5 Big Benefits of Morning Workouts

As I sit here, procrastinating my morning workout, I ponder all of the reasons that I should get up and get moving. I have no doubt that I’ll feel 1,000 times better when it’s done. What is it about a good morning workout that makes us feel superhuman, anyway? Actually, quite a lot…

  1. Exercise awakens us in the best possible way – blood pumping, brain working, body moving. Your energy level will be higher and you’re less likely to hit that mid-day slump, even hours after you sweat. Endorphins are a beautiful thing and can make or break a productive, rewarding, enjoyable day. So, lace up those sneakers and move! And, make sure it’s a workout that you actually enjoy to reap double benefits, mentally and physically.
  2. Burn ALL day. Thanks to EPOC, (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) the body works extra hard to restore and rebuild muscles, increasing metabolism for up to 14 hours post-workout! So, hit it hard for at least 30 minutes and burn more calories for more hours!
  3. Start the day on the right foot. Completing a morning workout will empower you to tackle the rest of your day head on, tackling your to-do list like a champ. Just as you accomplished that workout and crush your fitness goals, you’ll crush your life goals too.
  4. Food is fuel. Your post-workout meal will be used to replenish your muscles and provide you with lasting energy. Had you rolled out of bed, had a big breakfast, and sat at your desk all day, that meal would more likely be stored somewhat as fat instead of fuel. Your body is a machine – keep it moving, keep it fueled, and it will continue to operate well for you.
  5. Sleep better. Not only will you wake up and metabolize food more efficiently, you’ll also wind down and sleep deeper at night. Working out in the evening will awaken your mind and body and can put your body in a state of stress, setting you up for a night of tossing and turning. Following a morning workout, your body (and mind) can rest peacefully and wake up to do it again the next day.

Of course, if you work out in the morning, it’s DONE for the day, a weight off your shoulders…but is it such a bad thing to workout later in the day?? You know what they say: “you’ll never regret a workout.” If you’re not a morning person or cannot fit it into your AM schedule, get it done on your own time because something is better than nothing. To maximize benefits and feel healthier all-around; however, I highly recommend incorporating a few morning workouts into your weekly schedule. If you’ve never been a morning exerciser, start now and you’ll form a new healthy habit in just a few weeks. It’s not black and white, either, you don’t have to do a class or get to the gym. Even just 15-20 minutes of morning yoga in your pajamas or walking to work in the morning will make a difference. PLUS, you’re less likely to skip, cancel, or rush your fitness routine in the morning. Speaking of which, I’m off to workout…why? See #’s 1-5 above!

One Healthy Breakdown: no excuses this morning, get it done!

December’s Tiny Change: Move Your Body Every Day

OHH Intro: This month’s #12tinychanges is something near and dear to our heart at OHH; movement and we practice what we preach! This is the perfect tiny change to get out the holiday stress. Read on for Kale & Chocolate’s take on daily movement.

I know what you’re thinking: “it’s the holidays. The last thing I have time for is exercise! I am so, so, SO busy. I barely have time to even think about it!” Trust me, I get it. Hear me out…

First off, let’s call it “movement,” not exercise. A lot of us have negative associations with the word “exercise.” We immediately picture getting chosen last in gym class, dancing awkwardly in the back row of a Zumba class, or taking a beating during bootcamp. Let’s reframe, shall we? What if we simply aim to move our bodies every day—and that movement can take whatever form we like?

moveYour daily movement can be a long walk to the farmer’s market or a hike with the dogs. It can be two hours of raking leaves, an hour of cleaning, or 30 minutes of playing tag with kids. It might even be a one-person dance party in between all the holiday baking. You get the point. Just make it your goal to “move my body every day.”

During the winter—and especially the holiday season—we need to move our bodies more than ever. This is a time when many of us fall out of our routines and make promises to get back on track after the new year. But movement helps us manage the stress of holiday shopping, packed social calendars, and trips to see family. Movement also helps us cope with the inevitable ”seasonal mopes” that accompany lower temperatures and less daylight.

When we move around (in any way), we’re more patient, more focused, and more relaxed—all things that come in handy any time, but especially when you’ve got to wrap 67 presents, attend holiday parties, and travel for hours on crowded roads and packed airports with everyone and their mother!

