Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Free summer fun in Boston | fitness, cultural events + family activities

Free summer fun in Boston… Because the only thing better than summer fun, is free summer fun.  I think.  

Even better, still, would be if this free summer fun came with some sort of plan that enables you to prevent your toddler and preschooler from running in separate directions, at high speeds, at the same time, in public…

Holler at your girl if you have such a plan.  In the meantime, there are so many great (and yes, free) events being held in the Boston area this summer.  Here are a few that caught my eye.

FREE SUMMER FUN IN BOSTON

free summer fun

Sail Boston

June 17 – 22, Boston

All events are free + open to the public (see the link above for full listing).  I’m hoping to catch a few sail by’s (is that a thing?) at Castle Island as the ships depart next Thursday, and will definitely be taking the kids to see the ships docked in the Seaport earlier in the week.  You can find the list of ships by pier locations here.

W.E.L.L. Summit Yoga + Barre at the Lawn on D

Sunday, June 25th from 8 – 11 AM at the Lawn on D, 420 D Street in South Boston (see link above to register, attend one or both classes)

  • 8:30 AM: Barre with Jessica Diaz
  • 9:20-10:40 AM: Summer Spark + Revive Yoga with Emily Griffin and Sara DiVello

Summertime at The Street | music, kids’ events, yoga, etc.

June through October at The Street, 33 Boylston Street (Rt. 9) in Chestnut Hill (see link above for full schedule, and this Eventbrite link to register for events).  Highlights include:

(Very cute) side note:  That’s Grace playing the street piano at The Street a few weeks ago.  We took her to Shake Shack after her end of the year gymnastics performance.  A+ idea, if I do say so myself.

Free Fun Fridays | free admission at the area’s best cultural venues, courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation

This great annual program sponsors admission at several different museums and institutions on Fridays throughout the summer.  Check the schedule (linked above) for featured venues, June 23rd through August 25th.  Highlights include:

  • June 23rd: Peabody Essex Museum
  • June 30th: Boston Children’s Museum, The Garden at Elm Banks
  • July 21st: MFA in Boston, Tanglewood
  • August 18th: ICA in Boston, Cape Cod Children’s Museum
  • August 25th: Boston Harbor Islands National + State Park

Seaport Sweat | free fitness classes in the Seaport

June through September at the Seaport Common, 85 Northern Avenue (see link above for full schedule).  The highlights include:

  • Monday: Box and Body with Monique at 6 PM, Kick It by Eliza at 7 PM.
  • Tuesday: HIIT with Athena at 5:30 PM, Boxing Conditioning with Monique at 6:30 PM.
  • Wednesday: Yoga with Jenna at 6 PM, Kick It by Eliza at 7 PM.
  • Thursday: Kick It by Eliza at 5:30 PM., HIIT at 6:30 PM.
  • Friday: Yoga at 12 PM.
  • Every other Wednesday: Free bike tune-ups with Landry’s, 7:30-9:30 AM.

More (free!) fitness in Boston

If you’re looking for additional (free!) fitness classes throughout the city…. from yoga to line dancing and yoga to boxing, Jamie Ducharme at Boston Magazine has a great round-up here: Your Ultimate Guide to Free Fitness in Boston.

City of Boston events | including a roller disco…

There are a number of great events on City Hall Plaza this summer, including the 4th annual Celebration of Summer (yes, a roller disco in honor of Boston native Donna Summer) and the Tito Puente Latin Music Series.  See the link above for the full city calendar.  You can also find summer reading, programs and resources through the Boston Public Library — each branch has a full calendar this time of year!

I hope you enjoy a really fun, interesting, peaceful, happy + safe summer.

free summer fun in Boston

Also On Tap for Today:

What is on your bucket list for summer?

 

June 2017 | Currently

True Life: I meant to post this last month.  In May.  But I forgot.  So here we are… pretending I have my act together.  The more things change, the more I stay the same  (consistently inconsistent).

june 2017 currently

JUNE 2017 | CURRENTLY

May 2017 Currently

CURRENTLY MAKING

  • …moves on my soon-to-be-launched Etsy shop.  This was/is one of my major goals for 2017.  I’ve got the behind-the-scenes and initial concept (functional art) down, and plan to have about a dozen or so pieces finished this weekend.  I hope to be totally up and running before the end of this month.  My fingers are crossed that you’ll like it!
  • …a concerted effort to consume media carefully.  It’s such a careful balance between living under a rock and being entirely overwhelmed, especially given the current political happenings.  And by happenings… I mean… God help us.
  • …a summer bucket list.  We’ll be spending as much time as possible down the Cape, and I’m excited to share some of my childhood favorites (flying kites, mini golf, watching for whales at Race Point, um… ice cream, looking for sand dollars) with Grace + Nick.

