Posts tagged with "healthy eating"

Grocery Haul + Weekly Meal Plan

Posted May 9, 2014 in grocery haul, cooking, healthy eating and 1 more

After all the pre- and post-race carbs I consumed for the Lincoln Half-Marathon on Sunday, I definitely feel like I need a little carb break.

Don’t worry, I won’t go crazy with a cleanse or anything. But my body is craving greens and fresh fruit.

So I stopped by Hy-Vee Monday after work to stock up on produce.

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Weekend Recap - Celebrating (a little too much) not having to do a long half-marathon training run

Posted May 13, 2014 in Sweet Success, weekend, food and 5 more

Yesterday was so crazy with the launch of my redesigned blog (!) and the launch of the May Plank Challenge, that I didn't post my usual weekend recap. I wanted to share some things from the weekend because the BF and I celebrated not having to do a long half-marathon training run with an amazing lunch (and a biking adventure).

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How to make delicious flavored water

Posted May 20, 2014 in water, hydration, fruit and 6 more

Flavored-Water.jpg#asset:5857:medium

I don't mind drinking plain old water, but I love water that has been infused with fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables.

If you find it difficult to drink enough water throughout the day, I highly recommend trying infused water. It adds a hint of delicious flavor.

You also get an added nutrition boost because the minerals, antioxidants and nutrients from the produce you use, gets infused into the water!

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Grocery Haul {June 2, 2014}

Posted June 3, 2014 in groceries, grocery haul, healthy food and 6 more

It's been nearly two weeks since I got groceries! I had made a few too many trips to our new Hy-Vee and my fridge and cupboards were overflowing with food, so I had to take a little break from my new fave store.

But when I was finally out of some staples and totally low on fresh produce, I had to head to Hy-Vee!

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Weekend Recap {June 6-8}

Posted June 9, 2014 in weekend, health, healthy and 9 more

How is it Monday already? I think we should all sign a petition for three-day weekends during the summer. 

I had a surprisingly busy weekend. I went into the weekend without tons of plans, but I was on the go constantly.

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What I ate while traveling for work

Posted June 15, 2014 in travel, work, healthy eating and 7 more

Traveling is, by far, the hardest time to stay healthy. You have very little control over what you'll be eating, you may not have time to workout and long flights or drives can leave you tired and craving unhealthy foods.

I took a quick trip to Pittsburg, Kansas for a conference for work late last week. 

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Almond Plantain Pancakes

Posted June 19, 2014 in breakfast, food, healthy food and 5 more

I impulse purchased a plantain the other day because the plantains were nearly perfect and I realized it had been forever since I bought one.

But when I got home I couldn't remember what I used to make with plantains back when I was on a plantain kick. I still can't remember. All I know is that there were a few weeks of my life (last year) when I bought plantains all the time, and I made something with them.

I even searched my Sweet Success archives, my Pinterest boards, and I looked back at some of my fave blogs for recipes I may have made. Still nothing.

So I created a new recipe with my plantain. 

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Weekend Recap {June 20-22)

Posted June 23, 2014 in weekend, healthy living, healthy eating and 5 more

The weekend started with intentions of productivity - packing for my upcoming move, preparing for my 11-day trip to Georgia. But Saturday was the first day of summer, and it seemed wrong not to celebrate by being outdoors and soaking up the sun.

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How I plan to stay healthy during my trip to Georgia

Posted June 25, 2014 in travel, Georgia, healthy living and 6 more

Staying healthy while traveling is hard! Airports don't usually have tons of healthy options. You have to eat out for nearly every meal. When you go-go-go, you are exhausted and crave carbs. And you give yourself an excuse to eat all the food because you're on vacation!

I do believe it's possible to have a healthy vacation. But it takes planning!

I'm heading to Georgia this week for an 11-day adventure - FitBloggin Conference in Savannah + vacation time + being a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding in Atlanta. I want to feel fit, healthy and full of energy during this trip, so I'm planning ahead to make sure this trip is a healthy one.

Here's my stay healthy plan:

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FitBloggin Recap - Days 1-2

Posted July 1, 2014 in FitBloggin, Georgia, Savannah and 5 more

The few days I spent at FitBloggin last week were a whirlwind! I met so many inspiring and wonderful people, learned tons about blogging, and left with lots of ideas. I'm excited to make my blog better, and make it a fab place for you to come for health motivation and information.

So here's what happened the first two days at FitBloggin, a conference for health and fitness bloggers....

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Happy National Chocolate Day + Almond Butter Chocolate Sauce

Posted July 7, 2014 in recipe, chocolate, dessert and 5 more

I know you're trying to get back to the real world after celebrating the Fourth of July, but you must keep the party going! It's National Chocolate Day! 

Chocolate is definitely my fave sweet treat - chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate ice cream. Mmmmmm. I could eat chocolate every day.

But sadly, I can't sustain myself on chocolatey desserts. So when I'm craving chocolate, I make this amazing, healthier chocolate sauce.

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Georgia Food Adventures

Posted July 11, 2014 in travel, Atlanta, Georgia and 6 more

One of my favorite things about traveling is eating! I love to try new foods from the area I'm in.

During my recent trip to Georgia, I ate some memorable meals including some delicious southern food! When I travel, I try to eat healthy most of the time and indulge in some of the regional food, special desserts or drinks. I ate healthy breakfasts every day on my trip. I picked up groceries and had oatmeal and a banana nearly every day in my hotel room in Atlanta. I also worked out, hiked and did lots of walking every day. So I got to enjoy some indulgent meals, guilt free!

Scrolling through these photos, it may look like a lot of indulgent meals, but keep in mind that I was there for 11 days! I ate pretty healthy while I was in Savannah for FitBloggin and the first few days I was in Atlanta. When the BF arrived after I had been there for six days, I indulged a bit more.

These are my absolute favorite meals from my trip...

