Crusin’ in Cali: roadtrip roundup

Hi Everyone!

We’re back from our California road trip and feeling awesome! Here’s a little recap of our amazing trip!

We started off in Hermosa Beach, which is in LA county. It was absolutely GORGEOUS there and I wouldn’t mind staying there for the rest of my life. We went to the beach, walked to nearby beaches and neighborhoods, ate phenomenal healthy food, and went to a stunning wedding!

After 3 nights, we went to get our rental car (just a casual BMW 428i Convertible…no biggie), and headed up through Malibu to Santa Barbara. It was a pretty ride along the coast and Santa Barbara is a cute town. We were only there for a night, so we didn’t do a ton of sight seeing, but certainly a nice place to stay!

Bright and early the next morning we hit the road on the Pacific Coast Highway and drove all the way up to Monterey. It  took about 9 hours total with several stops including the Elephant Seals in San Simeon, dolphins in Big Sur, lunch at Nepanthe, and a few stops along the PCH just to take in the scenery. I seriously recommend everyone take this ride once in their lifetime. It was so beautiful. I even drove on the really scary parts because I figured I’d be less likely to barf if I were behind the wheel (I was right!)

We stayed overnight in Monterey with a trip to the aquarium (which is fabulous) and dinner in Carmel (not Caramel, which was disappointing to this preggo).

Finally, we headed up to San Francisco for the day to hang with my cousin Eve, and my brother, Ben, who then took us up to Napa for our final 3 nights. This was a much less eventful trip than my last visit to Napa (you may remember the 6.1 earthquake last time), but still beautiful and less wine-soaked as I hit 21 weeks pregnant.

Overall, it was so nice to get away and refresh for summer. I am finally starting to feel confident with this new body, and even walked around Hermosa in just a sports bra and shorts, which I’ve never done before in my life! It was nice to eat healthy with a few  a lot of delicious treats (like the Chocolate Bomb I didn’t share at Morimoto, the loaf of bread and butter at Bouchon Bakery, and the endless number of macarons I ate at the wedding). We did a fair amount of walking, but we also did a fair amount of driving. My brother and I went to a yoga class in Napa. which was super nice, and we refueled with pizza. So really, I think this pregnancy is teaching me true balance. I am feeling really great at this point and enjoying where I am.

So now we’re back home, I have zero plans until September and I feel fantastic about sitting on the couch with Gloria, watching terrible TV, dragging my tush to the beach, and doing whatever I damn well please!

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

xoR

Katie K Active…why it should be your new favorite company!

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to show off my brand new Katie K apparel and let you all know that I LOVE this line! You might remember my review from last year, and the brand has made some fab improvements that I am so excited about!

First up are the Signature Urban Legging:

Orange Sports Bra

They are flipping amazing. I have been waiting a little while to review these leggings to make sure they still fit my growing midsection. Well guess what, not only do they come up nice and high over my bump (which I prefer), but they stay put. No rolling, sliding, or gapping. They are super soft and have that famous hidden side pocket perfect for your phone!

Next, the Signature Open Back Burnout Tee:

Soft. Light. Open Back. Adorable. This is so lovely to wear while working out.

Finally, The Free Flow Cardigan:

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Excellent for wearing en route to a barre class, throwing over a tank for a walk, or a casual work day! The color is super pretty and the material is a nice weight, not too heavy, not too light!

Please excuse all the selfies, my photographer was at his real job :)

Katie K is such a cool company. They make clothes for every size, shape, and ability level. Their stuff is fashionable, functional and made for a real woman’s body. I 100% endorse this company, and while the clothes were given to me in exchange for this review, I truly love them! Also! If you use code “Rebecca15″ you will receive 15% off your next order! Seriously consider Katie K next time you need some new workout duds!

Have a fab week! Chris and I are off to California later this week, so keep an eye out for our adventures on Instagram!

xoR

Summer of the Ever Expanding Belly: Day 1

Hi Everyone! I’m reporting live from my couch on Day 1 of summer vacation! I remember writing this post last year with a tinge of anxiety since I hadn’t found a job yet for the following fall and trying to embrace the joy of the unknown…now that feeling of unknown comes in the form of a little human growing inside me…talk about changes!

Over the course of the past few weeks, my emotions have been all over the place. I know we’ve talked a lot about body image, and I wanted to bring it up again for old times sake. Being pregnant is really wild. Somedays I feel great: strong, maternal, awesome. Somedays I feel terrible: sad, chubby, and terrified. Lately, the latter has been winning, which is a huge bummer for me. Dressing this new body is a daily challenge, and shopping isn’t as much fun as I want it to be. I find myself feeling like things look “just OK” as opposed to “OMG SO ADORABLE”. I’m self conscious about my giant bras and thighs that now rub together a little bit. I’m constantly pulling my tank tops down over my belly and up over my boobs…I’m uncomfortable in my own skin, which is an old and familiar feeling. People are also starting to make stupid comments about my size and my weight (WHICH ARE NEVER OK!).

