The Truth About Detox Baths

This post was originally published on ColeTries.com

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Just the thought of taking a bath disgusts me and sometimes makes me gag, so deciding to take a “detox bath” was very out of character for me. And now that it’s over I can confidently say NOT worth it.

So how did a girl who nearly throws up just thinking about a bath wind up paying $30 for French clay and sitting in a too-small tub? Goop. Yes, Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop, comes through once again. If you’re ever looking for something weird and expensive to try, just peruse Goop for a minute and you’ll be fine. And also possibly bathing in clay…

Obviously I put this bath off for a bit after it came in the mail because… ew. But after drinking for 8 hours on a Saint Patrick’s Day pub crawl onSaturday, I knew Sunday night needed to be spent in the tub. Which, by the way, was not big enough for me. I felt like Buddy the Elf at the North Pole trying to pretzel myself into a position that allowed for the majority of my body to be submerged. I managed to cross my ankles and get everything under except my kneecaps. I’m thinking this didn’t have a prominent effect on the overall detox but I’m not an expert, and I might have some pretty toxic kneecaps now.

Anyway, I followed the directions as best I could, but I usually manage to mess things like this up. I ran the bath water for what felt like forever until it looked like it was full enough. This might be simple for someone who takes baths often, but I had no clue what I was doing here. Next, I took the salt packet out of the bag and dumped the whole thing in. It dissolved pretty quickly and then it was time to get in and add the clay. I weighed my options for a minute and decided it didn’t make any sense to get in and then add the clay so I dumped it in first. Again, I don’t think this had a prominent effect on the overall detox, but not an expert.

Once I climbed in, which was a big step for me, I quickly realized I was severely lacking in water. Not sure if you’ve ever gotten into a bath with too little water before, but it’s awkward AF, like sitting on the shallow end of a wave pool except you’re naked. So I turned the water back on and sat there feeling very uncomfortable. I also started to get really self-conscious because I was sure my roommates could hear the water running and were judging me for how much I was using. Water in Southern California is a rare commodity, so I apologize to the environment.

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Once I finally had enough water, I turned my Spotify Soft Pop Hits playlist on and set my timer for 20 minutes. Retrospectively, I’m not sure this was the best idea considering the detox I was doing was a “digital detox” meant to cleanse my body of the toxins it absorbs from using my phone all the time, whatever those may be… but I wasn’t about to sit in the tub for 20 minutes with no music, so I used technology. The review I read of this product on Goop said that when I was done I would feel very heavy getting out of the tub and then sleep for a really long time. This is not what happened.

In the bath’s defense, I drank a small iced coffee around 7 p.m., and that’s probably why I didn’t sleep well, but I was hoping the detox would be so intense the coffee wouldn’t matter, especially since I finished this bath around 10:30 p.m. Regardless, I didn’t feel any heavier getting out of the tub than any normal person climbing out of that much water would, so I started to get worried that this was all for nothing.

Afterwards you’re supposed to rinse off but not shower and then wrap yourself in a warm blanket for 30 minutes while you relax/sleep and sweat it all out. I’ll admit I was sweating a bit toward the end of the bath, but once I got in bed I was no longer hot, and I also only had a room temperature blanket handy, so that may have had a bigger effect than I intended. I struggled to fall asleep even though it was now 40 minutes past my bedtime. Yes, I go to bed at 10 p.m. Judge me.

As I lay in bed pissed about not being able to sleep and dreading my 6 a.m. workout alarm, I somehow managed to doze off. Waking up wasn’t as bad as I anticipated but then there was the workout part…

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Being as I was supposed to sweat out the toxins after the bath but that didn’t happen, I think it all started to kick in during my workout. I did not feel right at all and every exercise felt abnormally tough. My stomach wasn’t feeling right and I decided to blame the bath. It could have been a myriad of things, like having an iced coffee for dinner and then working out on an empty stomach, but I am choosing to ignore that and place all blame on the bath. Even after the workout experience though, I do not feel better. I definitely do not feel rid of toxins and I definitely do not have a newfound appreciation for baths.

So what did I get out of this? A clean tub, I suppose, but not from the clay – I wiped that whole thing down with acetone before I got in because again, baths are disgusting.