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Weekend Recap {July 18-20} - Triple Breakfast + Moving

Posted July 21, 2014 in weekend, healthy, Weekend Recap and 11 more

Sorry my posts have been a bit unpredictable lately! Since the BF and I just moved into our new house last weekend, we don't have our internet hooked up yet! Yes, a whole week without internet. It's torture. Charter was supposed to hook it up Monday, but they didn't show up.

The weekend was filled with more moving! Last weekend, the BF and I started the process of moving in together! Neither of us have to be out of our old houses by any particular date, so we have been slowly moving our stuff into our new house.

But I managed to fit in some workouts, a bit of fun (and A LOT of breakfast) into our busy moving schedule...

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Weekend Recap {Aug. 1-3} - Summer scones, champs and more moving

Posted August 3, 2014 in weekend, Weekend Recap, running and 12 more

(Hanging out on the couch with the BF's dog, Coda)

After spending the last three weekends moving, unpacking and cleaning, the BF and I spent the first half of this weekend doing...not a lot. We got in a couple of workouts, made some delicious meals and relaxed. It was much needed!

But we got back to work cleaning the BF's old house on Sunday. Moving is hard work! I feel like I need a vacation from moving! 

I promise that my Weekend Recaps will be a little more exciting as soon as we finish all this moving stuff!

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Q & A: What do you buy when you are starting to make healthy changes to your diet?

Posted August 6, 2014 in healthy living, weight loss, nutrition and 4 more

I got a great question from a reader recently. I thought I would share her question and my answer with you because I thought you might be interested in this one!

Q - How do you change how you shop for food?

I grew up (probably like you) on typical midwestern meat and potatoes with corn as the vegetable and sometimes a can of green beans or peas here and there and my husband's diet was worse growing up, if you can imagine.

What are some easy ways to overhaul the pantry/fridge and go about changing your tastebuds?

What are your top five ingredients that can begin to change a person's fridge and pantry? I also feel like there's a hurdle to be cleared for those of us who aren't used to investing moo-lah in groceries other than the occasional steak or hard cheese--a reminder as to why healthier, high-quality whole foods are worth the cost would also be welcome (even though the answer is pretty much in the question...)

Thanks for considering! Know that your blog is loved and inspires me on a daily basis!

-Meg

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Double Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie

Posted August 14, 2014 in smoothie, recipe, drink and 7 more

I whipped up this delicious smoothie to satisfy my sweet tooth one afternoon, and I am totally in love!

This would be perfect post-workout since I used protein powder, or have it for dessert to get your sweet fix.

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Weekend Recap {Aug. 15-17} - Zucchini overload + Pool time everyday!

Posted August 18, 2014 in weekend, Weekend Recap, healthy living and 9 more

The BF and I had no plans this weekend! We definitely needed it after spending the past three or four weekends packing, moving, unpacking, etc. And I needed a relaxing weekend after last week's 65-mile bike ride. I pretty much spent the entire week recovering.

We took advantage of our free weekend by making lots of healthy meals, soaking up the last few weeks of summer in the pool and watching lots of movies. Although we still have boxes we need to unpack, we decided to give ourselves a much needed break....

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What I eat in snack emergencies

Posted August 19, 2014 in snack, KIND Bars, Hy-Vee and 4 more

*My local Hy-Vee provided me with KIND bars, but all opinions are my own

I don't know how many times I've been sitting at my desk at work, running errands or spending a day shopping and then suddenly...I NEED food! Not a meal, just a little something to give me an energy boost until my next meal.

I've been known to keep a healthy supply of purse snacks with me at all times. You know, purse nuts, purse bars, maybe even the occasional purse banana.

One of my fave on-the-go snacks are KIND bars. So I was beyond thrilled when Hy-Vee offered to let me try some flavors (FYI: I'm starting a new partnership with the Kearney Hy-Vee to review products that you may like!!). 

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Healthy (store-bought) After School Snacks

Posted August 21, 2014 in snacks, healthy food, healthy eating and 5 more

Can you believe the school year has already started? My niece started third grade last week! Why does the summer always fly by?

Luckily, she was excited for the school year to begin. She thought the summer was too long! But she LOVES school. She comes home from school and plays school. 

Although I don't have kids, now that the school year is here I've been thinking about quick and easy ways for parents to get their kids to eat healthy. I know my niece will sometimes reach for an ice cream bar or candy when she wants a snack. But I want her to be healthy, full of energy and self-confident! 

From watching my brother and sister-in-law, I know that life can get crazy as a parent and packaged foods or fast foods are often the easiest. But there are healthier options out there (that don't cost a ton)! 

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How to Avoid the Freshman 15

Posted August 26, 2014 in healthy eating, college, freshman and 6 more

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It's been 14 years since I was a freshman in college (yikes!), but working at a university makes me think back to my days as a newbie on campus. 

I had so much anxiety about finding my classes, getting my work done on time, making new friends, etc. What I ate wasn't really something I thought about. 

But as a new student, the days of having your own personal cook (your mom or dad) and someone telling you not to eat that ice cream sandwich before dinner are gone! 

Also, if you were a student athlete and you're not playing sports in college, you'll need to pay close attention to what you're eating! Sorry, you can't eat like you're practicing every day!

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10 Delicious Smoothie Bowl Recipes

Posted August 26, 2014 in Smoothie Bowl, healthy eating, healthy living and 3 more

What is up with this sudden obsession with smoothie bowls?

The smoothie bowl is like the new chia pudding or something. I admit, I'm totally into it (because I get sucked into all of these healthy recipe trends!). 

What's not to love? You get all the health benefits and deliciousness of a smoothie, but you can add fun toppings to your smoothie bowl and eat it like fro yo! I'm in!

My first smoothie bowl was the Tone It Up Breakfast Banana Bowl, which is a green smoothie base topped with blueberries, goji berries, nuts and banana slices. I was totally hooked!

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How a meat eater and a part-time vegetarian can live together (happily!)

Posted August 28, 2014 in food, healthy eating, relationships and 6 more

As I've mentioned before, the BF and I recently moved in together! We've been living together for over six weeks now! It's been such an exciting time. We dated for 4 years (long distance) before getting a place together. Being in the same town (and same house!) has been amazing. We've enjoyed spending weeknight evenings together, working out together, organizing our new place and so much more!

