Endorphins Make You Happy
We all know what holiday, if we can even call it that, is coming up. It’s national chocolate day…just kidding, I’m talking about Valentines Day! On this day, it’s totally chill to binge eat chocolate (dark obviously because its “healthier”) and those candy hearts with corny sayings written on them that actually taste horrible but you’ve eaten so many that you’ve begun to enjoy them, and re-watch your favorite rom-com at least five times (if your not re-watching 13 Going On 30 or 10 Things I Hate About You get off my website). If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you exchange gifts (even though you said no presents necessary you are most definitely expecting a nice piece of jewelry or creative romantic gesture) and spend this sentimental day eating chocolate (or sushi if your Samantha Jones) off each other’s bodies (totally kidding with this one mom!). But if you’re currently single, your probably thinking “seriously f this chick with all the boyfriend talk who is telling me how great Valentines Day is”. I’m an optimist, and the way I see it, you can take one of two paths here. You can take quirky but brilliant Leslie Knope’s idea and make it “Galentines Day” and celebrate you and all your fabulous betches…OR…you can go out on the prowl! Let’s be real here, there are so many single men and women out there looking for either “thunder buddy” (yes that was Ted reference) or for someone to have some fun with. I don’t know about you chicks, but on this day I’m whipping out my “A” outfit and trying to look smoking hot. For those who are unaware what I mean by an “A” outfit, I am referring to that outfit that you have attempted to wear on at least 3 different occasions, but before going out you think “ugh I look too hot for what I’m doing tonight” (like going for dinner and a movie with your lineage) so you throw it back in your closet. I, along with what I presume is the majority of you, want to look and FEEL sexy on Valentines Day (admittedly I want this on all days but that’s neither here nor there). No need to stress people, you have more than enough time to get your asses to the gym (not that you need a gym because my workouts are equipment free!) and whip those bodies into shape. The key to feeling sexy (in my unbiased opinion) is (no shocker here) exercise!
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't.” As irrelevant as that quote may seem, it really isn’t. First and foremost, because Elle Woods is perfect and never irrelevant, but also because she’s right! When you workout, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which triggers a positive feeling in yourself, which will lead to you feeling happier and better about your bod! So, follow this workout (and the others posted on previous posts) and feel good about yourself on Valentines Day!
Ps: You’re all beautiful and awesome in your own way, so eat some chocolate, celebrate those you love (significant other or fellow betches) and be happy!
Circuit #2: There are 10 exercises that are to be done for one minute each, with a 30 second break in between each exercise.
Do this circuit twice and sweat like a girl!
1. Mountain Climbers
5. Hip Circles
8. Shoulder Taps
9. One Legged Arm Reaches
The Worst Best Friend
Staying Fit During Rush
The health and fitness advice that doesn't make you want to roll your eyes
Is Butter a Carb?
Summer time is a tiring time for my legs, or polkies as my parents describe them (I am 95% that the term polkies means chubby thighs in the Yiddish language) You know the term “suns out guns out”, I think of it more as “suns out entire body needs to get tan”. Because of this, in the summertime I prefer to avoid the gym like a bad habit and run outside daily. Though it took me a while (and a few trips to the knee doctor) I am now fully a believer in mixing up my workouts, as doing the same thing every day will negatively affect your body. Hot yoga is arguably my favorite alternative to running. I sweat out my body weight in water, actually stretch for once (don’t judge me people) and my favorite part of it all, I get to say Namaste and not seem like a tool for saying it. For anyone thinking yoga is not a workout, my rapid heart rate and shaking limbs would beg to differ. Many hot yoga studios also offer variations of classes, some including weights, pilates moves, and other tortures to whip your body into shape.
