Orange Theory Review

Ok, so after having two children, I decided to get back into shape at the end of last year after I pigged out during Thanksgiving weekend. I had a history of high cholesterol, and currently have diastasis recti from having 9+ lbs babies in my 5’1″ frame. My fitness journey will be captured in a different blog because I have yet reached my goal and I would like to reach it or at least be satisfied with it before I write about it.

I do, however, want to write about a form of exercise that I recently decided to try – Orange Theory. What is it? It’s a 1 hour full body workout routine which targets strengthening, and increasing your endurance. I mean let’s get real, if you’re gonna work out for an hour, you better get stronger and your endurance should definitely increase.  You gotta put in what you want to get out though, so if you ever go, push yourself!

In the facility that I go to, they have 3 sections – treadmill, rowers, and the floor (with weights and steps). They claim that each workout is different from ones that you’ve already done. I have done two full sessions and so far, they have been different from each other. Even the workout on the treadmill varied, and the exercises on the floor varied from one session to the next.

Trainer – yes, there is a trainer that keeps his/her eye on the class. They are responsible for making sure you’re doing the exercises correctly and for pushing you if you need to be pushed and shouting out encouragements. I’m not sure what type of person you are, but I like to be pushed when it comes to working out. Not gonna lie, when the trainer yelled out my name and said “push it Maria!” I cranked up that treadmill pace! When the class is full there’s like 20+ people, so it’s not one on one training. I’m ok with that though because sometimes it’s awkward to have someone watch you all the time. Homegirl needs her space sometimes okkkkaayyy?

How is this different from other workouts I’ve tried?

Well, they give you the option of purchasing a heart rate monitor that then shows your progress (heart rate, calories burned, minutes you’re in aerobic exercise) on a screen in the gym. If you’re competitive, you can see others and their progress as well so you can push yourself if need be.

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At the end of the workout, they also email you your results which is cool to have just so you can kind of compare from your past sessions. (Side note: I also wore my iWatch at the same time and the heart rate and calories burned were way different.  I know my watch isn’t as accurate though because I’ve taken my heart rate in the middle of a workout and they don’t match up at times. So if i’m keeping count of my calories, I would just average out the two.)

It’s also kind of a combination of an exercise class and having a trainer. In a class, it’s mostly you just following the teacher, and a trainer is a one on one type of thing. If you don’t like either because it’s not enough attention or it’s too much attention, then this may be your thing.

Lastly, supposedly you will never do the same workout ever. I’m not really sure if that’s the case, but I guess there are many different types of exercises and ways to do them so maybe that’s not so hard to achieve.

Final Thoughts

I like it enough for me to sign up for it. I definitely got a good workout. I was very sore after the first try. I guess I’ll see if I’m as sore tomorrow after today’s workout. I would agree that it is pretty full body, as well as for endurance (I was on that treadmill today for 30 minutes!) So yes, it’s a good workout.

It’s definitely not cheap though. But after working out at home for 3 months, I needed a change and at least having this breaks up my workout routine so I’m not doing the same 3-4 videos at home. You do get a discount if you work at certain places but it’s still more expensive than going to a gym. You can get offered a month to month basis membership and the price is the same for when you make a commitment for 6 months or more. So ask for that month to month so you’re not locked in just in case you decide you don’t like it.

Finally, I’m a big proponent of keeping yourself moving. I work at a desk all day, so it’s important for me to move move move! (Sidenote: my daughter, Ella, who is 4, started singing “I like to move it move it” yesterday without prompting. I don’t think I have ever sang that to her though… I mean… I wouldn’t be surprised if I did subconsciously… well, anyway, I thought that was funny.) Aaannnnddd on that note, I definitely think trying out Orange Theory is worth a shot. Since the first class is free, what do you gotta to lose?

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

 

A Different Option for your Period

I’m always so late to the game. I know that there are tons of options out there now as far as collecting bodily fluids other than pads and tampons but I never really thought about it until friends started talking about Thinx underwear and menstrual cups. Of course, whatever you choose depends on your preference. If you don’t like sticking things up your hoo-ha, then there are reusable pads or menstrual underwear. I personally don’t like the feeling of  fluids coming out of my body so I opted for the cup.

