Do not sleep on the T-Swift album

FML. I really don’t think I’ve ever wanted to dislike something so much as Taylor Swift’s most recent album. From the annoying names of all the singles that were released to the annoying name of the album: Reputation??? COME ON. IT’S ALL ANNOYING. And don’t even get me started on the music video for Look What you Made me do…AKA the worst song ever created in the history of forever. Yeah. I had decided I was good on never listening to the rest of the album and had committed to frantically changing the radio station if I happened to be so unlucky to come across any of those songs while I’m trying to enjoy my drive somewhere. Heaven forbid.

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Truly horrifying

Fast forward a few months. My friend Grant asked if I had listened to it. And I answered passionately with an “Absolutely not.” He said I was missing out and I just chalked that up to him loving to disagree with me and his tendency to be a dramatic. I mean, the kid is an actor. So then I’m in my car and I feel like belting some bangers (and probably recording myself singing on Snapchat cause that’s another embarrassing thing that I do). I didn’t even know that Taylor had decided to put her music up on Spotify, but I found some ultimate old school T-Swift to annoyingly sing in my car. Great. Life is good and the people who are passing me on the freeway probably think I have some sort of medical condition. I’m cool with it. A few songs in, I accidentally skipped to one of the ones on her new album. Shit. What is this and why the hell do I like it. And the next one….and the next one and also the one after that.

By far the best one is Dress. But Gorgeous, So it Goes, New Years Day, Delicate……I mean she killed it. And I’m pretty unhappy to admit this, but I was wrong. And there are few things in life I hate more than being wrong. But whatever. I’m fully accepting it and have since added most of the album to my saved songs on Spotify. Taylor, you crazy. But job well done. I’m officially converted.

WHAT ELSE IS ON MY PLAYLIST THIS MONTH

  • Pale Waves: There’s a Honey, My Obsession
  • The Cure: Close to me, In Between Days
  • Honne: Good Together, Woman
  • Sufjan Stevens: Visions of Gideon
    • SIDE NOTE. This is the song that plays in the credits of Call Me by Your Name, which if you haven’t seen that movie, do yourself a favor and change that.
  • James Blake: Radio Silence, Put That Away and Talk to Me
  • Frank Ocean: White Ferrari, Nights
  • Junior A: Sleep Machine
  • Drake: God’s Plan
  • Banks: Fuck with Myself, Crowded Places
  • Childish Gambino: Retro
  • Post Malone: Candy Paint
  • New York Movie: Teenage Love
  • Phoebe Ryan: Dark Side (really a curve ball and unsure why I’m so into it)
  • Exes: Sherman Oaks, Memorize, 18

And a bunch of other ones you can check out riiiiiight here!

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A blog post not about Whole30!!!!

Okay just one thing: YA GIRL FINISHED. Ok moving on. If my Instagram profile doesn’t make it obvious enough, January has been a crazy month for Clippers (I swear there is so much red and blue happening). With back to back games, appearances, halftimes and added rehearsals let’s just say I’m very thankful I now live a few blocks down from Staples. Now that it’s starting to slow down a bit and the craziness of this past month is coming to an end annnnd doesn’t feel so new, I’ve started to dive back into taking class. And something cool is happening.

I’m beginning to see how much Clippers has helped me grow as a dancer and human in general. Of course there’s the obvious ones like overall skill level, discipline and being able to pick up choreography more quickly…I mean duh, I’m dancing and performing every week those are pretty much a given. But where I’ve noticed it the most, is in my confidence. When I moved here, I didn’t even realize how self conscious of my dancing (and overall human-ing) I was. Am I doing this right? Do I look cool enough? Is it weird that I have a backpack on? Does this make me look fat? What if I can’t pick up the choreography? Am I about to look stupid? Oh shit its a walk sign, hopefully I don’t trip while crossing the street!!!!! All very standard every day thoughts. Like, you guys, I would seriously get nervous to walk into studios to take class cause I was concerned about making sure I didn’t make an idiot out of myself to the person WORKING THE DESK. Whaaaat??

Now here’s the thing: I’m not writing this to say that I am now an expert on all things self-confidence, because that is most definitely false. But what I am saying is that being able to actually see the growth that I’ve made positively affect my life is pretty freaking cool.

