P1040497{the above picture: me being impressed by how easily mayonnaise can be made as I stirred in the finishing touches to some paleo sriracha mayo}

I’m easily impressed. Not going to lie. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing… I think it’s just because I’m easily pleased and have relatively low expectations of most things. Simple things make me happy and I don’t expect over the top magical moments to happen to me THUS when little stuff catches me off guard and makes me smile or stand in awe, yeah- I’m impressed.

Food is usually the top thing that impresses me on a regular basis- and we’ll get to that in a moment- but I also was really impressed recently by a class I took at the newish YMCA on 14th Street: aerial yoga.IMG_20140919_065143[1]The YMCA Anthony Bowen, located a little off 14th and on W Street, has caught my eye for quite some time. Mainly because it’s three blocks from my apartment, but also because it’s on the newer side, has a pool, has a rock wall, and the Y is known for being a more affordable gym- offering a lot of family discount rates and having a strong dedication to social causes in the community. I really love how committed they are to the total package of getting/staying healthy. They offer so many great family and kid classes on cooking and nutrition- it’s commendable.

BUT being in love with my gym, I’ve only flirted with this new YMCA location- taking a couple of tours and checking out the space, you know.

Recently I was offered a free week pass to check it out and I couldn’t say no. I’m a sucker for free gym classes- especially if it means I get to try some new things out. Unfortunately the week fell at sort of a bad time in terms of my work schedule so I couldn’t try out as many aspects of the gym as I would have liked (i.e. the pool, sauna, rock wall, and budokon yoga class), but I definitely got to try out some good stuff!IMG_20140922_192337[1]

I got to go to a cycle class (not really my kind of spin class because it seemed to lack some energy- but a nice, open space with plenty of bikes) which I rounded out with some free weight exercises (I don’t really like how they have a lack of space for functional exercises- the little area to do body weight exercises or light hand weight exercises is pretty small), a bodypump class (which was great and just like other body pump classes I’ve taken), and a basic vinyasa yoga class (a much needed class after a really stressful weekend/week).

But the class that made it ALL totally worth it was their aerial yoga class. The instructor was phenomenal and clearly in love with the practice. While everything we were doing in the class was wicked cool- she created a safe and playful environment. So what were we doing? I WISH I had pictures but it just wouldn’t have been safe for me to be doing that- I needed my hands to hold onto fabric suspended in air! Think cirque du soleil (but obviously being done by novices and less coordinated humans). We did a variety of stretches and yoga poses all using the fabric and either being wrapped up in it in air or using it to swing our bodies around in different positions. It was unlike anything I’ve ever done. It was a little scary to go upside down and trust the fabric resting under my hip bones to just hold me up… but the instructor spotted us and assured us we’d be okay!IMG_20140921_142147[1]My favorite part was being able to do headstand equivalent inversions that I normally can’t do on the ground. And I mean… swinging around was pretty cool too 😉 It was all really great. I found myself smiling and having fun the whole time. I think Will could tell how much I loved it when I got home because I was just beaming. It put me in such a good mood. It required strength and patience, but it was so playful and carefree. I wish I could do it more often. If you have the chance to go- do it!

The YMCA Anthony Bowen is actually one year old as of yesterday and I believe they have some good discounts going on right now. You should totally stop by if you’re looking for a gym or look at what they’re offering online. I think they’re having an open climb session on their rock wall from 6-8pm + a live DJ spinning in the big cardio area… pretty cool!

And now of course… let’s talk food.

THESE plantain tortillas. Are you freaking kidding me?! They were so tasty and I was just amazed that they worked. Simone- you’re a genius.IMG_20140921_181538[1]Will and I got to have a fajita/taco night with seemingly actual taco soft shells made with zero grains or corn. Win.P1040514Parsnips. Made fries with them for the first time- yes, totally impressed. Toss them with coconut oil, salt, and smoked paprika- so good.P1040504Speaking of parsnips… the only reason why I had them on hand to make fries out of is because I bought a bag of them to make this parnsip carrot puree to serve with sriracha cod. I was skeptical about the puree before making it, but it was wicked tasty! I liked that this recipe felt sort of fancy. I made it for myself on a sunday night and had a little solo date with some tonight show reruns on my balcony.P1040499P1040500Also killer? These thai turkey burgers that I gave you a preview of above with the parsnip fries. I made them because Jessica is so right- turkey burgers get a bad rap as being dry and gross when they could be oh so very delicious- AND because Will loves thai flavors. Thai isn’t really my favorite- I like it- but its never my go to, but I was pretty impressed by these guys. The recipe was also easy to throw together on a Monday night after having made the sauce and the slaw the day before.P1040505Our burgers were bunless… and you can barely see the burger underneath the heaping pile of thai slaw! Cabbage and carrots and peanuts and green onions galore!P1040503Lastly, delicata squash. Just when I thought butternut squash was reigning supreme in my life- I had to go and try a new one. Delicata squash is super sweet and after being roasted in some coconut oil + cinnamon and salt… yeah baby! It’s really easy to cut and prep too. You can leave the skin on making it a bajillion times more manageable than butternut.IMG_20140924_091354[1]IMG_20140924_121749[1]BONUS impressed moment: when I spread almond butter on a piece of bacon and wrapped fig halves in it for a snack… I was just impressed with my creative ingenuity that led to the BEST BITE EVER.IMG_20140921_160511[1]Keep it wicked healthy xoxo


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