Fitness Travel

RIDE Cycle Club – Dance On!

Call me crazy, but when a friend that lives halfway around the world is visiting a city reachable in less than 2 air hours, it only makes sense to book a last minute ticket and hop on a plane.  So when I heard my girlfriend from South Africa was going to be in Toronto…cabin crew, prepare for takeoff.

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True friendship is irreplaceable

Being back in Toronto (see CYKL in The 6ix) excited me for other reasons as well. It gave me the opportunity to check out new local workout digs. This time around, I had the advantage of chatting with my girlfriend’s cousin, who lives in Queen West, and could give me some insider 411. Score! After much discussion, I landed on RIDE Cycle Club, also in the Queen West neighborhood.

The Studio

Walking in, ok that’s a lie…literally running in, because I used the Toronto Bike Share and couldn’t find a hub to save my life. (Sidenote: there’s a hub just down the street from the studio, I’m just blind). Anywho, running in, the first thing I noticed was the crispness of the place. Almost everything was white and shiny. The friendly woman at the front desk got me signed in and handed me a complimentary pair of spin shoes…which is key to us spinners who love to travel but don’t want to carry around yet another pair of shoes. Oh and did I mention, first class is FREE!

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Crisp! And awesome gear!

The locker room mirrored the clean white vibe from the lobby, and was a fair size with a handful of showers and hairdryers. And you guys…I totally did NOT plan my outfit (case and point, I was traveling), but when you vibe, you vibe (mind the selfie..but I had to).

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I match the decor!

The Sweat

 From the time you walk into the studio you feel welcomed and a part of the team. Either the instructor or another member of the team is available to assist in bike setup if you are new to cycling or haven’t used Schwinn bikes before.

I took a class with Cat and it was a legit party. If you have ever taken a Soul Cycle class, think about the tap backs, push ups and crunches on steroids. She had us bouncing around the saddle for almost the entire class. While the music was great, I found it hard to get “into” the ride with so much moving around. The beauty of a cycling class, though, is that if you aren’t feeling a movement or if your muscles don’t want to do something, your workout is in your own hands. Instead of a push-up, work in a jump. If you don’t want to move in 3rd, keep your bum in the saddle and pick up the pace. And like I said before, the music was top notch…which, let’s be honest, makes or breaks a class. Cat’s energy was also contagious and kept you feeling engaged and ready to push.

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The Results

Saying I left that class sweating is one of the biggest understatements of the year. Try dripping, pouring sweat. Ya…definitely more accurate. Between the constant movement on the bike and a great arm weight track, my body was feeling pretty worked – a great way to start off the day.

I would recommend trying out this studio if you are into the ‘dance-like’ format, but traditional cyclists beware. Knowing that each instructor has their own style, I would return for another class and see what others have to offer.

In Sweat and Health,

Buda

Meal Prep

[All the] Soup for You!

Summer in Boston is a magical and beautiful time. The flowers are out, Charles River is bustling, and all the patios/roof decks are open. If you’ve ever been to New England in the summer, you might think that 80 degrees might not be too bad but HOLY CANNOLI the humidity can be a KILLER! You walk outside and immediately start sweating. And forget about keeping that cute hairstyle…frizz central!

Being a soup person (cue Seinfeld Season 7 Episode 6), I was always a little bummed when winter ended and fresh soups were harder to come by. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of Gazpacho – the chunky kind, don’t be puréeing that shiz – but there’s gotta be more to the chilled soup game, right?!

Enter my most recent project: Finding amazing, healthy, chilled summer soups. I’ve spent the last couple weeks testing out various recipes and fruit/veg combos and I have to say…YUM. My body has thanked me for all the vitamins and my taste buds have been having quite the party!

Get on the soup train…Larry Thomas approved.

Soup #1: Chilled Cucumber Soup from Garlic & Zest

While I usually steer clear of softer tofu, the addition of it in this recipe added a beautiful silkiness to the texture. The soup itself is light, airy and refreshing. I whipped this beauty up in less than 25 min as part of my Sunday meal prep and brought it for some lunches during the week. It keeps nicely in the fridge for a couple days, just add the toppings day of. This soup can also be used as a nice appetizer.