Last month I went home for a little bit for the holidays and was able to teach 6 classes. For me, it is so rewarding to be able to give back to the dance community back in Iowa. I remember being a kid and being so excited to take class from guest teachers. I mean I would still stand in the back and be freaking out about if what I was wearing was good enough, but nonetheless….freaking out. Now that I am in the reverse position when I go home, it is pretty surreal. This last stint of classes, one of the students asked me what my favorite performance has been and looking back on this season with the Clippers, one stood out. Kyle.

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I stayed in North Hollywood for the first year with Jordan, Kristyn and Kelly. Jordan and Kristyn were obsessed with this artist that I had never heard of named Kyle. All I knew is that he sang some catchy-ass song about a curly headed cutie who don’t get too many likes. And it was stuck in my head. Always. Actually it was probably stuck in my head for the first few months of living in 362. Fast forward almost a year and I get an email from Clippers letting us know that Kyle and his management team were going to be at our rehearsal because the 12 dancers on that game would be performing with him at halftime in 2 days. OKAY. Obviously I texted Jordan and Kristyn immediately. It just was kind of a ‘full circle’ moment. And obviously I was pumped to perform with an artist for the first time in my dance career.

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The performance was literally my favorite dance moment ever. Not because of the choreography or amount of people in the crowd, but because I have never felt that much gratitude before, during and after a performance. Ever. Kyle was the most humble humans ever and was so complementary of us and just all around so thankful to be there. That kind of energy spreads. Quickly. I just remember sitting in the front, waiting for our cue to come onto the court literally almost crying because how the f did I get so lucky to be surrounded by all of these women who feel the same way I do right now?? That performance definitely ignited a flame for me. Cue 2018 goal number 982742: perform with an artist (outside of Clippers).

How do I make that happen? Obviously getting my ass back in class is a good way, so I’ll start there. Another way to expedite that process is to get an agent. This is something I have been working towards since I moved here. It just hadn’t happened for me yet. I felt like for the last year I had almost been trying to force the process along. I couldn’t confidently say I was ready, but I would go to the auditions, do okay and not hear anything back. Story of my life. I had friends who were getting signed, hearing about all these auditions and booking amazing jobs and I’m over here being supportive friend number one!!! Which is amazing, but I wanted that for myself. I wanted it, but I didn’t believe in myself enough to get it. I’m honestly not sure when the switch flipped but I decided enough was enough. It was time to invest some time into loving myself. I took time out of each day to devote to writing, working out, dancing, going to the beach, even just taking 10 minutes to sit the frack down and play some good music. SOMETHING. Just one thing every day that wasn’t stress-filled and didn’t involve cheese and genuinely made me feel good. That’s when I started noticing a shift.

I was all of the sudden meeting incredible people on the same wavelength as me, finding joy in little things I normally wouldn’t notice, stumbling upon opportunities that were almost freaky tailor-made for me, actually feeling confidence in myself and what I came out here to do. The weeks were flying by and this feeling kept intensifying. I got better at mindfulness and silencing the part of my brain that looooves to hate on myself. She’s a bitch anyway, we don’t need to listen to her.

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What I did have time for is goal-setting so this flow could continue. SO. That’s what I did. First thing I put on my agenda was getting signed to an agency (what I was trying to write about before I got sidetracked 3 paragraphs ago). I gave myself 6 months to do it and was ready to work my ass off to make it happen. In the spirit of flow, it ended up happening within the first 3 weeks of January. I didn’t have to poke anyone’s eyeballs out or bleed all over the dance floor. And what I mean by that is that it wasn’t forced, it just all came about so naturally. Today I officially signed paperwork with MSA and really am still in a bit of shock. I am crazy thankful and can’t wait for what’s to come in this next year.

In conclusion: set some goals, be open, be mindful and DO NOT get down on yourself when things seem to be going horribly and you feel like there’s no coming back from it this time…cause you are. And most importantly, give credit where credit is due aka stay grateful. And also take your own advice @myself.

Life is cool and so are you.