CURRENTLY WATCHING

  • …the Stanley Cup finals.
  • …video from James Comey’s hearing today (can’t help myself).

may 2017 currently

CURRENTLY EATING

  • …a bunch of delicious smoothies (thanks to Molly for a few new recipes — local friends, check out her smoothie and meal prep parties!).  With the requisite cute straw, obvi.  
  • …more mindfully + thoughtfully.  Now that I am no longer breastfeeding (and bonus: baby Nick is sleeping so much better!), I’ve been doing my best to reset my diet a bit.  It’s been a month and a half or so, but I feel like my body is still sort of like… what are we doing here?  I wasn’t expecting the transition to be so rough, but here I am.  Trucking along.  I’ve eliminated most sugars (a wild craving for me while nursing) and yes… I’ve been caffeine + Diet Coke-free for 3 weeks.  I’m not doing anything revolutionary, just getting back to basics and re-learning how to treat myself as well as I can.

CURRENTLY READING

june 2017 currently

CURRENTLY ENJOYING

  • …the life-changing magic of tidying up sleeping.  I’m still waking up a few times each night, but still.  I am sleeping more (and hopefully better) than I have in years.  The credit goes largely to my children for (finally) getting with the program, but Nick gets points for the new blackout curtains, too.  The rest of my secrets will remain secrets until I share them here (ASAP #sharingiscaring).  I went to a great workshop at the WELL Summit Day of WELLness on sleep, and so much of what Sara DiVello shared really resonated with me.
  • …Grace’s end of the year gymnastics routine.  I could watch her dance and tumble and jump all day.  And some days, I’m lucky enough to do just that.
  • …how special old Clark is.  He’s the best dog and sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve him.  I’m so glad he promised me he’d live forever.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO

  • Elastic Heart (Piano Version) – Sia
  • Team – Lorde
  • Breaking the Law – Emeli Sandé
  • Living in Twilight – The Weepies
  • Slow Dancer – Noah Gundersen
  • Buckets of Rain – Neko Case
  • Romeo and Juliet – The Indigo Girls
  • Dust to Dust – The Civil Wars
  • Wish You Were Here – The Milk Carton Kids

june 2017 currently

CURRENTLY FEELING

  • …proud for growing this sweet pea plant from seed.  And keeping it alive (so far).  
  • …grateful that it didn’t rain today.  For the first time in 800 years (or so it feels).  My hair looks like a poodle moved in and plans to stay.   And all my shoes are permanently damp.  But one day of sun, man, and it’s all good.
  • …deep regret for not putting that folded laundry away sooner.  ‘Tis now 10 PM and well… ain’t gonna happen.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your current playlist or reading list? 

Gloomy ‘tudes + sunny dispositions.

Has it rained every Tuesday this year?  It seems like it.  

gloomy tudes + sunny dispositions

I’m one of those people that pretends to be even keeled, but the weather, man… it gets to me.  I wonder if this is fully science (a need for vitamin D, or whatev) or something we learn as we age.

I spent a good chunk of the day checking Dark Sky (likely my most used app #nerdalert), trying to do math (do I have enough time to get the baby out and into the running stroller, actually go running, factoring in route + speed/lack thereof, and make it back for preschool pickup before the next downpour?)… and mentally complaining.  None of this was especially helpful.

We got home from school and made it 1/29th up the length of our driveway (such is the pace of life these days) when the skies opened.  It was one of those rainstorms that’s over in seconds, but leaves you (and all the art projects you’re holding) soaked.  You might be able to guess my immediate reaction (and if not: it was to silently swear), but you’ve already seen how Grace and Nick reacted.  

With pure joy.  

The weather can ruin your mood.  It can ruin your day.  It can foul up your plans.  And it can foul up your I-look-chic-but-in-that-I-didn’t-try-kind-of-way outfit.

But it can also give you a puddle to jump in.  It can entice worms from where ever they usually are (who knows), so you can closely inspect them.  It can bring forth that inimitable spring rain on blacktop smell that makes me glad to live in the city.  It sustains plants (and all the things that plants sustain… like people).  And it can make my two babes laugh and squeal with utter delight.

