Halloween at the Gym!

Hello, friends.

Is everyone enjoying Halloween?  Does anyone get dressed up for work?  My friend Shannon gets dressed up for work every year, and she always has the best costumes.  While I didn’t get dressed up for work today, I did try my best to sport some Halloween colors/gear.

Orange shirt + black and orange beads.  That counts for some effort right?

My main Halloween effort this year was (surprise) at the gym.  I didn’t really have any Halloween parties or anything to attend over the weekend, but Liz and I turned our Two A Day Tuesday classes into a party of their own.

^^ Hip abductions from Best Body Bootcamp

We encouraged our Kickboxing and Circuit Training members to dress in costume for “Halloween Eve.”

Liz and I totally planned our 80’s workout gear.  For those of you who are wondering:

  • Yes, we’re sporting leotards.
  • Yes, we’re sporting leg warmers.
  • Yes, I had not one but two of each already in my closet at home.  And the yellow tights.
  • Yes, Liz brought us fishnet gloves and glo bracelets.

Oh, and finally, yes.  We’re that cool.

Liz rocked an 80’s playlist for Kickboxing, and I (in true Athena fashion) put together a little Halloween theme.  Check out this gem of a playlist:

Honestly, one of my favorite themed playlists to date.  Just don’t pay any attention to the “explicit” next to Evil Woman.  I made my valid Group Ex Coordinator attempt to lower the volume when Mike Posner belted the word “sh*t” in the middle of the song.  It was too fun a song to not include it.  Even if Workout Cruella wanted to yell that I was an evil woman at that point in class for too much leg work.  #sorryimnotsorry

Some lessons learned from Lessons learned from Halloween group ex classes:

  1. Two hours of Kickboxing & Circuit class while wearing a leotard, tights, and leggings is NOT the same as two hours of ballet wearing the same outfit.  (I seriously was huffing and puffing by the end of my supersets!!)
  2. When the instructor wears said outfit above, new members in class think they are being punked.
  3. Theme classes are NOT the same with Miss Jen & Miss Ashley!!  I missed you guys.

At the end of class, Liz and I gave away fun Halloween goodie bags to any class members that did dress up in costume or wore black and orange.  Hurricane Sandy was the perfect excuse to spend some time putting together prizes!

Halloween beads, Halloween tattoos, Halloween treat bags…

And Halloween “pumpkintines!”

How cute is that idea for a healthy Halloween trick or treat?!  I mean, I couldn’t give away candy at the gym so these were perfect.  I had a little too much fun decorating each one though.  I was originally going to make them all look like this (where I saw the idea!), but then decide making different faces on each one was way more fun.

I brought some in to work today for my co-workers as well.  Again, as the one pushing for Health & Wellness at our company, I couldn’t bring in candy.

Anyways, both Jen & Ashlee posted pictures of their goodie bags when they got home from class last night:

These pumpkintines are so cute that I don’t want to eat them!

Last night was super fun, so thanks to everyone that came to class and especially thanks to everyone that came dressed in a costume.  I’ll be rocking the themed playlist tomorrow morning at 6am, but I’m not encouraging costumes because let’s be honest, that’s a lot of effort for 5:30 in the morning.  Please come and work off any candy you eat tonight!

Questions I’d love for you to answer in the comments:  Has anyone else’s gyms or group ex classes ran any Halloween themes before?  Did you dress up this year at all?  Are you celebrating tonight?  Any other creative ideas for healthy Halloween treats?

I am taking an off day today and heading to Slesh’s apartment tonight.  We’re going to try our hand at another healthy Halloween dinner… stay tuned for how it turns out!

October Foodie Penpal Reveal

Happy Halloween!!

Halloween stuff later, food stuff now…

I loved participating in The Lean Green Bean’s Foodie Pen Pal program so much last month that I signed up right away to participate again in October.  Out of all the people who take part in this program from all over the country, I got paired this month with Barbara (B) who is a local Massachusetts gal!  I know exactly where her town is and everything…so funny…and small world!

Before I get into the good stuff, here’s a breakdown of how this program works.

Foodie Penpals:  How it Works

–> On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email.  It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

–> You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail.

–> On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

–> The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items, or even homemade treats!  The spending limit is $15.  The box must also include something written.  This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe… use your imagination!

–> You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

–> Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers.  If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received.  If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

–> Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only.

If this sounds fun to you, just CLICK HERE and fill out the form to participate!  Remember anyone can participate whether you are a blogger or not, which is one of my favorite parts of this program. 

Alright, now onto the good stuff!

Foodie Penpals:  October Goodies

B sent me a package “full of a few of her favorite things,” as her card informed me!

