In-flight Essentials

My husband and I are leaving for New Zealand soon (eeeee so excited!) and have an almost 16 hour flight ahead of us. Though I’m super pumped for the trip, the impending long flight ahead always looms over me.

After our trip to Greece last year, I picked up some helpful tricks for making a long flight bearable. Beyond the typical comforts like wearing loose clothing (my go-to outfit is: yoga pants, t-shirt, cardigan, scarf, tennis shoes, and compression socks – yes I totally rock these), there are several small personal care items you can pack that make a world of a difference. I just throw the below items into a small ziploc baggie, put it in the seat pocket during the flight, and can instantly find anything I might need in flight.

in flight essentials

  1. Make-up remover wipes – On long flights I usually fly makeup-free, but even so, I like to “wash” my face at least once or twice during a flight. These easy to use towelettes remove travel grime and just makes it feel less yucky to not have showered in so long.
  2. Facial mist – It’s like pressing an instant refresh button with every spray. I can’t get enough of this Evian facial mist on flights and spray it whenever I’m feeling dry.
  3. Moisture-rich hand lotion – As you’ve seen from previous posts, I love Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. But what makes it great for flights is the barely-there scent (so you don’t overpower seat mates) and it’s rich formula that will keep you moisturized for hours.
  4. Disposable tooth brushes – I don’t think anyone should go 16+ hours without brushing their teeth, and these disposable brushes make it easy to do in-flight – no sink or water required.
  5. Luxurious face lotion – Travel is the perfect time to break out those samples you have squirreled away. I love Caudalie’s Premier Cru The Cream, and this tiny sample is perfect for one or two lotion applications.
  6. Lip balm – Another favorite, this Vaseline lip therapy is ideal for dry climates and will keep you lips moisturized for hours.
  7. Earplugs – Seal out the sound of crying babies or snoring neighbors and get some shut-eye.
  8. Zinc lozenges – Zinc is said to help prevent and shorten colds. Who knows if that’s actually true, but at least if your mouth feels dry it’s something to suck on, and can possibly help keep you healthy amid a plane full of germs.
  9. An extra hair rubber band – An obvious one, but no one likes to get stuck without a hair tie when you want to throw your hair up in a ponytail or bun.
  10. Advil – I take one to reduce swelling on flights, and also good to have on hand for headaches or any other aches you might develop from sitting for so long.
  11. Hand sanitizer – Kind of a no-brainer, but definitely keep this on hand and apply liberally whenever you may have come in contact with germs.

What do you bring on long flights to make the experience more comfortable? Did I miss any of your must-pack items?

xoxo,
Veronica

Advertisements

Vegan Cran-Cherry Almond Power Cookies

Cran cherry cookies

During my 30 Day Challenge, I’ve been seeking out healthy snacks. While perusing the grocery store one day, I discovered these healthy cookies – they are so delicious, but I also thought that I could easily make them myself at home and control the ingredients (and of course it would be much cheaper to make them myself). I found this recipe online, and made a batch for my book club a couple of weeks ago. They had good flavor, but were very dry. I asked my friend Kelly (who happens to be vegan and an amazing cook) what I could do to help the cookies, and she suggested adding some applesauce for moisture, and a dash of vanilla for some more flavor and sweetness.

So I tweaked the recipe with her suggestions, and made a batch over the rainy weekend. I’ve got to say, the recipe is nearly perfect now. The added applesauce really helped to moisten them, and I decided to add in some dried cherries as well for extra flavor (I upped the amount of dried fruit and nuts a bit so the cookies had more texture). The biggest win was that they got the hubby stamp of approval 😉 I’m even going to make some for our long flight to New Zealand!

Tip: Besides using these as a snack, grab 2 or 3 for an easy breakfast, or pop one before a workout for an energy boost.


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats (traditional oats, not quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together oats, cranberries, cherries, almonds, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together almond butter, maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well. Adjust accordingly by adding more oats or more applesauce if needed to get to desired consistency. All of the oats should be coated in the wet ingredients, and should stick together to form a small ball when rolled in the hand.
  5. Drop cookies (about the size of a golf ball) onto a non-greased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The recipe yields approximately 15 cookies.

Let me know if you give this recipe a try! Do you have any favorite healthy snack recipes?

xoxo,
Veronica

The Softest Sneakers You’ll Ever Wear

I’ve been in the market for some good walking/traveling shoes, but just hadn’t found exactly what I was looking for – something comfortable, yet stylish as well. And with an upcoming trip to New Zealand fast-approaching, I needed to find something soon.