But it’s not just the weather.

How many things weigh us down as adults, but with a simple shift in attitude, could be appreciated with the wonder and joy they might deserve?

Perhaps we can unlearn our gloomy grown-up attitudes.  Or at the very least, get some cool raincoats and enjoy the storm a bit.

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you walking around with a gloomy ‘tude or a sunny disposition today?

Mid-week meal + workout plan

Better late than never?  Holidays (Easter) followed by other holidays (Marathon Monday a.k.a. Patriots Day) make for a delightful disruption to our routine, but a disruption nevertheless.  

We celebrated a really happy Easter at the Cape with our family and returned to the city Monday night with a little bit of chocolate… and a lot of delicious leftovers.   I like when my meals both plan and (sort of) make themselves.

meal workout plan for week of 4/18

Meal plan for the week of 4/17

  • Leftover roasted sweet potato salad (vegan): this is great in a quesadilla with some cheese and black beans
  • Salad + leftover wild rice with peas and pistachios
  • Baked stuffed sweet potatoes + salad
  • Taco night or burrito bowls
  • Spinach + artichoke quinoa bake

Workout plan for the week of 4/17

  • Sunday: Easter tabata + Run (done)
  • Monday: MB home workout (done)
  • Tuesday: MB home workout + Daily Burn barre (done)
  • Wednesday: MB class + this stretching routine (done)
  • Thursday: MB self-assessment + lots of stretching/foam rolling
  • Friday: MB class + Run
  • Saturday: Run

This is the final week of the Mama Beasts spring challenge (hence all the MB business above).  It’s been so fun to work with our team and to push myself a bit harder than usual.  A new session of classes starts on Monday — you can find all the details here!  I’m also so glad I re-started the Couch 2 5k program (using the app).  I’ve been able to switch things up for most runs, completing some solo and some with the double stroller (i.e. 50 lbs. of children + 37 lbs. of stroller) and on varied terrain (track, Harborwalk in Southie, hills on the Cape).  It’s really nice to be back in the running-ish groove.

For those who have asked, I have the Baby Jogger Summit X3 Double (the 2016 model, which is what I have, is currently on sale on Amazon) and really like it.  I had a single BOB before Nick was born and liked that too, but find the Summit to be a bit more solid and comfortable for the kids.

Alright, time to dive into those leftovers.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your menu this week?

The next season

The older I get, the more I notice the way life really does follow its own seasons. Some seasons are for celebrating.  Some seasons are for learning. Some seasons are for waiting.  Some seasons are for grieving.  Some seasons are for growing.  And some seasons are for sitting on the beach sipping fruity beverages.

Fruity beverages is sort of a ridiculous, but semi-on target way to transition to this: I stopped nursing baby (toddler) Nick 9 days ago.  Oh, but this isn’t a post about boobs… so don’t panic (or sorry to disappoint). Considering I nursed Grace until a month before Nick was born, I’ve essentially been breastfeeding since the end of January 2014.  This feels like the end of a huge part of our lives, mostly because it is.  It has been wonderful, challenging, weird, exhausting, and amazing.  I am grateful I was able to have this experience with both kids.  

And now I am ready for the next season of our lives.

the next seasonObsessed with these shoes by Toms… and these shells by Mother Nature

I took a long walk by myself along the beach this past weekend and found myself thinking about what I hope for this next season to bring.  I bought a $1.99 notebook (the cover’s a really ug shade of yellow, but it’s all they had) on the way back to the house and started making a list.  

THE NEXT SEASON

In this next season, I want to invest more fully in my own health and wellbeing.  I want to sleep more (which isn’t saying much, since I am basically always awake).  I want to take more walks on the beach. I want to relish in alone time, without feeling guilty (real talk: it’s a careful balance).  I want to be better attuned to my own common sense and good judgement and rely less on scary headlines and unhelpful advice.  I want to spend as much time playing outside as possible.  I want to enjoy those little flashes of independence both kids share every now and then (it’s like watching them becoming themselves over and over).  I want to revisit some of the things that used to bring me joy, but that I stopped making time to do.  I want this next season to be for connecting and reconnecting and resting and recharging.  

And I want to find the perfect pair of cool mom jeans.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your current season looking like?

 

Meal + workout plan for the week of 4/3

I just went on an aggressive Pinterest spree in anticipation of hosting Easter at the Cape in two weeks.  Nick and I are really excited to have our families down here for lots of good food, egg hunting and (hopefully) lovely spring weather.  

