I am a 4th year dietetic student, living in Las Vegas, working on my wellness journey. I am a certified personal trainer, certified group fitness trainer, and CrossFit L2 certified. After traveling and training military all over the world, I now create customized online training and nutrition programs from home. I have reached a point in my life, where I am truly living my best life.

Is it just me, or has this year truly flown by?! I cannot believe that January 1, 2022 is only 30 days away!! This also means that it’s check-in day!

down another 3.4 pounds

I have to admit that heading into this day, I didn’t expect much progress (luckily, consistency paid off). I took off and headed to Bama to spend time with my family for Thanksgiving, and we all know how the holidays can be. They tend to cause some disruption to our routines, which then often result in overeating and/or skipping workouts. Because I know these things, I tried to lean into the week being somewhat prepared. I planned my stops along the drive and worked in some egg white bites from Starbucks, along with a protein shake and pre-made green smoothie for lunch. I also packed a bag of food to take with me which included quick oats, 90-second rice packs, protein powder for shakes, Pop Corner chips, avocados, mixed nuts, and canned tuna. I also took a cold pack that included pre-made smoothies for the week.

While I did stick to my macros most of the time while away, I did allow myself anything my heart desired on Thanksgiving Day. I even had a piece of my mama’s butter-gooey cake that I simply cannot resist. My mama and step-dad don’t drink, so choosing a dessert over wine wasn’t a dilemma (just as I tell my clients, it’s best to choose one over the over).

Typically, when at home, I eat about 5-6 times each day. When away, I will usually have 3-4 larger meals which prevents so much time spent in the kitchen, and allows me a bit more flexibility. There is no right or wrong approach to how how many meals a person should consume each day, it all comes down to one’s schedule and preferences. For example, I typically opt for meals that consist of about 300-350 calories (give or take a bit) that are extremely nutrient dense, meaning meals that are lower in calories, but full of vitamins and minerals (for example, lots of vegetables, extra lean proteins, and healthy fats), where as when away from home and dining out more often, I will choose heartier meals made up of around 500-600 calories, that may be not so nutrient dense, like a beef burger and a potato. This approach allows me to go out to dinner with family and friends and choose a satisfying meal that will still accommodate my caloric and macro totals.

While on the subject of macros and meal flexibility, I want to offer some helpful information. The terms “flexible dieting” and “if it fits your macros” are things people often hear when looking to lose weight (or gain muscle, etc.). Unfortunately, there is a lot of information floating around on the web that can cause confusion and uncertainty.

Counting macros (macronutrients) means that a person has a set amount of carbs, protein and fat to consume each day. Macros are determined by what your body needs to support essential bodily functions. The reason for this approach is because some people tend to eat a lot more of one macronutrient, and not enough of another. Macro counting ensures that you consume the recommended balance of all three macros to accommodate your goals and daily activity. The “if it fits your macros” rule is simply that the foods you eat must fit within your macros, no foods are off limits. In other words, it doesn’t matter where those grams of carbohydrates, fat, or protein are coming from, as long as they add up to your recommended total grams by the end of the day. This is why flexible dieting is so appealing, you are free to eat whatever foods you like as long as they fit into your daily macronutrient totals, no matter if those foods are broccoli or bacon.

Unfortunately, when using this flexible approach, many people don’t take into consideration the healthfulness of a food, or important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. So although it may result in weight loss for some, it can still be an unhealthy diet if followers choose highly processed foods over whole foods that offer more nutrition. For example, majority of your fat grams may be coming from animal sources such as cheese and meats (saturated fats) rather than foods rich in healthy fats such as avocados or nuts which provide nutrients like Omega-3s, fiber, and potassium. By solely counting macros, you may have inadequate consumption of several essential vitamins and minerals, which can ultimately lead to deficiencies, and/or other health problems. It’s important to remember that not all calories are created equal: 400 calories of bacon does not provide the same nutrients or volume of food as 400 calories of salmon mixed with vegetables, which means you may need much more food to feel satisfied. When it comes to health, food quality truly matters. A diet that provides a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean and plant-based proteins, and healthy fats is a better choice nutritionally than fried or junk foods…even if they fit your macros. While macro counting does provide benefits, solely focusing on macros may overshadow the most important aspect of nutrition – nourishment. 

