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July Goals

Ok, so maybe I am a little late to the July goal party…but it’s been a very busy start to the month. There’s a project at work that has been incredibly challenging, but should hopefully have big payoffs for my client….I kinda can’t wait to share it with everyone. Anyway….

June came and went…and I sort of stuck to my goals. I got my yoga in every day, I was certainly waking up early, and I did pretty well on the new funtivity schedule (Fat Rooster, Fitness Golf, SLT). The cutting back on sugar though…could still use some work.

This month’s goals include:

1. Eating clean (at least until we go on our cruise). Maybe it’s a little vain, but leading up to July 19th, I plan to eat as clean as humanly possible. I’m traveling a whole bunch and of course July 4th sort of through a wrench in that plan (I CAN’T SAY NO TO HOT DOGS), but I am focusing on one cheat meal a weekend right now and it is working. Eat-Clean

2. Limiting sugar intake. I am separating this out from the above, because it is seriously a challenge for me, especially when I am stressed with work. I can’t help it…gummy bears and Swedish Fish are my comfort food.

3. Relaxation. We have a fabulous cruise planned, with funtivities galore. You’d think this will be an easy goal, but my big work project is going live on Day One of the cruise (was supposed to happen the week before we left, but the timeline shifted) and it is going to be hard for me not to log on and check everything. IMG_4152

4. Abs plus yoga everyday. It’s so easy, yet somehow it slips my mind to just take 10 minutes and do abs. Adding on to my little daily yoga flow should be pretty simple.

Workout Review: SLT NYC

I’ve been taking pilates for a few months now. So I was feeling pretty confident about my pilates skills going into SLT, which stands for “strengthen, lengthen and tone.” I was in for a rude awakening.

Megareformer pilates is basically pilates on crack. Seriously, you think you know what you are in for when you head into a pilates class and you are wrong. I’d watched the introduction video before I signed up for class, but still didn’t really have a clue.image1

The space is reminiscent of a NYC dance studio – one long room with mirrors on one side. There are cubes to store your things, and two restrooms for changing. There are no showers. We are talking minimalist at its finest.

There were quite a few newbies in the class, and Audrey took us through the paces of pilates on the megareformer. You can use both ends of the megreformer, you have your standard loops for legs and hands, and there are other fun little tools.

The bed has numbers on it (1, 2, 3) with little hash marks so you know where to place your feet, hands and knees when the instructor calls it out.

Right before class started Audrey said “I’m just here to kick your ass” and she wasn’t joking.image5

It’s a pretty fast paced class. You get a count down from each move so there are no true breaks. I don’t know how each class is structured, but this one took us through core, arms, legs and glute exercises.

I was quickly drenched in sweat. The move where we slid into a standing star position and then pulled our leg on the reformer back? Yeah that’s an inner thigh workout if I’ve ever seen one.

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The one where we did oblique twist/crunch (believe it’s called a mermaid), just about made me cramp up it was straining the side of my glute so badly.

There certainly wasn’t as much core work as my standard pilates reformer class – with the set of 100s and knee tucks, but the “bear” and “snake” moves did the trick.

This is either snake or bear, I can't recall
This is either snake or bear, I can’t recall

The website says that if “cardio, strength training, and pilates had a baby, it would be SLT” and that is probably the most accurate coupling I have ever heard.

also, great mantra
also, great mantra

Funtivity: Sushi, Saki & Strolling

You know how Central Park is an oasis in the middle of the city? You step foot in there, and it is as if the world around you just shut off. You would think the beach would be the same, but it doesn’t quite have the same effect.

The Morikami Japanese gardens on the other hand….

Boca Raton, Florida may seem like an odd place to find 16-acres of bamboo & bonsai trees, koi, turtles, and serene rock and sand gardens, but it is there. The museum was opened in 1977, and has villas mimicking those in the Japan and give you a glimpse of life there.Morikami 024

On the second Friday of each Summer month, Morikami hosts “Sushi and Stroll,” where you get to stroll, drink saki, and eat sushi and some other Japanese fair. Josh and I, and our friends Brett, Lauren and their adorable little boy Zachary, headed into the hot summer evening to enjoy it.

