Happy Tuesday, fit crashers! Instead of my normal NYC fit crash review today, I have four mini reviews of things that crossed my radar recently. Hope you enjoy!
1. Sleek Physique with Jessica Bailey
Last week I crashed Jessica Bailey’s “Sleek Physique” class at the Sports Club LA on the Upper East Side. It’s a barre-inspired class she also teaches at other locations, so be sure to check her website for updated class information about where you can find her next. In addition to other specialties, Jessica has taught barre at many of the top studios in the city – including Physique 57 and Exhale Spa – and combines all of her best tucks and tricks into one serious scorcher of a class. No really guys, this thing was tough.
The hour-long session was absolutely non stop and no part of the body escaped her moves. Lower legs, upper legs, inner thighs, outer thighs, seat, abs, back, chest, arms, shoulders. I was amazed at how worked-through I felt at the end of class. There were a few periods of stretching, but as soon as you thought you could take another moment or two in child’s pose, we were on the next thing. I really enjoyed it because it was a faster-paced, more challenging version of barre than I had ever tried before.
Thanks for inviting me to crash your class, Jessica!
2. Taste of Nature snacks
Like so many of you out there, I’m always on the go. But as someone who gets hungry every three to four hours, sometimes my stomach and my schedule don’t quite match up. And then the hangry sets in and, well…nobody wins.
Every time I am in the grocery store or at REI I make it a point to try a new snack bar. There are always new ones on the market – some promising, some awful – and the organizational nut in me just can’t help myself when I get to that aisle filled with colorful, conveniently wrapped bars neatly packed all in a row. My philosophy on snack bars is much like it is with fitness classes: if it’s out there (and I can understand the label), I want to try it.
Knowing my insatiable stomach and culinary quest, the kind folks at Taste of Nature offered to send me a sample package of their products (thank you!). But before I agreed to try them, I was very up front about the fact that I won’t eat or share anything that I can’t pronounce, so if your bar is processed, I’m not interested. Sorry not sorry. The friendly rep sent me a sample nutrition label, which included things like oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc. and I was happy to oblige.
I tried all of the regular and exotic flavors, some of which were a bit too sweet for my taste, but others were delicious. The Brazilian Nut, Persian Pomegranate, and Himalayan Goji Summit were my favorites. If you’re like me and always looking for something new to keep in your gym bag for pre- or post- workout snacks, I give this one a thumbs up. Here’s a list of stores where you can find them.
And if you’re interested in my take on other snack bars I’ve tried, just let me know, I’m happy to share!
3. Arctic Ease Instant Cold Wrap
So my left knee. If you’ve been following along here for awhile you know that it’s been a bit of an issue since I tore my meniscus in 2010. Things were going well until I moved to New York City. Walking around in regular shoes all day just wasn’t cutting it. And then I tweaked it doing lunges in class last week and, well, you get an idea of where this is going.
I received a letter from Arctic Ease asking if I would be interested in trying their cold wraps to help with my healing process. Knowing that I’m the absolute worst at actually making time to sit down and ice post-workout (I mean, really the worst) – I agreed.
These reusable wraps are kind of like a wet ACE bandage soaked in cooling gel. That’s the best way I can describe it. It feels a bit like a tongue, which I admit is kind of gross. You wrap it around the target area so that it provides both cooling and compression – both of which are key for making my knee feel better. And a bonus: it sticks to itself so it stays on while you can go about your business.
I used it on my knee after a short run this weekend and I think it truly helped (especially since I wasn’t doing any recovery treatment before). While the wraps definitely felt cool, I think I need to up the ante a bit so I’ve placed them in my fridge for next time. Like I mentioned, I didn’t love the texture and the process of re-rolling the wrap into its container takes a bit of time. But if you’re an active person and stubbornly against sitting down to ice your hurting joints, this just might be the thing for you. Kind of like a compression sock dipped in cooling liquid. If you try it (or have other ideas for us ice avoiders), let me know what you think!
4. My Big New Gym Bag
After scouring the internet for the perfect gym bag and writing a post featuring my top picks, you would think that I was well on my way to making one of those beautiful bags mine. But after thinking about it more, the whole reason I wanted to buy a new gym bag was because I was so tired of hauling multiple bags around the city all day long. Purse, lunch, workout clothes, yoga mat, groceries. It was getting out of control.
After spotting an LL Bean tote on someone living in my apartment building, I had a total light bulb moment. Ah – ha! What if I purchased a bag big enough to do all of those things in one? So, my friends, I present to you my new gym bag + purse + lunch box + grocery carry-all: the LLBean Hunter’s Tote. Durable, enormous, stylish, and exactly what I needed. And at $40, way less expensive than any of the other options. So instead of being the bag lady, now I’m just the enormous bag lady. Totally okay with that.
For those of you who are interested, this one is the large size and it has a zip top.