attention boston salad-lovers & flywheel enthusiasts: announcing #flyforsweetgreen

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Attention Boston ladies, if you love salads & you love a good ol’ sweat session, this contest is for you! On Thursday, January 30th two of my favorite Boston hot-spots, sweetgreen + flywheel, are joining together for the promotion of a lifetime.

Take a class at Flywheel Boston + grab a meal at sweetgreen back bay on Jan 30th, and you’ll be entered to win a fabulous swag-filled prize pack including flywheel classes, credit to sweetgreen, goodies to encourage your healthy lifestyle & more!

To enter, you must “check in” on Facebook to both Flywheel & sweetgreen Boston and use hashtag #flyforsweetgreen

Not sure how to “check in?” Follow these simple instructions:

1. On your News Feed, tap Check In (You must “like” flywheel boston + sweetgreen to check in) Search for sweetgreen back bay & Flywheel Boston in the search bar.

2. Write a status update, tag friends or add a photo (Be sure to use hashtag #flyforsweetgreen )

Enjoy,

Rachel…

In Review: Sports Club/LA Chestnut Hill

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[source]

This past month, the lovely people from Sports Club/LA Chestnut Hill gifted me with a club membership. Since I had an amazing experience when visiting their space downtown, I was ecstatic to give their new club a try.

Chestnut Hill is totally blowing up lately with healthy offerings! Plus it’s close enough to my Brookline apartment for me to easily commute via public transportation.

The Amenities

Upon walking in, as expected, I was in awe of how beautiful the space was. The locker rooms alone deserve a separate post in itself! They have everything you could possibly need post-workout from lotion to hair dryers to deodorant. Their showers have all the essentials including razors, shaving cream, and high-end yummy smelling shampoos & conditioners. I absolutely adore the brand of beauty care they use by (MALIN + GOETZ) utilizing natural ingredients that are good for your skin.

Not to mention the roomy sauna and eucalyptus-infused steam room that totally blew my mind! I won’t lie: one day I took the trip just to give myself a mini “spa day” at the Sports Club/LA women’s locker room that is. In my defense, I was feeling a little stuffed up and was totally craving some R&R.

Other perks include an on-site cafe, nutrition services and childcare.

The Fitness

Now let’s get to the good stuff; you know like what you came here for in the first place! First and foremost, I must comment on how clean and spacious the club is. Everything is available on the same level so there’s no running around from weights to yoga class back to the locker room. It’s all in one convenient area to make your trip to the gym as stress-free as possible, because that’s what it should be, right?

They have everything, and I mean everything. From free weights to isolated machines, special treadmills (with gripping to make it more like “running on the road”) to every workout machine you could imagine (stair-climber, elliptical, you name it), Sports Club/LA has it all.

While I was super impressed by the club’s offerings, the group fitness classes are what stole my heart. During the month, I tried a few fitness classes to really get the full club experience. My favorites were Rev & Rock with Ike Ajoku and Rev & OM with Cara Gilman. As you can see, I’m on a spinning kick lately!

Ike’s class was a blast, and you could tell he really enjoys teaching and riding to the beat of the music. He was super motivational, and his class was a great mix of sweaty and fun (dream blend in my mind).

Cara’s Rev & Om class was a breath of fresh air, as I’ve never thought to combine spinning and yoga before. I love yoga. I love spinning. And as expected I loved Rev & Om! The spinning portion was a sweaty 45-minute ride with great music and Cara’s yogi-inspired motivations throughout. She’s literally a ball of joy, smiling throughout the entire class with her little pony swinging to the beat of the music as she kept up with the class.

After 45-minutes of sweating, we cooled down with a vinyasa flow in the yoga studio. I must say: it felt AMAZING to stretch and breathe after moving my legs so much previously. My hips and thighs definitely thanked me later! I really liked her adjustment during child’s pose and Savasana that left me feeling rejuvenated and at ease. I’ve taken Cara’s yoga classes before, so I knew it’d be exactly what I was looking for!

Overall, Sports Club/LA Chestnut Hill was everything I expected and more! I’d recommend anyone who lives or works in the area to take a trip and see what it’s all about. I assure you: you certainly won’t be dissapointed.

Note: Sports Club/LA Chestnut Hill gave me a complimentary one-month membership to try out their club to review. However, I was not compensated to write this post and all opinions are my own.

