Tag Archives: workout

Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer Review

As a Sweat Pink ambassador, I was recently given the opportunity to try out a Vega Sport product for their Fuel Your Better campaign.

2353-FuelYourBetter-Motivation-800x800 (1)

Vega Sports has a bunch of great pre and post workout products that are all beneficial to your workout. I chose to try out the Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer. I am usually really good about fueling properly after my workouts, so I was really interested in the pre-workout energizer. I usually workout in the mornings and a pre-workout energizer is just what I needed to jump start my workouts!


The sugar-free energizer contains ten synergistic ingredients to help focus and boost energy to help power through low-intensity or short duration workouts. It’s sugar-free and only has 5 calories. It helps to enhance mental focus, increases focus, and boosts endurance.

It’s plant-based, dairy, gluten, and soy free, and contains no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.

The Vega Sport sugar-free energizer is supposed to be taken 20 minutes before short runs, yoga, pilates, gym workouts, and other workouts lasting under an hour.


I got the acai berry flavor. At first, I was worried about how it would taste but I was pleasantly surprised. I mixed one packet with 8 oz of cold water and drank it before my workout. The flavor is definitely strong since it’s in a small amount of water but it tastes good. I drink it on my way to the gym and then refill  my water bottle with water.


I used the sugar-free energizer before women on weights class, BodyPump class, and even before running a 5k. I also used it just before going to the gym to walk when my hip was bothering me and to practice BodyPump at home.

When I hear the word “energizer” I automatically think that the product might make me jittery. This was not the case with the Vega Sport energizer. I felt great! I felt more energized and like I could power through my workouts.

Vega’s  “Fuel Your Better” campaign is about training harder and recovering faster. No matter what’s holding you back from “better” – motivation, stamina, overtraining, muscle burn, hitting a wall, fueling, muscle soreness, or body composition – Vega has a product to help you out! You can also check them out on Twitter and on Instagram: @vega_team.


How do you fuel before or after a workout?

Disclaimer: As a Sweat Pink ambassador, I received the Vega Sport sugar-free energizer at no charge to review on my blog. All opinions are my own.



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Filed under Product Review

Back to Spin

Good afternoon!

Today’s Workout:

  • Spin class – 45 minutes
  • Ab class – 15 minutes
  • Zumba Class – 25 minutes

I got a great workout in today! My gym just starting offering a spin class on Thursday mornings, so I took that class this morning. I haven’t taken a spin class in probably over a year and it was quite a workout. My legs are going to be sore.

Immediately after spin class there’s a new 15 minute ab class that I also took. Even though it was only 15 minutes, it killed my abs!

I didn’t plan on taking Zumba, but there was a new instructor that started today, so I stuck around for half of the class to try it out. Even though I am not a dancer (and don’t have much coordination!), Zumba is one of those fun classes that really gets you moving.

Whole Foods Shopping Trip

It seems like I have been making a weekly Whole Foods trip lately. Which is necessarily a bad thing, but it’s about 25 minutes from my house so I always feel like I have to justify going by purchasing a lot of things that I “need”. In other words, I am spending too much money at Whole Foods every week.

The real reason I’m going to Whole Foods is to get sushi. I am not really a sushi person and only tried it very recently. I love the Whole Foods California roll and need to get it at least once a week. I still can’t do the raw sushi but the California roll is good. Whole Foods didn’t have the California roll yesterday so I tried the Philly roll and liked it better than the California roll.

I picked up a couple of other new things at Whole Foods to try out.


I finally bought an Amy’s candy bar. I heard Amy’s was coming out with a candy line awhile ago and forgot about it until I saw them at Whole Foods. I picked up the soft caramel with pecans covered in chocolate flavor. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds yummy!


I also got a box of Rishi iced tea.

PicMonkey Collage

This box was a little more on the expensive side – I think it was $6 or $7 for the box but I have been looking everywhere for iced peach tea. Apparently, you just can’t make hot tea and add ice?! I don’t know much about tea but I guess hot tea is hot tea and iced tea is iced tea.

This tea makes a pitcher full, about 32 ounces, per tea bag so at least you get your money’s worth!

