Current faves: Lockdown update, self-care challenge, food and workouts
Hey, friends! How are you? I’m okay! This week was interesting, right? Let’s see here: Since we last talked, six counties in the Bay Area officially got put on lockdown, and that includes us. That means no gym, no preschool, no library, no non-essential outings at all — we are all ordered to “shelter in place.”
In addition to that, today, Dave and I were supposed to be heading to Vegas for our first ever little weekend getaway without Brady (which we had been looking forward to for three months). However, clearly, we are not doing that. We are in some strange times. Although it can’t go without mentioning, that we are safe and healthy, and I’m grateful for both of those things. And I’m hoping you are safe and healthy too.
This week, we took a lot of family walks, got some stuff done around the house, and that’s about it. I kept busy with work during Brady’s naps, but have tried to pull back a bit on other things. As far as workouts, I did short sessions at home in the living room using Les Mills On Demand. Nothing has been ideal, but we’re making the best of it. And the good news is that Brady has no idea anything is going on at all. 🙂
But I want to keep some normalcy around here with you, so let’s do the faves. Because YES, there are always faves …
Being part of The Every Girl 6-week self-care challenge
This is so cool! I’ve been reading The Every Mom and The Every Girl websites for a while, so I was honored to be invited to share my insight for a new program that they just debuted. And the timing couldn’t be better for a program like this for us all …
The Every Girl 6-week Self-Care Challenge is a 42-day course, which just launched last week. I provided content on fitness to help you find the right workouts, make them effective and stick to them too.
The entire 6-week course includes sections on mental health, adulting, relationships, nutrition, movement and skin and hair care, and you go through one topic during each week.
The course does have a fee, but it’s incredibly thorough and should be a great way to make some positive changes in your life — all the way from your workouts, to your food, to your relationships and much more. You can read additional details about the course here and register for it here. Let me know if you give it a try!
Finally trying G2G protein bars
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my favorite healthy snack bars. And shortly after that, the folks behind the G2G (Good2Go) bars reached out to see if I wanted to try their bars for the first time. They sent me a huge package, and I’m loving the bars.
Here’s what you should know about the G2G bars …
- Very filling at around 300 calories
- Should be kept in the fridge, but you can take them on the go for a month
- 18 grams of protein per bar mostly from whey isolate
- Gluten free, no preservatives
- You can recognize and pronounce all of the ingredients
My favorite flavors are peanut butter banana chocolate and almond coconut, and they are delicious.
I like the texture, although I think they are best when brought up to room temperature or warmed just slightly in the microwave — they are too firm when fresh out of the fridge and cold.
They have a great protein content and are fairly clean too. I wouldn’t say they are quite as tasty as Perfect Bars, but they have more protein and are a little cheaper too. And I happen to love the name.
You can find these bars at some grocery stores, but you also can get them at a discount on the brand’s website. In fact, if you shop here and use the code ALADYGOESWEST, you’ll get 20 percent off your order. Thanks for sending, G2G!
Enjoy this 10 percent Beautycounter sale
Because we all need some deals! Right now, everything on the Beautycounter site is 10 percent off, including the already discounted regimens and collections. Shop the sale here, and let me know if you have any questions! 🙂
Jump in with the Les Mills On Demand free trial
If you haven’t yet tried Les Mills On Demand for your at-home workout needs, I’d say now is the perfect time to do so. There are more than 800 workouts, ranging from dance, to HIIT, to weights to core focused too.
While it’s great to have some equipment for BODYPUMP, GRIT and CXWORX, there are plenty of programs you can do without any gym gear, like BODYATTACK, BODYCOMBAT and more. Head here to my special link to try out the program for 21 days totally for free.
Weekly workout recap
Here are my workouts from last week …
- Monday: 1-hour weights session, 9:15 a.m., practiced BODYPUMP for 45 minutes, 5:30 p.m.
