Health & Fitness

  • The Ban.do Wellness Planner Isn’t The Planner You Think It Is

    Ban.do Undated Wellness Planner

    Okay so remember when I talked about three undated wellness planners you need to check out. In that post, I said I was most interested in the ban.do undated Wellness Planner. So I ordered it and I was so excited to receive it, but then I realized it wasn’t the planner I thought it was.

    Now let me be clear now, this is post isn’t meant to drag anyone or be mean. At least that isn’t my intention. I’m just keeping it real with you about what I do and don’t like about this particular planner.

    I’m gonna jump right into it.

    Pros of the Ban.do Undated Wellness Planner

    Ban.do Undated Wellness Planner

    How it’s broken down

    This planner is broken up into five sections: Eat + Drink, Relax, Activities, Feelings, and Goals. You can tell the creators really wanted to explore ways that would help the user of this planner can get on the road to living a more stress-free life.

    It’s informative

    At the start of each section, there are 2-3 pages that give you all the information you’ll need about the section. I like how this is laid out cause it gives me tips and ideas from more than a dozen women who are experts in their fields. It gave me an introduction to crystals, told me ways I can workout outside of the gym, ways to process my feelings and so much more. There are also 18 motivational reminder cards that you can take out of the book and put in your wallet or add them to your bulletin board. The idea is that these little place cards help keep you on track.

    This is a small planner

    It measures 8 inches x 6.5 inches. Which means it can fit it nicely in a medium-sized bag without taking up a whole lot of space. This is perfect for those who like to take their planners with them on the go. Sometimes if a planner is too big, heavy or both you tend to not want to take it with you. But this one you can pretty much travel with it wherever you go.

    Ban.do Undated Wellness Planner

    It’s got a hardcover

    I like hardcover planners and journals. I’m not rough with my stuff however there are times when I put books and things in my backpack and they get bent, crushed, or even torn from stuffing things in. With a hardcover that’s less likely to happen. Also, the cover is easy to clean. Just a simple quick lightly dampened paper towel will keep your planner looking brand new.

    It has a 3 ring binder

    I was so excited to see this because this means I can rearrange the sections or I can add my own personal touches. The idea that I can design this beyond its intended use really excites me.

    It has stickers

    There are two sheets of stickers and considering the length of the planner (which I’ll get to in a minute), there will be enough to go around. The stickers (and illustrations) in this planner remind me of FLOW so I can use my own stickers or use these in my FLOW projects.

    Cons of the Ban.do Undated Wellness Planner

    Ban.do Undated Wellness Planner

    It’s only a 6-week planner

    I’ma keep it all the way real with you, for the amount of money this planner costs it should have been a 12-month planner. Even if that meant the planner was a little bit bigger. I think there was so much potential that was lost with it being so short. If it’s something that’s supposed to motivate me into living better then I’m going to need more than 6-weeks to get into the groove, at least I think.

    There are no refills

    This is my BIGGEST con. Once you’ve filled up your planner you’re shit out of luck. At this point, you have two options: you can purchase a new planner or you can photocopy the sheets. But I’m telling you now if photocopy it won’t look or feel the same unless you’re using thick colorful/patterned paper. My biggest question is, what’s the point of having a 3-ring binder planner with no refills? Yeah, I can decorate and add to it as I mentioned but if someone is lazy, as I can sometimes be – no refills makes this planner useless. Cause whose gonna buy another one? Not I.

    The lines to write are too small

    After you read through the beginning of the section you’ll come to some prompt sheets. These sheets help bring the whole section together but space to write in is too small. Because the book is small (yay!) that takes away from the spacing needed to write your notes (boo!). I tend to write really big and need space to really get my words out. So if you write like me you’re really gonna have to keep it short and sweet, and small.

    Ban.do Undated Wellness Planner

    Do I feel bad that I purchased this planner? No, cause honestly speaking it really is nice. It’s prompted me to want to learn and do more. It also gave a chance to follow some new people on IG. So the potential IS there, I just wish the missing things were included to make it perfect. Maybe there will be more with those additions in the future but until then I’ll just creatively make my own.

