Posted on June 9, 2017
You may have seen coworkers or friends put this magical powder in their coffee or smoothie and wondered, what does it actually do? I am all for making sure my body gets the right nutrients it needs, so when I learned more about Vital Proteins and then tried it for myself, I was really impressed by the results. Vital Proteins is grass-fed collagen peptides and for those of you who might not know what collagen is, it’s a protein found in our bodies most abundantly in our bones, skin, muscles and tendons. Cool, Lex. So what? SO our bodies might not have as much collagen in our body as we would like and that’s where Vital Proteins comes in to save the day. It helps with hair growth, skin, nails, bones and joints. Where did I see the most significant results? Hair growth and healthy hair for sure. My hair grows relatively quick to begin with, but my hair SPRUNG after a month of using a scoop of VP in my coffee or smoothie everyday… not to mention it has a super smooth texture and shine to it. One morning I had to do an awkward double take in the mirror because my eye lashes looked abnormally long and I didn’t even put mascara on yet! So all in all, it works and it tastes good too. I like the vanilla and coconut water flavor but they do have unflavored options too! I usually use the vanilla and coconut water flavor in my coffee during the week and beauty greens coconut vanilla flavor in my smoothies on the weekend.
Vital Proteins is such an easy add in to my daily routine that now I’m at the point where something is off if I don’t have it in my coffee or smoothie! There are so many recipes that you can mix it in yummy goodies too.. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. As for now, I am taking this amazing find as a major key to help jump start my day and overall health and wellness.
This post included complimentary product.
Posted on April 7, 2017
Happy Friday! We are so close to summer which means lounging by the pool, boating on Lake Michigan, and runs on the lake front! Days at work have been a little longer due to a busy but exciting summer season ahead, so I have to work out at home a few days a week. One of my main fitness gals, Erin Murray, is a yoga and boot camp instructor (you MUST take her bootcamp class at Yoga Six!) and taught me a few workouts perfect to do at home that help me get a good sweat in, are great for toning, and of course kick my butt. The workout below is a circuit where you go through the circuit as fast as you can for 5 minutes, 4 times, with one minute rests in between
Want more tips? Check out Erin’s blog, La Vigueur and comment with questions below! YOU GOT THIS.
This one is pretty straight forward. You squat with around a 5 pound weight, and bring your knee to the weight while twisting towards your raised knee, squat, and do the other side!
For this, you do a push up, jump your feet towards your hands, and bring yourself up into a very low squatting position. From there, plant your hands on the ground, jump your feet back out for another push up, and repeat.
Start at 1, do 1 rep (in and out), do another one but this time hold your legs straight out for 1 second. Then do 2 fast reps, and then hold your legs straight out for 2 seconds, do 3 reps and hold your legs straight out for 3 seconds… and so on. One you get to 12, you bring it right back down. If it gets too hard, modify to go up to 6! Sounds like death right? I believe in you.
Start by doing an elbow plank, and then rise up, one arm at a time, to a high plank. Then you will lower one arm back down at a time, and repeat.
This is imperative to your success. Touch your toes, do some twists to open up your hip flexers, and stretch your inner thighs by bending into one leg while keeping the other straight. Do your body a favor and stretch for at least 10 minutes after your workout. This is not a drill.
What are you doing in preparation for summer? Hustle hustle hustle to get your workouts in!
Photography by Brittany Benson
Posted on March 22, 2017
I never thought I would see the day when I would write about my fitness regime; let alone that I was excited to share it! At the end of the day, I love sharing topics with my readers that are a huge part of my day-to-day life and fitness is no doubt one of them.
So you might be interested in taking a workout class and don’t know where to start. I have been there too. It’s hard with so many choices these days—especially living in a city where people have a craving for fitness left and right. A workout I have always been curious about is the HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout at Barry’s Bootcamp. I never doubted I wouldn’t like it – but so far, I love it. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, you MUST give Barry’s Bootcamp a try. I understand it might be a little nerve racking imagining a “bootcamp” setup, but I mean it when I say you become so empowered from this workout. It is an experience where you are so pumped up by the music and the trainers, you give 200%. The first time I took a class, the music was blasting and the energy in the room gave me goose bumps. If there is one thing for certain, it is that you CAN do it and you will LOVE yourself after.
