How I Fell in Love with HIIT: Tabata and MetCon

I used to run. A lot. That’s all I did. I thought I was in the best shape of my life but it turns out, it’s not a great idea to do the same exercise over and over and over again (great article to read about the topic). You want to be challenging your body in different ways and working different muscle groups. Having a rotation of various types of workouts is the only way to be holistically fit.

I thought I wouldn’t find anything I loved as much as running. But I think I loved it because it was only what I knew. I was afraid to try anything else. Until one day I found myself standing awkwardly in my first Equinox fitness class.

Everyone raves about the Equinox classes and despite being a member for over a year, I had never tried one. The push that got me there was thinking that it is already included in the cost of my membership and I’m losing money if I don’t take these classes.

I didn’t want to go alone so C signed up with me. We picked a class called Tabata. Tabata is the definition of high intensity interval training — 20 seconds of very hard work then 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times is one tabata and you do 8 tabatas total. It doesn’t sound that hard, right? But when you’re on your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th iteration of plank walks, you’ll feel it’s the longest 20 seconds of your life.

We did burpees, squats, lunges, using dumbells, sandbells, gliding disks. Here are some classic tabatas you can try. It was a full body work out and I left feeling spent. It was one of those workouts where you feel like you need to lie flat on your back and pant out the pain with a smile on your face. It felt amazing. I thought it was one of the best workouts of my life because I could feel every muscle twinge and ache, every artery and vein expand and contract.

The thought was confirmed in the following days because I had NEVER been so sore in my life. I hurt in places I didn’t know I could. I gingerly walked in those days following incredulous that I ever thought that running 30 miles a week made me in shape. I didn’t stretch, I didn’t lift, of course I wasn’t in shape!

I was hooked on that feeling — the post-HIIT high endorphin rush. We found a class called MetCon. MetCon is short for metabolic conditioning and is designed to burn calories during your workout but also maximize the calories burned after (afterburn effect). Ultimately, MetCon will make your workouts better because you increase the efficiency of storage and delivery of energy.

In Equinox’s MetCon 3 class, you do an exercise for 1 minute, followed by a short rest. There are 8 exercises in a set an 3 sets in a class. And at the end of each class you do 3 “finishers”, which is just another way to sneak in more reps. You do similar exercises as in Tabata, just spaced out differently with rests.

I am completely and totally addicted to these classes. I moved from the back of the class to the front. I usually get there at least 10 minutes early to be first one in and get my favorite spot. The instructors recognize me and we chat (shout out to Amy, John, and Chris at Equinox Wall St/Brookfield). And now I ALWAYS bring at least two sweat towels in with me.

It’s really cool to watch myself get stronger. It’s sad to say but I couldn’t do a real push-up before. And now I can breeze through(-ish) push-up burpees. When I’m planning workouts for the week, I always want to do Tabata or MetCon, and not run 8 miles. I still will sometimes but HIIT is faster, more fun, and I leave feeling like I got in a serious full-body workout.


Have you tried Tabata or MetCon? Loved it? Hated it? Any suggestions for what else I can try? I’d love to hear! Comment below!

How to Become a 5AM Gym Goer

You can consider yourself a morning person and still think the idea of working out first thing in the morning is complete and utter nonsense. I did. In college, I used to wake up at 5am to go the library but that’s because that’s when I was most focused. After college, I slept until exactly 20 minutes until I had to get out the door to make it to work on time. So no, I was not keen on the idea of working out early.

But alas, I became one. It started just over a year ago as training for the Disney World Marathon was coming to a close. I was reading blog posts and reviews about people who had previously run it. One thing that EVERYONE mentioned was the 2AM wake up call to get going. I knew that was not going to be a pretty morning. We did all of our training races in the morning but that’s the middle of the night! A lot of training for these races is trying to mimic conditions you’ll have on race day so your body is used to it. The race itself began at 5AM so we figured waking up around then for a couple weeks before the race would suffice.

There’s a reason why there aren’t many people wake up at 5AM to get to the gym… it’s HARD. Really really hard. No matter how psyched you get about the idea the day before, and regardless of needing to do it for a big race you’ve spent months prepping for, when that alarm goes off, you will think “Oh my god, I can’t.” And I did. Many times. And yet, here I am. So the million dollar question… HOW?!

1. Find a partner.

Like with meal planning, finding a partner and having someone to keep you motivated and honest is essential. Having a a roommate/bedmate willing to do it with you makes it even easier but I have friends who ask me to text or call them at 5AM to get them out of bed in the morning. Knowing that there is someone out there who expects you to get up and out makes it much easier to do it.

