Lifestyle, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Plant Based PVD

Happy Wednesday!

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is going to be all about a really cool restaurant I went to a few weeks ago: Plant City PVD. I recently became a vegetarian (I gave up meat for Lent and then just never went back) and so I’m always looking for new alternatives. While a plant-based diet is not for everyone, there are definitely some health benefits to eating less meat when it comes to heart disease and diabetes. Just being conscious of how much or what kind of meat you have can improve your risk of certain diseases. Click here to learn about a flexitarian diet.

I saw Plant City PVD while I was looking around the Providence Flea and I was intrigued. I was even a little confused on whether “plant-based” meant the whole place was vegetarian. They have a market, a coffee counter, a burger restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, and an Italian restaurant all wrapped into one. We decided on Italian and I really wanted to get the meatballs but I still had no idea if plant-based meant plants-only. When the waitress came back she told us everything in the building was vegan! Can you imagine?!

So good!

And so I ordered the meatballs! I will definitely be heading back to Providence to get it again, although next time I’m trying the pepperoni pizza! So if you’re in the Ocean State and looking to try something new you need to try Plant City.

You have my word, even though they don’t use quotes on the menu, everything is vegan!

Bonus points for any place that has cute signs in the bathroom!

xox,

Marissa

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wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Make a Run for It

Hello hello!

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is a track workout and I have included a few different options so you can pick whichever one you feel the most comfortable with. Just remember you should do some type of dynamic warm up before hitting the track.

I wanted to share different running workouts because I spent 6 years running cross country and track and some days I miss it. After running a 5k a few weeks ago I thought, I should really train for these things. In the hopes that I will use these workouts in preparation for my next race I figured I might as well share them here!

Option 1

While I ran track for a very long time I hate running on tracks. To me, the endless circles are boring, I’d rather have a change of scenery. But since that’s not always an options, I’ll give you a workout which is all about a chance of pace.

  • Jog 100 meters
  • Run 200 meters
  • Walk 100 meters
  • Repeat 4 times

I’ve always liked these types of workouts because the constant changing gives me something to think about other than “how much longer????”. If you want to add some distance, repeat the whole thing two more times and you are practically at a 5k!

Option 2

If you are going for speed this is the workout for you. While this was a workout I couldn’t stand in high school it definitely helps improve split times. Another team in our league had shirts that said, “to run fast you must run fast”, and while we always rolled our eyes when we read it it’s true. If you want to get faster, you need to practice faster.

  • 12 x 400 meter sprints
  • Take a two minute rest in between each 400
  • Take a two-five minute rest in between each mile

You can calculate split times here. If you are training for a 5k, put in the time you’d like to finish it and select 400m for the split times and you are good to go!

Option 3

This one is a long one but it was another one of my favorites in high school because things are constantly changing. And it will get you 4 miles once you are done.

  • 400 meters
  • 800 meters
  • 1200 meters
  • 1600 meters
  • 1200 meters
  • 800 meters
  • 400 meters

Be sure to take a slow jog or a walk in between your sets!

That’s all I have for you today! Let me know your favorite track workout in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Bodies Alive

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is a little different than usual. While we’ll still be talking about the human body, it’s not in the way you may be expecting.

This Sunday I was at the Museum of Science in Boston/Cambridge (the museum is actually split between Boston and Cambridge) and I got to see the Body World exhibit and it was amazing!

I went to see Bodies: The Exhibition when I took anatomy in high school and now that I have taken two more years of anatomy I feel like my appreciation for the human body and traveling exhibitions has only grown.

One thing that really amazed me about Body Worlds was that it was educational beyond just the bodies. They had rooms dedicated to different body systems and would include education about how to remain healthy through diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices in each section. As someone who just learned about workplace ergonomics one of my favorite parts was the video about adjusting posture while sitting at a desk and a model about proper lifting technique. I may be on summer break but it was a great way to review some key concepts from last semester!

A section on cataracts. I had no idea Monet and Degas both had problems with vision and it was interesting to see what they saw vs what they painted.

My favorite part of the exhibit besides being able to look at the bodies was the section on centenarians. Body Worlds featured a few people who have made it to 100 years old and had them speak about their lifestyles. While diet and exercise was mentioned, they centenarians also talked about their role in society. One woman discussed how important it was for her to be able to still be an active participant in her life, she still volunteers in her community and spends time with friends and family.

I had to feature this one on the blog! Mobility is medicine!

