TRANSFORMER WITH DISQ CLASS AT CRUNCH

Crunch is always one of the first to bring you the latest in group fitness. The gym that brought you Crunch Live is now bringing you another hi-tech workout, Transformer with Disq. I was recently invited to try out the latest “it” class with top Crunch instructors Kelley and Justin. So what is Transformer with Disq? The Disq “is is a resistance-cable based device used for strength and cardio workouts. The device is composed of a pair of hip-mounted retractable resistance cables that thread through pulleys on each ankle and then are pulled by straps in your hands. The resistance wheels can be adjusted to any level and can be used with a range of exercises–from running and squatting to plyometrics to dancing and boxing.” Imagine your every day movements with resistance bands around your ankles and wrists.

Transformer with Disq class at Crunch Gym

The workout was broken up in multiple phases: the warmup, cardio, lower body, cardio, upper body, cardio, core, and the cool down. Within the first few minutes I got my heart rate pumping and sweat flowing. The class adhered to high intensity interval training (HIIT). We were split into groups and did a series of exercises for 30 seconds at a time with very little rest time. During the “rest” period, we switched sides and exercises with the other team. If it hadn’t been for the timer at the front of the class, I could’ve sworn there actually was no rest time. By the time I crossed the room it was time to start a new series of exercises.

Transformer with Disq class at Crunch Gym
Transformer with Disq class at Crunch

While the movements were neither difficult nor advanced, the little bit of resistance provided by the cables was all I needed to get my thighs and calves burning after multiple side shuffles, squats, squat jumps, and jumping jacks. It’s my fault really. At first tug, I didn’t think the cable provided much resistance so I kept the resistance on high for the duration of the 45 minute workout. I seem to be underestimating the difficulty of workouts lately, like I did with Kerboomka. I was sore for about three days thereafter.

THE PROS:
*Low impact and easy on the joints.
*For all fitness levels – resistance can be adjusted per your fitness level.
*The Disq is roughly $300 per unit but are provided for class members.
*Man-friendly. This is one class that even guys will want to take.
*Exclusivity. Unlike other fitness trends, this one is only available at Crunch for the time being.
*Fun.

THE CONS:
*The Disq is worn at the waist. For a moment I was worried that the waist band would not fit me. I worry that other women who may be larger than I am cannot fit them and be discouraged.
*Not portable unless you purchase the $300 Disq.

Transformer with Disq classes are available nationwide exclusively at your local Crunch Gyms beginning today. Critics from the Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times love it, and you will too.

You may be worried that you’ll get tangled up in the cables. You won’t. Or you may be worried that you’re not coordinated enough. It doesn’t matter. Transformer with Disq is worth trying out at least once…even if it’s to grab a cool Instagram photo of you looking like an iRobot.

Crunch Live review
(More Please)

5 MORE HEALTHY FOODS THAT ARE NOT ALWAYS HEALTHY

You all loved the last time I shared five healthy foods that are not always healthy. So I decided to share more. The purpose of these posts is not to suck the fun out of eating or make you think that you “can’t” eat anything. The purpose is to make you aware of what you are eating to empower and equip you with the tools to make better decisions. Whether you want to eat better or lose a few pounds, watch out for the these sneaky foods that are disguised as healthy foods, but don’t always help you accomplish your goals. Here are 5 more healthy foods that are not always healthy.

Jiro dreams of sushi tuna

1. SUSHI
What could be unhealthy about fish and rice? Most sushi platters come with a minimum of 12 pieces of sushi. The raw fish and seaweed are nothing to be worried about, but imagine all the rice. Combine the rice of 12 pieces of sushi and you have more than you would normally consume. Each sushi piece is about 60 calories. 60 x 12 = 720 calories. If you love sushi rolls, be mindful of the “spicy” kind slathered in spicy mayo. It can add an extra 100-200 calories. Lastly, be mindful of how much soy sauce you use. Soy sauce is high in sodium and can make you retain water.

The Lean Choice – I like to order sashimi (yes, it’s just raw fish and it’s DELISH) with miso soup and/or a salad.

salad toppings
Source: FoodBrag

2. SALAD TOPPINGS
Some of our favorite salad toppings are sabotaging the good we’re doing eating the salad in the first place. Cheese, croutons, candied nuts, and gobs of creamy dressings can add up to an extra 200-400 calories each. We might as well eat a burger, right?

