[Belated] Oak Scare 5k & Health Fair Recap

Ok I seriously have had this post “in progress” since October 21st.  Seems a little late to recap the Oak Scare event that I helped plan at the Oak Square YMCA the week before Halloween, but I still want to.  Plus if I have any hope of recapping Mania, I best get this out of the way first.  Better late than never, right?!

Anyways, the Oak Scare event is an annual tradition for the Oak Square YMCA and the Brighton community.  There’s a 5k where participants can run, walk, or wheel (in costume!) and then attend a Health Fair in the gym after.  The other coordinators and I put a TON of planning into this event… weekly meetings and follow-up items to make sure everything was organized and set in stone.

The day started bright and early.  By bright and early I mean that we were at the Y at 7am to set up for the race.

We set up the registration tables outside in the parking lot.

Runners began arriving right at 7:30.

Runners got their numbers and started warming up.  Some were even in costume!

We set up the timers, handed out t-shirts, and Lauren & I were given the very important responsibility of hanging the mile markers along the 5k route.  We really could have messed with people with that job!

Runners before the race:

And they’re off!

Meanwhile, while the race was going on the rest of us coordinators and all my wonderful volunteers got the gym set up for the Health Fair.  We were a bit pressed for time, but thankfully we got everything ready just in time as the runners started coming in!

Here are some highlights from the fair itself!

My brother as DJ:

Dunkin Donuts across the street was kind enough to donate coffee and bagels, and we set up a bunch of fruit for runners to grab after the race:

I had my amazing group ex addicts manning my group ex table:

A couple of my awesome cycle instructors instructed people on form and how to set themselves up on the Cycle bikes.  Hi Mom!

Monique manned the Dynamax Medicine Ball station:

Julio rocked some kettlebells:

After a quick pep talk, I lead the Corpbasics girls in a 10 minute Kickboxing performance.  Thank you, ladies, for giving up your Sunday mornings to help out with this!

About 45 minutes into the fair we announced the race winners and gave away some raffle prizes:

And us coordinators got a special thank you shout-out and recognition, which was nice:

Later in the morning we also had Carolyn lead some Family Zumba for the kiddos… and us not so kiddos!

And we can’t forget about the plank challenge!  Theresa took home 1st place with a six and a half-minute plank.  Go Theresa!  P.S. Check out Tim rocking his plank in jeans and a sweater.

We also had tables set up for aquatics, prizes, nutrition, blood pressure, children, fire safety, and more.

Finally, I can’t forget about the vendors/sponsors who donated both products and time to help make our event what it was.

Becca from Mindful Massage:

The folks over at Chobani!  Tons of yogurts donated:

We also received product donations from HINT water.  Which by the way, I had never tried before and I loved it.  So refreshing and light!!

New Balance was there, giving away free swag and representing the community:

And so were my good friends at Fiorella’s Express:

A huge, enormous THANK YOU to these sponsors.  It made our event so much better, and we loved all the great feedback we got about not only your products but about your generosity as well with raffle items, etc.

The Oak Scare 2012 event was a lot of work, but worth it.   I love when a plan comes together!

Have you guys ever planned an event you’ve been really proud of afterwards?

Have a great Wednesday!

Fiorella’s Express: Review & Gift Card Giveaway

If you keep reading this post, you can win a $20 gift card to one of my favorite local establishments.  How’s THAT for making your Tuesday better?!

Fiorella’s Express

A few weeks ago I was afforded the opportunity to meet the folks behind one of my favorite Brighton restaurants, Fiorella’s Express.

Located right in Oak Square at the corner of Tremont and Washington Street, Fiorella’s Express features thin Neapolitan style pizza, hot and cold sandwiches, wraps, salads, and tasty homemade traditional and contemporary Italian favorites including chicken, veal, seafood, and pasta.  The restaurant uses local and fresh ingredients for their menu options, and I can honestly say that this restaurant has been a personal go to choice for when I’m craving take out.  It’s also a fun place to drop in, get some good food, and catch up with a friend.

