A New York State Of Mind

New York City for vacation? Yup, that’s my favorite thing to do! We jam packed so much into the 5 days we were there, just like the city, we were going all the time. The trip was planned around BloggerBash (more on that later), and then we tacked on a few days on either side to explore the city and so I could check out some of the boutique fitness classes, Barry’s BootCamp and SoulCycle were on my list.

Boat Rentals in Central Park are only $15/hr

Boat Rentals in Central Park are only $15/hr

Surprisingly New York City was fairly inexpensive city when it came to finding fun active things to do! Did you know that you can rent a boat – just like in the movies – in Central Park for only $15/hr? That’s cheaper than any boutique fitness class around – plus you get a real rowing workout, soak up some sunshine and get to tour the park lake. We also found a bike rental place that had $15.99/bike for around 8 hours. Not to mention, the must-do walk/run/hike around Central Park. We relied on the subway and walking to get us everywhere we needed to go which saved us tons of money – we paid $30 for a 7 day unlimited Metro card and it was well worth it.

Bike rentals were $15.99/day per bike

Bike rentals were $15.99/day per bike

The most expensive thing we did was eat. The restaurant prices weren’t any more expensive than at home however, we’re just not used to dining out. I did pack a large stash of protein bars and my BCAA’s so I mostly had that for breakfast and would add some fresh fruit from one of the fruit stands on the sidewalk. If your hotel has a fridge you could easily stop at Whole Foods or TraderJoe’s and stock up your mini fridge to save a little money.

I’ve made it a goal to try and walk or ride my bike more around our neighbourhood at home for things like a trip to the grocery store or the bank. It is often just as quick and you get a little sunshine – before we know it the snow will return.

I’ll update on Barry’s Boot Camp and SoulCycle later – right now I’ve got a workout to get to!

I Once Was Fat: A Book Review

This land of the internet allows you to meet so many amazing people. For me one of those people was Zach who went from Instagram follower to real life friend. I don’t remember our first insta-convo but I do remember I found him inspiring and when he introduced me to his wife her and I quickly became great friends – we’re pretty much the same person as we often joke! Together they have lost an amazing amount of weight the old fashion way – HARD work and quality food. Zach has been working hard for the past year crafting his first book which I’m sure you’ll find beyond inspiring.

What’s this book all about? Here’s what the amazon.com page has to say:

The health and fitness industry is broken. Losing weight, keeping it off for good, and becoming truly healthy is not about shortcuts and dieting. It is about education, discipline, and the willingness to change habits. “I Once Was Fat But Now I See: A Basic Guide to Weight Loss Through Holistic Living” is not a diet book. Author Zach Bohannon lost 115 pounds in 15 months through hard work, consistency, learning the rights and wrongs of good health and has been able to keep all of the weight off. “I Once Was Fat But Now I Seeā€¦” is your guide to losing weight and keeping it off from someone who has been through it himself having once weight over 300 pounds. Some of the things covered in this book include: -Where do I start? -How should I track my progress? -Should I count calories? -What healthy swaps can I make to still eat the food I love but be healthier? -How do I find time to eat healthy and to exercise? -What kind of workouts should I be doing?

This past summer you may remember we took a road trip to Nashville to visit Zach and his wife, Kathryn. It was such an amazing trip full of amazing food, friends and of course kick butt workouts! If you’re looking for a little extra motivation (or know someone who is) I urge you to check out Zach’s book. He’s even made it available for your Kindle incase you can’t wait to start reading!

 

Travel Snacks: Sunflower Seed Trail Mix

This summer has been filled with more travel than normal so I’ve become really good at creating travel snacks that are filling, healthy and most importantly cost effective! Today I’m flying out west to take Loki home to be with my brother (his dad). I’ve got a 4 hour flight ahead of me so I wanted to make sure I had enough snacks because buying food at the airport is costly and can often be unhealthy and something about traveling makes me think I need snacks!

Travel Snacks: Sunflower Trail Mix

Raw sunflower seeds, raw almonds, unsweetened coconut and Enjoy Life Mini Chips make up this awesome mix. Healthy fats to hold satiate you and a little bit of sweet with the coconut and chocolate chips.

Here’s the mix:

  • 1/3 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds (290)
  • 24 Raw Almonds (168)
  • 3Tbsp Shredded Unsweetened Coconut (100)
  • 2Tbsp Enjoy Life Mini Chips (160)

The total for the mix is 718 calories, so make sure you account for this in your daily calories or divvy this mix into a few portions. This would be ideal if you plan on spending the day traveling as you could easily use this to fill 2 meals worth of calories!

