Author Archives: fitwithadele

6 ways to be a smarter crossfitter


Exercise you love is exercise you will do. Period. I was a member of a CrossFit gym (just can’t bring myself to say box) for almost two years, attended and obtained my Level 1 Certification, where I was instructed by the oh so fabulous Christmas Abbott, and even have written posts about why I love CrossFit. So, to get this out of the way this is not a CrossFit bashing post but a PSA, if you will, on how to reconsider how you CrossFit.

Take some responsibility and scale your workouts like it is your freaking job.

Be super conscious of your weight selection.  Some workouts are meant to use heavier weight and some are meant to use lighter weight. A workout may call for a women to do 65 lb thrusters and you may think “Yes, I can totally do that weight!” But if the workout is meant to be a “lighter” workout that you should try to fly through, and you struggle to do just a few 65 lb thrusters, you need to adjust your weight according.  Heavier is not always better. 

Also check yourself if your form is sloppy. If your hand release push ups start to look like a sad version of upward facing dog in yoga, drop down to your knees. If you kipping pull up is sloppy in “Angie” then please choose a band or do a jumping pull ups, and  if your shoulder is jacked just skip the sumo deadlift to high pull all together. Have no shame in opting out or choosing different exercises.

Which leads me to my next point.

Just say no.

 I attended my first CF class after a two year break recently, and I might as well have just said “Hi, my name is Adele and I refuse to do kipping pull ups.” I didn’t introduce myself that way but I did say I do not do kipping pull ups. If your kip is on point and you have had no issues, do your thing, but if you struggle or your form is sloppy just say no. Like I said above, choose a difference variation. Work on that exercise outside of the WOD to be able to implement it in to your WOD.

I will also say no to workouts all together that just plain suck. There is no need for me to attempt to snatch a barbell over my head 90 times at progressingly increasing weights. Olympic lifts  are SUCH technical movements that people spend YEARS developing. I would suggest spending more time working on your Olympic lift technique than repping out high numbers.

Don’t let others peer pressure you into going hard all the time.

I get the benefits of working out in a CrossFit community, even working out with other people in any sense. It does push us to work harder and do more than we normally might do by ourselves and this is why I am a huge fan of CrossFit, personal training, accountability partners etc. It’s the best feeling when you just did what you did not believe you could because of the person or people next to you.

BUT you know your body best and pushing harder and doing more does not always result in a greater outcome. Take a quick scan of how your body feels that day. Are you fueled? Are you fighting a flu bug? Are you sleep deprived? These components play a huge factor in how you will perform. And on those days you want to show up but just do not have it, take it easy. If it does not catch up to you today, it will tomorrow.

Focus on rest and recovery as much as your workouts.

One of the biggest trends I see, is not an extreme injury that keeps people out for months, it is the go hard for three weeks, then go home for two weeks pattern. I know this from first hand experience. I would get 4 workouts in for a few weeks and then have to take a few weeks off from exhaustion, an aggravated shoulder, or soreness so extreme that I was in no shape to be working out. Gotta love your first workout with full rope climbs.

The 3 days on, 1 day off motto of CrossFit is just too much for some, and if that is you ( it sure is me) be ok with it. Just know the harder you push in your workouts the more you will need to rest and recover to come back in full form. The hard thing about this is it tends to catch up with us a couple weeks after we over do it. To keep your routine and motivation more consistent, schedule in rest days, pay attention to your body, and view recovery as the key to getting stronger, not just your workouts.

Rest is your friend and should be treated with respect in each and every workout and in each and every week.

Stop with the strict challenges already.

Ok please stop with the strict challenges, committing to 5 days a week of training while minimizing your food intake to way less than you expend. When you workout MORE and eat LESS, you are setting yourself up for perfect scenario to shoot your hunger and cravings through the roof and drop your energy levels to the ground. Even if you make it through the challenge you will not be able to sustain this kind of training and eating and you will jack up your hormones and your metabolism. If you are choosing to workout more, then please eat more to show your body some love and give it some support, for all the hard work it is giving you.

Results are ones that last, not come and go. Ask yourself if you can eat like that forever? If yes, keep at it. If no, remember that  you do not have to be super strict to sustain results. I want a diet that includes chocolate, an occasional adult beverage and indulging in rich food when I feel like it.  Why? Because I plan on doing those things forever.

Focus on the big picture.

