July Foodie Pen Pal

WOW.  I cannot believe that July is already over.  At the beginning of the month, I saw a picture that said, “Make July your b*tch.”  Though I haven’t been the cleanest or strictest with my diet, I do feel that July was mine.  I enjoyed every last bit of my summer in DC, right down to the last bite of burger or delicious homemade oatmeal cookie, and I don’t regret a second of it! It’s great not feeling the guilt that I used to associate with eating something that may not be the healthiest.  I don’t feel anxiety when I can’t get to the gym and I don’t think the world is going to end if I eat a piece of cake.  I really think it’s important to indulge and have those off-meals because nobody is perfect.  I know that it’s hindering my progress, but I’m also really happy with the progress I’ve made and where I’m at right now.  I’m so ready to keep pushing myself harder once I get back in to my routine though! Just because I’m not at the gym doesn’t mean I don’t miss it!

It’s important to decide whether or not your goals allow for little cheats like I’ve taken.  I know that once I get back to my diet and exercise plan that I’ll be on my way to reaching my goals.  I’m not afraid of falling completely off the wagon; I’m just stopping it for a little bit!  If you’re the kind of person who can’t limit yourself to just a one cookie, then you should definitely assess your own choices when it comes to off-meals.

The end of the month also means that it’s Foodie Pen Pal time!  My June Foodie Pen Pals were Jocelyn and Judy.  Check out what I sent at Jocelyn at her blog: Peace Love Nutrition.  Judy sent me some unique items, from her hometown in Oklahoma, that are also clean!  I was so excited to see local brands in the box, and Judy actually knew some of the owners.

-Taboli Salad Mix: This bag of dehydrated bulgar, parsley, and onions doesn’t look like much, but it seems to be one of the best kept Oklahoma secrets to me!  A restaurant in Bristow, OK sells these bags of their taboli salad to mix with fresh vegetables.  Tabbouleh is one of my favorite Mediterranean dishes and I’m so excited to try this super healthy carb!

-Nature’s Bakery Whole Wheat Peach Apricot Fig Bar: I am a super fan of Fig Newton’s so this was a perfect on-the-go snack for me:)  The short list of natural ingredients was very exciting because it’s hard to find bars that actually taste good and are clean without making them yourself.

-Whole Foods Parmesan Crisps:  Okay, I may have had a small bingefest with these on my last night in Virginia, but at least they are clean!  I’ve made Parmesan crisps at home before (it’s SO easy and they look so fancy to me!), but mine are never this thick and crispy.  We were sure that there had to be some bread crumbs or something involved in these, but after checking the ingredients we were surprised to just see good ol’ cheese on there!  Whole Foods never failsJ

-Eden Organic Wild Berry Mix: I have to admit that I was kind of worried about this.  Only because I am a HUGE lover of trail mix and can tend to go a bit overboard at times.  I’m also trying to cut down on sugar, and dried fruit packs a lot of sugar in a little tiny piece.  However, not only has my will power increased, but this stuff is awesome!  It’s not too sweet and just a palm full gives me that little boost of energy I need on my way home from work.

-The Prairie Gypsies Blackberry Sage Jelly:  Haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but anything with fruit and herbs sounds good to meJ

I hope you all made July your b*tch and are ready for August!


Pre & Post Workout Shake Recipe for Powermeal a Week!

I hope you all had a relaxing Sunday.  I just got back in to California.  I’m really excited, but so so so so so so so so sad to leave DC and Virginia!  Kasey over at http://powercakes.net/  started a new challenge, and I haven’t been keeping up as much as I wanted to.  The challenge is to post a new powermeal recipe every Sunday and link it to her blog so that all of us fitness and food freaks can share ideas!  Last week I shared my recipe for clean chicken salad.  I was trying to think of what I could share this weekend when I realized that I’ve mentioned the importance of a pre- and post-workout meal, but have never shared mine!

Though there are many different opinions, the plan that I am on now dictates that I have carbs and protein only surrounding my workout.  So no fats!  (Healthy fats of course, never bad fats!)  It’s always really difficult to convince people that that they need to eat before and after they workout.  So many think that if they don’t eat before a workout, then they’ll burn the fat that they have instead of the food they eat.  Do you really think you’re body is going, “Hmm, no food in awhile, I’ll just eat the fat that’s been lingering on your hips for that past ten years.”?  Not going to happen!  You need food for energy before your workout, and food to recover post workout.  Getting shredded actually requires the shredding and tearing of your muscles, if you want them to repair themselves and grow on top of that, then you need to fuel your body.

