Hey guys! Today marks 1-month since I began my cut and I am down 8-pounds, which means I am averaging about 2-pounds a week.

I want to go over a few changes that I have made since ending my bulk that are contributing to weekly success. First and foremost, an amazing non-stick pan. Maybe this is something that is a staple for some of you, but during my bulk almost every meal included butter or oil, which meant a cast iron skillet sufficed just fine. Now, butter and oils are kept to a minimum, and fats come mostly from wild salmon, avocado, nuts, seeds, and an occasional egg yolk.

A second change I have made is cardio. While many may think that it takes endless amounts of time spent on the elliptical or running on the treadmill, I have only implemented about 15-30 minutes a day. This is something that will differ for everyone. For instance, when I was coaching regularly in the gym and getting in loads of steps, I never had to make time for additional cardio, but now that I work primarily from home and spend a good portion of the day on the computer, it means a lot more sitting. I make it a priority to get in about 15 minutes of cardio for every 3 hours I spend at my desk. This means I usually hop on the elliptical or stairmill mid day for a quick session to ensure I get in some steps.

Third, I remain consistent. I try to get in bed at the same time each night and I usually wake around the same time each day. I typically get my workout in first thing in the mornings because I feel I perform at my best in the morning, and two, I feel that it sets me up for success throughout the rest of my day.

Last but not least, a decrease in overall calories. It doesn’t mean going to extremes, it simply means making adjustments and eating more nutrient dense foods. As I mentioned, I switched from cooking with butter and oils to a non-stick pan which is a significant decrease in itself, and second, an increase in fibrous vegetables. For example while bulking, dinner may have consisted of 200 grams of potatoes, whereas now, I will opt for 100 grams of potatoes and 100 grams of cauliflower, cutting the carbs by about 20 grams while also increasing several key nutrients. I have also cut back on my sugar intake. When I say sugar, I am not referring to candy bars and soda, I mean tropical fruits, coconut water, breads and pasta. These were absolutely acceptable when trying to put on some size, but for now they are kept to a minimum, except for an an occasional post leg-day snack for glycogen replenishment.

When coming off of a bulk it is fairly easy to lose weight for the first 4 to 6 weeks. I had been in a calorie surplus for about 7 months, so any calorie decrease at this point in time will yield fairly good progress.


Below are my two check-ins since my last blog post. I weigh-in and take progress photos every 10 days.

Some of my main protein staples over the last two weeks have been chicken, ground turkey, Morning Star veggie sausage, salmon, rice and beans (the 2 combined yield a complete protein source), yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein powder. Carb sources are corn tortillas, potatoes, rice, oatmeal, and a variety of legumes, vegetables and berries.

In order to make certain I am getting enough protein and key nutrients each day, I have 1-2 protein shakes and a green smoothie made from spinach, yogurt and mixed berries.

I usually make enough smoothies for the entire week at one time. While in the refrigerator they will separate and look a little “off” but as soon as you give them a shake, they’re good to go.

Thanks for continuing to follow along as I share my journey with you all. Hopefully these tips help you with your own journey. If you have been striving to lose weight, and your decreases aren’t as significant as you feel they should be, hang in there and remain consistent. Consistency is key! For someone that is just getting back into the gym after a break, remember that muscle weighs more than fat. If you are seeing a stall on the scale, then perhaps you are swapping out some fat for muscle, and that is a tremendous win!! Progress photos and measurements can often show results that the scale can’t measure. Keep going!

Hello friends! I have made it through week 1 of my cut, and as you will see, I am down just shy of 3-pounds. This leads me to share with you all what someone can usually expect during the first week of a cut, and where to begin.

There is no magic calculator that can determine the caloric range that an individual needs to start out with. There isn’t a range that works for everyone. If you’re flying solo and not hiring a nutrition coach, then I suggest taking the first week to find your base calories.

During the first initial week I focus on simply being conscious and aware, not only of my food choices, but listening to my body, eating when I’m genuinely hungry, and putting a time cap on my last meal of the day. I make certain to track all foods throughout the week using a tracking app, but I don’t have prescribed totals that I am trying to “hit” on a daily basis. At the end of week one, I will take an overall average of my calories, and then, I will determine my starting point regarding macros.

