Posts tagged with "healthy living"

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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Kombucha Round 2

Posted May 15, 2014 in Sweet Success, drink, kombucha and 4 more

Over a year ago, I tried kombucha for the first time. You can read about that fiasco here.

I really didn't like it very much, and didn't give it much thought after that first try. But a lot of the healthy bloggers that I follow drink kombucha (and I like to be part of the cool crowd), and the new Hy-Vee here has a ginormous selection of kombucha (and I feel like I want to buy everything there). So I decided to give it another shot.

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Week of Workouts {May 10-16}

Posted May 17, 2014 in workouts, fitness, exercise and 5 more

My workout motivation was lacking this week. I think it was the gloomy, cold weather. It's the middle of May, I'm ready for sunny, warm days! 

I was also feeling pretty bummed this week. I'm looking for a house or apartment to rent (the BF and I are moving in together!), but I can't find anything! This is such an exciting time, and we're making such a big change, yet it's totally frustrating and disappointing to have so few options. 

Having stress like that totally impacts my motivation to workout and eat healthy! Despite my stress level, I had decent workouts this week. I didn't get in any runs, but I did lots of at home workouts and I'm still sticking to my Namaste in May Challenge. I also stuck to the Sweet Success Plank Challenge! Are you still doing your planks?

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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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How to get out of a funk

Posted May 23, 2014 in health, healthy living, mental health and 4 more

I have been in a complete funk for the past few days.

Working out and eating healthy 100% (even 75%) of the time has been a struggle. I want to share what's going on because I want to be open about how my own stresses and insecurities can get in the way of my health/fitness goals. I also want to share how I get back on track. When I have a day or a week like this, I always make sure that I get right back on track and don't let that week turn into a month and that month turn into many months.

Here's what's going on...

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Week of Workouts {May 17-23}

Posted May 24, 2014 in workouts, fitness, workout and 6 more

Yesterday, I wrote about how I've been in a funk for part of the week and that I didn't feel like working out. But then I typed out my workouts for the week, and realized that I was probably being hard on myself. I did workout every day this week. My workouts may not have been super intense, but I did something every day. 

I'm still following the Tone It Up Bikini Series (I attached links to all those workouts), but I've been slacking on my FitFluential Namaste in May yoga workouts. I only got in two yoga workouts this week (my goal was to do yoga every day in May). I did pretty well the first two and a half weeks of the month. 

I also missed a day or two on my Sweet Success May Plank Challenge workouts. I feel like I'm doing too many fitness challenges right now! How are you doing with your planks?

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May Plank Challenge - Week 3 Schedule!

Posted May 26, 2014 in workout, plank, fitness and 4 more

It's the third and final week of the Sweet Success May Plank Challenge!

How have you been doing so far? During Week 2, we added more time to our regular planks and we added in some challenging side plank variations. Since your arms and abs are getting stronger, this week will be the most challenging yet!

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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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Partner Track Workout {body weight toning + cardio}

Posted June 18, 2014 in workout, fitness, exercise and 6 more

Partner-Track-Workout-Strength-Cardio.jp

My friend Russanne and I met for another round of Workout Club over the weekend. Workout Club is basically just the two of us getting together to workout, but we like to have formal titles for our get-togethers.  

Last time, we did a bleacher workout that included intervals of toning and cardio (stair runs!). For this week's workout, we stayed on the track and went back and forth between running laps and doing body weight toning movements.

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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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Running in Savannah

Posted July 7, 2014 in running, run, sweat and 6 more

I intended to do a lot more blogging while I was in Georgia over the last week and a half, but I started having trouble uploading photos and I was busier than expected.

But I still want to share some of my adventures! I'll post a few recaps of my food and fitness adventures this week.

First up - running in Savannah...

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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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Pink Barre Review

Posted July 9, 2014 in barre, travel, workout and 6 more

I've been wanting to take a barre class forever so when I found a class on Go Recess at Pink Barre in Atlanta, I signed up immediately!

I booked a class at the Pink Barre location in Buckhead near my cousin Kristi's apartment where I stayed for a few days. Kristi generously let me stay with her after FitBloggin in Savannah and before the BF arrived in Atlanta and we checked into a hotel. Check out my FitBloggin Days 1-2 Recap and my FitBloggin Day 3 Recap.