A Little History
The owner of Fiorella’s Express, Remon Karian, credits his inspiration to his father who began the family legacy with his own Italian restaurant, Cafe Fiorella, in Belmont.  This was the first of the Fiorella chains to open, and it was in his father’s kitchen that Remon discovered his ability and love for cooking.  At the age of 23, he combined the practical experiences and knowledge he gained working in Belmont with the business he learned through his education at Bentley, and Fiorella’s in Newton was born in 2000.  After the Newton restaurant opened, the Belmont location became an Express, and the Brighton Express opened in 2010 to target young professionals as well as the college crowd.

The Food!!
When I went into the restaurant a few weeks ago, I was not expecting such generous hospitality!  The Fiorella’s family, dedicated and committed to making diners feel right at home, brought plate after plate of food out for me.  It was kind of funny because I was there by myself surrounded by so much food!  They really wanted me to try some dishes they consider their healthier options as well as some others, while probably not the healthiest choice, that are definitely crowd favorites.  A couple of points they made sure to emphasize about the food:

  • All their entrees are served with garlic bread
  • They buy locally from places like Russo’s Market
  • They use ingredients only in food to serve for the next day, they don’t extend beyond that to guarantee your food is always fresh
  • They recently just started bottling their marinara sauce and selling them.

Fun fact — I actually saw the sauce jarred and on the shelves at Martignetti’s (where I buy my booze) the same weekend so I snapped a pic.  Note:  Right next to the John Wm Macy’s CheeseCrisps — a past F&F giveaway!

Anyways, check out all the delicious food I got to sample at Fiorella’s Express and then bring home to a VERY excited boyfriend!

1.  Garlic Bread Sticks — Fiorella’s famous signature sticks made with garlic, oil, oregano, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, baked and cut into strips, and served with Fiorella’s signature marinara sauce.  Perfect for a cheat day!  🙂

2.  The Caprese Salad — thick slices of vine ripe tomatoes topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and basil, drizzled with an Italian vinaigrette dressing and a balsamic vinegar glaze on a bed of mixed greens.  This was DELICIOUS, and I’m not sure why I’ve never ordered it before?  I will definitely be ordering this again.  These flavors taste amazing all mixed together!

3.  The Tuna Insalata Solid white Albacore tuna mixed with lemon, capers, kalamata olives, pepperoncini and red onions, served on a bed of romaine and mixed greens with avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a side of our citrus lemonette dressing.  Another healthier option, this was surprisingly good.  I don’t often order tuna when I’m out to eat, but I would definitely order this again — just sans olives since I’m a fake Greek and don’t like them!  I really liked how Fiorella’s doesn’t use any mayo to keep this salad low-fat, but it doesn’t compromise the taste.  Made for a great lunch the next day!

4.  Chicken Gnocchi Fra Diavlo — Chicken simmered in a spicy marinara sauce tossed with potato gnocchi and pecorino Romano cheese.  I was a bit nervous trying this entrée since normally I can’t handle spicy food very well, but this wasn’t too spicy at all!  It had just a nice kick to it but it wasn’t overwhelming.  I normally don’t think to ever order gnocchi either, but I think for a night when I’m craving comfort Italian I would get this again.

5.  Chicken Marsala — Chicken sautéed with mushrooms and onions in a Marsala wine reduction, tossed with penne pasta.  This was decent, but not my favorite.  I honestly think it was because I tried this entrée after having so many of the other really flavorful ones.  Some people really just love chicken Marsala because it’s a traditional dish, but I find it’s sometimes too much pasta for me.  If that’s your thing though — this is for you!

6.  Shrimp Scampi — Succulent shrimp sautéed with fresh garlic in a unique lemon wine sauce, tossed with linguini and pecorino Romano cheese.  I feel the same way about shrimp scampi as I do about chicken Marsala about how much pasta is involved, but let me tell you that these shrimp were GOOD.  I think Fiorella’s should introduce a shrimp salad to their menu using this shrimp — that would be SO tasty!!

A huge thank you to the Fiorella’s family for making me so welcomed in their restaurant and letting me sample all their delicious entrees!  I highly recommend this restaurant, both the main and Express locations, to anyone.  In fact, if you haven’t tried this food yet, you should probably go get some.  Now.

