Monthly Archives: July 2017

SF Pup Adventures

The “OMG I’m leaving in a week” adventures continue.

For lunch on Friday, I drove up to San Francisco for lunch to catch up with two of my high school friends.

I had an Asian chicken salad.


A Giant GF cookie (It was staring at me the whole meal, so how could I not?)


And some great conversation with fantastic people.

That evening, I had just enough time for Crossfit before picking up a college friend from the train station. She recently moved to Boston, but was here for work and stayed with me for the weekend.

For dinner, we had homemade lasagna with zucchini noodles, salad, and bread with dipping sauce.


Because the occasion warranted it, I broke out some of the home brew chocolate milk stout (yes, I still owe you all a post on the process!)

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One of my other friends brought a MASSIVE amount of peaches to us, so while sipping our beer, we made a delicious peach crisp using our favorite blueberry crisp recipe.

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We ended the night with peach crisp and a movie.

Saturday, we had a big day of dog-friendly adventure planned. First, we drove to the city and visited my FAVORITE coffeeshop/donutery, Dynamo Donuts. They have an outdoor patio, so Chloe was able to sit with us.


Of course, I’m a sucker for marketing and had to get her a doggy donut.


I got a GF lemon buttermilk donut.


With a cappuccino of course.


My friend requested some outdoorsy activities, and we were originally going to hike around Mt Tam, but traffic wasn’t looking good in the area, and it was unclear how to get to the dog friendly areas, so we decided to head over to Crissy Field instead.

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We did the fairly steep climb up to the bridge, and of course Chloe had a blast.


I didn’t really think about how touristy this area was. Chloe is a pretty noticeable dog, and it was interesting to see people, especially kids, exclaim about her in a multitude of languages!


Bridge views:

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After our walk/hike, we drove across the city to All Good Pizza for a “Paws for a Cause” event benefiting an organization that helps adopt out animals. There were tons of dogs there, and Chloe was moderately well behaved to start.

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The pizza place was basically a permanent food truck with a beer garden-esque outdoor area. I tried a few bites of my friend’s pizza and it was super good! I got a kale salad with turkey.


We didn’t stay too long because as the event got busier, there were more and more dogs and Chloe got a bit overstimulated and barky. My friend suggested we go somewhere with a beer flight, and through some googling, we found Southern Pacific Brewing Company.


This was the perfect place because they had a big flight with all of their house beers, and dog-friendly outdoor seating. I really, really enjoyed the Hefeweizen. It had a really interesting depth of flavor. My second favorite was the farmhouse ale.


Chloe was good until some barmy dogs came, but she was manageable with the presence of her new favorite treats.


Then, it was time to head home. We cleaned up and relaxed for a bit before heading out for Thai food with a college friend we hadn’t seen in over a year who just moved back to the area!


^Garlic chicken with brown rice.

We had so much to catch up on that we couldn’t stop at dinner, and headed to a pub next door for beers.


Eventually it was time to part ways. A couple of people from Crossfit were out, so on the way home we stopped by and hung out with them for a while. Seeing so many people these last couple of weeks is making leaving so hard!

Sunday morning, I sadly had to take my friend to the airport. On the way back, I stopped at the gym for a spin class and got my movement in early for the day.

Lunch was leftover lasagna and some of the amazing fruit we currently have in our fridge.


After lunch, I made my dad’s Father’s Day gift: our family recipe for trifle.

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This recipe is actually pretty simple. Line the dish with lady fingers or pound cake, spread with jam, top with 3 tablespoons of cherry and let it sit 5 minutes, then top with custard. The custard is just pudding from a mix with an extra 1/2c of milk added. Then topped with whipped cream and a cherry!

I made my only baby GF version with a leftover blueberry lemon muffin from the freezer as the cake, raspberry jam, a minuscule amount of sherry, and the custard.


We basically spent all afternoon watching baseball.

For dinner, I went out to a pan-Asian place with a high school friend who I have no seen in a while. We both ordered soup to start; sweet corn and chicken for me!