Myself, personally, I try to maintain a well balanced, nutritious diet all year round, so I don’t have to worry about making major changes to my food choices, but if you are a soda drinking, candy eating, sugar-fein, then now is the time to cut it out.

Coming off of a bulk and going into a cut is quite easy in the beginning. For the last 6-months, I ate when I was hungry, and then ate a little more to ensure I was in an obvious surplus. This week, I simply ate until I was full.

While I am more than thrilled to see a decrease on the scale this week, I am realistic and understand that a good portion of this total is water weight. Even the slightest carb decrease will result in less water retention (carbs are stored as glycogen, and each gram contains about 3 grams of water- hence why cutting carbs doesn’t always mean fat-loss).

As for training, at the moment, nothing will change. I typically get in 6-7 workouts each week, and take 2 full days of rest. This means that 1 to 2 days I will workout 2x a day. I lift heavy if my body allows me to, include lots of compound lifts, lots of intensity, and I try to make each workout really count. I take my dog for a 20-30 minute walk each day, and if I sit at the computer longer than 3 to 4 hours a day, I will jump on the elliptical or stair-climber for another 15-20 minutes to get some steps in.

I didn’t post my bikini photos last week because let’s face it, no-one likes to open themselves up for criticism, but ultimately, I decided if I am going to document this journey with you all, it’s only fair that I be as transparent as possible.

Like many females, I carry a lot of excess weight in my butt and upper legs, so when even the slightest of changes are made, these are the two places (on me) it is usually most obvious.

Day 7.
Day 1.


While weight training is extremely important in itself, nothing is more important than your diet when it comes to losing body-fat. You can workout every single day, but if you’re not eating right, you will never reach your goals. Below I have shared some of my favorite meals from the week. My primary carb sources consist of rice, oatmeal, corn tortillas, potatoes, lentils, and a variety of vegetables. My go-to proteins are ground turkey, ground beef (occasionally), salmon, chicken breasts, chicken sausage, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein powder. My fats primarily come from avocado, seeds, nuts, olive oil, butter and wild fish.

I would love to answer some of your questions throughout this series, if you have any. If you’re not following me on IG, give me a follow, and slide in those DM’s with your questions, or drop a comment below. These questions will help me determine what I can touch-on and share with you all throughout this series.

As always, thanks so much for following along as I share my journey.

Hello everyone! I am super stoked to kick off this new series, and share my journey along the way with you all! If you have followed along for a while, then you know I have completed several challenge series over the years: some were in prep for the stage, while others were simply getting ready for the beach. What separates this go-around from those in the past is, the work I have put in over the last 25 weeks.

Three years ago, just after turning 35, I decided to embark upon a vegetarian journey. It wasn’t something that I just did overnight, but it was something I had been working towards for a while. Being a nutritionist and writing nutrition programs for other people, I felt it was important that I gain a complete understanding from a vegetarian’s perspective. My protein sources came from fish, eggs, and dairy. I continued this approach for 24 months, and when I was ready to transition back, I re-introduced white meat in the form of chicken and turkey, and within a couple of months, red meat occasionally. My takeaway from this experience was extremely positive. I felt amazing throughout the journey, and personally, I never felt deprived or nutrient deficient in any way. What I did notice though, was a change in my post-workout recovery. I felt that delayed onset muscle soreness was more prevalent, and recovery time was a bit longer. However, I do keep in mind that this was over a two year period and let’s be real, after the age 35, recovery would probably take a bit longer. Either way, I decided to see if reintroducing meat back into my diet, could in fact reintroduce some muscle progression as well. So, that became my focus. For 6 months, I followed a bulking program that included a caloric abundance coupled with powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and short high intensity interval training sessions.

This bulk was different in comparison to previous bulking periods in the sense that, I avoided the scale completely. I have been successful in the past with putting on muscle, but the scale would often dictate my path. One has to understand that when you are bulking you will indeed put on weight, that’s the point; however, we all know good and well that seeing that increase on the scale can completely do your head in. So this time, to avoid de-escalating my progress, I just chose to avoid it. I took the batteries out, and the first time I saw my weight throughout this process was yesterday morning. One hundred and fifty pounds! I could not believe it. I was literally in shock! I have never weighed this much in my life! Am I completely solid? Of course not, but I would have never looked at myself in the mirror and put a 150-LB stamp on my physique. I am honestly quite thrilled with my progress, and the fact that I have made such notable changes makes this series so much more enjoyable. I cannot wait to see what’s hiding under this layer of fluff!