Whole 30 Hacks

What up. I’m on day 26 and thought I would just write a quick little blurb about what’s helped me get through (almost) all of Whole30. I’ve had quite a few people reach out and ask me if I had any recommendations, product suggestions or how they can set themselves up for success so I figured I would outline all of that here! Without further ado here is my top ten list of musts for surviving your Whole30. You’re welcome.

1. Be annoying about it on social media

Currently doing so. Announce it on Instagram, blog about it, make a Facebook status, tweet it, post annoying Snapchat stories…I don’t care. Do all of it. It’s going to hold you accountable. The second you announce something publicly it becomes a very real thing. Why else do you think being FBO became a thing in middle school??? Think of this as your relationship status change with food and your personal health. Not only is it kinda fun to document, it adds another element to the “I can’t mess up” mentality. Cause if ya do, your mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandma and all of your old high school friends who are getting engaged are going to also see that. Pressure’s on. Sounds scary but on the flip side of this, it also creates a little support system for you- especially if you can post progress photos!

2. Tell your coworkers

Crucial. Why do work parties, meetings, business trips, acts of kindness etc. always revolve around food?? This is a question I still have yet to figure out an answer to. But nevertheless, they do. And if you agree, that means you’re aware of this challenge going into your Whole30. Therefore, there is no excuse to let these things become a problem. It’s not weird to drink your coffee black or skip the donut your boss bought for everyone. If you work at a restaurant, tell you coworkers (including the kitchen staff). No one is gonna hold a piece of pizza to your mouth and force feed it to you. And if they do, that’s freaking weird and you should probably just quit your job. What’s even more is that means more food for them since you’ll be passing.

3. Journal

IMG_3676Now that you’ve announced it on social media and you’ve got a crew of coworkers to hold you accountable, hold yourself accountable. Whole 30 can be a rollercoaster, especially for people who don’t normally eat anything like this. Document it. Write down how your sleep is, how much energy you have, any cravings you may have had, what you ate for the day, your likes and dislikes. All of it. As I mentioned in my previous post, I used the Whole30 Day by Day diary. I highly recommend this. It has little tips and tricks throughout the entire book as well as a fun little check box at the end of each day. So. Satisfying. It also has you list what Melissa Hartwig (the co-author of Whole30) refers to as NSV (Non-scale victories). You aren’t permitted to weigh yourself during the 30 days. Instead, you’re supposed to focus on other improvements. Health isn’t synonymous with weight.

4. Follow the bible

Aka this guy. If you’re going to go all out with this, you need The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom. You could probably do Whole30 with different information you find on the internet, but buy the book. Pro tip: It tends to be a little cheaper online than it is at Urban or your local health food store too. It’s part of the experience and there’s something about holding the actual object in your hand that makes it easier to commit. Also if you spend money on something vs. ripping it off the internet, you’re even more motivated to get your monies worth. Probably why I only made it through half of the Kayla Itsines workouts. Aside from that, there is tons of useful information in this thing.

5. Keep your recipes fresh

FE-with-book-open-website-header-660-x-330.jpgEnter Whole30 product number 3: The Whole30 Fast and Easy Cookbook. This thing is the bomb and kept me from going crazy or getting bored. The Whole30 bible (listed above) has some recipes too but the fast and easy cookbook has 150 additional recipes. This thing helped me realize that I didn’t have to eat eggs for every meal and dress like a cave man. Hello versatility and normal food!!! That’s where I got all of my slow cooker recipes, shrimp and broccoli, and (my personal favorite) the buffalo cauliflower and chicken. I even took it once step farther and picked about 3 recipes I would try each week and used the cookbooks as a guide to make my grocery list. I also kept track of my meal plan on an excel spreadsheet cause I’m a psychopath.

6. Buy a slow cooker

I like to think of mine as my live-in boyfriend. The most non-committal way to have a good meal ready for you when you get home from work. And whats so great about it is you can literally throw anything in there with a little bone broth, put it on low and just let it sit there over night. It also makes my place smell like heaven. I have a little personal size one like this but if you have roommates or want to make a bigger batch, I’d suggest this size.