2. Prep the night before.

Get everything you’ll need for your workout and morning ready the night before. You don’t want anything slowing you down the morning of. Gym clothes, work clothes, headphones, keys, water bottle, pre/post workout snack. You just want to grab and go. Getting out of that door is the hardest part.

3. Do something you LIKE!

You’re not going to make it to the gym if you dread what you’re going there to get done. Spend some time figuring out what kind of classes or work outs you actually enjoy. I’m lucky in that I’ve found a lot of things I like but I leave myself the option to do whatever I want to on any given day. If I want to run, lift weights, do some HIIT, or bike, that’s what I do. If you dread what you’ll do at the gym, you won’t be keeping up this habit.

4. Reward yourself.

Habits are created from cue (alarm), routine (gym), and REWARD (highly recommend Charles Duhigg’s Power of Habit). You need to have an incentive to keep this up. And yes, wanting to be healthier, be prepared for a race, lose weight, etc. are all great reasons but those are long-term. You want to create an immediate reward to tie to the routine. For me, it’s a sweet treat — a creamy latte, triple-cream Siggi’s, or even a cookie.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ5TpqpgKDh

This isn’t easy, but I promise you can do it. It takes a while to get into a the swing of things but after a few weeks, you’ll get the hang of it. And it’s totally worth it. Before, I made it to the gym pretty often but I also found myself missing it because of work or impromptu happy hours and I would feel guilty. Social events and client calls aren’t usually an issue at 5AM. You can always get in your work out and have your evenings free. And honestly, people are super impressed when you tell them you’re a morning gym-goer. This is its own kind of reward. I feel proud and accomplished after a morning at the gym. I think this is the best motivation I need to keep up the ritual. It just makes me feel good. Siggi’s doesn’t hurt either 😉


Have you made the switch? Are you trying? What worked? What hasn’t? Comment below!

How to Stay Committed to Meal Planning

I don’t know if it’s just me or not but I am perfectly happy to save the same meal many times a week. As long as I like it, I don’t get bored. For me, the key has been finding healthy and delicious meals that are easy to do. Prepping 10 meals per week takes about 3 hours of my Sunday, including shopping, prep, packing, and washing dishes. Here are the steps I took to make it work for me and stick to the habit…


5 Steps to Making Meal Planning a Habit

1. Find a partner.

I packed my lunch on occasion when I first started working but mostly out of necessity. I wasn’t making much and buying $10-12 lunches every day was getting really expensive. When I tried alone, I packed a PB&J a few times a week before falling out of the habit not long after. Things turned around when C said he wanted to start packing lunches to be healthier. We researched, planned, and prepped together.

2. Keep it SIMPLE.

At first, I wanted to keep things interesting so I was doing curries and stews with farro and quinoa. It stressed me out and often didn’t turn out how I wanted it to. I’d tell C to buy lunch instead and I’d shame-eat my failed lunch. I was starting to resent this process until we decided to stop fussing with the fancy stuff and stick with what we know and like.

3. Find a few basic recipes you like and add on.

I’ve settled on what I like — salad with roasted vegetables and a protein. I go into the grocery store knowing that this is what I’m working towards and buy as I see fit. My go-to ingredients are sweet potato, broccoli, carrots, and chicken breast.

4. Pick your day to shop and cook.

I plan my weekend knowing that there is a 3 hour window of my Sunday that is reserved for meal planning. As long as I set this time aside, it’s no stress. I know it’ll get done, it’ll be fast, and most importantly, it’ll be worth it. I also try to get it done before 3PM for two reasons: because the store’s produce hasn’t been ransacked yet and because I don’t feel rushed at night to get it all done.

5. Give yourself a cheat day or a break day.

10 meals per week is a lot. So if you’re just getting started, then plan in a day you can mix it up. Pick a day you can grab lunch with a coworker instead. Give yourself some wiggle room. We’re not superheros, give yourself a break.


My daily desk eats! Chicken breast (slow cooked for 6 hours), roasted sweet potato, carrots, and broccoli, red cabbage, red onion, peanuts, pepitas, and a lime vinaigrette.

 

I would love to hear your stories and ideas. Share in the comments below!

 

Happy (FAT) Tuesday!

6 Best NYC Food Instagrammers You MUST Follow

Here’s a quick list of the NYC Instagrammers I follow religiously. They create amazing, gorgeous content. The type of content that makes you sigh heavily, say “oh my god” in public, and make everyone around you feel uncomfortable. When looking at my Instagram messages, these are the accounts from which I sent the most pics pretty much all with the message “WE NEED TO EAT THIS. WHEN ARE YOU FREE?”

