Reflections Over Resolutions: 2018 The Year of Growth

Reflections Over Resolutions: 2018 The Year of Growth

Happy New Year!

I’ve been reflecting on 2017 for the past few days and have some pretty awesome accomplishments, memories, adventures, and people in my life. Alongside those amazing things, I’ve had some tough moments along the way too. Ya gotta take the good times with bad (or meh) moments right? A lot of lessons learned and struggles along the way too but I wouldn’t change those either. I focus on what has changed me for the better.

This year I can tell is gonna be a huge growth year for me.¬†I’m super scared but excited! I enter this year with some hesitation honestly. But I know keeping good vibes in the front, the people that care and support me nearby, and a focus on the end goals, I will f***ing SHINE ūüėÄ

Ready to tackle:

Turning 25. A solid year. Also a quarter century old. Ha! I feel this gonna be a good point in my life to really invent myself outside of this runner girl-fitness junkie type persona I have. I will always be me, but with a few other goals, intentions, responsibilities, and [more] mature mindset.

Graduating with my Masters in Exercise and Nutrition Science this May from The University of Tampa.¬†This is probably the most scary. I’m leaving the schooling world for good. No more being a student in a classroom. I love learning and believe you’re never too old to learn something. This time around though, it won’t involve being in a classroom or needing textbooks. I see the light and am ready to start the next part of my life! It has taken me two years to complete this program. I took this whole grad school thing slow because I truly wanted to leave knowing I had a direction after graduation. I had two internships. One was less then what I had hoped the other was the opposite and was completely full-filling. I have met more friends in the program and have become close with so many then I would have ever expected! Grad school is a completely different experience then undergrad. Extremely difficult academically but OH SO worth it among all the other things I have learned and gained.

Starting the process of making a career change to become a teacher.¬†If someone said that I would look into becoming a high school health teacher I would have laughed. I thought it was a silly idea. With my experiences in Special Olympics being a health and wellness instructor, it has completely been a game changer for me. Sharing my passion of health and fitness with students is something I believe is so important to long term health and something I get excited thinking about.¬†No other opportunity has given a sense of excitement like Special Olympics does or this idea of becoming a teacher. I’ve found that finding that “spark” means SO MUCH. This is a spark I’ve been looking for and think as of now, I may have found it.

Less group fitness and personal training.¬†I’ve had this gig for the past two years now. I like it and it’s definintely a great fit for me while in school, but I see this part of my life stepping back a little this year. With becoming a teacher, I won’t have time to teach noon or mid morning group classes. Although I’ll have time to train some clients either still early or late in the day, I’m not sure if I’ll want to prioritize my time that for that if I have to grade homework or papers. Depending on my schedule, I may keep some clients that have been consistent with me because I enjoy working with them and seeing them progress in their fitness goals. I train facetime for some, so that could be an option I work more with versus in person training. I’ve also considered writing more training programs for people that they complete on their own and going about it that way. Hmmm…many options to consider! Whatever the case, I know I’ll always be ready to play the role as personal trainer or group instructor. Knowing me, I’ll probably have at least one class or client on my schedule whereever I am!

Balanced eating habits without binging, restrictions, guilt, or shame.¬†This is one is odd to share in a sense because I don’t really talk about this much and am still working on. I definintely experienced some disordered eating this past year. Not good. I still remained healthy for the most part (I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder!) but I had habits that crept in and out and affected my thoughts on food and exercise. I did gain some weight and felt overall blah at points too. Sadly, I would punish and restrict myself because of this and deemed certain foods bad and good. Next thing I knew, I was binging on all the “bad foods” and it all became a vicious cycle. I knew this was something to change. Luckily this did NOT affect my health and only lasted a short time. Listening to podcasts, talking with my mom, logging my food, and journaling have been key components on some habits I’ve changed. I’ve created healthier habits that took time–about six months worth of work. My head is in a much better place now. I eat whatever I want. All mindfully. With *minimal binges and restrictions (hardest part still). Compared to how I was living the first part of 2017, this is completely different. I have good and bad days, but have SO MUCH control and a healthier mindset then how I started off 2017.

Saying YES to more often. One thing I learned about myself this year, is that I hold myself back. I tend to go with the flow and not make too much noise about anything. I said ‘no’ to fun things because I was afraid I wasn’t good enough or that it would deviate from my goals. I need to start LIVING life and have fun too. My balance wasn’t bad but needed some adjusting. Time to keep getting out of my comfort zone! I think this is something that is always a work in progress. Planning for more days of YES and less days of “I’m afraid and unsure.” ūüėČ


My Experience Using The Hanson Marathon Method So Far

My Experience Using The Hanson Marathon Method So Far

MERRY CHRISTMAS! It’s so hard to believe that this year is basically through. Wasn’t it just Easter last week?? So many great adventures and memories this past year. Also, many challenges and struggles that go alongside. I’m almost through grad school…that alone makes me feel all kinds of things. One more semester! I am glad to be seeing the light I must admit. Excited to see what the last bit of the year brings and what new adventures are in store of me in 2018.

