Travel

Autumn in NYC...

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I've been to New York in the winter, spring, summer, and this was my first time in the fall…

It was so dreamy...

I'm having post NYC trip disorder. It's true. I have loved New York since I first learned about New York as a wee little one. My childhood dream when I was just a mere ten years old was to be an optometrist during the day and a broadway star at night. I have always been very ambitious! :)

I've been fortunate enough to travel to NYC a few times a year for work and or play. This particular trip was a combination of the two which was ideal. Although, I did not end up becoming an eye doctor or a musical theatre performer I feel like the luckiest lady around that I get to do what I love everyday.

No matter where I travel to fitness is a part of my daily routine. And in New York City the fitness studios and class options seem endless. This particular trip I focused on my yoga practice and found some beautiful spots to do so.

I checked out Strala Yoga which is the wonderful, Tara Stiles, studio located in SOHO and loved the happy spirit of this space. It was light, bright, and welcoming! All the instructors have a positive and approachable presence which is really beautiful to walk into.

Jivamukti is a very traditional yoga studio located right near Union Square. Every instructor here has hours and hours of training and experience so you know you are in dynamic hands. The class I took had a beautiful flow, the transitions were seamless and although we held our poses for an extended length of time I really felt the energy and heard the breathe of all the students in the room which helped to center my focus. After class I ate at a delightful vegan cafe they have in the studio. The food was AMAZING! Even if you're not a yogi but you like to fill your body with healthy foods go to this vegan cafe, I highly suggest it!

mmm mmm good!

I also popped into a group pilates class and a Yogaworks studio which has locations all over the U.S.

When you are on the road and you don't necessarily have the time or income to pop into a class remember that BENNERFIT circuits are always there and available to you! YOU deserve feel your best! Making yourself a priority is not selfish at all but rather a necessity because when we feel our best we do a better job of being that for everyone around us.

I'll see you soon NYC!

Have a beautiful weekend Bennerfitter's!

Yogi Thoughts from Lake Michigan

Yogi Thoughts from Lake Michigan

Yoga Retreat

My Big Apple Getaway!

My Big Apple Getaway!

DC Part 2!

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Can you tell I'm in love with DC?! I believe I left off on Monday evening...

Ian and I went out with some of our coworkers for dinner at a restaurant called Founding Farmer's (love the name-www.wearefoundingfarmers.com). It's made up of 42,000 farmers that provide organic foods for the restaurant. How can one not support a business so fabulous? But ladies and gents the food...oh...my...word...AMAZING. The flavors they created in such healthy dishes were mind blowing! I could have kept eating if my stomach allowed it. I got a white bean cutlet stew and Ian got a vegetarian "meatloaf."

 

After a full and happy dinner we slept in the next morning ready to take on the day. Ian had to leave for work but I ventured into the Georgetown neighborhood and fell in love with it. The uneven cobblestone streets, the quaint Cafe's, and a great yoga class filled my freezing body (20 degrees outside) full of joy!

 

 

I popped into Lululemon in Gerogetown to ask them what fitness or yoga studios are around the area and they provided me with a great suggestion a yoga studio called Down Dog Yoga (www.downdogyoga.com). It was a hot and full vinyasa flow class that warmed me up and pumped up my heart rate. The instructors name was, Meg, and she did a fabulous job leading the class through a beautiful flow.

 

That night Ian and I dined at a local and delicious Indian Restaurant called Mehak (www.mehak.com). To all you vegetarian and vegans out there Indian food is a great option for good, filling, and healthy dishes. We had a romantic dinner and I wanted to cherish my last night in DC so we went out for a walk through the freezing cold yet gorgeous streets of DC...

My last morning in DC could not have been anymore perfect. It all began with a jog from downtown, to the national mall, to the capital, to the Washington monument, to the White House, and back. 5 miles later I could have kept going because I was just in awe of all the history I was stepping on and seeing.