If you are traveling, I highly recommend using Go Recess to book fitness classes. I just put in my cousin's address and I found a bunch of fitness classes near her place. This Pink Barre location was just a couple of miles from her apartment.

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Weekend Recap {July 11-13} - Taking a major step with the BF!

Posted July 16, 2014 in relationships, love, food and 2 more

You may have noticed that Sweet Success was MIA over the past couple of days. My web host was having a meltdown, and my page wouldn't open. Super stressful on top of my already hectic life.

It's old news now, but I still wanted to share my weekend recap with you because some exciting things happened over the weekend! The BF and I started the process of moving in together this weekend! I'm so excited for this adventure! We've already had fun picking out a new couch and a shower curtain together. I have a feeling grocery shopping and cooking will be interesting. I'll keep you updated on the transition from cooking for one to cooking for two!

In addition to painting and moving all weekend, I also started a new Piloxing session through Park and Rec this week, I started to take online classes this week (more on that later) and I have a huge blog to-do list. To say the least, I'm stressed out!

But I'm taking one thing at a time, and giving myself a break if I'm not perfect!

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Week of Workouts {July 19-25}

Posted July 26, 2014 in fitness, workout, exercise and 8 more

I admit, this week's workouts are kinda lame. I only worked out one time outside of the fitness classes that I taught!

However, I did feel pretty sore the days after I taught Piloxing. I'm still trying to get into a routine at my new house with the BF, while unpacking, while taking my online classes, while teaching five classes a week, etc.

I did increase my steps a couple of days this week though! I hit 15,000 on Tuesday!! (I'll share more on that later).

My goals for next week are to do yoga and get one or two more strength workouts in (I get some strength building with Piloxing).

Here are my workouts for the past week...

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My Summer Health & Fitness Wish List

Posted July 29, 2014 in wish list, summer, shopping and 8 more

There are a few things I'm wishing for this summer to help me stay healthy and feel motivated to workout! New activewear always motivates me to get out and sweat, a new cookbook or kitchen appliance motivates me to try new recipes and I'm always looking for the best products to help me perform my best during workouts!

Check out my latest wish list!

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Does your desk job really cancel out your workouts?

Posted July 30, 2014 in fitness, sitting, Runner's World and 7 more

I recently read this article on the Runner's World website on how much sitting negates workout benefits. Let's just say, it was depressing.

Here's what the Runner's World article said...

"According to a research team from the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, each time unit of sitting cancels out 8 percent of your gain from the same amount of running. In other words, if you run for an hour in the morning, and then sit for 10 hours during the day, you lose roughly 80 percent of the health benefit from your morning workout."

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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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Strawberry Champagne Cocktail

Posted August 8, 2014 in summer, cocktail, drink and 6 more

I love champagne. It's light, sweet and bubbly. It's the perfect base for a summer (or fall or winter or spring) cocktail.

I've posted a few of my fave champagne cocktails here before. My go-to mix is usually champs over ice, a shot of vodka and a splash of juice. In the fall and winter, I usually go for cranberry or pomegranate juice. In the spring and summer, I like grapefruit juice. I've even made a champagne cocktail with fresh watermelon juice! Mmmmmm.

But I decided to change it up a bit and get a little fancy.

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Week of Workouts {Aug. 2-8}

Posted August 9, 2014 in workout, Week of Workouts, fitness and 6 more

I've been working to incorporate more of my own workouts into my routine since I've been teaching so many fitness classes lately (6 classes this week!).

The BF and I are doing the FitFluential August Fresh Air Fitness Challenge, which has been motivating me to get outside everyday. I've loved it so far. Most days, I've only been able to get in a walk since my classes take a lot out of me. But I've enjoyed the time to be outside, get some sunshine and clear my mind. 

Also, my steps have been amazing this week! My best day was Thursday - 16,060 steps! I use my FitBit to track my steps everyday. I absolutely love it. You can get Free shipping with orders over $50 at Fitbit.com! .

I still need to do better at adding in more of my own strength workouts. I seriously need to figure out how to get out of bed earlier. 

Here are my workouts this week...

