What's in my Gym Bag


What's in my Gym Bag

I used to walk around like a crazy bag lady. Despite only having gone to the gym and work, it basically looked like I was living on the street. I was carrying so much and in different bags mind you, because it just couldn't fit!  

That is until I got my Infinity Bag from Go Dash Dot!  They've thought of everything!! Padded laptop bag? Check!  Sweaty gym clothes touching everything in my purse?  Not anymore! This bag contains a machine washable laundry pouch.  Not to mention a pocket for my sneakers, Swell bottle, phone, makeup, you name it.  

So now that I can fit EVERYTHING into one gym bag, here's what I always have with me as I dash from workout to work:

  • Work Clothes and shoes
  • Makeup
  • Face wash (I use Skinceuticals cleanser)
  • Sunscreen (I use NARS tinted moisturizer or a VitC Serum)
  • Laptop
  • Water bottle
  • Wallet
  • Sunglasses
  • Notebook/Planner
  • Snack such as a bar, almonds, seasoned avocado
  • Tupperware lunch (usually a salad or chicken with vegetables) 

And YEP, that all fits now into one bag! After my workout, I put my sneakers into the dedicated shoe department, put my sweaty gym clothes into the laundry bag, and I'm off!

Use code LIVESIMPLE15 for 15% off on your Infinity Bag.  Head to http://www.godashdot.com





This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the WELL Summit.  Nothing makes me happier and feel more alive, than being surrounded by like-minded individuals. We can learn so much from our peers and I wanted to share some truly inspiring and motivating quotes from this weekend.  Whether you apply these to your workouts, your business, or your everyday life, we can all improve ourselves by putting these into action!

"Don't be afraid to cultivate individuality through community"

"Life is tough, but you are tougher!"

"Stop comparing yourself to others.  Comparison is the thief of joy."

"Turn your struggle into your story"

"The one thing that separates all of us is action - Do Something!"

"If there's something in your life that's not serving you, let it go!"

"Vulnerability is a really beautiful thing"

"Failure doesn't exist.  It's immeasurable and only in the eye of the beholder"

"Do not talk yourself out of self exploration"

"Look inwards for the benchmark of your own success.  Stop looking outside and comparing yourself to others"

"Welcome fear and embrace it!"

"Fear is an indicator that you care so much about something it scares you.  Fear is precisely when you have to explore it head on"

"If you're waiting for fear to subside, you will never take leaps"

"Acknowledge that you had a hand in your success as much as you acknowledge that you had a hand in your failures"

"Honor that your path is different"

"Live passionately, beautifully, and thoughtfully everyday"

"Step into the power that you already possess.  No one has to give you permission but you"

"Social media is not the end goal, it's just a medium"

"You have to be your first cheerleader"

"Show up for yourself."



How I Trained for the Marathon by Doing the Bare Minimum

I know what you're thinking.  Bullshit!  You were doing 18-20 miles, bare minimum my ass.  Right?  Here's the thing though.  Unlike most training schedules that demand 4-6 days of running per week, I only ran two.  Never a day more and never a day less.  

Confession: I really don't like running. So why did I sign up for the marathon?  Now that I will agree with you is totally insane.  However, it's always been a bucket list thing for me and especially in fitness, I love nothing more than a challenge.

That being said, running aside, I really LOVE working out.  And I know how lucky that I am to feel that way.  To wake up excited for the gym, a class, or that incredibly sore feeling when you can't sit down so much as you fall down because your legs are exhausted!  That's rare and something I was not willing to sacrifice.  I pledged to run the marathon if, and only if, I could do it while maintaining the workout schedule that I love.  I refused to sacrifice strength classes, cardio classes, spin classes, you name it.  

And in fact (while any runner would disagree with me), I think it really helped.  Keeping the running to a minimum and focusing on what I did love, made it easier mentally for me to persevere through the tough miles.  Physically, it was also easier because I wasn't neglecting strength training like so many people do when they're running constantly.

With the marathon less than a month away...holy shit!...I know it will be tough and EXTREMELY challenging, but I wouldn't have done it any other way! 

Check out my full training plan below:

Week 1- 5 miles, 8 miles
Week 2- 5 miles, 10 miles
Week 3- 5 miles, 10 miles
Week 4- 6 miles, 12 miles
Week 5- 5 miles, 10 miles
Week 6- 5 miles, 12 miles
Week 7- 6 miles, 14 miles
Week 8- 5 miles, 16 miles
Week 9- 6-8 miles, 14 miles
Week 10- 5 miles, 16 miles
Week 11- 6-8 miles, 18 miles
Week 12- 5 miles, 20 miles
Week 13- 5 miles, 14-16 miles
Week 14- 8 miles, 18 miles
Week 15- 6-8 miles, Half Marathon (Sign up for a race so you can practice race day)
Week 16- 5 miles, 20 miles
Week 17- 5 miles, 14-16 miles
Week 18- 5 miles, 10-12 miles
Week 19- 5 miles, Maratho



Find your Mantra

The saying goes, "when the going gets tough, the tough get going."  When the situation becomes difficult, the strong work harder to meet the challenge.  So how do you become "the strong?"  How do you become one of those people that will never quit, will work hard, persevere?

I often think about this as I'm working out.  When you're muscles are burning, your lungs are gasping for air, and you're really freaking tired, how do you push passed all of that and keep going? Nine times out of ten, it's a mental game.  Your muscles actually CAN keep going, it's your mind that needs the convincing.