I Sweat For a Cure with New Balance Lace Up 365

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#LaceUp365

Last month, I was invited by the lovely folks at New Balance to participate in the launch of their Lace Up 365 program to celebrate their 25th anniversary of their partnership with Susan G Komen.

To honor those who have been affected by breast cancer, Lace Up 365 was born so supporters could dedicate their workouts to breast cancer survivors (featured on New Balance’s site daily) simply by hash-tagging #LaceUp365.

And to kick off this fabulous, feel-good campaign, New Balance invited bloggers to participate in some of the newest & hottest workouts all around the city of Boston: Barry’s Bootcamp, November Project, The Handle Bar and Yoga at NB Fitness. Sweating it out for a good cause? I’m IN!

Before the event, I was sent a pair of pink New Balance sneaks, a pair of pants and some shirts with the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure logo. I absolutely love my super-bright pink sneaks, which I wear proudly & think of someone to dedicate my workout to every time I sport ’em!

Each event started with a special gathering where we heard from a New Balance representative, as well as the beautiful & inspiring stories of a few survivors! We were also given little goodie bags with essentials like much-needed water, a face towel and some nutrition bars. From there, we were off to the workouts!

I was lucky enough to join for both Barry’s Bootcamp  and The Handle Bar.

Class Recaps

Barry’s Bootcamp

The first class I took was at Barry’s Bootcamp, and I was thrilled to join as they just opened in Boston! I had only taken one class here before, and was excited to take it with one of the studio managers, Dustin, himself. I knew I was in for a treat aka. a super sweaty, challenging class. And Dustin definitely delivered!

Just to paint the picture for you all: when you walk into the room, the lights are dark with club-like lighting and the music is blaring. On this special event, however, we were lucky to have a DJ dropping the beats for the 60-minute class. You then shuffle around the room to either hop on a treadmill or snag your space on the floor. But don’t worry, it doesn’t matter too much, because you alternate positions throughout the class (roughly 30 minutes on each in 15 minute increments)!

I started on the floor i.e. strength training. Before the class began, Dustin had us dedicate the class to someone we know who has been affected by cancer. Immediately, I dedicated mine to my beloved Grandma Carol (who passed away a few years ago) and it was ON!

On the floor portion of class, we did a mix of lunges, deadlifts, chest-presses, dumbbell curls, push ups, planks and all that good stuff! Let’s just say, I was certainly feeling the burn. As for the treadmill, it’s not anything like running on a treadmill at the gym! From jogs to full out sprints (think: double digits), hills to flat roads, the workout was anything but boring. Let’s just say: I was drenched in sweat. But the strength training portion was definitely more challenging for me personally, since as I runner I was more conditioned for the tread.

Overall, I highly recommend Barry’s if you want a killer full-body workout (with fabulous coach-like instructors cheering you on) in just 60 minutes of your time! It’s so worth it.

The Handle Bar

I’ve been to The Handle Bar a few times, and the main perks that stand out to me is a. their super friendly vibe b. their fabulous, cheerful instructors and c. their music.

Not once have I gone to a class there & been dissapointed. It’s the worst when you take spin and the music stinks or the instructor is less-than-motivating. Bummer. Not at The Handle Bar! I also love their clean, chic look and welcoming vibe which is important to me as a customer.

This class was extra-special since I got to take it with the owner, Jess, for my first time! Not only is Jess super cute & spunky, but she’s super motivating and plays killer music to boot. Score.

Read my full review of The Handle Bar indoor cycling studio here!

Sending a giant bear hug & a huge thank you to New Balance & Susan G Komen for putting together these events and making this campaign come to life! I encourage all of you to participate in this campaign, by dedicate your daily workouts to a survivor or someone special in your life. Use hashtag #LaceUp365 to participate!


Boston 2013 Fall Fitness Roundup

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As you know by now, fall is my absolute favorite season. But what’s even better is Boston in the fall. And this year, the city’s got a whole bunch of fitness activities lined up to get you in tiptop shape for the holiday season! Burn of those cider donuts, candy corns and pumpkin spice lattes, de-stress from the workweek and let out your inner kid this Halloween with these fun (and sweaty) workouts in & around Boston!

