…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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
I’m pretending all the days leading up to Labor Day are still August. Mostly because September feels like the time when all kinds of things change. And I’m only 82% ready for those changes.
Grace starts preschool next week, which means we’ll have a new routine to follow (and lunches to pack), along with a bit more structure to our days. Structure sort of thrills me… so there’s that. Meanwhile, she’s really excited to see her friends, “do letters” and be a good listener. While she’s doing her thing three days a week, baby Nick and I will have some one-on-one time (and I’m hoping I’ll, like… maybe get the laundry done).
Before I left my career to be home with the babes, my work life revolved around the academic calendar (minus the cool stuff like summer and holiday and February and April vacations), so it feels sort of natural to be back on that track.
At the same time, I’m holding onto summer for dear life and hoping we get at least a few beach days in before September is over and I skip straight to Christmas time (you know how I feel about Halloween and fall colors and wool sweaters and hay and stuff like that… no thanks).
So this month’s calendar is an attempt to savor these warm days and ocean views before we need to do things like wear pants. And roll our eyes at anything pumpkin spiced. Please note that I finally wised up to the fact that I can’t paint numbers in a straight line, fired myself from that part of the job, and replaced myself with a robot computer. The end is near.
Materials used: Cold pressed watercolor paper, Winsor and Newton professional watercolors (tubes), round brushes (sizes 2, 6, 10), liquid gold gilding (so fancy)
Health + wellness
Keep up with a regular self care routine: This sounds super woo-woo, but whatever. I’ve been making an effort to do little things for myself here and there, and I think these little things are making a big difference. For example, two Fridays in a row, I took a nice salt soak after the babes went to sleep. I’ve decided adults should have bath time too. Why let the kids have all the fun? I have more ideas for easy ways to incorporate self-care, but that’s a different can of worms (gross expression, sorry) post altogether.
Meal plan and prep on the weekends
Register for 2+ fall races
Incorporate more yoga… ’tis National Yoga Month, after all!
Spend as much time as possible with our new + perfect nephew
Super fun date night
Make a list of fall-ish family adventures
Playdates! We haven’t seen some of our favorite friends in far too long.
Finalize plans for baby Nick’s baptism in October
Keep better track of the amazing things Grace says on any given day (I recently overheard her asking Clark if he wanted a kitten… and if he did, she would ask me, since he can’t talk… and that I might say no, but then I’d say yes… whaaaaat?)
Re-start The Artist’s Way
Get my hair cut, colored + straightened (I accidentally haven’t had a hair appointment since May… so I am basically more poodle than human)… priorities, people
Donate/share all the clothes both babes seem to have outgrown over night
Do some important research about when the new emojis will show up on my phone
If you count soothing a teething infant and successfully potty training a toddler to be exercise… I hit it out of the park last week. And if you don’t (because you’re a reasonable person), I barely hit it out of the living room. Which is where I spent 90% of my time. Sitting on a floor covered with beach towels (see: potty training).
If we’re counting actual workouts, this was sort of an all or nothing kind of week. Better than a plain old nothing week. I guess.
ALL OR NOTHING | LAST WEEK’S WORKOUTS
TUESDAY:TIU daily workout, and nap time yoga in our bathroom. Because it’s quiet in there. And bizarrely spacious.
Prepare yourself for a tangent.
I think I was, like, 2-3 months pregnant with Grace when we had our home inspection. It was blazing hot and I had round-the-clock morning sickness. We hadn’t told anyone we were expecting, so I think maybe our realtor and home inspector thought I was very emotional about the condo. Or that I smelled something. Or that I am a rude person. Regardless, at one point I stopped paying attention to the air vents and window seals and circuit board things and was trying to figure out how un-okay it would be to lay down in the current homeowners’ bed… and then I thought about bed bugs… and then I almost threw up.
When I finally got my act together, I found three grown-ups (my husband, the realtor, and the home inspector) just chilling in the master bathroom, moving freely and not, like, bumping into each other. Or any of the fixtures. And, having felt like I alone was the size of three grown-ups at the time, I took that as a sign that this was the right place for our family.
And now I do yoga in there. And occasionally take showers.
WEDNESDAY: Class with the Mama Beasts. I hadn’t been to class in a week and definitely felt like I was sucking wind. Is that an expression? I think so. We did a lot of hill running, and I found myself swearing a lot questioning whether or not I was ready for Sunday’s road race. Regardless, it was a very good workout and one I was happy to be able to fit in, knowing I’d likely be held hostage for the next day or two by the “big girl undies” we picked up on the way home.