What I Learned:

  • I do not fit in my tub
  • Baths are stupid
  • I am likely still very toxic (cue Britney Spears sing along)

Naked Chicken Chalupa Review

Not sure why I always have an overwhelming desire to try new and mostly weird food items, but the naked chicken chalupa from Taco Bell was no exception. It was released on Jan. 26th and I’m honestly surprised it took me two days to get one. Now that I’ve tried it, here’s what you need to know:

It. Is. AMAZING.

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I had no idea what even came on this thing besides chicken, but I figured however it comes was the way to go. Turns out it comes with lettuce, tomato, cheese and a spicy green ranch sauce that probably has a technical name but I don’t know it. All I know was it was a nice surprise.

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Everything about this masterpiece was perfect. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the sauce really made the meal. It was a little spicy, but not too much, and it wasn’t greasy either, despite the chicken being fried. As for nutritional value, I have no idea how this stacks up against other Taco Bell menu items and I do not care. This could be 3,000 calories and I would still eat it.

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This is the only thing I’ll be getting from TBell from now on. Sorry crunch wrap supreme no sour cream, I’m breaking up with you.

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I’m Eating All The Limted Edition Oreo Flavors So You Don’t Have To

Many people are unaware of this, but the past couple of years I have been on a journey. A journey to eat as many limited edition Oreo flavors as possible. It’s not always easy, since not all flavors are released nationwide. But, I have on more than one occasion bought them off eBay and payed three times the retail price because FOMO. I hope this list continues to grow with time (and more paychecks) but for now, here are my thoughts on the 17 limited edition Oreo flavors I have been blessed to enjoy, in order of deliciousness.

1. Cinnamon Bun

Crack. These are like crack. Or what I assume crack would be like if I had ever tried crack. (I know what you’re thinking: Say crack again.)

This flavor gets a 10/10, would eat again. I’ve eaten more packages of this flavor than any other limited edition Oreo. I think I may be single handedly keeping this flavor on shelves. Huge shoutout to the Target in Westlake, CA for ALWAYS having these in stock. You get me.

2. Fruity Crisp

Were these worth the money I payed to have them shipped to me off eBay? Yes. If you’re a fan of fruity pebbles, which it’s hard not to be, you will love this flavor. The only thing I disliked was that the flavor seemed to stay with me for too long. Several hours after eating a couple of them I still felt them lingering around. Though if I had to have something lingering around, I’m glad it was these Oreos.

Not sold in a store near you? Pay the extra money and don’t share with anyone. 9/10 would buy again.

3. S’mores

That graham cracker crust though. The cookie makes this … err … cookie. I don’t even really like s’mores all that much (I’d rather eat all the ingredients separately or make one with frosting instead of marshmallow), but I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious this flavor was. When you can’t get that authentic campfire s’more,  just buy some of these. 9/10 would buy again.

4. Waffles & Syrup

I honestly wasn’t sure if these should go before or after S’mores, but I went with after for this reason: While these are amazing and upon first bite I thought “DAMN. This tastes just like french toast and syrup!”, a friend then pointed out that they taste like caramel. And then that was all I could taste. So, pretty dope these have two distinct flavors, but I don’t really want my waffles and syrup to ALSO taste like caramel. Still, 9/10 would eat again.

5. Birthday Cake (Yellow Cookie)

WHY DID OREO MAKE THESE ON THE CHOCOLATE COOKIE? Such a waste. The yellow cookie is where it’s at. 9/10 would buy again. I’m actually tempted to request these for my birthday over an actual cake.

Oh wait, I love cake. Maybe I’ll find a way to combine the two. Stay tuned.

6. Caramel Apple

Ever notice how hard to eat a caramel apple is? OF COURSE YOU HAVE BECAUSE THEY ARE IMPOSSIBLE. So screw them. Just eat these Oreos instead. I thought this was going to be a mediocre attempt at a classic treat but I was very wrong. I apologize for underestimating you Nabisco. 9/10 would buy again.

7. Pumpkin Spice

All hail pumpkin spice. I agree that this trend has taken over WAY too many food products and that at least half of them should not exist (I’m looking at you pumpkin spice M&Ms), but you can’t hate on the products that got it right. Three basic claps for the pumpkin spice Oreos. 9/10 would buy again.