7. Keep your activity up

If you want to see more change and just feel better about life in general, Whole30 is a great time to get your act together in the workout department. It’s been really cool to feel the difference in my body and the way it reacts to a workout throughout these 30 days. I definitely feel more energized and am able to enjoy the workout more than before. What a cool thing that happens when you are giving your body the nutrients it needs. That feeling beats Splenda in your coffee any day. Personally, I try to do different types of activity each time I work out. It keeps my body guessing and saves me from getting bored.

8. Invest in a cool water bottle 

Ok so this isn’t really a necessity, but it’s so much easier to stay hydrated when you have a cool ass water bottle. It’s science. I snagged a S’well bottle (and broke the bank) in hopes that I would not only look cooler, but actually keep track of it for more than a few months. So far, so good.

9. Find joy in things that aren’t edible

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Look what cool things are outside!!!!

PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Get a freaking hobby. And one that doesn’t involve food. So many events and fun outings are centered around food. WHY. There are so many other things you can attach to the feeling of joy that aren’t horrible for your body. Go on a walk. Pick up a book. Call an old friend. Meditate. Write. Dance around in your underwear. Whatever.

10. Give credit where credit is due

If you’re choosing to make this change in your life, that’s huge already. Go you. You are a rockstar. Don’t get down on yourself during the hard days. Go into the whole experience with a positive outlook. You aren’t missing out on anything and you’re not going to die because you have to drink your coffee black for 30 days. Know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it feels much better on the other side. This is another reason why I love the journal. It helps you acknowledge yourself by physically writing down the “non-scale victories.” And going off that, hell yeah you should bring in the whole “be annoying on social media” thing back here. Post the mirror pic!!!!

Alright, cool. There you have it. If you choose to do to it LET ME KNOW. I want to hear about other Whole30 experiences outside of my own! Oh and one more, drink your Kombucha in a wine glass. Pretend wine. So fun!!

OH WE’RE (over) HALFWAY THERE

Yo yo yo. As some of you may have seen, I am currently taking on Whole30. I started it the day after Christmas because Holiday food. I typically maintain a pretty heathy diet but between being home for my family Christmas and starting a new job at Cafe Gratitude (a hippy dippy vegan restaurant) I was eating all of the baked goods, vegan or not. I am blessed with a body that is EXTREMELY sensitive to sodium and grains. Meaning if I eat too much of either of those, I wake up and can’t get the rings off my fingers while simultaneously looking like I got punched in the eyeballs and can’t open them all the way. Aka I AM PUFFY. Man, is my future husband lucky. So picture that times about 2 and a half weeks plus limited activity. I was ready to get back to #health.

Since I had to spend Christmas away from my family (I went home the weekend before for my family Christmas) due to work and dancing at the Clippers game the 26th, they took it upon themselves to send me some fun little gifts in the mail so I had something to open on Christmas morning. Well they tried to send them for Christmas morning but most of them arrived well after New Years day…..you might say that procrastination runs in the family. Moving on. One of the gifts that did arrive on Christmas Day was the official Whole 30 guide book. Lit. I’ve been talking about how I wanted to try it for over a year now so I was pumped to finally have the book in my possession. I read through the info right away and started planning.

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Ok, this was bomb.

If you’re reading this like “what the f is Whole 30???” I’m about to explain a bit. More or less, its a 30 day guide of food elimination to find what they call “food freedom.” It’s designed to eliminate certain foods that may be causing cravings or weird things to be happening (like inflammation, energy crashes, acne, fatigue, etc.) in yo body. For me, I looked at it as a step beyond the Paleo diet, which I already know works extremely well for my body. Paleo basically means eating like a caveman. Anything that comes from the earth is a go minus grains, legumes and peanuts. Where Whole30 differs is that it is a strict “off-limits” type of situation that not only is great for your body, but is also designed to change the way you view food. Meaning they cut out things like honey, coconut sugar, vanilla, natural sweeteners and anything random and unnatural that you may find in your “healthy” products. Aka to do whole30 you have to get GOOD at reading labels and throw out anything that has weird stuff like xanthum gum, agave, maple syrup or any ingredient you can’t pronounce. They also don’t want you to snack, but since I’m so active, I have to. Which can be hard.