Then we split a paneer based Asian dish that was really different, but good!


We walked around downtown a little bit afterwards, and I got some ice cream from Baskin Robbins. I haven’t been there in forever, and ordered my childhood favorite, Gold Medal Ribbon.


It was such a fun weekend full of amazing people. I cannot wait for more adventures this week!

Last Hurrahs

Guys. I leave for vet school in just over a week. What?? How crazy is that? As a result, this week has been jam-packed with visiting those I won’t be seeing for a while!

I have some food, some workouts, and some fun to share from this week. And it’s continuing until I leave! (Packing, what’s that??)

Workout-wise, I jumped back into my squat program Friday morning and it was not very good, as I honestly expected. I was doing by 6-6-4 day at 160-170-180. It didn’t feel great, and I had to break up by last set into 2×2. A highlight though was the spin class I went to yesterday at my local gym. My instructor didn’t show up, so I stepped up and taught the class! It was an absolute blast, especially after spending the entire previous week learning how to be a better instructor. I have a bunch of playlists on my phone on Spotify, so I just picked one I had done a few times before and winged it. Normally I have notes for choreography, but it all worked out! I didn’t have a mic, but I was able to plug my music in and that’s all we needed!


Let’s back up and hit some highlights from the week.

Monday lunch:


We got amazing rotisserie turkey breast, so I made an open faced sandwich with garlic and herb laughing cow, turkey, lettuce, and avocado. Snap peas on the side!

My afternoon snack was a cup of hot chocolate, sugarless, from a sample packet from the conference. It was actually super good. It’s sweetened with monk fruit, which doesn’t have that nasty stevia aftertaste (in my opinion).


For dinner, we made Emilie’s Cleaning Vegetable Turmeric Soup with rice noodles.


It happens to be the magical time of year when blueberries come in big vats, and are absolutely amazing. We took advantage and made blueberry crisp.


This is one of my favorite things ever. Leftovers were thoroughly enjoyed. I served mine with vanilla Halo Top.


Later that evening, my friend and I met up for a puppy play session. They had an absolute blast, but Chloe couldn’t hang!


They ran around like crazy at first, but then Chloe got tired and sat down while the puppy jumped all over her and tried to get her up!

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The craziness of the week? I skipped off to see other friends after!

Tuesday, I got lunch with my sister at a local salad place. I was brave an built my own salad, and it turned out amazing! I got nectarine, dried cranberries, beets, roasted corn, and goat cheese with balsamic vinaigrette.


Wednesday morning, I made use of my CSA honeydew in breakfast and had a yogurt bowl with KIND cinnamon granola and sunbutter, and then some honeydew balls.


That afternoon, my dad and I went to the Giant’s game! We stopped at the Yard outside the ballpark for Anchor beer first. Mango Wheat for me!


For my meal, I got the usual cauliflower truffle (GF) flatbread, and my dad and I split a nectarine, heirloom tomato, and feta salad.

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It also turned out that my friend and big fellow Giants fan was at the game with her dad as well!

Since this is one of the last (if not the last) games of the season I’ll be able to go to, I had to get a Ghriadelli hot fudge sundae. I consider it a major health victory that I got my own! There was a time where my stomach would have flared nastily! This one actually had a really good amount of fudge, and I must admit that I didn’t finish it!


After the game, we had a light dinner of more of the turkey in a salad with nectarines and goat cheese.


Thursday was an awesome day. It started out with my unexpectedly teaching spin, so it was off to a good start! Next we had Chloe’s annual vet appointment. I’ve only been gone from there for 1.5 weeks but it feels like a lifetime! It was a lot of fun to be back, and I got to help draw Chloe’s blood and give her vaccine. Luckily, she was SUPER well behaved for the whole thing, and didn’t wiggle! To celebrate her good behavior, and because it was Thursday, we stopped at the gluten free bakery on the way home for donuts!


(They only have donuts Thursdays and Saturdays.)

For lunch, I had a nectarine with leftover soup.


