Let me preface this post by saying it isn’t about the hardest workout ever or the highest protein recipe ever, there will be more of them in the future, don’t you worry.

Did you know 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in their life? So if you are lucky enough to not have to endure the hardship of this disease, odds are, someone you know will not be so lucky. This disease is #2 cause of cancer deaths in women, behind lung cancer. Lung cancer = ‘Don’t smoke’… Breast Cancer = ?

Anyway, I’m not going to stroll down memory lane of my mother’s struggle because that is her personal story. But I do want to share a picture of us from the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk this year now that we are fresh out of awareness month.

Making Strides - 2014 October

For 3 years I was captain of team ‘Boobylicious‘ for the American Cancer Society Walk. Not only did they have a local event, but they are also a non-profit organization. From the first event possible, the year my mother was diagnosed, I initiated this. {She wasn’t even 50 years old yet.} Her and my father were rather private about the disease, telling us only what we “needed” to know. So this walk was the only way I knew how to literally show her I care. We grew to a team over 60 people deep and raised thousands of dollars. It was quite the production and incredibly inspiring to feel the positive support from all. It almost became a tradition by our 3rd year, almost.

Last year she called it off and did not wish to walk. (hey, that was easier for me right? less planning and fundraising, etc) She is now considered to be in remission, which was never supposed to be possible because her stage 4 breast cancer (that was mistakenly diagnosed as calcium deposits for years) had spread into her bones. I believe that last year, she was so elated her illness was “over”, that it was to the point she didn’t want people to go out of their way to attend & donate because that would mean they still view her as a ‘cancer patient’.

We are incredibly grateful her road to recovery has come so far and I am happy she was willing to participate again. Whatever her new perspective may be, I’m glad we all got to spend the time together.



Shopping isn’t the only thing you should start early… Got Goals?

Did you know that there are only 26 days between Halloween and Thanksgiving? Did you allow yourself to get more carried away than anticipated?

ecards - moan-room-candy-sweet-funny-ecard-KH4


That number surprised me. Social media is littered with 30-day challenges for this diet and that exercise BUT you wouldn’t be able to complete any of them before Thanksgiving, which is obviously America’s next binge. So what can you do until then and still see improvement? Pick 1 thing you want to change, devise a plan, and make yourself abide by it {at least} until Turkey Day.

Goals - S.M.A.R.T.‘Eat better’ & ‘workout more’ are always goals of mine. But when I saw the above, I realized those actually aren’t goals. I couldn’t fill in the blanks of the S.M.A.R.T.


Here is my SMART plan:

‘Specific’ – My current struggles are planning enough leg workouts around the spinning classes I teach. The goal is to increase the frequency of which I strength train legs.

‘Measurable’ – Include at least 1 leg workout for each spin class I teach, which is a guaranteed 2x per week. I will do this the day of or the day following.

‘Attainable’- Making leg day the very next day after spin class will ensure I am not creating delayed onset soreness prior. Preventing soreness and muscle tiredness beforehand, will help keep me on leg-lifting track!

‘Relevant’ – Making my legs stronger will not only help me feel better on the inside & look better on the outside,  but will also improve my teaching abilities and thus my classes for my riders.

‘Time Bound’ – Through the month of November.

Ask yourself if what you are doing today gets you closer to tomorrow

 So what is one reasonable thing you want to, can, and will change? Maybe there is an eating habit you want to break? Sleep you want to get? Places you need to arrive on time? A book you want to read?

Pick it and do it. Commit to the goal and yourself.

we are what we repeatedly do



Gluten Free, I Guess…

I am going to warn you up front- this post has no answers, just like me! Anyhow, for what’s probably been almost two years now, I’ve been having digestive issues. No matter what weight I’m at and no matter what supplements I’ve added or food I’ve eliminated, the problem has become progressively worse over the past 6-months.


Have tried adding:

vegetables, milk thistle, cinnamon, probiotics, fiber, green tea, coffee, ginger, lemon, prunes, whole grains, flax seed, chia seed, amino acids, chromium, Linzess (prescription), eating fewer larger meals

Have tried eliminating:

Nuts and fats in general, meat (entirely because I only ate lean meats as it was), cheese and greek yogurt (only dairy in my diet), egg (whole and yolk), broccoli (can cause bloating), bananas, eating many small meals

Tests I have had:

Blood work, Hydrogen Breath Test (lactose), Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Nutrition Response Testing

Without getting into all of my symptoms, I can tell you that when I am at my worst I have been in tears, almost the ER, flat on my back, in elastic pants, missing work, missing the gym, etc. Almost every meal affects me to some degree, the most minimal distention is now a “good” day.

So far no doctor has given me a clear cause, answer, or solution. Hence my own trial & errors listed above.  Anything I’ve tried has been based on research on sugar and carbohydrate intolerance.


If “good carbs” take the body longer to digest, then are they actually “bad carbs” for me?

I currently take amino acids and tri-chromium daily to help my body digest any carbohydrates I consume (simple or complex) and feel my best when I stick as closely as possible to a gluten free plan.

