Fitness

MoveWith: Getting My Groove Back

Can you guys believe it’s December next week? The year has totally flown by! If you’ve been following along this year, you’ll know that 2017 has been an eventful and inspiring year for me. However, my personal fitness routine took a hit as a result. Between the stresses of a full-time career in technology plus major strides forward here on the blog, it was tough. It wasn’t until I experienced my first panic attack that it became clear things needed to change.

This week, I am getting personal when it comes to stress and the importance of a regular workout routine. Why? It’s because I’m sure many of you fellow strong-willed men and women out there feel the same: stressed, but too tough to admit it. As a trainer myself, I feel you, truly. If you’re currently working crazy hours and/or balancing a family, and have jumped off your self-care wagon as a result, that’s okay. Admitting you are struggling is the first important step of this journey. I found myself working nearly 18 hours 5 days a week, and no time left to work out. On weekends, I found myself glued to my bed sleeping non-stop. It was upsetting.

When I did find time to workout, it was often after most boutique studios had closed, making it difficult to use my memberships. I wasn’t in the right headspace to power through a solo workout on my own given my stress levels, and I felt completely helpless. Cue MoveWith: a fitness app geared to get you moving regardless of your location, time, or equipment at hand. It bitch slapped my excuses, hard. I’ve been climbing out of my sedentary abyss since September, and I can confidently say my groove is back, and new goals are on the horizon as a result.

Whether you’re an indoor gym rat or a trail runner who loves the great outdoors, it works. Have you ever wished you could have an audio recording of your favorite gym classes or a guided run along the harbor? Yup. Me too. The introvert in me also jumps for joy: I get to fully relax my mind without any external distractions, making the experience even more calming and effective for me. I even get to take classes from some of my favorite trainers ACROSS the country: to include my favorite local run coach Alex Ho, and trainers Lindsey Clayton and Amber Rees of Brave Body Project, to name a few.

I now force myself to set aside at least three to four times during the week to workout, and another two to simply move and breathe through guided meditation. It’s my favorite way to drift off to sleep, using one of the quick 15-minute stress relief sessions to calm my mind before bed. It’s now become a staple in my daily routine, and I couldn’t be more thankful.

At this point, you’re probably wondering, “okay, so what’s the price and catch?” Get ready to be relieved: MoveWith is only $7.99 a month, no class limit, ever. What’s even better? They offer a seven-day free trial, no strings attached. How’s that for a return on investment?  If this sounds like a solution that may work for you too, check them out in the App Store or directly. It also makes a killer gift for friends or family. Kick your excuses to the curb, try it for seven days, and let me know what you think!

Thank you to MoveWith and Carbon38 for sponsoring this post. 

Outfit Details

Bra: Ignite Crop Top, Michi c/o Carbon38

Leggings: Set Position Legging, PE Nation c/o Carbon38

Shoes: Wool Runners, Allbirds

Makeup Details

Primer: Perfect Canvas Serum, c/o Ren Skincare

Foundation: Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, Fenty Beauty in 210

Highlighter: Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, Fenty Beauty in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal

Contour: Match Stix Matte Skin Stick, Fenty Beauty in Mocha and Rum

Eyes: Wet & Dry Glow Shadow, Burberry in Gold Pearl

Lips: Lip Maestro, Georgio Armani in 202

Hair: Drybar Santa Monica

Photo by Maggie Zulovic for Carbon38

What’s In My Bag Right Now (& a Nordstrom Giveaway!)

I’ve heard a lot of your feedback on what I actually use on the daily, so I’m making my handbag snapshots a regular thing, as my last post was a huge success! Given all the recent sales this season, I’ve switched up some of my beauty and fitness go-to’s to account for the weather and summer styles, and I’m also more on the go which means my bags get a little makeover as well!

Summer Bags I’m Loving

I have a bit of a bag obsession (of the business flavor mostly) when it comes to a functional piece that needs to make it from my apartment, to work, travel, and sometimes even out on the town after work. Needless to say, most of my bags need to pull serious double duty.

