Sweet Day in ChestnutHillSq with Boston Brunchers

This summer has been kind of lame for me as far as spending time outdoors. Yes- I’ve done a day trip to Maine and spent a lovely vacation in Newport, but I live in freaken South Boston, which should equate to multiple weekends, if not every weekend, at the beach. However, I think I have made it to the beach only a handful of times, let alone outside to relax. So, when I was offered the opportunity to take part in a Boston Bruncher day out in Chestnut Hill, you bet I jumped at the opportunity.

There is no better way to spend a Sunday than brunching, with some additional exercise beforehand. As a Personal Trainer and Dietitian, you can bet I was super excited to attend this event because not only were we working out, but lunch would be provided by the delicious and healthy Sweetgreen followed by not-so-healthy and sinful Sweet bakery cupcakes. But, I am a HUGE cupcake fan and that is just something I have come to accept. I have a sweet tooth and will indulge it frequently.
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To my surprise, New Balance was there to equip us with their new 880’s for our hike AND Tom Tom provided us with their GPS Sports watch to track our caloric burn and heart rate. Super cool and how generous!
I liked how “techy” the watch was but we all got different calorie readings, and miles walked, which was definitely an error.

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Anyways, after our 3 mile hike, our tummies were ready for some Sweetgreen gazpacho, salad, and their refreshing basil blueberry lemonade. Having worked in CNH (chestnut hill), I’ve been to Sweetgreen a handful of times, but I always look forward to trying something new. Their options are nearly endless and they serve up some pretty delicious and healthy salads. We were greeted with a variety of options to try, and if we didn’t get the salad we desired or had an allergy, they were quick to whip us up exactly what we wanted. I tried the Spicy Sabzi, which is quite spicy, but I loved it! Packed full of fresh veggies, with a little kick, it satisfied my taste buds and left my belly more than happy :). Now off to Sweet Cupcake!

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Sweet Cupcake originated in Boston, where they bake 20 varieties of cupcakes daily! When we walked in we were greeted with 3 different varieties of cupcakes, but the fun didn’t stop there. We were encouraged to try their range of flavors, and trying and savoring we did! We enjoyed a strawberry shortcake cupcake, which was my absolute favorite, along with what I think was a mocha or cappuccino cupcake. The strawberry shortcake one was perfectly light and fluffy. I must say that I appreciated that each cupcake had a distinct texture, color, and flavor. For example, the chocolate cupcakes were more dense and rich, while the fruiter ones consisted of a lighter cupcake. Not many “cupcakeries” or cupcake shops will match the cake and frosting texture and richness to the type of cupcake. It’s clear Sweet pays attention to all of the intricacies of cupcake making, ensuring a delectable experience. Plus, Sweet Cupcakes even sells pup cakes for your pooch! I must admit I bought a few for my own pup 🙂 This was a perfect ending to our sweet day.

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I was so impressed with everyone’s generosity and hospitality, and I must admit, this was by far my best Bruncher experience (even though brunch was moreso lunch). Regardless, I walked away having had a wonderful and fun-filled day with the Brunchers! I look forward to my next trip to ChestnutHill Square!

Disclaimer: This event was provided free of charge to me as a member of the Boston Brunchers, although all opinions are my own.

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B/Spoke Launches New Spin Studio in Boston

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Not too long ago I was invited to check out Boston’s latest spin studio, known as B/Spoke. Started by two friends, looking for an escape from the stresses of life and injuries from other fitness forms, B/Spoke opened its doors in the financial district. Having tried out The Handle Bar as well as Soul Cycle (you can read my review here), I was psyched to have the opportunity to try yet another indoor cycling class.

Mark, B/Spoke’s cofounder, puts it perfectly when he says ” when you work in a stressful environment, fitness becomes a form of meditation.” Being in the studio, I realized that fitness to me really is a time that I can dedicate solely to myself, helping relieve the stresses of daily life. Yes- Mark admits it is quite strange to find inner peace amidst this crazy loud spin session, but it’s possible.

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What I loved most about this studio was not only the NYC ambiance, but the music and the instructor. Just like the Handle Bar and Soul Cycle, it utilized free weights during the class. Unlike SoulCycle though, I didn’t really feel like our rhythm was set to a beat or that we were having a dance party or engaging in any choreographed moves on the bike. It was simple and straightforward, which I liked….and the instructor played some kickass beats. What I also enjoyed that was different was that each bike came with a calorie tracking/monitoring device on each bike. I actually got to see roughly how many calories I was burning- which I always wondered about in a spin class. The device also tracks heart rate zone, average speed (RPM), average power, total power, distance, and more. I was told you could burn typically 600-800 calories in an hour session and that’s sooooo not true! I burned about 450 calories working my butt off the entire time, so chances are your average Joe is likely only burning about 300 calories a session (my spin instructor friends would agree if you doubt me).

Anyways, if you go online, you’ll also notice that B/Spoke offers online performance tracking, nutritional advice, and a regular journal to act as a guide to living a fun, healthy, and balanced life in Boston! How cool is that!

