Should You Pass on Classpass?

Answer is NO!

If you haven’t heard of it, Classpass is an app that grants you access to a plethora of fitness studios in your respective city. I live in Atlanta and there are hundreds of fitness studios that I now have access to through Classpass.

The reason that I love fitness studios is because the trainers truly push you to your max, and give you new exercises that you may not have known about prior… And if you’re like me and need a bit of competition to get you going – it’s a great motivator!

The one factor that I dislike about fitness studios… the COST! It is SO expensive. In Atlanta, the average price of a fitness class, whether that be cycle (my favorite!), barre, interval trainings, strength based trainings or anything else is anywhere between $25-$35 per class. Memberships vary anywhere from $110-$400 per month depending on the studio and type of class. Personally, I love going to spin classes but those tend to be the most expensive.

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Aaaand that is how we got to Classpass! There are several different types of memberships – a 3x per month intro offer, 5x per month and 10x per month. I normally do a 5x per month package and it’s only $55. That breaks down to about $11 per class! WHAT A STEAL!

The caveat is that depending on which program you have, you are restricted to how many times you can visit each studio. For example, on my 5 classes per month package, I can only visit the same studio twice within the same membership cycle (1 month). TBH, I’m totally okay with this because it pushes me to try out new studios and new workouts!

If you’d like to sign up to test Classpass out, click on the link and you’ll get $40 off your first month! YEAHHHH who doesn’t like to save monies?!

What is your favorite workout class? 

Have you ever tried Classpass, and did you like it? Why/why not?!

Xo, Dev

Are You Eating Enough?

Many people think that the only way to lose weight is to starve themselves. There are SO many diets out there that include restricting your diet so heavily that you constantly feel hungry. WHO wants to be on a diet where you feel hungry all the time? More so, who wants to be on a DIET in general!?

Fun fact: You don’t actually need to starve yourself to lose weight. Feed yourself, people!! 

I have been one of those people. I have eaten far less than what I should. And not only that, I haven’t been eating the RIGHT things either! Well, it’s a lot easier than you think to make sure you eat the right things, and enough of them to help you along your fitness journey.

MACROS

What are these? There are three macro-nutrients, Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein. Fat has 9 calories per gram, while carbs and protein have 4 calories per gram.

IIFYM (If it fits your macros) is my absolute favorite macro calculator. You input your gender, height, weight, activity level and goals (if you want to lose weight, maintain or bulk) and it calculates how many calories I need in order to achieve my goal, and it breaks it down by macro group. For example, my macros are below:

Macros

So now that you have the macros down, how do you determine what to put into your meals?

First… PLAN. PLAN. PLAN.

What is your schedule like? When do you like to eat? Do you do intermittent fasting? Do you like to have three main meals or six small meals? It doesn’t matter what you like, it’s just important that you can figure out your meal schedule so that you can plan your meals accordingly.

Example of a full day of meals for me:

  • Breakfast – 1 C Steel Cut Oats with Cinnamon, 1 Med Banana
  • Lunch – 6 oz Grilled Chicken breast, 1 C White Rice, 2 C spinach cooked, 1/4 Onion sliced
  • Snack – Protein Shake
  • Dinner – Spinach Salad with Tuna, Tomatoes and Avocado. 1 tsp Italian Dressing

So much food right here!!! And it all fits inside my macros. The key is to make sure you are eating the RIGHT things, and it should align with your macro goals.

Xo, Dev

5 Healthy Ways to Cook Chicken

Whenever I think of “healthy meals” I always resort to grilled chicken, brown rice and broccoli. How BORING, amirite?! I believe a lot of people fall off the health bandwagon because of these types of thoughts.

Well, I’m here to tell you that there is SO much more to healthy food than that! You can be so creative with what you eat so that it keeps you interested, and you continue to eat right.

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Instead of giving you some recipes today, I am going to talk about 5 ways to cook chicken that will most definitely keep you coming back for more! This way, you can put your own spin to the cooking styles, and enjoy for meals to come.

COOKING STYLES:

Grilled

I like my grilled chicken super simple, so I usually take my chicken breasts and season them with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Plus, this helps the flavor of the grill come through in the meat. Make sure the grill is clean and oiled up (don’t overkill it) and lay the chicken on the grill. You really don’t want to overcook the chicken (165 internal temp is ideal) so using a fire that’s between 375-400 Fahrenheit will work perfectly.

