Hi, my friends! I hope you’ve been having a wonderful week! Want to know the best part about my week? My sweet wonderful momma arrived from Florida last night, and she’s going to be staying with us for the rest of the month, which is the greatest thing ever!
Other than that, things have been really good over here. We had Dave’s parents here with us last weekend, so we were able to get out for a date night, hang out with them and also get some house projects done too. Yay! This week, I taught BODYPUMP, taught Bootybarre and got some work done — so overall, it’s been a productive few days.
Because it’s Friday, it’s time to look at some of my recent faves, with no rhyme or reason, starting out with a giveaway of something delicious and healthy.
Win a box of Elemental Superfood seedbars
It’s been a while since I’ve done a giveaway on the blog, and this is a delicious one. I was recently introduced to Elemental Superfood Seedbars — not your average protein or granola bar. First of all, these bars are located in the fridge aisle, and they were created by a mom whose daughter had food allergies — and she wanted to come up with a healthy snack she could give her daughter, free of wheat, dairy and sugar, but also full of nutrients with a pleasing taste. (Three cheers for a mom-created company.)
As a side note: I think we’re going to start seeing more snacks and things in the fridge section, as bars get healthier and the ingredients become realer — thus requiring refrigeration. I like this trend.
I was excited to try a sampler box of these babies (because I love to try new healthy foods), and I was immediately a fan upon first bite. The texture is different, and the flavor profiles are unlike any other bar I’ve had.
The bars are pretty firm and crunchy and very tasty and you absolutely cannot beat the ingredients list. And they are organic, raw, gluten free, dairy free, high in protein, high in fiber, loaded with omega-3s and omega-6s too. The vitamins and micronutrients included in the real-food ingredients are incredible — like a serious dose of the good stuff — antioxidants, minerals, anti-inflammatories, magnesium, healthy fats, potassium, you name it, it’s in there. (And no soy lecithin, added sugars or weird things you can’t pronounce, which I usually try to avoid in my bars.)
The four flavors include Dark Chocolate + Peanut Butter (my favorite); Mulberry, Cacao + Spirulina, Currant, Cacao + Hemp Seed; and Cranberry, Almond + Lucuma (a second favorite). I’ve been eating them before a mid-day workout, and I let them sit out of the fridge for a few minutes to soften before digging in.
Elemental Superfood seedbars are available in Whole Foods and other natural food stores, and you can also purchase them online. Use this store locator to find them.
Here’s the giveaway:
- TWO lucky people will win a big combo box with three of each flavors of superfood seedbars, 12 bars in total.
- You must reside in the U.S..
- All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this blog post, but you must be following A Lady Goes West on Facebook and Instagram to be selected as the winner, so make sure you’re already doing that.
- The more comments, the more chances to win, so you can answer each of the following questions at the end of the post, or just say “I want to win!”
- For good faith, you can also follow Elemental Superfood on Instagram and Facebook to see what this up-and-coming woman-created health food company is up to.
- This giveaway will close next Wednesday, September 12.
Talking group fitness on a podcast
This is a favorite, favorite, because I’m so excited that I was interviewed on Gina’s (The Fitnessista) “Healthy in Real Life” podcast. The episode went live this week, and it’s all about group fitness.
Gina and I are blogging friends in real life (we’ve hung out at IDEA World a few times), but it was so cool to capture our conversation on something we’re both so passionate about — and share it out to a wider audience. Group fitness has truly changed my life, and I love to share my love of it to the world, especially with potential instructors, who are interested in joining the ranks.
You can download and listen to the “Confessions of a group fitness instructor” episode here.
Here’s Gina’s write-up of the podcast episode too.
Gina’s podcast (love the name of it!) is pretty new, so it didn’t make it to my list of favorite podcasts I wrote a few months ago, but perhaps that post needs an update. I’m so happy she invited me on the show, so I could be a part of it. Let me know if you listen to it!
What took me so long to finally cave and buy some of these spiral hair-ties? I picked these up at Target, and I’m such a fan. While I don’t think they will hold my hair up doing a workout or anything, they have been my go-to for around the house, a loose bun for shopping and for putting my hair up overnight too. (Does anyone else sleep with a messy top knot? I sure do, otherwise I wake up with hair in my face.)
Anywho, I love that they can’t snag on your hair and don’t pull as much as traditional hair-ties either. I’m not sure how long they will last, but they don’t cost much, so I guess I can just get more. These are the original brand that I’ve seen a lot of people buy, but I went with the Target ones.
