Remember last month when I couldn’t stop raving about the new Cruise Control iPhone app that syncs your music to your pace while you run? Well, if not, here are a few snapshots from my Instagram to jog your memory.
Remember last month when I couldn’t stop raving about the new Cruise Control iPhone app that syncs your music to your pace while you run? Well, if not, here are a few snapshots from my Instagram to jog your memory.
Here we go! This is our Week 7 workout.
Can you all believe it?! At the end of this week we’ll be HALFWAY through our 14-week boot camp. Seven weeks went by fast, and I’m sure the next seven will go by even quicker. That means summer is so, so close! Everyone cheer with me…WOOHOO!
OK, we’re done cheering now. Because it’s time to workout! Complete this video three times through any time the Week 7 Workout is scheduled on our April Workout Calendar, which you can find below.
I’m weird. I really don’t ever crave flavored drinks like sodas or juices the way that many people do.
I know some people who would rather die of thirst than drink regular, plain, boring water. OK, I’m totally exaggerating with with the “die of thirst” thing. But seriously, I know some people who hate water a lot. Which is really not a good thing, since you know, we need it to survive.
Hydration plays a huge role in our health, and making sure to drink enough water on a daily basis has a long list of health benefits, including an increase in metabolism, clearer, healthier skin, and improved digestion.
Unfortunately, many people who feel they need a little flavor or fizz in their beverages turn to juices and sodas that are filled with an excess amount of refined sugars and artificial flavors, often without even realizing what they’re really consuming. After all, many food packages are quite misleading and every brand wants you to think that they’re product is healthy and nutritious, even when it may be anything but.
So, could Hint Water, (a product pointed out to me by a lovely Hungry Reader) which is self described as “pure, naturally flavored water,” be a healthy hydration alternative for health-conscious consumers who need a flavored fix?
That’s right. Next weekend. Me. 13 miles. I decided last night that I wanted to do it. I’ve been debating about the More/Fitness Magazine Half-Marathon for months now. Every time I open the latest issue of Fitness Magazine and see the ad for it I’m like, “Yeah! I really want to do that!” but for some reason I just never signed up. Well, now I did! And I’m so ready to run.
This year is the race’s 10th anniversary, it takes place in Central Park, and it’s one of the largest all-women’s half-marathons in the country. Ummmm, sweet! Sounds like a good time to me.
So, crazy me. Signing up for 13-mile races two weeks before their start. Good thing I’ve been running a lot lately! In fact, I’ve been running so much that I’ve hardly had any time to write about it. I’ll make up for some of that now.
Here we go! This is our Week 6 workout for the Summertime Slim-down Boot Camp. It’s a pyramid style workout with four different body weight exercises. You’ll repeat four rounds of each exercise, increasing the number of reps with each round. In other words, you’ll really be feeling the burn by round four. No pain, no gain. That’s how the saying goes and it’s the truth. So, lace up your sneakers and give it everything you’ve got. There’s no equipment needed for this workout.
If you’re just joining the Boot Camp now, welcome! Anytime is a good time to start. You can find links to all the previous workouts below.
Also, below is our April workout calendar. Pin it, print it, hang it somewhere you will see it and remember to get your scheduled sweat sessions in. This challenge is just as much about learning to fit exercise into your schedule as it is getting in shape.
Previous Week’s Workouts:
Now, we’ve got our Week 6 Workout on the schedule for today, April 1st. (That’s no April Fool’s Day joke ) Go ahead and get to it! Let me know what you think in the comments below when you’re done!
What kind of workout would you all like to see next?
First things first. If you’re wondering what the heck happened to my February 2013 running playlist, last month, I shared it exclusively to my Tumblr page. But rest assured that I did not skip a month of new running music. It exists. You can find it, subscribe, and listen to your hearts content by clicking the link above.
