Food & Workout Journal – May Week 3

Happy Sunday guys!

As promised, I want to share my food and workouts with you as part of my renewed focus on my health and well being. Similar to my weight loss journey with Weight Watchers back in 2005, I find that tracking my food and workouts as well as sharing them with you on the blog helps hold me accountable. I am not counting calories or points this time around, just focusing on eating primarily healthy, natural foods. When it comes to workouts, keep in mind that I am currently recovering from a strained hamstring and bruised cuboid which have limited my workouts. In the coming weeks there will be a more high intensity workouts and running but for right now, I’m listening to my body and doing what feels good.

I am tracking my workouts daily but only tracking my food Monday morning through Friday afternoon. While it may not work for everyone, I find that allowing myself the freedom and flexibility to enjoy on the weekends helps me. I am also limiting alcohol to Friday and Saturday, with a goal to have no more than five glasses during the course of the weekend.  You will also see that I am a creature of habit.  This week I had the same breakfast most mornings and almost an identical lunch. Keep in mind that I work from home most days and therefore I try to buy enough salad ingredients to make a week’s worth of salads. Sometimes the salad varies based on leftovers in the refrigerator but I try to keep the base the same.

at home lunch
Food

  • Monday
    • Breakfast: Unsweetened iced green tea, banana and Starbucks perfect oatmeal
    • Lunch: Salad (spinach, grilled chicken, egg whites, celery, tomatoes, carrots, red peppers, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon, and red wine vinegar)
    • Snack(s): Apple with almond butter drizzle (~ 1 tablespoon), 2 cups natural popcorn
    • Dinner: Healthy Mexican Grilled Shrimp Salad
    • Water: 9 glasses
  • Tuesday
    • Breakfast: Coffee w Unsweetened Almond Milk, Fage 2% yogurt, 1/4 cup Purely Elizabeth granola, 1/2 banana, chia seeds and flax seeds
    • Lunch: Salad (spinach, 1 egg + 1 egg white, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, balsamic)
    • Snack(s): Apple with almond butter drizzle (~ 1 tablespoon), 2 cups natural popcorn
    • Dinner:Healthy Mexican Grilled Shrimp Salad
    • Water: 10 glasses
  • Wednesday
    • Breakfast: Coffee w Unsweetened Almond Milk, Fage 2% yogurt, 1/4 cup Purely Elizabeth granola, 1/2 banana, chia seeds and flax seeds
    • Lunch: Salad from Potbelly (Spinach, hummus, tomatoes, grilled chicken, cucumber, egg white, avocado, dressing on side)
    • Snack: orange + 1 serving almonds, unsweetened iced green tea
    • Dinner: Salmon, roasted broccoli and fennel & kale salad from Little Beet
    • Water: 8 glasses
  • Thursday
    • Breakfast: Coffee w Unsweetened Almond Milk, Fage 2% yogurt, 1/4 cup Purely Elizabeth granola, 1/2 banana, chia seeds and flax seeds
    • Lunch: Salad from NYC deli (Spinach, grilled chicken, edamame, tomato, carrots, cucumber, celery, green peppers, salt, pepper, olive oil & balsamic)
    • Snack(s): orange + 1 serving almonds, 1/2 serving popcorn (without butter) at Lincoln Center during King and I
    • Dinner: Homemade Greek salad (romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, red peppers, feta, chicken, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice)
    • Water: 11 glasses
  • Friday
    • Breakfast: Coffee w Unsweetened Almond Milk, Fage 2% yogurt, 1/4 cup Purely Elizabeth granola, 1/2 banana, chia seeds and flax seeds
    • Lunch: Refrigerator leftovers salad (spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, 1/4 avocado, onions, 1 egg + 1 egg white, balsamic
    • Snack: orange + 1 serving almonds, green tea
    • Water: 7 glasses
    • bar method

Workouts

So there you have it! After the first week I’m down three pounds and hope to lose one pound per week, on average, until I am back at my healthy weight and my Summer clothes fit again.