I also picked up a single portion of the Vega protein smoothie powder in tropical tango to try out. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Vega line of products so I am excited to try it in a smoothie!

I’m so glad that tomorrow is Friday! I am teaching BodyPump in the morning and then getting some stuff ready for Jacob’s birthday party on Saturday. I can’t believe that in two days I am going to be the mom of a teenager!!

  • What new food or drink product have you tried lately?
  • Do you have kids? How old?


Filed under Fitness, Working Out


Happy anniversary to my wonderful husband, Danny! I love you! PicMonkey Collage Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was strawberry peanut butter overnight oats…even though there’s snow on the ground, I still went with a cold breakfast. 011 My oats included:

  • strawberry Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. PB2

I mixed all the ingredients up last night and let it sit in the fridge overnight and then I topped it with blueberries this morning.

Today’s Workout

  • Women on Weights Class – 45 minutes
  • HIIT Stairmaster workout – 20 minutes

20140415_112851 In Women on Weights class today we focused on abs, triceps, and biceps. After the class, I did a 20 minute high intensity interval training workout on the Stairmaster. I haven’t been on the Stairmaster in quite awhile and I was sweaty by the time I was done. I did climb as high as the Eiffel Tower :)

Post workout, I had a CorePower chocolate drink that Danny got me as a morning anniversary present. He knows me too well. 20140415_113416 Lunch

Lunch was delicious today. I made English muffin hummus melts. 005 They are amazing. The spinach, cheese, and hummus is such a great combination.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you have for breakfast or lunch today?
  • Ever use the Stairmaster?



Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Recipes, Working Out

Anniversary Dinner – Texas de Brazil

Good afternoon! How was your weekend?


On Saturday night, Danny and I went out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Our actual anniversary is tomorrow.


That’s the only picture where both our eyes were open at the same time and you can see my little photographer in the reflection :)

I surprised Danny with dinner reservations at Texas de Brazil, a Brazilian steakhouse.


Since I’m not really a meat eater, we don’t go to steakhouses often, so I thought it would be a nice change for Danny to go to Texas de Brazil. Neither one of us has been there before, and it was amazing.

I was a little worried about going since Texas de Brazil is a meat lovers dream, but after reading reviews online about their salad bar, I decided it would be worth it to try out. I got the “light dinner” which includes everything but the meat and it a little cheaper.

The salad bar was amazing with so many different items – lobster bisque soup, lettuce, smoked salmon, fresh mozzarella balls, roasted peppers, olives, smoked provolone cheese, couscous, sushi, pineapple, green beans, asparagus, au gratin potatoes, breads, etc. It was delicious. The best part was the lobster bisque - hands down.

The restaurant was pretty dark so I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures of the food.

Danny loved the meat. He had a few different kinds of beef, lamb, and sausage. They also have chicken but it didn’t make its way to our table. It was a really good dinner and a really fun night with my husband :)



On Sunday morning, Jaden had an Easter egg hunt in the pool at our gym. He had fun but it was a little crazy and chaotic. There was 100 kids there and they split them up by age group. Ages 3-6 went first in the shallow pool, and the kids ages 7 -10 went in the big pool.

They should have separated the kids by skill level not age because although Jaden is seven, he can’t swim in water over his head. He wouldn’t have been able to get one single egg since they were all in the deep end of the pool until I had Danny ask the lifeguard for a life jacket for him. Luckily, he was able to get a few eggs while wearing the vest.


After Jaden’s egg hunt, I went upstairs to the gym to do an upper body workout.

I did the exercises as supersets (no rest in between exercises, resting one minute in between supersets). I did 12-15 reps of each exercise, 3x.

Superset #1

  • Seated cable row
  • Wide grip lat pulldown

Superset #2

  • Standing barbell biceps curls
  • Single leg dumbbell biceps curls (switch legs halfway)

Superset #3

  • Seated dumbbell shoulder press
  • Standing dumbbell lateral raises

Superset #4

  • Seated stability ball overhead triceps extensions
  • Skull crushers on bench with EZ bar

Superset #5

  • Bench dumbbell chest press
  • Cable chest flys

It was a great workout and my upper body is feeling it today!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • How old were you when you learned to swim?
  • Favorite restaurant?





Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Peanut Butter Oats and a Workout

Good afternoon!

Today’s Workout

  • 3 miles outside
  • Strength training
  • Stretching

It’s so beautiful here in Chicagoland that I ran outside today! I parked by the gym and ran three miles outside. The first two miles were good but by the third mile my hip really started to ache so I had a take a few walking breaks. Darn hip.

After running, I went inside the gym and did some strength training.


(For my run, I wore my Garmin and Polar heart rate monitor and the calorie count is different by about 100 calories. I know I should get an all in one device, but I wondered if anyone knew which one were more accurate on the calories burned? The polar or the garmin?)

I did the following supersets with no rest between exercises and one minute rest in-between sets. I did each set three times.

Super set #1:

  • incline biceps curls x12
  • plank to row x12

Superset #2:

  • standing hammer curls x12
  • reverse flys x12

Superset #3 (abs):

  • plank – 1 minute
  • sit-ups with medicine ball x20
  • hip bridges x15

After I was done, I stretched for a short time.


Breakfast today was something a little different than my usual protein pancakes or eggs and toast. I made peanut butter oatmeal.


For my oatmeal, I used:

  • 1/4 cup Perfect Portions Quaker Oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. PB2

That’s it! I mixed everything up and cooked it in the microwave for about 90 seconds and topped it with a few blueberries. It was so fast, easy, and delicious!

After the gym, I had a hair appointment and then I stopped at Starbucks for an unsweetened ice tea – the perfect afternoon treat on a beautiful day :)



Yesterday I made my first smoothie of the year! I swear I live on smoothies in the spring and summer.


My smoothie yesterday had frozen strawberries, plain Greek yogurt, PB2 (I’m on a PB2 kick lately), almond milk, and ice. It was so good and I was sad when it was gone.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you have for breakfast?
  • Do you like smoothies?
  • Favorite Starbucks drink?


Filed under Breakfast, Running, Working Out

Biceps and Triceps Workout

Good afternoon!

I worked for awhile at the gym this morning, and then I completed a biceps and triceps workout.



Here’s what my workout looked like:

I completed each exercise back-to-back, rested 2 minutes, and then repeated two more times.


Rest two minutes and repeat two more times.


  • Lying dumbbell triceps extensions x10
  • Triceps pushdown (cable machine) x12
  • Dumbbell triceps kickback x12

Rest two minutes and repeat two more times.

I finished my workout with a two mile run on the indoor track. It wasn’t the best run because I wore the wrong workout capris, sports bra, and shoes. I kept having to pull my pants up and readjust every minute. I still finished two miles :)

Post workout, I had half a Cellucor chocolate protein shake and the world’s best Kind bar flavor – peanut butter and dark chocolate.


I recently bought a Groupon for Cellucor whey protein powder. It was the protein powder that my health coach recommended so when I saw it on Groupon, I decided to try it out.


I bought ten 1/2 servings package in chocolate and ten in vanilla. I like chocolate and Danny likes vanilla.


I only recently started to like tea. I have been a coffee lover for years but tea is the new love in my life.

Yesterday, I found a Twinings peach iced tea bag in my cabinet that I got as a sample in the mail awhile ago.


I drank the iced tea even though the temperature is below freezing outside. It was soooo good. I loved it so much that I went to the grocery store last night to buy a whole package.

Unfortunately, the store I went to didn’t have them (I will find them by summer!), but I did buy two other teas to try out – Twinings Chai and Celestial Seasonings fruit tea sampler.


I had a cup of the hot peach tea yesterday and I really liked it. This afternoon, I tried the Chai tea while a splash of almond milk. It was good but not my favorite. I prefer the more fruity teas.

There’s no school tomorrow, so I switched teaching BodyPump with another instructor – I’ll be teaching Sunday instead.

Have a great afternoon!!

  •  Are you a tea drinker? What’s your favorite?
  • Do you ever buy Groupons?

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Filed under Fitness, Running, Working Out

Taste Nirvana Coconut Water

Good afternoon!

