Post-workout bliss

post workout blissIt’s that time of year. Daylight savings time has given us an extra hour of sunlight each day, bikinis are popping up in stores, and bare legs and shoulders are coming soon, if not already out in the world. My daily workout definitely tends to shift towards a gentle hibernation period in the winter, so the springtime leads me back to the gym and my yoga mat, where I combat sore muscles once I’m back on a more regular schedule. I’m sharing my arsenal of three of my favorite post-workout recovery tricks with you!  I hope they’ll help ease your muscles to make your spring amp-up easier on your body, and easier to maintain throughout ALL four seasons.

ArnicaArnica is a plant in the sunflower family that’s used in homeopathic medicine as a pain reliever for muscle aches and stiffness. Apply a few times a day for best results, and feel your tough workout woes fade in record time. I usually buy it in gel form, although you can get it in cream and ointment form as well.  Bonus: The topical treatment also helps bruises disappear way faster than they would normally.


Working It Out

fabletics gear

Lately I’ve been really feeling the fitness bug, which is honestly a miracle for me.  I’ve never been the girl who looooves to work out (I wish) but I do occasionally get spurts of enthusiasm for exercise and being fit…and this month happens to be one of those times.  I think one of the main motivators for me, aside from the idea of getting into better shape, has been my sudden influx of stylish, yet still functional, work out gear from FABLETICS.  I’m obsessed, to put it mildly.  I never really saw the point of buying cute work out clothes, because my Target yoga pants and old tank tops always seemed to do the trick, but I gotta say that wearing my gear from FABLETICS actually does give me a little confidence boost. I’m really into the LIMA CAPRI FOLD OVER PANT and SPORTS BRA (similar HERE), mostly because the pants suck me in exactly where I want them to, and the sports bra, though not for high impact stuff like running, is really comfortable and I even wear it just around my apartment when I don’t feel like going braless, which is always.


Jumpstarting 2014: A Recap from The Ranch R4.0

Hiking - Copy

Right before Thanksgiving, I blogged about how I was about to embark on a 4-day fitness/wellness retreat with The Ranch R4.0.  It’s been about a week since I’ve been back and, guys, I’m still all reved up with energy and enthusiasm which, for me, is pretty amazing.  If you read my pre-trip post, you know that I was extremely nervous about going, mainly because I didn’t exactly follow the month-long “preparation” that The Ranch instructs everyone to do (oops) which mainly consists of daily hikes/work outs, cutting out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, animal protein, etc.  I knew that I’d have NO problem with the food, since I don’t drink caffeine anyway, and if I can’t go four days with out a drink…well, that would mean I should be going to a different kind of retreat, but I digress.

Our days started at 5:30am (yep, not a fan of that) and went straight through until about 8…it was intense, yet, a truly amazing experience.  Here’s a sample day at the retreat:

  • 5:30am: wake up call
  • 6:00am: morning stretch/yoga
  • 7:00am: breakfast
  • 7:30am: departure for hike
  • 7:45: hike begins
  • 12:30: hike ends
  • 1:00pm: lunch
  • 1:30pm: break
  • 2:00pm: class at fitness center (yoga)
  • 3:00pm: class at fitness center (core)
  • 4:00pm: class at fitness center (strength training)
  • 5:00pm: massage
  • 6:00pm: break
  • 7:00pm: dinner

I learned so much that I barely even know where to start.  I think my biggest takeaways were these:

the ranch food

  • Treat your body well// What you put into your body matters.  I always knew this and, honestly, I eat fairly well most of the time…but I learned that I can actually live (and be full) on MUCH less food than I thought.  Sure, I was hungry the first two (ok, three) days of this retreat but by the fourth day I found myself satisfied with about a 1/2 cup of granola and a sip of a veggie smoothie. What?!  I’m the girl who ALWAYS finishes her plate, even if the plate is full of healthy food…I finish it. I never minded vegan food but now I actually like it; I even made a vegan lunch yesterday and was almost full after 😉

the ranch hotel room

  • Push yourself physically, but listen when your body says to stop// The hikes were really challenging…I mean like REALLY hard and I pushed myself physically because I wanted…no, I needed to finish them.  By the end of the second day, I realized that at some point I had pulled my right groin muscle and could barely lift my leg.  I sat in my hotel room, leg elevated, watching Full House, and cried a little about the fact that I hurt myself and might not be able to do any more hiking.  Then I thought about it…I’m pretty sure that I pulled my groin the first day and I STILL hiked about 9 miles after that which, HELLO, is pretty amazing.  I DO push myself…and I’m proud of that.  I took a break and didn’t do the 3rd hike and then, on the 4th day, I did a moderated version of the hike that didn’t include such steep inclines.  I did what I could with what I had going and that’s something I’m proud of.