That evening, I had a softball game. One of my friends just joined the team, and it was a blast! In addition, a few college friends and i were going out to dinner afterwards, so they came to the end of the game and I had quite the fan club. Thanks to a few late nights post-Vegas, I was pretty tired before the came and had the caffeine equivalent of 2/3c of green tea and was WIRED for the game, which was interesting. Not a good combination for slow pitch!

Despite the long wait, we tried out the cafe at Anthropologie for dinner. They served bread in a flower pot (baked in it!) which was fun. For my meal, I got an Asian Chicken salad.


After dinner, we stopped at CREAM for ice cream sandwiches. I got gluten free chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate chip happened to be M&M chocolate chip, which was a special treat!


I really love M&M cookies.

It was SO great to see everyone again. I have more adventures and more people to see coming up, and I know I’m being sent away to school in the best way possible!


The Final Vegas Recap: Walking Dead

WHEW. Sorry for the lag in time before my final Vegas recap! I was doing pretty well energy-wise for a while, but it seems to have caught up with me! Here we go!

When we last left off, I went to see the Chainsmokers….and then it was Saturday morning. WOW this morning was rough. 3 hours of sleep is not my jam. I was the definition of walking dead.


Of course, it was just my luck that the night I got almost no sleep, my first session was on MOVING bikes! That’s right! I did a session on RealRyder bikes, which tilt side to side. I did this same workshop 2 years ago, and the instructor actually remembered me! I think it’s because I was absolutely terrible at it. When you stand on those bikes, they rock side to side like crazy! It’s a lot more like riding on a real bike on the road. I think I was significantly better this time around! These bikes are cool partly because it is more like riding on the road, but also because they’re ever lower impact than a normal spin bike because the bikes takes the impact of a pedal stroke, instead of your body (like shoulder/wrists). This was a fun workshop, and definitely something different!


After that session, I immediately drank my chocolate milk and tried not to fall asleep.

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My next session was pretty cool: a Blogilates POP Pilates workout lead by Cassey Ho!

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Cassey Ho is a famous Youtuber and fitness instructor who has created her own branch of Pilates, POP Pilates, that is now taught in gyms all over the country. I do her ab workout videos pretty regularly, so it was cool to do an in-person workout and see what POP Pilates is all about! I really liked her in person too. She seemed nice, genuine, and similar to her online persona! The workout was fun, but I will likely stick to her ab videos because Pilates isn’t my favorite thing. It was a much welcomed break from cycling though!

Post-session, I rushed downstairs to have the same lunch as the previous day: Southwest salad with BBQ sauce and baked chips.


For my after lunch session, I was originally signed up for another Schwinn workshop, but had already spent a full day with the instructor in my certification, so I decided to mix it up and go to a Stages workshop on power. Again, they had bikes that measured percentages of your power, and you ride based off the percentage. So why ride based off power?

-Power is much more personalized to each rider. 1/4 turn of resistance (the old standard instruction for gear change) is a much bigger leap for some people than others.

-Power is a great motivational tool because riders can track their progress over time.

-Teaching off of power adds more of a purpose to the workout.

-Sometimes during recovery, riders take a ton of year off and stop paying attention to class. To ameliorate this, instruct riders to recover at half of the power of their hard work effort.


It worked out well that Saturday was my “walking dead day” because I had planned on skipping the evening workshop time slot, so after cycling, I grabbed a snack and headed back to the hotel to clean up and relax, before venturing out to explore the strip.

I took the Monorail to Paris/Bally’s, and got dinner at the food court area there. Nothing sounded better than a burger and fries. The lunch area by the conference where I got my salads also had french fries, and every day they smelled amazing, but I didn’t want fries before hopping on the bike. After an exhausting week, the burger and fries were just amazing. I went to Johnny Rockets and got a chicken burger with fries and a side salad (I ditched the bun).



On my way out, I stopped at one of those mall massage stands and it was absolutely amazing. Again, I learned that apparently if you spend enough time on a bike, your shoulders and back get super tight!

I actually got off at this monorail stop because my sister told me I had to see the garden at the Bellagio, and that was the closest stop.