One thing that has been a big challenge for me that I started around the end of September, was the start of using the Hanson Marathon Method for the Best Damn Race- Safety Harbor Half. I had heard of the program through other runners I know and heard it was a great, yet challenging progrom. I figured I’d give it a shot. I’m all about breaking my time for a half marathon (1:51:51) and figured this would be the push I need. Long story short…it has!

The program I’m using is the Hanson Advanced Half Marathon program. I read their book, The Hanson Marathon Method¬†(no affiliate link, just want to spread the love ūüôā ), which goes into detail about the purpose of each workout, benefits of them, modifying them, and their philosophy..”cumumlative fatigue.” After looking between the beginner and advanced half plans (no “medium” half plan LOL) I went with the advanced taking into consideration my experience with the half marathon distance (I’ve run 10) and being fairly fit enough to handle the speed work. One thing that made me the most nervous was not the workouts (although yes), but running six times per week. I came from running three to four with a few days of cross training and weights mixed it. I went into the first week feeling not to confident, but agreed that I would take it one day at a time. I didn’t look at the workouts within the first week because honestly, I was so incredibly nervous! I knew this program was gonna push me out of my comfort zone. But I was excited for the challenge and ready to be pushed. It was defininely a mindset change for me.

The plan is a total of eighteen weeks. I’m on week thirteen. I have never felt this challenged in all of my running life. Seriously! I’ve trained for two full marathons and other halves and my training runs have never been this strategic. Of six days of running, there are three easy runs, two hard runs (speedwork and tempo runs), and a long run. One rest day. I add on my own one to two fifteen minute bodyweight workouts after two of my easy runs. The long run doesn’t get added until about half way or into the program and that I would consider that an easy run even though it’s long.

I love how the easy paces are TRULY EASY…I look forward to those knowing I can take it as easy and there’s no pressure. I use music and have fun with it. The pace range is pretty broad here which makes it nice. My pace range for easy runs are between 9-10:30 per mile which depends on my goal finish time (the Hanson method comes with a pace calculator for your goal finish so you know which paces to hit for each workout).

The hard workouts are defininely ones you wanna show up with your GAME FACE on. Paces are important to hit, and they stress that. I let those kinda loom over me each week to be honest, but I tackle them anyways. They seriously are the ones I wanna curse at but I find that I need the hard ones. This are the workouts that are GETTING ME to my goal finish. I keep that in mind before I start them (and know that these workouts are tough, but they don’t last forever either).

Six days of running and I defininely feel that a rest day in crucial. I started with that day being a “easy bodyweight strength day”…yeah no. I need that time to rest for real!! I feel so much better and know it’s doing my body good to not be pounding the pavement.

Among all this running, I got serious about my stretching and mobility routine. I was so-so on it and kinda got away with the bare minimum. Now that my mileage is so high, keeping my legs fresh with mobility exercises helps out so much. I’m much less stiff and achey. My mobility routine usually consists of hip movements, rotation through the pelvis and torso, hamstrings, and calves. Other static stretching and use of the foam roller I use too. I’m thinking I’ll do a seperate post on my recovery routine since it is worth it’s own spotlight!

Now with the holidays here, I’ll be away so I’ll have to turn to the treadmill while away in Steamboat. I’m not quite sure if I’ll do more maintance running or if I should really follow the plan through. I know I will be doing some running each day as planned and go from there. UGH. I hate the ‘mill and honestly it makes me not too excited, but I’ve come so far and don’t want to lose out and any training! We’ll see.

Overall, I am seeing big improvements!! I was so hesitant on this program but knew I had to trust the process. I’m beyond excited for what the rest of the program holds (even though I’m quite frightened in a good way)! I’ll know I’ll be ready to crush my half in February with this program!


  1. Are you training for any races in 2018
  2. What are some challenges or successes you had lately? How did you overcome challenges? How did you succeed?
  3. What are your goals going into 2018? Either workout or non-workout related?


3 Lessons I Learned When I Ditched My Garmin For A Week

3 Lessons I Learned When I Ditched My Garmin For A Week

First, let me just say that I never intended to run without my Garmin for a week…LOL. I’ll be the first to admit I’m attached to their watch just as much as the next runner is. I’m super dependent on it and rely on it big time since I’m in training for my next half…Best Damn Race Safety Harbor!