TIP: Pounding out the chicken before grilling will help even out the temperature throughout the breast, This will help ensure that the thinner edges don’t get overcooked while the thicker middle is undone.

Baked

Baking is an easy way to keep chicken moist, but it’s also an easy way to overcook and dry the chicken out. You’re going to want to heat your oven to 450 degrees and bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes. This will allow for a nice crispy outer layer, and a tender, moist inside.

TIP: I like to season my baked chicken with Mrs. Dash lemon pepper. GUYS. SO. GOOD. Try it, you’ll thank me later.

Roasted

The main difference between roasting and baking is the form of the meat you are cooking. Generally you will ROAST a whole chicken, while you would BAKE a breast or thigh. Roasted chicken is amazing, and there are so many options to stuff it, season it or cook with vegetables and potatoes.

Poached

Poaching can be seen as boring, but it’s a good healthy way to cook your poultry. It will also ensure that your meat is incredibly moist. WOOHOO! I like to season the liquid in which I am poaching my foods in, because that flavor will end being the seasoning.

TIP: Use a base of chicken broth, I normally go for a low sodium one! Throw in some garlic, bay leaves, some sliced lemon and any extra spices laying around and you’ve got yourself a great base.

PS- Poached chicken is PERFECT for a chicken salad!

Braised

Braising is a cooking style that incorporates both the wet and dry heats. You will first sear the meat (dry heat) and then finish it in a liquid (about 2/3 of the way up the meat) at a lower temperature.

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Try some of these new cooking methods and play around with the seasonings! It will definitely help ‘spice’ up your life 😉

Eat up my friends, I hope you enjoy!!

Xo, Dev

Reform yourself

I used to be a firm believer that weights and a treadmill would give me everything I wanted. But have you ever tried the reformer machine? HOLY. MOLY.

The reformer is a Pilates based machine that helps regulate resistance for its exercises. It generally helps target your upper and lower abs, obliques, glutes and hamstrings.

It looks like a single bed with pulleys, cables and straps. Does this sound like a torture machine to you? It might, but you'll thank me later. The cables and straps are connected to springs that help adjust tension and resistance. The bed portion slides forwards and backwards and connects to the pulleys and springs. In order to use this machine, you have to utilize your core strength.

The biggest difference of utilizing a reformer machine vs doing Pilates on a mat is the ability to adjust the resistance. The more resistance, the faster results will come. Generally speaking you will see much quicker results when using a reformer vs doing Pilates on a mat. Usually you will see muscle definition and toning by the 10-12th time using them. But even for me, after doing one hour in the machines I can feel my abs (under my little chubby layer) strengthen quite a bit.

It looks like a scary machine but I promise – it's not. Many people take a private class before jumping into group classes so that they can really learn how to use the machine to get he most benefit.

Classes are a bit pricey, but totally worth it! Checkout Groupon or Classpass to see some of your local reformer studios!

TOTALLY WORTH IT. Rock {your abs} on.

Xo, Dev

The transformation

Some of you may be wondering "who is this girl and why should I even listen to her?"

Completely understandable. There are so many food and fitness pages out there for you to go to, so why stay on mine??

I used to be decently in shape, I mean, I was skinny fat. You know.. when you look like you're in shape but you don't have much muscle you're just skinny. All through the high school and college that's how I would describe myself. I wasn't happy with my body, but I sure as heck wasn't unhappy. I looked good in my clubbing clothes and that's all that mattered at that time. You know how it goes.

So then I moved from Rhode Island to Georgia. Best move I've ever made. But guess what there's a ton of in Georgia that there isn't in Rhode Island?? FRIED CHICKEN. Plus I wanted to make some friends so ultimately I ended up drinking, a lot. Then in met my boyfriend, Wesley. He's amazing, but he likes Taco Bell for dinner. You see where I'm going with this?

Life kind of just snowballed into a high caloric, sedentary lifestyle. I was happy with my new life, but I quickly became unhappy with my body. October 2015 I decided to change my lifestyle. I called off drinking, started making my meals at home and headed to the gym.

