I have run out of creativity with clean eating. I can't come up with any new ideas, and the thought of more turkey/quinoa/chicken/beans is just not appealing right now. Thankfully it's 2014 and the interwebs are full of inspiration and recipes to keep me going, here are a few of my favs:


Whole Foods New Body. Ashley is a busy mom and her recipes involve simple, clean ingredients that you can find at any grocery store. My favorite feature of her's is What I Ate Wednesdays where she posts everything she eats with either a description or a link to the simple recipes.

Fit Men Cook: Harrison actually introduced me to this guy because he posts clean recipes all over Instagram, he's buff, and he makes it seem  like clean eating is a cool thing that buff men do, not just a girly fad diet (which is why Harrison was so anti-clean eating at first). Again, simple ingredients and quick recipes.

The Iron You: This guy has a lot of creative and funky recipes. Not always the simplest ingredients but I get creative and substitute ingredients when I don't feel like running to Whole Foods.

Popular Paleo: This girl has tonssss of awesome recipes and they're all nicely categorized on her site. Most paleo recipes are clean so I just cook whatever she says is good haha!

Instagram Accounts: Instagram is also a great way to get recipes. These people post pix with their recipes and they're usually pretty simple recipes (simple enough to fit into an Instagram caption at least).

Fit Men Cook

I also search the hastags #CleanEating, #CleanRecipes, #CleanEats, and #FitFam regularly for some inspiration.

So tell me: What are your favorite recipe resources? Where do you find your meals?

Clean Eating Inspiration

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Soo this week October is going to be here, crazy right?? I am joining some friends in doing No Spending October Challenge and I'm excited to see how that goes. For now, I'm stockpiling on clothes and boots that I would normally buy in October as the season changes (post coming Thursday), is that cheating? So get excited because I'll probably be in a great mood since I (hopefully) won't be broke in October!

Anway, since grilling season is coming to a close, we've been trying to take full advantage of all things grill. Last week we tried this gem:

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 1 hour (marinating)
Cook Time: 10 mins


  • 4 large Portabella(o?) mushrooms ($6.00)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese (I get the giant chunk of herbed goat cheese from Trader Joe's and slice it up and use a few slices for each burger)
  • Rolls (we use Udi's)
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, onion, garlic and salt in a large ziploc bag and shake it up to mix it all together. Add the mushrooms and allow to marinate for 1-2 hours.

Spray your grill with LOTS of non-stick grilling spray. These babies wanted to stick all over our grill. Place the mushrooms on the hot grill, gill side up, for 10 mins- no need to flip or anything. 

Put them on your rolls of choice (our portabellas were thin so we each put 2 on our rolls), top with goat cheese, onions, and your choice of condiments. I just used a little extra balsamic.

This was a great weekend in which I took one picture. Friday Harrison and I stayed in, took care of some wedding details, drank some two buck chuck and a delicious Fall Salad from Sweet Green with MD crab, corn, avocadooomgggg:

Saturday I watched a freaking nailbiting game between UGA and Tennessee with a zillion Georgia fans at Public Bar.

Saturday night we cooked out and played hours of Cards Against Humanity.

Sunday I enjoyed the sunshine, I ran a bunch of errands and caught up on life stuff. And I took this one picture of the weekend:

Portabella(o?) Goatcheese Burgers + Worst Recap of Weekends ever

Monday, September 29, 2014

When planning my bachelorette party I had one request: No tiaras/penises/sashes/cheesiness. Which left my friends with pretty few options in the decor/accessories department. HOWEVER, I have the best/most creative friends ever and they came up with some awesome alternatives:

Light Up Rings: My friend Maggie found these in the dollar aisle at Target and cleared it out. These were a great way to be not too tacky but still let people know that we are a bachelorette party and they should buy us drinks:

Finger Lights: Harrison takes these to every wedding, party, everything. He sent us with a box of these. At $10 for 80 lights, you can even afford to use them as currency and hand them out.

Posters: I used this picture on cards to ask my bridesmaids, and they blew it up into a giant poster to decorate our room. Me, as giant Beyonce. I really have the best friends. You can do this on Vistaprint and other photo sites.

Cheers, Bitches Banner: Etsy, Party City, and all kinds of stores have similar banners. Cheers, Bitchesss!

Custom Coozies: I love beer, I love coozies, and this neon pink made it easy to identify everyone with our party. Plus I really like the design- don't we look so classy?

Custom Napkins: These were such a fun detail!

Slap Bracelets: Not everyone knew each other, so I wanted to make sure there was a way for everyone to identify each other when we were wandering around the hotel, hitting the slots, at the club, or at the beach. Animal print slap bracelets, yes.