 

Hey Buddah man
Hey Buddha man

Things I learned while at the gardens:

  1.  Bamboo makes the most amazingly soothing noiseMorikami 018
  2. I have no idea what makes a Bonsai tree, a Bonsai…I know that you shape it and grow it specifically, but does that mean any tree can be a Bonsai? Morikami 007
  3. KitKat is a big thing in Japan, and they have ridiculous flavors like green tea and purple sweet potato
  4. Staring at carefully racked sand is weirdly peaceful

 

I’d love to go back and explore more, maybe when it is cooler.

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Summer Things I’m Loving

Let’s just call a spade, a spade and admit to ourselves that it is officially Summer. It’s hot as hell already and when I walk outside, even if it is 6:30am, you will be hit by a wall of heat that makes you regret leaving your A/C immediately.

I love Summer for its longer days, but I also loathe it because I sweat quickly and that makes everything miserable. So things that are making me not hate being outside right now:

1. Show Me Your Mumu Riri Romper

I don’t know which Instagram user introduced me to Show Me Your Mumu, but I now own two Riri Rompers and they are perfect for the humid days here. I’ve worn it to run around Miami, to the Darius Rucker concert, and then out at the Morikami Gardens. In addition to being light and airy, it also dries really quickly after you get poured on. It is virtually wrinkle proof. Highly recommend.

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A little stop for #yoga while taking in #art #detoxyobody @aloyoga @beachyogagirl @kinoyoga #yogapose #yogachallenge

A photo posted by Laney Landsman (@lanes0220) on

 

 

2. Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow

I’ve sadly reached that stage in my life where I don’t think I can go out makeup free, unless of course it is to the gym. To balance my need for coverage with the sweaty sticky runiness that is my constant state of being I’ve started using a BB cream. It is light, gives me the little bit of glow I am looking for, and doesn’t make me feel like makeup is running down my face.

Thank you to Birchbox for introducing me to this awesomeness
Thank you to Birchbox for introducing me to this awesomeness

3. Sunscreens Galore

I’ve become a sunscreen fanatic. I do not leave the house without some sort of protection, and I have ensured that I have a sunscreen that fits whatever activity I am doing. My anti-aging eye cream has SPF (Supergoop), as does my tinted moisturizer (Sweet Science). I’ve got every day wear sunscreen (Supergoop again) and sports sunscreen for my sweaty outdoor activities (Banana Boat).

sunscreen 003

I was recently introduced to Block Island sunscreen, which is good for sensitive skin and is ultra-lightweight. It doesn’t feel goopey or heavy (hence the lightweight) and goes on really easy. It’s also pretty nice that it is all natural and organic.

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That’s what is currently on my list, and it isn’t even the Summer Solstice yet. What’s in your summer routine?

21 Drops – Essential Oil Blends

Essential oils have been floating around little universe for a couple of years now. A spritz here and there at the end of yoga class. During a massage they were placed into that little machine that puffs them into the air. I had a colleague who even used them in the office, but I never thought about purchasing them myself.

Two weeks ago as I was running low on melatonin (I use it regularly to help me sleep), I decided to investigate essential oils as an alternative. Living in Delray Beach, I drive by 21 Drops and their gardens on the regular…so it seemed like the best place to start.

21 Drops uses combined essential oils to treat and prevent, nurture, fortify and heal. They use 24 different oils in 21 varying combinations. Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 5.45.12 PM

Since I travel so much, I opted for the “Travel Well” package, which comes with three different oils:Essential Oils 001

#14 Immunity: Made of eucalyptus leaf oil, lavender flower oil, ravintsara leaf oil, and rosewood oil to stimulate the immune system and fight infection.Essential Oils 003

#17 Digest: Fuses cardamom seed oil, ginger rhizome oil, German chamomile flower oil, and sweet orange fruit rind oil to ease the discomfort.

#18 Sleep: Made of palmarosa grass oil, sandalwood wood oil, vetiver root oil, and ylang ylang flower oil to sedate, soothe and quiet.Essential Oils 002

I also picked up #21 Inspire, which is made with black pepper, cedarwood ground and sandalwood  and jojoba oil. All together they release blocked energy, support confidence and quiets mental activity.