My go-to snacks for pre-rehearsal or work out downtime are raw unsalted, W30 approved nuts, Lara bars, Rx Bars, sweet bell peppers, raw veggies and my “treat” of banana and almond butter. There was one afternoon I was having a bit of a sweet tooth attack and so I heated up a Lara bar and slapped some almond butter on it. So. Good. But since the point of W30 is to train your body that it doesn’t need sweets and food rewards, I didn’t make a habit of that. I also have a hard time controlling myself when it comes to almond butter so I try not to buy it too often.

So here I am, day 17 and I’m feeling absolutely amazing. I can see more muscle definition, feel more energized, have noticed a change in my skin and am sleeping so much better. I also have not really had that difficult of a time saying no to certain foods and asking for modifications at restaurants (I do, however, feel extremely annoying and extra). I think so far the hardest part as been the honey thing. I didn’t realize how much of it I consumed until I cut it out. So many of my coffee drinks I sweetened with honey and many of the granola bars I was eating had honey as a main ingredient. Which is fine, honey isn’t the worst thing you can eat. But your body treats it as sugar.

DISCLAIMER: Whole 30 also forbids alcohol. And if you’re doing the math right, you’re like “wait a minute, that means she was on W30 during NYE and she was definitely hammered…???” YOU RIGHT! I will be revisiting W30 in the near future and doing it minus the alcohol but this time I gave myself 3 alcohol passes. One of those being New Years Eve because it’s New Years Eve and I deserve to get drunk on Champagne and run around until 4 am. I’m not a psychopath and I don’t believe in depriving myself of stuff like that (although the next day I was wishing I would have refrained).

IMG_3676For those of you that are hardcore Whole 30ers you probably hate me right now and would tell me I should have started over. Like I said I will do it with out alcohol soon. But, I wanted to change my eating post holidays ASAP. Even though I’ve given myself 3 passes, I haven’t even wanted to use the other 2 because of the way my body has been feeling. That being said, I do kind of hate how restrictive W3o is. I mean, it works for me because I love a challenge. My parents gifted me the guide, recipe book and journal so I have all the tools necessary for me to succeed. But on the flip side of it, I imagine people who 100% restrict themselves from foods they love (or alcohol that they also love) have a hard time with guilt at the end of their 30 days. Maybe I’m wrong?

IMG_9618We’ll see in the next 13 days how I’m feeling but this is what I’m planning on as of now. I don’t think I’ll be reintroducing much of the food that is “off limits” on Whole 30 once I’m finished. In fact, I probably will try to eat as close to this as I can for the rest of forever. But what I will do is let myself live. Enjoy a cocktail (or 15) with my friends, have one of the cookies at work (seriously go eat them they are insane), sweeten my latte with honey…whatever. But only from time to time because if any of those things was making me feel the way I felt before this experience, I don’t really wanna reintroduce them. There’s no point.

Not to mention, I have tried out some pretty bomb recipes throughout this process including buffalo grilled chicken and roasted cauliflower (CHECK IT OUT ABOVE HOW SEXY – and also #SAUCY – IS THAT?!)

So. In conclusion. I’m checking in at this midpoint to say I’m loving it, still alive and have not had much difficulty thus far. Which scares me cause maybe that means my W30 breakdown is coming in the next 13 days. And if that’s the case, lucky you cause you’ll get to read about it.

Can you fall in love with someone online?

Hi guys, my name is Holly Reimer and I am addicted to Catfish: the TV show (hiiii Holly). I needed to come clean and finally say it. I recently got TV at my new place and it has TiVO!!! What is this crazy invention and why does it allow me to fuel my addiction the way it does?! Since I’m rarely ever home, I have a recurring recording schedule of the show so I can watch it whenever I find myself in front of the TV. Pathetic? Yes. Do I care? No. Currently, I have 11 episodes to catch up on. I. Am. So. Excited.

