Healthy and Sane

Healthworks blogger picnic

August 12th, 2010 · 25 Comments · product reviews

It’s been a little strange for me to not blog every day – not “bad” strange, just “different” strange. Obviously, there has been a rocky day or two but overall I can assure you that I’m still eating healthy meals and getting a good amount of exercise (this month I’m all about pilates – will cover that in a different post). Both are an important part of my life, whether I get to daily document them or not and last night I got a chance to combine these two passions of mine in one fun event, hosted by Healthworks. Many of my favorite bloggers were in attendance so you may have read their reviews already. I think it’s fair to say that all of us had a great time – Healthworks definitely knows how to show us local fitness passionate bloggers a good time. I’m proud to be a part of this club! 😀

You may have noticed from the title that the “event” was a picnic… but first we had to sweat our little butts off. You gotta earn the food! 😉 When I saw a 30-minute Bosu workout on the schedule, I thought this would be a breeze. I use the bosu regularly as part of the bootcamp classes I take and I’ve gotten pretty comfortable jumping on that thing. I assumed we’d just do a bunch of weights while standing on the bosu, maybe a few crunches while lying on it and then call it a day. 30 minutes, how hard can it be, right? Wrong. At first I was a bit bored (the first 5 minutes or so) – it seemed a little too flaky. Apparently that was just the warm up. The workout was all cardio and plyometrics. We did about a million squats, pushups and planks but and of course there was a whole lot of jumping – on and off, side to side, up and down; there were also some serious balancing exercises with one leg at a time (it was pretty funny seeing everyone drop off one at a time – including me, definitely! 😆 ). My calves were burning. Kate gave us no breaks. After 30 minutes we were all pretty shocked at how surprisingly challenging it was. If you want to check out one of many classes at Healthworks, you can use this free 3-day pass. I’m always impressed with the quality of this gym and I actually will start a one-month trial membership there soon (more details on that in a bit). Last night, I jumped on the treadmill for another 15 minutes after class to finish myself off. :) After a quick shower, there was finally time for… DINNER! 😀

There were so many amazing goodies for us to sample. I was in heaven! Whole Foods provided us with a packed dinner of a sandwich (turkey or vegetarian), quinoa salad and fruit salad.

They have recently launched a program called “Health Starts Here” which promotes a diet full of veggies, fruit, healthy fats, lean protein – you know, everything we all already do. Right? 😉 Lynay and Melissa told us all about it.

I also got a chance to chat with Melissa later and found out that Whole Foods is going to launch a sustainability rating program on all of their meats and seafood (all items will be clearly marked based on their defined sustainability scale). I am SO excited about this!! Whole Foods already has very high standards for meat sold in all stores (I still prefer organic chicken and grass-fed beef but in general I feel like they do enough quality control to make sure that there are absolutely no antibiotics used and the animals were for the most part humanely raised). This will bring it to the next level, especially with seafood. Can’t wait! 😀

Before heading outside we also took a few glamour shots of Kelly of Mix Bakery and Lauri and Marissa of Joos.

.. and then it was time to eat! I was starving and beyond excited to peak into my goodie bag. Bloggers, bloggers everywhere. Can you recognize anyone? I love playing that game. :)

Emily was the lucky winner of a giant gift basket from Whole Foods. I love how happy she looks in this picture. 😀

Ok really. Let’s eat now!

Turkey sandwich on sprouted bread with lettuce, tomato, sprouts and honey mustard

This sandwich was SO fantastic. I think bread is really key to an amazing sandwich and I am officially obsessed with this bread. I believe it is called Seeduction (’cause it has seeds – get it?) and it’s sold in the WF bakery section. I spotted a $1 off coupon in their Whole Deal guide and you better believe it’s going to be the next loaf I buy. Seriously, I just loved the chewiness of this bread combined with the crunch of the seeds. Yum, yum, yum. A super fresh fruit salad was also a great first dessert. Common, you know cupcakes are coming next. 😉 (I gave my quinoa salad to Bridget since it had onions).