 

Ian and I worked up a serious appetite so we decided to stop and grab some breakfast before I had to leave for Baltimore. There is a breakfast spot called Protein Bar (www.theproteinbar.com) that is only in Chicago and DC that a college friend of mine suggested. Boy was it delicious! Quinoa breakfast bowls with agave syrup, almonds, and fresh berries...a green tea smoothie with almond milk, egg whites, and fresh green tea...incredible! We ended my DC trip with a bang!

 

I'm in Baltimore now, working, and pretending I'm still in our nations capital. I couldn't have asked for a better 2 1/2 days! So thankful for our country and for each day of health I have here!

I hope this inspires you to travel and to know that wherever you go, you are able to find healthy foods, fitness studios or the outdoors, and amazing sites. Maybe instead of cabbing it somewhere in metropolitan cities, walk it or jog it so you get to experience the energy, the people, and actually touch the sites.

 

Syd's Visit To Our Nation's Capital

"BEEP BEEP BEEP," went the alarm! Up and at em at 4:30 am in Los Angeles Sunday morning to take off to DC to visit my boyfriend and to sight-see around one of the most incredible places in our country. As our plane began to land in DC there was a heavy cloud cover and then all of a sudden the Washington Monument was breaking through the sky to my left. I felt a jolt of emotion, because here I am landing in a city where all of our presidents have stepped foot. It's overwhelming even as I write this... I'm going to switch gears for a second here. In California, there is an 8th grade trip to Washington, DC that all students are able to take over Spring Break. When I was in 8th grade, my daddy was very sick with cancer, so instead of taking the trip, I spent time with my family. To be here fourteen years later - for the first time - is deeply emotional for me and I feel like I can appreciate it all the more at this point in my life. As I walked up to the White House tears dropped down my face... I was just overcome with emotion. How amazing to be in front of a home where all of our presents have lived (except George Washington, but he had the place built!) To walk around the National Mall or to stand in front of the Washington Monument, I am walking in history. As my mama said, "you can see it, touch it, believe it...it is not a fable!" It is all real and I am honored to be here...

Yesterday I slept in and slowly woke up to start my day. I looked up various yoga studios around the downtown DC area and found a place called Sculpt DC which is a spin/yoga studio. I popped into a 12:15 pm yoga sculpt class. The studio was super chic and urban. You walk in upstairs and the studios are located downstairs. There are gorgeous bathrooms, showers, and even a lounge area for all the fitness goers to freshen up or relax. I like a booty kicking workout, this particular class was a bit more relaxing but certainly a nice way to start my day.

 

Following my yoga class I popped into Le Pain Quotidien for a fresh lentil salad with a cup of vegan black bean soup, yum!

 

I decided to head to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History which is on Pennsylvania Ave and part of the national mall. Most museums here are free, which is a big plus! I could have spent hours in here but having limited time to get all of my sight seeing in, I tried to get as much in as I could before I walked over to the Washington Monument. They had an award winning animal photography section and below were a couple of my favorites.

 

The Washington Monument shines high above all the downtown DC buildings. It's not a city that is built tall like New York or Chicago, but it's architecture doesn't need height to make it beautiful. Here I am in the FREEZING windy weather in front of the Monument.

 

What I love most about being here, is that this city is so easy to navigate. You walk everywhere because you can and in the midst of all the national landmarks you get a 3 to 5 mile walk in! Total health bonus! No wonder DC is one of the fittest cities in the US.

This is just day one here and I have a day and a half to go! I can't wait to see what I can fit in, in just a few short hours...

Love you America!

 

Tales of Portlandia...

Portland hmmm bizarre? Indeed! But I suppose that's what makes Portland well...Portland. I must say I did eat my way through the city and I'm here to share a story or two with you. So in my Friday Faves last week I talked about a restaurant called Andina (www.andinarestaurant.com) which to me just means perfection. It's Peruvian cuisine and the flavors in every bite make me melt, and to top it off they have both a gluten free and vegetarian menus. My boyfriend and I dined with our friends and laughed over silly stories for over two hours! I admit I am a sucker for a great dining experience and I could have probably stayed at that table for two more hours if I didn't have to go to work in the morning.

