Current faves: Giveaway, podcast, fun, food and weekly workouts

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.

Giveaway

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.

Elemental Superfood bar - by A Lady Goes West

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 bars - by A Lady Goes West

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.

Good luck!

Podcast

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.

Healthy in Real Life podcast - by A Lady Goes WestYou 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!

Beauty

Spiral hair-ties

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.)

Plastic hairties in September 2018 - by A Lady Goes West

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.

Multi-colored nails

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.

Pink manicure - by A Lady Goes West

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). 🙂 

Fun

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.

Out for dinner at Parada in September 2018 - by A Lady Goes West

Yellow top and out for dinner at Parada in September 2018 - by A Lady Goes West

(My bright and loose top, I’m wearing a medium, my jeans/pants — a personal fave, earrings and similar shoes.)

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.

Ashley at FlyWheel in September 2018 - by A Lady Goes West

(My leggings — which are on sale and come in other colors, and my favorite brand of water bottle.)

Fitness

Push-up challenge

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. 

Weekly Workout Recap by A Lady Goes West

  • 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!

Post teaching BODYPUMP pic in September 2018 - by A Lady Goes West

Suggested reading

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

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!

GIVEAWAY

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?

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110 Comments

  1. I listened to your episode on Gina’s podcast last night and loved it! Y’all need to do more episodes together! I follow on Insta (missleahrae87) and like on FB (Leah Hart Gartrell)

  2. Loved your podcast with Gina! It made me smile when my run got very hot and humid! I want to try those bars! I’ve heard lots of people singing their praises!
    Have a great weekend and enjoy your special time with your mother!

  3. My favorite bar prepregnancy was Clif filled hazelnut but ever since I’ve been pregnant (13 weeks now) I just can’t stomach them. We don’t really get typical fall here in Texas (it comes in like November for a week, ha!) but I’m definitely looking forward to some cooler temps!!

    1. Hi Erin! Oh no — maybe you’ll get back to liking them later in your pregnancy, so weird what we crave and what we’re averse too. I didn’t want a veggie for like the first 14 weeks hehhehe. 🙂 Hope you get some cooler weather soon!

  4. I tried a new fitness class last night! As I mentioned, I finally got around to trying to barre and I’m so glad I did. I think it’ll find a more regular spot in my rotation. Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. I’m soooo happy you went to barre, Ash! It’s a great workout — the perfect complement to cardio and other boot camp type classes. Are you sore?? Yay for you!

      1. Yes, definitely a great complement to my other classes! I did feel sore too so I definitely know it was good work 🙂

  5. trying out keto diet and helping balance me. Getting ready for hockey season for my son and good snack for him and me are important. We both love PB flavor and blueberry bars. So hockey already this weekend and putting up a fence for our dog has been a workout with 26 posts to dig, cement and then put up the large wood fence. Then we have boy scouts starting back up

    Enjoy The Way I heard it with Mike Rowe and Laugh Out Loud from CBC radio. Also Trust the trail and new Keto one

    Follow you on FB AND IG

    1. Hi Chris! That’s cool you’re experimenting with keto — I hear it works better for men than women, but may not be something you can maintain forever. As far the fence — that sounds like a ton of work! I haven’t listened to either of those podcasts, thanks for the recs. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  6. This morning, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and did a 60-minute at-home yoga video. (I typically don’t go over 30 minutes!) It felt so good!

    1. Hi Beth! WOW! I’m impressed, I don’t think I’ve ever made it past 30 minutes for at-home yoga, only at a class. But really, the longer the yoga class, the more zen you feel after — so nice job there, lady! 🙂 I need some yoga in my life …

  7. I’m so ready for fall! It’s been disgustingly hot where I live and I am over it. Bring on the cool, crisp weather, apples and all things PUMPKIN!!!

  8. I am SO ready for Autumn (fall haha) I just love the colours, the crisper air, and the fact that it starts the countdown to Christmas….

    So the Body Book just arrived at my library, I’m gonna pick it up tomorrow and start reading over the weekend.

    Have a good one!

    1. Hi Iona! So cool! I’ve got to get back to my library — so smart to just borrow it. Oh gosh, the countdown to Christmas hahaha — love it! Have a great weekend, lady!

  9. Yum these bars sound great. And I’m a flywheel addict but totally understand if it’s not your thing. I feel like with spin classes you either love them or hate them… no in between!

    1. Hi Judith! It’s so true with spin hehhe I wish I loved it, because it’s so accessible and popular around here. Glad you’re a fan! How often do you go to FlyWheel?

  10. I’m not usually a big Fall girl. Love me some Summer. But I do love the idea of entering into a new season. I also love college football so that’s a reason for me to get into the spirit of Fall.

    1. Yes, you are a jean shorts and flip flops girl through and through! Good thing you live in Florida, Court! I’m actually totally ready for the cooler weather of fall. Have a great weekend, my friend!

  11. It’s not exactly recent, but in June I totally revamped my workout routine from 5-6 days of cardio per week to 2. I also stopped running. You know why I did this so I won’t get into that. I have gained a few pounds from this change but I’m telling myself it’s muscle. I’m enjoying the change and I know it’s orobablt best for me, at least right now so it’s all good.