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I actually couldn’t find the gardens, but I did more importantly find dessert! I stopped at a cafe for gelato, and then saw that they had gluten free banana chocolate chip muffins. So I got one “for later.”


Very sorbet on top, chocolate gelato on the bottom. It was actually 108 degrees when I was walking around so this was amazing.


I had half the muffin then, and half on the way back to my hotel later on. It’s nice to have a crazy appetite post-cycling!

The one other place I wanted to see was New York, New York, since it’s pretty cool. It’s a mini replica of NYC! I had been there once before.

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I got to bed at a very reasonable hour, and was up bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning for the final half day!


My first session was a lecture on food psychology and why we eat more than we think. The speaker was fantastic, and the talk was interesting. He argued that a large part of the obesity epidemic is due to people overeating (obviously), and this is because we don’t realize what we’re actually eating. Takeaways:

-Food now is lower protein and fiber, and higher sugar, making it easier to unknowingly eat more because protein and fiber is much more filling and satiating.

-Portion sizes have increased dramatically in the last 20 years, and we’ve gotten used to these huge sizes. For instance, the Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe is the same as it was many years ago (same quantity of ingredients), but now it makes 60 cookies, whereas before it yielded 100.

-People feel more satisfied with a full bowl, even if the bowl is smaller. Also, people tend to eat food until it is gone. Swap out larger bowls and plates for smaller dishes.

-When food is visible an convenient, people eat more. In a study where candy was placed on a desk (visible and easy), inside the desk (not visible but easy), or 5 feet away (visible but hard), people by far ate more candy when it was on the desk, and by far ate the least when they would have to get up and eat it. Sometimes laziness isn’t a bad thing!

-The labels on food change how people perceive it. Food with a fancier description on a menu was rated by tasters as being far superior.

-People eat less when they have a visual cue of how much they’ve eaten; for instance, people eat less if the empty candy wrappers are present.

-Eat mindfully and write it down—when people track their food, they tend to eat less.

***There are many things we don’t know in nutrition, but everyone agrees we need to eat whole foods!***

And then, I was on to my final session: aerobic training in cycling.

With all the attention HIIT has gotten, people often overlook aerobic conditioning (not breathless, not a max effort, but a prolonged effort). This is an important base for fitness. Additionally, HIIT is very hard on our bodies. HIIT should really only make up about 20% of workouts in the week. Additionally, lower intensity conditioning is great because not everyone likes to kill themselves like you have to in HIIT to get benefits, and the risk of injury is lower. We practices a few different forms of aerobic conditioning, for a pretty long ride. A couple of typical ways to implement this in a spin class:

-Long, hard sustained effort (7:00 intervals for instance)

-Intervals that are hard, but not anaerobic, especially intervals that interchange hard and moderate effort, without ever returning to easy effort.

The hard effort should be at the edge of the lactate threshold, but still very difficult.

Then, that was it! I was craving Subway, so I took the Monorail to MGM Grand since I remembered there was one there, plus it was closer to the airport so I could grab a cheaper cab.


The usual turkey and provolone salad with baked lays.

After lunch, I headed to the airport. I had a ton of time before my flight and would have loved to explore more, but I had to check out of my hotel at 7am and lugging a giant suitcase around in 108 degree weather is not my idea of a good time. I spent all afternoon getting my first Vegas blog posts up!

I went to Wendy’s at the airport for dinner and got a baked potato with broccoli and cheese, and an actually really delicious salad with chicken, mango, strawberry, feta, and honey roasted sunflower seeds.


This was been a crazy week as well, so recaps of that coming soon!

Vegas: Rest is For the Dead (Chainsmokers)

Hello again! I’m still working on my IDEA World recaps, but we’ve made it to Friday! It was one of the longest days of my life, but not in a bad way! (Well, it didn’t feel so great on Saturday, but that’s a post for another day.)

Friday morning, I woke up at 4:30 and could not fall back asleep. I think my body was so physically stressed from all the exercise the previous day that it was on high alert. Around 6am, I got up and had a Luna bar and half a nectarine before starting the conference.

