Best Beaches On A Budget

We all need it - A break. A getaway from our stressful, busy lives and hectic schedules. We need to unplug from the never ending, countless stream of emails and text messages and just take a moment to breathe. 

However, planning a vacation can be a stressful process itself, especially if you are on a budget. Below are 3 beaches that you can rock on a budget while feeling like a baller!

1) Longboat Key/ Anna Maria Island, Florida

Florida is famous for it's beaches. All the way from Daytona to Miami to the Keys, there are thousands of gorgeous spots to dip your toe in either the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches of Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island are perfect if you are looking for an affordable, relaxing getaway. Pristine public beaches are an option for day trips (and totally free) or renting a condo on a private beach for longer stays. Check out VRBO.com to see condos for as low as $140 a night!

2) St. John, US Virgin Islands

We know what you're thinking: "What?! This place is where Beyonce and Jay Z vacation! How can I afford that on my much less fierce budget?" Well thanks to places like Concordia Eco-Resort you can enjoy the same stunning views that the more affluent guests enjoy at a fraction of the cost!! Plus, with amenities like solar-heated showers, you are traveling eco-friendly. That is totally something Queen B would approve of!

3) Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

While Myrtle Beach might be one of the more frequented beaches on the East Coast, this means great deals in a place that has more than 100 golf courses, 60 miles of sandy shoreline, and amazing nightlife! If the beach bores you, the bar scene and multiple water parks are sure to get you revved up! Check out AirBnB for the best underground deals (minus the tourists - well, less tourists)

Now go show off those rocking beach bods you have been working so hard on without worrying so much about how fat the wallet is! We will see you in the saddle when you return :)

Find Your Greatness Ultimate Top 5

Everyone has that one song that comes on and all of a sudden your mood changes. You go from "zoned out" to "in the zone". You go from half asleep to ready to party. Often times, these songs are discovered when you are hanging out with your girlfriends. But sometimes, they are discovered when you are busting your ass in the midst of a workout. So we compiled a list of top 5 songs that will get that body moving and grooving!

1) Don't Let Me Down Ft. Daya by The Chainsmokers

2) Sit Still, Look Pretty by Daya

3) Me Too by Meghan Trainor

4) This Is What You Came For Ft Rihanna by Calvin Harris

5) All In My Head (Flex) Ft Fetty Wap by Fifth Harmony

If these songs don't get you in the mood to find your greatness, we don't know what will. So get dressed, put on your headphones, and head to REV to bust a move and get sweaty! We will see you in the saddle REVers!

REV Rider Spotlight - Jackie McKelvey

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Jackie McKelvey is a force to be reckoned with. She is not only smart and driven, but works on her fitness like it's her job. If you have had the pleasure of meeting her in the studio, it is hard to forget her. So we decided to sit her down, ask her a few questions (some relevant, some weird) and try and make her sweat. We failed. Cool, calm, and collected is the name of her game. Read below and you will understand.

REV:  How did you find out about REV?

Jackie: I used to live on Meeting St, so everyday I would pass by Rev and see it bustling with (sweaty) people and great energy. I had never taken a spin class before so I didn’t know what I was missing out on. One day my friend asked if I wanted to come to a spin class with her after work, and when I found out she takes her classes at Rev, I was overly excited to finally try it out. I’ve been spinning at Rev ever since.

REV: How long have you been riding and how many times a week do you attend?

Jackie: I’ve been riding since October 2015. It’s been quite the love affair - I typically spin 5-6 days a week.

REV: That is great! Favorite song that gets you pumped on the bike?

Jackie: There are so many songs that get me amped! It’s a tie between "How I Want Ya" - Dawin Remix by Hudson Thames and  "Drop that Low (When I Dip)" by Tujamo

REV: You mentioned you do lots of sports. What are they and how do they help you have a well balanced lifestyle?

Jackie: Right now, I’m playing bowling, bocce, and softball. I also play in kickball and dodgeball leagues. I’ve been an athlete my entire life, so playing sports/recreational activities keeps me sane. It’s not only a way to stay active throughout the week (aside from spinning), but it’s incredibly social and fun. I get to see friends all the time in the midst of our crazy busy lives.  

