Seeing Orange

This summer I’ve been seeing more orange than normal. Yes, I’ve finally jumped on the Orange is the New Black bandwagon (p.s. I’m told I look like Piper?). But the orange I’m referring to is Orangetheory Fitness. Once or twice a week I’ve been going to the Orangetheory studio near my house for a kick ass 60-minute workout.



What is Orangetheory?

Scientifically put:The physiological theory behind the Orangetheory workout is known as ‘Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,’ or EPOC. By providing you with a heart-rate monitor and POD, we can monitor your 5-zone interval training sessions that we call the Orange 60. During the 60-minute workout, you will perform multiple intervals designed to produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate. This program design produces workout “afterburn” effect, which is an increased metabolic rate for 24 to 36 hours after the workout.” Source:

Simply put/In my words: Orangetheory is a heart rate monitored, interval workout using treadmills, rowers and weights. They supply participants with a heart rate monitor and display your heart rate and heart rate zone on a TV screen during class. The goal/idea of the workout is to rack up time spent into the orange-colored HR zone. The more time spent there, the greater the “afterburn.”


Heart rate displayed on a screen. The yellowish color is actually orange. Source

Half of the class starts the workout on the treadmill and the other half starts on the rowing machine and in the weight room. On the treadmills you have the option of walking, jogging or running. There are 3 key paces that the coaches reference: Base Pace, Push Pace, and All-Out. Base pace is something you can maintain for 45 minutes-1 hour, push pace is 1-2 mph over base pace and all-out is 2+ mph over base pace. You’ll do a combination of all 3 paces during the treadmill portion with “pushes” ranging from 30 seconds-3 minutes and “all-outs” from 30-60 seconds. There are many options for people of all ages and fitness levels so beginners do not need to be intimidated.


Treadmills on the left, rowers on the right. Source

In the weight room, you typically start out with a rowing segment (or having some rowing thrown into the weight circuit). During the circuits you may use dumbbells, TRX straps, medicine balls, benches or even bodyweight. Nothing is too complicated and again, there are many options and modifications.


Using TRX straps in the weight room. Source

Basically, follow the workout, watch (and challenge) your heart rate and you’ll leave the class sweaty.

My thoughts:

-I like starting the workout on the treadmill because a) I think it’s the hardest part so I want to get it done first, and b) I would rather warm-up on the treadmill than the rower (the first few minutes of the class is for warm-up). Technically, if your goal is to burn more calories I’ve heard you’re supposed to start in the weight room. But because that’s not my goal, I’d rather rack up a little more mileage.

-Sometimes my body is smarter than the heart rate monitor. Kind of confusing since the HR monitor monitors my body’s stats…but it’s technology and we all know those gadgets can be a little off sometimes. I don’t rely too much on what the screen says and I base my effort off how heavy I’m breathing and how quickly I recover from intervals. That being said, it is interesting that sometimes I feel like I’m working hard but my HR shows I can push a little more.

-Coaches make a difference. Just like a lot of fitness classes, having an upbeat trainer/instructor/coach can inspire you push a little harder. And for me, it can make the workout go by faster.

-It’s expensive. I’d like to consider it an investment. I’m not a big shopper so I feel a little better about spending the money to buy packages (single class is $25 but packages range from $180-$300+ depending on how many sessions you buy).

-It’s no substitute for the endorphins after a long run, but I love how I feel after an Orangetheory workout. I’m sweaty, energized and usually a bit sore the next day.

-Purchase your own HR monitor strap (you have to buy it from their studio for $25). Just think about sharing a strap with 18467234 sweaty people….never mind I don’t want to thing about that.


Annnnnddd that’s all I have to say about that for now. Now you know what I’m referring to when I say, “I went to Orangetheory.” I’m pretty sure there are about 100 studios across the country so if you have one in your area, take advantage of the free trial class (and let me know how you like it).

Five Things Friday

It’s the weekend, alleluia! Even better, it’s the start of vacation for me. I have so many little things I hope to get done (writing, reading, napping) and I’m excited to have a week off (at the beach!) to accomplish things. So for a little random post, I’m linking up to Clare’s Five Things Friday.


Five things I ate:

-Grilled gluten-free pizza topped with chicken, mushrooms and peaches. The GF crust was not the best, but the toppings were perfect.


-Salmon and asparagus at Season’s 52


-Yellow watermelon (I know I mentioned it earlier this week but we have a lot of it…)


-KIND Healthy Grains Bars- Maple Seed & Pumpkin flavor


-Avocados. At like every meal.


5 things making me happy:

-USA moving on to the knockout round of the World Cup. Also, that my office put the game on TV and everyone ate lunch together.


-Sleeping in next week. Not that I “sleep in” by any means (7:30 is late for me), but not having to get up and actually be somewhere early will be a nice treat.

-My half-birthday is on Monday. Yes, my family celebrates half birthdays. No we don’t get real presents (maybe one small thing) but we do get to pick the day’s activities. I will ride this half birthday tradition for as long as I can :)

-Beachin’ it for the week. How could this not make me happy?

