Five Takeaways from #BlogFest with Propel

I can’t begin to explain the craziness of my July. I’ve been overwhelmed with weddings, buying a new car, starting a new job, keeping up my blog and Instagram page, etc.

Unfortunately, BlogFest fell on the same weekend as the wedding of my brother-in-law and I was only able to attend the first day. Nonetheless, it turned out to be extremely impactful and full of great moments of learning, networking, and sweating! Here are my top five tips from two of my favorite sessions:

1  The best food pictures are taken with natural light from the side. The light should not be harsh. Brooke’s trick was to cover your window with a mesh curtain to get the look of a cloudy day even when it’s sunny outside. Find an example of lighting here.

2  Add props! Things like wooden spoons, ceramic bowls, and linen napkins make pictures really interesting. Find great bases like fancy marble slaps that can be purchased for a decent price at Home Depot. Don’t sweep away the crumbs either; these add great texture to the pictures. Messy can be very appealing! Check out a pic where Brooke uses this idea here.

3  Brooke actually uses Instagram for her editing. She suggests bumping up the contrast, clarity, vignette, and highlights, and putting the saturation at about 20%. Her favorite Insta filter is Ludwig. Find a perfectly edited picture here.

above tips are from Food Photography with Brooke Conroy Bass of Chocolate + Marrow

4  Triple. Filters. My mind is blown. Did you know that you could layer up to three filters on pictures?! I always stressed over picking one filter for my snaps. Was the time or temp more important than the one that makes my skin look flawless?! So thankful that Katie shared this tip with us.

5  Ghostcodes. If finding friends and new people to follow frustrates you, download the app Ghostcodes where you can search by name and category for accounts that interest you. Similar to Reddit, accounts get voted up and down so the most popular and exciting ones make it to the top. Make sure to add yourself to the app so people can find you!

above tips are from Building Your Brand on Snapchat with Katie Dunlap of Love, Sweat, and Fitness

I had such a great time at Blogfest with Propel and, since I wasn’t able to attend the Friday sessions, check out the blog posts by my fellow Propel Ambassadors for even more tips, tricks, and pics of the weekend!

Whitney from To Live and Diet in LA

Gwen from The LA Girl

Evann from Evann Clingan

Melanie from Headstands and Heels

This post is sponsored by Propel Electrolyte Water, but all opinions are my own.

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Propel Workout with Gunnar Peterson Recap

You know those things that you look forward to for so long and are so excited about? There is nothing worse than when they pass by so quickly.

My second workout with celeb (read: Kardashian) trainer, Gunnar Peterson, has been something I’ve counted down for months. I was eager to meet the NYC Propel Ambassador gals and spend some more time with bloggers-turned-friends, Whitney and Gwen. With the anticipation bubbling, I didn’t even want it to start for fear that it would end too soon. Well, I was right. Although it’s over, I am so thankful for such a great experience and can’t want to share the deets with you!

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SWEAT at Prevail

At a Glance:

Website: http://www.prevaillosangeles.com
Address: 5957 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Length: 45 minutes
Price: first class/$20, 1 class/$25, 10 classes/$230, month unlimited/$249
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: high

I’m seriously embarrassed and kind of sad that it took me almost two years to get the courage to take a class at Prevail—one of everyone’s FAVORITE boxing studios in LA. I giggle a little too much to even take myself seriously while I’m wearing the gloves. I decided to finally take the plunge and signed up for class.

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Paddle Board 60 Minute Session at Marina Paddle Fit

At a Glance:

Website: http://www.venicepaddleboards.com
Address: 4601 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Length: 60 minutes
Price: one hour rental/$30, two hour rental/$40, SUP Yoga class/$20, Paddle Fit class/$20
Sweat scale: low
Energy level: low

I have been dying to try paddle boarding ever since my husband and I were in Mexico and I watched him from the shore with a drink in my hand. Not wanting to get in the ocean, I decided to sit that activity out, but I knew I needed to give it a shot in the calm marina water.

