Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

One year ago we had lived in St. Louis for about 10 days.  When we got here, I prayed hard that we would find a place to live quickly and not have to stay in a hotel for longer than 2 weeks.  (Have you ever stayed in a tiny hotel room with a 16-month-old?  Not fun.)

We signed our lease before hitting that 2-week mark.

Then, for the big picture, I prayed that within one year, by August 1 to be exact, we would secure a home purchase.  In case you haven't been around my blog much, we closed on said home on July 24.  And it's not a bare minimum home.  Its a beyond-what-we-could-have-hoped-for home.  It's 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths, has a deck, and is just awesome.

I couldn't figure out my career path.  Then I got the urge to become what I refer to as a professional gym rat.  About 6 months and a certification later, my world has exploded with opportunity.

God is faithful, friends.  Some of my readers may or may not share my spiritual views, but let me tell you this today - God is faithful even when you don't think of yourself as "that" type of person - you know, the one who grew up in church, never strayed from the path of faith, their "worst" sin is getting mouthy with a telemarketer.... not that there's anything wrong with being that person, but when you're NOT that person, you can sure feel on the outs with everyone, especially if you spent any significant amount of time walking, or in my case, running, away from God.  But when you let Him find you again, because He WILL find you, amazing things start happening.  You start to believe in redemption again.  You believe Him that He really does love you and wants to give you the best things.

My point is, I am so thankful for God's faithfulness.  What He places in your heart, I have said many times, He does not let remain unfinished.  How powerful.

Oh, and we have 2 sets of family getting into town today and tomorrow - you better believe I'm thankful for that!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Craziness! .... And a Happy Birthday!

I've been MIA for almost a week now - yikes!  I don't like that, but the past week has been nothing short of chaotic!  And just because yesterday was my birthday did not mean anything was slowing down.  But I did have a lovely - though VERY busy - day filled with many well-wishes and a few sweet gifts.

I love the WillowTree collection.  My mom almost always sends me one for a special occasion.
My birthday was no exception - love it!
Last year I had no cake, so Chris made sure I had one this year.
Marble cake and vanilla buttercream - yum!
Because I HAVE to include a picture of my cutie!  Almost 3 years to the day
we saw this little guy on ultrasound for the first time.  THAT was the best
present I will ever have.
Roses from my boys
An oil and vinegar bottle set - I love these!

I turned 28 yesterday.  18-year-old me would never have thought this is where I would be 10 years later.  Mind.  Blown.

Well, that's that for today - I taught at 5am this morning but surprisingly my energy is pretty good.  I've got to get and keep moving.  We have 2 sets of family coming into town beginning tomorrow, which we are VERY excited for, but I still have a LOT of work to do to get ready.

Once I have the house in order, I can't wait to share pictures with you!  And tell you all about the actual move, our furniture nightmares, and our lesson learned about what to do when you think your air conditioning is out (which, it wasn't, but little hands sure can cause problems!).  All stories for another day.

Take care, friends!  I can't wait to be back to blogging regularly!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

If ever I come to a point in my life where I find it difficult to pick things that make me thankful, I know we'll have a problem.

With all the excitement from the mud run that my friends and I did, I didn't even get a chance to tell you that I got hired on at another gym!  I did my first true audition and it went really well!  I hadn't been nervous leading up to it, and then right before I went into the gym, the butterflies paid me a visit.  But it went great, I was hired, and I am thrilled about it!  It's a gym with MANY locations, and the one I really, really wanted to work at since joining it back in January and starting to study for my certification.  You know how it says in scripture that the works God begins in you, He sees to completion?  Perfect example.  Perfect.

Honestly, that really takes the cake for this week, but it has been a great week all around.  It might not seem like much to my non-instructor readers/friends, but I got to attend a BodyPump class on Monday, taught by one of my favorite instructor friends Sharon and it was awesome.  I needed to be able to just be a participant and it completely fed my fitness soul that day.  I also got to attend the same class last night with Chris and my good friend Kaitlin (aka Kay-Kay to James, whenever he decides to call her that), AND I get to go to Turbo tonight, also with Kaitlin.  I can't wait to get my hooks, uppercuts, and sumo burpees on!