Along with my weigh-in, I took measurements and some snapshots to document day no. 1.

While I am feeling like a thick chick, and I don’t hate it, I am more than ready to see some abs and booty definition.

Because I have worked so hard and put so much time into this bulk, I will allow myself just as much time to lose the excess body fat. Instances in the past of being overzealous and losing too much, too quickly resulted in not only muscle loss, but metabolic disturbances that took a great deal of time to come back from.

So, I invite you to continue to follow along as I share the ins-and-outs of this journey over the next 20 weeks.

Hello friends and Happy New Year! While 2020 threw the entire world a curve ball with COVID-19, and most of us are eager for a fresh start in the new year, I have to say that 2020 was actually really good to me. Being in lockdown allowed me to slow down and focus on my ebook, a project that had been in the making for a while.

https://mycolorfulfoodjournal.selz.com

While in lockdown, I focused a great deal on creating habits and a daily routine. I am the type of person that relies on structure and without it, I am easily distracted. I knew that destructive behaviors such as endless social media scrolling, overeating, and binging on Netflix could possibly mean the return of some old bad habits, so I was determined to not let that happen.

Since I was no longer in the gym coaching, my 15,000 steps a day would be cut in half, so I knew this meant cutting my calories a bit, and adding in additional cardio throughout the day.
I continued waking up before the sun, and made certain that a workout was the start to each day. After lunch I typically jumped on zoom and completed a HIIT session with some of my mates, and evening walks with Jack O’doodle after dinner ended each day.

Thankfully, grocery stores remained essential, so keeping stocked with fresh foods and keeping meals prepped was never a problem.

In the end, because of self-destructing behavior in my past, I knew that creating consistency and regular routines throughout quarantine was imperative. Establishing a plan and remaining persistent over lockdown enabled me to make some positive changes in my physique, and more importantly, allowed me to remain unwavering in my wellness journey.

The photo on the left was taken just upon entering lockdown, and on the right, mid-July at 134 LBS.


Since pools and social festivities were put on hold this summer, I decided to begin my final bulk of the year a bit early. August 1st marked day 1, and I’ve been grinding hard over the last 25 weeks! I do believe this bulk has been my most successful to date, and I can’t wait to see what’s hiding under this current 150-LB frame!!

Monday will mark day no. 1 of my 2021 shredding series, so I invite you to subscribe and follow along!

There are several great benefits to drinking coconut water. I want to share with you why I personally choose this beverage, almost daily. Coconut water is full of potassium, an electrolyte that has numerous jobs. It helps conduct nerve impulses and muscle contractions and regulates the flow of fluids and nutrients in and out of the body’s cells. While these alone are great benefits, potassium isn’t typically the mineral that is depleted during a workout though, it’s sodium. So, while coconut water is loaded with potassium, and many more essential micronutrients, I choose it surrounding my workout, specifically, for its primary macronutrient, carbs. One cup of coconut water contains 15 grams of sugar. While I prefer to do HIIT training on an empty stomach, I like to consume both carbs and protein before and after my weight training workouts. Many refer to this time frame as the “window of opportunity.” It is during your workout and just after, that blood flow to the skeletal muscle increases. Because of the increased blood flow, the muscle is primed to accept nutrients. Once these nutrients are accepted they immediately stimulate muscle repair, strength, and growth. It is because of this “window of opportunity,” I like to have nutrients there, ready and available. But why coconut water, specifically? For one, I train early in the day, and I can’t force a solid meal down my throat that early. Second, I want the energy supply and nutrients there immediately, but I don’t want to feel it in my belly while lifting, so consuming a liquid form of nutrition that contains rapidly digesting carbohydrates and protein is best (for me). I could just as easily opt to mix my protein with water and consume a handful of sour patch kids for my fast-absorbing carb source (the macros are exactly the same as coconut water), however, if I chose the second option, I would be missing out on all of the amazing micronutrients and their amazing benefits. The importance of nerve impulses and muscle contractions when it comes to Weightlifting is crucial. Every explosive movement begins with firing up your Central Nervous System, which then allows you to transfer power from your core to your extremities. Without the body’s ability to execute these impulses correctly, you can’t possibly find your greatest maximum power output.
As always, this is something I have found over time that works well for me. On average, most individuals don’t work out long enough or hard enough to really even need an electrolyte replacement drink, so water is perfectly fine, but for those that train outdoors, or at a higher intensity for longer than 60:00, electrolyte replenishers are great additions. Do keep in mind though the mineral most depleted for athletes is sodium, so other sports recovery drinks may be a better fit for some. As you can see, I keep plenty of G2 on hand. I enjoy training in the heat, and I love to sweat, so I do occasionally supplement with a sports recovery drink, as well. 

