Hi, friends! I hope you had a great week! Thanks for stopping by the blog today to read our usual weekly selection of favorites in food, fitness and life — it’s a chance to ramble and keep it light. I’ve got a healthy snack giveaway coming your way today too.
This week was a full one. I taught three group fitness classes, including debuting the new Les Mills BODYATTACK 104, which is super fun and hard at the same time. I also finished up a freelance project, went on a walk with girlfriends and did all the everyday stuff that goes along with being a full-time work-from-home momma, which is not a glamorous reality, let me tell you. I’ve decided I’m already in need of another getaway just two weeks after my girls’ trip to Vegas. Who’s in? Where should we go? 🙂
In love with Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”
This book! It took everything in me not to mention “Becoming” as a favorite every week I was reading it until I finished it just a few days ago. I loved this book. There was no official co-author on the cover or label, so I’m led to believe that Michelle Obama did her own writing (with an editor and fact checker, of course), and if that’s the case, she is one of the best storytellers ever. She somehow goes back and forth through memories giving the most minute details, yet it all works out for the overall narrative in an amazing way, you never get lost, and you definitely never get bored.
“Becoming” starts when Michelle is young and living in the South Side of Chicago with her parents and brother. It goes through her youth in the “Becoming Me” section, moves on to when she met Barack in the “Becoming Us” section and continues as the Obamas live in the White House in the “Becoming More” section, closing just after they were about to return to civilian life.
I’ve never spoken about politics on the blog, and don’t intend to, but I will say that I’ve always liked the Obamas, and I’m so glad I now know so much more about them. After reading this book, I LOVE the Obamas through and through. Michelle Obama is the real deal. Somehow she makes all the right decisions and has helped so many people throughout her life. She’s helped people to become better versions of themselves, and she’s helped people to have confidence in themselves too. She stresses the importance of making everyone feel like they belong, and that is so necessary in every part of life. She stresses the importance of education. And she stresses the importance of knowing that no matter where you start, you have a chance to succeed. Amen!
There’s so much more I could say about this book, but here’s the gist: “Becoming” is mostly an autobiography of Michelle Obama’s life — it’s not about politics — while it does cover what it’s like to campaign and then live in the White House — it’s just about being a really good person, promoting inclusion and working hard. Yet, all those lessons unfold as Michelle Obama talks about her life, so it’s not at all a motivational or self-help book, it’s just real.
Reading “Becoming” has made me think about how I can help others in my life a little bit more. Maybe there’s more to coming on that. Who knows. But seriously, if you like a long enjoyable non-fiction book about a fantastic woman, then “Becoming” is for you.
Brunch with Sandra at Auberge du Soleil
This past Saturday, Dave and I drove up to St. Helena in wine country to have brunch with my college girlfriend, Sandra, who was visiting from Louisiana. I haven’t seen Sandra is FAR too long, and it was so nice to catch up on life. She’s getting married this summer in Europe, and sadly, Dave and I won’t be able to go, but it was so wonderful to meet her future hubby this weekend.
Side note: I had never been to Auberge du Soleil before, and it’s a super fancy hotel and our brunch was delicious. It’s up on a hill, and you can see so much of wine country from the outdoor seating area. Loved it. Also, we had a three-course meal, and the smoked salmon tartlet shown below was the stand-out. Yum.
Now for the Giveaway!!
Win some tasty Munk Pack protein cookies
When you think of protein cookies, you probably don’t think of something that’s tasty but also has a pretty clean ingredients list, right? Well, now you can. These Munk Pack soft protein cookies are my FAVORITE, and I’m so happy I have a chance to give away two sampler sets to one lucky reader.
They have 18 grams of plant-based protein, are non-GMO, vegan, dairy free, gluten free and full of flavor — almost too good to be true. I like to have one in my purse at all times, because these days I have to share my snack with Brady, and these are big enough for that. Did I mention they are cookies?
Here’s how to enter …
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post. Head to the end, click on comment and enter your information — your email will not be publicly shared, but your comment will show up on the blog. Good luck! You must live in the U.S. to win. And you MUST be following both A Lady Goes West and Munk Pack on Instagram too.
I’ll choose a winner next Wednesday and announce on the blog next Friday. By the way, I’m also running a giveaway for Munk Pack cookies on Instagram, so if you haven’t yet, here’s another chance to win.
Weekly workout recap
And now we’re into the fitness.
Let’s look at my workouts from last week …
- Monday: 1-hour BODYPUMP class, 10 a.m.
- Tuesday: Taught 45-minute BODYATTACK class, 4:45 p.m.
- Wednesday: Practiced 25 minutes of BODYATTACK, 10 a.m., taught 1-hour barre class, 5 p.m.
- Thursday: Taught 1-hour barre class, 12 p.m., practiced 25 minutes of BODYATTACK, 4:30 p.m.
- Friday: Practiced 45 minutes of BODYATTACK, 11 a.m.
- Saturday: Practiced 20 minutes of BODYATTACK, 15-minute weights workout, 10 a.m.
- Sunday: Practiced 45 minutes of BODYATTACK, 11 a.m.
This past week was NOT my usual week. No rest day? Not cool. However, I was gearing up to teach the brand new BODYATTACK this week and felt like I needed another run-through on Sunday, which is usually my rest day. Other than that, I had some variety, and I will be sure to have a full rest day (or two) this upcoming week and probably no double days either.
From around the web
- Dirty dozen. A new list from the EWG is out with the dirtiest and cleanest fruits and veggies. Good news: You can still buy your avocados conventionally, because the skin is so thick they are rarely tainted with pesticides. Organic is always preferred, but remember, it’s better to eat regular fruits and veggies than none at all, if cost is an issue for you.
- Foam rolling. I’ve been foam rolling BEFORE my workouts for forever, because it gets the muscles ready. This is a short article on why before is the best time.
- Beauty gift. In need of safer skincare, makeup or body products? Right now, if you spend $125 or more with Beautycounter, you get a free brightening face oil. Let me know if you have questions or need help!
Favorite A Lady Goes West archives
- Postpartum fitness tell-all. Thank you SO much for the love on this post. Clearly you guys are interested in the down-and-dirty details on the postpartum phase … “Five things no one tells you about postpartum exercise.” Please let me know if you have any other topic requests.
- Grocery swaps. Just a bit of information to help you on your next shopping trip … “Seven easy and healthy grocery store swaps.”
One more pic of 2 of my 3 favorite boys from the weekend … 🙂
P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Munk Pack protein cookies giveaway by leaving a comment on this blog post below! 🙂
Questions of the day
How was your week?
What are you looking forward to this weekend?
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
Which flavor of Munk Pack cookies are you most excited to try?