Tag Archives: cardio

Meal Prep & Workouts for the Week: Feb. 16-22

Hey hey!

I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day and weekend. I am just popping in quickly tonight to bring you my fitness and meal/snack plan for the week. I’m taking the day off of blogging tomorrow, but will be back in action on Tuesday to share some fun pics from Valentine’s Day weekend and a go-to recipe as of late. Since we won’t be chatting tomorrow, have a lovely President’s Day, especially if you have it off work/school ūüôā

MEAL PREP

I just was not in the cooking mood today, so meal prep was a little more sparse than usual.

Snacks:

kale salad

Dinners:

I have a few ideas in my head and in the fridge, but wasn’t quite as organized this week. Hey, it happens. Here’s a tentative plan:

  • White bean chicken chili
  • Spaghetti squash with marinara sauce &¬†chicken sausage
  • Salmon, baked carrots & kale Caesar salad with Barefoot Contessa dressing <– made for V-Day and we have leftover dressing and tomatoes!

Workouts:

  • Monday: 40-minute cardio + lower body strength training
  • Tuesday: 20-minute cardio +¬†abs
  • Wednesday: yoga sculpt via Crunch Live¬†+ YouTube yoga to = 60 minutes
  • Thursday:¬†30-minute cardio ¬†+ abs
  • Friday: 40-minute cardio + upper body strength training
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday:¬†rest

***

Question for you:

  • Do you plan out dinners or just wing it?

xo,

Lizzie

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Review of ClassPass

Happy hump day!

I posted this photo on instagram last night.

diploma

It’s official, I have a Master of Social Work degree! I technically graduated in December, but receiving my diploma in the mail yesterday made it the real deal, especially since I was having a reoccurring nightmare where the school miscalculated my credits and I had to complete another semester. Serious night terror.

WORKOUT + LUNCH

On the social work note, yesterday was productive. I need to take my Licensed Social Worker (LSW) exam in the next couple of months, but I have been putting off studying because well, it’s studying. Over lunch at Panera, I created a week-by-week study plan to get myself organized and to combat that overwhelming feeling. I have 1.5 weeks left before I start my job, so best be gettin’ my rear in gear while I have the time.

LSW

At Panera I went with the you-pick-two option of french onion soup and the fuji apple chicken salad sans cheese.

panera

I also had a great workout in the morning to make up for my lack of exercise intensity last week. I completed 40-minutes on the treadmill, mostly walking at different speeds and inclines. I followed up my cardio with some strength training that looked like this:

  • Dumbbell squats: 12 reps x 2
  • Dumbbell stationary lunges: 12 reps
  • Side leg lifts: 12 reps x 2
  • Donkey kicks: 15 reps x 2
  • Flowed through downward dog chaturanga 5x

workout

REVIEW OF CLASSPASS

I purchased a ClassPass membership back in October, right after they launched in Chicago (they were in five cities when I joined; now are in 22 – crazy stuff!). See if they’re in your city.¬†If you haven’t heard of ClassPass, it is a monthly membership to thousands of boutique fitness classes, including cycling, pilates, yoga, strength training, dance, martial arts and more. For $79-$99 (depending on city; I paid $99 in Chicago), members get unlimited access to studios in the ClassPass network, but members can only visit the same studio up to 3 times per month.

At the time, I was bored with my exercise routine and finding it hard to stay motivated. I knew that I’d enjoyed group fitness classes in the past and was looking for a way to fill my free time. I loved so many aspects of my ClassPass experience, but ended up canceling my membership at the end of December.

class pass review final

Here is more about my experience broken down into pros and cons:

PROS

  • Diversity of classes. There are¬†so¬†many studios signed on to ClassPass. Every class (except one) that I’d tried in the city was a part of the membership service when I signed on in October. Between cycling at Fly Wheel, barre at The Barre Code and yoga at Exhale, my weekly workouts were ever-changing. I’d planned to try aerial yoga and reformer pilates, but never got around to it before my package was up.
  • The price. Most boutique fitness classes in a city like Chicago are $20-$25 per class. With ClassPass’ monthly fee of $99, each class is a steal as long as you take at least five classes per month (I averaged 8 per month).
  • Cancellation policy. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but always, always check the contract before you sign up with a gym. ClassPass makes it easy to cancel whenever you want and the process was seamless for me.
  • Ease of use. At every studio I visited, they treated me like a paying client and were familiar with the sign in process for ClassPass users (it can differ from regular studio clients). This is crucial when you’re new to a studio and feeling a bit intimidated.
  • App for iPhone. Right when I ended my subscription, they came out with an app. Argh! I tested in briefly and it seems pretty user friendly, similar to the ClassPass website.