Secondly, while macro counting provides awareness to how much you’re eating, the constant measuring and tracking may create some excessively strict habits, and could even promote disordered eating for some. You may not feel comfortable eating out at restaurants with friends or family over the holidays if you’re constantly worried about how you’re going to measure your food or know the macronutrient breakdown of a meal. If you are mentally preoccupied with dietary choices, to the point it’s negatively impacting your mental health, social life, and relationships, this ‘healthy way of eating’ is no longer healthy. You may also feel guilty if you don’t hit your macro goals for the day, creating more restrictions the following day. This unnecessary guilt that comes from food choices will impact you more psychologically than it will physically. Believe me, I know!

Ultimately, counting macros absolutely works for some people, it provides structure in eating specific amounts and it’s a helpful method when trying to understand portion sizes and the makeup of meals. However, proper nutrition also needs to embrace nourishment, and extends far beyond just macronutrient distribution. You can be hitting your macro numbers every single day, but that doesn’t equate to health.

So, in closing, flexible dieting and macro-counting can absolutely be a wonderful approach, and one I typically go-to when helping clients understand portion sizes and what macro percentages best accommodate their lifestyle and activity level, but ultimately, first and foremost over anything else, the foods you eat and what their made of is far more important than how much you eat. For optimal health both mentally and physically, it is best to look at the whole picture beyond just macros; finding a balance that allows you to consume foods you enjoy while emphasizing healthy meal patterns. Before jumping into any approach, it is best to work with an educated nutritionist who can guide you along your nutrition journey to help you develop the best plan that will allow you to meet your goals while taking into consideration your nutritional needs. Find someone that will create for you a nutrient dense meal plan that will accommodate your needs specifically, making certain that you are getting adequate vitamin and mineral intake, all the while, still encouraging dinners out with family and friends.

Saturday marked 40 days until 2022, which also meant it was check-in day. I weighed in at 152 pounds, 3 pounds less than my starting weight of 155, with an overall loss of 2 inches.

The progress made this week was the result of consistency. Personally, I find that I have the best results when I create a structured routine that allows me to remain persistent day after day.

How does someone create a consistent routine that allows them to remain focused? You plan out your days in advance. I like to make time every Sunday to sit down with my planner and schedule out my week. Sure there are appointments or tasks that occasionally arise and throw things off a bit, but the general layout of the day allows me to get in the things that are considered most important to help me reach my goals.

For example, I know that my morning routine is extremely important in regards to how I begin each day. When I don’t make time in the morning to read and/or journal, perform my skincare routine, have a cup of coffee in silence with my thoughts, meditate and pray, then I feel as if my whole day is somewhat out of order. For someone else this may look completely different, but as long as you begin the day with something that allows you to get your head in the right place, the rest of the day seems to flow a bit smoother.

Also, I know from experience over the years that I workout best in the mornings when I have the most energy. I find that my mind is free of clutter so I can focus on the task at hand, whereas, if I workout in the afternoon I tend to fatigue quicker and my mind seems to wander a bit more through the scenarios of the day. Because I know this already, I make certain that I don’t schedule appointments until after my designated workout time, and this ensures that I get my workout in early in the day.

In regards to remaining consistent with my nutrition, again, it’s all about planning in advance. I make time 2 days each week to meal prep. I don’t necessarily create the entire meal at once (although that is a great approach too), but I do cook up proteins in advance, chop vegetables, make smoothies, and have a general idea of what I will be eating each day. This little bit of extra effort each week ensures that I stay on track by making things easier when it comes time to prep a meal.