But I have some questions about these people. How on earth do you fall in love with someone you’ve never seen in real life?! Is it a thing that’s actually possible? Here’s what I’m thinking. I don’t think it can actually be love (whatever that is) because a few things happen when you have never actually seen someone in real life. For starters, you are able to imagine how they must be in real life based off of how you perceive them from the internet. So maybe you’re feeling like you’re love or whatever but, in reality it’s probably more that you’re in love with the idea of the whole thing. Which who hasn’t been there before- loving the idea of something more than the actual thing. It’s the same principle as the reason why I refuse to marry someone until I’ve lived with him for a bit first: you don’t really know someone until you spend an amount of time being inseparable because only then do you actually see their mannerisms and habits.

I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t be the only person out there who knows they look undeniably cooler on social media than they feel in real life. It’s no secret. Instagram or any sort of dating profile you maintain online is probably about 80% your “Oh my gosh this is such a cool thing I did/great photo/amazing place I’ve visited/SO my aesthetic!!!” and 20% (probably even less) “this is funny/cool/me at 7 am with no make up on.”

So here lies the problem. You’re scrolling through Facebook. Twitter, Instagram, Bumble, Tinder, Grndr, Match.com, Farmers Only, Christian Mingle and you see someones profile that looks intriguing. You start chatting and the only image you have in your head of them is this “Highlight Reel” version. Abs, world traveler, loves dogs, great with kids. What you can’t learn through the screen is that they chew really loud, breathe through their mouth, have a gambling problem and 2 girlfriends in 2 different states. What’s even worse is you can’t seem to even verify the good stuff because every time you try to FaceTime or video chat their camera is conveniently broken or the power in their apartment has gone off so the screen is pitch black. Nice, really good!!

On the flip side, of all of this it freaks me out. There are so many people out there who have had their photos used on fake profiles. It’s happened to many of my friends. The internet is such a big place, I feel like it’s nearly impossible to be 100% certain that it’s not happening to you as well. Scary. And also sad.

I may be turning into a sap, but there are definitely times when I find myself watching Catfish with a little wet thing full of feelings dripping down my cheek (lollllll). And it always comes when they are talking to the Catfisher. I spend the entire first half of the episode making the Catfish out to be this huge monster in my head, much like the victim has made them out to be this amazing person they’ve fallen in love with. Once they are finally revealed, there are a lot more layers exposed. Maybe they’ve suffered from abuse, were bullied as a child, have an illness that makes them house-bound. None of these horrible things makes their behavior excusable by any means, but my point is this all the way around: You can’t know someone fully (or love them) until you know them beyond social media.

I think this is why I’m so obsessed with this show because of this idea of people portraying themselves in a completely different way then how they are. Pretty relatable with how hugely blown up social media is in this day and age. Also, I think it’s because I am confident I would be a huge asset to Nev and Max’s investigative team because ya girl can internet creep.

But let me know! I love hearing feedback. Am I off-base? Have any of you been Catfished or fallen in love with someone you’ve never met? More importantly can you get me a job on Catfish???

 

New Years Rez must: ClassPass

As many of you may know, I get bored with things extremely easily. I think that’s pretty evident in all aspects of my life from my career path all the way down to what I eat on a daily basis (also probably why I’m still single, Grandma). No surprise here, but that also carries over into my workout routine. I #cannot stay motivated if I’m doing the same thing day after day after day. I need some variety to stay engaged and challenged. If you’re a person who doesn’t work the same way I do, then great. More power to you if you can hold yourself accountable to the same routine each day. But it’s not necessary to do the same monotonous routine to see results. In fact, it’s good to switch it up and confuse your body especially if you’re trying to stay committed to that same New Years resolution that you’ve had for the past 5 years.

Next question is how. I’ve mentioned this before, but Los Angeles is absolutely crawling with trendy workout spots (Soul Cycle, Barry’s Bootcamp, Pure Barre, etc.). While all of those are beyond great, they also cost a pretty penny a pop (yes alliteration). For my life, it doesn’t work for me to pay 15-20 a dance class, plus that same amount (sometimes more) for fitness classes as well. For a while, I was able to take advantage of the free first classes that a lot of these places offer, but you can only change your name and cheat the system so many times before you start feeling like a cheapskate (guilty as charged). Enter ClassPass.

