Foodie February


New month, new resolution: welcome to Foodie February!

Before I go all ‘out with the old, in with the new,’ here’s what I have leftover from January:

  1. Donate used books to a local library (in progress… I have A LOT of books!)
  2. Donate blood (scheduled for Feb. 22)
  3. Send flowers to a local nursing home (will do this month)

My resolution word for February was nourish. But Foodie February sounds MUCH more fun. First, some background:

I’m almost finished with the barre3 28 to Great and it has done wonders for my relationship with food. I’ve mostly stayed away from gluten, though not completely, and have been eating a lot of chicken, beef, rice and veggies.

I need to mention that I now make my own GRANOLA BARS! I’m a huge granola bar advocate (is that a thing?) Who has time to make breakfast before a 6 a.m. workout? Not me. Now I control everything in my go-to breakfast.

The result of this challenge? I feel more energized and overall healthy, and I’ve lost three pounds. I never felt hungry or deprived. The barre3 recipes are delicious and as long as you follow the general rules for the portion prescription, it’s easy to adapt into other meal ideas.

The 28 to Great challenge has shaped the way I’m going to face February. I want to try new things and experiment, while not forsaking the nutritional aspect of my meals. My goals are to:

  1. Continue “nourishing” myself via the 28 to Great food guide
  2. Explore one new restaurant per week for healthy (see #1) food options
  3. Challenge myself to cook four new dishes at home
  4. Grocery shop and food prep on the weekend for the week ahead
  5. Support local stores by visiting one new non-chain coffee shop per week

I’m sticking with five items this month in hopes I’ll get to accomplish every single one of them (and carry them into March!) I’m looking forward to hearing some great new recipes and ideas.

Sharing Thanks

Do you ever get the feeling you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be? Today I’m feeling so thankful for all of the opportunities in front of me. For those who don’t know, I’m in the midst of training to become a barre3 instructor. I am obsessed with this workout and everything it stands for: honoring your body, having fun and challenging yourself. I started taking classes in October as a way to tone-up and get healthier. It ended up being a lot more than that. I’m beyond ecstatic I get to share my love for this workout with all of you!

Another reason I can’t stop smiling? This afternoon, Courtney Gerlach, the owner of barre3 Columbus, held a  donation class for the CYP CLUB’s annual charity event, A Date 2 Remember. We had a full class and it really warmed my heart to see members of the young professional community come together to raise money and try something new. All of the money from this class (and from the event) goes to United Way of Central Ohio and City Year Columbus. They’re both awesome charities and I truly believe they’re making huge strides in changing the Columbus community for the better.

My husband (pictured below), brother-in-law, and a few personal friends came to this afternoon’s barre3 class as well. They’re not as familiar with A Date 2 Remember, so it meant A TON to have their support, too. Unconditional love at it’s finest!


I wanted to share my happiness with all of you and encourage you to find a way to do what you love. What my favorite late-night comic said is true:

If you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”

SIDENOTE: For those interested in trying barre3, I’ll be teaching a few free community classes before officially being added to the schedule. I’d be happy to let you know when those will be!

New Thinking Thursday

Thursday is when I start looking forward to the weekend. I get to choose my own activities for a full 48 hours. Spend time with friends? Workout? Study? Go to dinner? Read a book? No one dictates that but me!

It’s become increasingly more important to make my free time count as the year progresses. I came across a few quotes today from spark new thinking that energized me:

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice

“Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn’t come before.” -Shelby Steele

“Nobody ever wrote a plan to be broke, fat, lazy and stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.” -Larry Winget […and while I wouldn’t use all of Larry’s exact words… I get the point he was trying to make!]

I’m motivated for a productive, fun and fulfilling weekend. Bring on Friday!

Update: 28 to Great and January Resolutions

After being knocked on my butt by some not-quite-the-flu-but-still-pretty-bad illness, it’s been quite the week! I took yesterday as my rest day for the 28 to Great Challenge instead of today- hoping that was the worst of it. After a quick trip to the doctor, however, I’ve been ordered to stay home, away from the public, and to not exercise until my fever is gone. Not ideal.

After reading up on illnesses and exercise, it turns out his advice is in line. Plus, my muscles are so achy and I feel so fatigued I probably wouldn’t last very long. Hopefully my prescription kicks in and I’m all better for tomorrow’s 8:45 a.m. class with Kevlin at barre3 Columbus. FINGERS CROSSED!