But the one thing we thought might be a challenge was our eating habits. I'm a part-time vegetarian/flexitarian. I don't eat beef or pork ever. I eat vegetarian a few times a week. I generally eat chicken, turkey or fish when eating out or when the BF and I eat together. 

But now we eat together all of the time. 

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The easiest fruity cocktails you'll ever make

Posted August 29, 2014 in smoothie, cocktails, drinks and 5 more

*My local Hy-Vee provided me with Fruchi Real Fruit Smoothies, but all opinions are my own.

I don't know about you, but I'm not quite ready to let go of summer. People are already going nuts over the Pumpkin Spice Latte! It's still in the 80s with crazy high humidity!

I'm going to hold onto summer for just a bit longer. I still have maxi dresses that need to be worn! 

One of my fave ways to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine is with a fruity cocktail.

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Grocery Haul + Weekly Meal Plan {creating a grocery budget)

Posted September 4, 2014 in grocery shopping, grocery haul, meal planning and 5 more

My last grocery haul was the first one with the BF! 

Now that the BF and I have lived together for about two months, we've decided to get more organized with our finances/budgeting.

Neither of us have ever had a budget for food before, but money has been a little tighter for both of us since we moved in together. So we're tracking our spending (especially on groceries and eating out) in September, and in October we'll decide where we can tighten things up. I'll let you know how we do!

Over the weekend, we bought groceries at Hy-Vee, the farmer's market and Target. 

Here's what we bought...

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One-Day Detox Diet {What to eat after a day of not so great eating}

Posted September 5, 2014 in detox, healthy eating, health and 4 more

Although I do eat healthy most of the time, I occasionally have a day that's not so fab.

I usually follow the 80/20 rule - 80% of what I eat is whole foods and 20% is things I love to indulge in like dark chocolate, champagne, wine, ice cream, etc.

But there is (very) occasionally a whole day or most of a day that is full of crap. This week, I had one of those days.

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Weekend Recap {Sept. 5-7}

Posted September 8, 2014 in weekend, Weekend Recap, healthy living and 5 more

How was your weekend?

The BF and I enjoyed a very relaxing weekend! We did get in a few workouts, but we really practiced the art of relaxation. Sometimes it's totally necessary! In addition to doing some serious lounging, we ate a few delicious meals (both indulgent and healthy).

Here's what happened this weekend...

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Easy & Healthy Breakfast Tostadas

Posted September 10, 2014 in breakfast, healthy eating, healthy living and 4 more

I love taking a little extra time to prepare breakfast on the weekends. I just love sipping coffee, while I create something that's more special than weekday morning meals. I usually make sweet breakfasts because….well, I have a major sweet tooth!

Remember my Coconut Crusted Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast

That weekend breakfast was a bit more decadent than usual - I usually go for whole wheat pancakes or waffles with a fruit sauce or compote. 

Although the BF likes my sweet breakfast creations, he prefers savory breakfasts. So I try to mix it up and make omelets or frittatas.

I mixed things up last weekend and made a healthy breakfast version of Mexican tostadas!

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How to Survive the Pumpkin Spice Craze

Posted September 15, 2014 in Pumpkin Spice, Fall, Pumpkin and 5 more

A few years ago when the pumpkin spice trend was beginning to grow in popularity, I was all over it. If a product was labeled as pumpkin anything, I would buy it!

There's something about the pumpkin spice flavor that is so comforting and just feels like fall.

But last year, I started reading the ingredient lists of all of those pumpkin spice products a bit closer. I quickly realized that my beloved seasonal products weren't all that healthy, and most were made with lots of artificial ingredients.

I became a bit choosier about which pumpkin spice products I purchased, and turned my obsession to the kitchen - baking as many pumpkin spice recipes as I could find!

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The Best Healthy(ish) Nachos Ever

Posted September 24, 2014 in nachos, dinner, leftovers and 3 more

One of the things I learned about the BF when we moved in together a few months ago is that he can make some delicious nachos. You'd think I would have known that about him after four years of dating!

We had leftover chicken taco ingredients - shredded chicken, black refried beans, colby jack cheese, avocado, Mexican rice and sour cream. 

Neither of us felt like cooking one night, and the BF threw together the most amazing nachos I've ever eaten. Like, better than the gooey, cheesy nachos from a dive bar. 

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What I Eat in a Day {Oct. 8, 2014}

Posted October 9, 2014 in What I Eat in a Day, food, eat and 6 more

I haven't shared a day of eats for quite some time! 

Right now, I'm trying to eat energizing foods to keep me going because I'm teaching 7 fitness classes a week now! But I'm also trying to lose a few pounds because the BF and I gained a couple of pounds after we moved in together

This is a pretty typical day of eating for me. No two days are ever exactly alike, but these are some of the foods I eat consistently. I actually eat oatmeal 75% of the time, but I was short on time so I made a quick breakfast instead.

Here's what I ate...

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What are aronia berries?

Posted October 10, 2014 in aronia berries, superfood, smoothies and 9 more

A couple of months ago, I was having a Twitter convo with another blogger about acai berries. I've been dying to buy acai berry smoothie packs to make acai bowls.

Well, Whole Foods Omaha chimed into our conversation and suggested that we try aronia berries because they are also a superfood and they are grown more locally - in Iowa.

I added them to my Whole Foods list, but I haven't been to WF since the recommendation.

Well, I just happened to spot aronia berries at Hy-Vee! I was so excited to try this new fruit.

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Weekend Recap {Oct. 10-12}

Posted October 13, 2014 in weekend, Weekend Recap, yoga and 5 more

Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

Mine was fun, relaxing and productive. I needed to rest after teaching a lot of fitness classes last week, so I didn't workout a whole lot. Because it was a bit chilly all weekend, I had some major cravings for comfort food! So the BF and I created some delicious, comforting meals!