Basically you pay a fee upfront and have access to multiple different work out facilities and group fitness classes anywhere you want to try. This saves you from having to purchase a membership or bulk package from any one place and allows you to keep your routine fricki-fricki-fresh. You can visit the ones you love up to two times and here’s the best part: it’s only $20 for 5 classes. WHAT. Well, okay there’s a bit of a catch. It’s normally $60 a month for 5 classes (which is still a pretty great deal since it’s about $12 per class). BUT they do a deal if you get a link sent to you from a friend who also uses class pass where both you and the person who referred you gets $40 off. SO it ends up being $20 for 5 classes. And here’s the part where I shamelessly insert my code for you to sign up if you’re feelin it.

Next up: the classes I chose. It can be pretty intimidating to walk into a class and not know what to expect so here’s a little run down of the ones I ended up at.

  1. Barry’s Bootcamp

IMG_6652Let me start by saying that I am addicted. Barry’s is by far my favorite of the bunch. So much so that I used two of my five classes on Barry’s. Basically you walk into this room with super intimidating (and also motivating) red lighting filled with treadmills, weights, resistance bands and mats. Each day is focused on a different muscle group alternates between treadmill and floor exercises. The hour long, high intensity interval training is designed to not only tone muscle and promote fat loss but it also spikes your metabolism for the next 48 hours. Litttttt. So you walk in, start on the treadmill and the trainer leads you through round 1. It varies on the trainer but I would say most of the time you’re on there for around 10 minutes. Sometimes the round is more sprint based and shorter, but there are times where I’ve been on the treadmill for a full 15 minutes. Just depends. They lead you through a rotation of walks, jogs, runs and sprints by giving you 3 numbers (the first being beginner followed by intermediate and advanced) to input into the treadmill. It’s important to keep in mind that this is just a guide.

Obviously you know your body better than anyone and safety comes first and trust me you don’t want to be the person that flies off the treadmill in the middle of class. Then (if you’ve avoided getting tossed and aren’t already on the floor) you move to the floor for round one of whatever day it is: Either arms/abs, back/chest, butt/legs, just abs or full body. You move through the different rounds and exercises for a full hour and then, once you’ve made it, you crawl out of the studio feeling accomplished and motivated (and also a bit dead). THEN YOU HEAD OVER TO THE FUEL BAR. Okay this isn’t mandatory but they have a bomb smoothie selection to help replenish your body after a near 1,000 calorie burn. My favorite is the Skinny Bitch with almond butter FYI.

  1. Pure Barre

Pure_Barre_DTLA.0.0Believe it or not, this was my first time at an actual Pure Barre facility! I’ve taken barre classes in the past but this one takes the cake. One of my teammates, Tori, works at the one downtown (which is literally a few blocks away) so it’s been on my to-do list to check it out for quite some time now. So as you probably already know, Pure Barre works to target those little muscles you forget even exist through small, isometric movements. Basically what that means is that if you walked into a class and just observed, you would probably be like this looks so easy.Pure-Barre-29 Well. It’s not. It’s different from Barry’s or a cycling class because you aren’t necessarily doing much cardio in the standard Barre class (although they do offer a class that includes it). The primary focus is to tone and build long and lean muscle and OUCH. After my first class, I was sore for multiple days in places that I hadn’t been sore in since I took consistent ballet back in the day. Definitely felt good to be back at the barre getting my ass kicked by a fellow dancer.

  1. Fly Wheel

071612_20Flywheel_20Sports_20Interiors-1.0Pretty much your standard cycling class. In addition to the 239028 million things I already do, I also work at Cafe Gratitude on Larchmont. After work I had a small window between my shift and rehearsal so I popped into Fly Wheel just down the street. It’s stadium set up and the bikes are arranged in a half circle around the instructor. Where this cycling class differs from Soul Cycle (which I also love) is that each bike has a points calculator called the Torque Board. Basically it calculates how much energy you’re actually exerting and keeping track of how high you actually have your resistance turned up. At the end of the class, they show the “winners”. Okay. So. I’m extremely competitive and the idea of this was why I was interested in going in the first place. Not gonna lie, I was pretty disappointed at the end of the class when my total was higher than the number 1 spot and not displayed on the screen. I don’t know if this was a tech issue or what but this is me publicly letting everyone know that I SHOULD HAVE WON.