I find it really hard to eat a full meal before AND after my workout without becoming a pukefest, so I choose a protein shake.  I’m a creature of habit, and I usually have the same one every day:)

Berry Workout Shake

Makes 2 servings (feel free to modify the amounts based on your workout burn)

1 cup oats

2 scoops protein powder

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 banana or apple

3 drops stevia extract

1/8-1/4 cup water

LOTS of ice!

  1. Blend everything but the ice in a blender
  2. Add ice and blend again!

**Drink 1/2 30 minutes before your workout, and half within 30 minutes after your workout**

Calories: 530

Carbs: 64g

Protein: 50g

Sugars: 6g

Can 4-letter words involve an apostrophe?

Sorry I haven’t been very successful with the blogging lately!  “The Thing”, as we call my departure from VA, is rapidly approaching and I haven’t been at a computer much.  Still finding time to hit the gym, of course:) 

Today I endured James’s Week 6 Day 3 leg workout, and I felt so accomplished as I hobbled out of the gym!  I recently read an article about a ten year-old girl who can squat twice her body weight.  I usually only squat about 50lbs (less than half of my body weight) and realized that I was slacking!  Usually it’s because I can’t really lift more than 60 over my head without looking like I’m seizing, but this morning I conquered the squat rack!  I busted out 3 set of 15 squats at 95lb. and I was dying! Luckily, it was so early that there was no one there to see me stuggling to stand. You know how much I love squats, but it was slow going at 6:00am and my motivation was definitely low.  About half way through the 2nd set, I was maybe a little stuck in the squat position and thought “I can’t get up.”


What I really couldn’t tolerate was that I had said can’t.  For the few of you who have been to the gym with me, you know that word is like saying “Voldemort” to muggle-me (though there is still some possibility that my acceptance letter owl was hit by a car, I’m still holding out hope).  I learned long ago that can’t would never again be a part of my vocabulary.  I danced ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and whatever else I could fit in, with the same teacher for quite a few years and who drilled quite a few helpful life lessons in to my brain.

The first came about while the class was stretching: we’d put one leg up on the wall behind us, and do a standing split. Well, to be honest, my splits sucked.  I had no muscle, so I had “the shakes”, and had to stand up on that wall for 5 minutes while he pulled my foot towards my head.  Sort of hard to picture, but think of something pretzel-like.  At one point, I said the dreaded word and he pulled me up and said:

“No.  You CAN do anything, but if you won’t then that’s your head’s fault.  Don’t blame your body for something your mind is too lazy to do.”


It really stuck with me, and I am always happy to tell someone how dumb their mind is being about something:)  Today, it was my own mind that was being an idiot.  It was a pretty motivational moment for myself and the weighted bar I was holding, and I eventually returned to my normal height to bust out 1 and a half more sets!  The point is, don’t doubt yourself because if you don’t think you can do it, then why would anyone else?


Have a good Thirsty Thursday and drink of lots water!! I’m at 40 oz., share how much you’ve had today!


P.s. Words to Avoid (updated): Skinny, can’t



Sunday Blog Fail=Life WIN

So I’ve realized that there’s no way I can post such a long blog on Sundays! At least not for right now.  So my apologies to the both of you reading this. There has to be at least two of you right? 🙂

This weekend was crazy busy since my time in DC is coming to an end.  We had planned on hiking Old Rag in Shenandoah (an 8 hour hike) on Sunday.  Shenandoah is one of my favorite places to be, but so far I’ve only gone tubing and wanted to check out the awesome trails that they have!  Our plans changed when we found INCREDIBLE Sugarland tickets.  That was an easy decision to make:) Instead of Old Rag, we chose a shorter hike in Great Falls, Maryland.  Billy Goat Trail was rough and rocky, but I recommend it to anyone looking for something a little more challenging than a nature walk.  The views of the Potomac were spectacular and it was so nice to sit out on a ledge and enjoy our clean chicken sandwiches:)

Acting as the geniuses that we are, my aunt and I decided to visit Cracker Barrel and eat back all the calories that we had burned rock scrambling!  I definitely wanted to treat myself, but it was hard to go completely nuts.  I had multi-grain pancakes, scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, grits, and REAL BUTTER AND SYRUP.  I’ll admit, sometimes I do miss refined sugar and cream:)  After we hefted ourselves from our table, we headed on over to Sugarland!! 