If you’re ready for this month’s tiny change, here are seven easy ways to make movement part of your daily routine:

1. View it as respite
You’re not “going to that cardio class you hate,” instead you’re “taking a hike in the gorgeous, crisp air.” You’re not “attending that dreaded spin class,” instead you’re “clearing your head with a walk around the neighborhood” or “going to that amazing yoga class.” Rather than thinking of movement as mandatory exercise, think of it as time away from all the tasks and to-do lists to clear your head. Movement can be a break and a breather, not an obligation.

2. Give yourself the right fuel
It’s hard to move your body when you haven’t nourished it properly. Make it easier by loading up on proper fuel. I swear by a tasty bowl of oatmeal, berry good bars, pumpkin bread, or even chocolate squares. Stay hydrated and help out those sore muscles with a green smoothie. Or go for the ever popular avocado toast—and add an egg or other nutritional boosts to help refuel and recover.

IMG_19643. After you’ve moved your body, notice how good you feel
That serene, accomplished feeling you have after you’ve moved your body? Notice it. Do you have more energy? Are your endorphins running? Acknowledge the feeling. Say to yourself “I feel great and that’s because I moved my body.” When you mentally pair a positive emotion with a physical act, you’re more likely to make it a part of your daily life!

4. Rather than meeting for drinks, meet your friends to move
It’s cheaper, it’s healthier, and it’s a great way to bond. Just get outside wherever you are. Walk around town, meet for a run, head to a fun class, or bundle up on a stroll along the beachfront. If it’s really too cold, take it inside and cruise around the mall before it opens (window shopping optional!)

5. Embrace winter and the unique activities that go with it
Instead of hunkering down and hibernating, what if we welcomed the snow and ice with open arms? Colder temperatures bring activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and ice-skating!

6. Do more of your favorite active hobbies
I bet movement is already part of your life—maybe you’re taking fitness classes or playing with your pups. What if you simply did more of what you’re already doing? Add another weekly sculpt workout, get on your mat every afternoon for 10 minutes, or tack-on an extra few miles to your bike ride. If you’ve found something that works for you, do it more!

7. Remember that every step counts + you’ll never regret moving your body
When your calendar is overflowing and you can’t fit in an hour-long workout, it’s easy to throw in the towel and throw yourself on the couch. Try an at-home workout that fits into your schedule. If you don’t have time or you’re not in the mood, just add a tiny bit more movement to your day—take the stairs, park further away, add two more blocks when you walk the dogs. They all add up!

And if you need a movement pep talk? No one ever says, “Ugh, I sure wish I hadn’t hiked to that beautiful overlook” or “starting my day with yoga was such a terrible idea!” Once you get moving, you’ll be glad you did. Doing creates more doing—a little bit of intention and movement affects everything. You’ll feel like a happier & more energetic version of yourself all day long!

Kale & Chocolate will be giving away some great prizes to get your endorphins pumping! To enter, simply share your movement on instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges and tag (and follow!) @kaleandchocolate and @hamptonskiley.

One Healthy Breakdown: movement is medicine, so get moving!

Wedding Highlights

I’m so excited to share some highlights from the best day of my life with you! On October 4th, 2014, I married the love of my life, the guy who introduced me to the Hamptons, and my other half…my *husband*! Our wedding day just so happened to be exactly five years (to the day!) that we met. What an amazing five years it has been and I can’t wait for the next five!

View More: http://jennymoloney.pass.us/sabatinoWedding highlights:
1. My MOB (mother of the bride) & FOB (father of the bride.) I couldn’t have imagined or executed a better wedding, beginning to end, and I owe that to my amazing parents MOB & FOB! My mom doubled as my wedding planner/organizer/queen of spreadsheets/idea executor/stress diminisher. She made my dream wedding come true when I couldn’t even really visualize what that was. I owe my wedding planner, aka my amazing mother, lots of thanks for years and years to come. Plus, she looked like a rock star on the big day too!

10712775_904298870773_1508989522148051660_nMy dad kept me cool, calm, and collected during those key moments, as if it was just the two of us in the room. One of the most special moments in a girl’s life is walking down the aisle and dancing with her father at her wedding. I had dreamed about these moments since the first time I saw Father of The Bride and I will remember them forever and always. I can’t stop listening to the song we danced to (Walk With You by Edwin McCain) and it takes me back to that day and a lifetime of memories.

