Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rese-ing Out of My Comfort Zone {Fitness Apparel Review}

When it comes to fitness apparel it’s safe to say I am really picky about what I put on my body. 

I hate tags that itch and sagging-crotch crops really grind my gears. 

So for me instead of attempting new brands or styles I stick with what I know. I rarely detour from my extremely straight path that is my workout apparel. Heck, I know what I like and what works, so sue me. 

Until now. 

A newer company recently contacted me to review some pieces of their upcoming fitness look book and I gladly accepted. Because, honestly, this girl need to branch out of her 5 year old Lululemon bubble.

Rese Activewear sent along a gorgeous cardigan, sports bra, tank and crops for me to sample. And let’s just say, while I may have a undying love for Lulu, Rese is quickly beginning to take the lead with these stylish yet practical pieces. 

First and foremost I must confess — I have an affinity for interestingly designed backs of tanks and sports bras. I am talking crazy straps and key holes — honestly, give me a high neck and a bare backed shirt and you’ve won my heart. 

Well, ask and you shall receive. 

The articles Rese sent along delivered. The sports bra, while black in color, incorporates a double strap on each side that pairs perfectly with the teal tank I received. 


With a high cowl neck and large circle cut out in the back, this tank shows off the beautifully crafted straps without my spin class thinking I'm too houchy-houchy. 

Alright. Now that I have your attention, let’s chat bottoms. 

I’m a black girl. I’ve dabbled in grey and (gulp) colors — but for me, the classic noir crop is simple, goes with any top and … ahem … hides everything. 

Catch my drift? 

Well, in an effort to be exotic, I requested a pair of bright blue crops. I know, I’m absolutely crazy. And without getting too graphic on you, all of the things occurring on my backside — hidden. Now that makes for one happy customer. 

I actually think these blue pants have helped me conquer some insecurities. For me, well to put it frankly, I’ve always been an ass girl. Playing sports all throughout high school and running/teaching spin in college it’s just always been muscular. 

And while I'm proud of my lower body strength, my fear was these pants would accentuate an already prominent feature of mine. I. Was. Wrong. If anything these (paired with a black, grey or patterned white top) are absolutely adorable. 

Lastly, and certainly not least, I received a cardigan

Bathroom selfie. Classic. 
Nope, nope, nope — this is not just any old fitness top. This is by far the softest article of clothing I own. Heather grey, long in length and wavy drapes in the front, this garment also flatters even the sweatiest of fitness goers. 

Seriously, I’ve thrown this on over my spin clothes post class and gone out on a first date. No shame. No second date either. 

So there you have it TTTers, Ms. Trendy’s attempt at staying on point with not only the fitness fads occurring but also the fashionable side of working out. 

Because I have always believed that if you feel good about the clothes you wear to the gym, you’ll not only work harder but you’ll enter with an air of confidence … even if you do leave completely breathless from your bombin’ workout.  

Do you invest in fitness apparel or toss on any old t-shirt? Let’s start the convo. 


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Sweat Pink Adventure: Volume 1

Before we dive into my past week of adventures, let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Last September Moe and I took a trip to Boulder and Denver for the healthy blogging conference called FitSocial. Among the breathtaking views we met some amazing individuals that I still keep in touch with to this day. One of them was co-founder of Fit Approach (aka Sweat Pink and SweatGuru), Alyse.

I mean it when I say it ... what ever conference or networking event I attend, it is the people that leave a lasting impression on me always. It's something to do with sharing similar passions. We just -- click.

And click we did. Alyse proposed that Moe and I lead a bootcamp the following year at the inaugural 'BlogFest' occurring as a subcategory of the IDEA World Fitness conference. It's safe to say I pretty much started squat jumping with excitement.

Fast forward almost one year later and here I am ... in Anaheim, California.

On Friday morning Moe and I lead a workout in front of about 50 healthy living bloggers and other fitness professionals. It was such an unreal experience and am so grateful to have been asked to be a part of this first conference!

Aside from sweating up a pink storm during our bootcamp, IDEA had a HUGE expo hall, fantastic educational sessions and one heck of an amazing host hotel. Seriously, if you're ever in Anaheim I highly encourage you to stay at the Anaheim Marriott -- I give them 5 stars!
(Above: Moe, Marielle and I. Bellow: Moe, Shannon and I. All post bootcamp)
And as I said -- these conferences, sessions and workouts would mean nothing if it weren't for the incredible people I met at them. From Instagram buddies to Twitter friends ... coming together at BlogFest was more like a reunion than meeting for the first time. 