-2 more weeks of my online class. For an online class it’s more work than I expected. Maybe I dislike it so much because it’s science and that’s not my forte.


5 tweets I loved:

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Yup. I have to preface every picture I show my mom on Instagram with “you can’t zoom in.”

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…and I still use my AIM screen name email address for junk mail.


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Lol I guess that’s true…?


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I CANNOT believe she has a video game now. Seriously, what’s next?


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Ellen. Always knows how to make me smile.


Hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

Stop the Stomach Aches: My Celiac Story Part 2

Part 2 of My Celiac Story.  Check out part 1 here.


So, when we left off I had just been diagnosed with celiac disease. Before I even left the hospital I had an appointment with a nutritionist to discuss the nitty-gritty of celiac. She gave me packets and packets of information and went over the “safe” and “harmful” foods. But at that moment, as confused and scared as I was, part of me was kind of excited to begin my gluten-free journey. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to be strong and healthy again (I not of optimal health due to malnutrition and fatigue from eating gluten).

On the way home from the hospital my mom and I stopped at the grocery store and wandered the aisles while referring to the handouts from the nutritionists. I distinctly remember a small (and by small I mean 1 shelf) selection of gluten-free foods. We bought a few cereals, cereal bars, breads and baking ingredients. As soon as we got home it was operation: clean out the pantry. We designated a gluten-free shelf, labeled it and bought a separate toaster for gluten-free bread only. After weeks of trial and error (re: eating food that tasted like cardboard), I found the packaged foods I liked (see “Favorites” for my tried-and-true favorite products).

I plan to go deeper into this topic in the future, but for now, I’ll just say the most difficult part of eating gluten-free has always been eating in a social setting. Friends going out to dinner? “Guess I’ll eat before, in case nothing is safe” OR “Guess I’ll have a plain garden salad, dressing on the side.” (Eating out has gotten A LOT easier over the years as more restaurants now offer GF menus). Explaining to the waiter and to people at my table about celiac disease is not always fun. Honestly, it can get awkward and I get tired of repeating my story. (I definitely have developed handy tricks for this, which I will share!)


Yes, I have these shorts. No, those buns aren’t mind.

Now, I could ramble on and on about the last 6 years and how I’ve “overcome many obstacles and have become a natural at eating gluten-free.” While that’s true, I think the most important thing I can say is that the hard times and awkward situations have been worth it. The way I feel now is worth 1 million awkward conversations at restaurants because I feel am healthy.

I have tons more thoughts on this subject because obviously it’s apart of my daily life. I’m thinking next up on my celiac rant with be #celiacpains…??

Yellow Watermelon and a Fish

Saturday night I said to my mom: “Today was the best day.” Bold statement, but I meant it. I didn’t have any huge plans and the things I ended up doing were simple, random minute activities. Sometimes those are the best things. It was the quintessential summer weekend and I want to repeat it every week.


Friday: Lazy night at home with my sister. I repeat my statement from last week that nothing is more appealing after an exhausting week than binge watching Friends on the couch.


Saturday: I woke up early-ish and went to my usual Saturday Body Pump. After years of doing Body Pump I still cannot up my weight for the bicep track. Every single class the bicep track is so hard for me! I think it’s because the movements, especially full-range singles, can be so fast that it makes it feel harder? Not too sure but that’s what I tell myself to make me feel better ;)

I drove straight from Body Pump to meet my sister at a yoga class. It was her first yoga class ever so I went to the intro class with her. We loved the class and had an extra-long savasana.

My best friend came home for the weekend! Most of my good friends from high school stayed at their respective colleges this summer to take classes. So I was SO EXCITED when she texted me last week saying she was coming down (even if only for 40 hours). Saturday afternoon she came over to my place and we ate lunch and spent a few hours at the pool…for once the weather cooperated! Even though we talk often on the phone it was really nice to catch up in person. I really need to convince her that summer is for coming home, not for staying at school. Am I right?

After she left my sister chauffeured me around in her convertible and we ran some errands.

Beautiful day in Tampa Bay

Beautiful day in Tampa Bay

First we went to Disney World.


Heaven in a grocery store

I mean, my version of Disney World. I was planning to get prepared food for dinner but I bucked up (literally $$) and got salmon to cook myself. Turned out to be worth the cost because it came out delicious.

My sister made an impulse buy and bought a fish. This was actually the 3rd fish she got in 24 hours because the first two died…scared for when she has kids. Just kidding- it was because she used the wrong type of water. We haven’t thought of a name for the fish yet but we want it to be weird/funny. Any suggestions?!

Sunday- After breakfast I went to yoga by myself. In my mind, if Saturday’s are (usually) made for long-runs, Sunday’s just seem made for yoga.

Lunch, chores and homework with the help from my dog.


My parents brought home yellow watermelon. As an expert watermelon tester I was only half pleased. It had a honey-like taste to it. I’ll stick with my usual red watermelon, thanks.



And the only thing that would have made this weekend a little better would have been a USA WIN. A tie is great but it makes me more nervous for Thursday’s game vs. Germany.


Anyone have a funny name for their pet?

Yellow watermelon= yay or nay?