REV: What a great way to stay active while still managing to keep your social life alive! If you had to write your workout mantra, what would it be?

Jackie: I live by the words “become the best version of yourself.” My goal is not to be better than any other person, just to be better than the person I was yesterday. When I work out and push myself, it’s because it fulfills and inspires me, and makes me a happier, more positive person.

REV: That is not too far off from "Find Your Greatness" so naturally, we agree! You have a very busy schedule with work and trying to stay fit. How are you able to do it all while and still have time for yourself? Also, how do you make healthy eating choices with all the craziness?

Jackie: I genuinely enjoy how I fill my days up, so at the end of the day, the only “me time” needed is laying in bed watching Netflix and Game of Thrones with my boyfriend. I also don’t work on the weekends aside from the occasional house sitting and babysitting, so after sports/working out, I head to the beach with friends and the BF, shop, run errands and all that jazz. It’s a good life!

Best advice for eating healthy - get yourself a Costco membership, buy in bulk and load your kitchen with healthy options! Eating healthy for me is not a difficult or expensive task - I’m a huge fan of frozen veggies. Steam them, season them, add some chicken or eggs for protein, and you’ve got yourself a cheap & quick, healthy & delicious meal. With that said, I never forget to treat myself once in awhile. My love for ice cream runs pint deep, and I-cannot-will-not change that. I don’t believe in self-deprivation!  

REV: Now THAT is our kind of mantra! And we could not agree more. You work hard and rewarding yourself is important. 

If you were a trainer for a day, what would your themed ride be? 

Jackie: CINCO DE MAYO all day every day. So many of my workout jams are by Spanish artists.

REV: Love it! So many of our readers/riders are self starters. Tell me more about your work at The Harbor Entrepreneur Center?

Jackie: I work at The Harbor Entrepreneur Center, a nonprofit dedicated to growing entrepreneurship and scalable companies in the Charleston region. We have multiple programs and initiatives that focus on helping company founders fine-tune their skillsets and take their business to the next level (an accelerator program from startups, Forum Groups for further stage entrepreneurs, etc.). My actual title at The Harbor is “TOWGID” which is an acronym for “The One Who Gets It Done”. My role is just that. I handle marketing and social media, PR, and the planning & execution of all events and programs. We have a VERY small yet fierce team and have had a ton of growth in just two years, so each day is just as exciting and fast paced as the last. I adore my job, the relationships I’ve built through it, and the impact we’ve made on the Charleston community.

REV: What a great way to help out the community and young companies around town! It sounds like your work helps out those who are hungry enough to fight for what they believe in. Speaking of hungry, what is your favorite pre/post workout snack?

Jackie: Pre - an apple and coffee. An apple naturally enhances your energy and coffee, well, is coffee. It's a necessity. Post workout is always an omelet loaded with greens, sautéed veggies and salsa on top. YUM!

REV: Getting hungry!! Ok, now this may sound weird. But I feel like you are the perfect interviewee to ask this: What is your spirit animal? And why.

Jackie: The dolphin! Dolphins are extremely social, intuitive, playful and friendly creatures - four traits I believe I possess. I grew up wanting to be a marine biologist just so I could swim with dolphins. That obviously didn't work out.

REV: I think it is safe to say you turned out just fine. 

Thanks to Jackie for not only being a trooper in answering all these questions, but for making us all laugh. She is a great personality and great energy around the studio, so next time you see her make sure you say hi. She will surely greet you with a smile :) As always, see you in the saddle!

REV Rider Spotlight - Jeff Gerardi

Every REV rider inspires us to be better, work harder, and to find our greatness everyday. We love every single rider that walks in the door at REV. So when one of them accomplishes something huge, we want to celebrate it. Jeff Gerardi is one of those riders. Jeff recently completed 200 rides! This is not only kickass, but it is extremely inspiring to those around him. To honor this milestone, we decided to feature him in this weeks REV Rider Spotlight.       

REV: What was it that first attracted you to REV?

Jeff: I used to drive by all the time and see it and had no clue what it was. I honestly didn't even know what a spin class was until I looked it up online and thought I would give it a shot. I had taken almost a year off of exercising because I was so bored and I knew I needed to try something new.

