Queue Queen: I want to ride my bicycle I want to ride my bike

Let’s be real, I never really understood the value of a good bike. Growing up I was thrilled when I got a brand new purple bike for Christmas. It was shiny and new and had streamers and probably a bell. It was also probably from Walmart, but I didn’t care because I just wanted to show it off around the neighborhood.

Flash forward 15 years later, I’m 22 living in Columbus, OH and I decide I want a bike so that I can ride for exercise. I was all set to hop in my car to Target and buy another pretty purple bike (no streamers and bell this time…okay maybe a bell). My boyfriend at the time put a stop to that real fast and insisted I graduate from those bikes and get a real one. At the time I didn’t know what that meant, I had no idea that not all bikes were created equal and each type was made for a different type of riding. So I was convinced to go into our nearby Trek store and you can only imagine my sticker shock.
After my heart stopped racing a little bit, I decided on a nice blue hybrid bike. I was a bit too nervous to get a real road bike because the tires are so thin and there was no way I would be tromping through the woods on a mountain bike. I’ve had my bike for six years now (lets be honest, until last year it spent most of the time in a garage), and it’s been perfect for just riding around for fun.
But in light of National Bike to Work Week, I officially became a bike commuter to work! It was a little scary at first because Boston is notorious for it’s horrible drivers and disrespect for road rules. Here’s some things that helped for me to relieve some city riding anxiety.
1. You DON’T need fancy gear. Skip the clip in shoes because unless you’re a pro, unclipping and reclipping every time you hit a light will become a pain. Stick with the basics, padded shorts (day two and my buns are sore!) and some flashy lights for at night.
2. Map out your route. Know where there’s bike lanes and where there isn’t. It also helps to know where you will have to change lanes so you’re not second guessing yourself while there’s a big garbage truck riding you back wheel.
3. This might seem pretty obvious but I see it ALL the time…DON’T wear headphones. It just is another distraction and it’s important to be aware at all times what’s going on around you. Seriously, I zoned out for two seconds this morning and almost got doored by someone getting out of their car.
I’m super excited to start biking more, my first sprint triathlon is in August (more about that later!) and this biking thing isn’t as easy as a trip around the block!

Mini Bison Meatloaf

This past year I have really gotten into eating bison over beef, even ground turkey (let’s face it I haven’t perfected making ground turkey without drying it  out and making it taste like rubber).Bison as it turns out is actually healthier for you than beef, with less fat and calories and providing your body with more iron. I’ve mostly stuck to bison burgers, but that definitely becomes a bit boring after awhile. So I decided to tweak a meatloaf recipe and make healthy mini bison meatloafs! They were super easy and SO good. Do I dare say….better than what my mom used to make? And aren’t they adorable?!

Mini Bison Meatloaf
Servings: 3 Serving size: 2 mini loafs Calories per serving: 456 Fat: 28g Protein: 34g Carbohydrates: 17g Fiber: 2g
1lb Ground Bison (raw)
1 medium zucchini
1/2 cup onion
1 egg
14 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp Ketchup
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin
Chop or grate zucchini and drain out water. Chop onion. Mix all the ingredients together and split it evenly into 6 muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 mins (depending on your oven). Let cool for 5 min.
I’m having these with my cute little mason jar salads for lunch this week! (Saving those for another post 🙂 )

True Life: I gave up pizza for a month

Normally, I detest the words, cleanse, detox and diet and don’t encourage my clients  or anyone for that matter  to do any of them. I have had bad enough experiences with them on my own to know, you know it’s just not for everyone and not always the best idea. As many of you know I went on a strict diet to prep for my bikini competition, which was almost 2 years ago and that left me in the hands of a horrible rebound where I went from about 110 lbs to 140 lbs. All of which I have struggled to take off in these past 2 years.