I followed Garlic & Zest’s recipe pretty closely, with the only difference being the Pico de Gallo since I didn’t have a jalapeño at the time. Instead, I topped with cilantro and cucumber slices. I bet the little kick the pepper gives would have been a nice addition though.

Soup #2: Cold Carrot Soup with Jalapeño Coconut Milk from Spiced Blog

Looking for a summer soup that will fill you up and keep you satisfied? Look no further. This carrot soup was thick, creamy (without adding any cream – yay!) and had just the right kick. Adding the jalapeño coconut milk on top really made a difference. The pieces of jalapeños not only added crunch but also paired wonderfully with the touch of cumin to add a little heat.

I did make a couple modifications to the recipe. I swapped the chicken stock for reduced sodium vegetable stock to make it vegetarian. I also used Trader Joes Reduced Fat Unsweetened Coconut Milk. This worked for the soup, but I would recommend getting the full fat version if you want to make the jalapeño milk topping. Mine was watery, where I was hoping for a bit more thickness. Cooking is about experimentation. There’s a beauty in making mistakes and trying new things. Lesson learned.

Soup #3: Quick Healthy Zucchini Basil Soup from Feasting at Home

OK if you want to know what food heaven tastes like…make this soup. We’re talking about a silky smooth mixture of farm grown zucchinis and basil that is completely vegan. No milk products needed. This incredible vegetable provides texture that’ll blow your socks off – keep the Lactaid in the cabinet.

I followed Feasting At Home’s recipe quite closely, save for the garnish of yogurt/sour cream. Instead, I topped with basil leaves. I also used 1 cup each of water and veggie stock, instead of 2 cups of either. This recipe is legitimately on point. There’s nothing I would change about it. It is a great soup to eat warm, but I also packed it up in containers for a cold work week lunch. If you have the opportunity to hit up a farmer’s market before the end of August, the zukes will be phenom. I got mine from Plainville Farm in Hadley, MA.

Soup #4: Pea and Mint Soup from Not Enough Cinnamon

This soup is nothing short of two peas in a pod…OK cheesy I know, but totally had to make the reference. Petite peas are used in this recipe instead of regular green peas because the adorable petite variety adds a sweeter flavor and creamier texture. Because peas have such a short growth season, purchasing frozen petite peas reduces the starchiness you will get from the legume.

If you are not a pea person, this soup is not for you because the taste is like a pea party in your mouth. The hint of shallot and mint adds some depth to the flavor profile. It’s a refreshing and smooth soup that can be served both hot or cold (although I prefer it cold). I’m also big on adding a kick to my food, so I experimented with chopped jalapeños (seeds removed) and it gave a slight heat and crunchiness to each bite that tied all the flavors together nicely.

Soup #5: Yellow Tomato + Corn Gazpacho from What’s Cooking Good Looking

It just wouldn’t be summer without farm stand tomatoes and corn on the cob. So when I came across What’s Cooking Good Looking’s gazpacho, I knew I had to try it. I kept to the recipe and honestly wouldn’t change a thing. The colors from all the produce were so vibrant, and the fresh crisp flavors did not disappoint.

I packed these up for weekday lunches, which was quick and easy. My only piece of advice would be to add the avocado and micro greens day of. Then sit back and watch as your “another deli sandwich” co-workers look on with envy.

Soup #6: Chilled Watermelon Gazpacho from Spiced Blog

What better way to celebrate summer than with the ultimate thirst quenching staple; the watermelon?! Ever since I was a kid, I can remember enjoying cold watermelon slices while my toes were dug deep in the sand. Not only is the beautiful fruit full of nutrients and antioxidants…it’s down right delicious!

August is when we find watermelon at its prime. It’s sweet, refreshing and the perfect twist to a summer gazpacho. Using the Spiced Blog’s recipe, I made a couple tweaks based on personal preference.

First, I used a shallot in place of red onion as shown in the recipe. Shallots tend to carry a sweeter flavor when eaten raw, compared to its red counterpart which are more on the spicy side when not cooked. Shallots also bring a hint of garlic (and who doesn’t love garlic), which is always welcome in a dish of mine.

Now, I don’t know about you but I am a HUGE fan of spicy margaritas. One of my girlfriends, Jacki, has the best spicy marg recipe and I’m literally drooling just thinking about it. So in honor of her smashing bev, I diced up a jalapeño, discarding the seeds, and added to the blender. Coupled with the chili powder (which I would only add a touch of), the addition of the jalapeño married deliciously with the watermelon and added that heat that I love oh so much.