Tonight, after Turbo, I get to go have coffee with my dear group of friends.  This will not disappoint, and I am very thankful it is happening tonight.

Tomorrow all of our new house items get delivered, and then Saturday we are officially moving in!!  I am so, so, SO thankful for you who will be helping us out on Saturday.  So thankful.

Oh, and obviously, I totally appreciate Paige for nominating my blog for the Liebster Award!  Thanks again, Paige!  That made for a really fun post.

And next weekend, we are going to have a house full of family.  There is nothing better.

What makes you thankful this week?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Liebster Award Nomination!

What an awesome start to my day to find out that I had been nominated by Paige, who blogs at, for a Liebster Award!  Thank you, Paige!

Like many new bloggers, I had not heard of this.  Liebster is a German word for "favorite", and the award is given to bloggers who may be new and up-and-coming, have less than 200 followers, and who deserve a little attention - so thank you, Paige, for nominating me!

So now, I need to give you 11 random facts about myself, answer 11 questions that Paige posed for her nominees, and then nominate 11 other bloggers and give them 11 questions... whew!  I'm tired already!  Here goes:

11 random facts about me

1.  I'd rather have vanilla over chocolate, but it has to be REAL vanilla.  No fake stuff.  And don't you dare put shortening in vanilla "buttercream" and then call it buttercream.

2.  When I go to a race, I'm always checking out other runners' legs.

3.  I hate football and will never like it.  EVER.  I'm sorry Chris and in-laws and to the one family member who told me that I would "learn to love it" 3 years ago, still no.  But you guys, you keep loving it.  Teach James about it and let him love it. I'll enjoy my time in the kitchen while you watch.

4.  I went to school with a dream of being a criminal psychologist.  I want to fix the "un-fixable".  And now I'm a group-ex instructor.  My goodness, how things can change!

5.  I hate, hate, HATE scary movies!  I can't even watch the previews.  I make Chris mute them.  I'm pretty ridiculous.  Those "Saw" movies really messed me up.

6.  I could eat spaghetti at nearly every meal and be perfectly happy.

7.  I only joined Facebook/Twitter/social media in general this year.

8.  Now that I have a son, I'm REALLY terrified of having girls.  I only know how to take care of a boy.  What do you do with girls?

9.  I was so, so, SO shy in high school.... which makes it extra ironic that now I teach.  One of my best friends from high school was also shy, and before we were friends, we each equated shyness with being snobby - good thing we actually talked to each other one day and learned that we liked each other!

10.  I'm a dog person all the way.  Sorry, kitties.  And reptiles.  There will only ever be room in our house for a dog.

11.  I'm not a camper.  At all.  My idea of camping is staying at the Econo Lodge and "roughing it."  Yep, I can be that much of a princess.

Question's Paige asked:

1. If you could live anywhere other than where you are right now, where would you live?  Probably back in DC.  I miss it terribly.  But unfortunately, DC is MUCH further from all of our family, not to mention MUCH more expensive.

2. What's your guilty pleasure?  Eating freshly made peanut butter out of the food processor bowl.

3. What is one goal you have for your future?  Okay, don't laugh... I really want to be in a fitness competition - not necessarily a figure competition, but more like physical competing, like a crossfit competition.

4. What is your favorite recipe that you have posted on your blog?  Vegan brownies.  They're amazing!  Though, these protein bars are a close second.

5. What is your favorite vacation spot?  A cruise ship and anywhere it can take me.

6. What is one of your favorite hobbies?  Baking for sure, tied with practicing PiYo Strength.  Love them both!

7. What is your greatest accomplishment to date?  Getting my group-ex certification.  I worked really hard for that and it made me believe that if you really want something and will work for it, you can achieve it.

8. What made you want to start a blog?  I wanted to share my love of all things baking, but it has really evolved to a focus on fitness.  It's still some of both, but more like an 80/20 split these days.

9. Chocolate or vanilla?  Vanilla all the way!

10. What is your favorite book (or magazine, or blog to read, if you don't read many books)?  Anything fitness.  No way do I have chances to read a lot for "fun", though when I was younger, I read the book "Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade" and I read it countless times!  It was indeed a great book.