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Megaburn 55 at Pilates Plus Studio City

At a Glance:

Website: http://pilatesplusbylagreefitness.com
Address: 13205 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604
Length: 55 minutes
Price: first class/$15, one class/$35, 10 classes/$270, month unlimited/$229 with no contract, $215 with contract
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: medium

To be completely honest, I’ve been coming to this studio for almost a year now and had a few negative experiences at the beginning. I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t feel comfortable on the megaformer, or that the instructors I had were just not super friendly, but I was determined to succeed and kept coming back anyways. After plenty of classes, I am finally writing my (positive) review.

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5 Ways to Make Your Workout Count

This post is written by guest blogger Lauren McAulay.

I’ve definitely had my fair share of working out. I grew up playing sports so being active was part of my life. I played soccer up until college and after my soccer days I was conditioned to work my butt off so I continued going to the gym. I started taking hot yoga sculpt classes that kicked my butt and then moved on to ClassPass and only chose classes that left me insanely sweaty and down right exhausted. If I wasn’t dying at the end of my workout, I didn’t consider it a workout at all. Not saying this is a bad thing but it really depends on the mindset you have around working out.

In the last year I heavily got into the body positive movement. I am a Body Love Coach and self-love advocate. Since I promote positive body image, I started having a different mindset around working out as well.

So here you have it. In my opinion, five ways to make your workout count!

1. Move your body with love

You may tell yourself why does this matter? I get my workout in, kick my butt, and get out of there. It doesn’t matter if I’m loving it or hating it. But no, IT ABSOLUTELY MATTERS! If you are sending signals to your body and telling it that you hate working out, you are suffering, the only reason you are doing it is to burn calories, or just so you can have dessert after dinner; your body knows!

When your body is in a state of hate believe it or not your body is resisting. It’s not shedding the calories, it’s not letting go of the negative energy, it honestly isn’t really doing anything for you. If you are hating yourself or hating your workout you are wasting your time putting yourself through all that suffering. You would benefit 1000x more if you just rested on a yoga mat breathing deeply for an hour. Sending love to your body is a must if you want to make a workout count.

2. Move your body with favoritism

This is when favoritism is actually a positive. The magic of working out is that you get to CHOOSE what you WANT to do. You don’t have to choose a class that makes you run if you hate running, you don’t ever have to step a foot inside a yoga studio if you just don’t enjoy yoga, you can stay away from circuit classes, or Pilates. The beauty is that you get to decide what is your favorite way to move your body!

It doesn’t matter if your favorite thing to do in the entire world is just take a nature walk or a long hike or a restorative yoga class because if you love how you are moving your body that’s all that matters. Your body will react to the love and enjoyment it’s receiving!

3. Move your body with encouragement

When I workout I love listening to audio books that help me grow. It could be a personal or business development book that gets my morning started in a positive direction. When there is encouragement in your mind, your workout is much more enjoyable. You can also make a playlist of songs that make you feel good, happy, motivated…if you love workout classes I would only choose classes that have positive teachers that make you feel inspired! Being encouraged during a workout is absolutely necessary to make it count!

4. Move your body without a time limit

You don’t need to set a time when working out. I used to think that anything less than an hour didn’t count as a workout. How silly right? It doesn’t matter if you can squeeze in a 15-minute at-home workout; it’s still moving your body! I would rather move with the time I had than skip it all together because I couldn’t fit in an hour or more that day. On the flip side over working out is unnecessary. Move your body with the amount of time that makes you feel good!

5. Move your body with self-care

Moving your body with self-care means listening to your body when it needs rest. It’s okay to take a couple of days off if that’s what you need. Don’t feel guilty that if you don’t workout every day you have failed. If you still want to move, it’s okay to take a restorative yoga class or a nice walk. Resting is just as important as moving. We need balance in our life and in our workouts. Self-care will make your workouts count!