This would also be a great snack for kids to take to school. You would need to remove the almonds to make it nut free. Kids love things they can eat with their fingers and this snack is a great way to get them some protein during their day. Adding dried apples would also be an amazing option.

Top 10 Road Trip Snacks (You Can Buy At The Service Station)

It’s almost an automatic reaction to think you’re hungry when you buckle up that seat belt, likely you’re just bored. Here’s what I found on our Road Trip from Toronto to Nashville to Chicago. You could plan ahead and pack your snacks in a perfect world but sometimes life happens, we forget, and we must do the best we can with the resources we have. Here’s the top 10 gas station road trip snacks.

Hot Tea

Hot Tea

1. Hot Tea
I always carry tea and stevia in my purse, always. So usually at our first stop I will grab the largest cup I can find and fill it with hot water from the coffee station. Sometimes they don’t even charge for this when you buy gas! Then make your own tea back at the car – while your parked of course – while driving that could get messy and that would hurt! They also have tea bags you can choose from in case you don’t carry your own – this you will have to pay for of course! Now you’ve filled your boredom based “hunger” until the next rest stop. You’ll have to pee in no time (2 hours max I’d say!)

Turkey Jerky

Turkey Jerky

2. Turkey Jerky. Feeling like you want a little something savory and salty? Jerky will keep you chewing for a while and the fat & salt combo will satisfy any cravings you’ve got. This is a favorite of traveling Paleo people as well. Again, meat is naturally gluten free – but check each package for ingredients before you buy it!

Bananas For Everyone!

Bananas For Everyone!

3. Fruit. While traveling thru Kentucky we stopped at a Pilot Travel Center and in their coffee station they had some fresh fruit available. While this likely won’t be organic, it’s still fruit. Take it to the bathroom and give it a quick rinse if it’s an apple or something like that. You’ll be fine with banana’s.

Almonds - Watch portion size.

Almonds – Watch portion size.

4. Raw Almonds – Always a good snack and you don’t need many to fill you up! You’ll have all kinds of flavored options – avoid these – extra sodium and such that you don’t need when you’re sitting for an extended period of time.

5. Water. Let’s face it, you’re probably not hungry. Just grab a nice cold bottle of water. You’ll need it as we often don’t drink enough while on vacation anyway!

Eat All The Protein.

Eat All The Protein.

6. Protein Bars. Not the glorified chocolate bar kind, but the ones with quality ingredients. Yes, the CLIFF ones do have sugar in them but I believe they used non-GMO products so that’s a trade-off I’m willing to make once and a while. Don’t forget water with these. Watch out for the excess sodium here, however, this in my opinion is still better than grabbing a king size candy bar and a giant soda. Drink an extra bottle of water and you should be okay.

7. Unsalted Cashews. You’ll need to watch your portion size on this one as you can easily rack up 500 calories with these tasty little treats. If you can find plain cashews that’s best, however, I was only able to find the roasted ones – this means oil is used. If you have a soy allergy be careful here.

Something Crunchy?

Something Crunchy?

8. Banana Chips. While banana’s aren’t my favorite thing I know that most of the world enjoys them! This brand had no sodium when I checked the label and these should also be naturally gluten free, however, please double check the label.

Get Crackin'

Get Crackin’

9. Pistachios (Salted). Don’t forget water with these – Drink some extra water. The fat in nuts, while high, will keep you satiated for longer. Nuts are naturally gluten-free. These little gems will also help you pass the time as you crack the shells – two birds, one stone!

10. Pretzels. Sometimes we just like something crunchy. I like Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels. Just grab the little bag though – this will keep your portion size under control. If you’re traveling with kids you could grab a large bag to save money and portion some out for everyone – Just remember put the bag away when you’re finished. Again, more water to combat the extra salt here. Snyder’s does make a gluten-free pretzel however, I have yet to find it at a service station.

I hope y’all find this list helpful. Let me know what awesome snacks you’ve found on your road trips!

The Best Food In Nashville

One of the perks to having fit/foodie friends is that they know all the best local places to eat! Yesterday’s lunch spot was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives, yet its was one of the healthiest sandwiches you could make! We had big workout before each meal yesterday – the boys played hockey for 2 hours and we did some weights and cardio in the hotel gym (which is very well stocked for a hotel gym!), and then we went to Zach’s boot camp class before dinner.

We ate breakfast at the hotel yesterday and it was amazing – I wanted to keep going back for more, but I restrained myself! They have an omelet station where they make a fresh omelet to order for you and the buffet had tons of fresh fruit options, bacon, sausage, eggs and more. Best breakfast in a long time!