My friends will probably laugh when I say this, but I think spinning is another great way to exercise without completely obliterating your knees. The first time I “found my soul”, or attempted to, (if your not up on the lingo I am referring to the uber trendy workout fad called Soul Cycle) I went with a bunch of my friends and couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I am a very athletic person (not to toot my own horn but I did play D1 tennis for a hot sec) but during this class I have never felt more uncoordinated in my life. There were various times where I thought I was going to catapult myself off the bike, specifically during the “push-ups”, as well as times where I felt humiliated that I was seemingly the only one in the class who could not move their legs and arms at the same time to the beat of the Taylor Swift song playing. By the time that first class ended I ran out of that studio with my dignity and soul left behind. Months later I decided there is clearly a reason why so many people love Soul Cycle, including the Victoria Secret models, so I put on my trendiest LuLu Lemon outfit and signed up for another class. I hate myself for saying this, but I think I found my soul. Although feeling only slightly less uncoordinated, I left the class drenched in sweat and my entire body was shaking with exhaustion. Biking outside is another great form of exercise that will truly make your thighs burn and wouldn’t hurt your tan. Try to ride on both flat and hilly terrain, that way your butt and thighs have to work! There are so many ways to mix up your workouts, but the most important part is to shock your system. Your body will plateau if you do the same thing every day, so whether it be running, spinning, or becoming Gumby at hot yoga, change it up!
I love food. Sweet or salty, breakfast or dinner, no matter the type, I’m in. I am a firm believer in the need to indulge. I have tried too many times to cut myself off from chocolate or cheese and many more things, hoping to loose a pound or two, but the only thing that will come from this is me craving anything and everything that I can get my hands on. I overeat the things that I am allowing myself to have, and will therefore end up feeling even grosser than I did before!
If you want a cookie, you do you girlfriend, you eat that cookie! Moderation however, is key. Have one cookie, and maybe stay on the elliptical for an extra five minutes to make yourself feel better. I have a running joke with my friends about the way I eat frozen yogurt. I refuse to eat my frozen yogurt in the store, partly because I like to be comfortable wearing sweats watching Greys Anatomy, but also because my attempt at self control with a large vat of frozen yogurt in front of me is a failure. Not only will I eat the entire deep dish of froyo in a matter of minutes, but I have, more than once, gone up for seconds. That’s right, I have finished my large serving of cake batter and peanut butter yogurt drenched in carob chips (I tell myself they are way healthier than chocolate chips) and have gone up and re-filled my cup with more toppings and potentially more yogurt. When surrounded by girlfriends, we giggle and egg each other on, telling one another “yolo” its just froyo! While we all have those nights where we pig out and regret it the next morning, these nights should not be a common occurrence. Instead, try and make your froyo last!
When I get home, I will take a third, maybe even half if I am feeling crazy, of my frozen yogurt and put it in a separate cup. I then put the rest of the froyo in the freezer and save it for the next night. By doing this, I am still able to indulge in the delicious mixture of 7 or so flavors that I swirl together, but I don’t feel sick afterwards. Usually when I get frozen yogurt, I want something sweet and fabulous for desert, but do I really need $8 (I’m not ashamed of how heavy my froyo cups are) worth of frozen yogurt in one night? Those cups are not meant for one serving, but really quite a few. Moral of the story, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, but do it in moderation!
For example, pancakes are a wonderful gift from heaven. They are fluffy and sweet and really just perfect, but as most of you know, they aren’t the healthiest food on the planet. As someone who has been watching what she eats since birth, I pretty much never eat pancakes. Don’t worry chicks, good news! This recipe is healthy and light and delicious!
New Year. New You.
Finals are the bane of my existence. You’ve pretty much moved into the library, marked your territory (not like a dog…ew), and have zero intentions of seeing sunlight unless you actually need to leave the library to buy coffee (Lehigh JUST built a coffee shop in the library…for a school filled with engineers…are we serious?!) You wake up at 8 am stressed out of your mind that someone stole your seat at the library (betches are crazy during final season and will throw away that folder you left and look the other way because FINALS) and then look in your closet and actually LOL at your jeans. Are you really expected to look like a person and squeeze into a tight pair of jeans so you can sit in them for what seems like the rest of eternity? So you see people in gym clothes and have 1 of 2 thoughts. Option 1:“HA that outfit is clearly for comfort, there’s no way they have time to workout today” or Option 2 (and my personal favorite): “LOL they’re going to workout today, they clearly don’t care how they do on finals.”
For all those haters who say there’s no time to workout during finals…you have time to Facebook stalk that biatch in another sorority for 2 hours but can’t go for a half hour run to give your brain some air? Research shows (obviously done by scientists and not myself because um do I look like Einstein?) that even just a half hour workout increases memory accuracy and recall speed. I have (honestly multiple times) gone to the library in my workout clothes, gone for a run midday, and ran back into the library covered in sweat and a baseball hat (clean hair during finals is a fallacy) and continued to do my work as if I never left…desperate times call for desperate measures people. We can all afford a break while in the library…I have felt actual dents in my butt from those hard wooden chairs…so go exercise! You will feel better and actually be smarter!