To tell you a little bit about their other amenities:
Shoes

You don’t need to even bring your own. Shoe rentals are free of charge at the front desk. (NOTE: Their pedals are ONLY compatible with SPD shoes. So if already own LOOK compatible shoes oh well, I encourage you to take advantage of their complimentary shoe rental.)

Lockers
There’s no need to bring your own lock. The guest lockers have coded locks to keep your stuff safe.

Water
Yup- they even provide free bottled waters at the front desk, plus a purified water refilling station for you to fill up your reusable water bottles. For those who forget their water bottle, they sell S’WELL brand bottles at the front desk that are 100% BPA Free.

Showers
SIX showers(!) and separate changing areas, equipped with amazing Aesop brand bath products (THAT SMELL DELICIOUS IF I MUST SAY SO MYSELF). There are also plenty of hairdryers, straighteners, and other beauty products available, so you can head back to the office or out on the town looking and smelling great.

Okay- if that’s not enough to entice you to try out this studio, maybe the fact that your first ride is complementary will. B/Spoke invites newcomers to check out a class!

You can check out prices online here: http://www.bspokestudios.com/buy-credits
B/SPOKE offers single classes and an array of bulk packages ranging from $20-27 per class as well as corporate and student discount programs. With six classes scheduled each weekday and four weekend options, B/SPOKE caters to any hectic schedule and lifestyle with the utmost convenience. Bikes can be reserved online up to seven days in advance via http://www.bspokestudios.com and walk-ins are also welcome.

B/SPOKE Studios is located at 101 Federal Street in Boston’s Financial District and is open Monday through Friday from 5:00am through 8:00pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am through 11:30am. For more information, please call 617.951.9900 or visit http://www.bspokestudios.com. Follow B/SPOKE Studios on Twitter at @BSPOKEstudios, Instagram at @BSPOKElife and Facebook at /BSPOKEStudios.

I definitely hope you check it out and let me know what you think!

Have any of you already tried B/Spoke? Thoughts?
Photo credit given to studio TROKIA

Product Review +New Partnership! Vigilant Eats Superfood

I probably spend more time thinking about nutrition than one can imagine. Plus, in my line of work, I have to always keep my eyes peeled for the latest in health trends. Juice cleanses, cacao powder, maple water, you name it- I’ve likely heard of it. This summer, goji berries, kombucha, coconut, and cacao seem to be the hot topics, but what exactly makes them so “nutritious?”

For starters, goji berries are chockfull of antioxidants, and they’re also a good source of protein, vitamin A and vitamin C. Cacao on the other hand is another great source of antioxidants as well as magnesium, which is important for muscle and nerve function. While I am not touting either as a cure for cancer, I do think both of these foods make a tasty and convenient addition to any diet.

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This week I was lucky enough to review and sample Vigilant Eats super food cereal- which uses goji berries and cacao in their “cereals.” Super cool label, gluten-free, organic, non-gmo, and vegan, this disposable cup packed with nutrition is an easy on-the go option for those summer rendezvous. Orrrrr for your other summer activities 🙂 Essentially, Vigilant Eats provides its consumers with a modern, convenient solution for the active or busy lifestyle.

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Several of the ingredients are raw and all of the flavors are made with certified gluten free oats. All of the flavors are vegan and all you have to do is add some water or milk!

Flavors include: Goji Cacao
Gluten-Free Oats
Oat Flour
Goji Berries
Cacao Nibs
Hemp Flour
Coconut Palm Sugar
Yacon Powder
Maple Powder
Cinnamon
Coconut Maple Vanilla
Gluten-Free Oats
Oat Flour
Dates
Hemp Flour
Dried Coconut
Coconut Palm Sugar
Coconut Flour
Lucuma Powder
Maple Powder
Vanilla Extract

Espresso Maca Mulberry and Maca Double Chocolate

I’ve listed ingredients for the first two so that you get a general idea of what is in these superfood cereals. My favorite personally though was the Coconut Maple Vanilla. MMMMMM. yum. It was delicious and indulgent! But it did contain 21 grams of sugar- YIKES! I applaud the company though for using natural sweeteners such as fruit and coconut. The goji one only contains 6g of sugar per serving, which is a little more reasonable in my opinion. Nonetheless these are a healthy, quick option to have as a snack or for breakfast.

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My favorite thing about this product is the company behind it. Their tag line is Delicious Justice, which means great taste and a product that is produced in a socially and environmentally conscious way. Furthermore, Vigilant Eats supports organizations like the Farm-to Consumer Defense Fund, a national organization that protects and defends the legal rights of consumers to buy directly from farms.

I hope to see Vigilant Eats cereals in more locations in and around Boston very soon! But in the mean time you can purchase it online at http://www.viglant-eats.com/shop-online/. Use the discount code sknutrition to get 10% off plus free shipping on any item on the web store except for the 4-cup sampler pack.

Let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.