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The Hardest Class I Took at the YMCA

Thanks to the YMCA of Greater New York for sponsoring this post.

Over the past two months, I have taken multiple classes at the YMCA including, but not limited to boot camp, yoga, spin, TRX, water aerobics and even a trampoline class. While each YMCA location had it’s own individual community vibe, I loved that every class format provided a safe environment for all abilities with teachers providing modifications throughout class.  The instructors took time before and after class to engage with students and it was clear that in most classes, I was the only new person. The YMCA members are loyal to their classes and instructors, and this was especially clear in my final class – Insanity.

After reading about the Insanity workouts on other health and wellness blogs, I was excited to discover that YMCA branches offer this workout to its members for no extra charge. Typically, the Insanity workout is only available when purchased through a Beachbody coach or their official website for 3 installments of $39.95.  This intense workout uses only your body weight and is a maximum interval style workout. This means that you push yourself, as hard as possible for 30 second to 1.5 minute increments and then have a very brief recovery between moves.

Chinatown YMCA

Offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Chinatown YMCA, there was a line waiting outside the studio when I arrived, ten minutes before class. I asked a few of the students if they were regulars and took the class often. Their responses quickly told me that this class was going to be intense and I should fill my water bottle up and grab a towel because I’d be a sweaty mess by the end.

This class is awesome. 

The workout is efficient and killer!

Wait, this is your first time? Good luck! Make sure to tell Marc. 

Spoiler alert – this 45-minute class was beyond hard. In fact, it was not only the hardest class I took at the YMCA but one of the hardest classes I’ve taken – ever!

Insanity after

This class, while open and available to all members, is not for all abilities. Even though the friendly and high energy instructor, Marc, asked students about injuries and provided some adjustments, it as non-stop plyometric work. Almost all the moves were high impact including lots of jumping, side to side movements, sprints, and bursts of power. I can’t remember all the moves but the ones that stuck out in my head were the tuck jumps, ski jumps, cross jacks, ski abs, and clap push-ups. It wasn’t necessarily any individual move that made this class tougher than most of the classes I take at Barry’s Bootcamp, Fhitting Room, or Brick but instead the constant intensity. There weren’t alternate exercises to use as a “rest” such as weights or erg pieces. Instead, you were constantly moving between these high impact movements.

Insanity 2Insanity 1

Now that I have experienced Insanity, I can understand the appeal. For people who want to take their fitness and health to the next level, this is a great option especially if you workout at home. If you do the routine the 6 days a week that founder Shawn T recommends, you will get into fighting shape. However you will also put your body at a very high risk of injury if you don’t already know the right form and have a strong fitness base. Instead of trying this at home initially, I would recommend seeing if your local gym or even ClassPass studio offers the class so you can try it in-person with an instructor. If that isn’t an option, try to partner with a friend who has done it before or is experienced in high intensity workouts so they can help you with your form.

If you’re a member of YMCA of NYC and looking for a challenge, Marc’s twice a week Insanity classes will leave you sweating and out of breath. His friendly smile and awesome playlist will make you forget that you have 44 minutes left of class after you’re already out of breath in the first minute of tuck jumps.

Your turn: Have you tried Insanity yet? If so, what were your thoughts? 

Live in NYC and want to see what your local branch offers? Check out the YMCA website.

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored partnership with the YMCA of Greater New York.

Other posts in this series:

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CLASSPASS Month In Review: December and January

ClassPass reviews

As you may remember, four months ago Bo and I decided to give ClassPass a try after hearing wonderful things about it, realizing the two of us could leverage it together and a positive month long trial back in July.  It’s crazy how much can change in such a short period of time. Back in July I tried it for the first time and now, just a few months later, I’m an official ClassPass ambassador!  I’ve taken 78 classes through ClassPass and am one of their largest advocates! Don’t believe me? Try for yourself! Use this link to get $25 off your first month!

cp pic

As promised, each month I will provide a brief recap of our experience including the number of classes taken, average cost per class and a brief recap of the studios where we sweat that month. In addition, if you’re on CLASSPASS feel free to follow my fitness schedule here. I love meeting readers so if you see me in a class, please say hello! If you want to check out my previous monthly recaps, click herehere and here.