Here is a QUICK workout that I promise will not deter your Facebook stalking, online shopping at Free People (maybe that’s just me) and TBH, will not be the reason your exam looks like a different language (actually though, during my Planet Earth final I seriously questioned whether I was taking the right exam)
10 treadmill sprints (pump up the speed to anywhere from 9-10.5)
- 30 second breaks in-between each sprint
- If you’re feeling fabulous (which you should because you are!) do squats with your feet on the ledges of the treadmill during each rest
After 7 straight hours of cheering, talking to PNM’s (potential new members of course), and flipping my hair (my stick straight hair gets flat quickly and nobody likes flat hair) the last thing I want to do is go to the gym and sweat out the excess of mints I ate throughout the day. Sorority recruitment, aka rush, is mentally, and I’m going to go ahead and say physically exhausting (standing up and down every time you meet and greet a girl is tough work for those thighs). Being physically fit is a key aspect of each day (singing every time the freshman girls walk in knocks the wind out of you) so skipping your workouts during rush week are most definitely frowned upon. Some friends call me crazy, and by some I mean most, but I choose to wake up at 6 am and get my tired, angry bod to the gym. This early morning workout doesn’t have to be the best workout of your life, considering it’s the crack of dawn and for the first twenty minutes you’re most likely going to be dreaming about your bed, but trust me, it’s worth it. You will go into the long day of rush feeling fit and awake (a good workout is way more of a caffeine-type boost than coffee) and knowing that you can go home later with your friends and plant yourselves on the couch and nonstop talk about all the fab or awkward conversations you had that day is way better than angrily going to the gym. So do yourself a favor, and the rest of your sorority for that matter, and work out before rush…because a fit, awake you is way better than an out of shape, grumpy you.
Like I said, not every workout needs to be an hour, but make your short workout an intense workout! This workout I am about to explain is what I call the “Chris” workout. During the summer going into Junior year I was finally able to drop the Freshman (and lets be real Sophomore) pounds I gained and it was all because of a trainer named Chris from the gym near me. While I hated him during each hour long workout, he is now a hero to me. For the entire hour I had to run sprints in 1 minute intervals, while doing different ab exercises or squats in between as a rest. That’s right…as a REST I was doing squats and crunches! The only thing that kept me going on that treadmill was the always perfect Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show that I was lucky enough to catch during my weekly Tuesday training sessions. Fast forward 2 years, I am thousands of calories of alcohol and late night nachos lighter, and I now praise the workout that changed my bod! So hop on the treadmill (I know treadmills are the worst thing to happen since jean skirts went out of fashion but they do work your bod like a bad habit) and do 10 sprints. Up the speed to anywhere from 9 to 10.5 and do 10 sprints, in one minute intervals with 30 second breaks in between. Not only will this make you sweat profusely (and everyone knows a good workout can be based off of the amount of sweat you produce) but it will also get your heart rate up which is the best way to start your day!
On days where I am in a hurry and do not have a ton of time for a killer ab workout (a recruitment day for example) I find that doing a quick circuit will get the job done. Do 5 sets of crunches, consisting of 20 reps each, and for a quick rest in between crunches do 10 push-ups. Before you know it you will have done 100 crunches and 50 pushups (a lot more than you normally would have done!)
Bottom line: Don’t let rush, or any time in your life where time and energy is lacking, stop you from exercising and feeling hot! A quick workout is better than no workout!
With sweat and love,
Hummus and Hamsas
I’m back betches. For those who are unaware, I recently traveled to the land of hummus and Hamsas (Israel obviously). I spent the past 5 days in Tel Aviv, visiting my brother Gideon, who is a Paratrooper in the Israeli Defense forces (hashtag badass). I don’t understand how Gideon, and all the other soldiers train in those uniforms under the Israeli sun; I sweat so much that I’m almost positive my pores were leaking hummus.
