By: Jessica Sullivan
At Body Cycle Studio we firmly believe that it’s more than alright to treat yourself every once in a while. It can’t be all spin all day, it has to be a lot of work, in addition to some play.
While BCS’s Jess Sullivan may be known for her explicit rides and the love/hate relationship she makes you have for clapping, her knowledge of where to go, and how to not feel guilty for treating yourself in Philly is exceptional.
Wellness is not about deprivation or punishment, but about celebrating yourself – being your best version. Sometimes that celebration calls for a night of drinks, laughs, and dancing!
You can indulge in a night out without railroading your progress. And no, I am not going to tell you to only have two drinks and go to bed before midnight. I’m talking about having way more fun than that (have you met me?).
Fitness is a balance and we have to be realistic about approaching a night out.
Set it up:
Schedule a workout the next morning (hello to my friends who run the Schuylkill with me Sundays). Plan something to get you going so you don’t waste the next day on a hangover. It’ll also keep you from those last few drinks or late night snacking to know you’re obligated to be a decent, functioning human again the next morning. You can cry while you do it – but you have to do it.
Dehydration is a cunning enemy, especially in the summer. If you go from spin to a lift to drinks, you are likely setting yourself up for failure. If you make sure every single day, regardless of plans to drink alcohol, that you hydrate your body properly, you’re doing yourself a huge favor in terms of drinking recovery.
Now the fun part.
Get after it:
We can indulge, but we can’t indulge in everything at once. Drinks are extra calories and all sugar and we can’t sacrifice eating to drink (okay – you can but we’ve all seen the bottom of that toilet bowl). You should; however, sacrifice normally reasonable food treats if you’re indulging in liquid treats. If you’re drinking you don’t get dessert. Follow that rule everywhere except weddings. Wedding cake is special.
Jess’ Neighborhood Spots:
Yum. I eat everything except the noodles here. Veggies on veggies. There are a couple of fried apps to stay away from but in general, you can go nuts there. Drink the Thai Tom, trust me.
Perfect when V-Street is packed. If you eat fish, you are set. You can go sashimi and sautéed brussel sprouts (sorry, the fried ones are delicious, but we’re indulging in drinks tonight – not food). If you’re a mushroom lover, they have a side dish that I order no matter what.
Bar Bom Bon:
Everything vegan. Guacamole is amazing (corn, yucca, or plantain chips), salads are crisp and light, brussel sprout tacos are a must, and be sure to order your margarita with crushed jalapeños.
Drink spots (post dinner, pre-dancing):
If you’ve talked to me for five minutes, you know I love a.bar. Their cocktails are to die for and the bartenders are beyond cool. It’s my favorite spot in the entire city. My drink of choice is the Holtzman Effect, but be careful because these petite drinks pack a spicy punch.
Who doesn’t want to sit half outside, half inside at an intimate bar with comfy seats? No one. You can go traditional martini (though I do mine with vodka) or the Rittenhouse. Wouldn’t recommend ordering more than one or two of those though!
Because duh. This bar is worth the occasional wait to get in. You’re transported from Philadelphia to NY in the elevator. They have a frozen margarita that you can slowly sip as you admire the breathtaking view of the city. You must!
First though, my end-the-night drink? Titos and soda, splash of cran or pineapple if you need a little flavor.
This was cool when I was 22 (yesterday) and remains cool now. It’s sweaty and packed but you can wiggle your way to the dance floor and the music is crazy loud, crazy fun. You will run into fellow bodyrockers, I always do.
Consider it BYOFriends. You’re not making friends on this dance floor; it’s a bizarre crowd and a lot of the regulars aren’t exactly breaking it down under the flashing lights. But where else can you bring a massive crew of friends you picked up throughout the night and dance on a pleasantly semi-empty floor? Nowhere. Fun music, easy to get a drink.
Sometimes you just wanna jump to a techno beat. Multiple rooms, tons of interesting people, music is clubby, which is not my favorite, but is fun when you’ve had a few and want to start moving around.
No way. You have a workout in the morning. Time to go home, drink water, and set your alarm. You can have a lot of fun but you can’t have ALL the fun.