Month 4: December 20 – January 20th

Number of classes taken: 18

Number of studios visited: 10

Number of classes missed or late cancelled: 0

Number of cities: 1 (NYC)

Average cost per workout based on NYC rate of $125 per month: $6.94

Wow, even with the week that we spent in Savannah over Christmas, I was still able to squeeze 18 classes into this month. I think that the cold, winter weather motivated me to workout inside versus run outside, hence the continued increase in classes. Bo and I have kept up our trend of working out together as much as possible, often at least one weekend class and two early morning classes per week. I was able to achieve my goal of taking four yoga classes during the month as well as keeping up with my half marathon training and high intensity training to ensure I keep getting stronger.

Last Month’s Classes

High 45 at Mile High Run Club (1)

I’ve professed my love of Mile High multiple times (full review here). Their High 45 class is a great class for runners of all abilities. As you can guess from the class name, the workout includes 45-minutes of running. The running includes a five minute warm-up and five minute cooldown. In between that you’ll sweat through 35 minutes of tempo work. A typical class includes half hills and half speed with most intervals ranging from three to six minutes! My favorite teachers are Jes Woods and Deborah Woods!

Row House Full Body 45 at Row House Chelsea (3)

Rowing is a wonderful, low-impact workout which can supplement any workout plan. While I’ve taken classes at CityRow, Row House is the first rowing workout in NYC that truly reminded me of the rowing practices Bo and I sweat through in high school. The Full Body 45 class is a 45-minute class which includes a 5 minutes of rowing drills to warm-up, 15 minutes of rowing intervals and sprints, 5-10 minutes of strength work, another 15 minutes of rowing intervals and sprints, followed by a short cooldown. The class is perfect for people of all abilities as each person controls the speed or intensity at which they row. Scott and Caley are our favorite instructors, constantly motivating students while correcting form and ensuring that everyone is pushing themselves. For those who need to sweat and then dash to work, the Row House Chelsea location includes a small, but nice locker room featuring two showers, blow dryers and toiletries where you can get ready for work or date night.

 

 

Signature Fhix at Fhitting Room (3)

Bo and I love the 50-minute high intensity classes which pair two instructors with a class of 20-25 students for a sweat inducing good time. The music is always perfectly on point, motivating and pushing us while the instructors lead the group through functional movements such as lunges, burpees and squats followed by strength training with kettle bells and finally high intensity exercises including rowing machines, ski-ergs and box jumps. The atmosphere is one of the most supportive I’ve felt and it is a great starting place for people who want to learn more about functional training and using items like boxes and kettlebells as the instructors adjust students during class. The dual instructor model means that there is always someone watching you! The studio offers showers, lockers, towels and water. But, consider yourself warned, if you want to shower, I highly recommend you skip the stretch cool-down and snag a shower instead. There are only three showers and in the mornings the line can get pretty long. If you’re a NYC reader who finds it impossible to snag a spot in Fhitting Room, my biggest tip is to look 24 and 12-hours in advance of class. We were able to get in each of these classes around the 18-hour mark.  Our favorite instuctors are Eric, Ben, Dara, Emily and Carlos.

 

HIIT 45 at HIIT Box

You know those studios and classes you just WANT to love? For us, this is one of those. I wish we loved it but unfortunately, this studio was a once and done for us even though it’s just a five minute walk from our apartment. The owner Maryam was also the teacher and while she was very supportive, Bo nor I loved her vibe. The space is small, allowing only 5 to 7 students which is good for adjustments and form but can be negative for motivation. There were only four students in our class, including us, so it was hard to feel inspired and motivated by those around us. The workout itself was a typical HIIT workout which included stations ranging from rower, box, kettlebless and body weight work which we rotated through four times for one minute each. I think repeating the moves four times also made the class a bit boring and repetitive.

