F&F Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  Enjoy my favorite internet finds of the week!

Friday Favorites


— My friend Monique recently teamed up with her friend Jess of Lovage to come up with a seven minute “Mommy’s Moves” workout video that was featured in the first Lovage newsletter.  Check out the video here!  Very cool!

— A fun workout that my friend Jen posted this week was this strength and cardio interval workout.  Looks like a good one!  Can’t wait to try it.

Lindsay provides us with another reminder on just how important it is to rest our bodies and not overdo it with exercise.


— Bored of your typical salad?  Here are 20 summer salads for something different this season.

— A healthy spin on brownies, made with sweet potato?  Thank you, Lindsay!  Must bake these.

— After my pecan crusted carrot cake was a big hit at Easter, I’ve been dying to bake something else carroty.  This week Little Miss Runshine posted a recipe for whole wheat carrot cake muffins.  Score!


— Does anyone else find they waste an incredibly obnoxious amount of paper towels?  I definitely do.  Look at this eco-friendly solution!  So cute too.

— Has anyone read the book Wheat Belly?  It’s on my list of summer reading, right after I finish reading my current selection of How to Eat Organic on a Budget.  Anyways, this post from Stephanie caught my eye this week and has a lot of good insight into both sides of the debate (to wheat or not to wheat).

— And finally, the hottest new workout trend.  If you only click one link today, please make it this one.

Any fun things you’ve stumbled upon this week?  Link em up in the comments!

Wellness at Work: Walking Wednesdays

Yesterday I worked out of our Fall River site, which may sound like a pain because it’s a much longer commute from the Boston area, but I don’t mind it because it’s a nice excuse to see my family that lives down there.  After my work day, I met up with Papou and Auntie Paula at the new Jerry Remy’s.

Fall River


I ordered a delicious summer berry salad to start.  I haven’t had poppyseed dressing in so long!  I also enjoyed a turkey burger (sans bun) and some sweet potato fries.  Yum.

Jerry Remy's Berry Salad

Jerry Remy's Turkey Burger

It was nice to catch up with my family.  Auntie Paula and I spent a lot of time talking about work site wellness programs, as she has been tasked with creating a wellness program at her work as well.  We talked not only about different ideas we’re each trying to carry out, but we also talked a lot about resistance.  We mentioned the barriers and challenges that I’m sure every company faces in the infancy of their wellness programs (executive buy in, worries about cost, what’s the long-term benefit), but we actually spent quite some time discussing resistance at the staff level.

For example, Auntie Paula recently created a lunchtime wellness event that she dubbed the “lunchtime walk, run, or jog.”  She made signs, everyone seemed excited about the hype, and then guess what?  A whopping one person showed up.

How sad.  But I think this happens often.  Of course, if a wellness culture is promoted from the top down at a company it’s probably not as bad, but people always have an excuse to make.  That’s what happened with Auntie Paula – she heard it all!  It’s too hot.  It’s too cold.  It’s raining.  I’m tired today.  I’m busy today.  I forgot my sneakers.  Maybe tomorrow.  Monday.  But is there really anything truly magic about Monday?  There’s always going to be something you could make an excuse over.  Self included!

don't make excuses make progress

It’s mind-boggling to me the excuses people are willing to make, whether it be in regards to a work site wellness program, cooking a healthy meal at home, or actually using a gym membership.  I’m even going to go out on a limb and say that in the time spent making excuses, someone could go for a ten minute brisk walk and complete 1/3 of their recommended daily physical activity for the day! Nevermind the benefits they’d feel in terms of productivity, energy levels, stress levels… the list goes on.  Or if you add up the time spent on the Internet, yakking away, in the lunch line, etc…. don’t complain to me about not having time.


Oy!  I could go on and on about this all day because it drives me nutsBut that would be negative, and I’m here to encourage and foster excitement and passion for a healthy lifestyle, not gripe.  So instead I will tell you that the key with obtaining buy-in from those who make excuses all the time is accepting them where they are.  Accepting that they simply aren’t ready for big changes or commitment.  And that’s where starting small with something manageable is key for lasting changes.  This is a key component behind the beauty of wellness coaching.  And it works.

Instead of hosting a big lunchtime event, or pushing for activity every day, I have recently implemented “Walking Wednesdays” with my group at work.  I try to increase my steps in many other ways during my workday, but for those that need that extra push, Walking Wednesdays is just once a week and provides a group camaraderie and motivation aspect.  And you just have to know how to respond to the excuses.

No time?  Use it as an opportunity to discuss an upcoming project or brainstorm with a co-worker.
Raining?  Let’s take the indoor route instead.
Not ready for stairs?  Walk a lap around the building, take one flight today.  Next week, go for two.
Too cold?  Here, you can borrow my jacket.
Have another meeting then?  I’ll go with you now instead so you don’t have to miss out.

You also have to know when to just let something be.  Please don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no issue at all with people just starting out, at a beginner level, inexperienced, whatever.  I don’t care if you are the fittest person in the entire world or if you’ve never worn a pair of sneakers in your entire life.  I just get frustrated when people don’t just try… because in all aspects of life, not even just in regards to wellness, just trying and giving something your best is SO important.

I’ve said before that one of the easiest (and cheapest!) ways to get people up and moving more is simply by walking.


And I’ll be out there, every Wednesday (at least).  Work friends, I hope you’ll join me.

Do you know anyone that always makes excuses?  Do any of you work for companies that offer wellness programs?  If so, I’d love to connect and find out more about what’s offered, challenges faced, and get some new ideas!

For more of my “Wellness at Work” series, check out these posts:

Train Like an Animal

Whew, I am sore today!

Last night I unfortunately didn’t make it to the gym in time for Kickboxing due to staying late at work, hitting a little traffic, and having a minor playlist panic attack.  However, all was well and I did manage to sneak in 15 minutes of sprint intervals on the spin bike before teaching my Interval class.  My animal class, I should say.

A couple of weeks ago I was g-chatting about fitness related things with Monique (shocker), and she told me she had one of her classes do bunny hops across the floor.  This lead to a conversation about our favorite across the floor moves, which then prompted me to remember a bootcamp workout I taught a LONG time ago.  In this particular class, everyone was laughing at me because a ton of the exercises were [unintentionally] named after animals.

After remembering this, I decided it would be fun to come up with as many exercises as I could think of that mimic animal movements.  Surprisingly, I didn’t have a hard time coming up with a pretty big list!  I also used the world-wide web to find some new-to-me exercises as well.

Here’s the workout I put together:

Train Like an Animal WorkoutIn a group exercise setting, I divided the class into two groups.  I had group one do the across the floor traveling move while group two did the plyo exercises.  Then they swapped.  With that version, the plyo move ends up being done for a little more than 60 seconds.  If you are doing this on your own, just do it like I indicated in my workout graphic.  It would be fun to do with a workout friend as well!  For explanations of moves, I would just search them or you can feel free to contact me with any questions.

Some of these moves were tough!  Animals must have really strong inner thighs because so many of the moves ended up looking like this in some way, shape, or form:

Inner Thigh Squat

Baha awk.  My legs were seriously shaking when I got home though!

Also, CLEARLY an animal themed class wouldn’t be complete with an animal themed playlist.  Welcome to the jungle, my friends!

Animal Workout Playlist

Perfect beast mode workout, if you ask me.

What’s your favorite “animal” exercise?  What about your favorite “animal” song?  Did I miss any of your favorites? for either?

A couple of runner up exercises that I wrote down but didn’t use in this workout included beast crawls, the alligator, and frog glute lifts.  Don’t worry though, we stretched with cat/cow!