8. Key Lime

I’m a lover of decadent desserts. I have no idea what the phrase “it’s too sweet” means, although I hear it a lot while enjoying some of my favorite foods. I didn’t expect to enjoy the Key Lime Oreos as much as I did because I generally prefer things that involve chocolate, but these were really damn good. If you’re less of a decadent person and more of a fruity, refreshing person, these are the Oreos for you. And again, that graham cracker crust though. 8/10 would eat again.

9. Cookie Dough

Yes, this flavor sounds redundant. Why would you want a cookie dough flavored cookie? Well, maybe because Oreos taste nothing like cookie dough or a chocolate chip cookie. SO WHY NOT COMBINE THE TWO?! Hopefully you get it now. And hopefully you go try this flavor because it was bomb. 8/10 would eat again.

10. Blueberry Pie

I’ll admit I wasn’t very excited about this flavor, I was more so trying it because it was at my favorite Target and I am on a mission to try them all. Also, I’m not a pie girl I’m a cake girl. Yet, despite the bias they were up against, these were pretty good. I don’t really have much to say about them besides that. 7/10 would by again.

11. Cotton Candy

Cotton candy gets a bad rap from people who “don’t really like sweet stuff.” I don’t understand those people and I think their priorities aren’t straight. There’s nothing not to love about cotton candy. I was PUMPED for this flavor and stalked the store (Target) until they were on shelves. And they did not disappoint. For you people who don’t have your life together and don’t enjoy cotton candy or “sweet stuff,” you should stay away from this sugar cookie. If you’re smart like me, go try some. 7/10 would buy again.

12. Peeps

I expected this to taste a lot like cotton candy in that it would overwhelmingly just taste like sugar. I was pumped when I took my first bite and it tasted just like Lucky Charms! Haven’t tried these with milk but if you love Lucky Charms cereal, you will devour these Oreos. 7/10 would buy again.

13. Chocolate Strawberry

This could have gone two ways: It could have tasted like a chocolate covered strawberry, or it could have tasted like chocolate with a dash of strawberry. It went the latter. This flavor has a chocolate cookie with chocolate frosting that has a small circle of strawberry frosting in the middle. That little bit of strawberry packs a big punch, but it wasn’t quite enough. A chocolate cookie with strawberry frosting would have been sufficient. Despite the off ratio, these were still pretty good. 6/10 would consider buying again.

14. Peppermint

Radical honesty: I forgot I ate these. Oops! I love peppermint and chocolate mint (heart eyes for the skinny peppermint mocha latte from Starbucks. Love you BAE), so I wasn’t surprised to enjoy these. Very good, very predictable, and very Christmas. 6/10 would consider buying again.

15. Red Velvet

I LOVE red velvet. But it’s not a flavor you can do well in dry forms, like Oreo cookies. I had high expectations for this one that fell pretty flat. Red velvet just ain’t red velvet unless it’s … MOIST. Sorry, I had to. It’s a useful word. 5/10 would maybe buy again. Strong maybe.

16. Brownie Batter

Way too much chocolate/dirt flavor going on here. Considering the amount of calories in Oreos, I would rather just eat actual brownie batter and skip this disappointment. 4/10 would not buy again.

17. Gingerbread

Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite Christmas cookies, so naturally I was stoked to try this around Christmas time. Honestly, just pass on these and eat the real deal. Definitely did not taste like a real gingerbread. 4/10 would not buy again.

18. Filled Cupcake

Not totally sure why I bought this one. I guess just to say that I’d tried it. And again, FOMO. If you’re a fan of the Hostess cupcakes these are based off of, just go buy the cupcake. 3/10 would not eat again.

19. Firecracker

Disappointed. That’s all I felt after eating these Oreos. I’m not a fan of the regular Oreo cookie to begin with, and these are just regular Oreos with a lame, soft, pop rocks affect. They could be generously improved by popping one if your mouth and then dumping some actual Pop Rocks in there and chewing them all together. Even double stacking the frosting inside one cookie did not accomplish the feeling you expect to get from these. 2/10 would not buy again.

20. Candy Corn

Sugar. This just tastes like sugar. There’s a slight candy corn after taste, but considering how vile candy corn is, I’d prefer it just tasted like sugar. 2/10 would not buy again.

