As some of you know, we are headed to Florida for Thanksgiving. Like so many others, we will be far away from our gym, staying in a hotel. We’ve already scoped out the area, and the options for fitness studios are limited. SO…we’ve been planning out a few ideas for how to make sure we still stay active and get work outs in with fewer resources.
- Utilize a hotel gym: MOST hotel gyms have at least a treadmill and some dumbbells. We love Jason Khalipa’s page of hotel WODs for workouts that don’t require much equipment. You can find that page here.
- Get your steps in: When on vacation, it’s easy to sit on the couch and binge on football and Christmas movies. We get it. BUT if you’re taking a day off from the gym, staying active throughout the day can make a huge difference. Find a nature trail, hit the mall, see the local sights–this is the fitness you’re getting without even realizing it! Check your steps at the end of the day and see how fast they rack up.
- Pick and choose where you indulge: We all have our eye on our favorite dessert or side at Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s pumpkin pie. Go for it and eat it guilt-free, knowing that it’s a special holiday. With that being said, it doesn’t have to be a free-for-all where you throw away your healthy habits. Maybe skip the roll, add some green veggies to your plate, and fill up on protein!
- Keep in mind portion control: Like we said before, the holidays don’t have to be a free-for-all. If you plan on having a taste of everything, here are some helpful infographics that we found here.
We’ll be posting our workouts, steps, and eats (healthy & indulgent) on Instagram, so follow along here!
If you follow us on Instagram, you may have noticed we were a little MIA this past weekend. One of my sister’s favorite sayings is “hang up and hang out”, so we did just that! We went to visit Sarah at Ole Miss for a few days and had to share our foodie adventures and shopping favorites with you.
We arrived late Friday night, so we decided to start Stranger Things: Season 2 and quickly fell asleep. Sarah had us up early on Saturday morning to head to The Grove for some tailgating. We made it into the stadium for the game, and we left with Ole Miss’ comfortable 31-7 lead at halftime.
If you’re not familiar with The Square in Oxford, it is an adorable area full of shops and restaurants about a mile from campus. It is definitely one of the cutest attractions in the area. We went to Boure for lunch, and I was able to sneak some greens in! I had a salad with steak and blue cheese, Zach had the GIANT club sandwich, and Sarah had the Boure burger. This place never fails to disappoint. We shopped around all the stores and headed home to shower and watch the traumatizing TCU game.
After the game, we went to Volta, which is an old gas station turned greek restaurant. We didn’t take pictures, but if you go-try their pimento cheese made with feta. I rarely endorse any changes to a great classic, but this one is delicious.
On Sunday, we woke to frost covering everything as we headed to Mass at St. John the Evangelical church. Their parish is beautiful and super homey. It felt like such a sweet community. We knew we wanted to hit up Bottletree Bakery, so we prepared ourselves for an hour wait. While we were entering, none other than ELI MANNING himself walked out of the restaurant. It totally made the wait worth it.
Sarah brought us to a trail, so that we could walk to avoid our food coma. It was pretty chilly outside, but the views were incredible!
While Sarah took a nap, Zach and I headed over to the Turner Center for a workout. We always make it a priority to work out on vacation, so we were happy to fit in a lift. After the workout, we stopped at one of my Oxford favorites-Juva Juice for a green smoothie! This place has the yummiest smoothies, bowls, and they even sell preworkout! It is a pretty impressive place.
Sunday ended at one of our Oxford favorites-Ravine. This restaurant has the CUTEST feel to it. You would never know you’re ten minutes from campus. We would recommend literally every item on the menu, and if you go, ask for Aaron. Ravine never disappoints.
On Monday, we hit up the Turner Center again, while Sarah was in class. We fueled up post-workout at Fillups with Billups. This was a total diner feel, so if you’re looking for hangover-type food, this is your place! If you saw the photo of our cinnamon roll waffle on instagram, you have an idea of the type of menu items you might find here!
This made my third trip to Oxford, and I love it every single time. We have a thing for visiting smaller towns, and we absolutely love Oxford. If you’re a foodie like us, check out my sister’s foodie instagram: @begood2urself_snl.
Fall weather has finally begun to make its appearance in the DFW area! This past weekend, it was cloudy and in the low 60s in the morning. Of course, tomorrow the high is 84 BUT we will see lows in the 40s this coming week. Ever since the Nordstrom Semi-Annual Sale, I’ve been itching to grab my favorite fall items and wear them in appropriate temperatures!
You’ve seen this sweater on the blog before, featured here. After I wore the grey one super often, I bought the black one too. These sweaters are light enough to wear when the weather isn’t quite cool enough, but they’re great for layering. In this blog post, you can see how I layered the grey one with my Barbour jacket in the freezing temps in New York this past spring. I found this leopard scarf at Old Navy, but it seems like you can find one almost anywhere this season. I love adding leopard to otherwise neutral outfits, ESPECIALLY in the fall. I would love to splurge on a pair of leopard loafers like these OR a cute & cozy cardigan like this one.