- Tuesday: Practiced POP Pilates for 1-hour, 10 a.m., taught 45-minute BODYATTACK, 4:45 p.m.
- Wednesday: Taught 1-hour POP Pilates, 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday: Practiced BODYATTACK for 30 minutes, taught 1-hour barre, 12 p.m.
- Friday: Practiced BODYPUMP for 30 minutes, 9 a.m.
- Saturday: 1-hour BODYATTACK, 9:30 a.m.
- Sunday: Taught 1-hour BODYPUMP, 8:30 a.m.
This past week was super full of fitness, and I didn’t get a rest day either. I was heavy into preparing to launch the new BODYPUMP and BODYATTACK … and then, I didn’t even end up getting to teach the new BODYATTACK once the gym closed. But I did teach BODYPUMP, and boy I love the new release. Nonetheless, I’m happy to say that I had a good variety of movement, and I’ll be doing WAY less exercise the next few weeks naturally, as the gym is closed.
A few things from around the web …
- Help your community. It’s so important to think about how you can contribute to making things better, not worse. There are some great tips in this article on supporting local businesses and your neighbors during this trying time.
- Spring reading list. Here’s a list of 25 new fiction titles to keep you entertained if you’re home bound.
And here’s the quote of the week from the Calm app, which I use to do my daily morning meditations …
A Lady Goes West favorite archives …
- Money talk. Because it’s always fun to see how people spend their money … “Splurge vs. save: How I spend money.”
- Home workouts. Now is as good of a time as any to revisit this review of the best home workout platform … “Review of Les Mills On Demand streaming workout service.“
- Home workouts. Make sure you keep a few of these safety tips in mind too … “How to work out at home safely (and effectively).”
I want to thank you SO much for taking the time to visit the blog today. With everything that’s going on, it’s important to me to continue to reach out and chat with you all here and on social media. Feel free to send me a DM on Instagram or an email at any time, if you have a question or I can help you out, friends! Be well, wash your hands and take care! 🙂 xoxo
P.S. I want to put some GOOD news out there for you. I’d love to give away two pairs of leggings, a size medium and a size large. These are brand new gorgeous CALIA by Carrie Underwood leggings left over from my Barre, Beauty and Bubbles event gift bag. If you wear a medium or large and want some new cute high-waisted leggings (with a little colorful detail on the side), leave a comment below to be entered to win.
Questions of the day
How was your week?
What have you been doing to keep busy?
What’s one book on your reading list?
I used your link to sign up for les mills on demand and convinced my husband to do body attack with me in the garage yesterday morning! I don’t love working out at home and I have some kinks to work out, such as where to do it – the garage was okay but the ground was hard and dirty. I’ve tried the living room but when I jump I feel like I’m going to fall through the floor and it makes so much noise, hahah. Maybe I’ll look into some kind of mat for the garage…. anywho I’m loving having the option to still do les mills classes but am already looking forward to getting back to the gym.
Hi Julie! Okay, my friend! Way to get your hubby moving! I could never convince Dave to do BODYATTACK with me. A few safety tips, if you are doing all the jumps in BODYATTACK, land with soft knees and wear supportive good sneakers. If you think your garage floor is too hard, then take out the jumps and do everything low impact — you’ll still get a good workout in. Do you have grass in your backyard? That’s always a good option too! People forget that group fitness studio floors have some give, that’s why jumping in there feels better. This was a long message, but thank YOU for telling me you did this. Hang in there, lady!! 🙂 xoxox
I’ve read a lot of good reviews about the G2G bars and can’t wait to try them. Do you know of any good exercises for really getting your HR up? I’ve tried using the bike, but is really hard to use for getting your HR up. I have weak knees so anything that involves much jumping, doesn’t work for me. Any suggestions would sure be appreciated!