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Oats

Posted October 14, 2014 in breakfast, oatmeal, oats and 7 more

As soon as the weather started to get cooler, I switched my usual morning muesli to warm oats. Oatmeal is my absolute favorite breakfast.

I probably eat oatmeal five times a week! 

Luckily, oats are great way to start the day because they are high in fiber, help control blood sugar levels, contain cancer-fighting phytochemicals, help control blood pressure, help with weight control and give you lots of energy! I always feel so much more energized on days I've eaten a bowl of oats.

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Healthy and Delicious Whole Food Breakfast Recipes

Posted October 28, 2014 in breakfast, whole food, healthy eating and 8 more

Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. I just love breakfast food.

Also, what I eat for breakfast sets the tone for the rest of my day. When I eat well, I have lots of energy all day long. I typically eat oatmeal in the morning, but I'll occassionally change it up and make protein pancakes, French toast scramble, an omelet, oatcakes or an egg sandwich.

The weekends are a different story. I love to spend a little more time making breakfast and enjoying something a little more decadent like waffles, French toast or frittatas.

Today, I'm sharing my favorite weekday breakfasts. These will keep you energized and feeling great all day! And they're all quick and made with whole foods. 

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Satisfying your popcorn cravings {without artificial ingredients!}

Posted October 29, 2014 in popcorn, healthy snacking, healthy eating and 4 more

*My local Hy-Vee provided me with Angie's Boom Chicka Pop, but all opinions are my own!

I'm not much of a salty snacker, but when I do have a salty craving I love having popcorn. I love the buttery, salty, crunchiness!

Back in the day, I used to eat microwavable popcorn constantly. This was in my low-cal, low-fat phase of life. I would buy light popcorn and eat an entire bag because it only contained a couple hundred calories. I've always enjoyed volume snacking!

In addition to the light varieties being made with tons of artificial ingredients, microwavable popcorn just isn't a great option.

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Healthy Halloween Tips + a Spooky Workout Playlist

Posted October 30, 2014 in Halloween, healthy, holidays and 6 more

Happy Halloween!

I hope you have plans for a fun and memorable holiday. I absolutely love Halloween. I love coming up with a great costume idea, creating the costume and getting dressed up.

My absolute favorite costume I've worn as an adult is definitely my cupcake costume that I wore in 2011!

My dad helped me create my cupcake out of a circle laundry basket, poster board, quilt batting and sparkly card stock. We made suspenders that were attached to the inside using sheer white ribbon. I also made a cherry headband out of a styrofoam ball, red paint, a stick and a headband. It was a major project, but it turned out amazing! The BF dressed up as a baker. It was adorbs!

*Note: I couldn't sit down in this costume and going to the ladies room was nearly impossible. The entire cupcake had to be taken off. But it was totally worth it!

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Weekend Recap {Oct. 31-Nov. 2) - Murder Mystery Party

Posted November 3, 2014 in Weekend Recap, weekend, yoga and 6 more

I went into the weekend feeling like I was getting a cold, and fully intended to get lots of rest. Well, that didn't really happen. I felt like I was on the go all weekend. And I'm, unfortunately, feeling worse today.

But it was a great weekend full of lots of family time, fun with friends and some Halloween treats!

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Grocery Haul {Nov. 2} + Meal Planning

Posted November 6, 2014 in grocery haul, groceries, healthy eating and 8 more

For the past two months, the BF and I have been keeping track of our grocery spending in an attempt to create some kind of food budget.

Last month, we spent over $500 on groceries!! (details here) We were both pretty appalled by our spending, so we tried to keep ourselves in check during October.

Our spending...

Grocery total = $427.62

Eating out/Going out total = about $300 (we paid in cash and didn't keep receipts at a few places)

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Join me for the Holiday Sweat Challenge!

Posted November 13, 2014 in FitApproach, SweatPink, Run to the Finish and 8 more

Staying active and healthy during the holidays can be tough! There is a constant flow of food, your schedule gets packed with parties and family gatherings and lounging on the couch in flannel pajamas watching holiday movies just sounds so much more inviting than going out in the cold to workout!

But there's nothing worse than starting a new year with the goal of losing a bunch of weight you gained during the holidays or having to get in shape all over again because you skipped out on workouts for a couple of months.

For the past few years, I've created a holiday weight management program on Sweet Success. It's been a great way (for me!) to to stay on track during the holidays. But it's not happening this year. I don't have time to get it together.

Luckily, there's another great way for us to stay in shape this holiday season! The Holiday Sweat Challenge.

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Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Posted November 18, 2014 in healthy eating, Pumpkin, holidays and 6 more

Want to enjoy some pumpkin pie without ALL the calories and with lots of good-for-you ingredients?

So do I! Which is why I created a super simple pumpkin pie pudding that tastes just like pumpkin pie. Seriously! This pudding is sooooo good.

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Healthy Holiday Party Cook-Off + Quick Thanksgiving Recipes

Posted November 25, 2014 in healthy cooking, healthy eating, cooking challenge and 4 more

I don't really think of myself as a competitive person. 

But when I received an email at work about the Healthy Holiday Party Cook-Off Challenge organized by the Kinesiology and Sports Sciences Department, the Employee Health and Wellness Program and the Physical Activity and Wellness Lab (at the University of Nebraska at Kearney), I was intrigued. Then before I knew it, my office neighbors were forming a team, and I was on it!

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Thanksgiving Recap + Black Friday Bootcamp

Posted November 28, 2014 in Thanksgiving, Black Friday, workout and 6 more

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

On Wednesday night, I dragged the BF over to my parent's house to look through Black Friday ads. 

He was happy in the end because my mom made us a pumpkin pie. I made the homemade whipped cream. Seriously, never buy storebought whipped cream again (it's full of junk anyway!). This will change your life - 2 cups whipping cream, 4 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Whip in a mixer until stiff peaks form. Feel like a domestic diva.

My Thanksgiving day started with a gratitude meditation and a yoga class. My gym offered fitness classes Thanksgiving morning!