Halloween Zumba with Ali B 10/25, 6:30 p.m.: Join fitness rockstar Ali Baldassare for a Zumba party like no other! Come by yourself, or bring your friends and get ready to rock out to Halloween faves including Thriller. This free event will be held at Beacon Hill Athletic Club on Atlantic Ave. Free More Info

Ultimate Bootcamp Trick Or Treat Workout 10/26, 9:00 a.m.: During this super-sweaty 75-minute workout, you’ll sprint, squat and burn those Halloween treats off, and have fun doing it! Costumes are encouraged (there’s even a prize for the best-dressed), and participants will receive special treats like gift cards and swag throughout. $25, Registration Required More Info

TFW Boston x sweetgreen Fitness Club Crawl 10/26, 12:00 p.m.: Unleash your inner warrior with this dynamic urban bootcamp this Saturday. You’ll get a great workout  in, all while navigating the city you know & love! Pub crawls are over-rated after all…club crawls are where it’s at. There’ll be surprise pit stops along the way, including credit for a well-earned lunch at sweetgreen Back Bay to wrap things up. Free, Registration Required More Info

Flywheel with lululemon Prudential & Christina Lodde 10/29, 11/5, 7:30 p.m.: Join in for Boston’s latest fitness addiction: Flywheel. At this high-end stadium cycling studio, they believe in work and play, leaving you drenched in sweat with a smile on your face (legs burning and all). Now you have your chance to fly at this brand new studio for FREE with lululemon ambassador Christina Lodde.  Free, Must sign up at lululemon Prudential before class

Haunted Hay-ride with The Handle Bar 10/31, 5:45 p.m.: Treat yourself to this Halloween-themed ride at South Boston’s beautiful, innovative spin studio The Handle Bar. The studio will be dimly lit with orange lights, and Halloween-themed songs will be blaring! After a 45-minute sweatfest, you’ll join everyone afterward for complimentary fall-themed mocktails. And you’ll walk out with a Handle Bar branded tank to boot! $25, Registration Recommended More Info

Sweet Flow Yoga with Cara Gilman at Back Bay Yoga 11/4, 7:00 a.m.: Get your morning flow on with Cara Gilman at Back Bay Yoga on Monday, 11/4. This early bird class will help you beat those Monday blues and boost your energy for the week ahead. Plus, all attendees will receive a complimentary light breakfast and $5 app credit provided by sweetgreen Back Bay. Now that’s a reason to get out of bed in the morning! $10, Registration Recommended More Info

Happy fall ladies! Hope to see you out there movin’ & sweatin’!

Raising The Bar (and Sweating it Out) at Boston’s Newest Spin Studio: The Handle Bar

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Spinning has quickly become one of my favorite exercises of late. Why’s that, you ask? Well of course I love a good, sweat-inducing, body-sculpting workout, but that’s not the main reason why I’ve fallen in love with spin. What really put me head over heels is the way it makes me feel. There’s nothing like 45+ juicy minutes of straight-up adrenaline mixed with loud beats pumping through the speakers to get you motivated!

Thus far, I’ve been taking classes at Recycle Studio which I adore for their top-notch teachers and comfortable, boutique feel. (Take Christina’s class…she’ll make you sweat ’til the very end) But unfortunately there aren’t many other spin studios around the Boston area, especially for those who don’t live right in the city.

That’s why I was super excited for the opening of The Handle Bar, the city’s newest spin studio located in South Boston (right off Broadway Station on the Red Line.) And I was lucky enough to be invited to try the class with up to 10 of my friends (spin shoe rental included.) SCORE!

While The Handle Bar isn’t right in Downtown Boston, it’s just a quick 10 minute trip from Park Street Station, making it super easy for commuters to get to class. Upon walking in, I was amazed by beautiful decor and great attention to detail. It definitely wasn’t your typical gym ambience; rather is was warm, inviting, edgy and hip. You know, it sort of makes you want to sit down and stay a while.

[earplugs & hair ties on the house!]

Not to mention, the owner Jess is an absolute sweetheart and just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out! We had met once before, and she quickly ran over to give me a big hug and greet the group. Not only does Jess manage the studio, but she totally walks to talk too as one of their talented instructors.

After being greeted, we filled out some quick waivers (easy, peasy) and then were asked for our shoe size to get our spin shoes. I had never spun with actual clip-on spin shoes (that clip into the bike pedals) as I usually just wear my clunky running shoes that slip in. But these bikes were high-tech, not to mention brand new. So we had to get geared up properly!