Womens Product_Natural Grey

I was browsing Facebook last night and saw this picture (above) of a pair of sneakers that looked like they were made of sweatshirt material. I knew I had to investigate further, because who wouldn’t want to wear sweatshirts on their feet, am I right?!

Well I was close – these runners from Allbirds are made from superfine merino wool, sourced from a small farm in New Zealand and spun in an Italian mill. So it’s basically like wearing an expensive sweater on your feet (that’s actually not that expensive) and regulates temperature and wicks moisture at the same time. The sole is made from a proprietary blend of low-density foam called EVA (super light-weight) that is mixed with a special rubber to increase friction so you don’t slip in the rain. But what’s even better is that the shoe is machine washable so it’s super easy to keep clean and looking brand new.

New Zealand sheep

I love the concept of creating an innovative fabric from a naturally occurring resource. The merino has a carbon footprint that is 60% smaller than typical synthetic materials used in shoes, and the wool is ZQ-certified, which means it meets stringent standards of sustainable farming and animal welfare. In other words, no sheep were harmed in the making of these shoes.

So I jumped online this morning to order them, and chatted with Joey (one of the founders) to make sure I was ordering the right size. I usually wear a 9.5 (sometimes 10) in sneakers, but since these shoes have a bit of stretch in them, he recommended I try the 9 first. And get this – he said if the 9’s were too small, they’d ship a pair of 10’s to my hotel in New Zealand to make sure I’d have them on my trip. How about that for great customer service?!

close up sneaker on foot

I can’t wait to take these out on the road and put them through the true travel test in their own land of origin. I’ll be sure to write an update on my experience with them. What do you think about these sneakers, would you give them a try?

xoxo,
Veronica

Oscars 2016 Best and Worst Dressed

Well fashionistas, it’s the end of awards season. The Oscars bring out the stylists’ big guns, and we expect full-on Hollywood glitz and glamour. The stars didn’t disappoint, and I was glad to see a couple of risks on a night that many play it safe. Here are my best and worst dressed picks below.

BEST DRESSED

White dresses had their moment this year, as well as plunging necklines.

best dressed 1.jpg

Brie Larson in Gucci – Such a beautiful and feminine dress. The sheer fabric along the bust created the perfect balance of sexy and classy, and the belt really pulled the whole outfit together and added a wow factor. I was also in love with her hair and want to try the pulled back look with simple twists on myself sometime.

Olivia Wilde Valentino Haute Couture – I think there will be some mixed opinions on this one, but I had to put her on the best dressed list purely for the gorgeous back detail on this dress (I’ll call them “wings”). The architectural pleats are modern and chic, and the choker is on-trend (they’re supposedly making a huge comeback).

Naomi Watts in Armani Privé – I just couldn’t get over the colors of this dress as she walked down the carpet – simply stunning. She took a risk and it definitely paid off. The only thing I would change is to give her a simpler, more modern necklace – the one she has on is a little prissy for this dress.

Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture – A beautiful woman in a bright red dress with a plunging neckline…do I need to say more? Simple and stunning.

best dressed 2

Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad – I like that she went in a different direction with the white dress trend and chose a beautiful white lace/beaded accent with a sheer underlay dress. She accessorized with huge diamond earrings and rings and an edgy belt that all went together beautifully.

Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein Collection – I wasn’t sure about the mismatched earrings at first, but when I heard the story behind her jewelry and dress (she chose the green to honor Ireland, both the subject of her film and her home as a child) I got on board with the overall look. The color of green she chose is stunning and the dress fits her well.

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell – One of the only women to show up in pants. I love the architectural structuring around the bust. I’m still not a fan of her hair (wig?) and makeup, and wish she would just go with something more natural looking. When you see her grouped with other women like this, you can see how her hair and makeup never looks as natural and effortless as other starlets.

Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé – I can guarantee this dress will have some mixed feelings as well (like Olivia Wilde’s dress). But you can’t deny how perfect the color is on Cate. I also appreciate how different this dress was from everything else on the carpet. I wish the appliques on the shoulders were less pronounced, but other than that her look is perfection.

