Walking workouts not just for senior citizens

Hey everyone! My weather app has constantly been warning me of floods and storms lately. Not exactly the type of weather I want to be out and about for. I noticed from my step tracker that I walk significantly less on days with rain or any kind of weather disturbance from extreme cold or maybe even a heat wave. I used to think indoor walking in place workouts weren’t necessary for me until I started to have joint problems but I have really taken a liking to them. The step count on your tracker may not show a true gage of your effort but it still goes up by a few thousand.

My favorite walking workouts are by Jessica Smith on YouTube. The 20 minute Wake up and Walk below is one of my favorites. This one has no jumping or heavy cardio involved. Usually I go to the gym or do my real workout in the morning and use this video as a supplement or a burst of activity if I’ve been watching TV too long. That’s another great thing you can do this while binge-watching Netflix. It’s relatively low effort so you don’t even need to get suited up in workout gear or break a sweat. Her workouts range from 10 minutes to a full length 40 minute video so it’s up to you how long you want to walk.

 

Check out some more of her walking workouts on YouTube. Marching in place might feel silly but it makes me feel much more productive than being a complete couch potato. Plus the workouts incorporate lateral movements, knee-ups, and leg lifts which will give you a more varied workout than simple propelling yourself forward walking outside. When I do these I don’t feel bad taking a cab instead of walking when it’s pouring rain. It’s also a great option for those humid 95 degree days or next time a snow storm comes in and fills the streets with slush.

 

Hope you guys enjoy walking and getting your step count up in the comfort of your own home.

Happy Summer Solstice!

As I type this it’s now dark outside but it did stay sunny quite late into the day. You know it’s summer when the sun is still shining as you leave work for the day. It makes it easier to accomplish more in the evening when it’s still bright outside. The cold and dark always makes me want to hide away inside with Netflix and soup. Despite the sunny weather I’m still excited for July’s newest Netflix additions. The only downside is that sunscreen is a necessity. When the sun is shining pretty much all day make sure you take steps to protect yourself from UV rays.

 

Here are some of my favorite things about this summer so far.

 

Millie’s Gelato – Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake 

Vegan Gelato! Mille’s makes gelato with organic ingredients that are vegan and gluten-free. Here is the list for the Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake flavor: sprouted almond milk*, cashews*, raw agave,* raspberries*, vanilla*, lemon juice*, lemon extract*, himalayan salt (*organic). I have yet to try this but I found it on The Skinny Confidential’s Mini DeLites and I had to include this. Flavors also include Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt, Chocolate Peanut Butter Heaven, Just Chocolate, Maple Cinnamon Pecan, Mocha Almond Butter Fudge, Strawberry Coconut Creme, Vanilla Caramel Sea Salt, and Vanilla Coconut Creme. My mouth is watering just listing them. Sadly I can’t find it in the NYC area right now but I’ll be keeping my eyes open in the dessert aisle. Check out this video I found on The Vegan Zombie if you want more info.

 

 

 

Marysia Swim Mott Bikini Top

This adorable yellow Marysia bikini top just screams summer to me. I’m not the most well-endowed in the chest area so this style suits me pretty well.

 

 

 

 

PRIVACY PLEASE PLAZA KIMONO DRESS

If you love dresses from Reformation you’ll fall in love with this flowy kimono dress too. It’s light and breezy just like a midsummer night.

 

 

What would summer be without a good pair of cut offs? My trusty Rag and Bones will always be a staple in my closet but these comfortable girlfriend shorts have stolen my heart this month.

 

The Girls by Emma Cline is a thriller based on the Charles Manson story that hooks you in. The story follows Evie, a young girl in 1960s CA, as she grows up and becomes involved with the Manson family and the tales we have heard. If you have a plane ride or long day at the beach it’s a great way to kill time.

