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San Francisco in Photos

Sanfranciscophotos

The other day I was looking through pictures on my computer and stumbled upon some pics I took a few years ago when the bro and I went on a fun, impromptu trip to San Francisco!

This trip was the first time I had ever visited California. I still sometimes think about how much fun it was. We did as much as we could fit into one weekend. We rented bikes and rode across the Golden Gate bride (word of advice – don’t wear jeans for that), we took a bus tour through Muir Woods, had a delicious and healthy lunch in Sausalito, toured Alcatraz prison, spent an afternoon at Fisherman’s Wharf, rode the trolly all day long like little children and rounded out the weekend with a quick stop at At&t park.

San Francisco is such a beautiful city. I must say it reminds me of a more beautiful New York City since the bay area is just so lovely and the city has tons to do. If you ever have the opportunity to go visit, I highly recommend it.

Here are some highlights from my trip!

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A view of Alcatraz from the top of a very steep hill!

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Brian at the bottom of Lombard Street

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At the top of the Golden Gate Bridge during a bike ride

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A fun panoramic picture outside of At&T park. I will be back to watch the Mets play here!

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“Broadway” cell block inside Alcatraz

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My favorite picture by far

Muirwoods

The tallest tree in Muir Woods, fallen to the ground

TrollySelfie

A selfie on the trolly

Since we had never been to San Fran before this trip, we booked an 8 hour tour bus that made a bunch of different stops and even dropped us off in Sausalito for lunch. If you’re traveling to a new city I highly recommend booking a tour bus so you can take in a bunch of different parts of the city in one day.

Have you ever been to San Francisco before? What is your favorite part about traveling with family?

xox

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Whole 30 Seminar

OK guys, I am kicking off 2015 by prioritizing my health and challenging myself to do something I have never done!

whole 30 productive girl 5

I’m doing the Whole30! AH!

I know you might be sick of hearing your friends or bloggers talk about the whole 30. I know I hear a lot of people talking about it for sure, even BrosBeingBasic caught on, so I promise NOT to blog about it too much with the exception of a check-in here or there. I do want to let you know why I decided to do this for anyone wondering if the Whole 30 is for you..

For months now I have been working really hard in the gym (hard being a relative term because for me I’ve never been one to work hard in the gym, like EVER) but my diet has been just, EH. I eat pretty healthy, but I have a few habits I’d like to kick before I head into what I believe is going to be the best year of my life! For example, at around 4pm I almost always hit up the chocolate drawer in my office without fail. I also have a ridiculous sweet tooth and hardly say no to dessert when I go out to eat with friends. I want to finally have a healthy balance and a sense of control over my way of eating that contributes to further progress in the gym. I know the Whole30 is amazing at helping kick cravings and I think it will be just what I need to reset.

So, when my gym announced they wanted to do a Whole30 challenge starting in January and get a bunch of people to do it together, I figured this was the perfect time! I know I am much more successful at certain things when I have a community of people for support so this seems like the best time to try.

A few weeks ago, Melissa Hartwig, the co-founder of the Whole 30 hosted a seminar at our gym and gave us all the tips and tricks we needed to know to start the challenge. She was awesome and so knowledgeable.

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A bunch of Whole 30 sponsors provided samples to all the attendees which have really come in handy for me so far!

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Kettlebell Kitchen, a paleo catering and delivery service, stopped by to provide samples for everyone after the seminar. Their cauliflower “rice” was my fave!

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I’m currently on day 14 of the Whole30 and I’ve got to say, I feel pretty good!! I miss stevia and cream in my coffee, and I am eating a lot of fruit to replace the sugar I was eating before, but overall it is not as hard as I thought it would be. I am still waiting for them abz though. I hope I get there one day!

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the final 2 weeks 😉

Xo, Andrea

 

 

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3 Ways to Help Combat Cravings

I want to take today to chit chat about something I know a lot of people struggle with, myself included.