Also check out this link to Party City coupons! 

Tell me: do you have ideas for bachelorette parties that don't involve tiaras/sashes/penises?

How to throw a not-so-typical bachelorette party

Friday, September 26, 2014

**update: here is the link to sign up for the challenge: http://totalfitgroup.com/challenge/

I feel like every Wednesday I say "I'm really seriously trying to get back on track!" and then have ten million reasons that I can't eat clean and can't find time to exercise. I signed up for the Mr. Shut Up and Train 21 Day Fall Challenge weeks ago and when it started on Sunday I was like "oh I just got back from my bachelorette party I can't exercise" and then have had some excuse every day since, so imagine my shock when I opened up my email this morning to this little ditty from Mr. Shut Up himself:

Excuse me, sir, have you tapped my phone? Are you reading my mind?

So despite the fact that I have a friend's birthday happy hour to attend, I'm making it work today. The rules are simple:

Simple to understand. Not so simple to follow. No booze for 21 days?!?!?

So, food rules above + doing the damn thing (aka the videos he emails every morning) = results. I've done his challenges before and been really pleased with the results, in fact the first time I did a challenge with him my only goal was to "try" this whole clean eating thing (he's who got me hooked!) and to be able to do 10 pushups without having to go on my knees. By the end I could do 30 traveling pushups. So, yeah.

This is going to be the kick in the butt that I need. Let's. Go!

Click here for more information and to sign up. Who's in?

Wednesday Workout: Getting back on track (still trying) with Mr. Shut Up and Train

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First off, things are going to be a little sparse around these parts for the next week or two as I settle into a new schedule and figure out how to balance a bunch of new things that have popped into my schedule this fall (new programs kicking off at work, new volunteering position, dog training classes, small group, online classes etc etc).

Second off, I made this really simple Barbecue Chicken with frozen veggies the other night and it was so good for some reason:

Servings: 5
Prep Time: 10 mins + 7 hours marinating (I marinate while I'm at work)
Cook Time: 25 mins


  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs (I used this organic free-range chicken I got at our neighborhood farmer's market (PS has anyone seen Food Inc on Netflix? After watching, we decided we're only eating organic/grass-fed/etc which is expensive which means we eat less meat)
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli and cauliflower mix (no seasonings added, no butter, nothing, just the straight up bag of frozen veggies)
  • 1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Cup chickpeas (I use them from the can)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon salt + pepper
  • 2 Cups Trader Joe's Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce , divided
Before you leave for work in the morning, place the thawed chicken in a giant ziploc baggie with the seasonings and 1 Cup of the BBQ sauce, seal the bag and put it in the fridge.

After sufficient marinating time: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put your chicken into a baking dish and top it with the juices from the bag. I added some extra salt, pepper and garlic powder to the dish too. Cook for 25-30 minutes.

Heat up your bag of broccoli and cauliflower and mix the veggies, quinoa, chickpeas and chicken together, top the chicken with some extra BBQ sauce and enjoy! Also, play around with the seasonings and let me know if you find a good combo, I've been experimenting.

And now onto the bachelorette party weekend! I mentioned that I hate typical bachelorette party stuff, and my friends did a great job accomodating this. I'm going to do a post Friday about all the ideas they came up with that were perfect for the not-so-basic-cheesy-bride. For now, here are some pix:

Beach bar:

Some of our group at the beach bar:
Atlantic City is full of great sites:

They made me a poster of my Bridesmaids Invites, aka a poster of me as Beyonce which made the week:

Providence Night Club (the nightclubs and all the restaurants we went to were in our resort- the Tropicana- so it was 10 x easier to do a 20+ person bachelorette party)

Giant jaccuzzi IN our suite (not in the bathroom, in the bedroom. Why? Because Atlantic City)

And nothing says classy like a faux fireplace with slow-motion flames

And loved loved loved this dress I got from Rent the Runway

BBQ Chicken & Veggies + Bach Party Weekend Recap (spoiler alert: I survived)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Well you can bet your money I'm not getting a single thing done at work today, because tonight at approximately 8:30 pm I will be hitting the road to ATLANTIC CITY for my bachelorette party!! If you haven't heard, Atlantic City is basically shutting down, I halfway expect to arrive to this:

Which is fine because we have a group of 20 girls (well 19 girls + Tonii) who are going to have a blast no matter what. I am so excited- we're staying at the Tropicana which is right on the beach and has tons of bars and restaurants inside of it so we never have to leave (can you imagine the nightmare of taxiing 20 girls across town?).

