Having the itch to go to Disney? Let's be honest, who isn't? Every time I end a Disney vacation, I'm already planning my next one. But what if that next one is a few months away? Or maybe even a bit longer? And you just want to feel the magic of walking down Main Street from the comfort of your own home. Seriously nothing beats getting off the plane, and seeing the Disney store in Orlando airport. Or getting to your Disney coach bus to take you to your resort. The first step onto the monorail to the parks. Walking into your favorite park on a sunny Florida morning. Close your eyes and you can almost feel it, like you're there! It's a bittersweet feeling, when all you want is to be in Disney!
Well, I feel you! Disney vacations can cost a pretty penny, but getting some Disney inspiration doesn't have to. There are so many Disney related things you can do for all ages, close by to home. Check out the list below for some ideas!
1. Have a Disney movie marathon
2. Go see a Disney broadway show (The Lion King, Frozen, Aladdin)
3. Go to the Disney store in the mall
4. Make your own homemade Disney treat (Homemade dole whip, Mickey Mouse cupcakes)
5. Make Mickey Mouse waffles (Get it on Amazon, with prime)
6. Watch Disney fireworks show on YouTube
7. Go see the newest Disney film in theaters (Dumbo out now! Aladdin & The Lion King coming soon)
8. Book your next Disney vacation
9. Join a Disney fan Facebook group to talk all things Disney
10. Disney creative project, like make your own ears / t-shirt
11. Attend any pop up Disney themed events ( Mickey Mouse Exhibition NYC, Alice in Wonderland Restaurant in Brooklyn)
12. Make a Disney scrapbook from your last vacation
If you're a Disney fan, going on a Disney vacation then you know it's an absolute must to get some gear before your trip. Before all of my trips, I love to get some new clothing to sport in the parks, along with accessories. I've found that you can find anything Disney, just about anywhere. But I'm more of a one-stop shop type of gal, where I like to shop for it all online and get it shipped directly to me. In this post, I'll let you in on my little secret of where I love to shop for Disney apparel without breaking the bank.
Amazon might be taking over the world, but I'm okay with it. Because they have literally everything you could ever want and need. This is my number one stop especially if I'm doing last minute shopping, thanks to Amazon Prime. Things I've gotten so far are Disney t-shirts, because who doesn't love a new Disney shirt? Before any trip, I always like to buy my boyfriend a tank top from his favorite Disney movies, as seen below!
We're also those geeks who get the matching tees for the parks. Before you go hating, I have to say we always get so many compliments! It's cute and great for pictures too!
My second favorite spot to shop is Uniqlo. They have so much Disney apparel, for a really low cost. I've purchased men's boxers, women's underwear, tshirts and sweatshirts from here for an unbelievable price.
Check out the link below for some of their clothing
UNIQLO - Disney Collection
My third favorite is a few places, which are where you typically shop! Disney never goes out of style, and all brands have done their own version from Gucci to the Dollar Tree. I get great finds at places like Forever21, H&M, Marshall's, and Target.
Drop a comment on where you like to shop for Disney apparel!
Finding a great poke spot can feel like hitting the jackpot. There is nothing more delicious then fish that tastes fresh. With countless sushi spots all over New York, I have had my fair share of grossness. Fish is not always fresh, or even real when you order at certain places. Before getting to Hawaii I did my diligent research on the best poke spots around. I wanted to experience the culture of Hawaii and poke happens to be a part of that.
It's safe to say my research paid off. The poke we had was fresh, delicious and had the melt in your mouth kind of taste. Especially when eating fish, you have to be careful that you are in fact eating fresh and quality fish. All of these spots get an A+ on my list.
With nearly 2500 reviews, Ono Seafood is a small off the beaten path poke spot that has some of the most delicious and fresh poke.
Although their reviews may not strike you as a popular spot, they do have 4.5 stars out of 5 on Yelp. In the heart of Waikiki, this is the perfect spot for a meal or a snack of poke, udon, entrees and small sides. The owner is super personable and you know the food is fresh as they whip it up right in front of you.
If you are more of a create your own bowl, type then this is the spot for you. Kind of like a Chipotle line, you pick your size bowl, and all the ingredients that go in it. You can choose between brown or white rice, or salad as your base, and choosing from fish like tuna, salmon, crab or shrimp to name a few options. The toppings are endless and so are the sauces. And bonus tip, grab a local coupon book and score a free ice cream macaroon sandwich with a purchase of a large bowl!
Comment your pictures below of your favorite poke spots!
