FunkTravels Fitness

WRITING: Get Fit with These 3 Fitness Apps

Exercise has always been a part of my life and tends to always make it into my year goals . It started with my mom and dad always committing to exercising when we were young. Throughout primary school and into high school, physical education class continued reinforcing the importance. Then I continued on with it throughout college. I will admit, there were season of inactivity and it was never helpful! I feel like I have been in one of those seasons recently actually. So this is a post is a good reminder how I can exercise on the road!

I wrote an article featured on SaganMorrow titled Get Fit with These 3 Fitness Apps. In the post, I highlighted 3 apps I have used and loved.

 

 

Unfortunately, the website I wrote for recently rebranded and the article is no longer available via her website.

But you can still read the article below:

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What type of exercise do you like? Or if you don’t like to exercise, which of these seem to be the most appealing: running, pilates, strengthening, or something else entirely? I generally feel the best after I go for a run, but I don’t always want to run; cue the excuses of bad weather, being tired, and.. to be completely honest..  my personal lack of motivation (but let’s not talk about that one!).

So if you are anything like me, your love for exercise ebbs and flows. When I was living and traveling overseas, I was forced me to be creative in how to do my exercising.  My biggest question was “What else can I do to adapt and spice up my routine?”

I found that choosing a workout video, an online cardio class, or pilates routine helped keep things interesting but the internet is not always dependable when you are traveling. But since living in the states for the last few years, there have been 3 helpful tools that I have found to kept me going:

  1. Mapmyrun (app)

There are many exercise tracking apps, but I have enjoyed mapmyrun the most. It is great for running, walking, biking, or pretty much anything else you can do outside. This app uses your phone’s GPS to track your routes and record the details about your run. You can even adjust the settings to have it notify you when you complete miles and tell you your pace. This keeps me informed on my progress so I know if I need run faster or slow down to meet my goal… and we all know it’s telling me to slow down, right? The app will also send you weekly and monthly reports of the workouts you have logged. This log of my runs really keeps me motivated and makes me want to achieve more goals. Speaking of which, I should probably get going on using it more… this winter wasn’t great for my outdoor running habit.

  1. Daily Burn (website and app)

This online community has exploded in popularity; maybe due to their cheesy commercials. For $14/month or so you can have access to online workout videos that you can complete at random, pick a program, or – my favorite – join up with their 365 workout. The 365 workout is live every morning at 9 am; but don’t worry, you have 24 hours to catch it later if you miss it. There are new routines every day like cardio, kickboxing, yoga, and pilates! The downside is that some of the intense workouts require extra equipment like a medicine ball… who owns one of those anyways? I easily get board of doing the same video routine over and over, so for me this is a huge bonus.

  1. The Balanced Life (website)

If you like the yoga/pilates side of exercise more, than this one is for you. Yoga has never really been my friend, but maybe one day I will learn to love it. But pilates is a different story. I can at least accomplish it with a little more ease. The Balanced Life, led by Robin, just did a 30 day challenge and it was amazing to see how sore a 10 minute session of pilates made me! Robin has pilates videos for beginners and quite a few public workout series. If you really love it, like my sister does, you can join The Sisterhood for a monthly fee which gets you into a private support group with accountability. It also can send you a new workout link which are waiting in your email inbox every morning when you wake up.

So if you are looking for something new, I’d try one of these out. They have really helped me keep my exercise routine for getting boring.

Have tried any of the 3 options I mentioned? If so, what do you think?

What other apps or websites do you use to help with your exercise routine spicy?

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I would love to hear what apps you use for exercising!

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

EVENTS: First Annual GastronomIzmir Festival at MaviBahçe

If you listened in to our recent podcast episode033 about our top 10 favorite Turkish foods, then you know that food has been and always will be a big deal in Turkey. As new trends are opening up in Turkey, we are seeing more and more festivals dedicated to learning about specialty gourmet foods (example: Izmir Chocolate Festival and Organic Bazaar at MaviBahçe). The recent new GastronomIzmir Festival at MaviBahçe is not going to be left behind!

 

Photo from MaviBahçe

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

On May 13-17 Izmir held it’s first ever GastronomIzmir Festival at MaviBahçe Mall.  No entrance fee was required to take part. The festival organized tents, stages, tables and chairs in the middle of the open air mall for guests to enjoy.  Throughout the 5 day event, free workshops, presentations, awards, and music were scheduled for everyone to enjoy.  Every few hours, sponsors passed out yummy mini size food to the attendees. If you wanted to explore further, participating restaurants within the MaviBahçe Mall contributed a special menu item you could enjoy that week.

Since we came to the start of the festival, most stations were still setting up, but we did enjoy a warm sandwich, music, part of the first workshop, and snapped some pictures. Hopefully next year will bring a 2nd annual GastronomIzmir Festival!

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

 

Enjoy a short video below!

Questions:

Did you go to this festival?

Would you got to something like this in the future?

What food would you hope to see there?