When you leave Body Worlds you can pick up a chip and pledge to make a lifestyle choice that will improve your quality of life. I was happy to see “exercise more” had a ton of pledges but since mental health is just as important as physical health, I pledged to stress less.

“Eat less sugar” was another popular one and if we weren’t in peak ice cream eating season I may have put my chip there…

But let’s get to the good stuff! The bodies! They are preserved through a process called Plastination and were absolutely amazing. It’s no secret I am a huge nerd when it comes to this kind of thing but they were breathtaking. You could see each of the muscles so clearly and the bodies were posed in such interesting ways, I could go on and on.

It wasn’t just the bodies that were on display, they had the nervous system and plastic replicas of the heart and all of it’s arteries and veins. The nervous system had to be the wildest thing for me because I was able to just stare at the brachial plexus I had learned about in class and look at in our cadavers but there it was laid out in front of me connected to all of the other nerves in the body.

I know not everyone may want to actually see the bodies so here is your warning: the donors are below!!

Could you imagine being the person to set this up?

That’s it for my review of the exhibit itself but I encourage you to keep reading below and learn about how these companies get the bodies. It’s an important discussion to have so let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Something important to keep in mind when looking into these types of exhibits: where the donors come from. In our anatomy class our professor mentioned that while these traveling exhibits are informative they don’t always get their bodies in the right way. Body Worlds’ donors come from people in Europe and the United States who have agreed to donating their bodies to medical students and the general public to learn from. Body Worlds is even stricter with their donations now after discovering some of their bodies were coming from Russian human trafficking rings. In an interview with NPR the founder of Body Worlds said, “What I certainly never use for public exhibitions are unclaimed bodies, prisoners, bodies from mental institutions and executed prisoners.” The key phrase here is public exhibitions. The founder of Body Worlds has admitted to selling unclaimed bodies for educational purposes. These bodies come from Chinese medical schools and have no written confirmation.

Bodies: The Exhibition is another story. The spokesperson for the company openly admits the bodies on display are unclaimed. The founder of this traveling cadaver company used to work with Body Worlds and then created a rival. This is the exhibition I had seen in high school and while it was one of my favorite field trips I had ever gone on, knowing that these bodies may not have been acquired in an ethical manner makes me cringe. But at least they are honest about not being able to verify who was donated to them.

So what can you do with this information? Weigh the options. Both companies have some shady deals going on, whether it’s the bodies they display publicly or sell to medical schools they both obtain bodies in an unethical way. If this is something you are really interested in seeing you just have to decide if you’d rather look at the bodies that were donated or if you are okay with seeing bodies who were not willing but the company is upfront about the means of getting them.

All of the information on donors to Body Worlds and Bodies: The Exhibition came from two NPR articles from 2006. While it is older information, this is the most trustworthy website I could come across.

I’m a huge quote person so I loved that there were quotes about life scattered throughout Body Worlds.

That’s all I have for you this Wednesday! Stay tuned next week for a more traditional Wellness Wednesday post!

xox,

Marissa

wellness

Wellness Wednesdays

Hello friends!

I am starting to bring Wellness Wednesdays back! As a physical therapy student we spent so much time during the spring semester talking about health and wellness promotion and getting people active. The CDC says adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise a week. Since I am a group exercise instructor I wanted to share some easy workouts with you guys that can be done at home.

As a group ex instructor I see the value in creating a community to exercise. If I don’t head to the gym with a plan sometimes I leave feeling like I didn’t accomplish too much. However if I plan to take a Zumba class I know I will show up and work hard. So even if you aren’t going to the gym to do these workouts definitely reach out to see if a friend wants to join you. Having other people to help you be accountable makes it a little easier.

Easy ways to incorporate moderate-intensity exercise into your day:

  • Walking/jogging/running around your neighborhood. If you feel like you don’t have time to set aside to do this, try walking to your errands. The post office and the library are about two miles away from my house, so some days I end up walking there. You can also run there and then walk back once you’ve picked up your stuff!
  • Find YouTube videos of exercises you want to do! If you don’t have a gym membership or feel like you can’t make t to the gym on a certain day check to see what’s available on YouTube. Here are some of my favorites: POPSUGAR Fitness has great Zumba and kickboxing classes. BohoBeautiful has an awesome 21 Day Pilates Challenge that I wrote about awhile back. Alo Yoga is always posting yoga videos and mindfulness challenges to their channel. And The Fitness Marshall is my absolute fav! He has fitness dance classes to popular songs. This is something that my whole freshman year floor did together all the time so it always brings back good memories. My favorites are: Dessert and 7 Rings.
  • Bike around your neighborhood! If you live in a city and need a bike you can probably rent one! Most cities have bike sharing programs now and in Boston you can rent one for $2.50 per half hour!
  • Find out what’s being offered! Now that summer is here, there are a ton of discounts floating around. You can try a new yoga studio for $30 for 30 days, or you can see what’s offered. A lot of parks will have free or super cheap exercise classes just to get people outside!