Before we get to cupcakes, there was another quicky dessert from Joos. Joos specializes in 100% organic fresh veggie juices and we got to sample 3 of them last night. I absolutely love that founder Lauri chose organic vegetables and I love that each bottle provides you with an incredible amount of vitamins and nutrients. However, and this is a personal taste, all the juices have celery as part of the blend and I just am not a fan of celery. I can choke it down but I’d rather just eat veggies I like instead of forcing myself to eat the ones I don’t (you know which one I’m mostly referring to… 😉 ). These mini muffins made of juice pulp (and chocolate chips!) were pretty yummy though. They tasted healthy, of course, but I’m into that kind of thing. 😀

And then we got to the most indulgent part of the dinner – cupcakes! You may remember my first encounter with Mix Bakery cupcakes. Oh we girls had such a blast test tasting them. My second time I wasn’t as smitten but man, Kelly came back with some winning cupcakes this time. Naked carrot cake (no nuts, no raisins) and chocolate peanut butter minis to be exact. Just look at these beauties…

I started with one of each…

… then had another one. Hey, they were mini! And then once I found out that 4 minis=1 regular cupcake I went back for 1 more… and then another 2. Yup, I had 6 mini cupcakes. But really just 1.5 regular sized ones. I’m cool with it. They were both amazing. The carrot cake especially was so moist (I was surprised that I liked it so much without the nuts since I LOVE nuts in carrot cake) and cream cheese frosting is of course the best and the only one that can stand a chance against my favorite flavors of all time – chocolate and pb. Don’t ask me to pick favorites. I don’t want to. I chose to eat both for a reason. :)

Hanging out in Copley Square on a gorgeous night, while enjoying amazing food, fresh air, and fun conversation with my blogger friends was just perfect. Thank you, Judith and Hannah, for organizing another great event… and of course for rubbing it in that I’m still not a member of Healthworks. I can’t wait to start my lifting program there soon!! 😀

Just for fun – what’s your favorite bread brand + kind and what’s your favorite cupcake flavor? Also, have you ever been to an all women’s gym? Do you think this would impact your workouts?

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25 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - amy

    I never thought I would join a womens gym. However when i moved to Boston 2 years ago, I tried every gym near my apt and ended up loving HW the most so I am regular there. I truly love it and am so happy everytime I walk in the building and everytime I leave. I hope you join. It’s so amazing (I feel kind of weird describing a gym in those weird, but its true).

    My favorite bread is the multigrain that When pigs fly sells but I usually just buy the Whole foods organic mulitgrain bread. I am very weird when it comes to cupcakes/ I love them but don’t like the frosting. I have a dairy allergy so pretty much the only cupcakes I eat are vegan cupcakes (Kickass cupcakes makes them). I don’t eat them very often. I think I had one last summer.I do love the vegan carrot cake at WF though.

  • #2 - Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

    Acme Bakery, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, makes an unbelievable Walnut Levain. It is hearty and chewy, generously studded with walnut halves. I haven’t had it in a while, and now I want to go buy a loaf! That sandwich looks delicious.

  • #3 -

    oh i saw a Health Works post on We Are Not Martha! i love the sandwich and quinoa <3 that wouldve been so good and im suprised at how good of a portion it is too!!
    the desserts are so incredibly creative and nom nom nom! this wouldve been SO MUCH FUN!

  • #4 - Bridget

    Thanks for donating to my lunch for the next day :)
    It was great to see you! That was a really fun mid-week event to break up the monotony of the work week. I wish my gym had Bosu classes!

  • #5 - Lauren

    What a great event! I’ve read about it on a few other blogs, and I wish I had been invited ;). Who organizes the Healthworks blogger events?

    I’ve never been to an all-women’s gym, but I don’t mind lifting weights alongside the guys at BSC. I’ve heard fabulous things about Healthworks, though, so if they lowered their membership fees I just might consider joining!

    I’m a loyal fan of Vermont Bread Co., but find myself moving away from traditional sliced sandwich bread and toward more rustic style loaves. The Seeduction bread from WF looks fantastic! I will have to keep my eyes open for it.

    In terms of cupcakes, I don’t think I’ve ever run into one I didn’t like… but I absolutely love carrot cake cupcakes and any kind of chocolate pb combo. The mini ones from Mix look amazing!

  • #6 - Michelle

    I was so sad to miss this but hopefully I’ll be able to attend the next Healthworks blogger event!

  • #7 - Shannon

    Everything looked so good! Sounds like a great event. I would love to join Healthworks (worked the front desk years ago when I was in grad school). Unfortunately, the closest one is just too far to make a membership practical. It is the best gym though.