Anyway, onto the conundrum.
Me: Ok absolutely no tiaras, no sashes, no penises, nothing cheesy. I refuse.
Friends: Yeah we hate all that too.
Me: Ok good
Friends: Wait nothing else for bachelorette parties exists outside of penises, tiaras, and sashes.

We have encountered this problem in looking at all kinds of wedding things- not only do I despise tiaras and sashes, but pink makes me want to throw up as do all things cheesy such as the phrase "fling before the ring!" and shirts that say "Future Mrs. _____" on the back. I just can't. It's fine for other people and I'll have a great time participating in this stuff, but it's not me at all.

However, since this wedding is costing approximately a million dollars, and half the crowd is flying to get to the party I DO want random people to buy us stuff. But how would they know we were a bach party unless I was wearing a penis on my head or a tiara?

Not ones to complain without a solution, my friend Maggie and I decided we should start an Etsy Shop called "Bridal Sh*t" with the tagline not your basic wedding supplies or something along those lines. It would include classic girly wedding stuff but with a twist that everyone can appreciate (and sorry but no pink). And of course anything Beyonce because, Beyonce.

This sash, designed by moi in Picmonkey, would likely be the first product:

I'm also thinking along the lines of a baby shower my brother and his friends went to that involved playing "pin the mustache on the baby" and beer chugging contests out of baby bottles (by the guests, not the baby's mother). So how can I take ideas like that and turn them into bridal ideas?

Any ideas for our new Etsy store? 

Bachelorette Party Dilemma. Slash Bridal Dilemma.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I've mentioned before how incredibly important it is to have the right running shoes, but getting ahold of the right running shoes has posed quite a problem for us broke runners: running shoes are really, really freaking expensive. Just like everything else that's good and healthy for you...am I right?! This year I think I've finally cracked the code to getting more affordable running shoes so here's my guide:

1. Get fitted for the correct shoe at least once: This is where the big bucks come in. 2 years ago I went to a running store that watches you run and lets you know what kind of shoe to get. I shelled out the $120. Dishing over that kind of money made me want to throw up but hey, it's cheaper than knee surgery or throwing away $100 for a race I can't run because of issues that come from wearing improper shoes (knees, ankles, feet, stress fractures, etc). BUT now I know what kind of shoe I need and that it works for me.

2. Switch out the shoes after 300-500 miles. Why? Runners World has a great Q&A about running shoes that explains. Now this is where the real detective work comes in:

3. Find out when your shoe model is set to release the update: Specific shoe models go on massive clearance sales in the two weeks before the update is released. Sometimes you can find this info by doing some online detective work, but you can also call the shoe stores to find out if they have information on this. They should at least have a timeframe for when the update will be released.

4. Find your shoe in last year's model. This might take a little bit of research, but forums on Amazon and Zappos are a great place to start. Since I didn't do a whole ton of running this year, my original shoe was already last year's model by the time I needed a new one.

5. Find your last year's model on sites like Amazon, Zappos, 6pm, and even Kohls. 6pm.com tends to have the lowest prices, but they also rarely carry my model AND size.

6. Shop the outlets: Enough said.

6. Pick the ugliest color: This sounds silly but is seriously legit. I bought these from Amazon and after clicking around realized that the shoe that is uglier clearly has lower demand and therefore is $30 less than the cooler looking colors. $30!!!! I'll go buy myself a FEW pairs of my favorite running shorts with that leftover money!

All in all, running shoes are still going to cost. Even at these discounted rates I still pay around $70-$85 on my running shoes (way better than $120) but like I said earlier, it's definitely worth it to avoid injuries.

How do you find your running shoes?

Linking up at WOW - come play!

How to Find Cheap Running Shoes

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

So fall kind of came out of nowhere around these parts- last week was in the 90s and today I woke up to temps in the 50s! Time to go boot shoppingggg?

Anyway before we kiss all things summer goodbye, here is a recipe for that last watermelon of the season, one of my favs: watermelon goat cheese salad hallloo!

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Servings: 6 (depending on the size of the watermelon)


  • 1 watermelon, cubed
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Cup crumbled goat cheese (Trader Joe's has it for a great price, surprise)

Lay out the cubes in a single layer. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top each cube with crumbles of goat cheese.

That's it and it's the perfect appetizer!

Onto the weekend...My family and I flew to Memphis to visit my little brother and it was so much fun! We did everythinggg.

Drank the local beer (obligatory local beer picture for Nadine - have you had this? I loved it!)

Saw this campaign ad for a senate candidate and got pissed that as a DC resident I don't have a voice in Congress yet the people who DO get to vote choose their candidates based on posters like this?

Spent time contemplating how on earth a restaurant and bar with LIVE DUCKS in it can pass health inspections at the Peabody?