10408817_594935880618586_1879594273773841636_n2. The guy. I have no idea how I got so lucky as to meet my *husband* but I do know that fate played a serious role. We met randomly at a bar in NYC while I was visiting my friend in grad school and he was out with friends. Positive that it would be my last trip to NYC for a long while, (not such a city girl here) I told my *future husband* that I would never see him again. His response: “never say never.” Lesson learned. Although, at the time, it seemed we were just two people at the wrong place at the wrong time, I’ve never been so wrong. Although I couldn’t have dreamed of a better life as we live today, I would have never imagined it as is. Fate is real, folks, you better believe it.

View More: http://jennymoloney.pass.us/sabatino3. The welcome. From the moment my wedding planner (mom) and I began planning the big day over a year ago, we started brainstorming the perfect way to welcome our guests. I wanted it to stand out as original, personal, and from the heart. It took months to put together the perfect collection of goodies that would embrace, please, surprise, and satisfy our wedding guests upon their arrival. We personally packaged gift boxes with a welcome letter (including engagment photos from Kate Petrone Photography and Jenny Moloney Photography) and the following gifts we described as “a few of our favorite things, tastes of our favorite places, and bits and pieces of where we call home:”  Tate’s chocolate chip cookies, (yum!) a PB&J Bar made by Lisa Ann’s Desserts, (an upgraded version of our favorite sandwich – a must try!) Wolffer’s white wine cider, Cape Cod Potato Chips and a lobster lollipop for some Boston flair, Hershey kisses, and a green apple (our favorite healthy snack.)

FullSizeRender(1)4. The company. The two common bits of advice we got heading into our wedding were that it’s over in the blink of an eye, so be sure to soak it all in and the realization of loved ones from all walks of life, near and far, young and old, all in the same room to celebrate your marriage. So, so amazing.

FullSizeRender(2)5. The scheme and theme. To be honest, I always pictured myself getting married during the summer months, outside, near the water. Well, things change and I couldn’t have imagined a better day (the clouds and drizzle didn’t put a damper on anything!) As soon as we decided on our wedding date, autumn in New England opened up such fun possibility. From the amazing poppy colored flowers to the pumpkin place settings, candy apples and gingerbread whoopie pies, the taste of fall, warmth of the season, and essence of love radiated throughout the night.

FullSizeRender_16. The ceremony. Since the very first wedding I remember attending almost 20 years ago, I’ve always gotten nervous right before the ceremony. I’d only imagined that the pit in my stomach would double when it was my time to walk down the aisle. But, guess what…I really wasn’t nervous for my own wedding. I was content, ready, and full of excitement. I couldn’t wait to walk arm-in-arm down the aisle with my father. I couldn’t wait to stand there with my *husband to-be* and say our I do’s. As soon as our priest (who is also a family friend) began to speak, I fully relaxed and a smile appeared on my face that lasted the entire ceremony…actually, the entire weekend. The fact that the ceremony included personal stories, humor, and lots of smiles made it that much more special.

1959281_904290547453_7805848216804552830_n7. The dress. I fell in love with that dress the moment I saw it and I knew it was the one. I said yes to the dress and never looked back. Now, if only I could wear it more often…!

389571251406931143_n8. The memories that will last a lifetime.

View More: http://jennymoloney.pass.us/sabatinoOne Healthy Breakdown: this bride feels blessed to the moon and back, thanks to all who made it possible!

*HUGE thanks to iphone photographers and the fabulous Jenny Moloney Photography for pics!

August Mermaid Challenge

Here she is, the last monthly challenge of the summer! Mermaids are only appropriate. This move strengthens abs, obliques, and legs all at the same time! Save, pin, or print the calendar and complete throughout the month. Here’s how to mermaid: lay on your side, head on one arm. Lift legs slightly off floor and cross ankles. Lift and lower legs, keeping straight and together (using abdominal muscles) for time allotted. Then flip to the other side and repeat, working yourself up to one minute on each side! Stay strong, tight, and focus on the abs. Bring it on, August.

One Healthy Breakdown: get ready to channel your inner mermaid this month!