Quick back story…my original Garmin Vivoactive HR watch (read more about it¬†here) got flaky over Labor Day weekend so I sent it back and was sent a new one—free of charge—within a few weeks thanks to Hurricane Irma. Yay! Two months later, the watch they sent me became flaky AGAIN…NOT a happy camper at this point…so I sent it back and gave Garmin a piece of my mind. I’m pretty sure this was the universe giving me signs to slow down or something since the week before I had a procedure to remove an ingrown toenail…sorry TMI ūüėõ Anyways, I’ll have my new watch—again free of charge—-by the beginning of next week. Hopefully. Luckily Garmin was great and was extremely apologetic on the phone. Seriously though…runners in training do not have time for watch malfunctions!

That being said, I learned a lot about myself and my training when going without it. I was pretty surprised actually. It kind of added stress I didn’t know was there. When the watch went away, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders! Some eye-opening things, folks.

  1. I learned I was very dependent on my pace or distance and letting that determine if my run was “good” or not. Typing that…I’m like really?? LOL. When you’re on a roll and pushing yourself, it feels good to see improvement. But after a while, it felt like the watch was dictating my life which I didn’t like. I’m hitting certain paces in my training which I like and gives me something to work towards, but the central focus on numbers in general definitely messed with my head. I realized I completely disregarded any sense of enjoyment or peace I was getting from my runs and knew that needed to change!
  2. Running for effort is just as effective as pace. Running for effort is something I don’t do a lot of because I always have my watch. But ditching the watch and letting your body be the one in control is pretty cool. Your body really knows what’s up and can tell you some important things if you’re not stuck in a numbers game! Another part of training that has helped take the pressure off.
  3. I am reminded of the original reason of why I run. I run because it makes me feel good, empowers me to work hard, gives me confidence, is a stress-reliever and therapy, and is just plain FUN.

SO, as of now, I still do not have my watch. I’m running the rest of the week without it until it arrives next Monday, the 6th. I’m embracing the fact I still don’t have it (convincing myself more like but you get it) but I must say it’s nice not stressing about pace, calories, or distance (I’m using Map My Run to help me with turnaround points). This training is for enjoyment as much as it is a PR.

Thanks to this inconvenience, you could say I’m “okay” with going without a watch for now. It’s kind of fun going back to the “old days” when none of us had these fancy watches. However, I’m looking forward to getting my watch back and seeing if I’ve improved without it! These couple weeks have been an eye-opener in a sense of going without the watch more often. This is something I’m going to implement going into the next few weeks of my training cycle. In the meantime, I challenge YOU to go without your watch for just one run and see how you feel. You might be surprised!


Do you run by effort? Do you have a watch you rely on?

Do you run for fun or training for something now?

Why do you run?

Six Reasons To Use a Training/Workout Log

Six Reasons To Use a Training/Workout Log

Hey There! Hope you all have had a great summer! It’s hard to believe the summer is almost (if not already) over. I go back to school next week so this is my last week of summer. I’m ready to head back, although not being class these past few months have been nice. Last year of grad school, I’m ready for ya!

One of my goals this summer was to crank out three blog posts. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite happen. I was not really motivated to create a new topics or felt the need to share regularly to be honest—until last night!

Last night I was relaxing and saw my training log journals on my bookcase. I thought it would be fun to go over and read through them. I have journals from my training through undergrad, the summers in between, and my first marathon training…2014, 2015, and 2016.

As I read through them, I was amazed how much I accomplished and the runs/workouts I did everyday! I was very motivated, and still am, but I was a little excessive looking through them. It brought back some rough moments for me (excessive training and running so I could be “skinny”) and some great ones like beating my mile time! I can confidently say my time has drastically improved from 2-3 years ago. It’s so cool to see how things changed from one year to the next mentally and physically.

As of now, I’m not using a training log or journal. I’m not sure why…clearly it works! I know after looking through these logs, I’ll be jumping back to it. I think it was because I was relying on the logs to help me get to milage and stay consistent with training during my marathons. Now that I’m not training for a long distance that requires planning, I’ve found that being flexible with training is what I feel is right. Funny how you go in and out of certain habits!

Regardless if you’re using a training log to account for training milage or just trying to get into a fitness routine, logging is a good place to start.

The log I use(d) is The Complete Runner’s Day-by-Day Log 2017 Calendar by Marty Jerome. It’s simple to use and has enough space to be as specific about your workouts as necessary. I recommend it for everyone even if you don’t run!

OK! Here’s the scoop on this post: six reasons to log. Let’s get right to it.