Always keep in mind the prescribed weight CrossFit sets for men and women based on the most ELITE athletes in the world. Just as you don’t expect yourself to have the same training ability and skills as Lebron James do not expect yourself to have the same training ability and skills as Rich Froning.

Some of these points may be way obvious or some may be a fresh perspective but I want to encourage you to start thinking outside the box and take the structure that CrossFit gives you and adapt it to make it your own.



Protein Pumpkin Loaf and Candy Cane Coffee in April

IMG_7560You may see a trend that I am all about creating your, own, unique rules when it comes to eating and sometimes I think we get so stuck in the rules, that we never allow ourselves to step outside the box and follow, gasp, what our body is really asking for. What a novel concept! (Just a hint of sarcasm here).

I felt like pumpkin the other day and, with an oh so late Christmas exchange with one of my best girls,  the candy cane coffee I received was just enough motivation to feel a little holiday like in April.

Here is a healthier alternative to a pumpkin loaf that should be treated just like all other food. Everything in moderation. Meaning if you have been craving just “a little something”, eat it.  It will NOT derail your goals and could actually save you from binges later on in the week or month.

What you eat NOW will directly affect what you eat in the future. So if you are restricting yourself with an apple for breakfast, lettuce for lunch and picking at dinner, just know your hunger and cravings will catch up with you at some point and you will over consume in some shape or form.

Pumpkin Loaf


4 eggs

1 TBSP of vanilla

1 – 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1/4 cup of honey

1 TBSP of pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup of melted coconut oil

Sprinkle of salt

1/4 cup coconut flour

1- cup of almond flour

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

1 tsp pf baking powder.


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix together eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, oil and honey.

3. In a different bowl mix together all other ingredients.

4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Pour into a well greased pan or foil lined pan coated with cooking spray.

5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a knife cuts it out clean.

6. Find some candy cane coffee and enjoy! 🙂


16 Food and Fitness Rules to Live By

It’s so much more than just about what to eat and how to workout.

You hear me say this all the time and the more I write about it the more I even convince myself that the answers to our struggles have more to do with our thought process, behaviors, actions and reactions, choices and habits than whether we eat carbs for breakfast or not or decide to partake in CrossFit or Zumba.

It does not matter what type of  thoughts you have about what you should or should not eat, or how you should or should not workout, you can immediately put these “rules” into place.


1. Forgive yourself and your choices. Positive phycology research is actually showing that forgiving ourselves when we make a mistake is a greater motivator than criticism. Instead of telling yourself you are such a failure and you skipped a workout and ate that bag of chips AGAIN, tell yourself that this is another challenge you are working to overcome.

2. If it is more stressful to think about not having the cupcake, have the cupcake. This has been so helpful to me because I have had times where I have stressed so much about NOT having something, that it was actually more stressful than simply having it. Is not feeling motivated to go to the gym stressing you out? Go to the gym!

3. Only eat food that makes you feel great physically and emotionally WHILE you are eating and AFTER. If you are going to stew in guilt and remorse over that gallon of ice cream, do eat it. Do you know that daily does not settle well with you? Do not eat it. Begin to pay attention to how foods make you feel mentally and how they affect your bodies energy, digestions, and mood.

4. Do not compare yourself to others. It does not matter if a friend is super successful on Paleo, Vegan, swimming, yoga, etc. If you do not enjoy eating or working out in a certain way, you will not do it. The best way to eat and workout is a way that you can enjoy, or at least tolerate, long term. Consistency beat perfection.

5. Decide if you would rather be right or happy. Bash any preconceived notions you have about what you should or should not do and find what works for you. Sometimes going against what has been ingrained in us for so long feels like a failure. ‘I must do cardio for an hour 6 days a week.’ But ask yourself. Is this way working? Am I seeing results? Am I doing this because I feel in my head this is”right” or because it makes me happy and is working.

6. Practice gratitude. Finding the bright spots and lessons in our challenges allows us to move past them.  It is easy to get caught up in a world wind of negative emotions or nit pick at ourselves for our imperfections and perceived failures, but ultimately gratitude puts everything in perspective.

7. Look at your strengths not your weaknesses.  Instead of constantly focusing on what you are doing wrong, ask yourself what you are doing well. Where are your successes? In everyday? In every week?

8. Take responsibility. I love this quote by Byron Katie.  “Placing the blame or judgment on someone  else leaves you powerless to change your experience; taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments gives you the power to change them.” When we play on excuses we give away our power to make changes.