So far they have all helped immensely. I’ve been falling asleep quickly, feeling refreshed when I wake up, and when I had a little tickle earlier this week the Immunity seemed to do the trick.

They are perfect for dropping into your bag and carrying with you. This first dip into essential oils has me wanting to explore more, particularly “De-stress,” “Focus” and “Headache.”

June Goals

It is very rare that you get a new month on the first day of the week. It seems right that you should wake up feeling refreshed and excited about what could be possible this month. For whatever reason, that made me feel like it might be a good idea to make some goals for the month. I mean why not?

1. Practice yoga at least 10 minutes daily. I’ve been doing yoga challenges, but not really focusing on my yoga practice. I need to get back into that.image (10)

2. Get up early every morning. It’s summer! This means I have more daylight in the evenings, which means if I get up earlier and get more things done sooner I can take advantage of it.image_4

3. Try a new funtivity every week. I love funtivities, and right now is the perfect time to integrate them into our plans. They can be an active activity, or just a new adventure (e.g., a new restaurant).

4. Cut back on sugar. I’ve been really bad about the extra dose of sugar. I am going to try my darndest to limit my “sugary” snack intake to twice a week…I am talking candy and ice cream here. Maybe next month I’ll cut my fruit (but let’s be honest).SourPatchKids

Healthy Eating: Stuffed Peppers

I’ve been eating stuffed peppers for as long as I can remember. My mom used to make them when we were younger. I am pretty sure I used to take them for lunch sometimes. They are just such a good Sunday meal prep option, that are also good for lunch leftovers.

I’ve stuffed them with pretty much everything at this point….they’ve been vegetarian (with Morningstar Crumbles), they’ve had rice or quinoa, and then of course other ground meat…turkey, chicken, buffalo. You can really stuff them with almost anything.

I used to have to get creative in how I positioned the peppers to bake. Then I got a fantastic pan for our wedding, literally designed for peppers. It’s awesome.

 

Below is a recipe I’ve been using recently, it’s clean, simple and tasty.

Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers

What you need:

4 bell peppers

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1/2 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned

1 pound ground beef, bison, turkey, or chicken

Go ahead and preheat the oven to 375 F. While that is preheating, let’s get to chopping.

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In a large skillet heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until they are translucent and slightly brown. You can lightly season the onions with salt and pepper. I also like to add a little more pepper and saute those.

Peppers 004

Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and tomatoes, and cook for about two minutes.

Peppers 005

 

Now we add the meat and cook until fully done. I usually add a little heat here with some red pepper.

Peppers 006

 

Fill the peppers and pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes. This will leave the peppers soft, but still a little crunchy.

Peppers 008

 

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Training In a Warehouse Means Business: Legacy Fit

When your friends invite you to train with their personal trainer, and the concern is that you don’t puke you have high expectations. Mostly of yourself to prove that you won’t puke, but also secretly hoping that you get such an intense workout that it could very easily happen.

That’s how a personal training session at Legacy Fit in Miami was presented to me. Apparently the last friend that was brought to this workout puked and had Isaac, the trainer, concerned.

On the drive over to the gym for our double-date, sweat session, we got the low down. There are pitbulls outside, but they adorably snugly.  There can be a lot of sled pushing…and so forth. We pulled up and the gym was exactly as promised. A down and dirty, old warehouse that was turned into a two room gym. One room holds what looks like a cross between a crossfit wod and boot camp. The other room is set for personal training with astroturf, a few cardio machines and lots and lots of weights. image6

Also, their tagline is #nodaysoff, which really resonates with me, because “hi. My name is Laney, and I am a fitness addict.”

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There isn’t a lot of A/C moving around, and you can get warm pretty quickly. There were four of us, and Josh went to workout with Corey and I got paired up with Lauren. We did the same movements, just with some more weight (for the guys).

The full workout consisted of: sled pulls running backwards, sled static pulls in an iso-squat, sled pushes, battle ropes, Russian twists with the battle ropes, partner sit ups with a medicine ball, and partner push ups with high-fives. The sled pushes did me in, and I needed a serious breather after my intervals.