So that being said, I've been trying to come up with a mantra or a quick saying, I can use on repeat, when "the going gets tough."  I tried several but they lacked meaning to me, and therefore, were ineffective.  I would say "keep going" but my mind quickly said, "nope, I don't want to."  Or  "you can do this," while thinking "I really don't think I can."

Then on my run last week, at mile 10, I was exhausted.  I thought to myself, "yes you are tired but you are LUCKY to be here, to feel this tired, to move the way do and to run!"  There are so many people far less fortunate.  

My mother passed away from breast cancer three years go, and she was my best friend.  She also is where I learned my passion for exercise.  She loved it!  That's when my meaningful (and effective) mantra finally occurred to me.  In that moment I thought, "do it for those who can't" and I persevered.  I finished the run feeling tired but so accomplished and above all else, fortunate.

I encourage all of you to find a mantra that means something to you.  What will keep you going when you really feel like you can't go anymore?





It's my One-Year Kayla-versary

Back in November, I wrote a review of my experience using the BBG guides and vowed to complete one year of BBG.  Here I am at the end of week 54- I can't believe it.  

I wanted to check in with all of you, because without my commitment to you guys, as readers, I can't confidently say that I would have stuck with a program for that long.  I've never stuck with any fitness regiment for that long...

And I'm SO happy I did!  There are three HUGE transformations I've noticed in myself as a result of doing Kayla's BBG Guides.

  1. Physical- In the past year I have really seen my body change in a way I didn't think was possible.  My stomach is flatter, my arms and legs leaner.

    What I found so motivating throughout this process were my before and after pictures.  Each week I religiously documented my progress- same outfit, same location, same lighting, same stance.  This was crucial!  If I was having a tough time, or being overly critical (guilty), no matter what, there was evidence in these pictures proving that my hard work was paying off! 

    I choose not to publish before and after pictures on Instagram because I don't like to encourage people comparing their body and their results to other people, when everyone is different.  I know I have become seriously discouraged when looking at some Kayla transformations prompting the question...why don't I look like that?

    Throughout this whole process, I've had to continue to remind myself that everyone's progress is different, as it should be...we're all different!
  2. Strength- I have gotten much stronger, there's no doubt about it.  I can do a freakin' plyo pushup for crying out loud!  Yep, you know where you go down into a pushup and then push your body off the ground so much that you an lift your hands?! Yes, I can do that now!  
    When this first showed up in the guides I literally said out loud, "you have got to be kidding me kayla! A plyo pushup...yeah right."  I even started checking YouTube and Instagram to see anyone post a video of them doing a plyo pushup in the kayla guides because I didn't believe it.  It seemed absolutely impossible at the time.  And now here I am at week 54 and I can do them!  I'm really proud of this if you can't tell :)
  3. Mental- One of the biggest transformations is not something I can physically see in a mirror.  It's mental.  I have never committed to any kind of program (diet, fitness, etc.) for this long.  Knowing that I can and that doing so makes a huge difference is a really powerful tool to add to your mental repertoire of encouraging thoughts.

    The guides are also great at keeping you on your toes!  They are designed perfectly.  They have just enough consistency where you can see an improvement in your strength and stamina but also enough variety where you're not getting bored of the same exact routine.

So there you have it.  One year down, and I'm not stopping any time soon!  I've migrated over to the app, which is awesome and keeps track of all your workouts.

Special shout out to my workout buddy and POC who is always "down to kayla."


Dumbbell and Kettlebell Workout


Dumbbell and Kettlebell Workout

So ClassPass raised their rates and now you have to say sayonara to those boutique workouts you love so much. If you recently joined a gym and have no idea what to do, I have you covered. 

Kelvin Gary, trainer and owner of Body Space Fitness, put together two full body workouts using standard gym equipment- a dumbbell and kettlebell.  You can also check out our “no-equipment-necessary” workout here

These workouts are designed to give you a great full-body burn, and with only 5 moves you’ll be in and out of the gym in no time.

Dumbbell Workout

 Single-Arm Squat Thrusts – Use your legs to assist the press.  Squeeze your glutes and core at the top of the move.  Complete 2 Sets, 15 reps reach side


Plank Rows - Keep your hips square and exhale as you row.  Complete 2 sets, 12 reps each side


Lateral Lunge Lift - Complete 2 sets, 10 reps each side


Weighted V-Ups - Complete 3 sets, 12 reps


Single Leg Dead Lift with Reach -  Add in a sight rotation by reaching across your body to bring the dumbbell towards the foot of your standing leg.  Complete 3 sets, 10 reps each side


Kettlebell Workout

 Single Arm Kettlebell Swings – Complete 2 sets, 15 reps each side


Weighted Russian Twists – Complete 2 sets, 12 reps each side

Kettlebell Tactical Lunge – It’s important here to pass the KB from side to side between the legs without switching hands in front.  Complete 2 sets, 10 reps each side


Kettlebell Split Stance Lift and Press – Complete 3 sets, 12 reps each side


Split Stance Kettlebell Row – Complete 2 sets, 12 reps each side



Run to the Beat

I do not consider myself a "runner."  Before you FREAK OUT and say, "but you're training for a half marathon AND full marathon, of course you're a runner!"  Let me explain.