  1. PlateFit

THIS IS THE WEIRDEST THING THAT I’VE EVER DONE IN TERMS OF A WORK OUT. So these classes are only about 30 minutes long. Weird, right? Ok so you’re probably thinking what in the world can you possibly accomplish in 30 minutes?? Well let me start off by saying this whole work out takes place on this vibrating thing. Yes, you heard me right. It’s called a power plate and is designed to contract your muscles 30-40 times per minute. You could literally just stand on the dang thing and be toning your muscles. Crazy. The class I took was a PlateFit barre class. Lots of dance-based plies and releves. The first part of the class I wasn’t feeling it too much but that definitely did not last long. origBy the end of the abs section (during which you actually lay down on the plate), my teeth were chattering from the vibrations and I felt a bit sea sick and fatigued. I am not kidding you I felt weird for like 2 hours afterwards. I tend to get motion sick so I don’t know if that was it or what. But I felt like I got a good workout in that definitely was new to my body. I’ll definitely be back!

Okay, sweeeeeet let’s sum this up. Basically for fitness lovers and New Years resolution starters, class pass is your move. Unfortunately it’s not nationwide. BUT it is available in the locations listed here.

GET AFTER IT. And if you do try out any of these classes, I wanna hear about your experience!!

Post-Thanksgiving food coma feels

Yes, I’m still full. Full of thanksgiving food but also full of gratitude (sorry that transition was so cheesy). This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family and I decided to spend the morning a little bit differently than I had in the past. Normally my Thanksgiving starts off with some cinnamon rolls and the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade. My mom is normally in the kitchen, doing all of the baking she should have done the night before, and then we roll over to our family thanksgiving a good 20 minutes late.   No worries, I still got my traditional cinnamon rolls and even enjoyed a traditional holiday feast later on in the day…but I spent my morning feeding the homeless just a few miles away from my place.

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Fellow Clippers ladies Carsyn, Mikayla, Kyla and myself

I had always seen photos and heard people tell stories about the homeless in LA- particularly in skid row, but I had never seen it in its fullest. Of course, it’s no secret that there is an overwhelming about of homeless people in Los Angeles. In fact, LA county has the largest homeless population in the country. But what’s wild to me is just how close to the high rent and lavish areas they are living. People are within blocks of each other living polar opposite lives. Someone is living in a penthouse apartment enjoying top shelf wine and online shopping for the holidays while, less than a mile away, someone is living on the street unsure of where their next meal is coming from. How can there be a lifestyle difference of that degree within the same block??

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Anyway. It’s the holidays and no matter who you are, everyone deserves to spend them with full bellies and a smile on their face. This year, I’ve been so lucky to make some incredible new friends- one of them being my fellow Clippers spirit member Kyla. She and her family organized a donations based food/clothing drive for Thanksgiving morning. We all met downtown, packed meals and care packages and headed to set up shop to start the hand outs.

img_8028Going into the morning, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Like I said, I had only ever seen photos or driven past a few tents under an overpass. Once we parked our cars and started walking around, I was stunned. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. Initially, I thought we would be volunteering at an actual homeless shelter or mission. But we took it into our own hands and set up a folding table with all of our meals (complete with dessert) on 7th and San Pedro, if I remember correctly. Not 30 seconds after we set up, we had a line of about 20 people. Most all of them expressed their extreme gratitude and even stayed to chat with us for a little bit.

I know it’s not much, but even being able to help out the people on that block alone gave me such a warm feeling along with a wake up call. I think in the past, I had been too scared to open myself up to even seeing that side of life. I preferred to live in my own little bubble, blissfully unaware that was a life that people so close to me in proximity lived. It’s so easy, especially living in LA, to get wrapped up in material things. I’m guilty of it for sure. I think we all are. Seeing this side of life gave me a whole new outlook on the lifestyle I live. A whole new level of gratitude for my upbringing and all of the blessings I have received. And finally, a whole new motivation to help in whatever way I can.  I’m so thankful for Kyla and the friends who organized and participated in this event. Thank you for reminding me just how blessed we are and what Thanksgiving is all about.