WORST DRESSED

When it comes to worst dressed, the Oscars don’t tend to be as shocking as other awards shows, as everyone tries to bring their A-game. However, there were still enough ill-fitting garments and what-were-you-thinking dresses (looking at you Heidi Klum) to compose a worst dressed group.

worst dressed 1

Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton – The color is fun on her, but many said it was reminiscent of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I think that hi-lo hem is a little overplayed, and the whole thing just felt too princess-y with all of the glittering crystal accents and accessories. It made her appear much younger than her 27 years.

Kerry Washington in Atelier Versace – A little too dominatrix for the Oscars. The straps at the top look amateur with the unflattering neckline, and I don’t think the black accents on the white skirt are flattering on her.

Whoopi Goldberg in Dames of New York – I appreciate her making the effort and wearing a dress (as she’s usually in pants), but the neckline is not flattering on her body. It’s based on a dress that Bette Davis wore in All About Eve, but it just doesn’t work well on Whoopi. The black color is also too severe on her – a bright jewel tone would have been so pretty.

Heidi Klum in Marchesa – By far the worst. It looks like a nightmare bridesmaid dress that always ends up in movies (you know, the ones you would never think anyone would actually make their friends wear in real life). The flowers, the awkward billowy one sleeve, the unflattering poufiness of the layered tulle skirt…the list goes on. Just bad.

worst dressed 2.jpg

Mindy Kaling in Elizabeth Kennedy – This dress isn’t the worst, but the bust area just looked so tight and constricted on her. It also feels a little matronly for an actress still in her 30s. But I love the pop of blue with the otherwise simple black gown.

Andra Day in SAFiYAA – The bust on this dress is so ill-fitting it’s not even funny. Why is it so droopy? What is going on in there? The dress is also way too long and needed to be hemmed, as it’s pooling at the floor.

Reese Witherspoon in Oscar de la Renta – Though the color is beautiful, I’m not a fan of what’s happening in the bust area – the ruffles make the whole area look lumpy. Also, the hip area seems to be pulling and doesn’t look like it’s fitting properly.

Emily Blunt in Prada – There is nothing wrong with a pregnant belly on the red carpet, but I’ve just seen it done much better than this (ie – Chrissy Teigen in Marchesa). The style feels like a high school homecoming dress to me, and the light pink with the empire waist makes it all a little too cutesy for the Oscars. Not the worst, but she could have done better.

Well, that’s a wrap! Did I miss any of your favorites or least favorites?

xoxo,
Veronica

Girlfriend Getaway to the Madonna Inn

Madonna Inn arrival

My best girlfriend currently lives in Los Angeles, so we decided we needed a girls getaway to catch up. One of our favorite bloggers had stayed at the Madonna Inn last year, and ever since then, it’s been on our radar as a must-visit destination. Seeing as it’s almost an even halfway point between SF and LA, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to meet in the middle and stay at this landmark hotel.

Mini Maxi

Stay: Well of course, the Madonna Inn. But more specifically, we chose to spend our 2 nights there in the Mini Maxi room (#146). It is touted on the website as being “ideal for an anniversary, honeymoon or any special occasion,” so the whole weekend we joked we were on a romantic getaway. Romance factor aside, we couldn’t resist the plethora of pink decor and the gigantic rock fireplace that sits directly at the end of the king bed. It also features a rock shower and rock sinks, and a fully equipped Toto toilet that introduced us to the wonderful world of heated toilet seats.

Mini Maxi bathroom

Some honorable mention rooms that also topped our list were: Carin, Love Nest, and of course the Madonna Suite (but it was too pricey for us that weekend).

Pool

Play: Even though I’m sure there are a ton of fun things to do and see in San Luis Obispo, living in San Francisco doesn’t provide many opportunities to hang out at a pool, so I was really excited to get some quality fun in the sun time at the Madonna Inn pool. They have a large pool area with two hot tubs (one adjacent to the pool, and one tucked away near the SPA). When the sun went down, the SPA hot tub was a nice respite from the cool breeze.

Hot tub

We also decided to treat ourselves to a mini spa treatment when we got in on Friday. The Madonna Inn SPA runs specials every month, so we went with one of the February specials called the “Madonna Kiss” – a 45 minute treatment focused on the back, neck, and feet.

