The 12 Days of Fitness

Honesty is the best policy, right? Right.

I’ve barely done any Christmas shopping.

I’m talking a few items online, a couple in-store and … well … a lot of ideas still swirling around in my head. But, that’s a start. It’s not like the big day is a week away or anything ;)

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While I get all my Christmas ducklings in a row, I’ve also been doing my fair share of celebrating over here. Engagements and babies — hooray!!  And in the midst of it all I set up a sweet little special over on BostInno to help all y’all get through the holidays the healthiest possible.

Enter: The 12 Days of Fitness.

Each day I’ve been tossing out healthy resolution advice, gift guides and even tips for not derailing your diet at those holiday parties. Here’s what I have so far:

– A Healthy Gift Guide for All the Fitness Junkies in Your Life

– 6 Festive Foods to Avoid at Holiday Parties this Year

– How to Find The Best Gym For You

Enjoy!
-TTT

Stress, Change & Learning How To Breathe Again

O.M.G.

Has it really been 12 days since I last posted? My bad. Clearly things have been hectic on this side of the computer screen.

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Well, other than writing tons of turkey day/holiday-related content, giving this blog a facelift and coming down with a nasty cold/flu (last week — yuck), I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.

Every year around this time I start to evaluate the past 12 months. From weddings to babies, jobs and friendships, as we get older, undoubtedly things change. And while I’m not the biggest fan of this, I’ve learned that it’s all a part of growing up.

This year alone I started a new job as a health and fitness journalist and began teaching at a brand new indoor cycling and TRX studio. Personally and professionally I saw a lot of growth.

In the relationship department — ahem, let me clarify — in the ‘friendship’ department much happened as well.

I was in one of my good friends weddings, traveled to Chicago, California and Charleston. Both my sister and one of my best friends found incredible men and are now in serious relationships. Two other best friends had babies — one of which moved an hour away.

That’s a lot of change. And I’d be lying if I said I coped wonderfully. I didn’t.

I am far from perfect and this summer in particular was a challenge. I was stressed out, run down, busy beyond belief and dare I say it …

Lost.

Sure I slapped on a smile, attempted to date via swipeable iPhone apps and probably drank far too much wine. But in all honesty, these were all just a bandaid for the underlying issues I was dealing with.

Instead of facing my frustrations head on, I masked them by attending more events and social gatherings — all in an effort to limit the time I had completely free. Because it was in that moment where I would begin to feel lost, uncertain and utterly overwhelmed by this change.

In an effort to not turn this into Trendy Trainer, A Memoir, I will keep it short.

About a month or so ago, I had had enough. I called a meeting with myself, or as I like to call it, a personal pow-wow. I needed to start brainstorming more productive ways to deal with this anxiety — and not just be busier.

Enter, meditation.

I decided that with a job as physically demanding as mine, the stress relief had to come from something non-strenuous. While I’m still in the beginning stages of this practice, I can already tell a difference in my behaviors.

I am relearning how to breathe through certain situations, and let me tell you, it’s refreshing.

How do you cope with change? Stress? 

-TTT

First and foremost, thank you ALL for being so incredible supportive not only about my first video blog, but also regarding my insecurity.

Y’all are amazing and inspire me daily.

Okay, moving on.

Last week I had the opportunity to co-host the final Boston New Balance Girls Night Out event with my blog friend, Sherri of Fun Fit Flavor (her recap here). And while you know just how much I love me some New Balance, these events are a seriously the bomb dot com.

The theme was Staying Fit & Healthy While Traveling.

There ended up being about 100 ladies — a sold out event hosted at the Westin Copley in Downtown Boston.

Why did NB host it at the Westin you ask? Great question.

NB and Westin hotels have a partnership that is absolutely amazing. Regardless of which Westin you’re staying at you can partake in their ‘gear lending’ as well as their RunWESTIN programs.

Gear lending program
We’ve all been there. You arrive at your hotel and realize you’ve forgotten your, gulp, sneakers. You had full intentions of being healthy at this work conference but now feel down and out about your lack of kicks.

Ding! Stay at a Westin and your problems are solved.

NB has everything from sports bras to socks, crops and sneakers if you’ve left yours at home. For $5 you can rent whatever you need and return it when you’re done.

Pretty sweet.

RunWESTIN program
If you’re like me, you want to actually see the city you’re visiting — and if you can do so on foot, even better.

Whether you’re on vacation or traveling for work the RunWESTIN program allows you to take a guided run around town. The special Run Concierge team knows just where to go to give you the best views of the city … and a challenging workout.

At the NBGNO event, the girls had a choice between a 4(ish) mile run with me and the RunWestin Concierge team OR an indoor bootcamp with Sherri led by the RunWestin Concierge himself, Chris!