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My first workshop was another Schwinn class, this one on intervals in cycling. The instructor went over different types of intervals, and talked about studies that supported them.

-HIIT: going above the lactate threshold for a short period of time, with varying recovery times.

-This type of interval has been around forever (early 1900s).

-When riders can decide how long to recover between intervals, most self-select 2 minutes.

-HIIT is really hard! It’s physiologically stressful, so only do it 1-2 times a week. Schwinn really emphasizes cross training (weight lifting/yoga), which I think is amazing! When cycling, you’re in a pretty crunched up position, so if this is all you do, there will be imbalances. Sidenote: I never realized how much shoulder/back is used during cycling until I took 3 classes a day, and then got on a massage chair.

-When instructing intervals, make sure the riders know exactly what they’re in for: how it should feel, and how long.

-Some real bike races start with a “cold start,” meaning the bike is not moving. We did a set of intervals from a stopped position, and that was definitely something different!

-For all out efforts, make sure to offer proper recovery. Suggested: sing-a-longs. If not properly recovered, riders won’t be able to sing.

-HIIT intervals are all out efforts. They are usually shorter workouts, and the studies backing them up are of short workouts. An hour long HIIT class is not true HIIT.

-Tabata interval is 4 minutes with 20s work, 10s off. The study only looked at 4 minutes of work, not tabata after tabata after tabata. This is way over applied. It’s not necessarily bad, but the science isn’t there backing this up one way or another.

-Here’s a sample of a workout you can do: the Copenhagen intervals.

5 minutes. Each minute is:

10s anaerobic (breathless)

20s hard effort (edge of breathless, difficult work)

30s moderate (still working, but not crazy)

Rest for 2 minutes, and do 5 sets.


After my fueling issues the previous day, I wanted to be smarter and more efficient with my calories. I immediately made a flapjacked protein smoothie with the mix and some milk. This was absolutely perfect.

My next session was ICG, and the focus was on power numbers when cycling.

Power is a equation of leg speed x resistance in cycling. The ICG bikes calculate different power zones based on your FTP, or functional threshold power. This is the highest average power a rider can generate when cycling for an hour. The bikes can calculate your FTP based on a 5 minute time trial, and then they light up different colors based on the percent of the FTP you’re working at. It’s super cool! The instructor then gives you instructions based on what color zone you should be riding in, and the front of your bike lights up in that color. It seems like focusing on power is the new trend in cycling (more on this later), and in a lot of ways it’s better than training based off of heart rate because the heart rate is your physiological response to the intensity, whereas the power is the raw intensity.

For this session, we did a really extensive (read: hard) warm-up before doing the 5 minute FTP test. The bikes can also estimate your FTP based off a variety of factors, such as general fitness level, gender, and bodyweight. This is great because you wouldn’t have to do an FTP test for every ride, and new riders would have something to go off of. However, my estimated FTG was way higher than my measured FTP (possibly because my legs were already dead), so trying to stay in the color zone combined with an already tough workout was HARD. Finally, we did our FTP test and then continued the ride with our calculated FTP.

After class, I SPRINTED to the cafe at the Convention Center for lunch. Need. Fuel.


I got a southwest salad with chicken and used light Italian dressing and BBQ sauce as dressing. I also had baked chips because I also felt like I really needed salt! (And carbs.)

After eating, I went back to the expo to check out a few more things.


Highlights: cheerios overnight oats and monk fruit sweetened chocolate/hot chocolate.

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Then, it was back to the Schwinn room! I broke into my emergency Cheerios.

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This session was on how to WOW as an instructor. Basically, how to make your classes love you! Takeaways:

-Know the club culture, know the class culture.

-Know the members and the staff. Learn names!

-Know your brand. I talked about this in my first post that I wrote on my phone immediately after exiting this session. My brand is my passion. My why is getting to watch and help people transform.

-Study motivation speakers and rock stars to see their presence.