Running does not come easily to me.  My form is all wrong, I don't particularly look forward to it and I'm happiest when my miles are over.  Can I make myself do it?  Yes.  I love working out and I'm disciplined so with a good training schedule, sure I'll make it happen.  

That being said, with such lofty goals for a non-runner like me, I had to figure out how to make the experience more enjoyable.  My friend recommended Nike Run Club.  This has been instrumental in helping me train...and even start to enjoy it?!  I made friends/running buddies that I meet every week, many of whom are training for the same races as me.

I also put together an ever-growing running playlist.  I wanted to share with you guys so maybe it pushes you a little more in the gym, makes you go the extra mile, whatever!  Also selfishly, hoping you tell me your favorite songs that I'm missing so I can keep adding on!  

Without further ado...



The Anytime, Anywhere, Workout

I hear it all the time, excuses.  “I want to workout but a gym is too expensive,” “I’m travelling all the time and the hotel doesn’t have the equipment I need,” “I’m too tired,” you name it!  I don’t mean to sound harsh but these are just the things we tell ourselves when a workout is not a priority.  If you adjust your attitude and vow to workout and take care of your body, no matter what, you can fit in your fitness anywhere, anytime.

I partnered with celebrity trainer and owner of Body Space Fitness, Kelvin Gary, to create a workout that you can do no matter what- say buh-bye to those excuses!  There is no equipment required and you only need a small amount of floor space – perfect for a NYC apartment or small hotel room. 

Complete the below exercises for the designated number of reps.  Repeat 3-4x through, with a minute break in between rounds.


Curtsey to Forward Lunge

Repeat 12x per side (24 total)


Knee-Grab Sit Ups

Repeat 20x


Plank Dip and Leg Raise

Repeat 12x per side (24 total)


Plank to Sit-Out

Repeat 12x per side (24 total)


It's Not a Waffle.  It's a Viking Waffle.


It's Not a Waffle. It's a Viking Waffle.

Take a traditional Scandinavian waffle with its heart-shaped design, and then infuse it with the spirit of a Viking, the great and daring seafaring warrior from a thousand years ago- the end result is a Viking Waffle. A baked good poised to rule your taste buds, but not your waistline! It is delicious and nutritious, and allows you to ENJOY eating healthy without depriving yourself of great food!

Every Viking Waffle contains 24g of protein and only 1g of sugar, and it's gluten free!

How did you create Viking waffles?

Norwegian waffles are a huge Scandinavian tradition, sadly not very nutritious. I have so many great memories of my grandmother’s waffles growing up, but being a soccer player, crossfit trainer, kettlebell and yoga instructor in Norway, nutrition is very important to me. I hated the feeling of giving up my favorite comfort food to be able to perform well in my sports. 

I started asking myself: “Why is eating healthy associated with a restriction to life and a feeling that you are giving up on a lot of good food?” That’s when I created the Viking Waffles, a nutritious healthy twist from the traditional Norwegian Waffles that allowed me to eat waffles guilt free everyday due to the nutritional content in them. 

People in Norway started asking me for the recipe after wondering how it was possible to perform well in my sports and eat AS many waffles as I did. The truth is, and I usually joke about it, my biggest dream is actually to be able to able to eat waffles without it going to my waist. Haha. So the Viking Waffles were born.


What was the concept behind this protein-packed snack?

The concept behind this protein packed snack came from seeing that there were not many portable low sugar, high protein snack options on the market. Yes, we have high protein bars, but sadly a lot of protein bars are also very high in carbohydrates and sugar - basically a candy bar. Just because a protein bar is high in protein, does not make it automatically healthy. You have to look at the other ingredients (especially the simple sugars added to most). 

The Viking Waffles are also made to be an excellent post-workout meal. From my own experience, a lot of times after tough workouts, you often want to reward yourself with food. But at the same time you don’t want to ruin a great workout. I want people to be able to look forward to a post-workout meal that not only is delicious, but also keeps you on track with your fitness goals. The Viking Waffles was my solution.

Another idea behind the Viking Waffles, is that it’s so adverse as breakfast, dinner or dessert. You can eat it guilt free at anytime. Trust me, I’ve had a lot of “breakfast for dinner” Viking Waffles. In addition to it being a great breakfast option as most people consider waffles to be, I also know a lot of people crave something sweet at night. The Viking Waffles is perfect at bedtime due to the slow released protein we use and the low carbohydrate and that in addition comes from only slow digestive carbohydrates (only 1g of sugar).

My biggest motivation of sharing the Viking Waffles to the world actually came after a quote a man said that till this day is stuck in my head: If the Viking Waffles was just as accessible as Starbucks coffee shops, I would not have had diabetes”


What’s your favorite exercise/workout?

I love training glutes and legs. I train legs three times a week with weights. My favorite exercise for the glutes is a weighted hip thrust. I love incorporating a lot of supersets in my workouts to get my heart rate up, that way I feel like I don’t need to do too much traditional cardio.

My favorite leg-day workout:

Weighted Bulgarian split squats 3*12 Superset with 30 sec jumping lunges

Weighted hip bridges 4*12 superset with band walks

Stiff legged barbell deadlifts 4*15-20 superset with 4*10 squat jumps

Leg press 3*12

Stability ball leg curl 2*20


Tell us about your background from Norway to NYC.

