Workout Wednesday – Office workout for sitting at your desk all day

As much as I beg and stomp my feet, it turns out I’m never going to be a stay at home wife……..even though it’s my dream job. Like most people I spend my day behind a desk, slapping a keyboard, not bopping around from workout to workout, drinking juice all day, walking my adorable puppy in my Lulu’s (but a girl can dream can’t she, #lifegoals).

The older I get, I notice more and more that sitting all day is messing with my body and even my workouts. Yes, I do workout a lot but even with all that, I still need extra stuff to counteract 8 hours a day on my tush. Not including the over health issues sitting causes like increased risk of heart disease, slower metabolism, and increased risk of cancer, it really does mess with your muscles and body composition. There is good news though, getting up every hour can help reduce all of that junk. Here are a few exercises that you can do in your office that can help the muscles that get weak from sitting. I promise you wont get too sweaty but I can’t promise your co-workers wont laugh at you.

Upper back and Shoulders

What Happens: When sitting most people relax and slouch in their chair rolling their shoulders forward.
Why it’s bad:  This creates a weak shoulder muscles, poor posture and tight chest muscles.
How to fix it: Back Flys with a resistance band. This builds the back muscles that pull your shoulders back and create great posture.

Glutes

What Happens: When sitting the glutes do NOTHING!
Why it’s bad: This affects stability, getting up and down, a person’s stride and bikini bottoms.
How to fix it: Chair Squats. This strengthens glutes and builds them up to make new jeans fit just right.

Abs

What Happens: When someone slouches in there chair the abs are not engaged and back muscles get tight from supporting the upper body.
Why it’s bad:  This weakens the ab muscles that protect the lower back and tucks hips under creating that flat tummy.
How to fix it: Chair ab leg extensions. This builds the lower abs and inner ab stabilizing muscles

I like to spread them out during the day. Here are two different ways to do that. Every hour get up and do one exercise until failure, rotating through them all during the day is one way. Another way is to do a set amount of each every hour. For example, 15 flys, 15 squats, 15 leg extentions. Whatever why you choose, just make sure to set a timer and get out of that chair.

Bonus: If you can take a walk at lunch and/or sit on a swiss ball at your desk! Every little bit helps!

Kristen xo

Working my Core at Urban Balance Pilates

I recently had the opportunity to try out a one-on-one Pilates session at Urban Balance Pilates. I have only really experienced pilates in yoga/pilates fusion classes, never on it’s own. So when the opportunity came up to try it out I was all for it and plus, I’ve seen it on reality tv shows before, it looks totally easy……..Right.

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Urban Balance Pilates is a beautiful private little studio in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. When I walked in I was greeted by an an adorable instructor, Kelly. She made me feel at ease right away. The first thing we did was talk about my medical history, my goals and Kelly also gave me some background about Pilates and her training. I have to admit  was a little intimidated by the equipment but Kelly reassured me that she was going to tell me everything I needed to know.

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We started the workout on the reformer. A reformer is kind of like a big rowing machine that you lay on with ropes and a foot bar. Kelly told me that in classical Pilates there is a certain sequence to the workout that is followed every time. In the warm up, the exercises were pretty basic but with the resistance from the reformer and the slow controlled tempo I started to feel them working my muscles. As we got into the workout even more the exercises became more complex and I definitely had to think about every move before doing it. Even though there were a few exercises I didn’t think I was going to be able to do (like all of the upside down ones), Kelly guided me through them perfectly and pushed me to go a little further than I thought I could.

I have to admit this was not an easy workout. I was challenged from the start and at the end I was drenched in sweat and my muscles were shaking. It was a lot different then I expected. I learned a lot about my own body and where I have some work to do, especially since my core was super sore the next day. It’s a completely different style then the high intensity type of  workouts I am use to but now I’m super excited to explore Pilates even more.

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Sorry the pic is blurry, my hands were shaking!!

Urban Balance Pilates

  • Length: 50 min Sessions
  • Equipment: Reformer, Pilates Cadillac, Pilates Chair, Pilates Barrel
  • Investment: 100-120 for personal sessions, 50-70 for duet sessions 
  • What to wear: Tank, Capris or Tights and no shoes
  • Difficulty level: 6 Because of the complexity of some of the moves
  • Pros: 1 on 1 sessions tailored to your fitness level, building strength and body awareness
  • Extras: Urban Balance Pilates also offers nutrition coaching for 100

I absolutely LOVED my time at Urban Balance Pilates and would recommend any one to start their Pilates journey here. For more information Visit Urban Balance Pilates on Facebook

***Please note: I am an ambassador for Fit Approach and Sweat Pink, and that’s how I received an awesome session at Urban Balance Pilates. I never give an opinion that is not my own, and I have a lot of them to share (just ask). ***  

Kristen xo

Foodie Friday – MealEnders

I love food, (LOVE IT!!!), but the struggle between staying healthy, eating for activity, keeping my butt from spilling out of my jeans and eating what I want is real!!! My biggest struggle is snacking and binge eating when I get home from work.