 

Review: Revenge Body with Khloe

We’re all guilty of watching TV shows that lack substance, especially reality TV shows like The Bachelor or The Real Housewives, or the ultimate reality guilty pleasure: Keeping up with the Kardashians. In the spirit of vegging out to lackluster TV shows, I was actually excited to watch Khloe Kardashian’s new show “Revenge Body with Khloe.” While the reviews I’ve read haven’t been positive, I’m going to take a different approach.

For a Kardashian produced and focused show, I thought Revenge Body met expectations. From what I can tell, we’ll see two individuals work on their fitness each episode, and follow them through their 12 week transformation, concluding with their final reveal party where they confront the person that inspired them to get healthy.

Critics are saying the show’s entire premise is bogus and that encouraging people to get healthy for the sake of revenge is in itself flawed, but I disagree. I think oftentimes it’s the bullies and haters in our lives that give us the motivation and drive it would have been hard to find from something else. As Khloe says, “Let our haters be our biggest motivators.”

While you can argue that health and fitness should be about bettering yourself and making yourself happy, which I agree with, you can’t deny that what some people need to kickstart a difficult lifestyle change, is tough love. When you’re going after your revenge body, it’s actually just as much about yourself as it is about the person you are trying to impress, which is something BOTH participants on the premiere came to realize. Considering both also went on to lose more weight after their time on the show, I think the overall process and experience was done right, and taught two people who put little value on health and fitness that it was actually something they love, and that improved their lives.

I found myself rooting for the contestants and feeling proud of their results. I was shocked to see that the female contestant, Stephanie, lost 27 pounds in 12 weeks, and the male contestant, Will, lost 30. They both worked with celebrity trainers and nutritionist and got a lot more than help in the gym, they also got to meet with celebrity dermatologists and oral hygienists to help improve their skin, teeth and overall appearance, which only added to their newfound confidence.

I’m excited to see where this show goes and to hopefully watch more and more people  improve their lives with health and fitness. And I think as long as your process is safe and healthy, your motivation can come from a variety of places, whether it be to get fit for your kids, set an example for your friends or family, or even get your revenge body.

We can all admit that Khloe has done nothing but work her famous butt off (while making it considerably larger….) and she looks amazing. I’m happy she’s using her new passion for fitness to help others, even if its not in the way most critics think she should be.

Revenge Body with Khloe airs Thursdays on E!

Review: The Master’s Hammer & Chisel

The Master’s Hammer & Chisel is the best of both worlds. Two master trainers join together to form the perfect workout program that gives you incredible results in just 60 days. I committed two months to this program, even though it’s intermediate and I am NOT a weight lifting kind of girl, and I was able to do all the moves (sometimes with modifications). I was terrified of this program because I had never tried to build muscle before, and was used to eating less calories to lose weight, not more. Once I finished the program I realized that this whole building muscle lifting weights thing is the way to go. I still love my cardio, but they were not kidding when they said strong is the new skinny.

I would highly recommend this program to someone with minimal to no injuries who is looking to tone up and lose weight. If you have access to decent weights (10-30 pounds) you can rock this program! I used a combo of my office gym and gym membership to get these done, but you can do it all at home if you want to.

When I first started I was scared that I was eating too much and not lifting heavy enough weights, but when I got my biweekly body scan done, my body fat percentage had dropped 4% in just 2 weeks. After that, I trusted the program and followed it ~almost~ perfectly for the remaining 6 weeks. I was able to up my weights about half way through and I ended up losing about 12 pounds, while GAINING muscle mass. You can see the biggest difference in my stomach, but I felt huge differences in my back and legs, too. You work EVERYTHING with Hammer & Chisel, and you can tell!

Read the full review below.

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I’m jumping back into this program soon and am going to do it for more than 60 days – I’m actually shooting for 90 – 120! While I don’t think this is the easiest or most accessible program that Beachbody offers, I think it’s one of the most rewarding. Here’s my review:

Difficulty level: 4

Time Consuming: Yes

At Home Workout: No

Weight Loss: Yes

Muscle Building: Yes

I gave this a level 4 difficulty (out of 5) because some of these moves are hard to do even when you’re super fit. Some of the modifications were difficult for me even at the end of the program, and I think I’d have to do several rounds of this to be able to not modify the pull up/chin up moves, and a few others.