I played soccer at a top level in Norway so healthy habits and focus towards top performance is pretty much something I’m raised with. I stopped playing when I attended Medical school in Norway. I also became a crossfit trainer, kettlebell and yoga instructor.

It was during the Medical studies I really learned about nutrition and the preventive aspects of eating healthy. That awareness led me to experiment with my own diet and ultimately create the Viking Waffles. Due to this, I dropped out of Medicine school, travelled to New York to study entrepreneurship and business, and English.  After the semester I officially started the Viking Waffles brand in New York city.


Name something about you that might surprise people.

I attended an Olympic weightlifting course, which ended with a competition. I came second to last. haha


There’s a lot of debate when it comes to nutrition on a cheat day or meal.  Is this something you incorporate into your diet?

No, I don’t like the idea of cheat meals. I do understand the concept of it, and for a lot of people a break from a clean diet can also speed up your metabolism if have a strict eating regime.

I’ve had points in my life where food almost took over my life. I was very strict and always ate clean food. I was lean, but what most people didn’t see was how much energy and thoughts throughout a day I spent thinking and planning my meals. It came with a price. I looked healthy and top-trained on the outside, but did not feel healthy on the inside.

Today I still train like an athlete, and I feel great just by stressing less, creating healthy eating habits, but I do try to avoid restrictions when it comes to food. I believe the key to eating healthy is to educate yourself about healthy food, and not choose a meal only because it’s healthy, but because it’s food you actually enjoy.

I actually tell myself and others that I believe the healthy approach to food is to think: ‘You can actually eat WHATEVER you want, BUT in moderations” This allows me to have a glass of wine, eat ice-cream and watch my favorite movie with friends because it’s not one meal that determines your physique or fitness, it’s the healthy habits you create and follow 80% of the time.


Can you share a few Scandinavian wellness secrets?

Make the outdoors your gym! Try “Nordic Walks” – Basically walking outdoors. The nature in Norway is beautiful so it’s very nice, but I believe being outside anywhere can be very powerful–it gives you freedom and new focus to keep your body in shape. It can help your mind as much as your body. Truthfully It lifts my spirit on low days.

We also eat a lot of fish, especially salmon. Our diet is naturally very similar to the Paleo diet. A lot of meat, fish, vegetables and unprocessed food.

Last tip I want to share especially to women in NYC is to put less pressure on themselves in their fitness journey and find the comfort and acceptance of themselves and their bodies. Moving to NYC I’m noticing more pressure and focus around looks, status and money, which I’m not used to. We are very family oriented and down to earth. I’m raised in a way where there is not much room for divas or superficial values. Every time I come home to my family in Norway, I’m put straight to work and to help out and this will probably never change.


Are there plans for more Viking waffle flavors or other baked goods from the protein magic bakery? We can’t get enough!

YES YES! I’m very excited to introduce more favors from Viking Waffles. We have a bunch of delicious high protein, low sugar Viking Waffles ready.  We’re waiting for the right timing and production. You can expect unique flavors: one flavor will have a secret exclusive superfood ingredient from the sea in Norway and other flavors more specific to special diets, like Paleo and Vegetarian.


What tips do you have for making things healthy without sacrificing flavor?

I call fruit nature's candy.  Use bananas as sweetener.  Stevia, a natural plant and sweetener is great to  use instead of sugar as it has no calories.  I use a lot of flavored protein powder while baking and also in smoothies.  

I use healthy fats like peanut butter, almond butter and coconut oil where unhealthy fat, like butter, is needed. 



{Foam} Rolling with my Homies

If you’re not familiar with foam rolling, it’s the log looking thing in the back corner of most gyms.  Not used nearly enough, foam rollers can help increase flexibility, release muscle tension and soreness, and help prevent injury from training. 

Despite it’s many benefits, for most people foam rolling is one of those things that we save for whatever time is left over in our day, meaning it rarely ever happens!  While it’s important to work hard in your workout, it’s equally important to stretch and foam roll so your body gets the recovery it needs and deserves.  

Here is an excellent guide with foam rolling moves and video demonstrations that you can utilize to get into a great foam rolling routine.  



Get the Facts...The Recovery Facts

Fueling properly after a workout has become my new obsession.  Truthfully, I just never knew how important and beneficial it was.  For all those workouts I did, I feel like I wasn’t maximizing my full potential, by ignoring the necessary re-fuel and recovery immediately following. 

Well, I’m here to remedy that situation and share the facts with all of you!  I recently posted about the three keys to Sports Nutrition: Hydration, Pre-Workout Fuel and Post-Workout Fuel.  Despite knowing all of this, I have admittedly been having trouble refueling with the proper amount of protein and carbohydrates in that very fast 30-minute window, my how it flies by!

30-minutes is not a lot of time so I needed something on-the-go.  Additionally, for such a substantial amount of protein, it is hard to find a recovery snack that is low enough in calories that it won’t undo your workout. 

I feel like I tried everything!  I tried dissolving protein powder in water and couldn’t stand the chalky taste.  Literally couldn’t swallow it.  Next I experimented with smoothies.  While I liked the smoothies, as the weather gets colder, it’s hard for me to tolerate an icy smoothie, especially on-the-go.  So where does that leave me?  Here are a couple of super-simple post-workout meals that I’ve been making ahead of time:


  • Protein Pancake- whisk together 3 egg whites, 1 scoop of protein powder, and ½ banana mashed.  Cook in a non stick pan for 3-4 minutes per side
  • Hard Boiled Eggs and Apple Slices- Eat 2 hardboiled eggs (I like to add salt and pepper to taste) and half a medium sized apple.  Recipe here for the perfect hardboiled eggs.