I’m curious to know–where do you find your comfiest flats? At the end of the day, I find myself preferring sandals or shoes with a wedge over flats. I’m on my feet ALL day as a teacher, so I’m constantly on the lookout for something that won’t hurt my feet by 3:00. My Tory Burch Revas are a classic.
Whenever fitness routines come up in the conversation and people hear that we both lift weights, we often hear the question, “but how do you get your cardio?”
The definition of cardiovascular exercise is any activity that raises the heart rate. Contrary to popular belief, doing cardio does NOT just include treadmills, stairmasters, and ellipticals. That’s the beauty of creating your own programming or choosing to follow programming that includes metabolic conditioning and movements that tend to raise the heart rate.
Deadlifting for sets of 10? Kettlebell swings? Goblet squats with a pulse? Complexes with cleans, front squats, and jerks? I could go on and on, but these movements can be adapted to raise the heart rate.
There are days when I don’t feel like breaking a sweat or getting out of breath, but I still want to fit in a lift. Those are the days when I focus on low-rep upper body compound movements, like overhead pressing and benching. I’ll follow it with accessory movements, like bicep curls and tricep extensions. If I want to modify those to get my heart rate higher, I’ll superset the movements with things like kettlebell swings, dumbbell snatches, or burpees. Lifting weights can easily be adapted to be a slow, non-sweaty workout, or a “leave you on the floor” kind of deal.
A fantastic example of a workout that involves weights and NO “cardio equipment” is the partner workout featured in this post here.
Our point in sharing all of this is that if you find the treadmill as boring as we do, you can easily get in your cardio in ways BEYOND the treadmill and elliptical!
Here are our top 5 recent reads:
- Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson: After reading the first 32 pages of this book, I was hooked. By hooked, I mean I finished it in one day. I called my mom to tell her about it, and it turns out that it’s been made into a movie too! I am now itching to see it. If you’re into page-turners that won’t give you nightmares, this one is for you.
- The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson: A friend suggested this book when she heard I was going to be traveling to Chicago this summer. It goes back and forth between the story the architect behind the construction of the World’s Fair and a serial killer who plagued the city at that same time. A few portions of this book bored me, specifically when talking about building, but I found myself fascinated by the circumstances of the Worlds’ Fair.
- After Anna by Alex Lake: “The real nightmare starts when her daughter is returned…” A five year old girl goes missing during carpool time at school. The story chronicles her mother’s search for her, as well as their attempt to return to normalcy once the little girl is returned. Some of the mother’s choices had me cringing, because I wanted to root for her so badly! If you’re not careful, the ending might really make you question the intentions of some people around you.
- The River at Night by Erica Ferencik: THIS IS WHY I DO NOT GO CAMPING. Seriously, this freak accident + survival quest will confirm any fear that you may have about being outdoors at night.
- A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena: This story starts right off the bat. Tom Krupp arrives home one night to find his wife Karen missing, but her purse, phone, and license are all at home. He reports her missing only to find out that she was in a terrible car accident in a shady part of town–with no memory of her travels or the accident. The story takes twists and turns as a body is found near the scene of her accident, and Karen begins to regain her memory. I had the culprit figured out pretty early, but the very last chapter managed to surprise me!
- The Quiet Game by Greg Isles: I honestly wasn’t even sure which novel in this series to include in the list. I absolutely loved each of the six books, so I’m more or less going to let this book represent the entire series. I have a very short attention span and a few of these books are on the lengthy side, but the character development, plot twists and gripping story lines will not allow you to put the books down. Southern charm, conspiracies, romance, U.S. history and race relations; these books have it all and are an absolute must-read.
- The Cutting: A McCabe and Savage Thriller by James Hayman: I have only read this book and began one other from this series, but I can say with confidence that these truly are thrillers. It’s no secret that I never go running…ever, and this book has given me even greater reason to never go running. Nobody ever got kidnapped by a surgical psychopath while squatting or deadlifting. Enough said.
- Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide For Athletes and Coaches by Greg Everett: This may be one of the most comprehensive manuals related to Olympic Weightlifting. If you are just beginning and wanting to learn the movements and positions or if you have been lifting for years and want to learn how to improve technique and add in necessary accessory work, then this is perfect for you. From in-depth movement breakdowns, warmups, and mobility to nutrition this book has it all. To top it all off, perhaps my favorite perk of this book is that it has 8-10 week (free) programming templates included. They are catered towards beginners all the way too advanced lifters.