11. How did you become interested in aspects of healthy living (fitness, healthy foods, running, etc)?  To be honest, I got really sick of starving myself and feeling like garbage.  I started trying to be healthy, and lose weight the right way, which lead me to running.  That was junior year of undergrad, and I never looked back at unhealthy things like starvation.  I will always be a runner at heart, but now I am much more diverse in my activities.

And now, here are the 11 bloggers I am nominating!

1. Michelle @ A Little Moore From My Kitchen
2. Marcia @ Year Twenty-Nine
3. Jennifer @ Live Learn Love Run
4. Allison @ Train Eat Repeat
5. Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC
6. Amie @ The Jersey Amazon
7. Chloe @ How She Runs
8. Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?!
9. Melissa @ The Wheezy Runner
10. Sarah @ Sweet Miles
11. Stacey @ Pug Mama Stace

Blogger friends, here are your 11 questions:

1. What's your soulmate workout?
2. Do you follow a labeled lifestyle - paleo, vegan, etc?  Why or why not?
3. Are you a group-ex person, or do you prefer solo workouts?
4. Does your significant other love fitness like you do?  Or, if you're single, how important to you is it that your future mate be into working out?
5. Ice cream or fro-yo?
6. What movie could you watch over and over?
7. Morning person or night-owl?
8. If your friends used one word to describe you, what would it be?
9. Have you ever done or would you ever do a mud run?
10. What did you study in school?  Are you doing something with it now?
11. What do you want to be when you grow up? (that might sound silly, but as we get older, we still have new dreams!  What yours?)

Thanks again, Paige, for nominating me!  This made for a really fun post and I love "meeting" other bloggers!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lozilu Mud Run - St. Louis Edition!

Also known as one of the most fun things I have ever done!  It was definitely the most fun I've ever had at ANY run.  No pressure for time, your friends at your side, and gorgeous weather made for the best day.  Just the best.

We are definitely ready for the next one!

My little photo-bomber, Kaitlin, Sunny, Kristin, & me

Putting the "strong" in our team name "Strong is the New Skinny"
Look that those gorgeous lady muscles!
And of course James was showing his muscles!

Lozilu Mud Run is a women's 5k mud run, untimed, and just straight up fun.  It was borderline pricey in my opinion, but when you see everything that goes into a mud run (mud run newbie right here), you understand.  The St. Louis edition was held on the grounds of Six Flags St. Louis.  Our wave time was 10am, and we arrived around 9:30 or 9:45, got checked in, and went through our wave's group warm-up.  At that point, we were already laughing and being silly.

Within a few minutes we had our first "mud bath" and it was awesome.  As a self-diagnosed germ freak (and that's putting it mildly), this was a big step for me, but I just went with it, haha.  We had mud baths, wall climbs, a mud water slide, taller wall climbs, a huge rope climb, and more.  My favorites were the water slide that you had to scale on one side to slide down the other, and definitely the tall wall climb.  (Many thanks to Les Mills BodyPump for giving me strong arms to hold myself up on the other side of the wall!  Pretty amazing feeling!)

In my group of friends, I don't think I'm wrong in saying I am probably the most adventurous and up for almost anything.  But Kaitlin and Kristin dug deep and were amazing, and I have to give special mention to Sunny - the girl is down with the getting dirty part and is definitely one tough lady, but like many people, she's not so down with heights, but she conquered EVERYTHING yesterday and was amazing.  Amazing!  So proud of these girls and thankful that I got to share in this with them!

Waiting in line to get hosed down.  Literally.  We used a hose!
It was hilarious and freezing.  Mostly hilarious!

Disgustingly awesome muddy feet

So that's how we spent our Saturday morning.  Many thanks to Lozilu for putting on a great run (loved having Oreos and Hershey's chocolate at the end!) and also to my girl Sunny for making our awesome shirts!

How was your Saturday?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thankful Thursday

How has your week been?

James and I have been enjoying a couple of days of quality time together while Chris has been away.  We've done really well together, which we always do, but I would have to say that it's been extra fun just enjoying my little guy.  We've been singing, dancing, being silly.... it has been great.  I love that little stinker so darn much.

After a few super busy weeks, I am thankful for the slow-down that I have experienced with this week.  Also, I taught PiYo Strength for the first time this week, and it was awesome!  (Remember how I told you that I got certified?)  Really, it went so well for being my first time and let me tell you, I am incredibly thankful for that!