 

 

MaviBahçe GastronomIzmir Festival

 

 

FunkTravels Eski Foca

EXPAT: Read our interview with ExpatArrivals

Our 1 year mark is quickly approaching! We are somewhat surprised at how quickly it flew by. While my main goals are connecting with our neighbours and community and language learning, I have loved getting to know other expats as well.  Part of our move over here was researching information about expat life via several expat website, one of them being ExpatArrivals.

Websites like ExpatArrivals help others gain knowledge about the community, cost of living, and even neighbourhoods. Some of the best advice is from first hand experience.

Being an expat in another country means you have a unique perspective. As we have transitioned to Izmir, I have enjoyed hearing other expat stories and how they moved from their native countries. Everyone has a story and no two are the same. You, too, have asked us questions about our expat lives, and in our FunkTravels Podcast Episode032 and Episode033 we answered most of them!

Recently, I shared via an interview at ExpatArrivals website to help others potential expats moving to Turkey in the future. The interview covers questions from hospitals, schooling, trailing spouses, and kids. If you have wondered about anything of these, then continue reading about here…

 

 

expatarrivals Interview FunkTravels

 

What question did you like? Did you learn anything new?

 

WRITING: 5 ways to document your expat adventures

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I LOVE talking about expat living. Not a traveling digital nomad, but a ‘we found a county and stayed put’ type of digital expat. Before I moved, I had this jumble mix of what I loved writing about and I had a hard time narrowing it down to one specific area. But over the last 8 months of living in Turkey, my 2nd time to move abroad, and writing this article about culture shock, I think I have found my niche!

Even more than chatting about expat living, I love sharing the ways I have documented our expat adventures. *Spoiler* The most interesting way is through our FunkTravels Podcast! I recently wrote an article for Expat Magazine at Expat.com titled “5 Ways to Document Your Expat Adventures.” In the midst of moving, traveling, and adjusting to another culture, documenting our memories can be the one thing that is thrown to the way side. It also becomes one of the biggest regrets by those when they journey onward to the next phase of life.

Here is the start of the article:

You know how a deep, sound sleep can disorient you? I woke up one morning and asked myself: Where am I? Something in the room made me think I was living in Turkey on a chilly fall morning — maybe it was the sunlight streaming in through the windows just so, or the smell of the crisp morning air coming in through the open window. Reality quickly set in — I was no longer living in Turkey, but instead I was in my bed in the States. It’s funny to remember that now because my husband and I now live in Turkey once again. The smells and sounds of the neighbourhoods are ingrained into my memory, and I know this is our lovely Turkey.

I’ve spent five of the past ten years as an expat — both single and married — and I love to keep hold of the memories of the journey and adventures that come with every expat experience. I know that when my husband and I are back to the States, I will enjoy retrieving the different ways I used to document our time abroad and reminiscing and sharing the stories.

Continue reading…

 

 

I would love to hear how you document your expat adventures!

FOOD: Whole30 Tips and Tricks

In a non-travel related post, Jason and I just finished our 4th, yes FOURTH, Whole 30. (Ok, we were a few days short due to travel, but shhhh don’t tell!)

For 30 days, your diet is limited to unprocessed, ‘whole’ foods (mostly meat, fish, veggies and fruits) – no legumes, grains, dairy, sugar, or alcohol. You can read more about it here and if time, read the book that explains the logic behind it! Since our first round, more helpful resources and recipes have come out, and a few more foods have been added to the ‘acceptable’ list (like kombucha and white potatoes as well as sweet potatoes… which is really helpful for us here in Turkey because sweet potatoes are at fancy store and cost you your first child…)  

My sister is actually the one that started us on this journey, thanks sis…. Then, Jason read the book while we were dating, and decided to try it. I said, “Heck, well if you are going to eat this way then why not try this food thing together for 30 days…” And so it started the journey of learning more about food. Even more so, I learned about the relationship certain foods had with my body.

Here are 4 things I learned/habits it broke:

1. Dairy- I learned dairy is not very kind to my system and it makes me feel bloated. I realized this when I moved to Turkey the first time, but thought it was just milk. Not having any dairy produces for 30 days (which was REALLY hard by the way) taught me that I need to be more picky about what dairy I eat. It broke my habit of ‘having’ to have cheese on everything, and now I mostly go without it.

2. Coffee – I can drink coffee without yummy delicious coffee creamers. In fact, now I prefer it! I still like a little creaminess but I use other options like bulletproof coffee, coconut oil, and heavy whipping cream (non-box cream is really hard to find here in Turkey)

3. Sugar – This was the MOST frustrating part of Whole30. I did not realize how MUCH sugar I was consuming daily from grabbing a piece of candy here and there. Also, sooo much processed (boxed, prepared, powder, frozen) food has sugar hidden in it as well. I learned to check everything before I bought it even when I am not on the Whole30 for the rest of the 11 months of the year. If I can enjoy it without sugar then why buy something with extra sugar in it?

4. Cooking – I can cook, and it’s get easier the more you try. In fact, the more we cook with veggies, the more I can change up spices, oil, and combinations to create unique flavors. Messing up and creating messes when cooking is part of the deal!

For those who are just starting off with Whole30, here are my tips for you!

