Workout: Pure Barre

July 31, 2013
This past weekend I had the chance to try a complimentary Pure Barre class thanks to Lululemon. It was a beautiful sunny morning and we enjoyed the class on the outdoor party porch.

pure barre technique

I have to admit that before I took this class I wasn't quite sure what all the hype was about. I mean, how hard can a bar workout be?! Let me tell you was tough! My legs were shaking and my butt burned in places I didn't know was possible!  

Pure Barre Technique : ab work
The Pure Barre Technique:
"Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time. Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body. Students see results in just 10 classes."

For those looking to try Pure Barre check out a location near you to see if they offer a free complimentary first class as well as other beginner specials!

 ? Have you tried Pure Barre? ?

(Photos courtesy of Pure Barre/Pure Barre Cincinnati)

Product to Try: Justin's Nut Butter

July 29, 2013
For those that aren't aware, Jim recently moved to Colorado to take a new job. I'm super excited about it and can't wait to get out there myself. Denver is such a health conscious city and good nutrition is a big deal.
Jim recently introduced me to Justin's Nut Butters (based in Boulder, CO). Being a peanut butter freak (no really, I have 4 open jars right now) I had to try it out! I love trying different types and varieties of peanut butters. Justin's did not disappoint and luckily, it's available right here in Cincinnati!

Image Source

 Justin's Mission Statement: 
Making the foods we love extraordinary, with an uncompromised spirit of innovation, sustainability and community.

I love the fact that Justin's strives to use organic, local products. Check out their website for all the ways they're going green! It also doesn't hurt that all the products I've tried are delicious!
Peanut Butter is a favorite of mine because it's so versatile and easy! You can spread it on just about anything (fruit, vegetables, crackers, toast, etc.) and with these convenient squeeze packs it makes on-the-go snacking so much easier! Peanut butter is a great source of healthy fats (poly and mono-unsaturated) as well as protein which helps keep you satisfied.

 Find a Justin's near you (here) and enjoy!

? What's your favorite brand of peanut butter? ? 

What to Wear: Hot Weather Run

July 22, 2013
It's been really hot and humid in Cincinnati these past few weeks. Hot and humid weather always makes for tougher outdoor workouts. Here's some gear to help keep you cool and protected on your outdoor run or any workout for that matter!
...and always remember to hydrate!!!
Lucy Fast as You Can Tank /// Aveeno Hydrosport SPF 30 Spray
Lululemon Run Speed Short /// Nathan Speed 2 Waistpack
? What's your go-to hot weather gear? ?

What I'm Eating

July 17, 2013
Here's a round-up of yesterdays meals!
For breakfast I had a piece of multi-grain toast with creamy peanut butter and a banana. I washed it all down with some Horizon organic skim milk. This quick meal kept me full because it's loaded with healthy fats, whole grains and fiber!
For a mid-morning snack I had a handful of almonds. Nuts are such a healthy and easy snack. However, they are calorically dense so, watch your portion size!
I take my lunch to work 90% of the time. Yesterday I had 1/2 turkey sandwich with provolone and yellow mustard as well as a salad. The salad had a lot of color (red/yellow peppers, cucumber and carrots). The more color the better. We eat with our eyes first so, make it colorful!

 A little while later I snacked on an apple. An apple a day...

 Once dinner time rolled around I made salmon and green beans. The serving size for the salmon was around 3 oz. Salmon is a great source of omega-3's as well as protein. The green beans add fullness because they contain fiber.
Calories: 1,202 
(this is under my normal...I'm typically closer to 1,500)
Fiber: 29g
(aim for 25-35g per day!)
Protein: 77g
(~25% of calories...10-35% is recommended)

Book Review: The Flexitarian Diet

July 15, 2013
Lately I feel like we can all agree that there has been a shift in the way we think about food. Consumers are becoming more aware of what they are putting into their bodies and not only that but, where it comes from and  how it's made or grown. It's a wonderful thing!
Where I'm going with this leads me into another book review...The Flexitarian Diet! Now more than ever I feel like people are making the choice to be vegetarian or vegan. I tried it for a month or two back in college and it was not for me. What I do love, however, is Registered Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner's perfect combination: Flexitarian.
The Flexitiarian Diet is the perfect combination for those who love the idea and benefits of being vegetarian or vegan but don't want to give up those special occasion steak dinners or hefty servings of turkey at Thanksgiving. Flexible + Vegetarian = Flexitarian! 
I found this book to be quite informational. It breaks down the "five flex food groups" which are new meat (aka vegetarian protein sources), fruits & vegetables, grains, dairy and sugar/spice.

I also enjoyed the "troubleshooter" boxes which provided great tips and inspiration throughout the book.

The majority of the book is the Five-Week Flex Meal Plan which includes five weeks worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some recipes include a "flex swap" if you prefer animal protein sources. There are also grocery lists included for each week.

Overall, the idea behind this book is to try and make at least one change. By making at least one change it will hopefully jump start other healthy changes down the road. Don't think about the meat meals you're missing, but rather the vegetarian meals you're adding.

You could start with a Meatless Monday recipe!

Purchase The Flexitarian Diet book Here

? What diet or health book do you recommend? ?