I’ve Moved

One of my new year’s resolutions is to self-host my blog. Congrats, I’ve already accomplished my goal. But the problem is that moving you all with me in a bit complicated and is going to take some time.

So while I figure out how to move you over, head on over to my NEW leangirlsclub for the latest posts. While the site name is the same, the mapping is different. It’s a whole lot of tech stuff that I’ve learned in the last few weeks and I feel as though my brain will explode. Why cause myself the headache?

Self hosting allows me to have greater control over my blog and what is included. It also allows me to present myself in the best light so that you’ll be more engaged and entertained. Lastly, it allows me to grow – not only in readers, but in knowledge. I’ve learned a t

remendous amount just in the last few weeks. If I can do this, I can do anything. I feel super empowered. 

If you are an email subscriber (meaning you receive notifications of new posts via email), I will be able to move you over myself. For the time being you won’t get email updates notifying you of new posts. So thank you in advance for being patient.

If you are a wordpress (dot) com subscriber (meaning you read it through your WP blog) the sad news is that I am unavailable to move you over. Even though I’m on wordpress (dot) org now, the two are completely independent. Wish I had known this before! My sincerest apologies about the inconvenience but I would GREATLY appreciate it if you will continue to follow my blog. I know I will continue to follow yours no matter what!

I hope to see you over at the new LeanGirlsClub.

xoxo,

gracekelle

 

2013: Lucky Number 13

Happy new year to you all. I hope this new year is filled with great moments that you will cherish for years to come. Be safe and warm this day. And remember this feeling of jubilation, reflection, and celebration. Remember this exact feeling because this is exactly how we are to live our lives not just on holidays, but each and every day.

I spent the evening sipping champagne at 6 pm with my friends Liz and Elizabeth, and then running the Emerald Nuts Midnight Runs in Central Park. There’s no greater feeling than starting 2013 with cocktails, fireworks, and a 4 mile PR. I have a feeling 2013 is going to be a good one. Lucky number 13.

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Dreams For Lean Girls Club

There have been fewer and fewer post these last few weeks, maybe even months. It’s not for a lack of activity. Yes, I’ve been running less since the marathon was canceled but I’ve been more active in other areas of my life. I’ve also given myself a much needed break after marathon training.

You see, when I started Lean Girls Club in 2009 I was at a place in my life when health and fitness was everything. Health, fitness, and living a great life was about being skinny (being honest here!), lean, being able to run fast, developing muscle, and having very little fat as possible. I’ve struggled with weight loss and self image all my life and I figured blogging was a way for me to connect with others going through the same thing. And it is. But I now know it’s about more than that.

Maybe it’s maturity, or maybe it’s laziness, but I’ve come to learn that health and wellness are about more than working out, fitness, and eating right. There are so many things in our lives that weigh us down besides poor food choices, cause us to over eat, not exercise or value ourselves. And there are so many other things in our lives that lift us up, make us want to love ourselves, exercise, and take better care of our bodies. For you maybe it’s a good book? Or a new hair-do? Wellness and health in life is about balance. Balance of work, play, fitness, food, the good, the bad, and the ugly. There is nothing wrong with the bad and ugly. The point is to make sure that the good outweighs the bad. The point is to celebrate the former, and learn from the latter.

That’s what I want LGC (and my life) to be. Over the next few weeks, you’re going to see me fiddle with a few things on this blog. At times you may think I’m all over the place. But in my head it all makes sense, because at the end of the day, it’s me. I want to share more of my work and play (in addition to the fitness), because those things have a greater impact on my health and fitness than workouts and certain foods do. At the end of the day, I hope you are inspired and challenged to do the same – to really life a life worth living…with grace. I hope you will join me on this journey.

PS: I hope you are all having a wonderful season of holidays. I, for one, am enjoying some time actually celebrating Christmas in NYC and in Virginia with my family. I even decorated my very own “tree” in my tiny NYC apartment.

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korean christmas brunch

 

 

Lean Girl Peppermint Cafe Cocktail

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Even a Lean Girl needs to untie her running shoes and let a little loose once in a while. A colleague was kind enough to gift a bottle of Cafe XO Patron so I had some fun playing mixologist for one night and experimenting.

Peppermint Cafe Cocktail

*1 oz cafe patron or other coffee liqueur
*5 oz vanilla almond milk
*peppermint stick for garnish
*ice

Optional:
Whipped cream
Unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions:
1. Mix ice, cafe patron, and almond milk. Shake.
2. Pour drink in chilled glass.
3. Garnish with whipped cream, peppermint stick, and dust of unsweetened cocoa powder or crushed peppermint stick.

Calories: 162

Monday Motivation

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It’s amazing how your body knows exactly what it needs sometimes. I woke up with a hankering for a good yoga class and had an awesome hour of asanas, stretching, meditation, and stillness.

In yoga, we are challenged to set an intention or dedication for the duration of the class. What do I wish to accomplish or what do I intend to do for the 60 minutes? If there are no intentions, we are to be ok with the circumstances.

Imagine what your life and body would look like if you decided to set an intention each day. It would bring new meaning and purpose, and even change your behavior.

Set an intention or dedication for your day, and life, today because a life without purpose is futile. Give it life!

How To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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‘Tis the season for holiday parties, gingerbread men, and cocktails. It may be fun to celebrate the past year of successes with a night of splurging but don’t compromise the hard work you’ve put into your body all year. Here are some tips for staying lean this holiday season and avoiding the holiday party blubber.