Seeing our city at night with all of these inspirational ladies was pretty incredible.
Back at the ranch (read: Westin), post-snacks and mid-wine, Sherri and I began out chat regarding staying healthy on-the-go.
We even raffled off an adorable NB roll suitcase! I didn’t win …
In all it was SUCH a fun evening. Between the healthy tips on traveling (which I will post separately later), good food and drink and of course the killer workout, NBGNO will definitely be missed this winter.
Until then ladies, let’s meet up, workout and redefine what it means to have a girls night out :)

Images via NB/Fun Fit Flavor

Fitness Adventure 2: Getting Fit at the Barre

Last Wednesday Will and I took our 2nd adventure. We went to a barre class.

That’s right, this tall, blonde endurance athlete and myself unrolled our mat, grabbed our 5lb. weights and found a spot along the ballet barre.

Will getting after it in barre class.

The studio was C2 Pilates in South Boston — a beautiful wood-floored, one-roomed fitness facility filled with light weights, resistance bands and mini stability balls.

I have to admit, barre really isn’t my thing. I love love lifting heavy weights. I get pleasure out of progressing my deadlift and squat, so when it comes to selecting either 2, 3 or 5lb. dumbbells, I’m not amused. Not because I think I can do more, but because I know the high repetitions (and fatigued limbs) that will soon follow will frustrate the heck out of me.

However, I went into this class with an open mind and an even bigger smile. I figured, if Will — who mind you was the only male at this class — could show up eager to workout, so could I.

It didn’t hurt that our instructor, Eliza Nimon, was absolutely incredible. Not only did she make us feel comfortable, but she made sure that we were doing each and every movement correctly.

Pulse, pulse, pulse. 

As my quads were burning from all the minuscule pulsing, I managed to glance at Will … or should I call him ‘Lake Will’. Sweating up a storm, this guy was plié-ing like you wouldn’t believe.

After an hour class filled with squats, crunches and curls, we cooled down and finished up the class. One big high-five with my fitness partner-in-crime and we were on our way.

My takeaways: While I may never be a dancer or choose to participate in weekly barre classes, I found it really beneficial to take Eliza’s class. I found my flexibility could be improved upon as well as my upper body strength.

Looking forward to the next adventure … I wonder where it will take us?

How do you feel about barre? Have you ever taken a class?
-TTT

Can’t Live Without {11.2}

It’s time I shared some important things with you. 
Like very important things. Things I can’t live without. 
Let’s be honest, I love nut butters — it doesn’t really matter what is mixed in. I’ve tried cinnamon raisin PB, maple almond butter and even spicy PB.
But this tiny tub of joy is chock full of both flavor and nutrition. And for $2.99, you really can’t beat it.  

2. Fresh flowers
I’m almost positive I’ve said this before, but I love love love fresh flowers. If I could afford to decorate my house with this gorgeous freshness daily, I would.

Maybe someday. Maybe. 

3. Baxter snuggles
Do I really need to explain this one?

4. My TsC family
Back in July I became a part of something really special.

I took on a new adventure, many new responsibilities and in turn became part of a new family.

The family is Turnstyle Cycle and while there may not be many instructors, the ones that are there are fan-freakin-tastic. I’m talking salt of the earth, truly inspiring.

With only four females teaching both TRX and/or cycle, you’d think it would be near impossible to find a sub when needed — nope, not the case. Everyone is incredibly willing to step up to the plate and help, not to mention eager to learn from each other.

This group of passionate individuals helps me become better — not only as a teacher but in all aspects of my life.

What can’t you live without?
-TTT

We’re Going On An Adventure … Again

That’s right friends … Will and I are back at it this week for our 2nd Boston fitness adventure.

And this time, I’m taking him to BARRE.

Yes, you read that correctly.

I’m introducing this tall (and probably very graceful) endurance athlete to the trending fitness class that makes you take off your shoes, grab a spot at the barre and pulse, pulse, pulse.

However, I have a dirty little secret: I actually don’t particularly enjoy this form of fitness. It’s just not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love classes besides the ones I teach, but barre … just not for me. I’d rather partake in a Pilates, reformer or yoga class.

BUT, this being Will’s first attempt at the muscle-shaking class, I’ll be interested to see what he thinks of it all.

Stay tuned … We should have a full report (and video) coming soon …

What do you think of barre classes? Do you enjoy or dislike them?
-TTT  

I Got A Spray Tan … In My Bedroom

Let’s face it. 

I live in New England where for 9 months of the year it is cold. The sun shines for just a few short hours and the only true warmth you feel comes from the seat warmers in your car or scalding yourself in the shower.
Ugh, it’s not great. 
However, there are ways to negate this feeling of gloom. Especially when you’re skin begins to blend in with blanket of snow that is soon to cover the leaf infested ground. 
It’s called a spray tan and it’s no longer just for celebrities, figure competitors and, well, Snooki. 
About a month ago I was introduced to Lauren  a bright, cheery Bostonian whose idea to build a mobile and organic spray tanning company has taken off. 
The company is called Pure Glow and their mission speaks for itself, 
To encourage healthy habits and provide a safe alternative to tanning in the sun or in an indoor bed. We believe what you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your body. We also believe that when you look good, you feel even better. We make it easy to look great and feel good about your glow.