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I generally have pretty good will power but when I am tired all of that goes out the widow. There is actually a chemical reason that this happens. When you are tired and sleep deprived (like most of us are these days) the levels of a little hormone called Ghrelin, that control hunger, go up and another guy called Peptide YY, that make you feel full, go down. This is basically telling your body that you are starving and never full. Great for hot dog eating competitions not so good for bikini season.

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Over the past few weeks I’ve had the chance to try a brand spanking new product out of San Francisco that helps with this exact issue I’ve been struggling all my life!

Welcome to the Wonderful World of MealEnders!

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What’s a MealEnder?

I’m so glad you asked. MealEnders are “Signaling Lozenges” designed to help you stop eating when you are not hungry and to help you end a meal when you know you should be done.

How does it work?

Remember that Peptide YY I was just talking about? The trouble with that guy is that once you start eating it takes 20 min for it to kick in and tell your body it’s full. This leaves a 20 min window to keep stuffing your face. (Do you know know how much Pizza I can put down in 20 min? A lot!) This little gem pretty basically treats your mouth with a sweat “Reward Layer” and then reboots your taste buds with the “Inner Core’s Active-Taste Layer” The core is really where the magic happens. It produces a tingling sensation on your tongue working your trigeminal nerve making your brain forget that you wanted to taste that other half of the pizza and giving your body time to realize it’s full. Genius, right!

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After trying them for the past few weeks I am totally sold on these bad boys. They taste great and really do work. It has not only stopped me from overeating at meals but I have also used them when I get the board or tired munchies and they worked then as well. My favorite flavor is citrus.

Here are the Deets on MealEnders:

Who are they good for? Everyone one! They are gluten free, low fat, Kosher, have no drugs, or herbs and no high fructose syrup.

What are the flavors? They come in four different flavors, Chocolate Mint, Cinnamon, Citrus and Mocha.

Where do you get them? Right now they are sold exclusively on MealEnders website, www.mealenders.com

Best news yet!!! I have a giveaway for them!!!!! Four WHOLE bags! One in each flavor! Click the link below for ways to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. there is a secret way to get another entry on my Instagram! @therealkristenvz

***Please note: I am an ambassador for Fit Approach and Sweat Pink, and that’s how I received these sweet MealEnders products to try and giveaway. I never give an opinion that is not my own, and I have a lot of them to share (just ask). ***  

Weekend Wedding Planning, My Fit Foods and getting ready for my first post flu race

This weekend Jared and I are doing one of the best parts of wedding planning. Tasting the food! We are in Scottsdale, meeting with our possible caterers and stuffing our faces along the way. We also went to check out the Resort where all of our guests are going to be staying. Since or wedding theme is basically, Keeping it Classy, we decided to get our hotel block in the Talking Stick Casio in Scottsdale. Nothing says wedding like Black Jack, 80 year old women with oxygen tanks and Thunder Down Under!

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Jared and I checking out the view before hitting the Black Jack tables

In between stuffing our faces and winning big on the tables, we have found time to stay somewhat healthy and work out a little. After the gym today we were running errands and we drove past this place called My Fit Foods. So you know I had to try that!

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Cilantro Lime Turkey, Sweet Teriyaki Chicken Wrap and Veggies in the Raw

Basically the deal is, it is pre-portioned meals that are made fresh, super health and don’t cost a fortune. I would say that there were about 60 different options split into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Jared and I got two lunch meals, a snack box, cookie and a drink and it was only 22.00.

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Some of the things I loved about My Fit Foods are:

1. 99% of there items were gluten free! Big Win!

2. There are big and small portions for most dishes. Great when trying to feed one little person and one giant.

3. Their staff was super helpful.

4. The food was delish!

SOLD! I’m going to try and find one in NorCal as soon as I get home!

Tomorrow, I am running my first face “post-flu race!” It is the Scottsdale Giant 9k so I should be fine but it’s going to be an adventure non the less. I still have a little cough which might be an issue but I’ll work though it.

When going to pick up my packet it was in the Baseball Expo for spring training. Jared actually just dropped me off so I could run in and get my bib. There was a huge festival and so many Giants fans and looked like so much fun I almost wanted to just stay and party but I remembered the man was waiting and he was my ride home.

If anyone is running the Scottsdale Giant Race tomorrow come and find me and we can take a selfie!!