The Lean Choice – If you’re looking for some crunch in your salads, opt for peppers, cucumbers, onions, and seeds. They’re lower in calories and will keep you feeling fuller. As for the dressing, ask for it on the side. I like to dip my fork in my dressing and then grab lettuce. It allows me to control how much dressing I consume and I can actually taste my salad!

5 Healthy Foods That Are Not Always Healthy

3. DRIED FRUIT
The a cup of dried fruit has two to three times more sugar than its fresh equivalent. That’s because when fruit is dried or dehydrated, the water is removed and the fruit becomes much denser. Imagine the difference between eating a cup of grapes versus a cup of raisins. Think of all the grapes it took to make a cup of raisins. Also, some companies add extra sugar to tart fruits like cranberries to make them more appealing to our pallets.

The Lean Choice – Mix your dried fruit with nuts and seeds…lots of seeds! Or if you’re bored with your fresh fruit, try freezing them. Frozen grapes and frozen bananas are delicious and make you feel like you’re eating dessert.

5 Healthy Foods That Are Not Always Healthy

4. WASABI PEAS
I love these things. And they’re vegetables so they’re good for you right? Some brands fry their wasabi peas to get that crunch exterior before coating them in the white wasabi powder. Also, the wasabi powder is often combined with salt, sugar, and oil. While these little guys are usually only 150 calories for a 1/3 cup…we all know eating just a 1/3 cup is difficult.

The Lean Choice – Go for the steamed edameme. Or if you’re not ready to give these guys up like I am, mix 1/3 cup with some unsalted popcorn.

5 More Healthy Foods That Are Not Always Healthy
Source: Olahuna

5. ENERGY BARS
These magic bars claim to be high in vitamins, protein, and performance enhancing minerals, but many are glorified candy bars with enriched flour, added sugars in various forms, and a bunch of ingredients I just don’t know how to pronounce. As always, read the back of the label not the front. You’ll find that some are filled with crap on top of crap.

The Lean Choice – I love Quest Bars, Kind Bars, and Lara Bars. They’re all 200 calories or less and made with things I know how to pronounce!

5 More Healthy Foods That Are Not Always Healthy
Source: My Whole Food Life

6. GRANOLA
Ok, so I lied. I’m listing six more healthy foods that are not always healthy and not five. Granola is not new. In order to get the crispy, crunch texture we all love it’s cooked in oil and added sugar. Not to mention it’s always filled with dried fruit, nuts, or chocolate. Mmm, chocolate.

The Lean Choice – Try a cup of Kashi cereal in your yogurt parfait for that added crunch or make your own granola with toasted oats, seeds, and coconut.

Time To Sound Off: How do you avoid the food trap? What are some healthy eating tips you use in your life?

KERBOOMKA AT ATHLETA

This week’s workout of the week is from Kerboomka. I was invited to experience Kerboomka with co-founders Kershel Anthony and Nikki Pebbles at the Athleta Flatiron location in NYC – how exciting! Kerboomka is the latest in dance cardio, like Zumba but less Brazilian and more American hip-hop and pop influenced. The moves are taught in counts of eight like a professional dance class, but are more broken down so beginners and dance aficionados alike can enjoy.

Kerboomka

Athleta

I honestly didn’t expect much walking into Athleta. How hard can a little “cardio dance” be? I hadn’t even eaten breakfast – that shows you how arrogant I was. But do not take this workout for granted, friends! While it IS a lot of fun and time passes quickly, in the span of 45 minutes you’re doing lots of squats, lunges, jumps, while engaging your core and flexing your muscles. I QUICKLY worked up a sweat as you can see from my photo with the Kerboomka team.

Kerboomka

Kershel is an over-the-top group fitness instructor. At first I was a bit taken aback by his giant personality, but I grew to love his passion for fitness and inspire others to MOVE. His energy was infectious. You couldn’t help but laugh and have fun learning the dance moves. It’s a good thing he has Nikki to balance him because she is zen like your best friend. Kerboomka is not the traditional cardio workout that I’m used to or prefer, but it was a lot of fun. Women of all shapes and sizes can do this at any fitness level and I’m all for that. The most important thing about exercise is that you do it, love it, and do it often. Watch a sample of the workout below.

