of my favorite teachers, commented to the class that “there are some really great tasting things out there, like peanut butter, or ice cream, or peanut butter ice cream.”  My fellow spinners agreed that the quote was rather absurd and a terrible commentary on the expectation of thinness in our society.  Since Kate Moss gets paid her salary to be as thin as she is, it is easy to see why she would adopt such a motto.  The greater concern, as mentioned in the above article, is that there are pro-anorexia websites and groups out there who have adopted her “motto” in support of their values and goals. Read the rest of this entry »

I have to admit I have become quite accustomed to my treadmill workouts for my 5k training. I love the control. I love the ease of use and the ability to calculate exactly what I have accomplished. And I love watching TV as I run. But in an effort to prepare for the outdoor run I will complete this Thursday, I’ve decided that I have to take my workouts outside.

Hold on, I have another confession. Since I live and work (out) in Boston, I don’t have access to a treadmill while I’m home at my parents’ house in Ohio, so in so many words, I MUST go outside to get in a decent run. Just so we are clear.

With less than a week to go until my race, I decided to go to the neighborhood park this weekend and test myself out in the damp and cold, late fall weather. I had anxiety about this. I knew it would be much different from running inside with the comforts of the dry and warm gym surrounding me.

As I headed out down Pickle Road (it’s real people!) I was weary about my situation. I’ve run this route before back in high school and knowing the exact route should give me confidence in my ability but for some reason it doesn’t. I sometimes let the length of the run get to me and I start to doubt my ability to finish. In any case, I started out with the goal to run 4 miles, which is one of the last workouts I am going to complete pre-race day.

During the run, I tried to think less about the route I was running and more about the things I had learned in the past couple of weeks about becoming a better runner. I concentrated on my breathing and activating my core and my glutes. To my relief, these things actually helped me finish the run and accomplish my goal for the workout. In fact, concentrating on activating these “secret weapons” made the workout feel easier. It also helped that I had my watch on while I was running as it kept me on pace. Tracking my progress and remembering my runner’s tools, built up my confidence in my ability and really made me proud about how I had trained. After this run I’m excited for this race and I look forward to seeing how I finish.

I’ll report back after Turkey Day to let you know how this gobbler finishes. : )



How do you prepare for a big race? What tools do you use to stay focused and engaged during a workout?

So my birthday happens to be in November and I recently received a lovely surprise from Healthworks in my inbox. For all those members who have a birthday in the current month aka ME, Healthworks provides a coupon for a free water bottle, free beverage OR 15% off personal training, spa treatments or café services.

Because I will have ran my 5k Turkey Trot race and because I am the birthday girl this month, I’ve decided to splurge and use my coupon for 15% off a 50-minute massage.

Though I am the type of woman who can count on one hand (ahem, two fingers?) the number of times I’ve had a massage, I think this is the perfect time to get one. I’ll be traveling back from Thanksgiving festivities (family, friends, Turkey Trot) and heading into a stressful holiday season (late nights at work, holiday parties, last-minute shopping), so I think I need/deserve to prepare myself with a little relaxation and I’m excited to share with you my relaxing experience.


Do you have a favorite mode of pampering? How are you getting yourself mentally and physically prepared for the holiday season?