To be clear, we were not strict on organic/grass-fed products. At the time (and even now to be honest) it just isn’t always an option and it can be expensive depending on where you live and what is accessible to you.

Have on hand:

1. EGGS – This is your easy go-to lifesaver when you are feeling tired of cooking or just don’t have time! We always bought a large batch of eggs and boiled about half of them. This is a great quick protein option for pre or post workouts as well. The first round I was training for a half marathon and the extra protein servings were really important to me! Also, egg salad is a great lunch option!

2. MAYO – Spend the time to make your own mayo. If you take time on the weekend to do this, it will be a great help you during the week when you need a little ‘extra somethin’ for your food. Great for egg salad, chicken salad, lettuce wraps, burgers, dressings, etc.

3. SALAD DRESSING – Make a salad dressing on the weekend for your week. If you love ranch, use the homemade mayo and try mixing up the Whole30 Dump Ranch dressing (I like this one). If you don’t know much about oil based dressings, experiment! The usually ratio is 2/3(oil) to 1/3(vinegar) and add spices – THAT’S IT. Each week you can change it up a bit, and it will be helpful for a quick salad!

4. COFFEE lovers – You have a couple of options if you are a ‘milk and sugar with a little coffee’ person. First off, sorry, no sugar subs, but you CAN do this! But for milk – Canned coconut milk, ghee, heavy whipping cream and coconut oil. I personally prefer the fresh organic heavy whipping cream(I told you I am picky about my dairy products now!) or coconut oil (blend really well!). For the coconut oil, I use an ice cube tray and make little single serving coconut oil cubes (keep in the fridge). This makes it an easy go to for my morning coffee ‘creamer’.  

5. COCONUT MILK – This is one of my most used items during Whole30. A lot of indian/thai meals use dairy and canned coconut milk is a great substitute. It is perfect for making soup creamier. Only use the canned milked as there are no additives.

6. GHEE – Just spend the money and buy it – or make your own. Yes, it is not exactly like butter so you have to get use to it. Perfect for the bulletproof coffee, roasting veggies, and topping a baked sweet potato.

Hobo meal when we were out camping! Whole30 compliant while out and about!

Buy from the store:

– Trader Joes Just Mango Slices (dried mango) – NO sugar added(be careful because they get mixed in with the sugar ones!)

– Trader Joes Salsa and Pineapple Salsa(I think there is no sugar)

– Trader Joes Roasted Plantain Chips

– Trader Joes Ghee

– Trader Joes Almond Butter

– Trader Joes Grass Fed Angus Beef Burgers – reasonably priced

– Sesame Oil – Little pricey but gives a new flavor to roasted veggies and great for stir fry!

– Fish Sauce – Smell terrible but so good on thai dishes

– Coconut Aminos – Lifesaver for Asian meals which we love to make!

– Sam’s Club Coconut Oil – massive container

– Trader Joes or Aldi Nuts are great to have on hand for snacks(which technically is not encouraged)- the Whole30 list tells you which ones are preferred. Nuts are just expensive, but really good options to have on hand!

– Aldi Salsa – There are some that do not have sugar!

– Aldi Sweet Potato Chips – While this is technically not Whole30 ideals, the ingredients are only sweet potatoes, oil, and salt. And it was a heck of alot easier to buy these then make sweet potato chips (which we did our first round).

– Aldi has Grass-fed beef and chicken now

– Aldi avocados, avocados, avocccaaaaddddoooossss  – So versatile! Breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Actually most of our produce came from Aldi or TJ.

Cooking – My advice for first-timers… KEEP IT SIMPLE! While it would be great to recreate your favorite Chinese meal Whole30 style, it is not always easy. Don’t frustrate yourself, but instead learn how to make the simple items great!  Also, PLAN AHEAD. Food just takes more time in general when you cook from scratch. I am a planner when it comes to meals and Jason is not. So the last few times we have done Whole30, Jason just does it. He is better at last minute game-plans. However, if you are a planner and take your lunch to work, it easier to have a list of options to cook so that I wasn’t frustrated!  Something like, Breakfast – Eggs and Avocados, Lunch – Salad with Tuna, Dinner – Chicken with roasted veggies. Nothing hard!

Eating out – This one is just hard, and we just gave ourselves some grace. There are lots of eating out guide out on the web – like this one. Whole30 also covers how eat out in a little question guide.

Lastly, if you mess up, IT IS OKAY. Just continue on with the program! Your life is NOT ruined. Actually, Jason and I got engaged around day 2o something during our first Whole30 (couple that eat together, stay together 😉 ). So we celebrated by going to eat Mexican Food which is exactly the opposite of the goal of Whole30… let’s just say that after 20 days of no grains, dairy or alcohol, that was NOT a good idea to have the margarita! But the next day, we were back on track and finished out the rest of the program!

The more I write on this, the more I have to say! Maybe I’ll write another post about it in the future!

Questions:

What would you like to know more about?  Meal prep? Whole30 Instagram accounts?

What did you find helpful?

What area of Whole30 are you finding difficult?