That being said, I was reminded recently that the reason I am growing is because the baby is growing…and that’s a good thing. I was also reminded that what my body is doing is incredible and seemingly magical, not just getting larger. Then I remembered all the adorable little things I get to buy now, and that it’s not about just me anymore. People are also starting to smile at me on the street. I’m telling you, pregnancy is really wild.

Last week we had an ultrasound, which would have been when we found out the gender, but we are opting for a surprise baby! So far we know that it’s either a boy or a girl, very healthy, extremely active, and particularly uncooperative during ultrasounds, which I guess should not come as a surprise to anybody.

So: Here is an awesome article that you pregnant naysayers should read! 

Here is an amazing lower body workout from Muscle and Strength

Here is my new favorite Boston area fitness studio

And here is a belly selfie (’cause…why not):

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That’s it from me! Have a fab day!

xoR

Fit Bump: A Preggo Guide

Hi! Hope you’re all having a lovely week!

I wanted to start off by thanking everyone for your messages, posts and well wishes following my little announcement last week! Chris and I are so excited, and I am pumped to share this journey with all of you!

With that said, let’s talk about fitness and pregnancy. There is a TON of misinformation out there and I’d like to clear the air a little. Until pretty recently, the idea of exercise during pregnancy was seriously frowned upon. It was believed, by doctors and civilians alike, that working out could cause harm to the fetus and mother. Now, most of those scary myths have been broken including the following:

  • Never let your heart rate raise about 140 bpm
  • Lifting causes miscarriage
  • Abdominal exercises should be avoided at all costs

Here’s the truth. The 140 bpm myth is arbitrary and basically made up. Women that lift weights and stay active throughout pregnancy are more likely to have an easier labor, control weight gain more easily, and bounce back from pregnancy quicker. Abdominal exercises that include being flat on your back during the end of the second to third trimester should be avoided (as with anything flat on your back) due to strain on the vena cava, HOWEVER increasing core strength (including abdominal, back and pelvic floor) increase posture during and after pregnancy, and can make labor and pushing easier. (Source, Source)

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OK, so…now what? The general consensus is that whatever you were doing before becoming pregnant is safe to do once you are pregnant. That includes running, walking, weight training, swimming, pilates, yoga, crossfit, hula hooping, jump roping, and sitting on your butt (with permission from your doctor first, of course!). Pretty much anything that feels good is safe and that’s the big part to remember. It’s probably not a good time to start a new routine or increase the intensity of an old routine, though. For me, I had been doing a lot of HIIT with plyometrics. Now that I’m pregnant, my stamina is definitely decreased and a lot of interval training and explosive movements don’t feel good anymore. Right now, at 16 weeks, long, brisk walks, weight training and my TRX are feeling awesome.

That being said, here’s a great upper body TRX/dumbbell workout I did this week. The huge benefit of the TRX is that core stablization required to execute exercises correctly. For more TRX info, read this post.

Upper Body TRX Super Sets

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Complete super set 3x with 15/12/10 reps per exercise. Rest 1 minute between sets.

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That’s pretty much it for me! Hope you all have a fabulous week!

xoR

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, all posts are based on personal opinions and my own research. Please consult your own medical team before performing any exercises described here.

Flex and Shout Grows By One!

Hello!

I know what you’re thinking: Flex and Shout is still a thing?! I haven’t posted in AGES…but I promise I had a good excuse!

I’m preggo! Chris and I are so excited to finally tell everyone now that we’re comfortably in the second trimester and everything is going perfectly! So I figured I’d give you all a little update of my pregnancy so far, although it’s been pretty uneventful.

Symptoms: TIRED. Until about 14 weeks I was facing serious fatigue, to the point where I was sleeping 10 hours/night (typically on the couch because Chris couldn’t even wake me). Around 14 weeks I began to perk back up and have even stayed up past 1o o’clock on several occasions! I was pretty nauseated for the first few weeks, but luckily never got sick and otherwise, my symptoms have been mild.

Cravings: Initially bread, bagels, pasta and crackers since I was nauseous, more recently spicy food, sweet fruit like mango and pineapple, and very specifically, chicken salad subs. Otherwise, eating healthy with lots of fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Missing sushi a lot.