    What are your thoughts on the ban.do undated wellness planner? Do you have one? Do you feel the same? Share them with me in the comments.
  • FINDING MY INNER GODDESS WITH LEORA EDUT & GODDESS ON THE GO

    Goddess on the Go is a day long women’s spiritual workshop founded and hosted by Leora Edut. Her retreats are meant to bring together women so that they can not only connect with each other but to also connect with themselves. I had the pleasure of attending her Goddess on the Go event this summer and it was amazing.  Taking place at Ramscale Studio in the West Village this event was filled with sisterhood, exploration, sexuality and bonding.

    Goddess on the Go

    Leora created Goddess on the Go in 2012, after more than 10 years of self exploration in spirituality, energy work, transformational workshops, sisterhood, and relationships, Leora learned that the thing that truly made her happy was making a difference in the community of women. And that is something that you can tell the moment you walk in the door. I had heard about this workshop from a friend who had been previously and knew that I would love it, as I too am a lover of sisterhood and bonding. She was right. There is nothing I love more than to be in a room surrounded by women who are about not only lifting up themselves but others as well.

    I didn’t know what to expect from the event when arriving, but the women were immediately welcoming and made me feel at home. It didn’t matter that I had just met them. I felt comfortable and that is so important when you’re attending events that alone. It made me wish my friends were there, not because I needed them to make the event better but because I knew they were about to miss out on something that was going to be beneficial to them.

    Before the event got underway, there was mixing and mingling among guests and meeting the vendors that were on hand with products and services that were geared towards the theme of the event. When it was time for the workshop to begin Leora gave a moving speech about her humble beginnings and what happened in her life that lead her down the path that would ultimately lead her to create Goddess on the Go. The first exercise we took part in was tantric dance/yoga. I cannot tell a lie, it did feel awkward moving in such a way in front of a room full of strangers. But when you stopped thinking about it, it was easy to get into. The movements were not only designed to loosen us up but to allow us to tap into our inner sexual goddess. It’s okay to be sexy, have sex and to travel down other avenues to not only please your partner but yourself as well.

    Next, we also learned about the importance of interrupting our dreams and how we can use them to pursue what it is we want in our lives. There was also a group dance, in which attendees formed a circle and danced, and the rest of us had to follow. I was praying that I would not get selected, as I cannot dance. I didn’t pray hard enough as I picked to dance. But when you’re in the circle its not about looking like an extra in ‘You Got Served’ but doing whatever comes to you at the moment and enjoying it. Afterward, was a lesson in nutrition and how we should start to not only savoring our food but being more cautious as to what we’re putting in our bodies. Which was the perfect segue to lunch. Delicious vegan meals were served. Following lunch we learned about our spirit guides and how we should follow the signs they give us so that we can become the person that we were meant to be and not just going through the motions. Sadly the time came for me to depart.

    This was by far the most relaxing spiritually awakening event that I had ever been to. When I stepped outside I felt rejuvenated. I had renewed energy and focus in my life, both personally and professionally. 

    Below are photos from the event:

    @thelovegypsy grounding us in a #sensual #awakening #tantra #Goddessonthego

    A photo posted by Leora Edut (@goddessonthego1) on

    @jackie_janiec guiding us to our dreams #NOW #Goddessonthego A photo posted by Leora Edut (@goddessonthego1) on

    Sharon Holland Gelfand leading us how to slow down and tap into our bodies #Goddessonthego ??

    A photo posted by Leora Edut (@goddessonthego1) on

    So many beautiful women and this isn’t even all of em’ #Goddessonthego #NYC

    A photo posted by Leora Edut (@goddessonthego1) on

    If you’re interested in attending a Goddess on the Go event (which I hope you are, because everyone needs to attend at least once) one will be taking place on October 18 in NYC. Click here to get your ticket. For more information about Leora and Goddess on the Go please visit her website.

    *Please note that for the purpose of this review I was given a complementary ticket to this workshop. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    Photo Credit: Leora Edut

  • BODY CONCEPTIONS: BOCO CLASSIC CLASS REVIEW

    Early Sunday morning the day after the 4th of July, I drove into midtown to take a BoCo Classic workout session with Lauren from Body Conceptions. The hour long class consisted of integrative cardio and body sculpting exercises that burn fat, exercise the heart, and target all areas of the body from the arms and abs to the thighs, seat, and back. Two days later my butt, abs and thighs are still feeling the burn.