 


1. CheatDayEats

Jessica is the woman behind this feed of nonstop indulgent food porn is one of the most poplar Instgrammers out there. She takes super high quality photos of her favorite meals. She is one of my main inspirations for foodie finds because she is NYC based.

Meatball Monday. @pigbleeckernyc #CheatDayEats

A post shared by Jessica • Travel & Food (@cheatdayeats) on

CheatDayEats has a secondary Insta for her room services finds (@YourRoomService).

2. CY_Eats

It’s pretty obvious that CY_Eats and CheatDayEats are besties. Christine Yi’s posts are a bit more diversified, though. While 90% of the time she’s posting her favorite spots between NYC and DC, she often features her own CY_Eats Test Kitchen and her food ventures in at home. Again, all very high quality — especially her at home vids.

homemade noodle soup on a chilly morning 💯 #CYcooks

A post shared by CY Eats • NYC + DC Food,Travel (@cy_eats) on

3. IndulgentEats

Jen has a similar food philosophy — find balance. Her Insta game tends to highlight the indulge side a little more, but I am certainly not complaining. She’s a NYRR member, frequent traveler, home cook, and blogger (check it out here). Jen is definitely a huge Insta-Inspo for me!

4. HungryBetches

These ladies are just about the food. They get up-close and personal with every greasy sandwich your heart and stomach could ever dream to have. They keep their captions short and to the point — one of my favorites “Cheesy, breezy, beautiful”

Been awhile 😏

A post shared by HUNGRYBETCHES (@hungrybetches) on

5. NYCDining

The woman behind NYCDining is Skylar Bouchard. She’s an NYU alum and entrepreneur. I LOVE this girl. She is totally unstoppable and goes all out for pics, which I totally respect. Skylar has also recently launched her own business Ballsy Bites, which sells colorful and delicious cake balls. Bite-sized sin seems much less guilty 🙂

Crouching Skyler bitten taco

A post shared by Dining with Skyler (@nycdining) on

6. BrunchBoys

Who does not love brunch? No one. Because brunch is awesome. Jeremy knows how to brunch WELL. I’m a sucker for a perfectly poached runny egg and his feed features that golden yolk galore. They also curate awesome content on their blog (see it here). I love their Boozy Brunch Guide and Healthy Brunch Guide. It’s always nice to have a list depending on what kind of brunch you’re looking for (and what kind of night you are coming from).

Eating Carbs to stay warm See more from my snowday Brunch at @gelsoandgrand on #Instagramstories #Brunchboys

A post shared by Brunch Boys-NYC Food Lifestyle (@brunchboys) on


There are so many accounts, both NYC and worldwide that have some amazing content. Instagram does a great job suggesting feeds that suit your interests and Instgram has me down to the T — suggesting a wide range of health food accounts from around the globe (and for some reason a large number for Australia) and big NYC foodies (like the above) and new ones, like me! The community of foodies is HUGE and it’s fun to be a part of it whether you are creating or following. It’s a big food world out there.

Who are your favorite NYC accounts? Follow any of the above? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturdaze Thoughts

You ever just have a moment where you think, wow, this is my life. I had that thought today. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m training for the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon (22 days away!) so I went for a run this morning along the West Side Highway. As I was rounding out mile 6 of 8, I looked down towards Tribeca and the WTC and had the most beautiful view of the city and I smiled thinking about how happy I am to be living here. I must have looked like a total dufus smiling while running but I couldn’t help it. I had that moment where I thought, wow, I can’t believe I get to live here.

New York. It’s my home. It’s not that I see myself here forever necessarily but it’s is a big part of who I am today. I moved here when I was 18 to attend NYU, fell in love with this city, and couldn’t leave. It’s hella expensive, has brutally cold winters (in my opinion because I’m a total and complete wimp in the cold) and excruciatingly hot summers (sweaty bodies on the subway in August, no thanks), and can be really isolating. But it’s alive. This city has a pulse. It is constantly changing and challenging. There is so much to see and learn. Of course it has museums and parks and beautiful things like that but for me, it’s the food. I probably spend way too much time researching the New York food scene. But there is so much out there to try! Knowing that, makes me want to stay and learn… and eat. That’s really why I started my Instagram account, @FeelingFuller. I’m always eager to try more of what New York has to offer. And I want to share it!

 

From my last venture out, C and I went to Salvation Burger. Classic Burger – two thin patties, special sauce, and melty cheese

 

 

This is going to be my outlet to put all my thoughts and feelings about food. Maybe some other things in my life, like running and #struggles. Who really knows. I’ll let it evolve into whatever it wants to be. Hopefully you enjoy!

My First Half Marathon: Staten Island 2014

I’m running the United Airlines NYC Half this year! I’m so excited and a little terrified. I’ve been reflecting on my first half marathon and how I got started in all this.