These are my friends Sara and Kris. They are hilarious and such a joy to be around!

The following morning I got up to work off my dinner at a local yoga studio called Yoga Pearl (www.yogapearl.com). It was 8:00 am Saturday morning and as I was walking waiting for the sun to come up...oops..wait...I forgot I'm in Portland...so as I was saying, as I was walking...in the cold dreary rain to get to class I turned the corner and like a star in the sky Yoga Pearl appeared. It was still a bit dark outside and they has precious white lights hanging in front of their studio that shined bright. I walked in to see a huge space. To my left was an Eco friendly yoga boutique and to my right was a raw cafe. I couldn't believe I was still in Portland, it was a magical space in the midst of a rugged and very eclectic city.

 

That evening we had the pleasure of dining with some friends of ours who just recently moved to Oregon at a place called Saucebox (www.saucebox.com). Conversation was entertaining and the food was magnificent. It's a fusion of pan-asain and pacific island cuisine and has many vegetarian options, woohoo! Picture this tofu, kale, white bean miso soup, sweet potato spring rolls, a red curry plate, and brussel sprouts cooked to perfection. We ate it all. There was not a bite to spare. I can't forget to mention my lavender margarita...unbelievable!

 

Obviously we had to get dessert...

So we went to Oprah's favorite ice cream shop! Salt and Straw! Scrumdidlyumtious! The flavor combinations are out there BUT at 10:30 pm in freezing weather there is a line out the door if that tells you anything!

 

Oh Portlandia, I am so thankful for your food. You may be one of the most bizarre cities I have ever been to but I am grateful for the experience and my full belly which is still full a week later...time to go workout!

 

Greetings from Knoxville, Tennessee!

Greetings from Knoxville Tennessee! Good mornin', afternoon, and evenin' folks! I've been in Knoxville for three days and I'm already picking up a Southern twang, ha!

Before I started spending a lot of time in Tennessee, I always assumed the South was full of butter, fried foods, a lack of fitness studios and so on...

Sorry Southerners, I made a bad assumption! Although the butter and fried foods are here, there is another side to the darling city of Knoxville, TN...

Let me tell you about my fabulous day today. It's only 2:45 PM in Knoxville on this beautiful Wednesday afternoon and I slept in, spent time with my dog Jojo and my boyfriend's parents dogs: Henry (the alien), Tucker (the baby), and Ben (the sweet old man). Starting any day surrounded by loving dogs gets an A + in my book.

My boyfriend likes me to rest on vacation - and so do I - but I must say, I still have to get my workouts in! He gave in and took me to "The Glowing Body" in downtown Knoxville. It's a lovely yoga studio and to only pay 5 dollars (yes I said it, 5 dollars!) for a class is incredible! You definitely don't find that in LA!

It was a very relaxing yoga class, which we all need from time to time, and I love this sweet little studio. All the instructors I've had walk around and correct your alignment and are so encouraging throughout the entire class .

After any class I take, even the relaxing ones, I usually have a hungry tummy, so right away Ian took me down the street to the Three Rivers Co-Op Market. It's a local, independent deli and grocery which I must say I adore! A lot of the food sold there is vegetarian or vegan, and locally and regionally grown. I'm a big fan! Ian and I got a kale salad, a rustic veggie soup with sweet potatoes, quinoa and polenta cakes, and a bottle of kombucha! A big meal full of YUM!

I feel nourished, fueled, and refreshed!

I'm back at the house now, outside playing with the dogs. This day is a little slice of perfection! Moral of the story is that it doesn't matter where you go, you can always find ways to take care of yourself. I encourage you all to take the time to do so when you are on the road, whether for the Holidays or in the New Year.

I'll report back tomorrow evening with great recipes for making a healthy, Southern, Holiday meal!

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