Lastly, I wanted to balance out the heat so I didn’t start sweating during lunch in the office. Toss in a couple mint leaves and not only will the herb calm the peppers but it also aids in digestion and stimulates the mind.

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This project has been as enjoyable as it has been delicious. I’ve had so much fun experimenting with various produce and seeing what heavenly concoctions they can create. I’ve also proven to myself that soup isn’t just a cold weather comfort food. There is a world outside of the traditional gazpacho, and it is yum-my (don’t worry G, you’re still a fav)!

What cold soups catch your eye every time the temp starts to rise??

Bon Appétit!

Fitness Travel

Sweating with Zeus, Apollo and Athena

It feels like it has been an ETERNITY since my last post! Over the last couple months, I have been enjoying the beauty that summer brings to Boston as well as taking some much needed vacation. If you’ve been following my Instagram (@willtravelforfitness), you may have noticed that I was recently in Greece. Let me say, what an incredible experience! But I have to be honest, vacationing can get you out of your routine, especially when traveling internationally and navigating cultures that are different than your own.

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Tree posing at the Temple of Zeus – Acropolis in the distance

Living in Boston has spoiled me. There are fitness studios on every block, and no matter what hour of day, you can always find a fun and challenging workout. In Athens, Greece, it was a little different. The studios were few and far between, and while Street Workout Athens was very intriguing, our schedule did not allow for it. This is where creativity is key. Luckily, our hotel the King George Athens had a small gym where cardio and strength exercises were possible. It’s important to remember, though, that it doesn’t matter where you are; a workout is always one step away.

King George Hotel

During one of our days in Athens, we visited the Panathenaic Stadium – which is literally made entirely out of marble. If you ever want to be in awe, make this a stop. The 2004 Olympics graced this amazement of a venue, so to get in some exercise you HAVE to run the track. If you don’t…were you even there???

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From Athens we travelled to Crete. Now, we didn’t do the typical island tourist visit. Instead, we stayed in this small village of Choudetsi in the center of the island to get the feel for how true locals lived. We stayed with Evangelia at Villa Memories who not only provided personalized assimilation to the village (yes, we drank Ouzo with the locals…or as we liked to call it, “fire water”), but also owns Rhous Winery. Talk about the royal treatment…some of their wines are even sold at Milos in New York City! We were given a private tour and tasting, which reaffirmed my love for international wines. Oh and sidenote…Grecian coffee….hands down the best I’ve had thus far. Cappuccino Freddo needs to be in my life, always.

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Enjoying Rose amongst the vines at Rhous Winery

And let’s be honest…with all the hills in the countryside of Crete (and there are A LOT), I had to take advantage of the breathtaking views…which resulted in a magnificent, yet tiring, run.

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Santorini was a little more tricky from a fitness standpoint as we stayed in the town of Oia. Being one of the most popular destinations, and renowned for the MOST beautiful sunsets on the island, it is tourist haven. However, since the town sits on the caldera, there are cliffs and hills like no other. To get to Amoudi Bay, you have to walk down 200+ steps…and watch out for the donkeys because they literally have NO sense of personal space! While riding them looked like quite a fun experience, I saw the opportunity to get in some stair sprints. Long strides and fancy footwork (watch out for donkey poo!) make running up these stairs both entertaining and tiring! Don’t mind the weird looks you get from passersby…they’re just jealous you’re getting in a workout. Piece of advice…wear sturdy shoes/sneakers.

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Donkey rides from Oia to Amoudi Bay

 

Overall, this vacation was about immersing ourselves in the culture, relaxing and enjoying life. While I did not get in a daily sweat, my body thanked me for the recovery and rebuilding. When traveling, it’s important to find the balance and not stress out if things don’t go according to routine. When on vacation…get in that sweat, but be creative while you do it!

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Cheers! Yamas!

 

In Sweat and Health,

Buda

Fitness Travel

CYKL in The 6ix

I’ve been traveling for work this month, which has brought me back to part of my roots….Toronto, Canada. While I love traveling, it seems to always break my routine, both fitness and meal-wise, and it drives me freaking bonkers. Even though it may take extra effort, I’ve found that keeping one small piece of your day the same helps overcome the “blahhhh” feeling. For me, it’s spin classes.

