This Week’s Breakfast: Dashing Dish Brownie Batter Protein Oats

Just wanted to quickly share the link to the super filling breakfast I am having this week.  I made mine with 6 packets of stevia, plain Siggis yogurt, and cake batter protein powder (because that is what I had on hand).  With a little bit of unsweetened shredded coconut, it is a super filling 6 SmartPoints breakfast!!

https://dashingdish.com/recipe/brownie-batter-overnight-protein-oatmeal/

SOULCYCLE Referral

Hey guys!  I just realized today that if you refer 5 friends to Soul, you get a free ride. I’m always raving about these classes, so if you’ve been thinking about clipping in and tapping back, that’s a great incentive to get started and get your friends involved!  Let’s just say, if I lived closer to the Bethesda studio, I may need a second job to support the habit.

Here is my link!

 

Salad Obsession: Sweetgreen

We had a brief stint of sunny days here in Baltimore, which meant longer lunch walks (yay for not having to pace my house at night to reach my Fitbit goal).  This gave me the opportunity to try out Sweetgreen for the 2nd and 3rd times.  I have to say, the location of the Sweetgreen from my office is slightly farther than a “pleasant walking distance” but goat cheese just keeps calling my name.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed that my motivation to lose weight has rekindled in the past 3 weeks.  That being said, I spent more time than normal planning out said salads.  I wanted to start a running list of points to make the perfect sally combo.  Also, would love to hear about your faves.

My salad formula has been: CHEESE + PROTEIN + DRESSING + NUTS + VEGGIES

Cheese Options

Parmesan crisps – 3 smartpoints

Local goat cheese – 3 smartpoints

Protein Options

Chicken – 2 smartpoints

Citrus Shrimp – 2 smartpoints

I was glad they are the same, because I didn’t want shrimp to be a better bargain.  I think chicken fills me up more than shrimp, but I plan to alternate between the two.

Dressing Options

Spicy Cashew – 4 smartpoints

Nut Options

Raw pecans – 3 smartpoints

For veggies, I have been picking pickled beets, tomatoes (their tomatoes are bomb) and mesclun greens.

Admitting lifestyle changes are for a lifetime

I’ve really been struggling with consistency over the past several months, and have been spending a long time thinking about what is causing me to keep fumbling.  Here’s how it has been going for me, and the lightbulb that went off for me today.

I remember when I lost the first 20 pounds this time around, I felt so in control of my life.  I could say no to happy hour drinks and dessert for once.  I was tracking points ahead of meals. I was meal prepping and working out! Every decision seemed like the right one.  I was even making tons of new insta friends and that just kept the momentum going.  I’m AWESOME is basically how I felt.

The next 10 pounds came off slower. I was still rocking my workouts and having a slightly harder time eating well at night.  Then at some point over the holidays, I realized I was posting pics of the same Starbucks breakfast every morning and somehow the monotony of what I did to lose these 30 pounds caught up to me.  My brain said “Are you done yet, can we move on?”

In my 32 years of life, everything I have done has had an ending. School, college, grad school (albeit a long one there).  Projects, jobs, leases. DIETS.  This is certainly not the first time I have lost a good 20-40 pounds in an 8 month sprint.

The only thing I have thought about in terms of forever is my marriage (love you Jason). LIGHT BULB… And this is where I have to add these healthy habits to that list. I am CONSTANTLY tempted by fad diets and trendy exercise routines and I have to come to terms that I have found what works for me, and I know what will derail me. (Margaritas, I am looking at you).

It is daunting to think that I likely have to track my food for the next 30 years of my life if I don’t want to yo-yo back to 210 pounds, but this is a realization I have to be okay with.  Lifetime will be for a lifetime when I get there.

Now, how to kick myself back into gear is another story that is just unfolding. :)

My Orangetheory Experience – Second Impressions

Photo courtesy of orangetheoryfitness.com

Photo courtesy of orangetheoryfitness.com

One of the things I miss most about working in NYC is being able to try trendy new workouts first.  I have definitely done my fair share of workout experimentation in Baltimore, but once I found a routine I loved (see Peloton post), I stopped my quest for new and exciting workouts.  That is until an Orangetheory plopped itself in a shopping center 10 minutes from my house.

In October, I had the opportunity to try Orangetheory for the first time with one of my best friends and fitness seekers in NYC.  I was quite possibly spoiled by that experience since the class was taught by one of the trainers on Work Out New York (hi Coach Lee), and only had a handful of people in it.  I went all out that night and was sore for days.  The personal attention and encouragement made it really feel like group personal training.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. Now it was time to give Orangetheory a second go.  Luckily, my super awesome friend Sharon was willing to go with me and picked an 8:15 am class.  I was excited because I thought it wouldn’t be too crowded since it was freezing and the SuperBowl.  I was kind of wrong (it was full with a waiting list!), but here is the play by play.

About the Hunt Valley Studio

Walking in, the girls at the front desk were nice enough.  This studio was smaller than the Chelsea one, with 2 bathrooms and a shower room.  Definitely come dressed so you don’t have to wait for one of the rooms. Also, the lockers were the kind that still need a lock, so I was a bit unprepared in that regard (thanks SoulCycle for spoiling me with the number pad locks).  There also aren’t towels, which I found really odd considering I knew I was going to be sweating my butt off.

In general, the gym room is a row of treadmills, a row of rowers and then an area with TRX straps, weights, medicine balls, etc. Super clean since it’s brand new and lots of orange lol. The front desk faces the glass wall that overlooks the treadmills, so it was a little off-putting during the workout to know everyone in the lobby can see you. But again, at 8:15 am, everyone just means the two desk girls.