Yesterday a very good and lovely friend of mine, Sunny, gave me a crash course in do-it-yourself home projects.  Oh my goodness am I ever overwhelmed!  But it's good.  Sunny showed me things she can do (okay, things I can do) that I never would have known.  This girl is so crafty.  Go check her out on Pinterest.  Thank you, Sunny!

Well, friends, super short today.  This mama has a lot to get done today.....

Tell me about something that has made you thankful this week.  Sometimes it's something huge, and sometimes it's the little things.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Recap of the Clean30, 1 Day Early

It has been a while since I have even mentioned my attempt at 30 days of fairly strict clean eating.  Today is actually Day 29, but it just seems like a good time for a recap, even a day ahead of schedule.  I actually started this yesterday and then a 2 year old and a little (outside the home) work got in front of me.

I guess the biggest thing to report is how I did on this challenge.  I did great for 2 weeks.  I had my coffee creamer each morning and otherwise did not indulge in any processed sugars.  The following 2 weeks I did great during the weekdays.  But on the weekends, I loosened the reins.  I definitely had ice cream.

And here's what I learned - when you go off a LOT of sugar, and then you eat something like ice cream (perhaps a blizzard.....), at least if you're me, you wake up the next morning with a VERY upset stomach.  If I consumed very little sugar, and then had something very sugary in comparison, I felt terrible very soon after.  I'm sure this isn't rocket science.

Now.  Let's be real.  Will I ever give up real ice cream entirely?  Uh, yeah, that's a big fat NOPE. 

It is disappointing that so much packaged food has a TON of processed sugar in it.  And products that really do seem "healthy" can be packed with so much high-fructose corn syrup.  The cereal I would usually give James on a given morning - mind you, it's not what I would deem a "junk" - has the same sugar content as some cookies from Trader Joe's that he loves!  So sometimes it is tempting to just give in when he's asking for cookies because, nutritionally, they are the same.

I've also learned that people can easily fall into the "it might be packaged, but as long as it's from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods", it's healthy.  So not necessarily true.  And don't get me wrong - I  love me some Trader Joe's and Whole Foods - I'm not a hater!  I just think that we could all stand to be more informed.

Now, if you eat a pretty healthy diet in general, as I feel I do, is it necessarily worth stressing yourself over all of this?  I really do not think so.  Is it worth the judgment that I've seen on so many blogs making fun of others' decisions to be vegan/paleo/clean/whole/whatever?  Nope.  You have to do what is right for you, preferably without making anyone else feel "wrong" for not following YOUR choice.

Side note - if anyone I know felt that way from my decision to try to be "clean", I am very sorry.

Looking forward, I see myself staying mostly the same - strive to eat pretty clean, or let's just say healthy, through the week, and if I want a treat on the weekend, I'm probably going to have it.  Nothing wrong with that.  I will continue to make my own nut butters, mainly because I have fallen in love with them (and there is just something so satisfying with watching those little peanuts turn into goop), and I'll probably stick with clean pita for my bread and a very unsweetened cereal - but those are just my choices, things for which I really developed a taste and truly enjoy.

What are your thoughts, friends?  Do you follow any specific nutritional lifestyles?  Have you encountered the people who think their way is the only way?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fit Friday - Thoughts on Being a Newbie Group Instructor

As many know, I have been working as a group fitness instructor for about a month.  I worked really hard to get certified, and you better believe I was a little nervous for my first handful of classes..... very nervous for putting on the mic for the first time.

But now?  Now I really feel like I'm starting to own it.  I have always felt at home in the gym.  If you know me, you know that it's a close call between whether my natural habitat is the gym or the kitchen (what if I could have a kitchen IN a gym?.... omg, that would be the stuff!!!).  I have always been confident in the gym, either out on the floor on equipment, or in a group exercise room, but..... my goodness, it is a different ballgame when all of a sudden YOU are the leader and everyone is waiting for YOU to tell them what to do!

I have been subbing my booty off trying to build rapport with my colleagues and, at least at one location, it has been paying off, and I am really thankful for that.  This week, though, has been the icing on the cake.  To have multiple participants come to you and tell you that they enjoyed your class is really the best feeling, and I hope I never forget that.  I subbed a kettlebell class today and we had such a wonderful time.  That is the environment I live for - where we are all working so hard together, sharing in both the pain of those darned plie squats and the victory of accomplishment.