While looking to get my exercise fix, I was surprised to see that the number of workout spots in the Financial District were limited. Where does everybody get their sweat on before/after work?? If you know the secret, please share! Anywho…I decided to go on a little journey and took a 25-minute walk to the west.

As I was craving a good spin class, this place called CYKL caught my eye…

The Studio

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If I hadn’t done a little research ahead of time, I would have taken one look at the outside of this studio and ran for the hills. It looks like a run down building with random exposed pipes along its storefront. Knowing you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I took a deep breath and walked inside.

Talk about “no frills!” The inside was just as rustic as the exterior. Think unfinished basement vibe. Crumbling concrete, peeled paint and the like. The studio is one big room with a section in the back for class, which holds about 30 or so bikes, a little side area with cubbies and benches, a space up front with a couple TRX straps, and a small spot by the window with merchandise for sale. Although the ambiance may be a little less glamorous, the equipment and sound system is on point.

Downstairs there is a small locker room (don’t forget your lock) and two showers. Piece of advice, don’t go down there. It’s deeper into the basement and unless you’re smaller than 5’4” and 110lbs, the shower sitch will be a challenge.

Since I left my spin shoes at home, I was happy to hear that they provide shoes complementary. Granted, the shoes are a thousand years old, but cycling is so much better when clipped in as opposed to with sneakers, so suck it up, Heather.

The Sweat

The bikes at this studio are RealRyder® bikes which are cray-zy. They MOVE with you to simulate more of a “real bike” experience. It definitely takes a bit to get used to, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I was going to fall off a couple times, but it was a really cool feeling nonetheless.

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I took a Wednesday evening “CYKL Top 40 Ride” with Diana. She started class by breaking down the structure of the ride bit by bit. Now, if you’re someone that likes to know what’s coming up, this is really helpful – especially because she put the layout up on a whiteboard at the front of the room. On the other hand, if you’re like me and like to be surprised at what’s coming next, this portion of the ride could have been better left out.

The ride itself was fun. There were no silly “push-ups” or “crunches” on the bike – AMEN. Instead, we took off on a course mixed with heavy hills, fast sprints, bends in the road and a combination thereof. The bends I found to be particularly challenging because you have to guide the handlebars to one side with your arms and abs and hold it there without letting them snap back to the front.

Diana was a very low key, calm instructor. No jumping up and down, dancing or yelling for this one. Personally, I love the energy instructors bring to class so it was a little hard to keep up the motivation, but she was technically strong and still kept me engaged. She cued on point, when needed, but otherwise didn’t talk much.

The Results

Overall the class didn’t make me sweat, huff and puff like others have, however, when I went to get out of bed the next morning my abs were on fiiiiire! Being suspended on these RealRyder® bikes really forced me to keep my entire core engaged throughout the 45 minutes. Kudos!

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If you aren’t looking for a spa-like studio with state of the art bathrooms and beautiful ambiance, and want a raw, classic ride, try out a class at CYKL. Your first ride is only $12 which is a really nice break from the regular $25-30 normally charged for similar classes. Couple words of advice though….bring your own shoes.

In Sweat and Health,

Buda

Fitness Travel

Thirsty For Juice – Miami, FL

I love juicing. Not so much the, don’t eat anything else for 3-7 days, type of juicing – I’ve tried it and was so ravenous I couldn’t even make it 2 days – but as a snack or post workout quencher, I am all for it.

My favorite time to grab a juice is after a workout. Now before you start yelling at me about the need to replenish your nutrients and get some carbs and protein to repair your muscles directly after a workout…Chill. Out. It’s vital to recovery, I know that, but after spinning for 45min or running 5 miles, the last thing I am thinking about is a protein heavy sandwich. As long as the bigger nutrients are replenished within the 2 hour window following a workout, go ahead, have a juice.

Sill with me?? Great! I’m a sucker for a good green juice. Not all juice is created equal, so when I was visiting Miami, FL, I went on a mission to find what the Brickell neighborhood (home of the Four Seasons) had to offer.

Stop #1

Cold Pressed Raw Kitchen

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Think light woods, whites, cushioned benches, and potted greens. They prep and bottle their juices once a day so you better get there early because it is first come, first served.

