Tag Archives: exercise

How I Get My Healthy Living Act Together

Hi there!

Hope that you had a great weekend! After recovering from travel and fighting a cold last week, I’m feeling better rested and more settled. I feel like my blog posting has been a bit more sporadic than usual the last couple of weeks, but this week I should be back to normal scheduling!

As I resume to a better sense of normalcy this week, a top priority of mine is getting back to cleaner living. While I always maintain a healthy lifestyle, lately my healthy living balance has been tipping more into the ‘indulgences’ side of things a little more than I typically strive for. This happens every now and then and it’s certainly not the end of the world. After all, healthy living is a journey, not a destination right?

donutjuice-collageWith that being said, today I’m sharing the ways that I get my clean living act together after a few too many celebratory drinks, simple carbs and desserts. Doing these things helps me to feel my best in many ways, including reducing any bloating  and increasing my energy levels. Let’s get to it!


I amp up my fruit & veggie intake. While I always eat fruits & veggies daily, when I’m focused on eating clean I eat them even more. As I talked about in this post, I usually eat at least a serving of fruits or veggies at every meal.

orzo vegetable soup-5

My easy orzo vegetable soup

I use MyFitnessPal app to track my nutrition and calories, including tracking my macros – which means balancing out my carbs, fat and protein to make sure I’m getting the right proportions of each.

I know that some people aren’t into tracking nutrition, and I really think it’s just a matter of figuring of what works best for you. I do it because I like crunching numbers and ensuring that my diet is maximizing my nutrition. Otherwise, my plant-based diet can be too carb-heavy and not have enough protein.


I exercise harder. Over the past month, I’ve worked out an average of four times per week (and I’ll be talking more about my workouts lately on here soon!). While that’s a totally respectable amount of exercise, I kick my sweat sessions up a notch to usually 6 days a week. I love a lot of variety in my exercise routine & hate getting bored with my workouts!

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My Workouts Lately + Foot Injury Update

Hi there!

It’s been 6 weeks since I shared with you guys about my foot injury, so today seemed like a good time for an update post + to chat about my workouts lately! I’ve been kicking my exercise routine up a bit in the last few weeks since taking it easier for a solid two months after getting my foot injury diagnosis. Some recent workout highlights lately include:

Calavera Lake

My first (baby) hike in months! When my cousin was in town last week, we went to my favorite nearby park for an hour-long walk. I’ve been taking my pup there and just doing the trail around the lake and skipping the little mountainous climb, but this time we went for it. Even though it was just an itty bitty hike, it felt great! I miss hiking so much and it just makes my soul happy.

Mountain Biking-May 16

Getting back on the bike. Not only did my hubby and I go for my (only) second mountain biking excursion of the year a few weekends ago (and I had no weird foot/calf pain afterwards!), this week I hooked up my bike to my indoor trainer to test out short cycling workouts again. I had given pretty much all cardio a rest while trying to heal my broken foot bones, and now I’m trying out 20-30 minute rides to see how they feel. We shall see how it goes!

tennis session-May 16

Tennis. Since I’m testing out bringing back some cardio, I’ve played tennis twice in the last couple of weeks. It’s more casual tennis in that I don’t full-blown run since I’m still trying to minimize jumping around, but it’s been fun! Just a few nights ago, my hubby and I had an impromptu short tennis session before it got dark out. I learned that casually volleying back and forth is a good stress reliever and positive way to end the day!

Dog Beach May 16-Wheel Pose

Ommmmm. I’ve been doing a lot of yoga lately – mostly on my own for fast-paced at-home sessions. It’s such a nice way to start my mornings and focus my energy.

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The Quickie Do-It-Anywhere Low-Impact Workout

When I travel, I always try to stay active and incorporate movement into my day just like when I’m home. I prefer to exercise outdoors or do something adventurous in the area I’m in. But sometimes, the thing that works out best is just waking up in my hotel room, busting out a quick workout to get my endorphins flowing, and moving on with my day’s agenda.

Vegas rooftop yoga

A yoga session this week on the rooftop of my Vegas hotel

This is most definitely the case when I travel for work. Although I’ve walked a ton on the convention center floor in Las Vegas this week, I’ve also been fitting in morning exercise a couple of days this week. One morning I even made it to the gym for a strength training session, then taught my co-worker some yoga on the rooftop of our hotel. Another morning I did today’s workout: a quickie, 10-exercise circuit that requires no equipment at all…. because body weight training is easy & effective, especially when I’m on the road!