Workouts: Until week 12 I was basically walking about 20 mins a day, and doing basic weigh training 2-3x/week when I could manage to stay awake that long. Around week 12-13 I was able to add some circuit training back with more rest time and at week 14 I was able to do some modified HIIT as long as I kept my workouts less than 45 minutes. I’m loving my TRX, kettlebells, and yoga mat lately.

Feelings about this body change: It’s a freaking rollercoaster ride that everyone I come in contact with is now riding with me. The first couple of weeks were really difficult for me, quite honestly. I outgrew my bras at 6 weeks (seriously) and my clothes really starting fitting differently early on. I was too small for maternity, but my regularly clothes didn’t really fit my new and different proportions. At 13 weeks my belly really started to grow and my pants started getting really tight. Now at 15 weeks, my belly has definitely arrived and catching up with my boobs. Now that my energy is coming back, I’m feeling better about getting back into a routine with moderate exercise and a reasonable sleep schedule. I’m also getting used to listening to my body, since it’s no longer just my body, I’m sharing with this little person inside me! Talk about a crazy feeling! I’ve made sure to stay in close contact with my ED team, including my therapist and nutritionist and large support network of friends and family. Whenever I start to feel panicky about my changing body, I put my hands on my belly and remember: someone in there needs nutrients and care. I think pregnancy is certainly a test to recovery, but I feel myself feeling more and more confident in my skills to continue on the right path.

So here I am so far:

 

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I hope you’ll forgive me for being absent the past couple of months and I also hope you’ll stick around to see how this wild ride pans out! Have a fabulous week!

xoR

HIIT and Pancakes: A Weekend in the Life

Hi everyone! Hope everyone had a fab weekend! We had a super busy couple of days with two nights of Passover and Easter with our families. So fun, so full, feelin’ great!

With the eat-a-thon we experienced this weekend, I was looking for some quick, full-body sweat sesh’s to ward off that icky sloth feeling. No, these weren’t workouts to make excuses for eating, these were workouts to help me stay on track and feel my best! The following is an awesome Full-Body HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that I did on Sunday  morning before eating my body weight in stuffed shells:

Full Body HIIT

  • Time: approx. 40 minutes
  • Print

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This workout was modified from THIS Buzzfeed article. I also added a warm up and cool down from FitnessBlender.com, which are not only fun, but super important to avoid injury!

I also wanted to share my new favorite pancake recipe, modified from This Foodie Fiasco post. These bad boys are grain free, gluten free, low sugar, and SO FREAKING DELICIOUS I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL DAY!

Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

IMG_5552Ingredients:

  • 2T Coconut Flour
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Whites or 1/4C liquid egg whites
  • 1/4C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/3C Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add whisked eggs and almond milk to dry ingredients and mix until completely combined. Batter will be thick. Add blueberries and additional almond milk if necessary (I usually do!). Spoon 1/3C into pancake shapes on griddle, frying pan or pancake pan. Cook 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve with fruit, syrup, nuts, peanut butter…whatever you want!

Let me know how they turn out! Sometimes I sub the blueberries for banana and they’re also super yum!

Have a fab week!

xoR

10 Minutes Abs: no crunches, no excuses

Hi Everyone! Long time no talk! Sorry for the radio silence lately, I’ve been crazy busy! Anyway, to apologize I have a brand new, 10 minute, no crunch ab workout for you all that I think you will love!

10 Minute Abs

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This little workout is perfect as a finisher to your HIIT workout, steady cardio, or lifting sesh. And while we’re at it, let’s talk about those abs, shall we?

Actually, let’s talk about the core. The core is basically any muscle within your trunk region: pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and the diaphragm. AKA your abs, pelvic muscles and back. The function of the core is to provide stability for your spine and thorax. A strong core is basically crucial for any daily activity including and a weak core can lead to a whole slew of problems including back pain and poor posture (both are things you do not want) source

The thing to remember about the core is that it’s really important to train all of the muscles, not just your abs. Training just abs (i.e. just doing crunches) can cause muscle imbalance, which again, is not good. So remember to train all angles of the core including abs, obliques, and back. Also, remember that the muscles of the core are just like any other muscle group. Muscles need fuel and rest to grow, so make sure to eat enough protein, carbs and fat before and after your workout and only directly train your core 1-2x/week. Oh! And your core should be engaged while doing any compound movement like squats and deadlifts, so adding those workouts into your routines will just increase your results!

Here’s some old posts on core work:

1.One Exercise to Rule Them All, 2. Abs, Abs. Abs, 3. Lift Like a Girl: A guide to heavy lifting

And here’s what my abs currently look like:

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And by current, I mean a month ago in Cancun. Currently, I’m wrapped in 16 layers of clothing because it’s still SO FREAKING COLD. Springtime, my ass ;)

Have a fab week!

xoR