-Have a consistent instruction style, do drills that are actually backed up by science and then share that information!

-Change up your coaching language to keep it interesting.

-Pretend the mic doesn’t work and practice commanding the room (you are forced to have a bigger presence without a voice.)

-End with a “mic drop” moment. People are giving you an hour of their lives, bring it home strong and make them feel glad they came.

-Know your own coaching style and own it.

This instructor was up for the group fitness instructor of the year award, and I can see why. This class was awesome. The best classes are the ones that make you really dig deep and get emotional. The ones that push you to the place that’s almost magical, where you can feel yourself changing. This was my third cycling class of the day, but as I mentioned in the other post, I hit a crazy high power number.

After class, I typed up the post and drank a (free) LaCroix from the expo.


I didn’t even know this was possible, but I got a nasty and super painful bruise on my ankle after class. The rooms had chairs next to the bikes, and when unclipping from the pedals I hit my ankle super hard on the chair, and it immediately started swelling. LaCroix as a fancy ice pack…?


After the session, I left the Convention Center for my next session and was exposed to the elements. I was inside most of the week, and it was SUPER cold.


I ate a NuGo bar in my next session. I really wanted to wait for food until dinner, but I was dying. It was amazing.


My last session was a lecture only: food myths. It was pretty good, but not amazing. I think everyone has their own nutrition philosophies. I don’t agree with everything she said, but I agreed with some of the things.

-Addictive sugar studies have only shown sugar is addictive in rats. Is this really applicable to humans?

-1% of people have Celiacs, and 6-7% have a non-Celiac gluten sensitivity. However, 20-30% of people have cut gluten from their diet because they think it’s healthier. It’s not unhealthy unless you have one of the above issues.

-Coconut oil? Unsaturated fat has heart protective fats, so if you replace those with coconut oil, you’re losing that protectiveness. Not necessarily bad alone, but bad because it replaces something healthy.

-Most people eat too much protein. You only really need 0.8 g/kg bodyweight per day.

-95% of people who lose weight will regain it in 5 years.

-The “all natural” food label doesn’t mean anything legally.

-Juicing can offer a lot of antioxidants (depending on the juice) but still offers a sugar surge.

-Organic foods are not shown to be healthier for consumers, but better for the health of farm workers and the environment.

After the session, I rushed to the magic baseball room to catch an inning of a game before foraging for dinner. My hotel had a number of restaurants, including sushi. I wanted sushi, but there was a wait so I hit up the buffet since I figured they would have sushi. I for sure didn’t get my money’s worth at the buffet, but a Las Vegas buffet is for sure an experience.


I’m pretty sure the foods were 50% fat/oil.


I made myself a salad bar salad, and then got my sushi. I also tried some “Mexican street corn,” which was super mayonnaise-y and soggy, mashed potatoes (mostly butter), and salmon. I left most of the corn for obvious reasons!

I had a small dessert of soft serve and a few bites of cheesecake.


As far as my night, I actually had big plans! I decided that I’m in Vegas and I’m 23 years old, so I should actually go out an do something! When I was walking around with my sister, I saw a few signs for things. I ended up being myself a ticket to see the Chainsmokers at Encore. *Another note: dress code is enforced. I saw someone get kicked out of line for wearing shorts. Here’s a look at my outfit:

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I got there a little bit early and explored Encore, looking for a TV playing the Giant’s game.


I finally found a bar with the game on and watched while sipping a gin and tonic.


Can I just say though, going to a NIGHTCLUB in VEGAS is so intimidating. But I decided I needed to just own it and go for it and have fun.

The club was apparently (one of if not) the best in the country? And it was absolutely incredible.


After waiting in line FOREVER, I was finally in. I grabbed another (CRAZY expensive) drink and walked around a little, exploring. I tried my luck at Blackjack and instantly lost $40. I just got really unlucky, and decided that there was no reason to throw away any more money. I see how it would be so easy to do though!

The thing about going to a club alone is that it’s not a huge deal. I made friends.