Had a sweet view for a tiny price thanks to Airbnb (even though the apartment itself left a some to be desired...but I knew that from reading reviews and saved hundreds of dollars and stayed in prime location)

Went to a concert at Levitt Shell

Ate some BOMB FOOD ALL WEEKEND (note: the restaurant menus were seriously lacking healthy items. I'm so used to DC where menus are geared towards health nuts. Even the salads were topped with fried veggies/chicken). This Memphis Po Boy was from SoulFish. Highly, highly recommend.

Spent time with my brother and his boo (people always ask if we're twins, do you see it?)

Attended the Cooper-Young Festival (As an avid day-drinker I have attended probably close to 50 festivals. This was the MOST well organized street festival I have EVER seen. I see you, Memphis!)

I stepped into a building in Cooper-Young and saw this AMAZING mural (Lap infinity, still laughing)

Suffered a heart breaking loss to South Carolina due to a matter of TWO INCHES. My man summed up my feelings:

Explored some lovely sites on a morning jog:

Hope everyone has a great week!

Last watermelon of the season + weekend recap

Monday, September 15, 2014

I like my blog to be a happy place despite what is going on in the outside world, partly because that's how this blog is and partly because when I am super passionate about something, I have a near-impossible time articulating my feelings. This is why I work in data where I can let numbers prove my points. However right now something too important is going on. Everything going on with Ray Rice and the NFL makes me sick, so this is my attempt to articulate my feelings. With some data of course. Domestic abuse is a topic that is incredibly close to home.

1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men are the victims of domestic abuse in the United States. At the rate of 1 in 4 and 1 in 10, someone you know is probably (silently) living with domestic abuse, and all these statuses on social media blaming Janay Rice and saying "But she CHOSE to stay" are putting your friend/sister/brother/cousin/aunt/uncle/grandparent one step further from making the incredibly difficult decision to leave their situation.

Let's talk about leaving for a minute. Did you know that 70% of domestic violence murders happen AFTER the victim has left the relationship? In what other situation would we expect someone to make a decision that is that likely to result in death? Domestic violence is the 3rd leading cause of homelessness, and last year over 1,200 women were murdered by their partners. Victims of domestic violence have often been isolated and/or psychologically abused. It takes an average of 35 incidents before a woman reports domestic abuse, and when deciding to leave they can be faced with having to be economically independent for the first time in their lives, losing their children, becoming homeless, being humiliated, having nowhere to go, murder...If you want more reasons women stay check out the hashtag #WhyIStayed.

Remember last year when almost 1/3 of congress voted not to renew the Violence Against Women Act? And now this, with the NFL only deciding to punish Rice (because I do not view the previous 2 game suspension much of a punishment) once it turns into a PR issue, a money issue. Not to mention our justice system that decided the appropriate punishment for Rice was placing him into an "intervention program", the numerous people who participated in covering up the crime, the law enforcement officials who participated in said cover up, and the countless people on social media claiming Rice is being unfairly punished. I mean, why would she leave when everyone else is saying it's not that big of deal? It doesn't even warrant 1/10th the punishment that smoking weed does in the NFL.

So this is how much society values women? And what makes me incredibly sick too is seeing a lot of these victim-shaming statuses posted by women. Clearly Congress isn't going to support us, society won't, the justice system won't, and neither will NFL and other big money makers. Who do we have but each other? I'm not saying I'm perfect in not judging other women for their decisions, but we've got to do better.

This is all I have to say. Educate yourself. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse call the domestic abuse hotline 800.621.HOPE (4673).

Let's go.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Everyone and their moms has been preaching the gospel re: adding weights to your workout routine. Not gonna lie, I've been hesitant to get on the bandwagon because of a few little things:

1. Weights cost money, I don't have money. And assuming I get stronger I need to buy more weights right?

2. I feel like weight-lifting is a like a secret club with a secret language. I live with a guy who played college football and when I mentioned wanting to add weights to my workouts he started speaking said other language (oh yeah totally just add in a few dead lift squat press back sweeps you'll like it)

3. Where would I even START? Like would I just sit in the basement and do some bicep curls and tricep dips (the only 2 moves I know) after HIIT? I just, what?

A few weeks ago I mentioned doing Fitness Blender's 5 Day Challenge, and lo and behold my old workout buddies Daniel and Kelli (Daniel and Kelli if you ever read this I swear I'm not creepy) whipped out the dumbbells and just like that, I converted.

Amanda mentioned finding a great deal at Walmart, so I stopped by and found a great deal on this Gold's Gym SpaceSaver 25 lb Single Dumbbell set:
So for $50 I got these weights that range from 5 lbs - 25 lbs. Great deal for my starter self AND it doesn't take up much room in the house.

