Monday, November 26, 2012

Vitalicious Vitatops- A Review

    I’ve learned something about myself, I love getting packages in the mail! Especially when it is something new for me to eat. I’m half Italian, I love food.. it really isn’t a shock to you I’m sure.. 
      I came home from the gym one morning, opened up my screen door and a huge box fell on top of me.. VitaTop me! Haha, get it? Vita-Top- right on top…  *cough* Moving on.. 
    I was expecting the samples but man- I wasn’t expecting this!
   There were VitaBrownies, VitaCakes and a bunch of different VitaTops- it was like an early Christmas!

   We have all seen 100 calorie packs of our favorite treats lining the shelves at the market and at first glance it seems like a good intentioned idea. Who doesn’t like Oreos, Chocolate chip cookies, or chips and crackers- for 100 calories at that.. too good to be true?  Flip that package over you’ll see that they are nothing more than cardboard and air flavored with artificial junk, lacking any sort of nutrition. I know your probably thinking.. If I wanted good nutrition I shouldn't eat one of these treats to begin with right?
   Yes… and No.. I’m a firm believer in balance and moderation. So do I think you should eat one of those cardboard oreo 100 calorie cookie packs? Nope..  For one thing, you could just eat the real cookie or make a healthier version on your favorite treat.. or.. have you could have VitaBrownie, VitaTop or VitaCake..  NOT your typical 100 calorie pack! 
     Here’s why:
-100 calories
-No artificial ingredients
-No preservatives
-Made with whole grains
-Filled with Fiber, Protein and 15 vitamins and minerals (Bet your cardboard Oreos don’t have that!)
-And the most important of all… they taste great!
Vitalicious products can be found in the freezer section of your market- I’ve even seen them at Target! When your ready to get your snack on, pull one out of the freezer and microwave or toast to thaw. You can also just allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.. But I don’t have a toaster or a microwave… and I’m about as patient as a 2 year old, so I improvised..
  The space heater works too just incase your wondering..
     Since I was given such a generous variety of flavors, I brought them to a girl’s night and did a little taste test!
(From top left to bottom: mini-cake(which is only 50 calories BTW!), brownie, triple chocolate, corn, apple crumb, double chocolate, chocolate mint, cranbran and banana chip) - I also received banana nut and Fudgy peanut butter chip which I ate right away lol.
   The girls loved them- and while my favorites are most definitely the VitaBrownie, Corn and Banana Nut.. everyone had their favorites- though we all agree that the brownies are amazing! And even better when warmed :)
…. No cardboard here! In all honesty, I was shocked at how well Vitalicious nailed the texture of a traditional muffin (which can clock in somewhere around 500 calories!) for 100 calories.  

 Head over to to purchase and for more info. Or grab a box the next time your shopping and give them a try for yourself! (I’d say get those brownies!)

A big thanks to Vitalicious and to the girls at Crier Communications- Danielle and Katie for sending these samples my way!

***Please note that these opinions are my own, and are 100% honest and truthful. I was not compensated for this review, but did receive the product at no cost to me. 

Monday, November 19, 2012


   Friday- fueled by greek yogurt with raspberry and blueberry blended in...
   A hilarious text message...
               Samples came in for me to review…

          Working on and teaching my students this posture
    Finally ending with a 30th birthday party for my boss (the owner of the yoga studio) Just showing our guns at the teacher table!

   There were some fruit filled oats for snacks and breakfast..

   I went to work… came home and got ready for a dinner date with my husband- I finally got to try seared tuna, and it was amazing!
    After dinner, we walked around the city for a while before coming home and cuddle puddled on the couch.
     Sunday morning James and I went to breakfast (I know.. I ate out twice in the weekend.. don’t freak out- it’s ok) After breakfast I went to work, it was a pretty good day, it moved quickly. I decided to hit the gym after work..
  I didn’t want to be there for more than an hour- I had a dinner date with the girls- so I kept it quick and dirty..

-20 Minutes of 1 minute sprints/1 minute recovery
Followed by a little circuit I made on the spot- run 3 rounds through
-Clean and press @60lbs- 8 reps
-Deadlifts @60lbs -12 reps
-Jump Squats- 20 reps
-Biceps curls @20lbs each arm- 10 reps
-Mountain Climbers- 20 reps
-Push ups- 10 reps
-Triceps dips- 10 reps
-Russian Twists @20lbs- 20 reps

Done and done!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Donations, creative heating methods, Puppy-face and Pizza+ WOs

     Back when Hurricane Sandy first hit the East Coast, I knew immediately that I wanted to do something to help. I have many friends who live in NY and NJ, some who were directly affected.. Plus it was a little too close to home for comfort. Seeing thousands of people still struggling with the aftermath is hard to swallow…

  So I came up with a quick plan and I called it “Om” to Rebuild hOMes”.  $15 Donation (100% of the proceeds to be donated) per student for 1 hour of yoga and a glass of wine afterwards- not a bad Friday night. We raised $500! Which I donated to the American Red Cross this week.
    I’m so excited it was such a success, and more good news- we are going to be making it a semi-regular thing.. I will teach one class a month and proceeds will go to the American Red Cross and the other yoga teacher will teach one class a month and will be donating to a Veterans fund.
    Aren’t they just the cutest little yogis?
     After the class and wine, I met up with the husband at our favorite local bar for a drink and catch up. He got to see a hockey game.. from the Penthouse.. Yeah I was jealous..