Not a fan of these snacks?  I know hardboiled eggs smell like farts, it took some getting used to for me too!  But below is a comprehensive guide for recommended protein and carbohydrate recovery.  I would love to hear your recovery snacks to add to my repertoire!  Share below and I’ll feature my favorites.  



Wellness Delivered in your Space, on your Time


Wellness Delivered in your Space, on your Time

Looking for a unique and special holiday gift this season?  Look no further than Namaste NY, an at-home wellness concierge service. 

I chatted with Namaste’s co-founder, Julie Wald.  Julie and her husband, Michael, started Namaste because they saw firsthand how holistically healing our minds and bodies could affect every other aspect of our lives.  Powerful stuff, huh? 

Namaste is focused on giving clients access to the best practioners in the world, who bring energy, wisdom, and expertise to their field.  You’ll notice reduced stress, improved performance, and strengthened relationships.

What is the concept behind Namste NY?

Namste is a wellness concierge.  Curated wellness delivered in your space and on your time.  Take care of our clients by sending them the best teachers and practioners in the world, to help them optimize health, happiness, ease and performance.

What is your favorite holiday recipe?

Paleo Apple Crisp from Elana’s Pantry


What is your favorite gift to give and receive?

Namaste massage at home + tea + chocolate

Holidays are a huge time to travel.  How do you recommend people stay balanced and energized on the road or in the air?

Drink tons of water, meditate 10 minutes in the morning, stick to your exercise routine as much as possible.  For mind and body, get massages as often as possible, no more than 2 glasses of wine/night, not too much sugar, and plenty of sleep! 

Name something about you that might surprise people?

I fell in a toilet on a train in India.  

What is your favorite food?

I could live on dark chocolate, sweet potatoes, sautéed greens and garlic and tea.  

Can you tell us about your Namaste New York Foundation?

The Namaste NY Foundations was born when Namaste was born, as an integral part of our vision of Namaste. We serve 3 populations - private clients; corporate/executive clients; not-for profit clients. We deliver yoga to a school in Harlem called The East Harlem School.  Three classes weekly, free of charge to the parents, faculty and children in that community. We also collaborate with New York Presbyterian Hospital, bringing massage therapy into waiting rooms, fundraising, and more. As the "for-profit" side of our wellness business grows, we will be able to deliver our services to communities with more limited access to the tools that can be so essential in managing stress, health and well being. 


Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide Review


Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide Review

Who is Kayla?

Kayla Itsines is an Australian trainer with quite honestly, a HOT bod.  Her abs speak for themselves, and have attracted millions to her workout routine. 

Kayla created two online 12-week workouts.  These workouts have proceeded to create an ENORMOUS global community of strong and supportive women. 

The two workouts (BBG 1.0 and 2.0) are each $69.97 for a downloadable PDF.  Update- she now has an iOS and Android app available. 

What is BBG?

BBG stands for Bikini Body Guide.  Kayla accurately acknowledges that a “bikini body” is different for everyone but regardless of what your “bikini bod” looks like, this will whip you into shape!  There is no denying the plethora of before and after photos that Kayla features on her website and instagram account.

If you’re hesitant check it out for yourself.  Search any hashtags like #BBG, #deathbykayla #BBGprogress, etc. and I promise you will be as astounded (and convinced) as I was.

What does BBG entail?

The BBG guides are 12 weeks long.  Each week is comprised of three 28 minute resistance workouts, 3 35-45 minute low intensity stead state (LISS) workouts, one high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout and one rest day. 

The resistance workouts focus on legs, arms, and abs.  The best part?  These workouts are only 28 minutes!  Yes you read that correctly- 28 minutes.  They are designed by Kayla and include two 7-minute circuits that you repeat twice, for a total of four rounds.

As someone more prone to over-exercise than under-exercise, I was admittedly very hesitant that only 28 minutes could have such a significant impact.  But don’t be deceived by the minimal time. This is minimal time, maximum effort and results.  It’s an extremely efficient workout, which is one of the many reasons I love it.

Why did you do this program?

Did I mention Kayla’s body?  And those before and after photos?  I did this program because, duh, I want that and will work to get it!

Does it work?

Yes!  Don’t believe the online before and after photos?  I too, thought they were too good to be true so I took pictures of my own.  I have never been a fan of before and after photos, because we are too quick to criticize ourselves.

However, I decided to take before and after photos to track my progress and have continued to take these progress pics every four weeks since I started BBG.  I have been amazed, motivated, and encouraged to see that every four weeks, without fail, I ALWAYS see a positive change, somewhere in my body. 

I may not have a 6-pack yet but I am continually motivated by the progress in my pictures.  Additionally, I like that I am able to see a positive change but also be realistic with myself.  These things take time!  As much as I wish it was possible, abs don’t grow overnight.

I am currently on Week 20 of BBG (BBG 2.0).  I have committed to do a full year of BBG and I can’t wait to see the results.

One very important thing to note is that no matter how talented Kayla is and how challenging her workouts are, BBG cannot and will not undo a poor diet.   I stick to clean, healthy, eating to see the best results.  Need help there?  Check out meal plans Made Simple.

Can you do it at home?