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My heart rate was skyrocketing and it was absolutely a challenging workout. I was surprised when it was over, and did feel like I could go a little longer. On the positive I watched a Dolphins defensive lineman grunt through his very tough workout and made me feel like a hardcore athlete.

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High Intensity Training at Its Finest: The FHITTING Room

High intensity training is a staple in my weekly workouts. Essentially, any routine that gets me in and out in 30 minutes or less (thinking Kayla, Plyos from P90X and 21DayFix, and more) are done at least twice a week. Friends who live in the NYC-area have told me, more than once, that I “have to try FHITTING Room.” That it was in my fitness wheel house.

So we rallied a few troops from work and went during my last week long trip. I didn’t really know what to expect but I was ready to sweat.

The room holds 24 participants and class is run by two instructors. I loved the added instructor. It means you can’t get caught slacking at all, and the energy remains high throughout the workout. Ben and Farouk taught our class, and they were just really fun to be around. I don’t remember looking at the timer once because they were keeping our spirits up.

The workout itself was challenging in the sense that it got my heart rate up and I was sweating VERY quickly. It was broken up into a “warm up” (term used loosely), strength, circuit, and then finally a partner workout.

The Warm Up: we did 30 seconds of jumping jacks, jump rope, air squats, hip openers, mountain climbers and then more jumping jacks. I was certainly warm up the jump rope and sweating buckets by the second set of jumping jacks.20150413_181908

Strength: I didn’t go extremely heavy here, probably used just about a 12-15lbs depending on exercise, but really started to feel it when we were doing the bent over rows with kettlebells. Each move was a minute long, and we did it with the entire group. This was done twice through.

Circuit: Then they broke us into four groups and we went through four different exercises twice. Each station lasting a minute. This included rowing, KB presses, KB step ups and KB swings.

Partner: Finally, if my arms weren’t tired enough at this point we did 4 rounds for each person and you had one minute to finish nine dumbell thrusters to a medicine ball and nine burpees. And at the FHITTING room, you go all the way to the floor for the burpees. 20150413_192745

This workout was no joke. I was honestly sore for two days following, and couldn’t believe it. The workouts change daily, so you can be sure you never fall into a rut.

News That Makes You Think: Obesity Risk, Lunch Shaming, Double Chin

The last two days has been filled with some interesting news items that has led me to shake my head, and go hmmmm.

A test that can gauge your obesity risk?

I come from a family that has often struggled with weight — we have one of those really unhealthy relationships where we eat our feelings. It’s a learned response….and while that has a significant impact on our waistlines it is a habit that in theory can be broken.

On the other hand, researchers have now said they can successfully link certain byproducts of digestion to the risk of excess body fat. Something we can’t change…yet. It’s possible that these findings might lead to more personalized interventions for people who are identified as “at-risk” for obesity, including diet, exercise or supplements.

In a study published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine, researchers note that obesity risk is driven by many factors. They include, “amino acids and muscle metabolism, energy metabolism, and [the] involvement of gut metabolism.”

In a not so shocking finding, the researchers say that obesity is complex and one magic bullet isn’t going to fix the situation. Read more here. Do you think having this information would make a difference?

Lunch Shaming

On my ride back from pilates this morning, I heard the story of the teacher’s letter to a parent regarding her child’s lunch. Then I got home and saw that it was on GMA. Is this really a thing? I know and appreciate the hard work that has gone into revamping school lunches, but being uber judgey about what is packed from home is ridiculous. Also, since when is peanut butter NOT a healthy snack? I’m pretty sure it is one of those “in moderation” snacks that is good for you. And another thing, how are you suppose to keep milk cool for lunch?

I'm pretty sure this lunch wouldn't make the cut
I’m pretty sure this lunch wouldn’t make the cut

Double Chin Remedy

Forget contouring like a Kardashian, and don’t you fret about bad angles anymore. The FDA approved a new treatment for adults with “moderate-to-severe fat” below the chin. The treatment, Kybella, apparently naturally absorbs fat, and has the potential to be a big seller. That is IF, patients are ok with the potential side effects including trouble swallowing or nerve damage to the jaw that an result in an uneven smile or muscle weakness in the face.

I can't tell if I qualify for "moderate-to-severe" here
I can’t tell if I qualify for “moderate-to-severe” here