It’s perfect to do in a hotel room, and I actually made the workout up when I was in my hotel room in San Francisco last month. It takes around 20 minutes to complete, which is the perfect amount of time for me to do, then add in some yoga & stretching for a nice little workout. It’s also low-impact since I can’t do any jump training at the moment because of my foot injury.

Quickie Low Impact Workout

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Total Body Cycling Circuit Workout

Happy Friday friends!

What’s on the agenda for your weekend? A few things I have going on are a party to attend, plans to go to brunch with my hubby, and the final evaluation of the 6-week fitness challenge that I’ve been participating in happening. I’m looking to beat all the numbers I had set at the beginning evaluation of the challenge, but more on that to come!

backyard backbend play

Speaking of working out, today let’s chat about exercising at home. While I often workout at my HIIT studio, exercise outdoors, pop into my yoga studio or try out a new gym, I also enjoy being able to workout at home sometimes. My guest bedroom also doubles as my fitness room, and it’s nice to have the option to just pop in there for a quickie workout when I don’t have a lot of time to sweat.

Typically I do workout DVDs or YouTube workouts when I exercise at home, but the at-home workouts in my household got more serious and flexible recently…

bike trainer-1

…with the addition of a new bike trainer that allows my hubby and me to make our road & mountain bikes stationary. It’s so nice to be able to hop on the bike for a quick cardio workout while watching TV. I’m diggin’ it!

bike trainer-2

Right now the bike in our living room because we’re redoing our fitness room, and as you may be able to tell, my pup thinks that cycling time = playtime. She takes out all of her toys when I get on the bike and patiently waits so that she can jump on me and try to play once I step off of it. I’m not sure what it is about the bike that gets her all riled up, but she’s such a nut!

She also runs full speed at me to photobomb a yoga pose photo!

She also runs full speed at me to photobomb a yoga pose photo!

Earlier this week I came up with an interval workout that uses the bike. This workout alternates between 5 minute cycling rounds and rounds of 4 different exercises – simple but effective moves like pushups, squats and planks. It works the entire body, and takes about 30 minutes to complete.

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The Work-Off-Those-Holiday-Treats Cardio Workout

‘Tis the season to be jolly… and to be faced with many options of sweets and treats to enjoy! I’m all for indulging in moderation, but to avoid weight gain and feeling low-energy during the holidays, I try to offset those extra drinks, desserts, and heavier food than I usually eat by making sure to fit my workouts in. In the spirit of active living throughout the holidays, today I’m sharing a workout that you can do whenever, wherever – no equipment required.

balance quote

I laughed a little when I titled today’s workout, because I don’t really like when the instructors at this barre studio I take classes at from time to time make comments about ‘working off that drink/dessert/bread you had last night.’ I workout because it makes me feel strong, healthy, and happy, and that’s what I like my focus to be on during exercise – not equaling out a glass of wine that I enjoyed a few hours earlier.

When I Move-quote

However, while it’s not healthy to obsessively focus on canceling out a particular indulgence with a workout, the fact is that exercising does give you the ability to offset some of those excess calories. I’d much rather enjoy my holiday favorites like red wine and chocolate cream puffs and make sure to squeeze in workouts, rather than deprive myself.

So without further adieu, here is a holiday workout that focuses on basic cardio moves and some core work. It can be done anywhere, and I’m bound to do this workout at my parents’, father-in-law’s or mother-in-law’s houses while I’m back in Jersey for Christmas!

Holiday 2015 workout-2

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What Makes You Fit?

“Are you fit?” 

“Did you say that you workout?” 

These were the questions our tour guide was shouting to me as I struggled to keep up with him and my husband biking through the hills of Austria. We had booked a bike tour in hopes of seeing more of the beautiful Austria countryside and getting some leisurely exercise in during our vacation there, but I wasn’t so prepared to be huffing and puffing with my heart rate at a sky-high level.

Hohenwerfen Castle

Austria’s Hohenwerfen Castle

Our guide was a little man in his 60s, originally from somewhere in Asia, who seemed to be in good shape for his age and told us he exercised daily. While I already knew that my husband was stronger and faster on a bike than I was from our bike date workouts through the hills of California, I wasn’t really expecting our guide to be as hardcore of a cyclist as he turned out to be.