CRAVINGS.3 ways to help combat cravings productive girl

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Cravings are tough man, and when craving something sweet/salty/whatever, it can be really hard to get past it without giving into it. I’ve been there. Different people struggle with different cravings and they tend to trigger as a result of different circumstances. For me, I crave sweets almost every time I stress out. Some of my friends crave bread, salty snacks or caffeine randomly throughout the day. Whatever it is, the most important thing about taking control of cravings is to understand why they happen in the first place. They happen because our body is most likely deficient in something (like water, vitamins, minerals or nutrients) and our body resorts to craving in order to get back what it’s lacking. Mind blowing, right? This took me years to understand!

Here are some practical tips and strategies to help you take control of your cravings. Try putting these tips into practice the next time you find a strong craving coming on.

1. Drink water first. 

This has been a game changer for me and the biggest defense in taking control of my craving for sweets. Drinking more water will significantly help you with your cravings off the bat. Take this for example: I live on the 6th floor of a 6th floor walk up and for a while whenever I would walk up those stairs I would immediately get a craving for something sweet. I used to think I was hungry and I would just give in and eat something, but I soon realized I wasn’t hungry at all, I was thirsty! I wasn’t drinking enough water throughout the day and as a result I was not hydrated enough. Now, whenever I walk up the stairs I immediately drink a tall glass of water, wait 5 minutes, then check myself again to see if I’m actually hungry. 9 times out of 10, all I needed was the water. Making sure I’m drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day is one of the biggest reasons I am able to keep my cravings at bay.

2. Add more nuts and seeds to your diet.

Nuts and seeds contain a majority of the nutrients our bodies are deficient in when we actually feel a craving coming on. Phosphorous, nitrogen and protein are all found in nuts and seeds and these important nutrients are essential in order to combat cravings of alcohol, bread, coffee and sweets. Since learning this I’ve stocked up on nuts and seeds and keep them in my office, apartment and gym bag. Careful though, nuts and seeds are a bit caloric so make sure to not go overboard.

3. Out of sight, out of mind. 

One of the most helpful ways to combat cravings is to completely remove the foods you crave from your accessibility. I would suggest cleaning out your fridge and throwing away the junk food, bottles of wine, loaves of bread, chocolate bars and anything else that you tend to crave. If it’s easily accessible at work, try stocking up on healthy snacks and keeping them at your desk. If your friends have all your kryptonite foods, ask them to store them away from anywhere you can easily get to them, at least until you feel in control of your cravings enough to be around those foods.

Above all, just remember, you got this!

Have you discovered any valuable tips that helped you eliminate your cravings? If so, would love to hear em’!

-Xo Andrea

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Gift Guide for the Fit Friend

Hi there! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
I know I did and I was grateful to get a few days off from work to head back home for some family time and Christmas shopping.

I’m not usually all about following what other bloggers are putting out there as far as content goes, but since it is Cyber Monday I thought it would be fitting to put together a little gift guide for you. I love this gift guide because I either use or have close friends who use the gifts below and know they are a great gift idea for anyone who is taking their workouts seriously.

Gift Guide for the Fit Friend

1. Class Pass – an excellent gift idea for anyone interested in either switching up their fitness routine by incorporating new classes, or for someone just starting out and wants to see what’s out there without committing to a membership at one gym. I’ve never used Class Pass but a ton of my friends do and they are able to book their favorite classes every month. If I wasn’t an avid Crossfitter I would sign up for sure.

2. FitBit Flex – I have owned a FitBit Flex since February and the best part about it is I can configure it on my iPhone to check out how many steps I’ve walked and I can even track my sleep! Definitely a great gift idea for someone who likes to walk a lot.

3. Yurbuds Inspire Sport Earphones These Headphones! I bought a pair about a year ago and I love them. The rubber shells have literally never let the ear buds fall out of my ear while on a run and they are the only pair I have really liked since I got my iPhone over 3 years ago. I highly recommend for anyone who runs or even if you’re just looking for a pair of headphones.