Hi Kim! Yes — you can get your heart-rate up high on the bike by increasing the resistance and doing interval sprints — have you tried that? You can also try power walking, by swinging your arms and rolling your feet outdoors on incline, or you can do mountain climbers, push-ups and knee repeaters — none of those require jumping. 🙂
The hardest part of all of this chaos is not being able to go to the gym for some normalcy! Trying to keep busy with at home workouts, lots of baking, and still (at this time) heading into the office each day. Currently reading Followers, but waiting to get You Are Not Alone on the Libby app. Thanks for the normal weekly update; I’ve been very curious what it’s like to be in a city that has a mandatory isolation so glad to hear you’re all getting by.
Hi Emily! We all miss the gym — and now I know we will NEVER take that option for granted once it comes back, right? I haven’t heard of either of those books, but will check them out. Thanks for that! We are hanging in there over here, so I won’t complain heheh. Thanks for reading and saying hello! Stay well!
I would love to try the leggings! I’m having a baby (worst time ever) in a week and can’t wait to wear non- maternity clothes! I hope you’re hanging in there!
Hey Julia! Well, I guess the good news is that we’re always on a little bit of a self-quarantine when we have a newborn, so you may not notice the lack of outings once baby is born, right? hahaha I’m wishing you a safe, healthy and quick delivery process and all of that! Yessss it will feel good to wear normal clothes again. I remember that feeling. Take care, friend!!
Enjoying your blog post with a cup of coffee after a pretty draining work week as an RN. Taking time for me today, including some fresh air and hopefully some sunshine! Next up on my reading list is Grown Ups by Marian Keyes.
Hi Lindsey, Wow, you are my hero! I can’t imagine how tough times are right now for those on the front line, so thank you for all you do! You deserve some fresh air, sunshine and me time today. Enjoy that! And I’ll add that book to my reading list, so thanks! Happy Friday! Stay well!
Hey Ashley, I know I already messaged on Instagram but just wanted to say hi, this week has been difficult with rearranging our wedding and now panicking about everything in general – keeping in touch with people has helped, and reminds me this is real life and I’m not living in a movie and we are all in it together… Aside from the selfish shopping habits of people here in the UK its been heartening to see people pull together.
Today is day 1 of working from home for me so will need to get into some kind of home exercise routine, will be walking the dog more since that’s 1 activity we can still safely do (there isn’t much else) and I guess buying some books from independent bookstores since the library has closed!
Stay safe and well over there, so glad your little one is oblivious to it all, the best way to be.
Keep posting! x
Hi Iona, my friend! I can’t even imagine how weird and sad it feels to postpone the biggest day of your life — with all that planning that you’ve done. I’ve seen a few friends having to do the same thing, and boy that sucks. The good news is that we are all in this together, and will come out stronger I hope — we will all come out with a big appreciation for the freedom to live our lives as normal, right? Good luck finding your work-from-home routine. Lots of walking, water, sleep and getting up from your computer are always good ideas. And maybe get dressed in activewear each morning instead of pajamas so you’re more likely to do stuff haha! Stay well and safe! Thank you!
Hi Ashley, I’ve been reading your blog for years but never left a comment, I guess it is time.
I am glad you are safe and well. So glad Brady is oblivious to it all, I am sure it helps you to stay sane
I am in the UK, still going to work and the gyms are also open, but I started working out at home (it seems the responsible thing to do). I’ve started a Les Mills On Demand trial as I remembered you recommending it a while ago and it’s been a lifesaver. It’s not ideal (especially as I have no equipment) but I have tried Grit cardio releases that I haven’t done before, so trying to make the most of it.
Have a great weekend,
Hi Andrea! Well thanks for reading and for saying hi. I’m so glad you’re doing Les Mills On Demand — it’s the next best thing to classes, that’s for sure. And you can still do bodyweight strength stuff in the classes, so it’s worth your time, with or without weights. 🙂 Stay healthy and well!