About the Workout

This workout is all about heart rate zones, so they give you a chest strap and you can see your heart rate on a TV screen in the gym area while you workout.  The strap is free the first time, and then you buy your own going forward (not sure on cost since I still haven’t bought mine).  There are different colors for the heart rate zones, with the goal of getting to the orange (get it) and red zones during the workout.  It seemed like my heart rate had to get up to 165 to get to the orange zone.

Since my class was full, we split into 2 groups. I will ALWAYS pick cardio first because I hate treadmills and want to get it over with. The other half of the class goes to the weights area for the circuit work.

The treadmill / rower portion of the workout was written on a white board.  The instructor explains everything in detail before we start. You don’t really get introduced to anyone you are with or anything, so even though its a group class, you can rest easy knowing everyone is focused on themselves. The weights / TRX part is on TV screens.  We did 2 different circuits with dumbbells and then the TRX.  The instructor also explains all of this and shows modifications briefly.

MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE ASPECT of this workout is that everything ends at the same time, so it doesn’t matter if you ran slower or power walked, or had to take breaks doing your squats or did one less round than the lady next to you. No one is going to stop and look at you while you finish.  I did Crossfit for a while and still have nightmares of being the last person to finish workouts.  Side note, I am also in a training group for a run where I am the caboose and I hate workouts where people know I am the last one.

Also, the music is consistently on point.  Good music is vital to a good workout for me. Sunday was a mix of throwback hip hop and I couldn’t help but smile for some Ludacris.

WHAT I LIKED LEAST was that I did feel kind of on my own.  I have worked with personal trainers before so am pretty good with form on most exercises, but I could see that not being the case with everyone.  That really came into play most with the TRX parts. I kept hitting myself in the face switching between moves haha.  By the last one, the instructor did correct my calf raises and I was waaayyy off with my form before he helped. But with a full class, I can see how it’s difficult for him to encourage everyone, explain bonus rounds, correct form, and check on new people.

And of course, I hate burpees. So when we ended with that, my last memory of the workout was tarnished forever.  A necessary evil I know, but still hate them. 😉

Final Thoughts

Today I am sore. I am glad that I am sore, and I think I will go back.  I am really interested to see how different the workouts can be throughout the week and I know I need more weight training in my running and spinning dominated fitness life.  I am also super competitive with myself, and wish I got more than 13 splat points (the sum of minutes in the orange and red zones), so want to beat that number. Oh, and bring a towel. :)

Peloton Cycle Review

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Photo courtesy of pelotoncycle.com

I get asked about my Peloton Cycle a lot, so I thought it would be helpful to share a review and some more information for anyone who wonders what it is, or is considering investing in one.  I also did a quick video tour for you (will be posting that soon)!

What it is:

To sum it up, the Peloton bike is a way to take high energy spin classes from your house.  The bike has a giant screen on the front that streams classes that are being taught in a NYC studio.  What that means is that you can participate in a LIVE class with other riders all over the world, and the riders in the studio.  No, they can’t see you! But you can see the front row riders in the studio. :)

There’s a ton of classes scheduled everyday, but the BEST thing about the bike is that they are all recorded, so you can do any class on-demand whenever you want.  There’s a really easy to navigate menu so you can find exactly what you want in just a second, and get going.  You can also preview the class before you start it.

Why I love it:

I worked in NYC for about 5 years and became addicted to SoulCycle. When I moved to the Baltimore area, I tried to find something to fill my Soul void.  I did a lot of research and found that many of the instructors worked at Soul in the past and that there were “rhythm” classes closer to a SoulCycle style as well as other options.  In all of my research, I didn’t realize just how great the bike would be until I had it. Getting a shout out from an instructor during class is so motivating! Somehow they have a way of knowing when to engage the riders at home while still paying attention to everyone in the room.

I also love the variety. Every instructor has a completely different style of teaching.  Cody is the most fun (in my humble opinion) and has sooo many fun theme classes (Britney anyone?). Robin, Jess and Steven will kick your butt and Christine makes me feel super zen.  This is why I don’t get bored.  I got the bike in Feb 2015 and did 129 classes during 2015.  I cancelled my gym membership and just run, ride Peloton, and occasionally still make a 60 mile trek to SoulCycle for a switch up.

Before you buy:

I tell everyone two things: 1. If you have done SoulCycle and loved it, you will love this.  It’s not like the treadmill gathering dust in your basement. 2. Download the free trial of the app. It’s available on iPhone and iPad now and you can fast forward through as many classes as you want for 14 days.  Take it to the gym and do a ride on a bike there.  See if the instructors energize you.  I really feel this is the best way to know you’ll love it before you make the investment.

I am beyond happy to help answer any questions you have.  I talk about my Peloton any chance I get! :)

Trying new things: Meatloaf (11 SmartPoints)

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Since we are snowed in, I’m trying to make it work with what we have on hand. Tacos happened twice, lasagna happened last night and I still have plenty of ground beef.

Earlier this week, I ate tuna for lunch (something I never thought I’d do), so since I’m on this try new things you didn’t like as a kid kick, enter meatloaf.

Taste of Home Meatloaf Recipe

I googled recipes and found this one, but didn’t have any sage…. So I just mixed some garlic and oregano and onion salt and am hoping for the best!

PS only 11 smart points if you use half the ketchup and brown sugar and call it 8 servings. I used 1.75 pounds 80% lean ground beef.