Since these workouts range from 30-45 minutes, this program isn’t a time saver like the 21 Day Fix or 22 Minute Hard Corps. On more than one occasion I felt like the workout was taking FOREVER and had a really hard time not checking the clock every few minutes. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, this may not be best for you!

Technically you can do this program at home, assuming you have or are willing to buy a certain amount of weights/equipment. To keep the cost down and help you get the best results, I don’t recommend doing this program at home. Heavier weights can get really pricey, and you’ll want to increase yours as you go, too. Plus you need a pull up bar and would benefit from a bench and a resistance band as well. I did these workouts in the gym and was really grateful for the space and equipment.

If you’re looking to lose weight AND/OR build muscle, this program can do BOTH. Half the workouts are “Chisel” which have more cardio, agility and balance moves as well as lighter weights with higher reps. The other half are “Hammer” workouts that focus more on heavier weights with fewer reps and really building up muscle, while chisel workouts define it.

I chose the build muscle meal plan which had me eating about 3,000 calories a day! At first it was miserable and I couldn’t eat everything I was supposed to, but after about a week I started feeling more hungry and was eating all my calories easily. I can’t even express how nice it was to never feel like I didn’t have enough food, and to never be hungry, which is how I sometimes felt on other programs. If you like to eat, you need to try this program and build muscle!!!

You can live stream these workouts from anywhere with Beachbody OnDemand, or get the most bang for your buck with a Hammer & Chisel challenge pack.

Workout Review: The 21 Day Fix

This review is biased; I’ll just start off by saying that. I love the 21 Day Fix! I have done this program a few times and each time the results are amazing. It’s HARD WORK, but when those 21 days are over and you see the changes, you will be so proud. The 21 Day Fix is a workout and meal plan developed by Autumn Calabrese for Beachbody. It’s 21 days of workouts, 30 minutes each, and a meal plan that puts you in a calorie range and then tells you how many of each food group you get to eat per day. It comes with color-coded portion control containers and a program guide that tells you what food to eat and how much goes in each container. It gives you ALL the tools you need to succeed and when you do, you will understand why I love this program  so much.



The workouts

You have zero excuses when it comes to these workouts (except injury). Every move has a modification, you need almost no equipment, they are 30 minutes long and you can do them in your living room. Almost every workout is based on cardio moves with weights, which is the fastest way to burn fat and lose weight. Almost every move has you working multiple muscle groups, which torches calories not only during your workout but AFTER it too. No matter what, I was always dripping sweat after these workouts! You get no rest days, but you do get two active recovery days, which include yoga and pilates.

The first time I did this program it was hard to walk for the first four days. But, I persevered with the help of my online challenge group and I kicked ass for 21 days. That’s how I got these results:

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The Meal Plan

What I love most about this program, besides the extreme results you get in just 21 days, is how it teaches me to apply these methods in my life when I’m not doing the program. I now see in colors. I see meat and eggs and greek yogurt as 1 red, or a salad as 2 greens, 1 red, 1 orange and 1 blue. My favorite snack, peanut butter and an apple? 1 purple and 4tsp. I now see portion control and the food pyramid in almost everything I eat, which helps me make healthier, better informed decisions. Eventually, this way of eating becomes a lifestyle, eating good foods 80 percent o f the time and occasionally subbing out a carb for a treat, like chocolate. Eat well, give your workouts all you have, and you WILL see results.

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The 21 Day Fix is the perfect program for beginners, and if you’re intermediate or have done the program a few times, there is an extreme version to keep your results coming. Autumn Calabrese is a genius and KNOWS what she is doing. She is changing lives across the country with the 21 Day Fix and her other workouts.

I would recommend this program to pretty much everyone I know because I’ve done it and I’ve gotten the results and I KNOW it works. (If you do.) I love it so much I became a Beachbody coach because of it. Ask me any questions you have about the program in the comments or use my link to buy 21 Day Fix.

Workout Review: Turbo Kick

Turbo Kick is an hour long kick in the ass class, but damn, the endorphins.

I took Turbo Kick pretty religiously in college, but then I graduated from the magical University of Illinois and took a leave of absence from group fitness. When I came back to my first Turbo Kick class in 9 months, I walked out half way through and was fighting back tears. I felt like I was dying, like I was a worthless slob and like I must have been crazy to ever have done this in the past. Luckily, the class schedule only had one time I could make, so I didn’t have to come back and show my red, blotchy face for a week.