I wanted to share with you all my most recent personal journey, 100 days of Yoga. I did something similar in the past that I referred to as 100 days of happiness. When I began 100 days of happiness, I began a gratitude journal. Journaling every morning is something that has completely shifted my mindset and created great change in my life. Now, I cannot imagine beginning my day any other way. As of recent I have been thinking, “what else can I incorporate into my wellness journey that can cultivate rewarding benefits?” Well, I have decided to see if yoga may just be that answer. I have incorporated yoga off and on over the last year, but by no means has it been practiced consistently (even when I had the greatest of intentions). This time around incorporating a session every day will be a priority.

Where and when I will practice, will vary. I have followed along with  apps and YouTube in the past, which were great and easy to follow, but having an instructor in a classroom ensures expert guidance. I have several friends here in Vegas that teach so a good mix of both is the plan- whenever I can get it in.

Today marked day one. I followed along with a beginners yoga video from Youtube this evening with basic (and familiar) movements that allowed for an easy and relaxing introduction to my journey.

I find when I incorporate yoga, mobility sessions, lengthier warm-ups, and make more time for recovery, my body appreciates the dedication, and less pain is the reward. It seems so basic, right? And really, it is. It doesn’t require science to understand the why’s, but it does require taking action and putting in the effort.

Follow along as I journey 100 days in search of another amazing shift in my life.

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Now, let’s fast forward 100 days and see how it all went! You can head over to my Instagram and view all 100 days in my stories!

To start, I began this journey with hopes that practicing yoga could help relieve the lingering back pain and elbow pain that I have had off and on for several years now. In the beginning, however, I found that my elbow would flare up when practicing, and my wrists would take a beating too- honestly, it was really frustrating. But, within 15 days or so, I found that my wrists were feeling stronger and my elbow pain was becoming less and less, not only on the mat but when lifting weights too. Soon after, I realized I was no longer thinking of the pain in my elbow, or how weight-bearing I felt on my wrists, but rather began focusing on two key points: mindfulness and the breath. 

My understanding when reading into the practice was, in yoga, “the breath does the work for you.” That’s because getting fresh oxygen into your blood while moving through the poses allows you to cleanse the body, loosen tension, and experience its full benefits. Deep breathing requires mindfulness and concentration, which I found myself practicing beyond the mat. It’s easy to let our mind wander when completing less technical movements like walking or running, but yoga requires paying attention to your breath and constant refining of your movements. The same goes for our day to day tasks, we often get caught up in our routines and simply roll through the day without truly being present. In yoga when my mind began to wander I would bring my eyes back to a focal point and bring my attention back to my breath. On day sixty-three, I realized I had yet to have an entire session where I didn’t have to bring awareness back to my breath or use a focal point to still my mind. I never did make it an entire session without having to remind myself at least once to focus, but by the end, I found that I could bring awareness back relatively quickly. Being aware and present was something I found I was applying to all parts of my day. My mindless strolls in the morning with Jack O’doodle, shifted from a “mind-full” stroll to a “mindful” stroll. I found myself paying attention to the colors of the leaves on the trees, and listening to the sounds of birds chirping, as opposed to the chaos in my head regarding the day ahead. It’s astonishing at how you recognize great moments in the day when you are truly present and aware. Not only do I recognize more moments of happiness throughout the day, but I find happiness in the smallest things.

At the end of my 100-day journey, the lingering elbow and back pain had subsided tremendously! I began seeing improvements in my lifts and less inflammation and aggravation following training sessions overall. If that weren’t enough, the rewards that have stemmed from simply being more present and aware have (once again), yielded life-changing practices.

While I cannot incorporate both yoga and Weightlifting every day, I plan to keep yoga as a staple in my training at least 3X each week.