the ranch simple things

  • Enjoy the simple things// It’s funny what becomes “normal” to you when you’re out of your comfort zone.  I learned to love my nightly ritual of no-caffeine tea (with fresh mint and lemon) and I would actually get excited to drink it.  I also learned to love the fact that the only makeup I wore on my face (for FOUR ENTIRE DAYS) was mineral foundation and a dab of concealer…that’s IT.

malibu view

  • Make sure you take time to enjoy the view// So often we just go through life not truly paying attention to what’s going on around us (Hi, if you’re from New York especially).  I made sure STOP and LOOK around…the views are amazing when you take a minute to breath.

good things take time

  • Good things take time// I’ve never been a particularly patient person but I’m trying to be better.  Whether it’s a fitness goal, a career goal or even something small, it’s important to remember these words.  Good things take time.




Jumpstarting 2014: The Ranch R4.0

the ranch malibu

Ahhhh, fitness retreats. I’ve never actually done one, mostly because I’m lazy, but when the opportunity presented itself at The Ranch Malibu, I really had no excuse to say no.  Starting on Thanksgiving (YES, I am skipping Thanksgiving), I’ll be spending the next four days at The Four Seasons in Westlake Village (about 30 miles from Hollywood).  The best part about this is that I’m going to be “roughing it” outside for hours upon hours, only to come back to a massage and delicious meal at one of the nicest hotels in the country. It’s a rough life, let me tell you.  My dad, being the avid hiker/camper that he is, originally gave me a few tips:

Dad: You only really need two pairs of socks…


Dad: (laughing) Well…it’s called roughing it, Jamie.

Me: I don’t know what you’re talking about…I’m staying at The Four Seasons.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 11.54.09 PM

Does Troop Beverly Hills come to mind? It certainly did for me.  Beverly Hills, what a thrill.  This is pretty much how I picture this process, at least in my dreams…

Ok, awesome 90s movies aside, 4.0 is a four day version of The Ranch’s acclaimed weeklong program, The Ranch at Live Oak / Malibu. The program runs from Thursday to Monday, and is designed for guests desiring a jump-start to a healthier lifestyle who are unable to be away from home or work for a full week, and who desire to maintain more connectivity during their program immersion.

Just like at The Ranch, guests of R4.0 will take part in 8-10 hours per day of rigorous exercise including four hours of morning mountain hiking, afternoon exercise classes and stretching, delicious organic vegetarian cuisine, massages (Friday – Sunday) and a cooking demonstration. In conjunction with California Health and Longevity Institute, R4.0 also includes medical diagnostic testing (VO2 Metabolic Testing and Body Composition).

Now, on to the important things…like what I’ll be wearing.

fabletics- kate hudson

This is totallllly how I’m gonna look, riding a bike, next to cactus…in a sports bra. Right.  In all seriousness, I actually had to get some pretty intense gear for this little outing: a Camelback, hiking shoes and, most important (at least in my mind), sweat/moisture-wicking clothing so that I don’t walk around in wet clothes all day.  After nearly an hour of internet searching, I honestly just refused to spend $85 on ONE pair of stretch pants (especially after the Lululemon debacle)- sorry I’m not sorry, so thankfully the lovely team at Fabletics hooked me up with tons of sweat-wicking workout clothes and they’re REALLY, REALLY good, guys.  Honestly, they fit really well, feel awesome and are made from the same quality materials as their competitors, at half the price.  My new workout gear has actually made me slightly more excited to work out for 8-10 hours a day…slightly.

I’ll be on Instagram and Twitter through out my four days, so make sure to follow me to see what our group is doing.  Wish me luck…sigh, I’m nervous.

7 Secret Celebrity Workout Spots in Los Angeles

celebrities working out

I don’t usually do posts that are so local, but if you live in Los Angeles, it’s pretty much guaranteed that, at some point, you will find yourself near or around a celebrity or two…or six.  But while working out?  Sure…IF you know where to go.  Celebrity bodies are always a topic of conversation, which is exactly why you need to know where some of Hollywood’s most gorgeous get (and stay) toned and trim.  Secrets, no more.  After four years here, I felt an obligation to share how some of the best bodies stay fit.  Enjoy.

Moksha Yoga Los Angeles 

Celeb Regulars: Katie Holmes, Sophia Bush, Edward Norton

This small, hot yoga studio is basically a hidden gem on La Brea, which is perfect for high-profile celebrities like Katie Holmes.  Celeb-approved classes include:

Moksha Original- A unique series of 40 postures.  The postures combine the precision of therapeutic yoga, and the foundations of traditional yoga, all in a tiny, heated room. The Moksha series is a cardiovascular workout that loosens, strengthens and tones the muscles, while calming the mind and reducing stress. The heat allows for deep, safe stretching and promotes detoxification of the skin, blood and muscles through sweat.