    1. Pounds schmounds! I LOVE that you’ve modified your routine a bit, and I hope you are enjoying the change. Change is good, my friend! Sending you love!

  12. I’m actuslly not a podcast girl but I’ll listen to yours! I think it’s because I’m on the phone ALL THE TIME for work that in my off hours I’d rather just look at something. I also am not that into videos or You Tube stuff yet so I’m way behind the trends.

  13. My hometown has our annual Fall festival this weekend. Unfortunately – it looks like it is going to rain all day Friday and Saturday.

  14. Hey Ashley, I think this is the first blog you did not mentioned my favorite subject, Brady. Is he getting close to walking. I noticed your mom is in town for the month. Grandparents are the best to have around. I think she looked at the hurricane situation in the Atlantic and felt it was better be in California this month instead of Florida. My weekends revolve around football the rest of the year. College football on Saturday and being a former Hooiser the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. We spend Sunday at a sports restaurant for lunch and watch the game on one of the multiple televisions. I try to eat salads most of the time.
    Oh, I want to win.

    1. Hi Richard! 🙂 You are right, I guess I left Brady out hehhhehe! He will be back around soon. I mean, he’s always there hhahah. I like that you have a Sunday routine to watch your games, that’s fun! Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

  15. I am ready for fall if it brings cooler weather. These 90+ days are getting old, fast. This weekend will be spent doing errands in anticipation for our vacation. We leave bright and early on the 15th!!

  16. Hi!! I have to tried anything new fitness wise in a long time!! Been wanting to try soul cycle and Barry’s but have not yet! Booty barre sounds fabulous too though!

  17. I love podcast! Some faves are wabi sabi, the school of greatness, wellness mama, how I built this, Oprah’s super soul conversations and one part podcast

  18. Low key weekend, will likely venture out for dinner with the family which is usually quite an adventure with a 1 and 4 year old lol doing food trucks in the city so should be fun! And always the farmers market!

  19. I love me a good clean bar and am a sucker anything pb, chocolate or lemon too! Also love the sweet salty flavor profile!

  20. The last new fitness thing I tried was crossfit last year. I loved and hated it. I loved the people and the challenges and how I felt so accomplished after the class. I hated it because it was soooo hard. I used to see pictures of people laying on the ground in a puddle of their own sweat after completing a WOD and I used to think they were such a drama queens. And then that became me. lol Because omg you exert so much energy that you’re left completely spent! But then I hurt my shoulder and am just slowly getting it strong again (sans crossfit).

    1. I have NEVER tried Crossfit, Mary. Can you believe that? I know some of the big moves like pull-ups and stuff are SOO hard and beneficial for building real strength, but I’m just not into the Crossfit scene. Good for you for trying it!

  21. I’ve been trying to switch things up by taking less group fitness and pushing myself more in the weights section of the gym. I’ve been wanting to try Elemental Superfood bars!

  22. I’ve been trying to switch things up by taking less group fitness and pushing myself more in the weights section of the gym. I’ve been wanting to try Elemental Superfood bars!

    1. Hi Elizabeth! That’s awesome — I do think it’s a good idea to work out on your own at least once a week so you can listen to your body and do the things you need, which you may not get in a group setting! Good job!! 🙂

  23. These bars sound awesome! I have started making my own whenever possible to make sure the ingredients are high quality ?.

  24. Looks like a great week! I can’t imagine how hard the reformer class is, I would be terrified! We went apple picking over the weekend and made pie (of course!) and installed a ceiling fan in our home office.

    I listen to Gina’s podcast, the Model Health Show, Chalene Johnson, and occasionally Oprah . I like to listen on my commute to work.

    1. Hi Jessie! Apple picking! So fun — I’ve never done that, and I’ve also never made a pie heheh. How festive of you. And reformer is really hard — way harder than you’d expect. Hope you have a great week, lady! 🙂

  25. This baked oatmeal sounds tasty! The bars you’re giving away look super good too! Living in MN, I like Summer a lot, but when the humidity arrives, I start looking forward to Fall:) Pumpkin in e’erything—almost! I need to make some pumpkin bars too!

    1. Hi Annie! How’s life?? 🙂 That’s so cool you went to f45 — we are getting one here in Walnut Creek and I totally want to try. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog!!

  26. I recently tried something new fitness-wise by signing up for F45, a new HIIT training workout that’s just landing in the Bay Area- it’s amazing!

  27. I usually gravitate toward RX bars if I need something on the go before a workout but these look delicious! I have also tried those spiral hair ties and I really like them! They even held up during teaching my indoor cycling class.

    1. Hi Dawn! Yes — I go to Zen Nails in Walnut Creek and have Kathy, the owner, do my nails. She is gone until October 15. If you ever go, know that it takes FOREVER, but she does the best job. It’s a crazy place hehehe — so leave plenty of time for your appointment and tell her that Ashley sent you ahah! 🙂 I get the “SNS dipped powder nails.”

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