When I walked into the studio, I was in awe. With 30 bikes, large mirrors and squeaky-clean, brand new equipment, I had never seen anything quite like it. It was spacious, open and just plain innovative. It got me even more excited to get my ride on!

Jess and our spin teacher Ch’ien walked around the room to help everyone get their bikes set up, and Ch’ien introduced himself and explained the workout. Then the lights went off, the shades were closed and it was time to get the party started!

I really enjoyed Ch’ien’s class, as he mixed in his own style making it different than your typical spin class. He teaches on a scale of 1 to 4 zone, 4 being in his own words: “You want to punch me in the face.” I absolutely loved his energy, loud music (with lots of club-style remixes and even a little Spice Girls thrown in) and overall style of teaching. Definitely kept the crowd moving their legs (and entertained with his bursts of humor!)

The added arm workouts — utilizing a weighted bar — differentiates The Handle Bar from other spin classes too. Plus, it gives your arms a killer burn as you spin your little legs away!

I will certainly be back for more, and can’t wait to give the other instructors a try too! I’ve been told they’ve all got their own unique style and bring something different to the table, er, handle bar each & every class.

Want to see what The Handle Bar is all about for yourself? View their full schedule here to sign up for a class! Single classes are $20 plus a $2 shoe rental.

Weekly Event Recap: Harpoon 5-Miler, Fusion Fest & A Taste of Faneuil Hall

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This past week has been nonstop…in a good way that is. One of the many reasons I adore living in Boston is the seemingly never-ending supply of events, especially for us twenty-somethings. From wine tastings to food fests, yoga events to music festivals, The Hub is where it’s at when it comes to things to do.

And this pat week was no exception. Now that the weather is getting nicer (and bars are starting to open their outdoor patios again), there’s been a flush of events coming through my inbox. Since I like to keep myself busy and connect with new people, I try to attend as many as I can, while still making sure I have time for myself (which as you know is super important to me).

This week, I dabbled in a number of events including the Harpoon 5-Miler, Exhale Spa’s Fusion Fest and A Taste of Faneuil Hall: a little bit of fun, fitness and food. After all, that’s what being a Healthy Chick is all about, right? See below for a first-hand recap of each event!

Sunday: The Harpoon 5-Miler

This past Sunday, myself and 5 friends ran the Harpoon 5 Miler at Harpoon Brewery to help raise money for The Angel Fund, an independent nonprofit benefiting ALS. Our team was named “Team Brewski” since both The Boy & I both have last names that end in “Ski” (Most people refer to me as Rachel Ski) and, well, it was a day filled with brews.

Unfortunately, the night before the race The Boy came down with flu-like symptoms and had to forfeit, but luckily my best friend subbed in for him. It was such a beautiful day, and the whole team finished strong with big smiles! I actually finished in just over 42 minutes, a time I was super proud of.

[Most of the Team Brewski ladies!]

After the race, we were provided food from Bertucci’s as well as two drinks each  from Harpoon. I used my tickets for Harpoon’s Honey Cider, which is naturally gluten free with a light, refreshing honey taste – perfect for summer and a gal who doesn’t really like beer! Post drinks, we mingled, listened to the live band and danced our little runner legs off. Good times all around!

Wednesday: Fusion Fest

On Wednesday, my week of fitness events continued at Exhale Spa’s Fusion Fest, celebrating Exhale’s 10-year anniversary. For the entire day of May 22nd, Exhale teamed up with Women’s Health magazine (one of my faves!) to offer free Core Fusion classes all day long! I took the 5 p.m. class with one of my favorite teachers Meg. I actually used to work at Exhale’s Battery Wharf location so it was nice to be back to the barre!

Tonight’s class was extra special as it was part of Women’s Health magazine’s “The Next Fitness Star” competition. They’ve finally narrowed it down to just 5 finalists and I was lucky enough to no only meet one of them, but work out next to her! Yes, that’s right; I had the honor of meeting Stacie Clark, Co-Founder and CEO of Tiger Athletics. Not only was Stacie in incredible shape, but she was also a real, down-to-earth all around fun girl!