Today’s Workout

  • Jillian Michaels 6-Pack Abs DVD – 30 minutes
  • Practiced BodyPump – 20 minutes

My entire lower body is sore from yesterday’s workout, so I decided to just stay home and do a workout DVD today. The Jillian Michaels 6-pack abs DVD is tough!


I work out almost everyday, but the level 0ne workout is tough! I am dying by the end. I am a little scared to try level two.

I also practiced BodyPump for a bit so I’ll be already to teach on Friday.

Before my workout, I had coffee out of my new favorite coffee mug.


After my workout, I had a coconut water.


Taste Nirvana recently sent me some coconut waters to try out.

From their website:

Mission Nirvana Foods seeks to provide the most authentic and real food experiences in which the country of origins intended. We strive to educate our customers on history and culture of the food that we make. We seek real and honest relationships with our customers, employees and suppliers which benefit and educate everyone.

Coconut water has a lot of health benefits and make a great post workout drink.

  • Contains electrolytes to replenish the body
  • Eliminates post-run headaches
  • Alleviates muscle tension after a workout

Taste Nirvana sent me three kinds to try out:

  • Real Coco Aloe – contains coconut water and aloe vera with 2 grams of fiber per bottle
  • Real Coconut Water – preservative free and all-natural, made with young coconuts for better flavor
  • Real Coconut Water/Pulp – coconut water with the pulp for added fiber


Each bottle has between 60 and 70 calories.


I was most intrigued by the coconut water with pulp. I’ve had coconut water in the past, but never one that contained pulp.

Taste Nirvana is a great choice to reach for instead of a sugary sports drink. I loved the flavor of the coconut water – it had the perfect amount of sweetness and tasted great. The coconut water with pulp was something different and I thought it really added to the flavor.

Taste Nirvana also has a coconut water with Thai chili extract that I think might be really interesting and a tea and coffee line.

You can check out Taste Nirvana on Facebook and Twitter.

Quest Bars

Danny knows the way to my heart and brought me home these Quest Bars yesterday.


It’s the new cookies and cream flavor. Apparently, these are the new big thing – all the rage. Someone told me to bake it in the oven for about 5 minutes and it’s delicious! I plan on saving it for after I teach BodyPump on Friday :)

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you like coconut water?
  • Are you a fan of pulp in juices? Like orange juice?
  • Have you had the cookies and cream Quest Bar yet?

Disclaimer: Taste Nirvana sent me these coconut waters to try out and review on my blog at no charge. All opinions are my own.


Filed under Fitness, Product Review, Working Out

Ruffles with Love Giveaway

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Today, I have an awesome giveaway for you guys – a workout tank from Ruffles with Love!


I mentioned this tank last week and how cute (and high quality) it is. They have so many adorable tank tops on their website and the winner will be able to pick out their favorite. Enter below.

Yesterday’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • A few workouts on the cable machine – biceps, triceps, chest

Today’s Workout

  • Practiced BodyPump – 25 minutes
  • Jillian Michael’s 6-pack abs DVD – 30 minutes
  • Plank-a-day #10 – 1 minute and 14 seconds

I have a few errands to run this morning, so I just worked out at home. I did the Jillian Michael’s 6-pack abs DVD that I ordered through Groupon.


I did the level one workout and it was killer! That ab workout is no joke but it’s awesome. It combines core work and some cardio so it really gets your heart rate up. I finished my workout with a plank #10 – 1 minute and 14 seconds.

Have a great day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Filed under Giveaway, Working Out

BodyPump Training Weekend Day #1

We laughed, we cried…we touched foreheads and shared a breath. <—You will get to know your fellow BodyPump trainees really well over the course of the weekend.

BodyPump training was intense. It was like nothing that I have ever experienced before. It was tough, it was educational, it was challenging. It was awesome.

Today I feel like I have been hit by a bus.

(After typing all this out, I realized how long it is, so I am going to split it into Day #1 and Day #2).


Training started Saturday morning at 11 am. The training facility is about 45 minutes away from me so I left in plenty of time to make it on time.

Getting ready to leave:


I arrived (after getting a little lost) at 10:30 am and more than half of the class was there already waiting to go into the building.