Otherwise, my 28 to Great challenge is going awesome! While I can’t control what my body temperature is doing, I can control what I’m eating. These past few days it’s been a lot of soup. I’ve also been sure to add as many veggies to it as possible and to snack on fruit to make sure I’m getting enough nutrients… even though my appetite is non-existent. When I feel like I’m dragging, it’s been really helpful reading blog posts from my fellow barre3 challengers like Missy and Jenn. While there’s only 16 days left, I actually plan to incorporate a lot of these food changes into regular life.

Next update: January resolutions. My progress so far:

  1. Donate used books to a local library
  2. Hold the door open for others whenever the occasion arises
  3. Pay the Starbucks’ tab for the person behind me in the drive-thru
  4. Send birthday cards to family/friends
  5. Donate blood
  6. Comment on three blogs/week
  7. Be polite on the road
  8. Leave five recommendations on LinkedIn
  9. Bring coworkers a special treat
  10. Send flowers to a local nursing home

The ones that are crossed out are either in progress or complete. Feeling good! This weekend will be a great time to go through my old books… and I’m definitely planning a Starbucks run. Hoping to cross of a few more! And as soon as I’m feeling better I’ll be scheduling a blood donation appointment. Wish me luck and keep sending those positive vibes. I definitely need them today!

You Choose Your Hard


Being overweight SUCKS. While I’ve never been severely obese, there was a time when health and fitness took a backseat.

And guess what? IT WAS HARD. I was lazy, tired, unmotivated. I didn’t feel good about myself. It was harder, especially emotionally, than losing weight. It’s frustrating and you feel hopeless. You think it’ll take too long to get to where you want, so you don’t try.

SURPRISE: The time passes anyway. You choose what you do with it.

Creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hard. It requires a conscious effort every day. But once you make that decision, it gets better. That 5:30 a.m. workout? It’s not easy for anyone. But it will become routine. And for me, getting up early was easier than being overweight. BAM.

Come up with your own hard/harder examples:

HARD: Losing weight. Healthy choices. Exercising.

HARDER: Being out of breath. All the time.
HARDER: Not being around long enough to see your grandkids.
HARDER: Noticing the way others notice you.
Passing on your unhealthy habits to your children.

No one can make that decision for you, and only when you realize that being overweight is actually HARDER than the alternative, you’ll begin to change. And what a change it will be! You’ll start to feel good about yourself. You’ll reach tiny milestones. While it’s hard to say “no way!” to that one piece of chocolate/pizza/pie/cake… it becomes rewarding. You understand the strength of your own willpower.

Alternatively, I’m sure it’s hard to think of a hundred excuses as to why you can’t lose weight, why you don’t want to lose weight, why you’ve tried and why it won’t work. So if that’s your thing… you can choose that.


28 to Great! Challenge


I’m going to be taking part in barre3’s 28 to Great challenge this month. And how appropriate is it that it begins on my birthday? It would be cooler if I was turning 28 instead of 27… but you can’t have it all, right?

The barre3 blog has all the details, but to summarize… you pay $28, receive the barre3 core ball and wristband in the mail with a meal plan and recipes, and have access to unlimited monthly online workouts. Luckily, I have a studio nearby and will be taking classes 6 days/week with Courtney and the other awesome instructors.

Last night, I created a meal plan and prepped for an entire week’s worth of meals. I chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, grilled chicken, hardboiled eggs, put almonds into Ziploc bags and made a ton of salad dressing. I also made 12 servings of rice! The prep took me about two hours, but it was well worth it. My actual “cooking” this week is going to be minimal, and I’m sure I saved a ton of time in the long run.

The meal plan is based around eating non-processed foods, so my basic eating for the day looks like this:

  • Breakfast: 2 hardboiled egg whites, banana
  • Morning snack: Handful of almonds
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and cilantro balsamic vinaiggrette
  • Snack: Carrots and hummus
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken, avocado, rice and black beans

The plan calls for eliminating or greatly reducing coffee and alcohol intake. I’ll be taking the latter approach. I love my morning coffee and am not ready to part with it just yet 🙂 Wish me luck!