4. Reebok Women’s R Crossfit Nano 2.0 Training Shoe Ok confession, these are on my wish list. I have never gotten myself a pair of actual Crossfit shoes.. shoes made especially for running and weight lifting. BUT I know I should invest in them because they have extra cushioning in the mid-sole that helps increase stability when not only weight lifting, but also doing squats, box jumps and running. They are also great for any athlete, even those who don’t Crossfit.

5. Purely Elizabeth Granola – Definitely one of my favorite granolas. Elizabeth Stein creates all the recipes for her granola and each one tastes ridiculously good without any ingredients containing gluten or refund sugar. Also, if you subscribe to their website, you’ll receive a fun, quarterly e-magazine for free with amazing recipes and new product info.

6. Fabletics – My friend recently told me about this because she joined and now receives awesome workout clothes each month. This site was created by Kate Hudson and I think it’s such an awesome concept. For a low monthly fee, every month you receive a full workout outfit delivered straight to you. Genius! The clothes are great quality and withstand tough workouts!

Hope you enjoy!!

-Xo Andrea

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3 Tricks to Clinch the Interview

I’m really excited for today’s post because it comes to you straight from one of my nearest and dearest friends, Danielle Beckmann. Danielle is a working actress in NYC and has been for many years, you might recall the video interview we did together here. We met up for coffee recently and talked about how an acting callback is very similar to a job interview. When I read over her guest post for today I was taken back to the times when I interviewed for jobs and wish I had these valuable tips to help me through. Aside from being a pro at clinching callbacks, Danielle is also one of the most caring and passionate women I know who has turned her passion into her new business by recently launching Clinch the Callback. I know you will love her post!
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3 Tricks to Clinch the Interview Productive Girl3 Tricks to Clinch the Interview
By Danielle Beckmann

I go on interviews on a weekly basis because as an actor I am constantly looking for the next job.  I didn’t make big strides in my career until I started to look at my ‘auditions’ or ‘interviews’ as a two-sided conversation. I used to go into the audition room hoping that the casting director would give me feedback and tell me how they wanted me to play the scene. That tactic became stale very quickly, so I decided to shift my approach. Now I walk into an audition room ready to have a conversation about the material and I bring my own thoughts, ideas, and energy into the mix.  The same goes in the business world. Let me share with you my three main tricks to clinch an interview.

1. Be Curious

On top of being prepared for the interview (that’s a give-in), try walking into the room with a curious spirit. People like to talk about themselves. If you walk into an interview and just talk about yourself & your credentials, your interviewee will get bored. Snoozefest! However, if you ask them where they’ve studied, how long they’ve been with the company, how it fulfills their life, etc, you will learn a lot more about them. In return, they will open up to you without even knowing why. (You sly fox!)

2. LIG

Let It Go! When you walk out of an interview, know that you did all that you could, and now you have to LIG. Let! It! Go! You accomplished what was in your control, and you did it darn well. DISCLAIMER: You might not book the job because of extraneous forces, but now you can move forward knowing that you made a great impression, and your reputation will soar for future interviews. Word gets around, so if you’re not booked on the current job, there’s a huge chance that you will be called in for the next one and book it!

3. The Thank You

There is power in the thank you. After interviews or auditions a lot of people don’t want to be pushy or overstep their boundaries, so they give space to their interviewer. That’s very polite, but polite is not going to get you the job. Be sure to exceed expectations by sending a HAND WRITTEN thank-you note to your interviewee. The note should be simple and perhaps contain something about how the interview process made you feel; include something unique about what happened when you were in the room with that person. Keep it at 3 sentences, super concise and to the point.

I hope these tricks help you book your dream job! Cheers to you!

Danielle Beckmann is the Founder and CEO of Clinch the Callback, the acting coaching business in New York that empowers actors to make bold choices inside and outside the audition room. She also works with students and business executives with public speaking and improvisation.

CTC Rainbow

Contact her here: www.clinchthecallback.com | clinchthecallback@gmail.com

Instagram: ClinchTheCallback
Twitter: @ClinchCallback
Facebook: Facebook.com/ClinchTheCallback

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5 Snapshots

I try to capture as many moments through pictures as I can. I do it because I love looking through my phone days, months, weeks later and having the ability to look back on some of the raw and in-the-moment details of that particular day. The photos tend to be slightly blurred, crooked, dim lit or don’t tell the full story, but I think there is something special about unplanned, spontaneous pictures taken the moment you feel like it.

