Things I am loving this week from Coast to Coast

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Walking down Polk Street and Finding cheese sampling. I could never live in a world without cheese, bread, and wine. Too bad it always has to be consumed in moderation, otherwise I would eat it every day

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Discovering flowers on a cold winter day in New York City

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The best truck ever! Also should I mention it had a Colorado License Plate

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Street Art walking in NYC. It reminds me of the mission street back in San Francisco

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Brunch, The Best Meal to Eat Out

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Working Out in Color

After spending a week in New York city it was interesting to me just how different working out there was. In NYC you see a sea of black coats layered over muted workout attire and everyone bundled from head to toe in order to avoid the bitter cold.  Packs of people march into elevators carrying garment bags and they all just blend into one another. To me it seemed the morning workout was just part of the routine, no need to stand out.

It is a completely different vibe than what you find in San Francisco. In San Francisco gyms are filled with bright, vibrant colors and bold, standout prints. People in San Francisco use working out as a way of self expression while attempting to do a downward dog in neon pink shorts and a vintage torn up t-shirt. Today I decided to embrace being back in the city and put on my bold Alo yoga pants with my bright neon custom made Nike minimalist shoes. Best bridesmaid gift ever! It feels good to be back home!

Workout gear

If you like the pants can be buy them here, Alo Women’s Airbrushed Legging

They have a lot of colors and patterns. Also I should mention they really hold up in a lot of different activities and are super comfy. They have turned into one of my new favorites. Enjoy!

New York City Gym and Studio Re-Cap

Physique 57

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One of my favorite workouts to do in San Francisco is Barre. For those who are not familiar with Barre it is a workout that combines Pilates, yoga, and ballet moves to help make sculpted and lean muscles.  It really centers on using small movements and helps to work on muscles you do not typically focus on in other types of workouts.  I started practicing Barre about 6 months ago after a back injury and have become obsessed!

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Physique 57 is a barre studio I had wanted to check out for a little while now. I had first learned about it this past December when I was looking for a Barre DVD to bring home with me to Colorado Springs over the holidays so I did not have to venture out in the snow every morning. After reading a lot of various reviews online Physique 57 kept coming up as one of the top choices. I ended up getting the DVD and boy was it good! I felt really worked after doing the 55 minute session. I could only imagine what the actual class was like! There currently are no locations in the Bay Area so I knew that I would have to make it a priority when I came out to NYC.

When booking my class they had a deal for new clients of buy one class and get one free, which I very much appreciated when classes were $36 each. The first class I checked out was the mixed level class on Monday from 7:00-8:00am at the 57th street location.  The second class I did was the intermediate class on Thursday from 11:30-12:30. The 57th street location was not too bad at about 0.7 miles from my hotel or a pretty quick 10-15 minute walk.

I really enjoyed both of the classes and I like how Physique 57 uses weights in the class so you really feel like you are working your muscles more than if you were solely focused on body resistance. Both days had very energetic and charismatic teachers which for the 7:00am class I really needed in order to fully wake up. The studio was really clean and the amenities were great, it made getting ready before work a snap.

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Overall I would give Physique 57 4 out of 5 stars. With really the one down side  being the price per class and only having 3 locations in the city.

Physique 57

Equinox Gym

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The one nice thing about staying at the Night Hotel was even though they did not have a gym themselves they were affiliated with the Rockefeller Equinox Gym, so I was able to use that facility for free. It was only 0.4 miles away or a 5-10 minute walk from the hotel and I ended up going to this gym both Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Unfortunately I was not able to take any of the classes, but the facility was large, spacious, and had a ton of machines and weights to use without being overly crowded. I also liked that they had complimentary sweat pants and t-shirts for people to use if needed.

Overall I would give Equinox 4 out of 5 stars. My friend Dana who lives in the city and uses Equinox says on average it costs about $200 a month to be a member, but the classes are great and there are so many locations it makes it easy to find something close to home or work. My feeling is if I lived in the city this would end up being my gym of choice.

Equinox Gym

Flywheel Sports

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I am obsessed with Flywheel Sports! I tried it for the first time last year when I came out to NYC. They had a new member program at the time where you could try one Flywheel Spin Class and one Fly Barre class for free. Of course I tried both since it was a $32 value for each class. After my first time going I now make it a priority every time I come out to NYC.  This time I ended up doing the spin class on Thursday morning from 9:30-10:15 at the Flatiron location, which was about a 1.2 mile walk from the hotel. Luckily this was my first day not working so I was able to enjoy the 30 minute walk.

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The Spin class is done in a dark room with a TV screen up top so participants can opt to have their bike and stats posted throughout the class. For someone who really is driven by competing this really helps to push and motivate you. I also like how the bikes show both torque and RPM. What I find in typical spin classes it is hard to gauge how much resistance you should really have on the bike when instructors tell you what number to be at. With the Flywheel bikes it takes all of the guessing out of it. The instructor will inform you step by step where you need to be, for example between a 25-30 torque and above 80 rpm.  The music is energetic and you do get to use weights in one of the song sequences which I love because then you are getting some resistance training in there as well.