    The class took place at their weekend location Stepping Out Studios, located on 26th and 6th Avenue. Due to the holiday it was a small class of just 4 people. Which was great because that give us room to really spread out and for me to see the instructor. Once everyone was settled Lauren explained the class and we were on our way.

    The music started and I swear to you midway through the warm up I was sweating bullets, dripping like…

    I looked at Lauren and my other classmates and they were dry as a bone. I could easily say I run hot, but I won’t lie. I’m out of shape. Just the day before I ate more wings than I can count and half a apple pie. You now understand why I was sweating so profusely.

    After the warm up we got right into working out our upper body. When you look at tiny 2lb weights you think to yourself, I got this. *buzzer sound* No. No, you don’t. You do? Well, okay so its only me that’s weaker than a newborn pup. Keeping my arms up while making circular motions truly made me feel like I could live with the having slightly flabby arms for the rest of my life. The burning was intense, which meant it was working. Lauren was still upbeat and dry, while the sweat was making tiny pools of water on the inside of my glasses.

    From there we did a ballet like routine, complete with plie that would begin the workout for our lower body. You see the way my arthritis is set up, that was NOT gonna happen. I went as low as I could without my kneecaps sounding like a bowl of Rice Krispies. Lauren was graceful and hardly broke a sweat. At this point my cup of ice water was almost gone and my glasses were sliding off my face. My thighs and calves are still sore at me, pun intended.

    Then it was time for  the seat portion of our workout. This is where the beast came out of Lauren, which is the same time my disdain for her came out as well. Do not be fooled by her small peppy stature. She took us through this last portion like nothing I’d ever seen. On the floor raising legs while keeping your balance was crazy. I was struggling where she had full control. It felt like someone set a match to my lower body. The burn was unbearable. I had to stop a few times to hop it out. I was the only one. Everyone else took it like a champ. But I would not be defeated. I made sure to fall back in line and go to the end. 

    Speaking of the end, the dance wind down at the end really showcased the fact I don’t have an ounce of rhythm, as well as my inability to follow a coordinated dance routine. The song was a club banger which really got you in the mood to dance. The movements were geared toward your whole body to work out whatever burn was leftover from the hour. Finally, the uptempo dance moved into a slow stretch to complete the session. Thankfully this meant being on the floor because I was done, all that was missing was a fork.

    https://instagram.com/p/4woz8OtNiw/?taken-by=mommyrandr

    This class wasn’t about difficult moves or going hardcore. It was about simple yet strategic moves everyone can do that are meant to tone and shape your body.

    mahripicBody Conceptions founded by Mahri Relin, is a full-body lengthening and sculpting method that combines the principles of dynamic movement and muscle exhaustion.  Both body-sculpting and cardio components use integrated movements that involve multiple muscles and that require engagement of and connection to the core.  Exercises are coordinated with current, exciting music. The goal of Body Conceptions is to help men and women across the spectrum of their lives – from youth to pregnancy, menopause, and beyond.

    While my body may be angry with me for such a workout. It was done to help get it into some kind of shape. I workout on and off and I don’t really commit to a studio because I love pie! But this is one class that I might have to lay off the pie for. It was worth it and I look forward to a future class with Body Conceptions.

    If you’re unable to attend a class don’t worry they can come to you, as they have private solo and group classes. They also have pre and postnatal class, as well as special occasion classes. Find out more by contacting them by phone or email.

    *Please remember all thoughts and opinions expressed in this piece are my own. The only compensation I received was a complementary class for the purpose of this review.

  • SEVENBELL FITNESS

    sevenbell fitness

    Before I start this review I need your mind to cue up the Rocky theme song, Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. If you don’t know the song it starts…”Rising up, back on the street did my time, took my chances” …you know the song now? Okay, now hum it as you read this….