I learned the hard way and got my hands on one of the last juices called Zen-ahoria. Carrot, orange, lemon and ginger. Refreshing, with a bite. Order it. Thank me later.

If you haven’t heard – Avo Toast is so hot right now, and I.Am.Ob.Sessed. When I saw it on the menu, it was a no brainer…I had to try it. The menu originally listed a house pesto, but when mine arrived with balsamic vinegar in its place I couldn’t complain (I actually think it made it even better). It added a pop of acidity to the creamy, buttery avo spread. While presentation was a bit to be desired, my tastebuds, and muscles, were saying thank you.

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Stop #2

Brickell Fresh Cafe

Talk about an adorable hole in the wall. This place is legit a little window surrounded by wooden planks and plants galore. Their juice flavors vary by day, so I tried the “SP2” juice – spinach, coconut water and pineapple. That’s it! And seriously, that’s all that was needed. If you’re looking for hydration, this is it.

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Their menu consisted of quinoa/rice bowls, salads, and smoothies, which catered to both vegetarians and carnivores. If I am ever back in the area, I am 100% returning, testing out the menu, and bringing whomever I can with me!

Stop #3

GreenLife Organic Bistro

Patio seating. Check. Water fountains. Check. Fresh juices. Check.

If a menu has a green juice called “FCK Cancer 2” you buy it. No questions asked! It had spinach, cucumber, lime, green apple and celery. Jackpot. I had found true bliss.

Upon checking out their website, I was happy to read that they utilize ingredients that are “free of genetically modified organisms, pesticides, hormones, and anything that doesn’t belong in our food much less in our body.” Yes, GreenLife! Good in = Good out.

It was almost lunch, and I was hungry, so I decided to take a peek at the food menu. One piece of advice – if you are a pescetarian like myself, you may not be impressed. The salads and sandwiches were limited, and honestly quite boring. And alert, their tuna contains fat-free mayo. Not sure how you feel about mayo, but it freaks me out.

One thing that you absolutely cannot miss….If you want the taste of…I can’t believe I’m going to use this word….moist (*cringe*), orange cranberry bread, without the guilt, Oh Em Gee, you MUST try the Chia Ballz. 100% whole, natural, organic ingredients that you can read without a translator! Chia seeds, almond butter, shredded coconut, honey, cranberries, orange and salt. I must learn how to make these. Make sure to carry some floss when eating these, though – chia seeds are sneaky little buggers that like to get stuck in your teeth!

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There were several other spots that were on my list that I just did not have the time to venture to. My apologies…the lounge chair, sun and Mexican Mojito won. See below for those that didn’t make the trip and leave a comment if you’ve been to either of these!

Overall I was highly impressed with Miami’s juice game, and I cannot wait to see how it stacks up to other cities!

In sweat and health,

Buda

Meal Prep

Wedding Shower Quinoa

 

It’s wedding season – Let the festivities begin! Lisa, one of my best friends, (@danceworksboston @danceworksnyc @thefarmhome) is getting married this July up in Vermont and I am over the moon excited for them! Yesterday, Lisa’s sisters hosted a Guys & Gals bridal shower that was fit for the betrothed Syracuse alum. Think, food truck pizza, Pastabilities hot tomato oil dip, local craft brews and anything Wegmans. Needless to say, it was one for the books.

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Beautiful Bide in the middle!

With all that tasty goodness though, and knowing our group of friends, it’s always nice to mix in some clean, whole foods. So the minute I heard there was a need for a grain or pasta salad – I was all over it. Enter the delicious Quinoa and Carrot Salad with chickpeas, golden raisins and walnuts.

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Quintupled the recipe for the party

The great thing about this salad is that it is best when made ahead and allowed to sit overnight in the fridge. Hello weekly meal options! It has the nuttiness of the quinoa, crunch of the carrots, and perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. No need to save this only for special occasions. Break it out during your weekly meal prep!

Quinoa is more than just a cute little grain. With its high protein, vitamin, calcium and fiber content it is a “does the body good” powerhouse. More than you can say for that sad white rice that, let’s be honest, nobody really likes to eat or cook. And great news for Celiacs out there – quinoa is gluten-free!