The concert was absolutely amazing!  They are one of my favorite bands and it was such a surprise to get to see them:) I’ll post some pictures later tonight!

Speaking of pictures…..I’m now on Instagram! Follow me @BBBHealthy 🙂

I’ll leave you with a quick and easy recipe for lazy summer days and a Sunday Powermeal!





Clean Chicken Salad

4 pieces of chicken, diced (I used leftovers from Little B’s coconut chicken recipe)

1/2 bell pepper

1 cup greek yogurt

2 tbs. chopped fresh basil

1tbs. dried cilantro

3 tsp. grapefruit juice (or lime)

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Pepper to taste (I used TJ’s flower pepper)

1. Mix it all together and enjoy with whole-wheat or ezekial toast and squash chips!

I eat because I’m happy, and I’m happy because I lift.

I get asked all the time why I decided to choose this lifestyle or what I like about it or what prompted me to change.  I always have a difficult time answering because there really are so many reasons and so many things that I love about eating clean and training dirty:) Actually, I pretty much love everything.  I’m sure there are more, but here’s what I came up with:

I love protein shakes.

I love the gym.

I love having the gym to myself at 5:30am.

I love how cool my lifting gloves make me feel.

I love sweating 5 minutes in to a tough workout.

I love running.

I love pushups and squats and curls and deadlifts.

I love eating rainbows.

I love fresh, whole fruits and vegetables.

I love lean proteins like salmon, turkey, and chicken.

I love being the only girl at the gym with a shaker bottle.

I love monitoring my heart rate.

I love knowing what goes in my body.

I love being in workout clothes and my nikes with my hair in a ponytail.

I love watermelon glutamine.

I love having to eat 6 times a day.

I love knowing that I’m strong enough to lift a small child over my head, multiple times.

I love flaxseed and pb2 and chia seeds and other “weird” health foods.

I love pushing myself to make every rep count.

I love the science of how we use food to shape our bodies.

I love egg whites and oats.

I love having food as a friend, not foe.

I love seeing progress.

I love having goals and actually reaching them.

I love the community that I’ve found in the fitness world.

I love knowing that my progress comes from hard work and not some magic pill.

I love not feeling guilty for indulging every now and then.

I love being comfortable in my own skin.

I love feeling sore after a b*tch of a workout.

I love workouts that are a b*tch.

I love making workouts my b*tch.

I love being strong.


What’s your reason?

Thirsty Thursday and Squats!

Hope your Thirsty Thursday has been more successful than mine!  Work is still crazy so I’ve been trying to chug these little mini water bottles, but it’s hard to keep them on hand while I’m running around making sure everyone else is hydrated:)  So far I’m at 60oz, where are you?My 4:50am wake-up call was not very welcome, and around noon I needed coffee.  Not my favorite, but taking a nap at my desk isn’t really my boss’s favorite so I had no choice!

Week 5’s workouts are pretty fun, but I’ve really been pushing myself to lift heavier lately and it’s making me so tired!  I’m always a stickler for form (I’ll redo a whole set if I think that my form was off), but lately I’ve been extra cautious to keep my back straight or fully extend my arms because I don’t want my hard work to result in injury.  Or worse, lack of progress! Gasp!

I’ve found that there is one, extremely important, exercise that people have the most difficulty with.


I love squats.  Squats, squats, squats, squats, squats, everyyyybodyyyy!  Squats are definitely my favorite exercise, and it’s taken me a long time to be able to do them correctly.  I love how they are also an incredible core exercise (compound ftw!), and they make me feel strong, the many different variations, the cardio-squats, everything! I even love how sore they make me! I’ve also attempted (and succeeded in some cases) to teach some of my friends how to do a squat correctly.  Well what I should have been doing is showing them THIS video!