I would like to close this entry with a big thank you to my friend, Amanda Sides.
Amanda is a fellow coach and yoga teacher, and because of her great range of content available on YouTube, I was able to follow along seamlessly as I progressed. Below I have shared links to three of her beginner yoga videos, and here you can find the other 10. This is the perfect 13-day series when beginning your very own yoga journey! I hope I have encouraged you all to give it a go!

Beginner Yoga 1: Get Going!

Beginner Yoga 2: Just Breathe

Beginner Yoga 3: Calm

As always, thank you for taking the time to read anything I have to say.

Well, it’s been 8-weeks since I checked in with you all, and the F45 8-Week Challenge has officially wrapped! In celebration, I met up with everyone for kickball in the park yesterday. It was such a beautiful day and we couldn’t have had more fun! I will brag about our team winning because let me tell you, it was a hell of a game and we earned bragging rights! What made the day even greater, my 8-week challenge team won as well!! My team brought it throughout this challenge! Every single person that participated felt they had made great improvements in their fitness, and gained a better understanding of nutrition, so win-win!

Personally, I feel I met some goals with this challenge as well. I challenged myself, in the beginning, to make it a point to work out more alongside my teammates, as opposed to getting my workout in solo before or after coaching. This approach not only helped me build better personal relationships with my teammates, but with all of the gym members. Another bonus, all of the extra intensity brought to each workout because of contagious energy from my mates, I dropped a few LB’s as well. Another successful F45 Challenge!

Hey guys! The F45 8-Week Challenge is back! Our gym decided to shake things up this time around and create challenge teams, so I volunteered to lead one of the teams, which should be a great deal of fun!

Since coming back from vacation (a good two months now), my workouts have been on point. Clarissa and I are still smashing CrossFit Metcons, following program, and hitting up several F45 sessions each week. My back pain and elbow pain still flare up a good bit, so weights at times are kept a bit lower, but the intensity is always there. While my nutrition has been fairly clean, the weekends have been quite the free for all, so leading this team is great motivation to maybe dial it in a bit more, and attend more classes alongside my team members.

Monday began day 1. While this 8-weeks isn’t all about weight loss for me, I want to share with you all where I  am currently in terms of body fat and aesthetics.

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Progress photos Day 1

I am currently sitting at 19.7% body fat. Tell the old me these numbers and I might just have a mini-meltdown; however, nowadays I am not so much caught up in the “totals.” While I do have a little layer of cushion going on, I still feel good. I look in the mirror and I am absolutely okay with what I see. We are only halfway through summer though, so if leaning out a bit more over the next 8-weeks is the reward of leading a team, I can handle shedding a couple of lbs.

The F45 Challenge offers an incredible meal plan with calorie suggestions; however, I will continue with what I know works best for me. Not a whole lot will change with my diet. I am using this challenge as more of a platform to build greater relationships, but it does help create more mindful eating patterns for yourself when those around you are being a bit more strict.

Below I have given a rundown of what a typical day for me regarding nutrition looks like. My breakfast is fairly consistent right now: shredded potatoes mixed with riced cauliflower and bell peppers, a side of egg beaters topped with avocado and hot sauce, and a green smoothie.
For my smoothie, I use almond milk, yogurt, spinach, and Super Greens (usually whatever I have on hand, or add in extra leafy greens) on non-training days, and opt for coconut water instead of almond milk on non-training days. The challenge calls for no caffeine the first 2-weeks, but for me, cutting back to 1 cup with breakfast is great progress!

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Lunch is typically 1-2 vegetables mixed with a starchier carb, a lean protein source, and a healthy fat.

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Dinner is usually determined by lunch. If I have fish for lunch then I will skip the salmon and opt for eggs or edamame. If I have potatoes for lunch I will have rice instead (or vise versa), and fats almost always come from oil for sautéing.

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As for snacks, I have 1-2 green smoothies a day. I have one with breakfast and another scattered throughout the day that includes protein powder. If it’s a training day, I will include BCAA’s, coconut water, and tropical fruit.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to stop in. I invite you to subscribe and follow along throughout my wellness journey.

Hello! I want to address some questions that I frequently get asked regarding my vegetarian journey.

  1. Do you eat any meat at all? What type of vegetarian are you?

    Technically speaking (giggles), I am following a Lacto-Ovo-pescatarian diet. That’s a mouthful, and that is why it’s just deemed “vegetarian” unless someone is being a bit more specific. This means that I am eating some dairy, eggs, and fish.