Bartaile C12

This transitional backpack/briefcase was created for this very purpose! I first discovered this bag on Kickstarter through some of my friends in the technology industry, and I’ve got to say, it looks pretty freaking life changing. It comes in several models/colors, to include nylon and leather. Pre-order yours now, as they will begin shipping in September! I went with the black nylon model.

Madewell Paint Stripe Tote

Obsessed with that iconic Celine bag, but not feeling the multi thousand dollar price tag? Meet Madewell’s bigger twin! Madewell pieces are truly amazing when it comes to quality, pun totally intended in the namesake. This bag is also a part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, for less than $130.

Beauty

Sweat Cosmetics Twist Brush Mineral Foundation

I had heard of this brand a couple years back but never got around to testing it out. As soon as it became available at Sephora, I knew I had to give it a try. For my minimalist makeup ladies and those of you that aren’t too sold on sweating in your skincare and makeup, this stuff’s for you. In my opinion, it’s better than Bare Minerals (especially if you’re oily like me).

IT Cosmetics CC+ Illumination Cream w/ SPF 50+

I seriously cannot say enough good things about this product. It’s my go-to year round when I want no-fuss coverage that will stay put, and summer is the perfect season for it. It saves me time in the morning and space in my bag, as everything my skin needs is already in it (cue that SPF 50+)! The illumination version gives you that subtle pearly glow that isn’t overly shimmery, which is a giant plus. Think Glossier Haloscope in a foundation.

Glossier Rose Balm Dot Com

For a little extra glow during the summer, I like to look into colored balms, as the weather is entirely too hot for all my matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks. This Balm Dot Com has a cherry tint to it, making it functional as well as pretty to wear. Plus, it’s less than $20, and lasts forever.

Foreo LUNA Play Cleansing Brush

This thing is a LIFE (skin) SAVER. I swear by my Clarisonic Fit, but when I travel or need to wash up post gym, I carry around this tiny travel-friendly version by Foreo. Plus, it’s only $35!

Fitness

Bkr Spiked Naked & Tutu 16 oz Bottle

I cannot live without my Bkr bottles, and now that they’re on the Nordstrom sale, I had to stock up. These travel SO well, and are easy to drink out of, not to mention environment-friendly! Grab this amazing set of two bottles for a steal of a price.

….and last but not least!

If you’ve been filling up your Nordstrom cart, but haven’t pulled the trigger just yet, you might be in luck: enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a $500 Nordstrom gift card!

nordstrom giftcard giveaway

In celebration of the recent launch of Lili Alessandra a maker of fine linens and soft furnishings on Nordstrom.com. I have partnered with a few of my favorite bloggers to give away a $500 Nordstrom gift card! Simply enter below by completing the raffle copter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open internationally and ends on 8/8. Winner will be announced here. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo by Christine of Christine Hanks Photography

The 5 Pieces Of Equipment You Need For A Workout At Home

Let’s face it, we’ve all had those busy weeks where your workouts take the backseat in our daily routine. However, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out completely. With the help of some home additions to your fitness routine, you can bridge the gap between the gym and your free time at home! The following pieces of equipment are easy to store, and extremely versatile when it comes to a variety of workouts and exercises. Another great perk? They’re all really affordable!

Kettlebell

This is one of my favorite pieces of equipment for a reason. After getting certified to train clients with them a few years ago, my eyes were opened to so many effective ways to use them! Take a class or book a session with a trainer to get the basics down, then add this to your home arsenal for some seriously power-packed lifting (and low impact cardio!) sessions.

TRX

This one is also one that is wildly versatile! You can workout every muscle group in your body, and most importantly, scale it to your ability level. Use it to deepen your stretches, yoga poses, or boost your bodyweight exercise strength! It’s a piece of equipment you’ll never outgrow. This particular TRX system is made for home, hooking right onto your door, a tree, or anywhere you want to add an anchor.

Jump Rope

This is a classic for a reason. If you’re not a runner, this is one of the best ways to sneak in your cardio work for the week without a trip to the gym or a long out and back run. I take mine downstairs to my apartment’s outdoor courtyard or garage and knock out a killer Tabata circuit with it, and am done in 20 min or less! This jump rope is easy to pack too, so it’s perfect to take on vacation or a work trip!