First up, a package of Q’s Nuts.

These are healthy-ish tasty nuts that come in a variety of fun flavors.  B sent me banana foster flavored cashews (have I ever mentioned that I love banana flavors?!) and I pretty much inhaled the entire bag the minute I opened them.  Good thing it was only a 2.5 ounce bag!  Q’s is actually located right in Somerville, so I have a feeling there may be more of these in my future.

Next, apple crackle!
(How fun is that to say out loud?  Go ahead, say it.  Apple crackle!)

I’m not going to lie, when I saw this in the package my first thought was that it looked like leaves or tree bark.  Then I read B’s card and she wrote, “Looks like leaves but a good way to deter hungry eyes.”  I was glad she thought so too!  These are definitely not the prettiest looking snack, but they are sweet and crunchy.  I don’t think I could eat too many of these on their own (probably a good thing!), but they are tasty mixed in yogurt and I bet they’d make for a good cereal too.  I also think they’d make a great topping for the next thing I bake… hmm…

Next up:  Pumpkin & Spice Mix.

This packet is from a little company called Life’s Little Pleasures up in Londonderry, NH.  Take a look at their site — I think it’s so cute.  Barbara wrote that this pumpkin and spice spread mix is perfect in cream cheese, but she also said she loves using it in a pumpkin trifle recipe.  And then she also sent the recipe… I think this would be the perfect dessert to make for Friends-Giving in November!

I also think that now I have a good excuse to buy a trifle dish.  🙂

Finally, the last (and my favorite) part of the package was a salad dressing.

“But Athena, why is the salad dressing your favorite thing when you got all the yummy deliciousness you already talked about above?”

Because!  Calareso’s farm stand is the farm stand that my grandparents used to take my brother, sister, and I to when we were little.  It’s right down the street from where their house used to be in Reading, MA.  When I read in Barbara’s card that this “vidalia onion dressing hails from one of my favorite farm stands” and then I looked at the bottle more closely I got really excited.  This brings back so many memories, and I can’t wait to try it.  The only reason I haven’t tried it yet is because we have like four *almost* empty salad dressing containers in the fridge.  I’m determined to finish those first.

Thank you so much, B, for the fun things you sent me this month!  I love them!

Which of the items above would you want to try the most?  Q’s Nuts, Apple Crackle, the Pumpkin & Spice Mix, or the Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing?

Hope everyone has a fun Halloween!!  Stay safe!

Hurricane Day at Home

Hello, hello.

Is everyone surviving the hurricane?  Yesterday I worked from home throughout the day.  Not much to talk about there, but here are a few details:

Breakfast was a batch of whole wheat honey chia seed pancakes.

The Y was closed and all classes canceled, but I was determined to still get a workout in.  My Best Body Bootcamp plans weren’t going to work from home since my weights at home are too light for me and I don’t have any at home cardio equipment, so I ended up changing up a workout I found on Pinterest to make it my own.

I did it twice through for a 30 minute no equipment necessary at home workout that left me shakin’ and sweaty!  I was getting antsy holed up in the apartment, so this is just what I needed.  Was anyone else able to sneak in a workout despite the weather?  If not, and you are finding yourself in need of a workout that doesn’t require you to go to the gym… this is for you.

Lunch was a new combo that Tim invented:

Chicken & Eggplant Lunch Bowl


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 graffiti eggplants, sliced and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large container sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat 1 tbsp EVOO on a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, salt, and pepper.  Once the onions become translucent, add the cubed chicken and 3 cloves of garlic.
  3. In another skillet, heat the other 1 tbsp EVOO.  Add the mushrooms, eggplant, and 2 cloves of garlic.
    Note – we did this because we don’t have a ginormous skillet.  If you do, you could do all together. 
  4. Continue cooking skillet #1 until chicken is done.  Toss often, about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Continue cooking skillet #2 until veggies are tender.  With about two minutes left, add the diced tomato to the veggie skillet.
  6. Combine the ingredients from both skillets into one big bowl.  Add cannellini beans and mix all together.
  7. Optional:  Toss with cheese of choice, and serve!

Psyched for leftover lunches throughout the week.

And dinner was a tuna melt.  Not pictured, but still delicious.  Three cheese tuna melt, to be exact.  Totally underrated.

How did you guys survive the hurricane?  Any good eats or at home workouts to share?

Most important happening of the day – NON hurricane, food, or workout related:  One of my best friends in the entire world got ENGAGED!  Congratulations to Katrina and Geoff, I am so incredibly happy and excited for the two of you.  What hurricane?!?!  Yayyyy!