Here are some workouts I’m planning to share on the blog soon!

  • Barre
  • Yoga
  • Abs
  • Track/Bleachers

You can find out more about the guidelines the CDC has for different groups here!

Have a healthy, happy Wednesday!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

DIY Epsom Salt Scrub

I hope the New Year is still treating everyone well and you are sticking by those resolutions! If one of your resolutions was to make self care a priority I have the perfect solution for you!

I made the Epsom salt scrub as a present for my mom for Christmas and then it smelled so good I made extra for myself! This is so easy and you only need three things!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Epsom Salt
  • 2 cups of coconut oil
  • Essential oil of your choice

Step 1:

Take a giant Ziploc bag and put the the Epsom Salt and coconut oil inside, if you aren’t a huge fan of the consistency you can always add more Epsom salt or coconut oil. I personally end up using more like 1.5 cups of Epsom salt but that definitely feels rougher.

Step 2:

Add the essential oil! I used the BluZen original scent and I love it! Next time I take it I’m definitely going to try the lavender. The amount of oil you use is totally up to you. I personally lost count because I wanted it to smell really nice and just kept shaking.

And just like the Christmas Crack, you can put it in a cute mason jar and add a little bow! Maybe not a Christmas bow now, but you can definitely find something cute at Michaels!

Happy crafting!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Ab’asanas

IMG_9769
It’s been awhile since I shared a Wellness Wednesday post and I wanted to update you guys on one of my favorite workout routines: Ab’asanas.

Ab’asanas was created by Morgan, formerly known as The Southern Yogi, one of my absolute favorite Instagram yogis. It’s a series of exercises that incorporate yoga into your core workout. Some of you may be thinking, well yoga isn’t that hard but I promise you will sweat. 

I have only done her first book (the expanded version) but since I am on the quest for a handstand I will be trying her second book soon! Her first book is a great introduction to yoga, if you’ve never tried yoga this is where you should start. Although I had been doing yoga for a year or so before I dove into Ab’asanas I still wanted to start with the first book because I was intimidated that some of the poses in book two, which is more geared toward prepping for inversions, would be too advanced for me. After getting the first book I was very happy with my decision because there were some moves that I struggled with. I felt so discouraged at first but as I kept working at it they came easier to me.

The thing I love the most about Ab’asanas however is that it’s adaptable. Being in class until 5 some days only gives me an hour at the gym (oh summer hours…) so I need to use my time wisely. I use the examples in the back as a template and typically do 5 exercises as a set and then depending on the time I have I will do anywhere from 3-5 sets.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress with book 2, once I get there!

If you’re looking for cute outfits to wear to the yoga studio check out my Pinterest board!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Meditation

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m going to be talking about the benefits of meditation and sharing some links to meditations that I have used in the past.

I think meditation is so beneficial but sometimes it’s hard to sit down and forget everything on your to do list. To me, it’s similar to yoga in that I always feel better after I do it but it’s sitting down to actually do it that’s the hard part. Sometimes I think why would I put off finishing all of these things that are stressing me out when I could simply just do those things now.

Here’s misconception #1 meditation can be as long as you need it to be! I will be linking 15, 30, and 60 minute options but there are so many more out there! You don’t need to sit clear an hour of your day to do meditation. You can also meditate anywhere! Meditation is a form of mental exercise you can take with you everywhere.

The following information is from this Mayo Clinic article:

  • Meditation helps you focus on the present.
  • Meditation helps increase patience.
  • Meditation increases self awareness.
  • Meditation can help medical conditions like anxiety, asthma, depression, high blood pressure, sleeping problems, and tension headaches.

