Snack Review: Nakd Bars

For the past month I’ve been snacking on these tasty bars and I’m ready to give you the full run down! The lovely folks at Natural Balance Foods sent me a mixed case of these vegan, 100% natural bars and I quickly became addicted, eating one a day (ok and some days, two).

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The bars contain very few ingredients, which is something I look for in packaged foods. If I’m going to eat something that comes in a wrapper I want it to be as natural as possible, only containing a short list of ingredients, all of which I can pronounce. Nakd bars fit the bill.

The details are listed on the back, check it out:

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I thought the fruity flavors would be my favorite but I actually loved the chocolatey ones, they quenched sugary cravings in a healthy way. I think perhaps my top flavor was the Ginger Bread bar, it tasted exactly like gingerbread and only has dates, almonds, pecans, ginger, cloves and cinnamon, that’s it!

I’m bummed that I ate every bar already and will have to order more, they are perfect to keep at my desk or for traveling; they were always in my beach bag this summer.

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You can order the bars on NaturalBalanceFoods.com, I recommend the mixed case to try all the flavors; I actually liked every single one.

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off →

You KNOW this is my new jam. Coming to a spin class near you ASAP.

Class Review: Love. A Yoga Space, Montauk

Oh goodness, where do I begin with this review. There were highs, there were lows, there were weird moments. So. Many. Feelings.

Ok let’s start at the beginning…

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Hamptons Bachelorette Weekend Round 2

I headed back out to Montauk this weekend to celebrate the amazing Megan’s bachelorette! Megan and I met 9 years ago (woah) while interning at Shop Etc. magazine. Never heard of it? I’m not surprised, it folded shortly after our summer there. That summer, there was a miscommunication with hiring summer interns and there ended up being about 25 interns, which is insane for the size of the magazine.

No complaints here, it was my first summer living in NYC and I made amazing friends that I’m still close with today. Five of us from that summer were at the bachlorette this weekend and it was so great to all be back together.

We stayed at the Montauk Beach House. I have mixed feelings about the hotel, it’s very central, has a pool (and pool party) and is near the beach but it’s one of those hotels that tries to make as much money off you as possible. It had a good party vibe, ideal for a bachelorette weekend but they had silly rules like you can’t bring your own alcohol or food (we did anyways). It was totally fine for the weekend and put us in a good area for day time and night time activities.

Highlights include dinner at Swallow East, drinks at Surf Lodge and brunch at The Gig Shack.

Poolside Bloody Mary at Montauk Beach House

Shop Etc. girls back together again

& the whole weekend crew

Taking in the sunset at Surf Lodge. I recommend this spot but make sure to get there early, a line forms as early as 7pm. It’s a great atmosphere; half the bar is in the lodge and half is in the sand, there’s live music and views of the water.

Tasty fish tacos before heading back to the city.

And you know me, I went off on my own both mornings for a workout. Saturday was for yoga and Sunday was for Row House, I’ll be reviewing those shortly in their own post.

I had a great time with these ladies this weekend and can’t wait to reunite once again in New Orleans for the wedding!

1. Made two fun online purchases this week. I’ve dropped my iphone more times than I care to count and my current Kate Spade case needs to be retired (cracks all over da place) so I opted for a run-friendly case from Triple C Designs ($34). I love that when I go for a run I can easily hold an ID, credit card and a few bucks. And while perusing the Cameo Nouveau site I stumbled upon these adorable hair pins which I had actually seen on Instagram a while ago and have loved every since. I bought the Love pin ($12), I think this would be so cute to wear to a wedding with a little black dress. Pins available on Cameo Nouveau and ban.do

2. This afternoon I’m heading out to Montauk for another bachelorette party! I’m looking forward to it and can’t wait to get to our hotel, The Montuak Beach House, it looks all nautical and beachy. I know a handful of girls going and am looking forward to catching up, relaxing and exploring Montauk.

3. Every so often as a business meeting I get treated to a fancy manicure. This week we went to Paintbox in Soho. They have a book of options to choose from; I went for a pinkish sponge paint style. The shop is super nice, has delicious iced coffee and they do an awesome job. It’s on the pricey side but it’s gel and should last 2+ weeks. The best part? Mani cam! On your way out they have an actual mani cam set up to take your photo, already cropped and ready for Instagram. So fun!