  1. Boosts motivation.¬†Simply put. Looking back at your hard work over a week’s, month’s, or year’s time is fun to see. It can re-motivate you to get back into shape, sign up for race, or get yourself to your same group class (or try a new one). Looking at mine, I did a lot of swimming and yoga on certain days. I realized I miss those workouts more then I realize and am considering hitting the pool again for cross training and plan on finding a yoga class that works for me.
  2. You see progress over time.¬†As long as you’re *consistent* with logging and being specific to an extent, you can truly see changes being made! My mile time a couple years ago was around 9:00/9:15 per mile. Today I’m running around 8/8:15 per mile. They say progress takes time and it does!! My biggest takeaway with seeing this was that good things take time. Patience is key. Things don’t just happen over night! Taking a couple¬†years of consistent work¬†to make something happen is worth it.
  3. You learn what works and what doesn’t for you. My swimming and yoga workouts were on the same day and time that year and it worked for my schedule since I saw a repetitive pattern every week. Other workouts didn’t stick as well. That’s okay! Learning types workouts, best time of day, best day of the week, location, snacks/meals beforehand, music, the list goes on…can help you with establishing the best routine for you. Learning what doesn’t work too is equally important!
  4. A good reminder when motivation drops or inspires you to switch it up. Looking back, the swimming and yoga keep coming to mind. I realize I want to add this back into my fall workout schedule to keep my routine fresh. Cross training is something that has taken the backseat to and I’d like to add it back in. It also inspires me to keep my tempo runs and speed workouts on the plan to help me beat my half marathon time this spring. Seeing these parts of your training can help boost motivation to sign up for a race, try that yoga class because you know you need to stretch, or avoid Chipotle before your long run! (guilty).
  5. Repeat workout routines. Sometimes a workout routine in itself is enough to bring back. Maybe running Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8am was good way to get in your workout before work? Yoga in the evening was a good way to decompress? Associating these routines with feelings of accomplishment (or a bad experience in some cases!) is a good way to look back and add or take away certain routines.
  6. What still needs improvement or you still struggle with, what has improved from¬†previous changes, and what stayed the same.¬†This is like looking at your log in reverse. You can see what you still struggle with (e.g still can’t seem to find a good day to strength train–seeing options you already tried is a bonus!), what has improved (e.g seeing your mile time improve from your one time per week time trials) then seeing how you got there, and what you’ve kept along the way (e.g twice a week spin class at your favorite studio). Making note of what you’ve done to combat the struggle, what worked when hitting a specific goal, and what has been a priority in your fitness routine is beyond key to upping your fitness game or getting back to it!

I hope these six tips can be of help to you! Since last night, I feel ready to switch up my routine for some new found motivation. Sometimes we can find motivation, a new perspective, or the answer right in front of us if we take time to log. ūüėČ

Your Turn!

Do you log your workouts? Do you find it works for you?

What has been an something you’ve learned about yourself having logged for a certain amount of time?

Do you have any fitness goals on the horizon this fall?


Be Fearless: Do What Makes YOU Happy

Be Fearless: Do What Makes YOU Happy

Have you ever thought about an idea or seen an opportunity and thought, “nah” and never went with it? I have more then ever this past year. No regrets or anything, but its like these ideas happen but no action has happened yet…and that’s OK. I find when the same idea or opportunity comes up more then once then that’s a sign there could be more to it AND worth going for it.

One thing in particular idea I’ve thought about the past couple months is becoming a PE teacher since the start of my Special Olympics teaching internship. I go back to this again (see last post) and say how happy and rewarding it makes me feel. The same feelings are associated with both completing two marathons (and other races), donating blood (need to get back that–a volunteer opportunity and goal I like to keep up with), my personal training business, and working towards my masters degree. Among Harrison, friends, family, running, this blog, the list goes on…all of which are rewarding and makes me feel like a million bucks.

There are also some experiences in my life that make me feel like the complete opposite and makes the job way less appealing. I’ve had experiences within the past few months that I feel I’ve out-grown (won’t say specifics) and just need to move on to bigger and better things. Unfortunately, these specific experiences make me feel unfulfilled and under appreciated. I’ve learned that YOU need to do YOU and if what you’re not doing is not cutting the cookies, you have the power to change that. It took me a good bit to realize this, and I have a lot more work to do in this area, but I know and realize this change which is HUGE!

Right now, seeing myself as a PE teacher in a high school setting is what I’m thinking. If someone had told me this is what I am thinking as a career, I would have laughed in their face. When I mentioned this idea to a few people, I didn’t get a lot of support right away. I was told to “go into corporate” but the same unappealing feeling from my current experiences hit home for me. Same thing when people said, “nutrition or physical therapy is where the big bucks are.” *Cue eye roll* Yes, all the above makes sense and I can see the benefits of doing all of the above, but none really seemed interesting or¬†rewarding to me. That word,¬†rewarding, kept replaying in my head. I associated it with my internship and that’s when I felt that teaching PE could be a good fit for me. I’m not in it for the money, but for the simple fact that these Special Olympics kids really¬†make my experience teaching health education worth it. Doing this would allow me share my passion for an active lifestyle. Now, anytime I mention this idea to others, I get “you would be so good at that!” ;P

I am beyond HAPPY and feel so incredibly rewarded¬†and appreciated when I go to my internship it’s like a breath of fresh air. Real life. Learning this feeling has been so important. It’s like the s*** experiences really pay off in the long run…kind of? I think so!