Moksha Flow- This fun class takes the regular Moksha series and connects the postures with more fluid movement. However, the studio recommends that you take at least five Moksha Original classes before trying “the Flow.”

Core Fusion at Exhale Spa

Celeb Regulars: Vanessa Hudgens, Allison Williams (Girls)

We’ve been told that you need to prepare to sweat, if you do decide to take this class.  Core Fusion uses a combination of weights, bands, balls and your very own body weight for resistance…it’s a heart-pumping workout that focuses heavily on core strength and relaxation of the mind.

Cycle House

Celeb Regulars: Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Charlize Theron, Gerard Butler

Sure, cycling studios are pretty popular these days, but Cycle House has managed to stay under the radar…until now.  What we love about Cycle House (aside from the A-List clientele) is that the studio donates two meals to feed the homeless for every class that is purchased.  Now if that’s not motivation to work out, we don’t know what is.

POUND Fit – at CRUNCH West Hollywood 

Celeb Regular: Maria Menounos

POUND combines easy cardio moves with strength training and, get this, drumming. This combo works the entire body, raises the heart rate, and forces each move to be as precise as a basic beat – hence, the weighted drumsticks.  The instructor plays a 45-minute “Poundtrack” (yes, that’s really its name) that is carefully planned out to get you through 15,000 reps, which are performed over 30 extended interval peaks with more than 70 techniques…and we can’t imagine this not being fun.

Shadow Boxing

Celeb Regulars: Selma Blair, Leslie Bibb, Mario Lopez, Hilary Duff

Described by most members as a “hole in the wall,” this tiny gym is just about big enough to fit one boxing ring…but, that doesn’t stop the celeb masses from flocking in.  The trainers are known to be some of the best around, and the classes are cheap to boot.  According to clients, the celebrities are known to join in on group classes, in addition to one-on-one private training.

Fitmix Studio 

Celeb Regular: Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls)

Beth Behrs, of “2 Broke Girls” fame, is described by the studio as a “die-hard fan” and Beth even claims that Fitmix’s Endurace Pilates and interval running has totally changed her body.  The 55 minute group class uses customized pilates reformers for 30 minutes, after doing 25 minutes of cardio on the treadmill.  The concept is designed to raise your heart rate, which will, in turn, burn calories and promote long, lean muscle.

YAS Fitness Center

Celeb Regulars: Kate Hudson, Olivia Wilde

“YAS,” which stands for “Yoga and Spinning,” is the first studio dedicated to the super powerful workout combination.  The space itself is large and offers fun music, easy-to-learn routines and, of course, the chance to watch two of Hollywood’s most gorgeous women work out.  It’s a win-win, really.

Introducing: August Anarchy

august anarchy


August Anarchy.  Yes.  Back in June 2011, I briefly blogged about a new “lifestyle” (e.g. diet) that I had been doing for about 2 months and I was LOVING it.  I felt lean, toned and strong…which I really miss.  It’s been a little over two years now and, sadly, I’ve gained a good amount of weight back at this point.  Am I overweight?  Absolutely not.  But do I feel good?  No.  I’m not (and never have been) a naturally thin person and I’ve always had to work REALLY hard to not gain weight, most of which is really just diet and being slightly active.  I’m a carb fiend, guys…no, seriously I LOVE potatoes and pasta and I’ve realized that the only way to avoid gaining is to really just limit my intake to once or twice a week and that’s it.  Period.  No exceptions.  It sucks but hey, as Kate Moss once said, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” and it’s really a choice: eating all of the food I love constantly OR being thin.

Long story short, I was inspired by my friend Beth’s journey to lose her baby weight.  Granted, I didn’t have a baby, I’m just LAZY and love pasta, but Beth looks AMAZING. We’re about the same size/build so there’s really no excuse why I can’t do the same thing (seriously, look how fabulous Beth looks after only six months).  Beth did Paleo, which is really similar to what I’ve had success with in the past: Tim Ferriss’ Slow Carb Diet.  Basically, I’m going for it.  August Anarchy.  31 days of hard-core Jamie…my friends are going to be annoyed (I tend to not be as social in order to avoid eating “no no” foods and drinks), but I’m doing it.  And when I start to get annoyed, I’ll refer back to THIS Shape.com article, where I was glowing with excitement and energy.

If you’d like to follow along, you can follow my “Healthy Foods” Pinterest board, as well as my “Fitness!” board.

What do you guys think?  Will you try out the Slow Carb Diet?