The First Few Weeks

I’m not just about summer sweat of course, as evidenced by the name of this blog. It happens to be a passion and something I enjoy doing in my free time but I haven’t forgotten to include some things about life and teaching on this space either.

I’ve officially completed 2 of my 6 weeks of induction/institute training for Teach for America and today, had my first official day as a teacher.

These past two weeks have been great. In fact, this is the best away-from-home learning I’ve ever had. Every other time I go to a training, I leave underwhelmed, confused and not sure what I’m doing.

Here, I feel confident in myself, my ability and my commitment to learning and getting better. I am on a similar page to people, I am open and I’m getting to know myself and others.

The experience is definitely tiring. Getting up at 5:30 AM has not gotten easier and I don’t know how I used to get up at 4:45 to go to the gym. It’s no wonder I used to be sick and tired all the time! While not physically demanding, I leave drained. It’s mentally exhausting listening and thinking, discussing, etc. for so many hours a day. The content is interesting though and the work enjoyable so at least I don’t feel the time is wasted.

As for the work, manageable. I had heard so many horror stories about the amount of work, the stress, the etc. Maybe it’s just me, but I am caught up, confident in my abilities and happy with what I am producing. I have been able to make it to the gym, head out to the store and do other things in my “free” time besides work on work. I’m surprised and incredibly happy with the way things are going¬†so far. Crossing my fingers it’s not just a beginners luck type of thing ūüôā

I’m finally content with what I’m doing right now. I have a direction, I have a focus and I’m committed to something whole heartedly. This is good. It’s what I’ve been searching for and ¬†just what I’ve needed.


Summer Sweat: 11

We’re going simple again today because sometimes, simplicity is best.

15 squat jumps
10 pushups
1 minute jumprope

Repeat at least 5 times, and up to 10. It’s sure to be a burner!

Sunday Link Love

I can’t decide which day I like the best when it comes to reading blog posts with links. It’s a great way to end the work week on Friday, a great way to start the week on Sunday and also a nice “break” on a Monday.

I had a great morning today reading from Amanda so I figured today would be the day here on Elementary Easel.

This NY Times article on gut bacteria is so interesting and really hitting home for me.

I typically spend a lot of time on my own because I quite simply enjoy it. Do you need me time too? The answer is yes.

I love the articles on Eat to Perform and this one spoke to me the other day.

Gimme these cookies.

This guy filled pot holes with mosaics of ice cream. So creative!

These strawberry shortcake pancakes look amazing!

Turmeric bombs! so good for you!

and for good measure, some random views of my week! (follow me on Instagram to see more!)

#philidelphia #philly #phillyinstitute15

A post shared by Alex Vieira (@a_vieira1) on

It's hard to pass on fresh Amish ice cream #philly

A post shared by Alex Vieira (@a_vieira1) on


Summer Sweat: 10

how were the sprints? Did you try them out? 
Today, pick up the weights. 

You’re going to do:

10 shoulder press 

10 reverse lunges (each leg) 

10 curls 

10 squats 

Pick a weight that you can hold onto for all of those movements. You can use a barbell or dumbbells. Go fast paced, but practice proper form. Complete all the movements then rest for about a minute before going through the circuit again. You will perform the whole circuit 5 times. 

Summer Sweat: 9

We’re taking it outside today!

You’re going to preferably find a hill. This doesn’t mean a mountain, it means a small hill.

Very simply, run up the hill and walk down 10 times.

If you don’t have a hill, you’re going to do sidewalk sprints. Sprint about 100m and walk back. If you choose this option, you might need a little more recovery time so take an extra few seconds if needed.

Simple, fun and effective!

Summer Sweat: 8

Sorry for being MIA! I’m currently away at teacher training and didn’t realize how much time wouldn’t be spent near a computer (..or phone!)

Anyway, let’s get back to the summer sweat workouts!

This morning’s workout is all about the whole body:

3 rounds:

10 dumbbell thrusters
10 pushups
9 dumbbell thrusters
9 pushups
8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,

use a weight that you can do 10 reps with without struggling. This is a lot of repetitions.

Friday Link Fun

My favorite part about getting on the computer on Friday is seeing all of the link love posts on the blogs I follow. I seriously enjoy finding new things to peruse, buy and create. The internet is such a vast land that’s impossible to explore completely on your own.

My favorite links this week:

I’ve been DILIGENT about being consistent with meditation, journaling and other good mind practices. I found this website yesterday and it has a ton of good information about mindfulness, practice, etc.

Coconut flour is my absolute favorite. Sometimes, I actually make it my dessert–mixed with a little gelatin, a few chocolate chips and some coconut milk. This porridge looks absolutely delicious and is a must make recipe on my list.

Calluses on your hands? Yes, me too. Learn to take care of them properly.

Do you reach for coffee or water first in the a.m.? Start with warm lemon water! 

Want defined abs? Start here.

I’m an introvert. This whole site is accurate.

Summer Sweat: Day 7

Today you’re going to need a timer/interval timer/watch (there are a ton of free apps for phones that do this too!)

The workout of the day is every minute, on the minute.

Grab a pair of lightish dumbbells for some overhead pressing.

Every minute, for 15 minutes, you are going to perform:

10 overhead presses
10 squats holding the dumbbells
10 situps

Your rest is the time you have left in each round.

Have fun!

Summer Sweat: Day 5

Here’s Day 5 of my Summer Sweat series–quick workouts guaranteed to get your heart pumping and your body sweatin’.

On Sundays, my coach and I do what we call a “Monster Mash” on Sunday–usually a¬†very long endurance workout that involves as much crazy as we can throw in at once. Or, a few very simple things that are tougher than they seem.

Yesterday¬†was one of those days. I’m¬†using the theme of our workout and changing it a bit for todays sweat session.

You Need:
A jump rope
A heavy medicine ball *have to be able to get it over your shoulder*
1 heavy-ish dumbbell or two lighter ones (ex. 30# or 2 15#s)

Work it Out:

2 minutes jump rope
10 dumbbell thrusters (squat down with dumbbell, press overhead as you stand)
10 push-ups
10 ball throws over your shoulder
10 sit-ups

1.5 minutes jumprope
10 dumbbell thrusters (squat down with dumbbell, press overhead as you stand)
10 push-ups
10 ball throws over your shoulder
10 sit-ups

1 minute jumprope
10 dumbbell thrusters (squat down with dumbbell, press overhead as you stand)
10 push-ups
10 ball throws over your shoulder
10 sit-ups

30 seconds jumprope
10 dumbbell thrusters (squat down with dumbbell, press overhead as you stand)
10 push-ups
10 ball throws over your shoulder
10 sit-ups

Let me know if you try this!

**ALSO–I forgot to add in previous workouts, before beginning an exercise routine, ALWAYS warm up. Do some calisthenics like jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, etc. to get your heart pumping and your muscles warm. Never begin without properly warming up or you make yourself prone to injury (and spend half the time of your workout getting loose).