NutriBullet – Initial Review

I have never been a huge health nut but I’ve been trying to make small but impactful lifestyle changes on the road to living a healthier life. One of my biggest struggles lately is that I definitely don’t get enough fruits (or veggies) on a daily basis. After trying out different ideas and talking to friends, I decided to take a step in the right direction by purchasing a personal sized blender.

I did a lot of research on blenders, looking at the Magic Bullet, NutriBullet and Vitamix. After comparing prices and all the available options, I made a decision – the NutriBullet!

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I’ve had my NutriBullet for a little over a month now, and while I’m still getting used to it, I am really liking it so far. Here are some of my thoughts:

Pros
• Easy to Clean – one of the things I hated about my previous traditional blender was that it was very difficult to get clean. With the NutriBullet, everything washes very easily and all of the pieces (except the blades) are dishwasher safe.
• Size – I’ve read some complaints about not being able to make multiple smoothies with the NutriBullet. Which is true, you can’t. But I purchased this as a personal sized blender since I’m almost always making one just for myself. I love that I only make one serving at a time so I don’t have to worry about wasting ingredients or storing mixed smoothies.

Cons
• Frozen Fruit – whenever I try to use fruit right out of the freezer, the blade gets stuck and nothing blends. I’ve taken to running the fruit under warm water beforehand and that seems to work.
• Cups – the normal package only comes with two small cups and one tall cup. When you’re making a smoothie every day, this can get frustrating because you’re constantly cleaning the cups. I know I can buy more, but they’re pretty expensive!

IMG_2400.JPGA berry smoothie – yum!

Overall I’m very happy with my purchase. I feel like the price was right on point and I’m excited to use it more and see what else it can do!

Do you have a NutriBullet? What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?

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Free Workout Videos

Summer is just around the corner! Or at least, that’s what they tell me. You’d never think so considering it’s 50° here in Massachusetts today. But those beach days are quickly approaching and I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to tone up a bit before slipping into a bikini.

While I do have a membership at a local gym (where I’m still paying the student rate – score!), I sometimes prefer to work out in the privacy of my own home. One of the fun ways I like to exercise is by trying new routines, to keep things interesting, but since I’m no fitness expert, I never know where to start. Which is why I’ve taken up using free workout videos. Who knew there were so many free videos out there?!

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YouTube is a great place to get short exercise videos. I like to search YouTube if I want to try a new move or type of equipment, such as when I first started using kettlebells.

You can also search Pinterest for workout videos. While this usually doesn’t take you right to a video, it can give you lists of free ones that come recommended. This lessens the amount of time you’d spend weeding through lower quality videos to find the ones you like.

If you have a subscription, Hulu Plus is another great resource. Most of these are clips, so you don’t get a full length video, but it will definitely give you ideas for some new moves to work into your routine. Tip: try searching “fitness”; they can be a little hard to find otherwise.

Living at home with my parents has its advantages and one of those is Comcast On Demand. There are all kinds of full length workouts for a variety of experience levels. If you have some space in your living room, you can do anything from yoga to Zumba, all for no more than you already pay!

I would recommend checking out these resources if you’re looking to change up your exercise routine. Do you have any favorite workout sites or videos to share?

Home Gym Essentials: Dumbbells

While gyms offer a lot of equipment and workout options, sometimes I just don’t have time to make it to the gym after a long day at the office. On those days, I prefer to do a quick workout at home instead. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been slowly building a small home gym full of my favorite workout equipment to make quick workouts an easy thing to accomplish.

Some of my favorite items in my little home gym are my dumbbells, which are also called free weights. Dumbbells are great because they are relatively small (at least for me, since I use low weights!) but can be used in a large variety of exercises.

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Although kits like the one pictured above are great, they can be a bit expensive. I suggest shopping around to see what you can find. I also only use two different weights for most of my exercises, so a kit isn’t necessary for me. Instead, I purchased individual pairs of weights and have added to my collection when I need a higher weight. I suggest checking out the dumbbell collections at Marshall’s, Target or Sears – that’s where I’ve gotten all of mine in the last and the prices have always been reasonable.

Pinterest and YouTube both have great easy and free workouts that can help tone your arms as well as other areas!

Do you use dumbbells for your at-home workouts? What are your favorite exercises?

Home Gym Essentials: Kettlebells

Staying fit is something that every young woman should make a priority. However, the costs of fitness can add up very quickly. While a gym membership can be great if you like the social interaction and workout classes, for some people it might be a more effective idea to set up a small home gym.

Personally, a home gym is quickly becoming a more appealing option for me. I don’t have a lot of spare time and when I do, it’s at sporadic times. I also prefer to work out on my own, rather than in a group or surrounded by strangers. Having realized this more and more, I’ve been building up my own collection of small but multi-functional pieces of exercise equipment. This way I can do a variety of workouts, in my own time and in the privacy of my own home.

One of my newest additions to my mini-home gym is a 10lb kettlebell. I had seen and heard lots about kettlebells, but hadn’t really tried them out for myself. I didn’t quite understand what all of the hype was about, but now that I’ve done some research (thank you Pinterest and YouTube!), I can definitely see the benefits.

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What are the perks of kettlebellsThe exercises you can do with them combine both strength training and cardio. The handle allows for movements such as swinging and hand transitions. This makes for a full body workout, as you can engage your arms, abs and legs while getting your heart pumping. However, since you typically use a heavier kettlebell than you would choose for a free weight, you need to be sure to use the proper technique to avoid accidental injury. Once you get the hang of it, kettlebells can be a fast, fun and effective workout!

One thing to keep in mind is that kettlebells, like any workout equipment, can get a bit expensive. It’s important to shop around and find a kettlebell that’s both of a decent quality and not ridiculously overpriced. I looked around in several stores and online to make sure I understood what price range I was looking at. I ended up settling on one I found at Marshall’s for a great price of just $10. I’m glad I kept shopping around – otherwise I could’ve ended up spending twice as much!

Are you a fellow kettlebell fan? What are your favorite moves?