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Gym Rat

The Benefits of Dark Chocolate

This past weekend, I attempted to abstain from eating sugary snacks that I normally would eat and especially when going out for dinner. I usually end up ordering something chocolate-ey like chocolate cake or brownies for dessert. Instead, I opted to eat dark chocolate bars when I got a craving attack for sugary foods. In my previous post titled, Sugar Addiction, I wrote about how consuming sugary foods and drinks can alter brain chemistry to want more and more of a particular food. After meals, I tend to have a craving for chocolate so to mitigate this, I decided to only eat dark chocolate bars because not only do they have less sugar than milk chocolate, they are also healthy! Continue reading

My Grocery List

When it comes to eating well and eating “clean”, NYC is probably one of the hardest places to find the right balance. There are so many great restaurants and “fast food” options that New Yorkers succumb to because when time is of the essence, resorting to eating at these establishments are sometimes our best bet. Even finding a grocery store and lugging all your groceries home can be a bit difficult at times. However, I realized that eating a “clean” diet is essential to achieving my fitness goals and buying groceries is definitely a “cleaner” way to eating well. Below is a picture of some staple foods, which I order online from Fresh Direct – a service based in New York that delivers groceries right to my door! Continue reading

Stretching Exercises

In my previous post titled, The Important of Receiving a Massage, I mentioned how consistent exercise can bring on muscle soreness or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) because of inflammation of the muscle as a result of microtears of the muscle fibers. To improve flexibility and decrease risks of injury, I turn to stretching. Below are examples of what I like to do after a cardio workout or after body conditioning classes at my local gym. Practicing yoga is beneficial as well!

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Interview with Vic Sharma

I had the great pleasure of interviewing one of my readers. I appreciate all the support and love I receive for Gym Rat so I especially loved the enthusiasm from my interviewee, Vic Sharma. Thank you for your support and I hope that from this interview, many other readers can be inspired by Vic’s insight. Enjoy! Continue reading

The Greek Diet

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind with work and school. Midterms are around the corner so I apologize for the sporadic posts. Next week is my Spring Break (wow, didn’t think I would say that in a million years but I still have to work. Meh!) and I promise Gym Rat will be updated more frequently!

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The Importance of Receiving A Massage


I used to think that getting a massage on a regular basis was somewhat of a luxury and only required when on vacation or something to reward yourself with. However, I learned that getting a massage regularly can help your muscles recover properly after strenuous workouts. Last week, I went to a nail salon close by my workplace to get a manicure and I decided to get a 10-minute chair massage also. My masseur helped me face forward on a chair with my face resting in a cradle looking down towards the floor. This sitting posture helped my back and neck completely relax while the masseur used the Swedish massage technique to relieve muscle tension. This type of massage is also used to enhance the flow of blood to the heart, remove waste products from tissues, stretch ligaments and tendons, and ease physical and emotional tension. Continue reading

Crack is Whack!

I was at my friend’s place in Philadelphia when I heard of Whitney Houston’s death. We were all sitting around getting ready to eat dinner, laughing and having a good time. I was so shocked by her death that I asked my friends if we could have a moment of silence for her. I obviously don’t know her personally but I grew up listening to her and belting her songs out at the top of my lungs that I felt as if she was a part of me. My favorite song was“I Will Always Love You” and I could never, for the life of me, hit the notes right. Such a beautiful song but also a difficult one to sing. Truly talented singers like Whitney are hard to come by and they only come around once in a lifetime. Continue reading

Good Friends, Good Wine & Good Times

Philadelphia, PA

This past weekend, I took a trip down to the beautiful and cozy city of Philadelphia, PA to spend time with the best friends I have ever had. I met all of them when I was 17 years old and for the past 10 years, I have enjoyed every single moment in their company. They are the ones who make my life so exciting! Every morning after I wake up, I like to tune into NBC’s Today Show and Willard Scott, where he announces Centenarian birthdays. One Centenarian remarked that the secret to longevity is to having good friends by his side. How sweet, right?! It is important to hold great and meaningful relationships with the ones you love because I personally believe it is the key to happiness and longevity.

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Eat Better. Workout Better. Live Better.

I hope you guys had a great weekend! Unfortunately, I came down with the flu and was unable to go through with my weekend plans, which even included missing my college sorority’s formal. I was also unable to exercise and practice yoga as I normally would If I had felt better. Through my illness, I constantly reverted back to what my highschool varsity lacrosse coach’s mantra, which was to have patience, persistence and perseverance.

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Calories In, Calories Out


Michael Phelps eats close to 12,000 calories per day. (Assocated Press Photo)

Many Americans believe that if you exercise, you can eat whatever you want. This is 100% not the case, unless of course you are Michael Phelps. However, Phelps is known to exercise 5 hours a day for 6 days per week. Whatever he eats (and that is a lot!) needs to be in alignment with his caloric demand when exercising. If he doesn’t eat enough to replenish the calories he has burned, Phelp’s body and muscles will not recover properly.

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