I sort of condensed the two day potty training method into a day and a half, so Thursday was literally spent doing nothing but that (and taking care of the baby, obvi). It was exhausting. But kind of awesome. Grace is so cool.
FRIDAY: Class with the Mama Beasts… this counts as more of a nothing than a something, mostly because I spent the better part of the hour opening and closing Grace’s travel potty seat, opening and closing various bottles of anti-bacterial gel, and talking about pee. I tried to give it my all when I was actually participating, and I know it was good to get out of the house, but it was a bit of a wash. Such is life at the moment.
I really look up to Colleen… even though I am taller. Apparently.
SUNDAY: Corrib Classic 5k in West Roxbury. I loved being able to run this with so many other Mama Beasts members. It was just last year that I was asking my sister-in-law Colleen about the group after seeing so many women running in matching shirts. I joined the group a few weeks later and have been so grateful for the workouts and the supportive community. I pushed Grace and Nick in the double stroller and did my best to keep up with Colleen (until that last hill… not happening). I finished nearly 2 minutes faster than the Marine Corps Honor Run (my first post-baby/double stroller race), which seemed like a pretty awesome way to celebrate baby Nick being six months old. It was definitely an “all” day.
This week I’m aiming for more consistency. And less rambling about home inspections and potting training. Who’s with me?
True Life: If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t get done. And sometimes even if I write it down, it doesn’t get done (can’t win ’em all). And sometimes I write down things I’ve already done, just for the satisfaction of crossing something off. Whatever. Here’s a free printable.
I use a weekly planner (the Get to Work Book — love it) to keep track of appointments, writing and art projects and general “to dos,” and Co-Schedule for an editorial calendar, but I prefer something simple when it comes to my weekly plan. After a little design trial and error, I came up with this pretty number, and thought I’d share it. Feel free to download and print and plan all kinds of things.
I stick with a Monday start partly to pretend I’m a sophisticated non-American (just kidding… kind of) but mostly because I like carving out time on Sundays to plan for the week ahead. If you’d prefer a file with a Sunday start, reach out or leave a comment below and I’m sure I can help you out.
You might use this weekly planning printable for
A gratitude diary
1-2 must dos (or want to dos) per day
I laminated mine using a 3M self-sealing pouch (you can find them on Amazon in packages of 10 for less than $10, or in the office supply aisle at Target) and use a fine tip dry erase marker, rather than printing a new page every week (I feel like I am forever living dangerously… in the low ink zone).
Time to go write something down. And maybe, eventually do that something.
What is it about spring that makes me want to be a runner again?
That year I ran two marathons (the Walt Disney World Marathon and the NYC marathon <– click though for recaps, if you’d like to read about very mediocre running, but above average emotional expression) seems like ancient history, but give me a new pair of kicks and a 60 degree day and you’d think I was heading for the starting line (more likely: I’m heading to Target because I forgot to buy hand soap… but remembered to buy chocolate chips…).
Regardless, I’m looking forward to several spring races (the Marine Corps Honor Run in Southie and the Corrib 5k in West Roxbury for starts) and sort of feel my running mojo coming back. Whatever that means. If you’re getting back outside to train, I’ve got a great giveaway below that might make your (running) life a little better.
Last week’s workouts
Monday: Mama Beasts — I’m always a little giddy when the deck of cards comes out (and I’m impressed at how many ways Antoinette puts those cards to use!).
Tuesday: Mama Beasts spring challenge workout (at home) and a long walk with the little people. Grace went on a two week nap strike (and attempted to eat a crayon while I changed Nick’s diaper), so escaping getting out of the house felt very necessary. It’s amazing what a little fresh air (and ocean views) can do.
Thursday: Push-up playdate with my sister-in-law, Colleen– we earned a point for our MB team for every push-up we completed in an hour. I’m still working on being able to do regular push-ups on my toes (hello, two children… and a temporary goodbye to core/back strength), but got 163 good form push-ups done on my knees. I rounded out the day with a gentle flow from OneOEight yoga.
Friday: Mama Beasts (followed by an adorable egg hunt for the little ones!)
Saturday: Mileage day for the MB challenge — a morning walk and an afternoon trip to the track for a total of 5 miles.