IMG_0940.JPG

Eat/Drink: We both love eating and drinking, but wanted to be smart (cheap) about our choices since we were spending so much money on the room itself. We brought some of our favorite drinks to enjoy in the room: fruity beers (Stiegl Radler and Avery Brew Co. Liliko’i Kepolo), white wine (Sauvignon Republic sauvignon blanc), and of course, champagne (Veuve Clicquot and Sophia Blanc de Blancs). We didn’t end up even getting through half of it, but it was nice to have a selection of our favorite drinks on hand. And we both brought some snacks to share in the room so we didn’t have to go out to every meal (protein bars, chips and salsa, hard boiled eggs, pretzels, etc).

Novo restaurant

We basically ended up eating out one meal per day of our 3-day stay which I think was a good balance. Friday night we kept it lo-key and grabbed burritos to go and brought them back to the room, Saturday night we got dinner out in downtown SLO at Novo Restaurant, and Sunday morning we ate at Copper Cafe at the Madonna Inn. Here’s a little summary of the places we ate at:
• Taco de Mexico – Taqueria atmosphere, good for getting burritos to go. Not the best I’ve ever had, but a solid choice if you’re on a budget.
• Central Coast Wines – Go to the back tasting area and try a flight. A downtown tasting room and store convenient to restaurants and shopping (and right near Novo Restaurant).
• Novo Restaurant – The cutest backyard patio (definitely eat outside, they have heat lamps!). We shared the fresh avocado shrimp spring rolls appetizer, and I got the Thai green chicken for dinner (get it with the Forbidden black rice!). Reservations recommended, but you can always grab a drink at the bar while you wait.
• Copper Cafe – We had to try a least one meal at the Madonna Inn, so we opted for breakfast which was cheaper. I went with the Eggs Benedict (with a huge thick-cut piece of ham) and it was legit – I’m very picky about benedicts, and this was a good one. Reservations also recommended here – it was packed, and we opted to eat our breakfast in the bar rather than waiting an hour for a table in the restaurant.

Overall the weekend was so fun, and I’d really love to go back sometime and try a different room (though ours was awesome). And if I had another day there, I’d also like to explore the wine country around SLO a bit more, or even try out one of the many hiking trails in the area.

Have you ever been to the Madonna Inn? What room would you choose?

xoxo,
Veronica

30 Day Challenge Update

CSatt challenge tank

I’m officially past the halfway mark in my 30-day challenge, and I feel amazing. It definitely hasn’t been easy fitting workouts into my schedule 6 days a week (especially when they last from 1-2 hours), but I’ve learned to drag myself out of bed at 5:30am when I have plans after work so that I can still get my workout in.

The food portion of the challenge has been relatively easy. I’ve had the occasional cravings I’ve had to overcome (one day I exclaimed to my husband, “I just want some tortilla chips!!”), but I’ve realized that if I just stay strong they’ll pass, and in the end I feel better for not giving in. Or if I really need a crunchy chip-like snack, there are always rice cakes. I’ve found while watching what I’m eating that we don’t eat out anymore, as it’s just easier to cook at home and control the ingredients going into our food. However, we get one “treat” meal every week, so that’s when we’ll take advantage and go out to dinner or order our favorite takeout.

My biggest takeaway from Cody has been “Stay off the damn scale!” He preaches this constantly, and it’s so true. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you’re lifting weights you might actually end up gaining a pound or two before you start losing the weight. But your body shape will be changing for the better and you’ll be losing inches even if you’re not losing pounds. So the best way to track progress is through before/after pics and body measurements.

I’m really excited to see how I’m feeling at the end of the challenge on March 8th! If this halfway point is any indication, I think “amazing” will only begin to describe it.

xoxo,
Veronica

P.S. Short story about the shirt pictured above – Cody has a saying at the beginning of each challenge that we write on a piece of paper and hold up in our “before” pics. A member of the group found a shirt at Target that had this challenge’s EXACT saying written on it, so of course all of us ran out to buy it. We plan to all wear it in our “after” pics!

Recipe: Ceviche Veracruz

A couple of weeks ago I spent a long weekend in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico at The Cape boutique hotel. I of course experienced lots of amazing scenery, weather, pool time, activities, and cocktails. But beyond that, I discovered that I really love the food in Cabo, specifically the food at The Cape. And even more specifically, their many different variations on ceviche that they serve there. I was addicted, eating it at every meal (even breakfast!). So when the opportunity to take a cooking class with Chef de Cuisine Alex Branch of Manta restaurant at The Cape, I eagerly said yes. And as luck would have it, he was teaching us how to make one of his amazing ceviche recipes. See his recipe for Ceviche Veracruz below!

