A Spoonful of Sugar Would Have Been Nice

Remember that song from Mary Poppins that goes,  “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down?”

Well, I think I needed a spoonful of sugar to help my sugar-free Jello knock-off dessert to go down. It was NOT GOOD and tasted like cough syrup. Bleh. 😦

I love sugar-free Jello and eat a little snack pack after lunch almost daily. At the grocery store last night I saw a different brand’s sugar-free gelatin on sale for less than half the cost of Jello.

Being the savvy shopper that I am, I picked up a bulk-size pack of the stuff. Bad move. I don’t think I’ll be enjoying anymore Tylenol-flavored desserts in the near future.

Luckily, that was the only fail of my lunch.

My grilled zucchini and roasted red pepper hummus sandwich, roasted cauliflower and two dark chocolate Dove eggs saved the day!

Roasted Cauliflower


Tuesday's Lunch

I also had a cup of Greek yogurt for some protein which alluded any photographs.

My Jello knock-off dessert was the most disappointed I’ve been in a product in a while.

What product or food have you tried recently only to be disappointed?

Race Time Predictor

This weekend I discovered something. I do not particularly like regular hummus. Blasphemy, huh?

I think it’s bland and needs a little “oomph” to taste good. What I do love, however, is flavored hummus!

My lunch today featured a combination of roasted red pepper and jalepeño cilantro hummus on a whole wheat sandwich thin with portobello mushrooms.

Lunch Time

Hummus & Mushroom Sandwich + Roasted Asparagus

On the side I enjoyed roasted asparagus, sugar-free strawberry Jello and a handful of Planters honey roasted peanuts.

I ❤ Peanuts!

Lunch was gooooood.

Race Time Predictor

Have you run a 5k or other running race recently or timed yourself on your latest run?

Keep that time in your head, and click here to enter it into a “Race Time Predictor” to check out your predicted time for other races, including a half marathon, marathon and 100 mile race! 😀

Pretty neat, huh?

Do you think the Race Time Predictor is accurate?

I think it’s a pretty decent tool and it seemed to be pretty accurate in predicting my times for various race distances.

For me, my pace is pretty similar whether I run a 5k or 10k race… I don’t run for time and literally tell myself to “slow down and enjoy the experience” when I run in a race. Still, I think the race predictor is pretty neat. Based on my last 5 mile race time, I should finish Saturday’s 10k race in 54:22. We’ll see if it’s accurate!

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 Nescafé 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 fiancé), 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 YouTube.com 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 Netrition.com?  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.

Half Marathon, Here I Come

Guess what I did today?

I signed up for the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon!

Run Baby, Run!

The race isn’t until August 1, so I have plenty of time to not train before race day.

I’ve only run one other half marathon, which I completed with Ryan in December 2007. Our official time was 2:14.

OUC Half Marathon, Dec. 2007

I was not running for time (I never do). My goal was to run the whole thing, and that’s exactly what I did. No walk breaks!

I basically followed Hal Higdon’s novice half marathon training plan, and made sure to stick to the long run distances. Unfortunately I got sick two weeks before the race, so my longest run was 9 miles before the big 13.1 mile race.

It was definitely challenging, but I really enjoyed the experience. Ryan’s support was so amazing and I really appreciated having a running buddy with me. He didn’t train at all and stayed with me the entire time. While I was totally fine the next day, poor Ryan was sore for about a week! I guess that’s one of the benefits of training…

For the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on August 1, I will have several running buddies! Five of my girlfriends from college will also be running.

If you’re a runner, do you run for time? What’s the longest race you’ve run?

My goal for this race is simple: to have fun! I never get bent out of shape about my race times anyway and am one of the least competitive people in the world. I will not be focusing on a time and I plan on taking it nice and slow and enjoying the sights of the city. I’m so excited!


Though my lunch was not quite as exciting as my half marathon news, it was still quite delish!

I enjoyed a Swiss cheese and artichoke sandwich on a whole wheat sandwich thin.

Swiss Cheese + Artichoke

I also munched on carrot sticks and enjoyed a sugar-free orange jello on the side.

Tuesday's Lunch

Also, for your viewing pleasure, please enjoy the lil’ pic of my mid-morning snack!

Gingersnap Yogurt

Around 11 a.m. I dug into Greek yogurt topped with two small Gingersnap cookies and chopped pecans.


Five Cheese Pasta

Yes, five different cheeses made it into my pasta bowl today.

Six Cheese Pasta Bowl

Count ’em:

  • Asiago
  • Parmesan
  • Romano
  • Goat
  • Feta

If I had more varieties of cheese on hand I would’ve added them to the mix. Fifty cheese pasta sounds great to me!

Though cheese and noodles sounds like the perfect lunch to me, I added a whole bunch of broccoli to to get some veggie vitamins and color into this dish.

Wednesday's Lunch

As always, I enjoyed a sugar-free Jello cup for dessert. I eat one of these every day after lunch.

Elusive Snack

I managed to snap a picture of my elusive morning snack today. Whadda ya know… it featured cheese, too!

Egg White & Cheese Sandwich

I enjoyed melted colby jack cheese and an egg white on a whole wheat sandwich thin. I cooked the egg white on my griddle at home this morning and packed it up for quick reheating around 11 a.m. Sadie enjoyed the yolk. 🙂

Bread Lovers Unite!

I’m thrilled there are so many bread lovers out there! Woohoo for carby, doughy goodness! If you haven’t already, click here to enter my EarthGrains giveaway.