I’ve been reading the benefits of using cups/thinx underwear. It’s more environmentally friendly and apparently healthier for you since pads and tampons are made of bleached rayon which could potentially be harmful for you. They also contain other chemicals but  demands for more transparency from manufacturers regarding what they use to make sanitary napkins and tampons have not been met. In addition, the cups and the underwear can be re-used over and over so technically, they can save you tons of money.

So I went ahead and bought a menstrual cup. How did I decide which one to get? I literally just went on amazon and looked at the reviews and whichever one was cheap and had great reviews, I chose! I ended up buying the “Dutchess Cup,” no doubt probably some type of knock off from the popular “Diva Cup.”

It seems that for most of these cups, there are 2 sizes. Large – meant from women who have given birth vaginally, or small – meant for women who have had C-sections or haven’t had kids yet. Pretty simple.

Make sure to sterilize the cups first. Put in boiling water for 3 minutes, let cool and you’re good to go.  Make sure your hands are washed before you do anything else with the cup. The directions seem pretty simple but harder to execute. There’s definitely some trial and error involved. First step is to fold – apparently there are a couple of ways that you can fold the cup. I used the “C-fold” – pinch the top of the cup and then bend in half to create a tight C shape.

Next step is the slightly more complicated – inserting the cup. I recommend actually inserting your index or middle finger in your vagina first. There are a variety of ways your cervix could be positioned so you just want to see where yours is. Once you kind of feel which way yours is, that’s the direction you will insert your folded cup.  Once you insert it, you will have to feel around the cup to make sure that it is fully unfolded to ensure that the cup has essentially “sealed” the opening for you cervix.

Once it’s in, you’re good to go! You shouldn’t feel like you have anything on like when you’re wearing a tampon. If you do, the cup is probably too low so try to push it up a little. I do wear a liner just in case there is some leakage but i found that if I put the cup in correctly, there’s little to no leakage. Win =). I’ve even worn it over night on my heaviest day and it did not leak. Win win!

I’ve read that depending the size of the cup, you can don’t have to change it for 6-12 hours. For me, the longest I’ve gone throughout the day is 8 hours and at night, 10 hours. When it’s time to take it out, wash your hands, sit or squat over the toilet and feel for the tip of the cup. If you can’t feel it, it helps to bear down (kinda like pooping) so that the cup will come down slightly, once you feel the tip, go ahead and grab on to it and gently pull, once the end of the cup comes out slightly, pinch the middle of the cup to break the seal and then gently pull and the cup will come out.

What’s a little cool and gross about the cup is that it actually has measuring lines on the sides of the cup so you know how much fluid your expelling. So it’s kinda cool to see, but also gross. Pour the contents of the cup into the toilet and wash cup with anti bacterial soap (or they do have a menstrual cup soap) and water and it’s ready for use again.

So all in all my experiences with the cup has been positive. The negative aspects of this experience is that is it takes time to learn how to use it, and I don’t think I would want to change it in public restrooms. But if you don’t care about those things, then hey, more power to yah! Definitely worth a try if you are looking for using something else other than pads or tampons.

Thanks for reading and hope you have an awesome rest of the day!

Blue Apron

Is it worth it? Maybe…

So my husband and I decided to get a little more adventurous with our cooking. Thanks to a friend of his, we were able to try a 1 week free trial of Blue Apron. Basically, it’s a company that will send you a certain amount of meals a week, with all the ingredients (fresh produce, spices, meat, and the like) already all measured out, ready for you to chop and cook. Along with the ingredients are the recipes, with pictures included so you can follow along and make slightly fancier meals. I believe there is a 2 Person plan (3 meals per week) and a Family plan (2 or 4 meals per week). The 2 person plan is $59.94 (so about $10 per person per meal), and the Family plan which is apparently for 4 people, goes for $138.84 for 4 meals/week (20 $8.67 per person per meal), or $69.92 for 2 meals per week ($8.74 per person per meal). We are using the 2 person plan. Before I get to the recipes that we tried, people wanted to know if it’s “worth it.” I think the answer is “yes” and “no,” depending on what you usually do during the week. Price-wise, I think that it’s worth it if you go out every night, or at least go out a lot, and spend at least $10 on each person. However, if you tend to go grocery shopping and cook mostly, then I think that the price may not be worth it. My husband also stated that he was satisfied after each meal, but he was not substantially “full.” So if you like to be “full-full,” then maybe this isn’t for you. On the other hand, I was pretty full after each meal, so take that however way you want ;-).