This little exercise (pushing a medicine ball out while you squat) is great because it helps you overcome that hardest part of the squat: letting your hips go back.  I’ve had this described to me in many ways-you’re sitting down, you’re mooning someone, you’re making a table top with your quads-they are all great analogies, but it’s hard to put all of the different motions together.

  1.  Keep your back straight! This doesn’t mean it has to be perpendicular to the ground, but it shouldn’t be curved or rounded.
  2. Don’t let your knees go past your toes.  This is possibly the trickiest part because we want to go as low as possible, but it’s difficult to allow your hips to move back far enough to go low.
  3. Keep your knees in line with your toes.  So when your knees bend, then should move in the same direction that your toes are pointing.
  4. Chin up! It’s never a good idea to look straight at the ground when doing a squat, but don’t overextend your neck either.  Keep your neck and shoulders loose while you let your core and lower body do the work!
  5. The ultimate goal is to be able to squat all the way down and lift yourself back up, with perfect form of course:) It’s a lot harder than it seems, especially with a barbell across your shoulders!



Amanda Latona-She is a prime example of the miracle of squats!

I hope this little intro in to squats helps those who are intimidated by the gym!  The squat rack is your friend, and don’t be afraid to jump on the leg press to ease yourself in:)

What I Ate Wednesday

This week has been absolutely CRAZY at work.  So crazy, that I actually missed a meal yesterday!  It was just awful.  I went immediately in to b*tch mode, of course, and scrambled to find something to eat in the empty cafeteria.   In addition to running around at work, I’m on Week 5 of James Wilson’s Body Earned Program and it is killer!  My whole body feels tired all of the time.  The upside of this week is that I got to see Wilco last night. I hadn’t really listened to them before, but it was still a great show and I’m going to be downloading their stuff soon!

For breakfast I had the usual: Egg whites with genesis toast on the way to the bus stop in my red solo cup!  Today’s variation was summer squash and cherry tomatoes:)

Meal 2 was a little tweaked because I just got a new protein powder and needed to increase my carbs! My MRM Dutch Chocolate came yesterday so I had cottage cheese with the MRM, a quarter of an overripe banana (ew), and another piece of toast!

Meal 3 has been my favorite every day this week:)  The cafeteria has a little pre-made tray of a mixed green salad with no dressing (I squeeze a lemon on top), smoked salmon with capers, potato salad, and a brownie.  I toss the potato salad and brownie to add a hard boiled egg+one hardboiled egg white and brown rice sesame chips!  Smoked salmon is my new obsession so I’ve been pretty stoked!

Meal 4 is boring old grilled chicken with a little feta thrown on top, the rest of the gross banana, and a tbs. of pb2!

For Meal 5 I made Little B’s coconut chicken with a side of squash, bell pepper, and onion sauteed in a little olive oil 🙂  It was so great!  I’d definitely try the recipe if I were you, you can find it in her notes here.

Meal 6 is probably going to be a cottage cheese/protein powder shake because it is SO HOT:)

Let me know what you ate on this lovely Wednesday!

Six-Pack Sunday/Tuesday

(I realize that it’s Tuesday, but I had some problems with posting! Kept losing drafts 😦 )
Well it’s been an eye-opening week for me!  I had a minor (read: major) freak out because I haven’t really been seeing progress the way I’d expected.  I’ve been getting way stronger, but was worried that maybe my diet was off.  I found out that the progress that I’d seen from JE’s was because of the unmanageable carb-cycling and that I’m just gaining muscle right now, not losing fat.  It just goes to show that you can do everything you’re supposed to and be where you want to be, but you still have to work your a$$ off to maintain it!
Though to be honest, I haven’t been the best at limiting my off meals 😦
 Hey, I’m on vacation! Kinda….sorta…ish?
I also want to say good luck and keep on keeping on to those who have decided to start JE’s program or to just start living healthier!  If you have any questions, feel free to comment, email me at bbbfitandhealthy@gmail.com, or ask on facebook!
Now for Six-Pack Sunday:)
  1. A reason to be motivated
  2. A fitness myth
  3. A new recipe
  4. A fitness trend
  5. A website
  6. A product review

1. A reason to be motivated


“Strong is the new sk*nny.”