Now, I went to school for culinary so I have a ton of nutrition knowledge just sitting in my brain. That made it so much easier to get a head start on how to get the right nutrition and calories into my body. That's what I'm want to be sharing with you. Food is delicious, it's comforting and it makes you feel good… but it's also a fuel. You need to ensure you're eating the RIGHT ones so that your body stays happy.

On the fitness side of things I started by following a few different guides, some body building programs, and did a TON of research. I started learning what worked for my body and began creating my own training regime. I feel as though I'm very knowledgeable but there is still so much to learn on that front.

So here I am, its august 2017 and I'm ready to show the world my transformation. I'm ready to tell everyone about my experience- the good, the bad and the ugly. Im here to share my knowledge and hopefully gain some more from you!

Please hit the follow button and start this journey with me! I will be starting some newsletters in the near future and promise to keep everyone updated on that.

Xo, Dev

The Basics of Meal Prepping

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It’s Monday morning. You wake up late, your hair is a mess, you rush to take a quick shower and throw it up in a bun. Frantically, you are running around the bedroom throwing clothes on without a care of whether your socks match or not. You snatch your purse from the counter and run to the car.  Glancing down at your watch you think to yourself, 9am meeting? I’m pushin’ it. You pull out of the driveway and *phew!* you’re on your way to work. As you start driving you remember, “Oh my goodness I didn’t have time to make breakfast AND I didn’t pack a lunch!!!” *sigh*

PAUSE. REWIND. 

Sounds like a familiar scenario, huh? It’s happened to me… A lot. And I am sure that it has happened to you, too. If it hasn’t – you must be some sort of God and I’d like to know your secret. But for those of you that have experienced this type of Monday morning, read below.

Imagine if there were a different outcome for this situation. Imagine if – though you were running late- you had breakfast and lunch already prepared and all you had to do was grab them from the fridge and go. Imagine if these were healthy meals. You’d be a lot less stressed out on that morning car ride, a lot less HUNGRY, and you would feel more prepared to take on the day.

Well, guess what? I am here to help you make that happen! The solution: Meal Prepping.

For me, Sunday nights are my nights. They help me prepare for the upcoming week and really let me feel like I’ve got my life in order. I lead a crazy busy life – My 9-5 job often turns into a 7am-7pm job.. add in my hour commute, taking care of my dog, making it to the gym 5 days a week and oh yeah, having a social life? I don’t have children right now, but for those of you that do I can only imagine how hectic your schedules are. Meal Prepping will help check one thing off of your long list of to-do’s.

First, check your calendar. What’s going on this week? Dinner with a client? Your sons soccer game? Family outing with the in-laws? Know which days you need to prepare for, and those you don’t.

Look in the pantry and see what you have on hand. Then pick out some recipes that you love. Need some ideas? I’ve included some below. To make it easier, make them in bulk so you can have the same meal 2-3 times. Maybe dinner with the family on Monday night and lunch leftovers the next. Generally speaking meats and poultry will last around 3-4 days, while rice and pastas will last 3-5 days. Jot down a list and head to your local grocery store.

Once you’ve got all the foodies – you can decide what to make now, and what to make later. Maybe you want to make 2 days worth of food and cook again on Wednesday- That’s what I do to ensure I have fresh food the entire week.

Prep the foodies. Wash and cut your fruits and veggies. Cook and brown your meats. Cook your rice and pastas.

Once they are done and cooled, split it all up into Tupperware. You can get them anywhere! It can be as simple as Gladware – or portion control containers with separate compartments. I order mine from Amazon.

TIPS:

  1. Go in with a plan
  2. Take an hour NOW to save multiple hours LATER
  3. Portion control
  4. Stick to fresh, healthy ingredients
  5. Make delicious meals so that you are more apt to eat them

Remember: Crock pots are amazing. Good Tupperware will save you. Keep Ziploc bags for the little things. Lunchboxes will hold you together.

Now, Mondays wont be so hard! You’ll have quick, healthy (and I forgot to mention CHEAP) meals at your fingertips!

MEAL PREP RECIPES

Buzzfeed Top 5 Meal Prep Ideas

8 Seriously Easy Meal Prep Recipes

25 Healthy Recipes for People Who Hate Salads

Meal Prep Ideas to Save Time

Chicken Breast Recipes

Meal Prep Bowls

xo,

Dev