I was lucky enough to have Lauren come to my house and spray my sad sun-craving skin last Friday. And let me tell you … I’m still glowing, literally.

Not sure if y’all saw this picture from Insta, but with just a light filter I think it speaks for itself.

The color is even, not orange and fades well.

While Lauren was at my house she set up right in my bedroom … which was both convenient and extremely clean. I have white rugs and furniture and not a lick of the bronzer got on it.

Here’s what Pure Glow prides itself on:

- No UV Rays
- Only Organic, Skin Nourishing Ingredients
- Alcohol Free, Oil Free, Fragrance Free, Hypoallergenic

Now before you go thinking, ‘Really Caroline? Spray tanning isn’t something I would ever do. I’d turn  out looking fake.’

False. 

Trust me, spray tanning has come a long way since that episode of Friends. If you go to the right place the coverage is even and you walk away feeling healthy and radiant. 
Ross, of Friends, getting his spray tan on. 
Not to mention, coming from someone who sweats for a living (and sometimes takes 3 showers a day), the color holds up. 
So what are you waiting for? Have you ever got a spray tan? Beach season is a long time away and that flight to Miami isn’t getting cheaper. 
 
-TTT

Calling All Girls: NBGNO Is Hosting One More Event!

Dear friends, 

I have some GREAT news. 
New Balance is hosting one more fantastic Girls Night Out Event, and they want you to come!
The event theme is called ‘Staying Fit On The Go‘ and is being held on Tuesday, November 4th at 6 p.m. Unlike the other gatherings, NB is throwing this NBGNO at the Westin Copley! 
The night will include your choice of a workout: bootcamp or a run with the Westin Run Concierges, meet and greet as well as tips on staying fit on the go with the NBGNO hosts and of course, appetizers and drinks!
And there’s one more thing … 
I am going to be one of the hosts!! 
The lovely Sherri from Fun Fit Flavor and I will be co-hosting this fun evening — and if any of the past GNO events are any indicators, this event will be exceptional. 
This free event fills up quickly (I’m talking one day!), so RSVP today here.  
So, are you coming??
-TTT

One Sweet Evening

You guys. 
Sunday night … blew my mind [and taste buds]. 
I was invited to the Taste The Seasons fall menu preview courtesy of sweetgreen. The DC-based company is by far my favorite joint in the city. I will go out of my way or stand in an absurd line just to inhale their Kale Caesar.
So when I heard this event was going to be a farm-to-table dinner hosted my by favorite healthy restaurant, there was no chance I was going to miss it. 
My plus one for the evening was my beautiful best friend Sarah. Who also goes out of her way to get her hands on the Kale Caesar. 

We arrived at Ward’s Berry Farm a little early, so in true 27-year-old fashion we played with disfigured pumpkins and sat on hay. 
Once everyone arrived, the evening began with hayrides around the farm. It was SO great to see some of my Boston friends there — Sarah, Eliza, Christina, Lucie, Rachel (who works for SG and helped put on this incredible event!!) and the whole Flywheel crew :) 
My girl Christina from Flywheel and Barry’s Bootcamp!
We munched on popcorn made from corn grown on their fields and drank hot apple cider  Yup, can’t get more New England than that. 
Post-hayride, it was cocktail hour. 
Yes, ma’am. This freezing cold blogger needed a hot toddy … pronto. And that I got … as well as wine. 
Passed appetizers kicked off the mouthwatering array of food that was served to us on Sunday. Avocado toast, ricotta with pumpkin seeds and pumpkin hummus were all passed out. 
When it was time to eat dinner we entered  wait for it  a greenhouse that was elegantly decorated with perfect fall touches. Our menus with all of the course offerings were beside our plates  I literally couldn’t wait to try out their new combinations!
My favorites? 
Wild Child: Wild rice, cilantro, peppers with a ginger miso vinaigrette. 
Curry Cauliflower Quinoa: Chicken, roasted curry cauliflower, warm grains, dried cranberries, arugula with a cucumber basil tahini. 
As an amazing bonus, the founders of sweetgreen (along with many other important members of the team) came up from DC and NYC for this event. They wanted to break bread with us just as they did every Sunday evening while they were starting this company. 
Their mission is simple. Serve authentic food and form authentic relationships with the community. I’d say this dinner was a fantastic representation of that. Thank you again sweetgreen for inviting me to #tastetheseason with you!! 
Maybe now I can order something other than my beloved Kale Caesar. 

TTT