Hell yeah! Lifting weights and eating right won’t make you shed fat immediately.  You’ll gain muscle so that when you do begin to lose fat, you’ll actually have some definition underneath!  You’ll come out of this with more muscle and a strength that is unbelievably empowering.  I’ve always been called fragile (not even delicate, just fragile ugh), and to me that always implied weakness.  Now, I can lift a case of sodas at work like it’s nothing and impress my coworkers with my man-like strength;)  Having the ability to carry something heavy or lift yourself out of the pool with grace and ease is an amazing feeling.  Mundane tasks become small little accomplishments because you couldn’t have done them before.  It makes you feel even more independent and able to do absolutely anything:)

2. A Fitness Myth

“If I lift heavier weights then I’ll bulk up, so I’ll just do more reps with lower weights.”

WRONG.  As usual, your body is largely reliant on your diet.  If you stay with lower weights and never increase the weights that you use, you will just stay stagnant (ladies that means no more 3lb. weights!) While doing more reps in a circuit can increase you heart rate and keep you in a fat burning zone during strength training, if you continue with lower reps and languidly move from exercises you won’t hit that mark.  Leaning out can occur from increasing cardio, decreasing your carb intake, and many other methods, but doing any or all of these in excess will only hurt you.  The way to a tight and toned body is through lifting weights and improving upon your performance every day.


3.  Recipe

Tomatillo Steak and Eggs

2 oz. flank steak (I used leftovers so it’s already cooked)

2 egg whites

1 whole egg

1/4 cup homemade tomatillo salsa (grilled tomatillos, grilled poblano pepper, roasted garlic, chopped onion-blended)

1 tbs. flaxseed

1 cup of raw spinach

  1. Cut the steak in to small, bite-size pieces and toss in a pan just to heat up for a minute or so.
  2. Whisk the egg whites, whole egg, and tomatillo salsa together.
  3.  Add the salsa-egg mixture to the pan with the steak.
  4. Cook until done, about 4 minutes-ish.
  5. Serve on a bed of spinach with a piece of whole-grain or ezekial toast, and top with flaxseeds!


Calories: 259

Protein: 32g

Carbs: 4g

4. A Fitness Trend


Crossfit is a strength program that has been around for awhile, but seems to be becoming more popular among housewives lately.  This means that it’s popping up on every stay-at-home mom fitness/cooking/craft blog usually in the form of boot camps.  That’s how it should be!  While some think that the Crossfit lifestyle may be a bit cultlike, it’s an awesome way to stay fit.  The workouts are similar to those of the military and police academies (think pushing heavy objects and running until you fall over), but are easily adaptable to anyone by adjusting the weight or intensity.  There are a lot of my favorite exercises involved like squats, clean and press, and of course a lot of RUNNING!  The difference is often the equipment.  Since you aren’t slowly moving from machine to machine, equipment such as sandbags, kettleballs, plyoboxes (for box jumps, so terrifying!), sandbags, tires, etc.

If you hate the gym, then a crossfit program might be the perfect thing for you!

The Crossfit Games just ended, check out this video to see how freaking cool you can look doing it.

5.  Bodybuilding.com

I’ve spent hours on this website! When I was first looking in to weightlifting, I was pretty much going off of nothing.  I think I actually googled “women’s bodybuilding” 🙂  I found this incredible resource and used the Find A Plan app, which lead me to JE’s LiveFit Program.  Since then I’ve used it not only for the program, but for recipes, support, supplement reviews and purchases, exercise references, and so many things! It has about a million different resources from articles and interviews to online community called Bodyspace to connect with others who have similar goals.  I highly recommend you utilize this website and all of the free tools that they have to offer!

6. A Product Review

Nature’s Best Isopure Zero Carb Protein: Cookies & Cream

It is with great regret that I write this as I am no longer a user of this product.  The regret comes from the fact that I absolutely LOVED it!  It has zero carbs and high protein, which is great for leaning out, but i’ve realized I’m not quite ready to stop building muscle yet so I need those carbs:)  I also am trying something a little more clean (yes protein powder can be clean!), MRM.  I’d give the taste of Isopure a 9, it mixes really well with anything and is more cream than cookie which is perfect to me.  There were no side effects and the only problem was that I ran through it wayyy too quickly. 

