Fake Iron & Real Italy

Happy Friday! Did this week pass by in a blur for the rest of you? It sure has gone by fast for me. Today will be quick too, because as you are reading this I am likely at the gym, at the doctor for a confirmation of pregnancy visit, or at lunch with Lindsey of Cardio Pizza. I’ll be back later with an update on all of those. Right now though, it is time for a flashback and something I saw that bothered me earlier in the week. We’ll get the irksome out of the way first.

In recent celebrity “news” articles, like this one, there has been discussion of Gwyneth Paltrow working out with her beloved Tracy Anderson in order to get in shape for her role in the Iron Man 2 movie. There are claims that Tracy Anderson’s special method helped Gwyneth put on 10 lbs of muscle…with “aerobic dance moves” and a leg workout similar to the following:

I’m sorry to be such a cynic…but a bunch of leg lifts, kicks, and funky body twists accompanied with “aerobic dance moves” will NOT make you gain 10 lbs of muscle. Especially while also leaning down. You would have to eat a great surplus of calories and do more concentrated weight lifting to gain muscle like that. I’m not saying that Tracy’s workouts won’t leave you with a good “burn”, because contorting your body in weird ways or kicking your leg out a 100 times will likely hurt, but it is not in my mind a quality workout that will extraordinarily change your body composition. Completely fake in my mind.

What isn’t fake is the gelato, gondolas, churches, and art in Italy. For this Flashback Friday I will share some of my visit to Venice & Florence during my Europe vacation.

Venice and Florence came at the perfect time of our trip. There wasn’t as much to do in these cities, so we really got to just enjoy the scenery, the culture, and the towns. In Venice, we sat in awe of the little water town and eyed the gondolas in the Grand Canal since they cost an arm and a leg we weren’t willing to lose with 1/2 of our trip remaining.

water canal

We shopped farmer’s markets for food and tourist markets for Ciao Bella shirts in the piazzas.


We traveled by water taxi when we otherwise would get lost in the confusing road setups that end in canals.


We viewed beautiful churches such as St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and the Duomo in Florence.



We climbed the Camponile Bell Tower in Florence to take in the views of the town and even a little hint of Tuscany-esque views off in the distance.


We visited museums where we got to see all sorts of amazing Italian sculptures. I feel like I should have some tiny black rectangles strategically placed below.

statue david

But the best part? Getting real Italian gelato! It makes Italy that much sweeter to visit.


  • What do you think of Tracy Anderson’s workout for Gwyneth Paltrow? Do you think she is credible?
  • If you could go to Italy what would you be most excited to experience? If you have been, what was your favorite part?
  • Do you enjoy the flashbacks? Would you like me to switch it up and do trips some weeks and other things in between? Or do you like the trip flashbacks in the order I experienced them? Or none of it and flashbacks bore you?
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19 Responses to Fake Iron & Real Italy

  1. I think that is insane, too. Not possible! I think she works with people who eat a few pieces of lettuce and fish each day. Not too hard to see some muscle definition then!

  2. Heather says:

    i think that was probably PART of what helped Gwyneth, but it’s definitely NOT the whole story…diet and lots of exercise had to be involved!

  3. Lindsay says:

    I think that’s highly unlikely! 10lbs does not seem realistic to me. If I were able to go to Italy I would focus on the food!!!

  4. krista says:

    Celebrities are all crazy. That’s all there is to it! =)

  5. Maybe she was able to put on 10 lb of muscle b/c she didn’t have any to begin with? Sorry, I know that sounds ugly, but she was a stick so perhaps that could be the answer??? I totally agree though, I’m lifting a heck of a lot of weight and am not putting on that much muscle. Maybe I’ve been going about it all wrong 😉

    Enjoy your blogger meet up. I just discovered Lindsey’s site from your blog and love it!

    I have never been to Italy, but it is most definitely on my MUST see places as my great grandparents were born there.

  6. Kelly says:

    It might have toned her body up a little but there is no way she gained 10 pounds of muscle from that. No way.

  7. I love the “real gelato” with the English language sign in front of it 🙂

    Cinque Terre was definitely my favorite place in Italy! I loved Siena, too. It surprised me that I liked the little towns a lot better than Rome and Florence.

    • Tina says:

      Yea, that was the only picture I had. I promise I had my fair share of Italian gelato though. Even with English signs in the background.

      And Cinque Terre = amazing! It was my 2nd favorite place on my trip. Barcelona was my favorite. What can I say. The Spanish culture holds a special place in my heart. 😀

  8. I am yearning to travel to Europe! My good friend got married there and I wish I could have gone! Your pictures look beautiful! I have never tried Gelato, even in the States but my friend said it doesn’t even compare to what Italy has to offer! yum yum!

  9. rc1001 says:

    I went to Rome and Venice last fall with my boyfriend and fell in love with the country.

    Venice was my absolute favorite part. What an incredible city.

    We didn’t spend any time actually on the water. We just strolled around the city and got lost among all the crooked little streets.

    It was so wonderful.

  10. Funny about Tracey Anderson – she used to train my boss. My boss said her body was definitely in the best shape of her life at that point, but when Tracey took her (and a lot of people’s) money and skipped town to go to NYC, it left a bad taste in her mouth for her! And, yeah – 10 pounds of muscle is VERY hard to believe.

    I LOVE your Flashback Fridays! I’ve never had gelato. They have a gelato place here in town, but I never seem to get over that way!

  11. Mellissa says:

    Have fun at lunch 🙂

    Tracey Anderson is just wrong. Period.

    My favorite part of Italy was driving through all the parts of Tuscany and eating all the amazing food.

  12. homecookedem says:

    I would LOVE to go to Italy!! My mom and dad went a few years ago and I was so jealous!! 😉 That’s definitely #1 on my list of places to see. My mom’s family is italian, so I think it’s just in my blood to want to go and experience it all!! 🙂 I love reading about your oversea adventures!! 🙂

    Have a lovely weekend!! 🙂

  13. Yikes..10 pounds of muscle LOL. Maybe she leaned her out so you could see the muscle she did have, but seriously. I totally agree with ya there.
    Lovely pictures:)

  14. kbwood says:

    HEY GIRL!! you are always soo encouraging!! I love you! LOL 10 lbs of muscle ? uhhh i dont really know how i feel about that, I do NOT think you can do it by “dance moves” either!
    i WANT TO GO TO ITALY!! I would love to eat gelato ALL DAY!

  15. Stacia says:

    Tracy Anderson is an idiot.
    The end.
    I would love to go to Italy to see the old architecture – and I’d like to eat a lot there. I’ve never been to Europe, and would love to visit the old cathedrals and art museums.
    Can’t wait for the baby update.

  16. Pingback: flashback friday: the cabin. « meals & moves

  17. I kinda agree with you about the workout. It may be good but it’s not gonna change your body THAT drastically!!
    Mmmm gelato! So lucky are you!

  18. katiivey says:

    I love gelato from Paciugos! (sp?) So I’m very jealous that you got to try the real stuff ;>

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