Fuel Your Better: Vega Sport Pre-Workout Review

Good morning! It’s a beautiful Tuesday here in MA! Let’s talk about energy.

In the summer, I definitely need an extra boost to get myself to the gym or out on a run. Plain and simple, it’s hot and I’m lazy. If I don’t get myself to the gym first thing in the morning, it’s REALLY tough to motivate myself later on in the heat. I’ve tried a lot of different options: waiting until the heat dissipates (even harder to motivate myself at night), drinking iced coffee (give me a tummy ache), or forcing myself to work out (feel weak and guilty for not listening to my body). So, these things haven’t been going so well…

So imagine my excitement when I was selected to review Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer! Vega is a pretty awesome, plant-based sport supplement company. This product is diary, gluten and soy free, and Vega does not use any artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners in any of their products, which is fine by me! The pre-workout is acai berry flavored and comes in individual packets (no measuring required!) and claimed to “provide immediate and sustained energy”. Yeah, right. I’ll believe when I see it…and then I did. photo 1(11)

I decided to first try this product before a run. As we all know, running is still pretty new to me and still definitely not my favorite. I used a packet of Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer in water about 20 minutes before my run as the directions suggested. I’ve used pre-workout supp’s before and usually after a few minutes I start to geek out a little. My fingers and toes start to tingle and then my heart starts to race. I’ve never done crack, but I imagine that’s what it feels like. Anyway, Vega didn’t do that at all. I was actually wondering if it was working because I didn’t feel much different. I headed out on my run and 30 minutes later realized I had ran 3 miles without stopping (which is a pretty huge accomplishment for this baby runner!). Sure, I was tired, but it definitely fueled me right through. I’ve since tried this pre-workout before lifting sessions and boot camp, and it definitely held up its end of the bargain by fueling me better.

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I really like that this produce provides a smooth, natural energy with no crash afterward. No belly ache or race for the bathroom (#sorrynotsorry). The supplement facts list all pronounceable ingredients including coconut, yerba mate, green tea, rhodiola, ginseng, tumeric and ginger as energy sources. No scary synthetics. You better believe I’ll be trying other Vega products. For more info click #fuelyourbetter!

That’s it for me! Have a fab day!

xoR

 

Disclaimer: I was provided with this product for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

 

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Fitness 5iveday!

Hello and welcome to Friday! Let’s talk about my 5 fitness favorites of the week!

1. This Boot Camp Workout:

Boot Camp Challenge

  • Difficulty: intermediate-advanced
  • Print

Round 1: Complete each exercise for 1x 40s then rest for 20s before moving to the next exercise

Round 2: Complete each exercise 2x for 30s then rest for 30s

Round 3: Complete each exercise 1x for 40s then rest for 20s before moving to the next exercise.

  • Front Squat
  • Jump Squat
  • Pull-up
  • Push-up
  • Battle Ropes
  • KB swing
  • KB High Pull
  • DB deadlift, curl, press
  • Mountain climbers
  • Walking plank (use a bench or elevated surface for a challenge!)

This workout was inspired by my Crossfit Tuff Boot Camp. It’s super sweaty, so get ready to work!

2. This video:

Ok, I’m sure a lot of those facts are sensationalized and the video obviously doesn’t cite sources…but ew.

3. Speaking of Buzzfeed, THIS article

Picture 24. Rest Days:

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Sometimes the best part about working out a lot, is taking a day off. I usually hit the gym first thing in the morning, but now that it’s summer, I’ve been much more leisurely about when I work out and how I work out.  Some days, my work out is just a long walk outside in the sun…sometimes it’s sitting around in my pajamas  until noon watching terrible TV. The beauty is that I know I’m getting exercise and listening to my body…some days I just need to have wacky hair and the remote in my hand until dinner.

5. Conversely, BIG GIANT MUSCLES:

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If ever I get bummed about how big my arms look in non-workout related pictures, I’ll remember it’s because those arms house some powerhouse muscles that make me feel super badass. They’re not as chiseled as those fitness models in magazines, but they certainly are strong…and hungry!

That’s it for me! Have a fab weekend!

xoR

Newport, New Mindset: mini vacay thoughts

Hello!

Sorry I’ve been MIA! Chris and I were on a mini-vacay last week in Newport, RI! Holy gorgeous! It was the perfect little getaway to relax, get some sunshine, see friends, and refocus on what’s important.