 

 

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Cucumber Mint Water with Lime 

  • Organic cucumber slices
  • Organic mint leaves
  • Organic lime juice
  • 20-30 oz water (sparkling water for a fizzy treat)

This is the most delicious treat after a long day running around. Cucumbers have silica which is great for your skin and muscle tissue. Mint is a great digestion booster which will help with bloating and stomach issues. According to Ayurveda, limes have a cooling effect so they make a great addition to any summer drink.

 

Hope everyone’s summer is full of patio meals, cut off shorts, and sunny days🙂

Stay Safe in the Sun

As sunny summer days are coming, it’s even more important to prevent sun damage. Dermatologists recommend you stay in the shade or wear SPF 30 especially between the hours of 10am to 4pm. Here are some of my top tips to stay safe. In addition to the tips below, there are lots of small things I do to minimize sun damage. I also walk on the shady side of the street as much as possible. If you ever go to an Asian country or Chinatown in NYC you’ll notice that females go to extreme measures to avoid sun. They do so to avoid darker skin but it can’t hurt to adopt some of their ways. The hats with veils and elbow length gloves are a bit much but maybe you could carry an umbrella. You know you’re in Chinatown when you see umbrellas out on a bright sunny day.

Wear a hat. 

Make sure you choose one that is labeled as UPF 50 ideally. Even if you’re wearing a hat, don’t forget your sunscreen since it won’t cover your entire face at all times. Wallaroo has some great options that still look trendy. Baseball caps only cover the forehead and still leaves your cheeks, chin, and ears exposed so look for a wide rimmed one for maximum shade.

Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.

I never really did this until I got Lasik and keeping sunglasses on hand became a habit. It’ll also protect the delicate skin around your eyes and keep your from squinting. If you sweat a lot you should clean the nose rest area with witch hazel or rubbing alcohol so prevent breakouts.

 


Apply sunscreen everywhere.

A lot of sunscreens out there are full of chemicals you do not want to apply on a regular basis so make sure you read your ingredient list. Here is the list of EWG’s best sunscreens of 2016. The lower the number, the better the product. Here are some of my favorites that made the list.

If you hate pasty products that give you a white tint or you don’t want to deal with possibly harmful chemicals you can always make your own. Many of nature’s oils naturally have SPF. As you can see below Red Raspberry Seed Oil and Carrot Seed Oil are two of the best. The effectiveness is widely debated so if you are at the beach or going to be outdoors a significant amount I suggest you add non-nano oxide to the mix.

DIY Sunscreen: 1/2 cup Sweet Almond Oil (or your oil of choice), 10 drops carrot seed oil, 10 drops red raspberry seed oil, and zinc oxide powder

Almond Oil- SPF around 5
Coconut Oil- SPF 4-6
Red Raspberry Seed Oil SPF 25-50
Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 35-40
Shea Butter – SPF 4-6

Your face is important but don’t forget the other exposed parts of your body. If you wear sandals you should even rub sunscreen on your feet to be cautious. If you have a body lotion, add carrot seed and raspberry oil to it and apply. Keep a hand lotion with SPF in your purse and use after washing if you’re outside during the day. I’ve done research and natural oils do offer SPF protection but it still hasn’t been proven or tested enough so add the zinc oxide if you want to be sure. If you work an office job and spend very limited time outdoors you’ll probably be fine with just natural oils.

 

 

 

 

Physique 57 Review

In my attempt to stay active while taking a break from running I have turned to lower impact forms of exercise. Physique 57 is low impact but not low energy. I have several years of dance training, run an hour a couple times a week, and have a pretty good mix of weights and pilates but I was still unprepared for the burn of this class. I started with the free trial online and I’m going to continue with a monthly membership. The workout library has a great supply of videos and even an option to mix and match workouts to create your own mashup. You can search videos by duration or difficulty and they are sorted into cardio, strength, and restorative. I have done PureBarre, Barre 3, Exhale Fusion, and Ballet Beautiful but none of them have made me as sore as a few of these videos. They move fast so if you’re a complete beginner if may be difficult to follow. I definitely would like to go take some classes in the studio too since it’s so close but I’m not sure if I’m ready to fork out the $40 just yet.