    And I agree about bread…it does make the sandich. When I go to a restaurant, if they have good bread, I leave happy with the experience…even if the meal itself wasn’t terribly impressive.

  • #8 - Willow

    Glad to hear you’re getting into Pilates! I teach privately here in Boston (right downtown) and always love to know that people have discovered (or rediscovered!) it as a great form of exercise. Done right, it’s extremely challenging and can really kick your butt. Keep it up! :-)

  • #9 - Emily

    I loved going to HW a few years ago. I hadn’t realized how the presence of men added an extra level of discomfort. But, alas, I moved parts of town and now use a co-ed University gym that is free.

    my fave bread is Andama. It’s sweet and made with molasses. It’s not an every-day bread, but thankfully you can get it at the Friendly Toast in Cambridge!

  • #10 - sister inna

    omg those mini cupcakes look insane. i also like their photoshoot on the grass…. two little cupcakes went out for a picnic ( and ended up in your belly!)

  • #11 - Finance Foodie

    Oh what a fun and creative event! I’ve heard a lot about Healthworks (never worked out at an all women’s gym) but since my BSC membership is almost done – i might just check it out!

  • #12 - Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    I’ve never been to an all-women’s gym, but my mom used to go to one. It was worth it for her b/c she was extremely self-conscious in a regular gym, so much so that she wouldn’t go.

  • #13 - Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

    My friend is a trainer at an all women’s gym . When I brought her to my gym she was amazed at the size and selection on machines/weights/stacks. She told me that at her gym they only have dumbbells up to 30lbs.

    …30lbs? Seriously?

    That’s useless.

    So, i’ve never been to a women’s only gym

  • #14 - Kathleen

    The all women gym that I went to had equipment – specifically geared for women and are specific curves. This was nice. I also liked that there wasn’t the meat market, hunting vibe that sometimes happens. I was still self-conscious – however, that is my cross to bear:)

  • #15 - Kathleen

    And I am very sorry for the rather scary typos (brain farts) above… I need coffee.

  • #16 - Elina

    Finance Foodie – you should try it for 3 days (with that pass) and see how you like it. :)

    Samantha Angela – that’s interesting. I haven’t seen HW’s weight section yet and while I don’t think I can lift more than 30 lbs I’ll definitely check out their selection. Hopefully by the time I’m through with my lifting program, I’ll be lifting 30’s with one finger-tip 😉

    Kathleen – hopefully you’re not self conscious anymore. Don’t forget – every one is there for the same reason – to get fit!! 😀

  • #17 - Meghan@traveleatlove

    It was a great night! I love Healthworks and hope to see you there sometime soon :)

  • #18 - Erika @ Food, Fitness, & Fun

    Ooooh, looks like another delicious healthy lunch by Whole Foods! Yum! :-)

  • #19 - Lauren

    Your Picnic looks great! I LOVE Whole Foods! On another note, I am not a big fan of Healthworks. I am glad you had a good experience there, but I was a member there for a year and was treated unprofessional. People at the front desk were rude and when I e-mailed the manger to ask a few questions she never responded. I just wanted to post and let others know of there unprofessional treatment.

  • #20 - RunToTheFinish

    what a very cool night!! I don’t know too much about Healthworks since I’ve not seen them here

  • #21 - Amy

    Samantha- as a member of HW, I can tell you they have weights higher than 30 pounds. I am a member at Backbay and if you ever want a free pass to try it, let me know. It’s my love

  • #22 - Carly

    I love whole foods’ seeded sprouted bread!!

  • #23 - Heather

    I love rye bread…there used to be a brand called Dixie Rye and I cannot find it anywhere. I’m on a mission though to find it again!

    And for cupcakes I would have to say the Sprinkles bakery Chocolate Coconut, yum!

  • #24 - Kerstin

    Sounds like a fun class! I don’t mind working out with the guys around, although if I’m the only girl doing free weights (which happens more often than not at the Harvard gyms), then I’m always a little disappointed – more woman need to lift!

  • #25 - Dominique

    The only gym I ever joined was my university gym (it was cheap–$65 for two semesters) but I never went–not even once! The people at gyms intimidate me and I get bored working out alone or without entertainment.

    My fave cupcake is a cupcake I made last year with fresh figs. It had a thin layer of vanilla frosting and was topped with a slice of fresh fig. The best cupcake ever.