Now, February is long gone and somehow we’re through with March as well. Another month, another slew of really fun songs to run to! My March running playlist is listed below as well as a link where you can subscribe and listen via Spotify. Happy running!
What songs have you been listening to while you run or workout? Let me know in the comments below!
From now on, just call me a Bulugan.
No, not a hooligan. I am not a disruptive bully. I said, BULUgan.
Because I am now a Bulu Box Brand ambassador!
Bulu Box is a fun new way to learn about and sample health products like vitamins, protein powders, herbal teas and energy supplements. Bulu works with a TON of health-minded brands so you never know just what you might get in your next Bulu Box!
How it Works:
There are three different Bulu Box subscription options. One box costs $10 and you can order a single-month, three-month ($30), six-month ($60), or yearly ($110) subscription. So, if you opted for the three month subscription, you would get a new Bulu Box delivered to your door every month for the next three months. I don’t know about you, but having a box full of health and fitness goodies appear in my mailbox monthly would make me feel like it was my birthday ALL OF THE TIME. Which, I think we can all agree would be a pretty awesome feeling.
Also, every box you order earns you “Rewards Points.” 50 reward points equals $5 and you can use those points to purchase full-size items of the samples that you love from your Bulu Box. Sweet deal!
AND, Bulu Box recently created Bulu Box Weight Loss, which is a second option (priced the same) designed for Bulugans with weight loss goals. LOVE IT!
My first box is on it’s way as I type this and you know I’m SO excited to pretend it’s my birthday, open it up, find out what’s inside, and then share all of my thoughts with you guys. In fact, since many of you come to me with weight loss questions, I opted for the weight loss box (even though I’m not currently trying to lose weight), so that I can sample the products and give you an inside scoop on which items I think are most useful. I’ll be reviewing all the products from each new Bulu Box that I receive in a video blog each month!
I think that Bulu Box is great tool for staying motivated to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle, which is why I agreed to become a brand ambassador. The best part about my job is being able to help you all stay excited and inspired to lead a healthy, active life. (Seriously! I’m not just saying that.) Also, I want all of you to be able to feel like it’s your birthday all of the time. So, if you think Bulu Box sounds fun (it is!) and you’d like to try it out (you should!) you can use the Coupon Code BULUGAN992 to receive $10 off your first Bulu Box Subscription. That means, you can get your first whole Bulu Box for FREE or save $10 on any of the monthly subscriptions!
Just use my brand ambassador link below, and order away!
Use the Coupon Code BULUGAN992 to receive $10 off!
Ok guys! We’re kicking this week of our Boot Camp off with our Week 5 Workout!
I hope you’re ready so SWEAT because we’re totally taking it up a notch with some high intensity interval training this week. We have 5 rounds of exercises where we’ll be performing 40 seconds of a high intensity move, followed by 20 seconds of recovery with a lower-impact exercise. This kind of workout is sometimes also known as “Tabata” and it’s great for building muscle while burning more calories in a shorter amount of time.
So, go ahead. Hit play and get to work! When you’re done, let me know what you think in the comments below!
In case you’re just joining us, you can find all of the previous week’s workouts and our March Workout Calendar below. Anytime is a great time to start!
March Workout Calendar
AntiGravity yoga. OK, I know it sounds kind of crazy, but it’s a real thing! It’s a fairly new form of yoga (created in 1990), and yes, it is every bit as fun and impressive as its name makes it sound.
I tried it for the first time ever on Friday with The Holding Space at Studio Anya. It was one of the most playful and relaxing yoga classes I’ve ever taken and I really can’t wait until the next time I can take another class! For my first time around, I signed up for the restorative class (described as “the gentle, deep stretching, healing side of AntiGravity Yoga“) so that I could learn the ropes in an easy going, slow-paced environment. It’s important to take it slow and be gentle when learning a new kind of exercise.
You know, especially when you’re going to be hanging upside down and stuff
I Tried a New Exercise! The 411:
What: Restorative AntiGravity Yoga.