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!  The highlight of mine so far as been the smoked salmon in the cafeteria, whoop dee doo!

Thirsty Thursday: Made Exclusively for Water

Happy Thirsty Thursday!  TGI-almost-F 🙂

I work as a catering attendant, and today I overheard two women discussing their new diets.  If you could even call them that! In between sips of diet coke (and asking me to bring more), one of the women shared how she is cutting out all carbs.  I wanted to scream at her that cutting carbs won’t do anything if you’re chugging 5 diet cokes a day!  Okay, maybe she’ll drop a couple pounds, but it won’t last and it certainly won’t be healthy.

If you’re looking to improve your health, one of the first places you should look is what you drink. I stick to water, club soda, and green tea leaves (bag tea is another issue with me!). There are so many reasons why you should not drink soda!  I’d try to convince you to not drink alcohol, but there are too many people reading this who would boycott the blog if I tried that 🙂

These are the ingredients to a favorite of clients here at my internship, good ol’ Diet Coke:

Did you know that the ingredients are listed by what is used the most in the product?  That means you’re probably mostly drinking CARAMEL COLOR.  I’ve never juiced a caramel, but I’m thinking that’s not really how it’s made.  Also, if you look at this label and think, “Yeah, I know  what aspartame, phosphoric acid, and potassium benzoate are and what they will do to my body.” and you STILL drink it, more power to you because you’re going to need it.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener which, when ingested, eventually breaks down in to formaldehyde.  Yeah, the stuff used to embalm people.  Enough said, right?  Well if not, check out this site for more info.

Oh, but you drink Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda?  Still not okay! Check out this picture that’s been popping up on my newsfeed that past few days, thanks to Michelle LeSeuer from Unique Health and Wellness.

This babe cut Splenda from her diet for just 28 days, without changing any other part of her lifestyle, and got incredible results.  She also brought up an awesome point: ” I wonder now what the Splenda is doing to the inside of my body since it can make such a drastic difference to the outside.”

Now you’re probably wondering, what the heck can I drink?? Well, water is definitely a great start:)  But don’t be afraid to get crazy with your H2O and add cucumbers, strawberries, pineapple, anything!  Also, to beat the summer heat, I found a great recipe from Trainer Momma for you! Because doesn’t everyone need a piña colada every now and then?

Protein Piña Colada

(I modified it a bit)

1 cup of almond milk
1 scoop (around 2 1/2 Tb) of protein powder
1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1 packet of stevia
5 ice cubes

Just throw it all in the blender for about 3-4 minutes.  The longer you let it mix, the fluffier it will be.

Calories: 200


What I Ate Wednesday!

So I can see how you might think that all I eat is weird protein ice cream and oatmeal all day, but I swear that I eat real food!  I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and participate in What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) with Peas and Crayons and a bunch of other awesome bloggers 🙂  Basically, I just post a full day of my meals so that you can see where I’m at, and also maybe find some ideas for yourself!  Peas and Crayons makes it very clear that this isn’t about comparing meals or judging others, but to celebrate that we all eat and it’s awesome. So, rejoice!

Meal 1:

Ezekial cinnamon raisin toast, sundried tomato and caper egg white + one whole egg omelette on a bed of spinach

Meal 2:

1 scoop Isopure Cookies & Cream protein powder in cottage cheese topped with blueberries, 1/2 banana, and almonds (this picture is of chocolate protein, whoops!)

Meal 3:

1/2 of this chicken is for my next meal!!! So, half of this portion of chicken breast, steamed broccoli with a little feta cheese, and Genesis sprouted grain bread

Meal 4:

2 rice cakes, 1tbs. PB2, 1/2 banana, and the rest of that ^ chicken.  Sorry, no picture:(

Meal 5:

Grilled squash and clementine cod smothered in homemade tomatillo salsa

Meal 6:

1 tbs natural peanut butter, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 scoop Isopure cookies & cream protein powder all blended together and frozen.  Sorry again, no picture!:(

and a TON of water!

Hope this shows you that normal food is a huge part of this lifestyle.  Remember, when in doubt always go for whole foods!


I’d love to hear your healthy choices for today, share your WIAW in the comments 🙂