Simple Soup and Sandwich

First of all I want to say THANK YOU to everyone for your supportive comments regarding my answers to your Ask Me Anything questions. I was really nervous to open the doors for such personal questions and I wanted to provide you guys with honest answers, even if it made me step out of my comfort zone and feel vulnerable. So, thank you for your warm and loving comments. It’s really neat to see that we all struggle with the same issues and have a shared desire to love ourselves and lead healthy, happy lives. 🙂


Lunch today was oh-so-simple.

Grilled cheese and soup… easy peasy.

Sandwich + Soup

I enjoyed melted Gouda cheese on a whole wheat sandwich thin with a cup of French onion soup and sugar-free strawberry Jello on the side.

Friday's Lunch


My snack was cocoa-tastic!

Chocolate Yogurt Pudding

I stirred a spoonful of Jello instant chocolate pudding mix into a cup of Fage Greek yogurt and nibbled on a Attune coffee bean dark chocolate probiotic wellness bar. So delicious!

Weekend Plans

My weekend is going to be a busy one!


  • Quickly clean the apartment since it’s being shown to potential tenants tomorrow
  • Pack for the weekend
  • Drive to Sarasota
  • Late dinner with Ryan’s family


  • Hang out with Ryan and his family
  • Dinner party with Ryan’s family and my family in St. Pete
  • See the musical Wicked with Ryan


  • Drive back to Orlando
  • Try on bridesmaid dresses with my friend (and bridesmaid!) Laurel
  • Rollerblading with Laurel

It’ll be a go-go-go kinda weekend, but a fun one!

Coffee Lover?

Click here to receive a free sample of NescafĂ© Taster’s Choice instant coffee.

Yogurt Lover?

Click here to receive a free sample of Yoplait Yoplus yogurt.

AMA Round Three

Ready for round three of Ask Me Anything questions!? Woop, woop!

(Click here to submit an anonymous question. Click here for Ask Me Anything round one. Click here for Ask Me Anything round two.)

What tips do you have about maintaining a healthy relationship? I admire yours & Ryan’s. What’s things do you two argue about? How do you resolve it?

Ryan is honestly the easiest person to be in a relationship with, and I really do feel so blessed to be with someone as open and loving as him. Ryan has taught me so much about love, but the biggest thing he’s taught me is the importance of communication. I am not a confrontational person by nature and will typically get quiet when I’m upset and I prefer to be alone when I’m angry. Ryan has really encouraged me to communicate with him all the time, and he’s always been very open with me. It can be so hard to bring up what’s bothering you, but the only way issues can be resolved is to talk about them. Ryan made it clear to me from day one that as his girlfriend (and now his fiancĂ©), I was his number one priority and he is mine as well. I’ve always felt like he puts me first and I’ve tried to show him the same respect. Ryan also has three ideals of a good relationship that I think are spot-on: communication, trust and entertainment. You gotta have all three! 🙂

As for arguments, we really don’t fight often and our fights are typically over trivial things like my driving abilities (they’re stellar, by the way), or Ryan not unloading the dishwasher when he was home all day. We’ve actually even taken the time to communicate and talk about both of these little issues and even issues as silly as those have improved because of a simple conversation. Talk it out! It works!

In most of the pictures you post of yourself, your hair looks phenomenal!  How long does it take you and what do you do to it?

Thank you!!! To be totally honest, I have the thinnest hair in the world and have always considered myself hair-styling inept. I’m assuming this question refers to the times I curl my hair (since straightening is a pretty self-explanatory process 🙂 ), so I’ll address that! My friend Merri showed me how to curl my hair with a flat iron and it is awesome! If I curl my hair with a curling iron, the curls fall out in no time at all, but when I use a flat iron (I use the Chi for curling and the Sedu for straightening), the curls stay in all day long. Hallelujah! 🙂 There are a lot of instructional videos on that can show you how to do this. I literally propped my lap top up on the toilet seat  in my bathroom, and watched the videos while attempting to curl my hair in the mirror. I burned just about every finger on my hand, but eventually got the hang of it!

I’I notice you eat a lot of veggies, but how do you get your protein? I see you put protein powder in a lot of your snacks but I’ve heard that protein powders aren’t as good for you because your body can’t break down and optimize all the grams of protein these powders offers offer and it’s best to get it from a natural source.