Resistance Bands

Bands eliminate the need to invest/clutter your house with free weights. With three different band strengths, you can be challenged across all body parts and resistance levels. The above-linked set is amazing and works for anyone at any fitness level.

Foam Roller

Who wants to lay around at the gym doing this? I used to be a hater of foam rolling, but after seeing how it helped my tense shoulders and back, it got me hooked. I now make sure I spend at least 10 minutes rolling and breaking up knots while I’m watching TV in the evening. It helps me get better sleep too, as a bonus! This particular foam roller is THE best and actually gets your knots out. If you’re going to invest in one, this one’s the way to go. It’s even on sale right now!

Outfit Details

Top: Heathered Gray Cropped Hoodie, Forever21 (OLD), similar here

Pants: Align Pant II 25″, Lululemon

Shoes: Wool Runners, Allbirds

Sunglasses: Aviator Sunglasses, Ray Ban in Black

Makeup Details

Foundation: c/o Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, Medium

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Highlighter: c/o Glossier Haloscope, in Quartz and Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder, in Incandescent Light

Brows: Marc Jacobs Beauty Brow Wow, in Medium Brown

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Lashes: Everlasting Lashes, House of Lashes x Sephora

Lips: Patent Finish Lip Color, Tom Ford in Erotic

Makeup c/o Caitlin @ Sephora Union Street

Photo by Rachel of Rachel Radcliffe Photography

3 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results

If you’ve ever busted your ass to get the most out of your workouts/eat healthily, yet somehow come up short when it comes to visually seeing or feeling your results, this week’s fitness post is for you.

I have been getting TONS of questions on this exact topic from clients, and also hearing lots of complaints from my friends: “I work out 5 times a week! What the HELL am I missing here?!” It’s a feeling that’s super frustrating, and I feel you, as I’ve been there too before.

From past experience, I’ve determined that there are three main factors that flush your results down the drain faster than anything, and I’m breaking down the best way (and with the best apps!) to tackle them.

Sleep.

It goes without saying: getting consistent sleep is the key to staying on top of your shit across all areas of your life. Consistency: getting the same amount of hours a night, between 6-8 ideally, is the recipe. Your body performs nearly all of its regeneration process at night, so if you’re burning life at both ends, you’re going to see a serious downturn in your body’s productivity when it comes to working on your body’s metabolism or being efficient at fat burning. What’s that mean? Pro tip: If you want to make your body burn more fat while at rest, hold off on the carbs before bed, or really any food within 2 hours of bedtime if you can. If not, opt for a protein, which is the last macronutrient to burn off. 

Sleep Cycle

This app tracks your sleep, and also offers you analysis on just about every detail imaginable. I have 6 years of data and love seeing it change over time.

Time management.

Also important. The more you can plan out the stuff you CAN control, the better you can weather the stuff you can’t. I spend a couple hours on weekends prepping my healthy meals, doing chores, writing blog posts for the month (that are previously calendared into my schedule), and it makes a huge impact on my week. I stick to my planned workouts, I’ve lowered the number of times I order takeout, or raid the corner store for junk food because I already got my shit in line over the weekend. Every hour during the day has a purpose. Every little detail (seriously.) is Google calendared. Even showers. I know. I’m a psycho. But it works.

Trello

This app is great for project management and allows you to set completion dates/comments. If you hate calendars, this is a viable option. I use it for managing my blog.

Focusing on others’ journeys.

I cannot stress this one enough. The more you focus on how others get their results and how quickly it happens is one of the most toxic things you can do when it comes to maintaining your sanity on making progress in your own lane. What works for someone else may not work for you, and that’s totally normal. Focus on what changes work best for you, and navigate that way instead. It’s easier said than done, and I get it, I’ve fallen victim to it too. Try working with a trainer, life coach, or a group that keeps you focused on your individual goals, and set ground rules/goals centered around your progress.

Chorus

This social group training app allows you to not only work directly with a personal trainer but also gives you a team full of like-minded individuals to help motivate you toward your fitness goal. I am a trainer with Chorus, and it’s been revolutionary for my clients; their motivation has increased with each week, and with my clear defined plan, they’re sticking with their goals.