    I was invited for an assessment, now in my mind assessment meant someone was going to take my height, weight and body fat count etc and tell me all of the ways I can help slim down this twice over baby gut. Well, yet again I was in for a real treat. It seems that every time I visit a fitness studio I’m met with some sort of shock and ouch moment. This ouch moment would later incapacitate me for 2 days.

    sevenbell fitnessSevenBell is located on the second floor so going up before your workout is fine, but after it all you wanna do is fling yourself down the steps and out the door like Leo DiCaprio did in Wolf of Wall Street. When I arrived I was greeted by Jesse Barocas who co-founded the facility and after showing me around their studio which is big enough to not make you feel as if you’re one of a hundred in a room and not too small to feel all eyes on you. Its the perfect setup to come with friends or for a personal training session.

    After the grand tour the fun began. As I thought, he took all of my weight and height information and asked me about what my weight loss goals were. I explained, I want to ditch the gut but keep my 160lbs weight. It took me forever to gain this weight and I have zero intentions of going back to my former size 4. But then something awkward happened he said, “lets get started!” Started? On what? Oh wait, I’m gonna work out? It seems lately I have a very good knack for signing up for stuff that leads me in a totally different direction than I originally thought.

    sevenbell fitnessBut I wasn’t going to punk out just yet. We started off with some squats. Which of course I’ve discovered that I’ve been doing them incorrectly. My knees are now forever grateful for being shown the correct way. Jesse coached and showed me proper form all while letting me know that, “you got this”. And I thought did until he had me do 2 sets of 20 push ups. Listen, let me explain something to you, up until that point I have only done 4 push ups in my entire life. I think I’m giving myself too much credit. It’s more like 2. But that day Jesse made me make up for lost time. My arms were burning with muscle use and hate.

    While I was sweating bullets and panting for water there was the other half of SevenBell, co-founder Seven Bell over in the corner just lifting a whole bunch of weights like one would lift cotton balls on the ends of a toothpick. He made it seem so easy…and he wasn’t even sweating. I kept asking, “why are you still dry?”

    Back to me, after I got over the arm pain I thought things were going kinda sorta okay, until Jeses wanted me to lift a kettlebell. I had heard about these things but I have never used one…and I see why. There is nothing fun or exciting about squatting and lifting one of these little bombs of pain. I was so focused on not flinging it into the wall of mirrors I couldn’t even get into proper form. I asked Jesse if I could use a lighter one but in true personal trainer fashion he told me, “sure, but you’re gonna use this one. Okay. Good. Lets go!” He just knew I was trying to cheat my way out of it but he wouldn’t let me.  Like Britney Spears says, “…you wanna look hot in a bikini? You betta work bitch!”. And work I did! He had me feeling the burn on the lateral pull down and rowing machine.

    sevenbell fitnessThat hour workout seemed like I was in there for 2! I don’t know how I made it down the stairs and to my car, which was 3 blocks away. When I got home the only thing I could muster up was a hot shower, falling face down in the bed and snoring. I don’t know if that was a good or bad idea cause when I woke up I could hardly move an inch. My entire body was sore. I had pain from my shoulders all the way down my sides to my hips. I couldn’t raise either one of my arms all the up. Elbow to wrist was good but elbow to shoulder was hell. And sitting and standing were out of the question. The only thing that didn’t hurt, for a change, were my knees.

    While I may complain about how much pain I was in, it was good pain. Pain means that I worked parts of my body that normally don’t get used, unless I’m running for an ice cream truck or trying to catch the liquor store before it closes. This isn’t just a gym, its a lifestyle. It’s for those who want to get into shape and stay in shape. This is not a bells and whistles gym. You will not receive a membership card complete with a pat on the back and left to your own devices. By joining this gym you will gain a motivator who wants to see you succeed just as much as you want to see yourself succeed. You will have access to a nutritionist who will work with you on selecting the best work out for YOU! Which is great for moms because they have special post-natal workouts and diets that will get you back to your pre-baby body. They also have early morning spin classes and private boxing classes.

    While my muscles may have complaints about this gym, I cannot say one bad word about it. Oh well, there’s the parking issue. Its pretty much nonexistent. I had to park a few blocks over toward Atlantic and walk back. It’s not that big of a deal just be sure to leave your house a wee bit early because you will circle.

    sevenbell fitness

    SevenBell Fitness
    640 Dean Street
    718-857-BELL (2355)
    info@sevenbellfitness.com

    And just because the song is now on loop in both of our brains, for your listening and viewing pleasure…..

    For the purposes of this post I received a complementary assessment. All thoughts and opinions are my own.