I got this recipe from Floating Kitchen and made a couple tweaks to satisfy my taste buds. It is great as a side dish, especially to salmon, and can also be an absolutely wonderful salad for lunch. Hope you’re hungry!

In sweat and health,

Buda

Quinoa & Carrot Salad

Serves 4 – 30min (plus time to cool quinoa)

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  • 2/3 cups dry quinoa, red or multi-colored
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (from about 1-2 carrots)
  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  1. Cook the quinoa. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the temperature to maintain a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 15-17 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let the quinoa stand covered for 3-5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Once the quinoa has cooled, toss it with the carrots, chickpeas and raisins.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa salad, tossing gently to combine.
  4. Upon serving time, stir in the walnuts and top with the chopped parsley.
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Bon Appétit!

 

Meal Prep

Crazy for Couscous

For so long I put off cooking as much as I could using the excuse that I had no counter space. Living in a one-bedroom apartment in Boston’s Back Bay, my “kitchen” is cute, but more of a closet than anything else.

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Awwwe

I was intimidated by the idea of meal prepping at first, and it’s normal to feel that way. The key is finding versatile ingredients that you actually enjoy eating. After that, it’s all about creativity and a little research. Fun, right!?

For those of you just starting out on the meal prep front, here’s some first hand advice I have for you:

  1. Search for recipes with ingredients that can be used in multiple dishes. For example, greens, roasted veggies, tomatoes, eggs, avocado, beans, grains.
  2. Invest in several single serving Tupperware.
  3. Set aside time on Saturday to do your meal planning. On Sunday, pour yourself a glass of Cupcake Sauv Blanc (because…YUM), put on your favorite tunes, and get cooking!
  4. Prepare in moderate bulk – nobody likes spoiled food.
  5. Prep dinner accompaniments such as veggies and grains ahead of time. As a pescetarian, I like to prep my protein the night of to keep it fresh.
  6. Post-It Notes are your BFF! Assemble all lunches and leave notes on those that require day-of additions, such as olive oil or tuna.

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Want to know what I’m totally crushing on at the moment? Curried. Couscous.

Now, curry usually isn’t my thing, but this couscous recipe is legit to die for. For best results, I would eat day of preparation (great for a Sunday meal). When reheating later in week, add a touch of water to bowl or saucepan prior to firing up the microwave or stovetop to bring the moisture back to the party.

Try it and thank me later!

In sweat and health,

Buda

Curried Squash Couscous (1,001 Low Fat Veg Recipes Cookbook)

(Serves 3-4 – less than 45 minutes)

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Ingredients:

¼ cup sliced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

1½ cup diced roasted butternut squash

1-1½  tsp curry powder

¼ cup golden raisins

¼ cup walnuts

1 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth

2/3 cup Israeli couscous, dry

1 cup thinly sliced kale

S&P to taste

  1. To roast squash: Preheat over to 425 degrees F. Dice butternut squash into cubes, place in single layer on baking sheet and cover with single layer of olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin (to taste). Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes until browned but still firm. Remove from oven and set out to cool. NOTE: Can make this the day before and keep in fridge until needed.
  2. Sauté onion & garlic in olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat until tender. About 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add squash, cook until lightly browned. About 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in curry powder, raisins, walnuts and broth. Heat to boiling.
  5. Add couscous and kale, stirring with a fork.
  6. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until couscous is tender and broth is absorbed. Above 5 minutes. Season with S&P to taste.

 

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Bon Appétit!

 

Fitness Travel

Sweating in the Magic City

Earlier this month, I escaped the cold, rainy New England weather and headed to Miami, FL for an impromptu solo vacation. If you’ve never travelled solo before, I seriously encourage you to try it. There’s something very freeing about it. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Freedom!

The minute I stepped off the plane, I felt like a cat finding that one sun spot in the house. Head up, eyes closed, Purrrr.

Besides soaking up all the sun I could (and believe me, this pale Boston skin needed it), I wanted to get in on where Miami locals hit up their Saturday morning workout. Being the “spinesta” that I am, I knew I wanted to find a Florida based cycling studio. Not one of those national, cookie cutter chains, like SoulCycle, but a true local company.

Enter RedBike

The Studio

Ok so I totally overestimate how long it would take me to walk to RedBike in Brickell from the Four Seasons. Needless to say, I was there 30 min early. The previous class was still going on and I was the only person waiting.

