Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Replacing my afternoon coffee with cardio

Coffee lovin’ white girl here. I have a morning coffee with breakfast ever day and on week days I used to have an afternoon coffee around 3:00 pm to get me through the rest of the day. This became a big habit of mine when I was working until 7 or 8:0 0pm. I needed to have energy at least until the end of my shift, then I could crash.

Recently I have replaced my weekday afternoon coffee with a run. Not every day, but most days. It slowly started when I was training for our 9K earlier this summer, but I have made it more and more of a habit once I saw all of the benefits it was providing…

For starters, I work in the heart of Boston. There are far too many shops and boutiques to avoid from at least window shopping and even the smaller purchases start to add up due to boredom on my hour lunch break.

Also, what the heck do people do for ONE WHOLE HOUR?! I have no idea what to do with my time. I tend to take a later lunch to break up my day so when I come back, I only have 2 hours left on the clock so I typically do not eat lunch ON my lunch break. Running has freed me of trying to find things to do outside, while not keeping myself inside when the weather is nice. 

My lunch time run has also provided me with the energy I need to get me through the rest of my day. So instead of picking up a skinny vanilla latte or toasted almond iced on my way back from lunch, I am burning calories instead of drinking them!

I have finally been back at the gym routinely and cardio is really a must for my body. Lifting definitely helps burn more calories and helps work on definition, but cardio helps me shed some extra calories and pounds. Remember – all of our bodies are different and lose/gain weight differently. I have personally found working out is most successful when I incorporate both. 

With that being said, my daily 30mins of cardio is now incorporated during an hour I usually roam mindlessly through the city, instead of adding it to the end of my day when I just want to get home.

Daisy wins here too…I’m home a half hour earlier to play with her now J

See where you can fit in a quick work out to save some time on the beginning or end of your day!

P.S. I know running is commonly hated. I used to be one of those people. I heard somewhere to set yourself a destination when running, preferably one of good taste or beautiful sights. Set your destination as your reward. Run there, enjoy your reward (take an excuse for a breather) then run home. That is another thing that has made running at work better than running at home. 

This is my reward...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Watch Dog

It's been awhile since I have written about Daisy, but I am never lacking stories about her! Life is sometimes too busy!

When we first rescued Daisy, it was really interesting to see how she didn't know the typical "cues" dogs tend to learn since she had been a stray. For example, most dogs react to the sound of a doorbell or knock at the door. She has mastered it now.

When the weather is nice, we leave our back door open so she can go in and out as she pleases. This has been both a positive and negative choice by us. Because we were often leaving the door open, Daisy wasn't having any accidents in the house which we thought was great! Except that when we didn't open the door, the accidents were very frequent - she wasn't learning how to tell us she had to go, even though she knew she was supposed to outside. We are still managing this but the 3 of us have gotten much better at communicating :) On the other hand, it gives her more free space to roam when we get home and need to get her dinner or our dinner ready. 

She is seen here playing watch dog. I think it is so cute when she sits there like that just looking for someone to come. Usually she barks when she hears someone come in or approaching our house. It's quite funny because she is so gentle. She puts on a good front. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A woman should never be without an accessory

I am both happy and proud to share that after almost a year away from lifting, due to injury and then surgery, I am back at it! My husband has started us both on a new 8 week program to switch things up for both of us. We are only on day three, but it has been great to be back at a gym with weights in my hands. It has also been helpful and rewarding to have a gym partner like him with the knowledge, passion, and skills he has obtained over the past few years.

Last night the gym was BUSY. There were roughly 25 people working out in the weight room and only one of them had two X chromosomes – Me. (Now where you may think this blog is going with the conversation of women and weights can be saved for another day.) Instead, I am going to share with you some “girly” gym accessories to keep you looking your best while working on looking your best so you can proudly rock your workout knowing you can keep up with the guys!

Whether you go to a nail salon, or do your own at-home manicure, let’s face it – we all cherish the length of our manicure. When I pay, I want my moolah to be worth it. And when I do it at home, I want my time of wiping off all the extra polish from my cuticles because it looks like a 3 year old painted my nails, worth it.

A pedicure typically consists of buffing and cleaning up the bottom of the feet while a manicure never buffs the palm of your hands. Lifting weights for long period of time with heavier weights and metal bars can cause some serious callus action on the hands. My husband thinks it is great – after all; keeps his hands looking manly – gross. I on the other hand would prefer my hands to stay soft and womanly.

SOLUTION: lifting gloves. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors but they are basically fingerless gloves that cover where your hands will meet the dumbbell or barbell to prevent callusing. They are also an affordable fix – I almost always see them at Marshalls ranging between $6-12.

Anyone else hate that awful kink you get in your hair after putting it up in a ponytail or wearing a thing hairband around your head? I DO! Especially for the fact that I do not wash my hair more than twice a week, screwing up a newly washed and blow dried head of hair that took me a half hour to tame is really a way to ruin my day. Meet my new best friend.

These hair ties and head bands started being trendy with the Yoga, Pilates and Barre world since their workouts tend to involve less jumping around and slower more precise movements. Well, a lot of lifting exercises don’t require you to move more than one body part at a time, so embrace away!
Too good to be true? Well maybe a little. I did 15mins cardio last night after some bicep/tricep work and the headband didn’t stay on as well as my usual ones, but I didn’t mind fixing it a few times to save me the trouble of fixing my hair too much afterwards.