  2. How long have you been a vegetarian?

    It’s been a fairly slow and steady process over the last few years. I cut out red meat and pork a couple of years ago, and I decided to cut out all other forms of meat 13 months ago.

  3. Do you ever want to eat meat? Have you had any slip-ups or “surprise” meat dishes?

    I have had chicken probably a total of 5 times over the last year. This was by choice, and not necessarily because I had a “meat craving,” but because my body felt extremely fatigued, and I was having excessive bruising. This led me to believe that I was lacking in iron, and unfortunately, spinach, seeds, and lentils (typically good sources of iron), weren’t doing the trick.  I found, however, I didn’t enjoy the texture or the flavor of chicken once re-introduced. I did have a huge craving for red meat just about a month ago. I actually planned on eating a Five Guys burger for my birthday when on vacation but ended up passing.

  4. Why did you decide to try a vegetarian diet?

    Studying nutrition and writing nutrition programs for others has led me to trying all kinds of different approaches to eating, whether it be what I’m eating, how much I’m eating, or meal timing. First hand experience allows me to learn directly how each approach works.

  5. Do you think that a vegetarian diet would work well for everyone?

    You have to ask yourself the most important question when it comes to determining  if this lifestyle would work for you, “do you love vegetables?” I mean really. love. vegetables. If you would have asked me this question 7 or 8 years ago my answer would have been completely different than what it is now. Personally, yes, I love vegetables! Broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, eggplant, carrots, sprouts, asparagus, peppers, and the list goes on. All of it. I love all of it. I think people often get the misconception that vegetarians fill up on carbs in the forms of bread, fruits, and pasta. While yes, I do occasionally include these within my meals, people often take for granted that vegetables are carbs too.

  6. What are your forms of protein? Do you find it hard to get in enough protein?

    I mostly rely on eggs and fish, and I supplement with protein powder. I eat eggs almost every day, and I allow for salmon about three times a week. I eat a lot of rice and beans, which make for a complete, well-rounded protein. Many vegetables contain a lot of protein as well. If I were under the age of 30 I wouldn’t worry so much with adding in additional protein, but now that I am at an age where protein intake is extremely important, I typically have 1-2 protein shakes per day.

  7. Do you find that you get bored with a vegetarian diet?

    In fact, for me, it’s the complete opposite. I feel that my choices are endless; however, this leads back to the fact that I love vegetables.

  8. Do you eat Tofu, veggie burgers, and imitation meat products?

    I will occasionally eat Tofu if I order out, but I haven’t mastered cooking it myself quite yet. I recently saved some recipes on Pinterest for the air fryer, so fingers crossed I can find some tasty methods. I love Veggie Burgers! When I first transitioned into this way of eating, I did find myself eating frozen veggie patties, imitation chicken, and soy burgers all of the time; however, over the last few months, I try to limit the processed plant-based foods to one meal a day.

  9. Is it hard to find vegetarian options when eating out?

    Luckily, I live in Las Vegas where healthier options are available, compared to other locations across the map (for instance when I headed down south to Alabama). Dine-in restaurants sometimes offer some sort of vegetarian option, but I can almost always create a vegetable plate out of a menu’s side options. Unfortunately, fast food is where it gets tricky. A non-vegetarian diet is a bit easier for fast food. You can almost always find a grilled chicken sandwich on the menu, but a veggie burger isn’t usually an option. A lot of fast food joints offer salads, but more often than not, they are made up of Iceberg lettuce, and (if you’re lucky) will have a couple of grape tomatoes and a cucumber slice. Not my idea of a complete, well-balanced meal.

  10. Is it hard to go to social gatherings that include eating or pot-lucks?

    It can be, sure. I will usually take something that I feel everyone will like as well, but also something that I know I can depend on if there aren’t more options. You can almost always count on someone bringing a veggie tray or a fruit tray. Bottom line, this is a way of life that I have adopted and it works well for me. I am not the type of person that will put a damper on someone else’s plans because the menu doesn’t cater to my lifestyle. I really enjoy the foods that I eat. I feel satisfied, I feel adequately fueled, and I feel better than I have ever felt. Will I follow this approach to eating forever? I don’t know. It works well for me now and that’s what I have to go by.