However, I have come to realize a few things:

1. Not everyone who comes to your class is there because they love working out as much as you do.  This is a hard one for me.  Why can't everyone love that endorphin rush the way I do?

2. Not everyone who comes to your class is even there to do that actual class.  Case in point - a lady who has come to two entirely different classes and each time she stood in the back of the room and did her own thing.

3. Most people don't know how much it means to you as an instructor to get a simple thank-you.  Before teaching, I never really thought about this unless I really had a stellar experience.  Now, no matter what, I make sure to thank the instructor and tell them something I liked about the class.  Sometimes you are so tired and this little act of kindness can really lift your spirits.

4. Most importantly, sometimes you need to say no.  As a newbie, this one is hard.  I feel such pressure to show what a team-player I am, and how hard I'm willing to work, but for example - as you know from yesterday's post, I had a women's coffee night to go to which had been planned for some time, and I struggled with whether or not I should cancel it to go sub a class at the last minute.  Ultimately, I went to coffee, and you know what?  I am super glad that I did.  I needed to connect with other women outside of the group-ex setting.  I needed that refresher.  It meant that I had to say no to work, but I now see what a necessity it was.

So, thoughts from a newbie.  It's only been a month, and it has been a roller coaster at times, but I am definitely finding my place in teaching, and I love it.  I am so thankful for the path God provided for me.

I know that not all of you are group-ex instructors, but can you relate at all in your own jobs?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Coffee!

Short post today, but to the point!

I'm thankful for more than coffee, but that's a big part of it.  But I'll get to that.

I'm thankful for last night's BodyPump class.  I needed that booty-kicker.

I'm thankful that I can turn to PiYo Strength today, as I told you about yesterday, because after last night's booty-kicker, I need it.

I'm totally thankful that James and I only had to wait for the gas man at our new house yesterday for 2.5 hours.  Not bad at all - it could have been a 5-hour wait.  And James was really good.

It's still a few weeks out, but a week after moving into our new house, there will be not 1, not 2, but 5 family members coming to visit for Labor Day weekend!  I love, love, love that we have been blessed with an amazing house that can accommodate everyone.  I love hosting and I really can't wait for everyone to be here, plus we'll have a party that weekend with friends.  I look at it as the most amazing birthday present ever - awesome new house, and friends and family galore.  Nothing better.

On to the coffee - tonight I am going to the first women's coffee night with some wonderful friends who are part of this.  I have been very much looking forward to this night.  We all need community where we can be real with each other in a safe environment.  I am so, so excited for this!  If you are in the St. Louis area and want to connect, send me a tweet.

So, what can you share this week?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

PiYo Strength!

This past Sunday, I spent my day having a blasting at PiYo Strength instructor training!  It was awesome.

A description of PiYo Strength:

 "PiYo™ is a unique class designed to build strength & gain flexibility. The moves fit perfectly together to form a class filled with intense choreography that’s fun, challenging and will make you sweat. It’s about energy, power, and rhythm. Think sculpted abdominals, increased overall core strength, and greater stability.  In a nutshell, PiYo™ will rock your world!"

The class is a fusion of pilates and yoga, but I usually like to refer to it as yoga on crack.  While I do believe in the fantastic benefits of both pilates and yoga, I find traditional classes just terribly boring.  I feel like I should be moving more, not wanting to lay down and fall asleep (of course, this is spoken by the girl who has an undying true love for burpees).

PiYo begins with a warm up of dynamic stretching exercises, moves into heat building, fusion, power, and flow, and concludes with strength, stretching, core work, and a cooldown.  You do a lot of sun salutations, pushup, lunge, and squat variations, and balance exercises, all at choreographed speeds with music, and you.  will.  sweat.  One of the best parts - all you need is a mat!

One thing I love about PiYo is that, as instructors, we use the PiYo music and the class format, but we have the freedom to make the class our own.  It is much less rigid than other choreographed formats, and there is so much room for providing options to your students.  This is perfect for a new instructor such as myself.

PiYo encompasses everything you need to maintain fitness - cardio, strength, stretching, and balance.  (And for the record, no one is paying me for that, it's my true opinion.)  I really, really recommend this class!