Shaka Poke Ono Seafood Poke Bar
As much as we know the truth, we all have a small hope that a couple of weeks is where we will see major body transformation. We know it isn't true. To see a transformation as such takes a lot of effort and doesn't happen over night. But what happens when vacation is right around the corner and you haven't done much to meet your goals? Well, luckily there are some small changes that can help make a difference.
I have vacation coming up in 3 weeks and have been prepping my body for the past two months. I've changed up my workouts, what I eat, how much sleep I'm getting, my alcohol in take, a lot of change! I feel great, I look better and I am one step closer to looking my best on the beaches of Hawaii. So what did I do to see a difference?
Eat more greens
8 hours of sleep
Become more conscious of everyday choices
Probiotic: I have always suffered from gut issues whether it was bloating or acid issues, it was always something. When I could just have about enough, I turned to a friend who is educated in more holistic remedies and she recommended a probiotic. I picked one up and my stomach hasn't been the same since (in a good way)! Not to get too graphic here but it has helped regulate me completely, brought down my bloating significantly and I don't have that disgusting sluggish feeling every day. Something I thought was just normal for my body really wasn't, I just needed to find a good fit.
Eat more greens: Your parents always tell you to eat your veggies, but really you should. If you are not the type to order a salad or have a big side of broccoli with dinner that's okay, there are other options. One of my favorite ways to sneak in some vegetables is in shakes. I make protein shakes and make sure to add at least two cups of spinach. Making eggs? Add in some vegetables and make it an omelette. Making meatballs? Add in vegetables. The best part about a lot of vegetables like spinach, is that it doesn't have a strong taste which means you can add it to just about anything.
Hydrate: This one is a biggie! If you aren't drinking enough water a day, your body will look bloated, your skin will break out and your hair won't be as glow-like. We need water in our bodies and when we don't have enough our bodies will hold onto what we do give it i.e. the reason you may be bloated.
8 hours of sleep: I know it can be tough with our schedules to get in that full 8 hours, but schedule it like you'd schedule a doctors appointment. Sleep is imperative. We need that time to allow our body to rest and relax as well as recuperate. When you sleep you do burn calories, and with lack of sleep you are more likely to binge eat, not do your workout because you are too tired and not get through your day as easily. Once I started making my sleep a priority it was amazing how much better I felt. I am not a morning person, but I was beginning to wake up earlier and not feel tired or reaching for a cup of coffee.
Workout often: This depends on your goals and your body type. You know your body better than anyone, so usually, you'll know what it reacts best to. I like to mix up my workouts between cardio sessions, HIIT and weight lifting. When I need to lose some lbs my body reacts best to HIIT and cardio sessions like running, so I focus more on those kinds of workouts. Like I said we are all different, so find out what works best for you. My week will typically look like 5 days of cardio and 2 days of weight lifting when I am in my "crunch" time.
Become more conscious of everyday choices: This one seems kind of obvious, but maybe it isn't until you really hold yourself accountable. I decided to take my measurements every Wednesday which meant that I was holding myself accountable. I didn't want to go in for a measurement that week and not have lost anything or even worse gained! I actively thought about what I was putting into my body and how I would feel if I didn't get enough sleep or if I sacrificed a workout to do something else. It's the conversation you have to have with your inner self to keep you centered and on point for your goals.
To some people working out is a chore, so why do it on vacation? To others, it is a crucial part of their daily lives. For me, I need to workout to keep my mind at peace and push my body to the best of my ability. Going on vacation can get in the way of that, but only if you allow it. When visiting Walt Disney World depending on where you are staying, 9 times out of 10 there is a fitness center in your hotel. Which means wake up a little extra early to get your sweat on before you hit the parks. But what if you hotel doesn't offer a fitness center? Like my upcoming trip at Disney's Pop Century. I recently learned that Pop Century, Art of Animation and all of the Value Resort hotels do not in fact have fitness centers. While I don't find this to be much of an issue, some might.
But let's be honest, you don't need a gym to get a great workout. In fact walking through the parks all can be a workout enough. Referring back to one of my first posts, I've walked up to 8 miles a day at Walt Disney World. Regardless, let's say you still want to get a workout in not including all the walking. All you need is you, yourself and I. I'll even give you my secret.
Have you ever heard of HIIT? Or body weight workouts? You literally don't need anything but yourself! And speaking from experience, you can put yourself through the ringer with these workouts. You'll be out of breath, sweating and sore. Don't believe me? Try out some of my circuits below! There are zero excuses for hitting your goals, so don't let vacation be one of them!
Comment how your hotel workouts go!