Ya hear that, Mother Nature?  Just kidding.  Do you thing, girl.  Sorry for the hole we burned in your atmosphere with our hairspray.

meal and workout plan 4/3

While I was at it, I started a new Pinterest board for some of my favorite meal prep + planning resources.  If you’re interested, you can check those boards out here:

My main nutrition goal for the week is to increase my water intake.  We are in the process of having a whole house water filter installed and in the meantime, we’ve been living the Brita pitcher life.  And not surprisingly, I keep forgetting to refill it.  Tonight I’m brewing a bunch of spearmint iced tea and filling a few water bottles for tomorrow.  The glamour and interestingness of my life abounds.

On to the meals + workouts for the week.

Meals for the week of 4/3

…And probably a night of takeout or leftovers.  Breakfasts will be some combination of English muffins, yogurt, fruit, smoothies, oats and/or the children’s table scraps (again… let’s be honest).  Lunch is usually a big salad and/or leftovers.  

Speaking of: Leftovers is such a sad word.  We need a better word that is like, Hey... I am so incredibly in charge of my life that I  didn’t just make one meal… I made two meals… AT THE SAME TIME!  Or whatever.

Workouts for the week of 4/3

I did some recon and there is a brand new track a mile or so from our place at the Cape.  I dug up some of my track workouts from my marathon training years of olde (honestly, that feels like a lifetime ago) and am hoping I can survive fit in one this coming weekend.  

But first, another glass of water.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on the menu for you this week?

Meal + workout plan for the week of 3/20

True Life: Grocery shopping with a three-year-old and a one-year-old is (often) NUTS.  It can also be really fun.  Especially if no one manages to climb out of the cart, while still strapped in (that’s happened on three separate trips).  Grace’s additions to the shopping list today: a pineapple, two avocados, string cheese, and blackberries.  

Here’s this week’s meal and workout plan.

meal and workout plan for the week of 3/20

Accessories optional.

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK of 3/20

  • Vegetarian burrito bowls (quinoa, black beans, corn, salsa, avocado)
  • Baked penne + salad
  • Taco Tuesday… maybe on Wednesday
  • Lentil soup + toast
  • Flatbread + salad
  • Sweet potato + black bean quesadillas with cilantro lime rice

WORKOUTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Monday: Mama Beasts class + personal assessment 
  • Tuesday: at home MB workout, walk
  • Wednesday: Run and Daily Burn
  • Thursday: Daily Burn
  • Friday: Mama Beasts 
  • Saturday: MB personal challenge workout + run
  • Sunday: Rest

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your plan for the week ahead?

 

Meal + workout plan for the week of 3/13

…Coming to you live from snowy Cape Cod with this week’s meal plan + workouts.  The babes are napping, so I figured I’d make an attempt to get my act together for the week before we head back to the city.

this week's meal plan + workouts

Note to the entire internet self: I need to figure out if Tuesday’s storm is the real deal or not and plan my grocery shopping accordingly.  My favorite meteorologist (yes, I have one of those) seems to be on vacation, so I am essentially lost.

THIS WEEK’S WORKOUTS

+ (a decidedly wintery) MEAL PLAN

  • Spinach + black bean quesadillas
  • Vegetarian chili for lazy people
  • Spiced lentil + sweet potato stew (recipe from Rachel Ray)
  • Flatbreads + salad
  • Stuffed baked sweet potatoes + salad
  • Grilled cheese + tomato soup

Breakfasts will likely be some combination of yogurt, fruit, cottage cheese, English muffins and/or a porridge made from my children’s table scraps… Lunch is usually a giant salad.  I expect these dinners will make for really good leftovers to tag along with my greens.  And my peasant parent porridge.  

Time to Google the weather.  Catch you on the other side… of the Sagamore.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on tap for your week ahead?  

Day of WELLness

Over the years, including the 8 I’ve spent blogging here (making me essentially an Internet senior citizen), my understanding of words like fitness and healthy and wellness have changed and evolved.  From running marathons to training to being able to run a 5k again, from getting “wedding ready” (whatever that means) to becoming a mother, from learning to eat mindfully to managing stress, I’ve found that health and wellness is not a linear journey.

There is no one path to wellness.  We all make our way.

One of my favorite things about being in this community is learning from the paths and experience of others.  For that reason, I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Day of W.E.L.L.ness in Boston on 3/18.  For those of you living in the New England area (or looking to make a weekend trip!), you might want to check it out, too!