Kristen ox

PS. There is still time to enter my Hemp Hearts Giveaway!! Click this link – a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 FREE CLASSES this weekend at Uforia Studios

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Today the brand new Uforia Studio is opening up in Nob Hill!!! YAY!!! I am soo excited! When I went to try out their classes in Palo Alto I fell in love with them!! Trust me, this is going to be THE hot new Studio in the CITY!! You do not want to miss their opening weekend!!

If you haven’t already seen, I have a hot deal for classes passes and packages!! 50% off for single classes and packages of 10 or 20! Just use the code SPARKLESPANDEX. The code is good until the 9th of March.

If that wasn’t reason enough to tryout Uforia Studios, this weekend only you can try out two classes free!! (What, What!!) Just use the code SPARKLESPANDEX-FREE select Nob Hill Opening – FREE class and you can use it twice!!!!. So you can try it out and when you decide that you love it (which you will) you can use my 50% off code to get a whole bunch of classes!!

Congrats to Molly Fonseca for winning the Uforia pack!! Can want to see you there in your gear!!

Besides going to Uforia for a class what are your weekend plans!!

Foodie Friday with a Giveaway!!!

Happy Friday People!! After last week being super sick with the flu and this week trying to catch up from last week I’m super pumped to be feeling better and ready for the weekend!!

I’m not gonna lie after taking a full week off of working out because of the flu, this week was rough getting back in to my routine. My suggestion is don’t get the flu. It’s not cool.

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My kitty and I snuggling on the couch when I was sick. Every time I would cough he put his little paw on my face.

Sooooo I have a small obsession with Whole Foods! It could possibly be my favorite grocery store ever. One thing I have seen on display recently is Hemp Hearts from Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods and you know if they sell it at Whole Foods it must be awesome!! Looking into them they are one of those magical super foods that contain a whole lot of protein and all sorts of omega-3 and -6 goodness!

I recently got to try out Hemp Hearts for myself. I got them then I really had no Idea what to do with them. They are little seeds that kind of look like uncooked Quinoa. The only thing I could do was take it to the Pintrest to see what I could make with the little guys. Let me tell you there are about a million awesome recipes on there that I want to try! I decided to try unfried fried chicken tenders. I got the recipe from here at http://www.givemesomeoven.com.

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Not that many ingredients!

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Pre-cooked looking good!

They came out amazing!!!! I had them with honey mustard and Franks Red Hot, cause I put that shizz on everything! They would be perfect for a party. They tasted so delicious that I bet no one would be able tell they were super healthy! I actually had them today as leftovers for lunch too and they were still amazeballz!

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Super Delicious yum yum!!

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Even Bella wanted some and she is a fat cat!!

Now you can make some of these delicious treats for yourself by entering my giveaway for a bag of Hemp Hearts!! Click on the link below to enter!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kristen ox

Fantastic Friday and My Very First Giveaway!!i

Happy Friday People!!! I hope everyone had a great week but most of all I hope you all are ready for a great weekend!!!

As far as fitness goes I had a super awesome week. I had some great runs with awesome friends, a few amazing Insanity Max:30 workouts at home and a fantastic RPM class on Monday with my favorite cycle crew in the Bay Area! I’m ready to take advantage of this long weekend though. Here are the top three things I’m excited about for this weekend!

1. Beautiful Hikes – Since there’s going to be minimal snow this weekend I think we are going to hit the trails and work on our go pro skills.

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2. No BART for three whole days – I love that the Bay Area has such great public transit but it can be a grind at times and it’s good to have a little break and not go into the City for three whole days!

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3. Spending a little QT with my Valentine – There is nothing like a long weekend with this hunk!

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Now for something special!!!!! My very first GIVEAWAY!!!!!! WOOOOOO WHOOOOOO!!! I’m so excited about this because I had a blast when I went to check out this studio myself. Click here to read about it.

Uforia Studios is letting me giveaway a Uforia Studio Pack that includes Uforia Gear, a Water Bottle and a free class for you and a friend!!! What!!!! Click on the link below for lots of chances to enter. Giveaway only eligible to Bay Area residents.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget, even if you win you are going to want more then one class, I guarantee it! I have a special VIP early bird special code for 50% off of a drop-in class, 10 class packs and 20 class pack at the new Nob Hill location. Just use the code: SPARKLESPANDEX Here! Shhhhhhh it’s a secret! Just kidding, Tell everyone, share it around, get your friends to buy a pack with you so you can cycle it up, dance your booty off or get all gritty together!! You better believe that I’ll be there!!

Hope you all have fun, active plans for the weekend! What’s going to get you moving this weekend?

Kristen OX