It is possible to do at home but certain equipment is required.  While most exercises are bodyweight only, certain moves require equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, etc. 

However, Kayla provides a list of equipment and substitutions should you choose to do it at home.  Just be courteous of your neighbors!  If you live in an apartment building, like I do, be aware that there is a lot of jumping.  I wouldn’t want to piss anyone off, especially at 6:30 AM!

Do you do other workouts besides Kayla?

On BBG resistance days I do Kayla’s workouts only.  However, I also am a member of ClassPass and like to do classes on the three days designated for LISS. 

Would you recommend it?

If you cant tell already, yes!  I absolutely recommend these workouts and think they’re worth the one-time fee.  I also recommend doing it with a friend.  It’s easy to stay committed that way and push yourself through each exercise.  Good luck and let me know if you have any questions! 



Sports Nutrition

“I workout so hard, why am I not seeing results??”  Sound familiar?  This sentiment is extremely frustrating and very common.

Your diet could be the missing link.  In order to maximize results in the gym, we must carefully select what we eat and WHEN we eat it.  The science of sports and food, also known as Sports Nutrition, is designed to enable the body to train longer and harder, delay fatigue, enhance performance, and promote recovery.

To fully understand sports nutrition I’ve broken it down into 3 categories: Hydration, Pre Workout Fuel, and Post Workout Recovery.


  • Hydration (before, during, and after workout)- Did you know water comprises about 70% of an athletes body?  Only 3% loss of water weight results in 10% loss in strength.  We need ample amounts of water to get the best workout possible.  Notice I said water!  Put down the neon yellow colored sports drink.  Most commercial sports drinks are high in artificial ingredients. 
  • o   Fluid Recommendations:
  • 2-3 hours pre-workout- 16-24 oz.
  • 15 minutes pre workout- 8-16 oz.
  • During workout- 8 oz. every 15 minutes
  • Immediately post workout- 16-24 oz.
  • Pre Workout Fuel- For an athlete, the pre-competition meal should be low in fat and fiber.  Protein and complex carbs are a good way to fuel 3-4 hours pre workout.  *Be wary of what type of protein you consume.  Many animal proteins are high in fat.
  • Post Workout Fuel- The main nutrition goals for the recovery phase is to replace fluids, carbohydrates and protein for muscle and tissue repair.  You have a 30-minute – 1 hour recovery window to maximize benefits and optimal recovery.  Don’t waste your workout!!  Make sure to rehydrate and have a snack with carbs and protein within that 30-minute – 1 hour window.
  • Myth Busters: People think when it comes to fitness, the more protein the better.  There are several issues with this theory. 
  • Protein helps repair muscles but does not FUEL muscles.  Carbohydrates fuel your muscles, and therefore you workout. 
  • Excessive protein intake can increase risk of dehydration.  This is not say cut out the protein, but make sure to compensate with increased amounts of water





How to Be a Morning Workout Person

If you’re one of those people that get separation anxiety from your bed, I get it; working out in the morning is hard!  No one is arguing that exchanging you’re blanket for a barbell is easy. 

The reality of it though, is that working out in the morning is a great start to your day.  Don't believe me?  Working out in the morning will give you more energy for the day ahead.  I know it sounds counterintuitive- all you want is more sleep so how could waking up actually boost your energy?  Endorphins go a long way.  You will actually be more awake and ready to tackle the day if you get out of bed and move!

Still not convinced?  An A.M. workout will jumpstart your metabolism.  Simply put, you burn more calories all day long just from the sheer fact that you got out of bed and worked out in the morning.

And if you’re STILL not ready to set your alarm for a morning workout, consider this: you are more likely to workout, if you workout in the morning, period!  It can be risky banking on an evening workout, because well, life happens.  Far too often we plan a class or gym session after work, and get stuck putting out fires with our campaigns, clients, bosses, you name it.

Don’t let excuses, or bad habits, get in the way.  Here are X tips to becoming a morning workout person:

  1. Set Only One Alarm- If you have multiple alarms set, or plan on hitting the snooze button, you are subconsciously telling yourself that sleep is more important than your workout.  Switch your internal message and only set one alarm.  Your workout is the most important and if you know that you only have once chance to wake up and do it, you are more likely to actually get out of bed.
  2. Move Your Alarm- Place your alarm out of arm’s reach.  If you have to get up to turn off your alarm, you’re already up, and therefore more likely to hit the gym.
  3. Ditch the Excuses- Most non-morning people try and argue that they get a better workout later in the day.  “I’m too tired in the morning to move.”  To those people there are two things I like to tell them.  1) What’s better, a more tired workout, or no workout at all?  As we discussed earlier, evening workouts often get cancelled.  2) Our bodies love routine and will believe it or not, will begin to adjust.
  4. Pack Accordingly- Pack your bag the night before and lay our your gym clothes.  If you pack your bag with work clothes, toiletries, etc. you’ll be ready to go and have nothing to think about in the morning.  Call me crazy, most people do, but I even like to sleep in my gym clothes.  My boyfriend may not be such a fan, but let me tell you, there’s no better motivator than waking up in a sports bra.
  5. Start small- If it’s your first time waking up to workout ever, don’t get too cocky and overly ambitious.  You want to set yourself up for success by starting small.  Since you will be tired, plan a low intensity cardio session, like walking or a light jog.  A yoga or Pilates class is also great.
  6. Find a friend- If someone is relying on you, you better get your ass out of bed.  Find a partner to workout with in the morning so you stay committed.