Before last week, I was definitely struggling with old ED thoughts. As hard as I pushed back, I could feel myself sliding into old ways. It’s actually the worst feeling in the world. Newport came at just the right time to get me out of my head, and onto the beach!

I took time to notice how my emotions play into body image. I was feeling really bloated and sorry for myself when we first got to Newport…then I received some really good news about some jobs, and suddenly I was feeling confident in my body and appearance! WTF?! I’m pretty sure I didn’t gain and lose some monstrous amount of weight in the span of 1 phone call…so it’s interesting to take inventory on body image as it responds to emotions and try to separate the two. Just because I’m having a bad day, doesn’t mean I’m fat. Confidence has to come from beyond that. I decided to keep a bit of a photo journal for the rest of the summer of me wearing summertime clothes, having a good time, nothing thinking about my size. I started with this pic:

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Is that body perfect? Nope. But it’s my body, and that’s pretty damn awesome.

Anyway, this plan might sound conceited, but it really helps me keep perspective. PS: those aren’t my boogie boards.

I know you’re dying to see more pictures, so here ya go!

And in case you’re wondering, I bought my sneakers to Newport, but they stayed in my suitcase. We did a fair amount of walking, but mostly I just didn’t care to workout. Now that we’re back, I’m trying to stay with that vacation mindset (I am still on vacation, afterall!). I’m nourishing my body and exercising in a reasonable and fun way. My body does a lot for me, I need to be nice to it!

That’s it for me. Have a fab week!

xoR

Pursuit Boston: when it’s OK to go nowhere fast

Hey Hey!

I just wanted to start off by saying thank you for all the amazing love and support following my post yesterday. It’s so cool that I am able to connect to others that might be having the same thoughts and feelings. My hopes are that by posting real, actual emotions and situations, others might be able to be honest about their own personal struggles. Listen, life is pretty awesome, but sometimes we have hiccups. I am feeling a BAJILLION times better today thanks to all of you <3

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Anyway, yesterday I went to a spin class at Pursuit Boston and it basically rocked my world. I’ve only been to maybe 2 spin classes previously, so I don’t have a ton of comparison, but I pretty much swore off spin after my last experience…and Pursuit made me want come back ASAP!

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I met the instructor, Amanda, on Saturday night when I was out drinking…which is basically the best way to meet fellow fitness professionals, amirite?! Amanda used to work with Rachel, so we already knew pretty much everything about one another before even meeting. She told me that she ran the 7:00 AM class on Mondays and that I would love it. Seemed like a great idea at the time, so I hopped online to sign up as soon as I got home from the bar at 2:00 AM…it was less exciting on Monday morning when I remember that I don’t work in the summer, and 7 might as well be the middle of the night for me. Oy. But I persevered!

Pursuit is located right in Copley Square, which is amazing. The studio is beautiful and super clean. They have everything you need, including towels, water coolers, and foam rollers, so you can just show up and sweat! Oh, and Mr. Bojangles hangs out there, so it’s even better!

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That’s Amanda on the left, Jennie (Pursuit owner) on the right, and Mr. Bojangles front and center!

Amanda’s style of teaching was super approachable and she reminded the class that the 45 minutes belonged to us, and to listen to our own bodies…which is good because I definitely cheated with the resistance the whole time.  Those hills are hard, man! The music was bumpin’ and 45 minutes flew by! I left an actual puddle under my bike.

The really cool thing about Pursuit, is that each bike measures the riders stats and records them in your own file. After class, I received an email with all of my class stats like distance, speed, and estimated calories burned. That way, you have measurable data to compare with your next ride. Pretty awesome!

 

Guest,

Here’s your stats for Pursuit – Classic Spin with Amanda on 7/14/2014 7:00AM:

Watts/Kg

0 P/Kg

Station

17

Average RPM

91

High RPM

139

Average Power

108 Watts

High Power

190 Watts

Energy (Kilo Joules)

270.37 kJ

Distance

16.93 Miles

Estimated Calories

kCal

Duration

45 mins

and of course, a super sweaty selfie:

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So definitely go check out Pursuit! First class is free! You’ll love it!
xoR

Real Talk: Recovery Sucks (but mostly so good!)

Gooood Morning! What a weekend! Woo!