My badge! 
Up next: I will share with you some of the innovative goodies and gear I snagged from the expo!

How was your week? What were you up to?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

3 Things I Share with My Dad: Birthday Edition

Yesterday was my dad's birthday  and to say I've learned a few things from him in my 27 years is an understatement.

The older I get more I recognize so many of my actions are a direct reflection of my father. And whether they're good or bad, I typically laugh due to the fact I can see myself acting like him.

So what exactly are these traits? Well, let's just say they're in my blood.

1. Running 
I've always been involved in sports. Ever since I was a kid I've tried tennis, field hockey, lacrosse, basketball, soccer, swimming and horseback riding just to name a few.

But running? That was never my strong suit.

It wasn't until college  warding off those freshman 15 -- that I really started logging the miles. And it was my dad who gave me that itch for pounding the pavement.

Completing the Vermont City (Burlington) Marathon two years ago that made me realize this similarity between dad and I. Burlington had been a marathon my father had run, so I felt it fitting to run this same race  hills and all.

2. Our passion for entrepreneurship
When I was growing up my dad started his own company. He worked tirelessly to grow his dream from a vision to a reality.

I truly believe that in order for this you work and have a positive (and lucrative) outcome, you must fuel it with passion. No, not half ass sporadic excitement but instead a deep rooted love, something that your entire being must embody.

And so he did.

Working late nights and long weeks, my father created and eventually sold a company he was proud of ... a passion turned vision that he started from an idea.

While I've yet to call myself an entrepreneur, I've noticed I have this bug  and without a doubt pretty soon it will unveil itself.

3. The value of a dollar
Let's just say I'm not a frivolous shopper. I rarely go to Nordstrom and drop 100 bones on a new outfit or pair of shoes. Like it or not, I'm practical with my spending.

I save. I hardly ever impulse buy. And I'll typically wear something into the ground. Case in point, my 5 year old Lululemon crops that are beginning to 'thin' on the thighs from pulling them on.

Unlike my frugal father, I don't compare reviews online 50x before spending the money, but that idea of thinking before you buy  Yup, I certainly got that trait!

So, happy birthday dad!! You've taught me more than you ever know about being healthy, happy and financially savvy. I love YOU!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cleaning Up My Diet: Detox Edition

Let's be real.

Summer is full of roof deck after-work cocktails and BBQ fare. Trying to be healthy, while hugely important, can take a backseat during this far-too-short New England season.

That's why you need to take a step back, find something that will hold you accountable and start making positive changes for your body.

On July 20th I began a detox program with Team J&A -- an incredible dynamic duo located in Boston. With their radiating energy and undeniable support I knew this was the regime for me. And at only two weeks, I knew this was a sustainable amount of time.

Image via Team J&A
Cutting out dairy, gluten and soy was no problem for me. As a recent victim to IBS -- along with just about everyone in our current nation -- I knew there were just some things my tummy couldn't handle. One of them being too much of the latter.

From cramps to bloating and unnecessary fatigue, my body was trying to tell me something -- don't put those things in your freakin' mouth. 

So, for 14-days I didn't.

But those weren't my weaknesses. Sugar, alcohol (Eek!) and coffee were. Gulp.

Eliminating these three things was tough, I'm not going to lie. But in the end ... so incredibly worth it. Let's just say that in phase 3 (which is when you begin to add certain 'trigger foods' back in) I ordered my very beloved Dunkin Donuts medium iced black.

My stomach made noises I never knew were possible. Let us remember I work in a very quiet office. The poor guy that sits next to me ...

To say this was eye opening is an understatement. Jody and Ashley (the masterminds behind Team J&A) are beyond supportive -- answering questions and helping you develop solutions to your frustrating nutritional issues.

Lucky for YOU, Team J&A are at it again ... and you don't need to live in the Hub to join in on the fun. This virtual program can be reached directly to you. In the comfort of your own home. Guiding you step-by-step to help you uncover your best self.

Starting August 17th (and running through the 31st), the program detox will begin again!! You must register by August 13th so head on over to their website.

Need additional support? Recruit your friends. If you get two of your friends to join in on the detox Team J&A will give all three of your back 15% of your registration cost back. All you need to do is email Team J&A ( and let them know! 

Don't forget, please understand this is an investment. The program costs $247. However, before you get your kale all in a twist, listen up. If you have ever:

  • Had stomach (GI) issues
  • Been unhappy with your weight 
  • Struggled with emotional eating 
  • Or just plain need a dietary restart ... 

This plan is for you.

I've recognized what works and what doesn't for my body. I have more energy to teach my classes and have learned some DELISH recipes along the way. What are you waiting for? Time to join the team.