One of my favorite things about Tel Aviv is how active of a city it is. Israelis are always doing some form of exercise…I actually passed an 80-year-old man running along the beach in nothing but a thong (that’s a whole other issue) Along every beach and park in Tel Aviv are outside gyms, which are always packed with some seriously jacked people…I’m talking about major vein popping...so they must be legit. You know the paddle game kadima that you always see people playing on the beach? You’d think the Israeli’s are practicing for the Olympics they are so intense about it…I walk along the beach in actual fear of being knocked unconscious by an angry Israeli with his paddle, but once again, these Kadima players are in sick shape.
Almost every person in Israel has served in the military, which means every Israeli girl has fulfilled my lifelong dream of rocking those green jumpsuits (and not because their Birthright trips took them to a military base). It also means that they have all trained under the excruciating sun, experienced chub rub, and couldn’t even complain about it! Because I basically almost started a fire between my thighs from the heat while running, really I think I saw sparks fly, I chose to skip my daily run one day and do what I call an “army workout”. Since most soldiers don’t have time or access to weights/equipment to workout with, I was feeling inspired to push myself…and I got some insta-worthy pictures from it.
What is awesome about this type of workout is that you don’t need any equipment and it can really be done in any environment…so no excuses people! Go outside, get sweaty, and lets get army strong! HOORAH!
Army Workout (If possible...do all exercises on stairs)
1 minute sprints (if stairs available…sprint up and down those)
1 minute mountain climbers (if stairs available, put feet on stairs and do mountain climbers off of stairs)
30 box jumps (use any raised surface to jump onto)
30 shoulder taps (feet on stairs...hands on floor)
1 minute burpees
1 minute plank
1 minute jumping jacks
1 minute flutter kick
Repeat 2-3 times
The weather is getting warmer, barbeques are starting to take over your social schedule, and formals are quickly approaching, this can only mean one thing: its springtime betches! It’s the most wonderful time of year; you no longer have to wear layers of clothing on your long trek to class or deal with hat head from the various beanies you wear to keep warm, although I do love a good beanie to avoid washing my hair. Unfortunately, we can no longer hide under comfy large sweaters and actually need to start shaving our legs again.
Spring-time is synonymous with darties, or day parties if you are not up to date with the current lingo. Who doesn’t love to be outside and dance on elevated surfaces with your friends while wearing jean shorts and cropped tops (seriously if you don’t you’re a peasant). But unfortunately, darties also mean waking up at 8 am and raging until dinner-time, when we all pass out on various couches and floors. I love darties (obviously) because I get to be with my friends and have fun all day but then still go to sleep early (sorry I’m a grandma) BUT these days also stress me out. Plot twist: darties have one major flaw…days like these leave very little time to exercise.
Quick story, I recently went to a darty, which was obviously St. Patty’s day themed because I’m basic. I woke up at what felt like the crack of dawn and proceeded to bop around in my green attire (side note green is my absolute favorite color so this is essentially my favorite day) for the next 10 hours. At around 5 o’clock when everyone else fell asleep, I quickly remembered I had not worked out that day and had eaten my body weight in chicken wings at the local bar. I put on my workout clothes and stumbled to the gym. Fast-forward 20 minutes and I am deliriously tired/hung-over on an elliptical. I lasted a total of 30 minutes at the gym and did not even break a sweat as the fast motion of the elliptical made me nauseous. So don’t be crazy like me and go to the gym after a long day of partying in hopes of making yourself feel better. Take a day off! Yes I actually said that.
Instead of having a horrible workout that makes you never want to enter that gym again, enjoy the break, and go extra hard the next day with this workout!
Do this 2x and you can thank me later.
5 sprints on the treadmill in one minute intervals (speed ranging from 8.5-10)
20 squat and kicks
30 mountain climbers
30 jumping jacks
I know it’s been a while, but working gabby has been busy trying to become the next Jillian Michaels, so a ~hiatus~ from the blogging world was necessary. I’m back though and ready to chat.