The videos range from 10-15 minute spot training to 30-45 minutes. If you need to modify there are two people demonstrating each option. Some videos use a playground ball, weights, or barre but there are plenty of no equipment needed options which I like for traveling. Pushups are a frequent move in most of them. You go from push-ups to one-legged pulsing push-ups to more tricep push-ups. Planks and core work are also a frequent theme and be prepared for all sorts of plank variations from hip dips to the bending and straightening your knees. Leg work consists of lots and lots of pulsing in lunge position which will really leave you burning. One of the hardest parts is the thigh dancing which involves kneeling on the ground and lifting yourself quickly. It looks easy but just a few seconds and you’ll be on fire. There’s a heart button so you can favorite the ones you like best.

Thigh Dancing – feel the burn!

Unfortunately I have only discovered this workout due to a nagging achilles tendon problem. Every since having tendonitis years ago, it has come back to bug me every few months. I have a small bump on the back of my heel near the tendon that doesn’t hurt but now I’m suspecting it might be Haglund’s deformity. The research I’ve done is terrifying and I really hope it doesn’t come to surgery. I have an appointment with a podiatrist soon so I hope that clears up my doubts. A while ago I might have iced too frequently but I either have some sort of tendon bruising or I have given myself frostbite (it wouldn’t be the first time). I had some minor pain but other than that it’s just some stiffness which I suspect may also be caused by frostbite.

If anyone has had any experiences on Haglund’s deformity, achilles tendonitis, or even accidental frostbite, I would love to hear it in the comments. I am at a loss of what to do right now. I can’t stand the thought of never being able to run again and having to limit my walking especially when I live in NYC where walking several miles each day is necessary to accomplish daily tasks.

Friday Favorites 5.13.16

Happy Friday the 13th! May is finally starting to feel like May. Last week I didn’t even realize it was Cinco de Mayo just because of how cold it still felt. It hardly seemed like the type of night for margaritas out on the patio. Here are some of my favorite things lately, enjoy!

Sunja’s Radish Kimchi was having a 2 for $12 sale at Westerly and I decided to get this as my dose of probiotics. The radish is sliced thin instead of cubed like I’m used to but the texture was good and not mushy. It’s a little bit spicy and a bit on the sour side compared to the kind served as an appetizer in Korean restaurants but I think that might be due to the lack of sugar which is actually a good thing. This brand also uses live enzymes, natural ingredients, and no MSG. While I love H-Mart and Asian supermarkets, sometimes I don’t trust the ingredients they use. Sunja’s also makes cabbage kimchi, beets, and other healthy probiotic filled foods. This might sound strange but I love adding kimchi or sauerkraut to my eggs.

 

Dandelion is one of my all-time favorite superfoods and it’s using to get a good dose of it in juice. I rarely see dandelion greens at the store and I have to be honest, I haven’t found a tasty way to cook them just yet. Blueprint juices are all organic and Dandelion Drive has a great combination of detoxifying foods. It might sound unappetizing but the taste is actually quite pleasant especially if you’ve developed a taste for green juice like me. Among many other benefits, dandelion is one of the best things you can take to detox and cleanse your liver.

 

 

I already love Sweaty Betty‘s chic workout attire but they have some greet workout videos too. This Body By Simone class is one of my favorites but on their site they also have Barre Asana, Yoga, and HIIT workouts. The Body by Simone video is divided into three sections of cardio and strength which include arms with light weights, a butt workout, and abs. The music is upbeat and the moves are fun and easy to follow. It’s a great workout to do for days you can’t make it to the gym. I try to avoid the Equinox weekend crowds and sometimes I’m too lazy to even leave the house and the thought of being able to just throw on my ratty old t-shirt and jump around in my living room is quite nice.

 

 

If you’re looking for a pair of leggings to workout in Girlfriend Collective is currently giving away a free pair if you sign in with Facebook or your email. The catch is that there is still a $20 charge that covers shipping but it goes toward paying fair wages. If you think about how much you pay for Lululemon or Zella it’s still a great deal. Mine haven’t arrived yet but I’m excited to try them out!