Thanks to my new and trusty iPhone 6, my camera is phenomenal and takes incredible pics with the press of a thumb, making it easy for me to document moments all throughout this city.

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Yesterday was Veteran’s Day. I watched a few minutes of the 5th avenue parade because I work right on 5th ave. I’ve watched it every year and it always gets me a little choked up with gratitude. Thank you to all who serve or have family members who do. You are more appreciated than you know.

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Excuse my french. I mean, excuse my sidewalk’s french. But, I kind of like the message they are trying to send here & thought it was pretty funny. I see people texting and crossing the street all too often. I think this is one PSA I take seriously every time I pass by.

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My beloved Dunkin Donuts now serves almond milk in their coffee upon request. Kudos to you, Dunkin, for giving us what we have been asking for. So excited, I took a pic of my cup :)

IMG_6222Gramercy Park. I took this pic on a beautiful fall day dreaming about being able to enter this one and only private park in all of Manhattan. Imagine having a New York City park all to yourself? I’ve walked past it a thousand times, but have never been in. Such a travesty. I may or may not have thought about jumping the fence as this was taken.

IMG_6101Post-workout at Staten Island Crossfit. I took a picture to remember how good of a time I had. It was the first crossfit workout my brother and I did together. He was visiting home for the weekend, I asked him to do the workout with me, he agreed and was excited. The owner of the gym even graciously gave us a free class because we were the only two dropping in that weren’t regular members.

Have you taken candid, in-the-moment snapshots before?

-Xo Andrea

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Spinach, Egg & Cheese Sandwich

spinach egg and cheese sandwich

I am a big fan of breakfast. Always have been and always will be. There once was a time when I would crave breakfast to the point where I would jet to the kitchen the minute I woke up, prepare a large breakfast and then continue on with getting ready for the day. Things are different now that I’ve been consistent with crossfit training. My appetite is so regulated now that I don’t have such a ravenous appetite in the morning like I used to. Sometimes it can even take me up to an hour to actually want to eat something, but I never miss breakfast no matter how much I don’t feel like eating anything on a particular morning or how late I am running for work. As cliche as it sounds, breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Without breakfast I know my metabolism is at a stand still, I have to take an energy shot to power through my crossfit workouts, I overload on the afternoon coffee, I can’t focus as well at work and I am just in an overall groggy state come 12pm.

Missing breakfast is not an option for me, and since getting ready in the morning takes forever I have to make sure my breakfast recipes are simple, delicious and packed with nutrition.

One of my favorite breakfasts lately has been this protein-packed egg white sandwich. It’s not only filling and delicious, but also easy on the digestive tract because it’s gluten-free. Translation: it won’t bloat you after eating it, which is glorious, if I do say so myself.

What you need:

– 1 Udi’s gluten-free, whole grain bagel
– 3 Egg whites from 3 eggs, or liquid egg white equivalent
– 2 oz spinach
– 2 Tbsp shredded, cheddar cheese
– 2 Tbsp pesto, for spreading

Directions:

Toast the bagel or heat on a stove top pan. With a separate pan on medium heat, add the spinach and allow it to wilt. Once wilted, add the egg whites and allow them to cook for a few minutes. Then, add the cheddar and cover the pan while turning the heat off. Let the egg sit for a few more minutes. Spread the pesto on the bagel and then take your egg white omelet and add it to the bagel. Cut in half and enjoy!

IMG_1026 IMG_1035-Xo Andrea

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5 Things to Know Before Moving to NYC

5 things to know before moving to NYC

I have lived in Manhattan for the last 2 years and although I’ve lived in New York City for my whole life #StatenIslandGirl, the truth is there are a TON of things I did not know about living everyday life in Manhattan until I finally spent the first year in my apartment.

