I’ve been looking forward to this post all week. My favorite posts from other bloggers are the “Friday Favorite” style posts, in which writers share what they’ve been loving…I always get some great ideas and recommendations, oftentimes for items or activities that would never have occurred to me otherwise. I’m hoping as readers that you, too, will share your recent favorites in the comments section!
Now without further ado… the first “Things I’m Loving Thursday”😉
The Protein Bar
My Starbucks addiction may have actually been replaced – what is going on?!
I’ve eyed The Protein Bar every morning on my walk to my office in downtown Denver, and last week I finally decided to check it out. I’ve been back every day (sometimes twice daily…oops) since! They have a small, albeit fantastic menu of healthy, natural, and organic dishes. Even better, they list all of their ingredients and the nutritional information for everything! So far I’ve had the Pesto Egg Scramble, aka delicious + low in carbs + packed with natural protein, and the Mile High Perk smoothie (which has replaced my mid-day coffee), made with chocolate and espresso (!) protein, almond milk, and cocoa malt.
For all of their drinks, The Protein Bar offers whey, soy, and vegan protein powders. Bonus!
Semi (?) related to my new Protein Bar obsession, Matt gifted me the FitBit Flex he received from work last week and I am in love! I didn’t think tracking my steps, etc. would ever really appeal to me and, while I’m not overly concerned at the end of the day if I have met the 10,000 step goal or not, it has served as a great catalyst to get me up and moving every 30 or 60 minutes while at work! The Protein Bar is a few blocks from my office, so I looove watching my steps rack up as I walk to get a cool treat😉 Totally justifies it! Right? (Say “right!”)
A few of my older sisters have sworn by their FitBits for a few years now (one of my sisters lost more than 40 lbs and credits the FitBit as a motivating tool for her to get healthy), and this morning we started a “group” for some friendly, familial competition >> like everyone in my family, I can be hypercompetitive. This could get interesting🙂
Have you guys seen all the cute new bracelets now available to hide your FitBit chip? So in love with this one. [Husband, if you are reading this, don’t forget my birthday is in a week!😉 ]
Does this pic even need an explanation? Matt and I had a Whole Foods picnic out by the fire at our new place last weekend and I cannot.freaking.wait. to do it again this weekend and maybe every night for the rest of the summer?? (sorry, bank account. Whole Foods wins always). Eating fresh, delicious food with a bottle of cab and my favorite guy…I felt very happy in that moment and confident that Denver is going to be a great, great adventure for us! We even met a crew of 20 and 30 somethings that were also out doing the summer night thing and shared some beers and small talk. Yay for starting to meet some potential friends!
Also on the agenda for this summer are more visits to Red Rocks Ampitheatre. A legend in its own right, we had heard from many people when mentioning our move to Denver that Red Rocks is a must-do. We went and checked out Lindsey Stirling last week and have already purchased tickets for two more shows at the venue this summer (and likely will add more!). It is difficult to describe in words the experience; simultaneously intimate and jaw-dropping. It didn’t hurt that throughout the entire show, we watched downtown Denver (in the background) light up with a lighting storm. It is a night I won’t forget and I am so, so looking forward to more in the future!
New amino acid flavor
For any of my bodybuilding friends out there (or just BCAA fans!), GOOD NEWS! Costco is carrying the large amino acids again!!! A few months ago, they stopped carrying these (they sold the grape flavor for a long time) and Matt and I were so bummed – these get expensive when ordered online. To our surprise (and excitement!!!), we came across this new-to-us flavor while on our weekly Costco run last weekend and immediately grabbed a few…you know, just in case they stop selling again😉 I’m not usually a lemon-lime fan, but this flavor is awesome. I drink it before workouts and sometimes, when I’m heaving trouble hitting my 1.25 gallon a day goal for water intake, I’ll add some BCAAs to the water for a little flavor kick.
Audiobooks for cardio
It never occurred to me to listen to audiobooks until I read a post by The Fitnessista where she mentioned listening to them + how it helped cardio fly by. I downloaded “The Husband’s Secret” by Lane Moriarty (also an idea poached from Gina) and gave it a try a few times this week. I have to say that, at least for steady-state cardio, this is a great idea!
I will always prefer a book in my hands (devouring a good book is one of my favorite “me time” activities), but listening to a pleasant voice read me a suspenseful novel while I chug away on the stairmaster was a nice change of pace.
[heads up though…audiobooks from iTunes are like $20! I was shocked.]
Lifting heavy / CROSSFIT
From October 2014 – May 2015, I did the same.exact.workouts. every week per the workout plan provided by my coach (I competed in my first bikini bodybuilding competition on May 8th). They were higher rep, lower weight.
MAN have I missed hitting the gym to lift heavy. Something about it makes me feel strong and empowered (and kinda badass ;)) The last few weeks have my love for strength training back in full force and it feels goooood.
Also started Crossfit workouts again this week…trying a new gym out tonight and am hoping I love the vibe. It’s super close to our new place!
Coincidentally, it’s also a running WOD which happen to be my favorite. Excited to get my butt kicked tonight!
I’m looking forward to sharing workouts with you soon🙂
Tell me, what are YOUR Friday favorites this week?