   Saturday and Sunday were work days.. nothing to report, that’s for sure. 

   The week started pretty slowly, I taught Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.. Making double workouts on each day.. and refueling with a little something special that came in the mail 
   Yeah I don’t own a microwave… or a toaster… Turns out the space heater works just fine to heat this little muffin top through- even if it does take a while longer, they are totally worth the wait. I have a lot of flavors to try before I give out my full review though.. so be patient ;)
    At some point Hydro came for a ride with me to do some errands.. Poor little dude isn’t getting better.. Super Sad Faced Mommy over here..
    I haven’t updated you guys about him because its just too sad.. I literally hurt and cry almost every time I look into his lifeless little eyes.. James and I are stuck… I love that little dude so, so much- and it kills me to know that I’m going to need to do what is in his best interest.. Which might mean I have to let him go- I don’t want him to be in pain.. without energy, having accidents in the house, etc.. He just isn’t the happy and healthy boy he once was. So while we don’t have any concrete evidence that he has something serious and terminal wrong with him.. (or any answers at all)  we both know in our hearts that there is..  Only time will tell.. Until then we are smothering him with lots and lots of love and trying to enjoy the little time we have left we him.
    Which is why I haven’t gotten a whole lot of high quality sleep these days.. Dogs take up WAY too much of the bed!

   I did have enough energy to make some pizza monkey bread for my friend who fixed my flat tire for free..
      It was the least I could do.. And if you knew my friend Scott you would know that pizza is his most favorite food in the whole world, along side a couple of huge glasses of chocolate milk.. All of my friends have pallets of children, haha..

Workouts this week:
  Monday- Interval pyramid
  Tuesday- Ran 3 miles, 3 minute plank workout, yoga
  Wednesday- 30 minute circuit at PF, yoga
  Thursday- Ran 1 mile- followed by over an hour of PT.. I don’t get paid to teach at the kickboxing gym but I’ll take a free PT session! And more yoga..
  Friday- REST

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Birthday Weekend

    Getting older is a weird thing.. When your in your teens you can’t wait to get older. Your looking forward to 16 so you can drive; 17-18 we have prom and graduate from high school; 21 we finally can party!
    By the time your passing your 21st birthday, the timeline gets a whole lot less exciting. Seriously.. I’ve been singing the Toys r Us theme song since 24.. “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a toys r us kid…” 
Thankfully I have an amazing husband who refused to let  me be bummed out about it.. and friends who helped in the 5 days of celebrating.. My birthday was actually on Monday, but I totally kept using “it’s my birthday weekend!” As an excuse to rock out and have a good time.. 
  Friday night James and I met up with some friends. The boys played darts while the girls chatted.. 
  (I love how the Guinness poster in the back in totally photo bombing us!)
  The night didn’t go on to late since I had to work in the morning.. but it was a great time! 
    I woke up feeling pretty good and started bouncing off the walls straight away.. It’s funny how somedays I wake up with endless amounts of energy, while other mornings I can’t drag myself out of bed. James suggested we go out for breakfast- which is easily my favorite meal to eat out.. I love that I don’t have to shower or look fancy.. roll out of bed and go!
     I had a broccoli and cheddar omelet.. and we shared a chocolate chip pancake course..
  They didn’t stand a chance. After many cups of coffee we rolled ourselves home. I had to get to work and James had some stuff around the house he wanted to get done. The best thing about the new job? I don’t have to go in until 10.. that’s practically unheard of in the restaurant biz. One of my least favorite things? Making this dessert for customers..
Banana, Nutella crepes. I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with crepes, but they are paper thin.. and not a fan of getting sticky spreads smeared on them.. they just rip to bits and I’m left trying to piece them back together.. Therefore lots of caramel and chocolate sauces to cover up your mistakes.. Oh and the homemade whipped cream does too :)  
   When I got home from work, James was still working on the house. I grabbed a little snack and caught up on the world while I waited for him to finish. By 6:30 we were meeting up with friends for dinner.. (Yes I went out to eat twice in one day.. it’s my birthday weekend dude!) I had an amazing salad.. But I did accidentally eat a mozzarella stick with sauce that had meat in it.. I have never heard of meat sauce being served with mozzarella sticks.. but it happened.. Thankfully I didn’t actually ingest a piece of meat.. I think I would have thrown up! (But it’s still icky.)
   After dinner we headed out to play pool
  Martinis were there too :)

    Oh, incase your wondering.. I suck at pool.
    Sunday I had to work again.. it went by pretty quickly and I was home by 3. James and I tossed the kids in the car and made our way to Starbucks… Hydro insisted on jamming his head between James and the side of the car.. and then gave me the look of death when I took a picture..
 Kids! My dad dropped by so we had dinner and hung in for the night.. James and I re-watched “Religious” the documentary so that my dad could see it.. Bill Maher knows his shit. 