9. View food with an abundance mindset. Food will always be available to you. Are you eating it because you truly want to or because you fear you will not be able to eat it again soon. Sometimes when we go on binges and we say “Screw today. I will start tomorrow,” we give ourselves permission to eat everything in site because tomorrow will be time to get strict again and not be able to enjoy your favorite treats. I am here to tell you….

10. It does not have to be all or nothing. You do not have to be on or off plan, strict or not strict, cheat day or not. You can absolutely build foods you love into your diet each and every week and still get results. When was the last time going super strict on a diet gave you results that you were able to maintain?

11. Do your best. Your best will be different each and everyday. Exhausted after a long day at work and too much wine? Stopped for fast food? Skipped dinner? You were simply doing your best on that day. Doing your best is not an excuse it is admission that you are human and while all decisions are not created equal, you can keep trying to learn and improve.

12. Manage stress & stress. It is a hard concept to understand that sleep and stress play such a significant role in your body composition and food and workout choices but they do. Find activities that help reduce stress and make sleep a priority.

13. Say good bye to guilt and join the land of imperfection. We will not always be perfect with our choices and that is ok. Feeling guilt and shame over them doesn’t really serve us in any positive way. Say yes to personal freedom by allowing yourself to be imperfect, by allowing yourself to be human. No guilt required.

14. Trust yourself. Trust that the choices you make today will add up in a huge cumulative effect and get you to where you want to be tomorrow, even if you cannot see the end right now.

15. Reinvent the wheel and do you. Be your own detective when it comes to what works for you. I don’t care if Suzy Sunshine lots 50 lbs on Atkins and yoga, if your body does better on carbs and you want to lift some weights do it! The best exercise and way of eating is the kind you love and the kind you love is the kind you will stick with.

16. Success is not final, failure is not fatal. I love this quote by Winston Churchill. Just because you achieve ultimate success today does not mean it will stay without the effort and just because you fail does not mean you have no chance at success. Don’t give in either way.

Using the oven for veggie lovin’

I am all about finding new and different ways to get veggies in my diet, because they CAN be tasty.  And I love using the oven because I do not have to attend to it constantly. I can pop a baking sheet full of veggies in and let them cook for their designated time while I do other things. Plus, I like the slight crisp they get from roasting.

I find that those who are not big fans of veggies are chomping on celery sticks, eating green beans out of can, or are eating plain salads of iceberg lettuce and cabbage with an oil dressing. Your right, those kinds of servings do not sound all that great to me either!

Check out my cauliflower cakes recipe and I have a PDF for you to check out more veggie recipes you can cook using just the oven!

Cauliflower Cakes


  • 1/2 small cauliflower head (trim off the core)
  • One egg
  • One egg white
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to season
  • Optional additional seasonings: garlic powder, cayenne, oregano

The cauliflower chops up quickly in the blender.


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place cauliflower pieces in a food processor or blender and blend for a few seconds until it is finely chopped.
  3. Add egg, egg white, cheese and seasonings. Blend for a few more seconds.
  4. Line a baking sheet with foil and coated with a cooking spray.
  5. Take 1/4 cup and scoop mixture onto sheet and spread into small pancake shapes.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until firm.
  7. Remove from oven, carefully flip each cake and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Let cool and serve as a side, top with avocado and eat as a snack, or use it to make an egg sandwich.

This batch turned out a little crispy, just the way I like it!


How you can eat food that tastes amazing and still have the body you want

The other day on Facebook I posted some quick thoughts on retraining your taste buds. You may not guess it now but I vividly remember one summer in my college years where I had all these coupons to Taco Bell for a buy one, get one free Nachos Bell Grande. I would devour one and pick at the next. During that time I also loved grande, white chocolate mochas from Starbucks. It was like drinking liquid sugar! Well, it actually is but that is beside the point.

At the time these things tasted amazing to me but they sure did not make me feel all that great or do any thing to help me maintain my physique. But I was 20, and always had my volleyball training in the fall that would whip me back into shape with double day during hell week.

When my senior year was over, I had this moment where I realized that I would not have volleyball training to fall back on and I would have to make some adjustments. Plus working out to be able to eat more is not a game I like to play anyways. So I gradually started to eat healthier. More fruits and veggies. Less fast food. Less Starbucks. No more Taco Bell. Ha! I have pretty much trained my taste buds to where that kind of food is no longer appealing at all and I have a much simpler palate.  And when I have richer foods, I go for the good stuff and enjoy every bite of it.