Right now, I’m challenging these same good vibes only feelings into other parts of my life and saying good-bye to them and other things that don’t give me the same feelings in return.

Whether it be a new workout, a step up in a current job, a volunteer opportunity, or a new recipe, don’t be afraid to take risks! You don’t know where it can lead or how much happiness it can bring to your life!


1.) What was an experience that challenged you recently?

2.) How did you change something you didn’t like? Did you move on completely? Or do it differently?

3.) What was an “AH-HA!” moment for you recently?


Beet, Yellow Tomato, and Feta Salad with Citrus Dressing

Beet, Yellow Tomato, and Feta Salad with Citrus Dressing

Happy Friday!

You know what I love about summer? All the fresh produce in the stores! So many types of fruit and veggies come out of hiding (or at least I just notice them) and I feel so creative on what I can do with them.

This was one of the “AHA!” moments where I was digging through my pantry and looking for anything to use up in my fridge. I kept seeing my yellow tomato on my counter all week and went back and forth in my head: 1.) why did I buy it and 2.) what I could do with it besides just put in a sandwich or salad.

I had seen a recipe somewhere about a citrus dressing and the minimal ingredients it called for and once I put two and two together, I knew I had to just go with it and see what happened!

BOOM! This salad was born!

I feel this is the perfect way to welcome summer. Nothing says summer like fresh produce tossed together in a light, refreshing dressing on a hot summer day. Who want’s to be standing over a stove or in a hot kitchen this time of year anyways? If you’re like me, want something quick, fresh, and healthy so you can get back outside! Another reason this salad is great. It’s travels well so it’s great for picnics and BBQs too.

I used reduced fat feta cheese to watch the calorie intake and jarred beets since they’re packed in a tangy vinaigrette that enhances the flavor of the salad. Use what you have though. This is an easy salad that would sure to please anyone no matter what you put in it!

This makes one serving, so double up if you’re bringing for a crowd.


  • 1 Tbsp of reduced fat feta cheese
  • 1 small yellow/heirloom tomato
  • 1/2 c baby carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 c jarred beets (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 medium celery branches, chopped
  • 1/4 c chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Mix carrots, celery, tomato, beets, chickpeas, and feta together in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper
  • Pour dressing over veggie mixture and toss together

Grab a fork and enjoy!

Your Turn:

What is your go-to summer side dish?

What are some healthy pantry staples you like to keep on hand?

What is your favorite thing you love about summer?


Summertime: Five Things I’m Loving Lately

Summertime: Five Things I’m Loving Lately

Hey! It’s been awhile since I’ve been on my little blog. This past semester with school has been a crazy one, yet again. I knew it was gonna be a nutty one, so blogging went straight to the back-burner until I was done. It was definitely a good decision on my part! I’ll probably go back to putting it on the back-burner in the fall. But for now, expect to see me on here more often!

Summertime this year is a chill, yet productive one for me so far. No big trips planned or classes I need to take. I’m using this time to learn more about myself through my internship, my training, my current work, and to take time to see myself where I want be a year from now…no more schooling and in a full time career (fingers crossed!). Long story short.

With those things in mind, I took time to reflect on what I’m loving in my life right now. It’s so easy to keep looking ahead or planning for the future. I find that I see myself as “not good enough” or comparing myself to others. It’s a dumb game and wastes time. Period. Reflecting on what I love about my life right now, is good way to start planning on what I can take with me into the summer months and fall semester.

SO what am I loving? SO MANY THINGS!! I had to narrow it down some, but these are my FIVE things I’ve been loving lately:

1.) Catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. I’ve been hanging with my girl, Lindsey (@runnaroundd) more lately and have loved our coffee dates together. We’ve not always been in touch, but we’re on the same page with fitness and our love for coffee, so you could say we hit it off every time. Other friends have gone to the wayside lately, and that’s okay too. Those people will reappear when the time is right. Until then, there’s always room for new friends right?

2.) Eating more fruit. Sounds weird, because I always eat fruit and have always loved it, but something about fresh summer fruit sounds so refreshing! I love frozen pineapple or mango in smoothies and watermelon with feta and balsamic vinaigrette…YES, the ultimate summer snack.