I'd love to know - have you taken PiYo Strength?  What do you like/dislike about it?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tasty Snack Tuesday - Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa!

This is less of a snack and more of a meal, but this recipe is so healthy, delicious, and (extra added bonus) not calorie heavy that it could be justified as a snack!

The concept for stuffed pepper is nothing new, I just made it a little healthier.  This recipe could easily feed 4 people.

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
5 ounces lean ground turkey (optional, but delicious!)
1 tomato, diced
salt, pepper, garlic, and chili powder to taste
(I also threw in a sweet mesquite seasoning)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 green peppers

Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.  Set aside.  Cook the turkey, crumble, and mix with the quinoa (if you use super lean turkey, there will be nothing to drain!).  Add the tomato and spices and combine.  Slice the peppers into halves, remove the seeds, and arrange in a pan cut side up.  Fill the peppers with the quinoa mixture, sprinkle each with 1/4 cup of cheese, and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown.  Enjoy!

Depending on how big your peppers are, you will likely have a fair amount of filling left over.  I used pretty large peppers and still had filling left over.  One serving will only set you back about 230 calories.  Each serving is also only 10 grams of fat and about 22 grams of protein.  I can't wait to eat one of these for dinner tonight after going to TurboKick!

Tomorrow I can't wait to tell you all about what I spent my Sunday doing!  Stay tuned!

What's your go-to healthy meal?


Monday, August 5, 2013

Review - ENERGYbits!

Have you every heard of ENERGYbits?

I had not... until I really started making friends in the fitness industry and blogosphere.  I kept hearing other athletes, particularly runners, always chattering away about being "powered by bits" and how this super food was just really, well, super.

I really wanted to give the "bits" a try, but found them a little pricey.  The good people at ENERGYbits were gracious enough to send me a 2-serving container to try out for myself.

Before I go any further, just what are ENERGYbits, you ask?  Okay, I'm going to tell you, but you have to hear it all out, because I'll be honest, it's going to sound really weird.

ENERGYbits are algae.  Spirulina algae to be exact.  Now, this meant nothing to me when I first heard of these, so I'll explain.  Spirulina algae is a food, not a supplement (if you know me, you know that I am very cautious with supplements), and a whole food at that - meaning there is one ingredient, algae.  From ENERGYbits:

"When algae is taken prior to a run, race, game or competition it improves your energy, propels your performance, increases your stamina and eliminates your fatigue or hunger.  When taken after a run or workout run, it speeds your recovery, reduces inflammation and builds more muscle.  Not bad for something straight from nature that was the first plant life on earth 2.5 billion years ago.   Even better, all these benefits (and more) are delivered without caffeine, chemicals, sugar, fructose, preservatives, gluten, soy or animal products.  All of our algae tabs are grown organically, are 100% vegan, 100% raw, 100% non GMO, 100% kosher, and contain over 40 vitamins and minerals.  ENERGYbits algae are 64% protein (the highest concentration of protein in the world), are loaded with Omega 3, have the second highest concentration of GLA (another critical fatty acid), and release nitric oxide into the body naturally.  All for just one calorie per tab....all the protein in algae is already in amino acid form so it is absorbed INSTANTLY.  This allows our algae to deliver a constant and steady stream of energy without a rush or crash and also without stomach distress."

There is a TON more information that you can find on the ENERGYbits website.  I really like that ENERGYbits are a food, not a supplement, and that it is a natural, whole-food product.  Occasionally, I will use a protein powder supplement if I am struggling to meet my protein needs for the day, and I am planning to start taking L-glutamine, as some fellow instructors advised, to help with the physical demands when you're an instructor, but otherwise, I avoid supplements.  So the fact that ENERGYbits are a food is a plus, and I checked - it's FDA-approved.  And the recommended serving is 30 tabs (they look like little pills) that you swallow with water, so we're talking 30 calories - also a win in my book.

I tried these on 2 occasions, both of which I was incredibly exhausted and needed to survive just a few more hours being "on" as an instructor.  Here are my thoughts:

-almost-instant energy (and seriously I was when all you want to do is cry)
-no jitters
-only 30 calories
-no stomach issues

-fish food smell and (what I imagine) taste
-a bit pricey ($115 for about 33 servings)

So those are my thoughts.  Truly, once I got past the smell and taste, I really did feel like ENERGYbits fulfilled their claims.