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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, Brynn, 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 Brynn will sometimes reach for an ice cream bar or candy when she wants a snack. But I want Brynn 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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Weekend Recap {Aug. 22-24} - (Sort of) camping at Lake McConaughy + battling Nebraska weather

Posted August 25, 2014 in camping, Lake McConaughy, Nebraska and 8 more

Have you ever had a moment when you feel a strong connection to nature? I've definitely had that feeling during stays at state parks, camping, hiking, riding my bike or even during runs. 

This weekend, I had a particularly amazing experience in nature. I tried stand up paddle boarding for the first time! It really was magical being out on the lake, feeling the movement of the water and finding balance in the movement. 

But just hours after having such a peaceful experience in nature, it kicked my ass.

I usually do a day-by-day recap of my weekends, but this time I'm just going to get right to the good stuff....

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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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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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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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Why I stopped wearing high heels

Posted September 9, 2014 in high heels, shoes, feet and 3 more

I'm taking a little break from my usual fitness and food posts to talk about shoes.

Throughout most of my late 20's, I lived in heels. I wore them to work nearly every single day I worked at the newspaper (6 years). And these weren't cute little kitten heels. I wore 4-6-inch fierce lady heels. 

People always asked how I could wear heels all day. Well, I sat at my desk for most of the day writing. I ventured out once or twice a day to do an interview or cover a press conference, but I could wear heels because I didn't walk much.

I'm now a year into my job at the university, and I wear flats almost every day! Those who know me from my newspaper gig are probably gasping right now. 

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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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Week of Workouts {Sept. 20-26}

Posted September 27, 2014 in workout, Week of Workouts, fitness and 6 more

My week got off to a slow start, but I ended up teaching four classes, attended a yoga workshop and got in a (very) short run.

I subbed the water jogging class at my gym and I was reminded of how great of a workout it is! It's an hour-long class and I definitely felt like I got in a good workout.

I'm going to do a full post on my yoga handstand workshop, but I'll tell you now that it was an awesome experience.

My 1.3 mile run may seem weird, but I actually just had to go somewhere so I ran there. Trying to fit fitness into my routine!

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Yoga Handstand Building Blocks Workshop at Avani

Posted September 30, 2014 in yoga, handstands, workout and 4 more

I've been doing yoga regularly since January. After just a few months of practice, and after following some amazing yogis on Instagram, I decided that my "yoga goal" was to get into a handstand.

Coming from being a runner (setting PR's, training for races) and just being the type of person who likes to set goals, I felt like I needed to be working towards something in yoga.

Also seeing all of the super fit yogis (Yoga GirlBeach Yoga GirlLaura SykoraKino MacGregorTara Stiles and others) on Instagram made me feel like I needed to be able to do inversions to be "good" at yoga. 

So when Chelsie, a yoga teacher at Avani Yoga Studio in Hastings, contacted me on Facebook and told me about the handstand workshop, I was so thrilled! (Avani is where I used to practice yoga when the BF lived there). I even started practicing a bit at home so I wouldn't look like a total beginner at the workshop.

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4 Things To Do Today To Be Healthier and Happier

Posted October 1, 2014 in healthy living, oil pulling, grounding and 6 more

Four-Ways-to-be-Healthier-Happier-Today.

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click and purchase, I earn a commission. Thanks for supporting Sweet Success!

Today I'm sharing some of my health secrets! These are things I do almost daily to stay healthy and happy. 

These habits keep me healthy on the inside but also make me look better on the outside, which makes me feel confident and happy.

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Experiencing Relationship Weight Gain {Happy times = Scale Woes}

Posted October 2, 2014 in weight gain, weight loss, healthy living and 7 more

The BF and I moved in together in July, and it has such a wonderful experience so far. I love that I get to spend every day with him after four years of having a long distance relationship. 

To be honest, I hadn't weighed myself since August and didn't realize I had gained weight until I put on a pair of pants and they were uncomfortably tight. At first, I thought it was because I had eaten super salty foods the day before and I was a bit bloated. 

But I asked the BF if he had gained any weight since we moved in together and he said he'd put on 5 pounds. I weighed myself the next day and there it was - 3 pounds up since July!

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October Goals

Posted October 7, 2014 in October, goals, motivation and 12 more

I'm a chronic goal setter. I set daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and even life goals. 

