January 28, 2015

5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Spin Class

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you know that I am completely and totally addicted to SoulCycle. Like madly in love with it. But trendy spin classes can put a real dent in your wallet. SoulCycle averages about $30 per ride depending on location, and its competitor Flywheel can charge you anywhere from $30 to $35. So you’d be wise to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to get your money’s worth out of your workout. Unluckily (or luckily for my wallet) there aren't any dedicated spinning studios in the Syracuse area. What I was excited to find out, however, is that SU actually offers a spin class for one credit! I'm getting graded for work out, woohoo! I interviewed my awesome spin instructor and health and fitness specialist, Maggie Thomson for her top five tips for getting the most out of your spin session.

1. Nourish first: A car wouldn’t run without gas, so why should you? “If you exercise on an empty stomach, you will be lightheaded and not get the most out of your workout,” says Thomson. Snack on something healthy and full of protein before class, like oatmeal with banana or an English muffin with almond butter.

2. Listen to your body: Thomson constantly reminds students to listen to their bodies in order to avoid injury. “You always want to listen to your body when you are doing any type of exercise, especially cycling. It can be very challenging and if you are having a tired day, you need to take it lighter. If you have a lot of energy you can push yourself more,” she says. It’s easy to be distracted by the seasoned expert in the bike next to you, but focus on your own goals and challenge yourself accordingly.

3. Watch your posture: “Proper set up of your bike is crucial to protecting your knees and your lower back,” says Thomson. “You never want to have your toes pointed when you cycle. Your toes should be pulled back, pulling and pushing with your hamstrings on a flat foot.” A pointed toe takes the workout away from your leg muscles, but a flat foot engages the glutes and hips while reducing pressure on quads and knees.

4. Take note: Thomson instructs all beginner riders to make a note of their bike set up on their phones once they have perfected their settings. Take the time in your first few classes to learn how to adjust the bike settings to suit your body type. A seat too low or too high can strain your muscles and leave you sore. As a general rule, the saddle and handlebars should align to your hip height. Slide your seat forward or backward so that you are a forearm’s distance away from the center of the handlebars. Finally, be sure that when your leg is extended while sitting in the saddle, your knee should only have a slight bend and never be fully straightened.

5. Engage: Keep your core tight throughout your ride by sucking in your tummy. An engaged core will feel the same as abdominal muscles tensing up while laughing or coughing. “Keeping your core tight is crucial for your balance and for improving your strength,” says Thomson. Remember to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed so that you can direct your energy to your lower body muscles.

*This article was originally written for What the Health Magazine @ https://whatthehealthmag.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/5-secrets-to-getting-the-most-out-of-your-spin-class/

January 24, 2015



When I was in NYC last weekend Emma and I were so worn out by our busy days of touring that at night all we did was peruse documentary after documentary on Netflix. Vegucated was one of them and oh my GOODNESS was it an eye-opener. I'd seen Food Inc. before, and didn't want to eat meat (or anything for that matter) for weeks after. But Vegucated was somehow even more convincing. The documentary followed one woman who recruited three random New Yorkers to try be vegan. 

They investigated some truths about the meat and food industry which were pretty disgusting, but it actually showed how these three unique people managed to incorporate a vegan lifestyle into their average days. To be honest, I don't think I could ever fully become vegan. I believe that you should eat to live and eat to be healthy, but you only live once--enjoy it! I think I would miss healthy animal foods like eggs, cheese, and other dairy products WAY too much. And I don't think I could live my life without the full variety of Linden subs. But this movie definitely gives some good examples of how you can at least cut down and be more aware of what you are putting into your body. Check it out!

January 23, 2015


NYC last weekend was great! I think the best trips are those with the least amount of planning. Expectations are usually non-existent (because you haven't had time to form any) so anything works! I feel like I got a pretty solid New York experience without being too over-the-top tourist. The funniest thing though was trying to pay with my Boston Red Sox themed debit card...that got a few comments.
I'd seen so many beautiful pictures of the Met's Temple of Dendur room on Instagram I really had to see it for myself--it's stunning!

I coerced Emma into doing what no New Yorker does...venture into Times Square. We went on Sunday evening so it honestly wasn't that overcrowded. This was definitely the most touristy thing we did all weekend but I feel like we had to!

If you didn't brunch did you even go to New York?

We must've spent hours in Eataly.You could get lost in there! We saw pasta being made, had some delicious samples, bought the BEST smelling limoncello candle, and ate an amazing meal.

But hands down my favorite part of the weekend was high tea at Bergdorf's. This was super luxurious and so worth it. At first the stack of snacks in front of us didn't appear to be that much food. But we were stuffed by the time we reached the top tier so we snuck our desserts home. 
My lovely host!

January 16, 2015

Spontaneous NYC

I am off on another trip!

Last minute adventures has seriously been my thing lately and I don't hate it. Yesterday I was trying desperately to figure out what activities I could plan for myself this weekend in order to avoid dying of boredom while my roommates all participated in sorority recruitment. I literally had from Thursday at two p.m. til Tuesday morning free because of the long weekend and I knew no amount of binge-(re)watching One Tree Hill would satisfy me. So I bought a ticket!
Tess lent me some black clothing and a leather jacket and my bags were packed.

I am off to NYC to visit Emma!

I am even on the bus as I type this on my handy new iPad keyboard.

I am so excited. Even though I am not the biggest fan of the city I do appreciate it for a weekend adventure. And more importantly, I cannot wait to catch up with Emma. Considering how inseperable we were for almost all of Freshman and Sophomore year it is INSANE to me that it's been almost two years since we last saw each other. Time really does go too fast.

I don't really know what we hve planned this weekend but she mentioned Tea at Bergdorf's which sounds fancy and also very British so of course I'm down. I'd love to see the Met and be a little touristy and of course have a proper NYC brunch (#eatingfortheinsta). No matter what we do I know it'll be great to spend time with a good friend and explore a new city. I'll keep ya updated!

January 14, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to waste less. In all aspects of life. Waste less time, be more green, but mostly waste less money. Cook when I could eat out, walk when I could drive, etc. 

But I think the main reason aspect of my life I want to apply this to is clothes shopping. I have so many pieces in my closet that I have had since the beginning of high school that I probably haven't touched since back when I was worrying about things like SAT scores and prom. They still fit and every time I go to throw them out I stop myself thinking maybe someday I will wear them again. So really my New Year's resolution has three steps: 

1. Use Vogue's handy chart (above) to determine what stays and what goes. 
2. Sell nicer things on eBay and other things at consignment shops.
3. Resolve to buy worthwhile pieces. Even if it means spending a little more, invest in quality items that will last and not go out of style. Waste less money on cheaper items that will damage or go out of style quickly.