Photos by Rachel of Rachel Radcliffe Photography

4 Items You Need In Your Gym Bag Now

After years of working out, racing, and teaching classes, I’ve seen it all when it comes to workout gear, mishaps, and the supplements that actually work. Half the battle of your workouts is being properly prepared with the right extras to take your workout (and motivation!) to the next level. I’ve got you covered on the four must-haves that will change your game for better.

Hair elastics that actually work.

As someone who has logged thousands of miles on the trail and in the gym, I’ve tried just about every hair tie imaginable. Over the years, I’ve had waist length hair all the way up to a lob, and extensively process my hair color, which means I need something gentle but still effective. These ties are the ONLY ones that actually do what they say, and are actually unbreakable. I’ve never had one snap; they simply stretch out after months of wear. It takes me about a year to get through all of them (unless I lose them- which is a somewhat regular occurrence), and they don’t break the bank like those stupid ribbon ties, or rip out your hair like the sport ties.

Scunci No-Slip Grip Evolution Jelly Ponytailers

No fuss headphones.

We have all had the struggle of crappy fitting headphones, ones that hurt, and ones that break after a couple weeks. I’ve trained for and ran multiple ultra-marathons, so finding a legit pair of headphones that will withstand the elements, my sweat, and not fall out is HUGE. My ears are small, so it’s always been disheartening never being able to wear earbuds, as most fall out while walking. While I love my Dr. Dre Beats Studio Over Ear Headphones, I need something that’s more practical for the gym and the trail. These are THE BEST, bar none: clear sound, comfortable and adjustable buds, and lightweight. They’ll be the best $29-59 you’ll ever spend, and put your Apple headphones to shame.

Yurbuds Inspire Sweat and Water Resistant Earphones

Yurbuds Leap 100 Wireless Headphones

Fatigue/travel friendly water bottles.

If you’re a corporate jet setter or just need a bottle that’s not going to take up half your briefcase/backpack, these bottles are the best. Both offer a small mouth, making them easy to drink out of and make spills less of an issue, especially when you’re tired and gasping for air mid-workout. They’re both pretty resilient too, I can’t tell you how many times my Bkr has flown off a treadmill or gotten kicked in a group fitness class and not shattered. The Nathan bottle is LIFE CHANGING. Being rubber, you can literally smash it anywhere. It’s my go-to for working out, hiking, and anything travel related.

Nathan FlexShot Water Bottle

Bkr 16 Ounce Glass Water Bottle

Electrolytes that don’t taste like sh*t.

These packets have changed my life, from grueling races, to kicking hangovers in the ass. It’s literally like an IV without the doctor’s visit. It reminds me a little of Hint water, with an electrolyte kick to it. I take it everywhere!

SOS Rehydrate

Photo by Christine of Christine Hanks Photography

This Is When You Need To Toss Your Workout Gear

My limited edition Carbon38 leggings and sports bras always seem to find themselves at the top of my workout drawer, and I’m willing to bet your A-game pieces do too. However, how many times is too many, and does the limit actually exist?

Yup, it sure does.

Just like anything else, our favorite activewear has an expiration date, and it’s a lot sooner than you think. Why? Two major things: performance, and your health.

Performance

Today’s expertly designed activewear does provide a little pushback to performance lifespan, but not much. Technical fabric with sweat-wicking and/or compressive features fade as time passes, making them ineffective, and your exercise uncomfortable. Not to mention, you also run the risk of getting injured as a result.

Health Reasons

If you’re not sold yet with deteriorating performance, the detrimental effects that holding onto your gear has on your health will seal the deal. Fabric- regardless of type- holds onto bacteria more than any other type of surface, and it can cause some serious damage to your body. Fabrics with a higher nylon or spandex release your sweat more efficiently, keeping it slightly more sanitary for a longer period of time.

I’ve rounded up each individual expiration date for every type of piece, and care tips to keep them up to speed, and why it’s so important to retire them.