I get my protein from Greek yogurt (one little cup has 15grams!), cheese (I could live off cheese), lean meats, beans, cottage cheese, eggs and protein powder. I am not a protein powder freak and I can’t stand protein shakes. I like to use my protein powder as a mix-in in my oatmeal or in baked goods… basically I like to eat it, not drink it. 🙂  I used to be crazy about protein and concentrate on getting a lot of protein at each meal… now I try to be crazier about fruits and vegetables and enjoy protein as a smaller side.

What does a typical day of eating for you look like (including snacks) on a weekday? What about on a weekend?

I love this question since I rarely post pictures of my snacks and tend to slack off on blogging on the weekend. Here’s a general outline:

Weekday: Breakfast, snack (around 11 a.m.), lunch, snack (around 3:30 p.m.), dinner, snack (around 8 p.m.). If you follow this blog, my breakfast, lunch and dinner are typically posted, but my snacks are not. For snacks I generally eat a whole wheat tortilla with cheese, Greek yogurt with a handful of nuts mixed in, protein cakes/brownies with nuts or peanut butter, apple slices with cheese or peanut butter, cottage cheese with pumpkin, cinnamon and nuts, and oatmeal with protein powder or peanut butter stirred in.

Weekend: My weekends are a lot less structured (for better or worse) mainly because I am not at home or in one place like I am during the weekdays. I generally eat larger meals and smaller snacks on the weekend, but have been known to graze my way through an entire weekend… eating constantly (this isn’t good for me though because even though I eat and eat I never truly feel satisfied). I typically enjoy one meal out on the weekends at a restaurant with Ryan or friends and I’ll order whatever pops out to me at the time. I’m also much more likely to enjoy desserts on the weekends when we’re out and about and Ryan tempts me with ice cream! 🙂

What are some of your recommendations on purchases from  You’ve said you buy a lot from them.  There is SO much on the site, it’s hard to know what’s good.

I am obsessed with this Web site… they have awesome products and shipping is $5, no matter how much you order. I typically order Joseph’s lavash and tortillas, Kay’s Naturals protein cereal, Kay’s Naturals protein pretzels, Flax-Z-Snax hot cereal, PB2 powdered peanut butter, and Carba Nada pasta from this site. If you’re going to order one thing, order the Carba Nada pasta. It’s seriously unbelievable and I am addicted! I honestly like it better than most normal pasta.

I am currently recovering from hip bursitis and read that you had it too a while ago… Could you share some of your favorite hip stretches?

My all-time favorite hip stretch is this one. Pull the leg that’s not folded over (in the picture it’s the left leg) toward your body until you feel a nice stretch throughout your hip. It’s amaaaaazing! (Click here for another picture.)

I’d like to know what you majored in…I’ve followed the links you leave on your page that lead to your articles, and I noticed they’re always about healthy eating, but did you study nutrition? Or journalism?

I graduated from college with a degree in advertising and public relations and a minor in marketing. I definitely prefer the public relations aspect of my major, but found that in the first two jobs I had right out of college, the tasks I most enjoyed related to writing. I loved writing press releases, brochure and Web site content. I’ve always loved reading and writing and realized within a year or two of graduating that I wanted to make a career out of writing. As for nutrition, I did take one personal fitness/nutrition course in college and loved it. I took it my senior year and truly believe that if I’d taken it sooner my major may have changed. I still love learning (and writing!) about health and fitness and read anything and everything I can get my hands on about food, exercise and healthy living. I am a skeptical learner though and constantly ask questions about what I read and follow it up with a lot of research and supplemental reading.

What resistance and elevation settings do you use on the elliptical for steady state cardio? I am always curious and I’m not sure what other people do with the 20 available settings!

I typically do the elliptical (with arms) at a resistance level of 10 (on the ellipticals with arms at my gym you cannot change the elevation). When I do the elliptical without arms I do it at a resistance level of 10 at an incline of 9.

I have been following your blog for about a month or so and have noticed how active you are.  You seem to find time to get some exercise every day.  Do you ever have days where you just don’t want to workout but still do?  If so, how do you motivate yourself?  Would love to hear your tips for staying motivated.

Of course I have days where I don’t want to work out. For me, scheduling my workout first thing in the morning makes it a lot easier. When my alarm goes off, I can’t go back to sleep because in my head I’ll be thinking “I should be at the gym right now” since it’s such a huge part of my routine. By the time I actually feel awake in the morning, my workout is over!