This may not be an easy transition but I promise it will be a worthwhile one.  Start making this part of your daily routine now.  Before the holidays arrive and your after-work schedule blows up with cocktail parties, make this a priority. 


What it's like to be an SLT Instructor


What it's like to be an SLT Instructor

SLT has a saying- ‘Better Sore than Sorry.’  This motto is what makes these classes so challenging and so worth it!  As difficult as it may be to get out of bed, or do one more pushup, once it’s all said and done, I never regret a workout.

Every Monday, no matter how tired or stressed I might feel prior to SLT, I am always in the best mood after, walking out of class with a smile.  “Surviving” elevator lunges or the dreaded holds leaves me energized and ready to take on whatever the week has in store.

This weekly ass-kicking is complements of SLT instructor, Amanda Jenny.  I sat down with Amanda (over green juices, of course), to dish about her favorite foods, favorite moves, and more.


 What made you want to be an instructor? I have a background in dance so I love all forms of movement; and I've always believed in cross training as a dancer. SLT combines my love of movement and music and gives me the ability to "choreograph" a new routine each week.  I had been a client at SLT for about two years prior to becoming an instructor.  I wanted an affordable way to take class as often as possible so I started working at the front desk. I enjoyed getting to know the clients and watching the instructors teach so I decided to do the training! 

 Outside of dance and fitness, what are some of your hobbies?  As a fitness instructor you have a lot of downtime.  I read a lot more in the winter, sitting at coffee shops in between classes.  My favorite author is Barbara Kingsolver.  She’s very intellectual and plant-based.  I’m more of a TV person though.  I like to go home, have a glass of wine, and watch TV.  I stick to comedies, like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Broad City.

What is your favorite move at SLT?   Oh boy. That's tough to pick just one! Currently my two favorite are "Teaser" (with a Push-up) and "Kneeling Lat Pull Down." Teaser is killer for the  obliques but your whole midline is engaged from inner thighs up into your abdominals and when you add the push up you sneak your arms in there too. And then nothing targets the back of my arms and my back like a good ole Lat Pull Down, plus the abs are helping to stabilize since you're on a pretty heavy spring load. 

 What does your workout routine look like?  It varies week to week. All of my friends are very fitness inclined and many are instructors themselves so sweating is also play time for me. I have at least 2 or 3 "sweat dates" a week. I probably take five to six SLT classes a week and like to drop into a yoga class here or there as well. There are so many classes/studios I still want to try but I tend to stick to my faves when it comes down to it. 

What does a typical day look like for you? Depends on the day, which is what I like about being an instructor.  For example, Mondays I teach 6:30 and 7:30 AM at SLT and then hop into Jill’s class at 8:30.  I love Jill’s class because she’s always doing new things on the machine and that woman means business! After class, I go get breakfast at Hu Kitchen and then contemplate going back to bed :) I live in Brooklyn by Prospect Park so this summer I've been doing a lot of walking around the park and laying out in the sun.

What are your favorite foods? It’s dangerous working in Flatiron because I basically live at Hu Kitchen. Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner their kale Caesar salad with a salmon cake is my go to and their espresso chocolate muffins are one of my favorite guilty pleasures! Plus there's the crack coffee; it's an absolute essential after teaching at 6:30 in the morning.  

How would you describe your diet? I was a Vegan for eight years, a Raw Vegan for two years, and now I eat everything in moderation.  It's honestly been the best for me mentally, physically, and socially.  You can imagine it's a bit hard to convince a group of friends to come out to a raw vegan restaurant with me.  When I started eating meat again, everyone wanted to take me out for a burger, it was a little overwhelming.  But I've been finding that not having a label (vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, etc.) has been very freeing.



Stuck in a Progress Rut?

Are you eating well AND working out, but not seeing the progress you want?  It happens and I know from experience, it’s sooo frustrating!  Before you give up altogether and go elbow deep into the ice cream pint, there are a couple of things to know. 

1.     Hitting a progress wall, though frustrating, is not actually a bad thing.

When progress seems to come to a screeching halt, it means that there has been significant progress.  It means that you’ve made drastic changes in your lifestyle but your body has grown accustomed to them. 

Acknowledge and appreciate the changes you’ve made.  Maybe you started eating cleaner, greener, foods, or you finally started consistently going to the gym.  These are great things!  Don't let a number on a scale make you think otherwise. 

2.    Plateaus may be frustrating, but they are not impossible to overcome!

A body plateau refers to a period of time in which your body no longer responds the same way to your fitness or diet routine.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Our bodies are SMART!”  They are perfect functioning machines.  When our body senses drastic change, it automatically begins to adjust.  Plateaus are the results of our body’s impressive (but sometimes irritating) ability to adjust to change.

Please pause for a brief science intermission:  Body mass is the major factor that determines your body’s basal metabolic rate, or resting metabolism.  When you reduce your body’s mass through exercise, your basil metabolic rate also declines.  Your body burns fewer calories at rest, and weight loss tends to slow or stop completely.

Fear not!  There are ways to kick this back into high gear.  The most common plateau cause is consistently doing the same type of exercise.  As a running fanatic myself, I experienced this firsthand.  When I was only running, 5+ times a week, of course it made a huge difference at first.  Running is a great workout, and I burned a lot of calories in a short window.  However, my plateau arrived with a vengeance.   While I saw significant progress in my legs, for example, the rest of my body was lack luster. 