DoubleTree Downtown Nashville

Breakfast at The DoubleTree Downtown Nashville

After the first workout of the day (and cowboy boot shopping) we were all starving and Zach took us to this local place that has the best sandwiches. It was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives as I mentioned before. Hubs and I ordered the Turkey Avocado sandwiches. It’s made on homemade bread for a local company, however, out of habit I took the top slice off. They also had these amazing brownies for dessert so we split one – it was so delicious! If you’re in the East Nashville area this is a must do. They use local meats and bread to make the best food!!

mitchells_delicatessen_east_nashville

Mitchells Delicatessen East Nashville

After a little more sightseeing and such it was time to head to Zach’s weekly boot camp (I made my teaching debut!) so we could work up an appetite for dinner! Y’all know I love Chipotle, but alas we don’t have one where I live so when ever I travel I eat there as much as I can. We went to a place called Baja Burrito in East Nashville – a similar concept but not a chain. This place was cute and had a great local vibe! I had the Barbcoa (beef) which is always grass-fed local beef on my burrito bowl. I don’t like sour cream so I load my plate up with Pico DeGallo and added some guacamole of course!

Baja Burrito Nashville

Baja Burrito Nashville

It was a huge portion and for Hubs and I the total bill was only $13 – that’s a deal! I love that we get to experience these awesome local food options and not feel guilty about it – they are all healthy, clean food options, that’s a big plus! After dinner we went for coffee at a cute little hipster coffee shop called Frothy Monkey. Kat and I opted for some of their locally made tea and Zach enjoyed a latte, complete with latte art in the foam.

Local Tea from Frothy Monkey

Local Tea from Frothy Monkey

Today we’re checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame and then doing some more sightseeing – lots of walking today – vacations with fit friends are awesome! Then we have a reservation at a local Steak House that serves, you guessed it, local grass-fed beef and other local food options – can’t wait! Hope you enjoyed my food tour of Nashville! You can workout all you want on vacation, however, if you don’t fuel properly than you’re not doing yourself any favors. Seek out awesome local places before you go and you will find ways to eat healthy and clean while on the road!

 

 

Travelling Fit: Nashville Day 1

We’re on a road trip to Nashville/Chicago and I’m doing my best to keep fit while I’m away! During our drive down to Nashville every time we stopped for gas I did a little yoga and quick cardio to keep myself from getting stiff. I’m happy to report it worked! No stiffness from a long 12 hour drive = success!

Gas Station Yoga - Whatever it takes

Gas Station Yoga – Whatever it takes

It was a two day trek down to Nashville because we didn’t want to sit in the car for so many hours. We picked Kentucky as our stopping point for the night as we’d been driving for about 6-7 hours at this point.

I <3 the greeness of Kentucky.

I <3 How Green Kentucky Is.

Of course we could have picked a super fancy place for dinner, but why do that when I knew there was a Chipotle close by! I can never get enough Chipotle. Ever.

mmmmmm YUM!

mmmmmm YUM!

Of course we made one more stop for gas so we could just wake up and go first thing in the morning. I took advantage of the light posts at this stop and did some awesome stretching and a few quick push-ups.

Stretch it out!

Stretch it out!

The breakfast at the hotel in Kentucky was less than stellar – basically all the bad carbs someone could want. Muffins, bagels, bread, waffles, and cereal. I opted to skip it and find breakfast on the road. I was hoping for a grocery store where I could grab something however, I ended up going for a CLIFF bar and a giant bottle of water. Then I was on the hunt for a tea and in the south it’s not easy to find hot tea! Thankfully I remembered I packed my stevia and tea bags – the nice folks at Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t even charge me for my giant cup of hot water!

Once we arrived in Nashville Kat & Zach met us at the hotel – of course we checked out the gym before we set out for sight seeing because – duh!

Friends workout together.

Friends workout together.

Then off for some exploring and to find some lunch. We checked out the famous Wild Cow and then Jeni’s ice cream after – it was all very delicious! Wild Cow is a vegan and organic restaurant in east Nashville.

Wild Cow & Jeni's for Lunch.

Wild Cow & Jeni’s for Lunch.

Zach had told me about some awesome grass-fed whey protein so naturally I wanted to try some! You know isn’t that one of the first things you do when you get to a new city?

I'm so excited to check out these awesome proteins!

I’m so excited to check out these awesome proteins!

We’re just about to start day 2! Today I get to guest-teach a segment of Zach’s boot camp class tonight – I’m super excited and totally nervous!

Thanks for sticking around this long! Want to win a $50 Gift Card for ActivewearUSA.com? Sign-up for my newsletter and you could win!