In the end, not every day can be pre-planned and laid out exactly as you wish. For instance, Saturday some of our friends called and wanted to meet up for the day. We went to a little restaurant on the water and had a couple of cocktails and in the evening I had a slice of pizza. This wasn’t scheduled into my weekly planner, but I do allow myself some flexibility on the weekends so I can still enjoy the little things.

What about the holidays coming up, going out of town, being away from the gym, and sweet potato pie rearing is sugary head? You do the best you can, and just like anything else, you plan in advance. If I know I’m traveling and will be on the road for several hours, I pack a lunch and make certain that I have a few healthy snack options. I know from experience that the roads traveled from Florida to my mom’s in Alabama don’t offer the most nutritious stops along the way, and even the pit stops and convenient stores seem to cater to the obesity epidemic in America. I also write out workouts in advance that I can perform using only my bodyweight, or I pack a couple of bands and a set of dumbbells for some added resistance. When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I will treat this day as if it were my flexible day. I will enjoy a serving of anything my heart desires, and then the next morning, I will fall right back into my normal routine.

Overall, the key is consistency. Often times, we will allow a small indulgence to turn into an all-weekend free for all, and this is particularly true this time of year. A reoccurring pattern that I have seen over time is people will get into a “screw it” mentality and overindulge all the way until the new year. The thought process is, “beginning January 1st I will hit it hard and get into a healthy routine.” This way of thinking almost always leads to weight gain, followed with over-restriction at the new year, and ultimately metabolic disturbances that prevent goals from ever being reached throughout the year.

If you can create consistency day after day, it will eventually become a habitual pattern that will overall lead to a more-balanced lifestyle. Ultimately, that’s what we should all be striving for (at least that has been my ultimate goal over the years), to create balance that allows me to enjoy some simple pleasures in life while still working on reaching my goals.

Hello everyone! I cannot believe that 2021 has come and is now almost gone! What a crazy year it has been! A lot has happened throughout this last year, so let me catch you up!

To start things off, we moved! We left Las Vegas and headed South, back to Florida. We last left Florida in 2013 when we headed to Korea, and really didn’t know when (or if) we would ever come back. It was a hectic few months with selling our house, buying another (especially in this market), and moving cross-country, but we are finally settled and getting back into somewhat of a routine.

One can only imagine the wining and dining and evenings out while wrapping things up in Vegas, and the same since being back and catching up with old friends here at the beach, but it is now time to get back to the grind. I tried really hard throughout the move (and while living in hotel for a month) to remain diligent with my training and mindful of my eating since I knew we would be back at the beach for the end of summer, but as soon as Labor Day came and left (the big end of summer hoorah), I’ve stacked on a few extra LB’s. While I still feel confident in my skin, I am storing a bit more fat than I typically like for the winter. Usually, I wait until the end of January or February to begin shedding the winter fluff, but I think I had rather begin slowly decreasing now, so when spring comes I won’t wish I had started sooner.

I believe the last time I followed and blogged any sort of fat-loss program or shred series was at the beginning of the year, but that was cut short just a few weeks in once we began planning our big move; so, let’s see if I can give it a successful go once again, and share some insight along the way!

11/12/2021

This morning I weighed in, took measurements, and snapped progress photos. I am sitting at 155 pounds, which is 5 pounds heavier compared to when I ended my last bulk; unfortunately, I don’t believe I can count the additional 5 as added muscle. I can see I gained a good amount in my waist, inner thighs, and the area just below the butt cheeks, and these are areas I tend to carry excess fat stores.