When I’m really not feelin’ the gym, I have a couple of go-to workouts that motivate me. I keep print outs of a couple of cardio interval workouts in my little gym bag (click here and here for some good examples). It’s always easier to get to the gym when you have a new workout planned. Group exercise classes like BodyPump really motivate me on days I don’t feel like putting myself through a quality workout.

Also, I read somewhere that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit, so if you’re losing motivation, commit to working out regularly (still schedule a rest day or two!) for 21 days. It will likely become part of your routine!

I’m interested in these Body Pump classes you always take but don’t really know what they are. I know people always talk about doing body pump 72, 69 etc. What do these numbers mean?? how long is the class? and what do you do in the class??

BodyPump is a total-body weights class and it’s basically AWESOME. 😀 According to the BodyPump Web site, “BodyPump is the original barbell class that strengthens your entire body. This 60-minute workout challenges all your major muscle groups by using the best weight-room exercises like squats, presses, lifts and curls.” The numbers you’re seeing refer to the different BodyPump releases. BodyPump is the same wherever you take it and different instructors will do different pre-choreographed releases at different times. When a new release debuts, it features new music, exercise, etc. The class is formatted the same way every time, with each exercise lasting for the duration of an entire song: Warm up, squats, chest, back/hamstrings, triceps, biceps, lunges, shoulders, abs and cool down/stretch.

Surprise Guest

When I woke up this morning I figured the most exciting part of the start of my day would be wearing my new Victoria’s Secret foldover yoga capris to the gym.

New Pants!

(Sadie clearly thinks I’m a nut job. I can’t blame her though, as this was taken at 5:35 a.m.)

Though wearing new clothing is always fun, the real excitement would come later.

At the gym I took a BodyPump class and followed it up with 25 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical. Today I did my typical weights in BodyPump (and even went heavier on the back/hamstrings track), but apparently I was feeling extra-strong because the weights that typically exhaust me weren’t really cuttin’ it. Odd!

A New Playmate

After the gym, I leashed Sadie up for her morning walk.

About half way through our walk we were greeted by an adorable bulldog. I figured her owners were around the area somewhere, so I let Sadie and the dog sniff each other and play for a bit. It was becoming increasingly clear that no owners were in sight. The dog had a collar on and was really sweet and very friendly and followed us when we started walking.

I brought her back to our apartment and had one heck of a time getting the phone number off her collar as she and Sadie were playing. Our new friend’s name is Lily and after speaking with her owner, Sadie, Lily and I played for a while in the backyard waiting for him to arrive.

Meet Lily!

When Lily’s owner arrived he thanked me for keepin’ Lily safe. Apparently she slipped out of a hole in the fence in their backyard.

We got to talking and Lily’s owner realized that I am actually one of his wife’s patients! Lily belongs to my orthodontist and her husband! How’s that for some small world stuff?


After all the excitement from this morning, my breakfast seems rather boring… but it tasted great!

Friday's Breakfast

I enjoyed a cup of Fage Greek yogurt and a small bag of Kay’s Naturals apple cinnamon protein cereal. (For those of you who enjoy a gluten free diet, this cereal is gluten free and tastes delicious!)

Apple Cinnamon Protein Cereal

I also sipped on a hot mug of my gym’s free Barnie’s French vanilla coffee. Yum!

AMA Round Two

Time for more Ask Me Anything questions! (Round one question and answers may be found here.)

Thanks again to everyone who submitted a question. If you have somethin’ on your mind, you may click here to submit an anonymous question.

I think living together before marriage is A MUST, but I was curious what your and Ryan’s parents thought about the idea?

To be honest, I actually thought I would wait until marriage to live with a boy. When I graduated college, I moved into an apartment by myself. Ryan ended up staying with me every night, and even had an entire closet full of clothes. My parents liked the idea of him being around a lot because they think very highly of him and also liked the security of a he-man hangin’ around. 🙂 When we made the move to live together officially, it just kind of happened. Ryan’s parents were always on board and my parents were supportive as well since I was financially supporting myself and was now a real “adult.” They trusted my judgment and thankfully it’s all worked out wonderfully!

Your fiance is adorable, how do I get me one of them? 😉

Try hangin’ around the UCF gym… Worked for me! 😉

What do you and Ryan do and what are your normal work hours?