3.) Not following a training plan. I said it. It feels weird. I’m being honest. It’s nice to not revolve your life around training for a marathon. I truly love the training and see myself running a marathon again for sure, but this time of year with it being so hot in Florida, I don’t feel the need to run for distance or train for an event. Right now, I love running the distance I wanna run when I wanna run it…type of thing. I do bootcamp one time per week, strength day one time per week, HIIT one time per week, running in between, and yoga. It’s a good mix and I’m not focused on one one kind of movement. I’m sure by the end of the summer I’ll be craving some kind of race to train for!

To keep me focused, without any races on the horizon, I’m considering doing a run streak. Ya know, one of those “run a mile a day from this date to this date”…yep! It’s sounds like it could work since I have a goal, but nothing crazy. Consistency seems to be what I’m craving anyways.

4.) My Special Olympics Internship. I LOVE my this internship. BOOM! It has by far been the most eye opening experience I’ve had. I truly love seeing my class and putting together lesson plans (I’m teaching health education to SO athletes). I love the creativity behind it and the topics I cover with them. My students give me a challenge in the best way possible. We’ll see where this goes from here!

5.) Taking school off for the summer. Although I’m technically “in school” during this internship, I’m not in the classroom. I have no classes for credit to take (I’ve completed them), homework, studying for a test, or showing up to do. It is a blessing since this program is truly a constant grind and this time off has been worth it. I know I’ll feel refreshed and ready to get back for the fall semester!

Your Turn!

  1. What is your fitness routine like lately?
  2. What are your favorite summer recipes?
  3. Any new experiences that you’ve learned from?


Four Tips For A Successful Grocery Trip

Four Tips For A Successful Grocery Trip

Happy Friday!!

These past two weeks have been pretty crazy. A one semester class in three days (yes that is possible for my graduate program), my new class at Viking Fitnesss, getting to know and training new clients, keeping up with everyday tasks, running and training, and being social–wow sounds exhausting!!

In reality though, I did have to step back after that three day class a week or so ago. I was invited to three fun events I was planning on attending once my class was over. I ended up not attending any of them and sleeping in, catching up on things at home, and organizing my life before the spring semester starting that next Tuesday. I hate saying no, but being social seemed like a lot of work when all I wanted to do was rest my brain! (sounds terrible I know). I’m really glad I took the hint and listened to my body!

In terms of marathon training, my training is basically at a close. No more hard training runs, minimal leg days (sobs), and instead shorter runs that act more as a shake out for my legs. The past couple weeks I added more stretching, foam rolling, and just overall rest. I tried to get my steps in every day, but that was about it. I snuck in a few walks and an upper body training session. Weird to take it all down a notch. But I like it. I shows me that I really work hard and put my body through a lot. The tapering is actually kind of relaxing for me and is a good time to get psyched and excited for the race ahead!!

Basic recap on my life lately done! ^^^

In the meantime, I’ve meal prepped lasagna and healthy carb options these two weeks as well. Still plenty of fruits and veggies, lean protein, and water. These two days before the race though, I stocked up on healthy carb options. I always like to have these around in training or not, but I did find that I was low in some of my favorites, so I made a trip to Publix!

Aside from just the carb and healthy fat options I picked up, I have a method I use to get through the grocery store as efficiently and productive as possible on a daily basis. Here are three tips I live by when tackling the grocery store:

  • Enter with a list. I sound like a broken record, but it’s true. You stick to the list you bring then just wandering aimlessly around the store ( <— time killer). Make sure you have the ingredients you need for whatever you’re prepping, your basic staples, a treat or two (your discretion on this one), and one new product. Some of these, like the treat or new item is something you see as you shop. I know I always buy fresh veggies as snacks, enough greens for a salad, carbs (one to cook fresh another ready to go), a protein (one to cook fresh and one ready to go), dairy, fruit for snacking or breakfast, and a healthy fat or two (mines BOGO peanut butter is at publix most of time).
  • Shop the perimeter of the store first.¬†Again, another broken record, but THIS is very key if you tend to go straight to the aisles. The perimeter of the store has the meat, produce, frozen, and sometimes dairy items. The basics for healthy shopping! The inside aisles have the processed items. You can find quality brown rice in the aisles, but you can also find oreos. ūüėČ Be weary and keep your list nearby when in these aisles!
  • It’s OK to ask for repackaging. The repackaging applies more so to meat and produce. You can ask the butcher to cut the portion in half, trim the meat, and weigh it out for you. I don’t do this a lot, but my mom does for certain things. It’s a smart way to cut costs and keep¬†lean protein in mind. You can also apply this to produce when it is sold in open bags. Grapes are the norm for this. I’ve weighed mine out and got exactly how much I need without wasting the rest and paying more then I needed to.
  • Read labels. Sounds time consuming. It can be, but I focus instead on skimming instead of reading every last nutrient and ingredient. I check out five things on the label: calories, carbs, fat, fiber, protein. Making sure the item is low in sugar too is also key! Checking out the first five ingredients on the list is also important!