Again, what is Barry’s Bootcamp all about you ask?The HIIT workout is designed to burn up to 1,000 calories and is divided up between strength and cardio (25- 30 minutes each). I have been fortunate enough to take a few classes and I am obsessed so far with Barry’s and the results I am seeing. I sat down with my fierce boss lady friend Kate Lemere who is a Chicago Founding Trainer and Marketing Coordinator of Barry’s Chicago to help tell you more because who better to hear from than the fitness expert herself!? If a Barry’s studio isn’t near you, I hope at the least this encourages you to take chances and push yourself to get to where you want to be in your fitness journey. I love supporting brands that I truly believe in, and I love sharing it with others in hopes that they like it too. If you are in Chicago, come take a class with me!! I would love to sweat with you ;).
Barry’s is the pioneer of boutique fitness and since its inception in 1998, it has grown into a global community. The energy in the room and the caliber of trainers is what sets us apart. I mean we didn’t even make our own tagline. Our clients coined our tagline as “the best workout in the world.”
It’s a HIIT workout or high intensity interval training. You are pairing cardio with strength training. This is the most effective combination that helps stimulate muscle fibers and creates an after burn effect. Also, HIIT workouts are approachable for all fitness levels: different exercises can be modified and progressed to cater to all ability levels both on the floor and on the treads. You know your own body the best and what it is capable of.
The energy of the room and focus. ENERGY is contagious and it’s continually repurposed. As instructors, it’s our job to propel energy forward, but it’s even better when our clients feed off of it and feed into it for each other. Something else that is important is FOCUS. There is a lot going on in the room. To give 100% you need to listen and pace yourself appropriately to get the best of your workout. You have to listen to what you are doing and where you are going next so you’re able to pace yourself appropriately and set yourself up for maximum success.
Barry’s schedule is planned on a macro level across the week to avoid overtraining and overuse. One day you’re working your arms and abs, the next it’s butt and legs, and the day after chest, back and so on. Traditional splits allow for gains without injury.
Every BODY is different. After your first class, you feel different—emotionally and spiritually. After a couple of weeks you will see results kick in. You have to keep pushing a little more speed and a little more weight each time to see the results. Also, when it comes to your diet, it’s just as important to consider when you eat as it is to consider what you eat. Our Fuel Bar, for example, has a full menu of shakes with protein and carbs to help you recover and help your muscles rebuild and repair.
It takes TIME to change your body especially when you are just starting your fitness journey. At Barry’s, you will see results but what is most important is to have fun.
I always enjoy learning about experts on a more personal level too: How they got to where they are today, words they live by, and more. See below for a few more questions I asked Kate and how fitness is a part of her everyday lifestyle.
Don’t get frustrated with yourself—ask questions and enjoy the process. I have my own blog, The Four Percent that helps explain why I prescribe workouts I execute because knowing why you are doing something as opposed to going through the motions helps you to continuously evaluate what you need to get to where you want to be.
Meeting the moment. When you are listening to a pump up song or signing up for class—you are looking for that push to better yourself. When the time comes, we back down because we are afraid we don’t think we can do it. That’s a shame. This weight (or) run is what you came here for. Don’t back down, meet it, take it head on and when you leave you’ll feel like you did what you came to do. It helps build confidence to help you achieve other things even outside the room.
I define fitness as a prioritizing moment. Fitness doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be crazy or creative. You don’t even need to be crazy active. Just take care of your body. If you don’t take care of your body- your body won’t be conditioned to take care of you. You need quality of life and you have to take care of yourself to do it.
I was a competitive swimmer for nearly 15 years, and being active was ingrained into my lifestyle from a very early age. For those who struggle with motivation I would encourage a little tough love. All day every day we do things that we don’t necessarily want to do (think go to work, take out the trash, clean our house, etc) but we do it because we have to. Working out and taking care of your body is no different.
You need a well-rounded training routine. I recommend mix of HIIT, strength training and mobility/recovery. Barry’s, cycling, pilates, I love it all.
I have a raging sweet tooth. I love HALO top ice cream or nut butter based snacks. I must have dessert every night whether it’s fruit, or a protein pancake with almond butter to close out the night. I do it every night and I do it for myself.
I think there will continue to be a greater emphasis on community and connection. People as humans crave the touch points- a connection to the trainer, instructor, and just connecting socially with the trainers.