- Special Strength Development For All Sports by Louie Simmons: Anyone who knows me knows that I love all things Westside Barbell Club, and that I am a firm believer in the Conjugate Method. This method can often be pretty difficult to understand how to implement (intelligently). This book by THE Louie Simmons himself breaks down how to effectively utilize the principles of Max and Dynamic effort workouts in addition to the necessary accessory work and special exercises. It is must-read for anyone looking to take their training or their athletes or clients to the next level.
- Black Cross by Greg Isles: Huge fan of anything written by Greg Isles, also huge fan of anything having to do with WW2, Military Science and Nazi Germany. Absolutely fascinating! I’m honestly not even half way through yet, and I know this will be a top 5 favorite read.
Thanks for reading! We would LOVE to hear your suggestions/what you’re currently reading.
These days, we tend to think we have found the perfect balance of working out together vs. apart. Some people may have ZERO interest in “fitness-ing” with a partner, but for us, it really makes a difference! We each listed our top 2 reasons to work out with a friend/spouse, partner.
- You have someone to check your form: While your partner may not be certified as a trainer, it still helps to have someone to look at your form while working out. A second set of eyes may notice that you’re not hitting squat depth, that your hands are spaced unevenly, or that your posture needs correcting.
- You have a reason to push that extra mile: I mean that in a figurative way, because you won’t catch me going any miles. Zach is super helpful when he tells me that a lift looks way easier than it may feel to me. If the bar is moving faster than I think it is, it motivates me to put more weight on. Another one of his tricks is to slide weights onto the bar that he knows I can handle and not tell me how much I’m lifting. If I brace myself to lift heavy WITHOUT the mental struggle of having a goal in mind, I can usually gear myself up to do something I wouldn’t otherwise do.
- You have great motivation: Some days it just isn’t there for me. Whether its been a long day, the caffeine isn’t kicking in or weights just feel way too heavy. When those days come around, it’s great to have someone to either share your seat on the struggle bus, or pull energy from. Sometimes neither of us are in the mood to push it but once we get going we tend to build off of each other. Lauren is like the “Energizer Bunny” and seems to gain steam the longer we go, this usually forces me to want to keep up with her. Other days I don’t want to do anything, but I will see her pushing the weights or pace and hitting a PR and that motivates me to throw more weight on the bar and go for it!
- You have encouragement when you fail: This is a big one for me, sometimes that bar feel too darn heavy, or I get out of position because of tightness or my technique fails. Like most of us, I can get frustrated pretty easily and want to just say “Screw it!!”. Lauren does not let me get away with this one (unless I’m putting myself at a risk for injury) and will be the first one to call me out and tell me “you’ve got this, take another crack at it.” Even if that means 3, 4, 5 more cracks at it. Even if I wind up not hitting the weight in the end, at least I know that I gave it my all, and that my wife believed in me and pushed me to empty the tank!
You can find the top I’m wearing here: http://shopstyle.it/l/iDAC
The pants are old, but I linked the current style here: http://shopstyle.it/l/iDDg
Last week I decided to surprise my New Orleans-born wife with a little taste of home while we watched the Saints game. This is a super easy crock pot recipe and a great way to get a lot of flavor with low calories and plenty of protein. When most folks think of Southern Low Country cooking I think there is the common misconception to think “unhealthy”. Well, that’s not the case here at all!
Here’s the recipe! We loved it so much that we made a big second plate!
- 1 Bag of small red potatoes from Trader Joes
- 2 Ears of Corn
- 1 Can of Beer-preferably a wheat or lager
- 2 Cups of Water
- 1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Whole Lemon
- 1 Package of Pre- cooked Chicken Andouille Sausage(Trader Joes)
- 1 Bag of Pre-cooked Large Shrimp(Trader Joes)
- 1 Bag of Shrimp/Crab Boil Seasoning( we got ours from The Spice and Tea Exchange in Grapevine)
Let the veggies, beer, water and spices simmer in the crockpot for about 2-3 hours. Then add the sausage and shrimp about 30 minutes prior to serving.
Zach has always been an avid podcast listener. My podcast addiction started this summer when I found myself running errands and tackling projects that I put off during the school year. The music on the radio sucks, and I can only listen to Pat Green radio on Pandora for so many hours. I referenced Juli Bauer’s list of podcasts and started with Serial. I couldn’t stop, told everyone about it, and got my mom and sister hooked.
I tackled two series of Someone Knows Something and Accused, before my husband said I needed to quit with the true crime. So I moved on to the next topic that fascinates me: health, fitness, and nutrition. I started light with Paleomg Uncensored, and found myself CRACKING up in public. Juli Bauer of paleomg.com covers topics from Crossfit, Orange Theory, conquering sugar addiction, social media, and my favorite-the Bachelorette.