The next time you sign up for a class, hit the gym, or go for a run, remember to make your workout count!

With (body) love,

Lauren

_DSC1173Lauren is the founder of The Body Love Tribe, a Body Love Coach, and self-love advocate. Her goal is to help women love themselves, love their body, and love their food. She is writing her first book, to be finished by December 2016. When Lauren isn’t spreading her passion, she is cuddling her two puppies, Chai and Livie. Visit her blog here.

NBC Strong & SoulCycle x Sweetgreen Event Recap

I had every intention of today’s post being an exciting recap of the two events I attended this past weekend. Unfortunately I decided to forgo one of said events for brunch…whoops. But, either way, I had a great couple days of rest, relaxation, food, and, of course, sweat.

There’s a brand new show airing on NBC tomorrow called Strong where contestants are paired up with trainers in order to lose weight and transform themselves both mentally and physically. I’m actually 99% sure that they reached out to me when casting the show—I had to turn it down because of the time commitment (I have a full time job, people!). Unlike the Biggest Loser, the show aims to display how regular people who don’t have 100+ pounds to lose also have the ability to change their ways and reach their full potential.

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All of the trainers are LA based including some of my favs, Wes Okerson from LIT Method and Ky Evans from Studio Lagree. I would say other than the airing of Hollywood Cycle filmed at my go-to spin studio Cycle House, this show really reminds me of how funny it is to live in LA and be surrounded by “the industry” every day.

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The event took place on Saturday at The Grove, one of our many outdoor shopping plazas. Of course, typical dry and sunny LA decided to shed some rain, forcing the organizers to set up a tent—however the tent was smaller than the workout space. Since it was chilly and many of the yoga mats were soaked, I stayed for the meet and greet and then headed to 3rd street for some brunch followed by a killer Supraformer class at Lagree.

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On Sunday, two of my favorite brands teamed up for a SoulCycle x sweetgreen ride to welcome the new seasonal salads. The event took place at the SoulCycle in Hollywood—a shopping center that I would do anything to live above because it’s packed with my favorites: Barry’s Bootcamp, Pressed Juicery, Dunkin Donuts, Greenleaf Chop Shop, and even Shake Shack and a nail salon (both coming soon!).

Unfortunately, I was given a bike in the back row but that didn’t stop me from riding my little legs out and trying to take in every second of the motivational class. I’ve noticed that hitting up SoulCycle on the weekend really helps me get in the spirit for the upcoming week.

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Upon finishing, we headed into the lobby and grabbed salads. I gravitated towards the “spring chicken” packed with organic mesclun, kale, zucchini, squash, asparagus, basil, shredded carrots, parmesan crisps, and chicken with pesto vinaigrette dressing. Um…YUM! The other two options were the Strawberry + Feta and Umami Grain Bowl.

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This was one of those “so LA” weekends and I loved every second of it! Even waiting in line for 90 minutes on Sunday night to try out the brand new Shake Shack in West Hollywood.

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Cheers to a great week!

Express Cycle at The Sweat Shoppe

At a Glance:

Website: http://thesweatshoppe.com
Address: 10620 Riverside Dr, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Length: 45 minutes
Price: first class $10, one class/$22, 10 classes/$200, month unlimited/$300 (first month/$149)
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: high

Although The Sweat Shoppe got off ClassPass a while ago, it’s one of the few studios that I still see pop up on my Instagram feed. Yep, people love this place so much that they’re willing to pay out of pocket to get sweaty here. Obviously I had to find out for myself what the hype is about.

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How ClassPass Helped Me Through Unemployment

Written by contributor Angela M

Highs and lows – you can’t have one without the other. Sometimes life can throw us curveballs and lead us in directions that we hadn’t planned for. This is how my 2016 started when I found myself laid off from my tech startup job in Santa Monica.