Quality time wise, my husband and I planned to cook together and make this something like an activity/hobby for us to do. However, it’s really hard to cook together with a toddler running around like a crazy woman yelling “more! more! more” or “mommy! mommy! mommy!” She does sleep by 7:00- 7:30, but we try to have our cooking done before then because we are just too tired to cook after putting her to bed. Anyway, I think that it’s kind of nice to follow a new recipe together and just kind of cook together, so quality time-wise, it may be worth it. Adding to that, is that once you sign up, you can see the menu a week or two ahead of time, and if it’s something you’re really not interested in, you can opt to not get anything those weeks, and they won’t charge you for that week. So that’s always nice to have that option.

       

Anyway, on to our adventure. The first thing we tried was the “Seared Pork with smashed potatoes and sauteed spinach”. This was a pretty easy recipe to follow and quite easy to get the ingredients at a regular grocery store. I was able to do this by myself while the hubs entertained our toddler. We waited to finish the last part of the recipe (cooking the spinach) until after we put her to bed so that we could eat it in peace and it worked out pretty well! The portion size was not too big, but it was definitely enough for me. We both thought that this meal was delicious and would definitely try again with larger portions. The pork roast they provided was a really good cut. I wasn’t sure if it was the way we cooked it, or the quality of the meat that made it taste really good but the hubs thinks it was the quality of the meat. If it was, then we can attest that Blue Apron gives great quality meat then.

    

The next night, we tried the “Pan-seared Cod with curried basmati rice, snow peas, and mint”. Someone enjoyed this one because the carbs made it heartier. He also loved the curry rice that went along with the cod. For this meal, we tagged-teamed. Since we both got home a little earlier than usual, I was able to chop up all the veggies/produce/spices before we got out toddler from the sitter. Then after we picked her up, he cooked everything while it was my turn to entertain her. We were even able to eat together as a family since we were done cooking before her bedtime. Our little one tried the rice and veggies, but we were greedy and ate the cod by ourselves. ;-). She didn’t seem to mind. See pictures below 😉 The produce for this dish can also be found easily in grocery stores, but the blend of spices they provided may be a little harder to find. This dish tasted pretty good. I forgot to add salt and pepper to the rice while cooking it, so the rice was a little bland, but the veggies and the cod turned out pretty well.

     

The last dish we tried, we put off until the weekend. Along with our toddler, we also had our niece and nephew with us over the weekend so we didn’t start cooking the dish until after we fed all the kiddos their dinner. So while she slept, and my niece and nephew ate popsicles and watched TV, we cooked our last meal, “Turkey Steam Buns with quick cucumber-radish kimchi”.  The ingredients for this dish can probably be found easily in asian markets, but may be harder to find in a regular grocery store. This was a pretty easy dish to cook, but completely impossible for me to put together. So our dish didn’t exactly look like the picture but oh well. It was kind of a korean-american fusion dish with the pseudo-kimchi toppings. But it was pretty good. I was full after eating two, so the hubs was only too happy to eat my last one. I think he was full after that, but I must mention that he did have a cheeseburger from McDonalds and 3 pieces of chicken nuggets before it. What can I say? The man can throw it down when it comes to food. =)

          

All in all, I think that it was kind of nice preparing food that we haven’t tried before. And because the recipe is set and all the ingredients are given, it’s kind of nice to cook a semi-fancy meal without worrying about what to cook and what to buy at the grocery store. Since there is that option of saying no to some weeks, we’ve decided to maybe try it once a month, or twice if we see recipes we would just love to try another week. Not really sure if it’s worth it price-wise, but since the hubs and I are foodies, it was nice to have a few date nights in the comforts of our own home =).