My family all leaves in CA and are also shelter in place. I am in NC and although we don’t have that restriction my family is also doing it because with some much out of control we want to know that we are doing our part in helping flatten the curve. But, man it’s a lot with a 1 year old and 4 year old! I would love to try Calia, I never have. I am a medium!
Hi Amy! That’s great you are taking this seriously and trying to stay home. These are unprecedented times, that’s for sure. Good luck with your kiddos — one is plenty for me, so I am sure two makes it even harder! 🙂 Just remember that we’re all struggling a little, and you’re probably doing an excellent job!! Stay well!
I hope you guys are hanging in there! I’m on the East Coast in Connecticut, not too far from NYC, and almost everything is closed here, too. Thank you for continuing to blog during this time – it’s nice to read some “normalcy” during this time and connect virtually. Also, I’d love to enter to win the medium pair.
Hi Traci! I agreeeee that it’s totally good to keep some normalcy where you can, and realize that things are different too. Thank you so much for saying hi, and I hope you stay healthy and well! 🙂
Wow it has been so hard juggling mom life and working from home! I don’t know how you do it! I feel like I’m constantly being pulled in different directions and can’t seem to figure out mentally where I need to be in each moment.
Hi Renae, It’s so hard to try to work and be a mom — both from home, that’s for sure. I DO NOT have it down perfectly, I can tell you that. But I’ve figured out that you have to make windows of time for one task at a time, because trying to do it all all the time is never going to go well haha. I know we are all struggling with things right now, so don’t be hard on yourself. Hope you are healthy and well! 🙂
Just trying not to lose my mind over here while we’re stuck at home! With 3 kids it’s tough to find time to work out but I’ve been making it a priority since it makes me feel so much better about life right now. The book “Sunset Beach” by Mary Kay Andrews is really good and it’s a good “mindless” read to just enjoy and escape life for awhile! I love Calia and would love to win the medium leggings! Thanks for the opportunity!
Hi Lauren! Thanks for the book recommendation. And yes, it’s harder to find time to work out with the family around for sure, but good for you for getting it done — so important for our mental sanity right now. Stay well and stay sane, friend! 🙂
Hi there! Former PH/WC neighbors now in Sonoma County. My husband already works remotely for a NJ company but now he has a coworker in me as I navigate working from home with our 1.5 and 4.5 year old boys. Gratefully they like your little guy are oblivious to it all and are loving the extra time at home- we are walking a ton, building legos and magnatiles, playing “school” and exploring the new builds in our development. I’m also adding working out back in for mental healthy and sanity and would love to try the large leggings! Thanks and be well!
Hi Stephanie! Greetings from the Bay Area! It’s a strange time for all of us to be at home so much, right? I’m glad things are working out okay with your family right now — hope that remains that way. And YESSS for adding some workouts — it sets a good example for your kiddos too. Stay well! 🙂
Little Brady is too cute! I bet he is loving having everyone home together <3 (Rudy too).
Missouri doesn’t have shelter in place yet but I just got the email yesterday that we are expected to work remotely until the end of April now instead of just March. My work has been busy so that’s been filling my work days, we try to walk around the neighborhood more, I think our dog is ready for us to go back to work haha! I’m very glad I have been working out mostly from home before this, because several friends said that they can’t find dumbbells at any store!
Take care, sending all the light to everyone out there! We can do so much when we work together <3 <3
Hi Jessie! Yes — I think the at-home workout equipment has been flying off the shelves and Amazon, so I’m glad I already have some on hand. And the silver lining is definitely all the family time for us all — perhaps we’ll get some benefits from this time after all. Stay well, my friend! 🙂 xoxo
Great post, Ashley! I have encouraged my family and fitness friends to check out your blog! So many of us are missing our work-outs at the gym. I also told them to check out your link for the Les Mills 21-day fitness trial. I’ll be taking the Body Pump training soon! Body Pump 111, 109 and 106 are my favorites so far!
Hi Linda!! I love to hear all of this!! When is your training?