Starting Stats:
Weight: 155 Lbs
Arm: 11.5″
Chest: 36″
Waist: 32″
Glutes: 40.5″
Thigh: 24″

The biggest changes that will be made initially within my training are reps and rest. For the last 8-weeks I have been training intuitively (meaning I haven’t been following any custom programming or structured format). I simply go into the gym and whatever muscle group of my body feels strong (or not sore), I will workout by completing (in total) about 25-30 working sets. To kick things off, I will be incorporating more supersets (completing 2 exercises back to back with minimal rest between the 2 sets), along with an increase of reps. This will ensure the heart rate stays a bit more elevated throughout the workout, and then as time progresses, you will see how I adjust training even more (incorporating giant sets, interval training, and plyometrics).

As far as nutrition, I have the most consistent results when I track macros, so that will be my approach over the next several weeks. I will be sharing lots of tips and tricks regarding meal prep here on my blog, and then, all of the foods I eat along the way will be available (along with an educational ebook that will teach you all about customizing your own personal macros to reach your goals) at the beginning of the new year.

Follow along over the next several weeks to see what changes can be made within 50 days.

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.


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!!


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.

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.

 

Good evening guys and happy Sunday!! I hope you all have had an incredible weekend! Mine was low key and mostly spent at home, and that is okay with me!

I am going to dive right into today’s blog topic, which refers to something that I get asked about a lot…a typical day of eating.

To begin, I am an early riser. I am up by 3am (4 at the latest), and begin my morning with about 16 ounces of water. Most of us are dehydrated upon waking, so immediately downing some water kickstarts hydration, digestion, and coats the belly for the oh-so acidic black coffee that usually comes next. I like to get in a sweat first thing, so I either hop on the elliptical at my house or if time permits and I want added intensity, I will head to the gym just down the road and sweat it out on the stair mill. Although I take in BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids) while completing my cardio, by the time I am finished, I’m ravished. Breakfast for me at the moment is either oatmeal and egg whites topped with Texas Pete (the best hot sauce ever), or riced cauliflower mixed with shredded potatoes, bell peppers and egg whites with a side of fruit, or I opt for a protein shake made with coconut water if its close to my workout time.

Three days a week I coach the early classes at F45, which leaves me getting ready and heading out immediately after breakfast. When coaching in the am I typically cover three classes, and am done by 9:00. My calorie expenditure is always at least 200 cals per class, so by the end, I am more than ready for meal two. I try my best to have something prepped and waiting for me at home or I mix up my daily green smoothie while I fix up something. A typical lunch for me includes 1-2 veggies of some sort (the last two weeks has been broccoli and red potatoes), a protein source (a veggie patty or egg whites), and fat (almost always avocado or oil).

Once my lunch settles, the pup and I will take our am neighborhood stroll. Our walks are divided into two sessions now that it’s getting warm, so we’re back home within 15 minutes. I use the next couple of hours of the day to take care of my “to-do’s.” By noon I’m munching on my pre-workout snack if I haven’t lifted yet, which almost always includes some sort of fruit, whether it be on top of oats, yogurt, or mixed within a smoothie.

On a typical training day, I’ll spend about 60 to 90 minutes in the gym depending on my programming. I try to make certain that I eat within 1 hour of my weight training (for optimal recovery). My post-workout meal always consists of a faster absorbing carb and a protein. Protein pancakes with fruit has been a recent favorite!

If most of you are like me, I find that I have a good amount of energy for a couple of hours following my workout. After my post-workout meal Jack and I will either take another short stroll or take it to the backyard for a few minutes of playtime. My afternoons are spent completing client check-ins, studying, or taking care of things around the house. I go to bed fairly early, so I am usually prepping dinner around 4 or 5. I find (like most), I am much hungrier in the evening. In order to feel completely satisfied, I load up on fibrous veggies: broccoli, okra, eggplant, green beans, zucchini, and cauliflower are my usual go-to’s.

 

There is no rule stating how many meals one should have per day, nor is there enough evidence stating that meal timing is detrimental to training; however, for me, I find that 4 to 5 meals spread throughout the day works best. Some individuals may react better to 2 to 3 larger meals. The bottom line, the foods you choose to eat are far more important than when you eat them.

Cheers to an incredible week ahead and staying on track!