So, if you’re thinking about taking the leap of faith and moving here, or you’re a local New Yorker living in one of the outer boroughs thinking about moving into Manhattan, below are 5 things I think are worth knowing before you make the move.

1) Test your commute to work before taking that apartment.
My commute to work consists of a 20 minute walk. I am so grateful for my walking commute that sometimes it makes me giddy just thinking about how convenient it is and how lucky I am. When I was first looking to move into Manhattan I almost made the mistake of taking any apartment I could find because I figured, “well, I work in Manhattan and this apartment is in Manhattan so I will have a short commute.” This is not always the case and if you’re not intentional about this when looking for a place to live then your commute can become upwards of 40 minutes just trying to get across town. My recommendation: test your commute before taking an apartment. If you can do this in person, great, if not, test it on google maps (aka my best friend). You might not think this is a major priority, but when you’re commuting to and from work or school 5 days a week, the commute can really get to you, take it from someone who has been there.

2) Convenience is going to become a priority.
One of the things I miss about living in Staten Island is being able to get in my car, drive to Target, conveniently buy all the things I need in one place, and drive home. When living in the city you have to walk to all of the places you would normally drive to so proximity to places like CVS, Duane Reade, the laundromat (if you don’t have a washer and dryer in your building) and the grocery store are all something to keep in mind. Taking advantage of services like Amazon Prime, Seamless.com and Uber will really come in handy too.

3)  Having good friends in close proximity is essential.
This is probably the most important thing to know, friends. It is so important to have close friends, even if it’s just one good friend, living close enough that you can schedule plans to meet each other after work or on last minutes notice. The truth is my friends are the reason I love the city so much. Having people to do life with are what make the city so fun, and when times get tough they are there for you to encourage, support and help you get through it. If you are moving to the city and don’t know anyone, it’s ok! The truth is I didn’t have any close friends living in Manhattan when I moved here either. There are plenty of places to meet people like work, church, the gym, alumni groups, meetups, etc. It might not be instantaneous, but taking the time to get to know people will eventually pay off.

4) Find something to get involved in outside of work.
Ok I don’t want to throw out the “find a hobby and pursue it” card, but that’s kind of what I’m doing here ;). I know it’s hard for a lot of people who have long work hours to commit to something additional, but having something you can call your own is so rewarding when living in Manhattan and will really bring a lot of joy to your everyday life. For me the gym is something I look forward to everyday after work. It’s the one hour during the day when I completely forget about everything and I’m able to clear my mind and relieve stress. For some of my friends it’s meeting for a book club weekly, hosting a dinner and inviting friends, taking a class, seeing a show or going to a happy hour with girlfriends. I think it’s vital to have something you can look forward to, and making it a part of your daily lifestyle is a great thing.

5) Don’t be intimidated.
I think it’s important for people to know this because New York tends to have this stereotype that the people are rude, the hustle is real and the only way to live here is to make a TON of money. The truth is if you strike up a conversation with a stranger on the street, 9 times out of 10 it will be a very pleasant conversation and the person you once thought was a cold New Yorker is now someone who surprised you with their kindness. If you’re lost on the street someone will almost always stop and help you find your way. The people might seem rude and out for themselves, but more often than not it’s just a facade and the people you run into are going through a lot of the same things you are. There are also a ton of ways to save money too, so don’t let the intimidation factor get to you. You can hang here, for sure.

I hope this gave you a little insight into life in NYC! Send me an email if you have any specific questions.

-Xo Andrea

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Crossfit: A Love Story Part II

Crossfit a love story part 2 v2

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In Monday’s post I revealed my best kept secret, my newfound love of Crossfit. For those of you who have never tried Crossfit before I know what you must be thinking, I sound like a crazy girl to actually say I LOVE such a high-intensity workout that involves weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, kettle bells, calisthenics and other exercises. The truth is it’s actually the best part of my day. I like to call it a playground for adults 😉

Crossfit workouts are not easy, and pretty much every time I complete a workout-of-the-day (WOD) I am drenched in sweat or my muscles are really sore, but a Crossfit workout to me is amazing because it’s the only time that I can forget about everything going on throughout the day and completely clear my head, thinking about nothing other than completing the workout.