Austrian Bike Tour Guide

Our tour guide

I grew increasingly annoyed at both him questioning me about my level of fitness, and his refusal to slow down a bit for one of two people on his bike tour. It’s something my hubby and I jokingly say to each other nowadays, saying, “Well are you fit?” if one of us is panting during a hike or complaining about post-workout muscle soreness.

Austrian bike excursion

The day of the discussed bike excursion in Austria

Looking back on that day – which was a great experience despite my bike pace apparently slowing the group down – I later realized the reason why our tour guide was aggravating me. He was questioning if I was in good shape. He was making me feel inferior, and touching on a subject that feels very personal to me.

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Weekly Workout Recap: No Excuses in Making Exercise a Priority

Hi friends!

I had such an awesome time on vacation last week, but I missed you guys! Even though I had access to my computer some of the time, I really stayed away and just enjoyed visiting my family and friends in Jersey. Between my full-time work, blog/freelance work, and personal email, I get a ridiculous amount of emails, and it felt kind of nice to ignore them for an entire 9 days. Now I’m just trying to catch up and decompress from the craziness that was last week!

The sunset view from my parents' NJ beach house

The sunset view from my parents’ NJ beach house

My hubby flew back to San Diego yesterday, while I’m staying with my parents in Jersey and working from here for the next few weeks to get more quality time in with my loved ones. I decided that since this is a long trip, I’m going to post weekly workout recaps while I’m away from my home. It can be tough to keep up with workouts when I’m not on a normal routine and in my own house, but I’ve been finding ways to keep nice and active.

Side planking along the Navesink River

Side planking along the Navesink River

This week’s workout theme? No excuses! There are nearly always reasons you can come up with for why you should skip exercise, and on the flip side, there are nearly always ways that you can fit it in with some effort and a bit of planning ahead.

low lunge-front yard

So let’s go ahead and recap my workouts since I’ve been home! To exemplify how I make it work and have no excuses when it comes to an active lifestyle, I’m also going to share with you what I was up to that day – because I’ve been all over the place and crazy busy since flying to the east coast!

Backing it up to last weekend when we arrived, last Saturday I was at my parents’ beach house. Some of my family – I think there was around 40 of us! – got together for fun in the sun and lots of good food and drinks. My hubby’s birthday was the day before, and my cousin and I had our birthdays coming up in a few days, so everyone celebrated with us.

My hubby, cousin and I are all Leos born with a week of each other

My hubby, cousin and I are all Leos born within a week of each other

It was an awesome first full day home! Since I knew the afternoon and evening would be hectic, I woke up and got a workout in: a 15 minute walk with my parents’ dog + 45 minutes of kickboxing & conditioning exercises + 15 minutes of yoga and stretching. A and I also wound up canoeing for 30 minutes in the early afternoon, which was fun! 

canoeing-2We enjoyed canoeing so much on Saturday, we did it again on Sunday morning. A 45-minute canoe ride was the perfect low-key movement to cure a bit of jet lag and tiredness from partying on Saturday, before we made the 2-hour drive south to visit A’s dad, who threw us a surprise family birthday party on Sunday evening. We were spoiled with birthday celebrations this year!

Relaxing in my father-in-law's backyard & playing with his black lab

Relaxing in my father-in-law’s backyard & playing with his black lab

Monday was a rest day, as our day was jam-packed with getting up early to take A’s dad’s boat out on a nice ride to Chesapeake City, Maryland. We walked around and checked out all of the neat little antique shops and had lunch there before driving to Philly to take his dad to the airport for a work trip, and heading back to his house to get ready for dinner at A’s grandparents’ place.

Chesapeake City

Chesapeake City, Maryland


Mary's Palette - Chesapeake City

I had wanted to workout that night following dinner, but we didn’t wind up getting back to his dad’s to go to sleep until 11:30 pm, so….Tuesday I woke up bright and early to get a quick workout in. I did a 30-minute treadmill interval workout, followed by 10 minutes of squats, sit-ups and pushups. Not surprisingly, I hated every minute of it! I’m still not a treadmill fan.

Eagles training camp

We then drove 45-minutes to A’s mom’s house, then headed down to Philly to see the Eagles training camp open practice. We had fun watching all of the players practice with 20,000 other fans, and I’m getting excited for football season to start…. though let’s be clear, I’m still a Giants fan myself! 😉

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The Ultimate Leg & Booty HIIT Workout

Happy Friday friends!