Super-bowl Sunday is almost here and you know what that means…pounds of chicken wings lathered in hot sauce…oh and I think a big football game! Most of us have little interest in actually watching the game, (if Tom Brady and his tight pants aren’t going to be on the other side of that TV I really have no inclination to watch) but we do have an interest in the food. I’m talking pigs in a blanket, nachos, and my personal favorite from back in my sorority days- buffalo chicken dip. It’s mid-winter, so we are all feeling pale (my legs are currently transparent) and bikini season is the furthest thing from our minds. Knowing we can hide behind tights and sweaters, obviously with collars because those are so in right now, is the extra comfort we all need to go as hard as we plan on going on this glorious night. Now, my trainer mind is giving me anxiety just thinking about the nutritional content of these heavily greased, fried to perfection foods, but it’s one day…right? I am the first person to say yolo lets eat these fried cheese puffs; on a somewhat related note, I late night ate Sticky’s Finger Joint last night, and holy chicken fingers that place should win an award they were that good. My point is, it is okay to stray from the typical kale salad and quinoa bowl and live a little, but the day doesn’t have to be a complete waste on your usual healthy self. Prior to the “big game” (I put that in quotes because this game literally means nothing to me besides some good food) do this kick-ass chicken wing-burning workout and then go eat some dip!
Chicken Wing Burning Workout
Do each set 3 times
Jump rope: 3 minutes
Commandos: 12 each arm
Ball slams: 15
Jump squats: 15
Walkoutspider plank: 8
Jump lunges: 30
Russian twists: 30 (holding medicine ball if feeling good)
My badass brother!
No more excuses. No more saying, “if only I had time to workout.” Each and every one of you can make time. I get it, we are all busy, and more so, it’s cold out. Obviously it is very easy to cuddle under a blanket with your girls and binge watch the OC and obsess over Ryan and Seth, (really, that was the entirety of first semester). I fully support the Netflix movement (not an actual movement but it should be) of binge watching shows for hours, but I enjoy doing this much more after having a killer workout where I feel like I deserve it! Instead of sitting on the couch in your grou-fit (not sure of the proper spelling of the gray on gray ensemble) feeling the rolls of your stomach, wouldn’t you rather feel your hard abs. A great workout does not require an hour of your time, or even a gym! As a runner, I love to go for quick run outside just to get my blood flowing and give my mind some fresh air! But for those who don’t run or would rather not freeze their tushies off in this cold weather, you can still exercise!
Here is a simple, no equipment needed circuit that will take a maximum of 30 minutes! (Videos of each exercise are presented along the sides of the page)
Circuit #1: There are 10 exercises that are to be done for one minute each, with a 30 second break in between each exercise.
Do this circuit twice through and feel the burn!
Dig out your tall tan boots, straight jeans and best sweaters because it’s fall biatches! It is now legally acceptable to drink hot coffee again, and by coffee I really mean pumpkin spice lattes. It’s not that I even enjoy this particular beverage, but how can I turn down an opportunity to drink out of the uber-trendy leaf-patterned Starbuck’s cups.
I love the fall; the weather is perfect, not too hot and not too cold, like April 25th,(if you don’t understand that reference go watch the classic Miss Congeniality) and don’t think I don’t love how the orange and brown leaves make for perfect fall foliage insta’s. My wardrobe is also def best worn in the fall, I mean what else were Free People socks and beanies made for if not to rock with a skirt and boots? Needless to say fall is my season. With all my brainstorming of the perfect stepping into fall outfit (hint: it includes a cowl-neck poncho), I forgot about the dreaded trying on of my jeans. I haven’t worn jeans since ‘nam, aka before summer, and I can’t be certain that they will be free of muffin tops. This is why I have decided to turn up the notch on my workouts recently and really shock my body. Because I am a true friend and a believer in us girls needing to stick together, I’ll let all of you in on my “Octoberfest” workout plan.
Step 1: Shock your body: When I say this I don’t mean a crazy juice cleanse to “detox” your body (I cannot fathom the idea of surviving on just juice but that’s besides the point) but mixing up your workouts to avoid a body plateau. As discussed in “Namaste Biatches” doing the same thing every day will only hurt your body. Exercise classes are a great way to mix up your workouts and get your sweat on. I recently tried out a few Equinox classes (Tabata and Best Butt Ever to be exact) and they rocked…I’m talking serious soreness. Even if you don’t belong to Equinox, (although everyone should because it’s the best gym!) look for exercise classes that incorporate cardio, weights and honestly some good tunes.
Step 2: Get your heart racing and keep it up! I’m not just talking about running…I dare you to try this bodyweight circuit.