I think it’ll be a worthwhile stop on our path.

day of wellness

  • What: Day of W.E.L.L.ness 
  • When: Saturday, March 18th from 8:15 AM – 6 PM
  • Where: Wyndham Beacon Hill (a short walk from the Charles Street/MGH T stop on the Red Line)
  • Discount: Use code ELIZABETH to receive $20 off your ticket order

This Day of W.E.L.L.ness is sort of an off shoot of the annual W.E.L.L. Summit (hosted in New York City) and showcases wellness from a 360 degree viewpoint.  Breakout session topics include Ayurveda, meditation, nutrition, fitness, financial health and building a wellness business.  The day also includes a DIY breakfast oatmeal bar from Thirst Juice Co., a custom tea bar and healthy snacks, an incredible gift bag, an afternoon yoga class, access to New England based exhibitors and more.

I’d love to see you there!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary ticket for this event and this post contains referral links.

Also On Tap for Today:

How do you define wellness? What’s your path looking like these days?

 

 

Meal + workout plan for the week of 2/21

Because why start a week on Sunday or Monday… when you can start it on Tuesday? I’m including my workout plan along with this week’s meal plan to make up for my lateness.  Or whatever.

meal plan for the week of 2/21

Temps are supposed to reach 50 degrees in the city today and 70 this weekend.  It’s February, mind you (but don’t worry, guys, global warming is totally a sham…).  I’ve got the back door open, and a nice, big, summery salad on the table.  Is it me, or is it easier to eat well (and like, be a better human in general) when the weather’s nice?

Meal plan for the week of 2/20… or 2/21

Breakfasts:

  • Savory overnight oats (here are a few ideas from The Kitchn) – I’m thinking pesto and shaved parmesan with black pepper
  • Cottage cheese + fruit
  • Cheerios or crispy brown rice cereal + milk (because I am nearly 35, going on 4) 

Lunches:

  • Salads, wraps, leftovers

Dinners:

  • Gnocchi with homemade sauce (tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil + spinach)
  • Beans + rice with veggies; quesadillas (corn tortillas)
  • Baked sweet potatoes with black beans + salsa
  • Flatbreads + salad
  • Slow cooker vegan lentil chili from The Kitchn
  • Grilled cheese + tomato soup

You can find more meal ideas (and basically see what I am craving at 3 AM while feeding baby Nick…) on this Pinterest board.

As for workouts, I decided to try something new last week (or maybe it was the week before?) after my plans had been derailed by a broken washing machine, a carsick toddler, two snowstorms and a visit from the washing machine repair person.  I think I may have only made it to Mama Beasts class twice (pssst: new session starts on 2/27, Boston area moms…) in the span of two weeks.  It was 2.5 times if you count making it half way there before the aforementioned bout of carsickness… A for effort, C- for basically everything else.  The sidewalks were too icy for a run/stroll, and I was feeling both cooped up and cranky, so I knew I needed a backup plan for days and weeks like this.

I’d heard great things about Daily Burn (referral link) and decided to sign up for their free 30 day trial after seeing their Instagram ad for the 8 millionth time.  I was completely hooked after my first workout.  The programming is great (they recommend a program for you, but you can jump around and try various workouts with different trainers) and totally do-able in a small condo with small children crawling, running, and jumping across your mat.  I’m following the Cardio Sculpt program which is a great mix of cardio, strength and flexibility/mobility.  

I went full-on nerd and printed out a blank calendar to schedule in my workouts for the next month or so, and think Daily Burn will be a great compliment to both Mama Beast classes and my running plans (I registered for a few upcoming races and listed them on the Fitness On Tap tab).  I’ve also pinned a bunch of free, at home workouts as further backup — feel free to check those out.

Workouts for the week of 2/20

  • Monday: Mama Beasts + Cardio Sculpt
  • Tuesday: Rest 
  • Wednesday: Mama Beasts + Kickin’ It (totally channel my inner Billy Blanks for this one)
  • Thursday: BHT
  • Friday: Mama Beasts +/or Cardio Sculpt
  • Saturday: Run 3 miles + Supreme Stretch
  • Sunday: Kickin’ It

What feels better than having a plan (and maybe a sheet of gold stickers) at the ready? A 70 degree day in February?

Also On Tap for Today:

What are your favorite at home workouts? Or summery meals appropriate for eating in winter?