AntiGravity yoga classes incorporate a floating hammock (the purple thing I am hanging from in the photo above) to allow for greater spinal decompression, enhanced weight resistance, and deeper stretching. The atmosphere and feel is extremely similar to a typical yoga class, only traditional poses are modified in order to work with the hammock.
[image via THS]
Where: Studio Anya at West 24th street between 6th Avenue and 6th Broadway.
The studio is exquisitely clean and beautifully decorated. It’s not a traditional yoga space, but it totally works. It’s unique in that it includes a small kitchen where you can enjoy some healthy snacks and a cup of tea! In addition to their AntiGravity yoga classes, they also offer a handful of other options including AntiGravity and traditional Pilates classes.
Joy was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The classes are small (about 6 people) and allow for a lot of individual attention and assistance.
I tried it. Did I like it?: Yes! I really enjoyed the class for the fact that it put a completely new spin on a familiar and favorite exercise. I’m always talking about how you should try new things and explore to find the exercises that you love, yet lately I’ve been so glued to my running and weight lifting routine that I haven’t strayed from the norm for quite some time. Not to mention I’ve totally been neglecting my love for yoga. Not cool!
My favorite part about the class was how playful it was. Hanging and swinging in the hammock made me feel like a kid on a swing set. Depending on what kind of studio you go to and who your instructor is sometimes you’ll be reminded, but yoga (and all exercise in general) is supposed to be fun and make you smile. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the time that aspect of it is lost, so this was a really refreshing breath of fresh exercise air.
The class began with a breathing meditation in what’s called “womb pose,” which simply requires that you sit in a cross legged position in the center of the hammock. When you do this, you’re completely elevated off of the ground and the hammock sort of engulfs you, and not in an overbearing way, just so that it’s literally like you are in a womb. It sounds a little ridiculous, and I’ll be honest, I felt a little ridiculous at the time (I was laughing internally), but honestly it is one of the coolest, most relaxing feelings ever to just float there and focus on your breathing. It actually feels like you are levitating. Like magic!
As I mentioned earlier, the restorative class was very easy-going, so if you’ve never tried AntiGravity yoga it’s a great place to start and get your body accustomed to the hammock.
Would I do it again? Absolutely! I’d definitely love to take the restorative class again, especially at the end of the week when I’m in need of some good rest and relaxation. And when I want to get a great yoga or strength workout, I can’t wait to give the traditional AntiGravity yoga and Pilates classes a try!
Calorie Burn: Unknown. I took off my heart rate monitor and watch before the beginning of class because it’s recommended that you remove all watches and jewelry so they do not snag the hammock. If I had to guesstimate, I’d say I burned about 100 calories, if that. The class is one hour and fifteen minutes long but I doubt my heart rate went above 80 or 90 beats per minute for the entire time. So, the restorative class is better for relaxing and meditating. But if you’re looking for a big calorie burn, I would imagine that the traditional AntiGravity Yoga and Pilates classes are challenging and will work up a sweat.
Would you try AntiGravity Yoga?
*Disclosure: This is not a sponsored or endorsed post. However, the kindhearted yogis of The Holding Space did offer a discount on my first class with them. I was not obligated to write about it and all thoughts and opinions above are my own.
Hungry Runner’s “Is it really healthy?” series aims to explore whether products that are labeled and marketed as “good for you” are truthfully healthy or just another junk food cloaked under the guise of a fancy label laden with buzz words. “Healthy” is defined as “a minimally processed food product with little added ingredients that provides the body with beneficial nutrients.”
A little over a year ago, a few months after I had first launched Hungry Runner and seriously started to commit myself to clean eating, a friend messaged me asking weather or not I thought an Odwalla Fruit smoothie drink she had picked up was “healthy.”
Having recently started the “Is it really healthy?” series on my new blog, I decided to use the Strawberry-Banana Flavored Odwalla Smoothie as my next topic. I gave it a fairly decent review, deeming it mostly healthy but warning that I would beware of its high sugar content.