Choose general healthy eating before you try paleo, gluten free, or any type of detox.

Remember being bloated and having unpleasant digestive issues is not the norm. I have clients who say they feel like they need to go paleo or detox because of this but when I look at what they are eating, it is eating out or at fast food, 5-8 meals a week!  I encourage you to try a general healthy eating plan first before doing any thing more extreme.

Eating whole, natural food, like meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, eggs etc is almost like a detox in itself, especially if you are coming from a high processed, high sodium diet. These foods help balance blood sugar levels and provide a consistent flow of nutrients to the body that help manage energy, hunger and cravings.

Train your taste buds. More quality foods, more often.

Do I eat “processed” varieties of foods or food from packages. Why yes, yes I do. But for the most part I eat foods in their whole state. Eating is not about being perfect, it is about being consistent. And if you start by trying to be hardcore, strictly organic, never eating anything that comes in plastic or cardboard, you are going to drive yourself crazy.

The thing is once you develop a healthier way of eating, more consistently you started to crave healthier foods. And once you start to crave healthier food, the greasy, uber sweet food will not be as appetizing.

When I sit down to eat, I get as excited to eat my big ass salad as I do to eat a chocolate chip cookie. Food is not good or bad. Food is not all or nothing. Food is not cheat or no cheat. Food is information for our bodies that will help determine how we feel and how we perform each and everyday.

How to transition your taste buds.

  • Add a little yummy to your salads. Eating salads does not have to be ice berg lettuce with carrot strips and a drizzle of olive oil, bleh! Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, avocado, olives. I use the OXO salad chopper and will add spinach, cabbage, mushrooms, bell pepper and chop it up super fine restaurant style. I then add diced chicken, avocado and some feta cheese with a light dressing. It tastes amazing!!
  • Order your grande Starbucks mocha with 2 pumps of sweetener instead of 4! Yes, that is a start. It will not taste as sweet but I bet you will still enjoy it.
  • If you get one of those packets of taco seasoning, get the low sodium kind and only add half the packet.
  • Try changing one of your meals during the day.  Tell yourself that no matter what you are going to make sure you have at least one healthy meal a day and go from there. That doesn’t mean you have to let go at the other meals, but if all else fails you will have eating one healthy meal each day.
  • Change the way you prepare things. Eating vegetables does not have to be steamed broccoli and  raw celery if you do not enjoy it.   It does not have to be bland and unappetizing. The other day I baked asparagus fries that came out slightly crispy and delicious and put a small handful of spinach in my protein smoothie. Couldn’t even taste it!

These are little changes that will make a big difference. I promise you will feel so much better and you will start developing a palette for more natural foods. And then you will actually enjoy and crave a healthier way of eating.




The Worst Exercise For Fat Loss

First off I realize that this blog title is a not only a big dramatic generalization but also my own opinion.

Second, if you ever read anything I write and you do not agree because you have real life proof that works for you, then go for it. I am not here to argue what obviously works for someone. I am here to give you a different perspective.

Now let me get this out of the way. Running works for some people. Some people love to run and use it as their primary or secondary method of fitness. It has a host of positive benefits from being a fabulous mood booster, great for heart health, a high calorie burned and can be just plain enjoyable! 

It is quite ironic though, that running is often the go to exercise for weight loss (I use fat loss and weight loss interchangeably) and people think they need to run to get in shape, when really they need to get in shape to run. And by running I mean long, moderate intensity runs.


Running is hard on the body.

I was at a fitness conference about 5 years back when a presenter compared running a mile to 2,000 plyometrics. Plyometrics being a form of jump training and 2,000 being the number of steps in a mile. If you are out of shape or have a lot of weight to lose, running is not only going to be hard on your endurance but hard on your joints. Jumping  or high impact activity is the last thing I would recommend. The constant pounding on the cement is, is in a sense, like jumping over and over and over again for however long it takes you to run a mile, or worse 3! This can put you at a higher risk for injury and/or make it harder for you to recover from your workouts.

The more you run to lose weight, the more you have to run to maintain it and keep if off.

It has been suggested that you will have to continue to add mileage to your runs to stay lean, especially as you age. If you run 15-20 miles a week in your 20’s you may have to increase that 20-25 miles in your 30’s and 25-30 miles in your 40’s to stay lean. That is not only a lot of time invested in your running but a lot of pounding on the pavement as well.