I did learn, however, that The Chainsmokers were not supposed to come on until 1:30am. Gulp. It was 11:30pm at this point. Would I stay for them…?


I did. And it was absolutely amazing. The club was really awesome and had great energy. Everything I like about this atmosphere is what I like about a spin class. I honesty think they cane really similar. It’s all about the music and the energy!

Here they are!

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There was this cold steam that would sometimes shoot out of the floor.

And confetti.

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As much fun as I was having, my energy was majorly starting to drop. Around 3, I decided to call it a night and take a cab back to my place.


By the time I reached my hotel room, I think I was more tired than I’ve ever been in my entire life (except maybe 3 hours later when my alarm was going off).

I almost slept in my clothes, and I was rushing around the room trying to get to sleep ASAP. I realized that I had been hungry around 10pm that night so I should probably eat something, so I literally ate cheerios out of a measuring cup while getting in bed.


It was honestly such an amazing night, and I’m glad I decided to just go out on my own and do something I wanted to do.

More adventures to come!






Vegas: All the Cycling, All the Food, None of the Sleep

I hope you enjoyed my first true Vegas post! Next, I’m going to recap day 2. Let’s just say, things kicked up a notch. So….as a cycling instructor I signed up for a lot of cycling sessions. And then I realized that from Wednesday-Sunday, I would be essentially taking 11 50ish minute spin classes. DEAR LORD.

Thursday was the first real day of the conference. My morning started with a 7am session, so I rolled out of bed just after 5:30 and shoved a granola bar in my face.

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My first session was just a ride with Stages. This was called “The Power of the Dork Side.”


They used a big screen to take us through a science fiction movie themed ride. My favorite part was the Back to the Future themed part, where they showed scenes from the movie and forced us to pedal fast enough to travel through time. The screen also had our bike effort level. We did a time trial at max effort at the start of class, and the computer on the bike calculated different work zones based off of this (i.e.: work at 70% of max, and it would flash up a particular color).


It was pretty cool! The screen is definitely a fun distraction.

This was for sure my hardest day in terms of exercise, partly combined with a late night prior. After my 7am session, I quickly drank chocolate milk before heading into Schwinn for my next workshop.


At this point, my metabolism was definitely humming along, and I broke into cheerios during the lecture portion of the workshop. Sidenote: I brought an entire box of Apple Cinnamon cheerios and this was an amazing decision. I ate a bag or two every single day of the conference.

Schwinn: Teaching Tips from TED

This workshop was really interesting: they speakers compared leading a cycling class to doing a TED talk. This session really focused on how I, as the leader of a class, should present myself. Here are some takeaways:

-TED talks are great because they are passionate, entertaining, educational, humorous. We want cycling classes to be the same. We have to draw the students in, and try to make class feel like no time has passed.

-The big parts of presentation (just like any persuasive essay from high school) have logos (logical appeal), ethos (credibility) and pathos (emotional appeal). A cycling class is no different. You obviously want to establish credibility (NEVER lie to your students about what’s ahead, i.e. “Sprint for 30s….JUST KIDDING ONE MORE MINUTE). Your riders need to trust you. You establish this not just through credentials, but based on how you look, act, and lead class.

-The first 30 seconds of class are incredibly important, like a TED talk. Draw the class in, command the room, and let them know what’s in it for them!

-Tell stories (emotional appeal), but be relevant and have a point.


-End class with a bang, because this is what students remember. It could be a high energy push, but it could also be a slow hill, with a carefully selected song to pull on the heartstrings (I love doing this too. Their suggestion was OneRepublic’s I Lived, but there are a few the Fray songs I like for this.)

The format of the cycling workshops was to do a lecture, and then a full ride to see how the information is applied.

After the ride, I was exhausted and famished. I downed a mini-protein bar before heading to Opening Ceremonies back at my hotel (it was literally right next to the Convention Center where most of the conference took place.)


At the opening ceremonies, they present awards and have motivational speakers. It’s always so inspiring! Admittedly, I left before the keynote speaker because I was STARVING. I grabbed another Greek salad from the hotel cafe and headed up to my room because I had a break.


