A couple of nights ago I wanted to get some fresh air so I went for a jog outside. The sun was shining, the weather was gorgeous and my playlist was on fire. My after-work stroll soon turned into a full-fledged sprint. I couldn’t stop! I could feel my core, my legs and my strength propelling my body forward. It filled me with such an adrenaline rush and I was so proud of my body! I attribute this to Orangetheory Fitness.
About one year ago I decided to try Orangetheory because I had heard my cousins and friends talk about it. I was hesitant because it was certainly more expensive than my generic gym membership, but I was open to making the investment. After the first class, I knew I was hooked. The heart rate-based interval training has three stations: running/power walking, rowing and strength training. Once you’re working at 84% or more of your max heart rate, you’re in the “orange zone,” which is where Orangetheory gets its name. If you’re into numbers or are competitive, seeing your heart rate on the display screen can motivate you. If you are like me and just want a great workout, you can use these numbers to hold you accountable.
I love the high-energy crew I have gotten to know at the Orangetheory Ironworks at Keystone location. Head Coach Kim lead one of the first classes I went to and she is the one that got me to really push myself on the treadmill. I used to despise running, which is ironic because my mom was a marathon runner. Kim, like all the coaches, knows when to push you, when to encourage you and always is the biggest cheerleader. My friends and I stayed after class one day to do a little photoshoot for this post and I totally fangirled because Kim stayed to be in our photos!
After my workouts, I am usually starving and looking for a healthy option. When I workout in the morning, I love coming home to make a smoothie bowl. It seemed especially fitting that this particular one is orange! Steamed carrots add beta carotene, mangos add a natural sweetness, banana adds a delicious creaminess and you can even add in one scoop of your favorite protein powder if you’d like. Steam the carrots ahead of time during meal prep to use in other dishes throughout the week! Like most smoothies, you don’t have to measure exactly. Work with what you have on hand and blend up a delicious, creamy and healthy smoothie bowl.
- 1 banana
- 1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into pieces (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup frozen mango
- 1/4 cup milk of your choice
- 1 scoop of protein powder, optional
- Toppings: sliced fruit, granola, slivered almonds, nuts or cereal
- Steam carrots either in boiling water or in the microwave. For the stove method: bring a pot of water to a boil and add carrots to boil for about 10-12 minutes or until fork tender. For microwave: add carrot into a microwave safe container with about 1 tablespoon of water. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and microwave for about 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Allow to cool or store in the fridge.
- Blend banana, orange, carrots, frozen mango, milk and protein powder until completely smooth. Adjust consistency as needed by adding more milk if it’s too thick or more frozen mango if it’s too smooth.
- Top with granola, sliced fruit, slivered almonds or any of your favorite toppings for crunch.
Orangetheory intimidated me at first because I knew my strength level was not nearly where it could be. I quickly learned that the workout is for everyone from first time gym-goers to professional athletes and everyone in between. Everyone is going at their own pace during the workouts and is there for their individual progress.
A little more than a year later, I feel stronger than ever. I run faster than I ever thought I could, I hit new personal records on the rowing machine, and have to do a double take in the mirror when I see my muscles working. (Like, woah! What are those?) Whether your goal is weight loss, gaining strength or simply just giving a new workout a try, Orangetheory can be for you.
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Thank you to Orangetheory Fitness Ironworks at Keystone for sponsoring this post! If you head to that location, tell them Gourmet Gab sent you.