I am all about the least effective dose of exercise when it comes to maintaing weight. If you exercise 6 hours a week to maintain your weight, what happens when you only have the opportunity to workout 2 hours a week for a extended period of time. You will not be able to control that with exercise alone and will have to make sure you adjust your diet accordingly.

The body adapts well.

The body is a pretty smart cookie and adapts to your activity to become more efficient. When you run your first mile after not running in awhile, it is going to be at least a little challenging and your body is going to have to work harder to run that mile. But as you keep running that same mile your body will adapt and use less fuel and burn less calories to do so.  You will have to continue to run more to see results or maintain your results.

Running is a great way to stimulate your appetite. 

I am all for more exercise, but if you are failing to control your appetite at the same time, it is going to cancel the physique results you are seeking. Certain types of exercise can make you hungrier and typically moderate, longer duration type exercise will do so. Check out this great piece on appetite, hormones, and exercise by metabolic effect. Typically when people set themselves up to get back in shape, they start to eat less which makes them hungrier, while bumping up their workouts at the same time, which will, you guessed it, make them hungrier.

Sprinting is a great fat burner ONLY if you are in shape.

I do rave about high intensity exercise and sprinting on my social media posts but I encourage caution. Sprinting and plyometrics are great alternatives ONLY if you are in good enough shape to do them. Both these forms of activities are great fat burners, help maintain appetite, and are very time efficient but also require a great deal of technique. These types of activities are NOT good for beginners to use. Again you need to get in shape to sprint, not sprint to get into shape.

What to do instead:

  • Get the cardio effect without the impact. Set a timer for 15 minutes and perform 8 squats, 8 push ups and hold a 20 seconds kneeling or full plank. Repeat continuously, resting as needed.
  • Climb a set of stairs. Rest when needed and repeat.
  • Try a lower impact form of cardio like incline walking or swimming.
  • Use leisure walking to reduce stress, maintain appetite and move.
  • Find your own, unique, least effective dose of exercise.  Exercise is important but the less you have to do will help you stick to your routine.
  • Eat enough to support your activity level. Not more, not less.


32 books that will inspire you to live your best life

Last year for my 31st birthday I reflected on the previous years in my post that you can find here. I have seen people do it before and have all kinds of journals and note lying around my home with quotes, inspirations, and my own words of wisdom so it was really fun to put it together in an organized way to share with the world.

This year, as I turn 32, I wanted to share 32 amazing quotes from 32 amazing books I have read, most of them this past year. I love these quotes and use them when  my “irrational self” shows up the world.


My irrational self being, the defensive one, the illogical one, the anxious one, the judgmental one, the sad one, the hopeless one. I know I don’t want to feel this way but it is quite difficult in the moment. We all have those moments and I do my best not to judge them, but not to stay in them too long either. Because you know what?

1. “I am just a bunny trying to work through my issues.”

I Am a Badass by Jen Sincero

And here are 31 other perspectives from books, that I remind myself of often. Some may strike a chord with you and some may seem so obvious, but one of my favorite parts of reading other than learning so much, is that when I read each and everyday I am reminded of all the blessings and opportunities I have surrounding me.

2.“We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.” The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown

3. “They’re working hard and persisting through difficulties because of their internal desire to control their lives, learn about their world, and accomplish something that endures.” Drive by Daniel Pink

4. “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do, and that often means living outside the limits of ones comfort zone.” The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen

5. “Personal importance or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me.”” The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

6. “…Permission to think a thought reduces the likelihood of thinking it.” The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal

7. “Eliminate the non essential.” The Power of Less by Leo Babuta

8. “Other than eating and breathing, sleeping is the most important source of recovery in our lives.” The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

9.“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

10. “The most important thing in life is learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

11. “Let it go already.” Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff in Love by Richard Carlson and Kristine Carlson

12. “One of the most important skills you can develop in human relations is the ability to see things from the other person’s point of view.” How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell

13. “Struggles and hardships and challenges are a necessary component of an emotionally rich life; there are no easy shortcuts to happiness.”  Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar

14. “Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually occur.” Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

15. “Dogs realize when a previously treasured object is missing, but needn’t mull over possible stories for what happened to it. Instead they just start looking for it, or wait for it to show up. ” Inside of a Dog by Alexandria Horowitz