– Do you like grocery shopping?

-What is your typical routine when you shop?

-What have you had to say no to lately but are glad you did?



Garmin Vivoactive HR Watch: The Perfect Gift For The Active Individual

Garmin Vivoactive HR Watch: The Perfect Gift For The Active Individual

My first blog post of the year! Hope everyone had a great first week of 2017. Looking back on 2016, there was a combination of both good and bad. Bad I feel isn’t a great word here, so I’m switching to “challenging.”

Challenges that were a lesson for growth and change. Plenty of tough real world situations, frustration, stress, and fear are a few of the characteristics I would describe tough spots this year. Even though negative at some points, I’ve gotten stronger and have learned what the real me is made of. Grateful for these experiences even though I wanted to jump out the window on a few occasions!

Good things: new friends, people, opportunities, growth, learning more about myself, and learning where I find my niche in the fitness industry. Continuing to trust myself, live independently in Tampa, and do what makes me happy are what I hope to continue in the New Year! One marathon, multiple races and miles, blogging, growing my personal training business and enhancing my group fitness skill set and classes, grad school this summer and fall, travel to Costa Rica, continue to live in sunny Tampa and meet the greatest guy, neighbor–turned boyfriend has been a few highlights of my year!

I’m not done with any of these yet, but every year I find myself getting a little bit closer to who I want to become. Big YAY!

OK. My year in review is recapped and I’m excited to share the purpose of post today!

My Garmin Vivoactive HR watch! 

I didn’t realize I would want this, but as soon as Harrison gifted it to me and I read about all it does, I was:

1.) Floored

2.) Excited to try it ASAP!


I was in awe of such a generous and thoughtful gift, but also EVERYTHING this watch can do! Run, swim, bike, row, ski/snowboard (came in handy this Christmas in Steamboat), stand-up paddle board, golf (not really for me, but a possibility down the road!), as well indoor running, cycling, and strength training. I especially love the capability for strength training, especially during a HIIT workout or group fitness class!

It tracks heart rate as well, another component I thought was pretty sweet. Again, nothing I thought I would be sold on, but definitely a reminder to add that extra push and challenge myself during a run or cardio session. Although wearing a heart rate monitor around your rib cage is more accurate, which I still believe is, heart rate via your wrist is also fairly accurate compared to measuring my own manually.


Sleep is also another feature I find fun to check! Again, nothing I monitor too closely since I’m a pretty sound sleeper, but seeing the amount of hours I slept, periods of deep and light sleep, movement, and awake time is handy. Sleep is a huge component of exercise performance, so knowing I’m sleeping well and sound and tracking it regularly is a feature that I’ve grown to like.


Aside from the sport features, tracking steps, floors climbed, and intensity minutes are also recorded! All based around your profile you complete on the app, the watch determines your recommended steps per day, floors to climb (kind of tough at times), and intensity minutes for the week. It reminds you to move and congratulates you when you’ve achieved your goal! All good things to know throughout the day.


Besides tracking fitness, the watch uses Bluetooth technology which syncs with your phone!!! Receiving calls and texts is easy and allows you to monitor notifications discreetly without the use of your phone. However, this is probably one draw back on this watch. I don’t care so much to see my texts and calls show up when I’m working out. My phone is away for a reason because I am busy! My workout time is my me time so I prefer to have that away. Luckily, this feature is not annoying and can be easily dismissed.


I’m still get used to it, but I must say, it is easy to use and understand. Two buttons on the face, a large touch screen, and waterproof. Once set up, downloading the Garmin Connect App helps manage your stats via your phone. There you can go into details of your activity, sleep, calories burned, weight-loss tracking, and more. Did I mention you can sync it with myfitnesspal?! Too cool! I haven’t yet. Trying to decide if I¬†want it connected or keep them separate. Will keep you posted! Pretty cool option knowing you can keep food logging and activity all on one app.


Since there is SO many cool features, it can be easy to focus on numbers! Although numbers can be motivating, I try personally to not let them run my life.

I believe these activity trackers, whichever brand you buy, are a TOOL, not a measurement of success or failure. I feel that if I don’t track my sleep, I don’t get steps in, or my intensity minutes fall below the recommended amount, is not something to stress over. However, it is something to work on daily. Being reminded to move and take the stairs I feel are two very good features on this product–all of which doesn’t hurt any of us!