Monday, July 21, 2014


There are many things I am learning about "parenting" a dog and I really find that the most important things have been boundaries, consistency and exercise. I never realized how much exercise dogs need until I saw how much energy our dog has when we wake up in the morning or let her out of the crate in the afternoon. I grew up in a family of mostly small dogs, 25lbs or less, who do not necessarily need much exercise or playing to tire themselves out. All of that has changed since Daisy, the 38lbs lap dog came into our lives.

There are some afternoons when I let her out of the crate that she runs laps in our mediocre size yard at the speed of what seems like a cheetah. It could be just puppy spurts, but she looks like a maniac. Regardless, I don't always feel like it is enough.

As my husband and I have started to get into running, we have decided to turn some of our walks with Daisy into runs. The first few times we were hesitant as we weren't sure if she could keep up or how long she would last. My first run with her was two weeks ago and man can she run! For our first mile I had to keep up with her, and the second mile she had to keep up with me.

We have recently been enforcing "heel" in our training and she's getting really great at it which is making our walks and runs much easier. Our furthest distance so far is 3 miles. I hope she can keep up with our endurance as we gain our miles!

As a side note, since Daisy is a rescue dog, we have thought some of her behavior has shown a sense of anxiety. We're not positive about it, and we are doing things to avoid it, but it can be difficult for animal to really express themselves. I have recently read that longer walks and more exercise helps with anxiety in dogs, not only because it tires them out, but because it clears their mind the way exercise does for humans! Neat, huh?

Here she is after our first run together. We were both tired. It was a hazy, hot and humid afternoon.

The Little Leisha That Could

Over the weekend, my husband and I participated in the 5th annual Run to Home Base at Fenway Park. The Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program work together to help Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and their families who return home with the invisible wounds of war such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) which are estimated to affect one in three returning Veterans.
The Run to Home Base is a 9K (5.6miles) run through Boston and Cambridge that finishes on home plate in Fenway Park. Most of the course is along the Charles River with a great view of the skyline of Boston almost the entire route and the crowd along the way was just great. Finishing in America’s most beloved ball park was a great feeling, especially because we got to high five and shake the hands of our nation’s finest as we crossed home plate. We thanked them, as they thanked us. It was beyond rewarding.
Prior to this race, I never really took the sport of running seriously. Sprints and laps during high school sports' practices were dreadful and I was almost always one of the last to finish the 2-3 laps around the field/court. It was almost as if I imprinted in my brain how I could never be good at running; and as we all know, it is very difficult to enjoy something if we do not feel we are good at it. 
When we signed up for this race, I was convinced I would be ready on the day of the race with at least two months of training behind me. FALSE. I was lazy and still thought I hated running so I ran maybe twice a month until roughly two weeks ago when I picked up a few more runs per week. I had several discouraging runs - where I could barely breathe for 0.25 mile or had sore calves at 0.50 mile; letting my disappointment conquer my motivation, I would proceed to WALK home...instead of push through. 
Saturday morning came and I set a realistic goal in my head of the timing I wanted to finish the race in..keeping in mind I did not properly train, wasn't necessarily in great shape and also have never run this long of a distance......EVER.
Not only did I finish in my last minute goal time, but I was back at running this afternoon. 48 hours later, I was ready to do it again and do it well. I never thought I could even finish Saturday's Run to Home Base without walking at least the last mile, but I surpassed the expectations I had of myself. 
With motivation, confidence and no negative thoughts or feelings about the sport, today I ran my fastest mile ever. I am still not an elite runner. I am still not a marathoner or half-marathoner, but I set a personal record Saturday and today, and for that I am proud of myself. Previous to today, my fastest mile was one minute slower than it was today. All I needed was the positive mindset to know that I. COULD. DO. IT.
Don't ever give up...on anything. Believe in yourself no matter what it is. And when you think you can't do something, go out and do it so then you know you can do even more!!

Mile 4 Selfie
Before & After our Run to Home Base!
If you are interested in next year's race or simply would like to learn more about The Home Base Program, please see their links below. They also have Facebook and Twitter links listed on their site.
A special thank you and shout out to those of you who helped my husband and me by contributing to this cause. We appreciate your support of this amazing organization!
Each and every one of our military personnel are heroes who put their lives at risk while leaving their families at home to keep us safe and our country free. I will forever feel indebted to them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


We took Daisy for a trip last night to a family member's house. We needed to do an errand and figured why not take her for the ride. She loves her rides with Daddy.

She not only met two new dog friends last night, but had a half hour to run in an enormous backyard that she loved. I can't wait to bring her back. She made me a little nervous as she was getting a little too interested in their pool and I thought she might fall in...she didn't!

Needless to say, she was pretty tired on the ride home. Even after a full bowl of water she was panting until she laid down in the back which I call her Camouflage Daisy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2 for 1 - Fashion & Fitness!

As previously blogged about, my FitBit Flex now has a new fun fashion addition! Tory Burch has now come out with jewelry that holds the FitBit inside! Since I bought the FitBit and saw it had different color band options, I often thought how I would love to be able to dress it up so that it went more with my office attire. I don't mind the solid black or slate color at all, but it is rubber and not very dressy. Tory Burch has beyond answered my prayers! I am really hoping more companies catch on to this trend, because it is a great one and I love when items serve more than one purpose.

There are three new options to hold your FitBit to track your daily fitness to remain looking stylish:

For those of you who sit at a computer all day, the Pendant necklace will be your best friend; gold and black and out of your technology navigation space!


And for those of you don't mind the original feel of the rubber FitBit, but would like to dress it up: you have three new options:

Silicone Printed Bracelet Blue                &                    Silicone Printed Bracelet Pink


Metal Hinged Bracelet - Identical to the Pendant necklace, but in the form of a bracelet.


Now you can stay fit, fashionable, and fabulous. You're welcome!