Okay, so I got this fresh manicure almost two weeks ago and briefly mentioned it on the blog that I needed a little self-care and headed out for a mani over that particular weekend. Well, when I went in to get my nails done, I couldn’t decide between two colors, and my nail lady (I always go to the same gal — if you’re in my neighborhood let me know, and I’ll tell you who), said I should do them both, alternating fingers with each color. She assured me this was the new “thing” to do. I always get just one color — although a couple years ago I did get my ring finger a different color on occasion when that was more popular. Anyhow, I went with her suggestion to alternate between the two pinks and ended up pleased with it.
I went to the gym the next day and the girls who work in the kidcare (including our babysitter) were complimenting my hands. And then, the following day, I’m scrolling through Instagram and see that Kylie Jenner had the exact same manicure as me with the same colors on alternating fingers too. Well, the gym kidcare girls saw it as well and next time I went in to drop Brady off before I worked out, they let me know that Kylie and I were manicure twins. It was unintentional. I will be going back to a solid color during my next mani, but it’s good to know my nail lady is up on the trends, worthy of even a Kardashian (ugh). 🙂
Date night, FlyWheel and more
Because Dave’s parents were here during some of Labor Day weekend, we headed out for a date night — which we used to just call “going out to dinner” before it became such a rare thing for us. We went to Parada in Walnut Creek, which is a Peruvian place we’d been before, and we shared a bunch of tapas. It was so nice to have an adult dinner just the two of us, like old times, because we don’t do it often enough — often reserving babysitters for group activities mostly.
Then, the following day, Dave and I went to a FlyWheel cycling workout with a couple of our friends, Phil and Kicki. I know I’ve said it many times before, but cycling/spinning is not my favorite way to work out at all, but I go a couple times a month anyway, because I often get free class credits. I like that the room is dark, the music is loud and you really don’t have to think too much.
Anyhow, we all had a great time sweating together. Perhaps the coolest part was that Dave and I haven’t taken a class together or worked out together since last summer when I was pregnant, so that was nice. Dave actually really likes cycling and enjoyed himself quite a bit (and got the highest score on the Torq board in the class), so I was happy I could arrange it for us, on a rare weekday off of work for him.
We’re nearing the end of the 16-day push-up challenge in the A Lady Goes West Friends Facebook group, and I can definitely say my push-ups have improved. I’ve enjoyed hearing the feedback from some of you guys too. Keep going strong to finish, and we’ll do another challenge again soon!
Weekly workout recap
Here’s a look at my workouts from last week.
- Monday: Practiced BODYPUMP for 50 minutes, 11 a.m.
- Tuesday: 45-minute SoulCycle class, 6:30 p.m.
- Wednesday: Taught 1-hour BODYPUMP class, 9:30 a.m.
- Thursday: Taught 1-hour Bootybarre class, 12 p.m.
- Friday: 30-minute legs and abs PWR weights workout, 11 a.m.
- Saturday: 45-minute reformer Pilates class, 10 a.m.
- Sunday: Rest day
This past week I met my goal of lifting weights at least three times, and I subbed a BODYPUMP class, as well as tried something new with a reformer class — lots of resistance work over the course of the week, which made me feel strong. I didn’t include all the push-ups in this write-up, but I also did 16 push-ups each day in addition to the workouts.
Feeling good fitness-wise, now that I’ve finally switched things up with the PWR workouts and even a new class. I think the additional weights and variety have helped a lot to re-inspire me. Yay!
Best links from around the web
- Pregnancy. I loved Whitney’s post about weight gain during pregnancy and how doctors need to learn to discuss it differently. I had a fairly similar story, in which one of the doctors in my practice told me I needed to “slow down” with the weight gain. Like what?
- Cuddle hormones. What do you know about oxytocin? It’s the feel-good hormone, but so much more. It has some powerful abilities in relationships too. Check out this long article all about what you need to know about oxytocin.
- Protein powder. A great look at all the different kinds of protein powders and which ones are the best for different things.
- Daily movement. This article talks about a study basically showing that people tend to be more sedentary on days that they work out — like skipping taking the stairs because they already exercised. This leads to less movement throughout the day overall, which is not good.
A Lady Goes West Favorite archives
- Healthy tips and a little bit more … “Interesting facts about food and the body I learned from reading “The Body Book” by Cameron Diaz.”
- Intervals are key! Here’s some cardio inspiration … “20-minute treadmill interval workout to start your day.”
That’s it for today’s line-up of favorites. I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend, my sweet friends! We’re hanging with my mom and going to a fun concert, so head on over to Instagram to follow along. Take care!
Don’t forget to enter the Elemental Superfood Seedbar giveaway by leaving a comment below on this post!
Questions of the day
When was the last time you tried something new fitness-wise?
Do you ever listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?
What are you up to this weekend?
What’s your usual favorite protein/granola bar flavor?
Are you ready for fall?