You can read my original post here: Is it really healthy? Odwalla
Since then, some of you have commented, noting that the sugar is all naturally occurring from the fruit ingredients and therefore, completely healthy. And you’re right.
Such was a point that I mostly agreed with in my original post, highlighting the fact that there are no added ingredients (in that particular flavor, at least). However, looking back now, after a whole year of learning much more about food and nutrition and what it truly means to be healthy, I can see that I really did not fully understand the difference between added, refined sugars and naturally occurring sugars like the kind found in fruit. In fact, even after much of my own research, I still wouldn’t claim to fully understand the entire sugar picture, because though it is surrounded by plenty of studies and research, not much has been proven with one-hundred-percent certainty and there are still many questions left to be answered.
As is stated in my disclaimer, I am not a nutritionist or a registered dietician. I cannot give you personal nutrition advice. That is not my goal here. My aim is simply to analyze and discuss, and to provide resources so that you can further educate yourself about nutrition, a topic surrounded by a great deal of conflicting research, which means you should read and learn as much as you can in order to make informed decisions about your diet for yourself.
That being said, we do know some things about sugar. There are several different types of sugars (See: An Introduction to Sugar), but there is still much that is unknown about how each kind might affect the human body. (See: “Is Sugar Toxic?” and the counter argument, “Fructose Alarmism“) Still, with all that is left up in the air about the ingredient, it is generally regarded that the natural sugar found in fruit is healthier for human consumption because it is consumed with the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are also found in fruits, and because the fiber that fruit contains slows the absorption of the sugar into the blood stream and body.
So now, a year later, as I look back on my original Odwalla blog post, I also realize that as I was just starting out on this journey, much of what I had first learned about nutrition had turned me into a bit of a “sugar alarmist.” Where I was previously under the impression that if I wanted to lose weight I’d simply need to reduce the amount of fat in my diet (a common misconception), learning about the potential effects of consuming too much sugar (a completely new idea to me) caused me to start holding a huge grudge against it, even the naturally occurring kind from fruit.
I’ve since let go of that grudge, (health and nutrition is an ongoing learning process for me and you will see my successes and failures unfold as a I continue to blog) and today, I would not be worried that the Strawberry-Banana flavored Odwalla drink contains “too much sugar.” I would say that it is a healthy choice because it is loaded with nutrients from its fruit ingredients and it contains no processed, refined sugars or artificial ingredients.
However, too much of even a good thing can become problematic. So, in the same way you wouldn’t want to eat a diet composed completely of fat, or completely of protein, it’s important to remember that just because the Strawberry-Banana Odwalla smoothie might be considered a healthy source of fruit, doesn’t necessarily mean you would want to drink it in excess or use it as a constant replacement for real, whole fruits. A truly healthy diet that provides our bodies with all of the minerals and nutrients it needs to function properly means finding a balance between fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Too much of any one thing will most likely lead to the deficiency of another.
(For a complete breakdown of what I consider to be a wholesome healthy diet, see: The Clean Eating Diet)
All that being said, please take careful note of the fact that above I am only referring to the Strawberry Banana flavor. This is because not all of the Odwalla products are created equally and some of their smoothie drinks do include refined sugar ingredients, which are OK to have every once in a while, but not something that would necessarily benefit your body if consumed on a regular basis. And the same can be said for some of Odwalla’s other products, like their bars and protein drinks. Some are mostly clean with little added ingredients, while others contain some natural flavorings and refined sugars. This is a perfect example of why it’s so important to read the nutrition facts and ingredient lists for all products, because even across a single brand the “healthiness” factor of varying products can differ greatly. (Another great example of this is the Kashi brand.)