Sports Bras

The longest you should ever keep your sports bras around is a year and even less if you’re a lover of high impact workouts. The easiest ways to spot your bra’s demise are: chafing, riding up, and overall ease of getting it on (if it used to be super difficult).

Ways to tell it’s time: If the cups start to loosen up and you’re getting that bunchy look around the edges and on the straps, it’s time to say goodbye!

Ways to help lengthen their life: If it’s an adjustable bra, try to use the loosest settings first. Try to avoid drying them, and keep them free from fabric softeners and other add-ins.

Leggings

It’s even less! Especially if your leggings have compressive features and fabrics, their lifespan ranges from six months to a year depending on how well you care for them, and how often they’re worn.

Ways to tell it’s time: They start feeling awful: itchy and super pilly, or you find yourself feeling soaked for longer periods of time. If you’re constantly adjusting them, it’s also a safe bet they need to go.

Ways to help lengthen their life: It’s all about how you wash them! Use mild detergent, avoid drying, and avoid wearing your highly technical ones out on the town, or for extended periods of time. If you have super pricey activewear (think Michi/Lucas Hughes/etc), I HIGHLY suggest this detergent for those few items, and to hand wash them.

Sneakers

Your beloved sneaks have a functional life of three to six months depending on mileage/intensity of your workouts. Seriously. This is my own personal hell. As a self-proclaimed shoe freak, my closet is a museum of some of the most iconic heels and sneaks out there, and I feel like a piece of my soul dies every time I have to decommission a pair. However, it can be a big deal to your health if you don’t, making injuries/infections a more likely story.

Ways to tell it’s time: The cushioning along the heels and arches are wrinkling, shoes tilt inward when looking at them from behind, and if they’ve become easy to slip on.

Ways to help lengthen their life: #1: WEAR SOCKS. Next, make a rotation for your workout sneaks, it will allow them to get worn in equally and push out their lifespan a little longer than if you wear them every time you workout. Don’t mix work and leisure: save your workout shoes for the studio! I also SWEAR BY these cedar inserts that help dry out my shoes and keep odors at bay.

Photo by Christine of Christine Hanks Photography

….andddd….

Surprise!

I and some of my fellow bloggers have collaborated to host a $1,000 Nordstrom gift card giveaway for you! Keep reading for details on how to enter:

 

Destination Sweat

San Francisco is the hub of amazing startups and the coolest ways to sweat, so it comes as no surprise that our fitness startups are one of kind. I am excited to partner with Sculpt Escapes as a Barry’s Bootcamp instructor, leading our locals in a fun and challenging outdoor beach workout on Crissy Field on January 9th, called Brunch & Burn here in the Marina.

…because… FOOD. WORKOUTS.  My two must haves in life. Plus, its guaranteed to be amazing, as the Marina is the epicenter of brunch and fitness here in SF.

Sculpt Escapes is a startup that puts on local and destination retreats for yoga and fitness, to include places like Costa Rica, Tahoe, and many more. Stay tuned for their next destination retreats in 2016. I can’t wait to take a trip soon!

IMG_0040

For January’s Brunch & Burn, I’ll be bringing my Barry’s class sass and resistance bands, and motivating you though fun partner exercises and some ass-kicking beach exercises from my military days. Additionally, if you haven’t pulled the trigger yet on signing up for one of my Barry’s classes, you will also get a 20% off sign up code for one of my classes, as a part of your registration for the event! Double win.

Signups are open now online here: https://www.sculptescapes.com/brunch-and-burn.html

For current updates and more info, check out our event on Facebook as well.

Outfit Details:

Bra: Michi Antigravity Bra in Black

Top: c/o Barry’s Bootcamp Tank (OLD)

Bottoms: Lululemon Wunder Under Rolldown *Luxtreme

Beauty Details

Foundation Primer: Becca EverMatte Poreless Priming Perfector

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in Medium

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Smoky Palette (High/Combust/Thirteen)

Mascara: YSL Shocking in Deep Black

Brows: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Brown

Lips: YSL  Rouge Volupte Shine, in Fuchsia in Excess

Nails: OPI Do You Have This Color in Stockholm?

 

Photos by Julia McBee