16. “You’ve got to exercise, not just for your heart and lungs, but to keep from stiffening up. It keeps you limber, and that’s important when you get older.”  The Book of Everyday Wisdom” by Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany

17. “May you see sunshine when others see shadows and opportunities when others see obstacles.” I Wish For You: Gentle Reminders to Follow Your Heart by Lance Wubbels

18. “Maintain social networks. They know how to listen, laugh, and appreciate what they have.” The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner

19. “The universe is abundant. Let go of the fears of deprivation, of doing without…Having more and more will not solve your problem if what you need is to heal your fears. If you open your herat and look without fear, you may see that you have enough now.” Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie

20.“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.” Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

21.“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

22.“Be grateful for what you have now. As you begin to think about all the things in your life you are grateful for, you will be amazed at the never ending thoughts that come back to you of more things to be grateful for.” The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

23.“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle 

24. “A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts but the attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering.” Loving What Is by Bryon Katie

25. “Happiness is really just about four things: perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness, and vision/meaning.” Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

26. “What we fear doing most is usually what we need to do.” The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

27. “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” Furry Logic by Jane Seabrook

28.“Holding anger is a poison…It eats you from inside…We think that by hating someone we hurt them…But hatred is a curved blade…and the harm we do to others…we also do to ourselves.” The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

29. “If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”  Desiderata: Words For Life by Madx Ehrmann

30. “Difficulties and obstacles, if properly understood and used, can often turn out to be an unexpected source of strength.” The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche

31. “Done is better than perfect.” Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg 

32. “We are living a happy life when we derive pleasure and meaning while spending time with our loved ones, or learning something new, or engaging in a project a work. The more our days are filled with theses experiences, the happier we become. This is all there is to it.” Happier by Tal Ben – Shahar


How meal plans help you fail

What would your life be like if you were not dieting or constantly thinking or stressing about food? What would it be like if your diet and eating felt effortless? The truth its, it can! It does not have to be all consuming and energy draining. You just have to get through the initial phase of feeling like you have to follow rules dictated by someone else for you to be successful.

The first time I experimented with meal plans was during my college days. It was 2 months out from spring break and I started following the Slim Fast plan. A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, sensible dinner, and maybe and apple or some celery and carrots  during the day. It was not too dreadful, other than the fact that I was starving all the time. I really liked the chocolate shakes and it satisfied my sweet tooth.

I adhered to this for a few weeks like a pro. I was even getting super intense workouts in with my strength coach. (On a side note being a college athlete and trying to do this was one of the least smart choices I ever did make in relation to eating). I was losing weight, feeling great, getting compliments, low on energy, stressing about food, and counting down the seconds until my next meal. Then one day I went out to lunch with some friends and had a mini breakdown inside my head. What am I going to eat now turned into what am I going to eat for the rest of my life. I can’t keep buying these shakes forever! And this is exactly what meal plans do to us.


They keep us dependent and ignorant about our own bodies.

One of the worst things about meal plans is trying to keep it up and trying to be social at the same time. Even if you can, and want to be on a meal plan most days of the week, what happens when you go out to dinner? To a friends birthday party? Your aunts house for dinner? Ice cream with your kids?

What do you do when the meal plan does not tell you what to eat? One of the most common themes I come across is that people get scared when they are left on their own, without anyone to tell them exactly what to eat, or what rules to follow. They fear they will mess and ruin their diet all together. You know what? Messing up on our diets is not the end of the world. It is actually feedback for ourselves now and in the future. Messing up is good because it lets us know what does not work.

It takes away our responsibility completely and does not help us learn about ourselves. 

The fear is, when we are not following a diet, created by someone else, we have to take full responsibility if and when we are more indulgent than we would like to be. And it will happen, its called life. When we have a meal plan or a specific diet, we can blame the program or the person who created the plan for us. When we learn to create our own rules when it comes to eating, we have to take full responsibility. And that can be tough sometimes.

The beauty is, we are also in full control to learn more about ourselves and help create our own unique way of eating. Because it is unique. Each and everyday is unique based on the foods we have available, where we are located and what we are doing. Following a meal plan is a great way to pretend we are always in control with our eating. But it is also a highly stressful tool when our food availability does not go as planned. If we can see our self considered failures as opportunities to learn, we can better create a way of eating that works for us.

Meal plans mess with our minds.