Let’s talk weekends, summer and recovery. This past weekend was super busy between Rachel’s Boston Bridal Shower, a surprise party for my aunt and uncle and Chris’ family reunion. By the time I hit the couch last night for some HBO, I was exhausted. No, I was something more than exhausted. I was a disaster. My anxiety had gone from a little elevated last week to full fledged crazy person and my body image was nearing absolute zero. There were a lot of factors leading up it: being off my schedule with too much free time, lots of events with lots of food, being around a lot of beautiful girls that happen to be my best friends, drinking too much champagne. The list goes on. If you’ve been reading F&S, you know that summer tends to be a difficult time for me, but I’ve been talking about how successful I’ve been this summer and how awesome I’ve been feeling. Well…real talk: it’s not all sunshine and lollipops. Sure, I’m much improved from past summers and I do not want to diminish my progress, but I think recovery ebbs and flows (although I do believe in true recovery), and right now I need to continue working on body image and mindfulness.

Chris caught me staring at pictures of myself yesterday and critiquing every inch of my body. It’s embarrassing when other people pick up on that, but also a good reminder that people love me even if a photo isn’t all that flattering. I think you’re only as recovered as you feel. So while some days I feel super recovered, some days I feel bummed about not being recovered enough. However, it all still rides on how you react to the feelings. You can act on the feelings by using destructive behaviors, or you can use strategies to help you get over the hump. Sometimes it’s a bummer to have call on old strategies, but knowing that they’re there for me can be really helpful.

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This is the picture I was examining. First of all: it’s so cute. Second, I’m wearing black, so you can’t tell where I start and end. Isn’t that the point of wearing black?! OMG it sounds so crazy the next day.

Another thing I try to remember is mindfulness. I find myself doing what in the biz call “pre-freaking out”. For example, I’m going to Miami in a few weeks with 7 other super hot ladies. I’ve been losing my mind about being in pictures in my bikini with all the other girls and I’m not even in Florida yet. I have NO idea how things are going to pan out there, or how I’m going to feel or how the other girls are going to feel, for that matter. I’m planting the idea of anxiety and body consciousness in my brain to use when I’m laying by the pool. It’s basically ED-inception and there’s no time for that while I’m hanging with my friends celebrating our favorite bride! So, instead, I’m trying to think about right here, right now. I’m taking care of my body and treating it in a non-abusive way and trying to give myself some compliments even when it’s hard.

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Could I have a better best friend?

Today, I’m going back to basics. I’m eating meals at meal times, staying busy with things that I enjoy, and not scrutinizing pictures that literally everyone else would think are adorable. And speaking of adorable pictures, here are some cuties from the weekend:

A few things: I was super uncomfortable in that green dress, which made me self-conscious the whole day. Not worth it. Also, I went a spin class this morning that Amanda (pictured above) taught. She kicked my ass. More on that tomorrow!

I’m off to do whatever I damn well please today (which does not include listening to ED). Have a fab day!

xoR

Friday Five: Recovery Style

Helloooooo! It’s Friday (I’m pretty sure it is, right?), so you know what that means! It’s 5iveday! This week I thought I would share my 5 pro-recovery items of the week!

1. Bikinis on the beach:

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I headed to the beach on Tuesday to visit my in-laws and to get a little color. (I’m basically Olaf from Frozen). I tossed on a teeny bikini and took notice of what other people were doing. No one stopped to stare at me, no one made comments, no one even cared…because it’s the beach and everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) was wearing a revealing bathing suit and going about their beach business. Every time I have a successful summer day, I make sure to take inventory of my emotions and my actions. Tuesday was a win!

2. Treat Yo Self (or, in this case, my mom treating me)

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Yesterday, I was supposed to go to a pilates class. I was sort of dreading it, but kept on convincing myself that I needed to workout. Then, out of some sort of magical telepathy, my mom called and asked if I wanted a mani/pedi at the EXACT time of my pilates class. Uh…YA! So I canceled my class and spent some QT with my mom, and got my nails in tip top shape for the weekend! Double win! Sometimes when I’m not able to listen to my body, I still require some outside sources (like my family and friends) to give me options other than working out. Know what? I feel great this morning. No guilt. Fab nails.

3. Unexpected Events:

On Tuesday (after the beach), our friend Mike called and asked if we wanted free Red Sox tickets for that night’s game. I had just gotten home from the beach and put on my pajamas (it was like 5 o’clock…) and was planning on cooking a super healthy dinner for us. The old me would have panicked with a change in plans and definitely would have said no to the tickets. Instead, I put some clothes back on, popped the chicken back in the fridge and headed out to Fenway. We sat in the State Street Pavilion, which is super fancy and fun. Chris and I drank gross cocktails and watched the Sox choke. While that might not sound fun for anyone else, it was a successful evening for me! ED definitely would have ruined the experience for me, so I’m glad he wasn’t around!