**Disclaimer: I am NOT a great dancer. I used to think I was. USED TO.**

By the end of class you leave having learned a full routine and feeling like Jennifer Lopez. Check out Kerboomka when they launch their studio classes September at Ripley Grier Studios, or dance in the privacy of your own home and avoid embarrassment by purchasing the DVD.

Thanks to Athleta for hosting and having me for the free Kerboomka class. They were kind enough to rearrange their store for us. The danger of hosting group fitness classes at fit apparel stores like Athleta is that I’m SUPER tempted to leave the store with everything in hand. Look at all the pretty stuff. And beware, the swimsuits are currently on sale!

Athleta
Athleta
Athleta

POWER RINGS

I love wearing my race medal out in public the day after a marathon. It’s the ultimate statement piece that says “hey, I just did something amazing and I’m pretty awesome.” If it was socially acceptable to wear race medals everyday, I would, but it’s not. So what so I choose instead are rings for the daily.

power rings

Empower Ring | Urban Outfitter’s | House of Harlow | Erica Sara | David Yurman | Vita Fede

There’s a recent trend that encourages women to wear right-hand rings, you know, to prove the point that you don’t need a certain left-hand ring (or man) to feel special. But rather than calling it a right-hand ring, I call these bold pieces my POWER rings because they command attention. Like my medals, they say “hey, I think I’m pretty awesome.”

These six are some of my favorite finds because they’re regal and glamorous. They’re all brands I’ve tried or own, and love. They’re all intricately detailed and also combine both masculine and feminine elements. And most importantly vary in price. No matter which you choose, people won’t be able to help but notice. Wearing rings is one of the best business decisions I’ve been given. Rings are like my medal. They command attention and are your crown for the every day.

Whatever hand you so choose to wear your power ring on, wear it like the queen you are.

5 WAYS TO WALK MORE WITHOUT GETTING ON A TREADMILL

Yesterday I shared on my Instagram how running has changed my life and body. While I love running and often share how much I love it, it’s not for everyone. You don’t always need speed or high intensity to experience the benefits of exercise. Walking is a great low-impact alternative and has many benefits like better heart health, a lower risk of diabetes, slimming your waist, boosts your metabolism, improves sleep, improves your sex life, and more.

5 Ways to Walk More Without Getting On the Treadmill
Shoes : Asics GEL-Lyte

The daily recommended amount of steps is 10,000, which equals five miles. The average American takes 5,117 steps per day. There is no evidence (I could find) that New Yorkers walk more, but even if they did I can assure you that not every New Yorker walks fives miles daily. Five miles is nearly the length of Manhattan. My point is that everyone can benefit from walking more. Here are five ways to incorporate more steps into your daily life without using the treadmill to burn fat and more.

1. Get off the subway one stop before your destination. The average distance between subway stops is approximately .25 miles. If you take the subway one-stop away from your home and get off one stop before your office building, that adds up to an extra half mile walked. Do that twice a day (to and from work) and you’ve already collected 2,500 more steps, which is one mile.

2. Take the stairs. It doesn’t matter if you’re going up or down. Taking the stairs means that you’re not only adding steps to your day but it’s also strengthening different muscles for longer, leaner legs.

3. Take a (longer) lunch. Many of us don’t take the 30-60 minute lunch break required by law. Use some of your time to walk to a restaurant that’s a bit further than your usual spot. Or use a portion of your lunch break to walk around the block with a coworker. Another option is to head to the park for some sun. Not only will the walking burn calories, but getting fresh air during your work day is a great stress reliever. Also, the vitamin D from the sun will help burn fat. Multiple benefits here!

4. Take conference calls standing and pacing. This will not only help increase your steps throughout the day, but it will help you be more confident and assertive on the phone. Standing makes you feel strong, powerful, and capable. Not only will your heart thank you, but so will your career!

5. Send fewer emails and make fewer phone calls. Get off your butt, walk, and talk to your coworker down the hall. Take meetings outside of your office. Schedule dates with friends after work. The change of scenery will will break the monotony of your day and add another destination to which you have to walk.

Doubling your steps in a day isn’t realistic. Remember that change doesn’t come over night and it’s about taking one step at a time.

Do you have a trick you use to walk more? Share below in the comments section. I’d love to try it!