I know that it’s still summer technically, but here are the things I am sooooooo excited about for this coming fall:
I know I’m all grown up (kind of), but I still love Michigan football. It represents so many things to me and brings back so many wonderful memories that I can’t help but be obsessed this time of year. Learning ‘The Victors’ with my little sister while standing in the living room of the house we grew up in. Going to games with my dad as a 12-year-old awkward kid, shaking my maize and blue pom in the stands (please, please, never give up those tickets, Dad!). Watching my first game from the student section as a freshman, finally understanding the enormity of the stadium and completely in awe of how big the Big House really is. Tailgating with my best friends before the game, relating tales of the night before while drinking terrible light beer at 7am on Saturday mornings (yeah, Big 10 schools know tailgating), and staying in the stadium until they kicked us out after the last game of my senior year. Reunions now with my best friends once every fall. And that barely begins to cover it.
My mom’s turkey chili is one of my favorite meals for fall. It reminds me of all of the healthy habits my mom passed along to my sister and me growing up, and it’s seriously amazing, hearty comfort food all the same. Especially when you add as much hot sauce as you can physically handle…and when you sprinkle it liberally with a three-cheese mix and scoop it up with blue-corn tortilla chips. Yeah, healthy… Either way, I made it earlier today and am still full hours later. Who wants leftovers?
Ah, honeycrisp apples. Or really any apples you can pick in Michigan. But these are especially amazing, because they’re huge, juicy, tart, sweet, and so crunchy! I know it’s fall when I see these popping up in grocery stores.
Running is so much better in autumn! Summer running and I don’t really get along (gasp. midwest. humidity. can’t. breathe. at. all.), and I’m not hardcore enough to stay running outside in the negative windchill we get here in Chicago, so fall running is one of my favorite things ever. Long-sleeved tees, leggings, and fall 5ks — ahh, can’t wait!
Not sweating constantly. I realize that I’m a personal trainer, and being active is part of my job, but this summer has been ridiculous. I feel like I was sweating before I even got to work, and even my easy bike ride to work left me more than glowing. I’m pretty pumped to be able to wear jeans (and I’m not even a jeans person) and a blazer while drinking hot coffee and be completely comfortable.
New school years. Fresh starts. Back-to-school shopping. I always loved the new academic year, where I got new books, new pens, new notebooks. I got to learn new things! Take new classes! Come back a little less dorky than I had the year before! People hadn’t seen you in a while, so even if you didn’t look any different, you come back as someone completely new, hopefully for the better. I really feel that the beginning of the school year, no matter how old you are, is one of the best times to start fresh, because it’s not only less cliche than the new calendar year, but it’s right before the weather (at least in the midwest) sort of wipes everything out and clears the slate for you with winter. I, myself, am planning to take advantage of the change in seasons. I always felt like I came back a better version of myself throughout school, so I figure, why not continue the trend?
Anyway, enough about me — what are YOU excited about for fall? Do you share any of my favorites? Did I miss one of your major faves for fall?
Lately I’ve been trying to bring my workouts outside as much as possible, because we FINALLY are having some decent weather in Chicago. I’m still getting to the gym to lift and swim (a little), but otherwise, it’s been walking, running, and biking around my neighborhood. I’m just so happy breathing fresh air while working out, and my music definitely changes with my mood and reflects that. Here are the feel-good summer tunes on my iPod right now:
This one make me feel so happy and positive. I like to warm up to it because it’s not super fast, but it gets you going. And because ‘Everybody’s Got Their Something’…
This next one I like for a steady run (I JUST started running again and oh so slowly), because it doesn’t ever get crazy, and I can kind of zone out and reminisce about college. Not that I was waking up with strangers in my bed or breaking the law, but I was in a sorority and had my fair share of fun, inebriated nights, and I can remember just what it was like to wait for next Friday night because of the last ridiculous Friday night.