REV: How long have you been a member?

Jeff: For two years

REV: If possible, do you remember your most memorable ride? If so, what made it the most memorable?

Jeff: One that sticks out is a Beach/Surf them that Katie had one morning. Kokomo by the Beach Boys came on, which is such a cheesy song, but it was the closest I have ever come to tapping out during a class, it was like 10 turns to the right on the knob and trudging through cement. You don't hear that song much, but whenever I do I think of that.

REV: Haha that is awesome! What is your favorite thing about REV?

Jeff: The people are fantastic and it goes by so quickly. I was running on the treadmill for a while and I could not find an easy way to make the time go by. With these classes, I swear I am always surprised that it is finished when it ends. It goes by in a snap.

REV: What motivated you to achieve 200 rides?

Jeff: I love being a regular. For the most part, the same group of folks are there every Tuesday and Thursday, you almost feel like you need to make a phone call of someone is missing. I feel bad if I dont do 3 classes a week. I had my appendix taken out a few months ago and the first thing I asked the doctor was when can I go back to class.

REV: We know the feeling! What is your favorite song to spin to?

Jeff: I have no idea. I am an elderly spinner, 47 years old, so I have to say weeks go by without me recognizing any music. It's fun to hear new things though. I bet I am the only one up there that uses an IPod still. I'm still waiting to hear some Springsteen.

REV: That is too funny! What is your favorite food to eat before/after a workout?

Jeff: I usually come early so the only thing I have before is a 5 hour energy shot. If I do my 3 classes a week, I have zero problem ordering a Sunday Pizza though.

REV: Good for you! Rewarding yourself is important! If you were an instructor for one day, what would the theme of your ride be?

Jeff: 100%, no question, 80's hair metal. Motley Crue, Poison, Ratt, Guns N Roses, you name it. I already have a ten hour playlist in my head. I think it would clear the room out in 10 minutes though. I would give everyone a lighter for the cool down. Just like the end of every good concert.

REV: LOVE that there was ZERO hesitation with that answer! What is your workout motto?

Jeff: Please don't pass out.

Needless to say, Jeff is a character and a super fun person to interview. Thanks for the laughs and the inspiration Jeff! We can't wait to see you in the saddle (or to call us if we don't show up ;) 

Charleston Eats

When it comes to food, not many places do it better than Charleston. The culinary scene is constantly changing and new, interesting, and delightful options make it harder and harder to choose your next brunch spot. Luckily, we are here to help. Enjoy REV's top 5 new spots to get your grub on. We dare you not to salivate. 

1) Wise Buck Smoked Meats

Chef Damon Wise and brand builder Jonathan Buckley bring you Wise Buck Smoked Meats AKA meat heaven! This is the first of the three concepts that will open in the former train depot as Scarecrow & Co. It focuses on slow-cooked meats, seasonal market sides, canned beers and wine, all at an affordable price.

2) Harold's Cabin

The interior of Harold's Cabin makes you feel like you are at a friend's super cool mountain house. And if that isn't intriguing enough, Bill Murray has been known to frequent the eatery (he is an investor). Breakfast ranges from $8-$10 and daily items around $12-$19, including a bison burger and grilled chicken thighs on a buttermilk biscuit in the On a Roll section. 

3) Little Jack's Tavern

Restaurateurs Brooks Reitz and Tim Mink have brought a new concept to the old Saint Alban's building. Little Jack's Tavern has comfortable eats including delicious salads that will have you feeling like lettuce is your new best friend. The shrimp and farro salad with radish and pistachio will keep you coming back. If salads aren't your thing, the pastrami on rye with gruyere will do the trick.

4) The Darling Oyster Bar

The website states in all caps: CELEBRATING THE BOUNTY OF THE SEA, THE RHYTHM OF THE SEASONS, AND THE JOY OF SAVORED MOMENTS SHARED DAILY. Mission accomplished! The snapper toast and creole shrimp are not to be missed. 

5) The Westendorff

Not only does The Westendorff serve up an amazing weekend brunch, but they also offer a special weekday brunch menu. The Frisee Salad with poached egg, bacon lardons, fine herbs, sourdough crouton, and mustard vinaigrette or the Tagliatelle with butter beans, beech mushrooms, and ricotta will not disappoint!