It didn’t get easier for a long time, but I did get my Turbo Kick groove back. This class is no joke. Here’s how it works:

Turbo Kick is fairly danced based, but not in a Zumba way. It’s choreographed, but it’s not dancing – it’s heart-pumping cardio interrupted by TURBOS.

The warmup is dynamic and the same every single time.  You will feel like you are such a lame newb because you will absolutely mess it up for your first several classes and you will almost always miss the clap that everyone else will.nail. (Spoiler alert: There are two clapping sections in the warmup and you will miss both of them, even though you should see the second one coming.) There’s zero downtime and you jump right into the workout, which is high-intensity cardio with occasional body weight exercises. You’re mostly doing things like high knees, punches, kicks, squats, agility moves, and any other form of cardio you can think of, set to very loud music. There are also some cool moves that I’m pretty sure are specific to Turbo Kick such as “Roger Rabbit”, “Clock Work”, and “Mud Run.” And then there’s things like “The Heisman” which you should know how to do but have probably never done.

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Halfway through the class you hit TURBO, where you average about 3 moves per second because you are moving so quickly. There’s very little explanation and you will be totally lost for the first 2 out of 3 and then the third time you will kind of get it, but not really, and then you’ll go back to the normal routine and forget it all by your next class. It’s awesome. But if you’re a dedicated Turbo Kicker, you will eventually memorize the routines, which is a good and bad thing because knowing what you’re doing in Turbo Kick means working twice as hard and it’s already hard to begin with…

The turbos usually involve moves you’ve been doing in the first half of the class and then also throw in some fun, crowd-pleasing moves like burpees, air jacks, tuck jumps, squat jumps, and combinations of all four of those. It will make you want to lie down and die but you have to do it 3 times in a row with 20 seconds of rest in between each round and then you have to do 27 more minutes of cardio after that. Best of luck.

This class is not for the weak. BUT THE ENDORPHINS. You can either leave this class trying not to cry or trying not to smile. Cheesy, but true. What’s really crazy, is when I did this class in college, my instructor always did 3 turbos in the middle and 2 more at the end. TWO EXTRA TURBOS. Imagine how relieved I was when my post-college class only had 3 turbos instead of 5. The endorphins were just as good so I was definitely not complaining.

This is the kind of class where the instructor kindly asks you to take your towel and wipe down the area where you working because the pilates class that comes in after complains there’s too much sweat on the floor for them to….pilate. But, if you’re looking for a semi-fun, semi-miserable way to “BLAST FAT,” Turbo Kick can help with that. The high-intensity will get your heart rate way up and help you burn fat. Plus, it will keep your metabolism running on high for a long time after you finish the class.

If your body doesn’t get angry when you jump, punch, sweat profusely and have trouble breathing, I definitely recommend Turbo Kick. If your body does get angry when you do any of those things, or if you are particularly bad at picking up and/or remembering new choreography, you should stay far away from Turbo Kick. And if you go to the University of Illinois, just know that you are working harder than everyone else by getting in 5 turbos per class when the rest of the world is just doing 3. Sorry.

Turbo Kick is a program from Beachbody that you can access from anywhere with Beachbody OnDemand!

This post was updated to reflect that Turbo Kick is a Beachbody program. The post originally said it was a Les Mills program.

Workout Review: “Way of Gray” Both Worlds

One of the many fitness influencers I follow on Instagram is Sophie Gray (@WayofGray). She’s a holistic nutritionist and personal trainer in Canada and recently took over the internet with her workouts and killer abs. For extremely affordable prices, she offers downloadable workout and nutrition guides, shopping lists and more.

Take care of your body, it's the only one you got! 😘❤️ My exact workouts through the link in my bio!

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

About a year ago I decided to give one of her programs a try. I paid for and downloaded her “Both Worlds” program, that was marketed as a combination of cardio and strength for fat loss (no equipment necessary). I completed the four week program and was not disappointed! I don’t have any numbers to quantify my results for you (partly because I don’t believe in constantly weighing/measuring myself, and you shouldn’t either, and partly because this was a year ago and I hadn’t planned on writing a detailed blog post about it then.)