Power Flow 60 at Tangerine Hot Power Yoga

There is a reason this studios classes quickly sell out, especially evening and weekends when Brooklyn locals and Manattanites flock to Tangerine Yoga. The 60-minute class isn’t for the weak as it is a heated strong, power yoga class. But, don’t fear, instructors provide lots of adjustments and guidance to ensure everyone has the best session possible. The studio provides complimentary yoga mats and towels as well as selling juices and coconut water in the small boutique and lounge area. I’ve now taken five classes at this studio and grow more in love with it each class. They develop a great sense of community and each instructor is more supportive than the next. So far, my favorite instructors are Emily and Tamara.

Sunrise Flow and Bend+Bloom Yoga

This Park Slope yoga studio has two large, bright, beautiful studios and offers more than 65 classes per week.  The Sunrise Flow which is offered on Friday mornings, is taught by the lovely Christine, a fellow blogger and runner. Her class is 60 minutes of flow which often includes lots of twists, stretches and restorative poses along with a fewer higher energy poses to wake the body. I love starting my Friday with this class as it puts me in the best mood and is a great way to release tension and stress from the body as well as shake out my hips and legs before my weekend long run.  While there aren’t showers, the studio’s private bathroom is spacious and would allow for a quick wet wipe bath and dry shampoo spritz before work.

Flow Yoga Open at Exhale Central Park South 

It’s rare that I head uptown for classes since moving to Brooklyn but when two friends rave about the same teacher for weeks upon end, you finally head up for an early morning yoga session. I forgot how incredibly gorgeous the Exhale Central Park South location is until I walked through the door and felt as if I’d immediately been transported to a spa. Since the space is part spa and part fitness studio you get all the benefits of the zen like atmosphere, large locker rooms, tea, snacks and plenty of relaxation space along with the yoga class. Taught by Isaac Pena, this class was a perfect mix of Vinyasa flow with fluid movements as well as lots of adjustments to help students move deeper into the poses. When I finished the class, feeling completely relaxed and zen yet in a puddle of sweat, I understood the hype around Isaac’s classes.

B/X Brick Brooklyn

Brick New York features multiple types of workouts in their space ranging from CrossFit to yoga. In between is their hybrid workout, B/X.  A high intensity, functional training class it is very similar to Fhitting Room. After a short warm-up we spent the next 45 minutes moving through circuits which included rowers, treadmills, wall balls, med balls, kettlebells and box jumps.  There are no breaks so you will be dripping sweat in no time but the energy of those around you will keep you moving and motivated. I love that the instructor constantly walks the class, helping ensure everyone has the proper form. In addition, if they notice that a move comes to easy, they are quick to provide a recommended adjustment to make it harder. There are locations at Grand Central, Chelsea and Brooklyn so this workout is convenient for just about anyone. There are plenty of lockers and showers so you can get ready here before work if you need without rushing out of class early.

Overthrow Underground Boxing

This 45-minute workout is gritty, tough and empowering! The class begins with ten minutes of calesthenic warmups which will make you sweat. Think lots of burpees, jumping jacks, squats and pushups. After the “warmup” you’ll start focusing on the boxing technique through shadowboxing and then finally bag work. The classes fly by and the music and instructors are motivating and high energy. The studio has a very small, single shower bathroom so I wouldn’t recommend getting ready for work here but it’s the perfect way to burn off steam after a long day. They provide gloves but wraps must be brought or bought at the studio.

Your turn: If you’re a NYC local, what are your favorite studios? Where should I sweat next? 

This post is not compensated nor requested of me via CLASSPASS. While it does contain affiliate links, as a CLASSPASS affiliate, I only receive a small compensation if you choose to purchase a CLASSPASS membership.

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