1 minute per exercise- repeat 3x
Plank to Push-up
Step 3: Rock a hot workout outfit…it doesn’t hurt to feel fab while exercising
Step 4: Work with a trainer: I always find that I am pushed the furthest when someone else is making me do it.
PS: I hear this Equinox trainer who looks a lot like Is Butter A Carb Girl is the new up and coming “IT” trainer…so contact me for inquiries!
May you sweat and love nothing but pumpkin flavors for the next few months.
Alcohol is the worst best friend a girl could have. Drinking with your friends is the best, you’re dancing, listening to music, making toasts to the night with your glasses (and by glasses I really mean plastic cups that you stole from your sorority house) and debating how many shots is too many shots. I am a lightweight, I am that girl that has one glass of wine and is giggly and flushed with color (I’m not proud of this because my inability to drink for hours with my friends is embarrassing, but it is a blessing in disguise that I don’t need to consume mass amounts of alcohol to feel tipsy and dance like Elaine on Seinfeld) but surrounded by my girlfriends, I always end up drinking more than necessary (partly in an attempt to not actually realize how repulsive the crack-house looking off campus frat house I am about to be in for the next two hours is). I am also a baby when it comes to drinking, as for every sip of alcohol I take, I need to aggressively follow it by chugging at least two times the amount of chaser. This is the first issue ladies. The best chasers are usually the most fattening; I went through a phase where I chased with seltzer because nutritionally, it is the same as drinking water, however it only slightly hides the taste of the alcohol (I would attempt to pretend like it was a great chaser and I didn’t have to boot each time I sipped the alcohol…it was all a lie people). Try for a flavored seltzer, as it adds flavor to your drink to mask the flavor of alcohol, but adds barely any calories.
Next comes the late night eating. Drunk girls in a kitchen is literally one of the scariest things to watch. I have actually seen girls fight over the last nacho (not saying I wouldn’t knock a betch out for the last bite of cheesy heaven) but seriously we need to get our shit together girlfriends. Fraternity houses have actually started to lock their kitchen doors to stop us crazy girls from raiding their pantry (seriously, this is not a drill). This phenomenon of late-night eating is real people; it is one of the hardest things to avoid. I’m going to let you all in on a little secret because us girls need to stick together: it IS avoidable. When I come back from a late night out, I make a mad dash for my room, partly because I usually need to put on loose, comfy clothing asap, but also because it is not my kitchen. I get ready for bed, (jammies-check, jewelry off-check, etc.) and then decide if I really NEED to make the dreaded trek to the kitchen. More often than not, I realize I’m not actually hungry and would rather not have to go up and down the stairs another time. Quick story: one night I came home with my friends and we were all ordering dominos (whatever no judgments here), I ran to my room in a hurry because I desperately needed to put on my pjs, and as I’m running upstairs I scream to my friends, “if I’m asleep, wake me when the zuh (pizza obvs) gets here”. Next thing I know its morning and I couldn’t be happier I didn’t binge eat pizza and cheesy bread. This is a prime example of not actually needing, or really even wanting the late night munchies.
Then comes the next morning. You wake up dreaming of water, (I have literally had dreams of drinking water because I was that dehydrated) and are so thirsty that the thought of drinking from the toilet may have slipped your mind, and your head pounding so hard that you question whether someone hit you over the head with a frying pan the night before. Every hung over morning I question my morals and tell myself “I’m never drinking again” (we all do it).
Enter my constant dilemma, should I drink and just “yolo” because I am in college or sustain from alcohol in order to feel better about myself and my body? While I do try to only drink once a week, I am a senior in college, and this betch has got to let loose sometimes! So as Tom Haverford likes to say “Treat Yo’Self” (I hate that I’ve already used that joke but it’s just so relevant and a great motto to live by) and have a drink (or two…). On nights where you know you will be drinking, maybe workout extra hard that day, or eat a little healthier so the calories from alcohol don’t out weigh your hard work! As for the late night eating, use all the willpower in the world and have a bite of nachos instead of an entire plate (or try my trick of sneaking to your room if you really want to get outside your comfort zone).
Certain alcohols are less fattening than others, and the same goes for chasers. Here’s a helpful guide to drinking responsibly! (These nutrition facts are based on Calorie Count.com)