Plank Your Way Thru May!

Let’s plank our way into summer with this new monthly challenge! Planking works and strengthens the entire core, developing functional strength we need for daily activities. While working the abs primarily, planking also strengthens the back, which prevents injury. We’ll work ourselves up to a 90 second plank by June! Just print, pin, or save this calendar and plank your way thru May!May Plank ChallengeOne Healthy Breakdown: By Memorial Day, your abs will thank you for planking!

Love Grace Juice Cleanse – Sunlight in a Bottle

I recently tried Love Grace Foods‘ three-day juice cleanse. This was my first ever juice cleanse and guess what? I survived! …a little cleaner, greener, and lighter from all of that bottled sunlight! Love Grace shipped me (door to door service from NYC!) five full juices plus a ginger bomb for each day. Allow me to introduce you to the colorful wonders: Super Cider, Purify, Restore, Green Sunshine, and Longevity Tonic. With names like these, you know it’s made with love.

lovegraceAlthough I liked some juices more than others, I loved the variety of organic ingredients. I loved knowing that I was truly eating (well, drinking) a rainbow, with about 20-30 varieties of fresh produce daily, way more than I would ingest normally. Although the cleanse provides a calorie deficit, each and every one has nutritional value and is instantly absorbed due to the nature of Love Grace’s juicing. This isn’t a ‘get skinny fast’ cleanse, it’s SO much more. Love Grace’s ingredients don’t just flush the body out, but also replenish the good stuff we need long-term, like cancer and Alzheimer fighters.

Juicing is detoxifying, cleansing, rejuvenating, and inspiring. This cleanse was just the refreshing kick I needed. Speaking of kick, these cold-pressed, organic, raw, juices pack a powerful punch. Like that blink a few times, woah that’ll wake ya right up! Especially that ‘Ginger Bomb Elixer,’ it’s packed with anti-bacterial and antiviral ingredients to rev the metabolism and up your energy, preventing the body from slowing down due to the lack of calories. The shot is super intense, yet totally refreshing.

photo 1 My favorites included the Purify, (breakfast of super greens sweetened with coconut water) Super Cider (apple, carrot goodness) and, of course, the Chocolate Superfood Smoothie (banana, flax, cacoa, goji berries, dates, and more.) This Chocolate Smoothie literally got me through the cleanse, it made it all worth it – the chocolately light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, Love Grace allows customers to customize their cleanse and purchase juice a la carte. Good news for me, now that I’ve tried them all out and picked my faves. Hello, chocolate for dinner everyday.

photo 3In all seriousness though, these daily protein smoothies provide the sustenance an active body needs. Made of way more than just produce, they’re thick and satisfying. The superfood smoothies and the ginger bombs are what set Love Grace apart from all of other juice cleanses on the market, and that I like.

The other huge perk of juice cleansing was the convenience factor. With a fridge stocked with juice, I didn’t have to think about grocery shopping, meal planning, or cooking. I happened to be attending an all day Re:TREAT while I was cleansing, which conveniently allowed me to focus 100% of my attention, instead of having to think about prepping and packing meals. I cleansed in every sense of the word; physically and mentally.

So, I bet you’re dying to know: was I hungry? Yes. Not even going to lie, at times I was starving, but not to the point that it effected my body other than a grumbling tummy. I didn’t get headaches or lightheaded, not even from the torture of replacing my normal morning coffee with peppermint tea. I didn’t go to bed starving and I made it through intense workouts just fine.

So, was it worth the hunger pangs, lack of snackin’, and coffee cravings? Yes. It was worth it to wake up feeling lighter, cleaner and leaner throughout the entire day, and it gave me a new appreciation for everything I put in my mouth. Plus, the results didn’t reverse themselves (even after my much-anticipated post-cleanse breakfast of *healthy* pancakes.)

One Healthy Breakdown: Yes, I’d absolutely juice with Love Grace again, but next time around, I’ll probably customize my own cleanse. If you’re looking for an easy, reliable first cleanse or even a long-term healthy upgrade, (made with love) check out Love Grace Foods.

What’s a Spirit Junkie Sati?!