That didn’t matter though, because the woman at the front desk was SO friendly. She told me a little about the history of the studio; opening couple years ago, and my soon-to-be instructor was the maestro behind the launch of the organization. There were couches to lounge on between class, and (my fav part) a smoothie bar called RedBoost which, get this, you can order ahead of class and they will have waiting for you by the time your class is done! Talk about service!

As I was putting on my spin shoes, which they provide complementary, Albert Ghitis, RedBike creator and instructor extraordinaire, and I started chatting. Turns out he used to teach at a studio in Wellesley, MA, a couple miles north of Boston! Small world! He was so welcoming and gave me some tips on what to expect during his class – Think pushups, crunches, and arms.

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This is Albert. Photo courtesy of redbikestudios.com

While waiting for class, there is a comfy nook with a couch, chairs and magazines to make you feel right at home. If shopping is more your style, you can check out their apparel wall which has amazing merchandise that I had to use my ultimate willpower not to purchase.

Post-sweat, there is a moderately sized locker room with showers (and towels) to suds up, and they offer wonderful L’Occitane amenities to make you smell just fab. 

The Sweat

Classes at RedBike are a legit P.A.R.T.Y. Between the colored lights and bumping beats it’s hard not to have a good time. I’ve been so many classes where it’s 200 mph, 100% of the time and I’m sorry but that is NOT cycling (cough, SoulCycle, cough). I appreciated that Albert utilized the beat of the music to mirror leg pace, and had a mix of heavy climbs and fast sprints. Thank You!!

The energy than ran through the entire room was electric. Now, it may have been partially attributed to Albert boogying down to the music every now and then, but to say he was engaged with the class is an understatement. He walked throughout the room, encouraging the group to push harder, dig deeper, and get lost in the beat.

Disclaimer: Traditional cyclists, as I mentioned above, there are pushups and crunches on the bike, and a song dedicated to working your arms with weights, so this may not necessarily be your cup of tea. The great thing about cycling at RedBike, though, is that if you aren’t comfortable with a movement, you can modify and still have a blast!

The Results

Without question, if you’re ever in Miami, FL, get your ass to RedBike. While I didn’t feel as exhausted as I normally do walking out of a spin class, I still had an absolute blast and know that I challenged my muscles and worked up a sweat. I was having one of those indestructible, conquer the world, nothing can stop me workout days!

Have you been to RedBike? How about another local Miami spin studio? Tell us about it!

In sweat and health,

Buda

Uncategorized

Welcoming WillTravelForFitness

The day has come – my first blog post is finally here!

I’ve gone back and forth on what the best way to start writing is, and man it is very intimidating. What do I say? How do I capture people’s attention? Does my hair look like pebbles when I wear it on top of my head? ….you know, normal thoughts like that.

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So, how about…Bonjour, I’m Heather! Athlete. Paris Aficionado. Shoe Addict. Spin Instructor. Auditor. Book Nerd. I think you get the picture. My friends call me Buda, and no, rubbing by belly will not give you good luck.

My vision for this blog is two-fold:

  1. Share workout tips for the travel junkie

I like to travel – a lot. Find me a plane and I am instantly happy. The one thing that gives me a little anxiety, though, is whether I’ll be able to get in a good workout while I’m exploring. Not all hotel gyms are created equal…

Staying active while traveling is a challenge but I’ve also found it’s a great way to learn and experience a new city. Where are the hot workout spots? What running paths can I find? How can I maximize this hotel gym? Ooo where is that cute guy going?

  1. Share, collaborate, and inspire through healthy meal prep

I live in Boston, have for over eight years, and I love everything about this city. I’m human though, and can get swept up in the culture of convenience. Amazing restaurants. Quick bites. CVS EVERYWHERE. My bank account has for sure felt the impact.

Earlier this year, I turned to my sister, Emily, to confess my “prepared food” conundrum. Turns out, younger siblings aren’t only good for blaming stuff on as a child – they actually have incredible advice. Sunday. Meal. Prep. Duh – it seemed so obvious but who has the time to prepare meals for an entire week in one sitting. We all do. That’s who.

Just like a workout routine, if you love it, you make the time.

I hope you will find my insights helpful, meaningful and inspiring!

In sweat and health,

Buda