Oddly enough, I actually knew a girl that was there. She would sometimes take a BodyPump class at my gym and we recognized each other. Her parents live by my gym so she would occasionally workout there when she was visiting them. I was a bit nervous so it was nice to actually know someone there.

I was worried that I brought too much stuff with (it looked like I was packing for a four day trip with all my stuff) but everyone else had a lot of stuff too.


Here’s what I brought:

  • A laptop with the BodyPump manual on it and to use as a DVD player (we never ended up watching the DVD)
  • The BodyPump DVD with choreography and notes booklet
  • An iPod with the BodyPump music on it (I did use this) and headphones
  • All printouts that we were supposed to bring
  • A notebook and pen
  • Extra clothes (very much needed the second day)
  • Advil (also much needed the second day)
  • A water bottle
  • Gatorade
  • A cooler packed with: a GoPicnic lunch, Clif bars, chocolate milk, an apple, Greek yogurt, and almonds
  • A towel (big and small)

There was a big group of us – a little over thirty people which was one of the biggest groups they’ve ever had. Normally they close the registration at 20 people, but they added another instructor and opened the registration back up. It was nice having two instructors but the room we were in was a little cramped.

The awesome thing about having so many people is the energy. It’s amazing. Everyone is so pumped and energetic and you just feed off of each other.

When we first got there, we checked in, and had our pictures taken with our names tags. We put all of our stuff away and got settled in. We started by taking the master class. BodyPump release #87 is awesome. It’s a great workout and in my opinion, the squat track is the best. The squats are awesome, and Black Betty is now my favorite BodyPump song.

After the master class, we spent a little time discussing what BodyPump is and then we all shared a little bit about ourselves and our goal for the weekend. (Or maybe we did this before the master class – my brain in a little bit jumbled)



My goal was confidence. I said that I am so used to being a participant in the class and it’s a lot harder to be the one teaching the class. I am really nervous to be up there teaching and said that I would like to gain more confidence.

Then we went over some of the educational components of BodyPump – five key elements, role model technique, etc.


Next we did the BodyPump Boot Camp. This consisted of going over every single move that is done in BodyPump so that you learn how to correctly do the moves – squats, chest press, chest fly, triceps dips, triceps extension, kickbacks, biceps curls, hammer curls, lunges, deadlifts, dead rows, hang clean, clean and press, T shoulder raise, rotator raise, etc,

Wow – it was exhausting just typing that.

We really weren’t given many breaks the first day. We had about a 5 minute break in the morning, and then we had about a 15 minute lunch/dinner break around 5 pm. By that time, we were starving. Bring lots of snacks that you can just grab and eat while the instructors are going over educational stuff because you don’t get much time to eat.

I ate my GoPicnic lunch and drank a lot of Gatorade.

After the break, we all performed our tracks. Here’s where things got kind of tricky. The room we were in wasn’t that big so it was a little crowded. We broke into two assigned groups on each end of the room (we were all still near each other since the room wasn’t huge, we just faced opposite directions). Each big group then broke down into three mini groups (but all standing right next to each other).

In each group, there was 2 to 4 people presenting the same track as you. For example, on Saturday, I was presenting the back track, and there was also two other people in my group presenting the back track. There was also three people in the other group presenting the back track – so six people total performing the back track at the exact same time.

Organized chaos.

This system had disadvantages and advantages. First of all, it was impossible to hear what was going on with six people all teaching their own way and having the music on. You really had to shout at your group to be heard and most of the time I couldn’t even hear what was being said, I just followed the moves.

Since everyone teaches different, people were all saying stuff and calling out moves at different times so this was a bit distracting and could throw you off.

However, if you messed up or were lost, you could just look up and see what someone else was doing. While teaching the back track, I did mess up a little bit on one part. I did a dead row while I should have been doing a clean and press, but I was able to get back on track right away.

Also, if everyone had presented one at a time, it would have taken forever.

I was a little nervous presenting the back track. I thought we would be given time to practice during the day but we weren’t (on the second day we were). You have to start off introducing your track, what muscle group you will be working, how much weight you’ll need on your bar, and demo any moves that need to be – I demonstrated the hang clean and the clean and press.