It really helped me take some time to think about what I'm thankful for. This year has been full of so many exciting changes! I'm especially grateful for all of you! Thank you so much for reading my blog, interacting with me on social media and supporting me! It means so much to me.

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The Best of Oktoberfest

Posted December 3, 2014 in beer, Oktoberfest, drinking and 4 more

Oktoberfest-Beer.jpg#asset:1990:small

I'm departing from my usual healthy recipes and healthy tips to talk about beer!

Something you may not know about me - I love beer! I usually post fun cocktail recipes and talk about my love of champagne (champs), but I do love a good beer. Yes, I'm a health coach and I drink beer! I whole-heartedly believe that the majority of our diets should be made up of plant-based and whole foods. But there's also room for things that bring us mental, emotional and physical pleasure.

The BF and I love craft beer, especially Oktoberfest brews. So we decided to embark on an Oktoberfest adventure. We bought every Oktoberfest beer we could find and conducted taste tests. 

We've actually never done an official beer tasting, but we have both been to lots of wine tastings and assumed beer tasting would be similar. It is! Look, swirl, smell, taste. We were good to go there, but we weren't really sure about what to look for or even sure how to describe beer. Luckily, the internet can tell you anything! 

As we tested each beer, we kept an organized spread sheet with beer ratings, descriptions of each beer including the smell, taste, head, lacing, etc. and the calorie count (we kept track of cals for Sweet Success).

Our favorites are based purely on taste. This post has nothing to do with low-calorie or "healthy" options! My philosophy with beer is that you should go for the more flavorful craft beers or microwbrews, have 1-2 and be done. No sense in drinking a flavorless light beer and drinking 5 or 6 of them. Savor the flavor of your beer!

But I do think you should be aware of how many calories are in your beer because some craft beers have nearly 200 calories a serving. 

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Pesto Caesar Kale Salad with Cranberries and Almonds

Posted December 11, 2014 in dinner, salad, kale and 6 more

A few weeks ago, the BF and I went out for a little date night at Sozo, a local modern American restaurant. I ordered a kale salad, and pretty much freaked out over how amazingly delicious it was.

I realized that it was something I could easily make at home (for a fraction of the price)! The restaurant version was topped with crab cakes, but the version I made at home was more of a side dish. You could totally add some kind of protein and make this a whole meal. You could also add some crumbled bacon (or turkey bacon) for a little saltiness - the restaurant version had little bacon crumbles.

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Grocery Haul {Dec. 6} + Meal Planning

Posted December 16, 2014 in grocery haul, healthy eating, healthy cooking and 9 more

I'm super late on posting this month's grocery haul (the BF and I went shopping on Dec. 6)! I usually post our grocery haul early in the month to share our spending from the previous month. (Read about our October spending and November's grocery haul here).

I don't know what happened. This month is just flying by!

But I still want to share our grocery haul and meal planning because we've been making some delicious meals this month! 

But first, here's our spending..

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Gingerbread Pancakes {gluten-free}

Posted December 17, 2014 in breakfast, pancakes, Christmas and 8 more

*My local HyVee provided me with a package of their HealthMarket Natural Blanched Almond Flour. All opinions are my own.

One of my favorite holiday food memories is the French toast casserole my mom used to make on Christmas morning. 

My brother and I would open the gifts that were in our stockings (from Santa), and then we would eat the delicious breakfast casserole. Gift opening would then resume after eating. Just to clarify, this is a memory from my early to mid-20's, not my childhood. Yes, Santa still delivers gifts to my brother and I at our parent's house.

But I loved having a special breakfast to enjoy on Christmas morning. 

When HyVee gave me their almond flour, I knew I wanted to make something sweet and delicious that could be enjoyed on Christmas morning or around the holidays. I've also been a bit obsessed with anything gingerbread, so I knew that was the direction I needed to go.

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Weekend Recap {Jan. 2-4}

Posted January 5, 2015 in weekend, Weekend Recap, recipes and 6 more

I'm back at work today after nearly two weeks off! My holiday break flew by and, to be honest, I'm not ready to be back at work.

I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish during my break, and I got through just a handful of them - watching as many Christmas movies as possible, relaxing, launching my new health coaching business (!!), creating a Sweet Success newsletter (sign up here), teaching extra fitness classes, spending tons of time with my family, organizing my home office and taking time to myself.

There were some things I didn't get to, but I feel like my break was a good mix of spending time with people I care about, relaxing and being productive. Full disclosure, I was either wearing workout clothes or pajamas during my entire break. It was the best.

I'm actually feeling a bit under the weather today. This happened to me last year also. As soon as my holiday break was over and I had to go back to work, I got sick. Maybe my immunity gets weak because I drink wine and winter beers nearly every evening during my vacation!

Anyway, here's how I spent the last few days of my wonderful break...

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Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal {gluten, egg, dairy, sugar and nut free}

Posted January 20, 2015 in oatmeal, breakfast, healthy eating and 8 more


I've been on my elimination diet for over a week now, and I (surprisingly) haven't had any major cravings. But I've been feeling like I need a breakfast change up.

I've been struggling with breakfast because I can't have gluten or eggs! I eat oatmeal for breakfast five or six days a week, so I bought gluten-free oats to help get me through my three-week elimination diet.

To make my mornings move a bit quicker, I made this baked oatmeal. It's perfect because I threw the leftovers in the refrigerator and I can just heat up a serving in the morning!

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Weekend Recap {Jan. 23-25, 2015}

Posted January 26, 2015 in Weekend Recap, weekend, barre and 9 more

Another weekend gone by too fast!

My weekend was a good mix of movie watching, spending time with family, doing housework, blogging, working out, running errands and hanging with the BF. I got through most of my weekend to-do list (which doesn't always happen!).

I made it through my second weekend of my elimination diet. Find out why I'm doing an elimination diet here. This weekend wasn't as great as last weekend. A lot of the food I ate was pretty blah and uninspired. I definitely need to change things up a bit this week so that I can get through this experiment!

Here's a recap of my weekend...