Plus a bar.


Because there was a break, I had time for a short but much needed nap.

My first afternoon session was Olympic Lifting! This was mostly about coaching Olympic Lifting. I love Oly, and honestly would love to coach it, but it’s just not a priority right now and probably ever. We learned different progressions for the lifts, though I am familiar them.

Progressions for basic movements (start at one and move on when the previous movement is mastered)

Squat: Bodyweight squat to back squat to front squat to overhead squat.

Press: push up, strict press, push press, power jerk, split jerk.

Clean: hang power clean, power clean, hang squat clean, squat clean.

We practiced the progressions with a PVC pipe equivalent, and then worked with partners giving cues.

The biggest takeaway: FORM is so important! Spend a lot of time working with lighter weights an perfect technique, and only a little time working with heavy weights. I can attest that this is important. In my experience, you can instantly PR if you make a technique adjustment.

At this point, my body was HURTING. I was tired from a late night, and my legs were DONE from the back to back mooring cycling classes. I had another break before my last session, so I went to the Fitness and Nutrition Expo in hopes of finding some free samples with magic energy.

I didn’t try a ton. These things are a lot less fun when you’re allergic to EVERYTHING, but here are a few fun finds!


Cottage cheese with blueberry at the bottom. SO delicious. I love sweet with cottage cheese (I love pumpkin butter with cottage cheese!), and the protein was much, much needed.


Dried figs.


Yogurt-like cheese that was delicious. Like less-tart yogurt.


Super good bars that are literally just bananas.

And finally, life:


Coffee. I know I don’t do caffeine because I don’t do well with it, but this was so necessary. And freaking amazing. They had samples on tap, and I figured a small amount was just the right amount! These canned lattes from La Colombe are super frothy, which I loved. And caffeine.

Finally, it was time for my last session! Another cycling!


This was run by Keiser, and I was pumped to walk in and realize these are the bikes I teach on! This workshop was a really fun one, thankfully, because my legs were done. This was cycling karaoke! Yes, it’s literally exactly what it sounds like, and it’s amazing. I loved the instructor, who was full of personality, and who doesn’t secretly love karaoke? In this class, we cycling to all karaoke music, meaning we listened to popular songs without lyrics, and had a screen with the lyrics displayed. Everyone sang at once, but we also passed the mic around so one person would be projected over the speaker. The instructor walked around the class offering the mic. Fun fact: it’s a lot harder to cycle when you’re singing. It’s hard to breathe. Know that instructors have the same problem when speaking while teaching: it’s harder work to talk/sing while exercising!

i had such a blast I literally didn’t notice I was exercising. I definitely needed that!


Then, I got cleaned up for the IDEA conference party. I didn’t really make friends this year and I didn’t know anyone, so I felt a little weird going solo, but there was food! The first thing I did was get a beer at the hotel bar, because after 3 cycling classes it was much needed.


I’m going to show you my outfit of the night because real people clothes!

IMG_4640 IMG_4643

For my meal, I had a salad and chicken stir fry over rice.


I decided to not really spend time at the party and call it an early night after a long day. Instead, I got froyo at the 24 hour froyo place (!) in my hotel and carried it to the room with all the Sports screens to watch the Giant’s game.


Chocolate and cheesecake froyo with butterscotch and chocolate chips.

Back in the room I watched some TV shows and ate a Bobo’s chocolate chip banana oat bar. It’s my first time trying this flavor and it was so good!


One thing I do want to mention was the interesting challenge of fueling myself properly. On this particular day, I had a stomachache most of the day. I was constantly hungry and full, because I was burning SO many calories. And the unfortunate fact of the matter is, while my stomach condition is way better than it used to be and is rarely an issue, I still have trouble digesting large amounts of food. So going over my normal daily calories, despite the fact I needed fuel, left me feeling sick, especially at night after froyo+granola bar. After that day, I had to be smarter about what my calories were and when I ate them, and it definitely helped!

Coming up next: actually one of the longest days of my life!