Here are the videos I'm adding into my routine, of course Fitness Blender and Millionaire Hoy just casually add them into killer workouts:

So tell me: do you do weights? Do you have good resources for videos/workouts/where to buy weights?

Linking up 

Wednesday Workout: Free Dumbbell Workout Videos

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I think we're finally getting adjusted and I feel like I'm about to get back on my regular-scheduled-blog-game. Slash regular-scheduled-life. I didn't do a weekend recap yesterday but that's because I did just what you think: played with the dogs. No humans, aside from happy hour and dinner on Friday and church on Sunday. Just me and dogs all weekend. And food. And wine. And Revenge on Netfllix (which oddly reminds me of The OC? Anyone else?)

A few weeks ago I had pizza at a restaurant (cheat day summer) that sounded super strange (it had the words "mushroom cream sauce" in it which made me think cream of mushroom which has no place on a pizza). The pizza turned out delish and this was my attempt to re-make it. Disclaimer: I really messed it up but I know exactly how to fix it, which I'll share at the end.

Cook Time: 40 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 1 cup oat flour (oats ground in the blender) 
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup Pesto
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella 
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

We added crushed red pepper, black pepper, and some garlic powder.

Make the sweet potato crust. While the sweet potato crust is cooking, caramelize the onions. In the last 5 minutes, add the mushrooms and garlic to the cooking onions and mix together (add olive oil if needed to saute them a little).

After heating the crust for 15 minutes, pull it out of the oven and top the crust with the goat cheese, mozzarella cheese and mushrooms/garlic/onion mixture (note: this is where I messed up. I put the pesto directly on the crust. Yeah, no. The oil from the pesto seeped into the crust and it was suuuper soggy. woof. So lesson: add the pesto at the very end, after it's all done cooking).

Put the pizza back in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove it and top with the pesto. Slice up and enjoy!

Tell me: what is your favorite non-traditional pizza? ideas?

And I leave you with this from my weekend:

My guard dogs:

Andi still can't figure out what to do with a frisbee. She's trying though, slowly learning how to be a dog (thanks to Ziggy!)

Pesto Goat Cheese Mushroom Pizza (on sweet potato crust!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

This post brought to you by Graze.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love snacking. Like love love love snacking. Lately I’ve been in a funk—tired of fruit and nuts, not trying to spend half my income on snack bars, so I was pumped when this opportunity to partner with Graze came.

Graze offers an extensive range of tasty and nutritious snacks delivered directly to your home or office, and fits into standard mailboxes so no signing or anything necessary. You can choose weekly or bi-monthly deliveries. See? Look at this perfectly sized box:

With a huge variety of 90+ snacks, there is always something new to try- I tried 3 boxes and there was not a same snack in any of them! They have an in-house nutritionist, Jess, who makes sure every snack has a benefit to you whether it be ample source of protein/fiber or essential vitamins and nutrients. I’ve got to admit, it was nice to have someone creative putting together my snacks, and these snacks were so creative! Sour Cream & Onion Cashews (Harrison AND my favorite—that went fat), Garden of England nut mix, Tropical Dacquiri…

Each box contains four perfectly portioned snacks (1 serving) tailored to your preferences. They have nutrition labels, which makes portion control and tracking a cinch.  Here is a sample nutrition label:

I like the zillions of options to choose from. You can have boxes tailored to any kinds of dietary preferences: they have low-calorie boxes, gluten-free, dairy-free, or you can go and “trash” snacks with certain ingredients. I really liked how they put fun/more nutritious twists on old school snacks (bananas foster!)

It’s easy to go onto the website and rate the snacks, opt out of specific snacks or types of snacks, and make special requests. They then handpick a box based on your ratings and snacks you decide to trash and allergies/requests you make.
You can try out your first box free using the code SUMMERBOX31 or by clicking this First Box Free link!

While $6 for 4 snacks seems a little steep at first, it IS cheaper than clean eating snack bars, plus I like the convenience of the little box fitting right into my mailbox and being able to just toss a pre-packaged snack in my lunch bag, and like I said the creativity of the snacks is a huge plus as well as the portion control (no choice to binge eat the delicious bananas foster!). Plus you get about 10 coupons with the first box so it averages out to a little less than $6/box over 6 weeks.

All in all I don’t think I’ll be a year-round weekly subscriber, but I’m going to stick with the bi-monthly deliveries. It’s nice to switch up my snacks and get new ideas, and the price really isn’t bad.

What do you think? Would you do a snack delivery service?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Review: Graze Snack Box + Try a box for free!!

Friday, September 5, 2014