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Overall I would give Flywheel a 4.5 out of 5. The studio is a little small and crowded, so getting ready there on a daily basis would be hard. However it does offer free bottles of water, fresh fruit, and free shoe rentals. I just wish there was one in San Francisco!

Fly Wheel Sports

Soul Cycle

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Soul Cycle was my last class of the week on Friday morning. I did the 9:30-10:15 class in Soho, which was 0.3 miles or 5 minutes from the house I was staying at with my friend Katie. I have done Soul Cycle once before in Los Angeles so I was curious to see how the New York classes compares. The space was cool with the studio upstairs and the locker rooms downstairs.

The class took place in the typical soul cycle fashion of a pitch black room with a few candles to help guide your way. The premise of Soul Cycle is to have all of your rides to the beat of the music, which I have to say when you are in the class the music does completely over take you. I loved how the teacher kept us constantly stimulated with trying new and different moves. We would be standing, sitting, leaning back, using our arms, doing crunches, busting out weights, and anything else you could imagine doing on a bike. I left the class feeling completely worked!

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Overall I would give Soul Cycle a 3.9 star out of 5 with the big reason being the cost. 1 class is $34 and you have to pay an additional $3 to rent shoes. They offer no free water or other amenities which makes doing this on a consistent basis hard. However the workout is amazing. They just opened a location in San Francisco which I plan on checking out soon.

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A Week of Fitness in New York City

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Traveling and exercise is not always easy. I travel quite a bit for work and in the beginning I used to get completely stressed out on how I was going to balance getting my usual sweat sessions in with the big time changes, early morning meetings, and just being in a new place where nothing is familiar. Through time I have learned you can make anything work as long as you make it a priority for yourself. I also try to look at it as a personal challenge as a way to get out and try something new that I may not do back home.  In the past I was the type of person who would get really intimidated by trying a new workout or going to a new gym by myself for the first time. However the more and more I did it the easier it become and now I find it fun and exciting. It is all about building your confidence.

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This past week I had the pleasure of going to New York City for work and I was able to tack on a few extra days to spend with friends, which then made it a partial vacation. Typically on business trips I stay in hotel that has a gym which makes keeping up with my routine pretty easy.  However this trip my team decided to stay in a more boutique hotel which did not have that option.  Prior to departing I started to get a little panicked because the weather was cold and snowy so running outside which is my typical go to work out when I find myself without a gym was not going to be an option. So I was going to have to brainstorm a plan.  I got online and started googleing and yelping my way through various gyms and studios in the Big Apple. I decided to take this as an opportunity to try some new workout studios I had wanted to try along with going back to some of my favorite NYC places. Below is a quick daily log of my various workouts throughout the week. I plan on giving more detailed re-caps on the studios and gyms in the upcoming days, so stay tuned!

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Sunday: 6 mile Treadmill Run at the local YMCA in Bed-Sty, Brooklyn.

Monday: 1 hour Mixed Level  Barre class at Physique 57 off  of 57th Street

Tuesday: 5 Mile Treadmill Run at the Rockefeller Equinox Gym

Wednesday: 7 Mile Treadmill Run at the Rockefeller Equinox Gym

Thursday: 45 minute Spin Class at Flywheel Sports in the Flatiron District followed by a 1 hour Intermediate Barre Class at Physique 57 off  of 57th Street

Friday: 45 minute Spin Class at Soul Cycle in the Soho District

Happy Valentines Day

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To be honest I have never been a big fan of Valentines Day. Having spent most of my adult life without a Valentine  the day always seemed to be more of a “Single Awareness Day” then it was a day to celebrate the ones you love. Now having had a Valentine for the last few years I can say that even though it is still not my favorite holiday of the year it has started to grow on me and I find more appreciation in the day then I once did.

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Typically I am in New York City for work every Valentines Day and for the first year in a long while my trip happens to be the week after. So instead of spending the night in a quaint, dark, brick walled restaurant in New York City with my two closest girlfriends I was able to spend the night with my wonderful boyfriend.

Tonight we spent the evening with two of our closest friend and decided a double date with beer, Little Star Pizza, and Netflix’s Season 2 Premier of House of Cards was better then any romantic date we could do on our own. Dinner was delicious. Little Star’s deep dish corn meal crust pizza is something there is no words for. The crust is thick, buttery, and just melts in your mouth.

To try and make the dinner a little healthier I made a giant salad with a bunch of my leftover veggies to go with it. This way I was able to fill most of my plate with the yummy greens and by doing so was able to get fuller without having to eat half of the pizza. Which after a day of spinning and Barre I was ready to devour it all! To top off the amazing dinner the four of us all split a homemade red velvet cream cheese cupcake my girlfriend had made. To me there is no dessert better then one that is homemade.