While I was sad to leave my position and company behind, a part of me was eager to see what this next chapter had in store. Selfishly, I was also excited about all the ClassPass classes I was going to be able to take advantage of while I was looking and interviewing for a new position.

I am excited to announce that I have recently accepted a new position, but while I was thinking back through my time of unemployment (roughly two months) I’m not sure I would have been able to get through it without ClassPass.

At the time, some of my friends were surprised and asked, “Well, since you’re unemployed, are you still going to keep ClassPass?”

During times of the unknown and “crisis” it’s completely normal and most of the time necessary to cut costs wherever you can. For the majority, group fitness classes are probably not a necessity. For me, this was a no brainer. I knew I would be experiencing a good chunk of down time and wanted to have an outlet to help me get through this transition – not only physically but also mentally. And boy was I right!

Thankfully in Los Angeles it’s not strange for people to have unique schedules – rather not your normal Monday through Friday, 9-5 sorta gig. With that being said, there were so many classes at my disposal during the day. When I wasn’t applying for jobs or taking part in interviews, I was excited to browse through and see what was available.

I’m not going to lie – some days were tough. Whether it was receiving a rejection or patiently waiting to hear back from an interview, I needed to get my mind off things. Going to classes was a huge help for me mentally, as I would step into a studio, begin class and immediately forget about everything else going on in the outside world.

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The social aspect was key as well. When you are not going into an office everyday, it’s nice to socialize and be around people. Through ClassPass I have been able to meet (and network) with so many friendly and motivational class goers, not mention the incredible instructors. If I was feeling down, hearing, “Angela! So excited to see you and have you in class!” from one of my favorite instructors really got me in a positive mindset when everything else seemed like chaos. While I’m an avid spinner, it was also a great time for me to check out yoga to work on my “namaste” and help center or calm my thoughts before or after interviews.

Sometimes things were fun! This was a time where I had the flexibility to try new classes or participate in others that I enjoy (like dance!) that I might not have had the time to do previously. Since I talk about ClassPass all the time with friends, I had converted a lot of them to the service. With some of them having unique schedules, I was able to coordinate a lot of catch-ups with them via classes and stay connected/social without having to go out and spend money on meals or drinks all the time.

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Lastly, how could I forget the actual physicality of it all – the sweat! Leaving classes sweaty made me feel so accomplished. Which at the time was a welcomed feeling. My health and fitness journey has been a crazy ride. While that might be another story for another post, I was grateful to have the time to work towards my health and fitness goals.

As I’m about to start this new chapter, I am very appreciative to have had ClassPass to help get me through it. It would have been easy to just sit around on the couch, go through the motions of job searching, etc, but ClassPass was able to keep active and motivated. Thank you ClassPass!

Here are some of the studios that I loved during my time off and I encourage you to check out:

  • Training Mate
  • Hot Pilates
  • Playlist Yoga
  • Moore Dancing – PlyoJam
  • Air Aerial Fitness

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About the contributor: Angela is originally from Upstate NY but has called West Hollywood home for the past five years. When she isn’t keeping up with pop culture and social media trends, you can most likely find her at spin class or having a glass of Pinot Grigio at The Den on Sunset. While Angela’s passion and career is in HR/Recruiting, she is also the co-creator of the blog I’m Moving to Los Angeles.

Feeling the BURN

The popular and effective Eagle Rock workout, completeBURN, is finally moving west and setting up shop at the swanky Mondrian hotel on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood.

I had a chance to attend the media preview on Tuesday and have had trouble walking ever since. CompleteBURN, created by Leah Purcell, is a high intensity interval-training program that uses bodyweight, kettlebells, and a stability step with resistance band to torch calories and skyrocket your heart rate.

Photo by Josh Reiss ( http://JoshReiss.com )

Photos by Josh Reiss ( http://JoshReiss.com )

Although we were going through a shortened class, I was dripping sweat about two minutes in and it never slowed down. Our class sampled each of the three classes that will be offered: power bodyweight, power weighted, and core.

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