Here are the types of meditation out there:

  • Guided meditation: This is the type of meditation I am most familiar with. Of the different types of guided meditation I am most familiar with the ones that talk you through bringing awareness to different body parts or the ones that have you visualize a relaxing scene.
  • Mantra meditation: This is when you repeat a word or phrase in your head or outlaid for a period of time.
  • Mindfulness meditation: This is a type of meditation that focuses on being in the moment.
  • Qi gong: this is a type of traditional Chinese meditation that that combines meditation, physical movement, and bringing awareness to our thoughts and breath.
  • Tai Chi; I took this type of meditation as a physical education class for school and it was so much fun! Tai Chi is another way to connect mindfulness and breath with movement.  I learned Tai Chi Chuan which incorporates a sword into the mix. This is also a great way to improve balance.

Here are some resources for you guys to try your hand at mediation:

Guided Meditation  & To End Your Day: from the creator of the Pilates Challenge. She also has a meditation challenge that I will be trying soon! Both of these are around 15 minutes.

Silva Meditation: about 30 minutes long, just a heads up… I have never made it to the end of this one!

Tai Chi: here is a beginning Tai Chi lesson. The whole video is around 10 minutes but once you learn it it should only take 5, unless you chose to repeat it.

Choosing Mantras: this is a short clip that teaches you a little more about picking mantras.

Stay relaxed!

xox,

Marissa

 

 

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Musical Movement

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is the most light hearted workout ever featured on here. It’s intended to make you smile while you’re suffering. Without any further ado I present to you, the Whipped Into Shape Workout!IMG_3327

This workout is inspired by the musical Legally Blonde. If you haven’t seen it you can watch the full Broadway show here but if you don’t have time for that at least check out this clip of the song you’ll be working out to in a few minutes here!

My college did this musical last year and as a dancer we had a full on workout to this song that we had to do and make it look effortless!It was so much fun but so exhausting at the same time.

So here’s my challenge for you:

  • Jump rope to the full song!
  • Whenever there is a speaking break hold a plank or do some pushups.
  • If you find that super easy start adding in little jump roping tricks like jumping on one foot, crossing your arms, or doing a double jump. You can also substitute burpees for the plank/push ups!

I hope you guys find this as entertaining as I did! Let me know how you made out!

Keep jumping!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Smoothies

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is all about smoothies! I’m not the best at eating healthy, it’s something I’m working on but it can be such a struggle sometimes. I can exercise everyday without a problem but when it comes to eating healthy…

I wanted to take this Wednesday to show you the types of smoothies I love and hopefully you’ll love them too!

You’ll notice I don’t write “put in 10 blueberries”, this is because I really don’t count anything. I don’t even measure how much Silk Milk goes in. If you’re making a strawberry banana smoothie and you like strawberries more than bananas, go ahead and load your smoothie with more strawberries. The only thing I do measure is the avocado because I will only put half in.

To make my smoothies I use the the Magic Bullet. It’s small so it’s perfect for my dorm room. It’s also super easy to clean- just put water and dish soap in, run it again, and then rinse it out!

Smoothie 1

  • Banana
  • Strawberries
  • Silk Milk- Vanilla
  • Chia Seeds

Smoothie 2

  • Banana
  • Peanut Butter
  • Silk Milk- Vanilla
  • Chia Seeds

Smoothie 3

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Silk Milk- Vanilla
  • Chia Seeds

Smoothie 4

  • Banana
  • Peach
  • Strawberries
  • Silk Milk- Vanilla

Smoothie 5

  • Banana
  • 1/2 Avocado*
  • Blueberries
  • Peanut Butter
  • Silk Milk- Vanilla
  • I’m not the biggest avocado fan so I usually put extra peanut butter in when I use an avocado.

Smoothie 6

This is a smoothie bowl I bought at Nourish Wellness Cafe in Northampton so I figured I would share the ingredients with you!

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Coconut and chia seeds as toppings
  • I’m not sure if they used a liquid base or not

And the final product is below:

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Here are some popular toppings:

  • Shredded coconut: the only time I’ve had this is at Nourish and it was so good!
  • Chia seeds: I usually incorporate chia seeds into my smoothie so I don’t typically put them on top.
  • Granola
  • Almonds
  • Chopped up pieces of fruit: if it didn’t all fit into the blender, add it to the top!

So what if you don’t have a blender? Try Naked Juices. I just tried the Blue Machine the other day and it was amazing! It has apples, blackberries, blue berries, and a banana.

If you want any inspiration go look at @smoothiebowls on Instagram. I haven’t made one that beautiful yet but one day! If you try to make any of these let me know how it goes! And if you have any smoothie suggestions leave them in the comments!

xox,

Marissa