Eating out has actually gone more smoothly than cooking myself sometimes. I guess they know what is or isn’t gluten free and I am more likely to slip up. Indian restaurants have seemed to have the most options because, to me, even gluten free pasta is still pasta.

gluten free Udis

I wouldn’t eat these if I weren’t ‘gluten free’, but now I am more willing to let it slide because at least I won’t have all the other symptoms…

Next Up?
Doctor says – 1. more blood work to 100% rule out Crohn’s  2. 30-day prescription trial

My plan – stick to gluten free and investigate FODMAPs. The initial look was overwhelming since there is no clear cut path, but I definitely think it will be worth a try since even gluten free hasn’t solved my issues… although I probably haven’t stuck to gluten free 100%, although I have no idea… That’s why I wish my doctors could help or I knew who else to go to who can.

CocoCurry Pumpkin Soup

I wanted a low-carb soup that involved pumpkin and/or chicken sausage.

I found the following recipe and modified it from there…

cococurry pumpkin soup


  • 1 (12 ounce) package Chicken Sausage – Trader Joe’s Garlic brought more flavor to the pot
  • 1 package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4C (*low sodium*) Chicken Broth
  • 2T Curry Powder *Used this instead of other spices such as garlic or onion
  • 3/4C Coconut Milk (light) *Found at Trader Joe’s to replace heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup water

Pumpkin Sausage Soup Ingredients



  1. Dice and brown sausage, then add mushrooms and sauté.
  2. Add pumpkin and mix well.
  3. Stir in broth and mix well.
  4. Simmer 20-30 minutes.
  5. Stir in coconut milk, water, and curry powder*
  6. Simmer on low another 10-15 minutes. Taste and add salt & pepper as needed.
    *Curry powder is not overwhelming in final product. It is $1.99 at Trader Joe’s and worth a try to change the flavor profile of the soup. I was trying to change it up from your typical Italian spices for this one.  I dare ya! 🙂

I found the saSQUASH & he was stuffed with sausage

Marlton Harvest Fest was Saturday and this is where I discovered Cheyenne’s Market. I bought 2 sweet potatoes, 5 apples, and a squash for $5… The apples alone could have been $5 at the grocery store! Can’t believe I never knew about Cheyenne and her stand.

Anywho, that’s what inspired the squash recipe….
– Chicken sausage: grilled and chopped
*I bought spinach & feta from Rastelli’s Meat Shop and the flavor (vs plain) certainly made a huge difference in the end
– Zuchinni: (1/4) diced
– Squash: halved and scooped
– Bruschetta: bought a small, pre-made container also from Rastelli’s
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Meal Prep Week 39 Roast Chicken Sausage Squash - Ingredients
1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Spoon bruschetta and zuchinni into squash halves, filling approx 1/3 of the way
3. Drizzle oil over top of each
4. Roast for 45 minutes
5. Remove from oven and fill squash the rest of the way with sausage, bruschetta, and zuchinni
6. Drizzle EVOO over top
7. Bake in oven for additional 40 minutes
8. Enjoy!

I was actually sad for my last bite of this guy today 😦

Pumpkin Season is Upon us *Oops* I mean, Fall….

Hip-hip-hooray for fall! Well actually, I think the only reason {besides football, go birds!} people get so excited is because of the return of pumpkin flavor everything. I mean really, where do they all come from in the blink of an eye?

Any smart retailer has hopped on this bandwagon, in hopes of drawing you in. There’s pumpkin flavored pancakes, coffee, cream cheese, ice cream, butter, donuts, cheesecake, muffins, scones, chocolate, creamer, vodka, beer, etc etc etc. But here comes Debbie Downer… rewind and review those items. None of them are healthy! So when you add a pumpkin flavor, it doesn’t make it a vegetable. Sorry Charlie.

All foods in moderation, but don’t pick up the pumpkin on the reg, save it as a treat to yourself. Or figure out other ways you can get the flavor without turning yourself into a pumpkin.

cinderella and prince pumpkin

A’la my Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake:

Protein Shake - Pumpkin Pie


Here are some of the best and the worst fast food chain items from Fitbie – shocker – the best ones don’t take away allll the fun. There’s still pie & fro yo, amongst other goodies,  in there.

If that doesn’t convince you, here are some of the ingredients that make up a beloved Pumpkin drink at your local green guy:



Moral of the story? As in any case, you’re always better off making something from scratch.


PS- I’m 100% more of an apple gal myself. SO if you find yourself in my boat, this pumpkin crap is for the birds {not football talk this time}. But every year I try it again, thinking ‘hey, self, maybe your tastes have changed and you can fit in with the cool kids, even though you’re better off not eating the donuts and waffles anyways, and all the apple goodness is enough temptation without adding pumpkin to the mix’

…In any case, this shake was friggen tasty AND healthy. Win Win.

Fitbits just got fancy

 Just when you felt good about your decision on a fitness tracker, comes Tory Birch designs for FitBit… 

TB_22145803_663Someone mentioned this to me at work just last week- my commitment to fitness is not so secret, plus I used to rock the FitBit Force on the reg- but I hadn’t heard of it yet. I brushed it off thinking it couldn’t be that wonderful then… bam! PureWow e-mails me with an article and links.


My Force was a recalled device from FitBit, mind you, they did also take it back and refund me. So theoretically, I need to replace it, right? Or is this for the category of women who only dress the part? TBD….