4. This is not accurate, I’m not doing Whole30 but I am thinking about doing Whole30. I’ve been doing research on the program and it sounds hard. To put it simply, you eat real food for 30 days, absolutely no cheating. Without being very knowledgeable about it (yet) I’d say it’s extreme Paleo without a single cheat. If you cheat even a little, you go back to Day 1. It’s supposed to be a reset of your system and I’m intrigued. I cheat on my healthy eating all the time so this would be quite the challenge. You’re supposed to read It Starts With Food before beginning the program. I ordered the book and will read through before committing. Stay tuned.

5. Catching up with friends is oh-so-nice and doing it over a tasty meal is even better. On Tuesday I went to The Mermaid Inn with a friend and while it wasn’t my first time there, it was a new experience. We started at the bar for happy hour with rose, oysters and clams, taking advantage of pretty decent happy hour specials. After HH we were seated and did the Old Fashioned Crab Boil, a special on Tuesdays in the summer. For $26 you get a bucket of 4 Maryland blue crabs, jalapeno corn bread, potatoes and corn on the cob. I’m embarrassed to say that as a Marylander I had no idea how to eat a crab but luckily our placemats gave step-by-step instructions. The food and atmosphere is great, as it getting a lot of one-on-one time with my friend. The special only runs for two more Tuesdays so get there quickly!

Happy Weekend All!

Class Review: Trooper Fitness with Jennifer Romanelli

I’ve written about Trooper Fitness before (you can read my first review HERE) but last night was my first time taking class with Jennifer and it deserves it’s own review.

I recently purchased a 10-pack of Trooper Fitness classes from Gilt, an awesome deal at $89 (less than $9 per hour class). Trooper is what I’d call a no-frills intense workout. The sessions are held at various little studio spaces around the city. Last night it was Fit Factory on West 27th.

Jennifer’s class is high intensity for the entire hour. Immediately upon meeting Jennifer I was thinking, I’ll do whatever you tell me, you are FIT, teach me your ways! The warm up nearly killed me. It was full of squats (all different kinds), push ups and burpees with barely any breaks for 15 minutes. Jennifer has a tough-love attitude in class, she’s not mean but she also isn’t sweet; personally it’s a style I’m a fan of when I’m taking that sort of class. She threatened that if anyone dropped their plank or squat hold everyone would have to start over. That sort of attitude will keep you on top of your game.

The workout was split into a few different rounds of intervals. The warm up round followed by an 8-minute set using heavy weights then body weight exercises and tabatas. In Jennifer’s class when you think you’ve finally finished a round of moves she’ll tell you to do 20 push ups. You’re always moving.

The class has a good vibe, it was my first time at this session but it seems like most people sort of know each other and everyone is friendly.

There are some pros and cons to Trooper Fitness.

The pros are that it’s affordable, it’s hard, it’s an awesome workout, it makes you work and it leaves you a sweaty disgusting mess. It’s small group training so you get individual attention and the instructor knows your name and will call you out (positively and negatively)

The cons are that there aren’t a ton of class options, it’s seriously no frills (as in no water, no towels), and the spaces aren’t great. Last night it was a little cramped and dark. I get it, I only paid $9 for the class and if I wanted a fancy workout I can go spend $35 at an upscale studio; that’s not going to happen. So I guess I can’t really complain. Trooper doesn’t have a permanent location so some spaces are better than others. They also host some outdoor workouts, I may try to make it to a Central Park one soon.

As for Jennifer’s style, for the most part I liked it. If you’re the type who likes to use 3 pound weights and do 1,000 reps, do not come. We were encouraged to use heavy weights (I used 15lbs which is a lot when you’ve got two of them and you’re using them for burpees and plank rows). I do wish there was a little more direction. I got a little lost in some of the routines, it would have been helpful to have things written out on a white board for reference. Jennifer also doesn’t give much form direction/correction so half the time I felt like my form sucked and I was doing it wrong. Maybe she didn’t correct me because I was actually doing everything 100% correct, ha! Definitely not the case.

I left feeling like I had really pushed myself and got a solid workout, I’d happily return to Jennifer’s class. She is a no-nonsense bad-ass, my kinda girl.

These are actual pictures from last night’s workout and thankfully I’m barely visible because let’s be real, I looked like a hot mess.

If you’re interested in trying Trooper Fitness you can do your first class for $15 or keep an eye on Gilt and maybe they will offer a discounted package again soon.

I’ve got 9 sessions left so if you do go, maybe I’ll see you there!