Whether it is paleo, gluten free, slim fast, zone, weight watchers, south beach, it does not matter. All these diets have rules, on or off foods, things we should or should not do. And when we do not comply, we feel like failures. We feel like we lost control and will continue to lose control and spiral downward into the land of failed eating yet again. The thing is eating one bad meal ( or one bad day of eating) will not break your diet just like one good meal (or good day of eating) will not make your diet. Consistency is the secret. 

If you are convinced that meal plans are for you, at least show yourself compassion if you fall off track. Self compassion is a great motivator than self criticism.

Diets and meal plans focus on too many rules.

You may have questions such as:

When should I eat breakfast?

Should I have carbs or just protein and fat? Or all three?

Should I workout fasted?

What should I eat before and after I workout in the morning?

Do I have to eat before if I am not hungry?

Can I have potatoes? Can they be white? sweet? purple?

Look at how much stress is surrounding your thoughts about food and it is not even past breakfast. Too many rules, create too many decisions, which will eventually lead to failure. These questions above are fine to have. But the only way to you can truly know what works is if you try it yourself and see what works.

I have a better way. I created Drop A Size in 5, an at home workout and eating guidebook that helps you create your, own, unique, rules when it comes to eating. YOUR Meal Design. What would it be like if at the end of 5 weeks you would know exactly how to eat for the rest of your life and it would be created by you? It will be launching at the end of April so be sure to sign up to get on the wait list for more info about YOUR Meal Design.

And let me tell you that once you create your own rules, you can end up anywhere, from Starbucks, to McDonalds, to Whole Foods and still make healthy, appropriate choices, in line with your goals.



5 reasons excuses hold you back from personal freedom

Excuses are interesting and ironic. I have noticed a trend lately of excuses, not only why we are not successful in areas of x,y & z but I have noticed how other people make excuses of why other people ARE successful in areas of their life, whether that be personal relationships, careers or fitness.

We make excuses for ourselves to justify when we don’t do things or failed attempts when we do.


I work late so I cannot get to the gym.

I don’t have the time or the money.

I don’t like to cook and I eat out and that is why I do not eat well.

It is not easy for me. There’s nothing I can do about it.

I love food and being social and that is what is holding me back.

We make excuses for others action and success.


If I were a trainer and worked at a gym, I would be more motivated to workout.

They have it easy. They have a supportive family.

If I were a stay at home mom and did not have to work I could reach my goals.

If I did not have to stay at home I with the kids I would have more time.

That person is naturally lean, they don’t have to work at it.

We tend to put down other people’s successes and defend our lack of success.  There is nothing more nauseating and uninteresting  to me than someone who gives up complete responsibility in their life while discrediting others at the same time.


I am not immune to this phenomena, as I have of course made excuses for myself and for others many times. But these past couple years have been what I call, the years of awareness. Everything seems to hitting me, like a punch to the face, but it hasn’t really been a bad thing, as excuses do not really serve us in any positive way and take away our personal freedom, choice, and opportunity.

They take away your power. 

When you make an excuse you relinquish yourself of the power and responsibility to do anything about it. What is your number one excuse right now on anything? Say it out loud? I can’t do _____________ because of (insert excuse). You have now taken yourself out of the drivers seat to take control of having a part in figuring out the solution. It does not matter what events play out, you don’t have to be a part of because you gave away your power.

You like being innocent.

To put it bluntly, we like people feeling sorry for us. It feels good. It feels good to have someone say, “You are right. You don’t have control over this situation. You don’t have to do anything about it. You just have to sit there and take it.” We like being the innocent victim in the story of our lives. When we make an excuse for ourselves, it gives us a reason of why we are where we are, why we are not doing any thing wrong, or why the things we are doing are justified. When what we are doing is justified we feel validated in our reasonings.

It means having to put some serious work and effort in.

The alternative to making excuses and stewing in our misery, is actually doing the work. And sometimes that can be flippin hard. And scary! Doing the work can come down to two things. Charging through the storm or getting out of the storm all together. Each being difficult in its own respect.

Are you stuck in a job or relationship that does not serve you? You either figure out a way to make it work or get out of it. Doing nothing leaves you in a state of paralysis, unable to move forward or back. In some moments this is what we need, but when it becomes chronic, we close ourselves off to potential solutions.

You never learn anything.