*Repeat this entire circuit 3-5 times*
15 alternating lunges
15 push ups
15 leg lifts
30 seconds mountain climbers
30 seconds high knees
*Repeat this entire circuit 5 times*
30 seconds toe taps
30 seconds high low planks
30 seconds burpees
30 seconds froggies
30 seconds crunches
30 seconds scissor kicks
*Repeat this entire circuit 3-5 times*
15 jump squats
15 bear walk downs
30 seconds shoulder taps
30 second plank
15 spider man push ups
30 seconds jog in place
*Repeat this entire circuit 3-5 times*
30 seconds jumping jacks
30 seconds jab cross punches
15 burpees with a push up
30 second wall sit
15 bicycle crunches
15 v ups
The magic of Disney has a way of making anything come true. Even weight loss on your vacation. I am beyond serious when I say this, too. I'm going to let you in on my secret that changed the way I vacationed at Disney World. If you follow my steps, I can guarantee you'll have similar results too!
To begin, you must understand something. To lose weight means you have the choice to choose your health over temptations. Temptations like foods lacking nutrients, staying still instead of moving, and allowing your body to rest. I decided that my Disney vacation wouldn't ruin my weight loss journey. I wanted to enjoy my trip, but I also didn't want to come home 5lbs heavier. I had been working hard to lose some weight and inches, so I wasn't going to allow anything to get in my way.
Step 1: Pack accordingly
In preparation for our trip, I made sure to pack some healthy snacks. You can also plan to purchase these at a local store but for me it was easier to bring it from home. I brought along RX bars, 100 calorie almond packs, and protein powder. Upon arriving to Florida, we went shopping and purchased greek yogurt, lots of water, fruit, and veggie cups for the room.
Step 2: Walk, walk, walk
It is no secret that the Disney parks are thousands of steps a day. In my highest day of walking I walked 11 miles in total. That's a lot of burned calories! One of the positives about the high amount of walking is that you don't have to feel guilty about skipping your hotels fitness center. In fact, I only went to mine once and it was the first day we arrived. It is far from true that you need a full gym to get in a workout, all you truly need is yourself.
Step 3: Track yourself
The best way to keep yourself in line is to track yourself. If you have a fitbit, Apple watch, Running app, whatever you have to track your movement make sure you have it on you to log your days.
Step 4: Nutrition
This is definitely the harder part of weight loss on vacation. You are on vacation so you want to let your hair down and enjoy yourself. Which you absolutely still can. But there are still some foods I'd try to stay clear of. When it came to eating meals, we didn't have a kitchen to cook so we ate out every day. With that being said, it was fairly easy to find healthy alternatives at every quick stop and table service restaurant. My rule of thumb, load your plate up with veggies and protein. Healthy carbs and fats, keep to smaller portions. If there's an item you really want like a Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwich, share it with someone! If you must have something like let's say a Dole Whip, then enjoy yourself and have it. But make sure to track what you eat also, so you know your calorie intake.
Step 5: Relax and trust your journey
Rest is seriously so important to weight loss. If you aren't giving your body time to rest and enough sleep, your journey will come to a full on stop. It's your bodies way of telling you to slow down. So enjoy yourself and relax. Take a day to lay out by the pool! Sleep in, it is still vacation! And trust your body.
Following these five steps, on a 10 day trip I walked anywhere from 4-11 miles a day. I kept my calorie intake to 1500-2000 a day and I allowed my body to rest when it wanted it. So my result? I came home weighing less then I did when I left for Disney! Anything is possible, especially with the magic of Disney. Comment your tips below!
Christmas is my favorite time of year. There is so much happiness and positivity surrounding the month of December. It's like for one month it feels as though anything is possible with holiday magic in the air. Being from New York, New York City is one of the best places to go to during the holiday season. The city has so much to look at and so many pictures to take!
Here's your guide to NYC for this holiday season!
1- Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center
2- Christmas Spectacular show with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall
3- St. Patricks Cathedral
4- Wollman Ice Skating Rink in Central Park
5- Macy's Holiday Window Display
6- Winter Village at Bryant Park
7- The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
8- New York Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show
9- The Nutcracker at Lincoln Theatre
10- Meet Santa at Macy's, Bloomingdales and The Plaza Hotel
I think that for the most part, we're all in the same uphill battle. Knowing we have an occasion coming up where we want our bodies to looking rocking yet it's just not there yet. So we kick ourselves into high gear. We start to eat clean, workout often and change all of our habits just in time before the big event. Sound familiar? I call this vacation motivation.
Vacation motivation can be defined as when you get motivated/inspired to change your body for the better, in a small amount of time for an upcoming event.
Now vacation motivation isn't always in reference to an actual vacation. It could be knowing you have a wedding coming up, or high school reunion. It is an event that is coming rather quickly, that makes you buckle down and get serious.