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Quinoa and Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

Posted January 28, 2015 in recipe, acorn squash, winter and 6 more


I made it through the hardest part of my elimination diet! The first two weeks, I eliminated gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, fish, caffeine, nuts and alcohol.

Find out why I'm doing an elimination diet here.

This week, I've been incorporating foods back into my diet one by one.

One of the perks of this experiment is that I've had to get a bit creative with my cooking. Because I workout so much (I've taught 7-8 classes a week throughout the diet), I need meals that will give me lots of energy.

I loved this stuffed acorn squash because it was super filling, flavorful and full of nutrients.

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What I Learned on a HyVee Health Market Tour

Posted January 29, 2015 in HyVee, healthy eating, grocery shopping and 1 more

Earlier this week I took a grocery store tour at HyVee, and I learned soooo much!

To be honest, I wasn't sure how much I would take away from the tour since I am at HyVee at least twice a week and I practically live in the Health Market. But Kaiti George, the store's dietician, shared so many fun facts. And lucky for you, she said I could share some of them with you!

I went on the tour with some of the girls from my Healthy Dinner Club group. During our Healthy Holiday Cocktail Party, we all decided that a grocery store tour would be fun. It was!

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Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Dip

Posted February 5, 2015 in Valentine's Day, chocolate, fruit and 5 more

Valentine's Day is around the corner, so all I'm thinking about is chocolate!!

This may be hard to believe (it is to me), but I haven't had a single bite of chocolate in nearly a month!! What?!?!

I eliminated sugar during my elimination diet, and I haven't reintroduced it yet. The crazy thing is that I haven't been having nearly as many sweet cravings as I did before. It was seriously magical giving up sugar!!

When I do reintroduce sugar, I'm going to stick to natural forms or healthier dark chocolate.

This dark chocolate almond butter dip is one of my favorite easy and healthy ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. I'm sure I've mentioned this little concoction on the blog before, but I had to share it again. That's how much I love it!!

And this is the perfect recipe for Self-Love February! It is full of protein and antioxidants, and if you have it with fruit you'll be adding tons of extra nutrients!

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Self-Love February - My self-love story

Posted February 6, 2015 in self-love, self-care, February and 7 more

Last week, I shared my personal journey with body criticism and self-hate (Read about it here). I shared this with you because it's Self-Love February here on Sweet Success, and I wanted to show you how far I've come. You too can learn to love yourself just as you are!

Today I'm sharing how I learned to love my body and myself...

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Weekend Recap {Feb. 6-8}

Posted February 9, 2015 in Weekend Recap, weekend, healthy living and 9 more

Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

Did you see my post about the #BringingYogaBack 12-Day Yoga Challenge? It starts today, and you could win $1,000 in prAna gear! Get on it!

My weekend was laid back, relaxing and not super productive. I had a list of to-do's, but only crossed a few things off my list. I'm totally OK with it because I got to spend time with the BF and my fam. Spending time with people I love is so much better than being productive.

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Chocolate Chia Pudding

Posted February 10, 2015 in chocolate, self-love, Self-Love February and 6 more


Chia pudding is one of my fave sweet treats! It's super easy to whip together, it's delicious and it's full of nutrients.

Chia seeds are full of fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. What's better than satisfying your sweet tooth and nourishing your body?

I usually just throw together some almond milk, chia seeds and a natural sweetener, but I decided to make a chocolate version to satisfy my chocolate cravings.

It was delicious!

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Grocery Haul + Meal Plan {Week of Feb. 9-15}

Posted February 12, 2015 in grocery haul, meal planning, healthy eating and 5 more

I haven't posted a grocery haul in a long time because I spent most of January on my elimination diet, and grocery shopping wasn't that fun. Most of my grocery hauls were produce, seeds, rice and rice milk (ick!).

But my elimination diet is over! (I'll post a recap soon) I'm back to eating like my old self (although I haven't reintroduced coffee and I've only had sugar for the first time this week. My sugar was in the form of Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter. To. Die. For.)

So I thought I would share my recent grocery haul and meal plan! I haven't kept track of our grocery spending for a few months. I got off track during the holidays. But I'll get back to it this month and share our grocery budget for February early in March.

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Sexy Chocolate Recipes for Valentine's Day

Posted February 12, 2015 in chocolate, Valentine's Day, sweets and 5 more


I've mentioned before that I don't think you need to be in a relationship to enjoy Valentine's Day. I've had too many sad single V Days, so I want you to embrace the day and make it fabulous!! (Here are 7 ways to Treat Yo Self on Valentine's Day and some fitness gifts you can get for yourself!

Whether you're planning a sexy date with your man or lady, planning a fun girl's night or hanging solo on Valentine's Day, I highly recommend enjoying some delicious (and sexy) chocolate.

Why is chocolate so sexy, you ask? Flavanols in cocoa beans have antioxidants that reduce cell damage, help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function. (source) Stick to dark chocolate and you'll get more of the benefits!

Before we get into these amazing recipes, check out this video about How to Manage Your Valentine's Day Expectations from Gabby Bernstein. I love this. We get way too caught up in what we think the day should be. Just resolve to have fun no matter what.

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Weekend Recap - Feb. 20-22

Posted February 23, 2015 in Weekend Recap, weekend, running and 7 more

How was your weekend? I hope you had time to relax, get in a good workout and eat some delicious food.

My weekend started off a bit rocky with a massive headache, but my weekend ended on a high note with a fun and relaxing evening watching the Oscars and eating delicious food.

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Grocery Haul {Feb. 22, 2015} + Weekly Meal Plan

Posted February 24, 2015 in meal planning, grocery haul, healthy cooking and 6 more

How do you find healthy recipe inspiration?

I find recipe inspiration in a few ways - I watch The Chew, I flip through my cookbooks, I read health magazines and I read health and fitness blogs. I keep track of the online recipes I want to try on my Pinterest boards.

Before the days of Pinterest, I would tear recipes out of magazines and put them in a 3-ring binder. I still have a few binders full of recipes! (I should probably go through those!) I still tear recipes out of magazines, but I'm not as good about organizing them.