Yesterday was one of those days. One of those life-altering days I’ll never forget. I spent the day with Gabby Bernstein and Patricia Moreno at The Surf Lodge for their second annual Spirit Junkie Sati (#spiritjunkiesati.) Amazingness. In the sun. On the bay. In Montauk. On a yoga mat. Making history.

photo 3Gabby kicked off the morning with Kundalini Kriyas – sets of exercises, with both physical and physiological meaning and purpose. Just hearing Gabby speak can put you at ease. Doing yoga with her, that’s a whole other story. Our first Kriya is meant to bust through blocks, to bust through what holds you back in life. Another Kriya strengthened the spine; as Gabby explained, a healthy spine is a healthy life.

photo 1Having been lucky enough to have gotten to know Gabby a bit and being halfway through May Cause Miracles, I was excited to learn what Kundalini Yoga is all about. As opposed to classic yoga, which is usually more individually up to interpretation, Kundalini yoga speaks to one purpose at a time. There is a Kriya for everything. I mean everything. Look it up. Try one. As Gabby says, expect miracles.

Then, Gabby had us do something amazingly effective. A tool I will definitely keep in my back pocket and use often. You should too. To wrap up our Kundalini hour, we “shook it out” and we shook it good. Sitting on our yoga mats, we shook our arms overhead for three + minutes. We shook all of the crap that holds us back, all of the negativity, all of the problems, the constant sadness on the news, the anger, the pain, the resentment…any of that heavy stuff that weighs us down…SHAKE IT OUT! Seriously, try it now. Standing or sitting cross legged, with your arms overhead, knowing you’re getting it all OUT. Shake all that stuff you don’t need right out the tips of your fingers. Shake furiously. Even yell a little if you want to or blast some really loud music if you want. Get it all out. And then breathe, regroup, and start fresh. Phew.

After about an hour of Kundalini, we broke for an amazing lunch thanks to Byron – The Surf Lodge’s Restaurant (which I must say has jumped to my top 10 list.) The food is fresher than fresh, simple, delicious, healthy, and even better, local! If you’re ever in or around Montauk, definitely stop in to Byron at The Surf Lodge for a meal. Just a heads up, if you’re there on a weekend, it’s packed…and I mean PACKED. Be prepared to relax on the bay and have a few drinks. If I were you, I’d make a day of it. In fact, I often do.

photo 5After a nice long lunch, Patricia (two words: ROCK STAR) graced the stage. From the moment she opened her mouth, the energy was astounding. Contagious. Mind-blowing. And pretty freaking awesome. She put us on the spot and I’m going to do the same to you: spend one minute (yes, 60 whole seconds) telling someone how great you are, the awesome things you do, how much you love your body and yourself, the obstacles you’ve overcome…Can you do it? Can you spend 60 seconds saying only good things about yourself? I couldn’t either. A minute of self-promotion is HARD. But, a minute of complaining would be easy as pie, right?! That’s her point, that’s what Patricia turns upside down: the fact that we’ve been trained to think and speak more negatively than positively, which often holds us back from pure bliss, greatness, and self-love. As Patricia said: “it’s inspiring to hear people thrive. Just like negative thought can make us negative people, positive thoughts can turn that right around. What thought has done, thought can undo.” Amen, sister. Think, say, and do better for yourself and better things will come. Really, they will. Gabby and Patricia said so.

Patricia invented IntenSati, an aerobic workout NEVER been done before. It’s dance, cardio, yoga, martial arts, intervals, oh and loud and proud affirmations all at the same time. No, you haven’t done something like this before. There is nothing like this workout. IntenSati is a workout for the mind just as much as the body. It’s a cleanse, a detox, an inspiration, an enlightening. There really are no words, just find a class and DO IT, trust me. And, if you come upon a future Spirit Junkie Sati lead by Patricia and Gabby, DO IT. Trust me. And if you stumble upon something that sounds cool that you kinda want to do, but aren’t sure what to expect, something the fearless version of you would do in a heartbeat, DO IT. Trust me.

photo 5One Healthy Breakdown: That’s Patricia’s awesome sweatshirt. Sunny and happy, just like our Spirit Junkie Sati. Oh, and I’m sore. Between Gabby’s 26 frog poses and Patricia’s powerful punches, my body hurts, I’m beyond exhausted, and I’m totally enlightened.photo 4