1. Eat Dinner. Most holiday parties are in the evenings so folks starve themselves and “save” their calories. But that will slow your metabolism and you’ll be more likely to over eat at the party. Be fashionably late by grabbing a healthy dinner beforehand. You’ll have less room for the junk if you load up on lean protein and veggies. Tell your host/ess you’ll be late and that you will have already eaten dinner. Telling someone will also hold you accountable from stuffing yourself. Also, arriving late also ensures that everyone will have sampled all the dishes. By the time you get there they’ll be sure to tell you what you absolutely “must” try.

2. Bring something you’ll snack on. Chances are there will be a crudités platter at the party but bring something else that’s healthy that you would want to eat and that others would too. Show others that eating clean and healthy is not boring by bringing fruit dipped in dark chocolate or homemade hummus. My friend Bri makes an amazing fruit drizzle.

3. Pick 2. Allow yourself two treats for the night. Something sweet and something savory. Maybe it’s a drink and a dessert? Or an appetizer and dessert? Or just two desserts. Select the two most delectable things you absolutely must try. Skip the items you “could” eat any other day and indulge in seasonal or “special” foods.

4. Size matters. Use the small, cocktail plate and not the dinner plate. It will trick your brain into think you’ve eaten more than you think.

5. Clear liquids. Stick with seltzer, vodka, or champagne as they have the fewest calories. Nothing is more celebratory than a bubbly drink.

6. Limit alcohol. Stick with the “two” rule. Have two drinks max. The more alcohol you intake the more likely your inhibition drops and you’ll cave into poor choices. Tell yourself you must drink a glass of water or seltzer after every non-water drink. Not only will you curb any cravings but you’ll be hydrated and less bloated than others the next day. Lastly, there’s nothing wrong with not drinking. Pour yourself a seltzer with a lime slice and no one will know the difference.

7. Meet everyone. Meeting new people and talking to everyone will keep you preoccupied and less likely to nibble. Make a point to leave the party having made two new connections, or learned something new about old friends.

8. Plan something for early the next day. Schedule a session with your trainer or run a race the day after the party. You’ll be less likely to overindulge or stay later than necessary and be tempted by junk food if you know you have to get up early the next morning.

9. Wear a form fitting dress. You’ll not only look great but You’ll be more aware of your body and less likely to indulge if you’re wearing a form fitting dress. Boyfriend jeans and a t-shirt will make you feel relaxed and give room for your belly to expand. Besides, you should be dressed up for the party anyway.

10. Remember that you have fitness goals. While it’s great to celebrate the season with a drink or yummy goody, remember that you don’t want to set yourself back and start 2013 with the weight you had originally lost in 2012. If you haven’t lost any weight this year, remind yourself of your goals in 2013. If health or weight loss is one of them, start now rather than waiting for January 1. We are not promised tomorrow so start living the life you want today!

Share your tips. What are some tricks that have worked for you?

photo credit: Hotels Unlimited Banquets

Sports Bra-la-la

While watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this week, I realized that sports bras get very little attention when they do so much. Did you know that the first sports bra was two jockstraps joined together?
Our boobs (sorry, guys) don’t just move up and down the move side to side. Sports bras aren’t meant to just squish and press down your boobs, they should be just as supportive as your everyday bra. Look for one that has a supportive band, straps, and encapsulates your breasts in cups. If it looks like your training bra from when you were 12, don’t buy it. Here are my favorites.
*Note: my apologies if you received an incomplete Sports Bra post. I mistakenly posted from polyvore without knowing it would send to blog! Oh, technology.
Sports Bras 2012

Under armour
$61 - zalando.co.uk

Race Recap: Join The Voices 5 Miles

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I always have a mix of emotions on Race Day: one part excitement with two parts laziness. Let’s be honest, I love running but on a cold, foggy Sunday morning after a long Saturday, the last thing I wanted to do was race. But it’s no surprise that afterwards, I’m always glad I did.

The Join the Voices 5 mile race supports the Voices Against Brain Cancer’s search for a cure. It was an uplifting day as runners and non-runners were out in honor of loved ones. Runners may not actually be the ones to find a cure for cancer one day, but our spirit of empathy and love is more powerful than medicine, test results, or doctors visits. We run because we wish we could fight the cancer for you! We run because running is the only way we know how to fight.

After watching the Kansas City Chiefs press conference and running yesterday, I’m reminded that we are our brothers and sisters’ keeper. Even when there is a cure for cancer, it means nothing if those folks don’t have a life worth living filled with love.

Make sure to love someone this week and think of them the next time you run. It will definitely fuel your workout.

Happy Monday!

Post-Thanksgiving Detox

I don’t regret all the starchy, fatty things I ate during Thanksgiving. Not one bit. Not even the red velvet pancakes I made from scratch (I’ll be sharing the LGC recipe next week). I didn’t over do it this Thanksgiving, but I do feel a bit puffy from eating out of my normal regiment.

If you feel the same, the good news is that you still have time to do something about it. The puffiness is usually a result of the excess salt, starch, and sugar that retains water. It’s not permanent unless you let it be!

To help get rid of that holiday bloat and get back into your regularly fancy and fit self, join me in detoxing. I started this week and I promise it gets better by Day 3, which is today for me. Usually Day 1 is the hardest for me because breads and sugary goodness (and wine) seem to chase me down the halls, call me name, pin me down, and insert themselves into my mouth. I can’t help it!

To be clear, a detox is not a cleanse. I’m not drinking my food for the next week. I’m just eating clean, which means protein, lots of clean veggies, and a grain. I need a grain. You may not think you need the carbs, but I do in order to push myself in my workouts.

I personally love green juices after a weekend of gluttony. They’re quite purifying, especially one that’s made with kale, spinach, carrot, lemon juice, and ginger. Mmmm.

Are you detoxing this week? How’s it going? Let me know and I’ll make sure to check in on you!