IMG_0610

Ingredients (makes 4 small bowls of ceviche):

1/4 lb. white fish (should be very fresh and a semi-firm fish, no skin or bones)
1 Tb Kosher salt
4 limes (approx 6 Tb juice)
2 Tb white onion
1 Tb olive oil
1 tsp serrano chile (deveined and deseeded, chopped small)
2 tsp California pepper (sliced thin)
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered)
6 green olives (halved)
2 Tb capers
cilantro (loosely chopped)
1 avocado

Preparation:

  1. Dice fish into approx. 1/2″ cubes and add to a bowl. Cure by adding salt and half of the lime juice and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, add chopped onion, the rest of the lime juice, olive oil, California pepper, and serrano chiles and mix well.
  3. Add in capers (with some of the juice), olives, tomatoes, and cilantro.
  4. Divide ceviche into 4 bowls and finish with cilantro leaves and a wedge of avocado.
  5. Serve while fresh – fish should only marinate in the lime juice 15-30 minutes or it will start to break down too much.

———-

IMG_0839And as if I had to give you another good excuse to make ceviche, Monday (February 22nd) is National Margarita Day! I think ceviche with some tortilla chips would pair perfectly with a nice, cold margarita, don’t you?! And don’t worry, one tip I learned from Chef Branch when it comes to ceviche is that it’s really hard to mess it up. Just add citrus to cure the fish, and any mix-ins that you desire, and you’ve got ceviche! For proof of how easy it is to make, here’s a pic (right) of the ceviche I made at home from Chef Branch’s recipe. Looks pro, right?

What do you think, would you give homemade ceviche a try?

xoxo,
Veronica

Magic comes to SF

Illusionists_LFB_Layered_11x17_FullCastwLogo

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of The Illusionists – Live From Broadway at the SHN Orpheum Theatre. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but came away from the show fully entertained by these masters of illusion.

There are 7 illusionists: The Anti-Conjurer, The Manipulator, The Inventor, The Escapologist, The Trickster, The Weapon Master, and the Deceptionist. Each has their own specialty and performs roughly 2-4 times during the course of the show.

Dan Sperry - The Conjuror and Jeff Hobson - The Trickster

For us (my husband and myself) there were two standouts of the night – the Anti-Conjurer (above left), and the Trickster (above right). Total opposites, the Anti-Conjurer was a dark, gothic character, performing the most shocking of illusions that night. I had to look away at some parts during one of the Anti-Conjurer’s tricks and was literally screaming about what was happening on stage, exchanging looks of shock with my husband. But he was by far one of our favorite acts, so the “eek” factor was worth it. And the Trickster provides levity for the show, acting as the M.C. for the night in an array of flashy costumes and fall-out-of-your-seat-funny tricks and humor. He steals the show with his audience involvement and jokes – I never expected to laugh that much at a magic show!

If you are going to spend the money to see this show, I would recommend trying to book close seats. Even sitting in row R, we wished we could have been closer in to see some of the tricks better. They do have a giant screen on stage that projects the action live for those further away, but it’s always more fun to watch the real action in front of you.

There were only two small letdowns – The Manipulator never made an appearance last night (maybe he was sick?) and the much-touted full view water torture escape by The Escapologist never happened. I would likely chalk it up to opening night technicalities, and would hope both will join the show for the remainder of the SF run. I will note that the Escapologist was there and performed an upside-down straight-jacket escape that was impressive, just not the water escape.

Overall, a night of awe and laughter, recommended to those with a love of magic and illusion – or just for those wanting to try something new.

Illusionists, The: ? Witness the Impossible
Marquis Theatre

If You Go:

When: February 16-21, 2016
Where: Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market Street in San Francisco
Cost: $45 – $212
Running time: 2 hours, including one 15-minute intermission
Age Recommendation: Appropriate for all ages (no children under 5 allowed)

What do you think, does this show sound like something you’d go to?

xoxo,
Veronica

Recipe: Mom’s Baklava

finished-baklava

You can’t beat one of mom’s recipes, especially if that recipe has been handed down through generations. My mother’s baklava recipe, that she first learned while visiting relatives in former Yugoslavia, has become quite famous among family and friends and is always requested at dinner parties and celebrations. I have begun my own tradition with the recipe, making it for my husband on special occasions. He and his friends have claimed it is the best baklava they have ever tasted, and I have to agree.

