I was quite proud of myself this past Friday. Thanks to BARE Bowls and Orangetheory, I can safely say that it was one of the healthiest days I’ve had in my life. Not only am I now part of the acai health-food craze, but I am also currently relishing the lingering pain in my thighs and butt— a testament to my hard physical work (good job, Kyla).
1) I first decided it would be a good Friday when I naturally woke up at a decent time without an alarm. Since I have already succeeded in manipulating my schedule so that I don’t have class on Fridays, I made plans with Tony to get breakfast and coffee off campus. I decided to try BARE Bowls, an “acai bowl and health food eatery” as their website states. Tony had tried it once before and had described it to me as “really expensive cereal” while my roommate, Lily, corrected him, saying they were acai bowls, “AH-SIGH-EE, Tony, get it right.”
So, feeling great about my morning accomplishments thus far, I decided to reward myself with an ~$8 bowl (for a small) of really expensive (good job, Tony) acai bowl (good job, Lily). Now, I’m familiar with acai, with health enthusiasts throwing the term around, many times in the same sentence as “quinoa” and “kale.” But this was my first acai bowl experience and it was very exciting.
Apparently, acai bowls are basically thick acai-based “smoothies” with different toppings that you put in a bowl and eat with a spoon. I ordered the Trailblazer which had strawberry, banana, granola, and honey on top… I believe. There could have been more things in there. But it looked like this:
And it was absolutely delicious. I don’t usually eat breakfast so my stomach wasn’t used to having so much food so early in the day, but regardless of the time of day, I think these bowls are deceptive. They are much more filling that you’d think and I was definitely glad Tony helped me finish the last bits because I would have been so upset if any of it went to waste (especially with that price tag).
2) In addition to loving acai bowls so much that she has a picture of it as her cellphone wallpaper, Lily also loves workout classes. She was the one that inspired me to try SoulCycle and yesterday she took Tony and me to our first Orangetheory class.
When Lily proposed the idea a week ago, I was a bit hesitant since, unlike the idea of spinning which I could easily grasp, Orangetheory seemed more intense. Not only does it involve treadmills, rowing machines, and weights combined, but it also claims to be backed up by science that just went over my head. But since I’ve been frequenting the the treadmills in the gym lately, I felt more inspired to push myself (I am, after all, training for number 3 on my list).
After filling out the necessary paperwork, strapping on our heart rate monitors, and watching and introductory videos, we were introduced to our trainer for the day. He explained how our heart rates determined which zone we were in, which, depending on the color, referred to how much we were exerting ourselves— the green zone means you’re barely exerting yourself, then there’s blue and orange, and finally, the red zone means you’re pushing yourself really hard. I believe that’s the gist of it. Our instructor mentioned a lot of percentages and numbers. But basically what I ultimately understood was that being in the orange zone for a good portion of the workout was the goal. I mean, it was called Orangetheory after all, and the walls were orange and the lights were orange. Why? I don’t know.
Our instructor started us off by switching between rowing and circuit training. As someone who has had very limited experience with weights, I felt the burn. Immediately. And by the time we were on the treadmills 30 minutes later, my legs were DYING. In the end, I spent a pretty decent time in the orange zone and I definitely felt like I got a good workout, which I didn’t really feel after my first SoulCycle experience. But I’m not here to compare. There are people who will vouch for each program, and I believe that people should do whatever it takes to get them moving.
So take any class you want on any machine you desire, or even just go for a jog outside, it doesn’t really matter! (A word of warning, though, running on treadmills does not directly translate to running on sidewalks. Still working on that.)
Finally, as the cherry on top of my health-packed day, date night with Tony was at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, which was an absolutely wonderful vegetarian restaurant. I guess I could count this as #3 on the list of things I was proud of, but I give props to Tony for this one.