4. This workout:

Picture 2c/o Bodybuilding.com

This chick is FOR REAL! If ever you want to feel like a powerful, hulk-like, crazy person, do this workout. Part of recovery is finding your inner strength. For me, my external strength influenced my internal strength. ED wants us weak, that’s when we need him. If you’re strong enough, you can punch ED right in the kisser and say SEE YA! :P

5. Weekends with best friends:

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Tomorrow is my best friend Rachel’s Boston shower! It’s only a few short months until her wedding extravaganza, so I’m extra pumped to have her in town this weekend! The shower promises to be filled with lots of treats that would have scared the *bleep* out of me before! Instead, I’m taking time to remember what this weekend is about. Building memories with my best friends during super special occasions is what matters…not the cookies I ate or mimosas I drank (although those are super awesome too!).  PLUS we’re all getting our hair done before the shower, so we’ll look bangin’. I’ll be sure to post pics next week ;)

So there ya go! Summer recovery is where it’s at! That’s all for me today, make sure to check out the new Uberfit badge on the right hand bar on the blog. Use code FLEXANDSHOUT to get 20% off your orders! The company is awesome and I’m sure all you F&S readers want to support them too!

Have a fab weekend!

xoR

Flexing, Shouting and Tire Flipping: My TUFF Workout

GOOOOOOD morning! I don’t even know what day it is…Tuesday? I think that’s right. It is Triple H in Massachusetts today (Hot, Hazy and Humid), so I am heading to the beach as soon as I finish this post. In accordance with my Bucket List, I must go to the beach once a week, so I’m really just doing my duty.

In addition to hitting the beach every week, I also promised myself that I would try 3 new fitness classes. So to uphold my end, last night I headed up to Crossfit TUFF in Nashua, NH to partake in possibly the sweatiest, barfiest, and most hilarious boot camp class ever. In case you’re wondering: Yes, that’s me on the website as the “Beautiful Bride”! So a little back story: I met John (TUFF owner) through his sister and my friend, Kathleen. Before I got married, I decided that I needed a trainer to help me fit into my wedding dress. Mind you, I was VERY much still in the throws of ED. Anyway, I met with John and told him what was going on and he actually told me to stop counting calories. Ummm excuse me?! I couldn’t even believe that those words had come out of a trainer’s mouth. I was actually appalled…but I went back. And saw results. And got super strong. And looked bangin’ on my wedding day. Oh, and stopped counting calories. So basically, John is awesome and essentially shoved me over the line of recovery. He also described me as having a “colorful personality”, so I’m gonna go ahead and take that as a compliment.

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So, yeah, TUFF is a Crossfit gym, but it’s really so much more than that. John is obsessed with good form (one time made me do squats with the bar for an hour straight until I got the form right, barf), and safety, which are often overlooked at other similar facilities. Last night, I did a boot camp class with Kathleen, her husband Matt, and two of my old favorites, Beth and Douce! Kathleen and John’s dad, the Colonel, ran the class. I have to preface by saying that it absolutely POURED before class and it was approximately 9 trillion degrees with a million percent humidity in the gym…so things got a bit sweaty. Yeesh.

photo 2(1)The Colonel and John

The class consisted on 10 stations and intervals varying between 20 and 30 seconds 3 times around. Then abs. Then shove as much food in your face as possible. Which is exactly what we did. The stations consisted of body weight work, dumbbells,  kettlebells, medicine balls, suspension, and tire flipping. Yep. Tire. Flipping.

The class had 10 students of all ages, sizes and abilities, which was cool to see. Everyone worked as hard as they could, using variations and modifications when necessary. The Col. had his eye on everyone, giving helpful tips and making sure we were working as hard as we could. All in all, I got an insane workout and today I can’t raise my arms above shoulder level. Awesome.

Here is some more photo evidence:

Don’t worry, we got a picture of Matt doing curls too:

photo 3(1)And if you think I didn’t make Douce take a video of me flipping tires and Kathleen doing ballerina burpees, then you obviously don’t know me at all:

That’s it from me. Don’t forget about the F&S training plan sale that’s going on! Tell your friends! Shout it from the rooftops!

xoR