Have you tried ENERGYbits?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

*ENERGYbits provided me with the samples, no other compensation, and all thoughts/opinions are entirely my own.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fit Friday - Balance!

I have had one crazy busy week.

Hold on, let me pull out my soap-box and talk to myself you about the importance of finding balance in a couple aspects of your life.

If you've been around my part of the blogosphere for any amount of time, you know that I recently became a legit group fitness instructor.  Let me just be honest with you and confess that it has been far more physically exhausting than I could have imagined.  Though, part of that exhaustion is due to the fact that I am just not used to doing anything outside of my everyday mommy duties and my hour of daily "me" time working out.  When you go from that as a baseline and into teaching two or sometimes 3 classes on a given day, you do start to wear out.

Thankfully, I have an instructor friend who frequently reminds me not to do too much, or to at least be careful in my planning.  Sometimes if I think about taking on this or that, I think, what would Tammy say?  It helps me make some of my schedule decisions.  So if you find yourself really struggling with over-committing yourself - find your own Tammy to tell you not to do too much.  It will keep you accountable.

The other area of balance I want to discuss is your nutritional lifestyle (notice that I will NOT use the word "diet").  I am almost 3 weeks into my clean eating challenge, and I will tell you that I have not been perfect.  I haven't strayed too much, but you know what?  When I ate that real ice cream last weekend, I enjoyed every last delicious bite, and I didn't feel guilty - because it had been 2 weeks since I had anything so indulgent!  My point is that even if you are trying to maintain a level of strictness with how you're eating, you've got to give yourself a break sometimes.  And don't even call it cheating, because it is NOT cheating.  Even Shaun T doesn't say "cheat" but rather "treat."  And that's what it is - not an everyday kind of thing, but the occasional treat.  Allowing myself to enjoy that ice cream was wonderful, but after that night, I didn't have ridiculous sugar cravings.  I was able to go right back to my mostly clean-eating lifestyle, knowing that I will have a treat again soon, and all will be fine in the world.  No harm done.

My Friday posts used to be very physical-exercise related, but the deeper I have gone into the field of fitness, the more I have realized that fitness is about so much more than how many burpees or how many squat jumps you can do.  It encompasses everything from how you eat to your mental health.  You know how people talk about the 80/20 rule with eating (eat well 80 percent of the time, slack 20 percent)?  It's like that - a truly fit person is really just 20 percent physical exercise, 80 percent everything else.

Just my $.02 anyway.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Stay tuned for a product review coming this weekend!

And if you're up for a little more, head over to and check out my guest post on Courtney's site!  I "met" Courtney on Twitter, and she is a fellow #sweatpink sister who lives in the DC area and loves running.  She makes me so nostalgic for my time there and the many, many miles I logged running on the Mall.  She is currently enjoying a vacation and allowed me to write a guest post for her awesome blog.  So go check it out!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

This week has been full of ups and downs.  Fortunately those "downs" were nothing compared to the grand scheme of life, and rather than dwelling on them, I'm going to focus on the positives, because that's all that really matters anyway, right?

1. I got great remarks from one of my supervisors at a time I really needed to hear them - yes!

2. I have secured 4 weekly classes for the first session of fall (the Y works in sessions, about 7 weeks at a time).  Add in a little subbing here and there, and this will be great!

3. I get to sub 2 cardio kick classes coming up - holy cow am I excited!

4. On Tuesday, I had my biggest and best class so far.  These ladies were many, and they were ready to WORK.  It was awesome.  Instructor's dream.  I'm pretty sure I'll see many of the same ladies this morning, so we should have a great workout!

5. Yesterday, Jennifer, a fellow #sweatpink sister, emailed me to let me know I had won a giveaway she hosted - I had completely forgotten about it!  On Sunday, September 15, thanks to the free entry, I'll be running the Color Run with her team (mind you, this is the real Color Run, which should be awesome!).  Thanks, Jennifer!

6. We have nothing scheduled for Saturday!  Nothing!  And I'm thankful for that because I will need the rest.

All right, so that's my list.

What's yours?