   MONDAY! (Aka my actual birthday)
Unfortunately James had to work.. so we got up and had out normal routine.. I went to the gym and did some legs and a little arms:
-Leg press @200lbs 3x15
-Dual pulley row @27.5lbs per arm 3x10
-Deadlifts @70 lbs+the bar 3x12
-Squats @160 1 set of 10 and @90 1 set of 10
-Biceps curls @20/ triceps curls @ 20 2x8
- Treadmill 15 minutes with 6, 45 second sprints in the middle
  I came home to refuel
Plain greek yogurt
Bee Pollen
Protein powder

   I showered and got  ready for my birthday present (from J) He had made me an appointment for a massage! And I actually had 3 more massages to use in the future.. Seriously the best gift ever. I have been to a massage therapist in the past and loved every minute of it. It was my first time getting a massage from Jen.. and she amazing.. I love a deep tissue massage.. it can be painful at times, but it really works old kinks out! I’m still sore 2 days later.. she kicked my butt! I didn’t want to get up.. I could have slept right on the massage table.. but I needed to get moving because I had a lunch date with my dad!
    Dad and I went to a local Indian restaurant, I totally didn’t take any pictures.. but it was awesome. I got Chana Masala (a chick pea curry dish) and some kind of spicy veggie curry and Brown rice. Yum and Yum! After lunch I dropped dad back off at home and went to meet up with my mom at Starbucks for some birthday coffee. We hung out for a couple of hours chatting and such and then I was off again! 
    I ran in the door, changed into my workout attire and was off to the studio in 5 minutes flat! I had totally forgotten to prepare a class with all of the birthday hoopla.. so I grabbed a deck of cards on the way out.. and just picked four exercises to go with the suits.. 
-Mountain Climbers
-Jump squats
 (Modifications were available so the intensity could be varied)
Number cards were face value, Face cards were 11 and aces were 12 reps. 
    Class ended up being awesome! I had 4 new to me students, who totally rocked it BTW, and we had a blast.. Ok well I had a blast while they complained.. but they are always good sports! 

Finally I was able to go home and enjoy the rest of the night! 
  James put dinner together, it was already on the table when I walked in..  There were also sweet potatoes.. YUM
  After dinner James and I did something new.. (backstory coming)
     A friend of ours shared my birthday. Chuck was like a big brother to me for years.. We had a falling out around my 21st birthday and I held a grudge..  We ran into each other at a gas station months later. He called my name and we chatted awkwardly for a few minutes, (the whole time I was thinking about how mad at him I was) We hugged.. And the was the last time I saw him. Chuck committed suicide not long after… 
    For the last 5 years, I’ve felt guilty that I let something so stupid get in the way of being there for my friend. Our birthday has had this black cloud following it- I couldn’t make peace with what happened, I just felt sad. A few days ago, I decided that I needed to make an effort to move on.. So I came up with a little ritual. Back in the day, Chuck and I would dance around like silly little kids any time “Octopus’s Garden” from the Beetles came on… so in his memory James and I put on the song and danced around singing.. afterwards we toasted 
“To Chuck, birthdays are never the same without you. See you in another life brother”

Afterwards I was ready for the main event.. 
HOMEMADE ice cream cake.. I have the best husband ever.. Vanilla ice cream, a layer of caramel, more vanilla ice cream, frosted with whipped cream, chocolate shaving and drizzle, and a sprinkle of coconut.. AMAZING. 
The final chapter…(Tuesday night) Hanging out with Paula who gave me this singing card
.. I had whiskey for the first time.. 
We ran into some other friends too… It was a good night! 

THANK YOU to everyone who made my birthday awesome :) 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Factoid Friday

I hope your already starting your weekend fun by the time you read this.. For me it’s time I stop slacking off and get back to our Factoid Fridays.. it’s been a while!