I wasn’t a runner. I only got into running about two and a half years ago. Before that, I played varsity softball in high school but wasn’t a really active person. I could probably run a couple miles at a slow pace as a work out. But I was NOT a runner. In the summer of 2014, my friend Travis was in the process of doing NYRR 9+1 to qualify for the NYC Marathon. He asked if I wanted to do a race or two with him. I thought it sounded like fun so I said yes. I signed up for two races — a 4 miler and a half marathon. Why you ask? Why did I pick a 4 miler and then a 13 miler? I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. Maybe I was feeling particularly ambitious or spunky that day. Who knows. But I signed up for both. I ran the 4 miler on a miserably humid day in August and I immediately regretted signing up for the half. One would probably think, “Obviously if this race was difficult, she will train for a race that is three times this length.” Think again. I avoided training at all costs. I went into my first half marathon completely unprepared.

The day of the Staten Island Half was October 12, 2014. It was 45 degrees with high humidity. I took the ferry over with Travis, dropped off my bags, and stood shaking in terror at the starting line. I finished. And averaged about a 10 minute mile. I was just thrilled to have finished. I met Travis at the finish line. He had finished about half an hour earlier. We got bagels and water and took the ferry back. I was really proud of myself! From then on, I was hooked. I ran the United Airlines NYC Half in March 2015, Brooklyn Half May 2015, Midnight Color Run July 2015, Inaugural Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half October 2015, Tough Mudder November 2015, and my first full marathon in Disney World January 2016.


 

October 2014, Staten Island Half, NYRR
Rock n Roll Half, October 2015 *C finished before I did
NJ Tough Mudder, November 2015 *Team included my older sister, little brother, and other strong men
Disney World Marathon, January 2016 *Ran step-for-step with C

I’ve had so many great races and amazing memories, but I got injured last March. I was out of commission for 6 months. This half in March will be my first race back since my injury so the training and prep has been nerve wracking. I’ll do a full post on my injury soon but for now, looking back at all the good times above, staying positive about my future races!

Thanks for reading! Happy Hump Day 🙂

Oat Affair: A Love Story

I’m not sure when my obsession started but it was around a year ago. We were never casual. It got hot and heavy fast. One day it stumbled into my life and was there basically every day since.

I have overnight oats for breakfast 5 days a week and slow cooked warm oats one day a week (the other is reserved for an avocado, bacon, egg, and ~extra~ cheese on a toasted everything bagel). They’re my go-to favorite breakfast meal. Of course when I walk by the cafe with freshly made pastries on my way to work, I turn and think twice about a warm buttery croissant. And yet, I never waiver. I LOVE my overnight oats. It’s comforting and part of my morning routine. I look forward to it.

I stick to the basic recipe below:

1/3 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup almond milk

1 scoop protein powder

1 tsp cinnamon


But then, if I remember to pack it, I add extra ingredients to make it interesting. I usually add one of a few basic ingredients I have lying around. When I need a little extra uumph to my oats, I add pumpkin puree or Greek yogurt. If I want some crunch, I throw in pepitas or walnuts. If I’m feeling decadent, granola. And usually I’ll just toss in whatever fruit I have around that has had its good days behind it.

I’ve always been into super simple breakfasts — something that will give me energy to get through my morning but not too much to slow me down (which is super necessary when your job requires you to sit in front of 3 monitors for 10 hours a day). Oats? Check! I also want something that I don’t have to spend time preparing because if I had to do it every day, I probably would get lazy and have breakfast sandwiches or granola bars. Overnight oats prepped Sunday night for the whole week? Check! Finally, I want something that I can play with a little. It’s easy to get bored of something if you have it 5 days a week but having a simple base recipe that I constantly add to keeps it interesting. Omnifarious oats? (Yes, I had to use a thesaurus until I found an appropriate “O” adjective. And no, I don’t know if I used that correctly.) Oats check the boxes for me!

How do you do your oats? What kind do you use? How do you keep it interesting?


To you, my love. I’ll never leave you…

 

Hello world!

Hi! I’m Haley Fuller (which is hopefully lending to some punniness in the blog name now). I’m a 25 year old New York transplant and I LOVE the food this city has to offer. I spend about 95% of my leisure time thinking about food so it’s about time I got an outlet.

I’m not sure what this blog will be about just yet. It will probably be a mish-mash of thoughts about last night’s Top Chef episode to whatever healthy baking attempt I failed at last night or posting about (another) fried chicken sandwich I had last night.

I’m really writing this because I love food. I love the community that it builds and memories that surround it.

Please, enjoy!

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