Mouth watering yet?

REV Rider Spotlight - Valerie Clagett

Every girl dreams of their wedding day: The dress, the band, the cake ... the open bar. And of course, the man! But on top of all the planning, a girl wants to look and feel her best on her special day.

Valerie Clagett didn't mess around when it came to getting in shape for her nuptials. With hard work and discipline she accomplished some pretty remarkable, and noticeable, goals. So remarkable, that we at REV thought it was worth sharing. So we interviewed the new Mrs. Clagett in this month's REV Rider Spotlight:

REV: What was your motive behind deciding to make this change?

Valerie: As superficial as it is, my wedding was my sole motivation. I knew I would have to be the center of attention and take pictures that would last a lifetime. It was a pretty vulnerable proposition and I was so afraid of everyone looking at me, that I decided to make a change.

REV: What was the hardest part about losing the weight?

Valerie: Honestly, it's keeping it off. I've put some back on since the wedding and it's harder to stay motivated without such a strong emotional reaction to something. Now I'm just focusing on looking decent in a bathing suit!

REV: You look amazing! How much did you lose total?

Valerie: 40 lbs!

REV: Wow! That is a total body transformation. Was there any point where you got discouraged and wanted to quit? And if so how did you get past it?

Valerie: It's less that I've been discouraged and more that I keep getting tempted. I love junk food, fried food, and delicious cocktails. I just try to remember how much better I feel when I'm being healthy. I also approach it most weeks as 5 good days vs. 2 cheat days. During the week I try to be super strict with my diet and on the weekend I'll be a bit looser (within reason). However, I won't beat myself up for going out or having a delicious meal.

REV: It is important to keep a balance. Now that you have accomplished a goal you set for yourself, how different is your mindset when it comes to working out?

Valerie: Working out, and spinning specifically, became a bit of an addiction for me. At first it was super hard to get my ass off the couch and go, but now I feel weird if I'm not working out. Luckily, exercise is the easy part - the tough part for me is the food.

REV: What was your favorite food to eat while trying to lose the weight?

Valerie: I am a huge snacker! So for me, I tried to find foods that I could eat and not feel bad about. I relied pretty heavily on Skinny Pop & Pop Chips. Both are delicious, have pretty large serving sizes, and are only 100 calories per serving. They saved me on so many days when I just wanted to nom on something while watching a movie or wanted something that tasted like a cheat between meals. 

REV: What is your next goal you are setting for yourself?

Valerie: My main goal moving forward is to stay fit and healthy. I don't want to weigh a certain amount, but I do want to feel good in my clothes and feel good in my body. When I was at my heaviest I was lethargic and got sick easily. While being skinnier is a huge perk, feeling better about myself and waking up not feeling like garbage is the real win.

Thanks Valerie for letting us in on your inspiration, motivation, and (most importantly) your snack recommendations for losing weight and feeling beautiful! You are truly someone who set a remarkable goal and found your greatness. See you in the saddle!

 

 

Spring Essentials

Spring is in full swing! That means warmer weather, longer days, and new products and places that will put some pep in your step. Check out REVLife's top picks below to ensure you have your best Spring yet:

BlokRok

Getting a healthy glow is nice, but there is nothing sexy about damaging your skin. BlokRok is a revolutionary product that allows you to liberally apply your favorite sunblock without all the mess! Simply pop off the top of the applicator, squeeze in your favorite sunscreen and apply. Or use the Bottle Rok-It which attaches directly to threaded-top lotion bottles. BlokRok offers a cleaner and less wasteful alternative to sunscreen application and it belongs anywhere - the beach, hiking, playing sports, and camping - everywhere clean hands and sun protection are essential. Visit BlokRok and use discount code ROKON to get 10% off your next purchase!

Sangria

Looking to add some chic accessories to your wardrobe? Stacy Perry, Founder and CEO of Sangria in Charleston, saw a void in the luxury retail industry. She wanted to provide women quality jewelry that was both stylish and affordable. Sangria was created to offer an eclectic collection of high quality jewelry and accessories sourcing all of the highest quality materials. Starting at just $10 every woman can afford to sport this trendy arm party by the pool or BBQ!