I love and hate these goals, as a personal trainer. It's awesome that you are super motivated but not always great in a small time period. For some people it's not realistic or healthy to drop a certain amount of weight in the time period allotted. It''s also tough because once the event comes and goes, are you going to stick with your new lifestyle?
Thinking in a clients perspective I totally get it. "Let's do this. I'm all in. I'll do whatever it takes to look good in that bikini". Also sound familiar? We get ourselves motivated for this short period of time mainly because we trick ourselves. We tell our bodies and minds that if you cooperate with me for the next few weeks while I deprive you, I promise it'll be worth it. It'll be worth it to look great, and then we can go back to normal. WRONG!
This is exactly what we call a fad diet. Even if you are following a new lifestyle plan that is coached by a fitness and nutrition specialist its nothing more than a fad if it becomes short term. But can it become a new lifestyle instead of just a fad? Of course, and I'm here to show you how.
So let's go with the story that you have a destination wedding coming up. Not only do you have to look great at the wedding in your cocktail dress, but now you have to like bikini ready in front of all your family members and friends. You have about 4-6 weeks to get it together, what's your first move? Maybe hire a specialist to coach you through it? Find a gym buddy to help keep you motivated? Eat salad all day long? Here's a few suggestions;
1. It takes 21 days to form a new habit, so make some. Decide to make some new habits like drinking a gallon of water a day to stay hydrated.
2. Get to bed earlier. Sleep is a huge part of living a healthy lifestyle. Your body needs it to recover.
3. Speak to a specialist to get a work out guide or meal plan (if you aren't already working with one or have proper knowledge)
4. Switch items out. Find items that you consume daily that isn't great for you and find their healthier alternative. For example whole wheat bread for white, coconut milk instead of creamer, a homemade breakfast instead of a protein bar and so on.
5. Walk. It sounds pretty simple but you'd be surprised how many people opt out when there's an option not to. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park a little further in the parking lot or simply walk to the store instead of driving.
6. Find something that motivates you beyond your event. The wedding will come and go and you will be back to a regular routine in not time. Find something that is going to keep motivating you after all the excitement wares down.
7. Plan ahead. Make sure to have food around that is already prepped for the go or fresh and ready to cook when you're hungry. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. Check out my Meal prepping 101 for some ideas.
8. Get support. If you are starting this journey based on an up coming event, chances are someone else you know would want to partake in it. Find a workout buddy, or a food buddy that will help keep you on your game.
9. Clear out the bad habits. If you have bad eating habits try to change at least one thing a week. Clear out all the snacks in your cabinet. Take a different route home from work to avoid fast food stops. Limit yourself to eating after a certain time to avoid late night binging.
10. Keep progress. Track yourself with taking weekly measurements and pictures of your body to see how it's changing. I avoid the scale at all costs because weight is just a number that can often be incorrect. I like to measure with how certain clothes fit or with a tape measurer to be precise.
Going on vacation for 10 days was a bit nerve racking when it came to my health. Eating out for every meal, not being able to cook when I have been so committed to my new lifestyle was a tough thing to work out. I knew that I could do it, I just had to be prepared. The craziest part about my trip was that I came home to weighing one pound less! How you might ask? Well, here's my tips on how I did it.
Disclaimer: I didn't deprive myself of anything-at all. I ate, drank and was super happy!
Tip 1- I made sure to have protein in every meal I ate
Tip 2- I had protein, low carb packed snacks in the parks with me and in the hotel room (mixed nuts, pistachio nuts, yogurt, protein bars)
Tip 3- I made sure to stay super hydrated, especially in that hot Florida sun
Tip 4- Being that we did 6 days in the Disney parks we walked a lot, so I was able to track the many miles a day we walked for burning calories
Tip 5- We walked instead of taking an Uber- to Disney Springs which was an 8 minute walk from our hotel, to the grocery store and convenience store also close by
Tip 6- I made sure to get a decent amount of sleep (We were exhausted from the parks anyway, so my body needed the time to rejuvenate)
Tip 7- When choosing my meals I tried to pick options that were closely related to what I typically eat on a high carb day or low carb day (depending on the day of the cycle)
Tip 8- When drinking alcohol try to choose liquor mixed with fresh fruits like my favorite tequila with soda, a lime, an orange and a lemon
Tip 9- Still keep up with your daily habits like drinking lemon water upon waking up, a green tea through out the day
Tip 10- Enjoy yourself! Being on vacation is a happy time, enjoy time with your loved ones and relax. For me, it takes a while to decompress and turn my mind off from the daily stressors. It's amazing how much your body will thank you for some r&r!