I also keep a list on my phone of all of our favorite recipes. Whenever the BF and I try something new and we love it, it goes on the list. Whenever I'm struggling to figure out what to add to our weekly meal plan, I often go back to our favorites list.

I always try to include one or two new recipes each week. I love trying new recipes, and it helps keep things interesting! This week we tried a rice and mushroom soup that went right onto our favorites list!

Here's this week's grocery haul from HyVee and our meal plan for the week...

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How I Survived an Elimination Diet

Posted February 25, 2015 in elimination diet, healthy eating, headaches and 5 more


In January, I started an elimination diet to determine if my recurring headaches and migraines were caused by food. Read more about that and how to do an elimination diet here.

I eliminated gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, eggs, nuts, alcohol and caffeine for about three weeks. I reintroduced each food one by one every few days and took note of how my body felt.

Before I tell you how I felt after reintroducing foods, I want to share how I felt and what I was eating when all the foods were eliminated. Mostly because everyone kept asking me, "So what are you eating?", like I was starving to death.

So here's what I ate...

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Pre-Workout Energy Balls

Posted February 27, 2015 in workout, recipe, healthy eating and 6 more


Earlier this week, I made these delicious energy balls for my essential oils get together. They were a hit!

A perfect little healthy party snack, but an even better pre-workout energy booster. They're perfect to eat before a workout because of the carb/protein combo. (I also like to eat them to satisfy my sweet tooth)

I got the recipe from my office neighbor, Lee. She brings these energy balls to work every few months, and they always go fast! Lee was kind enough to allow me to share her recipe!

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Grocery Haul {March 3, 2015} + Meal Plan

Posted March 6, 2015 in grocery haul, meal planning, meal prep and 7 more

Happy Friday! I'm sooooo ready for the weekend. The BF and I don't have anything major planned. I, of course, have a long to do list full of lots of blogging and health coaching things.

Today I'm sharing our recent grocery haul, our meal plan this week and our February grocery spending! I hope my meal plans give you a little meal inspiration as you're planning your meals for next week. Sometimes it's a struggle to come up with new recipes!

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Weekend Recap {March 6-8}

Posted March 9, 2015 in Weekend Recap, weekend, running and 7 more

Happy Monday! How was your weekend!

My weekend flew by! But the weather was beautiful all weekend, so I spent lots of time outside. Spring is finally coming! By the end of winter, I start to feel unmotivated and uninspired. The cold and dreary days start to get to me. So I am extremely grateful for warmer days!

Did you remember to turn your clock forward? I felt pretty groggy Sunday morning, but I'm feel more energized today. I even got up and went to the 5:30 a.m. BodyPump class!

Here's how the weekend went...

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Weekend Recap {March 13-15}

Posted March 16, 2015 in weekend, Weekend Recap, running and 8 more

My weekend was filled with catching up with family and friends. My niece celebrated her 9th birthday, my relatives from Omaha came to visit and the BF and I spent time with friends we hadn't seen in awhile.

I didn't get much of my to do list done this weekend, but I did get the most important thing done - my 8 mile half-marathon training run!

The BF and I also ended up eating out a lot this weekend because we were running around a bunch.

Here's how my weekend went...

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How to make your own smoothie packs

Posted March 18, 2015 in smoothie, fruit, vegetables and 6 more


How was your St. Patrick's Day?

The BF made corned beef and cabbage in the crock pot all day, I made a turkey shepherd's pie and my parents came over for dinner. I also enjoyed a Guinness and a mini salted caramel cupcake while we listened to Irish music on Pandora. It was a fun night!


Today I wanted to share how I make smoothie packs. This is something I recently started doing, and it's a huge time saver!

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My Favorite Protein Pancakes

Posted March 20, 2015 in breakfast, protein powder, protein and 6 more


I've been making protein pancakes for quite some time, but I feel like I finally perfected my recipe.

Lately, I've been making protein pancakes on Friday's after BodyPump class. It feels like a nice treat after working hard all week, and it's a great way to get in some protein after a workout.

I also like protein pancakes because I can make them in the morning before work. I like to have a filling and nutritious breakfast, but I also need something that won't take forever to make.

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Weekend Recap {March 20-22}

Posted March 23, 2015 in weekend, Weekend Recap, running and 4 more

How was your weekend?

My weekend was very low key, which I needed. The BF and I went out with friends on Friday night, I did yoga, I created a couple of new recipes to share with you, I went for a run, I tried farro for the first time and I watched some movies.

Here's how the weekend went...

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Post-Workout Vanilla Protein Balls

Posted March 25, 2015 in energy balls, protein, healthy eating and 6 more


I've been super obsessed with energy balls lately. It all started when I made Pre-Workout Energy Balls. I loved having a healthy, homemade and convenient snack to grab before teaching fitness classes or before going for a run.

Two weekends ago, I made three batches of energy balls. I ended up making Cashew Coconut Balls, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites and Superfood Cookie Dough.

While all of those were delicious and perfect energy before workouts or treats to satisfy my sweet tooth, I decided to make a high protein version that I could have after a workout.

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Weekend Recap {March 27-29}

Posted March 30, 2015 in Weekend Recap, weekend, running and 11 more

How was your weekend? I had a wonderful three day weekend! I spent time with people I love, I ate delicious food, I ran a long long way and I spent a little bit of time pampering myself.

I took a little break from being productive this weekend for some much needed rest after a week of feeling run down. Read more in my Week of Workouts post.

Here's how the weekend went...

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Healthy Easter baskets for kids, runners and health nuts

Posted April 2, 2015 in Easter, holidays, healthy living and 4 more


I hope you have fun Easter plans with your family and/or friends! The BF and I will be going to his grandma's house for Easter dinner.

I already bought the Easter candy I plan to indulge in! I got a Cadbury Egg and a Russel Stover Wedding Cake Egg. The BF and I will be running 10 miles on Saturday, so I'll have my candy as a little post-run treat. I don't eat candy all that often, but I don't mind indulging during the holidays.