When I told Ryan about this question his reply was, “They’re gonna come rob us!” …So please don’t come steal all of our stuff. Sadie is at home in the day and will bite your face off (and by bite I mean lick).  She’s ferocious.

Now, to answer your question, I am a full-time writer and editor and manage a content team of three other writers for an internet marketing company. Ryan works in finance in the defense industry. I work from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily (sometimes later) and Ryan works a 9/80 schedule (nine-hour days, with every other Friday off) and typically arrives home between 4:30 and 5 p.m.

Have you ever had a problem with body image or being overweight (in your eyes)?

Yes… Oh yes. Though my BMI has never technically been in the “overweight” category, I have definitely struggled with body image (and still do!). I actually had a mini breakdown to Ryan about a month before I started this blog. We were on a walk with Sadie and I just felt sad and upset with my appearance. I know in my heart that I am a healthy person and weigh a healthy weight, but I couldn’t seem to stop negative thoughts about my body from entering into my head daily… all the time.

I cried to Ryan and he said he’d been in the same place before… many people have. He said that no matter how thin I would ever be, it wouldn’t matter until I accepted myself and loved myself. He is 100 percent right. I still constantly struggle with negative thoughts about my body. However, I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to focus on health than on appearance and weight. I have made a conscious effort to think about my health and make decisions that lead to a healthy lifestyle rather than concentrate on my weight and it’s honestly made a huge difference for me. It’s so much easier (but still not easy!) to feel happy with yourself knowing that you’re doing your best to fuel your body with healthy food and exercise, rather than depriving it and beating yourself up with negative thoughts.

Any advice on how to incorporate more variety in my everyday meals and to be a little less controlling with my calorie intake?

Like I said above, try focusing on health rather than a certain number of calories. Think about how much happier you’ll feel with yourself if you choose to pack an apple for dessert after lunch rather than a brownie. (Easier said than done, I know!!!) As for variety, buy a vegetable you haven’t tried in a while. I literally wouldn’t touch broccoli or asparagus for my entire life… then, last year, I tried them again and I actually liked them! I also encourage you to incorporate foods you love that might not be as healthy into your meals in healthy ways… like sprinkling chocolate chips into your morning bowl of oatmeal or yogurt. It tastes indulgent but you’re enjoying it in a controlled, healthy way.

How much do you weigh and what size do you wear?

I answered the weight question in round one and I typically wear a size 2 or size four dress unless it hugs my hips… I’m definitely a lot smaller up top than on the bottom… my wedding dress measurements were: bust – size two, waist – size two, hips – size eight. I typically buy my shirts in a size small and my jeans in a size 28.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I know this will make me seem totally lame, but the first thing that came to my mind that I think I did that was pretty crazy was get scuba certified in February. Why, when I live in a state that’s ridiculously hot for nine months out of the year, would I choose to get scuba certified (outside!!!) when it’s in the upper 30s to mid 40s? Ryan and I did it so we could be scuba certified for a cruise we were going on in March, but the process was one of the most miserable experiences ever! Crazy? Maybe. Stupid? Yes.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

My family, friends and Sadie.

Do you and Ryan want to have kids? If so, how long do you plan to wait after you get married?

Yes! We both definitely want kids. When I told him about this question he replied, “Yep! Two boys!” to which I replied “Yep! Two girls!” 🙂 Kids are a long way off for us though (definitely several years) because we both have goals we’d like to achieve and want to feel financially secure enough to start a family.

You have great skin! Mind sharing your routine?

I wash my face with Clean & Clear morning burst shine control facial cleanser in the shower every morning and use Clean & Clear oil-free dual action moisturizer right afterward, otherwise my skin is tiiiiight.

How much time do you spend working on your blog every day?

I probably spend approximately an hour total actually creating blog posts every day, unless something big happened and I write a more extensive post with lots of pictures which takes more time. I consider responding to emails part of blogging and this also takes up additional time every day.

If you could change one thing about your appearance what would it be?

Anyone that knows me well could probably answer this question for me: my hips. I swear I’ve had a boo-tay and hips ever since I was born! I’ve always wished I had a slimmer bottom half… slimmer hips, butt and legs. Thankfully I’m marrying a self-proclaimed “butt man” who likes a lil’ junk in da trunk. 😉

What brand of scale do you have at home?

I have a Thinner scale that looks a lot like this one.

I’m sorry I couldn’t get to all of your questions, but I’m workin’ on it!!! Stay tuned for more Q & As later today! 😀