    Thanks for stopping in! If you have some banging veggie recipes, feel free to shoot them my way!

Hey guys! Today marks one week since being back from vacation, which means my summer shredding series has officially wrapped! I wanted to share with you all what our cross country road trip looked like: the foods, the workouts, and the indulgences.

One can only eat so healthy while on the road without packing a lunchbox of prepped meals. Here are a few snips of some of the on-the-go snacks I had on our drive.

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coconut clusters paired with an iced latte (almond milk and sugar-free vanilla) from Starbucks, kale chips with a sugar-free Monster, hard-boiled eggs and a veggie cup (tomatoes and broccoli)

While I was never a big fan of Subway when I was a meat-eater, I’ve found that since turning to more of a plant-based diet, I do occasionally enjoy a good veggie sub; fortunately, there are more subway restaurants attached to gas stations than any other on-the-go eatery. Needless to say, Subway was my go-to. I took along a bag of corn tortillas as well and would eat half of the sub on bread, then toss the bread and opt for tortillas for the other half.

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Finally, after driving 2000 miles, we found our way to the beach.

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I always get asked what I drink when I have a night out. In this case, a day out. Seeing that we were at the beach, I did indulge in a skinny margarita that paired perfectly with my Mahi tacos (minus the tortillas and rice). Typically, I drink vodka and soda or wine, but when at the beach, one must indulge a bit.

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The highlight of our trip to Florida was definitely seeing my “wingman.” She and I trained together religiously before Wes and I moved to Korea. She recently began coaching as well, and while I would have loved to have taken her class, Florida was all about chilling and celebrating my birthday!

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Here we are the day after my birthday. I ate anything my heart desired! I began the day with biscuits and gravy from IHop, had a mega burrito from Tijuana Flats for lunch, and almost an entire pizza for dinner (not to mention the birthday drinks). Hey, it’s only your birthday once a year, indulge a little!

After Florida, we made our way north to Alabama to see my family. Although it rained literally the entire visit, it was nice to have some downtime. My favorite part of visiting home is sitting around the kitchen table with my mom. We will drink coffee and kiki for hours and hours. They finally got to meet Jack, and of course, they were obsessed with our little muppet.

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Immediately upon waking our first day in Bama, I found a gym and got a pass for the week. Every morning began with a quick 30:00 workout, followed by 20:00 on the treadmill.

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While we did eat out almost every evening, my cravings for anything salty and processed (after my birthday splurge), had almost completely subsided. I was eager to get back on track. Our first night out, we went to a local diner and I had a loaded veggie plate, sweet potatoes, broccoli, okra, and a side salad. The following morning we went to breakfast and I had eggs, grits, and potatoes. For dinner, we had Ruby Tuesdays salad bar. It’s all about balance when on vacation. You should be mindful of your choices for most meals, but allow yourself to enjoy some added extras (like the white chocolate Oreos my mom always has waiting for me in the freezer).

After a few days in Bama, we continued north to Indiana. We had a couple of nights out, and I stuck to vodka and soda for my drink, and although we ate out for every meal, we had plenty healthy options.

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I didn’t go to the gym while in Indy, but I did manage to go for a run every morning and squeeze in some yoga.

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Throughout our trip, I was somewhat stressed regarding the fact that we were driving back cross country, and I had to be back to coaching immediately upon arrival. My sweet husband bought me a plane ticket to fly home so I could have a couple of days to recover before returning to work, which left him driving back solo cross-country with Jack O’doodle.

While walking through the airport I was trying to decide what to eat when I stumbled upon the Farmers Fridge. Is this for real? Can I really get a salad loaded with chickpeas, grapes, apples, cashews, and avocados from a vending machine, and it is fresh and crisp?! Oh my God, yes, please! It was absolutely delish!

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I had a straight flight back to Vegas and landed just after midnight. And just like that, vacation is over, that’s a wrap. While my physique was nowhere near what it is when competing (nor was that the goal), I was happy with the results from my mini-cut. I think to feel comfortable in a bikini and walk the beach with confidence is a great feeling for any woman.

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An end of vacation check-in. Feeling a bit fluffy  after birthday/vacation indulgences, but a couple of days of cardio and I’ll be back on track. It has been worth the fun!

Thank you all for following along throughout this series.