I do have my Garmin Forerunner 15 watch that is still my favorite and something I will continue to use! There’s something special about that watch–I think it has something to do with the races I’ve completed with it. In that case, I will be using it for my marathon and other races this year. General activity I will swap in with my Vivoactive HR watch for spin, walking, strength training, etc.!¬†Overall, I highly recommend this watch since it plays a role in my active lifestyle that is more then just running! A perfect gift any time of year for the active individual in your life.


Four Feel-Good & Indulgent Dishes To Enjoy This Season At Piquant in Hyde Park Village

Four Feel-Good & Indulgent Dishes To Enjoy This Season At Piquant in Hyde Park Village

I’m making my way back to my little space on the interwebs! It’s been a busy month with school and work and as well as feeling burnt out on a few things to be honest. I have a couple blog posts I’m hoping to share before the end of the year. Even though I don’t have any NEW topics to share that I’ve created, I am still active in blogging group I’m part of, the Tampa Bay Bloggers!¬†


Cheering to a great night of tasting with a Strawberry Mimosa

On another note, indulgent. The other name besides the most wonderful time of the year! I love the special holiday recipes my mom and I make every year or new recipes I like to try on my own to share with family, friends, neighbors, and Harrison’s parents. It is the season of giving! And for me that means baking up a storm (as much as I can when I’m not studying for finals) and sharing with others! At the same time, I’m training for a marathon so I want to know that what I’m eating out makes me feel good while benefiting my training. I feel confident about indulging in good quality food this holiday season at Piquant.

Anyways, let’s get on with this food talk!

A couple weeks ago I was able to attend a tasting at Piquant with some of some other local bloggers at Piquant in Hyde Park Village. If you’ve been, you KNOW they’re amazing and have a beautiful menu and I no longer need to explain. If you haven’t yet been, it’s a causal yet quaint french inspired restaurant in Hyde Park Village. I would say they have feel good dishes as well as other options if you’re feeling indulgent. All made with quality ingredients, some locally produced, such as in their Vertical Salad, which I mention later as a favorite of mine¬†if you like a simple salad. Although it is french inspired, they put an american spin on classics. For example–their Croissant Turkey Club…UMMM. Enough said. I’ll leave it as genius.


Croissant Turkey Club…YUMO

If you’re feeling meh about another night out of eating, a evening of entertaining, or are taking out friends for a lunch or dinner, Piquant is a great option. Their fall menu was a good mix of healthy and feel-good options combined with indulgent. Quality, delicious food for whatever mood you’re in. Here are some of¬†my favorites for when I’m feeling indulgent or when I’d want something more light and refreshing:

For an¬†indulgent option,¬†hands down it’s going to brunch category. This dish blew my mind. Get ready for it: Pork Belly Benedict. Not a fan off the bat of benedict or pork belly but I was oddly excited about this combo at the same time. Served on a lemon-thyme scone, with avocado hollandaise sauce, a beef stake tomato, and poached egg. I was like WOW. I would order this again!!


As a feel-good option, this one comes to your plate in a way you can feel good about too!¬†¬†Vertical [Uriah’s Farm] Salad. Vertical comes from the locally grown tomatoes used here. Hence, Uriah’s Farm. Red and golden beets, a mixture of greens, goat cheese, toasted almonds, and a passion fruit vinaigrette. A feel good way to enjoy local produce while enjoying fresh ingredients and flavors.


As an¬†indulgent option, you can’t forget¬†DESSERT! O.M.G. I’ve never felt so indulgent after trying all three of these amazing dishes…we had three to try. All amazing in their own way, I have one favorite that sticks out the most.¬†Chocolate Cherry Croissant Bread Pudding. Bread pudding is so traditional and decadent, and I feel is served during this time of year the most. It’s served warm, is fairly simple to put together, and involves bread. What’s not to love? Again, not a favorite of mine off the bat because I find it on the mushy side (sorry mom), but this was prepared like a small cake that as soon as the fork went through it, it melted into the plate and over the vanilla ice cream. OMG. I’m practically drooling.


A feel-good option with a ton of lean protein: Salmon Napoleon. Complete with hollandaise, dill, and Ratatouille. Not heavy, full of fresh flavor yet completely satisfying. A favorite fish of mine, I really enjoyed how it was seared and packed with flavor.


So does this make you wanna have a lunch or dinner date yet?! I’m dreaming about the options I’ve described and makes me want one of each really bad!! I’d say after this tasting, Piquant has made it to the top three of my favorite places to eat in Tampa. I can’t wait to come back and try these dishes at some point this season.


-What is a favorite recipe you look forward to indulging in during the holiday season?

-OOPS! How do you get back on track after a too-indulgent meal?

-What are some traditions you do this time of year?