-It’s about to get geeky…This is the best video game, EVER. 
 James and I have (or have had in the 9 years we have been together) almost every video gaming system. Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Game Cube, and a Gameboy Color to round it out. Most of these systems we have gotten used from friends or secondhand stores- including the extra controllers and games. That beauty up there was found with two controllers and connecting cables for $7.99 at Savers.. (When I was a little nut I had the front load version) and was by far the best deal and coolest find to date. Coming in a close second is our Super Nintendo that I found on Ebay for James’ Christmas gift one year with controllers, connecter cables and over 20 games for $99.. 
   P.S. I totally kick ass at Mario.. Just saying

-One of my first orders of business today?
Half priced Halloween Candy.. I <3 and="and" as="as" bad="bad" boy="boy" car="car" div="div" down="down" duds..="duds.." duds="duds" got="got" i="i" in="in" jolly="jolly" milk="milk" nbsp="nbsp" open="open" ranchers..="ranchers.." ripped="ripped" s="s" scarfed="scarfed" some="some" soon="soon" that="that" the="the" yum.="yum.">

-Another favorite snack?
Sammy Snacks are totally vegetarian.. unlike the Scooby Snack knock-off

- Hot Sauce is awesome on everything
(Brown Rice, Chick peas, Brussels, and marinara sauce + Lots and Lots of Franks)

Have a great Weekend! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nov. 1

  I haven’t made it to the gym once this week, not even to teach. Classes got canceled Monday night because of the storm and last night because of Halloween. Don’t worry, it’s cool.. I side stepped the “your lame” land mind and worked up a sweat at home.
 That would be three days worth.. and since you probably can’t read that chicken scratch.. The breakdown:

TUESDAY- Vegas style Buy in (and buy out because that’s how we roll around here)
*****Start your stopwatch and do this whole workout as fast as you can!
 Buy in- 30 pull ups (I did the first half of these straight up. The second half I gave myself a little jump up and lowered down slowly.. )

 Round 1=10 reps. Round 2= 9 reps. Round 3= 8 reps.

  1. Windmill push ups (side plank to both right and left side for one rep count)
  2. Jump Squats
  3. Handstand tuck ups (can substitute Pike presses if your not into handstands)
  4. Medicine ball wood chop (I used 12 lb medicine ball here )
  5. Standing Russian twist with medicine ball (rotate to both right and left for one rep count)
  6. Jumping jacks (or star jumps if you want to make it more of a challenge)
  7. Jump lunges
  8. Dolphin push up (or pike press or regular pushups)
  9. Burpees (without push up)
  10. Sumo squats with side leg lifts
Buy out- 30 V-up crunches

   This guy took me 23 minutes to complete and I was a sweaty, monster..  no big surprise there right?

WEDNESDAY- Leg burns
   I warmed up with 10 minutes of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest.. alternating between Jumping Jacks and High knees. Then I moved on to this workout… completing for time:

100 Deep Squat jumps
75 Burpees
50 Skaters- touching the opposite hand to toe
25 right and 25 left Diagonal wood chop with medicine ball (12 lb medicine ball used)

Holy moly.. My legs were burning and my belly was definitely on fire right along with them.. I finished in 17:46

  Today I took my workout from one of my Pintrest boards.. and it was tough- and had MORE burpees! (which just so happen to be my very favorite)

100 Squats
10 Burpees
90 Sit ups
10 Burpees
80 Bicycle Crunches
10 Burpees
70 Pushups (dudes.. I’ll be straight with you.. I did the last 40 from my knees..  Lame Sauce)
10 Burpees
60 Mountain Climbers
10 Burpees
50 Leg Raises
10 Burpees
40 Plank up and downs
10 Burpees
30 Reverse Crunches
10 Burpees
20 Pike Press
10 Burpees
10 Supermans

Yeah… This one was tough.. and it took me just over 30 minutes.  The worst part was the Pushup/Burpee sandwich.. Counting the pushups built into a burpees that was 90 of them.. Rough business!
   After Burpee madness I was starved.. so I pulled out some leftovers and cooked them all together with a blob of coconut oil
Nothing is as satisfying to me as coconut oil coated veggies, rice and beans..
    I ran a couple of errands after lunch, and then headed over the the Kickboxing gym to chat with the boss.. I needed to learn the ins and outs of opening and closing the gym, how to check people into the computer, etc.  Plus it gave me a chance to run an idea by her.
     I want to do a donation based yoga class for Hurricane Sandy relief…  She loved the idea! So for a $15 donation, students will get a 1 hour yoga class and a complementary glass of wine afterwards. All proceeds to go to the Hurricane Sandy Relief. Any amount can help and I feel good being able to do my part :)
   I know I say this all the time, but seriously time is going by way too fast. Next week is my birthday! I’m doing my best to be excited instead of bummed I’m getting closer to 30..  I’m having a hard time with the whole aging thing.. But instead of focusing on that.. I’m just going to put on my happy face and figure out what I want to do to celebrate!

How do you feel about birthdays? Getting older? Time moving at lightning speed?

What are your favorite at home workout moves?