Do you have anything awesome planned for the weekend? I’m very much looking forward to spending it with my hubby, and we have something special planned for tomorrow. More on that to come!

As usual, I’m sure that I’ll fit a workout or two into my weekend… and speaking of workouts, I have a good one to share with you guys today! In honor of me breaking my muscle tweak streak and not having any muscle spasms or serious aches in the last few weeks, today I’m sharing a leg & booty HIIT workout that’ll definitely make you sweat.

HIIT Workout Collage

I created this routine months ago and have done it a bunch of times, but for some reason I’m just getting to sharing it now. Perhaps it’s because I wanted to snap some shots of me doing the moves for some visual explanation, and that took forever for me to do for some odd reason. I finally got to photographing the exercises this week, and wound up burning the bottoms of my feet on my fake grass. Ouch. I’m not sure how my dog can lay out there for long periods of time when the sun is so strong!

This workout combines strength training and cardio, and includes some moves from one of my favorite types of workouts – kickboxing. It takes me roughly 35 minutes to complete, and I typically burn between 300-350 calories doing it. All you need is a pair of dumbbells. I use 10-lb weights, but use whatever feels best for your strength level.

Leg & Booty HIIT Workout

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4 Instances You Should Skip Your Workout

Last week I decided to do something that I pretty much never do: take an entire week off from working out.

I had been exercising pretty hard, and my nagging calf and foot injuries were bothering me, so I knew that at least a few days of rest was necessary. With a 4-day trip to Miami coming up, I decided it was the perfect time to give my body a rest from working out for a solid week. Besides a very mellow yoga session one morning, walking around a decent amount in Miami, and taking my pup for walks once I got home, I got little exercise all week.


Everyone has a different exercise balance that works for them. Me? I’m somewhat of a fitness freak. Typically I train 6 days a week, with one of those days being something low-impact, like a long yoga session. I switch up my routine a lot and love working out. To me, it’s challenging and fun, and if I don’t workout for a few days, I start to get an itch to move.

working out

I’m definitely a no excuses kind of person, and I prioritize my workouts as something that’s simply built into my schedule as a must-do. I skip a workout here or there, but 99% of the time, if I plan on working out, I do. I think that this mentality works out well for me in life, but it can also hinder me because I have a hard time taking a rest. But what I’ve realized is that there are excuses to not workout, and then there are legitimate reasons. Sometimes it’s more beneficial to your health to rest up, and here are 4 instances when that’s the case:



1.) When you’re under the weather. This one definitely depends on what the sickness is and how crappy you really feel. I find that lower impact workouts are sometimes the best thing to do if you aren’t feeling like hell parked on your couch, but you also don’t feel 100% and don’t want to completely drain all of your energy working out.

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My Current Favorite San Diego Studio Workouts

Hello, hello!

Today we’re talking about the local workouts that I’ve been loving! Recently I mentioned that I collaborated on a new project with ClassPass, which means that I’ve been a ClassPass workout crazy person. I think I’m sort of on a mission to try all of the awesome workouts that my health-conscious city of San Diego has to offer, and ClassPass is a great way to explore tons of studios in the area.

Core40 Reformer-2

Last week my friend Trish and I attended a ClassPass event at Core40 in Little Italy. You may recall me talking about Core40 in Solana Beach before because it’s a total butt kicking workout, and this was the first time that I visited their downtown location.

Downtown SD

Since I live in the northern part of San Diego County, I haven’t spent much time downtown lately. The class was at night, but I journeyed down there in the afternoon, walked around a bit and soaked up the city vibes, and worked at Panera Bread for awhile.

My favorite Panera meal recently: edamame soba noodle broth bowl

My favorite Panera meal recently: edamame soba noodle broth bowl

The event was a combo class – which means that for 25 minutes you spin, and for the remaining 25 minutes, the class gets put to work on Core40’s Superformer machines.

Core40 Superformers

After doing a few of their combo classes, I’ve come to the conclusion that they just don’t work well for my body due to the fact that I already feel fatigued by the time I get to the strength portion, then I proceed to shake like a leaf and feel weak throughout the rest of class (It’s a little crazy!)… but nevertheless, it was an awesome workout that had me working my hardest for sure!

Core40 ClassPass Event

Trish and me

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