Bonus: Team J&A is hosting an Urban Retreat on September 7th in Boston. And if you're a detox alum, this full day event is free! Talk about a win-win.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Photo Dump: A Wedding, Spin & One Cute Mom

Time to dump some photos on y'all and let you know what I've been up to!

Two weeks ago I was blessed to be a part of my good friends Emma and Brian's wedding. This was my first time being a bridesmaid  and let's be real, certainly not my last. 

With the exception of a little snafu regarding my dress in the limo on the way to the ceremony, everything went without a hitch. Or in my dresses case, a zipper. 

I've started teaching more ... and I love every second. It's my home. 

If you live in the Boston-area or are coming for a visit I highly encourage you to check out Turnstyle Cycle. We ride to the beat, give you a kick ass workout and basically have a dance party on the bike. 

And my crazy face after teaching my last class of the day. At this point all I can think about is food. 

For the past two weeks I've been partaking in the Team J&A detox. That's elimination of irritating, addicting and inflammatory foods such as dairy, gluten, sugar and caffeine. 


Well, I have to say it went way better than expected (and will provide a full recap tomorrow). But I'll tell you this ... finding out the foods that trigger your GI issues feels amazing. It's like understanding a foreign language, except it's your body. Insanity, I know. 

And lastly ... 

I finally got up to my parents house in Maine last weekend. I relaxed, read my book, practiced yoga and wrote. If bliss was a place, this would be it for me. 

Plus my mom is just so darn cute. 

What have you been up to lately? Fill me in.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Post of Truth: Being Spiritually Bankrupt

I can honestly say this weekend was the first time in my entire life I've stopped, taken a full, deep breath and truly reflected.

Sure I've taken yoga classes and attempted meditation in an effort to decrease stress and relax, but it's always had an end point. I leave those sessions and immediately return to my fast-paced life  hardly even looking in the rearview mirror to process my experience.

This past weekend I attended the Nantucket Yoga Festival. I'm sure some of you saw my tweets or Insta posts and thought, 'Well, isn't she so centered and leading a balanced life.' 

Actually, this is exactly the reason I felt I needed to go.

As of late I have been experiencing some darkness in my life. Not being one to air on the side of pessimism, I've had a hard time dealing with these emotions. I am the first to admit I do not deal with stress well.

I shut people out. I want to be alone. I basically become a cobweb of negativity that can not be untangled or separated from itself. Bottom line: I can't get out of my own way.

To say this retreat taught me things is an understatement. With speakers like Gabrielle Bernstein and the wise Tao Porchon-Lynch, I felt I could completely immerse myself in the spirit of the weekend  no judgements.

Berstein spoke about being 'spiritually bankrupt' ... a feeling that has been all too present in my life lately. Whether you've been distance from your faith or passions, this palpable emotion rears its ugly head.

For me, I know I haven't been quenching my thirst for my passions: Feeling healthy, helping others become their best self and practicing what I preach  finding time for fitness. I've been consumed with work and other obligations, not taking a certain word into account ... Balance.

It's time for me to get out of this state. Rebuild after being in submerged in this passion-filled debt. I must work on finding that balance in my life and practice maintaining it.

This is the bank of me and I refuse to drown in dues.

Have you ever felt spiritually bankrupt? How do you take strides to get better yourself? 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Blue Diamond Rosemary & Pepper Chicken Breast {RECIPE}

A few weeks ago I received an awesome gift from my friends over at Blue Diamond. Since I am a part of a fabulous group called the Blue Diamond Tastemakers, I decided to put on my recipe cap and see if I could be creative with these delicious little nuts.

Well, I certainly don't categorize myself as a recipe blogger, but sometime I come up with genius ideas. And this was one of them.

Rosemary, Pepper & Almond Crusted Chicken

Serves: 2 
Cooking time: 25 minutes (depending)

2 Boneless, skinless, organic chicken breasts 
1/2 Canister of Blue Diamond Rosemary & Black Pepper Almonds
2 Eggs, whites only
Extra pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In a blender or food processor pulse the 1/2 canister of almonds until it becomes almond meal (or a fine powder). 

Love. My. Ninja

Remove and place in a shallow bowl. 

In an additional shallow bowl, crack 2 eggs and discard the yolks. Take your chicken breasts and dip them first in the egg whites. Shake gently and then coat with almond meal. Repeat with second chicken breast. 

Place chicken on a baking dish and sprinkle with additional pepper if desired. Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through and juices run clear.


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. As always, all opinions and commentary are my own.