Oh, Gaga. You can always count on her for good workout tunes, no matter what you think of her as a pop personality. This one is oddly uplifting, and always makes me think I’m running toward something or going strong to get to the end of a set. I don’t think that’s what she’s talking about at all, but it inspires me to keep it moving, so I turn it on right at the beginning of a workout to get me excited or right as I feel my energy waning so that I can bump the intensity back up.
I’m on a major Joss Stone kick, because I think she and her music just both SCREAM summer. That hair! That bass! That voice! Summer jams at their finest. This song reminds me of summer crushes, and I would love to just dance around to it, but I guess it would work for a run or bike ride too. Just try not to stop and bust a move out in public. It’s allowed, but you’ll get some funny looks.
Snoop cracks me up. Don’t ask me why. It might have something to do with the fact that my sister is super creeped out by him ever since ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot.’ Either way, I really like his music, and this is no exception. This song also makes me laugh because it’s just kind of ridiculous. But it has a great steady beat for strength training, and it makes me want to get a really good workout in, and then go home and get dressed up to go out on a hot summer night. (It’s amazing how much less of a homebody I become when we get decent weather around here.)
I just love pop music. Especially in the summer. I can’t help it, and I’m not afraid to admit it. My personality is quirky and awkward enough that I really don’t need to be alternative in any other way. Mainstream, top 40 radio music makes me happy, and it makes me want to move. Just like this song.
Another Joss Stone jam, this one is perfect for a cooldown and stretch. I love the positive message, and I can just imagine rolling down the windows and cruising around the city on a sunny day (if I had a car in Chicago, that is).
These are my picks for the summer, but I’d love to hear yours! I’m always looking for new suggestions, so lay ‘em on me! Spill!
I haven’t posted a workout here in a while, but I thought a great way to start the weekend off would be to post one of the tougher workouts I’ve come up with lately. I call it the June ass-kicker workout because it knocks me on mine to teach it, and more than once, I’ve had clients leave class muttering ‘whoa, that kicked my ass’ between gasping breaths. Appropriate, right? Anyway, the best part about this workout is that you don’t need any equipment, and you can do it outside if you want to enjoy the summer weather (is it summer in other parts of the US? Chicago hasn’t gotten the memo). All you need is a timer and yourself, so give it a shot this weekend, and let me know what you think!
The June Ass-Kicker
60-45-30 Cardio Set (Do each exercise for 60s 1x through, then 45s for each, then 30s for each)
Sprint Combos (Find an open field, stretch of grass in the park, or a track (about 100-150 yards); Sprint down to one end, do designated exercise on the way back)
Sprint-Skip (high knees, getting off of the ground)
Sprint-Frog Leaps (squat as low as you can, touching ground, and spring forward, landing with soft knees)
Walking wide squats both directions (face same direction down and back to hit both sides)
Do entire set 2x
60-45-30 Strength Set
Plank w/ single arm row
Plank-ups (aka Plank to Palms)
Let me know if you don’t know what something is or if you need modifications, and get to sweating! Happy weekend!
Yeah, the title. I know. But it’s Monday morning. Cut me a little slack.
How was your weekend? If you celebrate it, how was your Easter? My parents were in town from Michigan, and we packed quite a bit in during their short stay. We walked a lot, shopped a little, took in a show at Second City (so hilarious!), went to Easter mass, and headed to Grand Luxe for Easter brunch. It was a busy weekend, but honestly? I didn’t have a hard time sticking to my exercise and food plan at all. I’ve been getting more serious about the figure competition this fall, and staying on track just took a few tweaks. I’ve been seeing everyone’s Facebook statuses and Twitter updates about how they overindulged this weekend and need to get back on the wagon today, and…I guess I just don’t really feel like that.