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Dynamo Donuts

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One of my favorite things about having lived in my neighborhood for over 6 years is I now have my established neighborhood spots. Now these are those places that are your “Cheers Bar” of sorts. The place you go to often, whether that is daily, weekly, or monthly, and by your frequency you start to develop relationships with the staff, other fellow regulars, and you no longer even have to place your order because the staff just knows. For me there is something very comforting about having a constant. A place where you know you will start your day with a smile and a couple minutes of good humored and friendly banter.

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One of these spots for me is Dynamo Donuts. Now if you live in San Francisco there is a good chance you know the place I am talking about. Their donuts are truly amazing, which you can tell by the constant line outside, even in the early morning rain. Not to mention the away of magazine articles this little spot has been written up in. This place has a very endearing quality to it. Maybe it is the fact that you can just walk up to the outside counter and order off of the simple menu or maybe it is the buzz of people always surrounding it. Either way I love starting my day off here.

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You might be thinking how Donuts are not what you would call a healthy food and to which I would respond you are 100% right. Donuts are probably not the best way to start off every morning. That is why my daily order is almost always just a cup of coffee. Now that is not to say that when there is something new or amazing on the menu I wont give it a try, I most definitely will. However I try to reserve those splurges for a leisurely Saturday morning where I take my dog on a long walk over to the shop, sit outside with a book, my coffee, and savor every last bite.

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This week is Beer Week in San Francisco and as part of the festivities Dynamo Donuts is doing Beer infused donuts. Being from Colorado I am a huge fan of beer so I had to see what these donuts were all about. I picked up one of each of the beer infused donuts this weekend, the Pale Ale and the Cherry Sour. I brought both home and made the boyfriend  eat half of each with me.  I have to say both were REALLY good. I have never been a big fan of donuts with icing on top as it has always seemed like an added sweetness that covers up the true taste of the amazing dough. With both of the beer donuts I thought the icing actually ended up enhancing the flavor. I assumed I would like the Sour Cherry more since I have an obsession with Sour Beer, but surprisingly the Pale Ale by far was my favorite. Although I think the Carrot Cake Donut is still my number one love from them by far!

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If you happen to find yourself by Dynamo this week I suggest you meander over and try one of the beer donuts. You wont be disappointed!

Overnight Oats Recipe

Before I get into my love and obsession with overnight oats I want to start with my first love oatmeal in general. During weight loss oatmeal became my staple breakfast most days of the week. Every morning I would wake up excited about the possibilities of my oats. How was I going to jazz them up that day, was I going to make them taste like apple pie with cinnamon, a chopped apple, and a little brown sugar. Was it going to be a more savory day where the oats would be made with peanut butter and a banana. Regardless of which route I went the oats were always warm, delicious, and comforting. It was nice to know that almost anywhere I went to eat I would be able to find oatmeal and I knew I could be happy and satisfied. It was not until about a year ago reading one of my favorite blogs I heard of overnight oats.

Now if you have not heard about these yet you are missing out! Overnight oats are easy to make, delicious, and super filling! Which for me it is hard to find something at breakfast that will tide me over till my next meal. All you need to do is a little prep the night before and you are all set. Below is my usual go to recipe which typically will make about 1 serving

1/2 cup dry old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt (my favorite is Fage)

1/4 cup water (or milk)

The night before mix all ingredients into a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning you just need to stir and serve. I tend to like my oats a little sweeter so I may add in a teaspoon of jelly and I always eat mine with fruit. My favorite is adding in a cup of grapes!

This morning I became adventurous and tried Pumpkin Overnight Oats. It was delicious and I enjoyed trying something new, but still not the same as the classic recipe.

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1/2 cup dry old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon of splenda and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

I also added in half a cup of grapes and a half an apple.

 

Weekend in Big Sur

Happy Sunday! This weekend I had the pleasure of going down to Big Sur California for my best friend Melissa’s engagement! It was a small group of her closest friends and family arranged by her now fiance as a surprise for her after he got down on one knee and popped the question.

The proposal happened  around dusk last night outside the Restaurant at Ventana and was followed by great food, good wine, laughter, and games. The group shared a bunch of the delicious starters with my favorite being the truffle risotto and the tuna tartar. For my main course I ordered the Wild King Salmon, which I have to say it was some of the best Salmon I have had in a really long time.  I also had to make sure and try Melissa’s pork loin wrapped in bacon with a fig jam. So good! Of course this was not the end of it. After dinner we shared pretty much every dessert on the menu and I was almost literally licked all of the plates clean. However my motto is you only have your best friend get engaged once so you need to enjoy!

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This morning  I awoke to a slight stomach ache from the over abundance of sugar and alcohol from the night before. So I decided the only cure was to go for a run in the beautiful Pheiffer National Park and explore. After my 6 mile run I stumbled onto a beautiful hiking trail and decided to climb up and see what it was all about. The scenery was amazing and well worth the extra effort! The trip ended up being pretty quick, but now after just having a taste of Big Sur I feel another trip is soon on the horizon

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