I feel like I function better when I'm working towards something. It makes me more productive, and there's nothing better than that feeling of accomplishing a goal!

But lately, I've been making my usual goal lists and then...nothing. The day or week will come and go and my list remains with no checks next to my goals. 

Then I read a post about goals written by a blogger I met at FitBloggin. Brooke Not on a Diet creates daily, weekly and monthly goals each month and decides on a reward if she meets her goals. I totally love this idea, and I know it will help motivate me to get going on my goals!

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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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Week of Workouts {Oct. 4-10}

Posted October 10, 2014 in workout, Week of Workouts, fitness and 9 more

Between Saturday, Oct. 4 and Thursday, Oct. 9, I taught 10 fitness classes! 

I'm absolutely thrilled about all the opportunities I have to teach right now. I'm teaching my regular classes at the Good Sam Fitness/Wellness Center, I'm teaching Piloxing at K-Town Shakedown and I'm teaching core strength classes at the University of Nebraska at Kearney Wellness Center

I was in a constant state of soreness all week, but it was totally worth it. My classes were all a lot of fun, and I was so proud of everyone for working so hard in my classes. 

This weekend I'm not teaching any classes, so I'm taking some time for yoga and relaxation!

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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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Weekend Recap {Oct. 24-26}

Posted October 27, 2014 in Weekend Recap, weekend, Piloxing and 10 more

Sometimes I don't realize how unhealthy I've eaten over the weekend until I write my Weekend Recap. Frozen yogurt, nachos, pizza, beer, candy corn, cupcakes. Yeah, this weekend definitely didn't win me the healthiest health blogger of the year award. 

But my weekend was also mixed with some healthy activities - a massage, Piloxing and yoga. Pizza + yoga = balance ????

Here's how the weekend went...

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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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My attempt to beat my cold using natural remedies

Posted November 5, 2014 in cold , sickness, illness and 4 more

I mentioned in my Weekend Recap this week that I wasn't feeling the greatest over the weekend. Well, I felt even worse on Monday. My symptoms - sore, scratchy throat, a runny, sneezy nose, a headache and overall tiredness.

I realized that when I'm sick I usually keep going to work and teaching my fitness classes and then I end up being sick for over a week. I decided to take a day of rest to speed up my recovery process.

My goal was also to beat my sickness using natural remedies and nutrient-rich foods. I'm really trying to not use pharmaceutical drugs unless absolutely necessary.

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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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Weekend Recap {Nov. 7-9}

Posted November 10, 2014 in Weekend Recap, weekend, healthy living and 11 more

My weekend was actually a little more eventful than I anticipated (I told you in my Friday Faves post that I didn't have much going on!). 

But I attended a conference, I taught three fitness classes, I went for a run, I spent some quality time at Target, a did lots of cooking and baking and I went to a yoga class!

I'm actually sore today from all of my workouts. I'm glad I made the time for fitness over the weekend. It always makes me feel so much better!

Here's what I did this weekend...

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Ninja Review + Fall Smoothie Recipes

Posted November 12, 2014 in Ninja Kitchen, Nutri Ninja, smoothie and 6 more

I received a Nutri Ninja from the kind people at Ninja Kitchen after meeting them at FitBloggin last summer!! I was incredibly excited to try this thing out. 

The thing is, I have a bit of a blender obsession. I have owned and currently own quite a few blenders (maybe 4-5). It always seems like some blenders are great for one thing, but aren't great for another. So I use different blenders for different situations. Totally normal, right?

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Week of Workouts {Nov. 8-14}

Posted November 15, 2014 in Week of Workouts, workouts, yoga and 9 more

I had another week FULL of teaching fitness classes. Between Saturday and Friday, I taught 10 classes!! 

I subbed five classes this week at the Wellness Center. I have some financial goals, so I'm picking up classes whenever I can to make extra money : )

My week was pretty crazy. After I taught class every evening, I had phone meetings for my Institute for Integrative Nutrition classes. So I wasn't eating dinner until nearly 8:30 p.m. I just felt like I didn't have any down time. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by my busy schedule. Then, on Friday, I was reading my emails, and I saw the perfect quote from BexLife...