Do you still make Easter baskets? I think it's fun to put together cute little baskets for my niece and for the BF. But all the Easter candy can be too much! (Especially since my niece will more than likely get an Easter basket from the Easter bunny, my parents, her other grandparents and me!). So I came up with a list of healthier options!

Since the BF already bought his own Easter candy, and we're training for a half-marathon, my Easter basket ideas for runners are perfect for him!

I also came up with a list of random gift ideas for your super healthy friends and family members!

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Weekend Recap {April 3-5}

Posted April 6, 2015 in weekend, Weekend Recap, running and 9 more

It's Monday already! The weekend was wonderful, and went by way too quickly.

The BF and I went on a long run, recovered, ate lots of delicious food, celebrated Easter with our families, ate sweet treats and I did yoga. It was a successful weekend!

How was your weekend?

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Gluten-free Carrot Cake Pancakes with Maple Cinnamon Coconut Butter

Posted April 7, 2015 in pancakes, recipe, carrot cake and 6 more


The BF and I are experimenting with our diets a little bit (by diet, I mean what we eat on a daily basis not a diet). I'll tell you more about it later, but we're not eating gluten for a couple of weeks.

As temporary gluten-free eaters, we've been experimenting with new recipes. On Easter Sunday, I made gluten-free baked maple doughnuts that were so so good.

These pancakes, which are made without grains, are so delicious and easy to whip together.

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Grocery Haul {April 6, 2015} + Gluten-Free Meal Plan

Posted April 9, 2015 in grocery haul, meal planning, healthy eating and 5 more

The BF and I recently hit up HyVee for some produce and staples. I realized that I haven't shared a grocery haul in a while, and I'm due to share my March grocery spending with you!

We didn't need much because we had just bought groceries a week before, but we needed to get some veggies (because we eat ALL the veggies) and a few other things for our meals this week.

But before I share our grocery haul, I want to share our grocery spending!

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Trader Joe's & Whole Foods Haul {April 2015}

Posted April 14, 2015 in Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, healthy eating and 8 more

Over the weekend, I was in Lincoln so I made my usual trip to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods!

I've mentioned this before, but I live in a small city and the nearest TJ's and WF are about two hours away. Every time the BF and I go to Lincoln or Omaha we stop to stock up on our fave items.

My goal for this shopping trip was to pick up some gluten-free items for the BF (he eliminated gluten temporarily to see if it makes him feel better and I'm joining him to be supportive) and to get some running fuel. I also picked up some of our staples (21 Seasoning Salute, apple cider vinegar, coconut products, etc.) and a few treats that I impulse purchased.

Here's what I bought...

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Friday Faves {April 17, 2015}

Posted April 17, 2015 in Friday Faves, running, BelleCore and 8 more

Happy Friday! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

The BF and I are taking a little road trip! I'll share the details in my Weekend Recap on Monday!

Today I'm sharing some of my recent fave things. It's pretty random, but fun!

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Weekend Recap {April 17-19}

Posted April 20, 2015 in Weekend Recap, weekend, Denver and 8 more

How was your weekend?

The BF and I made a quick trip to Colorado over the weekend! It was pretty low key, but it was nice to get out of town for a couple of days. We drove back this morning, and I'm getting caught back up on life!

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Easy and Delicious Gluten-Free Dinners

Posted April 22, 2015 in meal planning, dinner, healthy eating and 6 more


The BF and I have been experimenting with our diets recently, and we haven't been eating gluten. No, we haven't been diagnosed with a gluten allergy and no we're not hopping on the gluten-free diet fad.

The BF has some digestive issues that he would like to remedy, and he decided to see if eliminating gluten would make him feel better. I joined him to be a supportive girlfriend and so he wouldn't have to watch me eat bagels.

What is gluten? Gluten is the name for proteins found in wheat. It acts as a glue to hold foods together. Someone with Celiac Disease is allergic to gluten and has pretty severe reactions when they eat gluten. But someone with a sensitivity to gluten might experience foggy mind, depression, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain or chronic fatigue (source).

The Celiac Disease Foundation actually says you should not self-diagnose, and that you should reach out to a doctor for testing. But the BF simply wanted to see if he felt a little better not eating gluten, which is the reason for our experiment.

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Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

Posted April 29, 2015 in dinner, healthy eating, crockpot and 6 more


The BF and I recently realized that we have a regular rotation of homemade Indian food, Mexican food and Asian food on our dinner menu. They're our favorites! We have each of them every week. My Asian rice noodles with peanut sauce keep getting better and better, but they're not perfect yet. However, our Indian meals are pretty amazing.

For a long time, we bought jarred tikka masala. But we finally realized it would be super easy to create at home. The only ingredient you need that you may not have in your kitchen already is garam masala, an Indian spice mix. If you don't have garam masala, you could just combine cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to make your own. (Here's a recipe)


I made this a crockpot meal because the BF and I like to make something in the slow cooker at least once a week. Since we cook all of our dinners from scratch every night, it's nice to have one night off. It's usually Thursday nights when we're both exhausted from the week and want to have a convenient dinner.

We serve our tikka masala with jasmine rice or brown rice that we cook in our rice cooker, and sometimes we like to have naan. We just buy garlic naan at the grocery store.

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Lincoln Half-Marathon 2015 Recap

Posted May 5, 2015 in Lincoln Half-Marathon, running, run and 7 more


I can't believe the Lincoln Half-Marathon is already over! I spent 12 weeks training, and in one morning it's done.

As I mentioned in my training recaps (here and here), I suffered from some chronic hamstring pain throughout training. This was due to teaching 4-5 cardio fitness classes a week on top of training for the race. In the two weeks leading up to the race, I only taught 1-2 classes a week in hopes that my hamstrings would recover and my legs would feel fresh for the race.

Unfortunately, my hams were hurting within minutes of beginning the race.

The BF had a little hitch in his run also because he was battling a chest cold the entire week before the race. The morning of the race his coughing sounded pretty rough.

We decided to take the race slow, not worry about our time, and just get through it.

Here are more details about what we ate before, during and after the race, and how we did during the race...

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