I’m certainly not trying to sound self-righteous here, because there are holidays where I just go ahead and go all out, but Easter isn’t necessarily one of them for me. I’ve certainly had some nasty run-ins with the goodies the big bunny has left me, but that’s not always the case. Besides jelly beans and Cadbury eggs, there aren’t any certain foods I associate with the holiday. And even those aren’t must-haves for me on Easter Sunday, like sweet potatoes are on Thanksgiving or peppermint bark is on Christmas (can you tell I’m a sweets girl?). So this past Sunday, how did I handle myself? I told my mom not to get me any candy for an Easter basket (she got me a Starbucks card and Body Shop goodies instead), I stocked up on healthy groceries, and my big indulgence was a veggie-filled egg white omelet at brunch (more of an indulgence because I didn’t have to make it myself!). Plus, Grand Luxe was super accommodating, and when I asked for a side of veggies instead of hash browns, they practically gave me a whole head of broccoli!
Anyway, I may not be an Easter food person, but maybe you are? Was Easter your day to indulge? What was your must-eat food? Or was it just another day of eating for you? If Easter isn’t your food holiday, which one is? Spill!
So after I posted the video of Jim Carrey (and how I think my mom assumes that me lifting heavy will turn me into that), I did a little more poking around on YouTube for funny fitness vids. And oh, did I find some gems. Since it’s Friday and I think we’re all ready for the weekend, I’ll leave you with these!
This one gives an entirely new meaning to ‘low-impact’ exercise…
Oh, public access TV…
This next one is actually clips from a bunch of different workouts, but really, I just need to know what #3 is and HOW that is possible.
Do you ever wonder how many of the workouts we’re doing now will end up being made fun of in 10 years?
Um, this one canNOT be serious.
Ride it twice per day? When you wake up the next morning, find out which new muscles you’ve used? No way. Really? And recommended for one person at a time only. They actually had to say that. Are these Canadians for real? How was the host not DYING?
And this one — with the huge shorts to cover tiny legs, the overuse of ‘OK,’ and the not-so-amazing form — is my favorite…
Oh, right. He was being serious.
If you’ve got other funny workout links, send ‘em this way! I think we all could use a laugh! Happy Friday! Go work out!
Just a little something I thought I’d share.
‘You have forgotten that you are unique. In the history of the world, there will never be another you. So why are you trying to look like someone else?’
Happy Friday! Have a happy, healthy weekend!
Who else is glad that it’s FRIDAY?!
This week hasn’t exactly been stressful, but I guess it’s just been one of those weeks for me. This weekend, I plan on getting some good workouts in — boot camp tonight, training session tomorrow — and catching up on my writing and blog reading. And in general, I’m just going to try to pull it together! I want to make some more of my mom’s fab turkey chili too, and if I do, I’ll be sure to post a recipe! Or maybe just a picture because I’m still amazed that I haven’t minded being in the kitchen lately.
What about everyone else? What are you up to this fine fall weekend? Give me the details! I hope for your sake it’s something more exciting than what I’ve got going on!
And last item on the agenda… I need your help! I did some deadlift-y move the other day, and ever since, my hamstrings have been crying/screaming/preventing me from walking appropriately. I know I can foam roll and do the usual exercises, but anyone else have a creative or just really GOOD stretch that will restore my normal range of motion? Help!
So… I’m going to honest here. I have nothing to write about today. Nothing.
I’m in a fab, it’s-almost-the-weekend mood, but my brain is just fuzzy from general contentment. Plus I’ve been super busy from work, making sure we still would have a place to live on October 1st (we found a roommate, so HOORAY, we don’t have to to move), helping other people move, ramping up my workouts, being sore from said workouts, and just running around trying to get a few other things in order. Also, I think maybe got my ranting all out on Wednesday. Whatever the case may be, I have nothing of importance to contribute today.
But these folks do!
Bess brought back her weekly Ferosh Female Fridays (which I LOVE, btw, because, well, how cool does that just SOUND?), and gave shoutouts to some lovely lady bloggers (including me!) for being fearless this week, and just kind of made me proud to be a woman who knows other women who support women. My lengthy sentences confusing you yet? Just check her out!