When we make excuses and never take action we never give ourselves a chance to learn or grow in anyway. Shawn Achor, a positive psychology expert says “Happiness is the joy we feel moving towards our full potential.” Feeling like we are always being done wrong or feeling like everything in the world is happening to us, not for us, takes away some of our greatest gifts.

Our ability to challenge ourselves, be resilient, learn and grow towards our full potential.  And to be happy. Throwing our hands up in the air tells us that we do not have a say in our lives or control with our actions.

It takes credit away from others and makes it about yourself.

 Some people work really, really hard, whether it is in their career, in their relationships, or with healthy lifestyle. To say that someone is simply lucky or doesn’t work hard to get what they have is, not only making a huge assumptions, but it is taking away credit from hard work at its finest. Are some people blessed in certain areas in their life? Yea, I would say so. But breaking people down instead of building them up displays more insecurities on the discrediting end than anything.

How to gain personal freedom.


Assume Responsibility. 

Taking 100% responsibility for our actions is empowering. The next time you have a moment where you are down, upset, frustrated and want to put the blame on others, think about what control you have over your emotions and how you respond, before you think about what they are doing to you. Remember the entire world is not out to get you.

Track your excuses.

Is it okay to talk about pain, discontent, or stress?  Of course it is! Is it ok to talk about setbacks and struggles. Yes! But when it becomes constant, it begins to shape how you view yourself and taints the lens of how you view the world around. It strips you of control and never gives you the opportunity to learn anything. Start becoming aware of you excuses by using a subtle tracking system. Put a rubber band on one wrist and switch it every time you make an excuse. Keep a post it at your desk and tally every excuse you make.

Take action. Be a problem finder.

You do not need to find the ultimate solution to your problem immediately, but find the little things that lead to the cause of the problem.  What is contributing? Sometimes decisions and situations can be overwhelming and I totally get it.

One of my favorite ways to approach a problem is to think about it in this way. Even if you feel you cannot do something right now, or ever, if you could, how would you? Even if it seems too much to manage or completely out of reach, you still have the opportunity to think about how you would figure it out. And that is the beginning of personal responsibility and freedom.

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How to keep meal prep stress free and simple

Meal prepping is not for everyone but prepping in some form can help you relieve a whole lot of stress and make better decisions during the week.

I’ve been at both extremes, from having nothing prepped to having everything prepped for the week, and I can say from experience I am not a fan of either. Having nothing ready to go when I come home from a long work day is stressful but having two day old soggy vegetables in tupperware is far from appetizing. And I am a big believer that you should always enjoy the food you eat.


I want to give you insight on how I found an in between way of meal prep, moderation meal prep if you will, that takes loads of stress off me during the week. Especially when the last thing I feel like doing is cooking or stopping to get food after work.

On Sunday, I prep part of my food at the same time. Here is an exact example from this past weekend.

I baked some chicken in the oven, lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

I was feeling extra motivated and decided to make pork stuffed cabbage, that cooked in the crock pot all day long, to eat Sunday night. Simply rolling the pork mixture in cabbage leaves is enough to make me feel a bit fancy, as you can see by the top 3 images. You can get the recipe here.

When that was in the crock pot I chopped up the cabbage because I knew if I didn’t do it then, it would not get done.

While my cutting bored was out I imperfectly diced a couple sweet potatoes to easily pop in the oven to bake later in the week.

By this time my chicken was out of the oven and cooled. I diced it up and put it in a glass tupperware for salads, sandwiches, rice and chicken bowls, etc.

There ya go! I plan to have the left over pork/cabbage tonight and I will simply roast my sweet potatoes in the oven prior. Tomorrow I will will probably use some chicken for lunch, in form of a rice bowl, and for dinner in form of a salad.

For later in the week I also have:

  • frozen turkey burgers
  • already shredded brussel sprouts to roast
  • microwavable broccoli that I can add some butter and seasonings too
  • pre cooked brown rice
  • eggs for an egg and veggie scramble
  • protein bars, fruit, nuts, and chocolate for snacks.

I keep my prepping and cooking time to a minimum and also have back up options for quick go-to meals. If you find you are constantly making poor food choices, I highly encourage you to give it a try and find out what works for you. This is all part of my philosophy with YOUR Meal Design, which is a 30+ page guidebook to creating your,own, unique, rules, when it comes to eating, coming next month.To receive more information and to be notified when it is available, get on the wait list here.

Also, I would love to hear from you! Do you meal prep? And if so what is your plan?