[fellow blogger Jess from Little Miss Runshine, Stacie & I]

After class, we chatted for a good half hour about life, fitness, relationships and everything in between. In fact, we even discussed the importance of “unplugging” and me time, something that’s ultra important for the two of us. I loved learning that though Stacie has 20 years of fitness experience under her belt, she was actually first in the fashion industry. Then 8 years ago she decided to leave and go fulltime into fitness and that’s when “Tiger Fit” was born, which is actually a whole family affair (something Stacie values dearly). As we got to talking about her passion and the whole process thus far, she confidently said “I want to specialize in changing lives.” That right there says it all!

Final voting for the competition begins June 19th so be sure to help support Stacie. I can 100% attest that she’s truly the real deal! After class, we were given little goodie bags with dry shampoo, Vita Coco coconut water and June’s issue of Women’s Health. Big thanks to Exhale and Women’s Health for putting this on!

Thursday: A Taste of Faneuil Hall

Those who know me well know that I love food, and that’s exactly why I was thrilled when invited to be a guest at the 1st Annual Taste of Faneuil Hall. The event took place in Ned Devine’s and the upper rotunda of Quincy Market.

Essentially, it was an evening dedicated to celebrate all the delicious eats in & around the local Faneuil neighborhood. I brought The Boy as my Plus 1, as anything involving food and drinks is right up his alley. Plus, after Sunday’s let down I thought he could use a little pick-me-up (and a couple drinks)!

We started the night off with a shot of organic cucumber vodka infused with ginger and lemonade (which was poured down an ice luge) from Frost Ice Bar, and then chased that down with a hearty bowl of delicious clam chowder from Ned Devine’s. After that, we headed into the Upper Rotunda which served as the main sampling room and let the sampling begin. Let’s just say, we tried practically everything! (Hey, everything in moderation right?) From The Place’s grass-fed burger sliders to Boston Chowda Co’s lobster rolls, Durgin Park’s mini reubens to Dick’s Last Resort’s BBQ ribs, there was plenty of variety for everyone. We even bravely sucked down some oysters (not quite one of my favorites)!

While was tasted our fair share of dishes, the overall winner of the night for us was Anthem’s Pork Carnitas Mac & Cheese with poblano peppers, chorizo and parmesan crumb topping.

It was was creamy, decadent and certainly rich so a taste-tester was just enough for me. The Boy even went up for seconds!

Throughout the evening, there were beer tastings (including Clown Shoes) and live music from Dalton & The Sheriffs. We had a blast and our belly’s left full & happy!

You can see a full listing of the vendors & details here.

That’s a wrap from this week! What type of events do you like to attend? What’s your dream evening out?

Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Soulful, Froyo Addicted, Barre-Teaching “Fit Feminist”

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Happy Thursday everyone! I am off to a great start to the day as I got my butt out of bed for yoga. Yoga mornings = the best kind of mornings. Today, I gave Karma Yoga in Harvard Square a shot for my first time. I took a super energizing Vinyasa flow with Rachel Barringer, who gave the perfect balance of challenging postures, breath work and good ol’ fashioned humor. I really enjoyed her class and give her big props for starting my day off on the right foot.

Speaking of yoga, today’s feature on Healthy Chicks in the Community is a yoga teacher as well, and she’s far from ordinary. In addition to yoga, she teaches Barre & Soul and even aerial yoga. Plus she’s a wonderful writer and all around amazing woman inside & out and someone who I have the pleasure of knowing personally. I’ll let Andrea take it from here! (I think you’ll enjoy what she has to say, especially her message at the end!)

NAME/AGE: Andrea Isabelle Lucas/33

BLOG/TWITTER: Fit Feminist / Barre & Soul /@barresoul

CURRENT CITY: Boston

PHOTO TAKEN: by Lucie Wicker during my Barre & Soul class at Lexington Power Yoga in Lexington, MA.  Barre & Soul will be available in more locations, including Equinox fitness clubs, starting soon!

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I’m the founder and owner of Barre & Soul, a yoga-infused, results-oriented barre program.  In addition to barre, I also teach yoga and aerial yoga.

NUMBER ONE PASSION: Gender equality. The driving force behind all I do is to inspire women to live in a fun, self-expressed, empowered way.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN: I keep a sane schedule, allowing time for healthy meal preparation, connecting authentically with others, moving my body with fun activities, and reserving some quiet time to be alone.

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: I get swamped, skip my workouts, eat on the run, stay up late working and get up early to care for my family and work some more.

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: Eggs, spring mix, apples, peanut butter. OK that was 4.

NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: The song “Mr. Jones” by the Counting Crows.  I play it on the ukulele and sing really loud.  My friends have tried to intervene but there’s no stopping me.

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Aerial silks, hula hooping, surfing, barre & yoga

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Apples & PB. Also mildly addicted to frozen yogurt.

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS:

Don’t sit around waiting for someone to tap you on the shoulder and say it’s your turn to do something great. Tap yourself on the shoulder. Give yourself permission to surprise everyone, even yourself, with the great things you can achieve.  Don’t let fear of failure hold you back.  The shame of failure is nothing compared to the uneasy sense that you are missing out on your calling.

Also, since it is near impossible not to compare ourselves to the images of perfection we see in advertising and magazines, I believe every woman should have a professional photo shoot at some point, complete with makeup artist, Photoshop etc.  With those kind of resources, we all look like cover models. Then we can get over it and get on with doing the big things we are called to do with our lives!

If you’d like to be featured as one of my Healthy Chicks in the Community, or know someone who you want to make blush, email me for more deets. And remember, if you aren’t feeling your healthiest, most fabulous self (which you totally desserve) or are struggling with food & body image issues, feel free to schedule your FREE “15 Minutes to Fabulous” Breakthrough Session today!

Off to NYC & Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Dancing, Chocolate-Loving Full Time Worker Bee

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Good morning ladies! And ’tis a goooood morning indeed. The sun is shining bright in Boston right now, and The Boy & I just got back from a quickie, sweaty run together to take advantage. I even whipped out the shorts for the first time this year! Oh yes, it’s simply THAT nice out.

I’m super excited because I leave for my NYC trip this afternoon! I’m going to be attending Holistic MBA Live, a rockin’ business conference for wellness professionals put on by the lovely Stacey and Carey of  Holistic MBA. As I’ve been striving to grow & spice up my business lately, this conference could not have come at a better time. I have so many exciting things in the works!

Even better, while in NYC, I get to spend four whole days (well, nights) with my best friends from college. As you can tell, I’m high on life right now! Best friends + networking + business coaching = my cup of tea.

Anyway, today’s Thursday so let’s get to this week’s feature for Healthy Chicks in the Community. I am happy to introduce you to a lovely lady who I had the pleasure of meeting for one of her spin classes followed by some vino. Let’s just say, she’s full of energy, love & a zest for life so we naturally had a lot to talk about. I’ll let Ali take it from here!

[photo provided by Ali courtesy of lululemon]

NAME/AGE:  Ali Baldassare, 28

BLOG/TWITTER (If Applicable): http://alibaldassare.com / @movesweatlove

CURRENT CITY: Boston, MA

PHOTO TAKEN: This is my Lululemon Ambassador photo taken at the end of last year.  It is currently hanging up on the wall in the Lululemon store on Newbury St. so next time you’re out shopping, check it out!  Speaking of photos, stay tuned because I’m currently planning a fitness photo shoot over the next 2-3 months and it’s going to be epic!

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK:  Most people would never know it, but fitness is NOT my full time job.  It is my full time passion though 🙂 Right now, I do have a 9-5 job working for a pharmaceutical company, although with the amount of classes that I teach and clients that I train, I could easily argue that I pretty much have two full time jobs.  One day, I’ll be able to answer this question by just saying “full time pilates and fitness instructor” and maybe that day will be soon! No one said making your dreams come true was easy, right??

NUMBER ONE PASSION:  Teaching, inspiring and motivating people to live a life they love in a body they love!

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM:  1) When I eat well.  Eating a good clean diet makes me feel energized, awake and ready for anything!  2) Remembering to make time for me.  Things can get super hectic, but taking time for me can really help me not feel overwhelmed and run down.  It can be anything from going for a run, taking a yoga class, getting a massage or a manicure/pedicure, etc.   3) When I surround myself with other really inspiring and motivating people.

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: I have bad days when I feel unmotivated, discouraged and just want to throw in the towel and give up, but deep down I know things will always turn around.  Those bad days are what makes my good days that much better!

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES:  1) Bars (Lara bars, KIND bars, or Luna bars are some of my favorites) 2) bananas, apples, spinach, almond butter, raw almonds 3) my blender.  I am always on the go and rarely home for any significant length of time so anything healthy that I can throw in my bag or anything that I can mix up in a blender is perfect.  I’ve been really into making all kinds of smoothies lately and they actually keep me full….says the girl who is ALWAYS hungry!

NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE:  CHOCOLATE.  Anything chocolate.  I have a really big sweet tooth!

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE:  Dance.  I grew up dancing and love everything about it. Dancing has a way of allowing me to escape the world and just let go.  It makes me feel free, alive, and happy.  It also has so many great benefits like keeping your body limber and enhancing your agility, flexibility and balance.  Even when I’m completely exhausted, I always look forward to teaching my weekly Zumba classes!

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD:  Every now and then I like to enjoy a cheeseburger 🙂

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: You are capable, powerful, and in control of your life! Living a healthy life doesn’t have to be complex or hard.  Everything is based on your perception, your goals, and your choices.  There are endless ways to exercise; there are so many different ways to incorporate healthy eating into even your busiest of days.  All you have to do is find the right balance of the two that works for you.  Healthy living really can teach you so much about yourself and it’s not a one size fits all concept.  What works for you may not work for me, but that’s the beauty of it all.  We are all unique. Remember, you are the only one who can live your life, so don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  Keep things simple.  Have fun!  Be you! Strive for growth, balance and opportunity, not perfection.  You are all amazing.  Believe it and own it!…

Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Juice-Addicted, Passionate Pilates Rockstar

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Good afternoon ladies! Hope you are all having a sun-shiny day, despite the rain and dreary weather in Boston. I guess we can’t complain much after having 2 beautiful days in a row. I honestly can’t get enough of this sunshine!

For those of you participating in my “Get Happy & Healthy” Wellness Challenge, I am so impressed by all your hard work, dedication and creativity. From squeezing in that extra “me time” to enjoy your breakfast mindfully (and listen to the birds chirping) to trying a brand new green (like broccoli rabe or mustard greens!), each and every step you take—both big and small—is one step closer to a happier, healthier you. Keep up the super work!

OK, on to another week of Healthy Chicks in the Community! This week I am so thrilled to introduce you to Jenn, a real women who shines confidence, health, strength and inspiration. After all, she wasn’t named one of BostInno’s 50 on Fire for nothing. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with Jenn in person and took her Pilates Bootcamp Class (which you can read about in my newsletter here) and can tell you this woman is the real deal. Her energy, passion and love for what she does is absolutely contagious! But seriously, I gotta ask, how does she ever sleep? I’ll let Jenn take it from here…

[Photo provided by Jennifer Phelan courtesy of Lucie Wicker Photography]

NAME/AGE: Jennifer Phelan Age 29

BLOG/TWITTER (If Applicable): Jennifer Phelan Pilates www.jenniferphelan.com / JPPilates

CURRENT CITY: Boston, MA

PHOTO TAKEN: This was one of my favorite photos captured during a recent photo shoot with Lucie Wicker Photography. I had this idea to do a split on two boxes (genius). When I got into the spilt I was holding onto the box, afraid to let go when the photographer and stylist yelled for me to lift my arms and look at the camera. I did and we snapped one of the best shots of the day. Conquer your fears and live in the moment!

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I’m a full time Pilates Instructor and owner of JenniferPhelan Pilates. I teach large, contemporary group Pilates and Barre classes at Equinox and North End Yoga and I train private clients all over Boston. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different types of people such as athletes, mom’s-to-be, brides and A-List celebs. I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to spread the amazing benefits of Pilates to everyone I meet.

NUMBER ONE PASSION: Motivating others to be the best possible healthy version of themselves.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Remembering to make a little time for me. Even though I love my job and what I do everyday, it’s sometimes hard to find balance. As an independent instructor I literally do everything from teaching classes, scheduling, social media, website work and marketing all by myself. So it’s hard to actually fit in my own workouts and “JP” time. When I do actually schedule this in I feel more energized, happier and more alive. Even if that means I’m going on a 12- hour day by the time I fit in my own workouts that’s okay, because I always end up feeling ready to conquer the city when I’m done.

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: Spend the day in my sweats and watch 5 hours of Dance Moms straight without moving once.

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: 1.) Breville Juicer. 2.) Apples, spinach and cucumbers 3.) Reusable Straws Ok, can you tell I’m obsessed with juicing? I seriously can’t go a day without making at least one fresh pressed juice. Juice for life!

NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: Ice cream. Specifically soft serve vanilla with rainbow sprinkles. I used to spend my summers working in an ice cream shop that only fueled my addiction and taught me one of my best-kept hidden talents… I can make a perfect ice cream cone. I’m serious and happy to show you anytime.

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Pilates of course! I make sure that I give myself some type of a mat workout every day. It keeps my body flexible, balanced and centers my mind.

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Anything that my husband cooks. I’m lucky to have a wannabe chef husband who is one of the healthiest cooks I know. He has a way of mixing love into all of his meals and never settles for putting just anything down on a plate. I’d have to say my favorite dish is his signature miso marinated grilled salmon served over baby kale greens with a lemon vinaigrette and side of herbed quinoa. Hungry yet?

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS:  Keep it simple! Don’t over think and over complicate your life. The number one trick to being healthy is to use common sense. Exercise. Eat REAL foods. Drink lots of water. Get outside. Do things that make you happy. Try living by these standards for just one week and you’ll see that life is a lot sunnier without all the added substitutes. Only YOU are in charge of your life, so start living it today!

If you’d like to be featured as one of my Healthy Chicks in the Community, or know someone who you want to make blush, email me for more deets. And remember, if you aren’t feeling your healthiest self or are struggling to make positive changes, shoot me an email anytime to schedule your FREE 15-minute info session / sign up for one of my health coaching programs.

SIDE NOTE: Boston Fitness Peeps! Check out my blog friend Little Miss Runshine’s upcoming Spinathon on 5/18 to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge fundraising for Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Learn more here or register/donate over here. There’s some pretty sweet spin instructors on the list!

Bra Fitting for a Cause with New Balance in Boston’s Back Bay

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Good afternoon ladies! Hope you’re all off to a healthy, happy Thursday. Random question for you: Do you know your ideal sports bra size? If you’re not quite sure how to answer the question, I was right there with you. Plus, apparently 70% of women don’t know their appropriate bra size!

So when I was invited to New Balance’s Bra Fitting for a Cause yesterday evening, I was quite intrigued. To celebrate the launch of their new NBPSYCHE Sports Bra Collection, New Balance hosted an event at their Boylston St. store, offering free bra fittings to attendees. Plus, for every woman who got fitted, they donated $10 to MA’s Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Upon arriving, I was given a ticket with a number to hold my place in line. (It also doubled as a raffle ticket!) As I waited for my “bra consultation,” I sipped on some white wine, nibbled on a couple apps (I really liked the mini crostini with goat cheese and eggplant) and mingled with some of the other ladies.

While waiting (and snapping pics) I also ran into two other lovely bloggers: Elizabeth from On Tap for Today and Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake so it was nice to catch up for a little bit before I was rushed off to my fitting.

I must say, New Balance did a great job with making us ladies feel comfortable and well-informed. The woman who did my fitting thoroughly explained the whole process, including why it’s important to know your bra size. Who knew that having that perfect fit can help prevent falling straps, that annoying shoulder-digging, and even chaffing? Being a runner, I was especially intrigued! Plus, all the bras are designed for the active woman, taking into account sweat management, breathability, comfort, convenience, style and class!

After taking my measurements, I was given two custom-fit bras chosen specially for me based on my size. We had some good laughs, since I wasn’t exactly an easy contestant (small boobs & waist but big ribs and broader shoulders), in turn throwing off my measurements. But with a few quick questions and  adjustments, they were able to find my perfect fit.

I loved the feel of the bras: super soft, comfy, and snug to my body but not in a “too tight” way. It felt like they were made for me, something I’ve never experienced with a sports bra. I’m usually the kind of girl that just buys a size small in whatever color or type that’s available and calls it a day! While I liked both of the sports bras I tried on, I was a sucker for the Fabulous Framer II in medium.

The Airy Racer felt great, but since it was a little bit lose in the shoulder area, the woman recommended I try it on again in a 32 B, versus the 34 A I tried on originally. Who knew bra sizes could be so complex? The best part is that the NBPSYCHE line offers 9 different styles, including 2, 3, and 4-way motion control, so that every lady can find “the one.”

Big thank you to New Balance for putting on a fun & informative event. I’ll definitely think twice next time I’m shopping for a new sports bra!

Do you know your sports bra size? Have you ever given it any thought? What’s the #1 thing you look for in a bra, be it comfort, look, feel or something else?


 
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