Laura and I must be on the same wavelength lately, because she’s talking body image and dismissing the silliness that is the BMI chart. My favorite line? “I could weigh 105-119 pounds, as the charts suggest in “optimal weight” terms (ha!), but I’d look like a stick with a big fat wad of gum stuck to its lower half. Or a kebob skewer stuck into a melon. You know what I mean.” Girl, I feel you on having a booty and thinking BMI truly is ‘a pile of poo’
Despite my raging sweet tooth, I rarely crave baked goods. Until today, that is. Rachel’s got me wanting to throw on my not-yet-purchased apron and whip up some of these white chocolate cupcakes while only speaking in double entendres. And Jenna at EatLiveRun has got me craving something hot off the griddle with her whole wheat butternut squash pancakes, which I usually only do when staring at a diner menu on a Sunday morning after a rather late Saturday night.
Over at Hollaback Health, we’ve had a whole slew of awesome posts lately! Read all of those, but start with AJ’s second installment in her set of guest posts, ‘I Call It Visibility,’ about her experience as a blogger with the intersecting identities of queer, vegan, and runner. Which, appropriately enough, the name of her blog as well!
I’ve been thinking a lot about running lately and how I need to try some other exercises for a few months because I keep getting injured (well, hello, new possible case of plantar fasciitis, please meet old cases of tendonitis and a stress fracture) and because I keep SAYING I’m going to take a break, and I never do. (Now it looks like I have to take a break, right during the BEST running weather in the midwest because I have really screwed up my feet). Well, apparently, Ashley from Fashionably Fit has been thinking the same thing, because she rejoined a gym and has been having a love affair with the classes and their efficiency and they fact that they play nice with her joints.
Kristen’s post pretty much summed up my experience with weight loss in the past, and I felt like she was practically writing my story on her blog! Kudos to her for learning how to eat intuitively! Still working on that one….
Last, but not least, Nicole’s post on Special K was so informative that I wish college me would have read because I was SOLD on the low-cal Special K crap, not realizing that while I got skinny, I was putting some scary stuff in my body. Also, I really think all of you will crack up at her title and the picture she posted to go along with it!
I like the idea of giving out a little link love to finish out the week, so happy reading! And for the sake of discussion, since we all know I loooove talking, tell me what you’re doing this weekend– healthy or not! What fun stuff do you have planned?!
So it’s the weekend, and I adore weekends (I know, who doesn’t?). I figured, what better time to write about my favorite healthy things? Those things that are good for me that always make me slow down for a second and put a smile on my face.
Fage 2% Greek Yogurt: I’ve tried others, but nothing compares. This is the little healthy treat that I don’t mind splurging on!
Coffee: I have to have my java fix, especially on the weekends. After all, I don’t really think Starbucks would appreciate it if I camped out for 5 hours on a Sunday without getting at least a cup (or three) of coffee. Plus, studies have shown that coffee is good for you in moderation! So, I guess that means I have to stop short of a whole pot.
Perfect running weather: Lately Chicago has been just the right temperature for outdoor runs! It may be a bit overcast, but the sun peeks out just enough that I am falling in love with running by the lake all over again. Now that I work right by Millenium Park, the waterfront is a mere four blocks from me. I not only can’t really make excuses not to get my cardio in outside, but I don’t want to!
New running shoes & gear: I am a sucker for new workout clothes. If you gave me $500 to spend on my wardrobe, I would probably add to my collection of running leggings, colorful sports bras, and workout tees. And I’d probably go crazy getting fitted for cute new running shoes. Even if I wasn’t living in these things (since, uh, I work at a gym), I would probably still want to buy mostly exercise gear. Comfy and cute — what more could a girl want?
Lazy Saturdays (or Sundays): Decompressing and relaxing is important for everyone’s health so that we keep those stress levels down! Sometimes I forget this myself and by the time Sunday rolls around, I realized I haven’t sat down to chill out all weekend! But when I finally do sit down to breathe, it feels great, and I remember that it’s important to let yourself be lazy every once in a while!
So it’s your turn — tell me about YOUR favorite healthy things! What makes you happy because you know it’s good for you?