'"Busy" is an opinion. I'd rather use "full" and "abundant" and "always open to new experiences" to describe my life.'

That's such a great way to think about a busy life in a more positive way!

Friday morning, I did a hip opening yoga sequence and it was much needed! I've been having some hip pain for the past few weeks and, I'm guessing, it's because I've been working out so much! It's time for some self-care!

I also took lots of workout selfies this week!

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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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A Healthy Holiday Cocktail Party

Posted December 18, 2014 in holidays, cocktail party, healthy and 7 more

Happy Holidays!

I absolutely love this time of year. Spending extra time with friends and family, shopping for the perfect gifts, sending Christmas cards, decorating the house, wrapping gifts, baking holiday cookies, watching Christmas movies. I love every single thing.

I also love throwing parties, which is why I decided to plan a healthy holiday cocktail party!

A few months ago, I started throwing healthy dinner parties. I invited women that I didn't know particularly well, but I knew they were interested in health and fitness. Each guest brought healthy dishes to the parties, and we just chatted about working out, eating healthy, running, etc.

I wanted December's party to be extra special, so I asked local businesses to donate items that would help my guests have the healthiest holiday season possible. Everyone that I asked was so generous! All of my guests went home with amazing goodie bags, and we even had some giveaways!

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Week of Workouts {Dec. 13-19}

Posted December 20, 2014 in Week of Workouts, yoga, hot yoga and 6 more


I can't believe another week in December has gone by! This month is just flying!

This week was all about yoga. One of my goals this month was to do yoga every day. Well, that hasn't exactly happened. But I decided to recommit this week. I signed up for Gaiam's 12 Days of Gratitude. They send you a new yoga video every day until Christmas. I did the videos most days. On the days I didn't do the video, I just did my own quick yoga practice, a DVD or took a class.

I love doing yoga every day because it stretches out my sore muscles and it gives me an opportunity to get centered and step away from my daily stresses. Even if I only get in 10 minutes, I can still feel the benefits!

Here are my workouts from the week...

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Sweet Success Health Coaching

Posted January 13, 2015 in health coaching, healthy living, health and 2 more

It's Health Coach Week!

As I've mentioned a few times, I'm starting a new career as a health coach! I'm studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I'm now officially working with clients to help them create their healhiest and happiest lives!

I'm so excited about this new journey and, since it's Health Coach Week, I wanted to share more about health coaching.

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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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Self-Love February - Week 1 Challenge

Posted January 31, 2015 in self-care, love your body, healthy living and 2 more

Happy Saturday! I can't believe it's the last day of January. The month flew by!

How are you doing on your New Year's goals? Are you sticking with them? Or have you already forgotten about them?

Maybe this Self-Love February Challenge will help you get back on track.

In yesterday's post, I told you that February is all about learning to love yourself more. Each week, I will give you a challenge to help you create a more loving relationship with your body. Do the challenge for one week. This first one is Feb. 1-7.

I challenge you to practice self-care daily for one week!

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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 - Week 2 Challenge

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

Happy Saturday! I hope you had a lovely week, and you are enjoying your weekend so far!

I challenged you to practice self-care every day for the past week as part of Self-Love February. How did you do? I admit, I was off and on. For example, Wednesday was non-stop until about 9 p.m. when I was finishing eating dinner. I crashed in front of the TV for about an hour and was off to bed. I could have used some breaks during the day to reenergize myself.

But for the most part, I took some time for myself every day. Last night, after a particularly moody day, I poured myself a glass of wine and rolled out my yoga mat. It was the perfect ending to not so hot day, and I was instantly in a better mood.

This coming week's challenge is a good one! I challenge you to meditate every day for one week!

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#BringingYogaBack Challenge

Posted February 8, 2015 in yoga, prAna, SweatPink and 6 more


As you know, I've been participating in the #TakeTheLeap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with SweatPink and praNa (see all my yoga photos on Instagram!)

If you join the #TakeTheLeap Challenge, you can win $500 worth of prAna gear.

This challenge has been so good for me because I wasn't making time for yoga with all the fitness classes I was teaching. But yoga is my favorite way to stretch, strengthen my muscles, get centered, relax and take care of myself. It has felt great to get back to a regular yoga practice.

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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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