The Giveaway!

Fiorella’s Express has kindly offered to give away a $20 gift card to one lucky Fitness & Feta reader!  THANK YOU!

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me which pictured food above you think you would like the best.  You can receive a second entry into the giveaway by liking both the Fiorella’s Express Facebook page AND the Fitness & Feta Facebook page.  You have to like both pages for this entry to count, and make sure to leave an extra comment telling me you did so.

The giveaway will close Thursday night (8/23) at 11:59pm, and I will announce the winner on Friday morning.  Good luck!!

Weekend, Weekly Workouts, Weekly Goals

Hello, Monday.

Weekend

This weekend I:

Got to meet the folks behind Fiorella’s and sample lots and lots of delicious food…

Fell in love with a new brewski…

Drank said brewskis and munched on Tim’s Super Awesome Spinach Artichoke Dip (sans mayo, I thought it was just as tasty!) while hanging out on the porch with our friends Baka and Esk…

Went to the sweatiest Hour of Power yoga class of all time…

Made these bad boys

Consumed way too many liquid calories at the “Blendah Bendah…”

And had a MUCH needed rainy Sunday… perfect excuse for a day off from working out, blogging, and doing much of anything.  I slept in, spent a lot of time on the couch watching The Wire (anyone else watch The Wire?  Thoughts?), and I also watched the Olympics.  I love watching gymnastics and synchronized diving, but they both give me anxiety to watch.  These athletes are not only amazing for being so fit and awesome at what they do, but how the heck do they not (visibly) shake and tremble as they’re standing at the end of of the diving board on their tiptoes or getting up on the balance beam?!  So crazy to me.

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts

I had a stellar exercise week last week, thanks to Week 1 of Best Body Bootcamp!  Here’s what my week ended up looking like in fitness:

  • Sunday:  Off
  • Monday:  BBB Workout 1 (20 minutes 60/60 HIIT cardio on the elliptical + upper body supersets), then taught this core workout in my Core Strength class
  • Tuesday:  Two A Day Tuesday!  Took 1 hour of Kickboxing, then taught BBB Workout 2 (lower body supersets)  in my Circuit class along with an upper body pyramid and some ab work
  • Wednesday:  BBB Workout 3 (this 45 minute elliptical interval workout plus 3 rounds of the ab circuit)
  • Thursday:  BBB Workout 4 (20 minutes steady cardio on the elliptical, then taught the total body supersets in my Circuit class)
  • Friday:  Taught Cardio & Core class (20 minutes Cutz/20 minutes Kix/20 minutes floor work)
  • Saturday:  Went to the sweatiest hour of power class at Prana Power Yoga I’ve ever been to

This Week’s Workouts

  • Sunday:  Off
  • Monday:  One of BBB Week 2’s superset workouts + 20 minutes 60/60 HIIT cardio + teaching Core Strength
  • Tuesday:  Two A Day Tuesday!  1 hour of Kickboxing, then teaching one of BBB Week 2’s superset workouts in Circuit
  • Wednesday:  TBD… I have PT in the morning, but I may cancel.  Definitely doing another 45 minute cardio interval workout either way!
  • Thursday:  20 minutes steady state cardio + teaching the third BBB Week 3’s superset workout in Circuit
  • Friday:  Teaching 6am Cardio & Core class again
  • Saturday:  Off or TBD

Weekly Goals

Last week my weekly goals were to drink more water and to do my hip stretches every day.

I did do my hip stretches every day and my hip is feeling good.  I drank more water for sure Monday and Tuesday, but then started to slack off a bit.  I think I’ll try to focus on both again as a joint goal 1, but this week I’m adding on to get more sleep.  Last week I literally got 6 hours of sleep each night and I was paying for it by the time Friday came around.  Getting enough sleep is definitely something I never do — maybe even my UNhealthiest habit.

What did you guys do this weekend?  What’s your favorite event to watch in the Olympics?  How did last week’s workouts go and what’s the plan for this week?  Any health and fitness goals you’d like to make for yourselves this week?

Have a fab Monday!