Parlor Deluxe

There is almost nothing better in this world than ice cream on a hot day! Parlor Deluxe not only understands this but they take it to the next level. Located on the corner of Spring and St Philip, Parlor Deluxe not only serves up hand spun milkshakes and affogato, but you can even get a waffle covered in toppings ranging from Miso butterscotch to toasted cardamom berry sauce. Needless to say, you might have to schedule back-to-back classes with SJ (but it is totally worth it!)

Coffee Kind

Hate waiting in line at Starbucks each morning when you are running late to the office? Wish you could leave your house for the day with a delicious cold pressed coffee in hand? With the Espro French Press Stainless Steel Coffee Brewer from Charleston based company, Coffee Kind, having your favorite morning beverage has never been easier - or tastier! The Espro press represents the first significant upgrade to the press brewing method in decades. It uses a unique metal micro-filter to filter coffee twice, preserving the flavor by letting coffee oils in and keeping coffee grit and fines out.
Tip for the best brew straight from the guys at Coffee Kind: Add 4oz of coarse ground coffee for 18oz of water. Let coffee grinds soak in press with water overnight or around 12 hours and plunge in the morning. This will make a concentrate and can be mixed 1:1 ratio with water or milk. 
Visit Coffee Kind and enter discount code REVCOFFEE at checkout to get 20% off your Espro purchase!

Check back soon for more inspiration, ideas, and trends on the way to finding your greatness in REVLife!

Biggest Loser Winner - Lauren Springs

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In January, Revolution Charleston challenged our riders to a “Biggest Loser” Competition. The rules were ride as often as you can in 30 days, participate in a weigh in at the start measuring weight, body fat and BMI, and whoever loses the most wins a $150 credit to REV!

There were several “losers”, but the biggest loser was Lauren Springs. Lauren kicked butt and worked hard all month finishing with a total loss of 9.4 pounds and 4.7% BMI loss! Naturally, we had to find out what motivated her and pushed her to make these impressive changes to her body in such a short amount of time. So we sat Lauren down for a post-win interview:

REV: Lauren, what do you love most about the REV experience, how did you hear about us, and how long have you been a member?

Lauren: I love REV because it embodies everything a workout should be. I've found that most workouts that are fun aren't necessarily challenging. This 45 minute experience has the best of both worlds: It is high intensity and a complete blast! I heard about REV through a friend when I asked her what exercise classes around town are known to be the best. I've been a member of REV since December and I believe I've attended over 40 classes or at least close to it. Sometimes, I even go twice in one day! I can't get enough.

REV: What was your motivation or reason behind entering the "Biggest Loser" competition?

Lauren: Athletics have always been a part of my life, from competitive gymnastics to long distance running. Despite this, I've found that over the years, weight has been more difficult to manage due to job stressors, engagements, travel, etc. I started to develop a poor body image after a several year 20 pound weight gain. It began to really affect me. I decided instead of directing all of my negative energy towards self-loathing, I would redirect it towards something positive. That is when I decided to enter the REV "Biggest Loser" competition.

REV: That is a familiar struggle for most people with busy lives! Good for you staying positive, making those changes, and proving to yourself that you are stronger than you thought. What did you do outside of REV to lose the most possible?

Lauren: My best friend always used to say, "Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym." Diet is just as important, if not more, for weight loss as exercise alone. If you ask me the secret, I'll tell you high intensity training twice a week, cardio once daily for at least 30 minutes, and clean eating. Cutting out processed foods and red meat was a major component in my weight loss fight. 

REV: What is your personal mantra when it comes to working out?

Lauren: There is a sign near Sullivan's Island that reads, "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you're headed." That really struck a chord with me. Clearly, the route I was on wasn't working. I was running 4-5 times a week for at least 25 miles and I wasn't losing the weight. The body is a machine, and mine had adjusted to my long distance runs and I was no longer burning the calories I needed for my body to change. Spin has changed my life, and my body.

Thank you to Lauren for sharing your amazing story and tips with us. You are an inspiration to us and your fellow REV riders. Keep up the good work and we will see you in the saddle!