Odwalla produces many different food products, however I have taken the time to at least look at all of their fruit juices and smoothie drinks. Below I have separated them into two lists, Clean Juices & Smoothies (whose ingredients contain no added sugars or “natural flavorings”) and Smoothies With Added Sugar or Natural Flavors. I suggest using the Fooducate app if you would like to further research the nutritional value of their other products.
Clean Juices and Smoothies:
Organic Carrot Juice
Mango Tango Smoothie
Garden Organics Carrot
Garden Organics Carrot Apple Berry
Garden Organics Carrot Apple Mango
Garden Organics Carrot Beet Ginger
Mango Super Protein
Original Super Protein
Orange Honey Passion Wellness
Smoothies With Added Sugar or Artificial Ingredients:
Citrus C-monster Smoothie (contains organic invert cane syrup)
Strawberry C-monster Smoothie (contains evaporated cane juice)
Chocolate Protein Monster(contains evaporated cane juice)
Pumpkin Super Protein (contains evaporated cane juice)
Strawberry Protein Monster (contains organic invert cane syrup)
Vanilla Al’mundo Super Protein (contains organic invert cane syrup)
Vanilla Super Protein (contains organic invert cane syrup)
Lemonade (contains evaporated cane juice and 41 grams of sugar, all added!)
Pomegranate Limeade (contains evaporated cane juice and is made from concentrate)
Tropical Energy (contains brown rice syrup)
Mango Lime Twist (contains “natural flavors” and stevia leaf extract)
Mixed Berry Shuffle (contains Stevia leaf extract)
Pear Berry Jive (contains “natural flavors” and stevia leaf extract)
*From Concentrate juices are not necessarily less nutritious but it does mean that the product is more processed
*See What is the Healthiest Sugar? For descriptions and more info about the types of refined sugars mentioned above.
As you can see, a fair amount of their beverage products do contain some form of added sugar and/or “natural” flavors. If you’ve been following Hungry Runner for a while, you know that I support the everything in moderation approach to nutrition. No one will ever have a perfect diet (there’s no such thing), and I don’t believe that completely restricting a specific food or nutrient makes for healthy eating habits. Which is why I want to point out that by highlighting which products have added ingredients, I’m not saying they are something to never ever be consumed. I’m not advocating that they are necessarily “unhealthy.” After all, they do contain plenty of vitamins and minerals from the fruit ingredients,which definitely is healthy. I’m simply highlighting the fact that the ingredient list on any food label should never be dismissed simply because a brand seems healthy or has other clean products. And that when possible, since we do not fully know the effects of added sugar on the body, the healthier choice would be the product without any added, processed ingredients, and the BEST choice will always be the natural, whole food equivalent.
The bottom line is that some added sugar is OK. But it is likely that too much added sugar may be harmful to our health. Which is why reading the ingredients for every packaged product that you consume is so important, especially when it comes to supposed health food products that are very carefully marketed using buzz words like “organic,” “vegan,” “natural,” and “pure.” With products like these it is so easy to glance over the nutrition facts and ingredients and blindly trust whatever is written on the front of the package without realizing you may be consuming more added sugar than you had intended or thought.
It would probably be healthier to consume the nutrients from the fruits in these drinks by eating the actual fruits themselves, but that does not mean these smoothies are unhealthy. In fact they are a much healthier alternative to a great deal of the bottled fruit beverages that you would find at any grocery store.
And as a final even more important note, a truly healthy relationship with food means being able to regard all food as neutral. Meaning, there are no “bad” or “off limits” foods. Simply, foods that you know are more beneficial to your health (natural, whole foods) and foods that you know won’t necessarily benefit your body, but that are still OK to eat every once in a while without feeling any guilt or remorse.
I like to think of it this way:
Final Consensus: Most of Odwalla’s products are wholesome and healthy, but always read the labels just to be sure, and sugar from fruit is not unhealthy or fattening when consumed alongside a complete, balanced diet.
What food product brands can you think of whose packaging and labels seem tricky or misleading?