At one point in time I was talked into trying an un-named 24 day cleanse, which involved various shakes, powders and pills. In the second portion of the cleanse it involved taking a packet of about about 6 pills at each meal, and after all the damage I have done to my stomach, I couldn’t even finish the 24 days because the packets made me ill. A promoter tried to convince me to sell this product, but I can’t really back something that I can’t even take myself.
But after hibernating this past winter and adding on to the previous weight gain, I unnamedwas getting desperate. Rob had done the Isagenix 30 day (gasp) cleanse before, so decided that I would give it a try and we should go at it together. After doing some research on it, I learned that it involved taking 2 meal replacement shakes a day, having one healthy meal and only a couple of pills and supplements. For the first two weeks, two of those days are “Cleanse” days and you don’t eat, you take various vitamins and supplements to keep your energy up but that’s it. The idea behind it is, to get your body used to eating less calories (not ordering two large pizzas and downing them in one sitting…yes we did that). I looked into that was in the supplements and it didn’t seem that bad, no caffeine (which I can’t have because of my ulcer last year) and the ingredients were mostly natural and high quality. So I decided to give it shot even though it goes against what I usually believe in.
We started on April 8th, and as you have guessed since I’m posting this on May 8th, I survived the 30 days without any cheats. No pizza, no wine, no sweets and I feel pretty darn good. Now the part I know you’re waiting for…how much did I lose? Yes, I lost weight, 12 pounds to be exact. But more importantly, I feel like this was a good kick start to get me back on that healthy path again that I used to be on. I started training MORE and didn’t slack off at all, I found healthy recipes to try to out and I want to continue with this, with a few cheat meals (not cheat DAY) here and there. Get ready for some of my creations!!
I know it might now be for everyone, but if you feel like you absolutely need SOMETHING, then I suggest trying this out. However, beware, while you might lose a lot of weight in those 30 days, you can’t go back to how you were and expect to keep that weight off. You need to have an exit plan and that’s exactly what I created for post cleanse. I am going to reverse diet, aka slowly increase my calorie intake so that I don’t gain weight again and my metabolism can readjust. I still would like to lose a little bit more weight, but I know it’s not realistic to stay so low calorie for so long and not go crazy!!!
PS. You better BELIEVE I am getting pizza as my first cheat meal. SO excited.

Knock knock. Who’s there? Orange Theory Fitness

Last time I talked about how I’ve been trying out different work outs, and I wanted to share some of them with you!  Honestly, I feel like a kid in a candy shop lately. I love it all, I want to do it all. Sadly, there just isn’t enough time in the day or week for me to do everything AND work AND sleep.
One of the work outs I tried was Orange Theory Fitness. Basically, it’s an interval heart rate based work out where half of the work out might be on the treadmill and/or the rower while the other half involves weights, the TRX and various body weight exercises. I found OTF because apparently Facebook knows that I’m into fitness and kept throwing it all my ads and sponsored posts so I figured I would give it a try. After all, your first class is FREE!
The first day going in, (I went with my boyfriend aka dragged him out of bed at 6:45am) the front desk staff was super friendly and helped us get set up for our first session. They explained to us the different color zones for your heart rate: white for basically resting, blue for the warm up, green which means you’re working, orange which is the goal zone for optimum results and red for WHOA your heart rate is way too high. They also let us know that if we weren’t into running, there was also an elliptical and bike as available options. After that they provided with a strap to wear the heart rate pod around our chest and we filed into the work out room with a high five from the instructor.
That first class was awesome, for the first half we alternated back and forth between the treadmill and the rower and the second half we worked on power/strength. I loved it, the instructor was encouraging but not too pushy, and the hour flew by (I’m guilty of staring at the clock during spin class). We liked it so much….Rob and I both signed up for 1 time a week for 3 months.
However, the work outs are different. Every single day. Some are awesome like that first day. Some leave little to love behind. To tell the truth, the instructor does make a big difference. Even though they are all giving the same work out, the delivery does make a huge difference. For example, I’ve been training for a half marathon which means some days I have some soreness and running isn’t the best option for me. One time I mentioned not running to the instructor and she kind of made me feel bad for not pushing past the pain. Others also offer more direction than others. If you’re new to lifting, OTF might not be the best work out for you to go to learn how to do it with proper form. You’re constantly moving and everyone is going at their own pace and the instructor is guiding two different groups, form is not something that is focused on.
All in all, it’s a great work out and differently has it’s place in your weekly routine. I know it’s helped with my endurance capacity, which has been important for the races I’m training for. However, beware that if you don’t know an exercise, all you really have for guidance is a video up on the screen. I definitely recommend trying it out for yourself and just go into with an open mind!