Converting to Facial Oil!

 

Since I moved to NYC, I’ve been slightly concerned over the welfare of my skin and whether the pollution and poor air quality would lead to early wrinkles. I’m still in my early twenties but I take preventative skin care very very seriously. There are so many options out there and Sephora is just way too overwhelming for me to ever narrow it down to something suited to me. Recently I switched to using oils instead of conventional lotions and I’ve noticed a huge difference! DIY skin care allows you to customize your ingredients according to your own skin and avoid harmful chemicals.

Glamour’s useful guide to choosing the best oil for you. Feel free to use more than one for maximum benefits.

 

 

Geranium Oil Benefits – one of my favorites

  • Natural Wrinkle Reducer
  • Helps treat acne, dermatitis, and cystic hormonal acne
  • Repels mosquitoes
  • Reduces inflammation

A peek at my little medicine cabinet. I usually mix a few drops of geranium oil with a carrier oil and apply.

 

Badger’s Damascus Rose oils are a good choice if you have dry skin or eczema. It uses Organic Jojoba, Baobab and Pomegranate oils to give your skin vitamins and fatty acids. I like the scent and it’s really good for calming and soothing your skin.

 

Acure Seriously Firming Serum is a combination of organic oils that help keep your skin young and firm. The ingredients are Organic safflower (high-oleic) oil, organic sesame seed oil, organic pumpkin seed oil, organic borage oil, organic argan oil, organic sweet orange oil, organic cranberry seed oil, organic Bulgarian lavender oil, organic olive oil, and organic rosemary oil. I love that they include borage oil since it’s full of fatty acids that extremely effective.

 

What I Ate Wednesday 4.6.16

The start of April also comes with surprising winter weather again grrrr. I have so many cute off the shoulder tops I can’t wait to wear. On another note, I know everyone expects models to look perfect all year round but I have to be honest that this year I succumbed to holiday treats and may have some work to do just like everyone else. I’ve tried extreme diets before and they don’t work so I will go back to the tried and true formula of balance and stick to whole foods. I’m focusing and staying away from sugar and controlling my cravings. I am trying to be more mindful and think of food as fuel instead of comfort during a stressful situation.

 
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This has been one of my go-to breakfasts this week. Even though I don’t exactly promote the Dukan Diet, reading the book helped me discover the oat bran gallete recipe. I use 3 tbsp of egg whites, 2 tbsp of oat bran, 1 tsp of flax seeds, 2 tbsp of Elli Quark (or yogurt), and a tiny splash of almond milk. I sometimes use stevia and change up the flavor of the quark I use to mix it up. Microwave the mixtures for 2-3 minutes and top with yogurt or fruit.

 

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Superfood Milk

Milk Frother I use as my handheld blender, only $6.95!

I have yet to invest in a blender, juicer, or even a Magic Bullet so I’ve been manually mixing together my ingredients using. Using a milk frother mixes the powders together quite nicely though and it’s both cheap and space-saving. Here’s my usual combo.

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp Great Lakes Gelatin (the kind in a green bottle, it dissolves easily in hot and cold)
  • 1 scoop Green Vibrance
  • 4 drops Sweet Drops Stevia
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp hemp protein
  • Optional: Cacao powder, use flavored Sweet Drops

 

 

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Microwave Egg white omelette – mushrooms, asparagus, diced onion, and tomatoes

 

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Sautéed Kale with grilled parsley tilapia

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When I’m too lazy to whip up my Quest Bar cookies, I just microwave them for a minute for a quick sweet treat, I break them into eighths and microwave for a minute. You can also bake them for a few minutes at 350 degrees.

What I Snacked On

  • Garlic and Herb Roasted Cashews from Whole Foods Bulk Section
  • Goji Berries
  • Celery Sticks
  • Fresh berries and yogurt