During the track you need to call out the exercise and tempo. For example, deadlift 3/1, dead row singles, wide grip deadlift 2/2.

I feel like I had an advantage since I have been taking BodyPump for two years. Other people had an advantage because they already taught other classes and were comfortable in front of people, but some people were completely new to BodyPump and had never even taken a BodyPump class.

I think I did really well. I got my choreography right (except that one tiny slip-up) and I called everything out perfect. I even added in things like squeeze your glutes on the way up and hinge from your hips. A big thank you to my current BodyPump teachers for drilling that into my head.

During our presentation, we were video recorded for a short while. After we were done, we were given feedback from the instructor and watched the video. I did everything really good except my timing was a little fast (which it always seems to be on the back track) and I went a little bit to low on my deadlift (even though I called it out correctly).

Even though it was a little nerve racking watching yourself on video, it really shows you what you need to focus on.

The instructor said I did great with the choreography and calling out the cues.

I was really happy with how I did and didn’t feel nervous being up in front of everyone.

We finally left around 7:45 pm, and I got home about 8:30 pm. I was starving when I got home. I ate an Amy’s pizza, Doritos, and cereal. I didn’t sleep well because I ate way too much and I was really sore. I woke up at 6 am to get ready for day #2!

Check back tomorrow for Day #2!



Filed under Fitness, Working Out

Barrels, Beautiful Weather, and Breakfast Burritos

Happy Monday! The weather is finally starting to get nice here in Chicagoland and it’s wonderful!

Here are a few pictures from over the weekend.

On Saturday we went to my dad’s house because he was celebrating the new addition to his bar – a Jack Daniels barrel.


I have mentioned before that the men in my family are big Jack Daniels collectors, and apparently a Jack Daniels barrel is a pretty awesome thing to own.

Marlene made the best dessert that night:


Yes, that is a giant ice cream sandwich. Life doesn’t get much better.

Danny brought the French silk pie sitting neglected in the background.

When we went to Panera on Saturday afternoon, Jaden ordered a black cherry smoothie so on Sunday, he decided that we must recreate the same smoothie at home.



Both smoothies were delicious and if he never ordered it, I would have never thought to use cherries in a smoothie.


In our smoothie:

  • frozen dark cherries
  • black cherry Chobani Greek yogurt
  • almond milk
  • crushed ice

Pretty simple and so good!

On Sunday afternoon, we went for a walk since the weather was so nice out.




I got quite the workout in today:

  • Cardio Fit & Tone Class -60 min. (6am)
  • 5 minute ab workout
  • BodyPump – 60 min (9am)
  • 2 miles outside – nice, slightly windy

I woke up at the wonderful hour of 5 am today to go to the gym. Danny usually gets to the gym at 5:30 am on weekdays so he got to sleep in today. I know a lot of people wake up at 5 am or even earlier, but it’s tough! I usually have some trouble falling asleep at night, so it was extra tough for me to get up this morning, but I did it!

The reason I went to the gym so early is because I am trying to take more classes that the lead fitness instructor/ personal trainer at my gym teaches, and her classes are usually at 6 am. And of course I couldn’t miss BodyPump, so after I got Jaden on the bus, I went back to the gym for BodyPump.

I also had two miles on my 15k training plan for today and I debated switching it to another day, but it was only two miles and I was feeling good, so I just did it. It was a pretty good run and I was able to finish it just over 19 minutes – not bad for me :)


I had breakfast after the cardio class but before I went to BodyPump. I had tortillas leftover from the weekend, so I decided to make a breakfast burrito.


My breakfast burrito included: egg whites, green and orange pepper, spinach, red onion, and a bit of Mexican blend cheese. I would have added salsa but we ate it all over the weekend.

It was nice to have something different for breakfast for a change and it had more protein than my normal breakfast.

Have a great afternoon! I am feeling a little sleepy….

  • What time do you wake up in the morning? Go to sleep?
  • What time do you work out?
  • If you had a choice would you rather cook for yourself or have a personal chef. I like cooking but I would love a personal chef!






Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Recipes, Working Out