If you’re looking for a treat to bake for your significant other this Valentine’s Day, why not take a break from the usual cookies or brownies and try this baklava recipe? There’s nothing like homemade baklava, and your sig other will appreciate all of the effort you’ve put into making something special for them.

{Mom’s Baklava}
Ingredients:
1 pound frozen phyllo sheets
1 cup melted butter

for the filling:
2 cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans or a mix of the two
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8  teaspoon cloves

for the syrup:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

chopped-nuts

Directions:
1. Thaw phyllo pastry and separate the sheets according to package directions. Most packages will say to cover the phyllo with plastic wrap and a damp towel to keep the sheets from drying out.
2. Transfer half of pastry sheets one by one onto a greased cookie sheet or rimmed pan, brushing each sheet quickly and all over with melted butter (make sure to fully cover the edges with butter).
3. Combine nuts, 1/3 cup sugar, cloves, and cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered pastry (I made slightly more of the filling and did two layers).
4. Place remaining sheets on top, brushing each with melted butter.
5. Cut baklava pastry into squares or diamonds, but leave the bottom layers uncut. Bake at 350° until slightly  golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine remaining 3/4 cup sugar, honey, 1 cup water, and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Boil baklava syrup for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until syrupy.
7. When both the syrup and baklava have cooled a bit, pour 1/2 of the syrup over the baklava. Let it soak in for about an hour. Then cut thru the uncut layers of dough, and pour the rest of the syrup over the baklava.
8. Let the baklava soak up the syrup about 5 hours or overnight before you serve them, either on plates or in cupcake holders.

work-station

{Phyllo dough work station}

brushing-phyllo

{Brush butter over the edges and work lightly inward}

filling-mixture

{Combine chopped nuts with sugar, cloves, and cinnamon}

filling-layer

{Once halfway through phyllo sheets, add filling mixture}

cut-baklava

{Cut pastry halfway through before baking – it will make for easier and cleaner cuts later}

baklava-syrup

{Pour syrup over pastry after it’s finished baking}

baklava-plated

Let me know if you try out the recipe! Do you have any favorite desserts to bake for loved ones and special occasions?

xoxo,
Veronica

CSATT Fitness 30 Day Challenge

I’ve taken the plunge, and decided to join the CSATT Fitness 30 Day Challenge. The days of winter hibernation and comfort foods have come to and end, and it’s time to start thinking about swimsuit season and just getting into better shape in general.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 11.32.25 AM

If you’re not familiar with CSATT Fitness, it was founded by none other than Cody Sattler (pictured above) of The Bachelor franchise (he appeared on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise). He was best known for his killer physique and his upbeat and positive personality. So what better person to start a fitness empire that’s based on a community of positivity!?

This community, known to members as the “Fit Fam,” is what really makes the whole challenge so special. There’s a private Facebook page that members comment on everyday, all hours of the day, motivating each other and sharing pictures and words of encouragement. This family helps with accountability and also helps to answer any questions you may have while working out or about the nutrition plans.

csatt fitness

So what exactly is the challenge? It’s basically a workout and nutrition plan that lasts for 30 days. By joining, you get:
– Two 30 day workout challenge programs customized for either novice or intermediate/advanced levels that maximize fat loss and muscle growth
– Video guides for every exercise with Cody demonstrating proper form and technique
– 30 day nutrition plans, including meal-by-meal breakdowns and preparation tips
– Nutrition and training e-book
– Live SpreeCast with Cody every Sunday night where he answers questions
– Daily motivational blogs from Cody
– Access to the private Facebook page.

Oh yeah, and it’s also a contest – you take full-body pics at the beginning and end, and Cody determines a top 10 best transformations. From that, voting determines first place ($5,000) and second place ($1,000). Below is the winner from the last challenge – pretty amazing right?

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 11.32.00 AM.png

My favorite part of the program is that the workouts can all be done at home, and the whole plan only costs $69 for the month. Pretty good deal for a personal trainer and nutrition plan! My challenge started on Monday, and lasts until March 8th. Wish me luck! I did the program last April and lost 12 pounds and several inches all over, so I’m hoping for great results again!

What do you think, would you give it a try? Do you have a favorite workout program?

xoxo,
Veronica