CONS

  • Location. Depending on where you live in your city, the location of certain ClassPass studios might not be ideal. I¬†live in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago and at the time of my cancellation, there were only three studios within a 10-minute walk from my apartment (in Chicago, you avoid driving if something is walking distance). My two favorite studios, however, were 15-20 minutes away. I don’t mind walking, but that tacks on 30-40 minutes to a workout and would not be feasible for me once I start my job.
  • Cancellation fee. One of the biggest gripes most people seem to have with ClassPass is the $20 cancellation fee. Even worse? If you cancel a class <24 hours before it starts, you’ll be hit with that fee. So basically, if you come down with the flu or are stuck at work or just change your mind about which class you want to take, they’ll make you fork over $20. I did hear that ClassPass is looking to change this and give users a larger window to cancel (like 4-8 hours)…but it hasn’t happened yet.
  • Hard to focus on a goal.¬†In terms of fitness, I thrive when I’m working towards a goal. At different¬†times in the past, I’ve worked towards a half-marathon, a weight loss number, or¬†completing an entire group exercise class. With ClassPass, I found it impossible to focus on a fitness goal. I’d hit a personal best¬†in a favorite spin class, left to¬†try again only two more times that month.
  • Limited class times. ClassPass worked for me for a while because I was able to attend class at any time of the day. 9:30 a.m. yoga? Sure! 2:15 p.m. dance cardio? Got nothing else to do! There are far fewer “peak” class options and they fill up fast. I realized I would get too frustrated with booking a class once I start working again.

Overall, ClassPass is a revolutionary concept and is¬†ideal for those that a) love group classes, and b) get bored easily. It helped me to narrow in on the types of workouts that I enjoy most (spin, yoga and strength training). Now that I’ve figured out how to stay motivated, I’ll likely stick to online/streaming/DVD workouts and the apartment gym. If you’re curious in the least bit, definitely give ClassPass a try!

Liked this review? I also tried Crunch Live a few weeks back if you want to read my take on the online fitness platform. 

***

Questions for you:

  • Have you tried ClassPass?
  • What is your favorite¬†group fitness class?

xo,

Lizzie

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Filed under Review, Workout

Training Myself to Like Sweet Potatoes

Hey hey. Hoping your Thursday is treating you well.

I have to tell ya, I had class this morning¬†with the same girls¬†from last¬†last night and we were all struggling a bit. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had a bit too much wine¬†at the graduation celebration. Oops!

BREAKFAST

After I published my earlier post, I blended up another smoothie. I know I’m probably boring you with the cold, creamy goodness each morning, but I just can’t stop! I’ve been known to eat the same thing for weeks at a time. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat egg muffins everyday for¬†three¬†months this summer.

smoothie

1/2 frozen banana + frozen cherries & strawberries + 1 C unsweetened almond milk + 1 scoop About Time vanilla protein powder + 5 ice cubes

WORKOUT + LUNCH

I finished up quite the smorgasbord of a workout this afternoon. Crunch Gym reached out to me a few weeks ago about giving their Crunch Live program a try. It’s an online platform of all their cult favorite group fitness classes. I’m just now digging into it, and I’ll be sure to post a full review here soon.

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 5.35.20 PM

I mixed a 15-minute kickboxing/sculpt class plus a 15-minute abs video, followed by a 15-minute yoga segment. It definitely kept me from getting bored.

Lunch today was pretty random, but a great use of leftovers. Enter 1/2 baked sweet potato + crockpot honey sesame chicken.

lunch

I’m trying to “train” myself to love¬†sweet potatoes. I moderately like them right now. They’re such a good complex carb and the fiber keeps me full for hours. However, I will always prefer a baked white potato stuffed with sour cream and cheese. ūüôā

Today’s eats (drinks?) also included a Starbucks iced coffee with sugar free hazelnut and a touch of cream. I actually don’t frequent the Bucks as much as I used to, but I like to treat myself a few times per week. Side note: if any of you fine people want to get me a Christmas present, I would gladly accept any and all of the holiday-themed Starbucks cups.

coffee

***

I think we’re going to order something for dinner tonight and I have a couple things to cross off the to-do list this evening as well. Is anyone planning to watch Peter Pan live on NBC? I thinking I’ll¬†record it and watch this weekend.

Questions for you:

  • Do you vary your meals or typically eat the same things everyday?
  • Ever “trained” yourself like like a certain food?
  • Did you exercise today? What’d ya do?¬†
  • What’s your go-to Starbucks drink?

xo,

Lizzie

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Filed under Breakfast, Healthy Meals, Lunch, Workout