Serial: If you like a good episode of Law & Order: SVU or James Patterson mystery-esque novel, this is for you. I thought the Adnan series was better than Bergdahl, but still…if you’ve already listened, tell me what you think in the comments below.
Someone Knows Something: The first series was about a little boy, Adrien, who went missing while on a fishing trip with his dad, siblings, and family friends. He disappeared literally without a trace, and the journalist explores all sorts of possibilities. The end is fascinating, because they may or may not have found something to help the closed investigation. The second series was about a 20s-something girl named Cheryl who went missing the day after she became engaged on national TV. I’m 99.99% sure it was her boyfriend who killed her, because the situation is suuuuuper sketchy.
Accused: A college aged boy finds his girlfriend murdered in the apartment that they share and is immediately the number one suspect. He is tried for the murder (and again for “wrongful death”?-correct me if I’m wrong) and both times, the jury found him innocent. No other leads were officially investigated, but the journalist covers a lot of leads.
Girls Gone Wod: Two avid Crossfitters, Claire and Joy, have been podcasting for years together and are pretty funny. One is a new-ish mom and shares how that changed the fitness game for her. At first, I picked the ones I wanted to listen to, but then decided to go back to episode 1. I love hearing how they venture into so many different approaches to nutrition–vegan, paleo, macros, zone, and whole 30.
Fed & Fit: Cassy hits a lot of paleo topics, but she also talks about things like brown rice vs. white rice, healthy swaps you can make, how alcohol affects your fitness, and holistic health like non-toxic beauty and sleep health.
Rose Pricks: If you watch The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, this is a must. They totally roast the characters, which is a little mean, but it’s hilarious. Their imitations of Eric and Bryan’s mom have me CRACKING up, because they’re so accurate. They basically say what we’re all thinking about this silly show, anyway.
Zach’s favorites: Here are some of my recommendations as well as personal favorite podcasts!
Barbell Shrugged: This one is an oldie and a goody. The crew will cover anything an everything from CrossFit, to nutrition, alternative medicine and philosophy. Mike Bledsoe, Doug Larson and the rest of the crew have a wide array of interests and wildly different personalities, which helps to keep everything light hearted and interesting.
The JuggLife: Chad Wesley Smith and Max Aita do their best “Step Brothers” impression on the podcast, full of dry sarcasm and an infinite knowledge of strength sport, programming, competition tips and analysis of some of the best 80s and 90s films. If you love barbells, cheesy jokes and some of the best guests in Strength Sport then this is a great podcast for you.
Mark Bell’s Powercast: The podcast that started it all for me, this may be the single greatest combination of some of the greatest guests in training and barbell sport, business, jokes that make you absolutely laugh out loud and a little bit of knowledge here and there. From the biggest names in CrossFit, Powerlifting Strongman and even celebrity trainers and the biggest personalities in business. Caution things can get a little immature…but if you find that hilarious like me, then you’re in for a treat.
Power Athlete Radio: With over a decade playing in the NFL John Welbourn has some of the greatest stories from life inside and outside of the league. Joining him are Luke Summers and Tex, all great coaches who routinely drop knowledge bombs about training, nutrition, lifestyle and talk shop about hunting, cars and the NFL life. With some of the most knowledgeable guests from barbell sport, former NFL players, military personnel and some of the brightest minds in medicine and nutrition this is a podcast you will definitely want to listen to. Prepare for some of the driest and most berating humor you can imagine, its like being in a high school locker room all over again.
We’ve added one meal into rotation to have once a week. When I was younger, I called it “sausage chicken” and the name stuck. It’s super easy and nutritious, so I thought I’d share it with you! There are few measurements to this recipe, because it’s that simple
- Place however much chicken on a pan. Place 1 tsp of butter on each breast or tender of chicken.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over. Add chicken andouille sausage all throughout the pan. Make sure it’s cut up so that the flavor can permeate the chicken.
- Some of the butter will have melted in the pan. Spoon it over the chicken again.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- DONE! 🙂
We typically serve this with any greens. Okra, zucchini, or asparagus are our favorites right now.
This week, we had the opportunity to try out Speed Flex in Dallas. We were stunned to find out that the studio has been open for 3 years! It is the first of its type in the entire country. This 30 minute class uses machines that elicit isokinetic contractions. This class is meant to provide a personalized intensity of workout, because it’s resistance-based, meaning it allows for “a professional athlete to train alongside a retiree”. There should be little to no muscle soreness after taking the class, because it is made up of solely concentric movements. The class we took was a HIIT-type modified Tabata, spending 20 sec at each station & 8 sec to rotate. We wore heart rate monitors around our chest, and mine said that I burned 360 calories in 30 minutes. I did wear my Polar watch, as well, but that only said I burned 180. It was a fun upbeat class, and we would definitely attend again! Info can be found at the link below.