The way the program works is you have 4 workouts per week and 3 rest days per week. She tells you the moves and the style (i.e. mountain climbers, push ups, and burpees in Tabata style). Each workout has a warm up and a cool down and only lasts about 20 minutes. These workouts are NO JOKE. Its obvious why Sophie has such a toned body! The first workout of the month is called “Full Body Start” and promises to make your quads, calves, lower back, glutes and hip flexors burn. Spoiler alert: It keeps its promise.

After 30 days of this I felt amazing and knew I had lost weight. I did it 30 days before my company’s holiday party and my dress fit significantly better! Most people do her workouts for much longer than one month, and they see incredible results. I only stuck with this program all the way through one time, but it’s a great workout to keep in rotation for a few key reasons:

  1. You can squeeze one of these workouts into your day – it’s only 20 minutes!
  2. There’s no equipment needed for ANY of the exercises in this program, so you can do it on the go, during lunch, or even in a hotel or outside. (I did them outside in a public park at 6:45am and in my company’s gym as well as my living room. All were perfectly viable options!)
  3. You DO WORK in these 20 minutes. Most of the exercises are some variation of HIIT and the cardio combined with body weight strength moves is guaranteed to have you sweating and gasping for breath.
  4. You can print out the guide or view it as a PDF on your computer, so wherever you go – it goes too!

If you don’t like to spend a lot of time working out but want to see big results in a short amount of time, Sophie’s workouts are for you. Check out the new programs she’s launched since I tried “Both Worlds” on her website and follow her on Instagram for tons of inspiration.

 

Note: It doesn’t appear that the “Both Worlds” guide is still available for purchase. If you buy any other programs from Way of Gray, let me know and I’ll send you the guide. Please only ask if you’ve already purchased something! Her programs are so inexpensive there’s no reason not to support her. And, I can attest that whatever you buy, it will be worth it.

Product Review: Quest Nutrition Protein Powder

So, I mentioned I love to eat at some point, right? Which means finding healthy foods that taste like delicious “cheat foods” is one of my hobbies. Enter Quest Nutrition. Their protein bars were recently voted America’s Favorite, and they deserve the title. Most bars have between 160-190 calories, 20g of protein and between 2-4g net carbs. They come in flavors that will make you drool, like pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookie dough, white chocolate raspberry and cinnamon roll.

Their protein powders are even more desirable and just as nutritious. There are 8 different flavors: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Milkshake, Vanilla Milkshake, Strawberries & Creme, Cookies & Creme, Salted Caramel, Banana Creme and Multi-Purpose (for baking!). Priced at $40 for a large canister (28 servings), they’re not unaffordable, and the flavors are true to taste. Salted Caramel and Cookies & Creme are my favorites, but they all taste amazing. The powders are about 100 calories per serving, have less than 1g of sugar and have 20g of protein, from whey and milk. If you’re interested in the actual ingredients, here’s what’s in cookies & creme:

Ingredients: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate), Erythritol, Natural Flavors. Contains less than 2% of the following: Coconut Oil, Cocoa (processed with Alkali), Dextrin, Cellulose Gum, Cocoa Butter, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Soluble Corn Fiber (Prebiotic Fiber), Sunflower Lecithin, Sodium Caseinate, Sucralose, Steviol Glycosides (Stevia), Baking Soda. Contains: Milk-Derived Ingredients, Coconut.

These powders are high quality and will really help keep you full. When I get cravings for chocolate or other unhealthy sweets, I almost always turn to Quest to help me out (and  sometimes I totally cave and eat what I’m craving, duh).

Quest is unique in that it makes a multi-purpose powder for baking and provides all kinds of recipes on its site for how to make protein-packed desserts, from cheesecakes to cookies to ice cream and more. They also make chips and pasta and are launching cereal bars soon, as well as some new protein bar flavors. I had the privilege of trying some of the new products before they are fully launched and can tell you that the waffle crunch cereal bar is made of DREAMS (and possibly waffles).

Quest is an all-around great nutrition brand and if you’re on the hunt for the perfect whey protein powder, you can’t go wrong with Quest. Everything they make feels like a cheat meal, and cheat meals are the real MVPs, so, Quest wins.

Featured Image Credit: Quest Nutrition