Each class is one hour long where you’re working out side-by-side with about 20 other people, with one coach and you’re all motivating, supporting and progressing together. Every day the workout is different which is perfect for me since I love variety. I tend to get bored easily. The class is split up into 2 parts, a skill section and the workout-of-the-day section. The skill section is where you learn and work on a particular skill (for example: pull-ups, back squats, front squats, etc.) and the WOD is the actual workout which is intense BUT most of the time under 15 minutes long. #Amen to a workout that is under 15 minutes long!!

I also LOVE that the Crossfit gym is a community. People actually know each others names. It’s more than just go to the gym-workout-leave, it’s like family, and in the concrete jungle that is beyond important. Each week I can see myself getting a little bit stronger. 4 months ago I couldn’t do one back squat that was more than 130 pounds. Here is a video of me doing a one rep max back squat at 145 pounds! Seeing progress is the best part and it makes me excited to keep working towards bigger goals.

The reason I am so excited to share this with you, if you couldn’t tell by my rambling, is because I wholeheartedly feel that everyone can have and love a fitness routine that is right for them. I am not a runner and will never be a runner but for the longest time I tried to be a runner because I thought it was my only option to stay in shape. I thought I would force myself to love it and I would get better. It took me 25 years to find something that fit my personality and personal goals, but I think that there is something out there for everyone that is not only enjoyable, but something that will make you see hashtag results!

So don’t be discouraged if you have not found a fitness routine you can honestly say you love or even like. I promise you it’s out there for you. Do your research, know what you want and don’t want. Like working out in groups? Look for classes. Don’t want to do cardio? Find classes or gyms that focus on strength training. Don’t be afraid of being a beginner, everyone starts as a beginner and if you find a routine and stick to it you’re only going to get better.

Here’s to you!!

-Xo Andrea

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Crossfit: A Love Story

Crossfit a love storyHiii friends, I want to share with you a little bit about what I have been focusing on for the past few months. Something I have been really excited to finally share with you here on my blog:

My recently developed love for Crossfit.

Let me preface this by making a small confession. Prior to 4 months ago I have NEVER really enjoyed working out, ever. Like, at all. Does this make me a terrible healthy lifestyle blogger?

I was a softball pitcher growing up and all throughout college. During my college softball days I would workout with my teammates but that mostly consisted of running workouts I was forced to do! After college I purchased a few workout videos and a gym membership that I used mostly for the cardio machines. But the truth is I was never happy  or motivated while doing any of this. Spending my time isolated in a gym was not something I enjoyed because I was so used to working out in a competitive team environment. I always thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I needed to love running or Pilates like some of my other friends, but that just wasn’t me.

I had heard about Crossfit before but I really knew nothing about it. All I knew is what I saw on ESPN. The guys in the professional competitions are jacked, and rugged and have endurance for days. Same thing for the Crossfit girls. Some of the girls at the Crossfit games have even bigger muscles than the guys! I had a preconceived idea that I couldn’t handle this type of workout so I didn’t even give it a second thought.

One day just a few months ago, after years of talking about getting in my best shape, I made the conscious decision to prioritize my fitness. I was in a desperate place and needed some sort of workout routine to help me feel my best. I Googled Crossfit gyms in NYC, found one near me that was offering a free class, and mustered up the courage to sign up and attend by myself. I needed to take control of my fitness and when I finally made that decision I felt like I was ready to give Crossfit a shot. I needed to take action and do something. I thought this could be my chance to do just that.

So what is Crossfit? In tomorrow’s post I’m going to go into more detail about this workout that has been changing my life and my body and explain more about why I love it so much. Until then, you can check out this cool article that featured some of the members of my Crossfit gym in Men’s Fitness Magazine.

Crossfit confessions

-Xo Andrea

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Hello!

International Association for Health Coaches Member!
Hey! I'm Andrea, the voice behind productive Girl. Right here you will find simple and healthy recipes, and video interviews with incredible women just like you.

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