Variety in your fitness routine is crucial.  In order to avoid or break through your plateau, you want to target different parts of your body by mixing up your fitness routine.  This will “shock” your body and prevent it from adjusting accordingly, aka the dreaded plateau. 

Knowing this, take a look at your diet and exercise routine.  Is it varied enough?  Are there things you can add in to help counteract the progress rut?


6 Tips to Guaranteeing a Workout in Your Busy Schedule


6 Tips to Guaranteeing a Workout in Your Busy Schedule

If you’re searching for the fountain of youth, look no further than your closest park, gym, or exercise class.  Not only does regular activity strengthen your muscles and improve heart and lung function, but it can also reduce your risk of major diseases, stimulate the growth of new brain cells, and even add years to your life!

That all sounds great so why is it so hard to make exercise a priority in our lives?  We’re busy! There aren’t enough hours in the day.  I get it.  Like many of you, I too work in a corporate environment, which is the crux of this conversation.  All too often, our fitness plans fall by the wayside due to client meetings, overdue proposals, company events…you name it.  

Here are 6 easy ways to ensure you fit fitness into your daily routine!

  1. Establish a bedtime routine- I know it can be hard to turn off the running to-do list in our mind so keep a pen and paper on your nightstand.  As soon as you think of something you have to do the next day, write it down and close your eyes, instead of harping on it and losing sleep.  For the restless sleepers in the house, I suggest covering any clocks in your bedroom.  Not seeing the time will eliminate any anxiety about not being able to fall asleep, or having to be awake in a certain amount of time.
  2. Get some Zzz’s- If you think you can function on only a few hours of sleep, you’re either lying or delusional (probably from lack of sleep.) We all need 7-8 hours of rest.  The reason most people find it hard to wake up in the morning is because they’re not getting enough sleep.   
  3. Set Your Alarm- Make a morning commitment to yourself.  Working out in the morning guarantees there is no gray area.  No last minute client calls or fire drills at work.  Make it harder to set the snooze button by moving your alarm out of arm’s reach.  If you’re already standing to turn off your alarm, you’re more likely to get up and get going!
  4. Find something worth waking up for- If you’re like me it can be difficult to overcome sweatpants separation anxiety (I swear it’s real).  The only way I know I’ll workout, is if I find a workout I don’t want to miss.  Find your what you love.  Some enjoy camaraderie, while others enjoy competition.  Some enjoy group settings, while others prefer to be alone.  You get the idea!  Know that exercise is a lot like food.  Once you understand how different types of exercise nourish your body in different ways, you can put together a “menu” of activities to keep yourself active.
  5. Make your workouts efficient and effective- HIIT, or high intensity interval training, only requires 30 minutes.  With a combination of cardio and strength bursts, you can squeeze a lot of exercise into short period of time. 
  6. Don’t skimp on the small things- Trust me the little things add up!  Physical activity can come to fruition in simple and modest forms.  Try getting off the subway or bus one stop earlier and walking to your destination.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator to your office or apartment.



The Power of Positive

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but we can be our own worst enemies.  Negative, irrational and erroneous beliefs are all byproducts of our inner villain that undermines our real ability.  This applies to all areas of our life, but especially when it comes to exercise.

We are all victims of saying, “I can’t do this anymore” or “it’s too hard.”  Well guess what?  You can do it and it’s not too hard!  Fitness is 90% mental, yet we spend 100% of our time working only on the physical. 

To improve our exercise routines, we need to first improve our mental state.  Positive self-talk can single handedly transform our maximum gym potential.  Think about the physical and mental change that will occur if instead of saying “I hate doing this exercise,” and thus stopping, you begin to say “This exercise is challenging, but I can do it!”  Not only will you get more reps, time, etc. into the same fitness routine, but you will also feel super accomplished!

Let’s all shift to a more accurate and positive way of thinking.  No doubt we will see and feel the results!!



The Truth About Strength/Resistance Training

Somewhere along the way, lost in all the fitness warnings and myths, strength/ resistance training got a bad rep.  Well, I’m here to set the record straight!  By adding strength training into your fitness routine you will not, I repeat, you will not turn into a bulky bodybuilder!  You will however, target specific muscle groups to tighten and tone your body, and who doesn’t want that!

People are so afraid of a number on the scale, that they may ignore the obvious – amazing changes in their bodies.  It’s true, muscle weighs more than fat.  But what most people don’t realize is that more calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat. 

Strength training will help you shed pounds; in fact, it can actually boost your metabolism by 15%, which can really jumpstart a weight loss program.  Strength Training works by applying resistance to strengthen and condition the body, enhancing lean muscle definition and endurance.  In doing so, you also get something called the “after-burn” effect.  

Adding strength training to your exercise routine will increase the amount of calories burned in your normal daily activity.  It is called the after-burn, because your latest gym session could increase your metabolism and aid in calories burned, long after you leave the gym.  Think of it as the gift that keeps on giving.

I’m not discounting the weight loss effects of cardio, but a combination of these vigorous exercises will increase energy expended throughout the day and boost your weight loss efforts.

Rather than shying away from a weighted clean squat and press, for fear of the bodybuilder physique, just remember that you will reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently.  How’s that for motivation!