I recently received a dual pocket run belt from SLS3 and have used it on several outdoor runs and walks, and loaned it to Nick for a rowing workout. I’ve used other running belts in the past, and this one is far more comfortable (it doesn’t bounce around and has a wide, fully adjustable belt) and it can hold an iPhone 6+ (and comparably giant phones), keys, IDs, gels, snacks, and heavens knows what else. I look forward to continuing to use it for spring runs and races and am thrilled to host a giveaway today.
The giveaway is open for a week, and a random winner will be chosen and contacted by SLS3. Please enter by using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Thursday: Make-up class with the Mama Beasts — 12 Days of Christmas! I’m really glad I made it to this class, as I missed this workout when Antoinette ran it in December, just after Nick was born. I had to scale back some of the running (indoor laps instead of outdoor) half-way through… I pretended I needed to be close to the babes, but in reality, my lungs and legs were burning). Merry Christmas, body!
Friday: Class with the Mama Beasts, BeFit Toned Abs and Arms — class three days in a row was no joke, but I really liked the abs/arms workout from earlier in the week, so I snuck that in, too.
Sunday: Yoga (Mellow Me Out… again, and a yin yoga class)
In addition to making it to class four times both weeks (there was an extra class held both weeks), I managed to sneak in a few short at-home workouts, too. I’m really enjoying BeFit’s 30 Day Workout Calendar, which corresponds to this YouTube playlist. The program is free to access — I definitely recommend checking it out.
Each workout is short, but intense (check out this intro video to learn more) — perfect for fitting in between appointments, during nap time, or whenever your schedule allows. You could work through the 30 day calendar as it is laid out, or pick and choose, as I have been doing. This program is both really well organized and manageable (especially when you consider how little time you need to carve out) — and the variety of workouts has kept me feeling engaged and motivated.
As a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I was given the chance to review BeFit’s 30 Day Fat Burn program and received a generous gift of BeFit nutritional products from the company.
Because I’m breastfeeding Nick, I am not taking any supplements (just a prenatal vitamin and my good ol’ Floridix for anemia), but I’ve heard great things about the products we received from my fellow ambassadors and look forward to trying them in the future. I’m especially excited to try the pre-workout formula, as well as a few of the whey protein recipes that BeFit has shared on Instagram. If you’d like to win your own gift set from BeFit, please see details below.
I think I skipped a week. I think no one cares. Let’s move on.
Last week was the final week of the Mama Beasts’ winter challenge and I’m sort of disappointed that it’s over. I think I’m going to start giving myself imaginary points for workouts, non-Cheeze-Its dinners and routine “me” time. Points are weirdly motivating.
They also distract (sort of) from the actual work — the past few weeks flew by and I’m left with some pretty solid good habits. Like eating breakfast. And staying tuned in during workouts at home. And being a bit more mindful of my tendency to snack when stressed.
Last week’s workouts | 003
Monday: The Name Game – Class was canceled due to snow, so we were given a “name game” workout to complete at home. Each letter of the alphabet had a corresponding number and exercise (for example, E = 50 squats). There were extra points awarded for completing your first, middle and last name… I got through E-L-I and considered whether or not I could legally change my name to Eli Smith… or something even a letter or two shorter than my ridiculously long name. When it was all said and done (I broke it up over the course of the day and it took me until almost 10 PM to finish), I completed:
25 power burpees
90 second wall sit
50 biceps curls
100 high knees
90 second high plank
90 second low plank
300 mountain climbers
50 plank jacks
50 triceps extensions
900 swear words
You could easily come up with your own “name game” workout and use random (or not so random) words instead of names. I’m definitely holding onto this one for future use.
Tuesday: Plyo pyramid (another at-home workout)
Wednesday: Class with Mama Beasts
Thursday: Yoga (Happy Hips + Hearts flow from OneOEight.tv), “Booty Burner Pyramid” from a past MB challenge
Friday: Class with Mama Beasts; Class (and the challenge) ended with a Beep Test (it has a bunch of other names — more details here thanks to the Internet). This was my first time running a beep test and admittedly, had no idea what was going on… so I am looking forward to redeeming myself at the next opportunity. Also, I downloaded a beep test app and fully intend to train under the cover of darkness in our driveway. Or whatever.
Saturday + Sunday: Rest (I think I was still sore from the name game).
Last week, I treated myself to an in-the-house only yoga mat (my other mat has spent some time outdoors, on the beach, and being run over by toddlers wielding doll strollers). It only took one unrolling for Grace to claim it as her own. She told me she’d share it with me and then demanded I do squats and “exercise with my feet.” Lord, help me.
I do appreciate that I am able to workout with both children at my side, as challenging as that can be at times. I want them to see exercise as an opportunity to care for themselves. I want them to feel strong, capable and proud of themselves and their bodies.
And hopefully, down the road, they’ll have a much better understanding of how those bodies work. For instance: They will know that before they were born, our belly buttons were not connected to one another by an umbilical cord (a fact I came to grasp just weeks before Grace was born… so that was special).
Anatomy aside, here are last week’s workouts. (I’m including FitBit stats this week for the heck of it).
Last week’s workouts | 002
Monday: Class with Mama Beasts // FitBit: 16,065 steps, 6.71 miles
Tuesday: At home workout (for our Mama Beasts challenge) // FitBit: 12,121 steps, 5.06 miles
Wednesday: Class with Mama Beasts // FitBit: 11,517 steps, 4.81 miles
Thursday: Yoga and a little time playing around with my Stretch Deck (a great, portable reference for people who know they need to stretch, but are too lazy/tired to put much thought into a routine). I signed up for a free trial with OneOEight and have been loving their online yoga classes and guided meditations. You can select classes based on length, vibe, etc. // FitBit: 10,048 steps, 4.2 miles
Friday: More yoga. // FitBit: 10,056 steps, 4.2 miles
Saturday: At home tabata workout (for our Mama Beasts challenge) // FitBit: 7,073 steps, 2.97 miles
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I can think of no better way to end a wild week than a day of fitness with a lovely group of ladies.
Reebok generously welcomed a group of FitFluential Ambassadors to their headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts (just a short trip down the Expressway) for what proved to be an incredible experience.
Despite logging a pathetic ten hours of sleep between Wednesday and Thursday nights, I couldn’t help but feel energized crossing Reebok’s campus. From the minute I reached the reception desk, I felt warmly welcomed. I met two ladies who also live in Southie, so you know they’re good people. Their team is friendly, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and above all, they clearly love what they do.
The day started with Johnice Graham giving us an introduction to the brand and their current campaign, The sport of fitness has arrived, as well as their partnership with CrossFit.
For the record: I still get chills every time I see that ad. I also kind of love the Chad Johnson and Annie Thorisdottir one. Mostly because I kind of love Chad. Probably as much as Tina loves Annie. The workplace culture was remarkable, there is no mistaking that Reebok employees practice what they preach. As Johnice shared with us, in the last year alone, Reebok employees have lost over 4,000 lbs. by engaging with fitness in the workplace. From an on-site CrossFit box to walking paths, fitness classes, sports fields, and a track that wraps around the headquarter’s main building, it seems there are limitless options for getting and staying fit.
I especially liked the “express WODS” posted throughout the building.
Austin Malleolo, head coach at CrossFit One and one of the best CrossFit athletes in the world, gave us an introduction to the CrossFit philosophy and took us through a quick warm-up with Caleb Diebolt before we paired up for a partnered WOD. The advantage to being engaged to a CrossFit addict is that I’ve unknowingly absorbed all the lingo. I was excited to see kettle bell swings and running on the workout, but pull-ups? Not so much.
Sarah asked me to be her partner, and I eagerly agreed… until I remembered that she had her videographer with her. I’d like to apologize to all of her viewers for any and all of my on camera time. Fortunately, Sarah saved me when it came to pull-ups and jumped in whenever I was close to giving up. That’s the beauty of a partner workout. Want to see us in action? Kelly Olexa posted this great video of the two of us.
The kettlebell swings were definitely my favorite, and Austin, Caleb and the other coaches were great about helping us with form, and motivating us all to crank out a few more reps. We finished three rounds in 15:03. A quick and sweaty workout, to be sure. And yes, I can see what all the hype is about.
I’m looking forward to hitting up an intro session at our neighborhood’s box soon. I think I’m ready to sip the Kool-Aid, especially after talking a bit more about it with Bridget during this morning’s run. I’ve been promising Nick that I’d join him at CrossFit Southie one of these days, and with work craziness starting to wind down for the new few months, I am running out of excuses. 😉
Highlights from the afternoon included a focus group and discussion on women’s footwear and apparel, a visit to Reebok’s Human Performance Engineering Lab (safety goggles!), and a cardio dance class with Ilyse Baker that had us stomping, shaking our hips, and channeling our inner Beyonce. More on all of this to come.